Friday, August 25, 2006

Officer Ronald Dupuis - Highland Park PD - City loses appeal of Dupuis' unemployment claim - 08/25/2006






August 2006: City of Hamtramck lost appeal on Officer Ronald Dupuis' unemployment compensation - after Dupuis was fired from the PD for  tasering his female partner. Michigan Unemployment Security Board of Review affirmed the administrative law judge’s ruling





*Scroll down to bottom of page for Dupuis' law enforcement history*











Michigan cop with troubling history accused of imprisoning two women for days with no charges
byWalter Einenkel
FRI APR 24, 2015 AT 11:50 AM PDT
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/24/1380049/-Michigan-cop-with-troubling-history-accused-of-imprisoning-two-women-for-days-with-no-charges#


Highland Park Officer Ronald Dupuis is in trouble—again. This time it is a lawsuit from 2 women claiming he detained them for 4 days without charging them. The 2 women, Rhianna Turner and Kera Hill are domestic partners, they are represented by attorney Robert Morris:

Morris says in September of 2013 – Turner was working as a uniformed Detroit Parking Enforcement Officer.  While she was stopped in front of the old Detroit police headquarters at 1300 Beaubien, Hill showed up.  They were playfully wrestling over a set of keys when a nearby by Sheriff’s deputy feared that Hill was assaulting Turner.

Officer Dupuis came in to see what was the problem. Well, that sounds reasonable.

Despite the couple’s explanations that were was no assault – Morris says Dupuis arrested them.

“The fact that he actually took them to Highland Park, which has no jurisdiction with anything that could have occurred in Detroit, and he was able to convince his supervisors, who were already skeptical and didn’t understand why my clients were locked up – he was actually able to override their authority and keep my clients for four days,” Morris says.

They were never charged with a crime – but Morris says getting locked up cost Turner her job with the city.

That's not good. But, it's a he said she said situation here, right? Here's a video that was posted by Emma Craig on her Facebook page back in January. It shows Officer Dupuis beating a handcuffed suspect, facedown in the snow.

The suspect in that video may very well be a pretty crap human being but it isn't up to police officers to deal out punishment. Here is a report from when Officer Dupuis accidentally shot himself.

And here is Ronald Dupuis's history as a law enforcement officer, care of Detroit Free Press:

■ In 2012, a woman sued Dupuis, alleging he refused to let her use the restroom while she was in a jail cell — thus forcing her to urinate in her cell — and later "began to choke her" and began to call her vulgar names. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2013 because the plaintiff did not provide sufficient documents to the defense.

■ In 2004, while working as a Hamtramck police officer, Dupuis was sued by a man who alleged Dupuis wrongfully arrested him and had him jailed for no reason. The man was released without being charged. His lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

■ In 2006, Dupuis sued the city of Hamtramck after a female officer accused him of assaulting her with a Taser. He was fired as a result of the accusation, but was later acquitted on the assault charge. He ended up suing the city over his firing and its handling of the assault accusation. The case was settled.

■ In 2008, Dupuis sued the city of Hamtramck a second time over the Taser complaint, alleging the city had a duty to defend him in that lawsuit. That case was dismissed.

■ In 2012, Dupuis filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the city of Highland Park, alleging he was treated unfairly compared to his African American counterparts and that he was unfairly demoted in the police department. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2013.

Oh yeah, he resigned from the Southgate Police department back in the 2000s. It was in that same department he was reprimanded, in 1998, for allegedly assaulting a mentally disabled man...and stalking a woman, repeatedly pulling her over.

Innocent until proven guilty. But the police employment system that keeps him employed seems very guilty.


















VIDEO: What Does It Take To Fire A Bad Cop? Just Ask Ronald Dupuis
By MintPress News Desk
Minneapolis, MN
April 17, 2015
http://www.mintpressnews.com/what-does-take-to-fire-a-bad-cop-just-ask-ronald-dupuis/204481/

Ronald Dupuis, a police officer from Highland Park, Michigan, has a record of questionable -- and even outright bad -- behavior dating back to the 1980s. These decades of missteps don’t seem to be hampering his career, though.

With almost daily reports of brutality and fatal shootings of unarmed black people by police, activists in America are asking why officers so rarely face lasting consequences for their actions.

