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Ohio cops tased mentally handicapped teenager with speech impediment for 'disrespect'

Sunday, July 03, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: tasers, police brutality, health news

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(NaturalNews) The mother of a 17-year-old handicapped child is pressing charges against two head police officers, as well as the city of Dayton, Oh., after the two cops tased, pepper sprayed, and beat the disabled boy without cause.

According to a report from Courthouse News Service (CNS), Officer Willie Hooper and Officer John Howard of the Dayton Police Department (DPD) allegedly mistook Jesse Kersey's speech impediment for "disrespect," and tracked the boy all the way home from where they first encountered him, and proceeded to brutalize the boy with all sorts of inappropriate assault tactics prior to finally arresting him.

The report explains that Officer Hooper first stopped Jesse for an unknown reason while the boy was riding his bicycle, and proceeded to try to speak with him. Jesse, who was having difficulty trying to converse with the officer, decided to ride home and get his mother to help him communicate with the man. Hooper then followed the boy home along with Officer Howard, and before Jesse could even make it in the door, the two officers tased the young boy.

Jesse's mom, Pamela, stated that "[p]rior to the incident ... Hooper knew Jesse was mentally challenged / handicapped and a minor child." And a neighbor who witnessed the chase as Jesse was trying to return home also came out and tried to tell the cops that the boy was mentally challenged, only to be told to "go back into his home, or he would be arrested."

As Jesse finally made it through the doorway after being tased, the cops followed him inside and began to shoot pepper spray at him. Officer Howard then "struck Jesse with a closed fist in the upper chest area ... and repeatedly struck Jesse in the upper left side of his left thigh." And while all of this was occurring, roughly 20 more officers from various jurisdictions also arrived on the site.

At no time during this outrageous abuse of police power did any officer ever attempt to communicate with either Jesse, his mother, the neighbor, or anyone else about Jesse's condition, or even about why he was being pursued in the first place. Instead, they brutally abused the boy without cause, and are now facing charges of false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, assault, battery, excessive use of force, infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

Cases of extreme abuse by police such as this one are escalating, illustrating a truly out-of-control American police state. To harass and physically abuse a boy with a mental condition, and provide absolutely no justification for doing so, is an absolutely heinous demonstration of cold-hearted tyranny. Both officers must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for their unlawful actions, and neither one can be allowed to remain on the DPD police force.

You can read the entire CNS account of the incident here:

You can also view the legal filing here:

To contact the Chief's Office of the Dayton Police Department to express your thoughts, call (937) 333-1080.
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