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Security Video Clears Texas Man Of Assaulting Cop

falk3[1]Austin, TX – The incident took place in a rural county of 40,000 just east of Austin, at the five-acre property where Faulkenberry runs a motorcycle parts shop.

 

The police report (PDF) by Deputy Michael Taylor, however, claims Faulkenberry wasn’t the victim. Taylor asserts that Faulkenberry attacked a deputy.

“I observed Lawrence Faulkenberry push Sergeant Yost with the left side of his body and elbow into a tree causing him to fall and injure his left shin and right knee cap. I observed Lawrence Faulkenberry to forcefully resist Deputies while attempting to lawfully detain him for officer safety. Deputies detained Lawrence Faulkenberry using the least amount of force necessary to gain compliance from Lawrence Faulkenberry.”

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The incident has sparked a federal civil rights lawsuit, (PDF) which also accuses the police of unlawfully searching Faulkenberry’s property for a weapon that was never discovered. “I don’t have one,” Faulkenberry told Ars. The suit names the three officers shown in the video: Sgt. Dustin Yost, Deputy Michael Taylor and another officer identified only as Deputy Houseston. On Friday, both sides in the case told (PDF) a judge presiding over the case that “mediation would provide a forum to attempt meaningful efforts to accomplish resolution of this case.”

But for the moment, the sheriff’s department is sticking with Taylor’s story. (PDF)

Defendants specifically deny that they violated Plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights or any other rights under the United States Constitution or the laws of the State of Texas. Specifically, Defendants deny that they used excessive force and unreasonable seizure, fabricated criminal charges, unreasonable search—warrantless search of property as alleged in paragraphs 29 through 32.

But a secret video is closer to Faulkenberry’s version of events.

Thirty feet away from the melee was a home security video camera Faulkenberry had fastened to a utility pole years earlier. It captured police arriving in response to a bogus call from Faulkenberry’s 16-year-old son. The teen, angry that his dad had grounded him for problems in school, told police his father was drunk and waving a firearm. The video shows Faulkenberry with his arms raised and no weapon in sight. While the officers begin to handcuff him, one deputy kicks Faulkenberry’s leg out from under him, after which Faulkenberry is thrown forcibly to the ground and struck at least once in the back, according to the video.

The video was enough for Caldwell County District Attorney Fred Weber to decline to press charges against Faulkenberry.

“Absolutely” the video was what prompted him not to prosecute.

The video (which contains no audio) has not led to the officers being disciplined or charged for allegedly falsifying police reports. Weber declined to comment on that.

“Without the video I would be in prison. There is no doubt about that,” Faulkenberry said.

Security Video Clears Texas Man Of Assaulting Cop

 

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