Local Naacp Calls For Evaluation Of Police Brutality

Federal Probe Wanted For 25 Cases Filed In The Past Three Years

March 22, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

The county chapter of the NAACP is calling for a federal probe into more than two dozen police brutality complaints filed during the lastthree years.

"We are taking 25 brutality cases filed in the county in the last three years, and we are going to have our statewide attorney, Charles Ware, forward them to the Attorney General's office for review," explained Jean Creek, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Creek said the request, which will be made to the offices of U.S.Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, will highlight the cases of Tony Lorick and Crystal Nelson.

Lorick -- a sergeant at the Jessup House of Correction -- filed a complaint against Anne Arundel County police Tuesday charging that officers used excessive force and humiliated his family during a late-night raid at his home.

Lorick, whose stepson was incorrectly identified as a suspect in a mugging, claims police barged into his bedroom without identifying themselves at 2:30a.m. last Thursday. When he demanded to know who they were, he says,they twisted his arm behind his back and slammed him through aclosetdoor. His shoulder was dislocated in the incident.

County police are conducting an internal investigation of the Lorick complaint.

Nelson was shot to death during the eighth month of her pregnancy in a Severn drug raid in October 1989.

Both the county police and thefederal justice department have already cleared the officer who shot Nelson of any criminal wrongdoing. Creek still believes the shootingwas not accidental. A state NAACP survey in October 1990 of police brutality complaints statewide listed Anne Arundel Countyas one of thefive worst jurisdictions in the state, though it did not compare thenumbers of substantiated claims.

Creek said she wants what she says is a general pattern of white officers abusing black citizens investigated by the federal agency.

In the wake of a fury over the videotaped beating of a black motorist by four white police officers in Los Angeles, the Justice Department has already promised to review the estimated 15,000 complaints of police brutality filed across the United States during the last six years.

The federal agency received7,960 complaints of police brutality and conducted 3,050 investigations while seeking indictments in only 46 cases last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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