Tag Archives: Florida

Florida Officer with Violent History Interferes with Copwatcher Filming Police Brutality in Public

Officer D. Lade Obstructing Legal Filming Fort Lauderdale Police Beating Video

Recently, Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Derek Lade attempted to prevent a copwatcher from legally filming the police. Back in 2008, Lade was involved in a high profile case in which video vindicated a man who had been beaten and falsely arrested by the police.

Note: The video and description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. 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.

The first section of this post and the video embedded under it consist of the original anonymous submission. In the video, a copwatcher begins filming the arrest of a man, whom he claims to have seen being assaulted by Fort Lauderdale police. Officer Derek Lade, who is moonlighting as security at a local bar at the time, notices the man filming and begins trying to prevent it, (Just in case one of the officers making the arrest happens to be a Bad Apple and feels the need to get a little physical.)

Officer Lade begins with the common tactic of trying to stand in between the cop watcher and the arrest to block the camera. Then he begins going through the typical roll call of police tactics to prevent filming. First, he starts berating the cameraman with things that he thinks will hurt his feels. Then he threatens to confiscate his cell phone because it is needed for “evidence.”

Next, he moves on to claiming that the public sidewalk is “my property” and therefore the man filming is trespassing. The trespassing claim is accompanied by demands to show ID. (He did, however, somehow miss the incredibly effective tactic of taking photos or video of people that generally don’t really mind being recorded.) The person making the submission also claims that the harassment, including an illegal physical detention, continued off camera afterwards.

After doing a search on the Google to see if there was additional background or images related to this story, I discovered that Officer Derek Lade does in fact have a history of violence during his career as a cop. Not only that, but it’s rather obvious that this previous experience, no doubt, taught Lade the importance of trying to make sure there are no digital witnesses available whenever people are getting their head dropped onto the hood of a police car or otherwise abused.

The second section below details an incident that happened in Dec. of 2008, in which Lade and two other officers assaulted a man. As is typically the case, after they attacked the man Officer Lade lied and claimed on his official police report (otherwise known as committing perjury) that their victim had actually assaulted them. Fortunately for him, surveillance video showed what really happened. Of course, although the charges were dropped against the man they assaulted, the cops were punished in no way whatsoever for their actions.

Officer Involved: Officer Derek Lade
Department Involved: Fort Lauderdale Police Dept.
Dept. Facebook Page: Fort Lauderdale Police on FB
Dept. Twitter Account: @FLPD411
Department Phone No.:
(954) 828-5700

Interfering With a Copwatcher Legally Filming an Arrest

After seeing police officers slam a handcuffed man’s head into the hood of their squad car, I started filming them. Officer D. Lade was there to try to prevent me from filming. Usually he is busy talking to drunk girls outside of the bar, so I will give him credit for actually trying to do police work for once.

After I stopped filming, he continued to harass me and even grabbed my wrist refusing to let me leave. Luckily I know the owners and bouncers who vouched for me and he let me leave the property, but threatened to arrest me if he saw me downtown again that night. This happened in downtown Fort Lauderdale, in front of Fat Cats (a local club).

Officer Lade Interfering With a Man Legally Filming The Police

Beating an Innocent Man Then Lying and  Falsely Arresting Him

As stated earlier, Officer Lade learned the value of not having video available all the way back in 2008. At that time Lade along with Fort Lauderdale Police Officers Stefan Silver and Steve Smith were in the process of breaking up a fight when a man named Joshua Daniel Ortiz had the nerve to question their technique as he got onto a nearby elevator with friends.

Apparently, Ortiz made the mistake of asking Officer Lade what his problem when he was confronted by the officers. According to Ortiz, Lade responded that he would “show him what a problem is” and shoved him backwards. Officers Lade, Silver, and Smith then proceeded to beat Ortiz after pinning him in the back of the elevator. In the meantime, several other officers stood blocking the door of the elevator and intimidating Ortiz’s friends.

As a result, Ortiz suffered black eyes, a broken nose, and other facial bruise. In the mind of Lade and the other officers, that wasn’t sufficient punishment, though. Instead they lied and claimed that Ortiz had initiated the altercation and assaulted them. Based on their police reports (which are considered sworn statements), Ortiz was charged with aggravated battery against an officer. That felony charge, obviously, could have had a devastating effect on Ortiz’s life.

