Sunday, August 22, 2010

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

... are one of the fine persons who comprise the Okaloosa County, Florida Sheriff's Department as well as two members of the Denver, Colorado Police Department (all unnamed, of course) for not one but two recent incidents in which bystanders were arrested by officers for daring to object out loud to the way those cops were mistreating some of their fellow citizens:

1.  Two young Florida men with apparently much more sense than the local gendarmes were arrested after they loudly complained to a sheriff's deputy about his TASERING a car-crash victim in order to "render aid" to the patient:

"About 3 a.m. Aug. 14, the deputy was assisting EMS at a traffic crash on the 6000 block of Old River Road that involved a 4-wheeler, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The patient became combative with EMS.

'I had to deploy my Taser to gain compliance,” the report said. The 19-year-old aggressively moved toward the deputy and yelled, “You’re a (expletive) for Tasing an injured person.'"

That's some mighty fine "aid rendering", Deputy.  By the way, sir, you are an (expletive) if that is indeed how the incident went down.

2.  Two Denver PD officers were caught on tape beating local resident Mark Ashford senseless after Ashford, walking his dogs past the scene of a routine traffic stop, remarked to the driver that he did observe the motorist come to a halt at the stop sign and that he would be happy to testify to that fact in court: 

"[Attorney Will] Hart says Mark Ashford was walking his dogs near 20th and Little Raven in LoDo, when he saw police pull over a driver for failing to stop at a stop sign. Ashford told the driver he saw him stop and would be willing to testify in court. Hart says the officer overheard him and 'wasn't very happy.'

That's when Ashford says the Denver police officers demanded his I.D. and detained him. Ashford tried to take a picture of the officers to document the incident, and a few second later he was on the ground."

Again with the retaliation for daring to film an officer in action.  When will this madness end?

Ashford was booked for interference and resisting arrest, charges that were subsequently dropped for an obvious lack of evidence.  He has now filed a formal complaint against the two officers alleging excessive force.  After viewing the raw video (available at the link), we tend to support that course of action.

Being a vocal critic while at the same time not interfering with a police officer's actions might be annoying to you badged fellows, but it certainly isn't illegal.  Official retaliation for doing so, however, is.  Good luck fighting those forthcoming civil-rights violation complaints.

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