Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Law Enforcement News

-18

Cop In Beating Case Broke Rules By Not Turning on Mic

Cop In Beating Case Broke Rules By Not Turning on Mic

Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix

March 11, 2011

STREAMWOOD, IL – A Streamwood cop videotaped beating a man as many as 15 times with his baton during a traffic stop broke department rules when he failed to use a microphone that would have also recorded audio of the incident, his deputy chief testified in court Thursday.

Who said what and when during the ugly scene in the early hours of March 28 could prove crucial in the trial of officer James Mandarino, who faces felony aggravated battery and official misconduct charges for the alleged attack on 28-year-old Ronald Bell.

Defense attorneys allege Bell, his brother and a third passenger who was twice tasered at the scene were uncooperative when Mandarino pulled them over for reckless driving outside Bell’s home in the 200 block of Juniper Circle, forcing Mandarino to use his baton.

But without an audio recording to document the dispute, Judge Thomas Fecarotta will have to make sense of conflicting accounts of the moments before the beating.

Testifying for the prosecution at Rolling Meadows courthouse as the bench trial entered its third day Thursday, Streamwood’s Deputy Police Chief James Keegan said Mandarino should have been wearing a radio microphone linked to his squad car’s video camera when he pulled Bell over.

Mandarino’s “use of the baton was inappropriate and unnecessary” and led to his dismissal in June last year, he added, also criticizing Mandarino’s decision to draw his handgun during the dispute.

Keegan agreed Mandarino had been an “outstanding” officer in his previous 15 years with the department, but rejected the defenses’ suggestion that a $250,000 jury verdict against Streamwood in an unrelated federal police brutality case just two weeks before the March 28 incident had anything to do with the decision to fire Mandarino.

Bell and his brother also have filed a civil suit against the department.

Two fire department paramedics and six Streamwood cops who responded to the scene after the beating or saw Bell later at the police station all testified that Bell was angry and uncooperative. Several said he seemed intoxicated.

But paramedic Steven Beach testified, “I might not be too happy if someone hit me upside the head.”

And Bell’s neighbor Joshua Hall testified he witnessed the alleged attack and ran to help Bell, shouting “Woah, woah” to try to stop the officer. The video of the incident was played in court Wednesday. The trial is due to resume Monday.


-18
  • Idf_soldier_and_kittyimage2_max50

    amramhakohen

    over 3 years ago

    206 Comments

    Taser, pepper spray, then arm bar baton techniqe to gain compliance and control for cuffing -- otherwise your carrer is in jeprody. Do not use your baton to strike (looks bad too). A knee in the back works wonders too. Pity that the officer overlooked turning on his mic. He's screwed.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    and just to make it clear im not defending him or anything Im just stating something ive heard

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Batons, I have been told are rather useless these days because they look so much more violent than they actually are and with everyone video recording officers it looks bad

  • Skull_max50

    DenverHammer

    over 3 years ago

    94 Comments

    When did we have to be audio and video recorded to prove we were right? Oh yeah, its when the spineless generation of administration took over. He did not comply and he was hit until he did. Its never a pretty picture arresting someone who does not want to be arrested.
    BACK YOUR TROOPS! or stand in front of them.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    42242 Comments

    My best to the officer. This situation sucks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    I saw the video, the officer very obviously tries to direct the suspect to the ground. with an arm bar technique i've taught it a million times The suspect very obviously resisted the arm bar, put his hands down on the ground and stayed on all fours instead of going prone to be handcuffed. Nobody is taught to cuff a subject when he is on all fours. The subject is actively resisting in a defensive manner at that point and mecanical control,including impact weapons are fully justified... His strike areas were good too. Any competent defense team for the officer will have a CDT/Use of force expert testify to that...I predict the officer will be cleared and get his job back

  • Jack_bauer_max50

    Allen705

    over 3 years ago

    1466 Comments

    Also the administrator not backing his troop in any way is just gutless. Why do they remove your spine before you become a police supervisor???

  • Jack_bauer_max50

    Allen705

    over 3 years ago

    1466 Comments

    From verbal commands to baton/deadly use of force option for someone failing to comply is bad. Nut up and go hands on or use your Taser(if available)or spray if further compliance is not gained. I have always heard, once you use your baton and your life in not in danger, your career is over. This is proof.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    tremor2

    over 3 years ago

    430 Comments

    If you saw the beat down on tape, most of you wouldn't be able to justify keeping that officer on your dept.
    If his dept. wants to base his firing on 'not turning on his mike,' then so be it, but the tape looked pretty bad
    to me. And yes, it's a well known fact that when incidents like this get captured on tape, a lot of depts.
    will fire the officer involved, possibly due to civil action. Let's not forget that the civil courts ultimately
    decide what we can and can't do as LEOs, whether we like it or not.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14618 Comments

    Now combine that with the apparent fact that this Officer had a 15 yrs clear record then I have to wonder if it was a beat-down or the Officer was trying to get him to comply. Officers now have come to rely too much on the taser and nightstick to take uncooperative suspect down instead of placing your hands on the suspect with a take down move like we did in the old days. I don't think I would have fired the Officer based on this evidence alone even though it did not look good. You have to look at the overall picture including his behaviour over the last 15 yrs.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 3 years ago

    14618 Comments

    Hard to say without the audio. The video alone shows the officer repeatedly striking him while seemingly ordering him to the ground. The Officer stoped striking when the individual put his hands down and went to the ground.

  • Wings_max50

    copper5817

    over 3 years ago

    892 Comments

    Wow, looks bad...unfortunately the video and testimony will be all they have to go on now...I am pretty sure I saw a head strike in there too which is considered lethal force in my department...By the way UNSPS2850, grady g has the right to express his opininion here just like everyone else and that does not necessarily make him a troll. His comments are definitely not out of line in this case. Besides, he's been here longer than you...

  • Beyondthegraceofgodnn8_max50

    TXPD

    over 3 years ago

    332 Comments

    The video link TLeeworth posted does indeed have the video and...it dosent look good. I usually jump to the defense of the officer but I fail to see how audio could change what I just saw. No matter what the guy was saying I can't see it justifying what the video showed.

    Good luck, Mandarino. You're gonna need it.

  • 1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

    ajsdaddyBPD

    over 3 years ago

    3080 Comments

    Typical. Thrown under the bus by admin, go figure.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Somebody get rid of the latest troll, gradyg...

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.