We All Have Rights

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Victor Taglia shared this post for the second portion of the Bitcoin-Fueled Content Contest.

Too often do guilty lawbreakers go free because of a technicality. Even though I dislike it just as much as the next person, it does not mean I do not support it, because in fact, I do. If a person’s rights are violated, they have been violated. It does not matter who the person is or what the person has done. People who are coerced into testimonies should not be put in jail based on that testimony because more often than not, those coerced testimonies are false and the person is innocent.

In an infamous 1991 rape-murder case in Chicago, three teenage boys were arrested for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old southwest suburban girl. Harsh interrogation tactics were used against them and they were ultimately coerced into signing a false confession. One boy was told he would go home right after he signed this piece of paper. Another was told that if he didn’t sign it, he would die in jail. In the end each had a confession to a crime they did not commit and were sentenced on those statements alone, even though the DNA evidence said otherwise. Each of those men lost 27 years of his life for a crime he did not commit.

In America, rights are everything. As long as rights are being violated, nothing is going to happen to lawbreakers. However, there is a way to stop innocent people from going to jail and guilty people from getting out. Stop coercing statements and violating people’s rights! If that were to happen, innocent men would never be put in jail and guilty men would never be let out. But because that is not going to happen, guilty men will keep being let out of jail on technicalities because even though what they did was wrong, their rights were still violated and that will not be tolerated.

Story mentioned above:
90 minutes video – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-the-false-confession-capital/5/
Innocentproject.org article – http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Three_Men_from_Cook_County_Illinois_Exonerated_of_1991_Rape_and_Murder_Exonerations_of_Two_Others_to_Follow.php

Victor Taglia

We All Have Rights is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Ademo has Trial Set for Wiretapping Charges – AGAIN!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Last Friday I got an email from Brandon Ross, my awesome pro-bono attorney, who informed me that Michael Valentine – who works as the District Attorney for Hillsborough County – has charged me with three felony wiretapping charges. Yes, these are the exact same charges as I was previously convicted of but were overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this month. Below is the document that was sent to Brandon, then me:

Michael Valentine

Michael Valentine

Notice of Jury Trial, 2014-02-20

Some might call this double jeopardy, while (some) lawyers claim the system is working as it should and many think Michael (the DA) would be insane to go through with this second trial. Yet, having spent enough time with Michael I feel comfortable saying that he’s not a man of principle, has little to no interested in doing what’s right and probably has no say how far this case goes. Why? Because he’s just an errand boy.

Nevertheless, this won’t be the same trial it was the first time around. I’m done playing in the state’s playground with their lopsided rules and lack of common sense. Nope, I (and many others) have already shown that a court room is the last place you’ll find justice in this world. So even if Michael doesn’t snap out of his puppet controlled life and simply drop the charges, Brandon and I will work to end this case quickly.

And it should be very interesting, considering the state’s hand is exposed (they have to prove my state of mind per the Supreme Court Ruling) and one of the three witnesses is now a FORMER state employee. Yep, the principle (Mary Ellen McGorry) resigned after a secrete investigation. I’d also be willing to bet that she isn’t the same witness, willing to appease her former state employed colleagues, as she was when taking the stand against me in our first trial.

Depending how far this goes, I may put together a legal fundraiser but I’m going to wait and see if Michael does something right in his life first, as well as using my own personal funds to start the process. Yet, the state has more resources than I, so some assistance might be needed. Or feel free to give your local DA, Michael Valentine, a call. His details are below. Until my next update, remember, badges don’t grant extra rights.

Michael G. Valentine – (603) 627-5605
Hillsborough County Attorney’s Offices, 300 Chestnut Street, Manchester, NH 03101

Ademo has Trial Set for Wiretapping Charges – AGAIN! is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

DEA Cop Joins Marijuana Industry

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

I wholeheartedly believe that most – like 90% – of the issues facing policing today (like double standards and lack of accountability to name two) will continue because the only real solution is to change the way the institution of protection is funded. Currently, that’s via taxation and, sadly, people believe they have to pay their taxes, or do so out of fear of being jailed for not paying taxes.

Below is a story that highlights how I believe we can actually change the profession of ‘protecting and serving.’ I’ve long stated that nothing will change with police until you provide those who currently work within the system an alternative. It was one of the points I was trying to get across during my “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit this past weekend.

In the story below, former DEA agent Patrick Moen states he quit his job with the DEA to work with a marijuana investment firm.  Hopefully this provides some of the LEO’s out there a little motivation to take their skills directly to those who need them. It seems Patrick is much happier helping people protect their property instead of being a part of an endless cycle that perpetuates endless violence.

Story from RT.com:

The chief of operations at the United States Drug Enforcement Agency said only last week that increased efforts as of late to legalize marijuana across the country is scaring his fellow officials at the DEA. Others, however, have a much different take.

Just last Wednesday, the DEA’s James L. Capra told members of the Senate that the emerging pro-pot trend is “reckless,” “irresponsible” and “scares us.”

Former DEA agent Patrick Moen isn’t in the same boat. After over a decade of working with the federal government to put away drug dealers, Moen recently abandoned his job at the DEA in order to pursue a career with Privateer Holdings, a Seattle, Washington-based investment firm that specializes in the budding marijuana industry.

Since 2010, Privateer has been putting money into the hands of start-ups that are looking to work their way up in the legal weed business. Moen just recently left the DEA after more than 10 years, and since November has been Privateer’s managing director of compliance and their senior counsel.

“I saw this as an amazing opportunity to be a part of the team that’s helping to create this industry,”Moen, 36, told Reuters“I don’t really feel like it’s the other side.”

Maybe Moen’s right, but there’s no doubt it’s something at least a little different for the long-time cop. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent five-and-a-half years working as a law enforcement officer around Buffalo, New York, and then signed on for what became a decade as a DEA under the Department of Justice starting in 2003. Before calling it quits, he had managed to hold high-positioned jobs in both Washington and Oregon supervising teams of drug enforcement agents.

“Over the course of years I realized that the targeting of marijuana was not an effective use of resources. There was no ‘aha’ moment. It was a steady evolution involving discussions with friends and colleagues,”he told the Seattle Times last month.

Then, Moen told the paper, “the general dysfunction of the federal government” helped him consider new career options.

Read More….

Here’s another guy (video below) who’s taking orders from customers and not politicians. I think more LEO’s will come around as the government goes further into debt, continues to put officers in more dangerous situations and as people in general lose faith in the system.

DEA Cop Joins Marijuana Industry is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Hey NYPD Employees – Go Frisk Yourself!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Jacob and I are soon heading to NYC for the second stop of the Police Accountability Tour, this covering this issue isn’t just timely, but relevant to our own efforts.

If you’re in greater NYC connect & share ideas with others who think stop & frisk unjust on Wed., Aug 21, 2013 at Theatre 80, 80 St. Marks St., Manhattan. The event is free. http://www.theatre80.net/node/2896

NYPD employees have in total, done over 2,000,000 “stop & frisks” to inhabitants. On Monday, Aug. 12th a judge said the practice was unconstitutional and mandated that over 1,000 employees wear cameras. Will that change anything?

Learn about & support the Police Accountability Tour
http://copblock.org/tour
http://wepay.com/donate/patour2013

Learn about & start stacking Fine Silver Quarters by Suns of Liberty Mint
http://sunsoflibertymint.com

Sources used in video:

Hey NYPD Employees – Go Frisk Yourself! is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

(Video) Chew Spitting Cop Harrasses People In Park

Monday, July 8th, 2013

 

Riverside, CA

(Video) Chew Spitting Cop Harrasses People In Park is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

When Policing Becomes Harassment

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

stopandfrisk-nypd-copblock

When Policing Becomes Harassment: Why the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program is unconstitutional

jacobsullum-reason-copblock

by Jacob Sullum

 Reason July, 2013

.

The first time David Floyd was stopped and frisked, on a Friday afternoon in April 2007, he was walking down Beach Avenue a few doors from his house in the Bronx. Two police officers confronted him, demanding to know who he was, where he was going, what he was doing, and whether he was carrying any weapons. Floyd, at the time a freelance film editor and now a medical student, presented his driver’s license and explained that he was walking home.

Unsatisfied, one of the officers searched Floyd, feeling under his shirt and inside his pants pockets. He found nothing illegal. Testifying last March in federal court, Floyd said the incident left him feeling “frustrated [and] humiliated, because it was on my block where I live, and I wasn’t doing anything.”

Floyd’s experience seems to be typical of the 5 million or so street stops recorded by the New York Police Department in the last decade. Police almost never discover guns, and nearly nine times out of 10 they do not make an arrest or even issue a summons. The class action lawsuit that bears Floyd’s name persuasively argues that such unjustified harassment of innocent people violates the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

nypd-stopandfrisk-copblock-2

“Just doing their job”…. right.

The legal basis for the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program is supposed to be a 1968 Supreme Court decision arising from a police encounter quite different from the ones described by Floyd and the many other New Yorkers, overwhelmingly black or Latino, who are hassled by cops for no apparent reason every year. The case, Terry v. Ohio, involved a Cleveland detective who saw two men take turns walking back and forth in front of a store, peering into the window, about a dozen times, conferring with each other between trips.

The detective surmised that the two men were casing the store, which they planned to rob along with a third man who joined them later. Confronted by the detective, who asked for their names, the three men “mumbled something,” whereupon the officer grabbed one of them and patted down his overcoat, finding a revolver in the breast pocket; one of the other men was also carrying a revolver in his overcoat. The Supreme Court said the detective’s actions were consistent with the Fourth Amendment because he reasonably suspected that the men were engaged in criminal activity and that they were armed.

The track record of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program suggests that its officers’ suspicions of criminal activity are frequently less than reasonable, since they turn out to be right only 12 percent of the time. That impression is reinforced by the forms that officers fill out after these encounters, which rely heavily on all-purpose excuses such as “furtive movements” and “high crime area” to justify stopping people.

When she certified Floyd v. City of New York as a class action last year, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin noted that in 2009 “officers listed no coherent suspected crime” on more than a third of the forms. She also observed that “for every sixty-nine stops that police officers justified specifically on the basis of a suspicious bulge [from 2004 through 2009], they found one gun.”

As the number of stop-and-frisk encounters initiated by the NYPD grew from about 100,000 in Michael Bloomberg’s first year as mayor to almost 700,000 in 2011, the share of stops yielding guns fell from 0.38 percent to 0.033 percent. Bloomberg says that trend demonstrates that program is working, because “the whole idea…is not to catch people with guns; it’s to prevent people from carrying guns.”

If so, the policy is plainly inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment rulings, which do not allow random searches aimed at deterring crime. It is telling that Bloomberg, confronted by the argument that his beloved stop-and-frisk policy is unconstitutional, responds by insisting that it works. Rights are not contingent on the effectiveness of the police tactics that violate them.

___________________________________

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When Policing Becomes Harassment is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Threatened with Obstruction for Filming Police in Goshen, Ohio.

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Submitted by Kameron Kolding

The first video is from a few months ago I saw red and blues up at the front of my trailer park. I decided to get my camera and go filming. The officer approaches and tries to force me to leave – the video speaks for itself.

The second video was from a few weeks ago, and it was the same scenario -

Thanks for viewing.

 

Threatened with Obstruction for Filming Police in Goshen, Ohio. is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Harassed by Police and Charged with Crimes for Legal Possession and Sale of Knives

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Submitted by Jeremy McInnis

I live in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, in Eastern Canada. I work 7 days a week and adhere to the laws to the best of my ability. On the weekends I get up at 6AM and travel into the city (Halifax) to operate a small booth at a weekend market. Among other things I sell swords and knives, all of which are shipped into the country legitimately. I pay all duties, brokerage, taxes, etc. Customs is able to check these items at will, and they usually do.

On April 13th, 2013 three police officers entered the weekend market and told me that my knives “looked to be prohibited.” They had no search warrant but removed me from the booth and proceeded to search from one end to the other. I was patted down and my SA pocket knife (legal) was taken. I told them I use it to open packages, boxes, and such. The knives in question, that got their manties in a bunch, were 23 folding knives with a spring assisted opening, 9 novelty pocket knives with a 2” blade in which the handle looks like a bullet, 2 Cane Swords, and 13 Kubotans.

In the end they left with 40 items, all of which they deemed weapons. I advised them the law indicates a knife or any other object is not a weapon unless it can be proven it is meant to be used as a weapon. I told them the knives were not prohibited weapons as they are listed in the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency – basically out ATF and homeland Security wrapped up into one) Memorandum D19-13-2 as being EXEMPT from being prohibited.

They confiscated the 40 items and told me they would be in contact to let me know if or what the charges would be. They walked out the door with $1,600.00 worth of my products. That’s not just pocket money or mad money. That’s my mortgage payment, car payment, groceries, power bill, etc.

Over the next week I studied the Criminal Code of Canada, The CBSA (Federal Police Agency) Memorandum D19-13-2,  and conducted research to ensure I had not broken the law. I spoke with 4 CBSA Agents, one of which is the Eastern Canada, weapons and prohibited weapons specialist. I also spoke with 2 criminal law attorneys. Both advised me that under these circumstances, there is no way I could be charged.

Relieved, I contacted the officer in charge and advised him of the law. I sent them copies of the Criminal Code with the related laws highlighted, a copy of the D19-13-2 with the related parts highlighted, and even a copy of a case file from Ontario where the exact same thing happened to a man and the Judge found that the man did not do anything illegal and that the knives were in fact not illegal.

I still had not been charged with anything at this point. People tell me to leave it alone, but I am unable to. We shouldn’t live in a police state. If I allowed this to happen, what’s to stop them from walking into our homes and taking whatever they want?

The next day, I received an e-mail from the officer advising me that I was being charged and should turn myself in. I went into the station and was put in a cell. I was printed and photographed and placed in an interrogation room. An officer advised me of the charges, gave me a court date, and told me that if I did not show up a warrant would be put out for my arrest.

The charges are as follows:

  • Concealed Weapon 90(1) CC – refers to carrying a “weapon”, prohibited device, concealed. I concealed nothing on me or in my shop. The knives were on a shelf behind my counter.
  • Possession of Prohibited Weapons 91(2) CC – refers to unlawful possession of prohibited weapons. None of the items are prohibited under the Canadians Criminal Code and are actually listed as exempt from being prohibited in the CBSA D19-13-2. That said a knife in of itself is not by definition a weapon unless it is proven that this is its intended use.
  • Possession to Traffic 100(2) CC – This one scares me as it appears that if the court somehow finds that these knives are prohibited it states that the minimum punishment is 3 years in prison.

I’m a 41-year-old who stands to lose everything. If I end up with a criminal record because of a cop’s conscious disregard of the law, I will not be able to travel outside of the country for at least a decade after my probation, as these are indictable offenses. I could end up in prison for 3 to 10 years.

Honestly, I think this whole thing has happened because the cops are pissed off that I called him out on their bullshit. It has nothing to do with enforcement of the law for them. It has nothing to do with protecting the public.

Cops are corrupt, egotistical, megalomaniacs that for the most part border on sociopathic tendencies. They are corrupt and lie even when they know you haven’t done anything wrong. Cops are the real criminals. As far as I am concerned, 3 police officers committed armed robbery when they entered my store and stole my property. They simply used their uniforms and lies about the law as their cover.

I will now be aggressively promoting your organization and website. It’s terrible the things that people are subjected to in the name of “the law”. But it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in standing up to it.

