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Jackass gets himself dead, arousing the ire of local NAACP

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It is apparently the opinion of at least the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP that black folks have a right to attack police officers. Not only that, but if the officers defend themselves, then THEY are the bad guys, and their police chief should be fired. NEWS STORY

Nathaniel Jones passed out at a White Castle in Cincinnati in the 5 am hour Sunday, then woke up agitated. When officers showed up, this nearly 400 pound man is clearly seen swinging at officers and resisting arrest. He got hit with nightsticks about a dozen times before they were able to subdue him. He passed out and died within minutes, after being quickly rushed to the hospital.

Besides being morbidly obese, he was apparently diabetic and had an enlarged heart. Oh yeah, he also had cocaine and PCP in his blood.

Not that anyone would care about the facts, but the coroner says there was no sign of internal injuries from his altercation with police. He was not beaten to death. Early indications suggested some kind of diabetic reaction.

“If proper procedure means that you can use that kind of force to clobber people repeatedly who are clearly disarmed, then there’s something wrong with the policy,” said Calvert Smith, president of the local branch of the NAACP. Some members are calling for the firing of the police chief.

They are demanding changes in policy about the use of force. What changes would they have? Huge crazy guys out of their minds on angel dust should be able to create public disturbances and take a swing at police officers with impunity? Officers should just walk away?

I’ve watched the tape of this incident about a zillion times on local Cincinnati television. What do they think the cops were supposed to do, just let him go? He was absolutely a danger to anybody who had the misfortune to be around him at that point.

If you’re 41 years old, morbidly obese and diabetic, taking cocaine and pcp, and then start attacking police officers and end up dead, I’d pretty well consider that a suicide. Indeed, I’d like to give posthumous thanks to Mr. Jones for voluntarily climbing his fool ass out of the gene pool.

Naturally, of course, Jesse Jackson had to call for state and federal investigations. “Police officers have options available to immobilize citizens short of death.”

I understand why black folks might tend to be somewhat skeptical of police. There’s bad history a lot of places. Still, this kind of foolishness destroys their credibility, and tends to make people unwilling to listen to them other times when they actually have legitimate beef. It shows a disconnect from reality. Some of these people are going to say the same thing, without any regard whatsoever to the actual facts of the case anytime a black man manages to get dead anywhere near a cop. This guy, however, was a danger to black folk and white folk alike.

Perhaps some policemen need to be reigned in sometimes. However, black folk perhaps need to be careful not to be doing stupid stuff to cause policemen to develop those bad attitudes. If Jesse Jackson actually cared about helping a black man, he’d be out doing his job as a supposed minister, leading his people unto paths of righteous behavior rather than demagoguing and rabble rousing every time some jackass gets himself dead.

Look, if a cracker such as myself got doped up and fell out with a big ol’ heart attack while I was swinging at cops, no one would be hollering about police brutality- not even my family. The community would not be in turmoil, and national news hogs would not be getting involved.

Hey, I don’t generally care that much for cops myself. That doesn’t mean that they’re all bad or always wrong. Also, you can’t expect to violently resist arrest and not get knocked down.

Question: “How many of our people have to die before the city decides to do something about it?” Nathaniel Livingston Jr. of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati.

Answer: “Just the violent, stupid ones”

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  • Surely, you did not believe Barger was telling the whole story? The coroner has ruled the police killed the man. They are likely to be charged with homicide.

  • BB

    The news item says:

    “Jones’ death certificate will list a cause of death as an irregular heart beat because of a stress reaction from the violent struggle, Parrott said” (Hamilton County Coroner).

    That would seem to indicate he did not die from excessive force.

    It also goes on to say:

    “Parrott said the death will be ruled a homicide, but added that such a ruling should not be interpreted as implying inappropriate behavior or the use of excessive force by police.’ Homicide rulings are issued when someone dies at the hands of another person.”

    So on the face of it, it is doubtful any police officers will be charged for murder.

    HOWEVER it also says:

    “The first two arriving officers were shown on a police video striking Jones after he ignored orders to “stay back,” took a swing at an officer and put his arm around one’s neck.”

    If the police, (were shall we say overly exuberant in the performance of their duties), had wrongfully incited him to die from a “stress reaction”, well then that would certainly be another matter.

  • Yes, the coroner, who knows he is being watched closely, tried to evade the legal meaning of a finding of homicide, so as not to offend his fellow believers in ‘let’s kill’em all.’ But, he did make the ruling. A good idea since his job is on shaky ground as a result of his previous bending the rules to favor the police.

    Furthermore, there are several factors in the victim’s favor:

    •He was unarmed.

    •He was not trying to flee.

    •Good police procedure in dealing with an unarmed person not about to flee is not to be as aggressive as possible, but try to talk him into cooperating.

    •He doesn’t have a history of violence.

    •His behavior is not all that unreasonable. Many people, even without the various influences he was subject to, wake up disoriented.

    From what I’ve read, this death could likely have been avoided by the police standing back or cordoning the small area the suspect had access to. Within a short time, he would have either become aware enough to respond appropriately or . . . passed out again.

    This eagerness to kill us at the drop of a hat is what African-Americans find so offensive. If the shoe was on the other foot, white people would feel the same way.

  • BB

    MD I can’t agree with your presumptions with respect to the coroner which is conjecture at best. Neither however can I find fault with the rest of your reasoning and I share your concerns. I agree the police should have attempted to calm him down, but likewise it is not a smart thing to provoke the police especially when you are outnumbered and regardless of your skin colour. Hopefully the video will let us know what really happened. Like I said, if the Police were overtly aggressive and unnecessarily induced his lethal “stress reaction” then they could be charged – manslaughter perhaps?

  • Sandra Smallson

    I have to agree with a majority of what Mac Diva is saying. I’ll just say. I am mixed race and we are referred to as blacks since we have no box to tick as mixed race. I have no problem being called black even though my complexion is anything but.. if it pleases the masses to refer to me as that, its the least of my worries. Its a wonderful part of my cocktail mix and I credit it for my good skin:) Best of both worlds.

    Having said that, I hate it when black people bring up the race card for every single thing and I have no patience for it. Plus, I am also sick of the self pitying arguments I hear from a majority Af african Americans about this slavery 400 years ago which is now justification for them to continue being lazy gits and spewing nonsense about supposed struggles in the Land of the free as we now know it. Get over it and deal ofcourse with the racial issues o’ the day. African Americans are oft times racist towards Africans..even towards mixed race people..so whats it all about?!

    Blacks are also as racist as whites and they are not justified by the stupid concept of revenge like some black people like to say to justify why they hate whites. You may dislike a white person for the very reason the white person dislikes you. You are both ignoramuses with not a shred of sense in your entire being.

    This just shows what is generally my opinion on matters such as this police beating. Yes, if they could stop being riff raffs the situation would not arise but dear me, we do have white riff raffs do we not? Crackheads. The question is, would the police have repeatedly struck that man in that way if his skin colour was white? I think not. They would have felt they could “talk” to him. They would have felt he would “understand” when they talked to him. It did not enter the big fat lumps of waste matter they carry on thier necks called heads, that this fat black man might actually understand what they have to say. He was unarmed and the mere size of you has never been seen as a weapon in any country so why is his size being mentioned like that alone justified the bringing out of weapons by the police? They could have called for reinforcements, cordoned off the place, stepped away..he was clearly agitated.

    Ofcourse they killed him. I don’t care what his medical history is. From what one of you is saying about his history, he had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel..it was not the place of the Police force to push him in prematurely. That, they certainly have done. It is precisely because of such unforseeable medical conditions that the police should not react in unnecessary violence..this was a clear case of excessive force. The same way black people should try to reduce on criminal behaviour as do whites, the police should stop being trigger happy when they see black people..if he had a weapon and was endangering people, alright..but no weapon..infact, what was it he was doing that was a nuisance? Just sleeping? I need to get that part of the gist..why exactly did the police want to arrest this man??

  • Miss Sandra-

    Restaraunt employees called police because the guy seemed sick. He was acting erratic. He went outside and passed out. Then he got up and was dancing. Then he came back in the store. There’s surveillance video of him dancing in the store, then going out again before paramedics arrived.

    Indeed, apparently his behavior had induced a panic attack from one of the employees, who was treated for hyperventillation.

    Mr. Jones was apparently giving the paramedics hell before the police ever got there.

    He was most certainly NOT just sleeping.

    The guy was absolutely physically attacking the police. He is clearly seen lunging forward at a cop who was talking to him from several feet away, swinging at the cop. Then they pulled their clubs and subdued him.

    The police immediately released their patrol car video of the incident, which is available from the Fox website among other places.

    Really, when you have a big crazy guy swinging at you, what are you supposed to do?

    I try to be understanding, but frankly I get tired of all this racism. Why can’t people look at this and judge the people by their individual actions? All some people seem to see is that the guy was black, so it must be police brutality.

    I could give a rat’s ass about the melanin level of the guy’s skin, and I doubt the cops did. They would have been too busy worrying about stopping this big doped out freak from hurting them with a wild punch, or who knows what else crazy stuff he might do, to even have time to worry about his ethnic background.

    No, being white wouldn’t have helped this guy. Ain’t no cop I’ve ever met would let anyone take a swing at them without hitting back. Nor should they. There’s no trying to relate to someone who is absolutely swinging at you.

    By the way, the coroner says that this was a “homicide,” meaning that the police killed him, even though there was no indication of any kind of internal damage from them hitting him. He specifically said that the word “homicide” should NOT be taken to imply a wrongful death of any kind. That would be the purview of the prosecutors, anyway.

    This frankly sounds like a judgment made under extreme political pressure. What kind of hell would the coroner have gotten if he had NOT said that the police killed him? On the other hand, the coroner has much more complete information than I do, so we’ll just have to trust his judgment.

    By the way, the coroner now says that the guy apparently had taken both cocaine and PCP somewhere within about five hours of the incident. Also, it is reported that Mr. Jones had been smoking cigarettes dipped in embalming fluid. I don’t even know what kind of high you’re supposed to get from that.

    I just know I’m glad the dumb sonofabitch managed to get himself dead without hurting anybody else.

  • Eric Olsen

    I HATE being put in the position of defending the police, but when a huge “disoriented” (meaning irrational and UNPREDICTABLE) person or any color, sex, or blood type will not listen to commands to get it together and lunges at you in a threatening manner, you, a human being, are going to do what you ahve to do to subdue that person. In this case that meant various blows with a stick. A person not under the influence of, it would appear, three different psychoactive substances, not grotesquely overweight, not with an enlarged heart, would not have died under the circumstances.

    Were they overaggressive? It would appear so since the guy died. Was it criminal or even poor judgment? Certainly not criminal from what I’ve heard and seen so far, and given that the police are to be considered human beings who are allowed to protect themselves while they attempt to serve the public, I wouldn’t even go that far.

    It just isn’t okay for ANYONE to take lots of drugs and act like a dangerously deranged loon in public – THAT is the central issue and the cause and effect here, not the steps the police took to try to subdue said loon.

  • Thank God I don’t live in Cincinnati. I would be in danger of being killed and having it approved by Eric Olsen and Al Barger.

    Both Sandra and I explained why the police were inept, if not vicious. However, according to these fellows, the victim should have been killed by the police because:

    •He was fat.

    •He danced.

    •A woman watching, but untouched by him, allegedly hyperventilated.

    What’s next? He should be killed because he had poor sartorial taste?

    This is all pretext. People who justify this murder do so because they contsider the victim a lesser human being, and not because he was fat, danced and allegedly upset a fast food worker, a group people were making fun of here just the other day.

    Nor does one have to look far for a comparison. Whiter than white bread singer Glen Campbell showed his arse to the police recently. Not only did he swing, he connected. However, neither Barger nor Olsen has said he should have been murdered. I wonder why.

  • I had a roomate in West LA who got battered once by the cops for being black walking in an upscale neighborhood one night. His story would be less credible in light of the silly defense of this moron in Cincinnati.

    When I see people jumping to the defense of a walking narcotics lab and encyclopedia of early death risk factors who menaced people and chose to violently resist reasonable police efforts, it makes me sick.

    And a 350 pound guy who is throwing punches and keeps coming forward in the faces of a batonfest is hardly disarmed.

    But no, it would have been better to leave him alone so that he could throw someone (probably a person of color) through the window of the restaurant, in which case the same people would blast the police for not protecting the citizenry.


  • Eric Olsen

    MD, unless you take lots of aggression-generating drugs and wander around in public scaring the civilians and then lunge at the police before keeling over from an enlarged heart that couldn’t take the combination of stimulant drugs, physical exertion, and stiff blows from a stick, then this doesn’t apply to you.

    If Glen Campbell got off easy by not being killed it was because he was a known entity, a celebrity, not because of his skin color. A celebrity of any color would have received the same treatment.

    And I didn’t say any of it is “okay” – I said spread the blame around as applicable, starting with the person who started it, and unfortunately, ended it.

  • “This is all pretext. People who justify this murder do so because they contsider the victim a lesser human being, and not because he was fat, danced and allegedly upset a fast food worker, a group people were making fun of here just the other day.”

    You are right. I consider this guy a lesser human being. Not because of the color of his skin but because he was obviously crazy enough to take a stupid amount of drugs and then ATTACK police. I would feel the same way about a liquored up hick from the country who attempted to strangle the local Sheriff in rural West Virginia. It isn’t about race.

    Nobody is saying police don’t profile and commit bad acts, but this is not the case to prove a point. The drugs are enough to cast a shadow of doubt. Making your case with a guy who was on various drugs and apparently cast the first blow doesn’t make for a credible argument.

    Sober victims of profiling make good cases for the unfairness of police. Drugged up loonies do not. That is why this is so offensive to me. Police are people too.

    This does not give you cause to fear me. I know you are right overall, Diva, that police profiling and brutality happens and I agree that we must continue to attack the incidents whenever and wherever they exist. This just isn’t a situation you can get behind with all the other factors. It is necessary to be fair to police too no matter how many incidents we have seen where they abuse power and selectively act.

  • I am not defending the victim’s lifestyle. I would never do the things he did. Furthermore, I am embarassed to see a diabetic who was doing everything he shouldn’t in the news after many of us just finished blogging our behinds off to bring attention to the epidemic.

    But, I don’t believe the man should have been killed. It is one thing for someone to do himself in as the result of pathological behaviors and another for third parties to cut his life short. He was the kind of weirdo the police should have ‘talked down,’ not assaulted.

    I have thought of a way for Barger and Olsen to clear up the discrepancy in their attitudes regarding Jones and Campbell. They must demand that the police kill Glen Campbell. Then, the two men who got high and mouthed off at cops will have been treated equally. I hope Barger and Olsen will start their campaign for the elimination of Glen Campbell right here at Blogcritics today.

  • He attacked first. He died as a result of his stupidity combined with the force that the officers used to restrain him. He attacked first. He was a big fat guy who was susceptible to dying in a scuffle while on drugs that damage your heart. He attacked first.

    The point is maybe the officers used as much or more force in subduing campbell. He happened to not die. You are assuming that the officers were responsible for the death BECAUSE of the force they used. Maybe the force they used was reasonable. Did I mention that the guy attacked the officers first?

    This isn’t about race except that you are making it about race.

    If I eat myself within an inch of my life, take a bunch of heroin and attack some police should I expect them to be lenient because I fucked myself up with drugs? Is it there fault if I die as a result of the factors that I contributed to that got me killed?

  • This is idiotic. Especially the kill Glen Campbell rant. After kneeing a police officer, while at the police station, the police managed to arrest Campbell, again.

    Just like they tried to arrest Nathaniel Jones, only Jones put up a nice fight and managed to over exert himself in the process.

  • (Sigh.) Some people are incapable of grasping satire.

  • Eric Olsen

    I am receptive to the notion that people of different groups, including color, receive different treatment in various situations, including their dealings with the legal system. I think the death penalty discrepancy between whites and blacks is damning of the system and renders the entire process suspect. It’s one of the main reasons I am opposed to the death penalty.

    I decry any instance that any person was treated unfairly because of a group they belong to, such as color, and I believe it still happens.

    BUT, this case does not strike me as an example of that. I am sad Jones died, but his own behavior – short- and long-term – were the largest contributing factors to his death. I do not see his color as a factor in any way.

    And I didn’t think the Diva really wanted Campbell dead, as white and obnoxious as he may be.

  • Diva you are involved in the law. A lawyer even?

    Is there reasonable doubt that the officers caused the death of the man in question due to his drug abuse and abuse to his own body as contributing factors? Would that amount of force likely killed a healthy man without poison running through his veins?

    If there is even the slightest shred of doubt then it is foolish to build this case up like this. The NAACP and other people pursuing this are basically pouring gasoline in the streets of Cincy.

    While the answers to those questions might or might not justify the force used by the officers, no jury is going to kill these guys with all the other factors in my opinion.

  • Diva, you sure are cantankerous, but I love you anyway.

    I didn’t pay close attention to the Glen Campbell thing- not sordid enough to really get my attention. However, if you take a swing at a cop, you should expect to get your ass kicked.

    The “Wichita Lineman” was my original musical turn on back at age 5, but the same rules apply to him as anybody else. If he’s stupid enough to punch a cop, then he can get the ass whooped and head off to jail.

    On the other hand, Mr. Campbell probably was smart enough not to be on cocaine, pcp and smoking embalming fluid all at the same frickin’ time, so he survives his foolishness.

    If he HAD managed to lay over and die while swinging at cops, NO ONE would be carrying on about police brutality, or trying to incite race riots- least of all me.

  • Craig, you know what they say in law school as well as I do: “You take your victim as you find him.” And, it is the police we should be applying the reasonable man test to, not the victim. I believe the reasonable thing for the police to have done is to have talked the fellow down — and then arrested him for any laws he had broken. In other words, what the police did to Campbell (who performed here in Portland today, incidentally) was reasonable and what they did to Jones was not.

    I don’t really expect a criminal conviction if the cops are even indicted because that virtually never happens, including in much better cases. But, I do believe Jones’ family has a wrongful death case. I think you need to consider just what the role of cops is. If a person is behaving normally and not breaking any rules, there is no reason to call the police. So, they have every expectation of encountering odd behavior and should not overreact when they do.

    This notion that I am advocating for Jones’ lifestyle is ludicrous. All I’m saying is save violent police treatment for people who are armed or otherwise truly threatening. And, it is possible to do that. The chief of police here took what turned out to be a toy gun away from a schizophrenic man. I don’t believe he would feel better if he had shot and killed the man, though it would have been ruled justified.

  • Diva, do you deny that Jones lunged after an officer, swinging his fist, which THEN resulted in the officers drawing their sticks? This surely appears to be what the video shows?

    Do you then propose that even if someone is absolutely swinging at the cops, it is inappropriate for the cops to hit back?

    Jebus Criminy, are the cops supposed to stand their and just absolutely TAKE a beating?

  • They should stand back. If hours can be spent talking white suspects out of cars or houses, why is it so important for cops to get up in black suspects’ faces right away? Makes no sense.

  • 23md

    Bottom line:

    Someone on PCP should be treated as if he or she is schizophrenic. Police should know better how to deal with someone who is not in his right mind.

    Police have to protect themselves, but they should also make sure to not provoke an unknown suspect who appears to be disoriented.

    If this were a rich white person who was suffering a psychotic break, the officers would swing.

  • First, how did the officers “provoke” the guy? If simply talking to him from a couple of steps away is enough to “provoke” him to violence, then he’s an immediate public menace who MUST be taken out of circulation.

    And your last assertion just doesn’t hold up to reality. No, the officers wouldn’t be disciplined or given much attention if this had been any kind of white guy. It would have been a non-issue. There would be NO association of white people having candle light vigils.

