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Cops and cameras still don't mix

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Cops and cameras still don't mix

Postby RugbyD » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:59 am

The twisted irony here is that that camera was rolling for the COPS TV show.

http://www.komotv.com/stories/38384.htm

Man Whose Arrest Was Filmed By 'Cops' Sues Officers For Brutality

August 5, 2005

By KOMO Staff & News Services

SEATTLE - A man apparently woken from a drunken stupor by Pierce County sheriff's deputies, repeatedly zapped with a stun gun and finally chewed by a police dog - all in front of a production crew from the TV show "Cops" - has sued the county and the officers, alleging brutality.

The deputies, accompanied by a K-9 officer from the Tacoma Police Department, were looking for an armed suspect in a car break-in when they came upon Aaron Otto Hansen, 34, of Roy, early on July 10, 2004.

Hansen, who did not commit the crime, was passed out drunk in a sleeping bag outside a relative's home in the Tacoma suburb of Lakewood, one of his lawyers said. The "Cops" video footage of his arrest, obtained by The Associated Press, seems to support that claim:

"Wake up! Show me your hands!" one officer, identified in the lawsuit as Deputy Joseph Kolp, screams at Hansen on the video.

No response.

"You're gonna get tased, dude," Kolp says.

Kolp pulls on the sleeping bag. Hansen - clearly disoriented - tries to pull it back over his head, apparently to shield his eyes from Deputy Russell Martin's flashlight. Kolp grabs Hansen's arm and Martin moves in to help with an arrest.

Hansen, still on the ground, starts to revive. He pushes Kolp, and the officers repeatedly use their Tasers as they kneel on him, pressing the instruments into his chest and his buttocks.

"What the (expletive) are you doing?!" he moans as he struggles against them. "What the hell's going on?!"

With Martin and Kolp holding him down, Hansen continued to swing his legs, and Kolp called for help from Tacoma police K-9 officer Christopher Karl. Karl's dog bit repeatedly at Hansen's leg, leaving his pants shredded and his ankle bloodied.

The confrontation ended after two minutes, with Hansen in handcuffs moaning, "Please, please ... What did I do wrong?"

"When we tell you to show us your hands, that's what you need to do," Kolp tells him. "You want to fight us, this is what happens."

"I'm not fighting nobody here," Hansen says, doubled over in pain.

Later that night, the officers arrested another man, John Joyal, in the car break-in. Joyal wound up pleading guilty to a lesser crime.

Hansen was never charged in the break-in, but he was charged with two counts of third-degree assault for resisting the officers. Those charges were dropped on Aug. 25, the day Hansen was to be tried - the same day his lawyer first viewed the videotape.

His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, names Pierce County, Kolp, Martin, Karl, the city of Lakewood and the city of Tacoma.

At the time of the arrest, Kolp and Martin patrolled Lakewood for the sheriff's office. Since then, Lakewood has formed its own police department, which is where Kolp and Martin now work. The sheriff's office, the Lakewood Police Department and the Tacoma Police Department all declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday.

On the video, Kolp explains the officers' actions:

"He was hiding in what looked like a sleeping bag, and he wouldn't comply with our commands," Kolp says. "I went through the fence, tried to pull the blanket back, and the fight was on. He resisted from the get-go ... ended up kicking us, the whole nine yards.

"The dog was sent in to help us out because we had two officers struggling to get this guy into custody and he wasn't complying, so we had to take it up a notch. ... It was a full-on battle there for a couple minutes."

One of Hansen's lawyers, Philip Bolland, didn't buy that explanation.

"The guy was asleep. They could have handcuffed him while he was asleep," Bolland said. "I can't think of any context where this treatment could be considered appropriate. Anybody who sits down and watches that tape would want an explanation."

A producer at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Langley Productions Inc., which created "Cops," said he could not confirm whether the episode ever aired, but Lakewood Police Lt. Bret Farrar said he had seen it on television. He declined to comment on the arrest.

The lawsuit seeks damages as well as an injunction prohibiting the police agencies from associating with "Cops" or similar TV programs again.
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Postby Lofunzo » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:04 pm

One of Hansen's lawyers, Philip Bolland, didn't buy that explanation.

"The guy was asleep. They could have handcuffed him while he was asleep," Bolland said. "I can't think of any context where this treatment could be considered appropriate. Anybody who sits down and watches that tape would want an explanation."


Seems fair to me. ;-)
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Postby Amazinz » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:05 pm

Damn. Somehow I don't think that episode will make it out of the cutting room.
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Postby LooseCannon » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:27 pm

Is there a link to the video?
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Postby bigh0rt » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:02 pm

I only hope this one makes the air. :-D
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Postby acsguitar » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:29 pm

Stupid cops :-t
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Postby Madison » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:56 pm

I do believe the Cops went overboard, but at the same time, who's to say he didn't have a gun in that sleeping bag?

Tough to judge the guys when we don't put our lives on the line daily while doing our jobs. Not saying they didn't go overboard, just saying that I know I'm not one to judge their actions.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:21 pm

Madison wrote:I do believe the Cops went overboard, but at the same time, who's to say he didn't have a gun in that sleeping bag?

Tough to judge the guys when we don't put our lives on the line daily while doing our jobs. Not saying they didn't go overboard, just saying that I know I'm not one to judge their actions.


By that same reasoning the cops could have beat down anyone in the street just cause he "Might have had a gun"
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Postby Madison » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:27 pm

acsguitar wrote:
Madison wrote:I do believe the Cops went overboard, but at the same time, who's to say he didn't have a gun in that sleeping bag?

Tough to judge the guys when we don't put our lives on the line daily while doing our jobs. Not saying they didn't go overboard, just saying that I know I'm not one to judge their actions.


By that same reasoning the cops could have beat down anyone in the street just cause he "Might have had a gun"


Now how did I know you would be the pain in the butt to misread and argue this? :-D

Here's the deal.....

The Cops were looking for an armed suspect.

They found this guy in a sleeping bag.

He refused to come out.

They tried to get him out and he fought them.

Then they tasered him, and he continued to fight, even though he had to be aware by now that he was dealing with the police (which means you come out of the sleeping bag and any idiot knows that).

They brought in the dog to end the fight.

The first thing I said in my post was that I believe they went overboard. All I'm saying is don't go nuts blaming the cops for being crazy or anything since none of us are in their position.
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Postby RugbyD » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:43 pm

Madison wrote:
acsguitar wrote:
Madison wrote:I do believe the Cops went overboard, but at the same time, who's to say he didn't have a gun in that sleeping bag?

Tough to judge the guys when we don't put our lives on the line daily while doing our jobs. Not saying they didn't go overboard, just saying that I know I'm not one to judge their actions.


By that same reasoning the cops could have beat down anyone in the street just cause he "Might have had a gun"


Now how did I know you would be the pain in the butt to misread and argue this? :-D

Here's the deal.....

The Cops were looking for an armed suspect.

They found this guy in a sleeping bag.

He refused to come out.

They tried to get him out and he fought them.

Then they tasered him, and he continued to fight, even though he had to be aware by now that he was dealing with the police (which means you come out of the sleeping bag and any idiot knows that).

They brought in the dog to end the fight.

The first thing I said in my post was that I believe they went overboard. All I'm saying is don't go nuts blaming the cops for being crazy or anything since none of us are in their position.


That is a twisted reading. You have obviously never benn drunk, passed out, woken under totally unexpected circumstances. Not to mention tasered repeatedly while already in a total daze, thus compounding the problem.

"what if he had a gun?"

i dunno, is it standard practice for people passed out and non-responsive in a sleepingbag at a relatives home to be packing heat with an itchy trigger finger? There is also now way the cops didn't know they were dealing with a heavily inebriated person. If they can smell trace amounts of alcohol on a driver's breath, they would be overwhemled by the stench of a drunk passed out sweating his ass off in a sleeping bag in the middle summer.

Madison, you often take the side of moderately coercive abuses of power, which is understandable to a degree, but this is way over the top, even for you. I am disappointed :,-( . I would rather you be the person who would argue that world is 6000 years old in the ID thread.
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