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Salt Lake Police BS & Brutality

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 11/15/11

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November 11, Salt Lake City: A man was found dead in Pioneer Park, where Occupy Salt Lake protesters were camped out. Police Chief Chris Burbank said he could not permit any more camping there or anywhere in Salt Lake . "We as a city just cannot tolerate this going on," he said. Chris asked members of the OSL to pack up and be on their way by the weekend. Chris said protesting was ok in the day, but not at night, presumably when the bogeymen come out. The one-man mandate came after a man died while sleeping in a tent at the park. It is believed the man died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a space heater and maybe a drug overdose, which of course has to be thrown in for effect to help prejudice any investigation. The man was not immediately identified.

I wrote the above paragraph based on our local news because Oped has been threatened by lawsuits from SLC media, which seem to lawsuit happy, presumably due to well-warranted and earned paranoia.

My question to you, Chris: So why don't you outlaw cell phones, which are known to cause many highway deaths? Why not just outlaw gas heaters in tents? Why not spend your time and limited resources on the many gangs, regular violence, and rampant drug use in Salt Lake? Why do you condone police brutality, as I have personally witnessed three times (once on myself), on innocent people? Why do you whitewash this brutality as was recently done when I reported it?

Maybe you recall my report last summer; but if not, here it is to refresh your memory (or in the remote possibility that you never saw it):

Observations from Daniel Geery, address and cell phone given.

I was headed north on 8th East, by corner of Ramona Ave., around 7:00 p.m. August 8, 2011.

A cop car was blocking my side of the road, parked in the wrong direction, tail diagonally into the road, and forcing me to stop my own vehicle along the curb, as I was about to do anyway, seeing the circumstances. A Salt Lake Police Officer was roughing up what appeared to be a civilian, medium straight black hair, I believe white clothing, I think Mexican or Indian (though it was difficult to get a good view under the circumstances). The man had no visible weapon, knife, gun, rock, or anything I could see in his hands that would be of conceivable harm. By "roughing up" I mean the officer was handling the party harshly, forcefully shoving the victim over a curb and face down on the sidewalk (east side of 8th East), where he put a knee into the victim's back.

There was no observable resistance from the man, except for trying to walk away from the officer. Officer pulled the man's hands behind his back and appeared to be starting to handcuff him. No attempt was made to talk civilly to the man, ask him any questions, or reasonably ask him to do anything. The officer was shouting loudly at him about laying down and putting his hands together, with a voice far louder than necessary for communication. I did not hear the man answer with anything other than painful groans.

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A second police car raced in from the north, seconds later, further blocking the street by stopping in the middle of it (with no flashing lights on either car). Second officer jumped out of his car and I tried to speak to him, saying, "Officer I would just like to talk with you for a minute." He looked at me, ignored me completely, and jogged to the man on the sidewalk, already subdued. Second officer grabbed the man's left hand, raised it up behind man's back, and bent the hand completely back against victim's forearm, in a manner that I can only describe as horrifying, and which appeared to break the man's wrist, or at a minimum sprained it such that it would require prompt medical attention. I may be wrong about the break, but the man's hand literally was against the back of his forearm, 180 degrees, in the most unnatural position I have ever witnessed in a wrist joint.

I tried again to talk to the first officer, who hollered at me that I didn't know what happened just before. I admitted to this, but said this was clearly a case of unnecessary force. The man on the sidewalk was making no attempt to resist whatever. The first officer shouted at me that "the drunk" had taken a swing at him and punched him in the face. Whether this was so or not, it seemed evident that the man did not have the strength to do any serious harm. Likewise, there was no mark on the officer's face that I could see.

I politely said that I was not trying to cause any trouble, and wasn't intending to interfere, but that this situation was the kind of thing that creates a bad name for police, who are civil servants, paid for by civilian taxes.

The second officer refused to even talk to me, or explain what was going on. Based on the abrupt nature of the second officer's illegal and abrupt parking, and his remarkably mad dash to eagerly bend the man's wrist back to his forearm, the only conclusion I could reach was that he had no intention of administering justice, but only wanted to maliciously harm the individual already downed on the sidewalk.

I took the license plates of the police cars (Officer one: 98161; Officer two: 103627), and called 911, on a call that should have been recorded, complaining about police brutality, which this certainly appeared to be. The first officer eventually gave me his card with his name on it, saying rudely, "Here, you want my name?" (I had asked for his name). I took the card of Officer G. Swift, with his contact information on it. I was going to call him first today, August 9, 2011, but he is evidently not in until Friday.

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I called 911, 7:13 p.m., and reported this. The respondent on the phone said she would report this to the supervising officer and advised me that the supervising officer would call me back. Officer called back at 10:12 p.m. (times according to my cell phone), but I did not hear my phone. Message was left to call Sergeant Buman (sp?), 799-3000 (same number as call came from). I called this number at 10:45 a.m., August 9, but was told Sergeant Buman was not on until the afternoon.

I have been reading and seeing a lot about police brutality in the past two years, and am quite concerned about it. Two years ago, I was walking with my wife and our dog at Northpoint Park along 1100 North, where it bends north along the park. There were three elderly teenagers peacefully sitting by a car in the parking lot, just talking as near as I could tell. To my utter amazement, a Salt Lake Police car came roaring up on the right, exceeding the speed limit by probably 20 miles an hour, slammed on the brakes, wheeled abruptly into the parking lot, and screeched to a stop. The driver's door immediately swung open and out popped an officer, gun held in two hands, aimed at the teenagers, and shouting, "Freeze!" They were already frozen in place before the officer got there.

My wife and I were not five feet from the line of fire and kept walking to get past it. Thus the irate officer was holding a loaded gun directly at us for the second it took for us to pass. We stopped on the other side of the parking lot entry to watch what was going on. The officer had the young men lie down on the ground while he handcuffed them and reinforcement police were soon joining the fray, caused only by the policeman. The teenagers did not speak back, did not offer any resistance, and did precisely as told-- understandably, at gun point, though no effort was made to simply talk with them.

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is that what you saw in the first event is not con... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 at 10:12:15 PM
However, I specifically asked the first officer wh... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:59:00 PM
We of course are not going to agree on much of thi... by Doc McCoy on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 at 4:30:27 PM
but for the fact that we were about three feet awa... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 at 7:44:55 PM