Sandra Bland's video of the dubious arrest that led to her death in a Texas jail adds to the evidence that law-enforcement officers (LEOs) tend to be monstrously dishonest -- and quite a few of them seem to take pleasure in abusing women. (The Bland video can be viewed at the end of this post.)
My wife, Carol, and I are familiar with both of those tendencies from our experience with Missouri deputies, who conducted an unlawful eviction at our home in Springfield (Greene County) that led to Carol being beaten, with her left arm shattered just above the elbow.
Did the Missouri thugs take responsibility for what they did? Of course not; in fact, they largely blamed Carol. Did they lie under oath about events that led them to break Carol's arm so severely (a comminuted fracture) that her life was in danger from the eight hours of trauma surgery needed for repair? Absolutely.
What was the greatest outrage from Carol's experience with Missouri LEOs? Well, that's hard to say because there is a lot of competition for that "honor." But I would say these form a three-way tie for first place: (1) The cops brought assault charges against CAROL, even though Officer Jeremy Lynn ("victim" of the assault) admitted he initiated contact with Carol -- and that means, as a matter of law, she could not have committed the alleged offense; (2) Cops actually claimed Carol broke her own arm by flailing about in the back seat of a patrol car, even though court testimony showed she was handcuffed and seat-belted into the vehicle; (3) The cops did not just tell garden-variety lies about what happened; they committed perjury in a way that would shock anyone with a conscience.
We have written multiple posts (including here, here, and here) about the deluge of false statements cops made in Carol's trial. And we have an upcoming post about one deputy who committed undeniable and easily provable perjury on the stand. For now, let's examine LEO lies related to the three key issues highlighted in the paragraph above:
Who assaulted whom?
It is undisputed our eviction was based on an interlocutory (non-final) order, meaning deputies had no lawful grounds to be on the property. It also is undisputed that Jeremy Lynn initiated contact with Carol. These items, taken together, mean Lynn, not Carol, committed an assault. But that did not keep the coppers from lying out most every orifice at trial:
All four Missouri deputies who testified at my wife Carol's recent "assault" trial said in written reports that she wound up on the ground either before or just after being handcuffed. But at trial, under oath, none of them mentioned Carol being on the ground -- and one of them went out of her way to say Carol was handcuffed while standing.
Why all the inconsistent statements, which likely amount to perjury? Well, it's obvious Carol's arm was broken for two reasons:
(1) She was seated on the ground, on her butt, where an unknown individual wearing a blue shirt and reflective sun glasses had slammed her;
(2) "Mr. Blue Shirt" then reached down to grab both of Carol's arms just above the elbows, while she still was seated on the ground, and violently yanked on them in an upward and backward motion.
Carol and I both testified to that, under oath, at trial -- and while Carol likely was in a state of shock and might have had a concussion from being slammed to the ground on the day cops beat her-- I saw the whole thing from about 15 feet away, while sitting in the driver's seat of our car. Unlike Carol, I did not have my brains scrambled by having cops slam my head against a wall multiple times after they unlawfully burst into our apartment. And certainly, no one slammed me butt-first to the ground.
Carol's arm likely was broken because she had been slammed into an awkward position, sitting butt-first on the ground, when an ignorant animal in a blue shirt started yanking on both arms as hard as he could.
How vicious was this? From my sportswriting days I've been on the sidelines at numerous college football games -- including pretty fair teams like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kansas State, LSU, Tennessee, UAB, Florida, North Carolina, and many more. I've seen some frightening hits from a few feet away, but I've never seen a level of violence inflicted on anyone that tops what was done to Carol during our unlawful eviction in September 2015.
How do you break your own arm so severely that it needs eight hours of trauma surgery?
This might be the most outrageous lie of all in Carol's case because it describes something that is physically impossible. Cops apparently think the rest of us are too stupid to figure that out:
A Missouri deputy stated at Carol's "assault" trial that she "may not have" been wearing a seat belt when she was initially detained in the caged area of a patrol car near the end of our unlawful eviction in September 2015. The flip side of Deputy Scott Harrison's statement, of course, is this: Carol may HAVE been wearing a seat belt while detained in the patrol car.
|Carol Tovich Shuler|
That blows to hell the cops' story that Carol broke her own arm by flailing about in the back seat of the patrol car before transport. (Never mind that a comminuted fracture -- a break in more than two places -- is caused by trauma, as in a car crash, and likely is impossible to inflict on one's self, especially while handcuffed and seat belted.) It adds credence to Carol's testimony that she was seat-belted in the back seat from the get-go and could not have flailed about -- even if she had wanted to, and she didn't.
Oath? What oath?
Most of us have seen enough lawyer TV shows to know that when a person takes an oath to tell the truth in court . . . well, he's actually supposed to tell the truth. Missouri cops apparently never watched Perry Mason, Matlock or Law and Order -- or even went to the movies for My Cousin Vinny:
How many lies and inconsistent statements can four cop-witnesses tell in one relatively simple misdemeanor trial? Based on our experience in Missouri with the "assault of a law enforcement officer" case against my wife, Carol, the answer is "a lot."
Judge Jerry A. Harmison Jr., however, was looking out for his cop friends. He unlawfully excluded the Probable Cause (PC) Statement, Misdemeanor Information, and written incident reports in the case, depriving Carol of the opportunity to impeach witnesses and show that their credibility was near zero. [See Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308 S. Ct. (1974) and State v. Armbruster, 641 S.W. 2d 763 (Mo. banc, 1982).]
And yet, Harmsion stated in his judgment that he found the prosecution witnesses (the four deputies) more "credible" than the defense witnesses (Carol and me). That's because Carol was not allowed to show the cop-witnesses repeatedly lied on the stand -- or, at the least, made statements wildly inconsistent with what they had written earlier.
Carol and I sometimes still shake our heads in disbelief when we think of the flagrant dishonesty of cops in her case. We doubt the family and friends of Sandra Bland would be the least bit surprised by it.