"Out-of-Control" Cop Sued, Along with His Enablers, in Troubled Pennsylvania Town

When last we peeked in on the serene town of Colwyn, Pennsylvania, cops were tasing each other, the police department was being raided by county agents, and the mayor was, perhaps understandably, declaring a state of emergency. Now, the town features again because of a federal lawsuit filed — again, understandably — against a police officer who featured prominently in my last post, as well as several Colwyn officials.

Officer Trevor Parham was at the center of the May post because of allegations that he'd tased 17-year-old Da’Qwan Jackson while the teenager was handcuffed and confined in a holding cell. The lawsuit, however, raises new and interesting tales of woe.

According to the Delaware County Daily Times:

The lawsuit paints Trevor Parham as an out-of-control cop who wrongly arrested and persistently harassed a 64-year-old borough man and then had four officers who reported the alleged misuse of power either fired or disciplined.

Also named as defendants are the Borough of Colwyn, Police Chief Wendell Reed, Council President Tonette Pray and Sherri Bedford, administrative assistant for the borough.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of five plaintiffs - Colwyn resident Maurice J. Clark, Sr., former Colwyn Police Officers Kevin E. Banks Sr., Bryant K. Sterling, Clinton Craddock and Colwyn Police Lt. Wesley Seitz, seeks undisclosed monetary damages, attorney fees and other costs. The civil action cites violations of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the 4th and 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and charges of assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

The lawsuit also claims Bedford and Reed illegally collected workers compensation benefits while working for Colwyn.

The specific allegations in the lawsuit show what we might want to call a certain tell-tale pattern to Parham's behavior.

In the lawsuit, Clark claims Parham repeatedly harassed him and on July 19 arrested him after he complained to Bedford about his behavior.

“If you got to say something about me, then say it to my face,” Parham allegedly said to Clark, who was sitting in his truck outside of borough hall after speaking to Bedford. “Get out of the (expletive) truck, you’re under arrest.”

Parham allegedly put Clark in a jail cell and handcuffed him to a metal chair, according to court documents.

“Do you want to fight me, do you want to fight me?” Parham allegedly said to Clark, as he pulled out his Taser and pressed its trigger, according to the lawsuit.

Clark spent about 90 minutes in custody before he was cited for disorderly conduct and released. He later was found to be not guilty of the charge.

Parham allegedly continued to harass Clark. On Nov. 8, he allegedly instructed Colwyn cops to arrest Clark anytime they saw him.

“If you see that old ass (expletive) lock him up, and I’ll take care of the paperwork,” the lawsuit alleges.

Banks, Sterling and Craddock were present when Parham gave the order to arrest Clark, the lawsuit claims. It also states when the three officers made it known that they would not participate in the arrest of Clark, they were fired or disciplined.

I should say that I'm pleased there were officers who told Parham to take a hike when he instructed them to engage in wildly abusive violations of a Clark's civil right. Then again, oh yeah, they were fired for their trouble.

The Philadelphia Inquirer adds that the suit also claims that Council President Tonette Pray "vowed that whoever leaked accounts of the Taser episode to reporters would be fired." The leaker turned out to be whistle-blower Lt. Wesley Seitz, the officer who reported the Da’Qwan Jackson matter to the mayor. He was, in fact, canned and is a plaintiff in this case.

Colwyn, Pennsylvania. Yet another town to add to the "no-go" list when planning your travels.

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  • R C Dean||

    The tree of liberty on their seal is looking a little parched, is it not?

  • ||

    Yeah. Let's see what Tony has to say about that.

    Hey, Tony.

    Does anything serve to refresh the tree of liberty quite so effectively as the putrid blood of a progressive slavemaker?

  • ||

    Actually, that looks remarkably like depictions of the Charter Oak.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Left out of this, of course, is who actually did the firing of the whistleblowers.

  • Paul.||

    Also named as defendants are the Borough of Colwyn, Police Chief Wendell Reed, Council President Tonette Pray and Sherri Bedford, administrative assistant for the borough.

    Can we not assume that the person firing cops who weren't towing the lion could possibly, maybe, just on the outside chance... be the Chief of Police?