Via the Orlando Sentinal:

“They were just sitting there watching my life go down the drain with those charges,” Ortiz said Wednesday. “I’ve been going crazy thinking my life is over. It’s barely started and it’s over.”

The looming legal charges delayed Ortiz’s enrollment in college classes, he said.

Fortunately for Ortiz, however, the hotel that he was in when the attack took place had surveillance cameras, including within the elevator. That video footage (embedded below) showed what really happened and it was dramatically different than the lies Officers Lade, Silver, and Smith had written in their reports. So those false charges were dropped.

Of course, in spite of them not only having assaulted a citizen, filed false charges against him, and committed perjury by lying in a sworn statement to justify that assault and the false charges, there were absolutely no consequences for Lade or any of his cohorts. Which is why Officer Derek Lade is still out there in Downtown Fort Lauderdale threatening innocent copwatchers to cover up for other Good Cops while they smash the heads of people they are arresting onto car hoods.

Personally, I can’t see any way that could eventually go bad.

News Coverage of the Beating and False Arrest

Surveillance Footage From the Elevator

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Florida Cop Will Not Face Charges of On-Duty Sexual Assault; Department Unsure If He Violated Policy

Orlando Police Department Detective Angel Burgos Rape

Not only can’t they press sexual assault charges against Orlando Detective Angel Burgos, his department isn’t sure if he even violated policy.

Yesterday it was announced by prosecutors that they would not be pursuing charges against Orlando Police Detective Angel Burgos for an incident in which a woman accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him. This incident happened inside Burgos’ unmarked police car while he was on duty. Chief Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra has stated that there is enough proof showing the sexual act the woman described happened, however, she maintained that there is not “concrete proof” that the woman was forced into performing the sex act.

Via the New York Daily News:

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the alleged victim said Burgos arrived at her home on Dec. 15 around 9 a.m. and asked her to join him in his car. The woman had apparently gotten to know Burgos from a previous case she had been involved in.

“He was an officer, I didn’t think much of it, I trusted him,” the woman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told BuzzFeed.

The woman said she held a casual conversation with Burgos until he suddenly unzipped his pants, exposed his penis and began kissing her.

Burgos kept asking her to touch his penis and “j–k him off,” but she refused.

When she finally tried to get out of the car, the woman said Burgos grabbed her by the neck and pressed her head against his crotch. When she again tried to get away, Burgos allegedly told her to “live in the moment.”

The same sequence repeated itself a couple of times until the woman gave in and performed oral sex on Burgos for about 30 seconds, she claimed. Burgos subsequently masturbated and ejaculated onto a towel he kept in the center console, and the woman left the car.

She alerted the Orlando Police Department’s internal affairs unit about a week later, and an investigation was subsequently launched.

“I was still very upset,” the woman said. “This was all still very fresh — it was just a week later. I was scared, hurt and confused.”

Obviously, the majority of rapes and other types of sexual assaults not committed by strangers (which actually constitutes the majority of sexual assaults) lack “concrete evidence” beyond proof of a sex act having taken place. Therefore, it’s not at all uncommon for rape cases to come down to the victim’s word against the accused rapist’s and in fact is more likely to be the majority in such cases. So that brings into question why this case wouldn’t warrant the same standards that someone without a Magic Uniform being accused of the same acts would receive. Of course, that’s a question we all know the answer to.

Beyond that, logic would tend to dictate that due to the fact police officers are in positions of authority and armed with the ability to coerce and oftentimes even physically take advantage of someone who is restrained there would be pretty solid restrictions on even consensual sexual contact with anyone while on duty to avoid even the appearance of something like that. Not to mention that most employers tend to frown on that type of activity while on the clock, regardless of the employee’s job. Not so much with the Orlando Police Department, though. They’re still “investigating” whether he even violated policy with the sex act that the prosecutors have stated there is “sufficient evidence” of having happened.

Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained Again at the Airport After Speaking to Congress About First Incident

Yesterday, on the way home from a trip to Washington DC to testify about his first incident of being detained for having a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained once again. This time the son of the former boxing champ known as “the Greatest” may have been more than just religiously profiled, according to his lawyer.

Family attorney Chris Mancini has since suggested that the stop was an act of retaliation for having spoken at a Democrat-organized Congressional forum on immigration. Ali had criticized Trump’s Muslim travel ban and attributed his first detention last month in the Fort Lauderdale airport to both racial and religious profiling.

Meanwhile, the TSA maintains that Ali’s jewelry set off an alarm prompting the extra profiling.

Via ABC News:

Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and questioned at a Washington airport before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale after meeting with lawmakers to discuss a separate airport detention incident last month, a lawyer for the late heavyweight champion’s son said Friday.

Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, were stopped at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica on Feb. 7. They traveled to Washington on Wednesday without incident to speak to members of a congressional subcommittee on border security about that experience.

But attorney Chris Mancini said that when Ali attempted to board a JetBlue Airways flight home to Florida on Friday he was detained for 20 minutes. Mancini said Ali spoke to Department of Homeland Security officials by telephone and showed his driver’s license and passport before he was allowed to board.

“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the agency confirmed Ali’s identity before he boarded his plane.

Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Ali also was patted down because his jewelry set off a checkpoint scanner alarm.

Key West Police Wrongfully Arrest Homeless Man Then Assault Him After Turning Their Body Cameras Off

Key West Florida Police Brutality Homeless Body Camera

The following videos were originally posted at the “Blue Paper” an independent newspaper located in Key West, Florida. All commentary included on the videos are those of a contributor to the Blue Paper. In addition, police reports and all body camera footage that are included within this post were acquired by contributors and/or the staff of the Blue Paper and subsequently submitted to  Nevada Cop Block.  Between the commentary on the video and the video itself this incident is actually somewhat self-explanatory.

Naja and Arnaud Gerard, the editors of the Blue Paper, originally received a video taken by a concerned bystander of a homeless man, who had already been restrained, being treated roughly by a pair of Key West police officers during an arrest. This arrest took place in February of this year and resulted from a trespassing complaint by the manager of a local Publix grocery store. The justification given for this “rough arrest” was that the man being arrested, Kristopher Knight, had kicked the window of the police car once he was placed inside.

That original video was described in a post on the Blue Paper:

The initial bystander video showed Mr. Knight screaming in pain while Key West police officers were handling him. His hands were already cuffed and his legs had been tied with some sort of leash [a hobble strap]. It was not clear what kind of resistance the short 25-year-old would still have been able to show the officers. The level of pressure used on Knight was disturbing for some of our viewers; others found it perfectly justified.

After that video surfaced, public records requests were used to acquire the police report filed by Officers Julio Gomez and Michael Chaustit that day, as well as their body camera footage from the incident. This provided the entire context of the incident from the time the officers first arrived to the time they left.

Interestingly enough however, by some amazing “coincidence” one portion of the arrest was somehow not captured by the officers’ body cams. This, of course, was the part where the officers have pulled Knight back out of the police car. In fact, the body cameras were able to capture everything up to that point and everything after Knight was placed back into the car perfectly fine.

Due to the convenient timing, a skeptical person might even be tempted to think the cameras were intentionally turned off at that key moment. Fortunately though, the bystander was there filming the police as they threw Knight around and twisted his already cuffed arms. Therefore, between the body cam footage and the bystander’ cell phone video, there’s a pretty complete visual record of what happened between Knight and the police that afternoon.

The full incident was described in the Blue Paper’s post:

footage showed Mr. Knight dozing, while sitting down in front of Publix at Key Plaza. One officer, Officer Julio Gomez, wakes him up, and inquires about his condition. He is obtaining reasonable answers and compliance from Knight who he continues to address politely.

Another officer however, Officer Michael Chaustit immediately breaks into foul language and a confrontational attitude. Knight is ordered off the property. He complies, but as he is walking and once he gets about 30 feet away, he yells loudly “Fuck y’all Motherfuckers!” Officer Chaustic is heard saying, “Nope!” Gomez asks: “You want to take him?” Answer, “Yep”.

