Archive for November, 2012

San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Faces Six Misdemeanor Charges

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The following was shared November 20, 2012 at SFGate.com.

A San Francisco deputy sheriff is facing a host of misdemeanor charges stemming from an off-duty incident last month when she – accompanied by two friends – allegedly forced her way into a man’s home, brandished a pistol and threatened him.

Deputy Manconia Tamika Green, 36, was arrested Oct. 3 after San Francisco police responded to the 3500 block of San Bruno Avenue where the incident took place.

According to police, Green was one of three people who entered the home of a 55-year-old man on San Bruno Avenue after an argument over some work he had been hired to do for a friend of Green.

Green’s attorney, Harry Stern, later identified that friend as Green’s sister.

Police investigators said Green, who was off-duty, brandished a gun and threatened the victim, while one of her companions knocked down a woman in the man’s home.

Police arrived on scene around 5 p.m. after receiving reports of a person with a firearm and arrested Green on suspicion of misdemeanor brandishing a weapon and felony conspiracy and making criminal threats.

One of her friends, Shalah Sheliah Lavon Johnson, 32, was also arrested on suspicion of felony criminal threats and felony conspiracy, while Green’s sister, who police declined to identify, was detained and released.

Green posted $60,000 bail early the next day. She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment last month, said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney.

Stern, Green’s attorney, said Tuesday that his client is innocent. He said the alleged victims became aggressive and that Green identified herself as a deputy sheriff “in hopes of calming things down.”

“Deputy Green was trying to help out her sister, who had a disagreement with the other party,” he said. “The other side tried to sic a vicious dog and hit her with a golf club. She didn’t pull any weapons, use any weapons or anything like that.”

Stern said Green was carrying a gun, which as a deputy sheriff, she has a right to do while off duty.

During a pretrial conference Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Laura Claster said she wanted to either reach a plea deal with Green or set a trial date when Green is back in court on Dec. 4.

Susan Fahey, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, said Green is back at work in the field services division where she has been assigned to administrative duties as per department policy.

Fahey said employees of the Sheriff’s Department who are under investigation for misdemeanor crimes are usually reassigned to administrative duties.

 

San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Faces Six Misdemeanor Charges is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Huntsville City Council Approves $22,500 Payment in Excessive Force Case by Police Officer

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The following originates from an article posted on November 15, 2012 on AL.com.

Huntsville, Alabama - For the second time this year, the City Council agreed to use funds stolen from ‘taxpayers’ to pay off a victim of excessive force by a Huntsville police officer named Brett Russell.

November 15th, the council voted unanimously to pay $22,500 to a man who was beaten by a Huntsville police officer after being taken into custody last year.

The payment ends a legal claim against the city made by Gary Wayne Hopkins stemming from the December 2011 incident.

In February, the council gave $25,000 to Edith Stewart to settle a claim filed by Stewart and her husband because of rough treatment when she was pulled from her vehicle and slammed to the ground during a traffic stop in another December 2011 incident.

With council members Will Culver and Richard Showers absent, the council voted 3-0 to make the payment to Hopkins. There was no discussion.

Hopkins was handcuffed in the rear of a Huntsville police cruiser when he kicked out the rear window. According to a video of the incident, officers told Hopkins they were going to place him in leg shackles. The video then showed Hopkins being yanked from the vehicle and an officer kicking and beating him.

The officer involved in the beating, Brett Russell, subsequently lost his job before the council on appeal overruled the decision to fire him by Police Chief Lewis Morris. The council required Russell to serve a 30-day suspension without pay as a condition for his return.

Russell also had to complete and anger management program and receive remedial training in use of force, pressure point control and verbal judo.

Morris told The Times on Wednesday that Russell is on track to return to regular patrol in a few days.

  • Why is Brett Russell not being held personally responsible for his actions?
  • Why should the hard-working members of the community pay for Russell’s misdeeds?
  • Is a 30-day suspension a reasonable response to an officer brutally beating an individual?
  • Is this the kind of person that you think will ‘protect and serve’ you?
  • Would you voluntarily pay for this man’s “services?”

Huntsville City Council Approves $22,500 Payment in Excessive Force Case by Police Officer is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Angel Martinez, Connecticut Cop Block Founder, Arrested For Complying

Friday, November 30th, 2012

This post will continue to be updated with relevant information as it’s an active situation. 

This past Tuesday, Nov. 27th, 2012, Heriberto “Angel” Martinez, the founder of Connecticut Cop Block, was handcuffed and had his property searched by J. Carrano, who was wearing a Bridgeport Police Department badge #11.

Angel was taken by Carrano to his hideout and told that he faced a ransom of 1,500FRNs and/or three years in a cage because he had allegedly obstructed, blocked passage, loitered, and engaged in animal cruelty.

In reality, Angel – an animal lover to all who know him – was helping to save a turtle that may have otherwise been left to die. He was aggressed-upon only when he sought to share information with a stranger who was in a less-than-ideal situation.

The fact that the flyer Angel distributed was taken by the Carrano and ripped-up, demonstrates to me, that it was the nature of literature that was the real issue. Remember, Angel was actively making an effort to leave the scene as instructed. Then he was grabbed and prevented from having freedom of movement.

But one key point that Angel didn’t mention in the above video was that the person who approached him had on a wearable camera. As Angel discloses below, he’s since submitted a motion to preserve that evidence, so that it can be objectively shown that he was in fact departing. Thus, the other threats are also without merit.

Angel is directed to appear in legal land on Dec. 7th. He’ll be there, unless the frivolous threats levied against him are dropped beforehand. If you’re in the area and can support Angel in-person that’d stellar.

The immediate hoped-for conclusion is to get help Angel get-out from the threats now levied through transparency and through the court of public opinion, as recently was obtained by Paul Leason, Minnesota Cop Block co-founder, who recently found himself in a somewhat similar situation.

If you have thoughts about what unfolded feel free to call Carrano and let him know:

Bridgeport Police Department

connecticut copblock angel martinez copblock Angel Martinez, Connecticut Cop Block Founder, Arrested For ComplyingGeographical Area #2 (legal land)

Connecticut Cop Block

 UPDATE: 

2012.11.29

In two videos that together last less than four-minutes, Angels details that he filed five motions and filed a complaint against J. Carrano – the person who told Angel that he was free to leave the scene but who then grabbed him, handcuffed him, searched him, and is now levying threats against Angel to the tune of 1,500FRNs and/or three-years in a cage.

 

Angel Martinez, Connecticut Cop Block Founder, Arrested For Complying is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

LCSO Deputy Lied About Stealing Due to Fear of Being Labeled a Thief

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The following was posted on November 15, 2012 at NBC-2.

Fort Myers - A Lee County Sheriff’s deputy was fired Monday after an internal investigation revealed he had stolen merchandise from a Publix store while in uniform in July.

On July 17th, the Publix store manager informed a detective who had come to the store seeking surveillance video for a different case, that a Loss Prevention Officer had seen an unknown deputy remove and conceal merchandise and leave the store without paying several days prior.

The detective met with the Loss Prevention Officer, who relayed what she saw and provided a copy of the surveillance video to identify the unknown deputy.

The deputy was identified as Deputy Andrew Sargis on July 19th.

On September 3rd, a criminal interview was conducted with Sargis. He stated several times that he did not recall going to the Publix store at 15880 Summerlin Road on July 15th.

He was also asked whether it was possible to accidentally select merchandise, walk around the store, and place the merchandise in his pocket and exit the store without paying for it. Sargis replied, “There shouldn’t be, no.”

Sargis agreed to take a polygraph examination, which was implemented on September 7th.

During the examination, Sargis said that he had entered the store with intentions to find a dessert and pick up a weekly ad paper for his wife.

Sargis stated that while in the store, he obtained two packages of razor blades and walked around the store with the items in his hands. While walking around, he realized he didn’t have his wallet, placed the items on a shelf and left the store.

Sargis was asked whether he was certain he didn’t walk out with any razors, to which he replied, “I am 110 percent certain, yes. I did not walk out with any razors. If I would have walked out with any razors and realized I had them, I would have walked back in and said look, I didn’t mean to walk out with these.”

During the polygraph, Sargis was asked three questions. The results indicated deception.

When he was confronted with the results, Sargis then told the lieutenant that he had put the merchandise in his pocket and left the store accidentally. When he got home, he realized he had taken the razors but was too embarassed to return to the store to pay for them. He also suggested that some personal issues may have contributed to his poor judgement.

Detectives later learned Sargis returned to the Publix store after the polygraph exam and paid for the stolen razors.

On October 1st, Sargis met with members of the LCSO Professional Standards Division to review the investigation.

During the review, Sargis said he lied about stealing the razors because “I was scared on being labeled a thief.”

Deputy Dargis agreed he violated LCSO Policy for Untruthfulness and Conduct Unbecoming.

His termination from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office went into effect on Monday.

LCSO Deputy Lied About Stealing Due to Fear of Being Labeled a Thief is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Aggressive Traffic Stop – Which Caused Accident – Needs Greater Scrutiny

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The following was written by Anthony Westbury on November 25, 2012.

Sandra Silasavage hardly looks like a flight risk. Yet that’s what a St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy claimed after he used an aggressive driving technique to force her off the road, flipping her SUV on its side in the process.

Silasavage, 62, is handicapped with a chronic spinal condition that barely allows her to walk. She was charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer because she did not pull over when instructed to do so.

Her 2008 Ford Expedition was totaled in the wreck, she’s out thousands of dollars and her life has been turned upside down.

Silasavage, who lives in western St. Lucie County not far from the Okeechobee County line, was returning home on State Road 70 on the evening of Oct. 28 after shopping in Fort Pierce. She said she had set her cruise control at 55 mph — the posted speed limit — when she noticed a deputy’s patrol car behind her.

The deputy did not have his lights or siren on at first, Silasavage said. She noticed him come alongside her, heard his siren and then “everything went crazy.” Her car left the road, rolled and ended up on the driver’s side, with Silasavage hanging upside down in her seatbelt.

After breaking her back in a horseriding accident in the 1970s and subsequent unsuccessful surgeries, Silasavage’s spine is severely bent and twisted. She walks doubled over and has a morphine pump surgically implanted near her spine to alleviate constant pain.

Deputy Sean Freeman, a 10-year Sheriff’s Office veteran, noted in his report Silasavage seemed slumped over the wheel and she did not slow down from her “consistent 57 mph” when he turned on his blue lights. So he initiated a maneuver that’s called Precision Immobilization Technique, or P.I.T., an aggressive technique used to stop fleeing vehicles by tapping their rear bumper and spinning them off the road. Use of the maneuver is at the officer’s discretion, according to the Sheriff’s Office’s pursuit guidelines.

Silasavage’s criminal defense attorney, Josh Deckard, said the P.I.T. maneuver should be used only when a fleeing driver could pose a public safety hazard or cause loss of life. Deckard spent 15 years in law enforcement in Palm Beach County and taught defensive driving techniques before becoming a lawyer.

Deckard said the use of the P.I.T. maneuver was unwarranted.

“Why is this not called deadly force when it’s used by a law enforcement officer?” he asked. “Out of 32 law enforcement agencies in Palm Beach County, nearly all prohibit chases like this except in the most deadly circumstances.”

Deckard went on to explain that the P.I.T. maneuver should be used only in situations such as bank robbery pursuits or where firearms have been used.

Silasavage said she did not see Freeman’s lights and heard his siren only a few seconds before her vehicle was forced off the road. It wasn’t until hours later at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center that she realized what had happened.

“I thought my car had gone out of control,” she said.

She also was charged with possession of four oxycodone pills. She claims they were given to her a year ago by a friend and that she never has used that medication.

“I was so angry. I could not believe he did that while I was trying to pull over,” Silasavage said. “I can’t understand it. He said he was concerned we were close to a construction site, but that’s another four miles farther west.”

The Sheriff’s Office policy notes that “if in the judgment of the deputy, the fleeing vehicle must be stopped immediately to safeguard life and preserve the public safety, the P.I.T. maneuver may be used.”

None of those factors seem to apply in this case, on a quiet stretch of highway on a Sunday evening. If Silasavage really had been fleeing, why didn’t she speed up?

The Sheriff’s Office would not comment because Silasavage has retained legal counsel. Sheriff’s spokesman Mark Weinberg did say Freeman has a spotless driving record and an internal administrative review of the case has not altered the office’s view that his action was acceptable.

The Sheriff’s Office began using the P.I.T. maneuver in 2010, Weinberg said, and since then its use has accelerated from two cases a year to 13 so far in 2012.

The deputy’s actions seem like overkill to me. Even if he was concerned about an apparently impaired driver, why did he not simply pull in front of Silasavage to try to stop her?

“It’s ludicrous,” Silasavage said. “Fleeing and eluding? Ridiculous. Just take a look at me. Are you kidding? The inmates at Rock Road all fell about laughing when they heard what I’d been charged with. I was sitting in a wheelchair.”

Silasavage’s case has yet to go to court. Let’s hope some sanity prevails when it does.

Aggressive Traffic Stop – Which Caused Accident – Needs Greater Scrutiny is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Canandaigua, NY Police officer Nicole Kadien Arrested, Charged with DWI

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Davy V.

On Friday November 23, 2012, Ontario County, NY Sheriff’s deputies noticed a car driving erratic, on North Main St. in Canandaigua, failing to keep right and not signaling to indicate lane change.

So, they pulled the vehicle over.

Behind the wheel was 28 year old Nicole Kadien, a Canandaigua, NY Police officer.

Deputies quickly determined Kadien was drunk.

They then arrested her and charged her with DWI.

Canandaigua, NY Police officer Nicole Kadien is just one more example of a disturbing double standard that exists, where those who take a sworn oath to uphold the law, end up breaking the law themselves.

I wonder how many DWI arrests officer Kadien has made in her approx. 8 year career with the CPD.

An even better question is how many times has officer Kadien got behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, and never got caught?

Canandaigua Police Chief Jon Welch said Kadien is on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation by his department.

I’m not sure if the Ontario County, NY Sheriff’s deputies who pulled Kadien over knew she was a police officer before they arrested her, but if they did, then they deserve a hand for treating Kadien just like any other citizen, and for not giving her any preferential treatment or ‘above the law’ breaks simply because of her law enforcement background.

After calling the Canandaigua, NY Police department asking for comment on officer Nicole Kadien’s DWI arrest, a receptionist revealed an interesting bit of information…

Apparently, there is a Sgt. Kadien who is the department’s Public Information Officer, or “PIO.”

A quick Google search of Sgt. Kadien, did show that Canandaigua Police do have a Sgt. Scott Kadien in their department.

When I asked the receptionist if there is any relation between the Sgt. Kadien and officer Nicole Kadien, it was clear she wanted to stay as far away from that question as possible.

Since NO media outlet in or around the Rochester, NY area has requested the booking photo of Canandaigua, NY Police officer Nicole Kadien, who was arrested on DWI charges Friday, November 23rd, I decided I would file a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request myself.

The way I look at it if a regular citizen, especially an African-American or Latino is arrested and charged with a crime, his or her mugshot is splattered throughout the television news channels and on the internet.

And so should Canandaigua, NY Police officer Nicole Kadien’s mugshot.

So that everyone, but especially the good, hardworking, tax paying citizens of Canandaigua, NY can get a good look at officer Kadien’s drunk face in her mugshot, and see just who they have on their police force…

A cop who broke the law by driving drunk, and in doing so, put innocent lives at risk.

 

Follow me on twitter  https://twitter.com/davyvara

Canandaigua, NY Police officer Nicole Kadien Arrested, Charged with DWI is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Arrested For Recording Hawthorne Police

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

This individual was arrested for recording Hawthorne Police Officer Gabriel Lira and spent four days in jail.

Public officials have no expectation of privacy.

Arrested For Recording Hawthorne Police is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Video message from Mapuche nation

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Every year on Thanksgiving, a sunrise ceremony at Alcatraz Island (famous as home to a US military prison and then federal prison until 1963) brings indigenous peoples from many parts of the globe as well as local supporters to celebrate the 1969 indigenous takeover of Alcatraz and ongoing indigenous resistance movements.

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition was thankful to have the opportunity to meet and speak with Ariel Traipi Huilipan, a representative from the Mapuche nation in Chile, who participated in the sunrise ceremony and spoke with us about the ongoing Mapuche prisoner hunger strike (that we mentioned last month).

As Huilipan explained, the striking Mapuche prisoners are being accused of terrorism – an allegation that he calls “unfounded” and said hasn’t been proven in any court, whether local or international. Rather, Huilipan said that Mapuches are being targeted in order for the Chilean government to get access to raw materials, which they are not willing to give up: “Respect the earth. We only have one.”

Detailed news about the Mapuche prisoner hunger strikes has been hard to come by. Below is part of a press release, dated November 23rd, 2012, and translated to English. Access the full press release HERE.

We communicate to the Mapuche Nation and general public opinion the following:

The CAM Mapuche Political Prisoners reaffirm their compromise with the hunger strike that began this past Wednesday, November 14th, until the final consequences.

This new mobilization pretends to denounce the following:

-          Our pu peñi [Brothers] that have been persecuted and unjustly convicted through the application of the Antiterrorist Law, the use of “Secret Witnesses” and other devices in order to be sentenced to 8 and 15 years in prison respectively.

-          We were doubly convicted by two different Courts, one Civil and the other Military, violating the principle of “NON BIS IN IDEM.” Being convicted to 3 and 4 years by Civil Justice when we had already been acquitted on the same charges (with Prosecutor Elgueta) through the Military Court.


Young Man Ordered to Attend Church For Ten Years

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Originally shared at the Huffington Post, an Oklahoma judge ordered a young man to attend church for ten years.

A district judge in Oklahoma who sentenced a 17-year-old boy to 10 years of church attendance is standing by his sentence as the right thing to do — even if it may not have been the constitutional thing to do.

Judge Mike Norman gave Tyler Alred a 10-year deferred sentence for DUI manslaughter. Alred was driving a Chevrolet pickup in the early morning hours of December 4, 2011 when he hit a tree. His passenger and friend, 16-year old John Dum, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The church requirement is just one of the conditions that Norman placed on Alred’s deferred sentence. The judge also ordered him to finish high school and complete welding school. Both Alred’s attorney and the victim’s family agreed to the terms of the sentence.

Norman said the church requirement is something he has done in the past, especially in child support cases. He has never done it for a manslaughter charge.

Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the ACLU, said the requirement to attend church is a “clear violation of the First Amendment.”

“It’s my understanding that this judge has recommended church in previous sentences, and I believe that goes too far, as well,” Kiesel said. “This, however, actually making it a condition of a sentence, is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”

Norman said he didn’t believe his sentence would pass a legal challenge — but he doesn’t believe either side will seek an appeal.

“Both families were satisfied with the decision,” Norman said in an interview. “I talked to the district attorney before I passed sentence. I did what I felt like I needed to do.”

In order to challenge the constitutionality of the church attendance requirement, an individual or organization must show that it has legal standing to do so. Kiesel said the ACLU is considering what options they have.

“If the court or the district attorney attempts to enforce this requirement, we will look at possible ways to intervene,” Kiesel said. “I know the boy agreed to this, but is someone facing a judge in open court really making a voluntary decision? Government officials should not be involved in what is a very personal choice.”

The Rev. Bruce Prescott, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said he is sure the sentence doesn’t pass constitutional muster, but he is equally worried about the spiritual ramifications.

“I’m a minister,” Prescott said. “I want people to go to church, but it’s not helpful for a judge to sentence someone to church. What will the judge do if the young man changes his affiliation in the next few years? Will he be allowed to switch to a mosque or become an atheist? Religion is not a tool of the state, and it’s certainly not for the state to use as a tool of rehabilitation.”

Norman said he has received phone calls on both sides of his decision.

“One gentleman from Missouri left a message on my phone. He said judges can’t order people to go to church. People are calling from all around the country. I live in the Bible Belt, though. The Bible is still alive down here; churches are still open. I’m sure those people are right, but they’re going to have to do what they want to do.”

Kiesel said he is especially concerned in this case because the judge admits to making a decision he knows is not legal.

“The Constitution is not exercised at your discretion,” he said. “You take an oath to uphold it all the time, not just sometimes.”

What are your thoughts about this situation?

Young Man Ordered to Attend Church For Ten Years is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Texas Cop Takes Pride in Kneeing Teen in Head on Video

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The following was originally posted by Carlos Miller at Photography is Not a Crime.

To this cop’s credit, he didn’t have a problem being video recorded.

In fact, he took pride in it, sticking his face in the camera and spouting his name and badge number to ensure the citizen had captured him ramming his knee into the head of a 17-year-old boy who was already under control by another officer.

“You got it on tape”? Arnold! 654!”

But if he acts this way on camera, you can only imagine how he acts off camera.

“Blink wrong,” he kept telling the teen in custody.

Meanwhile, the other more passive cop walked over to the citizen with the camera and told him to put it down.

Texas Cop Takes Pride in Kneeing Teen in Head on Video is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights