Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boy arrested for speeding raped at request of cops.

Thanks to a tip from one of my favorite people, Wendy McElroy, I have delved into a story of police misconduct which is astounding and shocking. With some of what I’ve written here it is no secret that I think the police are out of control and dangerous. But this story shows that some of them are willing to go even lower than I expected. Here is what transpired.

An 18-year-old boy was arrested for a speeding violation in Grant County, Kentucky. One report says the high school student weighs all of 120 lbs. The highest ranking officer present, Clinton Sydnor and officers Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman, along with several unnamed officers “teased the teenager about his physical appearance.” And then decided to “teach him a lesson”.

The officers invented an excuse to remove the boy from the “drunk tank” which was in the booking area and could be monitored, and instead placed him with 14 violent offenders. The prosecution says that the officers solicited the inmates to rape the boy as part of the “lesson” he was being taught.

The boy was then left with these convicts all night long, without any supervision, so that the men could enjoy themselves. The boy was only released the next morning and when the boy’s father learned about the rape the police immediately began doctoring records to cover up what had happened. They concocted a story that a drain blockage prevented the use of the booking area to hold the boy and “fabricated shift logs to make it appear guards ...were checking on the victim’s welfare, according to court records. In fact, the victim wasn’t let out of the cell until the first shift came on duty the next morning.”

Officer Sydnor eventually admitted his guilt. He says: “I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway.” The only justification he could give the court was that he did it to “scare” the boy.

The other two officers continue to deny they did anything wrong. Sydnor will testify against them. The prosecution is asking for a 15-year sentence for Sydnor for his actions. Lanham and Freeman are facing separate trials that were due to start today.

I am heartened to see that these officers are actually facing justice. I suspect as more and more people become angry at the way our police are acting that we will witness more such trials. The ability of the “thin blue line” to cover up for each other will diminish and judges are starting to realize that the police frequently lie under oath.

The boy who was raped successfully sued the county and was paid a hefty settlement. Unfortunately such settlements come from the victimized taxpayers and not from the agencies which actually commit the crimes. I still contend that if budgets for police agencies were plundered to pay such settlements, and if that reduced wages for cops, that we’d suddenly find a lot more cops worried about out-of-control officers.

Photo: Officer Clinton Sydnor, henceforth known to his new closest friends in jail as "Candy Ass Sydnor". It is also apparent from the photo, that unless the other two cops were professional models, they certainly ought not to have been ridiculing the boy for his looks.