Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mutual Aid Conference to Include Albuquerque Copwatch

Laugh, Learn, Educate,

O R G A N I Z E!

Schedule for the conference on building community, rejecting war, and having fun

Sponsored by Food Not Bombs Albuquerque

Friday October 24, 2008

Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center 202 Harvard SE

6:00 p.m. Registration, opening remarks, introductions, and Potluck dinner

7:00 Presentation on Coalition of Immokalee Workers and report back of trip to Immokalee, Florida by Alexandra Smith and Mike Butler

7:45 Open Mic and Open Forum

8:40 clean up

Saturday October 25, 2008

Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center 202 Harvard SE

3:00 p.m. Registration, opening remarks, and introductions

3:15 first workshops/discussion groups

No borders, Fair Trade, Zine Making, Climate Change,

4:00 dinner prep

4:15 second workshops

Copwatch Abq, Nuclearism in New Mexico, The Death Penalty,

5:10 Dinner and discussion groups

Student Labor Coalition, Fair Trade, Zine Making,

6:00 Demilitarize UNM

6:50 Closing

7:30 Social gathering(pajama party) begins at Trinty House: 1925 Five Points Road SE

8:30 showing of Film on Oaxaca Uprising in 2006 @ Trinity House

12:00 Midnight Bike Ride from Trinity House

Sunday October 26, 2008

Food Not Bombs Meal Sharing

Trinity House Catholic Worker 1925 Five Points Road SW

9:00 am Soup prep: cutting veggies, adding spices, etc.

11:00 Fruit salad and tea prep

1:00 p.m. Share Meal at Soldiers and Sailors Park (13th and Central)

2:00 Clean up @ Trinity House

More info: or mike @ (505) 242-0497

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

He's 80, She's 69 — and They're Under Arrest

By T.J. Wilham, Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal

Marvin Gladstone is an 80-year-old retired attorney with gray hair and a heart condition. His 69-year-old wife, Patti, is a semiretired accountant and an amputee who uses a prosthetic leg to walk.

Earlier this summer, Marvin Gladstone was considered a "threat" by Albuquerque police. He was handcuffed, arrested, charged and put in the back of a squad car. In a separate altercation with police later that afternoon, his wife was handcuffed, arrested and carted off to jail.
During his arrest, Marvin Gladstone suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital, his attorneys say.
Patti Gladstone was arrested at the hospital after police apparently thought she was trying to break her husband out of custody when she rolled him away from officers in a wheelchair — although she said she was just looking for a place to sit.
When police tried to book Patti Gladstone into jail, her blood pressure was so high that the medical staff at the Metropolitan Detention Center wouldn't take her.
The couple's alleged crimes? Assaulting an officer, refusing to obey an officer, disorderly conduct and cruelty to an animal.
While they await court dates on the various criminal charges, they are considering filing a lawsuit against the Albuquerque Police Department.
APD officials say the officer, Lena Deyapp, acted appropriately and did everything she could to avoid cuffing the Gladstones but was left with no option because they continually assaulted her.
"Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone felt they were above the law and could do whatever they pleased," police spokesman John Walsh said. "The last thing our officer wanted was to take them into custody, but they chose to escalate the situation, act the way they did and, quite frankly, they should have known better."
Dog in an SUV
The encounter occurred June 18 at a Foothills supermarket. According to attorney Mary Han, Patti Gladstone went inside to shop while Marvin Gladstone stayed in the couple's sport utility vehicle with the family dog, a large mixed breed.
After several minutes, the dog's water was running low, and Marvin Gladstone went into the store to get more, Han said. He left the windows cracked and shut off the engine.
How long the Gladstones left the dog unattended and how hot it was in the car are in dispute.
Han claims that it was still cool inside the vehicle; a city vet says that, based on outside temperatures and what is usually safe, he believes that the animal was in danger of dying. It was about 2 p.m and police dispatchers noted the temperature as 94 degrees.
After Marvin Gladstone left the vehicle, someone called 911 and reported that the dog was panting, in distress and that the windows were "slightly" cracked, police say.
Han said Gladstone was only gone about 10 minutes, but, according to dispatch reports, it took 19 minutes for an APD officer to get to the vehicle.
APD officials said the officer couldn't find the vehicle's owners, tried to have them paged inside the store and made contact with them 32 minutes after the 911 call — about 13 minutes after she arrived at the scene.
Han says the Gladstones' veterinarian will testify that they are "very responsible" pet owners.
"The dog was within minutes of being dead," said Craig J. Mabray, chief of veterinary services for the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department, who didn't examine the pet, which was ultimately allowed to return with the Gladstones. He based his comments on a formula for how long animals can safely be in an enclosed area at a certain temperature. "This dog was in trouble."
The city has been cracking down on people who leave pets unattended in vehicles, and police have made such calls from citizens a top priority. Under city law, it's illegal to leave an animal or child in an enclosed vehicle for a period of time that could result in danger.
Patti Gladstone told police that they had been gone 10 minutes.
When the officer went back to her squad car to wait for animal control officers, Marvin Gladstone approached her and said, "How long is this going to take? We have stuff to do," according to APD reports.
Deyapp told him that animal control was on its way and to get back in his SUV. For "officer safety reasons," Deyapp walked him back to his vehicle, where his wife also told the officer that the couple had things to do, including a doctor's appointment. The dog remained in the car with the Gladstones with the air conditioning on.
Marvin Gladstone approached the officer again a short time later. This time, the conversation escalated.
Police order
Marvin Gladstone asked the officer, "Is there anything I can do to expedite the situation?" according to police reports.
Deyapp replied, "No sir, and I am giving you an order to stay inside your vehicle."
Police say Marvin Gladstone became irate, began to yell and told Deyapp that she was a disgrace to the police department. He was a few inches from her and pointed at her face.
Deyapp wrote in her report that she took a step back because she was in "immediate fear of battery."
Deyapp said Marvin Gladstone said, at one point, that he wanted to go to jail.
Police reports don't make it clear how long it took for an animal control officer to arrive. When the officer arrived, it was determined that the dog was OK. But the officer cited Patti Gladstone, who was driving the vehicle, for cruelty to an animal.
APD officials said city ordinance requires that dogs left unattended in a car must have an opening large enough for the dog to get its head out.
After the citation, police say Marvin Gladstone got out of his vehicle again, approached Deyapp in an "aggressive manner" and asked for her name and badge number.
Deyapp says she provided the information, then placed him under arrest for refusing to obey because he didn't stay inside his vehicle.
"Our officer was placed in a position where she had to take action because of his irresponsible acts," Walsh said.
While sitting cuffed in the back of a police car, Marvin Gladstone, who has had triple bypass surgery, started to have chest pains. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where he was treated for a heart attack, Han said. A doctor's note showed that he had suffered a mild heart attack.
Han said officers refused to let Gladstone take nitroglycerin tablets, which she said might have prevented the attack.
Patti Gladstone took the dog home and met her husband at the hospital. Three officers also showed up.
'Out of control'
While there, police say they told Patti Gladstone that her husband couldn't leave their custody.
A surveillance video of the emergency room waiting area shows her pushing her husband's wheelchair away from the group of officers. It appears she was looking for a seat.
The officers didn't appear to be concerned at first. Suddenly, all three approached her, forced her away from the wheelchair and rushed her outside.
Han says Patti Gladstone was thrown against a wall, cuffed and arrested for acting disorderly. She was taken to the county jail, where staff refused to book her.
According to Deyapp's report, Patti Gladstone was told that she couldn't move away from the officers, refused to return when ordered and insisted she needed to sit down.
When the officers grabbed the wheelchair, she shouted at them, "No, you will not." Police say she wouldn't let go of the wheelchair.
Marvin Gladstone wasn't booked but was given a summons to appear in court. He was treated and released several hours later. He has been charged with refusing to obey a lawful order and assault upon a peace officer.
Police also settled on giving Patti Gladstone a summons after jail staff refused to book her. She has been charged with refusing to obey an officer, cruelty to an animal and disorderly conduct.
"APD is out of control," Han said. "Imagine that this was your mom or your father. It's pretty outrageous, isn't it?
"One person is an artist, a grandmother of seven, and the other is a retired lawyer. These are people who believe in the system."

