In 2006, Dymond Milburn went outside her home to flip on the breaker. She was promptly confronted by plainclothes cops telling her, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me." By the way: she was 12.
And it gets much, much worse. According to the Houston Press account of the lawsuit Dymond's family filed against the cops:
Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat. As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer…Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant.
The cops insist they thought Dymond was a prostitute because she was wearing "tight shorts." Well, Dymond spent time in the hospital with throat and eardrum injuries after the incident, and to this day has recurring nightmares. Dymond's case has already gone to court once, and was declared a mistrial recently. She'll be back in court in February. The officers' lawyer says, "The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances."
Some detractors of Dymond are likening her case to that of Tawana Brawley, the fifteen-year-old African American woman who, in 1987, claimed that six white men, including some police officers, raped her. Internet commenters claim that Dymond is a liar because she exaggerated her age on some social networking sites. But a blogger called The Agitator stands up for Dymond, saying her complaints are very real. "Here's what isn't in dispute: Milburn was wrongly targeted during a prostitution raid," the Agitator says. And furthermore, the blogger explains the reason the case hasn't made major news yet: "The lawsuit was filed in August of an election year. A single instance of police misconduct in Galveston at that time would have quite a few other stories to compete with. As to why the story wasn't covered in 2006, Vogel tells me the raid took place in a low-income neighborhood. I would guess that after a traumatic experience like that, and after the seemingly retributive arrest, the family was either too frightened to take their story to the media, or couldn't get anyone to listen when they did."
Police Get The Wrong House In Galveston, Allegedly Assault 12-Year-Old Girl [Houston Press]
More On Dymond Milburn [The Agitator]