Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Members of Tallahassee Police Department Being Investigated For Police Brutality

This photo of Christina West after she was arrested for DUI. State Attorney Willie Meggs is investigating the police arrest of West.

State Attorney Willie Meggs called the footage “very disturbing.”

“I am extremely upset. This is a very disturbing situation to me, and I’m dealing with it.” Meggs told the Democrat.

Meggs also told WCTV that the video was “one of the most disturbing videos” he’s ever seen.

Meggs has already dropped some other charges police gave West. The DUI charge still stands. There does appear to be evidence that West lost control of her car and ran onto the property of a homeowner.

Here is a video news report WTXL.

According to the WTXL report, police kept pressure on her leg and twisted her arm. West can be heard screaming in pain. The orbital in West's face was broken; quite possibly from when police slammed her face first into the road or a police car. Video shows both instances happening. Other injuries include a bloody nose, a black eye, and cuts on her arms and legs.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox is concerned the city may face a lawsuit.

"The video was taken from the police car and shows the road side sobriety test as well as the arrest of the subject," Maddox wrote. "It also shows DISTURBING use of force against a completely non aggressive arrestee. It is my belief that the city of Tallahassee will soon face a liability lawsuit based on the content of the video."

West's attorney Fred Conrad does intend to sue.

“I was shocked to see this,” said her attorney, Fred Conrad of Tallahassee. “I would never have expected that out of my police department. By and large, most of my officers that I deal with at the Tallahassee Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office are all professional and good cops, folks that I would feel very comfortable with in the event that I needed them as a citizen. This was disturbing. I could not believe that I saw that happening in Tallahassee, Florida.”

Conrad said he intends to pursue compensation for West, though he didn’t explicitly say he would be filing a lawsuit.

“I can say I intend to pursue just compensation for Ms. West,” he said. “And I can say I intend to do it relentlessly. I intend to make the police department pay for this. This is wrong. And they need to pay for it.”

Officer Chris Ormerod failed to mention that West was slammed into a police car and onto the road in his A probable cause statement. TPD Chief Dennis Jones has opened an internal affairs investigation.

The extended video from the police video shows the incident started after West agreed to take a breathalyzer. West is clearly drunk during the sobriety tests. The police became frustrated after repeatedly asked about her children and her husband. West's husband was in a nearby nearby but refused to get involved. You can hear the cops in the video claim that West scratched and made physical contact with them. It does not appear in the video that the police officers were ever in physical dangers. It appears the two officers lost their tempers dealing with a very difficult and intoxicated woman.

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At September 12, 2013 6:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Tallahassee; I am disturbed by not only the excessive force obvious in the video, but the local news forums on are being moderated to keep any intelligent criticism of police off of the forums. I have posted a few things drawing attention to the fact that the police were not assaulted 'kicked and grabbed in the groin' as they claimed in the report. The fact that they lied in an official report is a crime in and of itself, and its obvious they did it to justify the brutality and injuries. What's worse is that I am unable to express myself in an intelligent manner on the local news forums, it is being moderated out of the forums and the only opposition to the police getting through is name calling and slurs, which casts a 'light of righteousness' on police and those trying to discredit the obvious victim of brutality. Both the excessive force/ brutality and the moderation of the local news forums makes me ashamed of my home town.


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