A lesson learned by a judge abused by police… oh wait, not so much

When ordinary people (those with no affiliation with the higher ranks of the government) are wrongly arrested, beaten, abused, or killed by police, the public and the establishment rush to point out that the victim should have obeyed the law, or if the victim was committing no crime, that he should have followed orders or gotten out of the way.

People who are blind, ignorant, and naive often make obsequious statements with regard to the police such as, “I’ve always had profound respect for what they do,” just as Justice Thomas D. Raffaele said of the police. Raffaele, like many others who are blind, ignorant, and naive also noted he was “always very supportive” of the department during the more than 20 years he served on Community Board 3 in Jackson Heights before becoming a judge.

Justice Raffaele, like many other Americans, does not feel the need to confine the consequences of his own naivete and rabid stupidity to himself, but is apparently compelled to use his ignorance to others’ detriment. When he recently saw a handcuffed man being assaulted by a police officer and his comrade on the streets of Queens, NY, he did not stop to think that the man, like so many others, was being wrongly abused by police.

Instead, he thought the crowd was becoming “unruly” – one nurse tried to warn the officer about his behavior, and others loudly expressed concern. Thus, the judge called 911 to get help – for the officer. I.e. He decided with almost no knowledge going into this situation that the poor man being roughed up by two police officers needed to be subject to even more torture.

Ironically, within minutes, one of two officers made Justice Raffaele his target. The officer became enraged, yelled and cursed at people who dared to object to his violent treatment of the handcuffed man, then delivered a blow to Raffaele’s throat. (Full story here).

Raffaele suffered severe pain, but no permanent damage. After he regained composure, he attempted to make a complaint to a sergeant from the same Precinct as the officer who had struck him. The sergeant spoke to a couple of officers, several of whom had witnessed the incident. The sergeant returned to Raffaele and reported that none of them knew what Raffaele was talking about. Shocker.

Internal Affairs claims they are investigating, but it is doubtful anything will come of it. The man who was handcuffed was never charged with anything.

Oh, the irony. What is it, now? Maybe Raffaele should reflect upon his foolish actions and understand that he should not have gotten in the way of an officer performing his duties. Maybe he should have been more careful. Or maybe, just maybe, his previous “profound respect” for police was utterly misguided, and innocent people everywhere, everyday, have this very same experience. Except they are not judges, and are instead written off as criminals, degenerates, and people who deserved to be beaten and/or killed.


Georgia Sand

Georgia (George) Sand is an attorney located in sunny California. She enjoys beer, jogging, the beach, music, and chatting with her cats in her spare time.