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Topic: More excessive force and civil rights violations-Sheriff
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El Supremo

Muhammad v. Skinner - Casetext
Jun 24, 2016 - On June 10, 2014, Plaintiff Jabril Muhammad filed this civil rights action against ten Genesee County Sheriff Deputies: Leon Skinner, Mark ...
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:52 pm 
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El Supremo

On June 24, 2016 Judge Paul D Borman issued an Opinion and Order denying Defendnt's Motion for Summary Judgement

Named in the Civil Rightaction were 10 Genesee County Sheriff Deputies:
Leon Skinner;
Mark Wing;
Janice Buchanan;
Raymond Desisto;
Roy Eckert,
Brian Eckert;
Robert Winston; and
2 Jane Does.

The case revolved around claims of excessive force, and invasion of privacy during booking after Muhammad had been arrested by Michigan Sate Police in the early mornng hours of July 16, 2011.
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:59 pm 
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El Supremo

The current and retired Sheriff deputies remaining in the case are Wing, Skinner, Desisto, and retired Lt. Janice Buchanan.

The Judge carefully reviewed the testimony in light of the video evidence in the case. His lengthy descriptions, to me, portrayed a Sheriff Department out of control. I can't help but wonder where the FBI and the Department of Justice are in these cases since they review cases of excessive force.

The Judge noted Muhammed was convicted by a jury of obstructing and resisting a MSP trooper early on July 16,2011. However, the Judge pointed out that Mohammed was not charged with a crime or convicted of a rime with the defendants in the Genesee County Jail on the same date.

The County claimed "qualified immunity" against the Plaintiff's 4th Amendment claims f excessive Force. Judge Borman wrote "the Doctrine protects Government officials from civil liability, unless in the course of performance of their discretionary functions they violate the Plaintiff's clearly established Constitutional rights."

Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:13 pm 
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El Supremo

Borman also addressed the excessive force when he wrote how Wing,Skinner, and Desisto beat him, stepped on him, and Buchanan tasered him while he was being stripped naked. The Judg also disagreed with the premise that the 4th amendment did not extend through the booking process.

The Sixth Circuit explained, wrote Borman,how the "Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects a person from being subjected to excessive physical force durin the course of an arrest, a booking, or other police seizures. (Malory vs Whiting)

Borman continued with how it was clearly established at the time of the incident how the 4th Amendment standard of "zone of protection"applied to any excessive force claim that occurs during the booking process.

Th Court found that the Plaintiff established a violation of his 4th Amendment rights. The Court weigh in findig defendants use of force was objectively unresonable and his noncomplianc at the time of the earlier incident does not weigh n the defendant's favor
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:26 pm 
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El Supremo

In his writings Borman stated the law does not permit officers to beat him once he was in custody and he noted how the Plaintiff's actions in the video were consistent with his testimony of compliance and non-resistance. Borman noted how Mohammad was not an immediate threat when he was stripped as he had been previously searched and confirmed to be unarmed. The writings discuss how the Plaintiff was under the control of the 3 defendant officers in the cell and there was video confirmation that he appeared to be unconscious for at least three minutes. The plaintiff was no flight risk and there was no evidence he attempted to obstruct or flee.

The deputies gave conflicting testimony of an alleged suicide threat as teo stated the Plaintiff cried out for them to shoot him. He denies suicide thoughts and threats. The Judge stated that was an issue for a material fact dispute.
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:42 pm 
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El Supremo

The Judge also found the defendants arguments unsupported and unpersuasive, saying "the Defendants "misconstrue and misrepresent Plaintiffs deposition testimony regarding the incident as inconsistent and contradictory".

"It was clearly established in 2002 pushing the face of a suspect into the ground in the absence of a threat to officer's safety constitutes excessive force".

"Every resonable officer in Defendants' positions would have known in July 2011 that tasing, beating, or stepping on a neutralized and restrained pretrial detainee constituted excessive and gratuitous force.
The Judge denied Qualified Immunity on the Plaintiffs claims of excessive force
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:50 pm 
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El Supremo

Concerning the 4th Amendment Privacy Rights, the video clearly showed Muhammed being forcibly stripped in front of female staff.

"A convicted prisoner maintains some reasonable expectations of privacy while in prison....".
"It is clear that Plaintiff was forcibly stripped naked by three male defendant officers in an open cell under the supervision of Defendant Buchanan, a female Sargent. Additionally two female staff members, uninvolved in the stripping incident of Plaintiff, watched the entire episode from the doorway of the open cell."

Borman wrote how Muhammad was not afforded the opportunity to take off his own clothes before Deputies Wing, Skinner and sisto began to strip him in the cell. He noted how Muhammad was apparently rendered unconscious during the stripping was then left naked and lying on the floor whil ea suicide garment was thrown near his body . Regarding the alleged suicide threat, Borman wrote "It neither justified their forcible conduct nor the presence of female officers."
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:10 pm 
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El Supremo

In his order Borman noted how the stripping was amplified by being done in an open cell with the door open.

"The manner in which Plaintiff was stripped and captured on video, was also extremely invasive and weighs in favor of the denial of summary judgement. Plaintiff was kicked to the ground almost immediately upon entry to the safety cell, and he was never afforded an opportunity to strip off his own clothes in private" The Judge continued with describing how the three male deputies physically touched,and manipulted Muhammad's body in order to physically remove his clothes.

Borman rejected the explanation that Buchanan was required as she was the sgt. .for that shift when a male supervisor would not be allowed to view stripping of a female prisoner. Also there was the issue of the two females in the doorway observing.

The court concluded the Defendant proffered no justification for the manner in which the defendant was stripped. .
Post Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:19 pm 
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El Supremo

On 8-8-2016, the County Commission authorized the settlement of Jabril Muhammad v Skinner USDC No. 14-12277.
Post Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:26 am 
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El Supremo

Tax payers paid over $600,000 for the most recent excessive force case. So how much will this one cost?
Post Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:59 pm 
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The police are in charge of securing individuals from people in general, and the larger part of them strive to do this, placing themselves in threat all the time. Shockingly, a few captures don't go as arranged. Whether a cop utilizes unnecessary power since he or she is startled, in light of a preference against the suspect, or on the grounds that the officer is a domineering jerk, it can wind up bringing about changeless harm to the suspect. It can likewise hurt the prosecutor's case and give a criminal safeguard lawyer one all the more approach to help honest individuals ensure themselves. Here's a gander at the laws encompassing intemperate power, and additionally how they apply to you.

Election Equipment
Post Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:57 am 
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El Supremo

This is a civil case as our prosecutor obviously did not see fit to prosecute this abuse. He obviously only pursues cases that help his friends!
If you had read the case you would have seen how egregious the Judge felt the case was.
Post Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:02 pm 
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El Supremo

Felony case dropped against sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting inmate

Alleged assault of Genesee County Jail inmate by deputy
Print Email Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com By Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com

on October 18, 2016 at 6:30 PM, updated October 18, 2016 at 6:32 PM

FLINT, MI Prosecutors have decided to drop the criminal case against a former Genesee County Jail deputy accused of assaulting an inmate.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton confirmed his office has filed to withdraw its appeal and ultimately end its prosecution in the felony criminal case against Sgt. Gerald Parks.

"I just think that the case should come to an end," Leyton said, adding the dismissal was in the interest of court efficiency and tax dollars at stake.

Parks was charged criminally with misconduct in office, misuse of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery after he was accused of attacking an inmate inside the county jail in 2012.

Leyton charged Parks in October 2014 after officials with the sheriff's office claimed they uncovered surveillance video of the incident.

Despite the video and testimony regarding the incident, Genesee District Judge M. Cathy Dowd has twice dismissed the charges for lack of probable cause.

"I said very early, I'd let my talking be done in the courtroom," said Parks' attorney, Jay Clothier. "Dismissal is total victory."

Clothier added he and Parks were thankful for the support they received through the case.

Leyton's office was in the process of appealing Dowd's ruling for the second time to Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah, but filed Oct. 11 to withdraw the appeal.

The withdrawal means Dowd's ruling will stand and the charges are dismissed against Parks.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell could not be reached for comment.

The case against Parks has been contentious, with his attorneys alleging the charges were retaliation for a lawsuit he filed against Pickell's office.

Pickell has denied the allegations.

Parks filed the federal lawsuit against the sheriff's office in November 2013 on claims he was retaliated against, and eventually forced to retire after more than 30 years of service, for testimony he gave during an April 2012 union collective bargaining-related arbitration hearing. His testimony was critical of sheriff's office administration.

He recently agreed to settle his case against the sheriff's department for $90,000, according to an agreement obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

Leyton, who serves as chief legal counsel to the county's Board of Commissioners, denied the settlement had any effect on his decision to drop the case against Parks.

A settlement has been reached for a second sheriff's deputy who claims he was retaliated against after he gave testimony that was critical of the sheriff's office administration.

A former inmate at the jail testified he was in a safety cell when he began knocking on the window to get the attention of the deputies. Three deputies, including Parks, approached the inmate who had retreated back to a concrete bench in the room.

The inmate claimed he attempted to hand the deputies his paperwork, but prosecutors say Parks crumpled up the paper and threw it the toilet.

As the inmate sat on the bench with his hands up, the video showed Parks shoot two bursts of pepper spray into the victim's face, according to prosecutors.

After decontaminating the inmate, prosecutors claim multiple deputies could be seen on the video trying to put the struggling inmate into a restraint chair. Prosecutors argue Parks could then be seen making a punching motion directed toward the inmate's midsection as he sat in the chair.

The inmate testified he was sprayed and punched, but he was unable to identify the deputy responsible.

Leyton's office, in its appeal, claimed Dowd abused her discretion by relying on a standard of proof higher than probable cause, which is all that is necessary to bind the case over to circuit court for trial.

"Despite (the inmate's) testimony that he had been punched by a deputy that he could not identify and (Undersheriff) Swanson's testimony identifying the defendant drawing his hand back in a punching manner, coupled with testimony that this was an unjustified use of force, the Court still declined to acknowledge that there was probable cause that any assault took place," Leyton's office argued in its appeal.

"Instead, the Court reasoned that because it could not been seen where the Defendant's hand was landing on the video if it was striking the chair, the victim, or something else it had not been shown to a probable cause standard that the Defendant had assaulted the victim under circumstances that did not justify assault."

This isn't the first time Leyton's office has challenged an attempt from Dowd to dismiss the case.

Dowd previously dismissed the charges against Parks in June 2015 after the man Parks was accused of assaulting in the jail was unable to identify him as the deputy who attacked him. The incident was caught on jail surveillance cameras, but Dowd refused to allow a second sheriff's deputy to identify Parks on the video.

The judge claimed it was inappropriate to allow a third-party identification based on the video since the alleged victim was able to testify. She dismissed the case before prosecutors finished presenting witness testimony.

Prosecutors appealed Dowd's decision to Farah, arguing they should have been allowed to introduce a DVD copy of the surveillance video and let the second deputy use it to identify Parks as the perpetrator of the alleged assault.

Farah ruled Dowd abused her discretion by failing to admit the surveillance video as evidence and stated she misinterpreted legal precedent when she did not allow the second deputy to identify Parks in the video.
Post Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:14 am 
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El Supremo

Sometimes the comments show a level of insight into the story.

Pickell and Leyton need to stop this witch hunt, you've both embarrassed yourselves enough already. The money and time wasted on this case is ludicrous. The law suit which I'm sure and deservingly will follow, will just embarrass them even worse.

How can they allow these sadists to slide on this? There are too many GC jail turnkeys that are sadistic, immature jerks. I know for a fact that they love to beat people because they then brag about it in the bar.

Why does the Flint Journal keep posting the Sherriff's part of the video when this case has been dismissed? It doesn't show what happened before and after the video where the guy spits on Parks, hits on the cell for 15 minutes. Subject not hit by Parks when you see other camera angle. Why didn't the Journal go to court so they could hear both sides? Of course you also haven't put here where Deputi broke into Parks' house and stole only his union papers like Parks told The Journal? You only put in what Sheriff says. You should not put up an incomplete video which doesn't show the other Deputies that jumped on this guy and weren't charged. Dowd knew this was retaliation. Pepper spray used all the time in jail and you only want to charge person who is suing you because threatened and made to retire after Under Sheriff Swanson lied in deposition?

Blue407 14 hours ago
Leyton is Pickell's flunky and so is Judge Farah. All three of them are a waste of Taxpayer's dollars.

burtonguy 13 hours ago

I agree, and Pickell should be charged for allowing a culture of abuse such as this in the jail. Whoever did this thought they could do it for some reason -- they knew they were being taped. That goes to the top.

The only reason that tape was ever seen was because Pickell had a vendetta against Parks.

fandaflames 14 hours ago
This was a total waste of money from the sheriff's office to the prosecutor's office. It was an abuse of authority and a harrowing tale of revenge by the very people sworn to uphold justice

Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton

The video just "happened" to be found, just like these women coming out against Trump at the end of his campaign. These things don't pass the smell test.


That may be, but the video tape is pretty damning of how people should not be treated in jail.

But you don't see on tape where guy spit on Parks, hit cell for 15 minutes, disorderly . Also doesn't show other camera angle where you can see Parks did not strike prisoner. Prisoner wasn't even mad at Parks in court. He was mad at Deputies who jumped on him later who were not charged. The Journal should be ashamed for not being in the courtroom to hear the whole case but just put in article what Sherriff said. Sherriff did not testify , was not even in the court when the witnesses testified.
Post Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:23 am 
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El Supremo

Jury awards $36.6M in excessive force case involving jail guards

Amanda Emery | aemery@mlive.com By Amanda Emery | aemery@mlive.com
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on November 03, 2016 at 4:34 PM, updated November 03, 2016 at 6:20 PM

GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- A jury has returned a verdict that will award a man $36.6 million in a verdict against five current or former Genesee County Sheriff's deputies.

On Thursday, Nov. 3 a jury in the United States District Court in Detroit awarded the money to William Jennings, according to a news release from the court.

Jennings sued deputies Patrick Fuller, David Kenamer, Mark Wing, Jason White and Lt. Robert Nuckolls claiming excessive use of force during an incident at the Genesee County Jail following his arrest on Sept. 18, 2010. Jennings also claimed unreasonable seizure and excessive use of force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

After more than a two-week trial and nearly two days of deliberations, the eight member jury concluded that the defendants used excessive force against Jennings and awarded him past damages of $10.42 million and future damages of $7.21 million, according to the release.

The jury also awarded punitive damages to Jennings from each defendant as follows:

Fuller -- $5 million.
Kenamer -- $4 million.
Wing -- $3 million.
White -- $2 million.
Nuckolls -- $5 million.

Genesee County pays $630,000 to settle excessive force jail lawsuit

Genesee County pays $630,000 to settle excessive force jail lawsuit

Genesee County has agreed to pay $630,000 to settle an excessive force lawsuit stemming from an incident at the county jail.

This isn't the first excessive force lawsuit the county jail has seen. In September 2014 the county agreed to pay $630,000 to Fernando Davis after he said he was beater and pepper sprayed after being lodged at the Genesee County Jail for suspicion of drunk driving.

County officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Stay with MLive for more on this developing story.
Post Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:14 pm 
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