Friday, September 18, 2020

CMPD Chief Throws Metro Division Officers and their Sergeant Under the BLM Bus

From the local Antifa promoting television station:

The five Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers involved in the January in-custody death of Harold Easter were cited for termination this week following a Civil Service Board hearing, CMPD confirmed Friday morning.

Sgt. Nicolas Vincent, Officer Brentley Vinson, Officer Michael Benfield, Officer Michael Joseph and Officer Shon Sheffield had remained on administrative leave in the midst of an internal investigation.

Vinson is the same officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in 2016. At the time, a review board concluded he had followed proper procedure and prosecutors cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

A criminal investigation into the death of Easter remains open by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office.

CMPD internal investigation findings

On Thursday, an review board recommended the four officers and the one sergeant be cited for termination. CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings agreed with their decision and cited the five for termination.

"The sergeant and the officers had intimate knowledge that Mr. Easter had ingested and swallowed cocaine during the traffic stop," Jennings said Friday. "Additionally, the internal investigation determined Mr. Easter was left unattended inside an interview room for more than 20 minutes. At that time, he was clearly in need of medical attention."

CMPD video shows officers believed Easter swallowed cocaine and did not get him medical attention, despite the man repeatedly saying he was going to die, according to family attorney Alex Heroy.

"It is obvious that he needs immediate medical attention," Heroy told WCNC Charlotte earlier this year. "For a period of minutes, he was calling out for help, acknowledging the peril he is in and just repeating, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to die.' They just did nothing about it and they did nothing about it for a long, long time and then when they did try to give help, it was way too late."

Easter, 41, died on January 26. CMPD said police found cocaine and marijuana in his possession after the traffic stop, took him into custody and brought him to the police station on Beatties Ford Road.

Death records detail the events that followed.

"He reportedly exhibited (altered mental state) and subsequently fell out and exhibited seizure activity," a preliminary death summary by the medical examiner said. "He was admitted briefly with severe cardiac dysfunction. Reported (urine drug screening) positive for cocaine. Suspected crack cocaine was found in his vehicle. The clinical impression is intentional oral cocaine ingestion."

The medical examiner determined the probable cause of death to be cocaine toxicity and the manner of death to be accidental. The report shows a closed-circuit video captured all of it. Easter's family watched the video earlier this year.

"You can't see it in the video what he eat ate, but the officers remarked several times that he ate cocaine and then you can see him progressing from there," Heroy said.

Easter's sister Andrell Mackey said she was "really angry" when watching the video.

"You're supposed to protect and serve," she said. "How could you do this? What were you thinking? You didn't care about his health."

Jennings announced Friday the video would be released to the public on October 1. He described the video as "tough to watch."

"Had officers followed our policy, Mr. Easter may have been alive today," Jennings said Friday.

The SBI completed its independent investigation into Easter's in-custody death in June and handed over the full case file to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office. The case remains open under District Attorney Spencer Merriweather's review.

It’s especially hard to watch considering Harold Easter may not have died had the officers cared more about the sanctity of his life.

In the days after Easter's in-custody death, CMPD changed its policy. The department now requires officers to continually watch people in their custody, not just check on them every 15 minutes as was the case at the time of Easter's death.

CMPD requires officers to immediately call MEDIC when they believe a person has swallowed contraband.

"Words are important. What you say today could impact how the public responds when everything comes out. Is there anything else you want to say to prepare the public what this investigation will reveal?" we asked Chief Jennings in June.

"I think the public's expectation is that we are here to protect and serve and save lives when we can and we're held accountable for that, so whatever the investigation reveals and whatever comes out of that, that's something that we're going to have to take a hard look at and see what changes we need to make to policy, what things we need to do better to help serve and protect our people and that's a big deal to us. It's a big deal to the officers that are in the street. They don't ever want to see an incident where somebody's life is lost while they are in our care."

Harold Easter's family

Jennings called Harold Easter's family Friday morning to inform them of their decision.

