A Single Cop Sued 23 Times for Rights Violations, Costing Taxpayers Dearly—STILL On The Job

lawsuitslawsuits

New York – It is no secret that police officers can commit several crimes in multiple departments and never face criminal charges. But it is not often that a single officer is named as the defendant in 23 lawsuits, costing the city more than $280,000, and he is still on the job. 

David Grieco is that officer and in the 12 years he has spent as a detective for the 75th precinct of the New York Police Department, he has earned the nickname “Bullet Head,” stemming from his reputation as a hot-headed officer who breaks into houses without a warrant, makes false arrests, and has been accused of theft on multiple occasions.

In 2013, Grieco was the subject of at least five Internal Affairs Bureau investigations after he was accused of using his badge to conduct “illegal apartment searches and the theft of jewelry and thousands of dollars in cash.”

At the time, Reginald Sykes told the New York Daily News that Grieco led the charge when a team of officers broke into his apartment without a warrant. They manipulated evidence to make it look as though the drugs they found in a back room were in plain sight from the front window—in an attempt to justify the raid—and Grieco told two of the men that if they produced a gun by midnight, he would make the drug charges “disappear.” 

“These cops are corrupt. They should be off the streets,” Sykes said. “They use illegal methods to make arrests. Who’s to say they wouldn’t do that to a completely innocent person?”

In another case, Grieco led an early morning raid at a home without a warrant in 2017, and homeowner Luis Vargas, 54, claimed that Grieco immediately began yelling, Where’s the guns? Where’s the drugs?”

The officers, who were all dressed in plainclothes, began tearing up the apartment and they didn’t stop until they found two bottles of sedatives belonging to Lillian Vargas, 53. They refused to listen to her when she claimed she had a prescription for the medication, and instead, they arrested her and forced her out into the cold weather in her robe.

Both Luis and Lillian Vargas were charged with drug possession, and Lillian was sent to Rikers Island until her family was able to come up with the money to bail her out. However, when the pair appeared in court, their charges were mysteriously dropped.

They filed a lawsuit against Grieco and the officers who accompanied him because while their charges were dropped, they never received compensation from the department for the damage that was done to their home, and the officers were never disciplined for entering the residence without a warrant.

There were at least nine complaints filed against Grieco up to 2013 alleging that he broke into homes without a warrant, and the worst punishment he faced in each incident was losing up to 10 days of vacation time. In addition to letting him keep his job, the NYPD also covered for Grieco in many cases and refused to release information about his conduct.

In 2018, it is clear that the only thing losing vacation time has taught Grieco is that he has the ability to work the system over and over and over again. In fact, he earned more than $190,000 in 2017, and $73,000 of it was from overtime, according to a report from the New York Daily News.

The additional time on the streets has come at a hefty price, and Grieco has now been named as a defendant in 23 lawsuits that have cost New York taxpayers more than $280,000 in settlements. In 19 of those cases, all of the criminal charges were dropped against the individuals Grieco arrested.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-named-lawsuits-costs-taxpayers-280k/

Taxpayers Held Liable as Cops Refuse to Apologize for Attacking Innocent Child on Video

body slambody slam

Killeen, TX — Once again, the Killeen police department is in the news for the way it is treating the citizens—this time a child—it is sworn to protect. Local taxpayers just shelled out $60,000 to pay for the abusive actions of two of Killeen’s finest after they were seen on video attacking a gay teen who was the victim of a bullying incident.

According to KWTX, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske accepted the settlement filed after the student complained he was brutalized, slammed to the ground during an arrest at 2:55 p.m. April 21, 2016, following an altercation between two students on a Killeen Independent School District bus.

“A body slam is never an approved use of force,” the complaint says. “It is not a recognized ‘takedown’ maneuver under any training provided to Officers Lundt and Frucella.”

Although the incident took place in 2016, it only recently became national news when lawyers for J.W. and his family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in Waco’s federal court late last year. At the time, the bus driver noticed a fight taking place on her bus. J.W., who students say was being bullied by Travis—in part, because he is reportedly gay—defended himself. The bus driver pulled over, broke up the fight, and then called police to intervene.

Two police officers, Travis Lundt and Stephen Frucella responded.

Upon arrival, the bus driver can be overheard in the security video on the bus telling the police she wants Travis off of her bus and pointed him out to the officers. “I didn’t start shit, bitch,” yelled J.W. Immediately, Lundt and Frucella grabbed J.W. and jerked him off the bus. Still pointing at Travis, one of the officers tossed J.W., body slamming him on the ground.

While it is understandable that police want to immediately control the chaotic situation, and it may even be logical for them to have removed J.W. from the bus first, why they decided to slam the young boy to the ground is incredulous, to say the least. It seems the police officer not only infringed on the student’s right to free speech, but he also injured the boy who was being bullied—not the aggressor.

This is why J.W.’s family sued, according to their lawyer, Robert Ranco. In court documents obtained by KWTX, the lawsuit explained that J.W. was the real victim, and Travis was the aggressor:

“Travis picked a fight and physically assaulted J.W. in the back of the bus. J.W. attempted to defend himself. The bus driver pulled the bus over and called the police. The driver then separated the boys, bringing J.W. to the front, and leaving Travis in the back of the bus. The fight stopped.”

Killeen officers claimed in their report that J.W. assaulted them, and therefore had to be physically restrained in the manner in which he was thrown to the ground. The lawsuit disputes their contention that the officers were assaulted — so does the video. The suit reads:

“Despite what the officers wrote in the police report, J.W. was not resisting, was not attempting to get away, and was not a threat to the officers or anyone else at the time J.W. was lifted off the ground and body slammed on the hard pavement. He did not threaten the officers or anyone else. J.W. was never given a chance to comply with any order, as no order or instruction was given.”

The video corroborated J.W.’s story and the subsequent settlement is proof of it. It shows the officers violently slam J.W. to the ground, much to the viewing pleasure of the bus’ occupants, his fellow classmates. Both video and audio evidence appeared to support J.W.’s contention that he was the victim twice in one day—once at the hands of Travis, and another time at the hands of Killeen police.

As TFTP has reported on numerous occasions, police and students simply do not mix well together. Not only are school resource officers often violent when dealing with students in conflict, but they are sometimes the bullies.

Also part of the lawsuit, according to Ranco was a request for an apology. The family simply asked the officers to apologize to the young man they senselessly attacked and injured.

However, the police refused.

“We got a flat refusal,” Ranco said.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/taxpayers-liable-police-beat-teen-video-apologize/

WATCH: Cop Fired for Curb Stomping Handcuffed Man is Quietly Rehired as Taxpayers Foot the Bill

stompingstomping

Columbus, OH — After being fired for walking up to a handcuffed man and stomping his head into the curb, an Ohio cop is back on the job thanks to an insultingly corrupt system that empowers and rewards bad police officers.

In July of 2017, Officer Zachary Rosen was fired after he was seen on video committing an atrocious act of assault. Now, however, the Fraternal Order of Police has managed to get the abusive cop reinstated to the Columbus Division of Police.

As TFTP reported at the time, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs had only recommended a 24-hour suspension for Rosen. However, the Public Safety Director, after reviewing the video, and Rosen’s past, decided he should be fired.

TFTP predicted he would be back on the job.

In April of 2017, the Free Thought Project was given the video by the man who filmed it showing Rosen walk up to Demarco Anderson — who was face first on the ground and handcuffed — and stomp his head.

“The strike/stomp was an untrained technique and was found to be unreasonable,” police said in a statement last month.

“Based on what we see in the video taken on Saturday, April 8, 2017, the action taken by one of our officers does not meet the standards by the Columbus Division of Police,” a CPD spokesperson told the Free Thought Project last year. “It appears to be inconsistent with the values and training we instill in our officers.”

However, it now appears, as we predicted, that none of these findings led to any significant form of discipline. In fact, the police union at the time actually recommended no punishment and has openly criticized the 24-hour suspension.

According to the union, no discipline was required — for curb stomping a handcuffed and compliant man.

As the video shows, the other officer appears to have Anderson under control as he puts handcuffs on the soon-to-be victim. After the cuffs go on, that’s when Rosen comes running up and stomps his face into the curb.

According to our source for the video, police were looking for Anderson for suspicion of firing a gun in the area. When they approached him, he ran. The police also confirmed this.

After a brief foot chase, Anderson was tasered, fell to the ground, and then placed in handcuffs. The video begins after the tasering.

After Rosen stomped on Anderson’s face, he starts looking around. At that moment, the officers realize they were just recorded committing a crime.

“Can I help you?” asks Rosen, in an obvious attempt at intimidating the man filming. However, he did not back down and continued to record.

After police needlessly assaulted Anderson, he tries to explain that he was running because one of the officers pulled out a gun and he got scared. He then accused the officers of planting drugs on his person as well.

Police claim to have found crack cocaine and a pistol on Anderson.

According to our open records request to the CPD, Anderson was charged with Improperly Discharging Firearm at or Into Habitation, Having Weapons While Under Disability, Obstructing Official Business, Resisting Arrest _ causing physical harm to law enforcement officer, Aggravated Menacing, and Possession of Drugs.

Whether or not any of these charges are true is unknown. However, it should be noted that police have been caught plenty of times planting drugs and guns on entirely innocent people.

It should also be noted that according to ABC, Anderson pleaded not guilty to charges including improper handling of a firearm and aggravated menacing.

“Anderson was a victim of a crime because of Rosen’s actions and the officer should be fired,” said Sean Walton, an attorney representing Anderson.

“Kids in school who are suspended or expelled are getting similar or worse punishment,” said Walton, who called the chief’s recommendation at the time “laughable.”

Indeed, this situation would be ‘laughable’ if it wasn’t indicative of a serious problem among police in America. Cops can terrorize, beat, and even kill innocent people — on video — and face no consequences.

As TV10 reports, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther criticized the decision to overturn Rosen’s firing. The mayor released the following statement Monday:

“We disagree with the decision of the arbitration of Columbus Police Officer Zach Rosen. We believe the Public Safety Director’s decision for termination was the correct one. However, we respect and will abide by the legally-binding arbitrator’s decision. The details and timing of his reinstatement are being determined by Police Chief Kim Jacobs.”

Whether or not Anderson is guilty of the crimes he’s been arrested for has yet to be determined. However, if he is guilty, his case is now tainted because of this officer’s choice to stomp his face into the ground.

Make no mistake, there will be someone punished for Rosen’s crimes. However, it will come in the form of a lawsuit and it will be the innocent taxpayers of Columbus who pay for this crooked cop and the crooked cops who refuse to hold him accountable.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/stomping-cop-fired-rehired/

WATCH: Taxpayers Held Liable After Cops Beat Elderly Deaf Man Because He Couldn’t Hear Them

deafdeaf

Oklahoma City, OK — Police officers assaulting or even killing deaf people for being unable to hear their commands is a tragic reality. Pearl Pearson Jr. learned that reality the hard way. For nearly seven minutes, Pearson, 64-years-old at the time and diabetic, was beaten and arrested by police officers as they yelled at him to stop resisting.

Now, the taxpayers of Oklahoma are being forced to pay the brutal incompetence of two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers. It was announced this week that Pearson has received a settlement in the amount of $175,000 in taxpayer funds to settle the claims of his abuse.

As the Times-Record reports, Pearson, now 68, of Edmond, Okla., claimed three troopers “used unnecessary, unprovoked and excessive force” when he was unable to communicate or follow verbal commands, according to the lawsuit.

“Pearl was very pleased with the results,” his attorney, Derek Burch, told The Oklahoman.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers, Eric Foster and Kelton Hayes were the two officers that were involved in what an affidavit claims was a 7-minute altercation. Naturally, since the incident, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater cleared Foster and Hayes of all wrongdoing.

“Excessive force was used for a very minor matter that could have been handled very easily with these three troopers,” Burch said. “It ultimately resulted in him having facial injuries, and the worst injury was a completely separated shoulder.”

When the original incident happened on January 3, 2014, police refused to release the video. However, weeks later, after the media frenzy died down, police quietly released the dashcam. The disturbing video shows troopers yelling at Pearson and dragging him from the vehicle.

He was dragged from the vehicle in spite of the fact that he did everything he was supposed to as a deaf driver, according to his family.

According to Pearson’s family, Pearl pulled over and rolled down his window expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything.

The photos of his swollen and bruised face clearly show the result of the police action.

After Pearson was beaten by police, he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest. He was thrown in jail, and, according to his family, an interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement — not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail was an interpreter provided — even though Pearl requested one.

Pearson was sitting in a jail cell, battered and bruised, and had no idea ‘why.’

Pearson has no criminal record, and in fact is a father to a police officer. His son-in-law is also a cop. In 2015, Pearson was given an award for his amazing service to the community for working with people with disabilities.

Finally, after 3 years of holding it over his head, the District Attorney’s office decided to drop the charges. However, they dropped the charges, not because they thought the cops were in the wrong, and not because they thought Pearson was innocent. In fact, neither of the cops involved in beating a deaf man for being unable to understand them has faced any discipline at all. The sole reason the case was dropped was that the trial cost was too high.

Pearson, who learned sign language during segregation, learned a different way of communicating other than the traditional American Sign Language (ASL). He needs a translator for court officials to understand him. Because the cost of translators was so high, the DA decided to toss the case out.

Pearson also won a second lawsuit against the hospital as they failed to provide a translator while police had him in custody at the hospital which resulted in the missed diagnois of his separated shoulder.

Below is the video of this glaring incompetence which the taxpayers of Oklahoma have now been extorted to pay for.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/elderly-deaf-man-beaten-police-taxpayers/

Taxpayers Shell Out $175K for Brave Cop Fired by Dept. for Refusing to Kill a Man

madermader

Weirton, WV — As TFTP reported last year, former Weirton police officer Stephen Mader sued the city after he was fired for not killing a suicidal man who needed help.

