Monday, August 15, 2011

A Tale of Two (Wanton) Cities

In my last post bagging on the law enforcement agenices of Prince George's County, I showed their riot police beating with sticks a young man who had the temerity to dance in front of a police horse. I'll repeat that video below. (My apology if you are subjected to a 15 second commerical.)

The sheer wantoness of the police assault reminded me of one I had seen earlier, from New York City. In the NYC video, a cop went well out of his way to assault a bike rider.

Besides the similarity in wantoness, the parallel in both cases is that the those who were assaulted were charged with assault. In both cases, had it not been for the videos taken by private citizens, the victims of assault would have almost certainly been wrongfully convicted. Who would take the word of a defendant over the word of a whole bunch of police officers telling the same story. The police would have no motive to lie. Right?  And the defendant would. Right?

I'll present the NYC story in two videos. The first shows the assault most clearly. The second shows it less clearly from a different angle, but the second overlays the testimony, under oath, of the assualting officer. Watch them both for full effect, and be amazed.

And be terribly disappointed.

Perhaps as jurors we should consider granting defendants the presumption of innocence.

It's just a suggestion.