Detroit Man Participates In Savage Beating Of Man Who Was Then Robbed And Left Brain Damaged . . . Judge Gives Him Six Months

latrez-cummingsjpg-094c83ec448d23fcfeatured_Steve_Utash_12395The public is shocked by the decision of Detroit Third Judicial Circuit Judge James Callahan who gave Latrez Cummings, 19, just six months for his participation in the savage beating of Steve Utash, 54, who hit a 10-year-old boy with his vehicle and then jumped out to try to aid the boy. Cummings then set upon him and beat him almost to death — leaving him with brain damage. His survival was not expected and doctors had to induce a coma to keep him alive. In a mob attack that came close to murder, Callahan decided a six-month sentence was sufficient for Cummings who is a gang member.

Some 20 people participated in the horrific attack in April. Some then stole his wallet and belongings.

The sentence shocked Wayne County prosecutor Lisa Lindsey who noted that “[t]here is nothing in this report favorable to this young man.” This included not only his gang membership but lying to police after his arrest.

Judge Callahan decided that a sharp lecture was sufficient with the light sentence. Callahan told Cummings “That’s what you have needed in your life is a father” and “somebody to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake.” In a odd logic, it appears that the lack of that beating led Callahan to largely forgive the beating he gave Utash when it came to punishment.

Over the prosecutor’s vehement objections, Callahan simply said “We’ve all been 19 years of age.” That is demonstrably true. However, I do not recall joining a mob to try to beat a helpless man to death and then rob him. I do not even recall an impulse to do so. Callahan insisted that it might be different for females at 19 but he can understand how this can happen to a male teenager like this. The prosecutor tried to point out that Detroit is full of males without fathers but most do not gleefully try to beat an defenseless man to death.

The case has remained a great controversy over the response to the beating. Some have objected that, had this been a white mob beating a black driver, it would have brought immediate action from the Justice Department and calls for a hate crime prosecution. The light sentence given to Cummings will magnify those objections. Regardless of the merits of that objection, I do feel the sentence is shockingly light. Utash will live out his remaining days with brain damage and Cummings could be back on the streets within weeks given the time spent in jail before trial. In addition, the family will not be given justice with regard to the mob that beat him. Prosecutors only charged a handful of the culprits in the attack, though some may have been given deals to testify against the most responsible like Cummings.

Hopefully the judges in Chicago are a bit less relativistic after a man was beaten down this week in front of 200 cheering and taunting teenagers. He was attacked while he looked for his young daughter.

63 thoughts on “Detroit Man Participates In Savage Beating Of Man Who Was Then Robbed And Left Brain Damaged . . . Judge Gives Him Six Months”

  1. This judge has no judgment. How on this green earth could he have been deemed qualified is beyond believable. This didn’t really happen, did it?

  2. We do not know much if anything that was before the Judge in this case, either about the defendant’s role or mitigating factors in the defendant’s life and profile. Maybe the Judge figured that if he gave him what the prosecutor wanted in prison time that the kid would come out a salt of the earth hoodlum. Maybe Callahan went to Mass and asked the Priest what he would do or maybe he knew kids like this back in high school who got caught up in a frenzy and need a break.

  3. Dredd,

    I don’t have “beliefs,” I have tax bills. I pay and pay and pay and pay.

    When I die, I’m hoping that God will tell me where all that money went, what was done with it and who got it.

    If all people are self-reliant, what does the government do with all the money it takes in taxes?

    If the “blessings of liberty” provided me with freedom, why do I pay so much money to the government? Is that what the Founders meant by freedom? The freedom to pay the government and never get anything back? Freedom to pay for other people’s lives because they don’t want to work and pay for all the things they want and need?

    America has failed to provide the freedom to individuals as it has succeeded in establishing the collective.

    All the brilliant, highly educated and superior lawyers in America can’t understand, can’t comprehend or interpret, that individuals are supposed to be free and people are supposed to take care of themselves per the writings of the Founders, the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The only rights Americans have are to the rights to be collectivized under the Communist Manifesto – “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

    Whoever your heart bleeds for, to bad, so sad, the American thesis is freedom, individualism and self-reliance with absolute smallest imaginable government.

    America was supposed to end up somewhere in the words of the Founders,

    not Karl Marx.

    Nobody GETS that, huh?

    Nobody GETS that.

  4. Dredd,

    Old “Crazy Abe” Lincoln was talking to you. Not I.

    You might discuss “Crazy Abe’s” cogitations with him, as it were.

    I merely speculated that “Crazy Abe” might not have been done, given his stated beliefs. Perhaps, he had more work to do to, shall we say, get things right, in his opinion.

    Maybe Lincoln’s America was left uncompleted.

    “If you’re half right, you’re half wrong. If you’re half wrong, you’re all wrong.”

    Maybe America is all wrong.

  5. Darren, Does it matter which hold is being used when the person can’t breathe?

    It is relevant as to which neck restraint was used in terms of if it lead to the death and the lawfulness of which kind. The neck hold and carotid submission holds do not restrict breathing if properly applied. The latter would not have been a reasonable use of force in this incident and the former is questionable. As long as breathing is restricted no matter what type of hold was used it automatically becomes a chokehold and as someone above suggested violates department policy and would widely considered deadly force. This was not a deadly force incident from what I have watched.

    I don’t have all the facts here but I would not rule out that it is possible the officer pressed his arm across the throat of the suspect while he was applying a neck hold. If breathing was in-fact restricted it would be a chokehold. We’re going to have to wait until the coroner’s report before we know what actually caused this man’s death.

    It’s possible that he couldn’t breathe b/c they were sitting/kneeling on him.

    It is possible but I would suggest this is highly unlikely unless the man had some condition where he was more vulnerable. In watching the restraint in the video I don’t believe it was in itself enough.

  6. Well, it seems like Detroit is a place to avoid if. . .wait. WTF??? There is a word for when this kind of stuff happens. . .serendripity, syncopacity, oh whatever. Anyway it all leads to an Irish Poem:

    Motor City Madness
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a place called Detroit
    Whose travails I don’t wish to exploit.
    But, by way of critique
    (If its legal to speak???)
    C ‘est l’endroit a eviter! Doncha know it!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. Darren, Does it matter which hold is being used when the person can’t breathe? It’s possible that he couldn’t breathe b/c they were sitting/kneeling on him.

  8. Cummings is a light weight gang member. Was Judge Callahan was dealing with MS-13? Probably not, but watch your back just to stay on safe side.

    Meet the world’s most dangerous street gang, MS-13. It’s a long video, but has good intel on enemy operations and strategies.

  9. I don’t know which one might have been used in this scene on the NYC street, but there are three types of holds.

    Neck Hold: Person is restrained by the neck without any of the below

    Carotid Submission Hold: The carotid arteries are compressed to restrict the flow of blood to the brain. Unconsciousness should ensure within twelve or so seconds.

    Choke Hold: Airway is restricted and/or carotid blood flow.

    The first is generally ok but is often discouraged if it is more than simply pressing the side or back of the next down during a restraint. Wrapping an arm around someone’s neck is hazardous to say the least.

    Carotid Submission holds, in our area, started coming into greater use during the mid 1980’s. They work well during an aggravated environment in restraining a very violent suspect especially in jails. But in the early to mid 1990’s their use began to be significantly curtailed because strokes and other injuries happened. They are were then increasingly labeled as a deadly force which means they are at an equivalent general level with firearms, though certainly a better option if available.

    Choke Holds are always deadly force and has been so for decades.

    In my view if someone is just resisting arrest, meaning their force is limited to just trying to prevent their arrest, if there are enough guys around it is just a matter of time and how many you can dog pile him with before he gets taken into custody. If it was just one or two officers, a man that size would have been difficult to restrain. But in New York City one thing vastly available is backup. It’s not like out in the sticks when your backup is an hour and a half away.

  10. John & Byron,

    You still have residue in your circuitry knows as symbolic racism.

    It is very long lasting, passed down through culture.

    Which shapes the cultural amygdala.

    It is a form of hatred that is well known (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science – 3).

    It is in all of us in one degree or another.

    When we see someone of another race run into a 10 year old kid with a car, that subconscious circuitry tells us lies and sends impulses that give us a really difficult time of it.

  11. “”Racial separation, Lincoln went on to say, “must be effected by colonization” of the country’s blacks to a foreign land. “The enterprise is a difficult one,” he acknowledged,””

    Abraham Lincoln


    Old “Crazy Abe” had a unique ability to compel specific, monumental action, even action contrary to the founding documents, the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    One ponders what further messages “Crazy Abe” would have received from God and what further actions he would have compelled with dictatorial omnipotence had he not been assassinated.

    John Wilkes Booth might find some irony from today’s perspective.

    We will never know.

  12. You young black man who took the video of the cops killing a black man for no reason will have to struggle with his amygdala, a subconscious circuitry we all have, the rest of his life.

    It will try to overcome him too.

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