|Sheriff Jim Arnott|
Sheriff Jim Arnott was standing about five feet from Carol on September 9 when three deputies surrounded her, brutally slammed her to the ground, and yanked so violently on her arm that it snapped the humerus and pulverized portions of the bone to the point that they were useless in the repair effort.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Arnott pointed at Carol and said, "She assaulted a police officer."
How is that for law-enforcement hypocrisy? On one hand, Arnott falsely causes a citizen to be arrested--and a deputy told Carol the sheriff planned to hit her with a felony charge and $100,000 bond--leading to her being handcuffed, placed in the back of a squad car, and driven to the Greene County Jail. On the other hand, Arnott claims the jail is overcrowded, and he has adopted a policy of turning away municipal inmates that traditionally have been housed in the county jail.
In fact, the City of Springfield has filed a lawsuit against Arnott over his change in policy. The following is from a news report about the impact of Arnott's decision on public safety:
The report says local police agencies, between April 3 — when Arnott changed the policy — and Oct. 21, "came face-to-face with 2,812 people wanted on 2,763 warrants" and were forced to release them.
It says those nearly 3,000 crimes have gone "essentially unpunished" and have included 701 stealing warrants, 56 assault warrants and 53 DWI warrants.
The report includes excerpts from police reports in which alleged offenders taunted police using "the jail situation as evidence that there was nothing that could be done."
Does Sheriff Jim Arnott care if public safety is compromised because of the policies at his supposedly overcrowded jail? Doesn't look like it. Can Arnott concoct a bogus arrest of my wife in order to provide cover for the deputies who brutalized her and broke her arm? Sure does look like it? Is Jim Arnott willing to ignore jail crowding when it suits his unethical (and likely unlawful) purposes? Yep.
We challenged the eviction as wrongful in trial court and had timely filed a Notice of Appeal, which put an automatic stay on the eviction. Cowherd, his law firm, the sheriff's department, and my own brother (attorney David Shuler, representing our mother) all chose to ignore the stay. On top of that, Cowherd and its law firm (Lowther Johnson) scheduled the eviction inside the 10-day window, where no such action can take place under Missouri law.
Does Jim Arnott take directions from Trent Cowherd and his law firm, regardless of what the law says? Does David Shuler do the same thing? Sure looks that way from here.
As for Carol, once X-rays at the nearby Cox North Medical Center showed the large bone in her upper arm had been shattered, jail personnel allowed paramedics to transfer her to Cox South, where she eventually underwent seven hours of trauma surgery, performed by Dr. Brian Buck. Carol now is facing at least eight weeks of physical therapy, with the "best case" outcome probably being a return of 75 percent usage in her arm.
The sheriff's department--with evidence showing that Carol was assaulted and not the other way around--apparently has decided that filing a bogus "assaulting an officer" charge would not be a good idea. But if Carol's arm had not been broken, it's likely she would have been facing a bogus charge and would still be in jail. With $100,000 bond, I would have had to pay $10,000 to get her released, and I'm not sure I would have been able to do that. Thanks to Jim Arnott, Carol would have been in jail for more than nine weeks, with no end in sight. All for a "crime" she did not commit--in fact, for a crime where she was the victim, not the perpetrator.
How do we know that is the case? There are two forms of felony assault in Missouri. Here is the description of Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer in the first degree under Section 565.008.2 of the Revised Missouri Statutes.
565.081. 1. A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the first degree if such person attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer.
I doubt even Jim Arnott could claim with a straight face that Carol tried to kill an officer or cause serious physical injury, especially since it seems clear no deputy on site that day left with a scratch on him/her.
Here is the definition of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in the second degree:
A person is guilty of the crime of assault in the second degree against a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel (such as a firefighter, emergency room personnel or emergency medical technician), highway worker, or probation and parole officer if he:
* knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical injury to the victim by means of a deadly weapon or other dangerous instrument
* recklessly causes serious physical injury to the victim
|X-ray of Carol Shuler's broken arm,|
before repair via trauma surgery
* while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, operates a motor vehicle with criminal negligence and causes physical injury to the victim
* acts with criminal negligence and causes physical injury to the victim by means of a deadly weapon purposely threatens the victim with immediate serious physical injury, or
* acting with criminal negligence, creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to the victim.
Carol had no deadly weapon or dangerous instrument in her possession, she didn't cause serious physical injury to anyone, she doesn't drink or use illegal drugs and she was not driving, she didn't have a deadly weapon with which to threaten anyone, and she created no risk of death of serious physical injury to anyone.
The only one who was seriously injured was her. And the whole incident, when taken in context with the overcrowded Greene County Jail, shows that Sheriff Jim Arnott is both a liar and a monumental hypocrite.