DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former Dallas police officer convicted in the beating of a suspect began his six month jail sentence, shortly after it was announced Friday afternoon.
Judge Michael Snipes told attorneys he agonized over the decision to put Quaitemes Williams behind bars. Williams was caught on camera striking Rodarick Lyles with a flashlight, during a struggle. Video later shows him kick Lyles in the face and spray him with mace, while he’s in handcuffs.
Prosecutors argued for the maximum sentence, a year in jail.
“The public is tired. The public is tired of being beaten. The public is tired of being choked, by police officers. They’re tired of their complaints falling on deaf ears,” said Assistant District Attorney Russell Wilson, in closing statements.
Lyles was disappointed by the lesser sentence.
“I didn’t think it was fair. I thought he should have got more because, had it been me, it would have been a different ballgame,” he said. “My kids have to look at that and say that’s my daddy. And that hurts ‘cause I was laying on the ground and I was kicked like a dog.”
Defense attorney George Milner, meanwhile, argued his client should have received probation. He suggested the police shooting and protests in Ferguson, Missouri might have influenced the sentence.
“I’m concerned that that had some effect,” he said. “You can’t help but think there’s an underlying culture going on right now, as a result of what’s going on in Missouri,” he said.
During sentencing, prosecutors called two witnesses to the stand, who testified they too were beaten by Williams, during unrelated arrests.
“Thank god he finally got caught and now he’s of the street so we don’t have to deal with it now more. That’s what’s going through my head right now,” said Christopher Ademi, who claimed Williams choked him.
Ademi and Worsla Zuo both filed complaints. Dallas police investigated and were unable to find evidence to support their claims.
“My case was denied and dropped because his word against my word,” said Ademi.
“That testimony was laughable. No sane person would think they were telling the truth,” said Milner. In court, he questioned why there weren’t photographs of Zuo’s bruises or any witnesses to Ademi’s alleged abuse. Milner also argued against the credibility of the witnesses, each of whom had been arrested before.
But a prosecutor claimed, that’s exactly why Williams thought he could get away with his aggressive tactics.
“All this case is is an officer going Rambo on some victims, on victims that he wouldn’t expect anyone to believe,” she said.
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