Chaustit follows behind Knight. He orders “Stop!” Knight raises his hands over his head but keeps walking “Man I didn’t do nothing.” Officer Chaustit, who is twice Knight’s size, throws him into what appears to be some plastic drums then grabs him again and throws him, flying across the walkway, where his head stops inches from a cement column. From that moment on and at all times thereafter Chaustit uses one form or another of “pain compliance.”

The whole thing is captured by KWPD’s new body worn cameras, to one exception: the really disturbing scene, where Knight is completely restrained and yet constantly subjected to pain, that part, is not recorded. The footage however resumes immediately after, as Knight is being put back inside the police cruiser.

It’s pretty evident in the video who was the aggressor that day. From the time he arrived, Officer Chaustit is verbally abusive and confrontational, even when Officer Gomez is being fairly polite and Knight is being cooperative. Obviously, Chaustit is waiting for any excuse to arrest Knight and likely hoping for an opportunity to use force against him. Shortly after, when Knight yells, “Fuck y’all Motherfuckers!” Chaustit seizes his opportunity and proceeds to assault, arrest, and then once again assault him after pulling him out of the car.

Within their post, Arnaud and Naja Gerard also state they contacted Key West Police Chief Donie Lee, who subsequently ordered a review of the incident by the KWPD Professional Standards Department. As a result, according to a statement from Chief Lee, Officer Chaustit received some unspecified “discipline” for his actions (described as a reprimand in the Blue Paper’s post):

“We have concluded our review of the arrest of Kristopher Knight by Ofc. Chaustit on Feb. 4, 2017.  Although we believe there was probable cause for the arrest, we believe the arrest was based on an emotional reaction to provocation by Knight.  My expectation is that our officers always strive to maintain their professionalism and avoid attitude arrest. Ofc. Chaustit also didn’t use his body cam according to policy.  Ofc. Chaustit has been disciplined for his actions.  He is a good officer and has accepted responsibility for his actions. We have determined that the use of force in this arrest was within policy.”

The basic gist of that is “we found that Officer Chaustit probable cause (of which cursing at the police isn’t) to arrest Knight, but it was unprofessional of him to do so because someone had insulted him. And he violated department policy by turning his body camera off right before he assaulted Knight the second time, but Officer Chaustit is a Good Cop and promised not to do it again.”

The video shows otherwise, though. Officer Chaustit, like many of his “Brothas in Blue,” is a violent bully who was looking for an excuse to assault someone whose dangerous crime was coming onto someone else’s property without their permission and going to sleep. It’s not a situation that should require force against a person who is being compliant, even if they are being verbally defiant in the process, especially when Chaustit initiated the hostility himself. And in spite of his “acceptance of responsibility for his actions,” you’d be foolish to believe this was the first time Ofc. Chaustit unnecessarily used violence against another person, even more so if you believe it will be the last.

Full Video With Additional Commentary

Unedited Bystander Video

Bystander and Body Camera Videos Combined

Muhammad Ali Jr. Illegally Detained at Florida Airport on Suspicion of Being A Muslim

Earlier this month, Muhammad Ali Jr. was illegally detained and subjected to hours of questioning because they (correctly) suspected that he was a Muslim, based on his name. Ali Jr.’s namesake was, of course, probably the most famous athlete ever and one of the most well know people, in general. In addition to his success as a boxer, Muhammad Ali Sr. was known for his conversion to Islam after winning the heavyweight title, as well as his long history of civil and human rights (which really shouldn’t be two things) activism.

In spite of the fact that Ali Jr. is a citizen; having been born in Philadelphia; was traveling under a legal US passport, and has no criminal record, he and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were detained for having Muslim sounding names. Camacho-Ali was fortunate enough to have a photo of her and her late ex-husband on her, so she was released. However, Ali Jr. was not so lucky and had to undergo additional questioning in which they grilled him about “where he got his name” and what his religion was. When he acknowledged being Muslim he was then subjected to further questioning. – For the record, it’s actually not (at this point) illegal to be a Muslim.

Via TheGuardian.com:

The 7 February incident was the first time the family had been detained or questioned in this way, despite regular international travel, (family lawyer Chris) Mancini said.

They consider it religious profiling linked to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to bring in a “Muslim ban” and his now-suspended executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

“To the Ali family, it’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” Mancini said, adding that they were trying to find out how many others faced similar questioning, and were contemplating filing a federal lawsuit.

