Uncut video footage shows how four police officers brutally beat a black suspect during a traffic stop. Patrolman, Jeffrey M. Asher, hit the suspect in the face with a flashlight. Another officer calls the suspect a nigger.
Patrolman Asher was suspended for six months without pay in 1997 when he was caught, on video, kicking a different black suspect, who had already been handcuffed, in the face. He was also involved in another incident in 2004 when police dragged another black man, who was in the early stages of a diabetic seizure, out of a car and beat him unconscious on the pavement despite the pleas of a witness who tried to tell the police what was wrong with the man.
It shows Jones being hit at least 15 times by one officer swinging a metal flashlight while two others wrestle with him on the hood of a police car. In the police report of the incident, one of the officers states the struggle ensued when Jones became violent and grabbed one of the officer’s gun and began to pull it.
Jones suffered fractures to the bones in his face that needed reconstructive surgery, according to his father, Melvin Jones Jr., who supplied the copy of the video to The Republican. His son also sustained a broken finger that required two pins and is now partially blind in one eye.
Jones, who, according to the police report was employed as a deli clerk at a supermarket in Holyoke, has pleaded innocent in District Court to charges resulting from his arrest. They include three felony counts of possession for marijuana, crack cocaine and Percocet, resisting arrest and malicious damage to a motor vehicle, a police car.
The police report states that the officers recovered 38 “rocks” of crack cocaine, 38 Percocet tablets and eight bags of marijuana. He is due back in court on Feb. 3, according to his public defender Jarod Olanoff.
Mr. Jones has been in trouble with the law before, however, the response from the police does not warrant the action taken. Mr. Jones’ past troubles should also not be an issue here. The issue is the unwarranted beat down of a man and the repeated civil rights violations by the police, particularly Patrolman Asher.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Jones was a passenger in the car. The car was pulled over for a dragging muffler. The driver was guilty of driving with a suspended license and told to find a licensed driver to take her home. She was not arrested. The only suspicion the police had of Jones was that he was “acting unusually.”
Even if he is found guilty, that is a decision for the courts. It’s not a decision that the police can make on the spot where they can then say a beat down is needed. The police in this matter are just as guilty as Mr. Jones.
|Uncut video: Arrest of Melvin Jones III, November 27, 2009