Brett Darrow is one of those individuals who believe in police accountability and doesn’t take kindly to police officers who abuse their authority while hiding behind a gun and a badge. To protect himself from such abuse, Darrow outfitted his vehicle with an in-car camera system several years ago after learning first-hand how some cops have no qualms with fabricating falsehoods to justify otherwise illegal enforcement actions.
So I’m driving back to Tucson along SR-86 near mile marker 140 in Southern Arizona this past Friday, minding my own business, when I look in my side-view mirror only to see a silver four door sedan tailgating me.
Figuring the guy was in a hurry, I gradually slowed down from the posted 65 mph speed limit to allow the driver ample opportunity to safely pass me on the left. Even though the other lane was clear and several vehicles took advantage of the opportunity to pass both of us, the driver chose to continue tailgating me for the next ten miles.
A story recently published in the Arizona Daily Star caught my attention the other night. Titled, “Blood draws by officers in DUI stops questioned“, the article indicates a recent victim of this barbaric police practice has filed a Notice of Claim with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
The claim references a persistent blood infection, centered around the needle entry point, that still exists months after being forced to endure a blood draw by a minimally trained sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop under unsafe and unclean environmental conditions. A Notice of Claim is the first step necessary in order for an individual to file suit against a government official/agency in Arizona.
A Missouri motorist who recorded a St. George cop’s threats to falsify charges against him in order to throw him in jail & teach him a lesson, is now being hounded & harrassed by other area cops after his videotape resulted in the first officer’s firing.
I first heard about Brett Darrow in 2006 while conducting online research regarding sobriety checkpoints. At the time, Brett was a 19 year old teenager who had already had a troubling run-in with an off duty cop who had assaulted him a year earlier. The cop, who turned out to be drunk at the time, lied about the incident and falsified charges that were later dropped by a grand jury. When Darrow threatened to sue for violations of his rights, the City of St. Louis settled to keep the lawsuit from going forward.
The story of a man arrested in a Circuit City parking lot for refusing to provide his driver’s license to a local cop caught my attention the other day.
From the link above, it looks like Michael Righi was accosted in the Brooklyn, Ohio Circuit City parking lot by store employees after refusing to allow store security to randomly search his bag or inspect his receipt absent reasonable suspicion prior to leaving the store. The employees blocked his family vehicle and refused to allow him to leave after following him outside the store.
Some time ago, I came across the story of a Minnesota bicyclist who was tazed by airport police while riding home from the Minnesota airport after a recent trip. By all accounts the bicycle rider, Stephan Orsak, was in compliance with all pertinent airport regulations and Minnesota law at the time he was stopped by airport police.
During the encounter, the police were rude, hostile and gave conflicting orders to Mr. Orsak regarding his perfectly legal bike riding activities. When Mr. Orsak questioned the police regarding their behavior and confusing orders, the police became more belligerent and ultimately tazed Mr. Orsak and stomped on his glasses.
After the encounter, the police charged Mr. Orsak with multiple criminal misdeamenors to cover up their own egregious behaviour. They also posted no bike riding signs after the fact in strategic locations and erased footage from airport surveillance cameras that could have been used as evidence to exonerate Mr. Orsak of the charges levied against him.
Mr. Orsak has documented the incident, including legal documentation associated with his case on his blog.
Tomorrow, Mr. Orsak is scheduled to appear in court where several motions will be heard and jury selection for the trial will begin.
I encourage those who are interested in this case to checkout Mr. Orsak’s blog and lend him your support if you feel it’s justified.
While the skateboarders in the video were more likely than not in violation of city ordinances regarding where they could skate, the police officer’s response to the situation appeared to be wholly inappropriate, needlessly escalated the situation, and recklessly placed several individuals in danger.
Unfortunately, these types of incidents appear to be occurring at an ever increasing rate. If a police officer is unable to conduct himself in a professional and measured manner when confronting a small group of unruly thirteen year olds who were obviously no threat to anyone, how will this police officer conduct himself in a serious situation where lives and property are actually at risk?
Something to consider…