Reblog From www.huffingtonpost.com/Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
Ryan J. Reilly, Ashley Alman 08/24/14 05:48 PM ET
WASHINGTON — A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is just south of Ferguson.

Captain Ron Arnhart of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, who is a candidate for sheriff, did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on the circumstances of Cosma’s departure. Neither Ferguson police spokesman Tom Zoll nor Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson responded to requests for comment.

A dispatcher at the Ferguson Police Department said she would relay a message to Cosma, who was out in the field on Sunday afternoon.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit, declined to be interviewed due to the pending claims against Cosma and the other officer. He said he anticipates a trial date early next year. However, Lozano did provide a statement.

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,” Lozano wrote.

Cosma was also one of the officers who detained journalists from HuffPost and The Washington Post earlier this month in a local McDonald’s. He declined to give his name or badge number at the time, and has subsequently refused to identify himself to the press. A reader tip allowed HuffPost to match his name and face after the altercation.

While still at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Cosma received an award for dealing with a person in psychiatric crisis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cosma isn’t the only officer whose past has received new attention in the wake of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. Eddie Boyd III, an officer who faced allegations of hitting children while serving under the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, quietly resigned and sought employment with the Ferguson Police Department. Boyd faced three complaints of physical abuse against children between 2004 and 2006, two of which were dropped. Internal affairs sustained the third complaint against Boyd, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the allegation that he struck a 12-year-old girl in the head with a pistol, and recommended Boyd be fired. The St. Louis police chose to demote him.

Less than a year later, a teenage boy alleged that Boyd hit him in the nose with a gun, and the officer quietly resigned from his role at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. His license was not revoked in the ensuing lawsuit. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson Police Department sometime between July 2009 and December 2010.

St. Ann officer Dan Page, who has been on the force for 35 years, was suspended from duty for inflammatory comments made while addressing the Oath Keepers of St. Louis and St. Charles. Page made racist and sexist remarks, called President Obama an “illegal alien,” denounced hate crime laws and spoke flippantly about violence and killings. The video, uploaded to YouTube in April, was uncovered by CNN after Page pushed anchor Don Lemon on Aug. 18 during demonstrations in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Lt. Ray Albers was also suspended from duty after he threatened civilians in Ferguson, pointing his gun at them and shouting, “I will fucking kill you.” Reporter Joe Biggs was among the group being threatened.

“I can’t believe that that happened in America,” Biggs told HuffPost of the confrontation. “That’s something I’ve seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. In our country? Mind-blowing.”

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, joined the Ferguson police after the city council in nearby Jennings disbanded the police department and brought in new officers over three years ago because of the poor relationship between cops and residents, the Washington Post reported.

Read the lawsuit laying out the allegations against Cosma below.

Justin Cosma

CORRECTION: Alber was originally misidentified as a lieutenant with the St. Louis County Police Department.

ALSO ON HUFFINGTON POST
Kids Of Ferguson

Load More

Finally, the voice of wisdom…

I received an email, recently, from a friend who called the Ferguson Police Chief the dumbest police chief in America (click for the article).   Yesterday, I received a phone call from a close friend who was distraught over news reports that there was looting by some Ferguson protestors.   My friend suggested that she could no longer support the protests in Ferguson because people were destroying their own community.

I disagreed with the first statement; because, in my opinion,  the Ferguson Police Chief, or his puppeteer, is executing a well-known diabolical game plan to change the conversation.  And, for the last 10+ days they have been successfully changing the conversation from the tragic shooting death of Michael Brown (#handsupdontshoot) to the claims of  lawlessness by citizens who dare question those who were hired to protect them.

As I watched the images on TV of the Ferguson Police, the Saint Louis County Police Force, the Highway Patrol Officers and the Missouri National Guard surrounding the reservation of Ferguson; I have been waiting for a voice of reason.  Finally someone has stepped forward to question –no–to denounce the  militarized response in Ferguson to a group of United States citizens exercising their right to speak up and demand answers regarding, what appears to be, the use of unnecessary force against an unarmed man by a police officer.

In the video below, Gen. Honore contrasts what is happening in Fergusion with what should be happening. General Honore’s remarks, I think, speak to my friend’s concerns about the looting in Ferguson and who is responsible.

Click here:Gen. Honore: Police should adjust tactics

 

 

#HandsUpDontShoot

“The whole city is like the bar, Cheers.”  This was the description given by Ferguson, Missouri Mayor, James W. Knowles III on the April 24, 2014 Ferguson History Video posted on the City of Ferguson website.

I was a “Cheers” devotee; and, although I am a teetotaler, I would gladly grab a bar seat at Cheers.  But, would I want to become a resident of Ferguson, Missouri — a city where, apparently, “hands up don’t shoot,” carries no weight (if witness accounts are accurate) — well, no.  Would I want my son in Ferguson, Missouri — well, no.

Why do I feel so strongly about Ferguson, Missouri.  The easy answer is that I am the Black mother of a young Black man.  There is, also, a more complex answer– an answer that I imagine is shared by all people of good will throughout our vast country.

Ferguson, Missouri reminds us of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Emmett Till.  Ferguson, Missouri makes us question our role in the world.  Ferguson, Missouri makes us think of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.  It makes us wonder how we can advise others.  It makes us wonder why the Yazidis would trust us to come to their rescue.  It makes us wonder if some Yazidis would rather stay on the Sinjar Mountains because they just do not trust us.

Flight attendants instruct us on how to handle a loss of oxygen on an airplane.  They tell us that if there is a loss off oxygen, an air mask will drop down.  If we are traveling with young children or someone who needs help, we are instructed to put on our own oxygen mask first. We can take a breath, then share our oxygen with others.

A police officer in Ferguson, Missouri cut off Michael Brown’s oxygen less than a month after a New York City police officer cut off oxygen to Eric Garner with an illegal choke hold.  These young men were not allowed to breathe.

And, now, we are all holding our breath.  And, people of good will throughout the United States are wondering how we can possibly help others have life (breathe), liberty (freedom from tyranny), and the pursuit of happiness (a seat at Cheers).

WALTER DEAN MYERS (1937-2014) – RIP

http://www.cbcbooks.org/walter-dean-myers-prolific-and-beloved-author-of-award-winning-childrens-books-dies-at-age-76/#.U7VO8dm9Kc2

Walter wrote well in high school and one teacher, who recognized his talent but also knew he was going to drop out, told him to keep on writing, no matter what—“It’s what you do,” she said. Walter did drop out of Stuyvesant High School, though they now claim him as a graduate (which Walter always found funny). At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the Army. Years later, after his safe return home and while working a construction job, Walter would remember this teacher’s advice. He started writing again…and he didn’t stop.