posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 04:45 PM
It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the news story. But, overall, I tend to favor Mr. Nins side on this one.
The question whether there was a video system in the police cruiser is an excellent point. I wonder whether the St. Paul PD's cruisers are equipped
for video, what its policy is regarding when officers are to use the video cameras, and whether officer Lee had the video running and, if not, why
not? If the policy is that officers are to turn video on for all stops and Lee claims there is no video of this particular incident, then in my view
there is nothing Officer Lee can be heard to say in his defense. He violated policy and procedure, acted improperly, and maybe should be prosecuted
for assaulting Mr. Nins.
Yet, apparently because of bias, the PD and prosecutors say they are considering filing charges against Mr. Nins rather than Officer Lee.
Placing an 85 years old man in a police cruiser for expired license tags? That's a traffic infraction in my state. It calls for a citation and off
Nins says that Lee pepper-sprayed him in the face, beat him on the arms and leg, and slammed the car door on his legs. Officer Lee doesn't deny
these charges but claims his actions were justified.
Nins was held in jail for two days and wasn't able to get medical treatment until he went to the hospital after he was released. Way to go
Minneapolis! Hold him in jail while the bruising and evidence of mistreatment dissipates.
St. Paul police Chief John Harrington said "I do not believe (Lee) was acting with excessive force and I don't have any intention of suspending him
or moving him to any administrative assignment at this time."
That's good judgment, Chief Harrington, just like that of Officer Lee. Gotta arrest, pepper spray, and beat those old black folks when they commit a
non-arrestable non-moving traffic infraction. That'll show 'em whose boss! Yessiree bob, er, John!
The article says that in 2001 officer Lee mistakenly shot and killed a black man who was the victim of a carjacking. Lee thought the victim was the
carjacker. Oh well. It was just a mistake. So that was OK. Protect and serve, by God! Collateral damage happens. No foul, no harm?
Shooting the victim of a crime to death "by mistake" shows poor judgment on its face. Why is Officer Lee still on the streets carrying lethal
weapons, pepper spray, driving a police cruiser, and possessed with the authority of a law enforcement officer. A "mistake" like that should have
some serious repercussions even if there is not a basis for criminally prosecuting the officer. That "mistake" ought to disqualify Officer Lee from
continuing to act in that role.
Chief Harrington's attitude makes it sound like a systemic problem.
[edit on 8-1-2005 by dubiousone]