AKRON, OH – The statement from Akron police regarding their armed violent attack on U.S. veteran Patrick King reads like a crime confession in preparation for a federal investigation and indictments of cops for conspiring to violate his civil rights under the “color of law.”
Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan would do well to study the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of Cleveland’s police department and see why calls for a federal investigation of the corrupt police department he oversees are justified and long overdue. If Chief of Police Ken Ball evaluates the acts committed by the cops who beat King as an administrative offense instead of as federal “color of law” violations of his civil rights the city will be engaged in a conspiracy.
Captain Dave Laughlin’s statement to reporters is clear that police did not articulate a reasonable suspicion of a violation of a local ordinance, state or federal law they could identify him as violating while walking along Para Avenue on Sunday, October 21st.
Laughlin affirmed that on scene cops used the “known drug area” excuse the U.S. Supreme Court rejected in Adams v. Williams 1972 that “an individual’s presence in a high crime area, standing alone, is not enough to support a particular suspicion of criminal activity.”
The police captain stated that on scene Akron cops claimed King “ingested a large amount of drugs” as another reason for their armed and violent interaction. Laughlin’s statement did not, however, identify the type of drugs King is alleged to have ingested or how on scene cops knew what he placed in his mouth was drugs.
Laughlin further affirms that on scene cops obstructed King’s 4th Amendment right to be free of unlawful government searches on the streets when they decided to seize him to conduct a search of the FBI and state of Ohio’s criminal records history databases. Akron’s prosecutors have previously prosecuted cops for NCIC and LEADS misuse under R.C. 2913.04(C) and (D).
It’s a 1st degree misdemeanor to use the NCIC and LEADS databases in ways that are not authorized by Ohio and federal laws. Ohio instructs police in section 4501:2-10-03(B)(d) of the administrative code that “the primary purpose for LEADS is the protection of the officer on the street.”
There’s no state or federal authorization to use either database to establish probable cause on the streets. The database on the streets is used in connection with traffic stops connected to probable cause that is independently established without a computer; and for criminal investigations. Officers on the street use it for their protection before they approach a motor vehicle stopped for another reason.
The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) 2000 Manual under the heading “Data and Probable Cause” instructs police not to use the information in the federal government’s databases to establish “probable cause.”
Congress through the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has warned the states that the criminal records history information on half the people whose names are stored in it is wrong. Governor John Kasich has ordered the Ohio Highway Patrol to demand that local police and prosecutors get the information in the LEADS databases made accurate.
Laughlin did not affirm if the on scene Akron cops who searched the NCIC and LEADS databases verified the warrant “hit” on King with the originating agency to learn if the information was accurate before they sought to initiate an arrest. The warrant was from Cleveland and the clerk of court’s office that uploaded the information was closed on Sunday when Akron cops “seized” King.
The NCIC 2000 Manual instructed the on scene Akron cops under the heading “Data and Probable Cause” that “an NCIC hit alone is not probable cause to arrest.”
Laughlin’s statement from the on scene cops is that King resisted all their unlawful violations of his 4th Amendment rights so they used to subdue him to arrest him.
In the Spenn Dibabii Facebook video of the Akron police officers’ violent attack on King, the female on scene cop is shown holding King’s arms while the male cop tazes him for not putting the arms she held behind his back.
Witnesses who recorded the video and watched the interaction are heard in the background shouting to the law enforcement officers they can’t do what they’re doing to King. They affirm Laughlin’s own public statement that cops had no probable cause reason to seize him. The witnesses said he was just walking on the sidewalk.
Witnesses are clearly heard pointing out what’s obvious to any viewer that the female cop holding King’s arms made it impossible for him to put his hands behind him to justify the male cop tazing him.
When backup Akron cops arrive, and a large male cop straddles King’s torso and starts pounding at his pinned-down and completely-surrounded body with both fists, he’s heard telling him to “stop resisting” and then “stop moving.”
“This is why people hate y’all,” a witness says. “This is why people run from the police.”
Laughlin’s statement did not explain how King could simply walk down the street minding his own business and end up being seized and searched by police without probable cause; and then end up with four criminal charges. Resisting arrest under a state statute; and misrepresenting identity, drug abuse and drug paraphernalia under three local ordinances.
Laughlin’s statement also omits why King is facing criminal charges instead of the violent and armed police officers who a video shows beating a man down because he exercised his 1st Amendment right to walk on a public street; and his 4th Amendment right to walk away from individuals masquerading as law enforcement officers who had no probable cause reason to question or seize him.
Rev. Gregory Harrison is the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Akron and a former member of the city’s police department. He said it’s past due for Akron’s police department to be criminally investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Harrison joined other Akron ministers to ask for a federal investigation of Akron cop Donald Schismenos’ withholding audio-recorded evidence that would have helped innocent people the city’s police arrested.
King appears to be one of the police department’s latest civil rights victims.