Sunday, February 2, 2014

WA - Vanc. WSP officer (Kenneth S. Garrison) accused of sex abuse

Kenneth S. Garrison
Kenneth S. Garrison
Original Article

01/30/2014

PORTLAND - The Clark County, Wash., sheriff's office says a former Washington State Patrol lieutenant has been arrested on a warrant alleging multiple sex abuse offenses.

Sgt. Kevin Allais said Kenneth S. Garrison was arrested Wednesday at a motel in east Portland. A Portland-area SWAT team and suburban Gresham police assisted Clark County officers.

Allais says the victim is a relative of Garrison's.

The sergeant says the 51-year-old Vancouver man resigned from his lieutenant's position last month. He also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Washington Army National Guard but retired on Monday.

Garrison is expected to appear Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland. It was not immediately known whether he was represented by a lawyer.

The sergeant says the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information was asked to call the Clark County Sheriff tip line at (360) 397-6008, extension 2120.


GA - Georgia police strip search drivers during minor traffic stops

Police strip search
Cavity search
Original Article (Video available)

01/31/2014

By Mikael Thalen

An investigation out of Georgia has uncovered multiple police departments engaged in strip searches as well as searches inside the pants of drivers pulled over for minor traffic violations.

He was like, ‘Just unbuckle all your clothes’ and put his hands down inside my pants,” Terry Phillips told Channel 2 Action News.

While sitting in the passenger seat after his wife was pulled over for a suspended registration, Phillips was unexpectedly ordered to exit the vehicle by Forest Park police. Coming up empty on a vehicle search, police suddenly turned their attention back towards Phillips, demanding he submit to a search as well.

Expecting a legal, outside the clothes pat down, Phillips consented to the officer’s requests, only to have the officer demand he pull down his pants on the side of the road.

That’s illegal, man, you can’t do that. You can’t do that,” Phillips told the officer.

Noting that Phillips was aware of his rights, the officer suddenly claimed to smell marijuana, demanding Phillips remain still as he continued his illegal search.

Although officers are allowed to pat down the outside of clothing to check for weapons, the officer clearly violated Phillips’ rights by demanding he remove his clothing. Unsurprisingly, no marijuana was found on Phillips or in the vehicle.

That’s a general strip-search, which you’re not allowed to do unless it’s an emergency or it’s done in a controlled environment by professional people where other people aren’t there to look in a public setting,” Phillips’ attorney Mark Bullman said. “You can’t be moving people’s clothing and opening them, particularly in situations where there’s not been a custodial arrest.”

Internal records obtained by Channel 2 revealed that a police captain had already reported a “unit-wide” issue regarding searches six months prior. Following the discovery of Phillips encounter, several others came forward as well, revealing the same invasive searches during minor traffic stops.

Another passenger, Ben Kassars, was subjected to a similar search after his roommate was pulled over for allegedly following a vehicle to closely. Claiming the men had drugs and threatening them with jail if they refused, officers went inside Kassars’ pants as he leaned on the back of his vehicle.

I was humiliated… They took my belt off, unzipped my pants,” Kassars said. “They looked in my pants on the front, the side, the back. It was terrible. I felt like a girl. I felt defenseless. I felt like there was nothing I could do about it.”

No drugs were discovered on either men.

The report also detailed truck driver Camishi Jones, who was pulled over by a Cobb County officer after reportedly driving in the left lane on Interstate 75. Taken out of her vehicle for an alleged weapons search, Camishi experienced a TSA-style pat down from the male officer.

He was all touching my breast, up in my vagina area… He actually stuck his hand up in between my buttocks,” Jones said. “I felt that I was being molested with his hands.”

No weapons were discovered on Jones.

Another man, Alphonzo Eleby, was approached by DeKalb county police while talking to a friend at a local gas station as he waited for his tank to fill. Having nothing to hide, Eleby consented to an officer’s search request like the others, assuming a normal pat down would take place.

He went inside my underwear and searched my genital area,” Eleby said. ”It’s just embarrassing. I’ve got everybody seeing me exposed.”

Despite having no drugs, officers claimed Eleby threw “something” to the ground, charging him with possession of marijuana. After the gas station’s surveillance video of the altercation was released, it was revealed that Eleby never threw anything at all, with the officer instead appearing to throw something.

Charges were quickly dropped.

