This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Shoshoni Resident Sues for Excessive Use of Force by Police Officers
First off, a legally blind man from Shoshoni, Wyoming says two local police officers used excessive force on him when they came to his home to investigate complaints about his cats.
L.J. Faith has filed a Federal lawsuit against Police Chief Andy Rodriguez and Officer G. Cruche. The officers tasered and arrested Faith after he used strong language telling them to leave his property.
Faith’s lawyer, Charles Pelkey, says the officers arrested Faith without probable cause.
“It’s a big deal,” Pelkey says. “Our client’s constitutional rights were violated. He was arrested, he was assaulted, and he was taken to jail and he suffered injuries from being tased.”
Chief Rodriguez also accidentally Tasered himself and his partner during the incident.
All charges against Faith were dropped, and Shoshoni officials could not be reached for comment.
DEA to Pay $4.1 Million to Student Forgotten in Holding Cell for 5 Days
In other news, a college student mistakenly left in a Drug Enforcement Administration interrogation room for five days will receive $4.1 million from the government in a settlement in advance of a lawsuit.
The settlement was announced Tuesday in San Diego by the student, Daniel Chong, 25, and his lawyer, Eugene Iredale.
“It was an accident, a really bad, horrible accident,” said Chong, who added that he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bizarre event in April 2012 began when Chong, an engineering student at UC San Diego, went to a house near campus to smoke marijuana with friends and found himself swept up in a DEA raid.
After being questioned briefly at the DEA facility in San Diego, he was told he would be released. But, for reasons that remain unclear, he was left for five days in a 5-by-10-foot windowless room without food, water or toilet facilities.
He suffered hallucinations and was forced to drink his urine to survive. He screamed for help.
Fearing he would die, he broke his glasses and scrawled the message, “Sorry, mom” on his arm.
When he was discovered by DEA employees, he was covered in his own feces and severely dehydrated. He was rushed to a hospital, close to kidney failure and breathing with difficulty. He spent five days in the hospital.
Days later, a top DEA official apologized to Chong and ordered an “extensive review” of DEA procedures.
“I extend my deepest apologies [to] the young man and want to express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to,” said William R. Sherman, who was acting special agent in charge of the DEA’s San Diego Division.
No charges were filed against Chong, whose attorney had said he intended to file a $20-million lawsuit against the federal government.
Darby Officer Accused of Holding 2 Women Against Their Will
Finally, Darby Township Police Officer Christopher H. Scott has been arrested and charged for holding women against their will in his police car, where they believe he tried to obtain sexual favors.
Scott faces 16 charges, including multiple counts of simple assault and harassment to kidnapping and stalking.
Both incidents occurred the last weekend of July, one during a traffic stop after a woman had left a bar and another involving a woman walking home from a convenience store.
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by CopBlock.org. Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.