Police Abuse

Colorado Man Had Charges Dismissed for Two Separate Bank Robberies, Refiled After He Complained, Plus More Charges Because Fuck You That's Why

The man also alleges police assaulted him during his arrest by a SWAT team.

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KDVR

A real police horror story out of Colorado.

KDVR reports:

Steven Talley said he's living a nightmare after being arrested not once but twice for the same bank robbery despite the star witness saying he's not the guy.

A Denver judge released the 45-year-old from jail after the witness stunned prosecutors during a preliminary hearing. U.S. Bank teller Bonita Shipp testified that Steven Talley, the man charged with aggravated robbery, was not the same man who held her up in September 2014.

Talley was arrested in September 2014 for two bank robberies: At a U.S. Bank on Colfax Avenue in May 2014 and at a U.S. Bank on South Colorado Boulevard in September 2014.

Talley said he had an alibi for the first robbery—he was working. His ex-wife identified him based on surveillance camera, but Talley's lawyer pointed out the man in the video has a mole on his face but Talley didn't.

Talley also alleged brutality during his arrest, a sort of nut punch:

Talley said he was beaten by members of the Denver SWAT team during his arrest. He said one officer swung a baton at his groin.

"I have what's called a fractured penis. I didn't even think you could break a penis," he said.

According to Talley, the second case was reopened after being dismissed as retaliation for Talley complaining about his treatment:

"I'm going to throw your ass back in jail, we're going to refile," is the threat Talley accused [Det. Jeffrey] Hart of making.

In December 2015, Talley was rearrested for the second bank robbery. He was living at a homeless shelter at the time after he said he lost everything because of the first arrest.

"Had a family, had a career and the worst part is I haven't seen my kids in like 17 months," Talley said.

Talley's story aired last Wednesday. On Thursday he faced new charges—an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of trying to influence a public servant.

In the last year and a half, since people started "waking up" on police brutality, there are still pernicious, if not malicious, misconceptions. Perhaps none is more dangerous than that the problem of police violence is merely a problem with individual cops. Such an attitude can be comforting—if we can only get better people onto the police force, the problems would go away. But "top men" never solved anything.

The racist cop as an individual has certainly become the most visible and covered aspect of the story of police brutality. If it's not an unarmed black man shot by a white cop, the mainstream media appears uninterested—as if black men did not have a right to be armed without being killed and as if police of all races weren't capable of killing people of all races.

But police violence is actually a systemic problem. That should, actually, be more comforting than the alternative. Humans create systems and humans can reform them. The rules that protect bad actions by cops, thus ensuring more bad action, are all man-made. The Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBR) laws, for example, is an invention of the 1970s. Maryland was the first state to pass it, and through lobbying by police unions and other police apologists, the set of laws propagated across all 50 states.

The reforms can start the same way. The most powerful motivator in any employment is job security. I've seen the threat of firing, if it's real, yield some tremendous results in the private world. The public sector could use the same. Because stories like this about bad-acting individuals are stories about broken systems.

 (h/t Stanton S.)

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  1. Yeah, Denver cops suck. Where’s Fist?

    1. Not in Denver, that’s for sure.

    2. Denver PD: shoot first, ask questions never.

  2. “”I have what’s called a fractured penis. I didn’t even think you could break a penis,” he said.”

    Fractured Penis is the new Nut Punch.

    1. That is when I stopped reading.

  3. That bank teller better watch her ass, as well. If they can find anything to charge her with, they likely will.

  4. Why is Reason glorifying this privileged white cis shitlord?

  5. Dammit Ed. He’s probably going to face new charges because of this article. I’m sure they can figure something out to charge him with.

    1. They’ll probably charge Ed with something too.

  6. Well,this cop will be punished for his crime for abuse…….oh,hell,what am I thinking?

  7. His wife identified him based on surveillance camera

    That’s cold.

    Especially since I don’t think she can be made to testify against her husband at all. The spousal privilege still exists, although I think its been getting narrower. Regardless, all she had to do was say “I’m just can’t say for sure.”

    1. Maybe he’ll remember to take the trash out and leave the toilet seat down from now on. Paybacks are a bitch.

      1. If wife’s can’t be compelled to testify against here husband, then ex-wife’s should not be allowed to testify against their ex-husbands

        1. Wives, nigga.

          1. *Knwife

      2. Well, it is now! When I posted, they were still married (according to Ed, anyway).

      3. He got weed, he got weed…

  8. On Thursday he faced new charges?an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of trying to influence a public servant.

    So much for our right to petition the government, I guess. And, our right to speak out when we think public servants have done wrong.

    1. He won’t actually be convicted, but it doesn’t matter, because the process is the punishment.

      1. He was living at a homeless shelter at the time after he said he lost everything because of the first arrest.

        “Had a family, had a career and the worst part is I haven’t seen my kids in like 17 months,” Talley said.

        Sounds to me like he’s been punished more than enough. What could they possibly be hoping to gain from this? Are they just hoping that he goes ahead and opens a vein or something?

    2. Seriously, that line is blatantly unconstitutional. He is being punished for speaking out on his treatment. And some judge signed off on it.

      1. Professional courtesy is a helluva drug

    3. A very respected and experienced defense attorney told me he counsels all his clients to not have any interaction whatsoever with witnesses or prosecutors because, “witness intimidation is a broad brush”.

      Apparently if you were to say to your neighbor, “please don’t testify against me, I didn’t do anything, and it’s all a mistake”, it would be a felony since you are, in effect, tampering with witnesses.

      Naturally, when a prosecutor does it “you better testify or I’m throwing your ass in jail”, it’s not witness intimidation. Like a diode, it only goes one way.

  9. I don’t think we should kid ourselves that this is anything new. What we’re seeing is more of likely the power of Social Media to bring awareness, and evidence, to better tackle the general human issue of holding people accountable for their abuse of authority.

    1. It’s not abuse of authority. It is abuse of power. Police authority comes from their law enforcement duties. They have legitimate authority if they have real cause to believe someone has committed a crime. Anything and everything that they do beyond that is abuse of power.

      1. Abuse of power is one of the perks of the job.

        1. Perk? It’s the entire point. Being a cop means you can do anything you want because you can use violence on anyone who tries to stop you, and that you can order anyone to do anything you want because you can use violence on anyone who doesn’t obey. Then when you lie about what happened, you will always be believed, even when everyone knows you’re full of shit.

          1. Well, that and retiring at 50-something with a massive pension and being feted as a “hero” by the idiots at large.

  10. Talley’s story aired last Wednesday. On Thursday he faced new charges?an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of trying to influence a public servant.

    So attempting to convince a judge and a jury and a prosecutor that you’re not guilty is how many counts of attempting to influence a public servant? Does your lawyer face the same charges? Is the jury considered a single public servant or twelve?

    I’ve mentioned here before the corporate lawyer arrested for obstruction of justice and interfering with an investigation for reminding the corporate bigwigs that they had the right to remain silent and advising them to get an attorney before talking to the investigators. And I seem to recall somebody (similar to the Bill Cosby lawsuit) being charged with making false statements when they put out a statement to the effect of “They’re lying, I didn’t do it.” It’s bad enough they can nail you to the wall for most anything but when you can be charged with a crime for attempting to defend yourself it goes into a whole new surreality.

    1. This is essentially how Martha Stewart was convicted, for trying to assert her innocence. The prosecutors said that by denying the charges, she was manipulating the price of her stock.

      Confess Witch!

  11. how many times does it have to be written? FYTW.

  12. “Humans create systems and humans can reform them. The rules that protect bad actions by cops, thus ensuring more bad action, are all man-made.”

    That’s why blaming racism for everything is so attractive. It demands change without change.

    A Constitutional amendment prohibiting public employees from unionizing, from collective bargaining, from endorsing candidates, and from working on political campaigns would do a lot of good. Short of that, we need people to understand how public employee unions and government officials work together to shield police (and other public employees) from accountability–but that message will never get across so long as people continue to blame the disembodied force of racism.

    And minorities suffer for blaming racism for everything the worst! If blacks suffer from brutality and the lack of accountability disproportionately, then blaming racism for everything–instead of addressing the root causes of unaccountability–is objectively racist.

    1. Don’t forget the complete abolition of immunity for anyone, no matter what their government job is. Immunity is the complete opposite of rule of law.

      1. I think that’s ultimately due to the influence of public employee unions. Some of it is because the cops are protected from accountability in their union contracts, some of it is due to district attorneys depending so heavily on political support and endorsements from police unions, some of it is because individual city council members are beholden to police unions for campaign contributions.

        The only Republican alderman on Chicago’s city council got his major endorsements and campaign contributions from the SEIU, the Fireman’s union, and the police union. Which means the police union is even better represented on Chicago’s city council than the Democrats are.

        Look at his endorsements:

        http://www.napolitano41stward.com/

        Who’s going to hold the police accountable in that environment? The police own everybody! Everyone who can hold the police accountable is more or less on the police union’s payroll.

        1. You can’t even vote for a Republican to change things.

          1. You can’t even vote for a Republican to change things.

            That’s one of the reasons why I think the LP could do a lot more good by trying to win some local and maybe someday state level elections. Get at least a few people who aren’t owned by pubsec unions in local/ state level office and maybe, just maybe, the needle can start to budge in the pro-liberty direction. Probably not, but a guy can dream…

  13. Firing? No. Cops who act like animals under the color of authority need additional punishment beyond what a typical citizen offender would receive. They like mandatory minimums, so how about a 5 year mandatory minimum with no parole, and a forfeiture of all pension benefits if convicted? Abuse of power is one of worst crimes there is.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. They should be held to a higher standard. Instead they aren’t held to any standard at all.

    2. I would support making abuse of power a capital offense.

      1. I would support making abuse of power a capital offense.

        Robespierre, is that you?

        What you say might make sense until you remember the sort of people likely to wield that power.

        1. It is also so draconian that, like impeachment, it will never be wielded when it should be, leaving lessor violations unpunished, and always wielded for political payback only.

    3. What people typically think of when they hear “abuse of power” is things like accepting bribes. A cop taking a $50 bribe to ignore your speeding would be a whole lot less obnoxious than the actual abuses that go on.

      As has been said, the people who are abusing you “for your own good” or “for the good of society” are the worst. Well, the second worst.

      1. I wish that bribery was the problem. I had a particularly bad run in with a power hungry cop a few years ago that cost me a day or two of my time and several thousand dollars. It would have been great if I could have just slipped her a hundred bucks and continued about my business.

  14. “The racist cop as an individual has certainly become the most visible and covered aspect of the story of police brutality. If it’s not an unarmed black man shot by a white cop, the mainstream media appears uninterested?as if black men did not have a right to be armed without being killed and as if police of all races weren’t capable of killing people of all races.

    But police violence is actually a systemic problem. That should, actually, be more comforting than the alternative. ”

    Wait, what? No, it’s not more comforting. If the problem is racist cops, it’s actually easier to deal with that problem (namely fire cops who do racist shit) than it is to deal with systemic violence that impacts everyone.

    It isn’t even systemic so much as cultural. Cops and prosecutors and judges are all in collusion in this country where they see themselves as a thin, blue line against the utter anarchy that would occur if they were derelict in their duty. How do you deal with a problem that largely comes from the delusional messiah complexes of various state functionaries? Mind control?

    1. I mean, the first thing you can do is fire people who need to be fired. The problem is that the people in charge of firing suffer from the same cultural assumptions as the people they’re supposed to be overseeing. They have biases in favor of the very people they’re supposed to be supervising and potentially firing for negligence. That problem is worse and harder to deal with than some racist individual cops. If there were individual racist cops, you could fire them. If the system protects bad cops, then no matter the reason they’re bad, you’re shit out of luck in terms of dealing with them.

      1. The people in charge who should be firing bad cops are the ones who hired the bad cops in the first place. They can’t go and fire people that they hired. That would be admitting to making a mistake when they hired the person in the first place. They can’t do that. I mean, isn’t the first rule of power to never admit fault? If they go and fire cops who deserve to be fired, then they admit to being fallible, and that’s how they lose their power/job.

    2. Racism charges are easier because (a) there is a cottage industry of professional race-baiters, (b) there clearly is a systemic bias against poor and minority citizens, and (c) decreasing government power goes completely against the progressives’ ideas.

  15. His ex-wife identified him based on surveillance camera

    An unbiased witness if there ever was one…

    He said one officer swung a baton at his groin.

    “I have what’s called a fractured penis. I didn’t even think you could break a penis,” he said.

    Thanks for the literal nut punch, Ed.

  16. …since people started “waking up” on police brutality government corruption and incompetence, there are still pernicious, if not malicious, misconceptions. Perhaps none is more dangerous than that the problem of police violence bad governance is merely a problem with individual cops politicians. Such an attitude can be comforting?if we can only get better people onto the police force into government, the problems would go away. But “top men” never solved anything.

  17. Yet another story of police abuse in Denver, a liberal Democrat city. Why are liberal Democrat cities so oppressive?

  18. “Perhaps [no misconception about cops] is more dangerous than that the problem of police violence is merely a problem with individual cops.”

    The proclivity to engage in brutality probably is limited to a minority of individual cops. However, cop culture is such that cops generally will cover up any brutality committed by their comrades and lie to protect them. Cop culture is also such that it has the means to enforce its cultural norms.

  19. The reforms can start the same way. The most powerful motivator in any employment is job security. I’ve seen the threat of firing, if it’s real, yield some tremendous results in the private world. The public sector could use the same. Because stories like this about bad-acting individuals are stories about broken systems.

    I love that you call it a systemic problem, not simply a product of bad apples and white people’s original sin. However, I think that “job security” as a motivator to be restrictive about one’s use of force is still less than adequate. I don’t know about you, but when deciding whether or not to shoot someone who mouths off to me, prison time is a bigger factor than simply losing my job. And so it should be for cops as well.

  20. Talley’s story aired last Wednesday. On Thursday he faced new charges?an arrest warrant was issued accusing him of trying to influence a public servant.

    Christ. What kind of miserable piece of human filth do you have to be to keep going after this guy? He’s not guilty, you’ve already ruined his life, and yet you harass him even more.

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