Cop Defends Arrest Of Jaywalking Tufts History Professor
Officer Kevin Leonpacher said if anything, "I used an excessive amount of discretion," in the encounter that landed Felipe Fernandez-Armesto in jail.
Fernandez-Armesto, 56, who was arrested Jan. 4, said earlier in an interview that he was assaulted while crossing the street by a man he did not realize was a police officer.
"Where I'm from, you don't associate young gentlemen in bomber jackets with the police. But he was extremely upset I had questioned his bona fides," recalled Fernandez-Armesto, a prominent British historian and former professor at Oxford. He was visiting Atlanta for a history convention.
But Leonpacher said he asked Fernandez-Armesto why he didn't follow the instructions of a uniformed officer, and the author shrugged him off and walked away.
"I told him, it's gonna be awful silly if I have to take you to jail for jaywalking," said Leonpacher, 28. He said he could not handcuff the professor by himself.
"He was swinging, kicking wildly," Leonpacher said, adding that backup officers arrived almost immediately. In the incident report, he quoted the professor as saying, "Well now I believe that you are the police."
Atlanta police had said that the disorderly conduct charge against Fernandez-Armesto was subsequently dropped.
Later they said charge wasn't officially dropped, and could be brought again, but that would be unlikely. For now, his record will show only an arrest.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said she has asked police chief Richard Pennington to look into the incident.
Leonpacher says he was a good representative for the city. He was working a part-time job that day -- with police consent, his superiors confirmed -- for the Hilton Hotel, trying to direct pedestrians to use crosswalks.
comments powered by Disqus
- New documentary explores the legacy of the 5,000 Rosenwald schools set up by a Sears magnate and Booker T. Washington
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- Two scholars from UT object to the Texas school's decision to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis
- A history professor explains why Americans are so prone to conspiracy theories
- Now Greg Grandin has come out with a study of Henry Kissinger
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'