Tag Archives: cop block

Update: First of Two Louisiana Cops Charged in Murder of Six Year Old Jeremy Mardis Sentenced to 40 Years

Marksville, LA. Police Officer Derrick Stafford was sentenced earlier today to 40 years in prison for the November 2015 murder of six year old Jeremy Mardis. Last week Stafford was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter for the shooting of Mardis and his father, Christopher Few, who was badly wounded but survived. (See below for videos of the actual shooting.) Technically, Stafford was sentenced to 55 years, but the fifteen years he received for attempting to kill Few will run concurrent to the 40 year sentence.

As has been reported several times already on the CopBlock Network (primarily by Brian Sumner and also by me personally), Mardis was killed by Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. after a short car chase. Stafford and Greenhouse, who were working as Deputy Marksville City Marshals at the time, claimed that they had to defend themselves after Christopher Few had backed into Greenhouse’s vehicle.

However, body camera video showed that not only had Few, who was unarmed, stopped prior to the shooting, but that he had also raised his arms outside the window of his SUV. Other officers at the scene, including Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell, whose body camera recorded the video, did not fire their weapons and also testified that they did not do so because they did not “fear for their lives.” That “extremely disturbing” footage was later cited by Colonel Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police as one of the reasons why charges were filed against Greenhouse and Stafford.

After the shooting it was revealed that Few and Greenhouse were involved in a “love triangle” involving Few’s fiancee, Megan Dixon. Prior to the shooting there had reportedly been several prior confrontations between the two. Also, just prior to the beginning of the chase that culminated in the shooting, Few had been arguing with Dixon and attempting to convince her to come home with him.

Stafford and Greenhouse were both moonlighting as Deputy Marksville City Marshals at the time. In addition to that, Stafford worked full time as a Lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department. Greenhouse, whose trial will begin later this year, previously resigned from the Marksville PD and was working full time as an Alexandria City Marshal.

Full Body Camera Video

Update: NYPD Cop Who Got Drunk, Broke Into a Woman’s House, and Repeatedly Assaulted Her Given Probation

Almost exactly a year ago, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Officer Eugene Donnelly of the NYPD. As I reported then, within hours of having received an award for bravery at a June 2014 ceremony (pictured above) presided over by both Mayor De Blasio and former NYPD Commission Bill Bratton, Donnelly went out with a group of fellow officers to celebrate. That victory party culminated in him passing out drunk at a friend’s apartment in the Bronx.

However, that was not the end of the festivities for Officer Donnelly. Sometime during the night, he forced his way into an apartment within the same building, threw the woman who lived there to the ground while yelling about children and guns, and then hit her at least twenty times in the head, because he (apparently) thought she worked for Child Protective Services. After some unspecified amount of time, he then realized he had done some crazy shit and ran out of the apartment in nothing but a pair of black boxers. (See video embedded below.) Before that though, he reportedly added insult to injury by drinking milk out of his victim’s refrigerator – straight from the carton, no less.

He later tried to claim that all of this happened because he was sleep walking.

Via the New York Post:

Eugene Donnelly, who gave the snoozy defense in court last week, is wearing only a pair of black boxers as he tries to flee a Bronx building where, moments earlier, he allegedly pummeled the total stranger.

Donnelly first enters the frame in the lobby at 5:43 a.m. and runs out to the street. He then tries to get back inside but is locked out and leaves again. When a cop car passes by, he goes back to the vestibule where he frantically rings buzzers.

Seconds before the damning footage, his alleged victim is seen running through the lobby in her bathrobe as she desperately tries to get away.

A day earlier, Donnelly had been given a Combat Cross by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for ­arresting a gunman who fired at him in 2012.

Sources said he spent the night drinking before crashing at a fellow cop’s place in the victim’s building.

The 32-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, shared details of the 2014 nightmare for the first time with The Post.

She said she was in bed when Donnelly kicked in her door wearing nothing but the shorts.

She ran toward the door, screaming, “Help!”

“He came rushing toward me and punched me in the face, hard enough to knock me to the floor,” she recalled.

“It was so sudden.”

He then got on top of her and continued hitting her, she said. “I was lying on the ground and he . . kept punching me, really fast, nonstop, pummeling me.

“He was screaming, ‘Shut the f–k up, you ACS bitch! I know there are kids in here! I know there are guns!’

“I had no idea what he was talking about . . . I thought I was going to die,” she said.

At one point, the fearful woman dialed 911, but was afraid to speak because he was still in the apartment.

When she heard him walk into her kitchen, she put on a bathrobe, ran out of her apartment and knocked on neighbors’ doors for help.

To sweeten the deal a little bit, Officer Donnelly also is facing a DWI charge from May of 2016. In that incident, Donnelly had to be pried out of his own car after it collided with three parked cars and flipped on its side. (See second video embedded below.) He was reportedly, according to witnesses, going 65 to 70 miles per hour on a city street prior to the collision.

These charges would probably tell you that Officer Donnelly has some serious issues with self control and either one of them would probably indicate that he’s a danger to the public when he inevitably loses control. So this is a guy you’d think should more than likely not be working as a cop and should even be given some sort of harsh punishment to discourage him from this type of behavior in the future.

Or not. Instead Donnelly will be sentenced to three years of probation as part of a plea deal and “could” be fired from the NYPD if he is convicted on the DWI charges, which have yet to go to trial. That’ll keep him on the straight and narrow.

City Ordinances Vs. Private Property Rights – Should the Government Dictate the Use Of Your Property?

The following video was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In the video, the person submitting it discusses notices they received from the Angleton City (TX) Code Enforcement Department regarding city ordinances relating to the height of their grass and vehicles they have parked at their house. According to those ordinances, they are in violation because their grass is higher than fourteen inches and the vehicle(s) are not currently registered and are considered to be “junk vehicles,” as a result.

Date of Incident: March 27, 2017
Department Involved: Angleton City Code Enforcement
Department Phone No.: (979) 849-4364 extension 2105
Contact Email: Heidi Guzman – [email protected]

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.

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Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Twenty one years of living in the same house in Angleton, TX. Being told I have to cut my yard to under 14″ and “get rid of” inoperable vehicles on my property. The video covers it mostly, and has my reasoning behind why I find this unconstitutional and a violation of my rights as a born citizen of the United States of America.

I plan on fighting this. After paying taxes and being a good citizen since 1996, I will not be pushed around and controlled by local government. Thanks guys, I hope I can shed some light on this. If we sit around and not stand up to this kind of thing, they’ll just kick everyone they don’t like out of the city.

Update: Head of Las Vegas School Police Internal Affairs Keeps Job In Spite of Guilt Due to “Minor Notification Oversight”

Last June, I posted about the case in which the head of Internal Affairs for the Clark County School District Police Department was being investigated. In short, Detective Christopher Klemp, the guy in charge of investigating school cops in Las Vegas when they’ve been accused of misconduct, was himself being investigated for threatening other officers and suppressing evidence in order to influence investigations he had taken part in.

Part of that investigation included audio recordings of phone calls between Detective Klemp and one of the Lieutenants in the department in which he implicated himself and discussing open cases (which is itself prohibited). Not surprisingly with evidence like that, the result of that investigation was that all of the charges against Klemp were upheld. However, Klemp filed a grievance through the Las Vegas police union.

That grievance was based on a clause in the union’s contract that the school district has to keep officers informed every thirty days during active investigations. Instead, the district notified Klemp of the final results of their investigation 33 days after their last notification. So, as a result, Kemp’s only punishment is to be removed as the head of Internal Affairs. He’ll still be working as a police officer for a local school.

Via KTNV 13 News, the local ABC affiliate:

Internal records obtained by Contact 13 show they were making regular notifications when things took longer than expected.

But CCSD officials made their final notification three days late.

So Associate Superintendent Edward Goldman effectively threw out the entire investigation.

Though Klemp was removed from his position in Internal Affairs, he’ll be allowed to keep his job.

He’s currently a campus officer at Peterson Behavior School.

As Contact 13 first exposed in June, Detective Klemp disclosed confidential information about ongoing internal affairs investigations, told another officer to lie about the source of that information and threatened to come after him if he spoke the truth about it in the future.

All that was caught on an undercover recording made by a former school cop who filed a complaint against Klemp with the District Attorney.

On the recording, Klemp can be heard saying, “And if something happens and I got to I.A. you, if you say anything about this I’m going to call you a motherf—ing liar. And I’ll come at you like a whirlwind because I gotta protect myself.”

In a letter, the D.A. called Klemp’s conduct “highly concerning… especially how he so callously and repeatedly stated he would lie under oath.”

The letter goes on to say that Klemp’s statements “are more than inappropriate and should not go without review and subsequent punishment.”

Klemp did not return our call for comment.

A CCSD spokesperson says Klemp is working as assigned by the CCSD Police Department, and they can’t say more because everything else is part of his confidential personnel record.

So, while the DA claims that Detective Klemps actions should not go without punishment, that’s exactly what will happen. (I’m not entirely sure if it’s ironic or really appropriate that his new assignment is at a school for kids that have been expelled from regular schools for behavior issues.) In fact, based the past behavior of Las Vegas area school cops, Kemp is probably due a hefty promotion. BTW, I’d like to think this was an unintentional over-site, but the fact that Metro waited until Jesus Arevalo had submitted and gotten approved for disability (based on stress from being criticized for murdering Stanley Gibson) before “firing” him two weeks later, just tends to make me a bit skeptical of the motives of Las Vegas Police departments in these type of situations.

Las Vegas Know Your Rights Seminar by Attorney Stephen Stubbs to be Held March 23rd

Tomorrow, March 23rd, Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs will be holding a “know your rights” seminar primarily in response to recent harassment of motorcycle riders in Las Vegas by the LVMPD (“Metro”) using saturation teams and the gang task force, including a “motorcycle intelligence unit” specifically used to gather information on motorcycle clubs.

As Stubbs mentions in the Facebook Live video embedded below, this harassment has involved the profiling of people that ride motorcycles and several violations of those people’s rights. That includes manufacturing suspicion to stop them, attempting to force passengers to ID themselves, and detaining them longer than is required to perform an investigation related to the (often dubious) offense that they have been stopped for.

Obviously, the motivation behind these targeted stops and the attempts to question those stopped is to gather information about motorcycle clubs under the false pretense that anybody belonging to a motorcycle club is a criminal and the even more flawed pretense that anyone riding a motorcycle and/or fitting a certain description must belong to a motorcycle club. Beyond that, Metro has also been known in recent years to illegally put pressure on public businesses, such as bars, to attempt to force them to exclude members of bike clubs from those businesses. This often is done under the threat of having their liquor license taken away.

Downtown Las Vegas know your rights flyer by NVCopBlock.org

As regular readers of the CopBlock Network know, Stephen Stubbs has a pretty long history (see “related posts” section below) of defending the civil rights of people (including himself) against the police, especially those departments located within the Las Vegas area. That has included defending motorcyclists against the frequent harassment they receive from the LVMPD.

Stubbs has also in the past done know your rights seminars numerous times at events and for various groups (as well as independently) throughout the Las Vegas area. (See below for an embedded video of a previous know your rights training.) Among other things, these seminars typically will cover issues involving the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments such as the requirements for a legal detainment, when you are obligated to identify yourself to police, your rights when the police want to search you, your right to remain silent and why that’s a good idea, and your rights when filming the police (and why that’s also always a good idea).

In spite of the direct motivation for this particular know your rights seminar being the harassment directed at motorcyclists, the topics and rights being discussed will not be exclusive to cyclists and can be applied to anyone that is stopped by the police.

The following information is included within the Facebook event description (which can be found here):

Click for full size image

LVMPD made it very clear this week that they are starting up their motorcycle saturation enforcements again. People are being stopped on motorcycles for LVMPD’s intelligence gathering efforts and as a show of force.

Attend this seminar to learn your Constitutional rights, the proper way to handle traffic stops, and the laws that can protect you. You have to know your rights before you can use them. Everyone is welcome.

LVMPD doesn’t care about the law

Previous Know Your Rights Seminar by Stephen Stubbs

Related Posts:

Stephen-Stubbs-CopBlockThose of you that have followed CopBlock.org over the past several years are probably already aware that Stephen Stubbs has been featured numerous times on the Cop Block Network. He often represents bikers and motorcycle organizations, whom are frequent targets of harassment from the police. In addition, I have personally worked with Stephen on a somewhat regular basis through Nevada Cop Block on issues or cases within the Las Vegas area.

Therefore, there is a pretty lengthy (and growing) list of posts on Cop Block involving Stephen Stubbs, his clients, and/or people or groups he is associated with. Included below are links to those posts.

  1. “What Happened in Vegas” Isn’t Staying in Las Vegas; Documentary on Police Brutality Premiers at Cinequest
  2. Nevada CopBlock Founder Arrested While Filming Las Vegas Metro Police
  3. LVMPD Caught on Body Camera Admitting They Arrested Man For Singing F*ck The Police
  4. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Explains How Not To Get Beaten And/Or Shot By The Police
  5. The LVMPD Gang Task Force is Corrupt and it Extends All the Way to the Top
  6. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Ordered to Answer Perjury/Withholding Evidence Charges in Court
  7. Head of LVMPD Internal Affairs Accused of Perjury; Judge Recused Self Due to “Negative Opinion” of Her
  8. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  9. Las Vegas Metro Police Illegally Search; Sexually Assault Innocent Man to Justify Bullshit Arrest
  10. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  11. Man Beaten by Las Vegas Police For Not Moving Fast Enough Awarded $31,500 Settlement
  12. Full Waco Twin Peaks Biker Shooting Videos; Witness Statement Made Public
  13. Know Your Rights Seminar At Las Vegas “Rally For Your Rights”
  14. Waco, TX; Twin Peaks Shootings Arrests – June 10th Call Flood
  15. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  16. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  17. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs Found Not Guilty in 5th Amendment Right to Counsel Case
  18. Game Over for Insert Coins’ and Their Abusive Bouncers
  19. Dance, Dance Revolution Protest at Insert Coins Las Vegas- Feb. 26, 2015
  20. Insert Coin(s) Las Vegas Bouncers Beat Man and Obstruct Witness Trying to Film
  21. Las Vegas Police Promise “Fundamental Policy Changes” after Dominic Gennarino Beating
  22. Las Vegas Police Beat a Man for “Not Moving Fast Enough”
  23. Las Vegas Police Agree That You Should Film Them
  24. Free Know Your Rights Seminar in Las Vegas
  25. Attorney Stephen Stubbs Arrested for Refusing to Leave His Client’s Side

Other Videos:

The LVMPD Gang Task Force is Corrupt

Original Stephen Stubbs Arrest Video

Lt. Yatomi is Promoted and Put in Charge of Internal Affairs

Annapolis, MD Police Officer James Spearman Threatens and Tries to Intimidate Citizen Legally Filming

The following post and video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Landon Tomsa, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The following post is fairly self explanatory. The person who submitted it states that they saw an Annapolis City police officer, James Spearman, parked illegally while having some unspecified interaction with a woman. Shortly after, Officer Spearman aggressively approaches Tomsa and begins filming with his own cell phone.

As anyone who has filmed the police knows, this is actually not an unusual reaction by cops. They often project their own displeasure at being filmed onto the people legally filming them and think they’ll  “show them” by filming them back. Generally, Cop Blockers don’t mind being filmed and it amounts to a whole lot of nothing.

However, in the case of Officer Spearman, as can be seen on the video, he acts very aggressively and purposely invades Tomsa’s personal space (something that would get a citizen arrested) in order to harass and intimidate him for exercising his legal right not only to film in public, but as has been affirmed numerous times in court, also to film public employees performing their duties.

Also on the video you can see several “Good Cops,” including Officer Kevin Freeman, show up after being called by Officer Spearman to back up his efforts to stop a citizen from exercising his legal rights. Initially, they remove Spearman from the area and pretend to be sympathetic to Tomsa’s valid complaint. However, when Tomsa begins walking away and Officer Spearman resumes his harassment of him, the other officers somehow don’t seem to notice, since they make no effort to intervene a second time.

Date of Incident: October 10, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer James Spearman Badge #2077, Officer Kevin Freeman, also multiple other officer who didn’t identify themselves.
Department Involved: Annapolis City Police Department
Department Facebook Page: Annapolis Police Department
Department Twitter Account: @AnnapolisPD
Internal Affairs Section:

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.

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

I would just like to start off by saying that my prior interactions with the law enforcement officers of the Great State of Maryland had been pretty good, overall. The Annapolis County Police have given me nothing but respect and even a little help in some situations with my filming of interactions with the police. For some reason though, it seems that the Annapolis City Police Department doesn’t do things quite the same way.

On the morning of October 10th, I got up early and, having the day off, decided to head to the state capital to see what was going on. After walking around for about a half-hour, I came across a police cruiser, which happened to be parked in a loading only zone. I noticed a woman interacting with a police officer, so I decided to film this attraction.

After a while, the woman left and the officer, after sitting in his car for a bit, got out and started approaching me. What transpired next is exactly what you see on the video.

Having pulled out his personal cell phone, he approached me continuously while trying to get a picture of me for some reason. Officer Spearman then chased me down a main thoroughfare in Annapolis about two blocks from where I originally started the interaction.

It was about at this point that other officers started arriving. The arriving officers then separated Officer Spearman and I. A second officer approached me and, as you can see in the video, I sort of explain the situation to him. A third officer, with a body cam, identified himself as Kevin Freeman. I found out later he was the commander for the Annapolis Police K-9 Division.

I explained the situation to him, he seemed to agreeably and professionally take my complaint about the officer and assured me it would be addressed. Unfortunately, as I was walking back towards the Capitol Building, Officer Spearman continued to follow me. He again began walking, unimpeded, away from the other officers, who had told me they wouldn’t let him do this.

As he was following me he made some very odd comments. I don’t know if you can hear them in the video, but one was, “now we’ll do a follow up with the Department of Homeland Security.” The other was, “We may have a lone wolf situation here.” Both ludicrous statements as you can tell from my reaction if the video.

I hope the public finds this video as informative as I did about certain officers within the Annapolis Police Department. And if anybody feels like expressing their own opinion to the Annapolis Police department, included are the public access, non-emergency numbers and email for their Internal Affairs Department, as well as links to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Feel free to express your opinion, it is your right as much as filming them in public without having to be being harassed and intimidated is.

– Landon Tomsa

Just wanted to give a big thanks and a shout out to everyone involved at CopBlock.org. Though I have not been doing this very long, you guys have helped me immensely. Keep up the good work and let people know that Badges Don’t Grant Extra Rights.

Alberta Canada Checkpoint (Check Stop) Refusal and Assertion of Rights

The following video post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader, using the (very creative) pseudonym “Sub Mitter.” It was sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Although there was no description included with the video, it is pretty self explanatory. In the video, a man driving through a checkpoint (they’re called “check stops” in Canada) in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, where he is asked if he has been drinking and also to provide a driver’s license. He informs the officer conducting the stop that he won’t answer any questions. At that point the officer tells him to drive to a secondary inspection area.

The driver responds by asking if he is being detained. The officer says that he is and quotes a law that says he is authorized to determine if drivers have been drinking and also if they have a valid driver’s license. There’s then some back and forth about whether the police need to have a suspicion that a driver is drunk before they are compelled to submit to further investigation regarding that. Next, the driver asks if he is required to show a driver’s license without a requirement for suspicion. The officer replies that he is and the man then shows him his driver’s license.

Shortly after, and still without having answered the question about whether he had been drinking, the driver is released and continues on his way.

Date of Checkpoint: November 26th, 2016
Department Involved: Medicine Hat (Alberta, Canada) Police Service
Professional Standards Supervisor: (403) 502-8917
Department Facebook Page: Medicine Hat Police Service
Department Twitter Profile: @medhatpolice
Department Instagram Account: Medicine Hat Police Service

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Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

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.

Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained Again at the Airport After Speaking to Congress About First Incident

Yesterday, on the way home from a trip to Washington DC to testify about his first incident of being detained for having a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained once again. This time the son of the former boxing champ known as “the Greatest” may have been more than just religiously profiled, according to his lawyer.

Family attorney Chris Mancini has since suggested that the stop was an act of retaliation for having spoken at a Democrat-organized Congressional forum on immigration. Ali had criticized Trump’s Muslim travel ban and attributed his first detention last month in the Fort Lauderdale airport to both racial and religious profiling.

Meanwhile, the TSA maintains that Ali’s jewelry set off an alarm prompting the extra profiling.

Via ABC News:

Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and questioned at a Washington airport before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale after meeting with lawmakers to discuss a separate airport detention incident last month, a lawyer for the late heavyweight champion’s son said Friday.

Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, were stopped at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica on Feb. 7. They traveled to Washington on Wednesday without incident to speak to members of a congressional subcommittee on border security about that experience.

But attorney Chris Mancini said that when Ali attempted to board a JetBlue Airways flight home to Florida on Friday he was detained for 20 minutes. Mancini said Ali spoke to Department of Homeland Security officials by telephone and showed his driver’s license and passport before he was allowed to board.

“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the agency confirmed Ali’s identity before he boarded his plane.

Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Ali also was patted down because his jewelry set off a checkpoint scanner alarm.

Officer Radel of the Norfolk (NY) Police Department Commits Auto Theft Against a Resident

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Denise Davis, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Davis submission describes an incident in which Officer Radel of the Norfolk (NY) Police Department had her truck towed away and impounded, in spite of it being legally parked on her property. For those not wearing a Magic Uniform, that is generally known as auto theft.

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.

Date of Incident: September 23, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Radel – Badge #54
Department Involved: Norfolk (NY) Police Department
Department Phone No.: (315) 384-4200
Department Fax No.: (315) 384-3505

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Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

On Sept. 23 2016, Officer Radel showed up at my house to tow my truck, a 1987 Nissan Hardbody from my driveway. Originally, the complaint stated that it was unlicensed and unregistered. When confronted with the fact that it was and had been insured, licensed, and registered, then she tried to claim it was “dismantled.” Not a criminal offense, but a code violation. However, the truck was not dismantled, although it still needs brakes done and a small amount of body and vinyl work to complete a restoration. It was NOT on blocks and an engine change over was complete, including hoses and belts!

I went to court every week the following October, as no tickets had been filed with the court and the police department at that time couldn’t find any tickets. The tickets were given to me September 25th, two days after the truck was towed, and had whiteout all over them and were dated 2015! After several court dates culminating in today, March 8th 2017, it has been stated the truck was illegally towed. The town attorney had once again not showed for court, but had asked the ADA to stand in.

He originally offered a contemplation of dismissal. When I refused, he threatened me with 15 days in jail and $150 in fines and additionally that I would be fined for every day the truck remained on the property. I had to point out that the truck had been removed just two days prior to getting the tickets! I then asked for the definition of dismantled, as the police or code enforcement officer had taken pictures earlier the same day of the towing. (Pictures taken on my lot without me having been there. I was working when they had came and until court hadn’t known they had been there.) Those pictures clearly showed it was whole and not even on blocks.

A date for jury trial was set for May 22nd, at which time the ADA left, only to storm back in and try to have the case dismissed outright as admittedly they had no right to have taken the truck to begin with. The judge is waiting at this point to accept dismissal, as my attorney told him (Judge Grubee) that I was unwilling to let it go unless my truck is returned. But at this point it looks like it will just be dismissed, with them being allowed to keep my truck.Even after all parties (except the police) admitting they had no right to steal the truck to begin with.

By dismissing the case, it will turn it into a civil case that no attorney wants to touch because their fees would be more than the truck is valued at. (The Kelly Blue Book value for it in this area is $3,441.) So, it’s looking like they are being allowed to steal from me with no repercussions.

– Denise Davis

Incidentally, behind the courthouse is a Suburban cop car with an inspection sticker that expired in August 2015 which hasn’t been moved in months. Two houses behind that is the house of the judge’s daughter where a truck belonging to the judge is parked off the road with no plates, etc.

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.