"...too early to comment as we have not seen the termination paperwork," defense attorney George Laughrun, who represents Officer Vinson, said Friday, "It just happened yesterday evening."

Family attorney Alex Heroy said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department video will show officers believed Easter swallowed cocaine and did not get him medical attention. He said the video will also show Easter inside an interview room repeatedly saying he was going to die.

"It is obvious that he needs immediate medical attention," Heroy said. "For a period of minutes, he was calling out for help, acknowledging the peril he is in and just repeating, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to die,'" Heroy said. "They just did nothing about it and they did nothing about it for a long, long time and then when they did try to give help, it was way too late."

The medical examiner determined the probable cause of death to be cocaine toxicity and the manner of death to be accidental. The report shows a closed-circuit video captured all of it. Easter's family has since watched the video.

"You can't see it in the video what eat ate, but the officers remarked several times that he ate cocaine and then you can see him progressing from there," Heroy said.

Citing of the officers for termination

"As I've stated in the past, I don't have the authority to actually terminate or fire an officer," Jennings explained Friday. "I cite them. They have their due process to the Civil Service Board. If they choose to appeal, the Civil Service Board will make that final determination."

Jennings signed off Friday on the board's Thursday recommendation to cite those officers.

"It's a very difficult decision all the way around," Jennings said.

The independent chain of command review board is comprised of officers across several ranks and a civilian from the Community Relations Committee.

It was not immediately known if those five officers would file appeals.

Vinson is the officer who shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in 2016, prompting protests across Charlotte. A review board concluded he followed proper procedure and prosecutors cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

Sergeant Nicolas Vincent was hired on January 28, 2008, and was assigned to the Metro Division.

Officer Brentley Vinson was hired on July 21, 2014, and was assigned to the Metro Division.

Officer Michael Benfield was hired on October 27, 2014, and was assigned to the Metro Division.

Officer Michael Joseph was hired on May 21, 2018, and was assigned to the Metro Division.

Officer Shon Sheffield was hired on August 13, 2012, and was assigned to the Metro Division.

Cedar's Take:

Life Lesson No. 178 Never eat your own crack! It will kill you. Let's face it you can't fix stupid. Yes ICD is a bad thing, it should not had happened. But no part of this pandering to the extreme left will bring Harold Easter back or satisfy the Zombies in the streets.

Eating your drugs is just another stupid way of resisting arrest and people who resist when clearly the game is over are just stupid. Stop resisting arrest! 

Had they suspected he was actually going to die they could have just put him back on the street or transported him to the intake center. They didn't know what to do with him because there was no clear policy or chain of command to address their concerns or the situation. Yes the directives say "suspected" before transport to the intake center. Which leaves a lot of room for not doing what given the outcome would have been the correct thing to do. 

CMPD staff is down, as it is Metro is way understaffed, the last thing taxpayers need is 1/2 millions dollars in training flushed down the shitter and tossed under the bus but that is just what happened.

It just doesn't true up that five officers for whatever reason looked at Easter and said nah you're good bro knowing he was about to die.

So here's the why: Charlotte thugs know to "game" the system. The "I ate my drugs" or "I'm having a heat attack "will often get the suspect a free ride to CMC Main. Because these a usually low level offenders, CMPD doesn't have the staff to chain the suspect to a gurney, and as soon as CMC staff turn their back the perp is gone. 

This just another extension of Mecklenburg County's revolving door for criminals. Easy out, every time. 

And the idiots at jail support scream about bail reform, yet few pay bail most are out unsecured and many just go on to commit ever more violent crimes. 

Easter was a bad dude. 

Arrests in:


He was well known to LE in Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties. Years of probation and 1 year 7 month in state prison plus another 9 months on parole didn't convince Easter to change his life even at the age of 41.

Maybe he needed killing, as they say in the South? But that clearly wasn't the intent. Officers likely suspected he was lying and they were not about to let him get a free pass.

Yep they violated the rules, but ......


Anonymous said...

