Archive for July, 2012

Maggie’s Harvest of Links

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

(Thanks to Radley for the first two items, Jesse Walker for the third, Grace for the fourth, Walter Olson for the fifth and Brooke Magnanti for the sixth.)

It’s Legal, But is it Right?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

 

According to Carlos Miller’s Photography is not a Crime, a man in California who’s youtube handle is, “Funtrails” has been approaching officers and giving them a piece of his mind. Carlos cites case law and the DOJ memo to baltimore indicating this conduct is absolutely legal.

I must say the video linked below may have something to do with this man’s disdain for his local department. On his channel it is entitled, “Police Harassment” which I wholeheartedly believe it is.

“Police Harrassment” video:

 

It’s Legal, But is it Right? is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard Refuses to Take Any Disciplinary Action Against officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley, Despite their Committing Perjury in Front of a Grand Jury

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

By Davy V.

The video shows the intersection of Conkey Avenue and Avenue D, on Rochester, New York’s eastside.

A few seconds into the video, a four door, light colored sedan is seen coming to a complete stop at the intersection.

Then, the car proceeds as normal.

Almost instantly, a light can be seen shining on the vehicle, then not one but two Rochester, NY Police cruisers, do a u-turn in the intersection, and follow the sedan.

The light that is seen in the video, is Rochester Police shining their spotlight in blinding fashion, in Mr. Jeramie Barideaux’s face, the driver of the sedan.

What would happen next, would land an innocent man, Jeramie Barideaux in jail four months.

Rochester, NY Police officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley lied about Mr. Jeramie Barideaux not coming to a complete stop in order to have a reason to pull him over and conduct an illegal stop and search of his vehicle.

They then claimed to have found a weapon and drugs in Mr. Barideaux’s vehicle.

What they failed to realize is that through the power of video, their lies were caught on camera.

It turns out, a City of Rochester video surveillance camera located high above that intersection, recorded Mr. Barideaux coming to a full and complete stop.

Eventually, Monroe County Court Judge Daniel Doyle, after watching the video, dismissed all charges against Mr. Barideaux, stating in his decision “it was an unreasonable stop… based on the review of the video, there’s no ambiguity at all that a car being operated by Jeramie Barideaux did come to a complete stop before the police stopped the vehicle.”

But not before Jeramie Barideaux had served 4 months incarcerated, away from his family.

And, not before Rochester Police officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley, lied and and falisified police reports, and committed perjury by testifying in front of a Monroe County Grand Jury that Mr. Barideaux did not come to a full stop, when as the video proved, he did.

And Rochester’s top cop, Police Chief James Sheppard, has so far refused to in any way shape or form discipline officers Osipovitch and Hartley, despite there being solid evidence that his officers lied and committed perjury.

So I called Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard’s office, and spoke with Mary Ann. I asked for Karen, whom I had spoken to yesterday and who told me that someone would be getting back to me to answer my concerns.

But no one ever did.

Karen, very rudely stated to me “You know, just to let you know, you can speak to anyone else here and they can answer your questions.”

I then tried explaining to Karen that no one had gotten back to me, and I asked her for the number to the RPD’s Public Information officer.

Karen, again in a very rude tone of voice told me “I can’t give you any numbers, all I can do is transfer you.”

I then told Karen that I did not understand why she was being so rude and unprofessional towards me, and I informed her that as part of my job as a writer, I would be quoting her, and documenting our conversation on my blog.

Karen then, in the middle of me talking, transferred me to RPD Sgt. Justin Collins, where I left him a message on his voicemail.

And so, it’s business as usual when it comes to the Rochester, NY Police department, and it’s long history of misconduct, corruption and coverups, and rogue, lying officers.

Officers such as Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley who violated their sworn oaths to uphold the law, and who betrayed the Constitution of the United States of America, by lying, setting up an innocent man, then committed perjury in front of a Grand Jury.

Business as usual with a Police Chief who refuses to take any action against Rochester, NY Police officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley, despite there being solid evidence that they lied, and committed perjury, and as a result, an innocent man spent 4 months in jail,

Business as usual, within the Rochester, NY Police department where rude and unprofessional staff hang up the phone on taxpayers.

 

Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard

(585) 428-7033

Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard Refuses to Take Any Disciplinary Action Against officers Rob Osipovitch and Ryan Hartley, Despite their Committing Perjury in Front of a Grand Jury is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Anaheim police prove to be lying murderers (no surprise there)

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

In late July, Anaheim police shot an unarmed suspect, Manuel Diaz in the back. Mr. Diaz was standing outside a car and talking to two men. Police started to question Mr. Diaz and he ran. Police chased him down and shot him. Witnesses present confirmed Mr. Diaz was then shot in the head. A video taken by a witness records the witness shouting that Diaz is still alive. However, police stood around and did nothing (video here).

Even though no one (not even the pigs) are yet disputing Mr. Diaz was running away when he was shot in the back, police still claim they opened fire because they were in fear of their lives (here). Oh, my. What kind of pathetic excuse of a coward perceives a person running away to be a fatal threat? Police claim they shot in self-defense, but this is because the same rules and laws do not apply to police. Anyone else who shot a fleeing human being in the back would immediately be charged with murder.

While mainstream media is quick to accuse Mr. Diaz of being an illegal immigrant, a gang member, and all other types of nonsense, these theories have been set forth only by the the people responsible for the murder (the police) and have been confirmed by no other sources.

And if we want to play that game, I’ll add this – It is unknown whether the police who shot had any prior criminal history. It is suspected the officer involved had prior disciplinary records. Others suspect the police involved had a habitual propensity for violence and excessive measures.  It is unknown whether any of the police involved have in the past been accused of rape, sexual assault, or child molestation. It is currently unknown whether the officer who shot Mr. Diaz has been accused of pedophilia.

Several days later, Anaheim police shot Joel Acevedo, claiming he fired on police. As this is the same police department that claims shooting someone in the back is an act of self-defense, only the dumbest human beings on the face of the earth should take police statements at face value.

In a third police-related shooting, Anaheim police opened fire on a burglary suspect. Surely, most people will not have much sympathy for a burglar – but most should agree the punishment for burglary should not be attempted execution on sight.

And I know many of our dear Cop Block readers are not very impressed with the Constitution or American law, but the police, the government, and the laws they claim to enforce sure pretend to be, so let’s argue on their terms.

It is not a crime to refuse to speak to police. In fact, that is a “right” under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Even the fiercest police advocates should have a hard time explaining how something can be a “right” if one can be shot and killed for exercising that “right”. It is unknown whether the police involved in the shooting of Mr. Diaz are aware of, or have ever read the United States Constitution, but it is also unconstitutional to shoot a fleeing felon in the back, for the mere act of fleeing (see Supreme Court majority opinion in Tennessee v. Garner).

Understandably, residents of Anaheim were incensed. They took to protesting, again, allegedly a First Amendment right. The police in Anaheim appear to be unfamiliar with the First Amendment, which sets forth that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Apparently, what that actually means is that Congress shall make plenty of laws, and unleash violent police officers to quash dissent. Police dogs were “accidentally” unleashed and bit people. Hundreds of people gathered to protest outside the police station. At one point, police shot rubber bullets at women and children. Police also used “less-than-lethal” rounds against a crowd of 1,000 people who protested a City Council meeting later that evening.

“I don’t have a problem with people exercising their First Amendment rights,” Police Chief John Welter said. “I do have a problem when people start throwing bottles and rocks at my officers.” No, of course not. We couldn’t have that. We can have police shooting recklessly and killing random people, but when the peons revolt, then we truly have a problem.

 

Anaheim police prove to be lying murderers (no surprise there) is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

John Wheeler Targeted by Texas “Law” Enforcers

Monday, July 30th, 2012

If you live in northeast Texas please consider attending John Mark Wheelers hearing at the federal building in Sherman, TX at 2pm Tuesday, July 31st. If possible, please record the proceedings so a transparent record of the exchange exists.

John Mark Wheeler was denied PR bond at his hearing on July 31st. He may be caged until his trial in October.

It’s been communicated that he is still in much pain from injuries sustained when he was arrested.

Feel free to call his captors and inquire about his well-being: Fanin County Jail (903) 640-4171


Does an individual loose their right to defend themselves after another person labels them a “felon”?

Just who is the victim here? The “state of Texas”?

Doesn’t an individual who’s alleged to have committed a crime have the right to face their accuser? Is that possible when the accuser is the “state of Texas”?

Did Wheeler break a law? Or was it legislation? If there is no victim, where’s the crime?

One (with a more sane mind) might argue that it’s Wheeler who’s been victimized – a dislocated shoulder, damage and theft of his property, thousands in legal land bills, and the caging of his person. And for what – he never harmed person or property.

Why wouldn’t Gerald Teague even have a conversation about departmental policies? Why was he so hesitant to talk on camera?

Just who requested the use of a helicopter to check Wheeler’s property? Why was no search warrant presented when his property was searched? Why were over a dozen “law” enforcers already geared-up and on Wheeler’s property just a couple minutes after the helicopter hovered outside his dwelling? It sounds like there was already a plan to raid his property.

What do you think about how this situation has thus far panned out?

Please leave a comment to this post or email me at pete@copblock.org if you have any updates or if you can help get Wheeler released.

Timeline of Relevant Events

  • On June 28th, 2012 A Texas National Guard helicopter and multiple vehicles carrying men employed at the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Drug Enforcement Adminstration stormed Wheeler’s property and roughly arrest him – pulling his arm from its socket. No search warrant was shown to anyone present and his dwelling was ripped-apart. The search warrant was later added to Wheeler’s personal property he received when he was released from jail. No affidavit (which is supposed to accompany the search warrant) has thus far been produced. Despite the sensational title used by a local news article - National Guard helicopter helps find marijuana growing operation west of Cooper - Wheeler was charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana and “several” handguns and long-guns.
  • On July 13th, 2012 Wheeler filed suit against Gerald Teague, Harold McClure, Jim Lewman and the Delta County Sheriff’s Office in federal court claiming civil rights violations.
  • On July 17th, 2012 Pete Eyre from CopBlock.org visits Wheeler and interviews him on his property.
  • On July 18th, 2012 Eyre visits the Delta County Sheriff’s Office and after waiting hours finally is able to see Gerald Teague (sheriff). Teague refuses to discuss policy of his department on camera. Eyre submits a FOIA request for “any and all related content”, receives a receipt, and is told per Texas statute, that he’ll get a response within 10 days.
  • On July 18th, 2012 Wheeler is arrested by US Marshals and charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. He was brought to Fanin County Jail in nearby Bonham, Texas.
  • Wheeler was due to have a detention hearing on July 24th, 2012 at the Federal Building in Sherman, Texas to hopefully get personal recognizance until his trial in October. That hearing was postponed.
  • The rescheduled detention hearing – at 9am Friday, July 27th, 2012 – was postponed.
  • The detention hearing is now supposed to be heard at 2pm on July 31st, 2012.
  • On July 30th Eyre called the Fanin County Jail to inquire about Wheeler’s well-being as it had been communicated to him that since being caged on July 18th, Wheeler had lost 15-lbs and had not been provided a pen, making the completion of court documents and a medical release form impossible. After being transferred twice Eyre spoke with sgt Shelton, who, thrice nightly does rounds of segregation – where Wheeler is being held ostensibly since the facility is maxed-out. Eyre – not being a lawyer or family was not allowed to talk with Wheeler but had a conversation with Shelton who communicated that Wheeler would have gone through medical screening when entering the facility, that he’d not complained to Shelton about any injury, that his mattress pad is twice the thickness of those in non-segregation cells, and ultimately, that “I can promise you that everything’s fine.”
  • On July 31st Wheeler was denied PR bond and remains caged at Fanin County Jail.
gerald teague delta county sheriffs office texas copblock 300x212 John Wheeler Targeted by Texas Law Enforcers

Gerald Teague

Delta Count Sheriff’s Office
Gerald Teague (sheriff)
Jim Lewman (chief investigative officer)
200 W Bonham
Cooper, Texas 75432
Phone: (903) 395-2146
Fax: (903) 395-0337
http://www.policelocator.com/tx/Delta-County-Sheriffs-Office-in-Texas.html

harold mcclure sulphur springs texas police copblock John Wheeler Targeted by Texas Law Enforcers

Harold McClure

Sulphur Springs Police Department
Harold McClure (officer)
125 Davis St S
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482
Phone: (903) 885-7602

http://www.sulphurspringstx.org/police.htm

Texas Department of Public Safety
Brian Perry - brian.perry@dps.texas.gov
Greg Wilson (employee)
5805 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas  78752-4422
Phone: (512) 424-2000
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us

Fanin County Jail
2389 Silo Road
Bonham, TX 75418
Phone: (903) 640-4171
Fax: (903) 640-4547
http://www.cecintl.com/facilities_sf_tx_006.html

John Wheeler Targeted by Texas “Law” Enforcers is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Rochester, NY Police Obviously Believe that Badges Do Grant Extra Rights, as Officer Cuts in Line, Gets Preferential Treatment at DMV, While Others Patiently Wait Their Turn

Monday, July 30th, 2012

By Davy V.

After forgetting to turn in some license plates from a vehicle I took off the road before going on vacation to Miami, Florida with my sons and niece, I received a letter from DMV threatening to suspend my license, so off to DMV I went to return the plates.

As I drove to the New York State DMV branch located in the Town of Greece, NY, outside Rochester, I noticed a Rochester, NY Police cruiser illegally parked in a “No Parking Fire Lane” area.

At first I didn’t think much of it, as quite frankly Rochester, NY Police officers parking illegally and abusing their power is an all too common occurence.

But, I did find it interesting, as the officer was clearly out of his jurisdiction, being that he was in a different town.

Upon entering the DMV office, which is located inside Greece Ridge Center, a major shopping mall, I noticed that the line was very long, with approximately 25 people in line.

Then, as I looked towards the front of the line, at the information desk, I saw the Rochester, NY Police officer pictured in the photo above.

The officer was filling out some DMV forms. After a few minutes of observing him, it became quite clear that there was no doubt that not only was the officer there on personal business, but that he was on the clock, and on duty.

In other words, this Rochester, NY Police officer was conducting personal business, on Tax payer money.

Throughout the entire time that I observed the officer as he nervously continued to tilt his head down in order to listen to his radio transmitter, which was located on his shoulder, whenever the dispatcher would talk.

He continued to this, as if to make sure he wasn’t being called.

I then observed a female DMV employee approach the officer, put her hand on his shoulder and then escort him to a DMV window, where he conducted his personal business, and walked out, while everyone else sat on the wood benches, with their computer printed “estimated wait time” tickets.

Another example of how the Rochester, NY Police department, as well as police forces throughout the country, abuse their power and authority, on a daily basis.

Apparently, the Rochester, NY Police department continues to believe that badges DO grant extra rights.

I placed a call to the Rochester, NY Police department asking for the name of the officer.

After waiting for approx a half hour, I finally received a call from Rochester Police Sgt. Boily, who was extremely unprofessional, rude and curt.

Sgt. Boily interrupted me in the middle of my talking to him and in a loud, aggressive tone said to me “I can tell you right off the bat, that I am not going to give you the officer’s name!”

Rochester Police Sgt. Boily then hung up the phone on me.

I called and again asked for an RPD Supervisor to call me regarding not only my original request but now, the unprofessional conduct of RPD Sgt. Boily and how he hung up the phone on me.

After approx. 45 minutes of no one getting back to me, I decided to call Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard’s office.

I spoke with Karen, who took my information down. 

I proceeded to tell Karen, that I had not only posted the story online,  but also a photo of the RPD officer at the DMV.
Karen then asked me for the web addresses to my online posts about the story, and I gave her not only the link to my blog (davyv.blogspot.com) but also, to copblock.org.
A short time later, I spoke with Rochester Police Lt. Jeremy Lindauer whom I have known for some time now, and who has always been very professional and courteous.
Lt. Lindauer explained to me that since the matter is being investigated, it is the RPD’s policy that they can’t release the name of the officer, as in essence, it is now a complaint.
Whatever the case, my conversation with Lt. Lindauer who is well aware of my work, and who knows the meaning of respect, whether or not he agrees with me or not, stands in strong contrast to Sgt. Boily’s unprofessionalism in hanging up on me.
Sometimes, whether you agree with someone or not, simply respecting that person, goes a long way.


Rochester, NY Police Chief James Sheppard (585) 428-7033

 

Rochester, NY Police Obviously Believe that Badges Do Grant Extra Rights, as Officer Cuts in Line, Gets Preferential Treatment at DMV, While Others Patiently Wait Their Turn is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Former Rochester, NY Police Captain Michael Leach Who Shot and Killed an Innocent Woman, Kills His Own Son

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

By Davy V.

On November 11, 1975, 18 year old Denise Hawkins was running from her abusive boyfriend down a Rochester, NY street when a 22 year old Rochester, NY Police officer named Michael Leach shot her dead.

Leach, the son of former Rochester, NY Police Chief Delmar Leach, stated that Hawkins had a knife in her hand.

Denise Hawkins’ death was met with an outcry for justice from the community in Rochester, NY for several reasons.

First, because she was an African American shot by a white police officer.

Second, because she was a woman.

Despite demands from community activists in Rochester, such as the late Rev. Raymond Graves, Rochester Police officer Michael Leach was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of Denise Hawkins, and her killing was found to be justified.

And, as is usually the case after a Rochester Police officer shoots and kills an innocent person, Rochester, NY Police officer Michael Leach was promoted to Captain.

Michael Leach retired from the Rochester, NY Police department in 2001.

If the name Michael Leach sounds familiar, it should.

You see, on Saturday July 21, 2012 Leach shot and killed his own son at the Clark’s Beach Hotel in Old Forge, NY.

New York State Police say that Michael Leach, 59 mistook his son, Matthew Leach, 37, for an intruder, before shooting him once in the back.

According to New York State Police, Michael Leach, now a part time Perry, NY Police officer, shot and killed his son with his .45 caliber Glock handgun, when his son entered the motel room they both shared.

The Leach’s were part of a motorcycle group that stays at the Clark’s Beach motel every couple of years.

Dan Rivet, owner of the motel said “For some reason, nobody knows why, his father whether he was having a nightmare or whatever he had his service revolver apparently in his room next to his bedside and he thought he was an intruder and shot him once in the back.”

As a filmmaker, writer and activist exposing police misconduct, I’m used to covering cases where police officers kill an innocent person.

In my more than 15 year career, this is the first time I have covered a story where the victim is not a stranger to the police officer, but they’re actually a family member.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Or is it?

Some would argue that actually Michael Leach’s training and learned behavior as a Rochester, NY Police officer, and the fact that he had previously killed an innocent person, had alot to do with his shooting and killing his own son.

I think there is something here that law enforcement would never want to address or in any way mention, and that is a certain state of mind that police officers have, where they are overzealous, trigger happy and overreact.

And I think that Michael Leach has a history of this.

And sadly, I believe it is exactly what led to Matthew Leach being senselessly killed by his own father.

Police officers are trained to shoot to kill, not shoot to wound, or shoot to disable.

In my work over the years, I have talked about what law enforcement refers to as “Center mass”, that area just below the neck and just above the waist.

It is this area of the body that police officers are trained to shoot at for a couple of reasons.

First, because it is the broadest part of the body, therefore it is an area which would most likely guarantee a “sure hit.”

But perhaps more interesting, is that “center mass” is the area of the body where a shot is most likely to cause death, hence the “shoot to kill” training.

And it is that same area where Michael Leach shot his own son.

Except, I do find it disturbing that Matthew Leach was shot in the back, I mean, we now know that it wasn’t an intruder, and that in fact it was Leach’s own son, but one can’t help but wonder, what if it had been an intruder, would shooting someone in the back be justified?

Again, I understand perhaps Michael Leach really thought it was an intruder breaking into his motel room.

But if a person has their back to you, where is there a threat?

And if a person has their back to you, where would there be a need to use deadly force?

Certainly I feel these are important questions which need to be answered.

I hope that the New York State Police do not in any way, shape or form give any favoritism to Michael Leach as a fellow law enforcement officer.

I hope they conduct a complete and thorough investigation.

I guess in a way it is ironic, that 37 years ago, just as Matthew Leach was being born, his father, a young, overzealous, trigger happy cop shot and killed an innocent woman who was actually running for help, and now Michael Leach, overreacts, is trigger happy, and shoots his own son in the back, killing him.

Sadly, the Rochester, NY Police department taught Michael Leach well.

They taught him to shoot to kill.

Former Rochester, NY Police Captain Michael Leach Who Shot and Killed an Innocent Woman, Kills His Own Son is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Scenes From Militarized America

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Here’s a photo of part of the police response to the protests in Anaheim today. As many times as I’ve seen and written about images like this one, I still find them startling. It just isn’t the sort of thing you’re supposed to see in a free society.

The heavy-handedness is Anaheim is particularly poignant when you consider that the protests themselves are in response to a rash of shootings by Anaheim cops, most notably Manuel Diaz last week, who was unarmed and shot twice. According to an attorney for the family, the second shot was to the back of the head as Diaz lay on the ground.

The punchline here is that after the police shoot Diaz, after they fire rubber bullets and pepper balls at protesters last week, after they call out the urban warfare unit this afternoon . . . everyone is calling on the protesters to remain peaceful.

(Photo via Twitter user “Atef.”)

 

–Radley

Police Accountability Report Episode 54 – LRN.fm

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

This week, a couple of stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.

In Anaheim, mother of Manuel Diaz condemns violent protests in wake of son’s shooting by police
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mom-condemns-violence-wake-anaheim-police-shooting-article-1.1122204#ixzz21x3nEmNq

Florida police captain charged after teen claims he made her strip
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/30/florida-police-captain-charged-after-teen-claims-made-her-strip/

That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report. 
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.

CopBlock Podcast logo 320x71 Police Accountability Report Episode 54   LRN.fm

Police Accountability Report Episode 54 – LRN.fm is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Free Ademo: An Overview

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

The purpose of this video is to provide a concise overview and update about Ademo’s legal land situation in Manchester, NH.

Thanks to Clyde Voluntaryist of NeverTakeAPeal.org for helping me with narration.

Visit CopBlock.org/FreeAdemo for updates and all related information, links, and ways to help.

Thanks to Ian Freeman of FreeKeene.com for capturing and posting this video from Ademo’s pre-trial conference on Friday, July 27th, 2012.

Free Ademo: An Overview is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights