Officer charged after video shows beating
A Middle Tennessee man believes his video camera is the only reason he is not in jail.
He not only avoided criminal charges because of this tape, but the tape has also led to the arrest of an off-duty deputy and one police department to change its policies.
Earl Lewis was handcuffed on two separate occasions by two separate officers and in two different jurisdictions.
Lewis has no criminal record, and he tries to never get too excited. After all, he is a heart transplant survivor with three back surgeries and two knee surgeries. That is why his confrontations with police seem so out of character.
Dickson police Officer Scott Hull came to the house with Amanda, but never identifies himself to homeowner Lewis before just walking inside.
“Never told me who he was, never told me why he was here. I asked who was he looking for, and he was non-responsive to any of my questions,” Lewis said.
Lewis said, because of that, he didn’t know Amanda Givens was in the bedroom until it was too late.
In an audio recording, Hull is heard yelling for Lewis to put his hands up. When Hull realizes Lewis has a gun, which he legally owns and carries, things get even more heated.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation looked into the incident and found no wrongdoing because Hull was invited into the home by Amanda Givens, who used to live there.
Nevertheless, Dickson Police Chief Rick Chandler has changed the department’s policy because of this incident.
“There should be communications,” he said.
Now, officers must identify themselves and cannot enter homes without the homeowner’s permission.
In the Lewis incident, the first officer to respond as back-up was Dickson County sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Brown.
One month later, Brown was involved in a similar incident.
As the camera rolls, emotions become heated once again.
“Get that ***damn camera away from me, son,” Brown is heard saying.
After Brown appears to strike Lewis, Jackson appears to strike Lewis before Brown is seen taking Lewis to the ground.
As Brown holds Lewis down and calls for assistance, Jackson walks over and kicks Lewis in the face.
“Why didn’t that officer make him quit kicking him?” Danny Givens said.
Brown, off duty at the time, has Lewis arrested for a double assault. He said Lewis assaulted Brown and Jackson.
So, Lewis begins making calls and demanding the sheriff’s department look at the videotape, but the camera is sitting in the evidence room.
Eventually, the sheriff gives the camera to the district attorney and soon the whole criminal investigation flips.
Once the district attorney looked at the videotape, all charges were dropped against Lewis, and Brown and Jackson were then charged with assault.
“If I had not had that video camera, I would have been charged and found guilty,” Lewis said.