Dallas Texas Police Arrest And Jail Innocent Woman For Refilling Legal Prescription

May 6, 2012

DALLAS, TEXAS – Anne Lenhart never thought filling a prescription at CVS Pharmacy in Dallas could land her in jail.

The avid yoga practicer raised more $20,000 for Off the Mat, Into the World Global Seva Challenge. OTM is an organization that was founded by Seane Corn, Hali Kouri, and Suzanne Sterling as a way to take the ideas of yoga and translate them into action.

This year OTM was heading to Haiti for a service mission in which they bought and installed lights, worked at Haiti’s tent cities and various other projects.

On their off time, Lenhart and her group headed the Haitian city of Jacmel, a mountainous region with waterfalls and beautiful natural pools.

That’s where the trouble began. Lenhart had waded in the water beneath the waterfall, then climbed up some 30 feet onto a cliff overlooking the water.

“I decided I was ready to come down off the waterfall and it was then that I slipped and I hit an outcropping about 10 feet down and then from there fall another 20 feet into the water,” Lenhart said. The water saved her life but she shattered her kneecap on the way down.

With the help of several men, Lenhart climbed out of the area and after a 3 1/2 hour trip to the nearest hospital in Port-Au-Prince, she underwent reconstructive surgery with no general anesthesia.

A week later she was flown back to the U.S., still in deep pain, and admitted into Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.

“They gave me a pretty high, heavy duty narcotic, Norco, as a painkiller going forward and I had used that up. It had been a month and I had called for my refill,” Lenhart said.

The pharmacy called Lenhart to ask her exactly what time she would be in pick up her prescription. She thought it was odd, but told the pharmacy what time she would be there.

Still on crutches and unable to drive, a friend of Lenhart’s, drove her to a CVS Pharmacy in Oak Cliff.

She wasn’t able to pick up her prescription because a police officer arrived to pick her up.

“He was like ‘we need to go outside,’” she said. “I was on crutches and I had a permanent IV line in my arm. I had a big leg brace. I asked him if it was necessary and he said yes and he rather policingly escorted me out the front door and into the back of a waiting patrol car.”

Lenhart was so stunned, she didn’t think to ask the officer questions. The officer explained to her what was going on.

“He said, ‘Well we believe that you have forged your pain pill prescription and we are calling your doctor now. But I’ve worked with this pharmacist a number of times and he’s never made a mistake,” Lenhart said.

The officer then took her the Dallas County jail, where she remained overnight. After she was released on bond, she was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a felony.

“I couldn’t go back to work until HR had received the paperwork that this was a mistake from my attorney,” she said.

Dallas police later dropped the charges after speaking with Lenhart’s doctor. The Dallas Police Department declined to talk to CBS11 about Lenhart’s arrest.

Now she is suing CVS Pharmacy for False Imprisonment, Defamation and more. Her attorney, Jeff Benton, said her arrest could have been prevented had proper procedures been followed.

“Every doctor that prescribes a narcotic had a DEA number that’s unique to them and if that is cross referenced and the correct doctor is contacted then I don’t imagine that this type of thing would happen,” Benton said. “We suspect the wrong doctor was contacted because they didn’t cross reference the DEA number.”

Everyday pharmacies fill millions of prescriptions for controlled substances. Those drugs are monitored by the DEA.

Lenhart’s doctor confirmed in an affidavit that he wrote the prescription for her and that he never received a call from CVS asking to confirm the prescription. Benton thinks the pharmacy may have called the wrong physician.

A representative from CVS Pharmacy said, “We are investigating how this unfortunate incident occurred and we are working to resolve the matter with Ms. Lenhart and her attorney. As this involves pending litigation, we are unable to provide additional comments at this time.”

“I would love to think that they would actually write me a letter that says ‘I am sorry that this happened to you,’” Lenhart said.

But even more than an apology, Lenhart wants to make sure that this never happens to another patient in pain.

“I don’t want somebody else. I don’t want somebody who I love to go there and get arrested,” she said.

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Newton County Georgia Sheriff’s Department Arrested And Jailed Couple For “Loitering” And “Prowling” At Their Newly Purchased Home – After Neighbor Held Them At Gunpoint

April 22, 2012

NEWTON COUNTY, GEORGIA – The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating why a couple was confronted at gunpoint by neighbors and then arrested and forced to spend the night in jail when they tried to move into the home they had just purchased, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The Kalonji family had just closed on a foreclosed home and were told by their real estate agent they should go over to the house and change the locks.

But when Jean Kalonji and his wife, Angelica, started working at the home, an armed man and another person who appeared to be the man’s son allegedly confronted them.

“He say to put the hands up and get out from the house, otherwise he would shoot us,” the husband told Channel 2.

The neighbors didn’t believe the couple when they told them they had bought the home and called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The Kalonjis didn’t have the closing papers with them, so deputies arrested them, charged them with loitering and prowling and took them to jail.

Yvette Harris, the couple’s real estate agent, said they never should have been arrested.

“They rightfully own this house,” Harris said.

Kalonji, who grew up in the Congo, said the experience brought back painful memories.

“There, they put me down with the gun to my head, and come here, the same,” he said.

Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the Newton Sheriff’s Office, said authorities are “looking into it, exactly what occurred, why it occurred.”

A person at the neighbors’ house said no one wanted to talk to Channel 2 about the incident.

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Bloody Photo Of Zimmerman 3 Minutes After Shooting Casts Major Doubt On Sanford Florida’s Bogus Case Against Victim Who Killed Druggie In Self Defense

April 20, 2012

SANFORD, FLORIDA – A new photograph obtained exclusively by ABC News showing the bloodied back of George Zimmerman’s head, which was apparently taken three minutes after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, gives possible credence to his claim that Martin had bashed his head against the concrete as Zimmerman fought for his life.

The revelation comes as his attorney and prosecutors prepare for Zimmerman’s bail hearing today, which could result in his being released from a Florida jail. Zimmerman, 28, is being held on charges of second-degree murder for the Feb. 26 shooting of Martin, 17, which could carry a life sentence if he is convicted.

The exclusive image shows blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman’s head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head. The original police report that night notes that the back of Zimmerman’s head was wet, and that he was bleeding from the nose and head.

Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed the teenager in self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.

Zimmerman was treated at the scene by paramedics, then cuffed and driven in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station. He was questioned for hours and later released. In police surveillance video obtained last month by ABC News, Zimmerman’s wounds are not apparent, and there were no bandages on his head.

Zimmerman was not admitted to a hospital or given stitches the night of the incident.

The person who took the photograph of a bloodied Zimmerman, asking not to be identified, told ABC News exclusively that they did not see the scuffle that night, but did hear it. The person recalled seeing Martin’s prostrate body on the wet grass and said the gunpowder burns on Martin’s gray hoodie were clearly visible.

The photographer said that after the shooting, Zimmerman asked the photographer to call his wife. When the photographer asked him what to say, Zimmerman blurted out, “Man, just tell her I shot someone.”

Investigators have seen the photo.

Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump is skeptical.

“How bad could it have been if they didn’t take him to the hospital [and] didn’t stitch him up,” he said in a statement to ABC News in response to the image. “The special prosecutor has seen all the evidence and still believes George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin.”

Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, said his client has spent enough time behind bars.

“He needs to get out. He should not be in jail,” O’Mara said. “I want him out because I need him out. He wants to get out. His family wants it out. It should happen.”

If Zimmerman is released, his attorney said, he has a number of potential safe houses prepared. In the meantime O’Mara says the former altar boy, who has become America’s highest-profile defendant, has been reading the Bible while in protective custody.

In a bail hearing in Florida, the burden of proof to deny bail, even in a second-degree murder trial, is higher than needed to seek a conviction in a trial.

“They would have to prove that the presumption of guilt is great, and that the proof is evident,” O’Mara said.

In the capias — similar to a warrant — filed against Zimmerman last week, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey and her team set bail at “none.”

In order to avoid a reduction in bail to a set monetary sum, Corey’s team would have to prove its case essentially, something legal experts say is unlikely at this point in the legal process.

Zimmerman attorney O’Mara said he doubts the prosecutor will reveal its case before the trial.

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Fags Sue After Being Attacked By Off-Duty Cleveland Ohio Police Officer, Beaten Again A Week Latter By On-Duty SWAT Officers, And Tossed In Jail On Bogus Charges – Without Pants

February 5, 2012

CLEVELAND, OHIO -  Two gay men who say they were punched and pinned to the ground by an off-duty police officer before being called offensive names and jailed without their trousers have sued the city and its police over what they call anti-gay bias.

Steven Ondo and Jonathan Simcox said the off-duty officer, who was a neighbor, complained about a noisy argument on the street and attacked them last April and had them arrested. A week later, they said, they were arrested by SWAT officers and were punched again at their home while lounging in T-shirts and underpants. They said they were denied a chance to get their pants and weren’t provided with any in jail for a day.

The men were charged with assaulting the officer but were acquitted Oct. 20 in a non-jury trial.

Ondo, 22, and Simcox, 25, filed the U.S. District Court lawsuit against the city and its police last month and asked for unspecified damages. They said their goal was to deter biased treatment by police.

During the second arrest, the lawsuit says, the officers repeatedly referred to Ondo and Simcox as “faggots” and said “faggots don’t get to wear pants to jail” when they were transported to the city lockup. Simcox’s brother was at the house and asked if he could get the pants for them, but police refused, although he was allowed to get their shoes, the lawsuit says.

Police usually allow cooperative arrested people to retrieve their clothing.

A top city official said Friday the city wouldn’t discuss details of the litigation.

“The city of Cleveland is aware that the lawsuit has been filed and will appropriately address this legal matter in court,” interim Law Director Barbara Langhenry said in an email.

Ondo and Simcox could not be reached Friday. No phone was listed for Ondo in court records, and a phone number for Simcox provided by his attorney wasn’t accepting calls.

Attorney Dan Chaplin, who represented Ondo in the criminal case, said each man weighs about 120 to 130 pounds and they were tossed around like rag dolls by their 225-pound neighbor.

About a week later, he said, a SWAT team calling them “fags” and “queer” arrested them at their home at about 5:30 a.m. on a warrant accusing them of assaulting a police officer. The team then put them in a police van and drove around for a couple of hours making other arrests, he said.

“They were humiliated and embarrassed. They were shackled to strangers while they were in their underwear and they couldn’t leave,” Chaplin said. “And the other guys that were arrested were allowed to get clothes on.”

At the jail, he said, police mocked them, telling them “fags don’t deserve to wear pants” and asked them questions about their sex lives.

“It was just real old-fashioned gay bashing by the Cleveland police department,” he said.

Cleveland police and the city’s Office of Professional Standards said no complaint had been filed in the case, mayoral spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said.

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With Nothing Better To Do In Hurricane Aftermath, Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Arrested Men On Bogus Charges For Rafting In Floodwaters

August 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Row, row, row your boat, just not down Main Street in Manayunk. That’s the message police are sending after arresting two men who used a raft as an alternate means of transportation down the flooded street Sunday.

CBS 3 reporter Dray Clark caught up with Pete and Pat, best friends and roommates from Manayunk, who paddled their way down the water covered street.

“I thought, Main Street floods a lot, go get a raft and float down,” said Pat, who admitted the idea was his.

“We thought it would be a good time and it turns out it is,” said Pete.

Minutes later, Philadelphia police stopped the men and hauled them away in handcuffs.

When Dray asked why the men were being arrested, he said the officers replied, “for lack of common sense.”

No charges were filed against the boaters.

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Phoenix Arizona Police Officers Tedesco, Mills and Neidenbach Brutally Beat And Used Taser Weapon Against Paralyzed Polio Victim, Lied In Reports And Accused Him Of Assault And Running Away – Wife And Children Threatened And He Was Denied Medical Attention By Maricopa County Jail

June 3, 2011

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – After Tasering, kicking and hitting a man in the head with flashlights while calling him a “wetback,” Phoenix police officers falsely accused him of assaulting them and running away, but the man can’t fight or run at all because he is paralyzed on one side of his body from childhood polio, he says in a civil rights complaint.

Refugio Rodriquez sued the city, Maricopa County, Maricopa County Correctional Health Services and the three Phoenix police officers he says assaulted him in the parking lot of a church.

Rodriquez, whom the officers accused of aggravated assault against a police officer after they Tasered, kicked and hit beat him with police-issued flashlights, says he could not have assaulted the officers or run because the left side of his body is paralyzed from polio.

Rodriquez the three officers – Tedesco, Mills and Neidenbach – approached him outside of a church on May 27, 2010.

They told him “you better not run you (expletive) wetback” and then slammed him onto the concrete driveway “in a manner which obviously exceeded the minimal amount of force necessary to accomplish a lawful purpose and continued to brutally assault plaintiff Refugio in the driveway,” according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.

After they needlessly Tasered him, they handcuffed him and continued to kick and hit him in the head “with their police-issued long flashlight,” the complaint states.

The officers stopped beating him after his wife, Josephine, and his two children “screamed at and pled with the defendant officers to stop the beating,” according to the complaint. The officers told the wife and kids to “stay across the street or that they would be ‘in trouble.’”

s., says the officers did not let his family see him after they beat him, “to cover up Refugio’s bruises, scrapes and severe swelling of the head.”

The officers told his wife and children “that there was nothing wrong with Refugio and that he was ‘the same as when he left home awhile ago,’” the complaint states.

But at the Maryvale police station, one of his assailants asked him, “‘What’s the matter, you can’t take an ass-whipping?’” Rodriquez says.

Rodriquez says the officers lied in their police report: that they wrote that he “ran from the officers when they first came into contact … which is totally impossible because plaintiff cannot run due to the paralysis on the whole left side of his body since his birth with polio.”

The officers “lied so they could try to cover up more lies” by claiming he had resisted and fought them, and by charging him with aggravated assault on a police officer, according to the complaint.

Rodriquez says he was taken from the Maryvale police precinct to the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail, where the intake nurse told him “he was going to be transported to the nearest hospital emergency room via an ambulance because of the severity of his injuries.”

But a few minutes later the intake nurse told him that “if she sent him to the hospital emergency, she was told she would lose her job.”

After Rodriquez was released on bail, his wife took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where the emergency doctor told him that “he could have died because a blood clot near his brain was beginning to develop,” the complaint states.

Rodriquez and his wife seek punitive damages and medical expenses for assault, battery, negligence, and civil rights violations. The complaint does not list the three officers’ first names, but it does include their badge numbers.

The Rodriquezes are represented by Jimmy Borunda

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Businessman Awarded $80,000 After Wrongful Arrest By Lynchburg Virginina Police Officer Ben Currin

March 26, 2011

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – The owner of a Lynchburg bus lot has won his lawsuit against a police officer he says wrongfully arrested him.

A jury has awarded Sam McConville $80,000 after an incident in March of 2008.

McConnville says Officer Ben Currin was sitting in his cruiser in the private bus lot.

He says after being told to leave, the officer spun around, throwing up rocks.

McConnville says he was arrested when he shouted at the officer.

McConnville’s attorney had been seeking $370,000.

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Charlotte County Florida Issued Warrant For Innocent Woman Who Was Arrested And Jailed For Nothing

September 7, 2010

Kimberly Shields, a 23-year-old manicurist from Winter Park, was in tears. She was locked up in the Seminole County Jail, strip searched, deloused, and she had no business being there.

A small-time thief with a cocaine addiction had stolen her identity, stolen a car, then confused authorities in Charlotte County, who issued an arrest warrant that landed Shields in jail in Sanford in 2002.

She kept telling jailers they had the wrong person. They checked, found a photo of the real thief, acknowledged that she was the wrong person but still held her for several more hours.

How much longer is in dispute. It was at least an additional 24 hours, if you believe Shields, Seminole Sheriff’s Office fax records and phone records from Charlotte County.

It was four to seven hours, if you believe the Sheriff’s Office employee who discovered the error.

Shields is suing the Seminole Sheriff’s Office, alleging false imprisonment and negligence. There’s a pretrial conference today. The case is tentatively set for trial Sept. 27.

“I was held there when they knew it was not me, then I was strip searched and treated like one of the inmates,” said Shields.

How was the Sheriff’s Office negligent?

It failed to follow its own policies, according her attorneys, Crystal Eiffert and Melissa Mak. When employee Kelley Brunelle discovered the jail had the wrong person, it should have called the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to find out whether Charlotte still wanted her extradited.

Defense attorney Tom Poulton said Shields is due no money. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is to blame, he said.

Instead of suing Seminole, Shields should thank its employees for “doing a great job,” discovering the error and turning their findings over to a judge, who ordered her release April 25, 2002, the day after her arrest, Poulton said.

The woman Charlotte County really wanted was Shannon McGuire. She and Shields had similar features. Shields was 5-feet-6 and weighed 120 pounds. McGuire was 5-feet-4 and 135 pounds. Both women have hazel eyes.

But the day Shields was jailed, McGuire was in a state prison near Ocala, serving an eight-year sentence for a string of crimes in Pinellas County.

Charlotte County issued its warrant because McGuire, while living near Port Charlotte and using Shields’ identity, stole a 1987 Plymouth. She was arrested by Charlotte County deputies later that day and gave Shields’ name.

She was charged with auto theft, pleaded no contest and was placed on three years’ probation, all while pretending to be Shields. Her probation officer knew her as Kimberly Shields.

McGuire is now 38, and has been in and out of Florida prisons four times, according to records at the Florida Department of Corrections.

Shields, now 32, has since married — her last name is now Hesketh — and she has two young children. She has never met McGuire, she said. She doesn’t know how McGuire got her name.

Identity theft can do a great deal more damage than wreck your credit, she said.

“Jail is not fun. I’d hate for anyone to have to go there, especially if you know you’re innocent,” Shields said.

Whether Shields was knowingly held overnight is irrelevant, Poulton argued. Only a judge can release someone named in a warrant, he said, and the Sheriff’s Office put the facts in front of a judge quickly enough, just before 1:30 p.m. the next day.

But in July, in an unrelated case, when it wanted an inmate freed, its lawyer moved swiftly, put paperwork in front of a judge that same day, and the teenager was released. At midmorning, a judge had sentenced a 16-year-old boy to adult jail — something that’s illegal. When the Sheriff’s Office general counsel found out, she quickly drafted a two-page motion, pointing out the error, got a judge to sign an order, and the boy was set free.

Shields also contends that she should have been set free as soon as Seminole County Judge Carmine Bravo ordered her release around 2 p.m. She wasn’t. She was handcuffed, led from the courtroom and held for another three to 3 1/2 hours.

Poulton said it takes several hours for jail employees to run through all their checks and process out an inmate. Shields, he said, was treated no differently than anyone else.

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Swedish Government, Police, And Others Target Wikileaks Website Founder With Bogus Allegations And Criminal Charges

August 28, 2010

SWEDEN – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been interrogated by police in Sweden, where he is facing molestation allegations, his lawyer said Tuesday, adding he expected the charges to be dropped.

Leif Silbersky, one of Sweden’s top defence attorneys, said police had questioned his client in his presence for about an hour Monday evening and that the interrogation went “very well.”

“I expect the prosecutor will drop the whole thing,” he told AFP.

A Swedish duty prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Assange on the evening of Friday, August 20 over an allegation of rape but chief prosecutor Eva Finne abruptly withdrew it the next day, saying new information had come to light.

Then last week, Finne said there was no reason to believe a crime had been committed in that case, but said she had enough evidence to continue probing a molestation allegation from another woman against the 39-year-old Australian.

“The whole story is very bizarre,” Silbersky lamented Tuesday, pointing out that his client had faced “different prosecutors and different charges that have now basically boiled down to nothing.”

The lawyer of the two women who have made the accusations against Assange meanwhile said last Friday he had appealed the prosecutor’s decision not to open a rape probe.

Assange himself has said the allegations against him are part of a “smear campaign” aimed at discrediting his whistleblowing website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon over the release of secret US documents about the war in Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks published nearly 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan on July 23 and has said it will publish another 15,000 within the next week or so.

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Dumbass Buffalo New York Police Admit Man They Arrested For Restaurant Murders Is Innocent – Police Are Finally Looking For Witnesses

August 16, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Charges were dropped in Buffalo City Court Sunday morning against a Buffalo man who was charged with murder following the shooting outside a downtown Buffalo restaurant early Saturday morning that killed four people and injured four others.

Buffalo Police admitted on Sunday the man they arrested, Keith Johnson, 25, was not the man who shot the victims. Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said he “apologized” for the mistake but added Johnson was “less than truthful” when interviewed by police on Saturday.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said photographic evidence collected by Buffalo Police late Saturday night has led them to believe the wrong person may be in custody.

Sedita said new information came to light following Saturday’s press conferences and requests that witnesses come forward.

In court Sunday morning, which was closed to cameras, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said “the suspect’s information was developed matching this individual [Johnson]. Police put information in the computer which generated a photo which a witness identified as the defendant [Johnson].”

Sedita also said, “within hours of yesterday’s press conference, calls came into the Buffalo Police Department indicating Johnson was not the shooter.”

The District Attorney concluded by saying, “I’m not going to prosecute someone unless I’m absolutely sure he did it and I’m not sure he did it.”

Johnson, who sat in court this morning wearing an orange jumpsuit, is still in police custody on a parole violation. Because Johnson was recently released from prison less than two weeks ago, he was not allowed to be in a bar, which police say he was on Saturday.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda say they have had witnesses come forward and are pursing leads to find the shooter.

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Three Police Officers In Toronto Canada Attack, Beat And Arrest Innocent Journalist Covering G20 Demonstration

June 29, 2010

TORONTO, CANADA – Freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld says police beat him Saturday night in Toronto as he covered a G20 demonstration.

A second journalist who witnessed the incident said it was “not a great night for democracy.”

Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda public affairs show, was watching protesters on a downtown Toronto street, the Esplanade, on Saturday night.

In a message posted on Twitter, Paikin wrote that the demonstration was peaceful. “It was like an old sit-in. No one was aggressive, and yet riot squad officers moved in.”

Police told him to leave, and “as I was escorted away from the demonstration, I saw two officers hold a journalist.”

“The journalist identified himself as working for the Guardian,” Paikin tweeted. “He talked too much and pissed the police off. Two officers held him. A third punched him in the stomach. Totally unnecessary. The man collapsed. Then the third officer drove his elbow into the man’s back.”

The man was Rosenfeld, 26, is a freelancer from Toronto who is now based in the Middle East. He writes for Now Magazine, The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, The Montreal Mirror and This Magazine.

“An officer came up to me, looked at my ID, my alternative media centre press pass and said: ‘This isn’t a legitimate press pass. Put him under arrest!’” Rosenfeld said.

“At which point I was immediately jumped and beaten. The officer grabbed my arm, ripped it behind my back. I was punched in the stomach to make me go down to the ground. I was being hit in the ribs.

“All the time I was saying ‘I am not resisting arrest. I am a journalist. Why are you beating me?’”

According to Paikin, “this guy is about 5-foot-4, 140 pounds. I later spoke to his father and found out he’s only got one kidney, and he’s an asthmatic. Hard to see how he was a threat to anything.”

“Not a great night for democracy in our city, the way I saw it.”

Toronto police said Rosenfeld is welcome to file a complaint. He has hired a lawyer.

Rosenfeld was not the only person whose arrest perturbed Paikin.

On Sunday, he said he had heard from author and academic Valerie Zawilski. She had just been released from jail after being arrested for breaching peace during the Saturday night demonstration. “Gimme a break,” Paikin tweeted.

And Paikin monitored the arrest of the son of Kate Holloway. Holloway is a journalist, activist and was a Liberal party candidate in the 2007 Ontario election.

Her son Sam and Sam’s girlfriend were watching a demonstration Saturday night and were arrested.

They spent a night in jail and Sam’s parents had no idea where they were.

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Dumbass Chattanooga Tennessee Police Officer Delays Woman At Door Of Emergency Room As She Suffered Stroke Conditions, Has Her Husband Arrested For Rushing Her To Hospital

June 20, 2010

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE – A patient, believed to be having a stroke, says an officer with the Chattanooga Police Department blocked her husband from taking her to the emergency room at Erlanger Wednesday night.

Aline Wright is a cancer survivor, amputee and a newlywed. Wednesday night she began to show signs she was having a stroke.

“I started feeling some left arm numbness and a facial droop,” said Aline.

“It appeared to me that I was probably having a stroke.”

That’s when her husband of four days, Jesse Wright, put her in the car and rushed her to the Erlanger Medical Center. Wright knows an emergency. He is a nurse technician at Erlanger.

On the way to the hospital, Aline says Jesse treated two red lights like stop signs. He would stop and then proceed if no traffic was coming. After Jesse ran the second stop light one block from Erlanger, the officer turned on the cruiser’s blue lights and followed the couple into the emergency room parking lot.

“At that point we figured because we were so close to Erlanger emergency department that the police would be aware that’s where we were going,” said Aline.

According to Aline, the officer caught up with the couple as they were attempting to enter the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center. Aline says her husband was carrying her in his arms because she could not walk. According to Aline, the officer blocked the entrance and demanded answers for running the red lights.

“He picks me up in his arms and the officer continues to block the way into the emergency room,” said Aline.

“He’s standing between Jesse and I, and the emergency room doors.”

Aline says eventually the officer allowed them to enter the hospital, but says he didn’t stop there.

Aline tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that once the couple was placed in a hospital room, the officer attempted to enter their room to arrest Jesse for evading the police.

Erlanger medical personnel then turned the officer away, informing him that since Aline could not speak Jesse was needed to answer questions for the doctors.

Thursday morning Erlanger security informed the couple that a warrant for Jesse’s arrest had been issued, and suggested he turn himself in. Aline says Jesse went to the Hamilton County Jail to turn himself in that evening. According to Aline, jail employees told Jesse that they had no record of a warrant for him and told him he was free to go.

Jesse returned to his ailing wife’s bedside at Erlanger Medical Center.

“I thought it was over,” said Aline.

“But apparently it wasn’t. I was awakened abruptly by people coming in the room.”

On Friday morning the police were back at the hospital. This time Jesse surrendered to Erlanger Security who arrested him on behalf of the Chattanooga Police Department.

Channel 3 had the only crew there as Jesse was released on $7,500 bond, about eight hours after being arrested. He is facing seven charges related to Wednesday night’s events, including felony evading arrest. He’s due in court on July 9th.

Eyewitness News contacted Chattanooga Police today for their side of the story.

Lt. Kim Noorbergen says the officer was just “doing his job”.

The department will not comment further until a formal complaint is filed with the Internal Affairs Department.

Aline Wright says she plans to file a complaint. The couple has already hired an attorney for a possible lawsuit.

An Erlanger spokesperson tells us by law their security guards are obligated to carry out any arrest warrant related to felony charges. The Erlanger spokesperson says once they learned the warrant for Wright’s arrest was issued, and they learned he was in the building, they had to arrest him.

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City To Pay Up After Crazed And Trouble-Prone Atlanta Georgia Police Officer Brandy Dolson Jailed Woman Who Dared To Ask Why She Couldn’t Use Sidewalk

June 19, 2010

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – The Atlanta City Council is expected to agree pay $20,000 to settle a lawsuit a by a 62-year-old woman who was jailed for asking a police officer “why” she and friends had to move from a sidewalk where they were talking about an upcoming funeral.

A council committee has already accepted the city attorney’s recommendation to settle the case, but the settlement must be approved by the entire city council. Minnie Carey spent almost 10 hours in jail on a charge of disorderly conduct brought by an officer who already had a troubled history with the Atlanta Police Department.

“It’s resolved,” said Carey’s attorney, Robert Ortman.

APD was named in the suit, and a spokesman for the department said Friday that an internal investigation found officer Brandy Dolson “acted within the parameters of department policies and procedures,” which complied with national standards. “Those [national] guidelines are based on a set of proven standards that take into account the difficult situations police officers face every day, and the split-second decisions they must make to protect citizens and reduce their own personal risk,” APD public affairs director Carlos Campos said in an e-mail.

This is one of two settlements the council is expected to address on Monday that involve incidents with Atlanta police officers.

If the other proposed settlement is approved, taxpayers will give 22 cab drivers $425,000 to settle a federal lawsuit. The suit says officers confiscated permits and insurance stickers and then immediately cited or arrested the drivers for not having those stickers on their cars. The drivers were targeted because their checks to APD’s Division of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire were returned; some of those checks were written as long as two years before they were deposited.

Carey’s suit was filed Feb. 17, claiming Dolson violated her civil rights and falsely imprisoned her. The suit also said the city had not given Dolson training that might have led him to respond differently in his encounter with Carey and her friends on a sidewalk outside a convenience store.

“People don’t usually complain unless there’s something really wrong,” Carey said. “If you have people complaining about the same person, it’s time the city take a look into their background.”

Dolson has been suspended without pay for most of this year, but not for the Carey case. APD said it was other, unrelated infractions that led to the disciplinary action.

Dolson could not be reached for comment Friday but he has previously declined to talk about the matter.

The suit said APD had received more than 10 complaints against Dolson but had “failed to adequately investigate the claims and deter him from further misconduct.”

But in the proposed settlement, the city and APD do not admit any wrongdoing.

Before bring the suit, Carey had filed a complaint with the Citizen Review Board, a panel charged with investigating reports of police misconduct. The board found in favor of Carey last February but interim police Chief George Turner rejected that decision.

Around 4 p.m. on March 26, 2009, Carey and her friends were on the sidewalk in front of the Boulevard Lotto convenience store, just a few blocks from downtown Atlanta. They had been talking a few minutes about funeral plans for a woman they all knew when Dolson and his partner pulled up. Dolson told the women to “move it.”

Three women started walking away but Carey didn’t, asking “why” instead.

Dolson’s answer to Carey was “because I said so,” according to records.

“I’m a citizen and I’m a taxpayer and I have a right to be here. I’m merely trying to find out about a sister’s funeral,” Carey responded.

That’s when Carey was handcuffed, put in the back of the patrol car and eventually taken to jail on a city ordinance violation charge.

She was released on her own recognizance around 12:30 a.m. the next day, and the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed several weeks later, at the third court hearing, because Dolson failed to appear.

“This arrest was in violation of her rights under … the U.S. Constitution,” the suit said.

The suit also said Carey was subjected to unjustified and excessive force and that she and her friends were targeted because of their race; the police officers also are black.

“He was a lousy police officer. What else can I say?” Carey said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Appeared Here


Hero Father Striped, Tied Up, And Used Stun Gun On Pervert Who Sent His Child An Explicit Cell Phone Picture

June 6, 2010

FRENCH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – A French Valley father suspected of tying up and using a stun gun on a 23-year-old man who sent his 17-year-old daughter an explicit cell phone picture was charged this week with multiple felonies.

Authorities say William Atwood Sr., 45, lured Justin Moore to his home, ordered him to strip down to his boxer shorts and assaulted him before turning him over to a sheriff’s deputy.

Moore, who lives in Temecula and knows Atwood’s daughter and son, later told sheriff’s investigators that he had sent the photo of his genitals to several friends as a joke.

But Atwood failed to see the humor when his daughter told him about the picture in January.

An angry Atwood reported to the Sheriff’s Department that Moore had sent pornography to a child, court records show. Before sheriff’s officials had a chance to investigate, they received a call from Atwood the evening of Jan. 10. He said Moore came to his Avenida Armada home uninvited.

Out of concern for his family’s safety, Atwood told sheriff’s officials, he fired a shotgun into the air. Atwood said he told Moore to take off his clothing and bound his wrists and ankles with zip ties.

When a deputy arrived, he found Moore behaving as if he were extremely frightened. Not only did he refuse to speak, but Moore also did not open his eyes for several minutes after the deputy arrived.

Later, at the station, Moore told a rather different story.

He said Atwood had called and asked him to come over to his house to discuss the photo. When Moore arrived, he said, the electric gate opened to reveal the 6-foot-2, 350-pound Atwood waiting for him in the driveway. Atwood was a few feet away when he fired the gun, Moore told authorities.

Atwood ordered Moore out of his car and, as he was walking, fired another shot. After he was tied up, Moore said, Atwood pulled him off the ground by his feet, injuring his shoulder.

Atwood told Moore he had connections with the Pechanga tribe and was going to have him buried on the reservation, court records say.

Moore said he believed that Atwood was going to kill him.

At some point, Atwood retrieved a handgun and a stun gun. He shocked Moore on the shoulder for about 20 seconds and asked him how he liked it, court records say.

Atwood told Moore that he shocked his dogs daily and they took it better than him, court records say.

Moore said he was detained for about an hour before Atwood called the Sheriff’s Department.

When sheriff’s investigators looked into Moore’s account of events, they discovered that he had indeed received a call from Atwood about an hour before Atwood called authorities. They also found a text message Moore had sent to a friend on his way to Atwood’s house, saying he was going to discuss the pictures.

“If I don’t get back, let everyone know,” he joked.

Investigators searched Atwood’s home, seizing zip ties, at least two stun guns and more than a dozen firearms.

The district attorney’s office on Wednesday charged Atwood with making criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a stun gun, assault with a deadly weapon and other gun charges. As of Thursday, he had not been arrested.

Moore declined to comment Thursday, saying he hadn’t heard about the charges. Efforts to reach Atwood were unsuccessful.

Prosecutors declined to charge Moore in connection with the photo for lack of evidence, said district attorney’s spokesman John Hall.

Veronica Rico, the sheriff’s investigator who handled the case, said that while Atwood’s displeasure over the photo was understandable, he took it much too far.

“It just kind of got out of hand,” Rico said.

Appeared Here


Veteran Lee County Florida Deputy Sheriff Teams Up With Nutcase Mother To Falsely Arrest And Confine 5 Year Old Boy

May 19, 2010

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - A Fort Myers mother is under fire for the way she disciplined her 5-year-old son in public. She is calling it tough love but some people who witnessed it were moved to tears, calling it way too harsh for a child that young.

The woman had her son arrested outside a 7-11 store in LeHigh Acres to teach him a lesson about the dangers of playing with matches and lighters.

Her friend, a 15-year veteran Lee county sheriff’s deputy, played along in the mock arrest and handcuffed the child and put him in the back of a cruiser. Horrified witnesses couldn’t believe their eyes. One woman said, “That’s not a way to treat a child, that’s not a way to teach a lesson to a little boy.”

The mother, who is only identified as “Michelle” stands by her decision saying, “I’d do it again. If more parents did what I did we wouldn’t have the crime that we have now”.

Appeared Here


New York City Port Authority Police Officer Assaults and Arrests Innocent Train Passenger

May 19, 2010

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – You can’t take an open bottle of booze on a subway or train but what if it is sealed? An NYU student says he was cuffed over a sealed bottle of wine.

Pavan Trivedi says he was slammed down to the ground by a Port Authority cop and held in a room against his will.
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He says it was all over two bottles of sealed wine he tried to take home on the PATH train.

Trivedi says, “I keep asking them ‘what did I do wrong?’ He keeps saying ‘shut up’.”

It happened early New Year’s Day. Pavan was trying to get back to New Jersey after a night out with his friends.

He went into the PATH station in Greenly Square. But he says as soon as he went through the turnstile a Port Authority officer came out of nowhere and demanded to know what was in his see-through bag.

Trivedi says, it only got worse when another cop got involved.

That’s when he walked up to the street and called 9-1-1 from his phone. He says the operator told him to go and get the officers’ information.

He says the one officer was at the top of the stairs and he handed over his phone so the cop could talk to 9-1-1, but she refused.

He says the officer said he was being aggressive when he tried to take his phone back and ended up being slammed to the ground. He ended up in cuffs.

He claims that he was taken into a room in the station and berated for at least an hour.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority claims that a few days prior to New Years Eve station announcements warned riders that sealed bottles of alcohol were forbidden on the holiday but the same spokesperson admits he could not show Fox 5 any law or rule to support it.

The ticket was issued not because he had bottles because they didnt charge him with that…it was issued because he got them angry and they felt like they could do it and they did.

Trivedi says, “This kind of situation can’t transpire again ….. Not just for me but for other innocent citizens who are just attempting to go home.”

He is scheduled to meet with a judge Wednesday to fight his ticket. He’s also filing a lawsuit against the city and the Port Authority.

Appeared Here


Crazed Off Duty Galveston Texas Police Officer Charges Man With Using The "F" Word During Conversation With A Woman

March 13, 2009

GALVESTON, TEXAS — Diners at a seawall eatery were treated to a short salvo of vulgar language when a Jamaica, N.Y., man allegedly berated his female companion with a pair of F-bombs uttered within earshot of a police officer and restaurant manager, authorities said Tuesday.

A Galveston officer was enjoying an early dinner at 4:15 p.m. Monday at Salsa’s Mexican and Seafood Restaurant, 4604 Seawall Blvd., when he overheard a conversation between a man and a woman, said Lt. D.J. Alvarez, a Galveston Police Department spokesman.

“The man said to the female, ‘I can’t believe you’re so f—— stupid,’” Alvarez said, who was reading from a police report of the incident made public Tuesday. “‘What the f— were you thinking?’”

“The manager was offended by the curse words,” Alvarez said. “And the man was arrested when the manager came forward to complain about the breach of peace.”

The man was charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, Alvarez said. It is unclear whether the man was a tourist or a contractor working in Galveston.

Charles W. “Rocky” Rhodes, a professor of law at South Texas College of Law, when contacted about a previous F-bomb arrest in a La Marque Wal-Mart last year, said that in Cohen v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a man protesting the Vietnam War could not be arrested for wearing a jacket in a courthouse that bore the phrase “F— the Draft.”

The reasoning was that offended people could turn away, Rhodes said.

There have been other cases that have set precedent that isolated or fleeting use of public profanity can’t be criminalized without violating the First Amendment, Rhodes said.

The state, however, isn’t prevented from criminalizing a public verbal assault of repeated, loud profanities that disrupt the rights of others, Rhodes said.

Appeared Here


Crazed Off Duty Galveston Texas Police Officer Charges Man With Using The "F" Word During Conversation With A Woman

March 12, 2009

GALVESTON, TEXAS — Diners at a seawall eatery were treated to a short salvo of vulgar language when a Jamaica, N.Y., man allegedly berated his female companion with a pair of F-bombs uttered within earshot of a police officer and restaurant manager, authorities said Tuesday.

A Galveston officer was enjoying an early dinner at 4:15 p.m. Monday at Salsa’s Mexican and Seafood Restaurant, 4604 Seawall Blvd., when he overheard a conversation between a man and a woman, said Lt. D.J. Alvarez, a Galveston Police Department spokesman.

“The man said to the female, ‘I can’t believe you’re so f—— stupid,’” Alvarez said, who was reading from a police report of the incident made public Tuesday. “‘What the f— were you thinking?’”

“The manager was offended by the curse words,” Alvarez said. “And the man was arrested when the manager came forward to complain about the breach of peace.”

The man was charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, Alvarez said. It is unclear whether the man was a tourist or a contractor working in Galveston.

Charles W. “Rocky” Rhodes, a professor of law at South Texas College of Law, when contacted about a previous F-bomb arrest in a La Marque Wal-Mart last year, said that in Cohen v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a man protesting the Vietnam War could not be arrested for wearing a jacket in a courthouse that bore the phrase “F— the Draft.”

The reasoning was that offended people could turn away, Rhodes said.

There have been other cases that have set precedent that isolated or fleeting use of public profanity can’t be criminalized without violating the First Amendment, Rhodes said.

The state, however, isn’t prevented from criminalizing a public verbal assault of repeated, loud profanities that disrupt the rights of others, Rhodes said.

Appeared Here


Anne Arundel County Maryland Police Beat And Arrest Deaf Man Who Tried To Report Burglary Of His Home

March 10, 2009

ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND – The day started badly enough for Stephen Pyles when he discovered that the home he shares with his elderly mother had been burglarized. But it only got worse when Pyles attempted to explain to police what had happened — and wound up taken from his home in handcuffs.

The 55-year-old Anne Arundel County man was accused of punching a police officer in the chest. But a paramedic who was there wrote in a report that Pyles, who is deaf and cannot speak clearly, simply pressed a note to the officer’s chest and was then “violently wrestled to the ground” by the officer.

Prosecutors recently dropped charges against Pyles, citing a lack of evidence. And Anne Arundel County police say they are reviewing the incident and their policies.

“When the officer was pushing me, I couldn’t breathe. I kept trying to mouth the word ‘air, air, air’ over and over again,” Pyles, who says he had neck surgery six days before his arrest, said through a sign-language interpreter. “Every time I see the police, I get chills. If something happens to my mom, who do I call? I can’t call the cops.”

While it remains unclear exactly what happened at the Pasadena home that morning, the versions told by Pyles and the paramedic illustrate the difficulties that can arise in encounters between police and the hard of hearing.

“When police see someone who is blind, they know he cannot see. When they see someone in a wheelchair, they know he cannot walk. But when they see someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, the assumption is that he is not trying hard enough to hear or that he’s unintelligent,” says Shannon Smith Peinaldo, a New Mexico-based advocate for the deaf. “American Sign Language is a very visual language, and when you don’t know it … what is an expression of emotion can be viewed as aggression.”

Some law enforcement agencies are taking steps to make officers more sensitive to the needs of the hearing impaired. The Maryland Sheriff’s Association created visor cards to alert officers at a traffic stop that a driver is deaf. And the Frederick police recently learned basic sign language and took part in role play situations with students of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

“We found through this training that the police now have an understanding of deaf culture,” said Frederick police spokesman Lt. Clark Pennington. “That’s a big part of empathy.”

The Anne Arundel County police dispatchers are equipped with TTY phones to communicate with the deaf, police spokesman Sgt. John Gilmer said. New police officers take part in a workshop on disabilities, he said. But a manual for officers, provided by the department, does not specifically address how police should handle calls involving deaf people.

Pyles says he is traumatized by his interactions with police. He lives with his mother in the same two-story home near Fort Smallwood Park where he grew up. Everyone in the immediate family was born deaf.

The house smells like wood smoke, and the walls are decorated with hand-painted bird feeders, family photos and cards that say “I love Grandma.” A television with closed captioning runs in the living room, words scrolling above the heads of faces on screen.

But the tranquillity of the home is deceptive, Pyles said through an interpreter. The house has been burglarized at least six times in the past decade, he said, and he believes thieves target him and his mother because they are deaf.

When mother and son awoke April 16 to find a window smashed and 79-year-old Evelyn Pyles’ purse missing, they called 911 on their TTY phone and hung up. As paramedics watched, Stephen Pyles showed police the shattered window and wrote a note expressing his frustration at feeling that his home was unsafe. At this point, the accounts of what occurred diverge.

According to court documents signed by Officer L.A. Facciponti, Pyles pointed his finger in the officer’s face, pounded a table and slammed down a pen that ricocheted and nearly struck the officer. Then “he suddenly and without warning used … his fist to punch me in the chest,” the officer wrote. Facciponti, who joined the department in June 2007, tried to arrest Pyles, but the man resisted and the officer used “hand techniques to take him to the ground,” according to the documents.

But Ashley Eckhardt, a paramedic with the county Fire Department, wrote a different account. Pyles apparently “frustrated from not being able to communicate with the officers, attempted to get an officer’s attention by grabbing the officer’s arm and placing a piece of paper with a note for the officer on the officer’s chest,” she wrote. “It was at this time that the officer began wrestling the patient to the ground.” Pyles was “guarding himself from the officer,” “pointing to his neck” and “motioning for officer to stop,” she wrote.

Pyles said he was terrified and suffering intense pain as he lay on the floor with his hands bound behind his back. “I really thought my throat was going to close up,” he said. “I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was going to die.”

According to the paramedic’s report, Evelyn Pyles wrote a note explaining that her son was recovering from neck surgery and was in pain. A hearing brother-in-law, who had arrived to interpret, asked police to cuff Stephen Pyles’ hands in front of him to alleviate the neck pain and to allow him to sign, but the officers refused several times. They also declined Pyles’ request to be examined by paramedics before leaving the home, according to the report.

In the officer’s account, the first mention of Pyles’ medical condition occurs when he is at the police station. Paramedics examined him then and took him to the hospital for treatment.

It was at this time that the officers were “able to ascertain” that a purse had been stolen from Pyles’ home. Pyles wrote up a list of things that had been taken. He was charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest and was released.

Pyles said that he still suffers neck and back pain. And he says there still has not been an arrest in the burglary that started the chain of events.

His emphatic signing might have been interpreted by the officer as aggression, said Leo Yates Jr., the pastor of Magothy United Methodist Church of the Deaf, where Pyles is a member. As people grow more emotional, they sign with larger and more dramatic gestures, he said.

“When you’re trying to express yourself, you’re going to need to flap your arms and use parts of your body to express yourself,” he said.

When the case came to Anne Arundel Circuit Court Feb. 25 assistant state’s attorney Karen Anderson-Scott asked that charges be dropped due to lack of evidence.

Heather Tierney, Pyles’ attorney from the public defender’s office, said after the hearing that the police need more training in dealing with the deaf.

“The public and the police need to be made aware that this can’t happen again,” she said.

Appeared Here


Anne Arundel County Maryland Police Beat And Arrest Deaf Man Who Tried To Report Burglary Of His Home

March 10, 2009

ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND – The day started badly enough for Stephen Pyles when he discovered that the home he shares with his elderly mother had been burglarized. But it only got worse when Pyles attempted to explain to police what had happened — and wound up taken from his home in handcuffs.

The 55-year-old Anne Arundel County man was accused of punching a police officer in the chest. But a paramedic who was there wrote in a report that Pyles, who is deaf and cannot speak clearly, simply pressed a note to the officer’s chest and was then “violently wrestled to the ground” by the officer.

Prosecutors recently dropped charges against Pyles, citing a lack of evidence. And Anne Arundel County police say they are reviewing the incident and their policies.

“When the officer was pushing me, I couldn’t breathe. I kept trying to mouth the word ‘air, air, air’ over and over again,” Pyles, who says he had neck surgery six days before his arrest, said through a sign-language interpreter. “Every time I see the police, I get chills. If something happens to my mom, who do I call? I can’t call the cops.”

While it remains unclear exactly what happened at the Pasadena home that morning, the versions told by Pyles and the paramedic illustrate the difficulties that can arise in encounters between police and the hard of hearing.

“When police see someone who is blind, they know he cannot see. When they see someone in a wheelchair, they know he cannot walk. But when they see someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, the assumption is that he is not trying hard enough to hear or that he’s unintelligent,” says Shannon Smith Peinaldo, a New Mexico-based advocate for the deaf. “American Sign Language is a very visual language, and when you don’t know it … what is an expression of emotion can be viewed as aggression.”

Some law enforcement agencies are taking steps to make officers more sensitive to the needs of the hearing impaired. The Maryland Sheriff’s Association created visor cards to alert officers at a traffic stop that a driver is deaf. And the Frederick police recently learned basic sign language and took part in role play situations with students of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

“We found through this training that the police now have an understanding of deaf culture,” said Frederick police spokesman Lt. Clark Pennington. “That’s a big part of empathy.”

The Anne Arundel County police dispatchers are equipped with TTY phones to communicate with the deaf, police spokesman Sgt. John Gilmer said. New police officers take part in a workshop on disabilities, he said. But a manual for officers, provided by the department, does not specifically address how police should handle calls involving deaf people.

Pyles says he is traumatized by his interactions with police. He lives with his mother in the same two-story home near Fort Smallwood Park where he grew up. Everyone in the immediate family was born deaf.

The house smells like wood smoke, and the walls are decorated with hand-painted bird feeders, family photos and cards that say “I love Grandma.” A television with closed captioning runs in the living room, words scrolling above the heads of faces on screen.

But the tranquillity of the home is deceptive, Pyles said through an interpreter. The house has been burglarized at least six times in the past decade, he said, and he believes thieves target him and his mother because they are deaf.

When mother and son awoke April 16 to find a window smashed and 79-year-old Evelyn Pyles’ purse missing, they called 911 on their TTY phone and hung up. As paramedics watched, Stephen Pyles showed police the shattered window and wrote a note expressing his frustration at feeling that his home was unsafe. At this point, the accounts of what occurred diverge.

According to court documents signed by Officer L.A. Facciponti, Pyles pointed his finger in the officer’s face, pounded a table and slammed down a pen that ricocheted and nearly struck the officer. Then “he suddenly and without warning used … his fist to punch me in the chest,” the officer wrote. Facciponti, who joined the department in June 2007, tried to arrest Pyles, but the man resisted and the officer used “hand techniques to take him to the ground,” according to the documents.

But Ashley Eckhardt, a paramedic with the county Fire Department, wrote a different account. Pyles apparently “frustrated from not being able to communicate with the officers, attempted to get an officer’s attention by grabbing the officer’s arm and placing a piece of paper with a note for the officer on the officer’s chest,” she wrote. “It was at this time that the officer began wrestling the patient to the ground.” Pyles was “guarding himself from the officer,” “pointing to his neck” and “motioning for officer to stop,” she wrote.

Pyles said he was terrified and suffering intense pain as he lay on the floor with his hands bound behind his back. “I really thought my throat was going to close up,” he said. “I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was going to die.”

According to the paramedic’s report, Evelyn Pyles wrote a note explaining that her son was recovering from neck surgery and was in pain. A hearing brother-in-law, who had arrived to interpret, asked police to cuff Stephen Pyles’ hands in front of him to alleviate the neck pain and to allow him to sign, but the officers refused several times. They also declined Pyles’ request to be examined by paramedics before leaving the home, according to the report.

In the officer’s account, the first mention of Pyles’ medical condition occurs when he is at the police station. Paramedics examined him then and took him to the hospital for treatment.

It was at this time that the officers were “able to ascertain” that a purse had been stolen from Pyles’ home. Pyles wrote up a list of things that had been taken. He was charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest and was released.

Pyles said that he still suffers neck and back pain. And he says there still has not been an arrest in the burglary that started the chain of events.

His emphatic signing might have been interpreted by the officer as aggression, said Leo Yates Jr., the pastor of Magothy United Methodist Church of the Deaf, where Pyles is a member. As people grow more emotional, they sign with larger and more dramatic gestures, he said.

“When you’re trying to express yourself, you’re going to need to flap your arms and use parts of your body to express yourself,” he said.

When the case came to Anne Arundel Circuit Court Feb. 25 assistant state’s attorney Karen Anderson-Scott asked that charges be dropped due to lack of evidence.

Heather Tierney, Pyles’ attorney from the public defender’s office, said after the hearing that the police need more training in dealing with the deaf.

“The public and the police need to be made aware that this can’t happen again,” she said.

Appeared Here


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