Friday, September 26, 2008

When Officers Go Too Far

By Joline Gutierrez Krueger, Journal Staff Writer

It was the second time in the dead of that cold autumn night that Angela Saiz woke her husband, Mark, because somebody was pounding on their door.
The first time, it was urgent knocking, but no one was there.
This time, it sounded like someone kicking in the front door, determined to break in.
Twice in the last three months, thieves had broken into the insurance office of Mark Saiz's father, which is adjacent to their home on Sarah NW. Maybe, they thought, the thieves had returned.
Maybe it was juvenile thugs roaming the North Valley.
Maybe it was worse.
Mark Saiz, clad in T-shirt and boxers, grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun from the closet. Through a window, he saw movement in the darkness outside, the black blur of intruders scurrying behind the garage.
He opened the door, fired a warning blast of birdshot into the sky and shouted for the intruders to go away.
"I was so scared, very scared," Angela Saiz says.
But what the Saizes say happened next that October 2006 night was scarier still.
For the next three hours, Mark Saiz says the intruders humiliated, intimidated and emasculated him. He contends he was handcuffed and forced to the ground, punched twice in the face while restrained. He was called a "vigilante son of a bitch" and other angry vulgarities. He was pulled barefoot across his graveled yard. His shoulder was dislocated.
Worst of all, Saiz, 49, says he was helpless to protect his family and property.
All the while, he had no idea what the intruders wanted.
Then Saiz, a gentle and proud man who had never incurred more than a traffic offense, was tossed into the Metropolitan Detention Center on four felony counts of aggravated assault against a peace officer.
Yup. The four intruders that surreal night were Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies.
This week in a federal courtroom in Albuquerque, Saiz and the deputies squared off in the latest legal battle over whether homeowners have the right to protect their domiciles even if it means pulling the trigger — and even if the invaders are law enforcement agents.
Saiz's federal lawsuit accuses three deputies (one deputy, Chris Romero, was dismissed from the case at the end of trial) of violating his civil rights by their use of unreasonable and excessive force.
The deputies, including the alleged potty-mouthed pugilist, are also accused of battery.
Saiz testified that the deputies had not identified themselves as law enforcement agents. There had been no squad cars visible, no lights or sirens.
Once he knew, however, Saiz says he complied with all their commands.
It didn't matter. He had already incurred the wrath normally reserved for cop killers, baby rapers and defense attorneys.
"It's not enough I have to be worried about the criminals out there, I have to be worried about being shot by you!" one deputy shouts in a recording from a deputy's belt tape.
Deputies David Priemazon and Jason Foster and then-trainee Matthew Ray blamed their agitated moods on their own fears that night.
"I was very angered, very upset and very scared," Priemazon, the deputy accused of punching Saiz, testified. "I was almost shot."
Priemazon, who cops to the vulgar diatribe, says he had seen the glint of Saiz's glasses in the dark house and the shotgun barrel aimed straight at Romero's head.
The deputies ran for cover, but Priemazon was trapped by the "fatal funnel" of a walled courtyard with no defensive cover. He swears the gunfire came so close to his right shoulder that he had initially believed he was hit.
But no small projectiles found in the birdshot slug — the same stuff Dick Cheney fired in the face of his hunting buddy — were recovered from the walls where Priemazon had cowered, as one might have expected had Saiz aimed at him and not the air.
Maybe that's why a grand jury refused to indict Saiz on the felony assault charges but merely for negligent use of a deadly weapon, a petty misdemeanor.
That charge evaporated, too, when the District Attorney's Office asked to dismiss the case "for the reason that after reviewing the evidence the state believes that it is not in the state's best interest to pursue the indicted charge."
Priemazon, now a violent crimes detective, denied the punches. Ray, so terrified that he considered quitting the force, denied dislocating Saiz's arm. Lt. Jason Katz, the deputies' supervisor that night, denied telling the Saiz family that what had happened had been one big misunderstanding.
You remember Katz, who two months before the Saiz incident was one of three deputies accused of plucking Al Unser Sr. from his vehicle and tossing him face-first into a patch of goatheads during another one of those big misunderstandings.
What happened at the Saiz home had not been a misunderstanding but a mistake from the start, launched as a welfare check on a possible domestic violence victim who had made a 911 call on a cell phone that abruptly ended.
The phone number had been traced to Sarah NW, but, oops, she didn't live there anymore.
On Thursday, after just 1 1/2 hours of deliberation, jurors sided with the deputies, apparently convinced that whatever brutality had been rained on the Saizes that night was part of the job.
No death, no foul, no money.
The job of a law enforcement officer is dangerous and tough, and we've attended too many funerals for too many men and woman killed in the line of duty to think otherwise.
But when justified caution gives way to the unbridled bravado of the badge, especially in the sanctity of our own homes, it harms not just the public but the image of those who truly protect and serve without provoking and savaging.
You can reach Joline at 823-3603 or

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Man Shot by Officers Critical

By Hailey Heinz, Journal Staff Writer

A man who initially called authorities to his home complaining of chest pain was in critical condition Wednesday after he refused treatment, said he had a gun, and was shot by officers.
Fire officials were called to the man's home on the 9700 block of Mesa Arriba NE and told the man they wanted to take him to the hospital for treatment, Albuquerque police spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said. The man, who police said is in his 30s, then became agitated and told them he had a weapon.
Firefighters withdrew and called police, who arrived at the home and got the man's family out of the house. The man also left the house, and police saw that he had a handgun, Hamby said. She said the man ignored police commands and appeared to be walking toward a neighbor's house when the officers shot him. It was unclear Wednesday whether all three officers fired or who hit him, but all were considered "involved," Hamby said.
The three have been placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates the incident.
The man was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital with gunshot wounds, where he was in critical condition Wednesday night. Hamby declined to say whether police had previously been called to the house or whether the man had a criminal record. She also declined to say whether the man drew his gun or whether officers were armed with less-lethal weapons such as rubber bullets or stun guns.
Bryan Andrada, a neighbor, was riding his bicycle past the man's home when the shooting happened about 6 p.m. Andrada said he had seen police cars in the neighborhood and went to get a closer look when an officer with a drawn gun warned him not to get any closer. He said he couldn't hear the words between the officers and the victim but saw police shoot and watched the man fall. He said five shots were fired.
"To see somebody just go limp like that, it's pretty disturbing," he said. Andrada said he didn't see the man draw his gun or point it at officers.
Neighbors clustered near the shooting scene said the neighborhood is usually quiet, and even close neighbors said they didn't know the victim, who was a renter.
"It's such a quiet neighborhood," said Karen Armstrong, who has lived there for 14 years. "We put in speed bumps because speeders were our biggest concern."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Court: Police Not Entitled To Immunity

Associated Press

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has upheld a lower court's ruling that Albuquerque police officers are not entitled to qualified immunity on claims they retaliated against protesters at an anti-war rally.
More than a dozen people who participated in the University of New Mexico campus rally in March 2003 sued the city of Albuquerque, Mayor Martin Chávez and several Albuquerque police officers, claiming their First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and assembly were violated.
The protest drew between 500 and 1,000 people, who spilled onto city sidewalks and the crosswalks of adjacent streets.
The Albuquerque Police Department claimed protesters were blocking traffic and began tossing canisters of tear gas and using pepper spray after protesters failed repeated warnings to clear the streets.
Several protesters were arrested.
A U.S. District Court dismissed most of the plaintiffs' claims against the officers, but analyzed their First Amendment claims of retaliation and determined the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on the claim.
The court determined there was "no question" that protesting a war is a constitutionally protected activity and the use of tear gas, pepper spray and physical force to disperse plaintiffs and protesters "could have chilled a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to participate in the demonstration."
The officers conceded that the use of tear gas and pepper spray affected certain plaintiffs but said their actions, even "assuming an improper motive," could not have affected plaintiffs who did not witness the officers' actions.
The officers argued on appeal that, because the plaintiffs knew of the officers' aggressive actions at places along the route, "these plaintiffs were thus chilled." The officers contended they were entitled to qualified immunity with respect to those who did not witness or were not affected by their actions.
The appellate court, based in Denver, rejected the officers' arguments because they were not brought before the lower court. City Attorney Bob White said Monday he had not seen the ruling. "We'll have to review the decision and decide how we proceed in the case from here," he said.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Anabolic Steroid Use and Abuse by Police Officers: Policy & Prevention

By Commander Kim R. Humphrey, Professional Standards Bureau, Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department; Kathleen P. Decker, M.D., U.S. Air Force; Linn Goldberg, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon; Harrison G. Pope Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School; Joseph Gutman, M.D., Practicing Endocrinologist,Tempe, Arizona; and Gary Green, M.D., University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

from Police Chief Magazine:

Although physical fitness is an essential part of policing, as described in the previous article, some officers go too far to ensure their strength—endangering not only themselves but also the public they are sworn to defend.
officer crashes a police car and seriously injures an innocent bystander. The investigation reveals that the officer was acting erratically, had bloodshot eyes, and slurred his speech. The officer’s supervisor is called, and the decision is made to test for alcohol consumption. The test results determine that the officer was in fact intoxicated. Disciplinary action is taken, resulting in the officer’s termination for drinking alcohol while driving on duty. Though exposed to liability, the department recognizes the dangers of alcohol abuse and appropriately responds when a dangerous situation presents itself. Another officer, involved in several shootings and use-of-force incidents, garners significant attention within his agency and the media. Investigations reveal that the unrelated incidents were questionable but lawful and, according to the officer, justified based on perceived threats. The agency’s use-of-force review reluctantly finds the officer within policy but awaits the next incident. How many police leaders would recognize that this of ficer could have a problem similar to the one in the first example? If the officer’s appearance indicated he was exceptionally muscular, would they consider the possible abuse of anabolic steroids? What would prompt them to believe that excessive use of force could be associated with “’roid rage,” a hyperaggressive, violent state of mind supposedly brought on by steroid use? When and how would they confirm that their suspicions are true? What if a defense or civil attorney proposed that an officer was a steroid abuser based on the officer’s appearance and witnessed behaviors? Compared with alcohol and other illicit drugs, anabolic steroids (also known as anabolic-androgenic steroids, or AASs) are not easily detected. Supervisors typically are trained to look for inappropriate behaviors that might justify a “just cause” drug screen; however, with AASs the behaviors and other indicators might not be as easily recognized. Recently, accounts of major league baseball’s steroid era have come to light, Olympic athletes have admitted use, and many other major sporting icons have been stripped of their titles after being caught using performance-enhancing drugs such as AASs and human growth hormone (HGH). Unfortunately, growing evidence suggests a similar abuse of AASs and other performance-enhancing drugs by law enforcement professionals. Across the United States, several investigations associated with Internet pharmacies and “antiaging” clinics in association with unscrupulous physicians have revealed officers caught up in this web of illicit drug use. Although the traditional reason for the use of AASs is to improve athletic performance, AASs also appeal to officers wanting a tactical edge or an intimidating appearance. Unlike with other forms of drug abuse, steroid users do not take their drug recreationally; on the contrary, some state they need these drugs in order to do their job effectively or improve their “job performance.” From street officers who consider themselves vulnerable to bigger, more aggressive criminals to special-assignment officers who are regularly tested for their physical abilities, officers are turning to performance-enhancing drugs such as AASs and HGH as a shortcut to improved performance. This article will not delve into the abuse of HGH, which is not a controlled substance but is obtained by prescription only and has very limited use—none for normal adults. In addition to the normal health concerns, there is one further issue when discussing abuse of steroids by those in the law enforcement profession. Officers carry weapons, are authorized to use lethal force, and are often involved in physically controlling or restraining people. If the stories of ’roid rage are true, how often are the officers who use anabolic steroids involved in unnecessary use-offorce incidents that could become a major liability for their agencies? Considering the legal issues, health effects, and commensurate costs associated with inappropriate use, agencies should proactiv ly address this issue. Rather than look back on what could be an embarrassing “steroid era” of law enforcement—one in which the profession might be riddled with lawsuits, corruption, and claims of heavy-handedness—it is critical to address the current and future impact of this issue head-on. Over the past few decades, several stories have surfaced regarding law enforcement personnel involved with anabolic steroids. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently led Operation Raw Deal, considered the largest international steroid investigation to date. The operation discovered several links to current or former law enforcement officers. This was predicted almost 20 years ago by an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin that stated, “Anabolic steroid abuse by police officers is a serious problem that merits greater awareness by departments across the country.”1 In addition, a story on the television program 60 Minutes in 1989 titled “Beefing up the Force” featured three police officers who admitted steroid use and claimed that their resulting aggression got them in serious trouble. In the past year, a book titled Falling Off the Thin Blue Line was written and published by former Texas police officer David Johnson, who describes his addiction to steroids and speaks about the prevalence of steroid abuse in the law enforcement community.2 Recently, investigations into illegal steroid purchases revealed the names of several officers on pharmacy distribution lists, garnering national media attention. Unfortunately, agencies looking for methods to confront steroid abuse find few examples of effective policies and practices. This article summarizes the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department’s experience in this area over the past several years and suggests policy and testing considerations for anabolic steroids in the law enforcement community. Problems with Testing In 2005, the Phoenix Police Department (PPD) investigated several incidents either directly or indirectly involving officers accused of abusing anabolic steroids. As a result, the city formed a committee to determine policy changes and address the issue with public safety agencies (that is, police and fire departments) as well as all other city employees. Due to the demands of the law enforcement profession and the legal precedent supporting random drug testing, policies are naturally more stringent for police than for other city departments. The police department, with support from its labor organization, added anabolic steroids to the random testing process for all officers and the preemployment screen. Research is clear that significant health risks result from nontherapeutic uses of anabolic steroids. 3 For this reason, the PPD’s focus on prevention revolved around a prevention video with questions and answers from a local endocrinologist who specializes in steroid abuse treatment. Regarding testing, the task seemed simple enough: contact a local laboratory and test officers for performance-enhancing substances. However, implementation proved less than simple. First, adding AASs to the PPD’s random test tripled its drug testing costs. Additionally, local laboratories were able to provide only an initial urine screen that tested for a handful of the growing number of AASs. Furthermore, compounding the difficulty of the task, testing for anabolic steroids goes beyond looking for the specific synthetic AAS; it also needs to detect compounds naturally created by the human body, such as testosterone. This entails an analysis of an individual’s ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone (abbreviated T/E); when this value is found to be out of normal range, it may indicate the use of illegal substances. Additionally, as noted previously, HGH does not fall under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act, and currently there is no reliable test to detect it in the human body. Testing for performance-enhancing substances presents a myriad of challenges:
How can an agency test for “all” illegal AASs, and what does it do if a T/E ratio is not normal?

How can an agency prove that someone is illegally or inappropriately using anabolic steroids?
What if an officer who tests positive provides a prescription, and the prescribing physician indicates that the officer has a condition that necessitates the use of these drugs? Additionally, what constitutes abuse of prescribed drugs?
Do ’roid rage and other psychiatric disturbances claimed to result from steroid abuse actually exist, and do they present a liability to an abuser’s organization? Jumping into a testing policy before answering these questions will lead agencies to the realization that testing for these substances is not as straightforward as, say, discovering heroin in a drug screen. Officers might present a prescription or might have ordered something over the Internet in what they believe is a legal transaction. The DEA works regularly to shut down numerous unscrupulous doctors who seek to make money by connecting with pharmacies and engaging in illegal distribution, using the few very specific legitimate uses for AASs as cover for their operation. In these cases, ignorance is a common excuse from officers, who typically state that a doctor prescribed the drug, so it must be “okay.”

Illicit “Benefits” of AASs AASs can be taken orally, by injection, as a skin patch or cream, or sometimes by placing them between the cheek and gum. When combined with a high-protein diet and vigorous weightlifting, AASs “work.” That means that they stimulate the formation of muscle tissue and are known to cause enlargement of muscle fibers. It is widely understood that testosterone (the major natural male AAS hormone in normal, healthy men) stimulates an increase in fat-free muscle mass while at the same time decreasing fat. Doses of AASs that exceed the normal production rate of testosterone can amplify this effect, resulting in supernormal gains in lean muscle mass and strength.
Patterns of Illegitimate Use
Many users reported taking a weekly dose in excess of (the equivalent of) 1,000 mg of testosterone. For comparison, adult human testicles normally produce 5–10 mg of testosterone per day—generally less than 100 mg/week.
Most AAS users reported self-administering by injecting the drug directly into their muscles.
Some studies reveal that approximately 25 percent of those who inject AASs share needles or vials, increasing the risk of HIV infection, viral hepatitis, or other infections.
Over 95 percent of AAS users reported self-administering multiple substances, with 25 percent taking growth hormone and/or insulin in addition to AASs.
Users have been found to move on to illegal drugs other than athletic performance enhancers.
Nearly 100 percent of AAS users reported noticeable side effects—but most users claim that these effects are mild and do not deter them from continuing to use AASs.
Users often become fixated on their muscularity and are reluctant to stop using AASs for fear that they will get smaller again.
General Medical Effects of Use
Decreased sperm production
Abscess at the site of injection
Increased or even severe acne
Increased blood pressure
Increased “bad” (LDL) and lower “good” (HDL) cholesterol, with attendant increased risk of heart attack
Thickening of the wall of the heart (especiall y in the left ventricle)
Increased or decreased sex drive (libido)
Increased appetite
Liver disease, especially with AASs taken orally (infrequent)
Death from several causes, including suicide, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries leading to heart attacks or strokes), and cardiac complications
HIV and similar risk issues associated with the sharing of needles or the use of nonsterile needles
Psychological Effects Users of AASs can experience psychiatric symptoms during use, abuse, or withdrawal. Symptoms differ depending on the drug’s absence or presence in the body. Symptoms tend to correlate with the size of the weekly dose and can worsen with long-term use. Importantly, the psychiatric symptoms are idiosyncratic; some men taking=2 0a given dose of AASs may show no psychiatric effects at all, whereas a few men taking an identical dose might show extreme effects.6 The reasons for this variability are not known, but it is clear that reactions to AASs cannot be predicted on the basis of an individual’s baseline personality. In other words, even if a man has a mildmannered, gentle personality when not taking AASs, there is still a risk that he might develop a sudden personality change and become uncharacteristically aggressive and violent while taking AASs.7
Symptoms Associated with Use or Abuse:
Mania or hypomania (high energy levels associated with increased self-confidence, increased activity, impaired judgment, and reckless behavior)
Psychosis—loss of touch with reality (for example, paranoia or delusions of grandeur; infrequent)
Personality changes
Laws and Regulations Associated with AASs The use of AASs for per formance enhancement is banned by all major sports bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the Union of European Football Associations, and Fédération Internationale de Football Association. In the late 1980s, the U.S. Congress considered listing AASs in the Controlled Substances Act. Based on evidence of widespread abuse, AASs are now classified by the FDA and DEA as Schedule III controlled substances. The Crime Control Act of 1990, approved on November 29, 1990, includes provisions for control of these drugs and penalties for inappropriate trafficking in them. The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 further amended this law to increase the number of AASs that were included and make it easier to add additional drugs.
The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse that is less than the drugs or other substances in Schedules I and II.
The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Too long to fit here... Read on !!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

When Repression Rains, It Pours

Submitted by Elliott

Something has lit a fire in my gut lately, and it's not the tangy gazpacho chilling in my fridge. It's not the body bags piling up in Iraq, or the precipitous decline of our planet's wild systems, or any of the other train wrecks concocted by elites in the Global North. For the last three weeks, I've been spitting barbs because so many people I know have been getting targeted, terrorized and thrown in jail by the police.

The number of folks in my field of vision who've been rounded up since mid-June is startling, and I feel compelled to write about them here. Though they might appear in the news as a series of disparate, isolated incidents, I think my friends' stories indicate a broader pattern of police repression that's all too common--particularly against activists of color.


Following the April 26th acquittal of four cops who killed Sean Bell and wounded two others in a hail of 50 bullets, NYC saw a surge of social movement calling for police accountability and community power. Rallies, marches, and a near-riot popped off around the city, while Al Sharpton's "slowdown" blockades on May 8th captured national media attention. Since that time, actions specific to the Bell case have largely subsided, and much of the public energy and outrage has dissipated (or, at least, been brought to a simmer.)

At the same time, a few sustained projects have taken root in the wake of the NYPD's most brazen murder yet of an unarmed person of color. Among these is a series of citywide copwatch trainings being promoted by the People's Justice Coalition and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, coupled with a growing interest in community alternatives to policing generally.

Caught in this climate is Rebel Diaz. A conscious hip hop crew comprised of three MCs--Chilean brothers RodStarz and G1, and Afro-Boricua rapper Lah Tere--Rebel Diaz is well known in both activist circles and hip hop scenes in NYC. In the crowd I run with, they're public figures you can count on to be outspoken about imperialism, racism, gentrification and police brutality. So it's not surprising that they were singled out for special treatment by New York's Finest.

On June 18th, Rodstarz and G1 stopped to observe several police officers harassing a street vendor in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx. Knowing a sense of public accountability can deter police abuses, the two MCs asked for the badge numbers of the cops in question. But this time the strategy backfired: the police snapped, dragged the two men to the ground, beat them up a little, and hauled them off to the 41st precinct. They were later charged with "obstruction of justice" and "resisting arrest."

Within hours of RodStarz and G1's arrest, a citywide call went out for folks to demonstrate at the building where the brothers were being held, and to barrage the precinct with calls in protest. (In Michigan at the time, I was hit with a stream of text messages about the situation.) The emergency actions drew a big response, and both brothers were released the following morning; their court cases are pending.

If the story ended there, I'd take it as a sign that cops are touchy about public confrontations following the Bell trial, but that prompt action on our part can keep their abuses in check. Unfortunately, there's more to tell. A week after the brothers' arrest, in the early hours of June 25th, unidentified police officers burst into G1's apartment in Harlem with guns drawn. According to G1's official statement

The uniformed police officers did not knock, nor announce themselves, nor verbally identify themselves before or during their entry into my apartment.

They pointed their guns at us the whole time as they verbally barraged [my roommate DW, my friend] MM and I with questions as to who we were and what we were doing there.

As I lay on the ground with my hands up, I replied loudly and clearly that I lived there, and that everyone in the house was supposed to be there.

They replied incredulously, repeatedly yelling their questions as to who we were, with threats as to what would happen to us if I was found to be lying.

After various other taunts and threats, including accusing us of harboring a fugitive criminal suspect, they departed just as quickly as they had arrived, down a side stairway adjacent to my apartment.

They did not stay to search me or my roommates, or the apartment for any signs of the supposed fugitive they were looking for.

G1 did get the badge numbers of two officers involved in the raid--by running into the middle of the street and flagging down a police vehicle that was peeling away from the scene. But even with that information, the incursion remains a mystery: "Both the 25th and 23rd NYPD precinct, which patrol my block, have denied that the officers involved are from their command."

Two weeks ago, this news filled me with a sense of dread. I asked myself: where did the officers who raided G1's apartment come from? Is this a police scare tactic, considering the high profile of the Rebel Diaz crew? Are police officers in New York veering into the realm of paramilitary-style violence against activists of color?

There's still only sketchy information available at this point, but alongside other recent cases of police abuse, a formula seems to be emerging. The sequence of events goes like this: first a high-profile case of police brutality evokes public outrage and disgust; then, a few modest grassroots projects emerge to curtail police violence; finally, the cops execute targeted crackdowns on activists who're bringing them scrutiny. By late June I had a feeling that the events in NYC contained an inner logic. My hunch was confirmed when I heard about a recent house raid in Philadelphia.


In the city of brotherly love, the same formula was repeated almost verbatim. First there was a case of police brutality: on May 5th, 12 to 14 Philadelphia cops were caught on camera by a Fox News helicopter as they dragged three shooting suspects from a vehicle and took turns kicking and beating them en masse. Much like the Bell case, footage of a rampaging mob of Philly police also prompted a broad public response. In fact, just a day after protesting the acquittal of Sean Bell's killers, Al Sharpton announced his intention to travel to Philadelphia to address the situation. But beyond public speakers and movement figureheads, action was also a-brewin' at the grassroots.

Some movement crystallized in the Francisville area of Philly, where a multiracial collective house started circulating petitions to address growing police harassment. Like many soon-to-be gentrifying neighborhoods, Francisville has endured aggressive policing as cops patrol on behalf of wealthy landlords and residents from encroaching developments. The house's petition confronted the climate of fear and intimidation by calling on Philadelphia's Mayor and Police Commissioner to attend community meetings on police brutality, surveillance cameras, and "stop and frisk" policies.

The response was fast and flagrant: on June 13th, the Francisville house was raided by plainclothes police officers. As in New York, the cops entered without a warrant, and in this case the housemates were detained for 12 hours without charge. The pretext used by police to enter the house still isn't clear (officers on the scene called the housemates a "hate group," alleging they found "literature about killing cops" and "propaganda against the government" on the premises) but it is known that the Department of Homeland Security, the Housing Authority and the Department of Licensing all conducted tours of the property within hours.

When the residents eventually returned home, they found their building closed by the city for code violations, and it became clear later that the property had been thoroughly searched. Daniel Moffat, a resident of the Francisville house, found that

My computer was gone. I was informed that the Department of State had taken my computer for evidence. I couldn't find my phone list that was posted on the wall. I couldn't find a notepad with a bunch of my notes in it. I couldn't find this little book with a lot of phone numbers in it.

News of the raid in Philly reached me just a few days after the arrests of RodStarz and G1, and it shook me up. Not only was it troubling that a measly petition could draw the ire of the power structure, but two of my friends had stayed in the Francisville house just weeks before it was raided, and thus narrowly escaped being detained themselves.

Right now the folks in Philadelphia have regained access to their house, but continue to fight a legal battle over the building's alleged code violations. Investigation also continues into why the house was targeted by local and federal agencies in the first place, and much like in New York, many questions remain. I'm troubled by events in Philly and the implications they could have for us in NYC--but at the same time, I'm preoccupied with yet another case of repression that recently exploded on the west coast.


After the Rodney King beating and the 1992 riots, the LAPD may be most famous for its crackdown on the Los Angeles May Day rally in 2007. As a huge, peaceful rally of community organizations and migrant groups came to a close in MacArthur Park that spring, the LAPD waded into the crowd, firing rubber bullets at families and elders and clubbing those who didn't disperse fast enough. Police helicopters hovering above the scene declared the rally closed, while below a phalanx of cops in riot gear chased people into the surrounding blocks.

Outcry over police brutality at the May Day rally received sympathetic coverage on national news networks, mostly because members of the corporate media were shoved, clubbed and beaten along with rally-goers as police swept through the park. At the same time, the LAPD's actions further solidified the work of Copwatch LA, an organization that documented the police attack on the rally and had been active for several months beforehand.

To my knowledge, Copwatch LA is the most active group of its kind in the United States. After gaining big public attention from a police brutality case early in its existence (a video they publicized of officers beating a man while suffocating him made the front page of Yahoo News), the group has built a large network of volunteers to document police activity around the city. Their website even features live feeds of copwatch photos from cellphones around LA, which is an impressive techy feat for a non-funded, grassroots group. Yet the early successes of the Copwatch LA have also put a powerful spotlight on the group's organizers--particularly a young man named Joaquin Cienfuegos.

Joaquin is a Latino anarchist from South Central LA, who came to New York this summer to meet folks struggling on the East coast, and share an almost-finished documentary on the 2007 attacks. He crashed in my apartment in June after a raucous evening in lower Manhattan, and we emailed a little afterward. Just a few days ago, I received word that he had been arrested and was being held on $40,000 bail.

Fearing a repeat of NYC and Philly, I emailed for more info, and found the situation even higher-stakes. On June 27th, police officers pulled over Joaquin and a friend on their way home from a fundraiser for Copwatch LA and an Anarchist People of Color regional gathering. The anonymous friend put out a public statement a few days ago:

Joaquin said "they're pulling us over" as we were turning down my block (La Mirada Avenue). I told Joaquin not to stop until we got in front of my house, because if they were going to kill us or beat our asses, it was going to happen on my block and in front of my house where people could see.

The police approached the car, and found Joaquin didn't have his license on him (it had been stolen a few weeks earlier.) This was reason enough to cuff Joaquin immediately, at which poin I also told them Joaquin needed to get my wheelchair out of his trunk so I can get out of his car. The pig came to the driver's side of the car and popped the trunk, went to the back and put the wheelchair together. At that point the pig saw a machete in the trunk and asked Joaquin "what was he doing with a machete?" Joaquin said that "he does gardening work from time to time and it shouldn't be 'illegal' to have a machete in his trunk."

As I exited the car. they told me I could go home. So I crossed the street and observed them from in front of my home. From afar, I hear the pig ask Joaquin, "what's in this case?"

In the case was a gun owned by Joaquin, which resulted in a felony charge of "possession of a concealed firearm."

I can't comment on the prevalence of guns in Los Angeles activist circles, never having worked on the streets of South Central. But I do know that the LAPD has proven itself at least as dangerous with loaded firearms as activists on the left, and at the same time, I know that the LAPD has a habit of throwing arms charges at activists they see as a threat.

In fact, the same thing happened recently to members of the Black Riders Liberation Party, a political formation made up of former gang members and black youth from around Los Angeles modeled on the Black Panther Party. Last fall, most of the Riders' leadership was rounded up in a statewide sweep, charged with "conspiracy to purchase a concealed weapon," and held on $500,000 bail. Joaquin had been working closely with members of the BRLP to document their legal struggle, and Riders were in attendance at the fundraiser the night of Joaquin's arrest. These connections, one imagines, would've been enough for the police to put Joaquin in their sights.


As of this post, Joaquin has just been released from jail, where he was held on lockdown for most of his time inside. He now faces a lengthy legal battle, along with a fundraising effort to cover the loans needed to bail him out. And after the house raid in Philly, the attack on G1 in NYC, and this new arrest in Los Angeles, I'm struck by the brazenness of police attacks on activists of color in the U.S.

Three times in the last six weeks, the same formula came into play: after an incident of police brutality evoked public outcry and was met with a modest grassroots response, the power structure went to extreme lengths to target and eliminate activists working against cop impunity. This pattern suggests activists working for accountability and community power can expect repressive responses from local authorities, often without regard to public oversight or legal constraints and with the backing of federal agencies. Yikes.

At the same time, these acts of repression remind us of the scope of our struggles, and of the hurdles any movement that wishes to fundamentally transform our world must inevitably face. It's a frightening prospect, sure, but it's also an arena that can shape our tactics and strategies beyond theory and booklearnin'. To face these challenges, I've heard, you need to have a fire in your gut.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

APD Must 'fess Up, Revise Interrogation Procedures

from the Albuquerque Journal

By Jeff Buckels, New Mexico Public Defender Department

Journal readers can't have missed Saturday's front-page story about how DNA evidence cleared my client Robert Gonzales of murder after two and a half years in jail. And you can't have missed that Robert confessed to the murder at the time.
It was a false confession, and it's not that rare. Nearly a fourth of 218 DNA exonerations documented by the national Innocence Project have involved false confessions.
Police use sophisticated techniques to get confessions. They start by putting the suspect off-guard with friendly chitchat, visiting about the suspect's school, family, favorite TV shows.
Having established that they are the suspect's pal, interrogators put the confession machinery in gear. They accuse the suspect of the crime and refuse to credit his denials. To make resistance seem pointless, they exaggerate or simply lie about the evidence they already have (“You were seen with the victim!”). In virtually every case of false confession involving compliant suspects, the interrogators minimize the suspect's blameworthiness (“I'd have done the same thing!”) and offer face-saving excuses which seem to promise leniency (“We know you were provoked!”). If the suspect still resists, they tell him that confessing is the only way to make the interrogation ordeal come to an end (“You've got to help us if you want to get this over with!”). If he still resists, the interrogators say he's wrong, and insist again and again that the only way to make the ordeal end is to get it right.
These techniques and others are mixed and repeated over and over, for hours if necessary. Every one was used on Robert Gonzales, who stopped resisting and confessed to a murder he didn't commit.
I expect this reaction from many readers: “If I were accused of a crime I didn't commit, nothing, except maybe torture, would make me confess.” I don't doubt it. But while you are enjoying your morning coffee and newspaper, consider whether you are not different from Robert Gonzales in at least two important ways.
First, you are not unusually vulnerable to manipulation and suggestion. Even persons of normal and high intelligence have succumbed to the interrogator's bag of tricks. Retarded and youthful suspects are like putty in a trained interrogator's hands.
Second, you have not been arrested, shackled and stuffed in the back seat of a police car. You are not surrounded by armed police in an interrogation room. Your mug shot will not be on the six o'clock news. You are not scared out of your wits. You are not easy pickings.
Robert Gonzales was. And it took a double-whammy of DNA evidence to stop what interrogation procedure and a false confession started.
More than two years ago, the police learned that scores of scientific tests — DNA evidence, fingerprints, hair samples, fiber evidence — had failed to place Robert at the scene of the crime or connect him to the victim in any way. The DNA pointed consistently to a single unknown person — not Robert. But in the teeth of the scientific evidence, the prosecution pushed on, relying on Robert's “confession” alone.
Two weeks ago, the other shoe fell. The DNA taken from the victim matched a prisoner at the federal lockdown outside Estancia. Then and only then did the prosecution throw in the towel.
I am not writing to vent or to celebrate (“All's well that ends well!”). I am writing to call attention to police policy and training — or rather the lack of it.
The two senior APD officers who interrogated Robert Gonzales knew they were dealing with a suspect who was young and probably retarded in some degree. He told them he was in special education classes in school. Yet they admitted in pretrial interviews and under oath at a hearing that they didn't even consider handling Robert's interrogation differently than any other. The fact is, APD had provided them with no training in interrogating developmentally disabled suspects.
Such training and policies exist and are in effect in other police departments. This specialized training helps officers recognize suspects who are retarded and requires them to make sure the suspects really do understand Miranda warnings. They are to curtail the usual tricks to elicit confessions, treat confessions skeptically, and do double duty corroborating such confessions before committing to prosecution.
Maybe if procedures like this had been in place at APD when Robert Gonzales was arrested, Robert wouldn't have given a false confession or maybe the police wouldn't have believed it. Failing that, maybe they would have gotten the message when the DNA evidence came in over two years ago and pointed to somebody else. This would have saved the prosecuting authorities, the court system and the taxpayers a lot of time, trouble and money.
And it would have saved a vulnerable young man from serving thirty-two months in jail for a horrific crime he did not commit.
Jeff Buckels is the supervising attorney of the Capital Crimes Unit of the Public Defender Department.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cameraman's Charges Dropped

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

By Joline Gutierrez Krueger And T.J. Wilham, Journal Staff Writer

The attorney for veteran KOB-TV cameraman Rick Foley claims police illegally searched his client’s news vehicle and failed to read him his Miranda rights before cuffing him, throwing him in the back of a police car and charging him with refusing to obey an officer.
Charges against Foley were dropped Tuesday.
APD officials said Tuesday they were trying to determine if a search had occurred. A police spokesman said it’s common for officers to do an “inventory” during someone’s arrest.
Foley was covering a police standoff near Copper and Charleston NE on May 29 when rookie officer Daniel Guzman told Foley to move to a different location, according to a police report. A video captured by Foley’s camera shows the officer lunging at him. Foley was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car and cited.
Guzman was placed on administrative leave last weekend pending a disciplinary hearing scheduled for next week.
The refusing to obey charge was dismissed Tuesday after Metro Court Judge Benjamin Chavez ruled that Guzman had not provided sufficient facts, or probable cause, to support the allegation.
Chavez said Guzman had incorrectly used a traffic citation form and not a criminal complaint when citing Foley and that he had only repeated the charge and not the circumstances of the case on the citation.
Chavez dismissed the charge without prejudice, meaning that police can refile the charges at a later date.
“I think this case is dead,” Foley’s attorney, Matthew Coyte, said afterward. “It was dead from the beginning.”
Foley said after Tuesday’s hearing that police never read him his rights before charging him.
In a statement released to the Journal through Coyte, Foley said he watched in “amazement” as police searched his news vehicle without a warrant.
According to legal experts, the law allows police to search vehicles if the driver is in the process of being arrested. If the car is being towed, police can take an “inventory” of the vehicle to make sure valuables don’t come up missing.
Foley was not taken to jail.
APD spokesman John Walsh said officers routinely search the vehicle of someone who is being arrested and taken to jail.
In Foley’s case, Walsh said an officer might have taken inventory anticipating that Foley was going to be taken to jail — if his vehicle was searched at all.
Walsh also noted that neither Foley nor KOB-TV has filed a complaint with the department alleging an illegal search.

Officer on Leave After Attack

By T.J. Wilham, Journal Staff Writer

An Albuquerque police officer who was captured on video attacking a KOB-TV news photographer has been placed on leave.
Officer Daniel Guzman, who had been working with another officer since the May 29 incident, is to appear at a disciplinary hearing next week. Afterward, Police Chief Ray Schultz will decide what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken against the officer.
Veteran KOB photographer Rick Foley was covering a police standoff near Copper and Charleston NE when Guzman, a rookie, told Foley to move to a different location, according to a police report. Foley was some distance from the police cars blocking the street and outside an area that had been blocked by officers.
Shortly after Guzman told Foley to move, the two argued, and Foley asked Guzman for his name and badge number.
A video captured by Foley's camera shows the officer lunging at him. Foley was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car and cited for refusing to obey an officer.
Foley has a court appearance today in Metropolitan Court. In a statement released through his attorney, Foley on Monday called for Guzman to seek dismissal of the charges.
“In my 27 years covering the news, I have never interfered in officers performing their difficult jobs, nor would I,” the statement said. “My father was a career police officer, and I have been brought up with the greatest respect for the job they do. Yet one officer found time to grab me on a public street, handcuff me, place me in a police car and prevent me from doing mine.
“I hope the officer will do the correct thing and dismiss this criminal case.”
Shortly after the incident, Schultz asked the city's independent review officer to conduct the investigation.
Schultz said he made the decision to place Guzman on leave after reading the independent review officer's report, which he received Friday.
He declined to comment further.
“There is very little I can say until the disciplinary hearing is conducted,” Schultz said. “I can say the reason he is on leave is related to the incident.”
Schultz has acknowledged that “mistakes” were made during the incident, and he has drafted a new policy on how to deal with onlookers.
He has met with members of the local news media to discuss the new policy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Does Law Aid Officers, Or Is It Abused by Them?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

By T.J. Wilham, Journal Staff Writer Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal

You could be arrested for having a party.
Interrupting a police officer could land you in jail.
And if you videotape a crime scene on a public street, you could be cuffed, thrown in a police car and charged.
All of this has happened in Albuquerque: people engaged in what appear to be legal acts arrested and charged by police for “refusing to obey” a lawful order.
But are the orders lawful and is refusing to obey them a crime that is jokingly referred to in legal circles as “contempt of cop”?
It’s not a joke, of course. In addition to a possible trip to jail that night, refusing to obey carries a fine of up to $500 plus up to 90 days in the slammer.
But the charges frequently wash out when they hit the courthouse.
In 2007, Metropolitan Court judges dismissed 70 percent of the refusing to obey charge in 517 arrests made by police and sheriff’s deputies in Bernalillo County under a city ordinance called “resisting, obstructing or refusing to obey an officer.”
The top reason: 45 percent of the dismissals were due to a lack of prosecution, the officer was unwilling to proceed with the charges in court, a lack of probable cause or proper reports were not filed. Thirty percent of the dismissals were due to a plea agreement in which the defendant pleaded guilty to other charges.
“This law they are arresting people under is unconstitutional,” said Albuquerque attorney Ray Twohig. “Police in Albuquerque think they can give whatever order they want. You have constitutional violations happening in Albuquerque wholesale.”
The city ordinance that gives police the authority to arrest someone who disobeys them was adopted in 1973, a year before the city charter was written. Part of the ordinance says a person can be charged if he or she refuses to obey or comply with any lawful process or order given by a police officer. Anyone found guilty could be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said the ordinance is needed because officers face situations when they have no choice but to arrest someone to avoid violence.
For example, police might respond to a domestic violence call in which both sides are arguing, and the situation will likely escalate. Officers will ask one side of the dispute to leave in order to avoid violence. If they don’t, they get arrested.
Many of these cases get dismissed.
Overlapping laws
Defense attorneys like Twohig question why the ordinance is needed since New Mexico already has a law called “resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.”
Twohig said the city ordinance gives police too much authority and is much more broad than state law, which does not include the word “obey.”
“Police in Albuquerque have more power than officers in any other jurisdiction in the state,” said Twohig, who last year represented a Roswell city councilwoman who successfully fought her arrest under the state’s version of the law. “You have a whole lot of people being arrested in Albuquerque for ‘contempt of cop,’ and it seems to me this law encourages it.”
Schultz acknowledged that sometimes it is questionable whether the order is lawful, but, he said, that’s what the courts are for.
“The courts recognize it’s a tool that law enforcement has to use to separate parties or to get someone to do something they don’t want to do,” Schultz said. “Without that tool, it would ratchet it up to the next level, and it is going to result in physical violence or a serious crime as a result of the parties not being separated.”
The ordinance does not explain what a “lawful order” is. According to legal experts, it’s a “gray area.”
Retired Judge Woody Smith said that when he was on the District Court bench, he judged each case individually and always looked for whether someone’s constitutional rights were violated by the order.
“You can’t define what a lawful order is,” said Smith, also a former prosecutor, Metropolitan Court judge and public defender. “It depends on the circumstances. Police have a lot of discretion, and lot of times it is determined after all of the facts are known.”
Smith noted that he felt the law at times was “overused” and certain police officers tended to use it more than others.
Schultz said most of the arrests are coupled with other charges. In the rare circumstances in which someone is only charged with refusing to obey, those arrests are closely scrutinized by supervisors who review the arresting officer’s report and criminal complaint to make sure there is enough probable cause.
“A clear majority of the cases, had the person just left the area and done what they were being asked, they wouldn’t have been arrested,” Schultz said. “These charges are the result of someone saying ‘No, I don’t want to, I don’t have to.’
“The officer just can’t leave — then the calling party would be upset at us for not intervening. This charge is used as a last resort. When the officer has no other option.”
TV photographer
The law was spotlighted last month when KOB-TV cameraman Rick Foley was arrested for refusing to obey an officer.
Foley was covering a police standoff May 29 near Copper and Charleston NE when rookie officer Daniel Guzman told Foley to move to a different location, according to a police report.
Foley at the time was some distance from the police cars blocking the street and was outside an area that had been blocked by officers.
Shortly after Guzman told Foley he needed to move, the two exchanged more words and Foley asked Guzman to provide his name and badge number.
A video captured by Foley’s camera shows the officer lunging at Foley. Foley was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car and cited.
An investigation into Guzman’s conduct is under way, while criminal charges against Foley are pending.
Since then, Schultz has acknowledged that “mistakes” were made and has drafted a new policy on how to deal with onlookers. Guzman, meanwhile, has been paired with a veteran officer until the investigation is complete .
Recent cases
After Foley’s arrest, the Journal examined 36 recent arrests in which the defendant was charged only with “refusing to obey” an officer under the city ordinance.
Some of those arrests include:
Nestor Pons Ocana, 47, was arrested May 4 after he interrupted an Albuquerque police officer. According to court records, Ocana was a passenger in a car that was stopped for a noise violation. The officer was citing the driver for the violation when Ocana told the driver not to sign the citation because the officer’s action was “racist.” The officer noted that he told Ocana to be quiet, but Ocana continued to yell, preventing the officer from hearing the driver. Charges against Ocana were dismissed due to a “lack of probable cause.”
Raymond Medina, 37, was arrested Dec. 29 because he refused to end a party at his apartment. Officers had responded to a noise complaint. When they arrived, police told Medina that he had to end the party. Medina said he would “keep it down,” but officers insisted the party was over and his guests had to leave.
Medina refused, saying he didn’t want his guests to get DWIs. An officer then stuck his foot in front of Medina’s door, preventing him from closing it, and took him into custody. Charges against Medina were dismissed due to a lack of prosecution. Medina was never charged with violating the city’s noise ordinance. Even if he had been, city attorneys acknowledge, officers can’t force everyone to leave.
Antonio Serna, 39, was arrested Dec. 4 when he initially refused to let police into his house. The officers did not have a warrant. According to court records, officers were looking for Serna’s son in connection with a child abuse case. They went to Serna’s home looking for him. Serna told officers his son was not home. When officers insisted on searching Serna’s house, Serna responded that they needed a warrant and tried to shut the door. The officers said Serna was “preventing the possibility of further investigation.” The officers peeked in, saw his son and arrested both of them. Refusing to obey charges against Serna were dismissed because officers failed to file a report.
Peter Simonson, New Mexico director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said his organization has received several complaints from people arrested under the city ordinance. The ACLU has successfully represented clients charged under the ordinance.
He said he doesn’t think the law is unconstitutional, just APD’s interpretation of it.
Simonson said he takes issue with Schultz’s theory of letting the courts sort things out.
“It shouldn’t have to get to that point,” Simonson said. “It is up to the police to properly enforce a law like this and not rely on the court to correct their errors. People should not have to go to court to prove they were not violating the law.”
Robert Saavedra decided not to prove his innocence.
Saavedra and his friend were Downtown on Dec. 21 when someone shot his friend’s truck.
They waited for several hours while police investigated. After awhile, Saavedra and his friend thought the investigation was over, so they started to get in the truck to leave, Saavedra said.
Officers got upset and took Saavedra’s friend into custody for refusing to obey, he said. Saavedra, who was not in the truck, called his friend’s brother to tell him what was going on when officers told him to leave the scene and to get off the cell phone.
Officers said in a criminal complaint that Saavedra took one step back, but proceeded to make a phone call and refused to move back on the sidewalk.
Saavedra was then arrested and taken to jail with his friend.
Saavedra decided not to fight the charges. He said he didn’t have enough money to hire an attorney. Instead, he said the officer told him that if he paid some fines and agreed to stay out of trouble, his case would be dismissed.
According to metro court records, that occurred in 16 percent of the cases in 2007.
“I didn’t back-talk him. I wasn’t mean. I just tried to explain that I was on the phone with my buddy’s brother so he could bond him out,” Saavedra said. “They didn’t want to listen. They just wanted to take someone to jail that night.”
In Saavedra’s criminal complaint, the arresting officers maintained that Saavedra refused to leave the area despite being told several times to do so.
Similar laws exist throughout the country.
But over time, some jurisdictions have eliminated the laws because homeless advocates have challenged their use, said William Walsh, a former New York City police officer and director of the Southern Police Institute in Louisville, Ky. Walsh said a similar law was in place when he was a police officer in New York City in the 1960s.
He said that officers mainly used the law when they needed to arrest someone involved in a riot, and he cautioned against getting rid of such laws.
“Police officers get called to disputes, and they are expected to settle them. They can’t walk away,” Walsh said. “The only tools they have is their own persuasion, their use of force and the law.”


Resisting, obstructing or refusing to obey an officer consists of either:
(A) Knowingly obstructing, resisting or opposing any officer of this state or any other duly authorized person serving or attempting to serve or execute any process or any rule or order of any of the courts of this state or any other judicial writ or process; or
(B) Resisting or abusing any judge, magistrate or peace officer in the lawful discharge of his duties; or
(C) Refusing to obey or comply with any lawful process or order given by any police officer acting in the lawful discharge of his duties; or
(D) Interfering with, obstructing or opposing any officer in the lawful discharge of his regular and affixed duties.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cops: Man Had Gun in Store

By Jeff Proctor, Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer

Police-issue gun belts and .40-caliber pistols aren't typically what gas station clerks and fast-food employees are hoping to see on customers.
Especially if those customers aren't cops.
But twice in as many weeks, Joe Citizen has walked into an Albuquerque establishment sporting police-type paraphernalia around the waist. Not surprisingly, both incidents , which police say are likely unrelated although similar, caused a stir.
In the latest incident, shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, 49-year-old Robert Lark walked into the Giant gas station at 201 Coors NW wearing a “police-style duty belt” complete with a holster holding a high-powered Glock handgun, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
“Concerned security guards” called police, who on arriving at the store, disarmed Lark and took him into custody, the complaint says. Lark's vehicle was towed, along with the duty belt.
In an interview with police, Lark said he knew he should not have entered the store armed to the teeth, the complaint states. But because the security guards did not confront him about the weapon, he “thought it was no big deal” and felt he was “OK.”
It is unclear whether Lark had a permit for the pistol.
Police took Lark to the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he was booked on a felony charge of unlawful carrying of a firearm in a licensed liquor establishment, the complaint says. He remained at the West Side jail Wednesday in lieu of a $2,500 cash or surety bond.
The first incident, in which an as yet-unidentified man in his 20s allegedly robbed a McDonald's manager on Wyoming NE on June 3 wearing full law enforcement regalia, spurred APD to copyright its patch and badge.
Robbery detectives planned to question Lark about the robbery on Wyoming NE but do not believe he was the perpetrator, police spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said. Investigators are pursuing another lead in that case.
As for the good name of APD: Police officials recently obtained a copyright for the department's patch and are in the process of getting one for its newly designed badges, which went into circulation last month.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Attack on Cameraman Prompts New APD Policy

By T.J. Wilham Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer

Police Chief Ray Schultz plans to retrain his entire police force because of mistakes he acknowledged were made by an officer who attacked a KOB-TV cameraman after ordering him to move from an area near a crime scene.
The incident— which was caught on tape, aired on TV and posted on the Internet— sparked hundreds of complaints to APD.
Schultz said Wednesday that he has drafted a policy that he plans to take to all of the city's news organizations for input. He also said the police force will go through training on the new policy and how to deal with crime scene onlookers.
One change would require an officer involved in a disagreement with the media to call a supervisor or public information officer.
The officer involved in last month's incident has been paired to work with a veteran officer— and never alone— until an investigation is complete.
"I have always said that we learn from our mistakes," Schultz said. "Obviously, there were some mistakes made. So, let's learn from them instead of repeating them."
Veteran KOB-TV cameraman Rick Foley was covering a police standoff on May 29 near Copper and Charleston NE when rookie officer Daniel Guzman told Foley to move to a different location, according to a police report.
Foley at the time was some distance from the police cars blocking the street and was outside an area that had been blocked by officers.
Shortly after Guzman told Foley he needed to move, the two exchanged more words.
A video captured by Foley's camera shows the officer lunging at Foley. Foley was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car and cited for "refusing to obey an officer."
The citation was filed Tuesday in Metropolitan Court. Foley has been given a July 1 court date.
Schultz said he couldn't intervene and have the citation dismissed. Only an officer or a judge can dismiss a citation once it has been written, he said.
Shortly after the incident, Schultz asked the city's independent review officer to investigate.
That investigation is ongoing. The IRO has reviewed Foley's tape but has not conducted any interviews.
The Journal made an official request on June 2 for records involving any prior disciplinary action taken against Guzman as well as any other resident's complaints.
Police have yet to produce the documents.
A deputy city attorney said in an e-mail that they are reviewing the request and will have a response within 15 days.
Schultz said action was taken shortly after the incident because of the severity of the allegations and the fact that his office has received about 200 e-mails— most of which attack Guzman and the chief. Schultz said that two of those e-mails had a threatening tone and that those e-mailers wanted to know where and when Guzman works so they could "talk to him."
"Because of the nature of some of the e-mails, we thought it was in his best interest not to put him in a situation where someone has an encounter with him and something escalates," Schultz said.
Schultz said that when he watched a video of the encounter, he noticed that several mistakes were made, although he declined to elaborate until the IRO completes its investigation.
Schultz pointed out that Foley had asked Guzman for his name and badge number, and that the officer refused to give it.
"That's an obvious policy violation," Schultz said. "We have a distinct policy you will provide name and identification number when asked by anyone. That did not occur."
Schultz said the new policy he drafted deals mostly with how officers are to treat representatives of the media when they think a reporter or photographer is disobeying a lawful order.
The drafted policy calls for the officer to contact his supervisor or a public information officer, but not to initiate an arrest.
The department already has a policy in place that says anyone from the community can record any crime scene as long as he or she is not standing in the scene.
"We want any conflicts addressed at the scene and not have our officers jump to enforcement action," Schultz said. "Let's get the right people there and not get to the point where someone is being arrested or cited."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Video: APD officer, photographer scuffle

By: Tom Joles, KOB-TV, and Joshua Panas,

An Eyewitness News 4 photographer was cuffed and cited Thursday morning for disobeying a police officer. It was a situation where the photographer was trying to do his job. And now the Albuquerque Police Department is reviewing the tape to see if the officer crossed the line.

APD says a driver and officers had exchanged gunfire at Copper Avenue and Rhode Island Street NE. An Eyewitness News 4 photographer covering the incident approached two police cars at Copper and Grove NE, believing the suspect was already in custody. The photographer was told that he had to go to a media staging area, but he claims the officer wouldn�t tell him where that was, so he just moved back.

The two officers briefly talked, and then one of them told the photographer where to go.

Video of the incident shows one of the officers walking away, looking at the photographer, and then walking out of frame while the other officer drives away from the scene.

The photographer then began to put his camera in the news vehicle to move to the media staging area when the officer begins circling around.

�I�m not putting the camera down until (inaudible),� the photographer told the officer as he was approached.

The two scuffled for a short time, and then the photographer was handcuffed and detained for about 90 minutes.

A police report identifies the officer as a D. Guzman and Eyewitness News 4 was told Thursday evening that Guzman had been a police officer for 13 months and on the street for seven months.

APD Chief Ray Schultz has yet to release a statement about the video, but APD spokesman John Walsh said the tape will be looked at.

�I can't comment on exactly what occurred on it. That will be reviewed by the independent review officer and, like I stated, he will come across with recommendations and the Albuquerque Police Department will act on those recommendations," Walsh said.

APD says they will proceed with the citation against the photographer.

Friday, February 29, 2008

What can we learn from a gun?

by Hakim Bellamy (Op-Ed)

I never wonder if those fatally labeled by the school district as “bad” kids are being hurt by the label, as much as I worry about them being hurt by the actions that accompany those labels. For the few of those that accurately belong under the umbrella labeled “bad”, before self fulfilling the prophecy, I reserve very little wonder or pity. However unfair the labeling is, it is nothing compared to the open umbrella which is symbolic of a Pandora’s Box…open. Guns don’t protect people, umbrellas protect people. Guns don’t shield, don’t play defense, guns play offense. Their defense lies in who “plays” offense first, who is quicker to be offensive. Looks like Albuquerque Public Schools is the winner. So, I suppose through reasonable deduction measures, that makes the other team, “the losers”. Let’s have a look at the other team.

I do, however, typically wonder about those who dress the part, look the part and act the part of “good” kid. Those that get aptly labeled by the school district as “inside-the-box-fitters”, “inside-the-line-colorers”, the well behaved. Sometimes the geniuses are all the above, many times the geniuses are none of the above. I say this as an impending father. One who hopes his kid is called genius once the label of “critical thinker” is added, even if it is at the expense of the label “well behaved”. I digress, I do wonder about the “good” kids because they are the ones who are being guilty until proven innocent by the decision to welcome armed police officers into schools. They are the ones who are now profiled by association, guilty by Gestapo. You just met the “other” team.

El Cajon, California. March 22, 2001. Granite Hills High School – Three students and two teachers were wounded as gunfire erupted at a high school less than three weeks after two students were killed at a nearby school. Yes, seventeen days earlier, four miles north, in the same school district at Santana High School, a 15-year-old student killed two classmates and injured 13 others. The Santana High School tragedy was followed by the placement of full-time armed police officers at each of the Grossmont Union High School District Schools, which included Granite Hills. According to Mike Nelson, Director of Keys to Safer Schools, “Administrators and teachers reviewed crisis plans, and students were encouraged to report the slightest threat or rumor.” Times of crisis or post-tragedy are a perfect time to fear-monger and systematically eliminate civil liberties, as though it prevents future deviance rather than just make certain sub-groups feel safer. It is a prerequisite to fascism, but what ubiquitous contemporary authoritarian model would these school districts be following in the footsteps of? Does “Uncle Sam, I learned it by watching you,” ring familiar? Sort of like anti-drug campaign commercials in the ‘90s, and perhaps just as effective. Anyway, all innuendo and poetic license aside, Nelson went on to write, “In the aftermath of Thursday’s attack, school and city officials wonder if there is anything they can do to prevent campus violence.”

Let us not use this as an excuse to do nothing, as I am sure the supporters of armed police in schools would attempt to argue. We certainly cannot use the futility of arming officers in schools as a loophole to activism, when episodic research and statistical research do not support the idea that schools are safer because of the presence of guns. That is not what is being said here. Though, we could argue the point that children mimic what they see, and if they see guns in school, then…show and tell. In just the same way our school districts learn how to use a tragic event to create more opportunities for surveillance and intrusion. They didn’t make that up, they learned it by observation.

I think some observations from the “other” team are in order here. Sean Connacher from Granite Hills, an 18-year-old senior at the time of the shooting, said, “I don’t think the administration is to blame. He was an angry kid. What are they going to do?” Ronald D. Stephens, executive Director of the National School Safety Center said, “You don’t want to turn the teachers into the Gestapo. And yet at the same time, it’s difficult for a student to focus on decimal placement in math class if he or she is worried about being shot before the day is out. So it’s a question of how do you strike a balance.” Maybe not a “strike” at all Mr. Stephens, perhaps some defensive tactics or preventative tactics are in order. You don’t have to apply pressure to a wound if you avoid getting cut altogether. We must go back to the idea that there are “good” and “bad” kids as classified by their teachers, counselors, culturally insensitive standardized tests and our society as a whole. Believe it or not, some of these “good” kids just go to school in “bad” districts, “bad” areas where schools are more likely to have armed police officers or security guards. These same areas are more likely to have a higher police officer-to-people ratio. These same areas have more liquor stores and check cashing spots. These same areas have more bi-lingual signage and less urban beautification money from city and state agencies.

"A lot of children know absolutely nothing about guns other than what they see on T.V., and those are the wrong things." –Marion Hammer

What a lot of the children where I grew up know police officers as, is not the same thing as someone who grew up in the North East Heights of Albuquerque. When you say “police officer” in South Jersey and South West Philadelphia, “protect and serve” don’t necessarily come to mind. Not to label all cops as “bad” cops, though this is the posture that we are adopting towards our “good” kids by arming officers in schools, but two wrongs don’t make a right or a very productive discussion for that matter. The “good” kids in these bad situations are now being punished, in a sense, psychologically bullied into a code of conduct, which sometimes gets perverted by a few bad apples at the expense of the bunch. But for the sake of a rare tragic few, should we rot the brain of our healthy, well-adjusted “good” kid majority by surrounding them with symbols that they may associate with death, suffering, pain, guilt and sometimes, injustice? Should we jade them, make them insecure, make them feel guilty until proven innocent, “bad” until proven “good” by arming the officers in the schools. Many of us already know that there is no difference between those that get government contracts to build schools and those that get contracts to build prisons. Why don’t we just merge them and cut our losses, we are already carrying ourselves as though there’s really no difference now anyway.

Billy Ditzler, a 16-year-old at Granite Hills at the time, said “I’m supposed to feel safe at school. If I come to school thinking I’m going to be shot, what’s that going to do? I’m just afraid it’s going to happen again.” Is he a “good” apple or a “bad” one? It’s hard to tell, I guess it depends on where he goes to school. A parent in the district, Mike Cook said, “Brick-and-mortar schools will cease to exist if this continues. If we can’t stop it, home-schooling will start and Internet education will take over.” Some parents in the hood have adopted this same opinion when their respective districts decided to arm its officers. It’s not just children who distrust the guns, regardless of who has them, in the schools.

At a $2 million price tag just to get a stand alone police force up to code, Albuquerque Public Schools could be more proactive than reactive. Perhaps we should arm students in self-defense? Charles “Andy” Williams is now 21-years-old and currently serving 44 more years to life in prison for his fatal rampage at Santana High School. He was tried as an adult. Aren’t we just trying our “good” kids as adults? After his arrest he told investigators “he was tired of being bullied”. His mother was in the US Army and deployed in the Middle East when he was 3. His dad raised him, first in Maryland, then in 29 Palms, CA. Just before his 15th birthday, he found out his best friend was killed in a bus accident. Before stealing his father’s Arminius .22-caliber revolver and killing two people, he had two skateboards stolen from him that day. Did he get therapy after his friend was killed? How much would that have cost? Perhaps we’re not securing anything, or protecting anything by arming officers, just throwing salt in open schoolyard wounds?

Jason Hoffman offered little emotion and no explanation for his non-fatal rampage at Granite Hills, neither before nor during his hearing. In all fairness, he was wounded mid-rampage by school resource officer, Rich Agundez. One shot to the face of Hoffman shattering his jaw, and one to his buttocks. The officer was not hurt, just teachers and students. Who are the guns protecting again? Anyway, the “other” team has some bad apples that don’t fall far from the tree. According to Union-Tribune staff writers Karen Kucher, Joe Hughes and Alex Roth, Hoffman lived with his father after his mother moved out of the house in 1983 shortly after his birth. The mother accused the father of tossing 1-year-old Jason into the deep end of a pool and urinating on him in the shower when Jason was 7. According to court records Ralph Hoffman was a parent who struggled with alcohol and once spent time in jail on a child-endangerment charge. With $2 million, how many endangered youth can we arm against negligent parents? Hoffman took a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol to school the day he wounded five people. It was a day after he was rejected for Navy enlistment. He was disqualified for being overweight, a skin condition and having been convicted of assault and battery for hitting another student in the head with a racquetball racket in gym class three years prior. He said he was sorry. On October 29th, 2001, a week before his sentencing, he hung himself in a downtown jail cell after being taken off of suicide watch.

I don’ feel sorry for the “bad” kids who might be deterred by the presence of an armed officer in the school. They’ll find other ways to create havoc, mayhem, tragedy and change other people’s lives for the worse. Schools are no safer than the homes these children come from, they will be a product of their environment. What kind of environment are we creating in our militarized-prison-industrial-“we gotta gun”-complex school systems? I worry about the “good” kids, who will be demoralized, dehumanized and depressed by the presence of guns, where books should be…for about the same price. The presence of punishment where encouragement should be. The presence of fear where comfort should be. So yeah, I worry about the “other” team. Maybe they aught to have a say in the matter

© Hakim Bellamy September 12, 2007.