The issue of police brutality that was filmed of Detective Steven Westfall of the Pocatello police department slamming the head of suspected trespasser James Rutherford while completely detained on the hood of a police car, has began a new chapter. Now there is a federal lawsuit against the City of Pocatello and the Pocatello Idaho Police Department.
From an article from The Idaho State Journal on April 12th 2016.
An alleged police brutality incident involving then-Pocatello police detective Steven Westfall and James Rutherford of Pocatello last summer has entered a new chapter. The Pocatello law firm of Hearn & Wood, LLP, has filed a civil suit in federal court alleging that Westfall, the city of Pocatello and the Pocatello Police Department violated Rutherford’s civil rights.
Pocatello attorney Richard Hearn said the burden of proof in a civil action is less than the “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in a criminal case. Hearn said he believes Rutherford’s civil rights were violated last July, and he hopes a successful civil action against Westfall and the police department will shape future policies and protect people from excessive force.
The federal complaint, filed on Tuesday, alleges four main actions that violated Rutherford’s civil rights. They are the use of excessive force by Westfall, a violation of Rutherford’s First Amendment rights inside the IRS office of the Omni Building, failure of other police officers to stop Westfall’s assault on Rutherford and an orchestrated effort to cover up Westfall’s actions in initial police reports filed after the July 10, 2015, incident.
The federal civil complaint alleges that Chief Marchand and the PPD failed to properly train and supervise officers. It also alleges that police officers Kevin Nielsen, Shannon Bloxham, Forrest Peck and Sydney Seamons failed to protect Rutherford from Westfall’s attack.
Initially, Hearn filed a tort claim against the city of Pocatello, but was unable to reach a settlement. He said this led to the filing of a legal action in federal court.
“This is a civil case,” Hearn said. “We are seeking justice in a civil arena.”
[restrict allow_role=”author” open_time=”2016-09-14 11:00:00″ condition=”all” message=”Restricted content, sensitive information will be release in September 2016 “] To whom it may concern,
For all intents and purposes I am going to have to agree with the Civil Rights action that is filed against your police department on behalf of James Rutherford.I have similar complaints about the way that officer Tyler Evans handled the issue between myself and the person that came to my house and assaulted our family.Your officers are poorly trained, and I hope that this civil case nails your department to the wall.Your officer Tyler Evans was informed that my son had been injured badly by the perpetrator that came to our house looking for violence, and did not ask nor did Mr. Evans even attempt to interview my son.Your officer gave conflicting advice as recorded on the police officers body camera (which I only got audio and no visual on this). First he said I was legally in the right to offer someone to box, and to use social media to voice my concerns. I clarified that with him twice. Then the next day, he told me that it was not ok to offer someone to box, and it was not ok to use social media.The complaints (some) that the civil case that James Rutherford is waging, I have similar complaints.I will see if there is any possible way to get a civil suit going or possibly a class action law suit going against your department. (Note: To Hearn & Wood, LLP, I am willing to contribute and join in on a class action)1. For endangering or at very least disregarding the safety of my 3 year old son.2. For giving false and conflicting advice3. For violating my first amendment rights4. For allowing the person who came to my house to assault me, to use the police force to harass me with false charges that office Evans did not even qualify of get evidence on. Such as how the perpetrator claimed that we left threatening voicemails, and threats on social media. When Officer Evans offered to come get the evidence, Joseph Radeck rejected him, and said “no it’s ok I just want to be done with it”. But then Mr. Radeck continued to beckon the police to come after me for social media, and the police did, without as even so much as a sliver of evidence against me.
So with absolutely no evidence, you ill-educated, and rather froggy police officer filed bullshit charges against me, and endangered the lives of our family by empowering our perpetrator with police harassment to go along with the violence.When the police disregarded the safety of my family, and when your department filed bunk charges with NO QUALIFYING EVIDENCE against me, I sold my 5 plex in Pocatello at a significant loss.So if I can’t get on this lawsuit, I will make sure there is another one to follow.I will also create a newspaper to demonstrate to the citizens of Pocatello how blatantly careless your department is with their tax dollars. It is no wonder your department is always asking for increases to their budget, it’s because you are always neck deep in lawsuits regarding your careless and ill-mannered police officers.But trust me, when I read this news report about officer Westfall and the new Civil Rights lawsuit, it made me feel 100% better about how things went down in Pocatello. Your police officers need to learn some basic manners, and also they need to learn their job. Most of your officers are clearly inept. If you are going to be enforcing the law, you need to at least have enough education behind you to know the law, at least as much as a lawyer.You can’t go around ruining people’s lives, with stupid bunk charges just because you are ignorant. That is a disservice to the community.I was only trying to contribute to the community there.My wife and I got married in Pocatello 14 years ago. When we came back, we bought real-estate, and opened a nice high end retail store. We also spent hundreds of thousands there on medical care for my car accident injuries.My wife is a native to Pocatello, her family goes back generations. Most of her current family that lives there are on every government handout that they can get. They are not in the least bit productive and they abuse police resources constantly. However we have significant incomes, and we had nothing but contributions to make. We never took one dime out of that community, not once. We have always been contributors.But you lost us. Not only that, you created a bad relationship with your stupidity that will not only take money out of your community, but will likely end up with your police department facing another lawsuit.How many lawsuits do you need to deal with, before you get your shit together?Go ahead, run all of the good people out of Pocatello. Keep all of the thugs and druggies. That way the people of Pocatello will continue to need the police. Right? A little job security for ya huh.Idiots. If that’s the way you think, the citizens of Pocatello need the throw your asses out of office, starting with Chief Marchand hopefully, and if the City Council won’t act on this, their negligence should be called in to question too.Sincerely,Ryan Thompson[/restrict]REF: http://idahostatejournal.com/members/civil-rights-action-filed-against-ppd-westfall/article_cec74369-9b7a-50b5-9699-4954750cb24c.html
REF; Issue regarding why our inlaw assaulted my family; https://www.facebook.com/actionagainstfalseaccusations/videos/1684054181858632/