Archive for the ‘police misconduct’ Category

Local media defends victimless crime enforcement

October 7, 2009

Mr. Lyons of the Sarasota Herald Tribune basically said you shouldn’t run from Leos. I’ve said that over and over and over. There is no reason that you should run from Leos, but having that said, I have to disagree with Mr. Lyons about a couple of issues. First, he is branding me as a “death penalty for not having a bike light” guy. He’s right. I want to see the police dash cam video and audio, if the guy on the bike was on the sidewalk, the police had no reason to question him or detain him for not having a light. If he was in the road, it’s different. Second, the guy is dead, man. Maybe the taser didn’t cause his death, but he probably would still be alive if he didn’t have this police encounter and shocked by the taser. Mark Lipinski, Attorney at Law, in Bradenton, has made a living over the last 25 years, by suing the Bradenton Police Department. He has had clients brutalized by other agencies but the BPD is at the top of the list with problem after problem. Mr. Lyons, let’s not shrug this case off, so fast. First, let’s see the dash cam video/audio and then let’s hear from the witnesses. This is the kind of stuff that happens when LeAs concentrate on victimless crimes. No victim, no crime. They killed a guy who didn’t hurt a victim or steal property or destroy someones property.

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Duel Standards?

September 18, 2009

(I purposely misspelled duel. A play on words, get it, duel and dual), otherwise known as a “malapropism.”

Two Leo not in uniform cases raise some questions. Locally, two recent arrests raise some interesting questions involving police officers. The first, a federal ICE officer was driving down a street, off duty in shorts and t-shirt, and saw two 9 year old boys pointing what he said were guns at his car. He stopped the car and went to talk to the boys who were playing with toy guns. The mom came out and the Leo was said to have gotten testy with her, but he did identify himself as a Leo and said he showed her his ID. The dad came out and told him to get off his property and the Leo then said that the dad grabbed a bat and threatened to beat him with the bat if he didn’t leave, no violence occurred. The local police arrived and arrested the dad for attempted battery on a Leo, a felony.

The other case, a mom was picking her daughter up from elementary school and drove into a private home driveway to turn around. The mom was confronted by an angry 51 year old woman running at her car, allegedly pointing a gun at her and her daughter. The daughter was so afraid, that she bounded into the back seat floor for cover. When the local police arrived, it was discovered that the 51 year old homeowner was a police officer from another agency, but said she was holding a cell phone and not a gun. Other witnesses said that she was brandishing a gun, threatening the driver. The police officer was arrested for felony aggravated assault with a firearm. This Leo was fired by the agency because she took the fifth with her boss. Typically, Leos aren’t allowed to remain silent with personnel matters, that is why most Leos when accused of crimes, resign or are fired if they won’t testify to internal affairs.

The chief of police of the agency who arrested the dad told reporters who questioned the arrest that even though the ICE officer was in shorts and t-shirt that “police officers are always on duty.” So, the reasoning goes that in the second case when the mom driving the car sues the agency of this police officer for violating her civil rights, the agency and the union can’t cry “but our officer was at home, out of uniform and not on duty.”

I don’t agree with threatening anyone with a weapon even at your own home unless you are in fear of your family’s safety. In most cases, the best weapon that you can use is a camera. In neither case was the homeowner in fear of his/her life or even destruction of their property. In the first case, if the dad had just said thanks for coming by and took the two boys and the wife inside that would have been the extent of it. In the second case, it seems that the 51 year old female Leo was having a very bad day and possibly not controlling her hormones.

But in both cases, if the citizens had had cameras and audio recording, justice would come to light. When police officers are confronted with misconduct, they normally don’t come completely clean. I’m not saying that they always lie about these types of situations, but I’ve heard the cell-phone excuse so many times as I want to hurl.

Dash board cameras for your car have become incredibly inexpensive. I have one that you can’t even tell is a camera, less than 2 inches long and is voice activated. It was less than $100. In the first case, if the dad had grabbed his video recording device, he would have gotten rid of the Leo a lot faster than grabbing a bat. Don’t resort to violence when you can resort to recording.

In the second case, if the mom had her dash cam going, there wouldn’t have been a question about the gun brandishing, she would have been a You-tube celebrity and the police agency would just give her money to not sue.

It just keeps getting worse!!!

September 11, 2009

Cape Coral – A 72-year-old man says he passed a breathalyzer but was arrested for D.U.I. anyway.
Police say there were traces of some type of substance in his urine but Vincent Tallo says that’s impossible.
“I’ve served my country, my record is clean and this is how I’m treated,” said Vincent Tallo.
Tallo was arrested at a D.U.I. checkpoint on Friday.
He and friend Mary Debenedetta were on their way home after a night of dancing.
“I bought a bottle of beer and sipped that bottle for two hours,” said Tallo.
The couple pulled up to the checkpoint and was approached by an officer.
“He asked me–had I been drinking, I told him I had one beer,” said Tallo.
Tallo said he had to follow the officer’s finger with his eyes and do a few more field tests.
“He told me to stand on my right foot and put my hands at my side. He said, Sir, you are arrested for D.U.I.–I said what? I requested the breathalyzer,” said Tallo.
Tallo said a female officer gave him the breathalyzer test and he blew a .000.
The 72-year-old was taken to a portable bathroom and asked to urinate in a cup.
“They’re doing a urine test– I said this guys a health-nut he doesn’t even take an Advil ,” said passenger Debenedetta.
Cape Coral police tell us the test can show twelve different drug classifications.
They say something showed up in Tallo’s test but they have to wait until the results come back from the state before they know exactly what it is.
Tallo traffic citation says “D.U.I.–pending urine”. The couple is now fighting the charges.
“I want other people to not go through this ever,” said Debenedetta.

Tallo was issued a citation and notice to appeal for “DUI — Pending Urine — Checkpoint,” the documents state. Due to Tallo’s vehicle being towed, he and Debenedetta walked to Debenedetta’s house, more than two miles away. SA office declined to prosecute.

UPDATE: The city has paid out nearly $41,000 total in two separate lawsuits where the Cape Coral police were accused of false arrests at DUI checkpoints. The city settled earlier this month with Vincent Tallo and James Wilhelm. On July 13, the city agreed to a $22,000 settlement with Tallo, while on July 15, it entered into a $18,750 settlement agreement with Wilhelm, officials said.

When are enough people going to insist that these aberrations of the United States Constitution be abolished? These checkpoints are so despicable, I cannot even control my temper. We had one of these checkpoints in Sarasota county over the weekend and the Leos made 9 DUI arrests (all of their arrests in 2008 were thrown out of court because of police misconduct at the checkpoints) and wrote 207 citations. How is it possible to write 207 citations if you are just asking people if they are impaired? What is wrong with us?

Why do think I have a camera outside my front door?

September 10, 2009

I know Mark Flanagan. We used to call him Ken because he looked so much like Ken from “Ken and Barbie”. He was a very able legislator from a conservative district in Manatee County. He did a lot of good for many people in our State.

Here is another Gates stop. I’ve named these police encounters “Gates Stops” after the so called “Terry Stop” (and Professor Gates encounter) that police use so often to abuse civil rights of people just walking around on the street.

Mark made one huge mistake. He went outside his home to talk with the police. DON’T OPEN YOUR DOOR TO SOMEONE WHO CAN DO LEGAL VIOLENCE TO YOU!!!

Watch Barry Cooper’s DVD on police coming to your home. He is one of the first civil rights guys that I’ve heard who has said what I have said for years. He asks, “Why are the police knocking on your door?” Because if they had a warrant, they would have broken down the door to get at you. They need your permission to come into your home or to even talk to you. Mark did the right thing, he said he couldn’t speak to police without his lawyer. The cop tackled him and took him to jail. I don’t think Leo Harrington will be working there much longer as the former Sheriff Charlie Wells and Mark were really good friends. The Sheriff now is a guy who got the job because Charlie recommended him for the job. Leo Harrington probably hasn’t read that Sheriffs have to run for office and have to be elected in Florida.

BRADENTON – Prosecutors will not pursue a misdemeanor charge against former state Rep. Mark Flanagan, who was tackled and arrested by a Sheriff’s deputy outside his home in western Manatee County.
Meanwhile, the deputy who made the arrest, Lee Harrington, will be investigated by the Sheriff’s Office.
The State Attorney’s Office has quickly dropped a resisting arrest charge against Flanagan, jailed on Monday during a confrontation at his home in the 1300 block of 91st Court Northwest.
Harrington, a Manatee Sheriff’s deputy, went to Flanagan’s home to look for his son, Kevin. Lawmen were investigating a hit-and-run crash and found a cell phone at the scene with a text message from the younger Flanagan.
When deputies arrived, Mark Flanagan opened the door, said he knew where his son was but asked the deputy to leave a card. Flanagan refused to speak to the deputy without a lawyer.
Harrington, the deputy, said Flanagan was impeding the investigation and took the former legislator to the ground to put on handcuffs.
Flanagan, 46, was released on a $750 bond.
He served four terms in the state House, from 1994 to 2002, and represented west Manatee County.

Read this Great advice from Barry Cooper.

Top Four Reasons Why You Should Never Talk To The Kops

Tuesday, 01 September 2009 20:21
The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to never be a witness against yourself.  These are the top four reasons why you should never talk to the police.

 

Reason #1.  There is no way talking to the kops can help you. You can’t talk your way out of getting arrested.  You can’t give them any information that will help you at trial. Anything you say can only be used against you and not for you.  In fact, during your trial if your attorney asks an officer to repeat what you told him because it will help your case, the prosecutor can and will object because it’s hearsay.

Reason #2.  Whether you are guilty or not guilty, you may still be manipulated into admitting your guilt with no benefit in return. In more than 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants either made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or plead guilty.

Reason #3.  Even if you are innocent and deny your guilt and mostly tell the truth, you can easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make a little mistake that can hang you. The only time you should talk to the kops is in the presents of a jury.  Having citizen witnesses and a court of record ensures your words do not get twisted and minor mistakes do not jeopardize your freedom.

Reason #4.  Even if you are innocent and always tell the truth, you will always give the police some information that can be used to help convict you. Supreme Court Ohio vs. Reiner states, “One of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions is to protect the innocent who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.  Truthful responses of an innocent witness as well as those of a wrongdoer may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker’s own mouth.”  Too many Americans view the Fifth Amendment privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers.

 

UPDATE:

MANATEE COUNTY — A deputy was suspended and demoted after an internal investigation found he was wrong to tackle and arrest a former state legislator from Manatee County.

Deputy Lee Harrington was suspended 120 hours and will lose 120 hours in vacation pay for tackling former state Rep. Mark Flanagan in September.

Harrington also was demoted to the dispatch center, losing $11,000 in salary, and will now make $32,000 a year.

On Sept. 7, Harrington went to Flanagan’s home to find Flanagan’s son, who was considered a witness to a hit-and-run crash. When Flanagan would not tell the deputy where to find his son, Harrington went into the hallway and took the former lawmaker to the ground.

Flanagan was arrested, but a misdemeanor obstruction charge against him was quickly dropped, and the sheriff ordered an internal investigation.

The inquiry found that Flanagan was wrongfully arrested because deputies are only supposed to enter homes with permission or in search of felony suspects.

I’m going to throw up

August 25, 2009

Redistribution of wealth

August 21, 2009

// ]]>The city of Denver is poised to settle for $90,000 complaints of wrongful arrests by a Sterling woman who spent five days in jail and a Denver man who contends officers mistook him for a man who actually was dead.

The City Council will consider on Monday settling for $65,000 a lawsuit filed on behalf of Christina FourHorn by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

The lawsuit states that Denver Police Officer Mark Dalvit wrongly submitted a warrant for FourHorn’s arrest in 2006 for an aggravated robbery in a Denver apartment complex. The officer confused her with someone having a similar name.

He located FourHorn — who at the age of 33 was seven years older than the alleged assailant and weighed 90 pounds more — by searching motor-vehicle records.

The officer made no effort to determine whether the person located from those records was the same person described by the victim and witnesses, the suit states.

FourHorn had been at home on the day of the robbery, the lawsuit states.

After her arrest, FourHorn located through a public database the true assailant, who was living in Oklahoma, according to court documents.

The council Monday also will consider settling for $25,000 a wrongful-arrest claim by Samuel Powell Moore. The lawsuit states Moore was arrested four times under an outstanding Aurora warrant for a different person.

By the time of the fourth mistaken-identity arrest by Denver police in 2007, the true suspect, William Douglas Pipkin, had been dead for three years, the lawsuit states. Even so, Moore ended up spending eight days in jail, the lawsuit states.

Court documents allege that Pipkin presented Moore’s stolen ID in 2002 when he was accused of attempting to steal $450. Police also refused to look at a court docket Moore carried with him to show he was not the suspect, the suit contends. Even after Moore protested that he did not have tattoos like the actual suspect, deputies at the jail and other law-enforcement officers failed to investigate further, the lawsuit adds.

When Moore was brought before Aurora Municipal Court to appear on the warrant, a judge realized the error and ordered Moore released.

The lawsuit filed against the city of Denver by the ACLU has five other plaintiffs alleging wrongful arrests.

Luis Corchado, Denver’s assistant director of litigation in the city attorney’s office, did not return telephone messages seeking comment.

Seems as though the City of Denver is following through on President Obama’s pledge to redistribute wealth. What the heck do the Leos and the elected representatives of Denver care about police misconduct, the taxpayers pay for the mistakes, the Leos don’t.

And shame on you defense attorneys who defend people against the State.

These arrests don’t even fall under the title of victimless crimes. These are crimes by the State with a victim.

AND HERE IS HOW YOU CAN GET A PIECE OF THE PIE IN FEDERAL COURT.

How to sue FOR FREE.

90 days in za coola for breath mints

August 18, 2009
Breath mints

Breath mints

Crack cocaine

Crack cocaine

KISSIMMEE, FL — A Central Florida man is suing the city of Kissimmee after being thrown in jail over a very costly misunderstanding.

Donald May had breath mints in his mouth during a traffic stop for an expired tag last year.

However, the officer that pulled May over thought the mints in his mouth were actually crack.

The officer claims he field-tested the evidence and results came back positive for drugs.

May was arrested and claims he wasn’t allowed out of jail until tests proved the mints were not drugs.

During the three months he was behind bars, Kissimmee police had May’s car towed and auctioned it off.

May was also evicted from his apartment and lost his job.

Now May is suing the city for false arrest and false imprisonment.  He also wants compensation for his lost job and apartment.

Viewing the pictures breath mints v. crack, I can understand the confusion of the Leos. The mints and the crack look so much alike that they can be confident that they did the right thing by ruining this man’s life.

More shoplifting

August 16, 2009

bildeNow, here is a police officer who is employed by the store to deter shoplifting. Who’s doing the shoplifting? Right. The employee. The police officer.

We had a case in our store, a major electronics retailer, where a professional team came into the store and were stealing laptop computers from the display. The only problem with this is that the laptop computers are all bolted and locked to display. It turns out that the guy who was the head of our loss prevention was unlocking the computers on the display, (seen on the surveillance video) and the thieves would come by later and take the computers and go out the door past the “guard”. This was probably one of the dumbest criminal events of all time as the head of LP had control over the cameras. If he had just turned the tape off for a few minutes, nobody would have known. Management wasn’t sure how much these people got away with but it was in the 5 to 6 figures.

In this case of the police officer stealing, there wasn’t  even an apprehension. Is a store security guard going to try to arrest a uniformed police officer? But the big question is, how much more did the guy get away with? Probably, hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. This is the way it is with employees who steal.

Apparently, after 29 years of being a police officer this guy was making 113k a year? And now he loses his job and is branded a thief for the rest of his life over a CD and a bottle of canola oil. Read Emerson’s essay on Compensation.

The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City

August 14, 2009

This will tell you what we are up against.

http://www.alternet.org/story/141866/the_epidemic_of_pot_arrests_in_new_york_city/?page=1#comments

Leos arrested 430,000 people for pot possession and it’s legal there. How many would they have arrested if it was illegal?

FHP says, “NO TICKET QUOTAS EXIST!”

August 10, 2009

Memo cites ex-trooper’s ‘citation issuance’

Monday, August 10, 2009
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Chris Maul
Former trooper Chris Maul says he believes he was fired because he didn’t issue enough citations.

BAY AREA (Bay News 9) — Last month former FHP trooper Chris Maul said he was fired for not issuing enough traffic tickets.

The troopers union says it supports his claim, but the Florida Highway Patrol contends ticket quotas don’t exist.

However, a June 23 memo obtained by Bay News 9‘s newspaper partner the St. Petersburg Times cites low citation numbers several times while outlining the reasons for Maul’s termination.

Maul worked as a trooper for 12-years, and left the job for 6 months to work with another agency, according to the memo. He was released due to budget cuts.

He was then rehired by the FHP. While he was on a standard probation period, they fired him.

“I believe I was terminated because I didn’t write enough tickets,” Maul said.

The FHP says that’s not true. The FHP says Maul was fired for not meeting performance standards.

More Information

But the memo says in the first two months Maul returned to the FHP he “only issued 63 citations.”

It goes on to say “Trooper Maul’s ticket issuance has been substandard,” and “although Trooper Maul’s average had slightly increased after the first two months, his productivity? (Sedagive? Sedagive?) still remained below average.” (What is Trooper Maul, a life insurance salesman?)

Maul says he had no disciplinary problems. He has a copy of a quarterly evaluation from June written by his direct supervisor that said, “keep up the good work.”

That report was later rescinded by the captain.

“I was brought to an office and I was told my activity was not going to cut it, if I wanted to get off probation,” Maul said.

Maul says he just wants his job back, and filed an appeal in Tallahassee. He’s still waiting to hear back.

Maul was fired four months before his mandatory probation period ended.