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