Joaquin Palomino

Volunteer Reporter/Producer

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4:04pm

Wed July 24, 2013
Cops & Courts

East Bay Express: False witness

On the afternoon of June 29, 1998, Trina Gomez and Maximilian Patlan were closing a branch of Fidelity Financial Services in Fullerton, California, when two men knocked on the door. They asked if they could make a payment, so Patlan let them into the bank. Once inside, one of the men punched Patlan in the face and ordered him to lie on the ground. The other man pulled out a shotgun and forced Gomez to collect all of the available cash. Minutes later, the two thieves walked out of Fidelity with more than $5,400 in cash and personal checks. The armed robbery and assault happened so quickly that Gomez and Patlan later had difficulty identifying the perpetrators.

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3:37pm

Mon October 15, 2012
Cops & Courts

East Bay Express: Reforming Three Strikes

Throughout the 1990s, tough-on-crime laws were extremely popular in California. Numerous pieces of legislation lengthened prison terms for many crimes, and the War on Drugs locked up an unprecedented number of small-time criminals. However, it was California's Three Strikes law — approved by an overwhelming majority of voters in 1994 — that exemplified the tough-on-crime mindset of the decade.

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5:34pm

Fri September 21, 2012
Cops & Courts

East Bay Express: The People's Police Department

EastBayExpress.com

In January of 2011, 38-year-old Lamar Deshea Moore walked into the Detroit Police Department's sixth precinct and opened fire. Two officers were hit in the head with shrapnel, a commander was shot in the back, and a fourth officer was shot in the chest, although a bulletproof vest saved her from serious injury. "As you can imagine, utter chaos and pandemonium took place," Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said at the time.

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4:31pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Cops & Courts

Reforming the Oakland Police Department

Flickr user alxndr

Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, two things shaped the Oakland Police Department.  The city had one of the highest crime rates in California, and four police officers calling themselves the “Riders” beat, robbed, and framed hundreds of residents in the flatlands of Oakland. For years the officers were praised for sweeping drugs from the rough streets of West Oakland. But in 2000 over 100 plaintiffs came forward and accused the “Riders” of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery.

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10:04am

Tue July 17, 2012
Cops & Courts

Why the OPD is approaching a federal takeover

http://www.flickr.com/photos/v63/299902093/

Last Month, the Oakland city council voted to pay $40,000 in punitive damages for an officer who illegally strip searched two suspects in public. Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, who currently oversees the department as they make court-ordered reforms, referred to the strip-searching case as an example of how stuck the OPD is in their dysfunctional behavior.

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