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Posted: 3/14/2001 8:29:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2001 8:49:09 AM EST by warlord]
this article was originally post at Sturmgewhr about a Pasadena, Calif. man being arrest for weapons charges after police discovered his cache of weapons. http://www.sturmgewehr.com/webBBS/general.cgi?read=10046 ======================================================== http://www.laweekly.com/ink/99/08/news-hunter.shtml LA Weekly: News Feature: LAPD Zealots Cost City a Cool Million .NEWS * FEATURE January 15 - 21, 1999. LAPD Zealots Cost City a Cool Million by Jane Hunter The case surfaced with a bang last May - a sensational press conference announcing that a series of predawn arrests had brought a dangerous militia cell "to its knees," averting a "holocaust" and saving "countless lives." More than a hundred weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were confiscated, and in the ensuing months, three defendants in the case pleaded guilty to weapons charges. One, Irwindale reserve police officer Glenn Yee, was sentenced to 16 months in prison on weapons charges. Which made it all the more confounding when the Los Angeles City Council last week agreed to pay out $1.1 million to settle four civil lawsuits brought by the defendants in the case. Council members said those arrested had been defamed as militia terrorists by overzealous police officials, and voted to institute mandatory training for LAPD spokespeople. But defamation was just one of the complaints against the department, prosecutors and the city attorney, who reportedly sold the deal to the council by warning that a trial verdict might top $5 million. The plaintiffs alleged the cops had framed and entrapped them, spied on them illegally, and then lied under oath to cover up their excesses. Moreover, the suits alleged that police officials at the LAPD's Anti-Terrorist Division (ATD) had conspired with city and district attorneys to withhold exonerating evidence. Said Michael Stoller, the attorney representing all four defendants and the wives of two of them, "I believe that the complaints involving police conduct were of merit and were taken into consideration for making this settlement." Stoller said he couldn't discuss any terms. The million-dollar settlement means the allegations of wrongdoing will never be tried. But it also marks another miserable outing for one of the last remnants of the LAPD's once-vaunted - and widely feared - spy apparatus. The ATD is a secretive division directly descended from the Public Disorder Intelligence Division, which was disbanded after activists disclosed widespread spying on liberal political figures, including some public officials. The lawsuits assert that the ATD had pressed its investigation because it urgently needed a major bust to make up for years of lackluster performance and head off plans to dissolve the division. (The ATD has accrued more lawsuits than major arrests in its controversial history.) So the unit dispatched an officer to infiltrate the plaintiffs' group of gun enthusiasts and survivalists, and depicted its quarry as militia militants bent on fomenting urban terror. Filed in federal court last summer, the lawsuits recount unsuccessful efforts by the ATD's undercover officers to induce the group, which generally met in the northeastern part of the county, to instigate an armed encounter in South-Central L.A. and provide protection to an anti-immigrant group. Uncomfortable with the behavior of one ATD infiltrator, the lawsuits allege, the group
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:30:28 AM EST
disbanded, but members consented to that undercover cop's plea for one last shooting practice - which turned out to be a setup for the arrest. ATD investigative records obtained by the Weekly chronicle the unit's infiltration by that officer, the LAPD's Doug Stice, into the Southern California Marksman's Association (SCMA), a group formed by Yee and others. The records show how the cops portrayed the SCMA as a racist militia, bent on killing illegal Mexican immigrants and "hostages," despite the fact that the SCMA was multiracial - Yee and another plaintiff are Asian; a third member's wife is Mexican. Stice's report, about what the plaintiffs say was the first meeting he attended, in January 1996, calls the group the "Orange County Militia." In subsequent reports, Stice alternates that name with the "Orange County Corps," an actual organization - but not the one he was attending. Glenn and Christine Yee and their SCMA associates had split from the corps in mid-1995, before Stice entered their lives as "Andrew Nelson." They left because the corps was too "political," according to the lawsuit and Weekly interviews. (One of those arrested, Timothy Swanson, a childhood friend of Glenn Yee, says he never belonged to the SCMA.) According to the Orange County Corps' founder, National Rifle Association activist T.J. Johnston, the organization was intended for community protection in the event of riots or natural disasters. Johnston told the Weekly that he and Dave Ralph, an LAPD officer who later joined the SCMA, met with Congressman Ed Royce to discuss the organization. One of Stice's reports terms the Orange County Corps' founding meeting at Cal State Fullerton a "militia callout." Stice's reports reflect nothing of the SCMA's survivalist focus. Instead, Stice reports attending "militia training" and drills. In interviews over the past year, Swanson, the Yees and other plaintiffs