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Atlanta's mayor went on the defense in the AJCs report, noting that the officer involved of the incident acted reasonably.

Man. I hate to see the display of force APD reserves for its most dangerous criminals. APD must be sending a signal to the waffle house murderers that they intend to make life hard on their jaywalking friends. Guess this means PD is getting tough on crime, eh?

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A distinguished British historian who tried to cross a road in Atlanta, Georgia, has complained of being wrestled to the ground, pinioned by five police officers and incarcerated.

Felipe Fernández-Armesto, 56, visiting Professor of Global Environmental History at Queen Mary, University of London, was attending the conference of the American Historical Association last Thursday when he was caught jaywalking.

“I’m a mass of contusions and grazes,†he said in an interview shown on the website YouTube.

“I come from a country where you can cross the road where you like,†he said. “It hadn’t occurred to me that I wasn’t allowed to cross the road between the two main conference venues.â€

He was not the only historian so to offend. A policeman called Kevin Leonpacher led a crackdown on the scholars, cautioning several before confronting the British professor, whose work has been compared to that of the 18th-century greats Gibbon and Montesquieu.

“I didn’t appreciate the gravity of the offence,†he said. “And I didn’t recognise him as a policeman. He was wearing . . . a bomber jacket, like a jerkin.â€

The officer asked the professor for identification. The professor asked the officer for identification. ':shock:' Officer Leonpacher then told him that he was under arrest and, according to the professor, subjected him to “terrible, terrible violenceâ€.

He said: “This young man kicked my legs from under me, wrenched me round, pinned me to the ground, wrenched my arms behind my back, handcuffed me.†As he bridled at this treatment, Officer Leonpacher called for help and soon “I had five burly policemen pinioning me to the groundâ€.

His colleagues were astonished. It was “like he was Osama bin Laden or somethingâ€, said Lisa Kazmier, a historian from Philadelphia.

The professor had hoped to spend the afternoon listening to his fellows discoursing on arcane topics. Instead, he was handcuffed to another suspect in a “filthy paddywagon†and fingerprinted in a detention centre, where his peppermints were confiscated. His bail was set at £720 and he remained behind bars for eight hours. When he told a judge his side of the story in court the next morning the case was dropped.

Officer Leonpacher was unrepentant, saying: “He chose to ignore a uniformed officer. At what point can anyone say I overreacted?â€

The professor’s wife, Lesley, told The Times yesterday: “I suppose it’s lucky he wasn’t shot.â€

The professor said that, as an “ageing member of the bourgeoisieâ€, he found it all educational â€" and was now seen by many of his colleagues “as a combination of Rambo, because it took five cops to pin me to the ground, and Perry Mason, because my eloquence before a judge obtained my immediate releaseâ€.

Walk, don't walk
# Georgia’s criminal code, Section 40-6-96, states: “Where a sidewalk is provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadwayâ€

# A police officer was present when the professor, right, attempted to cross the road, so he was charged with being in breach of Section 40-6-90:

# It states: “A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of ny official traffic-control device specifically applicable to him, unless otherwise directed by a police officerâ€
 

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I am starting to think that I shouldn't worry about criminals so much as the APD when I go to Atlanta.



Ah....who am I kidding.....they are one in the same.
 

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I'm usually being facetious when I say things like this...BUT, he really is lucky he didn't get tasered.

Asking an officer for HIS ID is clearly resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, interfering with a police officer and conspiracy to conspire to attempt to commit anti-american acts during a time of undeclared emergency.
 

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Norm357 said:
That article is a one sided piece of crap. That pompus prick got what he deserved.
Huh? A person from another country that crosses the middle of the road and asks to see an officers ID when it was not on display means a person should be tackled and held in jail over night?

I am not sure the judge shares your opinion.

Also did anyone here know that jaywalking was an arrestable offence with bail set at $1,392.04?

“He chose to ignore a uniformed officer. At what point can anyone say I overreacted?â€
When you threw the guy from another country to the ground and arrested him for crossing the street. That is an overreaction.

in my best Cartman voice: YOU WILL RESPECT MY ATHORATAY!

Next time they have a conference, they should have an introduction to what crosswalks look like and APD uniforms, so no other people will be arrested for crossing the street.
 

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Gunstar1 said:
Norm357 said:
That article is a one sided piece of crap. That pompus prick got what he deserved.
Huh? A person from another country that crosses the middle of the road and asks to see an officers ID when it was not on display means a person should be tackled and held in jail over night?

I am not sure the judge shares your opinion.

Also did anyone here know that jaywalking was an arrestable offence with bail set at $1,392.04?

“He chose to ignore a uniformed officer. At what point can anyone say I overreacted?â€
When you threw the guy from another country to the ground and arrested him for crossing the street. That is an overreaction.

in my best Cartman voice: YOU WILL RESPECT MY ATHORATAY!

Next time they have a conference, they should have an introduction to what crosswalks look like and APD uniforms, so no other people will be arrested for crossing the street.
The Officer was in UNIFORM and the man was not arrested for jay walking.
 

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Here is a slightly less biased version of the events.

The ajc.com is reporting:

The Atlanta police officer being investigated for his treatment of a prominent British historian said Tuesday that Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is not the innocent abroad he claims to be.

The Tufts University professor, who was arrested last Thursday and charged with disorderly conduct, contends he was assaulted without provocation for merely jaywalking across Courtland Street. But Officer Kevin Leonpacher insists he is no rogue cop and suggests perhaps the professor is a bit of a scofflaw.

Leonpacher said the professor repeatedly refused to cooperate when asked why he did not heed the officer's instructions.

