attacked yesterday by 4 white unidentified policemen

 

 

From: "Vickie Beene-Beavers" <vbeene@af.public.lib.ga.us>

To: "Louise Toppin" <videmus@earthlink.net>,

      <Rodneykaren@cs.com>

Subject: RE: hi from spain

Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002 10:29:29 -0500

When will these fools know that WE are not the enemy?! JESUS!!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Louise Toppin [mailto:videmus@earthlink.net]

Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 7:22 AM

 

Holy smokes!!!  This is UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I am horrified to hear the story.

Per your request, I will pass it on.  Best to you and Rodney on his recovery

and legal battle.     Louise

 

This is from Karen Walwyn regarding an attack on her husband Rodney Mack.

(Rodney is Wynton Marsalis' cousin for those that don't know them)

 

> From: Rodneykaren@cs.com

> Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 03:25:20 EST

> To: videmus@earthlink.net

> Subject: Re: hi from spain

 

> Hi Louise,

> I hope you are well, I hope all is well.  Listen, i am writing to tell you

something about Rodney, he is ok.

He was attacked yesterday by 4 white unidentified policemen, beaten,

thankfully no broken bones, arrested, and nearly spent the night in jail,

why? Because they were looking for a black man that was stealling cars.

Let me explain:

 

Rodney and I have had to rent a car because both cars were in the shop

this week. So, Rodney needed the car for a couple of days more and went down to

the car rental place to take care of the paper work.

Rodney had just finished renewing his contract with the car rental place,

and he left the office, which is located in downtown Barcelona, in an

underground parking area.  As he was walking to the car that he had just signed a

contract to continue the rental of, two white guys dressed in leather

jackets and jeans approached him from behind, came around towards the front, and

reached out to grab him. there was no verbal identification  given, and

there were no badges to show that they were police, so Rodney tried to get away,

he was thrown down on the ground, and he fought to get them off of him, 2

more joined , one with a stick.  In the meantime, people were watching, but no

one did anything or said anything.  At one moment, the police apparently had

tried to show a badge but it got lost in the struggle. A witness noted

that, and later picked up the badge. While being hit, Rodney was yelling that he

was an American, he was from the states, take his wallet, take his money,

but these men didn't , so he thought they were out to simply beat him. Once

Rodney had been hit numerous times,  they identified themselves as police.

And he saw the handcuffs come.  They handcuffed him, and he asked why did

they do that.  They told him that a man of color was steeling cars, and

they thought it was him.  Rodney said he was the principal trumpet player of

the barcelona symphony orchestra, look at his papers. They said the papers

could be false. So, they didn't investigate anything, they took him in the van ,

which by then, there were 6 or more police men surrounding him.  He was

taken to the police station, and arrested. He was also examined by their doctor,

who said nothing was wrong.  Later, the  top police man at this station

had started talking to Rodney and started realizing that maybe Rodney was

innocent.  He noted that Rodney was intelligent. He said that Rodney's

hands didn't look like a criminal's hand.  Then, they made some calls, and found

out he was who he said he was. They immediately called a lawyer, since

ours wasn't available.  A lawyer came down and helped sign some papers which

 allowed him to get out of that place.  Had a lawyer not come, he would

have been put in jail for the night.  I think the head police knew that he

 wouldn't get away with that, so they saw to i that he got a lawyer down

 there.  Soon, the police were joking with Rodney telling him, this is a

story that he will tell his grandchildren.  Rodney played it cool because he

didn't want to upset anyone, and be put in the jail, so, he was calm.

 

Later, he was released, however, he was charged with resisting arrest.

And, this is what we have to fight in court.  We have pictures of his bruises,

He has about 8 of them, 3 large ones, about as big as my hand, and the rest,

various sizes, but smaller ones.  His lip is starting to hurt now, he has

a few small cuts on the inside, from what he believes someone had tried to

stuff something in his mouth, possibly to help weaken his strength.  His

elbow hurts alot, possibly from having fallen on it.  And his neck hurts

from here they had grabbed it to hold him down. He has little scratches on his

hands, but not too bad. His ribs now hurt , it hurts to breath, but

probably just from muscle soreness from having wrestled with them. All in all, he

is feeling good for having gotten beaten up.  However, he won't play probably

for a week or so.  So, he won't be going on the tour to the states with

the orchestra, that is scheduled for this coming week to the states.

A friend of ours, Eric, a violinist,  was very strong today  in his

protest against what happened.He plays in the orchestra, and has been a friend for

some time, and had always been sensitive to racial issues here in Spain.

He went to the orchestra office and said that if they didn't do something

inside of 12 hours, he wasn't going on the tour to the states. So, the orchestra

made an offical speech to the orchestra members, something that is almost

never done for anyone, sent the newspaper reporters over, and provided a

lawyer for us, we have a lawyer working on the case, and his orchestra is

writing a letter to the government and to the newspapers, with all orch,

members signatures, in protest to the police brutality.  Also, the other

orchestra here in Barcelona, the opera orchestra here, also will be

writing a similar letter with all 100 members signing it as well.  Also, the

conservatory where he teaches is supporting him as well. Don't know if

they will contribute a similar letter, but because the orhcestra is sponsered

by the government, this will be a big deal.  Simply, an american was attacked

by spanish police, the spanish orchestra is going to the states to play, to

show off the spanish country, Spain.  And at this very moment, the american was

beaten by the police in Spain. Very bad publicity for Spain. So, we don't

know if this will get international attention , but the conductor thinks

it may. In the meantime, a girl, has called the NAACP to report what has

happened, in hopes to bring american attention to this.  All of this is in

effort to put pressure on the spanish government to have them stop beating

up blacks, which apparently goes on alot here. The poor blacks that come from

Africa, have no where to live, they live in the parks, work for pennys,

and get beaten up occassionaly by police.  So, now, they got an american, and

it could mean lots of pressure. with all of this attention, the trial will be

very easy to prove that Rodney was not attacking the police, as he has

heard the story said. Nor, did he resist arrest. The police didn't identify

themselves until they had him on the ground, beaten down.

This story has hit the papers, every paper has come to interview him, take

pictures of his bruises, and was on the front page , he was on all the

news tv stations and radios as well.

It is crazy right now, and i have to run, but i wanted to tell you, and

ask f you would pass this story on, we need all the support we can get.

more later,

Karen