It was almost two years ago that a cop was caught on surveillance camera beating a handcuffed Army vet in the lobby of his mother's Upper West Side building, but the footage still hasn't surfaced online. You may recall that the accused officer, David London, actually paused during the beating to take a phone call, then resumed hitting Walter Harvin with his baton (allegedly!). Jury selection in London's trial began yesterday, despite the fact that Harvin has been missing for months.
Now, before we jump to conclusions and assume that Harvin "accidentally" fell into the East River wearing cement boots, it's important to note that he's suffered from P.T.S.D. ever since returning from a six month tour in Iraq in 2004. His brother tells the Daily News that Harvin "hasn't been right" since coming home:
He took off about six or seven months ago. He doesn't have a phone, we don't know where exactly he is. We actually thought he was dead for a while, because the cops (in Denver) found a body with a matching tattoo, same one as my brother's. Then, around 5 months ago, he saw his picture on a missing person poster and called his lawyer to tell him he was alive. I worry when I think about it for too long, but he's always been alright and I think he'll come home if we can find him.
The 2008 lobby beating allegedly occurred after Officer London and his partner stopped Harvin as he entered his mother's building at 1 a.m. without a key. "As I walked into the elevator he grabbed my arm. That's when I pushed him," Harvin told the News after the incident. "I was on the floor and he kept beating me with the stick. He sprayed me with Mace. While I was on the floor, he handcuffed me. I don't remember too much about it."
"Where he is is simply unknown," Assistant District Attorney David Drucker tells the Post. The defense is demanding access to Harvin's VA medical records, as well as his record on a prior resisting arrest charge in Denver.