I do not know what the anchorman is talking about when he says the police had to make a “split second” decision. I’m skeptical the use of the taser was really a “split second” situation. And leaving that aside, the manner in which the man was dragged down the stairs is indefensible.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Caine’s case was the latest in a series of lawsuit settlements involving disgraced former police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives under his command that have brought the tab to nearly $70 million when legal fees are counted.
Caine’s attorney, Jon Loevy, used Wednesday’s news conference to sound a warning that even as cases involving Burge and his men get resolved, there are scores of others involving other Chicago detectives who “made cases regardless of guilt or innocence.”
Loevy said that while the city has been forced to come to terms with Burge’s wrongdoing, the tendency is to resist acknowledging that the problem of police misconduct was systemic.
“There are obviously a small number of police officers where there are great clusters of accusations that improper tactics were used and wrongful convictions occurred,” Loevy said. “The city would have us believe that if we just take care of the Jon Burge cases, the problem will go away. Not so.”
UPDATE: “Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he asked the FBI to get involved after learning that one of two phones seized from witnesses had no footage on it.” Hmm.
From the Washington Post:
Other Maryland students were roughed up and badly injured by the police after the basketball game. At least three were knocked unconscious; two of them required medical care. Nine students (in addition to Mr. McKenna) received a total of $1.6 million in settlements from the county stemming from police violence.
In the absence of video evidence in those cases, the officers who used Maryland students as punching bags faced no disciplinary consequences. Amazingly, the police department’s internal affairs division, which handled the abuse complaints, did not even interview most of the students who were injured. It follows that if no video had surfaced of Mr. McKenna’s beating, that too would have been swept under the rug of police impunity and official indifference.
Read the whole thing. You really should do it.
A drunk, off-duty cop, Anthony Abbate, beat up a petite lady bartender, Karolina Obrycka in 2007. The video below went viral at the time. The case is now back in the news because the civil lawsuit is now underway in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has the sordid details here. Apparently, the key issue in the civil trial is whether the department engaged in misconduct in response to Abbate’s criminal attack. In other words, did certain officers falsify reports, intimidate witnesses, and so forth.
One must consider what would have happened in the case if there was no videotape. Before the tape was released, Abbate was charged with a misdemeanor. After the tape surfaced, he was charged with a felony. Even with the taped beating as evidence, and even after his criminal conviction, a judge ordered 2 years probation. No jail time at all for Abbate.
From ABC News:
A Philadelphia cop under investigation for punching a woman in the face has been taken off the streets and restricted to administrative duties during the investigation, police said.
A video posted on YouTube shows the unidentified cop punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.
It was decided today that the officer would be placed on “restricted status,” meaning that he is relegated to “administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to Lt. Ray Evers.
In the video the police take three steps to conceal their actions from impartial bystanders/witnesses: (1) “Go inside with the camera,” orders one; (2) the fire truck is moved to block the view of the people watching across the street; (3) next, after noticing that the bystanders can still see Rios from another angle, police move the squad car so they can no longer see Rios.
From Huffington Post:
Kelly’s Army worked tirelessly to publicize the beating, which Establishment types would have liked to sweep under the carpet, subtly or not-so-subtly trying to blame Kelly for his own death. Kelly’s Army got the ear of the Orange County DA, which in itself was a stunner considering how the System protects its own. For the first time ever in Orange County an on-duty police officer was charged with murder — as if it were the first time in the history of Orange County that an innocent person was killed by rogue cops.
Kelly’s Army then dealt with the other part of the System. They got the unresponsive city council majority recalled. Travis Kiger, a smart and mild-mannered computer professional, who was one of the first to express his outrage and blog about Kelly’s killing, went from anti-Establishment blogger to City Councilman. The winds of change are indeed blowing through Fullerton.