Tuesday

You got somethin' to say about cops?

Down in south florida, a CBS investigative team set out to determine how easy it is to complain about police behavior. What they found won't shock most of you--of the 38 police stations the team went to, all but 3 refused to give them the forms. What's sweet about this though, is that they were taping. And some of the tapes are priceless in how perfectly they capture the subtle intimidation cops use all the time. Take a look at this video for a sample. It captures Sergeant Peter Schumanich in the act of being a perfect cop.


Sergeant Peter Schumanich

As you watch Sergeant Peter Schumanich's excellent customer service skills please understand that this kind of behavior is ubiquitous. Another little note--when Schumanich was exposed, instead of resigning or apologizing, he sued CBS and went to court to try to get a TRO to preventing the station from airing the video.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken Jennee put the "B.S" in B.S.O. -- Broward Sherrifs's Office. Trumping up cases. Clearing cases. What in the wide, wide, world of sports is a goin' on here in Broward. Feds need to step in. Oh yeah, Jeb, is the governor, his brother is the president. Shoot, looks like this is going no where. There was a mistrial declared the other day in a case against one officer b/c of "mislabled" evidence.

Justice is sometimes worse here than Hurricane Wilma. By the way, Wilma shut down and blew out a good portion of the windows at our beloved house of justice. It did not blow out the injustices that continue with regard to police, Judge O'Connor and Judge Aleman.

Anonymous said...

The Feds need to move into Broward to investigate BSO. Same with Aleman and O'Connor. Specifically, Broward, County.

Sincerely,
GITMO Prisoners, The 2000 vote counters, Bizzaro Kathleen Harris, Schiavo, other victims of corrupt police work, and all the other Bizzare stuff that happens here in Florida.

P.S. Rumor has it that the Defendant in the sad Lunsford case was never Mirandized. The Police up in north Florida severly botched the entire confession we've been seeing on TV. Hopefully, the evidence will not be suppressed.

Anonymous said...

If the defendant in the Lunsford case was not mirandized and the evidence is supressed, it will be blamed on the defense attorney anyway. The police might get a private rebuke - if anything is said at all.

Anonymous said...

This is normally an argument I would not be happy making as a defense attorney. But if Florida's finest indeed simply failed to read the Miranda Warnings and everything is tossed (b/c from what I know, the discovery of other evidence led the fuzz to the discovery of the body and other fruits), unless "inevitable discovery" works, which a judge will probably find b/c of media heat, the whole case could get tossed. Notice how there haven't been any hearings for this guy that we've heard about lately? I heard they are prosecuting him down in... guess where? You guessed it. Broward. Not where the crime arose. So, between the Homeless beatings, the Schiavo case, the corruption trials with B.S.O., Broward should be officially designated as the most bizzarre town in the Union. Although as defense attorney, obviously you file the motion to "Depress." They would have to pay me an exorbitant fee, something in the land of Mega PowerBall money, to do so. Even then, I'd be eternally aware of an upcoming visit to H E double hockey sticks. At least I'd have the dough beforehand. I feel bad for any PD who'd get this case. Hopefully he decides to go pro se. I'm not sure what the current posture of the case is or who counsel is. I hope that sick bastard goes pro se and messess everything up. O/W an attorney will be blessed with the cliche question? How do ya defend a guy you know is guilty. Answer: Because you have to. I'm thankful I can pick my cases now as opposed to it being assigned to me at a Public Defender's office like back in the day. Always hated those sex cases. Still do. Take very few of them.

Anonymous said...

13 Charged in Sting Aiming for Molesters
Police say men went to a Laguna house where they
expected sex with 12- and 13-year-old girls.

February 23 2006


Thirteen men, including an off-duty California Highway
Patrol lieutenant, have been arrested in an Internet
sting operation aimed at luring would-be molesters to
a Laguna Beach apartment where they expected to
rendezvous with teenage girls.

Some of the men had arrived with candy, flowers,
sexual paraphernalia, cameras or alcohol, only to be
greeted by police officers during last weekend's
arrests, details of which were announced by
authorities Wednesday.


