December 20, 2010-Update Lewis/Winn
Smile for the camera: The shades of Benton County. REMEMBER WHEN sunglasses protected you only from the suns glare? These days they can protect a citizen in other ways. Consider the case of officer Dana Winn, the Benton County deputy who found himself a star on YouTube the other day after arresting a man with whom he’d argued a short time before. Result: The sheriff is now investigating his deputy’s conduct to determine whether Deputy Winn stayed within professional bounds in his exchange with a man who was secretly taping their confrontation on a video camera built into his sunglasses.
From what can be seen on the video, an investigation would seem fully justified. The flap began when Deputy Winn, in search of a fugitive, confronted John Lewis, who was seated in a chair in his front yard. The officer asked Mr. Lewis if he knew the whereabouts of the wanted man, who once lived at that address. In a response recorded by the hidden camera, Mr. Lewis says he doesn’t know where the suspect is, adding, “That’s the end of it. I’m not answering any more questions.”
On the tape, Deputy Winn seems to grow increasingly agitated as he continues to ask about the fugitive and about Mr. Lewis himself. All too soon the officer starts to chide Mr. Lewis for not addressing him by his proper title. The deputy then walks Mr. Lewis to his patrol car, where he arrests and cuffs him. Then it’s off to the county jail. Mr. Lewis was released, but not before being charged with obstructing governmental operations, a misdemeanor. Now he wants the charges dropped. The video recorded by Mr. Lewis’ cinematic shades raises a relevant question: Just which man was acting improperly?
Laurent Sacharoff, a professor of criminal law at the University of Arkansas, says that in general, police can’t arrest people on their own property without a warrant unless they see a crime being committed. Therefore, those investigating Deputy Winn’s actions will have to decide whether the officer saw a crime in progress. And on first viewing the video, says the professor, he didn’t detect any obvious crime being committed. The investigation will have to determine whether Deputy Winn had sufficient cause to believe Mr. Lewis was lying about knowing where the fugitive was.
“Some of the questions he refused to answer,” the professor points out, “were about [Mr.] Lewis and not about the fugitive, and it was unclear how that related to the investigation.” Rita Sklar, who directs our state’s ever-vigilant branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, has been heard from, too. Naturally. It’s her job to issue a warning when she detects a danger to any Americans rights. Her conclusion/accusation: The deputy showed “somewhat typical bullying behavior.” She also opines that the arrest appeared unlawful. Ms. Sklar offered a bit of advice for those who might find themselves in Mr. Lewis’ shoes: “Get themselves some good sunglasses.” As she put it, “You can get witnesses, but there’s nothing like a good tape recording.”
Which man acted improperly in this heated encounter? Neither? Both? Did the one in the all-seeing shades bait the deputy into over-reacting for the camera? Those are the kinds of questions a good investigation will dig into and should. When the founding fathers said eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, they could hardly have envisioned just how vigilant an ordinary citizen wearing a not-so-ordinary pair of sunglasses could be. In todays high-tech world, anybody who acts out in plain view – whether in uniform or out – risks appearing on the evening news or on tomorrows front page. It’s a new development and a new safeguard for the good old Bill of Rights. Not all progress may be good, but some of it, like these shades-cum-camera, ain’t bad. Not bad at all.
First off, let me add a few things to the above. If there was a set up, of this police officer as stated, then I am sure there would have been a lot more to get this dishonest police officer even more angry. Second, police officers are trained to not pay attention to any type of verbal or body abuse as it is given daily in their line of work. As for not having any type of video whatsoever, then who’s word would have been above approach? The police officers, after all they’re sworn officers of the courts and the Constitutional rights of all citizens.
Ah, but a police officer is allowed to lie anytime in order to get a conviction. But, if a citizen does this and it’s going to be jail time. How many people before Mr. Lewis was approached and taken to jail falsely, because the officer had that feeling the citizen was not telling all he really knows? This video showed that we had not only a bad sheriff’s deputy, but also a training officer teaching others how to be corrupt officers and step all over everyone’s rights. A training officer, and he received two days suspension without pay and a years probation? Because he did not find a hidden camera that really was not hidden, after all they were just sunglasses and should not have those sunglasses been moved in the first place before putting Mr. Lewis in the back of the car?
When this goes to court and if there was no video, then Mr. Lewis as well as many others in the past would have to pay court costs as well as fines and even jail time because of a corrupt bad cop. Who by the way has trained how many others the same way as him with the blessing of the sheriff who already states that he is the main one that hires as well as fires. Mr. Furgerson may be head pig at the trough, but condones this deputies practice after all he didn’t fire him.
American Citizens you best understand that your rights are being taken daily and if afraid to fight for them, then you’re going to end up in jail like Mr. Lewis and taken from your property even where you should be safe. You don’t have to commit a crime even and still be told what to say and do or get yourself into a lot of problems. Mr. Lewis was lying about knowing where the fugitive was. “Some of the questions he refused to answer,” the professor points out, “were about [Mr.] Lewis and not about the fugitive, and it was unclear how that related to the investigation.”
How is it that this bad police officer has that right to judge who is telling the truth? Oh, eleven years of experience. Well, I’ve seen the complete video many times, and could not see where he was telling any lies. He didn’t wish to answer any questions and also asked this corrupt officer to leave his property. The officer said, “how do I know you own this property”? It matters not if a stranger or a police officer or anyone for that matter comes on to your property. You do not have to answer any questions whatsoever. But, trespassing is something that this officer did as well as broke a few laws, as this Laurent Sacharoff, a professor of criminal law at the University of Arkansas would look into.
Peace officers are above all the laws in Arkansas is what I read into this. Everyone asks where they can get a pair of glasses like Mr. Lewis. I googled and found many as well as lots of other great protection devices from bad cops. America is really in a downfall when citizens have to protect themselves from those that are hired to serve as well as protect. But, no they’re called bullies and power hungry and abusive jerks. That should be terminated as well as caught years ago. If not for Mr. Lewis, how long could this have gone on? Till retirement. Again how many have since been trained by this bad cop?
All I can say is if you have a run in with Officer Dana Winn, and remember to call him officer because he doesn’t work for the city, he works for the county. County? Oh that means Sheriff Furgerson the one that hires as well as fires. Winn a training officer? Oh you citizens I feel sorry for all of you if you don’t have at lease a hand-held recorder on you at all times. Really bad to have to protect yourself from bad cops. Hopefully this is not the end of this corruption in our area and things will become better before they get worst. But, from what has taken place, keep that recorder at least on the ready at all times.
View this video, and see if you can understand what I have stated!
Bentonville Sheriff Bad Cop of The Year!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AM2_uYx3io Part # 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnY_XfeeEeM&feature=related Part # 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOlVfmcr4Lw&feature=related Part # 3
Also go to policeabuse.com for more information if you’re having problems with bad cops that have sworn to uphold the Constitution of The United States, as well as protect and serve the Public. These officers that break the laws of the state as well as county need to have complaints filed against them. It’s because of bad cops like this that has the citizens against law enforcement. Remember there’s still many that do a good job, but the bad apples make it worst for the good ones.