Tag Archives: Intimidation

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

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

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

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

Via KTNV 13 News, the local ABC affiliate:

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

But CCSD officials made their final notification three days late.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Klemp did not return our call for comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Landon Tomsa

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

Wisconsin Sheriff’s Deputy Attempts to Harass and Intimidate Legal Hunters to Eliminate Competition

The following post and accompanying video was shared with the CopBlock Network by a reader named Rebecca, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

The video above shows a incident they were involved with in which a deputy with the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office confronts Rebecca’s family as they are hunting and accuses them of trespassing. According to the dialogue in the video they are, however, on public land that is legal for hunting.

Within the description below, Rebecca maintains that this sheriff’s deputy reason for harassing them is that he has made a deal with a nearby land owner. In exchange for that property owner allowing the deputy to drive his vehicle on his land in order to access the public land (which would otherwise only be accessible by boat), this deputy looks the other way while the land owner violates several laws on public land. This includes riding ATV’s on DNR (publicly owned) land building a permanent tree stand.

Date of Incident: December 10, 2016
Department Involved: La Crosse County (WI) Sheriff’s Office
Department Facebook Page: La Crosse Sheriff’s Office
Department Email: Deputy Contact List
Department Phone No.:
(608) 785-9629

A sheriff’s deputy attempted to intimidate my family as we began a late season hunt. He claimed we were trespassing, even though we were on Department of Natural Resources land and have been hunting this area for years. When he approached, he was loud and yelled accusations at my 65 year old neighbor. The sheriff’s deputy did change his demeanor as soon as I pulled out the camera. However, he was still violating the hunter harassment law.

The deputy has permission from a property owner that borders this public land to trap, as well as vehicle access to the public land, so he can trap that also. (The only other access to this land is by boat.) In return for his trapping and access “rights,” the sheriff’s deputy and the local warden grant special privileges to the bordering land owner by allowing permanent tree stands that the landowner puts on DNR land. The landowner is also allowed to use ATVs on this DNR property.

Typically when you encounter sportsmen or hunters on public land, they are very cordial and will avoid interfering in other party’s hunts. This deputy went out of his way to harass us at the beginning of our hunt as well as hiking onto the DNR land (in his dark, fur trimmed clothing) knowing we planned on doing a deer push. This is the second time these thugs tried to intimidate us while legally using this land – I believe we are too much competition for them. Unfortunately, we didn’t harvest anything this day, but went back the next day and had success.

– Rebecca

Las Vegas School Police Detective And Head of Internal Affairs Facing Internal Investigation

CCSD Police Department
Yet another Las Vegas area school cop is under investigation and this time it’s the detective in charge of conducting investigations on other cops. Detective Christopher Klemp, who was in charge of the Clark County School District Police Department Internal Affairs Division, has been accused of threatening other officers and suppressing evidence in order to influence investigations he took part in.

The allegations against him were included as part of a complaint filed with Klemp’s supervisors by a former CCSD Police lieutenant, who was fired in 2015. part of that complaint included audio recordings of phone calls between the former lieutenant and Det. Klemp.

According to transcripts of those recordings, Klemp implicates himself as well as improperly discusses open investigations. He’s also accused of bragging about his connections to high level school officials in order to intimidate officers whom he was investigating at the time.

Klemp’s involvement and potential misconduct during investigations could jeopardize all of the investigations he conducted while he was in charge of the CCSD Internal Affairs Bureau. That includes the case of James Lescinski, whose case I wrote about here on the CopBlock Network about a week ago. In addition, Detective Klemp was named in an earlier lawsuit over the cover-up of an incident involving a student who got drunk at a party thrown by CCSD police officers and then killed a teenage girl while driving home.

Via 8 News NOW, the local CBS affiliate in Las Vegas:

The purported transcripts of audio recordings with Detective Klemp, confirmed by the Clark County School District’s Police Union, reveal Klemp may have tried to influence investigations in his favor.

School Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky says he’s concerned about the allegations.

“Anytime we have allegations, we investigate the allegations, and because this is a personnel matter, we have to go in and look at it from all angles and determine the next course of action,” Skorkowsky said.

Along with the alleged partial transcript of a recorded conversation with Klemp, the complaint filed by the former CCSD Police lieutenant also contains allegations that Klemp openly discussed ongoing investigations.

It also states Klemp allegedly tried to intimidate officers under investigation. The complaint says Klemp boasted about being close to Dr. Mike Barton, a high-level administrator for the school district, along with other administrators…

Dr. Barton is not named in any other way in the complaint, but the allegations raise some concerns about the integrity of other investigations Klemp had a role in.

8 News NOW spoke with Jack Campbell, the attorney for another officer by phone. Campbell’s client was investigated by Klemp in a use of force case.

Campbell said his client, James Lescinski, was initially cleared of any wrongdoing by his superiors, but a secondary investigation by Klemp led to charges against his client.

“If this case they filed against Jimmy is the result of Detective Klemp’s activity that he talks about on the tape, then this whole prosecution is entirely suspect.”

Klemp’s attorney says the case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

CCSD Police Captain Ken Young told 8 News NOW it may take several days to put together a list of the investigations in which Klemp has participated.

Given that Klemp is about the fifth CCSD police officer that I’ve personally written about in the past year he has a lot of company. Also, given that, much like every other Las Vegas area police department, there’s a complete lack of accountability within the CCSD Police Department, it’s not exactly shocking that the guy responsible for investigating the school police when they drive drunk, crash into another car, assault the driver of the car they hit, then pull a gun on citizens trying to help his victim or get exposed as someone caught masturbating at school while investigating someone who was caught masterbating at school is himself being investigated.

In fact, the very true story that the LVMPD promoted a cop who was proven to have lied in order to illegally arrest someone in a clear violation of the Constitution and then put her in charge of their own internal affairs department is pretty indicative of the state of policing within Las Vegas.

It’s shocking that they have such a bad reputation and residents have such little trust in them.

Foreigner Trying To Help Lost Child Hassled by Manila’s Barangay Police

Manila Philippines Barangay Police

The video and description included within this post were shared with Nevada Cop Block by “Nasty” Nathanial Thomas, via reader submission. You can (and should) visit Nathanial’s YouTube channel (click here) to see other videos he has posted. In addition you can see other posts involving Nathanial that have previously been published at NVCopBlock.org by clicking here, here, and here.

Note: 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 he explains below, until recently Nathanial was traveling within the Philippines. This latest post consists of video that was taken in the Philippines and involves a local police department within that country.

It deals with issues foreign travelers within the Philippines may encounter when dealing with the local police and how the governmental structure of the nation often worsens or even creates that situation.

In particular, it shows how members of a semi-official police force, known as “Barangay Police,” prey on and attempt to take advantage of vulnerable individuals, especially foreigners.

Date of Incident: March 27, 2016
Location of Incident: Baseco Compound, Manila, Philippines
“Department” Involved: Metro Manila Barangay Police

Howdy folks,

How are all my Cop Block friends doing? I just recently returned from another extended stay in the Philippines and I must say that it feels pretty groovey to be back in the good ol’ US of A. Something that I have come to realize about spending time in a foreign country is that as a foreigner you become vulnerable. Especially when you are in a third world country like the Philippines.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Philippines and I believe that Filipinos are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I’ve ever met. However, there are good and bad people in every culture and there are Filipinos that do try to abuse and take advantage of foreigners. This does not exclude the police.

Before I get into explaining the situation that you see in this video I have submitted, let me first explain what the Barangay Police are. In the Philippines you have what are called “Barangays”. Basically, a Barangay is a neighborhood with a governmental structure. Within’ these Barangays you have elected officials such as a chairperson, a council, and even their own police. It is basically like a little city within’ a city.

Ok now, lets talk about the Barangay Police for a moment. You have the regular city police, such as the Manila Police, who wear uniforms, carry guns, and drive squad cars just like they do here in the United States. Then you’ve got these Barangay Police who are basically wannabe cops. They wear a t-shirt that says “Barangay Police” and carry a handheld radio.

Some of them will carry a baton. But I don’t mean a police issued nightstick. It is more of a wooden stick that they carry around to try and look intimidating. They don’t carry guns thank God. These guys are a joke. They shouldn’t even call them police, because they are not real cops. Instead, they are more like a neighborhood watch than anything else.

Baseco-PicOn Easter Sunday, my friend and I decided to go to this place called Baseco Beach. It is in a slum area of Manila. However, on Easter Sunday the local residents head down to the beach and kick off a big party Filipino style. That is another thing about Filipinos. They know how to throw a party.

Anyways, my friend and I were walking along the water filming and taking photographs of the celebration when we came across a little girl. She was all alone and crying. We quickly discovered that she had been separated from her parents and is now all alone on the beach. My friend, who volunteers for a non profit organization, actually knew this little girl and her family. Having participated in feedings within her Barangay, he knew exactly where she lives. He decided that he would just take her back to her family’s home. This is where the trouble started.

On our way back to the car, we were stopped by the Barangay Police, who immediately begin to hassle us. My friend calmly explained that the little girl was lost and that he knows where she lives and is going to help her get home. But that was not good enough for these wannabe cops. Their solution to the problem was for us to just leave the girl there. Oh yeah, that’s real good. Leave this girl all alone to fend for herself in the slums. Good police work guys.

Now, I realize that when you are dealing with the police in a third world country you can run into a variety of complications and that things can get pretty frustrating really fast. I am not trying to suggest that police officers in the Philippines are bad, in general. However, these Barangay cops are completely incompetent and totally corrupt.

In the end, these Barangay cops finally allowed the girl to be returned to her family. Of course, they wanted something in return. I mean, I do realize that we are dealing some crooked, incompetent cops, but I just figured, being that there was a child involved, they would exercise a bit more class in a situation like this. I guess that was me being naive, though.

The one cop you see in the video wearing sunglasses and trying to act macho, actually had the nerve to approach my friend later on, asking that he buy him a soda. Shaking my head, Scumbag.

– Nasty Nathanial Thomas

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Carmel IN Police Department Protects Cop Accused of Stalking; Investigates Victim (2/17)

The following post was submitted anonymously, via the CopBlock.org submissions page. The person submitting it states:

You may post this because the Carmel PD will not return my calls or emails. They had their opportunity to do the right thing, but put protecting one of their own above the protection of a citizen. They showed that they have no integrity!

Date of Incident: November 5, 2015
Officers Involved: Sgt. Nancy Zellers, Officer Weigman
Department Involved: Carmel (IN) Police Department
Department Phone Number: (317) 571-2500
Department Address: Three Civic Square Carmel, IN 46032

This letter is being submitted in regards to filing a formal complaint against Carmel Police Department Sgt. Nancy Zellers with the Criminal Investigations Division. My complaint is based around the fact that Sgt. Zellers failed to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation in reference to a complaint of stalking/harassing. Sgt. Zellers’ conduct was discriminatory in that she allowed her own personal opinions and bias to determine the outcome of this investigation. There was nothing fair or impartial about it and she turned someone who came to your department for help into a suspect of a crime. This is nothing more than malicious prosecution to help protect one of your own.

In May of 2015, I requested, via telephone, for an officer to meet me at my home in order for a report of harassment to be submitted. Officer Weigman responded to my home to where I then provided him with a statement pertaining to the stalking/harassment. I provided this officer with information needed for the investigation and offered videos and recordings as evidence for the case. Officer Weigman was advised that I did in fact want a report submitted in order to begin a “paper trail” if you will against the subjects directly involved in my case. Officer Weigman provided me with a card with his name signed to the back and a case number for the incident.

In the months that followed, I heard nothing from the Carmel Police Department and the acts of harassment and stalking had only escalated. The subjects identified as suspects in my case were continuing to harass and stalk me on a daily basis. I had accumulated recordings of what had now become a daily occurrence. The suspects in my case had established a very clear and obvious pattern of harassment and stalking. Yet still, there was no follow up, nor was an investigation initiated by your department. Simply put, you failed to protect a victim and allowed for the crimes against her to worsen and become even more dangerous.

