That was one of several stunning revelations during Shuler's resisting arrest trial in Shelby County Tuesday. Much of the evidence was produced by a stream from a video that was generated by a camera in the vehicle of Deputy Chris Blevins.
"In the audio, you can hear Deputy Blevins assaulting me three times and spraying me with mace before he ever said that he was on the premises to conduct an arrest," Shuler said. "The evidence showed that I was defending myself with the only physical act that I did according to Blevins' own words was raising my arms in a defensive posture, and I was defending myself against a grotesque example of police brutality and excessive force. Evidence showed that Blevins likely had no warrant given that the prosecution could produce no warrant at the trial. The notion that a journalist or any other citizen could be arrested and beaten up in their own home without a warrant should be a cause of great concern for all citizens."
Assistant District Attorney Tonya Willingham prosecuted the case and when forced to turn over copies of any warrants she said she did not have one. How can a resisting arrest case be prosecuted when there are no warrants in evidence? That's one of many disturbing questions raised by Tuesday's trial.
Following are some other revelations from the case:
- Blevins admitted that this was a traffic stop and that Shuler had committed no traffic violations that warranted him being stopped;
- Blevins admitted that he made physical contact with Shuler before ever stating that he was on the premises to make an arrest;
- Blevins never instructed Shuler to get in any sort of arrest position and never told Shuler to put his hands behind his back until after the three assaults and macing;
- Blevins admitted that he has had citizen complaints about use of excessive force and police brutality;
- Deputy Jason Valenti, who assisted in the arrest, can be heard on the video threatening to break Shuler's arms;
- The incident in the report has a box that says "Warrant Signed?" and Blevins has inserted the word "No" as an answer.