Bystander Paralyzed After Being Shot by Goshen Police Sues Officer and City


A bystander who was shot by Goshen police this spring while they pursued an armed suspect is now suing the city of Goshen and the officer who shot him.

Fernando Cuevas, 68, was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot once in the shoulder by Sgt. Gregory Smith.

The lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court of Northern Indiana. Among many claims, the suit argues excessive force, battery, negligence and that Cuevas was deprived of “life, liberty and property.”

It all started about 9:30 a.m. April 5 when citizens began reporting attempted carjackings and shots fired in the area of Lincolnway East (the U.S. 33 corridor) and Kercher Road, according to police. At least three people reported being confronted at gunpoint by 19-year-old Michael Alcaraz, who was armed with a shotgun, as he attempted to steal their cars.

Alcaraz slowed and even stopped during a police pursuit along Lincolnway East that ended when the 19-year-old pulled into the parking lot at Double D’s Hometown Bar and Grill, 827 Lincolnway East.

Cuevas was in the parking lot that morning collecting bottles with permission from the business owner.

Alcaraz got out of his vehicle and ran around the north side of the bar.

Alcaraz was still in possession of the shotgun and fired two shots at officers Coty Brown and Todd Shidler. Both officers returned fire, with Brown firing 17 shots and Shidler firing eight. Neither officer was hurt; however, Alcaraz was fatally wounded.

Smith, attempting to encounter Alcaraz, went around the opposite side of the building from the other officers. Hearing the gunfire between Alcaraz and his fellow officers, Smith saw a man, later identified as Cuevas, and fired two shots.

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WATCH: Opa-Locka Police Officer Breaks Teenage Boy’s Jaw at Church

Lowrie Simon

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – An Opa-locka police officer has been accused of punching a teenage boy, breaking his jaw.

Broward County sheriff’s deputies said Lowrie Simon, 37, attacked 17-year-old Kristian Stanley on Sunday because Simon believed that Stanley was having sex with his 13-year-old daughter.

Opa-Locka police Chief James Dobson said Lowrie has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal affairs investigations. He has been an officer since October 2014, Dobson said.

Dobson said that Lowrie was off-duty at the time of the alleged assault, and he was in not in uniform.

Deputies said Simon approached Kristian Stanley about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at Pembroke Park Church of Christ in the 3700 block of Southwest 56th Avenue.

After Stanley denied that he was having a sexual relationship with Simon’s daughter, deputies said, Simon punched Stanley in the chest and later struck him across the mouth.

After the incident, Stanley received treatment at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, deputies said. Stanley’s jaw had been broken and he suffered substantial damage to his lower set of teeth, deputies said.

Simon was arrested later on Sunday and was charged with one count of felony battery. He was freed Monday on a $5,000 bond.

Source: https://www.local10.com/news/crime/opa-locka-police-officer-accused-of-breaking-teenage-boy-s-jaw

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How The Supreme Court Could Keep Police From Using Your Cellphone to Spy on You


The cellphones we carry with us constantly are the most perfect surveillance device ever invented, and our laws haven’t caught up to that reality. That might change soon.

This week, the Supreme Court will hear a case with profound implications on your security and privacy in the coming years. The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unlawful search and seizure is a vital right that protects us all from police overreach, and the way the courts interpret it is increasingly nonsensical in our computerized and networked world. The Supreme Court can either update current law to reflect the world, or it can further solidify an unnecessary and dangerous police power.

The case centers on cellphone location data and whether the police need a warrant to get it, or if they can use a simple subpoena, which is easier to obtain. Current Fourth Amendment doctrine holds that you lose all privacy protections over any data you willingly share with a third party. Your cellular provider, under this interpretation, is a third party with whom you’ve willingly shared your movements, 24 hours a day, going back months — even though you don’t really have any choice about whether to share with them. So police can request records of where you’ve been from cell carriers without any judicial oversight. The case before the court, Carpenter v. United States, could change that.

Traditionally, information that was most precious to us was physically close to us. It was on our bodies, in our homes and offices, in our cars. Because of that, the courts gave that information extra protections. Information that we stored far away from us, or gave to other people, afforded fewer protections. Police searches have been governed by the “third-party doctrine,” which explicitly says that information we share with others is not considered private.

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Red Wing 83-Year-Old Bitten by Police Dog Sues County


RED WING, Minn. — A Red Wing man bitten by a K-9 in his garage last year is suing two Goodhue County Sheriff’s deputies, two department supervisors and the county.

The deputies subjected James Sutherland, who was 83 at the time of the incident, to excessive force and unreasonable seizure in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 22 in federal district court.

The suit alleges deputies improperly deployed and controlled K-9 Ambush while searching for a suspect in a reported assault near an Old West Main Street business Nov. 16, 2016. Sutherland, who was not a suspect and did not match the description of the suspect, was sitting in his garage listening to music when Ambush turned the corner and bit into his right arm, according to the civil complaint. The suit also alleges county supervisory personnel acted indifferently to training and monitoring of K-9s and their handlers.

Sutherland sustained multiple puncture and tear wounds to his arm and underwent a skin graft, according to court documents. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as an order mandating discipline for the two deputies and policy changes for the county’s K-9 program. The suit demands a jury trial.

Legal counsel has advised Goodhue County authorities not to speak about the case.

Source: http://www.twincities.com/2017/11/28/red-wing-83-year-old-bitten-by-police-dog-sues-county/

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Philando Castile‘s Girlfriend Settles With St. Anthony For $800,000


The city of St. Anthony has agreed to a second legal settlement over the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by one of its police officers. And this time, with its insurance coverage all but used up, any settlement would largely come from city coffers.

The St. Anthony City Council on Tuesday night voted to pay $675,000 to settle legal claims brought by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her daughter. The pair was in the car with Castile when he was shot to death during a traffic stop by then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6, 2016.

Before the unanimous vote to approve the settlement, Mayor Jerry Faust said he hoped it would “open the door to continued healing in our community.”

“If we don’t approve this and we go ahead with litigation, it would just reopen the whole case again and bring heartache to everyone involved,” Faust said. “It is best to settle.”

The council’s resolution approving the settlement said, in part, that it resolves any claims related to the alleged detention of and use of force against Reynolds and her daughter, and any claims of racial discrimination or emotional distress.

“While no amount of money can change what happened, bring Philando back, or erase the pain that my daughter and I continue to suffer,” Reynolds said in a statement to WCCO, “I do hope that closing this chapter will allow us to get our lives back and move forward.”

St. Anthony has a $3 million “per occurrence” cap on its insurance policy covering payments like this one through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, but a settlement with Castile’s family in June used up $2.995 million of that.

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WATCH: Rogue Cop Drives Car Onto Sidewalk, Nearly Mows Down Small Child

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New York, NY — An internal investigation has been launched after multiple videos have surfaced this week showing an NYPD police officer behaving recklessly and endangering multiple innocent lives, including children—by dangerously barrelling down a sidewalk—in his police cruiser.

On Wednesday afternoon, in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, an NYPD police vehicle is recorded driving onto the sidewalk. The car plows down the busy sidewalk as pedestrians scramble to jump out of the way. As the video shows, a father is seen pulling his child out of the way of the vehicle as it nearly crushes him.

According to Breaking911.com, a police source confirmed that the officer continued to the NYPD’s 66 Precinct using his lights and sirens on 16th Avenue and 59th Street. He then backed the vehicle into an “angle-parking spot” used for police vehicles and walked into the building.

Because he simply walked into the building, and because it was the police station, we can assume that the “emergency” this cop will likely claim he was responding to was most likely minor, if real at all. The internal investigation is reportedly determining the nature of the response given this cop’s dangerous and reckless driving.

Given the fact that New Yorkers just experienced a horrific terror attack in which a man killed multiple people and wounded several others by plowing over them on a bike path, this officer’s careless operation of his vehicle becomes that much more abhorrent.

As TFTP has previously reported, New York cops are no strangers to using their police status and blue privilege to break traffic laws for convenience.

In a video submitted to us from an anonymous source in September, we see this blue privilege in action in New York and the result is nothing short of infuriating. If the average person wants to purchase a coffee at Starbucks, they, like everyone else, would have to park in a legal parking spot and then go inside—but not if you are a cop.

As the video begins, we see three NYPD police officers whose desire for coffee outweighed their concern for other people trying to drive on the road. Unconcerned with finding a parking spot, these officers simply parked their car in the middle of the road.

Had this been a rural area or a less busy street, perhaps it wouldn’t have been as insulting. However, this was a very busy street and police could not have cared less about creating a massive traffic problem by blocking an entire lane of traffic. After all—they had to get their Starbucks.

As the man filming shows, the officers are not responding to a call or an emergency and are only stopping for coffee. They clearly felt that their coffee was more important than all the other motorists trying to get to work or drop kids off at school or merely trying to drive somewhere without sitting in a senseless traffic jam caused by cops.

But the abuse of power and blue privilege doesn’t stop at coffee, it’s used for pizza too.

As TFTP reported earlier this month, in a gross abuse of power, a New York cop was caught on video blocking a bus stop—with his emergency lights engaged—to get pizza. Luckily, there was a vigilant citizen there to catch this peace officer on video as he broke the law to enjoy his lunch.

The embarrassed cop was shut down and subsequently fled with his tail between his legs in a fit of shame.

In spite of reporting this cop’s unlawful behavior, it appears that he and the team of cops who caused a traffic jam for their coffee have faced no punishment. We can only assume that the reckless cop who nearly plowed down children to reach his “emergency” will receive a similar response from superiors.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/insane-video-catch-cop-drive-onto-sidewalk-nearly-mow-mother-child/

89-Year-Old Grandma Loses Appeal, Sentenced to Prison for Questioning the Holocaust

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Detmold, Germany – An 89-year-old German woman was sentenced to 14 months in prison for incitement of racial hatred after losing an appeal on a prior conviction.

Ursula Haverbeck, often referred to in the German press as the “Nazi Grandma,” is known for extremist views that have run afoul of German hate speech laws in the past—with courts having previously given her fines and another suspended sedition sentence, according to Fox News.

In Germany, anyone who publicly denies, endorses or plays down the extermination of Jews during Adolf Hitler’s regime can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail for incitement of racial hatred.

Wikipedia explains German hate speech laws as:

Volksverhetzung, in English “incitement of the masses”, “instigation of the people”, is a concept in German criminal law that refers to incitement to hatred against segments of the population and refers to calls for violent or arbitrary measures against them, including assaults against the human dignity of others by insulting, maliciously maligning, or defaming segments of the population. It is often applied to, though not limited to, trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany.

According to a report by German state-run broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW):

A German court in Detmold has sentenced Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck to 14 months in prison, after the 89-year-old woman lost her appeal to a prior conviction on Tuesday. However, four months were shaved off her original conviction of 18 months. Prosecutors wanted the sentence upheld, Haverbeck’s lawyers were seeking exoneration.

 

The Detmold court had initially sentenced Haverbeck to eight months imprisonment in September 2016, after she sent a letter to the town’s mayor, Rainer Heller, claiming that Auschwitz was not a concentration camp.

 

Following the trial, the octogenarian handed out pamphlets to journalists, as well as the judge and prosecutor, entitled “Only the truth will set you free,” in which she once again denied the Nazi atrocities. Haverbeck was handed an additional 10-month sentence for the stunt.

In the United States, incitement of violence is criminal but “assaults against human dignity of others by insulting, malicious maligning, or defaming segments of the population” are considered an exercise of free speech, and thus protected under the First Amendment.

Essentially, German law has criminalized speech as a means of controlling political discourse—meaning the government will tell you what is acceptable to say, and who is fair game to malign, and what groups and classes are protected.

While some speech may be extreme and repulsive, the prohibition on certain ideas, even the most repugnant, being put into the public marketplace of thought is a fast track to totalitarian governmental control—essentially legitimizing the “thought police.”

According to DW:

Haverbeck and her late husband Werner Georg Haverbeck, who was an active member of the Nazi party in the run-up to and during the Second World War, founded a right-wing education center called Collegium Humanum, which has been banned since 2008. She has also written for the right-wing magazine Stimme des Reiches (Voice of the Empire), which she also used to express her views that the Holocaust never took place.

Haverbeck has been sentenced on similar charges on five other occasions but has not yet served any jail time as she appeals the cases.

In October, she was sentenced to six months in prison by a Berlin court after being found guilty of inciting racial hatred for claiming the gas chambers at Auschwitz concentration camp “were not real.”

Prior to that, in August, she was given a two-year prison sentence by a regional court in Lower Saxony, according to DW.

The 89-year-old has appealed the rulings passed down against her in each case and claims she has been merely been repeating an opinion.

The most recent appeal verdict is not final, either, as Haverbeck’s attorneys plan to take the case to the Higher Regional Court in Hamm – which will serve as the final opportunity to challenge the prison sentence.

As Hall wrote in The Friends of Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/89-year-old-nazi-grandma-prison-speech/

‘Because You’re White!’: Teens Record Cop Harassing Them For Their Skin Color

teensteens

Chicago, IL — A Lake Villa police officer is in hot water after a group of teens secretly filmed him going off on a racist tirade. Lake Villa Police Department detective Esteban Gomez is now ‘YouTube Famous’ after telling a teen he is harassing him “because he’s white.”

Dezi Baczek, the teen who recorded the video, explained to the local news station that she was with friends at a local pawn shop, selling an item so her little brother could buy a book he wanted. When they came out of the shop, Gomez accosted them.

“I was yelled at to sit down,” Baczek told NBC 5. “I said, ‘What’s the reason?’ And he said sit down or I could turn around and be arrested, so I sat down at that point.”

After she sat down, Baczek pulled out her phone to record this belligerent peace officer.

In the video, Gomez is seen screaming at one of the teens who asked what he did wrong. He then starts to yell and says, “Wanna be hard with me? Be hard with me, go ahead. Think you’re a tough guy?”

In an attempt to intimidate the teens, Gomez starts to walk away and then turns around and says, “Who’s got the weed on them?”

The group reacts to his comment and Gomez turns around once again as he’s walking away and says “Did someone say fuck off?”

The group responds and says, “no,” just as Gomez points at two of the teens and says “You and you.”

As NBC 5 reports, police said the detective was conducting a theft investigation at the time and was questioning someone in the group. While the remaining members of the group sat on the curb, one teen can be heard in the video recording asking why he’s being detained.

“Because I’m a teen? Because I have baggy pants?” the teen asks, just before the cop lost his demeanor and turned back to the group.

“Because you’re white!” barked Gomez just before walking away again.

“I was speechless,” Baczek said. “Like I wasn’t comprehending what he actually said for a minute.”

After she saw the video, Baczek’s mom call the Lake Villa Police Department to file a complaint against Gomez.

“I was outraged. I was very upset,” Missy Maczek said. “I felt like we were being outcasted because we’re white, which is just unheard of.”

Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville said Detective Esteban Gomez reported the group of teens was accompanying the suspect of a theft investigation at the pawn shop and one of the group members gave the officer a false name. That person was charged with obstructing police, according to NBC 5.

“When the subject questioned Gomez about his arrest, Gomez reacted by answering the teens [sic] inquiry with an inappropriate response,” Somerville said in a statement.

Somerville claimed that Gomez knew about the video and told him before it went viral. However, no statement was released until the video was picked up by local media.

“Det. Gomez admitted his words were poorly chosen and insensitive and he immediately regretted what he had said,” Somerville said. “The Lake Villa Police Department does not condone this type of behavior of its officers.”

Somerville claimed that Gomez was disciplined “for behavior unbecoming an officer.” However, no details of the alleged ‘discipline’ were released publicly and Gomez remains on active duty.

“I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by what is depicted on this video,” Somerville’s statement read. “This occurred on my watch and I assume full responsibility.”

If a non-law enforcement worker acted the way this detective did, while on the job, they would most assuredly be fired immediately. Instead, this man will get a pension and golden parachute at the taxpayer’s expense.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youre-white-cop-tells-teens-hes-harassing-skin-color/

‘Surrender Your Firearms’ – Gov’t Now Confiscating Guns from Medical Cannabis Users

hawaiihawaii

Residents in Honolulu, Hawaii, were recently informed that if they use cannabis for medicinal purposes, they will be given 30 days to “voluntarily surrender” their firearms and ammunition before the Honolulu Police Department begins confiscation.

A series of letters were mailed out from Police Chief Susan Ballard on Nov. 13, as confirmed by a report from Leafly, which noted that the letters appear to represent “the first time a law enforcement agency has proactively sought out state-registered medical marijuana patients and ordered them to surrender their guns.”  

GunsGuns
Image via Russ Belville, The Marijuana Agenda

The letter from Chief Ballard starts off by claiming that its purpose is to inform the residents of a revised statute. “You are disqualified from firearms ownership, possession or controlling firearms. Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition,” Ballard wrote. 

The letter references H.R.S. 134-7.3, which dictates “Seizure of Firearms Upon Disqualification.” Ballard claimed that residents have until Dec. 13 to “voluntary surrender” their firearms, in order to be in compliance with the law. 

“If you currently own or have firearms, you have 30 days upon the receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department or otherwise transfer ownership.

The letter claimed that “a medical doctor’s clearance letter is required for any future firearms applications or returns of firearms from HPD evidence.”

This order serves as another reminder of the clash between state law and federal law. While medical cannabis is legal in Hawaii and the state’s first dispensary opened in August, it is still illegal under federal law. In fact, according to the United States government, the cannabis plant is one of the most dangerous drugs in existence, and has no medicinal value whatsoever—despite a wealth of evidence that proves otherwise.

Even though cannabis has been legalized for either medical or recreational use in 29 states and Washington D.C., the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sent a letter to all firearms licensees in 2011, claiming that even if individuals have state-issued medical cannabis cards, it is still illegal for them to own firearms because cannabis is still a Schedule I substance under federal law:

“Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.”

As The Free Thought Project has documented, not only has pure cannabis never been found to make its user more violent, but research continues to prove its medicinal benefits. These studies include evidence that cannabis can stop HIV from becoming AIDS, that the majority of cannabis users give up prescription opiate medications, and that cannabis has a “significant” effect on killing cancer cells.

There is also a level of hypocrisy when taking into account the fact that many of the prescription drugs individuals are prescribed for illnesses and symptoms that could have been healed naturally with cannabis, contain dangerous and life-threatening side effects.

In fact, several of the recent mass shootings such as the Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people; and the Orlando shooting, which killed 49 people; were carried out by suspects who were under the influence of psychotropic drugs, which can cause aggressive or violent behavior.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/state-begin-confiscating-guns-medical-cannabis-users/

WATCH: Man Tries to Pay $10 Fine in Pennies, So Cops Beat Him Until He Defecated Himself

penniespennies

Royal Oaks, MI – A young man was recently attacked by court officers after attempting to pay a parking fee of $10. After the court refused to accept his payment they allegedly asked him to leave, and on security camera footage you can see him turn to walk away just before he is attacked. The video shows the guards grabbing him and choking him out, then slamming him to the ground. The attack knocked the man unconscious, and when he awoke moments later he had found that he soiled himself.

To add insult to injury, the victim, Anthony Sevy, was then charged with Disturbing the Peace and assault, and while the assault charge was dropped, he was forced to plead no contest to the other charge, fearing that it would be his only chance of escaping a 2 year prison sentence for assaulting a court officer.

Now, Sevy plans on filing a lawsuit against Royal Oak and the guards involved.

“He wasn’t happy about [the fee] so, in symbolic protest, he brought back penny rolls to pay for his ticket. The clerk wasn’t too happy about that, they refused to allow him to pay with penny rolls. As he was leaving the courthouse with his back to the officer, the court officer began to choke him out, grabbing him, brought him to the ground. Mr. Sevy passed out and defecated himself,” his attorney Jonathan Marco said.

“I don’t think anyone paying in penny rolls, whether it’s a preferred thing to do for a court clerk, warrants this type of this assaultive behavior and violation of constitutional rights. I think the more profound and long-lasting injury is the psychological injuries he’s suffering as a result of this. He’s supposed to be in a safe place. I don’t think that in everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves,” Marco added.

It was not just the $10 or the principle of the parking ticket that had Sevy mad enough to go to the courthouse with pennies, it was also the fact that he would have been charged $1.75 to pay the fee online with a credit card, essentially tacking another 20% onto his fee.

Royal Oaks is fairly notorious for their predatory revenue collection schemes in regards to parking fees and fines. Back in 2012, there was a huge local debate when Royal Oaks took advantage of a new state law that allowed them to revoke the driver’s license of anyone with 3 or more unpaid parking tickets. It was widely reported that this change could bring in nearly a million dollars in additional revenue each year. Prior to that, the city issued roughly 100,000 tickets each year, raking in millions.

“Our downtown parking system does generate about $2.15 million in revenue per year for the general fund; in turn, about 70 percent of that fund pays for police and fire, including paramedics. If you want to avoid getting a ticket, then just check out the map on the city website and park in one of our three structures for a flat fee,” City Commissioner Jim Rasor told The Patch at the time of the controversy.

Over the years it has become a popular form of peaceful protest to walk into a courthouse and pay a ridiculous fee in pennies. However, as the trend has become more popular, frustrated authoritarians have begun using the only tool they know or understand, violence. Earlier this year, police were called on a veteran attempting to pay a ticket in pennies.

As The Free Thought Project has stated before, “police need you to break traffic laws” because writing tickets and receiving funds from doing so is a considerable revenue generator for police departments. It’s how police states maintain their control over the citizenry.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/man-beaten-10-fine-pennies/