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Video Shows Maryland Police Beating Student
April 16, 2010 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Video of University of Maryland student John McKenna being punched, kicked, and beaten with clubs by Prince George's County police. McKenna was charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer; the police report claims that he had punched the officers and their horses, and that his injuries were due to being kicked by the horses. The video shows otherwise.
posted by Optimus Chyme (121 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bizarre. It seems like the system is working correctly in this case though, you're not seeing the system rally around the officers, or try to continue pressing bogus charges, or whatever. In fact the officers may end up facing charges.

Of course the question is, what would have happened without that camera being there?
posted by delmoi at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


The same thing that always happens....police lie on a report, the victim goes to jail, and everyone's happy.
posted by nevercalm at 6:44 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not really surprising, given that it's PG County police. They've been notorious for police brutality for a long time now.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:45 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


It seems like the system is working correctly in this case though

It seems like the system only "works" when a private citizen provides a video recording of the assault to the victim's lawyer. Is that really how it's supposed to be?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2010 [57 favorites]


Officials say federal investigators will also look at the tape to determine if any civil rights violations occurred...

Because it isn't completely fricking obvious to the layperson?

The camera is the our first line of defense against this crap. Get a cell phone that records video and keep it on hand. Even better, use Quik.com and stream your video live to a safe location on the web, so no one can confiscate your phone and delete the evidence.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2010 [23 favorites]


Qik.com is great, excellent advice.
posted by Scoo at 6:48 AM on April 16, 2010


Oh yeah, I typo'd the link text but the URL is right.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:49 AM on April 16, 2010


This reminds me: whatever happened to that cop in Oakland who shot that guy on the BART platform?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:49 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mama! Mama!
Someone said they made some noise
The cops have shot some girls & boys
You'll sit home & drink all night
They looked too weird . . . it served them right

Ever take a minute just to show a real emotion
In between the moisture cream & velvet facial lotion?
Ever tell your kids you're glad that they can think?
Ever say you loved 'em? Ever let 'em watch you drink?
Ever wonder why your daughter looked so sad?
It's such a drag to have to love a plastic Mom & Dad

Mama! Mama!
Your child was killed in the park today
Shot by the cops as she quietly lay
By the side of the creeps she knew . . .
They killed her too.
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 6:50 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Video can vanquish the Thin Blue Line.
posted by ericb at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2010


It seems like the system only "works" when a private citizen provides a video recording of the assault to the victim's lawyer.

Furthermore, I was recently made aware that video taping the police even on your own property is not legal in all states. (Including Massachussets!)
posted by DU at 6:52 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love this bit in another article, ", Maj. Daniel A. Dusseau, commander of the 1st District and the official who was in charge of the police response the night of the beating, is retiring, officials said. Dusseau, a 21-year veteran, has taken a job in the private sector and will retire at the end of the month ..." It's nice to know that the whole revolving door bit carries over nicely from the military. Get busted with your troops misbehaving, head right to the private sector. Probably in "security."

Guy needed eight staples in his skull. It was the horsies! He scared them.

We really, really need some kind of harsh and merciless penalty for police officers who lie and omit in their reports, such as the supporting officers who tried covering up the Anthony Abbate case.
posted by adipocere at 6:54 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Straight Talk: Videotaping Police.
posted by ericb at 6:54 AM on April 16, 2010


That's not police brutality. It's outright assault.
posted by schmod at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


the police report claims that he had punched the officers and their horses, and that his injuries were due to being kicked by the horses. The video shows otherwise.

The video does show McKenna reaching out towards one of the horses, but certainly not in an obviously aggressive way. I must admit I can't see the knife in his hand that will probably show up later in the evidence.
posted by three blind mice at 6:56 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Boston Police Fight Cellphone Recordings.
posted by ericb at 6:56 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ahhh the smell of popo brutality in the morning. Way to go officers! I hope and (i'm quite sure) there will be cops going to jail over this event.

Effin pigs!
posted by winks007 at 6:56 AM on April 16, 2010


Straight from 12th grade into junior college
Buddy, buddy, buddy I passed my exam
They're making me a law enforcement person
Got me a gun and a badge, I'm a man

Radar Gun; Bottle Rockets
posted by bwg at 6:56 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It might also be worth mentioning that the victim is the grandson of a retired circuit court judge.
posted by peeedro at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those assholes need to be in jail.

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
posted by bwg at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2010


You can both videotape and publicize police abuse Jean v. Mass. State Police [pdf].
posted by ericb at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'm so proud of MetaFilter right now. We already have 20 comments and nobody has said it was the victim's fault or that beating people up and lying about it is the reason police exist.

My little MeFi, all grown up.
posted by DU at 6:58 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


This reminds me: whatever happened to that cop in Oakland who shot that guy on the BART platform?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:49 AM on April 16 [+] [!]


Trial begins on 1 June
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:02 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The video does show McKenna reaching out towards one of the horses, but certainly not in an obviously aggressive way.

I don't see that at all. To me, he looks like he pulls his hands up against his chest because he's apprehensive of the horse. Definitely not aggressive.

(He could have said something. Even so, that wouldn't justify a multi-cop asskicking.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2010


ericb That's terrifying. I've actually agreed with a FOX News opinion piece? Has the world gone mad?
posted by sotonohito at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was the victim's fault; beating people up and lying about it is the reason police exist.
posted by ryoshu at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


The camera is the our first line of defense against this crap. Get a cell phone that records video and keep it on hand. Even better, use Quik.com and stream your video live to a safe location on the web, so no one can confiscate your phone and delete the evidence.
The problem, obviously, is that you don't know when you're going to need video. I think cops should be required to have cameras on them at all times, just like their dash cams. And they shouldn't be allowed to keep the videos secret very easily.
I'm so proud of MetaFilter right now. We already have 20 comments and nobody has said it was the victim's fault or that beating people up and lying about it is the reason police exist.
It would be a hard claim to make with the Cop's boss in the video saying he's disappointed, knowing that the cops are facing charges, etc.
posted by delmoi at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2010


It was the victim's fault; beating people up and lying about it is the reason police exist.

This. Repeated for truth. :)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:08 AM on April 16, 2010


sotonohito, it's actually a piece by Radley Balko, a libertarian with the usual crackpot ideas but without the autoritarian streak so common in the US wingnuts. He's a good read on police misconduct, War against (some) Drugs, and so on. No need to go cleanse yourself. :]
posted by vivelame at 7:09 AM on April 16, 2010


Imagine what video of Abner Louima might've looked like.
posted by phaedon at 7:17 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of those late blows seemed really just out and out sadistic. Maybe it's time to install helmet cams on all cops.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2010


Nothing like breaking out the riot gear to handle a bunch of drunk college kids. I'm sure those giant face shields and helmets will make it so easy to identify the cops in the clip.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2010


Bad cops are the rot of civilization. My wife used to work with refugees from all over the world, and one thing they all had in common was an innate sense of fear when interacting with the police. Why? Because the countries these people fled from were teeming with corruption and violence from the very people that were supposed to be protecting them.

The extraordinary powers granted to police come from the people, and by proxy the state. Abuse of these powers de-legitimizes the authority of the state. You will find these people at the heart of every corrupt, morally bankrupt regime on the planet. The rot starts from within, and like all rot it is contagious and must be thoroughly excised if the people are to have any faith in the state.

A cop abusing that abuses his power is a traitor to the system that grants them authority. They should be dealt with like all traitors.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2010 [54 favorites]


I worked with an ex-PG county cop. The stories he told... dear God.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2010


the system only "works" when a private citizen provides a video recording of the assault

The need for video proof of cops assaulting citizens before any action is taken is the only thing that could possibly convince me that CCTV is a good idea.

Except, CCTV would be run by the police. So, there goes that flicker of hope.
posted by tzikeh at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can both videotape and publicize police abuse

You need to read that link more carefully. It upheld the publication of the video by someone who had obtained it lawfully. It purposely did not say that the videotaping itself was legal, or that publication of it by someone who had obtained it illegally (i.e., the original videotaper) would be legal.

That said, the Massachusetts statute (and the others that I'm aware of) specifically forbid secret audiotaping. It should be perfectly legal to videotape police officers if the microphone is disabled. Someone should build an app for that.
posted by srt19170 at 7:31 AM on April 16, 2010


Nothing like breaking out the riot gear to handle a bunch of drunk college kids.

There have been previous post-game riots, and those kinds of things generally lead to police over-reactions:
The incident was probably less serious than the melee after the university's Final Four loss to Duke in 2001, when a mob started fires and caused about $500,000 in damage. It also was less severe than in 2002, after the team's national championship victory, when at least 17 people were arrested, six police cars were damaged and three state troopers injured.
posted by peeedro at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2010


Of course the question is, what would have happened without that camera being there?

Something like what happened to science fiction novelist Peter Watts when he was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border recently.
posted by aught at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The need for video proof of cops assaulting citizens before any action is taken is the only thing that could possibly convince me that CCTV is a good idea.

Except, CCTV would be run by the police. So, there goes that flicker of hope.


A couple of years ago, a fairly large group of protestors set up a camp on a major road in on of the main finance districts in central London (UK). By almost all accounts (from protestors and from passers-by), the protest was almost entirely peaceful, but there were many claims of police overstepping their powers (e.g. to demand ID - you have the right to anonymity when protesting in the UK), using excessive violence, destroying protesters' property, etc. Plenty of protesters, passers-by and newspaper photographers had stills and grainy footage of these events.

Oddly, though, it was claimed at the time that there was no CCTV footage of most of the area, for most of the time. Including the major disturbances when police were trying to use force to move the protesters on.

The CCTV footage may have emerged since -- I haven't really been following it -- but at the time they did indeed claim that there was no footage available of a major, planned confrontation between police and protesters in one of the most heavily monitored public spaces in the country.

Tangentally, the police account of the operation (and similar "anti-terrorist" anti-protest operations) listed hundreds of injuries to officers, widely reported in the press. When the details of these reports were finally publised, it turned out that the majority of these injuries had absolutely nothing to do with the protestors: dozens of things like "stung by a wasp", "mild sunburn", etc. There was even a sodding papercut in one of the reports.

I know a handful of police officers socially, and like them; I want to like the police force as a whole. However, it really does seem like the institution itself is committed to treating peaceful and legal protests as terrorist activities, and treating them as such. This is probably more the fault of Labour policy than the police themselves, but still.
posted by metaBugs at 7:48 AM on April 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not going to defend anyone here, but I do know video is a lot like photography, it takes a brief moment in time, cuts out everything before and after, and magnifies it to fun-house proportions. I'll wait for the full investigation.
posted by stbalbach at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2010


I'm not going to defend anyone here, but I do know video is a lot like photography, it takes a brief moment in time, cuts out everything before and after, and magnifies it to fun-house proportions. I'll wait for the full investigation.

I guess it's possible that after the lengthy, brutal beating he somehow escaped the four officers beating the shit of him and then punched one of the horses and then the horse kicked him and
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:53 AM on April 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


In fact the officers may end up facing charges.

Of course, as the video points out, only when the cops will have been identified. And obviously, all the cops are wearing riot gear and are completely unidentifiable from the video.

But thankfully, all the other cops that weren't involve will readily provide the names of their coworkers who participated in that unwarranted beating. Right?

Right?

