On the early morning of February 13th 2011, I dropped my manager and her significant other at their home after shooting pool at a local pool hall and visiting a Kroger for food. Earlier that day (which was Saturday February 12th) I worked a double at the restaurant known as D.B.A. Barbecue in Virginia Highlands, Atlanta, GA. My manager and I carpooled so I waited for her to close down the restaurant. From 1 a.m. until approximately 3:30 a.m. I was in Kennesaw, GA with her and her significant other at a bar called Cue’s (since I really enjoy shooting pool).When the bar closed and the ladies had enough to drink, I opted to drive them home.
Short on food and cigarettes around 3:30 a.m. the three of us stopped at Kroger. By 4 a.m. We were all at my manager’s house. After getting them home safely, I opted to drink a beer and talk with my manager about various things. This is where I was wrong and I have admitted that in a court of law. While finishing that beer, my manager asked me how much I had left from my double (she calculated and did my “cash out” aka handed me my tips at the end of the night earlier). I proceeded to count my money in front of her.
“$234 dollars.” I said.
“Nice!”she replied. “Not a bad day at all then (for working under 15 hours).”
At that point I said my goodbyes and went home. Keep in mind by most standards I was not drunk. Given the fact that I had drunken a beer, I find myself at fault in terms of legal limit of operating a motor vehicle but intoxication never happened, and I have a signed document by my manager who was present the entire time to verify the accuracy of my past and following statements.
At 4:43 a.m. on February 13th 2011, I left the residence on my manager and headed northbound on Highway 5 north/Canton Highway. Once I crossed over the highway 92 intersection, I negated to lower my speed from 40 mph to the 25 mph speed limit (leaving a 40 mph zone), a mistake that would cost me dearly. Immediately after passing the speed limit sign, a police officer by the name of W. Franco (badge number 1638) turned on his flashing police lights and initiated a traffic stop. Immediately I produced my driver’s license.
The officer was convinced I was drunk even though I protested. The police report would indict lies of stumbling and “strong odor” despite my lack of intoxication. Once I exited the vehicle, the officer padded me down and emptied my pockets on camera. This is a very important part to the story. Two other officers also arrived, R.L. Sinfelt (badge number 1768) and J. Steelman (badge number 1640) to partake in the traffic stop.
My tips, over $230 in cash, were removed from my pocket in front of police officer W. Franco’s squad car, as well as the other contents of my pockets; some contents were even forcefully removed before I was even placed into custody. Everything that happened to me from this point onward, including this, was on camera and at the time they knew it was on camera as were trying to create evidence of a DUI against me. I submitted to their field sobriety requests and negated the blood alcohol test because of the one beer I had at my manager’s residence. I will not negate my refusal to submit to the BAC test knowing the recent effect of a beer on an empty stomach.
I stood on one foot and never touched the ground with the raised foot while counting up to 2100 from “one-one thousand”. I walked the straight the straight line from foot to heal, as many trained law enforcement officers are trained to instruct when suspecting of a drunk driver. While a lot of this may be hearsay to the reader, what is most interesting to note, despite my passing of sobriety tests, is the fact that my tips were never returned to me and all of this was indeed on a police video recorder.
Based on my refusal and the smell of alcohol, I was placed under arrest. When my car was searched I indeed had 1.5 grams of marijuana in my possession. While that may paint a “bad picture”, I am again not negating my own guilt. I have been sentenced for my “crimes” and am currently being punished for my behavior. What also happened, however, by the arresting officers has gone unnoticed and without reprimand.
When I arrived at the Cherokee County Jail, I only had a crumbled up five dollar bill in my right pocket. I asked the transporting officer, E. B. Maddox (badge number 1769) where my tips were and he claimed to have no idea about any “missing money.” At that point I realized I had just been robbed by Woodstock Police Officers W. Fanco (1638), R.L. Sinfelt (1768), and J. Steelman (1640). Even if only one officer stole, the others negated to intervene when my cash (tips) was removed from my person and not returned to me to be inventoried at the jail. This is also handwritten on the jail copy and my copy of the intake cash record at the Cherokee County Jail at the time of my arrival.
I negated to publicly bring this matter up as of yet to see if my cash was perhaps held as evidence, which it was not. I then waited for the video of my arrest.
Eager to prove the misconduct that had occurred, earlier this year at a hearing that would be rescheduled for my February 28th sentencing, my arrest video was checked out by the prosecutors of Woodstock. In the same week of that initial date early in this year of 2012, I requested my copy of the arrest video in person. The video was “checked out” (by I’m guessing the District Attorney). After a week had gone by and I had heard nothing, I called the Woodstock Police Department directly. The lady I spoke with was “unable to find” my arrest video and would “have to look into it further because it was checked out and not returned.” Immediately sensing that I would never see that video, I contacted my lawyer’s office and spoke with his paralegal. She then called the Woodstock Police Department herself and was told “even the police chief can’t find it.”
Once I realized that I was stolen from and that the department and/or the arresting officers had covered it up, I was then told that my chances of “beating my case” were not good- in terms of proving I was not drunk and that at least one if not all three of the arresting officers had stolen from me on the night of my arrest. This is due to the fact, according my lawyer, that despite a missing video, “all it would take for you (me) to lose is for one of these three officers to take the stand and say I was drunk.” I was pretty much forced to plead guilty to the charges and true until this moment, the officer(s) that conducted the thievery have engaged in non-punishable misconduct and crime.
I was hoping to obtain my video as proof that beyond a reasonable doubt, as I have my manager with signed letter and willingness to testify as well as my copied sales data (also known as a check-out slip), that these officers stole from me and completely got away with it.
I now bring this to the public knowledge that the police are not above the law even though they operate more like a mafia and that they are above the law. And since the prosecution would not work with me, I will do my civil duty and create a paper trail of the true events that night. It’s not fair that I got a jail sentence (already served) and a fine sentence while the officers that stole my over $200 in cash got to get away with it skid free only to likely do it again to the next unsuspecting victim, regardless of guilt. I am presenting this today as a paper-trail of factual documentation, so help me God, and not to slander, nor lie, in an attempt to get anything in return. I am simply telling the God’s honest truth about the police that are sworn to uphold the law that instead broke it because they thought they had a drunken man that would not notice a few hundred dollars missing.
And if I am wrong, I’d love to see the video that proves it.
Is there any justice for when the police engage in misconduct or are they really free to act above the law? So far they have gotten away with stealing from a DUI suspect at the very least. What this God’s-honest truthful statement will do, I honestly don’t know, but the public needs to know to hide all their cash when being subject to a (Woodstock Police) traffic stop. I truly hope this does not fall on deaf ears and that the truth is heard. The police need to be held just as accountable, if not more, than the general public for breaking the law.
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