tagged w/ Police Brutality
The city surveillance video that shows a group of Fullerton police officers beating a homeless mentally ill man to death last year was finally released today, laying to rest any argument that Kelly Thomas was a threat to officers.
The shocking video, which was combined with an audio recorder worn by one of the police officers on the night of July 5, 2011, was shown in court today, then later released to the media.
“Now you see my fists?” Fullerton police officer Manny Ramos asked Thomas while slipping on a pair of latex gloves.
“Yeah, what about them?” Thomas responded.
“They are getting ready to fuck you up,” said Ramos, a burly cop who appears to outweigh Thomas by 100 pounds.
"Well, start punching," Thomas responds, never once displaying any physical aggression towards Ramos.
Moments later, as Thomas is standing while Ramos is ordering him to get on his "fucking knees," Fullerton cop Joseph Wolfe, who is not charged in the case, walks up and starts beating his legs with a baton.
Then Ramos gets into the act and Thomas takes off running, moving out of the frame of the camera.
The camera, operated by a dispatcher at the station, then moves toward the beating, showing Ramos and Fullerton cop Jay Cicinelli on top of Thomas as Thomas repeatedly apologizes and telling them he is unable to breathe.
The cops keep telling him to put his hands behind his back and lay on his stomach, but they are both laying on top of him, making it impossible to even breathe, much less move.
As the video continues, one of the cops can be seen kneeing him.
"Please, I can't breathe," Thomas pleads as the officers keep telling him to put his hands behind his "fucking back."
The cops keep telling him to "relax" to which he responds, "I can't, dude."
More cops eventually arrive and a little more than four minutes into the video, they start tasing him.
And a little after five minutes into the video, as three cops are piled on top of him, beating him, tasing him, one cop looks up at another cop who just arrived on the scene and says, "help us."
At one point he yells out, "Dad, they are killing me."
Even after seven minutes into the video, when six cops are on top of him and all Thomas is doing is crying for his father, they keep telling him to "relax."
Last year, Ron Thomas, a retired Orange County Sheriff's deputy, said the City of Fullerton offered him $900,000 to just go away, which would have allowed the two cops to remain on the force unpunished for killing his son.
Thomas was pronounced dead on July 10, five days after the beating that left him in a coma.
The cops weren't placed on administrative leave as is customary in a death of a suspect until August 2. And only because the community was outraged.
But it's no doubt city and police officials watched the above video that same night. They even acknowledged allowing the officers to watch the video to complete their incident reports.
I guess we should be relieved they never destroyed the video as cops are so used to doing.
During today's hearing, a crime scene investigator named Dawn Scruggs testifed that Ramos and Cicinelli were out of breath and in disbelief after killing him, apparently trying to sway the court into believing Thomas deserved to die.
But anybody who sees the video can see he did nothing to deserve the beating.
Ramos is being charged with second degree murder and faces up to 15 years in prison. Cicinelli is being charged with involuntary manslaughter and faces up to four years in prison.
It is extremely rare for any cop to receive prison time for their crimes.
In the photo below, Ramos demanded treatment for his injured elbow as Thomas lay dying a few feet from himThe city surveillance video that shows a group of Fullerton police officers beating a... more
“Epic” is a much overused and abused word these days, but in this case it’s appropriate. UC-Davis isn’t the first campus to be confronted with students unhappy about the state of things. In fact, university administrators and law enforcement personnel have fifty years of history to draw on, at least. By now, there is zero excuse for not having productive philosophies and procedures in place that stress the unique role of the higher education institution in American society. These are students, not escaped convicts. They are, if I might borrow a cliché that we toss around way too casually, the leaders of tomorrow. There are no barbarians at the gate. Visigoths are not storming the walls. The only danger to anyone’s safety and well-being is posed by the authorities.“Epic” is a much overused and abused word these days, but in this case... more
Whenever I read a news report about police assaulting a homeless guy or unleashing a stream of pepper spray on peaceful protesters, I always wonder where the good cops are. I mean, we're constantly assured that most police officers are good cops, and that their reputation is being besmirched by a few bad apples. So why aren't those good cops busy tasering their off-base colleagues? Or at least giving them a good thumping?
