Posts Tagged ‘police use of force’

In Fort Worth, the family of a 72-year-old man killed by police who responded to the wrong address after a burglary call has filed a wrongful death suit.

The suit, filed Tuesday, alleges that an officer admitted that he never identified himself as an officer before shooting Jerry Waller, that police moved Waller’s body after the shooting, and that investigators questioned the officers involved in a way to “provide a defense to the police shooting of an unarmed innocent man.”

The lawsuit alleges that officer Richard Hoeppner trespassed on the Wallers’ property, used excessive force against Waller, and destroyed or altered evidence to make it appear as if Waller was armed and posed a threat.

Brender alleges that Waller, a father and grandfather, had been standing in his own garage, unarmed and with both hands in the air, when he was shot and killed by Hoeppner.

In addition to Hoeppner, the suit also names as defendants Hoeppner’s then-partner on the call, Benjamin Hanlon, former Police Chief Jeff Halstead, investigators Dana Baggott and Merle Davon Green, and officers B.S. Hardin and A. Chambers.

Hanlon was later fired from the department for falsifying a report on an unrelated case.

City officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the lawsuit. A police spokesman said the department would not be commenting. Halstead also declined to comment.

Police officials have previously said Hoeppner shot Waller after the man pointed a gun at the officer.

A Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict Hoeppner in January 2014.

Halstead, who has since retired, told the Star-Telegram at that time that the grand jury made the right decision.

“I think it was proven through the autopsy and evidence that a gun was pointed directly at officer Hoeppner and he was forced to make his decision ” Halstead said.

But Brender said Tuesday that police relied largely on “junk science” and that the autopsy and crime scene photographs indicate that Waller was unarmed and would have had his hands up at the time he was shot. He released a video Tuesday of a forensic reenactment of the shooting that he said is supported by evidence in the case.

I’m not sure an autopsy can really prove that the decedent was pointing a gun when he was shot. In any case, even assuming what the police say is true, Waller was only defending his home. There’s zero reason to think that a 72-year-old man with no criminal record would knowingly point his gun at police officers who had mistakenly entered the wrong home. Incidentally, a year after Hoeppner shot Waller, he was nominated for an award for exemplary service.

Our next story is also about a lawsuit, also in Texas, also involving an elderly man.

A lawsuit filed against the Georgetown police department alleges unnecessary force against an 81-year-old man.

The suit comes after 81-year-old Herman Crisp says he was the target of unnecessary police force and that officers left him with a broken hip. Then, the lawsuit states, police got no care for him and family members discovered him the next day.

The police were looking for Crisp’s nephew. I suspect that if Crisp had a gun, or was holding something that resembled one, he’d have met the same fate as Waller.

The final story comes from Florida.

On May 11, Justin Way was drinking and threatening to kill himself. His father, George Way, said his son was a recovering alcoholic and had been alcohol-free for five weeks.

“He just lost his job, and he had a setback,” he said.

Way’s live-in girlfriend, Kaitlyn Christine Lyons, said she’d caught Justin drinking a bottle of vodka, which she took away from him to pour out. She said he was drunk, lying in their bed with a large knife, saying he would hurt himself with it. She called a non-emergency number in an attempt to get her boyfriend to a local St. Augustine, Florida, hospital for help—and told them she did not feel threatened.

“My brother has been Baker Acted three times because he was threatening to hurt himself so I figured that would happen with Justin,” said Lyons. Florida’s Baker Act allows the involuntary institutionalization of an individual, and it can be initiated by law-enforcement officials.

“The only person Justin threatened was himself and I honestly don’t think he wanted to die.”

Minutes later, two St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, 26-year-old Jonas Carballosa and 32-year-old Kyle Braig, arrived at the home, armed with assault rifles, and told Kaitlyn to wait outside.

“I thought they were going into war,” she remembered thinking when she first saw the large guns. Within moments, Justin was shot dead.

This is normally where’d I’d strongly caution against ever calling the police if you believe a loved one is unstable or a threat to himself. Too many police departments get too little training in how to resolve these situations peacefully. But that isn’t even what happened here. His girlfriend called a help line. I can’t think of a more inappropriate first response to someone in the midst of a breakdown than to send the SWAT team. But it’s not uncommon. Nor is the result that we saw here.

Source http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/05/28/this-week-in-excessive-force/

This is a valid point- 

“I can guarantee if you look up here and look down there, it might be five people who ain’t been fucked over by the police,” says Baltimore resident Shaun Young, waving a hand at a crowd of maybe a hundred people gathered at Penn and North, site of the protests. “It’s small shit — they get taken advantage of.”

When Baltimore exploded in protests a few weeks ago following the unexplained paddy-wagon death of a young African-American man named Freddie Gray, America responded the way it usually does in a race crisis: It changed the subject.

Instead of using the incident to talk about a campaign of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal searches and arrests across decades of discriminatory policing policies, the debate revolved around whether or not the teenagers who set fire to two West Baltimore CVS stores after Gray’s death were “thugs,” or merely wrongheaded criminals.

From Eric Garner to Michael Brown to Akai Gurley to Tamir Rice to Walter Scott and now Freddie Gray, there have now been so many police killings of African-American men and boys in the past calendar year or so that it’s been easy for both the media and the political mainstream to sell us on the idea that the killings are the whole story.

Fix that little in-custody death problem, we’re told, perhaps with the aid of “better training” or body cameras (which Baltimore has already promised to install by the end of the year), and we can comfortably go back to ignoring poverty, race, abuse, all that depressing inner-city stuff. But body cameras won’t fix it. You can’t put body cameras on a system.

As a visit to post-uprising Baltimore confirms, high-profile police murders are only part of the problem. An equally large issue is the obscene quantity of smaller daily outrages and abuses that regularly go unpunished by a complex network of local criminal-justice bureaucracies, many of which are designed to cover up bad police work and keep all our worst behaviors hidden, even from ourselves.

Go to any predominantly minority neighborhood in any major American city and you’ll hear the same stories: decades of being sworn at, thrown against walls, kicked, searched without cause, stripped naked on busy city streets, threatened with visits from child protective services, chased by dogs, and arrested and jailed not merely on false pretenses, but for reasons that often don’t even rise to the level of being stupid.

“I can guarantee if you look up here and look down there, it might be five people who ain’t been fucked over by the police,” says Baltimore resident Shaun Young, waving a hand at a crowd of maybe a hundred people gathered at Penn and North, site of the protests. “It’s small shit — they get taken advantage of.”

Even though Rolling Stone is a leftist rag that’s not even good for lining bird cages,hell,it ain’t even good enough for starting fires. I don’t think kids even read it any more-never seen any of our six kids,or their boyfriends/husbands or any of their friends reading a copy.

Matt Taibbi does come up with a good one once in a while, like this…

From the article on the LeBron James: Global Superdouche broadcast-

See if those reality-show zoom-ins don’t start to creep into interviews with candidates-

This is the beginning of our big Lost in Space journey together, where news and reality-show programming fuse completely and we all end up complete morons, voting strippers and X-games athletes into the White House. I’m psyched. Are you?

Fontana Police Chief Rodney Jones watched Monday as the Rook – the Inland Valley SWAT team’s newest tactical weapon – used a battering ram to punch a hole in the wall of a building during a demonstration.

Other attachments to the tractor-like, bulletproof vehicle that runs on tank tracks could be used to rescue a police officer or lift debris from a building that collapsed in an earthquake.

Thousands of miles away Monday, President Barack Obama announced that the Pentagon would no longer be allowed to transfer some types of military equipment to police departments, in an effort to improve trust between law enforcement and communities.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force,” Obama said in an appearance in Camden, N.J., where he praised that city’s community policing. The changes follow criticism over how police departments deployed military-style gear to confront protesters in Ferguson, Mo., and other cities.

