Everybody knows your name

Familiar faces but no eyewitnesses testify Monday; come back next week
Melissa Topey
Jun 3, 2014

 

topey@sanduskyregister.com

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine could use the "Cheers" show theme song to describe witnesses he's called before a grand jury looking into the 2007 jailhouse death of Craig Burdine.

"You want to  be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You want to be where everybody knows your name." 

DeWine's staggering grand jury hearings re-started, and concluded for the week on Monday, with a trio of familiar faces: Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, Detective Sean O'Connell and Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt.

The grand jury spent the last two hours of its day with DeWine's lead prosecutor, Matt Donahue, and an agent from DeWine's Bureau of Criminal Identification.

None of witnesses who testified Monday were at the jail Aug. 11, 2007, when Craig Burdine, handcuffed and shackled, died just moments after being Tasered at least three times.

In six days of testimony since the grand jury's start May 6, Donahue appears to have called few, if any, of the police officers, guards, supervisors or other personnel at the jail who could provide eyewitness accounts of what occurred.

Jess Burdine, Craig Burdine's 80-year-old father, was on the witness stand two days in May, and he told the Register Donahue misled the grand jury.

Donahue also brought Craig Burdine's brother, Eric, and his sister, Laurie Burdine, in front of the grand jury.

Watch the interview with Jess Burdine and Eric Burdine

None of the Burdine family members were at the jail the night Craig Burdine died.

Laurie Burdine said Donahue was using his phone at one point during her testimony last week, and he didn't notice when she stopped speaking while responding to a grand juror's question until after she paused and asked him if he was texting someone.

It's not clear why Donahue has thus far avoided first-person accounts from eyewitnesses who were at the jail when Craig Burdine died, or why he's avoided providing grand jurors scientific viewpoints about the cause of death using testimony from the Lucas County deputy coroner who conducted the autopsy, or Dr. Michael Baden, the renowned forensic pathologist who reviewed the information and determined the cause of death was homicide.

See autopsy photos and photos of alleged injuries officers sustained

Overmyer, O'Connell and Hirt all declined to discuss what they told grand jurors.

Hirt said he was called to testify because he was chief deputy when Craig Burdine died while in custody, but he otherwise declined comment. 

O'Connell, who told the family the day Craig Burdine died that a thorough investigation would be conducted, brought an accordion file folder containing documents with him to the courthouse Monday.

DeWine's investigators determined almost immediately in August after agreeing to investigate that there had never been a prior criminal investigation despite the assurances O'Connell gave the Burdine family. It's not clear why O'Connell would have documents in his personal possession from the Fremont Police Department nearly seven years after the incident. 

O'Connell was in the grand jury hearing room for about 90 minutes on Monday

Craig Burdine was already severely injured from an earlier assault on Sycamore Street when he was arrested. The Fremont police officer in charge initially called for an ambulance but canceled the call after recognizing Burdine, who allegedly kicked at an officer. Video shows a non-combative Craig Burdine was hauled from a police cruiser into the jail by at least three officers. He died just minutes after being dragged inside. 

The grand jury will reconvene next Monday.

Meanwhile, DeWine has remained mum on the grand jury and a host of other questions involving other cases his office has taken on in Sandusky County. 

DeWine has refused to say whether he is seeking criminal indictments, and he's refused to make any other comment about why some key witnesses weren't contacted during his nearly seven-month investigation. 

The Sandusky County sheriff, the Fremont police, O'Connell and the prosecutor's office have never provided the Burdine family with answers to their many questions and stopped returning their calls almost immediately after Craig Burdine died.They also have declined to respond to inquiries from the Register. 

DeWine agreed in August to conduct a full criminal investigation, but his office also has not been responsive to inquiries from the family, which has come to doubt DeWine's intentions, and whether he is presenting all of the evidence to the grand jury.

Click here to read related articles

"Cheers" show theme song

Note: This article has been modified to remove an inaccurate statement that jurors left the hearing May 27 while some witnesses were brought into the courtroom.

Comments

Blue.Streaker

It's tough figuring out a new angle to criticize this thing, right SR?

In earlier reports you said witnesses appeared before the Grand Jury, describing them only as "an unknown man" or words to that effect.

Now you bemoan that nobody testified who was there at the time.