It was reported this week that Mader will be receiving $175,000 in a settlement as a result of his unnecessary firing.

“At the end of the day, I’m happy to put this chapter of my life to bed,” Mader said. “The events leading to my termination were unjustified and I’m pleased a joint resolution has been met.

“My hope is that no other person on either end of a police call has to go through this again,” said Mader, who still lives in Weirton with his family but now drives trucks for a living, according to WPXI.

As we reported at the time, on May 6, 2016, Mader responded to a domestic call about a suicidal person. When he arrived on the scene, Mader confronted 23-year-old Ronald D. Williams who was armed and mentally distraught.

Madar said that he began talking to the young man in his “calm voice.”

“I told him, ‘Put down the gun,’ and he’s like, ‘Just shoot me.’ And I told him, ‘I’m not going to shoot you brother.’ Then he starts flicking his wrist to get me to react to it.

“I thought I was going to be able to talk to him and de-escalate it. I knew it was a suicide-by-cop” situation,” Mader said, adding that, “He wasn’t screaming, yelling, he wasn’t angry. He just seemed distraught. Whenever he told me to shoot him it was as if he was pleading with me. At first, I’m thinking, ‘Do I really need to shoot this guy?’ But after hearing ‘just shoot me’ and his demeanor, it was, ‘I definitely can’t.’”

Mader showed incredible restraint in the situation, even though Williams was attempting to provoke a suicide by cop.

Sadly, as Mader began to reason with Williams and de-escalate the situation, backup arrived, and another officer immediately shot and killed Williams without a second of consideration.

To add insult to injury, Mader was fired for his restraint, and the officer who murdered Williams was cleared of all wrongdoing, showing that the police department is explicitly encouraging indiscriminate killings.

Now, Mader is understandably reconsidering his career choices and has filed a lawsuit against the city that employed him.

“I loved being a police officer. And for them to say because of this incident you’re not going to continue here was heartbreaking. It had me questioning myself, should I be an officer,” Mader told NBC.

West Virginia attorney and ACLU representative Timothy P. O’Brien is helping to bring the lawsuit against the city.

“The City of Weirton’s decision to fire officer Mader because he chose not to shoot and kill a fellow citizen, when he believed that he should not use such force, not only violates the Constitution, common sense and public policy but incredibly punishes restraint.

When given the tragic and far too frequent unnecessary use of deadly force, such restraint should be praised not penalized. To tell a police officer, when in doubt either shoot to kill or get fired, is a choice that no police officer should ever have to make and is a message that is wrong and should never be sent,” O’Brien said.

“There’s the thin blue line, and one of the ironies of this case is that as we’ve seen across the county how many instances police have used deadly force in circumstances where that force is questioned, but nothing is ever done. In most cases, you don’t see training or suspension. When you contrast with what Officer Mader did and how he’s been treated, and officers who’ve used deadly force and how they’ve been treated, it speaks volumes to why we have a problem with deadly force in this country,” O’Brien added.

Mader has no regrets and still believes he did the right thing.

“I wouldn’t change anything. Even after them saying that I failed to eliminate a threat and that it should have been handled differently, I still believe I did the right thing. And a lot of people think I did the right thing, too. I know it’s not just me,” he said. And he’s right, TFTP knows Mader did the right thing, which is why we’ve been reporting on it for two years.

Shooting and killing suicidal or mentally distraught people sadly seems to be the standard operating procedure for police across the country. We have covered countless cases over the years where officers have indiscriminately killed suicidal people instead of helping them out.

Obviously, if a family member makes a phone call to police because a loved one is suicidal, the last thing they want is for someone to get hurt, but when police arrive the situation tends to escalate quickly and result in violence.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/taxpayers-shell-175k-brave-cop-fired-dept-refusing-kill-man/

Paradigm Shift: City Now Forcing Bad Cops to Pay Victims Out of Their OWN POCKETS—Not Taxpayers

paypay

One of the most corrupt policies in place to protect police officers who commit violence in the line of duty is the legal protection that comes when a victim files a lawsuit against an aggressive cop. When a victim of a police assault wins a lawsuit against the police department, the city’s taxpayers are usually on the hook for the restitution fees. However, a new policy change in Baltimore—which will set a revolutionary precedent—will finally have the guilty officers feeling the pain in their pockets for once.

In a memo sent out by police union president Gene Ryan this week, Baltimore City officers were warned about how they could be charged with punitive damage if a jury finds that they acted with malice during an attack on a citizen.

The email stated that:

Many of our officers are sued for monetary damages by individuals they have arrested or have come in contact with.  These lawsuits allege wrongdoing on the part of the officer and oftentimes allege that the officer acted with malice.  Malice means that the officer’s alleged actions were motivated by a personal hatred towards the individual suing him or her.  If the person suing the officer wins on the question of whether the officer committed a wrong, the Plaintiff can recover monetary damages to compensate him or her for any injury and/or expenses incurred resulting from the officer’s actions.  If a jury finds that the officer acted with malice, the jury has the option to award punitive damages which are designed to punish the officer and to serve as a deterrent to the officer not to repeat the alleged wrongful conduct found to have occurred by the jury.

Most times, the officer who is being sued will dispute the allegations made by a Plaintiff and successfully defend a claim for punitive damages. However, many juries award punitive damages despite the lack of evidence of malice even in cases where the police officer has not been charged criminally and been found to have acted within the scope of his/her duties consistent with the rules and regulations of the Baltimore Police Department. In the past, the City of Baltimore has generally supported the officers by paying punitive damages as well as the compensatory damages awarded for the actual injury.  Since Andre Davis has been named as our new City Solicitor, he has adopted a policy of not paying any punitive damages despite the fact that the Police Officer has been found to have acted appropriately by the office of the State’s Attorney as well as the Baltimore Police Department.

What this means is that police officers are now required to pay these punitive damage awards, which can amount to thousands of dollars, out of their own pockets.  Since punitive damages cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, the successful citizen can file an attachment against your wages taking 25% of your net bi-weekly paycheck until the amount of the punitive judgment is satisfied.

Please keep this in mind as you go about performing your duties.

The email was leaked to Baltimore crime journalist Justin Fenton for The Baltimore Sun, who posted the following tweet on Tuesday.

City Solicitor Andre M. Davis responded to the leaked email on Wednesday by saying that the union was lying and that this policy has been in place for decades.

Former City Solicitor George Nilson has confirmed this, saying “In the past, the city law department has appropriately refused to pay malice judgments.”

Davis pointed out that the Local Government Tort Claims Act doesn’t require local governments to pay punitive damages for police officers but most local bureaucrats go along doing so anyway without question.

“The statement was flatly wrong in several respects and deeply misleading in other respects. The statute reflects the ordinary common sense notion that if government employees are told that no matter how badly they misbehave, no matter how maliciously they inflict harm or injuries on their fellow citizens, their employer will pay for that harm, then we can expect an increase in such harm. Employees, including police officers who, no doubt have the most difficult job in government, are not privileged to inflict gratuitous injury on others without also incurring personal consequences.” Davis told WBAL.

Davis also took issue with the fact that the email stated that officers are charged without evidence, which is an obviously false claim considering that police are held to a much lower standard than average citizens in the US legal system.

“Instead of speaking out forcefully to encourage FOP members to police in a professional and constitutional manner, as the Commissioner-Designate [Darryl De Sousa] has promised will be his guiding light, and as the federal court consent decree mandates the Police Department to achieve, the FOP leadership’s message seems to be an attempt to dissuade officers from continuing to do their challenging jobs in good faith reliance on the City’s contractual and state law obligation to protect them from baseless lawsuits. This is unfortunate and troubling. Nevertheless, the Law Department will always stand with our officers and give them the legal defense, counsel, and such additional training as may be needed so that they remain on the constitutional side of urban policing in the twenty-first century at all times,” Davis said.

The Baltimore Sun reported that as many as nine Baltimore police officers could have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages for recent cases where they found guilty of attacking someone with malice. These cases are reportedly what provoked this recent tantrum from the police union.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/baltimore-police-pay-lawsuit-pockets/

Trump’s New Fridge Will Cost Taxpayers Enough to Feed Every Homeless Person in DC for a YEAR

homelesshomeless

Washington, DC — When Donald Trump was seeking the office of President, he frequently criticized the taxpayer dollars wasted on Air Force One. Trump even called for the canceling of the Boeing contract to construct a new fleet. However, like most of his promises made on the campaign trail, his since changed his mind.

Illustrating the insane nature of the US government’s bloat and excess, the taxpayers will be robbed of a whopping $24,000,000.00—to install a new refrigerator in Air Force One—seriously.

Boeing was awarded a $23,657,671.00 contract to design, test, and install two VC-25A G12/G13 chillers for the customized 747 jumbo jet in December.

“The Air Force requires that the current air chillers in the G12 and G13 galleys be modified with new cold food stowage to improve reliability and maintainability,” a contract notice from the Pentagon states.

Because the president is so important, he needs the ridiculously priced multi-million dollar refrigerator to store massive amounts of food—just in case one of the wars he is provoking forces him to stay onboard Air Force One for an extended period of time.

