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Hot Springs, Arkansas: More Police Brutality on Go Skateboarding Day

A police officer in Hot Springs, Arkansas, was photographed actually choking a thirteen-year old boy before arresting him, and several others (which was captured on video), seemingly for... skateboarding.
13 year year old Jarad Graham being
13 year year old Jarad Graham being
A video is circulating the likes of MySpace and YouTube wherein several young boys- and one girl- in Hot Springs, Arkansas, decided to celebrate Go Skateboarding Day. While skateboarding downtown, one was arrested- and it appears to be because he was skateboarding.

One youth took a picture of the Officer Joey Williams on top of thirteen year old Jarad Graham, who was facing up, and Williams has his hand around the boy's throat. After handcuffing the child, he chased the person who took the photograph, leaving the child in handcuffs. Williams later comes back, takes the child to speak with him away from his friends, and tells the boy he was in violation of city ordinance and resisting arrest... resisting arrest for what? WHY was he arrested in the first place?

When his friends come to listen, Officer Williams tells them all to go away, and that they're all in violation of city ordinance as well. He then proceeds to arrest several more people, taking the video camera and setting it on the sidewalk.

The video can be viewed here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6AYVn2yw4

I was able to reach the mayor, Mr. Mike Bush, for comment just moments ago, and was told that directly after the incident, the officer in the video was placed on administrative leave (with full pay). They are currently in the process of investigating the incident, speaking with more than 40 witnesses including bystanders and downtown merchants in the area.

"Until the investigation is complete," he told me, "we're unable to make any conclusions about what happened." When I asked him about the video, he told me he had seen it. "It's awful," Bush said. "It looks just terrible."

Remember, folks. SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME.

ARRESTED: Jarad Graham, Drew Irwin, Matt McCormack, Skylar Nalls, Robbie Brindley, and Casey Canturbury.

Here are some telephone numbers!

Bobby Southard, Chief of Police
Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department

Phone: 1: (501) 321.6789
Phone 2: (501) 321.6740
Email:  bsouthard@cityhs.net

Mayor - Mike Bush (501) 623-6863

San Francisco homeland security police 26.Jun.2007 21:22

cp

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8nukbwopo

This one was really good as well. Some boys are skateboarding by the courthouse, and seem quite calm and normal, and one of these two officers acts so unprofessionally that it is difficult to believe this isn't all staged. Moreover, these aren't San Francisco police but a special bureau of the Homeland Security office who are acting as police.

Mafia Town 27.Jun.2007 10:35

rAT

Hot Springs is a Mafia Town. Always run by criminals, it still is. The Cicero, Illinois of the South. Every cop they have is a crooked rednecked goon. Poor kids.

It's a sport- like Baseball or any other! 28.Jun.2007 09:47

anonymous...

As a mother of 2 boys that compete nationally for this SPORT (yes, they compete, have teams, and get contracts for this sport)- I CRINGE at the idea that people still have this misperception of skating.

If these kids had been playing baseball on a sidewalk, people would be outraged- well, I'm outraged- they WERE playing a sport, yes- against a very old ordinance, written before it was a national sport. It's NOT a crime to want to play in a sport. It's not a crime to want to play with your friends. The laws need to change, not the kids. We're teaching these kids to disrespect laws if we don't show them that we can CHANGE with time.

The city should be ashamed that they have not yet recognized they have a problem where kids in their city are into a sport they've provided no place for them to be allowed to participate publicly!

I feel so bad for these kids, a few bad adults can ruin a kid for life!

Born and Raised in H.S. 28.Jun.2007 19:28

Brian

At this point I am ashamed to admit that I ever lived in the city of Hot Springs. The police officers that patrol the downtown area have been out of control for quite some time. I knew that it was just a matter of time before the truth would be brought to light. I have watched the video and I'm appauled by what I see. Skateboarders being treated like thieves or drug traffickers. I can assure you one thing that, someone (Hot Springs, Taxpayers) will pay for this. Police brutality should not be over looked and with this on tape I don't see how it can be.

I'm friends with the kids in the film 29.Jun.2007 06:42

Jimmy LeCompt lecompt7741@yahoo.com

Back in the mid-late 90's we used to skate up and down Bath House sidewalks with no trouble except for the rednecks in high school who would try spitting on us from speeding pick up trucks. There were a few bad seeds, but everyone knew in the whole town which ones were bad. These guys are a younger crowd that I know and are good kids. Around 2000 is when this ordinance really was pushed... I received a ticket downtown from one of our local biker cops and he was a smartass. He said "There's a new sheriff in town!" as if he was some major figure around here. I started noticing signs with bicycles crossed out, rock shows that had any sort of punk rock beat were banned from Adair Park, yet every year we have these stupid ass Biker Rally weeks.
Thousands of Alcoholics using one end of Central Avenue to the other as their personal pub crawl...and they get away with reving their loud exhaust and speeding while local residents(I have lived in Hot Springs for 23 years)like me get harrased for having a cd up too loud which it really doesn't have to be loud to irritate them, just play some metal or rap. I'm ranting, but here is my point. Hot Springs is made for the tourist, not for living. Once they know you pay your taxes here, they treat you like dirt. That's why I moved to Little Rock. HS police try shutting down anything that will make a good time for the youth. Skateparks, rock shows, clubs, you name it. I'm glad I wasn't there to see this cop choking my friends, otherwise the fight could have gotten out of control. Oh wait, thanks to Williams it DID.

Arkansas Officer Returns Quickly Despite Choking, Chasing and Double Headlocks 06.Jul.2007 14:40

from arkansas indymedia

Hot Springs, Arkansas: Police Brutality on Go Skateboarding Day
 http://arkansas.indymedia.org/newswire/display/20963/index.php

Arkansas Officer Returns Quickly Despite Youtube Video of Choking, Chasing, & Double Headlockes
 http://arkansas.indymedia.org/newswire/display/20985/index.php

Dear National & International Press:

We as a united national and international community have decided to protest Officer Joey William's return to the Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department.

Despite the Youtube video which showed Officer Joey Williams choking, chasing, and head-locking teens in the down town Hot Springs, Arkansas business district, he has been cleared and released of all charges. We feel this is wrong.

The issue at hand is a national and international issue. It has an outstanding global buzz, thanks to the recent Youtube video and subsequent replies to this which were posted on the internet. (Youtube which first aired the video has now approximately 1,500,000 hits!)

In response to Officer Joey Williams return, we have organized a sustained economic and social campaign to challenge the allowance of Joey William's return to the police force, and also are challenging the laws which allow police brutalities to occur in our town- especially in our down town business area. "Police Brutality Is Bad For Business" is our slogan.

Our actions will begin this Sunday July 8Th 1:00pm, and Monday the 9Th at 9:00pm. The Monday night meeting will be a candle light vigil, and all events will take place in the Hot Springs down town area, address 256 Central Avenue.

For more information about the Hot Springs 6 and or our organizing efforts visit: www.myspace.com/unitedaid

Thank You,
Jason Waite
Organizer of The Protests & Civil Disobedience Campaigns
www.myspace.com/unitedaid
 jason_waite3@excite.com
home: 903.739.9102
cell: 940.595.6020
Officer Joey Williams of the Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department.
Officer Joey Williams of the Hot Springs, Arkansas Police Department.

LOLZ 06.Jul.2007 19:27

stephen Kavanaugh

ZOMG! You guyz are dumb. It is illegal to skate in the national park, on the sidewalks. They knew it. Those little feinds were pushing people over all day. They pushed down an old man before the cameras got there. They wanted to get arrested so you would buy into the shit. LOLZ

over a year later, this video is still meaninful 10.Nov.2008 20:33

veronica

This video shows a 200lb police officer assault a little girl. I am aghast. That no further repercussions came of this is confirmation, to the world, that Hot Springs elected authorities, media and general public lack the frame of mind to hold such forms of assault accountable. That nothing was done reflects not only on the authorities, but on all Hot Spring residents who stood by and allowed a man to assault children in broad daylight on a day that supposedly encouraged them to be active. I will never visit this place and I will make sure that I share this with my friends and acquanintances to ensure we never step foot in this place, not because we support skateboarding, but because we are parents who have just seen children assaulted by police officers. What a terrible city and what a terrible mayor and residents who just went by about their days in the weeks that followed, failing to make an exaple of this man.