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Texas Police Kill Unarmed Man Before Confiscating Witness Camera and Deleting Images

Pixiq  Police in Texas shot an unarmed man 41 times, then turned around and confiscated another man’s camera after he started taking photos and shooting video of the bloody aftermath.

Dallas-area cops then deleted the man’s footage before returning the camera four days later.

Now police from two agencies are vowing to do a “complete investigation,” which, of course, means we will hear nothing more about the August 31 incident for at least several months.

But so far, the partial investigation has determined that Garland police officer Patrick Tuter lied in his initial report when he claimed that suspect Michael Vincent Allen backed his truck into the patrol car, causing the cop to fear for his life and leaving him no choice but to fire 41 times, meaning he reloaded at least once.

Miraculously, a 20-year-old unarmed woman who was sitting in the cab of the pick-up truck emerged unscathed.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Mesquite police officers confiscated the witness’s camera:

 “From the time they yelled, ‘Get out, get out,’ they didn’t give him three seconds to get out,” Mitchell Wallace said, adding that he counted about 20 bullet holes in Allen’s truck.

Wallace and his wife were asleep when the gunshots began, but they quickly made it to the porch to see Allen’s passenger being pulled from the truck and a police dog jumping into the cab. The German shepherd bit Allen in the neck and jaw area and dragged him out of the truck and onto the pavement, Wallace said.

Police officers pulled the dog off, flipped Allen on his stomach and handcuffed him before checking his pulse. Autopsy results are pending on the cause of Allen’s death.

Wallace took cellphone pictures and video after the shooting stopped, but he said Mesquite police confiscated the phone and deleted the video and pictures. The phone was returned four days later, he said.

Mesquite police are conducting the criminal investigation, which hopefully includes whether or not Tuter acted lawfully, and Garland police are conducting the internal investigation.

Photography is Not a Crime reader Avi Adelman, a Dallas resident who runs the local news blog Barking Dogs is demanding Mesquite conduct an internal investigation into their officers for confiscating Wallace’s camera and deleting his images, which is a violation of federal law.

The law states that police need a court order to confiscate a camera unless it was used in a commission of a crime. The only exception is if there are exigent circumstances, such as a strong belief that the witness will destroy the photos, therefore destroying evidence.

Under no circumstances do police have the right to delete footage.

Adelman stated the following in a letter he fired off to Mesquite City Manager Ted Barron:

Mr. Barron, the actions of the unnamed Mesquite police officer(s) was a violation of Mr. Mitchell’s First and Fourth Amendment rights. Attached to this fax is a US Department of Justice memo clearly outlining the issues regarding illegal seizures and deletions of video and photos captured by the public of police activities. I am also requesting in advance a copy of the Mesquite Police Departments internal affairs investigation, under the Texas Public Information Act.

Adelman has also been staying on top of the Memorial Day incident in which a Dallas sheriff deputy arrested a motorcyclist because he wouldn’t hand over his helmet camera footage as evidence against other bikers.

Adelman contacted the sheriff’s department late last month about that incident and was told it was still under investigation.

When he made some critical comments regarding that incident on the Dallas Sheriff Facebook page, they were deleted immediately.

In the recent incident, police say they tried to pull Allen over because he had been involved in a previous chase with another Dallas-area law enforcement agency.

But then they said he led them on a 30-minute chase with speeds reaching 100 mph.

He eventually pulled into a cul-de-sac, which is when they said he tried to ram his way to freedom.

But a dash cam video proved that to be a lie.

Garland police also said Tuesday that dash-cam video revealed that Officer Patrick Tuter crashed his squad car into a truck driven by the suspect, Michael Vincent Allen, before the shooting started. Initial reports had said Allen had hit Tuter’s car, prompting the officer to open fire.

It was only two months ago that Houston police also confiscated a camera from a witness in the aftermath of a shooting, an incident in which no update has been made available.

UPDATE: As of this writing, the Dallas Sheriff’s deputy who arrested the motorcyclist was suspended without pay for nearly two months.

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25 Responses to Texas Police Kill Unarmed Man Before Confiscating Witness Camera and Deleting Images

  1. Paul Prichard says:

    Just who on earth do these police officers think they are ?
    I am a mild mannered person but if any police officer wanted any of my property they might get it inserted where the sun doesn’t shine out of.
    Would that get me in trouble, do you think ?

  2. Joe says:

    What needs to start happening is this: People need to install instant-video-upload-off-phone software on their smartphones. One example of this is an app called Qik, or Ustream, but there may be others. Do an iPhone or android search for live video upload.

    Then, when officer McShootypants decides that the best way to re-qualify with his weapon and reach this month’s target-practice quota is into an unarmed citizen, the video shot through one of these apps will be instantly and wirelessly transmitted off the phone and online.

    Even when, or if the police seize the phone, the video captured will still be streaming “up” to the server. Even if the phone loses coverage and regains later, or even gets shut off, the data will still try to go when the phone powers up. This means they can’t delete it, and the witness can go home to their PC and do what they want with the video, even without their phone.

    Most importantly, the authorities will believe they have the only evidence in hand, and may feel confident to begin embellishing the truth. And if they do this, it will not end well politically for them when the evidence finally emerges contrary to their official story.

  3. NC says:

    Wow. I’m glad I’m not the only one with police problems in Texas.

    “But so far, the partial investigation has determined that Garland police officer Patrick Tuter lied in his initial report when he claimed that suspect Michael Vincent Allen backed his truck into the patrol car, causing the cop to fear for his life and leaving him no choice but to fire 41 times, meaning he reloaded at least once.

    Miraculously, a 20-year-old unarmed woman who was sitting in the cab of the pick-up truck emerged unscathed.”

    Really? I mean I don’t even have anything to say because I am beyond shocked and without words. This is completely insane and the other article posted earlier on here “New Attack on 2nd Amendment: Obama says substance abusers cannot own firearms” states that Obama administration believes that “with the classification of gun support as a mental disorder, more control could be placed on who ultimately can own a gun”. So again, police don’t fall in line with the “mental disorder” category? Especially after this incident? Really? 41 times followed by a German shepherd ripping the dead man’s jaw and neck apart and then handcuffing him afterwards when he was completely dead and overkilled? Really? That doesn’t ring any crazy bells with anyone? THIS JUST EXTREMELY PISSES ME OFF!!!!

    By the way, the Texas Civil Rights Commission is reviewing my case of police brutality. We’ll see how that goes.

  4. Isaac says:

    Gee, the photographer can get arrested for destroying photographic evidence of a crime, but the cops can get away with it? I’m astonished that cop violence is still escalating, when they’re outnumbered and outgunned 5000 to 1 in the U.S. Will no one stand up to the schoolyard bullies?

    Ooops, Monday Night Football’s on….gotta go.

    • Big Bob says:

      At this time, the People are outnumbered a zillion-to-one in the “Usage of Firearms Department.” Having a 5000-to-one advantage is of no use if the 5000 aren’t doing anything.
      Clowns to the left.
      Jokers to the right.
      Here I am stuck in the middle with you.

  5. Steadysteve says:

    I think if I saw a cop car crash another car and the cops start shooting I might just pull my carbine from my truck and let loose on the cops. These scumbags need to start fearing us.

    • #1 NWO Hatr says:

      They soon will.

    • diggerdan says:

      Aw man, they fear us to the point that they have to have a pack of cops just to handle one person and then they taze or shoot the guy. If they didn`t fear us all they would not have to act the way they do and always have back up and use their strong arm tactics that they do all the time. They are all a bunch of scared chicken shit punks when they are alone and off duty. think about it.

      • NC says:

        “Aw man, they fear us to the point that they have to have a pack of cops just to handle one person and then they taze or shoot the guy.”

        Hey, like my incident! Luckily I wasn’t shot, only tased.

  6. Mick says:

    there is a program that “undeletes” images on SD cards etc… it cost about $50 .It worked for me.

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