Jones said Obama was making a mistake.

“What he did was restrict 15,000 law enforcement agencies the ability to get some equipment that they don’t have the funds to buy,” Jones said.

Smaller departments don’t have officers they can spare to share with drug task forces, Jones said. The departments that make up the task forces share in asset-forfeiture funds – cash seized from drug dealers – that can be used to buy equipment.

****“We’ve heard significantly about the ‘militarizing’ of police departments. I’ve been doing this for 34 years. When we started this job we did not see the type of weapons that we see now. Our officers are confronted with people with hand grenades, with rocket launchers and high-powered weapons. If we’re sending these officers into harm’s way, we are not giving them the proper tools to protect themselves. To the people who say there’s a concept of the militarization of police departments, police departments did not create it (trouble); we’re responding to it,” Jones said.*****

Read the rest of this horsepucky @ http://www.pe.com/articles/police-767572-equipment-officers.html

Grapevine, Texas – Monday, a Texas grand jury chose not to indict a Grapevine Police Officer, Robert Clark, for the shooting death of an unarmed man. Ruben Garcia Villalpando, was killed by Clark as he had his hands on his head but was slowly moving towards the officer, contrary to the officer’s commands.

The officer’s dash cam video shows an initial police chase, as Villalpando attempts to evade Clark at high speeds, with Clark eventually holding him at gunpoint and orders him out of the vehicle after the chase concludes.

The officer then commanded Villalpando to put his hands on his head and walk backwards toward the front of the police cruiser. While Villalpando complies with the order to put his hands on his head, the obviously intoxicated suspect doesn’t comply with the demands to walk backwards.

Instead of walking backwards, the suspect slowly shuffles closer to the Clark, as the officer continually orders Villalpando to stop walking towards him.

As Villalpando stepped out of the camera’s view, Clark fired two rounds into him, subsequently killing Villalpando.

Toeing the standard blue line in cases such as this, Clark claimed that he feared for his life during the encounter and thus shot and killed Villalpando.

What is extremely troubling about this situation, aside from the fact that the grand jury didn’t see fit to indict and allow a jury to decide guilt or innocence, is that Villalpando, while not fully compliant, was not in any way violent or aggressive towards the officer.

An autopsy revealed that Villalpando had a .14 blood-alcohol level at the time of his death. It seems more plausible that his non-compliance was less about endangering an officer and had more to do with his inebriated state.
Propaganda video…

Palm Beach County, FL — Jeremy Hutton is a 17-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, who nearly lost his life after an officer shot him three times as he fled.

The incident happen in October of 2010, and the subsequent internal “investigation” cleared Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy, Jason Franqui, the officer who shot Hutton.

Hutton was a somewhat troubled teen and had taken his mother’s minivan for a joy ride.

Deputy Franqui was the officer who responded to the mother’s call for help. When Franqui caught up to Hutton, he stopped at a red light. Franqui then pulled in front of the van in an attempt to stop Hutton.

According to the report and the results of the investigation, Franqui feared for his life because he said Hutton drove directly at him, so he was forced to shoot.

“I watched the driver, he turned the wheel and started coming right at me,” Deputy Franqui told investigators. “I was in fear he was going to hit me.”

Dashcam video of the incident did not refute the deputy’s claims as it only showed a portion of the perspective. The shooting was eventually ruled justified.

The incident was also caught on traffic camera video and despite the “investigation” mentioning the existence of the video, its detail was not mentioned

The traffic cam video refuted the entire deputy’s description. It showed that Hutton made an overt attempt to steer away from deputy Franqui. After the van passed Franqui, is when he opened fire. Hutton was struck in the head, shoulder and arm. Thankfully he lived.

“I don’t think anybody knew or anticipated that they were going to get caught by a traffic camera,” said Stuart Kaplan, the Hutton’s civil attorney.

“This case is one of the most egregious, one of the most disturbing cases that I have pending in my office,” explained Kaplan.

“The traffic camera clearly shows that Jeremy Hutton apparently was driving away from the deputy but actually turned his vehicle as far to the left as possible to completely try and avoid hitting this deputy so it’s completely inconsistent to what was told by the deputy, it’s appalling,” said Kaplan.

“The deputy was not in any danger,” said Kaplan.

What this case illustrates is that not only did an officer lie about what happened and go unpunished, but the officers involved in the investigation seemingly covered up the lies.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/video-refutes-cops-claim-fearing-life-shot-unarmed-boy-syndrome/#OKGY6vHh07UCGxGC.99

Via WaPo-
April 27 at 11:57 AM
Baltimore police said Monday they’ve received credible information that various gangs, including the Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips, have “entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’” law enforcement officers.

The warnings of a threat came as the funeral of Freddie Gray unfolded at a Baltimore church. Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to Gray, 25, who died in police custody — making his death the latest flashpoint in a national debate over police treatment of racial minorities.

Baltimore police advised law enforcement agencies to take “appropriate precautions” to make sure their officers were safe.

No further details were immediately available as to where or when the incidents may occur or when the threats were received.

Over the weekend, there were protests in Baltimore that at times turned violent with damage done to police cars and some vandalism of outdoor patios near the baseball stadium.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.

VIDEO: Cop Snaps, Randomly Attacks Man As He Walked into a Liquor Store

Millville, NJ — In an attempt to bolster transparency, Millville Mayor Michael Santiago released two videos Friday showing the misconduct of two of their high-ranking officers.

Both of the incidents resulted in criminal charges for the officers involved.

Lt. Carl Heger was charged Tuesday with simple assault after surveillance video captured him attacking a man as he walked into a liquor store.

The department released a cellphone video of the surveillance video Friday, which showed Heger turn around and shove a man who was walking behind him. The video does not have audio, but it is apparent that Heger’s actions were in no way self-defense.

The department also released the subsequent 9-1-1 call from the liquor store employee reporting Hager’s assault.

“I just had a customer be assaulted by another one at Joe Canal’s Liquor Store in Millville and a black guy is waiting for him outside,” the unidentified employee said.


Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/video-cop-snaps-randomly-attacks-man-walked-liquor-store/#aD22UqJRd7ykYFIp.99

Police Cadet Turns in Cop for Turning Body Cam Off Just Before Pummeling his Victim

Albuquerque, NM — One of Albuquerque’s finest was arrested Friday afternoon after he was caught turning his body camera off to beat a man during a service call.

Officer Cedric Greer, 24, was arrested by New Mexico State Police after video evidence showed him turn his lapel cam off just before beating a man, then turning it back on afterward. According to the report, the video shows his finger reaching for the camera to turn it off.

Witnesses to the assault say that Greer acted without being provoked and that the victim complied with all orders both before and after the attack.

State police issued a statement Friday stating that Greer “battered an individual during a call for service that he was conducting at a local Albuquerque hotel. He struck the individual’s head several times with a closed fist and then delivered several strikes to the individual’s chest causing bruising.  Witnesses claimed the individual was cooperative with Mr. Greer before and after the battery.”

Greer was arrested for misdemeanor aggravated battery because a police cadet turned him in after witnessing the incident.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-cadet-turns-cop-turning-body-cam-pummeling-victim/#eaztEDGvSu5KFAHe.99

Dashcam Video Shows Cops Lied About Why they Shot Unarmed Man, Leaving Him Paralyzed

An unarmed black man paralyzed by a Florida sheriff’s deputy is suing the police department over the shooting. Newly released dash-cam footage of the incident appears to back up the victim’s claim that the officer lied about how events unfolded.

