Finger on the trigger, hands shaking, and provoking the situation.
Approaching the vehicle wasn’t enough though. Deputy Plunkett, then grabbed Sheppard’s wrist, put the gun to his temple (with his finger on the trigger), and called for backup- despite Sheppard requesting over eight times for the Deputy to call his Watch Commander and informing him he was a “Code 5”-a P.I. on the job. It’s important to note that Sheppard had complied with all demands & the Deputy had admitted he “did not know” if Sheppard had done anything wrong nor was able to articulate a crime which had been committed to warrant the Deputy to approach Sheppard.When backup arrived (in the form of Sergeant Hollis, Deputy Hansen, & Deputy Ramirez), they approached with guns and a taser drawn. Knowing he was in the wrong, Deputy Plunkett refused to explain what happened to bring this encounter to gunpoint. It took a few minutes longer for him to be told to stand down by the Sergeant. Court documents and video revealed Deputy Plunkett begging the two deputies and his Sergeant to “please, just let me taser him” and showed the deputies attempting to justify Plunkett’s actions & conspiring to fabricate charges of tinted windows & no license plate after the encounter .
Ken Sheppard filed a civil lawsuit for violation of constitutional rights, assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and various other charges. However, despite the video/audio evidence provided, a jury still ruled against him- in belief that the Deputies were only doing their job. To make matters worse, the deputies were not given disciplinary action either.
Sheppard plans to appeal the verdict, but that doesn’t change the fact that an eight person jury sided with these cops even after hearing the audio of Deputy Plunkett begging to taser Sheppard. These cops acted above the law. There was no reason to approach Sheppard, draw a weapon on him, nor illegally search his vehicle for simply sitting in his car & complying with instructions. The LA Sheriffs Dept was way out of line, yet a jury STILL sided with them?! What is wrong with you, citizens of LA?!
If Sheppard had no video/audio evidence, no one would know the truth of what transpired that day. That is why we encourage all our readers to use their rights by film their interactions police and installing a dash-cam in their cars—you never know when you may need that footage to protect yourself.