Transit Deputies Who Severely Beat Unarmed Homeless Man Get Hung Jury

police brutality excuses2.jpg
Transit police deserve some of the whoopass action too, no?
An Orange County federal jury could not reach a unanimous decision today in the civil case of a unarmed homeless man severely beaten in Santa Ana by two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department transit deputies in November 2009.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter accepted the jury foreman's report that there was a hopeless deadlock, thanked the eight members of the citizen's panel (five women and three men) for their service and, after consulting with each side in excessive force lawsuit, dismissed the jurors late this afternoon.

The jury had favored the defense of deputies Scott C. Harper and Brian Sherred, who acknowledge that they beat the hell out of Johnnie Franklin Jones--a pleasant, hardworking fellow--on a public sidewalk but claimed their use of force was justified because the suspect didn't rapidly comply with their orders to raise his hands.

Jones' legal team of Jerry L. Steering and Alexander J. Perez had argued during a four-day trial that Harper and Sherred fabricated post-incident reports to justify the excessive use of force that put Jones in the hospital and required emergency surgeries.

On behalf of the officers, deputy Los Angeles county counsel Joseph Langston, a near perfect Rob Lowe look/sound-alike, argued that Jones caused the attack by assaulting the officers and acting mysteriously.

Immediately following Judge Carter's case-ending announcement, Jones said that he was ready for a new trial.

In its final deliberations, the jury voted 7-1 in favor of Harper and Sherred.

Jones--who, though homeless at the time of the incident, works two jobs and hopes to get a degree from Orange Coast College--is African American; the deputies are white (terribly pale, actually); and post-55, white folks comprised most of the jury.

Sheriff's departments in Southern California never admit wrongdoing and Orange County has a long, shameful history of white-loaded juries looking the other way in cases of police brutality.

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17 comments
Paul
Paul

The OC Register and their shill Lou Ponsi, who also doubles as a reporter, never find anything wrong with a police department report.  They never go out and call on witnesses for the real story, just go to the PD public info officer and rewrite their report.  No investigative reporting ever!  However, due to their atrocious 50% declining circulation and poor financial condition, the OC Register has been sold to a Boston native who desires to change the face of the paper!  (and he is a liberal!!) So police departments, get ready!  Get your chief and your union rep over to the OC Register before they start investigating your investigators!  They will be printing stories about how you perform your jobs.  The old days of looking the other way when it comes to PD's and other bureaucracies are over!  Consider this your forewarning.  Its long over due.

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

Unconscionable! You have to wade through a sea of filth at OC Weekly to find these gems but it's worth it.

When the dope pushing, racist La Raza reconquesta Aztlan hate whitey fantasies, homosexuality, etc... are all pushed away: you find stories like this one... a real diamond.

OC Weekly is the absolute leader in fighting government corruption far exceeding the Register or any other OC publication and for that they get all stars. Another great story. I would never have known this had occurred and what the real facts were if I didn't read the OC Weekly.

You may think I have a funny way of putting it but I'm keeping it real when I say thank you OC Weekly for stories such as this one. Nobody wants to go through what this man had to and if we don't know, we can't fight it. Thanks for getting the word out.

Duberly Witherspoon
Duberly Witherspoon

Well if Mr. Jones was smart he'd get rid of those bafoon attorneys that he hired. Laughable and totally unbelievable.

Eldonperrito
Eldonperrito

The people of orange county deserves the police they got,brutal assholes with out regard for safety.The revolution is only getting start it.Long live the united States of America and that glorious second amendment right.Living on a police state means the terrorist have won,and that is not an option.Is it??

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

LA sheriff department in Santa Ana? why?

Ronny
Ronny

"Immediately following Judge Carter's case-ending announcement, Jones said that he was ready for a new trail."

Needed a new trail?

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

Ahhh! Spoken like a lawyer already spinning for a possible future jury! If your comment was meant to suggest some argument like: the deputy must be innocent because he knows black people, then why not make that point? Better yet, why didn't Judge Carter allow your proud assertion as exculpatory evidence in the trial? One guess....

Anonymous
Anonymous

Amazing you mentioned that the deputies are white. Were you going to mention other little known facts like Deputy Harper's African-American step-mother was in the court room supporting him.

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

To expand their area of power--and it's all about power, pensions & budget $, LA sheriff's deputies insisted and got policing control of the train line even in OC. As you can see from this case, they do a bang up job, so to speak.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Mr reporter you are gravely mistaken as to what my role was in that court room. Fortunately there are juries that decide these issues instead of agenda driven reporters like yourself. Juries that actually see and here the evidence.

debaser
debaser

Isn't your omission of that piece of information meant to create the impression that the deputies must be guilty because they are "terribly pale" and likely don't know any black people?  You can't have it both ways Mr. Moxley.  Your inclusion or exclusion of details underscore a bias.  Admit it and move on. 

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

 The Gestapo will be so deeply rooted when people wake up there will be nothing we can do.

portia776
portia776

As sympathetic you are here to the victim of racism, I can't help but notice and call out the rape victim blame and misogyny in your one post written about a sex worker who was raped in 2004 by an Irvine police officer named officer Parks by gleening over her body as if that caused the rape. Didnt you learn anything from the film, "Boys don't cry", where a transgendered man - nothing beautiful about him at all - because he was trans and the folks who did it hated him, NOT because he was attractive. I am raising that point to highlight that sexual violence is just that: sexual violence, which could happen to your suster, mother or even you.

I didn't like how you wrote that article - sarcasm aside (based on your writing style - that blames the victim for what happened to her. She was a victim of misogyny and a court system that still punishes women for their morals based on antiquated ideas of female puritan morals which is just as relevant as racism and its scars (I am black AND a sex worker btw). We are human, too, and what happens to us.is far more pervasive and serious because of how violence against us is tolerated. I will leave off by saying, "Ain't we human, too"? Think about your mothers next time you write something since it really pissed me off (an understatement). Peace.

R. Scott Moxley
R. Scott Moxley

Ahhh, I love the bravery you exert from your dark perch. So, just to get this straight, you truly expect me to do what no court journalist does: interview each person in the courtroom audience and reveal in print their names and personal connections to a case? Really? Okay! Let's start with you. Email me your details and I promise to include you in this story. But, just so you know, you'll have to abandon the shadows from which you hide. Prediction: you don't have the courage to put your real name on your opinions ;)

debaser
debaser

Instead of addressing my criticism, you go off on some purple prosed, half-assed excuse that ultimately suggests you're lazy.  As for your attempt to elicit personal information from me, nice try.  All in all, your're a last word freak who does not like being called out on his biases.  Keep up the good, if not predictable work. 

ageofknowledge
ageofknowledge

Personally, and I know this is off topic, I LIKE that OC Weekly writers engage their audience. It's gotten so rare in this day of the corporate conglomerate MSM (both left and right). The MSM makes me sick. I just can't watch it anymore knowing it's run by wealthy elitists who seek to control us the people through propaganda while firing every MSM employee who dares to show an ounce of background and actually present the facts without the spin. Just my 2 cents.  

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