"There has to be some risk involved when these people
approach our children. I want them to know that when
they engage a child online, they could be talking to a
police officer," Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony
Rackauckas said of the 11-hour sting. "I think we'll
be doing more of these."

The men are accused of contacting adults posing as 12-
or 13-year-olds through popular websites such as
MySpace.com. Members of a citizens group called
perverted-justice.com, which has worked with law
officers nationwide to catch would-be child molesters,
chatted with the men and alerted Laguna Beach police,
authorities said, whenever a man suggested a sexual
rendezvous.

The conversations were innocent at first, revolving
around subjects such as movies and ice cream, Laguna
Beach Sgt. Darin Lenyi said. The men sent their
pictures, authorities said, with some asking whether
the girl thought he was too old to be her boyfriend.

Many of the Internet chats occurred over several days
and led to telephone conversations with officers who
sounded young. In some cases, it was just a few hours
of online chatting before a meeting was suggested,
authorities said.

The men arrived at a Laguna Beach apartment complex
beginning Saturday afternoon expecting to find a young
girl home alone, police said. Instead, a female
detective posing as the girl's mother answered the
door.

Authorities said a 29-year-old carrying a rose tried
to explain why he wanted to date the woman's
12-year-old daughter. Several suspects bolted before
being tackled by officers, police said.

The suspects, ages 19 to 51, were charged with
attempted child molestation, a felony that carries a
maximum sentence of four years in prison.

In addition, one man was charged with possession of
methamphetamine and another with sending an explicit
image over the Internet.

Highway Patrol Lt. Stephen Robert Deck, a 23-year
veteran, is "no longer employed by the Highway
Patrol," said Fran Clader, spokeswoman for CHP
headquarters in Sacramento. Clader declined to say
whether Deck, 51, was fired or quit. He lives in
Carlsbad and was assigned to Orange County.

The other suspects include a Tustin engineer, the
manager of a Westchester Starbucks, a college student
and several unemployed men.

One suspect pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Orange
County Superior Court. The others will be arraigned
next month. Seven of the men are free on $100,000
bond; six remain in custody.

Last month, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department
conducted a similar undercover operation over three
days, resulting in the arrests of 49 men, including a
Department of Homeland Security agent and a high
school teacher.
==================================================
The Orange County Sheriff's Dept. and high ranking
elected officials are under investigation by the Feds.
Allegedly Sheriff's deputies have illegally referred
Orange County Jail inmates to local bail bondsmen and
attorneys in return for money and favors and other
privileges in a conspiracy involving female jail
trustees and other inmates. Thousands of dollars in
kickback payoffs are believed part of the conspiracy
centered around the Sheriff's Dept. According to
federal officials, the investigation began in 2004
when a local long time bail bondsman complained that
Xtreme Bail Bonds and other bail companies and the
Sheriff’s Dept. was illegally referring clients and
customers to local attorneys and other bail bondsmen.

On Oct. 5, prosecutors won an indictment against
criminal defense attorney Joseph Cavallo. The charges
seem to allege that Cavallo masterminded and operated
an illegal kickback scheme involving bail bonds and
inmates—inside Mike Carona’s Orange County Jail.
Cavallo plead not guilty and posted a cash bond of
$25,000.

As reported by the OC Weekly “The whole thing stinks,”
said Cavallo. “I think the public would be shocked if
they knew how things work in Orange County.”

Cavallo who admits he is familiar with the inner
workings of local law enforcement thanks to his long
relationship with the sheriff and former assistant
sheriffs Jaramillo and Don Haidl, Cavallo says the
county’s justice system is governed by the whims of
the men who run it. He believes Carona played a secret
role in District Attorney Tony Rackauckas's charges
after he refused to sabotage the Jaramillo defense.

In cop parlance, Cavallo went on to say the sheriff
had motive and opportunity. He points out that Mike
Schroeder, Carona’s top political adviser is also the
powerful if unofficial adviser to Rackauckas and that
Schroeder’s wife, Susan, is the DA’s media director.
During the Haidl rape trials, Susan Schroeder and
Cavallo often exchanged hostile words outside the
courtroom.

