Seriously Injured in 2001 Police Beating, Victim’s $1.2 Million Judgment Will Stand

Qualified Immunity Claim

By Officers in 2001 Beating

Rejected By Appeals Court

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled three Metropolitan Police Department officers must pay $1.6 million for using excessive force on Charles “Chuck”  Barnard back in 2001. The court rejected the officers’ claims of “qualified immunity.”

The ruling stems from a  Dec. 8, 2001 incident which began when  Barnard heard the distinct knock of the police on his door. Confident in the knowledge he had done nothing wrong, the former Marine opened the door and was immediately confronted by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers Steven Radmanovich, Greg Theobald and Gary Clark. The officers were not looking for Barnard, but were trying to serve an arrest warrant on his brother. 

Not wanting to get caught up in whatever it was they thought his brother had done, Barnard immediately told the officers he would cooperate in any way he could. With his hands raised, Barnard was escorted from his apartment by Theobald, while the other officers began to enter the apartment looking for Barnard’s brother.

LVMPD's Greg Theobald

LVMPD’s Greg Theobald

Despite the fact Barnard had committed no crime and was fully cooperating with officers, Theobald began to handcuff him. That’s when things went horribly wrong. Apparently unable to focus on both handcuffing the innocent Barnard and watch where he was walking, Theobald tripped over a large flower pot sitting in front of the apartment. Rather than accept responsibility for his own clumsiness, Theobald began to treat Barnard as if he had caused him to fall. Mistaking Theobald’s inability to watch where he was walking for Barnard’s resisting arrest, all three officers began attacking Barnard. They coated him with  pepper-spray. One officer wedged a knee into his neck while employing a controversial choke-hold.

As a result of the incident Barnard was seriously injured, forced to undergo four spinal fusion surgeries and will most likely spend the rest of his life in constant pain. While the investigation conducted by Metro cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, a federal jury found that the officers had violated Barnard’s civil rights and awarded him $2.1 Million. A judge subsequently reduced the award to $1.6 million, which the  officers appealed, claiming they had “qualified immunity,”

Qualified Immunity shields government officials from civil liability if a reasonable person would not consider their conduct a violation of constitutional rights.  In a 21-page ruling the 9th Circuit Court denied the officers appeal, stating:

“a reasonable officer would have known it violated clearly established law to use a chokehold on a non-resisting arrestee who had surrendered, pepper-spray him and apply such knee pressure on his neck and back that it would cause the collapse of five vertebrae in his cervical spine.”

radmon

Steven Radmanovich

Theobald, the only officer still working with Metro, was one of three officers involved in the February 1, 2012 fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jason Baires. Theobald was shot in the hip during an exchange of gunfire which erupted when officers attempted to arrest Baires for the gruesome murder of his mother’s boyfriend. In 2012 Theobald salary and benefits cost taxpayers $149,342.65.

Radmanovich left Metro and joined the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in mid 2012. Prior to moving to Winnemucca, Radmanovich cost Clark County taxpayers $97,635.78 in salary and benefits.

The LVMPD Gets Some National Exposure, But Not In a Good Way

The Killing of Trevon Cole by

LVMPD Detective Bryan Yant is

Today’s “Raid of The Day

Rise of the Warrior CopRadley Balko, senior writer and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post, has extensively covered the erosion of our civil liberties at the hands of an increasingly oppressive criminal justice system. He is currently wrapping up work on his new book “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.” 

As a prelude to the book’s publication, Balko has been featuring incidents of deadly police aggression he researched for the forthcoming book. Today, Balko took a look at the 2010 killing of Trevon Cole, by Metro’s most famous perjurer, Bryan Yant.

LVMPD's Bryan Yant

LVMPD’s Bryan Yant

Due out in July, but currently available for pre-order, Rise of the Warrior Cop, will take a look at how the implementation of SWAT teams by both the Philadelphia and Los Angeles police departments marked the beginning of a deadly movement by America’s law enforcement away from the friendly public servants of the 1950s to the cops of today who have increasingly come to resemble ground troops who no longer see the American home as the sanctuary our forefathers envisioned, and no longer see themselves in partnership with the community but been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as nothing more than the enemy. The type of police force we saw going door-to-door in Boston in  full combat gear searching homes without a warrant.

“Out of the Mouths of Babes”

 “Because I have the right to.”

 Suddenly We’re Not So Afraid

For the Future of America

I’m just sorry it took us this long to uncover this YouTube video of a Las Vegas Metro Police officer and a 12-year-old boy named Jeremy Drew  who outed him for the coward he is.

KVVU Fox 5 has the full story.

Where We Learn When Being Rear-ended Is Your Fault

The Question Remains;

How Many Metro Officers Abusing Authority

Before We Kill The “Few Bad Apples” Conceit?

On February 16th, 2013, JohnPaul Rosario was riding his motorcycle to work at the Planet Hollywood when he was hit from behind by another vehicle. The Nevada Revised Statutes are very clear on the matter:

NRS 484B.127  Following too closely.

1.The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.

Describing the contact as a mere “love tap,” Rosario expected, as most of us would, an expression of concern from the offending driver. A simple, “Are you okay,” would be the response of most civilized individuals.

Unfortunately for Rosario, that wasn’t the way one would describe the other motorist. The most accurate description? He was one of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s finest.

Is anyone surprised at this officer’s behavior? In a culture supportive of perjury, whose officers feel free to disobey orders and endanger innocent drivers and where shooting unarmed citizens in the back is just part of the job, should we be shocked when an officer threatens to falsely accuse someone of a crime in order to get out of a minor finder bender?

Rosario has been promised an investigation is being conducted, but as of today, Metro can’t even identify the officer.