Crosswalk fallout: Gerry Mitchell files suit

cover-gerry-mitchellArtist Gerry Mitchell, one year after the crosswalk incident. FILE PHOTO BY WILL WALKER

First came the accident. Then the bad publicity. Now, 18 months after Gerry Mitchell was struck in his wheelchair by an Albemarle County police cruiser and then ticketed by Charlottesville police in the ER, comes the lawsuit.

Filed Tuesday morning, June 16, in Charlottesville Circuit Court, Mitchell's $850,000 suit alleges negligence, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and names the City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police Officer Steve Grissom, who wrote the ticket, and Albemarle County Police Officer Gregory C. Davis, who was driving the cruiser that struck him in a West Main Street crosswalk on November 5, 2007.

"When you think about the cover up, what they did was so unnecessary and horrible," says Mitchell, reached hours after the suit was filed. "They basically are not being accountable. All the details are going to come out about the injustice."

According to Mitchell and the suit, the injustice began not so much when he was struck but hours later when Charlottesville police issued the ticket while Mitchell was being treated in the UVA emergency room. According to the suit, that charge– failure to obey a pedestrian signal– was drummed up by Charlottesville police in order to "protect" Davis, a fellow officer.

The suit highlights the ways in which Mitchell suffered in the months following the accident. Already weakened by AIDS and with hand and arm injuries allegedly relating to the accident, Mitchell, an artist, was unable to participate in a prestigious show in a Harlem gallery. He was forced to hire an attorney to defend himself against the charges, and he was hospitalized repeatedly for various conditions allegedly stemming from the accident.

The charges against him were dropped in January 2008 when the Commonwealth's Attorney determined the crossing signal at the crosswalk where Mitchell was struck was excluded from then current state code because it used symbols instead of words. The following year, Delegate David Toscano carried a bill to Richmond and had the law changed to ensure such tickets would stick in the future.

Since the charges were dropped, Armstrong says, Mitchell has repeatedly attempted to settle with the city and the county.

"Neither were willing to look at this reasonably," says Armstrong. "They forced him to file suit."

At Hook presstime Tuesday, June 16, representatives in both city and county attorneys offices said they had not received notice of the suit and declined comment.

Co-counsel will be Debbie Wyatt, who supposedly retired two years ago, but who now says she feels strongly enough to temporarily emerge retirement.

"I agreed to assist because I thought it was a good case," says Wyatt, noting that Mitchell's incident was not the first time police had tangled with pedestrians that fall. In September 2007, Richard Silva and Blair Austin were heading home from a birthday celebration and claimed they were nearly struck by a speeding police SUV driven by Charlottesville Police Officer Mike Flaherty. An altercation followed in the Water Street crosswalk, with one witness calling 911 to report police brutality. The young couple– now married parents– were charged with various offenses, spent the night in jail, and incurred tens of thousands in legal bills. As with Mitchell, Silva and Austin were both eventually found not guilty.

These situations, says Wyatt,  "don't give the image we want from our police officers."

Read more on: Gerry Mitchellpolice

45 comments

Yes, Ruth. They were hoping it would go away. Or sad as it may seem, they might even have hoped Mr. Mitchell would go away, as in "pass away".

While I had lawsuits pending the Albemarle County Police, and the county dragged it out from 1997 to 2003, two of my best witnesses actually died. One was 49 and died of cancer (good guy). And the other died at age 50 of a heart attack (also a good guy).

In more recent lawsuits, a major NOVA police agency dragged out the lawsuits until we were just weeks away from a jury trial to hear my claims. They were probably hoping I would drop dead too when they fought us and dragged it out for so long.

I hope Gerry Mitchell gets every penny he has asked for. And I don't think there's a jury that won't award him every penny he has asked for. He's in extremely good hands with Debbie Wyatt coming out of retirement for this case!!!!

