I just don’t understand how there are no charges against the cops who shot John Crawford in WalMart. The videos clearly show him doing nothing but walking around talking on the phone and not paying attention to anyone and more importantly, not threatening anyone, and the final video take of his death shows him throwing the gun to the floor and then being shot. It’s insane.
In other news, the conviction of a cop who was charged with beating the hell out of a student in Maryland has overturned by a judge. In this case, the police originally stated that the student had attacked a mounted officer and his horse and his injury was caused by the horse kicking him. Here’s the video of this horse kicking:
This video led to the police modifying their “account” of what happened and further led to the conviction of one of the police:
James Harrison was found guilty of second-degree assault in the 2010 beating and was given a one-year suspended sentence in Dec. 2012. He served 30 days of home confinement.
Judge Beverly Woodard did not explain the reason for her decision in tossing out the conviction; beating victim Jack McKenna called the judge’s decision “frightening.”
“It sends a message that they (the police) can do whatever they want,” McKenna, now a second-year law student, said Tuesday. “If they can get away with beating me up on national TV for doing nothing, it really makes me scared for what’s going to happen to those in a dark alley when the cameras aren’t shining.”
Jon Erzen, a spokesman for the Office of the State’s Attorney, said prosecutors, too, were surprised that the judge set aside the jury’s verdict in the case.
“They (jurors) said Mr. Harrison’s actions were not acceptable policing and they were criminal,” Erzen said Tuesday.
Harrison, along with another officer who was acquitted, were charged with beating up McKenna as students celebrated the men’s basketball team’s victory over Duke on March 3, 2010.
Harrison retired with a full pension before his trial, but now with his felony criminal record cleared – there is a chance he could go back into police work. Harrison’s lawyer did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
McKenna collected a $2 million dollar settlement from the police department to drop a civil lawsuit in the case, but his attorney was fuming Tuesday over the criminal conviction being overturned.
You’re probably wondering what on earth the judge in this case was thinking. That’s an interesting question:
It was only due to the persistence of Mr. McKenna’s lawyers that the cover-up and lies were shredded. At trial, in late 2012, a jury convicted Mr. Harrison on a felony charge of assault. Another officer, Reginald Baker, was acquitted, although he, too, used his baton to beat Mr. McKenna as he lay stunned and defenseless on the ground.
Ms. Woodard conducted herself unprofessionally at trial. She failed to disclose an apparent conflict of interest — she had been previously married to a Prince George’s officer who himself was convicted for brutality — until asked about it by a journalist. In court, she exhibited what many observers regarded as overt hostility toward Mr. McKenna, the victim.
In Maryland, judges sometimes toss out convictions for first-time offenders in minor cases. This is another matter — a clear case of egregious police brutality. Mr. Harrison, who was allowed to retire from the department with a full pension, may now work again as a police officer if he wishes.
Fer fuck’s sake.