Nightmare in Texas

From the Houston Press:

It was a little before 8 at night when the breaker went out at Emily Milburn’s home in Galveston. She was busy preparing her children for school the next day, so she asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to pop outside and turn the switch back on.

As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.”

Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.

How do you think this news story will end? There’s no way it will end well, but there’s a twist to this story.

As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.

Dymond is black. She was hospitalized due to the injuries she sustained from the officers’ attack.

So how does the Galveston police department respond to this attempted kidnapping of a child at her own home? Well, to start, they went to Dymond’s school and publicly arrested her for assault three weeks later. From when she fought back against her kidnappers. They arrested her father, too. For when he fended off the three men with a van who tried to abduct his daughter. Then they decided to take her and her father to trial for their “crimes”. The trial is currently set for February.

The Milburn family is suing.

The officers’ lawyer says: “The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances.”

Don’t you just want to slam your head into a wall sometimes? I don’t have words to describe the egregiousness of this crime against the Milburn family. Their most basic human rights have been abused, and when that abuse was pointed out, those in authority responded by compounding the abuse instead of making amends. This is the stuff of nightmares. How will the Milburns and their community ever trust the police again?

Via Alas, a blog.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Nightmare in Texas

  1. This is beyond horrible. I can not believe that rather than apologize and make amends for the horrible treatment of the Milburns, the police would continue their despicable behavior. I can only imagine the kind of trauma that Dymond has gone through! I can not even imagine the way that this experience has and will continue to affect this young girl.

    How are the police getting away with this? How was their behavior in any way appropriate for the circumstances? Take away the badges, and this would be considered a terrible crime (which, of course, it is).

    Reading about cases like this, cases of harrassment of pregnant women, my own experiences of harrassment, so forth greatly worry me… It makes me think of the quote about who watches the watchmen.

    I wish I had something more profound to say. I just can not believe this.

  2. I realize I just commented, but I found this quote from houstonpress.com:

    “Since the incident more than two years ago, Dymond regularly suffers nightmares in which police officers are raping and beating her and cutting off her fingers, according to the lawsuit.”

    This is exactly what I was worried about (particularly post traumatic stress issues). The combination of physical and mental trauma that those officers put her through is disgusting.

  3. A lot of response to this article has been coming from men who say things like “if i see men trying to drag a poor innocent 12yo girl into a van, there’s going to be bodies!”

    What I think is key to notice is how this girl defended herself. She fought back against three grown men and screamed for help. According to the officers’ attorney, she even broke free at one point and ran away. (I am not sure if they caught her again before her dad came out.)

    Anyway, kudos to her for defending herself against 3 men!

  4. Agreed! Do we want to encourage kids to not fight back when being assaulted?

    I also noticed two other things which are bothering me. The headline of the article on the website I mentioned says “Police… Allegedly Assault 12-year-old Girl”. If she was in the hospital with a black eye and injuries to her throat and ears, how is that “alleged” assault? Regardless of whether or not she had physical signs of the assault, it was still assault!

    Also, if this treatment was deemed appropriate for the circumstances (I realize that this was NOT a case of prostitution), is this the way that prostitutes or other sex workers are typically treated by the police? Kidnapped and assaulted? I was not aware that prostitutes were so dangerous (especially the very young ones)! Additionally, if a child were being forced into sex work, is that how you would help them safely leave that situation?

  5. You’ve hit on an important point there. Even if she were a 12yo prostitute, that treatment would have been criminal. Unidentified plainclothes policemen hauling anyone into an unmarked van is NOT OKAY.

    So apparently if she had been a prostitute, they would have just got away with this criminal treatment. I’m so disturbed I don’t really know how to handle it. I mean, would writing a letter to the Galveston police really do anything? It seems like it would just make them madder, and they would try to take out their anger on the Milburns again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s