War on Cameras

Alabama Cop Roughs Up Disabled Woman for Taking Pictures at a High School Football Game


A disabled woman in Walker County, Alabama is suing the Walker County Sheriff's Office after one of its officers roughed her up for taking pictures at a high school football game. The officer's name is Lowell Adam Hadder, and the court filing indicates this is the fifth time he's been sued for a civil rights violation. 

According to the suit, Dudley Benson asked Kathy Sanford to photograph his grandson's last football game at Curry High School on Oct. 28, 2011, "because of Ms. Sanford's acumen in photography." (Curry is a public high school.) After the two took their seats, Sanford made her way to the sidelines and started snapping photos. That's where she first encountered Hadder:

Defendant Hadder noticed Ms. Sanford's picture taking and determined that she should be made to return to her seat in the stands.

Defendant Hadder approached and threatened Ms. Sanford that if she did not move off the sidelines, "you are going to jail".

At that point, Ms. Sanford left the sidelines and returned crying to the stands where Mr. Benson was located. 

Benson then confronted Hadder:

Although, Mr. Benson was at the time seventy-five (75) years of age and was recovering from shoulder surgery and broken ribs, he went to Defendant Hadder to determine what the problem was that had lead to Ms. Sanford being upset and asked why she was not allowed to take pictures.

Defendant Hadder became angry that Mr. Benson had questioned him and directed him to leave and then escorted Mr. Benson outside the gate.  

Mr. Benson complied and once outside the gate began to explain to Defendant Hadder of Ms. Sanford's physical and emotional issues as a result of the motor vehicle accident. 

At this point, Hadder "calmed down" and returned to the game, where he saw Sanford taking pictures from her seat in the stands, per his instructions. But then Hadder thought that maybe Sanford was taking pictures of him, at which point he "became outraged and determined that she should be made to leave the game." 

Hadder escorted Sanford out of the stands out to the parking lot. When Sanford stopped to look for her car, "as is common when parked in a large parking lot," Hadder "grabbed and assaulted Ms. Sanford, who Defendant Hadder describes as weighing 'about ninety pounds', by taking her by her arm and throwing her to the ground in the parking lot and grabbing Ms. Sanford's arms and binding her in hand cuffs." 

Hadder then called a patrol car and had Sanford charged with criminal trespass. At her trial in March 2012, Hadder not only confirmed Sanford and Dudley's record of events, but defended himself by saying, "I am also trained in pain compliance so if I had to I could have induced pain for compliance but I didn'thave to." That's probably because Sanford, who has brain damage and walks with a cane as a result of her accident, didn't resist him in any way. 

Sanford was declared not guilty by the Alabama judge who heard the trespassing case. Her suit is one of four pending against Hadder and the Walker County Sheriff's Office (a fifth suit, filed after Hadder and several of his off-duty colleagues assaulted a young man in Tuscaloosa, resulted in a ruling against Hadder and the other officers.)

Reason.tv on the War on Cameras: 

NEXT: Former Reality Show Star Arrested for Prostitution

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. New professionalism… procedures were followed… Fuck you, that’s why… AND NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED.

    1. Nice, you batted for the cycle.

      1. Missed “OFFICER SAFETY!” maybe “DUE PROCESS!” or “CONTRACT!” ?

        1. “STOP RESISTING!!!”

          1. New jack-booted thug script actually goes like this:

            “STOP. RESIST. STOP. RESIST.”

            Trust me on this…

  2. Not sure if anything has been posted about this here on H and R yet, but just in case I will post a link:

    LAPD roughs up nurse

    The punishment for these pigs should be to put them in a cage with a UFC champ and televise it nationally. Let’s see how tough they really are. Fucking pussies.

    1. No, Hyperion, because more violence is not the answer. Simply hold them to the same standards of assault and battery as everyone else, with mandatory sentence multipliers for government officials abusing their position. And no special treatment while incarcerated.

      1. Well, I would certainly settle for that. But seeing shit like that does make one angry enough to consider violence.

        1. I’m sure the inmates would love to give a woman-beater some “special treatment”. Let’s be serious, if he winds up in jail, he’s getting fucked up.

          1. One would hope.

      2. It’s beyond maddening, Hype, it’s rage-inducing. But every time you say that we have to make the saving throw against Dunphy or endure 2d4+2 rounds of whining.

        1. Darn. I knew I shouldn’t have upgraded my RPGs to Savage Worlds. Now I have to look up the conversion tables again.

      3. Sometimes violence is the answer. Especially with bullies.

        1. This. Given their apparent willingness to brutalize 90 pound geriatrics and nonviolent protesters, and then to throw the book at them, you might as well go down swinging.

    2. Actually – Chief Beck of the LAPD did what they all should do:

      – suspended the officers involved

      – removed the commander of the division for not dealing with the problem, along with starting the demotion process.

      I don’t think we’ll ever rid the police of every scumbag authoritarian freak, because that would require having no humans involved.

      I’ve said this before

      The institutions charged with holding cops accountable (Fellow cops, Department heads, Judges, Prosecutors, Legislatures) exhibit reluctance to actually deal with the rogue officers, for various reasons.

      No society will ever completely rid their LE rank and file of all the psychos, but that’s not the problem. It’s the entire chain of command that’s too busy protecting their asses and trying to cover up such behavior that causes me concern.

  3. Why did she think she was special? No one disobeys Johnny Law around here, lady.

  4. Why were there cops at a high school football game? And why is there no alt-text on a Reason article?

    1. If I’ve learned anything from television it’s that in southern towns, when there’s a high school football game, literally every single living person in the area attends. So it’s the only place the cops could or should be.

      1. We had a bunch of cops at our football games in the late 80s in a small town with low crime, no gangs, no local rivals, and without much strong feeling about football whatsoever.

        It was probably equal parts show-of-force, bullshit overtime, and cops that wanted to go to the game anyway.

        1. I’m sure the waiting list for cops who want to provide security for top-25 NCAA football games is several years long. 🙂

      2. What Sug said, plus show-of-force, fear of drunken teens, and maybe actually directing traffic before and after the game.

        1. I forgot about the perpetual menace of drunk teens.

          Despite never having watched more than 10 mins of high school football all told, I sure did go to a lot of them.

          1. You played trombone in the pep band. Admit it.

            1. Trombone is too manly for him. He probably played triangle.

              1. Color guard?

            2. Busy cheer-leading?

              1. Cymbal player. As gay as it gets.

            3. He was like Mathew Modine in . . . shit which movie was it, anyway, like Mathew Modine prowling for some sweet tang.

              1. Which movie wasn’t that?

            4. No, I can barely play the radio. I had a few band friends, though, and I hang out with them.

              It was mostly a lack of anything better to do. My attendance dropped sharply after I got a car.

              1. It was mostly a lack of anything better to do.

                small town sports to a T. It’s largely a social event with some cheering for the local squad mixed in, some glory days goobers who walk the sidelines following the action. Cops are there because they have nothing else to do. That, and traffic control before and after.

    2. Many place require police/security presence for after hours activities involving lots of people and adults.

  5. These men are the best our country has to offer. Without them, the nation would descend into chaos and madness.

    1. This is not madness!! THIS! IS! AMERICA!

  6. That is why polls consistently show an extremely high degree of respect for our noble professionals in blue.

  7. Defendant Hadder became angry that Mr. Benson had questioned him


    1. “Curse my metal body, I wasn’t fast enough”

      Should’ve known someone else would make the South Park connection. Obvious SP reference is obvious. Oh well.

  8. I go off the rails right at the beginning:

    Defendant Hadder noticed Ms. Sanford’s picture taking and determined that she should be made to return to her seat in the stands.

    On what authority? What law was she breaking?

    1. The pig is just an authoritarian jackass who was obviously trolling for a weak victim. He found one, end of story. No doubt he probably went home and tortured kitties afterwards and then fell asleep dreaming of shooting some dogs and tazing some grannies.

    2. Please stop it with the “pig.” You only pump up Dunphy when you descend to name-calling.

      1. Oh for the love of bejeebus, stop being so damn sensitive, Tonio. And fuck Dunphy if he can’t handle the truth. The guy is a PIG, that is just a fact. I am not calling all cops pigs, I am referring to this one specifically, the one that is a PIG.

        1. “I am not calling all cops pigs”

          Well I am. Every last fucking one of them.

          1. As am I. And, no, the Nuremberg Defense (“Just enforcing the law”) is not even close to being a valid excuse.

            It’s pigs all the way down.

      2. Wow, what does your vagina do for an encore? Shoot ping pong balls?

        1. I like ping pong.

  9. Much of this irrational intolerance and overreaction by cops sounds like the symptoms of sleep deprivation. Officers that work their standard shifts then do a large amount of overtime and off duty work in addition to taking time to be a good parent and spouse. We restrict hours for a people in a number of professions where public safety is of significant concern. Perhaps we should do the same for police.

    1. We restrict hours for a people in a number of professions where public safety is of significant concern. Perhaps we should do the same for police.

      Yup. To 0.

      1. Without pay, please.

        1. I’m willing to pay them. Just so they’re not on the job.

    2. Yeah, it was sleep deprivation, not the fact that power-hungry scumbags are drawn to the job! Your cop fellation is duly noted, shithead.

      1. Yah, that was some pretty lame excuse makin there. Sounded like an Obama apologist on MSNBC.

    3. Officers that work their standard shifts then do a large amount of overtime and off duty work in addition to taking time to be a good parent and spouse.

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      1. Even if those facts were present, can you just envision this in the court room?

        Cop: Well, you see I just haven’t been getting enough sleep and so I had to beat the crap out of a disabled old lady.

        Judge: Well then, that’s ok, just try to get some more sleep from now on, you poor dear.

    4. in addition to taking time to be a good parent and spouse

      I dunno about that. The father of my stepson is a cop, and he can’t keep a girlfriend for more than a year.
      Additionally he routinely chooses overtime over spending time with his son.
      We have the kid every holiday, on his birthday, we go to his sporting events, and never see his father.

      Being a cop is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. All authoritah, all the time.

    5. Motherfucker, I spent a year working overnights at a troubled childrens’ home, sometimes up to 80 hours a week. My job was much more stressful (and useful) than a cop’s, and I somehow managed to beat the shit out of zero disabled women the entire time. Fuck you and your weak-ass apologia bullshit.

      1. I pulled a whole year of long days and plenty of stress in Afghanistan and managed not to beat anyone – disabled or not, man or woman. I must be a Superman !!! Or, just not a psychopath like the deputy in this miserable story.

    6. Hopefully you get pulled over by a sleep deprived cop who has no patience for your ass-kissing and come to recognize the stupidity of your statement.

    7. This is why we always read about a rash of violent CPA’s every tax season, right?

      1. or we would, if journalists weren’t sleep deprived at the same time.

    8. How do you know their sleep deprivation didn’t happen as a result of Craigslist and rest stops, like it does with politicians, though?

    9. Oh fuck your pig fellating ass. Doctors doing their residencies work about twenty hours a day and we don’t read about residents kicking the shit out of cripples, nurses and homeless people. Fuck the fucking pigs.

  10. Officers that work their standard shifts then do a large amount of overtime and off duty work in addition to taking time to be a good parent and spouse.

    That’s pretty funny.

    1. Well for certain definitions of “good”… such as “dominant”.

  11. It sounds like Deputy Lowell is the class of douchebag you don’t have to catch on camera. He’s proud enough of his thuggery to cock off about it even to his own detriment.

    1. Geez, I wonder why. 5 lawsuits against him and he is still being paid with tax payer money.

      1. I’m sure that with his aggressive style of policing he brings a lot of revenue into the department through tickets, confiscated property, fines and such.

        1. One judgment could wipe that out.

          1. I’m sure that the judgement money comes from a different fund.

  12. Maybe the woman (who obviously did not have proper press credentials) was obstructing the hard-working deppity’s view of the cheerleaders’ cute little bottoms.

    1. Those cheerleaders might have been smuggling drugs in their under. A strip search was in order. She was interfering with a police investigation.

      1. High school girls are mighty crafty. I suggest being safe by going with a cavity search.

        1. You’re a sharp kid, and can think outside the box. You’re getting a promotion ASAP.

  13. This same cop also arrested a process server trying to serve him papers for “littering”


    1. I’m sure he was just a gwumpy widdle guy because him was schweepy, right Tom?

    2. holy hell, that is hilarious!

      It really should not be, but dammit, I can’t stop laughing. I feel for the guy serving the warrant, but this jackass police officer really needs a hot poker shoved up his tuches.

  14. Hadder became angry that Mr. Benson had questioned him and directed him to leave and then escorted Mr. Benson outside the gate.


  15. Where were the rest of the attendees?

  16. Would that be Lowell Adam Hadder of sheep fucking fame or is it a different Lowell Adam Hadder?

    1. Pig sodomy fame, not sheep. We must be fair to Lowell Adam Hadder, swine sodomizer!

      1. This has now put me off bacon. For a few hours, at least.

  17. …and they keep this idiot around? Stupid stupid cops!

  18. I wonder why the school would not want a disabled person on the sidelines? A potential lawsuit if she gets run over, maybe. Asking her to move back to her seat was perfectly understandable. What followed could be criticized, but asking her to move back to her seat was only sensible.

  19. Might as well throw this in here



    Portland Police shutdown a bridge, detain 13 people, and arrest two after someone reports seeing someone with a rifle. Police charge the two with disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of a firearm and seized other property. Note that it’s not illegal in Portland to openly carry an unloaded firearm.

  20. Assuming everything in the complaint is true, Deputy Hadder’s qualified immunity is still intact and this case is due to be dismissed for failure to state a claim. This case is not like the following felony crime of moral turpitude http://www.fox54.com/story/192…..uncil-vote At worst,Deputy Hadder is guilty of a technical violation for not giving proper notice of arrest and/or Miranda warning before the physical arrest or forcible compliance. No Alabama jury will convict and a dismissal will withstand an appeal review, there was probable cause for an arrest and the burden of proof is not whether or not the force used was excessive but the plaintiff must prove that Deputy Hadder believed the force was unreasonable.

    Section 13A-3-27 – Use of force in making an arrest or preventing an escape.

    (a) A peace officer is justified in using that degree of physical force which he reasonably believes to be necessary, upon a person in order:

    (1) To make an arrest for a misdemeanor, violation or violation of a criminal ordinance, or to prevent the escape from custody of a person arrested for a misdemeanor, violation or violation of a criminal ordinance, unless the peace officer knows that the arrest is unauthorized; or

  21. These allegations simply are not true. This case was dismissed in court last week based on false accusations.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.