Cops or Criminals With a Badge

Joann Burton R.I.P.
Joann Burton R.I.P.
The killers car
The killers car

Cincinnati Justice

This is a recent story that today took a turn for the worse. The following is the story reported on Local 12 news in Cincinnati (along with a few interjections from me).                                                Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters (local prosecutor and Republican cronie, also a known racist) says a Cincinnati Police officer who ran over and killed a homeless woman in Washington Park last month, will not face felony charges.

Deters held a press conference this morning to discuss the July 27th death of Joann Burton, which was investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
 
Burton was killed after being run over by a vehicle driven by on-duty Cincinnati Police Park Officer Marty Polk. Burton was sleeping in the park under a blanket. Witnesses at the scene described that it was impossible to see her under the blanket. Officer Polk drove his vehicle off the paved roadway and ran over Ms. Burton.

Ohio State Troopers say according to police protocol, it is often necessary for park officers to drive their vehicles off the paved park roadways in order to fully surveil the park (they fail to mention that this park is 1 square block in size, why couldn't he just get out of the damn car!). Although Ms. Burton was alert at the scene, she later died at the hospital. The Hamilton County Coroner ruled her death from blunt force trauma as "accidental." (Yeah right, it was an accident that the cop ran over her but if this were any citizen driving that car that person would face charges of some sort and if it happened at a park that wasn't in a depressed area of town and to a white woman there would real hell to pay)
 
Officer Polk was tested for possible alcohol and/or drug use and the results of those tests came back "negative". (Well at least he wasn't high or drunk when he killed her) The Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted a thorough investigation into this incident including examination of the scene, interviews of witnesses at the scene, review of CPD Police Policy and Procedures, and an interview of Officer Marty Polk. After a review of all of the evidence, the Highway Patrol says there is no basis to show any reckless conduct by the officer which would support possible felony charges under Ohio law. (well yeah, cops protect each other should we have expected different)

Deters says, "This is a tragic case. However, after carefully reviewing the detailed report from Sgt. Hamilton at the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there is no basis for a felony charge." (that's fine but let's see if there are ANY charges filed against him)

Deters says under state statutes, Officer Polk's behavior would have been reckless if he had known driving through the park would have caused Burton's death... and he did it anyway. (possibly one of the dumbest statements I've ever heard, no shit Sherlock!)

While Polk won't face felony charges, he could (could being the operative word) be charged with a misdemeanor for negligence. The city prosecutor's office will make that decision and the attorney who will review the case told Local 12 he won't comment until a decision is made.

The Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless said, in a statement released earlier this morning, "The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless believes that had this act been committed by any other citizen, the act would have been deemed reckless and felony charges would be pressed. It is abhorrent that a police officer can drive through the grass in a park, run over the organs of another human, kill them, and receive no felony charge. Furthermore, we do not believe this would have occurred in any other park. Citizens were disregarded because they are financially poor and or homeless."

Homeless advocates say they will lobby the city for misdemeanor charges. Officer Polk would have to be deemed *negligent* to face misdemeanor charges. They will rally tomorrow afternoon here to protest the county prosecutor's decision and push for some sort of charges. Earlier today, the city prosecutor's office said they hoped to get a copy of the state patrol report by the end of the day. They will make a decision on charges next week.

Cincinnati NAACP President Chris Smitherman (a straight up, tell it like it is guy) says he's saddened but not surprised by Deters' decision. In a statement, Smitherman says he believes Polk would have been charged with homicide if Burton had been a white woman. Deters denies that claim. (Really Joe? you deny that? Really?)                                                                                                                                      This kind of crap needs to stop, when cops commit crimes they should be treated the same as everyone else not given PAID leave until they're found not guilty (which is almost always).

Comments 14 comments

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

There are many issues here! Wow. There is no doubt that racism still plays a heavy hand in interpretation of law. The movie "American Violet" is a very disturbing movie about the distribution of federal monies to DA's for convictions and how that motivates some DA's to consciously or unconsciously be driven by their racism to obtain convictions however they can obtain them even if the person is TOTALLY innocent as in the case portrayed in the movie.

