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  • AFTERNOON UPDATE *** BREAKING NEWS *** * DON’T TURN A BLIND EYE!

    Posted on July 11th, 2018 Becky 16 comments

    WHO WATCHES THE POLICE?

         The Lancaster Police are out of control (see the shocking development under this post). I have been saying that on this site for years. And I have not said that lightly. No one in Lancaster watches the police – and that – combined with their huge power has led to incredible abuses within the department.
         It is LNP’s – the media’s – job to watch them and hold them accountable and LNP has not done that for years. They have yet to write an article about the second shocking video that came within days of the first, viral video of Sean Williams being tased.
         I will come back to all of this tomorrow and if DA Stedman does not announce an investigation into Detective Nickel and his assault of an incapacitated subject and his attempted intimidation of a witness, I will contact the State Attorney General’s Office and state and national media.
    — — — —  In other news, Dwain London Jr. and Patrick Baker both had their preliminary hearings this afternoon for the May 23 arsons at city hall and a city owned vehicle. According to their dockets, all charges for both were waived over to Common Pleas Court where their formal arraignments are both scheduled for August 10th. The two remain in prison on 2 million cash bail.

    **  Also from the article:
     Reached for comment, Brian Mildenburg observes:
         If it’s true that those messages were left by a member of the Lancaster police, then the public should be aware that the Lancaster police are engaging in inappropriate, offensive, homophobic and misogynistic conduct towards individuals who are simply protesting the excessive force used upon Sean Williams when he was tased for no reason while peacefully seated on the curb.

    *    From the below article:
    Stuart-Verner also reached out to Sean Williams’ lawyer Brian Mildenberg. Mildenberg has lodged an official complaint with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

    PA AG CONTACTED!

    (Click here)

    *************************

    SECOND VIDEO!

    *    Eliza Booth of Lancaster Stands Up mentioned other examples of what she called “unchecked aggression” by police, including another captured in an online video posted recently in which a city police officer swears and strikes the head of a black man lying prone and handcuffed on the sidewalk and yells at the person filming the incident, “Back off!”

    From today’s LNP article by Tim Stuhldreher linked to below.
    This is the first time LNP has reported on the second video. Why? Multiple people mentioned the second video at last night’s city council meeting. And it was detective Nathan Nickel and he also threatened to arrest the woman who was filming!
    —   LNP finally includes a link to the second video and it is here. The full video of last night’s city council meeting can be viewed here.
    *
    ******

    IT WAS WRONG!

         The below excellent comment is posted on Lancaster Online under today’s story, ““At City Council, residents call for changes in wake of stun gun incident,” (click here).
    *

     

     

    16 responses to “AFTERNOON UPDATE *** BREAKING NEWS *** * DON’T TURN A BLIND EYE!”

    1. I agree with this LNP poster – articulate and well said. But, even for those who say the tazing was NOT wrong, the lack of medical attention afterwards is unjustifiable on any level, and the indifference to any possible health issues or complications afterwards is unprofessional, proves police animus, and indicates a fundamental lack of training, policy, and understanding on the part of police, public officials, and the LNP posters of the dangers of that particular weapon. Anyone who is tazed and then in custody should IMMEDIATELY be transported to a hospital to be checked out. Period.

    2. Except he WAS a threat the way he was sitting and his legs were NOT straight. The WHOLE time they were still bent despite the officer repeatedly telling him to straighten them. They want him to straighten his legs and cross them so that he is no longer a threat. You can be a threat without a weapon and, furthermore, there was no way for the officer to know for sure that Williams did not have a concealed weapon. The position they wanted him in takes away his ability to make any sudden upward motion in the form of an attack (particularly with a hidden weapon, such as a knife) or flight. If a suspect isn’t complying, especially after repeated warnings, the officer has no choice but to assume it is for a reason and that the suspect poses a danger to the officer or others in the area.

      Notice the officer only acted when Williams moved his legs back under him. Whether or not Williams was confused, the officer had to act on what information he had at the time. A noncompliant suspect, previously reported as appearing threatening (bat or not) was moving himself into a position that would have allowed him to launch an attack or flee. If I were in the vicinity, I would be glad that the officer didn’t wait to see whether the suspect was confused or about to attack someone. Once the suspect stands he is an immediate threat to those around him. I once sat in on a presentation concerning reaction times…..it was terrifying and made me feel so much more vulnerable in public. Even with a weapon, you are literally never safe, even at distances that would seriously surprise you.

      The threat of serious injury to Williams also greatly increases once he is in a standing position. It takes a lot less force to keep someone down than it does to put someone down. This was the safest option for not only the officer and people in the vicinity, but also for Williams.

      As far as medical attention afterwards, I haven’t seen anywhere that it has been reported that Williams didn’t receive any kind of evaluation or attention except for his own self-serving statements. The majority of people need no medical attention whatsoever after being tasered and if Williams didn’t exhibit any issues or report any significant medical issues, there was absolutely no need to take him to a hospital.

    3. I believe his lawsuit says he received no medical attention. And the whole thing about his legs is absurd. He was receiving conflicting orders from two different officers. It was WRONG to tase him!

    4. Exactly what I said….his own self-serving allegations in a lawsuit to collect money. And the orders were not conflicting. After initially being told to put his legs “straight out” five times, Williams bends his legs further and brings them closer to the curb and farther under him. Then, once told again to repeatedly move them straight out, he moves them slightly out in front of him, but still not straight. The officer then tells him again straight out and the other officer says very clearly “put your legs straight out and cross them.” Those are not conflicting orders and given his prior encounters with law enforcement, they were asking him to take a position I am relatively sure he was familiar with because it is pretty standard. If he was confused, the officers had given him multiple opportunities and time to voice that confusion. And, as I said before, since he had moved into a more threatening position after being noncompliant the whole time, the officer no longer had the leisure of waiting to find out if he was confused or about to launch an attack/escape.

    5. Oh, just stop! Over 3 million people watched it on Facebook because it was WRONG!

    6. Over 3 million people watched it because it is controversial. Not everyone who watched the video thinks the officer’s conduct was wrong,clearly. Such a statement is absurd and patently false.

    7. Some really nicely stated arguments from anonymous in support of the officer.

      The huge interest in this story is absolutely due to the controversy. Two reasonable people can watch that video and come away with wildly differing opinions. If the officer was egregiously in the wrong, he would have been disciplined and this story would have already gone away.

      My personal views tend to be supportive of the officer, but I do acknowledge that others with different life experiences have an opposing view, and I don’t think they are unreasonable.

      That’s why (although not a fan of City Government, but I suppose no-one on LIPnews is) I don’t believe the Mayor’s response was in the wrong. It is reasonable to determine the officer acted lawfully, within pre-established police guidelines and recognize that there can be room for improvement in policies and training is a reasonable conclusion/action.

      It will be interesting to see how they work with the LCPD and citizens to revise any policies.

      Calling those who are supportive of police “racist bootlickers” and inferring that those critical of this interaction “have no respect for the police and just desire chaos” isn’t going to help at all.

    8. (It looks like I can put in my “name” once again).

      Many people are commenting that this guy was a career criminal and got what he deserved. He offered zero resistance to the officers.

      Which brings me to something that is still troubling me a lot. What if this guy was diabled and all that shouting at him only confused him more? What if he were deaf or hard of hearing? There is no way that the cop can assess the mental state of an individual in nanoseconds. And people are pissed because the guy was offering zero resistance and still got whacked in the back.

    9. Resistance is, by actual definition, failure to comply, which is exactly what this guy was doing. And Williams was not deaf or in any other way disabled…something that was not ascertained or assumed within nanoseconds, but through a much lengthier encounter that was not fully caught on camera. Williams had plenty of time and was given multiple opportunities to comply or express/indicate some reason why he could not or was struggling to comply.

      What if the cop had not acted and Williams would have launched himself at someone nearby, maybe with a concealed blade, or grabbed someone as leverage in an attempt to avoid going to jail? Then the officer would have been in trouble for failing to maintain control and react instantly to a movement that put Williams in a position that would allow him to make such a move.

    10. There were four police officers there – four! Williams was complying! In an early piece and I forget where they had a woman witness who said:

      “He [Officer Bernot] was just itching to use his taser.”

    11. If he was “itching to use his taser,” I would think he would have used it the first time Williams moved his legs in the opposite direction he was told instead of jumping further back and frantically telling him once again to straighten his legs. To me, it appears that the officer is actually reluctant to use the taser and only does so when Williams moves both of his legs directly under his body, which would put him into the perfect position to launch himself upwards.

    12. Absolute nonsense. No one was “frantic.” Williams was sitting on the curb following instructions. I am done!

    13. I see the bootlickers (anonymous) found their way to your site . They’re trying so hard to help save the crooked city police lol. How about you (anonymous) leave the lip regulars alone and comment on why celebrities, exposing police fb pages, gm america would have a problem with the cops action also lol. They cant all possibly be lip regulars. You came barking that bs on the wrong site.

    14. The Police in this town are out of control. I for one have been harassed, and tazed (3 times in a row). I will admit sure I have a criminal history. I assure you nothing violent or drugs or anything that would perceive me as a threat. I am however a pretty big guy but I sure as heck am not gonna take on 4-5 cops let alone 1 coming into my home over a noise violation. I got woke up because of a friend playing loud music and (I was passed out from having a few cocktails) woke to 4 cops screaming at me for ID. I was bewildered and confused asked them why they were in my home. They demanded my ID and stand. My girlfriend tried to get my ID for me and they made me pull it out of my pocket instead. I tried to comply and 1st zap I looked at the officer like why?? They proceeded to nail me 2 more times. I didn’t see EMS or anything that night and went straight to the holding cell. If that can happen to myself this could really happen to anyone in this town. I have a nice set of scars on my chest and stomach now..

    15. Ohwellist,

      Wow! That was a completely uncalled for and juvenile attack. You don’t know me, so I will forgive you for name calling and making the unfounded judgment that I am a “bootlicker”. I can assure you, I lick nobody’s boots and am in no way obsequious. I stated before that this is a controversial issue, but stand by my view of it. I am sorry that you apparently offended by the open and free flow of thoughts and opinions that do not conform with yours. I stated my own opinion with facts from the video, a view from both sides (taking into consideration both possible confusion by the suspect and the duty/perspective of the officer) and reasoning. I acknowledged that it is a controversial issue and that people have come down on both sides, not just people here. I do, however suspect most people are reacting and forming their opinions from an emotional and one-sided position. The video can appear disturbing until you really start to analyze it and consider what the officer was thinking, what his experience is and the many duties an officer has, not only to the suspect, but to himself, his family and other people in the area. I’m not sure what is so offensive about me sharing my point of view, but it would have been nice if you could have engaged with me in a effective and persuasive way instead of an attack. I thought Becky and her followers argue for a more neutral reporting and journalistic approach…a more critical way of looking at things without just accepting whatever you are told to believe. Apparently not…it appears you are just the opposite side of the coin…..

    16. Give it a rest, Anonymous! Blah, blah, blah…. It was WRONG!

      These strong emotions came from videos of unacceptable behavior by some of Lancaster City’s police officers, as well as the knowledge that Officer Bernot would not be fired, and had he been, he would likely have been reinstated through arbitration.
      They are right; it is plainly disheartening to know that we can see something that we all know is wrong, and to know that the person who committed that wrong will not be punished. Not because of a desire for punishment, but because of the message that we can still be wronged with impunity.
      If an incident can be caught on video, be clearly wrong, and still not result in disciplinary action, then what purpose do body cameras serve?
      What, indeed, would be the purpose of a Community Review Board, if they could review an incident and find clear evidence of wrongdoing, and yet nothing would happen?
      If these are my city’s finest, then I must expect more of them than that. There are some that would cast this view as anti-police, and they’re welcome to do so, but I have a strong belief that care and investment is shown through high expectations.

      Councilman Ismail Smith-Wade-El

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