CBS ‘Early Show’: ‘Police Targeting Women?’

On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased a segment on police brutality: "And in our next half hour, another woman badly hurt while in police custody. And it was caught on videotape. Growing concern this morning about police hostility towards women." In another tease, Rodriguez declared: "Coming up here in our next half hour, caught on videotape, women being hurt by police." At this time video of a male police officer tasering a woman appeared on screen with the caption: "Police Targeting Women?"

In the later segment, following a report by correspondent Jeff Glor on a recent allegation of a Louisiana police officer beating a woman in custody, Rodriguez and CBS Legal Analyst Lisa Bloom saw a broader trend as Rodriguez exclaimed: "What strikes me from this incident and others is that we're seeing male officers beating in this case, strip searching, tasing, female suspects and not even large women, you know, petite women like us."

At this point, Bloom made an outrageous generalization, comparing male police officers to convicted and suspected murderers:

You know, wives of police officers have long claimed there was a problem with police officers abusing women. Bobby Cutts was just convicted last week of murdering his pregnant girlfriend. Drew Peterson is a suspect in his missing wife's probable death. This has been a long, ongoing problem with police officers and abusing women. What we have now is the introduction of the videotape. And women don't have to just make a claim. They have some proof. Juries love videotapes. They see it as the best evidence of what went on. So some of these claims could probably be pursued more aggressively than they were in the past.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:01AM TEASER:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Also we have more on the Shreveport, Louisiana cop caught on tape, look at this, leaving a woman in handcuffs in a pool of blood. Add that to the woman in handcuffs who was strip searched by men, another tasered ten times. This morning the growing concern over police hostility towards women.

7:12AM TEASER:

RODRIGUEZ: And in our next half hour, another woman badly hurt while in police custody. And it was caught on videotape. Growing concern this morning about police hostility towards women.

7:21AM TEASER:

RODRIGUEZ: Coming up here in our next half hour, caught on videotape, women being hurt by police.

7:30AM TEASER:

RODRIGUEZ: Yet another disturbing videotape has emerged this week. A woman in handcuffs left in a pool of blood. The police officer fired. It's the latest in a string of incidents caught on tape. An Ohio woman tasered ten times. Another woman in handcuffs strip searched by men. Ahead, the growing concern about police hostility towards women.

7:31AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But first, we go to the Louisiana police officer fired for allegedly abusing a woman in his custody. The incident was recorded on police videotape, and we warn you what you're about to see is graphic. CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor has the story.

JEFF GLOR: As the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office join the growing investigation into this videotape, new information is emerging about the officer accused of brutality. 30-year-old Wily Willis, who was fired February 5th, had two lawsuits filed against him in 2006, one by a mother who says Willis put a gun to her son's head and threatened to shoot him, another by a woman who says she was arrested because she filed a complaint against Willis. Most recently Willis is seen on tape, recorded November 17th, with 42-year-old Angela Garborino, who'd been arrested on DWI and hit and run charges. The pair appear to struggle before Willis turns the camera off. When it comes back on, Garborino is lying down, a pool of blood next to her. She had a broken nose, two broken teeth, and two black eyes. She says Willis beat her up. He says she fell. Shreveport's police chief says he is outraged by what he saw on the tape, which is why he fired Willis. But Willis has not been charged with any crime. And the chief defended the department's policy of turning off cameras.

HENRY WHITEHORN: Once officer Willis determined she was not going to submit to the chemical test for intoxication, he decided to end the testing procedure, which included videotaping. Turning off the tape at this point was standard procedure.

GLOR: The Shreveport police union, meanwhile, is coming to Willis' defense, saying the chief didn't follow protocol and that Willis' rights were violated.

MICHAEL CARTER: So we wondered why there was a firing if there wasn't enough for a criminal case.

GLOR: The union says they believe Willis' story, that these frightening injuries were sustained when Garborino fell down. Jeff Glor, CBS News, Shreveport, Louisiana.

RODRIGUEZ: This is just the latest in a series of incidents where a police officer accused of brutalizing women. Joining us is CBS News Legal Analyst, Lisa Bloom. Good morning Lisa.

LISA BLOOM: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: First let's go back to that last point made in Jeff's piece. The union says that she sustained those injuries by falling down. Have you ever seen someone fall down and black eyes?

BLOOM: It's absolutely preposterous. If somebody slips and falls, they may hurt their wrist, they may get a bump on their head. They don't have two black and blue eyes, two missing teeth and found lying in a pool of their own blood.

RODRIGUEZ: And what about the fact that this officer had been sued two times before?

BLOOM: Yeah, the police officer was on notice legally, that there's a problem with this officer. They continued to retain him. So the police officer -- the police department probably has some civil liability resulting from that.

RODRIGUEZ: What strikes me from this incident and others is that we're seeing male officers beating in this case, strip searching, tasing, female suspects and not even large women, you know, petite women like us.

BLOOM: You know, wives of police officers have long claimed there was a problem with police officers abusing women. Bobby Cutts was just convicted last week of murdering his pregnant girlfriend. Drew Peterson is a suspect in his missing wife's probable death. This has been a long, ongoing problem with police officers and abusing women. What we have now is the introduction of the videotape. And women don't have to just make a claim. They have some proof. Juries love videotapes. They see it as the best evidence of what went on. So some of these claims could probably be pursued more aggressively than they were in the past.

RODRIGUEZ: And maybe it'll lead to policy changes. For example, the woman who was strip searched by men.

BLOOM: Right, absolutely. And that should never happen. And most police departments have a policy, only same-sex strip searches. And the incident in Louisiana, there's no excuse for how that police officer appears to have behaved. First of all, when the incident started to escalate, he should have called in another police officer. He could have cuffed her to the chair. He could have used less restrictive means to control the woman if, indeed, she was getting physically abusive. He's a younger, much stronger male. She's an older, weaker woman. There's no reason for that kind of physical hostility towards her.

RODRIGUEZ: Alright, Lisa Bloom, thank you.

BLOOM: Thank you.

RODRIGUEZ: Appreciate your time.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC