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Entries in Beating (19)

Wednesday
Nov142012

Chicago Police Guilty of Covering Up Bartender Beating

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The Chicago Police Department has been found guilty of covering up the beating of a female bartender by a city police officer, and was criticized for honoring a "code of silence" in which officers cover up for one another's misdeeds.

Bartender Karina Obrycka was awarded $850,000 by a federal jury on Tuesday.

Obrycka sued the police department and former police officer Anthony Abbate for a 2007 incident in which Abbate jumped behind her bar at Jesse's Shortstop Inn and, when reprimanded by Obrycka, assaulted her.

The altercation was caught on surveillance tape, but Chicago police officers ignored the tape's existence and failed to mention in their police report that the assailant was a city cop. Obrycka's attorney presented evidence, including hundreds of phone calls between Abbate and other cops in the hours after the incident, that convinced the jury there was a widespread effort to cover up the attack.

Abbate was eventually charged and found guilty of felony battery and lost his job. On Tuesday, however, a federal jury went farther, condemning the entire police department as well as Abbate for covering up the crime.

The jury awarded Obrycka $850,000, validating the bartender's claims that Abbate conspired with other cops after the assault, and that higher-ups at the department tried to keep the case quiet, according to ABC News affiliate WLS.

The city of Chicago said in a statement after the verdict that it "respectfully disagrees" and intends to appeal the decision.

Obrycka's attorney, Terry Ekl, said that the Chicago Police Department must make changes to how it operates now that the code of silence has been recognized by a court of law. He put the onus on the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.

"The question now becomes, 'What are they going to do about it?'" he said. "If there's going to be changed, it has to come from the mayor's office."

Craig Futterman, a law professor at the University of Chicago who has studied the code of silence in Chicago, agreed.

"The bulk of the Chicago Police Department isn't made up of officers who go around beating up bar maids and pummeling them gratuitously for no reason or in drunken rage. It's not what the vast majority of officers do," he said.

"Still, it's something that departments as a whole and police leadership tends to shy away from. I think the best police leaders try to take it head on, and they do have those conversations about what needs to be done, but they need to have support not just in the police department, but from the mayor, too. When you're dealing with an entrenched culture, the rank and file can just wait out that person," Futterman said.

Emanuel's office released a statement saying that he believes Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will end the code of silence.

"The mayor is confident that Superintendent McCarthy and his leadership team have not, and would not, approve of, let alone participate in, a code of silence. And to the extent there are members of the department who have a different view, the Mayor is confident that McCarthy and his team will deal with that," the mayor's office said.

McCarthy also released a statement saying he would not tolerate a code of silence in the department.

"The Chicago Police Department does not tolerate misconduct by our members and vigorously investigates all instances that are brought to our attention or discovered internally," the statement read. "Furthermore, I will never tolerate a code of silence in a department for which I am responsible."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul052012

Man Acquitted of Beating of Priest He Said Sexually Abused Him

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- William Lynch, the California man who admitted he pummeled a priest who he said abused him as a boy, has been found not guilty of felony assault and elder abuse charges.

The jury of nine men and three women could not reach a verdict on a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault for the 2010 attack at a retirement home.

The jury began deliberations late Monday after hearing impassioned closing arguments from both sides.

The defense's strategy had long been to prove to the jury that the wrong man was on trial. However, prosecutor Vicki Gemetti urged jurors to focus on the assault.

"Two wrongs don't make a right," she said in her closing arguments on Monday.

Lynch's crusade for his own form of personal justice against the priest, Jerry Lindner, drew supporters to the courthouse in San Jose, Calif., during his nearly three-week trial. They carried signs that read "stop clergy sex abuse" and condemned the "pedophile playground" retirement community that is home to Lindner, who has had previous allegations against him.

Lynch testified last Friday that he visited Lindner with the intention of having the aging Jesuit sign a confession, but when the priest "looked up and leered" at Lynch in the same manner he did more than 35 years ago when he sexually abused him, Lynch said he ordered the priest to take off his glasses and hit him.

Lynch passed up a plea deal of one year in jail and instead chose to go to trial to publicly shame the man who he said haunted his memories for 35 years.

On a family camping trip 35 years ago, Lynch said he was brutally raped at age 7 by Lindner and was then forced to perform sex acts on his 4-year-old brother.

The boys kept their painful secret for years, long past the six-year statute of limitations California had in place at the time of the alleged crimes.

Lynch got his wish to see the priest in court, even if the tables were turned. Lindner was forced to testify, but a short time later the Jesuit invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The judge struck his testimony from the record.

During his short time on the stand, Lindner, now 67, told the court he remembered Lynch, but only as the man who attacked him at a Los Gatos, Calif., Jesuit retirement community where the priest has resided since 2001.

Lindner denied molesting Lynch and his younger brother on a camping trip to the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974.

Lynch's attorney declared the priest had perjured himself and even prosecutor Vicki Gemetti said in her opening statement that she expected Lindner to lie on the stand or say he didn't remember certain events.

"The evidence will show [Lindner] molested the defendant all those years ago," she said, but urged the jury to focus on Lynch's attack.

Lynch's case of alleged vigilante justice has attracted support from around the world and has shed light on a justice system many view as flawed.

Lynch and his brother were awarded $625,000 after filing a civil suit against Lindner in 1997. The priest was removed from active ministry and was moved to the Jesuit retirement community in 2001.

Lindner was named in two other abuse lawsuits, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

Cops to Be Tried in Alleged Fatal Beating of Homeless Man Caught on Video

Thinkstock/Getty Images(FULLERTON, Calif.) -- Two Fullerton, Calif., police officers will be tried in the death of a mentally ill homeless man whose apparent beating by police was captured on video, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Officer Manuel Ramos, 38, and Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 40, are charged in the death of Kelly Thomas, 37. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Attorneys for the officers have questioned whether medical treatment, not the actual beating, could have resulted in Thomas' death.

"The grainy but gripping video of a homeless man being beaten to death was the key evidence in the prosecution's successful effort to convince the court to force a police officer to stand trial for murder in the second degree," said Royal Oakes, an ABC News legal analyst.

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"The video of the beating conjured up memories of the Rodney King police beating of two decades ago," Oakes said. "The videotaped evidence will no doubt be the centerpiece of the D.A.'s case in the upcoming murder trial, where one officer could be facing 15 years to life behind bars."

The July 5, 2011, surveillance video, taken from a publicly mounted camera, coupled with an audio recording device worn by an officer, stunned a packed courtroom of Thomas' supporters when it was shown for the first time Monday.

"I can't breathe man," and, "sorry," Thomas could be heard telling officers as he allegedly endured punches to his left ribs and blows to his face from an officer's knee.

Thomas, who is reportedly schizophrenic, repeatedly cried out for his father.

He was also Tasered three times with the stungun applied directly to his skin for five-second periods. He was hit a fourth time with two darts connected to the gun by wires, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. The entire time he could be heard screaming in agony.

The apparent beating lasted nine minutes and 40 seconds and ended with Thomas' limp body in handcuffs.

Thomas was transported to St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif., for intubation to help him breathe. He never regained consciousness.

Five days later, Thomas died. The coroner's office ruled the death a homicide.

"You have 1,500 pounds of trained cop on my one little son, but they have to bring this out like they were just so overpowered by this brute to make themselves look innocent and that they're the victims," Ron Thomas, the victim's father, said outside of court Monday.

The officers had responded to the Fullerton Transportation Center after receiving a call that a homeless man was seen looking into car windows and pulling on door handles.

Six officers arrived at the scene for backup, but the district attorney determined that there was only enough evidence to charge Ramos and Cicinelli in Thomas' death.

The video began with Ramos approaching Thomas and asking him to sit with his legs and hands in front of him. Thomas had trouble complying with the order and appeared to have cognitive difficulties, according to the D.A.'s office.

Fed up, Ramos made fists and asked Thomas if he saw them. Thomas replied that he did.

"They're getting ready to f--- you up," Ramos told him.

When a shirtless Thomas, who had earlier forgotten his name and said he didn't speak English, stood up, Ramos and his partner were shown swinging at him with their batons.

Thomas took off and was tackled, setting off the nearly 10-minute beating that allegedly led to his death.

Ramos is a 10-year veteran of the Fullerton Police, while Cicinelli has been an officer in Fullerton for 12 years.

The video ended with paramedics carrying Thomas' body to an ambulance, revealing a large blood stain on the spot where the altercation took place.

Thomas had no illicit drugs or alcohol in him at the time of the incident, according to the toxicology report.

If convicted, Cicinelli could face a maximum sentence of four years in prison and Ramos could be sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr052012

Iraqi Hate Crime Murder Probe Raises Questions About Daughter, Husband

ABC News(EL CAJON, Calif.) -- Police investigating the murder of an Iraqi mother in southern California, initially thought to be a hate crime, have filed papers with a court that suggest the mother had a difficult relationship with her daughter and her husband.

The beating death last month of Shaima Alawadi, 32, of El Cajon, shook the Iraqi-American community when her family reported that a note was found next to Alawadi's body, reportedly saying "go back to your own country, you terrorist."

Alawadi's 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, told police that a similar note had been found a week prior to the murder, but the mother thought of it as a joke and threw it away. Court documents now show that the note was a copy of an original, and the earlier note has never been seen.

The family, including Fatima and Alawadi's husband, are now in Iraq, where they went for Alawadi's burial.

According to court documents obtained by ABC News affiliate KGTV, the daughter received a text message while she was being interviewed by investigators that read, "The detective will find out tell them cnt (can't) talk."

Fatima, who was reportedly the only one home with her mother when the attack happened, had a troubled relationship with her mother, the documents show. In November, police had contacted Alawadi after finding Fatima having sex with a 21-year-old man in a parked car. Alawadi had picked her daughter up from the scene, but Fatima then jumped out of her mother's car going 35 mph, the documents state.

Fatima was also distraught over her pending arranged marriage to a cousin, according to the documents.

The investigation into Alawadi's death revealed that a neighbor reported seeing a dark-skinned teenager or 20-something man running away from Alawadi's house around the time of her death, carrying a donut-shaped cardboard box. Police searched the home of the man Fatima was found having sex with months earlier, and took items from his home as part of the investigation, according to the U-T San Diego newspaper.

Alawadi was also planning to divorce her husband, according to a search warrant in the case. Divorce papers were found in Alawadi's car, and a relative told police Alawadi was planning to divorce husband Kassim Alhimidi and move to join her mother and siblings in Texas.

In January, Alawadi had contacted the El Cajon police department to report her daughter Fatima missing, but cancelled the report two hours later after locating her daughter, according to U-T San Diego.

Fatima was the most outspoken member of the family in the wake of Alawadi's death, telling police and reporters that she found her mother bloodied and with head wounds around 11:15 a.m. on March 21. Fatima told police she had been upstairs, and heard her mother squeal before hearing glass break 10 seconds later. When she discovered her mother was wounded, she called 911.

"You're an animal, you're not even an animal," Fatima yelled into a news camera shortly after her mother's beating, addressing her mother's killer. "You took my mother away from me, you took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it, that's all I want to know.  Answer me that."

Alawadi's husband had taken the couple's other children to school earlier that morning, according to police, although the U-T San Diego reported Wednesday that his whereabouts had not yet been confirmed.

The autopsy of Alawadi's body showed that the beating was "extremely violent" and included at least six hits to the head, with at least four skull fractures, according to the newspaper report. Autopsy records noted that the injuries may have been caused by an object similar to a tire iron.

Though the police said they would look into the possibility of whether the murder was a hate crime, they quickly assured the Iraqi community in El Cajon that the killing was seemingly an isolated incident and that no residents had any reason to believe they were in danger.

The family traveled to Baghdad, Iraq, where Alwadi's father is a Shia cleric, last week. Phone calls to the El Cajon police department about the family's plans to return to the U.S. were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan242012

Dad Who Turned in Son for Filmed Beating Says Punishment Too Harsh

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago father who turned his teenage son over to the police after he was seen as part of a mob in a video beating and robbing a fellow 17-year-old believes that the legal system is treating his son too harshly.

Michael Palomino, who has been a sheriff's deputy of 30 years, turned in his son Raymond after he identified him in a YouTube video stomping, punching and slamming another boy to the ground, along with six other teens. All of the attackers covered their faces with hoods or masks during the attack last Sunday afternoon, except Palomino.

In the video the six attackers are seen beating and robbing a teenager of Asian descent in an alley behind a Chicago elementary school. They shout profanities and racial epithets while he is kicked and punched. The video received close to half a million views, and relatives of the 17-year-old who saw the clip informed the teenager's dad.

"As soon as I saw the video I had to call 911, the police department," Michael Palomino told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.  "I did what was right as a parent…I am in law enforcement myself.  The right thing was to turn him in."

He says it was especially gut-wrenching for him because of the decision he was forced to make after he saw the video.  And while he doesn't regret his decision, he says the consequences for his son's behavior are too harsh.

Police have charged Raymond Palomino, 17, as an adult with one count of robbery and one count of aggravated battery.  Three 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and one 15-year-old girl have also been charged as juveniles in connection to the case.  Authorities are not releasing their names because they are minors, and they have been turned over to a juvenile detention center.

"They are trying to make him look like he is the aggressor in the whole video, and he is not.  He is 17 and they are trying to make an example of him," Michael Palomino told ABC News.

Police disagree, however, and say this is a case of mob mentality.

"This is very clearly mob type of behavior.  They get a lot of courage when its six or seven beating up one person.  And this just isn't tolerable," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

Raymond Palomino is being held on a $100,000 bond.  His dad, a single father, can't afford to bail him out.

During a court appearance Monday, Judge Sandra Ramos refused Palomino's lawyers' request to drop the bond, and denied a request to release Palomino on electronic monitoring, according to ABC News affiliate WLS-TV.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Seven Teens Charged in Chicago Beating Posted on YouTube

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A 15-year-old girl who videotaped a gang attack in a Chicago alley is one of seven teens charged in the assault of a 17-year-old boy that went viral after being posted on YouTube.

"She lured the victim to that location and also videotaped the attack," said a spokesman for the Chicago police department. "It was planned and it was orchestrated so that victim would go to that alley and the attack would take place."

The video was posted on YouTube shortly after the attack on Sunday afternoon. Although YouTube has made the original video age-restricted, the taped beating has gone viral. Police say it helped them identify the attackers.

In the video, six attackers are seen beating and robbing a teenager of Asian descent in an alley behind a Chicago elementary school. They shout profanities and racial epithets while he is kicked and punched.

Police have charged Raymond Palomino, 17, as an adult with one count of robbery and one count of aggravated battery, according to ABC News' Chicago affiliate WLS-TV.

Two 16-year-old boys, three 15-year-old boys and one 15-year-old girl have also been charged as juveniles in connection to the case. Authorities are not releasing their names because they are minors.

The victim, a 17-year-old Curie High School senior, was eventually able to escape his attackers. His cuts and bruises were treated at a hospital and he was released. The attackers stole his wallet and gym shoes, according to WLS-TV.

The video shows him being pummeled with fists, kicked and dragged down the alley. One of the pack even holds the victim down while another beats his head with a shoe.

At one point, the young man gets to his feet, pleads with his attackers to "hold on," but is dragged back to the ground for more punches. The video, as initially posted, begins with the attack in progress, and lasts for close to four minutes before the victim is able to run away.

Chicago police said, "At this time, it does not appear that this incident was racially motivated."

Palomino is scheduled to appear in central bond court Wednesday and the juvenile suspects have been turned over to the juvenile detention center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov282011

Texas Judge Who Beat Daughter Sought Suspension, Lawyer Says

Hillary Adams speaking with ABC News(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- A prominent Texas judge who was placed on leave while the court investigates the circumstances surrounding a video of him beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her proposed the suspension himself, his lawyer said.

Judge William Adams and the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct filed a joint motion to temporarily suspend his official duties as presiding judge during the course of the investigation.  The Texas Supreme Court approved the motion last Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Adams had already taken immediate voluntary leave upon learning that the video of "a family disciplinary event" had been made public, his lawyer William Dudley of Corpus Christi, Texas, said in a statement Sunday.

"The agreed temporary suspension is neither a fault sanction imposed by the Texas Supreme Court following an adversarial hearing, a finding of fault or wrongdoing by the commission, or admission of fault or wrongdoing by Judge Adams," Dudley said.

The suspension will allow the commission to "investigate allegations in a complete and yet expedient manner," he said.

After the video went viral on the Internet earlier this month, Adams said that he was merely disciplining his child and did nothing wrong.

"No, in my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized," he Adams told KZTV.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen being beaten in the video, secretly recorded the beating seven years ago and recently uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on Reddit, a link-sharing website, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

"I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, 'No, Hillary this wasn't right and I'm glad you were able to grow up and move on past this' and 'No, your dad wasn't right,'" Hillary Adams told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov232011

Texas Judge Seen Beating Daughter in YouTube Video Suspended

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The Texas judge who was seen hitting his 16-year-old daughter with a belt in a 2004 video that garnered millions of views when it hit the Internet, has been suspended by the state Supreme Court.

Judge William Adams of Arnasas County, Texas, was suspended with pay pending an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the court announced Tuesday.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen in the video, secretly recorded the beating seven years ago and uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on the link-sharing website Reddit, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

In the video, Judge Adams is seen beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her.  He has previously said that he does not feel that he did anything wrong, because he was meting out parental discipline: “No, in my mind I haven’t done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I’ve since apologized,” the judge told CBS News' Corpus Christie, Texas affiliate KZTV after the video went viral on the Internet.

Both Hillary and William Adams have said the beating took place as punishment for then-16-year-old Hillary illegally downloading from the Internet.  She said the beatings were a regular part of her life during those years, but she did not publish the video until now because she feared it would incite more violence.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced publicly on Nov. 2 that it had opened the investigation.  William Adams has not sat on the bench since the video went viral; he insisted in a statement that she released the video when he threatened to cut off his financial support if she dropped out of college.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Texas Judge Who Beat Daughter Not Sorry, Says It Was 'Discipline'

ABC News(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- A prominent Texas judge who was filmed beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her said he was merely disciplining his child and did nothing wrong.

"No, in my mind I haven't done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.  And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized," Judge William Adams told KZTV Wednesday after the video went viral on the Internet.

Hillary Adams, the daughter who is seen being beaten in the video, secretely recorded the beating seven years ago and recently uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 27.  The video was then posted on Reddit, a link-sharing website, where it racked up millions of views and incited anger among viewers.

"I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, 'No, Hillary this wasn't right and I'm glad you were able to grow up and move on past this' and 'No, your dad wasn't right,'" Hillary Adams told ABC News' Chris Cuomo.

Both Hillary and William Adams have said the beating took place as punishment for then-16-year-old Hillary illegally downloading from the Internet.  It was shot in 2004 by a secret camera Hillary set up when she anticipated her father might beat her.  She said the beatings were a regular part of her life during those years, but she did not publish the video until now because she feared it would incite more violence.

"Another fight was getting out of control and I knew the beating was coming so I just waited," Hillary Adams said.

Hillary and her mother, Hallie Adams, have since moved out of the family home.  The family has not said where a younger daughter, age 11, is living.

The Aransas County Court, where William Adams has his office, posted a sign canceling his hearings for Thursday, according to ABC News affiliate Kiii-TV.  Phone calls to the judge's home and office went unanswered that day.

Neighbors told the news station that the judge and his girlfriend were seen leaving Wednesday after taking belongings from their home, including bags, hanging clothes, a briefcase, a laptop, and six to eight gun cases.

The video, which prompted thousands of calls of complaint to the courthouse, sheriff's office, and police department, also prompted a police investigation into the matter.  Authorities will try to authenticate the video and then turn it over to the district attorney, who can then present it to a grand jury.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Family Court Judge Caught Beating Ill Daughter on Videotape

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- Police Wednesday began investigating a Texas family law judge who was videotaped beating his cerebral palsy-stricken daughter with a belt.

Judge William Adams, who has ruled on child abuse cases throughout his career, is seen in a webcam video from 2004 beating his daughter with a belt and cursing at her for close to 10 minutes. The daughter, Hillary Adams, secretly taped the encounter but only recently uploaded it to YouTube and the social sharing site Reddit.

"Judge William Adams took a belt to his own teenage daughter as punishment for using the Internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams, now 23, wrote in the text accompanying the video.

Hillary Adams was 16 when the video was made, and, as a lifelong sufferer of cerebral palsy, said she had a passion for technology that her father detested. She said she received the beating for using her computer when she was forbidden from doing so.

The video went viral on Reddit, racking up more than 500,000 views since it was first uploaded Oct. 27, and inspiring the wrath of the community of readers there, who posted his home address, phone number and workplace contact information.

Readers reportedly began sending pizzas to the judge's home all through the night after it was posted and encouraged viewers from all over the country to call the police, sheriff and judicial departments of Aransas County to demand an investigation.

On Wednesday, Aransas County Court, which employed the judge, said the matter is now under investigation by police. The court confirmed that the man in the video was William Adams.

"My father's harassment was getting really bad, so I decided to finally publish the video that I had been sitting on for seven years," Hillary Adams told ABC News affiliate KXTV.

"It had happened before, and had been escalating," Adams said. "I set up a camera, and I caught it."

Judge Adams also spoke to the news station, claiming that "it's not as bad as it looks on tape."

"It happened years ago...I apologized," he told the station.

The judge also said he has notified the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct by judges in Texas. Adams said that "more will come out" during the investigation.

Hillary Adams has since tweeted about the explosion of attention the video has received, asking her supporters not to hate her father, but instead to try and get her father to seek help.

"It is my wish that people stop threatening my father and start offering professional help. That is what he really needs," she wrote. "I'm feeling some regret for publishing the video because to ruin my own father is heavy indeed. But I really want him to seek help."

A Facebook page opposing the judge's re-election has also been established.

Calls to Judge Adams' office went unreturned. Efforts to contact Hillary Adams also went unreturned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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