Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cop forms private posse, attacks wrong man.

Obsessed with his own “authority” an off-duty cop in New York decided to take justice into his own hands.

Everything started when two girls told him that some man had flashed them. So Detective Arthur Molnar and two buddies formed a posse and went in search of the alleged flasher.

At around the same time 52-year-old David Campeas, an ophthalmologist, was walking to synagogue. Detective Molnar and his buddies set upon Campeas. According to Dr. Campeas the police officer and his friend shouted antigay slurs, even though Campeas is not gay. The doctor said: “You couldn’t reason with them. They were yelling and screaming and whacking me in the head.”

According to Campeas the three men ran at him screaming. Molnar, who was not on duty, screamed that he was a police officer and ordered Campeas to lie on the ground. Campeas, having no reason to believe the man, and having done nothing wrong, told Molnar that he wanted to wait for uniformed police officers to arrive. That is when Molnar and his private posse attacked, they slammed the innocent man to the ground and started frisking him. They repeated made antigay remarks and said he had exposed to two girls. Please note the utter ignorance of equating a flasher with being gay. This is the mentality of a cop -- brain dead.

The men then dragged Campeas to a desolate beach where he began to fear for his life. Lucky for him on-duty police officers, who actually live in the town, arrived. Based on the accusations of their brother officer they took Campeas into custody. They very quickly released him since both of the girls were quite adamant that they had never seen Campeas before. The Molnar posse got it wrong. Campeas was then taken to hospital for treatment of the bruises inflicted by this off-duty cop and his private gang.

Campeas says that as soon as the police realized that they had once again been wrong, and attacked the “wrong” man, that they started putting pressure on him not to file a complaint, urging him to let the matter drop quietly. Cockroaches don’t like the lights on folks. So just shut up, treat your wounds and pretend it was a lark in the park.

Campeas has filed charges against the attackers, including Officer Molnar, who is on duty as normal. Campeas says he believes that if he had actually resisted the attackers “I’d probably be dead or in a coma right now.”

Of course, Officer Molnar, angrily insists that the bruises on Campeas magically happened because “Nobody touched anybody that night.” Yes, apparently Dr. Campeas has a form of stigmata except cop-like bruises just magically appeared on his body, instead of the wounds of Christ. Molnar claims he was only “investigating” a flasher.

Apparently to investigate a flasher an off-duty cops solicits two non-cop buddies to patrol the area and grab the first man they come across. They rough him up, make antigay remarks since in copland all flashers must be gay, slam him to the ground and then drag him to a deserted beach area. This is now called an investigation.

I have honestly reached the point where I wouldn’t believe a cop was telling the truth unless I had independent evidence that he was. And if he was, I’d assume it was accident. This sort of things happens day after day after day. It happens so often that most the time we don’t even hear about it. I doubt the assault on Dr. Campeas made much news outside the immediate area.

The typical story is one of police misconduct against an innocent person, or excessive, unwarranted violence against a suspect -- perhaps to the point of death. The cops they always concoct one story that makes them entirely innocent and lays all the blame on the victim they attacked.

Independent witnesses to the event almost always tell a version of the story very different than that of the police officers. I actually don’t remember one case of such an attack where independent evidence actually supported the claims by the cops. But these independent witnesses, and the testimony of the victim, is usually ignored. And the whole matter is swept under the rug. Sometimes there is physical evidence and that physical evidence almost always shows the cops were lying. In a few cases videos of the incident prove beyond any doubt that the police version of events is usually fictional.

But when such physical evidence is missing, when no tapes exist, the courts very stupidly tend to believe the cops arguing that police officers don’t lie. That in the face of hundreds of violent, serious incidents where the evidence actually proved that the cops do lie and lie frequently.

Let us note a few things about this incident. Officer Molnar was not on duty. He was not in uniform. He did not show identification that he was a cop. He was not in New York City where is a cop. What would you do if a strange, belligerent man, and two of his friends, ordered you to lie on the ground? As I see it they ought to be glad Dr. Compeas wasn't armed ,otherwise he'd have every justification to shoot them, with a reasonable fear of his life. The two accomplices in this attack were not police officers anywhere but private citizens.

Even if Molnar was in the right, and he clearly wasn't, there is no justification in attacking the man and dragging him to a deserted beach area. That implies they intended a far more serious assault. Molnar was not allowing the law to work, he was subverting it. And while flashers might be annoying they are rarely dangerous and assault wasn't needed. Molnar could have waited for uniformed officers as the "suspect" was not trying to escape. He was happy to wait for the police to arrive.

There is much talk about "zero tolerance" from government officials. How about a zero tolerance policy toward police misconduct?