Tag Archives: civil rights lawsuit

Update: LVMPD Officer Caught on Body Cam Beating Woman For Littering Sentenced to Year in Prison

Excessive Force Prison Sentence Las Vegas Police Officer Richard Scavone

Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Richard Scavone has been sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting a handcuffed woman as part of a plea deal.

A Las Vegas police officer has been sentenced to one year in prison as part of a plea deal for beating a handcuffed woman. As I posted about previously on NVCopBlock, LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone was caught on his own body camera assaulting the woman in January of 2015. He had decided that Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was a prostitute, even though he readily admitted later to having no actual proof of that.

He then decided to arrest her for loitering and also for littering, after she threw her coffee on the ground. In the process of profiling her for legally standing on a public street, Scavone became angry because she cursed at him. In retaliation for her not respecting his authoritah (AKA committing “contempt of cop“), he assaulted her multiple times.

In addition to throwing her on the ground, he also slammed her head against the hood of his car twice (after she complained about him touching her breasts), grabbed her by the throat and hair, and slammed her into the door jam of the car as he was shoving her into the back seat. During that entire time, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz was handcuffed and not in any way whatsoever physically resisting.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

As I also posted about, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz  later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Officer Scavone. Also named in the excessive force lawsuit were the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Travis Buechler, a former Corrections Officer. Buechler, who has since been fired for some undisclosed reason, stood by and watched Scavone beat a woman like a Good Cop without reporting it or interceding in any way to stop it. She reportedly suffered permanent injuries to her head, back, and neck during the attack. That lawsuit was settled for $200,000 of taxpayers’ money in July of 2016.

Eventually, due to the body cam footage (embedded below) and the pending lawsuit Scavone was charged with several federal crimes including assault and falsifying an official police report to justify that assault. In September of 2017, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just one count of “deprivation of rights under color of law.”

In spite of having all but one charge dropped and a letter from retired LVMPD Sgt. Raymond Reyes that spoke glowingly of his award winning career, impeccable reputation, and referred to him as “cop of cops,” Scavone actually received a harsher than expected sentence. Earlier this month, on January 11th, he was sentenced to a year in prison and an additional year of probation. He was also fined $20,000 given 300 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II.

Body Camera Footage of Officer Scavone’s Assault:

Posts Related to LVMPD Police Brutality

Update: NHP Dash Cam Audio Doesn’t Match Boulder City Police Version; Evidentiary Hearing Ordered Over Discrepancies

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

Boulder City Judge Victor Miller has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Dec. 20th in relation to discrepancies with audio recordings that BCPD Sgt John Glenn provided in support of charges, including obstruction and resisting arrest, against John Hunt.

Earlier this week, Stephen Stubbs, a lawyer for John Hunt, presented in court even more proof of evidence tampering by Boulder City Police and/or prosecutors. Stubbs indicated that just prior to a Dec. 5th hearing on a motion he had filed to dismiss charges against Hunt, he had received a new dash cam video from the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The audio on that video did not match the audio on a dash cam video previously received from the Boulder City Police Department, even though the two videos had been recording simultaneously during Hunt’s arrest. In fact, the motion to dismiss had itself been based on allegations that the original audio from the BCPD’s version had been altered to justify filing retaliatory charges of resisting arrest against Hunt.

As has been detailed here previously (see related links below), Hunt is currently facing several charges related to a June 2016 incident in which he was arrested. At the time, members of the BCPD were conducting a “pedestrian sting operation” where they would step into a crosswalk, then ticket drivers who did not stop early enough.

Believing that their true motivation was to generate money for the city government by writing tickets, Hunt began walking back and forth into the crosswalk himself. According to Hunt, this was done as a protest of that monetary incentive and also to demonstrate his belief that they were purposely not giving motorists sufficient time to stop in order to issue citations.

Not long after, Hunt was arrested by Sgt. John Glenn and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” Initially, the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor after surveillance footage from a nearby business contradicted Glenn’s account of Hunt’s behavior. However, just one day after Hunt filed a civil rights lawsuit, the charges were refiled, along with an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer.”

Hunt has maintained since shortly after he was arrested that things he remembered saying at the time weren’t included on the dash cam video. Subsequently, analyses conducted by two separate audio experts concluded that the video had been edited after the fact. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication reports can be found here.) Based on who had access to do so, that would have to have been done by either someone within the police department or the city attorney’s office.

Unlike that first video, the audio on the NHP video includes statements made by Hunt that support his own version of what happened that day. As a matter of fact, the audio that is not included on Sgt. Glenn’s version consists of two key exchanges that contradict his previous testimony and information he wrote within the arrest reports.

Via the Boulder City Review: 

During Tuesday’s hearing, Stubbs told Miller that there were two microphones together at the same place capturing the same event. One was Glenn’s and the other was this officer’s.

