US Marijuana Party

Monday, August 29, 2005

Jurors see close-up of tourist's injuries after border struggle

Associated Press Writer

August 29, 2005, 6:43 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jurors who will decide whether a border officer was too rough on a Chinese tourist got a close-up look at the visitor's injuries Monday through pictures taken shortly after the incident.

On Tuesday, government prosecutors were expected to put the alleged victim on the stand.

Department of Homeland Security Officer Robert Rhodes is charged with violating Zhao Yan's civil rights by using excessive force after mistaking her for a drug suspect at a Niagara Falls inspection station where she had traveled with a tour group. Prosecutors say Rhodes sprayed Zhao with pepper spray, slammed her head to the pavement and drove his knee into the side of her face.

The photographs taken within two hours of the incident last July showed Zhao's forehead scratched and swollen, her left eye puffed to a slit and bruising to her right eyelid.

Zhao suffered no broken bones and no internal bleeding, an emergency room doctor who treated her testified Monday. Dr. Gil Marzinek said Zhao's eyes were irritated from pepper spray and attributed the swelling and bruising to "forceful contact with a hard surface."


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