Tag Archives: taser

British Race Relations Board Member Tasered in the Face by English Police

Race relations in the UK took a bit of a step back last week when a 63 year old black man that works with a group attempting to mend relations between minorities and the police was tasered in the face by them on video in Bristol, England. At the time of the incident, he was returning from walking his dog. (Unlike what is the tradition for American police, the dog was not murdered.)

Judah Adunbi, a founding member of an independent advisory group working to improve relations between the police and Afro-Caribbean communities, was dragged through a gate into the street by two police officers and then tasered when he refused to give his name. The unnamed officers had claimed that they thought Adunbi was another person that was wanted for unspecified crimes.

Via the New York Times:

Judah Adunbi was returning home last week when two police officers suddenly confronted him, demanding his name. When he refused to give it, they yanked him outside his gate and shot him with a Taser stun gun.

But Mr. Adunbi was not the wanted suspect whom officers were seeking. He is a 63-year-old black race-relations adviser who has worked to improve ties between police officers and the black people in Bristol, about 120 miles west of London.

Britain’s police watchdog agency announced on Friday that it was opening an investigation into the episode, which was caught on video by a neighbor. The video, which spread rapidly on social media, reignited criticisms against the police over the use of force against blacks.

According to race-relations campaigners and data provided by the Home Office, black people are three times more likely to have a Taser used against them than white people.

The video showed officers telling Mr. Adunbi that they “think” he is wanted. “I’m not telling you. I’ve done no wrong,” he replied. One officer said: “So I have no choice then but to arrest you.”

“Leave me alone and let me go among my business,” Mr. Adunbi said, trying to bat them away. As he tried to get to his home through a gate, the officers dragged him outside into the street and fired their stun gun. One of the officers later told the neighbor, Tom Cherry: “He was trying to fight us.”

Speaking to The Guardian about the episode, Mr. Adunbi, a founding member of an independent advisory group working to improve relations between the police and Afro-Caribbean community, said, “At first, you don’t accuse someone of being someone else. You ask questions. The first thing they should have done is come to me in a polite manner. The way they approached me, they were accusing me. That is wrong…”

Describing the Taser’s impact, Mr. Adunbi said, “I heard this sound and felt something hit me below the lip. I collapsed on the ground. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t speak or move and didn’t have any strength in me. She then told me to get up.

“I knew if she fired again it would have killed me. They tried to lift me off the ground. They raised me up and leaned me up against a garage, but I started to slide down. It’s a grace of God that I’m still alive. She has done a very terrible thing to me.”

Chief Superintendent Reilly said that the community was “going to have concerns” and that police would “really like to answer those.”

Sara Ogilvie, policy officer at Liberty, a human rights advocacy group, told the media that “Incidents like this are deeply disturbing. Warm words about working with communities mean nothing if officers aren’t willing to practice what they preach.”

So, this would probably be the appropriate time to say #NotTheOnion. The reason you know this isn’t Fake Newz is because you just can’t make this kinda shit up.

BBC News Coverage

Louisiana Deputy Accused of Using Taser on His Fiancee During Domestic Violence Incident

A deputy with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office appeared in court last week. In September, Deputy Victor Cass Butler was accused of using his department issued taser on his fiancee during a domestic dispute in Vidalia, Louisiana, where he lives. According to court files, the data saved on Butler’s stun gun shows that it was used “several times” that day.

Via the Natchez Democrat:

“From what I understand, it was a confrontation (at his residence),” [Vidalia Police Chief Joey] Merrill said.

Sources close to the investigation said Butler allegedly used the stun gun multiple times.

Merrill declined to give more details about the incident or how many times Butler reportedly used the stun gun on the victim, citing the ongoing investigation.

Following the incident, the victim was treated and released at a local hospital, Merrill said.

The stun gun allegedly used in the incident was sent to Alexandria to be evaluated, Merrill said. The stun gun has a computer system, Merrill said, that records the date and time of when the weapon was fired and how many times it was fired.

More information will be made public when VPD is able to get the records of the weapon’s use, Merrill said.

“This was an unfortunate event for both parties involved,” Merrill said. “We at Vidalia Police Department are going to investigate this case fully and make sure justice is served. We, as neighboring law-enforcement agencies, are going to move forward and get past this unfortunate event.”

In spite of how unfortunate this was for both of them, the fiancee who was tasered multiple times was apparently the only one that had to be treated at the hospital afterwards.

Also, although he was originally charged with aggravated battery, Deputy Butler, who had only recently been rehired by the CPSO and has since resigned from the sheriff’s department, has already had the charged reduced to just simple battery. He pled not guilty to that during his latest court appearance and is due back in court in April. By that time, a deal involving a fine and some community service should be ready for him to accept and get right back to work tasing people out on the streets.

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.

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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

Citizens of Portsmouth Forced to Pay $1,000,000 to Compensate Family for William Chapman’s Murder

Earlier this week, a judge in Portsmouth, Virginia approved a $1 million settlement offer from the city to the family of William Chapman II. As has been reported previously at the CopBlock Network (see “related posts” below) by myself and several other CopBlock Network contributors, Chapman was murdered outside of a local Walmart by Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin.

Officer Rankin was later charged with murder in the case, but ended up only being convicted of manslaughter and receiving a sentence of just 2.5 years in prison. Although the family was preparing to do so, this settlement was actually offered without a lawsuit having been filed against the city. That’s likely due to the evidence that would have been presented during a lawsuit showing that eighteen year old Chapman, who was unarmed when shot, was actually shot from a distance. That contradicts Rankin’s claim that Chapman was a direct threat to him as a justification for the shooting.

Via the Virginia-Pilot:

Former Portsmouth Officer Stephen Rankin shot and killed Chapman on April 22, 2015, in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Frederick Boulevard.

The officer was investigating a shoplifting report when he approached Chapman, and a physical altercation ensued.

A jury convicted Rankin on Aug. 4 of voluntary manslaughter and recommended he serve 2½ years in prison. Circuit Judge Johnny Morrison imposed the full sentence last month during an emotional hearing.

Following Rankin’s conviction, (attorney Jon) Babineau announced plans to sue the city, former police Chief Ed Hargis and Rankin.

He argued the city and Hargis were negligent in hiring and retaining Rankin and that Rankin wrongfully killed Chapman.

Babineau and the city reached the settlement before he filed the suit, though.

According to the petition, Portsmouth is willing to pay the Chapman estate $1 million as long as the family agrees not to pursue claims against the city, Hargis and Rankin.

The petition also stresses that the city and the Chapman family agree the settlement should not be construed as “an admission of fault or responsibility…”

Earl Lewis, a cousin of William Chapman II who serves as a spokesman for the family…lamented the case won’t go to trial.

He said an investigation spearheaded by Babineau had unearthed a lot of new information about Rankin and the Police Department. And he pointed to a BBC documentary that aired Wednesday in the United Kingdom with an interview from a former Portsmouth police lieutenant. The lieutenant said he warned his supervisors about Rankin before the Chapman shooting, but nothing happened.

“We still haven’t gotten all the facts,” Lewis said, arguing that a trial could have resulted in new revelations with the possibility of a larger monetary award. “Me, myself, I am a betting man. I would have taken it to trial.”

Lewis argued a lawsuit against Wal-Mart might still be warranted. And Babineau said he is researching what liability the retailer might face for calling police on Chapman and following him outside.

“We are not aware of any evidence indicating William Chapman stole anything,” Babineau said.

As Chapman’s cousin, Earl Lewis, points out, the settlement will also prevent further questioning of the Portsmouth Police Department. One of those questions would be why fifteen seconds of the video, which just happens to comprise the moments in which Chapman was shot, somehow disappeared from the official video sent to the lawyer representing Chapman’s family.

Related Posts:

Mckinney Police “Helped” Texas Man Reported as Suicidal by Beating, Tasing, and Arresting Him

The video and content within this post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The reader who submitted this describes how police showed up after receiving a report that they were feeling suicidal and then “helped” by beating, tasing, and arresting them. As a result, they now stand accused of assault on a police officer, even though they maintain that the police officers involved hit them first (and are never shown hitting or attempting to hit the police in the video).

Date of Incident: February 21, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Kyle Wilkerson
Department Involved: McKinney (TX) Police Department
Department Phone No.: (972) 547-2700

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.

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Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

I had been going through a divorce and really was down. Actually, I thought I was done. My brother found out from my ex that I was suicidal and called the cops on me.

I blacked out for most of this part of the story, but these are the parts I remember. The cop pulled me over in my driveway. He asked me to put my hands out of the car, which I did and proceeded to get out. He said I hear you need some help and I said no I’m good and tried to go inside. Then he grabbed my hand and I tried to pull away. The rest is in the video and somehow I have an assault on an officer charge pending.

The reasons I’m sharing this is since the video obviously shows I did not hit the officer, why should I have to pay for a lawyer to take care of this. I’m still trying to get on my feet from the divorce. Secondly, this has to stop. Police can not just do what they want. We need better godliness for that. What if I or that officer would have gotten hurt worse that night. What if by that officer treating me that way it pushed me that last little bit.

This is the second time Mckinney has been on video for this. How is it they are a number one city?

Update: Michael Slager Now Also Facing Federal Charges And Potentially Death Penalty

Former Officer Michael Slager, the South Carolina cop who was caught on film murdering Walter Scott from behind as he ran away, was also indicted two weeks ago by a federal grand jury. The new federal charges are in addition to the state-level charges he already faces for the shooting of Scott. Although it is incredibly unlikely to happen or even be sought, these charges also bring with them the possibility of a death penalty sentence should Slager be convicted.

Via NBCnews.com:

Michael Slager, who was fired by the North Charleston Police Department after last year’s killing of Walter Scott, was indicted on charges of violating civil rights laws, using a firearm in committing a crime of violence, and obstructing justice in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.

“This is historic,” the Scott family’s lawyer, Chris Stewart, said afterward. “What happened today is that the federal government says it stops now. Police brutality stops now.”

Slager is white. Scott was black. And the message sent by the grand jury is not aimed at the good cops, Stewart said.

“This is a message to the ones who abuse people in this country,” he said.

In the aftermath of Scott’s death, police departments in South Carolina and across the U.S. are adopting body cameras and embracing reform, Stewart said.

“Walter Scott did not die in vain.” he said.

“It’s a bittersweet day,” added Scott’s brother, Anthony. “If it wasn’t for that video camera…. we would not be here today.”

Walter Scott North Charleston MurderScott’s mother, Judy, said she thanks God that her son “was the one that was used to pull the cover off of all the violence.”

“I’m happy for that, but I’m sad because my son is gone,” she said. “I pray that other mothers won’t go through what I have been going through.”

Slager, according to the indictment, misled investigators by falsely claiming that Scott was coming at him with a Taser when he fired his gun.

“In truth … Slager repeatedly fired his weapon at Scott when Scott was running away from him,” the indictment reads.

Slager fired eight times at Scott, who was 50 and whose deadly encounter with the cop began after a traffic stop.

One of the charges filed against Slager — depriving someone of their civil rights under color of law — carries a maximum penalty of death. In the federal system, a decision about whether to actually seek the death penalty will come later.

Personally, I wish I could share in the enthusiasm that the family’s lawyer feels for this. It’s certainly good that another set of charges are being filed, therefore making it that much less likely that Slager will be given the Home Field Advantage cops invariably receive and walk free or at least receive the typical Policeman’s Discount and get nothing but a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to. However, history has yet to prove that the Federal Government or any other level of statist governance is prepared to say, “it stops now. Police brutality stops now.”

Keep those cameras rolling.

Update: Officers in Linwood Lambert Jr. Tasing Death Purposely Misled Investigators

Earlier this week, it was reported that officers involved in the fatal tasing of Linwood Lambert Jr. in South Boston, Virginia falsified their arrest reports in order to justify repeatedly deploying their tasers. Even though the video clearly shows otherwise, they described Lambert as having gotten back up after being tased and one of the officers also claimed that he was grabbing her taser and pulling on it.

Both the dash cam video from the police car and the hospital’s surveillance video shows neither of those claims to be true. Lambert had his arms cuffed behind his back from the beginning of the incident and was subsequently restrained by leg shackles during the attack. So it’s unlikely he was even capable of doing so.

Although, it’s not likely given the free pass cops usually get when they beat, murder, and otherwise abuse people, the lies included in their reports aimed at justifying their deadly actions, potentially could in and of themselves be grounds for legal charges against Cpl. Tiffany Bratton, Officer Clifton Mann, and Officer Travis Clay.


According to the newly obtained investigation files, Cpl. Tiffany Bratton, who discharged 15 of the tasings, told investigators when she tased Lambert, he “was lying on his back” and he “grabbed the end of the Taser and was pulling it.” She “stated this probably happened several times,” according to investigators.

Kendall Coffey, a former federal prosecutor

But the video does not show Lambert ever grabbing a Taser.

In addition, his hands were cuffed behind his back throughout the tasing – making such an action physically unfeasible.

Bratton also claimed the repeated tasings were needed because after Lambert was tased, he kept getting back up – four times in all.

A state investigator writes that once Lambert was first tased in the hospital doorway, Bratton said after about “five seconds” he “got back up.”

Then after a second tasing, she said “Lambert hit the ground then right back up.” After a third tasing, Bratton said “Lambert hit the ground then got right back up.” And after a fourth tasing, she said after 5 seconds – the standard length of a tasing – “he got back up.”

Another officer, Clinton Mann, told state investigators Lambert “jumped up” once after a tasing.

On the video, however, Lambert is never seen getting himself up on his feet after the first tasing.

Instead, the video shows his body went stiff and dropped after the first tasing in the hospital doorway. Then he mostly rolls around on the ground, according to the video, and asks the officers to stop. While he is on the ground, they also shackle his legs.

Bratton’s claims to investigators, now public for the first time, are legally significant for two reasons.

If prosecutors believed Lambert did repeatedly grab an officer’s weapon and get up after tasings, that alleged conduct might justify additional tasings.

“If an officer credibly stated that a suspect was trying to get the Taser several times, than that would certainly justify elevating the force used by the officer,” says Kendall Coffey, a former federal prosecutor.

So while Bratton’s claims are not supported by the video, the claims could provide an internal written record that would seem to cut against charging the officers. (There is no indication that police planned to release the video, or expected it to be made public during the 2013 investigation.)

Second, it is a crime to deliberately mislead state investigators, a separate charge that prosecutors could investigate.

Steve Benjamin, a Virginia defense attorney

“In Virginia, it’s a Class 1 Misdemeanor – it carries up to 12 months in jail – for any person to knowingly and willfully make a materially false statement to any law enforcement officer investigating the commission of a crime,” said Steve Benjamin, a Virginia defense attorney.

That crime, obstruction of justice, covers “materially false statements” made to law enforcement officers “conducting an investigation of a crime.”

The Virginia State Police, which led the state investigation into the tasing, indicate Bratton made the claims to a law enforcement officer investigating the tasing, Agent Kevin George, in May 2013.

Benjamin said a claim about “whether the suspect was lunging for a taser” is material, and prosecutors would also analyze whether it was deliberately misleading.

Coffey, the former federal prosecutor, said “if an officer states to a police authority that the suspect was resisting – grabbing a taser – at the time the suspect was handcuffed, that’s serious matter. It certainly could be considered a charge for making a false statement,” he told MSNBC.

Rod Sager, who served as a federal prosecutor in Virginia for six years, told MSNBC a false statement made to investigators can also give prosecutors wide leverage in a case. “A potential false statement is always helpful,” he said, and can be used in cross examination “should that person go on trial and take the witness stand.”

The investigation file also includes a handwritten statement from Bratton, dated the day of the incident, which claims Lambert got up three times during the tasing, but does not claim he ever grabbed her Taser.

In addition, case files that have since been released show police “investigators” disregarded video evidence that contradicted those reports in order to avoid holding officers accountable. Also, Prosecutor Tracy Quackenbush Martin was privately criticized heavily as being indecisive for refusing to formally declare the officers would not face charges by Virginia State Police “investigators,” when pressured for one. Martin had initially stated she didn’t believe charges should be filed against the officers, but then expressed misgivings about the quality of the investigation by Virginia State Police.

Once again, Via MSNBC (same story):

While Bratton’s claims are contradicted by the videos, which show multiple angles of the entire tasing, the State Police investigation summary does not address those discrepancies.

Running slightly over two pages, the summary provides a terse and often incomplete synopsis, apparently relying more on the officers’ testimony than the video evidence.

The summary, now public for the first time, is dated October 23, 2013 and titled “Summary of Investigation Concerning Linwood Ray Lambert, Jr., Victim Suspicious Death.”

