Louisiana Woman Cries Police Brutality - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/20/08-Shreveport

Louisiana Woman Cries Police Brutality

"I have a right to call somebody, right now, and I know that. Is this on the record?"  The police video caught that part of the conversation between Angela Garbarino,42, and officer Wiley Willis on tape.   Garbarino had just been arrested for drunk driving, and it was the record, or lack there of, that is now causing controversy.

As the camera inside the police station rolled, it captured more images of the struggle, but later, the officer turned the camera off.  When it came back on, Garbarino was lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood.

In an interview Wednesday morning on Good Morning America, she revealed her version of what happened when the video went black: 

"Officer Willis came over to me in the chair and threw me against the door," she said.  "I hit the right side of my face, and then he slammed me into that black file locker. 

The ordeal left her battered and bruised with a broken nose.  Now the eyes of the nation are on one police department. 

"I was outraged by what I observed and immediately ordered an internal affairs investigation," said Henry Whitehorn, chief of the Shreveport Police Department.  He said that investigation determined numerous policy violations had occurred during the incident.

Officer Willis has been fired, but in a press conference Wednesday, Whitehorn said his officer did nothing wrong by turning off the tape.  "Once Officer Willis determined she was not going to submit to the chemical test for intoxication, he decided to end the testing procedure, which included video taping.  Turning off the tape at this point was standard procedure."

Garbarino's attorney said a crucial piece of evidence in this case is the officer's behavior after the camera is turned back on.  It shows Officer Willis looking at his hand a number of times while Garbarino lies on the floor.  Her attorney believes he's looking for any blood which may have ended up on him during the struggle.

As for now, the case is being reviewed by the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com

 

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