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Atlanta cops take down a jaywalking professor

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 11, 2007 in Crime
Atlanta cops wrestle man to ground and arrest him
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, age 56, is a professor of global environmental history at the University of London. He was attending a conference on the American Historical Association in Atlanta, Georgia when he was caught jaywalking.
The British historian says he was wrestled to the ground, pinned down by five police officers and then imprisoned.
"This young man kicked my legs from under me, wrenched me round, pinned me to the ground, wrenched my arms behind my back, handcuffed me." The officer sought help and "I had five burly policemen pinioning me to the ground".
Policeman Kevin Leonpacher had been cracking down on other conference participants between the two venues in downtown Atlanta. He asked the professor for identification and the professor then asked the policeman back for his identification. Officer Leonpacher then told him he was under arrest and subjected him to "terrible, terrible violence", the professor said.
"I'm a mass of contusions and grazes," he said, in an interview shown on website YouTube. "I come from a country where you can cross the road where you like. It hadn't occurred to me that I wasn't allowed to cross the road between the two main conference venues."
Professor Fernandez-Armesto's bail was set at $1,800 and he was behind bars for around 8 hours. When he told a judge his side of the story in court the next morning, the court dropped the charges. But Officer Leonpacher was unrepentant, saying: "He chose to ignore a uniformed officer. At what point can anyone say I overreacted?"
It sounds like everyone overreacted just a tad.
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