A Nightmare On Elm Street Redmond, WA
March 20, 2012 by staff
A Nightmare On Elm Street Redmond, WA, How a beat-down at a traffic stop became a three-year legal battle, Tionne Jordan knew he didn’t run the stop sign at Elm and 3rd Streets NW. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Lawrence Holland never saw him do it. It was only a hunch that made the officer, an 11-year veteran, pull his cruiser behind Jordan’s Dodge Spirit along the 200 block of Elm Street just before midnight on June 10, 1999.
So when Holland asked Jordan, then 20 and a student at the University of the District of Columbia, if he had just run the sign, Jordan asked the officer if he was really sure he’d seen it. Holland asked Jordan to step out of the car. Four minutes later, Jordan was in handcuffs, with bruises and deep lacerations to his head, face, left ear, and hands. He was bleeding “like a spout” from his head, Jordan remembers.
“This was something that had to be investigated,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Maisel recalls. Maisel had spent only four months with his office’s civil rights unit–the unit charged with investigating police use-of-force cases–when he saw a Fox 5 news report on the incident. Already, he knew that most of the dozens of cases he had to oversee were bad cases–cases with unreliable witnesses or victims who’d been caught committing a crime. Cases that would never pass the scrutiny of the jury.
“It is a rare case which you have witnesses who are truly independent and who saw what happened,” Maisel says. “In many cases, you have police officers as the only witnesses.”
Jordan’s beating, Maisel soon realized, was something else. Multiple independent witnesses all told the same story: Holland striking a passive Jordan with his slapstick as the student lay on the ground. “You had the whole 200 block of Elm Street watching,” he says. “And they didn’t know Tionne, and they didn’t know the officer.”
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