Brutal New Orleans Arrest On Tape

Xtremehkr

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Link.

Two New Orleans police officers repeatedly punched a 64-year-old man accused of public intoxication, and another city officer assaulted an Associated Press Television News producer as a cameraman taped the confrontations.

There will be a criminal investigation, and the three officers were to be suspended, arrested and charged with simple battery Sunday, Capt. Marlon Defillo said.

"We have great concern with what we saw this morning," Defillo said after he and about a dozen other high-ranking police department officials watched the APTN footage Sunday. "It's a troubling tape, no doubt about it. ... This department will take immediate action."

CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts reports the assaults come as the police department is under tremendous stress and at least two internal investigations after Hurricane Katrina. Pitts reports there are allegations that officers were involved in some of the early looting of the city, and many officers deserted their posts after the storm.

The department, which has long been plagued by allegations of brutality and corruption, is also struggling with the sudden resignation last month of Police Superintendent Eddie Compass.

The APTN tape shows an officer hitting the man at least four times in the head Saturday night as he stood outside a bar near Bourbon Street. The suspect, Robert Davis, appeared to resist, twisting and flailing as he was dragged to the ground by four officers. One of the four then kneed Davis and punched him twice. Davis was face-down on the sidewalk with blood streaming down his arm and into the gutter.

Meanwhile, a fifth officer ordered APTN producer Rich Matthews and the cameraman to stop recording. When Matthews held up his credentials and explained he was working, the officer grabbed the producer, leaned him backward over a car, jabbed him in the stomach and unleashed a profanity-laced tirade.

"I've been here for six weeks trying to keep ... alive. ... Go home!" shouted the officer, who later identified himself as S.M. Smith.

Police said Davis, 64, of New Orleans, was booked on public intoxication, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and public intimidation. He was treated at a hospital and released into police custody.

"The incidents taped by our cameraman are extremely troubling," said Mike Silverman, AP's managing editor. "We are heartened that the police department is taking them seriously and promising a thorough investigation."

Davis, who is black, was subdued at the intersection of Conti and Bourbon streets. Three of the officers appeared to be white, and the other is light skinned. The officer who hit Matthews is white. Defillo said race was not an issue.

Three of the five officers — including Smith — are New Orleans officers, and two others appeared to be federal officers. Numerous agencies have sent police to help with patrols in the aftermath of Katrina.

Under normal circumstances, it takes unusually offensive behavior to trigger an arrest on Bourbon Street. But New Orleans police have been working under stressful conditions since the hurricane.

Officers slept in their cars and worked 24-hour shifts after the storm. Three-quarters lost their homes and their families are scattered across the country.

"Our police officers are working under some very trying times," Defillo said. "So it's a difficult time, but it doesn't excuse what our jobs are supposed to be."

Conditions have improved — officers now have beds on a cruise ship — but they don't have private rooms and are still working five, 12-hour days.

Compass, the police superintendent, resigned Sept. 27. Despite more than 10 years of reform efforts dating to before he took office, police were dogged by allegations of brutality and corruption.

On Friday, state authorities said they were investigating allegations that New Orleans police broke into a dealership and made off with nearly 200 cars — including 41 new Cadillacs — as the storm closed in.
The link has video. This is unbelievable, not only did they know there was a camera crew present, one of the cops assaulted a journalist.
 

Deepdale

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May 4, 2005
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Xtremehkr said:
[The link has video. This is unbelievable, not only did they know there was a camera crew present, one of the cops assaulted a journalist.
I saw that on the news and it was very troubling. It was also rather obvious as to the manner in which one of the mounted police officers was moving his horse in an attempt to block the footage of the flurry of punches to the apprehended man's face. Nice try ... didn't work.
 

Xtremehkr

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I just don't understand why they felt it necessary to beat an old man into the ground like that, leaving him in a pool of his own blood. Or that they felt they could get away with it. I have to wonder what is going on there.
 

Sun Baked

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May 19, 2002
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Is the guy who got beat up been released yet?