Although serviced on a regular basis, reliability has decreased with failures increasing, especially in hot/humid environments,” Air Force spokesman Ann Stefanek told Defense One. “The units are unable to effectively support mission requirements for food storage.”

Naturally, the Defense Department is conducting damage control claiming that the $24 million fridge will save lives and claims that no one is getting rich off the deal.

“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm. “It’s not getting people rich.”

To put this amount of money into perspective, however, let’s look at the homeless population in Washington D.C. Current estimates put D.C.’s homeless population among the highest in the nation. The most recent data suggests there are roughly 11,600 homeless people inside the D.C. city limits alone.

If the $24 million would be given to city’s homeless population it would feed every one of them for an entire year. The cost of a year’s supply of storable, non-perishable food is roughly $1,800.

Obviously government spending doesn’t work like that, however, this is merely a simple comparison to highlight not only the hypocrisy of Trump’s flip-flop but the sheer gluttonous waste of the federal government.

Last week, the conservative watchdog organization, Judicial Watch released the total dollar amount of Trump’s family travel expenses so far. Added to the previously released costs, the known travel costs for President Trump’s political and leisure travel is now $13,533,937.28, according to the group.

These numbers do not include the costs of security, secret service, or any of the other peripheral costs associated with the ridiculous task that is moving Donald Trump around the country.

“The president is accountable to the taxpayers – they spend our hard-earned dollars and that’s why Judicial Watch keeps track of certain travel costs,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Trump’s regular trips to his homes are adding up to a hefty sum.”

Laughably, Eric Shultz, a former White House deputy press secretary under former President Barack Obama, tweeted Friday “we would have been impeached” if the repairs were made under the previous administration.

However, as TFTP reported at the time, the Obama administration was just as gluttonous and just as corrupt.

Obama’s total travel costs during his reign as president cost the taxpayers a whopping $114 million. As we noted at the time, this was enough money to end homelessness in Washington D.C. for over a year.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/trumps-new-fridge-will-cost-taxpayers-enough-buy-every-homeless-person-dc-car/

Taxpayers Hit for $650K After Cop Assaulted, Kidnapped Innocent Nurse for Refusing to Break the Law

nursenurse

The University of Utah Hospital was thrust into the spotlight in September after Body Cam footage was released that showed Detective Jeff Payne arrest Nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26. One of the most astonishing aspects of the encounter was that Wubbels did nothing wrong. She was defending the rights of an unconscious patient when police demanded a blood sample from him, and the fact that she told Payne “No” became probable cause for her arrest. Now, the taxpayers are going to be held accountable.

Nurse Wubbels and her lawyer, Karra Porter, announced this week that they will be settling with Salt Lake City and the university that runs the hospital for $653,000.

While Salt Lake City Police claimed they changed their procedures for how police officers interact with medical professionals, it should be noted that a criminal investigation into Payne’s actions was not issued until the video of the encounter went viral—over one month after it happened.

According to the conditions of the settlement, it covers all possible defendants in a lawsuit, including individual police officers and hospital security officers, and the payout will be divided among the city and the University of Utah.

Police appeared to not care at all about Wubbels assault and subsequent kidnapping that fateful night. That’s why, instead of waiting for the local police to take action, the University of Utah Hospital responded by changing its policies and banning police officers from patient-care areas and from direct contact with nurses.

During a press conference in September, Gordon Crabtree, interim chief executive of the hospital, described Wubbels, who is also a former Olympian, as an “Olympic-sized hero” who went above and beyond to protect a patient’s legal rights.

“Alex Wubbels stood firm and upheld hospital policy, patient privacy—she put her own safety at risk to ensure the safety and privacy of the patient. Her actions are nothing less than exemplary,” Crabtree said. “She handled this situation with the utmost courage and integrity. Our hospital continues to offer our full support to Nurse Wubbels, and we extend our appreciation to her for her dedication and her service.”

Crabtree said he was “deeply troubled” by the details of the incident when he received reports of it the morning after it happened. “There is absolutely no tolerance for that kind of behavior in our hospital,” he said.

“To our nurses and staff, this will not happen again,” Crabtree vowed. “And to that end, we are changing and have changed our interface protocols with our law enforcement. A move that I first set in motion within hours of the event with my team has made changes that we have actually implemented over the last several weeks. Our care nurses and staff will not be the first point of contact with law enforcement.”

Margaret Pearce, chief nursing officer for the University of Utah Hospital system, said she was “appalled” by the actions of the officers, and she found their treatment of Nurse Wubbels to be “totally unacceptable.”

Pearce noted that the new policies do not allow police to enter patient-care areas such as the burn unit where Payne encountered Wubbels. When officers do visit the hospital in search of a patient’s blood sample, they will have to deal with “house supervisors.” She said the hope is that not only will similar events not happen again, but that nurses will be able to devote their full attention to the patients they are caring for, without worrying about interference from police.

While the tyrannical way Payne treated Wubbels, and the fact that she is a hero for standing up for her patient’s legal rights, have been addressed, there is one major fact that has not—the reason why the officers were so adamant about obtaining a blood sample from the patient in question.

William Gray, a reserve police officer from Rigby, Idaho, who has since died from his injuries, was the comatose patient whose blood was demanded by the Salt Lake City officers. Gray was working as a truck driver when a car crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with his truck. The driver of the car was the suspect of a police chase.

statement released by the Rigby Police Department noted that Gray was the victim in the crash and “at no time was he under any suspicion of wrongdoing.” This serves as a reminder that police may have been in search of substances in Gray’s blood that could impair his driving, and leave him with the liability for the crash that occurred as a result of a dangerous police chase.

As for Jeff Payne, he was fired for his actions that day. However, he is appealing and if history is any indicator, he will likely be reinstated and receive back pay.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/nurse-lawsuit-settle-utah-police/

Taxpayers Pay Parents $500K After Video Shows Cops Stomp, Taser, Suffocate Their Son to Death

parentsparents

Reno, NV — Surveillance footage, released to the Reno Gazette-Journal through a public records request, shows the terrifying final moments of 35-year-old Justin Thompson, a man in the midst of a mental breakdown. For 30 minutes, nearly a dozen Washoe County Sheriff’s deputies took turns kicking, tasering, insulting, and crushing the wind from Thompson — who noted multiple times that he could not breathe through the spit mask over his head. After seeing the video, Thompson’s parents sued the county for the wrongful death of their son.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in June and asked the county to pay wrongful death damages, the cost of Thompson’s funeral, and other damages.

It was announced this week that Thompson’s parents have agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit for $500,000.

Peter Goldstein, the lawyer representing Thompson’s parents, claimed in the lawsuit that Thompson was no danger because he had been medicated at the hospital, making him docile. Goldstein also said deputies ignored Thompson’s repeated warnings that he could not breathe.

“As seen in the video, the staff and deputies of the jail kicked, kneeled upon, burked and applied torturous arm bar holds, and refused plaintiff’s pleas for help,” he wrote. “When decedent stated he could not breathe, they did not provide any help or even begin to appreciate the level of danger and harm decedent was experiencing.”

The lawsuit noted the severe injuries incurred by Thompson, including a broken rib, and cuts and bruises all over his body.

 

The Washoe County Medical Examiner has since listed Thompson’s cause of death as a homicide — due to complications of physical restraint.

As TFTP previously reported, the tragic incident began to unfold on August 3, 2016, when Thompson was arrested. His family and girlfriend reported that Thompson is bipolar and had been off his medication for some time. During the bipolar episode, Thompson, who has no previous criminal record, was arrested on charges of domestic battery.

The clearly distressed man exhibited severe signs of mental distress and was unable to be booked, so he was placed in a holding cell. For hours after being arrested, Thompson jammed his fingers into his ears. He paced, clutched his head and stuffed toilet paper into his ears. He spent hours on the floor curled up in the fetal position before peeling off his scabby skin to use his own blood to draw on the floor, walls, and camera.

Heavily armored deputies in riot gear then raided Thompson’s cell to drag him out.

Instead of admitting him for psychiatric treatment, Thompson was brought to the hospital and given an injection of Haldol, a powerful antipsychotic drug, and Benadryl, before being sent back to jail.

When bringing him back to jail, Thompson appeared docile until a deputy grabs his face while trying to take a mugshot and shoves it to the side. Thompson, whose arms were chained to his waist, became agitated, slipped out onto the floor and a struggle began.

“How’s this? Does this feel good,” a deputy says as Thompson appears to lie still, his wrists still chained to his belly.

In their attempt to get the mentally ill man in the stretcher to bring him to the hospital, more than a half-dozen deputies took turns kneeling on, kicking, tasering, and insulting him. Yet for 30 minutes, the swarm of officers was unable to subdue the single man.

When Thompson complains that he can’t breathe, a deputy can be heard answering back, “No, you’re not being compliant, Justin. We could’ve just rolled you through the process but you’re being a d**k about the whole thing.”

As the deputies continue to increase pressure on him, both mentally and physically, Thompson becomes more distressed.

“So now we are to this level and you’re going to get carried in a little wrap because you can’t maintain enough thought to go through this process like a man,” the deputy says. “If you hurt my staff, you are going to catch a felony. Understand? We are not going to get injured by you. And if you lash out, I am going to make sure that you remember it.” 

For the next 25 minutes, the video shows deputies slowly squeeze the air from Thompson’s lungs until he finally stopped breathing.

Thompson was brought to the hospital where he was put on life support with no brain activity. For five days, no one even told his family where he was.

When Karen Thompson, Justin’s mother called the jail she signed up for automatic text notifications on inmates. On August 7, she received a message saying her son had been released.

They looked for Thompson for over two days.

“I’m frantically calling people,” she said. “I called his girlfriend. She had got the note, too, but hadn’t heard from him. So, we’re calling what friends we had numbers for. I was preparing to drive up there and drive the streets to look for him. We didn’t know what had happened to him.”

But Thompson was not free, he was in a hospital bed — brain dead.

“On Tuesday afternoon — the 9th of August — I have a sheriff’s officer here in Kern County that comes in and tells me that my son had passed away and told me he had died of a massive heart attack,” Karen Thompson said.

Thompson described her son as a caring man who she has never seen act like the person in the surveillance footage.

“Everybody always talked about how he helped them,” she said. “He was always caring for other people.”

As the Reno Gazette-Journal reported, Sheriff Chuck Allen even took the unusual step of criticizing the deputies’ handling of the struggle before the internal investigation was complete, after he reviewed the videos obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal through a public records request.

“I believe anyone who watches this video will understand why I was concerned about the handling of this incident and why I immediately called for an outside investigation,” he said in a written statement.

“I further, and firmly, believe that some of the actions shown do not reflect the standards of the men and women who work for the Sheriff’s Office. Nor are they in keeping with my often-expressed expectation that employees from this office will always treat the public we serve with fairness, equality and respect.”

Unlike previous in-custody restraint deaths caught on camera at the jail, Thompson was not high on methamphetamine. His stress was induced by deputies, not drugs, and the medical examiner agrees.

This lawsuit was the only means of justice Justin Thompson’s parents had and now they will finally have closure. Sadly, however, it will be the taxpayers held liable and not the cops.

As RGJ reports, Sparks police concluded an independent investigation into Thompson’s death in February and found no criminal wrongdoing by the sheriff’s office.

Below is that horrifying video.

This is two hours of footage from the Washoe Co. Jail showing the entire struggle that led to Justin Thompson’s death. The struggle begins at timestamp 7:44. The struggle intensifies at 24:53. Deputies start life-saving efforts at 41:30. At the 1:28:30 mark, you can see the attack from a more damning angle.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/taxpayers-pay-parents-500k-video-son-death/

UK taxpayers hand £200mn to Syrian opposition & White Helmets, journalist tells RT (VIDEO)

Speaking to George Galloway on his RT show Sputnik, Beeley said the funds were released from the UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) to support the Syrian opposition. She said part of that money was used by the White Helmets to feed media outlets that are rarely in Syria and offer a false narrative of what is happening there.

“If we look at the narrative produced from Aleppo… it never came from the 1.5 million majority in West Aleppo that was government-held and government-protected, but who lost over 11,000 civilians from mortar fire from East Aleppo – so from the Western-backed terrorists in East Aleppo.

“The narrative came from East Aleppo and it came from affiliates of Nusra Front, which included the White Helmets and from citizen activists that had been produced in Gaziantep [in Turkey], with money coming in from the UK government,” she added.

“[The UK government] actually admitted very recently that almost £200 million [US$260 million] has gone from this public fund into funding the Syrian opposition inside Syria.

“So in other words, all of these journalists, media activists, who were trained in Turkey and then infiltrated back into Syria, to product the propaganda, and that includes the White Helmets.”

The White Helmets have been hailed by the Western media as “peace-bearing heroes” who save lives. A Netflix documentary film praising the group as “unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers” even won an Oscar for best documentary short feature in February.

However, the group has long been plagued by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in April that the White Helmets are involved in covering up terrorist crimes.

“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL], but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” she said at the time.

Beeley has previously told RT that Aleppo residents, who have lived under terrorist rule for five years, “witnessed the White Helmets working alongside Al-Nusra Front as well as participating in executions and torture and working as an Al-Nusra Front civil defense unit.”

She went on to say that the “White Helmets is a major construct funded by the UK, the US, the EU and the Gulf States that promulgates the propaganda against the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army,” and that this can partly explain the media silence when such scandals emerge.

In June, a member of the White Helmets was caught on camera helping a group of unidentified militants disposing of bodies of beheaded Syrian Army or pro-government soldiers in Daraa province.

In another incident in May, footage emerged showing several members of the group’s rescue team helping to remove a body of a man shot dead by rebels in the town of Jasim, also in Daraa province.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/uk/406974-syria-white-helmet-taxpayer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS