If you’re going to Melbourne to see the @POTUS today, be very, very careful

Offender Picture

Gary Bennett, deliberately framed with false “scent evidence” testimony in Brevard County, FL 33+ years ago

Brevard County, Florida has a dark past and present, and there are some things you should keep very much in mind if you travel there, especially if you’re attending a political event.

Please read the 2005 ACLU press release below about the Brevard County Sheriff’s office unlawful surveillance of peaceful protesters (below), as well as the related transcript of PBS’ NOW televised segment from this link. It’s important to know that the federal agencies on fully on board with Brevard’s corruption.

In 2005, Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey was assigned to Brevard by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the state agency that is designated to police Florida’s police, and doesn’t. Ivey was aware of the conviction corruption evidenced by the upset convictions of Juan Ramos, Wilton Dedge and William Dillon, and was determined to keep it buried while working for the FDLE, as determined as he still is Brevard’s sheriff.

The conviction corruption centers on dog handler John Preston, who was found a fraud in the summer of 1982 in a federal court after Julius Manning confessed to a crime that Dale Sutton was serving time for. Since then, Preston has been additionally disgraced by Brevard Judge Gilbert Goshorn’s skill tracking test, and by DNA (twice). Many Preston convictions remain intact, because the FBI was directly involved with Preston in Linroy Bottoson’s prosecution in neighboring Orange County.

Was the Pentagon aware of Brevard’s conviction corruption when it participated in surveillance games there earlier in the century? Probably. The Department of Justice is aware that the FBI is burying “scent evidence” conviction corruption concerning Preston and other DNA-disgraced dog handlers. They’re particularly aware of Brevard’s use of Preston, because I never shut up about it.

If you doubt that the DoJ is very much dedicated to keeping Brevard’s wrongful convictions intact so that the FBI can save face on yet another forensics scandal, please read (below the ACLU release) the DoJ press release, updated yesterday, extolling the FDLE’s role in securing one (1) guilty plea from a Brevard sexual predator.

Sheriff Ivey campaigned for Donald Trump in uniform. It should be against the law, but it isn’t. Ivey has met with Trump since his inauguration for purposes of creating new powers for police, as if they didn’t already have enough powers to abuse.

Ivey knows about the Preston frame-ups. Ask him, and he’ll tell you that everyone that should be freed has already been freed, which couldn’t be a bigger lie. You can get a good idea of the content of Ivey’s character by looking at the feeble Brevard cold homicide webpage, which disrespects the dead by failing to provide enough information for anyone to supply new tips. They didn’t even bother to find photos of all the victims.

If you go to Melbourne today, be extremely careful. I’ve lived in many places – five state’s worth – and despite living in Detroit for many years, never lived anywhere where public servants found it so easy to be hard, easy to be cold. And these ice-cold public servants have friends in the DoJ, FBI, Pentagon and White House.

 

October 19, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

MELBOURNE, FL – The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida Brevard Chapter announced today that, based on ACLU recommendations, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has revised its police surveillance policies to ban officers from monitoring constitutionally protected First Amendment activities, including the right to peacefully protest government policies.

Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker, the county’s top law enforcement official, has also agreed to develop a training program for deputies in conjunction with the ACLU to explain and implement the new policy, said the ACLU.

“Hopefully this will prevent a recurrence of the types of political surveillance practices that we’ve seen in the past where Brevard County officers spent taxpayer dollars monitoring the activities of peace activists who did nothing more than criticize government officials,” said ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, who will be participating in the officer training program.

In June, the ACLU called on Sheriff Parker to revamp portions of the criminal intelligence guidelines outlined in Brevard Sheriff General Order 500.69, which were enacted by Parker’s predecessor, Phil Williams. The ACLU recommended implementing standards for criminal intelligence gathering to ensure that only criminal intelligence information – and not political associational information – is collected.

Some of the ACLU recommendations that were adopted by Sheriff Parker include:  

  • Events may only be monitored if there is an “identified credible potential threat for violence.”
  • If members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office respond to a protest after identifying a potential threat of violence, and no illegal activity occurs, then no identifiable information relating to the participants in the protest activity will be noted in any police reports.
  • Officers will avoid indiscriminate collection of information on protesters regardless of their affiliations, and will require authorization from senior command staff prior to any monitoring.

“After a welcomed and positive dialogue with the sheriff, we now have a policy that should protect the rights of all Brevard residents to peaceably assemble without fear that their activities will land them with a police file,” said ACLU Brevard Chapter President Glenn Pinfield. “We look forward to working with the sheriff’s office on a training program to ensure that deputies perform their law enforcement duties consistent with the new policy.”

The new guidelines stem from an investigation that began after officers photographed and gathered information on a group of people participating in a counter-inaugural demonstration at the Melbourne City Hall in January 2005.

The ACLU and the demonstrators filed a series of public records requests after the incident, which resulted in the release of more than 600 pages of documents showing a pattern since 9/11 of police surveillance of Brevard residents who engage in lawful First Amendment activity. The ACLU has referred to the documents as “spy files.”

The newly amended policy is available at: http://www.aclufl.org/issues/free_speech/500.69CriminalIntelligenceOperations.doc



 

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 17, 2017

Brevard County Resident Sentenced To Thirty Years In Prison For Production Of Child Pornography

Orlando, Florida– U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza has sentenced Jerry Hall (49, Palm Bay)  to 30 years in federal prison for producing child pornography. The Court also ordered him to forfeit electronic equipment that had been used during the offense.
Hall pleaded guilty on December 1, 2016.
According to court documents, in June 2015, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) began investigating Hall for downloading child pornography using file sharing software. During the investigation, FDLE came into possession of a memory card that contained images of sexually explicit conduct of a minor taken by Hall on his cellphone in June 2014. At the time the images were taken, the minor was under the age of 10.
FDLE also recovered a custom built computer belonging to Hall and a laptop previously used by him. A forensic examination of those computers revealed numerous images and video files depicting child pornography, some of which contained young children.
“Child pornography is an atrocious crime because each movie or photograph represents a child who has been sexually abused,” said FDLE Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks. “FDLE will continue to aggressively investigate anyone who preys on our children.”
“This child predator’s crimes will never be erased in the minds of the children that he victimized,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “This long prison sentence serves as a warning to child predators that these crimes will be discovered, will be prosecuted and will be punished severely.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Shecter.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
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Updated Info- Feb 21 Legislative Hearing on Video Visitation

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

The Tuesday, February 21 hearing is being hosted by the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Public Safety. It will be in Room 4203. See below.

JOINT HEARING
PUBLIC SAFETY AND BUDGET AND FISCAL REVIEW

CA SENATE  SUBCOMMITTEE NO. 5 ON CORRECTIONS, PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE JUDICIARY AND CA ASSEMBLY SUBCOMMITTEE NO. 5 ON PUBLIC SAFETY

  • 10:00 a.m. — John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203), CA State Capitol, Sacramento
  • OVERSIGHT HEARING SUBJECT: Looking Through the Screen: The Effects of Video Visitation on County Jail Inmates and their Families
  • SENATOR SKINNER AND ASSEMBLY MEMBER WEBER, Chairs

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Feb 21 Legislative Hearing on Video Visitation in Jails

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

On Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10am in Sacramento, the California Senate Public Safety Committee will hold an informational hearing on video visitation in county jails.  The hearing will be at the state capitol, but the time, place and agenda have not yet been announced. The agenda will be announced here:  http://spsf.senate.ca.gov/hearings.

We believe that there will be an opportunity for public comment. Please consider speaking or providing a written statement if you have experience with in-person or video visitation.

We are in a period when many counties are building or seeking to build new jails.  Some counties are building jails without facilities for in-person visiting.  Instead, they are setting up video-visitation as the only visiting method.  There are many problems with video visitation. In-person visitation is crucial to the well-being of incarcerated people and their families.

Last year, the legislature passed SB 1157 (introduced by Senator Holly Mitchell), to…

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James Comey must resign; Congress must end @FBI’s #CrossroadsGridlock

James Comey’s behavior looks worse and worse

February 15 at 1:11 PM

Comey believed that the entire country needed to know that a presidential candidate might be connected to information on a laptop that she didn’t own, but the vice president did not need to be told privately that a key presidential adviser was definitely lying about his relationship with a foreign government. The inconsistency leaves one speechless.

via https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/02/15/james-comeys-behavior-looks-worse-and-worse/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a:homepage/story&utm_term=.415087473189



There is more to the FBI’s inconsistencies than the media is willing to address. Ever.

I’ll try to state the bedrock issue as concisely as possible:

Either the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the investigative arm of the Department of Justice acting under the Department’s supervision as its flowchart maintains, or it is a stand-alone U.S. Intelligence agency, as the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate designated for purposes of Oversight.

