Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
A dry heat in Denver? Try a wet one.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
A brutal fall in a run from police is a far cry from police brutality
| The pursued man reached the dead end at right and jumped |
onto the small roof and landing,
which ends abruptly at scaffolding and a 19-foot drop.
And, as far as we can tell, in the case involving Darryl Mount, the young man in a coma at Albany Medical Center after a downtown police chase last week, there wasn’t brutality.
If you know otherwise, where are you?
Here’s how the Saratoga Springs Police Department tells it: At about 3 a.m. Aug. 31, officers saw a man smash a woman’s head into a wall outside a Caroline Street bar. They chased him up Broadway and around the corner to the new alley between Cantina’s and Northshire Books, tried unsuccessfully to stop him with oral commands and Tasers, lost sight of him, and found him behind the building below construction scaffolding. At 3:08 they called for emergency medical assistance for a “male fallen approximately 15 feet (with a) head injury,” and initially handcuffed and then uncuffed him. The fire department medical responders took the unconscious man by ambulance to the hospital.
The day of the incident, someone who knows the family emailed me and said the woman’s head wasn’t smashed and she will say so; that witnesses saw the man interacting with police, and that pictures show injuries inflicted by police.
“The family just wants the truth to be told and justice to be served,” the family friend said.
I gave her my mobile phone number. Nothing.
Instead, family members and 50 or more others marched outside City Hall to decry police brutality for which no evidence has been produced.
Then, on Saturday, someone who knows Mount told someone who told me that someone has video showing police taking him away, proving he was beaten senseless between his arrest and landing in the hospital.
But police say he was taken away by ambulance, unconscious.
If you were on Caroline Street and Broadway at 3 a.m. last Saturday and have a story to tell, The Saratogian wants to hear it. So does the police chief, who publicly said he will personally talk to anyone who comes forward (584-1800). People can leave messages at www.saratogapolice.org or call anonymously at 584-TIPS.
To recreate the scene of the incident, walk to the dead-end of the alley where police pursued Mount, as I did, and you’ll see the railing he climbed over and the small roof onto which he ran. To see more, you have to walk around the block to Putnam Street and into the alley between Gaffney’s and Izumi to the rear of The Washington Building, which houses Northshire Books and is still under construction. You can see the landing ends abruptly, and the options are to leap onto the Gaffney’s building fire escape or a fall through the scaffolding to the ground more than 15 feet below.
Police say the head-smashing is on video, which The Saratogian has requested under the state Freedom of Information Law.
We don’t know Mount’s prognosis, though one of his aunts said Saturday that he is off the ventilator and a barbecue fundraiser to assist with his medical bills will take place at the Eagles Club on Crescent Avenue near Lake Lonely on Sunday, Sept. 22. An account has also been set up for him through the Trustco banks.
We don’t wish the injuries Darryl Mount suffered on anyone. And we do want justice served.
If there’s more to the story than a chase and a dreadful fall, let’s hear it.
Barbara Lombardo is managing editor of The Saratogian. Her blog, Fresh Ink, is at www.saratogian.com.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
UAlbany to help Tunisia train tomorrow's journalists
|From left, University at Albany biology professor John Schmidt,|
UAlbany Journalism Director Nancy Roberts, and
Moez Ben Messaoud, head of the Communications Department
of Tunisia's Press and Information Sciences Institute.