Police chief's son object of excessive-force probe
Video shows motorist being Tasered, beaten
Thursday, March 27, 2008
By ROBERT McCLENDON
Washington County authorities are investigating the McIntosh police chief's son, who was caught on video earlier this month Tasering a man during a traffic stop, dragging him out of his truck and beating him.
A WPMI news crew, in Washington County March 14 for another story, was in the middle of an interview, when they heard sirens and turned their cameras on a police Jeep following a brown truck.
The video shows the truck pulling over and Blaine Barnett, son of McIntosh Chief of Police Michael Barnett, jumping out of the Jeep and rushing toward the truck. Before the truck can pull to a stop, Barnett fires his Taser into the window and drags out Ronald Reed, pushing him to the ground.
The video further shows Barnett punching Reed in the head and slamming his face into the pavement.
Reed's father, Oscar Reed, said his son -- who was charged with reckless driving and misdemeanor possession of marijuana -- was treated like an armed criminal fleeing a bank robbery.
"Now I'm a Christian man, but when you see something like that, it sort of makes you want to act differently," the elder Reed said, adding that his son's face was missing a silver-dollar-sized patch of skin where it had scraped the road.
Reed said he was seeking legal council in the matter, but ultimately he said he just wants justice for his son.
"I just don't want any other parent to have to see that happen to their son," he said.
Exactly why police authorities pulled over Reed and under which authority they were acting remains unclear.
Press-Register efforts to reach Chief Barnett were unsuccessful.
Washington County District Attorney Spencer Walker told the Press-Register the incident remains under investigation by his office.
Walker said the facts of the case, if it's deemed that Barnett's actions broke the law, would be put before the grand jury in August.
"If it's deemed that Barnett's actions broke the law"....Excuse me, is it legal anywhere in Alabama for a cop to taser someone before a vehicle has even come to a full stop and then drag them out and beat them, without any sort of resisting or provocation? For reckless driving (which can be driving 15 miles over the speed limit) and a little weed? NO. So, Barnett definitely broke the law. In front of a TV camera to boot! I swear cops are some of the stupidest humans alive.
I agree with the victim's father....this does make one want to lose their religion. It's stuff like this that makes the average citizen not only want to take matters into their own hands....it also breeds contempt ,distrust and hatred of all law enforcement officers. Since they do not come equipped with a lapel pin that says, "I am a dangerous, power-drunk a**-wipe who will beat and taser you for fun" the general public has to operate from the premise that they are all power-drunk a**-wipes hiding behind a badge and capable of the same violence in this story. Even if it isn't true.
And there's more...WPMI is also reporting that Blaine Barnett worked for the Mobile Police Dept but resigned in bad standing in 2004 after just four months on the job.
According to their website.....
One other point over which there is some confusion concerns a question as to which agency Officer Barnett was working for at the time of Reed's arrest. The McIntosh Police chief says he was working for the drug task force, a division of the district attorney's office. But the task force says he had quit the day before the incident and was working as a McIntosh Police officer, where he continues to work.
So, I guess if your daddy is the chief of police you can get a job as a cop, even though you already left one cop job in bad standing, taser and beat people who are posing no threat to you or anyone else and get to keep your job...all on the taxpayer dime. I hope the family sues and wins and I also hope that Blaine Barnett spends a very long time in jail...general population to be precise.