Monday, March 26, 2007

Means "Who Polices the Police?"

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

Off-duty cops accused in bar attack

Authorities are investigating claims that six off-duty Chicago police officers were captured on video assaulting four men in a bar, the second report of police involved in an assault to surface in a week.

Adam Mastrucci, Scott Lowrance and brothers Aaron and Barry Gilfand were playing pool at the Jefferson Tap and Grille on Dec. 15 when the off-duty officers attacked them, their attorney Steven Fine said.

Patrol officers responded to a 911 call, but left after speaking to one of the off-duty officers, Fine said. One of the four men required reconstructive surgery for a broken nose and another had broken ribs, Fine said.

Lawyers did not say what may have prompted the alleged incident.

Click here for the rest.

Of course, it's entirely possible that these guys had it coming to them. Maybe it was a rough bar. Maybe they were all drunk and belligerent and the off-duty cops were trying to rein in a volatile situation. On the other hand, it also sounds like these cops went above and beyond the call of duty, beating the living shit out of these guys. What really happened? If the victims were breaking the law, then charges should have been filed against them. Did that happen? If not, why? And if these cops really were being violent assholes, why did the other cops called to the scene leave without doing anything? Well, that's easy: it would be the "code of silence" that makes good cops look the other way when bad cops do bad things.

Anyway, I'm very curious about this one. I hope we hear more.