HOW DO YOU KNOW if you don't know who the witnesses were? Sheesh.

holysee

Keep up the good work SR. When talking to people IN sandusky county, it's amazing how many do not even know that there is a grand jury convened for this investigation. The Newsmess surely isn't reporting and if they don't read the Register, they don't have a clue what's going on, which is how LE wants to keep it.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Blue.Streaker. Dr. Baden, Dr. Beisser, the jail guards and the police officers are all familiar faces and they have not been called to testify. As the coverage has reported in detail and makes clear, some witnesses were subpoenaed but did not  disclose their identities when asked by a reporter after they testified, but it appears clear those witnesses were BCI personnel, not the guards, police officers or other eyewitnesses.

Lil DAB

That's right, holysee. So many citizens have no clue, the scandals and cover-ups going on under their "noses" and with their tax dollars. Sex in the courthouse, sex in the jail, family cover-ups.
And correct again, you will NOT read about it in the news mess unless they copy what they want from written articles or dictated to from Columbus.
Blue.Squacker's lame attempt at discrediting the reporting of someone who devoted time, effort, and guts to attend, witness and question participants in this DeWine dog and pony show is just that...lame.
Just pray you never find your family in a situation where a system is against you and the truth!

Ctwhalers

Well said Matt and Lil Dab. Blue steaker the family knows and the register knows who was there or not.

Laughingatwttb

I tend to agree with the horse and pony statement being thrown around here. Let's no bill this so this county can move on already. Stop wasting tax dollars and these peoples time.

Lil DAB

The county should move on, sure enough. But with the attorney general's office doing what they are supposed to be doing...investigating the wrongdoings and presenting TRUTHFUL and TRANSPARENT evidence to the grand jury! Instead of wasting tax dollars on murky and veiled evidence.

"Dog and pony show" is a colloquial term which has come to mean a highly promoted, often over-staged performance, presentation, or event designed to sway or convince opinion for political, or less often, commercial ends. (Wikipedia)

In this case POLITICAL....the SR didn't create the circumstances. They have however UNCOVERED and reported them!

Laughingatwttb

Save your breath. You have no evidence to say that's not what they're doing. You are making the assumption based off of what you read. You have no idea what's going on in that room and are relying on the SR to report what the family tells them. There are always 3 sides to every story. In this case there's the family's side, Law enforcements side, then there's the truth.

Lil DAB

or do I? Stay tuned. Day 7...to be continued....

Lil DAB

...oh & if I should mysteriously turn up missing, I hope the SR investigates and does the reporting and not the Fremont branch of the Gannett company...my family would deserve the truth.

KURTje

Again: valid reasons it would behoove S.R. to allow these blogs. Local people know real things. Just like Frank Rinello or Tuc*** Auto Sales - Fremont Ohio. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Ctwhalers

Laughingat I have seen the evidence so I know the thruth. I have seen the videos. Have you. I have seen the paper work . Lil Dab well said again. I hope if something like this happens I hope register investigates it.

Laughingatwttb

I have watched the video. He was being hauled out in leg irons and cuffs. No person would be combative in that position. Now put the person on the ground where they have a little more flexibility, then the combat will start again. And you perceive what you little bit you saw as the truth. Next!!!

Florence Nightingale

I think someone, maybe bluestreaker, has mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating - the civil case was dismissed and the dismissal was upheld on appeal. I think that's very pertinent - from a Toledo Blade article: the Burdine “civil suit prompted extensive discovery and roughly 60 depositions. U.S. District Judge James Carr dismissed the case, a decision affirmed months ago by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.”
And from the appeals court:“Dr. Baden admitted that someone whose neck was even partially compressed would lose consciousness within two to three minutes, while someone whose neck was completely compressed would lose consciousness in under ten seconds. Yet when the EMTs arrived, Burdine was conscious, breathing and speaking (albeit incoherently), and had a normal pulse. This evidence is incompatible with the theory of the case plaintiffs advance because if Craig Burdine had died of severe neck compression, he would have been unconscious when the EMTs arrived.” If you'd like to read the whole thing - http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opin...
(It would appear from this that the attorneys in the civil case had access to all the same evidence - if that's not so, please correct me with factual references.)
Again, I just don't understand the fixation on a cover up. Was the appeals court in on it too? Are the EMTs going to be accused of lying? I'm afraid that no amount of evidence is going to change the minds of those who want to believe that.