With almost daily reports of brutality and fatal shootings of unarmed black people by police, activists in America are asking why officers so rarely face lasting consequences for their actions.

When Darren Wilson left his post with the Ferguson Police Department, crowdfunding efforts raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the man who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Investigations into Wilson’s past revealed that he’d first been employed by a Missouri police force that was disbanded for corruption.

A similar pattern emerged in the recent slaying of Walter Scott. Writing for Counter Current News, Jackson Mariana reported that Scott’s killer, North Charleston Police Officer Michael Thomas Slager, had a history of violent incidents:

“Back in 2013, Mario Givens, an African American North Charleston man, had been ‘roughed up’ when Slager came to his door, demanding to be let in ‘as part of an investigation.’”

North Charleston Police have faced 46 federal lawsuits since 2000.

But few cops can match the checkered past of Sgt. Ronald Dupuis, the officer from Highland Park, Michigan, who remains employed despite a string of incidents that have followed him through multiple departments. Highland Park is the seventh police force to employ Dupuis.

A new lawsuit alleges that Dupuis held two women in jail without charges for four days. Shockingly, the incident didn’t even begin in Highland Park, where Dupuis is employed as a cop and where he allegedly imprisoned the two women, “Rhianna Turner and her domestic partner Kera Hill.” Instead, Dupuis is accused of intervening in an incident in Detroit.

In September 2013, a sheriff’s deputy witnessed the pair “playfully wrestling over a set of keys,” and intervened because he feared an assault had occurred. Although both women denied a crime had occurred, Dupuis arrived on the scene, arrested the two women, and took them to jail in nearby Highland Park. Though no charges were filed, Turner lost her job as a Detroit Parking Enforcement Officer.

Just this past January, Dupuis made headlines when he was videotaped beating a man suspected of carjacking.

“The video of the arrest, which was recorded by Detroit resident Emma Craig on Monday on the city’s northwest side and posted on Facebook, shows Dupuis striking the suspect several times while apparently trying to handcuff him and administering a final blow after Jackson’s hands were secured behind his back,” reported George Hunter in The Detroit News.

In 2012, Dupuis was hospitalized for shooting himself in the leg with his own gun, which discharged accidentally outside a cell block. Another incident involved him choking a woman he had in custody.

He was previously fired from the Hamtramck, Michigan, Police Department for using a taser on his own partner. Although a jury declined to convict him for it, courts refused to force the city to reinstate Dupuis, which is how he ended up employed by Highland Park.

Reneé Harrington, creator of the Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence Project, compiled a lengthy timeline of Dupuis-related incidents dating back to 1997. According to the timeline, the Southgate, Michigan, Police Department fired him in 1999 for stalking a woman and repeatedly pulling her over.

Because there is a lack of national data on police violence in general, it is difficult to determine how often police face consequences for their crimes. But in 2013, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey estimated that 90 percent of officers fired from the Philadelphia Police Department force were later rehired through arbitration with police unions — even those accused of crimes including shoplifting and sexual assault.

















Two women allege Highland Park Sergeant locked them up for days for no reason
Ross Jones, Heather Catallo
6:28 PM, Apr 16, 2015
6:50 PM, Apr 16, 2015
WXYZ News - Detroit
http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/two-women-allege-highland-park-sgt-locked-them-up-for-4-days-with-no-reason







HIGHLAND PARK (WXYZ) - Two women are accusing a Highland Park Police Sergeant of detaining them for four days for no reason, according to a lawsuit.

"He’s ruined my life, ever since that day," Rhianna Turner said.

The day in question was September 19, 2013. Turner was a parking enforcement officer for the City of Detroit.  Around lunchtime, she says, she and her domestic partner Kera Hill met up outside police headquarters.

"We were going to meet just right before her doctor’s appointment in front of (police headquarters), and we did.  We had a little horseplay going on, like we always do, and just out of the blue a deputy comes up from behind and throws Kera into the car."

The deputy was from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and feared that Hill was assaulting Turner.  A few minutes later, he was joined by Highland Park Sgt. Ronald Dupuis, who began to handcuff Kera Hill.

"I’m saying, 'Why are you guys doing this? What’s going on?' And he hollered back, 'You two were fighting.  You two were fighting,' " Turner recalled. "And again I’m confused. We wasn’t fighting.  We wasn’t fighting."

