Friday, June 30, 2017

Sheriff Tucker refuses to back down to ACLU

The ACLU found out the hard way that when it swings at a Sheriff, the Sheriff might swing back.  The ACLU hit Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker last month with a lawsuit that it announced in a highly charged press conference last month.  It raised the spectres of Mississippi's pasts and accused the Sheriff of placing the Madison County black community "under a state of seige".  Sheriff Tucker was having none of it and fired right back at the ACLU in a response filed yesterday in court.  The Madison County Sheriff refused to back down to the ACLU and got right down in the mud with his accusers.  Earlier post and copy of lawsuit.

The ACLU charged that Sheriff Tucker was unfairly targeting minorities through the use of roadblocks and checkpoints in a lawsuit filed last month.  The ACLU represented ten black plaintiffs who live in Madison County.  The complaint charged that the arrest rate for blacks was nearly five times the arrest rate for whites.  The complaint charged that Sheriff Tucker's policies placed "the Black community of Madison County under a permanent state of siege."  The ACLU charged

Although only 38% of Madison County residents are Black,  approximately 73% of arrests in Madison County between May and September of 2016 were of Black individuals. Only 23% arrests during this time period were of white individuals, even though Madison County is 57% white.  These statistics suggest that the arrest rate for Black individuals is nearly five times the arrest rate for white individuals in Madison County.
However, the ACLU complaint does not end at the use of roadblocks.  It also accuses deputies of "forcibly" entering homes without a warrant to harass blacks.  It alleges that one man was beaten, handcuffed, and choked in a cruiser because he would not sign a false witness statement against his neighbor.  Other examples are cited as well. 

Madison deputies allegedly use "jump-out patrols" to harass the black community as well.  Deputies who are not in uniform drive unmarked cars.  They allegedly pull up to a group of young black men walking, jump out of the car, and proceed to search them yet do not do the same thing to white residents of Madison County.


There is always a "Rest of the Story" and Sheriff Tucker's response provides his version of it.  The Sheriff said the managers of Canton Estates and other apartment complexes asked for his help:
Sheriff Tucker has also received multiple requests since taking office from the Canton,Mississippi Police Department, managers of various apartment complexes and housing projects in predominately Black neighborhoods in both Madison County and the City of Canton, and many businesses asking that the Madison County Sheriff’s Department conduct roadblocks near their neighborhoods and businesses. The Sheriff’s Department has also been asked by these same entities, as well as schools within the Madison County School District, to patrol their streets, neighborhoods or schools in an effort to control criminal activity and to control the distribution and use of drugs and contraband.   Sheriff Tucker has honored these requests and has been thankedfor his service to these areas, businesses, and schools. (p.12)
The ACLU complained that the roadblocks and checkpoints targeted blacks.  However, the Sheriff responded that was not the case:

According to information obtained by Sheriff Tucker since this action was filed, roadblocks set up by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department during the last three years were almost equally located in the southern part of Madison County, which would have included the cities of Ridgeland, Madison, and Gluckstadt, and the northern part of Madison County, which would have included the City of Canton. Further, the Sheriff’s Department does not set up “pedestrian” checkpoints, does not conduct warrantless searches of the homes of Black residents, and does not conduct “jump out” patrols.
The Sheriff also argues that the racial composition of the unincorporated areas of Madison County should be examined instead of the entire county.  Madison County is 37% black.  However, Sheriff Tucker states that the racial composition of the unincorporated areas of the county are even.  The answer states that although Flora and Canton ask for his assistance, the addition of their populations to the unincorporated residents does not affect the racial composition.    Sheriff Tucker then addresses allegations made by some of the individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Steven Smith alleged that
89. For example, in January 2017, one of the named Plaintiffs in this action—Mr. Smith—was arrested after being detained and illegally searched at a pedestrian “checkpoint” at the entrance to the predominantly-Black affordable housing complex where he resides. Mr. Smith was arrested after a check of his identification revealed that he had outstanding fines and fees.

Sheriff Tucker tells a slightly different story:
 
89. Other than admitting that the plaintiff, Steven Smith, was arrested in January 2017 on outstanding warrants for his arrest while walking inside Canton Estates Apartments by deputies with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department who were performing a foot or walk-through patrol at the request of its manager, defendants deny the allegations in paragraph 89 of the Complaint. Defendants would show that Mr. Smith was walking with another individual at the time he was stopped, and that both Mr. Smith and that individual had their hands in their pockets. When both were asked to remove their hands from their pockets by a deputy for safety reasons, the individual with Mr. Smith admitted that he had a concealed weapon on him. After checking whether the individual had a conceal-carry weapon permit and learning that no record existed showing a valid permit, that individual was arrested. After checking Mr. Smith’s identification and running a warrants check, the deputies discovered that he had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. As required by Mississippi law, Mr. Smith, along with the individual who was illegally carrying a concealed weapon, were arrested.
Sheriff Tucker later states in the answer that Smith was caught choking another plaintiff.  Lawrence Blackmon claimed he was also a victim of police abuse:

In March 2016, two MCSD deputies forcibly entered the home of Mr. Blackmon, one of the named Plaintiffs in this action. The MCSD deputies claimed they had a warrant for the arrest of one of Mr. Blackmon’s relatives, but the deputies refused to provide Mr. Blackmon with an opportunity to review the warrant. One of the deputies forced Mr. Blackmon to the ground at gunpoint, and handcuffed his wrists behind his back. The deputies then proceeded to search Mr. Blackmon’s entire residence, ostensibly for the purpose of finding the person named in the warrant. The MCSD deputies searched inside Mr. Blackmon’s dresser drawers and other small closed compartments that could not possibly conceal an adult man.
Sheriff Tucker responded to this allegation as well:

As to the circumstances  surrounding  Mr.  Blackmon’s  detainment referenced in subparagraph (b), the deputies who came to Mr. Blackmon’s home had an outstanding warrant in their hands for the arrest of the plaintiff, Anthony Green, for failure to pay child support. The address on that warrant was Mr. Green’s correct address and, in fact, he was arrested at that address pursuant to this same warrant one month later. After a deputy knocked on Mr. Blackmon’s door, Mr. Blackmon opened the door and, after seeing the deputy, slammed the door shut. The deputy in question concluded by Mr. Blackmon’s actions that he was Anthony Green, proceeded to place the written warrant up against the front window of the house, and again asked the individual he thought was Green to open the door. After Mr. Blackmon refused to open door, the deputy kicked the door open. Mr. Blackmon then ran into another room, which resulted in that deputy’s pulling his gun and ordering Blackmon to lie on the floor. That deputy then proceeded to place handcuffs on Mr. Blackmon for both his and Mr. Blackmon’s safety.  Mr. Blackmon continued to refuse to give the deputies his name, and suddenly, another man walked into the room holding a loaded gun.  After disarming that man, the deputies attempted to remove the handcuffs from Blackmon, but the keys they had did not work, so they had to have another deputy come to the scene with another set of keys. While still handcuffed, Mr. Blackmon told the deputy who had handcuffed him that “he was  going to  sue  [my]  white cracker  ass  like he did  my bitch ass  boss  Randy Tucker.”   Mr. Blackmon was not arrested during the incident.
Then there is the drug-dealing girlfriend-beating Khadafi Manning.   The ACLU alleges


In June 2016, six white male MCSD deputies forcibly entered the family home of Mr. and Mrs. Manning, two named Plaintiffs in this action. The deputies did not have a search warrant. The deputies attempted to coerce Mr. Manning to write a false witness statement against a neighbor’s boyfriend. When Mr. Manning refused, one of the deputies handcuffed him, choked him, and beat him in the back seat of an MCSD law enforcement vehicle.
Sheriff says:

As to the allegations in subparagraph (a), Mr. Manning was asked to write a witness statement concerning a burglary that he, as well as his wife, had been observed witnessing. Mr. Manning was told that if he did not cooperate and provide the statement, he would be arrested for being accomplice in the crime.  Mr. Manning was handcuffed after he was detained, but no unreasonable force was exercised against him while he was being detained.
Mr. Manning also sued Canton Estates for being too dangerous. A circular firing squad in action.  Mr. Manning has also had his own problems with the law over the years. The answer states that Manning has been arrested over twenty times in Mississippi. 

 Sheriff Tucker next dealt with the allegations made by Latoya Brown.  She made several allegations in the complaint against MCSD:

181. Ms. Brown is a 28-year old Black woman who has spent her entire life in Canton, Mississippi. She lives with named Plaintiff Steven Smith and their three daughters in a predominantly-Black affordable housing complex. Ms. Brown is a stay-at-home mother.

182. In the past three years, Ms. Brown has been stopped repeatedly at the MCSD’s pedestrian “checkpoints” and roadblocks. She was also once detained during a suspicion-less pedestrian stop.

185. In the summer of 2014, an MCSD deputy detained Ms. Brown while she was walking on the sidewalk in or around the predominantly-Black affordable housing complex where she resides. Ms. Brown was on her way to work at the time.

186.  The MCSD deputy had no reasonable suspicion, but demanded to see Ms. Brown’s identification and find out where she was going.
187.  The deputy detained Ms. Brown for approximately ten minutes before allowing
her to proceed.
The Sheriff denied Ms. Brown's allegations and pointed out she had repeatedly asked his deputies for help:

Defendants lack sufficient knowledge to respond to the allegations in paragraph 185 of the Complaint and, therefore, deny those allegations. Defendants would show that in the past year, Ms. Brown has called the Sheriff’s Department on three (3) separate occasions to complain of suspicious activity in Madison County, Mississippi. In April 2017, she complained of seeing black males walking in an area of rural Madison County while drinking beer and smoking marijuana. The Sheriff’s Department responded to her call and made arrests. During that same month, Ms. Brown reported to the Sheriff’s Department that the plaintiff, Steven Smith, had taken personal property from her apartment and choked her. The Sheriff’s Department responded to her call. Further, in November 2014, Ms. Brown called the Sheriff’s Department to report a suspicious vehicle in her housing complex, and in June 2011, she called the Sheriff’s Department to complain of men gambling in front of her apartment. In February 2011, Ms. Brown called to report that she had heard gunshots in her housing complex, and the Sheriff’s Department responded to her call. Ms. Brown made additional calls for help to the Sheriff’s Department in July 2010, when she complained that a group of black males were shooting at each other in her apartment complex and identified one of the shooters. Her call resulted in an arrest of the shooter and his brother. Finally, Ms. Brown called the Sheriff’s Department in December 2009 and reported that her mother was fighting with her at her housing project. The Sheriff’s Department also responded to this call. Defendants find it ironic that Ms. Brown has asked for help from the Sheriff’s Department on six different occasions because of suspicious activities or crimes that were occurring in the samehousing  complex  where  she  is  now  complaining  that  she  was  stopped  once  and  asked for identification by a deputy patrolling the complex at the request of its manager.


48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the Lawrence Blackmon reference in the lawsuit the son of Rep. Ed Blackmon? I notice that his bio lists a son named Lawrence. However, Lawrence is not included on the list of children in the bio of Sen. Barbara Blackmon.

Ettioled said...

Those roadblocks are most likely unconstitutional. Law enforcement cannot ID an individual unless the individual has been detained. An individual cannot be detained unless there is reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime is afoot. Merely being or living in or near a "black" neighborhood is not probable cause to ID someone. I would imagine ACLU will easily win this one.

Ophelia said...

Good for Sheriff Tucker. The ACLU has a richly-deserved reputation for willful blindness to local realities. If you are
doing nothing wrong, toting no weapons, drugs, or dead bodies in your car (and assuming said car is indeed yours, not recently stolen), then you have nothing to fear from a roadblock. Show your damn ID, speak politely to the officer, and move on. Not sure what's so hard about that.

Muldoon 54 said...

11:00 - Can you articulate your reason for thinking that a son of Ed Blackmon might also be a son of Barbara Blackmon. In the words of 11:09, I find no articulable suspicion that there is that connection.

11:09 might also articulate where he learned that a person cannot be ID'd unless he is detained. Law enforcement IDs a person every time they ask for a driver license and no detention occurs. You need to return to Matlock episode 1996-Jan12 8pm CBS and watch it one more time.

Ironside said...

Law enforcement can ask for ID's in a traffic stop - other than that the individual has to be detained. Police cannot just stop a person on the sidewalk and ask for ID. Better check your court rulings.

Ettioled said...

Muldoon:

This is where I learned it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_stop

Anonymous said...

Ettioled, be careful how you use your google law degree. It could get you in a bind in a court of law.

Donny said...

https://www.fletc.gov/sites/default/files/imported_files/training/programs/legal-division/downloads-articles-and-faqs/research-by-subject/4th-amendment/terrystopupdate.pdf

Bubba Skinner said...

Mississippi ACLU is nothing more than a bunch of jackals. The ACLU doesn't think murder is a constitution right. I guess the ACLU cherry picks what it wants to go after. Good for Randy Tucker for not backing down.

Ettioled said...

1:00:

In other words, I am right.

CPA said...

Be willing to bet Tucker agrees to a settlement. He's totally wrong in what he has been doing.

Anonymous said...

Ettioled - I think you're being told that your superficial analysis of one supreme court case is insufficient. Please go back and read it again, paying closer attention to the part about what constitutes probable cause. I'm not a lawyer but I guarantee you that I could effectively argue that an officer who requests ID of individuals on the property of someone who had just asked for police patrol of his property because of ongoing criminal activity on that property has probable cause to request that ID.

Anonymous said...

Just read an article where Az passed/passing a state law that everyone including the driver must have ID on them or face 30 days and/or $175. fine. During a traffic stop.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading all of the people that think they know the law. You will see the outcome because there has been no wrong doing on the part of the Sheriffs Department. Also, CPA ... I will take that bet.

Anonymous said...

I am OUTRAGED that the ACLU would represent such racists that throw out the c-word against whites. Sure, I can use use it in casual conversation but I am sick and tired of African-Americans appropriating the word and think they can use it as well!

Attention black community: Please STOP using the c-word. It is hurtful, hateful and triggers me into seeking refuge in a safe space.
Into

Anonymous said...

I thought Tom Head was the only regular here who had internet degrees.

Every situation covered in the material presented by Kingfish is associated with reasonable cause. Reasonable cause is broader than Aunt Bea's ass. You can bet Gomer's air gauge the ACLU won't prevail and their first year attorney will scalded on this one.

Anonymous said...

Yep CPA is right, his legal team will talk sense in to his HEAD. Boy he has a big one.

Anonymous said...

Because of cell phone cameras and body-cams old fashioned cowboy police tactics are becoming obsolete, but it doesn't mean police can't be aggressive in high crime areas. It just means they'll have to be careful. Much more careful than Madison or Rankin County Sheriff's deputies have been in the past. This lawsuit should not be a stop sign, but a word to the wise. You are being watched, and big money lawsuits will follow if you play fast and loose while patrolling this county. These deputies have gotten used to kicking ass and taking names because they had no fear of legal oversight. It's been working pretty good, but watch out. This time it's the ACLU, but next time it may be some of the same ambulance chasers who call Madison County home. And if they get the right jury, watch out!

Anonymous said...

"Found out the hard way"? "Won't back down"? What the hell are you talking about? It's an answer to a complaint. It's not exactly unheard of in the legal profession. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

since the ACLU is suing over more arrests of blacks, do you suppose they'll sue WLBT of not showing near as many white criminals on the news? Could be racism :-/

Holyoke said...

Police cannot stop and ID someone on a public sidewalk or easement unless that person has been legally detained.

Anonymous said...

"Easement"? What bullshit!

Goliad said...

Mississippi Sheriff Departments cannot issue traffic citations. Therefore, they cannot set up roadblocks for DL's, DUI, insurance coverage or car safety concerns. This means Tucker likely set up roadblocks to check ID's to see who was coming and going. This is absolutely illegal because LE can't demand ID without detaining an individual. The jig is now up. Cellphones and Go Pro cameras are now recording and making public civil rights violations ST's, SO's and PD's have been engaging in for years. Even so-called "officer safety" concerns used to violate rights are now being questioned. The ACLU has him by them.

Gendarme said...

I can walk up and down the sidewalk in any neighborhood all night long. Unless law enforcement has reasonable, articulable suspicion that I have, am or about to commit a crime, they cannot even ask me anything without my permission, much less demand an ID. Suspicious activity without probable cause is not a crime.

Anonymous said...

Goliad, 8:02. I read the first sentence and stopped reading. There is no way you can be that dumb.










Anonymous said...

8:26 I 'spect he is.

Atty said...

Goliad is 100% correct. Police cannot speak to you without your permission unless you have been detained. There numerous case rulings in courts all over the country.

Anonymous said...

One person posting the same basic comment over and over again.

CPA said...

These backwoods knuckleheads need to read Terry v. Ohio - if they can.

Anonymous said...

The damn ACLU is a subversive organization and should have long since Been declared such by the U.S. Attorney General.

Anonymous said...

Sure hope nobody is using JJ for legal advice lol.

In January 2017 no permit was required to carry a concealed handgun if the person carrying is not disqualified due to a felony conviction (or other disqualifying condition). So the explanation above is misleading at best.

From the MS AG, Opinion 8365159:

"*3 3. Can law enforcement approach an individual carrying a visible firearm and ask for identifying information that would allow a criminal history check to see if that person is a convicted felon?
*3 ANSWER: We read your question to be whether a law enforcement officer may ask for (not require) identifying information. A law enforcement officer may certainly ask for the information. However, the individual is not required to provide it. As stated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491 (1983):
*3 law enforcement officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment by merely approaching an individual on the street or in another public place, by asking him if he is willing to answer some questions, by putting questions to him if the person is willing to listen, or by offering in evidence in a criminal prosecution his voluntary answers to such questions, [citations omitted]. * * * The person approached, however, need not answer any question put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all and may go on his way."


Anonymous said...

Officer: license and insurance please
Citizen: you don't have my permission to speak to me! Talk to the 5th!
Officer: arrest him ( detainment begins, I.D. asked for)

Bam.*
*unclear if bam is a gunshot or this theory hitting the ground.


Anonymous said...

"Mississippi Sheriff Departments cannot issue traffic citations. Therefore, they cannot set up roadblocks..."

Oh really? Are you sure your internet handle shouldn't be GONAD?

I was issued a 'traffic citation' by a deputy sheriff when I made a u-turn in the middle of a state highway near the Big Black river.

A friend of mine was ticketed by a deputy for careless and wreckless when he ran off onto the mud shoulder about four times.

Madison S.O. has routinely set up road-block sobriety checkpoints at the Trace ramp underpass on 43 for at least the past twenty five years. Who wudda thought they were illegal. What a dumbass.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi Sheriff Departments cannot issue traffic citations.

So, you think a deputy sees a car run a stop sign in BumF*** rural MS and they can't stop and ticket the person? I'll give the benefit of the doubt and suggest that you are extrapolating that since County Sheriffs in MS can not use radar, that somehow means they can't issue traffic citations.


Police cannot speak to you without your permission unless you have been detained.

A Law Enforcement Officer may speak to you whenever they feel like it, just like any other citizen. They can even stop you on the sidewalk and ask for directions to the nearest place with the best donuts.

Anonymous said...

Memo to Madison County S.O.: You got a wakeup call. Wake up!

Anonymous said...

I know more than a few of the deputies. The depositions will be like your granny fighting Mike Tyson. 3/4 of the force can't properly use your, you're,their and there. God forbid they try they're. They will SLAUGHTER Tucker and his boys.

Anonymous said...

Ed Blackmon or Barbara? Is that you at 12:27. Surely you don't think being able to diagram a twenty two word sentence is a requirement for a law enforcement officer. I don't give a rat's ass if they conjugate or decipher twixt you're and your. I just appreciate them keeping me safe. And if that means hassling a Canton thug with probable cause, so be it. Tucker will skate like Nancy Kerrigan.

Anonymous said...

Won't even come close. Some of the people he trusted have already sung like the proverbial fat lady. Not to mention the ACLU brought in the cream of the crop co-counsel with unlimited resources. It's gonna be Bubba on the slaughterhouse floor fat bellies a flapping!

Anonymous said...

In the words of a two retired and well respected sheriffs......"Who wants to go fishing where they know they wont catch anything?"


King Fish.....I just had to go through 8 different captchas just to post......that's bullshit

Anonymous said...

Tough it out @8:49 PM. Have you always been such a whiner?

Anonymous said...

"In January 2017 no permit was required to carry a concealed handgun if the person carrying is not disqualified due to a felony conviction.."

Not true for a man unless he has it in a satchel or case of some sort. Cite your reference if you believe otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has allowed permitless carry since April 15, 2016. You can see the link below, or Google the subject yourself for more information.

I have been informed, however, by an LEO friend that to carry without a permit the firearm must be in a "sheath or holster", and if the two were pocket carrying then they were in violation (pocket carry is legal with the permit).

http://www.ajc.com/news/national/new-mississippi-law-allows-concealed-carry-without-permit/5p52laLtBPfInw1tWD8hZP/

Balustrol said...

What was the purpose of the roadblocks if Tucker "knew" he could not ID or question people without their permission and that they could drive away at any time?

Anonymous said...

The rules are different when driving, you must have a driver's license on your person and it must be displayed on demand to the police. To require identification from a pedestrian the police need to meet certain requirements as to why they require the ID, though in actual practice it's pretty easy to make up a reason.

What's In Your Pocket? said...

Without a carry permit, a man cannot have a gun in his pocket in Mississippi. He is allowed to have one in his briefcase without permit. A woman, or Tom Head, can carry in a purse without permit.

Next we will discuss whether or not one is guilty of a felony if carrying in an unauthorized manner without permit. And if so, will that felony conviction bar him from possessing a gun in the future?

Bonus question: Is it legal to carry a gun in your pocket, without permit, if the gun is not loaded?

Sam Houston said...

Go to YouTube and key in "first amendment audit." Numerous videos of police trying to ID individuals taking pictures on public sidewalks. Police are mostly shut down because they can't ID without suspicion a crime is afoot. Surprisingly, many of them do not know the laws of their state regarding the law.

Doloroso said...

Search "terigi rossi" on YouTube if you want to see an example of what officers think they can do.

Anonymous said...

"ACLU brought in the cream of the crop co-counsel with unlimited resources."

The 'cream of the crop', you say. How would you know that and how do you define Howard University Graduate Cream de la Crop?

Remember how often Pearl PD says they 'smelled a distinct odor of Mary-Joo-Honor'? And how often cops say, 'He was weaving'? No way to disprove either. Similarly, the cops in this lawsuit will skate by simply recalling they felt threatened or thought he was reaching or heard what sounded like a scream. Easy Peasy. This radical bunch of race inciters have bitten off too much of the banana.

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