Probably they will call forth a cop version of temporary insanity, saying they finally cracked under the stress and lost it.
 

xsedrinam

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Oct 21, 2004
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Seems we'll be hearing a lot more about PTSD in the days ahead, but there's never an excuse for any brutality. Helpers are needing help, as well.
 

Sun Baked

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May 19, 2002
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xsedrinam said:
Seems we'll be hearing a lot more about PTSD in the days ahead, but there's never an excuse for any brutality. Helpers are needing help, as well.
There you go, that's what I was thinking of.

Another failed segment of the National Disaster Plan. :(
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Well we still gotta see what happened in the lead-up to the incident. You never know what this guy may have done until a little follow-up work happens.

On it's surface it's an ugly scene. The fact that the one officer assaults the AP reporter and says he's 'been here for six weeks' suggests that the situation may have been driven at least in part by the officers' experiences over the last couple months, which would point to an overreaction by the police in this situation. We'll have to see
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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IJ Reilly said:
It looks like the New Orleans PD has lost their moral Compass.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
They never had one to loose. Anyone who tells me authority and power doesnt corrupt is a liar. These Cops didnt like the fact that this retired school teacher wasnt bowing down to them and their Control. A retired school teacher who doesnt drink checking on their familys stuff and a couple of Iam in charge Cops. Here comes the Police State.
 

skunk

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Jun 29, 2002
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They are pleading "Not Guilty"!???!!
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051010/new_oreans_policemen_051010/20051010?hub=CTVNewsAt11
Davis, a New Orleans resident, has been charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, battery on a police officer and public intimidation.

After being treated at a hospital, Davis was released into police custody but was later freed.

A mug shot of Davis shows his right eye swollen shut, a cut on his right temple and abrasions on the left side of his neck. He may have a skull fracture.

But in an interview Monday, Davis said he wasn't intoxicated or resisting arrest. He was out looking to buy cigarettes and had simply approached police to ask about the curfew.

"At no time did anyone indicate I was under arrest," he said, adding he hadn't had a drink in 25 years.

Asked about what might have caused the incident, Davis said: "I don't know what caused it. I don't want to say this, but it was probably racially motivated."

Davis, a retired school teacher, is African-American, while the three officers are white. The federal Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation.

A New Orleans police union spokesman said the officers told him they believe they used appropriate force.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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I wonder why the so called thugs in uniform had the right to beat the sh.. out of this guy? Even if this dude did something bad should the cops be allowed to beat someone to pulp??? People should be screaming over this crap, its bad enough the cops were looting WalMart & Caddillac but this? New Orleans. aint no wonder took George took his time responding to Katrina. :( Looks pretty corrupt from this viewpoint.
 

Xtremehkr

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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 11 - The lawyer for a man who was videotaped being beaten by two police officers as they tried to arrest him said on Tuesday that his client would seek compensation and hoped that the city would drop the charges against him in a hearing on Wednesday.

Mr. Davis was beaten and forced to the ground when the police officers tried to arrest him on Saturday night in the French Quarter. The beating was videotaped by an Associated Press Television News crew.

Two officers, Lance Schilling and Robert Evangelist, have pleaded not guilty to charges of battery in the beating of Mr. Davis, while a third, Stewart Smith, pleaded not guilty to a battery charge for roughing up an A.P. producer, Rich Matthews. They were suspended without pay.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bruno and Mr. Davis, trailed by television cameras, revisited the scene of the beating near the corner of Bourbon and Conti Streets. Mr. Davis has said he quit drinking years ago.

Mr. Davis, who is black, has said that he does not think the beating and arrest by the officers, who are white, was motivated by race. Mr. Davis was in New Orleans to inspect his property in the Upper Ninth Ward.

On Saturday night, Mr. Davis went to the Bourbon Street area to buy cigarettes. He was concerned about the curfew, which at the time was 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and asked a police officer on horseback about it, Mr. Bruno said. It was just before 8 p.m.

"He walked down the street, saw a police officer on horseback. He asked him a question about the curfew," Mr. Bruno said. "Then a second officer approached and, what Robert described, 'interfered' with his conversation with the officer on horseback."

Mr. Bruno said that Mr. Davis told the second officer he was being unprofessional. "He walked away, and he was then struck from behind," Mr. Bruno said.

He said his client suffered fractures to his cheek and eye socket, and scrapes and bruises.
Mr Davis has claimed to have stopped drinking 25 years ago, not just years ago. Considering what Mr Davis claims to have been doing, this makes the situation even worse that what it was first thought to have been.

I understand that the police may be stressed, I am sure a lot of people in NO are stressed right now. My problem is that stress has never been an acceptable excuse for those on the wrong side of the law, why should it be a viable excuse for those who are supposed to be on the right side of the law?

The rampant abuse of authority in this situation is not too much different from the rampant abuse that has occurred in the rest of government over the last 5 years.
 

iDM

macrumors 6502a
It is blatantly obvious that this was police brutality. The man is against a wall with four officers pinning him against the wall...........this is when the police officer punches him 4 times directly in the face. Racist, insanity from the stress of Katrina, whatever the case may be, those two officers in the film blatantly punched this man in the face while he was completely defenseless, not to mention the rule of no hitting in the face that they mention during the video, of the police department.

I say if this man is peeing on the leg of an officer while trespassing, being disorderly, and having a BAC of .9 does not constitute him being punched in the face. In fact I don't think him even resisting arrest(they claim he did, he claims he did not, witness claim he did not) would warrant him being punched in the face. You can take him down with force to subdue him, but it's not right to render him defenseless and THEN cheap shot this man in the face.

Edit:Grammar
 

tristan

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Jul 19, 2003
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O'Reilly has the police chief on tomorrow - can't wait to see that. Tonight he had the victim on and it was pretty clear that he hadn't done anything. I predict the city will end up paying him a few hundred grand.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Dont Hurt Me said:
The Chief will do 1 of two things, back up the officers or distance himself. Im sure if all these fellows are corrupt so is this Chief.
In other news, I predict 1 of 2 things at the craps table: Either I will win or I will lose.
;)

I'm not sure how you get corrupt out of this. It's sounding more and more like officers stressed out beyond their capacity to deal, and taking it out on a civilian. Not sure that points toward corrupt cops.

I know there have been days when I've been on a very short fuse. Thankfully I've never had one of those days combine with a day when I run into someone who I feel deserves a beating. :eek:
 

tristan

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Jul 19, 2003
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Somebody from the NOPD was on O'Reilly last night. BO asked him how he knew the guy was intoxicated, and whether he had any evidence, and the guy said no physical evidence but eyewitness testimony would "prove" it. He also said the guy stumbled into a horse, used profanity, and nobody hit him once he was down. Sounds like BS to me.
 

Josh

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Mar 4, 2004
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What bothers me most about this, is that if this happened 200 years ago, the public would simply not stand for it, and those officers would be publically beaten and or hanged.

Think of the boston masacre. Although a little different, when people were innocently killed, the public did not allow it, and those soliders were arrested, and all the rest of them were moved out of boston.

Now, the public says "Aww...that's terrible. But the gov't will handle it."

No, the gov't won't handle it. The gov't is the one doing it.

People used to be much more publically active,a nd lack of action on the public really worries me. It's almost as if people will let the gov't/police do anything they wish.

People need to stand up for themselves and each other. This cannot be allowed.


If this happened in the middle of a busy city in daylight, I bet no citizen would jump in for that guys aid and try to stop it. No body would grab the cops and restrain them. They'd be too afraid of getting arrested themselves.

But tell me, what is worse: Getting arrested for protecting the rights of life, or idley standing buy and watching them be taken away?

I'd take a sentence to help that man. If the court system deemed I was in the wrong to do that, I would rather spend my time in jail away from a world so detached from the freedoms our country was founded on.

The public should not fear being arrested for protecting their rights and the rights of others; the police should fear that the public WILL protect their rights if they act that way.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Depends on what comes out between now and any acquittal. At this point I'd have to say it doesn't look good for the cops, particularly in light of the expression of frustration leveled at the AP reporter.