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Update: Second Mistrial Declared; Cincinnati Cop Ray Tensing Gets Away With Murder of Sam Dubose

For the second time, a jury has stated that it was deadlocked and unable to reach a decision on charges filed against University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing for the July 2015 murder of Sam Dubose. (See videos embedded below for body camera footage of that murder.) The jury initially indicated this morning that it was unable to reach a decision, but were told to go back and continue deliberating. Later this afternoon they returned and stated they were still deadlocked. As a result, Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz has declared a mistrial.

Although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, there won’t be a third trial. So that effectively means Tensing has officially joined the ever expanding club of police officers who have gotten away with murder, including three just this week alone (Tensing, Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, and St. Paul Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez).

Of course, in order to have their killings declared justified all police officers need to do is state that they “feared for my life” and in order to get a mistrial they just need one of the twelve members of a jury to buy that rationalization. So that bar is incredibly low and that’s mostly by design. The system itself is tilted heavily in their favor and those running that system not only are their friends and co-workers, but have the further incentive of self preservation to push it even further in that direction.

In Tensing’s case, he claimed that he was in danger of being run over by Dubose as he attempted to drive away from a traffic stop the University of Cincinnati police officer had initiated because of a missing front license plate.

Via NBC News:

Tensing asked DuBose for his driver’s license and registration, which he failed to provide. The officer then ordered him to step out of his car and tried to open the door, but DuBose refused. The car began to pull away

With one hand still inside the car, Tensing yelled, “Stop! Stop!” before firing his gun at DuBose, striking him in the head. The car then began traveling out of control before coming to a stop.

Tensing’s bodycam captured the incident.

The men had a conversation for about one minute and 50 seconds before it escalated with Tensing and DuBose in a struggle. Within just a few seconds, Tensing fired his gun.

Two other officers were on scene, and their body cameras captured other angles of the shooting’s aftermath.

Those alternate angles captured by the other officers on the scene, as well as testimony from experts who examined those videos, contradicted Tensing’s claims that he was being dragged by, and in danger of being run over by, Dubose’s car.

It’s also been questioned whether the stop for something as trivial as a front license plate was merely an excuse used to justify a racially motivated profiling of Dubose. Officer Tensing’s unusually frequent history of traffic stops (when compared to other University of Cincinnati police officers) and the high percentage of minorities involved in those stops bolsters those claims.

Of course, the judges, prosecutors, and media are usually on the side of the cops and the general public is taught from the day they are born to believe cops are heroes that never lie or do anything bad. So it’s not that hard for them to at least find that one juror who will refuse to find a cop guilty, regardless of the actual facts presented during a trial. That’s a big part of why it’s almost impossible to convict a police officer regardless of the actual facts on the rare occasions when they get caught doing something outrageous enough to get charged in the first place.

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Update: First of Two Louisiana Cops Charged in Murder of Six Year Old Jeremy Mardis Sentenced to 40 Years

Marksville, LA. Police Officer Derrick Stafford was sentenced earlier today to 40 years in prison for the November 2015 murder of six year old Jeremy Mardis. Last week Stafford was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter for the shooting of Mardis and his father, Christopher Few, who was badly wounded but survived. (See below for videos of the actual shooting.) Technically, Stafford was sentenced to 55 years, but the fifteen years he received for attempting to kill Few will run concurrent to the 40 year sentence.

As has been reported several times already on the CopBlock Network (primarily by Brian Sumner and also by me personally), Mardis was killed by Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. after a short car chase. Stafford and Greenhouse, who were working as Deputy Marksville City Marshals at the time, claimed that they had to defend themselves after Christopher Few had backed into Greenhouse’s vehicle.

However, body camera video showed that not only had Few, who was unarmed, stopped prior to the shooting, but that he had also raised his arms outside the window of his SUV. Other officers at the scene, including Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell, whose body camera recorded the video, did not fire their weapons and also testified that they did not do so because they did not “fear for their lives.” That “extremely disturbing” footage was later cited by Colonel Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police as one of the reasons why charges were filed against Greenhouse and Stafford.

After the shooting it was revealed that Few and Greenhouse were involved in a “love triangle” involving Few’s fiancee, Megan Dixon. Prior to the shooting there had reportedly been several prior confrontations between the two. Also, just prior to the beginning of the chase that culminated in the shooting, Few had been arguing with Dixon and attempting to convince her to come home with him.

Stafford and Greenhouse were both moonlighting as Deputy Marksville City Marshals at the time. In addition to that, Stafford worked full time as a Lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department. Greenhouse, whose trial will begin later this year, previously resigned from the Marksville PD and was working full time as an Alexandria City Marshal.

Full Body Camera Video

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Minnesota Deputy Caught on Video Beating K-9 Partner in Drunken Tirade Keeps Job (Update)

Last year, CopBlock Network contributor Asa J blogged about Deputy Brett Berry of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Berry had visited the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN, while attending training during K-9 trials in June (2015). Berry was thrown out of the casino for being drunk and making unwanted advances, as well as repeatedly making obscene gestures to the staff there. Shortly after he was observed by casino security on surveillance video (embedded below) abusing his K-9 partner.

Via Asa’s Original post:

The surveillance footage shows an obviously upset Berry pick the animal up by its collar, throw it on the ground, and repeatedly punch it in the face.

The docile canine can been seen trotting beside its handler, waging its tail, as it endures abuse that would make any pet owner cringe.

After the attack escalates, the dog is able to escape, and runs back to the casino. The footage shows Berry run after the animal before striking it multiple times outside a vestibule, police say.

After the security guards reported his assault upon the dog to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Berry was sent home from the K-9 trials, placed on administrative leave (also known as paid vacation), and charged with animal cruelty. He was subsequently sentenced to (just) a year of probation. In April, he was fired by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.

However, on October 31 an arbitrator ruled that Berry should be reinstated, because this is the only time he has been caught on camera savagely beating a dog and he said he feels really bad about it. Of course, someone who has a documented history of resorting to violence when angry doesn’t pose a threat to the public while working as a cop. Instead, he will be on double secret probation and will not be allowed to work with K-9’s anymore.

Via the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

In a decision filed Monday, state arbitrator Gil Vernon wrote that the sheriff’s office did not sufficiently consider mitigating factors when it moved to fire Berry, and those factors show Berry is at a low risk of future misconduct. He noted that Berry had been forthright about his behavior that night and he sought alcohol abuse treatment afterward.

“The record shows he has nearly 20 years of incident-free service with good evaluations,” Vernon wrote. “He spontaneously, contritely, sincerely and without equivocation accepted his responsibility. Next he without prompting moved immediately to address his underlying personal issues.”

Vernon noted that the canine Boone suffered no physical injuries, and several of Berry’s supervisors said they expected no problems if he returned to service.

Vernon ordered that Berry be reinstated to active duty immediately but with the restriction that he cannot work with canines. He also ruled that the county does not have to repay Berry the back wages he lost since his termination in April.

“The permanency of his reinstatement is dependent on the successful completion of the terms of his misdemeanor probation,” Vernon wrote. “Based on (Berry’s) record and reaction to this incident, the Arbitrator is convinced that it was an aberration and that he deserves another (but last) chance to resume his career.”

In addition, Sean Gormley, the head of Law Enforcement Labor Services of Minnesota, Deputy Berry’s local police union, stated, “Officer Berry has the support of his fellow officers, and we believe he can still be an asset to his department and to the people of Ramsey County,” because it’s almost impossible to do something (outside of exposing corruption within the department) that would eliminate that support.

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Exclusive Eyewitness Video of Four Kentucky State Police Officers Beating 65 Year Old Lewis Lyttle

The following post consists of eyewitness video that was recorded by two sets of bystanders during an incident earlier this year. On that video, four Kentucky State Police Officers can be seen brutally beating Lewis Lyttle, a 65 year old man. It’s also quite apparent on that video that Lyttle was resisting physically in any way whatsoever at the time that he was attacked by these cops.

