Ferguson Police Once Arrested, Viciously Beat Wrong Man, Charged Him With Bleeding on Their Uniforms
The Michael Brown shooting and subsequent protests and unrest have highlighted the racial tensions that exist in Ferguson and the St. Louis area. Now, we are learning some of the other abuses by Ferguson police in a town that is 70 percent black with a police force that is more than 90 percent white.
The Daily Beast reports that on September 20, 2009, “Near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform.”
The address is the headquarters of the Ferguson Police Department. The named defendant is 52-year-old welder Henry Davis. The property damage is the transfer of blood to police uniforms that allegedly came after a vicious beating at the hands of officers. Worst of all, Davis was the wrong suspect.
Davis was arrested for an outstanding warrant for another Henry Davis, albeit one with a different middle name and Social Security number.
“I said, ‘I told you guys it wasn’t me,” Davis said in court.
Davis recalled the booking officer saying, “We have a problem,” and realizing that they had no reason to hold Davis.
They didn’t let him go, however.
He was placed in a one-man cell with another man already occupying the lone bunk and officers denied him a sleeping mat despite a pile stacked nearby.
According to The Daily Beast, “The booking officer summoned a number of fellow cops. One opened the cell door while another suddenly charged, propelling Davis inside and slamming him against the back wall.”
“I told the police officers there that I didn’t do anything, ‘Why is you guys doing this to me?’” Davis later testified. “They said, ‘OK, just lay on the ground and put your hands behind your back.”
After he was handcuffed, Davis says he was beaten by the cops.
“They started hitting me,” he said in court. “I was getting hit and I just covered up. [One cop] ran in and kicked me in the head. I almost passed out at that point… Paramedics came… They said it was too much blood, I had to go to the hospital.”
Rather than have an ambulance take him, an officer took Davis to an emergency room in his patrol car.
He was later taken back to the jail and held for several more days, charged with property damage for bleeding on the uniform of four officers.
After officers testified they didn’t actually get blood on their uniforms, the prosecutor dropped the charges.
The Beast reports, “However lax the department’s system and however contradictory the officers’ testimony, a federal magistrate ruled that the apparent perjury about the ‘property damage’ charges was too minor to constitute a violation of due process and that Davis’ injuries were de minimis – too minor to warrant a finding of excessive force.”
Of course, Davis had suffered a concussion and had his forehead split open.
On Wednesday, after the death of Michael Brown, Schottel told The Daily Beast, “Well that doesn’t surprise me. I said I already know about Ferguson, nothing new can faze me about Ferguson.”