An experienced trial attorney will tell you that it is very difficult to get a white juror to believe a white cop is lying, especially if the client is Black. Reality or anything too real (such as racism) in court is simply unbelievable to judges and jurors in the fake world created in court. Many cops are sophisticated, masterful liars who are taught how to testify and create persuasive, detailed police reports. Mixing actual facts with nonsense sounds & looks real in court. White DA's, judges and the white media are also eager and programmed to believe anything foul cops say about Blacks. In a case involving a "bulge in the pants" and no video or white civilian witnesses, like this one, the evidence simply consisted of a credibility contest between a sworn white police officer and a Black man.
In this case, a white jury believed it was reasonable for a white cop to believe a gun existed - though it did not. Why would a cop make it up? Because they will believe it. The racist suspect cop presents facts in accord with the appetite of the racist suspect listener, not in accord with the realities of life.
'A mind that is filled with belief is a mind which can project anything according to that belief.' And most whites believe Black men are inherently criminal. Dr. Amos Wilson explains that the criminalization of the Black male is a necessity to justify white domination in an unequal system of power and conditions.
As explained by Wilson, "in the context of White American domination there is no innocent Black male, just Black male criminals who have not yet been detected, apprehended or convicted. Their mere presence inspires in White Americans, fears of being assaulted, raped, robbed, or some other indefinable dread of being criminally victimized." [MORE]
Did the white cops see a bulge in Leon Ford's pants that they thought was a gun or did they make up the story to justify shooting and paralyzing an unarmed man?
That was the central question to an all white federal jury in Mr. Ford's civil case against two white Pittsburgh police detectives, David Derbish and Andrew Miller.
Detective Derbish shot Mr. Ford five times in the chest after a traffic stop in November 2012 in Highland Park.
He jumped into Mr. Ford's car just as it sped away. He said Mr. Ford put his hand on his chest as if to shove him out of the car, and he had to shoot because he feared for his life.
"He said, 'I thought I was going to die,'" Paul Krepps, a lawyer representing the officers, told the jury.
He said Detective Derbish, standing near the passenger side door, said he saw a bulge in Mr. Ford's pants. He said he thought it might be a gun. He motioned to Detective Miller, who was on the driver's side of the car, of his suspicions.
As a dashcam video shows, Detective Miller grabs Mr. Ford to pull him out of the car, Detective Derbish jumps in and seconds later five shots are heard as the vehicle speeds down the street and crashes.
It turned out Mr. Ford didn't have a gun, but Mr. Krepps said Detective Derbish and Detective Miller thought he did.
"Are they making this up now?" Mr. Krepps asked. "Or did they have a valid concern?"
Mr. Ford's lawyer, Fred Rabner, said they were making it up. He said they had mixed up Leon Ford with a gang member with a similar name and face and proceeded on that assumption until the shooting occurred.
"There was never a bulge," he said. "That's a story that was made up after the fact."
An all white jury ruled against Mr. Ford on the claim against Detective Miller but deadlocked on the claim against Detective Derbish.
The split verdict means Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen must schedule another trial focused solely on Ford’s claim that Derbish used excessive force. The jury cleared Miller of Ford’s assault and battery claims.
“I am confident that the truth will come out again the next time a jury hears my case,” the still hopeful victim of white supremacy/racism, Ford said in a statement issued by his attorneys after the verdict. “The police pulled me over for no reason, mistook me for someone else and shot me. Before they shot me, they cursed at me, threatened and tortured me as if I was less than human. They claimed they saw a gun on me that did not exist.”
Fred Rabner, one of Ford’s attorneys, said Ford will be “better off” at the retrial the judge hopes to schedule for early next year because, “the focus will be laser sharp on Derbish.”
Derbish and Miller walked briskly from the courtroom after the verdict, and their defense team declined to comment.
The November 2012 shooting left Ford a paraplegic who must use a catheter six times a day and clear his bowels manually, Rabner had told the jury. Ford also was left without any sexual function, he said.
Rabner had argued Ford was the victim of three “rogue cops” — Derbish, Miller, and Miller’s partner, Michael Kosko, who initiated the traffic stop. The judge dismissed claims against Kosko before trial because he wasn’t involved in the struggle that led Derbish to shoot Ford. [MORE]
The incident happened the night of Nov. 11, 2012.
Officer Michael Kosko and his partner, Detective Miller, pulled over Mr. Ford's Infiniti after they said they saw it speeding and running stop signs.
The officers thought that Mr. Ford might be "Lamont Ford", a violent member of the Kelly Street gang in Homewood.
Detective Miller called his friend Detective Derbish, who had dealt with Lamont Ford before, to the scene to help them identify the driver.
Mr. Ford testified that the officers seemed stuck on the idea that he was Lamont, who was no relation and had no connection to him, even though he had produced a license, registration and insurance papers identifying him as Leon.
As the tension escalated, Kosko and Detective Miller demanded that Mr. Ford get out of his car. He refused because he said he was scared. Detective Miller then grabbed him. He said Mr. Ford reached for the gearshift to anchor himself to keep from being pulled from the car.
It was in that instant that Detective Derbish jumped into the car, leading to the shooting seconds later. [MORE]