Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A New Low

So, today we have a new low of police brutality. Six police men tried to prevent a Reverend from attending the General Petraeus Hearings on Iraq (for those who don't follow such things, Congress is reviewing a report, and the public is allowed to attend).

After waiting in line, like everyone else, this man of God committed a cardinal sin -- he wore a button saying "I love the people of Iraq". Go figure -- a man of God, loving people.

Apparently, this is against the law, for the man was told he could not enter and that he would be arrested. When he asked why -- and made the mistake of saying he would not be arrested today -- they grabbed him. He flinched, and 6 officers jumped on him, tackling him to the ground and... breaking his leg. Oh, those brave, brave men in blue. What a f*cking joke.

Video of the entire event, with the non-event preceding the attack, can be viewed here (see the first video link on the left): http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2935

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


An Update to an earlier story:

(Note: the earlier posting can be found here: http://policebrutalitydotcom.blogspot.com/2007/08/drinking-can-kill-you-when-police-beat.html )

In August we reported that a man (arrested for drinking) had died in a Pasadena jail. The police reported that he had died after "tripping". The coroner did not do its own report, having accepted this explanation by the police at face value.

However, after the family suspected foul play, they were able to get a coroner's report that stipulated the man had died from a perforation of his lung due to a bone splinter from a fractured rib, and that his corpse had bruises and cuts on the hands, knees, wrists, back, head, and his jeans and t-shirt were slpattered all over with blood.

Now the coroner has reported that this was a homicide. The prosecutor that is the head of the police integrity unit said they may (sic) refer this to a grand jury for charges. But they may not. Because... "The medical examiner's ruling basically gives the cause and manner of death, but our (internal) investigation determines whether there was justification for a homicide."

How a homicide on a man already handcuffed for drinking could be justified is not clear, but the prosecutor nonetheless feels the need to do further investigation. Or to wait until this blows over. Either way, it's doubtful the family or the community will let this issue die, and Police Brutality.Com will bring you the details as they develop.

What You Get in Yonkers for not Cleaning Up After Your Dog

Today's post isn't so extreme compared to other posts... until you consider what was at stake.

Just one day after the Justice Department announced it was investigating a series of police brutality incidents, Eric and Monique Brown were stopped while walking their dog by police. Apparently, a Yonkers police officer had witnessed their dog taking a poop, and insisted that the couple clean it up. When the man protested that it wasn't his dog that had pooped, he was arrested(!).

Once arrested, six or seven officers decided that they were all needed to subdue the man and put him into the police car. As the couple's 8-year old daughter stood by, the police punched Brown and slammed him onto the car. When the mother started begging the police to leave her husband alone, they grabbed her and puched her in the back of the head.

At this point, a concerned citizen began filming. While they did not get the beating on tape, they did catch the tail end of the arrest during which an entire phalanx of police officers are manhandling and carrying/dragging the dog-walker across the pavement into the police car. No less than nine officers can be seen. Given that this "offence" is supposedly for allowing a dog to poop on the street (if at all), this is a gross overreaction. Watch the video, and marvel at how many police are piled on top of him half-way through the replay. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=5626687

Eric Brown suffered bruising on several parts of his body.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Incredible: Anti-Brutality Activist Sentenced to 30 Years

Aaron Patterson was charged in 1986 with a double murder of an elderly couple. Arrested by the Chicago police, he was beaten, suffocated with a plastic typewriter case, handcuffed to a wall and beaten, and told at gunpoint to head to sign a confession. After 25 hours of this plus threat of torture, he signed.

After 17 years in jail, Patterson watched as Jon Burge, the detective presiding over Patterson's beating-confession, was the subject of an inquiry that concluded he had tortured* over 100 black men in Chicago from the mid-1980's to the early 1990's (!!). Patterson was granted a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, and was offered a $4 million settlement by the police department. Patterson refused this money and instead vowed to spend his life crusading against police corruption.

He has performed well. The Chicago police force is increasingly the subject ofunwanted attention and rumors are afoot of an inquiry into a "pattern" of police brutality. This is where the story turns ugly.

In 2005, after already having spent 17 years in jail for being framed, this man of principle was arrested again. This time for drug and weapon charges. While in jail again he was offered freedom in exchange for a promise that he would not pursue any charges of torture against police or otherwise pursue anti-brutality activism on behalf of others. Patterson refused the deal and the charges went forward.

