Victims

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Texas teen shot to death by police officer who suspected marijuana possession

In Navasota, Texas in 2012 a 17-year-old boy, Jonathen Santellana, was shot 7 times by an off duty police officer who suspected Jonathan of marijuana possession.santanella

Navasota Police Chief Shawn Myatt told local media that off-duty patrol officer, Rey Garza, encountered 17-year-old driver, Jonathen Santellana of Houston, Texas. He was driving with a 17-year-old female inside the vehicle. The officer said he “suspected” one or both of them had “illegal drugs.” Later, it was clarified that Officer Garza thought the youth had marijuana.

It all happened at approximately 5:03 p.m., when the off-duty officer was working as private security at the Villages of Copperfield Apartments.

When he approached, Garza said the driver threw the car in reverse and hit him, so he opened fire. But a woman with Santellana told Eyewitness News Garza never identified himself as an officer when he approached with a gun. Thinking they were being robbed, they took off.

Garza testified that Santellana never threatened him nor did he feel that Santellana was a dangerous person, yet when Santellana tried to get away, the officer opened fire, killing the teenager.

Read more here.

Nurse, mother of two jailed for four days and fired for low-level marijuana possession

“In 2012, Lucy, a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) and single mother of two young children, was riding home on the train when a mentally disturbed woman began shouting at her. Police officers in the next car noticed the commotion. They searched Lucy and found a few joints’ worth of marijuana in her purse. Lucy was arrested and spent four days in jail. She lost her job and was sentenced to ten months of probation for marijuana possession. The state suspended her driver’s license and charged her over $5,000 in court costs, probation bills, and drug test fees plus $150 for a psychiatric evaluation.

“A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization, recognizing that regulation can reduce youth use, raise revenue for drug treatment and schools, deprive gangs and cartels of their main revenue source, and eliminate the waste and injustice in stories like Lucy’s. Voters have legalized recreational marijuana for adults through ballot initiatives in four states — though not Texas, where Lucy lives.”

Originally reported here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amos-irwin/marijuana-legalization-ig_b_8040046.html

79-year-old man focus of marijuana bust in Galveston County

via Click2Houston.com
via Click2Houston.com

BACLIFF, Texas -Galveston police arrested a man wanted for marijuana distribution Monday.

George Wesley Fleener, 79, is charged with possession of marijuana.

Officials said he was also in possession of three handguns, a shotgun, scales, packaging materials and $3,000 in cash. Investigators said Fleener had 33.41 ounces of marijuana, which they estimate has a value of $2,500.

Originally reported here: http://www.click2houston.com/news/79yearold-man-focus-of-marijuana-bust-in-galveston-county/35285908

Woman accuses officer of going too far during traffic stop

HOUSTON (KTRK) — A Spring woman says she was sexually assaulted by a deputy during a traffic stop earlier this summer.

It happened around 10:30 pm on June 21 near Ella Blvd and Barren Springs Drive, according to Charnesia Corley. The 21-year-old says she was just going to the store to get something for her sick mother when she was pulled over by a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy.

“I feel like they sexually assaulted me! I really do. I feel disgusted, downgraded, humiliated,” Corley said.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy pulled Corley over for allegedly running a stop sign. A spokesperson for HCSO says the deputy then asked Corley to step out of her vehicle upon smelling what he believed to be marijuana. Corley was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. No marijuana, however, was located in a search of her vehicle.

Upon returning to the patrol car, Corley says the deputy told her he smelled it then inside his vehicle. She tells us he called for a female deputy, who then ordered her out again into the parking lot.

“She tells me to pull my pants down. I said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t have any underwear on.’ She says, ‘Well, that doesn’t matter. Pull your pants down,'” Corley said. She admits hesitating. Deputies say she resisted. “I bend over and she proceeds to try to force her hand inside of me. I tell her, ‘Ma’am, No. You cannot do this,'” Corley told us candidly.

She insists at no time did she give consent for any such search. She’s retained an attorney, Sam Cammack, who argues that a search like this in a public parking lot is a violation of her civil rights.

Read more here: http://abc13.com/news/woman-accuses-officer-of-going-too-far-during-traffic-stop/905180/

UPDATE: Officers have been indicted! Read more here: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/hcso-deputies-who-ordered-cavity-search-at-gas-station-indicted-updated-8524840

 

Woman sodomized on the side of the road by cops because boyfriend smelled like weed

Brazoria County, Texas – A woman is suing the Texas Department of Public Safety, its director, and four state troopers in federal court claiming her constitutional rights were violated when she was given an invasive body cavity search on the side of the freeway.

One of the troopers was actually involved in two highly publicized roadside cavity searches that took place two years ago, which drew broad media attention and spawned a lawsuit the state settled out of court, according to Houston 2.

Jennifer Stelly and her boyfriend Channing Castex were pulled over in March of 2013 while driving to Surfside Beach.

Officers arrested Castex after claiming to smell marijuana, to which Castex admitted smoking. A female state trooper was then called in to search Stelly in view of the dash camera in the police cruiser.

Stelly said the troopers were searching for drugs hidden on or in her body.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/texas-woman-sues-dps-invasive-body-cavity-search-busy-freeway/#CqsM0Mzz5u5xEbWC.99

Invasive, Roadside Body Cavity Search of Marijuana

On a road trip to Oklahoma, Trooper Ferrell stopped Angel Hobbs and her niece Ashley for littering. After approaching the vehicle, the trooper claims to have smelled marijuana. The women denied having any marijuana at which time a female officer, Trooper Helleson, was called to search their bodies on the roadside. The troopers’ dash camera shows the female officer searching the bodies of both women, including their breasts and then down the back and front of their pants; all without having changed her gloves.

“This has been an eye-opening experience for me, okay? Never been pulled over, never searched like this. It’s… I mean, I was like totally violated over there a few minutes ago. I had a finger in my *** and a finger in my ****, and this is so embarrassing to me,” Angel Hobbs said on the dash cam video. “I was molested,” she continued. “I was violated. I was humiliated in front of other traffic. I had to witness my niece go through the same thing.”

No drugs were found and they filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety that was settled for $185,000. Trooper Helleson was fired and Farrell was placed on paid suspension after the incident.

Burleson County sheriff’s deputy killed during marijuana raid

Adam Sowders was shot and killed in an early morning marijuana copraid of 28 year-old Henry (Hank) Magee’s home in Central Texas. Julie Renken, the Burleson County district attorney says that, while there is evidence to show that an announcement was made, there is not enough evidence to prove that Mr. Magee knew it was law enforcement officers entering his home.

Often, police wait only seconds after their announcement to break down the door of a home they are warranted to search. “This was a terrible tragedy that a deputy sheriff was killed, but Hank Magee believed that he and his pregnant girlfriend were being robbed, “ said Dick DeGuerin, Magee’s attorney (as reported by the Associated Press).

Police were looking for marijuana and guns, the latter of which were owned legally.

The grand jury did refused to indict Mr. Magee on capital murder charges, making Adam Sanders an unfortunate casualty of senseless marijuana laws and the enforcement of those laws.

Child murdered in foster care, removed from parents for their use of marijuana

 Citing “neglectful supervision,” Texas Child Protective Service removed two-year-old Alexandria Hill from her parents. How did babythey neglect her? They admitted to smoking marijuana after putting her to sleep at night.

After being taken from her parents, Alexandria spent time in two foster homes. Her parents noticed bruises on her body while living in the first home. She was subsequently moved to the home of  Sherill Small, the woman who was later arrested and charged with her murder after admitting to have slammed the little girl’s head.

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Texas teenager faces life-changing felony charges for pot brownies

Jacob Lavoro is a 19-year-old young man from Round Rock who is Jacob Lavorocurrently facing up to 20 years in jail for allegedly baking brownies using marijuana concentrate. He has never been in trouble with the law before and says that he is “really scared” of the idea that he could spend a significant portion of his life behind bars. Lab results revealed that his brownies contained a total of only 2.5 grams (the equivalent of about two M&Ms) of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The trial on those charges has been set for Dec. 1 in the 277th District Court in Williamson County.

Lavoro’s attorney, Jack Holmes, says that he still plans to argue before the trial that the case against his client should be dropped. Holmes intends to request at a pre-trial on his motion to suppress evidence. Holmes says that police did not have a warrant to enter Lavoro’s apartment in April and also didn’t have a warrant to seize information from Lavoro’s cell phone.

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