December 9th, 2013

Crowley Police Department Unhappy at PINAC Call Floods Demanding Release of Confiscated Camera 152

By Carlos Miller

Crowley

 

Serving a town of less than 15,000 people, the Crowley Police Department probably doesn’t receive many calls throughout the day.

This is, after all, a police department that sends out press releases advising residents of door-to-door sales people who might “sweet talk” them into purchasing products they might not need as well as warning residents of coral snakes that may appear in their yards.

It’s a town better known for its rice than its vice that can almost be Mayberry with the exception that the cops here have no regards for the Constitution.

That is why they shouldn’t be surprised when they were subjected to the PINAC Wrath last Friday as readers unleashed on them with an endless stream of calls demanding they return Theresa Richard’s camera, which they confiscated earlier in the week after she had walked into the police department with her camera to drop off an article.

They also arrested Richard on the charge of “remaining after being forbidden,” accusing her of creating a disturbance because she insisted on recording her interactions with them.

She said she records her interactions with police in order to protect herself because she doesn’t feel safe around them ever since filing a lawsuit against them. Since her arrest last week, she said they have posted signs banning photography and videography in the station. As if a makeshift sign would trump the Constitution.

Regardless of their made-up policies and liberal interpretations of the law, there is no question that they acted unlawfully when they confiscated her camera as “evidence” because even if she was guilty of the charge, she wasn’t using the camera in the commission of the crime, which would be defined as upskirting or child pornography.

Furthermore, they would still need to obtain a warrant or subpoena unless they could prove exigent circumstances, which would mean they would have to have a strong suspicion she is either going to destroy the footage or disappear with it.

They are just not allowed to just take her camera because they are annoyed at her and want to teach her a lesson.

The U.S. Department of Justice made this very clear in a set of guidelines it released last year for police departments:

Warrantless seizures are only permitted if an officer has probable cause to believe that the property “holds contraband or evidence of a crime” and “the exigencies of the circumstances demand it or some other recognized exception to the warrant requirement is present.” United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 701 (1983). Any such seizure must be a “temporary restraint[] where needed to preserve evidence until police c[an] obtain a warrant.” Illinois v. McArthur, 531 U.S. 326, 334 (2001). Seizures must be limited to a reasonable period of time. For example, in Illinois v. McArthur, the Supreme court upheld a police officer’s warrantless seizure of a premises, in part, because police had good reason to fear that evidence would be destroyed and the restraint only lasted for two hours – “no longer than reasonably necessary for the police, acting with diligence, to obtain the warrant.” Id. at 332. Once seized, officers may not search the contents of the property without first obtaining the warrant. Place, 462 U.S. at 701 & n.3. In the context of the seizure of recording devices, this means that officers may not search for or review an individual’s recordings absent a warrant.

And that is why so many PINAC readers called them on Friday at the following number: (337) 788-4100.

But as you can read in a letter from the city attorney to Richard’s attorney, they are not very pleased. The letter further below is their snub to Richard’s attorney after he requested the return of her camera.

Although the local newspaper, the Crowley Post-Signal, has refused to report on the lawsuit or about the camera confiscation, a television news station from Lafayette has jumped on the story since learning about it from PINAC,  so hopefully we’ll see something from them soon.

Meanwhile, Richard has launched a Facebook page where she is keeping followers and supporters updated.

 

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  • OhSnapDJB

    These morons in Crowley act like she recorded the dam Kennedy Assassination AND Area 51. What a bunch of MORONS!

    • rust

      Akshully, she photographed OhbowMao morphing into a lizard while munching on the Constitution.

      • Jim Morriss

        She would be rich. Inquiring minds want to know….

      • Fotaugrafee

        ^^^ Retard ^^^

        Feel free to use these ^^^ to replace your tinfoil hat.

        • rust

          So, I’m a RETARD for what reason? And the tin foil hat reference? So, tell us all, why are you a douche?

          Geez, some people’s unaborted foetuses…

          • Fotaugrafee

            Ohhh, I get it now. Everything leads back to Obama. DERP

            I’m guessing either A) you didn’t actually read what you wrote, or B) you sing it to the hilltops & believe every word of it.

            Both are retarded, the question is how much more is one than the other? Now about that tin foil hat, have you been fitted for it yet?

          • rust

            You *really* didn’t read the original comment, did you? And you assume that I am a Yanqui, like you. BZZZT!

            Your leap to the defense of your Exalted Leader in a perceived slur (from the time he bowed before Chinese authorities and the monarch of the United Kingdom), especially when it is linked into a Ickean meme of the planet masters being Lizard aliens. The fact that the US Guvmint is shredding the Constitution is just too unpalateable for you to be pointed out by someone who you seem to regard as wearing a Tin Foil Hat.

            You really should arrange that visit to the Guvmint sanctioned Psychiatrist “real soon” so that they can mollify your uneasiness.

            Look, douche, Richard was arrested for DARING to enter the Holiest of Holies with a recording device. Isn’t it obvious that your idiotic insane insult only serves to show your subservience to your master?

