Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Shown To Have Lied About False Arrest And City Pays Damages To Victim . . . But Department Takes No Action Against Officer

Winston Dudley (shown left) has won a false arrest case where a police account was proven to be false after the review of security tapes. Officer Daniel R. Gowans wrote a report that said that Dudley was “disorderly intoxicated” and resisted arrest on Sept.18, 2010. However, the video directly contradicted Gowans account. While Dudley will receive $30,000, there is no indication that the officer will be fired for a early false report following a false arrest.

Gowans said that he responded to a complaint of a man blasting loud music in his back yard. He reported that Dudley refused to turn off the music and then walked away when the officer tried to arrest him. Gowans stated that he asked Dudley, who was 50 at the time, to show him identification and told him to turn off the music. However, “Dudley laughed and stated ‘I don’t have to, get lost,'” Gowans said that Dudley continued to refuse to turn off the music or give him his ID. “Dudley laughed again and started to drink his beer. I took Dudley by his left arm and advised him to place his hands behind his back. Dudley pulled away and started to walk into his residence … Dudley attempted to pull away and stated ‘Get out of here, it’s my house.'”

However, a home security system showed that within seconds of the officers walking into his backyard, Dudley immediately stood up from his lounger, went into his house and turned the music down or off. It also shows that he sat down and did not try to walk away or resist in the arrest.

Not only did the officer clearly lie but the case also shows how “resisting arrest” can be tacked on to any charge by an officer and — without a lucky videotape — it virtually unassailable by a defendant.

Now here is the kicker. Despite the challenge to the arrest and the eventual settlement of a false arrest claim, the Fort Lauderdale police department says that it has not started any investigation of the officer because no one has filed a complaint. So, the city settles a false arrest claim and the department is confronted with a clearly false police report, but it has not obligation to launch its own investigation?

When reporters pressed Tim Donnelly, head of the Broward State Attorney’s Office special prosecutions unit, he said that he was never informed of the case by the Police Department and would now look into it.

Gowens is reportedly involved in another case under investigation where he and a partner were accused of making a “misleading account of a drug-related arrest.”

If the citizens of Fort Lauderdale are wondering how such misconduct can occur, they need only look at their police department and its response to this case. The fact that the department did not take it upon itself to launch an investigation is an indictment of the entire department and particularly its leadership.

Source: Sun Sentinel

31 thoughts on “Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Shown To Have Lied About False Arrest And City Pays Damages To Victim . . . But Department Takes No Action Against Officer”

  1. I learn something almost every time I read this blog. Darren Smith’s explanation of Brady v. Maryland makes sense as an excuse a department might use.

    However Gyges’ observations are on the money as our national leadership is continuing to set the tone for unlawful behavior.

    (Gene … these examples are almost serendipitous to your article this weekend.)

  2. The special prosecutor’s office will find “insufficient evidence” to support
    any cfharges against the FPD. They might even be bold enough to claim that pressing charges against the officer eould be bad for “unit cohesion”.

    POLICE, n. Armed fprce for protection and participation.

  3. shano, While I totally agree about lying under oath, if we had a clear way of determining it for ALL cops who lie under oath, we would be left unprotected.

    One of the examples for this is a case I worked of a 6 year old rape victim. Qualifying a 6 year old to testify is tough. But, this sweet, very bright girl breezed through it. When it came to her testimony on the facts she was doing equally well. But, we were nervous because the defendant had drastically changed his appearance[this was during the big afro decade]. So, when the $60k question, “Do you see the man who did that to you in the courtroom today”? was asked, our sweet girl looked around and said “No.”

    We took a break and the prosecutor said she was going to have to dismiss. A well meaning helicopter cop, who was involved w/ the chase from the crime scene to the arrest, pulled me aside and said he could id the defendant. This from an incident that happened @ night as he hovered hundreds of feet above. The guy, like all of us, loved the girl; but I saved him from himself on that one and said no.

  4. They could then seek jobs at the CIA. Or become runners for local dope kings. Less danger than copping. And in the latter profession leisure drug needs are covered, fringe benefit.

  5. Sorry, but if an officer lies under oath- kick him OUT! It is so simple. If the cops break the law, they gotta go!
    Why take a chance when you know they are capable of lying and breaking the law?
    Anyone else in any other job would be outta’ there!

    this is why we are so sick of the police. Even the good ones stand up for these criminals so they are all tarnished, tainted and hurt the very public they profess to protect.

    One strike of lying, planting evidence or false police reports by a cop should end their career.

  6. I would suspect one reason for not wanting to investigate this is the department knows more lies will come out and become public knowlege. This will embarass the department’s administration and they will become the accused.

    I wonder if a department can be considered a “Brady”, that is in the sense of an individual officer who has been deemed to have lied under oath becomes what is commonly called a “Brady Cop”. This is named after the case of Brady v. Maryland which essentially dictates the defense in future cases must be informed the officer had previously lied under oath.

    In this case, if it is, a department which fostered false arrests and perjury should this also be mentioned to the defense as well? I would guess so.

  7. Gyges, as they say, the fish rots from the head down. If war crimes can be sanctioned by one and ignored by the next, it just follows that a few false arrests here and the killing of the mentally ill homeless there are part of the pattern. Everything is find. Keep moving, folks. Nothing to see here.

  8. Gyges,

    The rotten apple effect does spread to other populations.

    However let us be encouraged by the reports that the “people for justice” effect does too. Witness the diploma response on another thread.

  9. Compared to war crimes sanctioned by one administration and then ignored by the next, this is small potatoes. Of course the Police department feels it can ignore its own wrong doing.

  10. Politicians, attorneys, cops, take care of their own. Someone suggested here a week or two ago that docs do also. However, the doctor profession has had a huge influx of women in the past several decades. They have helped provide balance and that unwritten code of silence has diminished. There have been more women in police politics and attorney professions over that same time period, but they have been co-opted and not provided the much needed balance as in the medical profession.

  11. feemeister is correct. This officer needs to be thrown out of his job and the superiors who turned a blind eye also need to be looking for a new career.

  12. Not just fired! They need to be prosecuted. Surely there are laws against filing false reports and abuse, etc. This is clearly someone being abused by someone in authority. I would think there would be tons of laws against what they are doing. Firing would just be the FIRST step! But they won’t! They will come away and the head of the cops will say they were following procedure. There’s a script for that somewhere . . .

  13. Blackman Fort Lauderdale……. Police corruption and no investigation….. Coincidence I think not…..

  14. A man’s home is his castle. That is the other Castle Doctrine. The pig needs to be fired and the Chief fired for not firing the pig. That should be two less pigs with badges in that town.

  15. I see that six officers for the Saginaw, Michigan Police Department shot a homeless, mentally ill man 46 times in a parking lot for allegedly not following their orders. The man was well known to the police and most of the people of the area. His mother, Jewel Hall Milton, described it as, “A firing squad dressed in police uniforms.”

    The deceased was a man named Milton Hall, and he had called 911 for assistance after having a confrontation with a store clerk.

    Link here:

  16. OT OT OT

    Speech/writing alternative choices

    Repeated pajas acts can tire….
    How odd it seems to be that clown acts by higher up admin….

    Better english? Or is “telegraph” speech, as one called it, OK? Any Professors of English here?

  17. Pajas acts repeated tire the public. How odd the higher up admin clown acts always follow the same script year after year. It is claimed that we have suffrage. Poorly exercised apparently.

    Wonder what a home security system goes for?

  18. Silence and its cousin “If we ignore it, it will go away”. Lovely. The bad public image the majority of the police in this country enjoy is a purely self-inflicted wound.

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