Saturday, August 13, 2011

FREE PASS for Police to Trash Video Evidence- According to Texas Judge Bob Pemberton

particularly regarding the cigarette protectionist statutes (drug war)

Texas Appeals Court: Driver Has No Right to Dashcam Video

Texas Court of Appeals sides with police officer claiming dashboard camera video of traffic stop does not exist.

Justice Bob Pemberton Drivers have no recourse if police say the tape from a dashboard-mounted video camera is not available, according to a ruling Wednesday from the Texas Court of Appeals. Mark Lee Martin wanted to defend himself against drug possession charges filed in the wake of an August 29, 2008 traffic stop, but he was told no video was available.

Travis County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Jennings claimed that he pulled over Martin that evening because he failed to signal a left-hand turn. Within less than two weeks after the incident, Martin's attorney formally requested that the department preserve video evidence from the stop. Subpoenas were issued to ensure "all videos and dispatch calls" would be saved. At trial, Jennings was asked why the camera evidence had not been kept.

"Since I didn't put it in my report it wasn't preserved because I didn't believe it had any type of evidential value," Jennings told the court.

The dashcam is automatically activated when an officer turns on his emergency lights. Department policy states that all video must automatically be saved for thirty days. Jennings could not say whether his machine was operating that night, but he would have noted either at the beginning or end of the shift if the device had not been functional. Jennings stated that the only way to know for sure if the video had been taken would have been if he had preserved the video. Martin argued the police were obviously hiding evidence.

"The officers intentionally destroyed the video and thereby put exculpatory evidence as far as the search is concerned or evidence favorable to the accused out of the reach of the accused," Martin's attorney claimed. "We feel that for no other reason the search is invalid and any evidence found as a result of that search should be suppressed."

The appellate court found no merit in this argument.

"We agree with the state that the record supports a finding by the district court that the police did not act in bad faith," Justice Bob Pemberton wrote. "The United States Supreme Court has held that 'unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police, failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law.'"

The court found no evidence of bad faith because the officer testified that he had "no clue" whether there even was a recording made.

"There is no indication in the record that Jennings or his supervisors handled the videotape in question any differently than they handled other videotapes," Pemberton wrote. "Nor is there any indication in the record that the tape was not preserved because of any improper motive on the part of Jennings or other officers."

The court concluded that failure to follow the instructions on the subpoena was not evidence of bad faith because Jennings testified that he never received the document.

A copy of the unpublished decision is available in a PDF file at the source below.

Source: PDF File Martin v. Texas (Court of Appeals, State of Texas, 8/10/2011)

Below is a partial list of Judge Pemberton's supporters:

