Last Friday night, a gentleman died while in police custody here in Rochester.
Evidently, the man, Mark Lee, was suffering from “a pre-existing medical condition” that wasn’t immediately disclosed, but later reported to be a seizure stemming from an inoperable brain tumor. He was flailing about when officers were flagged down on the street to come to the convenience store where Lee was having his seizure. Not knowing what this was at the time, the officers did their best to restrain the man, to prevent injury to himself or to others.
Placed into protective custody, he was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Two hours later, Lee was dead.
Lee’s family insists there was excessive force used on him while in custody, including the use of a Taser by the officers who first responded to the scene. There’s evidence to refute that claim, says an RPD sergeant:
“When you have Taser deployment … the cartridges leave a confetti-like paper behind,” [Sgt. Carlos] Garcia said. “There was no evidence of any of that at the scene, not from our officers’ accounts, not from the fire department personnel that was there, nor from the eyewitness accounts of the employees at the store.” Also, he said, police Tasers are bright yellow â€” “not something that can be easily concealed.”
Additional reports stated that the two officers on scene were not trained on the use of Tasers, and, as such, would not have been equipped with them. All department-owned Tasers contain computer chips that record the time and date of each discharge.
The police department is conducting an investigation to determine whether there was any wrongdoing, but it doesn’t really matter.
The family is already convinced that their son was tasered and roughed up, and want “justice.” Whatever happens as a result of the police investigations will result in detriment to the officers, whether they deserve it or not.
If it is determined they used undue force, they will be disciplined in some form or another.
If it’s decided everything was by-the-book, the instant response will be, “Oh, that can’t be. It’s all a cover-up. The department is protecting them,” and the image and good name of these officers is sullied.
Now, as another day has gone by, the family’s lawyer is tossing out another idea: Well, if it wasn’t a department-owned Taser, must be it was an unauthorized one. This despite the fact that it would be very difficult to hide such a weapon from other officers and superiors, as they are quite large.
Seriously, this is just silly, and it’s unfair to the officers who did their best to help someone. Quit belly-aching and crying and complaining for the press and let the investigators finish their work.
As someone in the article states, Gabriel will have to move over to second trumpet, ’cause someone needs the seat at first: Jazz great Maynard Ferguson has died at age 78.
I had the chance to meet this guy a couple of times while I was in high school, at his shows. I’ll never forget his description of himself and the rest of the trumpeters in his band, Big Bop Nouveau, rather large men all, as “the Jenny Craig Quartet.”
(…and not long after I post about linking to him, I link to a Lonsberry column. )
LCpl Adam Galvez’s mom, Amy, had something to say about her city’s mayor’s very public stance on the Iraq war, so she emailed a letter-to-the-editor to her local newspaper. Moments after clicking the submit button, she was a victim of some horrible, horrible timing.
Aug 21, 2006 Cool Links
Sometimes he’s funny.
Sometimes he’s serious.
Sometimes he drives you nuts.
But, whether he’s hosting his radio show, or writing his column, Bob Lonsberry is always entertaining. So, while it’s unlikely he’ll pay much attention to li’l ol’ me, I’m linking to his web site in my links over to the right. In fact, a few links have been added, edited, and removed. (And no, it’s not your imagination — the links do shuffle around when you reload the page.) Go have a look.
If the whole plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners thwarted last week wasn’t messed up enough, this will truly disgust you: word is coming out that one couple that was arrested was going to bring their six-month-old son on the flight, and smuggle explosives in his bottle.