Supreme Court Issues Ruling, Gutting Miranda Rights And Threatening The Fifth Amendment

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Vega V Tekoh, a case involving the administration of Miranda rights, with the court ruling that a suspect’s words or statements can be used in court regardless of their Miranda rights

For background, these are the facts of the case in question:

Terence Tekoh worked as a patient transporter in a hospital in Los Angeles. After a patient accused him of sexual assault, hospital staff reported the allegation to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Deputy Carlos Vega went to the hospital to ask Tekoh questions and take Tekoh’s statement. Although the parties described vastly different accounts of the nature of the interaction between Tekoh and Vega, it is undisputed that Vega did not advise Tekoh of his Miranda rights before questioning him or taking his statement.

Tekoh was arrested and charged in California state court, but a jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Following the acquittal on the criminal charge, Tekoh sued Vega, alleging that Vega violated Tekoh’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by taking his statement without first advising him of his Miranda rights.

Justice Samuel Alito issued his ruling, a count of 6-3, deciding that using such statements outside of Miranda rights is not a violation of a defendant’s rights and does not give them the right to sue the court for such use. 

Miranda prescribed a specific and protective set of warnings to ensure that criminally accused suspects were made aware of the Fifth Amendment’s decree that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”  

Miranda is also one of the court’s most culturally famous decisions. Americans know Miranda. More accurately: Americans know their Miranda warnings. Even if they cannot recite the lyrics to the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance, they likely can recite Miranda’s warnings: 

  • You have the right to remain silent;
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law;
  • You have the right to a lawyer;
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.

Generally, if the police obtain a suspect’s statement violating Miranda, the government cannot use that statement against the defendant in court. 

But can the defendant later sue the police for violating the defendant’s constitutional rights? 

The Supreme Court now says, No. 

Keep reading

Ex high-ranking Seattle cop who displayed Nazi insignia to get $1.5M from city

A suburban Seattle city will pay more than $1.5 million to settle a dispute with a former assistant police chief who was disciplined for posting a Nazi rank insignia on his office door and joking about the Holocaust.

Former Kent Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell, who had been with the department for nearly three decades, was initially given two weeks of unpaid leave after the 2020 incident. Outraged residents and members of the Jewish community prompted Mayor Dana Ralph to put Kammerzell on paid administrative leave and demand his resignation.

The city’s attempt to essentially discipline Kammerzell a second time led to a dispute between his lawyers and the city that appeared headed for litigation. But interim city Chief Administrative Officer Arthur “Pat” Fiztpatrick, who is also the city attorney, said Friday the city had resolved the matter through negotiation, The Seattle Times reported.

Ralph, in calling for Kammerzell’s resignation in January, acknowledged that the decision to revisit the discipline issue would likely “come at a high cost.” The city said Friday it would pay him $1,520,000 to resign.

Keep reading

Here Are Eight Lies Texas Officials Told About Uvalde That Should Get Them Fired

More than one week after an 18-year-old gunman stormed Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, state officials are still struggling to set the record straight on what really happened that led to the deaths of 19 kids and two adults.

For a week now, the public, the press, and politicians have been on a wild goose chase to find out why it took more than an hour for good guys with guns to take down a school shooter in a small school in the small South Texas town last Tuesday.

Unfortunately, Texas safety officials have traded the truth for multiple false, misleading, and vague statements that have significantly undermined the public’s trust in law enforcement’s ability to protect children like the fourth-graders who lost their lives in the attack.

Not only have they severely undercut the trust of Americans, they’ve infuriated the mourning Uvalde community.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he felt “misled” and “livid” after hearing that a poor police response significantly contributed to the delay in action against the shooter. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also lamented that “No one mentioned the fact that there was this 45-minute to an hour hold by the chief of the police of the school district while there were still shots being fired.”

Here are eight lies Texas officials told about the Uvalde shooting that should get them immediately fired.

Keep reading

Agent misconduct revealed to be recurring theme at FBI; attempts at fixes fall short

FBI agents have a longstanding pattern of breaking rules on investigations and the bureau’s efforts to solve them did not eliminate the problems, according to more than six years of internal reviews obtained by The Washington Times. 

The previously undisclosed data covering 2013 to 2019 documents more than 1,600 instances of broken rules on cases that involved investigations that do not require a warrant, the use of informants and undercover agents, and on sensitive matters involving people engaged in politics, government, the news media and religious groups.

Mike German, a Brennan Center fellow who formerly worked undercover as an FBI agent, said the rule-breaking detailed in the audits are “the tip of the iceberg.” Mr. German, who left the bureau in 2004 and authored the 2019 book “Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy,” said the actual problem is likely far worse than the public knows. 

“The culture is one of impunity,” Mr. German said. “The FBI leadership controls what gets approved and what doesn’t, regardless of the rules.”

The Times first reported in March about internal FBI audits in 2018 and 2019 showing misconduct by agents. These newly revealed documents portray a persistent pattern of rule-breaking since at least 2013

Keep reading

Disgraced Cop Gets Just 2 Years for Molesting Fiancé’s 10yo Daughter and Filming It

Another police officer has been arrested for child porn and has been given a sweetheart plea deal. While this happens so often that it is depressingly not surprising, this time, it was the cop’s own soon-to-be 10-year-old step daughter who was the victim.

Columbus police officer Raymond Rose, 31, was arrested in 2020 by an officer with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children task force after being accused of filming a young child in a “state of nudity,” according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.

In January, Rose took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to a single charge of of gross sexual imposition for inappropriately touching the 10-year-old girl whom he also videotaped naked.

The charges of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and pandering sexual oriented material involving a minor — both felonies carrying steep sentences — were dropped. Thanks to the plea deal, this week, he was sentenced to just two years in prison.

In October 2020, family members of the reported victim contacted the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau with the allegations.

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Sayje Brown told the judge that the child’s mother found the video on Rose’s phone.

Keep reading

10yo Girl Calls 911 to Report Her Police Officer Dad for Sexually Abusing Her, Fellow Cops Covered It Up

In March, a 10-year-old girl called 911 and told dispatchers that her father, a veteran Chicago cop, had sexually abused her.

“The victim was scared and called 911,” responding officers would later report, according to the Chicago Sun Times, adding that the actions she described “were sexual in nature.”

The officer’s arrest started out normal and it appeared that he would be held accountable. He was taken into custody, according to the arrest report, for “aggravated criminal sexual abuse by family member” — a serious felony charge.

But after spending several hours in jail, he would be released on zero bail with new charges of “domestic battery” — a misdemeanor.

When someone with an actual conscience inside the department learned about the officer’s special treatment, a red flag was raised sparking two separate investigations. An internal investigation is now underway as well as another by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Keep reading

Judge rules cops who arrested man over parody Facebook page have qualified immunity

Free speech and what’s known as “qualified immunity,” as well as “overcriminalization” – expansion of the criminal code in the US to address even minor problems in society – is at the heart of a case that started in 2016 with a short-lived parody page Anthony Novak had set up on Facebook.

Novak was subsequently arrested and spent several days in jail – much longer than the lifespan of his page critical of the police in Parma, Ohio – a page that was up only 12 hours.

In addition, the police confiscated his phone and computer. His “crime” was the humor he was using to express his opinions about the local law enforcement: posts like one “advertising” free abortions performed in a police van, and an “event” under the motto, “Pedophile Reform.”

Some Facebook users complained – about ten of them according to court records – but that was enough for the police to go to the trouble of getting three warrants: to arrest Novak, search his apartment, and deal with Facebook. The charge was “using a computer to hinder police duties,” an accusation based on little-known (and in this case, a court eventually found, invoked incorrectly) state law.

Novak eventually had a jury trial that resulted in his acquittal. But he then went on to sue the officers who arrested him for violating his constitutional rights. However, the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit did not support his claims.

Keep reading

Disgraced Police Union President Pleads Guilty to Raping Children for Decades as Dept. Covered for Him

 Last year, documents were released detailing the abuse and cover-up of said abuse carried out by Patrick M. Rose Sr., the former president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and Boston PD detective. Rose was charged with molesting children, and the documents prove the department knew, and allowed him to continue to serve in their ranks and even engage with children.

Rose was originally charged with 33 counts in connection with the rape and abuse of at least six children in the 1990s. Some of the charges included statutory rape and indecent assault and battery on a child. This week, Rose pleaded guilty to rape charges involving the horrific and repeated rape of multiple young children.

“Some of these victims describe being sexually assaulted upwards of 200 times,” said Assistant District Attorney Audrey Mark.

Rose’s victims were sometimes 6, 7 or 8 years old, prosecutors said, and he raped the six victims in his West Roxbury home over the course of 30 years until 2020.

“By virtue of his position, he had their trust, and he violated it over and over. He violated their bodies. And these children, and these adult survivors will live with that trauma for the rest of their lives,” Mark said after the court listened to victim impact statements.

“I am so sorry to each and every one of you. Please try to accept that I am solely responsible, and not let your hatred destroy who you are or each other,” the disgraced police union boss said as he was shackled in the courtroom on Monday.

Unfortunately, despite the nature of his charges, Rose was only sentenced to 10-13 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

Keep reading