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Defense Uses Cop Cam To Prove Illegal Search

police_tapeby Antoinnette Borbon and Silvia Ramos Medina

As a visiting judge sat in Department 3 today, he spent the afternoon deciding the ruling on three different preliminary hearings.

One of them involved a woman who had been pulled over and was cited for driving on a suspended license. But, as it would turn out, the stop was not that simple for the defendant.

Ms. Herman, through the viewing of the officer’s car cam recorder, would state more than once that it was not okay to search the car. Ms. Herman said it was not her car.

But the officer continued to do it anyway, stating that he had the right to because he had to do an inventory on the vehicle’s possessions before towing.

It was during this search that the officer found a purse which contained a very small amount of methamphetamine, conducive to one’s personal use.

Deputy Public Defender Joseph Gocke would state four case laws pertaining to the search.

But ultimately, after ten minutes of conducting his own research, the visiting judge concluded that the search and seizure of her meth was, in fact, legal.

Gocke’s “Motion to Suppress,” was denied, albeit not without great effort. The judge expressed to Mr. Gocke that the matter could be looked into further at another date too – he was just going to deny the motion today.

She has been held to answer on one count of the possession. DDA Crystal Junge dismissed the Penal Code § 148 charge regarding resisting or obstructing the officer.

Intoxicated Man Mistaking Officer’s Identity Faces Felony

By Silvia Ramos Medina

As the preliminary hearing for People vs. Garcia was set in motion, Officer Wright was called to the stand as the sole witness.

Deputy District Attorney Crystal Junge asked Officer Wright to identify the defendant, Jose Jesus Garcia—and the officer did so, by pointing to him and describing what he was presently wearing.

Ms. Junge then asked Officer Wright to recall the incident on June 11, 2014. He explained that he had been called to investigate a disturbance. And as he arrived on the scene, he found defendant Garcia highly intoxicated, banging on a door.

DA Junge then asked Officer Wright, “Did you ask about weapons?” And he disclosed he had retrieved a knife from the defendant.

Officer Wright then declared he walked the defendant over to his vehicle. He said, “Mr. Garcia started yelling and cursing. He went from a moderate calm demeanor to agitated.”

Officer Wright maintained he was initially arresting Mr. Garcia for public intoxication; however, the circumstances changed once Mr. Garcia began calling him Officer Moe.

“He made references to digging a grave and taking Officer Moe out.”

Next, DDA Junge asked, “Did you understand the threats to be towards you?” And Officer Wright forthwith replied, “Yes.”

Officer Wright maintained that, after being transported to the police department, Mr. Garcia was still talking to him as if he were Officer Moe—even after Mr. Wright showed him his name tag.

Yet, Officer Wright acknowledged that at some point Mr. Garcia looked at his name tag and apologized for confusing him for Officer Moe.

“He told me some local tweakers told him Officer Moe would kill him.”

According to Officer Wright, Mr. Garcia was upset that Officer Moe had refused to provide his badge number.

After the DA finished questioning Officer Wright, Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson began his interrogation.

Displeased with the facts of the case, Mr. Johansson, in an assertive voice said, “He’s arrested for being so drunk. Apologized. And is still continued to be questioned about Jeffrey Moe? A man so drunk, yet he’s supposed to have an attempt for a felony?”

DDA Junge then interjected by asserting that this does not excuse the threats, even if they were not made directly toward Officer Moe.

Mr. Johansson concluded his assertions by stating he did not believe the facts of the case.

An arraignment for charges will take place on July 11, 2014 at 10:00 am.

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About David Greenwald

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

5 comments

  1. Re: Herman, I don’t get this. If the officer believed he had a right to search her car, then why did he ask permission? And if they have it on the video that she refused permission, shouldn’t the officer be disciplined in some way, at the very least? At most, case should be dismissed as an illegal search.

    • David Greenwald

      “If the officer believed he had a right to search her car, then why did he ask permission?”

      Probably because it’s easier to get permission than assert authority.

  2. Actually DD…..that article. wasn’t. finished….lol

    I guess it got sent accidentally . I had a lot more to add. But the judge yesterday said defense could try it again? If I heard correctly…he just wasn’t. going to uesterday
    ..he was sitting in for Mock.

    Gohki always has carcam videos ..I like that and the four cases he cited seemed. pretty in line with point..law.

    she told the officer it wasn’t her car.

  3. I have a bit of confusion on this issue.
    She says it wasn’t her car. It should be easy enough to prove that.
    Did she state that it wasn’t her purse that contained the meth ? This would to me seem to be a separate issue and I did not see it addressed. If neither the car, nor the purse were hers, would she still be held legally responsible since it was technically in her possession ?

  4. She admitted later the purse ess hers. The car was her boyfriends. She didn’t want it towed because it wasn’t. hers.

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