Sunday, May 24, 2009

5 Officers Applauded After Beating a Man Suspected of Driving Without a Seatbelt

Report by Jane Otto, OH Chapter

“Click it or Ticket”, a mantra used by many police departments across the country hasn’t had the deterrent effect originally hoped for.  Many motorist have refused to heed the catchy warning and still drive unrestrained, forcing policing agencies to ramp up efforts.  The Birmingham, AL City Council approved an ordinance last month enabling local officers to “use whatever means necessary to encourage drivers to buckle up.”  Five Birmingham cops took that to heart and have been lauded as local heros.

Officer Ted Phelps, a 15 year veteran of the force noticed Bill Long traveling along Water Street without the life saving protection that seatbelts afford.  Phelps immediately radioed for back-up and tailed the commuter until three other units arrived.  With back-up in place, Phelps reportedly accelerated toward Long’s vehicle, clipping the rear-passenger side of the car, forcing Long off the left shoulder of the road.  Long’s car hit a ditch and rolled twice, throwing his unbuckled, unconscious body from the vehicle, whereupon Phelps and four other officers converged on Long’s body with fists and batons.  Onlookers could hear the officers shouting insults involving Long’s mother and his need to utilize a properly functioning safety harness while driving, even though, in his unconscious state, Long could not hear the well-meaning counsel of the officers.

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford applauded the officers initiative saying, “The actions of these fine policemen have exclaimed to motorists who don’t wear seatbelts, in no uncertain terms, ‘if an accident doesn’t kill you, we will!’”  Phelps and the other officers involved in the incident are to be awarded with medals for Meritorious Service at an upcoming dinner held in their honor by Mayor Langford (Photo by Bob Farley).


~Static~ said...

Oh YAY..police brutality.....rules!

Harrison said...

Had nothing to do with not wearing a seat belt.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper and Mayor Larry Langford announced today the firing of the five officers based their roles in the videotaped beating of a man following a police chase on Jan. 23, 2009. Disciplinary action also will be taken against supervisors who failed for months to report the incident to higher-ups, officials said.

The beating incident happened when a Birmingham police officer tried to question 38-year-old Anthony Warren about possible drug activity. Warren fled starting a chase, captured by a police video camera, which showed Warren struck a Hoover police officer and then was thrown from his own car after he crashed. Authorities said he was unconscious when officers began beating him with a billy club, fists and feet.

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Static said...

@ Anonymous - shove your iPad. They suck. But I'm glad I got an alert in my email with your spam I can respond to the follow up comment.

@ Harrison - The officers in question were beating an already-unconscious suspect with fists, feet and a billy club, a battering caught on videotape until a police officer turned off the patrol car camera.

Warren suffered a severe concussion, a skull fracture, and multiple other injuries incl. internal bleeding, broken bones, bruising, permanent injury and mental anguish in relation to the chase, the accident, and beating.

Seems like a pretty clear cut case of police brutality to me, regardless of what the suspect did. For starters, he was already subdued (he was unconscious).

Warrens' attorney filed a claim with the city. In addition to detailing Warren's injuries, claims in the case said the police department interfered with the administration of justice and entered into a conspiracy to tamper with evidence. Five officers were fired in this instance.

more at this link here

and here.