insisted that Stice fabricated, twisted and outright lied about what went on inside the group. Prosecutors who filed 13 felony charges against SCMA member and plaintiff Alvin Ung in San Bernardino County, a case that is only now going to trial, alleged a plan to kill immigrants, but have introduced no evidence besides Stice's report. Use of the word militia, which acquired considerable punch after the April 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, probably helped the ATD persuade the Police Commission and then-Police Chief Willie Williams to give the required permission to launch and continue the investigation. In an interview for an earlier story, then-Police Commission president Raymond Fisher told the Weekly that he was familiar with the operation and that it was justified. The dire characterization of the militia threat, in turn, helped persuade the same police commissioners and the City Council to decide in 1996 to substantially loosen the guidelines governing the activities of the ATD. Even so, those guidelines require a reasonable suspicion that a group be planning criminal activity before officers may investigate. The lawsuits contend that, when it came to the SCMA, the ATD had no basis for such an investigation. After it arrested the men, the ATD said its investigation was the first under the loosened guidelines and couldn't have been conducted under the old rules. The new guidelines continue a requirement that the Police Commission monitor the ATD. A recently released commission audit of the u
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:31:25 AM EST
commission staffer Clifford Weiss, who conducted the audit, told the Weekly that because of the litigation, he was told to put "information about the militia case in a confidential version of the audit." In fact, Weiss said, neither the Police Commission nor the City Council has yet seen his report on the SCMA investigation. He said the commission will soon - in closed session, because the report deals with undercover operations. The commission considered settlement of the lawsuits during a closed session before Christmas, then sent its recommendations on to the council. Weiss said the commission would "not necessarily" pass along his confidential audit to the City Council. In the past, Weiss said, "There were courtesy copies [of ATD audits] given to the Public Safety Committee," but there's no requirement to do so. The plaintiffs and their attorneys say that Stice lied repeatedly about the weapons used or owned by members of the group. They also say the ATD officers swore to these lies in order to obtain search warrants. Alvin Ung recently petitioned the judge presiding over his San Bernardino case for access to personnel records to help him prove that Stice, Sergeant Glynn Martin and officer Michael O'Brien made "misstatements" in police reports. Ung's motion is set for hearing on January 29. In addition, the affidavits for the search warrants served in the case mischaracterize Stice himself. The officer is identified as a "reliable confidential informant" who had infiltrated right-wing groups and helped bring off previous arrests - not as a member of the LAPD. It's a crucial distinction, say civil rights attorneys. At court hearings, officials identified Stice as an LAPD officer, but they repeatedly thwarted defense attorneys' efforts to learn his identity and get him into a courtroom. At one hearing, when an attorney cross-examining ATD Sergeant Martin asked about Steich," the name officials had given him, Martin said, "I don't know anybody by that name." After the judge intervened and the defense lawyer mentioned "prosecutorial misconduct" and "misrepresentations," Martin volunteered that it was "a spelling and pronunciation issue," then gave the correct spelling. Doubts about Stice's affiliation resurfaced when attorneys trying to serve papers on him learned he wasn't listed on the LAPD's personnel roster. His ties to the department were confirmed only after a Weekly reporter visited Stice at his suburban home earlier this month. The next day, an LAPD spokesperson phoned a Weekly editor to express concern that the paper might reveal the address of "a member of our department." Stice would not comment on his activities as Andrew Nelson. Weiss, of the Police Commission staff, said he couldn't comment on Stice's ghost status or on the cops' description of him as an informant. Two sources with direct knowledge of the LAPD's operations told the Weekly that the department routinely keeps some of its officers off the books. In their lawsuits and in interviews, the SCMA plaintiffs also complained of more prosaic misconduct. In an earlier report, the Weekly detailed how the prosecution withheld evidence of the investigation as "not relevant," but trotted it out selectively to justify stiff charges and sentences. The plaintiffs, their defense attorneys and other sources with inside knowledge say these statements - plus judges' unwillingness to second-guess allegations of terrorism - re
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:33:07 AM EST
