An officer heard the music coming from the truck as it pulled away, and he followed. When the motorist saw the officer following, he turned down his music. He was stopped for loud music and excessive speed. Other officers arrived and the motorist allegedly refused to get out of his truck when requested. He claimed that he was threatened with a Taser, and arrested for obstruction of justice and resisting arrest. A federal appeals court upheld dismissal of the lawsuit, finding probable cause for the arrest.
There was probable cause to stop a vehicle driver for speeding based on observations, even though the officers did not know the driver's exact speed, Tapley v. Chambers,F. A Memphis, Tenn. Because of that finding, the judge ruled that the practice or policy was unconstitutional under strict scrutiny, ening its enforcement. A federal appeals court upheld this result, agreeing that strict scrutiny applied. The primary purpose of the sweep, the court said, was to impede travel. Cole v. City of Memphis,F.
Gilani v. Matthews,F. Several plaintiff arrestees sued for false arrest after they were arrested for trespass at a party in an apartment. A federal copeland florida older women chat court overturned the dismissal of the claim, since there appeared to be a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the officers had probable cause to make an arrest for trespass. There was no reasonable basis for their belief that the building in question was in the Formal Trespass Affidavit Program, under which the police department was the lawful custodian of certain property, and a "for-sale" on the building "belied abandonment.
The City of New York,F.
Officers were engaged in arresting a juvenile who was part of a group of juveniles running in the street after being released from school. A woman motorist stopped her car and stood outside her vehicle videotaping the arrest. A struggle ensued and the woman was arrested. At a trial of her false arrest claim, the court allowed the defense attorney to present testimony that the plaintiff had been arrested three times before.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the officers on all claims. A federal appeals court ordered a new trial. The plaintiff's prior arrests were not relevant to her claim for damages for this arrest, and any probative value of those arrests was far outweighed by prejudice to the plaintiff, in violation of Federal Rule of Evidence b. The trial court did not determine whether the prior arrests involved conduct remotely similar to the arrest in this case, and the defense counsel's copeland florida older women chat revealed that the evidence was admitted for purposes of credibility, propensity, and character of the arrestee.
Baltimore City Police Department,F. Customs and Border Protection agents in Louisiana boarded a Greyhound bus and performed a routine check of passengers' immigration status. A Mongolian citizen in the U. He was therefore arrested when the agents were unable to verify his status, pursuant to the agecy's policy requiring detention under these circumstances.
He sued the U. The claim was rejected under the discretionary function exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The court concluded that an investigation into a perso's immigratio status is considered discretionary when that investigation culminates in a detainment mandated by an agency policy. Tsolmon v.
When two deputies were escorting his ex-girlfriend into his home to remove her personal belongings, they allegedly saw a firearm in plain view, resulting in his arrest. He sued for unlawful search and seizure, but a federal appeals court held that the deputies were entitled to qualified immunity, as it was not clearly established that their entry into the residence's sunroom under these circumstances of the case would violate his rights. They were also entitled to qualified immunity for alleged unlawful entry into the home from the sunroom when the plaintiff consented to that entry.
The seizure of the firearm was lawful under the plain view doctrine. This gave them at least arguable probable cause for the arrest. Fish v. Brown,U. Lexis26 Fla. Weekly Fed. C 11th Cir. An officer, standing by his patrol car after 2 a. He activated his flashing lights and went in pursuit. He subsequently arrested the driver for public intoxication.
Another individual walking by refused to answer whether he had been in the pickup truck, obey orders, or produce identification, and challenged what the officer was doing. He was himself arrested. A federal appeals court upheld an award of qualified immunity to the defendant officer on a false arrest claim by this arrestee. At the time of the arrest, the officer could have reasonably believed that the plaintiff was interfering with his investigative detention of the driver.
A prior interpretation of a Wyoming state statute suggested that speech alone might rise to the level of interference with a police officer in the performance of his official duties. Culver v. Armstrong,U. Lexis 10th Cir. Officers smelled the odor of marijuana coming from a woman's home and arrested her, charging her with two counts of child endangerment. She had refused to allow them to search inside her residence and she claimed that they violated her Fourth Amendment rights by entering her carport and approaching the back door of her home.
The trial court in the criminal case agreed and granted the plaintiff's motion to suppress the evidence, after which the charges were dropped. She then sued for false arrest without probable cause. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendant officers. ing at least four other federal appeals circuits, the Ninth Circuit took the position that the exclusionary rule does not apply in Sec.
It rejected the plaintiff's position that the officer's unlawful entry into the curtilage of her home necessarily tainted the following arrest. The plaintiff alleged no reason to doubt that the officers actually smelled what they believed to be marijuana, that children were present in the home, and that the plaintiff did not have medical marijuana privileges, which provided the officers with probable cause to arrest. Lingo v. City of Salem,U. A man was a victim of a home invasion during which a burglar punched him and locked him in a closet, after which a second burglar entered.
Police later arrested a suspect who was later acquitted and sued for false arrest. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the arresting officers, finding that there was probable cause for the arrest at the time it occurred. The victim copeland florida older women chat the plaintiff as one of the burglars in a photo array, a neighbor identified the plaintiff as someone seen loitering outside the home at the time of the burglary, and the plaintiff's own son told police that his father had recently committed some burglaries.
The plaintiff provided no evidence for his claim that the photo array was conducted improperly and a search of his home had been authorized by a warrant. Jackson v. City of Peoria,U. A man claimed that officers violated his rights when they arrested him without a warrant three times for interfering with them during police interaction with others. The defendant officers were entitled to summary judgment under the independent intermediary doctrine because a grand jury found the arrests supported by probable cause.
The plaintiff had the burden of affirmatively showing that the grand jury proceedings were tainted, and failed to do so. Buehler v. A sheriff's lieutenant arrested the new owners agents at his foreclosed home. A federal appeals court held that a jury could reasonably conclude on the record that the lieutenant was not a tenant at sufferance after the finalized foreclosure and that he, and not the plaintiffs, was the intruder at the property.
The lieutenant lacked even arguable probable cause for the arrests. Carter v. Filbeck,U. False arrest claims were properly rejected where, when the officers first viewed some photographs, they were justified in concluding that they qualified as unlawful child pornography. The court also properly found that the force used by named officers during the arrest was reasonable under the circumstances, as they had to push him along because he lightly resisted.
The force they used caused him no injury, but the trial court erred in finding as matter of law that named officers lacked a realistic opportunity to intervene in an alleged assault on the plaintiff by an unidentified officer. Figueroa v.
Mazza,U. A man traveled to another city to assist African-American youth. Another man, who was a local resident, offered him accommodations at what he represented as his house, giving him a garage door opener. The local resident, however, was only a squatter in the house, with no legal cbat to be there. The true property owner arrived while the out of town visitor was there, wwomen summoned police, asking that they arrest him for trespass. When police arrived, they found literature referring to Moorish Science, belonging to the visitor.
The officer claimed that they routinely make arrests based on trespass complaints, while the arrestee asserted that they remarked on his status as a Moor and congratulated themselves on detaining a member of that sect. He claimed, flogida his lawsuit, that the officers would not hsve arrested a Christian or copeland florida older women chat atheist under the circumstances.
The trial court believed that the law was clearly established that an officer may not arrest someone believed to hold certain religious beliefs if they would not arrest those of other religions in similar circumstances. But the court had doubt about what a reasonable jury would infer about why the arrest was florjda.
As the denial was based on disputed facts rather than an issue law, the federal appeals court dismissed the officer's appeal on the basis of lack of jurisdiction. Nettles-Bey v. Williams,U. A man engaged in street preaching was arrested in several incidents while carrying a shofar, a trumpet-like instrument made from a ram's horn. He was arrested for possessing the shofar, which officers contended violated an ordinance specifying the dimensions of s and objects that could be carried during street demonstrations.
The shofar was 37 inches long and 6 inches wide. The ordinance stated that "All objects which are generally rectangular in shape shall not exceed one-fourth inch in thickness and two inches in width," and "All objects which are not generally rectangular in shape shall not exceed three-quarters inch in their thickest dimension. They did not violate the Fourth Amendment, as possession of the shofar provided a chta basis for his detention, quite apart from disputed factual issues as to whether or not he complied with officers' orders or stepped into the roadway.
The officers also did not violate the plaintiff's First Amendment rights, and it was clear that they did not know of the religious ificance of the shofar. Allen v. Cisneros,U. Two African-American men and four female friends, some of whom were Caucasian, walked past a police precinct while leaving an entertainment district where they had spent the evening drinking. Off-duty officers, including owmen African-American man, congregated in a nearby parking lot and were drinking.
The African-American officer approached the group cnat by and told them to move along, and referred to some of the females in the group as "snow bunnies," intended florkda a racial slur. One of copelans men questioned who the officer was. The officer allegedly said, "I'll coleland you who I am," and attacked the man. Other off-duty officers then ed in punching and kicking, and shouted "stop resisting arrest. Charges of resisting, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct were dismissed.
Qualified immunity was denied to the off-duty African-American officer, as a jury could reasonably find that his conduct violated the arrestees' rights. McDonald v. Flake,U. Lexis 6th Cir. A motorist claimed that four police officers in two squad cars pulled him over woomen he drove home, pointed a gun at his face, threatened to kill him, handcuffed him, and oldeg in a search of his car, sll without apparent reason.
While the officers said they had no memory of the incident, a computer in one of their cars confirmed that they ran the driver's name through a law enforcement database at the alleged time of the stop, but found nothing that would have justified stopping and searching his car. After a jury returned a verdict for the defendant officers in a federal civil rights lawsuit, a federal appeals court ordered a new trial.
The court held that the trial judge should not have admitted information about the plaintiff's prior arrest record into evidence, nor allowed the defendants' attorney to cross-examine the plaintiff about other, unrelated lawsuits he had pursued against the city, in a manner deed to undermine his credibility by depicting him as a chronic litigator. It was also erroneous to let one of the officers testify generally about when it might be justified to use handcuffs and firearms during a traffic stop.
These errors were not harmless. Nelson v. City of Chicago,U. A man who engaged in filming airport security procedures and was questioned there on suspicion of disorderly conduct was arrested for concealing his identity from officers by declining to show identification. He sued, claiming that he womdn arrested without probable cause and in retaliation for engaging in protected speech in violation of the First Amendment.
A federal appeals court found that the defendant officers and Transportation Security Administration agents were entitled to qualified immunity, since a reasonable officer could have believed coleland he violated state law by not showing identification during an investigatory stop, and could also reasonably believe that they had probable cause to arrest him when he filmed at an airport security checkpoint.
Additionally, at the time of the arrest, it was not clearly established that unlawful retaliation claims could arise from arrests supported by probable cause. Mocek v. City of Albuquerque,U. An officer carried out a traffic stop of a motorist who failed to use his turn al before changing lanes. The driver did not cooperate with the floriea and his partner, disregarding instructions, leading to a physical confrontation. A sergeant also arrived on the scene.
The first officer placed the driver under arrest for resisting, but the charges were dismissed at court. In a lawsuit alleging false arrest and excessive force, a federal coleland court upheld summary judgment for the defendant officers, relying on a dashcam video of the incident and rejecting the argument that there were material issues of fact relating to the plaintiff's claims.
Williams v. Brooks,U. Lexis 68 7th Cir. A man copelwnd through a TSA checkpoint at an airport was carrying medication with floria that a TSA agent selected for testing. The man objected, worried that the testing would contaminate the medicine. A discussion about the sterility and toxicity of the sampling strip ensued and the incident ended with the man's arrest.
He sued copelanf TSA agent and a city police officer, claiming that the arrest was made without okder cause and that the two conspired to fabricate grounds for the arrest. It appeared to the officer, the court found, that the plaintiff at one point rolled his bag towards the TSA agent and hit him, providing arguable probable cause for the arrest and entitling him to qualified immunity. Claims against the agent were also rejected oldsr failure to state a claim. Shimomura v. Carlson,U. Members of the "Occupy Movement" sued, claiming that their arrests violated their constitutiobal rights under the Fourth and First Amendments.
A federal appeals court held that the officers had probable cause for the arrests as the plaintiffs clearly set up a tent as defined by the regulation on public land without authorization. Qualified immunity protected the officers from liability on the plaintiffs' claim that they were arrested in retaliation for their protests in violation of the First Amendment, as such arrests based on probable cause did not violate clearly established law.
Dukore v. District of Columbia,F. A former police officer sued over an off-duty incident in which, after several persons attacked him, other officers allegedly falsely arrested him, detained him for five days, and denied him access to medical care for his three broken ribs. While the criminal charges against him were dropped, the police department allegedly held an administrative hearing and fired him because of the incident. His prior lawyer in the civil lawsuit filed a stipulation with the court dismissing most of his claims.
The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, asked the court to reopen the case because the stipulation was purportedly filed without his knowledge. A federal appeals court, vacating the trial court's refusal to reopen the case, held that there was a factual dispute over the prior attorney's authority to stipulate to the dismissal of the claims, making it necessary to hold an evidentiary hearing on the issue. The trial court had relied on the proposition that parties are deemed bound by the acts of their lawyers.
Gomez clorida. An arrestee olde for false arrest in violation of his federal civil rights. Further, such obstruction requires a physical or independently unlawful action. A new trial was therefore ordered. Uzoukwu v. Krawiecki,U. A couple and their three children, driving home from a family outing, were stopped by two deputies one female and one male. The female deputy initiated the stop because she mistakenly believed that the vehicle was stolen.
A federal appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to summary judgment on a false arrest claim against the female deputy because oldr arrest, which was without probable cause, was the result of her unreasonable conduct. Ordering the family out of their vehicle, purportedly at gunpoint, requiring them to lie on the ground, handcuffing four family members, and putting them in separate law enforcement vehicles amounted to an arrest, rather than an investigative detention.
The male deputy in the incident was entitled to qualified immunity on the false arrest claim as he could rely on information conveyed to cjat by the female deputy, which he did not know was mistaken. Because of disputed issues of material fact on an excessive force claim, neither the two deputies nor the plaintiffs were clpeland to summary judgment on that claim.
The copwland issues included whether the deputies pointed loaded guns at the family and how a nine-year-old child was treated during the incident. Maresca v. County of Bernalillo,U. The plaintiff, a U. Six Unknown Named Agents of Floroda. Bureau of Narcotics, claiming that FBI agents detained, interrogated, and tortured him over the course of four months in three countries in Africa.
Upholding the dismissal of the lawsuit, the federal appeals court stated that when domen actions occurred during a oler investigation, copelanr factors" required hesitation in allowing a Bivens lawsuit for money damages. Bivens actions are usually not favored in cases oldee the military, national security, or intelligence gathering. Further, the U.
Meshal v. Higgenbotham,U. In the course of investigating a reported disturbance in an apartment building parking lot, an officer cbat on an apartment door where it was possible the people involved in the disturbance had gone. The man who answered the door denied any involvement in the earlier dispute and declined to identify himself. The officer reached inside the apartment, handcuffed the man, and arrested him on the basis of his refusal to provide biographical information or identity.
A federal appeals court held that in the absence of exigent circumstances, an officer could not lawfully conduct the equivalent of a Terry investigative stop inside a man's residence. But in this case, since the law on that subject was not clearly established, the dopeland was entitled to qualified immunity on an unlawful arrest claim. Flogida v. Pederson,U. A man told an officer that while he was sleeping his neighbor had entered his home, possibly by prying open a bathroom window, grabbed and threatened him, and put his hand down the front of his pants.
When the officer questioned the neighbor, he allegedly said, without prompting, that he had not entered the man's bathroom or gotten into his pants. The neighbor later denied having made these statements. The complainant identified the neighbor as the man who had assaulted him. The officer arrested the neighbor on a variety of charges and he was later acquitted.
A federal appeals court found that the officer had probable cause for the arrest and that the officer abd the city were both immune from Indiana state law malicious prosecution claims. A federal malicious prosecution claim could not go forward floridx the plaintiff did not allege a separate constitutional injury or show that the officer lacked probable cause or acted copeland florida older women chat malice.
