GARDEN GROVE POLICE BRUTALITY ATTORNEY Jerry L. Steering is a Police Misconduct Attorney who sues police officers and deputy sheriffs, for, among other things, false arrests, excessive force and malicious criminal prosecutions. The following is basic information on false arrests by peace officers, why so many innocents, especially those arrested for “Contempt of Cop” crimes, are falsely arrested, and what you can and can’t do about your false arrest and your beating by police officers; the beating that brought you to this page. As shown below, police brutality, usually for sadistic motives, is alive and well in Garden Grove, California. JERRY L. STEERING HAS BEEN REPRESENTING THE VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY SINCE 1984. Mr. Steering’s law practice involves representing persons in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County, Kern County, Imperial County and otherwise throughout the United States pro hac vice. He is also a Member of the State Bar of California, the State Bar of Georgia and has also litigated cases in Alabama and the District of Columbia. Mr. Steering has also been a Member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court since 1987. He is an expert in police brutality / excessive force and false arrest cases, and has been litigating these cases since 1984. The great majority of Mr. Steering’s law practice is defending bogus criminal cases against the victims of abuse by the police and suing police officers and other government officials, for claims such as false arrest, police brutality / excessive force, malicious prosecution, and other “Constitutional Torts.” JERRY L. STEERING IS A POLICE MISCONDUCT ATTORNEY; BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL. “Civil”, meaning suing police officers and their employing agencies for violation of various federal Batting Practice in the park Constitutional and state law violations; otherwise known as “Constitutional torts.”“Criminal”, because when the police falsely arrest you or beat you up, they routinely attempt to justify their conduct, by procuring your bogus malicious criminal prosecution; usually for Contempt Of Cop / “resistance crimes”, such as violation of Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1) (resisting / obstructing / delaying peace officer; the most abused statute in the California Penal Code. If the police merely beat you a little, they will usually arrest you for violation of Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1). If they beat you severe enough that visible wounds show, they usually “turbo” the Section 148(a)(1) charge, to a violation of Cal. Penal Code § 69 (threat of force or violence or use of force or violence, to deter / prevent public officer from performing duty of office].) THE GARDEN GROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS OUT OF CONTROL. Chief Todd Elgin of the Garden Grove Police Department.Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC What would have been deemed to be unreasonable and outrageous conduct by police officers 30 years ago, is now considered both reasonable and constitutional. Thirty years ago if a police officer pointed their revolver at your head and ordered you to prone yourself down on the ground, you were considered to be “under arrest”, and in order to make that seizure of the person lawful the police needed not only a warrant pr “probable cause” for your arrest, you also had to be suspected of a truly dangerous crime. These days police officer “detain” persons in that manner for suspicion of just about anything. “Officer Safety” has replaced “probable cause” in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. No where is that more evident than in Garden Grove, California. For example, in Santos v. City of Garden Grove, et al.; U.S. District Court (Santa Ana) (2009) Mr. Steering obtained a $475,000.00 settlement from the City of Garden Grove for the false arrests and use of excessive force on several members of the Frank Santos family. See, Garden Grove Pays Half a Million to Settle Brutality Suit With Santos Family , OC Weekly, September 30, 2009. Several members of the Frank Santos family were brutalized and arrested at the birthday party for one of Frank and Gloria Santos’ daughters. Frank Santos’ brother-in-law’s truck was towed away from a closed shopping center parking lot around midnight.. When Mr. Santos’ brother-in-law noticed that his car was gone and saw a tow truck race away with his car, the brother-in-law called Garden Grove PD to see if someone had called in a tow of his vehicle. Frank Santos’ brother-in-law also happened to be a CHP officer who worked for the CHP auto-theft task force. He knew that car thieves often use tow trucks to make their taking of a vehicle to legitimate. In response to that call, GGPD Officer Oomar Patel arrived at the scene. Frank Santos didn’t know that his brother-in-law had called the police, and when Officer Patel arrived at the scene Frank Santos asked him “Who the f__k called you”. That sent Officer Patel into a rage, sticking his nose close to Frank Santos’, backing him up against a brick wall. When Frank Santos attempted to diffuse the situation and walk away from Officer Patel., Patel tried to tackle Mr. Santos from behind and when he did his flying football tackle move on Mr. Santos (from behind), Mr. Santos simply bent down and Patel went flying over him, falling onto the street. Patel then jumped up and pepper-sprayed several members of the Santos family. He also called for back up, saying that he was being attacked, that prompt a quick and very violent police response. Had it not been for the presence of the brother-in-law CHP Officer, the Santos might of lost their case, as most people just don’t believe that police officers really do act like that. In Sharp v. City of Garden Grove, Orange County Superior Court (2000) Mr. Steering obtained a Merritt L. Sharp III at his Garden Grove body sho $1,110,000.00 jury verdict against Garden Grove Police Department officers (led by then GGPD Officer Todd Elgin), along with a CHP officer and state parole agents, for the warrantless search of the body shop that was owned by the parolee’s father, and where the parolee worked when he wasn’t in prison. See, Owner of Raided Shop Awarded $1 Million”, Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2000. The parole department had denied GGPD Narcotics Bureau permission to do a “parole search” of the plaintiff father’s body shop, as they had no authority to do so. Parole agents can’t do (or authorize others to do) warrantless “parole searches” of places where parolees are employed. Imagine a parolee getting a job as a mechanic at Pep Boys. Could state parole agents and police officers do a parole search of Pep Boys? Of Course Not. State parole knew this, and they told GGPD Narcotics the same. However, GGPD Narcotics decided to use the pretext of a parole search, to do a full blown warrantless search of the Dad’s auto body shop, for a suspected meth lab, because the son / parolee’s parole officer wanted to violate the son’s parole for dirty drug tests, and was tired of waiting for GGPD to find him “cooking meth” at the Dad’s body shop GGPD had asked the Parole Agent not to violate the son / parolee’s parole, until they could catch him in the act of meth “cooking” at the Dad’s body shop; something that the mere appearance of in itself should be sufficient to dispel and such suspicion. The body shop was triangular, the hypotenuse of which, was wide open (no blinds or shades) to anyone standing on the sidewalk. The sidewalk side also had two wide entry bays, as did the rear side, the shop and doors were wide open all day, with all areas (save the lavatories) visible to any interested parties. The body shop also had an EPA approved vapor blower exhaust fan and roof portal, and any “dirty socks” odor from a meth lab, would have been blown all over the neighborhood. No reasonable officer would have really believed that the body shop was being used as a drug lab. After several failed parole test drug tests by the son / parolee, his Parole Agent was getting more anxious to violate the son / parolee’s parole. So, the geniuses at the GGPD, the CHP and state parole (both members of OCATT; Orange County Auto-Theft task force.) They stormed into the body shop with SWAT / raid type gear, rifles and pistols blazing, ran-up from behind Mr. Sharp and pointed a shotgun at him. Then the cuffed-him (still at gunpoint) and made him get down onto the cement floor of his shop, with his hands cuffed behind him. One might imagine that this might result in knee injury to a 59 year old man, and one would be right. However, Mr. Sharp treated his own condition with health food supplements (Glucosamine Chondroitin). The constables then ransacked the body shop, with Mr. Sharp still cuffed, lying on the floor of his shop, with the neighboring businesses wondering why their business neighbor, who they always knew as a kind and generous man, was being treated like some despicable sub-human type, and in such a degrading and humiliating manner. In addition to first claiming the the officers warrantless invasion of the shop and the seizure of Mr. Sharp (something ultimately rejected by the court) the cops also claimed that the search was justified as a warrantless search for stolen vehicle parts pursuant to Cal. Veh. Code § 2805; a real stretch (body shops don’t call in VIN numbers on cars brought in for repair. They are also neither U.S. Customs, nor the police. They’re not buying the car; they’re just fixing it.) The Orange County Superior Court jury awarded Mr. Sharp $1,010,000.00 (ten thousand dollars of which was for punitive damages against the most culpable parole agent.) They didn’t believe the police; probably because they lied through their teeth, and finally violated someone who was just like one of them; the Orange County jurors (i.e. white, businessman with a trade, married High School sweetheart, enlisted in United States Marines, no criminal record, wife blond and very nice.) The GGPD officer who lead the raid on the body shop is now a Captain at GGPD. LEGAL EDUCATION AND PUBLICATIONS. University of Georgia School of Law (founded 1859) Having attended the University of Georgia School of Law (J.D. 1984), and having taken and passed the February 1984 Georgia Bar Exam in his last semester of Law School (while Clerking at a law firm full time and attending law school full time), in June of 1984 Mr. Steering began defending criminal cases for the law firm of Scott & Quarterman, of Athens, Georgia; the same law firm that he clerked for, full-time, for. Since 1984 (in California since 1986) he has tried and litigated hundreds of criminal cases, including murder cases, manslaughter cases, assault and battery cases, towing industry related auto-theft / extortion cases (i.e. drop fees), drug possession / drug manufacturing cases, vehicular homicide cases, white-collar investor fraud cases, sex-offender or drug addict registration cases, violations of court order cases, domestic violence cases, towing industry cases, and the entire spectrum of various criminal violations. Mr. Steering is also a published legal scholar, and has a published Law Review Article about a logical quandary of federal evidentiary law: the disparity in the use of “accomplice accusations” between Fourth Amendment scrutiny of “accomplice accusations” (i.e. typically deemed “reliable” enough to obtain search warrant or arrest warrant), and Sixth Amendment scrutiny of the very same statement (i.e. accomplice accusation generally held inherently unreliable for “Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause” purposes. In fact, these statements have been held to be so inherently unreliable that Congress could not even have meant to have included them with the ambit of the Declaration Against Penal Interest exception to the hearsay rule [804(b)(3)].) See, “The Application Of Sixth Amendment Tests For The Reliability Of Hearsay Evidence To Probable Cause Determinations, Steering and Ponsoldt, 16 Rutgers Law Journal 869 (1985). POLICE MISCONDUCT IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. The sad fact is that most good citizen types have a fantasy world belief system about the police. They believe that police officers don’t do bad things to people who don’t deserve it, and that for the most part, most of the claims that we all hear about of police brutality and other police transgressions are either false, overblown and extremely rare. Chances are that if you are reading this article, that: 1) you used to be one of those fantasy world types and 2) you are not that way any more. ALL ORANGE COUNTY POLICE AGENCIES ARE INSTITUTIONALLY DISHONEST, AND SOME ARE SIMPLY BRUTAL, SADISTIC AND ROUTINELY PROCURE THE BOGUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF THEIR VICTIMS. Forner Orange County Sheriff (front) was convicted of obstructing a federal Grand Jury investigation, and his Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo was convicted of theft of honest services and tax evasion. In today’s world of civil litigation and a never ending cascade of civil judgements against police officers and their employing entities,police agencies are in the real world, never really honest and forthcoming. It is just not within them. Their political office and desire to remain there or to attain higher office will generally cause otherwise honest public servants, to deny that not proven by video or audio recordings, or other real evidence. In the real world, there is no such thing as perjury. Perjury takes place in virtually every trial in some form. Ask any trial lawyer, judge, court reporter, clerk and bailiff. If the court staff had a nickel for every canard or prevarication or outright lie told by a peace officer in a California state or federal courtroom, they would be richer than Bill Gates. There are two sides testifying in every civil trial. Someone is lying; one or the other. Same thing in criminal cases, except because of one’s right not to be called a a witness against oneself at trial (U.S. Const. Amend. 5), “There ain’t no lying when there’s no testifying”. Moreover, in California, perjury requires either two witnesses or one witness whose testimony can be corroborated: Cal. Penal Code Section 118 provides: “(a) Every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, and every person who testifies, declares, deposes, or certifies under penalty of perjury in any of the cases in which the testimony, declarations, depositions, or certification is permitted by law of the State of California under penalty of perjury and willfully states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false, is guilty of perjury. This subdivision is applicable whether the statement, or the testimony, declaration, deposition, or certification is made or subscribed within or without the State of California. (b) No person shall be convicted of perjury where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant. Proof of falsity may be established by direct or indirect evidence.” The District Attorney’s Office is not going to prosecute one of their officer witnesses who get caught lying on the stand. Instead they will usually defend the officer, turning justice on it’s head. The fact is that barring political human sacrifices (i.e. Mark Furhrman lying about using the “N” word at O.J. Simpson’s criminal trial or going after welfare recipients), public prosecutors just do not prosecute perjury cases; especially against their own witnesses. In the police profession, lying under oath well isn’t a vice, it’s a virtue. THE GOOD OL’ BOYS NEVER LEFT ORANGE COUNTY. Former Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates Brad Gates is perhaps Orange County’s most colorful politician, a 6-foot-4 San Juan Capistrano native who got his first taste of policing as a member of the Sheriff’s Junior Mounted Posse, a volunteer organization that patrolled on horseback. He referred to himself as a “cowboy,” and his office adornments include the souvenir book “Sheriffs of the Wild West.” In 1989 Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates has finally had a verdict rendered against him for violating the civil rights of a political rival by using sheriff’s investigators by tape-recording their conversations and trumping up charges against them. He also essentially sold Carry Concealed Weapon permits to his campaign contributors. Sheriff Gates is perhaps Orange County’s most colorful politician, a handsome, 6-foot-4 San Juan Capistrano native who got his first taste of policing as a member of the Sheriff’s Junior Mounted Posse, a volunteer organization that patrolled on horseback. He sometimes refers to himself as a “cowboy,” and his office adornments include the souvenir book “Sheriffs of the Wild West.” He announced his intent to retire in 1997. THE ELECTION FOR ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF OF 1998; MIKE CARONA vs. PAUL WALTERS. Then Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters ran against Mike Carona for Orange County Sheriff in 1998 In a bitter contest between two former friends, in 1998 Orange County Marshal Mike Carona beat Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters by several points in the race to succeed longtime county fixture Brad Gates and become the first new Orange County sheriff in 24 years. Brad Gates had his own sordid history of cronyism and corruption during his 24 years as the Sheriff of Orange County. Orange County, California had a Sheriff’s Department that was run by Sheriff Mike Carona, who was released from federal prison in 2015 for witness tampering (instructing witness (Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl) to lie to a federal Grand Jury.) Carona was the Head Marshall for the Orange County Marshall’s Office, that used to serve as the bailiffs and the court security personnel at the Orange County Courthouse. The County Marshall’s Office used to also serve “civil process” and executed arrest warrants. Until Sheriff Carona went to prison, Orange County was a fantasy assignment for those truly sadistic peace officers, who “get-off” on beating inmates and arrestees. Carona’s Assistant Sheriffs, George Jaramillo and Don Haidl were both criminally prosecuted. Mike Carona was the former head Orange County Marshall before the Sheriff’s Department took over Court Services, such as bailiffs in the Court rooms. He was never a line / street cop. When Sheriff Carona ran for Sheriff his campaign and political tactics were influenced to commit unlawful acts by the same two Gentlemen who did the same with the 1998 campaign for District Attorney. Gabriel Nassar and Eugene Abbadessa convinced both newly elected Sheriff Carona and newly elected District Attorney Tony Rackauckas both “sold” bages (Carona; Deputy Sheriff’s badges [Reserve]) and “Commissioner” badges (for the Tony Rackauckas Foundation) for a $5,000.00 “constribution”. Following Sheriff Mike Carona’s conviction for witness tampering (and his trip to federal prison), Sandra Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has announced her retirement in the wake of the Orange County Jailhouse Snitch Scandal Hutchens was appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2008, and thereafter elected Sheriff in 2010. Although Sheriff Hutchens really did dramatically reduce the incidents of beatings of inmates by jail deputies, and also somewhat reduced the level of brutality being inflicted upon innocents and others by sheriff’s department deputies on the streets, she brought trouble with her from Los Angeles, and that trouble has finally been exposed. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office have been involved in felonious, unconstitutional and tortious conduct by using jail house informants to obtain incriminating statements from jail inmates. See, Jail informant scandal: O.C. sheriff apologizes but says any misconduct was limited to ‘a few’ deputies, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2017. Most people think, “Oh well, they’re just getting the guilty guy to confess to what he did so what is the big deal?” Here is the big deal. First, the way that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, obtained “admissions” and “confessions” from those whom they did not have sufficient evidence to prosecuted, and often even to have arrested them. The United States Constitution provides that you have the right to counsel at any critical stage of a criminal proceeding, and you also have a right against self-incrimination. Contrary to popular belief, the police have never been required to read “your rights” (Miranda warnings, right to counsel and right against self-incrimination, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)) when then arrested you. The police are never really ever required to be read to an arrestee their Miranda warnings. It does not invalidate the arrest at all. However, if the police desire to question the arrestee while in police custody, unless they are first advised of their right to counsel and right against self-incrimination (i.e. Miranda warnings) the prosecution cannot introduce those statements into evidence at trial. The idea is that being questioned by the police is so inherently coercive, that in 1966 held that if you are in police custody, unless the police advise you of your right to counsel and right against self-incrimination before they question you, then your answers to their questions can’t be introduced against you at your criminal trial, unless you get on the stand and testify (the exclusionary rule is not a license to lie in court). Because police inmate informants are not believed by the “confessing / admitting” inmate to be a police officers, the taint of coercion generally does not lie when the snitch / agent inmate gets his fellow inmates to admit or confess.Therefore, there is no fifth amendment / self-incrimination issue when one jail inmate obtains and admission or confession from another. However, even if the inmate is not entitled to be given his/her Miranda warnings prior to questioning by a police agent (i.e. the fellow inmate asking questions to the defendants about his crime at the behest of the police), they inmate is nonetheless entitled to his lawyer being present. Ergo, if criminal charges have been filed by the District Attorney’s Office, the fellow inmate / police agent cannot question about the suspected crime, and any statements made to the jail informant is excludable from evidence as a violation of the defendant’s right to counsel under the six amendment to the Constitution. Moreover, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has long used paid real live gangsters to basically threaten arrestees and criminal defendants with being beaten or murdered by the Mexican Mafia if they don’t say what they want you to say while they are surreptitiously recording the defendant. Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals removed the Orange County District Attorney’s Office from the prosecution of the greatest mass murder in Orange County history for systemically hiding exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers in the Scott Dekraii This bad enough. However, over a several year period the Orange County Public Defender’s Office and Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals have uncovered basically thirty years of these types of unlawful use of jail inmates by the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. This conduct is felonious. 18 U.S.C. § 242; violation of federal constitutional rights under color of authority) Both agencies have for several years now simply denied the existence of these illegal snitch programs; programs Inmates Raymond Cuevas and Jose Paredes received $1,500.00 per day and various luxuries in exchange for producing recordings of inmates making incriminating statements. They are Mexican Mafia dropouts. O.C. Weekly that not only violated the technical rights of the accused, but that actually framed many innocents in the process. That is the real problem; inmate gangsters getting innocents to make incriminating statements for $1,500.00 per day (that is no joke). See, 2 jailhouse snitches, who were paid $335,000 over 4 years, spark new legislation”, Orange County Register, March 22, 2017. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Sheriff Hutchens has announced her resignation, and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas continues to deny the undeniable; that his agency has withheld highly exculpatory evidence in even capital cases. This is the sorry state of police and prosecutorial misconduct in Orange County SOME OF MR. STEERING’S ORANGE COUNTY CASES: He has successfully handled many against Orange County law enforcement agencies, including cases against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and local police agencies, such as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, Garden Grove Police Department, Anaheim Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, Laguna Beach Police Department, Huntington Beach Police Department and other Orange County police agencies. Here are a few examples: Gomez v. County of Orange, et al., U.S. Dist. Court, Central District ofCalifornia (Los Angeles) (2011) obtained $2,163,799.53 for unreasonable force on convicted jail inmate; Elisha “Skip” Torrance Torrance v. County of Orange, et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana)(2010); obtained $380,000.00 for unreasonable force and false arrest; Chamberlain v. County of Orange et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana)(2009); obtained $600,000.00 for failure to protect pre-trial detainee in Orange County Jail; Baima v. County of Orange, et al; U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana)(2003); obtained $208,000.00 for false arrest / unreasonable force. Celli v. County of Orange, et al; U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana)(2009); obtained Gabriel Celli and his mother, Nancy Turner $200,000.00 for false arrest / unreasonable force. Richard “Danny” Page v. City of Tustin , et al., U.S. District Court (Santa Ana) (1992); $450,000.00 for false arrest and unreasonable force. Farahani v. City of Santa Ana; Mr. Steering obtained a $612,000.00 jury verdict against a Santa Ana Police Department officer for unreasonable force, for a single baton strike to a young man’s head. Farahani v. City of Santa Ana; United States District Court, Central District of California. unlawful arrest claim; false arrest as matter of law.) Plaintiffs obtained $400,000.00 for four hour false arrest of father (and son), for father telling police that he didn’t know of his son hit a opossum with a shovel (which isn’t a crime anyway),so busted the father for violation of Cal. Penal Code 32 (i.e. “accessory to crime”, for not incriminating his son, for something that isn’t a crime. See, Oliver v. City of Anaheim; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Santos family recovered $475,000.00 against the City of Garden Grove The Santos family recovered $475,000.00 against the City of Garden Grove in Santos v. City of Garden Grove, et al.; U.S. District Court (Santa Ana) (2009); $475,000.00 for false arrest and excessive force at Amanda Santos’ birthday party. 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 (See, People 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. 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. Take the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The certainly have DHSPD beat in sheer number of total police outrages committed. 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 report Commissioned by the Board of Supervisors, 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. See, The Citizens Commission on Jail Violence September 28, 2012. A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Captain reported to the Los Angeles Times, that the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail was, essentially, a torture chamber, run by these jailer gangs (tattoos of their gang symbols on their ankles and all) of sadistic sociopaths. Discipline for beatings was not existent, and torturing inmates was actually required for jailer gang initiation. See, “L.A. County sheriff’s official tells of jail brutality”, LA Times, July 7, 2012. See also, “L.A. County jail violence sheriff’s fault, panel says“, LA Times, September 28, 2012. Rival Sheriff’s Department jailer gangs even got into a rumble between the “3000 Boys” (the third floor jailers) and the “2000 Boys” (the second floor jailers)at a Sheriff’s Department Christmas party. THE LAPD’S MOTTO IS “WE’RE THE BADEST GANG IN Los Angeles police beat a boy for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street TOWN”. A recent study of the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department (LASD) that was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (“Report of the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence“) actually found that there is a culture within the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department of various “gangs of officers”, who routinely beat, torture, maim and kill members of the jails, and of the community, for fun; for the honor of the gang. Everybody is a scumbag, and have no rights. One of those gangs was “the Vikings”, whose “colors” was the Minnesota Vikings Football Team log tattooed on their lower legs. The Former Undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, was a Viking gang member when he was a Captain at the Lynwood Sheriff’s Station. The Vikings were found by United States District Judge Jesse Curits to be a Neo-Nazi / White Supremacist gang within the ranks of the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department; See, Thomas v. County of Los Angeles, et al; 978 F.2d 504 (1992). Some of the LASD gangs of these gangster deputies are: The 3000 Club (the deputies who worked the third floor of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail), The Grim Reapers, The Little Devils, The Regulators, The Vikings and The Jump Off Boys. Tattoo on member of the “3000 Club”; the gang of deputies who work on the third floor of the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail. Out Boys. After the FBI had announced that it had infiltrated the Los Angeles County jail and can now prove that the LASD Men’s Jail was essentially a torture chamber, with gangs of sick and sadistic guards, Paul Tanaka still showed his grit, as an LASD “gansta”, by addressing the command staff of the sheriff’s department, about the LASD internal affairs bureau. He mentioned that their were 45 LASD Internal Affairs Bureau investigators, and that was 44 too many (you’re got to have at least one to have a bureau.) In 2014, six LASD Deputy Sheriffs were convicted of obstructing the FBI’s investigation of the torturing of prisoners at the Los Angeles County Jails. That’s not the end of it. Former LASD Deputy Sheriff Noel Womack pleaded guilty in June of 2015 to federal charges of lying to the FBI about systemic LASD torturing and framing of inmates at the Los Angeles County Jails. LASD Undersheriff Paul Tanaka following his conviction for obstruction of federal investigation On May 13, 2015 former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, along with a retired LASD Captain, were indicted on May 13, 2015 by a federal Grand Jury for Obstructing and Conspiring to Obstruct a federal Grand Jury investigation of the rampant torturing of inmates at the Los Angeles County Jail (See, Paul Tanaka Indictment of May 13, 2015.) Those Indictments also resulted in the resignation of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, as Tanaka implicated Baca as having approved the LASD scheme to thwart the FBI investigation of tortures, beatings and murders of inmates by deputies at the L.A. County Jails. On February 10, 2016, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty to violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2); lying to FBI agents and federal prosecutors investigating the beatings of inmates and visitors at the Los Angeles County Jails. As part of a surprise plea deal with the U.S. attorney’s office, Sheriff Baca admitted that he took an active role in trying to stymie the federal probe into his deputies routinely beating and torturing inmates at the Los Angeles County Jails and in having his deputies hide an FBI informant – jail inmate from his FBI handlers. He admitted even approving a team of his deputy sheriff’s attempting to interfere with the government’s investigation by threatening an FBI agent at her home with arrest. Thereafter, on April 6, 2016, former LASD Undersheriff was convicted by a jury of violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiring to obstruct justice) and 18 U.S.C. § 1503(a) (obstructing justice), for not only obstructing an FBI investigation into years of beatings and torturing of inmates at the L.A. County Jail, but also Tanaka and other high ranking Sheriff’s Department officials threatening one of the FBI agents involved in that investigation, with arrest for continuing that investigation. In his trial, Tanaka admitted that he still had the Minnesota Vikings Logo tattoo on his leg; a tattoo that he described as a member in a club; the “Vikings”; a tatoo that the federal courts have held is the gang taoo for a “neo-Nazi white supremacists gang within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. See, Thomas v. County of Los Angeles, 978 F.2d 504 (1992). Thereafter, on July 18, 2016, United States District Judge Percy Anderson threw out a plea agreement that would have given former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca a maximum of six months in prison, saying the sentence was too lenient considering Baca’s role in obstructing an FBI investigation into the county jails. Addressing a downtown courtroom packed with Baca’s supporters, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson said the deal “would trivialize the seriousness of the offenses … the need for a just punishment [and] the need to deter others.” United States District Judge Percy Anderson On December 19, 2016 a mistrial was declared in that federal criminal corruption case against Sheriff Lee Baca. During the two-week trial, prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office tried to convince jurors that Baca had played a central role in a scheme carried out by a group of subordinates to thwart an FBI investigation into abuses and corruption by sheriff’s deputies working as jailers. Baca’s lawyers countered he had been unaware of the ploy unfolding beneath him. The panel deliberated for days, with all but one of the 12 jurors ultimately voting to acquit Baca. After the panel announced it was deadlocked, Anderson declared the mistrial. On January 10, 2017, federal prosecutors announced that they would retry Sheriff Baca. Judge Percy Anderson also granted a request by the U.S. attorney’s office to allow prosecutors to include the charge of making false statements to federal authorities in the retrial. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson previously split that charge from the obstruction and conspiracy charges Baca faced at his first trial. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca On March 16, 2017 Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted for his role in a scheme to block an FBI investigation into mistreatment of inmates in his jails. One might think, why are these cops acting like Nazis; literally, not metaphorically? Why is this allowed to persist? Things have gotten so bad at the LASD that now the United States Department of Justice Indicted 18 LASD Deputy Sheriffs and their Supervisors on charges ranging from Obstruction of Justice and torturing prisoners. Nonetheless, the body politic tolerates the existence, and the perpetuation of an ongoing unwritten agreement among and between peace officers, to falsely report, and, if necessary, to thereafter conspire with officers who they may not yet even know, to falsely testify, about event(s), if the potential or apparent criminal, administrative and civil liability of a fellow officer is at stake. After all, in the primary category of cases that truly are “false arrests” in the most malevolent sense of the word, “Contempt of Cop cases”, the only reason that there’s an arrest of a civilian at all, is because the Constable has violated another (i.e. beaten-up / torture); usually to self-medicate rather frail and easily bruise-able egos. 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. See, The Citizens Commission on Jail Violence September 28, 2012. IN CALIFORNIA, A POLICE OFFICER CAN BEAT-UP OR MURDER ANYONE THAT THEY WANT TO, ANY TIME THAT THEY WANT TO, WHILE ON-DUTY. The use of unreasonable and unlawful force in America is so rampant, that in these modern times, at least in California, a police officer can murder anyone that they want to, any time that they want to. Juries are very reluctant to convict police officers for any sort of duty related actions, such as shooting civilians. In 2010, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Shot 15 Unarmed People To Death – “Perception Shootings”. See p. 56 of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 30th Semi-Annual Report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. All that the police officers need to say is the they were afraid for their lives because their shooting victim had his hands in his pockets, or that his hands were under his body and wouldn’t show them to the officer, or that he was reaching for his waistband area. The modern police line is that if an officer either can’t see your hands or if you reach for you waist or pockets, that it’s okay to shoot the person. This is no joke. None of the shootings of the fifteen unarmed people who were shot to death by the LA Sheriff’s Department in 2010 were found by the department to have violated department policy. Moreover, none of those deputies were criminally prosecuted for those shootings; even when witnesses have come forward and disputed the deputies’ claims as to what happened. These homicides by police officer aren’t just limited to shootings. For example, on January 13, 2014, an Orange County, California, Superior Court jury acquitted two Fullerton Police Department officers of murdering / using unreasonable force on the mentally-ill son of a former Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sheriff; Kelly Thomas. The beating death was audio and video recorded, and no reasonable human being could have believed that the beating death was justified. The video recording shows two sadistic police officers, beat Kelly Thomas to death. However, the defense was able to show the jury two prior incidents that made the jury simply not care that Kelly Thomas was wrongfully beat to death; the testimony about his having previous struck his grandfather, and testimony about his mother obtaining a restraining order against him. Remember, this was a mentally ill young man, who had his moments. They were able to do this, because California Evidence Code Section 1103 permits a criminal defendants to show the character of the alleged victim of their crime, to prove that the victim has a certain character, and that the victim acted in conformity with that character during the incident complained of; the one that the criminal defendant is being prosecuted for. Chief Charlie Beck never admits fault by the LAPD The Los Angeles Police Departments (LAPD’s) motto is: Were the badest gang in town. One might think, why are these cops acting like Nazis? Why is this allowed to persist? Nonetheless, the body politic tolerates the existence, and the perpetuation of an ongoing unwritten agreement among and between peace officers, to falsely report, and, if necessary, to thereafter conspire with officers who they may not yet even know, to falsely testify, about event(s), if the potential or apparent criminal, administrative and civil liability of a fellow officer is at stake. After all, in the primary category of cases that truly are “false arrests” in the most malevolent sense of the word, “Contempt of Cop cases“, the only reason that there’s an arrest of a civilian at all, is because the police officer has beaten-up / tortured another; usually to self-medicate rather their frail and easily bruise-able egos. If you’re reading this article, the odds are, that either you or a loved one or friend has been beaten-up by the police and are being criminally prosecuted for allegedly battering the officer or somehow “resisting” the officer. Orange County, California had a Sheriff’s Department that was run by creepy Sheriff Mike Carona, who is presently in federal prison for witness tampering (instructing witness to lie to Grand Jury.) Until Sheriff Carona went to prison, Orange County was a fantasy assignment for those truly sadistic peace officers, who “get-off” on beating inmates and arrestees. Modern police agencies are afraid of losing their “power” in, and over, a community. That “power” base (i.e. ability to influence the politicians and the public), is based in large part, on the public “supporting the police”. That popular support is based upon a belief by the body politic, that: 1) police officers are well trained and know and respect your Constitutional rights, 2) they’re basically honest, 3) that only a small percentage of them would commit perjury, 4) that the force that the police use on people is almost always justified (if not legally, then morally), and 5) that the police are capable of policing themselves. Although none of these beliefs are accurate, one cannot ignore the belief system of the majority of the white / affluent American populace, in understanding why police officers routinely, and without a second thought, falsely arrest civilians, and commit other outrages against innocents. LEGALLY, WHAT IS EXCESSIVE / UNREASONABLE FORCE? Prior to 1989, the federal courts looked to the substantive due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution to “pigeon hole” claims of excessive force by a peace officer against civilians. See, Johnson v. Glick, 481 F.2d 1028 (2nd Cir. 1973.) That standard was that the conduct of the police officer had to be “shocking to the conscience”; the standard still used for those uses of force by a police officer that don’t involve efforts by police to use force against civilians to seize them, such as arresting or detaining civilians. Johnson v. Glick involved the use of force by prison guards against a convict; not either a free civilian that an officer is trying to “seize” (detain or arrest), or a “pre-trial detainee“; someone who has already been “seized” (i.e. arrested, and in the County Jail; awaiting arraignment, other pre-trial proceedings, or trial.) However, when it comes to a police officer using force to arrest or detain another, the standard for the use of force is decreed by the Supreme Court, to emanate out of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “Amendment IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Thus, the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures is, since 1989, the legal standard by which to judge whether a police officer used excessive force when seizing a civilian. What Is Excessive / Unreasonable Force? The United States Supreme Court has defined “Excessive Force”as follows: Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy; author of the Supreme Court’s Graham v. Connor Opinion that held that the use of unreasonable force by a police officer is an unreasonable seizure of a person under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1989 “Where, as here, the excessive force claim arises in the context of an arrest or investigatory stop of a free citizen, it is most properly characterized as one invoking the protections of the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees citizens the right “to be secure in their persons . . . against unreasonable . . . seizures” of the person . . . . . . . Determining whether the force used to effect a particular seizure is “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment requires a careful balancing of ” ‘the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests’ ” against the countervailing governmental interests at stake. Id., at 8, 105 S.Ct., at 1699, quoting United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 703, 103 S.Ct. 2637, 2642, 77 L.Ed.2d 110 (1983). Our Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has long recognized that the right to make an arrest or investigatory stop necessarily carries with it the right to use some degree of physical coercion or threat thereof to effect it. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S., at 22-27, 88 S.Ct., at 1880-1883. Because “the test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mecha ical application,” Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 559, 99 S.Ct. 1861, 1884, 60 L.Ed.2d 447 (1979), however, its proper application requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight. See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S., at 8-9, 105 S.Ct., at 1699-1700 (the question is “whether the totality of the circumstances justifies a particular sort of . . . seizure”).” (See, Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989.)) “The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. See Terry v. Ohio, supra, 392 U.S., at 20-22, 88 S.Ct., at 1879-1881. The Fourth Amendment is not violated by an arrest based on probable cause, even though the wrong person is arrested, Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 91 S.Ct. 1106, 28 L.Ed.2d 484 (1971), nor by the mistaken execution of a valid search warrant on the wrong premises, Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79, 107 S.Ct. 1013, 94 L.Ed.2d 72 (1987). With respect to a claim of excessive force, the same standard of reasonableness at the moment applies: “Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge’s chambers,” Johnson v. Glick, 481 F.2d, at 1033, violates the Fourth Amendment. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. As in other Fourth Amendment contexts, however, the “reasonableness” inquiry in an excessive force case is an objective one: the question is whether the officers’ actions are “objectively reasonable” in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. See, Scott v. United States, 436 U.S. 128, 137-139, 98 S.Ct. 1717, 1723-1724, 56 L.Ed.2d 168 (1978); See also, Terry v. Ohio, supra, 392 U.S., at 21, 88 S.Ct., at 1879 (in analyzing the reasonableness of a particular search or seizure, “it is imperative that the facts be judged against an objective standard”). An officer’s evil intentions will not make a Fourth Amendment violation out of an objectively reasonable use of force; nor will an officer’s good intentions make an objectively unreasonable use of force constitutional. See, Scott v. United States,supra, 436 U.S., at 138, 98 S.Ct., at 1723, citing United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 94 S.Ct. 467, 38 L.Ed.2d 427 (1973). In Graham, we held that claims of excessive force in the context of arrests or investigatory stops should be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment‘s objective reasonableness standard, not under substantive due process principles. 490 U.S., at 388, 394. Because police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation, id., at 397, the reasonableness of the officers belief as to the appropriate level of force should be judged from that on-scene perspective. Id., at 396. We set out a test that cautioned against the 20/20 vision of hindsight in favor of deference to the judgment of reasonable officers on the scene. Id., at 393, 396. Graham sets forth a list of factors relevant to the merits of the constitutional excessive force claim, requir[ing] careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight. Id., at 396. If an officer reasonably, but mistakenly, believed that a suspect was likely to fight back, for instance, the officer would be justified in using more force than in fact was needed. (See, Saucierv. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001), Kennedy, J.) The federal courts have reduced all of this legal gobbledygook to jury instructions, that, supposedly, a person of regular intelligence can understand. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Jury Instruction for excessive force instructs the jury: “Ninth Circuit Model Civil Jury Instructions 9.22 PARTICULAR RIGHTS—FOURTH AMENDMENT—UNREASONABLE SEIZURE OF PERSON—EXCESSIVE (DEADLY AND NONDEADLY) FORCE In general, a seizure of a person is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment if a police officer uses excessive force [in making a lawful arrest] [and] [or] [in defending [himself] [herself] [others]. Thus, in order to prove an unreasonable seizure in this case, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the officer[s] used excessive force when [insert factual basis of claim]. Under the Fourth Amendment, a police officer may only use such force as is “objectively reasonable” under all of the circumstances. In other words, you must judge the reasonableness of a particular use of force from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene and not with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. In determining whether the officer[s] used excessive force in this case, consider all of the circumstances known to the officer[s] on the scene, including; 1) The severity of the crime or other circumstances to which the officer[s] [was] [were] responding; 2) Whether the plaintiff posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officer[s] or to other; 3) Whether the plaintiff was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight; 4) The amount of time and any changing circumstances during which the officer had to determine the type and amount of force that appeared to be necessary; 5) The type and amount of force used; 6) The availability of alternative methods [to take the plaintiff into custody] [to subdue the plaintiff;] 7) Other factors particular to the case.]“ THE PROBLEM WITH GRAHAM’S “REASONABLE OFFICER STANDARD” IN THE REAL WORLD – THE WATCHMAN GETS TO MAKE HIS OWN RULES THAT REGULATE HIS OWN CONDUCT. When asked about a 1974 Papal Encyclical by Pope Paul VI, condemning the use of contraception, former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz stated: “He don’t play-a-da game; he don’t make-a-da rules.” In the police profession, they do play that “game”, and now they get to “make-a-da rules.” The problem with the description of how “excessive force” is defined, is not the Supreme Court’s strong emphasis on the officer’s conduct being based on an “objective” standard; they hypothetical reasonable officer in the abstract. The problem is, that the standards in the police profession for what is “reasonable” or otherwise proper police conduct in a given situation, are generally neither the creature of legislation (i.e. state law requiring the audio recording of custodial police interrogations) nor the product of any judicially created mandate, duty, or prohibition (i.e. Constitutional limits on conduct and judicially created “exclusionary rule”.) The conduct of “the objectively reasonable officer”; that standard that the Supreme Court attempted to describe in Graham v. O’Connor and Saucier v. Katz, is created by the very persons whose conduct the Fourth Amendment is supposed to impose limits on. Thus, in a very real sense, the Supreme Court has set the standard (“objectively reasonable officer”) that the Fourth Amendment requires, but has delegated the details of what’s reasonable or not, to the police. It’s letting the regulated enact their own regulations. It’s like letting the local power company, set the rate of profit that they should make; set the formula for how the amount of profit is determined; set how much they can spend on public relations (since they’re a monopoly), and how, when, by whom and in what manner, they should be inspected, what they can and can’t do in their industry, and every other aspect of the business. If they want to all use tasers on civilians, then that’s reasonable. If they all want to pepper-spray persons because their hands in their pockets, then that’s reasonable. If they want to prone-out everyone at gun point that they detain, then that’s reasonable. At the end of the day, in the real world police world, if the technique, method, procedure, policy or practice reduces the danger level to the officer, you can bet that, eventually, they will find a way to justify such technique, method, procedure, policy or practice , and make such otherwise unreasonable behavior, “reasonable”, for no other reason than the police would prefer to act that way; Constitutional or not. You see the problem. The police have an old slogan: “It’s better to be judged by 12, then carried by 6.” It’s another way of saying, I’ll act in a way that is in my self interest; not yours, and if I happen to trample your Constitutional rights, so be it. My insuring my safety from any potential threat trumps any annoying Constitutional rights of yours. THE PROBLEM OF QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, COMPOUNDS THE PROBLEM CREATED BY GRAHAM In a nutshell, the Qualified Immunity is an immunity from a lawsuit (from being sued at all) for violation of a civilian’s Constitutional rights, when those rights were actually violated, but a reasonably well trained police officer could have believed that his conduct did not constitute a Constitutional violation. So, even if the police officer actually violated your Constitutional Rights, he/she may be immune from suit, because the law was not clearly established enough at the time of the violation, to hold a police officer liable for his conduct. This is a doctrine “contrived” by the conservative members of the Supreme Court (since 1981), to ensure that you can’t do anything about (or at least do a whole lot less about) your Constitutional Rights being trampled by the government. The Perversion, Ad Nauseam, Of The Qualified Immunity Doctrine, To Protect Peace Officers From Civil Liability; “Reasonably Acting Unreasonably” So, for example, if the police come-up with a whole new technique to restrain people, such as a with a taser, or pepper-spray, or pepper-balls, or water-balls, or hobbling (police hog tying), or a shock-belting, or stun-gunning, the officer may very well be entitled to qualified immunity from being sued for the misuse of any of the above-mentioned devices; not because its “reasonable”, but because the police just use those devices in such manners; thereby giving the Courts an excused to relieve the police officer from liability for the damage caused by his violation of the Constitutional Rights of civilians: William RehnquistAssociate Justice 1971 – 1986, Chief Justice 1986 – 2005 “Qualified immunity is an entitlement not to stand trial or face the other burdens of litigation. Saucier v. Katz,533U.S. 194, 200 (2001) (quoting Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526 (1985)) . . . Accordingly, we must resolve immunity questions at the earliest possible stage in litigation. Pearson, 129, S.Ct.at 815. An officer will be denied qualified immunity in a 1983 action only if (1) the facts alleged, taken in the light most favorable to the party asserting injury, show that the officers conduct violated a constitutional right, and (2) the right at issue was clearly established at the time of the incident such that a reasonable officer would have understood her conduct to be unlawful in that situation. Saucier, 533 at 201-02; Liberal v. Estrada, 632 F.3d 1064, 1076 (9th Cir. 2011.) To assist the development of constitutional precedent, we exercise our sound discretion to follow Saucier’s conventional two-step procedure and address first whether the Torres Family has alleged the violation of a constitutional right. See, Pearson, 129 S.Ct. at 818. The qualified immunity analysis involves two separate steps. First, the court determines whether the facts show the officers conduct violated a constitutional right. Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001.) If the alleged violate a constitutional right, then the defendants are entitled to immunity and the claim must be dismissed. However, if the alleged conduct did violate such a right, then the court must determine whether the right was clearly established at the time of the alleged unlawful action. Id. A right is clearly established if a reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates that right. Id., at 202. If the right is not clearly established, then the officer is entitled to qualified immunity. While the order in which these questions are addressed is left to the courts sound discretion, it is often beneficial to perform the analysis in the sequence outlined above. Pearson v. Callahan, 129 S.Ct. 808, 818 (2009.) Of course, where a claim of qualified immunity is to be denied, both questions must be answered. When determining whether there are any genuine issues of material fact at the summary judgment stage, the court must take all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. In the context of qualified immunity, determinations that turn on questions of law, such as whether the officers had probable cause or reasonable suspicion to support their actions, are appropriately decided by the court. Act Up!/Portland v. Bagley, 988 F.2d 868, 873 (9th Cir. 1993.) However, a trial court should not grant summary judgment when there is a genuine dispute as to the facts and circumstances within an officers knowledge or what the officer and claimant did or failed to do. Id. (Saucier v. Katz, supra.)” QUALIFIED IMMUNITY IS A SELF-FULFILLING POLICY; THE COURT’S DON’T PROVIDE EITHER REASONABLY DISCERNIBLE GUIDELINES, OR CLEAR BORDER TYPE RULINGS. The problem with the description of how “excessive force” is defined, is not the Supreme Courts strong emphasis on the officers conduct being based on an objective standard; the hypothetical reasonable officer in the abstract. The problem is, that the standards in the police profession for what is reasonable or otherwise proper police conduct in a given situation, are generally neither the creature of legislation (i.e. state law requiring the audio recording of custodial police interrogations) nor the product of any judicially created mandate, duty, or prohibition (i.e. Constitutional limits on police conduct, such as the judicially created exclusionary rule.) The conduct of the objectively reasonable officer; that standard that the Supreme Court attempted to describe in Graham v. Connor and Saucier v. Katz, is created by the very persons whose conduct the Fourth Amendment is supposed to impose limits on. Thus, in a very real sense, the Supreme Court has set the standard (objectively reasonable officer) that the Fourth Amendment requires, but has delegated the details of what’s reasonable or not, to the police. This is quite problematic, as the Bill of Rights was created for the Courts to protect us from the police / government, so when the police define “what’s reasonable force”, in a very real way, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, one of those rights in the Bill of Rights, is defined by the police, rather than the Courts. There are cases where the Courts will step-in and ban a particular police practice, but those cases are far and few between, and when the Courts do so, they often create more of legal mess than existed before such judicial intervention. See, for example, the trilogy of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals taser cases. TASER CASES GONE WILD. Circuit Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote Majority Opinion in Bryan v. McPherson See, for example, the trilogy of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals taser cases. In the first case, Bryan v. McPherson (9th Circuit 12/28/09), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that using a taser on a man in his underwear who was 20 feet away and merely verbally going-off on the police officers, was so obviously unlawful, that no reasonably well trained police officer could have believed that it was constitutional to tase the man. Two weeks later, in Mattos v. Argarano (9th Cir. 1/12/10), another three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the police tasing of a domestic violence victim did not constitute unreasonable force, since the police were trying to grab the her husband, and she happened to just be between the man and the police. Judge Richard A. Paez wrote Majority Opinion in Mattos v. Agarano The Mattos court held that their decision didn’t conflict with the Bryan v. McPherson (9th Circuit 12/28/09), because the use of the taser in that case was so obviously unreasonable, that the defendant police officers would not be entitled to qualified immunity from suit. Circuit Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall wrote Majority Opinion in Brooks v. City of Seattle Thereafter, two and one-half months later in Brooks v. City of Seattle (9th Cir. March 26, 2010), the Ninth Circuit held that it didn’t constitute the use of unreasonable force for a police officer to tase a pregnant woman three times in her neck to get her out of her car. Having now painted themselves into a corner, the Ninth Circuit decided to grant “en banc review” of all three 2010 taser cases; one en banc panel of judges decided the rehearings of the Mattos v. Argarano and Brooks v. City of Seattle cases, and one en banc panel reheard the Bryan case. The results were almost as confounding, as were the original wrongly decided decisions. In the Mattos and Brooks cases, the Ninth Circuit held that although the defendant police officers did violate the plaintiffs’ Constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force upon their persons (i.e. the tasers), that the officers were nonetheless entitled to qualified immunity from suit, because the law on the use of tasers was not clearly established at the time of the Constitutional violations: We now hold that, although Plaintiffs in both cases have alleged constitutional violations, the officer Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on Plaintiffs 1983 claims because the law was not clearly established at the time of the incidents. In the rehearing on the Bryan v. McPherson case, the Ninth Circuit reversed themselves, and awarded qualified immunity to the defendant officers; also because the law regarding the use of tasers was not clearly established at the time of the Constitutional violations: “Officer MacPherson appeals the denial of his motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. We affirm the district court in part because, viewing the circumstances in the light most favorable to Bryan, Officer MacPhersons use of the taser was unconstitutionally excessive. However, we reverse in part because the violation of Bryans constitutional rights was not clearly established at the time that Officer MacPherson fired his taser at Bryan on July 24, 2005.” In the Ninth Circuit’s first taser case, Bryan v. McPherson(9th Cir. 09), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that using a taser on a man in his underwear who was 20 feet away and merely verbally going-off on the police officers, was so obviously unlawful, that no reasonably well trained police officer could have believed that it was constitutional to tase the man. Two weeks later, in Mattos v. Argarano (9th Cir. 1/12/10), another three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the police tasing of a domestic violence victim did not constitute unreasonable force, since the police were trying to grab the her husband, and she happened to just be between the man and the police. The Mattos court held that their decision didn’t conflict with the Bryan v. McPherson (9th Circuit 12/28/09), because the use of the taser in that case was so obviously unreasonable, that the defendant police officers would not be entitled to qualified immunity from suit. Thereafter, two and one-half months later in Brooks v. City of Seattle (9th Cir. March 26, 2010), the Ninth Circuit held that it didn’t constitute the use of unreasonable force for a police officer to tase a pregnant woman three times in her neck to get her out of her car. Having now painted themselves into a corner, the Ninth Circuit decided to grant “en banc review” of all three 2010 taser cases; one en banc panel of judges decided the rehearings of the Mattos v. Argarano and Brooks v. City of Seattle cases, and one en banc panel reheard the Bryan case. The results were almost as confounding, as were the original wrongly decided decisions. In the Mattos and Brooks cases, the Ninth Circuit held that although the defendant police officers did violate the plaintiffs’ Constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force upon their persons (i.e. the tasers), that the officers were nonetheless entitled to qualified immunity from suit, because the law on the use of tasers was not clearly established at the time of the Constitutional violations: “We now hold that, although Plaintiffs in both cases have alleged constitutional violations, the officer Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on Plaintiffs 1983 claims because the law was not clearly established at the time of the incidents.” In the rehearing on the Bryan v. McPherson case, the Ninth Circuit reversed themselves, and awarded qualified immunity to the defendant officers; also because the law regarding the use of tasers was not clearly established at the time of the Constitutional violations: “Officer MacPherson appeals the denial of his motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. We affirm the district court in part because, viewing the circumstances in the light most favorable to Bryan, Officer MacPhersons use of the taser was unconstitutionally excessive. However, we reverse in part because the violation of Bryans constitutional rights was not clearly established at the time that Officer MacPherson fired his taser at Bryan on July 24, 2005.” So, what is the lesson of the “Taser Trilogy”; everyone is full of it; everyone. San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos prosecutes the innocent victims of police outrages instead of the officers whom committed serious crimes against them WHY THE POLICE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE THEIR VICTIMS; THE ROOT OF MOST FALSE ARRESTS. Unfortunately, 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, the norm in todays police profession, is for peace officers to falsely arrest their “victims”, and to author false police reports to procure the bogus criminal prosecutions (i.e. to literally “frame” others) of those civilians whose Constitutional rights and basic human dignity have been violated; to justify what they did, and to act in conformity with that justification. The excessive force victims get criminally prosecuted, for crimes that they didn’t commit; usually for crimes such as “Resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer in the lawful performance of their duties (Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1)), assault on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 240 / 241), “battery on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code § 242 / 243(b); which is almost always, in reality, battery by a peace officer; otherwise known as “Excessive Force” or “Unreasonable Force”),and resisting officer with actual or threat of violence (Cal. Penal Code § 69.) Section 69 is a “wobbler” under California law; a crime that the government can charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This charge is usually reserved for cases in which the police use substantial force on the innocent arrestee (the real “victim”), and need to falsely claim more violent / serious conduct by the “victim” to justify their outrages. So, for example, 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”; an “unreasonable seizure” of a person under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (See, Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).) If you have been the victim of Excessive Force by a police officer, please check our Section, above, entitled: “What To Do If You Have Been Beaten-Up Or False Arrested By The Police“. Also, please 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. Thank you, and best of luck, whatever your needs. Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering Jerry L. Steering, Esq.