Another police officer has fallen in the line of duty.
This time, however, he was not killed by an assailant’s bullet,
beaten to death by thugs or attacked in the “usual” manner. This time,
he was struck down by one of the most powerful forces arrayed against
today’s law enforcement officers — political correctness.
The cop I’m talking about is veteran Detroit police officer Larry
Nevers, who — after serving the people of Detroit with merit and honor
for 24 years — is currently sitting in jail for something he didn’t do.
He was charged with the second-degree murder of a suspect and faces
up to 15 years in jail. Thing is, he may not live that long; he has lung
cancer and emphysema.
It all started way back in 1993.
Nevers and his partner, Walter Budzyn, were patrolling a dangerous
section of Detroit, when they spotted a car similar to one reported
stolen at gunpoint the day before. The car was parked in front of a
known crack house and drug center.
The car’s driver was a career criminal named Malice Green, a black
man. Green had been busted for a number of things, including beating his
wife, drunk driving, assault and battery, and resisting arrest.
You know, a real model citizen.
Anyway, Budzyn and Nevers proceeded to question Green, but he began
resisting. He refused to show his hands — Budzyn had repeatedly asked
him to do so because Green looked like he was trying to hide something
— and refused to answer other questions. Remember, the car had been
reported stolen at gunpoint.
Instead, Green — who was later determined to be loaded on booze and
drugs — kicked Budzyn, pulled him into the alleged stolen car and a
fight ensued. Nevers swung around to the other side of the car, but when
he attempted to secure Green, the doper double-kicked Nevers in the
chest and tried to grab Nevers’ gun.
So Nevers, who had a fraction of a second to react, struck Green in
the head with his Maglight flashlight, hoping to subdue the suspect long
enough to cuff him and arrest him.
Green, however, was “cracked” up, and didn’t respond to Nevers’
initial blow. So he kept fighting the officers.
In the end it took four cops and several more flashlight blows to
subdue Green — who only weighed 150 lbs.
What happened next is such a travesty of justice it hurts to write
An ambulance was called to transport Green to the emergency room to
have the cuts on his head, caused by the blows he received, examined and
treated. Unfortunately — for Nevers — Green died at the E.R.
Within hours upon hearing of the incident, the liberal weenies who
head up the Detroit PD were calling Nevers’ actions murder —
before asking Nevers one question or reading one word of his and
The NAACP joined in — naturally — and labeled it a clear-cut case
of police brutality and outright murder. The Detroit PD hierarchy bought
that load of dung and sided with the NAACP. This, before there was ever
an investigation or an autopsy.
City leaders even refused to let the Detroit PD conduct an Internal
Affairs investigation — usually standard practice involving such
charges against an officer.
Meanwhile, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young announced on TV that Nevers
“murdered” Green. The PC call for action only grew louder from that
In just under a day, Nevers and Budzyn found themselves out on the
street — suspended without pay and, obviously, without good reason.
Because, you see, eventually an autopsy was performed. Lo and behold,
medical examiners found that Green did not die from “repeated
blows” from Nevers’ flashlight. They found instead that Green had died
from repeated alcohol and drug binges; his heart was enlarged
and, coupled with his drugs and alcohol combination that night — not to
mention the physical strain of combating several police officers — his
ticker just gave out.
That should have vindicated Nevers and Budzyn. It did not.
The Detroit Police arrest manual should have vindicated Nevers and
Budzyn, for it says, “No amount of force is too great in making an
arrest if it is necessary to overcome obstinate and dangerous
resistance.” It did not.
City officials and the police leadership should have stood up for
their officers. They did not.
In fact, city officials said the only thing that would bring
vindication was to see Nevers and Budzyn — both whites — punished for
“what they did.” As Mayor Coleman said at the time, the city’s actions
were necessary to avoid “another Rodney King-type incident.”
Strange when the inmates begin dictating terms to the asylum.
Never mind that these cops were in danger. Never mind that their own
police manual instructed them to use such force in this situation. Never
mind that Green died from causes of his own making (both the drugs
and by resisting arrest).
No, never mind all of that. A black man died at the hands of
white cops; so it’s automatically racist, ethnically motivated
Even if nothing on which these charges are based on is true.
Green died and that’s unfortunate. More unfortunate, however, was the
way in which he chose to live his life; his own personal
habits — not the professional habits of Nevers and Budzyn — led to his
eventual death. If he hadn’t died that night, he would have died soon,
at some future point; the medical examiner’s report confirmed that by
documenting his heart condition.
Despite the initial travesty, justice finally appeared on the horizon
for Nevers. After being initially sentenced to 12-25 years in jail;
after the city agreed to pay Nevers’ relatives $5.25 million of Detroit
taxpayers’ money; after Nevers sat in jail for over four years —
finally, a court said his trial was a sham.
The 6th U.S. District Court ruled that Nevers had not received a fair
trial. The court ordered a retrial.
But on May 16, 2000, another court sentenced Nevers again; he was
thrown back in jail for seven to 15.
Now he’s dying of cancer and lung disease. His wife, Nancy, wants him
home before he does die; knowing he doesn’t belong in jail to begin
with, she wants to hold him and comfort him in his last days.
But it’s expensive; another appeal will cost more than she can
manage. Larry’s first trial cost $100,000.
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is asking for contributions to help defray these costs.
I’ve already made mine.