More on Dymond Milburn

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

So there’s been quite a bit of discusion around the Internet on the Dymond Milburn case since I posted on this Houston Press story this afternoon.  I guess if you aren’t used to these sorts of stories, it can seem a little implausible.  Which is why more than a few commenters at various sites have raised the possibility that the whole thing is a hoax.  If it is, it’s quite a hoax.  Like, on a Tawana Brawley scale.

So let’s clarify some misconceptions…

It’s all a hoax.

The lawsuit is very real. It was filed in August of this year.  Here’s a write-up from the Courthouse News Service from the day it was filed.  Here’s a copy (pdf) of the complaint.  If this is a hoax, Milburn, her family, and her attorney are going to great lengths to pull it off. Yes, her complaint likely paints what happened in a light quite favorable to her, and unfavorable to the police.  But I’d be very surprised if the major components of the complaint weren’t true.

This happened two years ago.  Why are you posting about it now?

The incident happened in August 2006.  The lawsuit was filed in August of this year.  Milburn’s attorney tipped off Houston Press reporter Chris Vogel, who wrote about the case yesterday.  I saw Vogel’s story, and blogged about the case today.

This is just one version of events, from Milburn’s lawyer.

Yes, and I made that clear in the post.  After I put up the post and talked to Vogel on the phone, he posted a response from the police officers’ lawyer, William Helfand.  You can read that here.

Here’s what isn’t in dispute:  Milburn was wrongly targeted during a prostitution raid.  The police were looking for white prostitutes.  Milburn is black.  She was apprehended by plain-clothes narcotics officers who emerged from a van as she stood outside her home.  She resisted.  The police have acknowledged they targeted the wrong house.  Three weeks later, Milburn was arrested at  her school, in front of her classmates, for “assaulting a public official.”  At some point, her father was arrested on a similar charge.  The judge declared a mistrial on the first day of Milburn’s trial.  According to Vogel, she’s scheduled to be tried again in February.

Milburn and her family are now suing the police officers who apprehended her.  They claim she was severely beaten during the raid.  According to the compliant, two hours after the raid, Milburn’s parents took her to a hospital, where doctors documented a host of nasty injuries.  I haven’t seen documentation of the hospital stay or the injuries, but if that’s all included in the complaint, I would assume it exists.

I called the Galveston police department and the Galveston district attorney’s office for comment.  I haven’t yet heard back from either.

Milburn has profiles on social networking sites that say she’s 17.  That means she would have been 15 at the time of the raid, not 12.

I’m not linking to a minor’s social networking page, particularly a minor who may have been the victim of abuse.  She doesn’t need a bunch of crazies trying to contact her.  Use Google, or check the comments if you’re interested, but yes, she does state in one of her profiles that she’s 17. My guess is that Milburn exaggerated her age, as teenage girls sometimes do on the Internet.  This high school track and field results page, found by a commenter, says she was born in 1993.  If her birthday falls later in the year than August, she would have been 12 at the time of the raid, as indicated in the complaint.

If it’s true, why hasn’t an outrageous story like this been picked up by the national media?

Why don’t 90 percent of the abuses of power we look at on this site get covered by the national media?  The lawsuit was filed in August of an election year.  A single instance of police misconduct in Galveston at that time would have quite a few other stories to compete with.  As to why the story wasn’t covered in 2006, Vogel tells me the raid took place in a low-income neighborhood.  I would guess that after a traumatic experience like that, and after the seemingly retributive arrest, the family was either too frightened to take their story to the media, or couldn’t get anyone to listen when they did.

I’ll post more information on this case as I learn of it.

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74 Responses to “More on Dymond Milburn”

  1. #1 |  Michael Chaney | 

    To continue the discussion from the other post….

    Here’s something for discussion. Everybody keeps pointing out that she had no idea they were cops. Fair enough.

    But the question is, given the circumstances (4 men severely beating a 12-year-old girl in her yard under the pretense of arresting her for a crime that they have no reason to believe she’s involved in) does it even matter whether she knew it or not?

    Put another way, even if they were uniformed, and it was my daughter, the outcome would have been the same.

  2. #2 |  Packratt | 

    Her attorney is actually fairly famous…

    you might recall the case of an African-American lawyer in Texas who was booted from the NAACP for representing the KKK in a civil rights case on behalf of the ACLU?

    That would be Mr. Anthony Griffin.

    The lawyer defending the cops also is fairly well known in his own circles as a member of the Federalist Society and advocate of the “If there’s no malicious intent, there’s no misconduct” defense against civil rights cases.

    So, the likelihood of this being a hoax originating from the lawyer standpoint is pretty close to nil.

  3. #3 |  CharlesWT | 

    VITAL RECORDS – GALVESTON COUNTY, TX – BIRTH 1993 — MILBURN, DYMOND LARAE 13-Sep-1993

  4. #4 |  Matthew Brown | 

    Given the circumstances, and assuming we’ve got the story close to the truth, I think it’s quite reasonable for her & her father to believe that even if the guys really were cops, they had evil intentions on the girl.

