Okaloosa County Florida Deputy Sheriff Harassed Walking Man Without Cause, Charged Him With BS Count After His Feelings Got Hurt

May 5, 2012

FORT WALTON BEACH, FLORIDA — A 47-year-old man was charged April 23 with misdemeanor resisting officer without violence.

According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s report, a deputy spotted the man walking in the middle of Tilden Avenue, which is known to be a high-crime area.

When the deputy stopped the man and asked for his identification, the man replied, “(Expletive) you, that’s for you to figure out.”

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TSA Agents Target Elderly Disabled Couple, Steal $300 From Them – Treated Like Terrorists

April 25, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Omer Petti and Madge Woodward expected the alarms to go off at the airport security’s metal detector when they were flying home to Detroit after visiting family recently near San Diego.

After all, Petti, who is 95 years old, has two artificial knees and Woodward, at 85, has had her hip replaced. But they sure didn’t expect to be subjected to accusations, extreme pat-downs, and most importantly, to be missing $300 in cash.

“Can you imagine an 85-year-old lady and 95-year-old retired Air Force Major in wheelchairs being treated like terrorists?” Petti asked recently sitting in the kitchen of the Bloomfield Township home he shares with Woodward.

On March 29 Petti and Woodward arrived at the San Diego International airport at 10 a.m. for a flight scheduled to leave at 11:36 a.m. As usual, Petti and Woodward removed their shoes, jackets and sweaters and put these along with their other belongings — belt buckles, carry on bags, purse and jewelry, including Petti’s money clip — into a total of four rubber bins.

Petti says a security officer asked him to remove Kleenex and $300 in folded bills that he had in his pocket and send it through the detector. “I hesitated and said: ‘You really want me to put my bills in there?’ ” Petti said. The officer said yes, so Petti put the cash into a fifth bin. Then he and Woodward proceeded through the metal detector.

After both set off alarms, they were patted down. Then, a security officer did a litmus test on Petti’s clothing, which tested positive for nitrates. Petti explained that he carries nitroglycerin pills for his heart. Nonetheless, Petti was taken to a private room for yet another pat-down by a different officer while the same security officer emptied their carry-on bags and rifled through every item.

“When I was patted down, I’ve never before been touched in every part of my body before,” Woodward said.

As the search went on, the couple — both widowed who met a few years ago at a bridge game and fell in love — became increasingly concerned about missing their flight.

Finally, they were released and told to retrieve their belongings. But only four bins were handed over to them. When Petti inquired about his $300, a senior security official was called over. Petti says this officer insinuated that they were mistaken about the missing cash, instructing the two to take off their shoes again, check their pockets again. “When I told him we were going to miss our flight he asked me if I was objecting or refusing his request.” Petti says. “I said: ‘No, I’d do anything I was asked, I would just like to know where my $300 went.’ “

Finally, Petti says the officer promised they would check their video cameras to see what happened to the fifth bin and he would advise the Transportation Security Administration manager in Detroit so that they could briefed when they arrived. Then came the mad dash for the plane. “The wheel chair attendant literally ran the two of us by himself with both wheel chairs down to the gate, endangering us and anybody who got in our way,” says Petti.

“I think I was scammed,” Petti says. “I would like my money back, but money doesn’t pay for all the stress and humiliation.”

In the weeks since, Petti has filed a police report with the San Diego Harbor Police. He’s written a lengthy letter addressed to the airport federal security director in San Diego and he’s copied politicians: local and national, including President Obama. And he is in the process of filling out a four-page “Tort Claim Package” as required by the TSA.

Nobody, he says, is giving him a straight answer. “The police said they went and reviewed the videotapes but they were too blurry,” Petti says. Petti’s son Bill, who is helping his father, doubts that. “You can bet if my father were a terrorist, those videos would not be too blurry.”

For their part, the San Diego Harbor Police declined to comment on Petti’s case. Jim Fostenos, a spokesman in the TSA’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs said only: “They are looking into the case in San Diego. That’s all I have for you.”

Says Bill Petti: “The bottom line is my dad’s money went missing. Someone in the TSA or the next passenger took it. Either way, treating a 95-year-old like that is inexcusable.”

