WARREN Video camera kept close by to record police harassment, beaten man says

By Peggy Sinkovich

Saturday, July 5, 2003


The man called the police 'a gang with a badge and a gun.'
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Past police harassment on Kenilworth Avenue Southeast prompted a neighbor of a man beaten by police to keep a video camcorder on his front porch.
The videotape of Lyndal Kimble's arrest has been shown repeatedly on local and Cleveland news channels. Kimble showed the tape to other reporters Tuesday.
The tape, which was recorded during the arrest about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, shows officers Greg Hoso, Michael Stabile and Frank Tempesta struggling with Kimble.
The tape shows one of the officers throwing the 29-year-old Kenilworth Avenue man on a cruiser and then to the ground.
Kimble also was sprayed with a chemical repellent.
"The police have been doing this stuff for years," said Kimble, adding he was beaten by police during the arrest.
Facing charges
He is charged with felonious assault, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence and felonious possession of drugs.
He pleaded innocent Monday and was released after posting a $20,000 bond.
Kimble, who said he is unemployed, had more than $2,000 on him when he was arrested.
"I never feel safe with the Warren police. That is why that camera is kept on the porch so that we can record what is happening. I'm just sorry I am the one who had to take the punishment," said Kimble, who was wearing a sling around his left shoulder.
"The police are a gang with a badge and a gun. It's not just a race issue; they do this to white people, too."
Kimble is black; the arresting officers are white.
He said police returned to the area later that day and videotaped the man who took the original videotape.
Reported injuries
Kimble said the episode left him with shoulder and neck injuries and he's had a hard time swallowing and sleeping.
The police officers fought with Kimble because he resisted arrest and had suspected crack cocaine in his mouth, said police Chief John Mandopoulos, noting the officers also were injured.
"He was told numerous times to spit out what was in his mouth," the chief said. "If he would have swallowed that [drug], he could have been seriously injured."
Greg Hicks, city law director, said the object taken from Kimble's mouth was determined to be cocaine in a test by the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, the county's forensic pathologist, said ingesting cocaine can cause death.
Even though Kimble has not filed a written complaint, the department already has started an internal investigation.
The chief, however, said a preliminary review of the arrest does not show excessive force was used.
The officers continue to work while the investigation is pending.
Attys. Richard Olivito and Sarah Kovoor, who represent Kimble, said their client is considering all legal options.
Videotapes taken from two squad cars at the scene didn't show much of the arrest and after Kimble was placed in the cruiser he apologized to the officers for his actions and pleaded for water.
"I said I was sorry because when you feel like you are dying, you will say anything," Kimble said.
Tom Conley, president of the Warren-Trumbull Urban League, said he has contacted the U.S. Department of Justice and is waiting for a response.
"I hope this makes the police stop what they are doing to people," Kimble said, as he was walking in his front yard. "I'm really a very, very nice guy."
sinkovich@vindy.com