Judge To Sheriff Johnson:
Reign In Your SWAT team !
Judge Tosses Evidence, State Attorney Tosses Prosecution
The VCSO Remains Silent
Is There A Conspiracy Within Local Law Enforcement
To Circumvent Constitutional Protections?
November 18, 2014
"Police throughout the United States have been caught fabricating, planting, and manipulating evidence to obtain convictions where cases would otherwise be very weak. Some authorities regard police perjury as so rampant that it can be considered a "subcultural norm rather than an individual aberration" of police officers."
Weird Al Yankovic - Foil
Is A Reconsideration In Order?
Over the last year, VolusiaExposed.Com has questioning whether Judge Margaret Hudson has an on-going conflict of interest in hearing criminal cases attached to the Volusia County Sheriff Department.
Our concerns center around the fact that Judge Hudson's spouse is a retired ranking member of the Volusia County Sheriff Department. Further, upon our last check, he is also a reserve deputy with the VCSO.
Couple those facts, with the fact, that recommending Judge Hudson's gubernatorial appointment to the bench - we believe our concerns regarding her impartiality have merit.
So, given the below Santora ruling - do we (VolusiaExposed) need to re-evaluated the validity of our concerns with Hudson? Well, let's do just that - let's review the Santora decision.
The Frank Santora Ruling
According to a recent , Judge Hudson excluded evidence in the criminal prosecution of Santora, due to the VCSO apparent violation of search and seizures laws.
Such laws have their roots within the to the U.S. Constitution.
Due to Judge Hudson's ruling, the State Attorney dropped their criminal prosecution of Santora.
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The Over Reaching Tactics Of The Volusia County Sheriff Department
If The VCSO Is Off The Reservation Regarding Search And Seizure Laws,
Are They Complying With Excessive Use Of Force Laws?
Santora's defense attorney, James Crock argued that the VCSO SWAT team routinely breaks the “knock and announce” law which requires law enforcement officers to knock and announce that they are serving a search warrant.
The "knock and announce" law allows the police, with an active warrant, to force their way in, if the home’s occupant refuses to let them in. Further, the law gives the police the authority of immediate entry, if they believe the suspect may be destroying evidence, or may be armed and dangerous.
Crock insisted that the VCSO SWAT team was intentionally breaking the law, so that they could terrorize people in their own homes on a routine basis with no rationale explanation for their behavior.
Crock also questioned a VCSO SWAT commander on why the SWAT team was used to serve the search warrant at the Santora home.
The SWAT commander stated that SWAT personnel are used to serve search warrants only in high-risk situations, but the commander was unable to articulate any specific facts, that supported the existence of high risk situation in the serving of Santora's warrant.
Crock argued that a vague statement of officer safety should not justify the police's violation of the "knock and announce" law.
“Basically, they might as well say we need to break the law or ignore the law because we have general safety concerns by being police officers,” Crock said. “Anybody at any time could pull a gun on us so we should violate the law and do whatever we need to do to avoid that scenario.”
Crock referenced a 2001 opinion from the 2nd District Court of Appeal which reversed a trial court’s judge denial of a motion to suppress evidence, if reference to a similar early morning raid by the Bradenton Police Department.
The Killing Of Edward Miller
Justified Application Of Lethal Force, Or Another VCSO Over Reach?
Recently, VolusiaExposed was within the law, when he shot and killed Edward Miller on September 20, 2014.
VCSO internal records supported that Hernandez had a prior sustained history of using excessive force, as well a being involved in an unrelated January 2013 shooting incident, that took the life of Flagler County resident, Kenneth Morrow, 52.
Apparently, the Miller shooting incident is still being "investigated" by both the VCSO and FDLE.
However, we (VolusiaExposed) must openly question the following;
Assuming that Attorney Crock's courtroom arguments are correct, that the VCSO is routinely and intentionally breaking the search and seizure laws, is it reasonable to question whether they are routinely and intentionally breaking other laws?
In the Santora case, Deputy Ben Yisrael testified that the VCSO SWAT team only serves "high risk search warrants" - but upon further questioning by Crock, Deputy Yisrael could not supply specific facts to support that the Santora warrant was a high risk incident.
Absent an explanation that the Santora incident was high risk, it is unreasonable for us to question why the VCSO used the SWAT team to serve the warrant. Was it to poison a criminal jury against Santora, by making him unfairly appear to be such an armed and dangerous suspect, that the SWAT team was needed to take him down?
Maybe, this provides some insight in the VCSO shooting death of Edward Miller. Sheriff Ben Johnson stated that Miller brandished a fire arm at his civilian clothed deputy.
Okay, let's assume for a moment that Mr. Miller did brandish a fire arm. Is it really that surprising that Miller, who maintained a concealed weapon permit, would brandish a fire arm at Hernandez? Isn't that the whole point of carrying a concealed weapon - so that if an aggressive person, while dressed in civilian clothes, and brandishing a gun approaches you, that you are able to defend yourself?
Our Review Of Judge Margaret Hudson
Congratulations - it's our opinion that Judge Hudson probably made the correct decision in the Santora matter.
We base this opinion, on the fact, that case law out of the 2nd District Court Of Appeals clearly supported Attorney Crock's motion to suppress.
Therefore, the law was clearly defined, and no judge enjoys being over turned on appeal.
Sorry guys (VCSO), the Santora incident was pretty much a black and white situation, no gray area or wiggle room there for Hudson to maneuver with.
We (VolusiaExposed) still pose the question of why it appears that Judge Hudson is assigned to many of the hard cases coming out of the VCSO. Is it just our imagination playing tricks on us?
The VCSO Remains Silent
According to the , Gary Davidson, the VCSO public information officer, opted not to comment regarding the Santora court decision.
Lately, several local law enforcement agencies, to include the VCSO, has been subjected to several allegations of not following the laws governing criminal procedures. If true, some of these allegations, hint of the existence of criminal conspiracies to deny defendants their U.S. Constitutional protections.
Recently, the public defender's office made some allegations that several law enforcement agencies, to include the VCSO, had witheld in their arrest of Ebony Wilkerson.
The public defender stated their belief that one law enforcement officer had re-written his report, in an apparent attempt to place their client in a more negative light.
The public defender attacked Sheriff Johnson's comments during a press conference in the Wilkerson matter, stating that the alleged misinformation developed by the re-writing of the officer's report was pivotal in securing the arrest of Wilkerson.
So are there some on-going criminal conspiracies within local law enforcement to deny criminal defendants their constitutional protections?
That's the $64,000 question. VolusiaExposed.Com can smell the smoke, and we suspect that we are starting to see who is burning the fires. How about you, our readers, do you smell the smoke and see the fires?
OR should we just start passing out the tin foil hats?
Ebony Wilkerson Prosecution
Changing Law Enforcement Reports
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If you found this article to be thought provoking, we
(VolusiaExposed.Com) invite you to review, the below linked, Special
Investigative Report, exposing law enforcement corruption with the State
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE SERIES ON LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION
by Matthew Doig and Anthony Cormier
Additional concerns surrounding the
Volusia County Sheriff's Department
We look forward to your comments on this situation.
Drop us a line to let us know what you think.