Getting Revenge.It all started on innocently enough. Galveston's finest attempted to crack down on prostitution in the area on August 22,2006.
It was a little before 8 at night when the breaker went out at Emily Milburn's home in Galveston. She was busy preparing her children for school the next day, so she asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to pop outside and turn the switch back on.They attempted to arrest a 12 year old black girl based on complaints on 3 white prostitutes. Beat her up pretty good, and claimed that she assaulted three police officers While she was hugging a bush to keep from getting hauled away. Radly Balko ponders.
As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me."
Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.
As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.
So you'd think that after the police figured out they had the wrong house, they'd apologize, and possibly even compensate the girl and her family. According to the lawsuit, you'd be wrong:
This is Galveston and they need revenge, and to teach this girl and her family a lesson. She made them look silly, and needs to be shown her place.
After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.One may wonder why it was tossed out as a mistrial in October (the first time)
Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.
Roark told the court, "Well, the girl -- after I said, 'That's it, you're going to jail, no problems, no questions asked,' -- she kept striking and flailing about and then she yells out, 'Daddy, help me.' I'm like, Oh, Lord, Daddy? Why is she yelling Daddy? And then I hear footsteps, thump, thump, thump in the house. And I'm like, Oh man, that's Mr. Milburn. I know he doesn't like me because I told him before not to be selling dope out of his house and this must be his daughter."This Roark guy was so enthusiastic about getting this little girl that he poisoned the whole trial. The trial that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Kurt Sistrunk Galveston's DA decides to go for it again. Apparently Mr. Sustrunk beieves that this 12 year old girl assaulted the police while she was hanging on to a tree for dear life. There were no weapons, so why is Kurt Sustrunk so persistant, and going after this family with assault charges. Could it be the civil rights suit filed by Dymond's family? Hard to say what came first the chicken or the egg. But it looks like the family filed suit to help pay for what has to be huge legal bills. Sustrik looks like he is trying to protect some cops and a department who made some poor decision. Unfortunatly the DAs poor decision doesn't undo the police's poor decision. So the DA office pushes forward, trying to defend a dumb move by the police to seek revenge on a 12 year old. The case last week also ended in a mistrial this time with a split jury.
Suddenly, Griffin cut Roark off in court and asked for the mistrial. The transcript pretty much ends there.
"[Roark] tired to taint the well by making negative reference to the dad," Griffin tells Hair Balls. "The dad did not know him from Adam. He just made it up. He never had any involvement with him."
GALVESTON — A deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict Monday in the case of a girl accused of assaulting a police officer after officers allegedly mistook her for a prostitute.A 6 person jury was deadlocked by 1 person, and the prosecutors have decided not to pursue it any further. All this leaves some questions unanswered. One thing is certain actions have consequences.
After eight hours of deliberation, a jury of three men and three women told Judge Roy Quintanilla they were hopelessly deadlocked in the case charging Dymond L. Milburn, now 15, in the Aug. 22, 2006, assault of Galveston police officer David Roark.
Quintanilla declared a mistrial in the case, and Galveston County Criminal District Attorney Kurt Sistrunk said that, based on discussions with jurors after trial, the state won’t prosecute the case again.
The issue of Milburn’s ordeal the night her mother sent her outside to flip a breaker box switch was as simple as black-and-white, her defense lawyer Anthony Griffin said.
Sistrunk will be held accountable to voters for letting it go this far, he may besked if his loyalty lies with the citizens he is expected to serve, or with attempting to protect the police from liabilty by contininuing to press charges with this one.
Black citizens might find themselves just a little less supportive of their police department. Does any believe that a 12 year old white girl would have been treated this way? All of us Galvestonians might wonder why the police are picking on 12 year olds, when we all know where the prostitutes and drug dealers continue to hang out. Where are their prioritys? The city of Galveston is facing huge challenges in the aftermath of Ike, and decreasing property values, Now they are facing a big liability issue in a Federal Civil rights case. Who is going to pay for it? It could be another year before this goes to court, but it should have never gone this far.