A FEDERAL JURY FINDS BALTIMORE CITY POLICE OFFICER DUANE WILLIAMS LIABLE FOR $100,000 FOR ASSAULTING A 14 YEAR OLD CHILD WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

The Plaintiff, Latoya Coner, on behalf of her minor son (“S.M.”), sued Former Baltimore City Police Officers Duane Earl Williams, Jr., and others, for an unprovoked attack at a Baltimore City Hospital.

On January 14, 2015, Baltimore City Police Officers escorted a handcuffed S.M., 14 years old at the time, to Sinai Hospital, in Baltimore for a mental health evaluation, based on allegations that he had assaulted a teacher, and comporting himself in an aggressive & unruly manner. S.M., was allegedly combative, and also disrespectful to hospital personnel. The jury found that Former Officer Williams struck S.M. 10 to 15 times, resulting in him loosing hearing in his left ear, while S.M. was handcuffed to a hospital bed. The jury found that after slapping the teen more than a dozen of times, Former Officer Williams informed hospital personnel that they would not have any more trouble from S.M.

Former Officer Williams was subsequently indicted and convicted on September 26, 2016 of Assault in the Second Degree and Misconduct in Office. He received a suspended 10-year sentence and is on probation until September 26, 2019.

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Former Officer Williams beating left the teen with permanent damage to his ear resulting in him having wear a hearing aid.  On July 11, 2019, the Jury returned a verdict of $100,000. This amount will increase once attorneys’ A. Dwight Pettit and Latoya Francis-Williams, files their Motion for Attorneys Fees and cost.

Former Officer Williams is attempting to atone for the beating of S.M., by becoming a motivational and inspirational speaker to at-risk youth. According to his website, “he is a mentor, activist and coach who has dedicated himself to the youth with empowering them spiritually and naturally. Duane is very passionate about healthy development for the youth to prepare them for their future and equipping them with the tools to succeed”.

This verdict should serve as a continued reminder that no one is above the law.  Baltimore Juries are no longer allowing Police Officers who violate its citizens rights behavior to go unchecked. On August 9, 2019, another former Baltimore City Police Officer, Arthur Williams, was sentenced to 9 months in prison, for the unprovoked assault on an African american male.

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CONVICTED FORMER PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY, MARYLAND POLICE OFFICER KEITH ALLEN WASHINGTON MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION AFFIRMED BY THE MARYLAND COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS

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Keith Allen Washington 

 

Breaking News 

 

Today, a Maryland Court of Special Appeals (“COSP”), affirmed the conviction of Former Police Officer Keith Washington (the “Defendant”), who, according to court records, was convicted for the senseless murder of Marlo Furniture worker Brandon Clark and for shooting Clark’s co-worker, Robert White. Defendant Washington purchased a bed from Marlo Furniture which was delivered to his Maryland residence in December, 2006. The bed rails, however, were defective and either Defendant or Mrs. spouse requested replacements. Marlo agreed to do so and arrangements were made to deliver the new bed rails on January 24, 2007, between 2:30 and 5:30 pm. Defendant took off from work to be at home when the delivery arrived.

When the bed rails were not delivered during the specified time frame, defendant called Marlo to inquire about the delivery. After several phone calls, defendant was notified that the rails would be arriving around 7:30 p.m. At about that time, Brandon Clark (the “decedent”) and Mr. White, two furniture deliverymen, arrived at the Defendant’s residence with the bed rails. Defendant met Clark at the door. Unbeknownst to Clark or White, defendant had a handgun tucked into his waistband. White and the decedent, accompanied by defendant, carried the bed rails to the master bedroom on the second floor. A few minutes later, defendant shot both the decedent and White. White was severely injured and Clark died nine days later from complications related to his wounds. Defendant was found guilty of murdering Clark because of an unprovoked argument. Defendant, also refused to call for medical assistance after shooting Clark and White. The Defendant argued at trial that he was being physically accosted by Clark and White and that he shot them in self-defense. At trial, the State presented evidence that, on the night of the murder, the Defendant had no bruises or fractures, which is interesting, because the Defendant argued that Clark and White almost beat him to death. The Defendant’s wife also testified at trial that she witnessed Clark and White beating her husband.

