Tag Archives: Colorado

Second Body Cam Video of Baltimore Police Planting Drugs Then “Finding” Them Has Surfaced

Baltimore Police Department Planting Drugs Video

For the second time in a matter of weeks, body camera footage has been released showing officers from the Baltimore Police Department planting drugs. In both videos, the planting of that evidence was exposed by a feature of the body cams that causes them to begin saving video thirty seconds prior to the point where they are manually activated. This video is from November 2016, while the earlier one dates from January of this year.

In this latest video to surface, police were conducting a traffic stop in which they were profiling drivers in an effort to make drug arrests. After claiming to have seen the passenger in Shamere Collins’ vehicle making a drug sale, the police stopped them. However, after a thorough search, no drugs were found anywhere in the car.

The body cam video of that initial search includes audio of one officer stating that there would be “negative consequences” if they didn’t find drugs and thereby couldn’t arrest someone. After that, the cops for no apparent reason all turned their body cameras off.

What followed, according to CBS News.com:

When the cameras come back on, an officer is seen squatting by the driver’s side of the suspect’s car, apparently unaware that he’s being recorded.

He then stands up and steps back. About 30 seconds pass, and another officer approaches the car, then squats down and pulls out a bag of drugs.

Although the charges were thrown out once the public defender representing her got ahold of this video, Collins and her boyfriend, who was the passenger were charged with possession of opiates and marijuana, as a result. According to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, dozens more cases that involve this group of officers could also be thrown out.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis maintained that this is no reason for the public to “jump to conclusions” or make “heavy allegations” about police misconduct based on the video. Because concluding that something suspicious was going on after all the cops turned their cameras off right after one of them expressed concerns about getting in trouble if they didn’t find any drugs to justify an arrest, then video (that the cops didn’t expect to be recorded) showing one cop crouching next to the car, followed by body cam video (that they did expect to be recorded) of a different cop easily finding drugs in that same area after it had already been thoroughly searched is quite a jump.

Of course, this also comes on the heals of the previously released video (embedded below), which is even more damning. In that video, Officer Richard Pinheiro can be clearly seen putting a bag inside a can on a pile of debris in an alley. He then walks back out to the street, accompanied by two other officers who have not been named.

After activating the camera, he proceeds to walk back down the alley as one of the unnamed officers can be heard laughing behind him. Miraculously, he manages to quickly zero in on the can shortly after searching through the debris pile. He then pulls out the bag that he unwittingly recorded himself planting to reveal that it is filled with pills.

The man who was arrested as a result spent over seven months in jail awaiting trial before this video was made public and his charges were thrown out. So far, thirty-four other cases have also been thrown out and as many as fifty-five more could be, as well. Officer Pinheiro was (only) suspended for his actions, while the two other officers that watched (and laughed) as he planted evidence have received no punishment at all.

Not Isolated Incidents

These incidents don’t represent the only times that the Baltimore police have been under scrutiny for manufacturing evidence and manipulating body cameras. In March, all seven members of an “elite task force” that targets illegal weapons and drug crimes were indicted on racketeering charges for robberies that included completely innocent people of cash and filing false paperwork to get paid for overtime they didn’t actually work. In the process, they also falsified search warrants to justify detentions and traffic stops against their intended targets. As they were performing these “shake downs,” officers were known to have turned off their body cameras.

Nor is this the first confirmed instance of body camera footage being falsified to show police finding evidence against suspects. In May of this year, charges were dropped against a man in Colorado after a cop in Pueblo admitted he staged a video of himself  finding heroin and a gun in his car. In that case, Officer Seth Jensen claimed that he was merely “reenacting” his legitimate discovery of the evidence.

An “Unintended Consequence” of Transparency?

Given all of that, it’s rather interesting that in the CBS News video embedded below (beginning at about 3:45) correspondent Jeff Pegues characterizes the issue as a “downside of video transparency” and an “unintended consequence” of police wearing body cameras. Apparently, on his planet these type of incidents aren’t an argument for increased scrutiny and transparency, but rather a problem for “police departments that have to defend themselves against this type of policing.”

Obviously, I can’t see any reason we shouldn’t just trust these cops and accept their word. It would be crazy if cops didn’t have the ability to freely plant evidence without being detected and police departments had no incentive to eliminate “this type of policing.” That freedom to just arrest whoever they want and make up a reason undoubtedly would make their tough jobs so much easier.

Watch him throw it into the floorboards

BPD Officer Richard Pinheiro planting drugs

CBS News coverage of  the latest incident:

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False Imprisonment: Its Increasing Frequency and the Huge Cost It Imposes on Society

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Police Abuses on the Rise

It’s no secret that police brutality and misconduct has been on the rise recently with cases in the news like Eric Garner who was suffocated in a choke hold by police and killed for illegally selling cigarettes. Similarly, a 12-year-old boy Tamir Rice was shot and killed after playing with a toy gun in the park. The level of uneasiness between police officers and citizens has hit an all-time high and we see this unrest play out in society. Police brutality is not the only form of police misconduct- false arrest of citizens can be an excruciating experience that sends innocent people to prison for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, Chicago’s taxpayers have had to pay over $120 million for the racial torture committed by one police commander, Jon Burge. Part of the disconnect between officers and citizens is the unfairness in power and how that power is used. To add on to this, police are offered different treatment when it comes to false arrests or misconduct. Although Burge oversaw the torture of over 118 black men – which would typically lead to decades in prison – he was released in three-and-a-half years and sent to a halfway house. All the men he tortured remain behind bars.

Police officers were granted a Qualified Immunity Doctrine by the Supreme Court which essentially states that police officers are innocent of harm towards their suspects in most cases due to their risky and honorable line of work. The best intentions are seen to be associated with most police officers, but has that been the case recently?

Typically, false arrest from police officers falls into the police misconduct category, which can also encompass police brutality and wrongful death. According to the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations report, 75% of homicide exonerations involved police misconduct. One widely publicized example of a wrongful arrest was James Bain, who was convicted of kidnapping and rape at the age of 18. He served 35 years for a vicious crime he did not commit. Although DNA evidence was tested and presented prior, he was refused further DNA testing from the courts until his fifth try in 2006. Although misidentification from eyewitnesses account for 75% of all convictions that are overturned by DNA evidence, Bain was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated by police.

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How Does False Imprisonment Affect the Public?

Some people may think that the police arrest people who they think are guilty of a crime, and if they are wrongfully arrested, they are quickly released and go about their happy lives. That is far from the truth in most cases where the arrest was outright wrong and unlawful. Many people who are falsely arrested fight back and sue the police officer who wronged them and because of this, the public is responsible for paying that fee.

Amount of Money City Taxpayers Have Paid for Police Misconduct:

  • Chicago: $521 million from 2004-2014
  • Cleveland: $8.2 million between 2004-2014
  • Denver: $12 million since 2011
  • Dallas: $6.6 million between 2011-2014
  • Los Angeles: $101 million between 2002-2011

For example, Robert Graham was arrested for disorderly conduct by a police officer who was stuck in traffic behind him. Due to the gridlock traffic in New York City, Graham was also stuck in traffic and unable to move. The police officers wrongfully arrested Graham due to the circumstances of the situation. Graham’s wrongfully arrested cases was one of the ones that contributed to New York taxpayers paying $18 million to pay back people who were wrongfully arrested by officers.

According to Jon Norinsberg, a false imprisonment attorney, New York city police may only legally arrest citizens if:

  1. The police have an arrest warrant.
  2. The police have probable cause that you committed a crime.
  3. You are interfering with a police investigation or arrest.
  4. The police believe you are a criminal attempting to flee a crime scene.

Why are Police Officers Getting Away with False Imprisonment?

The number of innocent people behind bars is the highest number it has ever been historically, so it is only natural to question the source – the police. Why has it become okay to so quickly convict people and rarely face punishment as a police officer for wrongfully arresting someone? The issue gets stickier when videos of police officers using excessive force and even killing citizens when they appeared to pose no threat. Are there consequences for that? Rarely.

Unfortunately, false arrests happen and can be scary to argue your case in front of a judge – especially because police are most often shielded by the Qualified Immunity Doctrine exercised by the Supreme Court. This is a protective order that is designed to protect police officers from facing punishments from their mistakes or unlawful actions. In theory, this Qualified Immunity Doctrine was originally designed to shield officers who are properly bringing justice to criminals and who handle situations appropriately – if someone is upset for getting arrested if they deserve it, well this doctrine will protect the police from this potential complaint or lawsuit. Since videos have been released of police officers using unnecessary excessive force on unarmed people, citizens are growing scared that officers are abusing this immunity from the Supreme Court to get away with their unjust behavior. This is where a disconnect lies between police officers and citizens.

Where is the Accountability From the Police?

Why is it that as a society we only started paying attention to police misconduct and false arrests when Netflix featured programs like Making a Murderer?

Police officers are designed to keep our communities safe. While most cops are heroes and upstanding citizens who work hard to protect our safety, those who entered the police force to unlawfully assert power over others and take advantage of their badge are getting more press in recent news. Although it’s an unfortunate circumstance, it is important to stay educated on what is happening in society to better educate yourself and to hopefully make a positive change.

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Denver Cop Who Recorded Himself Stealing Cash From Suspect Given Plea Deal For Probation

Information included in the following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In October of last year, CopBlock Network Contributor Asa J  posted about Officer Julian Archuleta of the Denver Police Department, who apparently forgot he was wearing a body camera and recorded himself stealing $1,200 from the car of a suspect. The car he had taken the money from was involved in a roll over accident during a high speed chase following an incident in which the owner and a passenger had fired shots at two police vehicles.

A detective that reviewed the video as part of the investigation later noticed that the video showed a $100 bill, but the money that had been turned in as evidence did not include any $100 dollar bills.

Via the Denver Post:

On Oct. 7, Archuleta, a patrol officer in northwest Denver, assisted in the investigation after two suspects in a vehicle fired shots in the direction of two police vehicles parked at a 7-Eleven store. A short pursuit ensued, investigators say, ending with the suspects’ vehicle rolling over near the intersection of East 50th Avenue and Washington Street.

The driver took off on foot and a passenger was left unconscious in the vehicle, police said.

Archuleta’s body camera recorded as he searched a suspect’s clothing and took pictures of the wrecked car, according to his arrest affidavit.

In the footage, Archuleta picked up a stack of cash with a $100 bill on top. He removed that bill, and the footage showed him shuffling papers and cash in his patrol car, the affidavit said.

A detective who later reviewed the body camera footage noticed the $100 bill and questioned why only $118 had been logged into evidence. Archuleta later produced $1,200 and told another detective that it must have fallen into his bag, the affidavit said.

The affidavit noted that Archuleta’s actions also violated Denver Police Department policy on handling evidence and/or personal property.

His excuse that it had somehow fallen into his “war bag” unbeknownst to him for some odd reason didn’t work. Archuleta was originally charged with a felony for tampering with physical evidence and two misdemeanors of first-degree official misconduct and theft. In addition, as a result of his evidence tampering and contamination of the scene, the two suspects were never prosecuted (way to have your Brothas’ backs).

Of course, rather than facing any sort of real consequences for his actions, he was instead gifted with a plea deal that allowed him to cop to (you saw what I did there) misdemeanors with the felony being dropped. After entering his guilty plea on Monday, Officer Archuleta was only sentenced to 180 days of probation. He was also allowed to resign instead of being fired.

Obviously, it’ll be a long, hard six months before he can go out and get hired at another police department.

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Colorado Citizens Forced to Pay $325,000 for Mass Detention of Motorists by Aurora Police

A total of 14 drivers in Aurora, Colorado have received a settlement of $325,000 for a 2012 incident, in which local police decided to detain everyone within an intersection at gunpoint in order to search for a bank robbery suspect. Those motorists had filed a lawsuit in 2014 based on violations of their Fourth Amendment rights during the detention.

After the bank robbery, police had used a tracker within the stolen money to determine that the robber, Christian Paetsch was at the intersection. However, the tracker wasn’t precise enough to pinpoint which car he was in. In the process of the detention, over two dozen people, including children, were forced out of their cars at gunpoint, some of them were verbally berated and even physically abused. Several of them are reported to have suffered medical episodes as a result, including a woman who suffered a panic attack and a seven year old child who had an asthma attack. Neither were given any assistance by the police officers detaining them.

Even after Paetsch had been identified as the robber and arrested, those 28 people were held in handcuffs, threatened with arrest, and subjected to illegal searches of their bodies and vehicles. Prior to being released, they were all forced under duress to sign forms stating that they had consented to the search. (Read the PDF containing the full court documents here: Aurora Colorado Mass Detention Lawsuit Complaint and Jury Demand)

Via the Denver Post:

The incident occurred on June 2, 2012, at the intersection of Iliff Avenue and Buckley Road after Christian Paetsch robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch and police used GPS technology to home in on a tracking device that was hidden in the stolen money. The tracking technology, however, wasn’t precise enough to allow officers to determine which vehicle contained the robber.

Police decided to surround 19 vehicles — containing 28 occupants — stopped at a red light at the intersection in an effort to find the suspect, demanding that “all vehicle occupants hold their arms up and outside of their vehicle windows,” according to the suit.

“They brandished ballistic shields and pointed assault rifles directly at innocent citizens, including children under ten years old. Officers with police dogs were at the ready,” the suit reads. “No one was free to leave.”

Some motorists were patted down, handcuffed and made to sit on the side of the road while police searched their cars.

“This all occurred despite the fact that the officers had removed and handcuffed a single individual — Christian Paetsch — from his vehicle just 30 minutes after the initial stop,” the lawsuit reads.

Essentially, the Aurora police decided that once they already had everyone at their mercy (quite literally, based on the descriptions of the hostility involved in the detentions) and they had already found the suspect, they might as well go on a fishing expedition and see what else they could subject them to. I have little doubt that they were hoping to generate a little revenue in the process, as well.

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Colorado Springs Police Officer G. Lucero Fails to Protect or Serve Accident Victim

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader who only provided the first name Shannon (Shae), via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Note: This isn’t the first time Officer Gilberto Lucero’s behavior and demeanor has been called into question. In March  2015, we received another submission regarding Officer Lucero.

Date of Incident: November 4, 2016 (Around 6:30pm)
Officer Involved: Officer Gilberto Lucero
Department Involved: Colorado Springs Police Department – 217 Division
Department Phone No.: (719) 444-7240

I had just gotten into a bad car accident. The other driver had tried to beat the light, and I couldn’t see him coming because the other cars that did stop blocked my view of that lane. I thought all was good until it was too late. I was heading west and as I was making my left turn heading south, the other driver hit me so hard that, when all was said and done, my car was facing north east on the corner of Fillmore and Wood.

I’d never been in an accident where I was hit so hard my air bag deployed and I was freaking out! I’m in a panic, I’m scared and shaking. People are running up to me from out of nowhere asking me if I was OK and telling me I should sit down. I’d said I was fine, just a nervous wreck.

When the policeman showed up, he started barking at me; I need your license, I need your insurance, etc… I handed him my license and told him I couldn’t get the rest of it because the glove box wouldn’t open. It had gotten crushed in the accident. He began yelling at me, “Are you towing this or am I going to have to do it” He showed no concern for my well being. He was just barking a million and one orders at me. Get all the stuff out of your car, I need your insurance info, you need to fill out this form, if you don’t get this car towed I’ll tow it.

I turned and looked at him and said, I’m trying to do the best I can. I’m a ball of nerves and you’re not helping. I can only do one thing at a time! I was already on the phone with the insurance lady and she said “would he like to speak with me? So I looked at him and said, “Do you want talk to the lady?” He said I don’t fucking want anything to do with that! You need to get your car moved out of the middle of the road! I thought my car isn’t in the middle of the road the other person’s is! Mine was crunched up against the corner curb! And yes, he did use that cuss word and he walked away, temporarily.

IMG_20161114_152849Within about 10-15 minutes the tow company came and that seemed to satisfy him. He told me to go wait over at the 7-11 for the tow guy. After I was done and I filled out the paperwork, he was so desperate for me to get done. I said well I need the other person’s insurance info. You haven’t given me anything! He yelled at me, “I told you already I would call you back when I get that info!” And he then handed me a ticket!

What!? Why? I didn’t run the light! The other guy did. He said with such an attitude. Like I was a criminal! (I’m still shaking from the fear and shock of accident.) With that attitude he asked me how did I know the other person ran the light. I said because after yellow comes red! It was yellow and everyone else had stopped. That’s how I know he ran the light! Because after the light is green and it turns yellow what comes after that red! I’ve got common sense! They didn’t knock that out of me!

He was just so rude, obnoxious, arrogant, and not at all worried about me and my well being. I was just an annoyance to him. He was no help at all. That’s what I thought police were for. To help you, not make you feel like a bother and a criminal! I was appalled with his pushy bossy and down right RUDE attitude!! He was in no way there to help out or make me feel safe! It was just the opposite! And the strange thing about this whole nightmare is the one thing that stuck in my head was his name. Officer Lucero!

The rest of the accident is a blur. I can’t even remember what I wrote on that piece of paper he so urgently wanted me to fill out. But I do remember his name and what he looks like. That’s how much of an asshole he was. His name stuck in my head. When I was telling my friend about the accident she paused and said something’s not right, and she remembered hearing his name before about harassing the handicapped lady. We got online and now I’m telling you my story.

Thank you very much for taking time to read this. If you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated. And if anyone out there reads this and was witness to this accident, please, I know Lucero didn’t even try to ask anyone else what happened. It was on Fillmore and Wood right where the 7-11 is. It happened on the 4th of Nov. 2016, around 6:30pm, just over a week ago. To be exact, ten days ago. Thank you! And thank you to those people who did show concern and consideration for me and the other driver in the Academy driving school car. Who also is fine just fyi.

– Sincerely, Shae

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Denver Police Sued by Man Coerced Into Murder Confession at Age of Fourteen

When he was just fourteen years old Lawrence Lorenzo Montoya, was arrested on suspicion of having committed a murder. Initially, he continually insisted that he was innocent and other evidence also indicated that was the case.

In spite of that, Denver detectives concealed the evidence that would exonerate him and eventually bullied and coerced him into a confession. Montoya subsequently was convicted based on that false confession and ended up spending thirteen years in prison before his innocence was proven by DNA evidence and he was released.

Now he’s filed a $30 million dollar lawsuit against the Denver Police Department, as well as the city and county of Denver over the life sentence he received for the wrongful conviction in the murder of Emily Johnson, a Denver teacher, on New Years Day 2000.

Via Fox 31 Denver:

Denver homicide detectives grilled Montoya for 2 1/2 hours, most of the time without even a parent present.

Attorney Lisa Polansky said they were, “Yelling and screaming in his face, making up evidence, banging on the table and cornering him against the wall. Telling him he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison and should say goodbye to his mother.”

Lawrence Lorenzo Montoya Denver DetectiveThe police interrogation tape shows detectives lying to Montoya about the evidence and statement from other teens. Montoya told police that he was joy-riding in the stolen car the next day but did not commit the crime, wasn’t there when it happened and did not know anything about it.

According to the lawsuit, at least 65 times Montoya told police he did not have anything to do with the death. Finally, sobbing, he told police what they wanted to hear.

“I without a doubt believe he was coerced,” Polansky said.

“He ends up being convicted of a crime because the police coerced him to confess,” attorney David Fisher said.

According to the lawsuit, the interrogation tape shows detectives coaching Montoya through the false confession. It accuses police of ignoring or lying about other evidence that cleared Montoya.

Montoya was charged as an adult, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  He spent 13 years, seven months and 13 days behind bars until a judge vacated the conviction in 2014 after new DNA testing exonerated him.

Lawrence Lorenzo Montoya Denver False ConvictionFisher said it’s hard to understand why an innocent person would confess, but points out 44 percent of juveniles exonerated by DNA were coerced into false confessions.

“To me there’s nothing worse than a kid who at 14 years old went into an adult prison facility.  It could be avoided and it needs to be avoided,” he said.

Added Polansky: “The district attorneys need to admit their mistake and I think it’s more than a mistake. Their intentional conduct in fabricating and continuing this injustice.”

Not surprisingly, Montoya’s lawyer says that he is having a hard time readjusting to society after those Heroes from the Denver PD purposely cost him roughly half of his life up to this point, in spite of the fact they knew he wasn’t guilty of the murder and had evidence to show that.

And of course, regardless of what amount the taxpayers will be forced to pay Montoya once the lawsuit settles, they will not be punished in any way whatsoever for their intentional acts.

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Former Chicago Bears Superbowl QB Jim McMahon Urges NFL Allow Medical Marijuana For Players

Jim McMahon Medical Marijuana NFL

Jim McMahon, the Superbowl XX winning quarterback from the 1985 Chicago Bears, a team which is often considered one of the best all-time teams and arguably the best defense in the history of the NFL, has joined the long list of people advocating for the medical use of marijuana.

Currently, McMahon is battling symptoms attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), such as early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression, all of which have been attributed to the effects of multiple concussions and for obvious reasons are especially prevalent among people involved in contact sports.

Even in states in which medical marijuana has already been legalized, the National Football League prohibits its use among players. Anyone testing positive for marijuana use, regardless of local laws (even in Washington and Colorado, which both allow recreational use), are subject to punishments that increase with each instance.

McMahon made his statements advocating for marijuana as an alternative to opiates for pain management while appearing as part of a panel discussion by retired NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo. The panel was held at Manhattan’s Javits Convention Center.

Via the Sporting News:

The panel, according to the New York Daily News, was moderated by former Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall and included former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson, former Broncos wide receiver Charlie Adams and former Jaguars offensive tackle Eben Britton.

McMahon, who is dealing with early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression — all symptoms associated with too many concussions — believes he would be healthier now if he was allowed to use marijuana instead of pills during his playing career. Marijuana is an effective pain killer and less harmful than opiods, McMahon said.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant,” McMahon said.

Britton added, “Juxtaposing my experiences with pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin and Percocet, that made me angry and irritable, frustrated, didn’t get rid of any of the pain, made it difficult to sleep, increased my heart rate and made me feel crazy. On the other side of that there’s cannabis that helped me sleep, put me into a healing state of being where I was relieved from stress and anxiety as well as feeling the pain relief.”

Jackson, who appeared on an edition of HBO’s Real Sports that dealt with the same issue, added, “The owners of these teams are, by and large, wealthy men who are older and do not understand that this is a pretty innocuous substance.”

As is also mentioned in the Sporting News article, this offseason the Baltimore Ravens cut Eugene Monroe, a former first round pick who has campaigned publicly for the acceptance of medical marijuana in the NFL. Many people, including Monroe, have attributed that move to his strong advocacy for cannabis use, although the Ravens have denied that is the case.

Jim McMahon Superbowl XX MoonMcMahon, who was known as much for his flamboyant attitude and defiance of arbitrary or silly rules as he was for his play on the field, is no stranger to alternative medical practices or controversy. In one of the more famous photos from the build up to Superbowl XX, he mooned a helicopter while wearing a headband that said “ACUPUNCTURE” on it.

He later explained that he was just showing the media where he had received treatment for an injury he had received in a game the previous week. (The headband derived from an incident earlier in the season where he was fined $5,000 for having an Adidas label on his head band during a game and subsequently wore a headband with “ROZELLE” written on it in reference to the league commissioner, who had fined him.)

Jim McMahon Rozelle HeadbandIt’s silly and contradictory that the NFL approves the use of opiates and all kinds of other horrible pharmaceutical medications for players if they have a prescription (and sometimes without even having one), but prohibits the same medical rights for cannabis patients, even in locations where it can be legally prescribed by a doctor. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for players with lingering injuries to receive shots that numb the affected area in order to play during a game. Stories have even emerged of players receiving such shots in the locker room during a game in which they were injured.

So, it’s clearly not a case of the NFL being opposed to drug use in general or a concern for the safety or health of players. Their refusal to accept that playing in the NFL and improper care for concussions in the past increased the chances of players developing CTE alone is proof of that not being true.

The least they could do is give those players the option of using a safe and non-addictive option to treat the pain is inherent to the game. Being that there are different laws in the different cities which have NFL teams, there’s a small complication in the fact that some players would have access to legal medical marijuana while others wouldn’t because they state they live in still living in the dark ages.

However, in reality, all they would have to do is remove it from the list of drugs which they test for. Legally, they are not under any obligation to test for drugs, whether they are illegal or otherwise. Players certainly make enough money that they could set up residence during the offseason within the states that do allow its use for the next four or five years or so until it’s made legal not just for medical use, but for recreational use as well, nationwide. (That writings on the wall in big letters.)

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“Crowd-Pleasing, Gun-Toting, Tough-Talking” Colorado Sheriff Facing 6 Felonies, Including Extortion And Kidnapping

Last week, Terry Maketa was indicted on nine charges, including six felonies. Less than two years ago, Maketa was the sheriff of El Paso County in Colorado and a powerful Republican “rising star” within local politics.

Along with Former Sheriff Maketa, Former Undersheriff Paula Presley and Former Sheriff’s Office Commander Juan “John” San Agustin were also indicted by the same grand jury. Presley faces the same charges as Maketa, while San Agustin faces two felony charges.

Maketa and Presley were both charged with extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, tampering with a witness or victim, conspiracy to commit tampering with a witness or victim, second degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, and three separate counts of first degree official misconduct. San Agustin was also included on the kidnapping and false imprisonment charges. A PDF of the grand jury’s indictment can be found here.

Via Gazette.com:

The criminal investigation, led by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, turned up wide-ranging allegations involving abuses of power and reprisals against political rivals. Among the charges leveled at the three were that they conspired to force a domestic violence victim to recant her story to protect a deputy she accused of punching her – eventually causing her arrest and wrongful incarceration.

In another alleged scheme, Maketa threatened to pull a $5.2 million contract with the jail’s healthcare provider unless the company fired an employee who refused to run Presley’s aborted campaign for sheriff in 2013. The sheriff, who is married, was accused by subordinates of having an affair with Presley, which the pair have denied.

The grand jury also found that Maketa and Presley led a series of internal investigations in 2013 that accused or sought to accuse sheriff’s employees of stealing an internal affairs file belonging to then-sheriff’s candidate Bill Elder – igniting a controversy that threatened to end Elder’s political hopes and instead put the candidate of Maketa’s favor into office.

The grand jury panel met in secret at the El Paso County courthouse in a process overseen by prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District, comprising Arapaho, Elbert, Lincoln and Douglas counties. District Attorney George Brauchler declined to say how many people were on the panel, how many times they met, or what the final split was on the nine counts.

The county has paid more than $300,000 in claims against Maketa and other former Sheriff’s Office employees. Another $400,000 had been paid in fees for financial and personnel investigations and for the three Sheriff’s Office commanders put on paid leave.

Even though they are facing numerous felonies, their bail was set at just $10,000. All three of them have posted that bond and are currently free awaiting trial.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office Indictments

Along with various financial improprieties, at the heart of those charges is a case in which members of the El Paso Sheriff’s Office at Maketa’s direction (just doing their job) caused the girlfriend of a deputy to be arrested after she reported being assaulted by that deputy in order to cover up for him.

Via Gazette.com:

A woman’s face and jawline swelled – allegedly from a punch – and her arm showed bruises.

She blamed it on violent beatings at the hands of her boyfriend – but a month later, she was the one in jail, court documents show.

In 2013, to protect a deputy, then-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa directed a domestic violence victim to change her story and say she was the aggressor, a grand jury found in indicting the former sheriff and two others on Wednesday. Maketa then stood by as the woman was arrested and wrongfully jailed.

The deputy’s girlfriend also said she had been dragged inside their house, as well as pushed and hit on her head over the previous four months, the affidavit said. Some bruises were visible, according to Kaiser’s report.

When Kaiser pressed (Deputy Travis) Garretson on the allegations, he said “it was possible” he hit his girlfriend the previous night, the affidavit said. He also admitted to leaving a string of obscenity-laced voicemails on her phone, including one where he threatened, “I know what you are doing, I will get you back.”

Garretson was arrested and booked into the El Paso County jail on suspicion of third-degree assault and harassment, both misdemeanors.

What followed, however, was a plot to place the blame on Garretson’s girlfriend, Kellie Trull, 45, according to the indictment.

Garretson asked Maketa for help keeping his job in light of his arrest, the indictment said.
The sheriff responded by telling Trull to claim responsibility for starting the fight, for which she would not be arrested, the grand jury found. Presley reiterated those instructions – and the promise Trull would not be arrested, the indictment said.

Kaiser, the same sheriff’s detective who detailed Trull’s swollen face and bruises a month earlier, took the woman’s new confession in September 2013.

However, key details appear to be missing from that affidavit – a document that law enforcement officers must use to justify arrests.

Those details include:

– No mention the couple had worked at the El Paso County jail when the altercation took place. Garretson was a deputy there and Trull worked for Correctional Healthcare Companies, which provided medical services at the jail, the indictment said.

– No mention that Trull followed her about-face confession with the claim that Maketa and Presley told her to recant her statement and accept blame for the fight.

The affidavit largely focused on Trull’s admission that she instigated almost every altercation with Garretson, leaving him scratched and bruised. She also claimed to have been drunk when she drove to a friend’s house, the affidavit said.

Trull was arrested and booked into the Douglas County jail on suspicion of harassment and driving under the influence. She was held more than 24 hours, the grand jury found. Maketa and Presley later assured Garretson that “this could help” him with his own case, the indictment said.

Three Sheriff’s Office employees – Bureau Chief Al Harmon, then-Sgt. Robert Jaworski and Kaiser – said they did not think Trull should have been arrested.

Kaiser said she was following orders. Jaworski said he feared for his job. Harmon denied ordering the arrest, but nevertheless expressed fear about disobeying orders. (Emphasis added.)

Creepy Sheriff MaketaIncidentally, it was the combination of a sex scandal involving affairs Sheriff Maketa, who is married, was having with three female employees of the sheriff’s office, including Presley, and accusations of abusive treatments from other employees that started the whole investigation leading to those indictments.

And as is the usual case, a shirtless selfie ultimately led to his dramatic downfall.

Via Gazette.com:

For years, rumors circulated about improprieties in the Sheriff’s Office, but it was an article accompanied by a shirtless selfie of Maketa on the front page of The Gazette that brought to light accusations of sexual misconduct and abusive treatment of employees.

The article outlined complaints written by three Sheriff’s Office commanders. The complaints, submitted May 12, 2014, to the Board of El Paso County Commissioners and the federal Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, accused Maketa of discrimination, creating a hostile work environment and financial mismanagement.

The complaint named three women alleged to have had sexual relationships with Maketa: Undersheriff Paula Presley, Comptroller Dorene Cardarelle and the head of training for dispatchers, Tiffany Huntz. Maketa was married at the time. The Gazette also obtained more than 500 emails and text messages between Maketa, Cardarelle and Huntz.

The messages to Cardarelle were explicit.
“Wish you were with me” message accompanied this selfie of Sheriff Terry Maketa sent to a female subordinate.

In one message, a photo of a shirtless Maketa includes the message “wish you were with me.”

The fallout was immediate. County Commissioner Darryl Glenn said Maketa’s alleged affairs were the “worst-kept secret in town.” He said the rumors hadn’t been acted on because there had been no proof.

“This is the first time we’ve been presented evidence from people willing to put down their names,” Glenn said at a press 2014 conference.

Within a week, Commissioner Peggy Littleton called for Maketa to resign, citing a “lack of integrity” in his office.

Two days later, the commissioners gave him a unanimous “no confidence” vote, stating “we believe that leadership within the Sheriff’s Office has been compromised along with the functionality within the office.”

Maketa refused to step down, and instead ordered meetings to discuss employee morale. When one employee told The Gazette about the meetings, Maketa released the personnel file of the person he suspected of leaking the information.

In September 2014, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was investigating the sheriff with the help of the FBI. In December, Maketa submitted retirement paperwork, with plans to leave two weeks before the end of his third term.

Settlements given to Sheriff’s Office employees stand at more than $300,000, with another $400,000 spent by the county for investigations.

Remember folks, shirtless selfies are never a good idea. Neither is extortion, convincing domestic violence victims to lie in order to protect a deputy who beat her up and then kidnapping and falsely imprisoning her after she does so, or even cheating on your wife; especially with people you supervise at work. But above all else, if you feel the urge to take a shirtless selfie, fight it with every fiber of your being. Nothing good will come of it.

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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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Profiled by Road Pirates for Having Out of State License Plates

The post below was submitted by John Williams, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. This particular case deals with an illegal detention (based on supposedly following too close to a nonexistent car) and profiling of out of state vehicles as part of the War on (Some) Drugs.

If you or someone you know have been involved in an incident with law enforcement or the legal system and want to bring attention to it, submit your story and/or video to the CopBlock Network.

Date of Incident: November 17, 2015
Officer Involved: Oklahoma State Trooper C. Rohr Badge# 344 Troop SO
Department Involved: Oklahoma Highway Patrol (Clinton, OK)
Contact Number: (580) 323-2424

I was driving to a doctor’s appointment in Clinton, Oklahoma doing the speed limit when all of a sudden a state trooper was behind me with his lights on! He came up to the car and informed me I was “following too closely,” but no one was actually in front of me at the time! Then he told me I needed to step out of the car and join him in his!

We were in the car for ten minutes and consisting of extensive questioning. Afterwards, he wrote me a warning and said have a nice day! However, after I exited the vehicle he exited his vehicle too and asked me can I talk to you? I told him I had an appointment and needed to be on my way! He immediately told me I was being detained and began grabbing my arm and throwing me to the ground, injuring my wrist and ankle in the process!

My vehicle has Colorado plates and this is the only reason they chose me, because I had not done anything to be stopped! After I was thrown on the ground my vehicle was searched with a drug dog and they found a very small amount of marijuana and charged me with possession and obstruction! I was Targeted and assaulted by this officer for having Colorado plates. Even though I was cooperative and respectful, I was still treated with violence! I was told if I didn’t like what he did I could move to a different country because this is his country.

– John Williams

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