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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 03-05-09

Trial Against Another King County Deputy Begins Monday
Just days after the world was outraged by video taken of a King County deputy assaulting a 15-year-old girl, another King County Sheriff's Deputy, Don Griffee, is due to face charges in court on Monday for allegedly punching a handcuffed suspect in the back of his cruiser while questioning him over charges that ended up being falsely reported by a woman who felt spurned by him.

The man, Johnny Bradford, was detained on allegations of domestic assault until deputies discovered that the woman who called them had made everything up and ended up charging her for filing a false report. However, deputies had slammed Bradford to the ground when they detained him and deputy Griffee allegedly held him down with his foot on Bradford's neck. Then Griffee took Bradford to his cruiser and, when Bradford denied the allegations against him, Griffee allegedly turned and punched him in the face while he was cuffed.

Officers noticed Bradford bleeding from the mouth after he was taken out of the cruiser but Griffee denied hitting him. Bradford was taken to the hospital to get treatment for a severe cut on his face. Bradford has filed suit against the county so the state's attorney general's office is handling the case against the officer, who is currently on paid leave just as officer Schene is while facing charges for attacking a 15-year-old girl in a Sea-Tac holding cell.

Brutal Police Beating Caught On Tape In New Orleans
Carlos Miller at Photography is Not a Crime posts about a couple who took some disturbing video of New Orleans police officers brutally beating a suspect. While it was too dark out for the video to pick up much discernible visible evidence of the beating, you can hear the person being beaten beg and plead for officers to "Please! Stop! Please stop hitting me! Oh please! Don't hit me no more!"

Officers claim that he brandished a weapon at him and his family admits he's been in trouble with the law before, but they also say he didn't have or carry a gun. Officers were heard laughing and joking about the beating and mocking the man's pleas, then asking the man if he wanted another five minutes of being beaten.

Chicago Woman Wins $261,000 Police Brutality Lawsuit
Robin Petrovic won a $260,000 civil rights judgment against the Chicago police department over a 2005 incident where she had called police to report being attacked and ended up being attacked by the police as well after she refused to sign a blank police report that officers could have filled in with whatever they wanted to later.

One of the officers accused of beating her, James Chevas, had racked up over 50 complaints, including several for brutality, during his career with the CPD. Petrovic claims an officer hit her on the back of the head when she refused to sign and that officer Chevas then repeatedly cussed at her as he kicked her in the head and groin while she was handcuffed. She was then charged with assaulting an officer, which was later dropped.

Speaking of Chicago Cops With Histories Of Abuse
Chicago Police Chief Jody Weis has been found to be in contempt of court and has been given until 8:45am Monday to release the names of Chicago Police officers who have had at least 5 complaints filed in the last 9 years.

Weis refused the judges order to turn over such records in a stunt to gain the support of Chicago's police unions but now might find himself in jail for flaunting the law instead of enforcing it. The list was requested by lawyers for Donna Moore who is suing the department over claims that a Chicago officer, Robert Smith, assaulted and arrested her 11-year-old and 13-year-old sons when they had a dispute with Smiths son at a playground.

In that list are some officers who have racked up an incredulous 60 complaints or more and Moore's attorneys intend to give this as an example of how Chicago's police department protects officers with histories of abuse and, thus, encourages more bad behavior like that exhibited by officer Smith. It's doubtful that Weis faces jail if he continues to refuse the judge's order, though the city may face fines for refusing to release the lists.

Ft. Lauderdale Police Declare It's Legal For Them To Assault Citizens For No Reason
Charges of assaulting an officer against Joshua Ortiz in Ft. Lauderdale Florida have been dropped after a video showing what really happened came to light.

The video, (link here) shows Ortiz standing in an elevator when one officer comes up to him and then slugs him, then other officers flood into the elevator and start punching him several times while bystanders are terrorized by other officers.

Ortiz was left with two black eyes, a broken nose, and several other bruises... Officers were, of course, unscathed and an internal investigation that also reviewed the tape found officers had acted within departmental policy by beating up people who didn't pose any threat.

Two Prince Georges MD Officers Suspended After Brutality Video Clears Latino Man
Rafael Rodreiquez was accused of balling up his fist and punching an officer in the stomach during a traffic stop for illegal running lights in Prince Georges County, MD on October of 2008.

But, after tape of the incident was obtained by an investigator for Rodreiquez's defense, the charges were dropped and now two Prince Georges county officers might be facing charges instead for pepper spraying, repeatedly clubbing, and slamming Rodreiquez against his car during the stop... all without any apparent justification other than that Rodreiquez wanted to talk about the citation since he claimed another officer told him the lights he had were legal.

Groups Hold "Free Carl Eller" Rally in Minneapolis
The Minneapolis-based Communities United Against Police Brutality held a rally in support for ex-NFL player Carl Eller who was convicted of misdemeanor charges of DUI and assaulting an officer over an April 2008 arrest in which he claims officers lied and that he was the victim of excessive force.

His defense attorneys are currently fighting to get the case reheard after they received evidence from the city after the trial which they had requested before the trial. That evidence, they say, proves that officers lied about what happened the night they arrested Eller in his own driveway. That evidence is the GPS record of the officers' location and the route they took that night to arrest Eller, which apparently contradicts their testimony in an number of places.


Karl Mansoor said... day...all of this nonsense will be more effectively addressed.

...we hope.

Packratt said...

Well, that's all we can do really, just keep trying and hope that it eventually makes a difference.

...otherwise, I suppose we wouldn't keep trying.

Keep up the good work Karl, I appreciate it, and thanks for the comment!

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