Police Abuse

Texas Cop Who Assaulted and Arrested Innocent Woman Has Been Charged With Assault and Arrested

Man bites dog.

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KVUE

Just when you think the law enforcement industry has few-to-no internal checks and/or balances, a department up and surprises you by arresting one of its own for breaking the law. That's the case in San Marcos, Texas, anyway, where a patrolman was arrested today for assaulting a pedestrian.

According to KVUE, Cpl. James Palermo of the San Marcos PD was conducting a traffic stop around 1 a.m. on May 29 when a pedestrian happened to walk by his patrol car and the car of the driver Palermo had pulled over (for driving the wrong way down a one-way street). What happened next isn't all that uncommon in the annals of Cops Who Like to Throw Their Weight Around: 

A pedestrian walking by was called over by Palermo and asked why she was walking by his traffic stop. He then asked for the woman's identification. 

When the woman insisted she had done nothing wrong Palermo slammed her against the Prius; then onto the concrete driveway near his patrol car.

Palermo arrested the woman for obstruction. After his supervisors reviewed his report and talked to the pedestrian she was released.

Upon further investigation supervisors found the woman had lost two teeth and suffered a concussion during the illegal arrest.

Palermo was arrested for aggravated assault by a public servant. The woman is currently being treated for her injuries and could require further surgery, according to the affidavit.

The Austin AmericanStatesman provides some more context on the exchange (Hat tip to commenter John Thacker): 

She didn't look or talk to Palermo or the driver as she walked by, and she didn't make any suspicious movements or gestures, the affidavit says.

Palermo called her over and started talking to her about walking near the traffic stop, which was taking place in the driveway of a local business and near a sidewalk, the affidavit says. The woman disagreed that she did anything wrong, and the conversation became argumentative when he asked for her identification, which she couldn't immediately find, the affidavit says.

The woman insisted she had done nothing wrong and suggested he conduct traffic stops somewhere else, saying that he was apparently in a bad mood and taking it out on her, calling him a "dick," the affidavit says.

Palermo immediately moved toward her and she stepped back as he approached, the affidavit says. He grabbed her and pushed her against the back of the car he had stopped, then quickly spun his body and slammed her onto the concrete driveway between his patrol car and the stopped car, the affidavit says. He then handcuffed her and put her in his patrol car, saying she was under arrest for obstruction.

She was taken to the hospital, where medical staff told her and Palermo that she would need follow-up care for her injuries — broken teeth, a concussion and "other injuries as a result of Cpl. Palermo's actions," the affidavit says.

Palermo then took the woman to the jail, charging her with obstruction, resisting arrest and public intoxication.

After a seemingly lengthy internal investigation Palermo was charged today with "aggravated assault with serious bodily injury by a public servant, a first degree felony," according to a statement from the San Marco PD.  

BTW: "obstruction of justice" is code for not doing whatever a cop tells you to do the second he tells you to do it. 

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  1. A pedestrian walking by was called over by Palermo and asked why she was walking by his traffic stop. He then asked for the woman’s identification.

    WTF? Who does that? Even for a cop that sounds ridiculously unreasonable.

    Palermo was arrested for aggravated assault by a public servant. The woman is currently being treated for her injuries and could require further surgery, according to the affidavit.

    So cops get their own special designation when they assault someone? I wonder if that entails higher or lesser penalties?

    1. Austin American-Statesman has more context:

      Palermo called her over and started talking to her about walking near the traffic stop, which was taking place in the driveway of a local business and near a sidewalk, the affidavit says. The woman disagreed that she did anything wrong, and the conversation became argumentative when he asked for her identification, which she couldn’t immediately find, the affidavit says.

      The woman insisted she had done nothing wrong and suggested he conduct traffic stops somewhere else, saying that he was apparently in a bad mood and taking it out on her, calling him a “dick,” the affidavit says.

      Still just as ridiculously unreasonable, but that’s what set the crazy man off.

      1. Yeah, so knock a woman’s teeth out for being called a dick. Guess what? He’s not only a dick but a cowardly one at that.

        Badge or no badge, that’s about the lowest thing you can do is pummel a woman, if you’re a man. It’s something you can’t ever live down.

        Coward. I hope you’re married and your wife looks at your crooked – coward.

      2. but that’s what set the crazy man off.

