10 Deputies Suspended for Excessive Beating Caught on Video

Originally published on April 11, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Ten San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, including a sergeant and a detective, were placed on paid administrative leave Friday after a news helicopter captured video of them savagely beating a suspect who had surrendered. After reviewing the video, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon accused the deputies of using excessive force and suspended them pending an investigation into the incident. Although the sheriff admitted that the deputies involved in the initial pursuit had a history with the suspect, McMahon would not confirm whether the suspended deputies were familiar with him or not.

At 12:12 p.m. on Thursday, deputies arrived at Francis Pusok’s home in Apple Valley to serve a search warrant involving an identity theft investigation. According to sheriff’s department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman, Pusok was already sitting inside a car when the deputies approached his residence. Pusok fled in the vehicle prompting a near three-hour pursuit through the desert.

After Pusok abandoned his vehicle and ran into the desert, the sheriff’s department and California Highway Patrol deployed helicopters and off-road vehicles to continue pursuing him. A few minutes later, the deputies received a report that Pusok had stolen a horse from a group of people near Deep Creek Hot Springs. As the deputies tracked down Pusok and made contact with him around 3 p.m., Pusok fell off the stolen horse.

According to the sheriff’s department, deputies used a Taser on Pusok but it was rendered ineffective due to his loose clothing. But video shot from NBC4’s helicopter revealed Pusok surrendering to the deputies by lying facedown with his hands behind his back when one cop appears to repeatedly punch Pusok in the head. The other deputy kicked Pusok in the groin as he remained on the ground.

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Police Lieutenant Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Drug Conspiracy

Originally published on November 4, 2014, at NationofChange.org

Operating with full oversight of the Arkansas State Police evidence room, Lieutenant Sedrick Reed repeatedly stole large amounts of confiscated heroin and cocaine then sold the drugs to a known felon. As the FBI launched an investigation, agents caught video surveillance of Lieutenant Reed stealing narcotics and delivering them to a drug dealer’s home. After pleading guilty to a drug conspiracy charge, Reed has been sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison and asset forfeiture.

As the Arkansas State Police began to notice heroin and cocaine disappearing from their evidence vault, law enforcement officials notified the FBI and assisted in the investigation of Lieutenant Reed. After acquiring a confidential informant, the FBI arranged a sting to catch Reed in the act. On July 12, 2013, the FBI informant called Lamont Johnson and requested to purchase 9 ounces of cocaine.

Unaware the FBI had a court-authorized Title III wiretap on his phone, Johnson agreed to the deal then called Reed. After Johnson ordered 9 ounces of cocaine from Reed, video surveillance shows Reed entering the evidence room and removing a box of narcotics. Reed took the box into an adjoining room with scales and cut the evidence seal before returning the cocaine. An inspection of the evidence box later revealed over 26 ounces of cocaine had been stolen.

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Vice Detective Caught Obstructing Justice for French Prostitute

Originally published on October 20, 2014, at NationofChange.org

A former detective from the Dallas Police Department’s Vice Unit was convicted on three counts of obstruction of official proceedings and one count of obstruction of the due administration of justice for exchanging sex for protection with a French prostitute. Although the vice detective claimed he was simply protecting a confidential informant, the unidentified prostitute testified against him in court confirming she had traded sexual favors for sensitive information about the DPD Vice Unit’s investigations and prostitution raids.

In early 2009, the DPD Vice Unit raided an adult entertainment establishment in Texas. During that raid, vice detective Jose Luis Bedoy met a French prostitute working for that establishment. Bedoy assisted her later when she attempted to reclaim property seized during the raid. According to the prosecution, Bedoy targeted the prostitute because she was in the U.S. illegally and had no family in the area.

From 2009 to 2013, the French prostitute engaged in a sexual relationship with Bedoy and fondled him during massages in exchange for police protection and sensitive information about active vice investigations. During their encounters, Bedoy advised her to work at massage parlors that were not under investigation and taught her how to screen her clients to avoid arrest.

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Boston Bombing Suspect Allegedly Knew His Brother Participated in Triple Homicide

Originally published on October 13, 2014, at NationofChange.org

According to a recent motion to compel discovery, the attorneys for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have requested the production of evidence revealing Tsarnaev knew his older brother, Tamerlan, had participated in a 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, Massachusetts. Claiming the revelations could potentially harm the open homicide investigation, prosecutors have refused to provide the evidence to the defense.

Instead of defending Tsarnaev’s possible innocence, attorneys for the surviving Boston bombing suspect seek to establish Tamerlan’s radicalization and psychological dominance over his susceptible younger brother. By proving that Tsarnaev knew of Tamerlan’s involvement in the Waltham triple murder, the defense will be able to argue that Tamerlan used fear and intimidation to coerce his little brother into committing the Boston Marathon bombings.

On September 12, 2011, the bodies of three MMA fighters were found with their throats slashed in Waltham, Massachusetts. Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken had been murdered inside Mess’ apartment. Their bodies were covered in marijuana, and investigators discovered $5,000 in cash at the crime scene.

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7th Suspect Indicted for Border Patrol Agent’s Murder

Originally published on August 10, 2014, at NationofChange.org

The seventh man charged with the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tucson. Rosario Rafael Burboa-Alvarez has been accused of assembling the crew responsible for robbing drug smugglers and killing a federal agent. Two of the guns found at the crime scene were identified as weapons involved in the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious.

Already incarcerated in Tucson for immigration-related crimes and conducting surveillance on a target for drug robbers, Burboa-Alvarez now faces federal charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, robbery, and attempted robbery in connection with Agent Terry’s death. Although Burboa-Alvarez was not present during the shootout, he allegedly assembled the crew of armed thieves preying on marijuana smugglers along the border.

On the evening of December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agents William Castano, Gabriel Fragoza, Timothy Keller, and Brian Terry encountered a group of five suspected illegal immigrants in a rural area north of Nogales, Arizona. According to an FBI report, a gunfight ensued in which the federal agents switched from nonlethal to lethal rounds after the suspects opened fire with assault weapons. Agent Terry was killed in the shootout.

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Boston Bombing Co-conspirator Found Guilty

Originally published on July 24, 2014, at NationofChange.org

On the night of April 18, 2013, Dias Kadyrbayev asked UMass-Darthmouth sophomore Andrew Dwinells to enter the dorm room Dwinells shared with the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. After Dwinells agreed to let him in, Kadyrbayev searched the room for any incriminating evidence against his friend. He left the dorm room accompanied by Azamat Tazhayakov, Robel Phillipos, and a backpack containing Tsarnaev’s laptop, thumb drive, headphones, fireworks, Vaseline, a bag of marijuana, and an astray.

Earlier that day, photos of the Boston Bombing suspects had been released. While flippantly confronting Tsarnaev about seeing his face on the news, Kadyrbayev received this text from his friend: “Ifyu want yu can go to my room and take what’s there : ) but ight bro Salam aleikum.”

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FBI and DOJ Clear Agent of Executing Suspect During Interrogation

Originally published on March 28, 2014, at WeAreChange.org

On the evening of May 21, 2013, an FBI agent, 2 Massachusetts State Troopers, and a local Orlando police officer arrived at Ibragim Todashev’s apartment to interview him again. 8 hours later, Todashev was shot dead leaving law enforcement officials with the daunting task of keeping their stories straight.

They failed.

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