Man with Down Syndrome beaten, pepper-sprayed by San Diego sheriff's deputies

A developmentally disabled 21-year-old man was hit, forced to the ground, and doused in pepper spray by California sheriff's deputies this week. Antonio Martinez was taken to a hospital, then detained for possible "obstruction of justice." He weighs 158 pounds, is 4'11," and "didn't respond to commands." Officers mistakenly thought he was involved in a domestic violence incident.


  1. Beating and terrifying a little disabled man, horrible.  What are wrong with these people?  Fire them, fire them now.

    1. In Colorado, a sheriff’s deputy attacked my friend, of whom has MS.  He claimed he was walking like he was intoxicated.  Well, of course he was.  He has MS and told the officer so, several times, thankfully in front of many witnesses!  Yes.  I’d like a lot more of these dipshits fired for not having any common sense.  That deputy cost the state’s taxpayers over 100K in an out-of-court settlement.

  2. [Martinez was] detained for possible “obstruction of justice.”

    One cannot obstruct that which is not apparent to begin with.

  3. Officers mistakenly thought he was involved in a domestic violence incident.

    Well he’s been involved in a violent incident NOW.

    1. Probably not, especially in that part of the county (I live in the city of San Diego) where that idiot congressman Darryl Issa comes from.  I’m sure there will be a long line of teabagger types rallying to the deputy’s defense. 

  4. “We made a mistake here.”

    Boy, that’s only slightly better than “We take this issue very seriously.”

    Edit: Sorry. Not until I scrolled further down the postings did I realize they consulted with MurderFuck Industries.

  5. My mother-in-law works providing services to developmentally disabled people in our community and I can say this is not an uncommon incident. I have no experience or grasp of the proper terminology here so bear with me, but as I understand it, it is very common for mental disabilities to come with what we would view as physically agressive behavior; hitting, grabbing, biting, etc. She works hard to create training guidelines that have moved local institutions away from heavy restraint and physical remedies for outbursts, but this is fairly new to the field of care and varies from institution to institution. 

    If care givers who specialize in developmental disabled care are not well trained in the proper manner to handle these situations, you can imagine how far remove the police are from proper training. Incidents she has told me about involving police seems to follow this story closely; police arrive, can’t employ the standard situational command and compliance they usually use, and resort to physical restraint. Just goes to show there should be less emphasis on military-style training for police and more on community care skills.

    1. Yep. My brother has Down’s, and while he is very social and amiable, he has a definite stubbornness that I’m sure would rankle the hell out of the compliance-demanding authoritymonger police-type. I mean, they’re willing to taze the shit out of an incapacitated non-compliant kid with a broken neck on the side of the road, so what chance does someone who can say “No!” stand?

      1. “To protect and serve” indeed.

        …and (Martinez) didn’t respond to commands.

        Didn’t respond to commands.  You see, that’s the thing.  Whoever doesn’t kneel before Zod within a minute, gets their skull cracked in, no questions asked.

        I’ve heard these cops aggressively yell orders out of the blue, become agitated at the smallest perceived transgression, confuse and scare the shit out of people who haven’t done anything “wrong”, whatever that means.  Take away the uniform, looks and sounds like an unstable individual on meth.

        If your presence in a situation is supposed to bring things down a notch or three:  YOU’RE! NOT! HELPING!!!
        If your presence makes things worse, well what are you doing wearing that uniform?

  6. while trying “to gain compliance and prevent a possible escape,” he used pepper spray 
    Wait.. what? To gain compliance? He attacked an unarmed non-threatening man with chemical weapons because he didn’t answer questions?

    “The deputy began using a baton as an agitated crowd approached, the spokeswoman added. The deputy hit Antonio Martinez with it, forcing him to the ground, then levied “a couple more strikes to get his hands free,” “Then he beat him with a club because he did not answer questions.It doesn’t matter at that point if the victim had downs or not. Unresponsive suspects should be cuffed and taken in for questioning, not attacked and beaten.

    This guy should not be fired, he should be brought up on criminal assault and battery charges. He should also be denied bail as he has demonstrated that he is a public danger.

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