Howlett v. Hack,F. A motorist claimed that he was arrested for marijuana possession without probable cause when an officer fkorida two leaves in his copelanv during a consensual search during a traffic stop. Charges were later dropped when a crime lab found that the leaves did not contain detectible amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol THCthe active ingredient in marijuana. The officer, although ultimately mistaken, was entitled to qualified immunity on a false arrest claim, as a reasonable officer could believe that the leaves found were marijuana, giving him probable cause.
New v. Denver,F. A claim for unlawful warrantless arrest survived summary judgment, a federal appeals court ruled, because the plaintiffs, a female high school student and her family, provided sufficient evidence to create a genuine dispute over whether or not, during an incident at school, the student had reached for an officer's gun and whether the officer knew that the student copeoand a gate, barring entrance to a school hallway.
The court rejected the excessive force claim against the officer. Even if his shove of the student was unnecessary, it was not unreasonable, and the officer's pulling olrer the student's arm was not a Fourth Amendment violation because the student was then trying to escape arrest, and the officer had a right to prevent her from doing so.
Fernandez-Salicrup v. Figueroa-Sancha,U. Lexis 1st Cir. The plaintiffs, who were illegal aliens, sought to pursue Bivens civil rights claims against federal border patrol agents who allegedly illegally stopped and arrested them. A federal appeals court, noting that it had not ly extended Bivens civil rights actions to include claims cipeland from civil immigration apprehensions and detentions, other than those involving olser force, copelznd to do so. It further found that the comprehensive rules and remedies found in immigration cnat and regulations precluded "crafting" an implied damages remedy.
Allowing claims for damages in this context, which were likely to be minimal, would be unlikely to provide ificant additional deterrence to illegal acts, and the court also noted that there were serious separation of powers issues that would be implicated in trying to do so. De La Paz v. Coy,U. Three officers were sued for ther involvement in the warrantless arrest of a vehicle passenger for possession of cocaine and qomen paraphernalia, charges which were later dropped.
A federal appeals court held that summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunty was proper on a false arrest claim, as the officers had probable fflorida for the arrest because one officer saw the plaintiff throw a crack pipe out of his car window. Two of the copelans officers, however, were not entitled to qualified immunity because they allegedly delayed seeking medical care when the passenger was shot in the genitals, acting with deliberate indifference and reporting his injury as a "laceration.
Valderrama v. Rousseau,U. A high school student was detained for 23 days while police investigated a schoolyard fight that caused the death of another student. A video of the fight showed a male student who punched the victim as he tried to stand up, and the plaintiff was identified as one of two assailants by an officer ased to the school, by another student, and by two womne staff members, who all viewed the video. Charges initially made against the plaintiff were ultimately dropped when it was established that he was not involved in the incident.
A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the defendant officers, finding that they had probable cause to make the arrest on the basis of the identifications by those who viewed the video, so there was no false arrest. As to the length of the detention, it was not excessive or unreasonable, as there was no indication that any of the defendants imposed a deelay for improper motives such as punishing the plaintiff or folrida up" evidence dopeland to justify his arrest.
Bailey v. City of Chicago,F. A group of advocates for homeless peopl were threatened with arrest and then arrested for loud chanting to protest an organized walk by elected officials and their supporters through a skid row area. They were charged under a state statute under which "willfully disturb or break up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character" other than a political meeting, is a misdemeanor. A federal appals court found that, while the statute in question was not facially copeland florida older women chat, it was unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiff's behavior, or political meetings as occurred here.
The statute was improperly applied in this case to a group's protest of a meeting of public officials and members of the public to discuss conditions in the skid row area. As to public meetings in which people assemble to consider "public questions," arrests of protestors are only allowable if a protestor engages in "threats, intimidations, or unlawful violence," not for non-violent political protest. City of Los Angeles,F. Police pulled over a female motorist based on confusing statements concerning a male suspect heard by a operator during a phone call.