The Chief has failed us by bowing under the pressure of the BLM crowd. These officers are merely sacrificial lambs to appease the movement and for JJ to ensure that he does not jeopardize his position. Its highly doubtful that the officers left in this failing dept will be busting their asses to do any work.

Anonymous said...

Metro is down big time! they should pull some of the do nothing airport cops and transfer them out here.

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't surprise anyone because it doesn't surprise me. Those idiots running that department now have lost all concept of what it takes to do the job.
You follow the policy-something bad happens. They change the policy and fire officers that were following their policy.
If they KNEW that he swallowed cocaine, they should have gotten him to a hospital or at the least called Medic. If they were unsure, how many suspects scream "Im gonna die" just to get out of going to the pokey? From my experience, a bunch of them.

Anonymous said...

How does this help the CMPD? Those were good officers, too!

Fire some of the crap at the LEC before you even think about Metro.

Anonymous said...

Do yall think this could be won in the civil service board? If not, would yall say that they can obtain employment in another agency?

Anonymous said...

Are they gonna appeal it? If it were me I’d be looking for employment elsewhere. Glad I’m retired. That’s the ticket man... make it to retirement.

Anonymous said...

5:24. Civil service was very pro police when I was there, not sure now. If they are good officers they got a good shot

Anonymous said...

This whole termination is bullshit. The stop was Jan 23. It is now Sept 18, fucking 8 months later!!! If this was such a “travesty” and a blatant policy violation why were all 5 placed on desk duty with pay this long?? It’s political. All day long.

Amy’s Pussy said...

This department is a great as this pooooty tang

Anonymous said...

I’m sure they will find a way to blame Stepp for this also. SMH

Anonymous said...

Let the SGT. go but just give the rest of them time off. Policy is Policy people, someone complains about injury call Medic. Its called CYA. Yeah Harold was a piece of shit but now his family gets the last laugh with new cars and a house. If the Officers knew and told Vinson, Vinson should of known better. Dont fire the Officers. Plus know the law. Negligence can need to a criminal charge on the Officers. This is not a " Duty to Act" State. This means if the house is on fire you dont have to run inside to save people. But you better call the fire department because you have a radio. These are hard times folks, think CYA all the time.

Anonymous said...

Why...didnt they just resign this summer? Why wait for this to happen? Now, it looks like they were fired for doing something wrong.

The criminal charges are still open for investigation, which is horrible. If Cecil puts charges on them...we should all walk out in disgust.

Anonymous said...

Shon and Brent should have gotten out of that shithole a long time ago. That place has the highest rate of these types of events and the most problems. Get in and get out of there. They stayed too long and get burnt by JJ.

Anonymous said...

12:49, Probably cause their 2-faced LT told them, "oh, you don't have anything to worry about.. maybe you get a week off". Knowing full well they are gonna fire them. Why would they wait 8 months for something like this? If this was such a fireable offense why keep them on desk duty and string them along? They wanted to slam dunk these 5 so it looks like they are holding bad officers accountable to the woke mob. Never once did JJ say to the family... hey, listen. your boy was a POS and swallowed cocaine... what the hell did you think was gonna happen? or say, hey... your boy is a damn drug dealer. the black community is better off without him. Nah... He's a politician now, and guess what... anyone still working there is a politician too, you just don't know it yet. You can't speak your mind like you want. You can't walk up to Cecil and call him a 2-faced hypocrite liar. Everyone still there is not saying what they wanna say out of fear of retaliation or termination... so lets face it, you are all politicians. Trust me boys and girls, the money is better in the private sector anyway. BOA, Wells Fargo, CPI.... all hiring.

Anonymous said...

3:39 is right. So I follow this page but only spent about 4 months at CMPD. I never made it past FTO phase. Anyway it’s like they say some people are made to be the police and some are meant to call the police. I’m not ashamed to say it. When I resigned, a decision I made on my own, I was sad at first. It was my dream to be a cop but a few months later my dream job did come along. 6 years later I’m much happier.. Monday - Friday 9-5. Every weekend off and no bs. Still got lots of friends there and I tell them every day it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. Start polishing your resumes up now.

