Police Abuse

Surveillance Video Contradicts Cop's Claim Overhead Lights Were On When He Ran a Stop Sign and T-Boned Another Car



James McLaughlin is suing the city of Buffalo, New York, after he was injured two years ago when his car was T-boned by a police cruiser that ran through a stop sign at an intersection. A police report claimed the cop car was "using overhead lights and siren," but surveillance footage (no audio) of the accident shows the car turning its overhead lights on only after the accident. WGRZ, the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, reports:

Attorneys Steve Boyd and John Elmore represent James McLaughlin, the driver of the car that was hit. They're suing the city and looking for any witnesses to the accident.

"The tape is obvious that the lights weren't on and our client certainly could not hear any sirens, so it's very important that these witnesses come forward," Elmore said.

McLaughlin did not want to appear on camera, but in a statement said, "I was shocked when I read the police reports that indicated the police car had its lights and siren on …it did not."

You can watch the surveillance footage in the WGRZ segment here.

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  1. But I thought cops never lied! *gasp*

    Maybe he needs more training about how it’s not okay to falsify their reports. How was he to know if he was not properly trained?!

    Or rather, he needs more training in spotting cameras and forcing the camera owners to “turn over the evidence of an investigation”, so that it can be “lost” and the cop’s word will be kept infallible.

  2. I’m not sure what the Vehicle Code in NY says, but in most states, it doesn’t matter if the lights and siren are on. It’s still the responsibility of the driver of the emergency vehicle to avoid collisions.

    1. Laws are for little people. You know that, Beach Guy.

      1. I’ve seen it both ways. A couple of years ago, my cousin was stoned as hell and hit the back of a police cruiser. It was totally his fault, and the officer got suspended. The city ended up paying for everything.

        1. Something doesn’t add up here. Was the officer in the cruiser getting blown by a superior officer at the time? There has to be something being covered up here. I mean, any other event like you described would have ended with the stoned driver’s dog getting shot, even if they had to go to his house to find the dog.

          1. It was a 4 lane divided road in rural part of LA County where there aren’t any street lights, and the deputy was stopped in the right lane doing paperwork. He didn’t have his lights on, so my cousin didn’t see him.

            In CA, most cities require an outside agency to take the report if their police department is involved in a traffic collision. In this case, it was the CHP that investigated. The deputy told the CHP that his overhead lights were on. CHP pulled the data, and it showed that his light bar was broken, and had been non-functional for 3 days prior to the crash.

            And here’s why he was suspended: At the beginning of a shift, the deputies do a complete vehicle and equipment checklist, and are supposed to check every single light on the vehicle before they start the shift. This guy had signed paperwork saying that he had done so, when he obviously hadn’t for 3 consecutive days.

    2. Several years ago in Nashua a cop hit a car. The cop was driving a marked cruiser, with lights on, and was supposedly responding to a call. I don’t remember if his sirens were on.

      The accident happened at the off-ramp from the Everett Turnpike North onto Broad Street. There’s a traffic light at the top of the ramp. Folks coming off the turnpike northbound onto Broad Street don’t have very good sight-lines to see along Broad Street.

      The cop was coming down Broad Street, remember with his flashing lights on. The cop had a red light.

      The other car was coming off the Everett Turnpike and had a green. The driver pulls out. The cop slams into him.

      1. I’d dig up the Telegraph’s reporting on it, but the Telegraph has put many of its articles behind a paywall.

        I remember the comments on the Telegraph’s articles.

        I was amused by the folks defending the cop, stating that because the cop had his blue lights on, the other guy should have stopped. Other commentators posted links to the NH law stating that emergency vehicle drivers are always responsible to make sure it is safe to go through an intersection before going through the intersection. Those commentators pointed to those laws and asked the cop defenders how it is possible that the cop is not responsible for the accident. The defenders responded, “But he had his lights on!” It must be nice to believe in voodoo magic.

        I don’t recall anything at all happening to the cop involved. The other driver spent some time in a coma.

        1. You must be new here.

          Everyone knows that if a cop runs into another vehicle while he has his lights on and is responding to a call, the criminal that was the impetus of the call is responsible.

          Let me give you an example fake scenario.

          Cops sneak into home in the dead of night because an informant claims he bought a small amount of meth at the house the day before.

          Cops throw flashbang grenade into room before looking.

          Flashbang grenade lands in crib, goes off in a baby’s face, nearly killing it and giving the baby possible permanent disfiguring injuries.

