search
top

Pizza Hut Delverymen Now Carry Guns. And Badges.

We give police a hard time around here sometimes when it is deserved, but this story is not about police behaving badly.

After a pizza hut delivery man was involved in an accident, two Portland police officers delivered the pizza to the couple who had ordered the pizza.

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

(Courtesy: Steve Huckins)

Ryan Rakos was delivering a pizza to Steve Huckins and his wife when he was involved in a vehicle accident in which he hurt his back and neck. The accident was unknown to the Huckins who called the PIzza Hut to say their pizza had not been delivered. The manager of the store said he would make another pizza and deliver it personally.

While the Huckins were chowing down on the second pizza, there was a knock at the door. Huckins opened the door to find two officers with the first pizza in hand, completing the delivery.
(more…)

More On Ferguson.

Brevard-County-MilitaryWe’ll let others dissect the meaning of the release of the preliminary findings of the first (of three) autopsies of the body of Micheal Brown to others. While we now seem to have some indication of the bullet wounds, we don’t know Brown’s position when the shots were fired.

Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was

bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.


A friend sent us a link on an interactive map from the NY Times. Entitled “Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear,” the map allows you to rollover counties and cities to see what surplus military equipment was received by the county or city.
(more…)

Man Cited For Warning People Of Police Checkpoint.

Sobriety-Checkpoint-ROHParma, Ohio resident Doug Odolecki doesn’t like the police. He claims the animosity stems from being hassled by the police over the years.

To keep others from encountering the police, Odolecki has made it his mission in life to warn other drivers of police sobriety / driver’s license checkpoints. Last Friday night, Odolecki was standing on the sidewalk in Parma with a sign saying “Check point ahead turn now” alerting drivers to a checkpoint less than a mile away.

For some reason, the police in Parma were unhappy with Odolecki’s sign and ordered him to stop displaying it. Specifically, it seems they had an issue with language of “turn now.”

Parma police spokesman Kevin Riley said officers cited Odolecki after he refused to remove the “Turn now!” portion of the sign. Officers had previously consulted with city attorneys to determine if Odolecki violated any laws by displaying the sign, Riley said.

Odolecki plans to fight the citation for obstructing official business.

We have previously written about police in Florida citing drivers for flashing their lights to warn drivers of police. A judge ruled that the drivers’ actions could not be taken to be contrary to any state law and the police did not have the right to issue the citations.

We hope the same thing happens in Parma.

The issue, of course, is whether Odolecki’s sign was actually obstructing the police or whether his sign was free speech.

There are two reasons we believe the sign is free speech. First, Odolecki is not anywhere close to the actual checkpoint. It is difficult if not impossible to state that his sign was doing anything to make the actions of the police more difficult.
(more…)

Man Given Parking Ticket While Installing Parking Signs.

Common-Sense-Parking-Sign-ROHDan Greding and his company Precision Striping were hired by the city of Santa Barbara, California, to install new “No Parking” signs in an area where redevelopment and improvements had been made.

The first three signs allowing 75 minutes of parking were installed without problems, but the 4th sign took longer because Greding had to drill into concrete, set a pole, fill that with concrete and wait for it to dry. As he was finishing the job, he noticed that a Parking Enforcement Officer from the City was writing a ticket – specifically a ticket for Greding’s work truck.

I didn’t know what to say. I was dumbfounded,” said Greding. “I said ‘but I ‘m putting these signs up’ and he (the officer) says, ‘then you should know you can’t park here more than 75 minutes.’ I said, ‘well I haven’t put the sign up yet, so you can’t write me a ticket’ and he said ‘yea but the signs down there say – this block – so you’re in violation.”

[Greding] recalls the officer referring to the posted time limit on the other signs within the same block, and Greding said, “I just put those up 20 minutes ago!”

Greding admits that he had probably been on the site about 90 minutes, but if the other signs were only put up 20 minutes prior to the ticket being written, Greden was still well within the 75 minute period from when the signs were installed.

We could understand a ticket if Greding had parked on the street, put up the signs, gone to a deli and was eating lunch or something along those lines. Yet he wasn’t. He was doing the work for which the City had contracted him.

Such a lack of common sense from the parking officer is astounding.
(more…)

Cops And Cameras Revisited.

We’ve discussed the concept of filming police in the context of doing their job before. Citizens have a First Amendment right to film the police as long as the citizen does not interfere with the police. “Interfere” is somewhat of an ambiguous term however. For example, a single person ten feet away from a police officer arresting someone has a different “feel” to the circumstances than 40 people in a 10 foot radius circle around a cop.

One of the battle ground states on the right to film has been the State of Maryland. In 2010, motorcyclist Anthony Graber was pulled over by an off duty police officer who exits his vehicle with his gun drawn and no identification visible and cites Graber for speeding. We won’t defend Graber here because he was doing over 120 mph on the highway and popping wheelies. How do we know that?

Graber had one of the “GoPro” HD cameras mounted to his helmet to film his antics.

(Note: Graber was convicted of speeding and eventually sold his motorcycle. Going 120 and popping wheelies is ridiculous and reckless behavior that should have cost him his license, but he was convicted of vehicular violations.)

Graber posted the encounter with the cop on YouTube.

Note that the officer leaves his car brandishing a gun. Note that the car is unmarked. Note that the officer never turns on his blue lights. Note the plain clothes. Note that it takes the trooper 5 seconds to identify himself as an officer of the law. Note that the officer never produces a badge. Note that Graber’s offense, reckless driving and speeding, is not a crime of violence.

A month later, police showed up at Graber’s home with a warrant to seize Graber’s computers, electronics and cameras.

Graber was arrested and charged with “illegal wiretapping” for filming the encounter with the policeman. (Interestingly enough, if Graber had filmed a man brandishing a gun who ordered him around, the video would be considered evidence. Yet because Graber filmed a police officer, it was thought to be a crime.)

A judge ruled that Graber’s filming was not a crime.

Circuit Court Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr.’s ruling helps clarify the state’s wire tap law and makes it clear that police officers enjoy little expectation of privacy as they perform their duties.

“Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public,” Plitt wrote. “When we exercise that power in a public forum, we should not expect our activity to be shielded from public scrutiny.”

….

The judge wrote that Graber’s encounter “took place on a public highway in full view of the public. Under such circumstances, I cannot, by any stretch, conclude that the troopers had any reasonable expectation of privacy in their conversation with the defendant which society would be prepared to recognize as reasonable.”

Two months before the Graber case was decided in court, Maryland’s attorney general issued an opinion in July advising police agencies that people have a right to record officers and that most interactions between the police and the public cannot be considered private.

Some cops didn’t get the nearly four year old memo on that.

On February 23, 2014, police were called to a location near Towson University just north of the Baltimore City line. Police eventually arrested a man and a woman and charged them with disorderly conduct, drug possession and “resisting arrest.”

The scene is chaotic with a large crowd of bystanders followed by police coming onto the scene.

In the middle of the chaos, a person films the arrest.

What happens next is astounding. (NSFW language)
(more…)

What Were They Thinking?

Drunk-Driving-Taco-Bell-ROHUriel Juarez-Popoca was a man of Mexican descent who was in this country illegally. We use the past tense because Uriel Juarez-Popoca is dead after an encounter with Deputies from the Deleware County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office.

On July 28, 2012, the police found Juaraz parked along the side of the road intoxicated.

You can conjure up your own stereotypical image of a drunken, illegal immigrant Mexican because that is what the deputies did. Not only did they think that, they acted upon it.

The deputies are seen on a dash camera trying to communicate with Juaraz who, because of being drunk and or limited English skills, did not communicate back with them.

The cops then started to make jokes saying that Juarez might be better understood at a Taco Bell.

The joking continues after Juaraz is handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser.

What happens next boggles the mind:

Deputies did not take him to jail, but instead, drove him to the Taco Bell at I-71 and state Route 36/37. They allegedly told him to call someone for a ride home.

“It’s hard to speculate, but obviously, the officers did not want to take him to jail, for whatever reason,” said Joe Mas, a Columbus attorney. “Or that they just wanted to be kind, and unfortunately, the circumstances developed otherwise.”

Restaurant employees then called 911 three times to say that Juarez Popoca was drunk and walking around the restaurant.

Are you laughing yet?

Isn’t it funny that the police took the drunk illegal Mexican to a Taco Bell and left him there?

Here’s the real punch line though:
(more…)

Questions With No Apparent Answers After 18 Year Old Shot Dead By Police.

image courtesy Wilsey Family

Keith Vidal (image courtesy Wilsey Family)

By all accounts, 18 year Keith Vidal of Boiling Springs Lake, NC was a relatively normal teenager who attended high school, had friends and a loving family. Vidal also suffered from bouts of depression and schizophrenia which were being controlled by medication.

This past Sunday, Vidal suffered a schizophrenic episode in which he threatened to fight his mother while holding a small electronic screwdriver. The episode resulted in his parents attempting to take him to a care facility. When Vidal’s father Mark Wilsey could not get him into the car, he called the police for assistance.

Three different officers from different agencies responded to the call.

A police report gives the basic details:

According to the report, the first unit on scene was a Boiling Spring Lakes officer who arrived at 12:34 p.m. He was joined shortly after by two additional BSL officers and a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Deputy.

The first unit on scene reported a confrontation in the hallway, but told Brunswick County Dispatchers several times that everything was OK.

Unit 104 from Southport arrived on the scene at 12:48:41, fourteen minutes after the first officer had already been on scene.

According to the family, two of the officers had calmed Keith Vidal down when the officer, later identified from call records as Detective Byron Vassey, from Southport arrived on the scene.

What happened next is difficult if not impossible, to comprehend:
(more…)

The Numbers Are In.

Satellite-Beach-Police-Patch---ROH We have discussed previously the numbers of DUI arrests last year on New Year’s Eve here in Satellite Beach. Following what can only described as a banner night of zero arrests on New Year’s Eve 2012, this year the Satellite Beach Police Department had a massive increase in DUI arrests and we blame them for the increase.

One of our correspondents wrote Police Chief Pearson and asked for the numbers and this is his response:

From 6pm on 12/31/2013 thru 6am on 1/1/2014, we made (1) DUI arrest and (3) traffic stops were done (in addition to the DUI).

Sheez. Couldn’t match the zero DUI arrests from last year?

Failure.

And if you have read this far, you should know we are kidding.

There are at least two parts to police work. The first is “proactive” and the second is “reactive.” We are always amused at the fact that anytime there is an article in the Florida Today newspaper on the Satellite Beach Police Department, people come out of the wood work to scream about being stopped and given a ticket in Satellite Beach. Somehow we think that those comments help the SBPD’s job because in essence, they are saying “if you don’t want to get a ticket in Satellite Beach, either obey the laws or stay out of the city.” That is the proactive part of policing the roads here in Satellite Beach. Having a tough (and hopefully fair) reputation is a good thing. The “reactive” part of police work is pulling people over, ticketing, etc.
(more…)

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

top