Tag Archives: Indianapolis

DHS Officer Tries to Intimidate Man Open Carrying/Filming and Threatens his Nine Year Old Son

The video and content within this post were shared with the CopBlock Network by Joshua Elliott, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Within the post, Joshua can be seen walking around near the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. Initially, he is filming their vehicles that are parked in a no parking zone and one that is also on a sidewalk. Soon after, he starts walking past the front of the building. At that point, one of the DHS officers standing nearby stops him and begins demanding his ID.

Joshua asks if he is being detained and what crime he has committed to justify that detention. In addition, Joshua asks for the officer’s name and badge number, which the officer refuses to give him. The unidentified officer states that the sidewalk Joshua is on is actually federal property and that he is not allowed to have a firearm (Joshua is open carrying at the time) on federal property. After some back and forth about whether the sidewalk is federal property and where it is stated that firearms are prohibited, Joshua leaves the area.

Not long after, Joshua returns, having put his firearm away in his car. At that time, Joshua asks for the name and badge numbers of the three DHS officers present and also asks to speak to their supervisor. All three refuse to identify themselves (one eventually does) and Joshua is told that a supervisor is on the way. However, later he is told the supervisor is busy and cannot come outside right now.

In the meantime, Joshua points out that the sign (which can’t actually be read without stepping onto federal property) actually says you cannot enter the building with a firearm, not that you can’t walk on the sidewalk with one. The DHS officer who originally stopped Joshua continues acting hostile and demanding ID from him while stating that he doesn’t have to identify himself unless Joshua does first. In spite of being told that citizens are not required to ID themselves unless they are lawfully detained and that DHS policy requires the officers to do so when asked, they continue to refuse to identify themselves.

Once again, the original officer who approached Joshua continues acting hostile, insisting he stop filming and provide his ID. Eventually, that officer threatens Joshua’s nine year old son, who is also filming with a cell phone. After confronting the officer about threatening a young child, Joshua asks the other officers what they think of the behavior of that officer. Both of those Good Cops pretend that they didn’t see it happen even though they were standing within a few feet at the time.

Joshua then decides to leave, which is not the worst idea when you and your children are being threatened by angry thugs who have been known to resort to violence.

Date Of Incident: July 5, 2016
Department Involved: Department of Homeland Security (Indianapolis, IN)
Officers Involved: Refused to Identify Themselves
Phone Number: (317) 233-4280
Address: Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Indiana Government Center South
302 W. Washington St., Room E208
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

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

Sorry this video is broken up into parts. It’s my first video shot on a knock off GoPro.In the first half of this, I was walking on a public sidewalk open carrying my .40 handgun when I was stopped and harassed by a DHS police officer. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment as, after securing the firearm in my vehicle, I went back to attempt to get the officers’ names and badge numbers. That’s when the bald idiot threatened my nine year old son.

I filed a complaint against this officer, for which I had limited info to do so. However, nothing has arisen out of it. So enjoy the video and I’m sure there will be many more to come.

– Joshua Elliott

After Recent Shootings of Police, Cops Prepare to Double Down on the Police State

Police State Militarization Cop Block

The following post was originally published at TheAntiMedia.org under the original title “Here Are the New Tactics Police Are Preparing to Roll out in Your Communityand was written by Darius Shahtahmasebi.

In the post, Shahtahmasebi discusses how the police plan to respond to the recent shootings of police by citizens in several cities (this was written prior to the incident in San Diego) across the country. Not surprisingly, instead of stepping back and saying, “maybe all those times we unnecessarily shot people and/or refused to hold each other accountable for it or even essentially celebrated it had something to do with this” police nationwide are preparing to become even more militarized and violent toward the citizens they claim to protect and serve.

Here Are the New Tactics Police Are Preparing to Roll out in Your Community

Following the recent events in the United States, which have resulted in armed civilians taking on police officers—namely in DallasBaton Rouge, and most recently in Kansas City, Kansas —  police forces across the country are set to adjust their strategies and tactics.

An interesting detail to note is that on July 11, 2016 — following the first deadly attacks on police officers that occurred in Dallas — Reuters reported police were set to rethink their tactics in nearly half of America’s 30 largest cities. They evidently didn’t act swiftly enough (a number of deadly attacks followed shortly after). It’s either that or the suggested police tactics were never going to address the root causes of the problem we are facing.

So what kind of changes can we expect to see?

The most prominent change to occur is the pairing up of police officers. However, some more drastic suggestions are also in the pipeline. For example, the Indianapolis police force has said it will consider the use of robots to “deliberately deliver lethal force.” Denver’s police union has called for officers to be able to wear riot gear for local protests, and to be armed with AR-15 assault rifles while on patrol at the Denver International Airport.

In the wake of the Baton Rouge shooting, other changes likely to occur include: requiring that two cars respond to all calls, shifting officers to serve as extra backup, imposing increased security and surveillance, increasing the number of helicopter patrols, and suspending solo patrols.

It seems as if the police are considering all options — anything, that is, but refraining from summarily executing unarmed civilians in broad daylight. At the very least, they could start by prosecuting those responsible for such incidents. Apparently, however, that is too much to ask of those who are sworn to protect and serve.

America’s current president, elected on promises of hope and change, has told police officers across the country that “we have your back.” This is noteworthy because to date, there has been no concrete effort on the part of the president to address the underlying issues that have resulted in the uprising starting to unfold. To date, he has insisted on ploys that are nothing but politically acceptable attempts at pleasing all parties involved. I would go so far as to argue Donald Trump’s racist tirades do more for minority groups — by empowering and uniting them against his demagoguery — than Barack Obama has done his whole time in office, which has reflected his unwillingness to actually represent them on issues that grossly affect them.

The saddest part about this ongoing issue is that the tactics as suggested by satirical newspaper, The Onion, are more honest than any conversation our police departments or politicians are having about police brutality in the United States.

In particular, the outlet suggested the ability to ensure this can all legally be thrown out the window if a cop feels threatened” is something police forces across the country are so apt at implementing, The Onion need not have mentioned it all together.

IMPD Officers Cyber-Bully Citizen Over Bumper Sticker; Post Personal Information From Department Background Check

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It details an incident where G Philip Rossman,an officer from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, decided to publicly post a photo of a citizen’s car, inviting harassment of that citizen based on a bumper sticker he didn’t like within the post.

Subsequently, Sgt. Matt Morgan, Officer Madeline Lathamer, and Officer Mike Wilson, who all also work for the IMPD, gladly accepted that invitation and began bullying the owner of that vehicle. That bullying included posting information illegally obtained, via an inappropriate police background search.

BTW, Officer Wilson a former “officer of the year” hasn’t limited his bullying to the internets. He recently received quite a bit of attention for an incident in September in which he was caught on video assaulting and then wrongfully arresting a man at an Indianapolis hotel. Of course, that’s the bigger issue when it’s a group of Heroes cyber-bullying people. More so than anyone, they have the ability to take those threats beyond the internets and out into the real world.

(Note: If you ever have an issue involving inappropriate, threatening, and/or harassing conduct by police employees be sure to take screenshots of the posts so they don’t get deleted and be sure to send those screenshots in with your submission. We are more than happy to expose bullies for what they truly are.)

Date of Incident: June 3, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer G Philip Rossman, Sgt. Matt Morgan, Officer Madeline Lathamer, Officer Mike Wilson
Department Involved: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
File A Complaint: Complaints
Facebook Page: IMPD News
Twitter Account: @IMPD_News
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/IMPDMedia
Department Phone No.: 317-327-6600

On June 3rd, 2016, G Phillip Rossman (aka – G Phil Corvette on FB) of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department violated his IDACS user agreement. He also committed a federal violation by posting confidential information, more specifically, a taxpayer’s name and personal information in a very public online post on Facebook. This information was ran through NCIC and posted online by a number of additional officers.

The incident began when Officer G Phillip Rossman took a photo of this subject’s vehicle, their license plate, and the bumper stickers displayed on the rear bumper. He took this photo while stopped at a red light at the intersection at Sheek Road and Main Street in Greenwood, Indiana. Officer Rossman (who at the time of the photograph was in his personal vehicle) then chose to post this picture to his online Facebook account under the name of G Phil Corvette.

He posted this photo to where any member of the public could view and have access to it. In his post, Officer Rossman comments and encourages other officers to specifically target this tax payer’s vehicle, as well as the individual driving it. In the photo the subjects license plate was clearly visible and once again, this post was made public for anyone to see and have access to.

Along with this post, there were additional inappropriate and slanderous comments made by several IMPD officers. Those officers include Mike “Marine” Wilson and Madeline Diaz Lathamer.

Officer Mike Wilson not only makes inappropriate and unprofessional comments, but he also publicly posts extremely slanderous and defaming comments against the subject, as well. He wrote in a public post identifying information on the driver, even posting personal identifying information for others to share publicly. Officer Wilson’s public posts have since been deleted by him, but sensitive personal information was visible to all.

This is extremely inappropriate and even unlawful behavior. It reflects poorly on the department as a whole when officers engage in such misconduct and abuse of power. Officer Mike Wilson has violated not only his IDACS user agreement, but has committed a federal violation by posting confidential NCIC information online for the public to see. (see sections 6.3/6.4.3 IDACS user agreement and title 28 in regards to NCIC) He has also committed slander and defamation of character on the driver of the vehicle in which Officer Rossman profiled and targeted.

IMPD officer Madeline Diaz Lathamer also made inappropriate comments in this public post. More specifically she wrote “Oh the fun that could be had without one.” The driver of the vehicle targeted was found to be a law-abiding citizen and a retired police officer who displayed bumper stickers that spoke out against government and police corruption. What was displayed on the vehicle was protected by the First Amendment. The vehicle targeted is deemed “personal property” and it is owned by the driver. What the owner of this vehicle chooses to put on their vehicle and what they choose to display is their right as a taxpayer and a US citizen.

Officers Rossman, Wilson, and Lathamer failed to realize that targeting and profiling specifically based upon something that is displayed and that is covered under the First Amendment is highly illegal. As an American, we have the right to express our feelings and concerns towards government corruption and even assemble in peaceful demonstration if we choose to. No one should be targeted by any police officer because of that. And it most certainly does not give any officer the right to post personal identifying information publicly.

Also involved in this incident was supervisor Matt Morgan of IMPD. As a supervisor, Sgt. Morgan has a responsibility to report issues of misconduct involving another officer. Rather than performing this specific duty, he chose to contribute to the online posts. Upon receiving a word that the owner of the vehicle had intentions of filing a formal complaint to IMPD internal affairs, Sergeant Morgan deleted his online comments. Screenshots of his comments were obtained prior to this deletion. Sergeant Morgan through his own words, “prides himself on getting people stirred up on here.” This is not how a supervisor should present himself to other officers or members of the public.

Sergeant Morgan is a representative of IMPD both on and off duty and he knew that the photograph posted by Officer Rossman was inappropriate. He was also aware of the fact that police resources and law enforcement programs were misused in order to run the license plate in the photo. Yet, rather than reporting this type of behavior and misconduct, he chose to condone and be part of it by contributing in the comment section. Sgt. Morgan has neglected his duties as a supervisor and should be held accountable for his actions and misconduct.

Since this inappropriate post has been made by Officer Rosman, the driver/owner of this vehicle has not only received hateful text messages from former coworkers, but family members have also received hateful and threatening messages on their Facebook accounts. These threatening messages sent to family members have expressed that “when you mess with this family, meaning “the police family”, you mess with all of them.” The owner/driver’s mother was also told in an online message that she needs to “watch her back.” Another message said that they “hoped their mother was a good driver.”

There is absolutely no excuse for this. Note that the owner/driver’s mother is an elderly woman, she enjoys her time on social media and Facebook. It is a way for her to communicate with her former classmates, as well as family members. Officer Rossman clearly doesn’t understand the Constitution and that officers can and will be held civilly liable when these rights are violated.

Officer Rossman has placed himself, other officers, and his department; the IMPD in a position of civil liability. This is a matter where disciplinary action absolutely needs to be taken. What Rossman and Wilson and the number of additional officers who unlawfully ran this information have done falls along the lines of conduct unbecoming of an officer, misuse of equipment, and official misconduct.

An investigation into the violations of NCIC and IDACS was requested. On June 8, 2016, the Indiana State police IDACS division was contacted. Consequently, the Indiana State police initiated an audit of the driver’s license plate. The audit will determine which and how many officers have unlawfully run the victim’s plate based upon the photograph that was posted by Rossman online. In regards to exposing this type of misconduct and corruption, Officer Rossman’s victim has also considered contacting media, as well. It is this type of misconduct, inappropriate behavior, and abuse of power that the public needs to be made aware of.

What these officers have done and this type of profiling is yet another reason why the the public does not trust their law-enforcement officers. This will be addressed accordingly and for those who abused their law enforcement powers by running this confidential information and posting it for the public to see online, other complaints and civil litigation will come from this. The Indiana State Police, IDACS/NCIC, and IMPD internal affairs have all been notified and all comments posted have been retained and provided as evidence against the officers involved. (Mike “Marine” Wilson – Facebook name and account)like a coward, chose to delete his comments once word had spread that formal complaints were being filed and an internal audit was being conducted.

Sadly, it’s the good officers and even the family members who feel the strain of other officer’s misconduct. Undoubtedly , these officers need to be disciplined for their misconduct and what should be deemed as a criminal act against a citizen. This is a form of harassment and even profiling. It is important that the public knows and is aware that when they visit the city of Indianapolis, these are the type of officers they may encounter. Never be afraid to report police misconduct. They need to be held accountable for their wrongful acts just like any other citizen would.

Indiana State Trooper Who Was “Policing For Jesus” Fired; Tried to Convert Drivers

An Indiana State Trooper somehow thought that giving people tickets was a really good opening to try and save their souls:

“Excuse me Ma’am, have you accepted Jesus as your lord and extortionist?” – Trooper Brian L. Hamilton

That’s how I imagine it went down anyway (because it makes me laugh, a lot).

To be fair though, he did give them warnings rather than actual tickets. So it was more of a case of capitalizing on the opportunity to stalk and question people about their personal lives while holding them at gunpoint that his job afforded to him.

It’s been reported (by just me) that all of the drivers Trooper Hamilton stopped stated that they hadn’t expected a police officer to use the traffic stop as a pretense to try and convert them. Because nobody expects the Inquisition. (Yeah, I did that.)

According to the New York Times:

An Indiana state trooper has been fired after drivers complained that he gave them more than tickets and a lecture about road rules after pulling them over — he also shared a little religion on the roadside, in one case asking a woman if she had “accepted Jesus Christ as her savior.”

The State Police said on Friday that the trooper, Brian L. Hamilton, a 14-year veteran, was let go on Thursday for repeatedly proselytizing and for handing out a religious pamphlet during traffic stops.

The authorities said his termination was based on a complaint in January that said he had questioned a driver’s religious affiliations after pulling over the vehicle — the second time in about 18 months that the State Police were aware he had done so.

After a similar episode in 2014, officials said, Trooper Hamilton was formally told not to question drivers about their religious beliefs or try to convert them.

The State Police superintendent, Douglas G. Carter, said in a statement, “While I respect Mr. Hamilton’s religious views, I am also charged to respect every citizen’s rights, and the best way forward for the citizens of Indiana, and for Mr. Hamilton, was to end his employment as a state police officer.”

Indiana Pope Brian Hamilton

This is an artist’s rendering of what the stops probably looked like.

A call on Friday to a telephone number associated with Mr. Hamilton in Connersville was answered by a man who said the former trooper was not talking to reporters; he also did not reply to questions about a lawyer.

The State Police gave no further details about the two cases, but Indiana court documents shined some light on the trooper’s proselytizing.

On Aug. 9, 2014, the trooper pulled over Ellen Bogan, who was traveling north on Highway 27 in Union County, which is in the eastern part of the state. Trooper Hamilton, who was driving south, did a U-turn and pulled up behind her with flashing lights. She stopped on the shoulder.

Trooper Hamilton told Ms. Bogan through the window that she had been pulled over for an illegal pass. When he handed back her license and gave her a warning ticket, he then sought her permission before asking her personal questions, including whether she had a “home church” and if she had “accepted Jesus Christ as her savior.”

Ms. Bogan said she felt as if she could not leave or refuse to answer, the complaint said.

The trooper then gave her a pamphlet for First Baptist Church in Cambridge City, which outlines “God’s Plan for Salvation,” which requires a person to acknowledge being a sinner, among other things. It also advertised a weekly radio broadcast called“Policing for Jesus Ministries.” The complaint said she found the questioning and proselytizing “extremely upsetting.”

That case was later settled, partly with the condition that the trooper undergo counseling.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Indiana provided a copy of the complaint.

Another such traffic stop occurred in January, and that led to a complaint filed on April 5 by the civil liberties union in district court requesting a hearing and damages.

Jesus FacepalmWendy Pyle, a resident of Fayette County, said she was approached by Trooper Hamilton after she pulled into her driveway. He blocked her vehicle from behind and gave her a warning ticket for speeding. He then asked her what church she attended and whether she “was saved,” the complaint said. She said yes to both questions to “hopefully end the inquiries.”

Trooper Hamilton then gave her the name of the church he attends — and directions there.

The complaint called the proselytizing by Trooper Hamilton “ coercive,” adding: “It was unwanted. It was also extremely upsetting.”

A spokesman for the State Police, Capt. David R. Bursten, said Friday that residents had called or emailed expressing both support for and opposition to the trooper’s firing. He said the force of about 1,200 included Jews, Muslims, Christians “and probably things we are not aware of.”

Captain Bursten added, “I don’t think any of us wants to live in a society where any of those officers, on a whim, can turn on red or blue lights and pull you to the side of the road and then try to convert you to their religion.”

In the complaint from Ms. Pyle, she said she was later approached by a member of the church who said that the trooper had added her name to a prayer list.

Personally, I’d rather not live  in a society where any officers, on a whim, can turn on red or blue lights and pull you to the side of the road…,” but that’s the one we do live in currently. Road Pirates gotta generate that revenue. Of course, giving out warnings and directions to churches ain’t getting daddy those new shoes he needs. I’m not saying that’s the real reason he was fired, I’m just implying it in a really obvious way.

BTW: “He said the force of about 1,200 included Jews, Muslims, Christians ‘and probably things we are not aware of.'” I’m not saying they should start dunking people into water while tied to a chair again or anything, but that sounds a bit ominous. #JusSayin

High Times Article on First Church of Cannabis: “Cop Block is Here”

First Church of CannabisOn Wednesday (July 1st), everybody in Indianapolis was primed for a big showdown. The First Church of Cannabis had stated that they were preparing to take advantage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which supposedly protects people engaging in activities during religious practice.

However, although Indiana accepted the First Church of Cannabis as a recognized church, Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite saw things differently. In the lead up to the inaugural services on Wednesday, he pledged not just to arrest peaceful people openly smoking marijuana during the service, but also to employ dubious charges of “visiting a common nuisance” in order to justify searching people and their vehicles.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Big Dance, though. Although there was still a huge, wasteful police presence, a counter-protest, organized and egged on largely by the police; and a fancy new spy camera installed by police hours before, there were no arrests or Orwellian searches. In fact, the police weren’t even willing to admit to HighTimes.com that they were there as a result of the possibility of marijuana use:

…the overall attitude of the Indianapolis police felt considerably different than the previous wild eyed, drug war rantings of their boss. The department refused to admit that their presence in front of the church had anything to do with marijuana. Lieutenant Richard Riddle, a spokesperson for the IMPD, told reporters that officers were simply there as a public safety precaution and to control traffic like they would any other event in Indianapolis.

“We’re simply responding to public safety issues and complaints from the community,” Riddle said. “Obviously, we have traffic control at a number of events. We have traffic control at churches, we have traffic control for funerals, and sometimes on Easter we have traffic control for churches.”

Survive Bear Police AttackIn fact, according to that article the only problems came from those riled up neighbors, and even those were pretty minimal. So, what was so different between Wednesday and the previous Friday, when the Chief Hite made all those threats about arresting people and finding loopholes in the Fourth Amendment.

Obviously, a big factor was church founder Bill Levin’s announcement that the service would not include the open use of marijuana, after all. You just can’t poke a heavily armed and easily angered bear without expecting it to react. (There can, of course, be debates about whether that potential reaction is worth risking for a given issue, but that’s a debate people have to have with them self.)

However, in the same High Times article another reason is pointed out for why things went from 60 to 15 so quickly.

Cop Block Was There

banner420As chronicled by previous posts on CopBlock.org, Ademo and several others within the Cop Block Network made the trip down to Indianapolis in order to participate in and document any police abuses during the inaugural service at the First Church of Cannabis. They came ready to film the police and to make sure everyone there knew their rights, as well as handing out CopBlock’s informational materials. They also brought the attention of Cop Block’s national audience.

Once again according to HighTimes.com, all of those things were as instrumental, if not even more so, in keeping the Indianapolis Police on their best of behaviour that day:

Perhaps this change of draconian heart was out of respect for Levin’s recent decision to ban all illegal substances from the church grounds. Then again, as Ohio attorney Brice Keller pointed out, this shift in strategy likely had more to do with the fact that the whole nation was watching for something dramatic to unfold.

“Cop Block is here,” said Keller. “Cop Block and the news, and everybody having all these video recording devices everywhere probably has caused the police captain or somebody to say, be on your toes today and make sure what we’re doing is protecting the peace.

“If police were going to arrest somebody for a minor offense,” he continued, “there would be a swarm of people out there with their video recorders, and it wouldn’t be good for anybody.” (Emphasis added.)

On the issue of probable cause, Keller said police would need to establish it for each individual, and that simply being on the premises of the cannabis church did not give authorities the right to initiate random searches. What the Indianapolis Police Chief initially said was the force was going to cite parishioners for visiting a common nuisance, which Keller said could have been used as a gateway to search the pockets of parishioners and, perhaps, even their vehicles.

But in the end, there was no shakedown… Not a single incident in which the IMPD felt the need to investigate or attempt to establish probable cause of any kind.

So the moral to the story is protect your neighborhood from the real troublemakers  by joining an existing Cop Block group in your area, starting one if there isn’t already a Cop Block affiliate nearby, and become a part of the growing CopBlock Network. And always Film The Police. It could save a life and that life could be yours.

When Police Go Rogue on Facebook by Ken Armstrong of the Marshall Project

This post was shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader, via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. It was originally published by Ken Armstrong at themarshallproject.org.

Last week, Seattle police apologized for an incident in which a female officer arrested a 69-year-old man walking in the city with a golf club. She said he wielded the club as a weapon. He said it was simply a cane. Police video supported the man’s account.

But it was only after another discovery – made by a Seattle newspaper, The Stranger – that the police department removed the officer from street duty, assigning her to a desk.

The officer is white. The man she arrested with the golf club is black. Last year, the officer posted this on Facebook: “If you believe that blacks are NOT accusing white America for their problems then you are missing the point of the riots in Ferguson and the chronic black racism that far exceeds any white racism in this country. I am tired of black peoples paranoia that white people are out to get them. … I am tired of black people saying poor poor me …”

When Seattle’s police chief read those Facebook comments last week, she said she was “shocked and disappointed.”

Around the country, other chiefs can relate. So can other communities where officers – and sometimes, the police chiefs themselves – have posted Facebook messages that created controversy and sometimes led to suspensions or firings. Such episodes have played out on other social-media sites, of course. And, like the Internet itself, they extend beyond the United States. (In the United Kingdom, more than 150 officers have faced disciplinary action for bad Facebook behavior, including one constable who wrote: “Let’s not be so soft on these [worst expletive imaginable] out there.”)

But looking just at Facebook – and just at police in the United States – here’s a roundup of cases where officers have been accused of crossing a line when going online.

Marlin, Texas: A police sergeant was fired in August 2014 after posting this on Facebook: “The first day of the month! The day I absolutely LOVE going to the grocery store after putting in 120+ hours last month. I love being able to see how the useless lazy turd bags spend the hard earned money my working friends and I provided for them so they can sit of their lazy asses all month and drink the beer I am paying for. I especially love it in the summer so I can admire the thousands of dollars of ink they have adorning their unclean bodies as they smile at me with that mouth full of bling. Makes me want to help them take their groceries and help them load them into that Escalade with $4000 rims. I promise, if I ever snap and go on a killing spree, it will be in a supermarket on the first.” (Elsewhere in Texas, police have created Facebook dustups in Dallas, Emory, and Matagorda County.)

Jonesboro, Ark.: The same month that police sergeant was fired in Texas, the police chief in Jonesboro, Ark., resigned. The chief, on Facebook, called a newspaper reporter a “pro-dope smoking, law license revoked, left wing liberal.” He also called her “smelly,” and wrote: “Dealing with ole Sunshine is like trying to pick up a dog turd by the ‘clean end.’” Jonesboro’s mayor handed the chief a 30-day suspension, but the chief quit before serving it. (And he wasn’t the only police chief to resign last August over a Facebook post. The chief in Chickasha, Okla., did, too. Before that, so did the police chief in Williamston, S.C.)

Bainbridge Island, Wash.: On this island in the Puget Sound, police in 2010 shot and killed a mentally ill man, in a case that prompted a civil rights lawsuit and a $1 million verdict against the city. A week after the shooting, the officer who opened fire received a Facebook message from a Los Angeles cop, who flippantly referred to the shooting as “combat qual.” The Bainbridge officer responded, on Facebook, with: “no sweat here … bad guy should have listened a little better.” (A year later, a different Bainbridge officer was reprimanded for going on Facebook and writing of a crackdown on traffic offenses: “We rained terror on the island and no one was taken alive.”)

Portsmouth, Va.: In 2011, a police officer shot and killed an intoxicated, unarmed cook, a citizen of Kazakhstan who was struck 11 times. Afterward, the officer’s Facebook page – captured by The Virginian-Pilot before disappearing from the web – became the subject of an internal review. Among other postings, he described a photo of a box of handguns as his “box of VENGEANCE!” and wrote: “would be better if i was dirtying them instead of cleaning them!”

Boston, Mass.: Last year, a police officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority posted on Facebook: “Farther’s (sic) Day, the most confusing day in Roxbury.” The president of the Boston NAACP told television station WCVB, “It’s a sad commentary on what this gentleman thinks is going on in communities of color.” Afterward, the officer was stripped of his role as a police-academy drill instructor.

Indianapolis, Ind.: Television station WTHR aired an investigative report in 2009 about an Indiana state trooper’s Facebook posts. “I pick up trash for a living,” the trooper wrote. He boasted of drinking heavily and posted a photo in which a fellow police officer pointed a .357 Magnum at the trooper’s head. By matching Facebook’s timestamps with state patrol employment records, the station discovered that the trooper sometimes posted while on duty. The trooper subsequently resigned.

Albuquerque, N.M.: That trooper certainly wasn’t the only police officer to refer to people as garbage. In 2011, an Albuquerque police officer shot a man in the back after a traffic stop, killing him. Soon after, local media reported that the officer listed his job on Facebook as “human waste disposal.” No charges were filed against the officer for the shooting, but he did get a four-day suspension for his Facebook post.

New York City: In 2009, a New York City police officer described his Facebook status as “watching ‘Training Day’ to brush up on proper police procedure.” A few weeks later, that post was used to attack the officer’s credibility when a defendant he had arrested went to trial. (In “Training Day,” there is little, if anything, proper about the corrupt narcotics detective played by Denzel Washington.) Two years later, more than a dozen NYPD officers posted offensive comments about the West Indian Day Parade, leading to eventual discipline.

Monroe, La.: Responding to the protests in Ferguson, Mo., following the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a police officer in Monroe, La., went on Facebook and wrote: “Ive got an idea on how to clear the streets in Ferguson Missouri. Lets have a crop duster fly over and drop job applications.” The officer, who was subsequently placed on leave, also wrote: “I’m surprised the beauty salon didn’t have armed guards. That ‘good hair’ is expensive. Thats ghetto gold.” Police elsewhere also made Facebook posts about Ferguson that stirred controversy. That happened, among other places, in Elgin, Ill.;Glendale, Mo.; Portland, Ore.; Kansas City; and Seattle.

Volusia, Fla.: Before Michael Brown’s death, there was the controversy surrounding Trayvon Martin’s. In 2013, on the day George Zimmerman was acquitted in Martin’s death, a Volusia County Beach Safety officer posted on Facebook: “Another thug gone. Pull up your pants and be respectful. Bye bye thug r.i.p.” The following month, the officer was fired.

After $200K Settlement, Indianapolis Cops Instructed Not To Interfere With Citizens Filming Police Activity

 The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader going by the pseudonym “Ghost,” via the CopBlock.org submissions page. The post was originally published at RT.com under the title, “Indianapolis Cops Must Allow Citizens to Film Police Activity After $200K Settlement.

The terms of a recently settled lawsuit in Indianapolis, Indiana will require the city’s police force to remind officers that it’s legal for civilians to videotape on-duty cops, but it will also cost the department more than just that.

In addition to having to adopt an official policy recognizing the right for citizens to record law enforcement officials, the City of Indianapolis is also cutting a $200,000 check for a local man who was arrested and injured by police in 2011 after he refused to stop filming a nearby arrest.

Willie King was watching Indianapolis police officers arrest a young man in his neighbor’s driveway three years ago this month when he decided it would be a good idea to grab his cellphone and start recording. The cops weren’t too keen about being caught on film, however, and ordered King, then 66 years old, to hand over his phone.

“Sir, you know that if he resists any more they can take your phone as evidence,” an officer was caught saying, according to transcripts published this week by local news network WISH-TV.

“I don’t give a [expletive] what you do, y’all just don’t harm him,” King responded.

When King refused to stop recording from his neighbor’s porch, he was tackled to the ground, arrested and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

King was ultimately found not guilty of those charges, but turned around and filed a civil suit against the city over alleged First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations.

That case was scheduled to go to trial starting March 10, but it’s now been reported that the city decided to settle this past January.

King is being awarded $200,000 from the city as part of that settlement, but the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is also being forced to institute a new policy prohibiting police officers from bothering with eyewitnesses who are recording their actions.

According to excerpts of the policy published on Thursday by WISH-TV, local law enforcement officials have 60 days to adopt a policy that states “police officers should not interfere with civilians who are observing or recording their actions by video or audio in public, so long as the civilians maintain a safe and reasonable distance if necessary from the scene of a police action, do not physically interfere with the officers’ performance of their duty and do not represent a physical danger to the officers, civilians or others.”

“Willie King was wronged when the officers stopped his videotaping and took away his cellphone,” King’s attorney, Richard Waples, was quoted as saying by The Indiana Lawyer website. “We want to make sure that in the future police officers understand that people have the right to video record their actions.”

“We thought it was important in this case, not to just try to get compensation from Mr. King which we were able to do, but also to get the police department to realize, hey, they need to train their officers, and say you can’t interfere with people’s rights to record and observe what you’re doing in public,” Waples told the network.

According to Marilyn Odendahl at The Indiana Lawyer, Waples added that the recent victory “secures the right of all citizens to observe and record police officers’ public actions.”

Previously, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit — whose jurisdiction includes Indiana, among other states —acknowledged that “The act of making an audio or audiovisual recording is necessarily included within the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the right to disseminate the resulting recording.”

“Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply,” reads a portion of the American Civil Liberties Union’s official website.

– Ghost