        No, no it’s not. He started the whole fucking thing with his imperial attitude and by being a power-mad cunt. THAT’s what set it off.

        1. That’s what started it yes, but in my vernacular when I saw “set the man off” I’m referring to what immediately proceeded the idiot escalating the violence, not his original belligerent behavior. YMMV.

      3. “Palermo called her over and started talking to her about *walking near the traffic stop*. . . ”

        No, *this* is what set him off. The rest was inevitable.

    2. Higher penalties, when it’s actually charged (which is too, too rare.) I think that in many states plain old non aggravated assault can be a felony if it’s by a police officer.

      1. In Texas, if you kill a cop, it’s considered a capital offense punishable by death as opposed to killings of lesser people. We won’t ever have a free and happy country if we punish government employees, who are charged with the very duty of upholding “the law,” less than the regular citizen. We have it exactly backwards where the people in the position to abuse power, are immune from punishment, but the ordinary citizen must obey every jot and tittle of the law.

    3. I wonder if that entails higher or lesser penalties?

      Why, I’m sure they are held to a higher standard.

  2. He got arrested? We’ll see how far that goes.

    1. I went to school in San Marcos. First, those one way streets are just a way to get tickets into college kids hitting the square and having no idea where they’re going.

      That being said, I think it should be noted if the girl was a college student or not. San Marcos is a COLLEGE TOWN. without the university the town would die- so there is pressure to keep the cops from harassing the students too much. I’m wondering how much that came into play.

      1. I too went to San Marcos for college. “Eat ’em up cats!”

        And it’s good to see police face accountability there. Because when I was at Texas State, the cops’ harassment was ceaseless.

        San Marcos was where I first learned never to trust police. I was wrongly cited for “minor in possession” and when I showed up to court to challenge the citation, the prosecutor told me, point blank, “There’s no use in arguing against an officer because it is your word against his, and police always win that battle.”

        I think that may have been the moment I began the question authority and society in general. I attribute that experience to my current Libertarian/Voluntaryist persuasion.

  3. I’m still gobsmacked at the flailing baboons that make it into law enforcement and then they give them guns and power. Maybe some better hiring practices are in order along with some pre-hire psych screening, to screen out the witless thugs and bullies?

    I hope this woman cleans them out.

    1. You mean you hope the woman bankrupts the city resulting in dramatically higher taxes, while the cops all continue to get paid according to their contracts?

      1. I hope this guts the department.

        Fuck ’em. Reform has to start somewhere. Might as well clean shop and fuck the police union all at once. Appoint a civilian oversight committee with the power to impose sanctions. Maybe they’ll get better cops out of the deal.

        In the meantime, the county and/or state police can cover their jurisdiction, along with a better armed populace.

        1. In fairness, especially according to the more detailed Austin American-Statesman article, the Police Chief seems to have done the right thing here, and they seem to have used the dash cam footage instead of losing it.

          1. He did and good for him, but my sympathy tank for cops ran dry a long time ago.

            The goon had been there for 13 years. There’s no way this was the first time he’s done something excessively violent. He just didn’t get caught before.

            1. Well, sure, but I’d hardly want to close shop on the police force that seems to have a decent chief right now, and favor those that are better at covering up or ignoring.

              Some amount of actual bad apples are expected, since the job is going to attract people who enjoy power over others. I can’t complain about this department’s reaction, compared to, say, in Frederick Co. MD where some off duty cops killed a guy with Downs syndrome.

              1. They started the investigation 5 weeks ago. They’re just now arresting him. I’m sure a civilian would have received the same discretionary treatment.

                There are no bad apples; the entire system is corrupt and rotten. Any cop who has the temerity to rat out a bad cop is immediately ostracized by his fellow cops, if not outright retaliated against. Police unions immediately pull the wagons in a circle and do no policing of their own member base. Egregious and illegal behavior is routinely excused by many other chiefs across the country.

                SWAT teams now serve warrants on non-violent offenders and escalate situations where people and pets are routinely shot or killed. Elderly and pregnant woman are tased and beaten. The mentally ill are pummeled to death in front of family and care takers. They lie and concoct stories out of the whole cloth and then get busted by video (thank zod). They arrest people on meritless charges who annoy them, because fuck you, that’s why. They try to delete video evidence when they can and harass photographers doing nothing wrong.

