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CASE DESCRIPTION OF NON-LETHAL POLICE HARASSMENT/BRUTALITY BY MONTH, DATE, AND CITY IN 2008:

TOTAL ATTACKS: 5

JANUARY:

Lakewood, Colorado
Police Dog Let Loose on Homeless Man

January 24: The Lakewood Police Department in Lakewood, Colorado was looking for a suspect in January when they let their search dog loose in the alleyway to try and locate their target.  At the same time, Edward Trujillo, a homeless man, was in the alley and was attacked by the dog.  Trujillo is suing the police department for damages, and his lawyer said that even if the attack was a mistake, that the police should still be held responsible. 
“His face was ripped apart,” said David Lane, Trujillo’s lawyer.  “He had dozens and dozens of stitches, his leg was ripped apart.  All because he was homeless scrounging for food in an alleyway and the police officers couldn’t be bothered to check to see if it was safe to unleash a police dog.”  Police were unable to comment on any possible lawsuit.


FEBRUARY:

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Police use Taser on Mentally Ill Homeless Man

February 13: Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein is raising questions in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida regarding a police officer’s use of a taser on a man who appeared to be mentally ill and was in handcuffs and leg restraints.  Although police say that the action was justified, Finkelstein believes the legitimacy of this claim is questionable.  Police showed up outside the Cooperative Feeding Program, a soup kitchen in Florida, on Wednesday after getting a call about a man lying outside drinking from a puddle on the ground.  When the police arrived at the scene, the man ran into the building, and the police determined that the man who said his name was Steve Fernandez, needed psychiatric treatment.  Officers had to restrain the man eventually, and they put him in handcuffs and leg restraints.  He continued to struggle and the officer used his taser.  Marti Forman, the CEO of the Cooperative Feeding program recalls being surprised when she saw the officer use the device, and said she heard Fernandez howl in pain.  Fernandez was taken to Florida Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation.

 

JULY:

Los Angeles, California
LAPD Caught on Tape Beating a Homeless Individual

July 24: An unnamed homeless man sat peacefully eating sunflower seeds on Skid Row when police approached and unwarrantedly assaulted him.  The LAPD officer squad proceeded to “knee the man in the mid section and strike him forcefully in the head with clenched fists”.  It was reported that people watching the incident immediately cried for the police to stop.  Such events were later confirmed by a video tape that was rolling the entire time.  After police backup had come, the medical staff took the homeless man immediately to the hospital

 

AUGUST:

Panama City, Florida
Homeless Man Arrested and Beaten by Police Officers for Simply ‘Looking Homeless’

August 3: A homeless man, John Paul Kimbro, 37, was falsely arrested by Panama City Beach Police officers on the night of August 3rd. The officers approached Kimbro because he looked like ‘a transient’ and then asked him to show his ID. Kimbro was within his legal rights when he refused to do so, yet the officers arrested him and took him back to their headquarters. Video surveillance tapes show that the officers placed Kimbro into a headlock, slammed him into a wall and punched him violently. When Kimbro was taken to the county jail, he was pepper-sprayed for refusing to cooperate again. Sgt. Jimmy Warr was suspended for 5 days and then resigned for his involvement in the incident. Two other officers are currently under investigation.


CONTENTS: Main page | pdf of full report | Acknowledgements | Dedication | Executive Summary | Purpose, Methodology, and Previous Reports | Introduction | Historical Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data for 1999-2008 | Summary of Hate Crimes/Violence Data in 2008 | Summary of Teen/Young Adult Involvement in Hate Crimes/Violent Acts | Summary of Ages of the Accused versus Ages of the Victims | Summary of Victims Who Were Middle-Aged | Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of Cities where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Map of States where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred in 2008 | Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Map of Cities Where Hate Crimes/Violence Occurred – 1999-2008 | Comparison of Hate Crime Homicides vs. Lethal Attacks on Homeless Individuals | National Media Coverage of Hate Crimes/Violent Acts Against Homeless People | Video Exploitation of Homeless People | Recognizing Anti-Homeless Violence as Hate Crime, by Brian Levin | Legislation | Recommendations for Action | Model City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Adopted City/County/State Legislation/Resolutions | Public Education Initiatives | Listing of Incidents by City | Case Descriptions Involving Deaths | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Rape/Sexual Assault | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Setting on Fire | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Beatings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Shootings | Case Descriptions Involving Non-Lethal Police Harassment/Brutality | Appendix A: Sources | Appendix B: NCH Hate Crimes Public Service Ads |

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