Wednesday, May 13, 2015

You had better think twice before asking an Alabama deputy to protect you from "violence" and "oppression"

Officer Chris Blevins (left) and yours truly after Blevins had finished
"protecting my constitutional rights"

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, has taught us--among many unfortunate lessons--that law enforcement officers can have only the slightest acquaintance with the truth.

One of the most comprehensive articles we've seen on the subject is from Daily Kos, titled "Breaking down 5 lies of Officer Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott."

I know from personal experience that Michael Slager hardly is the only liar among those who wear uniforms and badges--who can come at citizens with all sorts of weaponry.

Take, for example, Chris Blevins, the Shelby County, Alabama, deputy who entered my home on October 23, 2013, (without showing a warrant, stating he had a warrant, or stating his purpose for being there) and proceeded to knock me to a concrete floor three times and spray mace in my face. This was all over a purely civil matter--an alleged contempt of court involving a preliminary injunction that violated more than 200 years of First Amendment law.

There was not the slightest hint of a criminal allegation against me, but my encounter with Officer Blevins--inside my own home--left me with a swollen eye, a puffy face, and bruises, cuts and abrasions all over my arms, legs, and back. For good measure, Officer Jason Valenti threatened to break my arms while helping Blevins put handcuffs on me.

To summarize, Chris Blevins helped throw me in jail for five months, violating fundamental law that predates the end of the Revolutionary War. But guess who appears in a new video that promotes the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and its "Code of Ethics"? Yep, our guy Chris Blevins is front and center in a video that almost certainly was filmed in response to a string of police-misconduct cases that started last summer with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Blevins is the third "performer" in the video (which can be seen at the link near the end of this post), and with a look of utmost seriousness on his face, he touts his commitment to protect:

. . . the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder. And respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.

The words that come from Blevins' mouth in the video would be laughable if they weren't so absurd. In fact, I would even laugh at them if I had not been on on the receiving end of his efforts to "protect" me.

What's the truth? Blevins applied oppression and intimidation; he did not protect me from them. Blevins brought violence and disorder to my previously peaceful life. Blevins joined an effort to take away my liberty and deprive me of equality and justice.

Chris Blevins, it seems clear, is cut from the same cloth as Michael Slager. They both lie to such an extent that they probably can no longer even recognize the truth.

Want proof? I would invite you look at the side-by-side photos of Blevins and me at the top of this post. My photo is evidence of what can happen to you when someone like Chris Blevins tries to "protect your constitutional rights."

Code of Ethics video for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office


Anonymous said...

If you were to ask Blevins about this, he probably would say, "I was just doing my job." That means his job doesn't involve any of that high-minded BS he talks about on the video. It's just about being a thug and "talking folks in."

Anonymous said...

I meant "taking" folks in.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the officer say you reached in your pocket and that made him fearful?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, words to that effect. He said I reached in my pocket, and the implication was that he thought I was going to pull out a weapon of some sort. In fact, that's when he started attacking me. I had just gotten out of our car, so it shouldn't have been a big surprise that I was putting my keys in my pocket.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a semi trained gorilla could do Blevins' job.

Anonymous said...

You realize the warrant was issued because you didn't comply with a court order. That means he was trying to establish order by serving a warrant. With every arrest, there is always somebody that feels oppressed or intimidated. However the victim feels protected.

legalschnauzer said...

I don't realize there was a warrant at all. He didn't produce one, he didn't say he had one, he didn't say he was there to arrest me, and (later) when a prosecutor was ordered to produce the warrant, she couldn't. Blevins also unlawfully entered my home, and I was challenging the unlawful order in court but got arrested first--based on an order that violated 200 years of First Amendment law. Sorry, but I already was orderly, and there was no victim, and there was no alleged crime. You are trying to put lipstick on a pig, but you are failing badly. You apparently have more interest in protecting the legal/law enforcement tribe than in seeing the actual law is enforced, and constitutional rights are protected.

Chas said...

Hey, @9:40, are you saying there was disorder in Mr. Schnauzer's garage before Officer Blevins arrived? How do you know that? I've seen a video, and that looks like there was more disorder in the garage after Blevins left than before he arrived.

Also, who was the "victim" that deputy Blevins was protecting? I'm having a hard time figuring that one out.

Anonymous said...

Even if Blevins had a warrant for contempt of court, I find it hard to believe the law allows him to come into your home on a matter that is not even criminal. If that's the case, we really have become a police state.

legalschnauzer said...

You find it hard to believe, @4:02, because the law does not allow Blevins to do that. I should say my research, so far, shows that he can't do that.

Going to research this issue further and write a post soon, but I've yet to find any case law that says law enforcement can enter a dwelling to make a non-criminal arrest, even with a warrant (and we don't know if Blevins had a warrant or not).

