Beaten, Tasered, Arrested
Clifford Grevemberg, 18 years old, is an autistic youth with a heart condition. According to this WTOC video segment he was sitting on the curb waiting for his brother to come out from a bar that Clifford's age prevented him from entering.
But when Tybee Island police approached him and asked for Clifford's ID twice, this is when they threw him to the ground tasering him and also when he lost his tooth.
"They just literally beat the heck out of me."
When Clifford's brother, Dario Mariani came outside from the restaurant, he saw Clifford's face bloody and with the taser still sticking in his back and with handcuffs on. Clifford was screaming for help.
Dario told police that Clifford was autistic and had a heart condition
Clifford was arrested and sent to the Tybee Island jail anyway.
Of course, no one seems to know why.
When Clifford's mom, Nancy Grevemberg, went to get Clifford out of jail she could not find out why Clifford had been arrested. "We could never get a straight answer out of anyone," she told WTOC.
And Clifford does not know either.
"I was thinking 'What the, what the heck...what did I do? Am I in trouble or somethin'?
Even if Clifford wasn't a special needs person with a heart condition, his brother Dario says, "(...) there is no reason for 4 cops and a taser. Period."
Tybee Island police chief says officers did what they were trained to do
Tybee Island police chief, Jimmy Price, says his officers did what they were trained to do citing that Grevemberg seemed intoxicated, was a foot taller than the officers and became violent for no reason.
But eyewitnesses disagree with this. From WMBF News' Police Chief Defends Action, Apologizes: Eyewitnesses, who say they saw Grevemeberg being arrested, tell a different story. "The officer said put your hands behind your back. He said, why am I getting arrested," Mark Tyson, Savannah, told WTOC. "He did what they asked. Then they threw him on the ground and tazed him, and it happened just like that."
Chief Price: "There was no way of knowing that Grevemberg was autistic."
The officer's report states that Grevemberg said he had been drinking, which Clifford claims as not true.
"Keep in mind the conditions under which the officers were working."
In the police report that Chief Price sent to various news outlets, the cover sheet reads in part, "As you read them, please try to keep in mind the conditions under which the officers were working." He then goes on to specify that this area following the Beach Bum Parade was a "rowdy and raucous event dominated by the consumption of adult beverages and disorderly activities."
It seems, then, that Police Chief Price has a few conditions that excuse the tasering and - at a minimum - "rough handling" of a person. Let's review them:
- If you're taller than the officers
- If you seem intoxicated
- If the officers current 'environment' may be stressful for the officers
Conclusion: If you decide to visit Tybee Island, Georgia, during one of these 'stressful' events for officers, make sure you are shorter than them and that you curb or change your personality or any disorders or special needs you may have so as not to seem intoxicated. In this way, you may not get tasered, beaten and arrested; Or in the least, perhaps if you do get tasered, beaten, and arrested, Chief Price will have to get more creative as to what it was about your looks or demeanor that justified it.
Jan 2013 -
So it's been over 2 years and I wanted to see if there'd been any resolution or satisfiable outcome to Clifford's ordeal. You might be pleased to know - if you do not already - that he was awarded $250K for his unjust brutality.
ALSO of note is that the two officers faced charges [pleading NOT GUILTY and requesting jury trials] while longtime police chief Jimmy Price resigned in June in the wake of the incident.
Less than a month after pleading not guilty, Timothy Sullivan and Travis Daniel accepted a 4 year suspended sentence in exchange for their plea of GUILTY.