Alleged victim claims NOPD officers called him 'Fake American' before fight
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The man who says two rookie NOPD officers beat him up outside a Mid-City bar early Tuesday morning is now coming forward. NOPD announced they arrested John Galman and Spencer Sutton and charged them with simple battery.
The victim, Jorge Gomez, says he would go to the Mid-City Yacht Club to catch some games. He says he never expected to get into a near-brawl with two NOPD officers.
Officers Galman and Sutton now both face simple battery charges after the Public Integrity Bureau investigated the incident. They've also started the process in firing the rookie officers. Gomez says in the bar, he didn't even know they were officers.
"He didn't like the way I dressed. That was pretty much I was dressed in a T-shirt like this and pants like this," said Gomez.
Gomez says he was wearing clothing with camouflage print and would normally stay to himself, but Monday night Galman and Sutton called him over. He says Galman starting talking to him about being a Marine, to which Gomez responded that he served in the Army. But according to Gomez, that's when the conversation started escalating.
"Calling me fake American and all that; we almost look the same color so I don't know what the difference between him and me. What is the difference at this point?" he said.
That's when Gomez says they took his bandanna, and said he tried to walk away.
"I was trying to play it cool because she said she was going to call the cops, so I was like, ok, its cool It's been like that before, but he came back and he engaged. He was hitting me and I was like, 'Are you for real? You're hitting me.' I didn't feel anything until I see a lot of bleeding," said Gomez.
Gomez says the officers threatened him, "'You're going to jail.'" That's when he told me he was going to kill me. 'You're going to die; you're going to die.'"
Now he just wants an apology
Both Galman and Sutton graduated from the NOPD training academy in December 2017 and were in a probationary employment period.
NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said in a statement:
"After gathering multiple video accounts and eyewitness statements, the evidence collected by our PIB investigators clearly demonstrates that our officers were the aggressors in this incident… Members of our department are expected to comply with the law and adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, whether on- or off-duty. The swift pace at which the Public Integrity Bureau investigated this incident and the decisive actions taken by the NOPD today by arresting the officers and starting the termination process clearly demonstrate how seriously our department views their actions."
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