Final arguments in trial against 12-year-old girl mistaken for hooker

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126 Responses to “Final arguments in trial against 12-year-old girl mistaken for hooker”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Takuan @ #54 Your PSA suggests much presumption on your part, both about the reasons for a circuit breaker triggering, and the construction of MCBs in general.

    We don’t know the fault that caused the MCB to trigger, and you presume the family hadn’t identified and rectified the cause. It could be as simple as, “Damn, the microwave just died. I’ve unplugged it, and we’ll have to get a new one, but honey, will you go outside and reset the circuit breaker?”

    Then there’s your FUD or lack of knowledge about the danger of resetting an MCB. They’re constructed of heat resistant plastics and are a much safer alternative to the old and largely deprecated-for-housing resistance wire fuses. Even if you reset an MCB that is attached to a line on which the fault has not been rectified, the switch will simply trigger again as the circuitry detects an overload. No sparks fly, no limbs are at risk, and if you raise 12 year olds dumb enough that they can’t be trusted in a modern, MCB-equipped fusebox, then we’ve already lost, and the planet is likely doomed, unless such 12 year olds find another way to remove themselves from the gene pool.

    Resetting an MCB puts you in about as much danger as standing 10 feet back from a suburban road or carriageway.

    Oh, except in Galveston, where doing so is apparently likely to have you beaten and charged.

  2. shutz says:

    I bet that she probably resisted arrest (as would many of us, if we knew we were innocent…) which is what the police officers are going to claim to justify their use of force.

    What does the law say, over there, about defending yourself against excessive force? Can you still be charged with assault?

  3. Takuan says:

    never had one go on ya, eh? A 15 amp-er ain’t much more than an M-80 – but it’s enough. Let me guess; you’re a rep for a manufacturer, or an electrical engineer.

  4. Faustus says:

    “Oh John, there’s something odd about that family that live in the old Smith house”,

    “Nonsense Jane, you’re worrying yourself over nothing”,

    “But John, I saw their 12 year old girl resetting the external circuit breaker on their house after it had blown!“,

    “Dear God! Why didn’t you say earlier?!?! Call the police Jane, before this sickening oddness gets any odder”.

    Fin

  5. Dayv says:

    I’m fairly sure I was changing fuses in my home when I was 12.

    I also have seen circuit breakers on the outside of houses I’ve lived in, but I always assumed that was one of the wonders of being poor, rather than anything to do with climate or region.

  6. Glossolalia Black says:

    As a former teenage hooker, I am angry at the idea that some people have that it would have been okay if she were a hooker.

  7. Nelson.C says:

    I have a hunch (which is at least as valid as IrishDaze’s blame-the-victim speculation) that the many layers consist of police bullshit and bluster, with additional layers on top of DA bullshit and bluster, all surrounding a core of cops who screwed the pooch, big time.

    What possible nuance can you put on a 12yo black girl being mistaken for a white hooker, and then beaten enough to need medical attention? Even if she was on PCP there was no way that level of violence could have been necessary.

  8. grimc says:

    That an elected official has decided to prosecute this case twice is exactly why I’m extremely curious as to what we don’t know yet.

    You know what’s great for a DA seeking reelection? An endorsement from the police union.

  9. Tom Hale says:

    Anon @ 73 – The outside breakers are usually switches that turn the power on and off to the premises. They aren’t switches that control power for each circuit – those are always indoors. The outside switches, since they control so much voltage, will often cause a large spark and if anything grounded is near the switch, they will often cause a discharge through the grounded object, even if its a person. I, for one, am thankful for Safety Panda’s precautions on the matter. Thank you Safety Panda!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      They aren’t switches that control power for each circuit – those are always indoors.

      Bzzzzt. My whole circuit breaker panel has been outdoors on several houses.

  10. Takuan says:

    hey,if the pros never have trouble with the big stuff why should you at home?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3_ear4k-Jg

  11. dragonfrog says:

    vn256 @17

    Dsmvwlmnt r n, knd f wth y.

    W brfly hd 15 yr ld rm mt / nffcl wrd lvng wth s, nd w dd hv t d jst tht – r nghbrhd s nt th bst, nd sh ws sng th sm vsl cs n hr drss s th strt prsttts hr d.

    Nt tht sh lstnd t s mch, bt t lst w thn gt t sy “tld y s” whn sh gt wrkd p vr crpy ldr gys lnng t f thr crs t ht n hr…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The next person to suggest in any way, shape or form that this 12 year-old victim, or any victim of harassment, rape or violence, had it coming is getting a week’s vacation. You have been warned.

  12. Takuan says:

    nobody fucks with the Panda.

  13. arkizzle says:

    Tiffin?

  14. Xopher says:

    As a former Michigander and current New Jerseyan, I’m completely appalled by the idea of circuit breakers being outdoors.

    Rationally I know that if you’re in a place where it’s almost always warm and dry, it’s not a big deal, but I would never be able to sleep if my circuit breakers were outdoors.

  15. h4x0r says:

    WTF? @ #31 …Engrishhh preez.

    And holy balls, how can the Galveston not only not press charges against the cops…but seek a case against the girl for a second time?!!! Lawyers aside, the national media should be all over this. For f*cks sake, I had to hear about George Bush’s “funny” video about his stupid mutt, for like 2 days straight.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have just forwarded this story to NPR as a story suggestion, very easy to do on their website. If some of you who care enough to comment about this story will also forward this to NPR (national public radio) maybe we can get some helpful press coverage about this. What’s the point of this story if it doesn’t make us try to help? if we do nothing we are just as bad as all those “reporters not willing to risk access to future exclusives in pursuit of justice for some black kid”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Takuan @ #74: Neither, but I have worked as a meter reader for a power company.

    Tom Hale @#77: As a meter reader, I saw a variety of circuit breaker placements. In the area I work, it is typical to have the main power switch outside, along with the MCBs for each of the power rails of the house. Outside is rpeferred because the company doesn’t have the increased risk of liability that is incurred when we have to enter client premesis.

    ibidem: “since they control so much voltage, ” They generally switch the same voltage, but greater current.

    Takuan @ #78: Working on a live rail with inadequate safety gear and apparently no concern for one’s own safety is not without its own rewards, as your video demonstrates. That’d be an epic fail from someone whose training ought to have taught them better.

    Takuan @ #75: The back blew out. Properly mounted in a fascia, that presents little or no risk to the operator. Oh, unless you like to reset circuit breakers with your tongue.

    Ultimately we don’t have enough information about the type of circuit breaker, or the cause of the power fault in the first place. Given the variation in fusebox placements, we know not a lot about the technical details of this circumstance.

  18. Tom Hale says:

    Antinous -really? Weird I haven’t seen that here. I’ll take your word for it though. California is soooooo crazy. So, if a neighbor was pissed at you, he could walk over and shut off the circuit to your TV in the middle of your favorite show? That would be fun.

  19. Zombie says:

    I’m still as angry about this when BoingBoing posted it the first time around. Regardless of whether this girl was a hooker or not, it’s disturbing that the police felt it took a group of full grown adults to “arrest” her. And that their concept of arrest involves battery.

    I’m still hoping that these cops really get their karmic justice, because I highly doubt that we’ll see legal justice against them.

  20. Timothy Hutton says:

    FAUSTUS – Odd doesn’t equal illegal, and I never asserted anything like it.

    Odd in this context is meant as “Huh, that’s odd – you don’t see a small child with her hands in a circuit box everyday…”

    That’s why I said:

    To be clear, I’m calling this odd, not wrong.

  21. Takuan says:

    you oughtta see the wiring in Japan.

  22. dragonfrog says:

    I never suggested that, and if we were sitting in a bar, I would be sore tempted to use strong language at the fact you would even imply I should suggest anything of the sort, Antinous.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      dragonfrog,

      It’s the idea that a teenage girl (in this case, not even teenage) who dresses like every other teenage girl in the US “looks like a prostitute’. Why do johns and cops and TV producers get to decide what’s appropriate garb for women? For me, that is way too close to the idea that not wearing a veil makes a woman look like a prostitute. Yes, the latter is more severe, but it’s firmly seated on the same continuum.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Takuan @ #80: You pay heed to a site that uses the non-word “amperage”? I’m sure you have leet search skillz, but there is no such thing as “amperage”. There is current. As Horowitz and Hill put it, amperage is strictly bush-league.

  24. Takuan says:

    hello, let me see….

  25. arkizzle says:

    DragonFrog & Ivan

    Are we really saying that the way people dress, and specifically the way children act, entitles anybody else to take liberties with them? Or treat them like criminals/2nd class citizens?

  26. Lucifer says:

    There two extreme scenarios that are easy to imagine, neither of which are likely to be the truth: 1. A bunch of cops saw a little girl and decided to give her a beatdown because she had the wrong color skin. Then a racist DA decided to give her another beatdown by charging her. 2. The story is full of lies and the girl was a crazed maniac who fought the cops whom had no choice but to defend themselves.

    The truth I suspect, is not for us to see unless a reliable account is ever published. We will imply project our imagination tainted by our prejudices against and for law enforcement, government, and minorities.

    In the end, we all burn.

  27. Zan says:

    Of course, no one has mentioned the drugs found at the scene or the fact that the police were in raid gear with POLICE written in huge letters on their chests:

    Officers believed she was trying to stuff drugs inside the box. Two bags of drugs were discovered on the ground in the yard, according to prosecutors.

    As officer David Rourke tried to restrain Milburn, she began screaming for her daddy and screaming, “F..k the cops, I hate cops!” Her screaming was heard by a witness several doors down the street who testified in court. He also testified he heard the police telling the girl over and over, “Police, police, calm down, we’re the police.”

    The defense claimed throughout the trial the girl did not know the men were the police and she was in fear that she was being attacked by criminals and maybe abducted. All the officers were dressed in raid gear which includes black shirts with POLICE inscribed in big, white letters.

  28. Steve says:

    Why do people fail to realize the police are also innocent before proven guilty? One side of the story isn’t enough to make a decision, but I guess it’s enough to justify the soapbox about The Man.

  29. elix says:

    I’m willing and hoping to be exposed as the completely incorrect cynic, but what are the chances that, thanks to these four officers of the “peace” claiming to be assaulted by a twelve-year-old girl they accosted, accused of prostitution, and arrested, she’s:
    a) going to be afraid of the cops
    b) BECOME a prostitute thanks to the damage to her self-image, self-esteem, and life
    c) going to be too afraid to report a rape to the cops if she gets raped (especially if b comes true)?

