Protesting the Radar Van
The defendant was charged with disorderly conduct. The charges were from an alleged incident wherein the defendant was involved in a verbal exchange with an officer operating a radar van. The defendant had been protesting the van and its purpose in trying to ticket drivers. After the verbal exchange the van operator called the police and the defendant was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct. The case was dismissed by the City Attorney immediately after an evidentiary hearing demanded by the defendant.
"My client was exercising his right to freedom of speech in protesting a police radar van. My client is also an avid open carrier (carries a gun in a holster on his hip), which is legal in Oregon. During my client's protest the van operator (who was also a retired cop) struck up a conversation with my client because he was not pleased with the protest. The conversation ended in some minor name calling by both parties. The van operator, familiar with law enforcement practices, used his radio to call into the station that my client "had a gun and was causing a disturbance." Not one time did my client reference or touch his holstered gun. Several officers arrived on the scene and ordered my client to the ground at gun point. At this point the officers needed to justify the aggressive response and arrest. The officers decided to fabricate a narrative that my client was being arrested for disorderly conduct for blocking traffic in a roadway. The van operator said that my client had stopped traffic in the roadway when he was crossing the street during his protest. The problem with this story was that it was directly contradictory to video evidence obtained. Prior to beginning the protest my client setup his video camera to video the protest. The officer in the van did not know this. Knowing that many police officers regularly lie to cover themselves and their fellow officers, we forced the police to testify at a hearing prior to revealing the video evidence we had obtained. Once the officers testified to what had happened (which was contrary to the video) we disclosed the video evidence to the City Attorney and the case was immediately dismissed. Despite our requests to the police department to discipline the involved officers none of them were ever disciplined for their lies. Essentially they said "we have investigated ourselves and found no wrong-doing."
Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome, details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results.