Tag Archives: use of force

anatomy of a “police beating”

Take a look at this video. Perhaps some of you remember this from 2003. The Cincinnati police were dispatched to a Whitecastle restaurant where a man, latter identified as Nathaniel Jones, was reported to the police as acting strangely. As The Cincinnati Enqirer reported…

Police officials, radio transmissions and the video give a picture of how the circumstances unfolded at the White Castle at 64 W. Mitchell Ave., just west of Vine Street.

About 5:50 a.m. a White Castle employee called 911 to report that a man had passed out in the grass outside the restaurant.

“He’s breathing, but he keeps hollering 19,” she told the call taker.

When emergency medical personnel arrived, Jones was awake and “becoming a nuisance” at the restaurant, according to a tape of radio transmissions in which firefighters ask police to respond.

In the video, Jones walks toward an officer, who yells, “Stay back.”

Jones then lunged, swinging at the officer’s head before he stumbled into the officer, taking him down.

The two officers, Osterman and Pike, jabbed Jones in the torso with nightsticks as they repeatedly yelled, “Put your hands behind your back.”

But Jones continued to fight, flailing his arms and grabbing one of the police batons. The officers called for backup, asking especially for someone with a stun gun. Eventually, six officers responded, many of them also using their batons to strike Jones. After a struggle with all six, they got Jones on his stomach and his arms behind his back.

The officers turned Jones over after he was handcuffed over and realized he needed medical help, Janke said.

“He looked to be in enough distress that the officers immediately called for a fire company,” Janke said.

Jones had a pulse when EMS arrived, but he died within minutes of arriving at University Hospital, Janke said.

Why Jones behaved as he did is not yet known, Janke said.

During the struggle, officers tried to call for an officer trained to deal with people with mental health problems, but the officer was on another call.

Police did not use a stun gun, but did use chemical spray in addition to the batons. Janke did not know how many of the officers hit Jones.

Police estimate that Jones, who was 5 foot 6 inches tall, weighed 400 pounds. They did not release a current address for Jones.

According to court records, Jones pleaded guilty in 1998 to possessing cocaine and was given three years probation, which included inpatient treatment at Talbert House. A month after his sentencing, Jones violated his probation and was sentenced to a year in jail, records show.

Now, as a police officer I can state that I see absolutely nothing wrong with how officers handled this situation. What do people think happens out there when a 400lb man starts swinging at a cops head and resists arrest? What would all these people screaming “police brutality” have done if they were the ones behind the badge? We carry those batons and sprays for a reason, other than the fact that they make us look so cool. The man was struck in exactly the targets we are all trained to strike. The arms, legs, and sides of the torso. He was not struck in the head, the joints or spine. The official autopsy found external bruises from officers’ night sticks — all below Jones’ waist — but no evidence that the clubbing by police caused any damage to internal organs. The man was actively fighting and refusing to obey commands to “put your hands behind your back!!”, refusing to be cuffed and resisting arrest. Thats exactly what those batons are carried for,what do people expect of the police?

IMO this is a classic example of people wanting the police to “do their jobs” and keep the streets safe, but not having a clue of what the job requires. They dont really want to see what “the job” is like. They either want to harbor those little fantasies of “verbal judo” and Kung-Fu wrist locks or picture all of us eating doughnuts and pulling kittens out of trees. Then theres the people with the political axe to grind. I will not get into racial issues here, but I can guarantee you that ANYBODY of any race would have been treated exactly the same under those conditions. If it werent for his extreme obesity and drug abused heart, this man would have been taken into custody none the worse for wear.

I just dont get it.

The coroner stated…..

“His death must be regarded as a direct and immediate consequence of the struggle (with police), potentiated by his obesity, his heart disease and his drug intoxication,” Parrott said. “When issued by this office, Mr. Jones’ death certificate will list, as the immediate cause of death, cardiac dysrhythmia, due to physiological stress reaction, due to a violent struggle with restraint.”

As a result of this incident, the president of the Ohio State Coroners Association, told reporters that he intended to lobby for a new manner-of-death category that would offer coroners an option of “legal intervention,” which could be used when a person dies in police custody. Under existing Ohio law, deaths can be attributed to natural causes, accident, suicide or homicide.

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