Yeah, you know what? Fuck the police.
posted by splice at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


it was claimed at the time that there was no CCTV footage of most of the area

Yeah, that happens a lot.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:56 AM on April 16, 2010


Optimus Chyme: "I guess it's possible that after the lengthy, brutal beating he somehow escaped the four officers beating the shit of him and then punched one of the horses and then the horse kicked him and"

That's a funny conjecture, but in this case I don't like to make them without all the facts because later on I may look like a fool when something comes up I didn't know about.
posted by stbalbach at 8:00 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the police should come down hard on the officers who witness police brutality and don't report it. They should have a duty to report or else they lose their jobs. Only in this way will we know if the whole police force is corrupt or the same few officers perpetuating these acts.
posted by bperk at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is the same police department that murdered someone in a holding cell they had arrested on suspicion of killing a cop. Of course, no one was ever prosecuted - mysteriously, crucial evidence was missing.
posted by thewittyname at 8:03 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's a funny conjecture, but in this case I don't like to make them without all the facts because later on I may look like a fool when something comes up I didn't know about.

Even if other evidence surfaces that suggests the beating victim did more to warrant police action than was seen here, can you really say that those blows the cops administered were remotely warranted? The victim was prone on the ground. Not to even mention that the cops completely fabricated their reports.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:10 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess it's possible that after the lengthy, brutal beating he somehow escaped the four officers beating the shit of him and then punched one of the horses and then the horse kicked him and
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:53 AM on April 16


It's also possible he said "I'm going to shoot you" or "I have a bomb." He probably didn't say those things, but if he had, the video would have looked exactly the same.

The problem with video is that by showing some of what happened at an event, people tend to think that it shows all of what happened. And if something isn't discernible on a video, they tend to assume that it did not happen, which is wrong. All you can say about a video is that exactly what it shows happened. He approach the officers and they swarmed on him. They did not swarm on other people who approached them before or after this one guy. That's it.

Consider this. You know how ATM's have cameras that face directly at the person using them, almost directly head-on? So hypothetically, let's say an ATM gets robbed. They check the video, and sure enough, the suspect's face is large, well-lit and clear in the camera.

The suspect admits he was there. Does that video suggest that no one else was there? If the suspect says that there was a guy standing a few feet behind him holding him at gunpoint, is this video proof that that isn't true? But would a jury be persuaded by the video that he was alone, because it only shows him?

Just like a DNA test on a rape kit does not prove that a suspect did not rape a victim, video is not proof that things did not happen.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:12 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


all the cops are wearing riot gear and are completely unidentifiable from the video.

Something I have wondered for a while: why can't we have large, sports-jersey like names and numbers on all police uniforms?
posted by fings at 8:12 AM on April 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


That's a funny conjecture, but in this case I don't like to make them without all the facts because later on I may look like a fool when something comes up I didn't know about.

Are we even talking about the same video? Have you watched the video? If you had to score the situation in terms of who has more power, would you somehow be confused ranking several armed police officers, some on fucking horses, above a single man?

No, you wouldn't. No reasonable person could possibly claim that the cops lacked force or control in this situation.

As shown, what they did with that control was beat the shit out of the guy. Let's put aside whether the beating was moral for the time being... let's just consider whether it was logical. If you're a competent police officer, you should be trained to control situations without escalation. This was an unreasonable escalation considering the fact that they already projected immensely more control due to being armed, and on fucking horses.
posted by odinsdream at 8:19 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's also possible he said "I'm going to shoot you" or "I have a bomb." He probably didn't say those things, but if he had, the video would have looked exactly the same.

Even the made-up police report that states McKenna punched the officers and their horses doesn't state that Mckenna verbally threatened them. If we're going to engage in insane hypotheticals, let's not go past even what the lie on the police report says.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


You can both videotape and publicize police abuse – Jean v. Mass. State Police [pdf].

MA seems like one of the worst states when it comes to obnoxious police behavior. Read the article you actually linked too:
Normally, I would slam McCarthy for such a clearly unconstitutional and unethical act. However, in 2001, the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Hyde, 434 Mass. 494 (2001), issued a foul abortion of a decision that upheld the conviction of a motorist under this law who audiotaped police misconduct during a traffic stop. Therefore, I think we must give Ms. McCarthy some benefit of the doubt.
They run around arresting people who record them, it's insane. This is also the state where helped to keep the Gerald Amirault in prison (and from the same article):
Last year, Coakley chose to personally argue her state’s case before the Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. Despite the recent headlines detailing forensic mishaps, fraudulent testimony and crime lab incompetence, Coakley argued that requiring crime lab technicians to be present at trial for questioning by defense attorneys would place too large a burden on prosecutors. The Supreme Court found otherwise, in a decision that had Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia coming down on Coakley’s left.
posted by delmoi at 8:21 AM on April 16, 2010


Something I have wondered for a while: why can't we have large, sports-jersey like names and numbers on all police uniforms?

Because it would make them easier to identify.
posted by odinsdream at 8:23 AM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just like a DNA test on a rape kit does not prove that a suspect did not rape a victim, video is not proof that things did not happen.

Going off on a "who can really know anything... what is reality!?" theoretical tangent is hardly useful.
posted by odinsdream at 8:24 AM on April 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


Okay, I watched that video twice now and I'm trying to figure out what he did to provoke the cops. Not in the sense of 'he deserved it', but in the sense of how could he possible have forseen their reaction?

He was dancing, then backed up against a wall to let the mounted officer go by, and the next second he's swarmed by baton weilding riot cops. Of course, there is no sound. Maybe he said something? Otherwise, this strikes me not only as brutal, and unecessary, and proof the cops are lying - but its a completely unprovoked assault.

This is terrifying. I mean, one minute you're walking down the street, and the next the cops are beating you FOR NO REASON, and they can lie about it and arrest you for being their victim? There is no possible way to protect yourself from that. Its absolutely terrifying.
posted by sandraregina at 8:27 AM on April 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


why can't we have large, sports-jersey like names and numbers on all police uniforms?

This is not a new idea. There are negatives (certain cops being singled out for whatever reason) but it's hard to see how they out-weigh the positive that a police officer would know full well going into a situation that he had no anonymity. Yes, this would make the job (and the life) more complicated but at what point do the individual rights of a police officer out-weigh those of the public whom he/she are supposed to serving?
posted by philip-random at 8:29 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can both videotape and publicize police abuse – Jean v. Mass. State Police [pdf]. Read the article you actually linked too [sic]...

"You can both videotape and publicize police abuse" are not my words, but the actual title of the blog post to which I linked. And, yes, I did read the article, thank you very much.
posted by ericb at 8:31 AM on April 16, 2010


Normally I am pretty skeptical about these kinds of videos not showing the whole picture, but man, that was pretty bad.
posted by Menthol at 8:31 AM on April 16, 2010


Going off on a "who can really know anything... what is reality!?" theoretical tangent is hardly useful.

Not useful, but possibly fun. Perhaps McKenna was a siren, disguised as a college student, attempting to lure the police officers to their doom. The Prince George's County officers, recognizing the imminent danger they were in, quickly subdued the creature. You don't know man, you weren't there.
posted by ryoshu at 8:33 AM on April 16, 2010 [21 favorites]


Song for the PG police
Or maybe just these cops.

Anyway, best version I could find, but not the Dicks.
Sister Double Happiness singer was the Dicks singer, so direct link.
These stories make me tired and sad

posted by Seamus at 8:38 AM on April 16, 2010


It's really difficult for me to look at things rationally in terms of police officers. Honestly, I find them absolutely terrifying and immoral and that makes it hard to consider things from their point of view. The thing is though, cops are so different depending on where you are.

When I was traveling around in Switzerland I had the best cop experience of my life. My friends and I were passed out in train station - which was closed - with our gear. The cops arrive to kick us out, and we ask where to go instead. They literally walked us to right outside the train station and had us pass out on a church lawn. They were very pleasant the entire time, and seemed genuinely willing to help us without having us stay in the station. Even when I was in college, I didn't really have problems with cops. When they'd show up to bust up a party it was no big deal. That just meant that everyone had to go home. If we couldn't get everyone out (there were a lot of people) they'd offer to help us clear it out - and they would be really nice about it. It was actually a relief when they helped, as opposed to a vicious nail-biting experience where you're never sure when they're going to snap and do something completely outrageous and unwarranted.

Contrast that with my experience with cops in new york, where every single interaction I had was at best, terse, gruff and unhelpful, and at worst, frightening and intimidating. I honestly want the cops to be true public servants, but instead it becomes this bizarre club where you go to kick ass with your brothers in blue and protect yourselves over the people who've given you this power so you can protect them. I don't know. It seems like some departments get it right, and some get it terribly fucking wrong.
posted by scrutiny at 8:38 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


And perhaps the cop who assaulted McKenna had previously shaken his hand, and discovered that in about 45 years he'd ascend to the presidency of the US and from here, would launch a nuclear strike on Atlanta, where the afore-mentionned cop was retired. IT'S SELF DEFENSE, ACTUALLY! You don't know, you weren't there, and the video doesn't show you *everything*.
posted by vivelame at 8:39 AM on April 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


July 27, 1970, Sly Stone was supposed to play a concert in Grant Park in Chicago. Whether he showed & the CPD security head wouldn't let him go on, or whether he never showed at all is somewhat murky now. But what could have been a mightily pissed crowd dispersing into the night was fanned by the CPD--in my opinion--fanning the flames by tear-gassing first & asking questions, well, never.

I wound up escaping the gas, but not the truncheon, because I had the ill fortune to be taking pictures all day. I had by then probably around 200 shots of color slide film--I was 17, in love with Chicago, and eager to spend all day in Grant Park groovin. The two of us that were still hanging together later that night, as the rioting, or as they euphemistically call it, civil disturbance, spilled out into the south Loop, the Goldblatt's department store window being one of the main property casualties.

I was threatened--not beaten--but my camera was smashed & film taken. So, yeah, not much has changed in 40 years.

Later, though, I became good friends with a guy whose father was a cop who was on the other side. He was one of the cops injured by people throwing glass bottles & rocks.

So--I am still clearly on the side of the guy who got the beat down. But, it did look like he was skipping.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:45 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


as odinsdream says, they would be easily identifiable. Among cops with nothing to hide, it wouldn't be a problem. I imagine that said number is too small to make such a change possible.

At some point, in the distant past, it seems like cops were around to help and protect the general populace. To be honest, I can't remember a single time in my life when any interaction with a police officer has made me feel anything other than, at best, uncomfortable, or at worst, guilty, even though there's no law I can imagine having broken. It would be nice if I (and certainly the guy beaten down in the video) could someday feel as if the cops actually felt like serving and protecting me, but I'm not about to hold my breath until that day.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:49 AM on April 16, 2010


It's time for robot cops. I"ll take my chances on a robot cop malfunctioning and going crazy and killing civilians, it probably won't happen as often as it does with human cops.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:51 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


What is absolutely bizarre and unfathomable to me and has been cropping up a lot lately what with the Catholic priests is the fact that people involved in these crimes are pretty much never prosecuted for them, even when it's well-known that they committed them. Instead they are sued. And no-one asks any further questions. I genuinely do not understand how or why this happens.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:53 AM on April 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


If you had to score the situation in terms of who has more power

Lets say two siblings are fighting. The younger brother keeps pulling his older sisters hair in the front seat of the car. She keeps swatting him away telling him to stop. He keeps at it. Finally she turns around and smashes his face in. In just so happens a third sibling turned on a video camera and caught the action. Younger brother turns over the video to parents and says "See, look what she did to me." Now, with only the video tape and nothing else for evidence, it is very clear older sister was in the wrong - she should have known better, was bigger and stronger, and appeared to act with cold callousness.

And it's true, she shouldn't have smashed his face in. But the video only told part of the story. So it would be a mistake to pass judgment on older sister using only the video. Of course we could conjecture what happened, but that would be silly - lets ask everyone involved and weigh the reliability of the evidence, have an investigation. That's all I'm saying. But it sounds like many in this thread an incredulous that there could be any other reality than that shown on the video, as likely as aliens invading earth or whatever, that any investigation would either vindicate the video as we want to perceive it, or prove cops and the system are corrupt and liars, confirming a preconceived world view. Either way you win.
posted by stbalbach at 8:53 AM on April 16, 2010


metaBugs: "However, it really does seem like the institution itself is committed to treating peaceful and legal protests as terrorist activities, and treating them as such. This is probably more the fault of Labour policy than the police themselves, but still."

I admit to not knowing very much about Labour policy, but I'm doubtful that's the case.

Not to sound like some leftover 60s radical here, but you need to consider what the police represent, what function they serve, and who they work for. The police serve the Establishment. They stand for and preserve the status quo.

This isn't a UK thing, it's pretty much true of all police, everywhere. Police are a conservative — in the sense of being resistant to change, not necessarily politically — force.

So there is always going to be a certain amount of tension between any sort of radical, revolutionary, or anti-government protest activity and the police. You can't protest the system and expect the police, people who have signed up to protect that system, to be totally on board. At best, you can hope that they are professional enough to respect your right to protest, since (at least in the US and UK) that right is part of the system. But the more revolutionary you are, the more threat you pose to stability and order and the machinery of the State, the more pushback you can expect from the police.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


But it sounds like many in this thread an incredulous that there could be any other reality than that shown on the video, as likely as aliens invading earth or whatever

Once more: The cops rushed him and beat him WHILE HE WAS PRONE ON THE GROUND AND LIED ON THEIR REPORTS. Why go into hypothetical scenarios for the sake of debate when those are the clear facts?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


Burhanistan, he hasn't seen the report, so he can't say anything about that, you know.
posted by vivelame at 9:01 AM on April 16, 2010



Lets say two siblings are fighting. The younger brother keeps pulling his older sisters hair in the front seat of the car. She keeps swatting him away telling him to stop. He keeps at it. Finally she turns around and smashes his face in. In just so happens a third sibling turned on a video camera and caught the action. Younger brother turns over the video to parents and says "See, look what she did to me." Now, with only the video tape and nothing else for evidence, it is very clear older sister was in the wrong - she should have known better, was bigger and stronger, and appeared to act with cold callousness.


Here's the core problem with this type of analogy: Cops are paid to put up with a great deal of things that normal people aren't. Cops are supposed to be highly trained in de-escalation techniques.

Whatever the video doesn't show is immaterial because one guy against several armed cops on horseback always favors the cops, and even if it didn't favor the cops, they're still obligated by their job function to de-escalate a threatening situation.

My point is that even if you believe the guy constituted a threat to the cops, through some unseen mechanism, the cops still handled this situation incorrectly. The fact that they were both armed and on horseback makes the situation even more clearly wrong.
posted by odinsdream at 9:05 AM on April 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


Once they have him on the ground, why can't they just sit on him?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:05 AM on April 16, 2010


Are we seriously having a conversation about whether he did something to provoke the cops? What in the world can an unarmed man say that warrants a beat down by a group of cops in riot gear? He's unarmed! If he said something that was truly way out of line, simply arresting him wouldn't have been hard. There is nothing that justifies beating a prone man who is not trying to resist. There truly is rot in the system when people are saying that a fabricated police report covering up a beating could be potentially justified. If you care about society, and you care about cops being respected - don't defend these men! Call them out for the brutal cowards that they are.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


All we can hope is that the prevalence of cell phone video cameras means the cops get away with this shit less and less often from here on. I remember when several students at Sarah Lawrence College were beaten bloody by the police because one of them was drunk and wishing that ten years ago we had had cell phone video cameras. Instead of the cops being charged, naturally the students ended up with felony charges of assault on police officers. Cause 4 college students are naturally a threat to seven cop cars full of armed officers, especially when they're already in handcuffs.

I also have worked with law enforcement closely and I recognize it's a really hard job, but something needs to be done about the attitude that cops are above the law.
posted by threeturtles at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


What is absolutely bizarre and unfathomable to me and has been cropping up a lot lately what with the Catholic priests is the fact that people involved in these crimes are pretty much never prosecuted for them, even when it's well-known that they committed them. Instead they are sued. And no-one asks any further questions. I genuinely do not understand how or why this happens.

Here's why: The job of actually prosecuting the lying/brutal cops would fall to the local district attorney. Now think about how dependent the DA is on the police to be able to do their job well. There's an inherent conflict of interest, and for that reason, criminal charges against lying, corrupt, or brutal police officers are vanishingly rare.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


I can't remember a single time in my life when any interaction with a police officer has made me feel anything other than, at best, uncomfortable, or at worst, guilty

I've had plenty of good encounters with the police, personally. Which is what makes watching videos like this all the more nauseating. They don't simply tarnish the reputation of their fellow officers or even the police in general. They undermine the authority of the state itself. Rapists and murderers don't have that kind of destructive power. That's the exclusive privilege of terrorists and traitors. These men are both.

I mean, one minute you're walking down the street, and the next the cops are beating you FOR NO REASON, and they can lie about it and arrest you for being their victim? There is no possible way to protect yourself from that. Its absolutely terrifying.

This is precisely what it feels like to live under a junta. No exaggeration, no hyperbole. This is exactly the feeling—that at any moment you can be abducted, held in captivity, tortured, and murdered by the hands of the state, and there's nothing you can do about it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


But the more revolutionary you are, the more threat you pose to stability and order and the machinery of the State, the more pushback you can expect from the police.

this whole discussion is missing the forest for the trees... the forest being that post-game riots have become part of the university experience across the U.S. I'm almost sympathetic with the cops: drunk college kids really suck.