The answer, it appears is "Regina Tasca." She's a Bogota, New Jersey, police officer who responded to a medical call to transport an emotionally disturbed young man to the hospital. As per protocol, she called for backup. Two officers from Ridgefield arrived on the scene, and proceeded to whomp on Kyle, the guy they were supposedly helping. According to WPIX:
Tasca described what we see on the videotape: "The Ridgefield Park officer automatically charges and takes him down to the ground. I was quite shocked. As he's doing that, another Ridgefield Park officer flies to the scene in his car, jumps out and starts punching him in the head."
On the tape you can hear Tara, the mother, and Kyle, her son, screaming, "Why are you punching him?" and "Stop punching me!"
The two Ridgefield Park Sergeants are never heard refuting the claims that they punched the 22 year-old man as he was waiting for an ambulance.
Even worse, Kyle was never charged, nor arrested, for any offense. Tasca says it's because he never threatened, did not have a weapon, and indeed never resisted and was not violent. Eventually Tasca was able to pry the punching Ridgefield Park officer off Kyle, as seen in a picture taken by the Kyle's mother, who also later commended Tasca in a phone call.
You know what comes next, right? Yeah. After physically intervening against two violent colleagues-in-blue, Tasca'a job is at stake. She faces a departmental trial on charges that she's "psychologically unfit" to be a police officer.
I suppose that could be true. It all depends on what you're looking for in your police officers — and what kind of cops you're trying to screen out.
As a mental health professional, this REALLY REALLY pisses me off! If I were at the scene of this 302/201 I would be going to jail for assaulting a police officer.Whenever I read a news report about police assaulting a homeless guy or unleashing a... more
The police union has blasted the release of the officer’s name, saying he deserves the right to a fair and impartial inquiry.The police union has blasted the release of the officer’s name, saying he... more
1 year ago
Women dies after being dragged from Hospital... - Democratic ...
Alexa Traffic Rank for http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002481930: 4,726www.democraticunderground.com/1002481930
New video has surfaced which shows Richmond Fields police arresting a 29-year-old woman at a hospital for trespassing and later dragging her into a jail cell, where she would eventually die. The woman, Anna Brown, had pleaded with officials at the hospital, telling them she was in extreme pain and was unable to stand. The video, which was obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, shows Brown in a wheelchair, refusing to leave the hospital, St. Mary's Health Center.
A doctor told officers that Brown was "healthy enough to be locked up." The officers then put Brown in police car and, when she told them she was unable to stand, they dragged her into a jail cell.
It was later revealed that Brown died from blood clots that originated in her legs but traveled to her lungs. Officers had suspected Brown was using drugs, though autopsy results later showed this wasn't true.
Video of the incident, which occurred last September, is just being brought to light this week. Another attempted cover up.Women dies after being dragged from Hospital... - Democratic ...
Alexa Traffic Rank... more
WATCH: Roughly 30 people had to be treated for their injuries and two people had to be hospitalized.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=33173WATCH: Roughly 30 people had to be treated for their injuries and two people had to be... more
Why aren't we hearing more about this, talking about this? This speaks to the racism that still is prevalent in the U.S.
"As the Trayvon Martin case draws national attention, we look at another fatal shooting of an African-American male that has received far less scrutiny. Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old African-American Marine veteran, was fatally shot in November by White Plains, NY, police who responded to a false alarm from his medical alert pendant. The officers broke down Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, and then shot him dead. Audio of the entire incident was recorded by the medical alert device in Chamberlain’s apartment. We’re joined by family attorneys and Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., who struggles through tears to recount his father’s final moments, including the way police officers mocked his father’s past as a marine. "For them to look at my father that way, (with) no regard for his life, every morning I think about it," he says."
http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2012/3/29/killed_at_home_white_plains_nyWhy aren't we hearing more about this, talking about this? This speaks to the... more
1 year ago
The arrest of a man at an Oklahoma Airport is under investigation. Officials released surveillance video of officers dragging the man face down across the floor. Officers say he became combative, after he attempted to enter a restricted area. (March 25)The arrest of a man at an Oklahoma Airport is under investigation. Officials released... more
The NYCLU responded today to March 17th's New York Police attacks on citizens and their Constitution in a scathing press release denouncing an out of control police department. That sounds eerily familar.
'March 19, 2012
In response to a weekend of arrests and the closure of Zuccotti Park by the NYPD, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman issued the following statement:
"The NYPD has once again responded to political protest with the closure of a public forum, arrests and, according to press and eye-witness accounts, violence against journalists and political dissidents.
If one didn't know better, it would seem that Oakland's Police Department had decided to move to, if not greener, then certainly larger, pastures. Let's review the evidence....
http://tinyurl.com/7s3ram9The NYCLU responded today to March 17th's New York Police attacks on citizens and... more
1 year ago
Since 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has spent $635.9 billion. In 2001, they spent a mere $16 billion compared to the $69.1 in 2011. That money has been used to pay for closed-circuit camera systems in Nebraska, a weapons-capable drone in Texas, an armored personnel carrier in Florida, bomb-detecting robots in North Dakota, and 15,000 surveillance cameras in Chicago.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=31749Since 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has spent $635.9 billion. In 2001,... more
WATCH -- This footage is so visceral and it shows us all that the police state is alive and well and growing in power. From this footage, one could make the argument that the militaristic police forces in our country are no longer here to protect and serve the community, they are here to use force against it.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=31679WATCH -- This footage is so visceral and it shows us all that the police state is... more
No more tyranny, no more oppression, no more corporate slavery or police brutality. We are preparing to destroy this corrupt system and bring the world of the elite and unjust down on its knees
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqU8Mxc4-bcNo more tyranny, no more oppression, no more corporate slavery or police brutality. We... more
US military in Iraq needed "hardcore" troops with warlike mentality -- journalist... (RT) — Under the Bush administration the U.S. military allegedly started to recruit neo-Nazis and gang members to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, argues investigative journalist Matt Kennard.
RT: A question about the series of essays you wrote, "The regular army." When you were working on this, which one of these topics was the most shocking for you?
Matt Kennard: The neo-Nazis was obviously the most shocking, because these people hate everything to do with the Middle East and their goal is to kill what they call "hedgies." So that's the shocking result of the war of terror, as the mainstream narrative is that the West is taking democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet we are sending these neo-Nazi troops there. Gangbangers is another one, which is gang members from all over the west coast have been in the military since 2002.
http://youtu.be/-UMEg4cAbygUS military in Iraq needed "hardcore" troops with warlike mentality --... more
Police do not disarm suspect, but shoot him 10 times after tazering him
When the brick crashed through her bathroom window and somebody began kicking in her front door, the 19-year-old single mother of two in Milwaukee dialed what are supposed to be the most trustworthy three numbers.
“I called 911 for help,” she later said in court. “I didn’t call 911 to be the victim.”
Within minutes, two police officers responded. One took her 15-year-old brother outside to speak to him. The other cop, Police Officer Ladmarald Cates, gave her boyfriend $10 and told him to go the store and get some water. She told him that he was welcome to chilled water from her refrigerator.
“I only drink bottled water,” Cates said.
Her boyfriend has a pronounced limp and set off with no promise of returning soon. Cates asked to see the broken window and she led him down a narrow hallway to a bathroom in the back. She felt sure that jealous neighbors had attacked her happy home because she dared to defy what seemed surely to be her fate as an inner-city teenage single mom.
“I wanted to be a good example to my kids,” she would later say. “I wanted to learn something, be somebody.”
She had returned to high school as a mother of two and after graduation she had continued on to the University of Wisconsin, where she was studying criminal justice with the thought of becoming police officer or a lawyer.
“I thought I was going pretty good,” she would recall.
She now stood on a floor littered with broken glass and pointed to the brick. The cop she had summoned to protect her instead chose this moment to grab the back of her head by her hair and sodomize her. Then he raped her.
Her revulsion in the aftermath was so visceral that she vomited as she ran outside. The cop’s partner had become concerned when he did not immediately see Cates and called for back-up. Other cops began arriving and saw a woman screaming incoherently about being raped.
