Body camera video shows the incident that resulted in the Metro government paying a husband and wife $50,000 to avoid a lawsuit. Stephon Beckam and Nyshan Beckam allege they were assaulted and wrongfully arrested and the police attempted to cover up the actions of the officer in the video.
The incident took place on Oct, 16, 2017, when someone called police on the couple while they were sitting in a van in front of a family member’s house.
Louisville, Kentucky Metro Police Officer Gregory Satterly and another officer responded to the call and asked the couple several times to leave the area, saying they were trespassing.
The Beckams said they were not doing anything illegal or wrong and claimed they were waiting to get their kids who had been staying at the home because of custody issues. No one from inside the house came out, Nyshan Beckam told police no one was home at the time.
The video shows that as the couple continued to argue with officers, Nyshan requested a supervisor. Satterly then opens the passenger door of the vehicle and Nyshan falls out onto the ground as he grabs her arm.
Nyshan continues to repeatedly request a supervisor as Satterly tried to handcuff her.
As they struggle, Satterly repeatedly tells Nyshan to put her hands behind her back and asks her if she wants to get tased. Nyshan continues yelling, “I asked to speak with a supervisor.”
The Beckam’s lawyer acknowledged his client was “frustrated” but claims Beckam couldn’t put her hands behind her back because Satterly was on top of her and her arms were pinned.
After a brief struggle, Satterly gets off of Nyshan, and continues telling her to put her hands behind her back. The video shows him backing away from her and pointing his taser at her as she sits on the ground.
He continues yelling for her to put her hands behind her back.
“My hands are behind my back!” Nyshan said. She appeared to be sitting on her hands, though the body camera view is partially obstructed by Satterly’s hands and the taser.
Satterly shoots his taser at Beckam, the prongs hitting her in the chest. She screamed and fell backward before getting up and stumbling away from Satterly, her hands up in the air.
Satterly attempted to shoot his taser at her again but it did not fire.
“This just goes to show that he is not acting through reason,” attorney Johnson said. “It’s like he’s not even aware he shot it once and his probes are missing off the front of the stun gun. He’s clearly acting out of anger.”
During Satterly’s encounter with Nyshan, the other officer had Stephon Beckam on the ground and was in the process of handcuffing him.
Satterly reached over and appeared to push Stephon Beckam’s head into the pavement, telling the other officer later that he believed Stephon was resisting. The other officer told Satterly that Stephon was not resisting, according to body camera video.
“You can hear his head hit the concrete,” Johnson said. “He didn’t even do anything. … There’s just no reason to bang his head off the sidewalk.”
Seven thousand dollars of the $50,000 settlement went to Stephon Beckam.
After the arrests, Satterly told other officers that Nyshan Beckam got “aggressive,” “jumped out of the van” and “came at him” when he opened the passenger side door.
Charges against the Beckams which included trespassing and resisting arrest were dismissed in September 2017.
Now the Beckams and their attorney want to know why an internal investigation of the incident took more than two years to complete and Satterly stayed on the street, where he used excessive force against two more citizens before he was fired in April.
By that time, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad had begun an internal investigation into Satterly. It remained open from January 2017 until April of this year.
On April 23, Satterly was fired, in part, for tasing Nyshan Beckam while, according to Conrad, she was complying with the officer’s commands.
In April, Conrad wrote in firing Satterly: “It is clear you made up your mind to tase (the woman); her subsequent compliance did not alter your course. I believe you acted out of anger rather than out of a perceived threat of immediate danger to an officer or another person.”
“I believe you acted out of anger rather than out of perceived threat of immediate danger to an officer or another person,” Conrad wrote in Satterly’s termination letter in April.
But while the investigation was pending, Satterly apparently remained on active duty and was found by police to have used excessive force on two more occasions.