attacked yesterday by 4 white unidentified policemen
From: "Vickie Beene-Beavers" <email@example.com>
To: "Louise Toppin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
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!!
From: Louise Toppin [mailto:email@example.com]
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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.