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Friday, September 9, 2011

[CA] US District Court: The word of a cop involved in an incident can be trusted as truth


I ran across this United States District Court point of law (below) yesterday while looking for something else. It is included in a decision regarding an alleged cop-on-cop domestic violence incident. The plaintiff is an officer from one California police department accused of abusing an ex-girlfriend / former officer from another police department. The six responding officers were from the alleged victim's former department.

I am not posting this because of the specific officers involved in this case (the accused was never charged) - but for ALL of the officer-involved domestic violence (oidv) incidents where police respond to a scene INVOLVING an officer who is FAMILIAR to them (in some way) - and where those responding officers are allowed to take the INVOLVED officer's word against that officer's alleged victim or perpetrator.

I am posting it ALSO because of all the "accidental" deaths that take place in the homes of officers, all the "self-defense" homicides that occur in the homes of officers, and because of the MANY alleged SUICIDES of wives and girlfriends of officers. I am posting this for the oidv fatalities that are never fully investigated because the officer on the scene is

believed,

and trusted.

I thought not fully investigating deaths in an officer's home was an unwritten corrupt way of doing things, but it appears that at times, it is a federally approved method of determining

truth.

THE CASE THAT BROUGHT THIS RULE OF LAW TO MY ATTENTION:

Murray v City of Carlsbad, 08cv2121 BTM(AJB) - [US District Court, Southern District Of California. July 19, 2010]
[EXCERPT:] On August 18, 2009, six Carlsbad police officers responded to a call of domestic violence at the address of Plaintiff, an Oceanside Police Department Lieutenant [Shawn Murray]... Plaintiff also challenges the overall reasonableness of the [Carlsbad Police] officers on the scene, questioning their ability to be objective due to their personal and professional relationships with [alleged domestic violence victim, former Carlsbad Police Department officer Shande] Carpenter... There is no evidence that any personal bias influenced [Carlsbad Officer Dzung Luc's] decision to arrest Plaintiff. Moreover, the other officers described a professional history with Carpenter that gave them a reason to trust her. The officers’ knowledge of Carpenter’s character arguably gave them grounds to give more weight to Carpenter’s claims. See People v. Ramey, 16 Cal. 3d 263, 267 (1976) - holding that working relationship between police and private investigator gave private investigator’s statements additional reliability. Therefore, the Court rejects Plaintiff’s claim that all of the officers’ actions were tainted because some of them had preexisting relationships with Carpenter. [Link from Justia.com is here.] 

PRECEDENT REFERENCED IN ABOVE DECISION:
PEOPLE v. RAMEY, 16 Cal.3d 263 (1976), 545 P.2d 1333, 127 Cal. Rptr. 629, THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. MICHAEL KENNETH RAMEY, Defendant and Appellant. Docket No. Crim. 18795, Supreme Court of California. In Bank, February 25, 1976. [Link on Justia U.S. Law here or on Leagle here.]
One of the points established in People v. Ramey was that Sacramento Police Detective Garcia COULD ACCEPT AS TRUE information provided him by Sacramento licensed private investigator / former security guard James Turner because Turner had an "ongoing relationship" with the Sacramento Police Department - without having ever raised doubts as to his trustworthiness. The court found that information Turner provided could therefore be CONSIDERED AS TRUE, establishing probable cause "to beleive defendant [Michael Kenneth Ramey] guilty of the crime..."

Officers often trust officers at a scene. I think we can imagine how that would work and why. But there is the dark side of the same rule of law.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal federal california state cop on cop law precedent case politics]

4 comments:

  1. This is slanderous and libel. The officer in this case was cleared of all wrong doing and no death was involved. hate to be your lawyer or your checkbook when you are named in the upcoming lawsuit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are not the center of the universe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. PEOPLE v. RAMEY

    ...The issue of probable cause turns on the facts known to Detective Garcia prior to the arrest. Here the sole source of that knowledge was the information related to Garcia by Turner. The question is whether it was reasonable for Garcia to rely on that information. The courts have recognized a distinction between informers who are virtual agents of the police and "citizen informants" who are chance witnesses to or victims of crime... In the present case Detective Garcia could reasonably believe that Turner was a citizen informant as herein defined. Moreover, an additional demonstration of reliability was presented in Turner's ongoing relationship with the Sacramento police: while his occupation would not of itself cloak him with any presumption of credence, there was evidence that he had dealt with the Sacramento police on other occasions without raising doubts as to his trustworthiness. For all these reasons, Detective Garcia could accept as true Turner's representations as to the circumstances which led him to defendant's residence, and the statements which defendant there made... Having established that Turner was a reliable informant, we consider the remaining question whether the information he supplied was sufficient to constitute probable cause...

    ReplyDelete

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