sentences. When Yee entered his plea, the prosecutor told the judge that the district attorney had agreed with the police and city attorney to withhold certain investigative records. Yee and Swanson included with their pleas statements that they'd withdraw them if they obtained the evidence they'd been denied. The Weekly has learned that deputy D.A.s in at least two cases threatened to introduce additional charges unless the defendants plea-bargained by a certain date. When contacted, a spokesperson for the D.A.'s Office claimed not to know about the lawsuits or their settlement, even though District Attorney Gil Garcetti and several of his lieutenants were named defendants. Yee's defense attorney, Chuck Michel, said the State Court of Appeals has agreed to hear Yee's appeal of his sentence. After he pleaded to a negotiated misdemeanor, plaintiff Tim Swanson complained to the LAPD's Internal Affairs Bureau about the conduct of the ATD investigation. He said that after he heard nothing from the bureau, he took his complaint to police Inspector General Katherine Mader, but was informed that she was not allowed to investigate the case. Copyright (c) 2001, L.A. Weekly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. P.O. Box 4315, Los Angeles, CA 90078-9810
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:45:51 AM EST
Man, that's scary!!![:eek:] Those police are some Evil Bastards!
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:50:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2001 9:03:57 AM EST by LawDawg]
Originally Posted By warlord: More than a hundred weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were confiscated, and in the ensuing months, three defendants in the case pleaded guilty to weapons charges.
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Only the Guilty and Cowards plea bargain. The short version of this article is they were guilty of weapons violations but were not terrorist. The City Council concluded that even if a person is an admitted crook, you cant defame his character by calling him a terrorist.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 8:53:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:00:30 AM EST
PS.. Am I the only one who thinks about this case when I see the pics posted from AR15.com get togathers at burrow canyon & lytle creek?
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:04:45 AM EST
I wish that they would force those JBT's involved with this case to pay the 1.1 million out of their own pockets. Every time they screw up, the rest of us have to pay for their mistakes.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:07:41 AM EST
I brought this case up EARLY last year and again was subjected to ad hominem attacks by several members, including a lapd cop that accused me of conspiracy theories, cop bashing and making up the Anti-Terrorist Division. Hang your heads in shame.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:13:18 AM EST
Lawdawg posted:
Only the Guilty and Cowards plea bargain.
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I disagree. First, I should state that I've only been to court on traffic tickets. That said, I think most people can be intimidated into taking a Plea Bargain, given the awesome and immense power the State wields against and individual. Innocence has NOTHING to do with it. Look at OJ Simpson. Justice has NOTHING to do with it. It's all about the money. I could see taking a Plea Bargain to avoid being destroyed by the State, even if I were 100% innocent. It's kind of like playing chicken with the truck trying to merge into your lane - it doesn't matter if you are right, playing with a 80,000 pound truck will just make you DEAD RIGHT.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:18:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By LawDawg: Only the Guilty and Cowards plea bargain.
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Yeah, and people who don't have large fortunes to spend defending themselves! And guilty of what, Lawgawg? Possessing a piece of metal that some idiot has declared illegal in KA? Hoo-Boy! That mere possession injured alot of people! Statist Pigs really sicken me. No wonder there is so little respect for the law.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:22:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2001 9:37:35 AM EST by LawDawg]
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: I should state that I've only been to court on traffic tickets.
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Go watch a guilty plea at a criminal trial sometime. Those who have never seen it expect somthing like the defendant pleading guilty to a crime he claims he didnt do. But Judges will not allow that! Judges will not allow you to say "your honor, I didnt do this crime but I would rather plead guilty and get a short stint in jail rather than take my chances at trial." If the judge even thinks that is what you are doing he will reject the plea bargain and set a trial date. In fact when a defendant pleads guilty the judge questions the defendant about the details of the crime. This is done to ensure the right guy is going to jail and its not some innocent person pleading guilty to avoid a trial. If you dont know the answers the plea gets rejected and a trial date is set. Thats why I say only the guilty plea bargain.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 10:02:56 AM EST
I hate to pull a Klinton, but I guess it depends on your definition of "guilty". Scenario 1 - Some guy buys a gun that is illegal, but he doesn't know. Cops raid the house for whatever reason, he's facing weapons charges. Is he guilty? Technically yes. But with 25,000 gun laws, how was the guy to know? Can you be 100% CERTAIN nothing you own violates the law? No.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 11:34:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: Can you be 100% CERTAIN nothing you own violates the law?
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Yes. Its not only my job, its my hobby. Its also my moral obligation as a law abiding gun owner.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 11:44:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By LawDawg: The short version of this article is they were guilty of weapons violations but were not terrorist. The City Council concluded that even if a person is an admitted crook, you cant defame his character by calling him a terrorist.
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I don't consider "weapons violations" to be a crime morally or ethically. I wouldn't do it because of practical considerations, but I do not consider those who do to be bad people.
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 12:56:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2001 1:28:22 PM EST by fight4yourrights]
LawDawg - I appreciate what you are trying to say, I try my best to obey the law as well. But I have called the State Police regarding gun laws and then read the exact opposite on the State Police website. Who do you believe? Face it - BATF changes the rules on the fly, so how can you be in compliance all the time? Secondly, they get to take your weapons and work them over at a machine shop in Quantico for 8 hours. If they can get them to double once, you just bought the farm for a machine gun. I can probably make a single shot gun a full auto spending 8 hours in a machine shop. Some laws are in contradiction of each other. The AG of Kalifornia tells you that you can legally register your gun. The next AG tells you that you are now a Felon for said gun. Have you read all 26,000 (or so) laws that apply to guns? Or just the ones your department chooses to enforce?
Link Posted: 3/14/2001 9:29:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2001 9:40:43 PM EST by LawDawg]
Originally Posted By warlord: According to the Orange County Corps' founder, National Rifle Association activist T.J. Johnston
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All around good guy and was briefly on NRA board of directors. I hear he is not very well liked by Orange & Riverside county firefighters though, after one of the students is his class he nearly burned down trabuco canyon with a tracer. I'm sure the land owner whose property he was shooting on wasnt thrilled either.
Link Posted: 3/15/2001 5:54:06 PM EST
[b]"The ATD is a secretive division directly descended from the Public Disorder Intelligence Division"[/b] WTF is this "Secret Police" crap doing here anyway....MAN!, we are so close to becomming a total police state. Arrests are just going to stop completely, you can find the "guilty" dead in the streets the next morning... BISHOP
Link Posted: 3/15/2001 6:28:46 PM EST
Now how about this sort of 'SS' Police being patterned in every major metropolitan police force in the US. Look at the exponential growth of SWAT type tactical teams from inception till now. Who knows the accurate history of that one tactical team? I would hazard a guess that SWAT was birthed in LA, glorified in some 70's Cop show along with the Good Cop-Bad Cop routine and then adopted all over. Like it or not, LA is the paternalistic COP Behaviour breeding ground that soon enough will visit your neck of the woods. My opinion of course but then again my interaction with city cops has been violent solely from the COP application of pain to the "Guilty until proven innocent" victim/perp. County Sheriff is who I admire and respect, they live where they work in my locale. Railgun....[rail]
Link Posted: 3/15/2001 6:53:54 PM EST
In the interest of keeping blood pressures down nationwide I have to mention that the LA Weekly is a free local rag whose readership consists primarily of Amazonian parrots who read it as they put the paper to good use. To call it biased to the left is the understatement of the month. The Weekly is a joke. Anything they say can be taken as 3/4 distortion and 1/4 outright lie. They care nothing for the truth of the matter but only for how it sounds to the other ulta left folks here in LA. Ignore them. We do.
Link Posted: 3/16/2001 12:25:08 AM EST
There was actually an earlier article on this subject by the same author: http://www.laweekly.com/ink/98/31/news-hunter.shtml Check it out. Apparently these guys were supposed to have meets at Burro Canyon!!! It also mentions that PO Doug Stice had email wars with a racist. Doesn't this hit close to home!?!??!!?
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