The “Contempt of Cop Game”; How Well Can You Play?

Jerry L. Steering, Esq. arguing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in police shooting case, Pasadena, California

Mr. Steering is an expert in defending your bogus criminal action in a way to best protect and enhance your ability to ultimately obtain some justice; reasonable compensation and redress, for your police beating, for your false arrest, for your unlawful search and seizure, and for your malicious criminal prosecution. Mr. Steering also specializes in these “Contempt Of Cop” criminal cases and their sister civil counterparts.

 

THE “CONTEMPT OF COP GAME” IS PLAYED BY NAVIGATING THE OBSTACLES CREATED BY THE COURTS AND THE LEGISLATURES TO PROTECT THE POLICE FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS.

CONTEMPT OF COP ARRESTS IN MODERN AMERICA.

“Contempt of Cop” is the term commonly used to described a situation when a police officer arrests, beats or otherwise takes adverse actions against another for verbally protesting or challenging police actions or orders, for not immediately complying with police orders, or for otherwise “failing the attitude test“. See, Disorderly (mis)Conduct: The Problem with “Contempt of Cop” Arrests, American Constitution Society, June 2010. The bruised ego of the officer often results in the use of unreasonable force and arrests for “resistance offenses”, merely for verbally protesting or challenging an officer’s actions. See, Contempt of Cop: Verbal Challenges, Disrespect, Arrests, And the First Amendment, AELE Monthly Law Journal, Civil Liability Law Section, October 2011.

Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, a person has the right to protest, challenge and question police actions, without fear of being arrested. Raymond Wayne Hill was arrested for violation of a City of Houston Municipal Ordinance that provided:

Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Texas, § 34-11(a) (1984)

“Sec. 34-11. Assaulting or interfering with policemen.”

“(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to assault, strike or in any manner oppose, molest, abuse or interrupt any policeman in the execution of his duty, or any person summoned to aid in making an arrest.”

After his acquittal Mr. Hill sued the City of Houston, Texas, to have Section 34-11(a)  declared unconstitutional. In agreeing with Mr. Hill the Supreme Court held:

William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1956 – 1990)

Second, contrary to the city’s contention, the First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers. “Speech is often provocative and challenging. . . . [But it] is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest.” . . .

. . . The Houston ordinance is much more sweeping than the municipal ordinance struck down in Lewis. It is not limited to fighting words nor even to obscene or opprobrious language, but prohibits speech that “in any manner . . . interrupt[s]” an officer. The Constitution does not allow such speech to be made a crime. The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state. City of Houston v.. Hill, 482 U.S.451 (1987). Brennan, J.

Police agencies train their offices that they must be the one in control of any situation and their officers become curbside dictators. Dictators don’t like their authority challenged and the police will these days let you know who is in charge. When a civilian questions or verbally protests or challenges an officer’s authority to order them to lie on the sidewalk, to sit on the curb or to turn around, or their authority to search or seize a person, place or thing, that questioning often results in an arrest for a “resistance offense”. Many times a failure to immediately comply with an officer’s “commands” results in getting slammed to the ground and beaten, tased, shot, struck with baton / asp or getting pepper-sprayed.The police know that they can just about kill anyone anytime that they want to, and get away with it. These days all the police need to do is to say that you hands were by your pockets or that your cell phone looked like a gun, and bang, you’re dead.

The police are taught and told from day one that if they use force upon you that they need to arrest you; guilty or not; victim or not. This is not lefty propaganda. This is reality. Ask any cop off the record and you shall see.

“Contempt of Cop” arrests in the United States are rampant. Failure to immediately comply with police orders often results in the use of unreasonable force. This force will almost always be justified by the officer’s agency, unless the actions of the officer are simply indefensible. They are usually simply indefensible if there is a clear video recording of a police beating that that cannot be spun or twisted to be seen as somewhat justified, then you may not get prosecuted, but nether will the officers who beat you and got caught lying on his/her police report.

Moreover, “officer’s safety” is replacing “probable cause in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. The Supreme Court has loosed the leash of the police and are now almost uniformly allowing the police to use more force and violence upon us all. Moreover, because of the rise of the doctrine of qualified immunity, more and more police actions that are found to be constitutional violations still result in the police winning the case if the law as to whether such conduct was a constitutional violation was in anyway unclear. See, Qualified Immunity Liming Access to Justice and Impeding Development of the Law, ABA Journal, 2015; See also , Sharp v. .County of Orange, 15-56146-(9th Cir. 2017).

MANY INNOCENTS ARE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED FOR “RESISTANCE OFFENSES” FOR CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED / LAWFUL CONDUCT.

The first is that “officer’s safety” is replacing “probable cause in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. The Supreme Court has loosed the leash of the police and are now almost uniformly allowing the police to use more force and violence upon us all. Moreover, because of the rise of the doctrine of qualified immunity, more and more police actions that are found to be constitutional violations still result in the police winning the case if the law as to whether such conduct was a constitutional violation was in anyway unclear. See, Sharp v Co of Orange 15-56146-(9th Cir. 2017).

What would the courts and society would have seen as outrageous and unreasonable police tactics forty years ago, is now accepted by the courts, and worse, by the public.The public drives by the scene on the curb with the police having undesirable types being made to sit on a curb while handcuffed. The more that we see this the more normal it becomes.

If the police unlawfully / unreasonably have everyone whom they detain sit down on the curb, it becomes normal for the police to do this. It is only the truly stark black and white detentions of persons and the use of force upon them that will convince a jury  to vote against the police for civil damages; for a money judgment against them.

Thirty years ago when a police officer ordered another to lie on the ground at gun point, they were considered to have been “arrested”. For example, in United States v. Strickler, 490 F.2d 378 (9th Cir. 1974), the Ninth Circut Court of Appeals held:

The restriction of Strickler’s ‘liberty of movement’ was complete when he was encircled by               police and confronted with official orders made at gunpoint. (See Henry v. United States (1959) 361 U.S. 98, 103, 80 S.Ct. 168, 4 L.Ed.2d 134; United States v. Selby (9th Cir. 1969) 407 F.2d 241, 242; Jackson v. United States (8th Cir. 1969) 408 F.2d 1165, 1168.)

The constitutionality of the police conduct, therefore, depends upon whether, at the moment the police surrounded Strickler’s automobile and leveled a gun at him, the facts and circumstances within their knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information were sufficient to warrant a prudent man in believing that Strickler had committed or was committing a criminal offense. (See Beck v. Ohio (1964) 379 U.S. 89, 91, 85 S.Ct. 223, 13 L.Ed.2d 142; Henry v. United States, supra, 361 U.S. at 102, 80 S.Ct. 168, 4 L.Ed.2d 134.)The Government failed to carry its burden of proving that probable cause to arrest existed.

United States v. Strickler, 490 F.2d 378 (9th Cir. 1974). Wright, J.

In other words, although the police had sufficient “reasonable suspicion of criminality afoot” to temporarily detain Mr. Stricker for investigation, because they pointed their guns at him and ordered him to lie on the ground, he was deemed to have been “arrested”, rather than “detained for investigation”. In order for the police to have arrested Mr. Stricker they must have had “probable cause” to believe that he committed a crime.Nowadays, the police proning out innocents at gunpoint is routine police practice.

Many times this failure to immediately comply with an officer’s “commands” results in getting slammed to the ground and beaten, tased, shot, struck with baton / asp or getting pepper-sprayed. The police are taught and told from day one that if they use force upon you that they need to arrest you; guilty or not; victim or not. This is not lefty propaganda. This is reality. Ask any cop off the record and you shall see.

This all being the case, you get beaten and arrested for verbally challenging or protesting the police officer’s conduct or claims of authority and now you have to deal with it. The table is set. It’s time to play the Contempt of Cop game. Will you win or lose.

THE GAME IS RIGGED BY JUDGES AND LEGISLATURES WHO PROTECT THE POLICE.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos prosecutes the innocent victims of police outrages instead of the officers whom committed serious crimes against them

THE POLICE USUALLY GET TWO, AND SOMETIMES THREE “BITES AT THE APPLE”, TO FINANCIALLY AND EMOTIONALLY BEAT YOU DOWN, AND TO LEGALLY PRECLUDE YOU FROM SUCCESSFULLY SUING THEM IN COURT.

