Nov 8, 2023
UPDATE: Violent Cop Who Beat Black Man During Booking Gets Indicted
- 8 minutes
The officer has now been arraigned by the federal government. Let me remind you of the incident, here it is. [MUSIC] [00:00:28] No provocation, there's no threat. And this is a skinny teenager. And a cop who's out of control, okay? [00:00:46] He should have been arrested on spot. [MUSIC] The officers who saw the incident, we know initially at least one did report. [00:01:02] We now have a significant update to this violent cop. Put him up at full mass. Matthew Rodriguez, the former suburban Detroit police [00:01:20] officer accused of a federal civil rights crime for punching a young black male in the face, slamming his head to the ground. He could have died. This was at Warren PD Station. [00:01:35] He appeared in federal court this week in connection with the multiple charges related to the physical altercation. The 14 year officer appeared before a federal judge Monday, November 6, and was arraigned on civil rights violations charges connected to his actions against Mr. Jaquan Smith, 19 years of age, [00:01:55] was being booked on a carjacking and weapons charge on June 13. The FBI stated in a July 7th criminal complaint that the officer willfully violated and deprived Smith's civil rights under the color of law. [00:02:11] It was last week that the federal grand jury indicted the former officer on Thursday, November 2nd on two counts. Willfully depriving a prisoner of his constitutional rights by using excessive force and lying about it on official paperwork. [00:02:27] The Michigan resident faces up to 30 years in prison and found guilty. The federal case has subsumed a state case against Rodriguez, local station WDIV reports, okay? The incident was captured by the jail surveillance camera. [00:02:42] So he did this, he knew where the camera was, he was comfortable doing it and likely this was not the first time he did it. Prompting the Department of Justice to allege he not only used unreasonable and excessive force, but provided false information regarding the incident in his official report. [00:03:01] The conduct that is alleged here, a blatant and shocking violation of the victim's rights. And then an effort by the former officer to lie about that cannot be ignored or go unchecked, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, [00:03:18] Dawn Ison said in a statement after the indictment was revealed. I want you to put it up. You see, authorities, note, the footage used as evidence has no audio, but [00:03:33] it clearly shows the cop completely losing control, lunging at Mr. Smith. At one point, the cop grabs the young man by his hair, by his locks, slams him, this time with Smith's [00:03:51] feet kicking forward in response to the injury. The two officers present, at times they were holding Smith, holding the wrong person. The criminal complaint also stated that Smith had no weapons on his person, [00:04:09] did not at any time attempt to fight officer Rodriguez, and in their assessment, posed no threat to him. Instead, from the start of the altercation, he stood with his hands at his side and his thumbs in his pocket before the attack. Shortly after the incident, Smith filed a $50 million lawsuit, [00:04:26] it's a federal suit against the three officers. Smith has not commented on the indictment. So what do we have here? Well, first of all, let me start with the fact that the jurisdiction has a mandate to report. [00:04:44] They have a mandate to report, okay? These mandates have no teeth if enforcement does not at least go toward those who fail to report, okay? Number one, you can't enforce that unless you make sure people who don't [00:05:02] report are held completely accountable for not reporting. Also, this cop, the way he walked up to this teenager, the way he decided to unleash this criminal act upon this 19 year old kid, basically. [00:05:17] Well, do you think that was his first time in his 14, 15 year history that he's done something like this? But the reality is you will not see them opening his file, investigating cases that he has been involved in or [00:05:35] even allegations of misconduct prior that he was probably cleared of. They know their officers, especially when a cop has been on the force this long. That is why I often say this is not about the rules. [00:05:50] Typically, the rules actually make sense. What's on paper makes sense, it's the culture of a thing. Because culture will eat policy alive every day of the week, as I say. So in order to transform the narrative of policing, you can't simply think reform, you have to also think replacement. [00:06:07] You have to replace these bad officers and this is one way to do it. Arrest them, make sure they have a criminal trial, and they are no longer able to serve in any official capacity of public trust. Mr Mayor, as the elected mayor of Enfield, North Carolina, [00:06:23] you have police officers, a chief and officers, detectives, etc. Typically, and I remember when you first got elected, people know who the bad cops are. They're still on the force, tell me why it is so difficult to get rid of bad cops who have a history of misconduct like this guy. [00:06:44] And we keep them on the force at the expense of the taxpayer, because at the end of this, guess who's going to pay? Not him or the people who pay the taxes of that community. >> Speaker 2: Yeah, I mean, qualified immunity protects him from being held liable for this. The tragedy of this is, when we talk about bad cops, [00:07:00] I think we limit it to the wrong people. We only consider the person carrying out the act as a bad cop. If you ask me, I consider anybody sitting silent, help maintaining this silence, this blue code that they don't cross, any of you that are carrying on in that manner, watching as officers behave like this. [00:07:19] This officer was way too comfortable hitting this young man in his face in front of a camera to this to be his first time. And his partner knew exactly what to do. Grab his feet, sit on his feet so he can't do anything except move the feet. This is absolutely culture, as you said, and the culture of police, and [00:07:36] not just in this department, but in this country, is telling us that if you are black, you are not safe in the hands of police officers. Because they're either gonna be quiet while you get your brains beat out or they're gonna beat your brains out. And that's just the nature of it is. And if I was lying, Dr Richey, it wouldn't be so that since George Floyd had [00:07:54] been killed, more black men are being killed by cops every year. >> Speaker 1: Exactly. Exactly and that's one of the reasons we needed that George Floyd Policing and Accountability Act federally so that we can have a glimpse into the actual record of police officers. [00:08:10] Oversight has its own effect of remedy. Oversight has its own effect of remedy. All right, we'll bring you updates as that trial continues.
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