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  1. #1
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    Jaywalking professor jailed, complains about police brutality

    Here's a video of the former Oxford don describing his jaywalking arrest, in a prim British accent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY

    Reporter's Notebook: Highlights from the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association
    By Rick Shenkman
    http://hnn.us/articles/33409.html#Day3

    On Friday the Tufts historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was arrested by Atlanta police as he crossed the middle of the street between the Hilton and Hyatt hotels. After being thrown on the ground and handcuffed, the former Oxford don was formally arrested, his hands cuffed behind his back. Several policemen pressed hard on his neck and chest, leaving the mild-mannered scholar, who's never gotten so much as a parking ticket, bruised and in pain. He was then taken to the city detention center along with other accused felons and thrown into a filthy jail cell filled with prisoners. He remained incarcerated for eight hours. Officials demanded bail of over a thousand dollars. To come up up with the money Fernandez-Armesto, the author of nineteen books, had to make an arrangement with a bail bondsman. In court even the prosecutors seemed embarrassed by the incident, which got out of hand when Fernandez-Armesto requested to see the policeman's identification (the policeman was wearing a bomber jacket; to Fernandez-Armesto, a foreigner unfamiliar with American culture, the officer did not look like an officer). The prosecutors asked the professor to plead nolo contendere. He refused, concerned that the stain on his record might put his green card status in jeopardy. Officials finally agreed to drop all charges. The judge expressed his approval. The professor says he has no plans to sue. But the American Historical Association council is considering lodging a complaint with the city.


    Last edited by Jenna; 01-08-07 at 11:35 PM.

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    Boy what a one sided story that was
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    I've walked between those two hotels often, and it's dangerous as hell. When I'm there it's for a HUGE convention, and those two hotels are the main host hotels. Atlanta officers work extra traffic control for allowing us to cross.

    And I'm sorry, even in a windbreaker, they look like cops.
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    So let's see. Two hotels that host many conventions....crossing the street is a known hazard.....where's the pedestrian bridge between the hotels?

    Hilton and Hyatt should fix this.

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    There's the hamster trails that make you walk about a half mile to get from point A to point B (which are only about 50 yards apart) so people don't like taking them.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fscf3801 View Post
    Boy what a one sided story that was
    Yes it was. You are NOT arrested for jaywalking. There's obviously more to this story. Typical media only printing the 1/2 of the story that grabs attention.
    ...........................................

  7. #7
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    Yeah its hard to recognize cops with those jackets that you can see, clearly state POLICE in that hard to read text
    There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...


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  8. #8
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    Here's a more balanced story that includes the officer's perspective, along with the police report http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/ajc/metro/MetJayWalk.tif.

    I don't think it's a big deal (and it's probably getting press only because the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCa43r9jmY of the former Oxford don describing his ordeal is so hilariously Monty-Python-esque--this guy reminds me of the Communist arguing with King Arthur in "The Holy Grail" ), but don't you think it would have been better for the officer to show his police ID when the professor asked for it, and then wait for the the professor to explain that he didn't have his own ID, instead of refusing to show his own ID and then kicking the professor to the ground? It's not as if the professor was a threat to the officer or anyone else.

    British scholar jailed for jaywalking
    Atlanta incident 'extremely traumatic'
    By CHRISTIAN BOONE
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 01/09/07
    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...09metwalk.html

    A police investigation is under way into how a prominent British historian was treated when he allegedly jaywalked and was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, Atlanta Mayor Shirely Franklin said Tuesday.

    British historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of the 2006 book "Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration," was arrested during last week's annual convention of the American Historians Association.

    Fernandez-Armesto said he was handcuffed and jailed for jaywalking across Peachtree Center Avenue on Thursday. A written police account of the incident, released Tuesday, contends the 56-year-old professor refused Officer K.J. Leonpacher's repeated warnings about jaywalking and tried to get away when Leonpacher tried to handcuff him. Leonpacher was working an extra job at the Hilton Hotel on Courtland Street at the time of the incident.

