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    US Police Union Scolds Judge Who Apologized to Victim of Police Brutality

    CC BY 2.0 / Tony Webster / Police Line / Police Tape
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    The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Capital City Lodge 9 Union in July unanimously voted to revoke its endorsement of a Columbus, Ohio, judge after he apologized for a victim of police brutality who had his head stomped on while he was face down and in handcuffs.

    Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Frye apologized to the victim before sentencing him to four years behind bars in April. 

    "Let me apologize on behalf of the public for the officer kicking you," Frye told Demarko Anderson as Anderson, who was convicted of aggravated menacing and carrying a concealed weapon, appeared before him in court. "We do not have officers, generally, who do that sort of stuff, and it's wrong. Everybody knows it's wrong. But if nobody's said that to you, well, I'll say it on behalf of the public."

    Local FOP President Jason Pappas said Frye should not have apologized to Anderson on behalf of "the public."

    "It's not what he should have done," Pappas added, according to the Columbus Dispatch. "At the end of the day, that's what it's about."

    Anderson had his head stomped on by Columbus police officer Zachary Rosen, who had previously fatally shot another Columbus man, Henry Green, in 2016. The events surrounding the shooting were disputed by witnesses. Green fired nine shots at the officers, who were not in uniform; Rosen fired 15; and fellow officer Jason Bare fired seven. It was disputed whether the officers identified themselves as police to Green and who fired first. 

    "They hopped out so fast I thought they shot through the window," Christian Rutledge, who was travelling with Green, said the day after the June 6 shooting.

    In Columbus, police who deploy such tactics are referred to as "jumpout boys." It's apparently a widespread phenomenon. In Baltimore, Maryland, the tactic is called "door pops" and was utilized by the notoriously corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. In Washington, DC, they're called jump-outs.

    Fellow Columbus officers rallied for Rosen after the Anderson incident before Rosen's hearing in front of Public Safety Director Ned Pettus in June.

    Pettus fired Rosen, but the officer was later reinstated into the department by an arbitrator. 

    Between 2013 and 2017, Columbus police fatally shot 28 people, 21 of whom were black.

    In April, Paul Wright, editor of Prison Legal News and founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center, told Sputnik News that police unions such as the FOP exert their influence from an "organized position" to "basically censor any kind of criticism, real or imagined, within society… ensuring this ideological conformity that everyone basically has to toe the police state line."

    "Police unions, I think, are part of what enables the lack of accountability and the ongoing systemic problems that we have in terms of unaccountable police and everything else," Wright said.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    police brutality, Black Lives Matter, Police Abuse, Police Union, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union
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