Protesters demanding criminal conviction for former Red Bank officer
Mark Kaylor sat by himself in judge Rebecca Sterns courtroom with nearly every news media in Chattanooga awaiting to see what he would plead once his name was called.
As he sat quietly, members of the Concerned Citizens for Justice began walking into the courtroom only to to find out nothing was going to happen.
According to Hamilton County Criminal Court officials, Kaylor was scheduled to enter a plea in front of Judge Stern. But his defense attorney and the prosecutor agreed to postpone the matter until June 22nd.
Nearly an hour before Kaylor was scheduled to go before the judge, Concerned Citizens for Justice stood outside the court house in front of the Cherry Street entrance demanding Kaylor be convicted of charges that include:
"Even him being indicted is a small step toward justice but what justice actually looks like is the structure where this can happen not being in existence anymore," said CCJ spokesperson Ash-Lee Henderson.
Her statement was in direct reference to the way Red Bank police internal affairs cleared the former officer of police brutality.
Back in April of 2014, Kaylor’s own police dash-camera captured him repeatedly punching Candido Medina-Resendiz during a traffic stop. The beating resulted in Medina suffering a serious fracture to his eye socket.
Months after the internal affairs investigation cleared Kaylor of any wrong doing, TBI investigators started to look into the case. Agents found enough evidence to allow a grand jury to indict Kaylor.
On the day Kaylor was charged, WDEF spoke to his defense attorney Lee Davis.
"There’s not going to be a plea discussions in this case. We’ve met with the district attorney’s office. We respect that they’ve conducted an investigation and asked the grand jury to return an indictment," Davis said.
According to protesters, the video evidence against Kaylor should be enough guarantee a conviction. Protesters have also announced something else about the release of the video and the investigation of Kaylor that has raised many red flags.
"CCJ has received hundreds of stories since the investigation into Kaylor opened up. To be honest, it was black people, brown people; it was white people who said they were harassed by Kaylor," Henderson said.
But demanding justice isn’t the only issue raised by protesters. They demand civilian oversight of the Red Bank Police Department.
The people who live and pay taxes in Red Bank should have subpoena power and investigatory power to be able to handle these cases when police misconduct occurs," Henderson said.
While Kaylor fights to keep from being convicted, his former employer; the city of Red Bank is gearing up to fight a federal lawsuit filed by Medina and his attorneys.
Red Bank city leaders have made it clear that they will not comment on Kaylor’s case nor the lawsuit filed against the city.
Kaylor feels confident he will beat the charges and be reinstated. CCJ and community members plan to attend the hearing to send a message that we will not tolerate police brutality AND that this is a systemic issue and not just about Kaylor.
We recognize that this is not a case of a Bad Apple, but of systemic State violence and a lack of accountability at the hands of law enforcement. A grand jury indicted Kaylor, despite Red Bank Police Chief Christol commending Kaylor for restraint and promoting him after clearing him of any wrongdoing. This officer also has a history of Internal Affairs complaints for Excessive Force which have not been met with substantial disciplinary action.
Kaylor was also accused of assaulting another Latino man, Anthony Lopez, but has not been charged in that case. He is also notorious for charging hundreds of drivers with DUIs with a small percentage of those accused actually failing blood alcohol tests.