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Raised by 188 people in 27 months
Curtis Shannon  HOLIDAY, FL
This is a long message, please take the time to read it before you make your decisions.

On December 26th 2013 at 9:30pm, I was driving home from work. I purchaced a pizza pie from a local pizzaria so my wife wouldn't have to cook. She was still adjusting to the mother's life, our only son was only 5 months old at the time. Just before I got home, a police cruiser pulled behind my car and was following me very closely. We both stopped at a red light. When it turned green, and just after I started making the last turn before I got home, lights started flashing. Being less than a half, block from home, I put my hazard lights on and slowly drove to, and backed into, my parking space. I then turned off my car, and headlights, turned on the interior lights and waited to see what the issue was.

The officer didn't approach my car immediately (remember, I backed into my spot. His car was now in front of mine and mine was off). Instead, he called for me to get my license and registration. This struck me as odd, even if I did have my information ready, how would he get it from way over there? I told him it would be a little bit, I hadn't needed my registration papers since I bought the car and now it was buried under many miscelaneous papers. This is when he approached my car. He asked me again for my papers, and again I told him I was looking for them. When I found them, I offered it to him, but he woudn't take them. Instead, he asked me to roll my window all the way down. This, again, was a weird and unecessary request. The window was just over a quarter of the way down and it was December. Even in Florida, the nights get pretty cold. So I asked him, "Why did you pull me over, officer?". A seemingly innocent question, right?

Wrong! He responded with "Because I wanted to, now step out of the vehicle!". WHAT? This can't be happening! I have no criminal record, my registration is current (not that he would know any of that, he refused to take my papers), and I definitely don't have a busted tail light. So I responded " 'Because I want to' isn't a legal reason to pull someone over, let alone ask them out of a car. Can you tell me why you pulled me over?"

"This isn't up for debate, step out of the car." Now, he's being very hostile, I'm still sitting there wondering why. He won't take my papers, he wants me out of the car, and he won't take my papers. What's the deal?

"Sir, I don't feel comfortable getting out of the car when I don't even know why you're here. Why do you need me to step out of the car? I'm not a criminal and my papers are all legal."

"You know what? One way or another, I'm getting you out of the car. What's the name of this complex?"

I told him and he walked around to the back of my car to check my license plates and call for back-up. Now, I'm worried, fearful, and annoyed. It was cear to me that this officer was looking for some action, and he wasn't leaving without it. Being from a place where racial profiling is the norm and police brutality goes by unpunished, New York City, I took the few seconds I grabbed and set up my cell phone to record the rest of the situation. I'll let the video tell the next few bits of the story. I apologize in advance for your coming neck pain.

http://youtu.be/PIjBjZrJN5U




As you can see and hear, while I tried to remain as calm, courteous, and respectful as the situation would allow, the officer only grew more and more hostile as the the encounter progressed. So much so, that I requested he physically changed places with another officer who didn't look like he wanted to slam my head into the ground. I even tried revealing that I was a military veteran, hopefully that would calm him down a bit, we're on the same side. That cleary wasn't heppening, but you do hear another officer assure me that no physical harm would come to me. I took his word for it (silly me), grabbed my phone (now a camcorder) so I could continue recording from outside the car and openned the car door.

As you can hear, the aggressive officer immidiately grabbed me by the collar and tried to yank me out of the car. I asked him to let me go, I was already cooperating and that hostility was the reason I didn't want to get out of the car in the first place. Even so, I let go of the frame of my car and accepted my fate. I was getting beat up tonight, there's no denying that. The officer then slammed me onto the ground, making sure that my head made full contact with the curb on the way down.

He got on top of me and demanded I give him my arm (so he could handcuff me). I couldn't. He was intentionally pinning that arm to the ground with his knee and he knew it. For almost two minutes, he would elbow me in the back of the head (elbows don't leave bruises or bumps as easily), knee me in the ribs and kept yelling for me to give him my arm. Then it started to make sense. As the stars flashed behind my eyelids after every strike, I realized that we are between two parked cars. No one can see us. As far as anyone else can tell, I'm fighting this officer on the ground. So I just laid there and shouted as loud as I could , "YOU'RE PINNING MY ARM TO THE GROUND!! QUIT PUNCHING ME!!" He stops and you can start to hear the mumbles and murmurs of the neighbors as they start to discuss what's happening. The officer realized that playtime is over and cuffs me. When he gets me off the ground, I could see the mischevous grins on two of the officers' faces. The third one, the one who said I would'nt be harmed, just stood there almost in disbelief. Maybe he was new, I don't know.

I spent the night in jail and the next day at the Veterans Hospital getting treated for the scraped and bruises from the incident, and the rash I got from the clothes I was issued. 







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I spent all  of my savings in the coming months, half went to my lawyer, and the other went to moving. I couldn't trust the area. We'd only been there a year and here's what I learned. Not only had we been living in the worst part of town, I couldn't even trust the local police department to be able to tell the difference between a citizen and criminal. So we not only left the city, we left to county, turning a 2 minute commute into a 45 minute one. I couldn't even trust them to provide an accurate police report.
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I don't have a scanner, and I'll provide the original document when I get a chance, but here's the arresting officer's account of the situation, typos and all. Out of respect for the officers (why I still have any is mystery) I omitted their names from the report.

Agency: SPPD            Case Number: 2013-078003
Report Type: OBSTRUCTING OFFICER

OFFICER'S ACTION AND OBSERVATION

On the above date and time I was traveling sounth bound on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street South free of any obstruction. I observed a godl in color Ford Taurus tag # [my tag here] traveling south bound a few yards in front of me, at a high rate of speed sweaving in and out lanes. I got behind the vehicle at the intersection of 22nd Avenue and Dr Martin Luther King Jr Street South. The vehicle turned west on 22nd Avenue South and I attempted the traffic stop. The vehicle continued traveling then turned into the Lakeview Apartments Complex located at 976 22nd Avenue Souh and continued traveling through the parking lot while my emergency lights were activated. The driver quicky turned the vehicle east into a parking space then place the vehicle in reverse and backed it up into another parking space across the parking lot, while my vehicle remained stop facing south. I exited my marked patrol cruiser and walked towards the vehicle and I noticed the driver staring at me with a blank stare as he continued revving the engine louder and louder. I thought by his actions the subject was going to attempt to hit me with his car.

I quicly returned to my vehicle and obtained cver using my vehicle as a safety shield. I yelled for the driver to turn the vehicle off and let his window down. After several verbal commands ther driver later identified as Curis Shannon turned the vehicle off and slightly cracked the driver side window. I advised Ofc. [#2] via radio to respond to my location, and Ofc [#2] and Ofc. [#3] arrived to the scene. I approached the vehicle and asked Shannon for his Driver license and registration and he refused to provide them to me. I asked several additional times and Shannon refused. I advised Shannon that he was under arrest for Obstruction and that he was to unlock the door and exit the vehicle. A light complexion black woman, who advised she was Shannon's wife came outside the apartment and yelled "bae do what they're asking you to do."

Shannon advised that he would now provide me with his Driver license nd that he wasnt going to exit the car. Shannon then put his Driver License through a sightly cracked driver side window. Ofc. [#2] advised Shannon to exit the car and when Shannon unlocked and opened the door, I advised him that he was under arrest and he attempted to closed the door on me., and he began reaching for a unknown object in the passenger seat.

I reached inside the car and placed my hands on Shannon's left arm and attempted to pull him out of the car and he pulled away aggressively with force. Shannon then exited the car and charged towards me. Shannon pushed me in my chest causing me to lose my balance as I stilhad a hold of his triceps, which help me regain my balance. I then pushed Shannon away from me and advised him "to stop resisting". Shannon then attempted to charge towards me again and I escorting Shannon to a the ground using an armbar takedown maneuver.

While on the ground Shannon continued to resist as I attempted to place, my department issued hand cuffs on his arms, as I yelled for him to "stop resisting and place you hands behind your back". Ofc [#2] abd Ofc [#3] were unable to assist me in detaining Shannon because we were on the ground between a set of closely parked cars.

