Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Rough treatment for another black criminal

POLICE brutality against black Americans has been highlighted — yet again — by a video showing a cop breaking a car windshield with a handcuffed man’s face.

While the incident happened in 2014, the video has gone viral now after the handcuffed man, 32-year-old Pele Smith, filed a civil case seeking damages.

He was treated for facial injuries at a nearby medical centre after the incident, which took place in Ohio.

With relations between the police and African-American communities at a flashpoint around the US, the police chief of Lorain County, Cel Rivera, released a statement urging viewers not to judge in haste. “I would caution observers to not rush to judgment relative to the actions of the police on scene,” he said.

“Although it is not easy to watch, police officers explain all of their actions in their police reports.”

In the same statement Chief Rivera referred to Smith as a “violent drug trafficker” but a report from local news station WKYC stated that the Lorain County Clerk of Courts website showed no records of violent crimes in Smith’s history, although he did have prior convictions for drug offences and firearm possession.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s sad. It’s frightening that an individual while in handcuffs has something like that happen to them,” Smith’s lawyer Mark Petroff told WKYC.

So far this year, US police have shot dead close to 700 people, with the unnecessary deaths of black men in particular stirring protests and unrest in cities across the country.

Original report here

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