It only uses two sentences to independently characterize the tasings:

“Officers utilized their tasers to subdue LAMBERT and took him back to the patrol car. LAMBERT was being uncompliant and would not stop resisting so officers used their tasers again in the rear seat of the patrol car.”

The reference to subduing Lambert does not mention the fact that officers shackled his legs before placing him in the car.

That detail is legally critical, since police rules prohibit tasing a restrained subject, and a shackled suspect is less likely to pose the kind of danger that justified continued use of force.

The investigators’ assertion that Lambert was “uncompliant” and “resisting” when put back inside the car is also relevant to the use of force. Jim Cavanaugh, a former ATF agent who reviewed the videos for MSNBC, said Lambert was largely unable to resist at that point in the car.

“He’s shackled to the maximum already, hands behind his back and his legs shackled, and he’s in the back of a locked patrol car,” said Cavanaugh, an NBC law enforcement analyst.

“There’s not much resistance you can offer – in attitude, maybe, but it’s not a resistance where he’s putting anyone in danger that would merit the using of an intermediate weapon like a taser,” said Cavanaugh.

While some of the summary’s statements could sound like legal conclusions, the State Police documents include a generic disclaimer stating that they do not contain “conclusions of the Virginia State Police.”

The investigation summary’s only other discussion of tasings is limited to counting the total tasings and reciting the officers’ defense of their use of force.

Tasing defense

The report recites Bratton’s defense, noting she said “several” of her tasings “had no effect” and she “accidentally” discharged her Taser “while struggling with LAMBERT all with no effect on him.”

But the investigators do not attempt to verify Bratton’s assertion that her tasings had “no effect” on Lambert, nor whether she actually was physically “struggling with” him during the tasing – an apparent reference to her claim that Lambert grabbed her Taser.

The summary also cites a few witnesses and notes Lambert’s autopsy listed the cause of death as Acute Cocaine Intoxication. (Lambert had “less than 0.01 mg/L” of cocaine in his blood – a relatively low level that could still account for an overdose.)

While investigators had over an hour of videos showing officers taking Lambert into custody, driving him to the hospital, tasing him there and in the car, driving him to the jail, finding him without a pulse and loading him into an ambulance to return to the hospital, the summary only cites the videos once – to note their existence.

“Videos from patrol cars and video from Halifax Regional Hospital were obtained and viewed,” the report states, “These videos document and record this incident.”

All told, the investigation summary, prepared five months after the incident, is striking for its cursory and at times incomplete evaluation of the night’s events. Investigators do not explain why all the video evidence went largely unused, or why the officers’ side of the story is recited without any evident attempt at verification.

A source with knowledge of the state police files, who did not want to be identified discussing an open case, said the files show “it doesn’t look like they investigated anything – they don’t even use the videos.” (Emphasis added)

The investigation’s contents are legally significant because, in Virginia, they provide the foundation for a prosecutor’s decision of whether to press charges. The local prosecutors, called Commonwealth attorneys, rely on the State Police for both the initial inquiry and most follow-up investigative work regarding potential misconduct by local police.

The prosecutor in charge of the Lambert case, Tracy Quackenbush Martin, told MSNBC this week that “the Virginia State Police investigation left questions unanswered that must be answered – questions that would not have been contemplated by the State Police Investigator, and that I didn’t fully develop until I had consulted extensively with colleagues,” she said.

“The State Police’s job is primarily to gather facts, and my primary job is to assign value to those facts and draw legal conclusions from those facts,” she said, adding, “I’m not going to apologize for being circumspect and thorough.”

Much like other recent cases of police unnecessarily killing people on video, such as Laquan McDonald in Chicago, the video of Lambert being tased over twenty times was withheld from public view until a lawsuit filed by his family forced its release. (That video can be viewed below.)

Lawyer Says Portsmouth Police Shooting Video Has 15 Second Gap

On Wednesday, the lawyer representing the family of William Chapman II, an unarmed man who was shot by Portsmouth police Officer Stephen D. Rankin in April, claimed that the video recorded by Rankin’s taser contains a 15 second gap. Coincidentally, those “missing” 15 seconds just happen to be during the time that Chapman was killed.

Via the Virginia Pilot:

“The video was operational up until just before the shooting, and then it was not operational for about 15 seconds,” [Attorney Jon] Babineau said, recounting what he was told.

