Friday, July 07, 2006

Closure on Police Brutality

When I went down this path of reporting a police beating (see "Google Tool" entries), my co-worker who works on police brutality issues tried to prepare me for disappointment. I wasn't prepared.

It was nearly a year ago that I witnessed an unprovoked police beating of a man who was not resisting arrest or even defending himself against the beating. I was standing an arms length from the action. After filing a formal complaint with the civilian review board, I met with the D.A.'s office and later positively identified the officer in a photo lineup (or at least I believe I did). A few weeks ago, the civilian review board kindly informed me that my complaint was unsubstantiated.
Port Authority letter I know at least two others I regard as extremely credible who have reported police brutality in New York City only to reach the same deadend months later. One of them is also a lawyer.

With our current state of affairs -- what some might call a police state -- I recommend that when engaged by unruly police officers to do what one would do when meeting up with a grizzly bear. I've heard that if you can see a grizzly bear, it is too close for you to out run. You're supposed to roll in a ball and protect your vital organs. That's more or less what I saw the beating victim do, and he survived it, at least physically.

I have no idea what happened to him. The assistant D.A. refused to give me any information on his case, and she has not returned my calls since we met. My guess would be that the charges against him were dropped. My coming forward put the trumped up charges against the beating victim in doubt, with the D.A. knowing that I would likely be called as a witness for the defense to dispute the testimony of the police officers.

The defense attorneys know how to reach me. I'll report back if I hear from them.

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