It's been a year and a half now since the accident, and the Charlottesville City Police have insisted on dragging this out- with still no apology or compensation for Gerry Mitchell. Gerry has suffered horrifically from the negligence of the police officer who hit him- but even more from untold harassment and irresponsible behavior from the Police Dept. itself. It's hard to believe that this is still an unresolved issue. Do the Charlottesville Police just hope it'll go away? Again, it could have been resolved long ago if they just admitted they had made a mistake and been a role model for the citizens they are supposed to protect.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Really, the cops in the city and county are not untouchable. They may think they are. And they love the rumors circulating about town that they are. But one of the first things that will take place in Mitchell's lawsuits will be having a substitute judge appointed and brought in from another area to hear these lawsuits. A judge who has no allegiance to anybody or anything in Charlottesville or Albemarle County. The judges in Charlottesville and Albemarle County will recuse themselves anyway.

In more personal and unrelated drama (your words), one of the last cases Debbie Wyatt handled for me before her retirement.... she had the sitting judge (from out of town) calling cops liars to their faces, in open court and while still on record, as he announced his decision in my favor. I have the trial transcript laying on my desk in front of me. In another case, also handled by Debbie Wyatt, the judge left the courtroom, entered his chambers and said he could not believe the entire chain of command of a local police department had just committed perjury in his courtroom, after announcing his verdict in my favor as well. :)

Jocko, while the wording above in this news story says the City of Charlottesville was sued, I suspect this, even if indirectly, means the Police Department and Chief Longo. In all fairness to Longo though, I think Longo was mislead by his chain of command as far as his participation in any of it. IMHO, it won't be the first time his chain of command has mislead him. And I don't think it will be the last time either.

It didn't take a mental giant to see these Mitchell lawsuits coming down the pike. I'm really surprised Silva and Austin didn't proceed with some type of civil action as well.

I need a box of typing skills.... mislead above = misled. :)

quote: "It doesn’t matter if he had his eyes closed and had a hooker on his lap. He still had the right of way.

So Mitchell is blind? He didn’t see the no crossing signal?
Fact is he should have not been in that crosswalk."

Of course it matters. If the cop had a hooker in his lap while driving it would clearly be reckless driving.

I think you will find the evidence, when presented in court, will be that the timing of the pedestrian device does not give a person enough time to cross the street. Especially somebody in a wheelchair.

I don't care if there was 12 naked cheerleaders out there yelling at Mitchell not to cross the street, a vehicle has an obligation not to run over a pedestrian under ~ANY~ circumstances. And that's exactly what Sgt Durrette said in the quote of his above, here the quote again.... "the motorist is supposed to have the responsibility of not hitting people in the street, he had time to see (the pedestrian) in the crosswalk.”

And I think this is the way the jury will eventually rule in Mitchell's lawsuits. But, it will take 3 or 4 years to get the case in front of a jury most likely.

quote: ââ?¬Å?Pedestrians have the responsibility not to step out into oncoming traffic,” says Sgt. L.A. Durrette, but ââ?¬Å?the motorist is supposed to have the responsibility of not hitting people in the street.”

Durrette charged the driver with failure to yield to a pedestrian.

ââ?¬Å?He had time to see her in the crosswalk,” Durrette says.

This is the point. The same is true of the cop car that hit Mitchell. But the city police ran up to the Emergency Room and charged Mitchell.

Folks, you are not arguing the facts.

First, the signal was recorded after Gerry was in the middle of the crossing. It does not prove he entered illegally. It may have changed after he started across.

Second, one of the witnesses heardOfficer Davis say to Gerry, "Im sorry. I was looking down."

Third, whether or not someone is legally crossing the street, drivers are required to look where we are going and not hit them. A civilian would have been arrested and tried for reckless driving.

quote, SOTLR: "I don’t think the entire incident would be an issue if the cops had not driven to the Emergency Room and charged Mitchell."

quote, toolittle toolate: "The aftermath is the issue."

Welcome to June 17, 2009 at 9:48 p.m.

I've already said the aftermath is the issue.

quote: "IT WAS an accident. The Officer did not hit him on purpose. The ACCIDENT may have been caused by some form of negligense..."

