Monday, March 24, 2014

Lafayette Woman Seeks Jury Trial After Civil Rights Allegedly Violated by LPD Officers; Newly Released Dash Cam Video Validates Claims

[Editor's Note:  A media expert is currently working to enhance the sound quality of this video.  We will update when it is completed and also provide a written transcript of the conversation that occurred.]

The Lafayette Police Department will soon be facing yet another Civil Rights lawsuit says Erin Gardner who is currently interviewing Indianapolis area attorneys to take on the task.  Gardner claims she suffered a dislocated shoulder last May when she was violently yanked from a rear passenger seat and slammed against the concrete street by LPD Officer Jeffrey Webb. 

Police file photo of Gardner receiving medical treatment
According to doctors, Gardner suffered a torn rotator cuff as a result of the alleged excessive force action and continues to receive physical therapy for the injury.

After insisting on receiving medical attention, Gardner was eventually charged with refusal to identify herself, resisting law enforcement, seat belt violation, and possession of marijuana. 

Although the possession charge was dropped, presumably for lack of evidence, Gardner’s version of events are in sharp contrast to the police reports written by Officer Webb and other responding officers, and she continues to suffer from her injuries to this day, physically and emotionally.

Fortunately for Gardner, evidence in the form of a dash cam video was finally relinquished to her recently after making several requests to her attorney for it over the past ten months.  The footage validates many of Gardner’s claims, which she says gives her the confidence she needed to pursue justice.  Before the video surfaced it was merely Gardner’s word against that of local police officers.

“I never dreamed I’d have my own police video,” lamented Gardner.  “It was the most humiliating thing I’ve ever experienced.  I was treated like a criminal without just cause, and I am not a criminal.”

Gardner said she had done the responsible thing that night by calling a friend for a ride after drinking two alcoholic beverages at a local bar on Memorial Day last year.  As her friend was driving past Jefferson High School on South 18th Street shortly before 4 a.m., he noticed a police car following them.  At one point, the driver swerved to the left slightly to avoid hitting a parked vehicle, causing the police officer to pull him over for touching the center line.

After being stopped, Officer Webb began questioning Gardner, a back seat passenger in the vehicle.  Another front seat passenger was handcuffed during the ordeal; however, Gardner says he was never questioned.

The officers mainly focused on Gardner who initially offered the fact that she was a pacifist and did not want any trouble.  When asked for identification, Gardner said that she repeatedly informed the officer that she did not have her driver’s license with her because she was not driving.  Indiana law does not require a passenger to carry a driver’s license or identification, nor does it require a citizen to identify oneself without probable cause; however, Gardner claims the officer kept asking her why she did not have identification with her.

Gardner stated that she repeatedly recited her social security number and driver’s license number as a means to identify herself; however, the officer refused the information and later wrote in a report that she was reciting “nonsensical” numbers to him. 

“He knew the numbers were a means of identification,” said Gardner, who believes the officer was merely trying to cover up for his inappropriate actions after the fact.

Gardner said she repeatedly asked the officer why he was harassing her since she had done nothing wrong.  She also complained about the fact that Officer Ian O’Shields continued to shine a bright light into her face for longer than was necessary. 

Webb reportedly told Gardner that his probable cause for questioning her was that she was not wearing a seatbelt.  Gardner disputes that claim, however, and believes it was merely an excuse to cover-up for violating her civil rights.  She says that the officer could not have known whether or not she had been wearing a seatbelt because it was dark and the car’s windows were tinted when he first stopped her friend who was driving.  By the time Webb approached the vehicle it was at a complete stop.

“You don’t need to have a seat belt fastened when a car is stopped,” said Paul Ogden, an Indianapolis attorney who was asked to review the case.  “That was just a pretext for everything that followed.”

Ogden said that lawyers sometimes refer to these types of charges as “attitude charges.”  He says prosecutors should refuse to file these types of “trumped up charges” that are filed merely as face-saving measures to get the defendant to admit guilt to something that protects the officer from being accused of acting improperly.”

Ogden went on to say that if a police officer does something unlawful and it leads to evidence being uncovered, then that evidence would have to be excluded.  He says if the seat belt violation gets knocked out then everything else Gardner was charged with would follow, and rightly so.
Gardner explained to Webb that she did not want to exit the vehicle and risk a public intoxication charge.  It was at this point that Webb ignored Gardner’s pleas and yanked her arm with such force that her shoulder reportedly ripped out of its socket as she was slammed to the ground near the middle of a busy Lafayette street as cars continued to pass by.  Gardner says that when Webb twisted her arm behind her back it caused her rotator cuff to tear.  Gardner weighs 110 pounds and she estimates Webb to weigh in the 240 pound range.
“I landed on my shoulder and when the officer twisted my arm behind my back, I cried out in pain and told him I was hurt,” stated Gardner.  “He ordered me to stand up and I asked him to please help me up using my right arm, but he didn’t.”
Gardner said the most degrading aspect of the ordeal was the body search conducted in full view of the dash camera as Officer Ian Shields stood right beside her staring as a female officer explored her private parts underneath her clothing.  The officer reportedly found an empty container that tested positive for marijuana residue.
“I was so embarrassed in front of the male cop and did not deserve to be treated in such a degrading manner,” said Gardner.  “And why did the male officer insist on standing so closely watching the entire thing?  I was not resisting.”
Indianapolis attorney Paul Ogden reviewed the video and came to a similar conclusion.
“That officer who yanked that woman out of the car by her arm should be disciplined as well as possibly the male officer who leered at the woman while she was undergoing a body cavity search by the female officer,” commented Ogden.  “He did not need to be there gawking during the search.”
Gardner also takes issue with the fact that her purse was searched without her permission.
            “I was violated in so many ways,” she said.
Gardner says that she is seeking a jury trial and pursuing a civil rights case for two reasons.  First, she wants to clear her name and restore her reputation.  Secondly, after hearing about the death threats that Tim VanderPlaats received from LPD officers, she realized that unless citizens stand up to police brutality it will continue to happen to others, some of whom may not have the resources to fight back.

Editor’s Note:  The two officers that are seen in the video have been involved in other controversial situations.  Officer Webb shot and killed a subject after a high speed chase that ended on South 9th Street.  The suspect reportedly was wielding a knife in a threatening manner.
 

Has Justice Been Subverted by Unfair Order Issued by Judge Les Meade?

Judge Les Meade
Gardner pled not guilty to what she refers to as “sham charges” and recently invoked her right to a jury trial for which she was given only a month to prepare by Tippecanoe County Judge Les Meade.  Gardner perceived that Meade was irritated with her for not accepting a plea agreement arranged by her local attorney.  She is unsure at this point if she could get a fair trial in Meade’s court due to remarks he made after she asked for a jury trial.

“He asked in a frustrated tone, ‘So you’re telling me that after two written pleas you want to go to jury trial?’” 

When she affirmed the intention, he reportedly told her that he was going to schedule it quickly.  Gardner believes she is being punished by the judge for not accepting a plea agreement and that a quick trial date would severely impede her ability to hire new counsel and prepare a proper defense. 

