Justice Scalia’s Police Professionalism
The latest in police professionalism comes to us once again, via Radley Balko.
Here are some highlights from this incident,
- On February 4, 2006 Jessie Lee Williams, Jr. was arrested by the Gulfport Police Department and charged with misdemeanors. He was speaking loudly and protesting his innocence. Prior to his arrival at the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility, the Gulfport officer called in and informed the booking officers that we have a “live one” coming in. Ryan Teel stated, “it’s about time we got some action around here,” and he and Regina Rhodes put on their black leather gloves.
- Teel did finish his paperwork, and then he called Jessie to the counter. Teel took off the cuffs and told him to put his hands on the counter. He did. Teel then asked, “so what is this about you wanting some one on one?” Jessie said something which the witnesses couldn’t understand, but it appeared that he was backing down to Teel. Teel then said, put you shoes on the counter. Jessie bent down to get his shoe and Teel kicked him in the chest. Jessie went back some, but never raised up. Teel again ordered, “put your shoe on the counter.” Jessie reached for his shoe when Teel slapped him very hard in the head. Jessie charged Teel and took Teel down to the ground.
- Numerous booking officers grabbed Jessie and pulled him off of Teel. Jessie was standing up right when Teel took out his taser and shot Jessie in the back. Jessie went to the ground. Teel put the taser numerous times to Jessie’s back and backside, burning holes in his flesh. Numerous guards started kicking and hitting Jessie. Jessie was screaming, “alright, I give.” Teel dropped on Jessies’s neck and head with his knees, raised up, and then dropped on his head again — repeatedly. Regina Rhodes got on his legs and continued to punch and beat Jessie. Teel started to punch and hammer, and slammed Jessie in the head repeatedly with his fists. They hog-tied Jessie, hands to feet. Blood was pouring from Jessie’s mouth and Regina Rhodes stated, “that is crack-head spit” — so Teel put a sack on Jessie’s head. Regina Rhodes handed Teel a can of pepper spray. Teel sprayed the entire can into the sack. Jessie began thrashing and screaming that he gave up. Rhodes and Teel kicked Jessie more saying, “quit resisting.”
- Then, with one hand, Teel picked Jessie up, carried him like a suitcase, and dropped him to the floor, face first. He then picked him up again, and dropped him face first to the concrete floor again. The booking guards then rolled Jessie up into an elastic fabric (something like a straight jacket) and put him into the restraining chair. While in the chair, Teel choked and beat Jessie over a period of time. Eventually, when Jessie was unable to raise his head, he poured water on his face and said, “oops, don’t drown.”
- On the evening of February 4, 2006, there were several other unknown persons present in the booking room. Among them were parol officers assigned to the Harrison County Sheriff Department, one Long Beach Police Department Officer and a Pass Christian Police Officer. Medical personnel assigned to the Harrison County Sheriff Department was also present. Reports say that there were two nurses employed by Health Assurance LLP, a private company that contracts with Harrison County to provide medical services to persons detained at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. Neither the unknown police officers nor the nurses present sufficiently intervened and stopped the abuse nor did any one provide Jessie with medical assistance when the same was immediately necessary.
Read the whole thing. Oh, and don’t get arrested in Gulfport/Harrison County Mississippi as the police seem to have a tendency to beat the people they arrest.