Laughingatwttb

Thanks for the link.

Blue.Streaker

Florence! It's wonderful to see someone else on here who understands the legal system. For quite a while I have pointed out that the same evidence that cannot support a civil claim should not be expected to be successful supporting a criminal claim. Matt does not understand the system (or at least he claims ignorance) and thinks he rebuffs what I say by pointing out the civil case never went to trial, so we don't actually know what its result was.

Say what? What? I just walk away shaking my head while others criticize me.

So, once again, unless the Grand Jury heard evidence unknown to the civil attorney and the 60 people he deposed, we should expect Matt & Minions to continue their Quixotic criticism. Help, help, they're all after us. It's an enormous conspiracy. Get your guns!

I don't know why I keep reading this ignorant crap. Now that you've arrived, maybe I'll give it a rest.

Florence Nightingale

I've been following the stories for quite a while, and finally felt that I had to say something about what increasingly appears to be a witch hunt. There don't seem to be many voices of reason amongst the mob mentality. I don't know how long I'll continue, though. Like you, sometimes I wonder why I bother to continue reading. So, should I now expect to be accused of secretly being a Sandusky County official?

Babo

I like to think mine is a voice of reason. I did respond to your point concerning the Sixth Circuit's opinion and tried to explain why that opinion does not preclude a grand jury investigation into alleged LE misconduct including an alleged cover up. You choose not reply for some reason.

You use Florence Nightingale as an alias and that tends to indicate a background in nursing and or a caring/empathetic person. The Sixth Circuit's opinion in the facts section revealed rather startling information that should bother a caring person. First, a LEO admits Craig Burdine was singled out or targeted because LE knew him and his history (he had successfully sued LE for excessive force in the past). Second, based on that prior knowledge LE appeared to INTENTIONALLY deny him access to medical care prior to incarceration.

These two factors indicate to me an intentional violation by SC LE of Craig Burdine's rights to equal protection of the law, due process of law, and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. These would constitute federal criminal law violations and would explain the alleged cover-up by jail staff and an autopsy report that may have been based on defective or falsified reports.

Do you not find it disturbing that a man with serious injuries was not medically evaluated prior to being shackled, hand cuffed and forcibly carried into a jail? Is it possible that a man in extreme pain and possible shock would lash out at people who were hurting him, especially when he has a history of being beaten wrongfully by police? Does it make medical sense to administer an electric shock to such a person to "subdue him" or to lean on his throat to "subdue him"?

Thank you for the link to the opinion. The facts revealed therein that LE allegedly targeted him and intentionally denied him medical care has convinced me that the attack on Craig Burdine was intentional and explains the substandard and incompetent "investigation" by LE and autopsy by Dr. Beissner.

Babo

The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing the issues before it; in this case a review of the granting of a motion for summary judgment by the Sandusky County defendants based on qualified immunity. What this opinion doesn't address nor can it address are legal issues not before it, such as 1) policy violations in failure to transport for medical treatment PRIOR to incarceration; 2) improper training and supervision by Sandusky County officials; 3) falsification and or collusion in the statements by jail corrections officers/improper investigation; 4) Autopsy issues with Lucas County.

What the opinion indicates to me is that the Burdine family had really poor legal representation at the trial court level and on appeal. My guess is they ran out of money.

Interesting facts in the opinion indicate that LE made an intentional decision NOT to have him medically evaluated prior to incarceration because they knew him despite the fact that he had burns and other physical injuries. This strongly suggests targeting and denial of equal protection of the law that in turn renders all subsequent testimony by LE suspect especially since critical evidence (gap in video-blind spot)is missing.

The entire point to the Grand jury is or should be to establish whether there was a criminal cover up in the case. If officers lied in the civil case to protect themselves or their associates, the civil case has no validity.

Personally I can't get past the facts that he wasn't transported first to the ER and medically evaluated prior to incarceration because they recognized him. For me that's a giant red flag coupled with the missing video that renders the rest of LE's testimony not credible

sash

What are the "issues" with the Lucas County autopsy? I couldn't find anywhere that Dr. Baden identified any errors or mistakes in the original autopsy.

Babo

Medical knowledge evolves and there's new evidence concerning Taser use, and the fact that excited delirium is discredited. Also, Dr. Beissner (Lucas County) has in the past delivered autopsy findings (as the USDOJ knows) to meet the needs of LE, that are later discredited. Finally since you seem to admit that Burdine was targeted and intentionally denied medical care prior to incarceration, LE's statements given to the Coroner have to be reevaluated.

Florence Nightingale

I don't see where it said they intentionally denied him medical care because they recognized him. What I read is that once they recognized him, they took him to the county jail because it was felt he wouldn't comply with normal booking procedures (vs. at the city facility, was my inference, since this happened in the city limits). Nothing was said about him needing medical attention until after he'd been tased. I do think "excited delirium" should not be used as a cause of death, ever - that's lazy. But after reading that document, I don't see how anyone could believe that he was strangled to death. Bottom line to me is, you think the LE officers are lying. I don't.

Babo

Sorry, I did not see read this reply until after I replied above.

Craig Burdine had severe burns from the fire pit and head trauma. The audio from his transport to the jail reflects a man who is silent and possibly unconscious or in shock. On these facts no professional LEO would transport him to a jail but would have him medically evaluated first for liability purposes which is why policy usually requires it. These facts also contradict some LE statements

Combine the above facts with the fact that LE knew him and had an axe to grind with him because of a prior lawsuit for excessive force which he won as well as missing video at critical times; and there's enough there to draw the conclusions he was targeted and singled out for different treatment in violation of federal law and that he was subjected to excessive force in the jail through denial of medical care and a beating while already seriously injured.

Florence Nightingale

The appeals court stated that the plaintiffs did not show that excessive force was used. It's not that I don't have compassion for Mr. Burdine, whatever he had done did not deserve death. Any time a person dies in police custody it's newsworthy and should be looked into. I am certainly not defending every decision by the SCSO; the senior Mr. Burdine should not have had to file a lawsuit to get an investigation. If it is policy that any injured person be taken to a hospital before jail, then officers should have been disciplined for violating it. But I don't believe they are directly responsible for his death. (Wasn't the lawsuit for excessive force won against Ottawa county, by the way?)
Also, the officer who recognized Burdine was with Fremont PD, not SCSO for what that's worth. What I object to the most in all this is the lumping together of all these entities and all these different cases under the banner of "Sandusky County is corrupt", and the assumption that all LE and officials must be lying for one another.
I do think that your voice is one of the more reasonable of those who believe as you do, but I don't think we will ever agree.

Babo

The Appeals Court was not presented with nor considered the issue of whether Craig Burdine should have been medically evaluated prior to incarceration. My argument is that denial of medical care and beating someone who is seriously injured is excessive force because it is cruel and unusual punishment.

Yes, the lawsuit was won against Ottawa County but the LE communities are close knit in Ottawa, Sandusky and Erie Counties. The Blue line does exist.

The officer was with FPD and FPD made the decision to incarcerate him. IMO, SC should have refused to accept him and thus both FPD and SCLE should be scrutinized.

I don't find the articles to read as Sandusky County is corrupt and that all LE and officials are covering for one another. The articles repeat the same names and indicate to me there isn't effective redress for complaints of alleged misconduct or corruption. In fact you conceded that Mr. Burdine should not have had to file a lawsuit to obtain an investigation into his son's death. This grand jury is that investigation and it's interesting to watch it play out.

Consider flipping the facts around: If a police officer was drunk, high and out of control at a party and he fell into a fire pit and smashed his head during a fight would he be taken to a hospital before incarceration or only after he had trouble breathing at the jail? Would there be a full inquiry into his death if he died in custody?

Florence Nightingale

I recall reading that the officers didn't think his injuries were serious enough to require a trip to the ER at first. I don't know what their policies are for making that judgment call. I also recall reading that he was carried into the jail not because he wasn't able to walk, but because he refused to.
With headlines like "DeWine and Wukie: Best Buds Keep Secrets" and editorials that flat-out state that DeWine is part of the problem and is covering for LE in Sandusky County, you don't find that this coverage reads corruption and cover up?? Reading the comments shows that many do see it that way. I am fine with the grand jury investigation being the redress and letting it play out. If indictments are handed down, then so be it - I will accept that the evidence supported that, and woe to the officer(s). The same will not happen with the mob if it goes the other way.
I won't speculate on your hypothetical question; we'll find that out just as soon as an officer actually does all those things. I haven't been on here very long and may have missed things, but I have yet to see a post of yours that isn't critical of either LE, the AG and/or his office, or the Ohio justice system in general. Do you mind if I ask what has brought you to that view?

Babo

Why do you think a small town police officer is qualified to determine whether Burdine's burns, head trauma, and if one buys the Dx of delirium (a very serious medical emergency) merit medical attention?

Why do you accept the statements of LE without question when facts contradict them? If Burdine was so out of control why is he quiet in the patrol car? If he was so out of control why would you un cuff him out of camera range?

Yes, I do find the coverage reads corruption and cover up involving a FEW public officials because that's what the facts over many years have led the reporters and many readers to conclude. However, the SR and many readers are not alleging that every LE or public official in Sandusky County are corrupt.

I believe alleged corruption and cover up are accurate assessments of the conduct as any reasonable public official when accused of some outlandish claim of corruption or cover up would rebut that claim with full disclosure and transparency not silence, withholding of evidence, and or retaliatory acts.

The grand jury ought to be the redress but it should have occurred 7 years ago when the death occurred. That in and of itself reeks of official misconduct and alleged cover up as every in custody death is to be investigated. Also in order for any investigative grand jury to be effective all relevant evidence ought to be disclosed and presented by a prosecutor with high standards committed to seeking justice. I don't think someone yammering on his cell phone meets the standard.

By not presenting all relevant evidence in a professional manner, DeWine will leave his office open to complaints by interested citizens (not a mob)that the grand jury was compromised. My personal view is (and it is why I urge the SR and interested parties to scrupulously document the process) to give DeWine and involved LEO's enough rope to hang themselves such that the USDOJ will take the case.

Finally, my comments herein may appear to you to be only critical of SOME LE, the AG or the Ohio Justice system in general because the comments appear in stories or editorials that are also critical. For example should AG DeWine decide to fire his triple dipping senior advisor for his recent drunk driving episode wherein he publicly urinated upon himself, I would be the first to praise DeWine for his good judgment and leadership.

Florence Nightingale

We don't disagree on everything. I don't think that a police officer is qualified to make complex medical judgments - that's why I mentioned policy on the matter. I would think there would be policies in place as to when someone should be evaluated, and there should be consequences if policy is violated. If there is no such policy in place, then that's a huge problem. I also previously agreed with you that an investigation should have been done sooner.

The SR may not have alleged that every single official in the county is corrupt, but they sure don't make it a point to say that they're not, either. (By the way, you're not saying that the onus is on the person accused of corruption to prove himself innocent, are you?) Each and every case should be looked at on its own. The Fremont PD played a huge role in this case. Yet public comment hardly ever mentions them, it's just "there goes corrupt Sandusky County again". And including a 25 year old case in the "problems with Sandusky County" list? Of the persons in charge now, how many were in those same positions 25 years ago? That hardly seems fair.
The opinions I've formed on this particular case come from reading the appeals court's opinion, primarily. I don't really trust the SR to report fairly on anything they think has to do with Sandusky County LE.

Babo

The Fremont officer made the decision to transport an injured Craig Burdine because of his personal knowledge of his past. In other words he intentionally denied him access to medical care (even though he was restrained at the time and under control) because of his identity when another person at the scene was transported for similar injuries. Does FPD have a policy on medical care ..they should and maybe the SR will find that out for us.

My point is why does society grant so much power and not question police officers when the barriers to entry to the occupation are so low especially in small towns and rural areas. They work for us and when there's a death in custody people and the news media have every right to question everything, especially when there were so many conflicts of interest in an investigation that was not transparent.

That brings me to you questioning whether a person allegedly involved in public corruption or misconduct has the burden of proving themselves innocent. You are confusing the burden of proof in a criminal case wherein a person is already charged and the state has the burden to prove the acts beyond a reasonable doubt with the duty public employees and government agencies have to be forthcoming to the citizens and the media of this country when their behavior is questioned. Even in a criminal case if the defendant didn't do the crime they immediately produce evidence of their innocence. They don't have to do so but why drag the process when one can demonstrate to the community that the state made a mistake.

In the cases the SR is bringing forward, the government employees are alleged to have not performed their jobs properly in range from mere incompetence to maybe criminal wrongdoing. So while the burden is not on them to prove they are innocent, their employers (citizens) through the watchdog our constitution set up to question government (the media) are asking them to explain themselves and are monitoring their conduct just as any employer has the right to do with any employee. If they will not or cannot explain their actions or lack of action (failure to act can also be misconduct)then citizens may presume something stinks.

Finally, like it or not this is a Constitutional Republic and everyone regardless of intellect or ability is permitted to have an opinion and express it lawfully. If you read the stories associated with this case carefully you will find that the Detective originally assigned the case worked for FPD and was later hired by the Sheriff. The problem in the Burdine case is that local LE (both FPD and County) investigate themselves and had pre-existing conflicts of interest). What appears to be 25 years history of malfeasance in Sandusky County law enforcement agencies and or government reflects a common problem in Ohio that arises from the strong home rule built into our State constitution and lack of a state wide police force with investigation powers that is responsive to public complaints of alleged public corruption. Fact is FPD shouldn't investigate the County and the County shouldn't investigate FPD and the SR is just pointing out poor government policies and conduct.

sash

You state as fact that excited delirium is discredited. Really? By whom? Source? I was an admitted skeptic, but Dr. Baden's deposition drove me to do research on the subject. A lot of research. While ExDs stirs up controversy in the media and because so many deaths occur in custody, there is a wealth of clinical and medical research to support it. Despite SR's claim that it is rarely, if ever, found outside of in-custody deaths, I've been unable to find any data to support that claim other than Lucas County. I have found studies for cities, States or Provinces that show in-custody deaths accounting for anywhere from 22% - 57% of ExDs deaths. So yes, a large portion of ExDs deaths occur while in LE custody, but they also die at home and in hospitals. ExDs is difficult, and controversial, because it's a finding of exclusion rather than one that can be confirmed through a diagnostic test. SIDS was controversial for years because many couldn't accept that an infant could die for "no apparent" reason. A lack of a diagnostic test, or understanding why it happens doesn't make it less real. Although I'm sure there are many cases of police brutality mistakenly identified as ExDs, it doesn't negate the real possibility of ExDs as a cause of death when in custody.

The American Academy of Emergency Physicians White Paper on Excited Delirium is a good starting point for research if you're interested and the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Babo

Thanks for the references. However, you haven't addressed the issue that Craig Burdine may have been singled out and intentionally denied medical care prior to incarceration.

Florence Nightingale

I'm one of those who have said it's BS and shouldn't be used - looks like I could be wrong. Thanks for the post, I will be reading the white paper.

Babo

I read the paper by the ER doctors (2009) and more recent papers from 2011 and 2012. All appear to agree with my point, that any type of delirium (and these cases go back to the 1800's)is a medical emergency that takes precedence over the alleged crimes committed.

So we are back to my contention that Craig Burdine should not have been transported at all to the jail but taken first to the ER for medical evaluation as a medical emergency. Not only did he have severe burns, and head trauma that merited immediate medical attention but if one buys the Dx of delirium he was in grave medical danger at the time and should have been sedated rather than Tased and restrained with a choke hold that resulted in a broken hyloid bone.

nosey rosey

I'm amazed by all the people who are on the side of the criminals. If you don't want something bad to happen to you, don't do something stupid to have the police called on you. This guy was attacking other people, a kid plays with a loaded gun.....you reap what you sow.

Matt Westerhold

The way the criminal justice system is designed to work, nosey rosy, is a person gets a trial before they are determined to be guilty, convicted and killed. You're blaming the dead man for dying before he could be brought to trial, and face his accusers. You're comfortable with that, perhaps. as long as it doesn't happen to you, or someone in your family.  

Lil DAB

"amazed...all the people who are on the side of the criminals"....

Pretty sure no one is condoning CRIME here. The "side" I am on is for honesty and justice by the leaders that have taken an oath to protect and serve. Thankfully, most of LE honor the oath. They ALSO deserve justice. The few, (in Sandusky County & apparently Ottawa Cty - several) bad apples are insensitively "spoiling" the bunch. (Allowing a perception that THEY have become the criminals.)

Don't blame or be cheesed off at those that expect transparency, truth and integrity from elected and hired officials. You should want and expect the same.

Your last sentence was dissolutely & unequivocally unfair.

Ctwhalers

You look at all the officers names on there how many were called to the grand jury to testify? Probably none except overmyer

mamaC

Over it already with people saying a person deserved to die because they had a recorded or they brought a gun to so called party, or she should of not been drinking etc. If you people really believe this thinking you better get real! A traffic ticket, an accusation of you doing any wrong doing, you or your family member could end up like the rest of these stories, Fighting for what is called Justice! Well,,unless your related to any officials in Sandusky County

Ralph J.

Stop the dog and pony shows. Bring in the Feds from Washington.

Please

Amazing! No comments on nightingale. Matt, anything? Seems like a good point to me.....anyone, anyone? Is the whole justice system on this cover up? SR needs to go after the US District court for a cover up of a friend in Sandusky County!!!! Lol I think Nightingales comment made more sense than any other comment or this article!!

sash

Don't hold your breath. Critical questions get you silence or snark. If you want a real eye opener, read Dr. Baden's deposition and the Appeal's Court decision. The deposition is 200 plus pages, but after reading it and the Court opinion it's pretty easy to see why the AG's office would seek the opinion of another pathologist.

Ctwhalers

Well said MamaC. Nosey rosey I hope you or none of your family members has something happen to them in Sandusky county like these other familys did cause you will call for justice then but will it be there for them unless we stop the corruption now.

Aaron9509

What this criminal was doing, he did not deserve to lose his life for. Reading through the aforementioned transcript the EMT's stated that Burdine was making bubbles and was making incoherent sounds, the other EMT stated his pulse was neither high nor low. Having some exeperience working in the field agonal breathing can be mistaken for breathing. When I see the pulse was niether high nor low that tells me the pulse was not assessed unless it is documented as a number. Looking at the autopsy photo's he has partial thickness burns to his hand and parts of his legs also suffered burns. The officer at the scene who recognized Burdine stated he didn't think he would be cooperative to receive medical care and decided to transport him to the jail. Even though Burdine was restrained the officer felt that his injuries were secondary to everyones safety. Yet the first thing they do when they get him in the shower area (out of video surveillance) is un-cuff him? Additionally, there is no mention of a choke hold being applied which the forensic eveidence clearly shows happenend with bruising to the soft tissue of the neck, the fractured hyoid bone, and the petechial hemorrhages. I'm not trying to paint Burdine as an angel. If you take 5 seconds and search his criminal background you will see he has had many run-ins with law enforcement. There is nothing in his record that suggests he should have died while in the custody of these officers, through either neglect of his injuries, or the use of a choke hold.

Babo

Thank you for you input. IMO, Burdine, once under control by LE at the scene should have been taken by EMT's to the ER where he could than be sedated and received treatment for his burns, head trauma, and medically evaluated prior to confinement in a jail for his alleged crimes.

I compare his case to one wherein a suspected drunk drive causes an accident wherein he is seriously injured and behaves erratically. That suspected drunk driver would first be taken to an ER for medical evaluation before he would be incarcerated if it turns out he was in fact drunk.

Also, as you point out it makes absolutely no sense to un cuff a man they claim was so out of control and the Lucas County autopsy ignored the evidence of an illegal chokehold.

Aaron9509

She didn't ignore it. She clearly documented it in her findings but didn't rule it as the cause of death but rather a sudden cardiac death related to the excited delerium. Yet the EMT's state that his face was red then blue which is a clear sign of hypoxia. As a first responder they are taught to assess the ABC's airway, breathing, and circulation. If someone's face is red that is a clear sign they are struggling with their airway. Measures should have been taken immediately to remedy this. If they were afraid to physically assess Burdine because they were told he was being combative or violent then no immediate response would have been made. From the statements it was one of the officers that noticed Burdine stop breathing and start CPR. So where was the EMT? If I wasn't doing the proper job I was trained to do and now someone was dead because of it would I be more apt to agree with the story that was more advantageous for me or for a known criminal? I also find it a bit hard to believe that audio and video at key times mysteriously malfunctions. I wonder how many documented issues they had with the system prior to that night? There are just to many things that don't add up.

Babo

My choice of the word "ignore" was poor. You are correct she didn't "ignore" the evidence but then again she didn't explain her findings satisfactorily either. Moreover, by not explaining the evidence of a chokehold she didn't eliminate it as a possible COD or at least a significant contributing factor.

I think we agree..there's plenty of reasons to question the autopsy report as well as the veracity of the statements of CO's and others.