The jury did not find credible the Defendant’s version of events and on February 13, 2008, they convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, among others. In this appeal, the Court found that Defendant’s attorney represented his interest and that there was no basis for an argument of ineffective assistance of counsel.

 

The Defendant is presently serving 45 years in prison for the murder.

ROY OLIVER FOUND GUILTY OF THE MURDER OF YOUNG JORDAN EDWARDS

**BREAKING NEWS ****

IMAGE: Jordan Edwards

A Dallas County jury convicted former officer Roy Oliver of Murdering Young Jordan Edwards. According to various media sources, the verdict came in after two days of deliberations.

 

 

Baltimore County Police Officer Harry Ray Persuhn, III Harasses Young African American Male at Kohl’s Department Store

The video has gone viral, 779,000 views, as of this writing. John Holt, along with his fiancee, were shopping in a Baltimore County Kohl’s Department Store, when Officer Persuhn (according to The Maven”), stopped him a checked for warrants. Officer Persuhn indicated that Mr. Holt did not show up for court, therefore, he had the right, according to Persuhn to detain him. Mr. Holt, who was visibly upset, informed the Officer that he was being harassed.

JOHN HOLT

The docket reveals that Mr. Holt did in fact have a Warrant issued on March 3, 2018, but, that it had been recalled on March 8, 2018. He is scheduled for trial on July 19, 2018 and is  represented by the Office of The Public Defender. A rudimentary review of Court records would have revealed this same information to Officer Persuhn. But, even with the aforementioned information readily available to him, Officer Persuhn, in his bravado, decided to antagonize and harass Mr. Holt, who, according to our constitution, is presume innocent until found guilty by a Court of Law.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961), includes “two separate clauses, the first protecting the basic right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and the second requiring that warrants be particular and supported by probable cause.” Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 584 (1980). It reads as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

“The touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness[.]” United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 118 (2001). With this in mind, the Supreme Court has consistently affirmed that searches and seizures “conducted outside the judicial process,” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357 (1967), i.e., without “a judicial warrant ․ issued by a neutral magistrate after finding probable cause,” United Stats v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 701 (1983), are both “presumptively unreasonable,” Payton, 445 U.S. at 586, or “per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment[.]” Katz, 389 U.S. at 357.2.

A police officer without a warrant may arrest a person if the police officer has probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed or attempted and the person has committed or attempted to commit the felony whether or not in the presence or within the view of the police officer.

It is without question, that the Officer did not believe that Mr. Holt had committed a felony, only that he had a purported warrant for his arrest, yet he detained him unreasonably; Mr. Holt was clearly not free to leave.

Officer Harry Ray Persuhn, according to the Baltimore Sun, has been a Police Officer since April 15, 2002 and earns $76,963.00, per year, not including overtime.

HARRY RAY

 

This is another example of a Police Officer using his authority to harass an African American male, but like so many others before him;

THE EYE OF JUSTICE IS WATCHING. 

 

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Photo credit: Adapted by SupaButterfly from jsawkins / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) and Eric Chan / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Baltimore County Jury awards $37 Million Dollars to family of slain Korryn Gaines

A Baltimore County jury found Corporal Royce Ruby and the Baltimore County Police Department, liable for the death of Korryn and for the injuries her son, Kodi, suffered when he was shot. The jury of six women found that Ruby’s shooting of Korryn was not reasonable and therefore violated her civil rights. Interestingly, the jury reached the verdict in three hours. It is anticipated that the County will appeal the decision. The Maryland Local Government Tort Claims Act (“MLGTCA”) would limit the families recovery against the county to $400,000.00; however, because Ruby was sued in his individual capacity and because the jury awarded punitive damages, which in Maryland, has an element of malice, the family is not capped at $400,000 for Ruby’s conduct and may be able to come after him for the entire amount of the judgment.  It is likely, however, that the County will file a post-trial motion to reduce the judgment, prior to an appeal.

In speaking with reporters, Korryn’s mother stated:

“This win is for all of my sisters in the movement who have lost their children to police violence,” she said. “Some of them have never received justice, either criminally or civil. I just want to tell them that this win is for them.”

May Korryn Gaines continue to Rest in Peace