Gardner stated that she was advised by her attorney to plead guilty to not wearing a seatbelt per a plea agreement that was made with the prosecutor; however, after giving it much thought, she could not in good conscience accept the plea since she says she was wearing a seatbelt and is always “religious about [wearing a seatbelt].”  Gardner also claimed that the driver that night never allows anyone to ride in his vehicle unless they are buckled up.  She says that it would violate her Buddhist religious beliefs to plead guilty to a crime she did not commit.
“I’m afraid our justice system is corrupt,” said Gardner.  “I did not realize the scales of justice had been turned into Let’s Make a Deal.”
Gardner stated that she just recently received the dash cam video of the incident after making several requests.  She also believes some of the video was edited, which raises further questions that she'd like to have time to explore.  Gardner says she intends to gather further evidence to offer at trial, including possible depositions of a few of the witnesses, such as the driver, whom Gardner believes was not charged in exchange for his forced cooperation in agreeing to alleged false statements Officer Webb made against her.

Gardner says that she has watched the video several times and shakes each time she views the footage and the slam to the pavement that caused her shoulder injury.  The ordeal has also caused significant emotional harm to Gardner who now suffers from agoraphobia.  She has since hired a driver and a bodyguard, although she does not venture out nearly as often as she did prior to this happening to her.
“I would never treat a human that way, ever, not a child, not an animal, not anything, not even my laundry,” said Gardner.
Gardner, who describes herself as a pacifist, said she was dumbfounded when she was targeted by the police because she had done nothing wrong and there was simply no probable cause to justify the officer’s actions.  She said she was in a state of shock throughout the entire ordeal.  

Gardner admits that she was provoked to anger and cursed at the officers in frustration, which she now regrets; however, says the entire ordeal was unnecessary because she was simply minding her own business and not causing any problems while sitting as a passenger in the back seat of her friend’s car.   Gardner says they just didn't like it when she began asserting her rights and questioning their conduct.

The video shows the officer referring to a seat belt violation prior to him jerking her by the arm in a rough manner and slamming her against the street pavement. 

Gardner also cites a recorded conversation that she recently obtained as evidence that Webb was allegedly attempting to cover his misdeeds.  She believes the audio conversation clearly shows coercion and intimidation on his part.  She says that Officer Webb conducted an inappropriate interrogation-style interview of the driver who also felt intimidated by the encounter.
“My friend was intimidated into giving a false statement to the police officer, because he didn’t want to go to jail,” said Gardner.  “He was terrified, and he agreed to statements that he had no knowledge of, because he could not have witnessed some of what happened to me.”
Gardner claims that LPD officers continue to harass her.
“They drive by a local coffee shop and laugh and wave when they see me,” she claims.
Pathetic.


155 comments:

  1. Wow, who is that huge officer. It is pretty evident he has an anger issue. My guess is he hasn't seen 240# in several years. Is that the Olshield that rammed the county car?

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    1. Wow....to similar to my case. Maybe I should go public now also. We need this stopped NOW !!!

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    2. Wow...maybe I should cone forward & expose the officer who beat me up He weighed around 260 lbs.. I also have a lot to say about being charged with disorderly conduct & then the prosecutor decided to drop charges with a agreement after I talked to the chief of police.

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    5. Yes Karla you need to go public! My friend was killed by this same officer because he was angry!

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    6. Anger issues? if she was a law abiding citizen then she would have obeyed when he told her to get out of the car. Watch the video. This was done just fine. Val didn't your friend charge toward a cop with a knife? That sucks but I am not sure how that is the fault of the cop being angry. I watched the video your friend had anger in his eyes

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    7. To "Anonymous": Legally, she did not have to get out of the car. She identified herself when asked and he did nothing with that information. You can she her take off her seatbelt in the video, so his "just cause" is flawed. Also, he was using excessive force to remove her from the car and slammed her into the pavement in a high traffic area. I know this road and it gets very busy. She knew every right that was violated and is sticking up for herself. I give her full support. That's not to even mention being assaulted by a male officer during a cavity search. These are to be done privately, not in full view of the public, and without a male officer in the vicinity. Not only that, but he TOUCHES her while she is cavity searched which is an ILLEGAL act of conduct. She asked for medical attention on the scene and was denied. Again, illegal. I have run into Officer Webb several times and have worried with local law enforcement. Officer Webb is a bully and abuses his power as an officer. There are rights that a citizen has that an officer cannot simply CHOOSE to ignore because he/she doesn't like being challenged. This is why citizens need to inform themselves of their rights so when stuff like this happens, they have grounds for legal action. Just like this poor woman does.

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    10. He had no legitimate authority to order her out of the car, unless you wish to acknowledge we live in a police state where you must obey every barked order.

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    11. Looks like something needs done about "officer" Webb.

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    12. Im calling out everyone reading this to stand up, and encourage others to come forward!!!

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  2. So it sounds like the driver touched the center line (in the middle of the night on 18th street). The driver then complied with the officer by turning over his drivers license. The lawman went to his car and returned to the stopped car and wanted the licenses of the passengers. The girl in the back seat wanted to retain her right to privacy and declined to fork over the license. (Because she wasn't suspected of a crime.) But the quick thinking officer figured out a way around that pesky Indiana law provision. He observed she wasn't wearing a seatbelt. (most citizens don't keep their seatbelts on when cars are parked.....think Dog and Suds, Mel's Back to the 50's Drive-In Theater etc...) But......Oh ....Yeah..... he remembered noticing earlier she had her belt off, remembering back around Jeff High (uhhh right!!!) So.....now the "law" thinks he has the obligation to society to find out 'just who this dame is that holds her rights so dearly'. In Johnny Law's mind the girl's determination to retain her rights turned her into a criminal. We'll see how the jury looks at it.

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    1. My fiance was also given a ticket for a seatbelt violation when he was wearing one. The officer sinply said, "well you weren't wearing it back there..." and wrote the ticket. We figured $25 was cheaper than a lawyer and the he said game in a court room.

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    2. How is sitting in a car on a street the same as pulling in a drive in? your seat belt has to be on anytime you are on the streets while the motor is running.

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    3. Right, Zach, for your safety or else the police officer is prepared to kill you. Bow the knee serf.

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  3. Actually, Iwana, the driver did not have his driver's license with him. He was not charged because he capitulated to the commands of the bully cop.

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  4. I wonder if these rogue cops beat on their wives like this? Wow, just wow!

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    1. He isn't a rogue cop. He acted quite justly if you watch the video. She just didn't cooperate

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    2. You have some perverted sense of justice, Zach.

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    3. All of these police defenders are in an uproar because officer #1 or #2 sees her "fiddling" with her shirt. So they just "had to" jerk her out of the car and search for a weapon. Good grief are the lawmen just out looking for trouble? This whole big mess could have been avoided if the fuzz wouldn't have been looking for a dust up. Let her pass by and 'fiddle with her shirt' all the way home. Who in the world cares. People pass by my house 24 hours a day and I don't have the need to "have them identify themselves". Frankly I don't give a rip. If, while I'm relaxing on the porch if I notice someone 'touch the center line' I'm not about chase them and find out just who these outlaws are.....and what else they might be "up to". Frankly, if I don't care who is out there touching the white lines I'd just as soon my employees (police) don't spend taxpayer funds chasing these types of criminals. UGHH.

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  6. Hey, Erin, make sure you request all the emails and text messages sent via the cop car computers. I hear tell you'll get to read all the gay and lesbian jokes some of the cops make to entertain one another while working the night shift.

