The New Haven Police Department released footage from a cell phone they confiscated from a woman last week that shows them aggressively arresting a suspect.
The video shows the usual. A cop ordering a suspect to “stop resisting” with his foot planted on his face while the suspect calls him a “pussy ass.”
But other than the verbal insults, the suspect didn’t appear to be resisting arrest. He was already handcuffed and had his legs shackled, so I’m not sure how he could resist other than mouthing off.
Meanwhile, police have yet to return the phone to Jennifer Gondola, the woman who recorded the incident.
In a text message to Photography is Not a Crime Tuesday night, she said she signed a release to allow the cops to release the video to the media and expects to get her phone back on Wednesday.
She has viewed the footage airing on local news sites and believes there is some segments missing, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched if they managed to delete the hitting and kicking as Gondola described.
Maybe the FBI will eventually get to the bottom of it.
According to the New Haven Independent (bold emphasis mine):
Rubino arrested 24-year-old Horace Rawlings as bars were getting out around 1:45 a.m. that early Saturday. Cops said he had resisted repeated order to leave a tense scene in the Temple Street courtyard, then fought officers rained profanity on them. Rawlings said he never attacked police.
An Ansonia woman named Jennifer Gondola caught part of the arrest on film with her cellphone. Sgt. Rubino arrested her and had her phone taken from her bra, where she had stashed it; he accused her of “interfering” with police by refusing to give him the phone. She said she had seen cops beat Rawlings while he was handcuffed, including kicking him in the head. Rubino told the Independent he needed to take the phone to preserve crucial evidence to support misdemeanor charges brought against Rawlings. (“I would never have let her leave with that phone,” Rubino told the Independent. “Do you think anybody ever turns anything in in favor of the police? She would have never brought that in. I took that because it was in my favor.”)
One big question in the New Haven investigation: Does the video constitute evidence the police needed to prove a crime? Enough to justify removing a camera from Gondola’s bra and seizing it without her permission? Did Rubino seize it to help press a case against Rawlings or to protect himself?
A second question the FBI wants to answer: Did the cops violate Rawlings’ civil rights?
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
Also, in an unrelated PINAC matter, I recently went through a hair transplant operation and I’m documenting my recovery on this blog if you are interested. I did not pay for this transplant, which is why I’m promoting the doctor through the hair transplant blog.