Tag Archives: id

LVMPD Police Illegally Detain Then Falsely Arrest Las Vegas Man For Not Telling Them His Birthdate

LVMPD Illegal Detention False Arrest Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world.

Update: I’ve been told that the name of the officer who is wearing the body camera is Officer J. Deel. Also, the officer who orders that Mr. Martinez be (falsely) arrested is named Officer Jenkins. A third officer, who appears on camera at the end while he is being placed in the car, is named Officer Hernandez. (Other officers, who currently have not been identified, were also present.)

In the body camera footage (which was recorded by Officer J. Deel) embedded below, police officers from the LVMPD​ illegally detain then falsely arrest Joshua Martinez outside of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas​. Initially they approach and ask him for his birthdate, claiming that he is required to identify himself because they “are assisting the federal marshals within the courthouse.” Their only explanation for why he is supposedly required to identify himself to them is because when he tried to enter the courthouse the marshals asked him for ID, which he did not give them.

However, in order for someone to have to identify themselves to the police, they need to be legally detained first. In order to be legally detained, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that that person has committed a crime, is currently committing a crime, or is about to commit a crime. Even if there is a requirement to show ID in order to enter a building (I’ve personally been to the courthouse many times and can’t recall having ever been required to do so), not having that ID or opting against showing it to them is not a crime. It simply means they won’t allow you inside. So that does not satisfy the requirement for reasonable suspicion of a crime.

In the meantime, during the video, they readily admit several times that they are not accusing him of having committed a crime. In addition, they admit that he is on public property and confirm that he has not been trespassed from the property by the federal marshals. Contrary to what they claim while demanding the information that Martinez is under no legal obligation to provide, they are by their own admission not investigating him for having committed a crime.

Since they in fact never legally detained him, he is not under any obligation to identify himself to them. They also never ordered him to leave the courthouse property. So, he’s not disobeying any lawful orders. Therefore their charge of obstruction and the resulting arrest is false and illegal. Cops lie a lot and try to trick you into giving up your rights, but they also often don’t know the laws they are enforcing. This actually looks like the latter case.

See the original (raw) body cam video here at Joshua Martinez’ YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/riA0TcO7QnE

Idaho School Cop Who Stole Thousands of Drugs Sentenced to Just Two Days in Jail After Plea Deal

Officer Paul Hardwicke, a resource officer at Blackfoot High School in Idaho, was caught with his hand in the drug jar in May of 2015. According to the Idaho State Journal, Hardwicke was immediately given a paid vacation (but not arrested) after it was determined that he had stolen thousands of prescription pain killers. The drugs were stolen out of the drop boxes that were being used as part of a drug return program at the school.

Originally he was facing two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, oxycodone and morphine, and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, tramadol and legend drug (a “legend” drug is what prescription drugs are, for some weird reason, legally called in Idaho). The felonies carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine each. The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of one year and a fine of $1,000 each. All told, he was potentially facing up to 16 years in prison.

Of course, he was wearing his Magic Uniform at the time, so that’s not at all what happened. Once he received his customary Policeman’s Discount, he ended up being sentenced to two whole days in jail. (There’s no word on whether he is eligible for good time and thus allowed to get out after one day.)

Via KTVB.com in Idaho Falls:

A former Blackfoot policeman and high school resource officer will spend two days in jail for stealing thousands of prescription painkillers from a drug drop box.

The Post Register reports that Paul Hardwicke pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misdemeanor counts of possession of a legend drug without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and two years of probation, but 178 days of the sentence were suspended.

Hardwicke’s attorney argued his client should get probation since he already lost his job.

Hardwicke was a school resource officer at Blackfoot High School before he was terminated. He started a drug drop box program when people were encouraged to discard unused prescription medications at the police station. Investigators found he was taking medication from the drop box.

And yeah, you read that last paragraph right, Officer Hardwicke is the one that started the drug drop box program in order to encourage residents to bring their unused prescription drugs to the police station for “disposal.” In spite of all the hypocrisy of him being one of those people that kidnap and hold people hostage for the same stuff he’s doing himself, you kinda have to admire this guy a little when you hear about that.

Between thinking far enough ahead to become a cop and secure that get out of jail free card that comes with it and then coming up with a scheme to get people to just bring drugs right to him for free, Hardwicke clearly was way ahead of the game. He slipped up a little at the end and now he’s gonna have to go get hired by another police department after his grueling two days of hard time, but he had a good plan going in.

Man Ticketed for Helping His Neighbors Out by Plowing the Snow From in Front of Their Houses

No good deed goes unpunished when someone who’s “just doing their job” has something to say about it. After a Christmas storm dropped a bunch of snow on Pocatello, Idaho, Mitch Fisher went out and did the neighborly thing by using his ATV to plow the snow from the streets around his neighorhood, where according to him most of the residents are elderly people that are unable to deal with the snow themselves.

Unfortunately, as he was in the process of doing so a local Revenue Collector happened upon his act of kindness and decided he needed to be extorted a little bit. Apparently, Fischer had made a pile with the snow that had been plowed in front of his own house. In spite of the fact that the reason that pile was there was because he had moved all the snow out of everyone else’s way, that violated the letter of a law within the city codes of Pocatello.

And for that he had to be punished, regardless of the circumstances involved. It’s obviously a good thing that a Brave Hero in Blue was there to step in and protect those people from a friendly neighbor helping to make their streets safer during winter.

Via Local8News.com (the ABC affiliate in Pocatello):

Whenever it snows, Mitch Fisher is ready to help his neighbors, whether it’s clearing the sidewalks or trying to clear the street. When the area’s Christmas storm hit, he was out plowing his street with his ATV.

“I take care of the neighbors. They’re all elderly and I like to help them out,” Fisher said.

On Wednesday, however, a Pocatello police officer cited Fisher for an infraction — placing or depositing material on a public right of way. It carries a cost of more than $200.

Fisher said he was baffled by the situation.

“I tried to talk (the officer) out of it and tell him what I was doing, that I was trying to get it out of the street because (the street) hasn’t been plowed since the beginning of snow season,” he said. “Of course, he was doing his job, wrote the citation and went on his way.”

Chapter nine of Pocatello’s city code states, “It is unlawful for any person to deposit, place or allow to remain in or upon any public right of way any material or substance injurious to persons or property.” In this case, “public right of way” means the street.

Fisher argues he wasn’t moving the snow back into the street, but that he was doing the opposite. He moved the snow into a pile right next to his curb.

“I didn’t want it in front of (my neighbors’) houses because they can’t park. I don’t care if it’s in front of mine,” he said.

Despite the hefty price tag of his citation, Fisher doesn’t plan on stopping his snow removal efforts.

“I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t care about the city,” he said.

Fisher plans on contesting the ticket, hoping to show he wasn’t violating city code.

It is good to see that Fischer plans to fight the ticket, since most of these type of revenue generation based tickets are predicated on the idea that the person being preyed upon will just pay the fine and not be willing or able to take it to court.

Idaho Cop Says on Body Cam If He Could Get Away With It He Would Put a Bullet in Teens’ Heads

“Mouthy little bitches, oh my fucking god. If I can get away with it, I would have put a bullet in the center of each one of their heads.”- Officer Cody Sampson

That was the statement caught on an Idaho police officer’s body cam shortly after he finished a traffic stop with three teenage girls. They’re horrible crime, outside of not being properly “respectful” to Weiser Police Officer Cody Sampson while he rudely and aggressively berated them, consisted of having a dangerous marijuana grinder. (The charge of possessing “drug paraphernalia” against Jacqueline Aldrich was actually dropped later.)

Via KBOI2.com, the local CBS affiliate:

Local attorney Shane Darrington, who represented Aldrich in the video, told KBOI 2News that he discovered the officer’s behavior and comments during a routine request for all available audio and video evidence.

“It is outrageous and egregious,” Darrington said. “The last statement was frightening.”

At the end of the video, the officer is heard talking about the interaction.

“Mouthy little (expletive) oh my (expletive) God,” the officer says. “If I can get away with it I would have put a bullet in the center of each one of their heads.”

A second person in the room heard laughing.

Darrington, who told KBOI 2News that the video was edited for time constraints, says his client was originally charged with drug paraphernalia, but the charges were later dropped.

“Frankly, it was scary,” Darrington said. “Somebody in a position of power saying something like that, even if it’s an off the cuff comment, it’s something that should not have been said.”

According to online court records, the charges were dropped Oct. 27.

The attorney says he posted the video online because it’s not isolated conduct for the unidentified officer.

“I wanted the community to know this conduct was happening,” he said. “And I wanted to know …does the community condone it?”

Aldrich says she felt disrespected in the way the officer was talking to her.

“I felt it was unprofessional for a cop to act like that,” she told KBOI 2News.

“He belittled her and made her seem like she was dumb and couldn’t comprehend anything. It made me mad, that’s my sister you know?” said Aldrich’s sister.

She didn’t know about the last remarks made in the video until her attorney showed her.

“I was scared, that’s why I left Weiser – he has the power to do that,” Aldrich said.

Aldrich has had previous run-ins with the Weiser Police in the past, including an arrest for minor in possession and misdemeanor battery on two police officers.

When asked if her prior history could’ve influenced the encounter in the video, she said yes.

“Yeah, how they know my past, they think they can just treat me like that, you know?”

Some residents of Weiser say the video is now the talk of the town.

“I was angry because I think our kids and our community need to be able to go to the cops with anything that’s going on, but with that, whose going to go to them?” said Teresa Persher.

Fortunately for Jacqueline Aldrich and the other two unnamed teens, Officer Sampson was unaware at that time that he can put a bullet in the center of each of their heads and very easily would get away with it.

Shortened Version

Full Video

Las Vegas Cops Demand ID, Attempt to Intimidate, Then Issue Threat When Refused

The videos and description within this post were shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader from Las Vegas named Carter, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The videos included with this post begin with a group of Animal Control officers attempting to get a Carter to provide them with his identity and allow them access to his dogs. The reason given to justify that is that they received a report of a kid being bit by a dog five days earlier. When Carter refuses to do so without them providing some sort of probable cause that the dogs involved were his, the Animal Control officers call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for backup.

A pair of LVMPD officers arrive and also begin demanding ID from Carter, incorrectly telling him that he is required by law to tell them his identity. Instead, he cites the requirement for a legal detention, per the Supreme Court ruling in “Terry vs. Ohio,” that they have probable cause to believe he is either committing, is about to commit, or has committed a crime.

Of course, in Nevada you are not required to identify yourself to the police unless you have been legally detained or are under arrest. However, the police are in fact required to give their name and badge number and, in spite of that, every one of them refuse to do so when it is requested.

In the end, having realized that their attempts to intimidate Carter have very badly failed, the half dozen police and animal control officers walk back to their vehicles. In the process, one of the LVMPD gang members threatens Carter saying, “don’t let me catch you jaywalking” and “you better watch yourself.”

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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 27, 2016
Department Involved: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas City Marshals & Animal Control
LVMPD Phone No.: (702) 828-3111
Animal Control Phone No.: (702) 633-1390

Animal Control officers came to my house and asked for my name and to see my dogs because they had a report of a kid having been bitten five days earlier while riding a bike. I told her she had the wrong residence. She Continued to demand to look at my dogs and for me to tell her my name.

I still refused and then she called police from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. When officers from the LVMPD arrived they tried to further intimidate me in to giving them my identity. They continued with their efforts until I cited the requirements for a legal detention (and by extension an obligation to identify oneself in Nevada) under Terry vs. Ohio.

– Carter

Harassment of Innocent Man by NYPD Thugs in Blue Spawns Another CopBlocker

The following post was shared with the Nevada Cop Block by Sergio Crocco, via the NVCopBlock.org Submissions Page. The post discusses an incident in which Sergio was harassed by a group of NYPD officers seemingly on a fishing trip hoping to find someone to quickly pad their quota numbers.

He also discusses his reaction to this treatment and how and why he intends to become more active against such rights abuses in the future. If you feel the same way and would like to get more involved in your own area, you can visit the CopBlock Groups Page to connect woth others already active in your community. If there isn’t already a CopBlock Network affiliate where you live you can also Start a Group yourself.

It was a beautiful Saturday night in Gowanis, Brooklyn at the Nihil Gallery, 251 Douglass St. A few friends and I were standing out front of the small art gallery/live music space waiting for the final band to get on stage and enjoying our night peacefully when a police van slowly drove by followed by an unmarked police cruiser. Some of the patrons who had beer cans with them outside were trying to hide them or get rid of them to avoid a summons, and then the unmarked cruiser stopped right in front of the gallery.

I was standing the farthest away from the small crowd with my arms crossed the whole time thinking, “oh boy here we go…someone’s getting a ticket for having an open container out on the street.”

The three thugs open their doors, exit the vehicle and walk through the crowd – straight to me. Thug #1, a heavy-set 5’5″ African American woman stands in front of me and says, “I saw you throw that beer can over there” as she aims her flashlight towards a nearby fence to an empty lot.

I replied, “I didn’t have a can in my hand, I wasn’t drinking anything, I didn’t throw anything.”

Thug #2, a 5’8″ Caucasian male, says in a threatening tone, “Give her your ID, NOW.” So with nothing to hide and without thinking I handed over my ID.

Thug #1 takes my ID and says, “You better be 100% sure you didn’t throw that can.”

I replied, “I’m 1000% percent sure.”

So the three thugs walk back to their cruiser and spend ten minutes looking up my ID, trying to find anything on me. I walk towards the car and stand on the sidewalk watching them, while most of the crowd goes inside or continue with their conversations. Two of my friends stand back towards the building watching the thugs and only one other gallery-attendee stood and watched and supported me.

Then Thug #1 and #2 exit the vehicle and come towards me. Thug #2, in his threatening tone tells me “Come here.” I take two steps off the curb to get closer to the pig, purposely placing myself behind a parked motorcycle and a plastic barrier, giving myself some security from any physical contact. He then asks, “Have you lived on Watchung Ave in Bloomfield, NJ?” although he mispronounces Watchung.

My reply was, “No, I live in Woodland Park.” Of course I did used to live on Watchung Ave., but he pronounced it wrong. So I never did reside at the mispronounced street!

Then he says, “They’re both in Jersey right?” I say, “I guess so.” So, failing at their second attempt, the two thugs get back in the car, Thug #3 sitting in the back seat looking as if she wanted no part in what was going on. They continue trying to find information about me on what seemed to be a smartphone, passing it between the three of them and then finally giving up.

Thug #1 disappointingly exits the vehicle a final time and hands me my ID. She says, “Next time don’t lie to the cops.” I calmly say, “I didn’t.” and walk away into the gallery to get a much needed drink.

This was my first encounter with gestapo-like thug police. I’m what some would consider the “privileged white male” and never thought I would be victim to random police terrorism like this, or at least not til into the nearby future where the pigs openly turn into Nazis and escalate their terrorism amongst any and all.

When they walked up to me, a million things were going through my head, and yes I feared for my life, but I remained somewhat calm and chose not to “run my mouth” like I normally do when I get pulled over for a traffic violation.

One thought was three armed thugs just started bullying me and I might get beaten or shot. I also thought about the contents of my pockets: a vape pen with cannabis oil, and a pocket knife with a 4″ blade. If they were to have searched me I could’ve been arrested, and detained in some discreet location, so I feared that as well.

My actions in cooperating with them were probably wrong, and I didn’t have to give them my ID. But with seconds to react I did what they asked. That was their goal, to get my ID and find a real reason to summons or arrest me. The bullshit about tossing a beer can was their “probable cause.”

This encounter has changed me. Some will say that nothing bad happened, but from the very start something bad happened, my freedom was tossed out the window. I was bullied and terrorized, but yes physically unharmed. I didn’t deserve it and the thousands who have been brutalized, abused, murdered, or just harassed, did not deserve it. The only way this will stop is if we stand united against these fascists.

I was most disappointed with the crowd who ignored the thugs because they weren’t being harassed. They all should’ve stood out on that curb with me. The strength of unity and support is one of the strongest weapons against police thugs. Imagine the thirty or so crowd standing behind me in silence watching the three thugs.

Imagine anyone else walking or driving down the street stopping to support and unite with me against the fascists. Those thugs would’ve ran off with their tails between their legs, and I’ve seen it happen in some videos Nevada Cop Block has posted. The world has seen it happen during some of the most fascist times in history. Unite to fight police terror!

Hopefully I’ll be more prepared next time with recording, gathering the thugs’ info, and standing up for myself or others more intelligently. And thank you CopBlock for being here and doing what you do.

– Sergio Crocco

Homeless Man Unnecessarily Arrested After Being Profiled at Starbucks (Submission)

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Dan Olson, via a message to the CopBlock Network Facebook Page. In addition to that option you, can also send us stories and/or video through the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The post consists of submission consists of a post Dan made to his personal website describing his recent arrest by police in Erie Pennsylvania. The format of the post has been edited a bit to better fit the structure of CopBlock.org’s own. Otherwise and in terms of the content, it has been reposted as it was originally at the “Communicating Convict” website.

As far as what is described in the post, people are free to decide their own opinion of it. However, it does raise several questions in relation to homelessness and the police, as well as business’ treatment of homeless people. Often times that treatment borders on, if not actually consists of, bullying and unnecessary hostility.

Starbucks certainly has the right to tell someone to leave their property, but is it good business to telling paying customers they are unwelcome after taking their money? If he was being disruptive that would obviously be a different story, but he appears to have been having a peaceful conversation with people that had themselves initiated those conversations.

Beyond that was it really necessary for him to be arrested by the police, once they showed up? One could argue based on the description provided that his real “crime” was not respecting their authoritah quick enough and simply for daring to question it. Anyone who has worked with or around homeless people on a regular basis finds out rather quickly that they are one of  the favored targets for bullying and harassment by police.

Another, bigger issue is that when you call the police, even for minor issues, it can become a death sentence for the person you call them on. That’s especially true if that person is poor and homeless. So, rather than doing that and potentially being responsible for the death of another person, wouldn’t have been better for the manager to have come out and spoken to them, even if they were still determined to kick them out? As long as they weren’t being disruptive or ultimately refusing to leave, why get the police involved in the first place?

Starbucks Calls Cops on Over Educated Homeless Activist!

It’s been awhile since I have posted anything and if you don’t know it’s because I have been in Erie County Prison for two months for the crime of being homeless in a public space and daring to ask a police officer what the law is. Ironically much of what I wrote on the day of my arrest in my previous post would come true. I was walking around Erie for a few days with a sign that read “Homeless will defy and eat politicians for food”. Tom Wolf was scheduled to appear in Edinboro so I created a new Facebook page with a status that read “The way I see it is this. Tom Wolf will be in town on the 14th. I want a pardon.

Since I am homeless in my bright red Edinboro sweatpants and Edinboro Communications Department “Keep Calm and Communicate” shirt the city of Erie can save some face by explaining that I am working with Edinboro and the City of Erie to raise awareness for stigma, particularly toward homelessness and mental health. I will accept an award for my great work and some cash, I will also also…since I am smarter and stronger than “conservatively” 90% of the local government accept a nice desk job with decent pay and benefits. If these demands are not met, (and most likely even if they are) my schizophrenic stroll will continue. Peace love and revolution….Erie.

If you believe these demands are actually reasonable considering the lifetime of abuse and trauma I have suffered, mostly from these institutions PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE!!! I was speaking with a close friend that morning and he expressed his concern for me. I jokingly told him “don’t worry about me, I’m on my Jesus Christ/Buddha consciousness raising awareness for the unfortunate. He replied it wasn’t me he was worried about rather the police I may interact with and how I could be “trapped”. In hindsight it was advice I should have heeded.

Homeless Food

One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but politicians.

I left the library and walked up to the Erie City Mission for lunch. On my way a black gentleman pulled over and offered me a dollar. I thanked him and continued on my way. When I arrived at the City Mission there was almost double the amount of people waiting to eat than last time I was there for a ”research paper.”

Homelessness and poverty must not be improving in Erie. Good thing we are going to pay thousands of dollars for some extra police to patrol the downtown and kick those vagrants to “better” pastures! Inside the place is packed and a couple of Edinboro nursing students are trying to sign people up for some kind of medical service. I make a few comments to them since I am rocking my EU sweats.I get a tray with some greens and a burrito and pass on the sweets.

People are engaged in the same interactions as before and possibly since the doors opened in 1911 (pretty impressive). After listening to a few arguments I shoulder my bag and make my way to the Mental Health Association (MHA) to see if I can score a shower. It’s only a little ironic that I was recently here with my family dropping off donations that my daughter collected for winter and filling out applications to work or volunteer. No work was available, but I could develop a men’s group if I wanted…

In order to be eligible for services at the MHA you need proof that you are receiving mental health treatment. “Luckily” for me I had a few appointment cards in my wallet from Stairways. They also require photo ID, all I have is an Edinboro Student ID since my licence was confiscated…which they accept. A man takes me into a side room and begins to read me my “rights”. You have a right to feel safe, you have a right to your own property, you have a right….he rattles off a few more and I actually feel good listening to it.

When he is done, I comment that that was nice, it must go along way for people suffering from PTSD after interacting with the police. He looks at me like he doesn’t understand the joke, or it wasn’t funny and leads me to the shower. The door does not lock…or I can’t figure it out and I eventually say fuck it I spent enough time in prison…I’ll just shower with this box cutter. After the shower I feel much better and I am grateful the MHA was there as I step out into a light rain.

I walk to Starbucks to enjoy a cup of coffee…as I have been doing for the past couple days. I purchase a coffee and sit down, my homeless sign is visible but I do not feel I am being obtrusive. It is impossible to raise awareness for anything unless you engage the public in some form, besides if you happen to be offended that I am homeless…well that makes two of us and we are one step closer to a “movement”. A few days ago I made some rugged slips of paper with words like Love, Adapt, Refuse, Defy on them with links to this blog. They were rugged and raw along with my sign because…well I really am fucking homeless and I can’t afford many of the tactics I might have learned in Communication Studies. I did have a theory that perhaps people are becoming turned “off” by well designed shit and typical ads and something like what I was doing might actually garner more attention.

Earlier, I had pinned some of these to a board at the Blasco Library, and at a local laundromat. I had these papers sitting at my table with my coffee but never made any active attempts at solicitation. A few people stopped to talk to me such as Scott McGrath gentleman I participated in a “Love Letters to Erie” art event whose artwork can be seen here. At one point I noticed an old acquaintance and I stood up to actually greet them, I heard it is a polite thing to do. In this exact moment a Gannon student names Shayla Jones approached me and informed me that I was the subject of her Social Movements class and she had to come and speak with me.

Naturally, I was ecstatic to hear this news, it was the most validating thing I had felt in a long time so I quickly exchanged contact information with my acquaintance and sat down to speak with Shayla. She expressed both knowledge and interest in “Mass Incarceration” and the difficulties with re-entry so I knew she had read some of my blog and was sincere in her approach.

In a short time, a barista approached our table and rudely interrupts our conversation saying “sir you cannot solicit customers.” I reply I have not solicited anyone, in fact the only person I have approached I in fact knew personally.” She then tells me that she “seen” me hand a piece of paper to someone. Shayla intervenes and says something to the effect of recognizing me and the person were acquainted with each other.

The barista ignores both our testimonies and claims she needs to look after the safety of the customers. I look around and see a couple I know is homeless, a young man I know is homeless, an older schizophrenic who talks to himself more than others…and also has a bag…and Jessie and Ricardo as all the other customers. I begin to feel discriminated against and I say as much. I reply “if I was wearing a business suit you would not even dare to speak to me.” I am feeling harassed and would like to speak to your manager.”

Starbucks’ website claims ”It happens millions of times each week – a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista – but each interaction is unique. I guess I was about to learn just how “unique” these experiences can be. According to the police report, the manager rather than coming to speak with me informed this junior coffee cop to call the police.

Unaware that the police have been called, I continue talking to Shayla about some of her personal struggles and perceptions of social issues from poverty, racism and what movements are having positive effects such as Black Lives Matter. My moment of validation and perhaps even congratulations of a apparently successful public action will be short lived when two police officers walk in the door.

The first officer recognizing me as the man who was singing “Kumbaya” behind the courthouse has that classical “oh, no you again look”, and he basically says as much while walking through the door. The second officer has a different approach and locks onto me with a pretty aggressive and meant to be intimidating gaze and says “You. Up. Now.” in a manner meant to illicit immediate obedience and submission.

I have a notepad in front of me and garbed in my Edinboro “Keep Calm and Communicate” shirt I reply “Officer I am a researcher and a scholar could you please tell me what law I am breaking?” Officer Ryan M. Onderko, in a de-escalating (sarcasm) manner responds…I am going to break your fucking head in a minute. With all the education Edinboro has provided me and self control I can muster, I recognize that this officer is looking for an opportunity to be violent. So in the international symbol of preparing to take my leave I rise up and begin putting on my jacket.

While doing so I say, “officer I really will need to know what law I am breaking if I am going to be an informed law abiding citizen.” He then grabs my arm, which caused my body to go tense because it was unexpected and says, “you want to know the law I’ll show you the law, put your hands behind your back.”

I hesitate because I am in shock and disbelief that I might be going to prison, PTSD and a multiple of other symptoms flood my brain. Sensing this Onderko in a real manner again to de-escalate says, “if you resist me you are going to get hurt bad.” I do not resist and allow myself to be cuffed to which Onderko then says “Don’t you ever question me, I don’t care how big you are. I will cut you down.” I respond, “if you are going to threaten me you might as well just kill me, because I refuse to walk around afraid of the police.”

I am escorted outside and Dan Zmijewski follows us out to the police car. The officer looks towards Dan and says “you get out of here, or you are going with him.” Dan says something about his freedom to stand on the sidewalk and Officer Onderko releases me and lunges towards Dan to grab him.

Dan speeds up his walk and almost begins to run when Onderko perhaps recognizing he can’t just leave me unattended calls off his pursuit of Dan. Even from my position of being cuffed I can’t help to be both amused and happy that Dan managed to “escape”.

In the process of checking my pockets for weapons and “contraband” he asks if I am on probation. I reply that yes I am and he says “that is all I need to know.” In America, while on probation the law is less concerned about the truth. When they are prepared to detain you, all they need to say is “probable cause”. You are arrested on a whim…and if you are lucky released after an extensive second thought…typically taking 3-6 months.

This is the story of my “arrest.” Next I will relate some of my experience and interactions while incarcerated at Erie County Prison. I will leave off today with a quote Lenin apparently told a young poet in a coffee shop shortly after the Bolshevik “Revolution.”

Every man must rely on himself. Yet he should also listen to what informed people have to say. I don’t know how radical you are, or how radical I am. I am certainly not radical enough. One can never be radical enough, that is one must always try to be as radical as reality itself.

Intractable conflict, radical conflict and power is what I live and study. I must wonder if my problem is not that I am toooo “radical” for Erie…rather I have not yet become radical enough.

Peace, Love and Revolution to you all.

– Dan Olson

Update: Idaho Police Continue to Pursue Punitive Prosecution of Cop Blocker Matthew Townsend

As has been reported previously on CopBlock.org, Mathew Townsend is facing a felony charge in Idaho for posting on Facebook about a case he was facing in which he was arrested while legally protesting on public property. That original arrest has been described as a “contempt of cop” charge.

Via the original post here on CopBlock.org:

Cop Blocker Matthew Townsend was engaged in a one-man protest on a sidewalk in Meridian, Idaho when he was accosted by Meridian Police employee Richard Broadbank who accused him of “blocking traffic.” When his attempts to get Matthew to agree with him and submit or incriminate himself failed, Broadbank resorted to saying “well, I saw you…” [blocking traffic.]

At this point, Matthew told officer Broadbank “then charge me.” and pushed the crosswalk button, and proceeded to cross. Broadbank was silent for a moment, and when Matthew was halfway across he began to shout that he’s not done with him yet. Matthew was then arrested for “resisting and obstructing,” simply for exercising his rights.

The subsequent charge, for which Townsend could potentially serve five years in prison, essentially amounts to a defiant statement that he intends to fight back against the first charge and publicly expose the specious nature of the arrest. Instead of recognizing that and dismissing the charges the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office has gone out of their way to push forward with these charges, even going so far as to find a judge willing to issue a warrant for Townsend’s arrest after the charge was initially rejected by District Judge James Cawthon.

William N. Grigg writing at “Pro Libertate” compares Mathew Townsends case to Soviet persecutions under Stalin:

On the eve of his hearing, Townsend published a Facebook post in which he promised to mount a “shame campaign” against his kidnapper and any public officials who collaborated in that outrage unless the meritless charge was dismissed.

“The State has 3 options,” wrote Townsend. It could “drop the charges and leave me alone” – which is the course of action honest and decent people would select; “Endure my non-violent retaliation (do you want to be the focus of my rage?),” or “Kill me and deal with those that know, love, and care about me. Make your choice.”

To the extent that a “threat” was involved in Townsend’s post, it was his recognition, and clear description, of the fact that everything done in the name of the “State” carries an implied or overt threat of lethal violence against those who do not submit. Rather than threatening violence against anybody, Townsend was underscoring the fact that the State and its agents were threatening him.

In an act of intellectual inversion worthy of the East German Stasi, the Meridian Police Department filed a felony “witness intimidation” complaint against Townsend in the hope of being able to arrest him at the hearing on the misdemeanor “resist and obstruct” charge. District Judge James Cawthon, displaying sobriety and honesty all but unknown to those in his occupation, rejected the prosecution’s request that Townsend be taken into custody, ruling that nothing in his Facebook post constituted a threat of violence against anyone.

Displaying a now-familiar alloy of pettiness and viciousness, the Meridian Police Department and the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office went judge-shopping, and through an ex parte hearing obtained an arrest warrant that resulted in an after-dark raid on his home by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office on a Friday night.

The clear intention was to arrange for him to spend the weekend in jail, which – given that Townsend, unlike his tormentors, is gainfully employed in the productive sector – would have likely caused him to lose his job.

Bail was arranged and Townsend remains employed, which means that he is able to deal with at least some of the accumulating legal expenses that have resulted from this protracted exercise in official persecution.

Townsend’s legal costs thus far amount to nearly $10,000, and that figure will climb dramatically while implacable tormentors have the luxury of spending money extracted from the legitimate earnings of better people. He has already endured severe punishment without being convicted of an offense.

The conduct of trial Judge Lynn Norton thus far suggests that she is not only a partisan of the prosecution, but – as we shall see – is actually helping it frame its case in order to manipulate the jury into ignoring the lack of evidence regarding the key element of the offense.

In order to convict Townsend of “witness intimidation,” the prosecution would have to prove that he attempted to prevent Brockbank from testifying “freely, fully and truthfully” in any court proceeding arising from the resisting and obstructing charge. That requirement is the last of nine elements of the charge of “witness intimidation” specified in the Idaho Criminal Jury Instructions dealing with that offense.

In his motion to dismiss that felony charge, Townsend’s defense attorney, Aaron Tribble, pointed out that the only evidence provided by the prosecution of witness intimidation was the Facebook post, and that statement was utterly devoid of “any mention of testimony by Officer Brockbank.”

“There needs to be some evidence linking Mr. Townsend’s comments to Brockbank’s potential testimony,” Tribble continued. “The State has nothing to offer.”

It a great deal of time for Tribble to research and compose a legal memorandum in support of his motion to dismiss the charge. It took him a little more than ten minutes to summarize his most important arguments during a January 8th hearing before Judge Norton.

It took twenty seconds for Ada County District Attorney James Vogt to make his case for Norton to dismiss Tribble’s motion. Vogt didn’t achieve this through incisive reasoning scintillating eloquence, but rather by simply asking Norton to dismiss the motion without bothering to present an argument on behalf of the request.

The gravamen of Tribble’s argument was that the “evidence” assembled by the prosecution, which had just recently been made available through discovery, amounted to the single Facebook post. Since the evidence assembled doesn’t cover the most critical element of the offense, there is no logical, legal, or ethical reason to proceed with the trial.

Like most functionaries of her kind, however, Judge Norton defines her role in terms of facilitating prosecution, rather than administering justice – and Vogt knew how to capitalize on that inclination.

Here is a verbatim transcript of Vogt’s “argument” in the January 8 hearing on the motion to dismiss:

Soviet State of Idaho“Your honor, with respect to the missing element, I would just point to the fact that there has already been a finding of probable cause by the Magistrate, Judge Gardunia. Mr. Tribble can point to nothing in the record that can contradict that, so I don’t think there’s really much else to argue about with respect to that.”

That finding of “probable cause” occurred in April, months prior to the closing of discovery in this case, which didn’t occur until last December. The Ada County DA’s office, using a familiar prosecution tactic, didn’t finish discovery until after a critical deadline had passed for the defense to file motions before Judge Norton. Despite the fact that no new evidence of a crime was developed, and the existing evidence is inadequate to justify a prosecution, Norton promptly threw out Townsend’s motion to dismiss.

This isn’t to say that she didn’t consider that motion; indeed, there’s reason to believe that she examined it carefully in order to act as a coach and a consultant for the prosecution. If Norton honestly found Tribble’s arguments unconvincing, she needed only say as much and reject his motion. Instead, she presented a detailed discussion of ways the prosecution could overcome the fact that Townsend never threatened Brockbank or even mentioned his testimony.

“One thing that I would want to note is that Mr. Tribble does seem to argue that there must be direct evidence to support an element,” Norton commented during the hearing. Evidence can be direct or circumstantial” for intent to intimidate, she insisted, and “the law does not differentiate between direct evidence and circumstantial evidence.”

The only “circumstantial” evidence of “intimidation” would consist of speculation, inference, and imputed motives. As the official who would rule on admissibility, Norton has indicated that she intends to give the prosecution as much latitude as it may need to make a “circumstantial” case for an offense that — by statute and precedent — requires direct evidence in order to sustain a conviction.

“The jury can consider circumstantial evidence, looking at all of the evidence as a whole and not just looking at one particular statement,” Norton declared.

While the prosecution will apparently be permitted to impute “intent” to Townsend on the basis of things he didn’t say, write, or do, Norton insisted that the defendant’s actual words are not definitive evidence of his intent.

“Just because in this particular case there was a note in that particular Facebook post where he referred to – as almost as a caveat referring to `’non-violent’ – that doesn’t mean that that’s binding on a jury to actually decide that’s what his intent was, any more than an assault is remediated just because as the person pulls the gun away from somebody’s head they say `just kidding,’” Norton asserted, reciting an argument made by the prosecution during last April’s probable cause hearing.

The tortured analogy between pointing a gun at a terrified person’s head and writing a nasty note on Facebook offers decisive proof that both the prosecution and Judge Norton know this case is without merit: Under Idaho case law, Townsend could not be convicted of witness intimidation if he had pointed a gun at Brockbank – as long as there was no direct evidence that this was done to prevent him from testifying “freely, fully, and truthfully.”

In 2011, the Idaho Court of Appeals overturned a witness intimidation conviction in which relatives of a man facing a narcotics charge, acting on the suspect’s direct request, invaded the home of a potential witness and held her at gunpoint.

Saying that he was acting on behalf of “Michael” – that is, Michael O’Neill, the jailed defendant – one of the invaders told witness Sarah Phelps, “You’re f***ed; you’re going down,” as he thrust a .45 caliber handgun in her face.

The Appeals Court recognized that because there was no direct evidence that this violent crime was committed for the purpose of “affecting future testimony,” as opposed to “retaliation,” it did not meet every element of the offense called witness intimidation.

Of course, Sarah Phelps was a mere Mundane, rather than a swaggering, armor-clad dispenser of State-sanctioned violence. During the probable cause hearing in the Townsend case last April, Brockbank strode into the courtroom infull battle array for the purpose of testifying that he is an incontinentcoward who had been frightened and intimidated by Townsend’s Facebook post. In his defense, I don’t believe that Brockbank committed perjury.

The purpose of prosecuting Matthew Townsend is not merely to enforce a “safe space” for delicate creatures like Richard Brockbank; it is to demonstrate the weight of the insubstantial entity called the “State.”

During the Great Purge of the Soviet Communist Party, the Soviet forebears of the personalities employed by the Ada County DA’s Office ran across a particularly recalcitrant Old Bolshevik named Kamenev who simply refused to confess – just as Townsend had refused to concede Brockbank’s claim that he had been jaywalking.

Offended by the Muscovite’s impudent assertions of innocence, Vyshinsky’s understudies could have treated him to a “Lubyanka breakfast” — a cigarette and a bullet to the back of the head. But without a confession, the exercise would have been sterile: The entire point was to extract a confession, and to display the broken defendant to the public as proof that the state was both infallible and pitiless. This wouldn’t be accomplished by executing a man who defiantly insisted on his innocence.

Seeking guidance in dealing with the recalcitrant suspect, NKVD official named Mironov sought an audience with Stalin, who listened intently. After the troublesome case had been described in detail, Stalin sat in quiet thought for a moment before asking an unexpected question.

“Do you know how much our state weighs, with all the factories, machines, the army, with all the armaments and the navy?” Stalin inquired. “Think it over and tell me.”

Perhaps believing that Stalin was telling a joke – and the Dear Leader was, of course, renowned for his sense of humor – Mironov reacted with a nervous chuckle.

“I am asking you, how much does all that weigh?” Stalin repeated, his eyes narrowing as he emphasized every syllable.

Sweating and stammering, Mironov replied, “Nobody can know that, Yosif Vissarionovich. It is in the realm of astronomical figures.”

“Well, can one man withstand the pressure of an astronomical weight?” Stalin prompted the thoroughly intimidated underling.

“No,” Mironov answered weakly, no doubt cringing in anticipation of what was to come.

“Now, then,” Stalin concluded in a tone of voice that could freeze magma, fixing the NKVD operative with a malicious glare, “don’t tell me any more that Kamenev, or this or that prisoner, is able to withstand that pressure. Don’t come report to me until you have in your briefcase the confession of Kamanev!”

Meridian, Idaho in 2016 obviously isn’t Moscow, Russia circa 1936 – at least in terms of the extent and pervasiveness of government-imposed injustice. The fact that Stalinesque abuse isn’t commonplace doesn’t make single-serving Stalinism any less abhorrent.

In his Facebook post, Townsend pointedly identified “the State” as the entity seeking to put him in a cage, and expressed contemptuous and entirely commendable defiance toward that malignant entity. The Meridian Police Department, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, and Judge Norton are display same mindset exhibited by Stalin: They are using officially sanctioned violence to crush a political dissident, for the greater glory of the murderous abstraction they serve.

Embedded below is a video from a protest held by supporters of Matthew Townsend in March of 2015.  Townsend’s trial is currently set to start on January 19th of 2016.

Maricopa County Officials Refuse to ID Themselves Claim Citizens Must ID

The videos and commentary below were submitted anonymously by Youtube user  “Tattooed Sundevil,” via the CopBlock.org Submissions page. They show and describe a series of encounters he had with members of the Maricopa County Protective Services (who appear to be the equivalent of court marshals and are employed by the county).

There are some interesting statements made by the county employees during conversations on the videos. In the third video (as is mentioned in the description below), the officers tell the man recording that they don’t know if public officials are required to ID themselves, but that he is obligated to tell police his identity anytime he talks to them “because they need to know who they’re talking to.” Then in the fourth video, the sergeant who follows him outside states that he’s never thought of himself as a public official, in spite of the fact that he works for the county and obviously has some sort of policing powers, even if they aren’t quite on the same level as regular police officers.

Date of Incident: November 5, 2015
Department Involved: Maricopa County Protective Services
Phone Number: (602) 506-3700

I witnessed a Maricopa County Protective Services vehicle parked illegally outside of one of the county buildings. I began taking pictures of the vehicle, at which point a Maricopa County Official (shown in the video as the driver), approached me and asked what I was doing. When I asked if it was his vehicle, he stated it was not. He then proceeded to tell me that they often park there so they can run in and out in a timely manner.

I accepted this answer and decided to wait for whoever was the driver of this vehicle to appear. After waiting for an addition 30 minutes or so with no driver in sight, I called the non-emergency number for the county and was told that someone would be down to move it soon.

After I waited around for another 10 minutes or so, the same individual I made contact with came down and asked me if I was satisfied now that I had called the county. I stated I was, at which point he began to raise his voice. At that time, I took out my phone to record. I asked him for his name and badge number and he stated he did not have a name and did not have to give me anything.

The videos embedded below are a set of four. The first is immediately after I called. The second is when I went to get a public records request form and was told that I am supposed to identify myself whenever a LEO asks me to, regardless of whether or not I have committed a crime. (The conversation in question occurs around the 9:30-10:20 mark). The final video shows the same sergeant I had been talking to earlier asking me why I am being so extreme with my complaint. I tell him it is not extreme to hold public officials to the same standards they hold private citizens.

– Tattooed Sundevil

Texas Police Harass Man for Filming Police Station

This post and the video below were received via an anonymous submission at the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Date of Incident: April, 2015
Officer Involved: Sergeant Nault
Department Involved: Carrollton Police Department (TX)
Department Phone No.: 972-466-3333

We went to the Carrollton, TX police station to get a few minutes of b-roll footage to start our YouTube channel. We expected that we would be there for just a few minutes, and be on our way. We were on a public street, and in our personal, identifiable vehicle, so its clear we weren’t trying to be stealthy. Also, we had informed the department that we would be filming them regularly, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

After just a few minutes, multiple officers loaded up their vehicles to drive across the street and light me up as if I was committing a crime. This was my very first interaction with a cop for anything other than a citation in my life, so I wasn’t as fine tuned as I would have liked.

Nault-Thunbnail2Officers surrounded my vehicle, and two officers started knocking on my drivers side and passenger windows. I opened my window, and the first officer asked what I was doing. I asked if I was doing something wrong, and when she replied no, I refused to respond letting them know I wouldn’t be answering. She went to the back of my car where her sergeant was already in the process of running information on my car, and getting information about me specifically. It was clear he was trying to get something on me so that he could control the situation.

Upon finding no legal reason to control me, he came to my window to ask what we were doing. I remained silent as I had said I would. He asked again, and I remained silent. That’s when the problems really started.

Sergeant Nault then proceeded to look in my car, and asked if my parking brake was set. Now, I’m setting in a long line of employee cars parked along the street, so this was a clear tactic. When he used my parking brake as an excuse to demand my ID, I couldn’t remain silent because he was now using threatening actions. We went back and forth with this, until he finally reached for my door handle under the guise of arrest for not showing my ID.

SupportCopblock Square BannerI didn’t take the bait, because a parking brake is not an identifying infraction, and he had no legal reason to demand it. My head blew up because I couldn’t believe he was crossing that corrupt line, and told him he was going to have to arrest me He backed off thinking no one would risk going to jail for a parking brake violation, but I continued to call him on his actions. He finally decided it was best to walk away, but not before putting all my information in the system, and placing a BOLO (be on the look out) on me and my car. Don’t forget, I did absolutely nothing illegal, informed them we would be filming them, and wasn’t trying to hide in any way.

Being an old Texan, I don’t do the “calm citizen” thing very well when someone is trying to screw me over. I treat people the way they treat me. While this officer may appear “polite” on the surface, the fact is, he was trying very hard to violate my rights. Why? Because I was filming a building. If these officers had walked the 30 yards to cross the street instead of driving over, and approaching me like I was a criminal, this video wouldn’t exist. Instead, they chose to approach with intimidation, and surround me. Then to use such seedy tactics to try to circumvent my right to remain silent and not identify myself was the last straw. “Polite” is more than tone of voice. While he didn’t TALK with disrespect, every action he took was disrespectful.