A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blood on the Floor

This is tough to watch. November 17, 2007. Shreveport Louisiana. An upset Angela Garbarino repeatedly asks Officer Wiley Willis to use the telephone. She states she is glad her booking for DUI is being videotaped. He turns the camera off. When it is turned back on, Garbarino is seen lying in a pool of blood, being assessed by another officer, and finally being taken away on a stretcher. Willis was recently fired. His lawyer, Eron Brainard, claims Garbarino tripped and fell. In the process she cut her face, broke her teeth, broke her nose, and gave herself two black eyes. He states the video tape was turned off "in accordance with normal practice."



Perhaps this is normal practice for the Sheveport police. They have refused to file charges against Willis, stating nobody really knows what happened because the video tape was turned off.

It is true that Angela Garbarino was being booked for DUI after an automobile accident, circumstances unknown. It is true that a broken nose may occur as the result of two separate impacts, one significantly later than the first. It is true that eyes are blackened after a severely broken nose.

The president of the Shreveport police officers' union, Michael Carter, is defending Willis' actions. "He followed what I can say is over a decade of standardized practice inside that room. Why did she force a police officer to handcuff her; physically restrain her? That officer did not depict her behavior. He did not script or choreograph her behavior that night; she did. If he was trying to cover something up, why would he turn it back on?" Carter wonders, referring to the video tape.

What is peculiar is the tape was turned off, not that it was turned back on. Yep. It's tough to stomach as well.

The Live Leak video is abridged. The total video can be found here.

Labels: ,

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot say what I think should happen to that pig who beat her up on the internet. But damn...

7:47 PM  
Anonymous robin said...

If the 'she fell down' excuse doesn't work for an abusive husband, why should it work for an abusive cop?

I've been in enough fights in my day to recognize a person that was punched in the face, the double black eyes are a dead giveaway.

The cop was fired...good. Now Ms. Garbarino should sue his ass, and take everything the thug has left.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I wonder. Has anyone thought of any hypothetical alternatives rather than "assuming" that a veteran officer with no prior history of this type thing just "snaps" unexplainably? if a hypothetical alternative exists, shouldn't we leave judgement to a jury of his peers?

Having been in law enforcement, I can only surmise that the video was shut off because he no longer intended to obtain a voluntarily submitted controlled sobriety test or breath analysis. She was obviously not cooperative as evidenced on the video tape. Based upon that level of defiance, the law allows for law enforcement to submit you for a blood draw to get their evidence. If it was his intent to put her back in holding until a medical person could be summoned to obtain a blood sample, there would be no reason for him to quit videotaping the test as there would be no test to ensue.

So how did she get the injuries? Can someone get such disturbing facial injuries from one single impact such as falling face first into a tile floor? The answer whether anyone wants to admit it or not is YES.

Xavier is a trauma nurse. Perhaps he could lend a medical professional's opinion to the following observations:

If you've ever suffered a severe fracture of the nasal bones or the facial bones surounding the nose, you may have become aware of a phenomena called periorbital bruising or "raccoon eyes".

One way to make an educated guess as to whether the "black eyes" were obtained from a punch or direct impact to the eye is the presence or absence of swelling. Her black eyes are very large, semetrical in appearance, and red instead of the dark blue common with direct impact injuries to the soft tissues immediately above and below the eye. But there is no swelling to the soft delicate fatty tissue of the upper and lower eyelids nor is their any significant swelling to the tissue over the cheekbones or eyebrows. Were it my job to investigate this, it would certainly make me suspicious if this person were to claim that they were punched in the eyes or repeatedly about the face.

You will also notice the semicircular laceration to the forehead immediatly above the bridge of the nose. It appears to have already been sutured at the time of the photo indicating it must have been a very deep laceration. My guess it that it was this laceration as well as the injury to the mouth that was the source of the majority of the blood on the floor. These are the only two places on the face where there appears to be an actual open wound.

So...can a person strike their head, face first, into a tile floor from a standing position and impact these two areas simultaneously? Absolutely.

Another ovservation is that there is no blood spatter or blood trails on the floor. This would seem to indicate that the totality of the trauma occurred at the point where the blood was pooled. Had anyone cause this type of trauma to another, with repeated strikes, it is likely they would also have blood on their hands and forearms and there would likely be abrasions to the knuckles. I don't know, nor can I speculate if this type of evidence was found on the police officer.

So to recap: (again, all hypothetical) After having to restrain her with handcuffs, because of her repeated attempts to leave the room, the Officer decides she's not cooperative enough to submit to a sobriety test. He gets her calm enough to sit in a chair where she is seen leaning forward and not being actively resistant. He, turns off the videotape inended to record her sobriety test and attempts to lead her to a holding area to await a blood draw. She gets up, and either trips, faints, or falls due to lack of balance from being drunk and goes face first into the hard tile floor. Being handcuffed, she cannot instinctively break her fall and her face takes the full brunt of the impact. The officer, realizing that questions might be raised later as to why or how she came to be on the floor so shortly after the recording was turned off, decides to turn it back on if only to try to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Not possible? Really? You sure? What if it is?

Well, if it is, the officer ought to be reprimanded or counceled that when escorting restrained prisoners he follow the regularly accepted practice of maintaining physical control over his prisoner at all times in case they trip, fall, faint, or attempt to escape.

But I'm not bold enough to assume that this veteran officer with so much to lose is guilty of beating this woman up. I just don't buy it. Maybe he did. But I don't see compelling evidence in this video.

Sorry for the long response.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

This is a classic example of a police officer who was so determined to control his prisoner that he lost control of himself.

A few observations:
. He should never have turned off the video.
. she should have immediately demanded an attorney.
. when the video was turned off, she was no longer holding the cloth to her nose to stifle her bloody nose. When the video was turned back on, there was a speading pool of blood on the floor. That's inconsistent with an officer successfully controlling a slightly built female prisoner who was handcuffed and verbally demand her rights ... but was not obviously aggressive.
. he should have had a female officer in the room as soon as he handcuffed her.
. I'm impressed by her "Terminator" line halfway through the (unedited) video. That's a sane citizen, and a 0.02 blood alcohol reading (which the officer cited in his reading of the charges) isn't 'drunk' in any state that I know of.
. what Robin said. In spades.

I haven't been so outraged in a long time. Not, in fact, since the cops pummelled and arrested the woman in New Orleans because she demanded that the police and N.G. troops just "leave me alone". That's all this woman asked.

There's usually one bad cop in most police departments. It was just her bad luck to get the bully in Shreveport.

This reminds me of the aprocryphal story of the of the shopper who was shot by an armed security in a grocery store for crowding in a checkout line. As they were waiting for an ambulance, he smiled at an on-looker and said: "the good news is, I own this store."

In part because the videotaping was discontinued (by the officer) during the event, the woman prisoner comes off as appearing to be merely confrontational and argumentative; the officer appears to be vengeful. Nobody deserves the physical brutality which she seems to have suffered.

While I remain sympathetic to the injury and degradation which this woman experienced, I hope that by now she can honestly say: "the good news is, I now own Shreveport, Louisiana."

12:05 AM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I wonder. Has anyone thought of any hypothetical alternatives rather than "assuming" that a veteran officer with no prior history of this type thing just "snaps" unexplainably? if a hypothetical alternative exists, shouldn't we leave judgement to a jury of his peers?

Having been in law enforcement, I can only surmise that the video was shut off because he no longer intended to obtain a voluntarily submitted controlled sobriety test or breath analysis. She was obviously not cooperative as evidenced on the video tape. Based upon that level of defiance, the law allows for law enforcement to submit you for a blood draw to get their evidence. If it was his intent to put her back in holding until a medical person could be summoned to obtain a blood sample, there would be no reason for him to keep videotaping the test as there would be no test to ensue.

Xavier is a trauma nurse. Perhaps he could lend a medical professional's opinion to the following observations:

If you've ever suffered a severe fracture of the nasal bones or the facial bones surounding the nose, you may have become aware of a phenomena called periorbital bruising or "raccoon eyes".

One way to make an educated guess as to whether the "black eyes" were obtained from a punch or direct impact to the eye is the presence or absence of swelling. Her black eyes are very large, semetrical in appearance, and red instead of the dark blue common with direct impact injuries to the soft tissues immediately above and below the eye. But there is no swelling to the soft delicate fatty tissue of the upper and lower eyelids nor is their any significant swelling to the tissue over the cheekbones or eyebrows. Were it my job to investigate this, it would certainly make me suspicious if this person were to claim that they were punched in the eyes or repeatedly about the face.

You will also notice the semicircular laceration to the forehead immediatly above the bridge of the nose. It appears to have already been sutured at the time of the photo indicating it must have been a very deep laceration. My guess it that it was this laceration as well as the injury to the mouth that was the source of the majority of the blood on the floor. These are the only two places on the face where there appears to be an actual open wound.

So...can a person strike their head, face first, into a tile floor from a standing position and impact these two areas simultaneously? Absolutely.

Another ovservation is that there is no blood spatter or blood trails on the floor. This would seem to indicate that the totality of the trauma occurred at the point where the blood was pooled. Had anyone cause this type of trauma to another, with repeated strikes, it is likely they would also have blood on their hands and forearms and there would likely be abrasions to the knuckles. I don't know, nor can I speculate if this type of evidence was found on the police officer.

So to recap: (again, all hypothetical) After having to restrain her with handcuffs, because of her repeated attempts to leave the room, the Officer decides she's not cooperative enough to submit to a sobriety test. He gets her calm enough to sit in a chair where she is seen leaning forward and not being actively resistant. He, turns off the videotape intended to record her sobriety test and attempts to lead her to a holding area to await a blood draw. She gets up, and either trips, faints, or falls due to lack of balance from being drunk and goes face first into the hard tile floor. Being handcuffed, she cannot instinctively break her fall and her face takes the full brunt of the impact. The officer, realizing that questions might be raised later as to why or how she came to be on the floor so shortly after the recording was turned off, decides to turn it back on if only to try to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Not possible? Really? You sure? What if it is?

Well, if it is, the officer ought to be reprimanded or counceled that when escorting restrained prisoners he follow the regularly accepted practice of maintaining physical control over his prisoner at all times in case they trip, fall, faint, or attempt to escape.

But I'm not bold enough to assume that this veteran officer with so much to lose is guilty of beating this woman up. I just don't buy it. Maybe he did. But I don't see compelling evidence in this video.

Sorry for the long response.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Jesus...

That's just insane. Granted, she looked like she was bordering on combative during the first half of the video tape, but even if he was forced to use force against her - that's too much. I've never seen that much blood coming from someone with a broken nose. He whooped her good.

Let's hope he pays for what he (apparently) did.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, not to excuse it, but that cop is obviosly a nut job. But here's one better...

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=73747

If they can do this to a paraplegic in a wheelchair just because he's a white man, think of what they'll do to you.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rule of thumb says don't drink and drive...and another one says don't resist arrest... Its more than OK to fire the cop for what he did, but you can't blame a dog(polish term for a cop) biting you after you irritated it... It works both ways... I have no pitty for either of them.

Herrmannek

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.reedercustomguns.com/1911/images/Vamp01.jpg

Perhaps an ugly gun submission?

-dan

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly looks bad for Willis. If he actually did what is apparent on the video, he should pay for it. As well, if the planets lined up against him that night, I hope he is vindicated.

Seems to me this could have gone down a few ways...

1. He shut off the camera, beats on her, then turned it back on. The video is certainly gives that impression. Wouldn't be the first time that ever happend.

...or...

2. He gave up, shut off the camera, and planned to take her to make the phone call she was screaming about so she'd shut up and cooperate. Camera goes off, she sees that (the little red light is off), then proceeds to beat her face on the floor a couple times. Wouldn't be the first a suspect bloodied themselves on purpose. Noses bleed like crazy. The officer says, "Oh crap!", opens the door (it was open when the video came back on) and shouts for someone. Then hurries to turn the camera back on.

...or...

3. Just like #2 (office gives up and takes her for the phone call) but she actually did face plant it in a big way. Like I said, noses bleed like crazy. Then seeing the oppotunity, see rants on how she was beat up. Wouldn't be the first time an upset drunk lost their balance. And she was being fiesty.

Who the hell knows? Looks like her beat on her, but I can't get there 100%.


-T.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Divemedic said...

The problem here is that I know many people (cops included) who feel that cops SHOULD be allowed to beat people who are seen committing a crime.

Some even tell me that police should be allowed to execute child molesters, robbers, rapists, and other violent criminals on scene, and save the public the cost of a trial.

When I point out the number of bad cops and mistaken cops, I am told "Sure, some innocents will get shot, but at least crime will be low."

This country scares me. Police state to follow.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Reno Sepulveda said...

He is out of work, suing him won't get her much.
What that cop did was criminal and the police department is not doing it's job. She needs to sue the department and the city for millions.

Then in the future the department might be more inclined to not only fire a criminal cop, but also arrest and prosecute a criminal cop.

7:54 AM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

holy crap. that's disturbing.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Bubbafats said...

All the while the officer is wearing his sidearm.
He's lucky that the lady didn't grab his Glock.

When the lady became combative, shouldn't he have called out for assistance?

Or did he welcome the opportunity to slam someone around?

What you see here is a criminal wearing a uniform! He belongs in prison, with the general population.

I wonder how many lives he's ruined.

I hope that the Shreveport PD pays dearly for this.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous cranky said...

Any good lawyer will hire an independent medical investigator to testify that her injuries are consistent with ... whatever happened with that pig turned off the video camera.

Why do they permit police to join unions? Who are they organizing against, except us?

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl! said...

Wiley Willis had two prior complaints of excessive force lodged against him. One of those complaints alleged that the officer placed his revolver to the head a citizen. He was an assault waiting to happen.

Saying he is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt is ludricous.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Even if the cop didn't do anything...turning off the camera showing a woman on her feet, and turning it back on to show a woman on the floor in a pool of blood, is going to look really bad to a jury. To be honest, I don't know why he would turn the camera off when the situation is a male officer with a female in a closed room anyway.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wadical, not a prayer. I've seen lots of cops punching people in cuffs for no reason as they put them in the vehicle. We're not talking combative. We're talking the officer had to prove one more point about his superiority before he put the "subject" (such a strange term to hear in the U.S.) in the vehicle. I've seen cops ram people against cars un-necessarily. Cops lose it. It's what happens when you have a monopoly in a job that requires violence. You have no monetary incentive to do the best job you can in the least violent manner. It's all up to the heart of the individual in that case. It runs with the territory of not having to please the customer. It's human nature.

It takes some real talent to "fall" and break not only your nose, but your teeth, as well.

I have a friend who was a cop. She told me she quit when she saw what kind of person she was becoming. How she viewed everyone. Granted, it's just one person, but I see many who act like she did, and fail to recognize or care. They stay on the force, and their brothers in blue defend them, just like you are.

I saw a crowd of 75 "law enforcement officers" in military fatigues laugh uproariously after a non-violent woman kneeling behind a sign was shot in the forehead with a less-lethal round(through the sign which was in front of her face.) She was non-violent, non-threatening, and they could have EASILY killed her by shooting through that sign and hitting her eye or the bridge of her nose. And 75 officers laughed about it. Excuse me for not giving police officers the benefit of the doubt.

-Sans Authoritas

7:21 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

It is clear that not many who've commented here have ever been involved with law enforcement. It is clear that many of you jump to a conclusion you want to be there. I know many officers who've had complaints lodged against them. If you're a cop long enough you'll get your share. Lodging a complaing doesn't make it true.

I got hit by a line drive softball right on the bridge of the nose about 10 years ago. One impact to one area of my face. I looked very much like this girl. Eyes blacked all the way around but not swollen shut.

If you believe that such injuries can not possibly be obtained by falling face first into a tile floor then you are lying to yourself.

From a legal standpoint, all this department has to do is pull several examples showing that the video was commonly turned off before the prisoner left the room either when testing was completed or when it was decided for whatever reason that testing would no longer continue. If those examples exist, then the officer cannot be disciplined for turning off the video because he would have been acting within accepted department standards.

This video certainly raises suspicion, but it by no means proves anything. Everyone here seems so sure of themselves that the police officer mercilessly beat a handcuffed woman with other officers nearby. I'm not buying it. You're believing what it feels good to believe, not what the evidence shows.

This officer will have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that will not happen based on the evidence contained in this video.

Obviously, I'm the odd man out here.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obviously, I'm the odd man out here."

And why do you think that is?

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, Wadical. That skank had it comin'. NOBODY should ever complain when a cop throws a beatin' to some woman half his size and handcuffed to boot for sassin' him .... oops- I meant, "when a good, God-fearing police hero has a suspect hurl herself face-first at the floor to embarass him and put his job at risk"... right? Wink wink nudge nudge.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

The Shreveport Times includes an extensive follow-up on this.

http://tinyurl.com/3yvdjo

The woman looks severely beaten up ... uh, I mean 'injured' ... and we have no evidence of the causes. We only have the evidence of her own broken mutter "he beat the shit out of me" before someone came to drag her out of the pool of her own blood after the video was restarted.

I'm willing to stipulate that the injury is entirely consistent with her having fallen and hit the floor with her face.

I'm also aware that this can more likely have happened to her by someone doing a leg-sweep on her. She was handcuffed, she couldn't break her fall no matter why she might have fallen to the floor.

In the pictures which accompany the above article, notice the stitches in her head? The first part of the video suggested that the officer slammed her into a file cabinet. I think if that injury had occurred at that time, we would have seen her bleeding from the forehead. Didn't happen then.

Not ignoring for the moment the nature of the THREE previous complaints against the officer for 'menacing', it's clear that she was being a pain in the ass (unwisely so), the officer was clearly not one to deal well with any form of resistance.

If nothing else, he was guilty of extremely bad judgment in handling this prisoner, and his tone and actions during the time when the video was running make it clear that he was early going beyond the minimum amount of force needed to control his prisoner.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wadical

what drugs are you on?

guess you missed him looking at his hands over and over?

she could have fallen off a 10 foot ladder on her face and had less injuries than these.

seriously you either need to start taking drugs or change the ones your on.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous just the facts. said...

"I got hit by a line drive softball right on the bridge of the nose about 10 years ago. One impact to one area of my face. I looked very much like this girl. Eyes blacked all the way around but not swollen shut. "

that's right. a line drive softball is a lot more like a fist than a floor is.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*I wonder. Has anyone thought of any hypothetical alternatives rather than "assuming" that a veteran officer with no prior history of this type thing just "snaps" unexplainably?*

no prior history? surely you jest.

12:12 AM  
Blogger bumper sticker philosopher said...

It's typical when something like this happens the cops com out with the platitudes like, "one bad apple" and "we Don't really know what happened" and "all cops aren't like this". or posts long winded defenses of the cop in question.


I think incidents like this are one helluva lot more common than we are actually seeing. This one sticks out because it was a caucasian woman rather than a young black or hispanic male.

and no, I don't like cops. I've never met one yet that didn't have "respect mah authoritah" issues.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

When are cops, police departments and police unions going to realize that to rid themselves of their earned reputation they'll need to stop circling the wagons around bad cops that do bad things? The public can respect an orgaization that will remove and prosecute the bad apples rather than embrace and protect them.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

When are cops, police departments and police unions going to realize that to rid themselves of their earned reputation they'll need to stop circling the wagons around bad cops that do bad things? The public can respect an organization that will remove and prosecute the bad apples rather than embrace and protect them.

1:06 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link