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

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

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

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

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


Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.)


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.)


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.


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.


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 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. BelliJerry L. Steering with Diane Sawyer, Co-counsel Bob Dole, and Former Partner Melvin Belli

Suing Bad Cops And
Defending Bogus Criminal
Cases Since 1984

***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.

Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering

Jerry L. Steering, Esq.

Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering, 4063 Birch Street, Suite 100, Newport Beach, CA 92660; (949) 474-1849; Fax: (949) 474-1883; email:


Riverside County Cities Served:

City of Banning P.O. Box 998 City Manager: Andy Takata Phone: (951) 922-3105 Website: Banning CA 922200998 City Clerk: Marie A. Calderon Fax: (951) 922-3128 E-Mail:

City of Beaumont 550 E. 6th Street City Manager: Alan Kapanicas Phone: (951) 769-8520 Website: Beaumont CA 92223 City Clerk: Karen Thompson Fax: (951) 769-8526 E-Mail:

City of Blythe 235 N. Broadway Avenue City Manager: David Lane Phone: (760) 922-6161 Website: Blythe CA 92225 City Clerk: Patti Whitney Fax: (760) 922-4938 E-Mail: use website

City of Calimesa 908 Park Avenue City Manager: Randy Anstine Phone: (909) 795-9801 Website: Calimesa CA 92320 City Clerk: Darlene Gerdes Fax: (909) 795-4399 E-Mail:

City of Canyon Lake 31516 Railroad Canyon Rd. City Manager: Richard Rowe, Interim Phone: (951) 244-2955 Website: Canyon Lake CA 92587 City Clerk: Deborah Harrington Fax: (951) 246-2022 E-Mail:

City of Cathedral City 68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero City Manager: Donald Bradley Phone: (760) 770-0340 Website: Cathedral City CA 92234 City Clerk: Pat Hammers Fax: (760) 770-0399 E-Mail:

City of Coachella 1515 Sixth Street City Manager: David Garcia Phone: (760) 398-3502 Website: Coachella CA 92236 City Clerk: Isabel Castillon Fax: (760) 398-8117 E-Mail:

City of Corona 400 S. Vicentia Avenue City Manager: Brad Robbins Phone: (951) 736-2400 Website: Corona CA 92882 City Clerk: Lisa Mobley, Chief Dep. Fax: (951) 736-2399 E-Mail:

City of Desert Hot Springs 65950 Pierson Blvd. City Manager: Rick Daniels Phone: (760) 329-6411 Website: Desert Hot Springs CA 92240 City Clerk: Cynthia Lugo Fax: (760) 288-3129 E-Mail:

City of Eastvale 6080 Hamner Ave. City Manager: Robert L. Van Nort Phone: (951) 361-0900 Website: Eastvale CA 91752 City Clerk: Judy Haughney Fax: (951) 361-0888 E-Mail: 8/17/2012 2

City of Hemet 445 East Florida Avenue City Manager: Mark Orme, Interim Phone: (951) 765-2300 Website: Hemet CA 92543 City Clerk: Sarah McComas Fax: (951) 765-3785 E-Mail:

City of Indian Wells 44-950 Eldorado Drive City Manager: Greg Johnson Phone: (760) 346-2489 Website: Indian Wells CA 922107497 City Clerk: Anna Grandys Fax: (760) 346-0407 E-Mail: use website email

City of Indio P.O. Drawer 1788 City Manager: Dan Martinez Phone: (760) 391-4000 Website: Indio CA 92202 City Clerk: Cynthia Hernandez Fax: (760) 391-4008 E-Mail:

City of Jurupa Valley 8304 Limonite Av., Suite M City Manager: Stephen Harding Phone: (951) 332-6464 Website: Jurupa Valley CA 92509 City Clerk: Vicki Wasko Fax: E-Mail:

City of La Quinta P.O. Box 1504 City Manager: Frank J. Spevacek Phone: (760) 777-7000 Website: La Quinta CA 92247 City Clerk: Veronica Montecino Fax: (760) 777-7107 E-Mail:

City of Lake Elsinore 130 S. Main Street City Manager: Tom Evans, Interim Phone: (951) 674-3124 Website: Lake Elsinore CA 92530 City Clerk: Virgina Bloom Fax: (951) 674-2392 E-Mail:

City of Menifee 29683 New Hub Drive, Suite C City Manager: Bill Rawlings Phone: (951) 672-6777 Website: Menifee CA 92586 City Clerk: Kathy Bennett Fax: (951) 679-3843 E-Mail:

City of Moreno Valley 14177 Frederick Street City Manager: Henry T. Garcia Phone: (951) 413-3000 Website: Moreno Valley CA 92553 City Clerk: Jane Halstead Fax: (951) 413-3750 E-Mail:

City of Murrieta One Town Square City Manager: Rick Dudley Phone: (951) 304-2489 Website: 24601 Jefferson Avenue Murrieta CA 92562 City Clerk: A. Kay Vinson Fax: (951) 698-9885 E-Mail:

City of Norco 2870 Clark Avenue City Manager: Beth Groves Phone: (951) 735-3900 Website: Norco CA 92860 City Clerk: Brenda Jacobs Fax: (951) 270-5622 E-Mail:

City of Palm Desert 73-510 Fred Waring Drive City Manager: John Wohlmuth Phone: (760) 346-0611 Website: Palm Desert CA 92260 City Clerk: Rachelle Klassen Fax: (760) 340-0574 E-Mail: 8/17/2012 3

City of Palm Springs 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way City Manager: David H. Ready Phone: (760) 323-8299 Website: Palm Springs CA 92262 City Clerk: James Thompson Fax: (760) 322-8332 E-Mail:

City of Perris 101 North “D” Street City Manager: Richard Belmudez Phone: (951) 943-6100 Website: Perris CA 92570 City Clerk: Judy Haughney Fax: (951) 943-4246 E-Mail: use website form

City of Rancho Mirage 69-825 Hwy. 111 City Manager: Randal K. Byder Phone: (760) 324-4511 Website: Rancho Mirage CA 92270 City Clerk: Cynthia Scott Fax: (760) 324-8830 E-Mail:

City of Riverside 3900 Main Street City Manager: Scott Barber Phone: (951) 826-5311 Website: Riverside CA 92522 City Clerk: Colleen J. Nicol Fax: (951) 826-5470 E-Mail:

City of San Jacinto 595 S. San Jacinto Ave. City Manager: Tim Hults Phone: (951) 487-7330 Website: San Jacinto CA 92583 City Clerk: Dorothy Chouinard Fax: (951) 654-8021 E-Mail:

City of Temecula P.O. Box 9033 City Manager: Bob Johnson Phone: (951) 694-6444 Website: Temecula CA 925899033 City Clerk: Susan W. Jones Fax: (951) 694-1999 E-Mail:

City of Wildomar 23873 Clinton Keith Rd., Suite 111 City Manager: Frank Oviedo Phone: (951) 677-7751 Website: Wildomar CA 92595 City Clerk: Debbie Lee Fax: (951) 698-1463 E-Mail: