- Created on 30 August 2013
An outrageous case of alleged police misconduct left a Lincoln, Neb., man in need of help.
Supporters have set up an account for Leroy Duffie, a double-leg amputee, in the wake of the lawsuit he filed Aug. 22 against the City of Lincoln.
In the suit, obtained by The Huffington Post, Duffie, an African-American, accuses Lincoln police officers of manhandling and humiliating him at gunpoint without cause during a Sept. 3, 2011, traffic stop.
Disability Rights Nebraska told HuffPost the incident resulted in Duffie, 58, "desperately" requiring trauma therapy and treatment for broken teeth that prevent him from eating properly. He also suffered a torn rotator cuff that makes it difficult for him to walk with his cane.
"He can't afford the help," his attorney, Bruce Mason of Disability Rights Nebraska, said.
According to the suit, Duffie was pulled over for no apparent reason, and police with guns drawn demanded that he exit the van with his hands up. Duffie explained that his two prosthetic legs prevented him from raising his arms and getting out at the same time.
Police insisted, and Duffie tumbled out of the captain's seat, losing his legs while smashing his head and shoulder against the pavement. Cops jammed their knees into his back and handcuffed him as he cried out in pain. Without reasonable suspicion, the suit contends, police searched his van while other officers teased him, allegedly calling him a "cripple crawling around."
After 30 minutes and a search that yielded nothing, police finally uncuffed Duffie and let him crawl under his van to retrieve his legs, according to court documents.
When reached for comment by HuffPost, a police spokeswoman said the department could not discuss pending litigation.
Duffie asserts that police used excessive force and violated his civil rights. He also seeks damages for medical expenses and diminished earning capacity.
After the encounter with police, Duffie immediately seemed troubled and closed the Rock of Salvation Ministries church where he served as pastor, his wife, Stacey, told HuffPost. He still has nightmares about the incident. "He wakes up in the middle of the night and screams and shouts in the middle of his sleep, 'Stop, stop, I'm disabled,'" she said.
According to Susan Miller Schoen, a case advocate with Disability Rights Nebraska, Duffie previously worked as an auto detailer.
Duffie and his wife, who uses a wheelchair, are both on disability and have two children at home, the advocate explained. Duffie lost one leg below the knee and one above the knee at age 19 when he pulled over to change a tire and got hit by a drunk driver, Schoen said.
Those wanting to help Duffie can make out a check to The Leroy Duffie Donation Account and mail it to The Leroy Duffie Donation Account, Wells Fargo East Park Branch, 6600 O Street, Lincoln, Neb., 68510. Or you can submit the check in person at any Wells Fargo branch around the country.
(Hat tip, Courthouse News)
- Created on 29 August 2013
ROCHESTER, N.Y.– An officer struggling to subdue a woman at the scene of a family dispute acted properly when he hit her in the head and wrestled her to the ground, despite her repeatedly telling officers she was pregnant, the police chief said.
The chaotic Tuesday evening arrest of 21-year-old Brenda Hardaway and her 16-year-old brother was videotaped and posted on YouTube. WHAM-TV identified the person who took the video as the son of Hardaway's neighbor.
The first 45 seconds of the five-minute video show Officer Lucas Krull pinning Hardaway face-down on the hood of a car while trying to cuff her hands behind her back. She resists, repeatedly telling him and other officers that she's pregnant. Krull then punches Hardaway in the back of the head and tosses her to the ground before other officers help him cuff her and others take her brother into custody.
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard told local media outlets that the officers showed "tremendous restraint" while subduing the teen and Hardaway, whose family said she's six months pregnant. Krull used a distraction technique that officers are taught to employ to disorient someone who's resisting arrest, Sheppard said.
"While the video may cause concern relative to the officer's tactics, I stress that it is important that the incident be viewed in its totality and to withhold judgment until all the facts are known, including those parts of the event that are not shown on the video," he said.
Sheppard said Hardaway had pointed pepper spray at officers checking out a report of a fight involving several family members. That part of the encounter wasn't shown on the video, he said.
Hardaway was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where she was treated and released. Krull was treated for injuries to his nose and elbow.
Hardaway pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that included assault and resisting arrest. She was being held Thursday in Monroe County Jail on $7,500 bail. A message was left for her public defender.
Her brother was released after being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Sheppard said the officers' actions during the arrest were being reviewed, as are all uses of force by city police officers. The review will determine whether the officers complied with the department's training and policy, the chief said.
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- Created on 28 August 2013
Three men entered a New Jersey store, only to find that it was closed. So what did they do? They did a little shopping and left payment for their purchases on the counter, reports CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey.
The incident happened Sunday night at a Buddy Small Lots. The managers of the new location received a call from police that immediately sent them into panic mode.
"We got a phone call at the police department saying there had been a break in at the store," Marci Lederman of Buddy's Small Lots said.
When Lederman and police officers arrived at the location, they noted that nothing in the store seemed out of place, so they checked the security camera — and quickly discovered how events unfolded.
Read more from News 12 New Jersey:
They do a little shopping, calling out to a clerk who never shows up. After doing a little mental math, the guys decide to pay for sunglasses and batteries, even though no one's around to force them.
At around 7 on a Sunday, the shopping mall is still...
- Created on 26 August 2013
Right as the country commemorates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, people are flocking to social media to condemn a South Carolina restaurant for its allegedly racist actions.
According to CBS affiliate WCSC-TV, Michael Brown and 24 of his family and friends were at Wild Wing Cafe celebrating his cousin's final day in Charleston, S.C., last month when the group was suddenly told to leave.
The reason? The shift manager allegedly told Brown that a white customer felt "threatened" by his party. When one of Brown's companions started filming the exchange, the shift manager is said to have told the group to leave.