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Topic: Public needs to pay attention to county corruption

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El Supremo

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Sally Haywood
45 mins

Genesee County Board of Commissioners have denied residents any semblance of transparency. They want to prevent the public from knowing about pending lawsuits. They no longer publish their minutes and only publish resolutions. When they enter into Executive Session to discuss strategy on pending lawsuits they must identify the lawsuit. By not posting the minutes, they are circumventing the public's right to know. There are some critical and probably very costly lawsuits pending against the Sheriff Department. One M-Live comment alleged the commissioners almost gave the Sheriff another pay raise.

Shayne Hodges Yes it's a joke they are handpick stooges there to continue to give the sheriff what he wants raise after raise after raise it's a joke most of them ran unopposed it's horrible the one good County Commissioner that they had they replaced
Like Reply 43 mins

Shayne Hodges They tabled his raise until the newly elected commissioners so there wouldn't be any resistance

Sally Haywood They also have potentially created a conflict of interest by making the County Prosecutor their Corporation Counsel. Curtis complained they had not been informed about the lawsuit that had the $36.1 million jury decision. A lawmaker has to ask the Attorney general for an opinion, but Schuette and Leyton are making nice together.
Like Reply 1 31 mins

Shayne Hodges Now just imagine we are talking about a guy who is charged in a ricco act

Sally Haywood Instead of always looking at potential corruption in the City Government, the public needs to take a closer look at the county level, which gives all appearances of being more corrupt.
Post Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:52 am 
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El Supremo

http://www.flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=12357 This link shows the current federal lawsuit bound to cost the county Sheriff Dept a bundle.
Post Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:56 am 
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El Supremo

FlintTalk.com Forum Index > Political Talk

Topic: More excessive force and civil rights violations-Sheriff

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 ...

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 morning hours of July 16, 2011.

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."

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 during 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 unreasonable and his noncompliance at the time of the earlier incident does not weigh n the defendant's favor

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.

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

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."

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 Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:01 am 
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El Supremo

Bobbie Clayton Walton They have never published the minutes online. I have raised this issue with the BOC chair -- when it was Jamie Curtis -- and County Clerk Gleason. Each passes the responsibility on to the other. In the past the identity of a lawsuit was included on the agenda. But, you are right. The BOC does not share much with the public. Too bad this does not cause voters to remember this come election time.
Post Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:30 am 
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El Supremo

$10K raise votes postponed for sheriff, Genesee County commissioners

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Molly Young | myoung7@mlive.com By Molly Young | myoung7@mlive.com
on December 12, 2016 at 2:50 PM, updated December 12, 2016 at 2:51 PM

GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- Votes were postponed on proposals to increase the salaries of Genesee County commissioners and the county sheriff by $10,000.

Commissioners were expected to vote on the proposals Monday, Dec. 12, but the vote was pulled from the agenda and postponed.

If passed, the commissioners' salaries would increase by $10,000 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2017.

There has been no timetable given on when the proposals will next appear before the board.

Currently, the salary for a Genesee County commissioner is about $33,000, and that's enough for the amount of work they do, said Jamie Curtis, board chair.

"The raise is absolutely ludicrous. They're part-time, and there isn't one of those incumbents down there that work more than 10 hours a week -- more than 10 hours a month, basically. You just can't justify it," Curtis said.

County Commissioner Ted Henry disagrees. He says if the board is doing less work, it's because the chairman delegated issues the board used to tackle to other departments.

And it's not just the commissioners -- a lot of county employees deserve a raise and have not gotten one in years, he says.

"A lot of employees at the county deserve a raise -- they're doing more work with less people," Henry said. "We need to plan for it (in the budget) -- you can't just spring it out there. And we can plan for it. We have planned for expenditures in the past worth a lot more money than this."

Sheriff wants second $15K salary increase for emergency management duties

Henry claims increasing the salary for commissioners would attract more people to run for board seats.

"Who can afford that position? You'd need a flexible job with a flexible schedule to do it. Otherwise, a young man or a young lady that has to make more than $30,000 isn't going to take the job," he said. "It opens the door to a bigger field, and I think you'll get more people interested in running for the position."

Henry said he will push for the board to allow a temporary committee to re-evaluate county employee salaries and raises in February 2017.

It's the second time this month the board was expected to consider raises for county employees. About two weeks ago, Pickell asked for a $15,000 boost for his oversight of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department. At the time, it was pulled from the agenda and postponed.

Pickell currently earns $112,469 annually.

On Monday, Dec. 12, commissioners were expected to consider $10,000 wage increase for the sheriff, but it was again pulled from the agenda and postponed.

Curtis, who lost reelection in the August primary, believes commissioners who support the raise are simply waiting for new commissioners to take their seats in January, but even then, he doesn't believe it will pass.

"It's over now. The five newcomers would be committing political suicide by voting for a raise for themselves in their first term," Curtis said. "It's just plain wrong and bad for everybody. Taxpayers would have paid the ultimate price."
Post Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:22 am 
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