Cop Punished for Daring to Depart from Party Line

The media is reporting on a cop punished because he contradicted the “official” story about how a man died in custody.

Former Sergeant Randy Henry (now Corporal) should be thankful he is not a member of the NYPD. In the NYPD, when you might reveal that there are quotas for tickets, you can be “disappeared” for days into the mental health institutional system, forcing your family to hunt you down and rescue you. Henry had a much easier time than Adrian Schoolcraft, who we only know about because he had two recording devices in his house, and his fellow police officers only found one of them after they took him away.

The Missouri Highway Patrolman was merely ordered to get a mental health exam. Repeatedly. The Kansas City Star reports:

In recent months, the patrol sent Henry to a mental-health provider for an examination, according to a letter Pleban sent to patrol commanders. No cause for concern was noted, the attorney said.

Henry was sent for a second exam. Again, no concern.

“Ultimately, the mental-health provider warned that because she found nothing wrong with Sgt. Henry, it would be unethical for her to see him a third time at the insistence of the patrol,” [Henry’s attorney, Chet] Pleban wrote to [patrol superintendent, Col. Bret Johnson] Johnson. “When the mental health route failed, a Professional Standards investigation surfaced.”

The nature of the complaint or who filed it has not been disclosed, but Pleban said it was related to the Ellingson case.

What was the Ellingson case? Here is how the story describes it:

On May 31, 2014, [Trooper Anthony] Piercy was helping patrol the lake during peak water season. He pulled over the college student on suspicion of boating while intoxicated.

The trooper first handcuffed Ellingson’s wrists behind his back and then, according to witnesses, pulled an already buckled life vest, with armholes, over his head and upper torso. The vest, which wasn’t properly secured, came off shortly after Ellingson entered the water during transport to a zone office for a breathalyzer test.

In an extensive investigation into Ellingson’s death, The Star discovered that Piercy had just two days of field training before he was released to patrol on the water alone. The trooper told jurors in the coroner’s inquest that he hadn’t received the proper training to handle what happened the day Ellingson drowned.

Piercy’s boat was traveling between 39.1 and 43.7 mph in the moments before Ellingson entered the water. During the investigation, the patrol re-created the speed of Piercy’s boat that day. The Star obtained that video showing a patrol investigator needed to hold onto a pole as the boat reached speeds of 38 to 40 mph.

[See also, “Yes, There Are Good Cops… Who Other Cops Try to Jail.”]

So essentially they drove in such a way that would throw an unsecured man out of a boat. Handcuffed, with no flotation device that would remain attached to him, he drowned.

The prosecutor said there was no reason to indict the officer for neglect.

And Henry refused to keep his mouth shut.

Days after Ellingson’s death, Henry was interviewed by patrol investigators looking into the incident. At one point during the interview, a recording shows, Henry had questioned whether the highest degree of care was taken with Ellingson that day. When he mentioned a state law pertaining to that, his sentence was cut off and one investigator insisted the recorder be turned off.

So now, coincidentally, this trooper is demoted and transferred from the Lake of the Ozarks where he has thirty years of experience to Lake Truman.

No that’s not suspicious at all.

The family of the drowned young man is suing the Missouri Highway Patrol. One of the issues is that these boating patrol officers have very little training. But that’s just the initial problem. The real problem is that the police have no problem persecuting and silencing anyone who dares to not back them up. Henry is being used to set an example for other members of the Missouri Highway Patrol.