    “Won’t someone please think of the children” is not entirely misguided.

  30. dragonfrog says:

    No, I am saying that those who take care of children need to give them the information to deal with the unfortunate reality that people do judge one another based entirely on their dress and appearance, and some judgmental a*holes will mistreat people based on that slim evidence.

    Children, in their innocence, will often emulate what they see on TV or in fashion magazines, without understanding the implications of the visual language they are using. In some cases, this means some jerks will assume they are hoodlums or prostitutes, and will insult them, harass them, refuse them service, or just give them the stinkeye.

    In the now near-illegible case I was describing, the girl wasn’t even dressing “indecently” (whatever that means). She was just using certain visual cues in her dress that prostitutes in our area use.

    Of course we never implied to her, nor do I believe, that she was to blame when she was harassed. She shouldn’t have been harassed even if she had been a prostitute. We did however point out to her what it was about her clothes that these guys were judging on. To do any less would have been cruel – she would have kept on getting bothered, and not known what she could do about it.

  31. Teller says:

    Not only hasn’t the national press/media made a to-do of this, but where are Sharpton, Jackson, NAACP, the SLC, ACLU – why is this off their radar?

  32. Xopher says:

    We have sun 355 days a year.

    That’s horrible. You poor people, with no shelter from the punishing rays of the sun.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      You poor people

      At the moment, it’s headed into the 30s and pouring rain and the heater isn’t coping very well. But…in a couple of months it’ll be 120 in the shade.

  33. Summer says:

    #101: Odd in this context is meant as “Huh, that’s odd – you don’t see a small child with her hands in a circuit box everyday…”

    Haven’t seen many twelve year olds, have you? They’re generally not that small. To my thinking, a “small child” would be one under, say, eight or so. Twelve is only one year shy of being a teenager, and many of them have size and smarts to match.

  34. Summer says:

    #44: Now there’s the $64,000 (adjust upward as needed for inflation) question.

  35. Takuan says:

    @86
    kindly create an account so I can thrash you properly. And buy a dictionary. Or better yet, use the WORLD WIDE web. (sheesh, these local yokels….)

  36. Takuan says:

    ah, here we are: nothing further in the media to exonerate the cops, a review of all comments and links on the previous thread from December and no change in the facts available, yes,I think we can say that we are in the same situation as when we heard of this matter.

  37. Takuan says:

    I hope the cops fry.

  38. dragonfrog says:

    @Zan

    So, you figure police put on riot armour in preparation to deal with a complaint of three white prostitutes, or that they only donned it as a precaution when they realized they were going to have to take on a 12-year old girl armed with an odd circuit breaker?

    Now, that is seriously screwed up – is there no double jeopardy protection in the States? She’s already been tried twice, and they’re just going to keep on prosecuting until they get a conviction?

  39. minTphresh says:

    oh, let the ignance commence!

  40. Takuan says:

    ya know Zan, I’m quite prepared to believe that every single “fact” the cops cite in this case are outright lies. Their track record is enough.

  41. grimc says:

    @zan

    Of course, you fail to note that those quotes come from g(ulf)c(oast)policenews.com

    I’m sure it’s a completely evenhanded article.

    I like how the lede is

    The rules are different in juvenile court. There is no finding of guilt or innocense but a finding of True or Not True.

    and it closes with

    Courtroom observers reported five jurors were in agreement to return a guilty verdict and one was not.

    That’s quality journalamism.

  42. grimc says:

    @mark

    For the life of me I don’t understand why the national media hasn’t jumped all over this story.

    You answered it yourself:

    …Dymond (who is black)…

  43. Anonymous says:

    “For the life of me I don’t understand why the national media hasn’t jumped all over this story.”

    I’m guessing that if this little girl was white, you wouldn’t have had to type that.

  44. Timothy Hutton says:

    This was obviously a horrible incident, and those that are wrong should be tried and punshished if convicted.

    Having said that, a couple points – as for the media disinterest, I think it is very simple, yet I can’t for the life of me figure out how I am the first to post this: I suspect the mainstream media is still smarting from the Duke Lacrosse case, and I suspect they are being double-careful not to repeat that mistake. I think the publicity will come once the facts are entered into court, not before.

    Also, while the girl had every right to be in her front yard doing whatever she wanted to, I have to ask about the circuit breaker in the front yard? What am I missing – why is the circuit breaker in the front yard? Is this common in Texas? Everywhere I’ve lived the “fuse box” has been indoors (basement, garage, closet)…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      What am I missing – why is the circuit breaker in the front yard?

      I’ve had electrical panels outdoors in exposed places in several homes in California. We call them black widow condos.

  45. Tom Hale says:

    Has the original police report been made public? I’d like to see how the officers tried to smooth this over.

    I can only guess the initial police report went something like this:
    Responded to a call of 3 caucasian prostitutes working an area near X street. En route to scene, the suspect was witnessed behaving suspiciously near a home on 4321 X street. Naturally, we concluded that the suspect had been mistaken for 3 caucasian prostitutes and notified dispatchers that we were making an arrest.

    Officers Jones, Smith and myself exited the patrol van and attempted to arrest suspect under charges of prostitution. Suspect immediately became violent, assaulting myself and the 2 assisting officers. Suspect is apparently a master of several martial arts, as, even though she only weighs around 70-80 lbs, we were unable to subdue suspect and apply handcuff restraints without an application of physical force.

    At this point, suspect attempted to utilize a large canine (a bull mastiff I believe) to further assault officers. After warning suspect that the canine would be fired upon, suspect signaled the trained attack dog to stand down.

    At this point, the second perp. exited the home and began verbally and physically assaulting officers. Perp. #2, possibly the suspect’s pimp (claiming to be suspect’s father Ha!), was physically removed from the scene. Arrest and vehicular detention of suspect was completed. All charges are pending and will be completed after case is discussed by Galveston PD’s chief officers.
    —————————-
    I know this isn’t funny and I’m not attempting to make light of this horrible incident – but how could the officers have written a report on this without it sounding as F’d up as the one I wrote. Honestly, the case is so ludicrous that I can’t see how the officers and Galveston police officials along with the DA haven’t dropped the case and attempted to settle this as quietly as possible. The officers should be fired and anyone supporting them or trying to cover this up should be fired.

  46. arkizzle says:

    Zan’s quote comes forom the gcpolicenews.com link, posted by Aluxeterna @60..

    http://gcpolicenews.com/index.cfm?act=Newsletter.cfm&category=News%201-2&newsletterid=12145&menugroup=Home

  47. arkizzle says:

    Tom and Xoph’

    Our trip-switch box was outside too, not just the main line-in. With switches for all the individual circuits; lights, sockets, etc.

    It was the outback though, so it sounds like the climate is key to this kind of placement (or we were far enough away from anyone who cared, to get away with shoddy installation). That said we got flash-floods and a few weeks rainy season most years..

    I’m not sure it ever occured to me to be alarmed, any more than for the outside power outlets, at least.

  48. donopolis says:

    Sadly I have to agree with GrimC. As far as we have come, Most reporters are not willing to risk access to future exclusives in pursuit of justice for some black kid.

    Don

  49. shutz says:

    It’s because mainstream media are still very much living in a past where they think the public doesn’t want to know about such incidents unless they involve a cute, white girl.

    Take a look at all the news about women getting beat up, arrested, killed, maimed, kidnapped, and so forth, and you’ll see that, when they do a story about individual incidents, the victims in question are rarely black, but when you go look at the actual statistics, the ratios of whites to non-whites won’t line up.

    As Frank Zappa used to sing, “I’m not black but there’s a whole lots of times I wish I could say I’m not white.”

    Also, since I don’t have any actual stats to back up what I wrote above, I would really apreciate it if anyone with actual stats on those kinds of incidents could post them (or just link) so I can be proven right or wrong. I don’t like being wrong.

    Oh, and, keep in mind, in a lot of neighborhoods, blacks are still afraid, or at least, mistrusting of the police, so it goes to reason that a lot of incidents where black women were the victim might not have been reported.

  50. Tom Hale says:

    #44 T. Hutton, I’ve yet to see a meter or breaker in a front yard – and I have to deal with these frequently with my job – but I can only speak for the area I work in. It is very common for apartment complexes to use circuit breakers next to meters on the outside though.

  51. Phikus says:

    Yeah, but if a panda can do it…

  52. arkizzle says:

    Timothy, besides the fact that it is entirely irrelevant, and that it is moving the focus of the spotlight from the policemen’s actions onto those of the motivations of the victim.. I can’t tell you the amount of times my parents asked me to reset the trip-switch when my sister’s hairdryer + someone using the kettle or whatever tripped it.

    Let it go. It isn’t odd.

  53. ivan256 says:

    I would like to clarify to Arkizzle and Antinous (and everybody else I guess) that the part of my comment that was disemvoweled in no way implied, or meant to imply that I thought this girl had anything coming. Hell, I even threw in that second bit to set things straight just in case somebody wanted to take it the wrong way…

  54. Jebediah says:

    #48 and 51:
    Here in lovely Culver City, CA. our circuit breaker box is outside. Maybe it is common in dryer climates.

  55. Tom Hale says:

    I should have said in my last post – T. Hutton, is something as trivial as power breaker placement enough to make you wonder about the credibility of the rest of the case? The breaker could have easily been on the side of the house near the front. Or, the victim could have been on the way to from the breakers.

  56. TJ S says:

    SHUTZ:

    Some stats on domestic violence (USA) in general as well as the source, which I’m blocked from reading at work, but I assume has more data on racial percentages.

  57. Timothy Hutton says:

    DRAGONFROG – she hasn’t been tried twice, her first court case ended in a mistrial, which proves neither guilt nor innocence.

    It gets confusing because there are a couple court cases going on:

    Initial Criminal Case where the mean 12 year-old assaulted the police officers – ended in a mistrial.

    Federal Case where 12 year-old girl is charging the police violated her civil rights – on-going.

    Second Criminal Case where the first case is being retried – the article is about this case wrapping up.

    I think that’s the sequence, it is hard to follow the articles, IMHO.

    I don’t know if the initial charges against her have been tried again

  58. Xopher says:

    Antinous 92: But…in a couple of months it’ll be 120 in the shade.

    *shudders* Where do you go when your area becomes uninhabitable like that?

    And btw, this whole thread isn’t changing my opinion of Texas, especially Galveston. But now I understand why the prosecutors are pursuing charges against the girl: they want a conviction to use as evidence in her civil rights case.

    Are scummy prosecutors ever really punished? I mean other than by resigning in disgrace? I’m pretty sure nothing happened to the scumbags who prosecuted all those “satanic cult abuse” cases in the 1980s, for example. I think they should all have gone to prison for all the cumulative time all their victims served.

  59. imthefuture says:

    What a blow that must be to the self esteem of a 12 year old.

    “YOU LOOK LIKE A HOOKER”

    Can you imagine how much therapy that poor girl is goin to need.

  60. Takuan says:

    re: “circuit breakers”, yes, not at all unusual, don’t try to do anything with this, it betrays an agenda.

    Safety Point Time! (cue dancing pandas!la la la !)
    Hi there everybody! (Hi Safety Panda!) Today’s Safety Tip!: CIRCUIT BREAKERS ARE NOT LIGHT SWITCHES!! (la la la “why not, Safety Panda?!)
    Because they are fault-detecting devices. If a breaker trips, something is WRONG. Do NOT send a child to re-set a breaker, that is why we make light switches. Unless of course you have cheap-ass, illegal wiring or make a habit of overloading circuits and risking burning your house down.

    (PANDA BOOGIE PANDA BOOGIE! YAH!) Safety Panda says: when you (adult) re-set a breaker, use the metal door as shield, use your non-principal hand (the one you don’t mind losing), stand to the side, do not look direct at the breaker when you snap it over. Safety Panda has many electrician friends with black tattoo spots of molten plastic permanently embedded in the flesh of their faces when a defective breaker exploded.

    This has been a Safety Panda PSA, don’t make Safety Panda come to YOUR house!

  61. sleestax says:

    I came here to say what #2,3,4 and 5 already had.

  62. kityglitr says:

    Geez. I can think of two black people who could really help this case right now. Two black people the media actually care to hear speak. Barack and Michelle? This has you guys all over it. Someone, can we get our Hero-In-Chief to come to the rescue?

  63. minTphresh says:

    every cop involved in this arrest needs to do HARD time.

  64. Phikus says:

    1) According to the Galveston County Police News article linked above:

    When the police arrived in an unmarked van they discovered the girl, Dymond Larae Milburn, standing in a yard near the edge of the street. When the officers got out of the van to question her, she took off running and screaming towards the house where she lives. According to testimony, she ran to the house and grabbed the electrical breaker box. Officers believed she was trying to stuff drugs inside the box. Two bags of drugs were discovered on the ground in the yard, according to prosecutors… As officer David Rourke tried to restrain Milburn, she began screaming for her daddy and screaming, “F..k the cops, I hate cops!”

    Ok, assuming someone were trying to get away from cops with drugs on them and lost their cool completely, wouldn’t they simply stuff it in their clothes and run inside to the protection of their parents? Why the screaming if you were trying to hide your stash? Why scream “I hate cops!” if you knew cops were chasing you? It’s hard to conceive of even a 12 year old kid having this combination of stupid, especially if they were actually doing something illegal.

    The article goes on to say:

    The officers claim her head injury resulted when she ran into the breaker box on the side of the house while running from them.

    Ok, so she “grabbed” the electrical box, tried to stuff “drugs” into it (so unsuccessfully that they ended up in the yard), and hit her head on the box, all while screaming and running from the cops. She seemed to have a hell of a lot of time to accomplish all of this. Either it is a very large yard (unlikely), the cops are very inept and slow (ok, this is somewhat plausible, given they’ve been hanging out in an unmarked van with Krispy Kreme for a while) or the cops are LYING, trying to cover their asses for their egregious mistake of assaulting a 12 year old girl on her own property, mistaking her for a prostitute.

    All of the other damage she sustained, according to the article, was done by the tree she became “entangled in” and not the cops trying to restrain her. Un hunh…

    Even if she were a prostitute, the cops still had no justification for jumping out and arresting her or trying to restrain her. They did not testify that they caught her in the act of anything. When did it become a crime to run from people jumping out of an unmarked van on your own property? Oh yeah, if you’re black and you run from the cops, you must be guilty of something.

    Well, from the article, at least it says the jury could not find a verdict and the case is unlikely to come to trial a 3rd time. We can only hope the civil suit against the cops is successful (that and contact NPR, write your newspapers, etc.)

  65. arkizzle says:

    Timothy, FWIW I lived in a house with the circuit breaker on the external side wall, by the path to the back yard, all covered in cobwebs and rotten leaves.

  66. shutz says:

    TJ S (#7): interesting links, but there was nothing about race there, that I could find. (And I’m at home, so I was able to check both links.)

    So my “challenge” remains: someone please find some real stats. I’m Canadian, so I might not be aware of all the good places where such info might be found when it pertains to US statistics.

  67. hungryjoe says:

    What if she is convicted? What then?

    Do we have ANY details of the prosecution’s case?