Harassed by Police and Charged with Crimes for Legal Possession and Sale of Knives is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Mind your own buisiness

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

speak no, hear no, see noCop Blocker! Should be Cock Blocker. People and groups like yours are a key reason why the criminal element and terrorists are able to exist in our society with the knowledge that they can push the law to the limits and get away with certain situations. You should be worried about the criminal element and it’s intentions to what crime they are getting ready to plan on commiting or going to commit. But thanks to you and your group of idiots that like to go against the people that protect you cops and public servants have to have eyes behind their heads to watch their back not only from the criminals but from groups like yours that just adds to their already stressful situations & job. So why don’t you find a terrorist cell to watch and maybe you be of some use to the citizens of the united states. Thank you. A concerned member of law enforcement in Connecticut
Submitted by John Q Citizen

John Q. Citizen is entitled to his opinion, and we thank him for his post.  This site

Cock  

Copblock.org, and others, are a venue, which allows for all opinions to be expressed, debated, and pursued.  I disagree with John Q. in his assessment, however I welcome the fact he’s chosen to express it.  For John Q. and the public at large, be sure to film interactions with law enforcement for mutual safety and public dissemination.  I’ve no doubt we’re in agreement, Badges don’t grant extra rights.

Mind your own buisiness is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Crime Lab Scandal Could Set 34,000 Convicts Free

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

This article is brought to you courtesy of Station.6.Underground

The Massachusetts legal system is reeling in the wake of a 27-count indictment against one of their leading laboratory technicians. 35-year-old drug lab worker Annie Dookhan has been accused of tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

The full impact of her alleged crimes may never be known, and cannot be overstated. In this day and age of scientific law-enforcement, with so much of the public convinced that laboratory work is the “holy grail” in any criminal prosecution, the integrity of those labs is the pinnacle of public trust. It has become the very bedrock of how we even define justice itself, in so many cases, in this modern era. Popular television shows reinforce this idea that laboratory evidence is irrefutable and absolute. Prosecutors are wont to nurture this sentiment among jurors.

Of course, any reasonable person might consider that even in science there are errors from time to time. With DNA evidence for example, we sometimes hear the “odds” of accuracy. Sometimes as accurate as one in a hundred-thousand. Sometimes though, huge odds are defied as in the case of lab analyst Kathryn Troyer, who discovered a near-match defying 1-in-113 billion odds between two felons in the same state.

Accuracy of DNA “Matches” Questioned

What happens though, when we throw in a more human element to the science? Something that undermines even the very best science. Personally, I never really thought too much about it, but always sort of assumed that the relationships between lab staff and the legal system were kept sterile, to a large degree. I assumed that some measures were in place to ensure lab workers were not only ethically impartial, but also that systems of anonymity and lab-controls were in place to reinforce the ethical standard. I even assumed that lab work was double-checked. In other words, I foolishly believed in the system and never thought that something like this could happen. I certainly never thought I would ever see a case of this nature, of such magnitude.

Annie Dookhan began her career at the state’s Jamaica Plains drug lab in 2003. In that time, she has handled evidence in more than 34,000 cases. Any convictions stemming from evidence she processed are now likely to be overturned. This has called into question the integrity of the entire lab, and countless more cases. The lab has since been shut down and numerous people have been fired or resigned, but not before the damage was done.

In June of 2011, she was caught improperly removing drugs from evidence storage in 60 different cases, but apparently her supervisors did nothing to stop her from being involved in more drug cases after that. Later that year she wrote in a private email to Norfolk Assistant ­District Attorney George ­Papachristos, “I have full access to anything and everything, one of the advantages, so some of the other chemists are resentful of me.”

The long and often quite personal email exchanges with Papachristos have been closely scrutinized and seen by many as unethical from both a professional and personal standpoint. Dookhan’s marriage has been on the rocks since her husband uncovered emails back in 2009. The prosecutor has not been charged with any crime himself though, and it is not known if the flirtatious banner ever led to more than a handful of personal meetings. Nonetheless, it does show a much closer relationship than one might expect between a prosecutor, and a lab technician who is expected to be impartial. So much so, that Papachristos resigned from the DA’s office.

Clearly, from her own words, impartiality was never even something she considered. She did not see her job as being a technician who processes evidence, but rather her stated goal was “getting [drug dealers] off the streets.” It should go without saying here, that this was certainly not her job as a lab technician. Nevertheless she was all too happy to do favors for prosecutors, while shunning defense attorneys even when she was required to give evidence to them. She saw herself as part of the prosecution team, as did many prosecutors themselves, with one declaring “No no no!!! I need you!!!” when Dookhan said she would not be able to testify in a case.

Dookhan is alleged to have lied on the witness stand in court about having a Master’s degree in chemistry, and to have sent  emails giving herself grandiose job titles she simply did not have. In correspondence with various agencies she identified herself  with self-appointed titles like “special agent of operations” or “on-call terrorism supervisor.” She even went so far as to create fake email conversations with a US attorney, whose name she misspelled, and forwarded to other recipients.

Assuming of course that all of these allegations are true, one has to wonder how such an obviously pathological liar could go on for so long without anyone bothering to consider that something like this might happen. Police and prosecutors were clearly willing to look the other way and even cultivate a close relationship with Dookhan, to encourage her, in order to secure easy convictions. As of yet, there are no criminal charges against anyone else aside from the lab-tech herself, but it seems clear that ethical and moral obligations were tossed aside in favor of making their jobs easier.

As a result, hundred of millions of dollars have been wasted. Entire careers have been built to be little more than sandcastles. Tens of thousands convicted felons are now poised to flood the streets of Massachusetts, then out across the country. If it was their intent to actually make the public safe, then the government certainly failed miserably in that mandate. The government has utterly failed in its task of keeping people safe because it has committed countless acts of violence and imprisonment upon potentially innocent people.

It may be all-too-easy to assume that all or even most of these convicts were actually guilty, but that simply does not hold up to the facts, and certainly carries no weight against the core values of our entire justice system. In the face of reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence is paramount. Without these standards, we might just go ahead and just give the police a license to kill at will and close down the courts.

Understanding this, we must assume now that the government sent more than 34,000 innocent people to prison on the word of just one deluded lab technician. That my friends, is more dangerous than any drug dealer. Even if only in our hearts we assume that just some of these convicts were actually innocent, imagine for a moment that one of them happened to be you, your spouse, your parent or child. Imagine for a moment how many lives have been irreparably laid to waste by the lies of just one woman, and a government that did not care. A government that in fact has a vested interest in securing more convictions even if they are not justified. A government that encouraged this woman to commit her crimes against the people. A government that presumes guilt of anyone who crosses into their sights, and has even dispatched agents to threaten the hundreds of inmates who have already been exonerated.

“We tell them, ‘Listen, we know what you were doing before and we’re watching you.’” -Boston Police Commissioner, Edward Davis

Perhaps the most frightening aspect to all of this is that this may only be the tip of the iceberg. This woman was clearly delusional and easily cultivated this relationship with prosecutors. It certainly raises the question of how prevalent this sort of thing is throughout the country, especially in labs and agencies where this sort of thing is likely done more discreetly. If there are no practical standards in place to prevent something like this from happening, how could we possibly trust that this sort of thing is not rampant? How many lab workers compromise cases for monetary gain, for romantic favors, for promotions, or to simply stroke their own ego? How many might even quietly carry on the work of a zealot in their own private war against people they see as evil?

Are we supposed to ignorantly believe that this is simply an isolated incident, one bad apple, and assume that it will never happen again? Are we honestly supposed to believe that some fear of the law will prevent lab-techs from committing these sorts of crimes, when the government itself benefits from these crimes?

If convicted, will Annie Dookhan be sentenced to as much time in prison as the innocent people she put there would have done?

For more, read here and here.

Crime Lab Scandal Could Set 34,000 Convicts Free is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights