On the night of February 21, Aaron Winston was attending an event at the Mosaic Nightclub at Power Plant Live, when a skirmish ensued, resulting in a friend being arrested. Winston reportedly approached Officer Andre Smith, a colleague, asking what was going on and pleading for his friend to be released. According to Winston, Officer Alexandros Haziminas grabbed Winston, pulled his arm out of the socket and broke it in two places.
(From left to right) Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon, Aaron Winston and Edward Winston, holding a picture of the police officer who allegedly hurt Winston, and the Rev. Cortly ‘C.D.’ Witherspoon (back) at a news conference announcing Aaron Winston’s acquittal on Aug. 17. (Photo by Maliik Obee)
“Officer Haziminas is 6’2 350 lbs, Mr. Winston is 5’6 150 lbs” said J. Wyndal Gordon, Winston’s attorney, during a news conference on Aug. 17. According to reports,
Officer Haziminas rode in the ambulance with Winston where Winston was taunted and interrogated. The interrogation and taunting continued at Winston’s hospital bedside, where the nurse reports officers made jokes at the expense of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody last April.
“The nurse had to ask them to leave” said Gordon. Winston’s arm needed metal screws and required surgery. The subsequent filing of charges by the Baltimore Police received scrutiny, resulting in Commissioner Kevin Davis responding to the case in a press conference.
“We want to find out why the officers left at his bedside at the hospital,” Davis said on Feb. 26. “And we’re trying to find out exactly what happened with the three officers in the club.”
Facing two counts of Second Degree Assault, two counts of Resisting/Interfering with Arrest, Obstructing and Hindering, Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Obey Reasonable and Lawful Order, Winston was acquitted of all charges.
Winston’s father, Edward has been vocal about the accountability of the Baltimore Police Department since the his son’s arrest.
“This is a challenge to see what does, to see if he is a man of his word” said Edward Winston. Edward Winston was referring to Davis’ pledge to “implement necessary reforms in our agency” following the release of a scathing report from the Department of Justice which highlighted how the Baltimore Police Department routinely violates the constitutional rights of African-Americans.
“Let the officers know that I’m coming at them hard,” said Aaron Winston. “I think the citizens of this city quite frankly feel that there is no justice when it comes to the Baltimore City Police Department.”
Faced with $90,000 in medical bills and a permanently damaged arm, Winston and Gordon are preparing civil litigation.