Police Brutality Accusers Acquitted

The couple roughed up by a police officer on Water St. have been acquitted, Lindsay Barnes reports for The Hook. One was charged with public drunkenness, the other obstruction of justice. The allegation of police brutality surfaced six weeks ago. Judge Robert Downer ruled in favor of both of them, but also held that the officer was “entirely justified in reacting immediately to prevent any interference.”

28 Responses to “Police Brutality Accusers Acquitted”


  • I trust that Downer’s comment in the non-case against the couple has no bearing whatsoever on the ability of the couple to press charges against the abusive cop?

    Shoving a woman (who turned out to be pregnant) to the pavement when she had not presented any threat is assault. Period. This cop belongs in jail. Especially when he was essentially arresting someone for complaining that he had almost run them down while violating traffic laws.

    What an embarrassment to the uniform this cop is. I’ll forgive police officers of a lot. They put their lives on the line and have to make instant decisions every day without being sure whether it’s going to work out. But attacking and arresting an innocent woman out of personal rage does not fall into the kind of behavior that is remotely excusable.

  • There’s very little chance the couple could ever pursue criminal charges against Flaherty. There’s probably nobody willing to write the warrant. While the trial is over and some people feel justice was served, it wasn’t. The only recourse Silva and Austin now have is to file a civil suit against Flaherty. I wouldn’t sue the chief of police, the police department or the City of Charlottesville. I would go directly after Flaherty. The judge’s logic in deciding these cases is not admissible in a civil lawsuit. It’s now up to a jury to determine if Flaherty was justified in knocking a pregnant female flat on her butt. “Clicking Heels” walking up behind a cop with a badge and gun shouldn’t scare him to death. If it does he’s in the wrong business.

  • I would imagine this couple is tired of their names being in the press for behavior I’m sure they and their families are not proud of and will let the matter drop. I dare say the public’s indignation would have gone the other way if the fiancee of the fellow charged recently with murder had been pulling on his arm when the police was trying to arrest him. People had already conjectured that she was part of the crime by her just appearing in court. Oh, that’s right, the couple are college graduates and the alleged murderers are from the wrong side of the tracks. Dual standards have always abounded in Charlottesville and denied. If this couple sues, they’d better hope that I’m not a member of the jury.

  • I would imagine this couple is tired of their names being in the press for behavior I’m sure they and their families are not proud of

    ? What behavior is that? Going out to a restaurant and having a couple of drinks? Am I missing something?

  • CVille Eye, I would imagine the police department and officer are tired of their names being in the press. I’m sure they and city government are not proud of the outcome, namely the lack of any conviction whatsoever, and would prefer the the matter drop from public sight and discussion. If this couple sues, they should pray that I am member of the jury.

  • Engaging in a public altercation with a police officer. And, according to an earlier article, they had been out since about seven that evening wining and dining with friends. It’s hard to believe they only had two drinks in around five hours while hogging a table in a restaurant chatting.

  • The man *did* say he had yelled some obscenities at the cops.

    But I think that’s entirely within reason, since they *did* almost run him over.

  • “Oh, that’s right, the couple are college graduates and the alleged murderers are from the wrong side of the tracks.”

    Please compare apples to apples. I don’t see anything remotely the same about those two cases except that both were couples, and that’s not even a similarity, because the girlfriend of the murder suspect was not charged with anything.

  • Engaging in a public altercation with a police officer.

    In which they have been shown to be in the right or, at least, guilty of no crime. I can’t understand how that’s embarrassing.

    And, according to an earlier article, they had been out since about seven that evening wining and dining with friends. It’s hard to believe they only had two drinks in around five hours while hogging a table in a restaurant chatting.

    I can’t understand why that’s hard to believe. I was out for two hours last night and I only had one drink. Very rarely do I have more than two, no matter how many hours I’ve sat at Miller’s/Rapture/whatever. Hell, I’ve closed down both Starr Hill an Eastern Standard.

    Besides, why should be it embarrassing to go to a restaurant and drink? If that were so, the Downtown Mall would be full of humiliated people at least a few nights each week.

  • I don’t believe there’s no reasoning with CVille Eye on this Silva/Austin police brutality case. To me, he’s just like the cops… he would call me a drug dealer simply because I have $485 in small bills in my right front pants pocket right now.

  • Cville Eye-
    You have never talked with good friends for many hours in a restaurant without drinking a lot?? I have been in restaurants when they were vacuuming around my party without drinking anything!!(I tip extremely well in such cases, of course)

  • No, Gail and everyone else, I have never hung out in a restaurant without spending money. When I stopped spending money, I left. I acknowledge times have changed. All of you have convinced me that it is not odd for people to sit around in a restaurant for five hours and not have more than two drinks, any drinks for that matter. Yes, it has been over a decade since I’ve hit the restaurants with friends. I am not socially current. I yield.

  • CVille Eye, if I am not mistaken, the accounts of this evening very clearly state the couple went to dinner at one restaurant, and then went to a second establishment to have a few drinks. I recall Zocalo for dinner and the Blue Light Grill later for a drink or two. They also had a designated driver, something a lot of people don’t do. Which of course includes the drunk city police officer who ran his truck off the road and crashed a few years back. He should have had a designated driver maybe?

  • Demopublican, is that from court records?

  • The cop should be fired. The couple should take civil action for any number of reasons. No wonder restaurants don’t survive very long around this town with all of you free loaders and intellecturals just going into a restaurant and sitting around chatting for hours without spending money.

  • Well yes, CVille Eye. It is. The couple testified to the evening’s events.

  • And, Demopublican heard the testimony or read the trial’s transcript?

  • No wonder restaurants don’t survive very long around this town with all of you free loaders and intellecturals just going into a restaurant and sitting around chatting for hours without spending money.

    Without spending money? I spend lots of money. Restaurants, believe it or not, sell a great deal of products other than alcohol.

  • Demopublican, ….a quick question, I can’t remember who testified that Austin pleaded, “I would do anything to keep him from being arrested.” Was it Via? Flaherty? Suppressing laughter, Ilost track of my note-taking.Thanks.

  • I don’t recall, Rob. I was somewhat busy trying to read body language to determine when people were probably lying under oath. I just didn’t see any indication that Silva and Austin were lying or had a reason to lie. The statement is not really relevant anyway. Any girlfriend or wife would do anything to keep their loved ones from being arrested in a BS case like this.

  • “without spending money” !! Have you people never heard of desert followed by a couple of cups of coffee? This is only inappropriate if other people are waiting for a table.

  • Gail, I might be wrong, but I don’t think it’s about restaurants. I have a gut feeling that, for whatever reason, CVille Eye is pissed off because Silva and Austin beat the Charlottesville Police Department’s butt in open court. And personally, I hope Silva and Austin haven’t finished beating up on them yet. I would love to see Debbie Wyatt come out of retirement and represent them both in a civil claim now. This excessive use of force crapola is what gets people killed, including police officers themselves. The murder rate for cops is up an unprecedented 55% this year alone. I can only imagine the words and actions of some cops have gotten them killed!

  • Demopublican, I’m going to fall for your bating. I am not angry that the couple were not convicted. For the last thirty or more I have read Crime Report in the Daily Progress and every week there are a great many charges, both misdemeanor and felony, the are either dismissed or nol prossed. It doesn’t bother me in the least. Quite frankly, I think the couple has been punished more than enough for their behavior in public and I shall leave them alone. You will notice that I have ceased using their names in my posts because I think they would appreciate being left alone.

  • OK CVille Eye, you had me worried there for a minute when you kept implying they were vagrants taking up restaurant space without spending any money. I suspect between dinner and drinks in two establishments they probably spent $125 to $150 on the mall. Plus the humiliation of being tossed in jail overnight. And the expense of hiring a Charlottesville attorney to fight these vindicative retaliatory BS charges. This was a pretty expensive dinner for them. Unless they sue and get all their money back, plus more. Which of course you know I highly recommend they do. I would give them Debbie Wyatt’s number, but I feel confident they already have it most likely. :)

  • Demopublican-
    Actually I did realize it is not about restaurants. But since the discussion was on the silly side, I thought I might join in :).

    Seriously, I hope this couple gets at least their expenses and an apology from the police. I don’t expect that will happen.

  • I think that 99% of police officers are proud to consider themselves professional public servants and do a damned fine job. Condoning or excusing the actions of the 1% that are badge-heavy thugs is extremely detrimental to a system that is sound in its principles. The best thing for public confidence and police pride would be for the department to clean out the trash rather than pretend it doesn’t smell bad.

    Whether the couple had several drinks or annoyed a restauranteur by playing hours of patty-cake has no bearing on their being endangered, assaulted and abused by one who clearly abused his public trust.

    My experience is that government doesn’t have the guts to apologize when honor and integrity call for it.

  • Family Guy, your estimate of 1% badge heavy thugs is way too low in my opinion. You bring that up to about 25% and I will agree with you.

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