Lawyer Intervenes Real-Time in Police/Motorist Assault
Any lawyer can beat an illegal traffic stop, but a lawyer with a cell phone can stop an illegal beating.
That's what attorney Deborah Baker-Egozi did when she witnessed a police officer assaulting a motorist. She took out her phone, recorded the incident and then told them she was a lawyer.
That stopped the cop, who quickly turned into your friendly neighborhood policeman. Baker-Egozi, however, was not done.
By the end of the day, Baker-Egozi was on her computer letting everybody know what happened. She posted it on Facebook and shared photos online.
"I witnessed a police officer's traffic stop walking back from court today," she said. "The driver had his hands on his head, was following orders and was silent."
She sized up the situation immediately. The driver was brown, his passenger black.
"The cop kicked him and screamed at him for over a minute an inch away from the kid's face," she wrote.
She intervened by offering to represent the young man, who accepted. The cop backed off, cancelled his call for reinforcement, and ultimately shook the driver's hand.
Baker-Egozi downplayed her heroism. She said advocacy is part of her "modus operandi."
"If a lawyer is walking by and can offer assistance to victims of police violence, it's our duty to do something about it," she said.
The press applauded Baker-Egozi, and the bar association will surely follow. The local police, probably not so much.
But her partners at Greenspoon Marder should give her a bonus, or at least a new cell phone.
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