Civil rights activists plan a courthouse demonstration.
WARREN -- Trial is scheduled to begin today for a man whose scuffle with Warren police during his arrest was videotaped and played on national news broadcasts.
Lyndal Kimble of Warren is charged with possession of cocaine, assault on a police officer and tampering with evidence. Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court is presiding over the jury trial.
A bystander videotaped a traffic stop June 28, 2003, and Kimble's subsequent arrest. The tape appeared on local and national broadcasts. Warren police said Kimble swallowed a small bag of suspected drugs before resisting the officers, who were trying to get him to spit out the evidence.
Some civil rights protesters are expected at the courthouse, and city police will be on hand to keep public access open to the building. The Cleveland Independent Media Center, for example, has a link urging visitors to "Protest Police Brutality in Warren."
"Join activists and community members for a highly visible picket in front of the Trumble (sic) County Courthouse Valentine's Day at 9 a.m. to defend civil liberties and human rights," it urges.
The center says it is "part of the worldwide network of collectively run media outlets creating radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth."
Kimble's supporters also thronged the municipal courtroom of Judge Terry M. Ivanchack in July 2003. Tom Conley, president of the Warren-Trumbull Urban League, asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case. Kimble is black; the arresting officers are white.
Atty. Richard Olivito is representing Kimble.
Kimble of Kenilworth Avenue Southeast, 29 at the time, was stopped in his driveway by Patrolmen Greg Hoso and Frank Tempesta after he failed to signal a right turn at Colonial Street Southeast and Niles Road at 1 p.m.
Hoso was treated at a local hospital for neck and arm injuries in the struggle to make the arrest and recover the suspected drug. Kimble had an arm injury.
Kimble, who previously had been convicted in May 2000 of trafficking in crack cocaine, had more than $2,000 on him when he was arrested, reports state. Kimble also had what police believe was a rock of suspected crack cocaine and told a paramedic he had swallowed suspected marijuana before his arrest.
One of Kimble's Kenilworth Avenue neighbors made the tape showing Hoso, Tempesta and Officer Michael Stabile struggling with Kimble. The tape shows one of the officers throwing Kimble on a cruiser and then to the ground. Kimble also was sprayed with a chemical repellent.
Videotapes taken from two cruisers that were at the scene didn't show much of the arrest. Police can be heard telling Kimble to spit out whatever was in his mouth.
The Cleveland Independent Media Center site says, "Though the prosecutor, defense attorney, and media all have multiple copies of the tape, the prosecutor is trying to make it inadmissable on the basis of it not being the original copy. For this banning of the tape to be allowed, and for the ludicrous assault charge to not be shown for what it is, is unacceptable."