Monday, August 18, 2008

The Jack-Booted Thug(s) of the Week...

... are Denver, Colorado Police Department undercover officers Michael Cordova and James Costington. These two fine fellows beat the living snot out of passing bicyclist John Heaney for nothing more than Heaney apparently knocking off Cordova's baseball cap while biking by outside of a Rockies baseball game, in what probably was some sort of dumb prank on what Heaney thought was a random fan. Heaney was throughly beaten up while being arrested for "assault" on a police officer (something Heaney couldn't have possibly known, as the vice-narcotics officers were in plainclothes investigating the awful societal scourge of ticket scalping), up to and including Officer Cordova grabbing Heaney by the hair and smashing his face into the street, breaking several teeth.

Heaney was charged and faced up to three years in prison because the two officers testified in court under oath that Heaney had come up and punched Cordova in the nose, something eyewitnesses never reported seeing. When questioned on the stand about Heaney's injuries, Cordova and Costington continued to lie shamelessly:

"Under oath, Cordova and Costigan also denied knowing anything about Heaney's broken teeth.

Heaney's attorney Lonn Heymann asked Cordova in court, 'Was there a point at which somebody slammed his face into the ground?'

Cordova answered, 'Absolutely not.'

'How did Mr. Heaney's front teeth get broken,' asked Heymann.

Cordova replied, 'I have not a clue.'"

Unfortunately for the pair of cops, someone who did have a clue was a local news station that had a sports crew at the stadium filming the opening day festivities, and which captured the entire incident on video. After reviewing the tape, the district attorney has dropped all charges against Heaney, and the Denver Police Department has also launched an internal investigation into the officers' conduct on the street and in the courtroom.

Let's hope they do a better job on this investigation than the one they did in the original incident, in which none of the many bystanders were interviewed as to what they saw:

"'I never saw the bicyclist make any sort of swing at either of the officers,' said videographer Jason Jewett.

'He definitely didn't start it, that's for sure,' said Nick Heckman, a still photographer for MileHigh Sports Magazine, who took four pictures of the arrest."

Cordova also couldn't produce any physical evidence of being punched by Heaney:

"A hospital report and X-rays of Cordova's nose show it was not bleeding or broken after the arrest. Cordova claims it was red and swollen."

Heavy drinking also causes those same symptoms.

"Let's go to the videotape".

That famous catchphrase by TV sportscaster Warner Wolf now has a whole new meaning - exposing power-crazed "authorities" who feel that they can dispense themselves some street justice and then make up a cockamamie story to explain away the obvious abuse of the suspect, along with the shameless superiors who buy said story without batting an eyelash.

"Cordova and Costigan are still on duty while the investigation is underway."

See, the "investigation" is off to a great start already.

No comments: