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Friday, December 31, 2010

Corrupt Justice™: The Worst of 2010!


January 3, 2011


OAKLAND


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Top News Story!


30 Years!


"Justice is not blind, despite all the sayings and statutes. Justice knows who is in the dock, their race and their age and their approximate net worth, and justice makes decisions based on those criteria - as well as a few others - [b]ut [justice] can see all right."

Harry J. Williby,
Editor-in-Chief,
Corrupt Justice™

January 4, 2011


Parting Corruption!


January 3, 2011


SLPD - Murder!



Posted: 12/30/2010 06:07:43 AM PST
Updated: 12/30/2010 08:34:43 PM PST


OAKLAND, CA -- San Leandro police shot and killed a woman who was driving a stolen Jaguar on Wednesday night, after a chase that ended in a crash about 50 feet from the Oakland-San Leandro border. Two officers patrolling in the 600 block of MacArthur Boulevard spotted the car dashing away from a liquor store around 10:30 p.m. and checked to discover the car had been reported stolen hours earlier, San Leandro police Lt. Jeff Tudor said. They tried to pull it over, and a short, high-speed chase ensued, ending when the Jaguar spun 180 degrees in the 10900 block of Bancroft Avenue and crashed into a Pontiac parked at the curb, Tudor added.



Two people were in the car, Tudor said, and an Oakland man in the passenger seat immediately fled. The officers had parked and gotten out of their car, and one officer ran to subdue the fleeing suspect, stopping behind the Jaguar, Tudor said. As that officer restrained the male suspect, the second officer walked to the driver's side of the car and saw the Jaguar's tires spinning and smoking as the driver, a Hayward woman, revved the engine, Tudor said. Both suspects have criminal records, Tudor said. No weapons were found in the car.

The officer feared that if the woman put the car in reverse while the engine was revving that hard, it would hit his partner, Tudor said, so he gave the woman "numerous commands" to stop. When she didn't, he fired his gun into the car, Tudor said. She was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

[N]eighbors said they didn't think the shooting was necessary. Mel Snell, 48, lives on the block, which is between 109th and Durant avenues, and owns the parked Pontiac into which the Jaguar crashed. He said Thursday that he rushed out the door as he heard approaching sirens and believes the officers struck the rear of the Jaguar with their patrol car, forcing the crash, which he saw as he came outside.

"They crashed the car and right away he said, 'Get out, get out,' two times, and then he started dumping the whole clip on her. He actually reloaded when he was done," Snell said. "You need a minute after you crash a car to get your consciousness. He should have waited." Snell said he was angry with San Leandro police because the car he just bought a few weeks ago is now undriveable, and he believes the officers are responsible for the damage. Maurice Brown, 38, also lives on the block of the shooting, and said he saw nothing but heard tires burning rubber, followed by about eight gunshots and then police commands: "Let me see your hands. Come toward me."

Tudor said the officers did not perform a PIT maneuver -- using one moving car to tap another and end a chase -- but added that he did not know why the Jaguar suddenly turned around. He also could not describe how far behind the Jaguar the allegedly endangered officer was, or whether the Jaguar was already boxed in, its rear corner blocked by the Pontiac, as some witnesses said.

Police withheld the names of the officers, the woman who died and the male suspect who remained in custody. Both officers are veterans, Tudor said, but he would not say if either has been involved in a shooting before. Neither officer was injured and both are now on paid administrative leave, a common police policy. Investigations are being conducted by Oakland homicide detectives, Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the San Leandro police administration.

Familial History of Murder!



February 10, 2010

Oakland, CA - An Oakland man was convicted of second-degree murder today for the shooting death of 17-year-old San Leandro High School football player Greg Ballard Jr. on Oct. 13, 2007. Dwayne Stancill, 21, the son of a San Leandro police officer, faces a term of 40 years when he is sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hyner on April 9, 2010. Sgt. Stancill, the defendant's father was a sergeant in the San Leandro Police Department, but left the department last month (January 2010). Police Chief Ian Willis said today that personnel rules bar him from disclosing the reason Stancill left the department.

In addition to second-degree murder, which carries a term of 15 years, jurors convicted Stancill of intentionally discharging a firearm and causing death, which carries another 25 years. Family members and friends of both Ballard and Stancill packed Hymer’s courtroom for the reading of the verdict.Oakland police discovered Ballard suffering at least one gunshot wound in the 9200 block of Sunnyside Street in Oakland at about 10:10 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2007. Stancill was arrested 11 days after the shooting. A photo on a Web site devoted to a gang to which police said Stancill belonged helped investigators locate him, police said.

Family members and friends of both Ballard and Stancill packed opposite sides of Hymer's courtroom for the reading of the verdict. Although Ballard lived in San Leandro, he still had friends in Oakland and went to a party there to see them, and was celebrating his team's victory over rival Bishop O'Dowd. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Ben Beltramo said Wednesday that Ballard was simply minding his own business and wasn't bothering anyone, but Dwayne Stancill walked up to him and shot at him four times, striking him once. Ballard died on the spot. Beltramo said a possible motive for the shooting was that Stancill may have tried to enhance his gang reputation by committing an act of violence.

Stancill's lawyer has denied that Stancill was a gang member, but Beltramo said a photo of Stancill flashing gang signs was posted on the MySpace page for the Hyfee Boyz gang. Beltramo said finding Stancill's photo on the gang's Web site "catapulted" the investigation into Ballard's death and helped them identify Stancill as the culprit. Stancill's attorney admitted during the trial that Stancill killed Ballard but said Stancill was so drunk that he did not have an intent to kill and should only be convicted of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter.

Beltramo conceded that Stancill had been drinking the night of the shooting, but he said Stancill still knew what he was doing and "formed the specific intent to kill." Beltramo said the jury's decision was "a very appropriate and just verdict."


2010's

Worst of the Worst!





January 3, 2011

The New Orleans Police Department is known for carrying out heinous acts of racist brutality, especially within the African-American and other oppressed communities. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which all too painfully exposed broken levees in the predominantly Black Ninth Ward, many police shootings of unarmed Black residents took place as people were desperately trying to escape and survive flooded New Orleans. An untold number of these residents lost their lives during these senseless shootings. Few police and few of the armed white vigilantes who shot and killed these residents are likely to ever be brought to justice for these crimes against humanity.


December 10, 2010




Given this history, it was somewhat unusual that some of these NOPD killings came to light — four years after they took place. One was the case of Henry Glover, a 31-year-old Black man who was shot in the back on Sept. 2, 2005, by police officer David Warren. The officer claimed that Glover had a weapon when he shot him. Henry was barely alive when his brother, King, flagged down a Black motorist, William Tanner, in an attempt to get Henry to a hospital.



They asked the police to help them. The cops handcuffed and then beat King Glover and Tanner. Meanwhile, Henry Glover bled to death in the back seat of Tanner’s car. Once Glover died, one of the cops burned his body and the car beyond recognition. In early 2009, the Nation magazine broke the story of the charred body and the car being found. This discovery helped to lead to federal indictments against five NOPD officers on various charges.



On Dec. 9, 2010 a New Orleans jury found Warren guilty of violating Glover’s civil rights along with manslaughter. Two other officers were found guilty of burning Tanner’s car and attempted cover-up of the killing. Two other officers were completely acquitted. While some may feel that some justice was served in this case, Henry Glover’s aunt, Rebecca Glover, stated that the officers should have been convicted for the murder of her nephew. Warren will most certainly serve less time in prison for the manslaughter conviction.

