Four plainclothes Galveston police officers beat a 12-year-old girl in the head in her own yard, beat her with a flashlight, accused her of being a prostitute and threatened to shoot her puppy, while responding to a call about white prostitutes, the girl's parents claim in Federal Court. The girl, an honor student, who was dressed in gym shorts and a T-shirt when the cops beat her, is black.
The girl's mom sent her outside to flip the switch on the breaker box because the house had lost power. She was doing that when four plainclothes cops emerged from an unmarked car and ran toward the girl. One cop said, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me," the complaint states.
The defendant officers are Justin Popovich, Sean Stewart, David Roark and Sgt. Gilbert Gomez.
The terrified girl grabbed onto a tree and shouted, "Daddy, Daddy!" The parents ran outside and saw their daughter "hysterical and holding on to the tree with one arm; two officers were striking (the girl's) head, face and throat," the complaint states. "The officer who was holding Plaintiff covered her mouth. The officer was ultimately identified as David Roark."
Now, assuming that all of this is true, and I don't doubt it as this type of garbage occurs regularly but gets little to no national media coverage, someone should lose their liberty – for decades. Guess what would happen if the child's father had beaten a cop's daughter and attempted to shove her in a van? He would already be in the morgue. No trial. No jury. No investigation.
Such behaviour by the jack-booted thugs who serve on police departments in this country is not uncommon. That said, it never ceases to disgust me. Further, rather than being real men and admitting they were wrong for hurting this poor child, these ridiculous shitbirds are attemtping to ruin this girl's life along with her father's life:
Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.
They are actually charging this girl with assaulting these big, brave men who beat her in her yard for no reason. Let me say that again: THE COPS WHO BEAT THIS CHILD BLACK AND BLUE ARE CHARGING HER WITH ASSAULT FOR HAVING THE AUDACITY TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST ABDUCTION BY MEN IN PLAINCLOTHES TRYING TO SHOVE HER IN AN UN-MARKED VAN.
Really. Really. REALLY.
As a civil libertarian, as a father, as a man, I cannot adequately express my disgust for Justin Popovich, Sean Stewart, David Roark and Gilbert Gomez. Let's add William Helfand, the dickless wonder who is representing them to the pile. Do I begrudge them the right to counsel? No. However, Helfand goes further than simple representation by endorsing the idea of punishing the girl and her father for defending themselves against four plain-clothes men in an unmarked van attempting to force the girl (after beating her black and blue and telling her she is a prostitute) into their van for the crime of being in her own yard in a pair of shorts. What would you do? I would hope you would defend your child and not make excuses for these "men" simply because they have been granted authority they clearly haven't earned.
These five individuals (lawyer included) may be males, but they are not men, and the four officers involved need to spend a nice long period of time in prison thinking about the difference. Helfand is just plain lacking in humanity for his role in cheerleading the prosecution of an assault victim who now suffers from what appears to be PTSD related to the violent assault and near abduction at the hands of his big, brave clients.
Mr. Helfand, how do you support imprisoning a girl for defending herself from what most people would reasonably assume was an attempt to kidnap and rape her? They were in plainclothes. The van was unmarked. Several men grabbed her from out of nowhere and started beating her. They told her she is a prostitute and then forcibly attempted to shove her in the van.
It has been a long time since I've been this disgusted.
The Richmond Democrat now has a post up as well: http://richmonddemocrat.blogspot.com/2008/12/something-we-should-all-condemn.html
Renee at Womanist Musings has blogged about it too: http://www.womanist-musings.com/2008/12/if-you-black-girl-you-must-be.html