Conviction, Guilty Plea In Police Brutality Cases; More Charges in New York With
Conviction, Guilty Plea In Police Brutality Cases; More Charges in New York With PM-Bush-Police Brutality, Bjt
Undated (AP) _ A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was convicted in the death of a drug suspect, three New York police officers were charged with assault and a Florida cop who sang while he beat teen-agers with a nightstick pleaded guilty to battery.
And two District of Columbia officers have been indicted on charges of beating three men.
The charges Thursday in New York came a day after five other New York police officers were indicted on murder charges in a separate case, the Feb. 5 choking death of a suspected car thief.
Meanwhile, a Louisiana NAACP leader urged blacks to buy video cameras to ″document the annihilation of blacks by police.″
The U.S. Justice Department began investigating police tactics nationwide after Rodney King, 25, was beaten March 3 by Los Angeles police who did not realize they were being videotaped by a bystander.
Four officers were charged with assault and pressure is mounting on Police Chief Daryl F. Gates to resign. In Washington, President Bush said Thursday the videotaped beating sickened him, but declined to call for the ouster of Gates, a longtime political supporter.
″Thank God for that young man who had the video camera,″ said G. Washington Eames, president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. ″This is a joyride for police, to isolate people and beat up on them.″
Blacks’ best defense is to arm themselves with video cameras, he said.
In Memphis, Tenn., Thursday, sheriff’s Deputy Sherman Boyland, 32, was convicted of violating the civil rights of Michael Gates, 28, who died during a streetside drug bust in June 1989.
Boyland was charged with inflicting the fatal blow, but the federal jury failed to reach a verdict and U.S. District Judge Robert McRae declared a mistrial on that count. Boyland was also convicted of violating the civil rights of two other suspects.
A medical examiner said Gates died of throat injuries and suffered numerous shoe-shaped bruises. Witnesses testified that Boyland held Gates by the throat, pushing his head back to punch his face.
Boyland also was convicted of beating a suspect who was handcuffed and of striking a third man, who was on his knees. Boyland faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Defense attorney Glen Sisson tried to stop the trial because of publicity surrounding the Los Angeles case. He said he would seek a new trial.
In New York Thursday, three police officers were indicted on charges of beating, pistol-whipping and kicking three Albanian immigrants in December.
Officers Daniel McCormick, 30, Brian Carter, 23, and John Talt, 31, pleaded innocent to assault charges and official misconduct. All were suspended without pay.
The Dec. 22 attack began when McCormick, who was off-duty and had been drinking at a bar, yanked open the door to a stopped taxi carrying the three men, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.
McCormick yelled anti-gay slurs, grabbed one man and started beating and kicking him, Morgenthau said.
He was joined by Talt and Carter, who were also off-duty. Carter and Talt pistol-whipped two of the men for several minutes while McCormick kicked and punched all three, who were laying face-down on the ground, Morgenthau said.
The most seriously injured required more than 40 stitches to close wounds to his head and face.
″This is not an instance where police acting in the line of duty exceeded the permissible use of physical force,″ Morgenthau said. ″This was just inexcusable violence.″
In Sunrise, Fla., Chester Noland, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 10 counts of battery stemming from the complaints of 14 youths, ages 12 to 14, who said he lined them up against a wall and hit them between the legs with a nightstick in October.
Some said the officer, who resigned last month, sang his own version of the theme song to the old television series ″The Brady Bunch″ as he beat them, beginning with the line, ″There’s a story, of a man named Brady, who has 14 juveniles of his own. ″
Noland, who was sentenced to a year’s probation, told the judge he ″brought no harm to those children.″
The youths told police Noland harassed and humiliated them after a merchant complained that a group of skateboarders was cursing and making noise. Some said Noland made lewd remarks and threatened to shoot them.
″He went down the line and hit us in the privates, and my legs were spread real far apart,″ said Joshua Lebel, 14.
In Washington, officers Brian Paige and Calvin Jones were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and obstruction of justice, U.S. Attorney Jay B. Stephens said Thursday.
Stephens said the decision to seek indictments in the 1989 attacks was made in late January or early February, weeks before the Los Angeles attack. The indictment was handed up on March 14, but it was not announced until Thursday.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Jamaal Wilkes filed a $250,000 claim against the city Wednesday, claiming he was handcuffed and questioned by police because he is black.
Wilkes’ attorney, Leo Branton, said a lawsuit would be filed against the Police Department if the claim was rejected. A police spokesman declined to comment Thursday.
Wilkes, a 6-foot-9 forward who played college basketball at UCLA, said he was handcuffed and questioned after his car was stopped December 10 because his vehicle registration tag was about to expire. He was not cited.