Thugs in Uniform Kill Down’s Syndrome Kid

…over 11 bucks.

There’s a certain sort of specimen that gravitates to this work because it’s a power trip. Examples of this stuff can be multiplied, from goons stepping on the oxygen hoses of bedridden old women and then tasering them, to brutes murdering a sick Marine vet in his own home to neanderthals tasing 10 and 7 year old kids. And there’s more were that came from, particularly as the police state grows in power. Police states *like* this kind of person. Good for treating the citizenry, not as citizens of a free country, but as cattle to be herded. Meanwhile, may the brutes who murdered this boy soon find themselves behind bars and may his family soak their employers and this theatre for millions.

  • Jeremy Dobbs

    Can I hear an A-men. It’s times like these that I don’t mind lawsuits so much

  • Shannon

    This infuriates me so much. I have an intensely autistic teen and I can already see how his behavior is grossly misinterpreted by others when he’s stressed and anxious. I really struggle with how to teach him how to deal with police because he needs to simultaneously know to call on them if he’s in danger and be wary of them. This is just so disturbing.

  • http://thomascharle.blogspot.com/ Thomas

    Really? Obviously each one of these is horrible, and if found guilty, the officers should be punished. But do they point to any trend or any distinctive unique to their vocation any more than the abuse scandal points to any trends or characteristics unique to the Catholic hierarchy? That latter case has certainly been made by anti-Catholic pundits. I’ve rejected it. But it’s difficult to do so when Catholics then use the same ‘take some unthinkable and singular events being investigated and potentially punished’ and judge not only the broad vocation of law enforcement, but the American Government as well. Because this:

    “There’s a certain sort of specimen that gravitates to this work because it’s a power trip.”

    has been said about the Catholic hierarchy from time immemorial.

    • Mark Shea

      Where did I say “judge the broad vocation of law enforcement and the American Government as well”?

    • Stu

      Same is true in the military. You only really hear about the “whack jobs” because they are out of the norm and that is interesting. But usually, the more “high-strung” individuals, at least in my experience, are generally downplayed and marginalized in terms of responsibility. That being said, there does seem to be a trend in law enforcement in this country towards the “hard” methods over more low-key approaches. I think we could use a whole lot more “Andy Taylors” on duty.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Good grief. This is why the Church prays for those who possess public authority.

    “Meanwhile, all three deputies remain on regular duty.” I hope this is quickly changed.

  • Oscar T

    99 percent of cops make the other 1 percent look bad.

    • “joe”

      excellently put, oscar.

  • Stu

    Doesn’t change the overall a point as it does look like the police were wrong.

    But small point: Is a 26 year old a “kid?”

    • Mark Shea

      Down’s Syndrome. Mentally, a kid.

      • Stu

        Understand.
        But the body and strength of a grown man. That does make a difference in the story and I am sure it will be part of the defense.
        Based upon the headline, I was expecting an actual child.

        I don’t think your overall point is lost in simply saying Down Syndrome man. And it’s accurate. It’s a “win/win.”

  • Bryan

    The linked story is pretty short on details. He died of became medically distressed as they were escorting him in handcuffs? How? Was the “kid” kicking and fighting and the officers struggling to control him?

    I’m not saying there wasn’t something wrong done here and certainly if they are calling it a homicide, the prosecutor seems to have some details I’m missing. But I’m not ready to declare them guilty just yet.

    That said, what do you do with a person who abjectly refuses to cooperate like this? Should the officers told the movie theater manager to ignore him? Paid the $11 for the guy and persuaded him to leave after the next show? Kept talking to him until the next show started or delayed it until they could convince him to come willingly?

    • Mark Shea

      Oh, I don’t know. Call his parents? Something besides murder him?

      • Bryan

        That’s rather snarky for such scant details.

        Whether they actually murdered him or not is what is still in question. Based on that story, all we know is that in the process of restraining him or trying to escort him from the theater, he became “medically distressed.” What does that mean? There’s asphyxia due to someone pressing on your windpipe and there’s asphyxia due to some physiological reaction within the person themselves. That’s all I was asking.

