Elderly man who was beaten by police in New Orleans was sober
A retired elementary teacher who was repeatedly punched in the head bypolice in an incident caught on videotape said Monday he was not drunk,put up no resistance and was baffled by what happened.
Robert Davis said he had returned to New Orleans to check onproperty his family owns in the storm-ravaged city, and was out lookingto buy cigarettes when he was beaten and arrested Saturday night in theFrench Quarter.
Police have alleged that the 64-year-old Davis was publiclyintoxicated, a charge he strongly denied as he stood on the streetcorner where the incident played out Saturday.
"I haven't had a drink in 25 years," Davis said. He had stitchesbeneath his left eye, a bandage on his left hand and complained ofsoreness in his back and aches in his left shoulder.
A federal civil rights investigation was begun in the case. Davis isblack; the three city police officers seen on the tape are white.
But Davis, his attorney and police spokesman Marlon Defillo all said they do not believe race was an issue.
"He does not see it as a racial thing," said Davis' lawyer, Joseph Bruno.
First off, I agree that we can't just jump to the conclusion that this was a race-motivated beating. Secondly, what bothers me is the fact that these cops were caught on tape beating a helpless man, yet they pleaded 'not guilty' -- even the officer that was seen on camera shoving an Associated Press reporter who was working with the person that filmed the incident.
Watch the video and see for yourself (
It does not take more than two cops to restrain a 64-year-old man that isn't resisting arrest. Not only did they throw him down on the ground, but one officer proceeded to slug the man twice after he was already defenseless. And notice how the police on horseback strategically moved in front of the Associated Press camera to prevent the public from witnessing what was a beating of an elderly person.