A developmental disability is no excuse for not immediately and unconditionally complying with the local Gestapo, as 21-year-old Antonio Martinez found out last Thursday.
Martinez, who has Down syndrome, was pepper sprayed, forced to the ground and beaten into submission by a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy investigating a domestic violence incident. Martinez is all of 4 feet, 11 inches tall.
According to reports, Martinez was walking between his home and the family bakery wearing a hoodie when the LEO (sometimes standing for law enforcement officer but in reality meaning Legally Entitled to Oppress) called out to him. Martinez didn’t respond to the officer’s “commands,” according to Sheriff’s Department apologist and (trained liar) public relations flak Jan Caldwell.
Neighbors who know Martinez well told the deputy Martinez had Down syndrome and had done nothing wrong. But the deputy demanded compliance, according to Caldwell, and while trying “to gain compliance and prevent possible escape,” he used pepper spray to subdue Martinez.
The pepper spray irritated Martinez’s eyes, as pepper spray does, so he naturally tried to rub them. This prompted the deputy to beat him into submission with a baton — a fact not disputed by the sheriff’s office.
CNN reported: “The deputy hit Antonio Martinez with it, forcing him to the ground, then levied ‘a couple more strikes to get his hands free,’ Sheriff’s Department Capt. Joe Rodi told CNN affiliate KGTV.”
Once beaten into submission, a sobbing and screaming Martinez was cuffed, placed into a patrol car and taken to the hospital. He was later taken to the jail where he was turned over to his family, but not before the family was told Martinez may face charges of obstructing justice.
Martinez’s father is considering suing the Sheriff’s Department and the city of Vista, Calif.
“But really, all we want is for the sheriff’s deputy who did this to my brother to get fired,” said Jessica Martinez. “That’s all we want. We want justice.”
But firing alone isn’t good enough. Perhaps a blast of pepper spray to the face and several swats with a police baton upon his arrest for assault and battery is in order. Since the deputy is LEO, that probably won’t happen, but one can dream.