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