Earlier this month a federal court jury decided that two St. Louis police officers must pay $600,000 in connection with an arrest they made in 2013 that involved the use of excessive force. A lawsuit was filed in 2014 by Calvin Fletcher who alleged the two St. Louis officers were part of a group of four involved in the incident. Calvin believes he was targeted because he was black and that the entire incident was a false arrest. He also says he was repeatedly shocked and tasered which resulted in broken bones and a damaged kidney. Calvin also alleged that video cameras in police cruisers were turned off on purpose so the incident would not be recorded. There is no mention if Fletcher needed or had to post bail.
According to an article in stltoday.com
“The officers named in the suit were Joseph Tomlinson, Joseph Carroll, Nicholas Martorano and John Moton. Fletcher won a verdict against Martorano and Moton for $600,000, which included $200,000 in actual damages and $400,000 in punitive damages. No damages were awarded in the case against Carroll or Tomlinson.
All but Moton are white. Tomlinson left the force not long after the incident and moved out of town. He could not be reached for comment. The others remain with the department.
Martorano testified that he used a Taser, and Moton testified he struck Fletcher in the leg.
The lawsuit initially named Corizon, a company that provides health care in the St. Louis Justice Center, and the city of St. Louis as defendants. Fletcher’s lawyer, Phillip Tatlow, said he dropped the case against Corizon and signed a confidentiality agreement about the terms.
He said he separately stopped pursuing a case against the city of St. Louis because he could not prove a pattern of police abuse.”
It is circumstances like this that have many people calling for the abolition of law enforcement. While that it probably not the smartest idea, and not very likely to happen, there are still those that are outspoken critics of the police. One of those people seems to be Jessica Disu. In an article published in the Chicago reader, Disu recently appeared on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly show to talk about the recent killings of several black men and police officers.
According to the article Disu said “I was under the impression that it would be a robust and productive conversation, even though it was Fox News,” says 27-year-old Disu, who identifies herself as a “humanitarian rap artist and peace activist” and is involved with various organizations serving youth on the south side. She prepared her message before going on the show: “It should be against the law for an officer to shoot a civilian,” she says. “That was what my message was supposed to be.”
The story goes on to report “the discussion quickly turned raucous, with panelists shouting over each other as Kelly called on participants to answer polemical questions in quick succession. Disu sat quietly, occasionally rolling her eyes, scoffing, laughing, or nodding in agreement. “A lot of my buttons were triggered and pressed,” she recalls. “This felt so comical to me—it felt like a minstrel show.”
But then people began accusing Black Lives Matter activists of calling for the death of cops, and Disu couldn’t hold her tongue
“This is the reason our young people are hopeless in America,” she began, as other panelists bickered around her. She explained that her activism in Chicago focuses on intracommunity violence. “Here’s a solution,” Disu said firmly. “We need to abolish the police.” Read more at chicagoreader.com
Whether you are pro law enforcement or anti-law enforcement there is no doubt that law enforcement practices are under fire, and are a hotly debated political topic. I believe the vast majority of law enforcement officers are good people with their heart in the right place. As such, I’d like to end this post with a tribute to the Dallas police officers who recently lost their lives in the line of duty. The video above is a great tribute.
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