I have been following the racial problems in Ferguson. These racial problems should not surprise the public. America needs to recognize that the interaction between the police and minority citizens is not the result of a single abhorrent act, but is the result of 40 years of mis-directed police policy and criminal justice orientation.
To be specific, in a Ph.D. dissertation, “The Economics Of Criminal Deterrence: A Public Policy Approach”, written in 78/79, I identified that the process of stigmatizing young people through more vigorous arrest policies and increased criminal prosecution would have only one effect, creating more criminals.
Concurrent with the increased law enforcement emphases on arrest & incarceration, police departments shifted from beat officers and 2 person cars to one person patrol cars and motorized patrol in place of foot patrol.
This shift had two effects,  the officers no longer had day to day personal contact with the residence of the community that they patrolled. Their interactions were reactive, based on some problem that they were assigned to deal with. When the beat patrol person walked the neighborhood he, (there were almost no female beat officers in the 30 years following WW II), would get to know the residence, their kids and would know who belonged and who did not belong. The residence of the beat area learned to trust their local officer, and there was real communications between them. Residence were not afraid of their local officer, and thus had less fear of the police in general.
The second effect was an unanticipated consequence of going to single officer reactive patrol policies. The officers no longer had a partner who would watch their back and who would help defuse situations through the good cop bad cop interplay. Officers in one person patrol cars were exposed to a much higher potential threat level, even though the likelihood of a violent encounter initiated by a citizen was not appreciably higher, the type of injury became potentially more serious. Police departments responded to this by training the officers in the Command Personality and the Command Voice. (Translated this means take immediate control, do not try to have a low keyed approach or interaction.)
As officers became curter, and less personal in their interaction, they were seen by the majority of the poor and minority citizenry as being hostile and aggressive. Not surprisingly the citizenry responded with their own “attitude” towards the police. (“Why are you hassling me?” Rather than “I’m sorry officer, what can I do for you.”) This cycle has continued with the police being more aggressive, being less willing to have citizens criticize them, and officer believing that they have to engaging in “attitude adjustment” when the citizen does not show sufficient respect.
As a final escalation in this cycle, officers began to call for backup, bringing other officers to the location. These officers arrive expecting the worst, high on adrenaline, and act accordingly.
This is simply a vicious cycle that has continued and intensified. A few months ago I heard an officer testify that he had to be more aggressive and use handcuffs on almost everyone that he encounters because people are watching MMA and becoming more fit.
In the business world there is an expression that managers “drink their own bath water”. This is what the law enforcement community is doing. They tell each other how dangerous the job is and how they “took the bad guy down”. All you have to do is listen to the interviews on T.V. to see their fear and their repetition of how dangerous the job is. But no one asks if the number of officers shot has increase in real terms, or if more officers are being injured due to MMA trained perpetrators. The one un-asked question is “when were you last faced with a gun totting suspect who threatened you with their gun?” If this question is asked, the answer will, in most cases, be NEVER. Yet, this is the justification for more and more Constitutional violations.
The point is that the attempts to save money by having one person patrols, and eliminating the beat officer, have resulted in an increase in the fear felt by officers, and in their very understandable, but improper response, the use of increased force and the lack of any tolerance for a citizen with an “attitude”.
When you add that to the trend towards more and longer incarceration for trivial violation, the natural consequence is that more people are being stigmatized, excluded from good jobs, good society, and good people and driven towards association with the “bad people”.
The problems in Ferguson are not limited to that community, but are endemic to communities across the nation. The solutions to these problems is not to make the police more military, but to make the officers part of the community, to go back to 2 person cars, and the de-escalation of the Command Personality in citizen police encounter. This is a process that will take a generation to show real results as it has taken over 50 years to develop the distrust and antagonism that we see in the street of America today.
Media and the average citizen need to be educated to try to get an accurate picture of the threat that officers face, (in general and in specific situations), and assess the unanticipated consequences of the move towards greater reliance on technology and the increasingly reactive nature of police- citizen interactions that the use of technology is creating.
