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Eugene Police Officer Target Students: Lack Causes, Abuse Power in Searches

No fourth amendment for students
Instead of being treated like any other community group, it seems EPD's policy regarding students thus far has been "guilty until proven innocent," along with the infamous "sorry, the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to you."

Consider: Roger Eugene Magaņa -- a former EPD officer who has been indicted on 51 charges ranging from rape to kidnapping to official misconduct in separate incidents -- joined officer Melvin Thompson to investigate a noise complaint at a students' residence.

The two officers arrived at the apartment of Phillip Piper and Julie Dickenson on Nov. 6, 2002, knocked on the door and obscured the peephole when Piper came to answer it, according to an official complaint. When the officers finally identified themselves, Piper became suspicious of their actions and refused to open the door without a warrant or visual identification.

The officers then contacted Eric Bradley, a tenant who was working as a maintenance person, and demanded a key to Piper and Dickenson's apartment. According to the complaint, Bradley initially refused, but gave up the key after the officers convinced him it was in his best interest.

Back at the scene of the "crime," the officers entered the apartment, ordered the people inside to sit on the couch and ransacked the rooms for more than an hour.

Nothing was found. No party was in progress. No meth was on the cooker.

The officers cited the tenants for a noise violation, which was later dropped in Eugene Municipal Court. The tenants, who have since sued, said the only noise coming from their apartment was a radio that wasn't even playing very loudly.

In June 2003, charges against University senior Patrick McEachern were dropped after a judge ruled evidence gathered against him was illegally uncovered. The charges of furnishing alcohol to minors, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and minor in possession stemmed from a party McEachern hosted at his Ducks Village apartment. When an EPD officer arrived at the party and couldn't get anybody to answer the door, he climbed onto the second-floor balcony and entered through a door. The officer then unlocked the front door and let other officers inside.

Eugene Municipal Court Judge Alan J. Leiman ruled that the officers lacked probable cause or a search warrant, and therefore the search was illegal.

Fast forward to February, this time under Lehner's watch. Undercover EPD officers, disguised as party-goers, infiltrated a gathering in the West University neighborhood in hopes of witnessing the unlawful sale of alcohol. The basis of their suspicions? A keg, obtained legally, was registered to the address. Their reasoning? To prevent a riot.

The fact that the students in all these examples may or may not have been committing a crime is irrelevant. What's important is that the police follow procedures that secure the rights of the innocent (i.e., anybody accused of a crime or suspected of a crime) until they are proven guilty in a court of law. When police fail to fulfill that imperative part of their job, they are ignoring a most basic tenant of public safety -- not to mention the U.S. Constitution.
yeppers 05.Apr.2004 18:23

dandelion ryceugene@yahoo.com

And these are only the violations that have been made public. It is amazing how often these incidents go on in Eugene. Prior to hearing anything about the last case being dropped, or even reported, I had heard through students that there had been about ten to twenty such incidents in which an undercover officer entered a party prior to the party being raided. This seems to be their favored tactic at the moment, considering that to a degree I guess it's legal...

EPD is fucked up beyond all repair. New police chief or not, the officers have a pretty secure underground net of back watching, and cop on cop support.

If you do not know already there is a pretty strong Copwatch program in Eugene. The group can be contacted if need be (i do not have the number handy, but could get it tonight if need be). Also, a video camera in the face of a cop is always a deterent. Keep one handy if you want to take matters into your own hands...

How you say?

If your planning a party, and your a student, go to the Media Services center and check out a digital video camera. Keep it in a safe spot durring the party, and if the cops come a knocking, start filming their every move.

We can't count on the Mayor, city council, new chief, or good cops to watch our backs, so we have to watch eachothers.

Revolutionary Youth Collective

Here's what happened during the Feb. incident 07.Apr.2004 01:12

Eugeney

The Eugene Police Department took aberration to a new level during Valentine's Day weekend, opting to use undercover officers to prevent rioting. This is perhaps the most nauseating use of tax dollars and services by EPD in some years, and it goes without saying that any future use of covert cops for the purposes of party busting should be on its way out, in the same fashion as the one-too-many tequila shot.

EPD's new policy -- which, unfortunately, is legal -- is so nonsensical that it must stem from a bout of late-night drinking itself, for it seems irrational any sober person or persons could arrive at such a procedure.

Here goes: Undercover officers may now be used to investigate parties where alcohol sales are suspected. But how is one supposed to determine when and where alcohol-related sales occur? Suppose someone has bought 10 cases of beer and plans to sell each can for a dollar or two. How is EPD going to know?

OK, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch. Maybe plain-clothes officers will instead go to residences where kegs are registered.

But how does possession of a keg lead to the supposition that one intends to charge others for alcohol? How does possession of a keg lead to the supposition that alcohol will be sold? Does the registration of a keg clearly imply that one intends to charge others for alcohol? The possibility is there, sure. But it does not mean that sales will occur, and surely does not justify intrusion into one's home.

Next, undercover officers could be used to investigate parties where minors are suspected of drinking. OK. So, a couple of clandestine cops come to a party; are they going to ask for people's IDs? No! Their ever-so-important cover would be blown. So, then, an undercover officer could enter your house with an assumption of underage drinking, leave with nothing more than that same assumption, and then call for the calvary. How is that an efficient allocation of time? That's creating twice as much work, and officers are still working without sufficient evidence.

These very same cloak-and-dagger officers could also be used to infiltrate residences that receive complaints. Say a party receives a complaint for noise or people in the streets. If such is the case, then wouldn't it be blatantly obvious to officers when they arrive on the scene? If not, then what justification would undercover officers have to enter someone's house? How could a neighbor complain of activities or noise that isn't audible or evident to the average observer?

Despite all the questions that arise from this fantastic plan, there must be a point. And here it is: "The whole idea is to prevent riots," EPD Sgt. Terry Fitzpatrick said.

So, a party with 50 people will start a riot? Fitzpatrick said one-third to one-half of the people in attendance at the Feb. 14 party were minors. Under Fitzpatrick's estimates, with 17 minors cited -- the entire underage-party total, surely, because underage drinking is such an epidemic that they must have all been breaking the law -- that means only 51 people were in attendance.

Well, despite size, this was one of the parties where rioting was a possibility. So how, then, does sending in undercover officers do any good? If it is fact that minors are drinking, that alcohol is being sold and that complaints have been lodged, then why doesn't the entire department show up with pen and alcohol-related-citation after citation in hand, prepared to "protect and serve"?

Most absurd is not EPD, however. Mark Jaehnig, an investigator for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, said the agency seized up to $15,000 worth of band and computer equipment. The justification: The items were "alcohol-related."

Enough is enough. EPD seriously has its priorities out of line if it has nothing better to do than expend energy -- twice that of normal -- to seek out parties where trivial offenses may or may not occur. What about the property crimes EPD Chief Robert Lehner speaks so worriedly about?

Well, here's a little something for both agencies, which seem ever-so-eager to fine students, invade privacy and confiscate property: The Emerald is going to have a party this year, but the date has yet to be determined. There will be cups, perhaps filled with alcohol. A staff member will play us songs on his bongos. And the editor will do a striptease to the fine tune of "Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo."

EPD, come on in. And bring OLCC, too. Confiscate the cups, bongos and the editor's clothing (alcohol-related, of course).

Notwithstanding a common-sense hangover, it's important that this you two pillars of the community live up to the absurdity set forth.


 http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/23/403a2a1b5cc6a?in_archive=1

 http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/20/403637936bb45?in_archive=1

This shit CAUSES riots! 07.Apr.2004 14:58

anonymous

Around the US, there have been a number of major student and youth riots triggered by police assaults on parties. In one mid '90's incident, pigs rading a party with about 300 attendees were outmatched 15-300, and were dragged into the street and beaten with bats in a sort of mini-Fallujah. In another, a raid on a fraternity in Oshkosh, Wisconsin led to a retaliatory raid on the center of town where traffic lights were ripped down and windoes stoned. Also, who canb forget the giant confrontation in 1997 at University of Colorado pitting ALL of teh local cops agaisnt all of the students in what the police chief called "an in-your-face to teh city of Boulder." Other battles were fought in Michigan and elsewhere-all over alcohol laws.

Bring it on you motherfuckers-welcome to Fallujah, USA! You try to prevent riots with pre-emptive raids, you will only cause them, just like last time around.

Source of the original article 07.Apr.2004 17:09

Eugeney


Part of a Larger Picture 08.Apr.2004 10:52

Keyfer Madness

Perhaps these raids are part of a much bigger picture. The systematic "dumbing down" of America through mass media and inadequate education has included a trend towards glamorization of facism. Think of how often in movies the cops are glorified for acting outside of legal, constitutional bounds - the Rambo mentality. Do these raids of college parties really represent trends towards gaining public acceptance of totalitarian police actions? Related to this question, justice for "sale" means justice for those that can afford it - bondage and slavery for those who cannot.

EPD Jeff Drullinger 11.Apr.2004 09:34

Merryprankster merryprankster39@aol.com

Greetings, I live in Eugene area and was arrested by Eugene Police Officer Jeff Drullinger. If you have any information on him, especially if he has had any connection with Officer Roger Eugene Magana please email me a  merryprankster39@aol.com.
Thank You, May Peace Prevail On Earth!

Police Harrassment 24.May.2004 01:07

Noam Sayin

I lived in the Willamette Valley,inc. Eugene for 20 years and was harrassed by the cops extensively. I even had one case go all the way to the Sate Supreme Court.Compared to other places I've lived ,like D.C,Miami ,New Orleans,New Jersey,L.A.,the stuff you're dealling with is really petty,Realize that if you're darkskinned in a big urban area it can be much worse.That doesn't make it all right,just try to keep some perspective.Alot of cops that have gotten in trouble in LA end up working in W.Oregon,and there's really nothing much going on,it's really mellow and people are really pretty respectful of each other compared to some places.If there was much action the cops wouldn't waste time hassling student parties.
The camera idea is excellent,except for one thing ,cops are really paranoid about getting shot,understndably there are lot's of people who hate cops.Anyway if you whip out a camera,esp a small one and the cop is green he might just shoot you -don't do it.The best thing to do is have the camera on a tripod.The next best thing to do is to say LOUD and CLEAR I have a camera,I'm filming you. (If you can make it into a joke,that isn't at the cops expense,you might be able to breakl the ice and cool the scene right then. Like when they open the door "smile You're on Candid Camera")Please state your name, If the Police have entered without being let in,(and I know they do that in the Willamette vly,In some places they know they;'d get shot.) Ask to see some Identification,have the camera running.w/sound when you do,Say it politiely but firmly-can I see some Identificati0on please.If they don't show it to you and it's on film you already won. Now if there are drugs on the premises or minors drinking,a defensive hostile attitude is a big mistake,The best thing to do is to ask if it's too loud,and agree to turn it down,no need to kiss ass ,but very important to be civil.In fact a calm civil attitude is the very best way to act,The bigger assholes they are the more polite you should be,If the camera is on they're gonna look really bad in court,it won;t just help you it will put the Judge on notice that these are asshole cops,and that might help someone else.too.

Ask to see their warrant,ask them to hold it up to the camera.Ask what their probable cause is.They have to have some and they have to say what it is.DON'T YELL.If they proceed witout warrant or probable cause, inform them that they are trespassing ,Tell them thay are violating your civil rights and that you intend to bring Charges.If they still proceed ,after they finish and have left,go to the police station and,FILE TRESSPASSING CHARGES,The next day file FEDERAL CHARGEs of CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE your CIVIL RIGHTS. A number of times when being hassled on the street by cops, I've been calm polite and patient ,and after giving them plenty of time,when they still are just hassling me,I ask" am I under arrest,if so what;s the charge",If they don't have anything then I state that I've given them plenty of time and they don't have anything ,and that if they don't let me go right now I will bring federal charges of conspiracy to violate my civli rights( I don't make the threat idly,I will follow thru). I Then say "how'd you like to get investigated by the FBI.? They let me go! I want to be clear,I don't say this stuff w' hositlity and there are circumstances where such a rap could get you beat up or killed.In Hawaii when Haoles get throwm off of cliffs,there is no investigation.Like I say Oregon is pretty tmellow.
By all means follow thru fight back.Not just law suits,bring criminal charges against cops that break the law, too,esp if you've got a whole pile of witnesses,and video,A couple of cases like that and all the cops will hear about it,they have a grapevine.Fight 'em with their own tools,If you fight them with violence, and/or macho male ego competition they'll win. If you hate cops,cops know that you hate them,and they assume you hate them cause you're a criminal(,good people trust cops,is the reasoning) Cops are like dogs,if you 're afraid of them they can smell it and think that means you're up to something. If you hate them ,esp if you're a young male,they'll beleive they have justification to teach you a lesson by dominating you,which will make you feel like refusing to be dominated,which will make them come on stronger.The only way to win that game,is to refuse to play.Cops are human too,sometimes if you can make them laugh they'll decide you're allright. Some cops are just as much victims of an unfair social system as anyone else,and they suffer this,overblown need to prove that they're strong,like males have to do in this culture,but also to prove that they're good by finding someone to be worse than them.,Don't play that role for them. Don't be available for abuse.Don't be abusive.

Want freedom and liberty? 29.Jun.2004 11:29

Funky Pretzel doug@funkypretzel.com

Would you like to be treated like something besides a _____ of ____? Check out the articles titles "Steppin Out" at funkypretzel.com on page 6 (commentary). A little truth can go a long way.