Mother of officer who died in an ‘accident’ claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower

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Los Angeles, CA: The attorney for an LA officer who died in what was deemed an accident last summer has introduced a shocking new detail that claims the officer was instead beaten to death by other LAPD officers.

The death was originally ruled an accident after a careful and lengthy determination by investigators.

But the mother of the fallen officer, Shirley Huffman,  and her attorney, Bradley Gage who originally cried ‘foul play’ was at hand, continue to claim the death was a homicide, not an accident- but now have additional and relevant information.

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower
Screenshot image taken from FOX 11 Los Angeles YouTube channel

The very compelling reason is that one of the officers involved in the training accident was under his own investigation of sexual assault.

It doesn’t end there.

The sexual assault report was written and submitted by OFC Tipping.

The Original ‘Accident’

In May of last year, 32-year-old LAPD officer, Houston Tipping, was acting as a bike instructor for a training exercise that was to include grappling and other similar hand to hand style training.

It was deemed that Tipping accidentally landed on his head during the training simulation and severely injured his spinal cord.

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower
Screenshot image taken from FOX 11 Los Angeles YouTube Channel

According to a CBS column on the incident, they stated:

“According to Coroner’s Office, 32-year-old LAPD officer Houston Tipping died of a spinal cord injury after a grappling exercise. During the exercise, Tipping — and the student — fell to the ground onto his neck which fractured part of his vertebrae and ultimately led to his death. The officer also suffered several other injuries.”

The medical examiner also noted other injuries to Tipping. One being a laceration on the scalp related to a medical device attached to the head during a surgery intended to save his life.

Another injury was found with several broken ribs related to chest compressions from officers conducting CPR at the scene.

But the investigating body took careful consideration to determine the incident was an accident.

In the column, it also stated:

“‘The manner of death was carefully considered and weighed between homicide and accident,’ he [the medical examiner Dr. Lawrence Nguyen] wrote. ‘While deaths ‘at the hands of another’ are typically deemed homicides, there are exceptions that are deemed accidents.’”  

Dr. Nguyen compared the incident to the risks involved in certain physical activities, such as football or boxing.

In the column, he stated:

“‘These deaths occur during organized sports or organized exercises in which the participants are consensual to committing potentially harmful acts and accept inherent risks,’ he wrote. ‘Therefore, I have deemed the manner of death in this case to be an accident.’”

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower
Screenshot image taken from CBS Los Angeles YouTube Channel

Even then, the attorney for the fallen officer had doubts and concerns over the entire incident.

The attorney, Gage, questioned why the training scenario included picking up and dropping Tipping on his head. He considered it improper purely on the basis that it is so dangerous.

According to statement provided by a Sergeant at the scene of the incident, Tipping and another officer were facing each other, with a ‘bear hug’ type grip, and then fell onto the ground. By admission from the Sergeant, it was a ‘hard mat with not a lot of padding’.

Tipping could be heard breathing after hitting the ground, but then stopped, and CPR was performed.

According to the column, it stated:

“Crews took him to LAC/USC Medical center where he spent the next two days as doctors conducted multiple CT scans and fused his spine. Despite the life-saving measures doctors took, Tipping developed an anoxic brain injury which is when brain cells are killed from lack of oxygen. He was later declared brain dead on May 28. He was then declared dead on May 29.” 

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower
Attorney Brad Gage speaks to the media. Screenshot image taken from CBS Los Angeles YouTube channel

Tipping’s mother claimed back in May that the death was a homicide because he was beaten to death and not an accident.

The latest development of her and her attorney’s claim is an interesting fact.

If Tipping did indeed author a report that involved a sexual assault allegation against one of the officers involved in the original death, then investigators may have to revisit the entire case.

This is a developing story that LET will continue to monitor. We will follow the story wherever it goes and continue to provide you breaking, relevant information.

Stay tuned.

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower

Accidents can be deadly.

War on cops: Florida Deputy Sheriff stabbed in the carotid artery by accident victim during routine investigation

Posted March 26, 2022

ST. LUCIE, FL – Routine police calls are never routine. Just ask St Lucie County deputy sheriff Cody Colangelo.

The incident began at approximately 11 p.m. on March 23, when 21-year-old Leigha Michelle Day crashed into a tree and rolled her vehicle in the 12000-block of South Indian River Drive, according to WFLA news.

The 22-year-old deputy arrived on scene of the reported car crash, and he found the vehicle empty.

Witnesses told the deputy a young woman exited the vehicle and ran down a nearby embankment. Within minutes she was safely located by Colangelo. The woman had a brief conversation with the deputy before she was asked to return to the road.

“He did a phenomenal job. He was helpful and compassionate with her. Chief Deputy Brian Hester said at a Thursday news conference.

“Hey, we’re gonna help you. Come on, let’s get you back up here. You don’t have to be afraid.”  Colangelo told her.

The situation quickly turned ugly. According to the St Lucie Sheriff’s office , after climbing approximately two to three stairs going back up towards the road, she abruptly and without provocation turned around and stabbed him in the neck, cutting his carotid artery.

As she ran off, the injured deputy fired a shot at her but missed.

His wound was bleeding profusely, yet he was able to give chase, keeping pressure applied to his wound. He lost sight of her and immediately called in for assistance. The interaction, according to WPTV news, was captured on the deputy’s bodycam.

Additional help arrived and deputies searched the area where they found Day hiding below the embankment, WFLX reported. Chief Deputy Hester said she was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on a first-degree attempted murder charge.

Investigators still have no idea why she attacked Deputy Colangelo.

Meanwhile, Colangelo was rushed to a hospital and underwent two-hours of emergency surgery.

“His injuries were pretty gruesome,” Hester said.

Hester confirmed that Colangelo’s bodycam captured the entire traumatic event.

“To watch one of our deputies who just sustained a life-threatening injury, calmed himself down enough, saved his own life. He saved his own life through his training,” Hester said. “Stood guard for nearby residents and then directed other deputies where to go. All the while calmly controlling his breathing.”

During the medical procedure, surgeons replaced part of the artery in his neck with one from his leg. Fortunately, he’s been stabilized and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 22-year-old deputy reportedly comes from a long line of law enforcement family members, including his father and older brother who both served as law enforcement officers. He has been a deputy sheriff for less than two years.

“By the grace of God and through this deputy’s training, he is alive,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Thursday.

Mother of officer who died in an 'accident' claims he was beaten to death for being a whistleblower

Another unfortunate accident.

Her husband, an FDNY firefighter, was killed in a tragic accident. Now the pension board doesn’t want to pay up.

Posted August 2, 2022

NEW YORK, NY – The widow of an FDNY firefighter killed in a tragic accident while on vacation is speaking out after being told by the pension board that she and her family is not entitled to his full pension.

The reason? Because he had not been with the FDNY for a full twenty years.

Angela Skudin and her family are still grieving the recent death of her husband, FDNY firefighter Casey Skudin, who died on June 17th while driving the family in North Carolina on a family vacation.

According to a lawsuit that has been filed by Angela, a rotting tree fell across the family vehicle due to high winds. When the tree fell, a tree branch struck Casey, killing him and injuring Angela and their two minor children.

Angela spoke to the Post about her husband’s death and the response from the FDNY to give him full honors even though he was not killed on duty.

However, even though Casey received a significant honor, Angela feels slighted when it came down to receiving her husband’s pension benefits for only serving a total of 16 and ½ years. Angela said:

“They’re [FDNY] parading his body through town, shutting down roads for their hero, saying that they’re going to ‘take care of the family’ and ‘That’s what we do. We’re the FDNY. And then this is really of the FDNY…takes care of families on the back end.”

Angela said that Casey’s previous employment with Nassau County on Long Island as a lifeguard should be added to his 16 ½ years which would put him at 20.

While the FDNY does allow an employee to add years of service with another agency to what they have worked while employed as a firefighter, being a lifeguard is not considered a compatible department, like another fire agency.

The Post spoke to a city representative about the situation who said adding any additional time from the comparable agency is defined in state law before referring the media site to City Hall who released a statement on the matter:

“Our thoughts are with Ms. Skudin and all of Firefighter Skudin’s friends and family. The city and the New York City Fire Pension Fund are working to assist Ms. Skudin in any way possible to secure the benefits she is eligible to receive under state law.”

Under state law, spouses of firefighters that die in an off-duty capacity are not entitled to any of the firefighter’s pension, rather they are only entitled to the amount the firefighter contributed to the fund while alive with an additional lump sum of three times his average annual wages three years before he died.

According to Angela, that means she would only receive a total of roughly $375,000 before taxes.

Frustrated with literally fighting City Hall, Angela reached out to former Democratic State Senator Todd Kaminsky who introduced a bill that, if approved, would ensure that Angela and other survivors in the same circumstance will receive their loved one’s pensions. Kaminsky said:

“He was a true hero, and the tragic circumstances of his passing should really compel everyone in Albany to come together next year to make sure the law granting his family pension is passed.”

While Kaminsky presented the bill, it is unknown if it will proceed any further than that as Kaminsky resigned from his post for a private sector job.

For now, Angela still has to work to provide a home for her children, pay for medical care for her children who were injured in the crash that killed their father, and strive to keep the family together emotionally without Casey while fighting to get the money she needs to keep the family afloat.

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