All threads that bitch about new, existing, or old members will be posted/relocated here. Keep this shit off the General forum, because no one wants (or cares) to hear your opinions. Now go back to the other forums and post something worthy of reading.
User avatar
By Horn_Identity
#467100
this one reminds me of Shawshank Redemption.............

Former Refugio police chief, baptist preacher, pleads guilty to misuse of funds
By Mark Collette
Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:28 p.m.


CORPUS CHRISTI — The former Refugio police chief, an ordained Baptist preacher, pleaded guilty Wednesday to recklessly misusing fiduciary funds seized from criminals by the department.

Chris Brock, 51, agreed to a sentence of three years in state prison, his defense attorney John Gilmore said. Formal sentencing is set for July 16.

Brock's is the latest in a series of cases that have shed light on abuses of asset forfeiture.

Under state law, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors can use forfeiture funds — money seized from criminals — for law enforcement purposes. But in recent years, a string of high-profile cases demonstrated a lack of oversight of forfeiture funds that allowed officers to spend money on trips to Hawaii, exorbitant salaries, personal vehicles and other unauthorized items.

In February, a Caller-Times analysis of reports filed annually by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors across Texas showed that agencies patrolling rural highways, such as U.S. Highway 77 in Refugio, seized far more per capita than their urban counterparts. The newspaper analyzed a database of nearly 24,000 Chapter 59 reports, named for the section of state law that governs property forfeiture.

Despite changes in state law meant to improve the system, the analysis found scores of agencies ignore asset forfeiture reporting requirements, and even for those that do send financial reports to the Texas Attorney General, they are likely to go unchecked, entered into an electronic database and left in storage.

District Attorney Michael Sheppard couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment but has said the charges against Brock resulted from an FBI and Texas Rangers investigation that began in 2006.

Sheppard said for the most part, the funds were used for legitimate purposes. But Brock was accused of selling a portable building and pickup to the police department for more than fair market value and paying himself out of the forfeiture account. He also was accused of making false entries to get cash and using forfeiture funds for items for himself and relatives, and to put gas in vehicles that didn't belong to the police department.

"It all sounds bad, but what he ended up pleading guilty to is recklessly misusing the money," Gilmore, the defense attorney, said. "He didn't admit to anything specific."

Gilmore said Brock went wrong by using forfeiture money to donate to charities such as the local Boys and Girls Club.

"A lot of it is just not getting the right instructions on how to use the money," Gilmore said. "They have a statute but they don't define how you're supposed to use the money or not supposed to use the money."

Gilmore said prosecutors offered the plea deal after putting an assistant state attorney general on the stand to talk about the interpretation of the asset forfeiture statute.

Joe Frank Garza, the former district attorney from Jim Wells County, invoked a similar defense, saying the rules are confusing. He pleaded guilty to a felony in March after paying himself and his secretaries more than $2 million from his office's forfeiture fund, effectively doubling or tripling their pay.

Brock's case isn't the same, Gilmore said, because Brock is not an attorney with deep familiarity of the asset forfeiture laws.

But Brock did recognize there were limits. In 2001, a year after he was hired by the city, he oversaw construction of a new police station built with seized drug money.

"It's my way of rubbing (criminals') noses in it," he said at the time. "Every time they drive by, they can look at it and know I took their money and that's where it went."

Explaining the asset forfeiture process, he said, "We can use the money and buy what we need. We don't need approval, we just need to make sure it falls under the guidelines."

In the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two other felony charges: theft by a public servant and abuse of official capacity, which could have carried sentences of more than 20 years in prison and 180 days in jail, respectively.

CHRIS BROCK

2000: Brock becomes chief of Refugio Police Department.

2001: Refugio opens new police station using seized drug money.

2002: A Refugio officer stops a pickup hauling household belongings and finds $2.8 million in cash hidden in a couch. It was the largest cash seizure for the police department.

2004: Brock runs unsuccessfully for Refugio County sheriff.

2009: Brock is placed on unpaid leave amid Texas Rangers and FBI investigation into forfeiture funds.

Source: Caller-Times archives

FORFEITURE CASES

As seizures of property by law enforcement agencies grew during the past decade, so did reports of abuses. Prosecutors and agencies were found to have misspent funds, profiled motorists to target their property, and used high-pressure tactics to talk innocent people into giving up rights to their property. Here are some cases from Texas.

2010

Ron Sutton, Kimble County district attorney in West Texas for 32 years, pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to misuse of forfeiture funds. Sutton took his entire office staff, the district judge and their spouses to Hawaii for a Texas Independent Bar Association conference.

Joe Frank Garza, former district attorney for the 79th Judicial District in Brooks and Jim Wells counties, pleaded guilty to a felony in March 2011 related to misuse of forfeiture funds. He paid himself and his secretaries more than $2 million from the funds, effectively doubling or tripling their pay. He did it without permission from county commissioners.

2008

A federal lawsuit accused the Shelby County district attorney and other local authorities of targeting minorities for traffic stops, then threatening to file money laundering or other charges unless they signed pre-notarized statements giving up claims to their valuables. Plaintiffs estimate officials seized $3 million in two years. Officials have denied any wrongdoing. The civil rights lawsuit is pending.

2005

According to a Texas legislative committee report, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office held a party at the county fair in East Texas. They had beer, liquor and a margarita machine, all paid for with asset forfeiture funds.

Javier Gonzalez borrowed a car from his employer at a used car lot in Austin, then drove to Brownsville to arrange for his dying aunt's burial. He brought more than $10,000 in cash. He was pulled over in Jim Wells County and asked to sign a waiver releasing the money or face money laundering charges. He signed the waiver but later hired an attorney and won back the money plus attorney fees, only after fighting in federal court.

Sources: Institute for Justice, Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee, news reports

© 2012 Corpus Christi Caller Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.caller.com/news/2012/may/23/ ... eacher-to/
User avatar
By vaku
#467722
That first guy could have avoided much of this by shutting the fuck up.

He should have denied them permission to search the car and not told them about the cash. The cop asked about a large amount of cash, large is a debatable amount. He should have said no and then no when they asked to search the car. My guess is there is no probable cause to search it.

Just shut the fuck up when the cops come around.
User avatar
By tailchaser
#467944
whoa, that shit is down the road from me.
User avatar
By slavetotheflyrod
#467999
From the Denver Post, I've highlighted the juicy part in red

Aurora cars stopped, occupants cuffed, searched after bank robbery
POSTED: 06/03/2012 11:43:32 AM MDT
UPDATED: 06/03/2012 11:52:57 AM MDTBy Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Aurora police had information that a bank robber was in one of a group of vehicles stopped at Iliff Avenue and Buckley Road Saturday night when they stopped traffic and pulled a number of people out of cars, handcuffing and questioning them, said police spokesman Frank Fania.

Fania admitted that taking motorists from their cars en-masse was unusual. "I have been doing this for 24 years and I don't ever remember a situation like that."

Police arrested a man taken from one of the vehicles, he said.

"Somebody made a quick decision to stop all of them and hold them and figure out what they were going to do next. We didn't have a vehicle description, we didn't even have his race."

The robber was wearing a mask when he walked into the Wells Fargo branch at 15301 East Hampden Ave. about 10 minutes before the bank's 4 p.m. closing time.

Not everyone taken from 19 cars at the intersection was put in handcuffs, Fania said. "I don't know why certain ones were and others were not," he said.

Police reportedly searched the cars as well.

Traffic was stopped at the Buckley intersection about 30 minutes after the robbery and held for about two hours.



This makes NYPD's "stop and frisk" look downright constitutional. Last I checked, reasonable suspicion was required in order to detain someone, the limit for lawful detention under reasonable suspicion was 45 minutes, and consent, probable cause or a warrant was required before effecting a search. I can guarantee this much - if I'd have been at that intersection me and a few Aurora cops would be sharing an ambulance ride and in the end I'd be a few hundred grand richer and they'd be searching Craigslist for "security" jobs. It's not every day you get a free pass to punch a cop that also comes with it's own winning lottery ticket.

Total Fucking Bullshit!
User avatar
By BaggerMcGuirk
#468036
User avatar
By slavetotheflyrod
#468089
Bagger - I also find it disturbing that law enforcement or whoever can basically violate a persons right to privacy without any reasonable suspicion or probable cause so long as they do it from an aircraft.

That said, such things have been going on since the 60's, and this wouldn't make the news at all if it weren't for the fact that they're using drones now rather than helicopters.

Some cattle ranchers getting a fly over from the EPA is small potatoes compared to the millions of people getting a fly over courtesy of the war on drugs and the narco terrorists at the DEA.
User avatar
By BaggerMcGuirk
#468109
Slave,
I concur with the abusive powers of the LEO's across the nation that as you point out, have been snow balling since the 60's.
It's just the use of UAV's is an insult to injury.
User avatar
By slavetotheflyrod
#468120
We've got Police dept's and county Sheriff's out here clamoring to get federal grant money to buy new flying toys. With crime in steady decline one can only wonder why it is that law enforcement budgets get increased every fucking year.

For a bit of perspective - My neighbor is a captain with Denver Fire. DFD has been seeing a steady increase in calls for service and yet their budget gets cut, meanwhile DPD is seeing a steady reduction in crimes of all kinds, as well as a reduction in calls for service, and yet their budget gets increased in order to purchase all sorts of fancy new toys. Fucked up if you asked me.

I guess my whole stance on the UAV thing though, is basically "who gives a fuck" if they weren't using UAV's they'd be doing the same exact thing but with helicopters or fixed wing aircraft. I predict that some poorly trained flunky cop will fly one of these UAV's into a building or some such and that'll be the end of that.

I also got to thinking a bit more about the whole Aurora bank robbery situation. The cops in question basically assaulted, battered, menaced and kidnapped the unfortunate citizens that happened to be stopped at that intersection. I did a little research and I can't find anything that would prohibit a private citizen from effecting a citizens arrest against a LEO for such things. Sadly, most citizens this day and age haven't the first fucking clue what their rights are and even if they did wouldn't have the cajones to stand up for themselves when confronted by an armed thug with a badge. The media is already doing their best to sweep this under the rug, two hours after the article I pasted was posted it was taken down and replaced with a version that makes no mention whatsoever of the civil rights abuses perpetrated by the APD. For that matter, neither story made the print edition of the DP, and all but one of the local tv news outlets failed to cover the story at all.

Pure Bullshit!
User avatar
By slavetotheflyrod
#468124
Here's some more bullshit about to go down:

Denver Police began enforcing the city's unauthorized camping-ban today, and while no arrests had been made by the afternoon, numbers of homeless people around Civic Center Park had diminished.
"We do informal counts and (the number of homeless) appears to be down," said Jamie Bradley , public relations specialist for Denver's Road Home , a group that works with the homeless.
"Based on my conversations with our executive director (Bennie Milliner ) and his informal count of Civic Center Park, prior to the ban he counted 50 people in that area," Bradley said. "Now he counted between 20 and 30."
The ban, which went into effect May 29 , prohibits anyone from unauthorized camping on public or private city land and carries a potential $999 fine and a year in jail. Police had instituted a grace period on enforcement to inform the homeless of the new rule and train officers.
With enforcement beginning, many homeless people say they are looking to move outside the city.
"I just got to find a place that's outside of Denver's reach," said "Lurch," a homeless man sitting in Civic Center Park who asked to be referred to by his "street name.". "Everybody is being run out of any place they can hide."
Some surrounding counties are taking steps to prevent the potential overflow of homeless looking to leave Denver, including Wheat Ridge.
The Wheat Ridge Police Department is planning to conduct a sweep at 6 a.m. on Friday in greenbelt areas looking for unauthorized camping and illegal activity.
"Because of some of the changes in our surrounding communities with these new ordinances, we'll use this sweep as a benchmark," said Wheat Ridge Police Spokesperson Lisa Spinder . "We're not concerned, but it is on our minds and we'll use this time to sweep and benchmark to see if the ban is having an effect on our community."
Elizabeth Dodson , a homeless woman also in Civic Center Park Monday, said she and her husband are planning to stay with a friend until they can find temporary housing as many local shelters are at capacity.
"We're going to do what it takes to get out of this situation," she said.


I guess the moral of the story here is that the best way to end homelessness is to make it illegal. This all begs the question, "how fucking stupid are these people that pass such ordinances?" Do they realize that camping is what people with homes and jobs do on the weekends for recreation. I don't see too many homeless people pitching tents and roasting marshmallows. In the end they'll probably spend a whole lot more treating the symptom than it would cost to deal with the root problem, especially given the punk ass DPD's propensity for excessive force. Something tells me a few homeless people will be movin on up, thanks to a tidy little settlement with the city.

Fucking Brilliant!
User avatar
By blumpkin
#468221
Las Vegas Metro Police have NEVER had an officer involved shooting
ruled "unjustified".

On average Metro police end up with 6 months paid administrative leave
after a shooting.

We the taxpayers tried to change this so that officers would at least have to
show up and do paperwork during the "cool down" period.

The union shit a brick and pulled the plug on that idea.

So now we have an officer that has been involved in 2 shootings (both resulting in fatalities)
in a 12 month period who has shown up to work less than 2 weeks in twelve months.

He is laughing all the way to the bank.
User avatar
By slavetotheflyrod
#468241
I should become a cop.

Cap a few suspects and collect a check while I fritter the days away fishing.

Denver cops prefer to beat rather than shoot.
User avatar
By MTgrayling
#468651
vaku wrote: Just shut the fuck up when the cops come around.
Word.

I bet a Narc would make good landfill/fertilizer.
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