Charge dropped, Mitchell hospitalized

This morning, the jaywalking charge against Gerry Mitchell, the wheelchair pedestrian who was ticketed in the hospital emergency room after being struck by a police cruiser, was officially dropped in Charlottesville District Court. Mitchell, however, wasn't there to hear the good news.

On New Year's Eve he was readmitted to the University of Virginia hospital, where doctors are struggling to find the reason his joints have swelled, causing him disabling pain, according to his younger brother, Corky Mitchell. The younger Mitchell moved to Charlottesville five years ago to care for his 54-year-old brother, who has suffered from HIV/AIDs for the past 26 years, and has been wheelchair bound for the last several years after drug treatments made his leg bones too brittle to support him.

Mitchell's latest health downturn comes the same week that an exhibition of his artwork is set to open at the Mudhouse coffee shop on the Downtown Mall. Corky Mitchell hung his brother's paintings on New Year's Eve day but says that Gerry Mitchell "is not doing well" and most likely will not be able to attend the First Friday reception tomorrow night.

In a hearing lasting about one minute this morning, the Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney argued, as expected, to judge Robert H. Downer that the "red hand" crosswalk signal Mitchell was accused of violating did not apply to the statute under which he was charged.

The officer whose vehicle struck Mitchell has not been charged, and the case has caused an uproar over the propriety of police actions. None of the officers involved participated in this morning's hearing.



Spot on comment there Dial it Down

What is not mentioned is how horribly Gerry Mitchell has suffered since the accident, physically and emotionally. He has been in the hospital twice since being hit by the police officer. No apology has been made, let alone any retribution for pain and suffering. Do they think just because they dropped the charges against him that it's over? Why are they getting away with this?

To The Sane One re: your "Oh, please..." comment:

Perhaps you are so busy safeguarding your sanity that you don't look very closely at people confined and travelling in wheelchairs on the Mall. You most certainly did not see Gerry yesterday afternoon. He's been in UVa hospital since New Year's Day and I just spoke to him by phone in his hospital room. I've known him for 13 years and he is never one to complain, but he says he's been in extreme pain for a week, has not been able to really use his arms for the last week, and all of his joints - arms, legs - have become inflamed. He's on pain medication and could barely talk to me.

Gerry has lived for the art openings and shows he prepares for. He has one at the Mudhouse this month and the opening is tonight (First Fridays). His brother had to install the art work for him.

Don't be so callous, whoever you are. You are certainly not as sane as you think. If you were sane you would apologize.

One of Gerry's friends.

That was completely uncalled for. This could have easily happened to you, or to any of us.

Are you saying with 100% certainty that if someone blundered in front of you across that section of Rio Rd at night you would not hit them? It wasn't even a crosswalk for crying out loud. People have been hit crossing 29 at night too and charges haven't been filed against the drivers when they couldn't avoid hitting the pedestrians.

Do you possess certain esoteric knowledge regarding the driving conditions and visibility the night of the Greenwood crash? Is there something that you know about Pam Greenwood personally that would lead you to think that she is a particularly incompetent driver? And if someone other than a police officer had hit the victim, would you even care at all?

It's a good and honorable thing to be vigilant against police abuse of power, as in the Gerry Mitchell or Silva/Austin cases. But you're making yourself out to be a complete horse's ass with this diatribe above. Sheesh...

I don't know why some of you are reading more into my above reply than I meant. I didn't say a word about Pam or whose fault the accident might have been. I do honestly feel sorry for little Pam. The image of this lady flying through the air will be embedded in her mind for the rest of her life. It's not something I would want to live with. It would drive me crazy to know I had taken somebody else's life from them.

OK, so I told a white lie a few lines up. There's a small handful of people, maybe 5, that I wouldn't care about if they fell off the edge of the earth. And I might even push them if I am have the occasion to be standinging beside them at the edge of the earth. :)

They're not getting away with anything, Ruth. All they are doing is forcing Mr. Mitchell to sue them because of their "Can't Touch Us!" attitude. Once the lawsuits are filed, the jurors will have the chance to speak for the local police and issue a public apology for them. And that apology will have to come in the way of monetary damages.

I was sitting in a restaurant the other day and overhead the conversation at the table next to me. One guy said, "I bet if it was Longo's daughter who got run over in a crosswalk, the county police officer would have been charged with about 5 different things!" Everybody at the table agreed with him.

Oh please he was on the mall this afternoon and looked fine. Drop it.

Thank you freelovefeida. Gerry has indeed been the hospital since last sunday. To "drop it" would be easy for the police dept but not for those who are getting abused by them. Please be more compassionate and conscientious.

Yeah, let's drop it! A police Jeep running over Silva and Austin is old news. A police car running over Mitchell is old news too. Neither cop being charged or held accountable for their actions is old news. I can hardly wait to see who they run over next. Maybe it will be somebody that really matters.

Let's not forget Pam Greenwood killing that women! No charges for this officer either.

Check this picture link out! When cops ride down the road playing on the Internet there's no wonder they run over people. :)

And the lady run over and killed by a county police detective on Rio Road a few years back.

Re: Yet,
Pam Greenwood accident citing???
Good grief, what is this a free for all? What kind of human being are you? You certainly have never made a mistake huh?
Just as long as you get to jump on the bandwagon.

I kinda feel sorry for little Pam. Face it, you're driving down the road and all of a sudden a woman is in front of your new Ford Explorer police vehicle with a big black bull bar. You never imagined the bull bar would be protecting your front end from damage by a human body. The thump as you hit her and knock the lady into the next day. It all happens in slow motion. The lady rolls in the street before finally coming to a stop. Her shoes are most likely still flying through the air. You assume you're going to wake up any second because it's got to be a nightmare. But you also realize the dead body is still laying in the street and it's not a nightmare. Whether it was her fault or not, little Pam has to live with this the rest of her life. It will play over and over and over and over in her mind. In slow motion. It would be enough to drive a person crazy. Would probably drive me out on early retirement with a mental disability.

It's okay SOTLR, your dripping sarcasm ("little Pam") has spoken eloquently enough for to get your feeble point across. No need to start backpedaling like an idiot now.

The fact that you think the world has an edge tell us all we need to know. Pity, because Charlottesville desperately needs intelligent watchdogs to keep an eye on things. But that ain't you, okay?


By-Sick Of The Local Rambos January 4th, 2008 | 9:26 am
Check this picture link out! When cops ride down the road playing on the Internet there's no wonder they run over people. :)

What is the point of posting this? What does a picture of a police car stopped with an image on it's computer for an obvious photo-op have ANYthing to do with this case?

Oh that is right... not a damn thing. You're an idiot.

Obvious photo-op? A cop surfing the Internet on duty, in a police car, and in uniform.

Don't worry, looks like the image has been removed now. Wouldn't surprise me if the officer got into all sorts of trouble over that little "photo-op".

Not long ago I was going to a concert at the John Paul Jones arena. At one particular intersection an officer was getting paid to sit in his patrol vehicle and play solitaire on his laptop computer. Everybody in my vehicle could clearly see the game on his laptop screen. Was that a "photo-op" too?

Before calling other people names, take a serious look in the mirror please.