Topeka, KS — An innocent couple was attacked by police at their own home, the man thrown to the ground, beaten, both of them arrested, tried, and convicted and the body camera footage that proved their innocence was withheld from their defense. Now, for the first time since that fateful night in September 2014, the video has been publicly released showing the dark side of corrupt and violent cops.
Arthur Morris had done nothing wrong the night police showed up at his house and was merely trying to smoke a cigarette on his own porch when he was accosted by multiple cops.
Police were not supposed to be there. In fact, Morris told them that he had not called 911 and none of his neighbors had either. Someone in the area had allegedly called 911 and hung up, but police never told the couple this fact.
In spite of having no reason to believe Morris or his partner Jeanie Becerra had committed a crime, the cops proceeded to get violent.
One belligerent cop then grabbed Morris, threw him to the ground and proceeded to start dropping fists into the innocent man’s head and back.
“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Morris can be heard yelling in the disturbing body camera footage.
“I can’t breathe. I have asthma. …” Morris yells at other parts of the video. “I don’t stretch that far. Please stop. … I didn’t do nothing wrong guys. You just … threw me down for trying to light my cigarette.”
Morris and Becerra would then both be arrested and were eventually convicted on charges ranging from assaulting an officer, disobeying an officer, disturbing the peace and interfering with law enforcement—all bogus charges stemming from an illegal police encounter.
They had committed no crime. But it was their word against the police—and the police controlled the narrative—going so far as to illegally keep the body camera footage from being presented in court.
Eventually, the footage would be seen by the judge who would immediately vacate their sentences. However, it was not released in time to make a difference before their trial.
According to a report in the Kansas City Star,
After a judge had found both Morris and Becerra guilty on all counts, Luther Ganieany, a Topeka police legal advisor, raised concerns to the judge that the footage contradicted testimony given by officers. He requested that the judge reconsider the convictions.
Officers with the Topeka Police Department knew about the contents of the video in late September 2014, more than a month before the trial, Ganieany wrote in a motion.
But the department didn’t make the video available to the prosecution until just one hour before the trial “and made no indication that there was anything inconsistent with the officer’s report on the video,” Ganieany wrote.
The officers had no reasonable suspicion to confront Morris at his home, he wrote. The dispatcher had called back after the 911 hangup and the person had said there was no emergency.
As was decided in the Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland, a prosecutor in a case must disclose evidence or information that would prove the innocence of the defendant or would enable the defense to more effectively impeach the credibility of government witnesses.
This did not happen, and, as a result, two innocent people were convicted of crimes they did not commit.
In spite of clearly violating the Brady disclosure, no one was held accountable. The office simply got a class on the law they broke.
“The office did some internal training on Brady requirements … following this incident,” Ganieany said of the incident.
Not only was the prosecution cleared of any wrongdoing, but none of the officers who attacked, wrongly arrested, and lied about an innocent couple were held accountable either.
The beating and arrest were reviewed by the Shawnee County District Attorney, but none of the three officers on the scene faced any criminal repercussions, according to Ganieany.
The criminal officers who ruined an innocent couple’s lives are currently on normal duty.
Below is a video that illustrates two very powerful points. The first point is that cops lie. They will weave this web of lies to then cover up evidence of their horrific crimes against innocent people.
The second point proves that body cameras are only effective when the videos they record are in the hands of honest people. In this case, that did not happen.