Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Everyone’s a Critic

     PROVIDENCE, R.I. (C.N.) - A man claims three police officers beat him up because they didn't like a poem he wrote. "What does it mean?" the officers asked him, according to the Superior Court complaint. "If you don't tell me what this is, I'm gonna slap your face across this cabinet. ... You don't know shit on what you write."

Joshua Mendoza says he was asleep in his sister's apartment in Providence when three unidentified Providence police officers entered, woke him up, and searched the place.

Mendoza says the officers found a poem he had written, called "The Injustice of Cornel Young Jr. and Esteban Carpio." The officer - Doe, Roe and Foe - demanded to know who had written it, the complaint states.

Mendoza says he confessed to committing poetry, and the officers demanded, "'What does it [the poem] mean?' and 'If you don't tell me what this [the poem] is, I'm gonna slap your face across this cabinet."

The complaint continues: "Defendants Doe, Roe and/or Foe said to the plaintiff, 'You don't know shit on what you write.'

"Defendants Doe, Roe and/or Foe then punched the plaintiff in his face several times.

"Defendants Doe, Roe and/or Foe screamed, 'You shouldn't write about things if you don't know what you're talking about.'

"Defendants Doe, Roe and/or Foe threatened physical hard to the plaintiff if he revealed anything about the assault."

Mendoza says he sought medical treatment at Roger Williams Hospital.

He seeks damages from the City of Providence for negligence, assault and battery and civil rights violations.

Esteban Carpio is serving life in prison without parole for shooting to death Providence Police Det. Sgt. James Allen in April 2005. Carpio took away Allen's gun while being interrogated at police headquarters, killed him and jumped out a third-story window. He was caught in less than an hour. A jury convicted him of murder in July 2006. According to contemporary reports, a state police detective who arrested Carpio after his escape punched him three times in the face, breaking bones.

Cornel Young Jr., also of the Providence Police, was shot to death accidentally by fellow officers in 2000, according to "The Officer Down Memorial Page" and Providence newspaper reports.

Mendoza is represented by V. Edward Formisano with Sinapi Formisano of Cranston, R.I.

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