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  7. I asked this officer the same thing when it happened to me.....Did you have a bad day with your wife?....seriously

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  8. I'd ask for a new judge. I know a man who asked for a jury trial for a misdemeanor charge in his court. After the guy was convicted, the prosecutor requested 6 months unsupervised probation since he had never had a criminal record and it was only a minor offense. Judge Meade sentenced him to six months in jail and said it was because "he wasted his time with a jury trial." The man submitted a formal complaint to the judicial commission and Meade was forced to vacate his earlier sentence. Of all people, he should know that a right to a jury trial is a constitutional and fundamental sacred right. No one should ever be punished for requesting a jury trial. Les Meade needs to go, and this girl needs to ask for a new judge. I would say that what he did to her would already constitute a good reason to send off another complaint. Maybe after a second offense for the same thing they'll finally make the reprimand public.

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    1. Les Meade is a terrible and unfair Judge....

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    1. If I remember correctly your friend Paul stabbed a cop in the face!

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    2. I am sorry but your friend Paul led the police through the streets for a long chase and after wrecking his car ran after a cop with a knife. Also he hadn't even been out of jail a year for drugs

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    3. Knife is true is self defense. Slapping is not a shootable offense, Officer Anonymous.

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  10. Erin, please go as far as you can with this, get on the phone/internet.......get this on every show and TV station you can share this on! Not only this officer but many of them here in Lafayette have taken things into their own hands and they continue to get away with it!

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    1. Shouldn't this comment be deleted for the offensive comment toward the officer, per your rules?

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    2. Yes, it should have been deleted. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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  12. Not having her ID is not a reasonable excuse. You must have an ID on your persons to drink in a bar in the State of Indiana. Audio is terrible. Hard to tell what is being said.

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    1. She doesn't have to provide ID in the vehicle as a passenger, Officer Anonymous.

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  13. She doesn't need an excuse. It simply is not required for a passenger to have an ID when stopped by the cops. In fact, in Indiana drivers aren't required to have a driver's license with them when stopped. They have 48 hours to produce it in the event it is needed. This woman's civil rights were clearly violated. Now, I realize all the cop worshippers will do their best to make excuses for their buddies, but it simply won't fly with the people, and it definitely won't fly in the courtroom. I think the citizenry should band together and get videotapes of officers staggering out of the FOP bar where the brew flows pretty cheaply, I'm told.

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    1. IC 9-24-13-3
      Possession and display of licenses and permits
      Sec. 3. An individual holding a permit or license issued under this
      article must have the permit or license in the individual's immediate
      possession when driving or operating a motor vehicle. The permittee
      or licensee shall display the license or permit upon demand of a court
      or a police officer authorized by law to enforce motor vehicle rules.
      As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.12.

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    2. She wasn't driving or operating a motor vehicle, nice try though.

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    3. She didn't have to have ID on her but when the officer asks her to get out of the vehicle she does have to cooperate.

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  14. If she didn't have an ID in the bar, it's the bar's problem, not hers. Nice try copper.

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    1. Number 1. I'm not a copper. I happen to own a nightclub. You have to have some type of ID as I stated before. Does not have to be a drivers license. This young lady was the problem. She was shooting her mouth off from the moment the officers approached the vehicle. She was asked at least 5 times to step out of the vehicle. She refused. At 4am you never know what someone is capable of. For that matter anytime of the day. It seem to me that the others in the vehicle cooperated, and were allowed to leave. If she wasn't such a drunk mess, and being so uncooperative, and obstinate . She would of got to go home also. IMHO this young lady, and the scumbag attorney are looking for a hand out. I think a lot of law enforcement are self adsorbed individuals, but do respect what the have to tolerate, and the danger they put themselves in. I'm sure this girl will get paid off because it will cost to much of the tax payers money to defend it. That is a shame, because it is clearly her fault this incident took place. This is my opinion, and my opinion is as valid as any of yours.

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    2. You miss the point. There would be no resistance had the officer not violated her constitutional rights. Whether you, or they, like it or not police officers are bound by constitutional and state laws. The probable cause was a sham. Citizens are not required to provide ID to officers unless they have committed a crime. She did not commit a crime, but it sure looks like he did. His actions were deplorable.

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    3. Refusal to identify self
      Sec. 3.5. A person who knowingly or intentionally refuses to provide either the person's:
      (1) name, address, and date of birth; or
      (2) driver's license, if in the person's possession;
      to a law enforcement officer who has stopped the person for an infraction or ordinance violation commits a Class C misdemeanor.

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    4. You can quote the law all you want. There was no probable cause for the police officer to get to the point of identification. People have rights, and unless they have committed a crime they do not legally have to identify themselves. They have a right to privacy. Police officers cannot come up to private citizens who are doing nothing wrong and demand their papers. This is not Nazi Germany.

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    5. No probable cause? She wasn't cooperating. She didn't have her seat belt on. Your seat belt has to be on while the car is on and also has to be on while you are on city streets. If she had cooperated then it wouldn't be to this level. This will be a quick case and the jury will not find him guilty of anything.

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    6. She was clearly shooting her mouth off. She is clearly intoxicated. None of her rights were violated. If she had answer their questions. Instead of being belligerent. She is on her way home along with her friends that cooperated. She clearly has a problem with authority. I know a lot of people just like this you lady that think they are smarter than everyone else, and don't know when to keep their mouths shut. Really don't think this will be the last time this young lady has a run in with the authorities.

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    7. Where is my reply to you Anna? Because my view is different than yours, and may be consider plausible. You decide not to post it. There was nothing that was offensive in the post. Just a different view from an unbiased perspective.

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    8. I don't sit at the computer 24/7. They get posted when I get to it. I don't mind opposing viewpoints, but comments will not get posted if they are derogatory, include name calling, or profanity.

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    9. You mean like the ones calling Officer Webb a "prick" because he shot a man that stabbed another officer in the face?

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    10. She is a female and there was not a female officer on the stop. She was doing that Male officer a favor by staying put. A good lawyer can open up another can of worms when they go threw the tapes. She did not have to vacate the car till a female officer arrived on the scene. A the one that watched the search should have his day in court before being booked.

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    11. The physical damage to her shoulder was unnecessary. Being a smart-ass is not punishable by physical abuse by the officer. She provided a social security number and drivers licence number audibly to the officer as identification.
      This case comes down to the simple "You can't talk to a me like that, I'm a Cop" mentality.
      Protect and serve is a joke...bully, intimidate and respect at all cost is demanded by officers. They are not heroes.
      Treat people as the free citizens they are. If there are violations, give the tickets and fight it in court...without resorting to unnecessary violence.
      If an officer is in physical, life threatening situations let him legally defend himself.
      If the job is so stressful an officer can't act reasonable, then he no longer right for the job.

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    12. I realize that a lot of people think giving verbal information is enough info to give in place of a valid ID, but it isn't. One of the reasons that officers do not take the word of a subject when they merely give the name, DOB or Soc# is that too many people have given the info of someone they know..say a sibling or close friend. Then when they go to court to fight a ticket, they can say, "that's not even me". Anyone can give information that isn't real and a physical ID will confirm the info given. And before you say it, in Indiana, a BMV issued photo cannot be used to confirm identity on a standard traffic stop. There has to be a case # generated and then a photo can be requested.

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    13. Erin did not break any law by not having ID with her.

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  15. The original copy of the audio has much better sound quality. We are attempting to have an expert improve the quality and will provide it as soon as we are able. We are also working on having a transcript of the exchanges.

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  16. The night shift is terrible in lafayette they will take anybody to jail even if that person is a victim....

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  17. The day shift is almost as bad as well. I had an altercation with my ex husband where he attempted to choke me out in front of our kids and yanked my daughter's carseat out of his truck slamming it to th ground while she was still fastened in it ....I was terrified and I fought fir my kids, by th time the police arrived he was gone and inwas hysterical officer hainje was very assertive and angry with me.....telling me I'm a bad mom and I should have just walked away as he did God only knows what to th kids because he was angry at me. The police report read I changed my story several times I was having mood swings and being unreasonable and not generally concrened for th safety ofy family. I had marks and witnesses and th officer did not even attempt to look for or put a bolo for my ex husband. Scary very scary!!!

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  18. About a year ago, I had to call the police on my husband. Not because he was being abusive to me, but our fence. Someone got him on the subject of things he'd seen during his time overseas in Afghanistan and all that, so he was having what I call a "veteran moment". He was very angry and frustrated (and drunk) with lives he couldn't save. So when I called, I was in tears with the dispatcher. She told me she knew just who to send. I didn't get the officers names, and honestly, I was expecting hostility. But, when they showed up at my door, they were pleasant, matter of fact, and stayed with my husband about 3 hours after sending me off. One of the officers left me a note stating when they left and that my husband was locking the door to go to bed. When I asked my husband why they stayed so long, he said they stuck around to talk with him about his experience, that they were veteran's too, and managed to help him get to a better state of mind.

    Now, I'm not defending the entirety of the department, but the negativity coming across towards every officer is a little unjust (as the officers in this story). By all means, if this guy has been in multiple incidents, can his butt. My relative's significant other was booted from a small towns police force for lying about about a relationship had with a legal, consenting adult. There should be no reason to hold onto people who drag down the good ones in the department.

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    1. That is a great story. I so respect that Officer. Not all of the LPD are "bad cops". We just need to get the crooked ones off the force. I am one citizen who is not on the streets drinking & driving. Nor do I create mischief. I don't get into trouble. I totally did not deserve the abuse I got. These officers who get into trouble at night are usually on every scene together. They witness each other abuse on citizens. My witnesses & Chicago doctors at the hospital that I checked into did in fact diagnose Police Brutality.

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  19. O'shields has 2 strikes with just wrists slaps now and u know that because they wont tell u his punishment which means it was NOTHING a just please don't do that again and Webb has anger issues he can fix that at anger management it only cost 450 dollars and 15 weeks of your time nice time been there done that this is for Karla Loveless been long time good to hear your name again

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    1. Thanks Kevin :) Back in the day of child sitting for you & your brother. Fun times...

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  20. Another slap on wrist for o'shields by his peer which amounts to nothing that's why they won't tell you what it is and Webb still has anger issues he can fix that at anger management it only cost 500$ and 15 weeks of his time its a nice time been there done that and a shout out to Karla Loveless been along time good to see your name again maybe find again 1 day

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  21. O'shields has 2 strikes with just wrists slaps now and u know that because they wont tell u his punishment which means it was NOTHING a just please don't do that again and Webb has anger issues he can fix that at anger management it only cost 450 dollars and 15 weeks of your time nice time been there done that this is for Karla Loveless been long time good to hear your name again

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    1. Shouldn't this be deleted for the cursing?

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  23. I have to agree, they way he ripped her out was unnecessary. He clearly used enough force to rip her arm out and completely throw her body out of the car. For what? Not IDing herself? I wonder what led up to them picking her out of the car.

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  24. I will agree there are still some good cops working at LPD but there are some shady ones as well, obviously! I had a car accident a couple years back. It was the worst one I have ever been in. The officer kept asking me over and over again what happened. He asked if I ran the light, I did not. The other girl did. He asked me multiple times after I had already told him no. I was extremely shaken up and actually had a severe concussion when I got to the hospital and a lot of bruising. My police report was a joke! He had both cars on the wrong side, my statement was wrong, he had that I had a 4 Dr instead of a 2 DR. I tried to get it changed but nothing ever came from it. The girl had a suspended license and was going way over the speed limit and ran the light and wasn't blamed for the accident even though this was her third offense for the same offense. I was never able to get to the police statement changed because the officer was never there when I came in when they said he was on duty and never returned my numerous messages. Also, my sister was having a issues with her ex boyfriend being violent and breaking into her apartment, being physical and following her and a few cops didn't do anything. It makes you not want to call for help! I hope you get justice!

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    1. Shouldn't this comment be deleted for the cops names? Thought you didn't tolerate that?

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    2. Yes, you are correct, it should have been. Thank you for pointing it out.

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  26. If you don't see your comment appear in this section it is likely because you launched a personal attack and violated our community standards by using gutter language or lying.

    To the person who challenged the writer on whether or not Erin was really studying nuclear medicine, I will say that I have verified that fact. As for the allegation that she never owned a business, I refer you to the December 2010 edition of the The Magazine for Metropolitan Women, Women's Edition from the quad cities in Iowa. Erin is featured on page 30 where it was noted that she owned a successful upscale restaurant called The Phoenix. Due to personal circumstances, Erin was forced to return to the Lafayette area.

    As far as Erin's "record," let me just say that yes, she was arrested for a public intoxication charge several years ago. Had the incident happened today, she could not have been charged because the law has since been modified to stop police officers from randomly picking people up off the streets whom they merely suspect had been drinking. In that instance, Erin had just left a funeral and was upset and crying. She was walking to a friend's house minding her own darn business when a police officer stopped and interrogated her as to what she was doing and where she was going. She told him the story; however, he asked her to submit to a breathalyzer and she refused. Because she refused, he arrested her on a PI charge. In hindsight she should have fought those charges, but she let it go. Because that was on her record, the police officer in the current situation checked her out and likely assumed she was worthy of harassment. The abusive actions of police officers can haunt a person for life, which is why it is very important to stand up and say enough is enough! I am very thankful Erin was brave enough to do that.

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    1. It is hard to hear towards the end, but the officer running the test is asked what her BAL is and you can hear him say 0.01. This is not drunk. To those that think she was a drunk, she had maybe two drinks over time and still called someone to take her home.

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  27. Some of the comments being submitted by cops are unprintable. It's a scary thought that men with violent attitudes and ones who quickly judge and stereotype people without having all the facts are policing our streets.

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  28. To the officer who thought Webb was just doing his job because Erin "was resisting," you miss the major point. He was NOT doing his job when he violated her civil rights. There wouldn't even be a resistance issue had he done his job properly. People do have rights. Read the constitution and then sign up for charm school.

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    1. She didn't have her seat belt on. She was due a ticket for that. She wasn't cooperative. How is he to know why she wasn't cooperating? Was she hiding something? Was there something in the car? He was doing his job.

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  29. Anon, 7:15, where in the story do you read that we are blaming an entire force for the actions of a few bullies with badges. I have stated repeatedly that there are many fine officers on the force. However, the bad apples can and do tarnish the image for the entire police force. This is a management problem as much as it is a police problem. To permit is to promote.

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  30. Police brutality cannot be tolerated. This should be investigated and this bully shiuld be fired and charged.

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  31. It will come soon when we will have to fight and kill to keep our civil rights and freedoms. This is just the beginnng, revolution will happen, fight or die.

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  32. I'd like to ask why the photo of the injury is dated 3 years prior to this incident?

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    1. Because it's very common for date stamps on cameras to be wrong? I see it everyday in my line of work.

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    2. Would that hold up in court? "Oops my camera date was wrong" I doubt it...

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  33. I noticed a link to the officers automobile crash video at the end of the original article. How come the link to the other officers shooting video wasnt included? The shooting video clearly shows that the officers in that incident were justified, beyond the shadow of a doubt. However, it is mentioned along with the car crash to paint the officers in a suspicous light. This gives the appearance of biased, unfair reporting. If you link one, link the other...even if it favors the cop. Or, dont even mention it at all. Not trying to get away from the issue at hand, but keep the reporting fair.

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  34. Messed up happens more than we think

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  35. We tried to link to the shooting, but the story links we found had been removed. There was a mention that the shooting victim was wielding a knife. We made no comment about the shooting itself and just merely made the connection since these cases were public and related in the sense that the same officers were involved in issues of public scrutiny. Readers can make up their own minds.

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  36. I just removed a comment that was published in error. It suggested violence against a police officer. We do not agree or condone violence against any police officers. We are opposed to violence of any kind. Retaliation is not our goal. We desire to promote change. Anyone who promotes violence against a police officer is no better than a police officer who has mistreated a citizen.

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  37. Posts that promotes violence or contains profanity will be deleted immediately. We condemn all acts and threats of violence.

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  38. Fair enough and thanks for the reply. However, it seemed unfair to characterize it as a "controversial situation" . I agree with your statement, "Readers can make up their own minds".

    Here is the link if you care to include it :

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hweP6x8478

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    1. Wow I don't know how someone watches that and cant think the cop was in the right in that shooting.

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    2. Please understand that when we say controversial shooting it does not mean we believe his actions were unjustified. It was controversial in the sense that there were some in the community who criticized the officer for using deadly force rather than possibly a stun gun or other means of disarming him. We fully support the officer's right to defend himself against deadly force. The comment was merely a means of identification since the officers had been in the news prior to this incident. We did include your link and we did separate the feature about Ms. Gardner from the news article. We appreciate your feedback and will take it into consideration in the future.

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  39. It wasn't our intention to be unfair. We appreciate the fact that the job of a police officer is dangerous, but it seems to many of us, that it's getting dangerous for citizens to interact with some police officers. And unless we know which ones are bad, we can't risk trusting the good ones either. I'll take a look at the video. I did try to find it but was unable to find a working link.

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  40. Thank you for the link. The comment regarding the incident is now linked to the video.

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  41. I have a similar case but it's only my word against the officer. It happened at night and I was the one who called

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  42. Wow - they are actually wasting tax payers money to engage 6 "professionals" for this traffic stop! Yeah I'd have to say Lafayette has a problem with their law enforcement. Spending 30 minutes or more to search a vehicle finding nothing. Throwing an unarmed female to the ground because she didn't follow a "command". Silly and sad. Watch out my dear nephews, no wonder you are scared to drive around that town.

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  43. To the people who leave comments that are defamatory, I will reiterate our policy. We will not print slander, profanity, or personal attacks. Erin's case is not about the past, not about how good or bad of a person she is, and not about anything having to do with her history. When she gets before a jury of her peers, past offenses cannot be brought up as they are not relevant to this case. There will be no police officers or family members of police officers on the jury. It amazes me that police worshippers actually believe this conduct was justified. I can assure you that average people who serve on juries will not.

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  44. Sad you can't post people with both views. Enjoy your head hunt. And by the way, I'm not family of an officer. I'm a logical human being that was taught to respect people. Guess you missed that lesson.

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  45. Views are one thing; personal attacks are quite another. We have and will continue to post opposing viewpoints as long as they are not profanity-laced, personal attacks, or libelous.

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  46. My post said a**. Whoops. Sorry. Other than that I didn't attack anyone. Just merely communicated facts.

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    1. Your "facts" were defamatory. They were your opinion and unverifiable. Had I printed them, Erin could have sued you.

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    2. There's a lot if opinion in this article do you think?

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    3. Please understand we never billed ourselves to be the mainstream media. We've labeled ourselves as "news with views." We will always offer commentary with the stories we present, because our goal is to bring change, not just the news. We seek to persuade people, so yes, our pieces will typically always have opinion in them. If you read what we're about you'll see we've not attempted to hide that fact.

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  47. If she had nothing to hide she should of cooperated with the officer.

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  48. Why doesnt he pick on somebody his own size? I have been stopped by him a few times and he didnt trycthat with me. OH!!! Yea im 6foot 4 275 pounds and a guy thats why.

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  49. I think the police officers in this town have 2 sides to them...HUGE EGO'S!!!! As I was pulled over for "speeding" the other day (slightly over the speed limit and given a 150 ticket), the cop GRILLED me as to WHY I didn't pull over IN the intersection (stupid question) when he saw the lights. And WHY I didn't pull over when he thought I should? Well, I pulled off to get OUT of traffic into a parking lot, not 40 yards away from where the lights were turned on. But his yelling was OUT OF CONTROL!!!! HUGE EGO!!! But, I also have to give it to the LPD for responding to calls quickly!!! That is the ONLY thing good about them.

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  50. I agree that many LPD officers are RUDE! They really shouldn't wonder why many people have no respect for the police when the chief and mayor accept bully behavior like this.

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  51. It's my understanding that being a vehicle passenger, on a city street, puts you in "public". The female clearly appears intoxicated. Wouldn't a potential "public intoxication offense" create an additional requirement to investigate and identify? He did give her a good toss, but he probably expected her to hold on to avoid his "tug". An ambulance and medics were clearly visible during the video. Couple that with the police picture taken while she was in the ER, she was clearly not denied medical attention. Finally, there was no "cavity" search on the video. If her internals were searched by a cop, she has a valid lawsuit. She was also never exposed to the male officer. Stop trumping up the story and open your mind to the truth people. There are a few bad apples in every profession. Prejudice = ignorance, even when its against cops.

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  52. This comes down to one thing. There was no probable cause for Webb to detain the woman passenger. None. A jury will laugh this out of court if he tries to explain to them that he was able to see into a dark car at 4 a.m. that she wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Yes, she may have resisted the arrest, but the arrest will be invalidated for lack of merit. The lack of probable cause will be the key to proving her case.

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  53. I have both friends and family that are sworn to "serve and protect". These officers I know, would never treat a person like this. This young lady did nothing wrong to be treated as such by the initial officer or the other one leering at her while being searched. The first officer should be fired for being such a brutal "ass". The other should be highly reprimanded. That is just my opinion. I would love to be on that jury !!!!

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  54. Pat Harington needs to drop these charges now to avoid further embarrassment. No one likes to see a young woman being manhandled by a big man. I have to wonder how one of the officers would react if their wives were treated that way. I doubt they'd like it much.

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  55. I have acquaintances, friends and family that are sworn to "protect and serve". None of them would ever act as these officers did! This young lady did nothing wrong, but to stand up for her rights. These 2 men should be ashamed of themselves! Especially the 1st man who yanked her arm. He should find a different job all together!!!!

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  56. For a pacifist, She certainly seems to be aggressive to the cop. I heard her rattle off a number in the video but I didn't hear her give her name, which was the question. So why did she remove the seat belt if she's always wearing it? Couldn't have been comfort as the feel and presence of it would've been unnoticeable since she wore it all the time right?

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  57. that's the power tripping cops in action. why don't they go after the real criminals? oh, that's right, she isn't a threat to them

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  58. Lets look at this from a legal perspective. These officers did nothing wrong. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but allow me to explain (I apologize for the lengthy post in advance).
    First, was the traffic stop lawful? It was a minor, petty violation (touching the center line), but legal none the less. Even if the officers had a motive for stopping the vehicle other the traffic violation itself, pretext stops are still legal (See Supreme Court ruling - Whren v. United States).

    Now officer #1 (driver side) and officer #2 (passenger side) approach and ofc #1 talks briefly with the driver before returning to the police car. Pretty standard. Ofc #2 maintains his position. Now at some point, Ofc#2 directs his attention soley toward ms Gardner. Why? I wasnt there, but my guess is that he observed her making movements and gestures and probably saw her stuff an object down the front of her pants, and the video suggests evidence to this fact. First,a marijuana grinder was recovered from the crotch area of her pants by the female officer later in the video. Second, ofc #2 is watching her like a hawk, which is odd because if I was the cop I would perceive the larger, male occupants as more of a threat. Ofc #2 knew she was hiding something, which is probably why he "continued to shine a bright light" in her face. Third, as soon as officer #1 re-approaches the vehicle, Ofc#2 relays some type of information to him at which time ofc#1 immediately opens the rear passenger door and turns his attention to Gardner, which is out of the ordinary. Ofc #1 toatally ignores the front seat passengers. I dont know what the conversation between #1 and #2 was but it was probably something like this "get the back passenger out, shes moving around and hid something down her pants". This exchange between #1 and #2 is clear in the video although we dont know exactly what was said. Continued...

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    1. The Indiana Supreme Court just issued a ruling stating that sometimes it's ok to cross a center line. Look at the video. He went to the left slightly to avoid a parked car. Also, I have read the police report and it states that the officer became suspicious because they were driving slowly past the school and that there had been thefts in the area, so he began following. He was looking for a reason to stop them, so it wasn't like he was worried about safety because he touched the yellow center line. I agree with other comments that when the jury sees the cop use excessive force to subdue the woman they will have lots of sympathy for her. A good defense lawyer will ask the jurors to place their wives or daughters in a similar scenario.

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    2. I agree that the officer was looking for any reason to stop them in order to initiate a more in depth investigation for something other than a minor traffic violation. but this doesnt matter. As long as a violation was committed, the officer can stop the vehicle, even if traffic violation isnt his motivation for the stop. Its called a pretext stop and the US Supreme courts says they can do it. Research Whren v. United States. As far as excessive force, I respectfully disagree with anyone who thinks it was excessive. The officer had a legal right under Terry v. Ohio and Arizona v. Johnson to detain Gardner for a pat down search for weapons. This is pretty clear cut. She refused multiple requests to exit the car. She was subject to arrest at this point for resisting a lawful order. The officer gave her every chance to exit and only pulled her out when the situation started to get dicey. The officer used the least amount of force needed to get her under control and arrest her. He didnt jump on her head or kick her in the ribs or slam her head into the ground. The force stopped as soon as she was cuffed. I agree, an uninformed jury may have sympathy for her, but frankly, I do not. she was given every chance to comply and she refused. additionally, if my wife or daughter acted in the manner that Gardner did, I would be quite disappointed in them.

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  59. At this point, if the police can articulate that criminal activity may be afoot and the person may be armed, that person can be detained and patted down for offensive weapons (Supreme Court Terry v. Ohio and specifically, Arizona v. Johnson). Any cop with 10 minutes on the job who is worth his salt can do this in this situation. #2 saw her stuff something in her pants. Something the size and shape of the marijuana grinder could feasibly be perceived as a weapon, especially when the officer is looking into a dark car at 4 a.m. and doesnt have the greatest view. With this in mind, the officers have every legal right to detain her and pat her down for weapons, (but not to do a full blown search to uncover evidence).

    Now, I know some will say that he wanted her out of the car for a seatbelt violation. He may have told her that, but the police lie to us all the time. And guess what? They're allowed to. What cop should be expected to say "I think your armed with a gun, please step out so I can search you". No, my guess is that he used the seatbelt thing to keep her off guard and not let on that he knew she hid something in her pants.

    At this point, ofc #1 asks Gardner repeatedly to exit the vehicle, and he has every right to do so. She refuses every time. At this point, she is resiting a lawful police order and is subject to lawful arrest. But ofc#1, to his credit, tries to reason with her. He doesnt fly off the handle, he continues to try to talk her out of the car. Soon after, the situation escalates when ofc#2 observes something toward the front passenger compartment that concerns him. He draws his weapon and states something to the effect of "let me see your hands, bro!" and points his firearm toward the front of the vehicle. (I know the audio is not great and I cant tell his exact command). He clearly draws his gun and points it toward the front passengers though. It is not until this happens that ofc #1 pulls Gardner from the vehicle.

    At this point, ofc #1 has seen enough and he forcibly removes ms Gardner from the vehicle to try to maintain control of the situation. again, she repeatedly refused his order to exit the vehicle and he had every legal right to detain her check her for weapons. Yes, its somewhat rough and she was probably injured. But this is nowhere near unnecessary or excessive force and once he has her cuffed and under control the force immediately stops. He has effected a lawful arrest for resiting a lawful order.

    Now, with the situation under control, a female officer arrives and searches Ms. Gardner. She is the subject of a lawful arrest and as such, she can be fully searched (see Chimel v. California). The female searches her and removes the marijuana grinder from the inside of her pants. As to the complaint of the male officer "gawking her", you'll notice that the male officer is none other that ofc#2. The video clearly shows ofc#2 directing the female officer where to search - he can be seen pointing to the front of Ms. Gardners pants. The reason he is there is because he is one who saw Gardner put the object in her pants and he is telling the female officer where to look. (He's probably also curious to know what the heck it was that Ms. Gardner put there in the first place). There is no evidence he did it to embarass her or to derive some type of sexual gratification by watching. continued...

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    1. Hey...Stop it with your common sense, logical, legal mumbo jumbo. This is a witch hunt by those who have never learned to take accountability for their actions. We don't need you bringing reality into this picture!
      Funny how we made it this far down the posts before the fact that she did shove a marijuana grinder down the front of her pants surfaced. Not important I guess.

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    3. As someone who has spent a lot of time talking to Ms. Gardner, I can assure you this is no witch hunt. If your sister, wife, or mother were treated the way Erin was, I have no doubt you'd see it from a different perspective. First, off Erin denies it was a "grinder." It was merely an empty container with traces of residue. The prosecutor did not charge her with marijuana possession so it is irrelevant in that respect. What is relevant is the fact that the officer used excessive force to extract her from the vehicle. She was doing nothing wrong when she was stopped. She was doing what millions of Americans do on Memorial Day, having a couple of drinks with friends. She did the responsible thing by calling for a ride. Every attorney who has reviewed Erin's case has agreed that she definitely has a civil rights case. Every. single. attorney. The way this was handled by the police was WRONG. There are many inconsistencies in the officers' police reports that will come out at trial, if it gets that far. The transcript of what was said at the stop will shed more light on the issues involved. The state would be wise to drop this case. They have much bigger fish to fry in the form of real crime. As a taxpayer, I do not wish for my tax dollars to be used to prosecute this nonsense, and that's not Erin's fault since she has every right to defend herself from it.

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    4. Couldn't have said it better myself! The officers were right here.