“There is a part of the video that should be the same, but it’s not,” he said.

In the subpoenaed NHP video that was provided to the Boulder City Review, there are two questions Hunt asks officers that are not present in the other dash-cam video when he is detained by Glenn.

In Glenn’s dash-cam video, the first time Hunt speaks to officers after being detained he says “No.”

According to the NHP video, after Hunt is handcuffed by officers he asks them if he is being detained. Then he said, “No,” and asks again if he is being detained.

After that he is told that he is not being detained but rather being arrested. He then asks officers what he is being arrested for and is told for obstructing a pedestrian in the roadway, obstructing traffic and resisting arrest. This portion is present in both Glenn’s dash-cam video and the NHP one.

The NHP one, however, includes the question, “How can I resist something that I’m not aware of?” that Hunt asks officers after being told why he is being arrested.

Glenn’s dash-cam video has no dialogue from Hunt during that time.

According to Stubbs, the Nevada Highway Patrol had located and downloaded this video with the full, unaltered audio all the way back in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Tuesday, just hours before the motion hearing, that they finally provided the video to Hunt’s defense team. (Almost as if they were trying to hide something.)

Based on this new evidence, Boulder City Municipal Court Judge Victor Miller scheduled an evidentiary hearing over the authenticity of the audio on dash cam footage provided by the Boulder City Police. After that hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 20th, Judge Miller could rule to exclude the dash cam evidence or even dismiss the entire case, if he finds in favor of the defense’s claims that evidence has been tampered with.

Stubbs maintains that the charges should be dismissed outright on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. That misconduct has cast sufficient doubt upon the authenticity of the entirety of the evidence against Hunt. As a result, he will not be able to receive a fair trial in light of that uncertainty.


Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury
  8. Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

A Boulder City judge will rule Dec. 5th on a motion to dismiss in the case of John Hunt, who was arrested by Sgt John Glenn in retaliation for interfering with their revenue generation scheme.

On December 5th, a judge in Boulder City, Nevada (located just outside of Las Vegas) will issue a ruling on a case involving a revenue-based enforcement exercise by local police, as well as allegations of a false arrest, perjury by a police supervisor, and the manufacturing of evidence that stem from an impromptu protest that day. Based on those improprieties, Judge Victor Miller has been asked to dismiss charges brought against John Hunt in a motion filed by Hunt’s attorney Stephen Stubbs.

In June of 2016, officers with the Boulder City Police Department were out early in the morning generating revenue for the city. Their scheme consisted of stepping into a crosswalk and then ticketing drivers who didn’t stop quick enough. One of the Boulder City residents that drove by that day was John Hunt, who has stated that he believes the police were intentionally stepping into traffic at a point where the cars did not have enough time to react and therefore would end up being ticketed and fined.

Hunt decided to protest what he deemed to be an unfair issuing of citations by going out and repeatedly walking into the cross walk himself. The intent was to show that the cars would stop if they were given the proper amount of time and thereby expose the true nature of Sgt. John Glenn and his cohorts. The Boulder City police have a bureaucracy to feed though, so obviously they weren’t happy about Hunt getting in the way of their morning fundraiser.

As I previously wrote here at NVCopBlock.org, Hunt was arrested and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” However, at his first hearing the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor even before it began. According to Stubbs, the reason for that quick dismissal was that Sgt. Glenn had lied on his police report in order to justify the arrest. Those lies (also known as perjury when included on a sworn police report) would have been exposed in court due to Hunt’s actions having been captured on a nearby business’ security cameras.

Not only did the surveillance video contradict Sgt. Glenn’s written arrest report, discrepancies soon surfaced involving the dash cam evidence that had been provided as part of the discovery process. As detailed in a follow up post I wrote here at Nevada Cop Block in October of 2016, Hunt questioned the authenticity of the audio included on the video that had been produced by the city. Subsequently, two different forensic audio experts testified that the audio had indeed been altered from that of the original video. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication Report can be found here.)

Citing the false testimony within the police report and the evidence tampering involving the dash cam footage, Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in May of this year on Hunt’s behalf. In retaliation for that lawsuit, the Boulder City prosecutor refiled the original charges, plus an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer,” the next month. In fact, rather than even try to mask the true nature behind refiling the charges, they were actually submitted by the city just one day after the lawsuit was reported by local news.

“I’m in awe of how stupid this is,” said defense lawyer Stephen Stubbs. “It screams of retaliation.”

Included in the motion to dismiss are several new details regarding the inconsistencies on the dash cam video’s audio track and some less than convincing excuses for them by Sgt. Glenn and city attorney’s office and police department of Boulder City:

The alleged false evidence mentioned in Tuesday’s motion to dismiss includes dash-cam video of the June 8 incident that Glenn said did not match what he had seen in the system from that day.