          • Difdi

            It doesn’t take being a douche or a bootlicker to respond to an obviously crazy individual as if he might be crazy.

          • Diane Stanley

            I get a kick out of the way you morons spell things. I’m guessing you think it makes you look smart. Wrong, it makes you look like, yes, a moron.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Awesome, I see we have another Alex Jones peter-puffer amongst us. Gah.

  • Boffin

    You know you’re not necessarily dealing with the best, when the City Attorney uses a HOTMAIL address

    • Jim Morriss

      What is wrong with hot mail. I’m sure when Yahoo reads the contents they observe Privilege protocols. Just like the NSA and Google do.

      • Fotaugrafee

        You’ve never run a successful business have you by chance?

    • DocRambo

      Or when the City website admits that the Administrative assistant runs the town, and that the mayor is a figurehead only!

  • Boffin

    “The Camera, SIM Card and its contents are being …” Did they get a warrant?? While they can seize her belongings during an arrest, I believe they can’t open it or look at it without one.

    • Difdi

      Exactly right. And if she were recording for journalistic purposes (such as a submission of video to Youtube), then even the warrant would be invalid. The police could subpoena a copy of the video for their investigation either way, of course.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        No, the warrant would not be invalid. Journalists have to honor search warrants just like everyone else.

        • Difdi

          Except when the warrant is rendered null & void by a statute that governs when a warrant may be issued for certain things.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            OK, except that there is no statute that I’m aware of that prohibits obtaining a search warrant under these circumstances. I know for a fact that there is not a federal law, haven’t found a state law, and doubt that there is a county or city ordinance on the issue.

            A search warrant would be perfectly valid here.

          • Difdi

            You know for a fact there is no federal law? You need to study law more. =P

            Unless you’re claiming that people posting to Youtube or blogs are not engaging in any kind of journalism, or that the seizure of the camera was necessary to prevent someone from dying, or that openly exercising a constitutional right is itself a criminal act, then the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 would seem to protect video taken for purpose of publication.

            The PPA does not define what a journalist is, and given how easy it is to publish news these days, almost anyone can be a journalist, at least on a freelance basis.

            Unless the state is able to assert one of the exceptions to the PPA or the photographer is planning to lock their video in a vault without showing it to anyone, the state is effectively limited to a subpoena when dealing with video cameras, not a warrant.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            You do realize that the PPA (42 USC § 2000aa) doesn’t apply when the party is arrested, right?

          • Matthew

            keep studying “retired cop lawman”, maybe you’ll get there one day. but you dont even have your license so stop pretending your some online advocate, you’re just a silly old man who has wild and wacky opinions.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Oh. OK. Since you said so, I guess I have to do it.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Or not.

          • Difdi

            Well, since you think it’s okay to post insulting pictures to make ad hominem attacks, here’s one for you. This is apparently your ideal for how a uniformed individual should act:

            http://emptysuit.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/504842c.jpg

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Nope. I’m not a socialist.

          • Difdi

            No, you’re just a Good American.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I think so, even if some think that wearing any uniform makes one a bad American. I did wear four different uniforms (Army, Air Force, City Police, and a State LE agency).

          • Difdi

            Yup, a Good American, in the finest tradition of the Good Germans 80 years ago.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Yeah, whatever.

            I have no problems standing up and saying I served my country. Did you?

          • Difdi

            Dodging the question by changing the subject is how you forfeit the argument, not how you win it.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I’m not going to debate whether my service made me a “good” American.

          • Difdi

            Whoosh!

            Right over your head.

          • Doug

            And you’re obviously not someone with a functional grasp of history or politics. Despite having the word Socialist in the party name, they were NOT socialists.
            And given that you state that you were sucking at the public teat no less than 4 times, you certainly made out well from the socialist machine!

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            And you’re obviously not someone with a functional grasp of political science or history. Despite having all the modern socialists get their panties in a wad over it, they were, in fact, socialists.

            ”We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions”

            John Toland, Adolf Hitler 224-25 (1992) (citing Hitler’s speech of May 1, 1927).

            I also get a kick out of all of those that decry socialism, so long as they get the benefits of the system.

          • Doug

            “If you like your plan you can keep it.”
            “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
            “We are socialists,”

            Actions speak louder than words.

            They were NOT socialists.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Yeah, they were.

            Their party platform was a socialist platform.

            *Abolition of unearned income.
            *Profits taken from owners and shared with workers.
            *Increased old age benefits.
            *State is responsible to provide income for citizens.
            *All citizens have equal rights.
            *State is responsible for all education.
            *State is responsible for protecting children.
            *State is responsible for regulating the press.
            *Expanded health care and wellness programs.

            Looks socialist to me.

          • Ed Steel

            I usually think your comments on both the law and police work are pretty accurate and unbiased. The comment above is laughable on its face and I would expect better from anyone wanting to be an attorney. Perhaps you were just in mid food fight and decided to pull this out but, as a scholar of the Third Reich and the early part of the last century I am surprised to see you make such a howling incorrect assertion. Let me first say that Toland may have quoted Hitler correctly but, since when would you ever believe a witness’s statement? Hitler was a known liar and a charlatan. If he denied killing Jews or starting wars would you just say: “Oh, OK.” and move on? This idiotic assertion by the Right that Nazis were Socialists is not supported by any actual evidence of action. The Nazis were Facists, end of story. Their totalitarian government (a dictatorship), their alliances with large corporations to build their war machine (Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, et al), their use of slave labor all belie what was the insertion of the word ‘socialist’ into their party name for propaganda purposes. The word was popular in the 1920 politics in Europe THAT was the only reason the Nazis ever subscribed to it in the first place.
            The current day Right in this country is fond of saying that the Nazis were socialists. I am not sure if that is a lack of intellectual curiosity on their part (not utterly shocking) or a piece of propaganda designed to smear the President who is no more a Socialist than Ronald Reagan was, either way it’s untrue and does not bode well for anyone who raises it. This information is available but, concealed in books. If Toland is the only thing you have ever read on Hitler it’s a good primer, that, however is where it starts.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Try reading Gregor first, followed by Payne and Murphy. There are plenty of references in scholarly literature that indicate that fascism was a form of socialism. Indeed, Payne avers that all totalitarian governments are based in socialist beliefs.

            The Toland quote was easy, and as you said, a good primer for the masses, which are the people that I was primarily addressing.

            I won’t argue with you about the right, and their use (or mis-use) of the scholarly research to try and paint Obama with that brush. I did not do so. You’ll also not find me buying into the “birther” nonsense, the “sovereign citizen” idiocy, or any other loony-tune issues.

            I can assure you that Dr. Gregor, Dr. Payne, and company are well regarded in their fields. Gregor didn’t gain tenure and hold sway at Berkley because he was an idiot.

            I stand by my assertion.

          • Ed Steel

            Please don’t misunderstand me. I only referenced what the Right is saying about their constant assertions of Obama = Socialist = Nazi. I did not think you were engaged in that behavior. That being said there is more than enough research debunking the notion of Nazis being socialists based on the way they conducted business. You can certainly have your assertion. Everyone is entitled to one or two.

          • Matthew

            yeah get a job. help out a bit will ya

          • Matthew

            this is you. probably good thing you got fired before you could make a huge mistake like this. given your poor attitude.

            http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6fa_1386812999

            Thats also why i rather work in security.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Nope, sorry, not me.

          • Matthew

            get a job u bum. stop being a jerk online. no wonder you got fired form your little foot patrols. im happy your suburban ballbusting ticketing days are over, you come off as very useless!

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Yawn.

            Is the mall cop still talking?

          • Matthew

            security supervisor. i manage 14 different SAQ contracts and in charge of 30 agents. What do you do again? Oh thats right you dont have a job, just sit on your ass insulting others all day. what a waste. Get a job and a wife you loser.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Ahhh. Agents. Why didn’t you say so in the first place?

            Too bad that still means “malll cop.”

            Gotta go. Let me know if you get anymore messages via your hat.

          • Matthew

            its just the professional terminology. you would know about professionalism so i dont expect you to understand. goodluck with that job man. if you need work im here for you, i always like helping out under privileged jobless losers.

          • Matthew

            would NT* :P have a nice night bum boy, im going to the luminosity concert with a few friends downtown tonight, its supposed to be beautiful. I wonder what youre going to be doing all alone in your little apartment.

          • Matthew

            http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/83734645/

            check this out, how do you think this Officer handled the situation with the 72 year old woman DUI? I have my opinion but i’d like to hear your take on this incident.

          • Matthew

            lol i actually have a job for you. i need somebody to paint my fence this summer, if you can drive up here i’ll give you 400$ for all 3 sides. Let me know , you probably need to cash anyways since cop pensions are very very cheesy lol. goodluck finding a wife, try Eharmony, its perfect for ugly losers like you

          • Difdi

            If the photographer is arrested for illegal photography (which does
            exist, though this incident was not a case of it), then of course the
            PPA doesn’t apply. But that’s not what happened here.

            But if the cops just need to make a false arrest on a trumped-up charge to negate the PPA, then the PPA does not exist as a law.

            But last I checked, false arrests were themselves illegal. Since when does committing a crime grant you the lawful right to ignore a law?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            That is not what the statute says. The statute states that there is an exception if the photographer is arrested. It does not distinguish or narrow it further.

            As to the rest, well, you can make that argument. It likely won’t succeed, but you can make it.

          • Difdi

            The law was passed because of a court case where the supreme court found that a search and seizure of a journalist’s documents was not a violation of the fourth amendment nor the first.

            Congress sought to patch the perceived flaw in the law — If all it takes is a false arrest (a crime committed against the journalist) to strip away the statutory protection, then the law is effectively repealed. That’s nonsensical.

            Journalists are protected from abusive searches and seizures unless the police arrest them for jaywalking entirely within their own home. Then they can be searched and their documents seized just fine. That’s absurd to the point of insanity.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            And on those facts, you would likely succeed in a civil case for damages.

            Here, Richards was arrested basically for trespassing, and the camera will have evidence of that offense. A court is going to view that as reasonable.

          • al

            ‘Richards was arrested basically for trespassing’

            In a public building, conducting public business, with no ‘no trespassing’ signs up?

            Good luck with that!

            ( PS, try passing this by one of your professors, see what comes back)

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            LOL. Yeah, I’ll run it by one of them. Not. Why would I do that, when it is clearly established law that one can be arrested for trespassing on public property? See Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966).

            She had notice to leave, and refused. That’s trespass. Guess what else is a problem. There is all this law in Louisiana that says you can be convicted for staying in that situation. Even the fact that Louisiana doesn’t have stare decisis won’t help her.

            Thanks for playing.

          • steveo

            LA is probably a bit behind the times on public demonstrations and dissent. I’m not sure Adderley applies here because this involved a demonstration by 200 college students at a jail where they were blocking access and creating an unsafe situation. There’s no mention of a jail here and from the known facts, she was in a lobby that invites the public.

            She was apparently “trespassed” by the officer, but it would be questionable whether she was posing a threat to public safety, like in Adderley. This case seems like an unfortunate pissing match in a small town which happens alot. Leos should be above this kind of activity.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            The principle in Adderley is what you look for, that people can be charged with trespass at a public facility when it is normally open to the public.

            Try these cases – same principle applied:

            United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171 (1983)

            Members of City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789 (1984)

            Greer v. Spock, 424 U.S. 828 (1976)

            Huminski v. Corsones, 396 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 2004)

            None of these are going to be exactly the same fact pattern, but the principle is the same in all of them.

          • steveo

            I’m not sure what appellate case it was that I was reading about trespassing which is mainly dealt with in state law. I was reading FL law. The justice remarked that in researching this subject, he found that trespassing in FL was surprisingly complex.

            And the trespassing statutes have evolved over the years, mainly due to abuse by leos mostly acting in accords with town and business leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested 30 times in different states for trespassing before he was 32 years old.

            Here, in FL, the statute of choice when dealing with bystanders is obstruction or resisting without violence because judges look cross eyed at trespassing complaints. For awhile there in my county, the judges were releasing all the trespassing arrests on the first appearance with time served and no fine because leos were using the statute to move the homeless from here to there, and from there to here. But, Louisiana, who knows.

          • Difdi

            By that standard there is not such thing as a false arrest. Did you even read the circumstances where the arrest took place? This isn’t a case of a photographer sneaking into the restricted area of a jail, this is being arrested in the lobby for entering the lobby on legitimate business, while documenting the encounter since police have lied about the photographer’s actions in the past and gotten away with it.

          • Matthew

            dont bother with this one. hes a 40-50 something, retired, single, miserable “law student” lol. he really has no use to anybody anymore

          • bj

            Do you realise how ignorant and childish you sound? This is not a school yard. It’s a forum for people who wish to discuss serious matters. Please, play the ball, not the man.

          • Difdi

            Why are you attacking the victim?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Because the victim is an idiot, and thus, an easy target.

          • Difdi

            Well, you know what they say about the easy choice and the right choice. Is it any wonder people are losing respect for you?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            You and I both know that most of the people here did not have any respect for me to begin with.

            Don’t kid yourself on that.

          • Matthew

            shh, ur just an immature lady, get a job.

          • Matthew

            “Please, play the ball, not the man.” sounds to me like you are the one playing childish games Mr. Hypocrite.

          • steveo

            There’s a really good clip of Mario, Mickey O and the Attorney General of Connecticut debating this idea of taking camera’s for evidence. The AG even admitted that while the prosecutor might be able to retain the original copy under the best evidence rule, they would still have to render a true copy of the material back to the owner for publication purposes or keep a copy for themselves and give the camera back, ASAP.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I don’t disagree with that position, which is different from they can only get it with a subpoena.

    • Ian Battles

      How often do people record the cops with the intention of deleting their own footage, anyways?

      • Ed Steel

        It’s a kind of cop double speak…we will seize your camera to prevent you from deleting footage of us committing a crime. There may be ‘evidence’ on your camera of us abusing citizens so we must impound the camera. So on and so forth…

  • kyle

    Why did the city attorney CC the letter to the mayor, as the mayor has no duty with regarding to administering the police department, nor does he fight crime?!?
    It seems to me the city attorney is seeking someone, like the mayor, to do public battle for the police outside the courtroom, and outside the police hall walls… while he is doing exactly the opposite when asking Ms. Richard to tone down her rhetoric.

    • http://www.facebook.com/grahamshevlin Graham Shevlin

      It is called Rural CYA. The attorney wants to be “on side” with the Mayor if further hassle descends upon the city.

      • JamesRae

        What’s the mayors number?

        • James Morgan

          great idea.. someone find that.. let’s let the mayor in on this party.

        • The_Michael

          Mayor Greg A. Jones
          12 Governor Edwards Drive
          Crowley, LA 70526
          (337) 783-0824

    • ntotrr

      I don’t know the circumstances in this town, but in at least one locale I know of, whomever is elected mayor also holds the office of police commissioner.

    • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

      In many areas, the Mayor is the one who hires and fires the Chief of Police. County Sheriffs on the other hand are another story.

  • SomeGuy

    You guys better listen. Nothing says serious lawyer quite like having a hotmail address.

  • Jim Morriss

    I detect a lack of the phrases “the court(s)”, “a/the judge”, “obtained a warrant” in all of the letters sent by the department. What I DO see is indications that the chief is making all of the “legal” decisions. Please make notice of this when the lawsuit is drawn.

    Please do not disturb his rule of his fiefdom with facts, relevant court decisions, and laws. I guess this chief knows a LOT more about the laws and the constitution than SCOTUS. After all that’s just a bunch of old guys that get together and talk about old court cases anyway, What can they do to effect this police chief’s life….

  • GreenTriumph1

    So because I called I committed harassment against the police? Are they coming to Ohio to arrest me?

    • Difdi

      Well, if they do to you what the Boston PD recently tried to do to Carlos, they’d issue a warrant in Ohio and the police where you are would serve it. You’d be transported at taxpayer expense to Ohio to stand trial.

      I don’t think you can be convicted of petitioning the government for redress of grievances, but I have been wrong before. I doubt such a conviction would make it past the appeals court though.

      • Carlos_Miller

        If Boston couldn’t swing it, I seriously doubt Crowley would get far.

        • Ian Battles

          Yeah, they’re not gonna drag someone across state lines for making a phonecall.

          • Difdi

            The thing about the way the legal system works, governments (even small towns) effectively have infinite resources when compared to all but the wealthiest individuals.

            Even without aid from state or federal agencies, police departments can outspend almost anyone and since it’s not their money they’re spending, tend to be a lot more free with it than sanity would suggest. It would cost Crowley PD almost nothing to get bench warrants issued for everyone who called, after all — the biggest costs would be borne by the states where the targets of those warrants actually live.

            That’s why what the BPD did to Carlos was so abusive of power — The police HAD to know they were going after someone for exercising constitutional rights, but they equally knew there would never be any consequences for them personally for doing so. And they kept (as Carlos put it) doubling down because they knew there were no consequences.

            The law says there are consequences, even decades in prison sorts of consequences for people who do that sort of thing, but the feds almost never prosecute for that sort of thing. When the odds of getting charged, let alone convicted of a color of law violation are lower than the odds of getting struck by lightning, there’s not much incentive to obey the law.

        • Ed Steel

          Strangely enough there is a Boston connection to Crowley LA, Victoria Reggie, widow of Ted Kennedy was born in Crowley. Thankfully the City Attorney of Crowley is not the arbiter of free speech in the USA!

  • Dan-O

    I don’t recall anyone asking people to flood the police department with calls. Could someone copy and paste those lines for me please

    • theaton

      “Or maybe we can just call flood the hell out of them until they return her camera: (337) 788-4114.”

      • Difdi

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
        prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
        speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
        assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        That last bit, redress of grievances, covers people phoning the police to protest a color of law violation. Even if a LOT of them call.

        • theaton

          Difdi, I agree. Dan-O asked if someone could copy and paste those lines so I did. The truth should come from both sides.

      • Jim Morriss

        So was this Winston Churchill, A G Bell, Elmo? It is NOT a quote just because you put little marks around it; you need a citation. This looks like what some a politician would do and than deny it was a quote later. But still, way to moderate our team. You must be careful what you type out there, somebody will haunt you with it.

  • CrowleyPD sucks

    The city attorney may have a hotmail address, but jesus does Stephen Spring need a webdesigner stat. It’s like looking at the geocities homepage I made for a school project.

  • PeterGriffinsToilet

    Hon.???? Who are they kidding?

  • The_Michael

    It is pretty sad that Mr. Regan has to use his personal email address for official business. But then a FOI request could turn up all sorts of interesting things….

  • Emily

    She should make a freedom of information request of all of these incidences. Carlos can help! ;)

  • Brad Wesley

    FWIW, I sent an email to the local newspaper, we’ll see what they say.

    • bj

      FWIW?

    • Ed Steel

      I had a brief conversation with an editor at the local paper as well who told me that the “case was just being brought to their attention” which would be comical seeing as how it been submitted to them months ago and also run in an adjoining town’s paper. They said that they were “gathering information”…code for “we have abdicated our journalistic position”.

  • Boomer

    Boy, Regan likes that word “mistaken”, as in “Ms. Richard apparently mistakenly believes….” and “Ms. Richard is mistaken if she believes…..”, “…in the mistaken belief….”, and “…on behalf of Ms. Richards “cause” however mistaken…” You’d think a man with his responsibility could use a different word or two.

    It’s awfully nice of him to allow me to use Facebook or other social media to express my views. When I got out of bed this morning I didn’t know the self-important son of a bitch was the individual I had to ask if I could do so. Now that I know, I’ll probably stroll over there and let him and his crony butt wipes what I think of that. I mean, now that I have his permission, you see.

    It’s also quite telling that ol’ country lawyer has decided that her postings, which don’t contain a single word of threatening violence, are “beyond free speech.” Makes me wonder if he thinks the Supremes should call him first before they rule on free speech.

    In fact, isn’t her speech a direct exercise of her guaranteed right to seek redress for grievance from the government? When did Tom the Ruler become the arbiter of what was and was not acceptable in seeking that redress?

    This just reminds me, once again, that you put someone in a position of authority, the odds are 6-2-even they’ll abuse that authority in a very short time.

    How sad.

    • http://421a.douglasavenue.com Erin Winking

      Actually, considering what they’ve done, ‘mistaken’ is likely a very good word for him to know.

    • Jim Morriss

      Notice Reagan cannot seem to connect the idea of “mistaken” with the Crowley Police Department. This is one LEO that have skipped ‘Detective” on his way to “Chief”. He obviously cannot see even the most obvious evidence involved in a case. Selective blindness I guess.

    • Ed Steel

      Hear hear!

  • kerfuffulator

    Yelp does not say much about
    Regan Thomas K Atty

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/regan-thomas-k-atty-crowley

    Well, not yet, anyhow

  • Jerome

    Crowley PD just took down their facebook page, it was up a couple of hours ago, with lots of critical comments. It’s still cached on google. Formerly at https://www.facebook.com/CrowleyPolice

    • nospamformo

      There is another one up but it has different posts and none of the comments re: Richard case. If they did remove it, is there an issue with public records retention?

    • Photographer for life

      oh gee they must not like what I put on their profile photo of the badge!!!

  • nospamformo

    RE: The local newspaper: Spoke to a guy that sounded like “Ellie” at the Post Signal. “They will not be publishing a story” according to him. “It is a non-issue”. “You need to do your research”.

    • Jim Morriss

      Perhaps we should ask just what constitutes an “issue” for them? What Paper was this?

  • Crazyjae

    I wonder what would happen if readers started requesting a State Bar investigation into the City Attorney’s ethical misconduct and disingenuous statements?

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      What ethical misconduct?

      And I doubt anything would happen. No one here has personal knowledge, it’s all hearsay.

    • Difdi

      Lawyers have their own language, that resembles English but has wildly different definitions of almost every word. Ethics means one thing to you or I, but something wildly different to a lawyer.

      Most of the time, us common folk can’t even accuse a lawyer of wrongdoing, because we use the wrong words. The person who hears our complaint is also a lawyer, looks at the actions we’re making an accusation over and it’s quite plain to him we don’t know what we’re talking about…so the complaint goes nowhere.

      There’s an old saying about studying law: That it narrows the mind even as it focuses it.

  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    Boy they just don’t come much more hard headed than they do in Crowley. These guys just don’t get it. Keep calling everybody, lets double down on our efforts. Drag the Crowley PD and the city kicking and screaming back to reality!

  • Fotaugrafee

    SON OF A BITCH!!! I was just through Crowley, LA the weekend after Thanksgiving!!

  • Film The Police Always

    Keep calling the police and ask questions. Lets also find out about the “No Camera’s” sign they put on the door. If its a public building then they cant do this. I understand not filming behind their closed doors, but inside the lobby is perfectly legal! FUCK OFF CPD! (337) 788-4114
    When a corrupt cop doesn’t understand a citizens rights, then this is the shit that gets started. Hate the asshole that arrested her and took her camera. We are the response to her illegal arrest and seizure.

    • Fotaugrafee

      While I was out there during Thanksgiving weekend, I was told by both the Sheriff’s Department & Sulphur, LA police (in addition to the clueless security guards) that it was “against the law” to point my camera at the former PPG (now Axiall) chlorine & sodium hydroxide plant. Mind you, it’s all visible from the shoulder of a public road.

      When that wasn’t good enough, the security officer gave me a bunch of shit, citing that the shoulder of one side of the road belonged to the chemical plant; the shoulder of the other side of the public road belonged to the railroad (Kansas City Southern). I firmly disagreed, and asked him “where can I park to take photos of the plant?” :p

  • Fotaugrafee

    That lawyer needs a fucking Hurt Feelings Report. What a clueless Mayberry siss-bag, goddamn.

  • Fotaugrafee

    REPOST

    I haven’t paged through both articles yet, or all of the comments, but there seems to be links lacking on the main Crowley website. Here’s the direct link to their Police Department & various emails associated with them.

    http://www.crowley-la.com/DEPTpolice.html

    • theaton

      From the Crowley PD website: To make a special request of any nature

      request@crowleypolice.com

      There surely can’t complain about thousands of requests being sent to an email address that is asking for requests.

      • Difdi

        Oh, they can…but the phrasing of the web page really weakens their ability to claim things like witness tampering or harassment if people do as they suggest.

  • ProudGrandPa

    Some considerations and some issues overlooked are in order…
    .
    First, the PD erred by banning photography at the station. Court holdings are clear.
    .
    The PD also erred by taking the camera. This is not the outrage it seems, since the taking was done in good faith. There is a religious moral story in this too. Being sincere and acting in good faith is not enough if your faith is wrong. Sincerity is not enough. Truth is necessary. This applies to religious faith as well as politics and law, as in this case.
    .
    So far photog rights will prevail. So far so good.
    .
    There is a problem. The person who’ll suffer is Richard herself because of what PINAC callers are doing wrong. I have nothing to do with the angry, rude calls or foul language. When I talk about any matter, I am always calm and soft spoken and kind and respectful… no matter with whom I speak. The Bible says a soft answer turns away wrath. I have proved that true.
    If the LEOs can show that the calls were caused by Miss Richard (and they can due to the link on her website) they can attempt to hold her responsible for the results. I see a countersuit or mitigation here. Consider she may prevail in her suit and the jury or judge will give her a dollar since or even make her pay for the damage she caused by jamming the phones.
    .
    Support photog rights, but not stupidity.

    • Difdi

      The main complaint about the police unlawfully taking things is that while all citizens are supposedly equal before the law, some animals are more equal than other animals.

      If a private citizen, acting in good faith but badly mistaken about the law comes before a judge and pleads good faith but ignorant, the judge will inform that citizen that ignorance of the law does not excuse violations of it. But odds are, if a police officer who has the same basic training (K-12, maybe a little college) in the law that that citizen does plus the police academy comes before that same judge with the same plea, the judge will often excuse the police officer’s honest mistake.

      As for the lawyer’s letter, it’s a red herring. The LEOs can indeed show that the calls may have been caused by Ms Richard’s speaking to the media…but that’s the red herring here.

      Does this sound in any way familiar to you? Particularly the bit after that last comma:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
      prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
      speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
      assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      • ProudGrandPa

        Excellnt points, Difdi. You raised the fact that police are treated differently than us average civilians and you accurately observe that police can make an honest mistake and receive more lenient treatment than us civilians. I agree with your perceptions.
        .
        That being the case, I am surprised you did not ask if this situation were fair or even legal. In my opinion both are the case. Why? Police need more lattitude for honest and well-intentioned mistakes. The laws are so complex and all possible conditions cannot be predicted. Even when the law is clear, the circumstances of each case may be deceptive to cops and lead them into making mistakes. I will cut them some slack for sincere but mistaken actions.
        .
        I have no problem cutting equal slack to civilians who act in self-defense such as Zimmerman or a woman who injures an attacker. I do not have equal sympathy for more complex legal matters involving only property. Why not? The police are paid to take risks and make legal choices and let the courts decide. Civilians have less responsibilty under the law and less risk.
        .
        For these reasons I do not expect much of a settlement with the city when Richards wins her lawsuit. My concern is that the letter from the police is going to justify action against her.

        • Difdi

          The equal protection clause would seem to argue against two different interpretations of any law, one for police and one for everyone else. There are two ways to reconcile this — either give everyone the leeway of being able to get away with good faith mistakes, or hold everyone to the standard that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

          If I were to honestly believe that no one has the right to take my picture, and that someone violating my “right” entitles me to seize the camera, and I did so…the law would seem to indicate that I have not committed a crime even though I assaulted the photographer and unlawfully took a camera. But that’s not the experience I would have in court.

          The most likely result to me saying something like “I did take a camera from someone’s hands but I honestly thought the law allowed me to do so.” would be the court considering it a guilty or no contest plea to the charges. Those charges would most likely include assault and theft, and quite likely robbery in place of theft.

          A police officer acting with equal justification, equal good faith and equal amounts of error would probably not be charged with a crime. Very few are even arrested for such a thing, as we’ve seen here time and time again.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            That’s not how equal protection works.

            If the discrepancy is due to race, national origin, color, etc., it is examined under strict scrutiny. Gender is evaluated by intermediate or mid-tier review. Homosexuality is viewed on a rational basis-plus test, and age, income, everything else is evaluated on a rational basis.

            So if you are looking to the courts for support on “equal protection” you’re going to be in for a long wait. Your view of equal protection is not how the law views it.

          • Difdi

            If you’re only protected by the law equally if you’re more equal than the other animals, then the rule of law has effectively been neutered. If it ever existed in the first place as anything other than a myth.

            But I ask you: Where in the constitution does it say it’s okay for the government to create a class of people who have more rights than the general public and that are shielded from the consequences of what would be judged criminal behavior if a commoner did it?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Where does it say it is not OK? According to SCOTUS, not in the equal protection clause.

          • Difdi

            The more I read your posts, the more I am convinced that if you are correct, the rule of law is not only dead but was stillborn.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            As long as it is not based on race, etc., all the government has to have is a rational basis for creating classes. That means if there is a “legitimate” government interest, they can make a distinction so long as that distinction is rationally related to the interest.

            And if the state doesn’t provide a reason (or their reason is BS), the court can come up with and provide a reason.

            A law reviewed under the rational basis standard is almost never overturned.

    • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

      They always seem to use the excuse that it is threatening and harassment merely for the fact that they are being flooded and being subject to public scrutiny and accountability. Not wanting to be answerable to the people does not constitute harassment when your feet are being held to the fire.

      • ProudGrandPa

        Are you able to see a difference between the constitutionally-proteced right to petition congress (and by extension all gov’t) and acts of harrassment, threats, disorderly conduct etc? The two are different.

        .

        It is up to the courts to decide which is mor accurate here. Several elements are necessary. If I were a judge or juror I’d ask if there is evidence the phone calls were intended to harrass or shut down the PD. I’d look at PINAC comments for evidence.

        .

        I’d ask if Richards knew or had reason to know that PINAC commenters actually intended to jam the phone system. I’d look at here comments on Facebook and on PINAC to Carlos for evidence.

        .

        I’d ask if Richards encouraged PINAC readers to make massive phone calls. The evidence is there.

        .

        Lastly I would ask if Richards made a sincere effort to dissuade PINAC readers from making calls on her behalf. Again the absence of such evidence is there.
        .
        She is in trouble.
        .
        I would ask if she knew how much damage the calls caused. That is the power of the attorney’s letter. He can now show that she knew the calls harmed public safety.
        .
        If I were a juror, I’d decrease her award by the amount of the harm she caused. She could even end up paying the city more that she gets from her lawsuit.

        • ProudGrandPa

          And of course PINAC might also consider if Obama would prefer a FEDERAL charge using the phones interstate for unlawful purposes.
          .
          If the same thing happened in FL, then PINAC would be more vulnerable. I read a lot of stupid comments and threats by some of my fellows here. They undermine the entire PINAC enterprise.

  • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

    They claim that the video camera is part of evidence, that,s just it, they’re not getting it in their heads that they lack to authority to claim it is evidence just because she recorded them. They lack the authority are are committing acts of terrorism against the citizens by even making the assertion.

    • Difdi

      It may well be evidence…but not of HER crimes.

  • Lets show them they are wrong

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Rice-Festival/331012414074 here is a facebook page that could use some post! it is the towns Rice Festival page!

  • Lets show them they are wrong
  • Lets show them they are wrong

    https://www.facebook.com/TheCrowleyPostSignal and the paper that wont report the way they should be!

  • Dan-O

    Well, in order to talk to the mayor of the fine city of Crowley you have to give your first and last name. Evidently the lady thought that I had called earlier today, wrong again.

  • Dan-O

    Call the City Attorney’s Office inquiring about the no photography sign the lobby of a public building. He stated that was the rule. When questioned about the constitutionality of it he declined to comment

  • inquisitor

    The second letter states that Richards is inciting others to commit violent acts with her facebook postings.

    Is this correct?

    • Difdi

      More likely they’ll use the “order” in the letter to stop inciting violence to claim that she was in fact inciting violence…even though the letter is the only place such a claim is ever written.

  • Jim Morriss

    I just searched KLFY’s site and got no hits for this case. It would seem Carlos’ optimism was premature. I guess they asked the same unnamed “local paper” mentioned in the comments if this was a story and got “NO” for an answer. I guess we really are one of the last lines of help for these people. THAT is a scary thought. Such sycophantic actions from the media towards the police is not good.

    Search terms used:

    “theresa richard (” ‘s”, “s” “teresa”) “; no hits of any kind, or not relevant hits

    “PINAC”; There is a guy out there named Gil Pinac. (How do you turn off/on ‘bold?)

    “Carlos Miller”; links to a story on mothers breastfeeding on airplains

  • Jim Morriss

    Just called KLFys newsroom and the woman that answered said they were “not aware” of the incident, but would look into it. That there were a lot of issues involved and that they would “investigate”

    KLFY’s newsroom #: 337-981- 4844

  • Dan-O

    I just called the newsroom also

  • frank-kintz

    FYI record your conversations. La. is a one party state. You do not need to inform if you choose not to. Peace!!

  • steveo

    I don’t know why lawyers write to leos and city attorney’s to get cameras back. That’s worthless. Even Mickey hits a stone wall at times. The attorney has to go for the jugular and file an emergency motion alleging an on going prior restraint that has to be cured immediately or he will be forced to file a writ of mandamus with the higher courts. The SCOTUS has never upheld a prior restraint in the history of the US, they certainly aren’t going to do it for a backwoods, inbread town like this.

  • steveo

    Somewhere in the US, it’s a daily occurrence for a reporter and a video guy to walk into a police station and ask to talk to the captain or the PIO. Do they actually believe that they can stop newsgathering just by putting up a few signs??

    And in FL, you can demand a copy of the surveillance video in the police station and probably there are several angles of which to choose, you really don’t need to video tape there, just do audio recording.

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