Shock Video: Officers Beat DUI Suspect in Cell — and Later Cleared in Internal Investigation

An Illinois sheriff this week is seeking to reverse a board decision reinstating three officers in Tazewell county, Illinois despite this shocking video tape. On the video, Sergeant Richard Johnston, and correctional officers Jeffery Bieber and Justin Piro are shown beating Becky Behm after she was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol October 17, 2008.

A ruling of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Merit Commission found that the three officers did not use excessive force.

Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston, to his credit, expressed disbelief at the ruling: “It is apparent that they viewed the video of the incident and found nothing wrong with the actions of these officers. It is shocking that they would come to a conclusion like that after viewing this video. I’m telling you here and now that’s not acceptable. We do five thousand bookings a year in this jail and this does not happen here.”

Huston is asking for the decision for reinstatement be reversed by a court, here.

This is the first time that such a ruling seems at odds with a videotape, here and here and here.

13 thoughts on “Shock Video: Officers Beat DUI Suspect in Cell — and Later Cleared in Internal Investigation”

  1. Just a question or 2. If for 1, our demands, and wishes are not being represented in government (the fact this type of behavior continues is evidence) and our employees (police) refuse to do anything to change this behavior, then as citizens, do we not have to right, and possibly the obligation to perhaps nullify these types of police departments? Also, if we declare them void, or even not, do we have the right to defend ourselves from rogue police like this? The minute an officer breaks the law, he is no longer a police officer. He is acting outside the law. Hence he can be treated accordingly, just as if it were any other civilian, committing a crime. His badge no longer affords any legal protection & or authority.

  2. Ever since the access to Federal Courts on the basis of Civil Rights violations was eviscerated under Chief Justice Burger especially if I am not mistaken, there is little that prevents this outside of the immediate superiors of officers such as these…

    As for Tasers they are clearly to me a torture devices prone to abuse as we have seen repeatedly and should be limited if at all to corrections departments and not the general public..or only in cases where the subject produces a weapons themselves first..such as a knife or other blunt instrument…

    They violate the 8th Amendment…

  3. That was a brutal beating that never stopped. I couldn’t get the sound to work, but is there any record as to why she kept going to the door? Was she pleading with them to let her go? These so-called police officers and correctional officers who were in this video should not only be fired, but they should be charged with felonies. They slammed her head into the wall on several occasions. Incredible.

  4. I don’t see the problem with their reinstatement. It’s par for the course.

    To serve and protect … their own.

    For all the regulars here who share the concern about the escalation of police violence against the citizens they are “sworn to protect”, this video is about 25 minutes long, so watch it during commercial breaks of your favorite show, and I think you’ll be fascinated with the running theme here:

  5. This Sheriff is going against the links to do what is correct. It is amazing to see that a LEO will do what is correct.

    This one is amazing as well:

    Controversy Erupts After Ex-KKK State Trooper Gets Reinstated
    The State of Nebraska Will Appeal Ruling to Reinstate Trooper Who Joined KKK, White Supremacist Group.

    That decision did not sit well with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. He has filed a motion to vacate the arbitrator’s decision.


    I guess in Nebraska they have a different service reminder for alerts of abuse.

  6. I wish we had more LEOs like Sheriff Huston. It’s unfortunate that the “Rogue” officers are becoming the norm and “TRUE” upholders of the law are a rarity. As a Hispanic growing up in Los Angeles I had too many abusive experiences with law enforcement, from being clubbed in the groin while waiting for the bus (they thought I should run home ’cause I was too fat) to being pulled over and having all my posessions in the car thrown in the sidewalk the told I was “OK” and being left to put everyting back myself. My only crime was being young and poor.
    Fortunately there are good LEO Depts out there (Montgomery County, MD Sheriffs and Police come to mind) but there are too many who are organized criminals with a badge (i.e. Prince Georges County Law Enforcement).

  7. This country is becoming a police state especially when this type of behavior is accepted by those sworn to uphold the law.

    See the video: “Militarization of our Local Police”

  8. Even though this is a story about an old fashioned illegal beating and not tasers, I find it ironic that this incident occurs in “Tazewell” County.

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