This video was sent anonymously to the family of Lewis Lyttle. His family then sent it to Southeast Kentucky Cop Block’s via their Facebook page, who in turn forwarded it to me in order to have it shared publicly to expose the violence and corruption of Tpr. Jimmy Halcomb, Sgt. Rob Farley, Detective Josh Howard and Detective Kevin Miller, the officers who can be seen on the video brutally beating Lyttle.

While the video stands on its on, the original Facebook post, as well as Mrs. Lyttle’s statement on behalf of the family, have been included below.

Text from Southeast Kentucky Cop Block Facebook Post:

On June 15, 2016, an elderly Virginia man, Mr. Lewis Lyttle, was brutally beaten by four Kentucky State Police Officers in the parking lot of Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital.

That very evening, a partial video of that beating was posted on Facebook and went viral. When that video began, it showed the elderly man standing in the parking lot of the hospital with two uniformed KSP officers. The elderly man was for some odd reason, being uncuffed by Tpr. Jimmy Halcomb. The video then showed the other of the two uniformed officers, Sgt. Rob Farley (who was and remains a KSP supervisor) grabbing the old man by the beard and pulling the old man down to the ground face first by the beard while kneeing him in the groin area. At that point in the video, two plain clothed KSP detectives (later identified as Detective Josh Howard and Detective Kevin Miller) joined in as the old man was kicked and horribly assaulted as he lay helplessly on the ground.

On June 17, 2016, two days after the incident, a Federal Lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, Southern Division in London. That suit named all four officers involved in the beating as Defendants stating the cause of action as multiple and various violations of the U.S. Constitution. Those violations included, among other things, the Fourth Amendment violation of excessive use of force.

This afternoon, Thursday, October 13, 2016, Cop Block was contacted by the wife of Lewis Lyttle on behalf of Lewis Lyttle’s family.

Mrs. Lyttle gave the following statement:

”We want to thank the organization of Cop Block for helping to bring the truth regarding the circumstances surrounding the horrible, unnecessary and inexcusable beating of Lewis by those KSP officers to the attention of the public. We also want to thank the countless people who have shown support for Lewis and our family since the incident. We want to extend a very special thank you to those many individuals who witnessed the beating personally and who have chosen to do the right thing by coming forth with statements. Many of those people have come forth with witness statements and are preparing to testify in court even though they fear retaliation and harassment from a few of the KSP officers.

This whole thing has taken a heavy toll on our family and been very difficult for us. Some people have said a lot of untrue and unkind things about my husband without knowing any of the facts about what happened that day and further basing their statements on terrible assumptions.

Our family would like to point out that almost 100 percent of those people saying those terrible and untrue things about Lewis have one significant thing in common. That one significant thing is that NONE OF THEM were even anywhere near the scene when the violent assault of my husband occurred. However, the fact that they did not hear or see ANYTHING that went on that day sure doesn’t stop them from giving there expert opinions of how wrong and bad Lewis was and how those KSP officers were only doing their jobs etc.

Today Lewis’ attorney turned over to the KSP officers’ attorneys, the first round of evidence in the federal case so far. Included in that information was a stack of 16 sworn to, signed, and notarized affidavits of individuals who ACTUALLY WERE THERE on the scene and personally observed the incident. All of those statements contend the officers absolutely did use excessive force.

Also, included in the information turned over to the KSP today were the names of nearly 20 individuals, all who were there personally when the incident occurred and all who are prepared to testify in court that at no time during the entire incident did Lewis Lyttle EVER attempt to punch, kick, spit on or otherwise try to assault any of those officers at any time. Of all those individuals, only one knew Lewis before the incident. The remainder of those witnesses did not know Lewis. Those are professional individuals who are highly credible in the community. None of them had any reason to lie for Lewis. They are only telling the truth because it is the right thing to do. Most of those witnesses were actually enraged at the way in which those officers beat my Lewis.