Hon. Greg Abbott
Marjorie & Edwin Adams
Tricia Affleck
Victor Alcorta
Doug Alexander
Lee & Anissa Allbritton
Martin Allday
William Allensworth
Debbie Alsup
Jean & Kenneth Anderson
Joe Anderson
Claire Arenson
Gaylord Armstrong
John Arnold
Hon. Bud Arnot
Missy Atwood
Al Axe
Tom Baird
Scott & Anna Baker
Annette & O’Gene Barkemeyer
Geoff Barr
Travis Barton
Stephanie Bascom
Chester S. Beattie
Eric Behrens
Steve Benesh
Bruce Bennett
Natalie Wallace Bennett
Gilbert J. Bernal
Paul Bessette
Hon. Lisa Birkman
Barry Bishop
Tom Bond
Jack Borchers
Roger Borgelt
Wayne Bost
Ryan Botkin
Chris Bounds
Cindy Bourland
Jeff Boyd
Hon. Bruce Boyer
Terry Bray
Anna & Bill Brodie
Joe Brophy
Lou Brown
Britt Buchanan
Michael Burk
Bob Burleson
Michael Burnett
William T. Burrell
Jim Byrom
Charles Cain
Kerry Cammack
Jim Cannon
John Cargile
Charles Carter
Barron Casteel
Hon. Carter Casteel
Cheryl Casteel
David Chamberlain
Bill Christian
Bill Cobb
Patricia Cofty
Greg Coleman
Hon. Susan Combs
Diane Connell
Hon. Geoff Connor
Scott Cooley
Gail Corser
Peggy Cravens
Joe Crawford
Jack Crews
Bill Crocker
Jill Cronin
Wade Crosnoe
Mert Darling
C. Dean Davis
Fred Davis
Hector DeLeon
Andrew Dillon
Casey Dobson
Doug Dodds
Dennis Donley
Craig Douglas
Matt Dow
Claude Ducloux
James & Felicia Dunks
Mark Eidman
Jay Ellwanger
Ty Embrey
Hon. Craig Enoch
Leland Enochs
Jim Ewbank
Gary Farmer
Vic Feazell
Ed Fernandes
Scott Field
Wayne Fisher
Tom Forbes
Tom Fortenberry
Lisa Fountain
Tim La Frey
Hon. Dan Gattis
James W. George
Pam Giblin
David Gillmeister
Carroll Glaser
Janessa Glenn
Raymond & Doris Ann Goldman
Kinnan Golemon
Hon. Raul Gonzalez
Grant Goodwin
Yantis Green
Ann Greenberg
Hon. Joe Greenhill
Marci Hogan Greer
Brian Greig
Don & Prissy Griffis
Randy Grimes
Gary & Fran Grogan
Derek Van Guilder
Susan Gusky
Anthony Haley
Hon. Jack Hampton
Hon. Kent Hance
Hon. Tim Hancock
Rob Hargett
John Harmon
Jim Harp
Bruce M. Harris
Terri Harris
Louri O’Leary & Jim Harrison
David Hartman
Mike Hatchell
Molly Hatchell
Bob Hearon
Ted Hejl
Mack Ray Hernandez
David Herndon
Amanda & Jason Hill
Glenna Hodge
John Mark Hogg
Frank A. Holbrook
Kevin Holcomb
Donna Holmes
John Howard
Bob Howell
T.B. Hudson
Mike Huerta
Lin Hughes
Mark Humble
Lino Mendiola, III
Eustace Isidore
Mike Jines
Kay P. Johnson
Jennifer Johnson
Bill Jones
Paul Jordan
Franklin Scott Spears, Jr
John R. Hays, Jr.
Dan Kacir
Sidney Kacir
Hon. Patrick Keel
Mary Keeney
Paul Kerr
Andrew Kever
Frank King
Monique Kleck
Robert Kleeman
Joe Knight
Don Kothman
Matt Kyle
Lance Lackey
Ray Langenberg
Joe Lea
James Lee
Wilma & Bennie Lewis
Albert Lin
Lloyd Lochridge
Patton Lochridge
Will & Mary Long
Stewart & Mari Long
Elias Lorenzana
Michael Lovins
April Lucas
Tonia Lucio
Dr. Dennis Lynch
Barbara Mabray
Hon. Keifer & Sammie Marshall
Michael M. Martin
Dolores & Tony Massaro
David Mattka
Mark Mayfield
Shannon McClendon
Witcher McCullough
Samuel McDaniel
Gordon McHaney
Colleen McHugh
Mike McKetta
Drayton McLane
John Mark McLaughlin
Laura Merritt
Lorri Michel
Drew Miller
Janet Monteros
Wendell Moody
Robert Neblett
Chad & Annabell Nelson
Alvin New
Howard Nirken
Scott Norman
Erle Nye
Bob O’Boyle
Patrick O’Daniel
David Ogee
Rufus Oliver
Joe Osborn
Paul Van Osselaer
Gregg Owens
Dr. Darrell Palm
Hon. Greg Parker
Bill Parrish
Jennifer Patterson
Becky Yates Pemberton
Hon. Stan & Jo Ann Pemberton
Lee Pfluger
Bane Phillipi
Hon. Thomas R. Phillips
Hon. Jack Pope
H. Robert Powell
Jennifer Powell
Pike Powers
Scott Powers
Wayne Prescott
Adam Price
Shannon Ratliff
Gracie & Bob Renbarger
Wes & Aida Riddle
John Riley
Randy Roach
Forrest Roan
Mary Joe Roddie
Tom Rodman
Wendy Rogers
Tom Rogers
Dr. Jim Rohack
Frank & Jean Rose
Marc Rosenthal
Joe Will Ross
David Rowe
Paul S. Ruiz
Brian Russell
Kevin Sadler
Alex & Paul Saenz
Travis & Sandy Sales
Randy Sarosdy
Mitchell Savrick
Pete Schenkkan
Jody Scheske
Everett Schmidt
Carl Schwenker
Jamey Secrest
Jerry Secrest
Hon. Bob Shannon
Lance & Laura Sharp
Mike Shaunnesy
Nancy Shellhorse
Ryan Shelton
West Short
Cory Smith
Todd Smith
Jim Sneeringer
Dan A. Gattis, Sr.
Ram Sriram
Joe Stallone
Bill & Lynda Stokes
Frank Suhr
Robert Summers
Andy M. Taylor
Tim Taylor
Amy & Lloyd Thomas
Hazel Thomas
Jay Thompson
Laurie Tice
Charles Tighe
Austin Tighe
Tom Tourtellotte
Glynn Turquand
Ben Vaughan
Gavin Villareal
Meg & Dathan Voelter
Robb Voyles
Don Walden
Don Walker
Brian Walters
Karen Watkins
Skip Watson
Tom Welch
Stacy Wendlandt
Robert Westbrook
Mark Whitaker
Ivan & Dot White
Raymond White
Rick Whitley
David Whittlesey
Hon. Dick Wieland
Liz Wiley
Glen Wilkerson
Talley Williams
Ellen Williams
Bob & Esther Wilson
Steve Wingard
Pete Winstead
Susan & Reid Witliff
Rick Wittenbraker
Jim & Carla Wright
Anita & Dr. James Wuensche
John Yarling
Richard Yeomans
Larry York
John Youngblood
Gary Zausmer
Bill Nations
Hon. Bill Meacham
Gus Lindemann

