The alleged case of abuse and excessive force made by former NFL and MLB player Josh Booty against the Orange County Sheriff's Department is now settled. The Enterprise Report first reported the story earlier this week. The details of the settlement agreement have not been made public, although the amount has: $8,619.
That payout is not exactly a windfall for what was a serious case of alleged police abuse. A similar case to Booty's was settled earlier this year. In that case, which alleged abuse by O.C. Sheriff's jail deputies there was a $750,000 dollar payout to a 24-yr old man named Matthew Fleuret. He was repeatedly hit with a Taser and physically subdued by O.C. Sherrif's deputies while in the jail after being arrested for a bar fight in 2006. Fleuret was never charged with a crime and was later released. In the Fleuent case a videotape of the incident was released publicly and was widely reported by the Los Angeles Times, AP and others.
In Booty's case an exclusively obtained 11-page statement provided to the The Enterprise Report directly by Booty's attorney Tariq Hasan detailed Booty's allegations concerning what he claimed is depicted on videotapes that were recorded inside the O.C. Jail. The existence of the tapes was confirmed by TER long ago. The tapes in question have never been made public and their contents remain unknown.
[CLICK ON PHOTO TO READ 11-PAGE STATEMENT]
The videotapes in question have been sought by The Enterprise Report for more than a year. They were first requested from the Orange County Sheriff's Department under the California Public Records Act in 2009, but their release was denied by the Sheriff's Department. The tapes have also been requested from Josh Booty's attorney Hasan, who obtained them during the discovery phase of Mr. Booty's civil action. Hasan has so far refused to provide copies of the tape, or allow TER to view them.
Attorney Hasan has cited a protective order issued by the Judge in the civil action as one of the reasons the tapes have not been made public. According to Sheriff's Dept spokesman John McDonald, the tapes had the protective order placed on them at the request of Booty's attorneys. Hasan is the most current legal counsel handling the case for Booty. Hasan has repeatedly informed The Enterprise Report that he would make the videotapes public and had the ability to do so upon settlement of the case. So far that has not yet to happened.
Orange County Sheriff's Department Jim Amormino, the O.C. Sherrif's top spokesman was asked by TER to provide a response to the accusations made by Booty's attorney that he somehow "defamed" the former professional NFL and MLB athlete by providing the media information about Booty's arrest and the reasons (according to the O.C. Sheriff's Dept) why deputies had to use a taser and aggressive tactics to subdue Booty while inside the O.C. Jail when he was being booked on the DUI charge. Booty was later convicted of DUI and is currently wanted on an OC arrest warrant for related issues to the case.
Amormino had this to say in a written response provided to TER yesterday concerning Booty's lawyer's claim that the Sherrif's spokesman somehow defamed Mr. Booty: "Those allegations are nonsense and I don't respond to nonsense"
TER will stay on this story for any new developments.