Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/body-cam-video-shows-police-kill-unarmed-man-headphones/
Phenix City, AL – The entire dash cam footage was just released showing officer Allan Brown firing eleven shots into a vehicle — pausing only to reload — and fire another ten shots into the vehicle as the teens can be heard begging for their lives. While a snippet of the video was released in May, the entire video, obtained by the Ledger-Enquirer, is disturbing, to say the least.
Christian Redwine, 17, was killed in the shooting and passengers Hunter Tillis and Hanna Wuenschel, two other teens, suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds. It was the first volley, of the 21 total bullets, that struck Redwine in the head and heart that ended his young life, according to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Brown claimed that Redwine tried to use the car to run him over, which caused him fear for his life, and prompted the fatal shots. An attorney representing Wuenschel said Redwine was trying only to back out of a hole. The attorney said Redwine was shot seven times, Wuenschel two or three times, and Tillis at least twice, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Despite the clearly desperate pleas of mercy from the teens, as Brown unloaded two magazines into their vehicle, a Russell County grand jury found that Brown committed no criminal wrongdoing in the November 6 incident.
Brown can be seen on dash cam video trailing two other police cars also in pursuit of Christian Redwine after reports of a stolen vehicle in Columbus.
Brown can be heard telling the other officers to “let me come around you.”
He then narrates that speeds are approaching 100 miles per hour.
“Dispatch speeds are 98 mph.”
Only two minutes later, Brown again can be heard narrating the speed to dispatch as the Pontiac G-6 he is pursuing appears headed for the highway.
“Advise, speed 107 miles an hour.”
As the teens attempt to take an exit at high speeds, Redwine loses control of the vehicle.
“We’re gonna be on Riverchase Road dispatch. He has wrecked out. Wrecked out. He is spinning. Start uh rescue,” Brown reports to dispatch.
With the wheels of the vehicle now spinning in reverse, Brown, who is now on foot, fires his weapon 11 times.
The passengers can be heard pleading for the officer to stop firing.
“No, stop! Please! I got shot!
Please! Please! ”
Brown, instead, paused only to reload his weapon and fire 10 more times.
“Oh my God I‘m shot! My God. Please no. Please! Please!”
After shooting all three individuals, we can here Brown yelling at the unarmed teens to “get down on the fucking ground or I will fucking shoot you.”
Wuenschel’s cries continue, repeating “Oh my God!” and “Oh my God, sir, please call me an ambulance! Please!”
For several moments after the shooting, the teens are heard crying and begging for help.
By the time Brown had unloaded two magazines, Christian Redwine, 17, was dead, and the two others had both suffered gunshot wounds. In fact, a later investigation would reveal that all three teens had been shot in the initial barrage of gunfire.
According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the incident began when:
Columbus police said Redwine aroused suspicion when officers saw the Pontiac cruising around closed businesses around 4:30 a.m. near Columbus State University’s main campus on University Avenue.
Checking the tag, they learned the car had been reported stolen by Fred Levins, a friend of Redwine’s grandmother who considered himself to be like a grandfather to the teen. Around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, Levins noticed it was missing along with his car keys.
When police tried to stop the car, Redwine sped away, initiating a chase that continued into downtown Columbus and crossed the 13th Street bridge into Alabama, where Phenix City police joined the pursuit.
A WLTZ First News investigation revealed Brown was fresh off a suspension for violating pursuit policy last year when this deadly incident took place.
The Russell County Grand Jury cleared Brown of any criminal wrongdoing in May, and days later he submitted his resignation effective immediately.
According to the Ledger-Enquirer:
Russell County District Attorney Ken Davis said Brown waived his rights and volunteered to testify before the 18-member grand jury, which spent two days reviewing the evidence. Prosecutors did not recommend charges, but asked the grand jurors to determine whether the shooting was justified, Davis said.
Among other witnesses testifying were two more Columbus officers experienced in the department’s training and procedures, and an Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent who probed the shooting, Davis said.
In other words, they brought in a bunch of police apologist “experts” to justify and propagandize the jury into believing that unloading an entire magazine into a car full of teens, then pausing to reload and drop another ten shots as they beg for their lives, was justified.
Perhaps had this officer taken the same training as the Salt Lake City Police Department, which emphasizes de-escalation, and has resulted in them not killing anyone since 2015, these type of incidents would not be accepted and protected as “just doing my job.”
