Monthly Archives: August 2013

Federal trial begins for ex-Danville cop tied to so-called ‘dirty DUI’ setups

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2011: Stephen Tanabe, left, with his attorney Dan Russo, leaves Superior Court in Walnut Creek, Calif., after pleading not guilty on CNET-related charges

 

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal prosecutor told jurors Monday that former Danville police Officer Stephen Tanabe set up men for drunken driving arrests on three occasions in exchange of 3.5 grams of cocaine and an expensive Glock pistol.

“To put it more bluntly, he sold his badge,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Kearney said in his opening statement at the trial for the four-year Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy, ¿who was arrested in the wake of a 2011 police corruption scandal centered around former Concord private investigator Christopher Butler and ex-Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team commander Norman Wielsch. Both are serving time in federal prison.

Tanabe, 50, of Alamo, is charged with seven conspiracy and extortion counts for allegedly taking bribes from Butler, the government’s star witness at Tanabe’s trial. Butler told a judge last fall he took money from women eager to set up their estranged spouses for DUI arrests for leverage in messy divorce and child custody cases. Butler & Associate employees, often assertive, attractive women, would get their targets drunk, encourage them to drive, and then tip off local police to their location on the road. They called them “dirty DUIs.”

Tanabe, who befriended Butler when they both served on the Antioch police force in the mid-1990s, knowingly participated in the scam three times in late 2010 and early 2011, Kearney said.

It is true Tanabe had an active role in those three arrests, said defense attorney Tim Pori, but at no point did Tanabe take a bribe — drugs, guns or otherwise.

Pori painted Tanabe as a family man and hardworking officer for Danville, where police services are provided by the sheriff’s office under contract and DUI arrests are a late-night patrol officer’s bread and butter.

The Danville police force gives its officers “performance objectives” in which they are rewarded for DUI arrests, Pori said, and Tanabe had a duty to make such arrests himself or to alert his fellow officers to drunks on the road when he himself was off duty.

The government has more than 25 people on its witness list, including Butler and his former employees integral to the setups, whom Pori told jurors cannot be trusted. He listed the witnesses’ past transgressions, some illegal, others unethical.

Tanabe, Pori said, was thrown under the bus by Butler, “a master manipulator” who was caught on video selling stolen drug evidence. Butler needed to name names to the government to shave years off the stiff sentences he was facing. “The government’s case is going to fall on its face when you hear the cross-examination of these witnesses,” Pori said.

The U.S. attorney’s office¿ tried to convict Butler for the dirty DUIs as well, but the charge didn’t stick because Butler, unlike Tanabe, wasn’t a sworn officer when they were carried out.

The first prosecution witness takes the stand Tuesday.

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.

Know Your Rights

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE STOPPED BY POLICE, IMMIGRATION AGENTS OR THE FBI

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COPS LIE, IT’S A FACT!

This cop here just may a false traffic stop, lied about probable cause and issued a ticket on a lie. Why is that they are trusted and their word is better than yours? The courts system is broke and does not work because we have dishonesty cops. Every ticket should have to show video of the violation, then you will see less dirty traffic stops. Whoever this cops is he should be fired. Video courtesy of policecrimes.com

Forney police release video of George Zimmerman’s traffic stop

We try to provide you information as a means of education, power and as way to better prepare and protect yourself from dirty cops. Here is an example of dirty cops showing that the law does have problems because if this was a patch member that just told a cop he has a loaded firearm in his car or on his bike who was just in shooting someone just or not, that patch member would be on the ground at gun point.  Read it for yourself amke your own decision.

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Two weeks after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Fenruary 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was in Forney, being pulled over by police there.

According to inForney.com, Zimmerman was stopped Sunday heading west on US Highway 80 just past FM 548. TMZ is reporting that when he was pulled over, Zimmerman told officers he had a gun in his glove compartment.

When contacted by The Dallas Morning News, Forney police would not immediately confirm; they asked instead for a public-records request concerning the incident. They eventually sent a report that shows he received a verbal warning. The document, which contains Zimmerman’s birthdate, says the Floriday resident was pulled over at 12:47 p.m. Sunday in a gray 2008 Honda; it doesn’t say how fast he was traveling. inForney.com and TMZ feature different screengrabs from a dashcam video said to stem from the traffic stop. The truck in question appears to have Florida plates, confirmed by the police report.

inForney.com says the officer asked Zimmerman where he was headed. His reply: “Nowhere in particular.”

“Nowhere in particular,” said the officer, according to inForney.com. “Why is that?”

“You didn’t see my name?” said Zimmerman.

“Wow,” said the officer, “what a coincidence.”

According to KTVT-Channel 11, “At some point Zimmerman asked the officer if he recognized him from television, and the officer said he did not.”

The documents provided by Forney say the officer ran Zimmerman’s records to make sure he had no outstanding warrants, then cut him loose after four minutes. The officer told Zimmerman to “just take it easy, go ahead and shut your glove compartment and don’t play with your firearm, OK?”

Zimmerman has more or less disappeared since the not-guilty verdict, save for a July 22 incident in Florida involving a family trapped in an overturned SUV. His legal team has this and only this to say on the traffic stop: “For his safety, we won’t make any comments about Zimmerman’s whereabouts, and we will work to protect his privacy.”

Source: Dallas News.com