Detroit, MI - Libertarian activist Scotty Boman continues to keep public attention focused on the beating of an unarmed woman by Corporal Dewayne Jones. The January issue of Michigan Libertarian reported on a press conference Boman organized and some details of the excessive force case. Since then he has met with family members and spoke with them on the radio.
At the time Jones was being charged with a felony misconduct charge and assault for repeatedly punching an unarmed naked hospital patient as at least two other officers restrained her. A bystander with a cell phone recorded the incident at Detroit Receiving Hospital in July.
On December 6th the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) voted against recommendations of Detroit Police Chief James Craig who advised the BOPC to suspend Jones without pay.
On Sunday January 6th. Commissioner Willlie Burton and DRACO founder Scotty Boman filled in for talk show host Robert Ficano on 910 AM Superstation. Between 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM Boman, Burton and multimedia journalist Greg Dunmore spoke with two of the victims cousins, Shantell and Kwajalyn Bradley. For the first time the victim was spoken about publicly by her name, Lakeisha Williams instead of being labeled the "unarmed naked woman." "She is an individual whose life shouldn't be defined by a single incident," commented Boman. Shantell & Kwajalyn expressed their feelings about the accountability of Corporal Jones. Kwajalyn commented,
It's really bothersome. With mental health you don't wear a label, so you can't tell by looking at a person that she has mental issues. For him to assault her as he did (and he's supposed to be the person who's protecting and serving), it's really crazy and hard for us to deal with that fact. They picked her up knowing she had a mental problem and took her to Receiving to get help, and they were still able to do the things they did to her in the manner that they did.
And it wasn't just him, there were other officers standing around verbally saying stop, but they weren't physically doing anything to stop him from hitting her the way that he was with closed fists punching her, and she wasn't dressed.
To think the fact that if it weren't for someone else (a civilian), that had their phone out recording; he could have easily got away with it.
The entire program is here (This interview starts 1 hour thirty minutes into the program):
On January 15th there was another hearing for Jones and 36th District Court Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller dismissed the Felony misconduct charge, but not the misdemeanor assault charge. Also, the Detroit News reported that Jones' partner, Stacey Taylor, changed her earlier opinion that Jones was being "reasonable" to saying he "...went overboard with it." She cited the perspective provided by the cell phone as a reason for her change of opinion.
Boman appeared at the subsequent police commissioner meeting urging commissioners to take stronger action against Jones. He insisting that it wasn't safe for him to remain on duty. A week later, on January 24th Boman made a similar complaint to the commission at which point Commission Chair Bell informed Boman that Jones was no longer on duty; he was suspended with pay.
At this time the Michigan Libertarian has not seen future court dates scheduled, but will stay on top of the story. At the January 25th Detroit BOPC meeting Boman said, "I will keep coming back, I'm not letting this go."