          Check one where fault lies:

          1. Cop who threw flashbang without looking into baby’s crib.
          2. Suspect who was believed to be in the home selling meth.
          3. Parents of baby who may have knowingly stayed in the house while meth was being dealt.

          If you checked #1, you have failed the test.

          1. You must be new here.

            Sarcasm right?

            1. Yes. El oh el smiley face.

              I was just taking a friendly jab at any post which even bothers to explore where the fault lies when a cop is involved.

              1. I had lunch with a relative around Christmas. I told this relative about some police abuse stories, forgetting that this relative worked as an EMT. I didn’t know (being too young at the time) that this relative also worked as a police dispatcher at that time.

                My relative’s response, “There’s two sides to every story.”

                It took a lot to keep from responding, “Yes, the truth and the cop’s version of the story.”

                1. “Being too young at the time” referred to the time this relative worked as both an EMT and as a police dispatcher, not last Christmas when this lunchtime discussion took place.

    3. Unless the driver intentionally blocked the police officer’s path in order to sue the city into a sweetcake early retirement.

  3. Still waiting on Wikileaks…

    1. Yes, same here.

      Look what I found after checking their twitter feed:


      1. Skimming over their summary, I am unimpressed.

        1. OMG it’s terrible that people want to.deregulate financial services markets! Wow.

          I guess.it.may be possible to show a tendency
          of crony favoritism in the drafting of this TISA but this doesn’t loom like evidence of anything. They got their hands on some “secret documents” and released them to show wikileams is “still relevant.” Maybe it’s useful, but it seems to be.so far outside.of.major.world concerns right now as to be pointless to release it now.

          1. Yeah, that was my thought. I don’t have time to read through the whole document in detail.

            I note mention that about the US government wanting more flow of data across borders. That could be worthy of note, depending on what it is the government wants.

            Overall, I’m still unimpressed.

  4. “I was shocked when I read the police reports…”

    I too was shocked the first time I read a police report of something I witnessed. It was a total work of fiction. Now I just take it for granted. Until individual officers face real consequences for filing false documents, nothing is going to change. Which means nothing is going to change.

  5. The question is why the camera would lie like that.

    1. Reality suffers from an anti-cop bias. Police One told me so.

    2. Good ones, Hugh and Epi.

      1. Hugh?!?

        1. That’s right. Tonio listens to what I say. Unlike some people I know.

  6. I like how the city is suing the victim. They should probably sue the operator of the business where the private camera is too, for having the audacity to help expose the police report lie.

    1. Are you sure the city is suing him? I didn’t see that in the article.

    2. I missed that part of the story.

      1. It’s in the video. They’re suing him for lost wages and medical care for the cop that hit him.

        1. WTF? That’s outrageous.

          We all know this is legal posturing on their part but it’ infuriating.

          1. I’m sure it’s standard procedure when a cop gets into an accident. File a false report that blames the victim, then sue.

        2. Holy fuck. I watched the video without sound because my kids are sleeping.

          I think that has to be the worst part of the story.

          1. I watched the video without sound because my kids are sleeping.

            Flashbang inbound!

  7. While he’s at it, maybe he can sue Buffalo in general for being a shithole.

    1. How dare you insult where wings were invented? Fuck you, and the shitty pizza you rode in on.

    2. Nice, that makes 3 cities that I’ve lived in that have been called shitholes on here.

      I am such a shitholer.

  8. A while back I saw a police car with brake lights that didn’t work. Don’t know if it was intentional or not, but I took down the plate number and made an anonymous call to the department from a payphone. I didn’t want some poor person to accidentally rear end the cruiser and get shot for it. Hopefully I saved a life that day. Though I am quite positive that any report on such an accident would make no mention of the brake lights being out, and might even say they were functioning. Just to pour salt into the wound.

    1. Wonder how long it took for the SWAT team to arrive at the payphone.

      1. Oh I doubt that. But I drive through that city every day. Didn’t want some vengeful asshole looking for my car to pull me over and hassle me.

    2. Where the heck did you find a pay phone?

      1. Jail.

      2. Outside CVS.

        1. Ah, for the old people.

      3. Ghettos

      4. There are still a few around. I point them out to my 9 yr. old daughter when I see one, just for the novelty factor. “This is what people used to use to make phone calls outside the house before cell phones.”

  9. Eventually they’ll figure out a way to “lose” this kind of evidence. Then things will be back to normal.

  10. Please take this to trial and let me be on the jury. If he lied about the lights, you can be he lied about the siren.

  11. And on the lighter side –


    1. Fuck, dude. I’m just leaving work for the day. Fuuuuck.

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