Today: 18.08.2018
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Man says he was beaten by cops after asking clerk for refund.

A black man in California claims he was brutally beaten last month by more than one officer who responded to a convenience store over a disagreement with a clerk, saying he’s “thankful to be alive.” William Colbert, a 39-year-old welder and pipe-fitter living in Merced, said he went to an AMPM market on March 12...
Time: 15:19     Date: 20.04.2018
Last US News: Man says he was beaten by cops after asking clerk for refund. NY Post 24 - US News

William Colbert, a 39-year-old welder and pipe-fitter living in Merced, said he went to an AMPM market on March 12 to buy an iced tea after having an allergic reaction to medication at Mercy Medical Center. While inside the store, Colbert said he demanded a clerk refund his credit card following a dispute over the purchase.

That led the clerk to eventually call police, telling officers that Colbert was armed, a claim he denied in an interview with the Merced Sun-Star.

Colbert said he was standing outside the store when cops arrived since the clerk had locked him out. He was then approached by Officer Joseph Opinski, whom Colbert said he knew since they both had attended Merced College. Opinski went inside to speak with the clerk, he said.

Another cop – identified by Colbert as Officer William McComb – then advanced on him “like a bat out of hell,” Colbert said.

“Why would you be arresting me when I haven’t committed any crime?” Colbert recalled saying to the officer.

McComb, who is white, and at least two other cops then “bum rushed” Colbert, he said, taking him to the ground and pushing his face into a puddle. Colbert said he was then “afraid to fight for his life,” worried that his attempts to raise his face out of the puddle would be construed by the officers as an attempt to resist arrest.

Colbert said he was then put in the back of a patrol car and admitted kicking the door to tell cops that his handcuffs were so tight that his hands were going numb. His left thumb was also hurting from an arrest hold used by one of the officers, leading him to ask for medical attention, he said.

Colbert was removed from the patrol car and cops put their knees into his back, he said. McComb then called him a “snitch bitch gang member,” insinuating he knew Opinski from cooperating with police.

Colbert — who admitted getting “obnoxious” with the officers, calling one of them a “bitch” — was then taken to a hospital and then to Merced County Jail. Colbert said he was transported without handcuffs because he had a splint on his thumb.

Colbert said he was then “aggressively” shoved by officers during processing and was later sent back to a hospital for treatment.

“This is the s—people talk about on the news that I think will never happen to me,” he told the newspaper. “I’m thankful to be alive.”

Police, meanwhile, have announced that an internal investigation has been launched into the incident. Capt. Bimley West declined to identify the officers or to discuss details of Colbert’s arrest on suspicion of resisting arrest, threatening an officer and battery on an officer.

“I have spoken with Mr. Colbert and collected all the statements about what he said had transpired,” West told the newspaper. “This is a formalized internal-affairs investigation into this particular matter.”

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Metro

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