Just Another Guy with Opinions

Dymond Milburn – A Victim of Police Brutality

Posted by shadmia on December 19, 2008

austin-middle-schoolDymond MilburnGalveston Courthouse

The night of August 22, 2006 would change the life of Dymond Milburn, 12, and her family forever. Before the night was over Dymond, an honor student attending advanced classes at Austin Middle School, would be falsely accused of being a prostitute and assaulted by 4 undercover Galveston police officers – while hanging unto a tree limb, yelling “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” –  requiring that she be hospitalized. According to the lawsuit:

The examining physician found that Dymond suffered injuries from multiple blows to the head, face, neck, lower back, left shoulder, and left hip/waist area. She suffered a contusion to the back of the head (where she was struck with a flashlight). There were abrasions on her arm and wrist. Her throat was swollen; she had difficulty swallowing, nausea and vomiting, and hoarseness of voice due to being struck in the throat. She had black eyes, scalp lacerations, tenderness of the vertebrae. She was experiencing double vision and loss of hearing. Dymond’s ear drum and nose were also injured (blood in ear, bruised nasal septum, and nose bleed).

This 12-year-old black girl, not yet a teenager, was mistaken for a prostitute because, according to the police, she was dressed in “tight shorts”. The police were investigating a report of 3 white prostitutes and a drug dealer who were supposed to be located two blocks away from where they encountered Dymond, who was in front of her parents house.

Still not content to leave the family alone, three weeks after this unfortunate event, the police showed up at Dymond’s school to arrest her, in front of the entire class, for assaulting a public servant! They claim that she was arrested because she fought back against the plain-clothed police officers who were trying to arrest her in front of her own home. It didn’t matter that she was innocent and they, the police officers, were at the wrong address.

It all began around 8pm when the breaker went out at the Milburn home. Dymond’s mother, Emily, asked her daughter to go outside and turn the switch back on. Emily was busy preparing her kids for school the next day. So Dymond went outside to find the breaker. As she was heading towards the switch, a blue van pulled up to her and 4 undercover police officers jumped out.

Without identifying themselves as police officers one of them grabbed Dymond saying: “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.” Dymond did not go quietly. She grabbed a tree and started sceaming “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” so loudly that she could be heard by the neighbors. The police reacted by covering her mouth and beating her about the head and throat. The officers involved were: Sergeant Gilbert Gomez, Officers David Roark, Justin Popovich and Sean Stewart.

Wilfred Milburn, Dymond’s father, was on the balcony when he heard his daughter’s cries for help and came outside. Emily Milburn also heard the cries and ran outside. When they arrived outside, Dymond was hysterical and holding on to the tree with one arm; two officers were striking Dymond in the head, face and throat. At no time did the supervising officer (Gomez) on the scene intervene and stop the illegal seizure and assault. Officer Roark hit Dymond in the back of head with a flashlight, hit her neck, throat, slapped her across the face, and told her to get off the tree.

Wilfred Milburn told the officer “that’s our daughter. She’s twelve.” The officer responded, “I don’t care if she’s twenty-two, thirty-two, or forty-six. Tell her to calm down.”

As a result of the Officers’ assault, Dymond suffered from pain in the back of the head, lower back pain, a sprained wrist with abrasions, and throat, neck and face pain. Her parents took her to the University of Texas Medical Branch for treatment. They arrived at the emergency room at 9:24 p.m. on August 22, 2006. Dymond was treated for head injuries and multiple contusions.

On Friday, September 15, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., twelve (12) year old Dymond Milburn was arrested for assaulting a public servant. The arrest took place while Dymond was at school.

This incident so traumatized Dymond that she had to seek professional help.

Since the incident, Dymond has had regular nightmares in which police officers are raping her, beating her, and cutting off her fingers. Her fear prevented her from participating in normal activities (going outside to play) which she no longer considered safe. Dymond sought psychological treatment, and on October 31, 2006, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the incident which is the subject of this lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Dymond claims that she has also experienced: Loss of appetite, loss of normal functioning, and negative effect on school grades due to trouble concentrating in class, all associated with the beating suffered at the hands of the law enforcement officers.

The police version of the story is, of course, not quite the same. The following is a statement from the lawyer for the officers, William Helfand:

Both the daughter and the father were arrested for assaulting a peace officer. “The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off.”

Also, “The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances,” Helfand says. “It’s unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest.”

The charge of assaulting a public servant, brought against Dymond Milburn, was taken to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day. A new trial is set for February.

“I think we’ll be okay,” says Anthony Griffin, Dymond’s defense lawyer. “I don’t think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who’s just sitting outside her house. Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she’s a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She’s scared to death.”

Griffin says he expects to enter mediation with the officers in early 2009 to resolve the lawsuit.

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5 Responses to “Dymond Milburn – A Victim of Police Brutality”

  1. Lesley said

    This makes me angry. I know that when I was growing up my mother taught me to fight back if a stranger were to try and snatch me. They should have made their identity known to the girl and approached her instead of rushing her. bastards.

  2. […] what happened to Dymond Milburn? Dymond Milburn – A Victim of Police Brutality « SHADMIA’S WORLD From what I am gleaning, she was falsed arrested by 4 plainclothes policemen (who failed to […]

  3. nattypol said

    The police still haven’t apologized … What a shame.

  4. I’m confused. Were the charges against Miss Milburn dropped, or is there still a chance she could end up in juvie? I read about a trial due to start in February. Is this her lawsuit, or a trial on the charges of “assaulting peace officers”?

    Either way, it’s reprehensible. We have a Second Amendment exactly to deal with crooked cops like those mentioned above. It’s time we put it into practice.

  5. Colonel D.X. Fagan-McHenry USMC said

    What I would like to know is what have the black citizens of Galveston done about this? Well, the NAACP is worthless, (with out worth). Have you had any protest? Obviously you have not invoked the 24 hour rule. When are going to stand up for your children? I pray for Mr. and Mrs. Lymond. She is going to be acquited at that show trial. You need to vote out the D.A., Sheriff, any other elected official involved in this charade. I have always hated cops and this does nothing to disabuse me of that notion. If this had been my daughter, there would have been 1 ambulance for Dymond and four trucks from the morgue for those single digit, low frequency vermin with the badges. I hope that this law suit puts Galveston County into BANKRUPTCY.

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