Tag Archives: Instagram

First Amendment Audit: Imperial County Sheriff’s Sgt John Toledano Unlawfully Detains Videographers Filming in Public

California Guardian High Desert Community Watch First Amendment Audit Illegal Detention

Imperial County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Toledano handcuffed and illegally detained “California Guardian” and “High Desert Community Watch” during a First Amendment Audit by order of the FBI for legally filming in public.

Note: The video and description included within this post were shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, 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. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

As is mentioned in the description, this video shows what is known as a “First Amendment Audit.” That consists of going out and filming government buildings and other public property. Oftentimes, the police, security guards, government employees, and even members of the public don’t understand that the First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take photos and/or record video of anything that is within view of a public place.

Obviously, this video is very much an example of that (commonly referred to as an “audit fail” among those who do them). After initially confronting them and asking for ID, Sgt. Toledano (along with two other unidentified officers) handcuffed the two men who go by the pseudonyms “California Guardian” and “High Desert Community Watch” publicly.

Both of them were then forced to sit in the back of a police vehicle and threatened with trespassing citations, although they never at any time entered private property. According to what Sgt. Toledago states on the video, this illegal detention was at ordered by the FBI. Eventually, they were both released without any charges.

As already stated, you obviously can legally film in public. Also, you are not required to identify yourself unless a police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed, are in the process of committing, or are about to commit a crime (the requirement to be legally detained). And legally they can’t seize your camera (or any other personal property) unless they have actually arrested you or obtained a warrant or subpoena for specific content on it.

One of the main reasons for doing First Amendment Audits is to test whether the police or security officers understand the law regarding filming in public spaces. Also, part of that reasoning is making them understand that it is legal and thereby deter them from harassing people filming in the future.

Date of Incident: April 11, 2017
Officer Involved: Sgt. John Toledano
Department Involved: Imperial County (CA) Sheriff’s Office
Facebook Page:
Imperial County Sheriff’s Office
Twitter Account:

Instagram Account:
Imperial County Sheriff
Department Phone No.:
(442) 265-2005
Department Email: Sheriff Raymond Loera

Adam (California Guardian) and Phillip (High Desert Community Watch) were down in Imperial County video recording when a Deputy Sheriff, Sgt Toledano, stopped them and unlawfully detained them on behalf of the FBI for the sole intent of identifying them with no suspicion that they had violated any crime.

Adam and Phillip were cuffed, placed in the back of a patrol vehicle and driven down around the corner to await the arrival of the FBI. Adam and Phillip never provided identification and were released after being given detention slips in the name of John Doe.

Both detention slips used Calif. Penal Code 647 (h) – “prowling” – as an excuse. Adam and Philip never entered any private property and remained on the public right of way (sidewalk) during their recording.

The men in the video frequently post First Amendment Audits and other videos to their Youtube channels: “California Guardian” and “High Desert Community Watch.” You can support them by making donations via GoFundMe: California Guardian and High Desert Community Watch News Network. Although they sometimes travel to other areas, as the psuedonyms they use indicate, these two auditors live in Southern California.

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Watch This Video for “Piggy Piggy,” a Controversial Police Brutality Parody, by Chicago Rock Band “Black Bear Rodeo”

Piggy Piggy Video by Black Bear Rodeo Nevada Cop Block

“Piggy Piggy,” by Chicago rock band Black Bear Rodeo. The video which was released earlier this year features an anti-police brutality theme and imagery.

Note: The video and description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, 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. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

The video embedded below was submitted by a reader. It features the song “Piggy Piggy” by a Chicago based band named Black Bear Rodeo. It was released as part of their April 2017 album “Bunk.” As you’ll see in the video, live performance footage is interspersed with video showing incidents of police brutality, along with some more comical scenes involving the police. (There’s also some sweet cameos of Cop Block gear mixed throughout.)

Stevie Mac, the person who submitted it, deemed the video a “controversial police brutality parody.” While it seems kinda ridiculous that being against the abuse and outright murder of people would be controversial, it actually kinda is. So yeah, that’s the world we are living in these days.

At any rate, personally I think “Piggy Piggy” is a damn good song. If you’re into a heavier rock and punk style of music, you should enjoy it, too. (If you aren’t into that kind of music, you should probably question your upbringing and life choices. #JusSayin.) The video itself is very well done and does a good job of visually matching the energy and pace of the music. It’s well worth checking out.

Chicago rock and roll natives “Black Bear Rodeo” have teamed up with recording engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Bush) to give you “Piggy Piggy.” The video for this song (embedded below) features a montage of police brutality videos to raise awareness of a serious, systemic issue through a comical, yet terrifying, medium.

– Stevie Mac

We strongly encourage any bands, musicians, or fans out there to share songs that you (or someone you enjoy listening to) have put out. Music is obviously a great way to get the message out and connect with others of a like mind. So if you or someone you know records music with a (controversial) anti-police brutality theme and/or has a history of being involved in activism of that nature, send it in. In return, those of us here at NVCopBlock will do as much as we can to help promote it and expose your band to the masses.

Upcoming Live Shows by Black Bear Rodeo

Black Bear Rodeo is currently on tour and will be playing an Xmas show on Dec. 23rd at Demma’s Bar and Grill in Oak Lawn, IL. After that, they play a show with Green Jelly on January 5th at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. Links to other places on the internets where you can find information on, music by, and tour dates for Black Bear Rodeo are included below. If you live in the Chicago area or they come to a venue near you, you should get out and see them live.

Other Places You Can Find Black Bear Rodeo

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

  1. Las Vegas Punk Band Apathetix Plays “ACAB” Live at the Womb Room
  2. Pennsylvania Councilman Proposes Bill For Cops to Target Music Festivals And Performers
  3. “Kelly” (Thomas) – Music Video by Surrogates
  4. My Ransomed Soul – Monarch (Anti-Police Brutality Music Video)
  5. “Im Upset” (Music Video)
  6. Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine Waterboards John McEnroe in New Video
  7. Police Issue Important Warning About Men Challenging Passers-By to Rap Battles
  8. Submit Your Own Story of Police Abuse/Corruption
  9. Help Wanted! How You Can Become Involved With NVCopBlock
  10. #FTP – How and Why You Should Always Film The Police
  11. Press Passes for Independent Media and Freelance Journalists
  12. How to File a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Request
  13. “Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights
  14. Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!
  15. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation
  16. A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Area Police Brutality
  17. Donate to the Cause – Help Us Help You Fight The Power

Philadelphia Police “Reviewing Tactics” of Cop Seen Slamming, Punching Teen Girl on Video

Several videos (embedded above and below) posted online showed an incident that occurred on Monday, during which a female Philadelphia police officer can be seen grabbing a sixteen year old girl, slamming her to the ground, and then, after straddling her chest, throwing numerous punches at her face.

The unnamed officer was part of a group of police officers that showed up to break up a large fight that apparently involved members of two families. Johnnae Pendleton, the girl seen being hit in the video, has since stated that she was trying to defend her mother just prior to being pushed away by one officer and then confronted by the officer who eventually assaulted her.

Although, Pendelton appears to be arguing with the first officer, the second officer (who punched her) acts aggressively toward her from the time that she initially approaches Pendelton from behind and pulls her around. While seemingly yelling at her to leave, she also repeatedly points her fingers into the teen’s face, appearing to make physical contact several times, at least. According to witnesses, Pederson was responding by telling her not to touch her.

Shortly after, the officer can be seen grabbing Pederson and spinning her around before throwing her to the ground. She then follows up by sitting on top of her chest and repeatedly punching at her head and face as Pederson attempts to block those punches. At some point, the officer also pulls out a telescoping baton. After several bystanders move close and yell for her to get off Pederson, at least two other cops, who are also holding batons, intercede before the video ends.

Via 6ABC.com (in Philadelphia):

The Internal Affairs Unit is now investigating an incident caught on video involving a 12th District Philadelphia police officer and a teenager.

All charges against 16-year-old Johnnae Pendleton, the girl seen in cell phone video, were dropped Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s just an ugly situation from start to finish,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “There’s no denying that.”

The melee was captured on cell phone video in Southwest Philadelphia on 54th near Springfield Monday afternoon.

Police arrived to find a large group of teens fighting in the street.

In the video, a 12th District officer and a teen, later identified as Pendleton, separate from the group.

Action News spoke with Pendleton Tuesday about what happened from her perspective.

Pendleton contends she was trying to help her friend’s mother, who was being detained by police, when the officer started pushing her back.

“It went from there. She was dragging me by my hair, banging my head on the ground, on the car, punching me, sat on top of me and was punching me in my face,” Pendleton said.

Caliph Douglass captured the cell phone video.

He said he found what he was witnessing “confusing” because he also thought the Pendleton was trying to back away.

“The girl was saying ‘Don’t touch me. You don’t got to touch me.’ Then, the next thing you know she just swung the little girl to the ground and started punching her,” Douglass said.

Commissioner Ross says Pendleton was refusing the officer’s commands, and the officer reported that the teen knocked her glasses off her face.

“One of the things that did not get captured on the video that the young lady admitted to in her interview is that she actually smacked the officer in the face, knocking her glasses off her face,” Ross told Action News.

The teen told police she wasn’t hurt at all, and the 12th District officer, with several years on the job, had minor bruising to her eye.

The officer’s tactics are now under review by Internal Affairs.

“When I say tactics, it’s a possibility, before they hit the ground, that something could’ve been done a little differently. That’s not a legal thing as much as it is a tactical thing, but it’s a decision that gets made in a split second,” Ross said.

Pendleton was initially charged with assault on a police officer.

The district attorney declined to move forward with those charges and Pendleton was released from custody.

“I am happy that it was caught on video because if it wasn’t, I would have been charged and I would’ve been in a youth study center or something,” Pendleton said.

A source tells Action News the video and witness statements seem to indicate that Pendleton never intentionally tried to harm the officer.

“Both parties told the truth,” said Ross. “There’s not a whole lot of discrepancy between the two stories. It just doesn’t happen that often like that.”

Ross said the officer will remain off the street while the Internal Affairs investigation into the matter continues.

So, it’s interesting that, even though the “investigation” is still going on, Commissioner Ross has already announced that it’s “not a legal thing,” but rather a matter of tactics. Probably, one of the tactics that someone should avoid when they are trying to break up a fight would be to not act aggressively and escalate a confrontation.

Not physically pushing and jabbing your fingers at someone would be another questionable tactical consideration. Maybe, repeatedly punching someone when they are already on the ground and under your control would be another strategic “faux pas” that should be avoided.

Of course, if you’re a cop and you know there’s little to no chance you’ll suffer any sort of meaningful consequences for your actions, you probably don’t have to quibble over “tactics.”

Interview of Teen Seen Being Punched:

Video Posted to Instagram:

Longer Video That Shows Part of Initial Fight:

Michigan State Police Trooper: Standing Near Road is “Suspicious” – Commits Illegal Detention Plus Illegal Search And Seizure

The video above and the description included below were shared with the CopBlock Network by Timothy Wagner, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In the video Timothy submitted, he is stopped and illegally detained by a Michigan State Police trooper (it’s hard to hear in the video, but his name sounds like “Dupontz” he has now been identified as Kris Douponce – see update below) while waiting for a ride to work near his house. According to the officer illegally accosting him, the justification for this detention is that he seems suspicious because he is standing near the road and looked at him as he passed by. Apparently, (once again according to the trooper making the stop) this is a sign of criminal behavior.

In addition, while in the process of harassing someone standing on their own private property and not committing any crime whatsoever, the trooper conducts an illegal seizure of his wallet by grabbing it from him and then illegally searches it to find out his identity after Timothy has exercised his Constitutional right to remain silent. Since this trooper has no legal right to detain him, Timothy is in no way obligated to provide his identity to the trooper.

The trooper uses the excuse that he’s just doing his job to justify his illegal actions. He also claims that he has the right to stop anyone “until I determine you aren’t doing anything illegal.” In reality, he is obligated to have a reasonable belief that someone has committed a crime or are about to commit a crime in order to stop them. During the video, Timothy states that he is going to file a complaint against this trooper for his improper behavior. Hopefully, he did or will be doing so soon.

Date of Incident: June 24, 2016 (2:34 pm)
Officer Involved: Trooper Kris Douponce – Badge #1486 – Car #5423
Department involved: Michigan State Police
Department Facebook Page: Michigan State Police on Facebook
Department Twitter Profile: Michigan State Police on Twitter
Department Instagram Account: Michigan State Police on Instagram
Department YouTube Account: Michigan State Police on YouTube
Department Phone No.: (269) 657-6081

It was a warm and  sunny June afternoon on a Friday. I was waiting at the end of my private drive for my ride to work. At that point,  I noticed a state boy (sic) pass by and so I looked at him. Moments later, I saw he was headed back my way. Then he continued until he turned onto my drive.

The YouTube video included shows what happened from that point. My Fourth Amendment rights were violated, supposedly because I was being suspicious by standing next to the road.

I felt helpless in this situation. Also, I was scared and confused…

– Timothy Wagner

Michigan State Police Trooper Kris Douponce

Award Winning Michigan State Police Trooper Kris Douponce (second from the left)

Update: After this post was originally published it was suggested within the comments that the police officer seen in the video violating Mr. Wagner’s rights is Michigan State Police Trooper Kris Douponce. I later confirmed via the photo included to the right that it is in fact him.

Trooper Douponce is a 22 year veteran of the MSP and apparently a highly decorated member of the department. In that photo (found on Facebook), you can see him being given the “Officer of the Year” award in 2012.

It kinda makes you wonder how the other cops within the Michigan State Police behave toward citizens, when their “Officer of the Year” so blatantly and without displaying even the most common level of respect violates the rights of a man who had done absolutely nothing except stand on his own property waiting for a ride to work.

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

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

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

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

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

Via WTAE.com in Pittsburgh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Police Sergeant Claims Badges DO Grant Extra Rights!

This video was shared with the CopBlock Network by Tyler Wayne, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It shows Tyler’s conversation with a Myrtle Beach police officer named Sgt. Richardson. on the surface of it, there’s nothing particularly outrageous about this video. The Sergeant is somewhat insulting toward Tyler at times and arrogant, but for the most part he maintains a fairly polite manner and doesn’t threaten him physically.

However, there are several interesting aspects to the conversation contained within the video. In short, Sgt. Richardson very clearly feels that badges should grant extra rights. The initial question about the parking is really more of a matter of principle than a huge rights violation or act of corruption. Why should police be able to just arbitrarily park wherever they want when they would want to engage in some Revenue Generation if they saw you do the same thing? Plus, his excuse for needing to do so was pretty shallow.

According to Richardson, if he had to arrest someone it would be unreasonable for him to have to “parade” someone through the parking lot. The problem with that is you can rather clearly see that if he parked in the front section of the parking area it would simply be a matter of crossing the street. That would maybe constitute an extra twenty feet and that’s being generous in the estimate.

Also something the sergeant mentions within that conversation is that he is working under a contract for the movie theater and is only “hired” there on weekends. So, in other words, he’s been hired through the department to perform private security for that business. That brings into question whether he’s even really on duty at the time. Regardless of whether he’s on the clock for the city or moonlighting, he’s working for a private company and not performing official police duties.

Screenshot_2016-06-05-12-11-17Beyond that, the legal exception for parking in fire zones for emergency vehicles is in fact usually restricted to during a response to an actual emergency. Furthermore, it’s not a question of whether those with badges wrote on a piece of paper that they get to have extra rights that is in question. It’s ironic the sergeant would accuse someone else of not respecting the law while he completely disregards it. The question is whether they should be afforded those extra rights.

It’s rather obvious that Sgt. Richardson believes they do. That’s evidenced not just by the parking issue, but by his reference to the fact that South Carolina does not allow the open carrying of pistols. At one point in the video, he references that he is allowed to wear a holstered pistol openly as one of those extra rights his employment affords him. And he seems rather proud of the fact that the Second Amendment right to bear arms has been restricted by the state for people not employed as cops.

Previously, Tyler submitted a video of himself being detained by a Darlington County Sheriff’s Deputy to the CopBlock Network in March of this year.

Date of Incident: June 4, 2016
Officer involved: Sergeant Richardson Badge #D27
Department Involved: Myrtle Beach (SC) Police Department
Complaint No.: Office of Professional Standards – (843) 918-1330/(843) 918-1382
Sheriff Philip L. Thompson: (843) 915-5450
Facebook Page: Myrtle Beach Police
Address: Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center, 1101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29578

I was visiting the mall in Myrtle Beach (Horry County) with my girlfriend. When we left I noticed a police officer parked in a “no parking zone”. I decided to record a short video for Instagram. After recording the first clip, I stood by the vehicle hoping the officer would come out so I could ask for his name and badge number.

He came out quickly with his business card ready. We then had a discussion, if you will, about parking laws, open carry, and unmarked police vehicles.

At one point I asked if he believed that badges granted extra rights and he responded with “when I’m on duty, yes”.

– Tyler Wayne

Incidentally, if you want to support Tyler’s future efforts to film the police in the Myrtle Beach area, you can do so by donating to the Citizens for Police Accountability GoFundMe page.

New York Cop Who Pulled Gun On, Then Assaulted Men Filming Is “The Hero You Deserve”

About a week ago, Asa J blogged about a New York cop who pulled a gun on three men in their late teens after they filmed him make an arrest. Shortly after that he also came back and assaulted then violated and wrongfully arrested one of those men.

He subsequently was placed on modified duty and stripped of his gun and badge while other officers pretend to investigate the incident. (The original video is embedded below.)

A few days later the Gothamist uncovered (by way of Cop Watch activist Steve Cruz and Instagram) some other “fun facts” about Officer Risel Martinez. Apparently he likes to do a bit of dress up while videotaping himself working out and boasting about what a hero he is and how much you “deserve” him.

He also likes to shoot video while driving around town, which is both against the law and a violation of NYPD policy. It’s also something cops routinely stop and extort people that don’t have Magic Suits under their Batman uniforms for. I highly doubt that Ofc. Martinez is an exception in that respect.

It’s hard to say I’m surprised (because I’m not) that this Hero turns out to not just be a violent bully, but also an egotistical hypocrite and a big delusional weirdo.


Video: Someone Who Appears To Be That Gun-Waving Cop Says He’s “The Hero You Deserve”

The cop caught on video threatening and attacking bystanders who filmed him in Harlem last week likes playing dress-up. That’s what Cop Watch activist Steve Cruz says he discovered when Officer Risel Martinez followed his Instagram account, and Cruz started poring over his. Cruz says Martinez deleted his account soon thereafter, but not before Cruz had mined many weird and whimsical, if not by-the-book videos from it. The one that is perhaps the most topically relevant to the incident last Thursday, during which Martinez punched a 19-year-old who was filming him and pulled a gun on another bystander filming, is of a man who seems to be Martinez lifting weights dressed as Batman, or “Yatman.”

In another video, Martinez appears to be goofing around dressed as Thor, or “Yor,” in a cell.

Here he is as Bane:

And keeping his hair nice:

Cruz said the follow notification came early in the morning as he was blasting out videos bystanders shot of the Thursday incident, and that he was shocked to realize that the man on the other end was the officer pointing a gun in the video.

“I looked at [Martinez’s profile] real fast, then started downloading all the videos, boom boom boom, got out of it, backed out of it, then privatized my page, ” Cruz said.

Martinez was stripped of his gun and badge on Saturday as video of his handling of the Harlem incident circulated online. It began, according to police, when officers had stopped a driver and dirt-bike riders started circling them. The NYPD says the officers chased the bikers, and witnesses said that they caught up to one rider at a building on 134th Street and Eighth Avenue and arrested him. The man was compliant, witnesses said, but Martinez punched him repeatedly anyway, then when a bystander started to film him and a partner struggling with the man on the floor, Martinez pulled his gun and pointed it at the peanut gallery, yelling “Back up!” Another video shows Martinez storming over to 19-year-old Jahnico Harvey, who is filming outside the front door of the building, and punching him in the face. Harvey was arrested and charged with menacing and disorderly conduct.

Footage of the incident released so far provides an incomplete accounting of everything that happened leading up to and following the gun-pulling and punching.

Martinez’s Instagram videos put a human face on last week’s violence, but unfortunately for him, cops aren’t supposed to post photos in uniform, and like the rest of us, are banned from using their phones while driving.

Cruz said that Martinez appears “way tweaked” in the Harlem video, as well as in his personal posts, and questioned his mental state. He said he hopes that releasing videos of the embattled cop will help police leaders decide to fire him.

“[Cop Watch Patrol Unit] hopes that Bill Bratton comes to his senses and lets this officer go, because he’s a ticking time bomb,” Cruz said.

He said the group is holding some videos in reserve in case the department tries to claim Martinez is a decent cop.

Martinez joined the department in 2012, according to city payroll records. For anyone who wants to go further down this rabbit hole, here’s a greatest hits reel of sorts compiled by Cruz, including one of Martinez holding a knife to the neck of a Christmas elf doll.

We’ve reached out to the NYPD to see if there is any separate action being taken around Martinez’s goofing off. We’ll update if we hear back. We couldn’t reach Martinez.

[h/t Keegan Stephan]

“Chalk the Police State” with the CopBlock Network on July 18th

Chalk The Police StateTime for the Third Annual “Chalk the Police State” Day is fast approaching on July 18th. Like previous years, Nevada Cop Block and the CopBlock Network would like to make this a national event with as many cities as possible making a statement about police brutality and accountability, as well as the continuing militarization and expansion of police forces and governments.

Originally, the call for Chalk the Police State Day was put out by members of Nevada Cop Block, dubbed the “Sunset 5” after we were arrested for legally and peacefully protesting (see below for more details). However, the use of chalk in Cop Block protests actually dates back to the “Manchester 8” arrests in 2011 and two subsequent annual “Chalk the Police Day” events. It was through participation in those that members of Nevada Cop Block  found out how useful and effective chalk protests could be. So, technically this could be called the fifth annual chalk protest by members of the CopBlock Network nationwide.



The number of people killed by police this year alone already stands at 590 (and counting rapidly), with the per day average death toll being three people. Of those nearly 600 people whose lives have ended at the hands of the police, some of them have gotten a lot of attention and inspired massive protests. But for every Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, John Crawford, Kelly Thomas, Walter Scott, and Tamir Rice, there are many others, such as Michael Nida, Stanley Gibson, Manuel Diaz, Danielle Willard, and Erik Scott, in your own communities that don’t get the same sort of national attention.

July 18th will be an opportunity for local groups to highlight police brutality on a national level. You can choose who to talk about with a national audience ready to listen via the CopBlock Network.

As a tool of protest, chalk has many advantages:

  • Chalk protests require very little preplanning: No routes have to be picked, no streets or traffic have to be blocked to accommodate that route, no signs have to be made or transported, and no leaders have to be picked to coordinate all of that. Basically, you just pick a location and hand out some chalk. People can decide for themselves (another advantage) what and how much they want to write. The most complicated part of the planning is making sure someone picks up enough chalk that day. In fact, chalk protests can be very spontaneous and unscheduled. Some members of NVCopBlock have been known to carry chalk on them just in case the need for an impromptu protest presents itself. No “conspiring” is necessary.
  • Chalk allows small groups to make a big impact: One of the biggest advantages to chalk protests is the ability it creates for a small determined group to maximize their impact. While we hope that lots of people show up everywhere, the truth is you don’t need 100 people with signs to get the message out. Instead, within a relatively short amount of time a small number of people can write out multiple messages each. Anybody walking past the location of the protest will see those messages, even if you don’t have 50 people to hold individual signs. In fact, the activity of drawing usually creates curiosity among people in the area and grabs their attention. Many of them want to come and see what all the commotion is about.
  • Forty Feet of InjusticeChalk allows for a lasting visual impact: One of the staples of chalk protests, especially amongst members of Nevada Cop Block have been taking photos of the messages chalked. As an extension of the artistic nature of the chalk itself, it creates powerful visual imagery that transcends the protest. Even if the chalk messages are quickly (and easily) cleaned up right afterwards, those images and their thousand words live on. Sharing those photos via the internets and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, etc., allows people throughout the country and even worldwide that didn’t actually attend the protest to see and pass along those messages. In fact, when those of us from Nevada Cop Block were arrested back in 2013, the Associated Press and other media outlets used my photos from previous protests in their stories. The LVMPD was soon faced with the rather unpleasant reality that the statements they were trying to suppress about how often they murdered people and how non-existent their accountability for those murders was were popping up in newspapers and websites all across the United States. That included the front page of the local papers.
  • Chalk is very easy: Most people drew on sidewalks as a child and, even if you didn’t, it’s not exactly hard to figure out how to write stuff. And oftentimes in the past there have even been children, who can give you some pointers, at Cop Block’s chalk protests.
  • Chalk is fun: Drawing with chalk allows people to be creative and express themselves in the process of protesting. You’re not just limited to walking around shouting slogans and holding signs.
  • Chalk is cheap: The cost of a chalk protest basically consists of a few boxes of chalk and not much else. Those can be easily and very inexpensively found in most department stores or art/toy stores. You probably spend more on dinner most days than you will on a chalk protest.
  • Chalk doesn’t cause damage: Most of the false claims regarding “damage” caused by chalk protests are based on the clean up costs involved once the protests are over and the police (or other target of the protest) no longer want to have their crimes highlighted on the public sidewalks for the world to see. However, the truth is that chalk is very easily cleaned up with nothing but water. In fact, the simple act of pouring water on the chalk usually is enough to remove it. Beyond that, it doesn’t even actually have to be cleaned up. It isn’t in anyone’s way, nor does it prevent anyone from going about their business in a usual manner if they want to. The only real reason somebody would want to remove it before the wind, rain, or even people just walking over it would do so naturally would be if they didn’t want to have a spotlight shined on their bad behaviour and lack of accountability.
  • Chalk is Free Speech: Several courts in various parts of the country have already ruled that sidewalks are considered public forums and that chalk in fact doesn’t cause any real damage. Therefore, writing out criticisms of police and other governmental officials is a legal and protected form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Chalk Arrests Las VegasJuly 18th marks the two year anniversary of when members of Nevada Cop Block called for the first Chalk the Police State Day amid the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s attempts to shut down legal, peaceful anti-police brutality protests involving chalk throughout the Las Vegas area. Those attempts at intimidation, harassment, and retaliation against people bringing attention to their crimes eventually led to the arrests of three people and charges against two others for the non-crimes of writing on the sidewalk with chalk and conspiring to do so.

Although the “graffiti” charges were dropped shortly after, amid a large and vocal public uproar locally, the intent to silence criticism was fairly obvious. In addition, that obviousness and the blatant overreach it represented actually resulted in more publicity for the lack of accountability and blatant murders by the LVMPD and other Las Vegas area police departments than the original protests ever had. Their inflation of (unnecessary) clean up costs to justify making arrests, rather than giving out citations, and the possibility of a four year sentence that some of those arrested potentially faced brought attention nationally.

Chalk Protest Las VegasSince that time, Nevada Cop Block has held countless chalk protests throughout Las Vegas and even other parts of the country. The effectiveness and ease of chalk protests have led to it being our primary choice for political actions. Also, although some people were too afraid to take part after the initial arrests and there have been many instances of harassment during subsequent protests, as of yet there have been no additional arrests associated with chalking. In fact, in some ways the media coverage it created has enabled us to get our message out even more effectively via interviews and the spread of chalk protests among other groups.

Last year, thirteen different groups from all over the country participated in Second Annual Chalk the Police State Day. With the spread of the CopBlock Network over the years into ever more cities and even internationally, it shouldn’t really be hard to get even more out onto the sidewalks this year. July 18th will be a day for everyone who is tired of police brutality and and the occupying armies that local police are rapidly turning into, regardless of where you are, to let them know that we won’t tolerate them any longer within our communities and against our friends and families.

Bring attention to those high profile national cases, highlight the abuses by your own local police departments, and put everyone responsible for them on notice that we are watching and the days of waiting are rapidly nearing an end. Bring so much attention to their crimes that they have no choice, but to create meaningful change.

The CopBlock Network Facebook event page for the National Chalk the Police State Day is located here:

If you haven’t already “liked” the CopBlock Network’s Facebook page, you should in order to get updates. Ideally, each individual city should set up their own event page (such as this Las Vegas invite) to coordinate locally. However, you should also invite everyone you believe would want to participate (and stop hanging out with people that won’t) to the national event, especially those from a different city than you, in order to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Find a CopBlock Group near you!

Find a CopBlock Group near you!