Wendy McElroy on a horrific episode of police brutality:
On Feb. 14, 2003, Sergeant Clinton Shawn Sydnor, Deputy Jailors Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman (along with other deputies who have not been named) were on duty when an 18-year-old high school student was brought into the detention center in Grant County, Kentucky. The charge against the boy was speeding -- a traffic offense. According to several reports --for example, MarketWatch -- the deputies teased the teenager about his physical appearance. I assume he 'talked back' to them because the indictment against the 3 officers (to which Sydnor pleaded guilty last Wednesday) accused them of soliciting "a group of convicted felons housed in a general population cell to sexually assault the teenager, who was locked up overnight on traffic citations." According to another report the officers merely solicited the felons to intimidate the boy with Sydnor admitting in court that "he knew the teen faced a threat from the other inmates, and that he deliberately ignored that danger. Sydnor also admitted that he had other officers falsify reports relating to the incident."
On December 8th, Sydnor is expected to be sentenced to 15 years on charges of conspiracy and a civil rights violation. He could have faced a life sentence but he flipped on the other two officers and agreed to testify against them. The two remaining defendants also face life in prison if found guilty.
Where were the other unnamed officers when the teenager cried out in agony from the cage into which they threw him like meat to animals? Where were they when his family asked for justice and got falsified reports instead? Every so-called honest officer who ignored or covered-up this incident was a participant in it. For every one thug with a badge there are probably 10 honest cops who co-operate with and facilitate the thuggery. This is a difference of degree, not of kind; these are not 'honest' cops. Teach your sons and daughters to fear the police.
(Note: Also see William Grigg's take on the case)