                Oh fuck it, let Ken at Popehat cover it with footnotes.

                1. And Holder is worried about stand your ground.

                2. The entire system is corrupt and rotten, yes. Which means that if you bankrupt this particular force and put it under the jurisdiction of others, it will be worse. Because as bad as this PD is, 95% of them are much worse, judging from this article.

                  1. Criminal charges and convictions for asshole cops strike me as much more reasonable and likely to lead to a good outcome than what you’re suggesting, JW.

                    Immunity is a big part of the asshole cop problem, as is of course the reluctance to charge. Turning it into collective punishment, that generally won’t fall upon the cops at all, doesn’t strike me as effective. It’s a fallback we use because treating cops as individuals usually isn’t an option.

                3. “They started the investigation 5 weeks ago. They’re just now arresting him. ”

                  This is not at all unusual for investigation of either civilians or cops. I know a defense lawyer whose motto was, “Cops are slow. But they aren’t stupid. But they are GAWD awful slow. In the end, they will get to you.”

                  5 weeks is just over a month. That isn’t bad at all.

            2. It’s the departments where complaints are ignored or excused that are the worse ones, and all too common.

            3. Definitely. He wouldn’t have done something this brazen if he didn’t know from experience that he was likely to get away with it.

      2. Seeing as how San Marcos is a drunken college town, I doubt there’s much revenue to be collected outside of bars and restaurants.

  4. OT: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..04292.html

    The Zimmerman verdict makes The Wire creator David Simon “ashamed of identifying as American.”

    You know, I think The Wire is a great artistic work, but Simon is just a run-of-the-mill vacuous celebrity, isn’t he?

    1. He has his positive points (Eric Holder once asked him to make another season of The Wire; Simon said he’d do it if Holder would end the drug war), but for the most part, you’re correct.

      1. Yeah, but if he’s so dumb that he’s gladly accepted the invitation to the celebrity post-verdict pity party, he can’t be quite the sage his drug war stance led us to believe.

        Joss Whedon did have that anti-Romney video back in the fall. It wasn’t too smart, but it really wasn’t that bad. So far, I haven’t heard any opinion from him about the verdict, but for the sake of Firefly and Avengers fans, I hope he can hold off.

        1. Of course he is a retard. Sure he made an excellent series about crime and cops in Baltimore.

          But he lives there and still thinks: “you know what would make this place better? More Democrats!”

          1. Yeah, I noticed the NSA scandal doesn’t seem to be causing Simon any shame.

    2. Since we are on the subject of Zimmerman, I must ask if there is a more vapid twit and tool than Gawker’s Tom Scocca?

      1. “I must ask if there is a more vapid twit and tool than Gawker’s Tom Scocca?”

        Fixed.

      2. I read that, and I suppose I should side with Saletan, but I don’t even think he has an entirely correct take on this case.

        1. I mean, Saletan seems to assume Zimmerman’s action were motivated by racism. I suppose that could be true, but I don’t have any evidence to support it, so I’m wondering where Saletan is getting his evidence?

          I didn’t really cover this case really closely until the start of the trial, but I did pick up some tidbits during the early developments. But it has been my understanding that a number of supposed facts surrounding speculation of Zimmerman’s motivation haven’t withstood the test of scrutiny.

          Playing devil’s advocate, can someone offer anything that would support Saletan’s implications about Zimmerman?

          1. Every bit of factual evidence I’ve seen points the opposite way. He was tutoring some poor black kids and protested what he saw as the unjustified jailing of a black man, IIRC. I really doubt the dude is racist, at least towards blacks.

            1. At least not in a way that would negatively influence public opinion in what should be a straight up or down self-defense case.

            2. You’ve got to keep in mind that the crime of profiling isn’t absolved by any amount of tutoring. To the left, Zimmerman profiled Trayvon and got out of his car. That is the crime. What he should have done is realize that young black males are prone to going nuts at the least provocation, and stayed in his car. That’s the opposite of profiling, you see.

            3. Zimmerman is arguably black on his mother’s side. Have you seen his grandmother and great grandfather?

        2. Saletan’s take had some serious flaws, but it’s still miles ahead of just about every other liberal take I’ve seen out there. For starters, he was willing to admit that he was wrong, and that’s a huge leap for most liberals.