Pemberton Earns Bipartisan Law Enforcement Support

Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT)
Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA)
Texas State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
Austin Police Association
Cedar Park Police Association
Central Texas Lodge #29 (Temple area), Fraternal Order of Police
Hill Country Lodge #23 (Hays County), Fraternal Order of Police

New Braunfels Police Association
Round Rock Police Officers Association
San Angelo Coalition of Police
San Antonio Police Officers’ Association
Travis County Sheriff’s Officers Association
Travis County Sheriffs’ Law Enforcement Association
West Bell County Lodge #32, Fraternal Order of Police
Williamson County Sheriff Officers Association

District Attorney Bryan Goetz, Bastrop County
Sheriff Dan Smith, Bell County
District Attorney Henry Garza, Bell County
Sheriff Bill Ellsbury, Blanco County
Sheriff Joe Pollack, Burnet County
Dean Myane, County Attorney, Blanco County
County Attorney Eddie Arredondo, Burnet County
District Attorney Chris Schneider, Caldwell County
District Attorney George McCrea, Coke, Concho, Irion, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green counties
District Attorney Steve Lupton. Coke, Concho, Irion, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling and Tom Green counties
Sheriff Bob Holder, Comal County
District Attorney Dib Waldrip, Comal County
Sheriff Richard Doane, Concho County
Sheriff Allen Bridges, Hays County
District Attorney Mike Wenk, Hays County
Sheriff (Ret.) Don Montague, Hays County
Sheriff Gordon Morris, Lampasas County
District Attorney Larry Allison, Lampasas County
Sheriff William Baird, Runnels County
Sheriff John Wells, San Saba County
County Attorney David Williams, San Saba County
Sheriff David Doran, Schleicher County
Sheriff Joe Hunt, Tom Green County
Constable Bob Vann, Travis County
Sheriff James Wilson, Williamson County
District Attorney John Bradley, Williamson County
County Attorney Jana Duty, Williamson County


Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC
Texas Medical Association TEXPAC
Family Law PAC
Texas Civil Justice League PAC
Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC
Central Texas Home Builders Association
Temple Area Home Builders Association
Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND
Texas State Rifle Association
Hudson Bend Professional Fire Fighters Association

No surprise that this judge can count on the support of the Fraternal Order of Police.

My police video was 'just grey static'

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