Footage of Dontrell Stephens moments before he was shot multiple times (Still from Youtube video)RT.com

Dontrell Stephens, who was 20 in September 2013, was talking on a cell phone while riding his bike through West Palm Beach, Florida. His actions were captured on the dash-cam of Deputy Adams Lin’s patrol car. Lin is a member of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

Stephens was shot in the left hand, twice in the elbow and once in the chest, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Jack Scarola. He was in possession of marijuana, but was otherwise unarmed.

Stephens was left paralyzed from the waist down.

PBSO Sheriff Ric Bradshaw defended Lin. Both are named in the lawsuit, which Scarola filed on Stephens’ behalf.

“If they don’t (comply) and they have something in their hands and they’re going to make a move towards the deputy, they’re going to defend themselves,” Bradshaw told reporters the day of the shooting, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“Stop what you’re doing and comply with us,” he added. “There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait and find out what this is and get killed.”

An internal investigation cleared Lin of wrongdoing after four days, calling the shooting justified.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/dashcam-video-shows-cops-lied-shot-unarmed-man-leaving-paralyzed/#biXCSsyyo0Zs8kma.99

Innocent Man Convicted After FBI “Expert” Analysts Confused his Hair with the Hair of a DOG

https://i1.wp.com/tftppull.freethoughtllc.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/28-Years-In-Prison-After-FBI-Expert-Analysts-Confused-his-Hair-with-the-Hair-of-a-DOG.jpg

Washington D.C. – The FBI recently admitted that “nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.” One of the most egregious cases to come to light thus far is the case of Santae Tribble, who served 28 years in prison after hair analysts couldn’t tell dog hair apart from human hair.

The case went to trial in Washington D.C. in 1978. Tribble, then 17, stood accused of robbing and murdering a cab driver in front of his home. Tribble asserted throughout the trial he was not guilty, and in spite of the testimony of friends vouching for his innocence, he was found guilty after only 40 minutes of jury deliberation. He was convicted because two expert hair analysts testified that one strand of hair found near the scene of the crime matched Tribble’s.

Almost 30 years of his life later, an independent analysis discovered that the testimony given by the forensics experts was incorrect – none of the hairs on or near the scene matched Tribble’s. Even worse, one of the hairs used to convict Tribble came from a dog.Such is the true state of hair microscopy. Two FBI-trained analysts… could not even distinguish human hairs from canine hairs,” said Sandra K. Levick, Tribble’s lawyer.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/innocent-man-served-28-years-murder-forensics-experts-difference-dog-hair-human-hair/#f7zwGVAEflUF4ihi.99

Hello-is there any question about whether or not we live in a police state?
Is there anyone who doubts that we are living in a police state?
If you can’t see that the police state is growing daily-and no one says a damn thing about it-much less does anything about it-then you are blind,deaf and fuckin stupid.
Read.
Learn.
Train.
Do More PT !
Cell Phone Video Captures Police Officer Killing a Man as He Tried to Hide in a Stack of Lumber

Lakewood, WA — Daniel Corarrubias, 37, was killed by Lakewood police as he tried to hide in the Pinnacle Lumber Plywood yard.

A 7-second cell phone video captures the final moments of Corarrubias’ life as the Lakewood officer drew his weapon and fired 10 shots, hitting him in the head and torso.

Officers were responding to calls of a suspicious man walking through the parking lot of the lumber yard. When they came upon the man attempting to hide, they killed him.

According to police, Corarrubias tried to reach into his pocket, which is why they fired ten rounds into him. However, police have refused to divulge whether or not the man was armed at all.

“I know he didn’t have a weapon,” his sister said. “I want to ask police why? Why? Why they just didn’t shoot him in the arm, shoot him in the leg, maim him or something. Not murder my brother.”

