“I didn’t do what they said I did. And it was like, I don’t know how to disprove the police. I mean, it’s my word against theirs. I don’t really stand a chance.”
In 2015, the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit in South Carolina gave a confidential informant $100 to buy marijuana from Julian Betton. And then they broke down his door. Officers David Belue, Chris Dennis, and Frank Waddell shot at Julian an estimated 29 times.
We speak with Julian Betton and Jonny McCoy.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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This episode contains descriptions of violence. Please use discretion. In two thousand fourteen, a woman was pulled over by Myrtle Beach.
Police in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the woman was black and the police said they pulled her over because of a tale, light
They found a small amount of marijuana, her car and she was given the option to avoid charges if she told them where she got the marijuana. As one officer later put it, she was asked quote who she knows. She says she did know someone, but she didn't know his full name.
She only knew him as jewels. My name is surely embedding and right now, I'm in Conway South Carolina, the police,
drove the woman to Julian Buttons apartment. They wired her with a hit.
Video camera and audio quarter, and then they gave her a hundred dollars.
Address Julian button.
Seller Marijuana Julian, is black and in two thousand fifteen he was thirty years old. It was a friend of my girl at the time girlfriend. It was
She had some problems out for a father who died, so she had a medical discharged from a military and she had asked
for some and I gave her some furs and they
come back and buy from so that's what she did
the woman came out with what police recorded as approximately seven grams of marijuana. She does
What the officers asked her to do, but some
We had gone wrong with the video recording, so they waited a few weeks.
Give her a hundred more dollars and drove her back to
clean buttons house. Well, I didn't expect other
Madam president, I was not a stranger she came back. I wanted above buy was ok, okay here, but
This ain't, something that's going to become a habit.
She knew what I would do it for her, because I knew her situation
I don't know, I think I think she was pretty much worse than anything when the police
After all, it is their pay. If she didn't, you have some. If she didn't give oppression gave it all that she was going to jail Ellen was her military benefits. On the second visit, the woman thought approximately eight grams, and there is a video recording. This gave officers from the Fifteenth Circuit drug enforcement unit, probable cause to get a search warrant for Julian Buttons apartment. The fifteenth circuit Dragon Foresman unit pulls together
officers from multiple police departments across Ory in Georgetown counties in South Carolina, it stated intention, is to create a multi jurisdictional, multi agency task force to dress major drug enterprises. When you look at the operational plan, the drug enforcement unit created for their search of Julian Buttons apartment. The first thing you see is there in
Signia, it's a large drawing of a skull and crossbones in front of a marijuana leaf, there's also a sword and a lightning bolt underneath that a sort of mono serving our community one dealer at a time I'm Phoebe, judge,
This is criminal.
Clean button lived in a building with four apartments and Myrtle Beach on April sixteenth, two thousand fifteen, just before three o clock in the afternoon,
his next door. Neighbor centres, Garcia, was outside working on his mopeds. Julian button was inside playing video games. Julian pause the game to go to the bathroom.
And a pine coming out of my bathroom I hear allow and on things
My name is upstairs: neighbor had dropped, something at this hour was it.
Ok. What were you doin of steel? Was Canada thought, but as I'm looking up
ready to say that my periphery, you I see
coming at me and my living room, so I'm trying to process that, but I stepped back and reach for my gun, because it was terrifying. It was like what the hell is this, and I mean it was just a reflex to me reaching for my first first thing.
Did you hear a knock? Did they announced themselves? No, no! Not at all. Now the next door, neighbor
just Garcia said that had been standing there and all of a sudden several cars appeared. He said quote a white car pulled up into my front yard right in front of me, one of the men who got out of it pointed a rifle directly at me. I was told to get down,
immediately did I was five feet from Julian's front, porch and door without stopping separately
The men who had just arrived immediately went up into Julian's front porch on bastion his door. None of the men announced that they were police, no one
on his door. No one waited any period of time for him to come to the door and then sent us Garcia said
within two seconds of the men bashing in Julian's door, I heard multiple gunshots that sounded like automatic weapons. I remember I remembered getting hit the first shot me cuz. I didn't hear the shot.
I felt it and it was right up under my right arm, like maybe
away from my from my chest minded
for much more. My at a much ass chest. That's it felt like more were like somebody had just punch me real hard, and I thought about it.
Was like it was. It happened so fast. It was just like okay and I knew intuitively. I was like okay you're dead, that's just my all, but that was the last thought I had up. There was like you did
and I will have an economist six weeks later.
According to the drug enforcement units operational plans, ten officers worse
I had to go to Julian Buttons apartment to execute a search warrant, an officer named Chad, gas,
Is listed as the case agent three of the officers
the apartment that day shot Julian Batten, Frank Waddle, Chris Dennis and David Bellew.
They fired an estimated twenty nine times and nine bullets hit Juliet Juliet
says he never fired his gun? Here's! How officer David Bellew described what happened. He speaking to a lieutenant-
with the office of professional standards at the Myrtle Beach Police Department Zagreb's
train door and pulled it open before the knock
for the person to knock and announce, utilise the ramp.
I hold the strain door and out of habit, I announced police
guys other guy started to stack up on the porch and what kind of like formation preparing to enter
Chad guess he he had the random acts.
In his hands? He was gonna, be
ram the door by force would know if there was no answer the door.
He comes up to the top of the porch, goes into the front door and he Knox announces
there's no answer,
it's the door with the ram the door come.
Openness wings in
two agents were in front of me into the house and those agents
were frank. What Ale
Dennis out the third person.
The door, and so we were wasted at once. You three in a row all side by side
and as soon as I planted my feet inside the door. I know I remember
Kristen is being first did he now
at least once, if not twice, police search war, police search war? At about that time, I stepped my.
Eat into the door. Soon, as I planted my feet
I saw a blackmail who I can from the pictures we saw the earlier. Isn't Julian arms Tibetan turned it
corner from a bedroom, probably about eight feet. Front of us eighteen feet. Front of us with a gun had gone use black color,
need be a large caliber sing, semi automatic weapon,
was fully extended? I remember he's wearing a white t, shirt Blue Jeans.
Inga was fully extended. His arm was full extended out any fire around,
in our direction into the centre of the three of us,
He bought one round. Remember I don't know I had distinctly
remember one round, but I couldn't tell you
hard more, not ok, so you
Oh, he was workin arm extended. He fired around what the place of that
What's that happened? My first instead
was were being shot at, and so I asked
I had an hour. Fifty that's issued to the drug enforcement unit.
What are my weapon in his direction and fired.
Several rounds! I don't know how many but to several
and I noticed in my peripheral Chris Dennis and
Frank ordeal were were falling down my mind in my mind, I thought it
Christians were shot and he was going down. He went directly backwards, but
I could see he was farm is weapon. Remember Israel also
once they hit the floor, the fiery start. I start I saw
Julian? I guess she says he can have it.
The gun at his feet took a couple steps backwards. I kind of fell back into the hallway, adapt when I
You ve, been here, see any blood or anything, but I knew even struck. We still thought that Christina was hit. I checked only briefly. He said he was okay. I saw Frank what they'll he'd also fall to the ground. He
I'm back up and we both you know. I said: hey we've got to move forward. We don't know if the rest of the house is clear. Frank got up. I moved forward Frank, moved forward covering the bad guy button.
Once we got him Frank stood over the hand. Gunnar was now at his feet and Julia was laid laid out on his back
He was awakened, alert and screaming. Some of the officers
wearing body cameras, but it appears
they didn't turn them on until after Julian Batten had been shot out. When you watch the body camera footage, you can see Julian on the floor, obviously in terrible pain, the handcuff him because the officer Sir, they call him bud at one point. He says: please don't hurt me anymore. They put a tourniquet on his leg and then you see, paramedics take over Julian button was taken to green strand medical center, where doctors performed multiple surgeries. He was put in
dramatically induced Coma for six weeks when he woke up, he couldn't feel his legs. Armor waken up a few different actions, your mama Mars, brutal. You mean I'm a beer. That was, I ok again, those enough on an outward when I first
getting a memory back to what happened. It was
sheriff officer next to my beard
As you know, with the police,
and made him is arguing as unlike dude, I'm black, not shown at the police
Telling will really have it? And then they told me what day it was a panic, because I didn't know
Like I had lost a mile and a half
no way when the last time I know it was Abraham was waken up is is John. So what happened to that space in there,
I got a phone call from a friend that got a phone call from the girl that lived above him. How I first heard about it.
Here, I heard
it will do shoot out that he gonna shoot out or some with police were initially. This is doing. Patents friend, Reggie Mitchell
He says that when he heard the Julian was in the hospital he went to sea
right away and was
hold, it wasn't allowed in the room. I got their ports
from on the news. They said that he shot at cops or something like that, and I just knew that didn't sound right, so my first thing was call Johnny
My personal Johnny Mccoy lawyer and Reggie Mitchell's old friend. They both Rapid Myrtle Beach. They play football together, some of her early Charlotte pulleys. There was right, I knew we call John. He calls me one day and he says: look man. What about bodies the skylight record music, where these in the hospital he's a coma? Why what happens when the police
shot him. I said immortal beef steer, the police shot him. I saw what it what did they say? He did said. I don't know, I don't know what they say. He did. I know they're saying that he shot him first and then I asked Reggie one question: what did they accuse him of having it?
how's that he said. All I know is Juliet
only messes with weed, and I trusted Reggie right. Then I said what there's no way that this guy has shoot out with the cops over we, so I knew that it was gonna. Be hell, try to get the truth out in this case, but because it was marijuana, I knew I knew that this young man was not shooting the police ever marijuana. When Johnny Mclean went to Julian Buttons hospital him for the first time
He was told he couldn't see Julian because they said he was a restricted patient. Julian button was technically in police custody in his hospital bed. Johnny Mccoy says it took some time ago.
She should, but he was eventually allowed to go in and see Julian
that's when he learned the extent of Julian's injuries. He has gone
lotta removed, spleen, remove he's paralyzed from the waist down. He had a large part of his swollen testing
he has had. I can't even account the amount of surgeries it this young man his head, because his stomach is where he took the bulk of the bullets or that's where the bulk of the surgery happened. He also had a nasty bullet were in his leg. That's why his legs I mean to this day there he's working on, but there is very little there but yeah. It was the trade to the trade to I'd. Never I'd, never interacted with anybody with a tricky autumn, tube.
And it was, and he was cry at an emotional. It was really is really something. When I talked to Johnny, my main concern was: am I going to jail for the rest of my life.
Because I didn't do what they said idea, and that was the whole thing and it was like. I don't know how to disprove the police,
is my word against. There's a me at all really stand a chance.
Says who shot Julian Batten had submitted sign statements stating that they fired their weapons after Julian shot at them first, but when investigators collected the gun Julian had been holding,
tested it. They found that it had never been fired.
It was fully loaded. This confirmed what Julian had said from the beginning that he had not shot at the police. The commander of the drug enforcement unit was William knows he was later asked under oath, whether any of the officers who participated in the rate of Julian Buttons Apartment had been disk
and he replied that they had not, because quote they didn't do anything wrong. He was asked
Did they do anything wrong when they submitted sign statements that were false?
commander, William, knows: replied. I dont know that
committed sign statements that were false. I know that that was their perception and that's what they believed. There's a difference, in my opinion, between a lie and someone. They perceive something differently.
Then it's just it was lies all the way up to all the way up to the top and nobody above the people who shot me dead.
What's wrong. With that
we'll be right back.
Support for criminal comes from better help online counselling, better help. Counselor
licence professionals who specialise in many areas.
Including relationship, conflict, anxiety, depression, boss, trauma and more better help is an affordable option and our listeners get ten percent off your first month. This
could criminal jointly over a million people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experience professional. In fact,
so. Many people have been using better help their recruiting additional councillors and all fifty states get started today at better help. Dot com, slash criminal, that's better Ici, LP, dot, com,
Slash criminal talked with their best on mine and get help. The officers from the fifteen circuit drug enforcement unit had made to claims from the beginning one that they had shot Julian batten after he fired at them. First, test later showed the Julian's gun had never been fired. They also claimed that when they arrive to his apartment they knocked and announced themselves before entering police sometimes obtain so called no knock warrants. But in this case the officers had esteem
hundred warrant, which required them to knock on Julian's door, announced themselves as police officers and give Julian a reasonable amount of time to answer the door before entering the door.
Enforcement unit. Officers said on multiple occasions and typed in sign statements that they had knocked and announced themselves as police officers when they arrived at Julian Buttons Apartment Julian Button said he never heard a knock his next door, neighbor
Santos, Garcia would watch the whole thing said he was a hundred percent sure the police had not knocked here's Julian's attorney Johnny Mccoy. So when you file the criminal discovery, they have to give you everything so about three months after I found bite
discovery. The officer who was handling the battering ram shows up at my office and he's got the sort of like Dvr Box in his hand with no cords. Nothing just a dvr box is like a van. I just wanted to bring this over to you. This is from Julian's house, probably nothing and gives it to me
right then, and there I had to call my body who knew anything about electronics. We ordered the correct courts for it. We had by brand new ones we plugged in Ed and when we got to the part where I'm on April fifteenth of two thousand and fifteen and approximately I think it was three o clock in the afternoon, and we saw in the picture, became clear.
And we saw these officers pull up on Juliet frontline. There was proof they were lying. I knew there were lie the whole time, but that now I knew that there was no
there was no way for them to get around it that we had them like. We, we got
We gotta that's one, that's my stuff start. Changing investment ass must not stop. Looking for me was I ok. We finally got something. This proves the allied, ok,.
They then they violate, say they knocked and announced before they came to the city not before they came, and they say they announced before they came in and then I say,
fired at them and Indonesia pointed the gun at them, which our four was last, but I put out, we had to disprove one at a time
and we went in in this
violence, video from Julian Security camera you can
your white Suv, pull up right in front of the building? You see you
lean buttons next door, neighbor Santos, Garcia, standing outside with his mopeds right
for the house, then also you see this white Suv pull up right.
Through the grass right up into this guy's face whose work roundabout bed there
no insignia on the White Car, there's no there's no police insignia. You can't tell that it's a police car, then five or so bad, who are not dressed and police uniform, not have about recent signy. On this I did a final some of that Basque signed some of them
have baseball gaps on that are backwards. Somehow genes on some have long sleep shirts on some euro is totally scattered. You can't tell him
These guys are some of that aid are fifteen, most of that they are
see that one on as a battering ram, they all exit this vehicle, three of them with a our fifteen's wrought up on the porch one of em opens the screen
Or in the guy, with a battering ram bonnet on a dead spread, it comes up the stairs and hammers the door down Boom Julian's next door neighbor.
Santos, Garcia, told investigators quote if them
we would have just knocked on Julian's door and announced themselves. This police, I believe Julian, would have walked out peacefully. It did not have to happen the way it happened.
In almost all of South Carolina officer
of shootings are investigated by the South Carolina LAW enforcement division, also known as sled sled conducted the investigation into Julian's case, and their findings were reviewed by an independent prosecutor named Kevin Bracket. Who announced in
live two thousand fifteen that none of the three officers who shot Julian Batten would face criminal charges. He said quote: the officers were justified in their use of force. They were acting in their own defence. Julian button
did these criminal charges for possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute Julian ended up having to plead guilty to the possession of marijuana charge to decimal water within TAT. Show you where he saw to that young lady. He had bleep wide guilty that he owned up to it, but these officers never even got questioned about their lies. Nothing.
The judge suspended, spend Julian sentence essentially giving him credit for the time use in police custody in the hospital. Julian Bettin followed a lawsuit against the city of Myrtle Beach and the officers and supervisors involved with the raid. His lawyers Johnny Mccoy joined by civil rights attorneys Burton Craig and Brad Bannon deposed the drug enforcement unit officers at length and under oath at one point during a deposition officer, Chad Guess testified itself.
The law to knock and announce you know it's just not it's the officer's discretion commander, William Knowles, was asked. What's the purpose of the knock and announce and weight constitutional requirement, he replied. I didn't write it. How would I know what the purpose of it is? I know that it's a requirement, so we do it. I don't know what the purpose of it is. One of the officers involved in the rate of Julian's department officer Mark Mcintyre, resigned shortly after he went on the record stating that during his time, the drug enforcement unit from Octo.
Two thousand fourteen three April, two thousand fifteen quote agents almost always forcibly entered without knocking, are announcing or simultaneously with announcing attorney Brad Bannon
says officer, Mcintyre was in essence a whistle blower. Some of the defendant settled
for two point: seven: five million dollars in March two thousand eighteen others, including officer David Blue and the city of Myrtle Beach, did not officer. Bellew appealed, unqualified,
unity. The case was reviewed by the United States Court of appeals for the four circuit. The judges were critical of the way the police had treated Julian batten, as Judge Barber Keen and said they just came in to unload on this guy.
The force circuit, rejected officer, blues, qualified immunity claim and sent the case back to the lower court and just before, jury selection, officials for the city of Myrtle Beach settled the case three point: five million
dollars. Combined with the earlier settlement amount. Julian was awarded a total of eleven point. Two five million dollars is medical bills, have already exceeded three million. None of the officers received any
the plenary action. How are you doing now? Physically
still I can. I can take ten, maybe twelve steps will my Walker.
But predominantly I'm in a wheelchair for most border today, but I can push and and and get in and get on my walker in it and show out for about ten or twelve steps time getting stronger it's just taken longer than about it would. But my problem is my right: leg doesn't banned at believe, and I have some excruciating nerve pain
and it's kicking it here right now. What site it is seems like it never goes away. It has a man of his own and we can't
why my right leg doesn't bend at the knee, so I might have to have another surgery to have my they get my need to start venting, but one
that happens, I could maybe start work and a little faster,
gear you in constant pain,
we presented a day. Yes, how do you do
how do you manage add a great river, a great zeal agenda.
I try my best not to let them get me down. I've never been a pessimistic person, so I'd
Don't think I should start now.
He says the first thing you did when you got a settlement. Money was remodel,
a shower and his house to make a bigger twas wheelchair could fit
I'm in love water all over the gravest efforts. Think of where the sheriff
I get mugged. I get my bag. My shower, I get my bridge that my whole battle just to shout
remodel, so I can fit in there, and I have wheelchair that sits in there that I can get in that. I transfer, through from my wheelchair, that stays in the shower, so, yes, that was the first thing
It was a shower. What's
I feel like now what, if what is what's lifelike for you now sample now
Therefore I don't go. There were seen ass play the game for almost one day you I could hear him. Yes,
yeah. What's your favorite game
right now. I would say call of duty. I've never played a video game,
If only played Mario brothers from like nineteen eighty seven, my whole life,
they got, you fall
Oh you ever look. He had had the you know at eight I actually, yes, I played
Ok, that's right! You're! Ok! I guess I have please remember that game. Oh my god, I forgot about the kid you everybody play their gave away play. They did. I was a vision gay somebody give them passes.
What want people to know about what happened to you that it was wrong.
it's too late to prevent,
from happening to somebody else, because beyond it-
We're gonna was the same thing,
for she died, and I didn't.
And men, I mean I was actually guilty of a crime. She didn't catch. You didn't even commit a crime.
Police, get away with everything in it is today those back. There is the training that the cops the shot me want. The same, publish out Brianna Taylor, but the case happened the same way as the shining, it's what they are trying to do. So when there are twelve officers arrest him one day for seven, a bag of marijuana dislike
that's wasting taxpayers money every day of a week, and it shouldn't be something that people are getting shot over.
In any type away we contacted this.
Carolina law enforcement division and many of the agencies involved in the drug enforcement unit, including the Myrtle, Beach police department or county
he's department and the Georgetown County Sheriff's office, but we haven't heard back in May of this year. Julian button was invited to meet with Myrtle Beach.
The officials during that meeting, they apologised for the shooting Julian says none of the officers have ever apologize to him, no led officer, you would you like
No, I mean no, they didn't want to their chairs a they didn't want to
You don't want to have they if they wanted if they want to do in our
it would be genuine and they would have done it and then they have
That means they don't want to do it,
we disagree with. Does there now, there's no need
there is no need for it.
There's no need at all for
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Transcript generated on 2020-07-23.