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I am writing to you to present to you the ongoing Civil Right violations that I have experienced and am aware of within the L.A. Sheriff's Dept. I do so with the hope that you are a Sheriff who will enforce the law and defend our Civil Rights. I am hopeful that you will address and remedy what I bring to you. I have given you a long and varied list of abuses. I am ready willing and able to do all that I can to serve my country, protect our Rights and defend our liberties. I will not shirk my responsibilities.
In the past I have written multiple letters, visits, emails as well as phone calls to Sheriff Baca's Office, the Command Staff, and the County Counsel for the Dept, they chose to not respond, to not address these violations of citizen's civil rights. I have made the multitude of requests for public discussion, and transparency. Nothing. I have taken these requests to the City Councils of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Malibu and Westlake, the Board of Supervisors members Antonovitch and Zaroslavsky, they also have no interest in the Dept. being open and accountable.
Now, with that laid out, allow me to deal the specific issues.
1. In May of 2011 deputies conducted a traffic stop on my twenty year old son who was driving home. The only pretext was that he turned onto Hillrise Dr. off of Kanan Rd. , which is the street we would turn on to drive to our home. The deputies 'assumed' he was avoiding a checkpoint they had established again on Kanan Rd. They violated his Rights. He had never been arrested, nobody's problem so it was not as though they were pulling him over as a suspected criminal that they knew or any such pretext. The Court has been clear that citizens have the right to avoid these "checkpoints". I have observed your deputies routinely pull over drivers who seek to detour around them. When laying out these checkpoints, the officers and deputies do so to violate the rights of citizens to avoid them as they put up the notices so that by the time a driver is aware of them, they cannot detour.
In June 2011; I chose to exercise my 1st Amendment to hold up a sign with an arrow shape while standing on the sidewalk of and while crossing Kanan Rd. (in the crosswalk, with the light). I was quickly confronted by Deputy Rule of the Dept. who detained me ( according to Deputy Rule, I was under arrest for "public intoxication" as I refused to speak to him when he addressed me. I declined to speak to him as he was illegally demanding I identify myself and asking me questions that I did not wish to answer. I was fully within my rights to ignore him. To quote the Deputy, " if you do not answer me then you must be deaf or intoxicated". As I declined, he handcuffed me and arrested me. Placed me into a Patrol car. I then identified myself, as I am legally required to do when arrested, and asked for the supervisor. Sgt. Phil Brooks arrived. While I remained handcuffed, by my clear and articulate speech I was clearly not in any way "intoxicated". They knew they had wrongfully arrested me. The deputy was angry that I refused to be dissuaded from my actions and to engage him in a discussion rather than pursue my political purpose. After keeping me in handcuffs, they eventually decided to cite me for "jaywalking". Yes, while I was standing off the street, only walking in the crosswalk crossing with the light. When I asserted my right to be "taken before a magistrate without delay" I was transported to the Station to be told that "none was available". That right, it is not "optional". My wrists were swollen to where I they had gone numb (the Dept has the photos) and I was given a choice of spending the weekend in jail or sign a promise to appear. Under duress, I had to sign. I then had to convince Lt. Royal to provide me with transportation back to where I was taken from to resume my political activity. My extensive and repeated efforts to remedy this with the Captain and command staff were ignored.
2.Following this arrest; I and other Sons of Liberty made it a point to protest these checkpoints that violate our Rights. We were subject to harassment, abuse, fabricated parking citations of our vehicles, threats to impound our vehicles as "traffic hazards" (whilst legally parked) as our vehicles were being used to communicate our political speech.
3. In Nov. 2011, the weekend before the election, the LASD deputies refused to protect my liberty when they facilitated and then observed as an Agoura Hills City employee illegally ordered my political speech vehicle towed away while legally parked on Kanan Rd. No CHP 180 form was made, also a violation of the law. My vehicle was locked it up in a City storage lot, not even a contract tow yard where it could be retrieved. All in violation of my freedom of speech and taking of my property, Grand Theft of a vehicle as well. The officers allowed my vehicle with it's political message, to be locked up the entire weekend before the election.
4. The refusal of the Dept. to defend my Rights as it allowed Agoura Hills City officials to remove legal political signage.
5. The actions of the Dept. in operating '"checkpoints" that violate our 4th Amendment Right from unreasonable searches, there is no Probable Cause to stop vehicles at checkpoints. I am well aware the SCOTUS found the 'Constitutional' as the opinion clearly states that they are in fact a violation of our 4th Amendment rights. We now have eleven States that have understood that and refuse to allow them, even while the SCOTUS ruled they are 'Constitutional'. Will you defend our liberty?