Cates appeared and grabbed her by the waist, spinning her around. Her swinging feet may or may not have struck the partner. She was handcuffed and taken in, told at the stationhouse that she was being charged with assaulting a police officer.
She became more coherent but no less outraged and vocal as she continued cry out from a holding cell that she had been raped. She also continued to vomit. The other cops dismissed her as a liar.
After 12 hours, she was interviewed by internal affairs and taken to a hospital, where a rape kit was used to collect evidence. She was then taken to the county jail and held for four days before being released without actually being charged.
She took her story to the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office. A prosecutor subsequently wrote, “While I did find the victim’s version of events credible, I did not believe that her testimony would be strong enough to successfully prosecute Officer Cates.”
In other words, Cates was still a cop and she was still an inner-city teenage single mom. She stopped going to school as she fell into a deep depression, making two serious suicide attempts.
“It was killing my soul,” she says.
She who had so desperately wanted to be a good example for her 3-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl began to wonder if they should even be with her.
“Sad and crying all the time,” she says. “I didn’t know if I wanted my kids around, me being upset like that about something that happened to me.”
Meanwhile, internal affairs confronted Cates with DNA evidence linking him and the victim. He told three different stories, finally saying there had been a voluntary sexual encounter. His victim read in the newspaper that he had been fired for lying and for “idling and loafing” on duty, words that mocked what had been done to her.
“That really pissed me off,” she says.
She took some comfort in knowing Cates was not going to be answering any more 911 calls. But he still had not been held accountable for what he did to her.
“It wasn’t really justice,” she says. “It didn’t say he hurt me.”
She was sinking only deeper into despair when she went on the Internet and chanced up a photo of an eminent Milwaukee defense lawyer named Robin Shellow.
“She had a beautiful smile,” the victim recalls. “It was just her smile and the look in her eyes…She’s not mean and she’s a woman … She looked like she could understand me...She looked like she would help.”
She went to Shellow’s office.
“I just was giving it a shot. I didn’t think nothing was going to come of it.” Shellow proved to be everything her photo suggested. Shellow also happened to have just finished a case in federal court and she had the number handy for the prosecutor who had been her opponent. Asst. U.S. Attorney Mel Johnson came to her office with an FBI agent to interview her new client. He not only found her credible, he was willing to prosecute.
“He was a very nice guy,” the victim says. “He kind of made me not afraid.”
“I knew it,” she says. “The way he treated me, I knew he had to have hurt somebody else before.”
As the case headed for trial, Gina Barton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Cates had been investigated for illegal behavior on five previous occasions, three of them involving sexual misconduct. Two of those were with prisoners. The third was with a 16 year-old and that case had been referred to the Milwaukee district attorney’s office, which declined to prosecute. The priors came as no surprise to the 19-year-old who was now accusing him of raping her while he somehow remained employed as a cop.
“I knew it,” she says. “The way he treated me, I knew he had to have hurt somebody else before.”
But, the law prohibited the prosecution from using Cates’s history to sway the jury. The case was still a she-said-he-said as the victim took the stand. She had been counseled and steadied by Shellow right up to this moment. She was now on her own.
“I am here today because Officer Cates is a very bad man,” she said. Shellow says that her client was a terrific witness. The victim herself feels otherwise, faulting herself for not being able to convey the enormity of what happened. She does say, “It felt good to look at him and tell him what he did. He was looking at his shoes.” She also felt that whatever her shortcomings he was sure to be convicted.
“I thought it would be guilty,” she said. “I felt it in my stomach. Anybody with two eyes could see this dude was an animal.”
On January 11, the jury convicted Cates of violating the victim’s civil rights by raping her.
“I just heard the 'guilty' and then I left because I was so emotional,” she says.
She returned to court on Jan. 18, to see Cates remanded, pending sentencing in April, when he faces a maximum of life in prison.
“I didn’t feel happy,” she says. “I felt like, ‘Finally, it’s over.’”
She could not help but feel sympathy for Cates’s children.
“They didn’t do anything,” she says.