He said the video was initially recorded while Rankin was holding the weapon. When it cuts back on, the Taser is apparently on the ground of the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Stephen D. Rankin

Stephen D. Rankin

While Babineau (and his source) state that they don’t believe it was intentionally erased, but was rather just a malfunction of the camera, the numerous instances of “lost” footage, as well as the timing of that unfortunate malfunction raises obvious questions. It’s rather amazing that so many police cameras seem to have power source issues during the time that those police officers are beating or shooting someone.

Similarly, even private businesses seemed to be susceptible to “malfunctions” at the most inopportune of times. One of the best examples was when the one camera that would have shown Erik Scott being murdered by Las Vegas Police from the LVMPD at a Costco in Summerlin somehow malfunctioned and failed to record during that time.

A more recent example would be when the Chicago Burger King near where Laquan McDonald was murdered by Officer Jason Van Dyke somehow ended up not saving 80 minutes of footage that night. Of course, by shear coincidence those 80 minutes just happened to be during the time McDonald was being shot. Also, by some random coincidence, that footage deleted itself right after a Chicago Police officer came into the Burger King to review their surveillance video.

Obviously, this and all the footage that the cops constantly refuse to release until years later when a court forces them to, if at all, should serve as a reminder to always film the police. Even when they have dashcams, bodycams, and/or tasercams, we can’t count on that equipment not to malfunction, inadvertently erase the video, or simply disappear.

Michael Slager is Attempting to Get Out on Bail Again (Plus Recent Related Developments)

Michael Slager Requests Bail Again

Michael Slager, the North Charleston, SC. cop who was caught murdering Walter Scott on video, has filed a new motion seeking an opportunity to post bail while he awaits trial. As reported here at CopBlock.org several months ago, Slager was refused bail by Circuit Judge Clifton Newman because he represents “an unreasonable danger to the community.”

After a motion they filed last week asking for his trial to begin in the spring was rejected, Slager’s lawyers cited  health problems, as well as anxiety and “concern about his fate,” he’s supposedly developed as a result of conditions in jail as reasons to justify him being released on bond.

Via the PostAndCourier.com:

Signed by defense lawyer Cameron Blazer of the Savage Law Firm, the filing mentioned that Slager has been a focus of a ramped-up surveillance program at the jail. While officials insist that the effort to intercept telephone calls and mail is meant to root out threats involving the high-profile inmate, the motion called it “completely divorced from any (jail) safety concern.” Jail officers routinely listen to Slager’s personal conversations, the filing stated.

cop-sc-620x342The lack of privacy has “acutely constrained” Slager’s ability to prepare for trial, Blazer wrote.

Slager also has fallen ill and lost 25 pounds, the attorneys said. Past filings noted that he has celiac disease, causing him to react negatively to gluten. He often faces the “unacceptable choice … of being either hungry or sick” because the jail cannot completely accommodate his diet, the motion stated.

So yeah, jail sucks, the food is horrible, and they spy on you while you’re there. As shocking as that is to pretty much nobody on the planet (and is in fact an issue that should be addressed), the fact that you were wearing a police uniform when you committed murder shouldn’t give you any extra consideration when complaining about that.

Member of Slager Investigation Team Fired Over Facebook Post

It was recently announced that one of the agents who investigated the murder of Walter Scott by Michael Slager was fired in August after posting on Facebook stating that prosecutor’s case in an unnamed homicide probe was “flawed.” Although, the case wasn’t  specified by name in State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Special Agent Almon Brown’s post, the fact that it was made public in a filing of court papers by Slager’s attorney has led to speculation that he was referring to his case.

According to the PostAndCourier.com, this, along with other recent incidents, has created doubts about whether SLED can objectively perform  their duty to investigate police shootings as a neutral party:

The documentation has raised further questions about SLED’s ability to thoroughly and independently investigate police shootings in South Carolina. Most agencies in the state ask SLED to conduct probes into shootings involving their officers.

A Post and Courier analysis earlier this year, titled “Shots Fired,” found that SLED often left key questions unanswered and failed to thoroughly probe the background of officers who pull the trigger. Last month, [SLED Chief Mark] Keel said police should start looking for ways to learn lessons from shooting cases.

SLED also fired an agent last year over alleged dishonesty, accusing Michele China, a senior agent in the Lowcountry, of doctoring paperwork in a child death probe and inserting a confession into a memo about an interview with a suspect in the case.

Brown has served as an expert on a federal committee on bloodstain analysis, according to a Commerce Department website. He also has been the second vice president for the South Carolina division of the International Association for Identification, a group of forensic scientists.

In his August letter about the agent’s firing, Keel said Brown had “acted improperly” on July 8 when he posted on another person’s public Facebook page about “a pending homicide case.”

“The Facebook posting included a news article that referenced the subject and victim of the case,” Keel wrote. “You made negative comments about the strength of the prosecution’s case, implying that it was a flawed case.”

The copy of the letter in the motion by Slager defense lawyer Andy Savage does not cite the exact words Brown was accused of using.

Savage asked in the paperwork for a judge to order authorities to hand over information about the internal affairs probe into the Facebook post. The document called Brown a primary investigator on Slager’s case.

Slager Sues Police Union For Doing The Right Thing

When even the police union refuses to overlook the obvious guilt of a police officer, you have to know things are going badly for you. Even in really blatant cases, it’s pretty unheard of for a police union not to uphold the Thin Blue Lie and profess the innocence of fellow cops. That’s not the case with Michael Slager and the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, though. Apparently, even the most ardent of police murder enablers can see the writing on the wall for a guy who was caught on video (see below) executing someone from behind as he ran away.

Via the PostAndCourier.com:

Slager paid the organization a monthly fee for insurance that would provide him a legal defense if sued or charged with a crime in connection with his actions as a police officer. But the organization abandoned him after Slager was accused in April of killing Walter Scott during an on-duty confrontation, according to the lawsuit…

Slager’s coverage through the PBA entitled him to legal representation for “any duty related shooting or action which results in death or serious injury,” according to the lawsuit. He has maintained that he was acting within the scope of his duties at the time. He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and remains jailed while awaiting trial.

The PBA initially assigned criminal defense attorney David Aylor to represent Slager. Aylor released a statement on his behalf the day before the video surfaced.

The next day, however, when Slager was charged with murder and the video of the shooting went viral around the world, Aylor withdrew as Slager’s lawyer, calling the incident “a terrible tragedy that has impacted our community.”

Slager requested that the PBA provide him with another attorney, but on April 8 the organization turned him down, the lawsuit stated. In doing so, the PBA cited a clause in its insurance coverage allowing it to withhold benefits if it determines an officer had “committed an intentional, deliberate and/or illegal act, either civilly or criminally,” the lawsuit stated.

Newly Released Video Shows Virginia Police Tasering Linwood Lambert Jr. to Death

After a wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of Linwood Lambert Jr., dash cam video and video from a hospital security camera has been released of his May 4, 2013 encounter with South Boston, Virginia police. That video shows him being tazed over 20 times by Cpl. Tiffany Bratton, Officer Clifton Mann, and Officer Travis Clay while handcuffed. The tasings continued even after his legs were shackled and while he was restrained within the patrol car.

He was then denied medical care while in police custody, even though the tasings happened at the entrance to the Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital emergency room and the initial call had been for medical assistance. Less than an hour after he was originally picked up by police Lambert was returned to the hospital and declared dead on arrival.

Multiple tasings are prohibited by South Boston Police Department policy due to the danger of serious injury or death. The video of Lambert being tased has been embedded above. The full unedited dash cam video can be viewed here. A news report on the incident from prior to the release of the video has also been embedded below.

Police responding to a noise complaint found Lambert inside a Super 8 motel suffering from hallucinations and paranoia. He was initially not placed under arrest, but his case was treated as a medical emergency. He was unarmed and at the time not suspected of any crime. After being handcuffed Lambert was transported to the hospital in a police car.

Once they arrived at the hospital, Lambert began trying to get out of the patrol car, apparently having some sort of negative reaction to the lights from inside the vehicle and the police cars following them. Eventually, Lambert kicked out the back window of the car he was in. After the officers opened the door, Lambert pushed past them and tried to run into the ER room, but could not get the door open with his hands cuffed behind him. It’s at that point that the tasing began.

According to MSNBC:

As the officers pulled up to the hospital, Lambert kicked out the squad car window.