        As I said, based on it being called a homicide right now, it looks like they were doing something more than the normal amount of force needed to get him to comply. But we have very few objective details about what happened and have heard nothing from their side at all. I just think it would be prudent to actually hear those kinds of things before jumping to terms like “thugs” and “murder.” It may come to our knowledge that such terms are completely appropriate once we know more, but until then…

        • j. blum

          Because peace and quiet at a cinema and eleven bucks are worth a human life. Was the situation so bad that the police had to haul him away and subdue him? Is it a crime lese-majeste if a single barked command goes unobeyed?

    • Stu

      Bryan,

      From other reports, they apparently cuffed the man and put him on the ground “face first.” At this point he was unable to breathe. I would suspect that some of this was brought on from the fact that as a Down Syndrome individual, the entire drama caused him great stress and panic.

      I find it hard to believe that the deputies, one of which is a Lieutenant, were not able to realize that dealing with a disabled person takes a much different tact. In this case you have the strength of a grown man with the mind of a child. Normal methods and attempts to rationalize with him are probably not going to be effective, especially for a stranger to attempt. This required a “soft” approach and something simply, like Mark suggested, along the lines of calling his parents.

      • Bryan

        This probably makes sense. Of course, you’d have to get some cooperation from him to find out who his parents are, what his name and address are and so on.

        I’m just wondering if there is any point at which forcibly removing him becomes reasonable and whether some of the force used is in proportion to the amount of fighting back he’s doing.

        If they put him face down where he couldn’t breathe, that’s too much obviously, but that wasn’t clear in the linked version from Mark’s story.

        • Stu

          Yes, the linked story was a bit sketchy on details. I did some more digging.

          I think with an individual like this, escalating in force is just not smart for all involved. I’m confident the right approach would get him out of the theater. I wouldn’t even be above having a pretty girl go and ask him to come out.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

        Down Syndrome people also tend to have weaker, narrower airways, which can more easily cause respiratory distress.

        • Stu

          Especially in a situation of distress. I would imagine the police attempting to physically remove him from the theater caused him great panic and corresponding cardiovascular response.

          I can see situations where you would put a “Mark 1, Mod O” criminal face down on the deck after an apprehension, but I can’t see doing that to a man with Down Syndrome without even considering the airway challenges.

    • Kay Cee

      I have to agree with Bryan. I’m dismayed at declaring persons guilty–including by labeling them “thugs”–without hearing the other side of the story. Are these folk guilty until proven innocent? I thought in this country we had the nutty concept of innocent until proven guilty.

      This reminds me of an incident that took place a few months ago on the college campus near my home. A man died in custody after an altercation with campus police. The police were roundly condemned by everyone, including the press, until it came to light that the man was incredibly strong, on drugs, and, although handcuffed, had one officer down on the ground and was kicking him as hard as he could in the stomach. After several unsuccessful attempts to restrain the man, one of the officers shot him. Was it a homicide? Of course, but it was done in defense of a person in danger of death.

      Let’s get all the facts before we judge. After all, Jesus had some harsh words about judging.

  • Shannon

    How about let him watch the damn movie until his parents/caregivers can be contacted?

    • Bryan

      Well, that was one option I presented. Of course, it’s not like he’s walking around with his parents’ names and phone numbers on his forehead so you’re going to have to get some cooperation from him to be able to find out who they are and how to reach them.

      • Mark Shea

        Since he didn’t drive himself to the theatre, I would guess he was with someone, or that someone would be there to get him soon. There are a dozen ways this could have been handled without murdering him. These people are supposed to be professionals. There is no excuse for this act of mayhem.

        • Bryan

          Again, you’re offering a lot of stuff that we simply don’t know right now. He could have walked. He could have taken a bus. Someone may have just dropped him off. I would imagine if someone were there with him, they would have spoken up but by the accounts we have, he appeared to be alone.

