Police Abuse

Army Vet Serves Ex-Cop Summons for Brutality Lawsuit; Prosecutors Charged Him With Multiple Felonies Based on Testimony Contradicted by Cellphone Video

Seven witnesses, all government employees, told stories that appeared to contradict video taken by the Louisiana man's family.

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WWL-TV

More than two years ago, disabled Army veteran Douglas Dendinger agreed to serve papers to a former cop from Bogalusa, La. for his nephew's brutality lawsuit against the officer. The same day he served the cop, Chad Cassard, outside a courthouse he was charged with obstructing justice and intimidating a witness, felonies, and simple battery. Dendinger says local deputies and prosecutors had clustered around him after he served Cassard, and that they threw the summons back to him and cursed at him. Less than half an hour after he got back home, police showed up to arrest him.

WWL-TV reports:

In a scene described in the lawsuit, Dendinger recounted a nervous night handcuffed to a rail at the Washington Parish Jail. He said he was jeered by officers, including Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper, who whistled the ominous theme song from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

After his family posted bail, he said he was hopeful that the matter would be exposed as a big misunderstanding. After all, he thought, a group of police officers and two St. Tammany prosecutors witnessed the event.

"When I agreed to do it, I felt it was nothing more than someone asking to pick up a gallon of milk at the convenience store on the way home," Dendinger said. "I know I didn't anything wrong. I was worried, but people told me, 'Cooler heads will prevail.' "

But instead of going away, the case escalated.

Supported by two of his prosecutors who were at the scene, [St. Tammany District Attorney Walter] Reed formally charged Dendinger. Both prosecutors, Julie Knight and Leigh Anne Wall, gave statements to the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office implicating Dendinger.

With the bill of information, Dendinger's attorney Philip Kaplan said he got a bad feeling.

"It wasn't fun and games," Kaplan said. "They had a plan. The plan was to really go after him a put him away. That's scary."

Cassard accused Dendinger of slapping him in the chest. One of the attorneys said she thought she heard Dendinger punch Cassard. Prosecutors ended up lining up seven witnesses against Dendinger, and he faced up to 20 years if convicted.

Even the Bogalusa police chief was in it on it. Via WWL-TV:

Police Chief Culpepper gave a police statement that he witnessed the battery, but in a deposition he said, "I wasn't out there." But that didn't stop Culpepper from characterizing Dendinger's actions as "violence, force."

When Dendinger saw the police report, he said his reaction was strong and immediate.

"I realized even more at that moment: These people are trying to hurt me."

At the last minute before going to serve Cassard, Dendinger decided to bring his wife and nephew along to film the hand-off of the summons to the cop on their cellphones. The two videos appear to contradict the entire story presented by prosecution witnesses (including prosecutors). It took almost a year before Dendinger's lawyers could force the district attorney, whose prosecutors were involved in the incident, to recuse himself. Kicked up to the state Attorney General's office, the charges were dropped.

Dendinger is suing the cops involved, the district attorney, and the two prosecutors who said they witnessed Dendinger serving Cassard the summons, as well as the sheriff of Washington Parish, where Dendinger lives, for, among other things, false imprisonment, perjury, and abuse of due process. The parish sheriff told WWL-TV he's "confident that all claims against all WPSO deputies will be rejected and dismissed by the court."

Reed chose not to run for re-election last November. One of the prosecutors, Wall, reportedly no longer works at the district attorney's office, but the other does. The new district attorney insists he's investigating the case but says he won't comment because of the lawsuit.

h/t Taylor W.

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  1. Working. Class. Heroes.

  2. If those prosecutors gave sworn statements (and I bet they did), then they perjured themselves and should be disbarred.

    Have complaints been filed against them?

        1. Always with the boats, DEATFBIRSECIA. Always with the boats. Oh man, don’t hit me with the boats so early in the morning.

    1. Statements were made. Procedures were followed.

      Serious question: who files, or can file, formal complaints against prosecutors?

    2. I always heard Judges get very pissed about being lied to.

      1. Not by members of their own team.

    3. Cressy, who in addition to working under Reed served as the Mandeville city attorney for 15 years, said the lawyers involved in the case may have additional problems with legal ethics and the bar association.

      “It was totally wrong, a 180-degree lie” Cressy said. “So, yeah, they’re going to have problems, certainly the lawyers.”

      Sounds like they’re fucked.

      1. I fuckin’ hope so.

  3. Good for Mr. Dendinger. I hope all the people he is suing lose their jobs because of their lying.

    1. Good one! Made me laugh.

  4. That is absolutely terrifying.

    I am going to start wearing a body camera that uploads to YouTube in real time any time I interact with one of our duly unelected overlords.

    1. Yeah, that is what I was thinking. Imagine a the kangaroo trial where all the king’s men would be lined up as witnesses. This just goes to show there is no level of government that should be trusted.

    2. Are you saying the police and prosecutors are terrorists?

    3. In Louisiana? Yeah. The fact that the cops didn’t haul him off and beat him into a coma surprised me

  5. Destroy those scumbags.

  6. What a bunch of incompetents! They didn’t notice the two people standing feet away filming the encounter? If they did notice, they didn’t bother confiscating their cameras for “obstructing justice”? Do they even bother training cops to avoid culpability anymore?

    Actually, the scary thought is that they just don’t care whether they’re caught on camera.

    1. Actually, the scary thought is that they just don’t care whether they’re caught on camera.

      And that right there is your answer. What are going to do, call the cops? Complain to the Prosecutor’s office?

      1. Once one has worked to eliminate all the peaceful means of dealing with one’s perfidy, one may find that all that’s left are violent means.

  7. Yeah, we have a couple of places like this in Louisiana. I thought Catahoula and Concordia parish were the worst.

    Some of the rural parishes are operated like little fiefdoms. Get the wrong guy in as sheriff and things go to shit.

  8. Dendinger is suing the cops involved, the district attorney, and the two prosecutors who said they witnessed Dendinger serving Cassard the summons…

    This seems like more than a civil matter.

    1. The Prosecutor’s office is not likely to file charges.

      1. [Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael] Goyeneche said the legal troubles for some of the witnesses may go beyond the federal lawsuit.

        “It’s a felony to falsify a police report. And this is a police report. And this police report was the basis of charging this individual with serious crimes,” Goyeneche said.

        Cressy, who in addition to working under Reed served as the Mandeville city attorney for 15 years, said the lawyers involved in the case may have additional problems with legal ethics and the bar association.

        “It was totally wrong, a 180-degree lie” Cressy said. “So, yeah, they’re going to have problems, certainly the lawyers.”

        1. I hope none of those folks mysteriously disappear before this gets hauled in front of a federal court.

          Not that I think the Feds are necessarily going to fix it, but it’d be nice to know how far up the ladder we’re fucked.

      2. “The Prosecutor’s office is not likely to file charges.”

        Maybe it will if the civil suit is successful.

    2. A true civil rights violation.

  9. Muppet News Flash : Local Louisiana cops are CROOKED!!!

    And in late breaking news: Water is WET!!!

    1. You’d think something like this would piss off a judge, though.

  10. Related:

    NEAR KEY WEST, Fla. (WSVN) — A shocking encounter between a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a driver was caught on camera.

    A bystander recorded the incident on his cellphone as it unfolded Sunday in the Florida Keys. What looked to be a routine traffic stop quickly became anything but routine.

    Florida Highway Patrol troopers pulled over a vehicle on U.S. 1, when one trooper tried to open one of the car’s doors. When the door opens, an elderly man emerges from the vehicle with his hands up. The trooper then spins the man around, while a second trooper fires his Taser. The victim falls to the ground and appears motionless.

    FHP stated they are not releasing details about the takedown but do confirm they are investigating the matter.

    http://www.wsvn.com/story/2819…..lderly-man

    1. Stop. Resisting.

      1. I guess when I’m an old man, and tell the kids about how tasers were incorporated into law enforcement so that cops wouldn’t have to resort to the lethality of a pistol, the kids will exchange looks and have me committed. Maybe I’ll get Grandpa Simpson as a roommate.

    2. I’m shocked the police didn’t kill the insufficiently servile peasant.

      Hands up? Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to drop his pants and grab his ankles when approached by the ruling class?

  11. That is unbelievable.

    1. I think the word you’re looking for is “predictable”.

  12. One of the attorneys said she thought she heard Dendinger punch Cassard.

    She heard the same sound as when Moe punches Curly.

  13. I expect police will start beheadings in a few years.

  14. I just got paid usd6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over usd 9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,,,,,,
    http://www.work-mill.com

  15. ” disabled Army veteran Douglas Dendinger agreed to serve papers to a former cop from Bogalusa, La. for his nephew’s brutality lawsuit against the officer.”

    Cheeky peasant. Does he think rules apply to rulers? Needs to be taught a lesson.

    “The parish sheriff told WWL-TV he’s “confident that all claims against all WPSO deputies will be rejected and dismissed by the court.””

    So are we.

  16. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha? I do……

    http://www.wixjob.com

  17. How dare anyone serve papers on one of the imperialistic domestic police force! When the people fear the government you have tyranny. When the government fears the people you have liberty. Right now, most of America, if not all of it, exists in a state of tyranny.

  18. Mr. Dendinger will be quite comfortable in his Washington Parish tax-payer financed retirement.

  19. This is a case for the US attorney general, to prosecute the local prosecutors and police for violations of civil rights. But since Dendinger is white, I don’t expect any action from Holder or Lynch, nor will Obama speak of it.

  20. This should be prosecuted as a conspiracy case which adds even more prison time. But in fact, nothing will happen to any of these thugs. Maybe they’ll all die horrible deaths. It’s a nice fantasy anyway.

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