So, I planned to write about the Hubble space telescope and the fantastic images it's taken over the years, as Atlantis astronauts replace the camera to a high def one the size of a baby grand piano. The Hubble will have to wait (check out the slideshow I put together to the left, in the meantime, for a taste ..)
...because this morning as I was looking at space pictures, I saw this:
Onto Holy C8@p this picture is something else!
Have you seen this booking photo from the suspect in that pursuit yesterday? He may just be the scariest looking guy ever.
I sat watching my TV last night, and that video Justin Jaeger shot of the guy being clocked in the head by that cop's boot, thinking wow: those police are sure quick to say they think this guy is a member of a well known gang, like the city's most notorious El Monte Flores gang.
Well, now we know how. He has it tattoed ON HIS FACE, in the mustache position.
A quick Google search turns up plenty of instances of El Flores gang violence. We, in the news media, rarely include gang names in our report, in an effort to reduce the joy they take in being notorious and newsworthy. So, it follows that we don't have the names of these guys front of mind.
But the police do, and after clicking around on a few different police websites and also news stories about different gang intervention techniques that have been used in El Monte, it's quite possible the police involved in the pursuit yesterday not only knew that 24-year old Richard Rodriguez was a member of the Flores gang, they may have known he was Richard Rodriguez, too.
This in no way means that it was okay for the cop to boot him in the head and then high five his buddy, as is what appears to happen in the videotape of the suspect Rodriquez's surrender after the pursuit. Check that out, and Rodriquez with the 2nd scariest looking guy ever (the other suspect) as they sit in the patrol car together, in this video:
View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.
So maybe they were on the run for something horrible that police already knew about. Say, for instance, it's something like the suspect who opened fire on the Oakland Police officers who pulled him over and ultimately killed four of them two months ago. It turns out that suspect sexually assaulted two women earlier that same day, and was wanted for another rape of a 12-year-old girl. Say he was the prime suspect in the biggest mass murder in the history of the world, while we're at it. Does he really need a good swift kick in the head? The answer is probably no.
And no, we don't know what was going on in this police officer's mind at this point, but this one is going to be hard to explain. Some of the comments after the story on our website this morning:
The suspect laid down. You never kick a man when he is down. Degenerate or not he is still a human and the officer in question proved that the only difference between himself and the criminal is the uniform.
If kicking this scumbag is all the officer did, he showed enormous restraint. He should be heralded. When I look at this guys mug shot, I don't know why he was granted parole. He's just one more mexican gang member who should be locked away for the rest of his life.
It's like this. He lead them on a car chase - which ended in a collision - then he fled the vehicle and forced them to chase him on foot. And we're surprised that he got kicked in the head??? Please! Most adult men, especially those of us in the black and Latino communities know better than to run from the police. Their adrenaline is up, the endorphins have kicked in. Unless you just want a beat down, it is best not to run from them.
...and the most practical comment of them all:
you may not mind having your taxpayer dollars used to pay a criminal when he wins an excessive violence lawsuit, but I'd rather my money be used for something more beneficial. Those cops must have been totally oblivious to the fact that the news station helicopters were capturing their every blow.
So, yeah. We'll talk about the Hubble space telescope another day. The images it gets from 350 miles up are spectacular -- but who needs those, when you have NewsChopper 4? The images it got from 1200 feet yesterday are the ones everyone's talking about today.
Check out my extra post from yesterday here.
Editor's Note: This isn't the first time NASA has tried to one-up NewsChopper4. Score one for the little guy.
Editor's Note Extra: The Smoking Gun has compiled a gallery of striking booking photos, including this Stanislaus County inmate.