Morning Links

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
  • Three very good posts from Jacob Sullum illustrating the absurdity of hate crimes laws: one, two, and three.
  • Coming to California: A new law inspired by a dead person.
  • The U.S. Secretary of Transportation enjoys driving around to find drivers talking on their cell phones, then honking his horn at them.
  • Federal court bars Mississippi from putting children in solitary confinement.
  • U.K. police raid the wrong house after stolen iPhone pings to the wrong address: “Nottingham Police refused to reimburse Kerr for the repairs to his door — because officers ‘reasonably believed’ an offender was in the house.”
  • The state of Utah has stopped the family of Matthew Stewart from raising funds for his defense. They say the family must first get a permit.
  • Two years after he was stopped and illegally searched, Raleigh man just wants an apology. He hasn’t received one.

Late Morning Links

Friday, February 17th, 2012

“Stop resisting, motherfucker.”

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Here is what you’re seeing:

A Highway Patrol trooper enters the scene first, gun drawn, and kicks the driver’s window of Greene’s four-door sedan. After several moments, the trooper opens the door.

The trooper, his gun still raised, then gives Greene conflicting commands. He first tells him not to move, then tells him to come forward.

A second trooper quickly cuffs Greene’s wrist and pulls him from the car, which rolls forward until an officer stops it.

Greene flops to the ground, clearly dazed as five officers rush him. A sixth officer, with Henderson police, enters the frame late and delivers five well-placed kicks to Greene’s face.

“Stop resisting mother (expletive)!” one officer yells.

Greene doesn’t scream until a second Henderson officer knees him in the midsection — and then does it three more times. Greene was later treated for fractured ribs.

Police suspected Greene was intoxicated as he weaved among lanes about 4 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2010, and finally stopped his car near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway in Henderson.

But that wasn’t the case, which they soon discovered after they searched Greene.

“Call in medical,” one officer says in the video. “We found some insulin in his pocket. … He’s semiconscious.”

“Let’s get medical out here. He’s a diabetic, he’s probably in shock,” the officer later tells dispatch.

Greene’s lawsuit said officers then forced him to stand by a patrol car in handcuffs and blow into a Breathalyzer, despite being injured. Paramedics later arrived and treated him for low blood sugar.

Greene was released without a citation, and officers apologized to him for “beating him up,” the lawsuit said.

He immediately went to a hospital, where he was treated for the broken ribs and the bruises to his hands, neck, face and scalp, the lawsuit said.

One of the harsher moments in the video comes near the end of the clip, when one officer can be heard laughing loudly.

One officer notes that Greene “was not a small guy.” An officer laughs and says, “I couldn’t take him by myself.”

Several points:

  • This certainly isn’t the first time cops have mistaken diabetic shock for intoxication—and with similar results. We’ve also seen a number of incidents where cops have mistaken epileptic seizures for aggressive behavior, often resulting in a Tasering. The root problem here is the same as that with the cops who mistakenly mistake a bounding or territorial dog with an aggressive one, and then kill it. The cops get excused because they made “honest mistakes.” (Though in this case, the honest mistake ended with mistaking low blood sugar for intoxication.)  But that means they haven’t been trained properly. At some point, enough of these stories should have made the news that departments across the country would begin to implement such training. That doesn’t appear to be happening.
  • Note that at one point in the video, after they’ve just beaten a helpless man, one cop asks his fellow officers if any of them are hurt.
  • Not only were none of these cops criminally charged, every one of them is apparently still protecting and serving the public. The story indicates one seargeant was “disciplined,” but we aren’t allowed to know what that discipline was. The department also claims to have changed some policies in response to the incident. But we aren’t allowed to know exactly what those changes are, either.
  • We also aren’t allowed to know the names of any of the officers in the video. This is inexcusable. It seems pretty clear that there’s a culture problem, here. Mistaking a diabetic for a drunk is bad enough. Beating him senseless when he clearly posed no threat is criminal. And yelling “Stop Resisting!” at a man who is clearly not resisting is indicative of a police culture in which excessive force is common enough that the officers know what to say as they’re beating someone to give them cover later. Laughing after you’ve just beaten a man, and after you’ve just discovered he was a diabetic is straight-up pathological. All of which means there’s plenty of reason to doubt this particular department’s internal review process. These officers names need to be released, so journalists and police watchdog groups outside of law enforcement can look into their histories on the job.
  • Greene and his family were given a $292,500 settlement, which of course will be funded by taxpayers, not the cops who beat him senseless. This too needs to change. The cops who beat green should be forfeiting a portion of their paychecks to him for the rest of their lives. And those paychecks should preferably be compensation for work other than police work.

 

MORE: Digby runs off a few other incidents in which police Tasered diabetics after wrongly assuming they were intoxicated.

Sunday Links

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Morning Links

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Late Morning Links

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Saturday Links

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Thanksgiving Links

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Morning Links

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Sunday Links

Sunday, November 20th, 2011