Tag Archives: police brutality

Innocent Man Raided, Tased, Beaten & Shot – Corrupt SWAT Team Lied to Get a Warrant

law enforcement immune to consequences

Houston, TX — A completely innocent man was shot, tasered, brutally beaten, and had stun grenades thrown at him by vicious and incompetent SWAT officers. Then, those same officers tried to cover up their mistake by charging the victim, Chad Chadwick, with six criminal offenses including felony assault on a police officer.

This incident happened in 2011, but it has taken Chadwick three years and his entire life savings, to finally beat the charges that he was falsely accused of. Last month, a jury found Chad Chadwick not guilty of interfering with police. With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs, according to My Fox Houston.

“They tried to make me a convict. It broke me financially, bankrupted me. I used my life savings, not to mention, I lost my kids,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick had been drinking and went to sleep in his bathtub on the night of September 27, 2011, when police were given a tip from a friend of Chadwick’s who said they were concerned with his emotional well-being. So naturally the police responded by mobilizing a heavily militarized SWAT team.

“They came in did what they did, figured out that they messed up and now they are doing everything they can to cover it up. They treated a normal American citizen like an animal. It’s not right,” Chadwick said in an interview with FOX 26. 

The SWAT team lied to the judge to get the warrant by telling the judge that Chadwick had hostages.

They told a judge I had hostages. They lied to a judge and told him I had hostages in my apartment and they needed to enter,” said Chadwick.

When SWAT broke down his door without identifying themselves, they launched a stun grenade into his bathroom, according to Chadwick.

“While I had my hands up naked in the shower they shot me with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round,” said Chadwick.

Another stun grenade was fired.

“I turned away, the explosion went off, I opened my eyes the lights are out and here comes a shield with four or five guys behind it. They pinned me against the wall and proceeded to beat the crap out of me,” said Chadwick.

 

That’s when SWAT officers shot Chadwick at point blank range with a taser in the back of his head.

“They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle,” said Chadwick.

Tased, shot and with multiple SWAT officers smashing him into a corner with a shield, a brutal beating ensued.

“They grabbed me by my one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick was then hauled off to Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss. He was kept in an isolation cell for two full days. Remember, Chadwick has never broken a law; he had committed no crime.

“Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another,” said activist Quanell X, who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability.

The SWAT team that took Chadwick into custody and testified against him was comprised of officers from Missouri City, Sugar Land, Stafford and the Ft. Bend County Sheriff’s Department. To this date, none of them have faced any disciplinary action.

According to FOX 26, Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy declined to comment on camera, but did say he stands by his decision to prosecute Chadwick, despite the multiple no-bills and not guilty verdict. Asked how much the case cost taxpayers, Healy said “I wasn’t keeping a tally.”

Chadwick is now pursuing a civil suit against the police agencies involved and they will most assuredly know how much money that will cost the taxpayers.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/innocent-man-raided-tased-beaten-shot-corrupt-swat-team-lied-raid/#KxW8PAJLkFqXR6EE.99

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Millions of Tax Dollars Spent to Defend Police Abuse – Your Money Squandered

police target suspected gun owner in no knock raid

 

Millions of Tax Dollars Regularly Spent to Defend Police Abuse

by Stirling Watts

Are you a tax paying resident in a large American metropolitan city?  Are you concerned about the accountability of the your hard earned tax dollars?

A recent Russia Today article revealed that in New York City alone over the last five years, nearly half a billion in tax dollars were used to pay settlements to plaintiffs in cases of civil rights violations against citizens – civil rights violations perpetrated by the police.  Yes, that’s right – legal settlements, payoffs, large sums of money paid from pubic taxpayer coffers to compensate for civil rights abuses wrongfully carried out by police officers.

Documents that were recently made available to the public by the New York City Law Department revealed that these payoffs totaled more than $428 million, and  were the result of more than 12,000 such civil rights cases that have been processed through the New York City court system from 2009 until now, October 2014.

Those are huge amounts of money for just one city to have paid out to compensate for abusive, illegal, actions carried out by paid professional police officers —- and we are talking about New York City alone.  Just imagine how much money is being squandered the very same way in other major metro areas of the United States.  If you’re an American, you know which cities I mean – the ones constantly in the news for police abuse.  Really, if you watch the non-mainstream news, you know that means that virtually all of our cities are guilty.

Let’s think about the basic moral aspects that drive this abuse of taxpayer dollars.  We’re talking about taxpayer dollars spent to defend countless unconstitutional actions carried out in supposed “good faith” by law enforcement agencies dealing with crimes which are, for the most part, completely victimless.

To begin with, how many cases of police abuse should we reasonably expect to hear about each year?  In an imperfect human world, we might expect that every law enforcement agency will experience at least a blip on the radar of individual problems with officer or agent misbehavior.  That’s just human nature.  But, shouldn’t the sum total number of abusive police actions reported every year amount to no more than a few isolated instances, caused by a tiny number of bad cops?