“I know the Schroeders had a hand in my indictment,”
Cavallo told the OC Weekly. “This is the work of ‘The
Triangle’—Mike Carona, Mike Schroeder and Tony
Rackauckas

It’s unlawful for an attorney to pay bail bonds agents
or other attorneys to find clients. Prosecutors say
Cavallo and several firms created a “tank worker”
system in the OC Jail—employing inmates who forcefully
recommend certain lawyers and bail bondsmen to other
detainees. In return, they allege, the bondsmen paid
the tank workers a bounty of up to $1,000 per lead and
attorneys paid so called founders fees. The DA says
his charge is backed by evidence of financial links
between Xtreme Bail Bonds of Santa Ana, its clients
and Cavallo. How much money was allegedly exchanged is
not yet known, although the lawyer did give the owner
of Xtreme a $50,000 interest-free loan. Investigators
believe a handful of uncharged jail deputies and other
inmates past and present are also involved in the
scheme.

There are probes of possible illegal conduct by
elected officials under color of law, illegal use of
office under color of law, misuse of authority,
corruption, racketeering, obstruction of justice,
cover up, jailhouse bribery, perjury, kickbacks,
illegal campaign contributions, fundraising bribes;
jobs sold for donations, the selling and distributing
of reserve sheriff badges, bought with county
taxpayers money, the thwarting of accurate public
disclosure, indecent sexual activities, sexual favors,
police brutality and the illegal use of government
property including a police helicopter for personal
use. The Journal has learned it is a crime for one or
more persons acting under color of law willfully to
deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any
right protected by the Constitution or laws of the
United States. "Color of law" simply means that the
person doing the act is using power given to him or
her by a governmental agency (local, state or
federal). Criminal acts under color of law include
acts not only done by local, state, or federal
officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful
authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of
their lawful authority. Off-duty conduct may also be
covered under color of law, if the perpetrator
asserted their official status in some manner. Color
of law may include public officials who are not law
enforcement officers, for example, judges and
prosecutors, as well as, in some circumstances, non
governmental employees who are asserting state
authority, such as private security guards. While the
federal authority to investigate color of law type
violations extends to any official acting under "color
of law", the vast majority of the allegations are
against the law enforcement community.

Violations of Federal RICO statutes are being probed.
The Journal has been told by reliable sources that the
FBI is investigating the matter because it may involve
highly placed elected officials. The same source
believes the U.S. Attorneys office is forming or has
formed a special task force to investigate and develop
federal cases against some county officials and is
expected to involve a secret federal grand jury where
secret witnesses will give testimony.

Highly placed U.S. Government officials say RICO or
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
is a United States law which provides for extended
penalties for criminal acts performed as part of an
ongoing criminal enterprise organization. Under RICO,
a person or group who commits any two of 35 crimes--27
federal crimes and 8 state crimes--within a 10-year
period and (in the opinion of the U. S. Attorney
bringing the case) has committed those crimes with
similar purpose or results can be charged with
racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can
be fined up to $25,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in
prison. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all
ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained
through a pattern of "racketeering activity." The act
also contains a civil component that allows plaintiffs
to sue for triple damages. When the U. S. Attorney
decides to indict someone under RICO, he has the
option of seeking a pre-trial restraining order or
injunction to prevent the transfer of potentially
forfeitable property, as well as require the defendant
to put up a performance bond. Some have said this
provision is intended to force a defendant to plead
guilty before indictment. Although some of the RICO
predicate acts are extortion and blackmail, one of the
most successful applications of the RICO laws has been
the ability to indict or sanction individuals for
their behavior and actions committed against witnesses
and victims in alleged retaliation or retribution for
cooperating with law enforcement or intelligence
agencies. The RICO laws can be alleged in cases where
civil lawsuits or criminal charges are brought against
individuals or corporations in retaliation for said
individuals or corporations working with law
enforcement, or against individuals or corporations
who have sued or filed criminal charges against a
defendant. Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against
public participation) laws can be applied in an
attempt to curb alleged abuses of the legal system by
individuals, officials or corporations who utilize the
courts as a weapon to retaliate against whistle
blowers, victims, or to silence another's speech. RICO
could be alleged if it can be shown that law
enforcement, lawyers and/or their clients conspired
and collaborated to concoct fictitious legal
complaints solely in retribution and retaliation for
themselves having been brought before the courts. An
operated and managed a criminal enterprise that
engaged in such acts, under section 1964(c) of the
RICO Act, the victims can sue civilly and recover the
economic losses they sustained by reason of the
pattern of racketeering. pattern of racketeering
activity Section 1962(d) makes it unlawful for a
person to conspire to violate subsections (a), (b) or
(c) of the RICO Act. common civil RICO claim is found
under section 1962(c), which makes it unlawful for a
person to manipulate an enterprise for purposes of
engaging in, concealing, or benefiting from a pattern
of racketeering activity pattern of criminal activity
it can also be an individual or simply a relatively
loose-knit group people or legal entities. These
latter groups are referred to as "association-in-fact"
enterprises under the statute. 18 U.S.C. § 1961(4).

Former Orange County assistant sheriff George Henry
Jaramillo and his sister-in-law Erica Lynne Hill were
arrested for alleged fraud, misappropriation of
government funds and felony conflicts of interest.
Both appeared before Orange County Superior Court
Judge Marc Kelly for arraignment. Jaramillo, 44, was
charged with six felony counts of misappropriating
government funds and four misdemeanor counts of
conflicts of interest, while Hill, 33, faced three
felony counts for misappropriating government funds.
Hill and Jaramillo pleaded not guilty to all charges,
and their attorney Joseph Smith—a former Orange County
deputy district attorney who broke from the office
after going to Sacramento to file a
conflict-of-interest complaint against his boss,
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas—denied the
allegations against his clients. Following Hills grand
jury testimony and the DA’s decision to drop the
charges against her, Hill thought it was over, that
what she said would be sealed and she could get on
with her life. Then more news reports come out, and
the spotlight was back on her. Hill complained, “I
didn’t ask for this. I want it to go away, but I’m
very tired of being kicked around.” Hill told the
grand jury that Jaramillo—11 years her senior—had
begun an “inappropriate” relationship with her when
she was around 15 years old. Questioned by Deputy
District Attorney Brian Gurwitz, Hill wouldn’t use the
word “molestation” but did concede that the “sexual
conduct, contact” began before she was an adult

Hill further testified to the grand jury that Sheriff
Carona, who is seeking a third term as head of the
$500 million-per-year agency. Under oath, she told the
grand jury the sheriff pressured her for sex after she
asked Carona to hire her husband as a deputy. Hill
recalls Carona smiling, flirting and asking, “What’s
in it for me?”
According to Hill she watched the sheriff’s men go on
the offensive against her. Their remarks prompted her
to fire back. In a two-page Sept. 13 letter to
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the county
Board of Supervisors, two local members of Congress
and the media, she asked that Carona be held
accountable for his conduct. It is also believed she
filed a complaint with the FBI.

“I write to each of you because I have nowhere to turn
and I hope you can help me,” Hill wrote. “Mike Carona
is an extremely dangerous man who hides his wickedness
behind his badge . . .. I am not the only woman who
has been victimized by this perverse individual. There
are many others, including employees and wives and
girlfriends of employees . . .. I know that as Carona
continues to be exposed and the public sees him for
what he truly is, he will go to any length to have me
and other members of my family silenced.” “What else
can I do?” she asked. “These people have already
kicked down my door [to execute a search warrant],
arrested me, and they won’t stop smearing me. It’s
sick. I’m a victim here, but I’m going to defend
myself.”

Hill admits she was agitated when she wrote the letter
but thinks her reaction was justifiable. She has hired
famous criminal trail lawyer Mark Geragos. In coming
weeks, she says, the sheriff can expect a civil
lawsuit with details of their alleged sexual liaisons.

Wasting no time, Hill had a suggestion for Sheriff
Carona: if you truly feel comfortable denying the
affair, let’s both sit for polygraph tests.

The thought of the sheriff strapped to a polygraph
machine and forced to answer questions without the aid
of his public-relations team put a smile on Hill’s
face.

“Mike Carona is a bold-faced liar,” she said. “The
last thing he would do is agree to take a lie-detector
test.”

In late July, the district attorney charged
ex-Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo, with accepting
bribes from Charles H. Gabbard, a convicted felon
Jaramillo met through Carona. Though Carona twice
accepted thousands of dollars in illegal campaign
contributions from Gabbard, the DA charged only
Jaramillo.

On the tape, Carona tells Cavallo he doesn’t “want to
take it out” on him—but that Cavallo should consider
himself warned about the dangers of Jaramillo
publicizing the sheriff’s alleged extramarital
activities: “I’m going to shove it up his ass,” says
Carona, a Homeland Security adviser to President
George W. Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the audio recording, the sheriff blamed Jaramillo
for the Holloway leak. But he was wrong. It was
Holloway’s outraged husband.

Dean Holloway says he had the unpleasant experience of
witnessing his wife answer an April 2002 phone call
from the sheriff. The woman says Carona invited her to
take a weekend trip to San Francisco. On another
occasion, the sheriff reportedly left a voice-mail
message for the woman at the couple’s Aliso Viejo
home.

Susan Holloway, 31, told the sheriff’s IA officers, “I
never invited the calls from Mike Carona and had no
intention of calling him back.”

Keller told LA Times reporter Christine Hanley that
the accusations were part of a “ridiculously
transparent conspiracy” against a “great
law-enforcement officer with a spotless record.”

However, Keller hasn’t explained how Holloway benefits
from the conspiracy. Holloway has shunned media
attention and asked for nothing from the sheriff. But
Dean Holloway had a message for Carona. He told the
Weekly, “The sheriff needs to leave other men’s wives
alone.”

Carona’s efforts to keep a lid on the sex scandal
failed in September when the grand jury released the
testimony of another woman, Erica Hill—Jaramillo’s
sister-in-law. Believing her story would remain
secret, Hill testified in July that the sheriff
demanded and received sexual favors from her on four
occasions after her husband applied for a job as a
deputy. Though Hill can name the location and time of
each encounter, Carona flatly says she’s a liar. Hill
has proposed that they take lie-detector tests.

“I’m not the only woman the sheriff has cheated with,”
Hill told the Weekly. “He’s got to be scared that
others will come forward and tell the truth.” In
response, Rackauckas claimed his probe began not with
Carona but with a complaint from bail bondsmen in
“early 2003.” It’s unclear why the DA waited almost
three years to charge Cavallo. But at a press
conference, Rackauckas said he was motivated solely by
“strong evidence” from “more than two dozen
witnesses.”

The local FBI and other officials claim no knowledge
of any federal investigation and have indicated to the
Journal that such investigations could be coming from
Washington DC. When the Journal made contact with
Washington FBI press people they said no comment. When
the Journal called the Santa Ana FBI office for
confirmation of an ongoing investigation we were
referred to the Los Angeles office of the FBI. The
Journal has attempted to contact Sheriff Mike Carona
for his reaction but the Sheriff continues to not
return our calls.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you lefties have a real problem with 1) spelling; 2) punctuation; and 3) coherence/sticking to the topic.

Feige seems to loathe the police because I'm sure New York's finest have slammed the jail house door shut on most of his clients. It must get frustrating, so he starts blaming not his clients' criminal actions, but the police. Individual officers? No... he finds some "wrongdoing"-- oh no, people can't get a complaint form!-- and builds a house of hysteria from that which encompasses "most" police.

Fact is, most cops are unfailingly honest, unlike many lawyers I know. Fact is, they put it on the line doing a dirty, unpleasant job. Fact is, without these guys, we'd have anarchy. Are some corrupt? Absolutely. Does this mean Feige's client's are innocent? Hardly.

But it's psychologically easier for Feige to attack the police with gross generalizations than to face up to the fact that most of his criminal clientele are guilty. He can't win on the facts of these cases, so it's tar the police, tar the victims, tar society in general, blah, blah, blah, it's his mommy's fault; it's his ADD/HDD's fault, crap, crap, crap.

Yeah, Feige, most people see the police as the enemy, you idiot. Keep it up; you lose more and more credibility with every irrelevant hit job on the "man."

Anonymous said...

To the author of the previous post:

I am quite intrigued by some of the
points you raise in your thoughtful reply and thought I would see if I could get them clarified.

A) You state that Mr. Feige has problems with spelling and punctuation, though you cite no instances. Running the post through Microsoft Word I note no problems, but obviously you've found something that it missed. I wonder if you can clarify what you thought the problems were.

B) You begin your missive by addressing the author as "you", but then switch to "he" and "Feige". Later, in "Yeah, Feige, most people see the police as the enemy, you idiot." both third and second person forms of address are used in a single sentence. I don't claim to match your evident expertise in copyediting, but to my untrained eye it seems that all of this flip-flopping is poor diction and a lack of parallel construction. What do you think?

C) To my reading, the sentence "Feige seems to loathe the police because I'm sure New York's finest have slammed the jail house door shut on most of his clients"
appears to be incorrect. I'm guessing that what you mean to say is that you're sure that Mr. Feige loathes the police because they have slammed the door, etc, etc. By my (again, admittedly inexpert) reading, it appears that as written the sentence is claiming that Mr. Feige seems to loathe the police because you're sure of something. This is a fairly odd proposition, right? Also, by the way, shouldn't it be "jailhouse" and not "jail house"?

D) I am sure you'd concur that the sentence "He can't win on the facts of these cases, so it's tar the police, tar the victims, tar society in general, blah, blah, blah, it's his mommy's fault; it's his ADD/HDD's fault, crap, crap, crap." is rather loosely punctuated - and the semicolon in the middle in my humble opinion appears downright eccentric. Perhaps you'll just assure me that you were merely aiming at a conversational tone, but (again, with full deference to your judgement in these matters) I think that it would be rather more conventionally punctuated as something along the lines of "He can't win on the facts of these cases, so it's tar the police, tar the victims, tar society in general. Blah, blah, blah... It's his mommy's fault. It's his ADD/HDD's fault... Crap, crap, crap." Don't you agree?

E) As for sticking to the topic: upon rereading Mr. Feige's post, so far as I can see, I find that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the guilt or innocence of his clients or anyone else. I am clearly missing something, so I - with complete and utter diffidence - ask that if you could kindly point out the connection I'd be much obliged.

Thanks so very much in advance.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought this blog was about the real problems we are having down here in Florida with the Police! Not some wimpy-ass prosecutor, who hides behind an anonymous post, to rip the author for...GRAMMER! i dOUBt the original poster understands the meaning of irony.

A guy in Florida said...

I agree, I think Sgt. Schumanich should not be a police officer. God forbid you should have a complaint against him and want to actually file one. One gets the impression that you could your a$$ kicked for trying.

I understand that police (and everyone else, for that matter) need to be protected from unjust or bogus complaints, but at the same time the video left me wondering what lengths some of the local cops will go to to avoid any accountability. Note to police: avoiding accountability undermines your credibility.

I'm glad that Sgt. Schumanich's antics were caught on video. Clearly he needs to be videotaped more often. He strikes me as the worst sort of bully: a bully with a badge and gun, even worse than an ordinary street thug because he operates under the color of law. Those two bozos from the Sea Ranches PD were only slightly better, BTW. Note to Schumanich and Sea Ranches bozos: who you are speaks so loudly that most folks can't hear what you're saying.

I'm thrilled that Judge Goldstein denied the temporary injunction. I'm amazed at the unmitigated gall of Sgt. Schumanich to try to suppress the evidence of his nasty behavior. I guess Sgt. Schumanich doesn't want to be tried in the court of public opinion, but if his behavior is any indication of the kind of customer service or accountability we can expect from his PD, then the court of public opinion seems to be the only available forum.

Sgt. Schumanich lost his temper with a guy who was just asking questions and behaved in a manner that looks menacing (as did those two jerks from Sea Ranches). Are we to believe that this is the first time? He has been a cop long enough to be promoted to Sergeant, how is it that none of his peers or superiors noticed that he could or would behave like that? Or is that kind of behavior accepted by police? I don't want police who behave like that. That would definitely be a case where the solution (cops) are worse than the problem (criminals).