Thursday, February 16, 2012

Details, Details

The Miami Herald tells of the $3.3 million verdict, which a jury ordered Bank of America to pay Rodolfo Valladares, who was arrested after he tried cashing a $100 check and a teller, mistaking him for a robber, hit a silent alarm. The Herald reports:
When Rodolfo Valladares walked into an Aventura Bank of America, he simply wanted to cash his $100 check. A jumpy bank teller, thinking he looked like a robber, hit a silent alarm.

Police from Aventura and Miami-Dade rushed to the bank, ordered everyone to the floor as they physically detained Valladares, handcuffing him and kicking him in the head, his lawyer said. He was let go when bank employees and police realize they made a mistake.

For his troubles, Valladares soon will be getting a much bigger check.

A Miami-Dade jury has awarded Valladares $3.3 million in damages after ruling that the bank was negligent in triggering the silent alarm, then failing to cancel it when employees realized he was not a robber.

Valladares, 50, a former mortgage company loan officer, still suffers from headaches, blurred vision and post-traumatic stress disorder, said his attorney Russell S. Adler.

The bank is planning to appeal, and there's no knowing when -- or if -- Valladares will get his actual payout. But there's one detail the story doesn't address: police were certainly correct to respond to a silent alarm and, under the circumstances, correct to initially handcuff Valladares. But why aren't they being charged with attempted murder for kicking a handcuffed man in the head?

Meanwhile, tales of a different sort of police malfeasance come out of Seattle: a cop was smart enough to turn off his dashboard cam before beating up a couple off innocent guys to inflate his arrest statistics; fortunately for his victims, the cop forgot to turn off his lapel microphone, which recorded him saying "Yeah, I'm going to make stuff up" to justify their arrests. A police review board cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

When those 30,000 spy drones start flying over America by the end of the decade, I'm sure we'll see similar patterns of videotape failure: anytime police misbehave, the cameras will always stop recording first. And remember: in American jurisprudence, anytime your word contradicts that of a cop, you are always assumed to be lying unless there's recordings supporting your version of events (and not always, even then).


Blogger Dan said...

"recorded him saying "Yeah, I'm going to make stuff up" to justify their arrests. A police review board cleared the officer of any wrongdoing."


2:00 PM  
Blogger 2D Bunny of Doom said...

When your friends are on the board, not much chance of real justice. As someone who comes from a military and police family, background and present, this kind of conduct disgusts me. There are serious problems when a citizenry can't trust their authorities. Abuse of power appears rampant, and there is no justice for their victims. Where is the honor?

10:57 AM  

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