She has chosen to accept the anonymity accorded a sex crime victim as she resumes being the hero of her own particular life. She is back to being the mom she wanted to be for her own kids. And she plans on continuing her studies next semester, though she has seen enough of the legal system to have a new career goal.
“A nurse or a doctor,” she says.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/29/she-dialed-911-the-cop-who-came-to-help-raped-her.htmlWhen the brick crashed through her bathroom window and somebody began kicking in her... more
While distributing the notices, two female officers appeared to focus in on one vocal protester, and as they began to restrain the individual, one officer tased the unarmed man still clad in his pajamas. After the man apparently suffered a seizure, bystanders claim that he was 'refused medical treatment.'
http://veracitystew.com/2012/01/30/dc-police-taser-unarmed-occupy-protester-video/While distributing the notices, two female officers appeared to focus in on one vocal... more
The High Court has ruled in favour of the Metropolitan Police over an appeal in the 'kettling' case brought by G20 demonstrators following the 2009 protests.
Student Hannah McClure and Josh Moos, a campaigner for the Plane Stupid group, both attended the protests and won a High Court case declaring officers had used 'violent [and] unjustified force' to contain them.
However, Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Hughes and Lord Justice Sullivan sitting at the Court of Appeal have now ruled that the High Court's decision was flawed.
'Kettling' is when demonstrators are contained or corralled inside police cordons and prevented from leaving.
It was used by officers to restrain protesters at a Camp for Climate Action during the G20 summit nearly three years ago, in Bishopsgate, central London.
At the time of the decision, which did not outlaw kettling, the police expressed concern that it could have an impact on their ability 'to prevent disorder within protests'.
On the same day, Ian Tomlinson died after a protest in which he was struck by PC Simon Harwood. The demonstrations were at a separate, more explosive, G20 protest at the Royal Exchange in London.
However, the High Court had ruled police had no reason to 'kettle' protesters at the climate camp, which was more peaceful but nevertheless saw demonstrators held behind a cordon for up to four hours later into the evening.
'Kettling' tactics continue to be advocated by police forces and some kettling was in evidence during the summer riots in 2011.
VIDEO: How police kettling looks to protesters (amateur footage)The High Court has ruled in favour of the Metropolitan Police over an appeal in the... more
By David Edwards
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating one of their own officers after video surfaced showing him punching a special needs woman in the face.
Passenger Jermaine Green, who recorded the incident on his cell phone, said that 42-year-old Julie Nelson had been polite before two deputies tried to remove her from the bus.
“They said get off the bus,” Green recalled to NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate. “She then started cursing at (the female deputy). You could tell she had special needs. After that they grab her, she curses him out, calls him a big shot, next thing you know he gives her a big shot.”
In a 911 call released Wednesday, a caller said Nelson had threatened to “beat up” other passengers. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said she also had a four convictions of violence against police officers.
Nelson, who is homeless and known to be living behind a CVS Pharmacy, was taken into custody on a 72-hour psychiatric hold without being arrested.
At a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff Lee Baca admitted that the video was “disturbing.”
“If the deputy who swung an elbow at the lady is looking at that as a sensible solution, we need to retrain that individual and hold him accountable,” he explained.
Childhood friends of Nelson told NBC L.A. that she had a history of mental problems, but had not been taking her medication.
“We’re going to take her and put her somewhere safe, same thing we always do, feed her, help her out, we love her,” one friend said.
Watch the video below from NBC L.A., broadcast Jan. 11, 2012.
"Man, that was uncool and uncalled for!!!!"By David Edwards
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s... more
...do we as police officers, sheriffs, deputies and others who have taken the oath to uphold and defend the constitution, now turn our back on that very oath? Do we now turn against the very same people that entrusted us with a most sacred duty to serve and protect them? If in fact we follow a rule of law such as this bill enacts, it would mean that the oath that we all took meant nothing. We are obliged to follow all lawful orders given to us, but we cannot do this blindly. http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2012/01/07/ohio-peace-officer-drafts-ndaa-letter-for-police-and-sheriffs/...do we as police officers, sheriffs, deputies and others who have taken the oath to... more