Posts Tagged ‘The Legal Arena’

Seattle ICE Immigration Attorney Arrested for Stealing Immigrants Identities

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Chief Counsel Raphael Sanchez for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Seattle was arrested for stealing immigrants’ identities and then paying his bills with the stolen information.
Sanchez resigned on Monday and had his first court appearance on Thursday.
Sanchez devised a scheme to use immigrants’ identities in order to defraud financial institutions including American Express, Bank of America Citibank, Discover, and JPMorgan Chase, according to a charging document, which was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Sanchez stole the identities of seven people in various stages of immigration proceedings to defraud credit card companies.
Prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section investigated the incident. The Public Integrity Section pursues efforts to combat corruption by public officials.
In or around October 2013 to October 2017 Sanchez stole and used the identifies of seven immigrants for his own financial benefit.
The charging document contained few specifics about the allegations, but did give one example: It said that in April 2016 Sanchez stole the name, Social Security number and birth date of a Chinese national.
Sanchez then sent an email from his government account to his Yahoo account that included personal information pertaining to the Chinese national identified only as R.H. The information Sanchez sent included an image of R.H.’s U.S. permanent resident card, the biographical page of R.H.’s Chinese passport and a utility bill in R.H.’s name from Puget Sound Energy.
Sanchez is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, both are felonies.
ICE in Seattle has been at the forefront of illegal immigration. They arrested dozens of undocumented immigrants in September’s Operation Safe City, which was a four-day effort in which the administration targeted “sanctuary cities” around the country, including Seattle, where local officials do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
Sanchez negotiated a

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Seattle ICE Immigration Attorney Arrested for Stealing Immigrants Identities

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Chief Counsel Raphael Sanchez for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Seattle was arrested for stealing immigrants’ identities and then paying his bills with the stolen information.
Sanchez resigned on Monday and had his first court appearance on Thursday.
Sanchez devised a scheme to use immigrants’ identities in order to defraud financial institutions including American Express, Bank of America Citibank, Discover, and JPMorgan Chase, according to a charging document, which was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Sanchez stole the identities of seven people in various stages of immigration proceedings to defraud credit card companies.
Prosecutors with the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section investigated the incident. The Public Integrity Section pursues efforts to combat corruption by public officials.
In or around October 2013 to October 2017 Sanchez stole and used the identifies of seven immigrants for his own financial benefit.
The charging document contained few specifics about the allegations, but did give one example: It said that in April 2016 Sanchez stole the name, Social Security number and birth date of a Chinese national.
Sanchez then sent an email from his government account to his Yahoo account that included personal information pertaining to the Chinese national identified only as R.H. The information Sanchez sent included an image of R.H.’s U.S. permanent resident card, the biographical page of R.H.’s Chinese passport and a utility bill in R.H.’s name from Puget Sound Energy.
Sanchez is charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, both are felonies.
ICE in Seattle has been at the forefront of illegal immigration. They arrested dozens of undocumented immigrants in September’s Operation Safe City, which was a four-day effort in which the administration targeted “sanctuary cities” around the country, including Seattle, where local officials do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.
Sanchez negotiated a

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WATCH: Texas Cop Still on the Job after Three Excessive Force Incidents Result in Settlements

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

A Texas cop remains on the job after the department he works for settled the third excessive force lawsuit against him Thursday.
Austin police officer Eric Copeland was sued three times for using excessive force between April of 2011 to April of 2015.
Austin City Council members approved the latest $150,000 settlement November 9 for unnecessarily tasering Adrian Aguado, 20, after removing him from handcuffs and telling him to exit the police cruiser.
Video from inside the patrol car shows Copeland tasering Aguado immediately as he slowly exits the vehicle.
He also tells Aguado he seemed “slow” and can be heard asking if he takes any medication for “mental retardation.”
Instead of firing Copeland after yet another excessive force lawsuit, former Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo suspended him for 90 days, allowing him back on the job and ultimately enabling him to commit another act of excessive force in the future.
Copeland was also sued in 2012 after fatally shooting 37-year-old Ahmede Bradly during a traffic stop.
Bradley fled in his vehicle, then on foot, before Copeland “intentionally struck Bradley in the face, head and body at a time when Bradley had not assaulted Copeland,” according to a lawsuit filed by Bradley’s family.
He then shot Bradley, who was unarmed, three times in the chest, killing him.
A judge awarded Bradley’s surviving family members $1,000,000 for that incident, according to KXAN.
In 2011, Eric Copeland and another Austin cop, Russell Rose, used excessive force against Carlos Chacon after Chacon called 911 to report suspicious activity at a Motel 6.
Chacon was surprised when he approached officers to assist with their investigation and found himself on the other end of the officers’ guns while still on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.
“Their guns were drawn, pointed at me. They were shouting at me. They were cursing at me. I was trying to

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Utah Nurse Violently Arrested for Refusing Blood Draw on Unconscious Patient Receives $500,000 Settlement

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Salt Lake City has agreed to pay nurse Alex Wubbels a $500,000 settlement just two weeks after the detective who arrested her for refusing to allow a blood draw on her unconscious patient filed an appeal to get his job back, claiming had it not been for a camera he would still have a job.
Now Wubbels plans to use a portion of the settlement to help other police abuse victims obtain access to body cam footage.
Her attorney, Karra Porter, says her law firm, Christensen and Jensen, is committed to providing free services to people seeking to obtain the body cam footage from police who’ve abused them.
“Any person in the State of Utah who wishes to obtain body cam footage of an incident involving them will be able to do so, no charge to them. Our law firm, Christensen & Jensen, will provide any legal services necessary to accomplish that,” Porter said, according to Fox 13 Now.
“Thanks to Alex, there will be more transparency.”

