Author Archives: wiseoldsnail

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Statement From Rice Family in Honor of Tamir’s 14th Birthday

24 June 2016

It has been exactly 19 months since the day Tamir Rice was gunned down outside Cudell community center by two Cleveland Police officers: Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. This coming Saturday (June 25) is Tamir’s birthday.  he would have been 14 years old.

Although his family is not planning a community celebration in his honor, they still want the community to remember Tamir on this day, and to continue to pray for the family as they mourn the loss of such a precious life.

The Rice family wants the community of Cleveland and abroad to know that they have not given up their fight for Justice for Tamir, but that they are still actively seeking a federal investigation from the Department of Justice.

Statement from Ms. Rice :::

“I, Samaria Rice, want the people to remember Tamir’s birthday is Saturday and he will be turning 14 years old. I’m not going to have an event this year. This has been an emotional journey for my family and me. I’m still seeking justice from the Department of Justice through a federal indictment of the two officers for the murder of my son. I see the unity in the City for a basketball win that was a long time coming. I wish my son was here to see it. It’s a shame we can’t show unity for racial problems in the City of Cleveland and in America”.

 

Statement From LaTonya Goldsby :::

“It’s important for people to remember Tamir, not just because it’s his 14th birthday, but because the criminal aspect of this case is not over. Folks have to understand that the civil case is over, but there is still a need for justice to be served. There is no statute of limitations when it comes to murder and that this is not double jeopardy. Tamir deserves his due process, he deserves a prosecutor that is going to fairly and unbiasedly represent him in a court of law. That is why I created the petition to our newly elected incoming prosecutor Michael O’Malley requesting that he continues to pursue Justice for Tamir once he takes the oath of office this coming January”.

Please sign this petition to urge Michael O’Malley to file charges against Tamir’s killers.

The Rice family would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support and prayers for the family. They also ask that you take a few moments of your time to remember Tamir on his 14th birthday, which is a milestone in a young boy’s life. Take that time to mentor to a young child Tamir’s age, even if it’s only for one day. We have to do more to protect our children.

RIP

This is a work in progress, begun in response to a challenge by an uninformed entity on youtube demanding to be schooled.

demand for evidence

While the uninformed person specifically requested a list of unarmed people shot by police, those who were unarmed and killed by police by other methods will also be included. These stolen lives will be listed in no particular order

rip #JohnCrawford
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/surveillance-video-walmart-shooting-john-crawford-police

rip #TamirRice
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/08/new-video-tamir-rice_n_6436040.html

rip #OscarGrant
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/dramatic-video-of-bart-shooting-released-by-court.html

rip #WalterScott
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/walter-scott-shooting/man-who-recorded-walter-scott-being-shot-speaks-out-n338126

rip #DionDamon
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29761499/man-shot-by-denver-police-near-civic-center

rip #MichaelBrown #MikeBrown
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting

rip #TonyRobinson
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/madison-police-chief-unarmed-black-teen-shot-by-veteran-white-officer/

rip #BrendonGlenn
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-venice-shooting-20160412-story.html

rip #RumainBrisbon
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/unarmed-man-shot-dead-mistook-pill-bottle-gun-article-1.2034471

rip #RamarleyGraham
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/nyregion/officer-in-fatal-shooting-of-ramarley-graham-faces-police-dept-charges.html

rip #AnthonyHill
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/10/anthony-hill-unarmed-police-shooting_n_6837538.html

rip #EzellFord
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/12/lapd-shooting-ezell-ford/13985607/

rip #ZacharyHammond
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/06/an-unarmed-white-teen-was-shot-dead-by-police-his-family-asks-where-is-the-outrage/

rip #AkaiGurley
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/21/new-york-unarmed-man-shot-dead-totally-innocent

rip #AntonioLopezGuzman
http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_25232886/san-jose-authorities-identify-man-shot-and-killed

rip #AlexNieto
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/12/death_by_gentrification_alex_nieto_killed

amazingly still alive #LevarJones
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/25/justice/south-carolina-trooper-shooting/index.html

Crystal Clear Corruption at Baltimore Police Department

During a routine drug investigation which resulted in the beating of a handcuffed suspect, a new leader in the fight against police corruption came to light. His name is Joe Crystal.

On 27 October 2011 in the city of Baltimore, Maryland : Baltimore Police Detective Joe Crystal, Department Sergeant Marinos Gialamas, along with Detective Keith Tiedemann, were on duty together in a single vehicle near Prentiss Place, when they observed what appeared to be suspicious drug related activities. As police were approaching the scene, suspect Antoine Green attempted to avoid arrest by running, then concealing himself in what he believed to be an abandoned home on Prentiss Place. He tossed his bag of drugs over a fence along the way. Unfortunately for him, the home he entered was inhabited by Nakishia Epps, who was, at the time, the girlfriend of another Baltimore Police Officer, Anthony Williams.

Williams was off-duty that day.

Upon hearing someone enter her home, Epps hid in her room with her child and called 911. She also called her boyfriend, Officer Williams.

Several other officers located Green inside the house and proceeded to effect an arrest. They placed Green into the wagon and began to drive away. While en route to the station, they received a new order from Sgt. Gialamas. (This order is part of the record, as Baltimore PD has a recording system of police communication, referred to in reports as KGA.)

Gialamas had conspired with Officer Williams, and together they had made a decision to have the arresting officers return the already apprehended and cuffed suspect back to the Prentiss address, where Williams had arrived in response to his girlfriend’s call.

Detective Keith Tiedemann, in his ‘‘Statement of Probable Cause’ filed in reference to this case, suggests that the reason for bringing Antoine Green back to the arresting location was the suspect’s aim to apologize to Officer Williams’ girlfriend, whose home Green had invaded.

Statement of Probable Cause, Det. Keith Tiedemann

In the Statement, Tiedemann seems to suggest that Antoine Green beat himself up. He also claims to have witnessed Green victimizing himself. However, Det. Tiedemann had not accompanied Green into the back of the home, so could not have witnessed what occurred in that part of the house.

During his interview with the state’s attorney’s office, Det. Tiedemann claimed that Sgt. Gialamas had instructed him to state in the report that Green’s shirt was torn prior to being transferred back into the house. Tiedemann later perjured himself in court by claiming that he believed the report he wrote was accurate, even though he had already admitted to the ASA that the report had been doctored according to instructions by Gialamas.

In fact, at the beginning of his Probable Cause report, Tiedemann claims Green’s ‘pants and shirt were slightly ripped … while he was running or while he was breaking into the home.’ This particular claim was likely the part Det. Tiedemann was instructed, by Gialamas, to edit. Near the end of the report, he acknowledges that Green ‘was photographed at ED due to his shirt being torn in the scuffle.’

It seems that, when Det. Gialamas was instructing Det. Tiedemann to edit the report, he failed to notice the second reference to the torn shirt. Thus, not only were Det. Tiedemann’s claims in the report and to the court contradictory, Tiedemann also contradicts himself within the body of his own Statement of Probable Cause.

According to Det. Crystal and accepted as fact by both juries :

During the pursuit of Antoine Green, Tiedemann remained at the Prentiss address, and Det. Crystal was standing by, awaiting assistance to retrieve the tossed bag of drugs from the other side of a construction fence. After Det. Crystal received assistance with recovery of the drugs, he was taken to the home of Epps only moments prior to Green being placed into the wagon. Crystal was present when Green was being delivered back to the scene. He saw that Green’s shirt was not torn before being taken back into the house.

Green was taken into a back room. Detectives Crystal and Tiedemann remained at the front of the house to secure the location, as a crowd of neighbors gathered to witness the unfolding events. Crystal saw, when Green emerged, that he had been roughed up and that his shirt had been torn after being taken in, and before exiting the house.

To reiterate : Det. Tiedemann could not have seen what he described in his report, because he remained at the front the house after Antoine Green was taken to the back to receive his beating.

Tiedemann’s father, who shares the same name, is a retired Major in Internal Affairs for the Baltimore PD. This might explain why Det. Tiedemann was not charged with committing perjury.

What actually occurred at Prentiss Place was abuse of authority and aggravated assault & battery on Green by Williams and Gialamas. Neither were ever charged with the conspiracy to commit this crime. Neither were charged with abuse of authority.

All charges against Antoine Green, as related to this incident, were dropped. 

Three years later, in February 2014, a jury found that Officer Williams and Sgt. Gialamas had committed criminal acts in their treatment of Green.

In what is commonly seen as a dangerous choice, Detective Joe Crystal told only the truth in his attempt to report the Antoine Green incident to another sergeant by the name of Robert Amador. Sgt. Amador warned Det. Crystal that if Crystal went to Internal Affairs about this issue, he would be labeled a snitch and it would be the end of his career. Because of this warning, Crystal filed his complaint directly with Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Mantegna, bypassing Internal Affairs.

Detective Crystal testified against both accused officers, branding himself a whistleblower. In doing so, he joined an ever growing movement of honest law enforcement officers and ex-officers who are stepping out of the shadows to shatter what has been seen, historically, as an unbreakable code of silence, also known as the ‘thin blue line’ or the ‘blue wall of silence.’

Frank Serpico was the original police whistleblower, and became famous for doing this back in the early nineteen seventies. While others before him had tried to out corruption, Serpico was the first who succeeded to the point of being noticed by the press and, in turn, the system. His story was told by Hollywood.

Serpico joined the ranks of the New York City Police Department in 1960. After years of attempting to get fellow and superior officers and the city to address rampant corruption in the department, ‘Serpico finally was able to testify to the Knapp Commission in 1972, becoming the first policeman to voluntarily testify against a fellow officer. He paid for his perceived disloyalty to the force — other officers refused to come to his aid when he was shot during a drug raid in 1971.’  He was given an award, but never truly honored for his sacrifice.

The resulting Knapp Commission Report reveals a frightening depth of corruption in the NYCPD up until the nineteen seventies. In spite of efforts by Frank Serpico and the Knapp Commission, the corruption continues to this day in police agencies around the country, with the gang known as NYPD leading the pack.

A Village Voice article published in 1973 by Adam Walinsky lays out the Serpico story well.

A more recent Village Voice series of articles gives an in-depth view of the experiences of NYPD whistleblower Adrian Schoolcraft, who was kidnapped by his superior officer and forcibly removed from his home and deposited in a mental health institution against his will for working to report corruption at NYPD.  Schoolcraft testified in the 2013 lawsuit against NYPD for using what has now been ruled unconstitutional stop & frisk policy.

There are other officers who, in response to their attempts to hold fellow officers accountable for criminal and otherwise corrupt acts, have been and are being harassed and threatened for doing so. These include, but certainly are not limited to the following :

‘Former Buffalo Police Officer, Cariol Horne is fighting for her pension since she was fired after 19 years on the force, over an incident in 2006 when she stopped a fellow officer from choking a handcuffed suspect.’

In Seaside, CA : ‘A 20 year veteran of the CSU Monterey Bay police force, was given a notice of termination this week for choosing NOT to immediately resort to violent escalation during a confrontation with a suicidal student.’


In October 2011, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Donna Jane Watts stopped and arrested Miami Police Department officer Fausto Lopez, after she clocked his patrol car speed at 120 mph. ‘Over 80 officers from 25 agencies accessed Watts’ private information’ in efforts to intimidate her for taking action and making the appropriate report against Lopez. Watts has filed suit against each of those officers and their departments.

On 9 August 2006, retired Albuquerque officer Samson Costales, Patrolman 1st Class, testified against Bernalillo County deputies for using excessive force on Al Unser, Sr. near a SWAT roadblock Unser had happened by. Costales ‘claims in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Thursday [23 August 2007] that APD Chief Ray Schultz, Sheriff Darren White and James Badway, an APD officer and police union official, defamed, slandered and retaliated against him after his testimony.
Costales, 52, also names the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.’

A jury ruled in favor of Costales in his case against APD, and settlement in favor of Costales was reached with APOA (police association) and the Bernalillo County Sheriff.

Costales was recently present, along with several elected representatives, at protests against APD for their shooting and killing homeless victim James Boyd.

Nine months after the shooting, ‘SWAT team member Dominique Perez and former Detective Keith Sandy will each face a single count of open murder in the death of 38-year-old James Boyd, Second District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said. Open murder allows prosecutors to pursue either first-degree or second-degree murder charges.’

The day after charges were filed against Perez and Sandy, Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Levy refused to allow Chief Deputy DA Sylvia Martinez to participate in a meeting regarding a more recent shooting by APD officers. Her claim is that, having filed murder charges against two other APD officers, the District Attorney’s office has a conflict of interest, and cannot be involved in any investigations of other APD officers.

In April 2014, ‘Louisville [Kentucky] Metro Government … agreed to pay $450,000 to … former police detective [Barron Morgan] who says he was demoted to patrol officer on the graveyard shift for trying to help an imprisoned woman prove her innocence on a homicide charge.

Eight years after the crime was committed, Susan Jean King, in fear of being sentenced to life without parole, had pleaded guilty to the 1998 murder of Kyle ‘Deanie’ Breeden. In the plea deal, she had been sentenced to ‘only’ ten years, with possibility of parole after serving two.

King was granted a new trial by an appeals court, after the request for new trial had been denied by Spencer Circuit Judge Charles Hickman. The judge had acknowledged that a believable confession given by Richard Jarrell, Jr. in May of 2012 would have cleared King of the charges, but claimed her confession legally prevented him from granting a new trial. The appeals court disagreed, and On 9 October 2014, ‘King’s long ordeal ended when the Commonwealth of Kentucky dropped all charges.’

In February of 2008, ‘A jury gave $4.1 million to a trio of Long Beach police officers who were burglarized and harassed after they turned in their colleagues for pilfering lobsters from the Pacific. … Patterson and Harris have long contended that they were marked as “snitches,” denied job opportunities and had personal items stolen and vandalized in the aftermath of the mini-scandal sarcastically dubbed #lobstergate. Gage said he was forced into early retirement.’

More recently, an ‘anonymous whistleblower is in talks with private investigators about how some officers with the department in Oxnard were getting tattoos on their left shoulders as “notches” to signify their shooting victims. … The former officer wished to keep his identity private, as a confidential informant, because he fears retaliation from the other officers.’

check back in this box for more cases

 

Finally, three years after the Baltimore Police attack on Antoine Green, the cases against the two Baltimore officers went before juries.




assault 2nd degree guilty

obstructing guiltyOfficer Anthony Williams was recently found guilty of second-degree assault and obstructing and hindering the Internal Affairs investigation. With a possible ten year sentence for second degree assault, Judge M. Brooke Murdock handed down a year long jail sentence, then reduced it by suspending ten months and fifteen days. The sentence was effectively reduced to 45 days of incarceration for conspiring to and committing assault & battery against a person in custody.

Williams maintains he did nothing wrong by assaulting a handcuffed suspect, saying “I shouldn’t be in this situation. I did nothing wrong. Would I change what I did that day? No.”

The jury found Sergeant Marinos Gialamas guilty of one of three charges of misconduct. Gialamas was found not guilty of assault.

probation before judgementThe official records of the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website, inconsistent with media reports, show that Sergeant Gialamas was subjected to ‘probation before judgement’ on the charge of misconduct in office.

guilty verdict stricken

The case against Gialamas, having been closed on 5 July 2014, shows that the jury’s judgement was reversed by Judge M. Brooke Murdock on 6 November 2014, four months later. The dates on the state’s website report show the case called ‘closed’ on 5 July, disposition and guilty verdict stricken both on the same day, 6 November. This judge overturned the decision made by the jury.

Though he conspired to deliver Antoine Green to the off-duty Williams for a beat down, Sgt. Gialamas, unlike Officer Williams, received support from the police union. The union paid for Gialamas’ defense, and produced union president Robert F. Cherry, Jr. as a character witness. Cherry testified that the sergeant should retain his job.

Williams had to pay for his own defense, and received no union support.

Nearing the end of 2014, more than three years after conspiring to assault and assaulting a person in custody, both officers were still working for Baltimore Police Department.  However, documents now reveal that both Marinos Gialamas and Anthony Williams recently resigned.

resignation williams

Fitting with the confusion evident in state records regarding the court cases against these two men, the resignation order for Williams is dated 14 January 2015, citing effective date 31 December 2014. The document was issued fifteen days after his resignation was effective.

resignation gialamas
Gialamas will apparently be collecting his pension, after having been found guilty in a court of law for participating in violence against a handcuffed prisoner.
Joe Crystal kept a journal documenting the abuse he was suffering.

crystal blood in blood out

Crystal continued to receive harassment from within his own precinct, so he approached FOP President Cherry seeking support. Cherry offered none. The union president wouldn’t even look at Crystal’s journal .

Joe Crystal has embarked upon a journey of truth telling in a realm where deceit and corruption are the norm. Having been a key witness to the abuse of Antione Green by Officer Williams and Sergeant Gialamas in 2011, Detective Crystal exhibited the moral integrity and courage in an insidious environment, a system which adheres to an unnatural silence pertaining to violence and various other forms of illegal conduct by police. His act of honesty led to years of harassment and threats by other police officers. While there were several other officers who were supporting and encouraging Crystal to keep pushing for the truth to be revealed, Det. Crystal mostly experienced obstruction, threats, and retaliation by fellow and superior officers alike, including from within the office of Internal Affairs. While Internal Affairs personnel claimed to be investigating the misconduct reported by Crystal, they never even took a statement from him until mid-summer of 2014, three years after he had begun reporting the harassment. Protocol dictates that no investigation can occur without an initial complaining statement.

During his tenure at Baltimore PD, Detective Crystal was a Class Commander at the police academy, and received a Police Commissioner’s Award for his leadership skills. Having been promoted in 2010 (only a year after graduating the Police Academy) from Officer to Detective, and in direct contradiction to the respect he had earned, Crystal was now being threatened and harassed. Detective Crystal had been warned that, by doing the right thing and telling the truth, the harassment would follow him throughout his career.

Before and after testifying against Gialamas and Williams, Detective Crystal regularly received offhand remarks about cheese and rats from fellow officers within the precinct. He was called a rat and a snitch. In one day, Sgt. John Burns delivered several pictures of cheese and rats, on post-it notes, to Crystal’s desk. Various fellow officers engaged in taunting him, with Det. Calvin Moss stating, “Are you having a cheese party? I know rats like cheese.” Crystal was also harassed at home.

Before giving court testimony, he received calls from Sgt. Amador, this time yelling at him, saying: “Sergeant Gialamas states you are the star witness.”

journal star witnessCrystal was warned, “You better pray to god you are not the star witness.” Crystal was told to watch his back.

The next day, Amador contacted Crystal and prompted him to pick up and correct documents Crystal had submitted regarding an unrelated case.  Det. Crystal reviewed the documents in question, then reported back to Det. Amador that there were no errors to be found. Amador then ordered Crystal to change the date on the forms to a different day that did not match the police report. When Crystal refused, Amador became increasingly agitated, warned Crystal, “Change the date, or I can charge you departmentally, or give me the $100 back.”

Sgt. Amador was ordering Crystal to falsify documents. Crystal was acutely aware of the ramifications if caught committing any act of misconduct. Such a violation would make him ineligible to testify in court against Gialamas and Williams.

Concerned that his superior officer might falsify the documents himself, Det. Crystal photocopied the documents before returning them, along with the $100 he was coerced into giving Amador in cash. Amador tore up the original documents after receiving the money, and did not supply Crystal with a receipt.

In November 2012, soon after showing the journal to ASA Shelly Glenn in the state’s attorney office (which by now included the fact that Amador had ordered Crystal to falsify documents) a rat appeared on Crystal’s car with its head under the windshield wiper and its guts torn out. Shelly Glenn had replaced ASA Jan Bledsoe, who who had resigned mid-investigation under threat of being fired relative to a separate issue. Glenn was good friends with the wife of Sgt. Amador.

Det. Crystal filed a police report about the rat, but there was never any actual investigation.

rat report

The case is referred to as #ratgate because of this particular action.

The harassment quickly manifested into actions which put Joe Crystal’s life in danger, including, as had occurred decades earlier to Frank Serpico, fellow officers refusing to have Crystal’s back in dangerous situations.

At the end of May, 2012, Detective Crystal lost out on a new assignment in the VRO Squad (violent repeat offender) based upon, according to Lt. M. Fries, his perceived inability to work ‘in the gray area.’ He was effectively being punished by the department for his integrity.

While on duty, routine calls for back-up were not dispatched. Detective Crystal feared for his safety by November, 2012.

In return for having displayed honor and dedication to justice by upholding his oath as a police officer, Detective Joe Crystal was rewarded with threats and retaliation from co-workers and superior officers.

Having failed to support Crystal as a whistleblower, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts eventually requested assistance from outside investigators.

In June 2014, two investigators from Philadelphia PD and two from Montgomery County were assigned, but quickly got off course by opening internal investigations into some of Det. Crystal’s allies. Crystal’s attorney, Nick Panteleakis, said, “… some of Crystal’s allies who have been interviewed by the investigators were labeled ‘suspects’ and the agency opened internal complaints against them, which upset the officers and Crystal.  … We said, “That’s not correct, we don’t want open [Internal Affairs] complaints against them.” but they said, “We’re going to keep them open.” Those cases are still open Internal Affairs investigations.

Unfortunately, the investigation didn’t even begin until after the statute of limitation had run out on the offense of the rat on the car, and on any other potential misconduct related to this story.

Conditions escalated. Det. Crystal lost his hard-earned security clearance. He was assigned to cases where instructions from supervisors were confusing and often contradictory, and also bounced from one assignment to another with little to no choice nor explanation. Being subjected to this campaign of attrition : knowing that without proper procedures being followed by fellow officers, and without support from his department, Joe Crystal realized he could not safely continue to serve the public. Not only were the actions of his co-workers dangerous for Det. Crystal, the willingness of his fellow officers to leave him hanging, without backup, also endangered the public.

Having not bothered to do any serious internal investigations into the misconduct by officers in retaliation against Det. Crystal regarding his testimony against Gialamas and Williams, Internal Affairs made time in a hurry to target him in an internal investigation for the misuse of a police vehicle.

non-preventable

In June 2014, while driving an official vehicle with his wife as passenger, someone rear-ended the vehicle. The investigator into Det. Joe Crystal’s responsibility for the accident labeled the accident type ‘Non Preventable.’

However, IA used the opportunity to harass Crystal even more by attempting to sully his record for having allowed his wife to ride in the vehicle. At the time of the incident, there was no actual General Order prohibiting a spouse from riding in an official vehicle.

notification of internal investigation

After waiting three years for Internal Affairs to investigate harassment and threats against him with no response, Crystal was forced to sign a notice of investigation six days after this incident.

joe crystal general order

take-home-vehicles p. 4

Subsequently, a new General Order regarding such use of vehicle was published 4 September 2014. In the precinct, the new order was referred to as ‘Joe Crystal General Order.’

crystal resignation

Crystal had already resigned from Baltimore PD, effective the previous day, 3 September 2014, after refusing to sign a proposed Settlement and Release Agreement.

Detective Crystal was and continues to be in fear for his safety and that of his family. Having received no support from Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, his union, or any of his superior officers, Crystal has filed a lawsuit :

‘The law firm of DISCEPOLO LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of former Baltimore City Police Department Detective Joseph Crystal against Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, Sergeant Robert Amador, and the Baltimore City Police Department with allegations of First Amendment Freedom of Speech retaliation, violation of Maryland wage and hour law, and constructive discharge in retaliation for reporting to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office an unjustified 2011 physical assault of a drug suspect by other Baltimore City police officers. The Federal Lawsuit is Crystal v Batts. et al, filed in the United States District Court of Maryland, Northern Division, case 1:14-cv-03989-JKB.’

Joe Crystal has been in the news lately, telling his story.

researched, written, and edited by chloe laran and wiseoldsnail

Oakland Public Safety Committee Stalls Public Safety Oversight Commission

24 June 2014

The people of Oakland showed up in force today to support the changing of the city charter to require the city to staff a commission, called the Public Safety Oversight Commission, to hold historically violent and irresponsible Oakland police accountable for their illegal and otherwise violent and inappropriate actions. This hearing was held by the Public Safety Commission, whose members are Noel Gallo, chairman of the committee and sponsor of the item, Dan Kalb, Libby Schaaf, and Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

Speakers in favor of this change spoke to everything from the lack of police service to the inappropriate and violent responses by OPD, which have gone on for decades with impunity. Often, even in the case of murder by officer Miguel Masso of young Alan Blueford, officers, instead of being investigated and charged with the crimes they’ve committed, officers are put on ‘paid administrative leave’ aka vacation. The public is kept in the dark as to any action taken against officers by OPD internal affairs or the Citizens Police Review Board, which shares all information given to them by complainants, making it a dangerous action to file complaints at all.

Alan Blueford’s mother, Jeralyn Blueford, spoke, in tears, to remind us that Miguel Masso had a history of police violence and misconduct before ever being hired by the city to be in power to murder her son. ‘We shall not tolerate this and officers will be held to a higher standard…’

One speaker mentioned the value of civilianizing public safety functions when possible, allowing sworn officers to spend their time out in the streets serving the people.

Mayoral candidate Dan Siegel spoke about the millions and millions of dollars lost to lawsuits from OPD conduct. He advised the council to confer with OPOA, the police union, regarding the issue. He said the voters have a right to decide this, but OPOA can be involved in the process. He urged, as did most other speakers, the placing of this issue on the ballot.

One woman insisted upon calling protestors ‘rioters’ … having seemingly missed the miles of video evidence that it was OPD who were rioting during the height of Occupy Oakland actions. She also urged council to place this on the ballot, and acknowledged councilmember Noel Gallo for showing great leadership in this effort.

Isaac Taggart, with PUEBLO, pushed the council to vote to put this measure on the ballot. ‘You cannot afford to vote no or abstain … we will remind you at the polls.’ He spoke about the large number of unemployed black men in the city, and drew the connection of poverty being a major cause of crime.

Oakland Police officer Frank Marrow, a 26 year public servant with a law degree, spoke about accountability needing to happen from the top of the organization. He mentioned the consent decree. He acknowledged that ‘they’re running a game’ … suggesting that attorneys are making millions of dollars off the consent decree and other attempts to reign in violent police. He said ‘I’m too radical because I believe in telling you the truth of the OPOA, and too blue for Burris.’ He wants to see ‘a police department that is constitutional.’

When councilmember Pat Kernighan stood up to speak, Gallo recognized the attendance as constituting a full council. She attempted, with earned interruptions, to suggest that what she sees as recent improvements in the efforts by OPD to comply with the consent decree makes this charter change unnecessary. She suggested, also, that the CPRB could somehow magically change the culture of the police department. She spoke in opposition to placing the measure on the ballot.

Attorney Yolanda Huang reminded us all that the foundation of appropriate prosecution of criminal action is banked in complete, true, and honest reporting by police. This is something on which we should all be able to depend, and which is not the way OPD officers do their reporting.

Akiba Bradford, a researcher in the criminal justice/juvenile justice system said, ‘The numbers don’t add up … in order for there to be a change in culture there also has to be a change in oversight.’

Sange Basha’s only question isn’t ‘why would you put this on the ballot, but why wouldn’t you?’ She spoke to the economics of spending the money to hold police accountable. She says the measure is ‘revenue neutral,’ mentioning the $70 million lost to lawsuits and settlements in the recent decade.

Jasmin Coleman is a seventeen year old youth, involved with PUEBLO. She spoke to the teachings of her elders, explaining that we are taught that we will be held accountable for our actions, but police are not. She said she is afraid of police, and that people have to protect ourselves, because police aren’t doing it.

J. Jones with PUEBLO and Oakland Youth Policy Builders mentioned hearing what he called ‘crazy stories’ about police brutality. ‘There’s no reason to wait. Put it on the ballot now, give people of Oakland a chance to decide for ourselves.’

Rashida Grinage, also from PUEBLO, spoke about the politics of the issue. ‘what you have before you in the way of a ballot measure is defined … no controversy … because it is also the work of several months of many many people in the community … from the point of view of process, we don’t have any red lines … we have agreement … we don’t have an disagreement from you … ‘ She suggested the council/committee members aren’t disagreeing possibly because they’re not considering this a real possibility. She said, ‘we’ve done the work in the community, and we are all of one mind … ‘ She went on to say, ‘we want to work with you, not against you … ‘ and delivered words of appreciation for Noel Gallo for being willing to take on what she called a ‘thorny’ issue. ‘This is time for this community to realize accountability, and we hope that you will not stand in the way of that.’

Oakland Police Chief Whendt said he agrees with Jeralyn Blueford that police should be held to a higher standard. While he claimed to be dedicated to holding officers and the department accountable, and feels that he’s making progress since coming on board as chief, he doesn’t claim to know that it’s ‘enough.’

Patrick Caceras, manager and policy analyst for the CPRP, who refused to give an opinion previous to this meeting, said that the CPRB is going through changes. While never actually stating an opinion about the proposal, he meandered around it only to compare the concept of the Public Safety Oversight Commission to the current CPRB, with, of course, increased powers. Being the person most able to acknowledge the failure of the CPRB, as it is defined, to actually do anything about police violence, he managed to state no opinion.

While acknowledging that this is an effort to actually change the city charter, Libby Schaaf asked the city attorney to explain if there was a way to create this commission without a ballot measure. In fact, as an attorney, one would think she would understand that a change such as this would require a charter amendment. This is partly the answer given by the city attorney, qualified with a statement that the office would need to do more work to completely answer the query.

Three of these committee members were elected to office in the most recent past election. Only Libby Schaaf has tenure on council.

Dan Kalb admitted to not having read the entire proposal. He said he looked into the Los Angeles version of this type of commission. He suggested that combining the current CPRB and CPAB into such a commission ‘could work.’ While stating that he is open to this concept, he never really stated support for putting this measure on the ballot. ‘I don’t know if now, when we’re under the NSA, the public should be asked.’ He clarified that he’s not against the idea, but wanting to change the language of the proposal, after community members spent months drafting this proposal, that he did not bother to read it.

‘This subject is always a tough one for me. It’s difficult when we wade into these waters’ were some of the first words out of Lynette Gibson McElhaney. She talked of growing up in gangland, made a weepy attempt to acknowledge the pain expressed by the people, then stated she wasn’t certain this was the ‘appropriate remedy.’ She also, like Kalb, acknowledged not reading the entire proposal. ‘We often think we’re gonna fix something with something, but we don’t think it all the way through’ were the words she used to suggest that this proposal is less than optimum. She claimed to have worked hard to reform the CPRB, which is notorious for having no teeth to actually stop police brutality and misconduct, and basically undermined the work of the many folks who worked so hard to develop and deliver this proposal.

Noel Gallo repeatedly mentioned ‘by the people, for the people,’ referring often to the fact that we, the people, are paying for the services of everyone from members of OUSD, to the city attorney. He thanked the people for working so hard on this effort. ‘Out of your effort and out of your push to have a better Oakland … the reality is on the neighborhood, and all the polling says … there’s lack of confidence, not only in the police department, but in my neighborhood.’ He basically went off on the CPRB for never providing the required bi-annual reports to the committee and council, and reminded us all that the proposal for a public safety commission looks very much like what the CPRB was supposed to have been doing for many years.

Gallo thanked everyone for informing him about everything from community policing to CPRB regulations and the power of the public safety committee to oversee the CPRB.

When chairman Gallo asked for a motion to approve the recommendation to send this proposal to council for consideration, Libby Schaaf immediately spoke against doing so. She suggesting putting this off ‘until the fall.’ As a reminder, this is a proposal for council to include this on the next ballot. Schaaf’s effort is to stall to make that impossible. McElhaney followed suit, wondering whether there was any ordinance which could do what this proposal is trying to do. Kalb said ‘this is not an attempt to bury the motion’ while joining forces with Schaaf and Mcelhaney to stuff the effort into the trash heap. He spoke only negatively.

Item stays in committee.

Comments : The Convenience of Pregnancy

Below an article (posted by Amanda Marcotte), about the deceit being published on an anti-choice website, are these comments :::

 

dave

Its sucks to be a woman, gay, black, poor, working class, hispanic, islamic, jewish in the us today. What a lovely nation im so proud!!!

 

Guy > dave

Yeah, everybody is a “victim” under the leftists rule of today. Everybody but the dead baby the mother had killed with an abortion because he wasn’t “convenient.”

 

dave > Guy

Typical pro life advocate. You are all huge hypocrites. I will consider making a fetus a citizen but all laws now apply to the fetus. Any and all chemicals that harm the fetus is now outlawed. This includes but not limited too: nuclear reactors, coal burning, all pesticides, herbicides, fungicide, hydrylic fracturing, disposal wells; all plastic is now outlawed; rape with pregnancy is now the death penalty; any mother that damages the fetus with substances, even if she doesn’t know she is pregnant, is now murder one. We must reduce fossil fuels by 60 percent to curb chemicals. I could go on. Bunch of hypocites. Go be a good sheeple!

 

purrtriarchy > Guy

Pregnancy is a minor inconvenience eh?

Well then, you shouldn’t complain if anyone FORCIBLY does the following to you, in order to save a life:

 

Normal, frequent or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

exhaustion (weariness common from first weeks)

altered appetite and senses of taste and smell

nausea and vomiting (50% of women, first trimester)

heartburn and indigestion

constipation

weight gain

dizziness and light-headedness

bloating, swelling, fluid retention

hemmorhoids

abdominal cramps

yeast infections

congested, bloody nose

acne and mild skin disorders

skin discoloration (chloasma, face and abdomen)

mild to severe backache and strain

increased headaches

difficulty sleeping, and discomfort while sleeping

increased urination and incontinence

bleeding gums

pica

breast pain and discharge

swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain

difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy

inability to take regular medications

shortness of breath

higher blood pressure

hair loss

tendency to anemia

curtailment of ability to participate in some sports and activities

infection including from serious and potentially fatal disease

(pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with non-pregnant women, and are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

extreme pain on delivery

hormonal mood changes, including normal post-partum depression

continued post-partum exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to fully recover)

 

Normal, expectable, or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

stretch marks (worse in younger women)

loose skin

permanent weight gain or redistribution

abdominal and vaginal muscle weakness

pelvic floor disorder (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life — aka prolapsed utuerus, the malady sometimes badly fixed by the transvaginal mesh)

changes to breasts

varicose veins

scarring from episiotomy or c-section

other permanent aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)

increased proclivity for hemmorhoids

loss of dental and bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

higher lifetime risk of developing Altzheimer’s

newer research indicates microchimeric cells, other bi-directional exchanges of DNA, chromosomes, and other bodily material between fetus and mother (including with “unrelated” gestational surrogates)

Occasional complications and side effects:

complications of episiotomy

spousal/partner abuse

hyperemesis gravidarum

temporary and permanent injury to back

severe scarring requiring later surgery (especially after additional pregnancies)

dropped (prolapsed) uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele, and enterocele)

pre-eclampsia (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated
with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)

eclampsia (convulsions, coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

gestational diabetes

placenta previa

anemia (which can be life-threatening)

thrombocytopenic purpura

severe cramping

embolism (blood clots)

medical disability requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother or baby)

diastasis recti, also torn abdominal muscles

mitral valve stenosis (most common cardiac complication)

serious infection and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)

hormonal imbalance

ectopic pregnancy (risk of death)

broken bones (ribcage, “tail bone”)

hemorrhage and numerous other complications of delivery

refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease

aggravation of pre-pregnancy diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5% of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)

severe post-partum depression and psychosis

research now indicates a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments, including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors

research also now indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy

research also indicates a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary and cardiovascular disease

 

Less common (but serious) complications:

peripartum cardiomyopathy

cardiopulmonary arrest

magnesium toxicity

severe hypoxemia/acidosis

massive embolism

increased intracranial pressure, brainstem infarction

molar pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease (like a pregnancy-induced
cancer)

malignant arrhythmia

circulatory collapse

placental abruption

obstetric fistula

More permanent side effects:

future infertility

permanent disability

death

Alameda County Supervisors to Forcefully Drug People

22 February 2014

The agenda for 25 February of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors contains an item which, if passed, will implement California AB 1421, aka ‘Laura’s Law.’  This law, if implemented, would criminalize people with mental illness, empowering local government to require those who experience mental illness to ingest dangerous chemicals as ‘treatment’ for their condition.  While most of the agenda item refers to a voluntary pilot program, one sentence in the proposal acknowledges that the implementation of this law empowers a county to use police to enforce a policy of ‘compliance’ with the law, under threat of incarceration :

The AB 1421 Pilot court processes will require a $50,000 increase in County General Funds, as involuntary services cannot be funded by MHSA or realignment.

The very mention of ‘compliance’ indicates criminalization of those with symptoms of mental illness.  This is an obvious deepening of the police state.

AB 1421 is already law, but was written to be implemented county by county, as each jurisdiction develops a plan (including local funding) to use the power the law delivers to doctors, social workers, and police to conspire to incarcerate any mental health patient, or person with perceived mental illness, who refuses to ingest dangerous chemicals.  The power to ‘diagnose’ and label a person as having mental health issues already lies in the hands of doctors who reap great economic benefit, in the form of kickbacks and gifts from pharmaceutical companies, for applying such labels and prescribing these drugs.  A county (including sheriff agency) employs it’s own doctors, who become empowered, by the implementation of this law, to prescribe psychiatric drugs to people with whom they otherwise have no doctor/patient relationship.

It doesn’t help that so many people are self-prescribing psychotropic drugs, via willing doctors, based on misleading television advertising.

Pharmaceutical companies have notoriously failed to publicize findings from initial drug studies which indicate the dangers of the drugs they sell for profit.  Every chemical ‘treatment’ for mental health conditions has been proven, often long after hundreds of thousands of people have been negatively affected, to cause other health problems.  These include but are not limited to : causing the increase and exacerbation of symptoms of those already diagnosed with mental illness.  Some drugs used to treat mental illness have been found to actually cause mental illness.

Drugs used in the treatment of mental illness come with dire warnings that the drug may cause suicidal or homicidal ideology.  Additional warnings acknowledge that the drugs, while already dangerous to ingest, offer specific, increased, dangers of mental maladjustment when a patient, whether forced, by choice, or due to lack of funds to continue to fill prescriptions, abruptly stops taking a drug.

Many of the recent mass shootings in the news have been reported as being committed by persons under the influence of, or in withdrawal from, these drugs. In the article linked above, the CCHR documents, among other facts, the incidence of mass shootings and other school related acts of violence :

Fact: At least least 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs).

Another CCHR article point outs other violent acts which have been linked to the use of prescribed psychotropic drugs :

School-related acts of violence aren’t the only cases commonly found to be under the influence of psychiatric drugs. There are 16 other recent acts of senseless violence committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 61 dead and 32 wounded

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is ‘to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections.’  They have reported extensively on these issues of the dangers of psychiatric medications, including providing a search engine to enable one to discover the effects of specific drugs or drug categories.  On their site is an article published in July 2009 by former pharmaceutical representative K.L. Carlson.  Carlson, author of the compelling expose, Diary of a Legal Drug Dealer – One Drug Rep. Dares to Tell You the Truth, explains the dangers of the use of psychiatric drugs, which can be prescribed by any medical doctor :

These drugs are literally mind-altering.  They can cause people to terminate loving, supportive relationships with family and friends, the very relationships that are extremely important to helping people recover from depression.  The drugs can cause hallucinations, paranoia, and mania.

Dr. Joseph Mercola addresses some of these issues in an article which includes a video interview with medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker. As reported by former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell, Whitaker has this to say regarding the use of psychiatric drugs :

Prior to treatment, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders do not suffer from any known “chemical imbalance.” However, once a person is put on a psychiatric medication, which, in one manner or another, throws a wrench into the usual mechanics of a neuronal pathway, his or her brain begins to function …  abnormally.

To add to this problem, almost every county jail has a policy of not only refusing to allow a newly or recently incarcerated person to continue with their chosen drug treatment, but of filing additional charges against people for being in possession of their own, prescribed, medications.

Any policy of forced drugging is anti-American.

Racism is Alive and Well in Zionist Israeli Hearts and Minds

Two BART Maintenance Workers Killed by Train

19 October 2013

In the midst of the second union strike since July, two BART maintenance workers were killed by a train today after an operator was informed the tracks were clear. One non-union employee and a contractor were inspecting track, when the remote controlled train struck them. BART has chosen to continue some operations during this second strike by union employees, but it is not yet clear whether these workers and the train operator were less experienced than the union operators and maintenance workers.

The names of the deceased are not yet published. Here is the audio transmission from producermatthew on soundcloud :

UPDATE :

from http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/During-Strike-Feds-Investigate-Deaths-of-2-BART-Workers.html

‘Colleagues identified them as BART employee Christopher Sheppard, of Hayward, and Larry Daniels, a contractor from Oakland. CBS in San Francisco said Sheppard was a senior track manager who was looking forward to retiring in a couple of years.’

Condemning a History and Culture of Abuse of Authority

On 25 July 2013, an Oakland City Council meeting ethics battle, instigated by councilmember Pat Kernighan in her scheme (supported by member Libby Schaff) to demonize councilmember Desley Brooks, claiming she had committed an ethics violation in her efforts to serve her constituents. Councilmember Larry Reid and several others, along with many Oakland residents in attendance, made alot of noise about the decades long culture of abuse of authority and complete disregard for ethics.

During this often hilarious exchange of ideas and thoughts about this issue, councilmember Lynette McElhaney produced this document, attempting to put an unnoticed motion on the table. While it became clear that her motion was improperly made, it was an effort to acknowledge the truth and persuade council members to take responsibility for the problem as a group, instead of allowing Ms. Kernighan to scapegoat Ms. Brooks for something she not only did not do, but which other council members do regularly.

Here is her proposal from that meeting.

abuse of authority

abuse of authority_0001

abuse of authority_0002

Ethics in Oakland

25 July 2013

A special meeting gathered this evening to consider a motion to censure Member Desley Brooks for supposedly having violated the ethics code. During the meeting and perusal of the evidence, it seems that not only is there no evidence of any intent on her part to do so (which is part of the definition of a violation), but that this is more of a witch hunt by Council President Kernighan than anything else.

City Council Code of Ethics
From Resolution No. 78307 C.M.S.
FURTHER RESOLVED:That the City Council hereby adopts the following Code of Conduct for each member of the City Council:

CODE OF ETHICS

Each member of the City Council has a duty to:

1. Respect and adhere to the American ideals of government, the rule of law, the principles of public administration and high ethical conduct in the performance of public duties.

2. Represent and work for the common good of the City and not for any private interest.

3. Refrain from accepting gifts or favors or promises of future benefits which might compromise or tend to impair independence of judgment or action.

4. Provide fair and equal treatment for all persons and matters coming before the Council.

5. Learn and study the background and purposes of important items of business before voting.

6. Faithfully perform all duties of office.

7. Refrain from disclosing any information received confidentially concerning the business of the City, or received during any closed session of the Council held pursuant to state law.

8. Decline any employment incompatible with public duty.

9. Refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character, motives, ethics or morals of other members of the Council, staff or public, or other personal comments not germane to the issues before the Council.

10. Listen courteously and attentively to all public discussions at Council meetings and avoid interrupting other speakers, including other Council members, except as may be permitted by established Rules of Order

11. Faithfully attend all sessions of the Council unless unable to do so because of disability or some other compelling reason.

12. Maintain the highest standard of public conduct by refusing to condone breaches of public trust or improper attempts to influence legislation, and by being willing to censure any member who willfully violates the rules of conduct contained in this Code of Ethics.

 

During the discussion, Larry Reid suggested that every council member has violated the ethics code, and put a motion on the floor to censure all but the three new council members. Just after that, Member McElhaney introduced a written motion ‘CONDEMNING A HISTORY AND CULTURE OF ABUSE OF AUTHORITY BY CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.’

All during the discussion, referrals were made to the point that there is no policy in place for censure, and without it, council could not actually proceed. A representative from the city attorney office stated that there is not proper notice of McElhaney’s motion, and Reid suggested that more than one person should work on developing this idea of hers.

Brooks returned repeatedly to the lack of information provided by Kernighan to constituents. It seems there was a concerted effort to only provide ‘evidence’ that fit Kernighan’s imagined story line.

Meanwhile, the attorney stated that even Kernighan’s motion to censure wasn’t properly noticed in the first place, so cannot be considered.

With that information, Member Dan Kalb somehow extrapolated, “I’d like to pass SOMEthing tonight.” It’s amazing that Kalb did not understand that, without proper notice, nothing that he’s suggesting can be passed.

Member Schaff actually suggested that, while the attorney is there to advise council, council does not have to take that advise. She advocated for moving forward with the censure vote, even though the agenda item was not properly noticed to the public.

Eventually, Member Brooks made a substitute motion to deny the censure of herself, but create a committee to create a policy for censure, since such a policy does not exist. She indicated a wish to include the idea by Member Reid to have the council admonish itself for past transgressions.

During public comment, one speaker suggested Kernighan and Schaff start a tea party, comparing their “hatin’ on desley” to the “tea party hatin’ on obama.”

Most speakers either called Kernighan and other members out for their own ethics violations, or lauded Desley Brooks for accomplishing so much for the kids and people of Oakland.

Carol Williams Curtis, a lifetime Oakland resident, who has lived forty years at same address, used her minutes to point out that Brooks not only created something for the kids, but has cleaned up blight, closed down problematic places, and generally been a servant to the people.

One after another, people spoke to call out members of council for everything from past ethics violations to outright ‘jim crow’ racism. Many pointed out that this whole meeting should not have occurred, and that it was only due to personal politics that the meeting was called. Jack Bryson went so far as to call Desley Brooks one of the best Oakland Councilmembers ever.

Renee Sykes from Local 21 made a statement from the union that “council interference with staff is pervasive.”

In the end, the council voted against the motion to censure Desley Brooks, and voted to move forward with addressing the need for a policy for managing ethics violations.