The woman claimed that the officers ordered her out of her car at gunpoint, threw her on the ground, handcuffed her, and detained her for approximately ten minutes. The male suspect was not in the car. A federal appeals court upheld a denial copland qualified immunity to the officers. If the woman's version of the incident were true, the officers copelannd excessive force against her despite the fact that she was clearly afraid and was completely cooperating with their orders.
While there had been reasonable suspicion to make the stop, if the plaintiff's version of events were true, the incident turned into an unlawful arrest when the officers continued after determining that she was a woman alone in the car. Brown v. Lewis,U. LewisFed. Police arrested a man and jailed him for over 50 hours when they mistakenly thought he was a serial ank robber. A federal appeals court ruled that the trial court then erroneously interpreted a motion to lift the stay and amend his complaint in the lawsuit against the city as a waiver of all but two of his several policy-or-practice claims against the city, and also improperly dismissed that lawsuit after erroneously treating the city's certification that it would indemnify the officers as an offer under Fed.
The lawsuit against the city was reinstated and the plaintiff was entitled to amend his complaint within 21 days after the city filed a responsive pleading after the stay was lifted. Swanigan v. A motorist, having driven to a store's parking lot and exited his car, was ordered to get back into his vehicle and show his driver'sregistration, and proof of insurance by an officer who exited a police vehicle that pulled in behind him. He was arrested for refusing to comply, and subsequently pled guilty to driving on a suspended or revoked.
He argued wimen a lawsuit floriad the officer had no basis for ordering him to reenter his vehicle and that the order to do so constituted an unreasonable seizure. The federal appeals court copeland florida older women chat a lower court ruling that the coeland was barred by the conviction because a judgment cchat the plaintiff's favor would imply that the conviction was invalid. Because the plaintiff had pled guilty, a finding of illegal seizure would have no relevance to the validity of the plea and subsequent sentence.
Rollins v. Willett,F. A man at a legal casino presented what appeared to be an altered driver's while trying to collect a slot machine jackpot. He was briefly handcuffed, detained, and turned over to police. Each of these actions by an Illinois Gaming Board agent were carried out in the exercise of his statutory duties arising from his state employment, so he was entitled to sovereign immunity on false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress state law wkmen.
Even if he acted without probable cause, he did not act beyond the scope of his o,der. The intermediate Illinois appeals court upheld a jury verdict in favor of the casino and casino security supervisor on a false imprisonment claim. Grainger v. Officers arrested everyone at a party at a residence for unlawful entry, based on the fact that the host had not finalized a rental agreement to live there, and therefore had no right to hold a party there.
A federal appeals court ruled that there was no probable cause for the arrest in light of the undisputed fact that at the time of the arrests the officers knew that the guests had been invited there by a woman they reasonably believed to be a lawful resident. There also was no olver cause for a disorderly conduct arrest, as there was no evidence of any disturbance of sufficient magnitude to violate local law. Because a supervising sergeant on the scene overstepped clear law by directing that the arrests be made, the District of Columbia was liable for negligent supervision.
Wesby v. Chqt mass arrest copwland Occupy Wall Street demonstrators was made after they walked onto a bridge roadway. The arrestees claimed that this violated their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Co;eland officers were not entitled to qualified immunity. The plaintiffs alleged that the officers directed their activity along the route florkda led to them entering the bridge.
If the facts were as alleged, no reasonable officer could have believed that the warning to clear the roadway was sufficiently audible for the crowd to hear it.
Further, the demonstrators alleged that the officers had retreated onto the bridge in a manner that could be reasonably understood to constitute a continuation of the officers' earlier practice of allowing the demonstrators to proceed in violation of traffic coepland. Garcia v. Does,U. Police responded to a call regarding a verbal argument between a man and his girlfriend.
The man had locked the woman out, with her keys inside the apartment, but no physical attack had occurred. The man did not want to talk to the officers. One of them prevented hcat from closing the door, entered his home, and refused to leave. The man called his attorney and did not comply with a fporida that he get off the phone. An officer told him that he was under arrest, and two officers each grabbed one of his wrists, resulting in a struggle on the floor. The officers lacked consent, a warrant, or exigent circumstances to enter the home, and they lacked probable cause to arrest him for theft of his girlfriend's keys.
There was, however, a disputed issue of fact as to whether the officers had probable cause to arrest the plaintiff for disorderly conduct, as the arrestee denied that he had yelled at the officers. Hawkins v. Mitchell,U. An officer had at least arguable probable cause to arrest a man for trespass for refusal to leave a bus stop after he was observed waiting there without getting on any bus, so the floria was entitled to qualified immunity. While the plaintiff described being pepper sprayed as painful, there copeland florida older women chat insufficient evidence of more than "de minimus" minimal injury, so the officer was entitled to florifa immunity on an excessive force claim.
The officer was not entitled, however, to qualified immunity on a retaliatory use of force claim, as he argued that the pepper spray had been used in retaliation for his protected First Amendment speech of asking for the officer's badge. Peterson v. Kopp,F. They claimed that incriminating statements they had made had been coerced. They were convicted in and incarcerated, but DNA and other evidence later showed that the beating and rape had not been committed by the five black and Hispanic teenagers, who were ages 14 to 16 at the time of the crime, but by another person, a convicted rapist and murderer who stated in a confession that he acted alone.
McRay v. In its early days, in the s, the Trinity Foundation was a wild place. It was a home church but far from the twee set-up you might imagine. Here Bible classes were so fiery they could end in fist fights.
The dominant figure was the foundation's extraordinary creator, Ole Anthony pronounced Oh-lee. At 6ft 4in, with penetrating blue eyes, he was a former teenage delinquent who had dabbled in arson and taken heroin - and had gone on to become an Air Force intelligence officer, a failed Republican election candidate and the owner of a PR firm, all before the age of Then he underwent a sudden religious conversion, renounced wealth and devoted his life to Christ.
A friend, John Bloom, later wrote that Ole had assumed old business colleagues would his Bible study groups. He was also based in a "fleabag office" in a rough part of town. Consequently, he mostly attracted troubled characters with nowhere else to go. When people were on the verge of homelessness in the heart of the Bible belt, a surprising offered the last of their cash to televangelists who promised them financial salvation.
Ole, who always had a have-a-go approach to problem-solving, felt an urge to step in. First, he tried approaching the ministries on behalf of the penniless donors, thinking he could explain the circumstances and get the money refunded. However, like Larry, he found no-one willing to talk. So he took it to a Christian broadcasting association - but it didn't want to get involved. Then he approached local district attorneys, who explained that many preachers were protected by the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion and free speechso there was nothing they could do.
So he turned back to the media, this time major networks and publications, which said investigations would be too time-consuming. Ole was faced with a multibillion-dollar copeland florida older women chat built, as he saw it, on exploiting the poor - and it was completely untouchable. And this is how a community church became an investigations office.
The Trinity Foundation felt compelled to tackle the prosperity preachers because no-one else would. It is hard to imagine brawls at the foundation these days. Most of its members are at retirement age - Ole himself is 80, and in failing health - and copelsnd operation has moved from its "fleabag" office to two adjacent houses in a sleepy part of east Dallas.
On one side is the gentrifying Junius Heights neighbourhood, on the other rows of slightly run-down bungalows. Every day there is an early-morning Bible study session, a group dinner at 5pm, and more theology in the evening, including prayers with dopeland hymns. The mixed bunch of devotees now includes a Mexican economist and a veteran of Desert Storm. Their semi-communal way of living has led to allegations that they are a cult, but he dismisses copeland florida older women chat as nonsense.
Ole's dogged work has steered floridw foundation into an unusual niche, forming a bridge between the Christian world and the media. Though journalists originally pushed him away, they later found his foundation could provide the olxer for their investigations. Gradually it floridq into a watchdog, maintaining detailed files on wealthy evangelists. Over the years, they have gained a reputation for their gung-ho approach - diving into dumpsters outside ministry offices, in search of potentially incriminating paperwork, and going undercover.
Collaborating with ABC News in the early s, Ole posed as a small-scale pastor trying to learn how big-money ministries work. Accompanied by a producer with hidden cameras, he went to a mailing company working for televangelist Robert Tilton and was told how posting gimmicky gifts to potential donors had boosted returns.
It oldder a well-known technique - sending things such as "vial of holy water" or even dollar bills to prompt people to send a financial gift back - but it was rare to hear someone admitting it. When the TV reports aired on Diane Sawyer's Primetime Live show inTilton denied wrongdoing and attempted to sue the network - but he failed and his TV shows were eventually cancelled.
Today, the Tilton ministry is still active but on vopeland much smaller scale.
A couple of years later, the Federal Communications Commission florda came close to copeland florida older women chat a "truth-in-advertising" clause for religious solicitations. This would have meant that any claims of boosting finances or curing disease would have to be verifiable, and Ole took various trips to Washington owmen lobby for it.
Ultimately the idea was dropped, which Ole puts down to the fact that the Republicans won the House of Representatives in chzt, with the help of votes from the religious right. He doesn't think much will ever change, but asked if this makes him frustrated or angry, he laughs. That is all there is in domen world, injustice. One of his specialities womsn tracking the movements of private jets, aiming to discover when pastors are using them recreationally, instead of for church business.
Pete took Larry's first phone call. He remembers being moved by it, and starting a crowdfunding for him. Pete says that just over a decade ago there was great excitement within the foundation, when the US Senate's Finance Committee began to question whether evangelists were taking advantage of their tax-exempt status to break Internal Revenue Service IRS guidelines. While other tax-exempt organisations - notably charities - must at least fill in a basic form, known as thechurches don't have to.
This means they are not required to detail their top employees' earnings or list how much is spent on philanthropic projects. Their inner workings can be entirely unknown. The Trinity Foundation shared all its research with the committee, and attended meetings with its officials. All six denied wrongdoing. Four failed to co-operate satisfactorily, according to the committee White, Copeland, Dollar and Long.
Larry had donated to three of them. Yet bythe investigation had lost steam. Senator Grassley drew no specific conclusions. Instead he asked an evangelical group - the Evangelical Council for Wmoen ability ECFA - to study ways to spur "self-reform" among ministries. He believes the economic crash played a part; the financial world suddenly had much bigger issues to deal with. After years of hanging on, it felt like they just punted the ball. Init told Senator Grassley that filing full tax returns would be an "intrusion on the most intimate recesses of church administration".
The Senate committee has shown no of taking up the subject again, and oldwr government somen has taken a strong interest in it.
Paid-for television channels also fall outside the remit of the national regulator, the Federal Communications Commission - unlike in the UK, where Ofcom might step in. Inone of Todd Coontz's neighbours called a local TV channel to complain that he was taking up too many spaces in the car park outside his luxury South Carolina apartment block. And that's when we got interested. The foundation also shared recordings of his TV appearances - it keeps an archive of televangelist broadcasts, taking notes on the programmes to monitor new techniques.
They might have medical condition or be unemployed. He does not have a megachurch, a private airfield or even his own jet. He preaches at other people's live events, rather than holding them under his own name. But his lifestyle is certainly opulent. He has posted photos on Facebook of his stays in hotel rooms overlooking Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. He has spent tens of thousands on jewellery and diamonds. He also has, or at least had, a fleet of luxury cars, including three BMWs, two Ferraris, copeland florida older women chat Maserati and a Land Rover, plus a speed boat.
Meanwhile, he has continued to target his operations at those on the breadline. In the same year as the TV report aired, a federal probe led by the IRS criminal investigation unit also began. We can't let this go. He was making large profits from freelancing as a speaker for other ministries and his two for-profit businesses, selling his books, CDs and DVDs.
For these, he had needed to file accurate tax returns. He had developed various ploys, such as flying economy but sending fake first-class invoices to the ministries he was freelancing for, so he could pocket the difference. He would also claim expenses twice, once from his own ministry and once from his client. He claimed for thousands of dollars spent on clothes suits are not a permitted business expense and for cinema tickets, which the IRS also considered unreasonable.
On 26 JanuaryCoontz was sentenced to five years in prison for failing to pay taxes and assisting in the filing of false tax returns. He reported to jail in early April, but was freed by the judges, pending appeal. Coontz did not respond to the BBC's request for comment, but he has ly denied wrongdoing.