Tag Archives: revenue generation

Update: NHP Dash Cam Audio Doesn’t Match Boulder City Police Version; Evidentiary Hearing Ordered Over Discrepancies

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

Boulder City Judge Victor Miller has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Dec. 20th in relation to discrepancies with audio recordings that BCPD Sgt John Glenn provided in support of charges, including obstruction and resisting arrest, against John Hunt.

Earlier this week, Stephen Stubbs, a lawyer for John Hunt, presented in court even more proof of evidence tampering by Boulder City Police and/or prosecutors. Stubbs indicated that just prior to a Dec. 5th hearing on a motion he had filed to dismiss charges against Hunt, he had received a new dash cam video from the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The audio on that video did not match the audio on a dash cam video previously received from the Boulder City Police Department, even though the two videos had been recording simultaneously during Hunt’s arrest. In fact, the motion to dismiss had itself been based on allegations that the original audio from the BCPD’s version had been altered to justify filing retaliatory charges of resisting arrest against Hunt.

As has been detailed here previously (see related links below), Hunt is currently facing several charges related to a June 2016 incident in which he was arrested. At the time, members of the BCPD were conducting a “pedestrian sting operation” where they would step into a crosswalk, then ticket drivers who did not stop early enough.

Believing that their true motivation was to generate money for the city government by writing tickets, Hunt began walking back and forth into the crosswalk himself. According to Hunt, this was done as a protest of that monetary incentive and also to demonstrate his belief that they were purposely not giving motorists sufficient time to stop in order to issue citations.

Not long after, Hunt was arrested by Sgt. John Glenn and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” Initially, the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor after surveillance footage from a nearby business contradicted Glenn’s account of Hunt’s behavior. However, just one day after Hunt filed a civil rights lawsuit, the charges were refiled, along with an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer.”

Hunt has maintained since shortly after he was arrested that things he remembered saying at the time weren’t included on the dash cam video. Subsequently, analyses conducted by two separate audio experts concluded that the video had been edited after the fact. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication reports can be found here.) Based on who had access to do so, that would have to have been done by either someone within the police department or the city attorney’s office.

Unlike that first video, the audio on the NHP video includes statements made by Hunt that support his own version of what happened that day. As a matter of fact, the audio that is not included on Sgt. Glenn’s version consists of two key exchanges that contradict his previous testimony and information he wrote within the arrest reports.

Via the Boulder City Review: 

During Tuesday’s hearing, Stubbs told Miller that there were two microphones together at the same place capturing the same event. One was Glenn’s and the other was this officer’s.

“There is a part of the video that should be the same, but it’s not,” he said.

In the subpoenaed NHP video that was provided to the Boulder City Review, there are two questions Hunt asks officers that are not present in the other dash-cam video when he is detained by Glenn.

In Glenn’s dash-cam video, the first time Hunt speaks to officers after being detained he says “No.”

According to the NHP video, after Hunt is handcuffed by officers he asks them if he is being detained. Then he said, “No,” and asks again if he is being detained.

After that he is told that he is not being detained but rather being arrested. He then asks officers what he is being arrested for and is told for obstructing a pedestrian in the roadway, obstructing traffic and resisting arrest. This portion is present in both Glenn’s dash-cam video and the NHP one.

The NHP one, however, includes the question, “How can I resist something that I’m not aware of?” that Hunt asks officers after being told why he is being arrested.

Glenn’s dash-cam video has no dialogue from Hunt during that time.

According to Stubbs, the Nevada Highway Patrol had located and downloaded this video with the full, unaltered audio all the way back in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Tuesday, just hours before the motion hearing, that they finally provided the video to Hunt’s defense team. (Almost as if they were trying to hide something.)

Based on this new evidence, Boulder City Municipal Court Judge Victor Miller scheduled an evidentiary hearing over the authenticity of the audio on dash cam footage provided by the Boulder City Police. After that hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 20th, Judge Miller could rule to exclude the dash cam evidence or even dismiss the entire case, if he finds in favor of the defense’s claims that evidence has been tampered with.

Stubbs maintains that the charges should be dismissed outright on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. That misconduct has cast sufficient doubt upon the authenticity of the entirety of the evidence against Hunt. As a result, he will not be able to receive a fair trial in light of that uncertainty.

 

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury
  8. Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

A Boulder City judge will rule Dec. 5th on a motion to dismiss in the case of John Hunt, who was arrested by Sgt John Glenn in retaliation for interfering with their revenue generation scheme.

On December 5th, a judge in Boulder City, Nevada (located just outside of Las Vegas) will issue a ruling on a case involving a revenue-based enforcement exercise by local police, as well as allegations of a false arrest, perjury by a police supervisor, and the manufacturing of evidence that stem from an impromptu protest that day. Based on those improprieties, Judge Victor Miller has been asked to dismiss charges brought against John Hunt in a motion filed by Hunt’s attorney Stephen Stubbs.

In June of 2016, officers with the Boulder City Police Department were out early in the morning generating revenue for the city. Their scheme consisted of stepping into a crosswalk and then ticketing drivers who didn’t stop quick enough. One of the Boulder City residents that drove by that day was John Hunt, who has stated that he believes the police were intentionally stepping into traffic at a point where the cars did not have enough time to react and therefore would end up being ticketed and fined.

Hunt decided to protest what he deemed to be an unfair issuing of citations by going out and repeatedly walking into the cross walk himself. The intent was to show that the cars would stop if they were given the proper amount of time and thereby expose the true nature of Sgt. John Glenn and his cohorts. The Boulder City police have a bureaucracy to feed though, so obviously they weren’t happy about Hunt getting in the way of their morning fundraiser.

As I previously wrote here at NVCopBlock.org, Hunt was arrested and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” However, at his first hearing the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor even before it began. According to Stubbs, the reason for that quick dismissal was that Sgt. Glenn had lied on his police report in order to justify the arrest. Those lies (also known as perjury when included on a sworn police report) would have been exposed in court due to Hunt’s actions having been captured on a nearby business’ security cameras.

Not only did the surveillance video contradict Sgt. Glenn’s written arrest report, discrepancies soon surfaced involving the dash cam evidence that had been provided as part of the discovery process. As detailed in a follow up post I wrote here at Nevada Cop Block in October of 2016, Hunt questioned the authenticity of the audio included on the video that had been produced by the city. Subsequently, two different forensic audio experts testified that the audio had indeed been altered from that of the original video. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication Report can be found here.)

Citing the false testimony within the police report and the evidence tampering involving the dash cam footage, Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in May of this year on Hunt’s behalf. In retaliation for that lawsuit, the Boulder City prosecutor refiled the original charges, plus an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer,” the next month. In fact, rather than even try to mask the true nature behind refiling the charges, they were actually submitted by the city just one day after the lawsuit was reported by local news.

“I’m in awe of how stupid this is,” said defense lawyer Stephen Stubbs. “It screams of retaliation.”

Included in the motion to dismiss are several new details regarding the inconsistencies on the dash cam video’s audio track and some less than convincing excuses for them by Sgt. Glenn and city attorney’s office and police department of Boulder City:

The alleged false evidence mentioned in Tuesday’s motion to dismiss includes dash-cam video of the June 8 incident that Glenn said did not match what he had seen in the system from that day.

It was given to the defense by the city on July 5 and is different than the dash-cam footage that Stubbs received in 2016.

Two forensic experts who analyzed the 2016 dash-cam video determined that the recording had been altered.

“Two separate audio forensic experts have confirmed that the video contains the wrong unit number … proving that, at a minimum the metadata was altered …. The defense does not know how much of the video was altered or if an authentic video even exists anymore,” Stubbs wrote in his motion.”

That newer dash cam video and questions surrounding the erroneous unit number, as well as what appears to be an alteration of the text overlay on the video after the fact to replace the incorrect unit number has cast even more doubt on the authenticity of the video evidence the city has provided.

During a deposition for the lawsuit on November 20th, Glenn testified about those questions:

In that deposition, Hunt’s other attorney, David T. Blake, showed Glenn the earlier dash-cam video of the event. The video, (from) June 8, 2016, said that it was from Unit 277. The text of those items was in red print.

“As far as I know, our text is not in red,” he told Blake when asked if he’d seen that type of text overlay before. “It’s in white … It looks similar to the format that we use, but I don’t recall ever seeing any in red.”

Blake also asked him about the unit number.

In the deposition, Glenn said that his unit number the day of the activity on June 8 was 277. He also said that he had been assigned to that unit number since the vehicle was brand-new, approximately two and a half years.

Later in the deposition and in an email provided to the defense, Glenn said that although his unit number was 277, the camera in his vehicle was actually from unit 281.

“My vehicle number is 277 …. And the camera in unit 277 failed,” he said in the deposition. “It had to be sent back. There was another vehicle that wasn’t being used, which was unit 281. The camera out of that vehicle was taken out of that vehicle, placed in my vehicle and the device name was not changed when it was changed over. So my vehicle was being broadcast as 281.”

In the email Glenn added that the unit identifier was “mistakenly not changed” until around Aug. 4, 2016.

So, between the original retaliatory nature of the charges (without even getting into the exploitative financial motive for the “safety exercise” Hunt had interrupted), the inconsistencies in Sgt. Glenn’s police reports, and the evidentiary issues, logic should dictate that Judge Miller will have an easy decision to do the right thing and grant the motion for dismissal.

Stephen Stubbs certainly seems to think so:

“By manufacturing false and fraudulent evidence, the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department, or both have tipped the scales of justice so far that the scales themselves have fallen into a bog of eternal stench,” said Stubbs about Tuesday’s motion…

“We filed this because the evidence is clear that the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department or both manufactured false evidence and gave it to defense as discovery,” Stubbs said. “They cheated …. Justice requires all these ridiculous charges be dropped.”

However, we are dealing with the government and their police enforcers, so logic might not be the standard by which things are decided. Nor is there any lack of precedence for cops to get away with or even be rewarded for committing blatant acts of perjury and evidence tampering. That’s especially the case in Las Vegas area police departments.

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury

The IRS Intentionally Targeted Innocent Small Business Owners in Order to Steal Millions Via Forfeiture Laws

IRS Asset Forfeiture Theft Small Business Revenue Generation

The Internal Revenue Service used deposit restrictions intended to detect profits from illegal activities to steal from innocent legal business owners.

Earlier this month, a report from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General detailed how the Internal Revenue Service used a restriction on deposits to bilk otherwise law abiding individuals and businesses of millions of dollars using asset forfeiture laws. Those restrictions require that any deposits made to a bank above $10,000 be reported to the IRS. The stated intention of that restriction is to draw attention to profits generated by illegal acts, such as terrorism and the violation of drug prohibitions.

In order to escape that scrutiny, many of those involved in such activities employ what is called “structuring,” which consists of splitting large deposits into multiple smaller deposits that are below that $10,000 threshold. However, many others involved in completely legal activities also do the same thing for various innocent reasons. Those reasons include a lack of awareness of those restrictions, insurance policies that limit coverage of deposits to less than that amount, and simply an effort to avoid extra paperwork (often on the advice of bank employees).

While structuring is illegal under the federal Bank Secrecy Act, according to the Inspector General it is really just a technicality that is intended to allow the initiation of an investigation into whether the deposits in question were derived from illegal activities. Instead, the IRS often used the practice of structuring alone as a justification to seize those deposits, via civil asset forfeiture. They also intentionally targeted small businesses and individuals engaged in legal activities due to the fact that they were less likely to be able to fight the forfeitures and in order to avoid “time consuming” investigations of actual criminals.

Via the Washington Post:

They “were not put in place just so that the Government could enforce the reporting requirements,” as the IG’s report puts it.

But according to the report, that’s exactly what happened at the IRS in recent years. The IRS pursued hundreds of cases from 2012 to 2015 on suspicion of structuring, but with no indications of connections to any criminal activity. Simply depositing cash in sums of less than $10,000 was all that it took to arouse agents’ suspicions, leading to the eventual seizure and forfeiture of millions of dollars in cash from people not otherwise suspected of criminal activity.

The IG took a random sample of 278 IRS forfeiture actions in cases where structuring was the primary basis for seizure. The report found that in 91 percent of those cases, the individuals and business had obtained their money legally.

“Most people impacted by the program did not appear to be criminal enterprises engaged in other alleged illegal activity,” according to a news release from the IG. “Rather, they were legal businesses such as jewelry stores, restaurant owners, gas station owners, scrap metal dealers, and others.”

More troubling, the report found that the pattern of seizures — targeting businesses that had obtained their money legally — was deliberate.

“One of the reasons why legal source cases were pursued was that the Department of Justice had encouraged task forces to engage in ‘quick hits,’ where property was more quickly seized and more quickly resolved through negotiation, rather than pursuing cases with other criminal activity (such as drug trafficking and money laundering), which are more time-consuming,” according to the news release.

In most cases, the report found, agents followed a protocol of “seize first, ask questions later.” Agents only questioned individuals and business owners after they had already seized their money.

In many cases, the property owners provided plausible explanations for their pattern of deposits. But these explanations appeared to have been disregarded or ignored.

“In most instances, we found no evidence that attempted to verify the property owners’ explanations,” according to the report.

It probably shouldn’t be that surprising that the Feds’ official revenue generators at the IRS jumped on an opportunity to go the extra mile and generate even more cash to fund our disfunctional, violent uncle’s war machine. Nor should it be particulary shocking that they avoided the tedious work of investigating actual criminals in favor of preying on innocent people that lack the ability to fight back.

Incidentally, it’s unknown exactly how much money the IRS stole from innocent businessmen, because they don’t voluntarily disclose those figures and refused to honor Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests for that information even after those requesting it said pretty please.

Related Posts:

Update: PA Cop Arrested For “Ongoing Pattern of Domestic Violence” to be Reinstated After Counseling

In July of last year, I posted about former Pennsylvania Officer of the Year Bryn Lindenmuth. As is common practice among “award winning” police officers, Officer Lindenmuth had just been arrested at the time. As is also very common among cops in general, the crime Lindenmuth was arrested for was domestic battery.

At the time of his arrest, Officer Lindenmuth’s wife, Kalina, characterized the abuse and mistreatment as “an ongoing pattern of violence that had happened many times before and not some momentary loss of temper.” And his four hour attack on her that day was not some minor verbal spat or “lover’s quarrel,” either.

As detailed in the YorkDispatch.com:

Kalina Lindenmuth returned home from a cookout about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, and was parked near her home. Bryn Lindenmuth drove by in his Jeep, got out, unlocked his wife’s car with spare keys and took her keys out of her car, according to documents.

Bryn Lindenmuth then yelled at Kalina Lindenmuth before heading off in his Jeep, documents state. Kalina Lindenmuth walked back to her home, where police say she found her husband throwing beer bottles on the front lawn.

When she went into the house, her husband continued to yell at her, taking her phone and looking through it, police said. Bryn Lindenmuth then allegedly ripped her tank top, ripped off her bra, scratched her and allegedly tore apart her sandals, documents state. He also allegedly ripped up photos of them together, police said.

Kalina Lindenmuth then sat on a recliner while Bryn Lindenmuth used her phone to call her sister, telling the sister to mind her own business and calling both women “pieces of sh—t,” according to police.

Police say Bryn Lindenmuth pushed over the recliner with his wife still in it and that when she tried to walk away, he blocked her and pushed her, then tried to throw her through the rear sliding-glass door.

Bryn Lindenmuth allegedly hoisted Kalina Lindenmuth over his shoulder, but she managed to get away and ran to get her phone. Bryn Lindenmuth got the phone first and put it in his pocket, police said, then picked her up again, trying to force her outside.

“Bryn used substantial force using his elbow and jammed it down hard on her shoulder in an attempt to knock her down,” documents state.

He then tried to lock Kalina Lindenmuth in the garage, telling her she could sleep there before turning off the lights, documents state. After that, Bryn Lindenmuth allegedly came into the garage, telling his wife they were leaving, and he tried to force her into the passenger seat of a vehicle.

Kalina Lindenmuth tried to get back into the home to get her phone and wallet, but “Bryn kept blocking her path and grabbed her arms and started to force her backward to possibly fall down the steps,” documents state.

Kalina Lindenmuth was able to grab her flip-flops and run to a neighbor’s home, where she used their phone to call 911, police said. The entirety of the incident lasted from about 11 p.m. until 3 a.m., according to police.

While speaking with police, Kalina Lindenmuth said she was scared of what her husband might do after she called police, adding that he has many weapons in the house, documents state. The couple’s two children were not present during the incident, police said.

At the time of my original post, Officer Lindenmuth was on paid vacation while the Good Cops at the Southwestern Regional Police Department “investigated” the violent attack he had committed on his wife. I speculated on whether they would opt for a complete whitewash or gifting him with a plea bargain for some really minor charge with a half-hearted slap on the wrist as “punishment.”

Now six months later, it’s been officially announced that they decided to go for option number two. (To be fair though, the wrist slap was so weak that it might as well be considered a tie.) Lindenmuth was allowed to plea down to a charge of “harassment.” Conveniently enough, Southwestern Regional Police Chief Gregory M. Bean has now stated that that charge, which doesn’t even qualify as a misdemeanor, “simply doesn’t allow them” to fire him.

Not only did he receive no meaningful punishment whatsoever, but Officer Lindenmuth also will be reinstated and will be back out there heroically protecting people from violent criminals again later this month. They did make him do some counseling, though. It’s almost like they’re actively trying to prevent cops from being held accountable for their actions…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fisher said he was baffled by the situation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Booking Fees and Incarceration Costs; The Latest Revenue Generation Tools For Money Hungry Governments

The Supreme Court is preparing to consider the legality of a couple of new methods the police and courts have devised to generate revenue for the State. Several states, including Minnesota, Colorado, and Kentucky, have begun implementing fees and “incarceration cost” reimbursement charges against those who are arrested as a way to raise money for police and governmental budgets.

Much like their earlier forerunner to policing for profit, asset forfeiture and seizure laws, these fees are not based on a conviction and many times those subjected to them don’t even end up having charges filed against them. Another similarity is that the process for recouping them are either non-existent or so difficult or expensive that it generally makes it not worth the effort and most people simply allow the theft to stand.

Of course, that’s the point, since the policies have nothing to do with justice, but rather are solely intended to raise revenue for the State and its enforcement structures.

Via the New York Times:

Corey Statham had $46 in his pockets when he was arrested in Ramsey County, Minn., and charged with disorderly conduct. He was released two days later, and the charges were dismissed.

But the county kept $25 of Mr. Statham’s money as a “booking fee.” It returned the remaining $21 on a debit card subject to an array of fees. In the end, it cost Mr. Statham $7.25 to withdraw what was left of his money.

The Supreme Court will soon consider whether to hear Mr. Statham’s challenge to Ramsey County’s fund-raising efforts, which are part of a national trend to extract fees and fines from people who find themselves enmeshed in the criminal justice system.

Kentucky bills people held in its jails for the costs of incarcerating them, even if all charges are later dismissed. In Colorado, five towns raise more than 30 percent of their revenue from traffic tickets and fines. In Ferguson, Mo., “city officials have consistently set maximizing revenue as the priority for Ferguson’s law enforcement activity,” a Justice Department report found last year.

An unusual coalition of civil rights organizations, criminal defense lawyers and conservative and libertarian groups have challenged these sorts of policies, saying they confiscate private property without constitutional protections and lock poor people into a cycle of fines, debts and jail.

The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear a separate challenge to a Colorado law that makes it hard for criminal defendants whose convictions were overturned to obtain refunds of fines and restitution, often amounting to thousands of dollars. That case, Nelson v. Colorado, will be argued on Jan. 9.

The Colorado law requires people who want their money back to file a separate lawsuit and prove their innocence by clear and convincing evidence.

The sums at issue are smaller in Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul. But they are taken from people who have merely been arrested. Some of them will never be charged with a crime. Others, like Mr. Statham, will have the charges against them dismissed. Still others will be tried but acquitted.

It is all the same to the county, which does not return the $25 booking fee even if the arrest does not lead to a conviction. Instead, it requires people like Mr. Statham to submit evidence to prove they are entitled to get their money back.

When the case was argued last year before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul, a lawyer for the county acknowledged that its process was in tension with the presumption of innocence.

“There is some legwork involved,” the lawyer, Jason M. Hiveley said, but noted that it is possible for blameless people to get their $25 back. “They can do it as soon as they have the evidence that they haven’t been found guilty.”

The legwork proved too much for Mr. Statham. He never got his $25 back.

He did get a debit card for the remaining $21. But there was no practical way to extract his cash without paying some kind of fee. Among them: $1.50 a week for “maintenance” of the unwanted card, starting after 36 hours; $2.75 for using an A.T.M. to withdraw money; $3 for transferring the balance to a bank account; and $1.50 for checking the balance.

In its appeals court brief, the county said the debit cards were provided “for the convenience of the inmates,” who might find it hard to cash a check.

Mr. Statham is represented by Michael A. Carvin, a prominent conservative lawyer who has argued Supreme Court caseschallenging the Affordable Care Act and fees charged by public unions.

Mr. Carvin said the county’s motives were not rooted in solicitude for the people it had arrested. “Revenue-starved local governments are increasingly turning toward fees like Ramsey County’s in order to bridge their budgetary gaps,” he wrote in a Supreme Court brief. “But the unilateral decision of a single police officer cannot possibly justify summarily confiscating money.”

“Providing a profit motive to make arrests,” he said, “gives officers an incentive to make improper arrests.”

Obviously, these debit cards with their outrageous fees are anything but convenient. Also, while it’s beside the point from the start, the notion that an arbitrary fee based on no crime having been committed is valid because in the eyes of the courts it is not a large fee represents a unnecessary and undue hardship for many poor people that are barely making it on what they have already.

If You Really Want to Eliminate Crime, Start By Abolishing The Police

This post was written by and originally published at the Libertarian Institute under the title “Want Crime to Go Down? Abolish the Local Police.” Posts and other content you think are worth sharing with the CopBlock Network can be sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Some tips to make it more likely that your submission will get posted to the CopBlock Network can be found here.

(Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made. Some links may have been added within the text and images have been added. In addition, the conclusions expressed within this initial introductory summary represent my own interpretation of what is being stated within Grigg’s writings.)

In the post below, Will Grigg discusses the unnecessary, redundant and wasteful local police departments in tiny towns throughout the country. Examples such as the recent resignation of the entire police force in Bunker Hill, Indiana show that these departments serve no real purpose in relation to protecting those communities from the very few real crimes committed there. And as the ill-fated “police strike” that the NYPD engaged in when people failed to bow and scrape properly to their local Heroes showed, it’s not just limited to small, rural communities, either. In fact, Louisiana’s Evangeline Parish, whose sheriff successfully petitioned to limit their police force’s “service” to revenue generation, illustrates what the real intentions (and historical origins) of the police are.

Want Crime to Go Down? Abolish the Local Police

Bunker Hill, Indiana, is a village of 900 people. It has not been consumed by the maelstrom of criminal violence that – we are told – would descend on any community even briefly deprived of the divine protection offered by a police department. The village obviously didn’t need the department it had until December 12, when the Town Marshal and his four reserve deputies walked off the job to protest decisions by the town board.

“We have had issues with the town board, and there are some activities there where I felt like they were serving their own agenda,” former Marshal Michael Thomison explained. Most of his complaints had to do with proposed budget cut-backs, and a refusal on the part of the council to purchase body armor for all five members of the department.

“I did not want to send someone out there with bad body armor,” grouses Thomison. “I told them we have to provide this…. They were just not receptive to having a police department.”

It’s just no fun to play dress-up and swagger around the village unless the kids get the full costume and all of the accessories. The historical resonance of the village’s name notwithstanding, Thomison and his buddies were not under siege by heavily armed adversaries, nor was there any realistic expectation that they ever would be.

Crime is practically non-existent in Bunker Hill – the most recent report lists one violent and ten property crimes – and the village is fifteen minutes away from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office in the county seat of Peru (a deranged cartographer was apparently responsible for assigning city and county names). It’s therefore reasonable to consider the police department as an unnecessary expense, and a potential source of avoidable trouble. That latter consideration, ironically, was underscored by the disgruntled officers themselves, who have accused town councilors of asking them to conduct unlawful background checks on each other.  The municipal officials stoutly deny ever making such requests.

What is the purpose of inflicting a police department on a minuscule settlement where crimes against persons and property are practically unknown? The obvious answer is that while such towns might be welcome havens from private criminal violence, there can be no sanctuary from revenue collection – and this is the core function of government law enforcement agencies, as Sheriff Eddie Soileau of Louisiana’s Evangeline Parish has recently reminded us.

Soileau’s office is dealing with budget cuts, layoffs, and a Justice Department civil rights investigation, and is thus determined to pare operations down to the basics. To that end, he asked for, and received, an advisory opinion from the state’s Attorney General regarding the following question: Can he legally operate “without having law enforcement duties,” and simply carrying out the role of a tax collector?

The Louisiana State Constitution, replied the Attorney General’s office, specifies that he is to be “the collector of state and parish ad valorem taxes and such other taxes and license fees as provided by law.” Where law enforcement is concerned, the sheriff’s duties are a matter of discretion. He is required to “keep the peace and make arrests,” but is not required to appoint a specific number of deputies to carry out that function. “Should a sheriff choose not to appoint deputies to assist in his law enforcement role, we could cite no statute that would forbid such a choice,” concluded the AG’s opinion.

Odd as this might seem to people who were suckled on resilient myths about sheriffs and police officers as valiant defenders of the public and protectors of private property, Sheriff Soileau’s arrangement actually restores his office to its primordial purpose.

Following the Norman conquest of England, the existing kinship-based system for defense of property and settlement of disputes was supplanted by a feudal order enforced through royal appointees called shire-reeves or shire-riffs – antecedents of the modern sheriff. Their duty was to maintain the “king’s peace” by collecting taxes and preventing private efforts at restitution for injuries. It was impermissible for subjects to settle disputes among themselves, since this would deprive the royal treasury of the fees imposed through the embryonic state’s “justice” system.

This is the disreputable origin of the venerable office of the local sheriff, the only lawman whose occupation is even remotely compatible with the American constitutional tradition. A spare handful of contemporary sheriffs, at most, see their role as protecting property rights, rather than serving the privileged elite that preys on the public, and they can expect to be harassed and driven from office.

Everything the State says is a lie, everything it claims to own it has stolen, and every act undertaken to enforce the State’s edicts is a crime. The disappearance of a law enforcement agency enhances the personal security of those residing in any community where such a blessed development occurs.

Fort Lauderdale Police Issued Parking Tickets to Car With Dead Man Inside it for Four Days

For four days, Jacob Morpeau’s dead body sat inside an SUV on a Fort Lauderdale street and during that time parking enforcement officers continuously added parking tickets to the windshield of his car. Two of the tickets were written within three minutes of each other and one of the “meter maids” cited the car for two expired meters, because the vehicle’s front end was extended slightly into the space in front of it.

The Revenue Generation fest may have continued indefinitely if a woman, who happened to walk past, hadn’t become curious about the stack of tickets attached to the SUV. That curiosity led Carolyn White to actually look inside the car, something that apparently had never occurred to any of the parking enforcement officers in all that time. That’s when she saw Morpeau slumped over in the driver’s seat.

Via the Sun-Sentinel:

The Isuzu was parked on the north side of Southeast Sixth Street, west of Federal Highway near the Savor Cinema, according to copies of the tickets the city provided.

Two of the tickets were written within three minutes, and just six hours before White saw Morpeau’s body inside the SUV. The same parking officer cited the Isuzu for two expired meters, perhaps because the SUV’s front end was in part of the next parking space.

White said about seeing the tickets and looking into the car, “I was being nosy. I never let the meter man catch me. I never got a parking ticket and I wanted to know why somebody else got caught. And that’s what made me look inside.”

fl-lauderdale-dead-man-parking-ticketsShe said she saw a walker in the back seat of the Isuzu and was curious about why someone who needed it would leave it behind. And, she said, she wonders why a parking officer didn’t see what she saw.

“I can understand why the meter person probably didn’t see him from the driver’s side,” said White, who had been parked nearby, waiting for a friend who had business at the courthouse.

“He was underneath the steering wheel, his head was in the middle of the seat, between the two seats,” White said. “But you could see him on the passenger’s side. That’s how I seen him, from the sidewalk.”

After White’s discovery, she said her screams in the middle of Sixth Street drew Kevin McGoey, owner of Kevin’s Bail Bonds, from his business’ green cottage that is across Sixth Street from where the Isuzu was parked. His staff called 911, he said.

“It was sad,” McGoey said. “The guy was probably sitting there all weekend.”

The City of Fort Lauderdale was considerate enough to dismiss the parking tickets after Mr. Morpeau’s inability to properly feed the meters was established.

(#NotTheOnion)

Pro-Police Website Recommends Cops Download and Use Cell 411 (Sorta)

Regular readers at the CopBlock Network are probably pretty familiar with the Cell 411 app, but in case you aren’t you can read posts on CopBlock.org about it and its many uses here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Obviously, it has several options that can be helpful during traditional emergencies such as fires, medical issues, and criminal threats or even more benign moments of need, such as car trouble. The app allows you to set up networks, known as “cells” with which you can communicate and, if necessary, request assistance from. It also allows you to send location information via GPS tracking to those that you trust to come to your aid. While these features are also helpful for people who have no intentional interest in eliminating their reliance on governmental emergency services, they were actually designed to enable users to “crowdsource your emergencies” as it says on the official Cell 411 website.

In addition, Cell 411 is advertised as something that was “built by and for activists.” As such, it also has certain features that can be used for CopBlocking. Besides the ones already mention involving communicating with trusted friends and the providing of your exact location to them in order for them to come to your aid, it includes a “know your rights” section and there’s also an option to stream live video to the internets. This both enables those you request assistance from to see what the threat is and also prevents police (or any other threat) from deleting any video footage you record from your phone. It can also warn people within your cell of speed traps and other revenue generation tactics  being employed and allow them to avoid the effected area(s).

Interestingly enough, one of those pro-police websites has decided that they can use those features to generate more revenue at the expense of CopBlockers. BlueLivesMatter.blue is a site devoted to telling everybody that cops are heroes who should never be held accountable for their actions because bravery and danger and fear, while citizens should take personal responsibility for their actions and deserve to die if they don’t do exactly as their told by the angry, armed man threatening them because respect my authoritah. They’re basically a newer version of PoliceOne.com (who has also posted paranoid ramblings about Cell 411), but haven’t had to hide their comment section yet due to rampant racist and violent comments by cops, as PoliceOne.com did.

Here’s their take on the usefulness of Cell 411:

cell411

Cell 411 is a cell phone app which has been around for a while now on both Apple and Android platforms. Ostensibly, Cell 411 is an app which allows you to contact your closest friends and relatives “in case of an emergency.” It just so happens that these “emergencies” include getting stopped by the police, getting arrested, or the upstanding citizen just out CopBlocking.

Cell 411 users have the option to broadcast this information to their legion of rocket scientist friends, or in “Patrol Mode,” which broadcasts to all users within a 50 mile radius. The officer safety implications of this are clear. Criminals such as Black Lives Matter and police agitators can now push a button to call for help from their friends, whenever they are contacted by law enforcement. However, this also opens up a great opportunity for law enforcement when it comes to dealing with these people.

Banner - cell 411

Here’s a step-by-step guide to use Cell 411 to have fun with your shift:

  •  Step 1: Download Cell 411 from your Google Play or iTunes store.
  • Step 2: Go to a low traffic area of your beat.
  • Step 3: Set Cell 411 to Patrol Mode and then initiate a fake police event, such as a traffic stop or arrest.
  • Step 4: Get your ticket-book ready, and conduct a traffic emphasis patrol in the area.

Remember folks, this is a group activity.

Of course, the flaw in their brilliant plan is that less and less people actually trust cops (for good reason) and this app is geared toward people connecting with trustworthy people who are actually willing to help their fellow citizens. So, you should still download Cell 411 for all the great benefits, but just ensure you are careful who you respond to. You don’t want to run into a cop who is really bored by his strenuous day and has decided to look for a little easy revenue at the expense of your good will.

Two Georgia Cops Fired After Making Racist Facebook Posts Bragging About Targeting Black Drivers

Racist Georgia Deputies Fired

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.

Newly released information reveals that two cops from Georgia recently lost their jobs after making racist posts, in which they joked and even bragged about targeting black drivers. Deputy Brant Gaither was fired on July 25th and Deputy Jeremy Owens was forced to resign on July 26th.

Both had worked for the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Department. They also both worked on a special unit of Road Pirates that was assigned to generate revenue in the area between Savannah and Brunswick on Interstate 95.

They often commented back and forth on Facebook posts using language that was sexist and also derogatory toward black people. The messages also referenced intentionally targeting black drivers for traffic stops.

Via USuncut.news:

According to records obtained by the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, the officers referred to African Americans as “N*ggs” and “colored people.”

One message featured an image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., underneath the two men denigrated King’s famous “I have a dream speech.”

  • “I have a dream. That one day my people will not act like animals,” posted Gaither.
  • “Lol. That’ll never happen,” replied Jeremy Owens.

There was also an exchange in which the men made light of domestic violence against women, and in another, the men shared an offensive joke about fried chicken and a black pregnancy test.

But, perhaps the most disturbing message made reference to their patrols on the highway and seemed to suggest that the men targeted African American motorists. Owens said:

  • “It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Might not get too many niggs.”
  • “I hope we get a few but (expletive) if we don’t,” Gaither responded.

The Southern Center for Human Rights believes this case could be indicative of a much larger cultural problem within the department. The sent a lawyer to the county in September to investigate both the deputies and their former employer.

According to Sarah Geraghty, the center’s managing attorning (sic) for impacting litigation, the non-profit firm is in the process of preparing a formal request for the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation.

  • “This case goes deeper than two officers caught using racist language on their personal social media pages,” Geraghty said. “The messages reference an explicit intent by these law enforcement officials to ‘get’ black motorists. Our investigation to date suggests that this may be the tip of the iceberg.”

According to Sheriff Stephen D. Jessup, the racist posts were uncovered in July when another deputy was issued Owens’ old computer, which still contained access to his Facebook account.

Reportedly, once Deputy Gaither learned that he was going to be fired, he admitted it and stated: “It was just a joke, we all do it.” Whether that was some sort of Freudian Slip or Gaither actually meant consciously to acknowledge that “all” cops make racist jokes and target black drivers is a bit speculative at this point.

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