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Beaumont, California Woman Monica Hernandez Blinded With Pepper Spray for “Contempt of Cop”

Posted on 11 May 2012 by george

Thanks to Beaumont, California Police Officer Enoch Clark,  32-year-old Monique Hernandez will never see her ten-year-old daughter again.

On February 21, Clark conducted a traffic stop involving Hernandez, who was suspected of drunk driving. When Clark attempted to handcuff her, Hernandez resisted. The officer responded by using a JPX device – a weapon that uses a gunpowder charge to fire a stream of pepper spray at roughly 400 miles an hour.

The JPX weapon is designed for use at a distance of 6 to 15 feet, and training presentations depict it being used against aggressive, armed assailants. Promotional literature for the JPX weapon – which isn’t categorized as a firearm, because it doesn’t fire a projectile – boasts of “devastating stopping power.”

Officer Enoch Clark

The payload of weaponized OC spray is propelled over the prescribed distance at less than three one-hundredths of a second, making it “too fast to avoid…. The effect is immediate; there is no chance to resist.”

Clark’s attorney insists that the officer’s attack was justified in order “to gain compliance and in defense of his person.” The JPX is not designed to induce “compliance,” but rather to incapacitate an aggressor at a distance. Clark – who was armed and wearing body armor — fired it into Hernandez’s temple from a distance of roughly ten inches, blowing apart her right eye and leaving the left with severe, irreparable damage.

Anyone who had undergone rudimentary training with the JPX would understand that the weapon should not be fired directly into the head or face of a non-violent suspect. Clark’s actions suggest that his intention was not to gain “compliance,” but rather to inflict summary street punishment for “contempt of cop.”

Hernandez was taken to the hospital and never charged. Following an investigation by the county Sherriff’s office, a grand jury indicted Clark on four felony charges: Assault under color of authority, assault with a less lethal weapon, use of force causing severe bodily injury, and assault with force likely to cause severe bodily injury. Free on $50,000 bail, Clark faces up to 20 years in prison. At present, the officer – who is chairman of the local police union — was placed on administrative leave, which is to say that he was given a paid vacation.

Stormtroopers armed with JPX pepper spray guns

Interestingly, the law firm representing Clark in his criminal trial is involving in a union lawsuit against Beaumont Police Chief Frank Coe, claiming that the chief retaliated against critics on in the department by denying them promotions, thereby leaving several positions vacant.

Tragically, the blinding of Monique Hernandez arose out of a domestic disturbance that led to a 911 call. Two officers responded to the call, one of whom reportedly witnessed the assault while speaking with Hernandez’s family.

It should be remembered that any time someone calls for police “assistance,” he’s inviting the intervention of people who consider themselves licensed to inflict potentially lethal violence as punishment for non-compliance. It should be assumed that if the police get involved, somebody is going to injured or killed – generally without just cause.

Read more here.


13 Comments For This Post

  1. Thomas Jenkins Says:

    It’s encouraging to see that Clark was indicted.

  2. RioSam Says:

    Just another day in the life of the Gestapo police in our country..and it IS everywhere!!

  3. Bill of Rights Says:

    Here’s a clue: Don’t resist when you are placed under arrest. If you act aggressive toward the police expect agression back. She ended up losing an eye, she could have lost her life. The police were called there and when they respond to a emergency the end result is; they are going home safe. I’m sure the cop is no mind reader so he has to assume the person means him harm. Was she grabbing for his real gun? Was she reaching for a knife? Or was she offering to bake him some cookies?

    If someone acts agressive toward an officer they obviously are not rational. Cops make split second decisions in high stress situations all the time. As we can see from the article, it is being handled. All of you arm chair warriors would piss your pants if you saw what these guys and gals see every night.

    I’m not saying what he did is justified but I’m sure his intent was NOT “let me see if I can take out her eye with this”. Everyone is so quick to judge the police and forget what the other person was doing.

  4. SickOfItAll Says:

    “It’s encouraging to see that Clark was indicted.”

    No, it will be encouraging to see the heads of Clark and the rest of his ilk cut off and stuck on a pike as a warning to the other would be thugs that for some actions the price is dear indeed.

  5. William Grigg Says:

    If someone acts agressive toward an officer they obviously are not rational.

    Most police are trained to be professional cowards, programmed to perceive anything other than immediate, unqualified submission — whether it’s a facial expression, a verbal objection, or even a fleeting hesitation — as “aggression” supposedly justifying summary punishment. In what sense is this to be considered “rational”?

    Cops make split second decisions in high stress situations all the time.

    No, they don’t: Most police officers are paper-pushers, revenue-harvesters, and armed errand boys. Law enforcement is a ridiculously low-risk occupation. Farmers, commercial fishermen, truck drivers, and other genuinely productive private workers face much higher levels of occupational stress and risk.

    As we can see from the article, it is being handled. All of you arm chair warriors would piss your pants if you saw what these guys and gals see every night.

    We really need to slay the durable, TV-sustained myth that police officers are modern paladins who constitute the embattled blue line separating civilization from barbarism. Police are among the most risk-aversive and unaccountable people in society. What makes this case exceptional is not the criminal brutality involved, but the fact that the perpetrator actually confronts the prospect of punishment.

    Everyone is so quick to judge the police and forget what the other person was doing.

    We KNOW what the assailant did to Mrs. Rodriguez; we only have his word that she was in some sense a “threat” to him. When a large, armored male attacks a much smaller, unarmed female in a way that leaves her permanently blind and disfigured, we’re entitled to entertain a rather low opinion of the assailant, irrespective of the title he’s arrogated or the costume he wears on the job.

  6. CDenise Says:

    Okay, Mr. Bill of Rights! Police are supposed to be trained to handle all situations in a reasonable manner. What if she was mentally ill?? Then what? He should have just killed her like cops in L.A. just did? I know what kind of person you are. One of those people that always stick up for the cops no matter what! Well guess what? I have always admired the way I see cops deal with people who are unruly. Good Cops know how to do there jobs and not hurt or kill people that don’t deserve it. Let’s see how you would feel if it was your family. Although, I doubt you have any and if you do you have probably put the fear of God into them. Regards!!!!!

  7. Mikey Says:

    Interesting how even Rodney King, with the 53+ blow-to-the-head beat down by several cops, can still see today.

    Not only should this guy who could not follow proper training on how to use his new toys get stashed in general pop with the rest of the bad guys, his family should have to pay the medical care of the victim. No amount of resisting justifies the taking of someone’s eye sight.

  8. Igantious Donnely Says:

    Bill of Rights ..if everthere was a mistitled individual….how ironic…..Do you relize how obnoxious, hatefull, arrogant and mean spirited and psychopathic your comments sound? And no I don’t hate cops, so that accusation and mind game isn’t going to work, but idiots like you sure as Hell don’t help their reputation when you start this ignorant defense of corrupt over use of force for very minor offenses. People like you comming across as a corrupt power mad individual actually do police forces across this nation a huge disservice with your hatefull ranting but your not even intelligent enough to realize that, and that’s the real scary part.

  9. NGAPatriot Says:

    How did you get the name Bill of Rights, it is obvious you don’t understand the “Bill of Rights” in the US Constitution, and you don’t understand that when you take a pay check from the government, it places you on the other side of the Bill of Rights while you are on duty, which policemen are on call 24-7.

  10. CDenise Says:

    Mr. Bill of Rights!!! So someone disagrees with you and you automatically play the psycho card! Your’e funny. It’s looks like more people agree with me than you and your hurt. That’s okay. I am done talking with such a heartless person. Good Day!

  11. Joel Says:

    Man I went on a ride along with Officer Clark. He was a cool guy, this is very unfortunate. I blame the woman for resisting arrest.

  12. William Grigg Says:

    I blame the woman for resisting arrest.

    This explains why Clark shot her in the side of the head, point-blank, with a weapon designed for use — at a distance — against an armed aggressor?

    Perhaps just a bit of the blame accrues to the “cool” cop who couldn’t figured out a better way to deal with an unarmed woman — assuming, for the moment, that an arrest was actually justified.

  13. jbstork Says:

    I saw the dashcam video recently.

    There is no question, she was not resisting at all. She was handcuffed and bent over the hood of the police vehicle.

    “Stop resisting” in police language means “STFU.” She didn’t shut up, and so she was blinded by this coward.

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