Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One Sided Story

Paul Demko and G.R. Anderson Jr. of City Pages have published a 5/10/06 article titled: "Another Day in North Minneapolis". They detail an alleged police beat-down of a punk criminal on the North Side.

...The pursuit quickly came to a halt, eyewitnesses say, directly in front of Jones's storefront on the north side of the street. According to the 40-year-old Jones, whose shop is called 4Gz Clothing, the suspect—subsequently identified as Norman Parker, 18—put his hands in the air. The officer, later identified by an MPD incident report as Jeffrey Binfet, exited the squad car with his gun drawn, ordering Parker to the ground.

But according to Jones and at least one other witness at the scene, the officer kicked Parker in the face as the suspect started to get on his knees. "[Parker] did almost a 360," recalls Jones. The officer then jumped on Parker, who, according to the incident report, was wanted on suspicion of armed robbery. As Jones describes it, the suspect's head hit the pavement at least four times during the fracas and was covered in blood.
I don't want to get into the merit or non-merit of the City Pages publishing yet another anti-police article. What I want to do is point out the inherent inequity created when there is no shortage of bad guys and bad guy's friends available for interviews in which they can bash the police at will, and the police brass give statements which are generally canned and cautious, but the officer(s) involved can't talk because of work-rules and/or ongoing investigations or potential litigation.

There are obviously two sides to these stories, but only one side is truly being represented and that's usually the criminal who has no credibility anyway.

The officers face criminals like this all day, everyday:

Parker is no stranger to the MPD. According to police spokesman Reier, the 18-year-old has been arrested five times since becoming an adult last August. Records maintained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, however, show no adult convictions. And according to the Hennepin County attorney's office, he has no cases pending against him.

Adil Abosaad, the owner of E&L Market on the northeast corner of Lowry and Emerson, talks of recurring troubles with clusters of young men on the sidewalks near his store, where they "sell weed and crack," he says.
Officers are berated, threatened, spit upon, assaulted, and abused in myriad ways, yet they don't get to tell their side of the story. The MSM makes the criminal out to be the sympathetic victim in many cases. This isn't to say that police never make mistakes, but how many pro-police articles do you see in "papers" like City Pages?

If any officers out there have general stories of some of the abuse you take out on the street, send them in and I'll put them on the blog if I can verify the source. I don't want any specifics as there might be ongoing cases, but I think people would be interested in your general perspective from the street.