Alex Blaze

Is it just me, or is the police brutality getting worse every day?

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 09, 2008 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Chicago, New York, police, police brutality

These two stories are on 365gay's front page right now:

The accused officers approached Michael Mineo on Oct. 15 outside a subway station because they believed he was smoking marijuana, police said.

When he fled into the station, they and two other uniformed officers wrestled him to the ground face down and handcuffed him.

Mineo, 24, a body piercer at a tattoo parlor, claims that during the struggle his pants were pulled down and one of the officers sodomized him as he screamed out in pain. He has said he believed he was violated with the antenna of a hand-held radio, and that the assailant was Cruz.

But a transit officer called as a grand jury witness early last month testified that he saw Kern wield a baton and put it near Mineo's buttocks, according the law enforcement official. The transit officer was among the four who helped subdue Mineo, but has not been charged.

After Mineo was given a ticket for disorderly conduct and released, he was hospitalized for several days. Hospital discharge papers reviewed by The Associated Press show that upon arrival, he was diagnosed with "anal assault."

I'm sure it was just doctors who made that diagnosis. The police department is denying everything, so that means that the officers will probably get off the hook. If they don't, they'll get a slap on the wrist, or maybe (worst case for them) lose their jobs. They won't do serious time for this.

And if the police department has to pay out big to the victim, well, it's just the tax payers who'll foot that bill.

In Chicago:

The lawsuit claims Ruppert was removed by the two officers from the Uptown Lounge following a disturbance and placed in a squad car.

He was not initially charged with any offense and was not handcuffed, court papers say.

The suit says that Ruppert then was driven to deserted area behind a theater where he was beaten while the officers called him a "faggot" and other derogatory remarks.

The cops allegedly stopped the beating when Ruppert told them he had AIDS.

Ruppert was then taken to an area hospital where he received 16 stitches for injuries to his face and head.

The lawsuit says that following the hospital visit, he was taken to the Foster Avenue police station and held for 48 hours without food or water. The court papers say that Ruppert was forced to drink from a toilet.

He was charged with resisting arrest and aggravated battery against a police officer, and held for a week in the Cook County Jail, until he could make a $50,000 bond.

The felony charges were dropped after Ruppert agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

Well, good for him. He got off easy, considering how he must have hurt those kind officers' hands with his face.

I'll post if the mayors of either of these towns come out with a statement, but I doubt they will.


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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 9, 2008 7:20 PM

Alex, I think police brutality has always been a problem for minorities and those on society's fringes. What changes, is society's attitudes towards the brutality. There was a time when the charges of these two men would have been ignored or not believed. Thankfully, we've evolved beyond that.

On the other hand, society's attitude toward police brutality against political demonstrators seems to be much more apathetic nowadays than in the 1960's. I'm not saying that the brutality has worsened, but that most Americans don't seem to want to know about it or think that it's justified.

I agree with Brynn, it is what it always was, society is just less tolerant.

What makes me sit back and ponder is the reason for the assault in the first place. Okay, we can say something of this nature is all about power and humiliation -- but to do it with witnesses, to not expect it to be reported? It is true that men don't report sexual assualts as much as women do, but I still can't get my head around it.

This officer's career is over. And why? Because Mineo didn't yield to his authority quickly enough? Did the fact that he was slim and attractive have anything to do with it?

I'm just saying. Because I think back to when I was a kid and wrestling a friend to the groung sometimes (one as cute as Mineo) would've ended in a similar pants down situation. But how does a horny kid compare to an adult figure of authority and law enforcement? It still boggles my mind that leapt from capture and handcuff ... to "Hmmm, maybe I'll pull down his pants and shove something up cute little his a$$."

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 10, 2008 7:08 PM

Yeah, Taylor, I wondered that, too.

I think people in positions of authority with power over others become accustomed to getting away with abuses. Maybe they start small, or they watch others get away with things, and they begin to believe they can do it, too.

I'll bet the officer, if he thought about it at all before acting, assumed that witnesses wouldn't come forward and that his fellow officers would support his version of events.

And you know, in most cases he probably would have been right. How many times do such abuses occur and are not prosecuted?

The officers told Mineo not to go to the hospital or they would charge him with a worse crime.

I have trouble believing this stuff... not because I doubt the victims statements or the media's reporting, but because I just don't want to believe our police here in the states would do something like this.

In these sort of cases I prefer to wait and hear both sides of the story before passing judgement, though it doesn't look too good from just what I have read.

I have known too many police to not have a certain amount of skceptism when it comes to altercations. Most people will tend to make some very self-serving statements after the fact, and leave out possible provocative remarks or actions that may have caused the cops to act or over-react as the case may be.

Like it or not, police do have 'power' over others, as well as the authority to use force if they feel threatened. It is good to remember that when dealing with them in any situation. I liken it to handling rattlesnakes, the minute you disrespect them, you stand a good chance of getting bit.

I am not saying if it is right or wrong, or what happened was the cops or victim's fault, just saying that we all should be mindful of the need to be respectful to each other no matter what the circumstances.