    Franklin said she had spoken with Chief Richard Pennington about the incident.

    "I have asked the chief to look into it, and he had already started to do that and I am awaiting his findings," Franklin said Tuesday.

    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."

    Pennington was not immediately reached for comment.

    Leonpacher, in his incident report, maintains he was in his police uniform when told Fernandez-Armesto to use a crosswalk to cross from the Marriott Marquis to the Hilton. Leonpacher said Fernandez-Armesto ignored his warning and that he approached Fernandez-Armesto after the professor had crossed.

    "I asked him why he refused to use the crosswalk when...a uniformed police officer asked him to use it. He said, 'Thank you for the suggestion,' " Leonpacher wrote in his report.

    Fernandez-Armesto said he was accosted by a man he did not know was a police officer — "I did not see a badge or any identification" — as he crossed the street.

    "Where I come from, jaywalking is not a crime," he said. "It did not occur to me that there was anything wrong with what I was doing."

    When the author of 19 books reached the other side of the street, he was met by Leonpacher, who asked him for identification.

    "When I questioned who he was, he said something to the effect of 'When I give you an order, you obey it,' " Fernandez-Armesto said. "I asked him what his authority was because I didn't see a badge. Where I'm from, you don't associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides."

    Fernandez-Armesto, a former professor at Oxford University, was unable to produce proper identification. "I had left my green card in my hotel room. I was puzzled. I was baffled, at a loss, really," he said. "While I was hesitating, he lost patience."

    At that point, the slightly built historian said, the officer kicked his legs from under him and pinned him to the ground, causing his glasses to fall off. Two other officers assisted in holding him down, said Fernandez-Armesto, who said he suffered a gash on his forehead and a bruise on his wrist as he attempted to break his fall.

    "It was the most violence I've ever experienced in my life," said Fernandez-Armesto. "And I was mugged once while at Oxford."

    Leonpacher said in his report that Fernandez-Armesto struggled while being arrested and tried to get away:

    "I asked him to put his hands behind his back so that he could be handcuffed. He refused. I took his right hand with a firm grip and attempted to place a handcuff on his wrist. He violently pulled away and began to wrestle with me. After about a minute, I was able to wrestle him to the ground where I held on to his right arm as I called for backup."

    The report states that Fernandez-Armesto "sustained a minor abrasion to the head while being taken into custody." It also states that Leonpacher received a minor abrasion to his knee.

    Fernandez-Armesto was taken into custody, where he spent the next eight hours along with "extremely unfortunate members of the underclass." He was fingerprinted and mug shots were taken. "It was an extremely traumatic experience," he said. "I was in a state of paralytic fear," he said. "My livelihood is dependent on coming over to the U.S., and any record would've ruined my way of life."

    Fernandez-Armesto appeared the next morning in traffic court, "throwing myself on the mercy of the judge." After consulting with prosecutors, he was offered a deal — plead "no contest" and he'd be released. "I could not do that and risk my green card," he said.

    Soon after, the charges were dropped and he was released.

    "I think it was quite clear to everyone that this entire matter had gotten completely out of hand," he said.

    The AHA said on its Web site Monday that its council will send a letter of protest to the city.

    Fernandez-Armesto had never been to Atlanta before.

    "That was my first morning here," he said. "I must say I didn't get to experience the Southern hospitality I'd heard so much about."

    Staff writer David Pendered contributed to this article.
    Last edited by Jenna; 01-09-07 at 10:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    "Where I come from, jaywalking is not a crime," he said.
    That's a lie....there are laws in Great Britain that define where pedestrians can cross.
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  10. #10
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    Thumbs down Idiot

    This is the United States, Jack, and you can take your pompus holier-than-thou attitude back to Great Britain. I could care less if you think you're a gentleman. The fact that you can snub your nose at a British Bobbi doesn't mean you can do the same to an American officer, as you found out. Do it again and the same thing will happen e.g. you'll go to jail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fscf3801 View Post
    Boy what a one sided story that was
    +1,001.

