Sunday, June 07, 2009

Police Brutality Caught on Tape

It's a disturbing allegation of police brutality.

It stems from a violent encounter between a Passaic, N.J., cop and a mentally ill man.

The entire incident was recorded by a surveillance camera mounted outside a nearby restaurant.

With a swollen eye and bruised ribs, Ronnie Holloway claimed to wonder what led to it all.

"I know I deserve better the way I was treated," Holloway said.

The way he was treated by Passaic Police was captured on surveillance camera at a restaurant. The 49-year-old is seen walking with his chest and belly exposed. Moments later, police arrive and, according to Holloway, tell him to cover himself, which he appears to be doing while still conversing with police. Then an officer gets out of the car ...

"He grabbed me with both hands at the collar area real physically hard and just flung me up against the police vehicle," Holloway said.

Holloway is then thrown to the ground and punched several times. Then the baton comes out, followed by swings to the ribs.

"I recall him saying, 'get down' as he swung, but he kept swinging like that," Holloway said.

Holloway is seen getting up and is pushed against the squad car again, then swung around, followed by two more baton swings to the legs. Holloway was hauled away when back-up squads arrived and insists he never resisted or said a word to Passaic Police during the entire 90-second incident, but it's clear from the video that he was saying something.

CBS 2 HD: "You don't recall saying anything, yelling anything, saying anything that was provocative?"

Holloway: "No."

Regardless of what may have been said, the family said it hardly justifies the physicality that followed.

"A lawsuit is likely," mother Betty Holloway said.

Holloway's mother also said her disabled son has schizophrenia.

"He's a good person," she said.

"Is it possible his schizophrenia may have done something to provoke police?"

Betty Holloway: "No, because he wasn't doing anything. He was standing."

Passaic Police said the incident is under investigation and won't answer any questions, including why the officer is still on active duty.

"I feel he should definitely lose his job because it's not fair to be treated that way," Ronnie Holloway said.

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Former Public Safety Trooper Arrested for Failure to Register as Sex Offender

U.S. Marshals arrest a man for failure to register as a sex offender.

Arturo Moreno is a former Texas department of public safety trooper, and a convicted sex offender.

DPS requested the U.S. Marshals assistance to locate and arrest Moreno.
On Tuesday Marshals and DPS located Moreno inside an apartment complex in north Laredo.

Two firearms were discovered inside the residence at the time of the arrest.
Moreno served 10 years in prison on charges of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping of a 17 year old but failed to register as a sex offender upon his release.

If convicted, Moreno could be facing more time in prison.

Detective Stephanie Lazarus Arrested for 1986 Murder

A veteran police detective in Los Angeles, California, was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of killing a former lover's wife in 1986, marking a rare instance in which the department has arrested one of its own, Police Chief William Bratton said.

Stephanie Ilene Lazarus, 49, was on duty Friday morning when she was arrested in the Los Angeles Police Department's downtown headquarters in the slaying of Sherri Rae Rasmussen, Bratton said.

Rasmussen's husband found her bruised body in their Van Nuys condominium on February 24, 1986. She had been shot multiple times, he said.

At the time, investigators thought Rasmussen had been the victim of a fatal robbery, but with few leads, the case languished, Bratton said.

It wasn't until the department's cold case squad started re-examining the case in February that DNA evidence led to Lazarus, a 25-year veteran who had been on the force two years when Rasmussen was killed.

"The current investigation combined with technology available today led to the identification of Lazarus as the suspect in the case," Bratton said. "The investigation revealed that she had had a previous relationship with the victim's husband prior to the murder. DNA processing and analysis provided a key piece of evidence in this investigation."

New analysis of DNA from the crime scene revealed that the suspected killer was female and not male, as investigators previously suspected. Bratton said cold case detectives used surreptitious means to gather current DNA samples from Lazarus, but he did not elaborate.

Bratton commended officers for ensuring the integrity of the case while faced with the difficult task of investigating a colleague they knew.

"They did what was expected of Los Angeles police officers. They went where the truth and the facts as known to them took them," he said. "[It's] painful for them to be reviewing a case, and then determine that the leads were leading to a current member of the police force."

Deputy Police Chief Charlie Beck noted the proximity of the robbery homicide office to the division where Lazarus worked.

"These are folks, one side of the hallway, investigating a member of the other," Beck said. "You can't know a person for that long or their family and not be affected by this."

Lazarus is being held on homicide charges. The case will be presented to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office on Monday, Beck said.
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