Who can blame Galveston plainclothes police who thought a 12-year-old girl standing outside her house (flipping the switch on the circuit breaker as her mother has asked her to do) was a prostitute? After all, she was wearing "tight shorts" according to the vigilant officers, and she happened to live only two blocks away from a location where someone had complained that prostitution was taking place.
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.
After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.
I guess the silly family expected an apology from the police. Like I said, silly. Instead, here's what happened.
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.
Here's the filing in the Texas Southern District Court.
I emailed Radley Balko about the apparent age discrepancy that some commentator have brought up. On a couple of social networking pages, the girls says she's 17, which would have made her 15 in 2006, not 12, as the article indicates. Radley says:
My guess would be that she exaggerated her age on her profile for those pages (as teen girls will do).
This track results page puts her birth year at 1993. If her birthday comes later than August, she'd have been 12 when the incident took place.
The vital records file for Galveston country show that Dymond Milburn was 12 years old when the police allegedly beat her.
Radley Balko posted an update clearing some misconceptions about the story here.