Join me and special guest LACKLUSTER, tonight to watch, discuss and analyze some recent police videos making the rounds, including the OIS in Tucson of the guy in the power chair. And more..... #CivilRightsLaw #PoliceVideos #TucsonPD

LIVE at 7pm ET - Freedom is Scary, Ep. 84

Lackluster's Channel:

Lackluster's website:

Former police officer Everett Maynard was found guilty by a federal jury on November 18, 2021 of violating an arrestee’s civil rights.

Maynard was convicted by a jury in Charleston, WV for using excessive force against an arrestee while he was a police officer with the Logan, West Virginia, Police Department.

I show you the actual photos sent to the jury and go over the law….

#police #arrest #lawyer

Today we filed a federal Section 1983 civil rights lawsuit alleging multiple counts of civil rights violations related to allegations of excessive force which occurred during a “domestic disturbance” call involving my client, Melvin Sargent. Following a non-violent argument with his wife, deputies from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department arrived at his home.

Due to the fact that he was open-carrying a pistol in a retention holster, as he usually did, and as he was legally entitled to do, Mr. Sargent went out of his way to raise his hands in the air and allow the officers to disarm him, following their arrival. However, as the complaint alleges, after being disarmed, he was punched in the face with a closed fist, and subjected to violence from there. His hand was boot-stomped, which resulted in a fractured hand.

After handcuffs were applied behind his back and placed in the rear of the police cruiser, his hand began to swell and cause severe pain. When he complained about the pain, the deputy violently pushed him and began punching him again. He then sprays pepper spray in his eyes for 3 to 5 seconds, and then shuts him inside the police cruiser. Afterwards the deputy walks over to Mr. Sargent’s significant other, who was filming video, where you can see his black armored knuckle gloves, covered with my client’s blood.

Read the full complaint, as filed today:

Late last week the West Virginia Supreme Court issued an opinion formally censuring a Family Court Judge who was caught on video searching the home of my client, threatening him with jail, and forcing him to turn off video and audio recordings documenting the event. The Court held that the WV Constitution bars a judicial officer from personally searching someone's home and that doing so was no longer a "judicial act." This may be very important to the fact that we have a federal civil rights lawsuit pending right now, where the judge has asserted judicial immunity, which pertains to that very thing.

While the judge claimed to have the power to conduct a "view" of a litigant's home because in Family Court, they are both the judge and the jury, the Supreme Court shot that argument down.

“Indeed, searches are so quintessentially executive in nature that even a judge who participates in one acts ‘not * * * as a judicial officer, but as an adjunct law enforcement officer...."

Read the full opinion here:

#JudicialImmunity #JudicialMisconduct #FourthAmendment

A West Virginia Circuit Court judge has been charged with violating the rules of judicial conduct after he verbally accosted a young police officer in his jurisdiction who had pulled him over for allegedly using his cell phone while driving and abusing his power. I obtained the raw body cam footage. This happened in Moorefield, West Virginia. During the stop, the judge calls the officer's supervisor and allegedly attempts to stop the issuance of a ticket. After the stop he makes even more phone calls, and even shows up at the mayor's house later that evening. He was investigated and charged by judicial disciplinary authorities.
#JudicialMisconduct #BodyCam #TrafficStops

Here's an article in the West Virginia Record about the situation:

Someone asked me what I would have said yesterday at closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Obviously I would have a lot more time to spend polishing it and expanding it, but this would be the basic theme and structure I would use. Over the years I have found a basic formula that I think works well and can be adapted to the particular facts of the case. In real life, you need to spend somewhere approaching 100 hours or so for every 1 hour of actual time in a jury trial, in order to be as prepared as possible. This is part of the problem with our imperfect system. You are at a huge disadvantage without the requisite money to fund this sort of preparation. As for this though, remember you are getting what you paid for..... But you get the idea.

#KyleRittenhouseTrial #ClosingArguments #TrialTactics

Link to the full video:

Closing arguments today in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Post-trial legal analysis. Also, the firearms possession count - count 6 - was dismissed by the judge prior to closing arguments beginning. The evidence is closed and attorneys for each side gets to make their arguments to the jury. Here's my take....

Live at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Freedom is Scary - Ep. 83

#RittenhouseTrial #LegalAnalysis #ClosingArgument

Legal analysis tonight following the close of evidence in the #KyleRittenhouseTrial with attorneys Chris Wiest and John Bryan. Live at 6:30 p.m. ET. It's day 10 of the Rittenhouse trial. The evidence is in, jury instructions are in dispute, and closing arguments are scheduled for Monday. Duty to retreat? Provocation? Video footage? Join us to discuss.. #LegalAnalysis #RittenhouseJuryInstructions

Freedom is Scary, Ep. 81.

It's Thursday, day 9 of the #KyleRittenhouse trial in Wisconsin, where #SelfDefense itself is on trial. Discussion on the trial progress through today, from a civil rights lawyer's point of view. #TrialAdvocacy

Freedom is Scary Ep. 81 LIVE at 6:30pm ET.

Some armchair legal quarterbacking following day 8 of the Kyle Rittenhouse self defense trial in Wisconsin. This is an important firearms related self defense case which illustrates the importance of attorney skill and tactics in jury trial advocacy. There's been some surprising events so far in the trial, including the testimony of the defendant himself today. In fact, something shocking happened during Kyle's cross examination which may itself be a constitutional violation. Join me to watch some of it and discuss......

Freedom is Scary Episode 80. Live at 5:00pm

#RittenhouseTrial #SelfDefense #ConstitutionalLaw

Late last week, a federal judge denied the motion to dismiss filed by Putnam County, who had asked the Court to dismiss the first of several lawsuits filed against Putnam County for a pattern and practice of illegal searches by their “Special Enforcement Unit,” who were caught on video searching the inside of my client Dustin Elswick’s home, which you may have seen on Youtube.

Usually in federal civil rights lawsuit, you are required to sue the individual government employee or officer who engaged in the violation. However, under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978), counties and cities (i.e., political subdivisions) may be sued directly when they have adopted some policy or practice which authorizes a constitutional violation against citizens by police officers. These are known as “Monell Claims” and they are very difficult to prove, generally. So they are pretty routinely dismissed. I’m happy this one wasn’t. Presumably the other two cases just like it will also be allowed to proceed…..

Freedom is Scary, Episode No. 79.

You can read the memorandum opinion and order here:

You can learn more about the underlying case and watch the original youtube videos here:

An update on the Jefferson County, West Virginia school bus drivers who were suspended for attended the Trump rally on January 6, 2021. Despite being nowhere near what occurred at the Capitol, they found themselves suspended and accused of misconduct, and then later vindicated. We files suit for First Amendment retaliation. Here's what's happened so far in the litigation..... Freedom is Scary, Ep. No. 77.

Also, yesterday we filed a lawsuit in Wood County, West Virginia, challenging their school mask mandate. Here's info on that case:

We're also still doing what we can to help employees subject to mandates. Fortunately, the WV legislature is having a special session to consider legislation protecting private employees from employer mandates. More information at the website:

Be sure to subscribe there for spam-free email updates of new posts......

Lately I’ve been helping quite a few people with their religious exemption applications, particularly in regards to one particular hospital in West Virginia. Since I’ve talked with numerous employees, I’ve seen the identical boilerplate form email denials from the hospital – whether the employee is a physician, nurse or remote IT worker.

Read more:

Can cops search visitors and seize their personal property when they just happen to be present at the time a premises is being searched pursuant to a search warrant?

A federal judge today temporarily blocked New York state from enforcing a V. mandate on health care workers who seek or obtain a religious exemption. Here’s the Complaint, filed by the Thomas More Society on behalf of numerous physicians and other health care professionals who are acting under pseudonyms.

The WV AG opinion:

I've been out sick with you-know-what. Here's an update on my status and the current tyranny out of Washington DC, as well as the local BOEs in their attempts at forcibly doing you-know-what to children.

On September 10, the West Virginia Attorney General issued an Opinion letter ultimately concluding that V. mandates in West Virginia would be unconstitutional in any blanket form – whether public or private employees. It's 21 pages long. You can read it here:

We just settled the federal civil rights lawsuit involving my client, James Walkup, who was bootstomped in his own home. You can read more about the case here:

The incident was caught on video, which I’ll show you….

What are the current best options in dealing with the flood of employer mandates? Lawsuit? Quit? Exemptions? Join me for a discussion / webinar with Kentucky Attorney Chris Wiest and Tennessee Attorney Andy Fox. Live at 5:30 p.m. ET
Freedom is Scary - episode 74

The lawsuit was filed today on behalf of Dustin Elswick, against Putnam County, West Virginia, along with four police officers involved in the infamous “Special Enforcement Unit.” These are the cops who were caught on hidden camera searching the inside of Dustin’s home. Although they cut the wire on an outside surveillance camera, they were apparently unaware of the cameras inside the home.

Read the Complaint and watch the other videos at the link:

#police #hiddencamera #caughtoncamera

An update in the Family Court Judge Search Saga. We recently obtained a report from the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel which found that a West Virginia Family Court Judge made improper and false allegations about the judicial disciplinary prosecutors who have been prosecuting a fellow Family Court Judge, Louise Goldston.

The ODC investigation commenced after a sitting Family Court Judge, Judge Glen R. Stotler, of the 23rd Family Court Circuit (Hampshire, Mineral and Morgan Counties), also a member of the Judicial Hearing Board that heard the Goldston case, sent a March 25, 2021 letter (on his official court letterhead) to the Chief Justice of the WV Supreme Court, making numerous allegations against the judicial prosecutors in regards to their handling of the Goldston case, and ultimately requesting an investigation into their actions, as well as their termination, “or at the least a serious reprimand.”

Now, questions are raised, not only about the Family Court Judge who is the subject of the report, but others who are now involved in the debunked allegations against the prosecutors. It really is outrageous, and people deserve to know. Did it ever seem like a good idea to get involved in a disciplinary prosecution of a fellow judge and attempt to have the prosecutors fired? What are the potential remedies? Judicial disciplinary complaints? Impeachment proceedings?

Up on the website today, we posted the full ODC investigation report, which details the entire ordeal up to that point, including a discussion of some of the sworn statements taken of the judges involved. It also gives a rare behind-the-scenes look at the judicial disciplinary prosecution procedures, which are usually confidential:

How did the Founders design the Constitution so as to protect liberty and prevent tyranny? What’s the single most important word in the Constitution? From a talk I gave last night, based on my recollection of an inspiring lecture I attended earlier this year given by Princeton professor Robert P. George.

This week we filed a second federal civil rights lawsuit against the Putnam County, West Virginia so-called “Special Enforcement Unit.” This is the same “SEU” guys who were featured in the Dustin Elswick video. This case features one of the victims who came forward after the Elswick video became public. #4thAmendment #PoliceMisconduct #SearchAndSeizure

It involves a young man who was visiting a friend’s house, on his way to go fishing. The SEU just happened to raid his friend’s home, without a warrant, keeping my client in handcuffs for an extended period of time while they searched the house. Apparently they found a small amount of pot in the friend’s house and a couple hundred dollars in cash, which they took. No paperwork documenting the event was ever provided in response to our FOIA requests. There were no criminal charges.

We’re alleging multiple civil rights violations, including unreasonable search and seizure and excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Here’s the Complaint, in full:

Does the First Amendment only apply to "journalists"? Or does it apply to anyone with a smart phone? Is there a right to record police officers or other government officials? This is what the courts say..... Freedom is Scary Ep. No. 70.
#FirstAmendment #RightToRecord #ConstitutionalLaw

Some case updates from the #civilrightslawyer including the Walker v. Donahoe #opencarry case, the current V. mandate wrongful discharge case, as well as the infamous #FamilyCourt Judge Search Case. Join me live - Freedom is Scary, Ep. 69.

Link to the Walker v. Donahoe petition for rehearing en banc:

One of my favorite YouTube channels, @LackLuster received a fraudulent DMCA takedown notice from KARK TV station in Little Rock, Arkansas for a viral video he posted about a pregnant woman who had her car flipped by a “PIT” maneuver by the Arkansas State Police. He had obtained the dashcam footage directly from the ASP. However, KARK had their own coverage and YT video using the footage, and claimed ownership of Lack’s video. This caused it to be pulled in the midst of spreading like wildfire. So instead of 400k views, it is projected that it would now be around 2 million views. They waited 4 days to withdraw the fraudulent strike, which effectively killed the virility of the video.

Now I’m representing him and plan to make them pay...... I’ll explain in the video.

Freedom is Scary - Ep. No. 68

Here is Lack’s video that was taken down:

Here’s KARK’s video, for comparison:


Created 11 months, 4 weeks ago.

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Category News & Politics

Note: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us unless and until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established in writing by an attorney - client agreement.

John H. Bryan, Esq.
Civil Rights Attorney in West Virginia.
B.A. in Political Science from UCF
JD from UNC at Chapel Hill
Trial law in West Virginia since 2006.
Licensed in WV, all WV federal courts, and the US Fourth Circuit.
(304) 772-4999
Email: [email protected]
Main generic website: