Saturday, April 04, 2009

Video proves cops lie, nothing done to them, of course.

Joshua Ortiz was arrested for assaulting a police officer. The official police report, from Officer Derek Lade, claimed:
Ortiz (arrestee 1) exited the elevator and began yelling at all three officers (leave them alone). I turned to Ortiz and instructed him to get back into the elevator and go to his vehicle. Ortiz began to yell and curse stating (He did not have to go anywhere). I then walked to Ortiz and met him at the entrance to the elevator. I advised him he needed to leave because he was not part of the incident. Ortiz continued to yell at me and then walked right up to me hitting his nose to my nose. At that point I struck Ortiz in the chest with a double handed palm heal strike sending him to the rear of the elevator facing away from me. As I approached Ortiz to take him into custody, Ortiz swung around to face me and assumed a fight stance (both left and right hand clenched into fists and body bladed).

As soon as Ortiz assume a fighting stance, Officer Smith struck Ortiz in the face with a discretionary blow. We both then attempted to take Ortiz into custody. Ortiz began to violently pull his arms away trying to defeat us handcuffing him. As we were struggling with Ortiz, Officer Silver arrived and was able to take Ortiz down to the ground with a leg sweep.
Officer Smith then wrote his own report verifying that Officer Lade was telling the truth. He similarly claimed: “Ortiz aggressively stood his ground and took a hostile step forward with clenched fists and made contact face to face with Officer Lade.”

Joshua Ortiz, the alleged criminal in the case, complained about the way police handled him and what was done. He claimed he was attacked. The Fort Lauderdale police department claimed they investigated the case and said that the officers were just fine gentlemen who had done nothing wrong and that Ortiz was at fault. No disciplinary action would be taken against the two officers. Ortiz was facing a court date for felony battery against a law enforcement officer (these thugs get special protection).

But Stephen Melnick, the defense attorney for Ortiz secured a surveillance tape from the elevator. Watch it above. I have watched it three times and it sure doesn’t appear to match the written, sworn claims by two police officers. Both officers said Ortiz went after Officer Lade and pushed his face straight into Lade’s face. You can watch the tape and you don’t see it. It didn’t happen. The descriptions given by both officers, while identical, did correspond with film of the actual incident

One might argue that a police officer can get “confused”. Of course, in court they claim to have vivid and clear memories. If confused, an officer might misremember something as happening that never actually happened. It is possible, though I suspect unlikely. But for two officers to misremember and both claim that Ortiz pushed his nose against the police officer’s nose is astounding, amazing, and unbelievable. Two officers, from different viewpoints, having almost the precise same story, but a story that isn’t true, are not misremembering. They are lying. In addition, since they are both telling the same lie it means they engaged in criminal collusion to lie in a legal case against a member of the public.

If you read the police report there is a sworn affidavit at the bottom which says that the officer swears or affirms “that I have prepared this report and that it is correct and true to the best of my knowledge.” Office Smith even had his signed by another police officer claiming that Smith “did take an oath” that the statement was true. Of course, as the film footage shows, both officers lied when they signed that statement.

When the footage of the actual incident proved the cops were lying charges against Ortiz were dropped. The assistant state attorney in the case, Lee Cohen, said, “We thought based on the facts and the evidence, including the videotape, that there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.” In other words, the prosecutor didn’t think a jury would believe the cops either.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, city records show multiple complaints against the police for the use of force, “But in the last eight years, not one of those citizen complains was upheld by investigators, or led to discipline of an officer.” Even though the tape showed the officers falsified a police report and that they assaulted Ortiz, not the other way around, they were found completely innocent by police investigators. A police spokesman, Sgt. Frank Sousa, says that the fact that the police have never ruled against one of their own officers proves “the officers are doing their jobs the way they’re supposed to.” Perhaps, but in this case the tape show that not to be the case. It seems more likely that what this shows is the police will do their best to avoid disciplining one of their own officers for assaulting a member of the public and falsifying police reports. What it shows is a culture of cover-up among cops.

Here is a CNN report on the same incident with some additional footage. The police spokesman plays down the incident. He was the center of a controversy himself when a tourist taped him beating someone up earlier.

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