It was given to the defense by the city on July 5 and is different than the dash-cam footage that Stubbs received in 2016.

Two forensic experts who analyzed the 2016 dash-cam video determined that the recording had been altered.

“Two separate audio forensic experts have confirmed that the video contains the wrong unit number … proving that, at a minimum the metadata was altered …. The defense does not know how much of the video was altered or if an authentic video even exists anymore,” Stubbs wrote in his motion.”

That newer dash cam video and questions surrounding the erroneous unit number, as well as what appears to be an alteration of the text overlay on the video after the fact to replace the incorrect unit number has cast even more doubt on the authenticity of the video evidence the city has provided.

During a deposition for the lawsuit on November 20th, Glenn testified about those questions:

In that deposition, Hunt’s other attorney, David T. Blake, showed Glenn the earlier dash-cam video of the event. The video, (from) June 8, 2016, said that it was from Unit 277. The text of those items was in red print.

“As far as I know, our text is not in red,” he told Blake when asked if he’d seen that type of text overlay before. “It’s in white … It looks similar to the format that we use, but I don’t recall ever seeing any in red.”

Blake also asked him about the unit number.

In the deposition, Glenn said that his unit number the day of the activity on June 8 was 277. He also said that he had been assigned to that unit number since the vehicle was brand-new, approximately two and a half years.

Later in the deposition and in an email provided to the defense, Glenn said that although his unit number was 277, the camera in his vehicle was actually from unit 281.

“My vehicle number is 277 …. And the camera in unit 277 failed,” he said in the deposition. “It had to be sent back. There was another vehicle that wasn’t being used, which was unit 281. The camera out of that vehicle was taken out of that vehicle, placed in my vehicle and the device name was not changed when it was changed over. So my vehicle was being broadcast as 281.”

In the email Glenn added that the unit identifier was “mistakenly not changed” until around Aug. 4, 2016.

So, between the original retaliatory nature of the charges (without even getting into the exploitative financial motive for the “safety exercise” Hunt had interrupted), the inconsistencies in Sgt. Glenn’s police reports, and the evidentiary issues, logic should dictate that Judge Miller will have an easy decision to do the right thing and grant the motion for dismissal.

Stephen Stubbs certainly seems to think so:

“By manufacturing false and fraudulent evidence, the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department, or both have tipped the scales of justice so far that the scales themselves have fallen into a bog of eternal stench,” said Stubbs about Tuesday’s motion…

“We filed this because the evidence is clear that the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department or both manufactured false evidence and gave it to defense as discovery,” Stubbs said. “They cheated …. Justice requires all these ridiculous charges be dropped.”

However, we are dealing with the government and their police enforcers, so logic might not be the standard by which things are decided. Nor is there any lack of precedence for cops to get away with or even be rewarded for committing blatant acts of perjury and evidence tampering. That’s especially the case in Las Vegas area police departments.

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury

False Imprisonment: Its Increasing Frequency and the Huge Cost It Imposes on Society

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Police Abuses on the Rise

It’s no secret that police brutality and misconduct has been on the rise recently with cases in the news like Eric Garner who was suffocated in a choke hold by police and killed for illegally selling cigarettes. Similarly, a 12-year-old boy Tamir Rice was shot and killed after playing with a toy gun in the park. The level of uneasiness between police officers and citizens has hit an all-time high and we see this unrest play out in society. Police brutality is not the only form of police misconduct- false arrest of citizens can be an excruciating experience that sends innocent people to prison for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, Chicago’s taxpayers have had to pay over $120 million for the racial torture committed by one police commander, Jon Burge. Part of the disconnect between officers and citizens is the unfairness in power and how that power is used. To add on to this, police are offered different treatment when it comes to false arrests or misconduct. Although Burge oversaw the torture of over 118 black men – which would typically lead to decades in prison – he was released in three-and-a-half years and sent to a halfway house. All the men he tortured remain behind bars.

Police officers were granted a Qualified Immunity Doctrine by the Supreme Court which essentially states that police officers are innocent of harm towards their suspects in most cases due to their risky and honorable line of work. The best intentions are seen to be associated with most police officers, but has that been the case recently?

Typically, false arrest from police officers falls into the police misconduct category, which can also encompass police brutality and wrongful death. According to the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations report, 75% of homicide exonerations involved police misconduct. One widely publicized example of a wrongful arrest was James Bain, who was convicted of kidnapping and rape at the age of 18. He served 35 years for a vicious crime he did not commit. Although DNA evidence was tested and presented prior, he was refused further DNA testing from the courts until his fifth try in 2006. Although misidentification from eyewitnesses account for 75% of all convictions that are overturned by DNA evidence, Bain was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated by police.

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How Does False Imprisonment Affect the Public?

Some people may think that the police arrest people who they think are guilty of a crime, and if they are wrongfully arrested, they are quickly released and go about their happy lives. That is far from the truth in most cases where the arrest was outright wrong and unlawful. Many people who are falsely arrested fight back and sue the police officer who wronged them and because of this, the public is responsible for paying that fee.

Amount of Money City Taxpayers Have Paid for Police Misconduct:

  • Chicago: $521 million from 2004-2014
  • Cleveland: $8.2 million between 2004-2014
  • Denver: $12 million since 2011
  • Dallas: $6.6 million between 2011-2014
  • Los Angeles: $101 million between 2002-2011

For example, Robert Graham was arrested for disorderly conduct by a police officer who was stuck in traffic behind him. Due to the gridlock traffic in New York City, Graham was also stuck in traffic and unable to move. The police officers wrongfully arrested Graham due to the circumstances of the situation. Graham’s wrongfully arrested cases was one of the ones that contributed to New York taxpayers paying $18 million to pay back people who were wrongfully arrested by officers.

According to Jon Norinsberg, a false imprisonment attorney, New York city police may only legally arrest citizens if:

  1. The police have an arrest warrant.
  2. The police have probable cause that you committed a crime.
  3. You are interfering with a police investigation or arrest.
  4. The police believe you are a criminal attempting to flee a crime scene.

Why are Police Officers Getting Away with False Imprisonment?

The number of innocent people behind bars is the highest number it has ever been historically, so it is only natural to question the source – the police. Why has it become okay to so quickly convict people and rarely face punishment as a police officer for wrongfully arresting someone? The issue gets stickier when videos of police officers using excessive force and even killing citizens when they appeared to pose no threat. Are there consequences for that? Rarely.

Unfortunately, false arrests happen and can be scary to argue your case in front of a judge – especially because police are most often shielded by the Qualified Immunity Doctrine exercised by the Supreme Court. This is a protective order that is designed to protect police officers from facing punishments from their mistakes or unlawful actions. In theory, this Qualified Immunity Doctrine was originally designed to shield officers who are properly bringing justice to criminals and who handle situations appropriately – if someone is upset for getting arrested if they deserve it, well this doctrine will protect the police from this potential complaint or lawsuit. Since videos have been released of police officers using unnecessary excessive force on unarmed people, citizens are growing scared that officers are abusing this immunity from the Supreme Court to get away with their unjust behavior. This is where a disconnect lies between police officers and citizens.

Where is the Accountability From the Police?

Why is it that as a society we only started paying attention to police misconduct and false arrests when Netflix featured programs like Making a Murderer?

Police officers are designed to keep our communities safe. While most cops are heroes and upstanding citizens who work hard to protect our safety, those who entered the police force to unlawfully assert power over others and take advantage of their badge are getting more press in recent news. Although it’s an unfortunate circumstance, it is important to stay educated on what is happening in society to better educate yourself and to hopefully make a positive change.

Video Shows Pennsylvania Police Officer Punching, Choking, and Tazing Inmate Shackled to Bench

Surveillance video from a police station just outside of Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County, PA., shows a police officer assault a man in custody after they engage in a verbal dispute over his refusal to sit down. Elizabeth Borough Police Officer Garrett Kimmell can be seen attempting to choke inmate Joshua Brooks, then starting to punch him when Brooks rebuffs that attempt.

Brooks, who has one arm in a cast, initially fights back, although his ability to do so is restricted by the fact one of his ankles is shackled to a bench. He can then be seen raising his arms in an apparent attempt to show he doesn’t intend to resist. However, Kimmell continues hitting him and then places him in a frontal choke hold.

Soon after, Brooks resumes fighting back and begins overpowering Kimmell before another cop arrives and assists in restraining him. At that point, while the other officer is holding brooks, Kimmell begins using his tazer on him, shocking him several times. The video then ends.

As a result of the video, charges of resisting arrest and aggravated assault on an officer were dropped and Brooks has since filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The incident happened in 2015, but the video was not released by Brooks’ lawyer, Todd Hollis, until this week when those charges were dropped.

Via WPXI.com:

A Pittsburgh attorney released a video Wednesday as part of a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging excessive use of force by Elizabeth Borough police.

The lawsuit, which names two officers, alleges the video is just one example of a larger problem with the Police Department. It claims this isn’t an isolated incident.

Channel 11 News could not find any other examples of lawsuits filed against Elizabeth Borough police for brutality involving black victims. However, the lawsuit states the alleged incident “is one of many encounters in which young African-American men who are taken into custody by borough police officers who become the victims of police brutality…”

Joshua Brooks, 21, was arrested April 17, 2015, on suspicion of heroin possession. Hollis said Brooks, whose left arm was in a cast, was shackled to a bench.

Hollis said in the video, Brooks stands up from the bench and refuses to sit down. Police Officer Garrett Kimmell then hits Brooks multiple times and Brooks fights back in an effort to restrain Kimmell, Hollis explained.

A second officer eventually appears and assists with subduing Brooks, and Kimmell is seen firing a stun gun, Hollis said.

“The acts that happened on that particular day don’t denote honor, and I think it brings dishonor to all the great police officers in our city and the country,” Hollis said.

The lawsuit states that after Brooks’ arrest, additional charges were filed, including resisting arrest and aggravated assault on an officer. Hollis said the charges were dropped after the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office saw the surveillance video.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses Kimmell of excessive force and accuses the second officer of failure to intervene.

“Sometimes, what you do in the dark comes to light, and I think this is one of those instances,” Hollis said.

Five Million Dollar Lawsuit Filed by Family of Teen in McKinney, TX Pool Party Incident

The family of Dajerria Becton, the Texas teen who was shown on cell phone footage (embedded below) being thrown to the ground and arrested after police were called to a disturbance at a pool party, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The lawsuit names Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the officer who made the arrest (and also demonstrated his sweet gymnastics skills in the process), the city of McKinney, and the Mckinney Police Department as defendants. It also mentions several prior incidents involving use of excessive force by Casebolt and discrimination by the city government.

Via StarTelegram.com:

The federal complaint alleges that Casebolt used excessive force, committed assault and unlawfully detained a minor child, Becton. The lawsuit also states that the city and police officials failed to provide McKinney officers with proper training and adequate policy direction to protect residents from having their rights violated.

The party occurred on June 5, 2015, and was a celebration of the end of school at the Craig Ranch North subdivision community pool. The party drew an estimated 100 teens, many of whom were African-American.

Police were called by workers and residents asserting that a fight had taken place and that African-American children who were not invited to the party had climbed the fence to get access. Witnesses said a fight did occur when a white resident allegedly swore at a black resident and told her to return to public housing.

Casebolt had been accused of excessive force in a 2007 arrest as part of a federal lawsuit that named him along with other officers. The officers arrested Albert Brown Jr., who authorities said was found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop.

Brown, who is black, accused the officers of forcibly searching him after pulling down his pants and slamming his head against a car hood. A defense attorney denied Brown’s accusations. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2009.

The city of McKinney has also been the target of a lawsuit accusing it of racial segregation in public housing.

A lawsuit in 2008 accused the McKinney Housing Authority of restricting federally subsidized public housing for low-income families to older neighborhoods east of U.S. 75. The lawsuit said that in the Dallas area, 85 percent of those receiving Section 8 housing vouchers are African-Americans.

The lawsuit was settled in 2012 with a consent decree, which is an agreement to take specific actions without admitting guilt.

During the incident, Cpl. Casebolt could be seen on the video pushing Becton to the ground, shoving his knee into her back, and twisting her arm. At one point, he also pulled his firearm out and briefly chased after a group of teens who were verbally objecting to his treatment of the 15 year old girl and others.

In a previous post, CopBlock Network Contributor

Footage shot by bystanders show responding officers curse at and handcuff several party attendees before Casebolt can be seen shoving and wrestling a bikini clad young girl to the ground as she screams.

Onlookers surround the assailant as he brutalizes 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, but then flee when Casebolt pulls out his gun and starts after them. He then returns to the girl and shouts “On your face!” before shoving her head into the ground and sitting on her back for an extended period of time.

“He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids,” Becton said at the time, adding that Casebolt did not arrest her. “I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad.”

Related Posts:

Update: Woman Beaten by LVMPD Officer For Littering Has Filed Civil Rights Lawsuit

LVMPD Police Brutality Excessive Force Officer Richard Scavone

In January, I posted about former LVMPD Officer Richard Scavone, who was caught on camera assaulting a woman. The immediate reason for his violent actions that day was that she had thrown a cup of coffee on the ground while he was in the process of profiling and harassing her. In reality, it was a case of “contempt of cop” in which the woman didn’t properly bow and scrape to his authoritah and possibly a bit of showing off to the corrections officer he was giving a ride along to at the time.

Now the woman he attacked and then arrested on trumped up charges to justify that arrest has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against him. In that lawsuit, Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Scavone, and former Corrections Officer Travis Buechler who was with Scavone at the time of the incident. Cal Potter, a Las Vegas civil rights lawyer, is representing Vizcarrondo-Ortiz in the lawsuit.

Via the Associated Press:

A California woman who authorities say was illegally beaten by a police officer wearing a body camera has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages from Las Vegas police, the former patrol officer and his partner at the time.

Officials have called the case one of the first to use body-camera video against an officer wearing the device.

Amanda Vizcarrondo-Ortiz of Los Angeles said in her lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that she suffered permanent face, neck and back injuries during her January 2015 arrest on littering and loitering for prostitution charges. The charges were later dropped.

