Arresting officer commits perjury

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good morning:

Today we are going to review the plain-view rule and demonstrate that,

(1) The arresting officer in Crane-Station’s case committed perjury at her suppression hearing and again at trial;

(2) Her lawyer, Chris McNeill knew it and refused to expose his perjury at the trial.

The Plain View Rule

Pursuant to the plain-view rule, a police officer may seize any item without consent or a search warrant, if she:

(1) has a right to be where she is;

(2) sees it in plain view; and

(3) recognizes it to be evidence of a crime.

For example, if a police officer were to pull someone over and notice an ounce of cocaine in plain view on the console of the vehicle, she could seize it and arrest the driver for suspected possession of a controlled substance, provided, she had a right to be where she was.

In other words, if she had a reasonable suspicion to believe that the person she stopped was committing, had committed, or was about to commit a crime, the stop was lawful and she had a right to be where she was when she saw the suspected controlled substance in plain view. But if she did not have a reasonable suspicion, the stop would be unlawful and both her seizure of the suspected controlled substance and arrest of the driver would be unlawful.

The plain view rule is an exception to the search warrant requirement and every police officer knows it. During my 30-year-career as a criminal defense lawyer, I cannot even estimate the number of times that a client told me that an incriminating item seized by police was concealed and definitely not in plain view even though the arresting officer claimed that it was.

Police know that they are going to win swearing contests when it’s their word against the defendant’s and they are right.

The plain view rule is such a well known exception to the search warrant requirement that I cannot imagine any officer would testify under oath that he seized an item that was not in plain view and months later testify under oath in another hearing that the item was in plain view.

Yet, that is exactly what happened in Crane-Station’s case.

No competent criminal defense attorney would fail to confront a police officer who did that, yet that is exactly what her attorney, Chris McNeill, did.

His failure to do that was a violation of his duty to vigorously defend his client and he should be suspended or disbarred for doing that.

Deputy McGuire’s testimony at the preliminary hearing

At the preliminary hearing one week after the arrest, Deputy Eddie McGuire testified:

A. So you couldn’t just–the seat comes in and out, obviously, easily because it’s detached for the purposes of searching. And I just moved the seat back, and it was sitting right there.

Q. You couldn’t see it if you were standing outside the car looking in?

A. Right. I don’t believe you could.

Deputy McGuire’s testimony at the suppression hearing

Q: And what—At that point, what did you see?

A: I just seen the watch and then the small baggy sitting–it was in plain view right there in the crack where the seat belt comes up.

Q: So you could see both?

A: I could see both, yes sir.

Crane-Station here, with supporting documents. Official court reporter transcripts.

Click on the document for an enlarged view.

Preliminary hearing title page:

Preliminary hearing, page 11:

Suppression hearing title page:

Suppression Hearing page 24:
-now, the substance has moved, and it is in plain view.

Suppression hearing page 25:

If you think this is bad, tune in again tomorrow. It gets worse. Much worse.

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10 Responses to Arresting officer commits perjury

  1. bettykath says:

    A tragic event but the cops are being held accountable:

    CLEVELAND – A grand jury indicted six Cleveland police officers Friday in connection to the Nov. 29, 2012 deadly police chase and shooting.

    Officer Michael Brelo was indicted on two counts of manslaughter in regards to the shooting. This charge carries a mandatory sentence of three to 11 years in prison.

    Brelo was immediately relieved of duty and is on un-paid administrative leave pending the adjudication of the charges.

    Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30, led Brelo and 12 other Cleveland police officers on a 23-minute high-speed chase. The chase ended with a shootout in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland.

    Officer Brelo fired 49 of the 137 bullets that were fired into Russell’s car by Cleveland police officers, more than any other officer involved.

    Brelo fired 15 shots at the victims from close range while he was on the hood of Russell’s car.

    Investigators later determined Russell and Williams were unarmed.

    The grand jury charged five supervisors with dereliction of duty. Those officers include: Sgt. Michael Donegan, Lt. Paul Wilson, and Sgts. Randolph Daley, Jason Edens and Patricia Coleman. These officers will be reassigned to restricted duty pending the adjudication of the criminal charges.

    Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement Friday, these five supervisors “failed to do their duty to control and manage the chase, and thereby endangered both the public and the police officers they were supposed to be leading.”

    Russell and Williams’ family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city on the one-year anniversary of the incident, alleging the officers used excessive force.

    Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath has said the city will conduct its own review of the shooting after the grand jury finishes its investigation.

    The department’s Critical Incident Review Committee finished its review of the chase last April leading to disciplinary action against the majority of the 104 officers who were involved in the incident.

    In October, McGrath announced that 63 of the 104 officers involved in the chase would be suspended for one to 10 days for excessive speeding, insubordination and failure to get permission to join the pursuit.

    The officers have appealed the discipline. City officials said arbitration hearings are scheduled for this spring.

    McGrath has placed much of the blame for the incident on a handful of supervisors. In June 2013, he announced nine supervisors were suspended, two were demoted and one was fired following administrative hearings.

    The one dozen supervisors have also appealed their discipline. Arbitration hearings for the supervisors wrapped up in May.

    The Ohio Attorney General’s office conducted the official investigation into the chase.

    Investigators found dozens of officers failed to follow to city policies, ignored their supervisors’ instructions and joined the chase without permission.

    “We are dealing with a systemic failure in the Cleveland Police Department,” said DeWine during a Feb. 5, 2013 news conference.

    The chase started near the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. A Cleveland police officer thought he heard a gunshot coming from Russell’s car. Investigators later determined the vehicle had backfired.

    Although many officers involved in the chase reported seeing Williams holding a gun, no weapons were found in Russell’s car or along the chase route.

    The incident has led to changes in the department. Police Chief Calvin Williams announced a new chase policy March 6.

    The policy review started before the chase. However, Williams said, “This new policy was put in place to make sure that events like (the chase) . . . don’t happen again in the city.”

    The policy prohibits officers from joining a chase without permission and designates a controlling supervisor and scene supervisor to direct vehicle pursuits.

    Congresswoman Marcia Fudge released the following statement Friday regarding the decision of the grand jury.

    “Our community was deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of two unarmed residents that resulted from the barrage of gunfire directed at them by Cleveland Police Officers on the night of November 29, 2012. The presentation of evidence by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor to a grand jury relating to criminal charges is one step in a lengthy legal process. In reviewing the evidence, the grand jury has done its job and rendered two felony counts of manslaughter against one Cleveland Police officer and misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty against five police supervisors. No one is above the law. I look forward to the process in the courts continuing and upholding the principal that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

    “Further, the U.S. Department of Justice review requested by my office of the Cleveland Division of Police use of deadly force and pursuit policies is ongoing. Our community has been patient. Some changes have already been implemented but clearly, more must also be done administratively to ensure that another tragic incident such as this will never occur again.”

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    • bettykath says:

      More information. Astounding. 1 officer indicted for manslaughter and 5 supervisors indicted for dereliction of duty. For killing a Black couple.

    • lurker says:

      It is fairly remarkable, and perhaps an indication of just how seriously awry this particular chase and attack by the police went beyond SOP that any police were indicted at all. Early reports in the news dwelt on the lengthy criminal records of the victims as well as the belief that the pair HAD BEEN armed but threw a gun out the window somewhere along the way.

      IOW–this could have gone another way and nobody would have been surprised.

      Apparently, however, one of the policeman indicted reportedly stood atop a police car and pumped 50 more bullets into the deceased after all had fallen quiet. Apparently the Grand Jury found this to be excessive.

  2. kllypyn says:

    Corruption in our legal system seems to be rampant in this country. (The Trayvon Martin is a case in point.)Her lawyer was an idiot. He should have called that officer out on his perjury.

  3. lurker says:

    Seriously off-topic, but I needed to share this article I just read. Isn’t Miami Gardens where Trayvon lived with his mom? I realize this doesn’t necessarily carry over to Stanford, however, if this sort of thing is commonplace, it could explain why the DOJ hasn’t come out with a final report yet. Maybe the stuff’s just TOO DEEP!

    • gblock says:

      Sanford is over 100 miles away from Miami Gardens, so it is likely that this is not considered relevant to that particular investigation. Still, this does raise serious questions, including, as you asked, how common things like this are.

  4. colin black says:

    You have no Idea compared to the Scottish polis an the English Police back in the day .

    Corruption violence,,,,VERBALS = Words written allegegly ver batim,

    You see 60s 70s interveiws were neither filmed or even taped .

    Just officers trained in shorthand transcribed the interveiw.

    And this is were VERBALS ocoured.

    Bacicly they wrote what they wanted to hear.

    As oppose what words you uttered…

    But before we got to that part of proceadured the threat of violence was used to coerse a confession.

    That fails then proceade with the violence…

    Thats a bust then just put words in your mouth…

    Wich by this stage was rendered mute anyway because of teeth prtruding through your lips.

    Wich now resembled the background to a Rolling Stones concert.

    An any thing you sais sounded like

    Youyh phukkin phhrkchs armm treth reath criminthls!

    Beleive this or beleive it not but one of there favourate ways to gain confessions.

    And im not talking terrrist shit but criminal stuff drugs frauds ect.

    Was waterboarding but that term wasnt invented re torture in the 70s 80s

    Every police station has cells to detain prisoners untill court.

    Useally ten 5 eachside…

    And in the corridor theres aways an area with facilties for cleaners to come swab out the cells of

    Puke blood sick urine an assorted body parts aan fluids.

    This consists of a low slung sink more like a trough with a grill on top .
    For draining the dirty water .

    An a higher sink with taps for them to fill there buckets with clean water.

    However the polis had a different use for them.

    They remove the grill from atop the low trough like sink leave it full with the vile filth swabed thrown away barely water.

    You are stripped to the waist handcuffed hands behind your back.

    Two burly C I D = detectives .

    Uniform coppers never did this or even wittnesssed it

    Would force you to your knees your face inches from this fetid mixture.

    And they will say things like.

    Last chance to speak Colin .

    People die in police custody accidently all the time..

    And as soon as you tell em to f off wich is a bad idea .

    They instantly ducck you under an hold you down.

    Knowing what was about to ocour I wouls silently inhale a huge amount of air whilst pretending to ponder there offer.

    An when lungs were full shake my head an bosh they would duck you under.

    As a child i was a water baby had to learn to swim young .

    And could hold my breath an swim under water two lenghts of a pool.

    But you can let them know your comfortable you must let some bubbles out an push an struggle as if you are in distress.

    As this is what they want because they dont let you up .

    They saviour your pain an fear an then they haul you up convived your going to confess an write it out or at least sign a pre written one.

    My favourte responce was to call them murderous cowards an bosh down ago again.

    Perth Police were the worst most torces gave up after two or three dunkings.

    An just flung you in a freezing cell stone floor no brdd no blankets an your soaking wet.

    But this one Detective in Perth drunk as a skunk reeked of Whisky I swear he had to be dragged away by his colleges as Im sure he wanted to drown me.

    An all over a 400 pound theft from an Army Navy Store.

    All this Is true that and much worse went on concernig Police brutalty at this period.

    Look what happened to inoccent Irish people framed for the Guilford bobings ect.

    Totured starved beaten an told there Familys back in Ireland would also be arrested if they didnt confess.

  5. bettykath says:

    When I read the subject of this thread I thought, “so what else is new?”

    I’m so sorry you didn’t have competent representation. I can’t imagine the frustration of being in that situation and having no one advocating for you. Your attorney obviously doesn’t count as an advocate. He needs to be disbarred. The cop should be charged with perjury. Your attorney should be charged with something and spend at least as much time in jail as you did.

    • Amen to that.

      I was excluded from the courtroom during the trial, so I had no idea what was going on. Crane was extremely upset about what was happening, but she is not a lawyer and did not realize how badly she was being raped in the courtroom by the prosecutor, judge and her own lawyer. But she knew enough to know that something was seriously wrong.

      I simply never imagined that something like this was possible. I knew she was innocent and had an incredibly strong case in which the cop was basically the only witness against her and her lawyer could prove that he committed perjury.

      The labs came back no alcohol and no drugs.

      What could go wrong, I wondered.

      The answer is everything and we are going to reveal all the excruciating details here on this blog over the course of the next month or so.

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