Scott Wright paid a heavy price for clean hands. Wright was working on his old Cadillac in a parking lot when San Jose police approached. When Wright reaches for a rag to wipe off the oil on his hands, the police tasered him and then beat him with their batons — breaking his arm. They proceeded to charge him with resisting arrest — a charge that we often see in such cases where officers seek to justify such encounters.
Notably, the prosecutors dropped the resisting arrest charge but there has apparently been no action taken against the officers for the charge or the injury.
Mercury News has completed a study that seems to confirm what we have discussed previously on this site: the use of resisting arrest as a charge in cases of alleged police abuse. The newspaper reviewed 206 court cases in which the defendant was charged with violation of California Penal Code section 148, the misdemeanor crime of resisting arrest or delaying or obstructing a police officer. Of those, 145 — 70 percent of the cases — involved the use of force by officers.
It is a fascinating and disturbing study. While not known widely outside of San Jose, Mercury News is an extraordinary newspaper with a long list of award-winning investigations to its credit.
For the full story, click here.