FIRST BITE; PROCURING YOUR BOGUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

The policeman’s first bite at the apple to prevent you from being able to sue him/her is his/her procurement of your bogus criminal prosecution; to have false criminal charges filed against you by your local public prosecutor. This is not difficult. In a typical local District Attorney’s Office there are Deputy District Attorney’s who are assigned to review cases for filing. The police agencies have court liaison officers who deliver “packages” from your local police agency to the District Attorney’s Office. These “packages” are usually nothing other than the initial Arrest Report / Incident Report / Crime Report and possibly a Probable Cause For Warrantless Arrest Declaration (a short statement of the grounds for the arrest given to the Detention – Release Officer at the jail).

Police officers use “defensive professional phraseology” in their Arrest Reports to say enough about a civilian’s behavior, to accuse them of at least a de minimus crime, but substantial enough to shift the blame from the cop to you for his/her having to use force upon you. Prosecuting the innocent victim of the policeman’s transgression is a blame-shifting tool. Most of the time the police officer who claims that you committed a crime that resulted in injury to him, required him to use force upon you to get you to comply with some police orders.

Sorry to burst any bubbles, but no institution puts-out more material lies per paragraph, than peace officers; police officers and deputy sheriffs. It’s their job. It really is. The whole point of getting your prosecuted is that if you plead guilty or no contest (nolo contendre) to any crime, your cannot thereafter sue the police for a false arrest. So, if the cops can get the DA’s office to charge you with a crime, even if you still have an excessive force claim or a First Amendment claim, the cops have already won on their first bite on your false arrest claim.

FIRST BITE; THE POLICE OFTEN WIN WHEN THEY PROCURE YOUR BOGUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD A REAL POLICE MISCONDUCT LAWYER TO DEFEND THEMSELVES ON BOGUS CRIMINAL CHARGES.

If you can afford a private lawyer, you quickly find out the cost of vindication. At a certain point, after paying for pre-trial discovery motions (i.e. the actually filing of, and in camera inspections of records pursuant to Pitchess Motions, are mandatory in state court for obtaining Peace Officer Personnel Records. See, Cal. Evid. Code § 1043-1045); after paying for 995 Motions (to strike an Information or Indictment) and, after being rebuffed by the Superior Court, having to file a Writ Petition  with the Court of Appeal, to even preserve the issue raised in the 995 Motion for appeal. If you don’t Writ the denial of your Motion To Strike The Information or Indictment, then you can’t complain about being improperly Indicted or Bound Over for Trial on appeal. A denial of any such Petition for a Writ of Mandate, Prohibition Or Other Appropriate Relief, is not a ruling on the merits. It’s just that if you don’t seek that level of review within 60 days of you arraignment on the  Information or  Indictment you waive your right to do so later, like on direct appeal from a a conviction. This is expensive, and beats-down an innocent man’s desire to borrow money to vindicate his honor.

If the poor criminal defendant of a “Contempt of Cop” case, takes a plea, then society treats him as the one who was the problem; the one who was at fault. The police are now vindicated, because the average Joe or average Jane, cannot  afford  $50,000 to 100,000.00  to clear their name.

If the person who was beaten to a pulp, but is now charged with a crime against the administration of justice, admits any sort of criminal conduct, the so-called Conservative non-activist Justices of the United States Supreme Court, have taken it upon themselves to decide that it’s in the best interest of The Republic, for you not to be able to sue for a false arrest, or for the unlawful seizure of you, your home, and your effects, because you can’t afford the $10,000.00 to $100,000.00 to clear your name. These all wise Conservative “non-activist” Justices of the Supreme Court have decided that “public policy” (that is, the way that they want thing to be, so, it is so) so dictates the creation of that policy (Who’s the dictator?); not because the King’s Soldiers had the required “probable cause” required in the text of the Fourth Amendment itself to arrest you, but because they don’t want you to sue the police unless, you are willing to mortgage your home to do so. See, Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). California has adopted the Heck v. Humphrey rule; that if you’re convicted of any crime, you can’t contest the propriety of your arrest. See, Yount v. City of Sacramento, 43 Cal.4th 885 (2008.)

Accordingly, either through inadvertence, or by “that’s the best deal we can get from the DA”, if you plead to anything, you to plead away your right to sue for your both your false arrest, and for the malicious criminal prosecution that you have suffered through. You are forever marked by the stigma of being in the wrong, so you don’t have to pay $10,000.00 to $100,000.00 legal fee tab to defend yourself on misdemeanor “resisting arrest” charges.

If, by some miracle, you can actually get a private criminal defense that’s competent for this type of case (only a handful in Southern California), even if you flat-out get acquitted of the criminal rap that the cops were trying to frame you for, you’ve now got to sue them in federal (or state) court. Since the cops themselves were not parties to your criminal case, they get another shot in your civil case against them and their employing entity, by you. They get a free lawyer, and the political and financial backing of their agency and their union.

If you had gone to trial and had lost the bogus criminal action, under the rules of collateral estoppel and res judicata, the cops were not parties to the case, so the determination of your innocence (the not guilty verdict at your criminal trial) is not binding on them; only binding against you, if you lose.) This makes sense in the case of a not guilty verdict. Just thing of O.J. Simpson being entitled to an automatic judgment against the LAPD for malicious prosecution of his criminal case. However, it’s just the police officer’s first bite at the litigation apple.

II. THE CONTEMPT OF COP GAMES; YOU CAN’T GET A FAIR TRIAL BECAUSE THE LAWS REGARDING “CONTEMPT OF COP” CASES ARE A SCAM.

STEP ONE:EVALUATION OF YOUR CASE: THE HYPOTHETICAL: THE GIVEN FACTS:

THE EVENT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE (PHASE I; FIRST CONTACT).

Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1) provides:

“148.  (a) (1) Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

Now, in light of those words alone, see what you think about whether you may or may not, have committed a crime.

THE HYPOTHETICAL EVENT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

Imagine that you work in downtown Los Angeles, and are on your way to lunch at your office building’s sandwich shop, at noon on a workday. The sandwich shop is in front of the downtown office building in which you’ve worked for quite some time. You are dressed in expensive business clothes. You have friends that eat at the sandwich shop, and you know the people who work there. You almost get to the sandwich shop, when you get accosted by a police officer, who starts screaming at you in front of the sandwich shop, and orders you to get on the ground, and spread your arms and legs out. You have done nothing wrong. You’re just going to get a sandwich for lunch at the sandwich shop, that’s 15 feet away. So you say to the officer: “Excuse me officer. Can you please tell me what’s going on.” The officer becomes agitated, and tells you to “Shut the f__k up”, and to “Get on the f__cking ground, now”.

Again, you appeal to the officer’s sense of civility, and really do expect that basically, officers are honest and courteous, and will listen to reason, from law abiding, cop-supporting, non-threatening reasonable type people. So, you put your hands up in the surrender position and say to the officer: “Please officer, I’ll cooperate. But what’s going on?” This time the cop, out of nowhere, reaches out and violently grabs your forearm, and you instinctively yank your arm away from his grip and take a step backwards; still keeping your hands-up in the surrender position. He then escalates the force by grabbing your arm, spinning you around, and proceeds to put a carotid restraint hold on your neck, and after about 10 to 12 seconds you become unconscious.

You wake-up handcuffed, while being shoved into the back seat of a police patrol car. Have you committed a crime (Section 148(a)(1))?

THE HYPOTHETICAL EVENT FROM THE POLICE PERSPECTIVE.

From the police / DA “perspective” (that’s being kind), they will take this situation, and find a way to somehow legitimize the actions of the police, and to demonize yours. The young and ambitious Deputy District Attorneys (or, in some courts, Deputy City Attorney, like for LAPD or Anaheim PD misdemeanor cases), who want to start making ties with the police (to run for Judge when the time comes; i.e. after getting enough support of the cops), decides to claim that you didn’t obey “a lawful police order” (whatever that is; no such statute in California, save failure to obey traffic officer; again, the “Creative Division”), or that you “resisted” the officer, by reflexively pulling your arm away from the officer when he unexpectedly grabbed your forearm, or that you took a step backward from the officer and that constituted “‘resisting” or attempting to escape a detention, or that you “delayed” the officer by making it take longer to detain and restrain you, or that you “obstructed” the officer’s investigation of you for any possible connection to the liquor store robbery. They even have so much “chutzpah”, that they’ll claim that you grabbed onto the officer’s arm to defeat his attempt to choke you unconscious (shocking), take a photo of a miniscule scratch on a cops pinky, and then, charge you with additional bogus trumped-up charges like assault and battery on a peace officer  (Cal. Penal Code Sections 240/241(b) & 242/243(b)) or preventing / attempting to prevent an executive officer from performing a duty of their office (Cal. Penal Code Section 69; a wobbler; i.e. can be charged as either misdemeanor or felony by DA.)

The “Creative Division” of the police agency (i.e. Professional Standards / Internal Affairs Division) gets to put their spin and direction on the officer’s “story” of your beating and arrest, during their initial interview of the officer. Under California’s Peace Officer’s Bill Of Rights, the cops get copies of all accusations against him, gets to see what everyone else is saying, and then gets to give his statement of the story of what happened with you, with his lawyer there, and having already seen everything and everyone’s claims and take.

That is not the end. As things arise in the litigation (i.e. Judge making certain pre-trial rulings on search & seizure issues, or admissibility of evidence issues) the police version of the events slowly but surely, morph and evolve.

Ladies and Gentlemen, beginning with your unlawful arrest, and  changing all the way through trial, a version of the “story” will be created, that accounts for the legal import of the undeniable facts (i.e. anything recorded, like radio transmissions and Patrol Video System video / audio recordings), and then essentially, the officer will be directed, by the way that they are led and directed by the ”Creative Division” of the officer’s employing agency, to create a fabricated and twisted version of the events, that accounts for what cannot be denied, and denies or fabricates the rest.

The cops are led through the questions by the Professional Standards / Internal Affairs Division investigators (i.e. the cops is then told that must have felt that  he had to protect himself from the threat of you looking at him cross-eyed, so his beating his beating your brains in was the only means available to protect the cops from your potential threat. It’s really scary how creepy the Professional Standards / Internal Affairs Division investigators really are.)

So, have you committed a crime? The answer to that question is one of the fundamental problems that face us as a people; Americans or “Trans-Americans” (Americans without rights.)

The answer, Ladies and Gentlemen to questions like this is one of the fundamental problems that face us as a free people; Americans or “Trans-Americans” (Americans without rights.) The practical answer is, that if you get a sympathetic jury, and may not get convicted; especially if you catch the cops lying and ditching evidence (standard operating procedure; really.) The cops’ stories in these cases are a work in progress; they change depending on what comes up. If you (by some miracle, even though you’re entitled to it) obtain the Internal Affairs Investigation of the same incident that you’re being prosecuted for (See, Rezek v. Superior Court, 206 Cal.App.4th 633 (2012); you’re supposed to get it, but in the real world, you almost always never do), and the story that the cops told the Professional Standards / Internal Affairs Division Investigators don’t jive with the present one. They just make something up; all with the guidance of the DA’s office. Really. They fabricate enough around their prior conflicting statements, to get some “police procedures expert” to justify the unjustifiable.

There are many answers to that question. For example, if the officer didn’t have sufficient legal grounds to have detained you to begin with (i.e. “reasonable suspicion of criminality afoot”), the answer is generally “No”; you didn’t commit a crime, because if the officer was unlawfully detaining you, then he, by definition, is not engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, People v. Curtis, 70 Cal.2d 347 (1969), and therefore, as a matter of law, you can’t be convicted of Section 148(a)(1); that is, unless you get a Judge that doesn’t want you to walk, and then go out and sue his pals and political supporters; the cops.

For example, when you instinctively pulled your arm away from the police officer, you had no intention of “resisting or delaying or obstructing” a peace officer. You don’t really even know what that means. You don’t have any idea why you’re being grabbed, or, whether any such grabbing is lawful. You couldn’t possibly know whether the officer had sufficient legal grounds to have “seized” you. Since a person being charged with Section 148(a)(1) must have known, or reasonably should have known that the person who they were dealing with was a peace officer, engaged in the performance of his/her duties, such knowledge by the defendant charged with violating Section 148(a)(1) of the lawfulness of the police actions. However, the jury instructions really don’t deal with this particular issue, and neither do the cases so far.

Also, this standard of  a person being charged with Section 148(a)(1) must have known, or reasonably should have known that the person who they were dealing with was a peace officer, engaged in the performance of his/her duties, the state is criminalizing with is really simple negligence. This issue also (should simple negligence be a crime?) is also not yet developed under California law.

However, under the modern American rules of engagement (i.e. how police officers react), the police now are angry, and this time, the officer tases you. When you scream-out in pain, the police proceed to beat you up. According to modern police protocol, if they beat, tase, slam, bam, pepper-spray, club other ways physically harm you, they will then arrest you, take you to jail, and then get with their Sergeant and fellow officers, and start to concoct a false version of the events. That is reality, and no one cares. The Judges don’t care. The DA’s don’t care. The politicians don’t care. The police don’t care. The body politic do not care. The only people who do care, are your friends and relatives.

Moreover, if it was unreasonable to grab you or to make you prone-out on the ground, the officer was acting unlawfully by his manner of restraining you, and, therefore, you are not guilty of any crime that requires the officer to be acting lawfully, to be considered to be engaged in the lawful performance of his duties. See, People v. Curtis,  70 Cal.2d 347 (1969) (cops must be acting lawfully, to be “engaged in the performance of their duties”, so if cop using unreasonable force on civilian, civilian cannot be guilty of any crime where the lawful performance of duties required.) Also, the choke-out is unreasonable force, and, therefore, again, the officer is not engaged in the performance of his duties.

The DA’s and the police agencies really don’t care. They’ll try to get you prosecuted for Section 148(a)(1) if they can. Many people take a plea bargain of pleading straight-up to the charge, or to disturbing the peace. They don’t realize that they’re pleading their civil rights away.

BITE ONE, STEP TWO; YOU GET GOONED BY THE CONSTABLES.

When you instinctively pulled your arm away from the police officer, you had no intention of “resisting or delaying or obstructing” a peace officer. You don’t really even know what that means. However, under the modern American rules of engagement (i.e. how police officers react), the police now are angry, and this time, the officer tases you. When you scream-out in pain, the police proceed to beat you up. According to modern police protocol, if they beat, tase, slam, bam, pepper-spray, club other ways physically harm you, they will then arrest you, take you to jail, and then get with their Sergeant and fellow officers, and start to concoct a false version of the events. That is reality, and no one cares. The Judges don’t care. The DA’s don’t care. The politicians don’t care. The police don’t care. The body politic do not care. The only people who do care, are your friends and relatives.

You are now the enemy of the government; right or wrong, good or bad.

BITE ONE, STEP THREE; THE CONSTABLES WRITE FALSE POLICE REPORTS TO GET YOU CRIMINALLY “PERSECUTED.”

In the often twisted legal analysis in the minds of young and ambitious Deputy District Attorneys, defending the honor and virtuous image of a police agency, is indeed a rewarding and career enhancing endeavor. It is prestigious, it familiarizes a particular law enforcement with the young and ambitious Deputy District Attorney. Therefore, the police will almost always attempt to protect themselves from you by convicting you for a crime that didn’t commit against the police, but the police committed against you.

BITE ONE, STEP FOUR; YOUR BOGUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

The police get “two bites at the apple”, while you get one. The police get two bites at the apple, because they are not considered to be a party to the criminal action; the plaintiff in a criminal action in California being “The People of the State of California”; not the cops, even though the police are the government. However, you, the false arrest / police beating victim, who is now a defendant in a completely bogus criminal action against you for a “Contempt Of Cop” offense, is a party to the criminal action. Therefore, if you are convicted of a crime, an element of which requires that the police were engaged in the lawful performance of their duties (i.e. resisting arrest, assault on peace officer, battery on peace officer; SeePeople v. Curtis, 70 Cal.2d 347 (1969)), the issue of the lawfulness and Constitutionality of the police conduct has already now, by way of your conviction, been determined against you. You are now “collaterally estopped” from suing the cops for gooning you and falsely arresting you, and, for maliciously prosecuted you.

POLICE REALLY DO CONCEAL AND DESTROY EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE, AND FABRICATE STORIES TO FRAME THEIR VICTIMS.

False arrests by police officers for Contempt Of Cop” offenses are almost always supported by the the concealment or destruction of exculpatory evidence (sorry, but that’s a fact of what modern police agencies really do), and the creation of bogus documents, such as intentionally materially false and misleading arrest reports (to justify their outrages, and to protect themselves by getting you criminally prosecuted), as well as authoring bogus probable cause for warrantless arrest declarations, to make sure that you’re not cited out of jail and are required to post bail; See, McLaughlin v. County of Riverside, 500 U.S. 44 (1991.))

The arresting police agency almost always procures, or attempts to procure, the filing of a bogus criminal case against their victims (i.e. those gooned and arrested, for example, for daring to ask the officer why he wanted him to prone himself out in the mud, while not knowing what was going on), to justify their gooning and other shameful behavior, by “shifting the blame” for the beatings to the victims. To show that the police beating wasn’t the product of police “sadism“, and/or of a generalized police department group “bully mentality“, the police claim that your conduct necessitated theirs. Why not? Do you really believe that if one of your local officers goons you or your family member, and that you file a Personnel Complaint with their employing police agency, that the “investigating” Internal Affairs Officers, have any desire to find that their fellow officer committed Constitutional violations against you, and/or violations of state and federal criminal statutes?

An Internal Affairs Investigation finding of wrongful conduct by a police agency’s own police officers, that the officers violated your federal Constitutional rights (and/or state law torts), is an “admission of liability”by the entity itself in a civil case, and can lead to a judgment in favor of the plaintiff / victim (of the police outrages.) Therefore, that’s going nowhere. We all know this, yet we tolerate it, because we just don’t perceive that such a process effects us in our daily lives.

If the cops roust the “gang bangers”, the the “gang bangers” probably deserved it, and even if they didn’t, they probably deserve it for other past transgressions of society’s Rules.Most police gooning incidents that result in criminal prosecutions, are for violation of Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1) (resisting and/or delaying and/or obstructing a peace officer in the lawful performance of his/her duties); a crime that can mean just about anything the jury wants it to mean. Since no one knows what it means, not even the police (since it really can be construed as meaning just about anything), the police use it as a catch-all default crime to charge you with, when you haven’t committed a crime at all, but have in some way, bruised their egos. The “egobruising”, is almost always nothing more than a civilian not immediately, and without protest or question, not doing something that the officer wants you to do (lawful, reasonable or not) immediately, and without question or protest. The Constable’s “ego” is typically“bruised”, by your conduct, such as: 1) asserting your Constitutional rights, or 2) claiming knowledge of them, or 3) asking the Constable why you’re being ordered to lie down on the ground while your chest is being illuminated by the red spot of a rifle targeting device; 4) telling the Constable that you have a medical condition that makes it difficult or painful to get on the ground; 5) telling the Constable that he can’t do something (i.e. can’t go in my house without a warrant); and failing to consent to a warrantless entry or a search; and 7) not exiting your house when ordered to do so (even though the police generally can’t order you to exit; U.S. v. Al-Azzawy784 F.2d 890 (1985.))

These are but a few examples. The list is endless, but the theme is the same. Failing to immediately do whatever the police tell you to do, without protest, challenge or remarks, often will result in you being beaten-up, falsely arrested, and maliciously criminally prosecuted.

These,“Contempt Of Cop” case crimes also include assault on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code §§ 240/241), battery on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code §§ 242 / 243(b)), and if the cops really harm you, interfering with a public officer’s discharge of his/her duties of his/her office via actual or threatened use of force or violence (Cal. Penal Code § 69.) Section 69 is a “wobbler”; a California public offense that may be filed by the District Attorney’s Office as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County, allegations of violation of Penal Code § 69 are usually filed as misdemeanors. In San Bernardino County, however, allegations of violation of Cal. Penal Code § 69 are filed as felonies much more often than her sister counties.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATIONS; THE COVER-UP AND WHITE-WASH BUREAU.

In the real world, a police agency Internal Affairs Investigation, is one with a predetermined outcome. The only real world point of the investigation, is to find a way to justify the police outrages. Plain and simple. If it’s the word of a busload of Nuns, versus that of an officer, the Personnel Complaint is usually found “Not Sustained.” If the witnesses aren’t a busload of Nuns, but are “street people” or imperfect types (i.e. not another peace officer), the results of the Internal Affairs Investigation will be what’s called “Exonerated“, or “Unfounded“. If there is sufficient proof of police outrages that that the politicians cannot deny that the event happened as the victim / plaintiff claims, like a video recording so shocking that it transcends political orientation, the Complaint may even be “Sustained“, but usually for some department policy violation, that least exposes the employing police entity to civil liability.

If you fill-out an application for a California Driver License, the application is signed under penalty of perjury. So are applications and status reports for various entitlements, such as unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and public assistance. No where on any of those forms does one find a warning that is it a violation of the California perjury statute (Cal. Penal Code § 118) to falsely fill-out material information on the form. Not so for Police Personnel Complaint forms. Most police agencies have warnings in yellow highlights, warning the person providing the information, that it’s a crime to make a false report against a police officer (Cal. Penal Code § 148.6.) Cal. Penal Code § 148.6 makes it a misdemeanor to file[ ] any allegation of misconduct against any peace officer . . . knowing the allegation to be false.” Any law enforcement agency that accepts an allegation of misconduct against a peace officer must require the complainant to read and sign an advisory statement warning the complainant in boldface type:

“YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A POLICE OFFICER FOR ANY IMPROPER POLICE CONDUCT. CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THIS AGENCY TO HAVE A PROCEDURE TO INVESTIGATE CITIZENS’ COMPLAINTS. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A WRITTEN DESCRIPTION OF THIS PROCEDURE. THIS AGENCY MAY FIND AFTER INVESTIGATION THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO WARRANT ACTION ON YOUR COMPLAINT; EVEN IF THAT IS THE CASE, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THE COMPLAINT AND HAVE IT INVESTIGATED IF YOU BELIEVE AN OFFICER BEHAVED IMPROPERLY. CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AND ANY REPORTS OR FINDINGS RELATING TO COMPLAINTS MUST BE RETAINED BY THIS AGENCY FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT THAT YOU KNOW TO BE FALSE. IF YOU MAKE A COMPLAINT AGAINST AN OFFICER KNOWING THAT IT IS FALSE, YOU CAN BE PROSECUTED ON A MISDEMEANOR CHARGE.” Cal. Penal Code § 148.6(a)(2).

This is custom and practice, even though the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overruled the California Supreme Court, and held that Section 148.6 violates the First Amendment since it criminalizes speech based on its content. See, Chaker v. Crogan, 428 F.3d 1215 (9th Cir. 1987). Accordingly, in light of Chaker, the mere threat of criminal prosecution by a police agency to someone for their exercise of constitutionally protected free speech (i.e. giving the person complaining of misconduct by a peace officer one of those personnel complaint forms with the illegal admonition (the Section 148.6 admonition) is a federal crime; 18 U.S.C. § 242 (violation of federal constitutional rights under color of authority.)

Since the odds are that the cops aren’t going to take your word for what happened anyway, and given that since you’ve already been gooned and falsely arrested, that the cops are either trying to get. or have succeeded in getting, the District Attorney’s Office to criminally prosecute you for resisting (which amounted merely of Constitutionally protected “free speech“) your being beaten, and in light of the fact that the very cops that you are going to accuse of violating your Constitutional rights, are going to provide the (contrived and choreographed) “official version of the events” that you’re wanting to complain about, all while in bold type, you’re being warned, that those who make false allegations against the police go to jail, is it really worth making a Personnel Complaint? Do you think that the politicians who enacted Section 148.6 were seeking to advance the cause of truth, justice and the American Way?

If you are not guilty of a crime, then, as a matter of law, under most scenarios, the policeman is in violation of the following group of crimes:

Cal. Penal Code § 147 provides: “Every officer who is guilty of willful inhumanity or oppression toward any prisoner under his care or in his custody, is punishable by fine not exceeding four thousand dollars ($4,000), and by removal from office.”

Cal. Penal Code § 149 provides: “Every public officer who, under color of authority, without lawful necessity, assaults or beats any person, is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Police “gooning” of innocents (and not so innocents) may also constitute crimes such as violation of federal Constitutional rights under color of law (18 U.S.C. § 242; a federal felony), conspiracy (Cal. Penal Code § 182; a felony.)

Innocent non-criminal types do get gooned, falsely arrested and falsely prosecuted by the police, for actions / omissions such as a failure to jump high enough. The police beat their victims down with the boot of government oppression; a bogus criminal prosecution; expensive to defend against, and debilitating to the soul.

BITE TWO; THE DEFENSE OF YOUR CRIMINAL CASE BY THE SAME POLICE OFFICERS WHO ATTEMPTED TO FRAME YOU.

If you would have lost the bogus criminal case brought against you by the police you would be precluded from suing them. However, if you win your criminal case, you still have to prove your case against the police. There is no “offensive collateral estoppel” against the accusing police officer who lied to try to falsely convict you. That is the police officer’s Second Bite At The Apple.

Mr. Steering is an expert in defending your bogus criminal action, in a way to best protect, and to enhance your ability to ultimately obtain some justice; reasonable compensation and redress, for your police beating, for your false arrest, for your unlawful search and seizure, and for your malicious criminal prosecution. Mr. Steering also specializes in these Contempt Of Cop” criminal cases and their sister civil counterparts.

Best of Luck in the Contempt of Cop game.

Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering

Jerry L. Steering