Cop Defends Arrest Of Jaywalking Tufts History ProfessorBreaking News
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
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- Family shines light on American POW killed by Hiroshima blast
- In Hiroshima 71 years after first atomic strike, Obama calls for end of nuclear weapons
- Artist Corrects Inaccuracies At The George W. Bush Library With Augmented Reality
- “Unprecedented” discovery of mysterious structures created by Neanderthals
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize