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Reflections of a working writer and reader



(almost) funny police story

British historian, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, was arrested, pinned to the pavement by five police officers, handcuffed and kept in a cell for eight hours in Atlanta for trying to cross the road. Three memorable quotes came out of the incident. Fernando-Armesto’s wife commented, ‘I suppose he was lucky they didn’t shoot him.’

After he was released from custody, Fernandez-Armesto said, ‘As an ageing member of the bourgeoisie, I found it quite educational.’

But perhaps the best one came from the arresting officer, Kevin Leonpacher, who insisted: ‘I used an excessive amount of discretion.’

4 Responses to “(almost) funny police story”

  1. susangalique says:

    I tried to comment on your last post but I don’t think it went through. Thought I would try again.

    My professor was actually there and saw the whole thing. Everybody here is outraged and thinks its a shame and a disgrace.

    jb says: Well, that’s good to know, because just about everybody here feels the same way.

  2. […] It’s old news now, perhaps, but this recent entry on John Baker’s blog was news to me: […]

  3. black sea says:

    I have written a blog post that goes into some detail on this case. Unlike virtually everybody else writing about it, I don’t claim to know exactly what happened on that day. However, I do include some information not found in any of the British media coverage I’ve read on this story. For example, in the Officer’s Incident Report, he cites two iwtnesses who support his story.

    One of those witnesses, quoted and identified by name, is a professor of history who was attending the same conference as Fernandez-Armesto. So evidently, not everyone who was there felt outraged by the arrest.

    Though my post is rather long, it does demonstrate how, over time, quoted allegations made by Fernandez-Armesto become reported as unatttributed “facts” rather than as the claims of one party in a contested version of events.

    It would appear that much of the British media is more interested in a “good” story than in an accurate one.

  4. oh thats true he is lucky that they didn’t shoot him