(New York Daily News) - Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered police to refrain from making some trespass stops outside private residential buildings — even though the landlord has given officers permission to do so as part of the NYPD’s “Clean Halls” program.
“While it may be difficult to say when precisely to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside buildings,” Scheindlin wrote in a 157-page ruling.
In the police report, it looked like an open-and-shut case: A Fort Lauderdale police officer responded to a complaint of a man blasting loud music in his back yard, the homeowner refused to turn it off and walked away when the officer tried to arrest him.
Winston Dudley was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence shortly before 9 p.m. Sept.18, 2010. He was released on bond the next day.
Dudley, who declined to be interviewed by the Sun Sentinel, immediately told his lawyer on the criminal case that he had videotape from a home security system he had installed on his property.
The video showed that, within seconds of the officers walking into his backyard, Dudley immediately stood up from his lounger, went into his house and turned the music down or off.
He came outside again and sat down on the end of the lounger while an officer shone a flashlight in his face and spoke to him. The video shows that, although he had some kind of container in his hand, he did not drink from it and did not walk away or pull away from the officer.
He was arrested about two minutes after officers first walked into his yard.
The photographer, Robert Stolarik, 43, who has worked regularly for The Times for more than a decade, was charged with obstructing government administration and with resisting arrest. He was taking photographs of a brewing street fight at McClellan Street and Sheridan Avenue in the Concourse neighborhood.
Mr. Stolarik was taking photographs of the arrest of a teenage girl about 10:30 p.m., when a police officer instructed him to stop doing so. Mr. Stolarik said he identified himself as a journalist for The Times and continued taking pictures. A second officer appeared, grabbed his camera and “slammed” it into his face, he said.
Mr. Stolarik said he asked for the officers’ badge numbers, and the officers then took his cameras and dragged him to the ground; he said that he was kicked in the back and that he received scrapes and bruises to his arms, legs and face.
The Police Department said in a statement that officers had been trying to disperse the crowd and had given “numerous lawful orders” for both the crowd and Mr. Stolarik to move back, but that he tried to push forward, “inadvertently” striking an officer in the face with his camera.
The police said that Mr. Stolarik then “violently resisted being handcuffed” and that, in the process, a second officer was cut on the hand. A video of the episode taken by one of the reporters who was with Mr. Stolarik shows Mr. Stolarik face down on the sidewalk, beneath a huddle of about six officers.
Every time I read something like this, I get more and more concerned about the state of the media in this country.
One of the state’s top lawmakers today condemned the State Police for beating a mentally disabled man three years ago and then keeping his family in the dark about what happened.
“The actions toward this young man and his family’s struggle for a response are disturbing and unacceptable,” Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) said in a statement.
Oliver also said state authorities must better communicate the results of internal investigations against troopers “so families aren’t finding out developments through the newspaper.”
“I expect the State Police will ensure the public trust by taking the proper steps to fix this all the way around and ensure something like this doesn’t happen again,” Oliver said.
Her comments came a day after The Sunday Star-Ledger first disclosed a State Police video showing the beating of James Bayliss, then 21, after a 2009 traffic stop in Warren County.
On Friday, after being told the newspaper was planning to publish a story and make the video public on nj.com, the State Police announced for the first time that two troopers involved in the incident used unreasonable force.
read more - There’s a video at the link, it may be triggering, so use discretion.
SANPETE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Several law enforcement agencies in central Utah are facing an 11 million dollar federal lawsuit that accuses them of violating a young man’s civil rights.
22-year old Stephan Cook claims police forced a catheter in him after he refused a drug test in 2008 while he was attending Snow College.
As the plaintiff in the case, Cook claims the incident in question started on a quiet sideroad in Ephraim where he was parked smoking cigarettes inside a car with friends. Cook says police officers approached the car, suspecting the young men were smoking marijuana.
“When they approached us, they said it smelled like marijuana, but we said no, we’re smoking cigarettes and we just put the cigarettes out like you asked us to,” says Cook.
Over the next several minutes, during a search of the friend’s car and the police interrogation, cops asked Cook if he would submit to a urine test. Cook says he refused without an attorney and then subsequently refused several more times even when he was booked into jail.
“I said not without an attorney present, because I don’t know if what you’r doing is legal. And then he (the cop) said, well we’re getting a search warrant and we’ll have your bodily fluids by the end of the night.”
After police obtatined a search warrant for the bodily fluids, Cook was forced by police to be catheterized at Sanpete County Hospital. “The nurse told him to hold my shoulders and she undoes my pants and wipes me down with iodine, catheterized me and took my urine.”
This sounds more like it was punishment for not complying to the officer’s demands.
Again, cops are getting way the fuck out of control.
“Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” yells the Chicago police officer, caught on video right before arresting two journalists outside a Chicago hospital. One, an NBC News photographer, was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place. He was released only minutes later, but the damage was done. Chicago cops suffered an embarrassing “caught on tape” moment, and civil rights experts who say cops are unfairly cracking down on citizens with cameras had their iconic moment.
read more and watch the video
Fellow officers thought it would be funny to photograph David Davis, a Connecticut railroad police officer, sleeping at his desk while on shift.
They probably didn’t expect Davis to wake up, pull out his gun and point at the officer who had just taken his picture.
“No one’s taking pictures today,” Davis told John Freeman.
According to the Connecticut Post:
Freeman yelled at Davis to put the gun away, but Davis continued to track his movements with the gun pointed at Freeman’s head and his finger on the trigger, police said. After Freeman yelled at Davis a second time, Davis put the gun back in its holster, police said. Freeman then left the office.
Police said Freeman reported the incident to MTA Internal Affairs. Following an investigation, Davis was suspended for two weeks. However, Freeman subsequently pursued the matter and the case was turned over to Bridgeport police.
The incident took place in February. He was arrested Friday.
Davis, 51, a Metro-North Railroad police officer, is now facing first-degree reckless endangerment charges.
So, I suppose the only way for a cop to get into trouble for this kind of bullshit is if they do it to another cop.
Alexander Arbuckle, the defendant in the first Occupy Wall Street case to go to trial, has been found not guilty after video of the incident he was involved in showed him breaking no laws. The Village Voice reports:
“The protesters, including Arbuckle, were in the street blocking traffic, Officer Elisheba Vera testified. The police, on the sidewalk, had to move in to make arrests to allow blocked traffic to move. But there was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night.”
In an ironic twist, Arbuckle was actually working on a New York University photojournalism project aimed at defending police officers working at Occupy protests when he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
“I felt the police had been treated unfairly on [sic] the media,” he said to the Village Voice. “All the focus was on the conflict and the worst instances of brutality and aggression, where most of the police I met down there were really professional and restrained.”
Occupy videographer and indefatigable live-streamer Tim Pool’s clip was used as evidence along with the NYPD’s own video footage in the trial. The video shows protesters clearly using the sidewalk like they were asked to. (Watch the arrest around minute 35 of Pool’s video.)
“What’s happening is very similar to what happened in 2004 with the Republican National Convention,” Arbuckle’s lawyer told theVoice. “It’s just a symptom of how the NYPD treats dissent.
Just when you thought the police ran out of ways to disgust you.
Dekalb County police officer Jerad Wheeler was called to a home to settle a domestic dispute involving a pregnant woman named Raven Dozier, her brother and his child and baby’s mother.
As things escalated Wheeler pulled out his taser and used it on Dozier’s brother. She says that’s when she started crying and asking the officer why he used a taser on her brother.
Wheeler must not have been in a talking mood because after he used the taser on him, he then kicked Dozier in the stomach.
“I think he really just didn’t want me asking him any questions, questioning him, and when I did question him is when he kicked me,” she tells Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News. ”I was upset because I couldn’t believe an officer would kick me, with my child in my stomach.”