Leah Dure arrest video

This image taken from video shows Leah Nadia Dure speaking to a Harker Heights police officer before being arrested outside Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights on Jan. 1, 2018.

Harker Heights police have released the body cam footage of the Jan. 1 arrest of Leah Nadia Dure outside an ambulance bay at Seton Medical Center.

Dure accused Officer Joshua Wood of police brutality during the arrest. Heights police Chief Mike Gentry held a news conference Tuesday that discredited the claims, and showed video evidence from the hospital and the jail to back it up. However, the body camera on Wood had malfunctioned despite Wood following protocol, police said earlier this week. As a result, Gentry sent the body camera to the manufacturer to figure out the reason for failure.

Previously, Heights police had released video footage from the back of a police cruiser, as well as security footage from Seton and inside the Heights police headquarters. The footage released showed that Dure already had several injuries to her face before she was placed in the back of the police car.

“Technical efforts to recover the recordings from that malfunctioning body cam have been successful,” Gentry said in a news release issued Friday. “As a result, that body camera footage is being released, so as to further refute any accusations that Officer J. Wood assaulted or injured Dure during the arrest and again, the accusations against Officer Wood made by Dure are proven to be false.”

The accusations gained traction last weekend after Philadelphia-based attorney S. Lee Merritt posted pictures of Dure’s injuries on Facebook, and said that they were as a result of brutality by Wood. Gentry said injuries were as a result of a domestic fight involving her boyfriend, his wife and several other people earlier in the morning of Jan. 1.

About 10 p.m. Tuesday, Merritt posted a Facebook Live video in which he stated that he stood by his client in a police brutality case alleged against Harker Heights police. Less than six hours later, his office released a written statement that said he would no longer pursue the matter.

“The absence of circumstantial evidence that a violent attack occurred during the missing period of recording, coupled with significant evidence that Ms. Dure suffered serious injury to her face prior to her arrest makes further pursuit of a civil rights claim untenable,” the release from Merritt said. “Accordingly, our office will no longer pursue this matter on behalf of Ms. Dure.”

Dure was charged with public intoxication during the incident. She has a court appearance on Jan. 22. Her boyfriend was being treated in the emergency room for an eye injury when police found Dure sleeping in the backseat of his car parked in an ambulance bay.

During the Facebook Live video Tuesday night, Merritt seemed to strongly believe that Dure was telling the truth. He said that he doesn’t represent police brutality victims because it pays well.

“Anyone who falsifies a report against a police officer should be prosecuted by the full extent of the law,” he said.

Merritt said any attorney who misrepresents facts should be disbarred.

“Pursuing the truth is not, by any sense, unethical,” he said.

Merritt has failed to respond to the Herald’s questions, both during that Facebook Live stream and previously.

Video footage from outside the medical center, inside the police car and inside the police station does not show officers using excessive force on Dure. At one point, Dure asked the officers to allow her to pull up her pants. When they decline, she hits her own head several times on the inside of the police car.

Later, when Dure appeared to be uncooperative with police during the booking process, Wood restrains her against the wall.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(2) comments


I personally feel this Attorney should be disbarred here in TX, as I have looked up his info, and have researched him.

S. Lee Merritt, Esq.
is a social justice activist and attorney barred to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, federally in Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, and US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

Attorney Merritt is emerging as an influential new voice in the fight for Civil Rights throughout the country by bringing a passion for social reform and a commitment to speaking out on inequities while practicing law.

Merritt is a Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended law school in Philadelphia, PA at Temple University's James Beasley School of Law where he received several commendations for trial advocacy as part of the National Trial Team. He was also recognized for his acumen in persuasive writing as an inductee to the Temple Inn of Courts. He began his legal career as an associate of the Cochran Firm before going into private practice.

Attorney Merritt leads a high profile practice with clients involved in international events including the tragic Dallas sniper attacks of July 7, 2016, corporate discrimination cases, viral police brutality matters and several cases associated with the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Attorney Merritt enjoys a reputation for dogmatic determination and ensuring a just outcome for his clients beyond mere monetary compensation.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Merritt worked as a school teacher and basketball coach. Merritt is also a spoken word artist, public speaker, mentor and proud father.

His commitment to social justice is born out of his own experiences and inner city upbringing. Merritt is committed to the reform of the justice system in America and is using his practice to effect lasting change for underserved and underrepresented communities


For those that do not understand what a SJW ( social Justice warrior) is. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=social%20justice%20warrior
social justice warrior

A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of. They typically repeat points from whoever is the most popular blogger or commenter of the moment, hoping that they will "get SJ points" and become popular in return. They are very sure to adopt stances that are "correct" in their social circle.

The SJW's favorite activity of all is to dogpile. Their favorite websites to frequent are Livejournal and Tumblr. They do not have relevant favorite real-world places, because SJWs are primarily civil rights activists only online.

A social justice warrior reads an essay about a form of internal misogyny where women and girls insult stereotypical feminine activities and characteristics in order to boost themselves over other women.

The SJW absorbs this and later complains in response to a Huffington Post article about a 10-year-old feminist's letter, because the 10-year-old called the color pink "prissy".

Commnter: "I don't like getting manicures. It's too prissy."

As I have said this man should be disbarred here in TX, our court systems are so backed up here in Killeen Tx that we do not need these SJW aka Vigilantes destroying the American justice system.
SJW are nothing more then BULLIES, they run around causing violence in our streets, they promote black segregation under the disguise of diversity. They tend to belong to all one color groups or groups that only promote one gender or one way of thought. They tend to use the words racist and fascism as away to intimidate, terrorize and to start a mob mentality against one person that doesn't go along with what they want.

I do encourage Harker Heights and Bell county to go to the State Attorney and request that this so called self proclaimed SJW be disbarred.
It is time that the public is made a wear of how destructive this type of vigilante is.
Make an example out of both parties, her and him. LOCK HER UP and Disbar this attorney from practicing in the state of TX.


Nah, let by-gones be by-gones and give him a free trip to Jasper, TX.

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