Video from inside the car shows officers yelling at him to stop. When they cracked the passenger door, Lambert jumped out, sprinting roughly 20 feet towards the ER entrance and crashing into the building’s glass doors.

The officers ran after him and began tasing him. In response, Lambert’s body goes stiff and, with his hands cuffed, his arms could not break the fall when he hit the cement. The three officers surrounded him on the ground.

One ordered him to “stay down;” another, Officer Bratton, told him, “Every time you get up, I’m going to pop you.”

Lambert told them, “I didn’t do nothing,” and can be heard moaning in the recording. The officers tell Lambert to lie down, stay down, get on his belly, and roll over – while warning they will taser him again.

“I’m going to light you up again – roll over, roll over, turn over!” Bratton says.

Lambert remained on the ground, saying OK, but the officers tased him again. They restrained his legs with shackles.

Then, as Lambert appears subdued on the video, the officers warned Lambert they would taser him again. “I’m going to hit you again,” Bratton tells him.

Then Lambert says, “I just did cocaine.”

For the first time that night, officers tell Lambert he is under arrest, calling it in for disorderly conduct and destruction of property.

Lambert pleads to the officers, “Why are you trying to kill me, man?,” and asks them to stop the tasing, saying, “don’t do it, please don’t do it, please officers.”

As videos from the hospital and police cars show, the entire scene plays out right in the doorway to the ER, with nurses and hospital staff watching. But then the officers make a fateful decision – to take Lambert away without getting him medical care, the original reason they took him into custody.

Instead, they hauled him back into the squad car and began a new round of tasing.

Police video shows Lambert shackled and subdued in the car, apparently restrained, as officers warn him again and tell him to sit up.

“Act like you got some sense,” says one officer. Another warns, “sit up or I’m going to tase you again.” Reaching into the car with two Tasers, the officers tase Lambert as he slumps down in the seat.

At one point, Officer Clay made contact with Lambert’s neck inside the car, and the officers discuss whether Lambert was trying to bite him. The video does not appear to show a direct bite occurring. Clay went to the ER later that morning, at 7:35 a.m., to get treatment “for a possible bite,” according to police records. In his incident report, he writes that Lambert “was biting at me.”

In addition to the video, nurses on the scene say they saw “three officers” tasing Lambert “at one time,” according to hospital records obtained by MSNBC.

A single, 5-second Taser discharge carries 50,000 volts and generally incapacitates a person, because it temporarily turns the human body into an electricity conductor. Law enforcement experts caution against repeat tasings.

Yet the three officers discharged their Tasers a total of 20 times over roughly half an hour. (The figures are from company device reports issued by Taser International, obtained by MSNBC.)

Those discharges amount to roughly 87 total seconds of potential tasing – a level capable of inflicting serious injury or death, according to federal guidelines. While the videos clearly show multiple tasings connecting with Lambert, not every recorded discharge necessarily makes human contact.

Most of those discharges were from Officer Bratton, who used her Taser 15 times, including 10 times in a two-minute span.

When the final tasing inside the car ended, Officer Clay drove Lambert back to the jail, and Officer Bratton drove back separately.

Officer Mann remained briefly at the hospital, where he was recorded talking to a hospital worker, who asked if the police were going to bring Lambert inside.

“We were,” the officer said, chuckling, “now he’s going to jail.”

“He’s bleeding like a hog,” he said, “we thought he was crazy, and then he finally told us he was on cocaine.”

As the officers make the short drive to jail, the squad car video shows Lambert unconscious. The officers notice his state when arriving at the jail, where they checked Lambert’s pulse, attempted CPR and called for help.

Then an ambulance came and took Lambert back to Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital – the same ER the officers had originally brought Lambert to for treatment.

Hospital records show Lambert was flatlined on arrival at 6:06 a.m. – just over an hour after his trip with police began. He was pronounced dead at 6:23 a.m.

Linwood Lambert Death in CustodyObvious questions are being asked about why Lambert was repeatedly tasered even after he was on the ground and his feet had been shackled, as well as while he was placed back inside the police car. He apparently was also shocked by more than one taser at a time. It’s also being questioned why he was denied medical care after the incident, especially since that was the original reason for him being taken into custody by the police and the incident happened within the doorway of the hospital emergency room.

Lambert’s family reports they were not provided with any details about his death or what led up to it until after their lawsuit forced the police to release the video.