Carl D. Johnson was an architect. He wasn’t a gang member or street tough. He didn’t have a long rap sheet of violence or drugs. He was an architect. And a diabetic. And a guy coming him from a bible study class on I-795 in Baltimore. Now he’s dead.
Per Courthouse News, his wife, Linda, filed suit:
Johnson suffered a diabetic attack sometime after 8:15 p.m. that night, after calling a friend to tell him he was leaving his Bible class, according to the complaint in Baltimore County Court.
He suffered a diabetic attack, crashed on the I-795, and his car came to rest against the guardrail in the median near the merger with I-695.
According to the complaint, when State Trooper Davon Parker arrived and tapped on the window, and Johnson managed to lower the window, Parker pepper sprayed him in the face.
Johnson then got out of his car and Parker clubbed him at least once in the knee. Defendant Officer Loss (fnu) then arrived and whacked Johnson at least twice with his club, the complaint states.
Baltimore County Police Officer Nicholas Wolferman then arrived, whacked Johnson “at least three times” with his own baton, then he and Officer Loss “grabbed Mr. Johnson and threw him over the guardrail,” Johnson’s widow says.
Inexplicably horrible stuff. It’s possible, of course, that Johnson did something to rile the officer, who perhaps mistook his diabetic shock for insolence. Maybe he didn’t comply with whatever speed the officer deemed necessary. Some cops get annoyed with such behavior.
And so there was more:
Nonetheless, after throwing him over the guardrail, the cops applied pressure points to his ears and armpits, she says. Three more cops arrived, including Baltimore County Officer Andrew O’Neill, who Tasered Johnson twice. Officer Loss then punched him in the face and the six officers managed to handcuff him, the widow says.
Eight more cops arrived, and someone took his wallet, which included a medical alert card about his diabetes. Nonetheless, the cops forcibly held him down, though he was not resisting, and was handcuffed, his wife says.
The widow claims Johnson was Tasered at least three times, while he was lying on his back, helpless, surrounded by police. He became “motionless and speechless” and was pronounced dead within an hour of cardiac arrest.
And Carl D. Johnson, architect, was dead.
“Upon information and belief, there were approximately 52 individuals that responded to the scene,” according to the complaint.
All because of a diabetic on his way home from a bible study class.
A funny thing happens once one police officer decides to use force against a person, whether deserved or not, whether necessary or not. Once one cop turns violent, others feel compelled to join in. Whether it’s a kick, a punch or a taser, they have to prove themselves by adding a lick to the fight.
It’s not very difficult to imagine that the first officer, Davon Parker, misapprehended Johnson’s diabetic shock for contempt of cop. He commanded, and Johnson didn’t react the way Parker demanded, so Parker needed to show him who’s boss. That’s how cops roll.
But the 51 others? Was there not one person among them who thought to himself, we’re going to kill this guy? Was there not one law enforcement officer who said aloud, our job isn’t to make sure one more man doesn’t make it home tonight? Another punch. Another kick. A pepper spraying and a tasing. What a tough bunch of cops, protecting society from an architect in diabetic shock, one after another, after another.
So Carl D. Johnson is dead, and it took 52 cops to kill him. They must be so very proud of their fine police work, all 52 of them. How brave they are.