New Orleans Police Fire 1 Officer

Tuesday, July 3rd 2007, 7:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A New Orleans police officer accused of beating a community activist was fired Monday, while another officer accused in the same beating will be disciplined, the police superintendent said.

The two were among a group of seven plainclothes officers in the French Quarter last December who were accused of handcuffing and beating Ronald Coleman, 25. The other five were cleared.

Officer Reynolds Rigney Jr., who joined the police force in 2004, was fired, police Superintendent Warren Riley said. Sgt. Jake Schnapp Jr. was out of town, and no action will be taken until he returns, Riley said. He refused to say what penalty Schnapp faces.

In the Dec. 30 incident, Coleman, a lobbyist for the community group ACORN, said he was beaten and handcuffed by plainclothes officers while walking near Bourbon Street. ``I didn't know what was going on; they just came up and started hitting me,'' Coleman said Monday.

Coleman said the officers told him they were looking for a man suspected of being a pickpocket. When they checked his identification, Coleman said, they released him. Coleman had a concussion, facial cuts, bumps on his head and bruised ribs.

There was no telephone listing for Rigney. A telephone message left with Michael Glasser, president of the Police Association of New Orleans, was not immediately returned.

Schnapp and Rigney were reassigned to desk duty after the beating report, said Deputy Chief Marlon Defillo. The other officers were cleared.