If I am negligent in taking my eyes off the road while changing the radio station, and I run over Grandma crossing the street in the process of looking down to change channels, it's not an accident. It's improper driving at the least. The words "negligence" and "accident" do not belong in the same sentence together.

Like I said above, you use the term "accident" because it is universally accepted as the term to describe motor vehicle mishaps.

Hey, it's OK. We can disagree. :)

I just watched the video again - WHAT ON EARTH was the officer thinking when he picked Gerry up and put him back in the chair???

Just like SOTLR pointed out, that officer is TRAINED not to do stupid things like move someone that just got hit by a car and thrown from their wheelchair. That alone ought to get Gerry a tidy settlement.

I also never realized just how hard Gerry got hit - OUCH.

Ordinarily, I also play devil's advocate - at least so I can see all sides of the story, but I just don't see the officer's side of this at all. He hit a man in a wheelchair in a crosswalk for god's sake - and then picked the guy up off the ground and put him back in the chair - wrong, wrong, wrong on every account.

I feel somewhat sorry for that officer - it was clearly an accident, but still. The guy is a trained law enforcement official and should have known better on every account.

It was an accident people. Any one of us could have been driving that day and ACCIDENTIALLY hit the poor guy. Accidents happen.

This is not about the "accident" as much as it is about the way the accident was handled and that is what the court case will be about.

The video will show what happened and then the court case will spend a few days trying to figure out why it was mishandled so poorly.

Hopefully the City will get spanked good enough to teach them a lesson in Diplomacy.

The real culprit in this case is not the cop that hit Gerry nor the cop that served him with the ticket. The culprit is the system that makes it so that police officers actually thnk they could get away it. The real culprit is the Chief of police who didn't step up to the plate the SECOND he heard that Gerry was ticketd. The real culprits are the City Council who did not DEMAND accountbility the day after Chief Longo failed to step up.

And lastly the real culprits are the citizens of Charlottesville for allowing the chief and the council to let it get this far.

They will blame it on legal advice.. so when they LOSE their ass in court I hope they FIRE the Lawyers that advised them how to avoid liability instead of how to make things right.

Sick, You are playing pointless semantic games, and not doing very well at it even. All of the things that you listed above, from dropping a blackberry to being hit by a baseball could just as easily be described as the outcome of negligence. I think it would be a real stretch to suggest that the officer had any intention of hitting Mr. Mitchell. That fits the dictionary definition fairly well. Besides, this is the first time I have read anything that tater had to say that even came close to being on target. Lets encourage that!!!

accident |Ã?Ë?aksidÃ?â?¢nt|
noun
1 an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury : he had an accident at the factory | if you are unable to work owing to accident or sickness | [as adj. ] an accident investigator.

Going up against the cops? In this town? As much as I hate to say it Rambos for once all your personal unrelated drama aside you have a good point. Debbie Wyatt is hands down the best for this case no one could do it better.

God bless you, Gerry. So many people are rooting for you.

On a personal note, I'm deeply saddened by the shortsighted and harmful actions of the police in this case. So many of them are really wonderful people, and I hate to see hem all get a bad name because of the actions of a few. Anyone with a functioning brain knows that the ticket was written as a COA tactic, and it makes me heartsick that Gerry has to resort to the legal system to get redress.

I challenge the good leaders of Charlottesville to speak up on this issue, and to not hide behind the City Attorney's coattails. PLEASE make a stand for what's right, instead of what's politically expedient.

It is SAD that ALL of this could have been avoided if the CHIEF OF POLICE had simply stood up and said THIS IS A MISTAKE AND WE ARE GOING TO FIX IT AND FIX IT NOW.

I like Chief Longo, but he obviously does not understand that his job is to protect the people first and the department second. He is our first line of defense against rogue officers and he LET US DOWN.

He needs to atone for this error in judgement and let the public know that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the future.

These two events caused unbelievable damage to the Police Departments reputation. It is UNFAIR to the 95% of Officers who are good decent human beings and serve everyday to help us feel safe.

Chief Longo owes THOSE Officers an apology too.

