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Friday, March 05, 2010

Expert Witness Report

Report and Opinion

Re: Salem Zahn v. City of Fort Worth Texas

This report incorporates information received to date through investigative interviews, field interrogations and FOIA requests
submitted to the city of Fort Worth Texas. The report also relies on investigative evidence including audio and video tape
collected by IRA investigations and private investigator Bill Albright.

Introduction: received a complaint from Ms. Salem Zahn approximately July 1, 2009. Ms. Zahn reported that she was the
victim of police abuse at the hands of Fort Worth police officers on January 20, 2009. Ms. Zahn reported that she had gone
to a nightclub in Fort Worth on the evening of July 19, 2009. Ms. Zahn was accompanied by her friend Debbie Hunter. The
two women entered the club Neon Nights at approximately 10 PM. According to Ms. Zahn she and her friend remained at
the club a few hours until closing time at 2 AM. During their time in the club Ms. Zahn stated she had two drinks. She spent
most of the evening in conversation with other persons in the club. She did not have any confrontations or fights
throughout the evening.

The Club Neon Nights opened with an offer of a $20,000 prize to be awarded one of the patrons following a raffle. However
nobody won the raffle and the club management did not mention why the prize was not being awarded. As the nightclub
began to close and participants started leaving Ms. Zahn reported that she approached the manager to make a complaint
Ms. Zahn told the manager that she found their failure to award the prize suspicious and thought that perhaps she and
other customers had been misled. The manager contacted an off-duty police officer who was working in the club as private
security. Ms. Zahn was unaware that the officer had been contacted. She left the club with Ms. Hunter and waited for their
vehicle. Almost immediately after stepping outside Ms. Zahn reentered the club to use the restroom. Ms. Zahn reported
that she was confronted by a Fort Worth police officer named Serrano. She stated that Officer Serrano knocked her down.
Ms. Zahn said the officer then drove his knee into her back repeatedly while she was on the ground. The officer took her to
his patrol car after placing her in handcuffs. While Ms. Zahn waited for the officer to take her to jail she said that noticed
that her handcuff had come loose. She went to the officer and advised him that the handcuff had slipped off. According to
Ms. Zahn the officer became angry and accused her of spitting on him. He then slammed her head into the side of the police
car. The attack was witnessed by her friend Debbie Hunter from across the street. Ms. Hunter had a clear view of the
incident and the area was well lit.


My qualifications are as described in my curriculum vitae. To summarize, I am a former member of the Hawthorne Police
Department, in the State of California, where I was at various times, a police officer, field supervisor, detective and
sergeant. I was specially trained as an undercover investigator by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs office. As a member of
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the Hawthorne Police Department, I have performed all the duties of a law enforcement officer. I engaged in the traffic stop
of motorists, investigations, arrests, handcuffing, transporting and processing of individuals.

I hold an advanced certificate in Peace Officer Standards and Training. I am a qualified instructor in Police Control Restraint
Techniques. I have been qualified as an expert in police practices in both federal court and California state courts,
especially with regard to the use of force, report writing and officer misconduct. Prior to becoming a police officer, I had
worked as a Sheriff’s Deputy in Ventura County, California. I spent a combined period of approximately nine years as a
Sheriff’s Deputy and police officer. I have testified before the California State Assembly and the United States Congress on
police practices. My investigative work in the field of law enforcement has resulted in changes in the law in California and
policy changes and review in hundreds of police agencies.

I am the CEO of, a national organization that investigates and documents alleged police misconduct
throughout the United States. My organization has conducted numerous undercover investigations documenting racial
profiling and other misconduct by various law enforcement organizations throughout the United States. Our videos are
used by more than 1200 police departments and the DOJ for training. maintains the only national video
database for complaints of police misconduct allegations in the United States.

I have conducted training sessions for law enforcement organizations throughout the United States, including training and
seminars for police chiefs. I earned a bachelors degree from California Lutheran University and Masters Degree in criminal
justice from Penn State University. I have served as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Florida A&M University and
Florida State University. I have been a licensed private investigator for 10 years and I have conducted numerous
investigations in that capacity. I have more than 500 investigations of police misconduct in my experience. I have
published editorials in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. As an investigative journalist my stories have received
acknowledgements; thus far four Emmy awards and four Edward R Murrow awards for investigative journalism.

Task to Be Performed

I was retained as an expert witness to review case material and render a professional opinion on whether or not officers from
the Fort Worth Police Department may have engaged in misconduct while working in an off duty assignment at the Fort
Worth nightclub Neon Nights. I was also asked to render an opinion on whether or not the police conduct that I reviewed
was consistent or inconsistent with established police practices.

Materials Reviewed

In preparing my reports, review the following materials which are commonly examined in any area of expertise and rendering
professional/expert opinions on police practices.

Videotaped Interviews of Victim

Videotaped Interviews of Witness
Medical Records of the Victim
Police Reports of Incidents at Same Location for a Six-Month Period of Time
Court Records and Police Reports
International Association of Chiefs of Police Model Policies in the Following Areas

 Use of Force
 Arrest Procedure
 General Standards of Conduct

Brief summary of facts and opinion With Relevant Comments

Based on my review of the above materials and my training, education, experience, professional qualifications in police
operations, practices and procedures I offer the following opinions within a reasonable degree of professional certainty.

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Zahn had not committed any crime by complaining to the club manager. Ms. Hunter corroborates her statement that she had
only two drinks and was not behaving inappropriately during their time at the club. Based on the statements of both
parties there is no evidence supporting a need for force to be used against Ms. Zahn who is 4'11" tall weighing less than
110 pounds. The officer’s use of force is yet unexplained. We are awaiting reports from the police that may influence my
opinion. Pending review of those reports, it is my expert opinion that the Fort Worth Police Department officers behaved
in a manner inconsistent with their own policies and applicable standards commonly used to guide police conduct. It is my
opinion that the officers used excessive force at least two times during the encounter with Salem Zahn. Furthermore it is
my opinion that Ms. Zahn should not have been arrested or contacted by the police based on evidence reviewed.

Police officers are entitled to use force in circumstances where they are facing resistance, threat of harm or in the defense of
citizens. According to the witness Debbie Hunter Ms. Zahn was not resisting when the officer slammed her head into the
patrol car. Ms. Hunter had an obstructed view of the incident. She has proven to be a credible witness and is willing to
testify under penalty of perjury. After reviewing the available interview materials and reading the appropriate policies
relative to this incident my conclusion is that this matter should be investigated by the Fort Worth Police Department
internal affairs unit.

Again, I reserve the right to amend or supplement this report should any other relevant information become available to me.

Diop Kamau, CEO

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