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    5. As someone who has spent a lot of time speaking with several people who have been arrested, I find that they rarely take responsibility for their actions. They usually deflect the blame to others, often the police. I also find that people who are hopped up on weed and booze find it difficult to accurately remember what they did to land themselves in jail. The fact that the prosecutor didn't charge Erin with poss of mari has absolutely nothing to do with how an officer is going to react to someone stuffing something down their pants during a stop. Don't kid yourself...Officer #2 saw it, he drew his weapon and told her to show him her hands. This is when she gets tossed from the car by Officer #1. Nice work men, keep up the good work. Nobody cares if the weed was in a grinder or a container. She had it in her pants and should thank the cops for being so diligent in their duties. I bet it hurt landing on that "container". Torn rotator cuff and bruised pubic bone...ouch!

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  60. Now let me say I'm not taking sides and I fully support every citizen's right to resist unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. In fact, I encourage it. I also support police oversight and accountability. However, if you take the emotion out of it and view this incident from a legal perspective, everything those officers did is justifiable under federal law.

    I dont know the officers state of mind at the time of this incident and its impossible to speculate on their motivation. Were they trying to do good police work and thwart crime or were they harassing innocent people. Depends on your point of view.

    I would be interested in seeing the police report and seeing just how these officers articulated and justified their actions. Has anyone tried to obtain it under FOIA? Might clear up some controversy. I would encourage everyone to review the case law I cited. It could come in handy if you ever need to protect yourself from an unlawful police action.

    Thanks for letting me ramble and give you my take...interested to see how this one turns out. Comments and discussion always welcomed....



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  61. After watching the video, I thought of the oft-repeated advice I've given many a friend when dealing with the police: Be polite. Don't be afraid to ask questions but don't be sassy. If they use excessive force, don't resist. It can make a difference in any lawsuit against them and the less you resist, the more they'll hurt you which can provide valuable evidence against them. Above all else, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT until you can talk to an attorney. Talking smack on the side of the road or in the back of a police car is stupid and will be used against you. Always remember that there are cameras that will vindicate you when all is said and done because most departments are not filled with bad cops. The bad apples can't hide if you do it right. Good luck.

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  62. So what if she was intoxicated! She called for a driver and was on her way home. She did not ask for any of this, and I'd be mad too if I were getting harassed for no good reason. The officer handled this poorly. It did not have to escalate into this.

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  63. For the people who believe the officers actions were justified because she had a previous record, that is plain wrong. At trial, none of that will be admissible because it is not relevant. The Indiana Supreme Court recently overturned a traffic conviction that lead to a drunk driving arrest because the officer lacked probable cause the way it was lacking to arrest Erin. I hope she gets her day in court and I hope she receives justice. No matter which way it goes she did not deserve to be jerked with full force and body slammed to the ground.

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  64. Don't underestimate the jury who has every right to judge both the law and the facts. If I were sitting on the jury I'd find her not guilty because of the way this was handled by overzealous cops. This video will make a jury angry and there won't be a cop or a family member sitting in judgment. It will be real people who aren't of the "privileged class."

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  65. I know quite a few officers and I've heard some of them complain about their profession not getting enough respect. Well after watching this I can say that I see why. Whether justified or not there is no excuse for handling a 110 pound woman this way. None whatsoever. If a 250+lb man can't extract a 110 pound woman from a car who is doing nothing more than trying to make a case for herself then he should turn in his badge. With all the police abuse out there in the country I don't think they can expect much respect in return.

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    1. the officer had a legal right to order her out of the vehicle and check her for weapons. How many chances should he have given her to comply. 20? 100? at what point does the officer finally have to decide to take action? and contrary to your statement, he was able to extract her. She was resiting a lawful order and he finally, after multiple - I repeat MULTIPLE requests, he took action. what would you have done?

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    2. I sure as hell wouldn't have body slammed her and yanked her out with such force that her arm is injured. That shows she did not resist. Before he yanked her out she was trying to identify herself with SS# and drivers license # and say she had done nothing wrong. He was so out of line, but in the end it won't matter what you or I think. It will only matter what a jury of her peers (not yours) thinks, and I'm predicting you won't like the outcome.

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    3. I agree, doesnt matter what we think. and as far as her civil case goes, I dont think it is as clear cut as most people think. we shall see. But with all due respect, you avoided the question. what would you have done to get her out of the car? - assuming he has the legal right to remove her and check for weapons and she continually refuses? Keeping in mind that the situation appears to have escalated, seeing that your partner just drew down on the front passengers and is ordering them not to move. Do you do nothing? Do you hope and pray nothing goes extremely sideways while you plead with her to exit the car. When do you take action and what action do you take? Its not an easy question to answer - even more difficult when you have to decide in a matter of seconds.

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  66. For those who are interested in seeing the police report that will be forthcoming as well as the audio "statement" of the driver who changed his testimony after the threat of arrest was not hanging over his head.

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  67. Anon commenter from 5:28A.M. to 5:31A.M.:
    After reading your posts and revisiting the video, I can see your points. They are well made. I didn't think Officer #2 seemed aggressive or over-reaching in his actions...seemed like normal neutral cop assisting in a search.

    Officer #1 however seemed a little overzealous. As you stated, and I agree, nobody can tell what was going through his head at the time. Was he genuinely worried that she had a weapon? I can't say. It's obvious that she either had a little more than a "couple drinks" or was under the influence of some type of drug with the way she was rambling in the back of his car. Regardless of that, it's a police officers job to remain calm in the face of rapidly changing circumstances. If he can't do that, he should get out and find a job as a bouncer or something similar where he can bang a few heads without a badge to protect him from retaliation.

    Personally, I see it from both sides and think a jury could deadlock on the issue because both contributed to the outcome. The young lady should have stepped out of the car as she was lawfully ordered to and Officer #1 could have used more restraint and a calmer attitude during and after the takedown.

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  68. So Meade expects her to have a trial prepared in 30 days and then he schedules it right before a contested judicial election? That's not going to look good for him. Voters don't like it when judges unlevel the playing field/

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  69. Here's what juries do:
    Jury finds cop used excessive force
    By Guillermo Contreras : January 31, 2013 : Updated: January 31, 2013 10:05pm

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    A federal jury has awarded a local woman $6,700 after finding that a police officer used excessive force against her during a traffic stop in 2009.

    The verdict, while small, is significant because it partly diverges from the Police Department's internal investigation that fully cleared 12-year officers Felipe Ramos and James Schneider for the Dec. 10, 2009, incident.

    While jurors cleared Schneider and Ramos of the false arrest of Gwendolyn Evans, 53, the jury found only Ramos used excessive force.

    They awarded Evans $200 in actual damages for a sprained neck and shoulder, and scrapes and contusions, plus $6,500 in punitive damages.

    “The significance is not only did jurors agree that (Ramos) used excessive force, but they also ... found that he did it with malice,” said Evans' lawyer, Susan Watson.

    Evans “is satisfied with it,” Watson added. “Her main purpose was not monetary. She's always said she didn't believe police officers should be allowed to treat people this way.”

    Evans sued in 2010, alleging Ramos slammed her head against the pavement after Ramos and Schneider pulled her out of her vehicle at a convenience store on Pinn Road and Old Highway 90 about 11:30 p.m.

    The city wasn't sued, but could end up covering part of the bill.

    Mark Ralls, who defended both officers at the trial this week before Senior U.S. District Judge Harry Hudspeth, said “we haven't made a decision” on whether to appeal. He added that despite the verdict, he believes Ramos is “an excellent officer.”