          Based on the facts that we actually have and not the stuff we’re glomming onto the story, it appears that the officers did not handle it well. The best course of action probably would have been to let him stay while you figured out what to do next. But it’s not necessarily as simple as “call his parents” if you have a belligerent and uncooperative person on your hands.

          But what we don’t know, unless this account of him being held face down turns out to be accurate, is whether his death was “murder” or a result of him stressing out beyond what most people would or some kind of medical condition.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            You seem to be saying we should wait for the evidence and the trial before rushing to convict.

            • Bryan

              Crazy, huh?

              I mean, if I were betting on it I’d say that the odds are these officers did something very wrong and probably not in line with their training. I’m not sure if I’d call it murder or not but all of this will depend on what the facts tell us…whenever they are know to us. The only thing I’m objecting to is the insistence that it *this certain take* on the matter based on the little bit we know right now.

              • Stu

                Seems like a reasonable man approach.

  • Bryan

    I’ll also add that depending on the country and state, some people with Down’s Syndrome can obtain an driver’s license.

  • Shannon

    People with Down syndrome do not have typical muscle tone, which is likely Why he suffocated. For him, being put face down was more dangerous than for a typical man. To say he had the mental capacity of a child and the strength of an adult is inaccurate and an over simplification of what Down syndrome is. The cops tactics along with the skewed view people seem to have of people with Down syndrome is further evidence of how the culture of death, that targets these people in the womb has, done so much damage. We don’t interact with the differently made on a daily basis so we don’t know how to love and care for them so we fear them instead. And This is what happens as a result.

    • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

      Word. Yet another reason for me to worry about what could happen to Beadboy1, in addition to all the normal parental worries and the extra special worries I already had.

    • http://www.theleenmachine.blogspot.com KML

      “We don’t interact with the differently made on a daily basis so we don’t know how to love and care for them so we fear them instead. And This is what happens as a result.”

      Yes. This right here.

      Also, there was a time when people in a smaller community would have known who this man was, what he was capable of, and who to call if he got into trouble.

  • Stu

    “To say he had the mental capacity of a child and the strength of an adult is inaccurate and an over simplification of what Down syndrome is”
    —————
    Not meant to be an all inclusive statement. However, I think in general it does encapsulate the challenge that a police officer can face in dealing with such an individual. It’s not a routine traffic stop and can require great tact and thinking a bit differently on the part of the officer.

    • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

      But that is part of a police officer’s job — to evaluate the situation, and the person involved, to determine what the best response is. If it means more training, so be it. But to do otherwise is to have reaction equivalent to “shooting first, asking questions later.”

      • Stu

        We don’t disagree.

      • Katheryn

        The problem is that police officers are not necessarily trained in how to deal with people of special needs. They are even further trained to “treat everybody equally.” I DO NOT know if these officers acted sinfully, but I can put out there that they may not have known how to deal with this man, and “special treatment” can also get them in trouble.

        • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

          “They are even further trained to “treat everybody equally.” ”

          I’m not really sure about that. I mean, I know in many jurisdictions they get sensitivity training so as to try to minimize any issues that might be caused by race, ethnicity, culture, etc., but I don’t think that it extends to some sort of “treat everybody exactly the same no matter what” kind of thing. In my city, there have been several incidents involving mentally ill people, and resulting discussions about improving how the police deal with the mentally ill, which makes me think that there is in fact some kind of training in dealing with special needs for at least some police departments.

          If these officers did not know how to deal with mentally disabled people, they should have.

          • Katheryn

            Who pays for the training? Who teaches it? If a previously qualified officer does not qualify, what happens? Who governs the teaching and qualifications? How are they paid? There are tons of questions, not many answers, and many mixed feelings.
            It’s easy to say “they should know better.” But when you think about it, should they, and how?
            I worked at a group home with Downs patients for two years. I am comfortable with my clients. In life, I am NOT comfortable dealing with Downs people that I do not know.
            I think everyone should go on a ride along with a police officer sometime, just to see what the job really entails… For one night.

            • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

              “Who pays for the training? Who teaches it? If a previously qualified officer does not qualify, what happens? Who governs the teaching and qualifications? How are they paid? There are tons of questions, not many answers, and many mixed feelings.”

              So we work harder to find the answers. The right thing and the easy thing are not always the same.

              ” In life, I am NOT comfortable dealing with Downs people that I do not know.”

              That doesn’t give you, or anyone else, the right to act in such a way that Downs people die. It is a police officer’s job to deal with the public, even those members of the public who are scary or weird or different, without resorting to killing them. If they need more training to do so effectively, even if that training is expensive, so be it.

        • Mark Shea

          I’m afraid I don’t trust Fr. MacRae.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I wonder if it ever occurred to the cops that the reason the man didn’t want to leave the theater was that his ride hadn’t shown up yet, to pick him up? Did they even ask him? Did they check to see if he had a cell phone, with a number they could reach?

    Ahh, who cares? The man was mentally retarded.

    Sadly, the fact that the victim had Downs Syndrome makes him, in the minds of many, automatically unsympathetic. Hey, Jesus sez it’s okay, cuz you shouldn’t judge, so stop picking on the cops, until all the facts come out! (But are the facts ever going to come out? Or will there just be some whitewashed report, saying the cops had to defend themselves, and they’ll all get paid leave of absence, or reassigned someplace else, and the matter will be dropped. And, anyway, it wasn’t like this down syndrome guy was actually, well—a real human being, after all—right? Dear me, accidents will happen, and who are we to judge? /Sarc.)

    Cop/ law ‘n order idolatry runs deep in some circles, these days.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      Or perhaps, you know, wait for the evidence as some have suggested?

  • brenda

    For some reason, people nowadays seem to feel the need to call on a professional (the police) to deal with every situation. The man won’t leave his seat, he has Down’s Syndrome and the theater employees don’t have any idea how to deal with this other than call the police? We have police officers on our school campuses now to deal with unruly teenagers instead of teachers, school counselors, principals and parents as in days gone by. A young person throws rocks at a neighbors house, breaks a window and the police are called instead of the parents of the boy and the neighbor getting together and rectifying this situation themselves. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have lost the ability to solve our problems without “professional” help. And since the “professional” is further removed from the situation they are at a disadvantage when it comes to mitigation. Maybe we are afraid of future litigation if we try to deal with our own problems so we call in the professional to deal with it. I don’t know.
    Very tragic and sad that this man died because he was confused, frightened or even belligerent and was not properly handled but I don’t want to pass judgment on the police officers or the theater employees without further information.
    Peace and all good,
    Brenda O.F.S.

    • http://www.theleenmachine.blogspot.com KML

      Great comment, Brenda. To expand this out, it’s something I see a lot in parenting circles, too – the increasing reliance on outsourcing to outside “professionals” instead of tuning in to one’s own instincts and knowledge of this particular child in this particular situation. A generation or two of this in many areas seems to have completely stripped us of our common sense.

      • brenda

        “A generation or two of this in many areas seems to have completely stripped us of our common sense.” I agree KML. A little common sense among all involved would have spared the life of this young man.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      That is so true. I think it’s also due to lawsuits. It’s also due to the fact that sadly, some people do rectify the situation with automatic weapons or other lethal means. It’s not as if we’ve not heard of people resorting to violence in such situations. So a minimum wage worker at a theater is confronted by something – what does he/she do? Take a chance on lawsuits? Violence? Shootings? She/he calls the cops. It’s something deep down in our society that I’m not 100% is everyone else’s fault.

  • Michelle

    It’s wonderful to behold all the tender hearts bleeding for law enforcement officials who we are chided must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. And here I thought it was law enforcement’s responsibility to presume someone innocent. Especially when the person who should be presumed innocent is a mentally-disabled young man with a disability that is easily recognizable by his facial features. (My point in bringing that up being that the officers could not claim they did not know he had Down Syndrome, the physical markers for which are well known.) And especially when all that young man is doing is sitting in a theater chair, not harming anyone.

    I don’t particularly feel like cutting the cops a break when a young man with Down Syndrome who did not harm anyone is dead, so I’ll give my own speculation. This whole incident was taking up too much of the cops’ precious time, and they rushed it. That’s why they used the cuffs and pushed the young man face first to the carpet rather than try to ascertain his identity, or call in someone with special training in dealing with people with mental disabilities while the young man sat in his chair harming no one. They wanted this over and done so they could go on to their next call, so they manhandled a disabled man. I think that’s what’s obvious on the face of the story, even lacking further details of the situation.

    • Kay Cee

      “And here I thought it was law enforcement’s responsibility to presume someone innocent.”

      And here I thought it was everybody’s responsibility to presume someone innocent. Under the Constitution, that extends to all citizens, including cops.

      Michelle, although you seem to have meant it as an insult, I hope I do have a “tender heart bleeding.” After all, Christ’s heart was tender and His bled for all of us when a spear was thrust through it.

      So please do not ridicule those of us who want to follow the law as stated in the Constitution by giving everyone, including police officers, due process. I for one prefer to know all the facts before passing judgment instead of relying, as you have, on “my own speculation.”

      • Becca B

        There is no Constitutional requirement for citizens not serving on a jury trying a specific case to treat someone as innocent before proven guilty. This is a common exaggeration and a way to shut down peoples’ opinions. You are free to argue that you believe others are rushing to judgment, but please don’t try to imply they’re doing something vaguely illegal by applying their reason to the known facts.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    The evidence would have to be pretty darn good, to explain why the cops felt the need to kill a Down Syndrome man, over $11.00, and refusing to leave a theater.

    They acted like he was the Aurora Colorado shooter. (Even if he had been far more violent, waving a gun around, etc., aren’t they supposed to read him his rights, or something? Not just go in, and beat him to death?)

    I’m not sure what sort of evidence would exonerate killing a mentally retarded man over an $11.00 theater seat. (Interesting, by the way, that the police—not the man who was actually killed—are seen as the victims here, in need of protection, who must not be judged—but, then, they’re “real” people, not some mentally retarded scarey guy, who, really, should be in some nice home, and not out and about, frightening decent folk! /Sarc.)

    Not to worry. The police will supply the evidence. They will tell us what really happened. Or, at least, their version of it. And who are we to question them? Whatever they tell us, don’t you dare pass judgment on them!

    Think of peace, and nice, sticky gummy bears. Visualize world niceness. It won’t help anything, of course, but you’ll feel better.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      If it happened the way you describe, then no evidence at all would matter. They didn’t, based on the stories I’ve found, ‘feel the need to kill a man with Down Syndrome for 11.00′. There could be murder charges. There could be manslaughter. There could be guilt all over. But I’ve not read a story yet that suggests one of them looked and said, “Billy, it looks like that man with Down Syndrome owes 11.00, I say we take him out.’ You know what? Sometimes I think it’s our tendency to paint “Those People (TM)” in the absolute worst conceivable way that has elevated us to the very level we’ve reached today. Maybe if we all backed off a little, we would all back off a little. Know what I mean?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Michelle, I suspect you’re right, though there may be more to it than that.

    A quick google search will reveal that many cops have been very brutal with the mentally disabled/mentally ill they’ve had to deal with. For starters, you can google “Fullterton California cops kill homeless man.” We seem to be looking at a trend, here.

    (Ah, but let us not criticize the police! Let us now all belt out a chorus or two of “A policeman’s Lot is not a Happy One!” whilst sobbing in our beer—or, our diet Dr. Pepper, or organic, totally renewable “green” bottled water, if you prfer that.)

  • Kathleen Lundquist

    Being a resident of Portland OR, on reading this story I can only think of two words – that is, one name:

    James Chasse.

    http://jameschasse.blogspot.com/

    With all due respect to the commenters above, if I didn’t live in a place where the cops still routinely beat up and shoot mentally ill people, I’d have more sympathy for the ‘respect law enforcement’s judgment’ point of view. As it is, I just don’t. Apologies.

