Here are the links and excerpts from Sunday's HuffPo piece and today's NYT article...
Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ashley Alman and Ryan J. Reilly
Posted: 08/24/2014 5:48 pm EDT Updated: 5 hours ago
WASHINGTON -- A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald's earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.
According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he'd been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.
Then, the officers "became confrontational" and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. "Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground," it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly "suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body."
The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as "assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop."
Jefferson County prosecutors "refused to issue a juvenile case" against the young child, the suit says.
The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson...
Near this point in the HuffPo article, journalists Alman and Rielly proceed into a brief list of some of the other officer-related travesties at the FPD and elsewhere in suburban St. Louis, over the past couple of weeks, including...
• FPD officer Eddie Boyd III, whose plight was discussed farther up in this post.
• Dan Page, a St. Ann Police Department officer for 35 years, who "was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles." If some readers recall, it was Page who "made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson."
• St. Louis County police officer Lt. Ray Albers, who was suspended from duty, just a few days ago, "after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, 'I will fucking kill you.'
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Darren Wilson Was Low-Profile Officer With Unsettled Early Days
By MONICA DAVEY and FRANCES ROBLES
NEW YORK TIMES
AUG. 25, 2014
…As a teenager, Darren Wilson lived in St. Peters, Mo., a mostly white city of 54,000 about 20 miles west of Ferguson, where his environment was chaotic. He was the eldest of three children of Tonya Dee Durso, who, records show, carried out financial crimes, including against Sandra Lee Finney, who lived across the street and had believed they were friends.
“It’s a terrible thing that has happened now, but he did have a troubled childhood,” Ms. Finney said in an interview, adding that Officer Wilson’s family had somewhat awkwardly stayed in the neighborhood — moving just one door down — even after his mother was convicted of stealing and forgery in 2001.
After her bank informed her that it was freezing her accounts, Ms. Finney said she learned that numerous credit cards had been opened in her name, her mail was being stolen, her phones were secretly forwarded across the street, and the thief had managed to obtain her driver’s license and a copy of the key to her front door. Among the purchases: tens of thousands of dollars of candles; home decorations; furniture; clothes, including some from American Eagle Outfitters, which Ms. Finney says was Officer Wilson’s favorite store at the time; and hockey gear.
“All the while, she’d come over and sit at my kitchen table to chat and say how she would help me with this terrible thing that was happening to us,” Ms. Finney said of Ms. Durso, whom she described as a thin, blonde woman who seemed upper-middle class. “What hurt me more than all of it was what she did to those kids.”
Ms. Durso pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation. Not long after, in 2002, when Officer Wilson was a sophomore in high school, Ms. Durso died at age 35 and one of his stepfathers was granted guardianship until he finished high school. An obituary cited natural causes.
Years later, Ms. Finney said she was stunned when she saw her former neighbor appear outside the old house in a police uniform. “My husband and I thought, ‘How did he get to be a police officer?’ ”
After attending the police academy, Officer Wilson began work in Jennings, another suburb, in June 2009…
…Yet Officer Wilson’s formative experiences in policing came in a department that wrestled historically with issues of racial tension, mismanagement and turmoil. During Officer Wilson’s brief tenure, another officer was fired for a wrongful shooting, and a lieutenant was accused of stealing federal funds. In 2011, in the wake of federal and state investigations into the misuse of grant money, the department closed, and the city entered into a contract to be policed by the county…
As noted in my post here, yesterday (per Sunday's Washington Post
), approximately four months after St. Louis County took over the Jennings Police Department, Wilson transferred from Jennings to the FPD, in the Fall of 2011.
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Kossack Old Redneck has also just reminded us that there’s something very wrong in the political bellwether state of Missouri, specifically with regard to the lack of local enforcement of civil rights laws in St. Louis County.
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