Jesse Kersey, a mentally handicapped 17-year-old, was riding his bicycle near his home and otherwise minding his own business when he was accosted by a stranger named Willie Hooper, an armed enforcer in the employ of the city of Dayton, Ohio. Jesse, who suffers from a speech impediment, found it impossible to communicate with Hooper. Accordingly, he went home to find his mother, Pamela Ford, in the hope that she could help.
Hooper, like many others in his chosen occupation, apparently is an individual in which immense, unearned self-regard co-exists with incurable obtuseness. Although he had previously been informed of Jesse’s disabilities, he chose to perceive the youngster’s stammering as a “diss.” So he sent out a call for “backup” and barged—- uninvited and without legal authority of any kind — into the family’s home. When a neighbor attempted to explain, once again, that Jesse had a speech impediment, the officer snarled a threat to arrest him if he didn’t go back into his house.
Hooper was quickly joined on the scene by Officer John Howard, and this brace of valiant protectors of public order shot the cringing, terrified youngster in the back with their Tasers while his mother pleaded with them to stop. When the Portable Electro-Shock Torture devices failed to subdue Jesse, Howard doused him in pepper spray, then assaulted him with his fists and a police-issue club called an ASP. Within a few minutes, at least twenty other officers materialized to assist in taking down a single harmless, handicapped youngster, who was handcuffed and hog-tied before being hauled off to jail.
As is customary in such incidents of officially sanctioned gang violence, the victim was charged with “assault on a peace officer,” resisting arrest, and obstructing official business. Those charges were dismissed after a judge ruled that Jesse wasn’t competent to stand trial. Neither of Jesse’s assailants has been charged with a crime — such as assault with a deadly weapon or attempted homicide, both of which would be suitable — or faced professional discipline of any kind.
In recent weeks, a great deal of attention has been lavished on the subject of “flash mob” assaults involving criminal gangs — often numbering dozens or more — who coalesce through social media to commit acts of robbery and other criminal violence. Assuming that this is a legitimate trend, it would represent the adoption by private criminal gangs of methods and tactics long employed by their much more violent State-licensed counterparts.2:20 pm on June 30, 2011 Email William Norman Grigg