According to KOMO News,

A man who says he watched security camera and cell phone video of the shooting told KOMO News 10 shots can be heard during the encounter. The source, who asked not to be identified, says the man sustained gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cell-phone-video-captures-police-officer-killing-man-hid-stack-lumber/#HREjGzvqorZIrvGy.99

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Cop Knocks Woman Unconscious as 6-Year-Old Daughter Watches in Horror
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-knocks-woman-unconcsious-front-6-year-old-daughter/#Ap68ceXmDkslcpUo.99

Cops Runs Stop Sign without Lights or Sirens, Hits Pedestrian, Cutting Off Both Legs, 5 Hospitalized

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-runs-stop-sign-lights-sirens-hits-pedestrian-cutting-legs-5-hospitalized/?utm_source=The+Free+Thought+Project+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=39932a1b99-RSS_FEED_NEWSLETTER12_18_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ae40e945ed-39932a1b99-211636157

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area police officer who hauled a man out of his car and repeatedly punched him in the head was charged Monday with assault stemming from the January traffic stop, which wasn’t publicly known until a video was broadcast in March.

“The job of a peace officer can be dangerous,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “But we cannot tolerate those who abuse their authority, violate their oath and prey on citizens rather than protecting them.”

Recently fired Inkster Officer William Melendez was charged with mistreatment of a prisoner and assault, both felonies. Melendez has declined to discuss any specifics of how he treated Floyd Dent but said last week, “I did nothing wrong here.” Defense attorney David Lee declined to comment Monday.

The dashcam video shows Dent, 57, being pulled from his car by two officers during the stop on Jan. 28. He was repeatedly punched in the forehead by Melendez while on the ground, and is bloody when he stands up.

Worthy said her office didn’t know about the incident until March 23, when WDIV-TV aired the video. Melendez, 46, a former Detroit officer, had not been disciplined until the story broke.

“We probably wouldn’t know about it” without the video, Worthy said. Nonetheless, she declined to criticize the Inkster department.

A drug charge will be dropped against Dent, who claims a bag of cocaine was planted in his car during the arrest. A judge already has dismissed a charge of resisting police.

“I would like to thank Prosecutor Kym Worthy for her courage and conviction,” Dent said.

After he was fired last week, Melendez told WXYZ-TV that he considered himself a “political speed bump” in a period of intense national scrutiny of police tactics.

“It is a very stressful job where you have to make split-second decisions,” Melendez said.

This isn’t the first criminal case related to his work. In 2004, Melendez and seven other Detroit officers were acquitted of lying, falsifying reports and planting evidence. Federal prosecutors had accused him and another officer of being the “masterminds” of a conspiracy to “run roughshod over the civil rights of the victims.”

Separately, Worthy said there would be no charges in a Jan. 12 incident involving officers from Grosse Pointe Park and Highland Park who were investigating a car theft. An armed carjacking suspect, Andrew Jackson, was kicked and punched on the ground during an arrest in Detroit. A video was recorded by a woman in her home.

Some actions by the officers were “disturbing and inexplicable” but don’t rise to criminal conduct, said Worthy, who added that it’s up to the respective departments to order any discipline.

Jackson, who has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the officers, didn’t cooperate with investigators who wanted to ask him about the arrest, the prosecutor said.

A man who was injured while being arrested in Baltimore last week has died, just hours after hundreds of people rallied outside Baltimore Police Station to protest against how seriously he was injured.

RT.com

Freddie Gray’s stepfather, Richard Shipley, confirmed his stepson had died. His statement was confirmed by a Shock Trauma [hospital] spokesman.

According to police, Gray was first stopped by officers at 8:39am on April 12. He then managed to run away but was caught one minute later and arrested. At 8:54am he was placed in the prisoner transport wagon and taken to the Western District police station. At 9:54am an ambulance was called to treat him.

Local broadcaster WJZ-TV said that footage of the arrest filmed on a cell phone showed that he was black, and that family members identified him as 27-year old Freddie Gray.

He suffered broken vertebra and an injured voice box and had to undergo emergency spinal surgery, after which he was in a coma from which he never recovered.

Police have said that a panel has been set up to review the case which will be sent to prosecutors but have not been forthcoming with any additional information.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/man-dies-police-break-sever-spine-arrest/#m8EG112V3A1Mwjyh.99