On October 5th, 2015, Sgt. Zellers with the Carmel PD Criminal Investigations Unit came to my home to interview me in reference to what I thought was my original complaint. As it turned out, I had become the person that was being investigated. The suspects in my case became aware that I had gone to the Carmel PD. The suspect involved in my case, who is an active officer with the Indiana State Police, also became aware of the fact that I had intentions of filing a formal complaint and reference misconduct against her. The Carmel Police Department failed to investigate and offered no protection to a victim of a domestic violence crime. The department’s and Sgt. Zellers’ sheer negligence allowed for there to be an opportunity for the suspect to retaliate against me. As an attempt to discredit my complaint, both criminal and professional, the suspect filed her own complaint of harassment against me. Unlike my complaint, the suspects allegations were investigated by the Carmel Police Department, more specifically, Sergeant Zellers. The suspect had the opportunity to provide the sergeant with witness information and statements. I was never given that opportunity. I truly feel that I was discriminated against in this case because of the fact that I am not an active police officer and the suspect in this case is one. The manner in which this investigation was conducted was completely biased and extremely unprofessional. Sergeant Zellers showed extreme favoritism towards the corrupt ISP trooper simply because of the fact that she is an active law enforcement officer.

As Sgt. Zellars began to question me in reference the suspects claims, it became painfully clear that her opinions in regards to this case weren’t unbiased and that she had already passed judgment upon me prior to even speaking with me. Sgt. Zellers conducted what can be deemed as only a witch hunt in regards to her investigation. She kept things very one sided and showed no interest in obtaining witness names, addresses or accounts on my behalf. She showed no care or concern for the fact that I feared for my own safety because of what I had been put through. During the course of her interview, I even offered Sergeant Zellers the name of critical witnesses in my case and she expressed no interest in accepting this information.

I attempted to provide Sergeant Zellers with evidence related to my case. This included magazine subscriptions that the suspect had sent to my home, as well as false HOA complaints. Sgt. Zellers had no interest in accepting or collecting these items either. Sgt. Zellers was also made aware of the fact that I did have video surveillance of the stalking and harassment. She viewed many of these while at my home, but did not request copies.

Sgt. Zellers also ignored the fact that I had ties and established relationships in this neighborhood for years, even before the suspect accepted a transfer to Indianapolis. And rather than moving to an area where she could be close to her friends or things she was familiar with, the suspect chose to move to the place that I called home. Sgt. Zellers opinion in this case was nothing more than biased. She refused and failed to look into details that could confirm my relationship to this particular neighborhood and some of the people in it.

Sgt. Zellers also made it known that she had contacted my former employer and made inquiries to former coworkers during her investigation. Know that I had retired for nearly 2 ½ years. She stated that she spoke with my “friends”, but refused to tell me who they were. I explained to her that no one at my former place of employment was deemed as a friend, nor did they have intimate or personal details of my past relationships or personal life. Sgt. Zellers made it a point during her witch hunt to accuse me of a crime to my former peers and also exposed my sexual orientation and lifestyle to persons who never should have been given such privileged information. These were persons that had no knowledge of my lifestyle and we most certainly didn’t have the type of relationship that would allow for them to have access to such sensitive and personal details. Sgt. Zellers slandered and defamed my good name to members of the IMPD and she humiliated me in front of my former co-workers and peers.

Sgt. Zellers, after viewing several videos and just prior to leaving my home stated that this was all “high school” and that she wasn’t going to mess with it. She stated that they had “real crimes” to work on and that she would be in touch. Sgt. Zellers failed to see the seriousness of this incident and refused to acknowledge that I did in fact live in constant fear of what the suspect would do to me. Even in one of the videos, Sgt. Zellers could see that the suspect had come close to striking me with her police car. This was far from high school and the Sgt’s actions, or lack thereof were completely inappropriate and unprofessional. She made someone that came to your department for help never want to call the police for aid ever again.

As part of her investigation, while at my residence, Sgt. Zellers also commented on a Facebook page that was in fact active at the time. She ordered me to take down the page even though there was nothing posted on it that was illegal or deemed as threatening. The suspects involved in my case had been monitoring this page and using it as a means to cyber stalk not only me, but my friends and loved ones as well. Also note that the suspects had been using their personal Facebook pages to post inappropriate comments about me, but were never ordered to remove theirs. Sergeant Zellers failed to realize that making such an order was in fact a violation of my first amendment rights. Yet under duress and the fear that I would be arrested had I not complied, I deactivated the page.

On October 6th, 2015, I provided the Sgt. with copies of the videos that I was unable to show her the day prior to. I personally delivered these articles to the Carmel Police Department, so that the sergeant could retain them as evidence. I made it known once again that I was fearful for my safety, yet this was never made a priority. In fact, it was completely ignored. Upon receipt of these items, Sergeant Zellers didn’t even show the courtesy to acknowledge the fact that they had been received.

Over the following weeks, the incidents involving myself and my stalker again began to escalate. There were daily, nightly drive by’s on my home that were in fact recorded. There was no reason for her to drive by my home, but because the Carmel PD failed to provide any sort of mediation or take action, therefore, it was allowed to continue.

Fearing for my personal safety and realizing that the Carmel Police Department was not going to provide any assistance, I chose to contact Prevail to obtain further options. I spoke with one of the advocates via telephone and made an appointment to put together a safety plan. On Friday November 20th, 2015, I utilized the services provided by Prevail and while I was there, I provided them with copies of the same videos that I had given to Sergeant Zellers. I wanted for someone who was a neutral party in this investigation to have these videos in the case that any harm should come to me. I had no other options in that your department provided absolutely no assistance or protection from someone that I knew had the capability and means to cause serious injury and harm to me.

police-brutalityThat following Tuesday, November 24, as things continued to escalate, I chose to file for a protective order against my stalker. The order was granted by the Superior Court Judge that same afternoon. It was obvious to the judge that I was in need of protection, but sadly, your department refused to provide that much needed support and aid.

On this day, I also contacted Sgt. Zellers via telephone and requested for her to file charges against my stalker Jennifer Holt and she refused. She stated that she had conducted her investigation and that they chose to charge me with the crime of harassment, but chose not to charge the other parties involved. There was more than sufficient evidence and probable cause with the videos alone to file charges for these crimes. Adding to that, your detective, Sergeant Nancy Zellers, failed to take statements and refused to obtain information on witnesses who were willing to testify on my behalf.

I went to the Carmel PD for help prior to that and they failed to offer any assistance at all. A fair, impartial investigation was not conducted and no one in my life, none of my witnesses, were even asked for a statement. There are so many people involved in this, witnesses and people who have been exposed to what my stalker is doing. Yet, the corrupt Carmel investigator felt it was more important to protect a rogue police officer rather than protect the true victim in this crime that came to you months prior for help. I offered her the most recent videos from October 5th 2015, to current as proof and as evidence reference my case, but she refused

It became quite obvious that Sgt. Zellers was not interested in conducting a fair or impartial investigation. She made it clear that she was more interested in protecting “one of her own.” She disregarded my claims and refused to take or accept evidence pertaining to my case. She very clearly neglected to conduct a fair, impartial and unbiased investigation. Her negligence left me in harm’s way and allowed for the stalking and harassment to continue and for retaliation/escalation to occur.

Sgt. Zellers was assisted by another detective during the interview that took place within my home. Even as Sergeant Zellers violated my first amendment rights, to freedom of speech, he failed to speak up and informed her that this was in fact a violation of my constitutional rights. Sergeant Zellers partner in this case neglected his duty to protect individuals from constitutional violations by fellow officers. Note that per Section 1983, an officer who witnesses a fellow officer violating an individual’s constitutional rights may be liable to the victim for failing to intervene.

Adding to that, Sgt. Zellers neglect of duty and failure to properly investigate allowed for this rogue police officer to continue with her unlawful behavior and illegal acts against me. As a result of your department’s negligence I will make it known that specific injuries were sustained. More specifically; psychological duress, financial burden and emotional distress occurred. Sgt. Zellers slanderous and defaming comments made to former coworkers and peers also damaged my reputation. I retired from my department honorably and left with a good name. Sgt. Zellers provided very personal and intimate details of my life and sexual orientation that should not have been exposed to persons who did not have knowledge of my lifestyle or of my intimate relationships or break up. She embarrassed and humiliated me in front of a group of people that had no right to this information.

The Carmel Police department has failed to act and has failed to protect a victim of a domestic related crime, you have put my safety in grave danger. The suspect in this crime is an armed police officer, who is currently being investigated by her own department for a pattern of serious misconduct. She has a history of known violence and anger issues, as well. I have been on the receiving end of the suspect’s angry outbursts and violent behavior. And because your department will not protect me, I live each and every day in constant fear. I have had no other choice other than to retreat into my home to ensure my safety. Also, I have not been able to perform my physician ordered therapy. Know that without this physical therapy, I live a life that is filled with chronic and constant pain.

Like I’ve stated, this was clearly a very one sided investigation that was not conducted in a fair or impartial manner. Sgt. Zellers is a liability and she failed to provide me with even some of my most basic civil rights. Her investigation was nothing more than a witch hunt and she very clearly had no intentions of conducting a proper or thorough investigation. She was more concerned with protecting the rights of a corrupt police officer and ensuring that the reputation of the one holding the badge came to no harm.

I feel that it’s important for the citizens of Carmel and Indianapolis to see how a victim of the domestic violence has been treated. They deserve to see how a victim was made to feel and disregarded by an agency that has been sworn to protect and serve. This type of negative media exposure will also serve as a warning to other victims of such crimes that the Carmel police Department simply does not care and will not help them if the other person involved just happens to be a police officer.

And as you read this, know that the harassment and stalking continues. Even with a protective order in place, my safety is still not guaranteed. My stalker continues to drive by my home every night in her police vehicle and find ways to interject herself into my daily life. What the Carmel Police department has done is shameful and is what makes victims not want to come to the police for help.

Know that this trooper, even with a protective order in place has been permitted to retain her weapon and her police vehicle. She continues to use it as a means to stalk, harass and intimidate me. She continues to drive by my home and vehicle, all while recording my actions. She has used her spotlight to shine into my vehicle for no other reason other than to frighten me. ISP has done nothing to protect me from her.

  • Note that on February 23, 2016, while sworn under oath, Detective Nancy Zellers admitted that she did not conduct a thorough investigation. She never contacted my witnesses or spoke to persons on my behalf, nor did she collect evidence to support my claims. The Carmel Police Department also advised that they would conduct a thorough investigation on their sergeant’s misconduct. I submitted this formal complaint in November 2015. They have yet to address this complaint. They have gone out of their way to try and cover up not just the rogue Indiana State police officers misconduct, but now one of their own. They are shameful and disgusting. These are police officers that absolutely do not deserve badges!

The Carmel PD had their opportunity to do the right thing, but put protecting one of their own above the protection of a citizen. They showed that they have no integrity!

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.

Spokane Police Chief Still Collecting $179K Salary Three Months After Resigning

Former Spokane, Washington Police Chief Frank Straub resigned amid scandal in September, yet three months later he remains on the payroll. In fact Chief Straub, who was accused by coworkers of intimidation, personal attacks, and threats, is currently the highest payed employee in the City of Spokane, in spite of supposedly having quit.

Furthermore, when questioned, city officials have come up with a continually changing explanation of why Straub is still on the payroll and what exactly he’s getting paid $179,484 per year (plus benefits) to do.

Per the local CBS affiliate in Spokane, KREM2:

Spokane Police Chief StraubInitially, city officials said Straub would be working Monday through Friday reporting to city attorney Nancy Isserlis. A press release said, “Mayor David Condon accepted Straub’s resignation today and reassigned him to work on criminal justice initiatives and assist in the transition to the new chief.”

Later, city leaders said Straub was working on an “on call basis” and was assigned to work on a city grant.

KREM 2 News asked the city for evidence of the work Straub had done since being reassigned on Tuesday. We were told he is not working on the city grant and is instead doing law enforcement and criminal justice related work. City officials said Straub is working on research for the police department to help with the transition and keep projects in place after he leaves.

Meanwhile, the Spokane City Council has had to fight tooth and nail to get Mayor David Condon to address the complaints that resulted in Chief Straub’s resignation. They recently had a unanimous vote to send Condon a official letter demanding answers in regards to his inaction in the “investigation” of those accusations. As a result, the mayor announced he would be appointing Michael Hogan, a retired judge, to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

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.

Albany PD’s Retaliatory Arrest of CopBlocker, Adam Rupeka, is an Insult to Witch Hunts

Filming CopsIt’s no secret that cops hate Cop Block. Nobody likes when their criminal activities are exposed for the world to see.

Especially when they’re used to people overlooking all those robberies, beatings, and murders while kissing their asses and calling them heroes. It’s certainly no fun when people break up the party that you threw for yourself by showing the public the truth behind the carefully constructed facade that you’ve been building for yourself over the years. It’s almost enough to make you want to manufacture a Phony War on Cops in order to try and recapture some of that blind devotion from those outside the sphere of your families and the ever-shrinking ranks of the CopSuckers.

This is even more true in relation to a CopBlocker who is intelligent, knowledgeable of the law and citizens’ rights, and brave enough to confront the police when they see them violating those laws and/or trampling on people’s rights. It’s easy to bully someone when they don’t actually know whether what they are doing or witnessing someone else do is legal. Similarly, not everyone is willing to confront or stand up to a confrontation from armed people with a long and frequent history of violence, especially when those heavily armed people (significantly) more often than not literally get away with murder.

Anybody who has been paying attention to CopBlock.org over the past few months or so should be well aware that Adam Rupeka of Capital District Cop Block in New York State is one of those people. Not only has he been willing to challenge law enforcement officers while asserting his own rights and film police interactions with others in order to ensure their safety, he’s even been physically attacked and illegally arrested for doing so. Instead of backing down or accepting such an injustice, Adam successfully fought the bogus and ridiculous charges, and then went a step further, ensuring that a violent, abusive man was no longer employed as a police officer and in a position to endangering others by getting Officer Nathan Baker, the Saratoga Springs Police officer who pepper sprayed and arrested him for the non-crime of flipping a cop off, fired.

adamIn light of that and Adam’s continued vigilance, it’s obviously no surprise that the police in upstate New York have an axe to grind with Adam. When all you have is a hammer and a low IQ, everything looks like a nail that needs to be violently hammered into submission. If that nail refuses to stay down and embarrasses you publicly by showing what a corrupt tyrant you are (on video for the world to see), then that’s even more so the case.

Cops have a pretty extensive history of retaliation and they rarely will even try to hide it very well. In fact, they probably want other potential “trouble makers” to see it as a warning to keep in line. The problem (for the police) is that they aren’t used to people opposing them in any sort of meaningful or effective way. They generally are in a position of power against people that are vulnerable economically or socially and therefore unable to fight back. It’s not often that they have to go beyond an initial act of physical or financial intimidation to make their “problem” go away.

Oftentimes when that doesn’t work the police are so frustrated and angry that they tend to overreach in their secondary efforts at retaliation and intimidation. They come up with charges that don’t actually fit and twist them until that square peg fits in the round hole they want to use it for. Frequently, they also want to make sure that sledgehammer is big enough to swat that fly once and for all. So they make sure the penalty attached to the charges they distort to punish and intimidate that annoying CopBlocker, who had the nerve to hold them accountable to the laws everyone else has to abide by, is sufficiently egregious to teach him a lesson once and for all.

Unfortunately for them, that type of overreach often has the opposite effect. The charges are too outrageously inappropriate to hold up, the general public recognizes the blatant effort by police to attack someone whose only real crime is criticizing them, and the publicity created only highlights the abuses and crimes that the cops were trying to keep from being exposed in the first place.



That’s essentially what happened here in Las Vegas when the LVMPD arrested me and three other members of Nevada Cop Block on blatantly silly graffiti charges for protesting against them murdering people in our community and literally never being held accountable. Their attempt to put us in jail for up to four years for drawing on public sidewalks with chalk along with their outrageous inflation of the (unnecessary) cleanup costs in order to justify those arrests and the higher charges, put public opinion firmly on our side and brought scrutiny to their wasteful spending at a time they were seeking to raise taxes in order to pad their already inflated budget.

In Adam’s case, once you look into the particulars, the charges they finally settled on to attack him with are even more precarious and unfounded. He’s been charged with Second Degree Reckless Endangerment and Reckless Endangerment of Property after a drone he was using to film New York State Capitol Building in Albany crashed into a chimney and landed on the roof of that building.

Below are the legal definitions of those crimes:

A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. Reckless endangerment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Reckless Endangerment of Property:
A person is guilty of reckless endangerment of property when he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of damage to the property of another person in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars. Reckless endangerment of property is a class B misdemeanor.

There are several aspects of those laws that have to be proven in order to sustain a conviction on those charges. The first hurdle to get over is proving that Adam acted recklessly. That’s by far the easiest to do, because that’s largely an opinion-based conclusion. The second requirement is where things start to get a bit more difficult, though.

In the case of the Second Degree Reckless Endangerment charge, that requires proving that his actions would have caused “serious physical injury” or death to another person. Serious physical injury means physical injury that “causes serious or permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health or loss or protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb and that creates a reasonable risk of death.”

The term “serious physical injury” is defined under 42 USCS § 247d-6d (10) as an injury that:

  • (A) is life threatening;
  • (B) results in permanent impairment of a body function or permanent damage to a body structure; or
  • (C) necessitates medical or surgical intervention to preclude permanent impairment of a body function or permanent damage to a body structure.
Adam's Stolen Drone

Adam’s Stolen Drone

It requires a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that Adam’s little two pound drone would actually pose a real threat to harm anyone in such a serious and potentially permanent way.

However, it’s the “substantial risk” aspect of both laws that should blow the wheels off of this glorified witch hunt against Adam. Substantial risk means a strong possibility, as contrasted with a remote or even a significant possibility, that a certain result may occur or that a certain circumstance may exist. It is risk of such a nature and degree that to disregard it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in such a situation.

In other words:

A substantial risk of serious harm means that the risk was so great that it was almost certain to materialize if nothing was done. [Miller v. Fisher, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 12932 (7th Cir. Ill. June 23, 2010)]

The idea that Adam’s drone would have caused injuries that would result in permanent disfigurement or physical disabilities had someone not prevented it is a silly claim on the face of it. Furthermore, the fact that no-one prevented him from flying a drone to avoid these imminent and unavoidable injuries in the past, along with the reality that those injuries in fact didn’t happen, proves that it’s nonsense. Even the reckless endangerment of property charge can’t be supported based on that, because the drone was stolen from Adam after it had crashed and it didn’t do $250 worth of damage to anyone’s property (or permanently disfigure anyone, either).

Drone SafetyFurthermore, the police themselves have actually shown that drones don’t create a substantial risk of harm. As Ademo already pointed out in an earlier post, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department has already crashed a drone into one of the Bearcats that their SWAT team was in the process of posing around to assure people that they were prepared to serve and protect the shit out of them. That’s not the whole story, though. The MCSD actually crashed that drone a second time, plunging it into a lake in 2014. That time it was for keeps and the drone was destroyed. However, instead of abandoning the use of drones due to the substantial risk they represented, they went right out and bought another one.

In fact, the idea that the tiny (compared to the 7 foot, 50 pound version the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office crashed) drone that Adam was using represents a substantial risk of harm is laughable. Nobody was injured in either of the crashes by the Montgomery County SWAT team’s drone or at least six other documented crashes by police department drones. As a matter of fact, the FAA has compiled a list of 104 (as of Oct. 2014) drone crashes since 2010. Not one single injury has been reported as a result.

This is a silly retaliatory bully tactic that can and in all likelihood will be exposed for exactly what it is. It’s nothing more than a convenient opportunity to try intimidate and retaliate against Adam and to send a message to anyone else that might think about standing up to the thugs employed by the Albany Police and other nearby police departments.


Let the Albany Police Know What You Think of Their Actions Against Adam Rupeka!

Albany Police Facebook Page

Ronald Pierone is the Albany Police Department Investigator responsible for bringing these charges against Adam.

Ronald Pierone’s Contact Information:
518-858-9641 (Cell)
518-473-2967 (Office)
[email protected] (Email)

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