The investigation found more than half a dozen similar encounters with departments all across the state, leading many to wonder if a state wide policy has been quietly implemented by police. Incredibly, similar incidents have been reported all across the country as well in recent years.

Perverted Cops
In December 2012, two Texas women in yet another minor traffic stop were forced to submit to roadside body cavity searches. Claiming to smell marijuana, an officer searched the vagina and anus of both women with the same pair of latex gloves.

No marijuana was found by officers.

Just last November, a Southern New Mexico man, pulled over for allegedly failing to make a complete stop, was forced to undergo two illegal anal searches, three enemas and a colonoscopy after police claimed he was “clenching his buttocks” and concealing drugs.

The illegal search failed to produce any drugs.

Unfortunately, the current political climate seems to favor such behavior, as officers continually escape punishment. Meanwhile, police who publicly pledge to uphold the bill of rights are harassed by the federal government and placed on administrative leave.

See Also:


FL - Colony of Outcasts: Some sex offenders find refuge in Fort Myers woods

Ery day we're shufflin'!
Ery day we're shufflin'!
Original Article

Florida, and across the country, these draconian laws have been creating these types of homeless camps. Take Julia Tuttle for example (And here).

02/01/2014

By Janine Zeitlin

A camp hidden off Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard is the only place in area some sex offenders have to go

_____ unzipped his pup tent, his abode in a patch of wilderness off Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard in Fort Myers.

He grabbed a flashlight and his ID and stowed them in a book bag hitched over his shoulders.

He was a Boy Scout, he said, but that did not prepare him for this.

It’s survival of the fittest,” said _____. He is 46, but looks older.

A hammock stretched between melaleuca trees is the most comfy spot for his 250-pound frame. His kitchen is an upside-down grocery cart fashioned into a grill for coffee and soup. A wooden palette is his coffee table.

On this afternoon last month, _____ was in pursuit of a hot meal. He stepped onto a worn path hemmed by slash pine trees. He passed the camps of his neighbors, who reside under makeshift hovels of tarps and tents in this small colony of homeless people.

But this camp is unique: its inhabitants include sex offenders, who said the Lee County Sheriff’s Office directed them to this hidden spot about a quarter mile east into woods that run along a trail. The woods sit across from the city’s Trailhead Neighborhood Park and abut the Sienna at Vista Lake complex of one- and two-bedroom apartments, where on this afternoon young men played football in the parking lot.

_____ had lived there since October. He had struggled to find someone to hire him after five years in federal prison for possessing child pornography. And it was difficult for him to retain jobs because of mental illness.

He said the sheriff’s office showed him the camp location.

They’re trying to give us a safe haven,” _____ said. “They keep a close eye on us.”

The sheriff’s office refused to comment on the assertions.

Sheriff Mike Scott has directed his personnel not to answer questions from this newspaper. “As you know, we don’t entertain interviews or answer questions with The News-Press,” spokeswoman Tiffany Wood wrote in an email.
- Except if it suits them!  Police are always having press conferences, etc.  But this makes them look bad, so of course they aren't going to speak with the news media.

But Fort Myers police and social service providers said they’ve also been told it was the sheriff’s office that sent them there.

This much is for sure: Law enforcement knows about the camp. Last year, the sheriff’s office tallied about 120 routine calls checking on sex offenders near the intersection where the camp is located, mostly occurring after another camp of sex offenders off Ortiz Avenue was disbanded by city police at the property owner’s request. Since May, at least 10 transient sex offenders and one sexual predator have registered to the camp, records show. Six are currently registered there with convictions that range from sexual battery to lewd behavior toward children, according to a check Friday of Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offender public registry.
- So I guess Florida is still playing the sex offender shuffle (Here & Here)?

Offenders can register as homeless without a precise address. The camp meets state requirements, which say that sex offenders can’t live within 1,000 feet from a park, playground, child care facility or school, though last week Fort Myers police said they found a few people living too close to the trail, which qualifies as a park. The sheriff’s office told the police they would move them, police said.
- Come on, a trail is not a park!

Over the past years, residency restrictions for sex offenders have grown increasingly harsh across the nation. But the question of where they can live is less easily answered. Yet, it’s one that more Florida cities will have to confront as some experts expect the number of homeless sex offenders to multiply.

It’s in their best interest to escape scrutiny and go to a place where they have less probability of being identified,” said Duane Dobbert, an FGCU professor in the department of justice studies and author of “Halting the Sexual Predators among Us: Preventing Attack, Rape, and Lust Homicide.” “You can live outside here and you can avoid and evade public scrutiny because we’re a warm climate.”

A 2013 study by four university researchers, “Transient Sex Offenders and Residence Restrictions in Florida,” called for reconsideration of such restrictions. They cited them as a factor in contributing to higher rates of homelessness in sex offenders. It pointed to housing instability as a risk factor for recidivism, which is lower for sex offenses than other types of crimes.

Hop on the Merry-go-round
When someone has stable housing and a good relationship where they’re with family and supported by the community, recidivism drops dramatically,” said Gail Colletta, president of Florida Action Committee, a nonprofit that advocates for reform of sex offender laws. “We make it difficult for them to get a job and find a place to live. We do everything we can to keep them from being productive citizens.”
- Well they need ex-offenders in the merry-go-round prison system so they can continue to rake in the money to keep the prison injustice system alive, and so politicians / organizations can exploit the issue for their own gain as well.

In Lee County, no homeless shelters will accept sex offenders because of children on their properties. But who wants a homeless sex offender in the woods near their home or the park where their kids play? Where can they go and who decides where to put them?
- Apparently the sheriff departments decide where to start homeless camps?

There’s always a solution,” said Dennis Fahey, a criminal justice professor at Edison State College. “But the question is is anybody interested in finding a solution.”
- Sure there is, eliminate the residency restrictions, and no, they don't want a solution!

Must report

By law, sex offenders must report to their local sheriff’s office either twice or four times a year. If they don’t have a place to stay, they must report within 48 hours. The Lee sheriff’s six-person sexual offender and predator unit regularly checks to make sure offenders are living where they register. In Lee County, there are about 625 sex offenders compared to 74 sexual predators. Sexual predators have been convicted of a sexually violent offense. There are more than 200 sex offenders in Collier and 25 predators.

The city doesn’t have a specific sex offender ordinance, so Fort Myers Police Lt. Randy Jelks said the police enforce the 1,000-foot restriction.

Keep calm and play dumb
The camp origins are a mystery to police, who discovered it in the city late last year.
- We doubt this, but when you are in the spotlight, play dumb.

It did raise our concern given the proximity to a park and the proximity to an apartment building,” said Capt. Jim Mulligan of the Fort Myers Police, who has been monitoring it.
- So now, just wait and see, since the media has done this report, the Gestapo will come out in force to shut down the camp, and thus the shuffling will continue!  Another homeless camp will pop up elsewhere, until the fire gets hot again.  Florida has been doing this for years now.

Sgt. Tracey Booth, who is in charge of the sheriff’s sex offender and predator unit, told city police no one in her office has directed the homeless sex offenders to the location, city records show.
- We also doubt this.  Some ex-offender needs to get this on audio recording to show they know all about this, but we are not sure about the laws on recording someone without their knowledge in this state, but like we said, play dumb when the fire gets hot!

Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Misty Cash said her agency played no role. She declined to facilitate interviews on the matter but responded to written questions.

We don’t know how these offenders came to know about this camp. They reported to us their address, which did not violate any local ordinances, Florida Statutes or the conditions of their court ordered supervision,” she wrote.
- Didn't you know that ex-offenders are all knowing?  They know everything, especially where homeless camps are.  Come on, you expect us to believe this?  We are not sheeple!

A review of Booth’s emails shows she did wish to keep the location quiet from the city.
- You just got burned!

On May 28, Sgt. Booth wrote Sgt. Roger Valdivia of the Fort Myers Police about a Fort Myers lieutenant ordering sex offenders off Ortiz to relocate.

Its (sic) incidents like this that is the reason I want to work together,” Valdivia responded.

The next day, Booth sent an email to a detective in her unit, Stuart Foreman, asking if everyone had been relocated.
- Yep they are still shufflin'!

City will be having Code Enforcement, enforcing a ‘no camping within the city limits’ ordinance. So we will have to see what happens to the new location,” she wrote. “I will not be advising the city of the new location.”

Her email included a list of four offenders at the camp with this description: “living in the wooded area approximately ¼ East of the Trailhead fire station on Veronica Shoemaker.”

Foreman replied: “I’d hate to move these guys again, it’s a real pain in the $%^.”

In a later email, she instructed her unit to “show” a soon-to-be transient offender to his new address in the woods, which later appears as the camp off Veronica Shoemaker.

Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson called on law enforcement agencies and city and county leaders to cooperate on a better resolution than using a specific area as a “dumping ground.”

That’s a bigger issue we need to come together and solve,” he said. “It’s impossible to overdo oversight on this.”
- It's real easy to solve....  Get rid of residency restrictions!

What’s not an option is moving them around like a checkerboard.”

Prison release

_____ emerged from the camp onto a trail frequented by bikers and walkers. He crossed the street toward the park he steers clear of because it’s against the law for him to enter and headed south to catch the bus to the Salvation Army for a meal.

After his April prison release, _____ stayed at Char Ann-Juanita apartments in south Fort Myers, one of the few places that accepts sex offenders, according to social service providers. But he could no longer pay the rent. One October morning, he remembers visiting the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to inform the sex offender unit he was going to be homeless. He was ready with a tent, tarp and few bags of clothes.

They told him he could go to the camp off Veronica Shoemaker, he said, and escorted him to an opening in the brush.

Probation office isn’t really thrilled about this but that’s where the sheriff’s office put me so it legally allows me to be here,” _____ said.

No matter how people feel about sex offenders, he pointed out that they still need housing and services to help them rebuild productive lives after their convictions.
- Then like we said, exterminate the residency restrictions!

How strenuous do you have to make something before a person just wants to climb in a box and put the nails in themselves?

(Earlier this week, _____ was arrested for violating his probation, which called for him to find work, a stable home and show up to regular appointments.)
- How can you find work when you are homeless and do not have transportation?  This just shows how the merry-go-round system works, they need people in and out of prison to keep the money flow going!

There’s no extra state requirements for homeless sex offenders, according to FDLE. The sheriff’s office does have homeless sex offenders sign a letter saying Lee County has no designated land for them and that sex offenders and predators living on undeveloped private property have 45 days to obtain a certified letter stating that they have permission to be there. But some guys have been on the spot longer.

Trespassing signs

No trespassing sign
Around December, Fort Myers police began contacting property owners of the wooded area about erecting no-trespassing signs, which they need before they can permanently oust the offenders. The bulk of the land belongs to a land-holding company, Serena Park LLC, which was contacted by the city. Mike Kerver, the company’s vice president, expected to have the signs up soon.

Once the signs are up, police plan to give the offenders a few days to pack and will work in tandem with an advocate for the homeless to try to help them.
- So the police put them there, fires get hot, now they are going to kick them out?  Stay tuned for encampment #2 coming soon....

We’re trying to balance everybody in this,” said Mulligan. “I know people don’t like sex offenders in their neighborhoods. They’re not anybody’s favorite.”
- You are just trying to put out the fire.  If the media never said anything about this, then this homeless camp would still be there, but that's just our opinion of course.

But, then what happens? There are scant places for sex offenders to legally live apart from the woods, the south Fort Myers apartments that accept sex offenders and pockets of Lehigh Acres, the local administrator for the Department of Corrections told The News-Press in 2012. The department declined a recent interview request. Mapping of sex offenders’ locations show they reside in pockets throughout Lee County.
- They live in the woods and in clusters due to the residency restrictions!  Eliminate that and the problem will surely vanish, or a huge dent put into it!  But hey, we can't look "soft" on sex offenders now can we?

Local social service providers could not offer housing options for homeless sex offenders and neither could the state’s homelessness director.

It’s hard to get people to come forward to help that group of people and want to establish housing, but it is a public safety concern,” said Janet Bartos, executive director of the Lee County Homeless Coalition.

Nonprofit organizations do provide food, counseling and outreach to homeless sex offenders.

There’s not an easy answer because of the background that they have,” said Ann Arnall, director of Lee County human services.
- So why don't you hire a night guard to watch the place while everybody sleeps?

There’s not a high level of sympathy either. If somebody is going to start a program, who is going to support it?

This week, on an afternoon of welcome sunshine, Priscilla Morley flipped through a magazine at a Trailhead Park picnic shelter. Morley was unaware of the camp just a walk away.

It’s a concern because this is a park for kids,” said Morley, 40, a nurse. “As long as they don’t come into the park, I’m OK. You just have to watch your kids from anybody.”
- You should do that in the first place!

See Also:


WI - Wisconsin freeing more sex offenders from mental lockup

Civil commitment (aka Prison)Original Article

02/02/2014

By Nora G. Hertel

Wisconsin officials have nearly quadrupled the number of offenders released from state custody after they were committed as sexually violent persons.

The risks to residents are reasonable, officials say, because the state's treatment programs are working and new data suggest these offenders are less likely to reoffend than previously thought.
- New data?  Studies have been around for well over 20, or more years that says ex-offenders have a low risk of recidivism, so there is nothing "new" about it.

A total of 114 offenders were released from involuntary commitment from 2009 through 2013, compared to 31 during the prior five-year period, according to a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis of data from Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, where the state houses committed sexually violent persons.

Most were discharged with electronic monitors and no further required treatment. But a growing number of these offenders were subject to "supervised release," meaning they receive intensive treatment and monitoring.

A bill signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in December will increase the use of this kind of supervision for offenders who are released.

"The increased number of patients on supervised release in Wisconsin does not place communities at greater risk, as long as those patients have been treated and are well-managed," said Lloyd Sinclair, court assessment and community programs director for Sand Ridge.

Since Chapter 980, Wisconsin's sexually violent persons law, took effect in 1994, the state has committed about 500 individuals past the ends of their criminal sentences. About two-thirds of them remain confined.

To be locked up under Chapter 980, a person must have committed a sexually violent offense, have a mental disorder and be determined to be dangerous to others.

Wisconsin state psychologists calculate the risk that sex offenders will reoffend based on historical recidivism data. The state had been basing decisions on data from around 1980. Now that the models have been updated to reflect information on offenders released during the 1990s, including a decade of follow-up data, some Sand Ridge patients no longer meet the criteria for commitment, officials say.

The number of sexually violent persons on supervised release is expected to reach a monthly average of 43 in fiscal 2015, up from 21 in fiscal 2010, according to an August 2013 state audit report on the supervised release program.

"The increasing number of individuals on supervised release is explained, in part, by recent research that has determined that certain types of individuals are less likely to commit additional sexual offenses than had previously been thought," the audit said.

See Also:


CT - Municipality lobby pushes legislature on sex offender placement issue

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

02/01/2014

NORWICH - Last Monday, the influential lobbying group Connecticut Conference of Municipalities released its legislative agenda for the 2014 General Assembly, which convenes Wednesday.

And a controversy born in Norwich late last year over the placement of registered sex offenders in the city has led the 159-member agency to recommend significant changes to current policy.

Among CCM’s 12-page priority list is a three-pronged approach suggesting that state officials notify a community’s police chief and chief executive officer when an offender resides or plans to reside in their town; allow municipalities to adopt local ordinances restricting their placement within designated distances of schools, day cares and other facilities; and develop a “comprehensive inventory” of halfway houses, supervised living facilities and rehabilitation centers that receive state or federal funding.

In November, state Sen. Cathy Osten, D-19th District, and Norwich City Manager Alan Bergren met with CCM to talk about the proposals, for which city leaders and the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments pushed.

Our organization supported the city extensively and the membership felt very strongly in agreement, and that’s why we put them into our legislative program,” said Kevin Maloney, CCM’s director of membership.

Former Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom and officials from surrounding towns voiced objections starting last September over the placement of offenders into city apartments upon their release from a treatment facility known as The January Center, on the grounds of Montville’s Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center.

Mayor Deb Hinchey, a former social worker, said she wants to more closely review CCM’s recommendations before commenting on them.

We need careful planning on this issue,” she said. “It affects victims; it affects neighborhoods.”

CCM is also recommending several policies aimed at fostering regionalism to help strengthen local economies.

CCM’s state legislative priorities … are focused around the notion that healthy towns, cities and regions are key to Connecticut’s recovery,” said Ron Thomas, the agency’s director of public policy and advocacy.

That includes empowering councils of governments to make land-use decisions on regionally significant projects, consolidate services and increase investments in the state’s Regional Performance Incentive Program through the Office of Policy and Management.

Regionalism is a buzz word that a lot of people are using, but the state has to be able to make it work, too,” said Salem First Selectman Kevin Lyden, who is also chairman of the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments. “When you look at dispatch centers and things like that, these are things that are going to have to continue. We have to look for ways to save our taxpayers money.”