Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Student plans to file complaint after being confronted by Eudora police

Police pulled Taser while he was working in friend’s yard, he says

Brendan Martinez was mowing a friend’s yard last week when a Eudora police officer ran up to him with a Taser drawn and then frisked and cuffed him against this fence, Martinez says. Now the Johnson County Community College art student is looking into filing a complaint with the city.

Brendan Martinez was mowing a friend’s yard last week when a Eudora police officer ran up to him with a Taser drawn and then frisked and cuffed him against this fence, Martinez says. Now the Johnson County Community College art student is looking into filing a complaint with the city.

June 10, 2010

Student victim of possible racial profiling

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A Johnson County Community College student was getting to work early on some lawn maintenance in his neighborhood when police approached and handcuffed him. The student believes part of the problem had to do with racial profiling. Enlarge video

— Johnson County Community College student Brendan Martinez is always looking for ways to make extra money. Recently, he was asked to mow the lawn of a family friend while they were away on vacation.

Martinez says not long after arriving at the home about 6 a.m. June 2, he was confronted by a Eudora police officer responding to a suspicious activities call. Martinez was in the backyard of the home when the officer arrived.

“As I got to the back of the fence, I turned the mower off to get the weed eater,” Martinez said. “I saw this cop running at me with a Taser, pointing it over the fence and telling me to stop and come to the fence.”

It’s an incident that Martinez says not only embarrassed him, it also landed him in handcuffs. After explaining why he was there, Martinez said, the officer let him go. Martinez isn’t so much mad because the officer was called, but how he was treated once the officer arrived at the home.

He believes this is a prime example of racial profiling.

“I think it’s a small-town attitude where they’re not used to being around African-Americans,” Martinez said. “It is sad, but people just need to learn just to treat other people with courtesy.”

The city of Eudora wouldn’t confirm to the Lawrence Journal-World whether a Taser was pulled. And the police chief would not comment on the incident.

City Administrator John Harrenstein did issue a statement:

“At this time, no formal complaint has been filed with the Eudora police department regarding the situation in question. After a formal complaint is received, the department will conduct a routine investigation of the matter according to existing protocols. As a public service organization, the city of Eudora proactively seeks to meet the needs of citizens through the provision of public safety. According to the city’s standards, these services are provided equally regardless of race, creed, religion, or ethnicity.”

Martinez, who said the officer later apologized, is now seeking a civil rights attorney and plans to file a formal complaint against the officer.

Comments

midgey4u 4 years, 1 month ago

I hope you slap such a suit against the Eudora Police Dept. that they will never recover. I have lived here a long time and i can honestly say that it probably was a combination of race and just plain old fashioned bullying. I can also say, honestly, that some police officers have been known to skirt the truth, practice favortism and not take complaints seriously if you are not in their good graces. so go get them kid...someday they will learn that they are not above the law; they are the law and therefore they should be held to a higher standard. its a shame that most of them on the force do not understand this. this does not apply to all of them, of course because the force does have a few good, honorable men who truly do try to make a difference in their community. But for some I have to wonder, how they are able to live the lie they do, how they can beleive you are guilty until you are proven innocent and worse, how after taking an oath, they continue to live the lie. and not know the difference. its a sad state and i hope something good and positive comes from this. good luck

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