Posted by: Andy | December 19, 2008

minor update on the Dymond/Galveston lawsuit

more info from the original blogger/reporter (?) is here.

Excerpt:

So let’s clarify some misconceptions…

It’s all a hoax.

The lawsuit is very real. It was filed in August of this year.  Here’s a write-up from the Courthouse News Service from the day it was filed.  Here’s a copy (pdf) of the complaint.  If this is a hoax, Milburn, her family, and her attorney are going to great lengths to pull it off. Yes, her complaint likely paints what happened in a light quite favorable to her, and unfavorable to the police.  But I’d be very surprised if the major components of the complaint weren’t true.

This happened two years ago.  Why are you posting about it now?

The incident happened in August 2006.  The lawsuit was filed in August of this year.  Milburn’s attorney tipped off Houston Press reporter Chris Vogel, who wrote about the case yesterday.  I saw Vogel’s story, and blogged about the case today.

This is just one version of events, from Milburn’s lawyer.

Yes, and I made that clear in the post.  After I put up the post and talked to Vogel on the phone, he posted a response from the police officers’ lawyer, William Helfand.  You can read that here.

Here’s what isn’t in dispute:  Milburn was wrongly targeted during a prostitution raid.  The police were looking for white prostitutes.  Milburn is black.  She was apprehended by plain-clothes narcotics officers who emerged from a van as she stood outside her home.  She resisted.  The police have acknowledged they targeted the wrong house.  Three weeks later, Milburn was arrested at  her school, in front of her classmates, for “assaulting a public official.”  At some point, her father was arrested on a similar charge.  The judge declared a mistrial on the first day of Milburn’s trial.  According to Vogel, she’s scheduled to be tried again in February.

Milburn and her family are now suing the police officers who apprehended her.  They claim she was severely beaten during the raid.  According to the compliant, two hours after the raid, Milburn’s parents took her to a hospital, where doctors documented a host of nasty injuries.  I haven’t seen documentation of the hospital stay or the injuries, but if that’s all included in the complaint, I would assume it exists.

I called the Galveston police department and the Galveston district attorney’s office for comment.  I haven’t yet heard back from either.

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Responses

  1. I think also we need to be sure to give both sides of the slavery and holocaust and syphilis experiment stories. You know. Because there’s two sides to every story. Not two relevant or logical or understandable sides. But two sides none the less. And we shouldn’t just spout the horrors of such events with obvious our biases!

  2. With regard to my last four words of the above comment: I em job.

  3. The other side of the Milburn vs Galveston Police story:
    http://policenewsonline.com/index.cfm?act=Newsletter.cfm&category=News%201%2D1&newsletterid=11961&menugroup=Home

  4. Thanks for the comment Breck – sorry it took so long to find you in the spam queue!

    I was wondering why weren’t getting any kind of feedback on the officer’s story – without that all we have to go on doesn’t make things look good for the officers. Hopefully we’ll get some at some point.

  5. The officer’s are fine. They are confident. They have the support of their Chief. And everyone here in Galveston who knows anything about the case and anything about this father, knows the lawsuit is a money grab.
    They are hoping to get a cash settlement from a hurricane ravaged city that would rather give them a few bucks than spend thousands in court.
    It’s a very disgusting thing to do to the city and especially to these officers, all of whom I know personally.
    Breck

  6. We all know that no guilty officers have ever had the support of their Chief. Wait…

  7. We also know that no guilty drug dealers or prostitutes ever sue the police with false claims of brutality. It happens everyday in the good old US of A.
    We also know that drug dealers never use their minor children to deliver drugs to their buyers. Don’t we?
    We also know that drug dealers never turn their minor daughters out to ‘trick’ for money. Don’t we?
    There is just so much that “we all” don’t know who have never been a cop. Unless of course, you’re a drug dealer.
    There

  8. The thing is – none of those things have been said in the officers defense – up until some version of “the facts” makes it into the public circus all we’re doing is speculation based on our own experiences and perceptions of reality.

  9. Wild speculation is what causes the public to assume guilt on the part of the officers.
    That’s why ‘speculation’ is not allowed in court.
    I only write about this I know about.
    This sort of speculation is only spreading gossip, unproven allegations and what usually turns out to be falsehoods.
    Would you like it done to you or someone in your family?
    These cops have families too. Kids in school that often get tormented by other children from what they read or see on the news or hear their parents and friends talking about.
    People with the ‘power of the pen’ should use some degree of moral judgement when using it, otherwise it’s just ‘keyboard courage’ by people who will never have to own up to their words.

  10. Nowhere in the articles I’ve read on this matter have the names of these officers been revealed, though I’m pretty sure the alleged victim’s has. So I don’t quite see how those officers lives are being made difficult by anyone outside of the town and people who are closer to the case.
    Also, you sound a smidge too defensive for the blogosphere, hun. Unless you were at the scene, please stop acting like your friendship with the officers is any less speculative than our reading of reports.

  11. Without facts from the police side, all we have to go on is the story. I think we can boil it down to these actions:

    *officers attempted to arrest 12(?) year old Dymond
    *her father somehow interfered
    *they did not successfully take either of them away at that point in time

    You are biased for the officers, so you assume the father & daughter were in the drug business – or at least you strongly imply it. How is that any better than people who assume that the cops were in the wrong? Both sides are just making assumptions based on their personal life experience and bias.

    From my perspective, it seems like if the father and daughter were somehow involved in some kind of drug situation then it would be *very easy* for the officers to get off the hook – they must have had some kind of proof or even suspicion before they attempted to apprehend her? The report doesn’t mention drugs IIRC, instead it mentions a prostitute that they were on the lookout for, leading me to believe that they had no particular pre-biased, drug-based suspicions about the 2 people in question.

    Sure, she could have been a drug mule, but there is nothing to point in that direction other than your personal bias. If you happen to know the officers in question, then you may be speaking from a stronger position, but it still wouldn’t dissuade me because it seems that the charges would be very quickly dismissed if the officers brought proof of some kind of drug related investigation to court – maybe that has happened or will happen? I don’t know.

    Until more actual information comes out, not much progress can be made.

  12. I don’t assume anything. You forget. I am here. I have been around this town and worked these streets. I know the creeps, the pimps, the prostitutes, the drug dealers.
    I don’t just sit in some far off, distant place and flap my jaws about something happening thousands of miles away and about which I know nothing.
    I’m through with this. This is all jabber without substance. So long.
    Call me when it’s over and we’ll see who said what.

  13. OK man, thanks for stopping in and sharing your perspective :).

    If you happen to find out anything else about the story, please let me know, I’d be glad to disseminate.

    I certainly did not forget that you lived in the relevant town. But the closest you’ve came to any facts is:

    “The officer’s are fine. They are confident. They have the support of their Chief. And everyone here in Galveston who knows anything about the case and anything about this father, knows the lawsuit is a money grab.”

    This is good, but it doesn’t tell me anything – its a logical fallacy – “appeal to popularity” or something: just because “everyone knows something” doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Again, I am NOT saying you are wrong, I’m just discussing the situation. I agree with you that the police union should speak up and defend its members – especially if they are being wrongfully targeted. Not to mention clear up some of the hot air that has been going around the net about the case!

    It frustrates me when people get all huffy on the internet when someone won’t bow to their perspective. Agree to disagree, blah blah blah. I don’t even necessarily disagree with you – I just don’t have access to the information you apparently have.

    My original post was just a gut reaction to the story as it was reported. I could be trusting the “media” too much in this instance, it’s possible. I’ll gladly apologize if the story was misreported and the Milburns are just crooks out for cash. We react to what we’re given you know – I’m just a guy, not some media personality. I don’t have to filter myself like they do, that’s not my responsibility. Were I working for a publication or something, then you wouldn’t see posts of that kind of candor. I’d think things through more. But sometimes a gut reaction is just a gut reaction.

    If the dude turns out to be a crazy drug dealer whoring out his daughter, then that’s the way is – if the cops happened to have been in the wrong in picking up a 12 year old black girl when they were out looking for a white prostitute (is this part of the story wrong? misreporting? Or maybe they saw her carrying drugs and detoured from the other thing??) – then that’s the way it is. Either way, I’m not claiming to know any truth yet, just voicing my opinion, shooting the shit as it were.

    By your logic, we shouldn’t be talking about the stuff going on in Israel either. The Israelis are obviously right because they know their country and we don’t. Hamas is obviously right because they know their situation and we don’t. …or not.

    People who aren’t there talk about it, because it’s interesting and because we care about what happens out there in the “far off, distant places”. We want to understand. Hopefully someone will do some real investigative journalism – investigating the officers AND the Milburns – and give us more to go on.

  14. Update: I’ve (or rather, a commenter elsewhere found) found a little bit more info, at least as far as character witnessing goes, assuming this is this same Wilfred Milburn as the father:

    The father was arrested in 2004 for drug possession (codeine & marijuana).
    Another drug arrest in 2005.
    He also has 8 misdemeanor cases (enter “Milburn Wilfred” in the party name box).

  15. I’ve seen the light. I’m shutting down my blog.

  16. Thank god! Hallelujah! Opinions and discussion have no value.
    I shall continue to contribute negatively to the whole sum of “value” with my words of void.


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