Sheriff’s Deputy in Virginia Shoots 50 Year-old Man in the Back… On His Birthday!

Isle of Wight County resident Ervin Laws was walking alongside the road on the afternoon of Sunday, May 11. Laws, whom neighbors describe as “a good guy who’s always lending a hand and helping somebody out”, had been hard at work all day putting up logs in a trailer, and was ready to get his hands on an iced-cold beer and enjoy his 50th birthday with friends, family and neighbors. Unfortunately, however, a police officer from the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Department, one notorious for harassing the neighborhood’s residents, made it his duty to see to it that Mr. Laws not be allowed to enjoy his birthday in peace.

The sheriff’s deputy in question, whose name is being withheld from the public, allegedly stopped Ervin Laws because he was walking on the street and was, in the words of Sheriff Mark Marshall (who was not present at the scene), “obviously intoxicated and obviously very, very disorderly.” Eyewitnesses who actually saw how events went down tell a completely different story. Not only was there not a shread of evidence that Laws was intoxicated, but the reason he was walking in the street is that there are no sidewalks! As neighbor Raymond Berndt explains, “There’s drainage ditches on both sides of the road, so everybody walks in the street.” Berndt, who’d been working with Laws prior to the cop’s interference, was adamant that Laws was completely sober when he was stopped and hadn’t even had a single beer yet. Ervin Law’s daughter, Deneke Hill, was walking alongside her father when the officer came up and started peppering her father with questions. “What are you doing,” asked the deputy, to which Laws replied, “I worked hard today and just want to walk to the store.”

There are two versions of what occurred next, one that pits the neighborhood residents’ accounts against that of Sheriff Mark Marshall. Marshall, presumably repeating the version of events his deputy gave to him, says that it was Ervin Laws who initiated contact between him and the officer, and Laws “ended up smacking the marked patrol unit and then yelled and gestured at the deputy.” This incredible tale becomes even more unbelievable when the Sheriff claims that Mr. Laws suddenly hit the deputy through the patrol unit’s window before “chocking him and slamming him into the side of his patrol vehicle.” Not a single eyewitness has been able to corroborate these events, and in fact their testimony flatly contradicts it. Abraham Seaborne Jr. saw everything from his front porch. “[Ervin Laws] didn’t touch him,” says Seaborne. “The whole time the officer was the one who grabbed him and tried to hold him.” Deneke Hill’s version of events corroborate Mr. Seaborne’s, as does Raymond Berndt’s. “My dad was the one who was slammed into the can, causing the dent,” she Hill. “My dad never choked [the officer] or any of that stuff.”

What happened next is not up for dispute, as Raymond Berndt caught it on video camera and posted it on Facebook:

As the officer puts his hands on Ervin Laws while pinning him against the cop car, Laws pulled his hands away from the officer’s grasp. Then, without any provocation, the cop shoots Laws in the back with his taser, causing him to lose consciousness and fall abruptly to the pavement. A river of blood was soon gushing from his head and onto the street pavement, as one police officer after another showed up to help restrain an unconscious man. When angry residents express their anger and frustration over what they’ve just witnessed, one of the cops who’d just arrived says that someone reported a fight nearby, to which the witnesses respond to the ignorant cop that there was no fighting.

The brute police officer shot Ervin Laws in the back, causing him to hit the ground so hard that his head was bleeding profusely.
The brute police officer shot Ervin Laws in the back, causing him to hit the ground so hard that his head was bleeding profusely.

 

After what could have been a deadly fall, Ms. Hill believes her dad isn’t “going to be the same after this.” Sheriff Mark Marshall, having decided not even to take into account what witnesses say they saw happen – relying exclusively on the word of his lying scumbag police officers – says it would’ve been completely within the deputy’s authority to kill Mr. Laws if he had chosen to. In his words:

“After [the deputy] had been attacked by Mr. Laws and actually pinned against his vehicle and choked, the deputy, constitutionally and by police policy, would’ve been authorized to use deadly force and he did not.

And there you have it, right from the horse’s (or in this case pig’s) mouth. The Constitution of the United States is seen by the powerful and those who serve them as something that can be used or disregarded at their own discretion. Cops cite it to justify murder, yet they completely disregard the 4th (and even the 14th) amendment, aided with the approval of the U.S. Supreme Court. In practice, the Constitution is nothing more than mere words on paper.

The officer injured Laws so badly that the skin on the back of his head had to be stitched back together.
The officer injured Laws so badly that the skin on the back of his head had to be stitched back together.

Ervin Laws is currently being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond, “charged with assaulting an officer, strangulation, damaging a patrol car, public intoxication and disorderly conduct“, the first of which is a felony and could result in Mr. Laws being locked away for years to come! All the while the sheriff’s deputy, whose name the public still does not know, is free to to go on disregarding the alleged “constitutional rights” of others, knowing full well he is protected and shielded by the hands of the Law. Only in America…

Sources:

 

9 thoughts

  1. Mr. Laws plead GUILTY to public intoxication and attempted strangulation. Over $1000 in fines/fees and a five year suspended jail sentence, and supervised probation. Oh, and previously, convicted of felony possession of narcotics AND assault on law enforcement. Entering an Alford plea, and getting that much in sentencing, is not generally indicative of innocence And the lawsuit never made it out of filing.

    1. You are absolutely wrong on that account! The vast majority of people in the U.S. criminal “justice” system can’t afford to hire lawyers who are worth a damn, and are threatened with much stiffer penalties if they actually go to trial (where they will be represented by a “public defender” who has no time and not enough resources to put up a genuine defense even if they wanted to). Most people who plead ‘guilty’ do so because they are given a ‘plea bargain’ which is presented as an alternative to a truly horrifying sentence. There is nothing “just” about this. And if he was convicted of “assault” on law enforcement officer, it doesn’t mean a whole lot because police literally define “assault” as refusing to be treated as a less than human.
      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/plea/faqs/
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/us/tough-sentences-help-prosecutors-push-for-plea-bargains.html

      1. Nearly every case in Isle of Wight is a plea bargain, the Commonwealth simply sees a case, sees a suspect, says, “yep, he’s guilty” and to get that conviction, they throw a plea bargain so they get a notch on the bedpost while the suspect gets hammered for life with a conviction. The prosecutor doesn’t even LIVE in the county, her family is in Poquoson, but she wants to be elected while not a resident!
        Since Charlie Phelps lost the last election, the whole department is much more about use of force power over people, where the badge is worn on the shoulder, not over the heart.

    1. Clearly there was no need for this arrest to be occurring in the first place. “Resisting arrest” is justified when there is no reason for an arrest to be made other than police deciding to harass someone, put them in jail and make bail and court money for the city government.

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