Syracuse, NY — Brad Hulett (39) is arguably one of the unluckiest men who’s ever lived. When he was 12, he was hit by two trains, and permanently disabled, and a portion of his brain was removed. At 27, he was run over by a truck.

Both accidents left him permanently disabled. The train accident caused his left side to be practically useless. His brain surgery caused his skull to appear dented when half of his brain was removed. The man vs. truck incident resulted in constant back pain, aggravated most by standing.

But it wasn’t until he had a run-in with Syracuse police officers that his luck, once again, took a turn for the worse. Officers were called to the bus where he was a rider on May 3, 2013.

Hulett refused to sit down, preferring to stand while holding the pole, reportedly because sitting hurt his back. When Syracuse’s finest arrived, instead of noticing he is obviously disabled, and employing de-escalation techniques, the officers went straight to their tasers.


The disabled man was tased and dragged out of the bus. As a result of the officers’ actions, he broke his hip in the process and had to have surgery, which left a seven-inch scar. The disabled man sued the officers, the police department, and the ambulatory services after charges against him were dismissed.

Instead of being transported to the hospital to receive proper medical care for his injuries, the frail handicapped man, with obvious special needs was taken to jail.

However, it’s what the judge in his case has noticed which is making news today. U.S. District Judge David Hurd uncovered a pattern of misconduct, cover-up, abuse, and misstatements which he says is reason enough for Hulett’s case to go forward.

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Judge Hurd pointed to Syracuse PD’s lackadaisical approach to use of force incidents as a cause for concern. As The Free Thought Project has advocated, the city has an effective Citizens Review Board (CRB) which independently determines whether or not an officer should be disciplined when he or she is accused of an excessive use of force.

But Chief Frank Fowler only disciplined 3 of 18 officers in 2013 whom the CRB recommended be disciplined for their actions. Citing the Chief’s own words, Hurd stated officers are rarely if ever disciplined for an improper use of a taser.

Judge Hurd also noticed the use of force incident report was not filed until newspapers covered the story about police using a taser on a disabled man. He also noted an internal investigation was not launched until reporters began to ask questions about the incident involving Hubert.

Syracuse.com wrote Hulett’s lawyers have uncovered an apparent cover-up:

Hulett’s lawsuit claims not only that police used excessive force, but that they tried to cover it up by falsifying reports and destroying other videos that Centro surveillance cameras captured outside the bus.

Video filmed by Syracuse Metro, which could have served as evidence in the case against the officers, was destroyed. Hulett’s lawyers also claim he was not told he was under arrest prior to being tased and drug out of the bus. Audio from the bus surveillance camera seems to indicate the officers never told the man he was under arrest before they deployed their tasers.

Judge Hurd is allowing the case to proceed. “A jury could conclude that, as a result of SPD leadership’s well-known permissive attitude toward compelled compliance with authority…, (the officers) knew they would not be critically investigated, much less disciplined, for using force on citizens,” Hurd wrote, before adding, “Consequently, these subordinate officers felt empowered to use force with relative impunity and that, as a result, used excessive force on (Hulett).”

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Rick Guy, Hulett’s lawyer had harsh words for the officers and the police department. “The video evidence in my client’s case shows a brutal and unnecessary abuse of power against one of the least of us,” he said. The lawyer added, “The integrity of the police department and the safety of the community depend on unbiased and honest investigation of uses of force and the appropriate disciplining of abusive officers.”

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine
  • LotharLocnar

    Just yet another example of police being hired that are worse than the criminals they arrest.

    • Thebob

      Libtard logic, hire the dumbest goons who will just follow orders like a robot, hence why they are making AI Police Bots…humans you know have too much emotion….Almost a proven fact, PD’s don’t hire anyone over 100 IQ to be the street goons…

  • Damiana

    I can’t help but wonder if the man was even asked to sit down before some asshat just sicced the cops on him! Who the fuck called the cops, because they deserve a little taste of that lawsuit as well.

    • Mod8guy

      Indeed. What kind of low coward thinks that kind of action against a clearly disabled man is anywhere near justifiable?

      • Don Unruh

        What kind of low coward? One who belongs to a gang with badges.

    • Mod8guy

      Seems hiring of cops nowadays is based on their inability to fill a jock strap since puberty, hence have a chip.

    • Guy

      When the original story broke, it was on that video the bus driver himself, was the one who was asking Hulett to sit down, doing so several times. Mr Hulett’s replied that he preferred to stand because of his back injury, as well saying, that it had never been an issue while riding on other transit busses.. The little guy was hurting no one, except the driver of the bus, who kept up a monotone of quoting transit policies. That is when the driver stopped for the police, and everything blew up after they got on. With the two cops manhandling him while on the bus, then tasering him causing him to fall off and break his hip.

      • G’ma G

        Again and again and again I keep screaming into the wind–When did cops get authority to enforce “rules” rather than “laws”? There is a huge difference. It’s bad enough when they enforce unconstitutional laws passed by elected legislatures. When there is no representation whatsoever to give it even the color of authority there is no authority to enforce whatsoever.

  • Gordon Klock

    Was the fact that, the act of sitting down was painful for him, too difficult for anyone to understand ? There seems to be, way to much ignorant hostility, directed against the medically infirm these days, (law enforcement personnel, are already notorious, but more & more ‘civilians’ seem to be copping a questionable, & childishly destructive attitude, as well)…..

    • Damiana

      Yeah, I’m betting it was some assclown on the bus who called the cops, because it’s “weird” for someone to be standing up when there’s an empty seat available. Probably never even spoke to the guy – just hunkered down and whispered into their cell phone like the nasty little rat they are. I hope that person gets EXACTLY what they deserve!

      • Thebob

        I bet it was the bus driver…most people are to engrossed in their “smart” phones to even notice anything like this…Typical day in New York, libtard haven…Also, your name referring to the Herb/Plant/Flower Damiana?

        • billdeserthills

          Is somebody blending–spice things up with spice

          • Damiana

            Hey, damiana can actually be smoked and while it’s not NEARLY as good as weed, it does give you a mellow little buzz.

        • Guy

          Yep it was.

        • Damiana

          Actually, Damiana was the name of a villainess in a cheesy old romance novel I once read. I always thought it was a lovely name. I had no idea about the plant until one of my clients pointed it out to me.

          • Guy

            Dam ! I…… (told you so) …… Ana ! Hey, It works for me !

    • Thebob

      Where is Obama, saying “those officer’s acted stupidly”??? This is a product of libtard logic…By any means necessary to get their agenda across and Socialist Utopia BS, ACA, denying coverage and death panels…To the Gov’t this guy is an “undesirable”…

      • Damiana

        Please don’t smoke that in here unless you’re gonna bring enough for everybody!

    • RJ O’Guillory

      ….I don’t endorse any of these idiots behavior, but from the driver’s perspective…I think I could see where he felt the need to force the man to sit. Unless standing is normally accepted on their buses, there may be a rule to limit the bus line’s liability in case of a fall, and therefore standing is not allowed? Having said that, as an educated driver, I would have perceived the man’s request as a…”reasonable accommodation request”… under The ADA, and simply allowed him to stand. The cops are only doing what our police-state-fascist- cops do…abuse the citizens, while then making the citizens pay for their misdeeds.
      RJ O’Guillory

  • Ibcamn

    fuckin cops….they are all terrorists,every last one…………….Karma,their day will come.