Friday, April 06, 2007

Isolated Incident Number One Hundred Thousand

Cop beats man for looking at him funny. Partners stand by and do nothing. Turns out, Cop had no authority to challenge the man in the first place.

RALEIGH - Jurors could not reach a verdict today on whether Christopher Roth, a former Wake County sheriff’s deputy, assaulted a Garner man last August. Deliberations will continue on Thursday.

Roth, 36, is being tried on a misdemeanor charge of assault in an Aug. 26 scuffle with Robert Wise in the parking lot of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar on U.S. 70 in Garner.

Also facing charges are Roth’s partners Katie Broda and Kevin Hinton, who are yet to stand trial.

All three were undercover drug detectives stopping for a dinner break. They submitted their resignations from the sheriff’s office following the incident.

Wise was with this wife, Cynthia, and 11-year-old daughter, Diamond, when Roth drove past them and made a disapproving gesture at the Wises’ Chevrolet Suburban. Cynthia Wise had parked the vehicle so that it straddled two parking spaces.

Wise said that Roth ordered him out of the car. Wise said he refused to get out.

A scuffle ensued, in which Wise was punched, dragged from his car, pepper sprayed and handcuffed. He had several cuts on his face, and his daughter was also hit by the pepper spray.

Hart Miles, Roth’s defense attorney, asked jurors to consider the work of police officers and their responsibility to investigate suspicious events.

“He was faced with a situation that was becoming increasingly hostile,” Miles said.

Right. The situation was increasingly hostile because of who? Certainly it wasn't the overbearing police officer.

Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby told jurors this morning that Roth had no authority as a law enforcement officer in parking issues. He speculated that Roth was simply upset at Wise for not listening to him.

“He [Roth] thought his actions were justified,” Willoughby said. “That ought to be the scariest thing about the whole case.”

If convicted, Roth could receive a probationary sentence.

Just for the record, here's me saying something nice about a prosecutor. If they perform their roles properly, they can be a real asset in protecting the citizenry from the government. I'm glad this prosecutor brought charges against the former officers. Many others might not have done that.

Kid Handsome



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