Texas Cops Subject Of Federal Police Brutality Suit

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A Houston-area family has filed a Federal lawsuit against three Harris County, Texas, officers after a subpoena of video footage from a 2011 ordeal revealed the cops used excessive force against the family following a routine traffic stop.

The September 2011 incident involved plaintiff David Scherz and four other family members, including his mother. Police pulled over Scherz for allegedly running a stop sign in front of his own home. The subpoenaed video begins with a compliant Scherz already in handcuffs and being placed on the ground. There’s no public evidence of how a routine stop so quickly escalated to such a degree that the suspect needed to be restrained.

But the actions of the police at the scene offer a self-explanatory narrative of everything that follows, once Scherz’s mother comes outside to find out what’s going on. One of the officers placed her in custody for “interference with public duties,” as backup began to arrive to help make sure everyone stayed on the ground.

In all, five family members were arrested and charged with something. And the charges against all five, including Scherz, were later dropped by the Harris County District Attorney’s office, which later confirmed that none of the charges — including the original traffic stop — was warranted.

At the 2:02 video mark, any doubt is erased that this incident offers some gray area for interpretation. Deputy Constable Jimmie Drummond, who now serves as a police captain in another county, is seen running up to Scherz, who had been handcuffed and lying prone on the ground for several minutes, and repeatedly kicking him in the ribs. Drummond, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall and not thin, later told a reporter he remembered only “kicking a dog, but not a person.”

Randall Kallinen, the attorney who filed the Federal suit, told The Houston Chronicle there’s no question the police acted far outside the scope of their training and turned a benign situation into an explosive one.

“He [Drummond] kicked him [Scherz] five times, broke his ribs, that’s definitely excessive force,” said Kallinen. “All of the experts I’ve talked to said there is no professional police maneuver to kick someone who is being held down, that’s not an acceptable tactic by any police department. And as cover-up charges, everyone was arrested at the scene and charged with a crime as a means to try to cover up this excess force case.”

In all, five people were arrested and jailed: Scherz, his father, his mother, his aunt and his sister, Elizabeth Scherz. One officer can be heard in subpoenaed audio from the incident targeting Elizabeth Scherz, saying “get her — she has a camera.” She was charged with felony assault of a police officer.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • independent thinker

    There seems to be a lot of these incidents occurring in Texas. But then there is a whole lot of Texas for these to occur in. Also, it is not a Texas problem for there have been similar cases in Kalifornia, Florida, New York, and other states recently as well.

  • eatsnopaste

    The officers who responded after the original 5 called for back-up should also be demoted and given at least a month off w/o pay for standing by and not stopping this. That is what allows this type of behavior to continue.

    • gswifty

      It’s clear that this problem, at least in Houston Texas, is a systemic one. Look how the big guy breaking ribs was promoted to captain. That’s a culture of corruption.

      • 5live5

        not only the kicks, did you notice the knee drop into the ribs later?

  • tenndoug911

    There seems that the police feel if you are not one of them you are the enemy and anyone that tries to keep watch over the performance of their duty is going to be charged with a crime as a means of intimidation.

  • captj@sea

    The next step in the march to Big Brother’s new Politically Correct States of America is obviously to pass a law against filming police actions. It will then be left to the Obamedia to give us the true (yeah, sure…) facts concerning any future such encounters.
    And, speaking of political correctness, the first time that phrase came into use (I think it was the late ’70’s or early ’80’s) it was just a sort of joke aimed at the hard-core, knee-jerk types who insisted on using all the newspeak terms for everything. Even as a joke, the phrase made me cringe. Now, it’s not a joke anymore – it’s almost become a requirement. Political correctness is something straight out of the Nazi playbook or Stalinist Russia. Is that really where we want to go?

    • The Snarf

      Close, capt., but PC is really just another form of censorship, the worst yet, because while the censorship of Naziism and Stalinism were fairly clear cut, and everyone knew what was verboten, PC is intentionally vague, and varies to fit the agenda of the day.

  • charliep

    Gross conduct by the police officers involved here. These dudes belong in prison for Barbaric action…Why has it taken so long for this to get in the courts (September 2011 to September 20130). No e excuse for what went on here. None at all>

    • jdn

      It will take even longer and chances are good there will be no punishment . They are after all above the law , it may not be written but one would have to be more than blind to not see the facts . They are protected by the Union , an army of lawyers and their fellow officers . The good cops will always remain silent and do nothing because it is a brotherhood with a definite us against the public mentality .

  • Phil LaDelphia

    These assholes have to come off duty at some part during the day. I know what I would do one at a time!

  • dan

    there has to be zero tolerance for police abuse and bullying…that means jail time…if they’re unsafe in regular prisons,then they should have one of their
    own ….maybe we could reopen Alcatraz..

  • rivahmitch

    It’s a case where gunfire should have erupted from all the surrounding homes taking out all of the gestapo and their backups. Does anyone seriously believe there will ever again be confidence in these thugs in the local communitythe=at experienced this or that anyone would ever call these thugs for help?.

    • 5live5

      rivah, we are our own protection. This just further proves that when seconds count, the police are just minutes away. the only time they are there BEFORE the crime is when they commit it!!

  • 5live5

    I see about 5 cops that need to lose their job and be brought up on charges of assault! Any HONEST judge could see that from the tape. The only problem I see is finding an HONEST judge in a county that allows this kind of brutality!

  • sotiredoflies13

    Why aren’t these brutal thugs in prison for their crimes! They should be held to a higher degree of accountability for their actions.

    • Vis Fac

      Professional courtesy cops don’t arrest other cops who have government backing. This is one reason they want us disarmed.

      If people would wise up and sure the perpetrators rather than the agency and instead of the city state or county fitting the bill have the individuals directly responsible be responsible for their OWN defense there would be a lot less of this occurring. It only takes a few times and word will spread.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

  • Euell

    These guys are trained in these types of situations. We don’t know what the guy in handcuffs did before the video starts but it escalated rapidly for what could only be what verbally transpired, there is no physical aggression by the Scherz’s. there is no excuses for what happened here and they officers involved in the altercation should lose there jobs, not be suspended, and face criminal assault charges. They are the ones that need to defuse the situation not escalate it.

  • Alan

    This kind of abuse is becoming more and more prevalent on an almost daily basis. Imagine what will happen when the gestapo of the fed. gov. ( FBI, DEA, ATF, HS, and others ) are unleashed on the general public. The fat slob shown kicking the defenceless man on the ground should be fired, subjected to the same treatment, and thrown in prison.

  • jaybird

    There should be civil suits filed against the police officers. They should fire that fat slob that kicked the guy on the ground, who is now a police captain in another county. I would be worried if he was the police captain in my county. Put it all in the open so they won’t get another job.

    • W Richard Lobell

      filing false police reports?—-in addition to assault/ false arrest GET CREATIVE

  • Karolyn

    It happens every day somewhere in this country. Just the other day I saw where a woman just was awarded $250,000 because the police threw her to the ground during a traffic stop even though she repeatedly told them she was pregnant. All she did was raise her arms, and they said she was threatening. If they keep it up, these municipalities are gonna go broke!

    • DalasKnight

      If they keep it up they are going to become the enemies of the people and no one will cooperate with investigations any more and may actually retaliate against them!

  • Joe C

    You see the hypocritical US gov’t talk about other countries when they make war on their own citizens. They do exactly the same to We The People. If there is any one who still believes we don’t live in a totalitarian country, I’ve got some beachfront property outside of Phoenix I want to sell them.

  • DalasKnight

    Every officer involved should be prosecuted, and if convicted, sentenced to at least a year in jail! They show the same frenzied gang mentality as gang bangers show, when several of them show up at an incident!!

  • Bil Huggins

    As a retired cop. I would have testified against all of them . The fat captain is guilty of a felony, committing an assault with a weapon likely to cause great bodily harm. The shoes. Broken ribs. The elements of the crime is all there.. 6 ft 5 inches and 350 #s kicking a person in handcuffs. Should have gotten 10 yrs in the slam!

  • Dumpthekoolaid

    Police sate? Naw…nothin’ to see here folks. The “above the law” mentality that America has decided to adopt is more dangerous than anything. Where cops can kick a hand-cuffed guys guts out, and then get promoted…and our president can perpetrate an administration wide cover-up in bengazi and get re-elected. Nobody is accountable anymore. America is doomed.

  • Michael Shreve

    I am a RETIRED police officer. I only WISH this were an EXCEPTIONAL incident, however, Police department have LONG preferred to hire officers with a high AGGRESSION index. This is EXTREMELY problematic, particularly MOB psychology takes over. FEDERAL agents are generally selected in much the same way.

  • Chris

    My Brother Isa retired Chief of Police;He said “,That a police officer should use only enough force necessary ,to enforce the law.’He also added ‘once a person is down on the ground,Hand cuffed ,a police officer may only use enough force to restrain that person from trying to resist “.All The Policemen that used “Excessive force”,should be Fired!!!

  • IBCAMN

    all cops are corrupt,pussies with a badge,cowards every one of them!there is no such thing as a good cop anymore!they are not peace officers any more,they are police officers!they are out to generate revenue for their county,thats all!they are only support for an event,and they dont do much for that!
    i lived in houston till my crazy ex girlfriend(girlfriend at the time)called the cops to tell them i had late parking tickets and where and when to find me!out of the blue i get stopped for nothing and accused of all these tickets!they go to tow my bike and take me away when i finally figure out what had happened!the cops would not believe that the tickets weren’t mine,until,my friends show up with what was really going on!my ol’ lady was a stripper and she always had my car(77′ vette)when she worked,always parked in front to make the entrance(no parking area+hydrant)to look good!my friends brought in her boss who promptly paid for it all and told me he would dock her pay till it was paid back!we had 100% proof of what was going on,but the cops still told me they would be watching me and i better be careful!wish i would of had a camera back then!i should have sued,but i just wanted out of there,it took 8 weeks to heal but i was no worse for wear after it all!cops never listen and are total azz holes!
    people,have a camera at all times,record any encounter with cops,after all they are all corrupt!!

  • Robert Bombardiere

    I have worked with everyone involved in this. They are not bad people! A temp. laps in judgment does not make you a bad person. Those of you saying “oh the dog the poor dog” REALLY???? Jimmy tapped the dog on the butt to get it to move off of the street. Oh yeah and prosecuting everyone involved is ridiculous. Prosecute for crimes committed not for just being present when something happens. The deputy who was holding the guy down at his legs did nothing wrong. HE WAS DOING HIS JOB!!!!!

    • Lucky Leisuresuit Larry

      I agree the dog nudge was just a ‘get back over to your home’ thing…not a kick. Funny that you didn’t mention Jimmy kicking the [expletive deleted] out of a kid being held down by two officers though. How is that not felony assault like the Elizabeth Scherz was charged with?

    • ptiderman

      If the other cops should not be prosecuted for simply being present, what gives them the right to arrest family members who did nothing more than trying to find out what was going on in front of their own house? And why were THEY arrested on trumped-up charges that were completely UNJUST? No, it’s obvious to me that the police around the entire country no longer perceive themselves as “public servants.” Now they see themselves as soldiers that are not bound by the laws they have pledged to uphold. They ALL lie to cover up their violations of citizens’ civil rights, and are not held accountable when citizens present clear evidence in court that a cop has violated their Constitutional rights! I think that the primary reason for this is that the highest elected official in the land, along with his entire administration and political party, think THEY are above the law and have NO RESPECT for the Constitution of the United States of America!