Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Neighbor of John Behrmann Speaks Out On Officer Geraci Incident.

Note: An Albany Grand Jury refused to indict Officer Michael Geraci on assault charges this past week. Upstream received the following comment from a neighbor of Mr. Berhrmann, the man Geraci was accused of assaulting.

Hello I'd like to comment on the John Behrmann incident here in Albany New York. If anyone one saw the video of Mr. Berhmann being dragged out of the police van, it was absolutely horrible. No one should be treated like that by the police unless of course they are being assaulted. Knowing Mr. Behrmann personally, it takes him fifteen minutes to get in and out of a vehicle with free hands, so imagine at 73, hands cuffed behind his back and a much needed hip replacement how assaultive he could have been. Mr. Behrmann has lived in Albany for about 18 months without problems until an officer back in November questioned him about speaking to a person that he (the officer) didn't like. It's been down hill every since.

On December 31, My husband came in the house and told me that Mr. Berhmann had been arrested and he was unsure of the cause. Later we found out that it was trespassing (a lie), public intoxication (um maybe tipsee) but who isn't on New Years Eve, and some other miscellaneous charge which by the way happened to be another lie. All of which was dismissed in police court. None of it was true. From the police station Mr. Behrmann was taken to the Va hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained while he was in police custody. He had no injuries before that. The following day Mr. Behrmann came to see my husband and me and he was terribly bruised and bleeding, I took pictures and we reported it. That is how this case started. Now Mr. Behrmann is a target for Albany Police Department.

Remember the officer that I said questioned Mr. Behrmann about why he was speaking to an individual he didn't like? Well he has an office in the apartment building in which Mr. Behrmann lives. This building is for the handicapped, disabled and ederly. Mr. Behrmann went home one day to find his key wouldn't open a door he usually goes in. The key got stuck, he's hitting the door to get his key out and cracks the glass. Mr. Behrmann goes to jail and guess who the arresting officer was? Well a few of us tried bailing him out and let me tell you the response that I received. There are two here in Albany. One bailbonds man (after mentioning John Behrmanns name told me straight out "I know the officer, I'm not BAILING John Berhmann out" and hung up! The second bondsman was much more polite but too said "He knew the officer and didn't want to be involved". The tone of this case was already set. The message was loud and clear.

Last week just before the grand jury hearings were about to be over, Mr. Behrmann along with my husband and a few other people were sitting on my steps and according to witinesses, a patrol car drove up madison ave, made a U-turn and stopped. FOUR police officers approached Mr. Berhmann about having an open container. They never saw him lift a bottle, nor was he intoxicated. They never even questioned my husband or a couple of other guys who were sitting around drinking bear. Their target, John Berhmann. Upon my arrival from work they were asking him all of these questions, "Who's the president", "Whats the day of the month" etc all of which Mr. Behrmann answered correctly. Mr. Behrmann never moved off of the steps nor did he drink. There was a bottle there, but it wasn't his which will come out in court because he was given an appearance ticket. Let me also add that every time Mr. Berhmann tried to open his mouth to tell them he hadn't been drinking or that the bottle wasn't his, the officer retorted with threats of arrest for disorderly conduct. On Monday morning it was on the news. Channel 13 with "John Behrmann Arrested "AGAIN" for open container on Madison ave". The news never said he was at a private residence. They made it sound like he was roaming the street with an open container. I cannot begin to tell you how disgusted I am with the Albany police Department. These are people we are suppose to trust and turn to in times of trouble. I could go on and on but it wouldn't do any good.

I feel bad for Mr. Behrmann because he is out of his element. He practiced dentistry for 37 years, lived in wonderful places and raced horses in Saratoga. Retirement and divorce bought him to Grand Street. I feel bad because If Mr. Behrmann had been in his own element instead of Grand Street where there are mostly (us) blacks he would have never ever been treated this way. My final thought for this entire mess, If the police don't even respect their own kind, then imagine what the rest of us face. We don't stand a chance for justice.


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