Cop Indicted As Video Shows Him Kick, Stomp Incapacitated Man he Just Shot


Houston, TX — Disturbing video has been released following the indictment of a Houston police officer for shooting a suspect and then kicking and stomping him while he was down. Former Houston Police Officer Bruce Johnson now faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

A Harris County grand jury indicted Johnson last week for the incident which took place on February 16. On that day, Johnson, who was still a police officer, hurried home after learning that a potential burglary was in progress.

When Johnson arrived at his home, he found Derek Carr, who was in the midst of carrying some of Johnson’s belongings out of his home. Like anyone should be able to do if their home is being robbed, Johnson confronted Carr and shot him. However, that is not the reason he’s been indicted.

“Officer Johnson delivered a number of blows with his foot by kicking Carr while he was on the ground incapacitated after he’d been shot,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said at a news conference.

As the Chron Reports:


Prosecutors in the case said Carr, who is in the Harris County Jail and has been charged with burglary, was carrying Johnson family belongings as well as a 16-inch metal tool. Carr, 42, is held in the Harris County Jail and faces a burglary charge — the 11th time he has been charged with burglary since 1992, according to court records.
The two got into a physical altercation. Johnson shot Carr once in the arm and once in the back, Ogg said.

A bystander’s video recorded Johnson after the shooting as he kicked the wounded Carr about 10 times, prosecutor Jamie Reyna said.
Photo evidence also showed that Johnson moved the metal tool, which Ogg said was a clear effort to tamper with the scene.

“He moved a critical piece of evidence,” Ogg said. “It wasn’t a mistake. There’s not a question (about the) intent.”

In a statement, Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo said the department was “extremely disappointed in the actions of this former employee,” who retired in March after 23 years with the department. Acevedo pointed to the role of the Special Investigations Unit he created to examine “critical cases,” according to the Chron.

It is important to point out that no one here is advocating against defending one’s home from a burglar or other would-be intruder. But that is not the issue in this instance.

On the surface, this case appeared to be a simple home defense issue and no wrongdoing had taken place. However, after the video surfaced and Johnson was found to have tampered with the evidence to change the potential outcome of the incident, it was clear he’d committed crimes.

“While the circumstances in this case on the day of occurrence suggested no wrongdoing, a proper impartial investigation by HPD SIU lead to the discovery of facts and evidence resulting in the indictment of this former employee,” Acevedo said. “The Houston Police Department remains committed to transparency and accountability.”

This is the second case in only a very short time in which a police officer has been indicted in Houston. Hopefully, it is indicative of a new level of police accountability taking root.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Deputy Chauna Thompson and her husband, Terry, for murder in the deadly fight at Denny’s.

Terry Thompson, a 41-year-old Harris County man choked another man to death at a local Denny’s. The dramatic footage of the fight emerged in early June which prompted a heavy backlash by people wanting to know why the couple was not charged. The backlash apparently had an effect.

“We believe that this grand jury true bill is a reflection of our community’s belief that a crime occurred,” Ogg said. “And that crime was murder and it was participated by Terry Thompson and his wife Deputy Chauna Thompson.”

While the indictments appear to show an increased attempt at police accountability, as the Free Thought Project has reported far too often, an indictment rarely leads to a conviction.

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Snoop Dogg collaborator Kendra Black premiere’s new video

NYC based musician and future pop diva, Kendra Black, is exclusively premiering her second single, “Air Pack Jet,” with AXS. Black was born and raised in Italy, studying music, along with acting and ballet. She trained and performed at the Music Conservatory of Cannes in France, and at The Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. She graduated from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC in 2012, and relocated to New York City shortly after. 

After her move to NYC, she joined with several producers and band members, and collaborated on co-songwriting tunes with Bravo’s Platinum Hit finalist Nick Nittoli and award-winning singer and producer Lachi. She then teamed up with producers at Trend Def Studios in Los Angeles, which resulted in her new five-track EP, The Edge, which released earlier this year in March. Her new EP, The Edge, also features a duo with Snoop Dogg on “Rude.” Black has performed all over the US and internationally, and headlined her own performance at Webster Hall Studio in NYC.

Black tells AXS that creating and working on this video was “amazing! We were all feeling the Brooklyn settings and vibes. It was also really good to get to dance and prepare for the video after working hard recording.”

Check out Kendra Black and her squad dancing and living it up in her new video for “Air Pack Jet,” included in this article.

Catch Kendra on her website, Facebook, and Twitter


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Traveling family raises the roof on this brilliant off-grid bus conversion (Video)

For many of us, the idea of a whole family travelling together seems like something reserved for a precious few weeks during the year, when there’s no school for the kids, and mom and dad can finagle some time off from their busy jobs. It’s one of those modern paradoxes where one stresses out to make time to go on vacation, and then while on vacation, one is rushed to pack all that ‘relaxation’ in.

But as we are learning from people opting for mortgage-free tiny houses or more minimalist lifestyles, there are other ways to live life. Wanting to travel full-time with their young daughter Charlotte and dog Baxter, Luke and Rachel Davis of Midwest Wanderers decided to swap their 1,500-square-foot home for a 240-square-foot school bus conversion that they renovated themselves. It’s one of the best conversions we’ve seen thus far, featuring a raised roof and lots of lovely design touches. We get a tour of the Davis’ brilliant off-grid home on wheels via Bryce Langston of Living Big In A Tiny House:

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

As Luke explains on their blog, the idea to switch over to a tiny bus home did not come as an immediate, ‘a-ha!’ moment, but as a gradual realization:

At first it seemed like such a crazy, far out idea, the kind you only dream of doing but ‘could never really happen.’ The more we talked about it the more we realized we couldn’t shake the desire for this lifestyle of freedom. What do we really have to lose? Our big TV? Our comfy couches? Our yard? Our nice big kitchen? All these things are material possessions that can easily be replaced or lived without. This brought on an epiphany. We realized how much time and money we spend on our possessions and how much THEY own US! How does it make any sense that the things that are supposed to make us “happy” are really the things that take away what is most important to us — time?

After some contemplation, the Davises finally decided to take the leap. Though they are originally based near Chicago, Illinois, they were able to find a used school bus out-of-state, which they purchased for USD $4,000. After driving it back, they took about a year and a half to do the renovations: raising the roof 24 inches to a total of 12′-9″, adding some neat porthole skylights, and redoing the entire interior to include a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two beds. It helped immensely that Luke already had years of experience in the construction trades.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

As you can see coming in, the living space really feels like a home, rather than the inside of a bus, thanks to the higher roof. The kitchen is first up, outfitted with a large counter, four-burner propane stove and a refrigerator on the other side of the bus. Rachel, who is a former baker, says that a well-equipped, larger-sized kitchen was a necessity for their family.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

Coming in a bit further past the kitchen is the sitting area, which has a convertible couch that can flip down into an extra bed. There’s also storage underneath. Across from the sofa is the large-ish dining table, which can be folded down and chairs stacked up, if the family needs more space.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Midwest Wanderers© Midwest Wanderers
Midwest Wanderers© Midwest Wanderers

Beyond that is the cast iron pot belly woodstove and the bathroom right across. The bathroom includes a composting toilet, which the Davises say was a great choice, since they don’t have a blackwater tank to empty. There is a standard-sized RV-style tub shower, perfect for giving baths to little Charlotte.

Midwest Wanderers© Midwest Wanderers
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

The sleeping area is an interesting design: thanks to the elevated roof, the parents’ bed is stacked on top of Charlotte’s little crib-style bed on the bottom. It’s a cozy space that has everyone close together.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

Luke says that they tried to make the 37-foot-long bus as self-sufficient as possible, in addition to using recycled materials (all the technical details here):

We have a 900-watt solar array that supplies all of our power, a composting toilet, upcycled bamboo flooring, reclaimed barn beam countertops, reclaimed barn wood accent wall, locally reclaimed walnut for our table, and our stove and water heater run on propane which burns with essentially no emissions. Also we are able to stretch our 100-gallon fresh water tank to last 2 weeks by utilizing an extremely low flow shower head and of course treating every drop like it matters.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

The Davises guesstimate that they spent about $30,000 on the renovations, making it one of the more expensive bus conversions we’ve seen so far, but still way less than an RV or tiny house of a comparable size. In addition, the family’s monthly expenses while living on the bus are much less compared to their previous lifestyle. To top if off, they’ve managed to visit many states during the last year — places that they wouldn’t have been able to visit if they were stuck in one place.

It’s true that this kind of life may not be for everyone, but it’s also true that there is more than one way to live life to the fullest. And with time being so short, it may be best to spend it with your loved ones by your side. For more, visit Midwest Wanderers and Instagram.

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Video Shows Houston Officer Kicking Suspect After Shooting Him

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Cell phone video obtained by KHOU 11 News Friday captures the moments a Houston police officer kicked a man he had just shot.

The video led a grand jury to indict former HPD officer Bruce Johnson for how he handled a burglary suspect he caught at his own home.

Johnson had just shot the man who’s pictured lying in the grass after investigators say that man — Derek Carr — had broken into his home.

Prosecutors say Johnson was angry and delivered repeated blows to Carr after he was down.

We counted at least 10 of them. Some are more brutal and vicious than others.

All these led to prosecutors charging Johnson with a misdemeanor assault. He faces a felony charge as well for tampering with evidence.

A contractor working in that northwest Houston neighborhood saw what was going on that February day and took out her cell phone to record the whole thing.

Perhaps, though, what’s most troubling is heard at the end of the video. Johnson is heard saying, “Y’all gonna call the police?” To which the contractor says, “Aren’t you the police?” Johnson responds: “Yeah.”

Johnson spent more than 23 years with HPD before retiring a month after the incident.

Johnson turned himself into authorities Friday but will not go through probable cause court.

For the full story visit :

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Seattle Police Spokesman Plays ‘Destiny’ Video Game While Discussing Shooting Of Charleena Lyles

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 22.14.50

A video showing Seattle police Officer Sean Whitcomb talking about the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles — while he was playing a video game — has been removed from the department’s Twitch and YouTube accounts.

The video, first posted Thursday, was part of a weekly outreach effort by the Seattle Police Department called “Fuzzfeed206,” in which as many as three department public-information officers play the multiplayer, first-person shooter game “Destiny” and talk about police-related issues.

The episode garnered some criticism on social media after it was posted, but Whitcomb declined to comment Friday about the video or why it was removed.

Whitcomb told the website GeekWire that in wake of the criticism he was ending the use of Twitch for community outreach.
Charleena Lyles shooting

“We’re certainly listening and hearing what people have said on other social platforms about this feed,” Whitcomb told GeekWire. “So that is one reason why we are suspending it. Any good that can come of this would be neutralized by any additional pain it might cause.”

Whitcomb also told GeekWire that he was not directed by Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole or Mayor Ed Murray’s office to end outreach with Twitch.

During the nearly 30-minute video that was removed, Whitcomb did not engage in any video-game violence.

He began the stream by saying the episode was going to be “on the heavier side.” He then went on to talk about the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles on Sunday morning, saying the “outcome” was “totally, totally unacceptable,” criticizing the mental-health system.

Sometime between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the video was removed from the department’s YouTube and Twitch accounts. Seattle police launched “Fuzzfeed206” in November 2016.

“There seems to have been, I think, critical gaps,” Whitcomb said in the video, “that might have, had they been dealt with, led to a different outcome.” Whitcomb said the mental-health system “most everyone would agree is woefully underfunded.”

Whitcomb also discussed what has been publicly released about the shooting and the steps the department’s internal investigation will take.

“It still feels very raw,” he said. “I know the officers who are involved are deeply impacted, and our hearts go out to Charleena Lyles’ family and certainly, most of all, her children. This outcome is totally, totally unacceptable.”
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Whitcomb went on to talk more about Lyles and the two Seattle police officers who opened fire.

A tweet from Seattle Police Department of the video, which has now been removed. (Twitter)

A tweet from Seattle Police Department of the video, which has now been removed. (Twitter)

“So the question is, where could Charleena Lyles have received more assistance, more help and not be in a position where our officers are frantically calling for help and indicating that we have a woman armed with two knives, knowing full well there are little kids in the apartment?”

Lyles, Whitcomb said, was struggling with raising children and had a history of abuse and recent criminal charges, along with her own mental-health issues. Documents and court records indicate Lyles was receiving counseling and was on the radar of many agencies, including the state Division of Health and Human Services to Seattle mental-health court.

The video received backlash on social media. Christine Sumpton, who is identified as Seattle resident in her profile, tweeted, “The community is in devastating pain, and this is how you address the killing of #CharleenaLyles ??!”

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Florida Cop Tases Man ‘Armed’ With Sunglasses (VIDEO)


A US police officer used a Taser against an unarmed driver in Bradford County, Florida, according to footage from the county sheriff who explained the late middle-aged man approached a policeman in an “aggressive” manner.

Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith, who uploaded the video on his Facebook page, says a local officer Jay Raulerson “was confronted with a dangerous situation” during a call to assist a motorist.

Raulerson saw a silver Toyota whose driver was “attempting to wave down vehicles.” It is not yet clear what caused the driver to stop.

The man – in late middle-age and “armed” with sunglasses, as seen in the video – jumped out of his car and started approaching the officer. Sheriff Smith said the man was acting “aggressively,” which prompted the officer to defend himself.

“With literally seconds to decide his response, Officer Raulerson used a less than lethal tactic to bring the situation under control,” said the sheriff. In the video it is clearly seen that the officer used a Taser on the driver.

The “suspect” was taken into custody “for a medical evaluation prior to pursuing any criminal charges,” the sheriff added.

However, the driver could count himself lucky, as in similar cases in the US people have been shot.

For the full story visit :

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DJ Khaled releases music video ‘On Everything’ feat. Big Sean, Travis Scott, Rick Ross (watch)

After having a #1 hit with “I’m The One,” and releasing his new star-studded album Grateful, DJ Khaled has shared a video for “On Everything.” The aggressive, galloping beat is done justice by Rick Ross and some fierce bars from Big Sean. Travis Scott handles the hook in autotune.

Cinematically, the video is stunning. It appears to have been partially filmed in some kind of gothic cathedral but also contains vibrant colors much like previous Grateful videos. It also seems to be a nod to gangster movies like “Scarface” or “Belly.” But perhaps the most interesting part of the video is its cliffhanger ending. You can check it out above.

As Pitchfork pointed out, Khaled has released videos for two other Grateful tracks so far: “I’m The One” featuring Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper, Migos’ Quavo and Lil Wayne as well as “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. After the cliffhanger ending in the “On Everything” video, it will be interesting to see what comes next from the mind of DJ Khaled and company.   

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14yo makes terrifying 6-meter leap of faith as ‘Sky Ride’ goes wrong at Six Flags park (VIDEO)

At approximately 7:45pm local time on Saturday evening operators of the ‘Sky Ride’ attraction received word that a young girl had become trapped and was dangling from a height. They quickly stopped the ride but the trapped girl’s friend warned that the safety bar was choking her.

Quick-thinking bystanders decided to step in and told the girl to wriggle free and drop down from the ride so they could catch her.

The girl hit a branch on her way down but successfully landed in the crowd of employees and brave volunteers.

“You don’t know what to do I mean you know you understand that you know somebody falling from 35 feet in the air could cause damage to you or whoever you’re catching her with but it’s better off to suffer a minor injury to save someone from a serious injury and that’s what those guys ultimately did,” Loren Lent, who filmed the incident, said in an interview with News 10.

The girl was transferred to a nearby hospital but did not sustain any serious injuries reports News 10, but one of the rescuers was treated for a back injury.

Saratoga Sheriff’s investigators and park personnel carried out an inspection of the ride and the car the girl was travelling in and found all safety equipment to be in good working order.

“There does not appear to be any malfunction of the ride, but we have closed the attraction until a thorough review can be completed,” a park official said, as cited by the Statesman.

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Cops Who Tasered Handcuffed Teen on His Testicles Until He Died – On Video – Can’t Be Charged


Mesquite, TX — As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this year, police were caught on video tasering a young man’s testicles and his body — until he died. Now, we have just learned that although the Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson found that the officers involved had committed a crime during their torture — they cannot be charged.

“If I could go back in time and have this case, it would be indicted,” said Michael Snipes, the first assistant district attorney. “We would have pursued criminally negligent homicide charges.”

These charges cannot be brought now, however, because — in spite of the family just finding out about their son’s horrifying death — cops kept the footage of it secret long enough for the statute of limitations to expire.

As My Statesmen reports, such charges cannot be brought more than three years after the incident, which came to the district attorney’s attention as the result of an American-Statesman investigation two months ago. And while there is no such limitation on the higher charge of manslaughter, Snipes said the officers’ behavior that contributed to Graham’s death didn’t reach the level of a knowing disregard for his life.

Now, the nightmare Graham’s parents have been enduring since losing their son that fateful night, just got even worse.

On August 14, 2013, Kathy and Robert Dyer got a phone call one night that is every parent’s nightmare — their son, Graham, was in the hospital. The 18-year-old boy had been severely injured during a struggle with police and was fighting for his life — a fight he would lose.

When Kathy and Robert got to the hospital that night, police refused to let them see their son. “They said he was in serious trouble — that he had felony charges for assaulting an officer,” Kathy recalled.

Graham had taken LSD that night and his friends called police after he had a bad reaction to it. Police claimed Graham injured himself as they drove him to jail. While the video does show Graham flailing back and forth, police failed to mention to the parents that they’d tortured him, repeatedly, with a taser — including deploying it on his genitalia.

Although this tragic incident happened in 2013 Kathy and Robert are only now finding out what happened to their son. For more than two years, the Mesquite police department would keep the video of Graham — before he went to the hospital — a secret. Now, after watching the video, we know why.

Thanks to the work of Eric Dexheimer at Austin’s MyStatesman, the Dyer’s story is now being told. And although the Mesquite police department won’t face charges for their horrifying actions, they are getting some much-deserved negative attention.

As MyStatesman reported in April:

It seemed improbable the five officers who’d brought him in couldn’t safely subdue Graham. The youngest of the Dyers’ three children was small and slight — 5-foot-4, 110 pounds. He was a skateboarder, not a linebacker.

As the morning passed, a series of scans showed Graham’s brain activity slowing to a stop. “The worst day ever,” Kathy said. Their son’s autopsy said he died of self-inflicted head injuries — an accident, the medical examiner concluded.

Even in the dark days following their son’s death, the Dyers tended to believe the police. Why wouldn’t they? Kathy, a civil engineer, and Robert, a teacher, were solid citizens.

Even though they were originally inclined to believe police, Dyer’s parents continued to ask more and more questions, like what were all those “chicken feet” scratches all over Graham’s body? Or, why did the emergency room doctor’s notes say Graham appeared to be a victim of assault?

However, when Kathy and Robert went down to the Mesquite police department, they were not given answers to any of their questions — because police weren’t required to answer any of them.

According to the ridiculous state law, police departments aren’t required to hand over records for any incidents that don’t result in a conviction. Since police killed Graham before he was able to stand trial for his alleged crimes, they were shielded from handing over the evidence.

For years, the Dyers would fight to get this information from police. Eventually, because of their persistence, the Dyers finally obtained the video footage from their son’s last hours alive. When they viewed it for the first time, they realized everything police said that happened that night was a lie.

Those chicken feet scratches, they would learn, were from taser prongs.

The family hired Susan Hutchison to build a civil rights case against the department. During her investigation, horrifying details emerged.

As My Statesman reports, Hutchison said the additional information contained more troubling details about Graham’s interaction with the police. Taser records indicated four officers shocked him multiple times, she said. As Graham is being stunned with a Taser in the back seat of the cruiser, one can be heard saying: “Mother[expletive], I’m going to kill you.”

And kill him they did.

At one point in the horrifying video, an officer is seen sadistically deploying the taser directly on Graham’s penis. It’s as if these officers enjoyed causing harm to this clearly distressed boy.

When asked about the use of the tasers, the department wrote it off as standard procedure.

“A Taser was deployed in an effort to control decedent, prevent escape and prevent him from injuring himself,” the city stated in court documents, adding the officer had been aiming for Graham’s leg and it was dark.

However, in the video, we can clearly see the cop hold the taser to Graham’s genitals. This is, by no means, standard procedure to ‘prevent suspects from hurting themselves.’

Even with this lawsuit, the Dyers keep hitting roadblocks in holding these cops accountable, like the statute of limitations protecting the criminal cops who killed their son.

As Hutchison said, police departments “In effect, have complete immunity and no accountability—at least in Texas.”

The Dyers aren’t even going after money. As My Statesman reports, Robert said his goal for the lawsuit is modest: “I just want them to say they fucked up.”

