On October 16, 2021, the life of Silvester Hayes was altered forever. That morning, Hayes woke up early and went out to get breakfast for his four young children. While driving to get their favorite meal, which was french toast from a restaurant only a few blocks away from their home, Silvester encountered two Dallas police officers. He did not return to his kids with breakfast. Now a lawsuit has been filed and the bodycam footage has been released.
The lawsuit alleges the existence of a Texas state law conferring a right to resist an unlawful arrest:
In Texas, the use of force to resist an arrest is justified: (1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer’s use or attempted use of greater force than necessary. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 9.31.
A police officer was pulled over in Wyoming, Ohio, after his wife, or ex-wife, called the cops on him after an argument following their attendance at a Halloween party. The woman told dispatchers she and Michael Matheson, a sergeant with the St. Bernard Police Department, had gotten into an argument. She additionally told them Matheson was leaving in his truck, intoxicated and possibly armed with his duty weapon.
State police have arrested a Naugatuck police officer who was under criminal investigation for his use of a taser during an arrest earlier this month. Thirty-six-year-old Nicholas Kehoss, a 13-year veteran of the police force, has been charged with intentional cruelty to persons and assault in the third degree. The incident happened on Oct. 14 during the arrest of 33-year-old Jarrell Day, of Waterbury. The arrest followed a brief pursuit and foot chase after an attempted robbery at Stop & Shop in Naugatuck, according to police.
Here’s the raw bodycam footage showing the repeated use of the taser on Jarrell Day that was censored in the Youtube version:
Never forget that interactions with the police are interactions with the government. Many times the employers of police officers give the orders and guide policy and practice. On the state level, those could be career bureaucrats. But many times on the city and county levels, those are usually politicians. And never forget that voters tend to elect politicians who are often incompetent, tyrannical, or even criminal. In this video you’ll see a citycouncilman who personally meddles in law enforcement activities for his friends, his family, as well as himself.
If you think that being falsely arrested can’t happen to you, then you have to watch this video. This video shows my client being arrested for DUI even though she was stone cold sober. This can, and does, happen to innocent people across the country. Here you will see an egregious example of this happening, as it plays out in real time on the officer’s bodycam.
My client, Yolanda Elliott, was a bus driver for the City of Bluefield, West Virginia. Mrs. Elliott is a completely innocent, hardworking good person. She was a bus driver for the actual city that ended up arresting her. She had then, and still has, a CDL license to drive large buses and trucks. Little did she know that when she showed up for work that day, on October 28, 2022, she would be pulled over while driving a city bus, accused of running a red light, and then pulled out of her bus and forced to perform a bunch of circus tricks, while the passenger of her bus watched.
A Newport, Rhode Island, woman who was first on the scene after a car wreck between a high school and college student in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, alleges that the South Kingstown Police were abusive — and assaulted her. In a 23-page lawsuit filed in Federal Court last week on behalf of Claire Hall, she alleges she was unlawfully arrested and physically injured, she was placed in imminent fear for her well-being, she was emotionally damaged, she was embarrassed, humiliated, and unlawfully and wrongfully charged as a criminal.
The elected sheriff of Berkeley County, West Virginia has just been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to a video I showed you about 8 months ago where he showed up to a car wreck involving his daughter. Do you remember this? On January 20, it was reported in the media that Berkeley County prosecutor Catie Delligatti was requesting the appointment of a special prosecutor, in response to the public’s response to the video footage showing that county’s elected sheriff, Nathan Harmon, responding to the scene of his 22 year old daughter’s extremely suspicious car wreck.
The wreck happened on January 6. The sheriff’s daughter, Carrie Harmon, claimed that she was driving to her friend’s house to have dinner and watch movies, but that a deer ran out in front of her; the road were wet, and she swerved to avoid the deer and then wrecked.
But what really appears to have happened is that her father helped her coverup the fact that what really happened is that she was driving while intoxicated. Most of us, after having crashed while under the influence, would have been actually investigated by the responding police officers. This means that they would have tested our breath for alcohol, given us field sobriety tests and so on. But that’s not what happened here. Why? Because the investigating officer who responded was a deputy for the same county where the driver’s father was the sheriff.
Here’s my original video on this with the full footage:
Imagine that your 62 year old father was driving late at night after 11 hours on the road. Would you worry that he would fall asleep? Hopefully he would just pull over somewhere and take a nap if he was tired. Right? Usually, yes. But not in Spokane County, Washington.
62 year old Kevin Hinton had just driven 11 hours into his road trip back from meeting his brand new baby granddaughter in Oregon. He was too tired to continue driving. He couldn’t keep his eyes open. So he pulled over into a parking lot at Terrace View Park, in Spokane, Washington, to take a nap. Shortly afterwards he would encounter Sgt. Clay Hilton with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Within three minutes, Hilton would forcibly remove Mr. Hinton from his vehicle in such a way as to leave him with 8 broken ribs, a punctured lung, severe concussion, shoulder injury, and a disfigured lip. Why? Because Sgt. Hilton thought he was being rude.
Here’s yet another video of police officers detaining or arresting a man’s wife, in order to coerce him into complying with their demands – whether legal or not. Last time, this happened in Georgia. But this time, we’re in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The Oklahoman originally reported on this incident and provided the video footage. Once again, most people misunderstand the application of the Fourth Amendment in and around the “curtilage” of a home.
Edgar Orea brought me this footage. He’s a street preacher who was arrested in Bluefield, West Virginia for the content of his protected First Amendment speech. Edgar and his wife moved to Bluefield in order to serve the people of nearby McDowell County, West Virginia, which is the poorest county in the entire nation. But from the very beginning, they were harassed by the Bluefield Police Department, as you’ll see in the video. The police objected to the content of their message. In this particular incident, they actually arrested Mr. Orea and took him to jail based on the content of his anti-abortion sign, which showed an aborted fetus.
There was a similar case litigated in Kentucky: World Wide Street Preachers’ v. City of Owensboro, 342 F.Supp.2d 634 (W.D. Ky. 2004). In that case, another street preacher was arrested in a public park for showing a large sign with a similar photograph of an aborted fetus. The police claimed that this was causing public alarm and was likely to cause a confrontation. So they cited the individual, but otherwise didn’t arrest him or interfere with his other activities. The Court held:
A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4, 69 S.Ct. 894, 93 L.Ed. 1131 (1949)….
In light of Supreme Court precedent, the Court cannot find that the Plaintiffs’ sign, no matter how gruesome or how objectionable it may be, constitutes “fighting words.” The Plaintiffs’ speech, whether one agrees with it or not, was certainly not of “slight social value.” Rather, their speech was a powerful, albeit graphic commentary on a societal debate that divides many Americans. Furthermore, their speech was not directed at any particular person. Their speech commented on a highly significant social issue and was calculated to challenge people, to unsettle them, and even to anger them, but not to insult them. Such social commentary is not only protected under Supreme Court precedent but also is highly valued in the marketplace of ideas in our free society.
Here, the Bluefield Police Department did much more than issue a citation, but rather placed Mr. Orea in handcuffs and carted him off for incarceration. Then they refused to return his signs, except for one. They charged him with two criminal misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and obstruction, two favorites of law enforcement officers for arresting people who have committed no crime. Fortunately, the charges were dismissed by the Court following a motion to dismiss based on the First Amendment.