Posts Tagged ‘Public Attorneys’

Miami-Dade Prosecutor Loses Landmark Right To Record Case In Federal Court

Monday, July 17th, 2017

A Florida man won the right to surreptitiously record police officers while making internal affairs complaints without the threat of prosecution when he defeated the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office (SAO) in a federal appeals court ruling.
Prosecutors tried to censor the citizen, who published his incriminating recording of a police chief.
A lower court erred by agreeing with Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle when she sent a written threat of prosecution under Florida’s wiretapping statute to Dr. Eric McDonough, for making a secret recording and publishing it on to YouTube, in a video which you can see below.
Federal judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said “the government’s threatened prosecution has no basis in the law,” vindicating an important right to record for the public.
Nineteen million Floridians will benefit directly from the published ruling.
And a police chief just lost his “get out of jail free” card from the local prosecutor with whom his department works.
The Homestead Police Department’s Chief Alexander Rolle, and internal affairs Officer Antonio Acquino, were under a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigation which stalled, when the SAO’s letter declared Dr. McDonough’s recording unlawful, and therefore inadmissible in court.
Now, criminal investigators will have to re-open the case against a Chief of Police desperate to cover up the crimes his department committed, by committing, even more, crimes against a citizen whose only crime, was filing a legitimate grievance over his treatment by a uniformed public official.
Even Miami’s largest police union boss thinks that the Chief belongs in jail:
“We are hoping to see some arrests out of this,” said John Rivera, president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents Homestead’s rank-and-file officers. “The chief should go to jail. The captain should go to jail. And [Aquino] should go to jail.”
Since then Dr. McDonough founded the True Homestead page on Facebook where

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EXCLUSIVE: Miami’s Top Prosecutor Busted Censoring Darren Rainey Protesters

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Miami-Dade County’s State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle is censoring at least 100 of her critics on Twitter, including a dozen accounts either named Darren Rainey or with the deceased man’s profile image.
We have pictures to prove it.
It all started when the prosecutor sent a tweet about freedom.
This exclusive report is based upon public records requested from the Miami-Dade SAO’s office under Florida’s Sunshine Law, including their social media policy, which as it turns out does not specify that a public official in their office has any allowance to censor citizens by blocking access to their public posts.
Miami residents are in an uproar after the veteran prosecutor decided not to charge Rainey’s captors at a state prison rife with abuse.
When government actors block critics on social media, it may violate both the state of Florida and federal constitution, both of which protect the right to petition the government.
State Attorney Fernandez-Rundle is facing intense public criticism after she declined to prosecute the four Florida state prison guards who left Darren Rainey – a non-violent offender – locked in a scalding hot shower with external temperature controls for over 90 minutes until he was found dead.
Rainey’s post-mortem body temperature was estiamted at 109 degrees.
The prosecutor’s office didn’t  initially wish to respond to our records request, writing, “We have no responsive records to your second request.”
But we shared an image provided by Navy Corpsman Daniel Suarez proving that Miami’s top prosecutor was censoring citizens, so they relented and delivered a dozen images, which may not even be the complete list.
“Florida public officials should always turn over these kinds of lists if they do in fact exist because they’re a matter of serious public interest,” says Faudlin Pierre, a Florida attorney who has filed suit to obtain social media records, “I commend the State Attorney for promptly releasing this critical document.”
Also,

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Texas Attorney General Begins Collecting Police Shooting Data For First Time

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the count of police shooting at citizens.
For the first time, the Texas Attorney General will begin collecting data on the numerous times cops fire at suspects due to legislation by the Texas House of Representatives.
The terse statement Texas Attorney General’s official website explains more:
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will be adopting and publishing reporting forms for Officer-Involved Shooting Incidents, as required by H.B. 1036, 85th Leg., R.S. (2015), which became effective September 1, 2015.  Until the OAG has adopted and published a final version of the form, and rules governing its completion and submission, all law enforcement agencies should begin using this interim form in accordance with the instructions contained therein.
Anyone who’s investigated a police shooting in Texas is familiar with the Texas AG’s office, as public records law in that state allows cops to deny every single request. Nearly every request in Texas is then forwarded to their Attorney General, who typically grants the requests which would otherwise require litigation, but still gives requestors a 45-90 day way to obtain any information.
It remains to be seen what the Texas Attorney General’s office will release from these police shooting forms.
The new “PEACE OFFICER INVOLVED INJURIES OR DEATH REPORT” form (embedded below) asks 13 different questions from simple ones like the reason for the call, ages and genders of those involved, but there’s one question sure to generate the most controversy and leave police scrambling to avoid reporting.
Lucky question number 7 reads:
7. INJURED OR DECEASED PERSON: Carried, exhibited or used a deadly weapon or Did not carry, exhibit or use a deadly weapon
In mandating required reporting under the new law, Texas’ new police shootings reporting law exceeds federal law. The FBI still only counts justifiable homicides as we recently reported in PINAC.
The nation’s police

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