    • Stu

      I don’t believe anyone above is looking for sympathy. Admittedly, I can’t speak for others but it seems to me that the consensus is that the police obviously erred in judgment (horrifically so) but that we should wait for the investigation to see what actually happened.

      It does say the death has been ruled a “homicide” by the authorities and will be sent to the State’s Attorney for review. Does that mean “homicide” as in they tried to kill him or perhaps negligent homicide? I believe that question is what some people here are weighing in their minds. Again personally, I would be hard pressed to believe they tried to kill the man. I wouldn’t be surprised to find they were acting recklessly and did kill him.

  • Timbot2000

    Best follower of the growing trend of police militarization and brutality is Journalist William Norman Grigg at http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/
    His commentary on the “Rickoverian paradox” and modern police is insightful.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, “Homicide” usually means murder. As in, you know. . . Murder.

    I don’t think they can really plead “Negligence” here, as the victim was asphixiated, and you really have to be working hard at it, to stop someone from breathing. The victim would have been better off if he had been neglected by the cops.

    Won’t it be great when guys like this get drones? /Sarc.

    Timbot, thanks for the link.

    • Timbot2000

      Actually…”homicide” just means the killing of a human being and does not have the moral implication of “murder”. That is why there are sub-designations such as “justifiable homicide” (which is exactly what the DA is going to rule on these two cops: anybody want to place some bets?).

    • Stu

      “Negligent” as in not doing your job correctly to the extent someone was killed.

      From what I can see, it doesn’t appear that Maryland has “Negligent Homicide.” So it would be either:
      First Degree Murder
      Second Degree Murder
      or
      Manslaughter

      First Degree is of the premeditated type (and some other instances). I don’t believe anyone thinks the police were out to kill him and planned is so that probably isn’t going to happen. Second Degree is defined as anything that isn’t First Degree but I believe that too requires intent to kill. So if it is a homicide, that seems to mean there is reason to believe the three deputies, who were working part time at the theater, went in to confront the man in oder to kill him. That seems like a stretch.

      Lastly, there is manslaughter which includes both voluntary (heat of passion) and “involuntary” due to negligence in carrying out some responsibility. Still, very serious charge.

      • http://janalynmarie.blogspot.com Beadgirl

        ” Second Degree is defined as anything that isn’t First Degree but I believe that too requires intent to kill. So if it is a homicide, that seems to mean there is reason to believe the three deputies, who were working part time at the theater, went in to confront the man in oder to kill him. That seems like a stretch.”

        Let me just add that the intent necessary to meet the definition of murder can happen at the last minute, so it does not require that the officers entered the confrontation planning to kill him; theoretically, during the struggle one or more of them could have suddenly decided to smother him and pushed his face into the floor.

        Let me also add that I think such intent was unlikely to have been present, given what I know so far about the circumstances. I do think they were negligent or even reckless in their handling of the situation, and I want them punished, and for the department to ensure this does not happen again.

        • Stu

          I agree. That is a likely chain of events and where I lean.

          I will offer one big “BUT.”

          I could be wrong on all of this. I wasn’t there and don’t know the chain of events.

  • quasimodo

    DaveG has the right way to look at it. “murder” … a big word thrown around cheaply

  • Katie
    • Stu

      Not exactly.
      We are dealing with some terms here that need clarification.

      The Medical Examiner ruled the MANNER OF DEATH as a “homicide,” meaning it came at the hand of someone else. The other forensic choices he could use would be “natural,” “accidental” or “suicide.” A Manner of Death ruling of “homicide” does not imply guilt.

      These findings will be forwarded to the State’s Attorney who will then probably present it to a Grand Jury to determine whether charges should be filed. Given Maryland law, I would suspect that the only charge you would see is Manslaughter (involuntary).

