“It’s a little thing” you say? Not if YOU are the one so abused. The right judge did the right thing!
Excerpts from the Article:
A former police officer in Hawaii was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday for forcing a homeless man to lick a urinal to avoid being arrested.
“I’m here to judge you on the worst thing you’ve done in your life,” US District Judge Leslie Kobayashi told the former Honolulu cop, John Rabago, at his sentencing. “You took from [that man] his only possession: his dignity as a human being,” Kobayashi told Rabago.
Rabago, 44, and another officer, Reginald Ramones, had responded to a nuisance complaint at a shopping mall in 2018 when they found the man in a stall in a public restroom.
The 37-year-old told the cops he would do “anything” to avoid getting arrested, according to court papers. “If you lick the urinal you won’t get arrested,” Rabago told the man.
Rabago threatened to beat him and shove his face in a toilet if he didn’t lick the urinal, Kobayashi said.
Both officers had been charged with depriving the man of his civil rights.
Ramones, who also left the department, is scheduled to be sentenced next week. At Wednesday’s sentencing, Rabago apologized to the victim and his family.
“Two years ago I made a decision I’m not proud of,” he said. “My actions changed the course of life for all of us.”
The man, who filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department and the city, was “pleasantly surprised” by the four-year sentence, his lawyer, Myles Breiner, said.
“He was under the impression that they would coddle him and give him a minimum term, a very low sentence,” said Breiner.