Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beaten for driving while diabetic

Here's a video of some government employees beating the crap out of a guy who is in a diabetic coma.  They think he's drunk. 
It's featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 

The victim got $250,000 in restitution  The cops involved walked away fat and happy, of course. 

Go here to read the Vegas Review-Journal account of the mess. 
Go here to read Radley Balko's commentary on the incident, posted under the line of police dialogue "Stop resisisting, Motherf***er", and also includes the following observations:

•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.


CenTexTim said...

Can you say "police union?"

It seems to me that 'we' got off cheaply. If I was on a jury I would have added a zero or two to the settlement. His lawyers sold him out for a sure thing and a quick check.

Nick Rowe said...

It has more to do with qualified immunity and exclusive remedies. Sovereign immunity is waived only in the most egregious of cases, damages are limited, lawyer fees limited, and there are many exemptions. The heightened pleading requirements make it very difficult to sue a police officer directly, and you can't demand his badge. The union will help protect them from disciplinary action, but the department officials are the ones who will decide on it. If they had a reasonable belief the guy was dangerous, nothing will happen to them.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

We were not present of course but from the video it looks like a routine traffic stop. Full disclosure: I made literally hundreds of them. The drawn gun and kicking of the window are WAY out of line and it goes down hill from there.

At least the citizen survived this event. Check out THIS tragedy where the citizen was not so fortunate. I would be willing to wager the shooter was a diminutive female deputy, hence the "feeling threatened" baloney. Much of this shit is the result of affirmative action hiring practices.