Monday, October 10, 2005

New Orleans police caught attacking suspect

New Orleans police caught attacking suspect News Staff
In the most recent set of grisly images to come out of a still-reeling New Orleans, several police officers appear to beat an elderly man, then rough up a member of the news crew that caught the incident on tape.
The Associated Press Television News crew recorded the event on Saturday in the French Quarter, a historic neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but that escaped the catastrophic flooding.
The incident occurred outside a bar near Bourbon Street, the famous raunchy strip.
The suspect, identified by police as 64-year-old Robert Davis, appeared to resist arrest by the officers. In the tape, he can be seen twisting and flailing as he was dragged to the ground by four officers. One of the officers then kneed Davis and punched him twice.
One member of the news crew was also physically and verbally assaulted after approaching one of the officers involved in the dispute.
"I've been here for six weeks trying to keep my (expletive) self alive and you (expletives) want to come and (expletive) up my city. Go home," an officer, who identified himself as S.M. Smith, told him.
Davis was charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and public intimidation.
The three officers involved in the dispute will be the subjects of an immediate criminal investigation, said Capt. Marlon Defillo, chief spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department, on Sunday. He called the incident "troubling."
"There will be a criminal investigation by the police department where we will take immediate action today," he said. "Mainly, those three police officers that we've identified will be suspended from the department today and they will be arrested. And they will be arrested for simple battery."
When police investigate accusations of police brutality, their first question is often whether or not the degree of force used by police was appropriate for the situation. In this case, it clearly was not, said Defillo.
"It was not in line with the department's policies and procedures. It was not in line with the department's training. So certainly, that's a great concern for the police department."
Defillo didn't attempt to excuse the behaviour of the officers, but said the incident does come at a time when many officers are stressed out and tired.
"Our police officers are working under some very trying times," Defillo said. "So it's a difficult time, but it doesn't excuse what our jobs are supposed to be."
The incident comes as the New Orleans police continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the city and reduced it to a state of lawlessness for
weeks, and the resignation last month of Police Superintendent Eddie Compass.
Officers have slept in their cars and worked around the clock at times in the hurricane's aftermath. Many have lost their homes and been separated from their families.

Categories: , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment