Coleman and wife brutalized by officer Brian Cala
Above in a video interview with Kerry Coleman talking about the police brutality he and his wife experienced at the hands of RPD officer Brian Cala.
On the afternoon of January 19, 2009, Kerry Coleman had called for the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) for his wife. Instead of the MCT showing up, 10 Rochester Police Department (RPD) cruisers came to his home. Upon opening the door, RPD officer Brian Cala barged past Mr. Coleman into the house.
According to his complaint to Professional Standards Section (PSS), Mr. Coleman informed the officer that he had called for the MCT and not patrol officers. Officer Cala responded, "What the fuck do you want me to do? Take her to the hospital or take your fucking ass to jail?" Mrs. Coleman told the officer Cala to leave her home to which he replied "Shut the fuck up!"
Mr. Coleman's Professional Standards Section Complaint
In the interview at the top of the article, Mr. Coleman explains that the RPD had a warrant for his arrest based on an issue with the Rochester City School District (RCSD), and that that's why the police were there, not because of his call asking for help from the MCT.
Mr. Coleman's complaint then states that officer Cala maced his wife and proceeded to punch her in the face. While lying face down on the bed after being punched, officer Cala proceeded to "punch her in the face about 9 - 10 times." At this point, another officer came into the house and maced Mr. Coleman.
Officer Cala was eventually secreted away by officers in another squad car after irate family members started demanding to know who beat up Mr. Coleman's wife. Before getting in the car, officer Cala smugly yelled, "I fucking did it!"
Mr. Coleman was arrested, charged with criminal contempt in the first degree over a dispute with the RCSD and menacing, and then taken to jail. Mrs. Coleman went to the hospital for injuries sustained by officer Cala. Mr. Coleman was eventually tried and convicted of criminal contempt in the first degree and given probation for five years. He was arrested again over another RCSD issue and charged with violating his probation and sentenced to two years in state prison with one year of parole.
On March 15, 2013, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department released their decision in an appeal made by Mr. Coleman, stating that, "It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law, the plea is vacated and the matter is remitted to Monroe County Court for further proceedings on the superior court information."
Read the Appellate Court decision in PDF format above
Mr. Coleman was railroaded by the system in which a network of corrupt individuals worked to force him into positions he never wanted. One such position was taking a plea deal and accepting a guilty verdict that, technically, he should not have been allowed to take. The Appellate Court saw this and reversed the conviction telling the lower court to retry the case.
After the decision, he was released from probation (after two years of prison and eight months of probation) and his case was to be retried with the original criminal contempt in the first degree. Because the case was shoddy to begin with, the district attorney's office offered him plea deals. He refused and demanded either a new trial or that the charges be dropped. Eventually, seeing they had no case, the DA's office dropped the charges.
Aside from having his conviction vacated and the charges dropped, the DA has not sought to prosecute officer Cala for police misconduct and the department, according to Mr. Coleman, has refused to administer discipline. Officer Cala, as of 2015, was still employed by the RPD and still on active duty.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Enough Is Enough!
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