Anorak News | Only In America

Only In America

by | 20th, January 2005

‘“ONLY in America!” It is one of those phrases that conjures up very different images depending on which side of the Atlantic you live.

Striking another telling blow for American justice

But it is the obvious reaction to a story in this morning’s Times, in which two Californian police officers have been awarded a total of $2.4m in damages for beating up a black teenager.

Officers Jeremy Morse and Bijan Darvish were filmed by a passer-by as they arrested 16-year-old Donovan Jackson at a Los Angeles petrol station in July 2002.

The footage, which dominated news bulletins, showed the two cops punching the handcuffed youth in the head and slamming him on the boot of their squad car.

So far, so bad – just another routine job for the LAPD.

But some squeamish types saw the footage on TV and decided to take action against the two officers involved.

Officer Morse was fired, Officer Darvish was suspended for 10 days.

This being America, the pair countersued that they were victims of racial discrimination because a black officer caught hitting a teenager with his torch was only suspended for four days.

And of course they won – with a jury awarding Officer Morse $1.6m in damages (and reinstatement) and Officer Darvish $810,000.

“This is not the first time police officers have been trapped in race situations where they suffered unfairly,” their lawyer Gregory Smith said after the verdict.

“This will have an impact in police departments across the country.”

Indeed it will. And the message is clear, if you want to make a fast buck, then pull out your night stick and start cracking a few heads…’

Posted: 20th, January 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink