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Video: Man suing Salt Lake City officer for alleged K-9 attack is arrested after news conference at attorney’s office

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The dog attack allegedly caused “horrific” to-the-bone injuries, resulting in $30,000 in medical bills, according to lawsuit filed in federal court.

A man who on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against a Salt Lake City K-9 officer for unnecessarily unleashing a police dog on him in July — causing “horrific” to-the-bone injuries — was arrested following an afternoon news conference at his attorney’s office.
Jackie Joseph Sanchez — a 61-year-old homeless man — said he was unaware he had been charged in August with assault against a police officer and other misdemeanors in connection with the July 28 dog attack episode.
The dog attack caused significant injury to Sanchez, leading to multiple surgeries, a five-day hospital stay and $30,000 in medical bills.
“That’s not one little bite,” attorney Robert Sykes said. “That dog is ripping away at that flesh. He’s ripping away at it.”
During the news conference at Sykes’ law offices, he said Officer Benjamin Hone’s use of the police dog was outrageous, and claimed that parts of Hone’s report of the incident were falsified.
“This report is fabricated,” Sykes said. “Based upon my eyewitness, it’s false. Many false statements.”

The news conference took a dramatic turn when two Salt Lake City patrol officers and two officers from the department’s public relations staff appeared outside the building to arrest Sanchez.
Sanchez remained inside the law office while Sykes found Sanchez a defense lawyer to represent him in criminal matter.
The civil rights lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims Hone needlessly released a police dog, causing lacerations and 42 puncture wounds to Sanchez.
Sanchez called the experience a “nightmare.” He pulled up his pant leg to show large scars around his knee, and said he has permanent numbing in his calf due to nerve damage. He said he gets the feeling of a pinched nerve in his leg sometimes, which causes severe pain. Sanchez’s thumb also was lacerated and fractured.
(Photo courtesy of attorney Robert Sykes) Screenshots from surveillance footage from the Matheson Courthouse show damage sustained by Jackie Sanchez on July 28 when Salt Lake City police officer Benjamin Hone released a police dog on Sanchez, who was allegedly intoxicated and disruptive.
(Photo courtesy of attorney Robert Sykes) Screenshots from surveillance footage from the Matheson Courthouse show damage sustained by Jackie Sanchez on July 28 when Salt Lake City police officer Benjamin Hone released a police dog on Sanchez, who was allegedly intoxicated and disruptive.
The lawsuit alleges that Salt Lake City Officer Jose Munoz was dispatched on a report of two intoxicated males causing a disturbance at a bus stop at 430 S. State St. — in front of Matheson Courthouse — at 5:10 p.m. on July 28.
Despite Munoz being dispatched, Hone responded to the call and arrived before Munoz, the lawsuit states. Hone didn’t have his body camera with him.
The police department said Hone was on his way into work when he answered the call, and his body camera was at the department’s offices. Salt Lake City police cars are not outfitted with dash cameras.
The lawsuit states that Hone encountered Sanchez and another man, who were sitting on a bench and not causing a disturbance.
In a police report, Hone claims Sanchez was verbally aggressive and taunted Hone, saying he would fight him. He said Sanchez took a fighting stance and advanced toward him, backing him into heavy traffic on State Street.
But a witness to the incident, Sydney Kapplan, disputed that claim at Wednesday’s news conference.
“I think maybe he was trying to get his balance, to be honest with you,” Kapplan said of Sanchez’s movements. “He was very inebriated.“
Kapplan said Sanchez took a couple steps from the bench, but he was not threatening the officer with physical violence. Kapplan said Sanchez was ranting about his civil rights being violated and yelled profanities at the officer.
Kapplan said she did not know Sanchez before the incident and showed up to the news conference because she felt it was the right thing to do.
Hone retrieved his dog, Ted, from the car. He told Sanchez to stay seated, but sicced the dog on Sanchez when he didn’t comply, the lawsuit claims. Sanchez said during the news conference that he didn’t get down as Hone asked because he has bad knees that lock up. Kapplan said she heard Sanchez explaining this to Hone, but Hone didn’t listen and released the dog.
Surveillance video from the nearby courthouse shown by Sykes to the news media shows Sanchez stand and take a few steps from the bench prior to Ted being released. He is seen leaving the video frame, but his heel pops in and out of it, indicating he didn’t stray far from the bench, something Kapplan corroborated.
The lawsuit claims not only that Hone was reckless in releasing the dog, but that he waited an “unusually long period of time” before calling it off.
Sanchez tried to get the dog off him during the attack, grabbing at its muzzle. According to Hone’s police report, he told Sanchez to “stop fighting my dog.”
Kapplan said that after the attack, Hone taunted Sanchez with Ted, holding the dog near Sanchez and threatening to release him.
“Move one muscle and he’ll go on you again,” Kapplan quoted Hone as saying. She added: “I don’t know if they are allowed to do that, but it was brutal.”
Sykes said the whole thing was excessive given the nature of the call. “A minor violation,” he exclaimed. “With that result.”
(Courtesy Salt Lake City Police Department) Jackie Joseph Sanchez
(Courtesy Salt Lake City Police Department) Jackie Joseph Sanchez
A Salt Lake City Police Department news release says Sanchez “repeatedly threatened to assault our officer, as shown on surveillance video and corroborated by multiple eye witnesses. The officer warned Sanchez about his aggression but ultimately had to deploy his K-9 in order to prevent further assault and take the suspect into custody.”
Sykes said that although Sanchez was intoxicated, he was not causing a disturbance. The surveillance video shows Sanchez and the other man sitting on the bench for about eight minutes prior to police arriving.
Sykes said Sanchez was never an immediate threat of serious injury or death to anyone, and that at most he was being minimally noncompliant when the dog was released.
“The unreasonable, excessive, and dangerous force used by Hone evidenced a reckless and deliberate indifference to the life, safety, and well-being of Mr. Sanchez,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims excessive force by Hone, unlawful or deficient policies on behalf of the city and police department, a failure to train or supervise on behalf of the city and police department, and a civil rights violation of unlawful seizure on behalf of Hone.
Sanchez was arrested Wednesday on a $5,000 warrant issued Sept. 11 after he failed to appear for a hearing. Sanchez had been charged on Aug. 8 in 3rd District Court with misdemeanor counts of assault against a police officer, interference with an arresting officer and disorderly conduct.
A summons for the September hearing had been sent to a downtown Salt Lake City address. But Sykes said Sanchez is homeless.
Utah court records show that Sanchez has misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1991, including simple assault, retail theft, public intoxication, criminal trespass and open container in a public place.
Hone has been praised for former police work, including shooting and killing a man who was in the process of stabbing a woman in 2015.
“He could be the best officer in the world — he could be ‘Officer Friendly,’ ” Sykes said. “But what he did on this day was wrong … ”
As police cuffed Sanchez outside of Syke’s office, he told Wilking they were making a mistake. “It looks bad for you, horrible,” Sykes told Wilking.
As an officer patted Sanchez’s leg down before placing him in a police car, Sykes got in one last shot.
“The only thing you’re going to feel down there is a big scar,” he said.

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WATCH: Copwatch | Gang Unit Vehicle Stop Foot Bail | Tossed Gun | Man Tasered

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San Diego Copwatch April 10, 2018

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POLICE claim Man said ‘shoot me’ twice before he was shot to death by police, Audio Experts Heard Different

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Las Vegas Metro police shot and killed a 22-year-old man early Friday morning after he reached for a weapon and defied commands repeatedly, police said.

 

Officers Francisco Rivera, 28, and Padilla Mills, 23, were involved in the shooting in the 200 block of Madge Lane, near Charleston Boulevard and Sloan Lane.

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Monday said officers were on their way to another call when they spotted Junior David Lopez driving recklessly with two women in a blue Chrysler 300.

“Hey, what are you doing? Stay in the car man,” one of the officers yelled. “Stay in the ****ing car! Don’t move! Do not ****ing move!”

When officers stopped the vehicle, Lopez got out of the vehicle with a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 firearm in his hand then tossed it on the ground, police said.

Zimmerman said Lopez defied officers’ commands to put his hands up and step away from the weapon. Instead Lopez grabbed the firearm and raised it, he said.

“Hey, get away from the gun!” officers yelled. “Do not move! Don’t reach for the gun, man. Do not reach the gun.”

Officers believe the body camera footage shows Lopez twice saying the words “shoot me.”

“I don’t know what was going through his head, but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t,” Zimmerman said.

Officers Rivera and Mills both fired their weapons. Lopez fell to the ground and rolled over. Police say he reached for the guns once more. Officer Mills fired one more round, striking Lopez.

“We’re going to need medical for the subject,” one of the officers said, over his radio. “He’s reaching. Don’t reach for it! … His 4-13 is about one foot from his left hand. Don’t!”

Lopez was taken to Sunrise Hospital where he later died at 5:15 a.m.

The two women in the car were not injured. One was Lopez’ girlfriend and the owner of the vehicle. The other was a friend.

Both women on Monday night.

“I remember when we got pulled over they told us to get the **** out of the car, for him to get the **** out of the car. Why don’t I hear that in the video?” said Lopez’s girlfriend, Amber. “He was the best thing in my life… He said, ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.’ You can’t hear the don’t, but you can hear him. ‘Don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me.'”

Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said 22-year-old Junior Lopez told officers to shoot him, twice.

“I don’t know what was going through his head but he was given ample opportunity to be taken into custody and he wasn’t.”

Lopez’s girlfriend said he was yelling, “Don’t shoot me!”

Lopez’s girlfriend also says officers told him to get out of the car… before they yelled at him to get back in the car. She argues that the first portion was conveniently cut out of the video released today.

“Everything they said is not true,” said Jorge Luis Martinez, Lopez’s father. “The video is not complete. ”

Lopez had one prior charge for false statement to a police officer in North Las Vegas in 2016

Both officers have been employed with Metro since May 2016. They are both assigned to the Community Policing Division Northeast Area Command. They were both placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Freedom of Speech Everywhere except a Courthouse so Says the US Attorney General

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How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

How an anti-illegal immigration YouTuber turned a $280 fine into a federal criminal trial

Gary Gileno

Gary Gileno is shown outside the federal courthouse on Friday before his trial. Gileno was fighting a $280 citation for failing to comply with orders while trying to bring a video camera into a L.A. County Sheriff oversight meeting in 2017. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

 

It began as a $280 citation for using a video camera in a courthouse.

But to Gary Gileno, at stake was much more than the couple hundred bucks he was told to pay.

An attorney for the anti-illegal immigration activist and prolific YouTuber told a judge Friday that the four-hour trial over the fine was really about preventing government abuse of power, protecting the rights of journalists and ensuring that citizens can hold public officials accountable.

“If he is convicted … it’ll chill speech, it’ll chill journalism, it’ll say the federal government has a superpower to do whatever it wants,” attorney William Becker said. “This is unprecedented. This is what we expect to see in a police state.”

A federal prosecutor dismissed the rhetoric, arguing the Class C misdemeanor charge was simply about Gileno’s refusal to follow a security officer’s orders.

The unusual legal battle came after Gileno, 32, tried to bring a video camera into a meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission last year. California law specifically allows the public to use recording devices at such meetings, but the commission’s meeting in August was held at a federal appellate court building where filming is prohibited.

Someone just detained at federal courthouse, where public Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission meeting takin place, 4 trying 2 take pic

The commission, a civilian panel set up to monitor the Sheriff’s Department and listen to public concerns about the agency, had been gathering in different locations around the county since it began meeting in January 2017. This was the first time commissioners had met at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals building in Pasadena.

As Gileno entered the courthouse, deputy U.S. marshals told him he had to leave his camera in his car. Gileno insisted he had a right to record the meeting under the First Amendment and the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, and began filming the officers.

They responded by handcuffing and detaining him for about an hour.

After Gileno was cited, Robert C. Bonner, a former federal judge who chairs the commission, told The Times he wasn’t aware of certain provisions of the state’s open meetings law and relied on the county’s lawyers for legal advice.

Rather than pay the fine, Gileno opted to take his case to trial, facing a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and 30 days in jail if found guilty.

Gileno, who began his YouTube career after showing up at his local council meeting in West Covina, said he has made a living off of his channel in recent years. His copious videos — 3,237 and counting — focus primarily on denouncing illegal immigration and promoting supporters of President Trump. His criminal case may have been a boon for his channel — a recent screed on his own prosecution was viewed more than 10,000 times.

On Friday, two court security officers who clashed with Gileno took the stand and testified that there were signs clearly posted saying photography wasn’t allowed in the courthouse. They said Gileno grew belligerent and disruptive, turning on his camera after being warned several times that it was not allowed.

Testifying in his own defense, Gileno said he was a freelance citizen journalist who has attended and filmed local government meetings and legislative town halls for about five years.

“I believe in the United States of America, you should be able to keep tabs on the government,” he said.

In more than 250 other public meetings he attended, he said, he never had an issue with bringing in his video camera. He said the security officer all of a sudden “exploded” at him, so he turned on his camera “to document what I felt was a violation of my rights at the time.”

Assistant U.S. Atty. Benedetto Lee Balding said Gileno’s disruption of security officers working at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was no small matter. It was Gileno who escalated the encounter by refusing to go along with the officers’ orders, he said.

“He decided unilaterally he didn’t have to follow the rules,” the prosecutor said.

Becker, who primarily represents conservatives and Christians in free-speech cases, worked for free on Gileno’s case. He argued that the federal courthouse essentially became a “limited public forum” when it hosted the commission meeting, which Gileno should have been allowed to film under the state law.

Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth said she could understand why Gileno was angry and frustrated given his past experience filming the meetings, but she said that didn’t excuse his failure to follow orders. Security at the appellate courthouse, where justices could be filmed without their knowledge, was a serious concern, the judge said.

“Even if these seem arbitrary or don’t make any sense to Mr. Gileno or anybody else, clearly they serve this very important purpose,” Rosenbluth said, finding Gileno guilty.

Acknowledging that a “misunderstanding” had led to the kerfuffle, the prosecutor recommended a sentence of no fine, which would leave Gileno having to pay just $35 in court fees. Rosenbluth said she felt the need for “some consequences” and ordered Gileno to pay a $50 fine, bringing his total penalty to $85 with the fees.

Gileno said he was “outraged” and “astounded.” After the verdict, he turned to nine supporters in the audience, including a man in a red “Make California Great Again” hat, and exclaimed, “I was never read my rights!”

His attorney said they would seriously consider an appeal and possibly a civil lawsuit against the government.

“What the judge just said is if a city council can move to a federal building, they can keep the meeting secret,” Gileno said. “That’s grossly illegal.”

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