Ferguson Report

  

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf

The Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice opened its
investigation of the Ferguson Police Department (“FPD”) on September 4, 2014. This
investigation was initiated under the pattern-or-practice provision of the Violent Crime Control
and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe
Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d (“Safe Streets Act”), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d (“Title VI”). This investigation has revealed a pattern or practice of
unlawful conduct within the Ferguson Police Department that violates the First, Fourth, and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and federal statutory law.
Over the course of the investigation, we interviewed City officials, including City
Manager John Shaw, Mayor James Knowles, Chief of Police Thomas Jackson, Municipal Judge
Ronald Brockmeyer, the Municipal Court Clerk, Ferguson’s Finance Director, half of FPD’s
sworn officers, and others. We spent, collectively, approximately 100 person-days onsite in
Ferguson. We participated in ride-alongs with on-duty officers, reviewed over 35,000 pages of
police records as well as thousands of emails and other electronic materials provided by the
police department. Enlisting the assistance of statistical experts, we analyzed FPD’s data on
stops, searches, citations, and arrests, as well as data collected by the municipal court. We
observed four separate sessions of Ferguson Municipal Court, interviewing dozens of people
charged with local offenses, and we reviewed third-party studies regarding municipal court
practices in Ferguson and St. Louis County more broadly. As in all of our investigations, we
sought to engage the local community, conducting hundreds of in-person and telephone
interviews of individuals who reside in Ferguson or who have had interactions with the police
department. We contacted ten neighborhood associations and met with each group that
responded to us, as well as several other community groups and advocacy organizations.
Throughout the investigation, we relied on two police chiefs who accompanied us to Ferguson
and who themselves interviewed City and police officials, spoke with community members, and
reviewed FPD policies and incident reports.
We thank the City officials and the rank-and-file officers who have cooperated with this
investigation and provided us with insights into the operation of the police department, including
the municipal court. Notwithstanding our findings about Ferguson’s approach to law
enforcement and the policing culture it creates, we found many Ferguson police officers and
other City employees to be dedicated public servants striving each day to perform their duties
lawfully and with respect for all members of the Ferguson community. The importance of their
often-selfless work cannot be overstated.
We are also grateful to the many members of the Ferguson community who have met
with us to share their experiences. It became clear during our many conversations with Ferguson
residents from throughout the City that many residents, black and white, genuinely embrace
Ferguson’s diversity and want to reemerge from the events of recent months a truly inclusive,
united community. This Report is intended to strengthen those efforts by recognizing the harms
caused by Ferguson’s law enforcement practices so that those harms can be better understood
and overcome.
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Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather
than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional
character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing,
and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns
and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s
police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including
racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact
African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these
disparities. Over time, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust
between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement
legitimacy among African Americans in particular.

The Most Common Ignition Interlock Myths- Guest Author

  

An ignition interlock device or IID is a small handheld breathalyzer that’s designed to measure the amount of alcohol in the user’s breath. Also known as in-car breathalyzer, blow and go, and car interlock, it prevents users from starting the vehicle until a breath alcohol test has been taken.

 

Only those who are arrested and convicted of DUI are required to install an ignition interlock device. Since not everyone is familiar with the device, there have been widespread IID myths and misconceptions floating around that need to be debunked. Below are some of the most common ignition interlock myths and the truths behind them.

Myth #01: You can trick the ignition interlock device if you use the right methods.

 

Some people believe that when they obscure the smell of alcohol on their breath by using a chewing gum, the device won’t be able to recognize the alcohol in the sample provided. There is no truth to this. If truth be told, the device is designed to register breath-alcohol concentration at the molecular level. 

Myth #02: Ignition interlock devices can also detect drugs.

 

While driving impaired by drugs is considered illegal, an ignition interlock device won’t be able to detect drug use. Even if you are not under the influence of alcohol, but you have used drugs, it is recommended that you don’t even attempt to drive. 

Myth #03: An IID violates your constitutional rights.

 

The courts interpret driving as a privilege and not a right. Once convicted of DUI, you lose that privilege. The legislation intends to give you a chance to regain your driving privilege instead of suspension.

 

Myth #04: Someone else can blow into your IID for you.

 

Having a sober friend blow into your IID is prohibited and can be considered tampering with the device. It is important to remember that you will be required to do a retest after a few minutes of driving.  That said, even if you get a sober friend to start the vehicle, you will eventually fail the retest.

 

Most ignition interlock devices come equipped with a camera that will capture a picture when the device is used. Many states will not take tampering lightly and might lead to adverse consequences like license suspension and even jail time.

Myth #05: Once the device has been installed, no one else can operate the vehicle.

 

Even after the device has been installed, any licensed motorist can lawfully operate the vehicle. However, that person will still be required to blow into the device. Unfortunately, you will be the one to answer if there are any violations.

Myth #06: Installing an IID can damage the vehicle.

 

Only approved service centers are allowed to install and uninstall the device so no damage will be done to the vehicle. The ignition interlock is installed into the vehicle’s wiring which is connected to the engine. Once uninstalled, all the wiring will be returned to its original configuration. 

Myth #07: Some foods or beverages can cause a false positive.

 

Some foods and drinks can register alcohol much like other conventional alcoholic beverages. To avoid a similar scenario from occurring, you need to remember that if alcohol is present in the food or beverage you consume or drink, it is possible for the breathalyzer to detect it in the sample you provide.

 

In line with this, it would be best to wait for at least 15 minutes after a meal before providing a sample. Also, items like breath spray or mouthwash might lead to a positive BrAC reading if taken before giving a sample. 

 

Myth #08: If the device fails, you will be unable to start and move your vehicle.

 

There’s an emergency override feature that allows you to call the service provider to activate the bypass or override function. This one-time-only feature allows the vehicle to start without requiring a breath sample. You can then drive your vehicle to the service provider for repair or replacement of the IID.

Myth #09: If the engine stalls, you are required to resubmit another breath sample to restart the vehicle.

 

If the vehicle stalls the first time, a grace period or sample-free start is allowed so you can start the engine within three minutes.

Conclusion

 

Now that you know the truths behind some of the most prevalent IID myths, you will know how to use one properly and responsibly. To play safe, it is recommended that you check with the service provider if you have other questions you need answers to.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Lauren McDowell is the Content Marketing Strategist for Interlock Install, a Phoenix-based company that performs the installations, service appointments, and 

removals for ADS Interlock. When not writing, she attends book clubs and enjoys reading stories to her kids.

What Should An Injured Passenger Do After A Car Accident?- Guest Post

  

A vehicle crash can be a traumatic occurrence for everyone involved. If you are an injured passenger in a car crash, you might be extremely uncertain about the legal procedure that must be pursued in compliance with state laws.

 

On the bright side, riders usually don’t have to think about lawsuits, so the court process should be a bit less daunting for you—provided you take the appropriate measures.

Here are a lot of things to bear in mind.

 

  1. First and foremost, what to do 

When you think that you or anyone else was hurt in the crash, the number one priority is to find medical treatment for yourself and everyone else who wants it. Do your best to keep still when you’re waiting for support, and don’t want to move if you think you can’t. Be sure that the local police and Ambulance responders are notified of the crash and all other wounded drivers, riders, or bystanders.

 

Bear in mind that even though you don’t believe that something is wrong, you might also have been hurt in the crash. If you notice the signs of headache, and severe wounds, immediately call your doctor as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Who do you need to talk about the incident?

As a passenger involved in a car crash, different state law allows you to share some details with the other party involved. The same happens to drivers, cyclists, and other travelers. If you need to witness in the future, you will be asked for your contact address. If you’re confused, it may be better to call your lawyer for advice.

 

  1. How the incident happened 

Before making a lawsuit, you need to determine if one party’s actions (or inactions) were the crash’s primary cause. You can only effectively seek liability for the injury to a reckless driver.

 

Your personal injuries lawsuit could be made against one driver or several drivers if there was a two-car crash with a fault mutual between them.

 

E.g., if you were harmed as a passenger in a rear-ended vehicle, the blame would actually lay with the other driver, then you would file a lawsuit with the other driver’s insurance agent.

 

  1. What kind of insurance can you claim?

You may be asking what sort of damages you might sue for money if you have a viable claim, and understandably so. The response would depend on the situation of the incident and the extent of the injuries. Potential liabilities can include hospital costs (including potential medical bills), property losses, pain, misery, missed income, and permanent illness or disability.

 

  1. How do you make a solid argument?

To make sure your lawsuit is effective, you’re going to have to find documentation and evidence relating to the car crash and your injury. These can include photos of the incident, medical history, testimonies, and police accounts, to name a few.

 

  1. What applies after multiple passenger accidents

Often the car crash allegations will get confusing as if several drivers were involved in a wreck. If this occurs, and any wounded passenger charges against the reckless driver, it is likely that the combined value of the accident lawsuits will outweigh the driver’s insurance. In that scenario, any wounded person would have to make up for less compensation.

 

  1. How to Maximize Your Chances

If you want to maximize the chance of making a good disability lawsuit, leaving you with more money for stuff like hospital costs and missed income, you can hire a professional solicitor to support you. Professional Car accident attorneys Stuart, Martin County, are committed to assisting victims of injury through a complicated litigation process. Call us now for all the answers to your urgent questions.

 

Bio

 

Navigating after a car incident can become very difficult. If you are an injured passenger in a car crash, please contact Car accident attorneys Stuart, Martin County. We are happy to guide you navigate the process of making the correct cases to help you get the reward you deserve.

 

Crary Buchanan is a specialized law firm committed to the offering of professional legal services in Florida. Our lawyers have extensive professional experience in nearly every major field of law, and many of our partners are certified by the Florida Bar in their areas of specialization.

Facts About Blood Alcohol Concentration That You Need To Know – Guest Post

  

A breathalyzer is a tool the police use to determine if a driver they pull over on suspicion of driving under the influence or DUI is impaired by alcohol.

With a breathalyzer, cops can measure drivers’ blood alcohol concentration or BAC and arrest them if the device displays a result above their state’s legal limit.

Many drivers have ended up being convicted and subjected to several DUI penalties on the strength of their BAC levels at the time of their arrest.

Here are some more facts about blood alcohol concentration that you need to know.

BAC Can Rise Quickly

The human body absorbs alcohol quickly.

Within at least 30 minutes after a drink, alcohol will already be detectable in our system. That’s because when we drink, we directly absorb alcohol through the small intestine and stomach walls.

From there, alcohol will go into our bloodstream and start making its way throughout our body to our brain.

Measuring BAC

BAC is measured in milligrams or mg of alcohol per 100 milliliters or ml of blood.

Results are expressed as a decimal, and a BAC of 0.10% means that every 1,000 parts of an individual’s blood contain one part alcohol.

Not All States Have A Legal BAC Limit of 0.08%

Most states arrest drivers over the age of 21 for DUI if their BAC levels hit or breach the legal limit of 0.08%.

However, Utah lowered its legal BAC limit in December 2018. While all the other states are still at 0.08%, Utah is now enforcing a legal BAC limit of 0.05%, the lowest in the entire United States.

Factors That Affect BAC

Several factors may affect an individual’s BAC levels, and they include:

  • Gender —Women tend to get drunk faster—and get a higher BAC—than men even if they consumed the same amount of alcohol. That’s because women produce smaller quantities of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the body, than men.
  • Weight —The less you weigh, the higher your BAC levels will be.
  • The elapsed time between drinks —A person’s BAC may continue to rise several hours after the last drink.
  • Presence of food in the stomach —Eating before or while consuming alcohol can slow down the rate of alcohol absorption, but food will not wholly absorb alcohol to prevent you from getting drunk. Once the alcohol enters your bloodstream, you will feel its effects.
  • Percentage of alcohol content –The higher a drink’s alcohol content, the more elevated your BAC will be. Vodka, whiskey, and other hard liquor types have higher alcohol content than beer or wine.
  • Rate of consumption –The human body can only metabolize one standard drink per hour. The faster you put drinks away, the quicker your BAC will rise.
  • Amount of body fat —Since body fat has very low water content and does not absorb alcohol, alcohol stays in the bloodstream until the liver breaks it down. The more body fat you have, the higher your BAC will be.

Coffee Doesn’t Lower Your BAC

Many people think that drinking coffee after consuming alcohol will reduce their BAC and render them sober enough to drive.

While caffeine may make you feel less sleepy or drowsy, it doesn’t do anything to improve your coordination, reaction time, and decision-making, all of which have already been hampered by your consumption of alcohol.

Aside from drinking coffee, other ineffective ways often touted as instant BAC-lowering tricks include:

  • Exercising
  • Taking cold showers
  • Drinking water
  • Chewing gum

Breathalyzers Could Take Inaccurate BAC Readings

Breathalyzers may be a primary tool in combating DUI, but they are not always accurate.

A breathalyzer may detect traces of alcohol in a driver who just used mouthwash, which happens to contain alcohol.

Breathalyzers also need to be properly calibrated regularly.

People living with diabetes tend to have increased acetone levels in their bodies, which breathalyzers could mistake for ethanol.

Because of the breathalyzer’s inability to provide accurate BAC readings 100% of the time, DUI attorneys in Phoenix and everywhere else use it as a defense for a client accused of drunk driving.

These are just some of the facts that you must know about blood alcohol concentration.

While knowing more about BAC will be quite useful for drivers who don’t want to be arrested for DUI, the best way to avoid that situation is never to drink and drive at all.

However, if you still get arrested for DUI due to an elevated BAC reading despite not having had a drop of it, an experienced DUI lawyer should be able to get the court to drop the charges against you because of an inaccurate breath test.

 

About the Author

Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.