  • John||

    You missed this bit

    Council President Tonette Pray and Sherri Bedford, administrative assistant for the borough defendants in the suit

    The lawsuit also states that Bedford tried to stop an internal investigation into Parham’s alleged illegal actions because she worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the fictitious name, “Sheryl Roberts,” while collecting workers compensation from the Philadelphia Housing Authority under a different name.

  • R C Dean||

    I honestly LOLed at that.

    Priceless. Just priceless.

  • Paul.||

    This town is small. If there were corruption here, we'd know about it!

  • R C Dean||

    And once we know about it, we will dip our beaks, you can be sure of that!

  • Paul.||

    Again, small fucking towns, the most corrupt shitholes. Because everyone knows everyone else.

    "Oh, that's just ol' deputy Parham, you pay him no nevermind."

  • db||

    None of youse outsiders knows what goes on in our little town so youse just shut up about OK?

  • Paul.||

    Don't pay me no nevermind.

  • ||

    As opposed to large cities, where... there's absolutely no difference, just a little more impersonal.

  • Dylan||

    Not this argument again.

  • ||

    Oh, it's been had already?

  • Paul.||

    Been done had.

    Just to sum up: Everyone agreed that corruption is everywhere.

    But opinion is divided.

    I say corruption is worse in small towns because you don't have civic groups and major newspapers bucking for pulizers looking over everyone's shoulders. Everyone else says it isn't.

  • ||

    I'm on your side, Paul.

  • Paul.||

    Ha! Opinion is even more divided.

    Paul and Episiarch say it is.

    Everyone else says it isn't.

    Paul and Episiarch win.

  • ||

    Can we hold an honorable duel to settle the matter? And can I be Aaron Burr?

  • Paul.||

    If I can be Andrew Jackson, you're on.

  • ||

    Sure. But in that case, I'm John Matrix from 'Commando'. Still feelin' lucky?

  • Paul.||

    . But in that case, I'm John Matrix from 'Commando'. Still feelin' lucky?

    Yes. I'll put a man who actually fought, survived and won more duels than I've had cups of coffee against the governor of California.

  • ||

    But I have at my disposal a minigun with infinite ammo. INFINITE AMMO.

  • Mensan||

    You watched that on AMC today, didn't you?

  • John Thacker||

    Well, either way, the only way we know about Colwyn is because somebody, which includes four officers and the mayor, tried to stop it.

    Just setting things up for a depressing ending, of course, but Colwyn's probably not worse than other places, just somewhere someone tried to stop it.

  • ||

    In cities, you can get lost in the crowd. I've actually found that I've had less interaction with cops and politicians while living in New York City and Seattle than I have had outside the city.

  • ||

    I've had the opposite experience, but yeah, I see how that makes sense. It's hard to Altair your way through Bumfuck, Pennsylvania, unlike somewhere like NYC.

  • ||

    That's because big-city cops care less about the dismembered hookers you leave in dumpsters, dude.

  • ||

    That's one benefit, yes.

  • ||

    officer sounds like he should be fired, and possibly imprisoned.

    but note, as per the article, the FOUR officers who turned him in

    contrary to the blue wall of silence meme (a hold over from pre serpico days), and despite the LEGION of examples of cops being turned in by fellow officers, from the drug using SPD officer turned in by his coworkers to the KCSO jail cell beating ofc. who was turned in by a detective (and subsequently criminally indicted for assault IV DV) time and time again, we see examples of good cops turning in bad cops

    something that will constantly get glossed over, but constantly happens. ofc's ROUTINELY turn over bad officers. obviously, in some agencies (like mine) those actions have better results than in this agency, which is apparently part of an entire city govt. that is corrupt to the core, as even suggests rises to level of council president

    good cops turn in bad cops

    happens ALL the time. in the pages of reason, even

  • Paul.||

    Doesn't it seem shitty that FOUR officers turned him in, and the FOUR officers were the ones that got fired?

    Doesn't put too positive a spin on your chances of stopping corruption, no?

    If there were twenty corrupt cops in a major police departnment, does that suggest that it would take over 80 police officers to get anyone to notice?