"I told him, it's gonna be awful silly if I have to take you to jail for jaywalking," said Leonpacher, a native of Niceville, Fla. "I used an excessive amount of discretion."

Or, to hear Fernandez-Armesto's account, an excessive amount of force. They agree on one thing: the author of 19 books, including the (now) ironically titled "Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration," did cross in the middle of the street.

"It did not occur to me that there was anything wrong with what I was doing," said the former Oxford professor.

The five-year Atlanta Police Department veteran said he initiated verbal contact with Fernandez-Armesto before he stepped into the street, directing him to the nearby crosswalk, but said the professor ignored him. Fernandez-Armesto said he didn't know Leonpacher was a police officer.

"When I questioned who he was, he said something to the effect of 'When I give you an order, you obey it,' " Fernandez-Armester said. "I asked him what his authority was because I didn't see a badge. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides."

Leonpacher -- who said he was wearing his Atlanta Police Department uniform -- said when he asked Fernandez-Armesto why he didn't follow his instructions, the author shrugged him off and walked away.

"Five times I asked him to stop," the officer said. He then asked him if he was hearing impaired. Once Fernandez-Armesto confirmed he wasn't, Leonpacher said he grabbed the professor's arm. "I let him go when he turned around to face me," he said. Leonpacher then says he repeatedly asked Fernandez-Armesto for his identification, but the professor responded by asking for the officer's I.D.

When the historian allegedly repeatedly refused to produce ID (Fernandez-Armesto said he left his passport in his hotel room and was flummoxed when he realized he did not have it), Leonpacher said he told him he was under arrest. As he put his hands behind his back, "he pulled away and grabbed me. He said 'leave me alone, let me go.' I told him 'you're under arrest, stop resisting.' "

Leonpacher, half Fernandez-Armesto's 56 years, contends he could not handcuff the professor by himself. "He was swinging, kicking wildly," Leonpacher said. Backup was called to assist in his detainment. They arrived almost immediately, Leonpacher said. According to the incident report, the cop quoted the professor as saying, "Well now I believe that you are the police."

Leonpacher insists he was a good representative for the city. He was working a part-time job that day -- with police consent, his superiors confirmed-- for the Hilton Hotel, trying to direct pedestrians to use crosswalks. Police describe the street as one of downtown's most dangerous for pedestrians.

Fernandez-Armesto, who suffered minor cuts during the scrum, was taken into custody via a prisoner transport van. The historian said he spent the next eight hours alongside "extremely unfortunate members of the underclass."

"It looked rather pathetic," said Lisa Kazmier, a professor of history at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She witnessed the arrest. "I definitely felt sorry for the guy. It was like he was Osama Bin Laden or something. It seemed so bizarre seeing this helpless looking guy on the ground like that."

But Leonpacher said Fernandez-Armesto has no one to blame but himself.

"He made the choice to go to jail that day," he said. "He chose to ignore a uniformed officer. At what point can anyone say that I overreacted to the situation?"

Leonpacher said he even contacted the British consulate to notify him of Fernandez-Armesto's arrest.

As the investigation unfolds, Leonpacher's superiors said they stand behind their charge.

"He is an oustanding officer," said Maj. James Sellers. "We've never had a complaint about him before."

Fernandez-Armesto said he doesn't plan to purse any legal action against the city. Charges against the professor weren't officially dropped, and could be brought again, but that would be virtually unprecedented. As for now, his record merely will show an arrest.

Officials with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau declined repeated requests for comment, but Mayor Shirley Franklin said she has asked police chief Richard Pennington to look into the incident.

"We certainly want everyone who visits Atlanta to find Atlanta to be friendly and helpful, and that is from the people at the airport to police officers to the mayor, if they bump into me. That's the standard we set for ourselves. It doesn't always happen that way but that's our expectation."
 

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Norm357 said:
The Officer was in UNIFORM and the man was not arrested for jay walking.
Not quite... His uniform (the shirt with all the identifications) was covered by a jacket. So his LEO identification was concealed. Either the guy could assume the blue pants meant he was a LEO or he could ask, which he did.

He was arrested for not obeying an officer directing him how to cross a street.
 

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Gunstar1 said:
Norm357 said:
The Officer was in UNIFORM and the man was not arrested for jay walking.
Not quite... His uniform (the shirt with all the identifications) was covered by a jacket. So his LEO identification was concealed. Either the guy could assume the blue pants meant he was a LEO or he could ask, which he did.
The jacket was APD issue and APD marked.

By his own admission, the man had his British drivers license and all he had to do was show it to the Officer. He brought this on himself.
 

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He was in UNIFORM! What other ID do you need? This is getting silly.

His bomber jacket had the APD badge on the chest and said APD on the back.
 

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Norm357 said:
Gunstar1 said:
Norm357 said:
The Officer was in UNIFORM and the man was not arrested for jay walking.
Not quite... His uniform (the shirt with all the identifications) was covered by a jacket. So his LEO identification was concealed. Either the guy could assume the blue pants meant he was a LEO or he could ask, which he did.
The jacket was APD issue and APD marked.

By his own admission, the man had his British drivers license and all he had to do was show it to the Officer. He brought this on himself.
I have read all three accounts and none of them say it was APD marked. All the officer had to do is show his ID and none of it would have happend.
 

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IF the Officer was working a dept aproved off duty gig, and he was, he had to be wearing an APD issued uniform. This includes his jacket. Thats dept policy.
 

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A picture is worth a thousand words I guess.

Edit:

The Officer that made the arrest is the man on the rear left getting touched on the shoulder.
 
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