Simon is of course the expert on police violence on this blog. But I know this literature OK and feel confident enough about it to say that the police have always been a violent force of thugs used to beat up workers, kill people of color, and intimidate anyone who challenges their authority. I just finished Edward Escobar’s Race, Police, and the Making of a Political Identity: Mexican Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1940-1945. Reading about how the police not only justified but created ideas that Mexicans were inherently violent so they could do whatever they wanted to them, including just beating random kids to death, letting sailors do whatever they wanted to Mexican-Americans during the Zoot Suit Riot, and serving as a more than wiling strikebreaking force for the city’s employers just reminded me once again how terrible nearly all police officers are. And now we have this lovely story:
Two Asbury Park police officers donned disguises to exact revenge on a citizen who filed a complaint against them by slashing the tires on two of his vehicles, authorities announced Wednesday.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office charged officers Stephen Martinsen, 29, and Thomas Dowling, 26, both of Asbury Park, with conspiracy, criminal mischief and weapons offenses. The officers are accused of vandalizing two vehicles in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park early on Sept. 3, authorities said.
“It is alleged that officer Martinsen and Special Law Enforcement officer Dowling did purposely damage both vehicles, both owned by the same person,” a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said. “The vehicle owner had filed an administrative complaint against both officers several days before the vandalism incidents.”
Authorities said the two officers wore disguises when they rode their bikes to the vehicles, smashed out windows and slashed all the tires.
The victim, Ernest Mignoli, is an outspoken critic of Asbury Park and its police department. In an interview with NJ Advance Media, he said his “jaw dropped” when he learned that the people responsible for damaging two of his vehicles — a white Jeep Liberty and a Toyota Prius — were police officers.
“I just wouldn’t think it would be in the scope of police officers to do something like that,” he said. “I’m a concerned citizen, outspoken critic of Asbury Park Police Department. But this goes behind the pale.”
Stephen Miller will probably make sure these guys are brought into ICE to beat up some Guatemalan women.