“I’m not saying doing LSD wasn’t stupid,” Kathy said. “And things happen. But this should have never happened.”

In spite of this selfless family getting railroaded by the corrupt system, they have taken action to make sure this doesn’t happen to other families.

As the Statesmen reports, Kathy and Robert testified in front of legislators in support of a bill that could help other families in their position.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, House Bill 3234 would have compelled law enforcement agencies to release their investigative records if, like Graham, the suspect had died, or, if not, gave his consent to their release. The couple’s emotional testimony appeared to move several of the lawmakers on the state House Committee on Government Transparency and Operation.

However, thanks to the police state worship in Texas, the bill only made it out of committee and then died.

The family has now pledged that they will fight to the end for justice.

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Man’s Selfie Video of Attack by “Road Raging” Cop Leads to Not Guilty Verdict


San Diego, CA — Justice has finally prevailed for a San Diego man who was charged with multiple crimes after he was viciously attacked by a plainclothes cop in an apparent fit of road rage. Refusing to admit to doing anything wrong for the incident that took place in May of 2015, Robert Branch took his case to court and was found not guilty on all counts.

Branch, 27, faced felony and misdemeanor charges including resisting an officer by force, attempting to spray the detective with pepper spray and failing to provide his driver’s license and registration.

At 9 am Friday morning, the jury read the verdict as Branch became visibly relieved.

“It’s been a journey for me, I’ve been going through so much,” he told reporters. “I can still feel my heart pounding.”

As the San Diego Tribune reports, Branch thanked the jury and his lawyer Marc Kohnen, adding that he planned to go home and hug his 1-year-old daughter.

“I’m just happy the jury saw it the same way we have all along,” Kohnen said.

“I don’t want to take any credit because the facts were the facts, and Mr. Branch had unreasonable force used upon his person,” the attorney continued. “I’m just glad we were able to present it in a format that resonated with the jury.”

In an interview at the time of the attack, Branch said that the incident began as Detective Paul Ward attempted to run him off the road in an apparent case of road rage.

According to Ward, however, Branch was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed.

As Branch slowed down in traffic, Ward began to follow him, and the two stopped in a driveway on Lambda drive.

If Branch was speeding, he should have been given a citation. Instead, the plainclothes detective became physical.

Ward, being skeptical of the man claiming to be an officer, who was not in uniform nor a patrol car, simply asked for an on-duty uniformed officer to come to the scene.

At this point, Branch started filming.

“Sheriff’s Department, can you call the police please,” Ward says to a bystander in the video as he begins his physical attack on Branch.

Branch also speaks to the bystander, telling him, “Call the police right now!”

The two men continue to struggle, with Branch saying: “This is not being detained. This is abuse… Get off my neck. You’re choking me right now!”

Branch then drops the phone as he goes unconscious for a moment and at this point he began to think that this man may actually kill him.

Branch is later heard saying, “I’m going to spray you if you don’t let go.”

Police originally claimed that Branch “became agitated, uncooperative and refused to comply with Detective Ward’s request.” Ward said that he could not see the man’s hands and may have had a can of pepper spray in the other hand that wasn’t holding a camera, so he had no other option but to stop the man from breathing.

However, Ward only had the pepper spray as a defense against a crazed man who clearly had the intention of attacking him. And, as the video clearly shows, he was calm and posed no threat.

Thinking the peaceful and calm Branch was a threat, however, Ward applied, what he refers to as a “department-approved carotid-restraint,” otherwise known as a chokehold.

“He was standing there, waiting for a uniformed officer. He was not attempting to leave the scene,” said attorney Marc Kohnen. “He was not doing anything that would cause Officer Ward to be fearful for his own safety nor the safety of persons around.”

The carotid restraint completely prevented Branch from being able to breathe. Branch thought he was going to die. In the video, we can hear Branch struggling to take in air.

After fearing for his life, the non-violent, non-threatening Branch was subdued by the officer. He was taken to the hospital and then booked on the multiple charges. Had he not decided to film that day, Friday’s verdict could’ve been the opposite.

“If it wasn’t for that video, I’d probably be locked up right now,” Branch said after the verdicts. That statement couldn’t be truer.

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