#581 Sep 20, 2010
DA DROPS 79 CASES AFTER PROBE CAUSED BY DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN COP'S REPORTS & DASHCAM
Seventy-nine criminal cases linked to a police officer have been dropped.
During a press conference Friday District Attorney Jan Scully said 79 of officer Brandon Mullock's cases will be dismissed because HE LIED about them.
The issue came to light after DISCREPANCIES SURFACED BETWEEN MULLOCK'S WRITTEN REPORTS AND HIS DASH CAM VIDEO.
Most of the cases are DUI related, but some include domestic violence cases in which suspects have been to court, pleaded guilty and were locked up.
Six cases were dismissed prior to the press conference.
The remaining 73 people were scheduled to appear before a judge at 1:30 p.m. Friday to be exonerated.
"Because of OFFICER BRANDON MULLOCK BEING AN UNBELIEVABLE, INCREDIBLE WITNESS, WE CANNOT ETHICALLY GO FORWARD WITH THESE CASES BECAUSE WE WOULD HAVE TO ATTEST TO HIS TRUTH AND VERACITY," SHE ADDED.
[ The arrogant and retaliatory CC DA’s office definitely has no such scruples.
At least this will change when Roach and his lackeys are swept out in the soon to be performed “house cleaning” and restoration of honor and integrity of the office.]
Mullock COULD BE charged with PERJURY AND FALSIFYING POLICE REPORTS.
[ There’s even a question of whether or not he should be indicted? Why? Because he’s a bad cop?]
#582 Sep 20, 2010
POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO 24 YEARS PRISON FOR MURDER IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF HIS GIRLFRIEND
Friday, 17 Sep 2010, 1:01 PM CDT
If there really was a river called "denial," then convicted murderer Officer Chancy Jones has his oars still deeply planted in it.
"I felt threatened by her," said Officer Jones. "She had threatened me and I told the police that. And she was threatening my family at the time of that incident. I just reacted to what she had done."
"You're still blaming her.
You were in fear of your life?
[ Standard Bad Cop Favorite Phrase.]
It's still her fault?" countered County Assistant Prosecutor Missy Branham."
"Yes, ma'am," Officer Jones replied.
It's been three months since THE POLICE OFFICER WAS CONVICTED on a second degree murder charge IN THE EXECUTION-STYLE SHOOTING DEATH OF HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND Phyllis Malone in September 2008.
On Friday, it was left to County Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward to pass sentence on Officer Jones who faced a maximum of 25 years in prison.
With family members of both the victim and the convicted on separate sides of the courtroom aisle, Malone's sisters took the stand to express what would be the recurring theme throughout the 80 minute long proceedings.
"As our family grieves for our loss we have yet to see any sign of remorse or grief from Officer Jones," stated Malone's sister Ophelia Harris.
"His senseless act towards my sister has left us all scarred and changed forever."
Judge Ward acknowledged he had received and read more than two dozen letters from Officer Jones' family and friends asking him to show leniency in declaring a sentence.
Yet, Ward seemed to follow the same train of thought as the jury did in June when they convicted Officer Jones in deliberations that took only 70 minutes.
IF OFFICER JONES WAS JUSTIFIED IN SHOOTING MALONE, WHY DID HE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO OBSTRUCT JUSTICE BY DESTROYING EVIDENCE LINKING HIM TO THE SCENE?
"I've got a POLICE OFFICER WHO'S trained in the law. Who BASICALLY MANUFACTURED A CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE AND CONTINUES TO CLAIM THAT," Judge Ward stated.
[ Just like at our local Police Department.]
Ward would go on to slap Officer Jones with a 24 year prison sentence without parole.
For Malone's family, it was a bittersweet outcome.
"He didn't care whether she was dead or not.
He just did what he did TO COVER UP his tracks," Harris said.
#583 Sep 21, 2010
SHERIFF, SUPERVISOR SENTENCED IN EXTORTION, PERJURY & DRUG CASE
September 21, 2010 - 12:45 PM
Judge Henry Floyd sentenced the County Sheriff Tuesday morning at the Federal Courthouse to 90 days in jail followed by three years of supervised release.
He must pay a $5,000 fine and $2,500 restitution.
Sheriff Howard Wells PLED GUILTY TO LYING TO FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS. He was immediately taken into federal custody
In the same courtroom County SUPERVISOR DONNIE
BETENBAUGH WAS SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON FOLLOWED BY THREE YEARS PROBATION. HE MUST TAKE PART IN A SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM.
BETENBAUGH PLEADED GUILTY TO ONE COUNT OF EXTORTION AFTER ORIGINALLY FACING 41 CORRUPTION-RELATED CHARGES. He will report to US Marshal's custody on Monday at 10am in Greenville.
In addition, Willie Randall, Junior, THE COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR WAS SENTENCED ON CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE AND METHAMPHETAMINES TO 4 YEARS AND 9 MONTHS IN PRISON FOLLOWED BY FOUR YEARS OF PROBATION.
He has to take part in a drug treatment program and was immediately taken into custody.
#584 Sep 21, 2010
DALLAS COUNTY TX DEPUTY CONSTABLE UNDER INVESTIGATION ORDERED BY JUDGE FOR LYING UNDER OATH IN FEDERAL CIVIL TRIAL
10:49 PM CDT on Monday, September 20, 2010
A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate AGGRAVATED PERJURY AGAINST AN ELECTED DALLAS COUNTY CONSTABLE WHO IS ACCUSED OF LYING UNDER OATH DURING A FEDERAL CIVIL TRIAL LAST YEAR.
Judge Don Adams appointed local criminal defense attorney George E. Ashford III to investigate the allegations against Precinct 2 Constable Michael Gothard, court records show.
One of Constable Gothard's former deputies, Matthew Rollins, filed the complaint against Gothard with the Dallas County district attorney's office in January over statements the constable made under oath almost one year ago. The statements were made during a trial involving a lawsuit Rollins filed against the county.
Rollins, now a Precinct 3 deputy, won his federal labor lawsuit against the county for back pay he was owed for caring for his police dog, a German shepherd named Zeus, when he worked for Gothard.
A federal jury awarded him about $56,000.
In his complaint, Rollins said Gothard lied under oath when he testified that he didn't know Rollins was caring for Zeus at his home for five years.
Rollins also said Gothard lied about the transportation of Zeus, and about his knowledge of a federal labor law that governs at-home care of a police dog.
Rollins said Gothard's statements tainted the legacy of the precinct's canine unit, which was created in 2002. Gothard dismantled the unit in 2007, saying it was due to training concerns.
"The untruthful testimony of the constable damaged my reputation as an officer and the credibility of my canine," he said. "I may have won the suit, but we lost plenty."
#585 Sep 21, 2010
FEMALE OFFICER FILES FEDERAL SUIT ALLEGING SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RETALIATION AT DALLAS PD
Tue., Sep. 21 2010 @ 1:19PM
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court against the city of Dallas, an 18-year employee of the Dallas Police Department alleges that
• she's been sexually harassed by a sergeant,
• ignored by the chain of command and
• retaliated against by fellow officers for filing complaints.
Casandra Jones, who was hired in March 1992, says in the suit that in the summer of 2008, a sergeant "spun [her] chair, sat in [her] lap, rubbed his rear end into [her] and said,'Now I finally got you.'"
ACCORDING TO THE SUIT, JONES "FOLLOWED THE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES" FOR COMPLAINTS TO DPD THROUGHOUT THAT SUMMER BUT WAS MET WITH LITTLE TO NO HELP FROM THE HIGHER-UPS, WHO OPTED TO "STAY OUT OF IT" OR ADVISED HER TO CONTACT THEM PERSONALLY OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE.
Once her complaints became known throughout the ranks, Jones alleges, the retaliation began in force, with her colleagues and superiors falsely accusing her of things and threatening to write her up.
In the suit, Jones says one sergeant "wrote the words 'yes sir' on a piece of paper and told [Jones] that she must always address him this way." Jones is still employed by DPD but has been transferred from detention services to the police property division, per the complaint.
THE SUIT COMES WITH RIGHT-TO-SUE NOTICES FROM BOTH THE TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION'S CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION AND THE U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, both of which have completed their respective files on the investigation.
#586 Sep 23, 2010
Police Professionalism Roundup
Radley Balko | September 23, 2010
* State Trooper Matt Mitchell slammed into a car while responding to an accident call. Though other officers were already at the scene of the other accident, Mitchell drove in excess of 120 miles per hour, sending email and to talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone along the way. En route, his car crossed into the wrong lane and struck a car with four women inside, killing two sisters.
Mitchell was put on administrative leave, and continued to collect his $68,000 salary for nearly two years while his department investigated. He was finally fired and given probation after pleading guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving.
Here's the kicker: He's now suing the state for workman's compensation for the injuries he suffered in the crash.
* Police kill another pet dog. According to TBD, the dog belonged to a family who called 911 after being robbed. An altercation then broke out between members of the family and the police, while an officer not involved in the altercation shot the dog.
* A man says a police officer threatened him for taking cell phone photos and demanded he delete them. David Emerson told KATU TV that he watched the officer cause an accident, then began taking photos to document the accident after noticing that the officer turned on his lights and siren AFTER the collision.
The police department denies the officer asked Emerson to delete the photos, though a spokesman did say police can confiscate phones if they're believe to contain evidence.
Fourth Amendment experts I've spoken to say that mostly isn't true. They can confiscate your phone at the scene ONLY if they suspect the phone itself was used in the commission of a crime.
* Police wrongly arrest and imprison a man for three days after mistaking his heart medication for cocaine. One of those notorious field tests, which have mistaken everything from shampoo to tea to soy milk to chocolate to billiards chalk for illicit drugs, somehow came back positive on George Funti's nitroglycerin.
But that isn't even where it gets weird. The medication was sent to a crime lab for further testing, which determined in March it was not cocaine. But Funti was still arrested and jailed a month later. He was then kept in a cell for three days. He was also denied the bottle of nitroglycerin he was carrying when he was arested, which he says the arresting deputies confiscated, believing it too was cocaine.
* The Dallas Morning News looks into the continuing problem of "gypsy" cops, police officers who are fired from one department for misconduct, then merely go on to work for another. Given that Roma may take offense to the term "gypsy cops," I suggest a new phrase, in honor of the West Virginia police officer who took the practice to new heights: Let's call them "Leavitt Cops".
#587 Sep 23, 2010
8 COPS SUE CITY FOR $1 MILLION EACH CLAIMING THAT CITY BROKE LAW BY DRUG TESTING THEM, WANT RESULTS DESTROYED
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:48 AM CDT
[ Bad Cop Hypocrisy At It’s Finest ….]
Eight Police Department officers and two DPD support staff members have filed suit against the City after the drug testing of the officers.
According to the complaint, DPD dispatcher Joyce Black, animal control officer Ginny Lynn Kujath, and officers Bobbie Burke, Todd Davis, James Gray, Paul Green, Stephen Henry, Lloyd Myer, Nicholas Silva and Aaron Vaughan ARE SEEKING OVER A MILLION DOLLARS EACH AFTER BEING GIVEN A DRUG TEST, administered by city officials.
Named in the suit is the City, police Chief Mike O’Keefe, city manager Nick Brown, Mayor Ron Revard, City Attorney Johnny Akers, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Center and an employee, and the Redwood Toxicology Lab.
THE SUIT STEMS FROM DPD OFFICERS BEING DRUG TESTED ON JAN. 21, AND SEEKS “MORE THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN ACTION DAMAGES AND ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN PUNITIVE DAMAGES” FROM THE CITY AND THE INDIVIDUALS LISTED.
Additionally, THE SUIT SEEKS THAT THE CITY DESTROY ANY RECORDS OF THE RESULTS OF THE TESTS.
THE SUIT ALSO SEEKS PROMOTIONS TO “POSITIONS WHICH WERE PROMISED PRIOR TO THE DRUG TESTING” AND “WERE WITHHELD AFTER THE DRUG TESTING,” AMONG OTHER ITEMS.
[ Can it BE anymore obvious what the tests results were?]
The suit contends that the city did not have a “legal drug testing policy in place” at the time of the testing and alleges that O’Keefe provided a report of “suspected illegal drug use” by the officers “causing harm to the reputations and peace of mind of the plaintiffs.”
[ BECAUSE unless there is a “policy” police have no idea that illegal drug use is – illegal.! Unless of course you are a mere American citizen – then you’re busted and ruined.]
THE OFFICERS CONTEND THAT THE REPORT O’KEEFE PROVIDED WAS “FALSE.”
Akers said he also anticipates counter claims being filed against several of the plaintiffs and says that IF THE SUIT PROGRESSES FAR ENOUGH, THE TEST RESULTS OF THE OFFICERS MAY BECOME PUBLIC.
[ OOOPS !]
“I AM EAGER TO PUT ON EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT THE TESTING WAS DONE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CITY,” he said.
#588 Sep 27, 2010
By John W. Whitehead
September 27, 2010
Voicing his discontent with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in United States v. Pineda-Moreno, which declared the warrantless use of a GPS tracking device to be constitutional, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski warned,“We are taking a giant leap into the unknown, and the consequences for ourselves and our children may be dire and irreversible. Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we’re living in Oceania.”
Indeed, we are already living in George Orwell’s totalitarian state known as Oceania, where the all-seeing government sees and tracks everything we do. By asserting that the police can constitutionally sneak onto a private driveway without a warrant and stick a GPS tag on your car so that they can remotely track you, the Ninth Circuit didn’t necessarily break any new ground.
Rather, they merely confirmed what we have suspected all along: that the concept of private property is dead and along with it, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures once protected by the Fourth Amendment.
Having outstripped our ability as humans to control it, technology has become our Frankenstein’s monster. Delighted with technology’s conveniences, its ability to make our lives easier by doing an endless array of tasks faster and more efficiently, we have given it free rein in our lives, with little thought to the legal or moral ramifications of doing so.
Thus, we have no one but ourselves to blame for the fact that technology now operates virtually autonomously according to its own invasive code, respecting no one’s intimate moments or privacy and impervious to the foibles of human beings and human relationships.
For example, consider how enthusiastically we welcomed Global Positioning System (GPS) devices into our lives. We’ve installed this satellite-based technology in everything from our phones to our cars to our pets. Yet by ensuring that we never get lost, never lose our loved ones and never lose our wireless signals, we are also making it possible for the government to never lose sight of us, as well.
GPS, originally known as Navstar, is funded and operated by none other than the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. military controls the satellites used by GPS devices and transmits signals to ground GPS receivers. The U.S Air Force, by means of ground stations, sustains 24 operational GPS satellites at all times. These synchronized satellites emit signals at the same time. A GPS receiver located on earth collects the signals that travel at the speed of light. The receiver calculates the distance to the satellites by determining the time it takes for the emitted signal to reach the GPS receiver. Once a time is determined for at least four of the GPS satellites, the receiver can pinpoint your location in three dimensions, including latitude, longitude, and altitude.
While many Americans are literally lost without their GPS devices, it has also become a ubiquitous convenience for law enforcement agencies.
For example, in 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) introduced a prototype “smart” police car. This smart cruiser is the most advanced of its kind, equipped with license plate cameras, computers, a GPS projectile launcher, and even a heat detector in the front grill to differentiate between people and animals. The license plate reader can scan and download five to eight thousand license plates per shift. It saves the information it collects and can access the information instantaneously through the computer system installed in the car.
If a stolen or wanted vehicle comes up in the scan, the license plate reader will automatically label the vehicle as a threat and a camera will take a colored picture of the vehicle and send the GPS coordinates of the vehicle to the police station.
#589 Sep 27, 2010
In addition to the high tech license plate readers and cameras, the smart car is equipped with GPS-enabled projectiles. The device is similar to a dart launcher and is near the front bumper of the vehicle. When engaged, the device shoots the GPS projectile at the target vehicle.
The law enforcement agent inside the car arms and fires the projectile. With the aid of a military grade laser, the law enforcement agent can aim with tremendous precision. Once attached to the target, the projectiles have the capability of tracking the target in real time for days.
Frankly, given how attached Americans have become to their cell phones--and how easily trackable, as a result, it’s a wonder the government even bothers with any other technologies. Currently, cell phone service providers have the ability to pinpoint a phone’s location to an area as small as a city block.(It should come as no surprise that government agents have wasted little time in adding this technology to their bag of tricks, employing GPS on multiple occasions to track individuals without establishing probable cause or obtaining a search warrant.) Most corporate cell phone providers can also store vast amounts of data containing the location of the cell phone and its specific uses (such as the contents of text messages and websites visited), sometimes even in real time.
In an effort to handle the massive amount of requests from federal agents for access to the GPS data, several cell phone providers now offer automated services for obtaining internal cell phone data. Sprint Nextel, for example, has an entire website devoted to cell phone records that law enforcement officers can access. Called the Mobile Locator, the system allows law enforcement to access information, such as call history, without a search warrant, thus completely bypassing the protections afforded us by the Fourth Amendment. It also enables government agents to monitor an individual in real-time on a zoomable, online map.
A recent study by Indiana University reveals the extent to which government agents are making use of this resource. According to the study, over a period of 13 months, Sprint responded to eight million requests from law enforcement for GPS data. In addition to GPS data, Sprint also stores IP data and URL web history for a two-year period, which it also makes available to law enforcement upon request.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies insist that a search warrant is not required to access the information because cell phone users, having disclosed their information to a third party, have no reasonable expectation of privacy anyhow. All the while, the American people remain clueless about the existence of these databases, the ease with which law enforcement agents can access them, and their overall loss of privacy.
The bottom line: there really is no place to hide in the American Oceania. As Judge Kozinski concludes:
You can preserve your anonymity from prying eyes, even in public, by traveling at night, through heavy traffic, in crowds, by using a circuitous route, disguising your appearance, passing in and out of buildings and being careful not to be followed.
But there’s no hiding from the all-seeing network of GPS satellites that hover overhead, which never sleep, never blink, never get confused and never lose attention. Nor is there respite from the dense network of cell towers that honeycomb the inhabited United States.
Acting together these two technologies alone can provide law enforcement with a swift, efficient, silent, invisible and cheap way of tracking the movements of virtually anyone and everyone they choose. Most targets won’t know they need to disguise their movements or turn off their cell phones because they’ll have no reason to suspect that Big Brother is watching them.
#590 Sep 27, 2010
COP RECENTLY CONVICTED OF ASSAULT & CRIMINAL MISCHIEF NOW SUED FOR BEATING MAN AT CHECKPOINT
IN ADDITION TO CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS, POLICE OFFICER JAMIE WHITT FACES A CIVIL LAWSUIT IN WHICH HE IS ACCUSED OF BEATING A MAN DURING A TRAFFIC STOP.
THE CASE IS UNRELATED TO THE CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AND ASSAULT CHARGES OF WHICH WHITT WAS CONVICTED LAST WEEK BY JACKSON COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE JOHN GRAHAM.
Howell J. Mason filed a lawsuit in August against the town and Whitt. The litigation states that Whitt battered and assaulted Mason. It also states that town officials were negligent in hiring and supervising Whitt.
Police Chief Joe Mann said Wednesday after Whitt’s CONVICTION in the unrelated case that WHITT WOULD CONTINUE TO WORK AS A POLICE OFFICER.
[ How much more clear can it be?
This bad cop was CONVICTED – yet he still works as a police officer.
Can they say “We Are Above The Law” any louder?]
Whitt was not suspended and “He’s still working, doing his job.”
COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY THOMAS ROUNTREE PROSECUTED WHITT, AND GRAHAM CONVICTED HIM OF THIRD-DEGREE ASSAULT AND THIRD-DEGREE CRIMINAL MISCHIEF FROM AN INCIDENT INVOLVING JAMIE WHITT’S EX-WIFE JAMI WHITT AND HER FRIEND KRISTOPHER HUGHES.
JAMIE WHITT USED A PATROL CAR TO COMMIT THE CRIMES, ROUNTREE SAID.
HE ALSO USED A PIECE OF POLICE EQUIPMENT TO “COLD-COCK” HUGHES, ROUNTREE SAID.
Jamie Whitt did not return phone calls Thursday or Friday. A Town Hall employee said he was out on patrol both days.
Rountree said Whitt should never wear a uniform or badge again.
#592 Sep 27, 2010
POLICE CHIEF PLEADS GUILTY TO OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT & THEFT OF OVER $10K IN PROPERTY INCLUDING GUNS & CASH
Police Chief Tim Murphy pled guilty this morning to official misconduct and theft over $10,000, crimes which occurred in the time frame of June 2007 to November 2009.
The findings came after an audit of the Police Department. The audit was ordered late last year by then interim chief Larry Bates. According to the audit, Murphy had stolen a total of $29,467, taking it from various funds and goods belonging to the police department.
A copy of the audit that breaks down what was stolen was not available at press time.
According to District Attorney General Randy York, OFFICER MURPHY "UNLAWFULLY AND KNOWINGLY, WHILE ACTING AS A PUBLIC SERVANT, COMMITTED AN OFFENSE WITH INTENT AND TO OBTAIN A BENEFIT OR TO HARM ANOTHER," WHICH IS A CLASS E FELONY AND CARRIES A PUNISHMENT OF 1-6 YEARS AND $3,000 IN FINES.
Officer Murphy also pled guilty to theft over $10,000 of property, "including but not limited to cash, guns and ammunition valued at over $10,000, belonging to the city with intent to deprive the owner thereof and without the owner's effective consent." This is a Class C felony which carries a punishment of 3-15 years and $10,000 in fines.
A sentencing hearing will take place Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.
#593 Sep 27, 2010
COPS SHOOT PREGNANT WOMAN
UNARMED PREGNANT WOMAN SHOT DURING RAID
Monday, September 27th, 2010
A PREGNANT, UNARMED WOMAN WAS SHOT DURING A POLICE RAID ON FRIDAY MORNING AND SHE REMAINED HOSPITALIZED LATE LAST NIGHT AS INVESTIGATORS PIECED TOGETHER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE COUNTY’S THIRD OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN FOUR WEEKS.
A STATE PATROL DETECTIVE SERGEANT SHOT THE WOMAN, WHO ACCORDING TO THE SHERIFF’S SPOKESMAN IS 39 WEEKS PREGNANT, WHILE SERVING A SEARCH WARRANT at the Victoria Apartments, 1405 N. Lincoln St., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan confirmed that officers found no weapons in the home..
“During the forced entry, a female suspect inside the apartment became non-compliant with officers’ instructions,” Reagan wrote in a news release.
[ Bad cop speak for: "scared sh*tless and in fear for HER and her UNBORN CHILD'S lives".]
“When she attempted to flee out a bedroom window, officers attempted to restrain her.
During efforts to prevent her escape, a shot was fired and the woman suffered a minor wound to her upper torso. She fell out the window and received first aid from containment officers stationed at the back of the apartments.”
HE OFFERED NO FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT WHY THE DETECTIVE USED DEADLY FORCE, WHICH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE TRAINED TO USE IF THEY BELIEVE THEIR LIVES ARE IN DANGER.
[ Bad Cops are always in fear for their lives ….. even from fleeing, unarmed, 39 week pregnant women. So it’s ok to try and kill them.…..]
Saint Paul, MN
#594 Sep 28, 2010
CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST MAN WHO TAPED TRAFFIC STOP
A CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MONDAY DISMISSED WIRETAPPING CHARGES AGAINST ANTHONY GRABER, A MOTORCYCLIST WHO WAS JAILED BRIEFLY AFTER HE TAPED A STATE TROOPER who stopped him for speeding on I-95.
Graber used a camera mounted on his helmet, then posted the video on YouTube.
In April, a few weeks after the traffic stop, STATE'S ATTORNEY JOSEPH I. CASSILLY CHARGED GRABER, a staff sergeant in the Maryland Air National Guard and a computer systems engineer, WITH VIOLATING THE STATE'S WIRETAPPING LAW.
That law dates back to the 1970s and was INTENDED TO PROTECT CITIZENS FROM GOVERNMENT INTRUSIONS INTO THEIR PRIVACY.
[ Note:“Protect Citizens FROM Government….”]
If convicted on all charges, Graber faced up to 16 years in prison.
JUDGE EMORY A. PITT JR. HAD TO DECIDE WHETHER POLICE PERFORMING THEIR DUTIES HAVE AN EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY IN PUBLIC SPACE.
PITT RULED THAT POLICE CAN HAVE NO SUCH EXPECTATION IN THEIR PUBLIC, ON-THE-JOB COMMUNICATIONS.
Pitt wrote: "THOSE OF US WHO ARE PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND ARE ENTRUSTED WITH THE POWER OF THE STATE ARE ULTIMATELY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC. When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.'Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes'("Who watches the watchmen?”)."
GRABER WAS ALSO CHARGED WITH POSSESSING A “DEVICE PRIMARILY USEFUL FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE SURREPTITIOUS INTERCEPTION OF ORAL COMMUNICATIONS" -- REFERRING TO THE VIDEO CAMERA ON HIS HELMET.
[ What a bunch of total crap and waste of our tax dollars !]
The judge disagreed with the prosecutor that the helmet cam was illegal, and concluded THE STATE'S ARGUMENT WOULD RENDER ILLEGAL “ALMOST EVERY CELL PHONE, BLACKBERRY, AND EVERY SIMILAR DEVICE, NOT TO MENTION DICTATION EQUIPMENT AND OTHER TYPES OF RECORDING DEVICES."
Pitt's decision is the first ruling in the state to ADDRESS THE LEGALITY OF CITIZENS TAPING POLICE IN THE COURSE OF THEIR DUTIES.
Graber's attorney, David Rocah of the ACLU, "IT IS LIKELY TO BE THE LAST WORD" ON THE MATTER AND TO BE REGARDED AS PRECEDENT BY POLICE.
Saint Paul, MN
#595 Sep 28, 2010
A USA Today investigation finds egregious misconduct at the Department of Justice, with few consequences.
Radley Balko | September 27, 2010
Last week, USA Today published the results of a six-month investigation into misconduct by America’s federal prosecutors. The investigation turned up what Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman called a pattern of “serious, glaring misconduct.”
Reporters Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy documented 201 cases in which federal prosecutors were chastised by federal judges for serious ethical breaches, ranging from withholding important exculpatory evidence to LYING IN COURT to making incriminating but improper remarks in front of juries.
The list is by no means comprehensive, and doesn’t claim to be. I checked the paper’s website for examples of egregious misconduct reported here at Reason:
U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s politically-charged prosecution of Pennsylvania doctor Bernard Rottschaefer;
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Grayson’s outrageous persecution of the Colomb family in Louisiana;
and the bogus Mann Act charges brought against Mississippi heart surgeon, Dr. Roger Wiener.
None are among the cases in USA Today’s database.
The paper should be lauded for its groundbreaking investigation, but as the reporters themselves acknowledge, they’ve really only scratched the surface.(The investigation also only looked at federal cases, which comprise just a tiny portion of the country’s total criminal prosecutions.)
When the Bush administration drew criticism for firing seven U.S. attorneys a few years ago, much of the outrage was directed at the administration’s perceived politicization of the Justice Department.
But that was really only a symptom of a more fundamentally broken system.
The deeper problem is that we have a federal criminal justice system that can be so easily manipulated in the first place.
The number of federal laws reaches well into the thousands, and it's growing. Many are so broadly written they allow prosecutors to ring just about anyone they please up on federal charges.
This creates a system driven by politics, not justice.
It makes criminals out of all of us, making actual enforcement of the law arbitrary and corruptible.
Worse, every incentive for a federal prosecutor pushes in the direction of winning convictions, with little if any sanction for crossing ethical and legal boundaries in the process.
It's a system that’s not only ripe for abuse, but that actually rewards it.
Of the 201 cases USA Today reviewed in which a judge publicly reprimanded a prosecutor, the paper found just one in which a prosecutor "was barred even temporarily from practicing law for misconduct." The Justice Department refused to tell the paper about which, if any, of the cases resulted in internal discipline taken against the offending prosecutors.
Rather appallingly, DOJ cited the need to protect the prosecutors' privacy. Never mind that they’re public servants who have been reprimanded by a federal judge for abusing their power. Not to mention that said power is among the most serious we afford to a government official. Prosecutors have the power to take away a citizens’ freedom.
Even in cases that don’t result in a conviction, a federal indictment or even investigation can bankrupt the target of the investigation. The idea that prosecutors who abuse that power should be escape public scrutiny out of concern for their privacy is not only preposterous, it's another symptom of a system with misplaced priorities.
Saint Paul, MN
#596 Sep 28, 2010
USA Today’s finding of little to no sanction for misbehaving prosecutors is consistent with other studies. According to an Innocence Project study of 75 DNA exonerations, prosecutorial misconduct factored into just under half of those wrongful convictions. In none of those cases did the offending prosecutor face any serious sanction.
A 2006 Yale Law Journal look at violations of the Brady rule, which requires prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence to defense attorneys, found "[a] prosecutor's violation of the obligation to disclose favorable evidence accounts for more miscarriages of justice than any other type of malpractice, but is rarely sanctioned by courts, and almost never by disciplinary bodies."
A 2009 brief filed by the Cato Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys in the U.S. Supreme Court case Pottawattamie v. McGhee noted that studies of wrongful convictions in California, New York, and Chicago all found that though prosecutorial misconduct contributed to a sizable majority of cases that sent innocent people to prison in those states, the misbehaving prosecutors were rarely if ever sanctioned.
During oral arguments in that case, a majority of Supreme Court justices seemed to indicate that they may finally be ready to put a dent in absolute prosecutorial immunity, the complete protection (which has no basis in the U.S. Constitution and no common law tradition) we give prosecutors from lawsuits from the people they prosecute, even in cases where a prosecutor’s gross negligence contributed to a wrongful conviction.
Saint Paul, MN
#597 Sep 28, 2010
AT ISSUE IN POTTAWATTAMIE WAS WHETHER ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY SHOULD PROTECT PROSECUTORS EVEN IN CASES WHERE THEY INTENTIONALLY MANUFACTURE EVIDENCE THAT CAUSES A WRONGFUL CONVICTION. THAT CASE WAS SETTLED BEFORE THE COURT COULD ISSUE A DECISION, BUT THE COURT WILL REVISIT THE QUESTION NEXT TERM, IN THE CASE CONNICK V. THOMPSON. IT ISN’T DIFFICULT TO SEE HOW SHIELDING PROSECUTORS FROM LIABILITY EVEN IN AN OBVIOUS FRAME JOB CREATES SOME SOME PRETTY TWISTED INCENTIVES
The position of U.S. Attorney is often seen as a stepping stone to a political career, which makes those who occupy the office notorious publicity hounds. They’re known to taint jury pools by calling high-profile press conferences in which they convict suspects in public before stepping foot in the courtroom. And woe to the defendant who uses the press to fight back. Consider what happened to Siobhan Reynolds, the pain patient activist who often uses similar media tactics to combat what she perceives to be the federal government’s wrongful targeting of physicians who prescribe opioid painkillers.
When Reynolds mounted a public relations campaign in response to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Treadway’s prosecution of Kansas physician Steven Schneider and his wife, Treadway turned her sights on Reynolds. Treadway launched a grand jury investigation of Reynolds and her patient organization, ordering Reynolds to turn over a trove of documents related to her advocacy on behalf of the Schneiders and other physicians and patients.
The only way to address this issue is to pierce the cone of infallibility we put around prosecutors. There’s a presumption that because they’re public servants, prosecutors should be given the benefit of the doubt, that even grievous mistakes should be assumed to have been unintentional, or that because they’re pursuing a goal most of us consider to be in the public interest—putting bad guys behind bars—even intentional infractions should be lightly sanctioned, or overlooked entirely.
But public choice theory teaches us that public servants act in their own interest in the same way private sector workers do. There’s nothing transformative about working in a DA’s office as opposed to, say, a white shoe law firm. You don’t shed self-interest to become purely noble and altruistic once you’re sworn into office. If anything, prosecutors should be given more scrutiny and oversight than other members of the legal profession. Private lawyers at best can influence courts and government officials to move money around. Prosecutors put people in prison and, in some cases, send defendants to their deaths. When they cheat, there ought to be consequences.
#598 Sep 29, 2010
DEPUTY FOUND GUILTY OF CONSPIRING TO COMMIT FRAUD, 5 COUNTS MAIL FRAUD & 4 COUNTS WIRE FRAUD
Posted: September 28, 2010 - 11:49pm
TIMOTHY LEE MILLER, 36, A SHERIFF’S DEPUTY FOUND GUILTY BY A FEDERAL JURY OF DEFRAUDING LENDERS DURING HOME PURCHASES, THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SAID.
Deputy Miller and co-defendant Christopher J. Reid, 39, WERE CONVICTED OF CONSPIRING TO COMMIT MAIL AND WIRE FRAUD, FIVE COUNTS OF MAIL FRAUD AND FOUR COUNTS OF WIRE FRAUD.
They face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of fraud.
The pair joined others in telling lenders they would install pools or do improvements at homes being purchased, but they didn’t build the pools or do any substantial home improvements, prosecutors said.
Instead, the money from lenders was kicked back to Deputy Miller, Reid and others.
#599 Sep 29, 2010
TX POLICE SGT RESIGNS AFTER DWI RELATED ACCIDENT, POLICE COMMANDER RESIGNS DURING UNSPECIFIED INVESTIGATION
TWO POLICE OFFICERS RESIGNED IN THE PAST MONTH, WITH ONE OFFICER’S RESIGNATION COMING DURING AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION, OFFICIALS SAID.
One of the officers resigned following HIS SECOND ARREST FOR DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED, officials said.
POLICE COMMANDER TOM KEIFER AND SGT. VAN SMITH RESIGNED THEIR POSTS during the past month, said Lt. Bryan Carlisle, public information and internal affairs investigator.
Commander Keifer, AN OFFICER WITH THE DEPARTMENT FOR EIGHT YEARS AND COMMANDER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, resigned while being investigated for administrative issues, prior to the conclusion of an administrative investigation,” Carlisle said.
No information about the investigation was released by the department.
Police Chief John Chancellor was called to Commander Keifer’s home Sept. 19, but no arrests were made or other law enforcement agencies called to respond, Carlisle said.
Phil Grant, first assistant district attorney, would not comment on any ongoing investigation.
“I cannot confirm nor deny the investigation,” Grant said.
Officer Smith, A 12-YEAR VETERAN with the Police Department, was involved in a traffic accident that led to his second DWI arrest, Chancellor said.
Officer Smith, 37, was charged and sent to the County Jail, where he was released on a $1,500 bond.
He submitted his resignation Aug. 27, Chancellor said.
“Anytime when an officer is arrested and engages in (criminal) conduct, an internal affairs investigation is (conducted) instantly,” Carlisle said.
“He made a mistake, a bad choice, but he did the right thing (by resigning),” Chancellor said.“He is held to a higher standard. How can he go out and arrest someone?”
[ So you’re going to charge, indict and convict them right?
You know, like you would the rest of us?]
Smith’s DWI was not his first arrest, according to the District Clerk’s Office. In 1993, Smith was convicted of a DWI in Harris County and sentenced to two years’ probation.
Hiring new officers with criminal records has changed in the last 10 years, Carlisle said.
“This agency has grown tremendously from where we were 10 years ago,” he said.“The hiring practices have changed as well.”
[ Obviously, towards “higher” standards (LOL)]
“He (Smith) knew resigning was his only option.”
[ But also knows, as usual he won’t be charged convicted and will keep his license and benefits and will simply move to another bad cop department.]
Losing two high-ranking officers within the Police Department is forcing the department to restructure its command staff, Carlisle said.
#600 Sep 29, 2010
TX SGT DEMOTED & DEPUTY SUSPENDED 1 MONTH FOR HIGH-SPEED CHASE OF DRUG SUSPECT THAT INJURED FT WORTH COP
FORT WORTH -- A Sheriff's Department narcotics sergeant has been demoted and a deputy suspended for a month for their part in a July pursuit of two motorcyclists that ENDED WITH A FORT WORTH POLICE OFFICER CRITICALLY INJURED.
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said the discipline came after an internal investigation found that SGT. BRADLEY GANTT AND DEPUTY CHARLES "CHUCK" WIESMAN VIOLATED DEPARTMENT POLICY BY PURSUING TWO MOTORCYCLISTS WHO HAD JUST LEFT A HOUSE THAT HAD BEEN UNDER SURVEILLANCE.
Anderson said the MERE SUSPICION THAT THE MOTORCYCLISTS MAY HAVE BEEN CARRYING DRUGS "DIDN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO THE JUSTIFICATION THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO HAVE FOR ENGAGING IN SUCH A SERIOUS, HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT."
Furthermore, Anderson said, the officers violated policy by continuing the pursuit despite risks that included moderate to heavy traffic and rain-slick roads.
"Of course the tragic outcome is evidence that it was a very dangerous and volatile situation," he said.
Fort Worth police officer Richard Lambing had responded to the deputies' request for help in the pursuit of one of the motorcyclists when his patrol car hydroplaned on a slick exit ramp and crashed into a tree along Interstate 30.
The crash left Officer Lambing with serious head injuries. He remains hospitalized in long-term rehabilitation, said Lt. Paul Henderson, a police spokesman.
Officer Gantt, A 12-YEAR DEPARTMENT VETERAN and supervisor of the July 8 pursuit, was demoted to deputy effective Sept. 17. He has also been transferred from the narcotics unit to the warrant division, Anderson said.
Officer Wiesman, 16-YEAR DEPARTMENT VETERAN who was involved in the chase, began a four-week suspension without pay Sept. 14.
"While it's tragic what happened to officer Lambing, and our prayers are with him for sure, I think everyone needs to keep in mind who's to blame for his injuries -- the drug suspect who evaded Lambing and Deputy Wiesman," Driskell said.
[It’s the innocent until proven guilty “suspect’s” fault?
Ummm….. NO. Typical bad cop Bullsh*t.
The tragic results are a direct consequence of two bad veteran cops disobeying both the policies and the law.
Quote:“Anderson said the MERE SUSPICION THAT THE MOTORCYCLISTS MAY HAVE BEEN CARRYING DRUGS "DIDN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO THE JUSTIFICATION THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO HAVE FOR ENGAGING IN SUCH A SERIOUS, HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT." ]
That afternoon, when a man was seen leaving the house on a motorcycle, THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR TOLD NARCOTICS OFFICERS ONLY TO FOLLOW THE MOTORCYCLE, according to letters of intended disciplinary action released by the Sheriff's Department on Tuesday.
Officer Wiesman, however, tried to initiate a traffic stop on the man and a second motorcyclist who had left the house.
He later told investigators that he decided to stop the motorcyclists, who he believed may have been transporting narcotics on possibly stolen vehicles, after seeing one do a wheelie, WHICH HE FELT WAS RECKLESS.
OFFICER WIESMAN CONTINUED to pursue one of the men, following the cyclist's "erratic driving almost exactly" BY CROSSING OVER THREE LANES OF TRAFFIC AND, AT TIMES, DRIVING ON HIGHWAY SHOULDERS.
"You in fact were CALLING OUT OVER THE RADIO WHILE PERFORMING THE THREE LANE CHANGE AND PULLED DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF AN 18-WHEELER," the letter to Officer Wiesman states.
[ The irony here is obviously lost on Officer Wiesman .]
Although a disciplinary review board had recommended firing Wiesman, Anderson said he decided not to fire or seek to prosecute the deputy.
[ How unusual…..]
[ P.S. Our hopes and prayers are with Officer Lambing and his family.]
Saint Paul, MN
#603 Sep 30, 2010
MORE ADVENTURES IN POLICE PROFESSIONALISM
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson recently awarded Barron Bowling $830,000 for the beating he suffered at the hands of DEA Agent Timothy McCue.
McCue and Bowling got into an accident, after which AGENT MCCUE EMERGED FROM HIS CAR, GUN DRAWN, AND BEAT THE LEAVING HELL OUT OF BOWLING.
McCue, the DEA, and officers at the police department then CONSPIRED TO COVER UP THE BEATING, leaving Bowling to face charges of leaving the scene of an accident (understandable, given that he was getting beaten at the time), and assaulting Agent McCue with his car.
[ Bad cops, conspiring to cover up their crimes and of course, Blaming Their Victims !]
Witness statements incriminating McCue for both the accident and the beating were “lost” or destroyed, as were photos of the damage McCue did to Bowling’s face.
The good news: At least one of the City police officers has since been disciplined. He was investigated by Internal Affairs, forced into early retirement, lost his retirement health insurance, and lost part of his pension.
THE BAD NEWS: ONLY ONE OF THEM WAS DISCIPLINED.
OH, AND HE HAPPENS TO BE THE GOOD POLICE OFFICER WHO EXPOSED THE COVER UP.
[ God Bless and Protect this honorable man.]
Read excerpt from original story here:
“OFFICER SEIFERT EXPOSED THE TRUTH ABOUT A MAN WHO WAS BEATEN AND FALSELY CHARGED WITH A CRIME BY POLICE, WHO COVERED UP THEIR CRIME.
For crossing “the thin blue line’s Code Of Silence”, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson wrote, Seifert was forced into retirement.
“Officer Seifert was shunned, subjected to gossip and defamation by his police COLLEAGUES and treated as a pariah,” Robinson wrote.“…
The way Officer Seifert was treated was shameful.””
Full Story Here: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/25/2250584/...
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