After a brief struggle I as able to place Shannon under arrest and transported him to the rear of the Police Station and place him in the Transport Van without incident. Shannon vehicle was searched with negative results, and Shannon advised that he wish to speak to my sergeant. Sgt.[#4] was notified of the arrest and spoke to Shannon.

i completed a Traffic Citation# A0O5HKP for Careless Driving, and a Use Of Force Form. I took no further action on this date. A State Attorney Invest will follow.
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As you can see, not much of this report matches what you saw in the video. This was only one of the three false statements made by the officers there. I was initially charged with RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING WITH VIOLENCE, a felony. The charges were reduced to RESISTING/OBSRUCTING WITHOUT VIOLENCE, a misdemeanor. The lawyer cost was just shy of $2000, but that covers pretrial fees, I don't know how much the court costs will be should I decide to go that far. I am elligible for the PreTrial Intervention program. If I accept and complete the program, the case will be dismissed upon completion. 

"Well why not do that?" you may be asking. Accepting the program requires an admission of guilt to the offense I've been accused of. Doing so eliminates any chance I have of filing a suit against the state and possibly changing the way the police behave in the city. That's why I've come here. For 8 months, I have been scraping by making sure we don't miss any bills or rent payments. We only have one car which prevents my wife from doing pretty much anything with our son while I'm at work. I was hesitant to set this page up because I'm not one to ask for help, not even from family. They've done all they can and now I come to you, the people. Help me get my family back on our feet. I was barely able to scrape enough to fund a small 1st Birthday party for my son, and now we're paying for that. Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated and will be used to catch up on our bills and any future lawyer fees I may have to pay. If you have any questions or need more details, please feel free to ask.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this. If I can make a case with you, maybe we'll have the same luck in the justice system.
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Update 15
Posted by Curtis Shannon
24 months ago
Since the story has been posted somewhere new (I don't know where), I'm guessing an update is in order.

The last time I updated you, we were in the final stages of the pretrial. I had to make my decision on whether or not I would be accepting the PTI program.

Just before I made my final decision, my attorney told me he had finally gotten his hands on Ofc Johnson's complaint records, as well as all the audio recordings from his radio calls that night.

We found out that Johnson had a history of authority abuse and made a habit out of threatening people who apposed him in anyway. These people included children on a field trip, a waitress, and a parking enforcement officer.

From the recordings, we heard that Johnson made no claim to be in fear for his own safety. In fact, he never actually called for backup like he claimed to. They heard his transmission stating he was going to pull me over (after he already had) and they kind of just...showed up. Unfortunately for me, my attorney had already told the prosecutor that I would be accepting the PTI deal and was already in the process of getting the paperwork in. I'm upset that he didn't get all this information to us in the beginning of this whole process. It would have made it much easier to push for a dismissal because we would have had everything we needed at one time. However, for reasons unknown to me, that wasn't the case and it took months to get everything in order.

I've got an appointment with the PTI officer in Dec, but will be speaking with civil lawyers to see what other options I may have.
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Update 14
Posted by Curtis Shannon
26 months ago
Update:

So I spoke with my attorney yesterday evening, he informed me that he is prepared to file the motions needed to give us the edge we need to win. Unfortunately, he didn't sound all that confident that it would work.

The prosecution, apparently realized that when he went to them to see what their potential plea deal would be should I decide to change my mind about going to trial (IMO that told them all they needed about my attorney's confidence in the case). They offered the same, deal they did before.

I take the plea, I'm on a path to a guaranteed "dismissal". If I don't, we go to trial, and my fate lands in the hands of the Jury. I did some research on the "demographic" (if that is the right term) for the jury participants in Pinellas County, and I didn't like what I saw. Most are older white people (a good 80% or so if I remember right). Of those, it is said that a good majority of them are what we call "cop sympathizers", people who believe the police can do no wrong no matter what the situation. That can, and most likely will, work against me when presenting them with evidence.

According to the attorneys I spoke with, and I spoke with a few, even though I know, and my wife knows, and they believe, I am not guilty of what they're accusing me of, the issue isn't what we know or believe. They like to reference Denzel Washington's "Training Day" quote;

"It's not what you know, it's what you can prove."

And they're right. As B.S.ey as it sounds, they obviously have a point, and I have to take that into consideration. My biggest issue, should I continue this fight, would be going to trial with an attorney who does not have faith in our defense. The prosecution would smell that and eat us alive. The chances of us winning aren't as good as I had hoped, especially since we couldn't get sworn testimony from the officer with the Deposition Motion.

I'm going to sit with my wife again and weigh the options. She has a way of reminding me who my decisions really effect.

Thanks again for all your help. If you have any other advice, or if you can find a good set of case-law that can help, feel free to leave a comment or message. My decision needs to be made by Monday.
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Update 13
Posted by Curtis Shannon
26 months ago
So here's another update for everyone out there. I went to the deposition hearing this morning, we made no progress. The prosecution objected to the deposition motion because they feel I wasn't entitled to one since, they eventually did get the information out of Officer Johnson. They feel if we want a statement out of them as well, we should contact them directly just as they did and hear it directly from him.

The court date itself is still set to the 30th of this month. Hopefully the jury is as supportive as you all have been.

Now comes the hard part, getting them to see Johnson for who he really is; a lying, violent, power hungry man with no concern for the law or the people he was hired to protect.

Thank you all again for all your help and support.
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Update 12
Posted by Curtis Shannon
26 months ago
I know it's been a while since the last update, but as you may remember, our laptop is busted so I can only update from the app and at work.

I got a call from my attorney. He told me the state attorneys have decided they won't be dropping the case against me. The trial date has been set to Oct 30 @ 830am. We are now going full steam against the state and intend on having their evidence thrown out because of the perjury committed by Officer Johnson. He claims there were events prior to and after the recording that led to him acting the way he did that night. He wouldn't disclose what those events were, but we'll find out soon.

Either way, if the the prosecution doesn't decide to drop the case before the trial date, I will likely file a civil claim against the city and also see what we can do with charging Officer Johnson and his peers with Felony Perjury and the prosecutor with prosecutorial misconduct upon our victory.

Again, I thank everyone for your support throughout all this time. It has been a lot easier, physically and mentally, to care for my family with your help. For anyone just getting here, your help or comments are always welcomed.

Thank you.
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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

As I have made perfectly clear, the officer had the right to order you out of the vehicle and conduct a pat frisk for weapons, he did not have to speak to you through a crack in the window. That behavior by you only served to further solidify his concerns that something was wrong. Here is the bottom line. Had you pulled over when you were signaled to, rolled down your window, asked the officer what the infraction was, been a man and stated, officer you’re right, I didn’t realize I had committed the infraction, I own it, my bad, and by the way, I’m a veteran and respect the fact that you have a tough job, just like I did, you would have been handed back that license and told to stay safe and have a good night. But not you Curtis, you know why. You, like so many others who are supporting you here, have lost touch with a sense of responsibility and ownership for your actions. Americans have lost their sense of core values and responsibility. We have taken on the role of the oppressed and believe everyone around us is to blame. Introspection is a lost value in this world, where it is far easier to, “blame the man”. You know why cops stick their heads in the windows of people operating in low income areas to smell weed? Because a good percentage of people in low income areas drive around smoking weed!! You, my friend, are an ASSHOLE, and the poster child for what’s wrong with this country. I hope you are convicted and spend time in prison which is exactly where you belong.

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Ndubuisi Callistus Mbano
11 months ago

If anyone has complaints about SPPD can you please inbox me..

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Dorothy Nelson
16 months ago

Curtis, how are you and your family doing? I'm losing sleep at night about the latest heartbreaking/infuriating police brutality case of Sandra Bland. I instantly flashed back to your case and how similar the police encounter was. Chilling. Horrible. :-( I hope to God this country is finally waking up to the horrors that black folks have to contend with Every. Single. Day. Love, peace and prayers. Stay safe. Let us know if you need more support.

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Jason O'Hara
20 months ago

I just saw your video. The court system in this county has the potential to be as poor as the police. I was the victim of a more serious incident which was not caught on camera, before that I was under the assumption that all cop cars had video surveillance at all times.... Do not feel bad about accepting the plea deal, it is what you have to do because the consequences you face when going to trial are not worth the justice which comes with a victory... Pinellas county is not worth it, Florida is not worth it. What do you expect from a state where weed is still illegal to relieve the pain of the afflicted or dying? You did the right thing and seeing videos like that of right minded resistance always makes me feel a little better/self assured given the victimization that I have experienced. You may feel like a loser pleaing out but everything that came as a result is the product of winning, that which most victims do not receive.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Cory, you are absolutely right. There are a number of ways I could have handled myself differently in this situation. Don't get me wrong, but at the time, I felt that the safest place for me was inside my vehicle. I will admit, I was not aware of a lot of the laws I have taught myself and others then like I am now. Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20. Thank you for your comment and support (if that's what it was).

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brett, Brian, whoever you are, it's getting hard to take you seriously now. Why the name change, exactly? Are you here for the sole purpose of trolling? If so, I must say, you're doing a good job at it. "...Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds..." Really now? That sounds like an assumption if I've ever heard one. Every situation is different. I'm from NYC, home of Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk. I've been stopped, harrassed, and even arrested by officers of all ethnicities. Yet, although I've never been convicted of any of the crimes I was accused of (carrying a weapon that wasn't a weapon at all, loitering x100, eating stoplights and stop signs, street racing, public endangerment, blah blah blah), and have matched the description of just about every criminal in the state, you don't see any videos from me about them. Do you know why? Because those officers were respectful (as respectful as one can be while profiling an individual) and were never hostile. So, please, tell me more about myself, you're good at it. "...You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else..." If I didn't have a family to support, yes, I might have been in Ferguson to peacefully show my support for Brown and his Grandmother. "...Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”..." I actually never said that. Nothing even close, really. You are aware that people can go back and verify these quotes you're fabricating. That just goes to show that you are here only to rustle some feathers. For the sake of consistency, though, I will continue to respond to your posts. (SIDE NOTE: splitting your comment into sections was unnecessary, the whole thing fit the first time, when you posted it as Brian. I had no intention on removing your comment, I don't know why you did.) "...Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities..." rac·ism ˈrāˌsizəm/Submit noun the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. You were saying? "...Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about?..." Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Uh...so you're essentially saying that black people can't be racist against other black people? That in itself is a racist statement (see above). "...This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it..." Your clairvoyant is broken. What lead you to believe I had a chip on my shoulder, exactly? Was it the part when I didn't sit and be bullied by a hothead? Was it because I decided I would be safer inside my car than out where Officer Macho was ready to put my face in the pavement anyway? I'm sure you've been in this situation plenty of times, so you know what goes on in the head of the people who live with police harassment their whole lives. To be clear, although I am always skeptical and cautious when approached by an officer, I in no way believe that they are all bad cops. I can tell within the first few seconds of seeing someone if they are going to hostile towards me or not. It's not all that hard to tell, especially in this case. "...99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP!..." As did I, in a safer area (if there is such a thing in SSP) than the intersection he started signalling. We've been through this already, Bri-ett. "...You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!!..." It's clear from your previous statements that Google is a foreign thing to you. You're the one's making the accusations here, not me. I've discussed this part of the stop with many lawyers as well as 2 police officers that I know personally. One is a 10 yr vet from the NH police force, the other one is an 8 yr vet from a county just south of here. Both of them said that they prefer a well lit area over a dark road. It helps them assess the situation more thoroughly and makes them more aware should someone try to jump out from behind a fence or bush. I'm sure you'll have a witty comeback based on more anger than anything else, but you are absolutely wrong...except for the part where I backed into the spot, that was my bad. Moving on... "...Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause...it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day..." Well, I take back my previous statement, you do know how to Google. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reasonable_suspicion"..courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion.Courts look at the totality of the circumstances of each case to see whether the officer has a particularized and objective basis for suspecting legal wrongdoing. When determining reasonable suspicion, courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion." Leading up to the brief stop would mean before the officer initiated the stop, not before I actually stopped. "...Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world..." You do a LOT of labeling, you know that? A lot of the people who support me (not only on here) have lived through my experience and know that being stopped by the police doesn't mean that they did something wrong. It depends on the situation, and, though some people deny this, the time of the month. Some people know and live the dark side of law enforcement. So just because people don't have the same point of view as yours doesn't make them liberal or assholes. Stop with the name calling, what are we, 5th graders? "...This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode..." Lawful cause for concern is, in fact, the key here. I never once made any sudden movements. I never jerked my car, I never brake checked him, I never threatened him, I never lunged for my glove compartment, I never yelled at him, I wasn't flailing, I wasn't aggressive, there were no weapons in the car, there wasn't anything that looked like it could be a weapon in the car (except maybe hot pizza cheese). So where is the threat? What real reason did he have to be hostile? Are you implying that backing into a parking spot is enough to constitute violent outbursts and threats of bodily harm? Are you also implying that backing into a parking space accompanied by no physical aggression is enough to make a 38 year old officer fear for his safety? If so, that's ridiculous and I can see you being the kind of cop who uses violence and intimidation to get your way. "...He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself..." Another correct statement. No, the officer doesn't have to tell me anything. He doesn't even have to give me a reason as to why he initiated the stop in the first place. However, if he DOES decide to give me a reason, "Because I wanted to" is actually the MOST illegal reason to give. If I'm right, the only other reason that would rival that answer is if he came out said "it was because you are a __________ guy in a ____________ area." It is also unconstitutional, not that you care, you don't have to.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

It's clear you don't have to deal with the police on a regular basis like I have. You can interact with an officer and most of the time you won't even have to ask why you got pulled over, because you get to deal with the police officers that do their job for the community and not because it gives them power. (Something Ofc Johnson is guilty of.) "...He had articulable and reasonable suspicion and a reasonable concern for his safety..." No. We've been through this. If he did have a concern for his safety, he would have expressed that to dispatch and requested backup. He did neither. "...Further proving you are a moron. Where the hell does this come from? Cite your source, moron! You won’t find that anywhere in the law in the entire country. If you do, and post it, I will fund your entire defense!!!!!.." ------http://riskology.co/traffic-stop/ Roll your window down 1/4 of the way. Roll it down just far enough to pass documents and communicate clearly with the officer. Do not roll your window all the way down. This is very important. A very common way for the police to escalate a traffic stop is to place their head into an open window and claim that they smell marijuana or alcohol or something else illegal even if they didn’t. This gives them the reasoning they need to invade more of your personal space. If you don’t roll your window very far down, it will be hard for the officer’s “I smelled marijuana” argument to hold up in court if it came to that. http://blog.springfieldtraffictickets.com/?id=53e939b7da2d86.95747125&t=STOPPED+FOR+SPEEDING%3A+What+do+I+do%3F Rule #2: Resist any requests by the officer until you are forced to comply. However, always follow Rule #1 while following Rule #2. When you pull over to the side of the road, turn on your dome light, roll your window 1/3 of the way down (just enough room to verbally communicate and pass documents), and put both your hands on the steering wheel. http://samuel-warde.com/2014/12/surviving-police-checkpoints/ Don’t Roll Your Window Down More Than You Have To Any time you are stopped at a checkpoint, the officer or the agent standing next to your car is already thinking 10 steps ahead of you, and one of the best and most efficient ways to level that playing field is your window. As long as your window is open enough to allow for clear communication with the officer or agent you need not open it any further. This maintains your personal space, while also halting the law enforcement professional on the other side of the glass from being able to claim they saw, smelled or heard “suspicious activity” in your car. Remember, they need to be able to supply the best testimony they can if they end up in court, and your window being mostly closed stops them from making numerous claims. http://ssdp.org/resources/know-your-rights/ Roll down the window enough to pass the papers out, and possibly converse if you choose, but no further.------ I assume you won't actually be donating anything, let alone my entire defense fund (This isn't one by the way, The description states it is here to help me and my family recover financially from the events). Moving on... "...Had you pulled over when you were signaled to..." I did. "...rolled down your window..." I did "...., asked the officer what the infraction was,..." did that too "... been a man and stated, officer you’re right, I didn’t realize I had committed the infraction, I own it, my bad..." This is how it normally goes, actually. "..and by the way, I’m a veteran and respect the fact that you have a tough job, just like I did..." I normally don't have to use the veteran card unless I feel it will make a difference in the manner. My thinking was; if I tell him I was a marine, he will calm down a bit because he knows we're on the same side. That wasn't the case. "...We have taken on the role of the oppressed and believe everyone around us is to blame. Introspection is a lost value in this world, where it is far easier to, “blame the man”..." Who, exactly, is 'we'? In this situation? I feel like you are speaking for a lot of people who don't exactly feel the way you think they do.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