As the FBI cannot be both the DoJ’s servant and its own master, it currently is whichever is most convenient at any given time, which is entirely consistent with its history … J. Edgar Hoover ignored his responsibilities to uphold citizens’ rights so as to infringe upon them routinely and egregiously, and there have been few interruptions of his apparently contagious abusive traits since the agency’s inception, so few that I haven’t found any.

If James Comey would just do his job, I could write about interior design and residential landscapes

My posts about Florida’s public corruption – all within the FBI’s power to alleviate – date back to 2010. Sadly, this is my second blog; I’ve been speaking out against Florida frame-ups since finding out about judicial corruption in 2004, after learning in 2001 about systemic police and prosecutorial corruption while fighting for my very life.

Comey is an unacceptable Department of Justice servant, and an unacceptable master of an Intelligence agency. Congress must not only see to it that he steps down, but see to it that the role of the FBI is made clear … servant or master, one or the other, not alternately one then the other, whichever is more convenient to continuing Hoover’s histrionics.

Read Senator Patrick Leahy’s press release about everything that was going wrong at the FBI in 2007, which is still going wrong in 2017. Please do not skip the portion where Leahy describes the FBI’s inability to hang on to laptops or weapons (160 each) or Leahy’s assertion that the FBI was at a “crossroads,” one that called for its rapid reversal on wrongdoing, or its extinction.

The resulting gridlock from the FBI having been at that crossroads for so very long deprives millions of Americans of their inherent rights on an ongoing basis. It’s time for Congress to stop asking what more they can do for their party/corporations/billionaires and start doing what we the people have begged and prayed for – provide us with relief and redress from public corruption that the FBI has been designated to address, and won’t.

Congress must recreate the FBI, under new leadership, or demolish it. Immediately.

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#DoYourJobs @TheJusticeDept @FBI @flcourts @FDLEpio @FLGovScott #ScentEvidenceStinks

2017 must be the year that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation come entirely clean about their forensics foul-ups, including “scent evidence.”

In the summer of 1982, Julius Manning confessed to a series of post office crimes, one of which Dale Sutton was wrongly serving time for, based on the perjured testimony of dog handler John Preston.

Sutton was exonerated and released from federal custody in January of 1983.

In January of 1984, Brevard County, Florida prosecutors put John Preston on the stand to provide knowingly perjured testimony against Gary Stanley Bennett Jr. They backed up Preston’s perjuries with additional perjuries from jailhouse informants Kenneth Plemmons and Michael Turner, and achieved a conviction in record time … understandably.

The prosecutors – particularly John Dean Moxley – had had plenty of practice. They had used the exact same tactics against Gerald Stano (wrongly executed 1998), Wilton Dedge (exonerated 2004), William Dillon (exonerated 2008) and yet-to-be-fully-disclosed number of others … dozens of them.

Sadly, Brevard County was imitating Orange County, Florida where hapless schizophrenic Linroy Bottoson was convicted of the murder of a postal worker based on perjuries from Preston and a coached informant. The FBI participated in the prosecution. Linroy was wrongly executed in 2002.

Floridians have been defrauded of a fortune to persecute and incarcerate and sometimes execute innocents. And that’s hardly the full extent of the damages.

John Dean Moxley is every bit as lawless as a judge. So is Brevard sheriff Wayne Ivey, formerly Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s reprehensible representative in Brevard.

Ivey hasn’t the sense to maintain a low profile, unlike most criminals. He’s a Have Gun, Will Travel Trump supporter, recently endorsing increased police power, just as one would reasonably expect from a full-out abuser of police powers that were already in place.

The only forensic analysis methods that survived the turn of the century unscathed was DNA … Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis, hair analysis, fiber analysis, unique human scent, bite mark, shaken baby, fire accelerant, blood splatter, fingerprint, illegal substance field tests, etc., have all undergone revision, increased scrutiny or been discredited.

I say all that to say this: Brevard has even been known to have an expect fudge DNA testimony. Jeff Abramowski was convicted  in this century under the ridiculous pretense that two  out of 15 markers was a “hit.” The expert was employed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – when Wayne Ivey was still with the agency.

The DoJ is aware that the FBI used a number of DNA-discredited dog handlers. John Preston was one of the most prolific participator in bogus investigations – @1,000 – but Keith Pikett muddled more than double Preston’s count.

Where the buck stops on faux forensics frame-ups – so far – has been with framed inmates’ families and activists, not with paid public servants, not with tax exempt innocence organizations. That has to change this very year.

Act, DoJ: bring frame-up specialists to justice: with governors’ assistance, they’ve killed before and will kill again, and in the meantime, they’ll defraud of us our tax dollars to warehouse innocents while burglars, rapists and killers responsible for the crimes find new victims among us.

 



 

 

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Again, lawless lockups are not #OneAndDone news stories, especially in #LoveFL

My previous post reblogged a transcript of Florida Department of Corrections inmate/whistleblower Harold Hempstead’s sworn statement concerning the abuse of “Protective Management” via the pairing of nonviolent offenders with violent offenders, with predictably dire outcomes for the nonviolent offenders … intimidation, injury, rape, death.

This post reblogs a transcript of Harold’s sworn statement regarding the inconveniences and injuries experienced on a routine basis by inmates confined to wheelchairs at a specific Florida lockup – Okeechobee Correctional Institution.

We can’t settle for a media that is willing to keep us in the dark about public servants that treat human beings worse than we would knowingly let them treat animals. We just can’t.

Newspapers and networks have attorneys, and those attorneys know that Failure to Keep From Harm is a federal, Color of Law civil rights crime.

It’s time for media attorneys to do some whistleblowing of their own.

 

 

Harold Hempstead - Caged Crusader

bw-haroldHarold Hempstead takes on the cause of Disabled Rights in the Florida Department of Corrections.  From the information he’s also submitted to Rick Scott, Governor of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice, it would seem that the needs and safety of the mobility-impaired inmates are not being taken seriously.  The following affidavit meticulously details the many obstacles and difficulties daily encountered by those convicts confined to wheelchairs.  Once again, the law has prescribed a series of measures to be taken and standards to be upheld and these are simply not being respected and implemented properly.  Once again, it takes the efforts of a prisoner to raise these matters and ask the authorities to uphold their own laws and regulations.  When those authorities start listening to Harold Hempstead and implementing the strategies already in place for protecting disabled rights, and basic human rights;  as well as the many other grave matters that…

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Lawless lockups are not #OneAndDone news stories, especially in #LoveFL

Whistleblowing Florida Department of Corrections inmate Harold Hempstead continues to alert various government and non-governmental agencies, specific members of the media as well as select concerned individuals to an increasing variety of dangerous and deadly prison conditions.

On all but one of the conditions he’s written about, receipt of Harold’s sworn statements served only as confirmations of what I have heard from the wrongly convicted gentlemen I advocate for and/or their families. It therefore mystifies me that the media is not staying apace with verifying and addressing Harold’s statements, given that it verified and covered the issues from Harold’s earlier whistleblowing, and given that the death toll rose last year within Florida prisons. Michele Gillen can be excused for her silence; she is no longer with Miami’s WFOR Channel 4 news.

Lawless lockups speak to the core competence and moral fitness not only of corrections officers and officials, but that of governors, state and federal attorney generals, federal agents, local and state police as well as prosecutors. Failing to apprise the public of the incompetence and moral turpitude of elected public servants – pre and post election – is not a function of journalism, it is instead a blatant form of election engineering, perhaps the most despicable form of corruption. We need to be protected from it immediately.

If the mainstream media doesn’t step up and make their reporting factual and timely, we must insist that our federal legislators and regulators bust up the mega-mergers that made sleazy election engineering so drop-dead easy for the handful of moguls who are growing their empires by using our blood, sweat, tears and very bones as fertilizer.

Harold Hempstead - Caged Crusader

harold-hempstead-2 Harold Hempstead

One of the duties of the State is the protection of its most vulnerable prison inmates from the most dangerous and predatory. Certain prisoners fall into these special categories that require them to be segregated from general population – either because they are particularly vulnerable, and should be housed in Protective Management housing units; or because they are particularly dangerous, and should be housed in Close Management housing units.

The following sworn statement by Harold Hempstead – who’s serving one hundred and sixty five years for allegedly organizing various burglaries – describes how the Florida Department of Corrections is blatantly abusing its responsibility towards the basic human rights and civil rights of its prisoners by placing violent predators in ‘Protective Management’ units. This is being done as policy and is a way of taking away even a minimum sense of protection from inmates.  This official disregard for the…

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