A case, about which I have twice previously posted about, has now apparently settled, with the WV State Police forking out at least $200,000. This was a good case from a plaintiffs perspective. The plaintiff himself is a prominent lawyer. He was beaten to a pulp, as the insulting photograph of him with black eyes in an orange jumpsuit will attest to. There really isn’t any excuse for this sort of a beating. The cops were not facing a giant man on a PCP induced rage, he is actually a rather gentle looking guy. But most importantly, the cops were caught trying to cover their tracks. And the cover up is almost always worse than the original wrongdoing.
But what is surprising here, is that none of these officers were charged criminally – at least not yet anyways. And the ironic thing is that, if criminal wrongdoing could have been proven, under the State’s insurance policy, coverage could be excluded, possibly releasing the State from liability. Of course there were some allegations against the State Police in general, as well as the Colonel, for some conduct, such as knowingly allowing surveillance cameras to remain inoperable, and probably for insufficient training and complicity in the attempted cover-up which took place. That may have been the reasoning. Or, it may have just been a protect-your-own type of thing.
Regardless, you can bet your rear-end that if a non-law enforcement person was involved in a fight and beat someone like that, that person would be charged with a crime immediately. Its just another example of the gross double standard. Of course, quoting the Gazette article, the settlement agreement stated that:
The settlement is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or responsibility for damages, according to the defendants’ written offer. “[L]iability damages or any other wrongdoing are expressly denied [by] these defendants.”
Yeah right. Trust me, the State Police does not cough up $200,000 because they believe they did nothing wrong.
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.