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  1. #1
    Sheriff's Avatar
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    False Accusations

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/s...omplaints.html

    Court: False accusations against police are protected speech
    3:04 p.m. May 15, 2006

    SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to consider reinstating a California law adopted after the Rodney King beating that made it a crime to knowingly lodge false accusations against police officers.

    The justices, without comment, let stand a November decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the law was an unconstitutional infringement of speech because false statements in support of officers, or sometimes even by the police officers, was not criminalized.

    That decision was hailed by civil liberties groups and opposed by the California District Attorneys Association and law enforcement groups.

    Monday's action nullifies a 2002 decision by the California Supreme Court, which had ruled that free speech concerns took a back seat when it came to speech targeting police officers.

    California lawmakers enacted the measure following a flood of hostile complaints against police officers statewide following King's 1991 taped beating. Adopted in 1995, the law was punishable by up to six months in jail.

    The challenge was brought by Darren Chaker, now 34 of Beverly Hills, who was convicted in San Diego County in 1999 of making a false complaint against an El Cajon police officer.

    Chaker was originally arrested for theft of service for retrieving his car from a mechanic without paying - charges that were later dropped. He complained that the arresting officer, without provocation, hit him in the ribs and twisted his wrist.

    He was convicted of making up the story and sentenced to two days in custody, 15 days of community service and three years' probation.

    After appealing unsuccessfully to state courts and a federal judge, Chaker won a ruling in November from the San Francisco federal appeals court.

    Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office, backed by law enforcement groups, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided not to hear the case Monday.

    Lockyer's office declined comment.

    Chaker was relieved.

    "This sends a message about what society's willing to accept or not accept to protect their police officers," he said. "It's not my victory. It's a victory for everybody."

    In 2002, the California Supreme Court upheld the law and the 30-day sentences of two Oxnard residents who complained that an Oxnard police officer exposed himself to about 50 teenagers at an awards banquet. Monday's action undercuts that precedent.

    The Oxnard Police Department said it investigated the couple's allegations and could not corroborate them, so Ventura County prosecutors tried and convicted the two.

    California's justices, in ruling against the pair's First Amendment challenge, said the potential harm from false reports could damage an officer's credibility and even waste police resources investigating the complaints.

    The case is Crogan v. Chaker, 05-1118.

  2. #2
    StanSwitek's Avatar
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    This simply reenforces that police personnel are entitled to a lesser version of the constitution. To me, it is amazing that that the court is seemingly saying that the first amendment even applies to criminal acts. This is really sad. LE puts their lives on the line daily. We deserve better than this.

  3. #3
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    TheeBadOne is offline Why so serious?
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    "When I'm driving along and I see a sign that says, CAUTION: SMALL CHILDREN AHEAD,
    I slow down, and then it occurs to me, I'm not afraid of small children"!

  4. #4
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    One of my friends here has a saying, "Ya don't lie to the po-po!" Apparantly this doesn't apply in Cali.

    I hate politicians.
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  5. #5
    Curt581 is offline Whatever
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    What did you expect from the 9th Circus?


  6. #6
    2209's Avatar
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    Curt beat me to the punch, but I was going to say the same thing.

    That is the 9th Circuit for you. They are a bastion of liberalism.

  7. #7
    lepdford's Avatar
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    The loop hole here is get them to write the lie down...then jam a false report charge so far up their ass they will never forget it!!!

    I win...
    K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!

    Go ahead run...I'll even give you a head start!

    When the public needs help, they call the Police.
    When the Police needs help, they call SWAT.
    When SWAT needs help, they call K-9!

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  8. #8
    Sheriff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lepdford
    The loop hole here is get them to write the lie down...then jam a false report charge so far up their ass they will never forget it!!!

    I win...
    This was tried in New York a few years ago.
    It backfired on the officers miserably.

  9. #9
    FishTail Guest
    We'd run wasting police time or perverting the course of justice here.

    (Yeah, right!)

  10. #10
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    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    WE have a thing where it was passed that if someone wants to make a complaint that the Sgt or anyone else cannot take the complaint without a Sworn Affidavit. If it comes back not sustained or anything else like that then we can sue the Mope making the complaint. Granted I don't think the State will brick Mickey the Mopes Link card. (Link Card=Welfare)
    http://www.lawenforcementforums.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic763_2.gif

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  11. #11
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongTail
    We'd run wasting police time or perverting the course of justice here.

    (Yeah, right!)
    Theres only one type of hope on that No hope. They did give someone a ticket for wasting police time for reporting a robbery in my force.

    I am at present trying to get the federation to look at a complaint against me but thats not getting very far they said it wasn't defamation of character to accuse someone of assault when he was 1/2 a mile away at the time.

  12. #12
    lepdford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff
    This was tried in New York a few years ago.
    It backfired on the officers miserably.
    Really??? That is terrible...We do it here regularly, and the DA's office prosecutes them.
    K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!

    Go ahead run...I'll even give you a head start!

    When the public needs help, they call the Police.
    When the Police needs help, they call SWAT.
    When SWAT needs help, they call K-9!

    Duty not Reward

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lepdford
    Really??? That is terrible...We do it here regularly, and the DA's office prosecutes them.
    Yes, the guy who was impaled with a broomstick by 4 or 5 NYPD officers filed a criminal report of the incident. It was written off as fake and he was charged with it. Once one of the officers turned state's evidence and admitted the event did take place, NYPD realized they had falsely accused the guy of filing a false report.

    You have to be real careful when charging somebody with filing a false report.

  14. #14
    lepdford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff
    Yes, the guy who was impaled with a broomstick by 4 or 5 NYPD officers filed a criminal report of the incident. It was written off as fake and he was charged with it. Once one of the officers turned state's evidence and admitted the event did take place, NYPD realized they had falsely accused the guy of filing a false report.

    You have to be real careful when charging somebody with filing a false report.
    Ahhh...I see. They filed the case before a thorough investigation was completed. I can see where that would be a problem.
    K-9 When the door pops...The bullshit stops!

    Go ahead run...I'll even give you a head start!

    When the public needs help, they call the Police.
    When the Police needs help, they call SWAT.
    When SWAT needs help, they call K-9!

    Duty not Reward

  15. #15
    Sheriff's Avatar
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    This is the way I recall it happening.....

    Bad guy arrested for something.

    While in custody, for whatever reason, 4 or 5 cops took him in men's rest room and stuck a brromstick up in him.

    Bad guy spills his guts out to media.

    Cops go on TV smiling and smirking calling the bad guy a liar.

    After about a month, for whatever reason, one of the cops couldn't live with it any longer. He turned state's evidence and told the truth, that it was indeed true.

    Before this cop turned state's evidence, I don't think there ever was an investigation into the bad guy's accusation. Everybody assumed he was lying because the cops involved said he was lying.

    Speculation here ----> I imagine he became a very rich man.

  16. #16
    FishTail Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff

    While in custody, for whatever reason, 4 or 5 cops took him in men's rest room and stuck a brromstick up in him.

    Bad guy spills his guts out to media.
    Did he have any guts left to spill?

  17. #17
    Sheriff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongTail
    Did he have any guts left to spill?
    Ahhhhhh...... you're so mean!

  18. #18
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Sheriff, I don't think this would be a problem as long as you weren't being charged for False Reporting at the drop of a hat. My department does it ere all the time. Someone who wants to make a complaint comes in and signs a statement form. If, during the course of the investigation, it is found that the report was maliciously false, then they're charged municipally.

    It's just like charging anybody else with a crime...as long as there is probable cause for the charge yielded by a thorough investigation, then we let fly.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  19. #19
    StanSwitek's Avatar
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    Anyone remember the Tawana Brawley case?????

    This is an example of why we have laws making it a crim to make a false report of a crime.



    The Tawana Brawley Hoax

    On November 28, 1987 Joyce Lloray happened to look out of her apartment's sliding glass door in time to see a black girl climb into a big green plastic garbage bag and then lay still on the cold, muddy ground. Mrs. Lloray called the Duchess County Sheriff's Department, setting into motion a chain of bizarre and tragic events that made the quiet little town of Wappingers Falls, New York -- population 5,000 -- the focus of national attention.
    The girl in the trash bag on the grounds of the Pavillion Condominiums was 15-year-old Tawana Brawley. Four days earlier she had played hooky from school in order to visit a former boyfriend, Todd Buxton, who was incarcerated at the Orange County Jail in nearby Newburgh. That evening Tawana took a bus to the town of Wappingers, where she had lived with her mother in Apartment 19A at the Pavillion Condominiums prior to their moving to Wappingers Falls. According to Tawana, she was abducted by several white men shortly after she got off the bus; the men, one of whom wore a badge, took her to a wooded area and sexually abused her over a period of several days.
    When police and paramedics arrived at the Pavillion Condominiums in response to Joyce Lloray's call, they found Tawana's clothes torn, cut and partially burned. Her body and clothing were smeared with feces, and on her chest and torso the words "KKK," "NIGGER" and "BITCH" had been written with what appeared to be charcoal. Since it seemed that Tawana's civil rights had been violated, the FBI was called in. A rape kit was administered at St. Francis Hospital and sent under seal to an FBI lab for analysis. Interviewed at the hospital by a black officer from the Poughkeepsie Police Department, Tawana claimed she had been repeatedly raped by a group of white men but could provide no names or descriptions of her assailants. She later told others that there had been no rape, only other kinds of sexual abuse. Forensic tests found no evidence that a sexual assault of any kind had occurred. Nor was there any evidence of exposure to elements, which would be expected in a victim held for several days in the woods at a time when the temperature dropped below freezing at night.
    There were other discrepancies in Tawana's story. She was seen entering the empty apartment at Pavillion where she had once lived on the morning after the alleged abduction. Other witnesses claimed to have seen her at parties in a nearby town during the period when she was "missing." She had no bruises, contusions, scratches or other injuries except for a small bruise behind the left ear, which was determined to be several days old. Her mother, Glenda Brawley, was spotted at the apartment complex shortly before Tawana was seen getting into the garbage bag; the mother waited until that same afternoon to report Tawana's "disappearance" to the police. The investigation turned up evidence to indicate that the damage done to Tawana's clothing had occurred in the apartment. According to the grand jury report, all of "the items and instrumentalities necessary to create the condition in which Tawana Brawley appeared on Saturday, November 28, were present inside of or in the immediate vicinity of Apartment 19A." The feces had come from a neighbor's dog.
    The Tawana Brawley case was quickly seized upon by a trio of black activists who viewed it as a means by which to demonstrate that the police and judicial system were racist and corrupt. Attorney Alton H. Maddox had been beaten by a white mob as a teenager in Newnan, Georgia; confrontational and virulently anti-white, Maddox seemed at times less interested in justice than in the potential for conflict that high profile cases like Tawana Brawley's provided. C. Vernon Mason, another New York attorney, also used cases to drum up publicity and address wider issues. Al Sharpton was a flamboyant Pentecostal preacher who spent $2,000 a year for hair care at Brooklyn's Prima Donna Beauty Salon; his hunger for celebrity caused some to question both his motives and methods. Maddox, Mason and Sharpton had joined forces before, in the Howard Beach case a year earlier. Several black men had been accosted by a white mob and one of them, Michael Griffith, was chased out onto a highway where he was struck by a vehicle and killed. In previous cases, Maddox and Mason had used the tactic of non-cooperation, refusing to let their clients testify in an effort to facilitate a "miscarriage of justice" in which the perpetrator(s) would get off. In this way they could heighten the outrage of the black community and claim the result proved that the judicial system discriminated against blacks.
    The trio muzzled Tawana Brawley and claimed everyone from the local police to New York Governor Mario Cuomo was engaged in a cover-up. The Brawley camp eventually accused Harry Crist, Jr., a part-time police officer, after Crist committed suicide on December 2, and Steven A. Pagones, a Duchess County district attorney, of participating in the alleged abduction and rape. Further investigation revealed that Crist had killed himself for reasons unconnected with the Brawley case, while Pagones' testimony convinced the Poughkeepsie grand jury that he was not involved in any wrongdoing. Undeterred, Maddox, Mason and Sharpton staged numerous media events, from news conferences and rallies to appearances on television shows like Phil Donahue and The Morton Downey, Jr. Show to keep national attention focused on the case.
    As time went on, the public grew increasingly skeptical of Tawana Brawley's charges and the ill-advised tactics of her handlers. When Tawana's mother was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury and failed to do so, a warrant for her arrest was issued; Maddox, Mason and Sharpton took her to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in New York City and organized a rally, hoping (in vain) that the authorities would force their way into the church and seize her. Two of Sharpton's associates quit, claiming the reverend had known all along that the case was a hoax. Other black leaders criticized Brawley's advisers -- Ray Innes of the Congress of Racial Equality and attorney Conrad Lynn among them. They feared the hoax and the antics of publicity hounds like Sharpton would prove detrimental to the cause of racial equality.
    After seven months of examining police and medical records and listening to the testimony of over one hundred witnesses, the grand jury determined that Tawana's charges were false and that her condition when found had been self-inflicted. The question remained: Why had she lied? One hypothesis was that since Tawana had already been grounded on the day she skipped school to visit her ex-boyfriend, she had made up the story of her abduction in order to avoid further punishment.

  20. #20
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    The Aftermath
    The Brawley case resurfaced a decade later when Steven Pagones filed a defamation suit against Maddox, Mason and Sharpton; he had already won a default judgment against Tawana in 1991. By 1997, Tawana had moved to Washington and changed her name to Maryam Muhammad. She returned to New York to speak before a rally at Brooklyn's Bethany Baptist Church in support of her advisers, insisting that she had told the truth about the abduction. The court found otherwise. Her advisers were ordered to pay Pagones $345,000 while Tawana had to pay $185,000. "Tawana Brawley appears caught up in her own fiction," said New York State Supreme Court Justice S. Barrett Hickman. Unfortunately, the rest of the country had to be caught up in it, too.

 

 
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