Cops Slam Black Driver's Head Against Car, Demand He Stop Hitting Himself
In yet another isolated incident, a black motorist was pulled from his car, thrown to the ground, and then had his head smashed against the hood of a police car. And for some reason, although the dash cam video doesn't show him behaving violently, Stuart Fitzgerald, 53, has been charged with assaulting officers in the May 26, 2014, incident. We really need to just have a story template to use for all these isolated incidents, where we can fill in the names, dates, and
perfectly reasonable bullshit explanations from police. It would save a lot of time.
Fitzgerald was pulled over for "flashing his high-beams" at the officer. He did not have his license with him, and police say he refused to sign the traffic citation, so he had to be pulled from the car.
Video shows an Orange County [Virginia] sheriff’s deputy throwing Fitzgerald onto the four-lane highway, but there is no audio during that segment due to what has been described as a malfunction.
The footage also partially shows Fitzgerald’s head repeatedly hitting the patrol car’s hood -- but the deputy claims Fitzgerald intentionally did that to himself.
Fitzgerald said he did not remember what happened at that point, but suffered a chipped tooth and facial injuries as a result.
It's a shame the audio wasn't working during that traffic stop, because we're sure it would have captured the deputy telling Fitzgerald, with great concern, "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself! Why are you hitting yourself?"
Fitzgerald insists that he was not resisting, and that he definitely didn't assault the deputy:
"I definitely was not," Fitzgerald said. "Cause, I'm not a fool. I'm not going to resist. I'm not going to fight 'em -- I know better than that."
WUSA showed the dashcam video to Ron Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense League, who questioned why there was an assault charge:
"I wish I had sound," [Hosko said.] "I would have questions about why we ended up on the ground."
"If he was absolutely handcuffed what was the purpose of the tackle," Hosko asked.
Also -- and isn't it the darnedest thing how sometimes these coincidences just happen? -- Washington DC TV station WUSA reports that the Orange County Sheriff's Department is just having a heck of a problem with those pesky recording devices:
Six other cameras, assigned to other officers who responded -- that should have been at the scene -- did not record video or audio of the confrontation according to the agency.
Probably they need a bigger budget. That must be it. After repeated requests from WUSA, both the sheriff's office and a second agency that was on the scene, the Town of Orange Police Department, acknowledged having additional recordings of the arrest, but have not yet released them.
The deputy who tackled Fitzgerald has since left Orange County; Sheriff Mark Amos wouldn't say why and would not discuss the case since it's pending in court. Asked whether the deputy's use of force against Fitzgerald had been investigated, Amos said there had been no investigation, since "There was never a complaint."
Thank goodness, though, it sounds like Fitzgerald is at least getting some top-notch representation:
Fitzgerald, a Marine veteran, spent five weeks in jail before his court-appointed attorney finally requested a bond hearing.
His current attorney, who has been suspended by the bar eight times for licensing violations, was unaware of many of the findings uncovered by the TV station.
Fitzgerald has been charged with three felonies, including assaulting the deputy, and for all we know, denting the hood of the police car with his head. His first court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
We're sure that he'll be just fine -- after all, this is America, and we don't just throw innocent people into prison. Say, any readers in the DC area know any good pro bono lawyers?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.