Jurupa Valley Police Brutality – Excessive Force Attorney

Jerry L. Steering, Esq. before 9th Cir. Court of Appeals, Pasadena, CA

Jerry L. Steering, Esq., is a Police Misconduct Attorney, serving, among other places, Riverside County and the Riverside County cities shown below, as well as Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. He has been suing police officers, and defending bogus criminal cases of crimes against police officers for over 28 years. The majority of our firm’s law practice, is suing police officers and other government officials, for claims such as false arrest, police brutality / excessive force, malicious prosecution, and other “Constitutional Torts.” False arrests by police officers are almost always the product of either sheer incompetence (i.e. the police arrest another for conduct that isn’t criminal), or of the police officer attempting to justify his unlawful conduct, by arresting and then framing their victim (i.e. false police reports, perjurous court testimony, false convictions) of his federal criminal (18 U.S.C. § 242), and otherwise tortious misconduct (i.e. if the police use unreasonable / unlawful force on a civilian, the use of force is almost always followed by a false arrest.)

Mr. Steering has been suing police officers for constitutional violations and defending bogus criminal “resistance offense” cases for 33 years. The Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering is proud to serve all areas of Riverside County, including the cities shown below.

Mr. Steering has been suing police officers, and defending bogus “resistance offense” criminal cases of crimes against police officers, since 1984. The majority of the Steering firm’s law practice, is suing police officers and other government officials, for “Constitutional Torts” such as false arrest, police brutality / excessive force and malicious prosecution.

Because of institutional pressures (i.e. “ratting out fellow officer not a good career move), and the obvious political and practical consequences of not backing-up the their fellow officers (i.e. false testimony and false police reports), the norm in today’s police profession, is for peace officers to falsely arrest, and procure the bogus criminal prosecution (i.e. to literally “frame”) of those civilians, whose Constitutional rights and basic human dignity have been violated. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is especially disgraceful when it comes to abusing civilians and framing them for crimes that they didn’t commit, to protect their deputy sheriffs from civil, disciplinary and criminal liability.

POLICE SADISM IN THE UNITED STATES; IT ROOT AND CAUSES.

With all due respect to racial minorities, for the most part, today’s police officers do not care what color you are or where you came from. When you “fail the attitude test” with today’s police officers you probably will minimally be arrested for some “resistance offense“. If you continue to “mouth-off” to the officer (i.e. lawfully protest being falsely arrested or tell the cop they are acting unlawfully) you are begging for a police beating and there is a substantial probability that you will get one. This is no joke. No police or prosecutorial agency is going to fault a cop for beating you unless there is a clear video recording showing some black and white use of unreasonable force upon you by the officer. That is reality. Accordingly, as a real practical matter, the police soon learn that they usually can beat you with impunity.

Although one my lawfully non-forcefully resist an unlawful arrest or detention, and may with reasonable for resist the use of unreasonable force upon you by an officer (SeePeople v. Curtis, 70 Cal.2d 347 (1969) ) if you do resist or protest you are likely to be beaten and falsely prosecuted for some “resistance offense”.

Some of this is unlawful and outrageous police violence and downright police sadism a natural product of using force upon civilians every day for a living; even legitimately.The police walk around every day with a “Sam Brown Belt” with which they carry items such as: 1) a pistol, 2) a taser, 3) a baton (usually these days collapsible ones or “asps”), 4) peppery-spray, 5) bullets, 6) handcuffs, 7) police radio 8) recording device and 9) handcuffs. That is a lot of hardware. They also now usually carry AR-15 high powered rifles, rather than the traditional police shotguns. So, the average cop is armed to the teeth.

Some of this is the result of the United States being in a war in the Middle East since 2001. The United

Police Officers who served in War Zones

States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and invaded Iraq in 2003. Because many of the United States Military personnel serving in those wars were Reserves, and because many of those Reserves were and are police officers, many of today’s police officers act as if they were in a war zone. When they perceive a potential threat to them, real, imaginary or contrived, they often just “take out” that threat. Frankly, who can blame them. The use of police SWAT teams is prevalent in this country, even for de minimis threats to anyone. Half of the time that SWAT team is basically practicing (on you; again, for fun). Modern police equipment is often indistinguishable for military garb.

Surprising to most, some of this police sadism and run-away use of unreasonable force is the result of civil and criminal juries constantly siding with the police. Law Enforcement Agencies never admit fault. They never admit that there officer wrongfully shot someone or unlawfully beat someone, or even unlawfully arrested someone. When juries excuse police outrages, the police now may come to believe that such conduct is now permitted. If their agency isn;t going to fault them and the juries won’t either, that really can do just about anything they desire with you. As Lord Acton stated some time ago: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

William Rehnquist, Associate Justice 1971 – 1986, Chief Justice 1986 – 2005; the Justice who led the Criminal Procedure Counter-Revolution and took the Supreme Court over the edge; to allow the seizure of persons who are not suspected of anything, merely to enhance officer’s safety, in direct conflict with the clear language of the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

OFFICER’S SAFETY HAS REPLACED YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES OF YOUR PERSONS AND PROPERTY.

Police officers usually don’t go “hands on” any more unless the person is handcuffed, or there are multiple officers to beat the person, “in concert”. These days they usually don’t even use their batons. They either tase you or just shoot you. There are no real world consequences for police officers to even murder an innocent; that is so long as no one is lurking in the shadows with a cell phone who video recorded the murder in sufficient detail to not allow the police to make up some phony justification as to why the officer properly shot another. It is not coincidental that the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, does not have video recorders in their patrol cars, or video or audio recorders on their persons. They don’t record because the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is a truly brutal agency. It is really that simple. Again, however, if you had not seen or experienced the police outrage and you were just told about it by another, you just would not have believed it.

Moreover, thirty years ago if police officer pointed gun at a person’s head and ordered him to prone-out on the ground, the person was considered “under arrest”, not a mere “detention”. However, because judges in the real world are loathe to exclude incriminating from evidence from a criminal trials, they pervert the contours of those protections that at least used to be afforded to us by the United States Constitution. So, now pointing guns at persons heads and ordering them to prone themselves on the ground, and then kneeing them in their backs or necks or head, handcuffing them and placing them in the back of the police car, all as a precautionary measure for “Officer’s Safety”, is lawful; all because the Judge or Justices didn’t want to exclude the incriminating evidence found on the person when they are searched.

Here is an example. Say that a police officer gets call for a suspicious man wearing a red jacket at a park who is vandalizing park signs. When the police arrive at the scene they don’t have “probable cause” to arrest the man. They only have “reasonable suspicion” of criminality by man; sufficient to “detain” him to either confirm or dispel the officer’s suspicion that the man had vandalized park sign (know as an “investigative detention“).

When the police accost the man at the park point guns at his head, and order him to prone himself on the ground, and drop their knees down onto his back, handcuff him and place the man in the back seat of their patrol car; all as a precautionary measure for “Officer’s Safety”. As they place the man against the car before placing him inside, they entry out the mans pockets and find knife; a knife that happens to turn out to be the weapon that was used to rape and murder a little girl at the park. The police don’t even know that the man raped and murdered a little girl yet or even that there was a little girl murdered at all. The police arrest the man for carrying a concealed weapon and take him to jail.

After the police take the man to jail they learn that there was a little girl who was stabbed to death at the park that day. The police crime lab tests the knife and find a DNA match showing that the knife had the little girl’s blood on it.

The man is then charged with rape and murder by the District Attorney’s Office, and his criminal lawyer makes a motion to suppress (exclude) the knife from evidence at trial on the ground that the arresting officer didn’t have sufficient “probable cause” to have arrested the man at the park when they handcuffed him at gun point, proned him on the ground, kneed him in his back and placed him inside of the police car. Therefore, the full scale search of the man was unlawful because they only had ground to detain but not arrest him, and that knife should be excluded from evidence at trial because it is “the fruit of the poisonous tree“; evidence obtained in violation of the man’s fourth amendment right to be free from an arrest of one in the absence of “probable cause” to have arrested the man. If the knife is excluded from evidence the man will walk free. If the police restrained the man in a manner that exceeded that level of force allowed pursuant to an investigative detention, then he was technically “arrested” when the police pointed their guns at him, proned him on the ground, knee dropped him, handcuffed him and placed him inside of the patrol car.

What will the judge do? If the judge grants the motion to suppress the man walks free even though it is very clear that he was the rapist / murderer. Will the courts then find that the manner of restraint of the man exceeded that allowed pursuant to an investigative detention? Probably not. If they do then they must exclude the knife from evidence at trial and the man walks free, and the politicians (i.e Judges in this instance) are not inclined to do that. So, they usually will now declare that pointing guns at persons not suspected of violent crimes, proning them on the ground, handcuffing them, placing them in police cars and doing full scale searches of the persons and their property, is a reasonable manner of restraint for a detention.

The moral of our story is that case by case, issue by issue, year by year, the courts have allowed the police to use increasingly greater levels of force. Often because they don’t want to exclude evidence at criminal trials, and otherwise because Conservative Judges and Justices are bent on simply allowing the police to ignore longstanding search and seizure rights of the public in the name of officer safety.

San Bernardo County District Attorney Michael Ramos established his Crimes Against Peace Officer Unit (“CAPO”) to prosecute the victims of police abuse, to protect the police from liability for their outrages

POLICE BRUTALITY IS TOLERATED AND ENCOURAGED BY PUBLIC PROSECUTORS BY PROSECUTING INNOCENTS FOR RESISTANCE OFFENSES.

Ask any cop what percentage of Section 148(a)(1) cases (resisting / obstructing / delaying peace officer), Section 69 cases (prevent to deter public officer from performing duty of office via use or threat of violence) Section 243(b) and (c) cases (battery on peace officer) are legitimate, and off the record, they will tell you almost none; maybe one or two percent.

Section 69 is a “wobbler”;  a charge that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. So, when the police beat you badly, or even shoot you, they will often charge you with felony violation of Section 69, for several reasons: 1) it (falsely) makes your conduct look more threatening to the police, the judge and the prosecutor, so as to justify their use of severe violence upon you; 2) since Section 69 can be charged as a felony, the police can require that you post bail before going to court; something that helps drain you financially, and something that often results in the person who was beaten-up by the police, pleading guilty to a crime against the officer, just to get out of jail; a guilty plea that precludes them from suing the officers later-on; 3) if the Section 69 charge is filed by the District Attorney’s Office as a felony, they often are able to get complete innocents to plead guilty to the misdemeanor offense of violation of Section 148(a)(1), which also will more often than not, legally preclude the victim of police violence from being able to successfully sue the police for the beating that they gave their victims.

The police procure your bogus malicious criminal prosecution for those resistance crimes as well as the other favorites; violations of Cal. Penal Code §§ 242 / 243(b) (battery on a peace officer [i.e the suspect struck my fist with his chin], and Cal. Penal Code §§ 240 241(c) (i.e. the suspect took an aggressive stance and clinched his fists, so I punched in the face three times and knocked him out), to beat you down; psychologically, emotionally, and especially, financially. After all, if you hire a private lawyer to represent you in court, and the lawyer actually knows how to defend such  bogus criminal actions (i.e. “resistance offenses”), you are going to have to shell-out thousands of dollars; to defend your honor, and to prevent the police from using a bogus conviction for a resistance offense to preclude you from being able to successfully sue them in court. So, because you had the audacity to ask the police officer what’s going on, and why he wants you to prone yourself out on the ground, you not only get “gooned” by the police, but you get criminally prosecute for “resisting / delaying / obstructing a peace officer, battery on a peace officer, or some other “resistance offense.”

Now, that you’re charged with a crime against a police officer, when you were the victim of his bad day disposition, you get it; 99.9% of allegations of battery ON a peace officer, are, in reality, battery BY a peace officer. This is not joke, and no exaggeration. The police routinely procure, or a attempt to procure, the filing of at least a misdemeanor Count of violation of Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1); resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer engaged in the lawful performance of his/her duties. Section 148(a)(1) is otherwise known in police circles as “Contempt Of Cop“; (i.e. maybe not getting on the ground fast enough, or failing to walk-over to the officer fast enough; some type of failing the attitude test), is in itself, vague, ambiguous and unintelligible. It is used every day to oppress those who voice their dissatisfaction with the police; more often than not, because of abusive and disrespectful conduct by the police.

THE COPS ARE OUT OF CONTROL.

These bogus arrests of victims for “resistance crimes” or “obstruction crimes”, has become a national phenomenon. In a nutshell, the police procurement of bogus criminal charges against the victims, in most cases in the real world, with real people who don’t have unlimited monies to muster a real criminal defense, works. It works if the cops can lie well enough in their reports, to shift the blame to you; the victim of a bully with a badge. It works if the cops can get the District Attorney’s Officer (or City Attorney’s Office or, the Attorney General’s Office), to file a criminal “obstruction offense” against you. It beats you down financially. It causes truly innocent people to plead guilty to crimes against police officers, when they were the victims; often because they can’t make bail, and they would have to spend many months locked-up in jail before their trials.

If you’re convicted of any crime against a peace officer that requires that the officer be lawfully engaged in the performance of his duties; you are often legally precluded from suing to vindicate the violation of your constitutional rights, such as the right to be free from the use of excessive force on your person. These “obstruction crimes” usually almost always include a base allegation of violation of Cal. Penal Code §148(a)(1) (resisting / obstructing / delaying peace officer), since almost any conduct or contact between a civilian and a peace officer can be creatively twisted into some sort of legally peverse claim for violation of that statute. Other “obstruction crime” favorites are battery on a peace officer, Cal. Penal Code §§ 242 / 243(b) (i.e the suspect struck my fist with his chin), Cal. Penal Code §§ 240 241 (i.e. the suspect took an aggressive stance and clinched his fists, so I punched in the face three times and knocked him out), Cal. Penal Code §§ 242 243(b), and the felony favorite if the cops really don’t like you and want you to have to spend thousands of dollars on bail; Cal. Penal Code § 69 (threat or use of force or violence to deter / prevent public officer from performing duty of office].) The legal theory of your preclusion is two-fold; 1) the doctrine of collateral estoppel, and 2) the policy decision of the Supreme Court to stick-it to you and me; the Heck v. Humphrey preclusion doctrine.

 

 

POLICE BRUTALITY, FALSE ARRESTS AND MALICIOUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS.

Wrongful police beatings, accompanied by their sister “false arrests”, are a common and every day occurrence. These beating / arrests are no longer limited to persons of color. Soccer Moms, airline pilots and school teachers, beware: because of the great (and ever expanding) powers being given to police officers by the Supreme Court, described below, in a very real way, you no longer have the right to question, protest or challenge police actions, since to do so usually results in your being physically abused and falsely arrested on trumped of charges of essentially, “Contempt Of Cop”; (i.e. maybe not getting on the ground fast enough, or failing to walk-over to the officer fast enough; some type of failing the attitude test.) These beatings of innocent by police officers is rampant and condoned and defended by the command structure of most, if not all, modern police agencies. See, Orange County Sheriff’s Department police torture videos, and other police beating videos throughout the Country. There is a “Blue Code of Silence” between and among peace officers throughout the nation, and everyone knows this. This is no startling revelation. The County of Los Angeles has itself released a public document, acknowledging the existence of, and actually condemning, the Sheriff’s Department’s own rogue gangs of sadistic jailers at the Los Angeles County Central Men’s Jail. SeeThe Citizens Commission on Jail Violence September 28, 2012.

 

POLICE MISCONDUCT IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY.

Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff

Under the leadership of Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has become one of the leading agencies for the beatings and their accompanying false arrests. Under Sheriff Sniff, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy sheriffs routinely beat-up and falsely arrest any civilian who dares to challenge their authority (i.e. such as by telling the deputies that one knows their rights, or daring to ask the deputies why they are treating them this ugly way.) These deputy sheriff’s procure the bogus their victims’ false criminal prosecutions, to beat-down the innocents who’s constitutional. Sheriff Sniff’s Professional Standards Bureau (Internal Affairs) has become the “white wash” wing of that agency.

Under great political pressure, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has just started using body cam recording devices. However, they are just clip on devices, and they can be made to not have been on or working when the Sheriff’s Department wants the recording to exist or not.

POLICE MISCONDUCT IN JURUPA VALLEY – THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT’S “SATURATION / ZERO TOLERANCE OPERATIONS” IN JURUPA VALLEY.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Jurupa Valley station is almost indistinguishable from a criminal

The gang at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Jurupa Valley Station

street gang. They really don’t try to hid this.

These men have taken it upon themselves to administer beatings and false arrests for just about anyone who they see doing anything that the law proscribes; literally anything to justify a street encounter. These deputies flood an area of Jurupa Valley with deputies just itching to beat the stuffing out of someone. It is almost impossible for most normal law abiding civilians to really believe that this really happens. Well, it really does. These deputies really are out and about looking to beat, pepper-spray, tase and falsely arrest some civilian.

One example of the use of these “saturation / zero tolerance operations” is the case of James Holley.

RCSD Deputy Sheriff Bryce Holmes; armed to the teeth for a little fun in Jurupa Valley

On August 21, 2011, the boys from the Jurupa Valley Station were performing what they call a “saturation / zero tolerance operation”. The “saturation operation” included making “proactive arrests” for anything that the law proscribes; anything; even the most arguable or trivial infraction. Deputy Bryce Holmes orchestrated, supervised and participated this particular “Saturation Patrol”. He and his pals at the Jurupa Valley station actually enjoy beating people. They just can’t get enough. Who knows; if they beat up and falsely arrest enough innocents they might make Deputy of the Year. That is no joke.

It’s those kind of active deputies who beat up many and make a lot of arrests who make Deputy of the Year. They usually are the best at lying under oath. You could hook these “pro-active policing” types (i.e. the cops commit the crimes) up to a polygraph and that line will stay straight. They can look a jury straight in the eyes and lie without any of the usual signs of lying (i.e. swallowing, red eyes, choked-up speech, excessive blinking, looking up and to the side, etc.) and deliver the goods; frame their victims for some bogus resistance offense.

Well, James Holley was standing in front of his parent’s home, holding a can beer and drinking the same, as were his brothers. They were not drunk or causing any problems. The deputies approached the Holley’s, claiming that they suspected the Holleys of being in violation of California Penal Code Section 647(f); public intoxication. It is not a crime in California to be drunk in public. It is only a violation of that section if one is basically so drunk / drugged that one is lying in a puddle of their own vomit on the sidewalk.

James Holley, courtesy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Moreover, Jurupa Valley was a new city; so new that the City had not yet adopted its own Municipal Code, and simply passed a resolution to follow the Riverside County Ordinances as its City code. Under Riverside County Ordinances it was not a public offense to drink alcohol in public.

When the James Holley objected to the officers wanting to search him, they simple tased and jumped him, and false arrested he and his father, who came out and saw the deputies beating his son. James Holley was not criminally prosecuted. Neither were the men who should have been, the deputies. Mr. Steering obtained a $500,000.00 settlement for the Holleys from Riverside County.

IT REALLY HAS BECOME THAT BAD; CASE EXAMPLE, THE DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT.

Case In Point; Desert Hot Springs PD:

In the mid-2000’s Desert Hot Springs (California) Police Department Lieutenant David Henderson used to bring two cans of pepper-spray with him during his duty shift, because one can of pepper-spray usually wasn’t enough. In order to get off of a new officer’s probationary period with Lt. Henderson and be a regular DHSPD police officer, one had to “engage”; to beat up someone; innocent or not, when no force was called for at all. They were usually handcuffed. Lt. Henderson eventually was convicted of torturing an arrestee with pepper-spray. He put red WD-40 straws on his pepper-spray cans and stuck the straw up the nose of his victim and then pull the trigger.

DHSPD Sgt. Anthony Sclafani was sentenced to federal prison for torturing prisoners

Lt. Henderson’s cohort, DHSPD Sgt. Anthony Sclafani was also convicted of torturing prisoners; a woman and a gangster. He stomped, pepper-sprayed and tased his victim and he ended up in federal prison. This was normal at DHSPD in the 2000’s.

DHSPD was so bad that in the Michael Sanchez in-custody death incident (a pursuit case by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department), after the sheriff’s deputies were done beating Mr. Sanchez they watched Lt. Henderson kick a beating and handcuffed Mr. Sanchez in his testicles (“Like kicking a field goal through the uprights”), and watched Mr. Sanchez die from that kick within a minute. They did nothing about that and neither did the FBI or the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, who both know the gory details of Mr. Sanchez’ murder in the desert by    the police. This again is no joke. This really happened.

DHSPD was so bad that the department was divided into two camps; the “Meat Eaters” (used force for fun and glory) and the “Lettuce Eaters” (those who didn’t create excuses to beat and torture civilians). Two thirds of the agency were under FBI investigation.

DHSPD was once of the worst departments in the country, but the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department still to this day to not have either patrol car video recording systems, body cams, or even any policy requiring the deputies to audio record their detentions or arrests of civilians.

Other police agencies are not far behind, if at all, DHSPD.

Jerry L. Steering has successfully sued the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department over the years. Most recently, Mr. Steering has obtained settlements against the County of Riverside for wrongfully tasing a former Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff [Torres v. County of Riverside, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside)(2010), $500,000.00], and for using unreasonable force and falsely arresting a 64 year old man [Chynoweth v. County of Riverside et al., Riverside County Superior Court (2011), $750,000.00.]

Former Desert Hot Springs Police Department Sgt. Anthony Sclafani was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for torturing prisoners. He is the one who supervised the beating of Edward Moore

Mr. Steering also obtained an $825,000.00 settlement at completion of trial from the Riverside County City of Desert Hot Springs, for unreasonable force and false arrest [Moore, et al. v. City of Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County Superior Court (2012).]

In 2013, Mr. Steering successfully obtained a jury verdict in federal court against Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies sheriffs for excessive force (punching a Lake Elsinore man in face) and for illegally searching his person property; resulting in a $250,000.00 ultimate settlement of the case, in Parnell v. County of Riverside.

Mr. Steering constantly sues the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department more and more often these days, because the simple truth is, that the Department is simply a morally bankrupt organization. When a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy sheriff uses unreasonable force or falsely arrest civilians, the department encourages further constitutional transgressions, by defended the outrages against the public committed by the deputies. They don’t properly train their deputy sheriffs, and not only tolerate the use of unreasonable force and their accompanying false arrests and malicious criminal prosecutions, but, by case by case of backing the deputies, promote and encourage future constitutional violations. If you’re reading this article, you are probably a person who wouldn’t have believed these serious allegations, until they actually happened to you or your

Jerry L. Steering has successfully sued the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department over the years. Most recently, Mr. Steering has obtained settlements against the County of Riverside for wrongfully tasing a former Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff [Torres v. County of Riverside, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside)(2010), $500,000.00], and for using unreasonable force and falsely arresting a 64 year old man [Chynoweth v. County of Riverside et al., Riverside County Superior Court (2011), $750,000.00.]  

In 2001 in Gardner v. AMR, U.S. Dist. Court (Los Angeles) Mr. Steering obtained a $650,000.00 settlement

It took AMR ambulance 1 hour and 36 minutes to get to the scene of a heart attack called in on the 911 system

for wrongful death, for failure to provide ambulance service. Although AMR is a private ambulance service Mr. Steering successfully argued that AMR was acting under the color of state law as they were the only ambulance service allowed to service the Hemet are of Riverside County.

Mr. Steering successfully argued to then United States District Court Judge Carlos Moreno (later to become Associate Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court) that because under the California Emergency Medical Services Act the only ambulance that one can summons, American Medical Response, that the good citizens of Riverside County were constructively in the custody of AMR ambulance services when they are in need of an ambulance.

In Risk v. Cathedral City, U.S. District Court Central District of Cal. (Riverside)(2006) Mr. Steering obtained a $125,000.00 settlement for false arrest / excessive force.

In Torres v. County of Riverside, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside)(2010), Mr. Steering obtained a $500,000.00 settlement for unreasonable force (i.e. taser).

In 2016 in the case of Licitra v. County of Riverside (U.S. District Court – Riverside) Mr. Steering obtained a $300,000.00 settlement for false arrest / unreasonable force.

In Chynoweth v. County of Riverside et al.,Riverside County Superior Court (2011), Mr. Steering obtained a

RCSD Sgt. Ken Southern falsely arrests 64 year old stage 4 terminal cancer patient after beating him in front of a crowd at the Temecula Rod Run

$750,000.00 settlement for unreasonable force. 64 year old Mr. Chynoweth was showing his race car at the Temecula Rod Run. Mr. Chynoweth’s friend had driven his “hot rod” down the street and parked the same next to Mr. Chynoweth. His friend had a 1966 Chevelle with 1,000 horsepower and no muffler as did most of the hot rods at the Rod Run. His friend’s car made lots of noise but RCSD Sgt. Ken Southern was concerned with the friend having driven on the street after the Rod Run had begun.

While the 1,000 horsepower car was idling, Mr. Chynoweth, who could barely stand up and walked,and when he saw his friend arguing with Sgt. Southern, he yelled out for his friend not to argue with Sgt. Southern and just do what he says, otherwise he was going to be ejected, like others that day.

Sgt. Southern didn’t like Mr. Chynoweth’s attitude and told him to leave, so Mr. Chynoweth hobbled back to his car (the next rented show space over) and Sgt. Southern wanted him to left the entire event. Mr. Chynoweth protested that he paid $40.00 to rent that space for his car and that he shouldn’t have to leave.

When a large crowd saw Mr. Chynoweth verbally challenge Sgt. Southern, the good Sergeant slammed Mr. Chynoweth on the hood of his car, threw him down onto the grass and knee dropped him and arrested him; all in front of fifty people or so. Riverside County paid Mr. Chynoweth $750,000.00 for that transgression.

In 2012 Mr. Steering also obtained an $825,000.00 from the Riverside County City of Desert Hot Springs, for unreasonable force and false arrest (Moore, et al. v. City of Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County Superior Court;

In 2013 in Parnell v. County of Riverside (above), U.S. District Court (L.A.) Mr. Steering

David Parnell was beaten-up in his own home when RCSD Detectives arrested him in his home for a crime that he was innocent o

obtained $250,000.00 at award at trial for unreasonable force and unlawful search. RCSD Lake Elsinore Station detectives got a tip that someone was advertising a “Ditch Witch” construction drilling device on ebay, that was reported stolen in Colorado. The detectives dressed up as regular construction types, and told Mr. Parnell in him home that the Ditch Witch was stolen. Mr. Parnell had purchased the Ditch Witch at a legitimate drilling supply store and had the receipt with him.

In 2016 in Jones v. County of Riverside (U.S. District Court – Riverside) Mr. Steering obtained a $300,000.00 settlement for unreasonable seizure of person.

In 2014 Holley v. County of Riverside (U.S. District Court – Riverside) Mr. Steering obtained a $500,000.00 settlement for false arrest and unreasonable force.

Jerry L. Steering has successfully sued the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department over the years. Most recently, Mr. Steering has obtained settlements against the County of Riverside for wrongfully tasing a former Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff [Torres v. County of Riverside, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside)(2010), $500,000.00], and for using unreasonable force and falsely arresting a 64 year old man [Chynoweth v. County of Riverside et al., Riverside County Superior Court (2011), $750,000.00.]

Mr. Steering also obtained an $825,000.00 settlement at completion of trial from the Riverside County City of Desert Hot Springs, for unreasonable force and false arrest [Moore, et al. v. City of Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County Superior Court (2012).]

Mr. Steering constantly sues the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department more and more often these days, because the simple truth is, that the Department is simply a morally bankrupt organization. When a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputy sheriff uses unreasonable force or falsely arrest civilians, the department encourages further constitutional transgressions, by defended the outrages against the public committed by the deputies. They don’t properly train their deputy sheriffs, and not only tolerate the use of unreasonable force and their accompanying false arrests and malicious criminal prosecutions, but, by case by case of backing the deputies, promote and encourage future constitutional violations. If you’re reading this article, you are probably a person who wouldn’t have believed these serious allegations, until they actually happened to you or yours.

 

WHY THE COPS CAN GET USUALLY GET AWAY WITH IT; AMERICANS’ BELIEF SYSTEM ABOUT POLICE OFFICERS

Most Americans have a deeply held belief that police officers don’t beat-up civilians who don’t deserve it. People believe what they want to believe, and they don’t want to believe that the persons entrusted with their safety, routinely beat-up and “frame” innocents; often for fun, or to bolster their frail egos. However, in the real world, many police officers do just that. A substantial minority of peace officers actually do beat, torture and falsely arrest those that defy their authority, or somehow bruise their fragile egos. Thus, in the real world, the crime of “battery on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 242 / 243(b)), is almost always, in reality, battery by a peace officer; otherwise known as “excessive force” or “Unreasonable Force”, and the crime of resisting arrest (resisting or obstructing or delaying a peace officer; Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1)), is almost always the choice crime to arrest a civilian who committed no crime. The police can fairly easily obtain convictions of their victims for “resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer”, because almost any conduct by a civilian can be characterized as falling within the ambit of that statute; especially conduct that jurors find themselves believing is not the way that they would have handled that situation.

WHY THE COPS CAN GET USUALLY GET AWAY WITH IT; THE JURORS

To attack the jury system is to attack an institution that has been the primary barrier between oppression and freedom in the English speaking world since 1215. This is not an attack on the jury system. It is merely a reflection as to why in false arrest, unreasonable force and malicious prosecution cases, The way that a jury decides these type of cases is as much political, as it is an exercise in fact finding. The persons who ultimately get to sit on juries in these cases, have no real idea as to how police officers actually act, and have no idea how truly institutionally corrupt, police agencies really are when it comes to defending the County / City coffers and their and the politicians’ images.

In both civil and criminal cases, the parties have some say in the composition of the jury. The jury pool are supposedly called randomly, and the Court and the lawyers get to ask them questions. That part of a trial, questioning potential jurors, is called voir dire, that in French means, to speak the truth. Each side gets a certain numbers of peremptory challenges, that they can use to strike persons from sitting as jurors. In a federal court civil rights case, each side usually gets four peremptory challenges. So far, sounds fair. Here’s the rub.

Most people who have actually seen police officers beat-up a civilian have a lasting terrible feeling about police misconduct. Almost invariably, when they are asked by the lawyers or the Court about whether their prior experience with police misconduct will cause them to be prejudice against either side, they almost always say Yes. Most such people who have seen police beatings and the false prosecutions of their friends, are so deeply affected, that they invariably tell the Court that they are biased against police officers (in this type of case), and that they cant really put-aside that bias and be completely fair and impartial. Once they make that statement, any such jurors are then routinely excused for cause from sitting on that jury. Thus, the jurors who would more likely be favorable to the civil rights plaintiff (or criminal defendant accused of some crime against a peace officer), is excused for cause from sitting on the jury. The lawyer defending the case for the police doesn’t even had to use one of their jury peremptory challenges to get rid of that juror. All of the others jurors who do get to sit, are people who have never seen police misconduct; leaving a jury that, unfortunately, have no concept of the way that police, and police organizations, actually act.

Therefore, when Miss, Mrs. or Mr. Citizen gets falsely arrested, beaten-up or maliciously prosecuted by police agencies, and gets criminally prosecuted for conduct that often isn’t criminal (i.e. “creative use” of the California criminal statute Penal Code Section 148(a)(1)), these “sanitized jurors” will generally not believe that the police really did what Miss, Mrs. or Mr. Citizen claim that they did, unless Miss, Mrs. or Mr. Citizen’s attorney can really prove otherwise; real proof; like a video, audio, or a bus load of highly observant nuns with photographic memories who testified about clearly indefensible police conduct. That’s why the jury system rigged against persons victimized by the police; because the only people who ever get to sit in judgment in these type of cases as jurors, are persons who have never had a bad experience with a police officer, or and who has not seen outrageous police conduct. Their life experience tells them something that’s just not true; that police officer don’t beat people up unless they did something to deserve it. You, therefore, need great proof to dispel that belief by jurors.

WHY THE COPS CAN GET USUALLY GET AWAY WITH IT; AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, WE LIVE IN A POLICE STATE

If you think, as a practical matter, that you live in a free country, you’re wrong. We live in a police state; at least to a very appreciable degree. As a practical matter, the police can do whatever they want to you, and then procure the institution of a bogus criminal case against you. They typically author bogus police reports that claim that you committed some crime, like resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1)) and/or battery on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 242 / 243(b)), that results in a bogus criminal prosecution against you. They know that the District Attorney’s Office takes great pride in protecting the police from civil liability, by filing and prosecuting criminal action. They do this to beat you down; to make it so expensive for you to defend yourself on bogus criminal charges that carry little chance of actually being sentenced to jail, such as resisting arrest, that you end-up taking a plea bargain, that, in practical effect, bars your lawsuit by you for either false arrest, malicious prosecution, and, in most such cases, unreasonable force.

They also do this to protect themselves from internal discipline, and criminal liability for civil rights violations (18 U.S.C. § 242; violating a persons federal Constitutional rights under the color of state law.) The employing police agency will (almost) always deny that their officer engaged in wrongful conduct, especially in swearing contest type cases, where there is no video recording of the police beatings. Because the employing police agency will (almost) always back their officers by touting their (false) version of the story in order to avoid civil liability to the employing entity for the actions of their officers, it’s almost impossible to discipline them. For example, the City of Inglewood, California, fired Inglewood Police Department officer Jeremy Morse, for the video recording beating of a teenager at a gas station. When it came time for the civil suit against the City and the officers for the beating, the City contended that the officers acted properly. Accordingly, since the City took that position, fired officer Jeremy Morse sued the city, and won $21600,000.00 for his wrongful firing.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO.

Someone has to stand-up to the bullies of society, who think that using state police power to humiliate others, is funny, and makes them big men (or women.) There are thousands of others like you, who are good people, and have been somehow, for some reason that you could not have ever imagined, victimized by the government. It might as well be you. Stand-up for justice. Stand-up for our form of self-government. Stand-up for the spilled-blood of our fathers, who bravery died to prevent the very thing, that the government is doing to you right now.

Click on “Home”, above, or the other pages shown, for the information or assistance that we can provide for you. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your particular legal situation, please call the Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering for a free telephone consultation. Also, if you have been the victim of a False Arrest or Excessive Force by a police officer, check our Section, above, entitled: What To Do If You Have Been Beaten-Up Or False Arrested By The Police“.

Thank you, and best of luck, whatever your needs.

Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering

Jerry L. Steering, Esq.

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