Archive for the ‘traffic stops’ Category

Just when you thought DUI roadblocks couldn’t be any more ridiculous…

April 1, 2013

The B.A.T. vans don’t work. Big surprise, huh.

And what happens when maybe 100’s of people are tested inaccurately and plead guilty or are convicted of DUI and the prosecutor knows that the BAT vans don’t work. They plead the 5th, in front of the grand jury.


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.

Taser kills man, police serving warrant for pot use

September 28, 2009

genthumbMANATEE COUNTY (Bay News 9) — A Bradenton man died early Monday morning after being Tasered by Bradenton police.

The incident occurred about 12:18 a.m. when officers initiated a traffic stop (he was riding a bicycle) in the 700 block of 27th Street East.

Police said, Derrick Humbert, 35, refused to stop and fled on foot, running through yards of homes.

One of the officers Tasered Humbert and the officers placed him in custody. Humbert was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for medical clearance prior to being taken to jail, but he died while being treated.

Police said they later learned Humbert had an outstanding arrest warrant for possession of marijuana.

The police department is investigating the incident and awaiting autopsy results. They said no more details will be released until the investigation is complete.

Police chief said: “Over six feet tall and over 200 pounds, so, it would have been safer in this particular case to use the Taser,” said Lewis. According to Florida Department of Corrections records, Humbert was actually only 5’5″ tall.

It’s amazing to me that we can fight the death penalty with such vigor, but shrug off these death penalty for victimless crime arrests by Leo.  Oba Chandler still sits on FL death row after raping and tying up three women and drowning them in Tampa Bay. Over 1000 people over the last 30 years have had their death sentences commuted by higher courts and all of them were convicted of some heinous murder, but Leos can kill someone for pot smoking?  State law allows the use of a taser if there is physical resistance or an attempt to escape.

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?

Violence has no place..

September 4, 2009

Ok, I’m a civil libertarian and an opponent of the death penalty. I’m an opponent of victimless crimes, but this one was not a victimless crime. Sorry, Mumia, is guilty. Mumia did it. There is no possible doubt that Mumia killed Officer Danny Faulkner. There were witnesses less than 10 feet away from the scene and Mumia was captured less than 15 ft away from the fatally injured policeman seconds after the shooting. I don’t want the guy to get the needle, but please, this guy is not innocent. Even his supporters are a little unsure of his innocence; their shtick is that he didn’t get a fair trial. Ok, maybe not, but another trial here wouldn’t make any difference. The dude shot the Leo in the back and there is no doubt about this.

In 1981, we didn’t have dash cams. If the Leos had the dash cams here, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.  Cameras and audio on every traffic stop and encounter.

We need cameras and audio on every police encounter

August 28, 2009

Bethlehem, PA.   Bethlehem police, one of the first departments in the region to use video cameras and wireless microphones while on patrol, may be the first to face a union grievance over them.

The Bethlehem police union filed an unfair practice complaint Thursday with the state Labor Relations Board, claiming the electronics will make citizens clam up rather than offer information and will endanger officers by giving them another tool to worry about using during intense situations. The complaint also notes about half of the cameras and microphones aren’t working properly.

Why aren’t citizens complaining about the cameras and the audio recordings? Why is the Leo union the only complainer here? My view is that every agency in the United States should have cameras and audio recording going 24/7. And in my State, FL, it’s public record. What did Shakespeare say, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks…”

Here is only one reason every jurisdiction should require recording.

Here’s another reason.

and another reason

and this.

And also this

Retire the dogs

August 24, 2009

The case of Nicholas Magnusson (18). We are going to follow this case here on this blog.

On August 13, 2009 at approximately 9:25pm, Mr. Magnusson was a subject of a traffic stop on Toledo Blade and Woodhaven (city of North Port) for a burned out tag light by arresting Officer Bush.  He was eventually arrested for having about half a pound of weed in the trunk of the car. According to the police dispatch report, which anyone can view online, the arresting officer called the K9, but the dog unit didn’t get there for two hours at 11:35.06 pm. There are some conflicting times in the reports. The K9 officer reports the time of 23:34. The Sheriff’s office reports the arrest at 10:02pm(which is the time written on the probable cause affidavit). Could there possibly be some fudging of the times on the police report? The booking time is 1:00am on August 14.

The arresting officer said that Mr. Magnusson was arrested as the result of a dog sniff by K9 Gino and said in his report that the dog was there when he finished his paperwork.

in Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405, 407 (2005), the Scotus found that a seizure (traffic stop) that is justified at its inception may become unreasonable if it is unreasonably prolonged in duration. Thus, if the sole reason for the stop is to issue a warning to the motorist, the stop becomes unreasonable if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably necessary to issue the warning. And if a drug-sniffing dog is used during this unreasonable extension, the use of the dog violates the Fourth Amendment.

Mr. Magnusson is currently out on bail, but there is no attorney of record, yet. His arraignment date is 9/11/2009.

Analyzing a traffic stop

August 18, 2009

By analyzing traffic stops, you will get good at figuring out what the driver did wrong. Don’t worry so much about what happens later like the violence that is perpetrated on the driver. Think about what you would have done, differently. With this particular traffic stop, the driver has got a problem believing that the 5th amendment applies to him. Shut the F up.

Obviously, prior to this traffic stop, this Leo is going to arrest the driver, whatever happens, based on the way the driver pulled over, so what I would have done is quite simple. Hand my documents out the window of the car and have them waiting for the Leo when he walks up to the car. When the Leo starts with the questions, say, “Am I under arrest?” he’s going to arrest the guy, anyway, but, the reason he hasn’t done it yet is because he wants to get more evidence (provided by the driver) that the driver is impaired. More questions from the Leo, answer, “Am I under arrest?” More questions from the Leo, answer, “Am I under arrest?”  “Step out of the car, driver.” Am I under, arrest?, I told you, driver, step out of the car. Answer, “Am I under arrest?” Yes, you are under arrest, now step out of the car. You step out of the car, the Leo puts the handcuffs on and you calmly and

gracefully, go to his car with him. When he continues to question you, you say, I don’t want to answer any of your questions until I have a lawyer present. And I don’t consent to any searches.  Make sure you say that in front of the camera or in the car while it is being recorded.

He has to take you to jail for something, but now, he doesn’t even know what to take you to jail for. Plus, there is no chance for the Leos to perpetrate violence on you or the passengers. 4th and 5th amendment, Learn them.

Mental Illness is not a crime

August 14, 2009

This man didn’t do anything criminal, he was threatening suicide. I have quite a bit of experience with mental illness as a loved one in my family has suffered from bouts of episodes over the years.  We have many stories here of bad cops, but when the police do something well, we have to notice it. Someone was obviously filming this police encounter between several NP police officers and a seriously agitated gentleman. You can see the knife in the suspect’s hand. I don’t really like the Frankenstein fall that the taser generates, but it’s better than getting shot. After the NP police subdued the gentle?man, they didn’t kneel on him, or kick him, or try to hurt the suspect in any way. More and more of these encounters involve mental illness, leos need to be mindful.

In order for us to campaign for the protection of individual constitutional and civil rights, we have to follow some very simple rules.

  1. NEVER run from police.
  2. When the police tell you that you are under arrest, turn around so that they can put the handcuffs on. Going with them for anything less than a felony, is no big deal. Besides, they have to tell the judge and the prosecutor what you did wrong, if you didn’t do anything wrong, the court is not going to be very happy with the officer.
  3. If you subsequently go to court to answer to the charges that the Leo makes, you are pretty safe in the court room. I have never seen a video or recording of someone being tazed, or beaten or pepper sprayed or punched in a court room who didn’t deserve it. The judge, the lawyers and the court staff are not going to do that to you.  The baliffs might, but because it’s deserved.
  4. NEVER brandish a weapon. I’ll write more on this, but trying to get justice in this society by trying to fight the State with guns, knives or other weapons, is like a fly trying to get justice when the fly is hit with a fly swatter.
  5. Always be calm, calm, calm and polite, polite, polite with police. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your Constitutional rights. If you are calm and polite, it is very hard for any human being to want to hurt you.

This encounter could have turned into a dead guy or another Rodney King episode, but as these officers demonstrated, these types of encounters don’t have to end that way.

Now, look at a traffic stop and another police encounter. This is the wrong way to do it. (By the driver)

What mistakes did she make?

1.Don’t get out of the car and keep your car doors locked.  You are breaking a natural barrier between you and someone who can do legal violence to you. The officer didn’t ask the driver to get out of the car. Don’t get out of the car. And if a Leo ever orders you out of your car during a traffic stop, figure that you are under arrest (the ACLU says you are) and ask the Leo, “Am I under arrest?”.

2. Don’t try to argue your legal case before you even get a ticket. As a matter of fact, don’t say anything, nothing. The 5th amendment, remember? The time to argue is when you go to traffic court. and there you have a 50% chance of the police officer not showing up.

3. When the officer tells you that you are under arrest, you’re under arrest, he isn’t going to change his mind. I don’t agree with the use of the taser in this instance, but the officer is alone and the lady is being a troublesome traffic stop.

4. 875 comments on this story. That’s amazing. (Also, this Leo, so far, has received a 30 day suspension without pay) Most of the comments are anti-Leo, but here is the truth.

Tasers KILL people. Amnesty International reported 335 cases of taser deaths over the last five years. If this lady had suffered a heart attack or some other taser inflicted injury, the Leos might have lost their jobs or gotten sued, but she would still be dead.

Don’t put yourself in the position of being a subject of police misconduct. Remember the two magic words, calm and polite


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.