Home / Badge Abuse / Cop Rams Car Full of Children, Flees, Deletes Dashcam — Says it Was all in the ‘Scope of his Job’

Cop Rams Car Full of Children, Flees, Deletes Dashcam — Says it Was all in the ‘Scope of his Job’

Southfield, MI — This week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled that on an officer, who violently endangered the lives of an innocent grandmother and her three grandchildren by repeatedly ramming his car into theirs, is not immune from a lawsuit.

On Oct. 24, 2011, Cheryl McCarty was driving her three young grandchildren to school when she was stopped by Southfield police officer Keith Birberick. Birberick accused her of illegally passing a school bus.

Claiming that she hadn’t passed a school bus, McCarty voiced her discontent with the several hundred dollar ticket she was receiving for it. She also informed the officer that she planned to file a complaint with the Mayor’s Office over this incident.

“She argued with him, claimed there had been no school bus, accused him of racism, and refused to accept the ticket, letting it instead drop on the ground,” says the appeals ruling. “Officer Birberick returned to his patrol car—a large SUV—and drove away.

“But McCarty, who had turned off her ignition, but not her headlights had accidentally drained her car battery and could not restart her car.”

McCarty was stuck on the roadside for 20 minutes before officer Birberick came driving by again. Seeing her in the same spot apparently angered the officer, so he took action to remove her and her grandchildren from the roadside — with extreme prejudice.

McCarty “then noticed that (Birberick) had first pulled beside her and then got behind and hit her car so hard that her grandkids came out of their seats,” says a September filing from McCarty’s attorney, Diana L. McClain, according to MLive.

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After Birberick initially rammed the car full of children, he “waited for traffic to clear and then got out of his car and approached (McCarty’s) car yelling that he could have ‘killed them, and it would have been his fault.'” the filing says.

But that wasn’t enough. Birberick then got “back in his car and rammed (McCarty) a second time” pushing it “into a nearby gas station narrowly missing oncoming motorists and a row of gas pumps … ”

The entire time, according to court records, McCarty’s vehicle was in park. One can only imagine the metal smashing chaotic scene that unfolded as a police SUV cruiser forced a parked car into a gas station parking lot by ramming it over and over.

The patrol car hit her vehicle so hard that the children were thrown to the ground, and one of them suffered a cut to the head.

Birberick then sped off and made no mention of the incident.

The very next day, McCarty went to the Southfield Police Department to file a formal complaint against the maniac who’d almost killed her and her grandkids. However, upon entering the station, officials dissuaded her from filing a complaint, noting that the dashcam video had been destroyed by Birberick.

Naturally, McCarty immediately filed a lawsuit against Birberick and the department, but Birberick appealed — claiming he was “protected by law enforcement immunity while performing his job.”

Birberick asserted his blue privilege and noted that because he was operating within the scope of his job, he should be immune.

Luckily, however, a court decided the idea of granting immunity to a cop acting in such a manner is a preposterous idea.

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The U.S. Appeals Court said Birberick’s actions “shock the conscience” and rose to a level of “gross negligence.”

“In short, without consent or even warning, he violently rammed (a woman’s) car with his much larger SUV, needlessly damaging her car and propelling it into traffic, endangering the safety of the occupants, which included three small children,” the court ruled. “He then fled the scene of the accident he had just caused and destroyed evidence that might have proven his motivation or malicious intent.”

“In fact, this would be shocking—and criminal—behavior if committed by an ordinary citizen,” the ruling says.

Naturally, the attorney for the city denies it happened in such a manner and denies that Birberick intentionally deleted the dashcam footage.

“The next step is we’ll let a jury decide what really happened,” Attorney Joe Seward said. “Her version, her story as to what happened, those facts are not accurate.”

Seward claims that McCarty is merely angry about getting a ticket and so, for the last 4 years, she’s been attempting to sue.

MLive reports that Birberick is no longer with the Southfield Police Department, but Seward said his departure from Southfield has nothing to do with this incident.

According to his Linked In profile, Birberick, previously a Southfield police officer and member of the U.S. National Guard, is a police officer at Oakland Community College. The profile indicates he worked in Southfield for 29 years and retired in 2013.

  • Tim Hadfield

    Go to Hell with your poison chain letter.

  • Cam Alft

    this isn’t the first time cops have deleted footage and it certainly won’t be the last…as for ramming her car,ive only seen it once,out of malice,and that cop is long retired since then.but corrupt cops always have this crap in their head since they are on duty they can do anything they want,be immune from any law[s],they do this every day to people and in the courts,because the system is corrupted and this is the first time ive heard of this happening with a judge being outspoken on a corrupt cop for deleting footage,which is now evidence,so yea,bravo judge,and f’k you cop………

  • Mike

    Fuck you and all your shit ass spam….

  • Mike

    Fuck you and all your shit ass spam

  • anarchyt

    Here are changes that can help reduce the police-induced violence:
    1. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves.
    2. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of their pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    3. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    4. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    5. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    6. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    7. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    8. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.

    • Edward Drew

      That’s a nice list! Who do you think will make these the rules? and pay for it?

  • Steve Fornelius

    And probably retired with a “disability” so he could get 100% of his salary plus COL plus ups AND medical for life at no charge. This is VERY common with police and fire department employees – if he’s on disability, then he should get periodic examinations by a non-union paid doctor. If he is disabled, then he shouldn’t be allowed to perform ANY law enforcement or public employment since that allows him to double dip.