Florida Cop Brutally Beats 66-Year-Old Black Man With Dementia
Officer Middendorf of the Melbourne , FL Police Department decided Albert Flowers, a 66 year old African American Man suffering from dementia deserved to get his ass kicked for -- well, my guess is for being a 66 year old black man who Officer Middendorf could abuse with impunity and not expect any repercussions. Of course, he attempted to turn of his dashcam on his police cruiser, forgetting that the images would still be stored in its hard drive, just not the audio. Big mistake Officer Derek Middendorf, big mistake:
“It’s clear (Officer Middendorf) tried to destroy all the video in this case. He thought he had turned off the camera, and that’s why he acted the way he did.”
The video clearly shows Flowers calmly walking towards the police cruiser before Middendorf suddenly delivers a kick to his midsection. Before Flowers is able to get up, the white cop drops to his knees and pounds his fists into the African-American man’s face.
Flowers spent a month in the hospital after the encounter.
Let's roll the tape:
Middendorf says he acted this way because he feared Mr. Flowers was armed and dangerous, and had a knife? Of course, he also tried to disable the video feed from his dashcam. Why go to all that trouble to hide evidence of his actions in arresting Mr. Flowers if he thought everything he did was on the up and up? It should be noted that all charges against Mr. Flowers were dropped once the "Brevard County State Attorney’s Office ... learned about his dementia." Guess they didn't think they had much of a chance taking this one to trial.
After looking at the video, did you see anything that justified the officer's extreme use of force against poor 66 year old Mr. Flowers? Me neither. I guess Officer Middendorf just felt he was entitled to kick the crap out of Albert Flowers because he was -- available. One can always make up a "reason" for such violence later. All I can add to what you can see for yourself is that this should not be considered shocking anymore, even to white people, not after the treatment participants in the Occupy protests received this Fall. Still, the knowledge that a video record is often made of their abusive (and I would say criminal) actions, doesn't seem to have made much of a difference in their behavior does it? It seems many police officers simply feel entitled to physically assault American citizens with tasers, batons, pepper spray or simply their fists whenever they feel like it.
And you know what's worse? More times than not they get away with these violent acts, acts that would send the rest of us to prison. Often they keep their jobs. And often the city officials and prosecutors have their backs rather than the victims of these violent attacks by "law officers." But hey, that's just America for you. Land of the no longer so free, home of the ever encroaching police state. A police state on steroids, I might add (considering the physical appearance of Middendorf). But hey, you can still buy a gun so everything is hunky-dory, right?
Original story in Florida Today, which refers to a second officer tasering Flowers after he had already been subdued:
Once Flowers was on the ground, another officer, identified as Howard Knauf, walked up and Tasered Flowers in the upper body as Middendorf worked to control him. Officers noted that Flowers was mumbling and speaking incoherently.
By the way, Middendorf was determined to have acted appropriately by his superiors in beating Mr. Flowers, except for disabling his dashcam, for which he was reprimanded:
Melbourne police later reprimanded Middendorf for tampering with the department-issued camera once it was discovered the camera was turned off. Police administrators chose not to open an administrative review in the case.
“Information regarding the arrest of Albert Flowers was sufficient to indicate that an internal investigation was not warranted,” Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs said in a statement Wednesday. “Officer Derek Middendorf is a valued officer whose record since joining the department in 2005 reflects the fact that he has done a very good job for the city.”
I'm sure that made Flower's family so happy to hear Middendorf is such a great officer, don't you?