Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Assault victim arrested and stripped by police.

I am thoroughly disgusted by this story. There are people who continue to insist that the police are just really lovey-dovey types out to help us. Rubbish. Here is an utterly digusting video tape of police officers stripping a woman by force.

Let us put this in context. The woman in question, Hope Steffy was assaulted and a friend called the police to report the assault. The sheriff appeared and, instead of seeing the woman as the victim of an assault, he arrested her. She was the one requesting help from the police -- and the sad fact is, that if you are a victim of a real crime calling the police may make you a victim a second time.

When Hope was approached by the sheriff, according to witnesses, the sheriff threw her against the police vehicle -- remember this is the woman who was reported to the police as the victim of the assault. He then demanded ID from her. She meant to hand her license over and accidentally gave him the license of a sister who had died -- she was keeping the licence to remember her sister. Hope begged for the licence back and was instead arrested for “resisting arrest”. I find that odd. You can’t resist arrest without being arrested for something other than resisting arrest. The resisting can only take place as an actual arrest is being implemented. If the actual charge is resisting arrest without another charge being applied then it strikes me as a bogus charge imposed to try to cover up what was really going on.

Hope is then taken to jail. So after being assaulted she calls the police who arrest her and then jail her. In jail, and the video shows this, the police begin stripping Hope of all her clothes. This included male sheriffs officers holding her while she is stripped. This is specifically contrary to police policy and Hope is suing, and I hope she wins. In the law suit they demanded all video evidence regarding the arrest. They got one video. But there are is other video that has clearly gone missing or was never taken.

During the original callout the deputy sheriff did not video tape his approach to the victim, as demanded by policy. At the very least the only video available is that of the woman after she was arrested. So we have the deputy’s word against that of the witnesses who dispute his claims.

But there is clearly a second video tape that has gone missing. A section of the video that was shown on the news the next night shows a deputy sheriff following the woman in jail as she is being put into a cell just prior to the assault where she is stripped of her clothes entirely -- and left nude for six hours with nothing to cover her but some toilet paper. In that video clip you can see this deputy is video taping this woman and what is happening. That video tape has gone missing and was not turned over to the woman’s lawyers.

Watch the videos yourself. I contend, again, that the evidence is overwhelming that American cops are out of control. The police are not your friends and even if you have been a victim of a crime, calling in the cops puts you even more at risk. Only in the most dire circumstances, where the evidence is absolutely clear that you are a victim might you be safe but even then you never know. The police are not peace officers anymore, here to protect our rights. They are agents of the state who exist to force you to obey your political masters.

There are two videos here. Watch both of them.