BROWARD COUNTY, FL- Officials have finally released the video of the Parkland school shooter who got into a physical altercation with a Broward sheriff’s deputy within the jail he was housed.
The video below shows the scuffle that ensued in late 2018.
Then-20-year-old Nikolas Cruz was wAndering throughout the dayroom inside the jail on November 13th, 2018 slightly before 6:00 p.m. under Broward Detention Sergeant Raymond Beltran’s watch.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Cruz and Beltran had gotten into some sort of a verbal spat pertaining to Cruz dragging his shower shoes on the ground.
In jails and prisons alike, symbolic acts of defiance against correctional staff are fairly commonplace among inmates.
Sergeant Beltran had asked Cruz to knock off the incessant dragging of his sandals, to which Cruz promptly responded by raising his middle finger toward Beltran, according to WTVJ. The incident report from the jail stated that when Cruz defied the order, Sergeant Beltran stood up. Suddenly, Cruz rushed toward the deputy with fists flying.
In the video now released, Cruz can be seen trying to physically control Sergeant Beltran in a desperate attempt to gain leverage.
During the initial rush made by the confessed killer, Sergeant Beltran winds up getting slammed against the wall. With Cruz throwing punches at the deputy, the two managed to wrestle each other to the ground.
The incident report noted, as now evidenced by the video, that Cruz has managed to briefly get atop the deputy during the struggle while landing multiple strikes against him.
7News has obtained exclusive video showing the moment the confessed Parkland shooter attacked a guard while inside the Broward County Jail.
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) January 31, 2020
While the officer was engaged with the combative inmate, an unseen officer had called in for backup.
However, the video clip showed that no officer came to the aid of Sergeant Beltran for over 90 seconds. The backup arrived after Cruz had already been subdued by the deputy.
One aspect that is difficult to see initially via the footage, was when Cruz had tried to get ahold of the deputy’s Taser while the two were fighting.
After a few seconds during the preliminary tussle for the weapon, the Taser can be clearly seen in the footage where the duo fight to achieve control of it. From what the incident report stated, the Taser had gone off while both of them were attempting to gain control of the weapon.
Once the deputy had a firm grasp on the Taser, he thwarted an attempted haymaker by Cruz and responded with a strike using the butt of the weapon. Following the strike from the deputy, Cruz retreated to one of the dayroom tables to sit down.
Once leveling the Taser toward Cruz, he made his way face down onto the floor, where the deputy was able to restrain him. Broward County officials never released the extent of the injuries sustained by the deputy in the brawl with the admitted school shooter.
The fight broke out roughly nine months after Cruz was arrested on February 14th, 2018. Cruz had gone on a murderous spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day and wound up murdering 17 students and faculty members, along with wounding an additional 17 people.
There’s currently no question about his guilt, but rather what happens to him at this point. Cruz willingly admitted to detectives that he committed the crimes after being inspired by “demons”, but now it’s a question of if he get’s the death penalty or not.
While the charges the charges Cruz got as a result of fighting the deputy pale in comparison to the 34 counts of premeditated and attempted murder; he was stilled charged with aggravated assault on an officer, battery on an officer, and using an electrical or chemical weapon against a law enforcement officer in connection with the attack.
What we reported last month detailed an endeavor by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorney to leverage information he might have regarding a grisly triple homicide at a Massachusetts residence in 2011 that was allegedly committed by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar brother.
Well, this federal appeal isn’t about potential information on an unsolved murder; this pertains to claims of a biased jury.
So, what kind of tainting of the jury are we looking at exactly?
Well, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could avoid the death penalty if a federal court overturns the conviction on account of a couple of jurors’ pre-trial social media posts indicating that they may have been biased.
An Obama appointee on the First Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston, Judge William Kayatta, had a long conversation with prosecutors this past Thursday, during which he sounded skeptical about the inclusion of two jurors in the trial.
Apparently, the judge relayed the following sentiments:
“You’ve got lots of qualifiable jurors in Boston. You just need to make sure the government doesn’t cause the court to pick the wrong ones. That’s what it sounds like you did.”
The judge likely got the notion from none other than Dzhokhar Tsarnaev defense, who claimed that the trial wasn’t fair for a number of reasons, but cited a tainted jury due to them having knowledge and predisposed thoughts on the case.
The lawyers argued that two jurors lied about their knowledge of the case, citing a tweet posted by one juror saying:
“Congratulations to all of the law enforcement professionals who worked so hard and went through hell to bring in that piece of garbage.”
One juror had a Facebook post where he was advised by his buddies to “play the part” in order to get into the trial and convict Tsarnaev.
Of course, Tsarnaev’s lawyers asked that these two jurors be excused from the trial before it began, but prosecutors said they didn’t show any bias.
Judge George O’Toole, who was presiding, had agreed as well. Still, even if there was minute bias or knowledge, it’s somewhat immaterial. You can’t have a completely unaware jury in a national headline case.
On top of the notion that the jury was tainted, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also mentioned that the case should never have been tried in Boston to begin with. In a legal brief filed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attorney, it stated:
“This case should not have been tried in Boston. Tsarnaev admitted heinous crimes, but even so – perhaps especially so — this trial demanded scrupulous adherence to the requirements of the Constitution and federal law. Again and again, this trial fell short.”
Three people died and 260 more were wounded during the assault carried out by Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan on April 15, 2013.
The attorneys have argued that O’Toole did not allow them to provide proof that Tsarnaev’s brother Tamerlan executed a triple murder in 2011.
Yet, while that aspect of a triple murder could have detailed insight into previous criminality from one of the deceased bombers, it honestly didn’t bear any relevance to the terror attack carried out in 2013.
Tsarnaev’s lawyers admitted his involvement in the bombing during his trial and argued for a life sentence rather than the death penalty. They argued that the attack was orchestrated by Tamerlan and that he was responsible primarily for it.
Prosecutors disagreed, and said that Tsarnaev had been rightly convicted and sentenced, and the trial has been fair:
“Tsarnaev received a fair trial in Boston, and the district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to move the trial elsewhere. The jurors who tried and sentenced Tsarnaev were unbiased.”
As it stands, if the sentence is overturned, the prosecution may allow Tsarnaev to accept a life sentence, or they could start a new death penalty trial.
If upheld, Tsarnaev’s lawyers could appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While the legal team for an accused terrorist is obligated to offer the best defense, the legal team of a convicted terrorist trying to preserve an extremist is nothing short of disgustingly alarming.
As Michele McPhee previously reported for Law Enforcement Today, it was nearly seven years ago when Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was pulled from a bullet-scarred hull of a dry-docked boat in Watertown.
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