And when those inevitable cases of bad behavior do rear their ugly heads, shouldn’t we expect law enforcement agencies to implement immediate and appropriate correctional actions?  Why is it that following every deadly shooting by a police officer, regardless of the sequence of events that led to the incident, officers who have discharged their weapon killed someone are routinely put on paid administrative leave?  Isn’t something missing in the individual accountability and responsibility requirements expected of the average American law enforcement officer?

If that’s not a relevant issue, then how is it that just last year, New York City paid more than $96 million (yes, that’s right, $96 million!) in settlements to citizen plaintiffs whose civil rights were abused by NYC cops?  Even more amazing is that Mayor Bloomberg, at least according to the claims of the Russia Today article, regularly shrugs these numbers off as irrelevant.  As a taxpayer in New York City, would you also find these figures irrelevant?

A  bigger moral dilemma, and the “war on drugs”

This excessive abuse of taxpayer funds is only a part of an even bigger moral dilemma.  Is it morally sound public policy for police departments to pay off victims whose civil rights have been violated by police with massive amounts of money taken from the taxpayers – taxpayers who quite reasonably expect the responsible use of public funds?

On the other hand, when any citizen’s civil rights are violated as the result of irresponsible police behavior, are those citizens not rightfully due compensation for the wrongs done to them?  Of course they are, and who then is to pay for the wrongs committed by our public servants?

When anyone does wrong, is not the wrongdoer the final responsible party?  Why, then, is the responsibility laid on the taxpayers and not on the police officer?  It is simply because taxpayers are a convenient source of easy cash for large and powerful city operated organizations like police departments.  It is because we all know that the police department itself serves to isolate the officers within that police department, the officers who carry out these cowardly and irresponsible acts, from blame or guilt.

What might be done to begin to curb this massive financial fraud?   Change just might begin with ending the all too common unconstitutional practices of no knock raids, warrantless searches, reasonless traffic stops, unconstitutional checkpoints, and other many varieties of 4th amendment violations.  What is fueling that?

This alarming trend of police abuse and the constant daily violation of individual’s constitutional rights by police is fueled almost completely by a senseless “war on drugs”.

It’s time to stop that nonsense.

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The Militarization of Law Enforcement and their Military Equipment

police tank

Contrary to what you may have heard, the armored vehicles that appeared on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, during the unrest that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown did not come from the Pentagon. “Most of the stuff you are seeing in video coming out of Ferguson is not military,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department’s press secretary, told reporters last week. “The military is not the only source of tactical gear in this country.”

In other words: Don’t blame the military for militarizing the police. Kirby has a point. Although the Pentagon has played a role by distributing surplus gear to police departments, so have the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security by providing grants that can be used to buy military-style equipment. In any case, the real problem, more pervasive and insidious than BearCats or MRAPs on the streets of our cities, is the dangerously misguided urge to transform cops into soldiers, as reflected in the promiscuous use of SWAT teams.

As the acronym implies, SWAT teams originally wereintended for unusual threats requiring “special weapons and tactics,” threats such as rioters, shooters, barricaded suspects, and hostage takers. But what was once special is now routine. Today the most common use for SWAT teams, which are deployed something like 50,000 times a year in the U.S., is serving search warrants, typically in drug cases.

were here to help you to death

Looking at a sample of more than 800 SWAT operations carried out by 20 law enforcement agencies in 11 states during the last three years, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that 79 percent involved search warrants. More than three-quarters of the searches were looking for drugs.

These raids tend to follow the same basic pattern: Heavily armed, black-clad men enter a home early in the morning, while the occupants are asleep. The police often break down the door with a battering ram, shatter windows, and toss in a flashbang grenade, an explosive device designed to discombobulate targets with a blinding light and deafening noise. If there is a dog in the home that barks at the invaders (as dogs tend to do), the police kill it.

The element of surprise and the overwhelming, terrifying show of force are supposed to minimize violence by forestalling any thought of resistance. It does not always work out that way.

Last December a Texas marijuana grower named Henry Magee shot and killed a Burleson County sheriff’s deputy who broke into his mobile home in the middle of the night along with eight other officers. Magee said he mistook Sgt. Adam Sowders for a burglar, and in February a grand jury declined to indict him in the deputy’s death.

Six months before Magee shot Sowders, a similar mistake resulted in the death of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired electrical engineer who was shot in his bed because he grabbed a gun when armed men stormed into his home early in the morning. They were Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, looking for a nonexistent meth lab.

Last May police in Habersham County, Georgia, broke into a house in the middle of the night, looking for a meth dealer who no longer lived there. While attacking the house, the SWAT team tossed a flashbang grenade into a crib, severely burning a 19-month-old boy.

No drugs or weapons were found in that raid, which seems to be a pretty common outcome. In the ACLU study, records indicated that police found the drugs or guns they expected 35 percent of the time. The low rate of gun recovery is especially striking because the use of SWAT teams is supposedly justified by the prospect of facing armed and dangerous suspects.

The reckless use of paramilitary forces to attack the homes of unsuspecting civilians reflects a literalization of the war on drugs as well as the unseemly eagerness of many police officers to dress up and act like soldiers. Taking away their BearCats will not solve those problems.

 

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist.

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