If he goes to court and defends this behavior I hope the City pays dearly for it.

Hope the suit is successful, Gerry. If you can't trust the police to look for and see a wheelchair-bound person in a crosswalk, crossing WITH the traffic signal (and at least not violating any pedestrian signal laws as written at that time), well who can you trust? And shame on whomever instructed those cops to interrupt emergency hospital aid to issue an invalid citation. Particularly while not similarly citing the officer who caused the injury to begin with. It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit shakes out. With luck, the city will show some compassion (and reason), settling without costing the taxpayers the additional money necessitated by a trial.

I feel ashamed that our town has treated anyone like this. And Gerry is a wonderful person. I am sorry that the police chief who participated in the cover up (by dishonestly claiming that there were no witnesses) was not named in the suit. And where has the City Council been on this since they have oversight of the police department?

quote: "How did music interfere with his vision?"

Even better yet, you tell me what did interfere with his vision. Had the cop turned off his peripheral vision that morning and forgot to turn it back on?

quote: "Who is to say the cop wasn’t looking for a herd of cville red light runners before turning?"

A county cop working traffic in the city? You're kidding, right? Or you just don't know any better?

quote: "....should his attention be focused solely on the spot where the man was hit?"

If the cop has a 36 inch attention span, yes. After all, seems his peripheral vision was turned off, right?

While sitting and waiting for a green light, the cop should have seen Mitchell out of the corner of his eye. There is NO excuse whatsoever for never seeing Mitchell until impact.

quote: "Believe it or not there is a different mindset when you are involved in an accident and when you just respond to an accident."

First responders are trained. Even though being involved in the accident himself, he knew better than to jump out of his troll car and grab ahold of a man and move him without further evaluating his injuries. No excuse whatsoever for this as well.

quote: "My dog is not in this fight...

I bet it is. I pesonally think it's clear you are probably one of four things, 1) a cop, 2) a cop wannabe defending real cops, 3) a friend of the cop involved, or 4) a family member of the cop involved. Just my opinion based on your comments.

quote: "I do know that if I was the cop involved I would countersue."

That's totally off the wall, downright silly, and absolutely hilarious! But I will play along. What would the cop sue Mr. Mitchell for? (This should be fun!)

And yes Another Supporter you and I would have probably been ticketed without video or an eyewitness.

So the sign means nothing? A pedestrian can ignore all laws?
Who is to say the cop wasn't looking for a herd of cville red light runners before turning? Why should his attention be focused solely on the spot where the man was hit? How did music interfere with his vision? Believe it or not there is a different mindset when you are involved in an accident and when you just respond to an accident.
I am just playing devils advocate. My dog is not in this fight so I really do not care how it ends. I do know that if I was the cop involved I would countersue.

I THANK GOD that it wasn't me that hit Gerry that day as I have a feeling that the police would have crucified me - any civilian really.

I watched the video - and I acknowledge that it only shows so much, but what it does show is not good no matter how you slice it.

When I drove into town the other day, there was a young man driving a tan Jeep wearing a police uniform - I'm guessing he was on his way to/from work - and he was FLYING down the bypass - at least 60mph, he made a couple of quick non-signaled lane changes and just generally drove like an aggressive/reckless driver. I wish I had gotten it on film. I guess it's ok if you're a police officer?

SOtLR, Are you thinking that Longo discovered that several of his officers acted illegally, lied to him about it, and told him there were no witnesses? What motivation would he have to participate in the cover up once he was aware of it? And what motivation did the City Council have to ignore the whole thing? If you are correct about Longo's chain of command frequently misleading him and getting away with it, who is really in charge over there?

Well Jocko, the version of the tale changed moments later after the initial shock was over. The cop them claimed Mitchell was in his blind spot. :)

There's no doubt in my mind this will be the testimony when this lawsuit lands before a jury. The witness will say he very clearly heard the cop state he was looking down, and the cop will testify Mitchell was his blind spot.

