Thursday, April 19, 2018

Newly obtained photograph shows Carol could not have broken her own arm -- and deputies started shaping their bogus story the morning after her injury

The back seat of a patrol car, where Carol was placed after Missouri
deputies had beaten her and broken her arm. (Notice part of the
seat-belt system at left.)

Sheriff's deputies, first thing the next morning, started concocting a false story to cover up the police brutality that caused my wife's broken arm, a newly obtained photograph shows.

The photograph is part of  limited discovery prosecutors have produced in the bogus "assault on a law enforcement officer" case Carol has been fighting for 14 months. Prosecutors mostly have stonewalled on Carol's discovery requests, producing responses like "we're not aware of that existing" or "we haven't been able to find that."

Despite the stonewalling, we've received evidence that reveals a lot about the brutality and dishonesty that seem to be part of the modern cop's DNA. We reported recently on photos -- taken at a hospital emergency room roughly an hour after Carol's arm was broken and she was hauled to jail -- that show the early signs of how badly Carol was injured. Two photos show the beginning of severe bruising, along with a baseball-size lump that likely was caused by the pooling of blood and a broken bone that was pushing against skin. 

The photos apparently are so unsettling to cop trolls that they've filed false reports to Facebook that my posts are "spam" or "unsafe," causing my blog URL to be blocked. This has happened twice in the past month -- both times on posts that include photos of Carol's broken arm -- and it takes 10 days or so to get the matter resolved. If the problem continues, I'm considering a lawsuit against Facebook and the trolls responsible for these abusive tactics.

Back to the photos of Carol's injuries, taken while she was in custody. What was Carol, the obvious victim of a police assault, doing in jail? She was there because Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott was on the scene and stood about five feet away as three of his officers surrounded Carol and one slammed her viciously to the ground and yanked on her limbs. Perhaps sensing this was police brutality that might have produced a serious injury, Arnott started the cover-up by pointing at Carol and saying, "She assaulted a law-enforcement officer." I saw all of this happen from the front seat of our car in the driveway of our duplex apartment, about 15-20 feet away.

How gross is the corruption that Arnott set in motion? The photograph at the top helps tell the story. It was taken of the backseat of a squad car where Carol was placed for transport to jail, after her arm had been broken and Arnott had fingered her for a bogus criminal charge.

It is a simple picture, not artsy in the least. But it reveals a couple of key points that point to the beginnings of police corruption -- a cover-up, if you will:

(1) On the left side of the photo, you see part of the vehicle's seat-belt system. It shows a strap running downward from the top of the seat, with a buckle at the bottom of the strap. Another part of the seat-belt system likely is out of view -- on the other side of where a suspect would sit -- with both parts used to secure the suspect in the back seat. Bottom line? Carol was placed in a vehicle equipped with what appears to be a modern and high-end seat-belt system.

(2) The photograph is time stamped at 8:34 a.m. on 9/10/15.

Let's start with No. 2 and see what that tells us. As we recently reported, Carol complained of severe pain in her left arm, and a jail nurse ordered that she be taken to the emergency room at nearby Cox North Medical Center. Deputy Scott Harrison took photos of Carol's injuries, and they are time stamped between 15:01 hours (3:01 p.m. on 9/9/15) and 16:09 hours (4:09 p.m. on 9/9/15). Shortly after that, Carol's arm was X-rayed, showing a comminuted fracture, and she was transported to Cox South, where her left arm was placed in a temporary cast in preparation for trauma surgery.

The beginnings of severe bruising in photo taken about
one hour after Missouri cops had broken Carol's arm.
The X-rays are time stamped between 5 and 6 p.m on 9/9/15., so by early evening, Harrison knew Carol's arm was broken -- and he almost certainly knew how it was broken, and by whom. Carol said she could see him feverishly texting information to someone. We don't know the content of those texts because they have not been produced in discovery, but our guess is they went something like this:

"Holy shit, we've got a problem! Officer ________ broke that woman's arm! Worst of all, there goes my pension!!!" 

So what does the time stamp in item No. 2 tell us. It shows that bright and early the next morning, at 8:34 a.m. on 9/10/15, someone had concocted a phony story of Carol hurting herself by flailing about in the backseat -- and the photo was a sorry effort to document that.

We've reported before about the cops' theory, stated in their incident-report notes, that Carol must have injured herself because, Lord knows, cops never hurt anybody. This is from Officer Debi Wade's written report:

Once she was detained in the back of the car, Deputy Harrison retrieved her [Missouri] ID from her purse, and then gave the purse to Mr. Shuler. Mr. Shuler was asked to leave the scene so that the movers could get to work. He sat in his car across the street, refusing to leave the area while we allowed the movers in the house and turned the keys over to them. When I walked past the patrol car a couple of minutes later, Carol was screaming and jerking her body all over the back seat and cage of the car very violently.

We've shown that Wade's story -- and similar ones from other officers -- is a load of crap. For one, Carol was seat-belted into the vehicle, using the system you can see in the photograph at top. Two, Carol's medical records show her injuries are inconsistent with the cops' fantasy story. In short, it's not possible to inflict such severe injuries on yourself by flailing about in the back seat of a patrol car. From our post on the subject:

A comminuted fracture is a break or splinter of the bone into more than two fragments. Since considerable force and energy is required to fragment bone, fractures of this degree occur after high-impact trauma such as in vehicular accidents.

External fixation devices such as splints and casts are usually inadequate in treating this type of fracture. Repairing a comminuted fracture often requires open surgery to restructure the bone to normal anatomy.

Can a person, in the tiny cage depicted in the photograph, generate enough force and energy to produce a comminuted fracture -- one that put Carol at threat of shock, blood loss, nerve damage, kidney damage, and elevated pressures, according to medical records? Of course not.

An X-ray of Carol's broken arm shows a bone
fragment almost breaking through the skin, perhaps
stopped only by pooling blood in the dark area
at right.
But the time stamp above shows that Jim Arnott's minions started working on that bogus story first thing the morning after they had learned of Carol's broken arm.

As for Point No. 1, the use of (or lack of use) of seat belts in police transports has become the source of lawsuits across the nation. One such lawsuit is Brown v. Missouri Department of Corrections, where a prisoner was injured in a vehicle crash when he was not secured with a seat belt. A Department of Transportation reported titled "Legal Issues Regarding Police and Seat Belts" provides data and analysis of the issue. This is from a July 2017 LS post:

If you Google "prisoner transport and seat belts," you will find there has been litigation around the country about instances where prisoners or suspects were injured after officers failed to secure them with seat belts. (See here, here, and here.) Police agencies have paid out lots of money for failing to secure individuals riding in the back of patrol cars.

Our research indicates many police agencies have adopted policies that require officers to use seat belts whenever transporting prisoners or suspects. This is from page 745 of the policies and procedures manual of the Springfield (Mo.) Police Department, which is available online:

All prisoners transported in a police car shall be secured with a seat belt for their safety.

There is little doubt that the Greene County manual, which has not been produced in discovery, requires deputies to place prisoners or suspects in a seat belt. And Carol was, in fact, seat-belted into the back seat.

Is that all we've learned from recently obtained photographs? Nope. We have one more that helps reveal the brutality that was used against Carol.

(To be continued)

No comments: