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DUI Conviction, A Beating By The Police and Lady Gaga? What The Three Have In Common?
There Is Never An Excuse For Drunk Driving!
Before I get labeled as someone who advocates driving drunk, I do not! Neither am I an advocate for police brutality, under any circumstances! The police must be held accountable for their misconduct and illegal activities, just like anyone who commits a crime. When someone is arrested for DUI, they are innocent until proven guilty and do not deserve a beating at the hands of the arresting officer, especially when it happens in the back of the police car, with the suspect handcuffed and helpless and the police car video recording the events.
I live in Southern California and this is where this incident happened. It has not been reported in the newspapers or on television. The victim of the beating relayed the details. He is happy that the charges against him were dropped and apparently considers the beating to be a welcome trade-off. In my opinion, he is wrong! A swollen, broken face at the hands of law enforcement should be investigated and prosecuted, just as his arrest for DUI should be. More importantly, any police officer who is incapable of controlling his behavior is a time-bomb waiting to go off on any other unsuspecting citizen. The officer in question was aware that the video was running; he knew his actions were being recorded. That makes what he did even more frightening! What is this officer capable of when he knows that the video recorder is not turned on?
Lady Gaga Would Be Outraged!
The suspect was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car by two officers, apparently partners. The driver was playing a Lady Gaga CD in the CD player and the suspect started teasing the driver about his choice of music. The driver's partner thought the teasing was funny and began to laugh. He added a few comments of his own. The suspect was intoxicated and thought he was being entertaining and delightful, so like many drunks, continued what was probably obnoxious teasing, at the very least.
What happened next was a shock to the suspect! The driver pulled off the side of the road, got into the back seat and proceeded to pummel the DUI suspect. The actions of the partner were unknown to the suspect or he didn't relay that information. It is known that the partner did not participate in the beating. The suspect's face was bloodied and his nose possibly broken. Both eyes were blackened. I don't know if there were body blows or if the police baton was used as a weapon. I did not ask. I was too shocked to ask much of anything because although I have heard of these things happening, they always happened in other areas. I always just read about them in the paper or saw reports on the news.
All Charges Dropped!
As I am sure you have guessed, all charges against the suspect were dropped, prior to booking. When the trio arrived at the station, there was a conference between the officers and their watch commander. The suspect was released, with no charges filed. I was told that the officer involved in the beating was berated by his watch commander. Appropriate punishment? I don't think so. Granted, I am not privy to any additional actions taken against this officer, but the actions in dropping the charges are clearly an attempt (successful) to cover up police brutality, by allowing a probable drunk driver to go free.
Under California law, the police or district attorney have up to one year to press DUI charges. They may conveniently lose the tape of the beating during that time. Then it will be this man's word against theirs, that he was a victim of police brutality. This man should immediately contact not only a DUI attorney, but a personal injury attorney as well. Even if he does not file a lawsuit against the officer and agency involved, he will be informed of his rights.
This Incident Scares Me!
I wonder, if the next time I encounter a police officer, it will be the one with the hot temper; the one who, when teased about listening to Lady Gaga, flies into a rage? I am not completely trusting of police because I have heard too many stories about police brutality. I have observed police harassment. I have seen police who like enforcing not only the law, but the law as they see it. While the great majority of police officers do a wonderful job and save lives, there are those who take their authority a little too seriously. They don't think of themselves as being sworn to enforce the law, they believe they are the law. I do not live in a fairy tale. I know that there are bad employees in every field. Policemen are not always right. They do not always abide by the law. But I know that the police cover for their 'brothers in blue' and that makes it difficult to prove bad behavior among policemen. We are at their mercy and right now, that makes me very uncomfortable.