Use of Force

California Cops Arrested Teens Who Recorded Use of Force—Now They're Getting Paid

The department will update its training to remind officers that citizens should not be arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights.


Four California high schoolers will be paid settlements because the Delano Police Department (DPD) used excessive force on them while they were walking to school.

The incident occurred on April 11, 2019. It began when Pablo Simental, Edwin Ardon, Isaac Ruiz, and Isai Ruiz were walking through a residential neighborhood toward Wonderful College Prep Academy. The group was on its way to obtain prom tickets.

DPD officers Ruben Ozuna, Michael Strand, and Guadalupe Contreras allegedly veered toward the group with a patrol vehicle, questioned them, and arrested them for jaywalking. When the teens pulled out their cellphones to record the interaction, the officers attempted to take the phones by force.

Simental was jailed with his hands handcuffed behind his back for hours, yet he was never charged with a crime. Neither of the Ruizes was charged either. Ardon faced a single charge of jaywalking. The DPD acknowledged the use of force but cleared its officers of misconduct, maintaining that the boys refused to listen to orders to exit the roadway.

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed a lawsuit on Simental's behalf, announced that the city of Delano had approved a settlement with the teens.

A copy of the settlement requests that each teen receive between $30,000 and $35,000. And the city and police department will write a letter to the Kern County district attorney and Kern County Superior Court to dismiss Ardon's jaywalking charge.

"Upon further review of this case, the DPD has determined that further prosecution of Mr. Ardon is not in the interest of justice in light of the circumstances of Mr. Ardon's arrest and the nature of the charges filed against him," the settlement reads.

The settlement also requires the DPD to update its training to prevent further arrests of citizens for exercising their First Amendment right to record police interactions.

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  1. The DPD acknowledged the use of force but cleared its officers of misconduct, maintaining that the boys refused to listen to orders to exit the roadway.

    Any video evidence of that?

    1. Don’t know about being in the roadway, but this shows they were on the grass when they were arrested.

      1. Typical dope fiends and their “civil liberties”. If you are high on grass, you should be allowed out in civilization.

        1. I’m in a merciful mood, so I’ll give that joke a D –

      2. God I hate cops. What a bunch of awful patronizing, arrogant, officious bastards. Tarring and feathering would be too good for them.

        1. Bring back stocks!

          1. Scaphing.

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        2. Vote libertarian, join and send money to your local LP. Nothing bothers the entrenched Kleptocracy as much as that.

      3. Not only were they on the grass in the video, but they were at an intersection which goes along with the lawsuit that says they were crossing at an unmarked crosswalk (at the intersection).

        Looks like the cops investigated themselves thoroughly and found no fault. Nothing to see here, move along.

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    5. BTW, is it just me or the grammar of the article title sucks.
      Exactly who is getting paid, the cops?

      1. That’s how I read it. I figured it was more paid time off for “investigation”.

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  2. Somehow I doubt these payments will come from the department’s budget. Enjoy your higher taxes citizens of Delano.

    1. At least it is for the children!

    2. Thank goodness the ACLU didn’t waste its time by suing the officers directly.

    3. Would be nice if it came from the same pot all the tickets go into.

  3. Charges pending for assault, armed robbery and kidnapping (these are minors) for taking the cell phone at gunpoint?

    How about federal felony charges for deprivation of rights under the color of law (US title 18 section 242) for the illegal stop, illegal arrest, illegal taking of the cell phone and lying about the arrest.

    Should be 5-10 years in state prison and a good 15 in Federal prison with fines of $50k each officer per offense. These kids are owed MUCH MUCH more per the law.

    Paying taxpayers off with tax money isn’t enough. These pigs need to do real time. Hard time in federal prison. Until that happens, these pigs need targets on their backs and they need to expect to be shot regularly until the Constitution is imposed upon them.

    We should have bounties on pigs at this point. As a juror I will never find a cop killer guilty. NEVER.

    Fuck the police.

    1. I don’t know about all that ranting at the end but yes, until we can hold police and all government employees personally responsible, this kind of crap won’t end. Having the taxpayers pay for their nonsense is no solution at all.

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  7. I don’t know about all that ranting at the end but yes, until we can maintain police and all government employees in my opinion responsible, this kind of crap won’t end. Having the taxpayers pay for his or her nonsense isn’t any solution at all.

  8. What a badly written headline. Just…bad.

  9. That’s the same looter state whose cops were totally on board with G Waffen Bush faith-based (I believe I smell weed) asset-forfeiture looting–until the economy came crashing down.

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  11. Another $100K or so of tax payers money pays for bad cops and bad cop supervision. Add the joke called Qualified Immunity and we have an ugly joke on the people. Individuals, cops included, need to pay the price someway or another.

  12. “The great masses of men, though theoretically free, are seen to submit supinely to oppression and exploitation of a hundred abhorrent sorts. Have they no means of resistance? Obviously they have. The worst tyrant, even under democratic plutocracy, has but one throat to slit. The moment the majority decided to overthrow him he would be overthrown. But the majority lacks the resolution; it cannot imagine taking the risks.” ~ H. L. Mencken (1926). “Notes on Democracy,” p. 50, Alfred A. Knopf
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    1. I think this was in Delano, California. Not Leningrad. California is as close at it gets to the leftist utopia but is also closer to what you described. I find it amusing there is so much protesting and discontent in the Democrat controlled cities and counties with the people that elected them protesting, rioting, looting and burning against the Democrat policies yet went back out and voted for them all again. You absolutely can’t make this stuff up. Watching how this progresses is astonishing. They make the policies and the training for the police, have Democrat police commissioners and then blame the officer on the street following their policies for it all. Then they actually defund the police which hurts the disadvantaged areas that were screaming for relief and leave them more vulnerable and helpless.

      1. I agree completely.
        I was amazed when Portland, Seattle, and Kenosha continue to vote Democrat after all the Bernie voters burned down the business district and started to harass normal people in restaurants and in residential neighborhoods.
        I thought that everyone who had a business, and everyone who works at those businesses, and lost their jobs would vote Republican.

        Of course California has a jungle primary system, so Republicans don’t usually appear on the ballot during the election.
        So you can’t even vote the bastards out, only Democrats are on the ballot

  13. Hmmm…Something seems to be missing from this article. Oh, there’s nothing about any of the criminal officers being punished for their illegal behavior. Wait, are you telling me they’re not going to punish the police officers for such awful behavior?? As usual, no one is punished for illegal actions and no one learns anything that will stop them from doing it again.

    Just screw the taxpayer by punishing them instead of the officers who committed the bad acts. That’s great.

  14. The story left out the fact that the right to record police officers was won in court by Carla Gericke, former leader of the Free State Project!

  15. I can see why the cop in the picture might have an attitude problem. He’s aging and fat, plus he is balding in a weird way that leaves an unusual hair pattern. (The picture is not good, but I assume that is hair on his head.) Combine that with shades, a gun, and the power to do shit to people without worrying about getting in trouble for it, and you have a guy who will harrass kids for no legit reason at all. Nice!

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