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Adrian McKoy’s injuries
On September 2, 2010, Medical Assistant Adrain Mckoy was driving his newly purchased, used car to pick up his three children, ages 5, 4, and 2, from nursery school. He was keeping his promise to take them to Chucky Cheese for a birthday celebration for one of the children. Within two blocks of the school, was he was stopped and attacked by two sheriff’s deputies, and his life will never be the same.
The case of Adrain McKoy vs. County of Los Angeles is scheduled to go to trial on January 14, 2013 in the Pasadena Branch of the Los Angeles Superior Court. McKoy was arrested when he was pulled from his vehicle on September 2nd, after Altadena Sheriff Deputy Brett Binder and Deputy Laura Avelar followed his vehicle for nearly one half mile, in Altadena as McKoy travelled east from Raymond Avenue to Marengo, then south on Marengo to Montana. When Deputy Binder approached McKoy’s car, which he had only purchased one hour earlier, the young father passed the paper work showing the recent sale and registration to Binder.
Binder took the papers threw them to the top of the car and stood next to the door blocking it and ordered McKoy out of the car. McKoy asked what he had done wrong as he attempted to unlock his seat belt. However Binder grew impatient and opened the car door to pepper spray McKoy and pulled him out. Binder later testified in a criminal trial charging McKoy with resisting a police officer with force and that he smelled a marijuana plant, but not that it was being smoked. Because of the alleged smell, he was placing McKoy under arrest and needed him out of the vehicle. McKoy was found not guilty of the resisting by force but was found guilty of misdemeanor, resisting because he did not get out of the car fast enough for Binder.
Binder also testified that when he told McKoy to get out of the car, McKoy allegedly reached under his seat to retrieve what he thought was a weapon. Binder later said it was cocaine. McKoy denied the allegation and no evidence of either a weapon or cocaine or marijuana was found.
Binder, who had recently been promoted to Detective, has a history of excessive force
complaints and in cases involving 30ish-looking Black males. Likewise, Mr. Finney another victim was pulled from of his car while his two minor children looked on in shock. In another case, a 61 year old Black man alleged that Binder impatiently pulled him out of a chair he was sitting in and ultimately busted him in the head with a tear gas cannister.
McKoy’s Attorney Joe C. Hopkins hopes to call both to testify as to this officer’s method of using excessive force against Black men in Altadena. Hopkins believes that by maintaining and promoting Binder, the Sheriff’s Department continues to approve and ratify the actions of Binder.
McKoy was arrested by being pepper sprayed and pulled from his vehicle and taken to the ground. After he was handcuffed, following the arrest the officer stood McKoy up and slammed him onto the hood of the patrol car. Binder placed the shirtless McKoy onto the hot hood of the police car in 110 degree weather. McKoy screamed in pain and the officers threw him onto the hard, bare, hot, gravelly, rough ground, and kneed him in the jaw, breaking it, to shut him up. The deputies then sat McKoy in the hot sun where the burning sensation of the sun’s rays and the pepper spray joined with the burns and the dirt from the ground, caused McKoy to suffer excruciating pain. McKoy suffered second degree burns to his upper torso, causing him permanent burns and permanent injury to his jaw. He was hospitalized for four days where he underwent surgery.
The attorneys for the Sheriff’s Department sought to get the McKoy case dismissed by filing a summary judgment motion which the court rejected on August 16, 2012. In effect, Hopkins believes the fact that McKoy had no shirt on and had tatoos on his body lead the officers to believe he was a gang member. Hopkins said he believes there are some officers who believe certain community members should have no rights and that the injuries they receive, as in McKoy’s case, were the equivalent to injuries in a simple automobile accident. The theory of the police in cases like these are equivalent to saying that if they dress certain ways they might be gang members and have no rights which the police are required to respect. Binder, in his preliminary hearing testimony, said as much when he testified that it is the police officer’s safety that must be protected. Avelar allegedly suffered a scratch to her hand when the officers took McKoy to the ground. It will now fall to a jury of citizens to decide. “We look forward to presenting this case of this young father to a jury,” added Hopkins.