ONTD Political

Cops Just Love Those Tasers

12:50 am - 07/04/2011
Dayton police "mistook" a mentally handicapped teenager's speech impediment for "disrespect," so they Tasered, pepper-sprayed and beat him and called for backup from "upward of 20 police officers" after the boy rode his bicycle home to ask his mother for help, the boy's mom says.

Pamela Ford says her "mentally challenged/handicapped" son Jesse Kersey, 17, was riding his bike near his Dayton home when Officer Willie Hooper stopped him and tried to talk to him.

The mom says that "Prior to the incident described below, defendant Hooper knew Jesse and was aware that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped and a minor child."

Nonetheless, Ford says, Hooper "apparently took Jesse's speech impediment for disrespect ... [and] began yelling at Jesse and after Jesse attempted to communicate with him[.] Jesse, being a minor and mentally challenged/handicapped, turned and rode his bike back to his home in an attempt to ask his mother, Ford, to help him communicate with defendant Cooper," according to the complaint in Montgomery County Court.

On the way, the mom says, "A neighbor attempted to communicate with Officer Hooper about Jesse's disabilities and was told to go back into his home, or he would be arrested."

As Ford opened her front door, she says, Hooper and co-defendant Officer John Howard, "fired their Tasers, striking Jesse in the back with both probes."

"Once inside the house, defendant Hooper and defendant Howard began to struggle with Jesse, who was standing against the back door with his hands up in front of his face, saying 'Please quit, please quit.'

"On numerous occasions, Ford and a family friend, Christopher Peyton, informed Officer Hooper that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped, and that Jesse did not understand what was happening," the complaint states.

But the mom says the cops continued their assault: "Officer Howard utilized his Cap-Stun pepper spray and sprayed Jesse ... [and] struck Jesse with a closed fist in the upper chest area.

"Officer Howard utilized his ASP and repeatedly struck Jesse in the upper left side of his left thigh.

"Back-up units were requested to Jesse's house, wherein upward of 20 police officers from different jurisdictions were present.

"At no point, even after being advised of Jesse's mental challenge/handicap by Jesse's family and numerous bystanders, did defendant Hooper, defendant Howard, or any other police officer present, attempt to communicate with Jesse or explain in terms he could understand as to why Jesse was being chased.

"Jesse was handcuffed and hogtied before being placed in the back of a police cruiser.

"Jesse was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business."

However, "Jesse was declared incompetent by the Montgomery County Juvenile Court and the charges against Jesse were dismissed."

Jesse and his mom seek damages from the city and the two lead officers, for false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, assault, battery, excessive use of force, infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

Courthouse News Service
lafinjack 4th-Jul-2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
NOT ALL COPS ARE LIKE THAT
archanglrobriel 4th-Jul-2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
THIS. Exactly this. I wasn't aware that "disrespecting" an officer was against any law that I've ever seen. Apparently now we should all know that "disrespect" for authority, regardless of the actuality behind the officer's perception (like say, being mentally challenged, having a speech impediment, being schizophrenic, having a seizure, being delirious from a fever etc.) is something that could be punished by multi-officer, multiple weapon, closed fist smack-down.
Good to f**cking know.
holdyourdevil 4th-Jul-2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS
terribilita 5th-Jul-2011 05:14 am (UTC)
A man here in Colorado was recently charged with harassment for giving a cop the finger. The charges were dropped but it goes to show how ridiculously cops abuse their power.

“Our client engaged in peaceful, silent symbolic expression that is protected by First Amendment,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. “The protection of the Constitution is not limited to speech that is acceptable in polite society. The First Amendment also protects expression that may be disrespectful, coarse or even vulgar. It’s rude to flip off a cop, but it’s not a crime.”

http://aclu-co.org/news/aclu-will-defend-colorado-man-arrested-for-giving-trooper-the-finger
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/05/flipping_the_bird_shane_boor_aclu.php
lykomancer 4th-Jul-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
I don't advocate violence, but seriously, isn't shit like this precisely why we have a Second Amendment? To prevent abuse from authorities run rampant? Because this is insane: chasing and beating and pepper-spraying and Tasing a mentally handicapped teen; as well as threatening by-standers who tried to intervene with jail time. WTF.
sizequeen 4th-Jul-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
This kind of shit terrifies me. I have an severely autistic sister who has violent outbursts. She bashes her head against walls, destroys furniture, punches holes in the walls, bites, punches and scratches anyone around. Her rage cannot be calmed once it starts; it has to go its course. Now imagine this happening in a grocery store. Imagine a cop trying to subdue her.

This would a fucking nightmare. They would probably shoot her.

Many cops have no patience for perceived disrespect. They can fuck up your world and then charge *you* with a crime. As long as it is almost impossible to prosecute a cop for a crime, they will continue to be dangerous.
teacup_werewolf 4th-Jul-2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Shit, I am high functioning most of the time, and I am just as terrified. I have some pretty intense meltdowns (head-banging and screaming and smacking my face) I can't even imagine having a meltdown and dealing with cops.

I swear to god, cops scare the ever living hell out of me.
pandaseal 4th-Jul-2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on being terrified. I'm not neurotypical and I'm Black, so my ability to believe that cops might do the right thing? It doesn't exist.
romp 5th-Jul-2011 06:51 am (UTC)
It's not even rare, you know? Many families and every community has someone with a similar situation. This should be part of basic training and heavily emphasized. Like, be an abuse bully and lose your job.
sizequeen 5th-Jul-2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
You're right. Mentally ill and mentally challenged people are all over the place. The police should know how to handle these situations better. I have read stories about mothers calling the police on their out of control bipolar son and that son getting shot. Never call the police if you can possibly help it.
lickety_split 4th-Jul-2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
turned and rode his bike back to his home in an attempt to ask his mother, Ford, to help him communicate with defendant Cooper

Totally teared up when I read this part.
clevermanka 4th-Jul-2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
Me, too. Oh my god oh my god that poor kid. And his poor mom.

This is obscene.
lanwut 4th-Jul-2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
That's where I teared up, too.
romp 5th-Jul-2011 06:53 am (UTC)
I know! I can't imagine the betrayal he must have felt.
archanglrobriel 4th-Jul-2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
My Dad was in law enforcement and I've always remembered something he told me once (something that I'm sure he thought was just a throw away comment.)
He told me "To cops anything out of the ordinary is always going to equal bad. Always. You don't become a cop because you're a free thinker."

So far in my life I've seen that to be the truth, played out repeatedly. My Dad also failed to add "And a lot of bullies become cops" but I've seen that truth revealed repeatedly too. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in my experience with cops (and I've met lots and lots and lots of cops), more often than not they've been bullies who became cops expressly because there's no other profession where they can be as balls out with that as they can in the police force. They get off on the power trip that says, in every interaction, "do what I say or I'll bust your head, punk!"
I've heard them -admit- this and laugh about it with each other when they're shooting the shit off-duty.

Sadly enough, the story above? Doesn't surprise me all that much. You've got a tragic intersection of different=bad + respect my authori-tai! = Tazer, Pepper Spray, Punching the mentally challenged kid.

oaktree89 4th-Jul-2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
It's true, unfortunately. Your dad was absolutely right. I have been arrested twice, and because I was not fully aware of all my rights (and thus did not exercise them) I was taken advantage of. I was also mocked for being fat and having bad skin. These experiences have not led me to trust the police more, unsurprisingly.
tiddlywinks103 4th-Jul-2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
What is WRONG with cops?!?! Fucking QUIT IT!!!

I NEED them to win everything. I really do...
oaktree89 4th-Jul-2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
First I was horrified and shocked, then I was enraged, and now I wonder why I was surprised to begin with. This is some serious bullshit :/
normaltrouble 4th-Jul-2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Disgusted.

Both lead officers involved should have their pay garnished for at least a year. And be suspended and retrained as well.

The city should also pay a hefty sum.

normaltrouble 5th-Jul-2011 03:17 am (UTC)
The Oscar Grant case should have been handled differently, and was a severe injustice.
lafinjack 5th-Jul-2011 03:24 am (UTC)
Yet it's always how police abuses are handled. It's nothing new, and I don't see any change happening any time soon.
normaltrouble 5th-Jul-2011 03:19 am (UTC)
Yes, arrests should be made.

xerox78 5th-Jul-2011 04:51 am (UTC)
I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark and guess that Jesse Kersey is black (or brown).

crossfire 5th-Jul-2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
Came here to ask this myself.
romp 5th-Jul-2011 07:16 am (UTC)
There was talk of tasers being banned for use by the RCMP a few years ago but I no longer hear talk of it. And maybe it does save worse beatings, discounting those die.

I think part of the answer is unreasonable force = unemployment.
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