Tag Archives: stabbing

Virginia City, Illinois Police Treat Stabbing Victim as Suspect; Arrest Witness

Illinois Stabbing Victim Virginia City Cop Block

According to a reader submission, a man who was stabbed was treated as a suspect, rather than a victim, by Officer Steve Helmich and other Virginia City, Il. Police Officers.

Note: The description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block by Nathan Danner via 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.

This post discusses the events surrounding an incident that happened in Virginia, Illinois. That incident involved some sort of altercation, in which a man named Charles Hudson was stabbed. According to an article I found, Jimmy Johnson (identified as “Old Man” in the submission) and his son Jeremiah Johnson (identified as “Man 1” in the submission) were later arrested for the stabbing.

According to Danner, rather than being helpful to Hudson after he had been stabbed, officers from the Virginia Police Department instead treated him as if he was a suspect. Danner states that Officer Steve Helmich even threatened to use a tazer on him. In addition, Danner was later himself arrested and had some of his personal belongings seized by VPD officers.

Subsequently, Ron Boris, the Virginia City Police Chief, and Officer Helmich have both resigned from the department. However, currently Chief Boris is running against Captain Devron Orhn to replace retiring Sheriff Bob Fair in Cass County. Virginia City is the county seat of Cass County, which means Chief Boris could potentially end up with even more power in Virginia City if he is elected.

Date of Incident: Oct. 7th, 2017
Officers Involved: Chief Ron Boris, Officer Steve Helmich, Captain Devron Orhn
Department Involved: City of Virginia, Il. Police Department
Facebook Page: Virginia Police Dept. on FB
Department Phone No.: (217) 452-3500

The Stabbing

October 7th, on or around 12am, I witnessed a stabbing behind the East Side bar in Virginia Il. I was standing in the back by the picnic table smoking a cigarette when I saw Charles Hudson being pursued by another male. After hearing Charles tell the other guy to get away, I flicked my cigarette and started towards the door.

Within seconds, they were in a skirmish. I turned back to watch. A man then exited a black truck with a truck topper. He was an older guy with a cane. “Old Man” pulled a knife. I ran over grabbing the guys shirt and ripping it while in the process. The old man turned to swing his cane at me, but missed. He then tried to swing the knife at me.

Trying not to get stabbed, while also trying to make sure Charles didn’t get stabbed, I let go of the man’s shirt. In that brief moment, the old man took to the ground where Charles and “Man 1” had each other in a double head lock, with Charles being in the front and man1 being in the back. The old man held the early 1900’s style “Texas Toothpick Knife” to Charles’ throat, repeatedly saying he was gong to slice his throat.

Charles let go of his choke hold and it was now just Man1 choking Charles and Old Man with a knife to Charles’ throat. Then Man 1, in my opinion, purposely let go of Charles and swung his arms up toward the hand that was holding the knife and thrust the knife into Charles’ throat. I screamed, “no! You just stabbed him in the F****** throat!” The old mam said,” And…let’s go son.”

I reached down to secure the wound, while simultaneously grabbing my phone to dial 911. At that time, I yelled to someone exiting the bar to come grab his wound as I pursued the truck screaming the vehicle description and license plate number to the 911 person. Charles popped off the ground with blood squirting from his neck. He managed to stagger into the bar, making it in four steps before collapsing to the ground.

With everybody scrambling, I grabbed a wad of napkins from the bar and pressed it on his neck. Laura, the bartender, grabbed some rags and Jeff Perkins sat on Charles, applying pressure to the wound. Several minutes passed before we saw the first lights approaching the bar.

It was Officer Helmich from the Virginia Police Department. All he wanted to do was yell at people and stand and watch Charles bleed. He was completely unprofessional. Then Mccombs pulled up, and I ran out the back begging him to hurry, as Helmich had no idea what he was doing.

The EMTs got there, who again were just standing around because they seemed incapable of helping. They had me pick Charles up off the ground of the bar and get him to the gurney. As they were taking him out the door through the front, Charles repeatedly said he was not going in the ambulance without one of three people present: his mother, his fiancé, or Cass County Sheriff Bob Fair.

Helmich threatened Charles with his tazer if he refused to get in the ambulance. I told Helmich, “that is against the law.” Helmich told me, “shut up or you’ll be tazed as well.” I then pulled my phone back out to record the injustices that were going on.

I turned to Mccombs and asked if he wanted me to go retrieve one of those people Charles was asking for and he said, “yes, please do so.” I then went to get his fiancé and brought her back up town. I went in to the bar grabbed an ice water and left East Side with Jeff Perkins. I stopped in Good Times to try and get a beverage, but it was 1:30am and they were no longer serving. I walked back to my car, grabbed my cans of soda, and headed off to Jeff’s house.

Two officers came to Jeff’s house to ask me for a statement, which I refused to give them until I had an in person apology and a written apology from the officer who threatened to taze me. Chief Boris agreed that it was more than fair. Some time went by and I was down to my last cigarette. So I went on a walk back up town to retrieve a new pack from the vehicle I was using for the night.

I only got within 15 ft. of the vehicle and was told by Helmich to put my hands behind my back because I was under arrest. So I turned around, was placed in handcuffs, searched without consent, and put in the back of the police car. I was then taken to Jacksonville to be booked. Helmich gave me two tickets with a written time of 1:10 am. One ticket was for disorderly conduct and one ticket was for resisting/obstructing a police officer. I made bond for $150.

As soon as I returned to Virginia, I went to the Virginia Police Department to try and retrieve my property that they had illegally seized. Those items being my Samsung Galaxy S8 plus a 10 dollar bill and one Marlboro Black cigarette. They refused to give me back my property, or present a warrant for seizure, of said property. I then asked for them to let me file my complaint on paper with them, which they refused.

I asked for the sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy to come up and they refused. Both officers refused to identify themselves when I asked for them to do so. I had to send my mother and uncle to Sheriff Bob Fair’s house to try to wake him up. When he didn’t answer, I sent them to Deputy (Captain) Devron Ohrn’s. Devron came straight to the sheriff’s office and let me write my statement regarding the illegal search and seizure of my property.

My Speech at the City Council Meeting on Monday, October 9th

Hello,

My name is Nathan Danner and tonight I’m here to shed light on some recent events that took place in our small community. On Sat., October 7th at about 12:00 am, a stabbing took place behind the East Side bar, here in Virginia. This already horrible situation was made even worse by the actions and response of our city police and EMT service.

During the time Charles Hudson was laying on the ground and bleeding out, our police and EMT personnel were just standing there watching, seemingly unable to help. I had to pick Charles up off the ground and carry him to the gurney. While outside the front of East Side, Charles refused medical attention until one of three people were present.

He was threatened to be tazed by Officer Helmich if he didn’t get in the ambulance. I spoke up and assured Officer Helmich that was illegal and it was his right to choose what happens to him. The officer treated Charles as if he were the criminal when he was clearly the victim. Our officers showed me that during the times we need them the most we could not count on them to do their jobs correctly or professionally.

Later that night, I was given two tickets: one for disorderly conduct and one for resisting/obstruction of a peace officer. I bonded out and returned to the police station, only trying to obtain the items that were illegally seized at the time of my arrest. Those items were: my cellphone, a $10 bill, and a single cigarette.

Chief Boris and Officer Helmich refused to identify themselves when asked to. They also refused to give me back my property, and refused to let me file my report. Thankfully I was able to wake Deputy Sheriff Devron Orhn out of bed to allow me to file a report.

Over the last month, there have been several occasions of people in our community getting their civil rights violated and suffering abuse as extreme as felony assault with a tazer. This includes:

  • Micheal Rogers, who was tazed in the sheriff’s office by a city officer
  • A man passed out in his yard, whom a citizen was seeking medical attention for, was threatened to be tazed by Officer Helmich.
  • Officer Helmich using intimidation on Charles by threatening him with his tazer.
  • Helmich threatening me with his tazer and giving unjust and unfair tickets to try and cover his tracks.

Today, I’m calling for appropriate actions to take place in order to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Thank you

The “Aftermath”

Man 1 and Old Man have both been arrested.

  • Old Man on charges of attempted murder and mob action.
  • Man 1 on a charge of mob action.

The two officers have put in their letters of resignation and their last day of work in our town is Nov. 13.

– Nathan Danner

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

LAPD Police Officers Taser Man Who Was Already Stabbed Twice

The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by “LaurasharkCW,” via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. Her YouTube channel, where she posts videos of the copwatching she has done in Southern California, can be found here.