    I'm not real comfortable with the ratios here.

  • ||

    again, there have been countless examples (here) of good cops turning in bad cops and not having this shitstorm of fuckupedness happen

    a substantial %age of cops that are disciplined are disciplined because they are turned in by other cops, who of course are not punished, AS IN THIS CASE

    you can continue to ignore that reality

    again, just in my area, Don Griffee Paul Schene and the drug using SPD cop who killed himself after being discovered were ALL turned in by fellow cops . that's just my area and in none of those cases were whistleblowers disciplined

    this story is clearly a completely corrupt township - PD, city hall, the whole 9 yards. if you want to choose to believe it's REPRESENTATIVE, feel free. i'll look at data and personal experience that shows otherwise

  • R C Dean||

    And we see examples where the good cops get turfed out.

    And other examples where there apparently isn't a good cop to be found.

    Sure, they exist. Their prevalance, however, is harder to determine.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Given that they were FIRED it seems the blue wall is indeed right there and it kills people on contact.

  • ||

    Can you imagine how much of this shit goes on in big-city departments? Detroit? Los Angeles? New York? Phoenix?

  • Paul.||

    I see what you did there.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Saying "No, I won't help you break the law" then getting fired /= "Turning in the bad cop"

    If they hadn't been fired would this unlawful order ever been reported? Doubtful.

  • Coeus||

    If my employer tells me to break the law, does that absolve me from breaking it? Or is that just for cops?

  • Agammamon||

    *I should say that I'm please there were officers who told Parham to take a hike . . .

    I'm not. While its nice to see they didn't participate in a crime, they certainly abbrogated their duty when they turned a blind eye to a fellow officer committing one.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  • ||

    Can it be with something absurdly powerful, like the Tzar Bomba at full yield?

  • BakedPenguin||

    The lawsuit paints Trevor Parham as an out-of-control cop who wrongly arrested and persistently harassed a 64-year-old borough man and then had four officers who reported the alleged misuse of power either fired or disciplined.

    "He gets results, you stupid chief!"

  • John||

    Parham was black. I wonder if the old guy was white. If so, there should be federal civil rights charges on this. Fat chance I know.

  • ||

    Oh, if he was harassing someone like that, there could easily be civil rights charges that have nothing to do with skin color.

  • ||

    It's only racist if you're white, or if you've got a name like Zimmerman.

  • John Thacker||

    The mayor is a white Republican. The whistleblowing cops are white. The victim was black. The cops accused of violence and harassment are both white and black. The city council members defending the accused cops are Democrats; Pray is definitely black.

    This was mentioned in the linked last time we discussed this.

    It's, um, racial progress of a sort, I guess? Cops of all races joined together to Tase the kid, and the Tasering of the poor black kid is defended by black Democrats. Meanwhile, white people are complaining and whisteblowing about it.

  • John||

    Investigators say Parham sent a text message to a fellow officer saying he had "locked up a kid" and he "got Tased in the cell LOL."

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/st.....id=8665745

    Son that is an extra two years on your sentence for being a retard.

  • ||

    Don't question the infallibility of the Badged Avenger, you libertard.

  • R C Dean||

    Sentence?

    My, aren't we feeling optimistical today.

  • Paul.||

    Yeah, remember how everone felt on the eve of the healthcare law being struck down?

  • ||

    similar to how in the rodney king case some of their instant messages got used against them in the aftermath (think the "gorillas in the mist")

  • AlgerHiss||

    Colwyn’s website:

    http://colwynborough.com/

  • ||

    A complete, separate government for a 0.3-square-mile area? Ouch.

  • Paul.||

    When I read the home page, I almost saw it as Welcome to Collinwood.

  • ||

    The leaker turned out to be whistle-blower Lt. Wesley Seitz, the officer who reported the Da’Qwan Jackson matter to the mayor. He was, in fact, canned and is a plaintiff in this case.

    He is the 99%!

  • Coeus||

    LAPD uses funky stats for officer involved shootings. Anyone surprised?

  • PandyGandi||

    Sometimes dude you jsut have to get on down with it. Wow. man

    www.Global-Privacy.tk

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