  • http://martinkelly.blogspot.com/ Martin

    This sounds like a horrible case. As a disabled person who has to carry a card around with them to show to the cops in case anyone else gets antsy about my behaviour, I would be very surprised if the victim did not carry some kind of paperwork with him to show to authority figures, bearing his name, address and the telephone number of a contact. It might be the case that the theatre staff were working to orders – call the police if you see trouble brewing – but if he did not have some kind of paperwork of the type I’ve described on him then the markers of his condition are so well-known that the police must have been aware that they were dealing with an intrinsically vulnerable person, and should have been expected to act with the utmost sensitivity. If they were called for no reason other than that he had refused, or merely failed, to pay $11.00 to see a movie a second time, and the restraints were placed upon him because of how he reacted to their treatment of him, the phrase ‘a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance’ springs to mind.
    No matter what jurisdiction you live in, no matter what legal restraints you have to work under, if you are a police officer you wield a very great deal of power, and you have to be accountable for how you use it.

  • Balin

    This fella is dead because the movie theater needed its $11 so bad it needed to call in the police to get it or get rid of the fella if he wouldn’t cough it up. And now he’s dead. Over a movie ticket. Over $11. Don’t cheat the capitalist out of what is his or be paid a visit from their enforcers. Even the Mafia could’ve handled this better. And would have.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    Seems to be two basic approaches on this thread: cops are guilty as charged, typical of American cops, they’re a bunch of thugs, vile and evil, let’s book’em; and the other side: shouldn’t we wait and see all the evidence and judge accordingly. I’ll toss my hat in with the second group. Especially because as a Catholic, as was pointed out earlier, I frequently find myself asking patience from people who draw simple conclusions about how priests rape kids, it’s typical of the Catholic Church, let’s bypass all that evidence rubbish and book’em. What’s good for the Church is probably good for the cops.

    • Mark Shea

      Who said “typical of American cops”?

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Said? Well, a couple comments skated pretty darn close to ‘typical of cops these days’, with the assumption it was aimed at cops in America. Implied? A few more than that.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I would really love to see the evidence that justifies killing a Down Syndrome man over an $11.00 movie seat.

    This is what happened. You can quibble over what “Homicide” means, or the meaning of “Murder”, or “Dead”, but this is what happened.

  • The Next to Last Samurai

    I have a related question. Had that been my son, I could never, ever forgive the thugs. I may as well come right out and admit that. This being the case, should I give up attempting to practice Christianity? Does Jesus need followers who are constitutionally incapable of carrying out his orders? I feel that I am really no different from an enabling bishop, except, I suppose, that I admit it.

    • Mark Shea

      And there’s the difference. You bring who you are and ask for grace. Better to acknowledge your weakness and ask for grace than pretend you’ve got it together.

  • Keystone

    NOTHING will happen to these cops. A panel of their associates will convene and will declare they acted in accordance with proper procedure; during the arrest he had difficulty breathing and they attempted to resuscitate him but to no avail. Its against policy to call a person’s parents or do anything humane. There must be orderWe can only hope a courageous district attorney will bring it to a Grand Jury who will vote for an indictment. The family will sue the cops and the movie theater and win a lot of money but that won’t replace him and those cops will be on the street for a long time.

    • Kathleen Lundquist

      …which, for the record, is precisely what happened in the James Chasse case mentioned above.

  • Becca B

    I’m local to this case, this is the movie theater we normally attend. I can tell you that there has been a massive outcry in our community. The 3 officers involved were seasoned Sheriff’s Deputies on secondary employment as security guards for the theater. The Sheriff today put them on administrative leave and is recommending that when the initial investigation is concluded that the State Attorney convene a grand jury for the purpose of transparency. Also, some commenters have wondered how he got to the theater – the local news has implied that a caregiver or companion was with him at the first showing of the movie but there’s been no word on where exactly that person was at the time of his death. Just thought some of you might like a little bit more details for the discussion.

    Personally, I am nauseated by this happening in our community. It’s so obviously an abuse of power (both on the part of the theater employee who summoned the guards instead of a manager as well as each of the guard/officers) that I can’t see this theater and the Sheriff’s department escaping without paying massive damages if not facing criminal charges.


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