Keep in mind though, 95% of all cops are honest, decent, hard working and truthful people. Having said that, and thinking about the other 5%, the worst cases of police perjury I have ever witnessed have taken place in depositions and lawsuits, or when a lawsuit is inevitable.

I don't think the entire incident would be an issue if the cops had not driven to the Emergency Room and charged Mitchell.

quote: "SOtLR, Are you thinking that Longo discovered that several of his officers acted illegally, lied to him about it, and told him there were no witnesses?"

Jocko, yes. Longo was told by his chain of command and/or officers that there was ~NO~ witness to the incident. (Notice I call it an "incident". Running over a man in a wheelchair can never be called an "accident" in my opinion. If a person can't see a man in a wheelchair in a crosswalk, they have no business holding and possessing a driver's license) It probably went right over the cop's heads that even the video from the cop car was technically a witness. And unlike some cops, video doesn't go into a courtroom and commit perjury.

Did the officers do anything illegal? Why would it matter? You won't find a local magistrate, or even a chief magistrate, that would write a criminal warrant for a cop. You would probably be fighting an uphill battle to even have a judge write the warrant.

Warrants against cops are totally useless and a waste of time in 99.99% of cases. A prime example of this is when a local magistrate that witnessed police brutality recently, swore out a warrant for the cop involved... and the judge threw it out of court.

quote: "They are going for a settlement instead of a jury."

Mr/Mrs/Miss giveyouabreak, you obviously don't know Debbie Wyatt very well.

Guess you think Debbie Wyatt was in the Gray "murder by cop" case for a settlement too, eh? She took a jury and won millions. :)

(Yeah, I call it a murder. In my opinion, four grown men shouldn't have to shoot a man in the back and kill him.)

If--I stress IF--the facts are as they appear and the Charlottesville police harassed an injured wheelchair bound man by ticketing him in the hospital, just to protect a fellow police officer who had run him down, 1. Chief Longo really does need to take disciplinary action, and, 2. if I am serving on the jury I will take whatever the Plaintiff asks for in damages and multiply by 10.

Giveyouabreak, read the reply right above yours. Even bonafide police supporters who bake chocolate chip cookies and take them to the annual Police Awards Banquet every year aren't backing the cops on this fluster cluck. I don't care if you're blind in one eye, can't see good out of the other, and can hardly see over the dashboard.... you don't run over a wheelchair bound pedestrian in a crosswalk. Period! If you do, you need to go straight to DMV and turn your driver's license in.

Furthermore, first responder training dictates that a cop, fireman or resque squad personnel do not run up and grab the man after he's been hit and knocked out of his wheelchair onto hard pavement. It was a major fluster cluck all the way... from "My Humps" blaring out on the cop car FM radio, to immediately grabbing the injured party and picking him up off the pavement before evaluating the person's injuries further.

If I was on the jury, I would award substantial punitive damages against the cop since he paid no attention to his training whatsoever. The police chiefs train these guys. It goes in one ear and straight out the other.

I guess you actually believe no wrongdoing took place in the Blair/Austin case as well?

Watch the video. The sign is clear. Who says a ticket has to be written at the time of the incident? If evidence comes into play at a later time a ticket may be issued.

SOTLR, I am sure she is an excellent lawyer. Unless there is more evidence being kept from the media this case is very weak.

And to Hey....

No idea but I understand there are quite a few in the area that could answer that question.

Reality Check, what I would like to see Longo explain is exactly who ordered Steve Grissom to go to the Emergency Room and issue Mitchell a summons. I've known Steve for 35 years. I do not believe he took it upon himself to issue this summons, he was directed to do so by somebody in my opinion.

Furthermore, is it the same person who told the chief there were no witnesses to the accident? And I wonder if this person is still in Longo's chain of command and can be trusted by Longo if so?

Many of these unanswered questions will be answered in depositions as these lawsuits move along. You would be quite surprised to see how easy it is to catch some cops in lies during depositions. I have depositions laying on my desk right now where at least 2 cops, maybe 3, will testify the fourth (former) cop is lying like a dog. It's that simple.

