Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our experience, plus recent excessive-force cases around the country, suggest Troy, AL, cops probably falsified reports in KeAndre Wilkerson beating

KeAndre Wilkerson

Much remains unknown about the late December police beating of Troy, Alabama, teen KeAndre Wilkerson. But our experience, plus findings in several 2017 civil-rights criminal cases that grew out of similar events, suggest you can almost count on one thing: Cops engaged in dishonest behavior while trying to cover up their dirty deeds.

We recently reported on five excessive-force cases that resulted in convictions or guilty pleas for law-enforcement officers (LEOs) across the country -- and three of them involved falsifying of police records. Our experience here in Missouri -- where cops brutalized my wife Carol so severely during an unlawful eviction in September 2015 that they broke her left arm into more than three pieces -- follows that path.

Investigative reports, obtained for Carol's defense in the bogus "assault of an LEO" charges against her, are filled with lies or intentional efforts to withhold evidence -- the kind that should send several cops to state or federal prison. But we will narrow it to just two examples that show how desperate cops can get when they know they are in big trouble for excessive force:

(1) The 911 call I never made

Deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) brought roughly six to eight officers and multiple assault rifles and other weaponry to our eviction. Their explanation was that I had placed a 911 call, threatening to take physical action against anyone who tried to evict us.

That story apparently originated with Deputy Scott Harrison, via a communication with my lawyer-brother David Shuler. This is from a September 2016 post on the subject:

But let's examine the more important issue: Numerous readers and friends have asked me, "Why did the Missouri cops enter your apartment like a SWAT team, and with an attitude that led to Carol's arm being broken?" David's e-mail, I think, helps explain that. Here it is:

Roger: Per your request and your threat to sue me, I am doing my best to stay out of your business. As a good faith effort to stay out of your business, I would appreciate it if you would not respond to this e-mail. A deputy called me today and asked me to have you contact him. He said he posted the notice to vacate on the Cowherd property. He also said he was concerned because his dispatch contacted him and said you had called 911 and threatened to shoot anyone coming on the premises to get you out. I certainly hope that you did not really do that, but he asked me to make you aware that they take such threats seriously and that you are setting up a potentially dangerous situation. He stressed to me that he would like to help you find housing and that he did not want you or anyone else to get hurt. His name is deputy Harrison and his phone number is 501-6092. He is very concerned and stressed to me that he did not wish for you or anyone else to get hurt.

So that established the myth that I had made a threatening call to 911. Except that the cops' own investigative reports show I never made any such call. The call came from an administrator at Burrell Behavioral Health, and his information came from . . . both of my brothers, Paul and David Shuler, From a post on the subject:

Do the documents provide any evidence that I actually communicated an unlawful threat to anyone? Nope. But officers used information based on fourth- or fifth-hand hearsay to justify barging into our home and pointing assault rifles and pistols at us. . . . 

In other words, an individual from Burrell Behavioral Health and my brothers (Paul and David) damned near got us killed.

Records show that the 911 call came at about 10:22 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2015, from a Burrell Health case manager named Joshua Davis. Here is the key note regarding the call:

CLR (caller) is a Burrell case manager. SUS (suspect) threatened to shoot anyone who came to evict them. There is an eviction notice on the door.

SUS: DOB 1956. MW, 55-60, gray hair, he owns a gun, prescription medication for PTSD and depression. Last spoke to Roger on 8/4/15. Roger's relatives called Josh with Burrell to report threats. Burrell made a Dept. of Health and Senior Services on (sic) 8/7/15

Roger's phone number is 205-381-5673.

So, did I place a threatening call to 911, as a Missouri cop claimed? Nope. The call came from a Burrell Health case manager and was based on fourth- or fifth-hand hearsay that had nothing to do with me. How riddled with inaccuracy is this report? It said I owned a gun. Is that true? Nope.

Don't be surprised if a similarly outrageous lie surfaces in the KeAndre Wilkerson story.

(2) A female cop claims Carol "barreled, head first" into her

Here is what Officer Debi Wade claims happened in the moment before her colleagues body slammed Carol to the ground and yanked viciously on her limbs in a motion that broke her left arm:

Just as she appeared to be getting into the passenger side door to the car, [Carol] started screaming that she needed her cat's litter box. I was trying to tell her that I would go back into the residence for it, when she suddenly took off on a dead run toward the front door of the residence. Knowing that Deputy Harrison would be exiting that door at any moment, I feared that she would catch him off guard, so I jogged up behind Carol and attempted to tell her I would get the litter box for her. Just as I caught up to her, she suddenly pivoted and barreled into me head first. I was caught off guard, and as my left arm automatically came up to block my face in a reactive manner, I automatically turned my body to my right in an attempt to blade my gun side away from her while I regained my footing. At this time both Lt. [Christian] Conrad and Deputy Harrison came in from either side to secure Carol's arms and place her in handcuffs.

By "secur[ing] Carol's arms," Wade means "breaking Carol's arm" -- and we think it's likely that an officer other than Conrad and Harrison, an officer who remains identified only as "Mr. Blue Shirt" to us, was involved.

Did such a "barreling head first" incident actually happen? Of course not, as anyone who has ever known Carol could attest. Here's how I explained it in an earlier post:

A Missouri deputy claims in a Probable Cause (PC) Statement that my wife, Carol, "barreled into [her] head first" in the moments before another officer broke Carol's arm during an unlawful eviction in September 2015. The claim, from deputy Debi Wade, is preposterous -- and it apparently was designed to buttress a bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" charge against Carol, which led to her arrest in January.

I use the term "preposterous" to describe Wade's claim for two reasons: (1) She places the "barreling" event near the front door of our duplex apartment, and I saw everything that happened in that area, from the front seat of our car, parked about 15 feet away in the driveway. Carol never initiated contact with Wade, and I never saw Wade make contact with Carol, unless it was to help her off the ground after another officer had body slammed Carol and broken her left arm by yanking on both arms in an upward and back motion; (2) Greene County Prosecuting Attorney (PA) Dan Patterson apparently does not believe Wade's account because, in his Misdemeanor Information (MI) filed with the court, he charged Carol with only one count of assault on an officer -- and that allegedly was against a male officer named Jeremy Lynn, and it was inside our apartment, just as officers had thrust open the door.

Carol is not charged with assaulting Wade, so one has to wonder why Wade included false information that even the PA does not believe -- or at least, he does not believe it amounted to a criminal offense. It also raises questions about Wade's credibility, especially when you consider all the other hokum in her PC Statement.

Yes, Wade's story was so wild that even a prosecutor apparently did not believe it, so Carol is not charged with the "barreling" business. (Probable Cause Statement and Misdemeanor Information are embedded at the end of this post.) I know it didn't happen because I saw the whole thing from about 15 feet away. And with multiple cop cars on the scene, it's likely at least one dash cam caught the incident on video, which will prove Debi Wade is a liar of the most foul variety. And she could face criminal charges for that.

When the lies start flying in the KeAndre Wilkerson case, don't be surprised if they get so wild that you are forced to suspend belief.

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