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Gay couple allege police brutality in responding to domestic quarrel

Friday, January 21, 2011
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PHILADELPHIA — A gay couple has filed harassment and brutality charges against the local police department, and claim they were taken out of their homes and beaten in the snow by 10-12 officers with batons. Several neighbors reportedly have photographs and video.

In late December, police were called to the home of partners Luis Berrios and Jason Mendez after a neighbor heard what they thought was a domestic dispute.

Officers allegedly handcuffed Mendez and dragged him outside, shoved him in the snow and started beating him with their batons, screaming “nigger” and “faggot.”

When Berrios demanded that the police stop beating his partner, they did the same thing to him.

Via the Philadelphia Gay News:

“I don’t know what he did with the baton but it felt like he put it between the cuffs and just started twisting it back the opposite way,” Berrios said.

“I kept telling him how much it was hurting and he just said, ‘Shut up, pussy faggot.’ I closed my eyes and all I could hear was Jason screaming. And I told him I have a dislocated wrist, and he said, ‘Shut the fuck up, or you’ll have a broken wrist.’ He said, ‘Let me hear you squeal, faggot.’

“And I just started screaming in pain and telling them to just take me, to just put me in jail if they wanted to, so he’d stop. I begged the other officers to make him stop and my neighbor was standing there crying because she knew she couldn’t do anything. I was crying and finally just started banging my head against the windshield to try to knock myself out because I was in so much pain.”

Police allegedly picked the men off the ground by their shirts and pants and threw them head-first into the squad cars (missing the first time so they landed on the ground face-first).

The couple claim that several neighbors were watching, crying and have photos and videos of the event.

Berrios filed the complaint with Internal Affairs on Dec. 30, and again on Jan. 13 after he was told they had not received his complaint. No official action has been taken.

Barrios was bailed out the day after the incident by a neighbor, but Mendez remains in custody because he was on probation over a drug charge last year.

South Carolina
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