 “We’re hoping the discussion about body cameras continues,” Porter added.
Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne forcefully arrested Wubbels on July 26 when she refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient, citing hospital policy.
Body cam footage of the incident showed detective Payne manhandling the screaming nurse after she refused.
Since the victim was not responsible for the crash, Payne was presumably sent to retrieve blood with the hope of finding a substance in the victim’s system to relieve the Salt Lake City Police Department of liability from a lawsuit after pursuing the driver who caused the crash.
Wubbels’ patient was later identified as a reserve police officer from Idaho, who later died from his injuries.
The University of Utah Hospital has since barred police from interacting with nurses at the hospital.
Payne, who is also a part-time paramedic, threatened to

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Kansas Prison Medical Staff Sued After Ignoring Pleas for Help from Inmate who Died of Brain-Eating Fungus

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

A lawsuit was filed Monday against three doctors and 11 nurses who work at a prison in Kansas as well as the company contracted to provide medical services for inmates throughout the state’s prison system after medical staff ignored an inmate who told them, “it feels like something is eating my brain.”
Even after Marques Davis, 27, became so confused he drank his own urine, employees for Corizon Correctional Healthcare neglected his cries for help at Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Kansas.
Corizon Correctional Healthcare, has been sued 660 times over a 5-year period, according to the ACLU.
The lawsuit, filed by Kansas City attorney Leland Dempsy on behalf of Davis’ family, alleges he was denied “meaningful medical treatment” for eight months after he began complaining of symptoms.
According to the lawsuit, a CT scan taken after Davis suffered a heart attack in April revealed “dramatic swelling of the brain sufficient to force the upper part of the brain down into the lower brain.”
After his heart attack, Davis was finally hospitalized.
But he died the next day.
Attorneys representing Shermaine Walker, Davis’s mother, say Davis’s condition was “readily diagnosable” and treatable.
But Walker says all they would do is take blood, give her son Ibuprofen then send him back.
“I was calling the jail every day,” she said, according to the New York Daily News.
“He’s telling me, they haven’t done anything. They would give him ibuprofen and send him back.”
 Walker said when Davis made complaints to medical staff about something being wrong with his head, he was ignored.

“He says, ‘mom, whatever is going on with me, it’s messing with my mind.’ He would tell me this on a daily basis,” she said.
Marques Davis’ pleas for medical help at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility went ignored by Corizon Correctional Healthcare staff, even after a brain fungus began eating his brain, causing him

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Florida Man Receives $37,500 Settlement after Cops Mistook Doughnut Glaze for Meth

Monday, October 16th, 2017

A Florida man received a $37,500 settlement after police arrested him, mistaking Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze in his car for meth.
A series of roadside drug tests yielded positive results for the street drug, landing him in jail for ten hours.
But another test determined it was only glaze from a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
Dan Rushing, 65, was arrested in December 2015 following a traffic stop after Orlando cop Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins observed flakes on his floorboard, which she first suspected was crack, then crystal meth.
Rushing insisted to officers it was sugar from Krispy Kreme doughnuts he’d eaten.
‘I kept telling them, “That’s … glaze from a doughnut… They tried to say it was crack cocaine at first, then they said, “No, it’s meth, crystal meth,”, he told the Orlando Sentinel.
But the field test’s positive result landed Rushing in jail for 10 hours before he was able to post his $2,500 bond after being charged with possession of a methamphetamine as well as possession of a firearm.
It took a second, more thorough, test conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to show the flakes on his floorboard was sugar – not meth.
In Riggs-Hopkins arrest report, she wrote he noticed a “rock like substance” on the floorboard of Rushing’s car and, through several years of experience in law enforcement recognized the substance as some sort of narcotic.
“I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic,” she explained in her arrest report.
Rushing, who sued the field test manufacturer along with the department and city, said officer Riggs-Hopkins should have waited for the FDLE tested the substance before she arrested him.
She received a written reprimand for arresting Rushing, but the Orlando Police Department found no evidence she acted in bad faith, according to the

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LAPD to Pay $1.9 Million for Fatal Shooting of Wheelchair Bound Man who “Lunged” at them with a Knife

Friday, October 13th, 2017

The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay $1.9 million after LAPD officers shot and killed a mentally ill, wheelchair-bound man.
After his death on April 21, 2015, the police department claimed Luis Molina Martinez, 35, lunged at them with a knife, which made them fear for their lives, prompting them to shoot him four times.
An autopsy would reveal three of those shots were fired into his back, according to LATimes.
“One officer then kicked Mr. Martinez twice and none of the officers made any attempt at providing medical attention,” the lawsuit that prompted the settlement stated.
Arnold Casillas, the attorney representing Martinez’s wife and children, disputed the account of the incident, saying Martinez’s injuries were so serious that he would have been physically unable to stand up after falling from a balcony, which left him wheelchair bound and unable to move towards the officers.
Casillas maintained Martinez was unarmed and argued the shooting was  “unreasonable, unnecessary, excessive and unjustified under the law” and noted the LAPD police chief along with the commission faulted the officers for not bringing their Tasers into Martinez’s apartment even though they knew they were responding to a report of a suicidal man who stabbed himself.

“This is a classic example of Keystone Kops-type antics,” Casillas said.

According to his wife, Monica Ramirez, Martinez became depressed from not being able to return to work.
Luis Molina Martinez
It was Martinez’s wife who called 911 on April 21, 2015, reporting her husband had become suicidal and was bloody after cutting himself with a knife, but that he was no longer armed.
When officers responded, they claim Martinez was sitting in a wheel chair with his shirt covered in blood.
According to the report, when they attempted to speak with him, Martinez pull a knife from under his leg and ignored officers’ commands to drop it.
Police

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Federal Court Vindicates Virginia Man’s First Amendment Right To Criticize Officials On Their FB Pages

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

A federal judge in Virginia’s Eastern district court has ruled that a Loudon County elected official censored a citizen by blocking them on Facebook in a First Amendment protected public forum.
Brian Davison is trying to keep the Loudoun County School Board accountable but has faced a prolonged campaign of censorship and retaliatory claims by Board Members with serious financial conflicts of interest in the charter school industry and who have voted on issues that impact pay for family members.
The present lawsuit started when Brian Davison’s fight against government corruption took him to a joint town hall meeting with the Loudoun County School Board and the County Board of Supervisors on February 2016, where he asked Commissioner Randall if she thought the School Board’s officers should take an ethics pledge, after she campaigned on ethics during her recent run for office.
She dodged the question calling it a “set up question.”
Brian Davison speaking about the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia
“Our County Chairperson who campaigned on ethics, would not even recommend an ethics pledge for the [Loudoun County] school board, who have taken votes about their own business associates, without disclosing it,” Davison said, noting that he can document each instance. “Four School Board members voted on teacher pay without disclosing that their spouses are employees of the district. (Hornberger, Morse, Turgeon and Eric DeKenipp)”
Davison then commented on an official Facebook page run by Commissioner Randall.
Randall only blocked Davison for 12 hours.
The former Naval officer sued Loudon County Commission Chair Phyllis J. Randall and won a 44-page ruling by Judge James C. Cacheris whose declaratory opinion clearly designates the public official’s Facebook page as a public forum.
The judge’s finding in Brian Davison’s favor is sure to find its way into numerous legal actions across the country by aggrieved citizens who have been censored by

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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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Florida Man Fights Extensive Public Records Request Abuse

Friday, May 26th, 2017

INTRODUCTION
 
The City of Homestead has a torrid reputation, and a pattern of willfully refusing to comply with the public records law. Homestead is a little town at the southern end of Miami-Dade County, rarely receiving the scrutiny it deserves as a cesspool of public corruption and maleficence.
 
I have used the records request process, as a pre-discovery method for investigating my civil rights claims. Homestead has failed to comply with the public records law on the majority of the nearly one hundred requests I have filed.
 
Homestead has a pattern and practice of unlawful noncompliance as it relates to the records law including but not limited to: excessively overcharging for records, claiming inapplicable exemptions, creating automatic and/or unreasonable delays in production, claiming incriminating records do not exist, falsifying records and destruction of records.
 
Florida has some of the strictest public records laws in the nation. The records law is thoroughly explained in the Government in the Sunshine Manual (GSM), and the city owns several copies. Yet, you could be easily fooled into thinking otherwise, based on the behavior and actions of Homestead and their attorneys.
 
I hope the information provided herein, while extensive by nature, will educate the readers on the public records law and how some public entities create costly issues.
 
BACKGROUND
 
PINAC published the original story of my abuse by Homestead officer Alejandro Murguido, beginning in 2012. I was falsely arrested in April 2013, after attempting to file a complaint, and charged for simply asking my neighbor to not speed and recklessly drive his city owned police car, in our community. Children regularly play in the street, and Murguido had previously asked me to contact him directly versus filing a formal complaint with his department.
 
I met with Homestead Chief of Police Alexander Rolle to file a complaint in February 2014. All false charges against me had been dismissed shortly

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California Deputy Blames Satan in YouTube Apology for Selling Drugs

Monday, May 15th, 2017

A California deputy facing up to five years in prison for selling drugs seized during raids issued an apology in a Youtube video blaming satan for his misdeeds.
“I made that decision based on Satan playing games with me, and making me feel like I was prideful and unable to go to family members for help,” Logan August said sitting next to his wife in a video recorded apology to friends, family, co-workers and the community.
According to court documents, while working for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, August stole marijuana seized in ten raids in 2014, giving the pot to a confidential informant to sell.
Deputy August gave the informant 25 pounds of marijuana, receiving a $15,000 cut of the sales.
Between June 2014 and October 2014, August colluded with a former deputy, Derrick Penny and his informant, as well as former Bakersfield police detective Patrick Mara – who was sentenced to five years in prison last year – when he stole and sold marijuana taken from a locked evidence storage facility.
Penny made out with $1,200 in profit, according to his signed statement.
According to public records obtained through Transparent California, August and Penny earned near $200,000 a year in pay and benefits during 2014.
Both August and Penny, who both joined the department in 2007, admitted to their involvement in the scheme and are scheduled to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute today at the federal courthouse in Fresno.
The maximum penalty for their crimes is five years behind bars in federal prison in addition to a $250,000 fine, although prosecutors are expected to recommend a lessor sentence as part of a plea deal.
August and Penney used their keys issued by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to access the department’s marijuana storage unit then sawed off the

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Good Cop who didn’t Shoot Suicidal Man with Unloaded Gun Sues West Virginia City for Firing him Over it

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

A good cop who decided to negotiate with a suicidal man with an unloaded gun instead of killing him filed a lawsuit against the West Virginia city that fired him over it.
The Weirton police officers who did shoot and kill the suicidal man kept their jobs.
According to the suit, officer Ryan Kuzma, who fired the fatal shot that killed 21-year-old Ronald William, sent text messages to the fired officer, Stephen Mader, calling him a “coward” who “didn’t have the balls to save his own life.”
Kuzma added Mader and his mother were “loud mouth pieces of shit” who would get an officer killed – although it appears Mader, a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan, is anything but a coward.
Stephen Mader was fired for not shooting a man holding an unloaded gun.
After Kuzma fatally shot Williams in the head, it was determined the silver pistol he was holding was not loaded.
Nevertheless,, the Weirton Police Department called Mader a “bad cop” and a “disgruntled” employee” who “froze” during the incident.
It happened on May 6, 2016 after police received a call from Williams’ girlfriend about a domestic dispute.
“The call came in around 2:50 in the morning,” Mader said.
“The whole thing was over by 3:02(a.m.).”
“When he brought his hands from behind his back, he had a silver pistol in his right hand,” Mader recalled.
“I drew my duty weapon and I’m telling him, ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down.’”
“Just shoot me,” Williams told Mader after brandishing an unloaded pistol on him, according to the Huffington Post.
Unaware the silver pistol Williams was holding in his hand wasn’t loaded, Mader observed Williams didn’t appear angry and seemed more depressed.
With his gun drawn on Williams, Mader didn’t view him as an immediate threat,  so he worked to deescalate the situation.
“Saying the words ‘Just shoot me’ sent

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Maryland Jury Awards $1.26 Million to Family after Cop Wrongly Shot their Dog

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

A Maryland jury awarded a family $1.26 million Tuesday after deciding a cop wrongly shot and killed their dog, Vernon, on February 1, 2014 – the largest award in American history for such a case.
“The verdict sends a strong message to the police about community expectations,” attorney Carl J. Hansel said after the verdict, according to the Capital Gazette.
“The duty to serve and protect extends to our animal family members as well.”
However, the Anne Arundel County Police Department had already determined the shooting was justified, claiming the dog was aggressive, which made the cop fear for his safety.
But the evidence proved otherwise, which is why the jury ruled against the officer.
Hansel called the shooting of Michael Reeves’ dog by Anne Arundel County cop Rodney Price “senseless, unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
During the three-day trial, officer Price admitted the dog did not bite or injure him before he fired two shots, one entering the dog’s sternum and another shot through his side when the dog’s body was perpendicular to Price’s gun.
Hansel stated a necropsy performed after the shooting contradicted Price’s testimony regarding how the shooting occurred.
Price, a one-year veteran, was investigating a burglary at the time, canvassing the neighborhood looking for witnesses around 4 p.m., when a male Chesapeake Bay retriever “confronted” the officer in Reeve’s front yard,  according to police.
Vern barked and ran towards Price.
Price then fired two shots at Vernon, killing the dog.
Vernon
Officer Price visited the Reeve’s family a few days after the shooting to explain what happened.
Former Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis, met with the Reeves family,  promised a full investigation into the shooting and offered his condolences.
The internal investigation exonerated officer Price, finding the dog was aggressive.
During the trial, the jury was asked specifically if the dog attacked Price.
The jury determined Price was not attacked by the

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Aaron Hernandez was Murdered, Attorney Believes

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Aaron Hernandez’s attorney is questioning whether or not the former NFL star committed suicide or was murdered after prison officials said he was found hanging in his cell earlier this morning.
Attorney Jose Baez said Hernandez not only showed no signs of being suicidal, but was optimistic about winning an upcoming appeal for the 2015 murder conviction of Odin Lloyd in Bristol County, Massachusetts
Baez also defended Hernandez on double murder charges last week for the 2012 killings of Danel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside of a Boston nightclub, which largely relied on testimony from Alexander Bradley, a witness who received immunity with a seedy past.
Hernandez was found not guilty in that trial, but was forced to return to his cell at Shirley Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts where he was serving a life sentence for the previous conviction, which he was appealing.
“If those appeals are exhausted, he will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars, so that does give the families, and frankly our office, some consolation,” Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Friday after Hernandez’s not guilty verdict.
Jose Baez in court with former client Casey Anthony.
But Baez says Hernandez was looking forward to his day in court for another chance to prove his innocence.
“Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence,” Baez said today. “There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible.”
Beaz publicly pressured authorities to “conduct and transparent and thorough investigation and promised to investigate Hernandez’s death himself.
Baez isn’t the only one who believes something went afoul.
Brian Murphy, Hernandez’s former agent Tweeted he didn’t believe his former client killed himself.
“Chico was no saint, but my family and I love him, and he would never

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WATCH: Minneapolis Cop Charged for Kicking Man in Face and Lying About It

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

These days it is not uncommon for cops to get arrested for assault.
But Officer Christopher Reiter, 36, of the Minneapolis Police Department took things way too far when he kicked Mohamed Osman while he was already down on the ground.
Osman suffered severe brain injuries, brain bleeding and ended up with fractures in his face, including sinus fractures in his nose.
Because of the injuries, Osman is unable to work.
The on-duty assault occurred in Spring 2016, but Reiter was not arrested until March 15, 2017 after he and fellow officers lied about what had taken place that night – only for a surveillance video to expose their lies.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
In reports they filed after the incident, Domek wrote that as he approached Osman, he ordered him to get on the ground. Domek then wrote that he moved toward Osman “in an effort to push him to the ground to get him in handcuff position. While doing so, I felt resistance from the male, causing me to believe that he was going to attempt to fight as he had just been involved in a violent assault.”
In his report, Reiter said when the other officers ordered Osman out of the vehicle, “I could see [Osman] pushing off the ground.
“I made a split second decision and kicked [Osman] in the face one time with the top flat part of my boot.”
Reiter is charged with third-degree assault, but prosecutors plan to raise the charge to first-degree assault. The Minneapolis Police Department fired Reiter in Janurary 2017.
It all started in May 2016 when officers responded to a domestic violence call involving Osman and his girlfriend. The two were having dinner and an argument ensued about Osman’s wife.
Osman then hit his girlfriend several times and she called police. When police arrived to the couple’s apartment, they

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Florida Judge Rules Against Trump’s Executive Order on Sanctuary Cities

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

President Donald Trump’s executive order to crack down on sanctuary cities is cracking after a Florida judge issued a 15-page ruling Friday stating that it is unconstitutional for local jails to hold undocumented immigrants for federal deportation after they have been cleared of local charges.
The petition of habeas corpus, which you can read here and below, stems from a case involving a Haitian man living in Miami who had been arrested for driving with a suspended license, spending several weeks in jail before he was ordered released for time served.
But Miami-Dade County jailers kept James Lacroix for an additional 28 hours, which was unconstitutional, according to today’s ruling.
Miami-Dade County Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that the Constitution’s plain delegation of immigration authority to be the sole province of federal authorities was known all the way back to the very first congress – per a detailed precedent written by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia – and that it explicitly precludes both the president from making spending decisions by executive order.
His eloquent ruling is a lesson in the value of America’s system of checks and balances:
No doubt the limitations imposed by the Tenth Amendment, like so many limitations imposed by the Constitution, are a source of frustration to those who dream of wielding power in unprecedented ways or to unprecedented degrees.
But America was not made for those who dream of power. America was made for those with the power to dream. Miami is not, and has never been, a sanctuary city.
But America is, and has always been, a sanctuary country.
As I have written elsewhere, “America, perhaps more than any other nation, was made great not by its leaders but by its people: by the refugees who were called to begin life anew; by the pioneers who were called to build a nation; by ‘the homeless, tempest-tossed’ who

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Federal Appeals Court Sides with PINAC Reporter, Rules Recording Cops is Protected by First Amendment

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

The U.S. Court of  Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit has ruled in a 2-1 decision that the public has the First Amendment right to record activities of law enforcement because it ensures cops “are not abusing their power.”
The majority ruling came in response to the court’s consideration of the facts in Turner v. Driver, a lawsuit filed by PINAC video-correspondent and reporter Phillip Turner following his lengthy detainment by two Fort Worth cops in September 2015 after he refused to provide them with  identification while attempting to record the Fort Worth police station across the street.
While recording the station, two Fort Worth officers named Grinalds and Dyess approached Turner, asking for identification.
“How’s it going, man? Got your ID with you?”
Phillip Turner
In the video, seen below, Turner, who operates the YouTube channel The Battousai, asks the officers if he’s being detained.
Officer Grinalds affirmed Turner was being detained for an investigation and began down the rabbit hole using alarmist rhetoric saying he had the “right” and “authority” to know who was “walking around our facilities.”
Turner chose to flex his rights, refusing to provide identification or state his name.
Instead, he inquired, “what happens if I don’t identify myself?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” officer Grinalds says, continues repeating his request for Turner to identify.
Turner continues denying Grinalds’ requests.
Then, without warning, Grinalds suddenly handcuffs Turner and seizes his camera.
“This is what happens when you don’t identify yourself,” he spited Turner, threatening to fingerprint him in order to learn his identity before leaving him in the back of the patrol car to “sweat for a while with the windows rolled up.”
Turner bangs on the door, saying  no air was reaching the back seat.
A supervisor, Lieutenant Driver, arrived and approached Grinalds and Dyess who “seemingly ignored Mr. Turner” as  he “sweat” inside the patrol car with no air.
The three officers then rolled down the windows to the patrol car,

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Oregon Woman Convicted for Observing Police Making Traffic Stop

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

A 55-year-old Oregon woman who pulled over to the side of the road to observe a police stop was found guilty of interfering with a police officer last week.
Keely Meagan was merely observing, not physically interfering nor verbally interfering, but the judge said she had pulled over in an unsafe area, which is why he handed down his guilty verdict Thursday.
However, Meagan had pulled up behind two cop cars and the car they were pulling over on the side of an interstate near an exit ramp on September 8, 2016.
But Jackson County Circuit Judge David Hoppe said she created a safety hazard because her presence was too distracting for the two cops.
Meagan, who is white, said she became concerned when she saw the white state troopers ordering a black man to place his hands on his head because of all the reports of white cops killing black men surfacing throughout the country at the time.
Trooper Marc Williams had pulled over the man for suspicion of driving drunk, but the man had passed a field sobriety test, even after admitting he had consumed marijuana an hour earlier, which is legal in Oregon.
However, the man did not have insurance, so the trooper had his car towed, forcing the man and his passenger to walk down the exit ramp, which apparently is not considered unsafe in the eyes of Oregon law. The man was not cited for driving under the influence.
Judge Hoppe said Meagan has the right to observe police, but “she created a danger to everyone involved” by pulling up behind the cops,” according to the Mail Tribune, the local newspaper that covered the trial.
“You can continue to do that in a safe area. That wasn’t safe, and I think you recognize that,” Hoppe said.
After watching an OSP video of the incident, Hoppe said Meagan

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Daniel Shaver’s Widow Files $75 Million Lawsuit Against Mesa Police Department and Hotel

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Just over a week after Daniel Shaver’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Arizona police department that shot and killed their unarmed son, his widow also filed a lawsuit.
This one for $75 million in damages.
Laney Sweet filed her lawsuit Tuesday against the Mesa Police Department, including Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, the cop who killed her husband with an AR-15 with the words, “You’re Fucked” inscribed on it.
Also mentioned in the lawsuit is the hotel company where the shooting took place.
According to the Associated Press:
Sweet filed her lawsuit against the city of Mesa, the team of officers who responded to the hotel call, and La Quinta Holdings, the parent company of the hotel in question.
Sweet alleges the leader of the team of officers gave confusing commands to Shaver while he was on the ground, encouraged overly aggressive reactions from his subordinates and handled the call as if there was an imminent threat of an active shooter.
The lawsuit said the hotel staff members who knew Shaver could have told officers that he wasn’t a threatening person and therefore could have lowered officers’ expectations about the risks at the hotel. Sweet also alleged that officers should have gathered more information about the call before approaching Shaver.
The incident took place in January 18, 2016 as Shaver was inside a fifth-floor hotel room with a couple of acquaintances showing them a pellet gun he used in his pest control business.
At one point, one of the men in the room pointed the pellet gun out the window, which led to people downstairs calling police, who arrived with guns drawn, ordering people out of the room.
Shaver, who was barefoot and wearing shorts and a t-shirt, was ordered to come crawling towards the officers, who all had their guns trained on him.
“Please don’t shoot me,” Shaver said according to

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WATCH: California Cops Shoot Legally Blind Man, Falsely Claiming he “Advanced” Towards them with Knife

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Newly released video shows five heavily armed California cops storm a convenience store with a police dog  before shooting and killing a mentally ill man who was legally blind.
The store surveillance video, which contains no audio, contradicts the police version of events that claimed James Hall “advanced” towards them with a knife.
Instead, the video shows Hall cowering in the corner of the convenience store after cops had sicced their dog on him.
The video then shows one of the Fontana cops opening fire on him, then about ten cops swarming the body.
The incident took place on November 22, 2015 and Hall’s family filed a lawsuit against the Fontana Police Department last month. The video was released Wednesday by attorney Mark Geragos.
According to the lawsuit, which you can read here, Fontana police were very familiar with Hall, knowing him to be a peaceful man. They also knew him to be mentally ill.
The 47-year-old man was also known in the community as a peaceful man and even won a community award in 2010 for assisting in the rescue of a four-year-old autistic child.
But he also suffered from schizoaffective disorder, which is described as a “combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania.”
Fontana police claimed they were responding to call of an armed robbery, encountering Hall who had a knife in one hand and a rock in the other hand.
They said they were only trying to keep the store clerk and themselves safe from the armed man.
However, the lawsuit states that Hall never even entered the store until after they arrived, and only because he was in fear for his life.
The lawsuit states that Hall’s family was denied access to his body for weeks after it was placed in the San Bernardino County Coroner’s office.
Read

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Texas Judge Dismisses Charges Against Cop for Illegally Entering PINAC Reporter’s Car

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

A Texas cop was facing six months in jail for illegally entering and searching the car of a PINAC reporter who had been unlawfully arrested for recording in public.
A Texas judge threw out the case before the trial even started Wednesday, citing a technicality that Galveston Police Sergeant Archie Chapman did not really trespass into Phillip Turner’s car because his feet never left the ground as he rummaged through the car without Turner’s consent.
But we expected that because Galveston County Judge Kerry Neves has already proven to be biased in favor of cops.
So biased that he was threatened with a formal complaint last summer by defense attorneys after issuing a court order barring defendants from entering plea deals in cases where cops claimed to have been threatened or disrespected – which is pretty much every case considering how often cops exaggerate the facts.
Neves ended up withdrawing the court order two weeks after issuing it, which is a pretty strong indicator he was trying to abuse his judicial discretion in the hopes nobody would stop him.
So it’s not a surprise he issued a “directed verdict” today, which is basically a judge issuing a verdict in a jury trial rather than allowing the jury come to a verdict.
This is how Wikipedia defines it:
In a jury trial, a directed verdict is an order from the presiding judge to the jury to return a particular verdict. Typically, the judge orders a directed verdict after finding that no reasonable jury could reach a decision to the contrary. After a directed verdict, there is no longer any need for the jury to decide the case.
And chances are, the jury would have sided with the cop as juries tend to do. Especially juries in Texas where they view cops as gods.
But then why not let the jury

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Texas Cop on Trial After Caught on Video Illegally Searching PINAC Reporter’s Car

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

The criminal trial for a Texas cop who searched the car of a PINAC reporter without a warrant after arresting him for recording in front of a police department begins today.
Galveston Police Sergeant Archie Chapman probably did not realize his unconstitutional actions were being recorded by a dash cam inside Phillip Turner’s car in November 2015, even as Turner sat inside a jail cell.
Phillip Turner
Now Chapman is facing 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted.
Turner, who was charged with failure to identify after he was confronted for recording a police memorial in front of the Galveston Police Department, had his charges dismissed within a week.
Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady’s office brought charges against the award-winning cop in February 2016.
Turner refused to identify himself when Chapman was unable to articulate a reasonable suspicion that he had committed a crime.
PINAC reporter David Warden recorded the video of Turner getting arrested, but police never made the connection that they were together.
The video shows Turner continued to refuse to identify himself, even after he was placed in handcuffs, informing the officers he would be more than happy to do so – if only they could articulate a reasonable suspicion that he committed a crime.
Turns out, the crime was committed by Chapman who used Turner’s keys to search his car.
Sergeant Chapman is no stranger to being the subject of news stories.
In 2013, Chapman made international news for savagely beating and brutalizing Reginald Deon Davis, 34, after Davis traveled all night to attend a friend’s birthday party.
Exhausted from studying for a college exam after the party, Davis decided to nap near the Galveston seawall.
A Galveston police cruiser’s dash cam captured Chapman kick Davis in the head as two other cops held his head under water.
According to a civil rights lawsuit filed by Davis’

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Award-Winning St. Louis Cop Sued for Searching Woman’s Vagina for Drugs During Routine Traffic Stop

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

St. Louis police pulled a car over for making a U-turn, forcing a passenger out of the car, handcuffing her, then pulling her pants and underwear down as an officer probed her vagina for drugs with gloved fingers.
No drugs were found inside Kayla Robinson’s vagina, but she was still arrested on two counts of drug possession because she had already handed them a bag of weed.
But Detective Angela Hawkins believed Robinson had crack cocaine that she was not handing over. And the award-winning officer was sure the crack was hidden inside her vagina.
Robinson, who at the time was studying criminal justice to become a cop, pleaded with the officer to transport her to a police station where the vaginal probe could take place in private.
But Hawkins insisted it take place in a nearby parking lot in the presence of a male officer, who brought the female officer the gloves needed for the procedure.
Hawkins ended up disciplined by internal affairs and now she is being sued by Robinson.
According to the Riverfront Times:
A female officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department allegedly probed the inside of a black waitress’ vagina while a male officer watched — leading to discipline for the female officer and, now, a lawsuit in federal court.
The lawsuit, filed in November by attorney Jeremy Hollingshead, alleges that detective Angela Hawkins handcuffed 24-year-old Kayla Robinson after she was a passenger in a car during a routine traffic stop in 2012. Hawkins allegedly pushed the young woman up against a tractor-trailer and demanded to know where “the dope and the guns” were, according to the suit.
But the cavity search turned up no drugs. And Hawkins was later disciplined for her actions, the suit says.
From the lawsuit:
Defendant Hawkins put the gloves on, turned Plaintiff around so as to face the male officer,

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Illinois Cops Beating Black Man for Driving Own Car Highlights Larger Racial Profiling Issue

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The white woman was trying to be a good samaritan when she called police on a black man entering his car and driving away in a suburban Chicago town, thinking he had stolen it.
But Lawrence Crosby owned the Chevrolet and figured he would drive to a local police station in Evanston to prove it after realizing the woman was following him.
The 25-year-old engineering doctorate student from Northwestern University was accustomed to being profiled because of his race as he revealed in a phone conversation with a friend recorded by his dash cam that evening on October 10, 2015.
But the woman who remained on the phone with Evanston police as she followed him insisted she was not racially profiling. She just found it suspicious that a black man with a hoodie appeared to be using some type of bar to jimmy the car door open.
“I don’t know if I’m racial profiling,” the woman said in a conversation to the dispatcher as she followed him. “I feel bad.”
Crosby, in fact, had been trying to fix the moulding on the roof of his car, but it was dark. And he was dark.
And although many white people don’t like to admit it, racial profiling does takes place on the streets of the United States daily. Even police officers admit it. Black police officers, that is.
“You know how it is with black people,” Crosby said in his phone conversation with his friend. “They think we’re always trying to do something wrong.”
Evanston police eventually pulled up behind him and flashed their lights, signaling for him to pull over.
Crosby quickly pulled into a parking lot of a church – two blocks from the Evanston Police  Department – then stepped out with his hands in the air, his cell phone in his left hand as the cops began yelling “hands up!”.
He

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Illinois Man Arrested for Burning American Flag on Fourth of July Files Lawsuit

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

An Illinois man who was arrested on the Fourth of July last year after posting photos of himself burning an American flag filed a lawsuit Wednesday.
Anybody with a basic understanding of Constitutional law could have seen that coming, but not the Urbana Police Department who arrested Bryton Mellott.
And certainly not the Illinois legislators who passed a state law banning flag burning despite the Supreme Court having long ruled that burning the flag is protected by the First Amendment.
Now the 22-year-old man is trying to get the state law ruled unconstitutional with his lawsuit. The state law is one of several state laws that ban the burning of the flag as a form of protest, even though most of those laws are never enforced.
According to the Associated Press:
Such state laws are already invalid after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled separately, in 1989 and 1990, that flag burning and other forms of damage are constitutionally protected free speech. However, dozens of states still have the laws.
Police in Urbana used Illinois’ flag desecration law to arrest local resident Bryton Mellott on July 4 of last year. He said he carefully planned his demonstration to protest racial discrimination, poverty and other injustices, and then posted six photographs of his actions on Facebook. The posts, which generated hundreds of comments, led police officers to arrest Mellott while he worked at Wal-Mart and detain him for several hours. He was released without being charged.
Mellott, who is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, was expected to discuss the lawsuit at a Thursday news conference in Champaign. The suit was filed late Wednesday.
“Open dissent is the highest form of American patriotism,” Mellott said in a statement. “And it was a frightening display of irony that on the Fourth of July, I should be taken from

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Federal Court Rules Cops can Shoot your Dog for Barking

Monday, December 26th, 2016

A federal court ruled that cops can shoot and kill your dog if it merely barks at them, something they have been doing routinely for years now anyway.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a lower court last week, siding with Michigan cops who shot and killed two dogs during a drug raid after they entered the home with a battering ram, according to the Huffington Post.
After cops busted down the door, one of the dogs only “moved a few inches” and the other ran down to the basement with its back to the cop when it was killed, according to the officers’ testimony referred to in the court’s opinion.
A civil rights lawsuit was filed by Mark and Cheryl Brown in 2015 against the City of Battle Creek, the Battle Creek Police Department and the three cops involved in the raid, which resulted in the couple’s two dogs being killed.
Lawyers for the Browns, who were not suspects in the raid, argued killing their dogs violated their right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure protected by the Fourth Amendment, which was dismissed by a lower court.
Battle Creek police were looking for the father of one of Cheryl Brown’s mother’s children, who they say was selling drugs from their home.
One cop testified the two dogs were sitting on the couch when one of them “lunged” at him, but added the dog had only moved “a few inches.”
Battle Creek cop Christof Klein immediately shot the dog.
Battle Creek cop Christof Klein (right)
Wounded, the dog ran to the basement where the other dog had fled upon cops entering after beating down the door.
Klein testified he began towards basement to “sweep” the home for drugs, then shot the dog he’d wounded again when it began barking from the bottom of the stairwell.
[The] “basement

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New Orleans Cop Serving Life in Prison has Conviction Reversed Based on Raunchy Texts he Sent to his Girlfriend During Trial