  68. victorvodka says:

    The media simply assumes that their white audience won’t have empathy for a black girl who had been mistaken for a hooker. Obviously, if she’d been mistaken for a member of, say, a polygamous sect, she wouldn’t have received a “this is payback for us getting a black president” beat down. But being mistaken for a hooker – in the minds of many in white bread suburbistan, that’s 95% of the way to being a hooker.

  69. Timothy Hutton says:

    ARKIZZLE – I didn’t make a big thing of it, I asked a question. Faustus tried to assert I was somehow defending the police or blaming the little girl – I did neither, all I said was it struck me as odd. I asked how common this was (breakers outside), and the responses I’ve seen show I’m not the only reader that lead such a sheltered life and that this is fairly common in dryer climates…

    We’re on post #104 (and counting) in this thread, I don’t think my innocent question was such a distraction, and I think my defense against insinuations from others is justified.I threw it out as a side note in post #48, after attempting to explain the lack of media coverage, which was Mark’s last line in the original post, and a question to the reader:

    For the life of me I don’t understand why the national media hasn’t jumped all over this story.

  70. mdh says:

    Better question – When did it become a crime to run from POLICE jumping out of an unmarked van on your own property?

    A: The day you moved to Galveston.

  71. Takuan says:

    Arkie: “Uphill! Both ways!

  72. Phikus says:

    2) This case is totally covered in number 2…

  73. Anonymous says:

    In the original story that I read, (no citation, read it circa the first post) it said she screamed for her daddy to come help her, and ‘resisted arrest’ (pulling back, saying ‘let go!’) When her daddy came out, he threw a few punches.

    Wouldn’t we all behave this way?
    The insane fact of taking her from school weeks later and charging her, is what cements the insanity. If her father really did punch them, they *might* have been able to charge him for assault.

    My best guess? She kicked the big bully in the nuts, and no-one can touch his jewels unless he makes them.

  74. Brainspore says:

    @ Steve #102:

    Why do people fail to realize the police are also innocent before proven guilty? One side of the story isn’t enough to make a decision, but I guess it’s enough to justify the soapbox about The Man.

    Because in this case even the Police version of the story doesn’t paint them in a very flattering light. It’s bad enough that they weren’t charged for anything they did, but to turn the blame onto the victim for defending herself against wrongful arrest is disgusting.

  75. arkizzle says:

    Safety Panda makes me anxious :(

  76. randalll says:

    The “won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children” mentality on this website is ODD.

    Having a 12-year-old flip a circuit breaker is some sort of problem? 12-year-olds are hacking their cell phones, but utterly incapable of understanding how an ON-OFF switch works?

    I think a lot of people around here have this idea that human beings under the age of 18 have the mental capacity of a household pet.

  77. Spikeles says:

    Seems kinda obvious to me why the media isn’t all over it.

    This article says:

    Our initial blog item spread across the Web like wildfire, and within days big boys like CNN, Good Morning America and Inside Edition were trying to book Milburn’s attorney, Anthony Griffin, on their shows to discuss the case. But to no avail.

    Griffin tells Hair Balls that he simply ignored their offers without even a return phone call because it was the holiday season and because, as a Galveston resident who survived Hurricane Ike, “I’m more concerned about the hurricane than I am anything else right now and getting my office back together,” says Griffin.

  78. buddy66 says:

    #35,

    Thanks for the nudge. NPR Alert it is then.

    I have many reasons to be ashamed of a former profession I was once proud to practice, but this is a particularly egregious one.

    “What’s the point of this story if it doesn’t make us try to help?”

    You are absolutely right.

  79. Anonymous says:

    A TWELVE year old girl in prostitution is a TRAFFICKING victim. Under statutory rape laws she CANNOT consent to sex with someone over a certain age–it is called statutory rape! So how on earth does some jerk handing her a twenty dollar bill make it consensual?

    Regardless of what she was doing, the police should have been HELPING her, not arresting her or beating the s@#t out of her.

  80. aluxeterna says:

    Result: Jury deadlocked, supposedly with only one holdout who refused to consider the now-14-year-old guilty. Wow. So apparently it goes to a third trial now.

    http://gcpolicenews.com/index.cfm?act=Newsletter.cfm&category=News%201-2&newsletterid=12145&menugroup=Home

    The amazing thing is, even reading the cop side of the story on the above site, one immediately recognizes just how dreadfully wrong the officers were, in so many ways.

    Oh, and how classy is it of that GC Police News site to include a picture of the girl at the bottom of the page?

    I pray only that this girl and her family find the strength they need to not be broken by this utterly reprehensible sith.

  81. Summer says:

    #13: she wouldn’t have received a “this is payback for us getting a black president” beat down

    Time-warp?

  82. arkizzle says:

    Uphill? Ha!

    Before that we had to fuse our wires by hand, pinkies for 13 amps, circuit breakers be damned! And we didn’t even have a supply, we had to rub our rabbit skins together to light our house from the static..

  83. arkizzle says:

    ..And yes, we got 13amps from the rabbits. Vigorous rubbing.

  84. dprestidge says:

    As a Texan and as human being I’m ashamed (if not surprised) by the officers’ actions but truly shocked and appalled by the attempted cover-up by brining criminal charges against the innocent.

