An upstanding, venerable business owner wonders what Michigan State Police (MSP) were doing on a couple of lots he owned. The 83 year old man gets taken down with force for allegedly not listening to commands, gets knocked unconscious and suffers broken bones, a broken nose, and road rash from the encounter.
Here's the kicker: the MSP are trying to charge this man with assaultive behavior, there is no internal investigation into the troopers' behavior, and this old beaten-up codger is hopeful that footage from his cameras will reveal his version of events which has him innocent of wrongdoing. The Traverse City Record Eagle reports:
83-year-old man injured in scuffle with troopers
TRAVERSE CITY — Larry Dale Sevenski took calls from his Petoskey hospital room as he considered what his next days will entail.
Will he return to his Elmira home, or have to turn himself in to Antrim County's jail?
Sevenski, 83, could face a criminal charge after a March 17 altercation with a Michigan State Police trooper that left him hospitalized with a broken arm.
The incident began when troopers stopped Sevenski at the corner of Thumm Road and U.S. 131 in Antrim County, MSP Lt. Mark Harris said. He climbed out of his car and "aggressively" walked toward troopers' patrol car. He didn't listen when troopers told him to return to his car.
"At that point the subject became more assaultive in his behavior, and as a result was subdued and taken to the ground," Harris said. "And unfortunately that's where the injuries occurred to Mr. Sevenski."
The 83-year-old was left with a bloody nose, pain in his right arm, and a ticket for failing to signal, Harris said. Paramedics treated him at the scene and took him to McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey.
Sevenski said he went unconscious during the incident and was left with an arm broken in two places. He balked at Harris' description of the late-night stop.
He said he drove from his tavern on March 17 because he wanted to talk to the troopers he heard were gathered at the lot he owns nearby.
"I wasn't assaultive," Sevenski said. "I'm almost 84 years old. Why would I try to take on an officer half my age? ... I know better than that."
Harris contended there are more variables to the story than Sevenski's age.
Troopers requested Antrim County Prosecutor James Rossiter authorize a resisting and obstructing charge against Sevenski — they dictated so on the ticket they wrote him on March 17, in which they indicated "driver will also be charged with R&O police officer as part of this incident."
Harris declined to describe Sevenski's behavior until Rossiter decides whether to charge him. Rossiter, through Antrim County legal secretary Debra Ho'on, said he was not available for comment.
There is no investigation into troopers' behavior during the stop.
"There is no evidence at this point of any wrongdoing," Harris said. "The troopers appeared to have acted within our policies, within the law."
Sevenski said trail cameras near his parking lot may shed more light on the incident.
"It might not be excessive to them but it sure was to me, or else I wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital."
This, if proven to have the MSP in the role of bad actors, and many other similar "Real Stories of the Michigan Highway Patrol" in the news of recent, should make you consider whether it is in our Michigander's best interests to have a police agency that polices itself (and does so badly) that has zero accountability and little knowledge (and often littler regard) for the local areas they patrol. We elect county sheriffs, we have city and township council hold control over their police, but nobody oversees the MSP other than itself.
Very well thought out and said again shinblind. I'll bet that's exactly a good part of the problem with this old-timer, loss of hearing is quite common at age 83. Defending yourself when unnecessarily being frisked, would be common at any age.
On the subject of "missing video minutes," we should start a petition suggesting to Gov. Snyder that when the Police video fails and it is a "he said/he said" situation, the prevailing right should be to the citizen. Maybe that would help get the cameras fixed, but probably not, because the citizen would probably still prevail. Sad state of police videos and body cams the tax payer is billed for. Rebellion me thinks; the Officers do not like them, they are a nuisance and obstruct with their duty and right to not be questioned. Still to play it safe, stay in your car and say "Yes sir. Thank you sir."
The police in Michigan can lie to in Court with out facing repercussions. They have immunity. Therefore everything they say cannot be believed.
It is no coincidence dash cams fail. And they have a great reluctance to use body cams. Most officers carry personal audio recording devices. In Court they don't exist.
Assume an officer testimony us a lie to protect themselves.
Justice Markman and the Michigan Court of Appeals were right in that case you presented, in that horrible MI Supreme Court decision that effectively gave police officers a license to lie and not face consequences based on their belief that the legislative intent of an act was diametrically opposed to what a commonsense interpretation would be. Markman's dissent starts at page 30 and gives a proper interpretation.
Officers have a right to remain silent in an internal investigation, just like you when they investigate you, but they shouldn't have the right to knowingly lie, if only because you would have to face consequences if you did. Officers know this outcome, and the bad officers will exploit it.
Very good reply Verdad, I totally agree. And Deirdre, you have come unglued now yourself. Are you a COP? You assume too much on the side of the PD, and also Sevenski. Like I asked politely and with all due respect earlier, what firm undeniable evidence of fact, video, or audio do you have to post here, that will convince us of your opinion? I think none, you only post your biased opinion. As for that, I also agree with you on many instances LE has to deal with in their everyday jobs. You live in a Big City, where rampant crime is committed all the time. Fine, but Sevenski and others here live in a small rural area, where many families know each other thru one channel or another. And as for "frisking". I have personally witnessed many officers abuse that authority by angrily and with great force "frisk" someone that does NOT have that brutality coming to them. A good excuse to then continue to get even more physical and abusive because people that are being bullied and beat up, have an automatic reaction to prevent that force, it's called the "survival state of mind". Obviously, when you get a broken nose and arm, you have been intentionally and unnecessarily abused, the evidence left from the hospital report substantiates that fully.
Deidre, you have more fully explained now some previous statements. Are you the officer's gf? Or wife? What's your connection? What were the MSP doing on Sevenski's property to begin with? Why did they ask him to stay in car? Instead of ranting and raving, tell us the entire episode. Also, ask the bf why he resorted to abusive physical violence, instead of just using calm and psychology on an old 83 year old man. There are always options in almost any case. Sevenski had no weapons, and was not a true threat imho.
Given you are reporting so much information Deidre, I am concluding you got your information from your relative, the officer. Video and audio is much more reliable than any human witness or report so understand why people have their doubts. I find it further strange that your family member would be sharing all of this information with you and you would be spilling it here. Why isn't Trooper Artfich speaking here for himself? Like you, I am raw and a bit intolerant...hence my comments previously.
Citizens are entitled to know and question, it is our duty to protect one another and our rights. If you spend more time reading through all of the stories on this site, you just may find some compassion and understanding as to why people need to question and examine the records. When there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to hide.
Prior to my brother being killed by a drunk driver, I would have never believed it was possible for there to be such incompetence, dishonesty and defensiveness on the part of law enforcement and the department of In-Justice. I do not generalize this to ALL police and people in positions of power....HOWEVER, I now know what is possible and feel the need to exercise my rights to finding out the facts.
The public doesn't have to buy the information fed to us....we can check it out for ourselves and come to an educated opinion. I'm becoming more educated since reading here and being open to learning from the experiences of others. Perhaps you may find the same if you take the time to read, ask and learn.
After a brief investigation I have come to a few conclusions regarding your impressions on this particular case, Deirdre. The IP address you originally signed on to the Ludington Torch was one from south central Florida. A little more looking around showed that a Deirdre Dickson. aka Deirdre Artfitch, was in that general area, at Punta Gorda where you claim to live at your member page.
I'm inclined to believe that the trooper who is being accused of some very bad things as to what happened this night is related to you, perhaps he is your beloved son or cherished nephew. I cannot fault you for thinking the best of your own flesh and blood, I admire loyalty nearly as much as I do honorable police officers.
I have no reason to believe that Trooper Brock Artfitch acted in malice or even against the letter of his training, but I do think he did the wrong thing that night and it led to an innocent frail man getting broken bones. According to Sevenski's believable story, he was going over to ask these troopers about why they were on the lots that he owned. It sounds as if there may have been a clear misunderstanding by Trooper Artfitch when Sevenski got out of his car to ask a question, probably unmindful that the trooper was in his own mind conducting a traffic stop.
If you can't approach a state trooper without having to fear for your life, that, to me, is a signal that something is deadly wrong with their training. There is no argument that Artfitch inflicted the damage onto Sevenski, what makes me firmly against your portrayal of Trooper Artfitch is that he wrote a report that led to the 83 year old man he just assaulted being held and tried for a felony.
A kind-hearted and Christian man would not do that, would he?
The reason an Officer's job is so dangerous is because they are not accountable or transparent. They do not follow the Constitution which they swore to uphold. NOT ONE COP IN AMERICA! They openly murder people and get away with it simply by slipping behind their blue curtain. There is no trust or honor in law enforcement anymore and, zero respect for many good reasons. Just like in this case. The victim, "SEVENSKI" had RIGHTS and, was actively demanding them. However, these are the results. Just enough footage to show his aggression manifested by officers who bullied him and violated his RIGHTS until he acted out inappropriately. Every cop in this country will do the same thing,every day on every stop. They pull you over for any reason. Then they violate your RIGHTS. When you demand your RIGHTS they will ask if you are a lawyer.... Then they promptly intimidate,condemn,insult,illegally detain,assault,brutalize,murder,rob, lie, and cover up any incident,any time and every time without fear of prosecution or reprimand. And, they are usually, disgustingly, awarded for such heinous acts such as murder. Then you have ROGUE cops. These people are not hired in, not sworn in, no records of gun training, physical or mental evaluations, no MCOLES, and they are driving police vehicles, in police uniforms, acting as Police, and a JUDGE is allowing the tickets issued to be allowed. Yea, every person in this country should fear Law Enforcement. They are thugs' It's too bad your relative does not follow the Constitution he swore to uphold. He deserves no thanks from anyone. His time will come when someone else's camera will be working.
A few more photo's from the Freep this time.
Googled 80 year old man assaults officer up to 85 year old man assaults officer and all the ages in between.
Found one incident where an 85 year old man hit an off duty out of uniform officer. The cop while working security for Home Depot and entered the mans auto. Old guy hit the officer with his cane while heading back to his auto because he thought he was being robbed. The guy arrested weeks later on assault with a deadly weapon charges brought by the officer. At least the cop didn't break the old guy arms or nose.
Then I looked in the other direction, at 79 year old's.
Found one incident where a 79 year old guy kicked a cop in the chest. I thought wow old geezer Bruce Lee'd a cop I am impressed, Deirdre might be on to something. Turns out he was drunk, handcuffed and was being pushed into the back of a cop car when he kicked the officer in the chest. He was lucky too. They didn't break his arm or nose either.
On the other hand at each year that I searched there were many instances of cops beating the shit out of geezers. Guess it is one of those mind set things that cops, you know,can get away with it so they do. Bet they're real tough back at the clubhouse after they draw blood on some old fart, Some of the geezers were treated a lot worse than Sevenski.
So no Deirdre, even though Officer Cornholio feared for his safety he had nothing to fear. It was Gramps who should have been frightened.
Let's remove ourselves from this encounter shooting for a moment, since you seem emotionally invested in the belief that what Trooper Artfitch did was appropriate, and with good reason-- if I knew somebody well, I would be adverse to seeing others castigate them without knowing the full facts. As noted, the outcome of what happened, the career of Sevenski as being a lawful guy, the all-too-convenient camera malfunction doesn't make a great case in front of me if I was a jurist.
But let's go to your neighborhood. On one of the police accountability websites they have the story of Officer Lee Coel of the Punta Gorda PD coming across earlier today that shows him gunning down a septuagenarian female in a training exercise enacted last summer. Apparently, the PGPD have kept the damning video from the public for 8 months for some unlawful reason. Both Coel and his chief are in some trouble for using real bullets in a public training exercise. As noted in the sublinks to this article, Coel had a long list of very questionable acts as a police officer.
What do you think of your own officers? I know that in my city, Ludington, the police raised a host of money for a Shop with a Cop program this last Christmas, and the records show over 10% of the money is unaccounted for. They can't bother to explain why. We just had a police officer in Manistee shoot and kill a homeowner who asked the officer to leave his property and he wouldn't do that; the officer stayed and gunned down Lee Pat Milks simply because he lacked common sense and common decency. His brethren in the three weeks since have withheld his name and any records of the incident from the public.
Police officers, more than anybody else, have to respect the law and the rights of other individuals. They can't just shoot or attack a person, write a report in their favor and say that it is all good. When their fellow officers try to protect them and not the sanctity of the law and the sanctity of the truth, they rightly become accomplices to the bad officers, ergo a negative asset to the community. So again, tell me if you support your own city's officer, Lee Coels.