    If he were white, it would have been seen as just exactly what it actually was here: Jackass on a suicide run took a swing at the cops and fell over dead. The End.

  • I don’t live in your city, Barger. But, I have lived in cities in three nearly 100 percent white states. And, in each of those, white people who had family or friends killed by the police under ambiguous circumstances became just as incensed as people of color.

  • MAYBE there would be a complaint from a family member- but it wouldn’t attract any significant GROUP to back them.

    There wouldn’t be candlelight vigils, largely because this really is NOT an “ambiguous case.” If the descedent were white, almost NO ONE would regard it as in any significant way “ambiguous.” You absolutely take a big swing at the cops, then they take out their sticks and beat you into submission. No white male would get widespread sympathy under such clearly documented circumstances. Would Not Happen.

    On the other hand, in a case as egregious as this, I would expect a decent family of any background to exercise the minimal sense of shame that this guy brought on himself. In other words, without necessarily making any public show, the family would have been best advised to just accept that their brother died making a fool of himself, and reflected badly on them.

    Now perhaps Mr. Jones was a good guy other ways and times. His family might reasonably want to emphasize that at their services as they lay him away.

    But their best strategery is to recognize that right at the end, he went out like a chump. The best thing for his memory and for the family would be to let the matter drop quietly, and not keep calling attention to their loved one’s unfortunate foolish end.

  • Actually, some of those white families sought criminal charges and many filed wrongful death cases. I don’t know why you think white folks lack affection for their kin. They’re people, you know.

  • I don’t think that white folk lack affection for their kin. I do think that they are not nearly as much taught to nurture grievances, certainly not way so far out of bounds of reason or law as some Officially Oppressed Groups. This is to our own benefit as well as for society as a whole.

    The fact that I love my kin doesn’t mean that I’m automatically going to blame everybody else when one of my own screws himself or herself up. I might give my people every benefit of the doubt. I might try to be as understanding as possible.

    However, for example, if someone I knew absolutely robbed a bank and ended up in prison, I wouldn’t be lying to myself to make up excuses for laying the fault of it on the judge or the cops. If I were going to be angry, it’d be with my dumbass friend for being so stupid.

    Love and affection doesn’t mean that I’d lie and act stupid for no good end. The family carrying on publicly about the events surrounding his death factually only damages Mr. Jones memory further. Hard as it may be for them, they would serve his memory better by de-emphasizing the extremely undignified last hour of it.

  • Most deaths are ‘undignified,’ Barger. Different parts of the body shut down, often resulting in some nasty results. (Births are kind of down and dirty, too.) Acting the fool is not uncommon behavior, so I don’t think families whose loved ones are killed by police while doing so need to be particularly ashamed of that. The issue should be whether the killing was justified.

  • Yeah, death does tend to be an ugly thing, but Jones really made a stupid and unfortunate spectacle of his.

    And you should really give the “killing” thing a rest. It may be described that way on official records due to political pressure, but those cops didn’t “kill” Jones. Besides the fact that their actions were necessary, what they did was not anywhere near enough to kill somebody. The guy pretty much dropped over dead under his own efforts.

    You’re just absolutely determined to turn the death of ANY person of color anywhere in the vicinity of a cop into cops murdering black folk. Your script just absolutely doesn’t fit the facts here.

  • Not true at all. I am convinced that John Muhammad is a sociopath who is responsible for the deaths of more than a dozen people. I was never a part of the ‘Free Mumia’ movement, thereby annoying many of my ‘radical’ white friends. I wrote about the O.J. Simpson trial for Big Media and said all along that I believed the elements for a conviction — motive, means and opportunity — were there and he should have been found guilty.

    I do peruse cases involving the little guy versus state power closely, even when the little guy is big and fat. That is because the police power of government is its most deadly. The individual is very weak in that scenario. We need to look out for each other in that regard.

    Barger, I believe that now that you have learned to talk to me instead of about me, you are going to learn that your preconceptions are not necessarily accurate.