This issue brings up another issue for me. We have turned every negligent human act into a legal issue so that there is an urgency to convince the public that one is guilty or not guilty. There is no room for this police department to step up to the plate and be truly sorry for someone's death and perhaps even more sorry for whatever attitudinal policies makes it okay for someone not to think, in this day and age, that homeless people could be sleeping in a park. I mean I won't even drive off the pavement at my wife's school in fear of destroying a part of the sprinkler system!! What is the underlying "spirit" of one's department, one's training, one's value system, that makes it possible for a little voice to say, "It''s okay for you to do this even though if you were driving by the park and saw a citizen driving their car on the grass, you'd pull them over, ticket them, and give hem a lecture. "How do you know there might not be a homeless person sleeping on the grass?" To me, it's a little like what happens in war and no one at the top wants to take responsibility for the fact that it is war and so we blame the soldiers at the bottom. There has to be some kind of shift in mentality in our police departments. Easy for me to say, I know.

AND I appreciate your courage in posting a passionate blog which in itself may bring a wide variety of responses!! You obviously have communist tendencies or are a die hard liberal or something!!! I hope you know I am truly teasing!! But some folks won't look at what you are inviting us look at.

THANKS TOM

Vern


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

And thanks for posting Joann's picture so we realize it is more than a mistake or error. It is a human life.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042 Author

Vern, I can't thank you enough for your comments. The officer involved was truly upset about this but it was the devil F.O.P. that feels like they need to protect cops from punishment and it only stands to anger the folks they are supposed to protect and serve. I was expecting some flack from this hub and maybe it will still happen but the truth, as it relates to everyone, must always be told. I've done that my whole life and have no plans on changing. Like "Jack" said, some people can't handle the truth. Thanks too for appreciating the photo of Joann, I don't think I could have done the hub without it. Peace brother!! Tom ***Please, never worry about having some fun with me, it's really what I'm all about and besides I've been called worse! (Well maybe not worse than liberal:)


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

I am happy to comment on this hub and all of those that come pouring out of your heart and elleged mind. And you may have opened the door to the one, perhaps more insane than Jack. Now I'm being really narcissistic!! I will tell you about my relationship with Jack sometimes. Now got you thinking, uh?! It is all too funny.

LLove you bro, PEACE

Vern


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

You're passionate about things people should be passionate about. God bless!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 6 years ago

The big Blue wall! No,? If this park was truely an acre in size this man should have been charged with something , thats for sure. Who would even run over a blanket anyway? Strange incident .! There is a lot of laziness in the police world , keeping him form even getting out of the car. Protecting their own!


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042 Author

Thanks Micky Dee!


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042 Author

ahorseback, thanks for your comment. I'm really happy that there are still folks who appreciate the truth. Peace!!


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 6 years ago from Bronx, NY

Hello again Justom,

I thought that picture of Ms.Burton was of my late maternal Aunt. I shared it on my Facebook page.

I hope it does not anger my family and friends, but I wanted them to read what is happening in other parts of this country.

Thank you so much for sharing.


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042 Author

N.E., thank you for caring and I hope this stuff does anger folks. Maybe if everyone gets angry enough things will change but I don't know, 1 step up and 2 steps back. I've been fighting this stuff my whole life and it never seems to get better. One thing is sure though TRUTH is TRUTH. Peace!!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Wow Tom, I'd never seen this one before; that's exactly right(the position of the homeless coalition) If the cop had run over someone with money, it would have really been "important" then, wouldn't it.

This one reminds me of something that happened (though not really comparable, nobody was seriously hurt) in Dallas or Ft. Worth a few years ago. . . .a cop broke a deaf guy's nose, . . .he kept yelling, "can you hear me?? CAN YOU FUCKING HEAR ME???" Punched the guy in the nose, broke it even.


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042 Author

Yeah Todd like we always say, fuck cops!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I had one that kept asking me why I wouldn't call him "Sir," thing was, he just thought he deserved respect for that fucking badge he was wearing. He was maybe 22, or 23 years old, but that wasn't it; I'll call people "Sir" regardless of their age, and I get a good deal of pleasure by calling an honorable younger man "Sir," but that shit isn't just given to someone for wearing a fucking badge.


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042 Author

That's funny man, I've got friends who say when they get stopped they do that sir thing and I too say fuck that. I'll choose who I call sir. They give no respect but expect it given to them. I don't give cops a lot of shit if I get stopped but I don't take shit either.

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