Tag Archives: law enforcement

(…the most important thing I can tell you is…) Invoke Your Rights During Police Encounters

(THIS APPLIES TO ALL FIFTY+ STATES)

Keary Prophet·Tuesday, November 7, 2017

STOP: TO ALL POLICE, LAW ENFORCEMENT, OFFICERS AND/OR AGENTS OF THE LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S PLEASE TAKE NOTICE AND BE ADVISED.

I DO NOT AGREE NOR CONSENT TO THIS CONTACT WITH YOU.

*PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS OR REQUEST ANY INFORMATION FROM ME THAT COULD LATER BE USED AGAINST ME.

*PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS OR REQUEST ANY INFORMATION FROM ME WITHOUT MY COUNSEL AND/OR LAWYER PRESENT, OR UNTIL I HAVE CONSULTED THE SAME.

*PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO LEAVE OR EXIT MY CAR, OR TO OTHERWISE COME WITH YOU UNLESS UNDER LAWFUL ARREST OR DETENTION.

*PLEASE INFORM ME AS SOON AS I AM FREE TO LEAVE SO THAT I MAY DO SO WITHOUT ANY FURTHER INTERFERENCE FROM YOU.

I HEREBY INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE ANY AND ALL OF MY NATURAL, LAWFUL AND UNALIENABLE RIGHTS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:

*I INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE MY 2nd AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS.

*I INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE MY 4th AMENDMENT RIGHT. I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH OF MYSELF, MY PROPERTY OR OTHER BELONGINGS.

*I INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE MY 5th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS. I WANT AND HEREBY REQUEST MY COUNSEL OR LAWYER BE PRESENT DURING ANY AND ALL QUESTIONING OR CONVERSATIONS THAT WOULD REQUIRE MY INPUT OR PARTICIPATION IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.

*I INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE MY 6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO A COUNSEL AND/OR A LAWYER, TO BE INFORMED OF THE NATURE OF THE ALLEGED CRIME I AM BEING, OR HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH.

*I INVOKE AND REFUSE TO WAIVE MY 9TH AMENDMENT RIGHT, THE RIGHT TO ALL UNENUMERATED RIGHTS. PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY QUESTION OR MAKE ANY REMARKS TO ME ABOUT MY DECISION TO INVOKE THESE RIGHTS.

AGAIN, I DO NOT AGREE NOR CONSENT TO THIS CONTACT WITH YOU AND IF I AM NOT UNDER LAWFUL ARREST OR BEING LAWFULLY DETAINED PLEASE ADVISE ME OF MY RIGHT TO LEAVE, THEN ALLOW ME TO DO SO WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY.

IF AT THIS TIME I AM NOT FREE TO GO PLEASE ADVISE ME OF THE NATURE OF MY LAWFUL ARREST OR DETENTION. IF UNDER ARREST I HEREBY REQUEST AND DEMAND TO BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY BEFORE A LAWFUL, SWORN AND COMPETENT JUDGE OF A LAWFULLY CONVENED AND COMPETENT COURT OF LAW AND RECORD.

OFFICER OR AGENT YOU ARE OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED

Download this document here: Invoke Your Rights https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/MI…

Class-action suit challenges constitutionality of civil forfeiture

Fatima Hussein , IndyStar 10:17 p.m. EST November 27, 2016

 

Criminal defense attorney Jeff Cardella wears his beliefs on his sleeve, in the form of a pair of large, pastel yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” cuff links.

In between explanations of his libertarian principles, the 34-year-old Cardella  said his clients may not always be the most sympathetic individuals, but they deserve their rights, too.

Cardella filed a federal class-action lawsuit this month, on behalf of Leroy Washington, whose vehicle was taken by police in September. Washington was arrested and charged with resisting law enforcement, dealing in marijuana and obstruction of justice.

The suit argues that the Indiana law that allows police to seize property from alleged drug dealers and others, regardless of their guilt or innocence, violates criminal defendants’ constitutional right to due process.

It “allows the executive branch to seize and hold the vehicle of an owner for several months without affording the owner the right to a postseizure preforfeiture hearing to challenge the seizure,” according to the complaint.

It’s an argument that could, if it prevails in court, have a sweeping effect on law enforcement.

Criminal defense attorney Jeff Cardella stands in front

Criminal defense attorney Jeff Cardella stands in front of the Justice Statue at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. (Photo: Michelle Pemberton / IndyStar)

According to Justice Department data, Indiana State Police seized more than $2.2 million in personal property from Indiana residents in 2014. In Marion County, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department seized roughly $48,022 in personal property that year, according to the data.

The suit, limited specifically to vehicles in IMPD possession, does not seek monetary damages. Rather, Washington wants law enforcement to give back his vehicle, and the vehicles of countless individuals whose property was seized under Indiana’s civil forfeiture laws.

Cardella also seeks a reduction in the period of time law enforcement can hold property without stating a reason for seizing it.

“It’s a matter of protecting the constitutional rights of my clients,” said Cardella, a professor at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law, who is vehemently opposed to “unjust government taking.”

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Police Chief Troy Riggs are named defendants in the complaint.

Curry told IndyStar that there are a variety of reasons why the law, as it exists today, is reasonable and constitutional.

“There are protections built in the law to protect innocent people,” Curry said. “An aggrieved party could ask for an emergency hearing to get their property back.”

However, experts and civil libertarians such as Cardella argue that civil forfeiture laws may be due for U.S. Supreme Court review.

Civil forfeiture around the country

Today, all states allow for forfeiture and there are more than 400 federal forfeiture statutes. Legal opinions written on the matter show an inconsistency as to what is and is not a violation of an individual’s property rights.

On a federal level, writing for a six-justice majority in Kaley v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan stated that a criminal defendant indicted by a grand jury has essentially no right to challenge the forfeiture of her assets, even if the defendant needs those very assets to pay lawyers to defend her at trial.

The dissenters in the case were strange bedfellows, ranging from traditionally conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the more liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

There is also room for interpretation at the state level.

In Indiana, former Chief Justice Randall Shepard, who wrote the Supreme Court ruling in another civil forfeiture case, said criticisms of asset seizure may be legitimate in some places. But instances vary from one jurisdiction to another. “There are places where it’s used more forcefully than most people would think is appropriate,” Shepard said.

Because the process is characterized as “civil forfeiture” rather than “criminal forfeiture,” he said, property can be taken regardless of the guilt or innocence of the accused party, which raises concerns.

“The relative ease of effecting such forfeiture and the disposition of the assets have become a matter of public note,” Shepard wrote.

Washington, through Cardella, argues that the length of time that police have to possess individuals’ property unduly burdens property owners.

Under Indiana law, the executive branch can hold a vehicle for up to six months. If the state decides to file a forfeiture claim against the vehicle within the first 180 days, the vehicle is held indefinitely until the case is concluded, which can often be several additional months, according to court documents. ​

“I think there is a widespread misunderstanding (that civil forfeiture) is not a unilateral act,” Curry told IndyStar. He explained that most of individuals whose property is seized are drug dealers and the like.

However, case law throughout the country suggests that Indiana’s laws — when it comes to the length of time that law enforcement can hold onto a vehicle — may be unconstitutional.

In a 2002 U.S. Court of Appeals opinion authored by Sotomayor, the court held that the Constitution demanded a speedy process to determine whether the government was likely to win the forfeiture claim.

In the case, Krimstock v. Kelly, three automobile owners challenged a New York City policy that allowed the city to seize motor vehicles from individuals accused of certain crimes involving motor vehicles and then to hold the vehicles — sometimes for years — in hopes of gaining title in civil forfeiture proceedings.

The U.S. Supreme Court has passed on making a substantive ruling on civil forfeiture matters, specifically pertaining to vehicles.

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

In some cases, police seize cars, homes — with no charges filed

Challenges coming from all sides

And Cardella’s isn’t the only suit challenging Indiana’s statute.

Sam Gedge, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit based in Arlington, Va., filed a lawsuit in February (Jeana M. Horner, Dennis Jack Horner, et al. v. Terry R. Curry, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, et al.) in Marion Superior Court charging the IMPD and prosecutors with violating the Indiana Constitution by not forwarding all civil forfeiture proceeds to the state’s common school fund.

Instead, the county is keeping 100 percent of the money in a “policing for profit” scheme, the institute said.

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indy civil forfeiture lawsuit will proceed

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department divvy up all the money received from civil forfeitures based on a 30/70 split, according to the lawsuit.

The case has yet to be decided.

Regarding Washington and Cardella’s lawsuit, Gedge said, “There are two fundamental problems which make it a serious assault on property rights: It allows law enforcement to seize property, that’s ripe for abuse. And what makes the process more pernicious, (is that law enforcement) is seizing a direct stake in property.”

Cardella, said while it’s not likely that the case will go to the Supreme Court, “I hope it does.”

Cardella, who lives in a rural area outside of Indianapolis, said he prizes his privacy and freedoms as an American.

Citing the Join, or Die political cartoon of a snake cut into pieces drawn by Benjamin Franklin in 1754, Cardella believes in the collective power of the people to unite against tyranny and unfairness.

He sees current civil forfeiture laws as the government’s way of trampling on citizens’ rights.

“This is the kind of case that made me want to go to law school.”

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana could be a $35 billion market by 2020

Published: July 15, 2015 1:36 p.m. ET

 

If all 50 states were to fully legalize pot, it could generate big sales

 

By

KathleenBurke

Reporter

If all 50 U.S. states were to approve the consumption of marijuana for medical and recreational use, it could become a $35 billion market by 2020.

That’s according to GreenWave Advisors, an industry research firm that tracks retail sales in the four states and the District of Columbia that have already legalized it. Those markets have experienced explosive growth since marijuana was approved, demonstrating the strong opportunity for industry players and state governments eager to gather the tax on sales and replenish their coffers.

The sale of recreational marijuana in Washington began July 8, 2014, and has steadily grown to $31.9 million in June from $2 million in that first month, or a total of nearly $180 million for the first 12 months, according to an analysis by Marijuana Business Daily of data from the state’s Liquor Control Board.

The Washington market is catching up on recreational sales in Colorado, which began in January 2014. Colorado state retailers brought in about $305 million in sales in 2014, according to GreenWave Advisors.

See also: Get marijuana on demand for $95 a month

Analysts attribute the growth in sales to a variety of factors, primarily the conversion of a long-existing black market to a regulated one.

“We’ve never had an industry that was a black market industry of this size,” said Leslie Bocskor, founder of cannabis industry consulting firm Electrum Partners.

Steve Gormley, chief business development officer at OSL Holdings, Inc. (OSLH), a company focused on consumer advocacy and social activism, compared legalization to the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933.

“As was the case in advance of the federal repeal of alcohol prohibition, there is a landscape of opportunity in states that allow for the use of recreational or medical marijuana,” Gormley said.

Analysts identify California as the watershed state that would lead to the rest of the country approving full legalization. State voters will decide on the issue on the November 2016 ballot.

“California is the big kahuna,” said Matt Karnes, founder of GreenWave Advisors.

Gormley agreed. “…It is a tremendous market, with its proximity to Washington and Colorado, there is an advantage from a revenue standpoint of legalizing recreational, and we will start to see other states moving rapidly in the same direction.”

As the recreational industry grows, there will be increasing opportunities for businesses to enter the market.

“This is an industry that is allowing people to come in and start businesses that they otherwise might not have been able to start,” Bocskor said. “The events and pressures—pressure for regulation of markets, federal legality versus state legality—create a unique business environment never seen before.”

See also: Marijuana moms shatter the grass ceiling

Though the budding market might seem attractive to potential investors, Gormley advises careful research before dedicating funds.

“The reality is you want to make investments in companies with solid fundamentals rather than concepts, specifically publicly traded companies in the space,” Gormley said. “If investors are going to go in privately, you need to have a well-developed network of people inside the industry. There are a lot of crooks out there, and investors can get fleeced. ”

Despite the potential risks, analysts expect the market to continue its upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.

“It will eventually plateau, but we still have a few years of growth,” Bocskor said. “Growth begets growth.”

More from MarketWatch

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana breath test being developed at Washington State University

In this photo made Friday, Nov. 21, 2014,  former U.S. Marine Sgt. Ryan Begin rolls a medical marijuana joint at his home in Belfast, Maine. The Pine Tree State might be high on marijuana in 2016, sparking a charge toward legalization that has previously been the province of western states. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) ** FILE **

 

By Jessica Chasmar – The Washington Times – Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scientists at Washington State University are working to develop a breath test, similar to a breathalyzer, that would help law enforcement officers more quickly determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana.

Currently, officers must use blood tests to determine if THC is present in a driver’s blood, and the results are never immediate. WSU chemistry professor Herbert Hill said existing technologies like those used by TSA agents to detect drugs and explosives in real time on airline passengers can also be altered to test breath for THC, the News Tribune reported.

Mr. Hill said he and WSU doctoral student Jessica Tufariello are working on a handheld device that uses a technique called ion mobility spectrometry. They plan to develop a prototype this year, then start testing human breath between January and June of 2015, Mr. Hill told the News Tribune.

The Washington State Patrol said it welcomes anything that gets impaired drivers off the road.

Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, and users driving while high has become an increasing concern. The number of suspected impaired drivers in Washington who tested positive for active THC rose from 18.6 percent to 25 percent for the first year legalization was in effect, the News Tribune reported.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/30/marijuana-breath-test-being-developed-at-washingto/#ixzz3Kn4FFX5j
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Judge dismisses federal lawsuit over "forced catheterization"

 

 

Updated: 10:38 am | Published: 12:27 am

Reported by: Jonelle Merrill
Written by: Jonelle Merrill

Gavel (ABC 4 News)

Gavel (ABC 4 News)

SANPETE COUNTY, (ABC 4 News) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit involving a young man who believes his constitutional rights were violated when police forced a catheter inside him.

Stephan Cook, 22, brought the lawsuit against several law enforcement officers in Sanpete County and Ephraim City, claiming that they performed a forced catheterization on him, after he refused a drug test in 2008 while attending Snow College.

As the plaintiff in the case, Cook claims the incident in question started on a quiet side road in Ephraim where he was parked smoking cigarettes inside a car with friends. Cook says police officers approached the car, suspecting the young men were smoking marijuana.

“When they approached us, they said it smelled like marijuana, but we said no, we’re smoking cigarettes and we just put the cigarettes out like you asked us to,” says Cook.

Cook refused to offer a urine sample after the cops demanded it numerous times. He adds that he repeatedly asked for an attorney to be present.

 
After obtaining what Cook’s attorneys call a “botched” search warrant, he was forced by police to be catheterized at Sanpete County Hospital.

“The nurse told the officers to hold my shoulders while they catherized me, and after that they took me straight to jail,” said Cook.

According to the attorneys, Sanpete County Hospital still has not produced the urine sample as evidence, or even a record of Cook coming to the hospital. They say it further adds to their belief that the law enforcement agencies involved did not follow correct procedure.

 
Criminal defense attorney Lindsay Jarvis calls the forced catheterization the ultimate violation of her client’s civil rights. “I would say anybody who’s in that position would feel as though they were sexually assaulted – yes. You’ve got a female nurse who is unbuttoning his pants while another individual holds him down. And then, they stick an object into his private parts.”

Prior to filing his civil lawsuit, Cook fought the case in criminal court, where he accepted a plea of abeyance. The agreement allowed him to admit to one count of possession of marijuana and a fine, in exchange for dropping the rest of the charges against him. According to Cook’s legal team, the federal judge dismissed his civil lawsuit partially due to the fact that Cook had previously admitted guilt. However, both Cook and his attorneys say the plea of abeyance was made under duress. The attorneys, who plan to appeal, say the ruling to dismiss the case on those grounds is just plain wrong. “Irrespective of whether he committed this crime, that’s irrelevant to whether they’re entitled to forcibly catheterize him,” said attorney Justin Heideman.

Peter Stirba, defense counsel for the Sanpete County officers issued this statement in response to the dismissal of the lawsuit: “The officers’ behavior was fully justified and certainly was not violative of any of Mr. Cook’s constitutional rights.”

Cook’s mother who is a fellow police officer for a different city strongly opposes the defense counsel’s statement, calling this a matter of police brutality.

“This is a story of contemptive cops. He (Stephan) wouldn’t voluntarily pee, and they were gonna do whatever it took to get his urine – period,” said Stephan Cook’s mother Holly Ziegenhorn.

Cook wants to keep fighting and move forward with an appeal. He says he does not want another person to have to go through what he did. “I never wanted this to happen. I’m willing to stand up for everybody else who can’t,” said Cook.

CONTINUE READING…

Judge Scalia On How “Easy” It Is to Deny You Your Rights

 

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has again treated us to his “textualist” reading of the Constitution, telling an American Enterprise Institute audience that unfettered abortion access, “homosexual sodomy” and the retiring of the death penalty are all “easy” to decide against.

Reports Seattle Pi:

“The death penalty? It’s easy. Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy,” Scalia told the AEI faithful.

[…]

“Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion,” Scalia added. “Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Scalia’s mantra is that the Constitution is not to be treated as a living, breathing document whose promise of Liberty evolves with its people, but rather an iron-clad relic that should be read as it was set down, and in only that way.

This illuminating talk from Scalia comes as several marriage equality cases stand ready to be taken up by the Supreme Court, a number that will directly challenge the federal law that bans the government from recognizing same-sex marriages, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Another case on the Supreme Court’s docket in the coming months, likely after the November elections it would now seem, will be the Proposition 8 case where a federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the voting majority of California violated state and federal guarantees of equal protection in 2008 by defining away the right to marry a same-sex partner.

Scalia, a Reagan appointee, has sat on the bench for much of the life of the gay rights struggle. He has consistently found cause to rule against gay rights. Most notably, Scalia dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that would serve to eventually make unenforceable state level bans on sodomy.

In the dissent Scalia, while terming the sodomy ban “facially neutral” even though the Texas ban applied solely to homosexual acts, wrote:

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct…. [T]he Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed.

While this may give us a rather face-slapping clue as to Scalia’s overall opinion of gay rights, the case may be of particular interest in that, with his dissent, Scalia found room to criticize the Court’s majority for its concern over the criminalization of sodomy leading to discrimination, citing that this ignored the will of the people:

So imbued is the Court with the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously “mainstream”; that in most States what the Court calls “discrimination” against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal.

Proposition 8′s defenders have harped, seemingly to play a tune to which a conservative judiciary might hum, that the voting people of California, through the democratic process, decided against gay marriage and therefore the will of the people should stand — this of course sidesteps the fact that minority rights will nearly always and by their nature find disfavor at a majority poll.

While Scalia’s approach to law, his “textualist” attitude, seems to give him easy answers on topics like abortion restriction and, to quote again “homosexual sodomy,” one can’t help but feel that a judge who knows how he will rule before he has heard the individual cases at hand might be going in with a level of bias that is, to say the least, concerning.

However, for those of us familiar with Scalia’s views on a variety of topics, none perhaps more eyebrow-raising than his refrain that sex discrimination is Constitutionally sound, Scalia’s latest volley against reason and equality, and his apparent admission that being a Supreme Court justice is “easy” when it comes to issues like these, will not be a surprise.

Equal rights proponents were never looking to Scalia for affirmation, but then Scalia’s celebrity has already been cemented among religious conservatives, legislators like Scott Brown, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who has said he would be looking to appoint similarly minded judges.

Scalia’s latest AEI talk serves, then, as a healthy reminder of what that would mean for America.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/judge-scalia-on-how-easy-it-is-to-deny-you-your-rights.html#ixzz291bcIFf0