So yet another of America's finest is caught on video punching someone--this time, a drunk stabbing victim in a hospital, handcuffed to a wheelchair. Note that the cop hasn't even been fired (though the department wanted to, the civilian review board overruled it), and his suspension was due to end in April. But before he could return to defending the public at taxpayer expense, a civil rights suit was filed in federal court, so now he's still out of work:
At the time, [Chicago Police Superintendent] Weis called the officer's actions "deplorable" and vowed to "review the facts of the case before taking further action." He wound up contacting federal authorities, who obtained a civil rights indictment against [the police officer] Cozzi the day before he was supposed to return to duty in April.
Cozzi remains on an unpaid suspension because of the federal case. In court papers, Cozzi is calling the federal case a "vindictive prosecution" because he already had been convicted of state charges.
The federal prosecution angered many officers, said Mark Donahue, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.
"It drastically impacted morale," Donahue said. "The feeling was, 'if he [Weis] could do this to one individual based on the limited knowledge that he had, what do the rest of us have to look forward to in the future?'"
Aww, poor guys! I guess you'll just have to be careful not to punch guys in wheelchairs while a camera is rolling. Every job has its pros and cons.
BTW, the crucial thing about the video in the story linked above, is how the other cops just stand around while their colleague is punching the guy in the wheelchair. Nothing to see here, we do this all the time, folks.
Another ridiculous aspect of this story is the defense, that this cop had a "stellar" 13-year record until this one minor incident. Right, and judging from all the cops standing around while he punched the guy in the wheelchair, and the fact that it took a newspaper using the Freedom of Information Act to get its hands on this video, I'm sure that his lack of other disciplinary action is proof that he has been a hero thus far.
HT2LRC on this one.
Update: One of the readers at the newspaper site was upset at the bias against the officer. So as to prevent a similar misunderstanding here: The guy in the wheelchair can walk. He was in the hospital, and had apparently been treated for a stabbing, and also was drunk and unruly. So that's why they were moving him around in a wheelchair. My purpose in emphasizing that wasn't to say, "Hey, cop hit a cripple!!" but rather, "Hey, cop hit a guy who is strapped to a chair!"