Jerry L. Steering, Esq. before 9th Cir. Court of Appeals, Pasadena, CA Jerry L. Steering, Esq., is a Police Misconduct Lawyer, both in civil and criminal cases, serving, among other places OC, California. Mr. Steering has been suing police officers, and defending bogus criminal cases (mostly bogus crimes against police officers) since 1984. Mr. Steering represents the victims of ”Police Misconduct”, such as the victim of the use of excessive force upon and the normal false arrests and malicious prosecutions that very often follow the initial police outrages, very often perpetrated against total innocents. Mr. Steering’s law practice serves OC, and the Orange County cities shown below, as well as Ventura County, LA County, SS County, Riverside County, SB County, Imperial County and other locations throughout California. Mr. Steering is also licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and has practiced in federal courts outside of California pro hac vice, including the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Steering is also a Members of the Bars of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court (since 1987). JERRY L. STEERING HAS BEEN REPRESENTING THE VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY SINCE 1984. Mr. Steering’s law practice involves representing persons in OC, LA 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 LAPD 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 majority of Mr. Steering’s firm’s law practice is defending bogus “contempt of cop” criminal actions, usually followed by Mr. Steering filing and prosecuting lawsuits against the very same police officers who beat-up, falsely arrested and falsely accused the innocent of criminal conduct, to protect themselves and their employing agency from liability to the innocent for their outrages. Free Case Evaluation Most of Mr. Steering’s criminal and civil cases involve core Bill of Rights type issues; the difference between living in a free society of a police state. Most of these federal civil rights cases involve police violation of person(s) fourth amendment rights (i.e unreasonable searches of persons and their places and effects, and unreasonable seizures of person (false arrest and unreasonable force, procuring bogus and malicious criminal prosecutions) and first amendment violations (retaliation for protected speech and to petition for redress and various other “Constitutional Torts” , including police whistleblowing cases (Cal. Labor Code Section 1102.5.) THE HUNTINGTON BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN BEATING INNOCENTS AND FRAMING THEM FOR MANY YEARS NOW. THE RANK AND FILE DO NOT WANT THEIR CONDUCT TO BE RECORDED. As shown below, police abuse of these resistance offenses, coupled with our appellate courts basically allowing “Officer’s Safety” concerns to trump your search and seizure rights, have created a truly modern police officer who is brutal and who will frame you to shift the blame for his / her use of force upon you. Sorry to burst your bubble Huntington Beach, but commensurate with their long tradition, the Huntington Beach Police Department is exceptionally brutal, and will almost never pass-up an opportunity to “tune up” anyone who dare not jump fast enough when they bark, or who challenges the officer’s unreasonable “orders” to them (i.e. Get over here and “shut the f–k up”; Sit on the curb and “shut the f–k up”; Get on the ground and “shut the f–k up”; all supposedly for officer safety.) In Huntington Beach, its all too often Friday or Saturday night at the fights; except the only ones fighting are the police; the other involuntary participant, is doing more of covering-up, while the police street gangs roam Surf City’s streets. Huntington Beach Police Department officers are especially brutal. They revel in beating-up innocents and procuring your malicious criminal prosecution for some “resistance offense”. This is not lefty propaganda. HBPD Chief Robert Handy is running into resistance by his officers to recording their conduct and in doing actual internal affairs investigations Throughout 2017 the Huntington Beach Police Department has been fighting efforts by Chief Robert Handy and a 4-3 Majority of the City Council in purchasing 50 body cam recorders for HBPD patrol officers. In his response to the police association “vote of no confidence”; HBPD Chief Handy stated that the Huntington Beach is one of few police departments without either body cameras or dashboard devices. He also stated that although the officers have belt-worn audio recorders, they are rarely used. “We’re way behind other departments in documenting and recording the work that officers do,” he said. “In fact, we’re at the bottom.” 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 OC’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 OC 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 OC’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 OC 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. OC, 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 OC Marshall’s Office, that used to serve as the bailiffs and the court security personnel at the OC Courthouse. The County Marshall’s Office used to also serve “civil process” and executed arrest warrants. Until Sheriff Carona went to prison, OC 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 OC 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 OC 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 OC Sheriff’s Department and the OC 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. Superior Judge Thomas Goethals addresses both parties Friday before the state Attorney GeneralÕs Office said Friday it would appeal is decision removing the Orange County District AttorneyÕs Office from the case of Scott Dekraai in Santa Ana.////ADDITIONAL INFO: – 08.informant.0321.ks – Day: Friday – Date: 3/20/15 – Time: 9:11:19 AM – Original file name: _KSB2467.NEF – KEN STEINHARDT, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER — Scott Dekraai, DA District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Paul Wilson, Bethany Webb, Chelsea Huff, California Attorney General, Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals This bad enough. However, over a several year period the OCy Public Defender’s Office and OC 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”, OC 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 OC CASES: He has successfully handled many against OC law enforcement agencies, including cases against the OC Sheriff’s Department and local police agencies, such as the OC 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 OC police agencies. Here are a few examples: Jason Gomez died in the custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from Oxygen deprivation (“Palesinian Hanging”) Gomez v. County of Orange, et al., U.S. Dist. Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles) (2011) ($2,100,000.00) 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; John Chamberlain 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. Merritt L. Sharp III at his Garden Grove body shop Sharp v. City of Garden Grove, OC Superior Court (2000) Mr. Steering obtained a $1,110,000.00 jury verdict against Garden Grove Police Department officers, 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. 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. Oliver v. City of Anaheim, U.S. District Court, Santa Ana; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012; (plaintiff won case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on their 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. Mr. Steering has also had many acquittals in OC Superior Court; especially in cases involving false arrests. SUING POLICE OFFICERS IN FEDERAL COURT FOR VIOLATING YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; ENFORCING THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT. The keys to the federal courthouse is something call “federal question jurisdiction“. “Federal question jurisdiction” entitles a person whose federal constitutional rights were violated by persons acting “under the color of state law”, to sue under federal law, including in federal court itself, for redress. A typical situation involves a peace officer (i.e. deputy sheriff, police officer) violating the federal Constitutional rights of a civilian by using unreasonable force upon them and/or by falsely arresting them, and thereafter procuring their malicious criminal prosecution; today’s norm.) The federal court venue was traditionally very important to the enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment, because black persons of African descent couldn’t get a fair trial in Southern state Superior Courts following the Civil War (that ended in late April of 1865.) Although starting-out as a Post-Civil War Southern “social organization”, the “Ku Klux Klan” soon became the local Southern “Sheriff and his deputized posse”, who terrorized and murdered black persons of African descent while acting “under the color of state law”; under the authority of the Sheriff. Imagine a “black widow” (not the spider type) suing the local Sheriff and his posse members for murdering her husband in a Post-Civil War Southern state Superior Court, where the judge and the jury members were either part of the murdering mob, or relatives and friends of those who were. Unless black persons had a remedy in a United States District Court, as a practical matter they had no remedy at all. The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including and especially former slaves who had been “freed” with the ratification of the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) by the states on December 6, 1865. The 14th Amendment had been rejected by most Southern states, but was ratified by the required three-fourths of the states on July 28, 1868. Known as the “Reconstruction Amendment,” it makes any former slaves who were born in the United States, citizens, and forbids any state to deny any person (especially former slaves) “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Thereafter, in response to a letter to Congress from President Ulysses S. Grant, complaining of the conditions in the Southern states, on April 20, 1871 Congress enacted the the statute that we sue police officers under to this very day; The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871; 42 U.S.C.§ 1983. Also known as the “Third Enforcement Act”, Congress enacted Section 1983 to enforce the 14th Amendment; at that time to provide black persons of African descent with a civil remedy for damages in federal court against “the Sheriff” and his posse, who were ”acting under the color of state law” when they violated their victims’ federal constitutional rights (i.e. murdering black people in the South and otherwise terrorizing them. This is the very same law that we sue police officers under to this very day. The Third Enforcement Act, also known as The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides: “Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable.” Although the original immediate class of persons that the 14th Amendment was ratified to protect were black persons of African descent, those protections of the 14th Amendment apply to all persons. Mr. Steering has been suing police officers and deputy sheriffs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 since 1984. When the state or local police violate your federal constitutional rights (that, by the way, are shrinking by the day), a Section 1983 action is your federal civil remedy, along with any state law remedies permitted in the state where the police abuse occurred. DEFENDING BOGUS CRIMINAL RESISTANCE OFFENSE CASES. Mr. Steering is also a Criminal Defense Lawyer; specializing in defending innocents in “resistance offenses”, such as resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer (words that mean everything and mean nothing; Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1)), Cal. Penal Code § 69 (the “turbo version” of Section 148(a)(1); interfering with duties of public officer via violence or threat thereof a felony), assault and battery on a peace officer (Cal. Penal Code §§ 240/241(c) & 242/243(b)), and even assault on a peace officer with a gun (Cal. Penal Code §§ 245(c) & 245(d).) Almost every good old fashioned police beating is accompanied by some sort of bogus arrest; routinely for some variety of “Contempt of Cop” or “resistance offense.” The police are often successful in their attempt to shift the blame for their use of unreasonable force upon or their false arrest of innocents, by procuring the bogus criminal prosecution of their innocent victims, for a “resistance offense.” Although the resistance offenses differ (i.e. [Penal Code 148(a)(1); resisting / delaying / obstructing officer], [Penal Code 240/241(c); assault on a peace officer, [Penal Code 242/243(b); battery on peace officer], [Penal Code 69; using / threatening to use violence to deter / prevent public officer from performing duty]), there is one common element among all of them; they all require that the alleged “victim officer” be lawfully engaged in the performance of his/her duties. Therefore, if you’re convicted for any such “resistance offense”, there has now been a judicial determination that the police officer was not acting unlawfully; that he wasn’t falsely arresting or wrongfully detaining you; that he wasn’t using unreasonable force upon you; that he didn’t unlawfully search you, etc. Such a prior judicial determination that the officer was acting lawfully usually now precludes a lawsuit by you that alleges unlawful actions by the officer (i.e. false arrest or unreasonable force.) It’s important for the government that the police convict you for a “resistance offense”, because under the doctrine of issue preclusion (“collateral estoppel“) or “claim preclusion” (“res judicata“), if an issue of fact or law has been determined against you in a prior judicial proceeding, you can’t re-litigate that fact or law determination in a subsequent judicial proceeding. It’s kind of like the Rodney King civil case in federal court in Los Angeles. LAPD Officers Sgt. Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell were criminally convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force upon him under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, when it came time for Rodney King’s civil case against the LAPD Officers for money, the issue of whether LAPD Officers Koon and Powell had violated Rodney King’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force was already “res judicata”; a thing decided. The only issue left for the civil jury to decide was how much money to give Rodney King. Therefore, in your situation, if you’re convicted of a resistance crime (a crime that for one to be guilty of, the police had to have been acting lawfully, like not using excessive force, not unlawfully arresting or detaining one, not retaliating against persons for exercising their First Amendment rights), the issue of the lawfulness of the officer’s conduct has already been decided against you, so invariably, save very few exceptions, you cannot successfully sue the police; you’re precluded from doing so because of your conviction. That’s why the cop who violates your constitutional rights will almost always will try to frame you for a resistance offense. This is standard operating procedure for the police, and that’s not a joke. Moreover, under the cloak of the unnecessary and morally opprobrious immunity afforded police officers under the “Heck Doctrine” (Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994)), if you’re convicted of any crime, you usually cannot sue the cops at all; at least for false arrest. California adopted the Heck rule to bar civil rights claims in Yount v. City of Sacramento, 43 Cal. 4th 885 (2008.) So, under either federal or California law, if you plead guilty or even now no contest to anything, you can’t sue for your false arrest, even though the arresting officer may not have had sufficient probable cause to have arrested you when he did so. These are policy decisions by the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court, to limit many persons’ right to sue police for real violations of their constitutional rights, for no legitimate reason. These policy decisions are made by those same Justices who profess that they believe that the courts shouldn’t be “super legislatures”, that make any such policy decisions and that such decisions should be left to Congress and state legislatures. Thus, because of these “policy decisions” by the United States Supreme Court, in the real world, the cops can beat you, falsely arrest you, and falsely and maliciously procure your bogus criminal prosecution; all while you’re the victim of abuse by the police, and all, in the real world, with very little chance of anything happening to themselves. How many people are willing to spend ten’s of thousands of dollars to defend themselves on bogus misdemeanor “resistance offense” charges, when they can avoid spending all of the time and money that it takes to prove your innocence, by pleading to a de minimis misdemeanor, or an infraction, like disturbing the peace? How many innocent souls have pleaded themselves out court on good, righteous and provable civil rights actions against the police, because they either pleaded-out or stay in jail awaiting trial? This is normal. This is reality. This what probably happened to you if you’re looking for us. This is why the police do what they do. Because they usually can. Because if they literally provoke you into expressing verbal remonstrance that results in the cops beating the stuffing out of you and falsely arresting you; without any substantial chance of any real vocational or civil liability problems, they often do so. Internal Affairs Investigations do not take the word of civilians over than of an officer, and even when there’s some sort of audio or video recording of the incident that proves that the cop’s lying, the employing agency will almost always back their officer and find creative ways to justify it. Let’s face it. Cal. Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) can mean almost anything, so young upstart Deputy District Attorneys who want to make a name for themselves by protecting the police and stomping their victims into submission (i.e. (a) overcharging innocents to keep them in jail on high bail, that often results guilty pleas to ”resistance offenses” to just get out of jail, that precludes the defendant-innocent from successfully suing the police; (b) abusing the ambiguity of “resistance offenses” such as Cal. Penal Code Sections 148(a)(1) (resisting / delaying / obstructing officer) or Section 69 (using or threatening violence to prevent or deter officer from performing their duties) to pursue groundless criminal proceedings against the innocent victims of police abuse, until they run out of money and capitulate by pleading to a crime that they are innocent of.) If you get criminally prosecuted for a crime when you’re the real victim, the officers who violated your Constitutional rights get “two bites at the apple”. It’s like a Three Stooges coin toss; “Heads I win, tails you lose.” HEADS THEY WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE; POLICE PROSECUTION OF POLICE MISCONDUCT VICITMS GIVES THE POLICE TWO BITES AT THE APPLE. The police are not technically a “party” to your bogus criminal proceeding; “The State” or “The People of the State” is the other party. Because “issue preclusion” or “claim preclusion” generally requires a person sought to be bound by a prior judicial determination to have been a party to the prior proceeding and had the opportunity to fully and fairly litigate that issue, even if you somehow avoid being framed and are acquitted, that the finding of your innocence (“not guilty verdict”) is not binding on the police in a subsequent civil rights action against the same officers who tried to frame you. However, if you had been convicted, since you were a party to the prior judicial action (the defendants), the issue of your guilt and all of the legal consequence flowing therefrom (i.e. basically can’t sue any more) have already and permanently been determined against you. So, for example, if a police officer unlawfully “seized” you cannot sue for your false arrest; not because your conviction adjudicated those issues of fact that go into the formulation of whether your arrest was lawful (i.e. whether the police had either a warrant or probable/reasonable cause to believe that you committed a crime); only because the Conservative Wing of the Supreme Court took it upon themselves to make-up a rule, a “policy decision”, that prohibits guilty people from being able to obtain damages for their truly false arrest. See, Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). If the prosecution is able to convict you for a “resistance offense” (i.e. resisting / obstructing / delaying peace officer, battery on a peace officer, preventing public officer from performing a duty of his/her office), there has been a similar judicial determination that the police necessarily were acting lawfully. Accordingly, as one of the elements of these resistance offenses is that the peace officer was engaged in the lawful performance of his/her duties, and the jury must have found that to be so, generally you are also now precluded from suing for the use of unreasonable force upon you, or even that the police unlawfully searched you or your property; via the Heck bar (i.e. that you were convicted, and, therefore, can’t now successfully sue the police) and via the Doctrine of “Collateral Estoppel”. In other words, since there has now been a judicial determination that the officer was in the right, and that you were not, you lose in any subsequent lawsuit against the police. All police officers know this. If somehow you don’t get convicted (of crime that you didn’t commit), the agency still backs them all of the way. It doesn’t matter whether the police agency knows that the officer violated the law and your rights. All that they’re concerned with is protecting the officer and the police agency; that’s it; even if (and especially) if their officer severely injured or actually murdered an innocent. All the police merely have do is to create a bogus police report that accuses you of some “resistance offense”, and send it off to the District Attorney’s Office to procure your bogus criminal prosecution. If you believe that you live in a “free country”, you’re wrong. In the practical sense of the word, you really do live in a police state.” The police really can do what they want to do with you. They can point a gun at you, prone you out on the ground and handcuff you at their whim, without any repercussions. The police can also really murder anyone anytime that they want to, just by claiming that the unarmed decedent was reaching for his waistband. This is no joke. This too, is normal. The Law Office Of Jerry L. Steering understands these dynamics of the government prosecuting the victims of government abuse, and understands how to deal with these cases in both state court criminal proceedings and federal court civil rights actions. GENERAL CRIMINAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS PRACTICE. Jerry L. Steering has been practicing criminal law since 1984 (in California since 1986.) He has tried and otherwise litigated hundreds of criminal cases, including murder cases, manslaughter cases, assault and battery cases, drug possession and drug manufacturing cases, DUI cases, vehicular homicide cases, white-collar investor fraud cases, mail fraud cases, sex-offender or drug offender registration cases, domestic violence cases, theft and embezzlement cases, towing industry cases, and the general spectrum of criminal violations. However, the overwhelming majority of Mr. Steering’s criminal law practice involves the defense of bogus criminal prosecutions for “resistance offenses” (i.e. resisting / delaying peace officer, battery on peace officer.) Unlike other areas of criminal law practice, almost every one of Mr. Steering’s resistance offense criminal case clients were factually and actually innocent. 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. One substantial advantage that Mr. Steering can provide you, is a better chance at obtaining favorable evidence, to either leverage a favorable plea agreement, or flat-out win your criminal case, when you couldn’t otherwise do so. If you don’t sue police officers, you simply don’t know what types of evidence is “out there” (i.e. in the possession of police agencies.) Because pre-trial discovery is extremely limited in California state court criminal prosecutions, most lawyers who only practice criminal law will not have an opportunity to even find out what types of evidence is available. The type of evidence that can exonerate you, and that shows that the Constable is not telling the truth. We have enough diligence and experience to nail the cops down on their stories in these criminal actions, that simply cannot be done in a regular civil action. When they’re on the stand in a criminal case, the cops don’t have their experienced civil lawyers to take them out in the hallway and tell them what to say, like they do in civil cases. Moreover, the Deputy District Attorneys who prosecute these bogus “Contempt of Cop” cases, don’t know enough, and often don’t care enough, about the intricacies of the Constitutional, legal and evidentiary issues, that are being somehow dealt with in the criminal case, that will have a marked effect on your prospects for redress for your being framed; a substantial monetary recovery; the only “redress” presently available to victims of Constitutional Torts. In other words, we use the bogus criminal case, to shape the evidence and the primary “swing issues” in that case, to not only win your bogus criminal case, but to also dramatically improve the odds of your ultimately prevailing on your civil First Amendment retaliation claims, and Fourth Amendment unreasonable force, false arrest and malicious prosecution claims. PUBLICATIONS. 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 (accomplice accusations sufficiently reliable to establish probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant), and Sixth Amendmentanalysis (accomplice accusations are so inherently unreliable, that Congress could not have meant to have included them with the ambit of the Declaration Against Penal Interest exception to the hearsay rule.) See, “The Application Of Sixth Amendment Tests For The Reliability Of Hearsay Evidence To Probable Cause Determinations, 16 Rutgers Law Journal 869 (1985.) POLICE MISCONDUCT SPECIALIST; SUING BAD COPS AND DEFENDING BOGUS CRIMINAL CASES. The Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering of Jerry L. Steering specializes in cases that are both bogus criminal actions (if the DA either believes the falsehoods by the police and files on you), and righteous civil rights actions, that we prosecute to vindicate your honor, your dignity and your injuries; both “general damages” (present and future physical, mental, emotional distress, pain and suffering), and “special damages” (i.e. present and future medical bills, bail costs, attorney’s fees, lost wages and other damages that can be calculated mathematically.) IF YOU’RE THE VICTIM; YOU’RE THE ENEMY. Moreover, the system, and the “players” and “politicians” in that system, now recognize you as their enemy. As a matter of political and institutional reality, you, the victim of constitutional violations by peace officers acting under the color of authority, are someone who poses a real threat to them. After all, the cops put you in the hospital, and you’re now being prosecuted for resisting or delaying or obstructing them handcuffing you while you were trying to cover your face from the blows (Cal. Penal Code § 148(a)(1); resisting / obstructing / delaying peace officer; the most vague, nebulous and the most misused and abused section in the California Penal Code.) If they beat you up too badly, the D.A. will throw in a Count of battery on a peace officer (Penal Code Section 243(b)) or felony preventing public officer from performing duty by use or threat of force (Penal Code Section 69). In the real world, 99% of the time, battery on a peace officer is really battery by a peace officer. If this offends your personal belief system, I’m sorry to pop your cherry. This is the modern world of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence (i.e. the right of the police to search and seize you and you home and property). The law isn’t what’s in a book or on the internet. The law is what happens to real people in the real world. The law isn’t what it says; only what it does. Yesterday you believed that police officers were basically honest, with a few deviants here and there. Yesterday, you didn’t feel threatened if a police officer was driving behind you, because you believed that since you don’t break the law (and or since you look like white and respectable type), that the police are not going to do anything bad to you. Yesterday is now gone. You still can’t believe that this really happened to you. You really didn’t do anything wrong, but you’ve been beaten-up and falsely arrested, and to boot, you are now being accused of a crime by the District Attorney’s Office; really to beat you down to protect the police from liability. That’s reality. Today is a new day in your life. You would not have believed what really happened to you if it had happened to another. That all being said, since the police beat you up, you either deserved it or you didn’t. So, how are the politicians going to handle your situation? Just imagine a Chief of Police or a County Sheriff announcing at a Press Conference, that his agency took the word of independent civilian witnesses over that of a group of police officers and is firing the officer or deputy for either using unreasonable force upon or falsely arresting a civilian. What would the politicians say? We know that that will never happen. Although we elect politicians and insist on them being totally honest with the public, we actually expect them to act in a dishonest and disingenuous way with the public. We expect the City Attorney to guard the City coffers, by denying that the police unlawfully committed a duty related activity (i.e. using force on an innocent arrestee, or simply falsely arresting an innocent), even if they know otherwise; even if the evidence is so overwhelming and moving that no reasonable person would deny (with a straight face) that the police acted wrongfully. So, on the civil side, the City or County is going to claim that you’re to blame; that it’s your fault. Then, the D.A.’s office jumps in the fray, and attempts to get you to plead to any crime; a plea that will almost assuredly preclude you from obtaining redress for the wrongs perpetrated upon you. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld release – dismissal agreements; an agreement where the D.A.’s offices promises to drop the bogus criminal case against you and let you out of jail, in exchange for a promise not to sue. Newton v. Rumery, 480 U.S. 386 (1987.) Creepy, huh? Extortion? Sounds like it. MacDonald v. Musick, 425 F. 2d 373 (9th Cir. 1970)(conditioning dismissal of criminal DUI charge in exchange of promise not to sue police is felonious extortion under California law.) But so long the government is the extorting party, no crime, since no one is going to prosecute a Deputy District Attorney for making such a dismissal offer. Even when it’s obvious that a public entity is going to have to most likely pay money to a victim of their officer, the agency will never admit fault. So, since they didn’t do anything wrong, you must have. Therefore, you’re the enemy, because you’re a potential threat to them; to their paycheck; to them being imprisoned (however remote that really is); to them being promoted in the future; to them being disciplined (i.e. reprimanded, suspended, demoted or terminated) and to them being exposed to obloquy and disgrace. Most of our law firm’s Police Misconduct clients, were factually and actually innocent of anything; yet most of them where at the wrong spot at the wrong time, or had the audacity to question police authority. When many of our clients questioned or challenged police orders to them, the officers routinely have claimed that they have now “resisted” them or have “delayed” the officer’s investigation of them, or of another (real or imaginary; the most common claim by officers in bogus “Contempt of Cop” cases), by asking the officer for further identification, or by asking why there was a red laser targeting spot on their chest, or by asking why the officer wanted them to get prone-out on the ground when they had no clue why the police were even engaging them at all. These actions by our clients, true innocents, have typically resulted in them getting “gooned” by the cops, and half of them getting criminally prosecuted for non-existent crimes, to protect the officers and the agency from civil liability and disgrace. In all of these situations, the cops were going to show our client’s who’s in charge, and it’s not the client. These are truly ego crimes; “Contempt of Cop” crimes. WHY THE COPS TRY TO DESTROY YOU; TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. The Police know that once they’ve crossed-over a clear and well-defined Constitutional boundary, such as your Constitutional right to be free from a sadistic police beating (U.S. Const. Amends. 4 and 14), that they must immediately take steps to shift the blame for their use of force upon you; for it certainly can’t fall upon them, lest they be considered monsters; “Bad Apples”. Their first step being to either immediately arrest you, or to restrain or confine your freedom to leave their presence. This is done as a matter of reflex, rather than a product of reflection, by police authorities. You’re not going anywhere until the police figure-out what to do with you. Hospital, Jail, or otherwise. It’s automatic for you to be taken to jail, even if you’re taken for a humiliating visit to the hospital (bloody and in handcuffs, being escorted by the police), on the way there. It doesn’t matter that you committed no crime. All that does matter at that time, is that they did (i.e. they beat you up; federal and state crimes), and they don’t plan on taking the blame for doing so. They justify their behavior, by accusing you of de minimis and vague criminal offenses; especially of California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) (Resisting / Obstructing / Delaying a Peace Officer.) If your sadistic police beating was bad enough to be actually kept in the hospital, or if it’s obvious to the Patrol Sergeant that the patient didn’t deserve what he got (and assuming that your Patrol Sergeant isn’t the truly creepy kind, you may be given a Citation to appear in Court, or you might even get “long formed”. Getting “long formed” is police lingo (in the real world), for not formally arresting you now, but nonetheless concocting a phony story about the event that resulted in you being in the hospital, and based upon the template of the bogus story, create phony reports to support that story, and conceal and destroy evidence that belies the concocted story, such a deleting an audio or video recording of the actual incident complained of, or a materially significant portion of any such recording. Usually, the officers create not all that serious allegations of criminality by you; not enough for you to realistically be exposed to any jail time, but serious enough to justify their conduct, and, most importantly, serious enough to get you criminally prosecuted. The police really do create false and misleading police reports to shore-up the odds, that some young and ambitious Deputy District Attorney, will want to endear himself to a police agency, by protecting them from civil liability. The young and ambitious Deputy District Attorney files a criminal case against you for violation of California Penal Code Sections 148(a)(1) (Resisting / Obstructing / Delaying a Peace Officer), and Sections 240/241(c) and 242/243(b); Assault and Battery on a Peace Officer. Now what do you do? If you take a plea bargain, you can’t sue for the damages that you suffered from being falsely arrest and falsely prosecuted for a crime, and the mental and financial toll that being falsely arrested and falsely prosecuted takes on one (i.e. job loss, attorney’s fees.) If, rather than take a plea bargain, and you stand your ground and defend yourself in court, you can pay many thousands of dollars for a lawyer, to defend you on a bogus criminal charge, that is usually a misdemeanor, and usually will result in no jail time, and a de minimis fine. What do you do? Do you spend the money on a lawyer and hope that things work about and that after you prevail on your criminal case, that you can sue and get pay-back and paid back? Mr. Steering has been contemporaneously defending these bogus Police Misconduct criminal actions, and prosecuting civil rights lawsuits for victims of police outrages, since 1984. He will know what to do in your particular case. SUING THE POLICE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS AND OTHER TORTIOUS CONDUCT, WHEN NO CRIMINAL CASE HAS BEEN FILED AGAINST THE POLICE MISCONDUCT VICTIM. In many cases, notwithstanding efforts by local police agencies to procure the filing of a bogus criminal case against the victim of their oppression, Deputy DA’s see the same reports from the same cops, that again and again and again, seek the criminal prosecution of persons for “resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace office in the lawful performance of his/her duties”, when the “suspect” always ends-up in the hospital. Therefore, many times, we can proceed to sue the officers in the appropriate court (usually federal court), without having to wait for the conclusion of underlying bogus criminal proceedings, since they will not be any. If you want to know what do to if you’ve been falsely arrested, retaliated against for exercise of your constitutional rights, beaten-up by the police or maliciously prosecuted, please contact us at (949) 474-1849 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for visiting with us, and best of luck. Even if you have a legal question that’s important to you, and you just need lawyer input, we’ll be glad to answer your questions. Thank you again for visiting with us. Jerry L. Steering, Esq. What to Do If You Have Been Falsely Arrested or Beaten-up by the Police – Click Here Jerry L. Steering with Diane Sawyer, Co-counsel* Bob Dole, and former partner** Melvin M. Belli WHAT YOU CAN DO Someone has to stand-up to the bullies of society, who think that using state police power to humiliate others, is funny, and makes them big men (or women.) There are thousands of others like you, who are good people, and have been somehow, for some reason that you could not have ever imagined, victimized by the government. It might as well be you. Stand-up for justice. Stand-up for our form of self-government. Stand-up for the spilled-blood of our fathers, who bravery died to prevent the very thing, that the government is doing to you right now. Click on “Home”, above, or the other pages shown, for the information or assistance that we can provide for you. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your particular legal situation, please call the Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering for a free telephone consultation. Also, if you have been the victim of a False Arrest or Excessive Force by a police officer, check our Section, above, entitled: “What To Do If You Have Been Beaten-Up Or False Arrested By The Police“. Thank you, and best of luck, whatever your needs. Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering Jerry L. Steering, Esq.