Aurora, CO — An innocent man settled a lawsuit this week for $110,000 after cops were seen on video deploying a taser in his back as he stood there with his hands up.
The incident happened in February 2016, when the victim, Darsean Kelley, and his cousin were stopped by police. Officers were in the area responding to a weapons incident at a nearby apartment building and Kelley happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Police had no description of the suspect and decided to harass Kelley and his cousin.
Kelley was naturally upset that he’d been targeted by police for no reason, so he was verbally expressing it. He never once physically resisted, however.
As the incident begins, police tell the two men to put their hands in the air. Both of them comply. Then the officer yells for them to interlock their fingers on top of their heads. At this point, Kelley continues to ask why he is being detained.
The cops answer back by refusing to tell him why. Just as Kelley says, “I know my rights,” the taser is deployed into his back and he falls to the ground. Naturally, after police assaulted him for no reason, Kelley was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct — for asking a question and being tasered in the back. After spending three days in jail, he was bonded out.
The ACLU picked up his case and convinced the city to drop the charges against him.
“The body camera footage was indispensable in securing justice for Darsean Kelley,” John M. Krieger, a spokesman with the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, told Ars Technica. “Without irrefutable evidence of police misconduct captured on video, it would have been our client’s word against multiple officers, and the truth about what happened to Darsean would almost certainly have never come to light.”
Predictably, the Aurora police department responded to the incident by exonerating all officers involved and wholeheartedly justifying the use of a taser in the back of an unarmed man with his hands up. In October, the department released its findings.
The IRB agreed unanimously with the findings of the Force Review Board that the use of force in this instance was reasonable, appropriate and within policy.
The IRB does not believe there is anything in this incident that warrants additional awareness, action or investigation.
Chief Metz has accepted the findings of the IRB and considers the matter closed at this time.
“The ACLU commends the City of Aurora for its willingness to come to the table in good faith to find a resolution that is fair to Mr. Kelley and beneficial for taxpayers of the city,” ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said in a statement. “However, the decision of the Aurora City Attorney’s Office to fairly and promptly resolve this matter stands in stark contrast to the actions of the Aurora Police Department, which at every turn has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or need for policy change even in the face of public outrage and irrefutable video evidence of misconduct.”
However, the City Attorney does not agree with the ACLU and noted it. Aurora City Attorney Mike Hyman said in a statement that the city settled so it wouldn’t have to spend even more taxpayer money defending a lawsuit, reports Ars Technica.
“We disagree with the ACLU’s characterization of the events in this case and their unwarranted attack against the Aurora Police Department,” Hyman said Thursday. “This case was settled for the reason that many cases are settled—to avoid the cost of prolonged litigation. That cost would have far exceeded the value of the settlement.”
In the Land of the Free, police can walk up to innocent people on the street, taser them in the back, charge them with a bogus crime, and this is called ‘justice’.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-taser-man-back-rights/
Three years after a Knoxville police officer shot an unarmed man in the back six times and killed him, an appellate court has determined that the officer is not eligible for qualified immunity in the $3 million civil rights lawsuit he is facing.
The incident occurred during a stop on the side of the road when Officer David Gerlach encountered Ronald E. Carden, a 45-year-old man who was recently released on parole. It ended with Gerlach shooting Carden multiple times in the back, and then proceeding to shoot him as he was falling to the ground. The horrific incident now serves to illustrate that not only did police lie about what happened, they covered it up, and refused to bring charges against an officer who should have likely been charged with homicide.
Carden’s son, Brandon, is suing Gerlach and the Knoxville Police Department for $3 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit. He recently won a small victory in court when an appellate judge refused to grant qualified immunity to Gerlach. The court ruled that not only did case law not sustain that the shooting was justified, but they denied Gerlach’s claim of immunity from prosecution. The court wrote:
“Because it was clearly established at the time of the shooting that the police may not fire on a fleeing suspect who does not pose a threat of serious physical harm, the denial of qualified immunity was proper.”
In other words, while police officers are normally protected from prosecution because of qualified immunity statutes, when a suspect is running away, a police officer may not shoot and kill such a person. One might be tempted to believe such a conclusion would fall in the realm of common sense, but not when it comes to police, as The Free Thought Project has reported.
The incident occurred along the side of Knoxville’s Interstate 40 at about 3 a.m. on July 27, 2014, when the car Carden was driving got a flat tire. From Gerlach’s dashcam footage, two men (Carden and a friend) can be seen attempting to change the flat tire on the car. Some police officers may have attempted to help the two men, but Gerlach ran Carden’s plates which reportedly came back registered to a different vehicle.
Thinking the car might be stolen, Gerlach began questioning Carden. As soon as Gerlach reached for Carden’s arm, Carden punched him and began running away, out of camera view. A taser can be heard as having been deployed, and then six shots were fired.
Gerlach radioed “shots fired” and backup officers arrived, and Carden’s friend—who had stayed out of the encounter, even as he watched the shooting—was placed in handcuffs. The story that followed was anything but the truth.
KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk reportedly described such a violent struggle for Gerlach’s gun that the holster broke under the force. “Officer Gerlach was able to retain enough control of the gun to fire more than one shot,” DeBusk said.
What DeBusk failed to mention, which the autopsy confirmed, was that Gerlach shot Carden in the back six times, with five bullets being fired from a distance of more than three feet. Not only was Carden fleeing, but Gerlach shot him after he had fallen to the ground, according to the autopsy report.
Carden’s son filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Gerlach, and the KPD for its officer’s use of deadly force against his father. Gerlach’s attorneys contended he should be given immunity from prosecution on the basis that he was acting within his official duties as a police officer at the time of the shooting. The judge overseeing the case completely disagreed.
Proof Gerlach shot both a fleeing man, and killed a wounded man comes from the pen of the judge overseeing the appeal. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Sixth District U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Tom Varlan cited the autopsy report as well as evidence presented by Carden’s attorneys. Varlan wrote:
“(Carden) started to flee, and made it about one step, when (Gerlach) began shooting at (Carden)…(Gerlach) fired approximately two to three shots at (Carden) while (Gerlach) was still lying on the ground. He then stood up and fired three more shots down at (Carden). Approximately thirty-five seconds elapsed from the moment (Carden) struck (Gerlach) to the moment (Gerlach) fired his final round.”
The Sentinel also noted that while the dash cam footage showed Carden wearing jeans and a buttoned-up shirt when he ran from Gerlach, his body arrived at the morgue shirtless and in handcuffs. The shirt was not turned over until three weeks after the shooting, and it was “still buttoned but turned inside out,” with “no evidence Carden was wearing the shirt when he was struck by bullets.“
For those who might assume that Gerlach had probable cause to shoot Carden, the court opined:
“[Even if Gerlach] had probable cause to fear for his safety during his struggle with Carden [a jury could find] he lacked the same cause after the struggle had ended and Carden, still unarmed, had turned and begun to flee.”
Police officers and departments everywhere should take notice that it is still unlawful to shoot at fleeing suspects who pose no serious threat to police.
According to a report from the Knoxville Mercury, which conducted an extensive review of the disciplinary procedures inside the KPD, the problem is systemic.
“Although more than 100 officers have been flagged in the 14 years since an early intervention system was instituted to nip problem behaviors in the bud, only one of those officers has actually been enrolled in the correctional part of the program. In all other cases, supervisors decided the officers’ activities weren’t a problem.”
Equally disturbing is the fact that the police department investigates itself when officers are accused of serious infractions.
“The Mercury examined the personnel files of more than 20 officers who have either recently been the subject of lawsuits related to use of force, had repeated misbehavior problems or high-profile errors, or who have been flagged for recurring problems by the department itself. In these officers’ cases, reprimands, “counseling forms,” and even suspensions often appear to have had little to no effect on officers’ annual reviews, pay raises, or promotions. The department itself investigates potential criminal allegations against its officers, even in cases that involve deadly use of force or shooting deaths.”
Had there been an independent review board, operating outside of the influence of the police department, and an effective discipline program at work within the KPD, then maybe this shooting could have been prevented.
As Carden’s son moves forward in his civil rights lawsuit, it is important to remember that even if he does win the $3 million he is pursuing, Tennessee taxpayers will be the ones footing the bill, not the killer cop.
Munising, MI — The parents of a man killed by police are understandably upset after finding out this week that the cop, officer Justin Schlabach, who shot their unarmed son, Timothy Mitchell, for walking toward him will have immunity in the lawsuit.
Mitchell’s family sued Munising Officer Justin Schlabach, saying he used excessive force at the end of a chase in 2014.
According to TV6, in a 2-1 decision Wednesday, the appeals court said the officer had “probable cause” to believe Mitchell was an immediate threat after the man drove into a ditch. The court says dash-cam video shows Mitchell appeared hostile and took “long, purposeful steps” toward Schlabach.
However, the dashcam video shows no such hostility, only a man walking toward a cop.
There was one judge on the panel who dissented against granting the killer cop immunity. Judge Karen Nelson Moore noted that jurors should be able to conclude that Schlabach could have chosen another way to subdue Mitchell. And, when watching the video below, it is entirely clear that deadly force was not at all needed at that time.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are extremely troubling. The 46-year-old auto mechanic had gotten into a verbal dispute at an area auto dealership. A call was placed to 9-1-1 alleging that he was highly intoxicated. He was not a wanted felon, nor had he harmed anyone, he simply got drunk and had an argument at work.
However, when police arrived, that’s when the situation took a turn for the worse.
A police chase ensued but was broken off due to high speeds. At a later point, Schlabach found Mitchell’s vehicle crashed on the roadside with Mitchell standing nearby.
Schlabach had a dash cam on his vehicle that was operational at the time, but allegedly his walk around microphone was not working.
The video captured on the dash cam shows Schlabach get out his vehicle with his weapon drawn and pointed at Mitchell. The officer claims that he told Mitchell to get on the ground multiple times.
An unarmed Mitchell walks towards the officer in a seemingly non-threatening manner. It is at this point Schlabach takes a few steps back before shooting and killing Mitchell.
Schlabach claimed that Mitchell told him as he approached that the officer was going to have to kill him. Interesting to note that Schlabach’s audio recording device was not functioning to record any of this alleged interaction between the two.
It is also important to note that all Schlabach had to do was walk backward to de-escalate the situation. He could’ve placed the car between him and Mitchell and used the distance for a chance to talk to the man — instead of kill him.
Shortly after the shooting, the prosecutor of Marquette County, Matt Weise, declined to prosecute the officer. Weise claims Schlabach was in the right when he took Mitchell’s life stating,
“Is this man who just committed a number of felonies serious about saying I’m going to have to shoot him? Because he’s so desperate that he’s willing to let me shoot him rather than be apprehended.”
Even if Mitchell did tell the officer he would have to kill him, what justification is that for an officer to shoot and kill an unarmed man?
There was no attempt by the officer to de-escalate the situation or to utilize the proper force continuum for an unarmed subject.
In regards to the prosecutor’s statements regarding committing serious felonies, these felonies would simply be criminal driving violations because they all originated during the chase. To make statements about serious felonies in an attempt to poison the well against Mitchell rings hollow, just like the immunity granted to Schlabach.
When watching the video below, ask yourself what business this man has being a police officer. The Free Thought Project will assert that the answer to that question is none.
How an unarmed man can be gunned down in the street by an officer who is cleared of any wrongdoing and granted immunity is extremely troubling and a testament to the lack of accountability for law enforcement.
The rubber stamping of this killing by the prosecutor and the court shows the system is once again not invested in justice, but only in protecting their own.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-schlabach-kills-unarmed-man-immunity/
New York, NY — A disturbing video was submitted to the Free Thought Project this week showing multiple NYPD police officers beating an unarmed and nonviolent man with their batons.
The video was taken by Ryan Rodriguez in April of this year. The man getting severely beaten by NYPD is a regular transient around Rodriguez’ neighborhood and appears to have very clear issues with his mental health.
As the video begins, the unidentified man appears frightened and is backed into a corner by multiple officers.
“What’d I say?” asks the man, just before an officer delivers a haymaker blow to his knee cap with his baton.
“Get the fuck down!” screams the officer as he continues doling out the abuse.
All of the sudden, one of the baton blows hits the man directly on his head.
“There is a sickening noise, and the victim grabs his head and falls to the ground,” explains Rodriguez. “He is clutching his head in pain on the ground, and gets accused of resisting, then is punched by the same officer.”
“Follow directions!” barks the officer as he doles out punishment. “Stay on the ground,” he yells as the man writhes in pain on the sidewalk.
“What did I do?” asks the man as cops pile on top of him. “I didn’t do shit.”
As cops place him in handcuffs, the man, clearly in a delusional state, begins talking in a high pitched voice and asks, “was I doing something?”
According to Rodriguez, the man was handcuffed and brought to Bellevue Hospital for a short stay.
When he got out, Rodriguez asked him what the interaction was about. “[He] does not remember being hit or what he was arrested for,” Rodriguez notes. “He has problems.”
Being the caring person that he is, Rodriguez is attempting to get this man some help. However, that sounds easier than it actually is.
