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Category Archives: What to do if police harrass you

88-year old Woman Defends Home from Cops Who Went to Wrong House, So She Was Assaulted & Arrested

Pittsfield, MA — Police in Massachusetts mistakenly attempted to barge into the wrong home Thursday afternoon. During their blunder, police offended the homeowner, 88-year Phyllis Stankiewicz.

Police were responding to a report of a disturbance involving someone with a baseball bat at the address of 57 Wilson Street, Stankiewicz’s home. However, the actual disturbance was called in at 57 Memorial Drive, a block away from Wilson.

According to the police report, when Stankiewicz opened the door she was holding a knife in an apparent attempt to defend her home from the would-be intruders.

Police said that Stankiewicz was holding the knife at “waste level” and that she appeared “angry and confused.” She was yelling, “There’s no crime here! Get out of my house!” according to a police report.

Police say they grabbed the knife away from the woman and tried to push her away, and that is when she slapped one of them. Her actions then prompted the police to arrest the woman, who naturally resisted being kidnapped. As she resisted, the elderly woman was then thrown to the ground and hauled off to jail.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, Stankiewicz was released after being booked, and ordered to appear in court for her arraignment on Friday.

She pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to one count of assault and battery on a police officer.

Luckily this elderly woman was not gunned down by the officers.

Of course, most people will say that Stankiewicz shouldn’t have conducted herself in such a manner if she did not want to end up in jail. However, up until the point that police initiated contact with her, by mistakenly going to her home, and began questioning her, she had committed no crime.

Remove the incompetent officers from the scenario and Stankiewicz would still be happily in her home and would not be facing criminal charges.

In the state of Indiana, there are laws on the books that would have protected Stankiewicz as she defended her home from the mistaken officers.

All too often, we see examples of cops breaking into the wrong house and shooting the family dog, or worse, killing a member of the family.

Indiana has taken action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”

Because these officers went to the wrong address, it could be argued that their intrusion into Stankiewicz’s home was unlawful. However, as police will seldomly admit to their incompetent actions and the resultant negative effects, an 88-year-old woman could now spend the rest of her golden years locked away in a cage.

California Cop Pulls gun on citizen in his driveway for NO reason

Rohnert Park, CA — In a video that is sure to spark outrage across the country, a Rohnert Park police officer was caught on film stalking a man for filming.

As if the harassment and intimidation for simply recording a police officer from his own property weren’t enough, this cop went so far as to exit his vehicle and pull his gun on a man who was simply practicing his freedom of speech.

The incident began as Don McComas was loading up his boat for a day on the water when he noticed a Rohnert Park police cruiser stopped in front of his house.

McComas explained the interaction on a post to his Facebook page:

I was hooking the boat up when the officer pulled slowly into my court. When he rounded infront of my house he stopped yet did nothing, then crept forward and instead of leaving toward Snyder he rounded the court opposite of me, then stopped facing me for a few minutes, doing nothing but pointing straight at me/my house. After a couple minutes I was concerned enough to pull out my phone and hit record. Glad I did.

The officer in unit 1438240 parked only a few feet away from McComas’ Excursion and just sat there in an overt attempt to intimidate an innocent man. After a few uncomfortable moments, the officer rolls down his window and begins filming back. Seconds later he jumps out of his car and begins to threaten McComas.

Within just a few seconds of exiting his vehicle, the officer drew his pistol and began approaching McComas. Remember that McComas had done absolutely nothing wrong, a fact that this officer admits upon contact.

Despite McComas having the camera in one hand and his other hand up, posing no threat whatsoever, the officer continues his advance, with his pistol drawn.

“When I saw the gun and comprehended what was happening I absolutely thought ‘they are going to kill me and claim my hand was in my pocket’ period,” said McComas.

When McComas asserts that he’s done nothing wrong and asks the officer why he got out of his vehicle, the officer proceeded to resort to elementary school tactics.”You’re taking a picture me; I’m taking a picture of you.”

Is taking a picture enough to have reasonable articular suspicion to not only stop at someone’s home but to pull a gun on them?

Luckily, McComas escapes with his life as the armed assailant walks back to his car after momentarily coming to his senses.

When the Free Thought Project reached out to the Rohnert Park Police in regards to this incident, we were told that they are aware of the incident, and they “will be responding in due course.”

Continue reading California Cop Pulls gun on citizen in his driveway for NO reason

Florida Cops Disciplined for Pulling Man Over in Armored Car After He Flipped Them Off

The camouflage-wearing Florida cops who made international news last month when they used an armored car to pull a man over for flipping them off were disciplined, including one Alachua County Sheriff’s Sergeant who was suspended without pay for a day.

Perhaps now they will acknowledge that citizens do that have the right to flip them off, even though we all can agree it is a rude gesture.

Even if they are dressed like Rambo to oversee an annual college football festival titled Orange and Blue Weekend.

Or perhaps they just need to “grow a thicker skin,” as the investigative report concluded, which was obtained by the Gainesville Sun last week.

Now the sergeant who initiated the traffic stop, Kevin Davis, will also have to write a new policy for the agency, which will outline the situations when the armored car, officially titled the Lenco Bearcat Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), will be allowed to make traffic stops. We hope he makes it clear that contempt-of-cop traffic stops are forbidden

Sgt. Kevin Davis was issued one day of suspension without pay by Sheriff Sadie Darnell herself, and Deputy Richard Howell was given a written reprimand.

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Continue reading Florida Cops Disciplined for Pulling Man Over in Armored Car After He Flipped Them Off

Police Chief ‘Shocked’ By Video Of Officer Confronting Man Filming Arrest

D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier said she was “shocked” by a video that shows an officer confronting a citizen who was filming an arrest on a public sidewalk.

“We have an extremely clear policy that addresses the Metropolitan Police Department’s recognition of the First Amendment rights enjoyed by, not only members of the media, but the general public as well, to video record, photograph and or audio record MPD members conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity,” Lanier said in a statement. “We spent an extensive amount of time to ensure that members were aware of the policy, developed in 2011.”

Andrew Heining, a mobile engagement producer at the Washington Post, shot the video on September 7 outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Shortly after he begins filming, an officer, identified as C.C. Reynolds, approaches him and tells him to “pack up and go.”

Continue reading Police Chief ‘Shocked’ By Video Of Officer Confronting Man Filming Arrest