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Three NH Police Officers ‘On Leave’ for Brutality

Shocking (but not surprising; those aren’t the same thing) video of a four year old assault on a young man in custody by three Seabrook, New Hampshire police officers has resulted in the officers being placed on leave pending an investigation. The man was arrested for drunk driving and the officers slammed his head into a wall and pepper sprayed him while smiling and laughing. Here’s the video:

The local CBS affiliate reports:

Disturbing video has emerged on YouTube showing a police officer throwing a teenager against a wall at the Seabrook Police Department following an arrest.

“The chief and I were both made aware of it when it was put onto YouTube yesterday,” said Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi III. “And the chief tells me he had no knowledge of the existence of the tape.”

But the victim in this case says in the text that accompanies the video that “there was no lawsuit made due to the fact I found a lawyer and the lawyer took the tapes and disappeared for 2 years.” Which means his lawyer had to make a request to the department to get the video and inform them that there was a potential lawsuit on the way. And that means the department has known about this for at least two years. So why did it take this tape going public for them to do an investigation? I think the answer is obvious. The police protect their own, always and in every case, until it becomes impossible for them to do so. Brutality is accepted and excused.

These officers shouldn’t just be fired, they should be charged with assault (at least the one who actually slams him into the wall). It would be assault if there were no badges on their chest and it’s still assault with them.

Comments

  1. zenlike says

    It would be assault if there were no badges on their chest and it’s still assault with them.

    No you don’t understand, Ed, spitting on a cop = assault. A cop beating someone to dead = doing his job.

    These people are indeed ‘thugs with badges’, no better than the criminals they are supposed to be protecting us against.

    They are also often looking directly into the camera. These fuckers knew that there was a camera there, but this didn’t deter them, because they knew they would be protected by there ‘brothers’, the supposed ‘good cops’.

    I agree with the assault charges for these cops, but it doesn’t go far enough; every colleague of these bastards who knew about this and didn’t report this to the top of the food-chain and internal affairs should be fired and charged with obstruction of justice as well.

  2. says

    “And the chief tells me he had no knowledge of the existence of the tape.”

    Translates to: sure, I know it happened, but I didn’t realize some evidence had survived.

  3. Ichthyic says

    “And the chief tells me he had no knowledge of the existence of the tape.”

    but… it’s an IN HOUSE video!

    it’s like like some random bystander shot the footage and then absconded…

  4. haitied says

    I don’t care if only one of those assholes smashed him face first into the wall, The other two just stood there giggling. Real fuckin funny. I think of shit like this every time I hear a police officer ask someone why they are nervous around them. Gee I wonder why. .

  5. says

    I’ve lived in Seabrook, Hampton, Portsmouth, Derry, South Hampton, Newton, East Kingston, Salem and a couple of other towns in NH off and on from 1973 to 2006. Lots of nasty cops in places like Seabrook, partly because they got a shitton of money from Seabrook Nuclear Station back when it was being built (and prolly still get a largish chunk from DHS these days (as do, I suspect Hampton and Hampton Falls PD) for reasons of “national security” and partly because towns like Seabrook and Hampton were fiefdoms for years and Seabrook likely still is. A few families, Eatons, Yates, Fowlers and Browns pretty much ran things for a century or better and the PD served to keep the townies in line during tourist season and was always a good source of revenue.

    Most cops I know are pretty decent people but I’m sure that they can pop a cork just like anyone else. The PD cameras are a really good idea but not if nobody’s watching the footage and dealing with incidents like this one.

    The young man’s story sounds a bit dodgy, two years of not hearing from his lawyer and he doesn’t do anything about it? That’s a bit hard to believe.

  6. says

    Notice how the cop in the glasses, who fired the pepper spray, keeps looking directly into the camera and smiling. Something tells me he’s done this before.

  7. Ichthyic says

    two years of not hearing from his lawyer and he doesn’t do anything about it?

    there’s nothing there that says he did nothing. What is obvious is that nothing he did was effective.

    could be he called his lawyer every day for months, trying to figure out what happened and why he wasn’t being helped.

    could be he tried to contact other lawyers, and without the tape, they all turned him down.

    we just don’t know.

    what we do know is that his head was slammed against the wall with zero provocation for it.

    the rest is speculation.

  8. says

    ‘there’s nothing there that says he did nothing. What is obvious is that nothing he did was effective.”

    This item was not in the news until now. I know the area, I know a fair number of lawyers who work there. The NH State Police and the Rockingham County Prosecutor have not, as yet, weighed in on this.

    I don’t doubt that the young man was brutally mistreated. I said:

    “The young man’s story sounds a bit dodgy, two years of not hearing from his lawyer and he doesn’t do anything about it? That’s a bit hard to believe.”

    I stand by what I said. Let me know when you have better information.

    You’re right about one thing, we just don’t KNOW. You, however, feel compelled to make unsubstantiated comments about what I said.

    Re-read what I said, maybe more slowly and please let me know where I said he was lying about what happened in the police station or what had happened with the tape.

    Actually, don’t bother, it’s fairly clear that you, from whatever distance you’re looking at this, have a much clearer picture of the situation on the ground than I do. I’ll defer to your sooper jeenus detection skilz, NOT.

  9. caseloweraz says

    As I’m reading this, I’m hearing on NPR that “two Fullerton police officers are acquitted in the beating death of an unarmed mentally ill man.”

  10. freehand says

    Democommie, you said: “The young man’s story sounds a bit dodgy, two years of not hearing from his lawyer and he doesn’t do anything about it? That’s a bit hard to believe.”

    So do you suspect he did something and it wasn’t effective, as icthyic suggested?
    Do you suspect he did something effective, and the news is failing to report it?
    He actually did nothing, but you find that “hard to believe” e.g. “shaking head sadly”?

    Or am I missing a logical alternative here?

  11. says

    freehand:

    I suspect that there is more to the story than we are hearing and that the young man who is now pressing the case is not being scrupulously honest about his situation vis-à-vis the lawyer. IF he had a lawyer who disappeared for 2 years, with the only piece of hard evidence he had, why would he NOT have done something in the intervening period?

    There is something going on there, that is other than the account that we’ve been privileged to read here or watch on the news video. What that is, I have no idea, but there’s “there” there.

    From the video, I would say the young man got his bell rung pretty hard and should have been taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. There is no mention of that having occurred, by either the young man, or the authorities. Something is not right with the account.

    That particular police dept. has been notably corrupt in the past.

    If I find out who he used for a lawyer I’ll talk to a few people I know and see what they can tell me. Most jurisdictions that I’ve lived in have bar overseers that tend to get exercised when something of the nature that the young man claims happened actually did happen.

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