From [HERE] A Black police officer convicted in the beating of a naked, unarmed and mentally ill Black woman at Detroit Receiving Hospital has avoided jail time.
A Detroit district court judge on Wednesday sentenced Dewayne Jones of the Detroit Police Department to 12 months' probation, ordering him to attend anger management classes and perform 15 days of community service.
A jury found the 47-year-old guilty in March of misdemeanor assault and battery. He could have served up to 93 days in jail under sentencing guidelines.
The 29-year-old woman -- a patient said to be suffering from a "mental breakdown" in the emergency room -- was punched several times by the 18-year veteran of the DPD, while other officers were holding her. The beating was caught on cell phone video by a witness who sent it to the media, leading to Jones' suspension, an investigation, and eventually charges by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.
Witnesses testified that the woman spat at Jones, shouted profanities and bit an officer as she was being escorting to hospital's crisis unit for an evaluation. Jones' defense attorney Pamella Szydlak told the court that the woman was "vulgar, violent and aggressive," despite Jones' efforts to calm her.
While prosecutors argued that Jones' acted with excessive force, felony charges in the case were dismissed by Judge Cylenthia Miller who said the woman in this case "was completely out of control." But the misdemeanor charges remained.
Like the Constitution says If You Spit at Cops They Can Try to Kill You. When applied to mere mortals in the criminal law, self-defense permits a person, who was not the aggressor to use reasonable force when he actually reasonable believes he faces imminent bodily harm. Reasonable force means no more force than is necessary to ward off the attack. The proportionality rule provides that a person is not justified in using force that is excessive in relation to the harm threatened. Such rules clearly have no applicability to cops who are super human representatives of authority acting above human morality. We are bound by the written law but authoritarians are bound by the law of the jungle. [MORE]
After video of the incident went viral, Detroit Police Chief James Craig called it "troubling,"wondering why the officer chose to punch the woman rather than deploying his Taser.
Jones was suspended from the DPD, but later reinstated at a lower rank.
A 20-year veteran Detroit Police corporal was given probation Wednesday and ordered to attend anger management classes for punching a mentally unstable Black woman in a Detroit hospital last year.
Judge Kenneth King of 36th District Court said video footage of the incident "did not look good" but added that he has a "crystal clear" department record.
The judge said in the video, Jones looked "like a rogue officer gone wild" but added, "I don't think he's a rogue officer at all."
KIng gave Jones six months less probation than was recommended in a presentence report by the court's probation department.
"I'm not going to treat Corporal Jones any better or worse (than any other defendant)," the judge said, adding that Jones would have harmed the woman more if he had used a Taser.
Jones' defense attorney Pamella Szydlak said Wednesday that her client has been a "dedicated honest, sincere and outstanding" police officer.
"He has dedicated his entire adult life to criminal justice," she said in court "Still, our position is that Corporal Jones acted (within the guidelines) of his training."
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Joshua Holman said his office was not asking for any jail time for the officer but Jones' actions "were wrong and criminal."
The sister of the woman Jones punched was visibly upset Wednesday over the sentencing. She said she was not happy with the punishment given to the corporal but declined to say more.
The victim did not attend the hearing. The sister said she is in a treatment facility and has been assigned a guardian to care for her.
Local activists say the sentence for Jones was too soft.
"Corporal Dewayne Jones should serve time for his violent crime," said Scotty Boman of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight. "The man beat a woman and serves no time. ... This trivializes acts of violence against women to nothing worse than a nonviolent crime. This is a green light for officers who may be predisposed to use excessive force."
The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality also criticized the sentence.
"Judge King's decision sends the message that mentally challenged women's rights are of no value, said group member Chris White. "The officer had the responsibility to show restraint in this matter and chose violence as a solution. This is a clear case of police brutality. The Board of Police Commissioners should direct the chief to remove Corporal Jones from the force."
Jones remains on "restrictive status" as an officer with Detroit police with a mandatory non-weapon condition, the department said Wednesday. An internal administrative investigation is continuing.