Warren, OH — Last year, TFTP reported on the fabricated story of how Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Angel Reinosa was shot in the shoulder by a sniper as he walked from his patrol car into the station. A massive manhunt ensued as heavily armed deputies in military attire set up a perimeter and locked down the area but it would all be in vain. Reinosa was arrested the following week because he made the entire thing up. Then, less than a week later, another cop in Ohio was arrested for doing the exact same thing.
This week, Warren Police Officer Noah Linnen was sentenced to 9 months in jail after pleading guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, inducing panic and disrupting public service after he lied about being "shot at by a Black man" and returned fire.
On Tuesday, Linnen issued an apology saying he was ashamed of his actions.
“I apologize to the African American community, especially to those directly affected by my actions that day. Further, I apologize to all the first responders, especially the police officers who were affected by my actions and whose image was tarnished by the actions of that day,” Linnen said.
This apology does not go far enough, however, as Linnen's actions that day led to the loss of freedom for several "black men" accused of shooting him.
On January 13, 2020, approximately 50 officers from ten different departments combed a prominently black neighborhood looking for a non-existent suspect. This swarm of cops was reportedly detaining innocent people, pulling over others, and shaking up an entire community. All of this chaos and rights violations were because Linnen falsely claimed he'd been involved in a shootout with a black man in a black SUV.
Linnen told investigators that he'd stopped a black man in an SUV who began shooting. He claimed the non-existent suspect was a tall, thin, black male. "He said the suspect was wearing a black hoodie with the hood up and had a gray t-shirt pulled up over the lower half of his face like a mask. He also described the suspect as having a high pitched voice and carried a silver revolver with a black handle," WFMJ reported at the time.
Naturally, after hearing a black man would dare shoot at one of their brothers in blue, the cops deployed in full force. Multiple innocent black men were subsequently detained for a significant amount of time—otherwise known as kidnapping.
This dragnet was rolled out by police and innocent people were detained and kidnapped without a single shred of evidence presented by Linnen. Had an average citizen made a similar claim, rest assured that this would have been entered as a journal entry into a police notebook and may or may not have resulted in a patrol unit receiving it as an assignment. No dragnet would've happened and no lockdown.
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Due to the massive police presence devoted to their brother in blue, however, this lying cop's story began to unravel as evidence surfaced. The first evidence came in the form of surveillance cameras in the area. After launching a massive manhunt, police finally looked at the surveillance footage from nearby properties and never saw an SUV fitting Linnen's description. So, the lying cop changed his story.
Linnen then changed his story and reported the “suspect” was on a bicycle and fled on foot, but no bicycle was found at the scene either, the affidavit states.
In total, this lying cop would change his story four times after each lie he made up was shut down by investigators. As Tribtoday.com reports:
In the final version of the story listed in the affidavit, Linnen told Howland detectives Jeff Edmundson and Sean Stephens there was no robbery, and he fired his police-issued revolver through his car three times at a passing vehicle with bright headlights that appeared to be driving toward his vehicle, which was parked on the side of the road.
He could offer no description of the vehicle he claims he shot at, according to the affidavit.
Linnen’s latest claim is that he used his backup weapon and fired it toward himself after firing at the vehicle, as he developed the story to explain why he shot his gun, the affidavit states. One bullet ripped his jacket, but did not wound Linnen.
“Your criminal acts, dishonesty, lack of integrity and total disregard for the implication of your actions clearly prove that you do not subscribe to the morals, values and mission of the Warren Police Department,” Warren police Chief Eric Merkel wrote in Linnen’s disciplinary letter. “Your description subjected every black male in the entire Trumbull County area, especially in the near vicinity, to the torment of being accused of shooting a police officer.
“Your description perpetuated a stereotype that black males make more credible suspects,” Merkel continued. “You sparked an emotion throughout the black community that widens the gap of police-community relations.
“I will not allow one officer’s actions to tarnish the relationship we have built with our community,” Merkel stated.
Merkel conveniently left out the part about his officers following through with the oppression of an entire community based on a single officer's stereotype.
No amount of "not allowing" the relationship to be tarnished will stop the relationship from actually being tarnished, however. Almost constantly, we are told that police officers are these infallible heroes who are to be believed over everyone else, and all too often, the opposite is true. Literally thousands of innocent people are rotting in cages right now all based on the lies of public servants and every time their lies are exposed, we are told it's a bad apple who shouldn't ruin the relationship with the community. Well, we choose to disagree, bad apples spoil the entire bunch.