      3. Jesus. It’s a good thing they didn’t haul a Salon writer into that debate, or the Retard would have hit critical mass and destroyed the entire solar system.

    3. You know, I think The Wire is a great artistic work,

      I watched a couple seasons. I thought it was definitely good, but the whole ‘trying to be realistic’ thing while actually being ‘typical Hollywood bullshit’ was a turnoff.

    4. Was there another Florida vs. Zimmerman trial going on that apparently nobody on this board was privy to? Guys, are we discussing the wrong case? Unless Reason covered the trial with a granularity none of its leftist counterparts deigned to, I’m given to conclude we’ve got the wrong Zimmerman. I’m not certain how someone continues to parrot the old tropes after the State’s godawful performance and the lack of any evidence pointing to a racist history or motive on Zimmerman’s part.

    5. I saw his rant yesterday, and was sad to see that Simon had gone full Krugman. What was once a respectable, if flawed, writer has embraced the derp. His previous attempts at nuance have succumbed to boring, HuffPo-level platitudes.

  5. I’m impressed that he was arrested. I’ll be gobsmacked if he’s actually convicted.

    1. San Marco Police Chief Howard Williams said he found out about the incident the next day and ordered an internal review, which included video footage from the patrol car’s dashboard camera.

      I don’t know much about Howard Williams, but I like him already.

      1. It’s the five percent that are decent that give the rest a better reputation than they deserve.

        1. It does feel like honorable police officers are few and far between. It’s a shame because some police officers don’t deserve to be dragged in the mud by low life scum like this guy.

          1. Yeah, things like this – when we applaud Howard Williams (and reflexively I do as well), lots of us simultaneously think – it shouldn’t be an honorable mention for a police officer protecting the public by charging people like this with assault.

            It’s the rarity of Chief William’s actions which makes us honor the decision. And that rarity is sad.

            OTOH – Take a win when you can get one 🙂

  6. So is it too late for Bruce Bochy to add Yasiel Pugi to the NL All-Star team? It’s not like the fans deserve to see an exciting player liven up a boring exhibition game or anything.

    1. Seriously. Puig is the bomb.

      1. One of the AL players hit a shallow fly ball into right field that dropped in for hit.

        If Puig were playing he would have (at lest tried) to make a full-extended diving catch and then doubled up the runner at first.

        1. Fuck Pappelbon!

          1. And Ian Kennedy and the rest of the Diamondbacks.

    2. They should just get rid of the Some-Star Game.

      1. Yes, players who have been in the league for years and years, and have played for the entire half season are lesser stars than some guy who had a good month

    3. It’s not like any All Star pitchers know how to throw on the inner half.

  7. This link needs some love:

    https://reason.com/24-7/2013/07…..pains-unde

    It also advocates the creation of “mini-jobs,” which employ workers for up to 40 hours a week for up to $520 a month and are meant to incentivize those working in Spain’s underground economy to gradually shift into its official one.

    Really I can work for 120 hours for $520? I can make 4.30 an hour? Gee thanks! That’s a lot lower than however much untaxed money I’m making in the shadow economy! I’d be a fool not to sign up! And the admitting I was dodging taxes and working “illegally” that’s a bonus, like confessing my sins. I’ll be pure again!

    1. “This link needs some love:”

      Hey, I’m a regular at 24/7, so I know what you mean.
      But that’s statists tossing crap out as bait and hoping idiots bite.
      Sorta like the legislatures of the US and Britain griping that Apple didn’t pay what they hoped they’d get, just what the law said.
      Fuck ’em.

      1. To be fair, the link is ripe for lulz.

        1. Money shot:

          As much as $26 billion dollars in taxes are also being withheld from tax authorities?money that the government especially needs now amidst an acute financial squeeze.

          I realize that God, at least so the saying goes, helps those who help themselves, but I think the Spanish government might stand the recognize that its citizens, in “withholding” taxes, are amply capable of doing without their help. No need to play God with the good people’s money.

  8. …”he was apparently in a bad mood and taking it out on her, calling him a “dick,””
    She was entirely too kind. The guy’s a raging asshole.

    1. I think the words you’re looking for are “incipient psychopath.” Raging assholes might pop off and smack a woman, and they’d be confirmed in that regard, but only a psychopath exercises so little restraint toward a stranger in response to no provocation whatsoever.

  9. ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ is back and still pretty funny.

    1. I’ll look it up.

      1. I like Aisha Tyler a lot, but it’s just not the same without Drew Carey hosting.

        1. I’m a fan of Colin Mochrie.

      2. Is Greg Proops still on it? He’s an old acquaintance, we did some minor projects together about 20 years ago.

  10. Is there a better personal website?

    No, there is not.

    1. Can’t possibly be real…

    2. “please don’t right-click!”

      This is amazing.

    3. “made by mac”

      Gotta be a joke.

      1. Oh, it’s a joke all right. The only question is if it’s intentional.

  11. Oh God

    Salman Rushdie ?@SalmanRushdie
    The Unholy Trinity goes to the All-Star Game. Moore, Maher, Me. http://twitter.com/SalmanRushd…..65/photo/1

    1. Also in the crowd: Bloomberg and Giuliani.

      If ever there was a time for a meteor to hit Queens…

      1. I’m a Met fan who doesn’t want Harvey and Wright to die today but I think I’d sacrifice them to get The Most Punchable Man In the World to fit in an Altoids box.

    2. I don’t know why Salman Rushdie would willingly hang out with Michael Moore, considering that Moore is the sort of person who probably thinks the people who put a price on Rushdie’s head are just freedom fighting anti-imperialists.

  12. He will waive his right to a trial by jury. This way, he’ll be judged by another cop (the Judge) and be found not guilty. All while still receiving a paycheck.

  13. OT: But,

    W H A T … T H E … F U C K !!!!!!

    Hastings Body (allegedly) cremated without family permission. They received an Urn. Dude was, without a doubt, murder droned. I am no longer thinking I am tinfoil hatting here…this shit just got real.

    1. Holy crap!

    2. Hey [redacted] the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

      Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.

      All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

      Michael.

      Hey Edward Snowden! Come on home. Melissa Harris-Perry says everything will be fine. Obama will just torture and/or murder you.

    3. His death has always seemed exceptionally shady to me. If you had control of his car’s CPU, making him crash like that would be trivially easy.

      That said, I don’t see how cremating a guy who burned in his car could possibly accomplish anything.

      1. Disposes of any evidence that he was drugged and placed in the car?

  14. If you didn’t see BBC2 “Hunt vs. Lauda” this week, get yourself access to the BBC iPlayer or find a torrent fortwith!

  15. Newsreel footage of the 1965 Watts Race Riot, when “a 46-square-mile swatch of Los Angeles (was) transformed into a combat zone (over) six days.”

    1. Those old newsreels, with their dramatic music and Shattneresque newsreaders, are a hoot.

  16. Akon: Black people should go back to Africa

    R&B star Akon has suggested that African-Americans living in the US should move back to Africa following George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

    The Smack That hitmaker, who was born in Senegal, west Africa, took to his Instagram page after the trial in which Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter by a jury of six women in Sanford, Florida.

    Posting a screen grab of the live broadcast of the trial he wrote: “Every African-American in the United States needs to move their money, family, knowledge back to Africa were you will be treated like the royalty you are.

    “You don’t deserve this treatment. This is not your country.”

    An African singer who got rich in America and white nationalists agree: Go back to Africa!

    Instead of trial by jury, you can have trial by warlord. Or village elders. Or witch doctor. Or corrupt socialist regime. Lots of choices.

    Instead of being shot after beating a creepy ass cracka, you can be shot by child soldiers!

    And something, something, AIDS joke.

    1. If that were to happen, what would be the pc term for those expatriates?

      African-American-Africans?

      1. African-American-Africans?

        Easy targets.

        Also keep in mind that Warty is the King of South Africa before making any travel plans.

        South Africa is almost out of rape kits

    2. They would deserve everything that happened to them.

  17. Anyone following #WhiteRage on Twitter?

    1. Somewhat. Some of the creepy ass crackas of Twitter aren’t buying the narrative of how Trayvon died for their cracka-ass sins.

  18. In a just world he’d go to prison and get shanked. In this world however he’ll waive his right to a jury and be acquitted by a judge who regularly drives drunk with the knowledge that if he’s pulled over he’ll get a police escort to his mansion.

  19. Where is Dunphy to tell us what a tremendously appropriate use of force this was?

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