Riviera Beach Police Department continues to pay Sargent Gary Wilson’s salary while he’s on paid administrative leave (aka vacation) after he violently smashed a disabled vet’s cellphone caught in a video gone viral.
Now, the Florida police department is stonewalling the disabled Army vet Isiah James, by refusing to accept his complaint or take his statement for their supposed Internal Affairs investigation of Wilson.
Isiah James’ attorney is Marc Reiner, a former state’s attorney in Florida’s Monroe County and Palm Beach County, where Riviera Beach lies.
“Their [Riviera Beach PD’s] message has been all about Veterans’ rights, supporting the veterans and how much respect they have for veterans. Yet during those 10 days Isiah has not been able to meet with the police to make sense of what happened to him.”
“The police say they can’t talk until they conclude their internal investigation, but how do they conclude it without speaking to Isiah?”
This is a common tactic when police don’t want to investigate one of their own.
Maybe that means the department has a “30 strikes and you’re out policy”, but we’ll never know without an accepted complaint.
Without a victim’s complaint, investigations simply cannot happen, since those complaints are the foundation of any investigation.
It’s shameful that any Florida police agency would abuse a disabled veteran, even more so to then attempt to use process to ignore his just complaint about the officer.
We caught up with Rose Ann Brown, the Riviera Beach PIO who confirmed that the department claims not to have a complaint from the victim.
Reiner also revealed to PINAC that the City of Riviera Beach had already hired outside counsel to communicate with him, and that the only thing they did was beg him not to speak to any more media about the case, which became a national sensation after breaking on YouTube.
The credo of abusers is always ‘let’s keep this secret just between us.’
The Florida cops now claim they need 180 days to complete their investigation and refuse to reveal the name of the officer who supposedly opened the investigation, citing that as part of their secret investigatory file too.
Now the police, local politicians nor internal affairs officers refuse to speak with Reiner or James about the incident.
His only recourse will be an expensive lawsuit at taxpayers’ expense.
One of Florida’s eight full service VA Health Centers (as they call VA Hospitals today) is located in Riviera Beach, and for that reason numerous veterans live in the area.
Turns out that Riviera Beach is uniquely one of only 5 cities across the country with a Veteran’s Affairs office inside their Mayor’s office, the others being New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C .and Albuquerque.
Even the Mayor’s VA liaison will not speak with Isiah James or his lawyer.
“Isiah James has a right to go about his day without being profiled, interrogated, harassed, [or to] have his property destroyed and [be] physically attacked by the police.” Reiner concluded, “I’m amazed that there’s 6 constitutional rights violations in just a 13 minute video.”
Isiah James also has a 1st amendment right to Petition his government for redress of grievances, which the City of Riviera Beach should honor, before they blow a $1000 legal claim into yet another six figure settlement with lawyer’s fees at residents’ expense.