Homicide By Electrocution

Calvon Reid


It’s Monday … I am not sure about you but I know what I’m gonna do!  Keep it movin’ … forward!

Happy Monday to all of us who are able to enjoy it to its fullest.  Keep in mind, there are some folks who are just getting by … and others … I’ve heard them say … are just waiting to die! Peace be still …..
First of all, I wanted to wish all folks of Caribbean descent a “Happy Caribbean Culture” Month, y’all!  Many of the people of color who arrived in this country via either slavery or voluntary immigration “passed through” the Caribbean Islands.  The music, the culture even the languages spoken in the numerous Caribbean Islands vary and are particularly unique.  Personally, I have ONLY visited the Bahamas … in particular, Great Exuma.  As far as the other Caribbean islands, my exposure is limited to books or movies (documentaries) and friends!  For example, when I worked at City College as the International Student Advisor, I had the pleasure of meeting students from places like Turks and Cacos, Haiti and Jamaica.  It was a position I had at Fort Lauderdale’s City College Campus that taught me more about embracing diversity.  We even had an International Students Week during which the various cultures of the student body had an opportunity to be exposed to the school’s student body in the form of international foods and music … and of course languages.  We had empanadas, we had “grillo” (Haitian beans rice and meat) and we had Jamaican jerk foods, too!  So Happy Caribbean Culture Month, y’all!
One of the most disturbing stories regarding police misconduct actually occurred just a few miles from where I lived in Fort Lauderdale and is a town that I pass through en route to work each day.  It was the arrest of a man named Calvon Reid by the Coconut Creek Police Department.  It all started when Reid, who was a 39 year African American man who “floated” from place to place in the Fort Lauderdale area, entered a gated community’s walls and collapsed.  When he was revived, he asked for help from the passers by.  When someone called the ambulance, Reid refused treatment from them … but he was alive. Shortly after, the Coconut Creek Police arrived.  It was clear that Mr. Reid was either intoxicated and later determined that he was also high on cocaine … or both.  He also had a short “rap sheet” of minor arrests involving drug abuse and possession of controlled substances.  He worked off and on, apparently, as a meat salesman.  His father, Calvin Reid, lives in South Carolina but came to investigate his son’s “mysterious” death with his daughter, Calvon’s sister, who spear-headed the investigation with two reporters.  Whenever I mention a story with a person who was “on drugs”, I always like to remind people of Charlie Sheen’s escapades at a hotel in New York where he supposedly entered with two or three strippers and a briefcase full of crack cocaine!  And … he was never arrested, charged, handcuffed or anything else after so much drama went down that day when he accused the stripper of stealing his Rolex watch.  This all took place sometime in October 2011 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City … anybody remember?!  Yes, and he was NAKED and trashed his room.  I guess when you have that much money, nothing can touch your wrong doings!
Anyway, when the Coconut Creek Police officers arrived, they confirmed that Reid was having a bit of trouble handling his “high”, or lack of it, at this time.  Upon seeing the police, he decided to run.  They took chase after him and two or three officers took out their tasers to stop him.  While being … what do you call it … “arrested”, though he hadn’t committed a crime that the police knew of, they chased him down, tased him multiple times as he yelled in an audible voice to people near the location where he was taken down, “I can’t breathe!” and “They’re trying to kill me!”  The onlookers were in shock but as the “gang of officers” stood over him, sending their currents from their tasers into his body simultaneously, they stood by helplessly.  The medical examiner/coroner’s report stated that Mr. Reid’s death was “homicide by electrocution”.  The police chief resigned promptly after Mr. Reid’s death.  Two reporters led an investigation into the Coconut Creek Police Department’s records regarding training for taser use.   NONE of the officers, including the lead officer, a sergeant I believe, were properly trained NOR had certification for “taser use”!!!  Then, of course, in order to add insult to injury, after the Chief resigned, the Coconut Creek Police Department kept the public in “the dark” regarding the events surrounding Reid’s death while in police custody … not having been arrested for anything, the same officers returned to work WITH pay as Reid’s family members watched in disbelief.  Even some of the residents in Coconut Creek are concerned that “officers” who killed a man for no reason, with no arrest reason, in their custody are “back on the streets”.  A little reverse criminology here …. as thugs who senselessly murdered a man  using devices that they had NO knowledge of how to use correctly put back on their badges, guns … yep … and tasers!
There is more to come from the rank and file above these characters, as the investigation continues.  The coroner/medical examiner has shed some light on it …. “Homicide by electrocution” ….
John I. Cook, Director

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