December 24th, 2013

District Attorney Dismisses Charge Against Louisiana Woman Arrested for Video Recording in Police Station (Updated) 61

By Carlos Miller

Crowley

Just in time for Christmas, the Acadia Parish District Attorneys Office chose not to prosecute Theresa Richard who was arrested after entering a police department while recording with her camera earlier this month.

Now we need to see if the Crowley Police Department returns her camera. And if they do, does it still contain the footage she recorded on December 1, leading to another case of the PINAC Wrath where readers flooded their station with calls, resulting in their city attorney sending out a letter claiming we were trying to “harass and intimidate” them when it was clear that they were the ones harassing and intimidating her.

The truth is, Crowley police never had the right to seize her camera for the trumped-up charge of “remaining after forbidden,” so hopefully, a Louisiana lawyer will take her case to sue them for violating her Constitutional rights.

This is what Richard had to say in a FB message about the letter she received today and about her attempts to get her camera back:

We went to get it today but the holder of the evidence room key is conveniently off until Thursday. I was hoping to have the video uploaded Thursday morning if it still exists. I owe this all to you and your followers, and my husband. Thank you so much for getting me involved. I have participated in every call to action you, and other site like yours, have called for after witnessing the profound effect it has. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I bought myself one of your PINAC shirts for Xmas and I wore it to the station to try and get my cam today!

The letter is embedded below but if it doesn’t come up, click here.

Letter from D.A

 

UPDATE: Richard retrieved her camera and the video was not deleted. Check it out below:


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • Brian Schneider

    Good news indeed. I hope she has recovery software in case the video was “accidentally” erased.

    • inquisitor

      Should the footage be erased…

      Would it be proper procedure not to sign for it?
      Declare right there that the footage has been deleted and the evidence tampered with?
      Make a public records request as to the chain of possession of the phone from the arresting officer who took it, to who may have logged it into evidence up to who just took it from evidence and handed it to her?
      Contact you personal attorney?

    • Herbert Napp

      Stream it. Stream stream stream. No amount of bullshit these gestapo thugs can do will get rid of the footage once it’s on your channel or whatever. They will be FUCKED, PERIOD if they did anything wrong.

    • James Morgan

      Let’s just hope that they didn’t erase the files (and double wipe the disk) or work over the camera with a sledgehammer.

      • James M Morriss

        It will just get magically “lost” even though there is (supposedly) one guy with one key.

  • n4zhg

    Bring something to read the card to the police station. Once you sign the paperwork and leave you have no recourse if the card is missing or altered. They might even be slick enough to replace the card with a blank one.

    • inquisitor

      If I understand you correctly…

      She should video record the whole process.
      Going into the station and requesting for her property back.
      Her opening the pack and verifying the property is all in there.
      Then verifying if the footage is on the memory card.
      Then, sign that everything was received and then leave.

  • Alex

    Are there ways to get deleted stuff off a phone back? I know once, I accidentally deleted some stuff off my digital camera. I used a free program to get that stuff back. Just wondering if the same technology is available for phones.

    • Film The Police Always

      yes

  • Boxerguy

    Film it when you go into get your stuff, that way you can prove the video was deleted when you get your phone. If it was infact deleted.

    • Herbert Napp

      Everyone will be directly streaming soon and these fucking idiots are really up a creek then

    • Amicus Curia

      Have a reliable witness at each stage. They help augment the raw evidence in court.
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

  • inquisitor

    It will be interesting to watch the footage to makes sense of why someone who has a lawsuit against a department and an attorney representing them would go into that same department to hand deliver a newspaper article that published her story.

    Still trying to wrap my head around the common sense behind that.

    • inquisitor

      Two down votes for the expressed desire to view the evidence and have questions that don’t make logical sense answered?

      I guess we don’t like “thinkers” around here.

      Let’s see…

      Richard’s husband and brother are falsely accused by police of stealing a family safe and for disturbing a crime scene.
      During this fracas the police assault the female Richard and her daughter.
      She claims there are other damning details, but for brevity, did not include all of them in her letter posted on PINAC. So it was all actually much worse than just the description provided.

      Richard gets the IA investigation started then all the cops in the department are alerted to her actions and now all the cops in the department start to harass her.
      A lawyer is then hire to request documents and a civil lawsuit is filed against the department.

      And it is at this point, after all this, Richard gets a paper to publish an article and she has the idea to now go into the station and hand deliver a copy of the paper to the police chief.

      Eh…why?

      I cannot fathom an answer that would make sense in this regard. Like going into the lion’s den with t-bone steaks tied around your waist.

