On November 20, police officer Evans Mazile was caught on video beating and Macing 20-year-old Donovan Lawson after Lawson was caught fare-beating at the Myrtle Avenue subway stop on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. Lawson, who had attempted to go through a turnstile at the same time as his 15-year-old girlfriend, who was using her high school student Metrocard, was caught by Mazile and couldn’t produce identification. It is NYPD protocol to arrest rather than ticket people who can’t produce identification (see: Alec Baldwin), but Lawson apparently asked Mazile not to arrest him because he was on parole. Lawson’s resistance apparently so enraged Mazile that the policeman started beating Lawson with his baton and, according to DNAinfo, “sent him stumbling in a daze with blood spraying onto witnesses nearby.” If you want to see and hear the sound of the baton crack on a 20-year-old’s head for yourself, the whole incident was caught on video.
So, this is pretty ridiculous, right? Yet another incident of force used disproportionately to the violation at hand, right? I mean, right! There’s video of a young man being brutally beaten with such force that his blood goes flying everywhere. This is outrageous, right? This cop has been charged, right? Wrong! Uh, obviously. Did you forget where we were living for a second or something? This cop hasn’t been charged with anything yet. In fact, he’s on medical leave with pay. Why is he on medical leave? Because he hurt his wrist beating the shit out of a fare-beater. Lawson is currently being held on Riker’s Island, where he has asked for the case to go to trial rather than plead guilty.
DNAinfo also reveals that “Mazile has eight previous Civilian Complaints against him, mostly for verbal abuse, but a couple of complaints alleged excessive force, including hitting a suspect in the head.” So, you know, rest up, Office Mazile! Seems like that wrist has gotten quite a work-out over the years.
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