    I’ve let the Chief of Galveston police know my position (and you can too; his name is Charles Wiley, phone ***-***-***/Cwiley@cityofgalveston.org)and I’ll be contacting my local Congressional representative,14th Congressional District representative Ron Paul (http://www.house.gov/paul/contact.shtml) and Texas Senators John Cornyn (http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (http://hutchison.senate.gov/contact.cfm). Will it make a difference? Probably not but I simply refuse to let this incident involving the GPD fade into obscurity whatever the outcome of the court case.

  85. Timothy Hutton says:

    Consider Mike Nifong – he was punished, though not enough for me (I really think he deserved jail time, his reckless acts were, IMHO, criminal).

  86. nanuq says:

    “For the life of me I don’t understand why the national media hasn’t jumped all over this story.”

    Because the US now has a black president. Hence, racism is a thing of the past unless it involves black pastors saying mean things about white people. Any suggestion of anti-black sentiment therefore doesn’t exist and should be ignored.

  87. ivan256 says:

    @MTHFTR:

    lt f 12 yr ld grls nd t b tld <>xctly tht. Bcs thy d.

    (They do not need to be beaten with a flashlight and falsely accused of assault in order to cover up a police atrocity. It’s too bad that the plaintiffs can’t be found guilty).

  88. emmagoldman says:

    race most likely played a part
    but aren’t we all like “post racial” now that we have Pres Obama?

    Oh, old habits why do ye die so hard?

  89. mdh says:

    I used to have to read by the light of my wint-o-green life savers, in the snow!

  90. nexusheli says:

    @ #8; Probably no more that she would just growing up in that neighborhood with parents that force her to go outside to trip the circuit breaker. Would you trust your 12-year old in a household electrical box? Sh*t, I’m half scared of them myself…

  91. Takuan says:

    @60
    I’m old enough to read between the lines: pigs guilty.

  92. Brainspore says:

    The story of this girl’s arrest is a horrific case of police abuse that, sadly, could have happened in almost any city across America.

    It’s the fact that she was actually charged instead of being offered a huge settlement that makes this case astonishing. That the D.A. decided to bring this case to court TWICE (after the first ended in a mistrial) leaves me grasping for superlatives.

  93. Brainspore says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how anyone, much less 12-year-old girl, can be charged with assault for resisting arrest on their own property when the police have neither a warrant nor probable cause.

  94. metafactory says:

    @14.

    Just because a shitty lawyer doesn’t return phone calls doesn’t let the mainstream press off the hook. We wouldn’t have much in the way of reportage if the press was so quick to drop a story.

    That said, while this is an interesting case to follow I’m reluctant to foreclose on the guilt of the police officers until the trial actually plays out and/or until I see some better reporting on this.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Another mistrial. Won’t be tried again. Still a very sad day for us in Texas. From the Galveston County Daily:
    http://www.galvnews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=504bac26167aab1c

  96. Anonymous says:

    #26
    A layered, textured story makes a bad story but a fantastic book and Oprah would gobble it up.

    As someone else said, it sounds like a kidnapping gone wrong.

  97. dectia says:

    Thirty days in the workhouse, but don’t you shed no tears, cause if I’d been a black man they’d a give me thirty years. -The Skeletons

  98. Xopher says:

    This is a truly appalling case. I seem to have missed the really nasty stuff, which I’m glad of.

  99. Anonymous says:

    This is really disgusting. Let’s say for the sake of argument that she was a prostitute. Why do 3 adult male cops need to beat, in her own yard, a 12 year old girl with a cop’s flashlight sufficiently to put her into the hospital. Keeping in mind the police usually carry large mag lights that weigh about ten pounds–how can 3 grown men justify this under ANY circumstances.

    As for resetting circuit breakers, my parents used to have me do it all the time when I was younger. We lived in a house where the breakers were frequently tripped by power surges in the house caused by too many appliances being turned on. A trained monkey could do it. It’s not that hard.

  100. Timothy Hutton says:

    I wasn’t trying to diminish the incident (re-read my first sentence), I was honestly asking because when I read the story that stood out to me. Since I’ve only lived in suburban homes in NJ, PA, and Northern CA I assumed my life experiences weren’t all inclusive, so I asked the question. I was so concerned about being accused of trying to foist some blame on the girl that I prefaced my question with the following:

    Also, while the girl had every right to be in her front yard doing whatever she wanted to, I have to ask about the circuit breaker in the front yard? What am I missing – why is the circuit breaker in the front yard? Is this common in Texas? Everywhere I’ve lived the “fuse box” has been indoors (basement, garage, closet)…

  101. Tom Hale says:

    OMG! She’s 14 years old now? How can the jurors even consider such a threat being set loose on an unsuspecting public? I’m going tonight to buy more pad locks for my doors. The horror!

  102. metafactory says:

    It turns out one girl named Dymond Millburn has been in the news before… She, along with two other teens “spent the majority of their weekends running and jumping their way to a pair of national championship track and field meets” in the Summer of 2008 (Galveston County Daily News – Jul 20, 2008).

    Obviously this doesn’t mean anything beyond general interest but it was only one of two stories that appeared in a Google News search. While the story is replicated over and over again in the blogosphere there is very little actual investigative reporting on it.

  103. Takuan says:

    OK Timothy, this is a touchy issue so everyone is touchy.

  104. Timothy Hutton says:

    ZAN said:

    Of course, no one has mentioned the drugs found at the scene

    Finding drugs on the premises when they were (reportedly) looking for three caucasian prostitutes on the street raises the possibility of “illegal search and seizure”, unless they had probable cause to search the house and yard…

    I, of course, ANAL, but I have watched countless hours of actors who are not lawyers in TV and movies written by folks that are not lawyers, so I feel qualified to spout my ignorant position head held high. ;^)

    But, back to the circuit breaker on the outside of the house (sorry Takuan), another aspect of it strikes me odd – it would never occur to me to ask a 12 year old child to go touch the circuit breaker on my house, granted modern circuit breakers are pretty safe (not like the old “fuse boxes” where a penny was a “suitable” replacement for a screw-in fuse).

    To be clear, I’m calling this odd, not wrong.

  105. dragonfrog says:

    A pet? Nah, I’d love to send my cats to reset a circuit breaker, if only they were tall and strong enough.

  106. Anonymous says:

    In response to 19, who said, “Would you trust your 12-year old in a household electrical box? Sh*t, I’m half scared of them myself…”

    A reasonably competent twelve year old could easily remedy a tripped circuit breaker.

    A breaker box doesn’t have any exposed wiring inside of it. It just has a series of circuit breakers, and a circuit breaker is just a switch. It is very easy to distinguish a tripped breaker (a tripped breaker switch will be in a different direction from the rest of the switches). To remedy it, one just has to push the tripped switch in one direction and then the other.

    In my opinion, that she checked the breaker box, in and of itself, doesn’t indicate anything negative about her situation at home.

  107. skatanic says:

    I was appalled by this story when you first posted it, but i am trying to figure out the point of this post. As far as i can tell there isn’t really any new information here, other than the trial is coming to a close.

  108. Ito Kagehisa says:

    If it’s not safe for a 12-year-old to flip a breaker, then it’s not safe for an adult either. Yet another reason we all need a faithful robot companion!

    http://shop.webomator.com/retropolis.shtml

  109. Anonymous says:

    It’s a girl of 12. Policemen beat a 12 year old girl. That is disgraceful. Those men should be ashamed of themselves for using their strength on someone so young. I believe this was held under wraps due to fear of riots. If I had anything to say to those policemen would be to rip off their badges and make them serve time. A little prison time “Oz style” should teach them a little humble pie. Beating up a little girl..what a disgrace! Police-DOGS is a more apt title for those brutes.

  110. Tom Hale says:

    #111 POSTED BY RANDALLL,
    “I think a lot of people around here have this idea that human beings under the age of 18 have the mental capacity of a household pet.”

    Sorry if we’ve given you that impression. I know that many parents know barely more than your average 12 year old about circuit breakers and household wiring, especially if there is a problem beyond a simple reset. If they aren’t comfortable with it themselves, they certainly wont be comfortable with their child resetting a breaker. .eg, my wife knows diddly about such matters, but my oldest son could probably rewire the house if he were so inclined. Still, she insists on resetting a breaker if one trips while I’m at work – even though the breaker box is in my sons closet. She’s afraid her little baby will get hurt. He’s 19.

  111. irishdaze says:

    RE Brainspore: It’s the fact that she was actually charged instead of being offered a huge settlement that makes this case astonishing. That the D.A. decided to bring this case to court TWICE (after the first ended in a mistrial) leaves me grasping for superlatives.

    I live in Houston (a large city close to Galveston), so I can tell you that DAs are elected here in Texas (I don’t know about anywhere else). That an elected official has decided to prosecute this case twice is exactly why I’m extremely curious as to what we don’t know yet.

    Maybe it’s just my inner-cynic peeking out, but I’ve suspected since before the first prosecution even occurred that something/s more happened than innocent-child-beaten-up-by-psycho-cops. If I’m right, and the story really is more complex, layered, textured, and grey-area than innocent-child-beaten-up-by-psycho-cops, then the lack of investigative reporting makes sense.

    After all, if a reporter digging into this finds out it’s not a Good vs. Evil, clear-cut bad guy/s, Rodney King sort of story, it’s just easier to walk away because layered, textured, complicated, grey-area stories just don’t have “Buy Me” headlines.

  112. cdalek says:

    And btw, this whole thread isn’t changing my opinion of Texas, especially Galveston. But now I understand why the prosecutors are pursuing charges against the girl: they want a conviction to use as evidence in her civil rights case.

    I think in this case Xopher has it exactly right. Because prosecutors are generally immune from civil suits of the type I assume this is (section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act), unless they becaome involved in the investigation rather than just the prosecution, there isn’t much harm other than the money being spent that will come to the prosecutor’s office (I would argue it lessens the office and erodes public trust,(and is just wrong and unethical) but I’m guessing they’re looking at the financial bottom line). The police officers and possibly the city and the police department (assuming there is a Monell claim) would still be on the hook.

    I’m guessing the police will attempt to use the repeated prosecutions as proof that reasonable people could differ on whether they had cause to arrest the girl while arguing for qualified immunity. Also, they may be hoping that eventually a jury will convict. If I read the story properly, most of the jurors were in favor of conviction. A conviction would result in any false arrest and malicious prosecution claims being dismissed, but the excessive force claim could still go forward.

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