DALLAS, TX — An innocent pedestrian was attacked by police, beaten up on camera, framed with 2 felonies, and then sat in jail for 15 months. He was finally exonerated when the dash-cam video showed that everything the police had claimed was a lie. That officer blatantly attempted to ruin a man’s life but was never charged with a crime.
A Night to Remember
Ronald B. Jones, age 62, was walking down the street on December 18, 2009, when his life was changed forever as he was singled out by a ruthless predator employed by the Dallas Police Department.
DPD Officer Matthew Antkowiak was supposed to be in the area looking for two white males who were fighting. Instead he saw Mr. Jones, a black male who was doing nothing wrong and did not match either suspects’ description.
Officer Antkowiak begins the encounter by ordering Mr. Jones to the front of his police cruiser. Jones complies and places his hands on the hood. For no apparent reason, Antkowiak began to place Jones in handcuffs. When the officer aggressively wrenched Mr. Jones’ arms behind his back, he spun around, as if to try and understand the cause for the arrest.
Officer Antkowiak escalated the violence by slamming Jones backward onto the hood and placing him in a chokehold. The unhinged officer had placed a hand around his victim’s neck.
As the struggle continued, the pair tumbled off of the hood onto the concrete street. Soon after, more officers arrived and began to repeatedly kick the 62-year-old man.
When all was said and done, Mr. Jones was badly bruised and taken to jail.
Concocting False Charges
Officer Antkowiak’s report was filled with lies. He had claimed the encounter began when he witnessed Mr. Jones throw a beer can at his car. The video later showed that was not true.
The officer claimed that he had been choked and kicked by Mr. Jones. The video showed that it was Jones who was the recipient of the choking and kicking.
Antkowiak exaggerated his story to the point of saying that Jones lifted him off the ground by his neck and made him dizzy.
Before the stop was over, cops conspired to shut off one of the dash-cameras. Conveniently, officers then produced a crack pipe from under a squad car and claimed it belonged to Mr. Jones. Police claimed Jones was intoxicated.
The officers’ version of the events was accepted as truth, and the dash-cam evidence was kept under wraps. Ronald Jones was charged with two felonies: aggravated assault of a public servant and cocaine possession. Jones sat in jail for 15 months as a trial loomed.
Finally, Jones’ lawyer arranged for the release of the dashboard camera video. On the day which he was scheduled to go to trial in 2011, prosecutors finally dropped the charges. Evidently Jones had been allowed to sit in jail for over a year without the prosecution glancing at the primary piece of evidence. But what was the police department’s excuse?
Jones had suffered a great injustice. He had been beaten up. He had lost 15 months of his life, and almost lost a lot more thanks to the deliberate falsehoods put forth by Officer Antkowiak.
“Had the videos not surfaced, it’s likely that Mr. Jones would have been convicted of this and served a very long prison sentence,” said Don Tittle, who represented Jones.
Even though the entire arrest was a sham, the department backed its officers. Chief David Brown said they could find “no evidence of excessive force.” Antkowiak suffered no consequences for his attack on Ronald Jones, his false police report, and his role in attempting to ruin an innocent man’s life. He had been cleared by internal investigations. The other officers — including the one who runs up and kicks Jones multiple times — were cleared as well.
Antkowiak resigned from the department in 2012 due to unrelated health issues, 3 years after the incident.
Finally, in March 2014, Ronald Jones’ lawsuit resulted in a $1.1 million settlement for his false imprisonment. Jones is now 66 years old.
“He spent 15 months in jail for something he clearly didn’t do,” Tittle said to WFAA. “I doubt money would make up for that.”
When the Dallas Morning News tracked down Matthew Antkowiak, he said he is “not ashamed of anything” he did in his career.
“Am I angry about the way this all went down? Damn straight I am,” Antkowiak said. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to back into a corner and say, ‘I’m sorry for doing my job.’”
Antkowiak is now the CEO of a private security company and helps to train police officers.
Read more about Dallas Police via Police State USA:
- Dallas cops shoot mentally ill man, lie about him charging with a knife
- Dallas police shot unarmed man holding hands in the air, witness says
- Dallas police opened fire on unarmed man as he stood in his doorway
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