Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Local Paper "DA offered a Stern Rebuke" of CMPD

The Local fish wrapper is trying hard to stain CMPD officers with opinion commentary reported as news.  The spin should not surprise Charlotte's citizens who endure the never ending defund the police liberal agenda of the left and the Charlotte Observer as their propaganda tool.

But there it is again. The desperate effort to spin the news is just sad. 

While Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers face possible firings for their handling of the death of Harold Easter, they will not face criminal charges, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather announced Monday morning.

But Merriweather called Easter’s death “an abject failure” of police procedures. Easter died on Jan. 26, three days after his arrest and detainment in a police station.

Police Chief Johnny Jennings had recommended the firing of Officers Brentley Vinson, Michael Benfield, Michael Joseph and Shon Sheffield, and Sgt. Nicolas Vincent, in connection with Easter’s death.

New internal police review documents, released Friday by CMPD, show the officers involved saw Easter put drugs in his mouth. The records show the officers saw residue on Easter’s tongue and discussed how much of the substance he’d swallowed as he was arrested during a drug investigation just outside uptown Charlotte.

Inside a police substation, Easter had been strip-searched, shackled to the floor and left unattended when he suffered a seizure and cardiac issues, police and medical examiner records show.

In his review of the case, Merriweather said his office lacked the evidence to prove that the officers knew or should have known Easter had ingested cocaine and that their failure “amounted to criminal negligence.”

Merriweather offered a stern rebuke to how his office’s criminal justice partners handled Easter’s arrest and confinement.

In a lengthy letter to the SBI explaining his decision, Merriweather said that it was “wholly appropriate” to deem police actions on Jan. 23 an “abject failure of operating procedure and general standards of custodial care.”

Merriweather also said evidence in the case “suggests that the officers at least should have been aware of the real possibility that Mr. Easter had eaten contraband.” But to prove involuntary manslaughter, which Merriweather said was the most applicable charge, prosecutors would have to show that the officers’ failure to get Easter medical treatment, caused his death.

‘Indelible impression’

Merriweather said his office consulted three independent medical experts about the case.

None “would be able to testify to a degree of medical certainty that Mr. Easter would have lived after having ingested that amount of cocaine even if officers had called for medical attention at the time of the initial traffic stop,” the DA wrote.

While that erected an “insurmountable hurdle” in prosecuting a criminal case against the officers, Merriweather said, “it is important to note just how unmistakably grave the circumstances were surrounding Mr. Easter’s death.”

The district attorney said his most senior prosecutors, who brought “many years of experience in examining disturbing subject matter,” helped review the case.

“... The video image of Mr. Easter slowly beginning to perish, unattended, for over 15 minutes has left an indelible impression upon each of us,” Merriweather said.

Still angry

During a midday press conference in uptown Charlotte, Easter’s family again criticized police actions surrounding their loved one.

“Today’s decision does not bring my brother back,” his sister, Andrell Meckey, said. “I miss him every day but I’m still angry.”

“If he had been treated like a person with respect we wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “If they would have followed their policy ... we wouldn’t be here.”

Reforms sought

In a press conference Friday, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the case reveals that police reforms are needed.

“Through every part of what we do in this community, every action we take, I’m most proud that we can acknowledge when we need to do change,” Lyles said.

“I’m looking forward to the October release of our draft Community Safety Plan, because that plan not only deals with how do we address violence in this community, but it also addresses how we police this community as well.“

Several of the officers involved in the Easter case have been embroiled in controversy before.

In 2016, Vinson shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott during a confrontation with multiple officers outside Scott’s north Charlotte apartment, a shooting death that set off a wave of violent protests across parts of the city.

Merriweather’s predecessor, Andrew Murray, declined to press charges, saying Scott was armed and did not comply with multiple police orders to put down the weapon. The lawsuit filed by Scott’s family remains in federal court.

Joseph, then with the Huntersville police, was among the officers on hand in September 2017 when a 76-year-old evacuee from Hurricane Irma was fatally shot at a hospital after he pulled a gun. Again, Murray ruled that Joseph and the other Huntersville officer were justified in the killing of James Charles Cook of Florida.

CP's Take:

Easter was a career felon who was not stranger to law enforcement. People like Easter are routine, but sometimes the routine goes sideways. Given the amount of violence in Charloot this case is actually unusual. Given the level of in the open in plain sight drug dealing in CMPD's Metro Division Easter did not stand out as inherently stupid. But sadly he was.


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking a stern rebuke is in order for the DA's Office as well. They should do a little cleaning in their own house before calling out CMPD. The DA's catch and release policy for violent offenders has caused many more deaths and increased violent crime in the community. But they still refuse to take any accountability for their actions. That's the textbook definition of hypocrisy...

Anonymous said...

“If they would have followed their policy ... we wouldn’t be here.”
If your loved one wasn’t a drug dealer who ate cocaine, we wouldn’t be here. He’s so fucking dumb he ate cocaine in Mecklenburg! He turned probation into a self-imposed death sentence.

As for Spencer, let’s just be glad his playing of politics only reached the level of a public rebuke. Many politician DA’s would’ve been filing charges the day after they got the file from the SBI. Give him some credit.

Anonymous said...

Fentanyl laced coke is garbage he was selling garbage and it served him right he'd go that way. How many of the officers cited for termination are black? At least two. Maybe more?

Anonymous said...

Brent and Shon have been through the ringer, already. Its crazy that they didn't get out and went in for more and got knocked out. Need to learn when to cash in the chips and walk away. Brent probably has like 3 lawsuits that he is juggling.

Anonymous said...

I would nt let my dog wipe his ass with the Charloot Disturber! I told a delivery guy years ago if he tossed that waist of a good tree near my driveway I would charge him with littering. Cedar has inadvertently increased the Disturber's readership today by sharing the above article. But you must know your enemy like yourself.

Anonymous said...

It sucks that these guys got cited, but they had many opportunities to preserve their careers. How is a sergeant going to admit to being told by Easter that he swallowed drugs but didn’t call MEDIC cause he didn’t believe him? Or Benfield stoically telling the SBI that he routinely attempts to get detainees to make incriminating statements? Don’t give the department such obvious reasons to get rid of you! If you’re going to shit all over your own pension, at least go out like a boss and make Cecil work for it!

Anonymous said...

This year and last year I think IA was trying to set a record for cited officers.
We lost so many by firing rather than resignation. Anyone else see a pattern here?

Anonymous said...

You young guns just dont get it do you? You cannot POLICE in these times. As so many have previously stated, just find yourself a few good hidey holes and do only what you HAVE to do! If you are stopping vehicles and people, shaking them down, or any other pro-active work the dept. is going to consider you as being aggressive and you are exposing yourself to a whole plethora of possible violations that IA can pick thru. If you stay hidden and do nothing you're paycheck remains the same and you stay out of IA. My Nintendo Switch provides me with hours of endless entertainment and my paycheck and job is not in jeopardy. This is what our city's leadership has openly supported. If you dont get that by now then you deserve to be disciplined or cited. Just let the natives have at it, take the scenic route to the scene, knock out a 2 or 3 liner and then go back to youre hidey hole and wait. Pretty simple...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely! You get paid the same either way!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Mayor Lyle's press conference where she said she didn't agree with allowing officers who are cited for termination retire or resign in lieu of being terminated because that isn't punishment.

Anonymous said...

She's stupid because you can't appeal a resignation or retirement!

Anonymous said...

When you eat dope then you get what you get!

Anonymous said...

CMS needs to immediately start teaching the African Americans the following b/c it seems the IQ is not quite there:
1) Gun safety in 1st grade,
2) Swimming lessons.
3) Finally, don 't eat cocaine! It may kill ya.
4) Wear your mask you nasty fukking animals. I assume blacks make up well over 60% of the Bat Aids in Charloot.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone talked to any of them? What are they up to? Do you think theyll stay or find a way to stay in law enforcement?

Anonymous said...

^^ a man died due to someone’s negligence. It could’ve just been the sergeant or maybe all 5 but I’d say NO. Time to move on. If I was the chief at a neighboring department I’d pass.

Bleep bloop said...

Calling medic when dope is eaten isn't anything new. There are no changes needed that should have been done. Thanks asshats for the future protest we have to work cause you couldn't click your radio attatched to your body and ask for medic. Whether Easter lived or died calling ASAP would have made it %100 on him.

Anonymous said...

^^ and thanks to the losers that run our city.. they’ll just let it happen

Anonymous said...

7:11 and 9:00 are correct.

I had numerous occasion's through my career where someone swallowed cocaine or crack. There was never a question in my mind as to calling medic. There wasn't even a policy in effect when some of these incidents happened. I did it because the person swallowed crack!

Anonymous said...

To 8:42, it's called the taxpayer relief. Anyone stupid enough to eat crack cocaine is not long for this world, it's only a matter of how many he takes out with him.

Anonymous said...

What at 10:44pm said.

Bleep bloop said...

Well it's official. Days of cancelled and CEU deployments sent out.

Thanks asshats for not calling medic.

Anonymous said...

Even if he hadn't swallowed Cocaine, as soon as he saw the jail nurse he would have been refused at intake just on his statement alone, so he would have been going to the hospital anyway. We never needed a policy dictating when we should call for medic back in the day we just took care of it.

Anonymous said...

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