10 December 2013 Last updated at 16:08 Share this pageEmailPrint
Newham College students ‘never sat courses they passed’
By Marc Ashdown and Ed Davey
BBC News, London
Questions Raised After Eyeopening Video Revealed
A Shreveport police officer has been fired after an incident in which a female prisoner taken into custody on suspicion of DWI wound up lying on a floor at the police station in a pool of blood. Much of what happened was recorded on a videotape – but there is a gap of undetermined length. During that time, the woman wound up injured. She said she was beaten up; the officer said she fell. The woman, Angie Garbarino of Shreveport, was argumentative when she was brought to the DWI unit’s office last November. The videotape shows she did not want to listen to Officer Wiley Willis as he read her rights. She was insistent on making a phone call and said so repeatedly. At one point, Garbarino – who during the episode mentioned the names of attorneys and a police officer she wanted to contact — tried to leave the room but was stopped by the officer and then handcuffed, the videotape shows. The situation escalated and the videotape shows the officer push the woman against the wall; she fell to the floor crying and telling him not to touch her. She later tried to leave again. What happened next was outside the view of the camera but the woman can be heard screaming before she is placed back in a chair. Seconds later, the tape is turned off. It is not known what happened while the tape was off, but when it was turned back on Garbarino was lying on the floor on her side in a pool of blood. Willis turns her on her back and tells her, “Lay down; don’t move, “the videotape shows. “I can’t believe you just did what you just did. I really can’t,” she said. The officer left the room. Another officer came in shortly after that to look at Garbarino and then left. At some point, a Fire Department ambulance crew was called. They took her to the hospital. Garbarino’s lawyer, Ron Miciotto, said she suffered a broken nose, a severe cut on her forehead, two broken teeth and bruises on her arms and shoulder. Pictures taken of her later show two severely bruised eyes, as well as other bruises. Willis was fired earlier this month for what officials said was his handling of the incident. No criminal charges were filed accusing him of injuring the woman. Willis said she slipped and fell and hit her head. Individuals familiar with the case said Garbarino does not remember what happened, although she can be heard on the videotape saying she was beaten. The videotape is off at the time in question. “The whole situation could have been avoided if the officer had followed procedure,” Miciotto said, referring to when an uncooperative person should be taken to jail. “It was something that needed to be handled internally,” Police Chief Henry Whitehorn said of the decision not to file charges against the officer. “There was not enough (evidence) to pursue criminal charges.” Willis’ attorney, Eron Brainard, said Willis did not beat the woman. Her injuries, he said, happened when she fell while trying to leave the room again. “Although very unfortunate, her injuries were caused by her own erratic behavior – her failure to comply with lawful, reasonable and standard instruction for arrested persons,” Brainard said. Garbarino faces trial on charges of DWI and hit and run driving. She will fight them in court, Miciotto said.