Monday, November 25, 2002

Bush Backs Oxnard (CA) Police Brutality

In a frightening story, a farm worker in Oxnard California was manhandled and then shot by Oxnard police. Of five bullets, one entered Oliverio Martinez's left eye and exited his right, another hit his spine and three others hit his legs. All of this happened when Mr. Martinez was found with a knife (used for picking strawberries) as he was riding his bike late one evening. The search was questionable since he was not actually doing anything wrong as was the shooting since he was on the ground at the time. Worse yet, when Mr. Martinez was transported to the hospital, the police supervisor continuously questioned him, asking him to incriminate himself even after being asked to leave. Mr. Martinez survived, but is blind and paralyzed from the incident. The police officers that shot him have not been disciplined and remain on the force.

The ensuing lawsuit pitted an injured man against the Oxnard police officers and now, the US cabinet (read: Bush's henchmen). The crux of the case seems to be that the police continued to question Mr. Martinez even after he asked them to leave. The US Solicitor General has sided with the police saying that they can coercively question as long as the results do not end up being used in trial. When all is said and done, it comes down to the fact the police ruined a man's life and they should both pay for this and not be allowed to severely injure innocent civilians again. Judge for yourself.