AFP AUDIO INTERVIEW
Violent and disproportionate attacks on American citizens by police forces across the United States have become a daily occurrence, the details of which are delivered via computer or cell phone to millions from police cruiser “dashcams,” closed-circuit television (CCTV) and civilian video cameras.
The sometimes unprovoked attacks are now so prolific that several websites have sprung up, including one from the Cato Institute, whose sole purpose is to document and preserve this unfortunate aspect of life in 21st century America.
Dave Gahary sat down with public information officer David Northway of the Tallahassee (Florida) Police Department to discuss a particularly disturbing violent attack on a 44-year-old mother-of-two, who was slammed “onto the ground with such force that she suffered a broken orbital bone in her face, a bloody nose and multiple other injuries,” in this informative interview (8:06).
Police Brutality a Common Occurrence Across America
By Dave Gahary
Violent and disproportionate attacks on American citizens by police forces across the United States have become a daily occurrence, the details of which are delivered via computer or cell phone to millions from police cruiser “dashcams,” closed-circuit television (CCTV) and civilian video cameras. The sometimes unprovoked attacks are now so prolific that several websites have sprung up, including one from the Cato Institute, whose sole purpose is to document and preserve this unfortunate aspect of life in 21st century America.
Although it has been well-documented by various alternative news sources, including AMERICAN FREE PRESS, of U.S. police forces traveling to Israel for training on using force against an unarmed and usually compliant civilian populace, the level of aggression exhibited by those whose stated aim is to “protect and serve” appears to have reached a fevered pitch. Americans, it seems, are now being treated in ways quite similar to those experienced by the indigenous Palestinians by the occupying Zionists. Many are questioning as to whether Americans are now the new Palestinians.
Just one of the latest in a long string of videotaped police brutality cases saw New Jersey police release a German Shepherd from a K-9 unit to attack a subdued youth, who had just endured a beating by five officers, including being pummeled by one swinging a baton.
The just-released videotaped attack, which occurred on an Atlantic City, N.J. street on June 5 this year, evoked the iconic images of the American “civil rights” era, where dogs were set loose on blacks who were many times peacefully protesting.
David Castellani, 20, was hospitalized with “serious wounds to his head and neck…after police punched and kneed him, struck him with batons – and set a police dog on him” after he was removed from a casino for being under-age.
It is clear from the footage, which was taken by the casino’s CCTV system, that Castellani was not resisting arrest, but was in fact clinging to one of the officers to protect himself from the violent, unprovoked assault, where all five repeatedly punched him all over while one of the officers pounded on his back and legs with a baton as he lay “face down on the road.” The police dog arrived next and officers allowed it to “bite him repeatedly on the neck and head.”
“Mr Castellani’s father, an attorney who has represented police officers in the past,” said: “‘It absolutely horrified me. It’s been a nightmare for us. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.’”
As has become the standard reply, the city’s police chief said: “I saw the tape and I saw no reason to suspend or remove the officers from their regular duties.” This, although it was uncovered that one of the officers “had been investigated 15 times over allegations of misconduct, including 12 claims of excessive force or assault,” while typically, “none of the complaints were upheld.”
A more recent particularly disturbing incident of police brutality occurred in Tallahassee, Florida, where a police dashcam video shows police officers slamming a compliant Christina West, a 44-year-old mother-of-two “onto the ground with such force that she suffered a broken orbital bone in her face, a bloody nose and multiple other injuries.”
This newspaper reached out to Mrs. West’s attorney, Fred Conrad, for comment, but was unsuccessful. A call to the West residence was answered by David West, Christina’s husband, who said they have been referring everything to Mr. Conrad and “we’re not prepared to make any statement or statements.” Asked if his wife would like to speak to the media about this horrific incident, he stated, “I’m sure she doesn’t want to have to re-live anything more than she’s going to have to with court and all that.”
A message left at the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) was returned, and AFP conducted an exclusive audio interview with Officer David Northway, TPD’s public information officer, a 13-year veteran who has been in his current position for about two-and-a-half years.
Although it was later reported that the 350-sworn-police-officer TPD stood by the practices that broke Mrs. West’s face, AFP asked if anything has changed with the Department’s view of this incident since that time.
“We have an internal affairs investigation going on with this case as we speak…and the officers that were involved…have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of that investigation,” he said. “We now have our legal advisor…viewing any videotapes that result in injury to a person.”
AFP asked Northway if he had seen the video.
“Yes I did,” he said, “and…it is hard for us to watch as well, even as police officers.”
AFP asked if anything like this type of brutality has ever happened before at TPD.
“Police work does involve physical force at times,” he began. “The caveat is that we are supposed to use the necessary force…to end the occurrence, meaning that we’re only supposed to use what is necessary to stop the occurrence from going on.”
AFP asked if the TPD has gone to Israel for training, since it was reported this year that the members of the Leon County [the county that Tallahassee is located in] Sheriff’s office had gone on a trip there for “terrorism training.”
“I’m not aware of any of us going over to Israel for training,” he stated.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.