Law enforcement officers are bound by the law, just like any other person. Considering the power they can wield, they are held to a high standard that protects your civil and constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure. They must have reasonable cause and they must follow procedures when they enter into a person's life or detain someone.
TAGS: CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER, CIVIL RIGHTS LAW FIRM SAN JOSE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER, SAN JOSE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER
The shooting of Henry Glover in New Orleans, after Katrina leveled the City, demonstrates why the average citizen should be concerned with their safety when they encounter the police. Most police officers are just hardworking, honest people trying to do their job. But some, like officer Warren, are just dangerous.
According to Warren’s partner, officer Howard, he wanted to stop by his house first, and then go to the station. She testified "He came out with an assault rifle," saying he needed its protection and asking if she wanted one, She told him no. Warren was obviously afraid of the people he had to deal with.
Was he afraid because of lack of training, or was he just psychologically not able to work with the public? Only the police department knows since they do psychological testing of potential officers and manage and design their training.
One thing is known, and that is no matter whose story you believe, Mr. Glover was either running away from the police, and was no threat, or he was just standing there, with his brother, again no threat to the police. It is undisputed that Glover was not seen with a gun.
The police are allowed to use force to make an arrest, but only the force that is needed to make the arrest. When it comes to excess force, the standard is was the force used reasonable. The use of overly tight handcuffs can be excess force, and the use of sniper rifle can be reasonable. The determination is based on the nature of the crime, the threat posed by the “criminal”, whether the “criminal” is trying to escape. If the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape. Otherwise deadly force cannot be used.
Even if the officers believed that Mr. Glover had committed prior crimes they could not use deadly force. "The mere commission of prior crimes does not justify the use of deadly force." Haugen v. Brosseau, 339 F.3d 857, 861 (9th Cir. 2003).
The "most important" factor under Graham is whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others. When the police claim to feel threatened before they shoot a person, such a statement is not enough; there must be objective factors to justify such a concern. For example, when an individual points his gun in the officers' direction, the Constitution undoubtedly entitles the officer to respond with deadly force, when the gun is pointed towards the ground the police cannot just shoot. George v. Morris, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15579 (9th Cir. Cal. July 30, 2013).
No reasonable officer would think that they could shot Mr. Glover, who was either walking away or just standing around.
Remember, if you do not stand up for your own rights, you will soon have no rights. If you think your rights have been violated, contact Kallis & Associates.
The police officers who killed a mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas , claim that he was struggling so hard that they had to ask dispatchers to broadcast an urgent call for backup. Numerous officers arrived at the scene and used their batons, fists and even a taster gun to beat Kelly Thomas senseless. They claim that this was following department policy. If their actions followed department policy those policies need to be changed and the people who ratified them fired.
The law is fairly clear that mentally ill individuals need to be handled and dealt with in a different way than individuals who are not mentally ill. When police are confronted by an unarmed, emotionally distraught individual who has committed no serious crime, as opposed to an armed and dangerous criminal, the governmental interest in using force is diminished, not strengthened, even when the suspect is irrational and inviting the use of force. Deorle v. Rutherford, 272 F.3d 1272, 1284-85 (9th Cir 2001) also Marshall v City of Portland 2004 U.S. Dist Lexis 8764.
Even when an emotionally disturbed individual is "acting out" and inviting officers to use deadly force to subdue him, the governmental interest in using such force is diminished by the fact that the officers are confronted, not with a person who has committed a serious crime against others, but with a mentally ill individual. Where it is or should be apparent to the officers that the individual involved is emotionally disturbed, that is a factor that must be considered in determining the reasonableness of the force used.
The beating of a person to the point of death is the use of deadly force. Deadly force can only be used when there is a fear of imminent death or grievous (serious) bodily harm. These officers set out to f**k up Mr .Thomas and in doing so they inflicted terrible injury on him. When these officers finish their criminal trial they will then have to face a civil rights trial for the use of excess force. If they are found to have used excess force, the police department could have to pay a very large sum of money.
The only way to change police behavior is to make the violation of your civil rights cost them something. If you believe that you have been the victim of excess force, false arrest, illegal search or seizure call Kallis & Associates P.C. us so we can help you.
TAGS: Civil Rights, Police Misconduct, Excessive Force, False Arrest, Illegal Search and Seizure, Civil Rights Attorney, Police Misconduct Attorney, Excessive Force Attorney, False Arrest Attorney, Illegal Search and SeizureAttorney
FIRST, after the event is over, get witness statements, find out if there are any video recordings or tape recordings. If there are, get copies of them and put them away. (Do not destroy any recordings or other evidence.)
SECOND, If you have any physical injuries, immediately seek medical attention. A nurse’s report or an x-ray can show the degree of physical injury. Not all injuries show up immediately, so take a picture of the injuries every few days. Have a copy of the daily newspaper in the photo.
THREE, California and Washington plus the Federal Government require that a TORT CLAIM FORM be filled out and filed within a short period of time from the incident. If you fail to do this you may lose your right to file certain claims. Alaska is different.
FOUR. If a criminal charge has been brought against you, check with your criminal attorney and see if bringing an Internal Affairs complaint will be a problem for your criminal defense. If the governmental agency says that there officers or employees did everything right, then you may have additional claims for negligent supervision , training or policy.
FIVE IF you have a suppression motion in your criminal case, (that is a motion to have evidence thrown out because it was obtained illegally - either through a warrantless search or excess force, intimidation, coercion, force, or lack of probable cause), the fact that you have won the suppression motion makes your civil rights case stronger.
 In California a tort claim form must be filed within 180 days of the event. If you fail to timely file you will loose your right to seek damages from the government agency or the state. The Government agency has 45 days to accept or reject your claim. For claims against the state go to http://vcgcb.ca.gov/docs/forms/claims/GCClaimForm.pdf. Local agency or governmental bodies will have a claim form in the Office of the Clerk of the body. So if you were injured in a Stockton Unified School you would go to the district offices and ask for a tort claim form.
§ 4.92.100. Tortious conduct of state or its agents -- Claims -- Presentment and filing -- Contents
§ 4.96.020. Tortious conduct of local governmental entities and their agents -- Claims -- Presentment and filing -- Contents
(4) No action subject to the claim filing requirements of this section shall be commenced against any local governmental entity, or against any local governmental entity's officers, employees, or volunteers, acting in such capacity, for damages arising out of tortious conduct until sixty calendar days have elapsed after the claim has first been presented to the agent of the governing body thereof. The applicable period of limitations within which an action must be commenced shall be tolled during the sixty calendar day period. For the purposes of the applicable period of limitations, an action commenced within five court days after the sixty calendar day period has elapsed is deemed to have been presented on the first day after the sixty calendar day period elapsed.
 A Federal Tort Claim Form must be presented within 2 years of the incident. For the Federal Government Form http://www.justice.gov/civil/docs_forms/SF-95.pdf
 Alaska Stat. § 09.50.250The State does not allow actions against it for assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contract rights or one that is based upon an act or omission of an employee of the state, exercising due care, in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not the statute or regulation is valid; or is an action for tort, and based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a state agency or an employee of the state, whether or not the discretion involved is abused. Civil Rights actions against the State must be brought in federal court as suits against the individual, and not the office or agency
If you believe that the police, or a government agency, or employee has violated your rights by improperly taking your property, arresting you without probable cause or any factual support, beaten you up or used excess force against you – you are not alone.This happens to thousands of people each day. Yet, almost none of those citizens who had their rights violated have any idea what to do.
The first question is what is a civil rights case.
The answer is that there are many types of civil rights cases, but they all have one thing in common. There has been a violation of your Constitutional Rights either Federal or State. You have the Right to Free Speech.This means that you have the right to peacefully express your opinion as to the propriety of a police officer’s action, and to complain about their behavior.You cannot interfere with their movement, delay them or block their access, but you can tell them in a loud voice –but not a yell- that what they are doing is wrong.
You have the Right to be free to travel and move about so long as you do so without violating traffic and safety laws.You have a Right not to be detained or stopped by the police unless they have reasonable suspicion based on satiable facts, not guesses or speculation, but facts. That detention can only last as long as it takes to determine if you have committed a crime or are about to committee a crime. Being dressed in baggy clothing, listening to headphones and walking down a street do not justify being detained.There must be more.
If you are stopped by the police and are not free to leave, and that stop lasts for more than a few minutes, you have been arrested. (note just having hand cuffs applied does not mean you are arrested, but it is an indication that the stop is moving towards an arrest.) The police can only arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. In most states an officer can arrest you for a misdemeanor if he or she sees you violate the law, but no if someone else says you violated the law.For a felony, the police can arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime.If the police have a warrant for your arrest, they can simply arrest you.
Civil Rights cases include situations where the police use excess force, or discriminate against you due to your race, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion.Employment cases based on race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or religion are also civil rights cases.
If the government treats you differently than others, in zoning or permitting, or even simple business licensing that can be a civil rights violation.
There are many types of Civil Rights Violations, and you need an expert in the field to best assess your case, and represent your interests.You would not go to a dentist if you had a broken leg, and you should not go to just any injury lawyer when you have a civil rights case. Go to a specialist, call Kallis & Associates.
One type of discriminatory enforcement of laws involves racial profiling. The most basic example of a racial profiling arrest is the following situation:
Two men are walking down the street displaying the same signs of intoxication. The police arrive on the scene and arrest the African-American man but not the Caucasian man.
Another example involves the police only questioning those of a certain race.
If a storeowner reported a robbery but did not see the robber's face, the police may only question Hispanics or African Americans for no other reason than they "appear more guilty" than a white person.
Racial discrimination is illegal and a clear violation of your civil rights. You have the right to pursue compensation if you are a victim of this injustice. We provide skilled litigation counsel for clients in San Jose, California and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with additional offices in Seattle, Washington, and Fairbanks, Alaska.
Law enforcement seriously. Overzealous police officers who do not follow the law and violate your rights need to be held accountable.
Secure Legal Representation FirstPrior to your first appointment, we ask that you do not file an Internal Affairs (IA) complaint with the police department. Their motivation in gathering information is far different from yours. You are looking for them to pursue an action against one of their peers. Their intention is to gather as much information as they can to diffuse the complaint.
In addition, you will likely have been charged with a crime by them to justify their excessive actions. Filling out a report without the benefit of counsel could damage the case against you. Essentially, you are giving them advanced notice of legal action and the time to prepare their documents.
When faced with a civil rights violation at the hands of a police officer, you want an attorney with trial experience. Unless the conduct by law enforcement was so egregious and your injuries were severe, your case will likely not settle and must proceed to trial.
There are many obstacles to overcome, including the possibility of an appeal if you prevail and the inherent advantage that police officers have in legal settings. However, if your rights have been violated, they must be held responsible for their actions. By letting time lapse without filing a police misconduct lawsuit, law enforcement gets the wrong message.
We have Experience in Police Misconduct Cases, where police officers engage in false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive force, brutality, or malicious prosecution, you need the type of experienced representation we provide at The Law Firm of Kallis & Associates. In addition to his experience as a lawyer, Jeff Kallis is a former police officer. He has thorough, firsthand knowledge of internal affairs procedures within police departments. We provide skilled litigation counsel for clients in San Jose, California and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with additional offices in Seattle, Washington, and Fairbanks, Alaska.