Ever since Justice Scalia declared that there was no more need for a rule against no-knock raids because there was a “new professionalism” among police, Radley Balko has been mocking that claim with example after example of corruption and incompetence by the police. Here’s a perfect one to add to the list. Jonathan Turley has the story:
Police in Galveston, Texas are being sued for allegedly arresting a 12-year-old Dymond Larae Milburn outside of her home as a prostitute in 2006. The girl did not realize that the plainclothes officers were police and fought back as she screamed for her father inside the house. She was reportedly beaten by the officers and ended up with sprained wrist, two black eyes, a bloody nose, and blood in an ear. Weeks later, the police arrested her for resisting arrest.
Sgt. Gilbert Gomez and Officers David Roark and Sean Stewart have insisted that their conduct was entirely appropriate.
The police were responding to a report of three white prostitutes working in the area, but some how ended up arrested and roughing up a 12-year-old black girl in front of her house.
The honor student was then arrested at her middle school on a charge of resisting arrest — but a mistrial prevented further prosecution.
Because it’s really easy to confuse a 12 year old black girl in her front yard for 3 adult white prostitutes on a street corner. And by the way, she was several blocks from where the prostitutes were allegedly at. Here’s the full complaint in the case.
Jesus’ General responds with his usual sarcasm:
Officers with lesser training might have missed the suspicious nature of her activities, but not your intrepid trio. They saw a pre-teen, standing in her front yard when white prostitutes were about. It could mean only one thing: she, too, must be a prostitute.
Upon seeing young Ms Milburn, their training kicked in. They jumped her, beat her, and arrested her for prostitution.
Of course, her family, not being as well trained as your officers, objected to her treatment. They pointed to her sprained wrist, two black eyes, bloody nose, and blood in an ear as evidence that your officers had gone too far. Even worse, they wondered aloud if standing in one’s front yard was indeed a criminal offence.
That posed a problem for your department. Although the prostitution charge was a matter of who a jury would believe–three cops or a black kid–the physical injuries were harder to explain. Summary beatings of suspected prostitutes is illegal (even in Texas).
You responded the only way you could–by dispatching officers to the young honor student’s middle school and arresting her again–this time for resisting arrest.
I’m sure you’re very proud of these officers. Given your departments response to the family’s complaints, you obvious believe the officers met your expectations in making this arrest in the way they did. But I have to wonder if your guidelines might need revision. I’m worried that your department might be getting a little soft. If this had happened in Florida, the officers would have tased her first to facilitate the beating.
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
This is a perfect example of Scalia’s new professionalism. An amateur would have been fooled by her clever disguise as a middle school honors student of an entirely different race far from the scene of the alleged crime. But not these professionals.