Unbelievably, today Patterson has been found "guilty" and sentenced to 30 years in prison!!! This time, alluding to Patterson's horrific past, prosecutors and judge both claimed that Patterson hoped the past injustice he suffered would make him "bulletproof" because "any police action against him would be seen as revenge." On this ridiculous theory, Patterson intentionally used his ordeal of horrific injustice, "as cover [or an alibi] for a life of crime".

So say prosecutors from a department tied to over 100 wrongful convictions due to torture that put a third-world nation to shame.

To top it all off, the purported reason Patterson turned to "gang life" was not for money but to be "influential and powerful in his community". Apparently, being sentenced to jail for 17 years for a crime he didn't commit, then devoting his life to fighting police brutality afterward wouldn't earn him sufficient status in a black community ravaged by police violence....

Contact the Illlinois Governor's office and inform him that this is unacceptable.

*(Note: "Torture" here means "beatings with bats and sticks", "burning with cigarettes and radiators", "electric shocks to the genitals with cattle prods", and Russian Roulette).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Drinking Can Kill You... When the Police Beat You For It

Please send your stories of police brutality to policebrutalitydotcom@hotmail.com

Two posts today.

First, a drunk man was arrested over a month ago for being drunk in public. Five hours after being taken down to the Pasadena police station, he was dead.

How did this happen? He "tripped". So said the DA's report -- which was written exclusively on the basis of the booking officers' word.

Sound fishy? It is. The man's family has learned that the body had bruises and cuts on the hands, knees, wrists, back, head, and had blood spatters all over his jeans and t-shirt. Oh, and he died from a perforation of his lung due to a bone splinter from a fractured rib.

Oops! That was some fall on his way into the squad car.

This case is now being presented to charges in front of a grand jury. A police attorney says the police will probably be cleared of wrong-doing.

Second post:

A 22 year-old 'peaceful boy' was shot on Saturday night in San Bernardino County in front of his apartment building, in what police have called a case of "mistaken identity". His name is Charles Marshall. The next evening, community members held a candlelight vigil for him.

What did the police do? They sent in two phalanxes of police officers to stride toward mourners and start grabbing people out of the crowd. One officer punched a lady twice in the face -- "Bam! Bam! Just like she was a man!" said a witness as she described the assault.

Residents wasted no time registering their displeasure. 25 out of 40 residents who were at the vigil spoke before Monday's City Council meeting to describe the unprovoked attack to their representatives. For now, they have the support of the Mayor, who has called their decision to report the police attack "courageous and important", and who has promised an "investigation" into the matter.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Justice For the Beaten

EMAIL your own stories of police brutality to: POLICEBRUTALITYDOTCOM@HOTMAIL.COM

A happy story today -- of sorts.

A hero who saw police brutally beating a drunk driver with fists and weapons intervened and tried to talk sense into the policemen. Having arrived home and having had nothing to do with the incident except to find the beating occurring at the foot of his driveway, he told police that they should let up on the guy and that they didn't need to be so rough. He also told the police that they didn't "have to beat him like Rodney King."

The result was that the police maced the good samaritan and beat him to a pulp. As is also par for the course, the man was arrested and made out to be a villain.

That's not the good news. No, that's just another typical pattern behind police brutality occurring in the USA.

The good news is that the man -- after having to move out of the Chicago area due to harrassment -- was finally able to get the police to drop the charges against him and make a settlement for $180,000. As the vicitm's lawyer put it, "Though no amount of money can properly compensate for a beating at the hands of police, we are satisfied that the defendants recognized the error of their ways."

There is an unfortunate post-script, however. Out of the two officers involved in the beating, one has since resigned and moved out of state. The second officer, however, remains on the force, with no sign of being removed in the future. Do your part and contact the Waukegan police, and inform them that this is unacceptable.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Today's delightful story begins with a peaceful protest by 30-40 restaurant workers in Boston. Please note exhibit A -- the photograph depicting two police officers perched on top of one of the female workers involved in the march -- and note specifically the awkward angle at which the victim's left leg is bent.

With this delightful and senseless destruction of a human leg in mind, let's recap how we got here. 30-40 workers went on a march in Boston to register their displeasure with working conditions in the U.S. Although you and I might have thought such marching and vocal demonstration was permitted in America, you would be wrong. The police told marchers to move onto the sidewalk, an order that was obeyed. Once there, they were presumably easier to smash to pieces, and so the carnage began. Marchers were surrounded by squad cars, and police jumped out and began attacking the marchers. One particularly nasty result was this poor woman's leg. Call your politicians and let them know that police brutality is unacceptable.
More pictures below.

EMAIL your own stories of police brutality to: POLICEBRUTALITYDOTCOM@HOTMAIL.COM