Because of this surreptitious audio recorded by the suspect's wife -- which includes threats to electrocute an illiterate, small-time dealer, drown him and break his fingers, beatings and gunplay --- five cops are likely going to jail.
For two hours, authorities say, that message would be pounded into Lester Eugene Siler’s head and body, reinforced with the barrel of a gun and echoed in threats of electrocution.
Handcuffed and surrounded, Siler was now a prisoner of the war on drugs in Campbell County (Tenn.).
Seven months later, five former Campbell County Sheriff’s Department lawmen are poised to plead guilty to federal charges they conspired to violate Siler’s civil rights by beating, threatening and torturing him.
Named in informations drafted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley Jr. and filed last week in U.S. District Court are David Webber, 40; Samuel R. Franklin, 42; Joshua Monday, 24; Shayne Green, 35; and William Carroll, 26.
In those documents, Atchley details a plot by the former lawmen to force Siler to put his signature on a form they could use in court as proof the convicted drug dealer agreed to let them search his home in the White Oak community in search of drugs and money.
I'm in no way inferring that this kind of practice is commonplace, as some would like to claim. Yet others on the right would say this type of stuff never happens. The answer, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.