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Birmingham Alabama Cops File Bogus Charges Against Teen Who Was Legally Carrying Rifle And Minding His Own Business Until Harassed By Police Officers

April 23, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Sean M. Combs, 18, says he’s “100 percent sure” he was acting legally when he strolled on Old Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham earlier this month with his M-1 rifle strapped to his back, muzzle to the sky.

What’s unsettling is that Combs is right about what the law says and doesn’t say.

He was arrested April 13 on three misdemeanor charges — for brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace — each punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

But no matter how the case turns out, the Troy High School senior is making his incendiary point.

A teenager out for a Friday night stroll on a crowded street with a classmate friend and his semi-automatic weapon still qualifies as a bizarre night out.

It suggests bad judgment, immaturity and a pathological need for attention — but it’s not banned by law. “You can open carry, like the old wild wild West,” says Michigan State Police spokesman Lt. James Shaw. “It’s legal.”

Still, Sean Combs was deliberately, and perhaps impulsively, pushing the bounds of social acceptability when he grabbed his rifle from the trunk, after deciding not to go to a movie. (Guns are banned from movie theaters, although a pending Senate bill would change that.)

But public strutting with guns is likely one consequence of the au courant embrace of all things NRA, including the state Legislature’s 2011 bill to drop the hunting age from 12 to toddler, or the 2010 law empowering elementary schools to teach children gun safety.

Combs said he believes in “open carry” and the only way to break down social norms against it is to carry firearms openly. He used a rifle, he says, because federal regulations require him to be 21 to buy a handgun. To get the rifle, he only needed to be 18. “It’s like buying a pack of cigarettes,” he explains, correctly.

Why don’t more people walk around with rifles?

Gun law expert Steve Dulan, who teaches firearms law at Cooley Law School, says the law doesn’t differentiate between firearms. “Open carry is certainly lawful and the only reason I advise against it is because of the ignorance of the public and many law enforcement officers,” he says. “You’re likely to be staring down the barrel of a police officer’s gun.”

Combs, who was a captain of Troy High’s cross-country team and gets good grades, is a regular guy, says his friend, Lia Grabowski, who was with him that night. “He’s a really, really nice kid. He’s not someone who’s dangerous or scary.”

A self-described “gun enthusiast,” Combs studies “open carry” laws and websites that advocate carrying firearms out in the open as a political statement. “I did my homework,” he says. He took his gun out of the trunk that night because “I wanted to change a social rule that I don’t agree with” — namely the general social disapproval of guys walking down the street with military weapons slung over their shoulders.

Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt, whose officers arrested Combs on April 13, acknowledges the constitutionality of Combs’ decision to carry his gun, but said “this guy was creating a disturbance and he wouldn’t cooperate.”

Those facts are in contention. The youth’s attorney, James Makowski, says Combs had a clear understanding of the law when he decided to walk down the street with his 1942 military-issue semiautomatic rifle. “It isn’t my style, but it’s his right,” Makowski says. “I’ve never had a client who is so clearly in the right.”

There’s no law against being a jerk. God bless America.

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Dashcam Video Camera’s Audio Caught On Duty Santa Fe New Mexico Police Officer Sgt. Mike Eiskant Masturbating In Patrol Car – Plead Guilty For Slap On The Wrist For Laundry List Of Charges Including Stalking, Harassment, And Drugs

April 12, 2012

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – A police sergeant in Santa Fe, New Mexico is in a bad situation after a video caught him masturbating while he was on duty. The video has recently been released and it was filmed by the dashboard camera of the officer’s cruiser. The video released to the media does not show the inside of the cruiser but has audio that is quite steamy. The officer in question is Sgt. Mike Eiskant.

One former officer, Shannon Brady, was not surprised at the news of the video as Brady said that Eiskant had a bad reputation as a stalker of women and a ‘creeper.’ Brady attempted to file a harassment complaint against Eiskant years ago with the Santa Fe Police Department’s human resource division. The complaint was filed with compliance officer Raymond Rael, who is not the police chief for the department.

You can hear on the video his audio-erotic situation and the sound of a zipper can be heard clearly. The officer seems to be masturbating while looking at a nude picture of a woman on his cellphone. The video is a total of 10 minutes and at one time in the video the officer can be heard saying, “Oh, show me those big beautiful breasts, baby.”

They had plenty of opportunities over the course of many years to do something about it and they refused to,” Brady said.

When Brady tried to file the claim, Rael asked if she was “doing this only because of all the rumors against Mike Eiskant stalking women.” Rael instead offered mediation between the two parties but Brady declined. Rael has said that he is unaware of any other complaints against Eiskant, who has never been placed on administrative leave. Eiskant is scheduled to retire in November.

“I did not have prior knowledge, and if I did, I would have acted,” Rael said.

When Eiskant was promoted to the rank of sergeant he was issued the badge number 69. Rael explained that he did not know the reason why this happened.

“Is it possible that it is coincidental?” Rael said. “I suppose, but I can’t speak to that issue one way or another.”

A statement from the Attorney General Gary King’s office said that Eiskant promised he “will never again become a law enforcement officer anywhere in the United States,” as part of his plea deal. The agreement also states that “probation length, at initial sentencing, shall not exceed one year, and may be converted to unsupervised probation, in the discretion of the court, after any mandatory counseling has been completed.”

Eiskant entered a no contest plea in Bernalillo County District Court in front of Judge Reed Sheppard for other issues. The no contest pleas were for two counts of attempt to commit a felony for false imprisonment, one count of stalking, two counts of harassment and charges for larceny and possession of marijuana. The criminal complaint details that seven of the charges happened in 2011 and plenty of them involved women in traffic stops.

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Ex-Wife Had Chicago Illinois Police Officers Plaster His Car With Bogus Parking Tickets – Federal Appeals Court Allows Him To Target Officers In Court

April 1, 2012

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Wednesday upheld a motorist’s right to fight back against Chicago, Illinois police officers for plastering his car with bogus parking tickets. Mark Geinosky was hit with twenty-four such tickets over fourteen months. For the alleged offenses to be valid, Geinosky’s vehicle would have to have been parked in two places at the same time. Geinosky suspects the officers had been colluding with his ex-wife, and the three-judge appellate panel found that he had a point.

“Absent a reasonable explanation, and none has even been suggested yet, the pattern adds up to deliberate and unjustified official harassment that is actionable under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Circuit Judge David Hamilton wrote for the court.

Mark Geinosky separated from his wife of twenty years, Sharon, on October 6, 2007, and that’s when his problems began. Sharon Geinosky continued to drive a Toyota that had been registered in Mark Geinosky’s name. Mark Geinosky began receiving parking tickets in the mail in groups of three and four worth around $300 per set. He stood accused of parking in front of a fire hydrant, parking in a crosswalk, blocking a roadway and related offenses.

Officer Wilkerson was responsible for thirteen of those tickets, each with sequential citation numbers. The alleged violations also happened at precisely 10pm on separate days. To avoid paying for infractions he did not commit, Mark Geinosky had to go to court seven times. He won against all twenty-four tickets, but his complaints to internal affairs and the Independent Police Review Authority fell on deaf ears — until the Chicago Tribune began running stories on the case.

US district court Judge John W. Darrah ruled that Geinosky could not file a Section 1983 “class of one” discrimination case against the officers who violated his constitutional rights and abused their police authority because he failed to identify “the norm” of how people are ordinarily treated. The appellate judges ridiculed the lower court’s position and found that Geinosky was clearly singled out and received different treatment.

“In a straightforward official harassment case like the allegations here, forcing the plaintiff to name a person not so severely harassed serves no such purpose (and in any event certainly is not necessary in the complaint itself),” Judge Hamilton wrote. “Are there people in Chicago who have not received more than a dozen bogus parking tickets from the same police unit in a short time? Geinosky could find hundreds of those people on any page of the Chicago phone book.”

The appellate judges noted Geinosky’s case involved a highly unusual circumstance where there is no legitimate justification for the pattern of ticketing and that this would not open the door to more lawsuits.

“We are not inviting every driver with a couple of parking tickets (even invalid ones) to sue in federal court,” Judge Hamilton wrote.

Federal section 1983 lawsuits allow individuals to receive treble damages from public officials who violated constitutional rights under color of law. During oral argument, the judges openly wondered why the city did not settle the case which they said represented the best example of a “class of one” lawsuit that they had ever seen.

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Class Action Lawsuit Charges Florida Highway Patrol With Illegally Ticketing More Than 10,429 Innocent Motorists

August 26, 2011

TAMPA, FLORIDA – When the Florida Highway Patrol pulls someone over on the highway, it’s usually because they were speeding.

But Eric Campbell was pulled over and ticketed while he was driving the speed limit.

Campbell says, “I was coming up the Veterans Expressway and I notice two Florida Highway Patrol Cars sitting on the side of the road in the median, with lights off.”

Campbell says he did what he always does: flashed his lights on and off to warn drivers coming from the other direction that there was speed trap ahead.

According to Campbell, 60 seconds after passing the trooper, “They were on my tail and they pulled me over.”

Campbell says the FHP trooper wrote him a ticket for improper flashing of high beams. Campbell says the trooper told him what he had done was illegal.

But later Campbell learned that is not the case. He filed a class action suit which says “Florida Statue 316.2397” — under which Campbell was cited — “does not prohibit the flashing of headlights as a means of communications, nor does it in any way reference flashing headlights or the use of high beams.”

However, the FHP trooper who wrote the ticket either didn’t know or didn’t care. “You could tell in his voice he was upset,” Campbell says. “He was professional, he wasn’t rude… but you could tell he was irritated.”

However, the lawsuit says the FHP is well aware they are wrongfully applying the state law and they are doing it as a means of generating revenue. In 2005, a court order was even issued saying the state law doesn’t prohibit the flashing of vehicle headlights.

Campbell isn’t the only one. Since 2005, FHP records show more than 10,429 drivers have been cited under the statute.

In addition to seeking the refund of the $100 ticket, the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.

What’s that costing you?

If each person illegally cited was awarded $15,000 that would be $156,435,000 in damages if the suit is successful. Then you would throw in at least another $1,042,900 in ticket refunds, all because it appears troopers don’t like motorists warning others about speed traps.

Campbell says he felt as if the trooper thought it was a personal affront. According to Campbell, the trooper did not like the fact somebody was ratting him out.

The Florida Highway Patrol says it can’t comment because of the pending lawsuit.

Campbell says FHP had no right to ticket him or anyone under the current law and he adds the agency is not being honest when it says it doesn’t write tickets to increase revenue or punish people, but rather to get the motorist to slow down on the highway. If that were true, Campbell says the FHP should be delighted with him, because drivers did slow down before troopers could give them a ticket.

The suit evolved out the fact that Campbell says “I don’t like what the government is dong especially now when most people have a hard time affording gas and now they have to defend themselves against a made up charge that doesn’t exist.”

The state will have to come up with the money for damages if the suit is successful, and guess where the money is coming from: your taxes.

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TSA Admits “Bad Judgment” After Detroit TSA Agents Harassed Disabled Man With The Mental Capacity Of A 2 Year Old

June 11, 2011

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – A Detroit father said agents with the Transportation Security Administration singled out his special-needs son for a pat-down while the family was headed to Disney World, MyFoxDetroit.com reported, an incident that the TSA admitted was a “case of bad judgment.”

David Mandy said agents at Detroit Metro Airport took his son Drew, 29, and asked him about the padding underneath his pants, which turned out to be adult diapers. Drew, who is severely mentally disabled, had trouble understanding the agents’ orders because his family said he has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old.

When the father tried to intervene and explain Drew’s disability, he said the two agents said, “Please, sir, we know what we’re doing.”

The agents confiscated a six-inch plastic hammer, something Drew had carried with him for 20 years for comfort. Agents called it a security threat, his father said, adding that they tapped the wall with it and said, “See, it’s hard. It could be used as a weapon.”

The family was told they’d have to ship the hammer if they wanted to keep it, David Mandy said.
“I understand they’re trying to keep people safe,” Mandy said told MyFoxDetroit.com. “But come on, does he look like a terrorist?”

In a statement to FoxNews.com, the TSA said it’s reviewing the incident but early findings indicate this was an “isolated case of bad judgment.” The TSA reached out to the Mandy family to apologize and said the man’s toy hammer should have never been confiscated.

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