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A norteamericano had a fatal encounter in Tijuana on the morning of September 8.

Kenneth Donald Plouffer Jr., 39 years old and a U.S. citizen, was noticed by TJ cops as he sat in a California-registered Lexus driven by a 77-year-old Mexican man. Plouffer was bleeding profusely from a wound in the back of his head. He was also speaking incoherently and reportedly began foaming at the mouth.

Paramedics were called to aid Plouffer, but according to reports, he refused to be treated. Police, in the meantime, learned that a cab driver had dropped Plouffer off at Mermaids, a nightclub located in the Zona Norte. Plouffer allegedly exited the cab without paying the cab driver and entered the club; but he was told to leave by the club’s manager because of his aggressive behavior. As Plouffer left the club, he allegedly rammed his head intentionally into a large mirror at the entrance, shattering it. This action was the presumed source of the head wound.

Police who arrived during the paramedic intervention handcuffed Plouffer hand and foot, ostensibly so that he would not harm himself. They put him into a squad car and drove him to the juez calificador, a local judge at a precinct house who decides whether an arrestee should be charged with a crime.

Plouffer reportedly fought against his handcuffs and leg irons and threw himself against the wall of the judge’s chambers, finally collapsing to the floor when brought before the judge. He began to foam at the mouth again and then slumped over, dead.

A doctor at the precinct station examined Plouffer but could find no signs of life. The TJ coroner has retained the body for autopsy in order to determine the cause of his death.

Sources: El Mexicano, La Segunda

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Comments

bajajulio Sept. 12, 2010 @ 1:47 p.m.

Many Police have filed suits against the current "Jaded" police chief Gaysaola on charges of torture etc. There should be a video clip of the detanee when he was presented to the "Juez Califiador" Such Tapes would show how he was brought before the judge. In what condition he appeared, his demeanor ect. The dive he was pulled from probably also has cctv system. Any statement that system was not functioning will indicate a cover-up.

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sanko Sept. 12, 2010 @ 4:01 p.m.

In most cases, it's the abuse of power that leads to the abundance of police brutality and corruption. It's more likely they wanted money from him, money that he did'nt have. They should get rid of the police chief, if he can't produce the video tape. Why didn't they take him to the emergency, they managed to take him to jail.

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tbouf Sept. 12, 2010 @ 4:02 p.m.

Before TB Beaudeau prints a story like this he should make an effort to check the facts - that is the core of American journalism. The US Consulate General in TJ received a very different report from what Beaudeau parroted from his Mexican "journalist" sources. Presumably they have to print what the TJ police tell them to print in order to stay in business - that may be Mexican journalism. Beaudeau are you practicing Mexican or American journalism? This looks and smells like a cover-up. Why buy into their muck and smear the name of a person who died in police hands and can not defend himself?

Shame on you Beaudeau and SD Reader for printing such trash without even trying to get the truth. Tell the detainee's story too.

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Founder Sept. 12, 2010 @ 4:37 p.m.

Reply #3 Rather than call "foul", why not just tell us what you know the story to be?

For example, how do you know that "The US Consulate General in TJ received a very different report from what Beaudeau parroted from his Mexican "journalist" sources."

Whose story are YOU trying to tell?

Please give US the facts and or data with sources, that will help US all become better informed!

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Founder Sept. 12, 2010 @ 4:44 p.m.

Reply #1 & #2

Video will become everyone's best friend in the future as more folks will have reason to refer to it, in their own self defense!

Hopefully soon, every police car and squad room will have a video camera and strong questions will be asked if they suddenly stop working!

I spoke to one SDPD Officer that told me, "I wish I could carry a personal voice recorder while on duty, as it would make my job much safer and also prevent wrongful complaints"; people on both side of the badge act far more professional, when they know they are be recorded...

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David Dodd Sept. 12, 2010 @ 6:27 p.m.

"The US Consulate General in TJ received a very different report from what Beaudeau parroted from his Mexican "journalist" sources."