The case of Henry Glover brings to mind the cases of the fatal police shootings of other unarmed Black men like Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo and many others. In these cases and countless more, none of the killer cops were charged with murder, much less convicted of murder. Some of these police would not have been put on trial even for manslaughter if there weren’t some level of mass organizing from the oppressed communities and their political allies.

The New Orleans Police Murder of Raymond Robair

Early on the steamy Saturday morning of July 30, 2005, two New Orleans cops took the battered body of 48-year-old Raymond Robair to the emergency room of Charity Hospital. They left Raymond unconscious in a wheelchair, told ER workers they had found him on the ground, and drove away. Several hours later, Raymond Robair died on an operating table.

Raymond had sustained a vicious beating. He had several broken ribs that had lacerated his liver and ruptured his spleen. He died from the ruptured spleen. The two cops who had taken Raymond to the hospital—Melvin Williams and Matthew Brooks—claimed that they had found him staggering at the corner of Robertson and Dumaine streets in the Treme district of New Orleans, just behind Louis Armstrong Park. The report they filed, as the New Orleans Times Picayune wrote, "never mentions any struggle with Robair—or any use of force at all. It never quotes a civilian witness, mentions Robair by name, or notes that he later died."

People who witnessed the encounter between Raymond and the cops told a completely different story. Raymond Robair, who was known as a local handyman, had gone to the house of an elderly neighbor to help her with repairs, although he knew she didn't have money to pay him. They told how Williams and Brooks confronted Raymond, and how Williams—known throughout Treme for his brutal history, kicked and beat Raymond with his nightstick until he was unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk. They then threw him in the back of their police car.

The Coverup, the Indictments

In late August 2005, Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard issued his report on Raymond Robair's death. The report said that "Robair's injuries were sustained sometime before his encounter with the police." Minyard also claimed the cause of Raymond's death was "unclassified" and "accidental." Minyard admitted that he "relies heavily on the NOPD to provide facts that help determine how a person dies." He continued, "The way it was presented to me by the Police Department, this young man was staggering along the street and he collapsed in front of them or around them. The story was that, right around the corner, this guy had been in a fight. That's what the police said."

A lawyer for Robair's family struggled to bring the truth of his murder to light, and filed complaints against Williams and Brooks. But the NOPD said the complaints were "unfounded." And in December 2007, over two years after Robair's murder, the Orleans Parish DA made an official decision to refuse charges on the cops.

The Robair family attorney was able to have an independent autopsy done. The conclusion drawn by this coroner—the chief medical examiner for the state of Georgia—in early 2008 was that Robair was the victim of a homicide. Finally, on July 29, 2010, five years after his murder, the killers of Raymond Robair were indicted on federal civil rights charges. The cops are not charged with murder. The federal charges are that Williams and Brooks used "unnecessary force" when they kicked and beat Raymond to death, and then filed a "false report" when they claimed his death was a "medical incident." After a short hearing, both cops were released "in lieu of bond."

A Frenzy of Murder

The indictments of Williams and Brooks are part of a wave of federal indictments against members of the NOPD. At least 18 NOPD cops are under indictment now for three incidents, and five cases are still under federal investigation. Except for the case of Raymond Robair, all of the incidents being investigated occurred in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

Less than a month after Raymond Robair was beaten to death, Katrina hit New Orleans. Tens of thousands of people—overwhelmingly, Black people—were left to suffer and die for days in suffocating heat, and drown in the toxic sludge that flooded the city. Rescue workers, medical personnel, and other volunteers were prevented from entering the city by police and soldiers.

People in the city, especially youth usually condemned by the system as "gangsters," fought heroically to save as many lives as they could, rescuing people from rooftops, making improvised rafts to take people to dry land, gathering supplies for children, and elderly people who were without food or water. But the system's media blasted huge lies to the world about wanton murder and rape by criminal gangs ransacking the city.

These conscious and deliberate lies became a big part of the pretext for the massive infusion of armed enforcers into New Orleans, and gave a green light to a frenzy of killing, murder, and disappearances by New Orleans police and other armed enforcers of capitalism. The routine terror inflicted upon the people by the police—like that suffered by Raymond Robair—became an orgy of murderous violence. In one particularly horrific incident, Henry Glover was shot to death by a cop acting as a sniper. When Henry's brother, Edward King, and William Tanner, a passerby, tried to save Henry's life, they were themselves assaulted and savagely beaten by a mob of cops, who then set fire to Henry Glover's dead body and left his ashen remains in Tanner's car, 400 feet from their police station.

Private Property:

Hurricane Katrina was a practical demonstration of our governments top priorities. When push came to shove, they prefered to defend the businessman’s right to property over the working persons right to survival. And defend it they did – with extreme measures.

Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, with the full support of both Former President George Bush and Mayor Ray Nagin, gave the authorization for national guards troops to shoot and kill people she called “hoodlums” – namely, the poor, black inhabitants of the cities ghetto’s.

“These troops are fresh back from Iraq, well-trained, experienced, battle-tested and under my orders to restore order in the streets,” Gov. Blanco said.

“They have M-16′s and they are locked and loaded.

“These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.”

Although thousands were left stranded without water, without shelter, without food or medicine, among the first orders issued by government officials was to quell looting – to defend private property. But to protect themselves and their families, people had no choice. In order to survive, the city’s workers had to pit themselves against both businessman and the police to steal from the abandoned stores surrounding them.

Poverty and Racism:

There is no written or official police report describing what happened in this photo. According to witness accounts and photographs, New Orleans police officers attacked two handcuffed civilians on Sept. 1, 2005 and repeatedly sought to keep journalists from documenting the beating. The two men who were beaten, Ernest "Ricky" Bell and Robert Williams, say police thought they had been involved in a gunfight with officers. But Bell and Williams say they had nothing to do with any shooting, though they do admit to stealing a limousine in hopes of getting out of the flooded city. Williams claims police kicked out most of his upper front teeth, while Bell says he suffered from internal bleeding as result of the attack


In September of 2005, during the aftermath of the Hurricane, Police officers in New Orleans targeted, first and foremost, African-American workers, in their effort to stop people from stealing supplies.

On September 1st, an unarmed Keenon Mccann is shot three times in front of his mother by the NOPD, who were looking for a truck thief in the area.

On September 2nd, the same day Henry Glover is killed by police, Danny Brumfield was run down by a police cruiser in front of his family, and shot in the back.

(Two men cover their faces as they walk past the body of Danny Brumfield Sr. in the street outside the Convention Center on Sept. 3, 2005. New Orleans Police said Brumfield was shot after attacking an New Orleans police officer with a pair of scissors. Police records in the killing have been subpoenaed. See: Two New Orleans police officers lied under oath about the fatal shooting of a man outside the convention center after Hurricane Katrina, according to a federal indictment.)

On September 4th, police opened fire on an unarmed group of civilians, injuring four and killing two. No officers were injured, and no guns were found at the scene, despite officers claiming that they had been attacked first. These killings, to be sure, are just the tip of the iceberg. We will never know just how many people were killed by the police or by the white militias they let act with impunity.

Three officers plead not guilty!



July 14, 2010

From left: Robert Barrios, Robert Faulcon Jr., Ignatius Hills, Robert Gisevius Jr., Kenneth Bowen, Anthony Villavaso II, and Michael Hunter Jr. (AP Photo). Note: In the above photograph(s) the officers are being cheered on and congratulated by fellow officers from multiple departments, en route to their first appearance during State court proceedings. State charges were later dropped due to prosecutorial misconduct. NOPD Sgt. Robert Gisevius makes his way to Central Lockup with supportive fellow officers lining South White Street. Seven New Orleans police officers indicted Thursday, December 28, 2006, surrendered to the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's office Tuesday, January 6, 2007, walking to central lockup past hundreds of supporting officers (Notice how the White Officers shake Sgt. Gisevius' hand and pat him on the back for killing African-Americans?) NEW ORLEANS – Three officers pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the shooting deaths of two unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge in the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina. Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen and Officer Anthony Villavaso stood before a federal magistrate in green prison garb, shackled at the waist and ankles. They will remain jailed at least until a hearing Friday. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office said the Justice Department hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty against them and former officer Robert Faulcon, who was arrested in Texas on Tuesday and has not entered a plea. The case is one of several probes of alleged misconduct by New Orleans police officers that the Justice Department opened after the August 2005 storm.Five former officers already have pleaded guilty to helping cover up the shootings, which happened in the midst of another of the scorching days after Katrina. Bodies floated in filthy flood waters. Shots could be heard throughout the city, and many believed they were aimed at the endless stream of helicopters, the police, the rescue crews. Police were desperate to regain control amid the looting, the death and the people needing rescue. So when gunfire was heard at the Danziger Bridge, some of the responding officers fired back at the first people they saw. The call came in that police were taking fire at the bridge, and seven heavily armed New Orleans police officers — many with weapons not issued by the police department — stormed the bridge. Two civilians died on the Danziger Bridge that day, four others lay on the hot cement bleeding, and one man was handcuffed and forced to kneel as his brother died.


NOPD Officer Pleads Guilty to killing two men in Danziger Bridge Shooting!




More NOPD Officers Pleads Guilty to killing two men in Danziger Bridge Shooting!




The Charges:


Sgt. Kenneth Bowen was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette. Bowen also was charged with six counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew, Jose Holmes Jr., Lance Madison and Ronald Madison, who allegedly was fatally shot by another officer. Lance Madison was shot at by police, but not injured, according to his attorney. The three Bartholomews and Holmes were treated for gunshot wounds at West Jefferson Hospital, according to all accounts; Sergeant Robert Gisevius was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette and two counts of attempted first-degree murder of Lance Madison and Ronald Madison; Officer Anthony Villavaso was charged with one count of first-degree murder of James Brissette and four counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.; Officer Robert Faulcon was charged with two counts of first-degree murder of James Brissette and Ronald Madison. He also was charged with attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.; Officer Robert Barrios was charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew III, Susan Bartholomew, Lesha Bartholomew and Jose Holmes Jr.; Officer Michael Hunter was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder of Lance Madison and Ronald Madison; and Officer Ignatius Hills was charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder of Leonard Bartholomew IV.


Stephen Young!


September 2, 2010

BOISE, Idaho -- A former Boise Police officer who police say molested at least four children under two years old was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Ada County Court Wednesday. Fourth District Judge Michael Wetherell handed down the maximum sentence late Wednesday afternoon for 58-year-old Stephen Young. Young must serve at least 12.5 years before he is eligible for parole. Young pleaded guilty in June to one count of sexual battery of a child after striking a deal with prosecutors. Ada County Sheriff's deputies say back in March, Young admitted to molesting four young children. Ada County prosecutors revealed today that Young has confessed to molesting four more victims, all of whom are either family or family friends. This latest confession brings his victims to at least 13, but police say that number could be more than 20.



"He absolutely has no idea of the havoc and confusion and trauma he has unleashed," Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Jean Fisher said.

Young (pictured left) has confessed to molesting at least a dozen of his family members and family friends, all of whom were babies or toddlers at the time. Prosecutors say the abuse happened over a period of more than 30 years. The confessions have come out over the last six months, with the most recent just this week. Three parents of victims read statements to the court and Young during the sentencing hearing, two of which said they believed the true amount of victims will never be known as they don't believe Young will ever fully confess the truth.

"I just know that there's still more. There's a lot more. There's a lot more that he needs to come clear with for himself," a mother of a victim said. "I still do not believe that he has provided a complete list of victims. I don't think we will ever know the full extent of the damage he has caused," a father of a victim said. For some family members the lasting impact is too great for them to ever look past. "I think there is too much damage that has been done. I hope for him as a human being that he can make things right, but I think, like I said there's too much damage done, and there won't be any reconnection," a mother of victims said.

"There is no sentence that I can impose on you that the victims or their families is ever going to feel is severe enough," Fourth District Judge Michael Wetherell said. Although the state could pursue more charges against Young for the latest round of confessions, prosecutors said they probably will not after today's 25-year sentence. Investigators say they have evidence Young was molesting other children during his time as a school resource officer in the Boise School District, though those children were not related to his job. Young was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Young worked at a half dozen schools between 1995 and 2005. Young was an officer with Boise police from 1978 until he retired Feb. 28, 2010. He served as a patrol officer from 1978 to 1994, a motorcycle officer from 1994 to December 1995, a school resource officer from December 1995 to February 2005, and a patrol officer from February 2005 to February 2010.

Byron Thornton !



July 16, 2010

A former Santa Rosa County corrections department officer was sentenced as a sexual predator to 30 years in state prison, followed by life probation. Byron Thornton, 39, of Milton is charged with two counts of attempted sexual battery of a victim less than 12 years old, two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct in Escambia County, according to a press release issued by State Attorney Bill Eddins. He was also charged with an additional count of lewd and lascivious molestation in Santa Rosa County. The offenses occurred between 2008 and 2009. He was arrested Jan. 13, 2010. The charges stem from sexual abuse of his lover's children, according to the release. Escambia and Santa Rosa deputies cooperated in the investigation, as well as Gulf Coast Kids House and Santa Rosa Kids House.See: Lt. John Mitchell Tomlinson, Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Department (arrested for three counts of capital sexual battery on a child less than 12 years old and three counts of sexual battery by a custodial authority).


Murderous O.P.D. & B.A.R.T. Police!



July 17, 2010

OAKLAND — Oakland and BART police shot and killed Fred Collins, 48, of Oakland near the Fruitvale BART Station (BART STATION where Oscar Grant was killed) authorities said. Preliminary reports were that the man may have been armed with a knife (not confirmed as true). The shooting happened about 8:24 a.m. in the 1500 block of 33rd Avenue. Minutes earlier, Oakland Police joined two BART officers in pursuit of the man through the neighborhood after a 911 caller reported a suspect brandishing knives near the Fruitvale BART station. The officers apparently were not hurt. Two officers had fired Tasers at the man with no effect, Israel said. A total of five officers from both departments fired on the man in the 1500 block of 33rd Avenue shortly after 8 a.m., Deputy Oakland Police Chief Jeffrey Israel said. The dead man had not yet been identified, Israel said, describing him as appearing to be Hispanic and perhaps between the ages of 30 and 40. Oakland Police are in charge of the investigation, he said.



Jeff Israel is a liar! You can't believe anything he says!Lying is the norm for Oakland Police Officers and the Department!


Movie Intermission!

American Meth!



Previous Movie: People v. Jones (Infanticide)!

More Below



Friday, December 03, 2010

Lying is the Norm (for SFPD)! - Part IV


December 3, 2010


LOS ANGELES (WCJB) -- A Los Angeles judge has denied bail for former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle's attorney Michael Rains had asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry for bail arguing in court Friday that his client met the three criteria necessary for a defendant to be released from jail on bail while an appeal is considered. Those criteria include not being a flight risk, not being a danger to society and having "substantial issues on appeal" that would lead a judge to believe a conviction could be overturned. Rains filed a notice to appeal minutes after Perry sent Mehserle to prison for two years following the 28-year-old's conviction by a jury of involuntary manslaughter for killing Oscar Grant III on the Fruitvale BART station platform early New Year's Day 2009.


«• Full Stories coming to Corrupt Justice soon! •»

• Corrupt Cops!

• Corrupt Judges!

• Corrupt Lawyers!

• Corrupt Government Officials!

« • Brought to you by Corrupt Justice! •»

«• Bookmark Us & Tell A Friend! •»


«• We're Global! •»

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Corrupt Justice™ proudly presents its “featured and advertised attorney(s)” advertisement sections. From YouTube to Corrupt Justice™, our “featured and advertised attorneys” serve clients throughout the United States and the World. In addition to counseling clients who are, experiencing legal difficulty, have general legal questions, or are participating in litigation, our featured and advertised attorneys have extensive experience at all levels of federal and state trial, appellate and Supreme courts. Please visit us @ Twitter!



Top News Story!


ICED!


Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 06:04am PST - Updated: Wed Dec 14, 2011 02:49pm PST

Oakland, CA (WCJB) -- A former ICE agent has been convicted for telling Florida federal prosecutors a felon was a valuable organized crime informant in an effort to get leniency. A Los Angeles federal jury on Tuesday convicted 55-year-old Frank Johnston of obstruction and making false statements. Prosecutors say the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent tried to get Abdulahad Touma signed up as an informant and get him a favorable sentencing deal in exchange for a lucrative consulting job. Touma was convicted in Florida of purchasing untaxed cigarettes and he was facing 18 months in prison. Sentencing was delayed because Johnston falsely stated that Touma was an informant in two criminal investigations into immigrant smuggling and prostitution.

Johnston faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 23, 2012.

“Tapper”!



February 25, 2011

SHREVEPORT, LA —— Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks, the former chief of police of Vidalia, Louisiana, was sentenced today to six months in prison for making false statements to federal law enforcement agents in the course of an investigation into the use and disposition of certain firearms located at the Vidalia Police Department, United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced. Hendricks was also fined $3,000 and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. In addition, Hendricks was sentenced to two years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Dee Drell in Alexandria.

Hendricks pleaded guilty on November 18, 2010, to knowingly and willfully making three material false statements during an interview with FBI and ATF agents who were investigating possible violations of federal firearms laws. Hendricks denied transferring a fully automatic machine gun owned by the Vidalia Police Department to the custody of an individual or individuals at the Rifle Point Hunting Club in Ferriday, Louisiana, when in truth and in fact the defendant transferred the weapons for the use of the members and guests of the club. Hendricks falsely claimed that one of the individuals to whom custody of the machine gun was transferred was a reserve police officer of the Vidalia Police Department whom he had sworn in at an unofficial ceremony, when in truth and in fact there was no such ceremony, and the individual was not a reserve police officer. Hendricks also falsely claimed that the individual had signed an oath of office form related to the alleged swearing in prior to receiving the machine gun, when in truth and in fact the individual had never signed such an oath of office form.

As part of his plea agreement with the government, Hendricks was required to resign as chief of police at the time of the guilty plea. This case was investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole O. Snyder and William J. Flanagan.


Lying is the Norm!


Posted: 03/31/2011 02:30:35 PM PDT
Updated: 04/01/2011 06:57:59 AM PDT




SAN FRANCISCO (WCJB) — A combative San Francisco Police Chief Jeff Godown came out swinging at the city’s public defender Thursday, saying he saw nothing wrong with the actions of three undercover officers from the department’s Richmond Station who were accused of misconduct after being videotaped during a recent drug search and arrest. “I’m troubled and perplexed why an elected official – Jeff Adachi - continues to paint the police department with a wide brush of police misconduct,” Godown said. “That is untrue." With several dozen members of his command staff standing around him, Godown insisted that his three officers – Sgt. Thomas Watts and officers Michael Zhang and Michele Martinez – acted according to the law and did not lie in the police report of the incident.

But during a preliminary court hearing Wednesday, a judge dismissed the case of McLaren Wenzell, 23, after reviewing security footage showing the March 1 search of Wenzell’s apartment located near 33rd Avenue and Geary Boulevard in the city’s Outer Richmond neighborhood.

The video shows the three officers searching Wenzell’s apartment building.



The three officers’ badges cannot be seen in footage of the three standing in the building’s garage, nor are their badges seen later in additional footage of them roaming hallways on the building’s third floor in search of drug activity.

In police reports submitted to the court, Officer Zhang said the three officers had their badges exposed on their “outermost clothing.” Zhang also said Watts asked for Wenzell’s consent to search his home, but in a news conference at Adachi’s office on Wednesday, Wenzell’s attorney said the consent may have been coerced.

The chief on Thursday said the officers did get consent for the search and were not required to wear their badges as undercover cops, nor – he maintained – did the report say they did.

District Attorney George Gascon said that he too disagreed with the judge’s decision to drop the case, and that his office would continue to try and pursue charges against Wenzell. The case is one of 83 that have been dismissed due to several videos released by Adachi’s office that show conflicting information between police reports and what’s seen in the footage.



The previous videos showed alleged police misconduct at various residential hotels in the city in recent months, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into those cases. Godown sought to contain the growing scandal, criticizing Adachi for using the news media to publicize the videos rather than supplying the footage to police investigators. “If there’s allegations that are valid, we’ll look at them. I’m not going to stand here and not defend the people that work in this department,” Godown said. “We handle our own investigations and we do a good job.”

Adachi fired back that the chief was ignoring evidence that proves allegations against his officers. “What we’re hearing from the chief is, ‘oh there’s no consequence. I believe the police officer over the person being accused.’” Adachi said that in Wenzell’s case and in others, the officers “are generating the information that they are relying upon” to prosecute the case.

Godown, speaking at a news conference prior to a meeting of the SFPD’s command staff, said he was “troubled and kind of perplexed” by statements made by Adachi about the case. “He continues to paint the Police Department with a wide brush” and “screams the sky is falling,” Godown said. “I’m not going to sit back and let people bad mouth this department, and put out allegations of misconduct when they’re not true,” he said.

The chief said he saw nothing in the video that led him to believe there were any issues with the three officers that would require them to be removed from their regular duties. “We’re going to continue to do our job and we’re not worried about people videotaping what we’re doing,” Godown said. Officers are keenly aware that security cameras, iPhones and all manner of recording devices put every arrest and every traffic stop under scrutiny, Godown said, but cautioned that video footage does not necessarily reflect everything that happens in a police encounter. “Everytime there’s a court proceeding and everytime somebody introduces a videotape to that court proceeding, I’m not going to jump up and down and panic over it,” he said. “Everytime there’s a videotape, that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.”

Capt. Richard Corriea of the Richmond Station said he had “tremendous confidence” in the three officers involved in the latest video. “If my mom called the police, these are the officers I’d want to go,” Corriea said.

San Francisco PD!


March 10, 2011

DA drops 57 cases in San Francisco cops scandal




More Lies Exposed!


March 9, 2011



SAN FRANCISCO (WCJB) -- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has dropped eight more criminal cases because of the possibility they may have been tainted by officers who are under investigation. That brings the total number of cases either dismissed in court or dropped by the Gascon to 13. The growing number of cases is causing concern among public officials, including the mayor. "I am disturbed by the videos, what they unveil," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said.

January 5, 2011

In the Jan. 5 case, Officer Richard Yick states in a police report that officers were met in the hallway by a woman who voluntarily opened the door to her room. A man who came to the door told officers he was on probation, which police then confirmed with dispatch, Yick wrote, before entering and searching the room. After heroin was found, both the man and woman were arrested. In the video, however, Yick is seen covering the surveillance camera with his hand while his fellow officers—Razzak, Kane and Elias--approach the room. The officers then demand the female resident open her door. All four officers then storm into the unit.



A judge dismissed the case Monday after viewing the video, said the woman's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Tal Klement. Felony Supervisor Bob Dunlap of the Public Defender's Office said the video confirms long-standing suspicions. "For years our clients have reported tales of police entering their homes without warrants or consent, in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment and in direct contradiction of the police version of events," Dunlap said. "Now we have proof both of the police violating core Constitutional rights and committing perjury to cover their tracks."

Henry Hotel, December 2, 2010 From: sfpublicdefender | Mar 7, 2011 |

The most recent video involves Southern Station officers Arshad Razzak, Raul Elias and Raymond Kane, who are implicated in previous videos showing illegal searches in residential motels. Also involved are Southern Station Sgt. Samuel Christ and Officer Gregory Buhagiar. In the video, Sugarman's client, a 29-year-old man, is seen walking into the Henry Hotel and ascending the stairs wearing a black jacket. Moments later, police using a master key enter the sixth floor room of two women suspected of selling drugs, where the man is a visitor. Officers find a white and gold jacket slung over a chair with drugs in the pocket and no identification. According to Razzak's police report, Buhagiar states that he witnessed Sugarman's client walk into the hotel wearing the same white and gold jacket.

"My client told officers repeatedly that it was not his jacket, that his jacket was right next to him," Sugarman said. "Police never put his statements in their report, never checked the video and never booked the black jacket into evidence." Surveillance video from the Henry Hotel reveals that San Francisco Police Department narcotics officers falsified police reports in order to justify searching residences without warrants or consent.


SFPD Lying Again!


March 5, 2011

Surveillance video of two police raids could put a number of San Francisco drug cases in jeopardy. The public defender's office says the images are damning evidence of a handful of officers abusing their badge. Public defenders say what they revealed Wednesday could have far reaching consequences in drug arrests in the city. They say the six officers not only illegally entered people's homes and arrested them for drug possession, but then lied about it under oath. "As as public defenders every day we have questions about the way in which police officer gain entrance into homes and apartments, here we have proof," Public Defender Jeff Adachi said. In surveillance video taken Jan. 5, 2011 the undercover officers are seen walking down the fifth floor hallway of the residential Henry Hotel on 6th Street. One of the officers, Richard Yik, walks up to the surveillance camera and covers it with his hand. Another video from Dec. 23, 2011 shows police storming another unit in the same hotel. Officers pull one of the residents out in handcuffs. Public defenders say the resident actually gave written consent for the police to enter the building 18 minutes after officers gained entry using a master key. Though the police report says they knocked and asked permission to enter, public defenders say that too is a lie made by the officers under oath.

SFPD Blues!

February 4, 2011 SAN FRANCISCO (WCJB) -- The headline sounds incredible, but it's true -- the San Francisco Police Department delivered illegal drugs to a crime lab technician. Debbie Madden got those drugs while she was under investigation for possible drug crimes. The I-Team even commissioned an independent lab to test the drugs the SFPD sent to Madden through her lawyer, and the tests confirm morphine and PCP. It's the scandal that rocked the SFPD -- Madden admitted to skimming cocaine from evidence she tested at the crime lab, and using it herself.
"If some fell on the counter or something and it was sitting there afterwards, I may have taken that," she said. The attorney general's office declined to prosecute Madden for lack of evidence. However, with her work and court testimony in question, 700 current drug cases have been dismissed and thousands of convictions are getting a second look. The SFPD's reputation is about to take another hit because of these three little packets. "It's actually a little money envelope, but there's no money in it, but the substance that's in there, and you can see it where my finger is down below, it's a small item, but that contains PCP and was tested as PCP," said Madden's attorney, Paul Demeester. Demeester says now that Madden is clear of charges in the crime lab case, he can reveal a huge mistake by the SFPD. It started with a phone call from officers during the investigation; they wanted to return Madden's personal property they seized from the crime lab. Noyes: So, physically, what happened? Did they actually bring it here themselves? Demeester: Yes, in one SUV and one other police undercover car. Along with Madden's mini-fridge, floor heater, coat rack and clothing, investigators returned boxes of personal and work-related property. But they didn't go through the boxes very well. The police sent Madden a file that contained proficiency tests she took in the mid-80s -- her supervisor gave her three packets of white powder. Madden identified them as morphine, a powerful pain killer, PCP, an illegal hallucinogen, and ephedrine, which can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Incredibly, when police sent the forms to Madden through her lawyer, the drugs were still attached. "This is comical for San Francisco Crime Lab to give her drugs when they're prosecuting her for allegedly possessing drugs," said Demeester. The I-Team commissioned an independent lab to test the samples. The lawyer forwarded them to Sacramento. It's confirmed, the police sent morphine, PCP and ephedrine to Madden, who at that point, was a suspect in a drug case. "Why aren't they keeping track of what's happening to these samples?" said San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi. "That's a question I think that needs to be answered." Adachi has been a vocal critic of the police department. He calls this a "fitting end" to the crime lab scandal. "Wasn't the whole point of the drug lab scandal for the police department to put tighter controls in place so they're not mishandling drugs?" he said. "And what do we find out? That they're giving drugs to the technician who was stealing them from the crime lab?" When the scandal broke last March, then-police Chief George Gascon promised to answer any and all questions, saying, "Until somebody proves I'm not being transparent or doing the right thing, I think that people need to back off." But that apparently changed when he was appointed district attorney a month ago. He refused to be interviewed for this report, even though the mistake happened under his watch when he was police chief. "He should address it, he should address it in a very overt way and be honest about it," said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, chairman of the Public Safety Committee. Mirkarimi says because of this report, he will renew his push for an independent, privately-run crime lab. "Other cities are doing it or seriously considering it," he said. "San Francisco should do the same thing. This lesson is Exhibit A as to why." Through his spokeswoman, acting police Chief Jeff Godown agreed to an on-camera interview and then backed out after we arrived at the Hall of Justice. We had to catch up to him at last night's police commission meeting. Noyes: You oversaw the Madden investigation. How is it that your officers sent drugs to Debbie Madden? Godown: We don't know what you're talking about. I can't tell you how it occurred, why it occurred and all the information that you're asking until we conduct an investigation. We're more than willing to conduct an investigation to determine what happened. "These drugs are felonies. People go to state prison for possession of these drugs," said Tony Ribera, a former San Francisco police chief who now heads the International Institute of Criminal Justice Leadership at USF. He says this story is "symptomatic of a bigger problem" at the SFPD. "The system, and I think Chief Gascon who's-- and Jeff Godown now would agree with me, the entire system has to be tightened up significantly." The DEA tells the I-Team that even though the drugs have been in storage since the mid-80s, they are still active and potent. Madden is facing a felony drug charge in San Mateo County after police say they found a small amount of cocaine in her house last year.

Gascon Now Prosecutes!

January 10, 2011 Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon (pictured left) as city district attorney Sunday. Gascon will serve the remaining term of former Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris, who is now California's attorney general. Gascon, a former high-ranking official in the Los Angeles Police Department, is the first Latino to be named San Francisco's head prosecutor. Gascon will serve out the remaining year of Harris' term and is expected to seek a full four-year term as district attorney in November. Newsom named him San Francisco chief in 2009, after he served three years as chief of the department in Mesa, Ariz., where illegal immigration and police enforcement of immigration laws are hot issues.
Gascon is a native-born of Fidel Castro's Cuba. In a 2008 Los Angeles Times article, Gascon cited academic studies that found that immigrants commit proportionally fewer crimes than native-born Americans. Gascon, a lawyer since 1996 with a degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton who has never prosecuted a case. Gascon, as Chief, had been thrust into controversies over the city's immigration stance and the integrity of the city's crime lab.

No Charges for SFPD Thief!

December 31, 2010 "If some fell on the counter or something and it was sitting there afterwards, I may have taken that." The SFPD crime lab scandal that rocked the department has ended with a whimper, not a bang, as the California Attorney General's office has decided not to prosecute Deborah Madden, a former lab employee who was linked to missing drugs in at least six cases in the latter part of 2009, causing SF prosecutors to drop hundreds of drug cases. Madden, 60, of San Mateo, admitted to taking cocaine about five times from evidence she was testing at the lab between October and December 2009, but she insisted she only removed small amounts that spilled during the process. She went on leave from the department in December and officially retired March 1, 2010.
"After an exhaustive evaluation, our lawyers determined that no additional charges would be filed," said Christine Gasparak, spokesperson for Attorney General Jerry Brown. Madden's attorney agreed, saying that "She admitted to five times having used residue," but that she is "very happy" to hear she won't be facing charges in this case. SFPD chief Gascon disagrees, telling media sources "we're very disappointed" and that "Miss Madden was certainly... she committed the acts that were being alleged." The Jerry Brown's decision was actually made almost a month ago, but was just made public Thursday. Why the secrecy? We asked just that, and was told that the AG's "duty was only to notify the district attorney's office because that is the agency that requested this outside investigation."

San Francisco Police!

December 15, 2010 A San Francisco judge ruled Tuesday that a man imprisoned for 18 years was wrongfully convicted in a double-murder case in which San Francisco authorities failed to tell the defense that they paid thousands of dollars to the star witness. Caramad Conley, 40, has been locked up since 1992 - serving two life-without-parole terms in the 1989 double slayings on Third Street that prosecutors claimed were gang-motivated. He may soon be free as a result of the ruling by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller, who found that Conley was denied a fair trial and unconstitutionally convicted. Miller found that police investigators knew that the prosecution's star witness, Clifford Polk, lied on the stand about whether he was being paid, but they did nothing to intervene. Citing "voluminous evidence" that Polk was lying when he claimed he was not in witness protection and therefore not receiving benefits, Miller went further, finding that the lead investigator in the case, Earl Sanders - who later became police chief - knew about the perjury. "I find that Sanders knew the testimony was false and did not correct it." Sanders (pictured above, left) could not be reached for comment, and the prosecutor in the case, former San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Al Giannini, did not return calls about the ruling. Previous Sanders case Conley, currently held in Calipatria State Prison, is not the first defendant to have been wrongly convicted in a case involving Sanders. His case bears strong similarities to court findings that led to the release of Antoine Goff and John Tennison in another botched murder case that resulted in a record civil settlement last year of $7.5 million for the defendants, who were both freed in 2003 after spending more than 10 years in prison. In that case, the courts found that prosecutors and police had information that another person might have committed the crime but did not disclose it during the trial. In the latest case, San Francisco prosecutors said they will review the findings and decide whether to appeal the ruling in favor of the defendant. They declined further comment. Both cases involved the same investigators, the late Napoleon Hendrix (pictured left) and Sanders, who retired in 2003. The cases also both involved allegations that courts found had merited overturning murder verdicts because investigators had withheld exculpatory evidence defense attorneys were constitutionally entitled to. In the Conley case, prosecutors claimed he shot and killed two people - Roshawn Johnson and Charles Hughes - in a gang-related drive-by on April 8, 1989. They based their case largely on the testimony of a key witness, Polk, who was a police informant. Johnson and Hughes were gunned down on Third Street in a shooting that left 11 others injured. Polk recounted in the 1994 trial that the defendant confessed to him. Polk admitted on the stand that he was a prior police informant who was previously under witness protection because of his testimony in another case. But, when asked on the stand if he was currently under witness protection, he denied it. However, while researching San Francisco records in the Tennison-Goff murder conviction challenge, Tennison's attorneys stumbled onto the previously undisclosed witness protection payment records involving Polk in the Conley case. Other key documents were found under piles of debris in unmarked boxes at a police warehouse in Hunters Point, said Daniel Purcell, one of Conley's lawyers. It turned out, Purcell said, that Sanders started paying Polk - an unemployed transient with a history of drug dealing - just three months before the Conley trial in September 1994. Purcell said Polk was getting weekly payments - and Sanders ultimately acknowledged those payments in testimony during a court-ordered deposition earlier this year in the case. Sanders said he told the San Francisco prosecutor, Giannini, about the payments. Giannini testified, however, that he was never told of the payments. In any event, Judge Miller found that the payments should have been disclosed to the defense. Purcell said his client's constitutional rights were clearly violated. "This was an easy case - it's a case where the police and prosecutors paid the essential prosecution witness thousands of dollars over a period of months and let him lie about it on the stand." Purcell said that prosecutors tried to argue that the witness was right when he testified he was not under witness protection because he was not part of an officially sanctioned state program. He was, however, being protected or paid as part of San Francisco's own program. "It didn't really pass the laugh test and the judge didn't give it any credit," he said. Prosecutors now must decide whether to appeal the ruling or accept it and allow Conley's release. They can also seek a new trial. Polk, however, died two years ago and all that's left is the same testimony he gave during the 1994 trial - in which the defense did not have the ability to ask about the payments. "He's about as thoroughly impeached as can be," Purcell said.

Bribery!


December 2, 2010 A former San Francisco police officer was arrested Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday on bribery charges for allegedly accepting money from taxi drivers in exchange for a passing grade on a written examination required for a permit, according to the district attorney's office. Paul Makaveckas, 55, surrendered to authorities in San Francisco on Tuesday and was arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court Wednesday. Makaveckas pleaded not guilty to four counts of bribery and was released from jail after posting $160,000 bail. He allegedly accepted bribes of around $100 each from taxi cab driver applicants over the course of two years, ending in March 2009, district attorney's office spokeswoman Erica Derryck said. In return, Makaveckas, who was in charge of administering and grading the written exams at the time, allegedly gave the drivers passing grades, according to the district attorney's office. He retired from the Police Department in March 2009, police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said. William Hancock, 60, was allegedly the middle man in the transactions. Hancock operated a taxi driving school, and applicants would allegedly pay him bribe money that he would then hand over to Makaveckas, according to the district attorney's office. Hancock was also arrested on Tuesday. He was booked into Marin County Jail and will be transferred to San Francisco for arraignment on three counts of bribery. Derryck said she did not know whether the taxi drivers involved in the case had been identified, and she said the Police Department was handling that part of the investigation. "That's something we're aware of," police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said. "I don't know if a decision has been made yet on what our plan would be" for the taxi drivers involved in the bribes. Tomioka said she did not know how many cabbies were involved in the case. "Our criminal justice system relies on the integrity of those sworn to uphold it," District Attorney Kamala Harris said in a statement. "Any breach of this code threatens the safety of our community. There is zero tolerance for individuals who violate the public trust by abusing their authority and breaking our laws for their own personal gain."

Major Cases!

November 22, 2010 Police Chief George Gascón vehemently denied that a major investigation was going on at the Police Department involving narcotics and Money Laundering, claiming his words on Wednesday to the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association Board of Director’s were taken out of context. The local media reported that Gascón told the union’s executive board that a major investigation was underway involving the newly created internal affairs unit. But in a statement Friday morning, spokeswoman SFPD Lt. Lyn Tomioka called the report “misinformed.” “In his discussion, the Chief, using examples of recently investigated cases and other cases, stated that the unit would be investigating cases involving allegations of serious criminal misconduct such as money laundering and narcotics distribution,” the statement said. However, according to local newspaper, who spoke with Gascón on Friday morning, “The chief told the newspaper, however, that he may have suggested the existence of such an ongoing probe at an executive meeting of the police union board on Wednesday.” To set the record straight, the meeting was closed to the public and Gascón’s words were leaked to The Examiner and confirmed by someone on the Board of Directors who was at the meeting. A message on Gascón’s cell phone on Wednesday, an open line to reporters seeking confirmation on stories such as this, was never returned. Tomioka said Gascón did not return the call because he was sick. 11/18/10 6:52 PM PST The San Francisco police internal affairs unit is conducting a major investigation within the department, police Chief George Gascon told the Police Officers Association’s Board of Directors on Wednesday. The investigation under way involves money laundering and the possible distribution of narcotics, according to sources. The topic came up after Gascon fielded questions as to whether the internal affairs unit was conducting surveillance or stings on its officers. He told the union that the unit was not hounding officers, but that there was a major investigation under way. Gascon did not return a call for comment.

Lying is the Norm!

San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón had been on the job only a few weeks last year when he stumbled onto something alarming as he sorted through officer disciplinary cases. The chief, himself a lawyer, saw allegations in one case that could cast doubt on the officer's credibility if he were ever called to testify in court - damaging material that prosecutors would have to give to the defense under a 1963 Supreme Court ruling called Brady vs. Maryland. The chief knew this issue well. He is a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, which was torn apart by the 1999 Rampart scandal in which several police officers were convicted of framing innocent people, stealing drugs, beating and shooting suspects, and other crimes. Los Angeles defense lawyers found out that no one had told them that several of the officers had taken the stand in trials. It turned out the district attorney didn't know, either, because his office wasn't tracking the problem officers. Eventually, more than 100 convictions were reversed - in some cases because defense attorneys hadn't had a chance to attempt to discredit the officers before juries. With so many problem officers lurking in the legal bushes and the office under pressure from the scandal, newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley drew up the state's first police misconduct disclosure policy in 2002. The policy sets the information prosecutors expect to get from police agencies and gives an individual officer the right to challenge being branded as having a Brady-related problem. As he looked at the San Francisco officer's file in September, Gascón says, he told his staff, "This case should be evaluated for Brady." "I was basically given a very blank stare," Gascón recalled. "They said, 'We don't have one of those.' I said, 'How can a county not have a Brady policy?' And so I had some conversations with the D.A.'s office." It turned out that District Attorney Kamala Harris' office - despite the decade-old furor in Los Angeles - had no policy and did nothing to track officers whose credibility could be challenged if they were arrested for a crime or accused of in-house disciplinary charges. "I'm not offering any excuses," Harris said. "We did not have a formal, written policy. My predecessor didn't have one, either. Most (district attorneys) don't." A hastily ordered tabulation, begun this year as an offshoot of the police drug lab scandal, has turned up more than 135 officers whose histories might have to be disclosed to defense lawyers, sources close to the matter say. Harris' predecessor, Terence Hallinan, was the San Francisco district attorney when the Rampart scandal exploded. He says he isn't sure why he did nothing to learn about officers who might not be credible witnesses. "It was a tradition of thinking that the police notified us of any problems - and we just assumed the witness had no problems," Hallinan said. "Obviously, that was not right." As for Los Angeles, he said, its problems were larger than life. "Oh, that's L.A.," he said. "They are not good down there with the police. But in reality, it was happening here, too. We should have had a policy." While San Francisco slumbered, a debate raged elsewhere in California about what prosecutors should do to fulfill their duty to tell defense lawyers about problem officers. A Los Angeles Bar Association task force chaired by a federal judge recommended in 2003 that prosecutors statewide follow Los Angeles' lead in drawing up a formal policy to document problems and then act on them. Police union leaders, however, worried that landing on a "Brady list" could be a career killer for officers - noting that arrests that did not result in convictions and misconduct charges that were not upheld were still items to be disclosed. Elected prosecutors were loath to cross police associations that they relied on for campaign support and cash. L. Douglas Pipes, a former Contra Costa County prosecutor who has written and lectured on Brady issues, said his colleagues were not eager to dig into officers' backgrounds - even though the risks of not doing so were obvious. "You're potentially endangering years and years, and possibly hundreds of thousands, of convictions," Pipes said he told his colleagues. Even his own agency did not follow his teachings. Contra Costa has yet to develop a Brady list, said Pipes, who retired in 2004. The Contra Costa district attorney's office did not return calls seeking comment. Los Angeles prosecutors pushed their approach statewide, with similar results. "We say, 'We have developed something that we think works, and we are happy to share it with you,' " said Lael Rubin, a 32-year veteran Los Angeles prosecutor who helped draft the policy. The typical response, she said, was: "We know what's best for us." In Santa Clara County, District Attorney Dolores Carr said she inherited a disorganized Brady list after being elected in 2006. It took a team of prosecutors about a year to cull through records and come up with an up-to-date list. "We have to be concerned about the integrity of our convictions," Carr said. "One thing none of us wants to have happen is to go forward on the case and learn that an officer had an issue at a later date." Other counties, including Alameda and San Mateo, lack detailed policies but maintain informal lists of officers whose records have to be disclosed to defense attorneys. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said her list of about two dozen officers includes several from Oakland who were fired for allegedly lying to judges to obtain search warrants. The officers won arbitration rulings and were rehired. "If there is a question, we turn it over," O'Malley said. "We never want to play hide the ball - we don't want to be in a position in the middle of trial and we have not disclosed it." San Mateo County has five officers on its list, one of whom has a history of lying and will never be called to testify, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. In 2008, a commission appointed by the Legislature to examine the state's justice system recommended that each district attorney draw up disclosure policies and lists, said Santa Clara University law school Professor Gerald Uelmen, the panel's executive director. But prosecutors bristled. "We ran into this again and again and again," Uelmen said. "This resistance to having an outside agency looking over our shoulder. They said, 'You can trust us, we know what the law is. Don't tell us how to run our shop.' " The disclosure spotlight is now brightest on San Francisco. Gascón said that he first raised the issue of problem officers with Harris in September and that she agreed to draft a policy, but that discussions bogged down. "I realize now that it did not get the appropriate level of urgency then," Gascón said. "It's getting it now." The need to learn officers' backgrounds became "pressing," in Gascón's words, with the revelation that a crime lab technician had testified in several cases after being convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Police never shared that conviction with prosecutors or defense attorneys. The technician, Deborah Madden, is also suspected of having consumed drug evidence, prompting prosecutors to drop more than 600 cases in which she may have been involved. Harris acknowledged that her office didn't try hard enough over the years to learn about problem officers. "We operated on the assumption that we would get and receive information if the officer committed a felony," she said. It became clear that assumption was wrong, she said, "when we had an employee who had been convicted of a crime and we didn't know about it. We began looking at it, realizing we needed to have a formal policy." But, she said, "a written Brady policy is just a piece of paper. It takes a real partnership with the police." Harris said she had enlisted a well-known defense attorney, who is the former president of the city's Police Commission, to help put together a system for how prosecutors will handle an eventual Brady list in San Francisco. Those officers' names won't be made public, she said - the information will be shared only with defense lawyers. "I want to make sure that we are putting in a system that is the best that it can be," Harris said. "There are only so many people in our office that can deal with the demands. I like to talk to experts who understand these systems." One expert, Pipes, says he has long warned that prosecutors could be vulnerable when police hide problem officers in the ranks. "My pitch has been, clean your own house," he said. "Don't protect guys who are bad apples. Pretty soon the bad apple spoils the whole barrel. "I don't want dangerous (felons) released because we have not done our job right," Pipes said. "I will not get any joy whatever in saying, 'I was right and you were wrong.' That is not going to make me feel good."

Lying & Bribes!

Posted: 04/11/2007 02:49:58 AM PDT - Updated: 04/11/2007 03:11:16 AM PDT OAKLAND, CA — Federal officials are investigating whether a disgraced former San Francisco police officer tried to bribe a senior city planner, law enforcement sources said Tuesday. Arkady Zlobinsky of San Francisco is suspected of trying to bribe Eric Angstadt, strategic planning manager for the city of Oakland, with an envelope full of $100 bills April 2 over lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in City Hall Plaza, authorities said. Zlobinsky, 35, who resigned from the San Francisco Police Department last year before pleading no contest to charges he gave teenage girls alcohol while on duty, said by phone Tuesday that the claims were "completely untrue" before denying he had lunch with Angstadt and hanging up. A spokeswoman for the FBI's San Francisco office said she could neither confirm nor deny that Zlobinsky was being investigated, citing department policy. Zlobinsky has not been arrested or charged in the case, originally reported to Oakland police. An eight-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, Zlobinsky was charged withgiving vodka, beer and illegal fireworks to three teenage girls, one of whom he met in a liquor store and urged to date his partner. Zlobinsky, a former Taraval district officer, also faced departmental discipline charges for failing to arrest a domestic violence suspect for violating a restraining order in 2004 and was disciplined a year earlier for picking up women at a party and driving them around on patrol. Angstadt declined to discuss Zlobinsky. Karen Boyd, a city spokeswoman, also declined to comment. Zlobinsky and Angstadt allegedly had lunch to discuss a proposal from Zlobinsky's company — AZ Land Development Corp. — to redevelop blighted properties in Oakland. Before Zlobinsky handed Angstadt a binder of development proposals, he slipped in a bank envelope containing several $100 bills, believed to total more than $1,000, law enforcement sources said. Angstadt took the envelope out of the binder, telling Zlobinsky he would not accept the money, but promising to forward his proposal to the appropriate people. Zlobinsky apparently presented the same proposals to another planner a year ago, but nothing came of them. The money was "just a thank you," Zlobinsky told Angstadt, and was not trying to entrap him as part of a larger investigation. Zlobinsky then made a call from his cell phone, saying only "operation Angstadt is off," according to law enforcement sources. City records reflect two pending applications from Zlobinsky, both to build new homes in West Oakland, and several completed projects. Another planner told authorities Zlobinsky gave him a bottle of liquor after working with him on another project in West Oakland. Zlobinsky was told to take back the gift, law enforcement sources said. For seven months, federal authorities have been quietly investigating whether city officials traded contracts for favors. Patti Hansen, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said there was nothing new to report on the investigation. The investigation was sparked by the arrest of Maurice Himy, a San Rafael man with close ties to several current and former city officials. Himy is due back in court April 18 to hear whether prosecutors will pursue extortion charges after their key witness died.

Lying on the D.A.!

Posted: 03/17/2007 02:36:59 AM PDT D.A.: Police lying about his arrest; Officers say Santa Clara official suspected of DUI resisted arrest Santa Clara, CA -- A Santa Clara County prosecutor is facing three misdemeanor charges stemming from a July incident when Fremont police arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving and then jolted him twice with a Taser after he allegedly resisted arrest. But now, Charles Slone, a deputy district attorney for 161/2 years, is accusing the officers of fabricating the charges against him. Slone's case is filled with irony — a prosecutor being prosecuted and cops being accused of playing fast and loose with the facts by an officer of the court who allegedly tried to break away as he was about to be handcuffed. Meanwhile, Slone remains an employee with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and has taken a disability leave, his attorney said. Slone is fighting charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08 percent, and resisting arrest. No trial date has been set. However, a hearing is scheduled March 26 to determine if the confidential personnel records of Officer Paul Mourgos and Sgt. Donn Tassano will be turned over to Slone's attorney, Joseph Motta. He seeks the records in an attempt to impeach Mourgos' and Tassano's reports. In court papers, Motta alleges "the officers' fabrication of charges is not an isolated incident but is part of a pattern of behavior." "What was a simple DUI investigation turned into, what I believe, is him getting beat up pretty good and Tasered twice unjustifiably," Motta said Friday. "This is a private matter and has nothing to do with his professional career. They completely overreacted." But police reports say Slone struggled to avoid being handcuffed despite an officer's request for cooperation, and he also showed his prosecutor's identification card, telling the officers that he was a cop, too. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Erin Kingsbury said the charges were filed because they are true and "could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" in court. She declined to comment further. Fremont police also declined to comment, saying the department does not discuss pending court cases. Santa Clara County Chief Assistant District Attorney Marc Buller would not comment except to say Slone remains an employee, but is not handling any cases. Slone's case is one in a series of embarrassing episodes involving deputy district attorneys that have come to light during past 15 months. In Slone's case, his legal problems began just before 11 p.m. July 29 when Officer Paul Mourgos spotted Slone driving a black Jaguar XKE convertible on Farwell Drive in Fremont. The Jaguar went through a stop sign, almost hitting another car, according to Mourgos' report. The car ran a red light at Central Avenue, almost colliding with another vehicle. Mourgos said he turned on his emergency lights, trying to get Slone — who was westbound on Central — to stop. Slone eventually pulled into a parking lot. Mourgos reported Slone smelled of alcohol and his eyes were watery and bloodshot. Slone twice identified himself as a prosecutor and handed Mourgos his Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office identification card. By this time, Tassano arrived. According to the report, Slone admitted he had three to four drinks but believed his driving was not impaired. Slone, apparently, was also on medication. Slone was taken to a hospital, where his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.11 percent, above the 0.08 legal limit. Slone suffered bruises and welts during the struggle. In a statement police recorded at the hospital, Slone said "police overreacted and jumped the gun," and officers had used excessive force. Slone's remarks at the hospital were amplified in court documents by Motta, who has visited the arrest scene and questions the police's account. In documents, Motta said he believes Mourgos and Tassano made "misstatements" including fabricating the description of Slone's driving and his alleged resisting arrest.

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