Tag Archives: public property

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

LVMPD Illegal Detention False Arrest Las Vegas Federal Courthouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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University of Tennessee Police Violate Independent Media’s Rights at Public Protest

The following post and video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Christian Alexander of BackRoomKnox.com, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Along with the description below, Christian stated:

The police chief has apologized, but not the University. I would love to get a consensus on whether I was right or wrong from your audience. Maybe it can be a teaching tool for being on campus.

Date of Incident: November 10, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer O’Neal, Officer Underwood, Officer McCarter
Department Involved: University of Tennessee Police
Phone Number: (865) 974-3114
Fax Number: (865) 974-4072
E-mail: [email protected]

Short version: (long version below) I was not able to go on a public university campus to film a protest. I was stopped and asked if I was a student, and they let me know only students, faculty and staff were allowed to be at the protest. The officers were respectful, while stabbing me in the back violating on my rights. I showed them my media credentials, but they still put me in a free speech zone. I even had a shift supervisor tell me the same. “It’s a public university, but private property.” I ultimately refused their orders under threat of criminal arrest-as you can see in the video. At this point, I did not know what the outcome would be. Would I be arrested or trespassed later? Or was I in the right and the law needed to be fixed? I’m still seeking guidance on both.

I am writing in regards to the violation of my first and fourteenth amendment rights on the University of Tennessee campus, Knoxville Tennessee. I have received an apology from the UT Police Department. I received no apology from the University itself.

Free speech zones are illegal on public campuses. University of Tennessee Police Officers and official policies, practices, or customs resulted in a deprivation of my rights. Because the protest was not an official “event of national significance,” I cannot be forced, as a citizen or media, into a separate area, under duress.

“The First Amendment represents “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964). Our institutions of higher learning play a central role in a system of freedom of expression because “[t]he college…surround-ing (sic) environs is peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas.’” Healy, 408 U.S. at180. In this regard, “[t]he first danger to liberty lies in granting the State the power” to limit freedom of expression in contravention of the “background and tradition of thought and experiment that is at the center of our intellectual and philosophic tradition.” Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of the Univ. of Va., 515 U.S. 819, 835 (1995). The First Amendment provides in pertinent part that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” and is applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.”

This past Friday a group(s) held a protest regarding the election of Donald Trump.

The Knox News Sentinal wrote:

“The protest, loosely comprised of the campus’ Diversity Matters student coalition, started near the amphitheater outside the humanities building at 12:30 p.m. The group marched along around the building and up pedestrian walkway.”

Trying to get the law or officers’ orders on record…I spoke to Officer A. O’neal. She stated “They just call us and tell us what we need to do.” She was speaking of campus policies and customs. I let her know that you don’t need to go through any procedure to be on public property.

violate-rightsSoon after speaking with Officer O’neal, I headed to the protest that was taking place in the walkway on campus. Before I was able to get there, I was approached by Officer McCarter. His first words were, “Let’s go down here for a minute. You do not have permission to be here.” He pointed to and told me to go to a “free speech zone.”

I asked why I could not go on my way to the protest. I had planned on recording the events. I do not actively participate in protests as a protestor. I do not believe I have ever been a protestor. I have been to many protests to report on them. I was not asked by the officer if I was protesting or going to be protesting. I had no signs. I only record the events.

He said that I was not affiliated with the university. We verbally disagreed on whether or not I could be there. Even though I knew I was on a public property, I asked if I was on public property for verification. The officer stated, “This is private property. It belongs to the State of Tennessee.” Again, I said, “Then it’s public property.” His response, “No Sir.” He said that I had to be student, staff, faculty or be here to conduct business. Again, university policy. I asked what happens next. He said I needed to go to the free speech zone, which was not near the protest. I asked what would happen if I did not do that. He said that I could be taken to jail for criminal trespass.

My press credentials were visible on my neck the entire day, and I was the only one at the event or at my location with both a photo ID and press credentials on my neck. My media credentials include my photo, date of expiration, address, signature and my affiliations and large bold letters PRESS. He looked at my credentials and sent me to an eight ft. long “free speech zone.” The officer then mentioned I needed to go stay with my friend. The “friend,” I had seen only once before in my life when I was covering the election. I said he was not with me. I was only covering him because that is where the news was at the time. This was clarified, and I was still told to go to the free speech zone by officer McCarter. I was respectful, but I was forced to go to the free speech zone as I verbally protested to the officer. My rights were violated and under threat of arrest, again, I had no choice but to follow the officer’s commands in order to get more clarification and offer respect to the officer.

Officer R. A. McCarter came back some time later, and he said, “talked with my sarge.” Officer McCarter stated that I needed to call (865) 974-3174 to get permission to be up here. Again, procedures of the university. Officer McCarter stated, “I told her [his sarge] that you are press. There is no headway with it.” He then pointed out the free speech zone which was far from the protest. I took my press credentials off my neck, out of the badge holder, and showed him again, and I said I was not there to protest. He then voluntarily stated that Knox News notified them. Implying that media should get permission before working a breaking story.

(Knox News had 318 comments 565 shares of their coverage of one of a previous protests. I had 9519 comments 17,275 shares of the same protest for a total of 1,754,515 views via Facebook, not including my other pages with additional views. In the digital age, reporting is no longer confined to America’s traditional newsrooms. As such, threats to press freedom threaten anyone who seeks to share information about official actions using a cellphone, social media service or website.)

Mr. McCarter then stated, “I was told, so this is it. You can stay down here.” (Pointing to a “free speech zone.”) about six to eight feet…” officer McCarter stated.

I asked for a supervisor of the supervisor for one more clarification and a chance for them to correct what should have been obvious First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment violations – under threat of criminal trespass and arrest. After an additional long wait in the illegal “free speech zone,” The supervisor for the shift, Officer Underwood, stated that the university is public but private property. He again stated the custom that the university is only open to students, faculty, staff, and invited guests.

I discovered my main camera was now out of space after using it on these highly illegal, disconcerting, disheartening, and defeating confrontations at the University of Tennessee. I then had to use a backup camera whose sound is not good compared to my main camera. It also took up about an hour of valuable time that I missed to cover the beginning of the sit in, as I was the first reporter on scene.

That said, assuming a protest is in a public forum, as this protest was, reporters don’t need credentials to cover it. We enjoy a right of access along with the public. Media does not need permission to be there, nor do they need permission to engage there in news gathering activities. The kinds of actions taken out on me alone can send a harsh message: gather legal video at your own demise.

I missed, but heard with my ears, the main news that I wanted to get, but did not get the video I needed as I was detained in the “free speech zone.” At this time, I was extremely upset and flabbergasted at the actions of these officers. After about an hour, I went on to campus in the public area anyway. The entire time I was on campus I was under duress and threat of arrest. This is not a good way to gather news, and I am thankful that I did not have a heart attack each time the officers came near me. I also stayed up all night in fear of officers arriving at my house to arrest me.

I recorded evidence of three assaults at this protest. Two current students and one non student were assaulted at the event. Two have filed police reports. The female victim of the assault sought out my news page, and I will send her the video evidence. I also have video of this same gentleman inciting violence on campus, at the rock. It involved an assault. Police were called. The victim was given an apology and no charges were filed.

I am seeking help via social media and other organizations to help me put together this matter and to understand who did right, who did wrong and what can I do to fix it or help someone else in the future.

Christian Alexander
BackRoomKnox.com

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US Marshals Assault Man Holding Sign and Filming on Public Sidewalk at Federal Courthouse

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

At the beginning of this video, a male U.S. Marshal walks out of the Herman T. Schneebeli Federal Bldg. & U.S. Courthouse, followed soon after by a female marshal. The male marshal begins telling Kevin that he has to leave the public sidewalk in front of the courthouse. Kevin refuses to do so, telling him repeatedly that he has a First Amendment right to protest on public property.

Eventually, the marshal goes back inside and Kevin continues his protest. In the process, he talks to several passersby, but otherwise there are several minutes of inactivity. However, at the end of the video another male U.S. Marshal, accompanied by the original marshal, walks outside the building and assaults him in an attempt to stop him from filming them.

After Kevin steps back and away from his reach, the newly arrived marshal begins telling him that he has to go across the street in order to protest while (very incorrectly) insisting that the public sidewalk is federal property. At one point, the marshal states, “you can go across the street or we can go another route.”

Kevin responds by (very correctly) asserting that the public sidewalk is public property and begins asking him for his name and badge number. The Marshal soon turns and walks back into the federal building, presumably realizing that he can’t intimidate Kevin into crossing the street. Throughout the video, all of the marshals refused to identify themselves and several times incorrectly claimed that public property actually belonged to the Federal Government.

Although it’s not shown in the video, Kevin states in the Youtube description that he stayed there for another 15 minutes without further incident. He also stated within the comments on Youtube that he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Date of Incident: September 26, 2016
Department Involved: U.S. Marshals (Williamsport, PA)
Officers Involved: Wouldn’t give names or badge numbers
Phone Number: (570) 323-6380
Fax Number: (570) 323-0636
Address: Herman T. Schneebeli Federal Bldg. & U.S. Courthouse
240 West Third Street, Suite 218
Williamsport, PA 17701

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

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I was walking around town with a protest sign that said, “Cops are the REAL TERRORISTS that we should all fear. Cops kidnap, torture, and extort money from people. Always film the cops.”

At the time of the video, I was standing in front of the Herman T. Schneebeli Federal Bldg. and U.S. Courthouse in Williamsport, PA. That is when the assault by the U.S. Marshals happened.

I think the lawyers in this town are nothing more than cop suckers, because no one is willing to represent me.

– Kevin Bradley

  Nepa Copblock

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Harassment by Police for Using a Public Park in King City Oregon

The following post and the video included with it were shared with the CopBlock Network by Theodore Pojman, via the CopBlock Submissions Page.

The video shows Officer Hyson of the King City Police Department extorting them for being in a public park, presumably because they are homeless and live in their truck.

According to Officer Hyson, this constitutes “illegal camping” (he eventually decides to extort them for criminal trespassing instead), even though they’ve done nothing except sleep in their truck.

Criminalization of homelessness is not a new thing. Many cities have passed laws that go so far as barring people from voluntarily sharing food with other people in public.

Oregon in particular has passed these “camping” bans which are explicitly intended to target and allow police harassment of homeless people.

Should someone’s economic situation really preclude people from using public spaces when their only “crime” is having nowhere else to go?

Date of Incident: July 1, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Hyson Badge# 26709, Deputy Fletcher
Department Involved: King City (Oregon) Police Department
Facebook Page: King City – Oregon Police Department
File a Complaint: Online Complaint Form
Department Phone No.: (503) 620-8851

My friends and I were at King City Park at 8 in the morning when we were approached by a rude policeman named Officer Hyson.

He woke me up from a nap and demanded identification from us. I refused to present my license, because I was too tired to look for it, and instead gave verbal identification. He asked me for my social security number which I refused to give.

He seemed offended, called me “junior lawyer” and threatened to cite us for criminal trespass if we weren’t gone in one hour. It was during the park’s open hours. Fifty-five minutes later, after I had finished eating breakfast and was starting the van about to leave, officer friendly pulled up behind me to write me a ticket.

I explained to him that we weren’t committing a crime by being in the park, and that he had no evidence that we were “camping” overnight. He demanded that I present ID, I refused. He demanded that we step out of the vehicle. We refused. He then stuck his hand in the window uncomfortably close to me. I told him to retract his hand from my vehicle/home, he refused at first, but eventually backed off. I asked for his badge number. He said that it would be on the citation.

Around this time, Deputy Fletcher pulled up and talked to Officer Hyson and myself to see what was going on. He chatted with us for a while until officer hyson finished with the citation. Al three of us were cited for criminal trespass 2.

All in all it could have been worse, but I feel like my rights have been disrespected. I was in the public park during daylight hours and yet was cited for trespassing. I believe we were profiled for having Florida plates, being homeless and exercising my right to verbally identify.

I intend to fight the citation in a trial by jury on August 1st, 2016 and none of the three of us can afford to pay the fines. This will likely turn into a warrant if not taken care of. Legal help would be appreciated.

This is not the first time the police have harrassed me for sleeping. Sleeping outside has been criminalized in many places and even where it’s acceptable to sleep, I have been woken up and told to identify myself. I’m tired of this criminal harassment and would Like to see some consequences for these bullies who have nothing better to do than harass the homeless for the crime of existing.

– Theodore Pojman

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