- 5 Georgia policemen arrested for killing a young Mexican man
- Officers will have until Tuesday to surrender to the authorities.
- They were granted the possibility getting out on bail if they post $100,000 each.
5 Georgia police officers were arrested for killing a young Mexican man in what looks like another case of police abuse similar to that of George Floyd. The 24-year-old Hispanic man was also subdued and suffocated by officers while being detained in 2019.
Finally, this Monday, a grand jury issued arrest warrants against five Georgia police officers after they were charged with the death of Fernando Rodríguez, who was naked and unarmed at the time of his arrest, but wound up dying at the hands of police.
5 Georgia policemen arrested for killing a young Mexican man
The officers will have until Tuesday to surrender to the authorities, as reported by the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office to the EFE news agency. They were also granted the possibility of remaining free until trial if they post $100,000 bail each.
Last Friday, officers Robert Butera, Quinton Phillips, Mason Lewis, Marcus Stroud and Gregory Bowlden (two from Henry County and three from the city of Hampton) were charged with the murder of Fernando Rodríguez, who was allegedly tased more than 15 times with stun guns to subdue him.
An arrest that ended in tragedy
On September 20, 2019, near the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Fernando Rodríguez was asphyxiated by the police while he was, “handcuffed and chained, and pressure was applied to his body,” according to the documents presented by the prosecution.
The entire incident was recorded on the body cameras of the officers involved in his arrest. The young man had attended the “Imagine Concert Music Festival”, but ended up walking down the middle of the street naked at the end of the evening, according to what the videos that last about half an hour show.
He did not respond to police instructions
In the images, the agents can be seen ordering the young Hispanic man to stop, but he did not respond to their instructions. At that moment, the officers used their tasers (or stun guns) against the young man, who fell to the ground. Once he was on the ground, they continued to tase him at least 15 times and applied pressure to his body until he suffocated.
Rodríguez was on, “the ground in a prone position while he was handcuffed and chained, and they were holding him and applying pressure to his body.” This way of subduing an individual goes against police guidelines, so the five officers were also charged with violating their oaths.
Alarming videos, outrageous images
For now, the five men face several counts of murder and aggravated assault, in addition to one count of violating their police oath. The prosecution has officers’ body camera footage to use as evidence against them.
During the recording, Rodríguez is heard crying as he was subdued by the officers, until the moment he stopped breathing. On social media it was also reported that, “a state forensic doctor ruled that his death was a homicide by asphyxiation.” SEE FULL VIDEO HERE: ALERT SENSITIVE IMAGES.
City reaches agreement to avoid lawsuit
Rodriguez’s family was planning to file a lawsuit against the city of Hampton. However, in July 2021, before going to trial, they ended up reaching an agreement in which the local authorities agreed to pay the family three million dollars in compensation for the young man’s murder.
The law firm Pate, Johnson & Church, which represents the family, noted that Rodríguez was unarmed, naked and in need of medical attention, so he was not a threat to the officers or the public. Finally, they indicated that the officers used excessive force and also violated the detainee’s rights by continuing to tase him even after he was subdued on the ground.
Derek Chauvin to appeal George Floyd’s death conviction
In a similar case, although much more notorious: The former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, intends to appeal his conviction and sentence. He contends that the judge did not make proper use of his discretion or made errors of law at several key moments in the process, according to documents filed Thursday.
Derek Chauvin said he intends to appeal with 14 arguments. Among them, he claims that Judge Peter Cahill made an error of assessment when he rejected Chauvin’s request to move the trial out of Hennepin County due to the publicity surrounding the case.
Derek Chauvin will appeal his conviction
He also declared that the judge did not correctly exercise his discretionary powers when he rejected a request to isolate the jury during the entire trial, and when he rejected requests to postpone the trial or to grant a new one, reported The Associated Press.
Chauvin was found guilty a few months ago on state charges of unintentional murder, murder in the third degree and reckless manslaughter for Floyd’s death in 2020. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison, a sentence greater than the preset 12 and a half years, after the judge agreed with the prosecution that there were aggravating factors in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison
Chauvin is also charged in federal court with violating Floyd’s civil rights by kneeling on his neck for around nine and a half minutes while Floyd was lying face down on the pavement, not resisting and pleading for air. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Chauvin had 90 days from the time he was sentenced to make his appeal intentions known. In addition to the notice, he also filed a motion to suspend the appeals process until the Supreme Court reviews a previous decision to deny him a public defender to represent him during his appeal.
Convicted on three counts of murder
The former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer, convicted on three counts of murder, was sentenced to 270 months, or 22½ years in prison, following the death of George Floyd by suffocation after he pressed his knee to his neck. “I offer my condolences to the Floyd family. I will give more information in the future that provides peace,” said the convict before the 15-minute recess given by the judge before the sentence was known.
“He is a good man,” said his mother in a speech before the sentence was known, and took the opportunity to describe as, “far from reality,” what the media has said about racial discrimination. “By sentencing him, they are sentencing me,” she said. At the hearing, Chauvin’s lawyer also spoke, asking for the minimum sentence, and George Floyd’s relatives advocated for the maximum sentence.
Showed no misconduct
Hours before sentencing, a judge denied Chauvin’s post-verdict motion for a new trial. Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill ruled Thursday night that Chauvin, “failed to show… the court abused its discretion or made a mistake in such a way that the defendant was deprived of his constitutional rights to a fair trial.”
Cahill also ruled that Chauvin did not demonstrate any misconduct on the part of the prosecutor or the jury. Defense attorneys had argued that, “errors, abuses of discretion, misconduct by the prosecution and the jury,” made the trial unfair. Minnesota state prosecutors have requested a 30-year prison sentence. They order the arrest of 5 Georgia policemen for killing a young Mexican.
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