Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DVONE Trial, Day 1 Summary of Opening Statements

Below you'll find a summary of DV-One's Trial on Day 1 which consisted of opening statements. You can also discuss this over at 206Proof by clicking here. Thanks to Julie C for the wrap-up.

Peace friends, fam, and comrades~ For those people around the country that don't know about this case, which kicked off new momentum behind police terrorism in Seattle more than a year ago, please check www.myspace/supportdvone. I just came from the courthouse 15 minutes ago, and wanted to give folks who had to work, a briefing on what went down this morning before I headed off to my day job! If you can make it please come through to support DV at King County Superior Court, 516 3rd Avenue tommorow, the 18th, and next Monday 22nd through Wednesday the 24th. Court convenes at 9:00am, but will be running all morning into the afternoon. ~Julie C

DVONE Trial, Day 1, Opening Statements

Starting Wednesday, October 17th, DJ DVOne is finally getting his day in court to face trumped up assault 3 charges after he was brutalized by Seattle police at Memorial Stadium more than a year ago. Once again, members of the Seattle Hip Hop community made our way down to 3rd avenue superior courthouse downtown to show our support.

Though the group was small at 9am, the scheduled beginning of the trial, by the time the jury arrived for opening statements around 9:45am, all three available rows of seating in the courtroom were filled with DVOne supporters, including Scott Macklin from UW's Hip Hop Congress and Open Reel, Chev, Ghetto Prez from Block Teamsters Union and Sea-Sick, Natasha Burrows from HighlineCC, Mike Clark, Cliff from 206 Zulu, J.Moore, Beyond Reality, and more. Unfortunately, the jury was not as diverse as DV's support, only three jurors of the thirteen were people of color, none of them black.

The prosector started off this morning with her opening statements, and the state's case rests on the following points she made:

1) High school football games, especially those of rival schools like
Garfield and Franklin, and especially those at Memorial Stadium, are
"not what they used to be," and have become breeding grounds for
violence, often attended by people who are only there to make trouble.

2)The three officers who will be the prosecutors` only witnesses, and who
accused DV of assault, had no way of knowing whether DVOne, his
daughter, or her friend were a part of this trouble making crowd and
thus, had to act accordingly.

3) DV ran toward police at beckoning of his daughter`s friend, slowed
to a quick walk when he approached, officer Boggs (sp?) was only one to see
him, so she stepped between him and other officer who was facing her, DV
pushed her, then hit her multiple times in the face, then got behind
her, pinned her arms down and somehow gets her to the ground, she
gets up and calls for backup. Other officer present, officer Blackmer,
tazes DV for 11 seconds.

4) No officer ever kicked or hit DV. The only injuries he sustained
was from the taser, from falling down, or from resisting restraint.

DVOne`s defense countered the prosecution's claims in their opening statement with the following points:

1) The three officers from SPD`s `ACT` or `Anticrime` unit (a
proactive unit supposed to prevent street level crimes) percieved the
threat they were expecting and were determined to percieve that threat,
even when when there was none.

2) Officer Boggs had a flashlight in her hand when she put her hands
up to DV, who stepped back. It was daylight, the officers were on
traffic duty, and there was no need for flashlights. The police did
not admit to this fact until defense found an independent witness to
support this. Boggs did not take opportunities to radio for help
during her supposed assault when she could have. She does not remember
any details on how he put her in a bear hold, or where he pushed her,
or how he got her to the ground, and there are no independent
witnesses to support the police`s version of the story, even though
there were hundreds of people around. There are witnesses to support
DVOne`s account. The police are lying.

3) DV was tased twice as long as standard procedures call for.
Injuries DV sustained are not consistent with the police`s account,
and show evidence of blunt force, kicking, punching, when he was down.

In my opinion, and as our comrade from Real Change, who was there put it, "If there is such thing as reasonable doubt honored here, they will find DV not guilty." The fact that during the whole incident and the time after, not one officer bothered to collect statements from any of the witnesses who were there to support SPD's account of the story, is highly questionable, and anyone who's seen the photos of DV ONE after the assault, knows there is no way those injuries came from falling, or from a taser.

The weakness in DV's case, however, is that the doctor he saw after the assault was an aquaintance of his wife, who is herself a medical professional. This is because DV has no health insurance, and needed immediate, accessible treatment as well as documentation of his injuries. However, the prosector will undoutably try to attack the credibility of the doctor's assessment of his injuries do to this.

I left this afternoon after the cross examination of the prosecutor's 1st witness, Officer Lundin, who was the cop who intially told DV's daughter to move (although he claims he left, and returned only after the call for help, and when he came back the incident was over, and DV was face down on the ground, handcuffed, with taser darts deployed by Officer Blackmer in his body). Out of the three officers, he is the one who can say the least on the incident, since he wasn't there.

I will try to keep y'all posted as things develop, and I find out more. Again, if you can make it, please do stop through the courthouse
to show your support.

-Julie C