Wednesday, December 01, 2004

UTPD Brutality Jury: Injure him more, then maybe

Accepting state's arguments that University of Texas Officer Wayne Coffey used his "judgment and training" when he slammed a Jonathon Bougie's head into a concrete wall, a jury concluded Bougie's civil rights were not violated. Bougie had been chalking the sidewalk in UT-Austin's free speech area the night the Iraq war began.

"One juror was nice enough afterwards to give Wayne [Krause] 'advice on what they could do better' ... if only Jon had just been hurt more -- and had more medical evidence of such-- they might have considered it 'excess force.' There's apparently a particular number of stitches one has to receive to qualify, although he didn't state the number. So maybe if instead of bashing his head against a wall; he shot and killed him, then perhaps THAT would be excessive for the grave crime of writing with chalk on a sidewalk."

Debbie's angry, but she's right. As Grits reported yesterday, an independent witness confirmed Bougie's version of events, stating the officer appeared to be "sneaking up" on Bougie. Then, according to the Statesman:

After initially slowing down, the officer gathered a full head of steam and ran at the student, extended his right hand and smashed the student's face against the cement wall.

The state's attorney, though, "said [Coffey] had only attempted to restrain Bougie, who may have then fallen forward and injured his head." It's difficult to understand how jurors reconciled that with the independent witness. So jurors must have concluded that witness was lying? Maybe Debbie's information is right and they just thought Bougie wasn't brutalized enough. Take a look at the pictures from the Campus Coalition for Peace and Justice, particularly this one,and you be the judge.

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