A horrific act of police abuse was caught on body cam showing an enraged California sheriff’s deputy slamming a man’s head against his own car while trying to pull him through the driver-side window as the man’s foot remained lodged in the steering wheel.
Somona County sheriff’s deputy Charles Blount then placed the driver, David Glen Ward, into a chokehold for 30 seconds while deputy Jason Little tasered him. Ward stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Deputies were angry that Ward had bitten their fingers as they kept yanking him out the window despite him moaning in pain about his leg stuck in the steering wheel.
Police say a few days earlier, Ward reported his car stolen after telling police he had been carjacked. But he somehow got it back which was why he was driving when deputies tried to pull him over.
The incident took place November 27 at around 5:40 a.m. and resulted in Blount’s “termination” – not that he will stop receiving paychecks anytime soon.
According to NBC News:
“The way Deputy Blount handles the entire situation is extremely troubling,” Essick said in the video. “As a result, I have served Deputy Blount with a notice of termination. He has been on administrative leave since this incident occurred and he will remain on leave until the conclusion of this investigation and all potential appeals have taken place.”
Harry Stern, Blount’s attorney, defended the deputy’s actions and slammed what he called the sheriff’s “hasty” response as a product of “political expediency.”
Stern also emphasized that the deputy was still employed, despite the notice of termination, because the probe had not yet concluded. “Deputy Blount has not been fired yet,” the lawyer said. “If and when that happens, we will absolutely appeal.”
The incident occurred on Nov. 27, shortly after Ward reported his car stolen. The Santa Rosa Police Department had seen his vehicle travel past and contacted the sheriff’s office to help recover it.
“What our deputies did not not know at the time was that Mr. Ward was not only the owner of the car, but the victim of the earlier carjacking,” Essick said in the video. “The suspect had pistol-whipped him and stolen his car. Mr. Ward had recovered the car, but failed to report it. It remains a mystery as to why he fled from our deputies.”
Perhaps the “mystery” of why Ward fled is that he had been the subject of harassment by local police and deputies.
“I can’t believe this,” he told deputies after they approached his car with guns drawn. “I am the injured party in this. Why are you f—ing harassing me all the time?”
It’s not hard to believe considering the brute violence used on Ward in trying to drag him out the window before attempting any other methods (aside from pointing a gun at his face). They could have easily reached inside and unlocked the door but they wanted to hurt him. That is very clear from the video.
At 3:00 in the video, Ward agrees to step out of the car but the deputies are insistent on dragging him out the window.
At 3:05, he is yelling in pain about his leg.
At 3:09, Blount acknowledges that his “leg is under the wheel” but continues yanking harder as it that would dislodge it.
At 3:20, Blount cries out in pain, “He bit me!”
At 3:24, Little cries out in pain, “Motherf_cker, he just bit me!”
At 3:39, Blount grabs Ward’s head and slams it against the frame of his own car producing a jarring crunch sound before placing him in the chokehold as deputy Little tasers him.
It’s obvious from watching the video that Ward bit them to keep them from breaking his leg. Had he not bitten them, they would have broken his leg because they were not going to stop pulling him out the car. The louder he yelled, the harder they pulled. If they could not understand his words, perhaps they would understand his actions.
But because he would not allow them to break his leg, he had to die because in the eyes of deputies, there was only one way out of that car and it was through the window.
The carotid restraint chokehold used on Ward is banned by many law enforcement agencies across the country because of how deadly it can but but it is not banned by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office but that soon may change in the wake of Ward’s death.
Nevertheless, it is only supposed to be used against violent suspects who are placing others in harm. Ward’s family describe him as a peaceful man with health issues. And the video just shows him sitting in his car with his hands up with the cops acting like violent carjackers.
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
Ward’s family and neighbors said he had serious health conditions — including difficulty breathing and walking — and expressed concerns about the use of force.
About 20 years ago, Ward was hit by a drunken driver and nearly died, said his half-sister, Catherine Aguilera.
“He had to learn how to walk all over again,” said his mother, Ernie Ward, who lives in Sebastopol. “He was really disabled from that accident.”
Since then, Ward had difficulty walking. Within the last couple of years, he also developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a heart condition, said his mother and half-sister. He used an oxygen tank, and often relied on his wheelchair, since his health made it more difficult for him to walk on his own.
“He was in poor health,” said Aguilera, who lives in Monroe, Washington. “He had a hard time breathing and it’s hard to imagine him having even the energy or force to aggressively avoid an arrest.”
Not surprisingly, Blount has a history of lies and violence.
In 2015, he arrested a woman for jaywalking by placing her in a chokehold and throwing her down on the ground. Only he never admitted that. Instead, he testified that he placed both hands on the woman’s shoulders and pushed her down.
But Blount was proven to be a liar when a witness video was introduced showing the assault that took place. Charges against the woman, Celeste Moon, were dismissed but no action was taken against Blount who should have been charged with perjury, only the law is never applied equally when it involves police.
By keeping him on the force, the Somona County Sheriff’s Office has placed the entire community at risk, but cops like Blount are protected by law enforcement agencies across the country which is why these videos surface daily and why none of us are safe from these criminal cops.