Tag Archives: Coercion

LA Supreme Court: It’s Reasonable to Believe “Give Me a Lawyer Dog” was Request for a Dog Who is a Lawyer

Lawyer Dog Louisiana Supreme Court Canine Attorney

Lawyer Dog should really ask Grumpy Judge to recuse herself. #JusSayin

Recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a ruling on a motion to suppress evidence against Warren Demesme, who is currently awaiting trial in New Orleans. By a 6-1 majority the court denied that motion, which maintained that statements Demesme had made should be thrown because the police had ignored his request for legal counsel during interrogations.

What’s gotten a lot of attention (and rightfully so) since that ruling is the courts’ contention that Demesme’s request was ambiguous and unclear. But even more so for the reasoning behind the ruling. Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly argued in his response to the motion that Demesme’s statement, “just give me a lawyer dog,” could be misinterpreted by a “reasonable officer” based on the use of the words “lawyer dog.”

In a brief accompanying the decision, Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton agreed that the defendant’s use of “lawyer dog” could be misconstrued to mean something else and therefore did not qualify as a request for counsel.

Via the Washington Post:

Warren Demesme, then 22, was being interrogated by New Orleans police in October 2015 after two young girls claimed he had sexually assaulted them. It was the second time he’d been brought in, and he was getting a little frustrated, court records show. He had repeatedly denied the crime. Finally, Demesme told the detectives:

“This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.” The punctuation, arguably critical to Demesme’s use of the sobriquet “dog,” was provided by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office in a brief, and then adopted by Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton.

Demesme subsequently made admissions to the crime, prosecutors said, and was charged with aggravated rape and indecent behavior with a juvenile. He is being held in the Orleans Parish jail awaiting trial.

The public defender for Orleans Parish, Derwyn D. Bunton, took on Demesme’s case and filed a motion to suppress Demesme’s statement. In a court brief, Bunton noted that police are legally bound to stop questioning anyone who asks for a lawyer. “Under increased interrogation pressure,” Bunton wrote, “Mr. Demesme invokes his right to an attorney, stating with emotion and frustration, ‘Just give me a lawyer.’” The police did not stop their questioning, Bunton argued, “when Mr. Demesme unequivocally and unambiguously asserted his right to counsel.”

Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton

Louisiana Associate Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton

Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Kyle Daly responded in his brief that Demesme’s “reference to a lawyer did not constitute an unambiguous invocation of his right to counsel, because the defendant communicated that whether he actually wanted a lawyer was dependent on the subjective beliefs of the officers.” Daly added, “A reasonable officer under the circumstances would have understood, as [the detectives] did, that the defendant only might be invoking his right to counsel.”

Bunton’s motion to throw out Demesme’s statement was rejected by the trial court and the appeals court, so he took it to the state Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in a ruling issued last Friday and first reported by Reason, could have denied the appeal without issuing a written ruling, which it does in most cases. But Justice Crichton decided to write a brief concurrence “to spotlight the very important constitutional issue regarding the invocation of counsel during a law enforcement interview.”

Crichton noted that Louisiana case law has ruled that “if a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal . . . the cessation of questioning is not required.” Crichton then concluded: “In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a ‘lawyer dog’ does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview.”

So…

There’s a lot of things wrong with that decision. The most obvious issue is that they didn’t actually provide him with a dog who is a lawyer, as they claim they thought he had requested. It’s probably not the wisest move to request a dog to represent you in court, but if he’s a good boy and graduated from an accredited law school, who am I to cast aspersions?

Of course, that’s kind of the biggest problem with the “logic” of this ruling. They couldn’t give him a “lawyer dog” because, outside of memes on the internets, it’s not an actual thing. At this point in history, not one single dog has ever managed to pass the bar exam. Not Lassie, not Rin Tin Tin, not Benji, not even Snoopy. Scooby Doo is way to high to even think about taking the SAT’s, let alone the LSAT’s, and don’t even get me started on Marmaduke.

If any dog could have pulled it off, it obviously would have been Brian Griffin, but he died tragically after eating chocolate out of the garbage years ago. So, he’s not available right now.

What it boils down to is, if somebody asks for legal council, as is their constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment, you shouldn’t just be able to pretend you didn’t understand them because they used some (not uncommon) slang. In fact, if for some reason they ask for a “lawyer dog,” but there aren’t any available (or willing to work pro bone-o), then you give them a lawyer human instead.

It’s hard to have a lot of faith in the U.S. Injustice System, especially after rulings like this (not to mention all the coerced confessions and false convictions they allow for). However, you would hope that some sense of common decency and shame would compel the next appeals court this goes in front of to render a proper ruling on this nonsense.

I have a suspicion this might be a big part of the reason why the State of Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world.

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Pittsburgh Probation Officer Coerced Women Into Sending Nude Photos and Having Sex

Information and links used for the following post were shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Matthew Joseph Mullen, a probation officer for Allegheny County, PA, which encompasses the Pittsburgh area, has been accused of using his position to coerce women that had been placed under his supervision to send him nude photographs of themselves and also of forcing them to perform sex acts on him.

So far, three women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment during the time that they were on probation. He’s also been accused of attempting to get some of the women to purchase drugs for him.

As a result, he faces several charges, including one count of sexual assault, two counts of bribery in official and political matters, one count of intimidation of witnesses or victims, one count of obstructing administration of law, three counts of official oppression and one count of harassment..

Via WTAE.com in Pittsburgh:

The victims are only referenced as Jane Doe #1, #2 and #3 in the criminal complaint.

Jane Doe #1 told police she met Mullen in December 2014 at an ARD hearing at the Allegheny County Courthouse. She said he contacted her from his personal cellphone and instructed her to contact him at that number. She alleged that Mullen sent her a text message saying that if she sent him a photo of her breasts she “would not have to worry about anything.”

She complied and sent a photo of her “bare breasts” according to the criminal complaint.

Investigator (sic) said Mullen then sent a text-messaged photo of his penis to the victim.

Jane Doe #1 also told investigators that Mullen asked if he could buy Percocet pain pills from her but never followed through.

Jane Doe #2 stated that Mullen also gave her his personal cellphone and that he began to text message her from that number a few days after meeting her. The two met at the courthouse when she was there for a scheduled ARD hearing in April 2015.

She told investigators Mullen offered to buy her different gifts, including shoes, via text message. She said she responded to the text messages because she did not want to get into trouble with her probation officer and was scared that she would be sent to jail if she did not respond.

She also told investigators that Mullen asked her to be his friend on the social media app Instagram. She said she told Mullen it was inappropriate to be texting her because he is married and that he asked her why it mattered that he is married.

Jane Doe #2 alleged that Mullen arranged a meeting with her at the Walgreen’s parking lot in Wilkinsburg and told her she could skip DUI classes if she paid him $250.

Jane Doe #3 stated that she was assigned a female probation officer at her first ARD hearing but that one hour after leaving she received a text message from Mullen informing her that he was not going to be her probation officer.

She said that she and Mullen exchanged text messages back and forth from that point on and that the conversation eventually became sexual in nature.

She told investigators that Mullen came to her residence and she performed oral sex on him. She stated that Mullen informed her that it would “get you in trouble if she told anyone.”

Jane Doe #3 said while she was under Mullen’s supervision she performed oral sex on him approximately four to five times. She said Mullen took her to a bar once and bought her drinks and then took her to Blush Nightclub downtown, where they watched nude dancers. She said after leaving Blush Mullen went to her house and she performed oral sex on him.

She told investigators the only reason she performed oral sex on Mullen was because she was “afraid to go to jail” and that she “only did it out of fear.”

She said that one time Mullen gave her $75 for her to get her hair done.

Jane Doe #3 also said Mullen contacted her in April or May and said Sheriff’s Office investigators were contacting people who he supervised and asking them questions about his conduct with them.

She said he warned her and threatened her to not say anything to investigators.

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False Arrest and Assault at Menards After Refusing Search

The following post and video was shared with the CopBlock Network by Charles M. Waters, via the Cop Block Submissions Page.

Along with the video description, Charles states:

I would love if everyone could spread, embed, and post my video. I am also trying to get a crowd funding campaign going to pay for my attorney, to take this fight to THEM.

Date of incident: March 27th, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer Newbury,  Badge #147; Officer Kirchner, Badge # 131; Officer Madson, Badge #85
Department Involved: Coon Rapids Police Department
Phone No.: (763) 767-6481
Address: 11155 Robinson Dr NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433

I never participate in “receipt verification”, and previously have never had a problem. I have a real issue (apparently due to autism) with my privacy and property, and never felt OK with having to submit anything I own to “inspection”. I feel that if a store wishes to treat paying customers like assumed criminals, they have no business being in business.

So on this date, I had already given my receipt four times to three different people just to get my merchandise. I showed my receipt AND proof I actually picked up my merchandise, to the gate guard. He insisted I open my trunk, but I refused. He said “You could have anything you want in that trunk”, to which I asked if he had any evidence I took anything I did not pay for.

They refused to open the gate, so I called police as I was being falsely imprisoned at this point. Police arrived, and although I was the complainant, they only spoke with the manager of the store. Then they demanded I open my trunk. I refused. They said they would get a warrant, I invited them to do so.

Instead, they searched me, THEN handcuffed me and placed me in a squad car. I was told that they would just leave me there and I would not be let out until I complied with a search they could not get a warrant for. Then they went after my wife, told her neither of us would leave “today” until she opened the trunk. She reluctantly complied, out of fear they would do the same to her.

Whatever you may think of what I should or should not do with respect to opening my trunk, these facts remain:

  1. I had not committed any crime, nor had I even been ACCUSED of one.
  2. I was the one calling to report a crime that Menards was, in fact, committing against ME, and all the elements of that crime were readily apparent to officers.
  3. They said they would get a warrant, but they knew they could NOT.
  4. Knowing that they could not get a warrant, they caused deliberate harm to compel us to do something they could not lawfully accomplish.
  5. Upon being proven innocent, of a crime no one accused, I was deliberately assaulted without any cause or reason.

The Chief of Police has said in so many words his officers actions were appropriate and within the confines of the Constitution.
They can literally just cuff you and put you in a squad car, and threaten to keep you and your wife from your children indefinitely, when they can’t get a warrant. They can “compel” you to “comply”.

Here is where you can tell the arresting officer how you feel.
Coon Rapids Police Department

And feel free to review the police derp-artment here:
Coon Rapids Police Department – Reviews

– Charles M. Waters

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Topless Femen USA Activists Assaulted/Arrested at Counter-Protest of San Francisco Anti-Abortion Rally (NSFW Video)

The video above and post below were shared with the CopBlock Network by Chelsea Ducote, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. The description within the post derives from a complaint Ducote has filed against the San Francisco Police Department with the Office of Citizen Complaints, a local civilian review board.

Chelsea Ducote’s complaint is based on the treatment she and two other activists involved with “Femen USA” were subjected to during a counter-protest of a San Francisco anti-abortion rally, as well as the false arrests and subsequent unfounded charges that they received afterwards. Femen is a group that is well known, especially in Europe, in recent years for organizing protests involving topless women, often concentrating on anti-religious and feminist issues.

Date of Incident: January 23, 2016sfist.com
Location of Incident: Polk St. between Grove St. and McAllister St. (City Hall)
Time of incident: 1:00 pm
Officers Involved: Badge Numbers 434, 2260, 1603, 2154, 1459, and M. Gonzalez
Police Vehicle Involved: 585 (Paddy wagon)
Department Involved: San Francisco Police Department
Department Contact: Captain Greg McEachern
Email Address: [email protected]
Phone Number: (415) 614-3400

Femen USA Activist Chelsea Ducote‘s SFPD Complaint With The OCC

Summary of Incident:

Rebecca Marston, Anni Ma, and I were arrested without probable cause (4th Amendment) and were subjected to false imprisonment for exercising our First Amendment rights by counter protesting the Walk for “Life” West Coast Rally.
An officer used force and pain compliance on me without our circumstances meeting the requirements for use of force listed in DGO 5.01 (F).

The officers and civilians at the protest committed a Bane Act (Civ. Code, § 52.1) violation by interfering with our First Amendment right to Free Speech with threats, coercion, and intimidation. The officers refused to arrest the civilians that assaulted us. We were not told why were arrested or the nature of the charges against us until we were leaving the station approximately an hour and a half later.

In the last five years, there have been numerous acts of vandalism, ten arsons, one bombing, two attempted murders, and three murders at abortion clinics in the U.S. Less than seven years ago, abortion doctor George Tiller was murdered by a pro-life advocate. Women are stalked, harassed, and verbally accosted daily as they try to enter Planned Parenthood clinics, even in the Bay Area. Extremists are allowed to incite hatred and violence against women under the guise of “religious freedom.”

Less than two months after an anti-choice terrorist killed an officer and two civilians outside of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, thousands of people were bussed into San Francisco for the so-called “Walk for Life” to tell women that pregnancy is a life sentence and divergence from that path is a crime.

Myself and two other topless female activists interrupted David Daleiden‘s speech at the rally, shouting “Fraud! Fake! Liar!” and throwing fake subpoenas onstage to highlight the criminal methods used by Daleiden and his pro-life organization to infiltrate and attempt to undermine Planned Parenthood.

As the speakers at Walk for Life spoke of “sacred femininity,” pro-life thugs dragged activist Anni Ma across the ground and another held Rebecca Marston in a choke-hold.

These men carried me over the barricade and towards Officer O’Conner, who immediately used a wrist lock pain compliance technique and barked, “Stop! Stop!” as we continued chanting. She forced me away from the sidewalk and into the street. I yelled out twice that she was hurting me and, after the second cry, she somewhat loosened her grip.

I sat down, and did not resist. However, Officer O’Conner continued to twist my arm and right wrist in a painful, unnatural direction. She and the other officer forced me to lie face-down on the ground as they handcuffed me and bent my legs back in a hog-tie fashion.

I do not understand why this use of force was implemented against me because our circumstances did not meet the requirements to justify the use of force, as listed in DGO 5.01 (F):

  • At no point in our interaction with officers were we resisting arrest.
  • We were non-violent.
  • We were not attacking anyone.
  • We were not breaking any laws.

We are being charged with misdemeanor park code 4.01(h) for exposing a portion of the “female breast at or below the areola” in a park, yet all of us were arrested on the sidewalk and in the street. As demonstrated from the three hundred photographs and three videos of our protest, none of our “female breasts” crossed into park boundaries. It is legal for both men and women to expose their areolas in San Francisco.

We are also charged with violating pc 415(3), disorderly conduct, for “using offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.” We do not fall under that description.

Why should the words “Fraud! Fake! Liar!” incite violence? The violence against us was unjustifiable.

We were exercising our First Amendment rights to Free Speech, and counter-protesting these pro-lifers who gathered to protest a woman’s right to body sovereignty and reproductive healthcare.

If anything, the civilians that assaulted us and the officers that arrested us are in violation of the Bane Act (Calif. Civil Code 52.1) for using violence, threats, coercion, and false imprisonment to interfere with our exercise of our First Amendment rights.

Despite Anni Ma repeatedly asking the officers why we were being arrested, we were given no reason; the officers only told us we were being detained. When Ma pressed to know what we were being charged with, all the officers said was, “We are trying to figure that out now,” “Why do you think you are being arrested?” and “You know why.”

It was not until approximately an hour and a half later at the station, when we were signing our citation slips and being released, that we find out why we had been arrested in the first place.

The officers also refused to arrest the men that assaulted us, despite the fact that we had photographs of them and told officers we’d like to press charges. The anti-abortion rally raged on, and our assailants were still directly upfront near the stage. In this regard, SFPD condoned the violence against women demonstrated and promoted at this rally.

My wrist was sprained for several weeks after our arrest, and I can submit medical bills and photos as evidence. I also had to take on less work because my job requires that I used my hands and wrists extensively all day.

– Chelsea Ducote

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Asserting Rights at a North Las Vegas DUI Checkpoint

This content was originally shared via CopBlock.org/Submit (you can submit content relating to Nevada directly to Nevada Cop Block via NVCopBlock.org’s own submission page) by a gent who noted:
Vegas DUI Stop

I went through three DUI checkpoints on the night of this incident, and this is the only one that did not release me immediately upon refusing to answer questions.

I was detained at a DUI checkpoint for refusing to answer their questions, after refusing to answer all questions I was released after nearly six minutes.

Incident Date: 8/30/2013
Individuals Responsible: “sgt.” Cook and unidentified colleague
Outfit: Nevada Highway Patrol
Phone: (702) 486-4100

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Text from video description:

8/30/13 22:25. MLK x W Cheyenne ave, North Las Vegas NV. Driver refuses to answer questions, first officer aggravated, calls in NHP Sgt. Cook and proceeds to get an education on the laws surrounding suspicion-less stops/searches.

RELATED CONTENT: CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights

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