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  man who was beaten up by new orleans police for being drunk says he hasnt had a drink for 25 years!!!!

Original Article

Beaten retiree denies police accusations

Rachel La Corte Associated Press Oct. 11, 2005 12:00 AM

NEW ORLEANS - A retired elementary teacher who was repeatedly punched in the head by police in an incident caught on videotape said Monday he was not drunk, put up no resistance and was baffled by what happened.

Robert Davis, who said he had returned to New Orleans to check on property his family owns in the storm-ravaged city, said he was out looking to buy cigarettes when he was beaten and arrested Saturday night in the French Quarter.

Police have alleged that the 64-year-old Davis was publicly intoxicated, a charge he strongly denied as he stood on the street corner where the incident played out Saturday.

"I haven't had a drink in 25 years," Davis said. He had stitches beneath his left eye, a bandage on his left hand and complained of soreness in his back and aches in his left shoulder.

A federal civil rights investigation into the case was to begin. Davis is Black. The three city police officers seen on the tape are White. Police spokesman Marlon Defillo said race was not an issue.

Two city officers accused in the beating, and a third officer accused of grabbing and shoving an Associated Press Television News producer who helped document the confrontation, pleaded not guilty Monday to battery charges.

Trial was set at a hearing Monday for Jan. 11. Afterward, officers Lance Schilling, Robert Evangelist and S.M. Smith were released on bond. They left without commenting.

Police Superintendent Warren Riley said any misconduct would be dealt with swiftly. He noted the video showed "a portion of that incident."

"The actions that were observed on this video are certainly unacceptable by this department," Riley said.

Two other officials in the video appeared to be federal officers, according to police. Numerous agencies have sent officers to help with patrols in the aftermath of Katrina.

Stephen Kodak, an FBI spokesman in Washington, said none of its agents had been disciplined. He said the FBI was taking part in the Justice Department's civil rights probe.

Davis said he had been walking in the French Quarter and approached a mounted police officer to ask about the curfew in the city when another officer interrupted.

"This other guy interfered and I said he shouldn't," Davis said. "I started to cross the street and - bam - I got it."

He said he did not know why the punches were thrown.

The APTN tape shows an officer hitting Davis at least four times in the head outside of a bar.

Davis twisted and flailed as he was dragged to the ground by several officers. Davis' lawyer said his client did not resist.

"I don't think that when a person is getting beat up there's a whole lot of thought. It's survival. You don't have a whole lot of time to think when you're being pummeled," lawyer Joseph Bruno said.

Davis was kneed and pushed to the sidewalk with blood streaming down his arm and into the gutter.

The officers accused of striking Davis were identified as Schilling and Evangelist.

Mayor Ray Nagin said, "I don't know what the gentleman did, but whatever he did, he didn't deserve what I saw on tape."