What report? I would contact the Consulate tomorrow in person and ask for a copy, but there isn't one. Since, you know, no one else has one, because it can't be accepted by the consulate without an autopsy report attached. And since, you know, no other news source has picked up this story, the Mexican sources are the only ones.

"Why buy into their muck and smear the name of a person who died in police hands and can not defend himself? Shame on you Beaudeau and SD Reader for printing such trash without even trying to get the truth. Tell the detainee's story too."

You're entitled to your opinion, but that's all it is, an opinion. And judging by your insinuation that the Consulate has some phantom report that Tijuana Police killed a gringo tourist, all I can say is odds are pretty good I would've heard about it on Friday morning.

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Founder Sept. 12, 2010 @ 6:39 p.m.

Reply #6 RFG, Thanks once again for separating the truth from fiction!

Viva Mexico

Viva USA

VIVA Truth

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David Dodd Sept. 12, 2010 @ 6:54 p.m.

I had an expat friend pass a couple of years ago, I know what the procedure is.

While it's entirely possible that some witness slipped a note to the Consulate regarding the incident, there can't be anything official, certainly no report. There has to be an autopsy first. The coroner can only release the autopsy report after relatives have been located and consent has been given. The Consulate will only issue an official report when they have a certified copy of the death certificate (which requires autopsy in cases like this), and various citezenship documents.

Was there any foul play? No idea. But empirically, in my 18+ years here, while cops certainly have hassled and extorted in the past, they aren't keen on killing tourists. In fact, compared to Mexican citizens, gringos are generally treated with more respect, for fear that someone will complain. And I'll tell you what, I have seen American men come over here and get so drunk and mean and belligerent, I am inclined to believe the Tijuana side of this unless other evidence or testimony is presented at some point.

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rodrigo Sept. 12, 2010 @ 7:15 p.m.

If he rammed a mirror why is his head wound on the back of his head? Obviously someone hit him from behind or slammed him into the mirror! Someone pointed that out elsewhere when talking about it.

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David Dodd Sept. 12, 2010 @ 7:32 p.m.

"If he rammed a mirror why is his head wound on the back of his head?"

Excellent question.

"Obviously someone hit him from behind or slammed him into the mirror!"

Could be, certainly not "obviously". He could've been cut in the back of the head by shattered glass.

Here's another scenario, completely my opinion. Guy goes to Tijuana, gets drunk as hell. Too drunk, in fact, to walk even a few blocks to some strip club, so he hails a cab. The cab drives him there, and he leaves the taxi, refusing to pay, and starts raising hell in the club. The bouncer asks him to leave and he refuses and a scuffle ensues when they try to remove him and his head hits a mirror in the process.

Meanwhile, the cops are called. They arrive, and that cab driver is still out there waiting, because he hasn't been paid. Meanwhile the drunk guy now has a wound. Obviously the club manager says they're innocent. Meanwhile, Red Cross is called to attend to the guy, who refuses treatment. So then, the cops have to take this guy and see if they should hold him because he's insanely drunk, owes a cab driver a fare, and then there's the question about the broken mirror. And, he fights the cops, so they have no choice but to hog-tie him.

He goes before the judge and procedes to go stupid, and he dies from whatever he dies from.

Aside from the guy dropping dead, I've seen this happen over and over and over...

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JulioS Sept. 14, 2010 @ 9:48 a.m.

Here goes my two pennies:

Regardless of the matter if one thing characterizes Mexican police is their lack of professionalism which they much rather compensate with hardcore die-hard nationalism since it is cheaper and aplenty in a nation such as mine. My fellow citizen will happily swallow any crap wrapped in nationalistic jingoism than see the facts.

The law executioners failed in guaranteeing basic human civil rights to an individual in a city which has a legal tolerance zone hence giving free rein to said behavior as conducted by the US citizen. Fact: a person died at the hands of an instrument which purportedly exacts justice.

There is no excuse: the Mexican police have a lack of competence which has nothing to do, in this case, with nationalities.

Period.

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