Innocent Army Veteran Framed by Louisiana Police and Prosectors Barely Escapes Jail Due to Cellphone Video

Innocent Army Veteran Framed by Louisiana Police and Prosectors Barely Escapes Jail Due to Cellphone Video (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 4, 2015):

In a scene described in the lawsuit, Dendinger recounted a nervous night handcuffed to a rail at the Washington Parish Jail. He said he was jeered by officers, including Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper, who whistled the ominous theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”Casssard, in his statement, told deputies, Dendinger “slapped me in the chest.”

Washington Parish court attorney Pamela Legendre said “it made such a noise,” she thought the officer “had been punched.”

Police Chief Culpepper gave a police statement that he witnessed the battery, but in a deposition he said, “I wasn’t out there.” But that didn’t stop Culpepper from characterizing Dendinger’s actions as “violence, force.”

What the officers and attorneys did not know was that Dendinger had one critical piece of evidence on his side: grainy cell phone videos shot by his wife and nephew. 

In the end, the two videos may have saved Dendinger from decades in prison. From what can be seen on the clips, Dendinger never touches Cassard, who calmly takes the envelope and walks back into the courthouse, handing Wall the envelope.

– From WWLTV’s investigative report: Charges Crumble After Cell Phone Video Uncovered

The following story should send shivers down the spines of all decent, law-abiding American citizens. It’s also a great reminder of the primary reason it’s so wise to videotape interactions with police. Many of them turn out to be egregious liars.

It’s the story of Army veteran, and Washington Parish, Louisiana resident Douglas Dendinger. A man who’s life was nearly intentionally ruined by group of cops and prosecutors upset that he had acted as a process server for a lawsuit filed by his nephew. The following should make you even more concerned than you already are about the American injustice system.

From WWLTV:

In order to help out his family and earn a quick $50, Dendinger agreed to act as a process server, giving a brutality lawsuit filed by his nephew to Chad Cassard as the former Bogalusa police officer exited the Washington Parish Courthouse.

The handoff went smoothly, but Dendinger said the reaction from Cassard, and a group of officers and attorneys clustered around him, turned his life upside down.

“It was like sticking a stick in a bee’s nest.” Dendinger, 47, recalled. “They started cursing me. They threw the summons at me. Right at my face, but it fell short. Vulgarities. I just didn’t know what to think. I was a little shocked.”

Not knowing what to make of the blow-up, a puzzled Dendinger drove home. That’s where things went from bad to worse.

“Within about 20 minutes, there were these bright lights shining through my windows. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I mean I knew immediately, a police car.”

“And that’s when the nightmare started,” he said. “I was arrested.”

He was booked with simple battery, along with two felonies: obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness, both of which carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. Because of a prior felony cocaine conviction, Dendinger calculated that he could be hit with 80 years behind bars as a multiple offender.

In a scene described in the lawsuit, Dendinger recounted a nervous night handcuffed to a rail at the Washington Parish Jail. He said he was jeered by officers, including Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper, who whistled the ominous theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

After his family posted bail, he said he was hopeful that the matter would be exposed as a big misunderstanding. After all, he thought, a group of police officers and two St. Tammany prosecutors witnessed the event.

Supported by two of his prosecutors who were at the scene, Reed formally charged Dendinger. Both prosecutors, Julie Knight and Leigh Anne Wall, gave statements to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office implicating Dendinger.

The case file that was handed to Reed and his office was bolstered by seven witness statements given to Washington Parish deputies, including the two from Reed’s prosecutors.

In her statement to deputies, contained in a police report, Knight stated, “We could hear the slap as he hit Cassard’s chest with an envelope of papers…This was done in a manner to threaten and intimidate everyone involved.”

Casssard, in his statement, told deputies, Dendinger “slapped me in the chest.”

Washington Parish court attorney Pamela Legendre said “it made such a noise,” she thought the officer “had been punched.”

Police Chief Culpepper gave a police statement that he witnessed the battery, but in a deposition he said, “I wasn’t out there.” But that didn’t stop Culpepper from characterizing Dendinger’s actions as “violence, force.”

There’s only one problem with all of these statements. They are complete fabrications.

When Dendinger saw the police report, he said his reaction was strong and immediate.

“I realized even more at that moment: These people are trying to hurt me.”

What the officers and attorneys did not know was that Dendinger had one critical piece of evidence on his side: grainy cell phone videos shot by his wife and nephew. Dendinger said he thought of recording the scene at the last minute as a way of showing he had completed the task of serving the summons.

In the end, the two videos may have saved Dendinger from decades in prison. From what can be seen on the clips, Dendinger never touches Cassard, who calmly takes the envelope and walks back into the courthouse, handing Wall the envelope.

“He’d still be in a world of trouble if he didn’t have that film,” said David Cressy, a friend of Dendinger who once served as a prosecutor under Reed. “It was him against all of them. They took advantage of that and said all sorts of fictitious things happened. And it didn’t happen. It would still be going like that had they not had the film.”

Dendinger spent nearly a year waiting for trial, racking up attorney’s fees. As a disabled Army veteran on a fixed income, Dendinger said the case stretched him financially, but in his eyes, he was fighting for his life.

Now the video is at the heart of a federal civil rights lawsuit against Reed, his two prosecutors Wall and Knight, the Bogalusa officers and Washington Parish Sheriff Randy “Country’ Seal.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for a host of alleged Constitutional violations: false arrest, false imprisonment, fabricated evidence, perjury, and abuse of due process.

“It’s a felony to falsify a police report. And this is a police report. And this police report was the basis of charging this individual with serious crimes,” Goyeneche said.

Meanwhile, Dendinger’s attorney Philip Kaplan continues to dig into the case with depositions and new evidence.

In a deposition taken by Kaplan, one Bogalusa police officer, Lt. Patrick Lyons, said he witnessed a battery that knocked Cassard back several feet. But the video shows him far in the distance with his back turned.

Two of the officers stated that Dendinger ran from the scene, although he said his disability makes running impossible.

“I didn’t do anything wrong and I know they know I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “So I’m faced with the reality that these people purposely lied about something that could put me in prison for the rest of my life.”

Not just people. The very people who we as a society entrust to uphold the rule of law and order.

I’m very curious to see what happens to these police officers and prosectors, but you’d think they should all receive lengthy jail sentences for lying in order to intentionally place an innocent man in jail. The crime is particularly egregious given the roles they place in society.

Now let’s take a look at how the other half lives. Specifically, General David Petraeus, formerly head of the CIA, who has admitted to passing along classified information to his mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell, who authored the hilariously titled, “All In” about the General.

While the content of the information he passed on was initially played down in the media, it has now become clear that he gave away extremely sensitive information. For this crime, prosecutors are suggesting probation and a $40,000 fine. If you or I did this, the U.S. government would try to lock us away in a cage forever. Another example of oligarch justice. Read and weep.

From the Daily Beast:

David Petraeus, a retired four-star general and former director of the CIA, pleaded guilty Tuesday to giving highly classified information to his ex-mistress. The information came in the form of eight black books that contained everything from identities of covert officers to discussions with President Obama.

The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged back in 2012 that Petraeus gave secret information to Paula Broadwell, but the seriousness of the information wasn’t clear until now.

All eight books “collectively contained classified information regarding the identifies of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings… and discussions with the president of the United States.”

The books also contained “national defense information, including top secret/SCI and code word information,” according to the court papers. In other words: These weren’t just ordinary secrets. This was highly, highly classified material.

Instead, Petraeus kept the black books in a “rucksack” in his home, according to a conversation recorded by biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell in 2011.

“They are highly classified, some of them… I mean there’s code word stuff in there,” Petraeus said. Nevertheless, he emailed her and agreed to provide the black books.

Then Petraeus personally delivered the black books to a residence where Broadwell was staying in Washington, D.C. A few days later, he returned to retrieve them.

On Oct. 26, 2012, Petraeus was interviewed by FBI agents in CIA headquarters while he was still director. Petraeus told them he had never provided any classified information to Broadwell or facilitated her provision of the information.

A complete and total lie, and he knew it.

“These statements were false. Defendant David Howell Petraeus then and there knew that he previously shared the black books with his biographer.”

The U.S. Attorney writes that Petraeus “unlawfully and knowingly remove[d] such documents and materials without authority and thereafter intentionally retained” them in locations unauthorized for their retention.

Even those who are outraged would never publicly say so. The lingering fear that confronting Petraeus could end one’s careers remains within the ranks.

What is this North Korea or the Middle Ages? This sounds like a society governed by the rule of man, as opposed to rule of law.

The misdemeanor charge carries with it a one-year prison sentence, but prosecutors have suggested two years probation and a $40,000 fine. Petraeus awaits sentencing by a judge. It’s unclear if Petraeus would be stripped of his security clearance, which he kept after resigning from the CIA.

Nice gig if you can get it. ABC News expanded on the story, highlighting the deep price Petraeus thinks he paid, including an executive position at private equity giant, KKR.

ABC News reports:

In addition, in a private letter to a friend two weeks after his resignation, Petraeus wrote: “I screwed up royally. … I paid the price, appropriately.”

He paid the price? Sure he dealt with public embarrassment, but he’ll serve no jail time, and has been put out to pasture with a cushy job at one of the biggest private equity firms in the world where he will make a fortune.

In 2013, Petraeus joined the global investment firm KKR. He also serves as a visiting professor of public policy at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College and serves on several veterans organizations’ advisory boards, according to KKR’s website.

What a joke.

For related articles, see:

Some Leaks Are More Equal Than Others – Hypocritical D.C. Insiders Line up to Defend General Petraeus from Prosecution

Ray McGovern, CIA Analyst for 27 Years, is Arrested and Roughed Up in NYC for Trying to Protest Retired General Petraeus

Video of the Day – Understanding the 5th Amendment and Why a Law Professor Says “Don’t Talk to Police”

Caught on Video – LAPD Guns Down Homeless Man in Broad Daylight

Protecting and Serving – Florida Police Raid 90-Year-Old Woman’s Home; Find No Drugs but Wreck Home

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

1 thought on “Innocent Army Veteran Framed by Louisiana Police and Prosectors Barely Escapes Jail Due to Cellphone Video

  1. That’s terrible! I have said it before and I will say it again, police should be held to a much higher standard due to their power. If I assault someone and get 5 years a police officer should get 10 for the same crime. When they falsify reports they should be fired and serve a minimum 10 years. That would keep them from lying. It’s sad that we now live in a time where the police are the bad guys and we have to protect ourselves from the very people who are paid to protect us. The police are like a mob outfit. We are forced to pay their salaries and they still harass us on a daily basis for more money or we go to jail or get killed or get your license suspended or pay fines or get beat to death or false arrrests. I hope people close to the case take matters into their own hands and deal with it themselves:)

Leave a Comment