GJPD Exposed

GJPD Collects Fingerprints and DNA from Children

Posted in Biometrics, City of Grand Junction, GJPD, Grand Junction by GJPD Exposed on August 6, 2010

Yesterday, the GJPD showed children from Fun in the Summer Camp the nuts and bolts of police work. Kids played with the sirens, saw the bomb squad robot, police motorcycles, and more.  On the creeper side, the story from KKCO 11, states that “Kids were also fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA samples.”

Why are the police gather biometric data on children? Did they get parental permission? Do they view the youth as the next generation of potential criminals? How is the DNA and fingerprints of these children to be used? What about rights to privacy?

Advertisements

2 Officers Punished; Another Remains on Paid Leave For Pepper-Spray Incident(s)

Posted in Criminalization of Houselessness, GJPD, Grand Junction, Harrassment, Homelessness by GJPD Exposed on August 5, 2010

On Wednesday, GJPD Chief Camper, announced that an officer received a reprimand for pepper-spraying a vacant building sometimes frequented by homeless people, in an effort to deter people from using the vacant building. The officers immediate supervisor was also reprimanded because he didn’t inquire  as to why his officer needed his pepper-spray canister refilled. Camper also promised to announce the fate of another GJPD Officer that has been on paid administrative leave since early July. A fourth officer resigned in early July in response to the investigations. Read more Here.

At the announcement of a second internal investigation looking at the misuse of pepper-spray, Camper was quoted by the Daily Sentinel as saying they were looking at a number of incidents. We at GJPD Exposed, are assuming that spraying of the abandoned building is a different incident then the incident involving the officer that resigned and the officer that is on leave. It will be interesting to see what actually took place in that incident. Camper promised to announce the fate of the third officer currently on paid administrative leave tomorrow.

Former GJPD Officer Coyne’s Victim Sues PD

Posted in Coyne, GJPD, Grand Junction, police violence, Uncategorized by GJPD Exposed on July 20, 2010

Way back last fall GJPD officer Coyne was arrested for sexual assault and fired. Coyne had responded to a Domestic Dispute, and then after work he allegedly went back to the victims house and sexually assaulted her.

Photobucket

Coyne after bonding out of jail. Took his own life with a bullet in a Denver Freeway Motel.

It was later discovered that Coyne had had a similar complaint against him but the District Attorney and the PD’s internal investigation found that there was a lack of evidence to proceed.

Read the Sentinel’s story here.

Cops Attack Camps; Chief Camper Cleans House

Photobucket*from Vol. 8 No. 6 of The Red Pill*

One Grand Junction Police officer resigned, and another is on paid administrative leave, after an earlier investigation turned up evidence that GJPD officers pepper sprayed property, like sleeping bags, that belonged to local houseless folks. Six more officers were questioned on this matter. The pepper spray was supposedly meant to act as a deterrent, as a signal from the PD to the victimized houseless to “move along.” The incident is still under investigation.

The earlier investigation, conducted as a result of a Monday, May 3rd incident in which police slashed tents and bicycle tires at a local houseless encampment, resulted in the firing of three GJPD officers; Justin Roberts, Joseph Mulcahy and Phillip Van Why. The officers were accused of slashing tents, trashing camps (including smashing Oreos and bananas with a baton at one camp), and slashing bike tires. There was also an unidentified liquid found on sleeping bags at at least one camp. The officers were allegedly looking for a person for questioning.

On Wednesday May 5th, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, Jacob Richards, filed a complaint regarding police being in the area known as “the Point” at the time the damage occurred. This launched a GJPD internal investigation and a criminal investigation conducted by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. The officers were placed on paid administrative leave by Friday May 7th, and were fired four weeks later.

The District attorney decided not to charge the three officers involved in the May 3rd incident, even though the internal investigation revealed they did admit to the slashing.  The three former officers then appealed their firings, claiming their actions were consistent with training and practices of the GJPD. The appeal brought to light other earlier incidences involving GJPD officers and Grand Junction’s houseless folks, like the pepper spray incident currently under investigation. The chief of police and the city disagree with the accused, and have investigated and sanction officers involved in earlier incidents. The former officers’ appeal was denied by Deputy City Manager, Rich Englehart.

The GJPD and Chief Camper have been besieged with scandal this past year, but he seems to be doing some housecleaning.  Last summer, Officer Crooks resigned after being arrested with Domestic Abuse, for which he was later acquitted. Followed a month later by the arrest and termination of Officer Coyne for Sexual Assault. Coyne later committed suicide. Four officers who clearly violate the rights of houseless members of our community are no longer on the force.  With continued pressure on police and continue citizen oversight of the police, maybe we can force the department to reign in their mavericks and become accountable to the people. A little pressure goes a long way.

GJPD Officer Resigns in Face of Pepper-Spray Attack

Posted in City of Grand Junction, Exessive Force, GJPD, Harrassment, Homelessness, police violence by GJPD Exposed on July 8, 2010

One GJPD officer resigns and another is placed on administrative leave for allegedly pepper-spraying homeless people property, including tents and sleeping bags, in a number of earlier incidents. This investigation stemmed from a case in which three GJPD officers were fired for vandalizing a homeless encampment. The three officers while appealing their case plead that such attack on homeless people’s camps are common practice within the department and in line with the training they received. Check out the Sentinel’s story, here.

GJPD Officer Charged in Accident Stemming from Pursuit

Posted in City of Grand Junction, GJPD, Pursuit by GJPD Exposed on June 17, 2010

GJPD Officer Kevin Bavor was issued a summons for careless driving that resulted in Injury by the Colorado State Patrol.  Check out thee Sentinel article on it here. Big ups to Paul Shockley and the Daily Sentinel for there tireless coverage of the GJPD.

GJPD Pursuit Ends in Crash

Posted in City of Grand Junction, GJPD, Grand Junction by GJPD Exposed on May 31, 2010

http://www.krextv.com had this nice little story that illustrates the dangers of chasing suspects through busy intersections.

A Grand Junction Police Officer on the hunt for a hubcab bandit ends up in a car crash of his own. Around 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Grand Junction Police officials say their officer was going after a man who was suspected of stealing hubcaps. With lights and sirens activated, the officer’s patrol car entered the intersection at 12th Street and Orchard Avenue. A truck coming from the opposite direction could not stop in time and was struck by the police cruiser.

“They both braked and tried to stop and swerve, but the police officer ran into the side of the pickup, “said Stephen Johnson who witnessed the crash.

Grand Junction Police Sergeant Jim Creasy said, “He believes his officer’s lights and sirens were operating, but a review still has to be done to make sure the police officer was in the right.”

No one was injured in the accident. The Colorado State Patrol is currently investigating the crash.

Police were able to catch the hubcap bandit and take him into custody.

* This comment on the KREX site is quite illustrative “It must be time for gun control and driver safety classes for those who “serve and protect” us. It seems that there has been alot of “accidents” involving G.J. ‘s finest!!” by Educate2010

Media Round-Up: Police Vandalize Homeless Camp

As the investigation into allegations that GJPD officers vandalized an area houseless camp goes into its second week, we eagerly await the outcome of both the Sheriff’s criminal investigation, and the Department’s own external investigation.

Here’s the local media round-up of the incident.

The Grand Junction FreePress had this excellent article

The Sentinel, true to form, did everything in their power to discredit the messenger, in this article, that eventually hit the AP wire and was picked up by major media outlets in Denver and beyond.

NBC Channel 11 had the best coverage Friday the 7th when the police announced that three officers were placed on administrative leave.

CBS Channel 5’s story from the Monday after the announcement was the most comprehensive.

ABC Channel 8’s coverage from mid-week was good as well.

The local blogger John Linko had this to say.

Three Officers on Administrative Leave For Slashing Homeless Camp

Three Grand Junction Police Officers were placed on administrative leave on Friday May 7th under allegations of damaging homeless peoples’ property. The officers are under criminal investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and under internal investigation at the PD.
Photobucket
On Monday May 3rd, GJ Police Officers were in the area of a well-established homeless camp near the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Some residents were denied access to the area by the police during their visit. No known residents were in their camps at the time. Residents later returned to slashed tents, scattered belongings and slashed bike tires. On Wednesday, Jacob Richards, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, filed a complaint about the incident. By Friday, three officers were placed on leave. The story was picked up by all local media outlets, the Denver Post, and even hit the AP wire.
Photobucket
The fact that the GJPD are conducting an internal investigation and the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter criminally indicates that the powers-that-be may actually be taking this seriously.

Criminalization and harassment of the homeless is nothing new to Grand Junction. Police officers and the law itself target the homeless. The City attempted to virtually illegalize flying a sign in the city in the summer of 2009 as an emergency ordinance, but was shut down by the power of the people. In July of 2009, two undercover GJ police officers were ousted from the organization Housing First! No More Deaths!. Panhandling within a median began became illegal in the fall of 2009, and overnight Colorado West Park became a median without any formal process.

As odd as it may seem, the system might actually bring some form of justice for the houseless, and some accountability to the GJPD.

Harrassed and Manhandled: GJPD and the Homeless

Posted in Criminalization of Houselessness, Exessive Force, GJPD, Grand Junction, police violence by GJPD Exposed on April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3rd, 5pm. Whitman Park Grand Junction, Colorado

In an all to common of incident, three houseless people were contacted by the Grand Junction Police Department, for nothing more then being in a park frequented by houseless people.  Officer Winch approached Juile and Johnny A Martinez and engaged the two in small talk about an incident from the day before in the park. Officer Winch then asked to see a waterbottle that Juile had. She gave it to him. He smelled it and “got pissed saying ‘You lied to me.'” said Juile. Officer Winch then said that he wanted to see what was in Julie’s backpack, she refused, and according to Julie and Martinez Winch yanked the backpack from Juile and began searching. “That’s when he cuffed me,” Juile said. They had Juile in cuffs for over half an hour for a drinking in public ticket.

When Juile’s partner, Lumber Jack, came back to the park he headed to the public bathrooms where now two officers and a sergeant were talking to Juile and Martinez. “I told them I just needed to go to the bathroom,” he said. “Then I told them they have no right to search her backpack. That’s when they grabbed me and took me to the ground.” Lumber’s arm was turning more and more purple.

“He was so verbally aggressive,” said Juile. “I asked for a female officer to search me, but he searched me anyway,” she added.

Photobucket

After a little over half-an-hour all three people were released all with blue tickets. Julie for drinking in the park, Lumber Jack for crossing a street while intoxicated, and Johnny Martinez for interfering with an officer for refusing to leave while his friends were being manhandled, cuffed, and ticketed.

“I told them I won’t show up to court anyway,” said Lumber.  Martinez described the pile of petty tickets he gets from the GJPD on almost daily, as “thick as an encyclopedia.”

Photobucket

These petty tickets, which are common in the houseless community, result in either an arrest warrant being issued for failure to appear, or the person pleads guilty and is given a fine in the hundreds of dollars. The fine almost inevitably goes unpaid an goes to collections and an arrest warrant is issued. These tickets are often for things related to the basics of life, trespassing tickets for sleeping, indecent exposure for reliving themselves, drinking or smoking in the park because they have nowhere else to smoke and drink.  These tickets keep people houseless by ruining peoples credit and straddling them with huge debts, and cost the taxpayers millions in a busted criminal justice system.

Sergeant Kevin Imbriaco was on scene let him know that we harassing and manhandling the homeless is not cool (970) 683-3399.

Photos of Steven Lee “Lumber Jack” Ball’s bruises.