6. The actions of the Dept. in refusing vehicle owners their Right of Due Process when their vehicles are impounded. There are no hearings, no Right to call witnesses. Your officers are the sole authority to determine if they agree that the other officer ' had 'probable cause'. They do not even follow the CAVC std. of "reasonable". This is legalized theft.
7. The corrupt issuance of contracts to tow yards; They then charge citizens inflated tow, storage and gate fees that are far beyond market rates, as the Dept. gives them contractual authority to steal vehicles from citizens through these fees. As they can legally refuse to release vehicles unless fess are paid, this allows the tow yards to effectually steal people's vehicles. The LASD allows them to charge tow fees that are 400% higher than market rate and storage fees of over $40 per day, to park! Add to that the "sweetheart deals" they give to your officers to "purchase" "unclaimed" vehicles.
8. The entire process and protocols for 'impounding', 'storing' and towing vehicles. Citizens property, for many property that is essential for them, their vehicles are taken from them on allegation and there is NO due process provided to them.
9. Mitrice Richardson. Her disappearance, death, non-investigation, failures, destruction of evidence and crimes. She was murdered and your officers either committed the crime or covered it up. How can they be allowed to move human remains without the coroner's permission, in direct defiance of the coroner and violation of the law, and yet there are no consequences? This was the only occasion in more than fifty years where law enforcement officers anywhere in CA did this, and it was done by 'Detectives", yet there are no consequences.
10. The Issuance of harassment parking citations by Community Service Officers for non-CAVC violations,
11. The enforcement of County or MC Violations that lack proper CVC authority as required under Section #21. Ergo unhitched trailers, no parking of motor-homes, etc. Your deputies cite citizens for violations that are themselves in violation of the law and are violating the rights of citizens to freely use their public roadways.
12. The enforcement of CA VC section 22651(v) and others that make it a crime to park a vehicle being used to communicate a message, the violation of our 1st Amendment Right of free speech through a VC section allowing the Cities and enforced by your Dept. to seize vehicles that are allegedly being used to 'communicate' a message. You do not defend our Freedom of Speech. You allow other entities, ( "Traffic safety" companies, paving companies and even your Dept.) to operate "mobile Bill Boards CAVC 395.5 yet when a citizen chooses to do so to express even political or religious speech, your officers will seize the vehicle! If you were mistaken as to the First Amendment's protection of our Right to freedom of Speech, are you not aware that the SCOTUS recently affirmed this as to 'signs' in Reed v. Gilbert AZ earlier this year? Do review and correct.
13. The refusal of the Dept. to oversee the Las Virgenes Parking Enforcement District and their issuance of fraudulent parking violations and their refusal to review and provide hearings per the CVC.
14. The refusal of the Dept. to oversee your own Dept. and their issuance of fraudulent parking violations and their refusal to review and provide hearings per the CVC.
15. Actions by your deputies to order me under threat of arrest to quit the podium during my public comment time, acting under the direction of the Mayor of Agoura Hills, Mr. Swartz. Your deputies willfully silenced my First Amendment. I am now not able to exercise my Freedom of Speech as your deputies may choose to drag me away at their own whim.
16. Actions by the officers and deputies to order that Citizens not be allowed to pass out flyers, display flags or banners or to engage people in conversation at a "concert in the park" event in Calabasas. Yes, we are at a public event, in the park, no admission charged. We were threatened with arrest for these actions if we did not cease and desist passing out flyers, or displaying our flags and banners or playing a portable video-player. Even with a phone call from our attorney to the Calabasas City Attorney, we were not allowed to engage in our 1st Amendment activities. Where is the Sheriff's Dept who is supposed to defend our Rights" it is busy violating them!
17.The overall refusal of the Dept. to issue permits for citizens whose wish to carry a concealed firearm. With the real knowledge of arrest and prison; The Dept will not allow citizens to openly carry and possess their firearms in public.
18. The enforcement by the Dept. of "Restraining Orders" that are handed out in Divorce Court and as 'Civil Court Orders" that strip citizens of their Rights without due process. In the City of Los Angeles Mr. Ferguson, a political activist, has had his 2nd Amendment rights stripped from him and will now be jailed if he exercises his First Amendment Rights to protest or in any way happens to come within 100 yds of a political appointee or said person's residence. Will the Dept cease these abuses?
19. The inhuman conditions to which citizens are subjected to while in custody. This is especially outrageous as those who have not been convicted of any crime are punished in these inhuman conditions. They are held there until they enter a no-contest plea for 'time served' to whatever they are charged with. The Central Jail's dungeon is such that if the people kept in their were prisoners of war, the deputies would be guilty of war crimes for the conditions the prisoners are kept in. The terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay are kept in far better conditions than American Citizens who are not even judged guilty of a crime.
20. The violations of our Right to reasonable bail: The Dept facilitates this by holding citizens in custody for allegations of infractions or misdemeanors with bail amounts that are not reasonable. It is clear that few people have access to $10,000, $50,000 cash to post as bail for a misdemeanor and as a consequence are forced to remain in custody under inhuman conditions to obtain a trial or to enter a plea under duress to get out as their only options. For people with assets and credit cards it's just another fee, the bail bondsmen make their money. This violates our 8th Amendment right of reasonable bail.
20B One third of the citizens in jail are held in debtors prisons because they can not post bail or pay fines on 'citations' infractions or bench warrants. They have not been 'duly convicted' of any crime yet they are imprisoned in violation of the 13th Amendment.
21. The overall refusal of the Dept. to publicly debate actions that the Dept takes with 'the public'. To be accountable and open to the citizens. This should be done at all levels. We have repeatedly called for the Dept as well as the local Captain and Officers to be open to a public discussion in the Cities and communities where we live. Nothing.
22. The Official Sheriff's. Dept. "complaints" are an insult to the citizen. Nothing is done. They are just appeasement of the citizen to make him think the Dept. will do something about abuses. Where is the justice? Where are the consequences? Where is the accountability?
23. As to the over-site group of the Dept. it is a toothless tiger. They have no authority to do anything. The Citizen has only two recourses. Endure the abuse or pay for an expensive attorney to try to argue a case for years at great expense. Unless one was beaten to a pulp, likely receive nothing as to compensation.
25. The actions of an LASD deputy assigned to the MTA, to go out with a tow list to impound eight of our vehicles, in one day. All of which were our free speech vehicles. Seize them off of City of Los Angeles, yes City of Los Angeles (not County jurisdiction) city streets under false pretexts to have them locked up in tow yards to force us to pay the extortion fees to reclaim our vehicles. For the Dept. to then insist that we wait two weeks to get a hearing, for a vehicle towed in Chatsworth, to come to Lynwood. These vehicles were taken as part of a political witch hunt that the deputies of the Dept. engaged in to violate our Rights. This abuse is from 2011 and no one has ever been held accountable.
26. The illegal searches of the 'Beach patrol" where they order people to submit to "chemical searches" while sitting on the beach. Labor Day 2012; Deputies demanded that my family and I submit to chemical test searches op our beverage containers while sitting on the beach. I was ordered to present my dixie cup of 7up for a chemical search under threat of arrest. it contained, yes 7UP!
27. The purposeful removal of places at Sheriff Dept. facilities where citizens can exercise their First Amendment Rights to speech, protest and assemble. In 2012 in response to our Free Speech Convoy; your officers illegally posted signs prohibiting public access to the public parking lot at the Lost Hills Station. They posted "Official Business Only signs. The CAVC does permit Counties to restrict parking, upon approval of the Board of Supervisors, this restriction was done BEFORE any vote was taken. Today there is NO public parking at the Station as they can order anyone's vehicle to be towed. Where is our Free Speech allowed???
28. The failure of the Dept. to protect our Rights to use our public streets. Allowing cities to create no parking areas throughout their cities. Allowing cities to illegally prohibit the parking of non-resident vehicles, to prohibit the parking of vehicles for the purpose of not allowing visitors ( no parking after 10PM to 6AM and such). Allowing cities to illegally prohibit parking of RVs, large vehicles, trailers, buses, non-motorized vehicles or any other discriminatory illegal parking regulations they wish. One of these discriminations is to prohibit non-residents from parking in a City . This is discriminatory. CVC 22507 is used but it does NOT permit this authority and the authority it does permit clearly discriminates and violates our State Constitutional Rights to public access of OURE public roadways. End these abuses.
29. The policy and process of the Dept to contract for services with cities at below cost in order to allow the cities to force the taxpayers of the County to subsidize the services used by cities that contract with the Dept. rather than use their own. Clearly this has been done to curry political favor within those cities for the Department's political persons and positions. This is political theft.
30. The lack of consequences and accountability where the Captain Stephens of the Lost Hills Station is allowed to gracefully retire, at full salary, rather than have a full investigation of the allegations that he coerced/forced a female Dept. employee to engage in sexual acts with him. How sick, and the Dept. now pays him a pension with our tax dollars, and you acquiesce!
31. The actions of the deputies towards the young people of the County who wanting to do nothing more than gather in their public park; walk, drive or skateboard down a street in Agoura Hills are subject to deputies rolling up on them, lights on, detained for questioning et al. Is it any wonder that they distrust the police when they are treated as criminals because they are young?
32. The conducting of phony 'gun-buy back' actions. The firearms are destroyed which constitutes a destruction of evidence if the gun was used in a crime. You are facilitating criminals to NOT be convicted! Adding to that you lie to the public, telling them what you are doing makes them 'safer'. Add to that the firearms are not sold, as required by the CA Penal Code, you allow them to be scrapped
33. If the Dept cares about people's safety then why is the Dept. not assisting citizens who wish to protect themselves? Why are women who feel that they are in danger not permitted to carry a gun if they wish to? Why is the Dept. not facilitating these women to help them obtain the means of protecting themselves, but is instead preventing them from doing so? You facilitate the persecution of gun owners violating our Right to keep and to bear arms as your Dept. enforces laws that violate this basic human and American Right.
34. End the phony Red-Light cameras. They are a scam that violate our rights. Your own officers, deputies and family members are exempt from these as you all have protected license plates!
35. Vehicle License plate recognition systems. The Dept is tracking citizens through these systems. Stop spying on us. They are unconstitutional searches of us. We are not some terrorist, we are the People of the U.S. of A. End it.
36. Issuance of press passes. I have asked repeatedly for the same equal access press pass afforded to others. The Dept discriminates and does not treat us all equally. It is a violation of our rights to exclude citizens from events because the Dept has refused the a press pass. We can not be required to purchase a pass to obtain access to events where other "media" people are allowed. We all live in a free country. The Dept needs to end the discrimination against those who do not buy a press pass. In addition, the Dept discriminates in providing information to those whom it does not consider 'media'. We are denied information and access on an equal basis. I have been requesting equal media access of your Dept for FOUR years, end the discrimination! The Dept refuses to grant citizens access. You have 'special' notifications for members of your 'approved media". This is not equal protection.
37. Public information requests. These are denied on phony pretexts. Information is withheld. We the citizens must have the right to access our records. If the Dept does not comply with a citizen's request than the citizen must have a ready remedy to obtain what they seek and hearing to determine whether the information sought should be given. It is a violation of our Right to allow the Dept. to determine what Citizens are allowed to know. It is OUR Dept, not anyone else's. I have had dozens of my Public Records request left unanswered or the Dept. refuses to comply.
38.The Free Speech Convoy seizures and prosecution from the Lost Hills Station That such could occur in the United States of America. Sadly the other actions of the Dept that I have laid out do not shock the sensibilities of many Americans as many are unable to grasp that such abuses occur or they are accustomed to them as a matter of routine. Jan 2012. To seize our Free Speech vehicles under varieties of false pretexts. I am demanding the return of these ten vehicles and the banners and flags.
38 A. The return of the vehicles that were falsely impounded and the ones that were 'held as evidence'. Nearly four years later, they are still not returned nor has there been any action taken to return them. Your Dept. filed phony charges of placing signs in the public roadway for my parking my trailers with banners on them in the public parking lot. There was NEVER any violation of the law and my Freedom of Speech allows me to put signs on my vehicles. Your Dept. saw that I was prosecuted and it took me a year of resistance until the D.A. dismissed the charges. The CAVC requires you to return any vehicle impounded as evidence without charge to the vehicle owner if the charges are dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty. I have been waiting over FOUR Years, I am demanding the return of my vehicles!
39.The actions of the Dept to violate our Rights in issuing citations for non-crimes that violate our rights without a definitive specific public safety aspect. Among these are citations for not wearing helmets, seatbelts or allegedly using a cell phone while driving ( which of course YOUR officers and deputies are EXEMPT FROM!). Let us have a public discussion as to this. I suggest that we citizens do not want our Sheriff's Dept to tell us under threat of arrest to wear a seatbelt. If a cell phone IS a distraction, then cite for a distraction, not the assumed use of one makes it so.
40.The issuance of contracts at the County jail to vendors who have a corrupt arrangement to obtain the contracts.
41. Order the Public Affairs Dept to treat ALL citizens equally. For those who request them; provide all the NIXLE alerts and notices, stop giving out special privileges to 'elitist media people". Issue everyone who requests one the same press pass.
43 The use of 'Stingrays' that mimic cell towers and record ALL cell calls in the area. This is a warrantless search it violates our rights. have this practice stopped immediately and destroy all the data. Have the units scrapped.
Bruce Boyer, Agoura Hills, Chief Instigator, SonsofLibertyLA
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