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Jan-12-2012 17:57printcommentsVideo

Video Shows LA Deputy Belting Woman Bus Rider in The Face

Assault caught on a cell phone camera; some men are meant to be heroes, some are dirty creeps who punch girls...

Image from cell phone captures moment Julie Nelson is belted by a male deputy.
Image from Jermaine Green's well-positioned cell phone captures moment Julie Nelson is belted by a male deputy.

(BELLFLOWER, Calif.) - The excessive nature of 'casual' police brutality is revealed in a cell phone video clip recorded this week in Bellflower, California. A homeless woman named Julie Nelson, was punched in the face by a male deputy for refusing to exit a public bus while Jermaine Green, a U.S. Army Veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, recorded the police abuse from a clear perspective.

Needless to say, Green was shocked and more than dismayed by seeing an official so viciously and violently abuse a 42-year old disabled woman, and then threaten him with arrest over having recorded the video. Just imagine what a tiny percentage of these instances of police brutality are recorded; we're looking at the tip of the iceberg, it's good that Green was able to pull this off.

He had just completed six years service to his country, and to be confronted by this unimaginable scene, of a male cop punching a special needs woman right in the face, was too much. He says something needs to be done, and people need to speak out over police abuse rather than be intimidated.

This incident began when pair of LA County Sheriff's deputies boarded a bus that Green was riding with his girlfriend, Violet Roberts. The deputies approached Julie Nelson. Green says her special needs were "obvious".

He told NBC-TV Channel 4, that Nelson was polite and friendly toward the other passengers as she boarded the bus. Apparently she only began cursing at the deputies when they ordered her off the bus by name, indicating that they had some degree of familiarity.

KNBC in LA reported:

They said get off the bus. She then started cursing at (the female deputy). You could tell she had special needs. After that they grab her, she curses him out, calls him a big shot, next thing you know he gives her a big shot,” Green said.

I couldn’t believe it. He seen me taping. He looked up at the camera a few times, and he still hit her like that, and I can’t believe he didn’t try to diffuse the situation at all, Green said.

After striking Nelson, the male deputy turned his attention to Mr. Green's cell phone video, telling Green to hand over the video (evidence of the deputy's punching the woman) or go to jail. Anyone who has ever lived in LA knows this is standard behavior among too many law enforcement officials willing to abuse authority under the color of law.

While Green contends that Nelson was calm and just another passenger prior to the law enforcement encounter, deputies say the woman had threatened a male passenger who called 911, and that was the reason for their response. It seems odd that Green and others on the bus didn't have any awareness of this.

One likely reason behind the deputy's approach, centers around the tendency of police to treat people with records in a different way than they would another citizen. However if you read about U.S. Civil Rights, there are no exclusions that grant an official a legal right to assault a person in this way because of something that may be guilty of in their past.

Naturally an officer will use a higher degree of caution when approaching people who are potentially unstable, but if you examine the size of these two deputies, they look more than capable of having dealt with this in a sensible way. The LA County Sheriff agrees. Lee Baca called the event involving his deputy "disturbing" and said at a news conference:

If the deputy who swung an elbow at the lady is looking at that as a sensible solution, we need to retrain that individual and hold him accountable.

Julie Nelson has four prior convictions for assaulting police officers, says Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. However LA County Sheriff Lee Baca says it is his understanding, that she was homeless and had a history of mental problems.

I think the deputies knew exactly who she was and that the male deputy quickly opted to slug the woman rather that take a different approach.

Watch the video, listen to the people who were there.

With regard to the deputy's attempt to steal Green's personal property, (the video) this soldier held his ground and did not let the deputy abscond with his evidence. Above all, Green cites something called 'rules of engagement" which every soldier fighting overseas knows like the back of their hand.

They explained this procedure to me as a reporter in Iraq and Afghanistan time and time again, and while there are bad apples in the military, the vast majority follow the rules, unlike this deputy from the LA County Sheriff's Dept. Police have gotten away with abusing citizens for decades and they need to be punished severely for behaving in ways like this that erode any and all respect for authority.

They literally transform the notion of power into one of intimidation and all too often, their victims are simple people like this woman aboard the bus. Surely there are many better ways in which this could have been handled.

FOX 11 reports that Los Angeles County sheriff's have an internal investigation underway over the deputy's striking of Julie Nelson. They say a "use of force" investigation has been launched. Agencies that are now investigating the incident include the sheriff's Internal Affairs Bureau, deputies at the Lakewood Station, and the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review.

Deputy Caught on Video Striking Woman FOX 11 News video report

Woman in Bus Confrontation Video Speaks Out - NBC San Diego

Video Captures Deputy Striking Woman on a Bus - KTLA

_________________________________________________________

Tim King, summer 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 101 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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LanceThruster January 17, 2012 2:47 pm (Pacific time)

As disturbing as the whole story is, I still cringe at the attempt by the deputy to threaten military veteran Jermaine Green with arrest for filming the encounter and demanding he surrender the recording device. If said video exculpated the deputy, law enforcement would be praising this citizen's alertness. As it stands, I imagine with the vague and nebulous wording of the Patriot Act, anyone is at risk at any time for harassment by law enforcement for any reason, by the way of "selective enforcement" that seems such the rage these days.


Toni January 13, 2012 7:21 pm (Pacific time)

Another great article highlighting criminal brutality. Not all cops are dirty, but this one certainly is. Bravo to the citizen who knew his rights and refused to be intimidated. Free speech and cell phone videos go a long way in exposing the truth. We all should be soldiers for truth. The cell phone camera continues to be a powerful non-violent weapon.


Anonymous January 13, 2012 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

It is of my opinion, that not just police officers, but even troops, and I will go as far as to say many public servants, seem to do only as they are told and trained what to do...Maybe instead of focusing on individuals, we should focus on the leaders who brought this about. And, as more and more police officers get away with things they should not do, people are going to see there is no law, and will take law into their own hands...this is NOT a good idea on either side.


Anonymous January 12, 2012 9:02 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, you know that this happens everywhere, including Salem, Oregon. There are so many complaints against the Salem OD that get swept under the rug... The police who should be stepping up to the problem continue to step right through it.

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