Anonymous said...

I think its funny to read the comments and listen to some of you. Westover CRU is unappreciated?


This shit has been happening for 10 years+. That's the only way jobs open up is if there is some sort of fuck up or a hard working person quits. CMPD is a pile of lazy crap, so you can quit bitching and understand that you are not the first person to say something.

Tell that to the guys from 10 years ago that complained about the same thing that you are saying today. Nothing ever changes, just names on uniforms. This isnt even a department anymore, just a corporation.

Anonymous said...

We’re already down 600 officers. Just lost another 5 that won’t get reinstated. How many more can we lose before the hood rats know there’s only 5 working per division???

Anonymous said...

I am ready to leave CMPD. Until then show up, get a paycheck and go home. This place does not appreciate pro active work combatting crime (not “managing crime”). Everyone of us that works has a target on our backs. Don’t give it to them. Work under the radar until you can get OUT.

Anonymous said...

5:28. Your playing beat the clock. When you get dispatched to a call that might be the call where the decision you make pisses off the mob. Nevermind the damn check. Get out now! That call might be your last.

Anonymous said...

If I wanted to apply to a state or federal agency, could I have a leave of absense at CMPD in case I dont make it? I really want to apply but am afraid I won't pass or what would happen of I failed out, any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Remember when Ballyntne tried to succeed from the union? That should have told you every thing that you need to know about Charlotte politics. JJ up in here say "Come join the CMPD during a very exciting time in law enforcement" pshshshsh

Anonymous said...

We have a LE hating mayor crying over a drug dealer. How freaking sick is that? I know most of you guys out there on the street are sick of the BLM bs no matter what your skin color is we all know its BS. So yourself a favor tell your family to vote for Trump. Most of the Meck BOCC has been decided already but it Trump wins you're looking at an easy exit to greener pastures. Why? Because I promise you Trump is gonna expand the DOJ and HLS like crazy jobs jobs and more federal agency jobs to combat this crazy rise in crime.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about that time that Van Aken attacked that drug dealer in the interview room. He would be state penitentiary right now if he did that today. He should consider himself lucky to be out of here like that guy that couldn't pass PTO phase.

Anonymous said...

Where is Van Aken now?

Anonymous said...

Everybody is jumping on the "Liberal Bandwagon". They are just trying to out do Rochester.

Anonymous said...

Wasn’t this a better place to work when Stephens was chief?

Anonymous said...

Is our DA funded by George Soros too? Asking for a friend

Anonymous said...

Have you even once heard a Charlotte Democrat condemn violence or any or these mindless BLM protests? Anyone ever get a call from a Democrat CLTCC members saying thanks?

Anonymous said...

^^. I did. No, wait.. I didn’t.

Anonymous said...

JJ hows it feel to be the most reviled chief in cmpd’s history? and to do it in less than a couple months since ascending to the throne? i know u assholes come here and read this page. i hear you talking about it in the halls.

Anonymous said...

6:01pm you would only be allowed to do that if you were in the command staff and a person of color....maybe like Gerald Smith...

Anonymous said...

This is just a 40k job before taxes. Its not worth all this shit and to work with snakes.

Anonymous said...

Ok lets be honest. Those guys used terrible judgement and/or the just didn't care. And maybe it should be the sergeant alone that is terminated, but cops have to be able to use good judgement. Of course the whole defund the police movement is scary crazy. Most things, I agree with yall on, but this issue is a matter of a whole group of officers using poor judgement. Now don't get me wrong, it is ultimately the fault of the guy swallowing the drugs. But if they knew, they had a responsibility to seek medical help.

Who was that officer about 12 years ago from university that would adjust a narrative on a police report and help lower crime stats? Man, he was such a good liar, so I hope he's changed. It was a white guy that moved up the ranks like an Olympic gymnast on a jungle gym. Anyway, those type of actions are part of what allowed Charlotte to get so out of control. So if you see him, you should thank him personally for the shit hole Charlotte has become. Him and any of the other ass hat crime stat reducers from back in the day.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about how the officers and the Sgt can all be cited. Either the Sgt was in charge or he wasn't.

They changed the policy after this went down right? So we are responsible for following policies before they are made?

I guess we will know more when the video drops.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... the unedited version Cecil. Otherwise someone might have to release the unedited video of some on duty fellatio

Anonymous said...

The dept has already established a precedence. Get your dick sucked or getting bent over a desk while in uniform? ✔ A Non Issue. Next...
Doing your job by arresting repeat offenders who shove crack down their throat and then die? Bad... You get terminated. I think we are all starting to get the big picture here. Just go to work and have some sex. The dept will have your back for dipping your wick. For displaying these ideal leadership qualities there may even be a promotion in order! Let the criminals have at it because if you do your job then you will get hacked for something. Just gotta go dust off that BWC footage from the archives.
Got it!

Anonymous said...

Gots mine sucked last night by one of West Blvd’s finest hoes. Bet Cecil won’t be able to pin down who I am. Go ahead and check GPS... I dare you.

Anonymous said...

545, nigga shut up.

JJ is setting this agency on fire and the academy is empty.

Anonymous said...

We loose any more this week?

Anonymous said...

CMPD is sinking and JJ will go down with the ship. He isn't smart enough to know when the hole is too big to patch and when to abandon. He has taken sides and picked the wrong one. The troops know this and will let the "movement" have at it and wait it out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cedar, do a story on the average response times to 911 calls.

Anonymous said...

Aww. Too bad Cecil. DA said you ain’t got enough evidence to charge. Guess you’ll have to find someone else’s career to destroy. My 5 friends are already under the bus, guess you don’t get to drive over them now

Patrick said...

What is the policy violation for these officers?

What can you do if you disagree with what is being told to you? First of all, you can speak your mind and tell the command staff that you disagree and why. Do not fear retaliation. You have the right to disagree. Make your thoughts known to the Command Staff. This could be career suicide but you could sleep at night knowing you said your peace and stood up for your beliefs.

I can say I did. I retired(aged out at 55) as a patrol officer but I was happy because I spoke up when I disagreed.

Patrick said...

What are Aryan brothers saying about this (Holmes twins aka skinny and chubby one)?

Anonymous said...

^^^Chill Teenan

lol, still funny as hell, though.

Anonymous said...

CMPD doesnt have any solidarity. They dont even care that 5 of their guys got fire. Its just business as usual. Probably some rats trying to get those guys' jobs, too.

Anonymous said...

^^^ very true. Everyone is out for #1

Anonymous said...

What do you suggest we do...we have no leadership among officers...the FOP hasn’t made a statement about it...the FOP president is a freaking officer...of course he’s not going to speak out about can’t rally everyone on cedar posts, it’s the same 20 officers constantly posting about who they don’t like...only 10 officers go to the FOP meetings every month and half of them are there for a free rubber steak...if anyone has any real suggestions...throw em out there

Anonymous said...

They have free steak at the FOP?

Anonymous said...

^^ of course. Sammy picked them up at Harris Teeter

Anonymous said...

Lets see if the Media can start some riots in Charlotte this week. They keep pushing on the Officers not getting charged and that Trump may be visiting Charlotte on Thursday. Gives the zombies enough time to rally the dead and the useless.

Anonymous said...

and that’s how you know all these “protests” are BS. No one there is taking off of work to protest. We’re not seeing doctors, lawyers etc. you know people who actually contribute to our society. No. It’s a myriad of the dredges of our society. These people have nothing to lose so why not? That’s what separates these demonstrations from those of the 1960’s. The 20 year old grungy hipsters and guilty white suburban soccer moms know nothing of oppression so sit the hell down

Anonymous said...

Speaking of protests, what's the word on the pledge fund?