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Manhattan Beach Criminal Defense Blog

De-escalation tactics and excessive force charges

Last September, a Rocklin police officer was arrested following his use of excessive force during a DUI arrest he performed. Other officers reported his behavior after noting the disproportionate use of his baton while making the arrest. After reviewing the dash cam footage a formal review was performed. The Place County District Attorney’s Office determined the use of force was criminal and ordered the officer’s arrest.

With the implementation of body cams and dash cams, recording an officer’s behavior while on duty has become easier than ever before. Officers are facing scrutiny from all sides while attempting to do their jobs. As public outrage over police brutality and shootings surges, de-escalation tactics are gaining popularity, but are they effective?

"Brady list" of deputies with misconduct histories

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has a list of nearly 300 deputies that have been accused of misconduct, dishonesty or violent actions. The roster derives its name from the Brady v. Maryland case, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution must alert defendants to favorable evidence.

Conyers' son not charged in L.A. domestic violence incident

John Conyers served in the U.S. House of Representatives since Lyndon Johnson was president. But his long tenure came to a swift end after a number of sexual harassment allegations were made against him by former staffers and others. The 88-year-old recently announced his resignation from Congress, endorsing his son as his replacement.

Almost immediately after the announcement and endorsement, news articles surfaced with reports that John Conyers III had been arrested early this year in Los Angeles on domestic violence charges. Prosecutors declined to bring charges in the matter, media outlets reported.

Officer’s warrantless search moves to Supreme Court

As a member of the police force, you aim to protect residents. You want to uncover the truth during criminal investigations so you can carry out your sworn duty. However, you also know there are both fair and unjust ways of obtaining information.

As technology continues to tangle within daily life, it records more and more data that could aid police. Cell phones contain entire candid conversations, GPS tracking monitors your every location and everything you do online lurks in your browsing history. Although these details are highly valuable for investigations, new court rulings have refreshed warrant laws for the modern era.

Possible bias lurking in domestic violence trials

If you have faced criminal charges in the past, you probably know that the media can have a huge impact on how the rest of society views people accused of a crime. Social punishments could begin as soon as allegations become public, even if the courts have yet to reach a decision.

Opinions about crime can change dramatically after media coverage. Within the discussion of mass shootings, for example, the media has a lot to say. As a TIME article points out, the man responsible for open firing in a Texas church had been charged with domestic violence in the past. Researchers from a gun-control group believe that those who confront domestic assault charges could be more likely to become mass shooters themselves.

“Gossip Girl” star accused of rape

Following the multiple sexual assault allegations continually arising against Harvey Weinstein, more people are coming forward with sexual harassment and rape accusations. One such claim involves Ed Westwick, who starred on the CW’s “Gossip Girl.”

In a recent Facebook post by actress Kristina Cohen, she outlines the night she claims Westwick raped her in the guest room of his house in 2014. She stated that she broke her silence on the incident after hearing accusations against Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

High Stress Of Law Enforcement Jobs Strains Relationships

Being a police officer can be a rewarding career, but it can also bring with it a tremendous amount of stress. This stress can take a serious toll in an officer's marriage or relationship, and without awareness or help, can contribute to domestic violence incidents. At least forty percent of families of police officers struggle with domestic violence. This is in contrast to ten percent of the general population, according to the National Center for Women & Policing.

Unpredictability

Weinstein could face civil and criminal charges for sex crimes

One of the biggest scandals to come out of Hollywood this year has been the barrage of sex crime allegations against film tycoon Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, formerly the head of film studio The Weinstein Company, faces multiple allegations ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault. After a major exposé in the New Yorker magazine revealed several allegations of nonconsensual sexual activity against him, several dozen women have come forward with accusations against Weinstein, some of which date back at least two decades.

So far, it has proven difficult for authorities to bring criminal charges against the former executive. In one incident that occurred in New York in 2015, a model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told New York police that Weinstein had groped her. The Manhattan district attorney declined to bring charges against the mogul, and Weinstein reportedly reached a settlement with Gutierrez. Several of the alleged victims have settled with Weinstein or have signed affidavits refuting their accusations.

California sex offenders no longer on registry for life

In a recent bill signed by the governor, some sex offenders in California will no longer be listed on the sex offender registry for their entire life. This will remove an estimated 90 percent of offenders from the current registry—a significant change after 70 years of keeping an offender on the registry for their lifetime.

The thinking behind removing offenders from the registry stems from the list being too large to accurately analyze who is at risk for being a re-offender. To date, the list has around 100,000 sex offenders, and California was one of only four states to uphold a sex offender lifetime registration.

Brother of Las Vegas shooter charged with child porn possession

It is about an hour and a half drive from Manhattan Beach to Valley Village. The Los Angeles neighborhood is where the brother of the Las Vegas mass shooter was recently arrested on suspicion of child porn possession, law enforcement officials said.

Bruce Paddock, 58, was taken into custody at an assisted living home on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, media outlets reported. He was apparently in a wheelchair when arrested and had to be lifted into a police van by officers.

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