Louisiana Cop Accused of Beating Handcuffed Woman Back on the Job

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

In 2007, Shreveport police officer Wiley Willis arrested 38-year-old Angela Garbarino on suspicion of drunken driving. While in custody, as captured on the video below, Garbarino began arguing with Willis about what she said was her right to make a phone call. About a minute later, Willis walked over and turned off the video camera. When the camera returns back on, Garbarino was lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood. She was later photographed with severe facial injuries that looked to have come from a beating. Willis’ attorney stated that she tripped and fell while the camera was off. After the video went viral, Willis was fired, but never criminally charged.

Last month, the Shreveport Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board voted to reinstate Willis on the police force. He’ll get full back pay and benefits for the year-and-a-half he was fired. The reason? During the internal investigation of Willis, a polygraph machine operator failed to record the results of his Q&A with Willis. This apparently is a violation of Louisiana’s “Police Officer’s Bill of Rights,” a set of guidelines every department must follow when investigating officer misconduct.

Garbarino won a $400,000 settlement from the city of Shreveport last year.

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66 Responses to “Louisiana Cop Accused of Beating Handcuffed Woman Back on the Job”

  1. #1 |  Waste | 

    Big Chief,

    The reason it isn’t unlawful imprisonment is that the phone call is not associated with the arrest. For it to be unlawful imprisonment you have to be inprisoned falsely. And it has to be known that the inprisonment is false. The phone call is irrelevant in that. The inprisonment was for the DUI and regardless of the assault it was legally justifiable. At least I haven’t seen any claims that the DUI arrest itself was false. There is a saying that two wrongs don’t make a right. Same applies here. Just because of the assult doesn’t mean the DUI goes away. If she should get away with the DUI because of the procedural violation and assault by the officer. Then you have to agree the reinstatement of the officer was also justified since the polygrapher violated procedure and the officers transgression should be forgiven. I don’t beleive that. I don’t think you do either. But you would have to to be consistent in your statement. Granted the DA will often drop the charges is such cases as long as they are not violent charges. But that is the DA’s or prosecutors choice.

    People should be held responsible for their actions. Just because something bad happens doesn’t mean you get a free pass. Also just because you get arrested doesn’t mean you get a phone call. Nor do you always have to be read Miranda. Those are myths. I don’t know how LA does it but some states and/or departments do a cite and release on DUI’s. That means you are arrested, processed, and then released to either a detox facility or someone is called to pick you up. In that case you don’t have to be given a phone call and even in cases that you are allowed a call it is usually done after processing. I can’t tell what part of the detention this is based on the video or the story.

    You are correct that if a private citizen did this they would probably be charged with assault and false inprisonment. However the difference is that in most cases a citizen does not have the right to detain someone. While an officer with probable cause does. However in some cases private citizen can. Store security officers routinely detain shoplifters until officers get there and that isn’t false inprisonment.

    The officer in this case should have been charged. I didn’t see anything in the story to indicate why this was not done. It also sounds like the police chief did the right thing. He fired the guy and an independent board reinstated him. Also the chief seems to be appealing that decision. Good for him.

  2. #2 |  Remember . . . « Oh, My! | 

    […] Remember . . . By jbiii The power to maim and kill is as close as the next donut freak. […]

  3. #3 |  Hannah | 

    49 | Andrew | September 10th, 2009 at 12:24 am
    “You know these days it is exceedingly rare to encounter a peace officer who is courteous, helpful and respectful. That is a 180 degree turn around from just 25 years or 30 years ago. You occasionally run across one today but it is generally a guy about ready to retire. The poisoning of the profession must have its roots in the academy system. The more recently they’ve come out of the academy the worse they are.”

    I think it goes beyond the academy. Given that some states will wait up to 2 years before they even send the recruits to academy I cant just blame it. Its an internal culture problem where over the years police have learned they can get away with more “indiscretions” shell we call them. As shown in the market place video, its turned into a “I’m up here your down there” mentality where the basic citizens are turned into peasants and the police are our ruling lords. I think part of that is due to not having cops actually walk a beat through a neighborhood giving them face to face time with the people they are suppose to be protecting. Part is from blaming them on increased/decreased crime when the stats goes up & down and a large part is turning them into revenue agents. Then there’s problems in the system with holding them accountable when they do break the law.

    You can see a smaller version happening at some Renaissance Fairs where the actors who play nobility start acting like they are really nobility behind sceans, until some one knocks them down a peg or two. At least there they can be knocked down, not nearly as easy to do with a cop.

  4. #4 |  pam | 

    so was the reason for her arrest in the first place to keep her and others safe? The “others” are safe, the her, not so much.

  5. #5 |  Charlie O | 

    I know you probably won’t post this, but this video and the Georgia story only strengthens my sincere belief that more people in this country should starting using deadly force to protect themselves from the police. The system certainly refuses to mete adequate punishment. It’s time for citizens to do it.

  6. #6 |  Temper Bay | 

    Hopefully this woman has a man in her life who will go and have a talk with Mr. Wiley ‘toughguy’ Willis in a parking lot some night. Nothing short of this is going to stop this putrid ass.

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  8. #8 |  lee | 

    surely you dont think this is a new thing?
    it started higher up the food chain and has filtered through to the local cops. it goes back father than my examples but these are the most vivid imn my memory. 1 waco texas the ATF and FBI burned alive 70 something children and adults. to serve one warrent for one person. instead of just leaving and catching the guy alone, they forced a bad situation and murdered many people and not one officer was ever even thought badly of much less punished.
    2 ruby ridge FBI “agents” murdered a baby and its mother for holding a door open. and not one ounce of wrong doing ever came from it. blatent murder and no charges, b urn children and no charges. why would you think a beatdown would result in anything but a raise and a vacation

  9. #9 |  stupidamerkin | 

    I’m sure this demented power mad bastard will be promoted as well. The more ruthless and brutal these road pirates are the faster they will climb the ranks in the corporate chain and they continue to get away with this criminal abuse because the dens of corruption, (courts) sanction and condone this kind of treatment. The darker the cop, the faster he will climb the ladder.

  10. #10 |  Eve11 | 

    jacksonl@legis.state.la.us

    Lydia P. Jackson, LA state senator for shreveport

  11. #11 |  meria | 

    One of thousands of stories about bad cops and the police state we now live in.

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