Tag Archives: car

Colorado Police Planned to Sell 80-Year Old Crime Victim’s Car Instead of Returning It To Her

Colorado Springs Police Car Auction Senior Citizen Victim

When 80 year old Mary Antrim’s stolen car was used in a robbery, Colorado Springs police told her it was on hold as evidence, then tried to auction it off without notifying her.

Back in June, Mary Antrim’s car, a Ford Crown Victoria, was stolen in Pueblo, Colorado. A few days later, it was recovered about 45 miles away by police in Colorado Springs after the unnamed person(s) who stole it used it in an aggravated robbery.

However, instead of returning her car once they recovered it, Colorado Springs police informed Antrim that it was being held as evidence. Then Antrim says they stopped answering her calls. The next time she heard anything her car, it had been scheduled to be auctioned off.

Via KOAA.com:

“They (police) told me it was involved in a robbery and that it was being held for evidence and that’s all I was told,” Mary said.

That information was give to Mary on June 5—more than a month ago!

“I’ve called them (police) every week to find out where the car is at and what’s going on with the car,” Mary said. “No one has called me back.”

Fast fast forward to July 10—Mary logs onto her computer and discovers her car is set to be auctioned off in September.

“I was dumbfounded,” she said. “I thought how in the world can the car go from being on hold for evidence and now it’s on hand and being ready to go to auction. I couldn’t believe that…”

“I need my car for my doctors appointments that I have to go to,” Mary said. “That’s my transportation and I’m 80 years old and I’d like to have my car back so I can do what I have to do.”

At that point, Antrim contacted one of those consumer investigation teams for a local news station. When KOAA News 5, the local NBC affiliate, called on her behalf they were told that the car was up for auction because she owed $178 for impound fees.

The problem with that answer, though, is that the Colorado Springs Police Department policy states that crime victims whose cars are impounded are not supposed to be charged storage fees. Another issue is that neither Antrim, nor her husband Clyde, were ever informed that the car had been released from the hold that had been placed on it as evidence.

In fact, the CSPD was even caught a lie regarding the latter requirement. When question, the department initially claimed that they had sent a letter to the Antrims on July 7th stated that the car had been released and giving them until September 11th to claim it before it would be auctioned.

However, the letter that was sent out was postmarked July 11th. By some odd coincidence, that just happened to be the same day that the TV station first contacted the Colorado Springs police about Antrim’s car.

Fortunately for Antrim, in the end, once the media was involved the police waived all of the impound fees (that she should have never been charged in the first place). The next day, her car was released and she was able to go down and reclaim it with being extorted out of any money first.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Police Department hasn’t apologized or even offered an explanation for their “mistake.” Reportedly, they stated that they are “looking into it,” though. And we all know how thorough those internal investigations tend to be. I’m sure they’ll get right to the bottom of this whole thing.

KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

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Chicago Cop Who Shot Teens on Video Leaked by Judge Charged With Using Unreasonable Force (Update)

Marco Proano, the Chicago police officer who was recorded by a dash cam shooting at a car full of teenagers in December 2013, has now been indicted for civil rights violations. He stands accused of using unreasonable force against two of those teenagers, both of whom were injured in the shooting.

As was reported last year by CopBlock Network Contributor , the dash camera footage of that shooting only came to light almost two years later when an ex-judge leaked it to the public. In doing so, retired Cook County Judge Andrew Berman described the video as “the most disturbing thing he has seen in his 35 years in the Windy City court system.” (That says a lot when you are discussing violence in Chicago.) Which of course means that not one single one of the Good Cops in the video or who later watched the video and then decided to try and make sure it never saw the light of day again did anything to prevent that Bad Apple from spoiling the bunch.

Watching the video, it could not be more obvious that the teens represented no danger whatsoever to Officer Proano (or any other police on the scene) as they backed away from him. In fact, the video shows another car arrive at a nearby house and then back up out of the area shortly before the shooting. If anything, Proano endangered those innocent bystanders by shooting a dozen shots at the teens while they were in the same general area as them.

The teens had only been stopped for speeding, but the car they were in was later determined to be stolen. However, the one teen charged with possession of a stolen vehicle subsequently was acquitted of the charges.

Via Fox6Now.com:

The video shows Proano shooting multiple times at the vehicle as the driver tries to back away. The car then hits a streetlight before one injured teen stumbles out.

Police had pulled over the car with six teens for speeding, according to CNN affiliate WLS. One teen was wounded in the shoulder, the other in his hip and heel.

The victims suffered bodily injuries because of “unreasonable force by a police officer,” according to the indictment.

“When a police officer uses unreasonable force, it has a harmful effect on not only the victims, but also the public, who lose faith and confidence in law enforcement,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

He said his office will continue to “vigorously” pursue civil right prosecutions of police officers to “strengthen trust in the police.”

The Chicago police department said it is fully cooperating with the US attorney’s office and has “zero tolerance for proven misconduct.”

As is noted in the full Fox 6 article, Officer Proano was finally fired after the video became public. Also, taxpayers had to bail out the Chicago Police Department once again, as a result of his actions.  The two teens shot during the incident received a $360,000 settlement.

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Know Your Rights: Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Omer Jaleel of Jaleel Law in Chicago, IL., via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. Along with the submission, Jaleel included this statement:

I recently wrote an article on my website that I thought would be a great fit for CopBlock.org. The article answers a question that I receive on almost a daily basis at my law firm and I’m guessing that CopBlock.org is the same. That question is whether the police can order you out of your car.

Unfortunately, SCOTUS has held that the police can order someone outside of his or her car based upon officer safety. The article discusses this issue, what the reasoning for the court’s decision was, and what someone can do to protect his or her rights. If you need any additional information about your rights during a traffic stop or are need of a defense lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

Most encounters with the police occur after a traffic stop and while most traffic stops are routine, the cops are trained to view traffic stops as a potentially dangerous or deadly situation. That view sometimes can result in terrible outcomes, which is why it is imperative that everyone knows their rights.

A situation that arises more often than not is a police officer asking someone to get out of his or her car following a routine traffic stop. While common sense says that being asked by the police to get out of your car after being stopped for something as trivial as an expired registration sticker or not using a turn signal is unreasonable and an invasion of someone’s rights, the United States Supreme Court held otherwise. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court held that the police can make you get out of your car after a valid traffic stop. This ruling applies to the driver and all the passengers in a car. Because of this ruling in Pennsylvania vs. Mimms, a person must exit their car if ordered to do so by the police.

Background of Pennsylvania vs. Mimms

Mimms involved a case where two Philadelphia police officers stopped a car being driven by Harry Mimms for driving with expired plates. After stopping his car, the police ordered Mimms to step out of his car, which was common practice for the police department. After Mimms complied with the officer’s order, the police observed an unusual bulge in Mimms’ jacket. The police then searched Mimms and discovered a handgun.

Mimms unsuccessfully sought to have the gun suppressed on the grounds the police violated his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the police did not have probable cause to order Mimms out of his car and reversed the conviction against him. However, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to take the case on appeal to answer the question whether the police order to Mimms for him to get out of the car, which was given after Mimms was lawfully stopped for a traffic violation, was reasonable and thus permissible under the Fourth Amendment?

In a 6-3 per curium opinion, SCOTUS held that the police routinely asked drivers who were being ticketed to exit their cars for the safety of the officer. The police stated that it would diminish the chance that person could get something from the car while the police officer is writing the ticket and attack the officer. Also, if the stop was executed in a high traffic area, having the driver stand between the police car and the driver’s car allows the police to conduct the traffic stop away from moving traffic.

Why Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

The Mimms court held that allowing the police to make a driver exit his car is a nothing more than a “mere inconvenience” to the driver especially when compared to the safety benefits to the police. The court reasoned that since the car was stopped after a valid traffic stop and ordering the driver to get out of the car was a “minimal and reasonable intrusion” of his freedom. The court further held that the search would have occurred regardless if Mimms was out of his car or seated, because the bulge in his jacket was visible while he was seated in the car. The court held that the bulge allowed the police to assume that Mimms was armed and posed a danger to the police. Under these circumstances, the Mimms court held that any cop of “reasonable caution” would likely have conducted the “pat down” of Mimms.

Conclusion

The dissenting opinions in Mimms that were written by Justices Marshall and Stevens argued that the new rule created by Pennsylvania vs. Mimms greatly expanded the police officer’s right in searching an individual that they stopped. The dissenting opinions predicted what would happen, the police were limited in searching an individual only to the extent they could invent a justification for the search based upon officer safety.

After a traffic stop it is imperative that you do everything possible to protect your rights and that can only begin if you know your rights. If stopped by the police for a traffic stop, the officer can order you out of your car without violating your constitutional rights. However, that doesn’t prevent you from doing everything to protect your rights. Remember the interaction as best as you can and write it down, better yet record the interaction.

However, the most important thing you can do is hire a criminal defense attorney who knows what he or she is doing. Not all criminal defense lawyers are fully versed on the 4th amendment and search and seizure law.

The current state of search and seizure law allows a police officer to order a driver and the passengers out of vehicle that is stopped for even a minor traffic violation. However, the law does not require you to answer any questions or to consent to a search of your vehicle. If a police officer orders you out of your car, you must comply and do what the officer orders, but remember to not answer any questions and don’t allow the police officer to search your car.

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