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

A New Orleans cop serving life in prison after he was convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl last year had his conviction overturned Wednesday over texts he was sending to his girlfriend during the trial.
Michael Thomassie, 42, was sending texts to his girlfriend about how he would like her to shave her pubic hair.
The texts were then introduced as evidence to argue that he would be inclined to rape a prepubescent girl  because he preferred no pubic hair.
An appeals court reversed the conviction on the basis that there is no evidence that proves men who prefer adult woman to shave their genital area tend to be pedophiles.
The 4th Circuit stated in its opinion that the judge should never have allowed the texts to be entered as evidence because they “constitute irrelevant, prejudicial appeals to emotion and inflammatory arguments going before the facts of the case,” according to The Times-Picayune. 
The victim in the trial was 19 years old when she testified against him last year, telling the jury that he raped her in 2003 at the age of seven when he was her mother’s live-in boyfriend – who is not the woman he was texting during the trial.
But she did not report the rape until 2013 because her substance-abusing mother was financially dependent on the cop, prosecutors argued.
Also, the 12-year-old son of the cop and the girl’s mother testified on his behalf, claiming that his mother had testified to walking in on the cop raping her daughter to obtain custody of him after his father was sent to prison.
But it was the introduction of the texts that led to the reversal.
During the August 2015 trial, Thomassie sent selfies to his girlfriend while having a raunchy text conversation, apparently not at all concerned that his life was on the line.
“No hair is

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Texas Judge Declares Mistrial in Case of Cop who Shot at Unarmed Man 41 Times, Despite Fellow Cops Testifying Against Him

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Once again, a jury found itself unable to convict a cop for killing an unarmed man – even with fellow cops testifying against the cop.
This time, it was a Texas jury which ended up deadlocked Monday in the case of Garland police officer Patrick Tuter, who was charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing a man named Michael Allen after a high-speech pursuit in August 2012.
Tuter rammed Allen’s truck with his patrol car, then fired 41 times – reloading twice – striking Allen three times, killing him.
Tuter claimed he feared for his life because he saw Allen “reaching” for something, which is a standard excuse cops use to kill besides “lunging” and “charging.”
But his fellow cops testified that they were the ones fearing for their lives because Tuter was shooting so recklessly.
According to WFAA:
Veteran Garland Officer William Norris says the only time he felt in fear for his life was when Officer Tuter was shooting more than 41 rounds into the truck.
“I didn’t know where he was,” he said.
Veteran Garland police officers took the stand Wednesday for the prosecution, testifying against their former fellow officer.
“Tuter’s shooting was reckless,” Officer Mathew Perry testified.
But that was not enough to persuade the jury to convict, leaving the judge no choice but to declare a mistrial.
It was at least the third mistrial of a police officer in the shooting death of a citizen since October, including the mistrial of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott, the mistrial of Albuquerque police officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez in the shooting death of James Boyd and the mistrial of Ohio cop Ray Tensing in the shooting death of Sam DuBose.
So while we’re now seeing a higher rate of cops having to stand trial for killing citizens, we are seeing those juries unable

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WATCH: San Diego Cops Allow Police Dog to Maul Naked Man, Resulting in $385,000 Settlement

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

California cops who sicced a police dog on a naked man tripping on LSD, allowing the dog to maul him for more than 40 seconds while officers held him down, claimed they had no way of knowing if he was unarmed despite body cam video showing he had nowhere to hide a weapon in his nakedness.
But the city of San Diego opted to pay David Aceves a $385,000 settlement last week anyway, apparently realizing no jury in the world would buy that argument.
Aceves, 26, was hospitalized for more than two weeks as a result of the mauling after a large piece of skin was torn from the underlying tissue on his calf causing what doctors call a “large degloving injury.”
The incident took place on August 15, 2015 when San Diego police were responding to calls about a naked man screaming and running through a canyon.
An excessive force lawsuit filed in April 2016 that doesn’t name the individual cops involved, states police encountered Aceves at around 8:30 a.m. walking through a canyon park in La Jolla, disoriented from being under the influence of LSD after a hard night of partying, which Aceves admits is true.
Officers give commands telling him to walk up the hillside toward them.
Aceves complies with their initial wishes, but replies “no” after they order him to turn around.
That’s when a K-9 officer sics a police dog on him.
The dog’s attack takes Aceves to the ground and four officers quickly pin him to the ground, but allow the dog to continue mauling his leg for about 45-seconds while other cops work to cuff him even though Aceves had already been subdued, lying flat on his stomach.
The dog thrashes its head like a shark as its teeth rip through Aceves’ skin.
Blood can be seen dripping from its mouth when officers finally

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WATCH: San Diego Cops Allow Police Dog to Maul Naked Man, Resulting in $385,000 Settlement

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

California cops who sicced a police dog on a naked man tripping on LSD, allowing the dog to maul him for more than 40 seconds while officers held him down, claimed they had no way of knowing if he was unarmed despite body cam video showing he had nowhere to hide a weapon in his nakedness.
But the city of San Diego opted to pay David Aceves a $385,000 settlement last week anyway, apparently realizing no jury in the world would buy that argument.
Aceves, 26, was hospitalized for more than two weeks as a result of the mauling after a large piece of skin was torn from the underlying tissue on his calf causing what doctors call a “large degloving injury.”
The incident took place on August 15, 2015 when San Diego police were responding to calls about a naked man screaming and running through a canyon.
An excessive force lawsuit filed in April 2016 that doesn’t name the individual cops involved, states police encountered Aceves at around 8:30 a.m. walking through a canyon park in La Jolla, disoriented from being under the influence of LSD after a hard night of partying, which Aceves admits is true.
Officers give commands telling him to walk up the hillside toward them.
Aceves complies with their initial wishes, but replies “no” after they order him to turn around.
That’s when a K-9 officer sics a police dog on him.
The dog’s attack takes Aceves to the ground and four officers quickly pin him to the ground, but allow the dog to continue mauling his leg for about 45-seconds while other cops work to cuff him even though Aceves had already been subdued, lying flat on his stomach.
The dog thrashes its head like a shark as its teeth rip through Aceves’ skin.
Blood can be seen dripping from its mouth when officers finally

Vote on this story -->>>

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