It’s been more than seven months since 18-year-old Jeremy Marks has been incarcerated in a Los Angeles jail for videotaping a police officer.
Seven months since they charged him with obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, criminal threats and “attempted lynching.”
Seven months since they told him he could serve seven years in prison for his “crime.”
Now they’re offering him a plea deal where he would serve 32 months in prison if he would just plead guilty to all the charges except the lynching charge.
But there is no evidence he did anything other than videotape an altercation between Los Angeles Unified School District police officer and a student who had been smoking a cigar.
LAUSD police officer Erin Robles spotted a 15-year-old student at a bus stop smoking a cigar and confronted him about it.
The boy apparently gave her some lip, which prompted Robles to grab him in a choke hold and hold him against a bus.
Witnesses said the cop then bashed the teen’s head against the window of the bus, which was when several students pulled out cell phones to record the altercation.
The two videos that have made it online (posted below) show a female cop who has no control of the situation as the 15-year-old teen she is holding is continually taunting her by telling her to hit him and knocking her hand away.
She is holding a baton but the videos do not show her strike him, even though she admitted in her report that she struck him three times in the legs with the baton.
But Marks, who is wearing a gray shirt and standing on the far side near the end of the sidewalk next to a teen in a white shirt, is never seen interfering nor taunting.
However, police claim he yelled “kick her ass,” which is where they got the attempted lynching charge from. And which is why his bail was set at $155,000, which his parents have been unable to afford.
According to the Los Angeles Weekly:
The first thing to understand is that Jeremy Marks touched no one during his “attempted lynching” of LAUSD campus police officer Erin Robles.
The second is that Marks’ weapon was the camera in his cell phone.
The third is that Officer Robles’ own actions helped turn an exceedingly minor wrongdoing — a student smoking at a bus stop — into a state prison case.
No charges were ever filed against the teen who was smoking and Marks was not detained until several minutes after the altercation after he had wandered to a nearby McDonalds parking lot.
Pittman says her son and two of his friends walked to McDonalds after the excitement was over. At McDonalds, “Police cars came flying from everywhere, jumped out on my son with their guns pointed right at him, yelling and screaming for him to get on the ground,” she says.
Police claim he resisted arrested at McDonalds but several witnesses told the Weekly that he did not resist at all.
Besides, even if he did, what were they detaining him for in the first place?
In Florida, you are allowed to resist (non-violently) an unlawful arrest. Not sure how it is in California.
Police also claim that Marks picked up Robles’ pepper spray after she dropped it in her altercation with the smoking teen.
However, Robles herself stated that it was some kid named “Victor” who tried to grab her pepper spray after she had dropped it.
Robles claims that Marks was doing nothing but standing in the vicinity of the altercation, which is not a crime considering police had not roped it off with crime tape.
“I was very scared,” Robles testified. “I got my O.C. spray to control (the 15-year-old student) that was facing me, and went to spray him. Sprayed him for about one, maybe two seconds. He had hit the pepper spray out of my hands and it landed in between the bus and the sidewalk in the gutter. It was starting almost a riot.
“It was getting very, very wild. There was screaming, people were walking behind me. There were individuals trying to reach for my O.C. spray that had fallen on the ground. I was screaming for help on my radio. I could not leave that weapon there for all the juveniles and a few adults, as well, in the area. So after the O.C. had fallen out of my hands, I used my right hand and got my baton out next.
“There is a subject by the name of ‘Victor’ that went after my O.C. spray, a minor as well. And also — defendant (Jeremy Marks) wasn’t necessarily going to grab it, but he was walking around me — made me believe that he was. I believe when I told (Officer Gilbert) Rea that (Jeremy Marks) was in the area — I don’t know what conclusions (Officer Rea) formed when he was writing the [incident report], or this Arrest Report.”
The article reveals a huge number of contradictions in the police reports, so I suggest reading the entire article, even though it is lengthy.
It’s obvious there is a huge injustice going on here and they are simply using Marks as a scapegoat either because they screwed up in arresting him in the first place or because they are embarrassed that one of their own was unable to handle a skinny 15-year-old kid.
It’s probably a combination of both.