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Pennsylvania State Trooper Gun Battle Dash Cam Video Login/Join 
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http://www.mcall.com/news/poli...-20180706-story.html

The video shows a routine traffic stop by state police that turned into a frantic gun battle along Route 33. Its publication represents a rare instance in Pennsylvania in which police dash camera video was made public.

Northampton County prosecutors released it to The Morning Call and other media on Thursday, six weeks after they used it to win Daniel K. Clary’s conviction for the attempted murder Nov. 7, 2017, of two law enforcement officers.

The video was recorded from the cruiser of Trooper Ryan Seiple, who pulled Clary over for speeding last year in Plainfield Township.
It captured the entire encounter between Clary and police, including the moments in which he opened fire, grievously wounding Cpl. Seth Kelly, who nearly died from gunshot wounds that included a severed femoral artery.


The video was released after The Morning Call sued to get a copy of it because prosecutors initially declined to make it public, though it was introduced as evidence at Clary’s trial. In a motion July 27, attorneys for the newspaper asked Judge Stephen Baratta to order its release, noting it had been played in open court.

“The Morning Call sought access to the dashcam video because the attempted homicide of two state troopers and Clary’s allegation that the troopers used excessive force are of great concern to the public in the current environment,” said Theresa Rang, the newspaper’s interim editor.

Joshua Bonn, a lawyer for The Morning Call, wrote in the suit that given “the public’s overwhelming right to access judicial records,” there was no compelling reason to withhold the video.

The dispute over the video’s release never saw a courtroom. A day before a hearing was scheduled before Baratta, the district attorney’s office reversed course and agreed to provide the recording to The Morning Call.

First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck said Thursday he always wanted the video to be released to the public, but needed to make sure Kelly and Seiple agreed.

“Our concerns have always been the victims, the state troopers in this matter, protecting them,” Houck said. “But after speaking with them, they wanted it released, as did I.”
Across the nation, police dash camera and body camera videos have sparked debate over policing practices and the use of force by officers. In Pennsylvania, they rarely enter the public domain, given laws that limit the public’s right to access them.


(WARNING: Graphic content and language) Northampton County prosecutors have released police dashcam video of Daniel K. Clary opening fire on two Pennsylvania state troopers, critically wounding one, during a traffic stop on Route 33 in November 2017. Click here to view an extended version
That was the case in the July 28 fatal shooting of Joseph Santos, an unarmed Latino man, by a South Whitehall Township policeman. In announcing voluntary manslaughter charges against officer Jonathan Roselle on Tuesday, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said the encounter was captured on dash camera and body camera video that he declined to release.

“Although I would prefer to show the videos to the media and to the public today, they are now evidence in a criminal case; and I am ethically bound not to show them outside of court,” Martin said in prepared statements. “They will be introduced as evidence in the case and you will have the opportunity to see and report on their content as the case progresses.”

Last year, the state Supreme Court opened the door for some police videos to be accessible under the state’s Right-to-Know law, finding that in some circumstances, they were public records. But just eight days later, the Legislature approved a bill that changed those rules.

Under Act 22, police audio and video are no longer subject to the Right-to-Know law and its presumption of access. The act established new restrictions on their release: a request for a recording must be made within 60 days of its production, and police are granted even wider latitude to deny requests for recordings they deem to be part of an investigation.

Our concerns have always been the victims, the state troopers in this matter, protecting them. But after speaking with them, they wanted it released, as did I.
— First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck

PHOTO GALLERY: A Pennsylvania State Police trooper was shot during a traffic stop on Route 191 near the ramp to Route 33 in Plainfield Township, Northampton County, on Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, 2017, prompting a massive response. 

Under the new language, authorities can keep recordings secret if they contain “potential evidence in a criminal matter” or “information pertaining to an investigation.”

The law was enacted over the objections of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, a newspaper trade group. Melissa Melewsky, an attorney for association, said the broad rules create “numerous avenues” for authorities to deny access.

“It is basically unfettered discretion. It is very difficult to challenge,” Melewsky said. “That’s why you don’t see police audio and video in Pennsylvania, unless it is released voluntarily by law enforcement or the district attorney, or unless it is introduced as evidence.”

Supporters of Act 22 say police recordings are different from other government records, and raise legitimate safety and privacy concerns for the victims of crime and law enforcement.
“It is evidence,” said Aaron Zappia, a spokesman for state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, who sponsored the law. “So when you make evidence totally available under the Right-to-Know law, it can be a little concerning. It can be dangerous.”

The Route 33 roadside shooting video was played repeatedly at Clary’s trial, which stretched four days in June and ended in his conviction. Evidence introduced in court has long been publicly accessible, under common law.
Prosecutors said the video depicted the two troopers acting professionally and with restraint during a speeding stop Nov. 7 that unexpectedly turned violent. Defense attorney Janet Jackson unsuccessfully argued self-defense, describing Clary as a scared young man who was getting his first speeding ticket, then was surprised when police moved to handcuff him.

The video showed Seiple hand Clary a ticket and begin to drive away, before the motorist motioned for him to come back. As he talked more with Clary, Seiple became suspicious of whether he was driving impaired, leading to field sobriety tests and Kelly’s arrival at the scene on the side of the highway.
It was when troopers tried to arrest Clary on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana that chaos erupted.

A melee between Clary and the troopers lasted one minute and six seconds. The gun battle that followed, just 41 seconds.

Before he ran to his car, grabbed a gun and opened fire, Clary and the troopers grappled on the ground, Clary trying to grab their service handguns and continuing to struggle even after he was repeatedly shocked with stun guns.
The video showed Clary grabbing the handle of Kelly’s holstered gun early in the struggle, before the troopers used their Tasers or punched him.

Clary tried to grab both troopers’ pistols, and succeeded in dislodging the ammunition magazine of Seiple’s. A spare firearm of Kelly’s fell to the ground at one point, which Seiple later picked up, disarmed and threw to the side.
Seiple used his Taser on Clary twice and punched him five times, according to trial testimony. Kelly tasered Clary five times, threw nine punches and kneed him once.

According to a state police expert who examined the video frame-by-frame, Clary and Seiple shot at each other simultaneously, as Clary pointed a handgun at police.

Clary fired all six of his gun’s bullets, Kelly fired 21 rounds and Seiple fired 20 rounds.
Clary, 22, of Chestnuthill Township, was wounded in the gunfight, driving himself to Easton Hospital with injuries that included a bullet lodged in his head.

Clary could face decades in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 31 by Baratta.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be unpredictable at times. Only boring, dull-witted people never stray from the path. - Para

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Posts: 4990 | Location: Philadelphia, Pa | Registered: September 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
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The bad guy was a much better fighter than the two cops. Bad tactics & bad shots.
Clary shot 6 rounds, they shot a total of 41.
Lucky to be alive, all of them.
 
Posts: 4209 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A great example of how quickly things can go from zero to lethal on a traffic stop in a couple seconds. Most folks can't imagine the level of violence and chaos in such a short period of time. This is an excellent training video on what can go wrong when adrenaline hits.


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Posts: 2244 | Location: Florida Panhandle | Registered: September 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Was that a gun the guy dropped on the ground, took a bit for the trooper to see it and toss it, he must have had a second in the car.

Amazing how fast it goes wrong...



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Posts: 12162 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by HRK:
Was that a gun the guy dropped on the ground, took a bit for the trooper to see it and toss it, he must have had a second in the car.


That was one of the officers' backup guns, which fell out during the initial attempt to take him into custody. From the article:

[Bad guy] Clary tried to grab both troopers’ pistols, and succeeded in dislodging the ammunition magazine of [Trooper] Seiple’s. A spare firearm of [Trooper] Kelly’s fell to the ground at one point, which [Trooper] Seiple later picked up, disarmed and threw to the side.
 
Posts: 20981 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The news article describes the stop as "routine".
They are never routine.
And what were Clarys priors?


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Posts: 6849 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I see why they did not want to release this video. I am not a cop, but their training in tactics was horrible. They are lucky to be alive.
 
Posts: 3493 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Protect and Serve is not and easy job. When you start from the premise that you are to enforce the laws with minimal force and without hurting anyone it is a whole lot more dangerous than some banana republic or authoritarian state where the cops can just light up anyone who looks at them sideways. I’m glad our officers take the approach that they do, but I think they should have a whole lot more support than they get.

ETA: I don’t disagree that the officers could and should have handled things differently. I do think a nationwide understanding of the “Play stupid games win stupid prizes.” rule would be helpful.
 
Posts: 3271 | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Amazing that they couldn't get him under control with the tazer, dude must have been high...



"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12162 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The cops looked pretty amateurish. No ground game at all. And when the guy was leaning into the car window - they should have both been shooting at that point. What else could he have been doing except getting a weapon ?


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Posts: 2957 | Location: East Tennessee | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
“The Morning Call sought access to the dashcam video because the attempted homicide of two state troopers and Clary’s allegation that the troopers used excessive force are of great concern to the public in the current environment,” said Theresa Rang, the newspaper’s interim editor.

This reads to me that the motivation for requesting release of the video was to illustrate "police brutality", NOT to show the public what an asshole Clary is or how dangerous the troopers' job can be?
 
Posts: 5408 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As noted by HayesGreener, this is an excellent training video.

They initially had him immobilized with the Taser for a decent period of time, and failed to capitalize on it.

Also notice that when their adrenaline hit, they started giving the wrong commands. They repeatedly told him to "get on your back", while he was already laying on his back. They actually wanted him to turn over and get on his stomach, but their brains and mouths weren't working together so well at that point.

Even if he had decided to be compliant after the initial struggle, he couldn't do what they wanted because they were telling him to do the wrong thing.
 
Posts: 20981 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those cops should thank their guardian angels the guy didn't re-engage after the initial exchange. He could have easily killed them both. Definitely a keystone cops moment.
 
Posts: 2320 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SBrooks:
The cops looked pretty amateurish. No ground game at all. And when the guy was leaning into the car window - they should have both been shooting at that point. What else could he have been doing except getting a weapon ?


Because had they done that and smoked his ass on the interstate, the investigation would have found he was going for his burrito and the media would have lynched their assess.

They should have left him twitching in traffic until he complied, they were nice enough to drag his ass on to the median.

I've always assumed a fight on the side of the road, pzrticlulary an interstate would/should give some flexibility with the use of force matrix. Pain compliances and palm heel strikes are out, I'm bashing your face in to the asphalt or you're complying.

This one is an absolute mess. Glad the troopers are ok.




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Posts: 8320 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Correct me if I am wrong, both were screaming him to get on his back. "get on your back, get on your fucking back" It looked like he was on his back. It also looked like he was certainly on something, drunk or high to some degree.
 
Posts: 4162 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree that they had the guy subdued, but failed to get him restrained in a timely manner.
 
Posts: 794 | Registered: April 06, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DSgrouse:
Correct me if I am wrong, both were screaming him to get on his back. "get on your back, get on your fucking back" It looked like he was on his back. It also looked like he was certainly on something, drunk or high to some degree.


quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
Also notice that when their adrenaline hit, they started giving the wrong commands. They repeatedly told him to "get on your back", while he was already laying on his back. They actually wanted him to turn over and get on his stomach, but their brains and mouths weren't working together so well at that point.



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Posts: 8091 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, that isn't pretty but they succeeded in surviving while not shirking their duties.

Could it have been done better? Most certainly.

Did current pressure on LEOs impact their behavior and decision to shoot / not shoot? Possibly.

No plan survives contact with the enemy and I don't envy their position of not knowing who's who in the zoo from second to second.
 
Posts: 38991 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Clary (Perp) had to be on PCP or something. Tased and took a series of punches, but kept fighting. I am surprised that the troopers couldn't handle him?
 
Posts: 467 | Location: Virginia Beach, VA | Registered: August 03, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RHINOWSO:
Well, that isn't pretty but they succeeded in surviving while not shirking their duties.

Could it have been done better? Most certainly.

Did current pressure on LEOs impact their behavior and decision to shoot / not shoot? Possibly.

.


It never should've gotten to the point where there was shooting. I think that's the point. Those cops should've had that arrest in their back pockets once the douchebag was incapacitated and for as long he was. Instead they allowed a situation turn completely fubar.


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Posts: 20074 | Location: Out of Jersey, Into Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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