Category Archives: Arrested For Standing Up For Your Rights

Woman holds an upside-down American flag from a moving vehicle as she takes part in protest near the Ferguson Police Station in Ferguson

4 journalists arrested during Ferguson protests sue police

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four journalists arrested during last summer’s Ferguson protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown filed a federal lawsuit Monday against St. Louis County police and 20 of its officers, accusing them of violating the reporters’ civil rights and unjustifiably detaining them.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in St. Louis, alleges the arrests for the journalists’ failure to disperse as demanded by police on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19 were “undertaken with the intention of obstructing, chilling, deterring, and retaliating against (the) plaintiffs for engaging in constitutionally protected speech, newsgathering and recording of police activities.”

The plaintiffs include Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept online investigative publication, as well as Ansgar Graw — a correspondent with the conservative German daily Die Welt — and reporter Frank Herrmann, who writes for German regional papers. The other plaintiff is freelance journalist Lukas Hermsmeier.

The lawsuit, which identifies the journalists as U.S. citizens and says they spent hours in custody, seeks unspecified damages and a court order barring county police from future alleged infringements of media access “to policing activities.”

Peter Krane, the county counselor, said Monday he had not seen the lawsuit and deferred discussing it publicly until he had an opportunity to do so.

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Police sued for tasering passenger during traffic stop

A federal lawsuit filed Monday accuses Indiana police of excessive force after officers smashed a woman’s car window with children inside, tasered an unarmed passenger and dragged him out of the vehicle during a routine traffic stop last month.

Police, though, say they feared the passenger might have a weapon after he refused to step out the vehicle and reached toward the rear seats.

The incident was captured on video by both police and the alleged victims. At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 24, Hammond police pulled over Lisa Mahone as she drove with a friend, Jamal Jones, and her two children, to visit her mother in the hospital.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Indiana, an officer told Mahone she was being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and asked to see both her driver’s license and Jones’ identification. Mahone produced her license, but Jones told the officer he did not have his license because he had been ticketed for not paying his insurance, and offered to show them the ticket. The officer refused, according to Jones, and ordered him to step out of the car. According to the suit, Jones refused, fearing “the officers would harm him.”

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But Hammond police say Jones “refused to lower the window more than a small amount” and refused to provide his name. The officer then called for backup, requesting a video-equipped squad car.

It was around this time, police say, that Mahone shifted the car into drive. When officers warned her they had placed a “stop strip” that would puncture her tires in front of the vehicle, she pleaded with them to let her go.

“Just give me a ticket for no seatbelt so I can go to the hospital because the doctor called me to tell me to come in because my mom is about to pass away,” Mahone can be heard telling officers who were continuing to ask Jones to get out of the car.

After police warned Jones if he didn’t step out of the car they would have to do it for him, an officer broke the passenger window with a club. According to the lawsuit, the club struck Jones in the shoulder and caused shards of glass to hit the four passengers.

The officers then tasered Jones and forcibly removed him from car, placing him under arrest. He was charged with resisting arrest, according to the suit. “At no point during this entire encounter did Jamal physically resist the officers in any way,” the lawsuit states.

But in a statement, Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said the officers were “at all times acting in the interest of officer safety and in accordance with Indiana law.”

“In general, police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside of a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officer’s safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion,” Hoyda said. “When the passenger displayed movements inside of the stopped vehicle that included placing his hand in places where the officer could not see, officers’ concerns for their safety were heightened.”

The case is the latest in a series involving officers accused of using excessive force. Last month, a South Carolina Highway Patrol officer was charged with armed aggravated assault after he shot an unarmed driver who had reached into his car to retrieve his license. The shooting was captured on the officer’s dash cam.

The shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August sparked nightly demonstrations that included heavily armed militarized police clashing with protesters in the St. Louis suburb. That shooting, which was not captured on video, led to calls from lawmakers for police to wear video cameras on their uniforms.

One of the officers named in the Mahone’s suit, Patrick Vicari, “has been named as a defendant in at least three previous lawsuits involving excessive use of force against citizens.”

Cops Beat & Kidnap 12-yo Girl in Front of her Home, Claiming She was a Prostitute

When her mother and father came outside after hearing her cries for help she was desperately holding a tree with one arm while plainclothes officers were beating her in the head, neck and throat.

Dymond Milburn, now 20-years-old, was an honor student attending advanced classes at Austin Middle School, when her life would be forever scarred by Galveston police.

On the night of August 22, 2006 at 7:45 PM, Emily Milburn was preparing her children for school the next day, when a breaker broke, cutting off electricity to the family’s home. Emily asked her daughter, Dymond, to go outside and hit the switch, located downstairs and outside the house.

When Dymond went outside the house toward the breaker box, a blue van drove up to the house and three men jumped out and start attacking her. One of the men grabbed Dymond and said “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.”

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Retired Police Captain: Feds Use Provocateurs to Influence Public Opinion

A retired Philadelphia, Penn., police captain recently said the federal government routinely uses provocateurs against demonstrators to discredit them in the eyes of the public.

Capt. Ray Lewis, who retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2004 after serving 24 years and was present during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, said undercover provocateurs “infiltrated Occupy Wall Street like crazy” as a way to influence public opinion against the protestors, a strategy which is also used against other movements critical of the establishment.

“That’s the easiest way to destroy a movement,” he stated. “Let’s say you have Occupy. Either the police, Homeland Security or corporate America – Wall Street – will hire one of their security officers to go out there and burn the American flag, so now you have one of these guys burning an American flag and he’s not an Occupier, he’s not with the protestors, but guess what gets shown all across America?”

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“All mainstream America, sitting at home in their middle-class neighborhoods, see this one guy burning an American flag or another one urinating on a police car who is also an undercover agent and then think ‘oh my God, that whole protest – that whole movement – is corrupt and I don’t want anything to do with it.’”

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