U.S. Border Patrol named as defendant in federal lawsuit involving shooting of un-armed man

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on August 17, 2016, 5:25 P.M. CST

The United States Border Patrol is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in United States District Court in North Dakota today.

U.S. Border Patrol - Copy

On August 17, 2016, Timothy Charles Holmseth filed a Complaint to the United States District Court – District of North Dakota, against multiple agencies in North Dakota. Holmseth filed the Complaint after receiving paperwork from the North Dakota Court that provided instructions and forms regarding a previous correspondence to the Court pertaining to a lawsuit.

Holmseth, an investigative journalist from East Grand Forks, Minnesota, alleges a multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction conspiracy exists to cover up the true facts and circumstances surrounding the pursuit and shooting of David James Elliott in 2015.

Elliott was unarmed when he was shot by  a University of North Dakota police officer on February 28, 2015.

The lawsuit alleges defendants are violating public records laws; have defrauded Holmseth’s publication Write Into Action; and are actively violating Holmseth’s Constitutional rights under the First Amendment.

According to Holmseth’s Complaint, defendants, including Grand Forks Police Chief Mark Nelson, have conspired to destroy police-cam evidence of the Elliott Event, which includes deliberately hiding the fact that the United States Border Patrol was involved.

“The criminal conspiracy involves, but is not limited to, GFPD officer (former UNDPD officer) Jerad Braaten, UNDPD Chief of Police Eric Plummer, GFPD Chief of Police Mark Nelson, Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost, GFPD Lt. Derik Zimmel, UNDPD Sgt. Danny Weigel, Grand Forks States Attorney David Jones,” the Complaint said.

Holmseth alleges Defendant Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) altered police body-cam evidence before turning it over, in effort to hide what truly happened the night a University of North Dakota police officer shot David Elliott multiple times in the head in the Altru hospital parking lot.

Holmseth had been actively requesting and paying for public records regarding the shooting until he was notified by Lt. Derik Zimmel on July 11, 2016, Nelson issued a “Special Order’ on June 26, 2016, changing the retention dates for police cam evidence held in GFPD custody.

Holmseth alleges the Special Order by Nelson was made in bad faith to advance a criminal conspiracy to destroy evidence of an attempted murder.

On July 11, 2016 Lt. Derik Zimmel advised Holmseth he had until July 18, 2016 to make any further requests for records and then the records would be “subject to destruction”.

On July 17, 2016, Holmseth submitted a public records request to the City of Grand Forks that said, “Pursuant to all applicable state and federal laws, I am requesting ALL officer body-camera videos; ALL police dash-cam videos; ALL reports, notes, ledgers, transcripts, and other records pertaining to the pursuit and shooting of David James Elliott.”

On July 28, 2016 Holmseth received a letter from Grand Forks City Attorney Howard Swanson advising that no more records would be turned over because they were now deemed legal Discovery.

Holmseth alleges the Elliott shooting was actually a pre-mediated murder and possibly an ordered ‘hit’ that involved drug trafficking through the State of North Dakota.

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) records show the BCI seized “thousands” of pills from Elliott’s vehicle following the bizarre two hour slow speed chase through multiple counties that was all captured on a 107 minute 911 call placed by Elliott – but never heard by the public. Elliott was talking to a GFPD officer during the 911 call.

Holmseth is the only publisher to request any portion of the 107 minute 911 call, which cost over a hundred dollars in fees for just a few minutes of the call.

David James Elliott contacted Holmseth and said law enforcement hid and/or destroyed body-cam evidence that showed police officer Jerad Braaten attempted to shoot him while he was sitting atop the Columbia Road Bridge in Grand Forks.

“What they don’t tell you is that the officer that shot me tried to shoot me at the top of the university bridge were I stopped and was hanging half way out the window with my hands straight out but his gun misfired – so he pulled his gun back on top to dislodge the bullet and they found that bullet there on top of the bridge with nobody taking claim to it until they pulled his finger prints off of the damn thing,” Elliott said.

The first attempted shooting of Elliott by Bratten changes exposes the entire false narrative that was subsequently given to the public because it shows Braaten was stalking Elliott to shoot him.

“When [Jerad Braaten] shot me everyone was yelling ‘cease fire’ and nobody even knew who was firing until it was all done – and the cop that supposedly got drug by my vehicle wasn’t ever in danger – let alone near the driver’s window – and the cop that shot me on video said ‘I thought you were in danger’ and he yells ‘I wasn’t in danger at any given time and was upset,” Elliott said.

Elliott told Holmseth police used “Excessive Force” and the Grand Forks States Attorney’s office told his lawyer, Darla Schuman, they were charging him with felonies so he wouldn’t sue.

The excessive force appears to involve more than the unwarranted shooting.

“There is so much to this whole thing that people will never know or even understand. Heck after the first two to the third shot fired, my pickup was stopped and he just kept on shooting me. He fired 14 times total until his gun was empty and 8 hit me – and a total of ten hit my truck – and two hit the Kidney Dialysis Center way off to the right and two hit the E/R hall way way off to the left,” Elliott said.

“I got shot 8 times – not 6 or 7 – and then after I got shot and was laying on the steering wheel knocked out with blood all over the place and my left hand missing two fingers -two other officers from GFPD ran up to the drivers window and freaken tazed my lifeless body not once but twice – and they’re yelling put your hands up quit resisting as they open the drivers door and my body falls out of the truck like a sack of potatoes,” Elliott said.

“That’s the video nobody has seen – and I have it,” Elliott said.

The following are named as defendants:

  1. City of Grand Forks/Grand Forks Police Department, 122 South 5th Street, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  2. University of North Dakota/University of North Dakota Police  Department, 300 Twamley Hall, 264 Centennial Drive, Grand Forks North Dakota
  3. Altru Health Systems, 1000 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  4. Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, 122 South 5th Street, Grand Forks
  5. Grand Forks Public Service Access Point, 122 South 5th Street, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  6. Grand Forks States Attorney, 124 South 4th Street, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  7. North Dakota Highway Patrol, 1100 North 47th Street, STE 200, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
  8. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 112 West Stutsman Street, Pembina, North Dakota,

READ COMPLAINT

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North Dakota TV station WDAZ caught participating in on-air hoax of police shooting

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on August 2, 2016, 12:24 P.M. CST

Producers of a North Dakota television station have been caught tricking the American public about a police shooting by showing time-stamps of dash-cam video; but hiding the times on the body-cams.

The reason for the deception is because the Grand Forks Police Department, University of North Dakota Police Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, and Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office is covering up what appears to be an attempted murder connected to drug running and the Fraternal Order of Police.

On February 8, 2015, WDAZ, Forum Communications, aired a news story about a police shooting of an unarmed man that happened on February 28, 2015 in the parking lot of a Grand Forks hospital. The WDAZ story featured police body and dash-cam video that was captured during the bizarre two hour long slow speed pursuit of David James Elliott.

The times of events surrounding the pursuit and shooting of Elliott are easy to establish, because Elliott initiated a 911 call very shortly after a police officer tried to pull him over; and he remained on the phone with 911 for 107 minutes until the moment he was shot.

Elliott’s immediate flight from police, as well as other actions, create a strong appearance he personally knew some of the police officers chasing him and was afraid to pull over because he knew he was going to be killed.

Write Into Action has discovered WDAZ-TV used very specific techniques to obfuscate the time stamps on body-cam worn by an officer at the scene of the shooting as the shots were being fired.

WDAZ covered it up because the body-cam times did not correspond to other dash-cam time-stamps that were being used in the same news story.

The news station deliberately perpetuated a fraud upon trusting viewers.

SYNOPSIS OF THE WDAZ-TV POLICE SHOOTING COVER-UP

On February 28, 2015, UND police officer Jerad Braaten emptied his clip into David James Elliott, Grand Forks, in the parking lot of Altru Hospital at 12:47 A.M.

Police refused to talk to the media for three days following the shooting; would not give the public any details and withheld the name of the victim; it was clear something was not right.

Write Into Action made public records requests to obtain police body and dash-cam videos captured before and after the shooting.

Police body-cam shows David Elliott being shot at 12:36 A.M. (note: time stamp is in Greenwich Mean Time) as shown in the snap-shot below taken at the time shots are heard being fired (note: the blue glob you see on the right side of the image is David Elliott’s tail light).

Body Cam 12 36 Shooting Altru

However, dash-cam (shown below) shows David Elliott sitting atop the Columbia Road Bridge in his truck at 12:36 A.M. where he actually remained for several more minutes.

Dash Cam 12 36 A.M. on Bridge

Obviously, David Elliott was not in his truck on the bridge and being shot in a distant parking lot at the same time.

Below is another dash-cam snap-shot taken at 12:39 A.M. where David Elliott can be seen talking to officers out the window of his pick-up truck atop the Columbia Road Bridge.

Dash Cam 12 39 on Bridge

However, according to the body-cam worn by Sgt. Mark Ellingson, GFPD, the shooting is already over (see below) (see You Tube below for actual sound and video).

Body Cam 12 39 Shooting Altru

UND police chief Eric Plummer stated in a televised joint press release that Elliott was shot at around 12:45 A.M.

That time (12:45 A.M.) is essentially the correct time. Police cam obtained by Write into Action captures the sound of gunshots at 12:47 A.M. when an officer is heard saying “shots fired – shots fired”.

Write Into Action began investigating the shooting in 2015 and began requesting police-cam footage from the Grand Forks Police Department after the case was concluded.

That’s when WDAZ suddenly decided to run a story featuring police-cam video.

On February 8, 2016 WDAZ-TV aired a story about the police shooting where they strategically cover up the time-stamps of the body-cam.

During the introduction to the story, which is entirely critical of David Elliott, body-cam captured at the time of the actual shooting is featured behind the presenters Matt Henson and Stacie Van Dyke.

Van Dyke’s shoulder covers the time-stamp the whole time and it is never seen.

WDAZ cover time stamp

Shortly into the introduction, the video in the background changes from body-cam to dash-cam – the dash-cam shows the time of the shooting is 12:47 A.M. (see below).

It is clear WDAZ is allowing the viewers to see the time-stamps on the dash-cam.

WDAZ 12 47

In the video below, WDAZ again hides the time of the time-stamp on the body-cam by covering it with their logo.

WDAZ cover time stamp

PUBLISHED JULY 30, 2016 by WRITE INTO ACTION

Police-cam evidence captured at a police shooting in Grand Forks, North Dakota will not be turned over to Write Into Action by the Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) without an Order from the federal court.

In a letter dated July 28, 2016, Grand Forks City Attorney Howard Swanson notified Write Into Action (Timothy Charles Holmseth) that existing requests for police-cam public records are now classified as Discovery, and will only be turned over in accordance with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Swanson cites Holmseth v. City of Grand Forks et al. (16-cv-02496-JRT-LIB) (District of Minnesota) as the basis for the City’s decision.

Grand Forks City Attorney Howard Swanson

Timothy Holmseth first initiated civil litigation in United States District Court on July 13, 2016 to request an Emergency Injunction that would forbid the planned destruction of police-cam video that capture the police shooting of an unarmed man on February 28, 2015 in the parking lot of Altru Hospital.

Swanson contacted Holmseth after a formal complaint filed by Holmseth against the GFPD Keeper of Records on July 25, 2016, was referred to his office.

Holmseth asserts the GFPD violated state and federal laws when they responded to multiple public records requests for police-cam evidence by providing video that has been carefully altered using a video editor. The alterations were performed to change critical times and conceal specific video pertaining to the events that led up to the shooting of David James Elliott.

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) inventory records show that after the shooting of Elliott, investigators located the body-cam of University of North Dakota police officer Jerad Braaten underneath his UND squad car.

Braaten, the officer that shot Elliott, who was not even scheduled to work on the night in question, further claimed he was not able to produce his car’s dash-cam because, he said, he forgot to put the memory card in the camera.

On June 26, 2016, GFPD Police Chief Mark Nelson issued a “Special Order” that changed the Department’s policy on retention dates for police-cam video evidence.

Holmseth asserts Nelson’s action is part of a criminal conspiracy by a group of public officials to destroy records that will reveal the truth about the Elliott shooting and other crimes in the area – including the mysterious death of Caitlin Jenna Erickson, which occurred the same night.

On June 16, 2016, a person that identified them self as David James Elliott contacted Holmseth and said Braaten attempted to shoot Elliott while atop the Columbia Road Bridge in Grand Forks, several minutes before the actual shooting, but his gun jammed.

The first attempted shooting of Elliott may be what the GFPD is attempting to cover-up in the videos, because it reveals Braaten’s actions were not spontaneous, and he, along with other officers, were stalking Elliott to kill him.

BCI investigation records appear to support the fact something happened atop the Columbia Road Bridge with Braaten’s firearm, because investigators located an un-spent cartridge from his gun that linked to that location.

(Elliott) told Holmseth that Braaten lied to investigators about the cartridge, and only admitted that he had performed a function with his gun on the bridge after he was told the cartridge was found with his “fingerprints” on it.

Holmseth has obtained enough police cam video from the event to demonstrate the video has been altered – and segments of body-cam video that would have shown what occurred on the Columbia Road Bridge have been replaced with other video.

Following the 2015 shooting, UND Police Chief Eric Plummer issued a written reprimand to Braaten for his conduct regarding his police cams.

But life only got better for Braaten who was supplied a lawyer by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Grand Forks States Attorney David Jones said in a letter to Plummer that he viewed all the documents and videos surrounding the pursuit and shooting, and determined Braaten acted reasonably when he shot Elliott.

Braaten was subsequently hired by the GFPD to the exception of other candidates.

Some of the altered body-cam was turned over to WDAZ-TV by the GFPD; the regional North Dakota news station presented an entirely misleading story that made no mention of the fact the time of the shooting in the body-cam videos did not correspond with the dash-cams.

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