    City Attorney Michael Bernard said the city's insurance likely will cover the $200 against Ramos, but details are being sorted out on who will pay the punitive damages.

    Despite the verdict, some details still are contested.

    Ramos and Schneider claim they tried to pull Evans over for a number of traffic violations, but that she kept driving for about a mile before pulling into the convenience store.

    They also allege their patrol car's lights and siren were on as they followed Evans, and saw her reach into her waistband as they approached her vehicle.

    Ramos claimed he struck Evans as she resisted arrest.

    Evans claimed she was returning to the convenience store because she got the wrong change and never saw the police car behind her.

    She claims the officers dragged her out of her car before she could put it in park and never was given an opportunity to comply with orders.

    She was never cited for the alleged traffic violations, but was charged with resisting arrest, which Ralls said still is pending.

    No drugs or weapons were found on Evans or in her car.

    gcontreras@express-news.net

    Twitter: @gmaninfedland

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  70. I agree, no juror is going to believe a huge officer can't get a small female out of a car without ripping her rotator cuff. The video encounter will buy sympathy for the woman. And yes a jury can judge the LAW and the facts. If this goes to trial, it will be another black eye for LPD and police in general.

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  71. It's interesting to note that the woman was never given a breathalyzer nor was she charged with public intoxication. She asked for a ride home because she knew she had been drinking and was trying to get there safely. It's not reasonable for anyone to expect someone under the influence of alcohol to act completely rational. The officer could have easily de-escalated the situation, but instead he let his ego get in the way. He was showing off in front of his buddies. And for crying out loud why did half the police force have to show up?

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  74. For those who are quick to throw stones at Erin, let me say this. She was not fumbling around in her purse when the officer came to the car. She insists that her hands were folded on her lap. Also, she was not drunk and has a bartender witness who will testify that she did, in fact, only have two drinks. The bartender knew her and the fact that she was in her 30's so didn't ask for an ID. This is not her fault. Also, Erin is not interested in the money. If she is awarded anything, she will likely give it away as she is a minimalist. She has already given furniture away to people who needed it more than she. She has given three cars to people who did not have one, and she'd give the shirt off her back if you needed it. Here is the type of person she is. She has expressed concern on how this is affecting Officer Webb. She feels badly for him. His bad judgment put both of them in a public situation that she didn't ask for. She was minding her own business. She did the responsible thing by asking for a ride. She had been out hiking all day, stopped to have a couple drinks with friends and said it was one of the best days she had in a long time (until she was stopped). She was in the middle of pleading her case to the officer when he yanked her out of the car the way he did. She would rather not be in this position and she said she holds no hard feelings against any of the officers and would sit down with them at a dinner table. Erin really is a non-violent, non-judgmental, loving person. She isn't sitting home playing the role of a victim. She's merely defending herself against charges that she believes are unjust. I respect her for that.

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    1. If you look at the the video again, pay attention to the audio (i know its poor quality) especially what the officer on the right is saying right before erin is pulled out. That officer pulls his gun out and tells his partner to "watch her hands" Erin can be seen shifting side to side in her seat and hunching over. She even turns her back to the first officer to where he cant see her hands or see what see is doing. The second officer then yells, presumably to erin "keep you hands out of your shirt"! This suggests that she was fumbling around with something. Maybe putting the container down her pants...I dont know, I wasnt there. Also, before the first officer pulls her out, you can see him place his hand on erins arm, or some part of her body two or three times before he finally yanks her out. Maybe he was trying to coax her out of the vehicle or trying to get her to stop moving around or hiding her hands. Either way, this part of the video does not suggest she was sitting with her hands folded pleading her case. Just an observation and something to think about...once again, hard to decide what was really going on without being there

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  75. Erin has been charged with a misdemeanor. She has not been convicted, so comments labeling her as a "criminal" will not be published, because they are defamatory at this point in the process.

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  76. Sorry but I have trouble getting worked up over this woman's alleged crimes when there are LPD officers going unpunished for threatening to kill Tim Vanderplats. The reputation of police officers in this town are so tarnished I doubt you could get a jury who believed a cop over a defendant. The public trust won't be restored until those who threatened to kill someone get the same treatment that an average citizen would. Give this woman the same special treatment cops would have gotten and be done with it. Stop wasting taxpayers money.

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  77. Watch the video a second time and keep your eyes on Officer #2 (passenger side) just before and during the attempt to get her out of the car. He sees her put her hands down the front of her pants, verbalizes for her to show her hands, pulls his gun. If Officer #1 didn't react by pulling her from the car, he would be an idiot. There is absolutely no other justification necessary for her to be removed from the car. You can also hear Officer #2 ask her multiple times what she put down her pants. Stop ignoring the facts to make the story fit in the hole you like.

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    1. There is no way anyone could come to these conclusions without hearing the entire conversation. The audio was muffled. A transcription is forthcoming.

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  78. I need to stop reading about Police Brutality. It is driving me nuts. It is also bringing up old memories. I am feeling the same feelings that I did back years ago. I guess when you get violated physically like I did, you just can't let it go. I probably will never get over it. GRRRR.....My situation was much worse than "poor" Erin's. I am sorry for her. But, I never said a word to my Officer abuser other than, "did you have a bad day with your wife today? please don't talk to me like this." I was only crying out loud & it was getting on his nerves. Then he decided to tell me to shut my f#$%ing mouth or he was going arrest me. And he did....pulled me out of a toddler chair outside my daughter's back door on the pavement. The rest was awful......yes, I understand how it really feels. Especially when you called to protect yourself from a drunk child. I really do wish I would have did something about this. Not only medical help...I had to seek counseling over this. Charge was resisting arrest & disorderly conduct.......Check out my record....no charges at the end. DROPPED !! They knew I was going forward. Harrington changed his mind with a agreement. It was so funny. My attorney said: no one has ever got any charges dropped. Hmmmm....I do know what happened folks. I am not anonymous b/c I am not afraid to speak the truth. Good luck Tim & Erin....I just hope it does not mentally effect you like it did me. A freaking 260 lb. officer took me down & I weighed between 110- 115 lbs.Still not over it !!! JUST OVER CRYING...I did not resist & he hurt me worse. My best friend was threatened also if he moved out of his chair. He has still not got over it. He said that he has never seen a man hurt a woman like that. Good night everyone....I got it off my chest again....So much more to this story....you would not believe it. LPD Officer's on night shift need to stop bullying citizens. And it seems to be the same ones over & over. It is not just 2 of them...it is more than that. Most all them stick together. Be careful out there......I don't leave my house anymore.


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    1. Karla, your story is very credible and we're sorry the officer treated you that way. We'll be in contact soon as your story deserves to be told.

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  79. We are not the mainstream media. We print news with views, which means we admit our biases up front. We chose to write and print this story, because we believe Erin Gardner was a victim of excessive force. We are not recommending her for sainthood; however, we don't believe she deserved to suffer a torn rotator cuff either, especially since she didn't ask for any of this.

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  81. As a side note, before writing this story the author showed the video to ten people (without making any prior comments) to get their initial reactions. All ten people reacted in horror at the way Erin was ripped out of the car. Some of the verbal reactions are not printable. All thought the officer used excessive force. This is likely how a jury will see it too.

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  82. No matter what happens in Meade's courtroom, LPD has already lost in the court of public opinion.

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