In a separate video, Rodriguez goes back to talk the man. Concerned for his wellbeing, Rodriguez tries to get him to file a complaint or talk to one of the attorneys who’s contacted him. However, likely due to his mental health issues, he wants nothing to do with going after those cops. Or, perhaps, maybe he thinks it will get him more of the same from these abusive officers.
“As you might see, this guy seems to be on heroin, and he says he does not want to pursue it,” Rodriguez told the Free Thought Project.
“This is despite the fact that he is constantly begging for change around my apt. He clearly has some serious issues, which makes what the police did to him much worse,” he said.
“He seems to fear repercussions for whatever reason, and is reluctant to pursue justice,” explains Rodriguez. “We must realize that this could have happened to any of us, and the NYPD needs to learn that this is NOT OK!!!”
Here at the Free Thought Project, we agree that it is not okay for police officers to bludgeon in the heads of defenseless nonviolent human beings in the midst of a mental health crisis.
The Free Thought Project reached out to NYPD’s 9th Precinct to ask if they could give us a statement on this video. We have yet to receive a response.
Below is the other video in which Rodriguez tries to get the man help.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/nypd-cops-beat-man-batons/
Rumain Brisbon had just pulled into the parking lot of his North Phoenix apartment complex on a December day in 2014 and gotten out of the car when a police officer confronted him.
What happened next is disputed. The Phoenix officer, Mark Rine, has claimed that Brisbon reached for his waistband after being told to put his hands up, then started to run away. A struggle ensued, and Rine, who said that he thought that he felt a gun in Brisbon’s pocket, fired two shots in self-defense.
Two witnesses — Brisbon’s friend Brandon Dickerson, who’d been sitting in his car, and Dana Klinger, his girlfriend — tell a different story, which was reflected in a lawsuit filed in May 2015. It argued that Rine had no probable cause to detain or arrest Brisbon, who had gone out to pick up food at McDonald’s for his girlfriend and their 18-month-old daughter.
Brisbon had “exercised his constitutional right to keep walking without engaging in conversation with defendant Rine,” the lawsuit noted. In response, Rine “initiated a confrontation with Rumain Brisbon by charging after him and forcing him to retreat to the doorway.”
Regardless, the end result was the same: Brisbon was shot in the back at point-blank range in front of his girlfriend and toddler daughter. The “gun” Rine thought he had felt turned out to be a vial of Oxycodone pills. Brisbon was black and Rine is white.
Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council approved a $1.5 million payment to Brisbon’s family, settling claims filed on behalf of his mother, girlfriend, and children.
Representatives for the Brisbon family couldn’t immediately be reached to comment on the settlement on Wednesday afternoon.
The Phoenix Police Department declined to comment, but confirmed that Rine remains employed with no restrictions on his duty status.
Two City Council members, Jim Waring and Sal DiCiccio, voted against approving the payment. DiCiccio argued that the settlement would set a bad precedent, as the officer, in DiCiccio’s opinion, had done nothing wrong.
Brisbon’s death in 2014 led to numerous protests and a larger conversation about racially discriminatory policing in Phoenix, which ranked second in the nation for the number of police-involved shootings at the time. Nonetheless, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against Rine.
In an unusual move, PLEA, the Phoenix police union, issued a three-page statement after the shooting, which stated, “Mr. Brisbon had the choice to live that evening.”
Representatives for PLEA declined immediate comment on the settlement.
Jarret Maupin, who helped organize the demonstrations after Brisbon’s death, described the settlement as “another example of the city of Phoenix paying significant sums of money to the families of people of color that did not have to die.”
“While the settlement funds, without doubt, help to ease the suffering and provide a sliver of hope for some kind of a future for these families,” he said, “the need for meaningful police policy and training reforms and prosecutions of police who violate — fatally or violently — people’s civil rights is critical.”
In particular, officers on the Brady List should be fired, body cameras should be mandatory, and recruiting more black and Latino officers should be a top priority, Maupin said.
“Until systemic and institutional racism is rooted out of the Phoenix Police Department, taxpayers can rest assured that they will continue to pay millions of dollars to the families of people officers needlessly kill or injure or harass.”
The case brought forward by Brisbon’s family was “murky at best,” Maupin added.
“The fact that the city of Phoenix paid out this sum on such a weak case shows me that they are very vulnerable to almost any similar litigation because of their poorly enforced policies and procedures.”