"...You know why cops stick their heads in the windows of people operating in low income areas to smell weed? Because a good percentage of people in low income areas drive around smoking weed!!..." This is false on many levels. Not only does this not happen in only "low income areas", more weed is found in not "low income areas" than in the former. Black people are stopped more than twice as many times as white people and searched for drugs/weapons. Of those stops white males are four times more likely to have these items illegally than anyone else. However, black males are arrested for possession almost 4 times as often. Tell me more about your theories though. Before you forget to Google these stats, and ask me for sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/opinion/high-time-the-injustice-of-marijuana-arrests.html?_r=0 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/04/the-blackwhite-marijuana-arrest-gap-in-nine-charts/ http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/blacks-disproportionately-arrested-for-marijuana-possession-in-pinellas/2199728 http://www.alternet.org/blacks-30-times-more-likely-get-arrested-pot-whites-some-counties-war-drugs-war-minorities http://www.vice.com/read/black-people-are-more-likely-to-be-arrested-for-marijuana-possession-than-white-people-twir http://www.vox.com/2014/7/1/5850830/war-on-drugs-racist-minorities You call me an asshole, yet you know nothing about me. Even after our last exchange, where I ignored your insults and repeated ad hominem attacks, I was respectful to you. Yet, for some reason, you returned here, no doubt to see what kind of attention you attracted, and continued spitting insults like they somehow legitimized your points. I'll leave you with this, ---ass·hole ˈasˌhōl/Submit nounvulgar slang noun: arsehole; plural noun: arseholes; noun: asshole; plural noun: assholes the anus. an irritating or contemptible person.---

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!!..." It's clear from your previous statements that Google is a foreign thing to you. You're the one's making the accusations here, not me. I've discussed this part of the stop with many lawyers as well as 2 police officers that I know personally. One is a 10 yr vet from the NH police force, the other one is an 8 yr vet from a county just south of here. Both of them said that they prefer a well lit area over a dark road. It helps them assess the situation more thoroughly and makes them more aware should someone try to jump out from behind a fence or bush. I'm sure you'll have a witty comeback based on more anger than anything else, but you are absolutely wrong...except for the part where I backed into the spot, that was my bad. Moving on... "...Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause...it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day..." Well, I take back my previous statement, you do know how to Google. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reasonable_suspicion"..courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion.Courts look at the totality of the circumstances of each case to see whether the officer has a particularized and objective basis for suspecting legal wrongdoing. When determining reasonable suspicion, courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion." Leading up to the brief stop would mean before the officer initiated the stop, not before I actually stopped. "...Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world..." You do a LOT of labeling, you know that? A lot of the people who support me (not only on here) have lived through my experience and know that being stopped by the police doesn't mean that they did something wrong. It depends on the situation, and, though some people deny this, the time of the month. Some people know and live the dark side of law enforcement. So just because people don't have the same point of view as yours doesn't make them liberal or assholes. Stop with the name calling, what are we, 5th graders? "...This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode..." Lawful cause for concern is, in fact, the key here. I never once made any sudden movements. I never jerked my car, I never brake checked him, I never threatened him, I never lunged for my glove compartment, I never yelled at him, I wasn't flailing, I wasn't aggressive, there were no weapons in the car, there wasn't anything that looked like it could be a weapon in the car (except maybe hot pizza cheese). So where is the threat? What real reason did he have to be hostile? Are you implying that backing into a parking spot is enough to constitute violent outbursts and threats of bodily harm? Are you also implying that backing into a parking space accompanied by no physical aggression is enough to make a 38 year old officer fear for his safety? If so, that's ridiculous and I can see you being the kind of cop who uses violence and intimidation to get your way. "...He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself..." Another correct statement. No, the officer doesn't have to tell me anything. He doesn't even have to give me a reason as to why he initiated the stop in the first place. However, if he DOES decide to give me a reason, "Because I wanted to" is actually the MOST illegal reason to give. If I'm right, the only other reason that would rival that answer is if he came out said "it was because you are a __________ guy in a ____________ area." It is also unconstitutional, not that you care, you don't have to. It's clear

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brett, Brian, whoever you are, it's getting hard to take you seriously now. Why the name change, exactly? Are you here for the sole purpose of trolling? If so, I must say, you're doing a good job at it. "...Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds..." Really now? That sounds like an assumption if I've ever heard one. Every situation is different. I'm from NYC, home of Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk. I've been stopped, harrassed, and even arrested by officers of all ethnicities. Yet, although I've never been convicted of any of the crimes I was accused of (carrying a weapon that wasn't a weapon at all, loitering x100, eating stoplights and stop signs, street racing, public endangerment, blah blah blah), and have matched the description of just about every criminal in the state, you don't see any videos from me about them. Do you know why? Because those officers were respectful (as respectful as one can be while profiling an individual) and were never hostile. So, please, tell me more about myself, you're good at it. "...You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else..." If I didn't have a family to support, yes, I might have been in Ferguson to peacefully show my support for Brown and his Grandmother. "...Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”..." I actually never said that. Nothing even close, really. You are aware that people can go back and verify these quotes you're fabricating. That just goes to show that you are here only to rustle some feathers. For the sake of consistency, though, I will continue to respond to your posts. (SIDE NOTE: splitting your comment into sections was unnecessary, the whole thing fit the first time, when you posted it as Brian. I had no intention on removing your comment, I don't know why you did.) "...Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities..." rac·ism ˈrāˌsizəm/Submit noun the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. You were saying? "...Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about?..." Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Uh...so you're essentially saying that black people can't be racist against other black people? That in itself is a racist statement (see above). "...This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it..." Your clairvoyant is broken. What lead you to believe I had a chip on my shoulder, exactly? Was it the part when I didn't sit and be bullied by a hothead? Was it because I decided I would be safer inside my car than out where Officer Macho was ready to put my face in the pavement anyway? I'm sure you've been in this situation plenty of times, so you know what goes on in the head of the people who live with police harassment their whole lives. To be clear, although I am always skeptical and cautious when approached by an officer, I in no way believe that they are all bad cops. I can tell within the first few seconds of seeing someone if they are going to hostile towards me or not. It's not all that hard to tell, especially in this case. "...99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP!..." As did I, in a safer area (if there is such a thing in SSP) than the intersection he started signalling. We've been through this already, Bri-ett. "...You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true. In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehic

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Curtis, I will address your position on a point by point basis as well. The first statement, “I've made it very clear that I did not want to make this a race issue. Although, deep down, it is a racial issue (Surprise! Black people can be racist against each other as well. I know, shocking.) Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds. You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else. Admit it, you fraud. Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”. Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Your second statement, “the more pressing problem is the clear abuse of authority on behalf of the officer”. This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it. Your actions proved it. 99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP! You know why? Not only is it the socially expected response. IT”S THE LAW! When you got your license in the state of Florida, there was that little book you were supposed to read which clearly you didn’t. That book is the law. In it, is explained what you are legally required to do when the police activate their blue lights. It states to stop. Not stop when it’s convenient for you!! Not drive another 400 feet down the road! Not turn around and back into your driveway! Not go where there are surveillance cameras! You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true. In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!! It’s not in the law, it’s not in the driver’s manual, and it sure as hell isn’t what the police want? So tell all of us where your logic comes from because THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE THE STOP WENT BAD and that is on you!!!!!! This is also where you LEGALLY gave the officer the right to up the ante of the stop. You literally handed him legal authority. Under the case of Terry vs Ohio, police officers gain “reasonable suspicion” when the facts and circumstances give cause for specific and articulable concerns about a subject’s behavior.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than a hunch. It must be based on "specific and articulable facts", "taken together with rational inferences from those facts", and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual. If police additionally have reasonable suspicion that a person so detained is armed and dangerous, they may "frisk" the person for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs. Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the "reasonable person" or "reasonable officer" standard, in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably suspect a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day. When you failed to stop right away, that is behavior out of the norm. It is out of the norm because it’s against the law. When you kept driving, an experienced officer is allowed to use his training and experience to reasonably believe that “unlawful design” is afoot. An officer knows that when people ignore the signal to stop, that motorists are continuing the stop to gain time to hide contraband, weapons, or illegally possessed items that were in plain view while you were driving, but now need to be hidden. Officers are also trained and it is their experience, that people arm themselves during motor vehicle stops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1gYEG1TzBk Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode. And they are lawfully entitled to do so. To address another erroneous statement you make which was, “This is an assumption, he never verbally stated that he was concerned about me not pulling over immediately.”. He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself. He had articulable and reasonable suspicion and a reasonable concern for his safety. At that point, your only option is to exit your ASSHOLE self out of the car and comply with the officer’s directives. Period, end of story. Which goes to the next false statement you make. You state, “Also, I should point out that you are only legally required to open the window wide enough to effectively communicate with the officer.” Further proving you are a moron. Where the hell does this come from? Cite your source, moron! You won’t find that anywhere in the law in the entire country. If you do, and post it, I will fund your entire defense!!!!!

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Cory Mignard
24 months ago

Curtis, you seem like a good guy and it's obvious you're simply trying to make ends meet. There's absolutely no excuse for the behavior of those officers, but you're ignorance (this is not an insult, I mean the literal interpretation of the definition of the word) of the way their system works at the time of the incident (as you're probably aware now) worked against you from a strictly legal perspective. Here's a great video on the subject. http://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc Too bad hindsight is 20/20.

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Anika Simpson
24 months ago

Brian Ahearn is part of the problem! But besides that... anything we can do to help like write the prosecutors office or the police department expressing our objection? Put some social media pressure on them maybe? I'm sorry you are having to go thru this and the fact that our justice system is so one-sided makes it even more difficult to fight unjust charges... people wonder why people have to take pleas even when they believe they are innocent of the charges! I wish you and your family luck!

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brian, I thank you for your comment, I'm sure you looked at all that was posted here instead of watching only the video to come to your conclusion. Like I've done with every other skeptic, I will do my best to address your points. I'll skip the name calling, so that will save us some time. "... First off, bummer that the officer was black, huh? That tossed out the whole "I got stopped because I'm black bull shit". ..." I've made it very clear that I did not want to make this a race issue. Although, deep down, it is a racial issue (Surprise! Black people can be racist against each other as well. I know, shocking.), the more pressing problem is the clear abuse of authority on behalf of the officer. Chuckle all you like, but I'll get to that point as well. "... The officer observed a violation. The officer put on his blue lights which legally means to STOP. You are required by law, to STOP, asshole. Not pull down the road and back into your driveway because you know you are close to your house..." This is partially true. Yes, you are required by law to pull over when an officers signals you to, however, it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop. Stopping immediately is not always an option. In this case, not only was the area poorly lit and not in the best of neighborhoods, the stop was initiated at an intersection of a known bus and truck route. "Down the road", as you put it, was a grand total of 433 feet. That's not a whole lot of driving, only about 6 seconds at about 20mph. I was under the impression that the complex had a surveillance system at the time, it was also more illuminated than the street we came off of at the time. Any person not looking for trouble at night would feel more comfortable in that setting. "...Do you know that in our country, you legally operate a motor vehicle as a privilege and not a right? Which means you agree to abide by the rules and regulations and the laws of the state when you operate a motor vehicle..." Another half true statement. Operating a motor vehicle that you own IS indeed your right. Travelling is the right of the citizen, driving is not. Driving a car and travelling by car are not one and the same as driving means you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes. You may not agree with this, but it is fact and is actual law. However, once you do get a Driver License, you are in fact bound by the traffic laws, so I'll give you that. "...When you didn't comply with the law, like everyone else would do, you heightened the officer's concerns which resulted in his agitation...." No laws were broken between him activating his lights and me getting to the complex. "...He's agitated because he doesn't understand what is going on when you ignore his directive. Cops get concerned when people don't do what is legally required and socially expected. Thats their job..." This is an assumption, he never verbally stated that he was concerned about me not pulling over immediately. He may have pointed it out in his report, but it wasn't emphasized and he hasn't used that as a point. I'm not quite sure where you got that bit of information. "...Now he arrives at your window with heightened concerns for his safety and you roll it down a crack and want to slide your information through? All you did, was confirm that his concerns were justified, and further proved you are an ASSHOLE..." As you can see in the video, The window was open more than just "a crack". It was open wide enough for him to get his hands through to try and shatter it. Also, I should point out that you are only legally required to open the window wide enough to effectively communicate with the officer. Not doing so doesn't make me any more guilty of anything than opening it. Keeping it partially closed does, however, keep him from sticking his head in the car and claiming to somehow smell weed (common practice in low income areas). Keeping my window partially opened proves nothing. "... He actually exhibited a TON of restraint..." No, no he didn't. Before the video started, he'd already threatened me with bodily harm. That comment was only about 30 seconds into the encounter and was the entire reason I started recording in the first place. "...All he had to do was verbalize that he had a concern for his safety based on your continued operation of your vehicle after the lights went on..." You are absolutely right. If he had, things would have gone a lot more smoothly. Instead, he chose to be aggressive and hostile. "...Do you know that one of the reasons that people continue to operate after being signaled to stop by the police is to hide illegally possessed contraband. Another reason is to arm themselves to assault the police..." An

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Courtney Barker
24 months ago

I'm sorry about that happen. that cop was a huge asshole.

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Janet Kemp
26 months ago

Albert is right - PLEASE share the names of all officers involved. Pinellas County citizens have the right to know who this officer is so we can request his personnel file and find out if there is a history of this behavior. "They" don't always follow department rules and regulations and unfortunately depending on the department "they" don't always get punished or fired when they should (like Robbie Arkovich who was taking photos personal photos of citizens under arrest.) My hunch is this clown works in the same department given his actions. You would be amazed at how an officer can have multiple reprimands working in one department then join this certain unit and suddenly wear a halo. . . . as long as "they" are producing this particular department looks the other way on how they get to the point of making an arrest. The St Pete Police Department under leadership by the former chief as well as the former Mayor was corrupt. It's time to get rid of all the bad apples that pose a threat to innocent citizens as well as tarnish the reputations of the good police who fight crime rather than making up traffic violations to generate revenue and "win" contests.

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$5,558 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 188 people in 27 months
Created August 24, 2014
$20
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18 months ago
$75
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19 months ago
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20 months ago
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24 months ago
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24 months ago
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24 months ago
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$20
William Hunter
24 months ago

Curtis ... I gotta tell you son, I am white and I am just as afraid of the police as you are.

PS
$30
Peter Sattler
24 months ago
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$20
bakula Simpson
24 months ago
AM
$100
Alma McDonald
24 months ago

I was deeply troubled by the video of the arrest and shocked that this case is being prosecuted against you. I am unable to commit to donate monthly, but I promise to donate as often as possible.

Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

As I have made perfectly clear, the officer had the right to order you out of the vehicle and conduct a pat frisk for weapons, he did not have to speak to you through a crack in the window. That behavior by you only served to further solidify his concerns that something was wrong. Here is the bottom line. Had you pulled over when you were signaled to, rolled down your window, asked the officer what the infraction was, been a man and stated, officer you’re right, I didn’t realize I had committed the infraction, I own it, my bad, and by the way, I’m a veteran and respect the fact that you have a tough job, just like I did, you would have been handed back that license and told to stay safe and have a good night. But not you Curtis, you know why. You, like so many others who are supporting you here, have lost touch with a sense of responsibility and ownership for your actions. Americans have lost their sense of core values and responsibility. We have taken on the role of the oppressed and believe everyone around us is to blame. Introspection is a lost value in this world, where it is far easier to, “blame the man”. You know why cops stick their heads in the windows of people operating in low income areas to smell weed? Because a good percentage of people in low income areas drive around smoking weed!! You, my friend, are an ASSHOLE, and the poster child for what’s wrong with this country. I hope you are convicted and spend time in prison which is exactly where you belong.

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Ndubuisi Callistus Mbano
11 months ago

If anyone has complaints about SPPD can you please inbox me..

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Dorothy Nelson
16 months ago

Curtis, how are you and your family doing? I'm losing sleep at night about the latest heartbreaking/infuriating police brutality case of Sandra Bland. I instantly flashed back to your case and how similar the police encounter was. Chilling. Horrible. :-( I hope to God this country is finally waking up to the horrors that black folks have to contend with Every. Single. Day. Love, peace and prayers. Stay safe. Let us know if you need more support.

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Jason O'Hara
20 months ago

I just saw your video. The court system in this county has the potential to be as poor as the police. I was the victim of a more serious incident which was not caught on camera, before that I was under the assumption that all cop cars had video surveillance at all times.... Do not feel bad about accepting the plea deal, it is what you have to do because the consequences you face when going to trial are not worth the justice which comes with a victory... Pinellas county is not worth it, Florida is not worth it. What do you expect from a state where weed is still illegal to relieve the pain of the afflicted or dying? You did the right thing and seeing videos like that of right minded resistance always makes me feel a little better/self assured given the victimization that I have experienced. You may feel like a loser pleaing out but everything that came as a result is the product of winning, that which most victims do not receive.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Cory, you are absolutely right. There are a number of ways I could have handled myself differently in this situation. Don't get me wrong, but at the time, I felt that the safest place for me was inside my vehicle. I will admit, I was not aware of a lot of the laws I have taught myself and others then like I am now. Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20. Thank you for your comment and support (if that's what it was).

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brett, Brian, whoever you are, it's getting hard to take you seriously now. Why the name change, exactly? Are you here for the sole purpose of trolling? If so, I must say, you're doing a good job at it. "...Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds..." Really now? That sounds like an assumption if I've ever heard one. Every situation is different. I'm from NYC, home of Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk. I've been stopped, harrassed, and even arrested by officers of all ethnicities. Yet, although I've never been convicted of any of the crimes I was accused of (carrying a weapon that wasn't a weapon at all, loitering x100, eating stoplights and stop signs, street racing, public endangerment, blah blah blah), and have matched the description of just about every criminal in the state, you don't see any videos from me about them. Do you know why? Because those officers were respectful (as respectful as one can be while profiling an individual) and were never hostile. So, please, tell me more about myself, you're good at it. "...You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else..." If I didn't have a family to support, yes, I might have been in Ferguson to peacefully show my support for Brown and his Grandmother. "...Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”..." I actually never said that. Nothing even close, really. You are aware that people can go back and verify these quotes you're fabricating. That just goes to show that you are here only to rustle some feathers. For the sake of consistency, though, I will continue to respond to your posts. (SIDE NOTE: splitting your comment into sections was unnecessary, the whole thing fit the first time, when you posted it as Brian. I had no intention on removing your comment, I don't know why you did.) "...Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities..." rac·ism ˈrāˌsizəm/Submit noun the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. You were saying? "...Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about?..." Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Uh...so you're essentially saying that black people can't be racist against other black people? That in itself is a racist statement (see above). "...This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it..." Your clairvoyant is broken. What lead you to believe I had a chip on my shoulder, exactly? Was it the part when I didn't sit and be bullied by a hothead? Was it because I decided I would be safer inside my car than out where Officer Macho was ready to put my face in the pavement anyway? I'm sure you've been in this situation plenty of times, so you know what goes on in the head of the people who live with police harassment their whole lives. To be clear, although I am always skeptical and cautious when approached by an officer, I in no way believe that they are all bad cops. I can tell within the first few seconds of seeing someone if they are going to hostile towards me or not. It's not all that hard to tell, especially in this case. "...99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP!..." As did I, in a safer area (if there is such a thing in SSP) than the intersection he started signalling. We've been through this already, Bri-ett. "...You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!!..." It's clear from your previous statements that Google is a foreign thing to you. You're the one's making the accusations here, not me. I've discussed this part of the stop with many lawyers as well as 2 police officers that I know personally. One is a 10 yr vet from the NH police force, the other one is an 8 yr vet from a county just south of here. Both of them said that they prefer a well lit area over a dark road. It helps them assess the situation more thoroughly and makes them more aware should someone try to jump out from behind a fence or bush. I'm sure you'll have a witty comeback based on more anger than anything else, but you are absolutely wrong...except for the part where I backed into the spot, that was my bad. Moving on... "...Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause...it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day..." Well, I take back my previous statement, you do know how to Google. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reasonable_suspicion"..courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion.Courts look at the totality of the circumstances of each case to see whether the officer has a particularized and objective basis for suspecting legal wrongdoing. When determining reasonable suspicion, courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion." Leading up to the brief stop would mean before the officer initiated the stop, not before I actually stopped. "...Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world..." You do a LOT of labeling, you know that? A lot of the people who support me (not only on here) have lived through my experience and know that being stopped by the police doesn't mean that they did something wrong. It depends on the situation, and, though some people deny this, the time of the month. Some people know and live the dark side of law enforcement. So just because people don't have the same point of view as yours doesn't make them liberal or assholes. Stop with the name calling, what are we, 5th graders? "...This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode..." Lawful cause for concern is, in fact, the key here. I never once made any sudden movements. I never jerked my car, I never brake checked him, I never threatened him, I never lunged for my glove compartment, I never yelled at him, I wasn't flailing, I wasn't aggressive, there were no weapons in the car, there wasn't anything that looked like it could be a weapon in the car (except maybe hot pizza cheese). So where is the threat? What real reason did he have to be hostile? Are you implying that backing into a parking spot is enough to constitute violent outbursts and threats of bodily harm? Are you also implying that backing into a parking space accompanied by no physical aggression is enough to make a 38 year old officer fear for his safety? If so, that's ridiculous and I can see you being the kind of cop who uses violence and intimidation to get your way. "...He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself..." Another correct statement. No, the officer doesn't have to tell me anything. He doesn't even have to give me a reason as to why he initiated the stop in the first place. However, if he DOES decide to give me a reason, "Because I wanted to" is actually the MOST illegal reason to give. If I'm right, the only other reason that would rival that answer is if he came out said "it was because you are a __________ guy in a ____________ area." It is also unconstitutional, not that you care, you don't have to.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

It's clear you don't have to deal with the police on a regular basis like I have. You can interact with an officer and most of the time you won't even have to ask why you got pulled over, because you get to deal with the police officers that do their job for the community and not because it gives them power. (Something Ofc Johnson is guilty of.) "...He had articulable and reasonable suspicion and a reasonable concern for his safety..." No. We've been through this. If he did have a concern for his safety, he would have expressed that to dispatch and requested backup. He did neither. "...Further proving you are a moron. Where the hell does this come from? Cite your source, moron! You won’t find that anywhere in the law in the entire country. If you do, and post it, I will fund your entire defense!!!!!.." ------http://riskology.co/traffic-stop/ Roll your window down 1/4 of the way. Roll it down just far enough to pass documents and communicate clearly with the officer. Do not roll your window all the way down. This is very important. A very common way for the police to escalate a traffic stop is to place their head into an open window and claim that they smell marijuana or alcohol or something else illegal even if they didn’t. This gives them the reasoning they need to invade more of your personal space. If you don’t roll your window very far down, it will be hard for the officer’s “I smelled marijuana” argument to hold up in court if it came to that. http://blog.springfieldtraffictickets.com/?id=53e939b7da2d86.95747125&t=STOPPED+FOR+SPEEDING%3A+What+do+I+do%3F Rule #2: Resist any requests by the officer until you are forced to comply. However, always follow Rule #1 while following Rule #2. When you pull over to the side of the road, turn on your dome light, roll your window 1/3 of the way down (just enough room to verbally communicate and pass documents), and put both your hands on the steering wheel. http://samuel-warde.com/2014/12/surviving-police-checkpoints/ Don’t Roll Your Window Down More Than You Have To Any time you are stopped at a checkpoint, the officer or the agent standing next to your car is already thinking 10 steps ahead of you, and one of the best and most efficient ways to level that playing field is your window. As long as your window is open enough to allow for clear communication with the officer or agent you need not open it any further. This maintains your personal space, while also halting the law enforcement professional on the other side of the glass from being able to claim they saw, smelled or heard “suspicious activity” in your car. Remember, they need to be able to supply the best testimony they can if they end up in court, and your window being mostly closed stops them from making numerous claims. http://ssdp.org/resources/know-your-rights/ Roll down the window enough to pass the papers out, and possibly converse if you choose, but no further.------ I assume you won't actually be donating anything, let alone my entire defense fund (This isn't one by the way, The description states it is here to help me and my family recover financially from the events). Moving on... "...Had you pulled over when you were signaled to..." I did. "...rolled down your window..." I did "...., asked the officer what the infraction was,..." did that too "... been a man and stated, officer you’re right, I didn’t realize I had committed the infraction, I own it, my bad..." This is how it normally goes, actually. "..and by the way, I’m a veteran and respect the fact that you have a tough job, just like I did..." I normally don't have to use the veteran card unless I feel it will make a difference in the manner. My thinking was; if I tell him I was a marine, he will calm down a bit because he knows we're on the same side. That wasn't the case. "...We have taken on the role of the oppressed and believe everyone around us is to blame. Introspection is a lost value in this world, where it is far easier to, “blame the man”..." Who, exactly, is 'we'? In this situation? I feel like you are speaking for a lot of people who don't exactly feel the way you think they do.

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

"...You know why cops stick their heads in the windows of people operating in low income areas to smell weed? Because a good percentage of people in low income areas drive around smoking weed!!..." This is false on many levels. Not only does this not happen in only "low income areas", more weed is found in not "low income areas" than in the former. Black people are stopped more than twice as many times as white people and searched for drugs/weapons. Of those stops white males are four times more likely to have these items illegally than anyone else. However, black males are arrested for possession almost 4 times as often. Tell me more about your theories though. Before you forget to Google these stats, and ask me for sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/opinion/high-time-the-injustice-of-marijuana-arrests.html?_r=0 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/04/the-blackwhite-marijuana-arrest-gap-in-nine-charts/ http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/blacks-disproportionately-arrested-for-marijuana-possession-in-pinellas/2199728 http://www.alternet.org/blacks-30-times-more-likely-get-arrested-pot-whites-some-counties-war-drugs-war-minorities http://www.vice.com/read/black-people-are-more-likely-to-be-arrested-for-marijuana-possession-than-white-people-twir http://www.vox.com/2014/7/1/5850830/war-on-drugs-racist-minorities You call me an asshole, yet you know nothing about me. Even after our last exchange, where I ignored your insults and repeated ad hominem attacks, I was respectful to you. Yet, for some reason, you returned here, no doubt to see what kind of attention you attracted, and continued spitting insults like they somehow legitimized your points. I'll leave you with this, ---ass·hole ˈasˌhōl/Submit nounvulgar slang noun: arsehole; plural noun: arseholes; noun: asshole; plural noun: assholes the anus. an irritating or contemptible person.---

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!!..." It's clear from your previous statements that Google is a foreign thing to you. You're the one's making the accusations here, not me. I've discussed this part of the stop with many lawyers as well as 2 police officers that I know personally. One is a 10 yr vet from the NH police force, the other one is an 8 yr vet from a county just south of here. Both of them said that they prefer a well lit area over a dark road. It helps them assess the situation more thoroughly and makes them more aware should someone try to jump out from behind a fence or bush. I'm sure you'll have a witty comeback based on more anger than anything else, but you are absolutely wrong...except for the part where I backed into the spot, that was my bad. Moving on... "...Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause...it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day..." Well, I take back my previous statement, you do know how to Google. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reasonable_suspicion"..courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion.Courts look at the totality of the circumstances of each case to see whether the officer has a particularized and objective basis for suspecting legal wrongdoing. When determining reasonable suspicion, courts consider the events leading up to the brief stop and a decide whether these facts, viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, amount to reasonable suspicion." Leading up to the brief stop would mean before the officer initiated the stop, not before I actually stopped. "...Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world..." You do a LOT of labeling, you know that? A lot of the people who support me (not only on here) have lived through my experience and know that being stopped by the police doesn't mean that they did something wrong. It depends on the situation, and, though some people deny this, the time of the month. Some people know and live the dark side of law enforcement. So just because people don't have the same point of view as yours doesn't make them liberal or assholes. Stop with the name calling, what are we, 5th graders? "...This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode..." Lawful cause for concern is, in fact, the key here. I never once made any sudden movements. I never jerked my car, I never brake checked him, I never threatened him, I never lunged for my glove compartment, I never yelled at him, I wasn't flailing, I wasn't aggressive, there were no weapons in the car, there wasn't anything that looked like it could be a weapon in the car (except maybe hot pizza cheese). So where is the threat? What real reason did he have to be hostile? Are you implying that backing into a parking spot is enough to constitute violent outbursts and threats of bodily harm? Are you also implying that backing into a parking space accompanied by no physical aggression is enough to make a 38 year old officer fear for his safety? If so, that's ridiculous and I can see you being the kind of cop who uses violence and intimidation to get your way. "...He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself..." Another correct statement. No, the officer doesn't have to tell me anything. He doesn't even have to give me a reason as to why he initiated the stop in the first place. However, if he DOES decide to give me a reason, "Because I wanted to" is actually the MOST illegal reason to give. If I'm right, the only other reason that would rival that answer is if he came out said "it was because you are a __________ guy in a ____________ area." It is also unconstitutional, not that you care, you don't have to. It's clear

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brett, Brian, whoever you are, it's getting hard to take you seriously now. Why the name change, exactly? Are you here for the sole purpose of trolling? If so, I must say, you're doing a good job at it. "...Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds..." Really now? That sounds like an assumption if I've ever heard one. Every situation is different. I'm from NYC, home of Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk. I've been stopped, harrassed, and even arrested by officers of all ethnicities. Yet, although I've never been convicted of any of the crimes I was accused of (carrying a weapon that wasn't a weapon at all, loitering x100, eating stoplights and stop signs, street racing, public endangerment, blah blah blah), and have matched the description of just about every criminal in the state, you don't see any videos from me about them. Do you know why? Because those officers were respectful (as respectful as one can be while profiling an individual) and were never hostile. So, please, tell me more about myself, you're good at it. "...You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else..." If I didn't have a family to support, yes, I might have been in Ferguson to peacefully show my support for Brown and his Grandmother. "...Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”..." I actually never said that. Nothing even close, really. You are aware that people can go back and verify these quotes you're fabricating. That just goes to show that you are here only to rustle some feathers. For the sake of consistency, though, I will continue to respond to your posts. (SIDE NOTE: splitting your comment into sections was unnecessary, the whole thing fit the first time, when you posted it as Brian. I had no intention on removing your comment, I don't know why you did.) "...Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities..." rac·ism ˈrāˌsizəm/Submit noun the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. You were saying? "...Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about?..." Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Uh...so you're essentially saying that black people can't be racist against other black people? That in itself is a racist statement (see above). "...This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it..." Your clairvoyant is broken. What lead you to believe I had a chip on my shoulder, exactly? Was it the part when I didn't sit and be bullied by a hothead? Was it because I decided I would be safer inside my car than out where Officer Macho was ready to put my face in the pavement anyway? I'm sure you've been in this situation plenty of times, so you know what goes on in the head of the people who live with police harassment their whole lives. To be clear, although I am always skeptical and cautious when approached by an officer, I in no way believe that they are all bad cops. I can tell within the first few seconds of seeing someone if they are going to hostile towards me or not. It's not all that hard to tell, especially in this case. "...99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP!..." As did I, in a safer area (if there is such a thing in SSP) than the intersection he started signalling. We've been through this already, Bri-ett. "...You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true. In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehic

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Curtis, I will address your position on a point by point basis as well. The first statement, “I've made it very clear that I did not want to make this a race issue. Although, deep down, it is a racial issue (Surprise! Black people can be racist against each other as well. I know, shocking.) Sorry Curtis, you are a liar. If this was a white officer, you ABSOLUTELY would be playing the race card. It’s just plain in you. You can tell by your words, actions, and deeds. You are part of the “oppressed nation” of blacks who are being kept down by the white man. If you were close enough to Ferguson, you would have been right there with everyone else. Admit it, you fraud. Also, by your words, if the officer was black, “it wouldn’t be racism?”. Racism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Blacks don’t possess biological differences from other blacks. It’s why you are a member of the black race? So what the hell are you talking about? Your second statement, “the more pressing problem is the clear abuse of authority on behalf of the officer”. This thinking is entirely flawed, skewed by your preconceived notions toward law enforcement. You had an attitude and a chip on your shoulder, well in advance of this motor vehicle stop. No question about it. Your actions proved it. 99.99% of the people that are directed by the police to stop, after being notified by the activation of blue lights, do this really strange thing. THEY STOP! You know why? Not only is it the socially expected response. IT”S THE LAW! When you got your license in the state of Florida, there was that little book you were supposed to read which clearly you didn’t. That book is the law. In it, is explained what you are legally required to do when the police activate their blue lights. It states to stop. Not stop when it’s convenient for you!! Not drive another 400 feet down the road! Not turn around and back into your driveway! Not go where there are surveillance cameras! You state, “it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop.” What the fuck are you talking about?? Preferred by whom?? The police? Bull Shit, not true. In fact, the police are trained, once observing a motor vehicle infraction, to actually wait and activate their lights in an area that is safe for them, and the motoring public. So if the officer put his lights on, it means pull over now ASSHOLE! Answer that question, who told you that it is preferred you pull into a safe area? State your source for that information. I’m challenging you!! It’s not in the law, it’s not in the driver’s manual, and it sure as hell isn’t what the police want? So tell all of us where your logic comes from because THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE THE STOP WENT BAD and that is on you!!!!!! This is also where you LEGALLY gave the officer the right to up the ante of the stop. You literally handed him legal authority. Under the case of Terry vs Ohio, police officers gain “reasonable suspicion” when the facts and circumstances give cause for specific and articulable concerns about a subject’s behavior.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than a hunch. It must be based on "specific and articulable facts", "taken together with rational inferences from those facts", and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual. If police additionally have reasonable suspicion that a person so detained is armed and dangerous, they may "frisk" the person for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs. Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the "reasonable person" or "reasonable officer" standard, in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably suspect a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous. And herein lies my comments from the other day. When you failed to stop right away, that is behavior out of the norm. It is out of the norm because it’s against the law. When you kept driving, an experienced officer is allowed to use his training and experience to reasonably believe that “unlawful design” is afoot. An officer knows that when people ignore the signal to stop, that motorists are continuing the stop to gain time to hide contraband, weapons, or illegally possessed items that were in plain view while you were driving, but now need to be hidden. Officers are also trained and it is their experience, that people arm themselves during motor vehicle stops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1gYEG1TzBk Neither you, nor the liberal ASSHOLES that have been supporting you could handle what this, and every other police officer must accept as the reality of their world.

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Brett Gonzalez
24 months ago

This is what police officers have to think about every time they make a car stop, so when you exhibit driving behaviors that give them LAWFUL cause for concern of their safety, they are going to go in aggressive, take the upper hand, don’t get hurt mode. And they are lawfully entitled to do so. To address another erroneous statement you make which was, “This is an assumption, he never verbally stated that he was concerned about me not pulling over immediately.”. He doesn’t have to verbally state a thing to you. Not one damn thing!! He arrived at the vehicle and told you to exit. The law does NOT require him to get in a legal debate with an ASSHOLE like yourself. He had articulable and reasonable suspicion and a reasonable concern for his safety. At that point, your only option is to exit your ASSHOLE self out of the car and comply with the officer’s directives. Period, end of story. Which goes to the next false statement you make. You state, “Also, I should point out that you are only legally required to open the window wide enough to effectively communicate with the officer.” Further proving you are a moron. Where the hell does this come from? Cite your source, moron! You won’t find that anywhere in the law in the entire country. If you do, and post it, I will fund your entire defense!!!!!

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Cory Mignard
24 months ago

Curtis, you seem like a good guy and it's obvious you're simply trying to make ends meet. There's absolutely no excuse for the behavior of those officers, but you're ignorance (this is not an insult, I mean the literal interpretation of the definition of the word) of the way their system works at the time of the incident (as you're probably aware now) worked against you from a strictly legal perspective. Here's a great video on the subject. http://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc Too bad hindsight is 20/20.

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Anika Simpson
24 months ago

Brian Ahearn is part of the problem! But besides that... anything we can do to help like write the prosecutors office or the police department expressing our objection? Put some social media pressure on them maybe? I'm sorry you are having to go thru this and the fact that our justice system is so one-sided makes it even more difficult to fight unjust charges... people wonder why people have to take pleas even when they believe they are innocent of the charges! I wish you and your family luck!

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Curtis Shannon
24 months ago

Brian, I thank you for your comment, I'm sure you looked at all that was posted here instead of watching only the video to come to your conclusion. Like I've done with every other skeptic, I will do my best to address your points. I'll skip the name calling, so that will save us some time. "... First off, bummer that the officer was black, huh? That tossed out the whole "I got stopped because I'm black bull shit". ..." I've made it very clear that I did not want to make this a race issue. Although, deep down, it is a racial issue (Surprise! Black people can be racist against each other as well. I know, shocking.), the more pressing problem is the clear abuse of authority on behalf of the officer. Chuckle all you like, but I'll get to that point as well. "... The officer observed a violation. The officer put on his blue lights which legally means to STOP. You are required by law, to STOP, asshole. Not pull down the road and back into your driveway because you know you are close to your house..." This is partially true. Yes, you are required by law to pull over when an officers signals you to, however, it is preferred that you pull into a safe area to continue the process of the traffic stop. Stopping immediately is not always an option. In this case, not only was the area poorly lit and not in the best of neighborhoods, the stop was initiated at an intersection of a known bus and truck route. "Down the road", as you put it, was a grand total of 433 feet. That's not a whole lot of driving, only about 6 seconds at about 20mph. I was under the impression that the complex had a surveillance system at the time, it was also more illuminated than the street we came off of at the time. Any person not looking for trouble at night would feel more comfortable in that setting. "...Do you know that in our country, you legally operate a motor vehicle as a privilege and not a right? Which means you agree to abide by the rules and regulations and the laws of the state when you operate a motor vehicle..." Another half true statement. Operating a motor vehicle that you own IS indeed your right. Travelling is the right of the citizen, driving is not. Driving a car and travelling by car are not one and the same as driving means you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes. You may not agree with this, but it is fact and is actual law. However, once you do get a Driver License, you are in fact bound by the traffic laws, so I'll give you that. "...When you didn't comply with the law, like everyone else would do, you heightened the officer's concerns which resulted in his agitation...." No laws were broken between him activating his lights and me getting to the complex. "...He's agitated because he doesn't understand what is going on when you ignore his directive. Cops get concerned when people don't do what is legally required and socially expected. Thats their job..." This is an assumption, he never verbally stated that he was concerned about me not pulling over immediately. He may have pointed it out in his report, but it wasn't emphasized and he hasn't used that as a point. I'm not quite sure where you got that bit of information. "...Now he arrives at your window with heightened concerns for his safety and you roll it down a crack and want to slide your information through? All you did, was confirm that his concerns were justified, and further proved you are an ASSHOLE..." As you can see in the video, The window was open more than just "a crack". It was open wide enough for him to get his hands through to try and shatter it. Also, I should point out that you are only legally required to open the window wide enough to effectively communicate with the officer. Not doing so doesn't make me any more guilty of anything than opening it. Keeping it partially closed does, however, keep him from sticking his head in the car and claiming to somehow smell weed (common practice in low income areas). Keeping my window partially opened proves nothing. "... He actually exhibited a TON of restraint..." No, no he didn't. Before the video started, he'd already threatened me with bodily harm. That comment was only about 30 seconds into the encounter and was the entire reason I started recording in the first place. "...All he had to do was verbalize that he had a concern for his safety based on your continued operation of your vehicle after the lights went on..." You are absolutely right. If he had, things would have gone a lot more smoothly. Instead, he chose to be aggressive and hostile. "...Do you know that one of the reasons that people continue to operate after being signaled to stop by the police is to hide illegally possessed contraband. Another reason is to arm themselves to assault the police..." An

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Courtney Barker
24 months ago

I'm sorry about that happen. that cop was a huge asshole.

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Janet Kemp
26 months ago

Albert is right - PLEASE share the names of all officers involved. Pinellas County citizens have the right to know who this officer is so we can request his personnel file and find out if there is a history of this behavior. "They" don't always follow department rules and regulations and unfortunately depending on the department "they" don't always get punished or fired when they should (like Robbie Arkovich who was taking photos personal photos of citizens under arrest.) My hunch is this clown works in the same department given his actions. You would be amazed at how an officer can have multiple reprimands working in one department then join this certain unit and suddenly wear a halo. . . . as long as "they" are producing this particular department looks the other way on how they get to the point of making an arrest. The St Pete Police Department under leadership by the former chief as well as the former Mayor was corrupt. It's time to get rid of all the bad apples that pose a threat to innocent citizens as well as tarnish the reputations of the good police who fight crime rather than making up traffic violations to generate revenue and "win" contests.

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