    Unfortunately the law in many states is indeed written that resisting the cops is a crime EVEN IF they are acting in a blatantly illegal activity; I wouldn’t even be surprised if justified fear for your life or safety isn’t sufficient reason to resist.

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    this is an amazingly ironic story- normally the govt types use the ‘We gotta protect the children’ argument to very effectively take away our rights- here’s an instance of people wanting to fight the govt ‘Because we gotta protect our children.’

    this story may have some serious staying power…

  6. #6 |  Scott | 

    Radley, you’re good, but you’re at your best when you take up the mantle of investigative journalist.

    Lets hope this story gets some traction, at least on a regional level. I’m not so doe-eyed as to believe that Dymond’s family is going to walk through this with any ease, but if a few more people start to openly question the privileges enjoyed and abuses incurred by most PDs and their employees, I’ll consider it a net gain for our side.

  7. #7 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Why won’t you let me believe this is a hoax so I can’t go back to sticking my head into the ground and pretending all police are noble heros like on the Andy Griffith Show? La, la, la, I can’t hear you!

  8. #8 |  supercat | 

    Unfortunately the law in many states is indeed written that resisting the cops is a crime EVEN IF they are acting in a blatantly illegal activity

    IMHO, both cops and citizens would be safer if the statutes were rewritten to make explicit that citizens have a right and duty to resist unlawful actions by police. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution already provides that (actions contrary to the Constitution are illegitimate, so persons performing such actions are not carrying out legitimate government business) but IMHO statutory acknowledgment would help a lot. Put cops on notice that if they act like robbers they’re liable to be shot dead, and perhaps they might start acting like peace officers again.

  9. #9 |  Big Chief | 

    Since, as Radley has stated, we don’t know all the facts of this story I’m willing to reserve judgement on just how terrible some of it was. It’s possible that the force being used by the cops is being exaggerated. And it’s possible they identified themselves, blah, blah, blah.

    But one fact that evidently isn’t in dispute and is by itself infuriating is arresting her at school for resisting two weeks after the incident. I can’t think of anything about it that doesn’t fall under the heading of abuse of power. Arresting a 12 year old at school for this screwed up mess when the only reaction should have been an apology!! Sadly I’m sure this isn’t a new low, just one in a series.

    So at this point I’m less concerned about the Keystone Kops at the arrest than those in power who have demonstrated real abuse with these actions. The Prosecutor and the Police Chief are the real culprits here. If they were charged for their crimes perhaps we could start to see some real changes in police forces.

  10. #10 |  Burrow Owl | 

    Put cops on notice that if they act like robbers they’re liable to be shot dead, and perhaps they might start acting like peace officers again

    In a rational and just world, this would be the best case scenario.

    Sadly (label me a pessimist if you must), I think we may very well have passed the point of no return.

    Those of us who truly care about freedom and justice are a vanishingly small minority segment of the population- and, to butcher an over-used phrase from a series of of incredibly bad movies: resistance appears to be futile.
    ie, Anyone who dares to assert their right to resist tyranny will simply be branded with the ‘anti-government (_______)’ label and subsequently trampled by goose-stepping hordes of ignorant herd animals.

    I would like nothing more than to have my sentiments proven wrong- but my personal observations of dozens of events over the past 25+ years (many of which have been admirably exposed and documented by Radley)- and the apathetic reactions of the public at large to said events have lead me to believe that that isn’t likely to happen.

  11. #11 |  nosmokes | 

    Why all the petty nitpicking about the age of the victim?

    The woman comes out of her house, is on her property doing maintenance and not breaking any laws when the Galveston cops go all batcrap crazy on her rear end. In my book that’s at minimum abuse of power. If the rest of these allegations are true, she was black and they were looking for a white woman, then then 4 cops need to be unemployed. at the very least as it stands now the 4 need sixty days w/o pay for beating up on a minor.

  12. #12 |  OldFatCop | 

    Here is a link to the court filling

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2008/08/26/GalvestonCops.pdf

    Officer Justin Popovich just had his name and email address erased from the Galveston Police Page he is now Day Watch Representitve (desk job)

    Officer Gilbert Gomez is now vice Narcotics commander.

    The name David Roark appears in a few odd places.

    One with some simular (but wild) accusations in Kentucky

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/east-bernstadt-ky/TPTG8BRDOU0O1803A#lastPost

    And one where an officer David Roark was partly involved in the shootting of an innocent famlies puppy in Cookeville Tn.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=2053

    Cant help but wonder. . .

  13. #13 |  Warren | 

    It cannot be a hoax.

    She was arrested for “assaulting a public official” which means some sort of struggle took place. In the complaint would be the location and the names of the cops involved. Her house + them.

    So what they have done by arresting her is admit the had a fight with a 12 year old on her property. How could they possibly spin that into her making it all up?

    Did she wave down passing vehicles and challenge the occupants to brawl?

    Probably not.

    Did the cops show up and start asking questions and she decided to fight them instead?

    Unlikley.

    Did they stop to ask her questions and she tried to run from them and they tried to stop her and she is exaggerating the violence of the incident?

    Maybe…but still:

    Logically, the only way, barring the fact she could be a violent loon, she could “assault a public official” is if they laid hands on her first.

    So at the very least what she says about strange men leaping out of a vehicle and grabbing her is true.

    Which, just by themselves these facts make the cops look like violent idiots. And this lends credence to the rest of what she says.

    Because it is very likely she would try to escape and it is very likely they would try to stop her which would lead to the kind of struggle she might think of as an attempt to kidnap her, and they would think of as “assaulting a public official.”

    To sum up: The cops go to the wrong house, lay hands on an innocent person, a struggle ensues, in their minds it justifies a charge of “assaulting a public official”, they arrest her thus closing the circle of accusation.

    Had they not arrested her, they could have said she was making the whole thing up, denied everything and gone on with whatever it is they do. Instead, at the very least, they have given her proof that a struggle did happen and quite possibly made her entire case for her.

    And given the lack of forethought that cops seem to displaying these days it is quite possible they had no clue as to what they were doing or what any of their actions would lead to. Which means that, yes, it seems they are just stupid enough to have done what she accuses them of doing.

    And yet we are to rely on these sorts of people to protect us and solve crimes?

    And people wonder why I’m a (free-market) anarchist.

  14. #14 |  Bernard | 

    The real cause for alarm is that if excessive force was used by plain clothes officers without any justification whatsoever (the ‘if’ is based on very generous benefit of the doubt at this stage) then the same officers have been working for 2 years since that point.

    Once they’ve realised they can get away with assaulting 12 year olds with no consequences you do worry about the effect on their attitude to policing in general.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    Big Chief-

    ‘But one fact that evidently isn’t in dispute and is by itself infuriating is arresting her at school for resisting two weeks after the incident. ‘

    You’re right- they even had the courtesy to arrest Blago at home, POLITELY, after he tried to SELL A SENATE SEAT. You’d think the people that need to be scared of breaking the law are corrupt government officials- it seems if the cops come in heavy a couple of times on them, on film and in public, we might have a little deterrent. Oh wait, that won’t work, they’re on the same team.

    Warren, great post! I’m gonna have to study this free market anarchy stuff a bit more, because my teenage daughter called me an anarcho-capitalist the other day. Sounds kinda cool! I always thought I was a garden-variety libertarian…

  16. #16 |  WarHorse1961 | 

    Someone please explain to me what the big deal is about her age. 12 vs. 15. If she was 12, it was right for her to resist, but if she was 15, it wasn’t? Somehow, in those 3 years, she would become clairvoyant and KNOW that they were “peace officers”?

    Hmm, my daughter is 23. If this had happened to us, I think something would have happened that caused it to make national news.

    And, this is from the officers’ lawyer, William Helfand. “It’s unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them.”

    Seems to me it’s just the opposite, “It’s unfortunate that sometimes the people have to use force against police officers who are using force against them.”

  17. #17 |  no faith in cops | 

    i have no faith in cops across the board. i was very close friends with a woman who was desperately trying to leave her severly violent husband who was a cop in akron, OH. he drugged, raped, and beat her three times in a week before ANYONE in the local police station would lift a finger. when they did, the ranking officer, also a good softball buddy of this violent piece of shit, manipulated her statements, hospital documentation [including rape kit and photos of concisely documented wounds], and swept it under the rug. two months later her older brother who is a navy seal [and one of the largest muscular men i have ever seen in my life] kicked the living shit out of this animal when the officer picked a fight with him. 18 months after her divorce she sued the city for 7 figures and won when the ranking officer who buried her case[s] was fired for an unrelated issue [go figure] and while tying up his paperwork his misdeeds and several others were uncovered.

    so when i see and hear about an incident like this in other places, i believe it exactly as it sounds. truth is crazier than fiction my friends….

  18. #18 |  Jason | 

    I really have a hard time understanding why these stories don’t get better coverage. Is it just because the MSM loves and trusts government so much?
    http://rightklik.blogspot.com/

  19. #19 |  Marta Rose | 

    Huff Post has picked it up. Not exactly MSM, but it’s something.

  20. #20 |  thomasblair | 

    The defendant officers are Justin Popovich, Sean Stewart, David Roark and Sgt. Gilbert Gomez.

    Letters to the editor to make these pigs’ names known? I’m in for one.

  21. #21 |  thomasblair | 

    While the entire episode is inexcusable, there is one point worth mentioning:

    The complaint does not state explicitly that the girl was arrested for allegedly assaulting the cops who beat her, or for some other alleged incident.

    – from the Courthouse News Service write-up

  22. #22 |  MSgt Clarence Joe Jolivette, USAF, RET. | 

    I am a Viet Nam veteran, I feel that these ‘Police Officers’ are a disgrace to their Uniform and their Oath of office. They definately did not comply with the oath taken to ‘Protect and Serve’ the community they are charged with. The Officers and Judicial personnel above them are as guilty as they are. This kind of conduct is definately not conducive with maintaing Public Order or providing for the protection for the citizenry they have sworn to lay down their lives for. This is a slap in the face to the fine officers that dedicate their lives to faithfully servetheir profession.
    signed
    MSgt Clarence Joe Jolivette, USAF, Retired

  23. #23 |  Jim | 

    For those who question whether the men identified themselves… when you have three or four men in plain clothes rushing you from a van, shouts of “Police” can’t be considered credible identification. And even less so in low-income areas.

  24. #24 |  Mike T | 

    Unfortunately the law in many states is indeed written that resisting the cops is a crime EVEN IF they are acting in a blatantly illegal activity; I wouldn’t even be surprised if justified fear for your life or safety isn’t sufficient reason to resist.

    I blame the media for not doing its job in cases like this. If the media is the important watchdog that it has claimed to be, by the time the case is over, the names of the police involved would be synonymous with thuggish incompetence and the prosecutor would be regarded by most normal citizens as a man who is without any sense of right and wrong, a tyrant who is wholey unfit to practice law again and a man who defends the beating of young girls.

  25. #25 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “to butcher an over-used phrase from a series of of incredibly bad movies: resistance appears to be futile.”

    I happen to like Robocop and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    Warren, I could tell you were an anarchist after reading a line or two of your post. You employ LOGIC.

    Shout out to Chance — seems the anarchist population here is growing, slowly but surely…

  26. #26 |  Cynical in CA | 

    And while I’m at it:

    Jim Bell

  27. #27 |  Charlie O | 

    I lived in San Diego when Sagon Penn killed SD cop Thomas Riggs. Penn was acquitted based on “self defense.” This may not fly in all states, but self defense should certainly be a viable defense when cops are actually illegally or even irresponsibly. These are armed men. Any citizen of this country should be able to use deadly force to protect themselves against armed men. I don’t give a crap about the badge.

  28. #28 |  Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl - Page 2 - XDTalk Forums - Your HS2000/SA-XD Information Source! | 

    […] more. The Agitator Blog Archive More on Dymond Milburn MyFox Dallas | Pre-Teen Sues Officers for Assault, Arrest __________________ "For those […]

  29. #29 |  N.U.G.U.N. | 

    Sanity Diego…the last bastion of sanity left standing in California.

  30. #30 |  alek | 

    Did not see this before making the #173 comment on the other. Thank you for taking a deeper look in to the case. Speculation and one sided story telling does no good for society and obviously a lawyer has a vested interest in getting his case viewed with blinders.

    As I said before I would like to see these cops held accountable for what they did do, not hype. Milburn’s attorney is attempting to stir up a hornets nest to get a trial, which is a good thing, but lets see it for what it is. I have a great deal of compassion for honest people that are done wrong, in particular by those in authority. Liars get less; and sometimes real scumbags get abused and I can not say I feel that sorry for them at all. My gut is telling me this case is being spun to be more sensational that the truth, something did happen, and it was unjust, exactly what that was has yet to be revealed.

    Again, thank you for showing it as more than a hoax, glad to be proven wrong in that regard.

  31. #31 |  CL | 

    thomasblair:

    From the original article linked to by Radley’s first post (scroll to the end of that article), it looks like the arrests are not unrelated:

    This is from the officers’ lawyer, William Helfand:

    Both the daughter and the father were arrested for assaulting a peace officer. “The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off.”

    Also, “The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances,” Helfand says. “It’s unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest.”

  32. #32 |  David | 

    [blockquote]I blame the media for not doing its job in cases like this. If the media is the important watchdog that it has claimed to be, by the time the case is over, the names of the police involved would be synonymous with thuggish incompetence and the prosecutor would be regarded by most normal citizens as a man who is without any sense of right and wrong, a tyrant who is wholey unfit to practice law again and a man who defends the beating of young girls.[/blockquote]

    Bah. It would screw up their narrative that any person who has a uniform is a hero and clearly better than anyone who doesn’t.

  33. #33 |  David | 

    I have a great deal of compassion for honest people that are done wrong, in particular by those in authority. Liars get less; and sometimes real scumbags get abused and I can not say I feel that sorry for them at all.

    Alek, in our system, even the scumbags are supposed to be treated decently. Not abusing scumbags is what’s suppose to prevent an innocent person from being “mistakenly” abused.

  34. #34 |  David | 

    Apparently, My HTML fu is weak today, as I’ve botched both attempts at a blockquote.

  35. #35 |  alek | 

    @David: Not having compassion and condoning abuse are not the same thing. Our society rewards sensationalism, regardless of what the system is intended to achieve. It is all too often that the scumbags I refer too are on the streets as a result of a failed system. A system itself which seeks to sensationalize instead of obtain justice (i.e. Tommy Chong). So seeing those that escape the system fall victim to its failures does not move me in the same way as those that abide by it and are helpless against it.

    If I was confident that our system was capable of dealing with those that pose a danger to others then I would be more inclined to feel compassion when I hear stories like this. As it stands our society functions best for those lacking in conscience and capable of exploiting the system for their own desires. The level of corruption amongst those claiming to defend our liberties is disgusting (“I want to cut his nuts out” – Jesse Jackson). It is not 100%, but it is enough to shine a questioning light on all.

    My first reaction when hearing a sensational story is to doubt. All too frequently the liberators care less about your freedom than the oppressors. When an anarchist is telling you what you should think then all you can really be sure of is that you are not talking to an anarchist. The abuse by authority does happen, and distortions are fabricated about that abuse as well. On several occasions I have witnessed protesters attempting to instigate a police reaction with their friends in the wings waiting to video tape the predictably violent response. That video is not truth; but their blogs and youtube comments would expect you to believe it is.

    This is the state of our society. If it sounds too good (or bad) to be true, then I am going to need to know a lot more before I will believe it. Unfortunately, we reward the extremes, they are entertaining I guess, make for good news, get people riled up. Look at the number of and length of responses to this post and the previous, can you tell me it does not work?

  36. #36 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “When an anarchist is telling you what you should think then all you can really be sure of is that you are not talking to an anarchist.”

    I agree 100% with this statement. Would you care to name names, Alek?

    I believe your epistemology is sound — one should doubt. However, in this case, the doubt is on the state’s story. Since it has accused citizens of criminal offenses, the burden of proof lies with the state. The civil case is a different matter, of course, but then the standard is a preponderance of evidence. This preponderance, while admittedly one-sided at this point, fits a well-defined pattern and is not unreasonable to consider true at this early date by the court of public opinion, which holds no authority.

    My reading of this case is different from yours. It passes the smell test. Time will tell who is right.

  37. #37 |  alek | 

    @Cynical in CA: After seeing the official filing, I don’t have much question that the cops roughed up a 12 year old girl and did so above and beyond what any enforcers of the law should do. I do not think a lawyer would risk his career on making that kind of false claim.

    Yet, The account of what led up to the incident seems highly suspicious. There is so much room for speculation as to the motivation, interaction, and reaction by all concerned. I am unwilling to let the lawyer for the family seeking a trial for a two year old case (which has already been thrown out once) be the “fountain of truth”.

    So far there really is not much of a story from the state. Mostly the lawyer for the accuser speaking on their behalf. Trusting lawyers is about the same as thinking the police have your best interest in mind.

  38. #38 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

    I would like to know how the undercover cops planned to make a case of prostitution against this girl. What evidence of solicitation can be gleaned from running up and grabbing a suspect without any investigation or prior conversation? Were they going to claim that a 12 year old honor student with an intact family solicited them from the sidewalk?

    How do these particular guys usually make cases? Running up on people and grabbing them them in the manner of a child snatcher does not seem to cut it.

    It would be interesting to put a P.I. on the street to find out how these particular cops usually operate.

  39. #39 |  CharlesWT | 

    Given that the young lady is above average in size and an athletic, the police over reacted perhaps thinking they had somehow grabbed a bobcat. :o

  40. #40 |  Kristopher | 

    I want to know why the cops tried to prevent the girl from yelling.

    This is the behavior of a kidnapper, not a cop.

    Do these cops kidnap young girls for pimps? Worried about witnesses maybe?

  41. #41 |  The Leviathan › A Few Bad Pigs: Little Girl in Houston Edition | 

    […] For a more detailed analysis of the entire situation, check out The Agitator. […]

  42. #42 |  Fox | 

    @Alek #37: I think you read that wrong. The girl’s CIVIL suit hasn’t been thrown out, her CRIMINAL trial for “Assaulting a public official” was declared a mistrial on day one, and the prosecutor has refiled the charges to put her on trial again. it seems to me that such a turn of events would not provide any information whatsoever about the trustworthiness of her lawyer.

  43. #43 |  Burrow Owl | 

    I happen to like Robocop and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    Oops. I was referring to the Borg :)

  44. #44 |  SusanK | 

    I have a gabillion things to say about this (yes, “gabillion” is a real number in my world).
    First of all, since when can 12-year-old be a prostitute? Isn’t she under the age of consent?
    Second of all, look at this in a vacuum (no prostitute, no cops, just a young girl grabbing a tree and adult men trying to take her), does anyone see anything wrong with that situation?
    Finally, where is Nancy Grace to PROTECT THE CHILDREN?!?!?!?
    Seriously, anyone who read this and said “thank God the cops don’t do this in my town” needs to take off their blinders.

  45. #45 |  SusanK | 

    By the way, my first felony jury trial was a 21-year-old kid accused of assaulting an officer. I trashed the closing I had spent days working on to give a 30-second close showing my client’s mug shot (where he was a black and blue Hispanic) against the picture of the injury done to the officer (a scratch on his neck), asking the jury to tell me who had been assaulted. They told me in less than an hour – my client was acquitted.
    Granted, that was after thousands of legal fees, but still, there is justice from a jury trial.

  46. #46 |  HorsesAss.Org » Blog Archive » Friday Night Open Thread | 

    […] horrible incident involving alleged police misconduct in Houston. More here. Permalink | Leave a Comment | RSS addthis_pub = ‘nietsdlog'; addthis_brand = ‘HA Seattle'; […]

  47. #47 |  minor update on the Dymond/Galveston lawsuit « …the importance of being, Andy. | 

    […] minor update on the Dymond/Galveston lawsuit more info from the original blogger/reporter (?) is here. […]

  48. #48 |  12 year-old Dymond Milburn beaten by plainclothes police officers in front of her house | Talking in Circles | 

    […] Balko of The Agitator wrote about it, then posted again with more details. While we may be getting a one-sided story, the authorities have admitted that […]

  49. #49 |  Frank | 

    #24 The problem is the press are too afraid of losing their special police privileges and more afraid of being treated like a regular citizen (see YouTube for too many sickening examples).

  50. #50 |  Andrea | 

    I got the direct e-mail address of the top prosecutor in the Galveston County DA’s office. Here it is: kurt.sistrunk@co.galveston.tx.us .

    Last night I sent him a nastygram. I encourage all of the other readers to do so, also.

    The e-mail I sent to him is as follows:

    Dear Attorney Sistrunk:

    I am a US citizen who recently read about the prosecution of Dymond Milburn. I really love my country’s constitution, and therefore am exercising my rights to contact you and complain. Also, as a parent of 3 kids and 2 step-kids, I cringe to think of what this poor little girl must have been going through.

    Please pardon my language, but to be frank, it’s downright bloody abusive for this little girl and her father to be prosecuted. Rather, the perpetrating lawbreaking officers should be charged with whatever Texas statutes govern disorderly conduct, battery, physical abuse of a child, causing mental harm to a child, misconduct in office, and your state’s version of the RICO act. I think there is enough evidence to submit such a case to a jury and let a jury decide their culpability and state of mind. Isn’t your office an agency that participates in the administration of justice? I would hope that it isn’t some sort of brownshirt protection agency. The thugs’ decision to arrest this little girl for prostitution on the sole grounds that her shorts were too tight is sexist, and is inherently discriminatory against women. It smacks of outdated notions. I mean, do these hoodlums in uniform tell rape victims they deserve it if their clothes were too tight?

    I’ve visited every US state except for Hawaii, Alaska, and Rhode Island. I’ve also traveled extensively in foreign countries. Although my family, friends and I would occasionally mock Texas as a corrupt place where the rule of law didn’t apply when I was a teenager back in the early ’80’s, I had thought that Texas had, by the year 2008, changed. Evidently I was mistaken. The kind of misconduct that is reported by these thugs is the kind of corrupt conduct that I experienced in the early 1990’s when traveling in Yugoslavia and Greece, being shaken down and detained by corrupt border guards. It’s the sort of conduct that my uncle experienced in the 70’s in Mexico, when he was detained and shaken down merely because he was an American whose car broke down. It isn’t the sort of conduct that one expects to occur in this country.

    I’m putting Texas on my list of places NOT to visit, ever again. I’ll take my three kids and stick to the Northern part of the US, and spend my tourist dollars there, instead.

    Please let me know if you are going to prosecute the Nazi thugs who abused this kid. Please don’t give me any excuses about only taking cases submitted to you by law enforcement. They guard their own, and aren’t about to be referring their own to you for prosecution.

    Please also let me know if you’re going to give the assistant persecutor, er, I meant prosecutor, who had the lousy judgment to go after this kid, the sound dressing down that he or she deserves.

    Thank you.

    (then my name and address went here).

  51. #51 |  CharlesWT | 

    Battle of the Badges Monroe — Sean Stewart (Galveston Police Dept.)

  52. #52 |  btweenus2001 | 

    This is an amazing story. And just as someone metioned earlier, where the hell is Nancy Grace? It seems that crimes against little Black girls is never a news “priority” …elitist???

    I’m amazed at some of the mentality from some of you.

    The girl was twelve. Do any of you remember what it was like to be 12 years old…twelve years old. My issue with some comments (Alek) is there seems to be a need to rationalize this crime based upon “guilt by her environment”. I personally have worked in the sex industry with a ministry that helps women who wish to leave sexually oriented businesses. This child was no prostitute. Trust me, one of the main things rehearsed in “prostitute etiquette” is that the police can be your friend, do not resist.

    Because this child was afraid,and well she should have been, if she were familiar with street etiquette, a regular prostitution arrest would not have gone down like that, unless the officers already had contempt for the environment in their heart.

    While I think we all agree that resisting arrest is against the law, in the future you might not want to jump from a car, in plain clothes, snatching a child, literally from her home. Hopefully, with efficient records, it will be determined that their lights did go off and the parents of this child sent her to the breaker box…case cosed to reset the breaker

    And since when does prostitution require such force…I don’t give a damn that she resisted, given the situation, she should have done exactly that! And yes, time will tell…

  53. #53 |  CharlesWT | 

    Officer Sean Stewart was made an Officer of the Year (.pdf, page 5) this year.

  54. #54 |  Douglas | 

    I would like to see a report from the local Galveston press concerning the original incident(s). I searched for it and have found nothing. I am sure there is something underlying this lawsuit but I can’t seem to find anything about it in the local press. I searched the Galveston County paper’s archives back to 2004 and found only mentions of the girl’s name (or just the last name) in the Sports pages. I am sure the writer of these articles on the case has thoroughly investigated and not just relied on phone calls and the court filing on the lawsuit.

  55. #55 |  wiggles | 

    Does anyone know the stated reason the criminal trial against Dymond Milburn was declared a mistrial? Did at least that judge grok how insane it is to criminally charge a twelve-year-old for defending herself from an attempted kidnapping? I’d like to read a statement, if one’s available, but I haven’t found one so far.

  56. #56 |  TheBlackCritic | 

    It’s rare to hear something being said as bluntly as it may need to be said: http://theblackcritic.com/?p=905

    How To Beat Down Black Women & Get Away With It

    “Beating down Black women is the perfect pass-time hobby because there are no real consequences. The worst that can happen to you is a few weeks of paid suspension. You don’t even have to worry about some gang of vigilante Black dudes seeking out revenge. They are mostly cowards masquerading as men.”

  57. #57 |  Frank | 

    #53 Not surprised. Outraged, but not surprised. The writing was on the wall when those Federal Marshals got medals for killing a boy and his dog in Idaho.

  58. #58 |  Sad Recent Victim of HPD | 

    No one who lives in this area (Houston) would be shocked by this story. Galveston is a little less than an hour south of here. The whole area here is phenomenally corrupt. False arrests on made-up charges that actually stick in the kangaroo courts around here are the norm. The police are butal criminals. I was recently pulled out of our truck at a garage sale by Houston police, held at gunpoint in the shadows, finger on the trigger and his hand shaking to my back, told not to look at his face, not to talk to him. My husband has been twice unlawfully detained and myself once in about a two month period of time. The violence done to us resulted in a still birth for me and my near death. As soon as humanly possible we are leaving this cess pool. We fear for our lives from both the cops and the non-uniformed criminals here. We never knew who our assailants were, but police engaged in criminal activity anywhere in this area is not unusual.

    Believe me! No one here would think for an instant that this story was a hoax. Presently, I just don’t leave the house unless I absolutely have to and the general rule here is, unless you want to have a member of you family gunned down, don’t call the cops here for anything.

  59. #59 |  Police Assault 12 year old girl.....Allegedly! - Page 4 - Southern Maryland Community Forums | 

    […] of those ‘Let’s get them riled up with a really old story that’s no longer newsworthy’ posts. Here’s some updated material. __________________ "Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s […]

  60. #60 |  Here’s what isn’t in dispute: Dymond and Clara – women in and beyond the global | 

    […] Radley Balko picked up on the story, and then it took off into the blogosphere. Later, Balko updated his account: “Here’s what isn’t in dispute:  Milburn was wrongly targeted during a […]

  61. #61 |  Student_Teacher | 

    A citizen’s right to resist UNLAWFUL arrest. (Court Rulings)
    found on dailypaul.com
    http://www.dailypaul….

    As citizens of the United States of America, we must understand that we are the rulers of our own lives and each of us holds sovereign rights over our bodies and liberties.

    We must also understand that when police officers or government officials break the law they no longer hold any authority what so ever. In the instant they act outside the law and under color of authority or jurisdiction we have a right and duty to resist.

    Below are some very interesting court decisions and legal precedents in which honorable judges and juries have found the right to resist with mortal force is the right of all free citizens.

    All law enforcement and government officials should be made of aware of these facts. Maybe that will raise some eyebrows instead of billy clubs and ltasers.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court stated: “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

    “An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter.” Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.

    “When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

    “These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

    “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

    “Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

    “One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

    “Story affirmed the right of self-defense by persons held illegally. In his own writings, he had admitted that ‘a situation could arise in which the checks-and-balances principle ceased to work and the various branches of government concurred in a gross usurpation.’ There would be no usual remedy by changing the law or passing an amendment to the Constitution, should the oppressed party be a minority. Story concluded, ‘If there be any remedy at all … it is a remedy never provided for by human institutions.’ That was the ‘ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply force against ruinous injustice.’” (From Mutiny on the Amistad by Howard Jones, Oxford University Press, 1987, an account of the reading of the decision in the case by Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court.

    As for grounds for arrest: “The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)

  62. #62 |  Police assault 12-year-old girl after mistaking her for a prostitute - Exodus Portal | 

    […] blogger defended the story from accusations that it was a hoax because it has not been picked up by the national media and many of the facts come from the […]

  63. #63 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » One of the Cops That Jumped Dymond Milburn Named 2008 Galveston “Officer of the Year” | 

    […] posts on Milburn’s lawuit here and […]

  64. #64 |  12 year old girl beaten for resisting arrest - Abibitumi Kasa Afrikan Language and Liberation Institutes and Community Networks | 

    […] back and yelling for help. The fact that she’s being criminalized for it is beyond comprehension. Apparently the Milburns have filed a lawsuit against the police department. Hopefully they’re successful. This case is especially compelling because it involves an innocent […]

  65. #65 |  nattypol | 

    Assuming that the story we’ve heard so far is an accurate rendering of events, is a lawsuit enough? Not only was this girl assaulted by grown men, she was then arrested at school for daring to resist by an unrepentant police force. Will civil damages set matters right and act as a sufficient deterrent to such behavior in the future?

  66. #66 |  Spockman | 

    I wonder why the media spent so much time on the ‘Don’t taze me bro’ case and this one is perpetuated by the internet far more then newsstations. Does the media just desire for two-sided stories? Is it just that people don’t want to hear what really happens so the media tells them what they like? Or is it the news stations that dare pawns?

    It’s a screwy ‘democracy’ that we are living in when an officer can stick cocaine down your shorts then get you imprisoned for possession. Fortunatley, things this despicable are still viewed as wrong when people hear them.

    That’s why I don’t think that we are beyond return. While people still have a moral compass, if things like this where exposed the establishment would garner less and less support.

    But at the end of the day, we are still living under government control. The lay person will deny it, claiming that we still ‘basically’ have our freedom of speech. We only have that freedom because it’s convenient and even then with limitation. It’s just, that for the majority of the populace, (not including this family,) life under government control isn’t so bad yet, so it’s hard to detect. The path to 1984 is a gradual one…

    I really hate to sound kind of like Lincoln Rockwell, but Jefferson was right in saying, ‘When the government fears it’s people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tryanny.’

    The next major step will be our guns, then a serious blow will further limit free enterprise, then things like street preaching will be criminailized saying that it ‘hurts the rights of listeners who don’t want to hear it’ and that ‘it incites riots’ and that ‘it should stay in churches and political forums where people have the choice to live.

    These new regs will of course be used as justification for a plethera of clever ways to limit speech. Part of me, (regrettably,) thinks that when the next step is initiated, (gun control,) a civil war would be… better than the alternative, (totalitarianism.) But I hope and pray that we turn around before then. Starting with a receptive/ethical population and followed up by the media doing it’s ‘responsibility’ to inform. (The primary reason the freedom of press was so stretched by people like Thomas Jefferson and Sam Adams)

  67. #67 |  Spockman | 

    ((Major typos. When I said ‘it should stay in churches and political forums where people have the choice to live.’ I meant the choice to ‘hear’ not ‘live’ which makes no contextual sense. And the news stations don’t dare pawns, they ‘are’ pawns. Sorry about that. I also ranted a little… Apologies for that.))

  68. #68 |  Opera Tronickss » Blog Archive | 

    […] allegedly beat her. Radley Balko posted an update clearing some misconceptions about the story here. Prostitution raid on 12-year-old honor […]

  69. #69 |  Acanthus | 

    “I searched for it and have found nothing. I am sure there is something underlying this lawsuit but I can’t seem to find anything about it in the local press. I searched the Galveston County paper’s archives back to 2004 and found only mentions of the girl’s name (or just the last name) in the Sports pages. I am sure the writer of these articles on the case has thoroughly investigated and not just relied on phone calls and the court filing on the lawsuit.”

    If you think there was something in that particular newspaper at the time of the incident, or that any GDN reporter throughly investigated it at any point, you don’t know the Galveston Daily News. That paper is all about local boosterism, and bowing down to the local powers that be.

  70. #70 |  UcuzHosting Blog | Magazin,haber,oyun,video,oyun indir,dosya indir,dosya yükle - Plainclothes allegedly police beat up 12-year-old honor student girl then arrest her 3 weeks later | 

    […] allegedly beat her. Radley Balko posted an update clearing some misconceptions about the story here. Prostitution raid on 12-year-old honor […]

  71. #71 |  Traveler’s Advisory for East Texas: Warrantless Searches, False Arrests, Paramilitary-Style Raids, Fraudulent Laws, Thieving and Murderous Polic « Angela Kaelin’s Freedom Blog | 

    […] promoted or given awards for their performance. Notice the problem that I addressed above at this link. The story is so outrageous that many people thought it was a hoax. But, it really did happen. This […]

  72. #72 |  Traveler's Advisory for Houston, TX: Constitution-Free Zone | 

    […] promoted or given awards for their performance. Notice the problem that I addressed above at this link. The story is so outrageous that many people thought it was a hoax. But, it really did happen. This […]

  73. #73 |  Traveler's Advisory for Houston, TX: Constitution-Free Zone | Houston Law | 

    […] promoted or given awards for their performance. Notice the problem that I addressed above at this link. The story is so outrageous that many people thought it was a hoax. But, it really did happen. This […]

  74. #74 |  Traveler’s Advisory for Houston, TX: Constitution-Free Zone - TrenDigg | 

    […] promoted or given awards for their performance. Notice the problem that I addressed above at this link. The story is so outrageous that many people thought it was a hoax. But, it really did happen. This […]

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