    Don't know how the Atlanta boys do it... but "jaywalking" isn't bonded at $1,000 around here, and if I took someone to jail on a BS piddly charge like that my Sgt would have my ass for it.

    Must be a resistance/interference issue (or more) on top of this.

    Edited to add:

    So, after reading the second version of this story that Jenna found... was the cop who contacted the prof in uniform or not?
    Last edited by Coloradocop; 01-10-07 at 01:32 AM.

  12. #12
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    The AJC.com is reporting:

    By CHRISTIAN BOONE
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 01/10/07
    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."

    — Staff writer David Pendered contributed to this article.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDawg View Post
    That's a lie....there are laws in Great Britain that define where pedestrians can cross.
    Unfortunately it's true.
    There is no equivalent law to jaywalking in this counrty.
    There are defined areas to cross and regulations concerning how vehicles use/approach those areas.
    The best you can come up with here is an offence of placing anything on a highway so as to cause danger to other road users.
    That can include yourself!
    It's always been a pet hate of mine when a pedestrian just meanders across a road, usually a drunken youth in a town centre, however its always interesting to see how close you can get to them!

    I would say the professor comes from a fairly sheltered enviroment and probably thinks british police still all where big helmets and get around on push bikes.( Much like many other people!)
    It is also clear he is trying to publicise a book.
    On the other hand he does seem to be looking back on it in rather good humour. Although I confess to only watching part of the video clip( Got bored with the BBC voice and long winded interview!)

    By the way how can an officer with 5 years service be a veteran?
    Last edited by Motorwaycop; 01-10-07 at 05:35 AM.
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    Funny isn't it? They can be trusted to carry guns, but not to cross the road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    Unfortunately it's true.
    There is no equivalent law to jaywalking in this counrty.
    There are defined areas to cross and regulations concerning how vehicles use/approach those areas.
    The best you can come up with here is an offence of placing anything on a highway so as to cause danger to other road users.
    That can include yourself!
    It's always been a pet hate of mine when a pedestrian just meanders across a road, usually a drunken youth in a town centre, however its always interesting to see how close you can get to them!
    Sounds more fun than dodging cows, but I guess you have to play the field you're given. At least cows are predictable.

    I still say if this is a known hazard the two businesses should be looking for a solution. If what they're doing isn't working, do something else. As is they've just made international news pointing out how dangerous the crossings there are. Not that that's the spin most are taking from the story.

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    There's also fairly large signs up there that quite clearly state "do not cross" etc. So unless he's blind, deaf and illiterate, he should have had the idea not to cross there. There are crosswalks at each end of the hotel blocks (yes, each hotel takes up a full block) but it's not exactly that hard of a hike. It's a one way street there, but there's cars coming out of the underground lot as well as one of the hotel's entrances. Even us big freaks carrying swords and wearing armor wait till the cops tells us we can go or we go to the crosswalks at the ends of the block.

    And the idea of a direct crosswalk would be a good one except the hotels aren't level with one another. The second story of one is level with the first story of the other, which means the habi-trails (the nickname for the connecting tubes) would have to connect to the second and third stories respectively. Which they do. People are just too lazy to want to take them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by me again View Post
    This is the United States, Jack, and you can take your pompus holier-than-thou attitude back to Great Britain. I could care less if you think you're a gentleman. The fact that you can snub your nose at a British Bobbi doesn't mean you can do the same to an American officer, as you found out. Do it again and the same thing will happen e.g. you'll go to jail.
    +1,000,000!!!!!
    Did you read that part about having to spend time with the underclass in jail?!
    What a pompous prick!
    Last edited by Beans; 01-10-07 at 10:42 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Here are some British perspectives. Do all you armed LEOs know that the Brits call you "gun cops"?



