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N.O. Officers Charged After Beating Caught On Tape

POSTED: 2:54 pm EDT October 9, 2005
UPDATED: 3:08 pm EDT October 9, 2005

NEW ORLEANS -- Three New Orleans police officers are facing charges after a violent arrest and a confrontation with a journalist outside a bar Saturday night.

The episode was captured on videotape. It shows at least one police officer repeatedly punching a 64-year-old man who was accused of public intoxication. Another officer is then seen assaulting a producer for Associated Press Television News.

A police spokesman said there will be a criminal investigation. He said three officers will be suspended, arrested, and charged with simple battery.

Capt. Marlon Defillo described the tape as "troubling."

On the tape, the suspect appears to be resisting, as an officer hits him at least four times in the head. Another officer then strikes the man with his knee and punches him twice. The suspect, Robert Davis, was face-down on the sidewalk, with blood streaming down his arm.

Meanwhile, an officer ordered APTN producer Rich Matthews and the cameraman to stop recording.

When Matthews held up his credentials, the officer grabbed him, leaned him backward over a car, and jabbed him in the stomach. The officer unleashed a tirade filled with profanities, and told the reporter to "go home."
 

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
10/10/2005
Stress may have broken NO officer on tape
By News Editor Lindsay Gebhart This is what we know: Saturday evening at least one New Orleans officer punched a drunk man several times, and another officer assaulted a journalist. The rest, said Chaplain David Gardner with the Hainesville-Round Lake Park (IL) PD, is difficult to analyze.

Gardner said he was most troubled by the officer who pushed an AP producer against a car and yelled obscenities at him.
Watch the video

"He lost it. When he got done, he realized what he had done," Gardner said in an exclusive interview with PoliceOne.

"The amount of stress this whole area and the police have been through. He could have lost his house, his family members? I am not justifying his actions, but they are clearly the result of stress.

"He was full of rage."

Gardner suggested that other officers can learn from this incident by being reminded of how crucial it is to recognize stress overload and avoid it. One of the ways he suggested this can be done is by watching for behavioral changes.

"A lot of it is mood swings. Police officers get very moody and withdraw when stressed."

Gardner suggests that a partner is the person in the best position to recognize emotional changes.

"Partners should look for the signs. If someone in your department is normally very happy go lucky, then turns quiet and condemning or becomes more aggressive, the partner needs to notice."

If you find yourself in a situation where your rage begins to take over, Garder suggests literally taking a step back.

"Back away. Law enforcement is trained to be aggressive, but if you are not going to handle it right, catch yourself and back off."

In his career, Gardner has observed that officers are very good at hiding emotions. That is not good. There is a point where there is still time to keep the rage in check. During that time officers should take steps to get help from someone, like a chaplain, who you can talk to without worrying about repercussions or violations of trust.

"Chaplains are an ear that can keep it confidential," said Gardner. "It's a tragedy that this man lost his career because he lost his temper."
 
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