Police Brutality or Stupidity?

Back on July 4th a citizen sent me a dash cam video from the Hardee County Sheriff’s Department. The video was from Feb 2018. Video Below.

If you watch the video it does seem a little disturbing. So I agreed to look into it. I requested reports from all deputies involved including an audio file from Deputy Cruz. I read the reports, listened to the audio and watched the video numerous times. I also asked the public for more information.

At first it appears that the Deputy overreacted and pushed the suspect in the throat, then deployed his taser. What we don’t have is the audio from that exact moment. According to the report from Deputy Laflam the suspect approached him aggressively and stated “You want some too?”. If you watch the video it really doesn’t look like the suspect is being aggressive. But again, without the audio it’s hard to say and I personally can’t make a judgement call on that.

Now before anyone makes any judgements lets talk about why the Deputies were called. On 2/10/2018 a call was made for a suspicious white male, bleeding and dirty yelling at kids on Chamberlain Blvd.

After reading the last sentence in the paragraph above I have to question why he was there in the first place, then of course why is he bleeding and dirty. Needless to say that was the first red flag. But lets keep looking.

After the suspect was hit with the taser Deputy Cruz then came in and tried to apprehend the suspect. After watching the video you can see that the suspect was not cooperating when they tried to handcuff him. He kept pulling his arms to his sides which lead to Deputy Cruz began hitting the suspect in the rib cage to get the suspect to release his arms. According to Deputy Cruz’s statement the suspect was yelling that he was going to kill them. I listened to the audio file numerous times but wasn’t able to hear that exact comment. I did however hear the suspect say “Shoot Jena”, “Shoot me” and a few “fuck you’s”. Deputy Cruz also made a few statements that I believe were inappropriate like “I’ll punch your teeth out”, but then he has been fired since this incident. There were also a lot of things the suspect said that made no sense and some things could not be understood due to so many people talking at once.

Now for all the facts. I’ll start by listing the reports/statements from all the Deputies.

Incident Report #201800003450 Case#302018001636

Narrative – Deputy LaFlam

Statement – Deputy LaFlam

Statement – LaFlam – Supplement

Statement – Deputy David Cruz

Statement – Deputy Jennifer Soria

Audio from Deputy David Cruz -Body Mic

Reading a lot of comments on the video on Facebook, everyone is claiming Police Brutality and Excessive Force. Even I questioned it but those who know me know I will also research before I state my opinion.

So, you have the facts above. In those facts it’s stated that the suspect kicked a residents door open causing the door jam to break and assaulted the resident (Narrative – Deputy LaFlam). This was after he was already in Custody.

I spoke to the suspect and also a friend that sent me the video. The suspect neglected to tell me a few very important things. Things that would change the whole outlook of this incident. Remember when I asked the public for more information on this incident? Multiple people responded and the stories were almost identical. Now, knowing his mental state at the time of the incident I can understand all the actions. This is what they said.

“It’s Noah Yoder. Him in a few of his friends we’re going down peace River on canoes or similar type boats, smoking weed and eating large amounts of shrooms. Well they got a section of the river that was behind the “Quarters“ and for some reason he freaked out, jumped out of the boat and ran up the bank and ended up in the neighborhood. Disoriented and freaking out he ran up to the first house he saw and started beating on the door freaking out the inhabitants inside. He somehow gained entry, don’t know if maybe they open the door or he forced his way in and ran back into one of the rooms hiding in a corner, scaring the crap out of the people that lived there. They called the police. At some point either they forced him out or something like that and he ended up in the street. There was mention of him having a knife and the officers were aware of his erratic and dangerous behavior. I’m assuming the information they were given by the family whose house he invaded plus knowing his history they weren’t taking any chances.”

So did he threaten the deputies? Did he make the comment “I’ll kill you?” After reading the reports and listening to the partial audio and knowing his mental state, he probably did.

A lot of people come to me for help and I always try to do what I can. But please, if you fuck up, suck it up and deal with it. Don’t bring me bullshit because I WILL find the truth and you will read about it.

Moral of the story, Don’t do drugs! If you do drugs, don’t blame others for your actions.

~Wau