Ortiz’s lawyer, Cal Potter, called her beating and arrest unjustified “street justice” for offending the arresting officer, Richard Thomas Scavone, by throwing a cup of coffee on the ground and refusing to put her hands behind her back to be handcuffed.

“He videotaped his own misconduct,” Potter said of Scavone. “It’s our belief that there was no basis for the stop or the arrest…”

The video hasn’t been made public. Officials have said it shows the woman’s face bleeding after she was thrown to the ground, grabbed by the neck and slammed by her head on the hood of a patrol car.

Scavone reported that Ortiz was combative and that he felt his safety was threatened.

A hearing date hasn’t been set in the civil lawsuit that also names the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and a former corrections officer, Travis Buechler, who was with Scavone at the time. It seeks damages greater than $225,000 and a declaration that the department’s use of a law banning loitering for prostitution is unconstitutional.

Officer Laura Meltzer, a police spokeswoman, cited department policy and declined to comment on the civil lawsuit. She said Buechler was suspended last July and fired in September after three years as a corrections officer. The court record didn’t indicate if Buechler had a lawyer.

Former Officer Scavone is still awaiting trial on the federal charges stemming from that incident. As stated in the AP quote, Former Corrections Officer Buechler has been fired, although there has been no indication when that happened or whether that was related to the beating.

Update: The bodycam video has now been released. Also, Vizcarrondo-Ortiz received a $250,000 settlement in June of 2016.

LVMPD Sued By Man Shown on Video Being Attacked by Police at Hard Rock Casino

Ian Tuuamalemalo, a man who was visiting Las Vegas from Southern California, has filed a police brutality lawsuit over an incident in which he was violently attacked by a group of officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Tuuamalemalo had been attending a reggae concert at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in January of 2014 when the assault occurred.

Although it was claimed in the police report that Tuuamalemalo was acting aggressively, he was actually walking away from the officers when he was grabbed from behind and then punched in the face by one of the (as yet unidentified) officers. The rest of the officers then jumped on him and he appears to have been knocked unconscious before being carried away. Charges against him were later dropped.

The beating of Tuuamalemalo is shown on a surveillance video (embedded below) from the casino. Cal Potter, a local civil rights attorney who is representing Tuuamalemalo, has described the altercation as “an organized riot on the part of the police.” In addition, Potter states that the LVMPD ruled that a “policy violation” had been committed, although no details of what exactly that violation was or by whom it was committed had been provided.

Via KLASTV – 8 News Now:

“They could have killed me,” he said.

The video shows him being tugged on his shirt, followed by what may be a punch. He is shown being taken to the ground by police, restrained and carried out. Tuuamalemalo appears to be passed out.

“I don’t like being helpless,” he said.

The incident occurred January 26, 2014. The 34-year-old man says he was visiting from California for a reggae show at the Hard Rock, when he had a run-in with Metro Police…

They claim this is excessive use of force by police. Since there is no audio, it is unclear how this started and what was said between police and Tuuamalemalo.

A Metro report describes him as aggressive and refers to his size. He says, at the time, he was nearly 380 pounds, and stands 6’1”.

He says he was walking away, when someone tugged his shirt.

“I just remembered I turned around. Right when I turned around, that’s when I seen the officer. He just had a, just a full swing, just takes one to my face,” he said.

“There is no excuse for that,” Potter added.

Potter says he’s concerned about the tactics used to restrain his client.

“In a perfect world, the United States Attorney’s Office would pick up this case, and prosecute it and indict the officers that were involved,” he said.

Tuuamalemalo was arrested for resisting a public officer and destroying property at the Hard Rock. The charges were later dropped.

He says he complained to Metro Police. He received letter (sic) in January 2015 – approximately a year after the incident – stating a policy violation was found to be sustained. It does not state, however, what that violation is and who may have been held accountable.

“There is a blue wall of silence that we are all aware that work in the police misconduct business and civil rights violations,” Potter said…

Potter says he believes the person who may have thrown a punch is a Metro Police sergeant, but 8 News NOW could not confirm that.

Obviously, we all know this isn’t a “perfect world,” where cops are actually held accountable for their actions. That is certainly not the case for Las Vegas area police departments, where cops are free to do pretty much anything they want without any realistic fear of repercussions. He’s quite right that they could have killed him (on video) and easily gotten away with it.

Profiled by Road Pirates in Boone County Arkansas

This post was submitted by Antonio Deshawn Ausler, via the CopBlock.org submissions page. It seems like from the description that this was a pretty typical case of Road Pirates hoping to generate some revenue. They generally prey on out of state drivers, partly because they know people are likely to be carrying cash that they can steal (without even charging them with a crime) and partly because they know people from another state are less likely to return and more likely to just pay whatever fine that the excuse they used to pull them over carries.

Antonio states:

I also have a hand signed letter from President Barack Obama and a letter from my senator in regards to my civil rights lawsuit. Before I filed it, I sent my evidence and complaint to the president. It took some effort, but he finally wrote me back and in his letter he told me to be persistent. He said that he will be fighting for people like me as long as he is in that office. All of my claims have already been proven from the top coming down. I look forward to seeing this posted.

Thank you,

Antonio Ausler


Date of Incident: September 2015
Location of Incident: Harrison, Arkansas
Departments Involved: Boone County Sheriff’s DepartmentArkansas State Police
Departments’ Phone Numbers: BCSD: (870) 741-8404 – ASP: (501) 618-8000


I was traveling from Conway Arkansas going to Springfield Missouri. About an hour before I got to Harrison Arkansas, I realized a car had been behind me for a while, but had not caught up to me. I started getting a feeling that I was being followed. So I started slowing down to a lower speed for a short amount of time and then going back to speed limit. I did this five to six times, but the car never caught up with me.

It might seem like I was being paranoid, but a little background I had just filed a complaint against my former attorney 2-3 months before, which is still under review at this moment. The issue with my former attorney came on around the same time. I had asked him to represent me in a $6 million 1983 civil rights lawsuit I was filing against the Board of Probation and Parole and the State. This case is in Federal Court and I am waiting for a answer on a prisoner pro se case from the Attorney General.

dwc banner-http://www.copblock.org/support/copblock-network/Now, back to the night in question. After realizing something was going on, I decided when I topped the next hill I would just quickly pull over to see what they do. As soon as I topped the hill and I could not see their lights, I quickly pulled off on a side road off of Highway 65. When they came over the hill they almost locked up their brakes, but it was too late and I was facing the road, so the vehicle took off.

When I pulled out behind them, I had every intention of getting their plate number but now the SUV was going 65-75 mph and I could not catch them. The faster I went, the faster they went. About 15 miles down the road, a state trooper came shooting up behind me. I could still see the SUV but I was nowhere near close enough to see the tags.

The state trooper followed me for three miles after I switched lanes twice to let him go by. I was then pulled over. When I asked the officer why I was pulled over, he said that I made an illegal turn when I pulled off to the side of the road to let that car go by. At first I was not sure what was going on, but I was fully aware of my surroundings and where I was at. I just told him the car behind me was flashing its lights, so I just pulled over to let the car go by.

While I was saying this the officer I noticed three police cars and a tow truck pull up behind his car. Three more police cars came from the front, but never pulled in front of my vehicle. The officer got me out of the car and made me do two field sobriety tests, which I passed. The officer told me that I’m going to jail for driving on a suspended license and for less than an ounce of weed that was in my pocket.

By the time the officer got me in the car there were maybe 7-8 police officers around my car. It was already being hooked up to the tow truck, only maybe 6-7 minutes into the stop. The officer that pulled me over was maybe 10-20 feet off to the right side of my car talking on his cell phone while the 7-8 officers that pulled up were in my car. When the officer came back and got in the car my car was already being pulled away and everyone was leaving the scene. This was at most maybe 10-12 minutes we were on the side of the road. This was a kidnapping.

banner-submitWhen the officer started talking, the first thing he said was, “I don’t know what the hell is going on.” At this moment, I felt like whatever was about to happen I had foiled it by pulling over and chasing that SUV. I then felt like it was okay to tell him that I knew I was being followed. He responded with, “What makes you think that?” I told him how I had slowed down and sped up and the way the SUV almost locked up its brakes coming over the hill and how after that the car would not go under 65mph, but would go as fast as it needed to for me not to catch it.

His next question let me know he had no idea what he might have just interrupted. Instead of trying to get me to talk about this case he wanted to know, ” why do you think someone would be following you?” I then informed the officer about my civil rights lawsuit and about the complaint against my former attorney.

By this time, we were pulling up to a building that to me did not look like a police station or any kind of jail and to this day I still don’t know were I was taken. The arresting officer and another officer took me in a small room and took my money out my pocket and started counting it. I had around $1200, all the money I had in this world, in my pocket. After counting my money the arresting officer had to go back to his car to see if I dropped some money out of my pocket in his back seat.

There was another officer in the room and he started asking me where I got the drugs and talking like I had a car full of drugs. I was then forced to take pictures and they claimed they found some more weed in my vehicle. As mad as I was and as hurt as I was I had to keep reminding myself where I was at. I have heard stories about black people going through this town and at this moment I am really not sure what is about to happen to me. So I agree yes sir, no sir whatever it takes to get one decent person on my side in this equation.

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There was a conversation after all this between the arresting officer and the other officer in the room in regards to who would transport me to the actual jail. The arresting officer informed the other officer in his own words, ” I am going to take him to the jail and this evidence is staying in my car until in the morning, cause I don’t know what the hell is going on.”

I was then taken by the arresting officer to the jail, but on the way to the jail all the officer wanted to talk about was my civil rights lawsuit. I told him what I could cause now I’m feeling like he just got caught up in something he was not supposed to have anything to do with.

When we arrived at the Boone County Jail, the officer first lit me a cigarette and let me smoke it in the back seat, I’m guessing cause he needed one, too. Then he told me, “Look I’m from Louisiana. I don’t know what these country motherfuckers be doing, but look have you heard about Harrison?” I said, “yes I have heard a little.” Then he said, “well they like beating up and tasing folks in here. So when you get in just be easy.” I said, “yes sir,” and he walked me in to what I thought would be my last day on earth.

He took me into a holding cell and told me, “look I don’t know what the hell is going on, but if you’re not charged or have a bond by 7:00pm tomorrow when I come on shift, I will be in here personally to make sure you get the hell out of here.” He then told me I was under investigation. So they could hold me for 72hrs before they charge me, but he assured me he would be in tomorrow at 7:00.

banner buy shiny badgesThat was the longest night of my life not knowing what was really going on, but knowing the same people that were following me could walk in this cell at any moment. I kept hitting the button in the cell asking does anyone know what I’m being charged with or why I’m under investigation? The only answer they could give me for almost 24hrs was, “we don’t know why you’re in here and we do not know why you’re under investigation. As soon as we find out we will let you know.

The next day at 7:00, the arresting officer walked in the door with bond papers. He came and opened my cell and gave me my papers and told me, “get the hell out of here.” It took until almost 2:00 in the morning to walk out them doors. I thought they were done, but one day I decided to look up name on the internet and I saw that I have a warrant in Harrison Arkansas.

I have already been to court and I have a trial date coming up soon for these charges. I called and spoke with the sheriff’s office, municipal and district courts. At first, no one had any information as to why I had a warrant or where it came from. Then I talked to a secretary, who told me a lot.

I was told that its common, matter of fact, it’s routine to allow a person to bond out and then put some other charges on them to issue a warrant. I was also informed that the night I was pulled over those other seven police cars and tow truck that showed up on the scene, within seconds of me being pulled over, were the drug task force. I recorded all of these conversations.

Why would the drug task force be at a traffic stop, why was I put under investigation, why was I pulled over 18 miles away from where a moving traffic violation occurred. This car was in my wife’s name and that was the “only reason” for the stop. Why did the arresting officer seem so confused about what’s really in play? Why would their secretary literally beg me to get an attorney because from her own paperwork this warrant I have now is from the same charges I have already been to court over? There has been a trail of evidence left behind by these illegal actions performed by the ones paid to protect and serve.

– Antonio Deshawn Ausler

Taxpayers of Springfield MO Forced to Pay $250,000 for Wrongful Death Suit

Deidra Ritchhart, Founder of SW MO Cop Block, shared the content below, detailing the pending resolution of a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Springfield (MO) Police Department by the family of Michael Ireland an unarmed man who was shot while running away from Officer Andrew Bath, via the Cop Block Submissions page. Michael Ireland’s shooting was previously covered by Contributors to the CopBlock Network on CopBlock.org here, here, and here.

Date of Incident: February 17, 2015
Officer Involved: Officer Andrew Bath
Department Involved: Springfield MO Police Department


MICHAELThe family of Michael Ireland, the man who was shot by a Springfield, MO police officer in February of this year, has agreed to settlement in a pending lawsuit against Greene County. An application for approval of the settlement was filed Thursday, September 24, in the Greene County Circuit Court.

The payment of $250,000 means that the city government, and the family, made a settlement in exchange for the case to be dismissed. Former Officer Andrew Bath will not be held liable in this sense. Funny how he supposedly did nothing wrong, yet the city pays out, right? The Greene County Prosecutor, Dan Patterson, has determined that the shooting was justified.

Michael Ireland

Michael Ireland

Michael Ireland was an unarmed man shot while running away from police. NO weapon. No violence was displayed. He was at a neighbors house when police showed up on the property. “Michael was scared of police. This is why he started running that day,” said Michael’s uncle at the masked protest some activists and I (Deidra) held at the Springfield Police Department shortly after the shooting. Theory has it that Officer Bath was grieving and angry after his partner, Aaron Pierson, was shot earlier in the month.

Ofc. Andrew Bath

Ofc. Andrew Bath

We all should know that NO amount of money will EVER be able to repay an unarmed man’s life.

Officer Bath told reporters that he used his taser twice on Ireland, then he fell on his back, and that’s when he was shot. While on his back, Bath reported that he wouldn’t stop reaching for his waist. No weapon was found after the incident…..

The family is asking for a Federal Agency to intervene and investigate the case.