I've found two key cases on this:

(1) Payton v. New York is a SCOTUS case that says cops cannot enter a dwelling to make a routine felony arrest without a warrant.

(2) U.S. v. Spencer is a 2nd Circuit case that extends the Payton finding to misdemeanors. In other words, cops can't enter a dwelling to make a misdemeanor arrest without a warrant.

I've yet to find any case that says police can enter a home to make a non-criminal arrest, such as in a case of alleged contempt of court. And since Spencer is from the 2nd Circuit, it does not appear to be binding precedent in other circuits.

Anonymous said...

The disorder was not following a court order that led to a warrant being signed. Contempt of court is an arrestable offense, therefore a warrant could be issued. You could consider the victim to be the Plaintiffs or the state. Both cases you cited talk of warrantless arrests. Roger has never denied that the order was issued, in fact he talks about it all the time. Roger admits he did not comply, why is it so hard for people to believe that the judge issued a warrant for contempt. The judge even brought him before his bench to answer to the contempt charge and told Roger to comply or stay in jail. If the judge didn't issue the warrant, how did he know to bring him to court? If you believe the judge is so corrupt, why is it hard to believe that he issued a warrant?

legalschnauzer said...

I don't even know where to begin with this, @5:12, given that you seem to live in a fantasy world, where we can imagine that warrants and court orders do or do not exist. You say more than once that a warrant "could" be issued. Is that how we practice law now? Someone can be arrested because a warrant "could" be issued, whether one really was or not. Good grief, you expect to be taken seriously?

How were the plaintiffs victimized? They weren't. How can the state be victimized in a civil case? It can't; it's not a party. Again, you expect to be taken seriously?

Oh, then finally, people are to be arrested because we "believe" the judge issued a warrant. A judge or cop has no responsibility to actually produce a warrant. Our system is supposed to run on what someone "believes." I guess you "believe" the world is flat, so that makes it so? This is laughable.

This all works both ways, of course. You apparently concede that Blevins didn't produce a warrant and ADA Willingham couldn't produce a warrant when a judge demanded she do so. Therefore, why is it so hard for you to "believe" that one never existed? See how the shoe fits on the other foot?

Finally, you might try actually reading the Payton and Spencer cases. They both say that cops can enter dwellings with warrants, for felonies and misdemeanors. Neither says they can enter a dwelling, even with a warrant, for an alleged non-criminal

If anyone can show me law that controls in Alabama and gives the green light for cops to enter dwellings, with a warrant, to make a non-criminal arrest, I would love to see it. Haven't found such a case yet.

And for purposes of this comment, I'm giving Blevins credit for having a warrant--even though there is no evidence that he had one.

Anonymous said...

Contempt of court is a crime. You can't ignore a court order because you don't feel like it. That's not how things work. You act like it was impossible for Blevins to have a warrant, but it is completely plausible. You were found guilty and you didn't appeal the decision. Sounds like you have already conceded.
The world is round and the Earth revolves around the Sun, which is the closest star. A warrant gives officers the right to enter your residence. These are facts. There is no need to debate that since the Constitution doesn't say criminal warrant, it includes all warrants issued upon probable cause.
You have encouraged others to obtain a copy of the video and, let's face it, you know nobody will go to that much trouble. Why don't you get a transcript of the trial and copy of the video? Maybe you want to play the part of victim and the video doesn't let you play that part.

Anonymous said...

Essentially, the Baltimore police adopted the tactics used daily by the Israeli police against Palestinians on the West Bank: deny transit routes, corral the targeted population, and respond with overwhelming force and, often, brutal violence. In fact, Baltimore’s police, just as with the St. Louis County Police who responded to the Ferguson situation, have received Israeli law enforcement and «counter-terrorism» training, including in the use of long range acoustic device (LRAD) sound weapons, use of anti-crowd portable fences, and Krav Maga martial arts instruction, from the Israeli police and Israeli Defense Force. This training is courtesy of programs supported by the right-wing and proto-fascist Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). The ADL once compiled massive data files of American dissidents, civil rights leaders, and anti-war Christian clergy for federal and state law enforcement. Retired police officers who had received ADL-sponsored training in Israel hit the television circuit to proclaim the massive police and army «show of force» in Baltimore to be the template for the rest of the nation.

That didn’t take long did it? I of course am speaking of the second overnight and global meltdown of the credit markets …in the last four business days! Before getting into this topic which I believe will soon be seen in retrospect and by historians far into the future as “THE” trigger event.

Just as we saw last Wed. night/Thurs. wee hours, credit markets again melted down overnight. The following charts clearly illustrate this.

legalschnauzer said...

As usual, your comment is nonsensical from the start. Civil contempt was the issue in my case, and that is not a crime--hence the term "civil."

I didn't ignore a court order. I responded to it by filing a Motion to Quash Service, which is the proper first step whenever service is questionable. I would have challenged the order on other grounds if I hadn't been arrested first.

I've never said it was impossible that Blevins had a warrant. I've said that the evidence, so far, shows both he and an ADA could not produce one. Whether it's "plausible" that he had one is irrelevant.

I was found "guilty" of nothing. It was a civil case; those don't involve findings of guilt.

I didn't challenge the decision because I was unlawfully incarcerated. Kind of hard to fight a bogus ruling when you are confined. I've conceded nothing.

You cite no case law or section of the constitution to support your claims regarding the right to enter a dwelling on a non-criminal matter. I suspect that's because you can't find any. I guess you "believe" they exist, so that's all it takes.

As for the video and a transcript, I don't need either. I was there for the proceeding, and I've seen the video. Whether someone else wants to seek a copy is up to them. I feel certain the Shelby County DA's office would come up with all sorts of excuses to not release the video because it shows Blevins entering our home without a warrant and without stating his purpose for being there--violating both state and federal law.

Not sure what horse you have in this race, but you make yourself look dumber and dumber with each passing comment. Can't wait for the next one.

Anonymous said...

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Running Scared goes into detail about how Mr. Davis, then a rookie cop on the New Orleans Police Department, repeatedly observed corrupt senior officers violating the very laws they vowed to uphold. Quickly disgusted by what he observed, he made complaints to senior supervisors, who in turn refuse to make such officers accountable for their actions, but instead upholding the long practice called The Blue Law; protect your brother cops at all costs!

He quickly realized that his "image" of a police officer was a distortion. So he later joined "the club", following the footsteps of other rogue cops in the1970's. He then committed a crime while on the job and was soon arrested. He then skip bond, and became one of America's longest running fugitives from justice; for an astounding 22 years. Much of his time was spent living as a nomad in various woods, forests, and cities in Canada and the United States.

The book ends with the officers' eventual surrender to law enforcement in 2001 after what he calls a "revelation from God". He essentially "banished" and "incarcerated" himself for 22 years while living in various forests and many cities without family, friends, or any support. The author now conducts interviews with various television stations and speaks to youths, schools, groups, and various organizations about avoiding crime and corruption. He is particularly focused on admonishing youths about the dangers of crime. The author has dedicated his life to exposing corrupt police officers and their unfair tactics.

e.a.f. said...

well you remember the old line about telling a big enough lie long enough......guess they practice that "truth" in Alabama and other places in the U.S.A.

Having the officer who assaulted you do the video is simply a P.R. stunt to try to get the general public to not believe you.

Canada has had it far share of police shooting also in the past few years.

it is hard to figure it out. England, has had fewer police shootings in over a hundred years than Canada has had this century. I can only guess what the American stats. are.

Police in North America must be suffering from sort of disease which kills civilians.

Anonymous said...

You were convicted on a resisting arrest charge. You want to act like you didn't know what trial I was talking about in an attempt to discredit me, but you knew what guilty verdict I was speaking of. You stated you were convicted of resisting and you paid your fines / fees. I haven't heard you attempt to appeal the conviction. If I was conficted of a crime, that I knew I didn't commit, I would appeal it.

legalschnauzer said...

Did you star in the movie "Dumb and Dumber"? Sounds like it.

Perhaps you are a mind reader, but I'm not. Our discussion was about entering a dwelling on a non-criminal manner, and I thought that was the subject. I had no idea you were referring to the resisting-arrest business because you didn't say that. Try writing more clearly, and maybe you will have a better time being understood.

Have you ever tried appealing anything to a higher Alabama court? Here's what happens to many people. They spend considerable expense preparing the appeal--and it's expensive even if you do it yourself; if you hire a lawyer to do it, the expense is prohibitive for many people.

What do you often get out of it? A one-page statement saying "Affirmed, No Opinion." That pretty much means the court did not even consider your appeal. Ask any semi-honest lawyer, and they will tell you that the appeals process in Alabama is badly broken. It's a huge waste of time and money because our appellate courts are a farce, maybe even worse than the trial courts. I've been down that road on civil matters, and I'm not going there again.

On top of that, I was in jail during the period I had to appeal the resisting-arrest case, so I would not have been able to do it myself--and I wasn't about to pay a lawyer to do it. That's all part of the deprivation of my due process rights from being wrongfully incarcerated, but I'm sure you wouldn't understand that--and you likely do not care.

Bottom line, a corrupt Alabama judge, like Ron Jackson in Shelby County, isn't going to define me. The arrest itself was unlawful, so I could not have been found guilty of resisting. That's Law School 101, the kind of simple decision that Alabama courts often don't get right.

I know I didn't commit a crime--I was the victim of a crime--so I'm at peace with that. Also, there are other ways to attack that bogus conviction, but I'm not going to explain them to you. That resisting-arrest deal was a tiny part of a much bigger, sleazy picture.