Vigilante Justice: the victim this time an American

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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Folks, just heard about this. Here is the press release:

AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER VICTIM OF CIVILIAN AND POLICE BRUTALITY IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

John Paul Gallagher, an independent photographer from Connecticut was brutally assaulted by two civilian men, while a mob of more than 20 people, including police officers, encouraged the violence and watched, while doing nothing to help.

On Wednesday December 13th, Gallagher was returning to his car parked on a side street off El Malec?n, the boardwalk area of Santo Domingo City, after photographing the area, when the two men approached him violently. The photographer stated: ?I had come to what I thought was my car, I drive a silver Corolla, the most common type of car in the Dominican Republic, but realized it wasn?t when after putting in my key and actually opening the door, an alarm when off. I realized it was not my car because I do not have an alarm, so I closed the door, and continued to look for my car.? At this point two unidentified males in their late twenties attacked him, binding his hands and legs and throwing him on the ground while the car owner yelled ?get that thief, kill him!? Astonished, Gallagher tried to explain to his attackers that he was no thief, that he in fact had a car just like the lady?s and had been confused. He asked them to please come with him to find his car, but no one listened. The men continued to beat him causing injuries on his head, legs, back, arm, face, in addition to breaking his nose.

Two men from the mob who identified themselves as policemen then took Gallagher into custody, and drove the photographer in his own car, to the police station where he was beaten again by a Dominican police officer who pointed a gun at him.

Gallagher was kept incommunicado, while injured, for nearly three hours. His statement was never taken, and no one in the station would call his embassy: ?I must have looked pretty badly because after a few hours they took me to the hospital, but the only thing they allowed the nurse to do was clean my blood. I received no examination, no medical care, even though the nurse strongly advised immediate X-rays because of my head injuries,? expressed Gallagher. At the hospital, Gallagher was able to ask the nurse to call his wife for him because the police would not allow him to do so.

After being notified by a the nurse who felt sorry for the injustice there committed, Lorgia Garcia, Gallagher?s wife, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, arrived in the station to aid her husband. There, she was threatened by police officers and by Ms. Rodr?guez, the car owner.

Garc?a contacted the US Embassy and Dominican lawyers who were able to obtain a release for Gallagher at around 4.45 PM, seven hours after his arrest. He was then taken to the hospital for medical care. Gallagher and Garc?a expressed concern for their safety. They are imploring the United States to intervene in the situation, to ensure their safety and to investigate this case of civil and human rights violation. Gallagher?s case is not uncommon in the Dominican Republic. Everyday a person is injured or killed by the police or civilians encouraged by the police and the media.

Gallagher photographs the life of marginalized groups in various parts of the world in order to raise social awareness and promote justice. This incident happened while working on a photo essay on the homeless living in the beachfront area of Santo Domingo.
 

miguel

I didn't last long...
Jul 2, 2003
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Insane!!

Does he speaks Spanish?.

Like I have said all along, only barbaric beasts take the law into their own hands.

The other day it was a Dominican thief, now a foreign photographer. Either way, "vigilante justice" is wrong, at least in my opinion.

Btw: before you guys start with your "well, he wasn't stealing anything and was beaten by some animals" comments, remember those "animals" though he was trying to steal the car.

Dominican "vigilante justice"= "punch now and ask questions later".

Truly barbaric.
 

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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Hllywud, I would post the link you are right, but I dont have it. I should be getting it eventually. I have sent an email to the photog -- he lives here now with his wife who is spanish speaking, but I dont know if she is Dominican. Miguel, he does appear to speak Spanish, but I dont know how well.
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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Hlywud, I think this is a general press release .. and meant for general distribution. Maco, I take it we have no copyright issues here? Please confirm.
 

AZB

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Jan 2, 2002
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If it was not his car then how was he able to open the door with his key?
AZB
 

azabache

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Apr 25, 2006
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It's POSSIBLE

If it was not his car then how was he able to open the door with his key?
AZB

It's POSSIBLE. I have made that mistake before. I unlocked the door of a car that looked just like mine, with my own key and then got inside. Once inside I realized my mistake and made a quick exit.
 

Stodgord

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Nov 19, 2004
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If it was not his car then how was he able to open the door with his key?
AZB

One time I had a 1993 Nissan sentra, another person who left his car key in his 1993 Nissan sentra asked me for mine. I was like what! yeah let me use you keys to open mine. I was like okay, but I don't think is going to work. Guess what, my key did not only open his car's door, it also turned the engine on. I was really in shock.
 
Jan 9, 2004
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If it was not his car then how was he able to open the door with his key?
AZB


AZB:

While there are literally tens of thousands of older toyota corollas in existence, there are only so many coded key patterns. The possibility that your key fits someone elses car lock and ignition are not as improbable as one might think.

However, the newer so-called computer "chip keys" are individual to each vehicle. How do you know which one you have? You can usually tell visually, but if not....go and attempt to have a duplicate made. If a non-dealer can replicate it, its the old style. Duplicate "chip keys" are also very expensive. Depending upon the complexity and the dealer, it is not unusual for them to charge $50-$200 for a duplicate.


Respectfully,
Playacaribe2
 
C

Chip00

Guest
What's good to know that his wife, Lorgia Garc?a, is apparently a reporter of some sort - so hopefully this will get the much needed attention of the press here. It also won't hurt that the embassy received calls from US Reps from Conneticut, Michigan, California y Nueva Jersey. That will certainly light a fire under somebodies arse which will certainly make Leonel take notice! Let's hope that this unecessary act of violence will contribute to a more transparent and accountable gov't.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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This is really strange, that we would have two stories of two gringos getting their butts kicked, for doing the very same thing in the last three months trying to get into someone else's car, "by mistake".
I say, lay off the booze or the drugs.
No way I'm trying to get into somone else's car, unless I'm properly intoxicated.
As much as I deplore the violence, assuming the story is true, and it was an innocent mistake, I can tell you that if I see someone opening my car door, looking like he's trying to steal it, I'm not going to sit around and just chit chat with the guy, and no way am I going to believe his story of, "I thought it was my car."
 

SantiagoDR

The "REAL" SantiagoDR
Jan 12, 2006
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Alarm Remote Control

Can't trust them either. In the states I had a "K-9" car alarm, rest of name not remembered, but I came out of the store to the area of where I parked and pressed the button to find my car. I heard three to four car alarms respond, I pressed the button again and still heard multiple responses. And they claimed there were millions of combinations, strange how 3 to 4 of us were all in the same place at the same time, with the same combination.

In Sabana Iglesia years ago I started to get on my Honda motorbike and someguy told me, NO, the other one, seems he had parked near me with one exactly like mine.

So Rocky, yes it can happen....... But I do understand your response.

...and I don't drink!
 

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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Here is his website. He has only been here for about a year or so, but he has previous experience in Mexico. As a documentary photog or Photojournalist he is still very green, but this is how one cuts one teeth in the biz (no pun intended). It seems things are well in hand now, but let this be a lesson to us: double check to make sure it really is your car!
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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I did the same thing with a Toyota Corolla about 10 years ago, and the key opened the door. It was at night me coming out of a night class in college and I was not intoxicated. I didn't start the car because I realized it when I sat down inside.
 

tk toronto

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Sep 7, 2006
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Vigilante "justice" at its best.

This reminds me of the thread with the video of the child being beaten. People beating first and asking questions later. Hopefully someone doesn't have to die before people start realizing that it's always wise to ask questions first before acting, as actions may result in horrific results as what happened to this photographer.

Thank God he got away with his life.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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Vigilante "justice" at its best.

This reminds me of the thread with the video of the child being beaten. People beating first and asking questions later. Hopefully someone doesn't have to die before people start realizing that it's always wise to ask questions first before acting, as actions may result in horrific results as what happened to this photographer.

Thank God he got away with his life.
No doubt, it's not a good thing.
I think people are tiring of poor policing and an apparent rise in crime.
In this case, if it is as reported, it's extremely sad that this fellow would have suffered the violent treatment he received.
The thing I don't get is not knowing your own car and where it's parked.
I'm as big a space cadet as anyone else, but I really would have to be blasted to try to get into the wrong car.