Justice for Candido – Fire Mark Kaylor
On September 22, 2014 WDEF News published a story on the April 13 police beating of Candido Medina-Resendiz in Red Bank, Tennessee; including a video from the police cruiser’s dashboard camera. Red Bank officer Mark Kaylor punched Medina-Resendiz seven times in the back of the head while on top of him on the ground. This drove Resendiz’ head into the pavement, causing a skull fracture requiring a metal plate.
We demand justice for Resendiz and all of the Red Bank Police Department’s victims. As we have always maintained, this is not a case of “bad apples,” but of the systemic oppression of Black, Brown, and poor communities. We recognize this case as being connected to the State-sanctioned violence committed against people across the country.
We know that the Red Bank Police Department arrests Black people at over 4.3 times the rate of Non-Black people, which contributes to the Black community’s over-representation in Hamilton County’s Silverdale Correctional Facility–Black people represent more than 44% of the population in Silverdale, while only representing 20% of the overall population of Hamilton County.
The Internal Affairs investigation by the Red Bank Police Department not only found that Kaylor’s use of force was within Policies and Procedures, but actually commended him for showing restraint! WDEF also reported that this was not Kaylor’s first incident of brutality; that he has been investigated for excessive force multiple times; and that he lied on his application to Red Bank PD about having been terminated from the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department. A Facebook group and page titled “Fire Officer Mark Kaylor” have even been established by residents regarding numerous other cases of brutality as well as wrongful searches and arrests. In addition, on Oct. 2, 2014 the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported on another case of Officer Kaylor’s excessive force resulting in a major concussion to the victim, after he surrendered. Unfortunately, like most others, there was no video footage of this incident.
This reality shows a clear unwillingness or inability of police departments’ to achieve justice through internal means when cops abuse their power and members of our communities, whether it is in Red Bank, Chattanooga, or Ferguson. This, yet again, demonstrates the urgent need for community control and oversight of the police while we build community-based alternatives to policing and incarceration.