Another case of potential police brutality

Following up on John’s post regarding suspicious police behavior in handling a hate crime in Salt Lake City, this time it’s a family and partner of a dead gay man who are claiming the police crushed the life out of him while taking him into custody.

Jim Ginelli, 49, of Vista said he was looking for his partner, Scott Routh, on Aug. 20 when he spotted a police car and saw five or six officers sitting on him.

“I could hear my partner say, ‘Get off me. You’re hurting me,’ and they never got off him,” he said. “They crushed the life out of him.”

Routh, 47, was pronounced dead at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The Riverside County coroner’s office said the San Diego man “died while being taken into custody.”

Whether or not the man’s erratic behavior occurred due to intoxication or mental illness is irrelevant. This incident most certainly demands a complete investigation. There have got to be better ways for the police to handle taking someone into custody without six of them sitting on a man until he’s pronounced dead. (h/t to “nicho” for this story)

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