Date of Incident: January 6, 2017
Officers Involved: Unit #81303 Unit #81148 (Didn’t get names this time)
Department Involved: Los Angeles Police Department – Harbor Division
Department Phone Number: (310)726-7700

When we got to the incident, we were there a little over five minutes before we could finally see what was going on (when the ambulance arrived). We could hear arguing back and forth between someone and the police…Then once we could see, we saw a young man sitting on the ground, handcuffed, and suffering from a stab wound, his white shirt soaked with blood.

Little by little, we could see that not only was he handcuffed, but the LAPD had also hog tied his feet AND one of the officers was standing over him, holding his taser gun, with the leads hanging down…It wasn’t until the young man in this video, found my video and contacted me, that we actually knew what had happened.

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

He told me that he was stabbed twice in a bar fight, had managed to call his dad, and that a stranger was offering him a ride to the hospital. Then his dad showed up at the same time as the police arrived. He was scared and losing blood fast. He remembers trying to leave to go to the hospital, but the police would not let him leave.

He began to panic and he says he remembers being yelled at. Then he was tasered and remembers being handcuffed before he blacked out…If you notice in the video, the paramedics didn’t rush in and get him and go. Instead, there was a lot of standing around for over ten minutes before they handcuffed him to the stretcher and took him to the hospital. From first contact by the officers to when he finally was taken, was almost thirty minutes.

I have been recording LAPD Harbor Division for a little over a year now. The things that stand out the most to me, are this division/department has a serious lack of training in DEESCALATING situations. They also have a lack of training in mental illness and they all seem to deal with situations like a bunch of Juveniles – who don’t take anything seriously.

Who tasers a man that is already bleeding out from being stabbed twice? Tasering is not a method of subduing someone WHO IS SUFFERING FROM INJURIES and needs medical attention.

The kid being taken away in hand cuffs in the video (the one not stabbed), was arrested and is being charged with stabbing the victim. However, they are friends and there is no way he was the one who stabbed him.

– Laurashark

Man Beaten by Las Vegas Police For Not Moving Fast Enough Awarded $31,500 Settlement (Update)

About a year and a half ago, Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs submitted a story to the CopBlock Network about a man who had been beaten by members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

That man, Dominic Gennarino, could be seen on surveillance video (embedded below) from the Vanguard Lounge, a bar/nightclub located on what is known as Fremont East in Downtown Las Vegas, being assaulted by a group of Las Vegas police officers. One officer in particular, identified as Officer Kolkoski, visciously jabbed Gennarino’s body with his nightstick during the attack and had to be restrained by another policeman.

Prior to that the cops had been clearing people out of the club after a stabbing (which Gennarino wasn’t involved in) took place there. Apparently, Gennarino’s “crime that precipitated that beating was that he wasn’t moving fast enough as he exited the bar, even though the video pretty clearly shows that the large crowd had prevented him from walking any faster.

Of course, once the video was made public the false charges (Obstructing a Public Officer) against Gennarino used to justifying the beating were dropped. Also, in response to the beating and the negative publicity it generated, the LVMPD promised that they were going to implement “fundamental policy changes” in their use of force policies, as well as their procedure for investigating use of force incidents. Those “fundamental” changes that were promised have since gotten some not so glowing reviews by Las Vegas residents, though.

Officer Kolkoski knocks himself down in the process of beating Domonic Generino with his nightstick

Officer Kolkoski in his enthusiasm for beating Domonic Generino knocks himself down.

Not surprisingly, given the history Las Vegas area police departments with regards to accountability, Metro’s Internal Affairs also concluded during their investigation that “the actions taken by employees did not rise to the level of misconduct or was not a policy violation” and those cops caught on camera beating an innocent man for no good reason wouldn’t face any sort of meaningful repercussions for those actions, whatsoever.

Of course, you have to consider that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson refused to prosecute a group of police officers from the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson after they beat a diabetic driver they suspected of being drunk. The reason he cited for that inaction was because they train Henderson police to kick people in the head at the academy. So, even misconduct and policy violations are fairly hard to come by out here in Vegas with such a low bar of acceptability for pretty much whatever cops want to do on any given day.

In the latest update to this particular story, Stephen Stubbs posted to his Facebook profile on April 14th (2016) that Gennarino had received a settlement of $31,500 to compensate him for the actions taken by those LVMPD “employees.”

In that post (embedded below), Stubbs states:

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department paid my client $31,500 today. He was beaten by police because he wasn’t moving fast enough, and then the police officer lied in the official report.

A special thank you to Jared Richards. We did this case together and Justice won the day.

Dominic Gennarino certainly deserves to be compensated for the assault and wrongful arrest perpetrated against him that day and probably by even more than the amount he received. (Apparently, he was satisfied with Metro’s first settlement offer.) However, as is always the case due to qualified immunity protections, this settlement will be payed by the taxpayers and not in any genuine way personally effect those officers who actually committed the crimes against Gennarino and then lied in official police reports in order to justify doing it.

Related Posts Submitted By or About Stephen Stubbs:

Those of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs is a frequent contributor of submissions to the Cop Block Network. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen on a somewhat regular basis through Nevada Cop Block.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy list of posts on Cop Block involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

 

  1. Full Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shooting Videos; Witness Statement Made Public
  2. Know Your Rights Seminar At Las Vegas “Rally For Your Rights”
  3. Waco, TX; Twin Peaks Shootings Arrests – June 10th Call Flood
  4. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  5. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  6. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  7. Game Over for Insert Coins’ and Their Abusive Bouncers
  8. Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas- Feb. 26, 2015
  9. Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas Bouncers Beat Man and Obstruct Witness Trying to Film
  10. Las Vegas Police Promise “Fundamental Policy Changes” after Dominic Gennarino Beating
  11. Las Vegas Police Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”
  12. Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them
  13. Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas
  14. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side

 

Police Wife Writes About the “Secret Epidemic” of Police Domestic Violence

This post was originally published at the “Ms. Magazine” blog in October of 2015 by and (who was married to a police officer for 20 years) under the original title “Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence.” (See below for their full biographies.)

Domestic violence takes place in up to a staggering 40 percent of law enforcement families, but police departments mostly ignore the problem or let it slide, write ex-police wife Susanna Hope and award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin in their new book, Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence. The following excerpt is adapted from their book, available on Amazon or as an eBook from their website, and is being published as part of the Ms. Blog’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month series.

According to Alex Roslin, “Police Wife” itself has more than 60 pages of appendices giving advice and resources to survivors, family and friends plus recommendations for advocates, police, governments, journalists and researchers.

In order to help survivors and others, they’ve made virtually all of the appendices available for free through their website. Here is the direct link to this extended free excerpt.

The propensity for police to abuse their wives, children, and other family members is, of course, no secret among people who read CopBlock.org. It’s rare that more than a few days go by without a report of a cop having committed domestic violence and several CopBlock Network Contributors have posted about the increased risk that entails marrying or having the bad fortune to be the child of a cop. Obviously, the habitual efforts of Good Cops to cover up the crimes of those Bad Apples, is also a large factor in its commonality.

Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence

In 2009, in Utica, New York, police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. killed his estranged wife, Kristin Palumbo-Longo, stabbing her more than a dozen times in their home, then stabbed himself to death. One of the couple’s four children discovered the horrifying scene on coming home from school that afternoon.

Police Officer Cop BlockUtica’s then-Police Chief Daniel LaBella said the killing was completely unexpected—an incident “no one could have prevented or predicted.” But Kristin’s family filed a $100-million wrongful-death suit saying city and police officials didn’t do enough about Longo’s troubling behavior before the tragedy.

Kristin had contacted police at least five times in the weeks before she was murdered, saying she feared her husband might kill her and their kids, but police supervisors discouraged her from making reports or seeking a protection order, the lawsuit said. In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge agreed that the police actions may have “enhanced the danger to Kristin and amounted to deliberate indifference.” The city settled the suit in 2013, paying the couple’s children $2 million.

The murder wasn’t an isolated tragedy. It was unusual only because it was so public and so bloody. A staggering amount of domestic violence rages behind the walls of cops’ homes, while most police departments do little about it. In the vast majority of cases, cops who hurt a family member do so in utter secrecy, while their victims live in desperate isolation with very little hope of help. Research shows:

  • An astonishing 40 percent of cops acknowledged in one U.S. survey that they were violent with their spouse or children in the previous six months.
  • A second survey had remarkably similar results—40 percent of officers admitted there was violence in their relationship in the previous year. The abuse rate for cops is up to 15 times higher than among the public.
  • Police discipline is startlingly lax. The LAPD disciplines cops with a sustained domestic violence complaint less strictly than those who lie or get in an off-duty fight. In the Puerto Rico Police Department, 86 percent of cops remained on active duty even after two or more arrests for domestic violence.

It seems incredible that a crime wave of such magnitude and far-reaching social ramifications could be so unknown to the public and yet at the same time an open secret in a mostly indifferent law enforcement community. It is surely one of the most surreal crime epidemics ever—at once disavowed, generalized and virtually unchecked.

Aptly summing up the bizarre disconnect, retired Lieutenant Detective Mark Wynn of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department in Tennessee told PBS in a 2013 story on the issue: “What’s amazing to me is we’re having this conversation at all. I mean, could you imagine us sitting here talking about this and saying, how do you feel about officers using crack before they go to work, or how do you feel about the officer who every once in a while just robs a bank, or every once in a while decides to go in and steal a car from a dealership? We wouldn’t have this conversation. Why is it that we’ve taken violence against women and separated that from other crimes?”

Domestic violence is bad enough for any woman to deal with. Shelters, many of them chronically underfunded, regularly turn away abused women because they’re full, while only about one in four incidents in the wider population ever get reported to police. Hundreds of U.S. communities have adopted “nuisance property” laws that encourage police to pressure landlords to evict tenants who repeatedly call 911 over domestic abuse, further dissuading victims from seeking help.

But abuse at home is far worse for the wife or girlfriend of a cop. Who will she call—911? What if a coworker or friend of her husband responds? Police officers are trained in the use of physical force and know how to hurt someone without leaving a trace. They have guns and often bring them home. And if a cop’s wife runs, where will she hide? He usually knows where the women’s shelters are. Some shelter staff admit they are powerless to protect an abused police spouse. Her abuser may have training and tools to track her web use, phone calls and travels to find out if she is researching how to get help or, if she has fled, where she went.

In the rare case where the woman works up the nerve to complain, the police department and justice system often victimize her again. She must take on the infamous blue wall of silence—the strict unwritten code of cops protecting each other in investigations. The police have a name for it—extending “professional courtesy.” In the words of Anthony Bouza, a one-time commander in the New York Police Department and former police chief of Minneapolis, “The Mafia never enforced its code of blood-sworn omerta with the ferocity, efficacy and enthusiasm the police bring to the Blue Code of Silence.”

It all adds up to the police having a de facto licence to abuse their spouses and children. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon that police families struggle with everywhere from Montreal to Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Australia and South Africa.

The torrent of abuse is virtually unknown to the public, but without realizing it, we all pay a steep price. Domestic violence is the single most common reason the public contacts the police in the U.S., accounting for up to 50 percent of all calls in some areas. Yet, a battered woman who calls 911 may have a two-in-five chance of an abuser coming to her door. Official investigations have found law enforcement departments that tolerate abuse in police homes also mishandle violence against women in other homes.

Abusive cops are also more prone to other forms of misconduct on the job—such as brutality against civilians and violence against fellow officers. We all pay as taxpayers when governments have to settle multi-million-dollar lawsuits with victims of police abuse or negligence. Police domestic violence also has close connections to a host of other problems—police killings of African Americans, sexual harassment of female drivers at traffic stops and women cops, and even more broadly, issues like growing social inequality and subjugation of Native Americans.

And police officers themselves are victims, too. Even though our society calls cops heroes, we give them little support to cope with the pressure of police work. A big part of the job is to wield power to control other people. As a result, policing attracts people who are good at controlling others or may have a craving for that kind of power—and then trains them to use their power better. Control is also the main driver of domestic violence. Is it a surprise then that so many cops are violent at home?

Support the Ms. Magazine Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program today and show women fleeing domestic violence that they’re not alone.

Susanna Hope (a pseudonym for security and privacy reasons) is a Canadian professional writer who was married for over 20 years to a police officer. She has two sons and two grandchildren.

Alex Roslin is an award-winning Canadian journalist who was president of the board of the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting. His investigative and writing awards include three Canadian Association of Journalists prizes for investigative reporting, a gold prize in the National Magazine Awards and nine nominations for CAJ awards and NMAs.