“Imagine walking into an airport and being asked about your religion,” Mancini told the paper. “This is classic customs profiling.”

Ali’s is the latest in a string of complaints about US immigration controls after the inauguration of Trump.

The former prime minister of Norway was held for nearly an hour at Washington Dulles airport earlier this month and questioned over a visit to Iran three years ago, which he had made to speak at a human rights conference.

Meanwhile, the best-selling Australian children’s book author Mem Fox has suggested she might never return to the US after she was detained and insulted by border control agents at Los Angeles international airport. The 70-year-old said she was left “sobbing like a baby” after two hours of questioning while on her way to a conference.

A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the US. The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had previously claimed the US government had committed to allowing all UK passport holders to enter the country.

It’s a bit ironic that the son of Muhammad Ali would be profiled as a “dangerous Muslim” (in spite of any evidence of ill intent whatsoever) to say the least. Ali Sr.’s refusal to serve in the Vietnam War and subsequent arrest and exile from boxing is one of his most celebrated and recognized acts. It also shows that the government’s travel ban, which isn’t even legally valid since it was struck down in court can be used to single out and illegally detain anyone that TSA agents decide they want to, regardless of their actual immigration status or criminal history.

Update: Florida Cop Who Tried to Murder 79 Year Old Woman Worked as Male Prostitute While On Duty

Last week, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Frankie Bybee, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy who extorted cash from an elderly woman then tried to murder her in a staged suicide attempt once she filed a complaint against him. In the process, he also sold her dog on Craigslist, after charging her $1,000 to care for it while she was in the hospital.

Yesterday, an Internal Affairs report in the case was released. Not only did it contain new details concerning the original charges, including surveillance video of Bybee using the victim’s ATM card to withdraw money, but it also included some new revelations about “business deals” he was involved in.

Along with ten additional charges related to his use of the debit card and fraudulent online purchases Bybee made, Deputy Bybee is also facing new accusations that he acted as a male prostitute while on duty. The latter claim involves him having been paid to have sex with a woman, as well as to record videos of himself masturbating in his patrol car. The woman came forward after seeing media coverage of his charges for the murder attempt.

Via ABC Action News in Tampa:

According to the report, a woman, Elinor Jarvis, came forward and told detectives that they were “involved in an ongoing ‘business deal” for several years that included Dep. Bybee being financially compensated for engaging in sexual acts with her.”

The report said he met her years ago in a hotel room near Boston, Massachusetts and was paid $5,000 for their “initial sexual encounter.”

The report also said that Bybee would record himself in a sex act in his patrol vehicle while on duty and send the video to her via an app called “Tango” and then she would transfer $500 into his PayPal account.

The total payout, according to law enforcement, for these acts was more than $100,000.

The sheriff said Bybee’s actions were first brought to their attention on Jan. 9. That is when Marcia Sohl filed a complaint against then deputy Bybee.

Bybee, according to Knight, responded to a call for service at Sohl’s home on Oct. 21. He befriended Sohl and began to take advantage of her. Investigators released video they say shows Bybee withdrawing money from ATM’s across Sarasota using Sohl’s stolen debit card. In one transaction, Bybe is in uniform.

On Tuesday, Bybee was charged with ten new counts of Criminal Use of Information that involves several unauthorized uses of the victim’s credit card.

Also, according to the report, just prior to the murder attempt Bybee had used the original victim, email account to send a message to her doctor pretending to be her and expressing “suicidal implications.” As a result, the victim was involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation (commonly referred to as a “Baker Act” hold). It was later determined that Deputy Bybee’s IP address was used to send the email as part of his plot to make it appear she had committed suicide.

In spite of all that, Bybee’s bail amount was dropped from $1,030,000 to $365,620

Original Videos

Collier County Sgt. Kasey Wingo Caught on Hidden Camera Beating and Falsely Arresting Man for Second Time

The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. The post consists of a video of a man named Robert Harris being assaulted, tased, and then arrested by Sgt. Kasey Wingo, a Collier County Sheriff’s deputy, during a traffic stop.

However, rather than a singular instance, the arrest depicted in this video is actually an update of sorts. Two years prior, Harris was arrested in an incident, which I also posted about on the CopBlock Network. In that instance, Harris was beaten, tased, assaulted by a police K-9, and eventually arrested after being stopped outside of a storage unit, all of which was recorded by the dash cams on multiple police vehicles. In September, Harris filed a notice to sue against the department and officers involved.

The officer who initiated that previous stop was, in fact, Sgt. Wingo. Harris’ attorney, Dawn Drellos-Thompson, maintains that since filing the notice of intent to sue he has been targeted by Wingo and other CCSO deputies for harassment in retaliation:

“There has been this pattern of relentless sort of, I believe, intimidation. Following him, they’ve stopped him several times, driving by his home, and I believe it is in retaliation for the notice to sue.”

As a result, Drellos-Thompson advised Harris to place a GoPro camera within his vehicle to record any time he is stopped or in any other way harassed by local police. That turned out to be a very fortunate thing for Harris. In the arrest report filed by Sgt. Wingo, he characterizes Harris as being the aggressor who initiated the physical confrontation that followed and even accuses him of taking his taser away and attempting to use it against him.

Via WinkNews.com:

Harris was stopped by Wingo on Friday for having the wrong license plate on his vehicle.

When Wingo walked up to Harris, who was sitting inside a Ford Escort, Harris said he wanted to contact his attorney, but Wingo then pulled out his Taser and threatened to kill him, Drellos-Thompson said.

In an arrest report, Harris said “I am not doing anything until I contact my lawyer” after Harris asked for his driver’s license and registration.

“Sgt. Wingo informed Robert that he cannot call his attorney now and requested him to step out of the vehicle,” the report said. “Sgt. Wingo began to open the driver door in order to have Robert step out. At that time Robert put his phone down, reached through the open window with both hands and pulled the door shut, obstructing Sgt. Wingo with his investigation.”

Wingo was pulled into the Ford Escort by Harris, where a struggle ensued, the report said.

Wingo tried to use his Taser, but Harris was able to grab it, then attempted to use it on Wingo, the report said.

All of that was contradicted by the footage from the GoPro camera and once again the charges against Harris were dropped once that video became public. Not surprisingly, Sgt. Wingo was not himself charged with any crimes for the assault he very clearly committed or even the perjury he committed within the arrest report. Instead, the taxpayers in Florida will be on the hook for another settlement whenever this lawsuit works its way through the system as a result of Wingo’s actions.

Date of Incident: December 1, 2016
Officer Involved: Sgt. Kasey Wingo
Department Involved: Collier County (FL) Sheriff’s Office
Facebook Page: Collier County Sheriff
Twitter Profile: @CollierSheriff
YouTube Channel: Collier County Sheriff
Department Phone No.: (239) 252-9250
Department Address: 1195 County Rd 858, Naples, FL 34120

Along with the Video, this description was included:

Video contradicts deputy’s version of physical encounter. Naples, Fla. Deputy pulls motorist over. Motorist and deputy get into a physical altercation. Motorist is charged with assaulting deputy. Charges are dropped against motorist – for the second time.

Recently released video of a traffic stop involving Collier County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kasey Wingo and Robert Dale Harris – taken from inside Harris’ vehicle – showed a confrontation different from what Wingo told supervisors. “Prosecutors try to back the officers,” said Lee Hollander, Harris’ defense attorney. “I mean they lean that way, obviously, and for good reason. But, sometimes [they] just can’t do it.”

Wingo was named in a lawsuit Harris filed against the sheriff’s office in Sept. 2016. Deputies claimed Harris assaulted them after he was found behind a storage lot in 2014. State prosecutors later threw out the case.

The two men encountered each other again in Dec. 2016 on Palm Spring Boulevard. Wingo stopped Harris for having another vehicle’s plates on his car. Wingo asked for Harris’ license, registration and insurance, but after Harris said he was contacting his attorney, the situation escalated quickly.

Wingo claimed Harris initiated the escalation. “[Harris] reached through the open window with both hands and pulled the door shut…Robert leaned back in the vehicle pulling me into the vehicle with him,” he said in an official report. But a camera inside Harris’ vehicle told a different story. Footage showed Wingo opening Harris’ door, then entering the vehicle after Harris said he was calling his attorney.

“I believe the officer, in my mind, should have identified why he was stopping Robert and giving Robert an opportunity to respond,” said Dawn Drellos-Thompson, Harris’ civil attorney. “Robert did nothing to escalate that situation.”

Hollander, Harris’ criminal attorney, retrieved the video and showed it to state prosecutors. They dismissed Harris’ charges. “We clued them in about the [2014] case and the six month notice that you have to file prior to suing in federal court and they reviewed it in that light,” Hollander said.

Without the video, it would’ve been Wingo’s word versus Harris’, Hollander said. “It probably would have been a whole different ballgame,” he said.

The sheriff’s office declined to comment on the incident due to the initial lawsuit and an intent to sue letter the department received in relation to the traffic stop altercation. “I can tell you that we believe Sgt. Wingo’s actions were within CCSO policy and the law,” said Karie Partington, media relations manager for the sheriff’s office.

When asked if Wingo will face perjury charges for lying in an official report, the State Attorney’s Office said he was not. “Upon review of the available evidence, we do not have a case against the law enforcement officer at this time. If something else comes to light, we will review it,” they said in a statement.

Wingo remains employed as a deputy in the East Naples patrol district. Meanwhile, Harris spent over a month in jail during the Christmas holiday.

Original Video

Newest Video

FL Cop Stole $65K From 79 Y.O. Woman, Sold Her Dog, Then Tried to Stage Suicide When She Filed Complaint

A deputy with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is facing charges after exploiting and extorting an elderly woman over the course of a month. He also faces a charge of attempted murder after he tried to force sleeping pills down her throat in order to make it appear she had committed suicide after she filed a harassment complaint against him.

The unnamed victim stated that she originally met Deputy Frankie Eugene Bybee after he responded to her house on a service call in October. He then continued visiting her both on and off duty, acting as if he was a friend and wanted to help her in order to gain her trust. Shortly after, the victim was hospitalized.

Bybee then convinced her to pay him $1,000 to watch her dog during the time she was in the hospital. Instead, he sold the dog on Craigslist on December 20th. Later that month, he gained access to her check book and wrote checks in her name to himself and three of his children. The victim filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office when she discovered the checks, which totaled $65,000, on January 9th.

Three days later, Deputy Bybee broke into her house and attacked her. During that attack, he attempted to force her to swallow sleeping pills, then propped her garage open with her car running in order to allow the house to fill with carbon monoxide after she passed out. Fortunately, she regained consciousness in time to thwart his attempt to make it appear that she had committed suicide.

Via the Miami Herald:

While the woman was hospitalized, Bybee took the woman’s dog and a check for more than $1,000 in case the dog needed care. Knight said Bybee deposited the check and “rehomed” the dog on Craigslist.

On Jan. 9, four checks from the woman in an envelope addressed to Bybee were written out to him and his three children for a total of $65,000. When the sheriff’s office found his fingerprint on the checks after the victim said she didn’t fill them out, Bybee was placed on administrative leave.

Three days later, according to the probable cause affidavit, the woman, who was not identified, was sitting in her living room when she said Bybee broke into her house wearing dark clothes and blue latex gloves. He was “agitated and angry” that her complaint put him on administrative leave.

According to the affidavit, Bybee grabbed the woman’s face, forced an unknown pill in her mouth and tried to force her prescription sleeping pills down her throat.

The woman passed out and woke up to find her garage door open and her car engine running.

“Our investigation revealed that Bybee attempted to kill the victim and make it appear to be a suicide,” Knight said.

Knight said the sheriff’s office initiated the paperwork for his termination.

Bybee faces charges of larceny, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, forgery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery on a person 65 or older and attempted murder.

In response to the allegations, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight stated:
“It is beyond unacceptable that an individual who works in a position of trust and guardianship to their community, is capable of such heinous crimes. His actions are a disgrace not only to our agency. but to law enforcement professionals everywhere. I hope he gets prosecuted a little bit more exceptionally than a normal criminal because he used the uniform for public trust.”
I wouldn’t hold your breath on that, though. Like most “Bad Apples,” there were already plenty of previous red flags and opportunities to remove him from the barrel that instead resulted in a slap on the wrist or no consequences at all. Prior to this, Deputy Bybee was the subject of five internal investigations. Only two of those resulted in any discipline at all and he ended up with a one week suspension in each of those two cases.



Unanswered Phone Call Leads to Attempted Fourth Amendment Violation by Florida Police

The following post and accompanying videos were shared with the CopBlock Network by a man named Tony, who did not want to give his last name, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

According to the description, police attempted to force their way into Tony’s house because his phone had died and his ex, who wanted to speak to their son, was unable to reach him for an hour. In an attempt to do so, Officer Gordy had blocked the door from closing with her foot.

The officers from the Coral Springs Police Department wanted to perform a welfare check and speak to his son, even though Tony maintains that the ex had not made any sort of specific complaint about a possible danger to his son, outside of being unable to reach them by phone. In addition, his son and the ex were at that time talking on the phone, therefore even that issue had already been resolved.

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.

Date Of Incident: November 25, 2016
Department Involved: Coral Springs (FL) Police Department
Officers Involved: Officer Gordy Badge #945, Officer Crawford Badge #753, and Sergeant Hubbard Badge #788
Department Facebook Profile: Coral Springs Police
Department Twitter Account: @CoralSpringsPD
Department Youtube Channel: Coral Springs Police

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

I missed a phone call from my ex. She reported that to the police. My phone was dead. By the time they arrived, she was on the phone talking to my son, which was the purpose of her initial call. Though she is an unreasonable person, I’m used to it, and I was mainly alarmed at how the cops responded to a reported missed phone call. Officer Gordy thought she could enter my home and inspect my son. She stuck her foot in my door when I attempted to close it and held it there until her supervisor arrived.

– Tony

Retired Chicago Cop, “Medal of Valor” Winner, Arrested for Burning Homeless Man’s Tent and Belongings

A man who was arrested for arson after he burned the tent and personal belongings of an area homeless man is a retired Chicago police officer. In fact, Sergeant James R. Povolo, much like a slew of other violent cops that have been exposed as criminals, was a former award winning officer.

Although the exact reason for his recognition is unknown (because the Chicago Police Department attempted to hide the fact that he was once one of their Good Cops), the Naperville Sun confirmed, via a FOIA request, that he was recipient of the department’s “Medal of Valor,” which is awarded for acts of “heroism, personal courage, and devotion to duty” by police officers.

The case he stands accused of currently is decidedly unheroic, though. Although investigators haven’t provided any motive for his actions, the victim was an outspoken and well known activist and political protester who has been involved in a long standing battle with the government officials in Naperville.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

In the Naperville case, Povolo was arrested less than two weeks after the alleged arson. Prosecutors said he approached Huber’s tent at a time he knew Huber would not be there and set fire to it, reportedly with a cigarette. Police have offered no motive for Povolo’s alleged action and have not disclosed what information prompted them to arrest Povolo.

(Scott) Huber, 66, lost his two-tent encampment and most of his possessions in the blaze. At the time, he said he was most distressed about the destruction of numerous computer discs on which he had stored what he said was the history of his political struggles with Naperville officials, police and local judges.

He has battled Naperville authorities for about 20 years, ever since losing his electronics business and being evicted from his home. He is protesting what he says has been unfair and illegal treatment by authorities.

Povolo’s next court hearing is March 1. The terms of his bond were modified last month so he could travel from his Naperville home in the 1300 block of Dartford Court to his Key Colony Beach home in Florida, where he is a legal resident and where he winters from fall to spring, according to court records. Under the original terms, he could not leave the state without permission from Judge Liam C. Brennan, who is presiding over his trial.

“Defendant (Povolo), because of injuries sustained while employed ‘on the job’ as a police officer for the City of Chicago, has artificial knees, and does not well tolerate cold weather,” Povolo’s attorney Charles Dobra wrote in his petition.

Admittedly, it would be a shame if Povolo had to face the cold unprotected within his Illinois summer home, rather than being afforded the warmth of his winter home in Florida, just because he intentionally and maliciously destroyed the shelter and most of the personal belongings of another man for no apparent reason. He is a Medal of Valor winner, after all.