Police Brutality 9.26.14

Minutes after making a cheerful Facebook post, police gun down Tommy McClain

Nichole Mottern explained to the OutPost that McClain was living with her, her husband (who is McClain’s cousin) and the couple’s two children.

The trio had gone out earlier in the evening to celebrate her husbands birthday, when they arrived back at their townhouse, her husband was intoxicated and went up to bed.

According to Mottern, her and McClain were chatting in front of the house, when she ran inside for two minutes to go and check on her husband.

She says she saw an officer lurking around the back of her house, then run towards the front.  She ran to the front door and was blinded by the lights off the officers.

“The cops were out there screaming, ‘Put your hands up! Put your hands up.’ I put my hands up,” Mottern told the OutPost. “Tommy was already out there. He sits out there and smokes cigarettes. He came out from beside the porch… He started to put his hands up. He walked out into the grass… [The officers] were telling him to come.”

“A cop yelled, ‘He’s got a gun.’ They all fired,” Mottern explained, “I saw him getting shot from all different angles. First shot fired and then they all fired. It wasn’t one cop. It was them all. There were a lot of cops… He crumpled down into the ground. There was nothing in his hand.”

 * * * *

Police officers can beat a college student and get away with it.  And that’s not even the worst part of this story.

Former Prince George’s County police officer James Harrison was found guilty of second-degree assault and was given a one-year suspended sentence in December of 2012 for the brutal beating of a UMD student, which was caught on video in 2010.

Harrison only ended up serving 30 days of home confinement.

Despite being convicted of a felony Harrison was able to retire before the trial and keep his full pension. But that is not the worst of it.

This week ABC7 News reports that Judge Beverly Woodard, an Associate Judge with the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, has thrown out the conviction all together.

Now, with his felony criminal record cleared, Harrison could be a cop again.

Jack McKenna, the student who was beaten to a pulp by Harrison and another officer for no reason at all, called the judges decision “frightening.”

“It sends a message that they (the police) can do whatever they want,” McKenna, now a second-year law student, said Tuesday. “If they can get away with beating me up on national TV for doing nothing, it really makes me scared for what’s going to happen to those in a dark alley when the cameras aren’t shining.”

Harrison was convicted by a jury of his peers and sentenced. What does it say about the current state of the justice system in America if this criminal can be made into a non-criminal, literally overnight, by a judge who doesn’t even have to give a reason why she did it?

According to Jon Erzen, a spokesman for the Office of the State Attorney, prosecutors were surprised at the judge’s decision too. “They (jurors) said Mr. Harrison’s actions were not acceptable policing and they were criminal,” Erzen told ABC 7 News.

Mckenna received $2,000,000 in tax payer dollars to drop a civil suit against the Prince George’s County police department but his attorney was apparently fuming after hearing this atrocious news.

“It means that police officers can think they can commit an act, a savage act of brutality, and get away with it,” said lawyer Terrell Roberts.

* * * *

Cop handcuffs teen. Cop chokes handcuffed teen.  Cop tells handcuffed teen he just choked ‘Do you want to die in this patrol car tonight?’  Handcuffed and choked teen is black.

Police officer Corporal James Johnson, of Wilmington, North Carolina, was recently indicted for choking a 16-year-old suspect while he was handcuffed.  The whole incident was filmed by a camera that was inside the police car, and for months the police department has been preventing that video from reaching the public.

The family and the prosecuting attorneys have seen the video, and according to court documents, officer Johnson can be seen choking young Tyrell Rivers while he was handcuffed, and the officer can also be heard yelling “Do you want to die in this patrol car tonight?”.

Rivers was charged with resisting arrest and booked on a number of drug charges on the night in question, April 4th 2014.  The officer’s indictment came just months later, this past June, when someone at the District Attorney’s office stumbled across the tape.  The frightening specifics of the encounter remained a secret for months, until the details of the tape were published this week when local media sources obtained court documents which specifically mentioned some of the officer’s comments that night.

Johnson and his attorney argue that Rivers was aggressive on the night in question and that Johnson was not choking him, but using a pressure point technique called “brachial flexus” to try and subdue Rivers.  However, the claims of the officer are allegedly not supported by the video evidence.

According to local WECT 6, A grand jury indicted Corporal Johnson on misdemeanor charges of simple assault and willful failure to discharge duties.

Investigators pointed out in the court documents that Johnson never mentioned the choke hold in his use of force report.  In the report, he had only made mention of the use of his stun gun, not the choke hold.

The Rivers family is demanding the immediate release of the video to the public, but the police department has done everything in their power to keep it under wraps.

“This is a big case that happened with a young person and young people right now want to know what actually happened, so to not release the video, I think it creates a great wedge between the community and the police as far as the relationship,” Vance Williams, a spokesperson for Rivers family said.

Johnson is currently on unpaid suspension according to a statement released by the police department.

I wonder how it’s determined if a cop will get paid after such behavior.  Darren Wilson killed an unarmed teen and continued to get paid.  Johnson choked and threatened a teen, but was put on unpaid suspension.  I know it’s completely different jurisdictions, but it seems strange to me.

Here’s a link to the video.

Police Brutality 9.26.14