Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Jack-Booted Thug of the Week...

... is off-duty (but working a side security job at a gas station in full uniform, so this counts) St. Louis, Missouri police officer Dustin Ries, who was caught on video giving a little "tune-up", a minor "attitude adjustment" if you will, to an allegedly drunk person who apparently rudely told the cop to "shut up" (warning - foul language):

Beaten with a baton seven times and pepper-sprayed to boot, all for the horrendous crimes of being drunk and mouthy.  All Ries needed to do was TASER the man as well and the uniformed thug would have completed the brutality trifecta.  And shame on those eyewitnesses for standing around and doing nothing while this was going on.  The victim may be a foul-mouthed jerk worthy of arrest but he surely didn't deserve that kind of beating.

Interestingly, the above video has already been deleted once from YouTube because someone made a claim to the service that the footage "violated the company's policy of showing 'shocking and disgusting content'".  We wonder who put in that little complaint *cough cough St. Louis Police brass cough*.  Now that it has gone viral, though, we are confident it won't be disappearing again anytime soon.

This isn't the first time "Officer" Ries has been caught abusing the peasants with his little toys, either:

"Ries has previously been named in two lawsuits accusing him of excessive force.

A 2008 federal suit alleged that Ries assaulted two men with his police baton and pepper spray while he was working off-duty at the Big Bang piano bar on Laclede's Landing in April 2006.  Al Johnson,a Clayton attorney for the plaintiffs, said his clients were initially charged with assault but the charges were later dropped.  The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Johnson said he was barred from disclosing the amount.

'I'm glad he got caught this time, maybe enough to where the police department can fire him,' Johnson said of Ries.

A 2005 civil suit in St. Louis alleged that Ries struck a man on the head with his baton and sprayed him with pepper spray in an on-duty traffic stop on North Grand Boulevard in September 2004.  Records show that case was dismissed; it was unclear Tuesday whether a settlement was reached."

Ries has now been yanked off the streets and an internal investigation has been launched, according to the above Post-Dispatch article.  We echo lawyer Johnson's sentiments - hopefully now that Ries's abusive ways have been indelibly caught on film he will finally be cashiered from the force and barred from ever holding a position of authority again, since he has such a clear record of abusing such power.

And people wonder why photography activists like Carlos Miller fight so hard to uphold and ensure their right to film law-enforcement officers going about their duties in public.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

That video got yanked, too. Here's another: