Archive for the 'police harassment' Category

Do The Right Thing…

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Gary Canterbury shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

I was in a 25 MPH school zone driving my “slammed out” tuner sport compact ALL the cops know (it’s a small town). A woman in a mini-van came tearing around me doing no less than 45 MPH. I saw the nose of a police cruiser pop out from behind a local business where it was running a speed trap, lights on.

He was obviously going after the crazed bitch in the van. I slapped on my left turn signal and quickly moved into the left lane (4-lane highway) to allow him to exit and go after her. He jumped out, pulled in behind me, and hits the sirens. I pulled over. I WAS doing 25 MPH as indicated by the flashing school zone signs. He let the crazed woman continue down the road and pulled me over because of the car I was driving. He said it was because I made a “violent lane change.” I said, “I signaled, the lane was clear, and I pulled over TO LET YOU OUT TO CHASE THE CRAZY WOMAN.”

He said I was driving a “…type of car that’s often involved in illegal street racing.” He made me sit there for 10 minutes while people drove by waving (they know me) and laughing (my pals), before finally coming back up and handing me my license and papers back.

I then did a series of videos in Dothan, AL to show how the vehicle you drive can influence the behavior of the police. The local Fox affiliate came out and interviewed me after the videos grabbed some attention, as they showed officers ignoring speeders and aggressive drivers in favor of following me (doing the speed limit, using signals, obeying traffic laws); so much so that the Chief of Police held a press conference to announce an “…expanded enforcement detail” on the roads I had focused upon.

The following month, I was pulled over and/or followed for extended periods of time in 9 instances. In one of them, as I was sitting at a light waiting for it to change, a Titan truck pulled up next to me and started revving its engine. It then started “power braking,” smoke billowing off the tires as a Dothan Police cruiser rolled in behind me. The light turned green, the truck tore off at high speed…and the cop followed me into a Home Depot parking lot, sat there until I came out, and followed me for another 10 minutes until I left the city limits.

The following month, I was pulled over 13 times in Enterprise, AL, in what was obviously harassment. I was the President of the largest “street performance” car club in the area, “Shattered Concepts,” and was ‘flying’ our club banner on my rear window in perfect placement and size according to Alabama laws, so I’m easy to spot (along with the bright red car, the matching red-tinted windows). We would meet in a public parking lot every Friday and Saturday with approximately 30 vehicles (or more). The Enterprise, AL police would usually stop in and stand around talking with our members, as would many civilians. Because it’s a ‘smallish’ town, many of our members knew the officers who would stop. We were a regular attraction and had some very unique vehicles. If you were out cruising on a Friday or Saturday, our “car show” was a place to stop. One night, an unidentified Sergeant stopped and chewed out his officers for standing around. The pull-overs happened the rest of the month. I was never issued a citation, but was detained while they “ran my information” time and time again.

Eight members of our group were charged with “drag racing” one evening while leaving our gathering. They were all military members transiting the parking lot going back to base. They were two across, four deep in heavy traffic (30 MPH) and there were several video cameras running which clearly showed the traffic, the speedometers and the police “lighting them up.”

They were not permitted to admit video evidence, or any evidence, during their subsequent hearing in Enterprise Traffic Court. The judge told them “I don’t need to see that.” $350 fine each.

This harassment continued until I witnessed a fleeing armed robbery suspect who had successfully eluded police, turned my vehicle around and followed them while my lovely wife phoned 911 and we guided the police to the residence the vehicle finally stopped at. I went from “zero” to “hero” in .01 seconds.

Gary Canterbury

Do The Right Thing… is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

LAPD Harassment

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Ricky Pinzon shared the following via CopBlock.org’s submit page:

I was leaving work when I came into contact with Officer Bridges of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LEO saw that I had a container in my hand and assumed that it was an open alcoholic beverage. The beverage was concealed inside of a paper bag, and was not opened.

LEO Bridges said, “Come here,” and I chose to attempt to avoid contact with LEO Bridges; I attempted to walk away. LEO Bridges grabbed me and used unnecessary force, grabbing my jacket and demanding my ID. At the time of LEO Bridges’ assault, I informed him that I did not want him touching me. He then demanded that I show my ID to him to “prove’” that I am of legal drinking age. Being that California does not have an “ID yourself” law, I was not required to comply with this request. I demanded that he cite or show some kind of law that provides I must provide ID for carrying an unopened can of beer.

At this point, LEO Bridges detained me, unlawfully. Other LAPD LEOs arrived on the scene, including Sgt. Skinnor. I had a prior incident with Sgt. Skinnor, in August, because I was filming her and she didn’t like that. I reminded her that we’d met before and she acknowledged that she’d had contact with me in the past. At this point, the sergeant should have used her discretion and allowed me to leave the scene; instead, she threatened to use whatever force was needed to finish conducting their investigation.

Instead of respecting my constitutional rights, this officer allowed my rights to be violated. They took my ID and ran it through their database in hopes of find a warrant, etc. After determining that I was not a wanted criminal, my ID was handed back and I left. I was very hostile towards these officers, and the abusive and intimidating tactics used by these LEOs helped contribute to my irate behavior.

LAPD Harassment is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Feeding the Homeless in Raleigh is Apparently Illegal

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Michael Torbert shared the following article via CopBlock.org’s submit page.Police-CopBlock

This morning, we showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.

Today officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested.

Our partner church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.

In the past, we have had a good working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department. We knew that we could not use the park itself, as doing so required a permit, but that it was fine if we wanted to set up on the sidewalk, as long as we did not block the sidewalk and cleaned up after ourselves. We have operated, unmolested, under this assumption for the last six years.

By the way, each permit to use the park costs $800. Yes, eight hundred dollars. That would cost us $1,600 every weekend, and the officer we spoke to said the City likely wouldn’t approve it anyway.

Now, however, we are hearing that we can’t distribute food at the park, period. No representative from the Raleigh Police Department was willing to tell us which ordinance we were breaking, or why, after six years and countless friendly and cooperative encounters with the Department, they are now preventing us from feeding hungry people.

When I asked the officer why, he said that he was not going to debate me. “I am just telling you what is. Now you pass out that food, you will go to jail.”

What We Will Do

Simple: we will feed people. I am, after all (however imperfectly), a follower of Jesus, who said himself that when we ignore hungry people, we ignore him. The only question that remains is where we will do it.

We knew that with the upcoming revitalization of Moore Square, we would have to find alternative arrangements. We have been working to that end, but as the revitalization is currently unfunded, and has no start date, we felt we had some time.

Regardless, we will find a venue in the downtown core to feed people. We are committed to this and to our people, and it will happen. If you have a private building or parking lot in the downtown core you are willing to let us use, please contact me by email at hugh@lovewins.info.

What We Won’t Do

We appreciate all the ways you have written in to suggest that we could subvert the system, but to do that only admits to the City of Raleigh that its argument is legitimate. We maintain we have done nothing wrong.

We feed people and have been doing so, and much more, for six years. On the weekends people have no where else to go other than the park because Wake County and/or the City of Raleigh offers no soup kitchens or other options on the weekends. None. There is no “official” place you can get a meal if you are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. You are left to your wits, and for the last six years, you could get a cup of hot coffee and a hot breakfast sandwich from us – because you could not get one from any tax funded location.

We have not hidden. Our work of bringing biscuits to the park has been mentioned in multiple full-page articles in the local paper over the years. We have had countless routine conversations with the police while doing this alleged illegal activity. We do not hide. And while, according to the City of Raleigh, it might be illegal to feed hungry people, it is most assuredly the right thing to do.

What You Can Do

Several things. While it was Raleigh Police Department that threw us out of the park and threatened to arrest us, we realize they are acting under orders. Ultimately, they serve the interests of the Mayor and the City Council. In the words of the officer in charge today, “You need to take it up with the City Council.”

And if history has taught us anything, it is, as Frederick Douglas said, that “power concedes nothing without demand.”

1. Below are the email addresses and phone numbers of the Mayor and of the City Council members. We encourage you to email them and ask A) why organizations, such as Love Wins Ministries, are being prevented from feeding people in the park, when the City of Raleigh has no means of or plans to feed them and B) encourage them to allow said feeding to continue.

Keeping in mind that we win over no one with anger or rudeness. Anger does not cast out fear – only love can do that.

* Out of town folks, call any and all of the City Council members.

* Raleigh residents, call the City Council member representing your district. You can find your district by entering your address here.

City Council At Large
Mary-Ann Baldwin – Email – 919-996-3050
City Council At Large/Mayor Pro Tem
Russ Stephenson – Email – 919-996-3050
District A
Randall Stagner – Email – 919-996-3050

District B
John Odom – Email – 919-996-3050
District C
Eugene Weeks – Email – 919-996-3050
District D
Thomas Crowder – Email – 919-996-3050
District E
Bonner Gaylord – Email – 919-996-3050
Mayor
Nancy McFarlane – Email – 919-996-3050

2. Post the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or any other social media outlets you have access to. Again, we have done nothing wrong, and have no desire to hide.

3. If you have contacts with people of influence (media, celebrities, etc.), please pass this story along to them or give them my email address – hugh@lovewins.info.

4. Stay up do date. The most current information will be on our Facebook page, which you can like to receive those updates automatically.

5. Pray for our friends who are hungry, and now have nowhere to eat. And pray for us, so that we do not lose our tempers and along with it, our soul. And pray for the officers and people in power, who are working against our goals.

Pray for all of us, in fact, because we all need it, and our liberation is bound up in each other.

As we know more, we will post it here. Thank you for everything.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/WTFRaleigh/web/index.html

Feeding the Homeless in Raleigh is Apparently Illegal is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Arrested While in Lawful Possession of Firearm

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Submitted by the Owner of “Your Second Chance Bail Bonds”

I am the owner of “Your Second Chance Bail Bonds.” I was involved in a recent case in Baltimore City, MD (Case# 813014033, formerly case# 6B02202178). This stemmed from an incident wherein officers from the Northern District, Robert Messner and Joseph Debronzo confiscated my carry concealed weapon permit and handgun on accusations that I was not a bail agent. I provided them my permit which noted on the back that I was in fact a bail agent. They detained me because they did not believe me. I also offered to provide my business’s federal identification number among other things, but they choose to arrest me regardless.

The officers also pointed out that the firearm I had in my possession was not registered to me. In Maryland, I do not believe it is illegal to possess a firearm that is not registered to the carrier, as long as the firearm is legally in the possession of the carrier. The firearm that I had in my possession was actually my girlfriend’s. We lived together at the time at my current address. We had the same exact firearms, and the only way to tell the difference between the two is by the serial number. We kept them in lock boxes at the time.

Ultimately, I was not found guilty. I believe the way these officers dealt with the situation was very unjust. I believe I was stereotyped because they made various comments about my age – specifically pointing out how young I was, as if I wasn’t capable of running such a business. It was extremely irresponsible of them to arrest me on very little evidence of what they believed was illegal. They did not attempt to investigate at all or to give me a fair chance of proving I was a bail agent.

In addition, they lied in their reports regarding this incident. When they wrote the paperwork explaining their interaction with me, they set forth various false and negative things about my character. As a result, the commissioner gave me a bail higher than the amount recommended by the state’s attorney. If these are the types of officers the police departments are producing, I am in fear of my life being in their hands. I am in fear that my child will face the same prejudiced actions that I was faced with for simply abiding by the law. I don’t understand how police can arrest someone with a concealed permit to carry just because they don’t happen to believe the carrier’s representations that they are carrying lawfully.

The Maryland State Police doesn’t hand out ccw’s without a strenuous background check provided by the FBI. On March 18th, 2013, I called the internal affairs to get an update about the hold on my property. Upon doing so, I talked to Sgt.Chung of the Internal Affairs and he told me that officer Joseph Debronzo was still holding my property, because my permit was still  under review. After a month of getting the run around Sgt. Chung has yet to resolve the matter.

It is extraordinarily unfair that a citizen may have charges pressed against them if they lie to an officer but it’s alright for an officer to lie to citizens and falsely arrest them without any type of consequences. It’s also unfair that they are holding my girlfriend’s firearm. She has also called the Baltimore city police department and got the same run around. The officers actually give bad attitudes as if we are wrong. The least that can happen is that they rightfully return her property. It’s amazing how easy and fast it is for an officer to violate your rights and take your property, but you have to wait months at a time to get your things back, let alone justice.

Arrested While in Lawful Possession of Firearm is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Entrapment at its best??

Friday, January 18th, 2013

By: Eric Pierson

Recently I drove from work to my home to find multiple officers sitting half a block from my home in different directions at approximately 2:45 am. I had broke no laws to warrant being pulled over. I tried to record the conversation with the officer that talked to me, but the audio wasn’t clear. At first, he said he pulled me over because he recognized me. All the windows on my vehicle are tinted, no possible way the officer could make me out in the dark. After I questioned that he said he recognized my white stalking cap from when he drove by my work and I was outside smoking. I explained to him that the stalking cap was in the truck all night and I was wearing a black ball cap all night.

Then he tried to tell me that he had a report from last week that I drove a black truck to work. This was the first time I had ever even drove the truck. Though I have no way of proving this, my work is an after hours club on the weekend and opens Wednesdays for 18 & up college parties. It is regularly harassed by the local police and they have openly said they want it shut down. I am the manager of this establishment and an obvious target.

They asked me many times to come out of the club for an alcohol test that I have never failed. This time being pulled over I demanded a legit reason for being pulled over and got none. I was told they were parked there waiting for me to come home though. I said the whole situation was ridiculous and they refused to do any alcohol tests. Instead, they charged me with DUI, on the bases that I had bloodshot eyes. Since then, all that accomplished was an increase in police traffic on a non-busy street around my start and end times. Their only other reason was that the officer said I smelled like alcohol. I showed him where a patron of the after hours club spilled his drink down the outside of my leg and agreed that I could smell of alcohol, but my breathe certainly does not.

Any thoughts or help on a way to beat this and get the harassment to stop?

This post was sent to CopBlock.org via our ‘submit a post’ tab, please consider sharing your encounters, ideas and tactics to hold police accountable by clicking here.

Eric, sadly when the police target you there is no other way to protect yourself than to record it, IMO, because if it comes down to your word against theirs, you’ll lost every time. I’d suggest keeping a camera in your car, getting some sort of live streaming app on your smart phone and submitting those video/audio recordings to CopBlock.org. This way those who feel the same way as you do about your harassment can par take in call floods, as well as sharing your content, to help you win in the court of public opinion. Or, even if they don’t back off, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you didn’t let their actions go unnoticed. 

Which is my second suggestion, not only for you but those who submit post in the future, be sure to get as much information about the officer as possible. Using the above story as an example, the reader has no idea what department this was, which officer or any information at all. Be as detailed as possible. If some of this information was there I’d consider calling the department to inquire about your treatment, but I can’t do what I don’t know.

What suggestions do you have for Eric? 

[Text in italics was written by Ademo]

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Entrapment at its best?? is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Corruption in Canada

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Submitted by Devan Lauzon, via CopBlock’s ‘Submit A Post

It has actually come to point where you can’t walk down the sidewalk without fear of the police stalking and harassing you. Here in socialism-land, Ontario specifically,all our bars close at 2AM every night. I live about 2 blocks from a local bar and was walking home one night. I had only had a few drinks and wasn’t really feeling to0 drunk, after all the night was still early.

On my walk home I was playing some tunes on my iPod when out of nowhere, a cop car started slowly following me. They did not stop, or ask me anything, they just followed me. When I turned around and stopped to see what was going on, they mentioned that they saw me leave the bar (I left a little early), and they did not want me to get hurt. I told them I could walk home myself, and that should have been the end of that. They kept trailing me, slowly. In hindsight, I should have just detoured around a side street, but instead I stopped again.

“Is there something I can help you with?” I ask, “otherwise I’ll be ignoring this.”

This time, the cops said nothing until I put my headphones back in and kept walking, at which point they tried to get my information. I told them where I lived and that if they wanted to see my home I was fine with that. “But,” I said, “If you’re checking to see if I’m TOO drunk, then move along because you’re making me nervous.” Unfortunately for me, this cop had a fucking complex, and decided to get out of the car and try to hold me down to get my information.

Being 20 years old, naive, and generally disrespectful towards a brute authoritarian presence, I did what any sensible free citizen would do: I fought back. I didn’t use punches, but I tried getting away from the officer. At this point, without even telling me why he’s detaining me, or reading me my rights, this dickhead starts punching me in the stomach, throws me to the ground and gives me two punches to the face. He and his partner, who was just watching the whole time, then kidnapped me into the back of their car, where they took me across town to the jail overnight. On the ride over though, I did give them a good mouthful about the NDAA, Obama’s record, the Fed, and the non-aggression principle. Like most cops, I think they were actively trying to ignore a citizen.

The worst was when we got to the station, because at that point I was held down by four officers who went through my pockets, even though I explicitly told them not to, then they ripped off my pants (seriously), and tossed me in a cell where three of them held me down, kneeing me in the chest while they ripped my shirt.

After keeping me there for 6 hours, they dropped me off on the front steps of the police station, and said, “Find your own way home.” They also gave me a 65 dollar “intoxicated in public” ticket. I WAS WALKING HOME, PEACEFULLY, DOWN THE SIDEWALK! Do you think there’s any accountability? I went back to the police station asking for the officers badge number and most officers told me they were closed and couldn’t help me.

This corruption and un-accountability is absurd, as is having a system that allows for this!

I ended up fighting the ticket in court, where you can choose to have the arresting officer present. The officer showed up to court, and then skipped out before the trial starts. The ticket was wiped by default because they had ZERO proof, but that cop never had to face up to anything. He just skipped out on court, a public official for heavens sake! I don’t think I’ll ever look at cops the same again, yet they think we should all respect them. Being an asshole doesn’t earn you respect.

Submitted by Devan Lauzon

Corruption in Canada is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Austin Bully Cop Jason Mistric Attempts to Intimidate Mom and Baby at Father’s Court Hearing

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Screen shot 2012 03 08 at 9.48.54 PM Austin Bully Cop Jason Mistric Attempts to Intimidate Mom and Baby at Father’s Court HearingThis article was written and submitted by Catherine Bleish

On Thursday March 8th at 2PM I attended John Bush and Matt Medina’s pretrial hearing for their arrest last winter for filming an officer.  That video is here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzL-admemJA

The hearing was reset, nothing special there, but what happened next was beyond strange.

As I’m seated on a bench in the hall outside the courtroom, the man who kidnapped John and Matt, Officer Jason Mistric (badge number #4856) sets down 4 pages of printouts containing facebook conversations about John and Matt’s arrest. Here are the docs he left: http://www.scribd.com/doc/84606517/max-rock-cop-jason-mistrick-creepy-stalker-arrest-john-bush

When I chased him down in the hallway and asked him about his action he says its “trash” then tries to have us kicked out of the public hallway.  Here is video of the end of that confrontation: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100180277474293

Next we spoke with the chief of police about the incident.  He kissed our baby and smiled as he made a copy of the facebook printouts assuring us he’d call John.  Here is that interaction : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100180286840523

When I looked closer at the printouts I realized the account he was logged into when he took the screenshots was an account I had conversed with a few weeks back.  In fact the account, “Max Rock”, was an account many of us thought was a cop because it was only commenting on recent Austin arrest videos and asking obvious questions, so of course, I had chatted him up trying to get info.  The conversation was WEIRD and ended with him saying he has many gigs of “screenshots”.  Here is that conversation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/84607087/Creepy-Stalker-Cop-Pretending-to-Be-Max-Rock-on-Facebook

He also chatted up Heather Fazio, I’ll add her conversation once she gives me permission.  I’m not sure what to make of it.  Is he stalking me?  Is he threatening our family?  Was he acting as a rogue officer or was this part of his work?  Creepy.  To the max.

Here is my recap right after the event: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100180311281543

Catherine Bleish, concerned mother and liberty activist

We will be updating this page as more information comes in.  There are also YouTube videos on the way. 

CopBlock Donate PowerPost Austin Bully Cop Jason Mistric Attempts to Intimidate Mom and Baby at Father’s Court Hearing

Austin Bully Cop Jason Mistric Attempts to Intimidate Mom and Baby at Father’s Court Hearing is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Yet More Professionalism

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Last March, a woman in Albany, New York filed a lawsuit against the city police department after being subjected to a humiliating public search in which an officer inserted two fingers into her vagina. The police had no probable cause for the search, and they found no drugs on the woman. After her case went public, others came forward with similar stories. The case also exposed big problems with the city’s Civilian Review Board. Contrary to city law, the city’s police apparently believe cooperating with the board’s investigations is optional, and have intimidated people–including the woman above–who file complaints from taking those complaints to the board.

It now also appears that the city’s sheriff’s department has engaged in a routine of racial profiling, harassment, and illegal searches going back 20 years at Albany’s main bus terminal. The department is facing a lawsuit from a man named Tunde Clement, who it should probably be noted does have a long history of drug offenses. But in this particular case, Clement was clean. Sheriff’s deputies confronted Clement as he was departing a bus, took him to the men’s bathroom, and searched him. When they found no drugs, they arrested him for “resisting arrest,” a charge that was later thrown out, given that you can’t arrest someone for “resisting arrest” if they haven’t committed a crime that should have resulted in arrest in the first place.

The police then strip-searched Clement, and made him squat in front of them. The claimed to have seen white powder on his anus So they took him to a hospital. Without his consent, they then administered drugs to sedate him, induced him to vomit, put a camera up his rectum, and took x-rays of him. Such drastic measures against the consent of a patient usually require officials to show some sort of imminent emergency. There was no such emergency with Clement. And still, no drugs. The hospital later sent Clement a bill for $6,800, and diagnosed him as having “hemorrhoids.”

The Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Interdiction Unit was already under scrutiny. It’s also facing a lawsuit from another officer whose thumb was shot off during a botched drug raid. An internal affairs investigation found that the drug unit was mismanaged and poorly supervised, and recommended discipline against the unit and its leader, Inspector John Burke.

No such action was ever taken.