      And it is at this point that it is alleged that Richard created a disturbance, was trespassed and arrested. If Richard actually did merit these charges, then would it not be apropos that her phone recording her crimes could be taken as evidence?

      Her intent and demeanor as to why she was at the station and for what motive or purpose is relevant in this regard. To drop off a paper with an article negative about the department while all this nasty prelude has already taken place and a lawsuit is pending does not make much sense. Which stirs my interest to see her demeanor while doing something that, on the surface, currently makes little sense.
      Could she have been acting in an irrational and disturbing manner while delivering this paper?

      Viewing the video and hearing the audio on her phone is the only way to make determinations as to her claims and those of the police prior to her arrest.

      I am not taking sides, just expressing a desire to see the footage.

      • Amicus Curia

        Sometimes the act of living, itself, is an ‘irrational’ act. Yet we have a RIGHT to do so…that is the question and what is alleged to have been a violation of that bundle of rights. Whether exercising those rights is logical/rational begs the question and is beside the point. If we do not EXERCISE our rights, we will LOSE them. Hasn’t Edward Snowden’s story brought us at least to this realization? Many of the rights we grew accustomed to will never be experienced by our children because we did not care enough to defend and exercise them.
        -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

        • inquisitor

          …are you, like, a vegetarian?

          • James M Morriss

            You are truly obtuse. As to Ms Richard’s actions, they would serve several LOGICAL, INTELLIGENT, and some emotional ones that I can think of.
            1) You give the chief a copy so he can’t later say he had “no idea” of any of the information contained in the paper. No saying he never heard other versions of what happened or any of the other absurd BS excuses of ignorance that get used.
            2) It lets the LEOs know that other people are involved and you are not alone.
            3)It shows you are willing to discuss the problem and have the stones to confront them about it.
            4) It lets the LEOs know you are not intimidated by them.
            … and so on…
            AND if for no other reason than YOU CAN and it might just be fun to fuck with them.
            The LEOs are not going to admit they screwed up. Like a 5 year old, they are going to swear to the lie even when there is proof positive that they are wrong.

          • inquisitor

            It does none of those things.

            As I had listed in my earlier post it was the lawsuit she filed and had pending that would have done all those things in the most supreme manner available to her. Interrogatories, depositions, affidavits, direct testimonies under oath, evidence submitted in a court of law is what does the job.

            That newspaper article was no better than shit-stained toilet paper in any real sense of potency or practical meaning. Who needs to get emotional needs met by shit-stained toilet paper when the situation is as dire and dangerous as an entire police department harassing you in retribution?
            And it is this component of how emotions can lead to illogical behavior that interests me in seeing the video footage to make a better determination as to what went down, why and who is responsible.

            Approaching and making contact with your adversary in a present legal battle and lawsuit with a newspaper article brings nothing to the table that is worth the potential risk to your case or personal safety. Even more illogical if the whole police department had already been harassing you and with all the other problems and violation of her rights she had listed. Any attorney, had they been consulted on this move, would have said don’t do it…it accomplishes nothing and, at best, puts you in more jeopardy.

            And should you believe otherwise, well then just look at what happened to her as a result. Duh.

          • Fotaugrafee

            It really just falls on the “be governed accordingly” of any action we as citizens take. Think before you do something stupid or harmful to a potential lawsuit.

          • squintaroony

            Well, now that we’ve seen the video, do you think the woman was becoming
            a “legitimate disturbance?” Because I see her behaving politely and
            calmly until threatened by one of the officers – “if you put this on
            your facebook see what happens to you” – and she sought clarification
            for his remark. I saw an officer incite a disturbance by making vague
            threats of retaliation for constitutionally protected activity, and a
            woman understandably upset by his casual intimidation.

            Apparently the prosecutor also agrees that there was no legitimate disturbance or trespass.

            So
            why focus on her behavior, which was at least lawful, instead of the
            police officers’ behavior, which arguably was not lawful?

            You can
            argue that it was unwise for her to go into the lion’s den of the
            police department, but she still had every right to do so whereas the
            police had no right to subject her to threats and intimidation, and they
            were foolish to behave that way towards a woman who was already suing
            them. Their petty retaliation was at least as irrational as her decision
            to enter the police station, and far less appropriate.

          • inquisitor

            I commented below.

    • Manny Arsiaga

      Because her tax dollars paid for the public building?

      because she can?

      Because she has a right to be there?

      Just because someone has a pending lawsuit doesn’t mean that her rights stop.

      Its not as if a pending lawsuit would drive armed thugs to violence, or to treat her ANY differently than any other citizen.

      Could be seen as antagonistic? Not really. She asked perfectly warranted questions. Just because they don’t like her or have personal feelings involved doesn’t mean they get to violate her rights.

