Surprise Witness Says He Saw Officers
      Beat Black Motorist

      Associated Press, 10/17/96; 00:43 

      PITTSBURGH (AP) - A surprise prosecution witness testified
      Wednesday that he saw white police officers beat a downed black
      motorist with a billy club after a traffic stop in suburban 

      Tow truck driver Frank Belajac, 33, who is white, testified 
      he was on State Route 51 waiting for calls when he saw Jonny 
      Gammage getting beaten. 

      ``I noticed that they were hitting on him,'' Belajac said. 
      ``It looked like one was on his back hitting him on his back.'' 

      Lt. Milton Mulholland and Officer Michael Albert are charged 
      with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Gammage, who 
      was a cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Ray Seals. 

IAN: Only charged with "involuntary manslaughter" ??? 

      A third officer, John Vojtas, will be tried separately. 

      [ The Witness ] said he was listening to a police scanner, 
      hoping to hear about an accident that he could tow, when he 
      heard police stop Gammage's car a few blocks away near an 
      elementary school. 

      As he drove past on his way home, Belajac said he pulled into
      an adjacent restaurant when he saw the officers with Gammage
      because ``it looked like a fight was starting.'' 

      Belajac said when he drove past, Gammage appeared to be
      swinging at a policeman. He said he saw the officer tackle
      Gammage from behind, then other officers arrived and joined in. 

      ``It looked like one had a billy club,'' Belajac said. 

      His testimony contradicts police, who said the fight did not 
      begin until three officers were present. 

      Also on Wednesday, Seals testified as a character witness for
      Gammage, outlining his cousin's charity work and accusing police
      of planting a moldy bag of marijuana in the car Gammage was
      driving, which Seals owns. 

IAN: My read: "Hay boy, lookie what I just found in yer car. Hooo weee,
looks like your gonna be on the work crew for a few years. He he he." 
"Hell no you dam cop. You're not setting me up like this." Then push 
comes to shove, the witness comes in as all three cops start beating the 
guy. The cops really get into it, forgetting about this new chain-gang 
slave they'd just set-up and beat him till he's not moving any more.
Probably only regretting afterwards: "Crap, now we gotta rustle up 
another slave before the nights out." Gee, I really love authority.

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