Woman Whose Eye Was Shot Out by Utah Police Officer Loses Excessive Force Lawsuit


A jury has rejected a claim in a lawsuit that a Morgan County sheriff’s officer used excessive force when he shot a woman in the left eye at the end of a 2012 police chase.

After deliberating for about an hour at the conclusion of a five-day trial in Farmington’s 2nd District Court, jurors returned a unanimous verdict on Oct. 27 that found Sgt. Daniel Peay did not violate the constitutional rights of Kristine Biggs Johnson.

“We are pleased with the verdict and appreciated the diligence of the jury and the court,” said attorney Julia Kyte, who with attorney Jeffrey Bramble represented Peay. “Sergeant Peay is an excellent officer and we believe the correct result was reached in this case.”

Johnson’s attorney, Robert Sykes, said Tuesday that he is considering an appeal. He said Peay’s assertion that he fired his gun because he believed a fellow officer — the sergeant’s brother, Deputy Christian Peay — was about to be run over by Johnson was a “made-up story.”

Johnson — who was a Colorado resident at the time of the shooting and now lives in California — was drunk on Nov. 24, 2012, and would not pull over when a Morgan County sheriff’s deputy tried to stop her for having a broken headlight, according to court records. She fled, setting off a 40-mile chase into Davis County and at times driving up to 90 mph on Interstate 84.

The 30-minute chase continued even after Johnson — who drove over spikes set up by officers that ripped off three tires on her pickup truck — ended on a road near South Weber. Blocked in by police vehicles, Johnson made a U-turn and struck two cruisers, according to court records.

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Excessive Celebration: ABC Falsely Claims NFL Not Making Players Stand

ABC
World News Tonight
October 17, 2017
6:31:27 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And we begin with breaking news from the NFL. The NFL Commissioner coming before the cameras just moments ago here in New York City and revealing that owners today did not ask players to do what the President wants them to do, to stand during the national anthem. Moments ago, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell saying they were not asked to stand, and players who were there at the meetings saying progress was made on bringing attention to the reasons some were kneeling about in the first place. There were protests outside this high stakes meeting, and ABC’s Adrienne Bankert leading us off.

[Cuts to video]

ADRIENNE BANKERT: Late today, the NFL commissioner saying he did not ask the players to do what the president wants them to do. Stand for the national anthem.

ROGER GOODELL: We did not ask for that.

BANKERT: Team owners met face to face with players at NFL headquarters in New York. Both sides saying it’s a step in the right direction.

MALCOLM JENKINS: This is the first time we really gotten a chance to sit down in front of ownership. We felt like they were receptive. We felt like there was real dialogue.

GOODELL: We spent today talking about the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to.

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BANKERT: It comes after President Trump said this –

DONALD TRUMP: Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a [ bleep ] off the field right now, out, he’s fired.”

BANKERT: Today, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who says his players must stand or be benched, confronted by a protester.

PROTESTOR: Look at the videos of the police getting away with murder and tell me that the players are wrong to protest it!

BANKERT: Darius Butler of the Colts who has taken a knee in solidarity with protests of racial injustice, says players will make their own call.

DARIUS BUTLER: It’s going to be an individual choice. But I think the ownership, the team and the league and the players, I think we’re going in the right direction.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Adrienne Bankert joins us live from New York City tonight, outside those meetings. And Adrienne, the question tonight, is this final? They’re planning on more meetings?

BANKERT: You know what, they are planning on more meetings. The owners and players are expected to get together again to discuss specifically within the next couple of weeks. But they’ve got to come up with something definitive. There are still a lot of fans out there who believe that players who kneel are disrespecting the anthem and the military. David?

MUIR: But so far Adrienne, as you point out, the owners have not asked those players to stand. Adrienne Bankert leading us off tonight, thank you.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2017/10/17/excessive-celebration-abc-falsely-claims-nfl-not-making

Vietnam Veteran Wins $760,000 in Excessive Force Case Against Kremmling Police

Robert Mark Smith, center, and his legal team step out of the Byron White U.S. Courthouse in Denver, after winning nearly $800,000 in damages.

Denver – A disabled Vietnam veteran has won a $760,000 jury award after Kremmling police brutalized him during an unjustified raid on his mobile home in 2013.

Robert Mark Smith was repeatedly harassed and victimized by the police, who were punishing him for his protests against their prior wrongdoings, according to a news release by the Denver law firm Killmer, Lane & Newman.

The jury made its decision Wednesday in Denver U.S. District Court.

Smith, a Marine, was permanently disabled in 1969 by shrapnel from a minefield explosion in Vietnam. He is a “heroically decorated Vietnam veteran,” the news release says.

“Mr. Smith became known in the Kremmling law enforcement community as a ‘dissenter’ by around the year 2000 because of his frequent, vociferous opposition to the selective enforcement of laws applicable to mobile home parks, and his opposition to the trumped-up accusations lodged against him and his business by law enforcement and certain
community members,” the complaint said.

On March 5, 2013, Kremmling police retaliated against Smith for his prior exercises of protected speech, unconstitutionally raided his home at night without a warrant, and brutally beat him, his 2015 complaint said.

Police Tased Smith and when he fell onto his stomach, they kicked, stomped and punched his ribs, head, and back, the lawsuit says.

Federal Judge Richard Matsch could also order the city to pay attorney’s costs of about $500,000, the news release says.

Source: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/11/vietnam-veteran-wins-760000-in-excessive-force-case-against-kremmling-police/

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Cops Caught on Video Openly Bragging About Using Excessive Force

“I’m on camera,” Trenton Police Sgt. Charles Lamin said, attempting to warn his colleagues about the presence of his Body Camera, as they bragged about getting away with using excessive force.

The topic of conversation among the officers in the patrol car was on the best way to subdue a suspect. Prior to Lamin’s warning, city police officer Tim Miller had been bragging about using “veteran moves.”

“What was the veteran moves?” Officer Gloria Garcia inquired.

Another female officer responded, “He gonna pull out the flashlight.”

“I ain’t putting nobody in the hospital, bro,” Lamin said.

“Know what you do? You go for major muscles groups,” Miller bragged.

“I’m on camera,” Lamin warned. As if he didn’t care about the presence of the camera, Miller repeated, “Major muscle groups.”

A report from The Trentonian noted that Miller has been with the department for 13 years and is paid an annual salary of $99,838 and Lamin has been with the department for 14 years and is paid an annual salary of $106,158.

Miller also appeared to reference Trenton Detective Travis Maxwell, who was responsible for the police shooting that killed Aaron Veh Carter in 2011. Maxwell claimed he shot Carter multiple times in self-defense.

However, Maxwell’s actions following the fatal shooting serve as a reminder that often times, when police officers are not held accountable for their actions, they go on to commit similar—if not worse—crimes against the public. In Maxwell’s case he was recently named in a lawsuit the city settled last year for $213,000, according to The Trentonian.

The recent conversation from the officers in the patrol car involving Maxwell was about an encounter with a suspect in which the officers involved threw up him up the stairs before arresting him.

“Boom, I hit him so hard I broke the battery inside,” Miller bragged, flaunting the fact that he used his flashlight to strike the suspect multiple times.

The officers also discussed their involvement in a shooting that could have claimed the life of a man who was shot in the head.

“Is it a bullet or a pimple?” Lamin said.

“Yeah, one of those,” Garcia replied.

“A big black head,” Lamin continued.

Watch the full video of the Body Cam footage below:

In response to the cavalier commentary from the officers, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson called for the police director to expedite an internal affairs investigation into the conduct exhibited by Lamin, Miller and Garcia.

“I strongly condemn any use of excessive force and the boasting about it by police officers,” Jackson said. “This behavior is intolerable; violates the public trust and department policy; and erodes the goodwill police are building with city residents and community stakeholders. We will act quickly and deliberately to hold officers accountable for engaging in conduct that denigrates community relations and the police uniform.”

In a statement to the Trentonian, the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union described the video as “despicable” and called for “police accountability now.”

“There needs to be an immediate, transparent, thorough investigation, not just of this incident or these officers, but into whether the Trenton Police Department has a culture that encourages the use of excessive force against Trentonians. It’s chilling to hear officers bragging about beating people with flashlights until the batteries break and imparting lessons on the best ways to assault someone without leaving marks. At a time when officer misconduct has fueled police-community tensions nationwide, these abuses of authority only serve to further erode trust, damage relationships, and perpetuate serious harm, especially in communities of color disproportionately affected by police violence.”

Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. did not respond to a request from The Trentonian. However, the newspaper noted that he has not responded to any of its inquiries since it published Body Cam footage that showed him “calling residents ‘hood rats’ and making an illegal traffic stop.”

As is evident in this story, the use of excessive force by police has become so common that in some departments, it is joked about openly among officers. The fact that the presence of a camera recording their commentary did not seem to deter the officers involved is a testament to the fact that in the majority of cases, even when officers are caught on video clearly using excessive force, they are rarely held accountable for their actions.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-brag-using-excessive-force/