But, there is no one whose whole existence is more tied to the stability of the state than the college-educated "middle class," particularly coming from a place like the U of Md. Just look at Iraq as a test-case for what happens when that order collapses: life in Sadr City sucked before and sucks now and the rich can always skip town but, the whole generation of college-educated guys (and especially girls) educated by Saddam's national socialism lost everything.

So, what does it say, when "fuck the police" is your college fight song?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:23 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who noticed the victim skipping down the side walk before the confrontation? If I was the prosecutor I would just show the video to the jury and ask them if, in the history of bi-pedalism, skipping has ever been threatening.
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:25 AM on April 16, 2010


Kadin2048 - Interesting points, I hadn't thought about it in those terms before.

My comment about Labour policy was a (poorly formed) reference to their huge and ever-escalating War On Terror, which has resulted in all sorts of gems like stiff restrictions on protesting anywhere near parliament, vastly increasing police powers when dealing with terrorism, then vastly broadening the definitions of "terrorism" to include peaceful protests and basically anything other than keeping your head down like a contented little subject.

It's a bit of a sore spot for me as I live in London, which has been in a state of heightened terror alert for several years now, meaning that police powers are effectively permanently expanded. For example, searching people without any grounds for suspicion and breaking up any groups they don't like the look of. Once someone has been arrested under suspicion of terrorism, of course, they can be held for 28 days without charge (and without being told what they're suspected of), and the govornment fought hard trying to extend this to three months. The wonderfully nebulous crime of "possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist" has also regularly been used as justification for harassing anyone who photographs or films police officers, often forcing the deletion of their photos or even confiscating the equipment.

They've basically created an atmosphere in which any dissenters should be regarded as (potential) terrorists, moved the status quo for terrorists away from "innocent until proven guilty" and then handed police powers to do all of this. You're probably right that it's police culture to want to preserve the establishment and squash any dissenters, but I'd argue that it's the Labour anti-terror policies that has given the tools and mandate to really step it up.

[That said, I've only really been paying attention to this stuff for a few years... maybe it's not really getting worse, I'm just seeing it more?]
posted by metaBugs at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2010


So far four officers have been identified and suspended.
posted by ericb at 9:36 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The FBI has joined the investigation.
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The camera is the our first line of defense against this crap. Get a cell phone that records video and keep it on hand. Even better, use Qik.com and stream your video live to a safe location on the web, so no one can confiscate your phone and delete the evidence.

Just went and got this. Thanks! Looks basically ideal for such purposes and also general purpose.
posted by kafziel at 9:43 AM on April 16, 2010


> >Of course the question is, what would have happened without that camera being there?

> Something like what happened to science fiction novelist Peter Watts when he was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border recently.


This has been discussed here at length, and I don't want to derail, but I do want to make a small correction. There was video, it was shown at the trial, nothing in it contradicted Watts' account of the situation. Video's no sure bet of the right people being convicted. The most recent thread on the subject is still open for all of anyone's further Watts trial needs.
posted by Zed at 9:45 AM on April 16, 2010


Guys, guys, guys. Motherfucker was jaywalking. He deserved every blow.

Blue cheese and mushroom HAMBURGER
posted by Caduceus at 9:51 AM on April 16, 2010


For those of you who've read Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels about the city Watch, I'm sure you'll remember the watch Captain/Commander/etc's position on a lot of this stuff. Of course the police/watch are there to protect the citizens, and any abuses of that power are wrong for all officers, except for when it's me doing it.

The Commander is a 'good' enough person that it's not taken to extremes, but I wonder if some of the more... morally flexible officers might take this to wider extremes.

Also, all police have a 'moral' high position, because everyone is guilty of something, and that mental catalogue we all go through, listing our minor infractions, whenever we see a uniform puts us on the defensive. And perhaps makes us slightly belligerent. Could just be me with the catalogue, of course.
posted by LD Feral at 9:53 AM on April 16, 2010


Am I the only one who noticed the victim skipping down the side walk before the confrontation?

No.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:02 AM on April 16, 2010


... There's an inherent conflict of interest, and for that reason, criminal charges against lying, corrupt, or brutal police officers are vanishingly rare.

I suppose a better phrasing of my post would be "my brain seems to be physically incapable of fathoming that something so blatant and corrupt is allowed to happen without regular rioting in the streets or massive abandonment of the system." Of course I have no idea how 'abandonment of the system' would work.

I think the underlying point is this makes my brain implode and makes me incapable of making a lucid point. This sentiment applies to the Catholic priest scandals as well.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:02 AM on April 16, 2010


metaBugs: Police-state authoritarianism is on the rise around the world. It should be a major attention-getting issue but most people aren't inclined to care (until they're victimized by it).

For the rest of us, the internet is a huge boon: The average person now has a way to shine a spotlight on incidents like this in ways that were never before possible. But there is still a long way to go to convince the masses that this is a massive systemic problem. What happened in this video is not an isolated incident perpetrated by a few bad apples. It happens All. The. Time. Sadly, most people confronted with the facts will choose to ignore them, because it's damn hard to sleep at night with that kind of cognitive dissonance turning your assumptions about the world upside down.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:10 AM on April 16, 2010


What in the world can an unarmed man say that warrants a beat down by a group of cops in riot gear?

"I have secret weapons stashed in my head. Only a pinata-like search can reveal them!"?
posted by yeloson at 10:15 AM on April 16, 2010 [21 favorites]


i think the video is pretty damning, but i tend to agree with stalbach and think it is a good idea to be skeptical about anything we see on video or in a photograph, or even in person. i do think we get too comfortable--particularly for people who generally spend good portions of our day willingly suspending disbelief for the purposes of entertainment--that our interpretation of something is a perfect reflection of reality; but it is always subjective and thus is always an approximation. something always gets left out. in this case it would seem difficult to argue, but you can bet the prosecutor is going to corroborate the hell out of it.

i think, for instance, of that howard dean video where people pretty much thought he had gone fucking insane screaming at a campaign speech, but what we could not see or hear directly on the video was his perception of the noise in the room and the use of a type of microphone that filtered out that noise. but that video hurt him a lot, and personally, i think we lost out because of it.

but then i would think we would be more skeptical as the technology for video manipulation becomes easier and more available. there doesn't seem to be any doubt cast on the authenticity of the video here, but the report doesn't say where it came from; plus, it is filmed at some distance and is blurry and shaky at some points. as casual viewers we don't even know that the victim in this videotape is the same victim making the complaint. again, i'm sure experts will be called upon to discuss the video, and that the events and identification will be backed up by other means.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:18 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's also possible he said "I'm going to shoot you" or "I have a bomb." He probably didn't say those things, but if he had, the video would have looked exactly the same.

Nope. Not a chance in the world.

If he'd said "I'm going to shoot you" or "I have a bomb," the cops would have retreated to a safe distance and set up a perimeter around him.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:21 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's surprising to me is how long it's taking the US's various police forces to remember that nearly everyone now carries a video camera with them ALL THE TIME.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:27 AM on April 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


But it sounds like many in this thread an incredulous that there could be any other reality than that shown on the video

No, I don't think anyone is saying that. Instead, we're recognizing that there is strong evidence that these cops did something abhorrent to a guy who didn't pose a threat to them. Yes, if new evidence comes to light, and it shows that this lone pedestrian really did require a swift and decisive beat-down, we'll want to re-assess our take on the situation. As it stands, though, there's enough evidence to establish a tentative but fairly robust conclusion of police brutality, and to act according to conclusion.

Refusing to reach a conclusion in the face of unclear or ambiguous evidence is very reasonable. Refusing to draw a preliminary conclusion in the face of clear evidence is not, even if that evidence doesn't quite rise to the level of certainty.

We've got strong evidence here. Not just the word of the victim, or of one or two eyewitnesses, but an actual video recording of what went down. A conclusion, taken with a mind open to further evidence, is a good idea. Skepticism at this stage just isn't productive.
posted by thatnerd at 11:02 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a bizarre, reverse-Orwellian world we live in. I wonder if distopian futurists in the 60s and 70s ever suspected that some day, video surveillance equipment would be so cheaply produced - and video broadcasts across the net so easily, to be observed and examined by millions of individuals. The state has cctv, we have youtube. Keep the cameras coming, keep the net free, eventually we'll win. Unless they outlaw cameras and youtube.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Police training in this country is in deep deep fucking trouble. And I suppose it's the culture and the idea that the minute a citizen gives you even the slightest trouble or resistance you should respond with massive force is just sick. Enough said.
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on April 16, 2010


I don't even understand what the police are attacking him for. His silly dance? On another thread that was posted today, that would get him applause.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:30 AM on April 16, 2010


Have the horses been questioned yet??
posted by Skygazer at 11:30 AM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I don't think anyone is saying that. Instead, we're recognizing that there is strong evidence that these cops did something abhorrent to a guy who didn't pose a threat to them.

I'll go further -- I'll say that we're recognizing that there is strong evidence that these cops did something that differs significantly and undeniably from their submitted reports of the incident -- and which also corroborates the statement from the civilian involved.

Assuming innocent-until-proven-guilty is as much a part of BC law as US law, and as the only evidence against this civilian has been discredited, he should be considered innocent unless further evidence is uncovered. Meanwhile, we now have evidence of criminal behavior on the part of the cops, both in their actions that night and their erroneous reporting of the events later, and so our focus should be solely on identifying and prosecuting those involved.

In short: all the speculation as to what the civilian may or may not have done is moot. Move on, folks.
posted by davejay at 11:31 AM on April 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Has there ever been a case when video evidence shows up later and shows an unarmed person assaulting a cop? Or are the cops lying 99% of the time?
posted by 445supermag at 12:59 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Keep the cameras coming, keep the net free, eventually we'll win.

Given that Rodney King's beating was broadcast across the nation and not hidden, and yet the police got off, I think there's a crucial step that has to come after just putting it out there.
posted by yeloson at 1:06 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Given that Rodney King's beating was broadcast across the nation and not hidden, and yet the police got off, I think there's a crucial step that has to come after just putting it out there.

In vaguely related news, Daryl Gates died today, and good riddance.
posted by elizardbits at 1:10 PM on April 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Police are a conservative — in the sense of being resistant to change, not necessarily politically — force.

Except they are always willing to try new ways to beat/shock/shoot/maim the local populace.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 1:12 PM on April 16, 2010


Bruce on police violence.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:45 PM on April 16, 2010


Has there ever been a case when video evidence shows up later and shows an unarmed person assaulting a cop?

Sure, why wouldn't there be? However, this isn't news, so YOU will never see it.
posted by davejay at 2:10 PM on April 16, 2010


In vaguely related news, Daryl Gates died today, and good riddance.

Did he! Was it by beatdown?
posted by davejay at 2:14 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't see the point. Even if he walk up to the cops and said he was going to fuck the horse in the mouth and slightly rasied his hand (as it shows) a tackle and handcuffing would all you need. The extra thirty seconds of vicious beatdown, not so much.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:26 PM on April 16, 2010


Given that Rodney King's beating was broadcast across the nation and not hidden, and yet the police got off, I think there's a crucial step that has to come after just putting it out there.

Hmm? I thought they had a second trial where they were convicted after the riots.
posted by delmoi at 6:16 PM on April 16, 2010


"I don't even understand what the police are attacking him for."

They were making an example out of him. If not him, it would have been someone else. The point was to intimidate the crowd.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:06 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


But it sounds like many in this thread an incredulous that there could be any other reality than that shown on the video

It's not just the video. It's not just the video.

It's the combination of the video and the police reports. Can they be reconciled? Are you asking us to reserve judgment on whether these injuries were caused by men or possibly by horses dressed in riot gear and walking on two legs?

If not, the cops lied in a sworn statement.
posted by palliser at 9:33 PM on April 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The cops lied in a sworn statement.

This is what we pay them to do.

My introduction to police brutality/stupidity came on a friend's 19th birthday (way back when in the dregs of the 70s). A bunch of young guys were drunk and behaving badly at a pub. The cops got called. A rowdy situation turned into a riot. Three of us were arrested. Rich kids, from the nice side of town. We protested, demanded lawyers.

They took us to the downtown jail. One by one they took us up the elevator, stopped between floors, pressed a phone book to our stomachs and proceeded to pound us with their billyclubs (no bruises this way).

After this, we shut up.

After a night in the drunk tank, I got home, faced my dad and told him what happened. He took some time to think about it, then finally said, "Good. You deserved it."

I moved out a week later.
posted by philip-random at 10:31 PM on April 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm? I thought they had a second trial where they were convicted after the riot

Two of the officers got 30 months, the other two got nothing. The two who were convicted got moderate assault sentencing. Of course, 4 people who aren't police, beating a non-resisting victim for several minutes could easily qualify for attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm- and that can bump folks up to attempted murder, 10-20 years.
posted by yeloson at 12:16 AM on April 17, 2010


You know how TV cop shows always depict Internal Affairs officers as rats and scumbags?

After shit like this one would hope for the rat squad to ferret out the guilty cops and make sure they all face charges.

Same goes for all police departments country-wide.
posted by bwg at 2:17 AM on April 17, 2010


I agree with the general sentiment that the reaction to McKenna's actions is grossly disproportionate in the context of the individual's behavior and highly likely disproportionate regardless of any mitigating information.

That said, riots are not normal police work. Riot police don't necessarily operate under the same orders of engagement as "normal" police. There are similarities with, say, the case of the critical mass cyclist assaulted by the police officer, but there are important differences too.

This is an interesting read: in summary, in places it describes (UK) riots as being more like a military engagement.

I'm not defending the police per se. At a bare minimum, lying about how McKenna received his injuries is unforgiveable in a professional law enforcement officer. But I am saying that it's not unequivocally a simple matter of individual police officers losing their heads and sticking it to a "perp".

First up, part of the responsibility sits with the officer who actually declares that a disturbance is a riot. That alone changes both the rules of engagement and also the likelihood that the police will be threatened (the helmeted anonymity works both ways: it also enables rioters to dehumanize the policeman) and that the police feel under threat.

Second up, the theory of overt and overwhelming force seems to be systematic in police training. Partly this is expedient: the police don't always have time to politely arrest and detain people without endangering themselves. Partly this is riot control theory - to break any perceived sense of dominance or superiority by the rioters.

And this is the root of the problem with riots - that the tactical orders don't match up with our ordinary expectations of police behavior. That individuals who push the "battle line" and test the defences frequently are singled out for treatment so that others within the rioting group don't see this is a cue to push forward and escalate - which goes against the idea that the punishment fits the crime on a case by case basis.

I.e. what we call police brutality is frequently sanctioned and, if one agrees with existing tactical doctrine on riot control, may be necessary.

To me the issue seems more to be around the systematic problem of quality of decisionmaking and training by the police and the implementation of this doctrine of force in riot control. What actually worries me more in the US is the degree to which this overwhelming force doctrine seems to have permeated everyday, non-violent police interactions, where IMHO there is no justification whatsoever.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:34 AM on April 17, 2010


Holy crap, philip-random, I'm sorry that happened to you. That's a shitty outcome any way you slice it. What a terrible thing.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:51 AM on April 17, 2010


Bottom line, my dad was not a one dimensional conservative, reactionary creep (he even voted for Pierre Trudeau once). But he was a guy who fought in WW2 (serious front line stuff) and let's just say, for him, a little state-sponsored roughing up of his spoiled brat middle son wasn't the worst of imaginable atrocities.

As for me, it all happened more than thirty years ago, so the bruises are long gone and I've since had many occasions to be glad there were police officers around. But no, I've never really bought cop shows since.
posted by philip-random at 9:22 AM on April 17, 2010


so the bruises are long gone

emotional bruises that is; the phone book technique, of course, spares us the physical kind.
posted by philip-random at 10:24 AM on April 17, 2010


If anyone is still following this, there is some hanky-panky going on with CCTV video taken by the University:
The University of Maryland has found a missing disc of surveillance video from the camera covering the area where a student was beaten by police during last month's civil disturbances, ABC 7 News has confirmed. But the formerly missing disc has a two-minute gap, officials admitted and Maryland State Police are now investigating.
...
In another bizarre coincidence, the campus police official in charge of the video surveillance system, Lt. Joanne Ardovini, is married to one of the National Capital Park police mounted officers who was named in the complaint Prince George's County police filed against McKenna.
posted by peeedro at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coincidence? Riiiiight.
posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on April 21, 2010


Damn. Police departments should be subject to serious penalties when electronic evidence is tampered with like that. Total bullshit.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:37 AM on April 21, 2010


Someone is confused about what the word "coincidence" means....
posted by stoneweaver at 8:49 AM on April 21, 2010


The University of Maryland has found a missing disc of surveillance video from the camera covering the area where a student was beaten by police during last month's civil disturbances, ABC 7 News has confirmed. But the formerly missing disc has a two-minute gap, officials admitted and Maryland State Police are now investigating.
...
In another bizarre coincidence, the campus police official in charge of the video surveillance system, Lt. Joanne Ardovini, is married to one of the National Capital Park police mounted officers who was named in the complaint Prince George's County police filed against McKenna.


Nice find. I'm sure it's just bad apples, though.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


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