    News story:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle2144049.ece
    Arrested, cuffed and jailed, the don caught jaywalking
    By Ian Herbert
    Published: 11 January 2007
    The slight, bespectacled British historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto does not have the demeanour of a criminal. The only individuals he has so much as upset in the past few months have been the nation's history teachers, many of whom he condemned as tendentious, narrow and dreary, in an article for The Independent.

    But for a US law enforcer who saw him crossing the road in the wrong place in Atlanta, Georgia, last week, Professor Fernandez- Armesto was just another jaywalker. In scenes of "terrible, terrible violence", as the distinguished academic recalled them yesterday, he had his legs kicked from beneath him and was pinned to the ground by five officers before being handcuffed to another felon and locked up for eight hours.

    Professor Fernandez-Armesto, professor of global environmental history at Queen Mary, University of London, and a member of Oxford University's modern history faculty, was left "traumatised and disorientated" and with a gash on his forehead before he was charged with pedestrian failure to obey a police officer, and physical obstruction of police. And, apparently most distressing of all, he had his box of peppermints confiscated.

    The academic's failure to realise that the man telling him to stop was an officer led to his brush with the law after he had arrived for a convention of the American Historical Association. Officer Kevin Leonpacher's "rather louche" bomber jacket, which covered his uniform, had not helped, the professor told the History News Network, though the city's police department disputed Professor Fernandez-Armesto's account of the incident and said Officer Leonpacher was wearing "standard issue uniform with a black leather jacket with large reflective panels that said Atlanta Police."

    Professor Fernandez-Armesto, 56, said: "All I was aware of was a rather intrusive young man shouting at me; telling me that I shouldn't have crossed the road there," in an entertaining interview which has been posted on YouTube. "I thanked him for his advice and went on."

    When Officer Leonpacher tried to stop him and asked to see identification, Professor Fernandez-Armesto asked to see the policeman's ID, which he "didn't take kindly to". The professor added: "He said: 'I am going to arrest you.' In the culture I come from this wouldn't mean that the conversation was over. This young man kicked my legs from under me, wrenched me round in what I think is a sort of a judo move, pinned me to the ground, wrenched my arms behind my back, handcuffed me.

    "Naturally I was bridling. I had five burly policemen pinioning me to the ground, pressing my neck with really very severe pain. I'm a mass of contusions and grazes. I still find it incredible that an ageing, mild-mannered professor of impeccable antecedent, should be the subject of such abominable treatment."

    The professor, who has written books on the Americas and global exploration, found himself in a "filthy, foetid paddy wagon" to be transported to jail. With his bail set at Ł720, he eventually got out with the help of a professional bail agent.

    The next day in court the charges were dropped - to the relief of the professor who feared a criminal record and the loss of his green card. (He also works at Tufts University, Massachusetts.)

    Officer Leonpacher, 28, offered a robust defence of his actions, insisting the historian had repeatedly refused to co-operate and had started to "wrestle". He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "I used an excessive amount of discretion."

    Joe Cobb, of the Atlanta police department, which held an internal inquiry into the incident, said: "The level of force was dictated by the professor, not by the officer. This gentleman had his British driver's licence on him the entire time. All he had to do was provide that to the officer and the worse-case scenario is he would have been given a ticket."

    But Lisa Kazmier, a history professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said the Briton had been treated "like he was Osama Bin Laden or something".

    Professor Fernandez-Armesto told the television channel: "It was a fantastic experience going into that detention centre and spending time with those miserable wretches of the earth."
    Last edited by Jenna; 01-11-07 at 08:13 PM.

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    He sounds exactly the way he behaved with the officer - an insufferable, arrogant prick.
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    Trojan 42 is offline Retired Ninja
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    You bastards! Give the man back his Peppermints!
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



    I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!

    It's not until you look at an Ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day, that you realise just how often they burst into flames for no reason!

 

 

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