What I’d like people to understand also, I mean the side no one gets to hear or see is that Lewis is 68 years old and has never had a criminal conviction for anything in his entire life. He has a good deal of health issues including 8 metal pins in his leg. The same leg that detective Miller kicked several times and stood on according to the video and several eyewitnesses. Even before he took that beating, he had a great deal of trouble just trying to walk around. When those bully KSP officers beat my Lewis, they beat up a then 67 year old crippled man who couldn’t have hurt them even if he wanted to.

Also among the information released to the KSP today was a video that has never before been seen by the general public or the Defendant Officers. The video was taken on a cell phone by one of the many outraged on lookers. That witness released this video to Lewis’ attorney the day of the incident. I am releasing a segment of this video to Cop Block to post for the first time ever to be seen by the public. The video shows everything necessary to prove my Lewis did nothing to deserve or provoke the beating. It is my understanding the KSP officers who beat Lewis hasn’t seen it yet either. I think their attorneys will get it in the mail tomorrow.

The video shows he was sitting on his butt in the parking lot. He was handcuffed behind his back. His legs were outstretched in front of him, He was in no way trying to kick or hit any officer. In fact from his position it would have been just about impossible to do anything. I included a slow motion section in the video to show Lewis wasn’t trying to kick or anything when Sgt. Farley got out of his car, walked straight to Lewis and violently struck him in the left side of the head so hard that it sent Lewis’ upper body to the pavement.

The video shows how after Sgt. Farley struck Lewis to the ground he stuck his finger in Lewis’ face and wouldn’t even let Lewis raise up to a sitting position. The video shows how Sgt. Farley then violently jerks Lewis off the ground in a manner which I’m sure he wasn’t taught at the academy. Farley grabs Lewis by the cuffed arm which puts all Lewis’ weight on his arm and shoulder. That really hurt my Lewis!

The video then shows Tpr. Jimmy Halcomb Jr. unhandcuff Lewis and Sgt. Farley trying to provoke Lewis to fight. Multiple independent eyewitnesses have given sworn affidavits to that. It was clear to them Farley was purposely trying to get Lewis to fight. When Lewis didn’t take the bait and refused to fight, well, the first video that was posted on Facebook June 15, shows what happened then. I provided a copy of that video attached to the newly released video.

The previously released video starts where the newly released video ends. The two videos together show in detail the whole story. The newly released video was taken from one side of the parking lot and the previously released video was taken from the other side of the lot. You can hear what the two different groups of people (none of which even know Lewis Lyttle) around the two different cameras on the two different sides of the parking lot are saying about what was going on. “They slapped him for no reason”! etc, etc.

During the beating, at least one of the employees from Harlan ARH called KSP Post 10 in Harlan to get help for Lewis. Post 10 sent no one. Looking back I guess it was likely because all available units were already at Harlan ARH and busy beating on Lewis.

Our family has learned from witnesses that after the beating, KSP LT. Jason Adams came around asking people questions about what they saw. According to a number of the witnesses he contacted, LT. Adams seemed to spend as much time trying to inflame then against Lewis as he did investigating any wrongdoing surrounding the beating. He was by reports, however, consistent in mentioning how unbiased he was in his investigation.

One of the witnesses stated that Lt. Adams had commented that the old man didn’t even have a mark on him after the beating. Again, eyewitness testimony is going to contradict that. Lt. Adams alleged comment did inspire me, however, to attach to the end of the video clips I have provided to Cop Block, a small slide show of the pics that were taken when Lewis was in jail after his beating. Those pics are of some NOT ALL of the marks Lt. Adams allegedly claims Lewis did not have.

Some of Lewis’ injuries cannot be captured in a photo. After receiving the beating from the KSP officers, Lewis was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on multiple felony counts of assaulting a police officer before being bonded out after two and a half days. Upon getting released, Lewis had a CT scan performed which indicated he had received an injury severe enough to cause bleeding on his brain. The brain bleed was located directly under the area where Sgt. Rob Farley had struck him. Some of the photos in the slide show depict pooling of the blood under Lewis skin at the point of impact where Sgt. Farley struck him. Sgt. Farley may be guilty of felony assault. But, for now we are crossing one bridge at a time.

The last our family heard from the person who called Post 10 for help the day of the beating and who also initiated a complaint against the abusive officers, KSP Post 10 has yet to inform them whether any disciplinary action has been taken.

Once again, our family sincerely thanks all those who have supported Lewis during this terrible time. We ask that after you see the video if you feel the officers involved in the beating should be held accountable for their actions, that you call the office of KY Governor Matt Bevin and let his office know you want this looked into. The number is (502) 564-2611. Remember, the next person who takes a beating from these same officers could be you or your loved ones. Please share this link.”

 

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R.I.P. Sean Gruber – Yet Another Victim of the LVMPD

The post below is an unfinished essay that Sean Gruber had written at some point shortly before his death from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on August 1st. It’s extremely disheartening that he made that decision and I personally very much wish he hadn’t. However, I think if you read the statement he had written below some of the reasons why he did so are explained pretty clearly there.

Sean was a former resident of Las Vegas and well known and widely respected among “liberty activists” within Southern Nevada. He also was known locally and outside of Nevada for co-hosting liberty-based radio shows, as well as contributing writing to several websites. That included CopBlock.org and his posts that he either submitted or wrote directly for the CopBlock Network are included at the bottom of this post, within the “related posts” section.

A memorial is being held for Sean in Las Vegas on Wednesday, August 10th. Information on that can be found at the Facebook event page for it, which is located here.

I also considered Sean a personal friend after having met him almost exactly three years ago. The first time I met him was somewhat limited to an appearance I did on, the “Round Table Group,”one of the radio shows he was co-hosting. Even though we never really had the opportunity to get together as much as I would have liked to in person, over time I came to consider Sean a true and valuable friend, who was always very friendly and very supportive toward anything I was involved with. In fact, Sean was actually one of the very few people that I can’t recall ever having a real argument with.

In spite of his generally friendly demeanor, Sean was a very passionate and dedicated person and one of the things he was most passionate about was liberty and fighting against the tyranny that has been encroaching upon this country. Sometimes that passion manifested itself in very uncensored statements about those that were responsible for such tyranny. And as evidenced in his writing below, over the past several years Sean got to know well just how tyrannical the LVMPD could be.

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a well deserved and long standing reputation as vindictive bullies toward anyone that dares to criticize them. They don’t just actively work to prevent accountability for cops, they target anybody who questions that favorable treatment. In Sean’s case, they not only targeted him to the point that he decided to leave town, but they even continued targeting him from afar after that.

In June of 2014, shortly after two cops were murdered here in Las Vegas, Sean pointed out in a Facebook post that the violent behavior and lack of accountability of cops had probably played some role in the motivation behind the shootings. As a result, someone reported him to Metro’s “Fusion Center.” In spite of the fact that they readily admitted what he had said was not a threat and was covered by free speech protections, the LVMPD still began actively harassing him and even his family afterwards.

A similar Facebook post, in August of 2014, by a family member resulted in that family member being fired from their job after the police put pressure on the casino where he worked, since they couldn’t do anything legally (because of that First Amendment thing again). Soon after that, Sean and his entire family moved to new Hampshire in an attempt to get away from the harassment by the Las Vegas police and find a more liberty minded location.

It wasn’t too long after that, when Sean applied for a concealed weapons permit in New Hampshire, that he discovered the LVMPD had placed him on a list of “dangerous people.” This was in spite of the fact he had never been arrested or even charged with a crime of any sort. Sean in fact hadn’t even so much as been questioned by the police with the exception of the ones who responded to him making a Facebook post former Sheriff Gillespie didn’t like.

This arbitrary designation by “the criminal gang that calls themselves the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department,” as Sean (correctly) put it, prevented him from exercising his gun rights without basing it on any actual criminal behavior or violent actions. More so than that, what it did was show that even after he moved to the other side of the country they weren’t going to let him be. He also became concerned that the police would target his family in the process of their vendetta against him, even possibly involving violence against them should they find some excuse to raid his house.

While nobody from the Las Vegas Metro Police physically pulled the trigger that day, the reality is that they might as well have. I have no doubt that their vindictiveness and unwillingness to let it go, even after he had left their designated gang territory, to the point that he felt his presence had put people around him in danger played a large part in the very unfortunate decision he made. As far as I’m concerned, the LVMPD has blood on their hands as surely as if they had shot him themselves.

 Below is Sean Gruber’s Final Post:

At some point, or at some time, I’m pretty sure I said, “All Cops Deserve To Die.” I’m not taking that back. Even if I could, I probably wouldn’t.

Policemen are gang members. I’m not sure all of them realize this. But I’m not responsible when it comes to explaining the reality of the world to fools – hooligans, criminals, and modern day Redcoats. It’s simply not my job – and if it were – I’m not getting paid enough.

I moved across the entire country (Las Vegas, NV to Newport, New Hampshire) because I knew I had pissed off the criminal gang that calls themselves the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. I’ve been trying to de-escalate this shit for a while now. (I will admit a few times I got drunk and said what was actually on my mind – that usually consisting of pointing out that criminals – even if they have cool uniforms and pistol belts – are still criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

However, I’ve never done a thing. The one time I was contacted by LVMPD, a detective, I believe by the name of Gnu stated (and I’m paraphrasing here), “We have looked at your Facebook posts and all we see is First Amendment stuff, but we were just directed by Sheriff Doug Gillespie, to contact everyone that might have anything to do with Jerad and Amanda Miller.”

He was fairly nice to me – I suspect that is because I had legal counsel there, but I’m no Nostradamus. I do know this much – Metro are a bunch of lying, criminal, murderous, shit heads that didn’t get even one-one-hundredth of the percent of shit that should have been brought down upon them on that day.

Does that make you lying group of criminals uncomfortable? Do you even know the history of your own department? I don’t give a hot fuck and I don’t suspect that you do either. Now it has come to my attention that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has decided to unilaterally declare me as a “Dangerous Person”.

Now, I’ve been in this game for over half of my 35 years on this planet and I’ve never heard of this before. Since when did my calling Metro a bunch of sister fucking assholes constitute a crime? Hell, if the truth is a crime – I’m out of business.

The truth about me isn’t very nice for the “powers that be.” I’m very boring. I’m a thirty five year old man. I live on odd jobs and my family’s charity. I have no criminal record. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve never been convicted of a crime. I’ve never even been charged with a crime. I do own some guns – and I do have some self-respect and if I’m pushed too far I’ll shoot at those – that pushed – even if they have a badge. But I’m essentially not a “dangerous person.”

Fuck, If I’m dangerous and you aren’t…you might want to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself a question about where your allegiances lie and if you are a man or simply, a Brit. Are you “dangerous” if someone shits on you? Lies about your friends? Tries to kill some of them and tries to take some of the others’ kids? How indoctrinated are you?

Did LVMPD not realize I was going to get pissed off and write something? The answer is that that they don’t care. Because all of the ruckus in the world I could cause won’t mean shit in comparison to how easily they made my life harder…and this is the reason cops deserve bullets. From the rooftops. Pipe Bombs in their tailpipes.

You asshole’s push me and I’ll say what I mean. I hate you. You made me hate you. I didn’t like cops when I moved to Las Vegas – I left with a paranoid hatred of which I can barely describe. Go shoot Erik Scott eleven more times. Go cap another thirteen year old boy – who was already handcuffed – and talk to me about your heroic tendencies. I’m fresh the fuck out of giving a fuck.

I’m still not threatening you. You fucker’s aren’t worth the blood I’d have to spill. But I wish cancer upon you all.

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