For me, this is less about the actual accident, and more about what happened afterward, i.e. the absurd and harassing ticket, the cover-up (no witnesses), and the failure of the PD to man up, apologize, and settle.

I'm sure when the Chief reads the blogs, he's frustrated because he's feeling that the citizens don't know all the sides to this story. If so, then Tim, as a longtime supporter of yours, I ask that you ensure departmental transparency and accountability begins BEFORE it has to come down to a lawsuit.

If they settle with Gerry before it goes to trial, then I'm positive it will be contingent on his maintaining his silence. This is unfair to the citizens who have every right to know what went wrong in their Police Department.

tater salad, an accident is when you drop your new Blackberry on concrete or pavement and break it. An accident is when you lose your balance and fall off a ladder. An accident is when you trip and fall. An accident is when a softball hits you in the face at 90 mph.

Although "accident" has always been a commonly accepted term for motor vehicle mishaps, there is no such thing as an accident in a motor vehicle. Either a motor vehicle malfunction or driver error is always responsible for vehicle crashes. In this case, the driver error was NEVER seeing Mr Mitchell. In the video you can see that the troll car never applies his brakes before impact. He simply didn't see Mr Mitchell at any time while the car was moving forwards for some reason. That's driver error. 100% driver error.

The next driver error was the cop reaching Mr Mitchell on foot, and within 2 seconds grabbing him and lifting him off the ground. First responders know better. You evaluate a person's injuries both physically and verbally before you attempt to move them.

The cop clearly said he was "looking down" in front of at least one witness, excluding Mitchell of course. If Mitchell heard the statement, there's at least two witnesses to the cop's remark. That my friend is not an accident. It's improper driving at a minimum, reckless driving worst case scenario.

Based on the fact an impartial witness stated the cop made the remark he was "looking down", the cop should have been charged. But, you're right. The issue is why they proceeded in the manner in which they did in charging Mitchell. And most people see it as nothing more than one cop covering for another. Any civilian would have been charged. Just like the teen who hit the pedestrian on South Street last week was.

solr IT WAS an accident. The Officer did not hit him on purpose. The ACCIDENT may have been caused by some form of negligense but it is still an accident and despite your constant Holier than thou rants everyday I would venture to say that you have probably made a mistake or two in your life.

Tater salad is 100% dead on. The aftermath is the issue.

This lawsuit is not to stop police from running over wheelchair riders, it is to prevent them from acting irresponsibly when things go wrong. It is about honesty and Integrity and owning up to responsibility.

tater salad, I never thought I'd agree to one of your posts, but you hit the nail right on the head.

From what I hear, the Alb Co officer, who is a genuinely good guy, is pretty torn up about this. Is anyone on the Cville PD feeling similarly distraught about the way they exacerbated this already tragic situation?

What if, what if... I'm considered to be a good defensive driver who is very cautious by anyone's standards. I never multi-task when I drive. But there have been times when I've had close calls, been distracted, or when people stepped out in front of me when I was blinded by oncoming headlights. I'm SO grateful that none of these close calls ended in injury or death. I would hope that an incident like this wouldn't end my career, as some have suggested should happen to the officer that hit Gerry.

At no point has there been reason to believe that this officer engaged in a cover-up or tried to downplay the seriousness of the accident. It's likely that he picked Gerry up because he was still in shock from hitting someone. The good Samaritan helped too, and was most likely in shock as well. It doesn't undo the damage, but does make it somewhat understandable.

What's never understandable or excusable is an after-the-fact cover-up and smearing of the victim. When the law (whether lawyer or law-enforcement) conspires against a citizen, then we have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. And it needs to be addressed publicly, not behind closed doors.

I guess you're right, Galileo. I went to Merriam-Webster for a second opinion and found this:

an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accident

Another Supporter of Gerry's, I think we're wasting our time on some people here. They think the cops can do no wrong.

They probably believe the Houston, Texas judge just arrested for vandalizing a neighbor's cars is innocent of any wrongdoing too.

Nobody seems to take any responsibility for anything they do nowadays. It's all "lie and deny" and the "us versus them" attitude whenever the criminal justice system is involved in wrongdoing. The "lie and deny" seemes to have started in the Mitchell case as soon as the cop said he was looking down and didn't see Mitchell, then he changed his tune to "Mitchell was in my blind spot"!

Ohh, Goody! Now it's heating up! I'm sure FOP President Bob Romanac would be more than glad to answer any questions you might have. You can go to the web site and drop him e-mail.

http://www.charlottesvillefop5.com/contacts.html

Apparently, Sgt Durrette of the CPD believes "the motorist is supposed to have the responsibility of not hitting people in the street" when asked about this recent incident. (http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/01/crosswalk-danger-an...)

Oh, and the pedestrian even admitted to not pressing the crosswalk signal trigger.

From the story...

Because she was ââ?¬Å?committed” to the crosswalkââ?¬â? and had already made it halfway across when she was struckââ?¬â? police believe she had the right of way.

ââ?¬Å?Pedestrians have the responsibility not to step out into oncoming traffic,” says Sgt. L.A. Durrette, but ââ?¬Å?the motorist is supposed to have the responsibility of not hitting people in the street.”

Durrette charged the driver with failure to yield to a pedestrian.

ââ?¬Å?He had time to see her in the crosswalk,” Durrette says.

Longo inherited a good ol' boy system when he took over. His hands were tied, but when they tripped up, he got rid of them when it was justified. Most have resigned/fired/retired but there still a couple of floaters that need to go. Longo is a good guy - an honest guy - I just don't think he has it in his character to be a complete d*ck, but maybe he needed to be....

Oh my....Making a point using the herd. My humor is dry sometimes.

What in the world does 36" have to do with anything? It doesn't matter if he had his eyes closed and had a hooker on his lap. He still had the right of way.

So Mitchell is blind? He didn't see the no crossing signal?
Fact is he should have not been in that crosswalk.

No on number 1,2,3 and 4. Why would you think that the only ones to defend a cop would be one of those 4 things? Just maybe I am not blinded by the hatred that obviously consumes you.

Considering he is asserting a cover up I would say Emo and Def.

Unpopular, you didn't finish your thought. Did you mean that maybe due to departmental politics he needed to be a "d*ck" to Gerry. If he is a "good guy" , he might consider how vulnerable a disabled person in a wheel chair would feel knowing that the police chief chooses not to protect him from police misconduct and corruption.

Does anyone know that if a cop is fired from their job or they aren't even a cop whether they can still be a member of the fraternal order of police and sport the fop logo on their license plates?

Another Supporter of Gerry's, why do you find it unusual to see a cop driving recklessly? Based on my observations, it's not the exception to the rule, it's normal sometimes in 25 mph speed zones, and almost always normal in 35, 45, 55 and 65 mph speed zones. Both on duty and off duty, in both police cars and civilian cars. An on duty cop passed me on the 250 bypass one evening doing about 65 to 68 mph in a 45 mph zone (I am trained at estimating speed). I figured he wasn't on a call, so I followed him. He was enroute to Arby's to meet another cop for a dinner break. His reckless driving accomplished nothing. I caught up to him at every traffic light.

Case will be dismissed. No cover up will be found. The reason for symbols instead of letters at crosswalks is for people who do not read english or cannot read english. A ticket was issued in accordance with what appeared to be the law.
The incident is unfortunate for Mr. Mitchell but sometimes you have to take responsibility for bad decisions.
I also see the counsel trying to tie 2 unrelated cases to sway public opinion and gain empathy. They are going for a settlement instead of a jury.

tater - again, this is a trained law enforcement officer, not an ordinary civilian. The officer's training should have prevented the accident in the first place and it most certainly should have prevented him from picking Gerry up.

First responders are trained in that stuff and as shocked as the officer probably was, the fact that his training didn't kick in says to me that he wasn't properly trained.

Good to know he's broken up about this - he should be. As in life, when you make mistakes at work, there are consequences.