      Did you see it as antagonistic? Then YOU and ANY COPS that feel the same way Should NOT be cops. You’re an armed goon and your badge does not give you carte blanche to treat people however you want to treat them.

      Public SERVANT. Get used to the sound of that word.

  • ARtP

    Bring a spare battery or charger because the phone is most likely dead at this point.

    • Anon

      What would be more suspect is if it is fully charged.

  • Lawrence Wolfe

    Too much of the law enforcement in the usa are truly pigs, corporate n twisted pigs. I use to donate to some of their causes…never again, and I Am spreading the word.

  • The_Michael

    Well let us hope that no real criminals get arrested. With no one to let them into the evidence storage, where will they keep it?

    “It was stored in the trunk of my squad car for three days because the person with the key was off. Only me, my partner, and the entire maintenance staff have access. It was perfectly secure.”

    • Carlos_Miller

      I guess now is the time to walk into their department with cameras.

      • anon

        I like the donut in the cartoon…..

      • Herbert Napp

        Carlos, whats the deal with you guys not using a streaming device? I see “always have a backup cam ready” or whatever, but nothing about having the data streamed. I know some areas are not good for this, but most authoritarian nanny state thugs are WELL within range of a cell tower (NYC,LA,BPD)…etc…

        • Amicus Curia

          Even streaming takes some time to accomplish–especially video…perhaps not quickly enough to avoid the cops seizing and disabling the device though it’s patently illegal to do so. While multiple cameras and audio are common sense in today’s adversarial street politics, they’re no substitute for reliable witnesses–and vice versa.
          -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

          • Herbert Napp

            There are services with 0 delay and you literally wear the device as glasses, not even google glass. What are you talking about “time to accomplish”? Ustream just added a delay, but that is not the only service there is.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Holy shit man, are you a company rep for Bambuser or the like? Fuckin’ A.

          • Herbert Napp

            No just a fan of video the police can’t ever get rid of.

      • James M Morriss

        OH PLEASE OH PLEASE |OH PRETTY P L EEEE A S E!

        Hell, really confuse them. Walk in with a box of Krispy Kreams in one hand and a camera in the other. “Get out!…You have a camera.. NO! Wait, you have doughnuts…. Get out! no..wait….”

  • Herbert Napp

    Boston PD: Owned by PINAC. These fools: Owned by PINAC. Take some fucking notes you piece of shit Nazis.

  • Jeff

    It is obviously great news that the assistant DA chose to do the right this and not charge. The problem is, the cops already got what they wanted. Charging was simply icing on the cake. They still got their cake. That’s the truly sad part every time this happens.

    • Amicus Curia

      Agreed! But, let it be known: When a LEO violates your fundamental liberty interests, federal courts have ruled they LOSE their qualified immunity against civil liability. Sue the bastards–don’t just talk about it–more action, less rhetoric!
      -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

  • Amicus Curia

    Blessings to this woman for standing up for our inalienable rights, including the 1st Amendment right to see, hear, taste, smell, and document/record it. We need 1,000 more just like her!
    -amicuscuria.com/wordpress-

  • James M Morriss

    One key and one guy? Ummm, no. So evidence comes in and what? It stays in a desk drawer until he gets back? I smell that familiar odor one smells when one deals with LEOs, MBFM (male bovine fecal matter), BS or as the french say,”l’odeur de la connerie”. Evidence must be available 24/7 Logic dictates this. So what evidence comes in and….what, sits on a desk until this guy comes in? What happens if he leaves for TJ, Mexico with a key of coke? The evidence just stays there forever? It makes no sense.

    Ms. Richard, please remember to take someone with you to film the recovery of you property. I would love it if your video is intact, but should it be “missing” please call the state police to file the appropriate charges. Then file the FOIA forms for the chain of custody of your stuff.

    Good luck.

  • Paul Kisling

    I would be truly shocked if the police had the mental capabilities to delete the phone footage.

    • Ian Battles

      I’d be truly shocked if the DA had the spine to prosecute them for Tampering with Evidence if they did delete it…

  • Bob_Striffler

    “Atlas Shrugged! 1957

    “Did you really think that we want those laws to be
    observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it
    straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after p o w e r and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it.” “There’s no way to rule innocent men.” “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.” “One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.* Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?” “What’s there in that for anyone?” “But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create anation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game and once you understand it,you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
    -from “Atlas Shrugged” (1957)
    Now consider the size of our prison system and the privatization thereof! Freedom…American made!

  • Carlos_Miller

    Story has been updated with the video.

  • batmanroxus

    False arrest is a crime and so is denial of constitutional rights. There was a time when vigilante groups kept crap like that POS cop in their place.

    • Donald Williams

      PINAC is NOT a vigilante group. Referring to it a a vigilante group would imply that we do anything other than exorcize our 1st Amendment rights to free press and petitioning government for a redress of grievances.

      Also, has anyone else noticed these southern cops always sound like the result of several generations of cousins marrying?

      • batmanroxus

        I didn’t say PINAC was anything. I think we all know they are a bunch of spineless whiners.

      • Bob_Striffler

        Florida has it’s neighborhood watch as vigilantes!

  • ProudGrandPa

    I just viewed the released video. Well, that was interesting from a legal standpoint.
    .
    I can see why the DA will not prosecute. I can see both sides in this matter. The cop makes what appears to be a threat upon hearing the words, “lawsuit against the chief”. She asks for clarification and another cop orders he to leave, she doesn’t, and he moves. The video terminates.
    .
    I have to agree with Inquisitor’s line of thought here. This was a risky legal move for a party in a lawsuit. But the unanswered larger issue is the interaction with the cops in the station.
    Is a citizen allowed to ask a cop about a threat he made in a police station? Is it unlawful to yell in a police station when cop makes a threat and refuses to clarify?

    • Bob_Striffler

      The prosecutor didn’t prosecute because both he and the court are nurturing this behavior by the police! It was clear she was arrested because the police didn’t want to hear anything they didn’t want to hear. The law they quoted was a law applied in over-breadth! She was in the course of constitutionally protected activity and was arrested for it. The only people who don’t see it that way are the facilitators of this conduct! This why law abiding citizens have to fear their government and should not only go out and buy cameras but should by guns as well! Day after day and year after year it keeps getting worse! Coming soon to a neighborhood near you….Camp FEMA!

    • inquisitor

      Well the video has been posted and here is my analysis of this short video segment…

      This lady legally entered the public lobby of the police building.
      She went to the front desk and stated her business to the receptionist.
      She attempted to deliver the news article to the receptionist in care of the police chief.
      Unless she had been forbidden from the building or trespassed prior to this visit I don’t see a problem with her showing up there…legally. But I do think she was a dumb, stupid fool for having done so.

      The officer entered the lobby after she did and inserted himself into the situation rudely and unprofessionally by making a veiled threat against her should she do something completely within her right which is to post the article on facebook.
      She demanded clarification of his veiled threat and was in her right to do so to gain a complete understanding of the order that was given to her as to whether it was lawful or unlawful and what the consequences he was threatening would be.

      In her attempt to do so the officer falsely accused her of disturbing the peace, then used that to demand she leave the building leading to the “forbidding” or trespassing charge.
      The officer was in the wrong and full of shit.
      The officer was the one who disturbed the peace and made a false arrest and should be charged and prosecuted accordingly.

  • Boomer

    So, I guess the answer to “Guess what’s gon’ happen?” is that the Crowley Police Department will be treated to the outrage they so richly deserve. And, not to crow too loudly, their fellow conspirators in violating the laws and rights of citizens couldn’t shut off the expression of that outrage with veiled threats and gibberish language.

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s the outcome this “officer” had in mind.

    • ProudGrandPa

      I doubt that officer gave a thought before speaking. He just expressed emotion… anger at being sued.
      .
      Self-control is a marvellous moral virture. It prevents a great deal of harm. Restraint and mercy would have saved both sides a lot of grief. Our public officials, bless ‘em, should be trained and hired for restraint. The rule of law depends upon it.

  • Bob_Striffler

    Sorry but when I continually see videos of police like this I think of the “Bear Jew” character in the movie “Inglorious Bastards” and how he used that bat against the Nazis!

    • MyBad

      Are you really sorry?

  • Neo

    Carlos, please publish your website via a Tor Hidden Service key or an I2P eepSite key. Also publishing webvideos via Freenet is very cost effective. These Free Services are no more expensive than an HTTP Everywhere policy. and have the benefit of masking connection data. If you want clickstream revenue than try a Bitcoin merchant.

    • Jonathan Corbett

      Why should PINAC be a “hidden service?”

  • Alma Lovell

    Oh boy, this woman was wronged badly. Time for lawsuit.

  • Manny Arsiaga

    Louisiana is abbreviated with two uppercase letters. Not one. Sorry. it was buggin me

  • Boffin

    From the wording of the letter from the ADA, I’m pretty sure that the DA office wasn’t impressed. The charges were ‘refused’ by ADA. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that is DA speak for “no way in hell would we prosecute this”

  • jwalsh

    That cop has a short fuse…..scary.

  • weisserwolf

    “Off until Thurs”??!?!?! BS…so if something were to happen, no evidence can be booked in until Thurs?!?!?!?!

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