MR. STEERING IS A POLICE MISCONDUCT LAWYER WHO DEFENDS BOGUS CRIMINAL ACTIONS. Jerry L. Steering, Esq., is a Police Misconduct Lawyer, serving, among other places, Riverside County and the Riverside County cities shown below, as well as Orange County, Kern County, Imperial County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. He has been suing police officers, and defending bogus criminal cases of crimes against police officers since 1984. The majority of our firm’s law practice, is defending bogus criminal cases and suing police officers and other government officials for beating and falsely arresting and maliciously prosecuting innocents; basic fourth amendment “search and seizure” (of persons, places and things) and other “Constitutional Torts.” False arrests by police officers are almost always the product of either sheer incompetence (i.e. the police arrest another for conduct that isn’t criminal), or of the police officer attempting to justify his unlawful conduct, by arresting and then framing their victim (i.e. false police reports, perjurous court testimony, false convictions) of his federal criminal (18 U.S.C. § 242), and otherwise tortious misconduct (i.e. if the police use unreasonable / unlawful force on a civilian, the use of force is almost always followed by a false arrest.) Mr. Steering pecializes 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).) 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 CONTEMPT OF COP GAME; THE PROSECUTION OF INNOCENTS BY THE RIVERSIDE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. Riverside County District Attorney Michael A. Hestrin The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has upheld its long tradition of prosecuting the victims of police abuse, very often simply to protect the police from civil liability and obloquy. It does not take much to convince young ambitious Deputy District Attorney’s to file some “resistance offense” criminal case against the victims of police abuse. They want to get in with the police agencies, for their own standing with their respective prosecutorial agencies, and for chits in any future run for Judge; something not uncommon for Deputy District Attorneys. This author has been playing this game since 1984 and things have only gotten worse for the innocent civilian in the real world of what the police can do to you and your home and property. The American public basically has no idea what their basic rights and freedoms are, and how they have been shrinking since 1968. No one except the police, the lawyers and the judges care about these shrinking constitutional protections until some police outrage is perpetrated against them or a loved one. Moreover, most law abiding innocent types who didn’t grow up in the ghetto do not believe that police officers do bad things to people who don’t deserve it. When we hear about a claim in the media that the police perpetrated some outrage against a civilian, the first thing that comes to our mind is what did the civilian do to make the police do what they did to him. Culturally, we tend to shift the blame for the use of force or other serious intrusion on the liberty of another, to the person upon whom the force was used. What suing police officers and defending bogus “resistance offense” criminal cases since 1984 has taught this author, is that the civilian usually is the one completely in the right, and the constable usually is the one in the wrong. This is the Contempt of Cop Game, and it is a game in a very real sense. The first rule of this game is that police perjury is rampant and sanctioned by public prosecutors. In this world there really is no crime of perjury; at least one that is enforced.I n 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: In California the prosecution need to show more than the testimony of a single witness to convict another of perjury: Cal. Penal Code Section 118. (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. LAPD Detective was only prosecuted for perjury because the case that he told the big whopper lie in, the O.J. Simpson murder trial, was on worldwide television. No one gets prosecuted for perjury save a few politicians and entitlement recipients. The police all know this. The judges all know this. The lawyers all know this. The bailiffs all know this. The courtroom clerks all know this. The court reporters all know this. So, not to worry about lying police reports. If they are put on the stand by the prosecution and they get caught lying for the prosecution, there is zero chance that the prosecutor is then going to prosecute them for perjury. The idea is a pretty simple one. Your “criminal conduct” (i.e. not proning yourself on the ground fast enough, questioning or challenging police authority, or the worst, telling the police that you know your rights). They really don’t like wiseguys who tell the police that they need a warrant or tell them that the police are violating your rights. They will show you what rights you have; the right to get you butt kicked and to get taken to jail and get prosecuted for some “resistance offense”. 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. Almost all “resistance offense” criminal cases are procured by the same police agency that perpetrated thevery outrage complained of against the innocent civilian. This is done to shift the blame from the police officer to the beating victim (you, the innocent) for necessitating the use of force or other outrage. What the police and the prosecutors do is to charge you with committing some act that they claim is a crime and that somehow justified the police beating that you received. This is no joke. This is how the game works. Accordingly, after the police beat you up and/or falsely arrest you, and the police agency submits a “package” to the District Attorney’s Office, the Deputy District Attorney who reviews the case for potential criminal filing are almost always simply going to accept and rely on what is shown in the initial police reports. This not because these filing Deputy District Attorneys are evil people. POLICE BRUTALITY, FALSE ARRESTS AND MALICIOUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS ARE BROUGHT TO PRECLUDE THE VICTIMS OF POLICE OUTRAGES FROM OBTAINING REDRESS FOR THOSE OUTRAGES. 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. Moreover, these resistance offense prosecutions are done to preclude the victims of police abuse from being able to sue the police for their outrages. 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.” POLICE MISCONDUCT IN JURUPA VALLEY – THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT’S “SATURATION / ZERO TOLERANCE OPERATIONS” IN JURUPA VALLEY. The gang at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Jurupa Valley Station The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Jurupa Valley station is almost indistinguishable from a criminal street gang. They really don’t try to hid this. These men have taken it upon themselves to administer beatings and false arrests for just about anyone who they see doing anything that the law proscribes; literally anything to justify a street encounter. These deputies flood an area of Jurupa Valley with deputies just itching to beat the stuffing out of someone. It is almost impossible for most normal law abiding civilians to really believe that this really happens. Well, it really does. These deputies really are out and about looking to beat, pepper-spray, tase and falsely arrest some civilian. One example of the use of these “saturation / zero tolerance operations” is the case of James Holley. RCSD Deputy Sheriff Bryce Holmes; armed to the teeth for a little fun in Jurupa Valley On August 21, 2011, the boys from the Jurupa Valley Station were performing what they call a “saturation / zero tolerance operation”. The “saturation operation” included making “proactive arrests” for anything that the law proscribes; anything; even the most arguable or trivial infraction. Deputy Bryce Holmes orchestrated, supervised and participated this particular “Saturation Patrol”. He and his pals at the Jurupa Valley station actually enjoy beating people. They just can’t get enough. Who knows; if they beat up and falsely arrest enough innocents they might make Deputy of the Year. That is no joke. It’s those kind of active deputies who beat up many and make a lot of arrests who make Deputy of the Year. They usually are the best at lying under oath. You could hook these “pro-active policing” types (i.e. the cops commit the crimes) up to a polygraph and that line will stay straight. They can look a jury straight in the eyes and lie without any of the usual signs of lying (i.e. swallowing, red eyes, choked-up speech, excessive blinking, looking up and to the side, etc.) and deliver the goods; frame their victims for some bogus resistance offense. James Holley, courtesy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Well, James Holley was standing in front of his parent’s home, holding a can beer and drinking the same, as were his brothers. They were not drunk or causing any problems. The deputies approached the Holley’s, claiming that they suspected the Holleys of being in violation of California Penal Code Section 647(f); public intoxication. It is not a crime in California to be drunk in public. It is only a violation of that section if one is basically so drunk / drugged that one is lying in a puddle of their own vomit on the sidewalk. When the James Holley objected to the officers wanting to search him, they simple tased and jumped him, and false arrested he and his father, who came out and saw the deputies beating his son. James Holley was not criminally prosecuted. Neither were the men who should have been, the deputies. 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. Defending Bogus Criminal Cases Since 1984 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 ***The State Bar of California does not recognize a specialty in police misconduct which is most of Mr. Steering’s law practice. *In the District of Columbia only. **In Beverly Hills Office only. 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.