Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A gay man, self-defense and a tough cookie

Lucas Dawson was cleared of manslaughter charges brought by Philadelphia D.A. Lynne "One Tough Cookie" Abraham for stabbing his assailant in a gay bashing incident. You can read the links for the details suffice it to say that he didn't have a choice and tried to flee at first. The thing that makes this so interesting is that Abraham who tries to foster a reputation for being tough on crime brought charges in the first place.

The argument for charging him centered mainly on the fact that he is 21 and the attackers were under 18 including Gerald Knight Jr. who was 17. The officers involved said he used excessive force in trying to defend himself from youths who followed him for nearly as he fled from their taunts half a block and began punching and kicking him once they got him on the ground.

This new found concern for the use of appropriate force would have been appreciated in the cases of the videotaped beating of carjacker Thomas Jones and Officer Christopher DiPasquale who had a long record of brutality complaints and shot an unarmed teenage motorist twice (once in the head). In the Jones case there were no charges brought against the half dozen officers who held Jones down and beat him with batons while being videotaped. DiPasquale lost his badge not by anything the D.A. did but through a routine investigation by I.A.

She is in no risk of losing her job as she won re-election quite handily this month. The Republicans don't bother to put up a real candidate since this is a highly Democratic town and the Democrats will not support a challenger since she is so popular and what poltical organization is going to throw out a sure bet. I just wish she would do a little "soft cookie" once and a while.

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