(VIDEO) L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy: ‘Please, just let me taser him!’

We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).

It was just a routine workers’ compensation fraud case for Ken Sheppard.  Show up for a spot check, do some surveillance of the subject and keep it pushing.  But on March 3, 2014, it was anything but routine for the renowned private investigator known for busting reality TV series “Bridezillas” star Anita Maxwell for insurance fraud.

On location in Montrose, California, a city with just under 20,000 residents and less than one percent of them African-American, Mr. Sheppard was conducting regular surveillance of a subject while parked in his black Chevy Tahoe.

It wasn’t long before a black and white, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cruiser materialized while Mr. Sheppard was in his car working in this city of very few Blacks.

The Tahoe Mr. Sheppard was sitting in had side and rear tinted windows and was registered and insured for $three million dollars in policy coverage.

It’s important to note that in subsequent court documents filed in federal court, Deputy Plunkett, as he was identified, had not been called to the scene by a neighbor or any other witness. No person alerted Deputy Plunkett’s station of suspicious activity in the area. He was just there.

Deputy Plunkett exited his vehicle walking along the drivers’ side of the Tahoe, with his weapon drawn. Upon seeing Deputy Plunkett’s approach, Mr. Sheppard rolled the driver’s side window down and exposed his hands, demonstrating that there was no cause for alarm.

In response to Deputy Plunkett’s question concerning his activities, Mr. Sheppard advised that he was sitting in his vehicle working. Deputy Plunkett asked, “why?” making no mention of having noticed tinted windows, nor any issue with license plates. Deputy Plunkett next asked if Mr. Sheppard was engaged as a “P.I. or something.”

Mr. Sheppard next asked Deputy Plunkett whether it appeared that Mr. Sheppard was doing something wrong to which the deputy admitted that he “did not know.”

With his weapon still drawn, Deputy Plunkett then placed his left hand on Mr. Sheppard’s left wrist. Mr. Sheppard asked Mr. Plunkett to “please remove” his hand from Mr. Sheppard’s person. Deputy Plunkett refused this request, used his radio and proceeded to ignore Mr. Sheppard’s repeated demands for the intervention of Deputy Plunkett’s Watch Commander.

As the video shows, Mr. Sheppard asked Deputy Plunkett at least eight times to call in a Watch Commander to the location.

While holding Mr. Sheppard’s wrist, Deputy Plunkett was visibly shaking, to the point that Mr. Sheppard could feel and observe the tremors emanating from Deputy Plunkett’s hand. Mr. Sheppard repeated his request that Deputy Plunkett holster his weapon.

According to Mr. Sheppard, in order to make sure that he could properly hear any commands from Deputy Plunkett, he raised his left hand in full view of the deputy and removed a Bluetooth earpiece, from his left ear.  His ear was also facing Deputy Plunkett.

It’s at this point that Deputy Plunkett points his Beretta 92F at the side of Mr. Sheppard’s head toward his left temple while shouting “do not fucking be reaching.”  At some point, prior to holstering his weapon, Deputy Plunkett “cocked” the hammer of his weapon, while continuing to point the weapon less than one foot from Mr. Sheppard’s temple.

It’s about this time that the videos a second deputy arriving at the location and joining Deputy Plunkett’s side. Deputy Rodriguez, as she was later identified, also had her weapon drawn, in a low ready position. A few moments later, Sergeant Hollis arrived at which point Mr. Sheppard informed Deputy Rodriguez and Sergeant Hollis of everything that had transpired to that point in time. Mr. Sheppard also advised Sergeant Hollis that he was “Code 5,” a reference to his work as a private investigator and the fact that he was actively involved in a legal investigation.

Through all of this, as the video shows, Deputy Plunkett continues to shake with his Beretta still pointed at Mr. Sheppard’s left temple. No one tells him to lower his weapon or to stand down.

Mr. Sheppard told Deputy Rodriguez and Sergeant Hollis that Deputy Plunkett still had his gun pointed at his head, despite the fact that Deputy Plunkett had neither identified nor articulated a crime in commission.

A second female deputy, later learned to be Deputy Hanson, approached the scene with Mr. Sheppard with her taser drawn. Deputy Plunkett continued to point his weapon, hand shaking, Mr. Sheppard’s left temple. Mr. Sheppard continued to strictly comply with all directives, to the best of his ability.  He did have a gun pointed at his head and now a taser.

The video shows Sergeant finally advising Deputy Plunkett to stand down.  Sergeant Hollis specifically asked Deputy Plunkett to explain what happened but Deputy Plunkett refuses to answer.

And while you might think that’s the end of the drama, it’s not.

Without a warrant, deputies attempted to inspect the contents of and even entered Mr. Sheppard’s vehicle. After his field frisk, Mr. Sheppard was placed into the backseat of Deputy Plunkett’s cruiser. It’s at this point that Deputy Hanson gets into the front seat of the cruiser and asks Mr. Sheppard what he was doing in the area because, according to her, Mr. Sheppard “did not belong in the area.”

Court documents and video would reveal that Los Angeles Sherriff’s deputies then actually conspired to fabricate charges on Mr. Sheppard after they realized that he was clean as was his vehicle.

“During the course of the next several minutes, the Deputies on scene conspired to concoct a citable offense against Mr. Sheppard. These law enforcement officials attempted to justify Deputy Plunkett’s actions, ex post facto. Most critically, Deputy Hanson and Deputy Ramirez drafted a citation that was ultimately signed by Deputy Plunkett. Neither Deputy Hanson nor Deputy Ramirez was willing to personally sign the citation, after engaging in a lengthy discussion concerning the contents of said citation. As she was attempting to creatively fashion charges to be brought against Mr. Sheppard within the aforementioned citation, Deputy Hanson stated, ‘please, just let me taser him!’”

None of this would be known today if Mr. Sheppard had not been a P.I. on a surveillance job.  For whatever reason, once the deputies learned that he was a legitimate private investigator in the middle of a legal investigation—they never thought that he might have devices recording audio or video.

Mr. Sheppard was not arrested. He was given one ticket for tinted windows and no license plate.  His Tahoe did have a temporary registration in the windshield and paper license plates on the back of the vehicle as required by law at the time of the incident.

On April 20, 2015, Mr. Sheppard filed a civil lawsuit in federal court for violation of his constitutional rights, assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and various other charges.

The trial took place last week in Los Angeles September 13 through September 15 before the Honorable S. James Otero.  After hearing the evidence and viewing a small portion of the video evidence provided by Mr. Sheppard, a jury of 8 persons found in favor of the sheriff’s department.

Mr. Sheppard plans to appeal the verdict. He is currently working on the Suge Knight murder case and two high profile cases of deaths involving the Los Angeles Police DepartmentEzell Ford who shot and killed in South L.A. in 2014 by the LAPD and Wakiesha Wilson who died while in the custody of the LAPD on Easter Sunday.

It is unknown whether any of the Crescenta Valley Station deputies on scene faced disciplinary action.

Federal Court Case No: 2:15-cv-02920-SJO-JC

Update:

Asked and Answered:
Follow Up Interview with Ken Sheppard After LASD Video Goes Viral

The Court of Public Opinion

  • Dartmouth ’11

    You’re that dumb cunt that doesn’t know the difference between racism and prejudice. I saw a piece of shit and it reminded me of you.

    Racism
    Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. – Oxford Dictionary v.1

    Of course you prolly like this toothless version of the definition:

    The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. – Oxford Dictionary v.1.1

  • You can debate all you want on here but you can’t use words like “cunt” on my website. I don’t like it and I won’t have it. Either edit your comment and delete it or I’ll delete your whole comment. Thank you and have a nice day.

  • You can debate all you want on here but you can’t use words like “cunt” on my website. I don’t like it and I won’t have it. Either edit your comment and delete it or I’ll delete your whole comment. Thank you.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    He said it first. Feel free to delete my comment, but do so after deleting his.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    If you went to a four year college and paid for your education you prolly benefitted from government aid in some form or fashion. That or you either went to a two year university (affordable community college) or went to college before it cost more than your average full time salary per year. Furthermore, the tax breaks given to most middle class Americans dwarf anything given to the poor. The subsidies on farm produce and even things like fix rates for telecom services even when those services cost more to provide in remote locations are all ways you’ve prolly benfited from the government or similar services. Just food for thought.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    The internet is a vast place, if you want to do it, she’s saying go elsewhere. It’s her site. She can do what she wants.

  • Ciegech

    You didn’t watch the video completely. I bet you got this idea of black people unable to be racist from that idiot Paul Mooney or that lame movie dear white people. Also that video does go through multiple dictionaries at the very beginning. Now actually watch that video properly and argue there. Here is another video exposing more black people bs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47SXXizFpWU

  • Dartmouth ’11

    I did watch it. You act like it’s such a compelling video. The guy essentially trivializes the differences of context and substance between the use of racism as system of oppression / structural racism as compared to racism as a belief system which most black people would consider prejudice. It’s the difference between the Holocaust and Bill O’Reilly’s daily banter. He then acknowledges that words have different meanings for different people and that dictionaries are not stagnant, that they form out of language which adapts and changes but then puts forth a slippery slope argument and moves to ridicule individuals making legitimate arguments about where they draw the line. Basically what he’s really saying is that blacks are making an arbitrary distinction between those definitions of racism and then completely ignores the difference in magnitude between the two / why blacks make the distinctions in the first place. Again people like you seek to argue racism on the same playing field as blacks, and there’s really no fair basis to do so. Racism does not equal reverse racism nor is systemic racism even remotely comparable to the prejudice everyone has; blacks and whites included. The prejudice you speak of is simply not the racism we decry. It’s harmless, powerless and amounts to nothing more than a distraction from the real problems we face, just like “all lives matter”. I’ll believe in them as soon as I see them out protesting police brutality when whites, Hispanics, native Americans, Muslims or anyone else gets an unfair shake. As for the video above, you’re right I didn’t watch it… I’ll watch it after you watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPiGMP-_B3I or read this: http://newjimcrow.com/

  • Dartmouth ’11

    I think the easiest way for your brain to wrap your mind around my argument would be to draw this comparison. Which is more harmful? A guy calls the other person fat. A guy kills a person because he’s fat? That’s the difference. It’s that simple. The power structure isn’t as simple as one person has power over another, it involves the ability to turn one’s prejudice into harm. The ability to act on one’s prejudice. The ability to enact laws that systematically kill fat people. If whites did not do so and did not continue to do so, then society would no longer be racist. Unfortunately everything from stop and frisk, the criminal justice system and even laws on voter IDs reeks of racism. It’s everywhere and it’s often done w/ intent. Lastly, I never said blacks can’t be racist, but they certainly can’t be so within the context you’re using the word. If I were to kill a white person because they were white, it wouldn’t matter what my race is, that’s racism. It actually harmed that person solely due to their race. That’s all we’re arguing. Racism = Prejudice + Discrimination. If name calling were to lead someone to suicide, in hindsight, that’s racism. If you call me the N-word, it’s not necessarily racism unless you’re my hiring boss and denied me employment due to my race or upon hearing such a statement a reasonable person may be enraged to the point of a riot and damage was done (they call that seditious and riotous speech / fighting words and its not protected by the 1st amendment).

  • Dartmouth ’11

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cCQU0jt4cs There’s tons of examples man. These aren’t science but plenty of actual science experiments have been conducted w/ similar results.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    This is racism: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/09/study-black-man-and-white-felon-same-chances-for-hire/. Racism isn’t easily identifiable in individual cases but its easy to observe in aggregate data. It’s hard to tell if someone was acting on unconscious biases when they shot the guy or whether they were just afraid. But if you study the likelihood one shoots someone in fear based on race, it’s a lot easier to say blacks are 2-4 times more likely to be shot under the same circumstances as whites. That’s racism. When the cop kills the black man, chances are it could be racism as well. Not necessarily so, but there’s an argument there. Just like there’s an argument that the private investigator was unfairly targeted by the police officer because he was black, that the cop was afraid of him to such an extent because he was black and that he was prosecuted for said reason which may amount to a civil rights violation though they’re hard to prove in court…

  • Thank you. Debate on…

  • Thank you for making the change. Debate on…

  • Ciegech
  • Ciegech

    The reason why black people are getting shot is because cops are scared shitless that they are gonna get killed because of all the hatred and violence surrounding African Americans. I mean there obviously are racist cops who just want to do black people wrong, but alot of them just dont wanna die.

  • CC Crimcops

    I think you missed the point of the totality of the conversation.

    However, FTR, 12 years of Catholic School followed by four years of undergraduate studies funded through work and academic scholarships. and three years post-graduate work funded in the same manner.

  • Ciegech

    You are over complicating this discussion on semantics. At the end of the day words are man made and can fluctuate in meaning. We all have a general sense and feel for racism. Continue on trying to convince the world that one can only be racist when they have power over that race… I mean who says that’s how racism has got to be defined? It isn’t set in stone like physics are. Anyway i can’t believe how laughable this is.

  • Ciegech

    Also where did you get these ideas from? Paul Mooney or that lame movie dear white people?

  • Dartmouth ’11

    Naw, I understood your statement but I guarantee you’re benefiting from the government in one way or another whether you acknowledge it or not. Furthermore you admitted to receiving scholarships. They may not be government aid but they’re still aid. If you were truly able to fund college on just work and scholarships at a four year without loans you must’ve received far more in scholarships than the poor receives in a decade. work simply isn’t enough anymore. No matter what you say you’re a mooch too and you will continue to be one as you receive entitlements such as tax, martial and mortgage deductions. Can’t make it in this world without help, that includes parents paying for your education or banks in the event of a loan too.

  • CC Crimcops

    While you open you post claiming to understand the totality of the conversation, the rest of your posts demonstrates that you did not.
    You comment not only fails to address the underlying issue, but is also wasted preaching to the choir.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    Instead of replying w/ a vague blanket statement. Cite a specific issue w/ my statement / a misunderstanding so there’s something to debate. Until then, my response stands. For the record, I’m not debating the second part of your comment, just the first part:

    “spoken like a true leech who needs the government to serve his every need.”

    I’m also debating your rebuttal to the other guy:

    “Hey, if that’s how your mother raised you, but my parents raised me to take care of myself and not depend of the government for anything, but I won’t judge you for you government dependency.”

    Basically I was adding that you’re a leech too. Maybe not for police protection but for other things. I get tired of some people acting like everything they have is 100% self-made. It’s not, it never is, someone had to help you get where you are, whether that’s your parents, the government or a generous donor. That’s all I’m saying. My comments feeds into the general welfare vs entitlement debates. Often people who receive tons of entitlements spend their time trying to take even more welfare from the poor when the poor receive comparatively little in aid. I’m not discussing the police brutality vs right to carry vs don’t call the police for help aspects of your first comment, just the welfare portion of it and the rebuttal below it.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    Again my argument is focused on the magnitude of the word, not the semantics. It’s a substantive argument not a denotative one. By definition blacks can be racist utilizing the ideology definition. Who cares? It’s harmless prejudice. That’s not “real” racism. When people like you yell “reverse racism,” it carries little weight. That’s the truth whether you like it or not and that’s all I’m arguing; your racism is empty. If you want to have a legitimate conversation about racism you need to acknowledge the difference between what racism means for each race. To whites it amounts to angst, disrespect, name calling. To blacks it amounts to lynchings, death, joblessness, incarceration, control over our hairstyles and dress, hundreds of years of oppression from slavery to Jim crow, homelessness, neglect ongoing structural racism etc in addition to all that name calling. You can’t have an honest debate if you’re trying to treat both definitions equally.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    No, where did you get your ideas Fox news?

  • Ciegech

    From common sense and those videos i link… you foolish fool.

  • Ciegech

    LMAO harmless prejudice you are too far gone you moron. Most of that bad oppressive stuff isn’t occurring any more stop whining. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0p_pQ7PTYU

  • Dartmouth ’11

    I think the fact that you believe structural racism is dead is a testament to your incompetence. Do I really need to post data on everything from employment to the war on drugs. In a competition on ignorance, you give Trump a run for his “money”. You seem to get most of your information about black people from celebs… maybe you should open a book or something instead. Just a suggestion.

  • CC Crimcops

    The very fact you feel the need to debate those comments shows you have missed the point of the totality of the conversation.
    You eagerness to launch headfirst into an argument expressing how tired you are of people acting like everything they have is 100% self-made prevented you from considering whether those two comments were made in earnest or rather to expose the hypocrisy inherent in the other poster’s comments in such a way it defied intelligent rebuttal.
    Your failure to grasp the point of the totality of the conversation lead you to the wrong conclusion.

  • Dartmouth ’11

    The very fact that you continue to post vague blanket statements that cite no specific issues proves my point. The only remote substance from this reply is:

    “prevented you from considering whether those two comments were made in earnest” – translation – “I was trolling”. Not much of an argument there.

    and

    “or rather to expose the hypocrisy inherent in the other poster’s comments in such a way it defied intelligent rebuttal.” – translation – “argue w/ the other guy”. No thanks. I called you out and already said my response had nothing to do w/ his comments.

  • airborneinfantry

    Thank you for both of the videos. I think they were very well done. Cheers

  • airborneinfantry

    Good video, pretty sad.

  • airborneinfantry

    wow, sure makes you think different when you see it for yourself. Pretty messed up

  • CC Crimcops

    You professed aversion against “argu[ing] w/ the other guy” is betrayed by your decision to jump into the middle of a conversation you failed to comprehend in order to begin what you admit is an argument to the discussion at hand for no other reason than to rail on about your personal pet-peeve.
    Translation: “I am a self-important douche.”
    You mother must be so proud.

  • Ciegech
  • daredevil1

    Why would you turn your phone vertical at the end of the video? Always record horizontally.

  • Tee

    I don’t care if Sheppard is white, black or orange, the police have every right to ask the questions Plunkett asked. Sheppard was in a state of noncompliance and disrespect from word one. My take from the video is that he is a narcissist and thinks because he is a PI that he is above the law. I’m going to take a guess that he probably tried to be a cop but didn’t make the cut. I may be wrong but I’ve known men like him with the same chip on their shoulder who work as PIs or “security”. Now he’s on a campaign to try to drag this officer down for doing his job. Answer the questions, keep your hands still , have some respect and you will get it in return.

  • Plunkett was way out of line and will cost the city millions in civil litigations if he is allowed to walk the streets. Eventually he is going to get someone killed. If he attempted to fire his weapon, he could have easily killed a fellow police officer in the confusion because he is shaking so bad.

  • robert burkhardt

    I find it incredible that those officers acted in that manner. As if with impunity. Going by the jury’s baffling verdict, the officers can do as they wish.
    You may eventually win a settlement, but the officers, obviously, will go unpunished.
    Soviet America, I guess.

  • Pingback: ICYMI: Follow Up Interview with P.I. Ken Sheppard | Jasmyne Cannick()

  • Bill

    Only in the land of the free

  • gene clark

    No cops surely have “chips on their shoulders,” right? Cops ARE the law, so anything they command or do is “right” and “legal.” And anyone who dares question their authority to do what they want deserves having their brains splattered on their car’s interior.

  • gene clark

    Just one of a myriad examples that demonstrate that we have the police that we deserve, since we generally allow them to commit such crimes with impunity. The DA should have brought criminal charges on these cops, but we get the DAs that we elect, and what does it matter when the jury would acquit anyway? Unfortunately, the overall low percentage of non-criminals who are abused by cops hasn’t been enough to change society’s view on cops to end this rampant criminality. It is slowly changing due to the ubiquity of video cameras in cellphones, and mainstream media reporting notorious cases (like the shooting in the back of Walter Scott in N. Carolina by Michael Slager, whose murder trial ended in a mistrial because of a cop worshiper on the jury), but until there is a critical mass of those who are aware of the fact that many (if not most) police departments act like criminal gangs, this will continue.

    Also, though black men obviously have it worse overall, cops abuse people of all ethnicities, so it’s not merely a racial issue. And there are plenty of black cops who are dishing out the abuse and/or allowing it to happen.

  • burt

    You are a racist pig and a disgusting human being. Fuck you and the whore that spit you out.

  • burt

    The only good cop is a dead cop.

  • Brandy

    You’re absolutely right. Sad.

  • Brandy

    👏👏👏👏👏

  • Brandy

    Pretty disgusting to see that my family from 4 generations back and including myself have served this country in the military to protect our freedoms just to watch them be exploited by the very people who swore oath to uphold them! 😠 This makes me sick! Mr. Sheppard, my brother and keeper in arms for justice, I stand with you and share your story with the world.

  • Michelle Raines

    I think we need more upstanding concerned citizens like Micah Xavier Johnson to deal with these Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department pigz ASAP!

  • Seamorgh

    How did he lose this case against the Sheriff’s Department?? I would like to know the name of his attorney.