Eventually, both women were handcuffed and taken to jail in Highland Park. Turner and her partner were placed in separate cells.

"We were there for four days. No one could tell us why, on what charges, when were we going to get out of here,  when were we going to talk to somebody. Nothing," Turner said.

"The police officer who was there during the shift change said, 'Something’s not right, I don’t know why you guys are here, we don’t have any charges to tell you why you’re here.'"

Under Michigan law, no one can be held jailed for more than three days without being arraigned on charges. Turner and Hill say they were held for four days and never were charged. Turner says she lost her job in the city's parking enforcement unit because of her arrest.

Attorney Robert Morris represents Turner and her partner.

"Everybody acknowledges that this shouldn’t happen, but nobody stopped it," Morris said.

Dupuis is no stranger to controversy. As 7 Investigator Heather Catallo has reported, he is currently under investigation for how he arrested a car jacking suspect earlier this year.

He has made the news for shooting himself in the leg and for using a taser on his police partner in Hamtramck. He was ultimately found not guilty by a jury. Dupuis is no stranger to lawsuits either. He has been sued and filed his own share of cases in federal court.

"He has more of a bully personality, said Morris. "He seems to take whatever path is comfortable to him and his temper at that moment."

Attempts to reach Dupuis by phone today were unsuccessful.  Highland Park's city attorney said the city has not been served with the complaint and has no comment.

















Highland Park cop recovering from gunshot wound has long history of being in the spotlight
Heather Catallo
6:33 PM, Feb 10, 2015
http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/highland-park-cop-recovering-from-gunshot-wound-has-long-history-of-being-in-the-spotlight


Highland Park, MI - A Highland Park police officer is now out of the hospital, after he was shot in the leg. This isn’t the first time this particular officer has had a gunshot wound on the job, and it’s not the first time he’s made news.

As a swat team prepared to raid a home on Candler Street in Highland Park Monday night, they broke a front window to throw in a flash-bang device. That’s when a suspect inside the home fired out the window, hitting Sgt. Ronald Dupuis in the leg.

“A projectile came from the residence in which the search warrant was being executed and struck the officer,” said Highland Park City Attorney Todd Russell Perkins. Perkins said the police department is not releasing the officer’s name, but our sources confirm that it was Sgt. Dupuis who got shot Monday night.

Dupuis has a long history of making headlines.

He’s worked for 7 different local police departments, first coming to the attention of the 7 Investigators in 2005.  That’s when Dupuis was a Hamtramck police officer.  He was charged with assault for using his Taser on his partner in their patrol car. A jury found him not guilty, but he was fired from the department.

In 2012, Dupuis shot himself in the leg outside the Highland Park cell block. That was ruled an accident.

Just last month, Dupuis’s name surfaced again when he was seen in video of officers punching, kicking and handcuffing a carjacking suspect.

The Michigan State Police are about to present their findings in that investigation to the Wayne County Prosecutor.

Dupuis has also been the subject of several federal lawsuits, some with police misconduct allegations. He’s also sued both Hamtramck and Highland Park regarding employment issues.  Most of the cases were settled or dismissed.

“He’s back with the department, and he likes being here, and we’ve liked having him here,” said Perkins.

“Why does his name keep coming up,” asked 7 Investigator Heather Catallo.

“I can’t speak to that, but I’ve continuously as a lawyer-- I do not draw the conclusions because his name is coming through the news media… to draw a conclusion as to some bad conduct, or to some impropriety,” said Perkins. He also points out Dupuis has never been convicted of a crime.

“So does he just have bad luck,” asked Catallo.

“Well, being a police [officer] -- is something that I wouldn’t find myself doing, and it’s a dangerous job,” said Perkins.

Two people have been arrested in connection with Monday’s shooting. The accused carjacker from the incident that was caught on camera has filed a lawsuit against Sergeant Dupuis and the City of Highland Park. 

The Michigan State Police were supposed to meet with prosecutors Tuesday about that case, but the shooting investigation delayed that meeting.

















Another victory for acquitted Officer
Yet another judge has ruled in Ronald Dupuis’ favor.
September 25, 2006
by Hillary
Hamtramck Star
http://www.hamtramckstar.com/another_victory_for_acquitted_officer/

EXONERATED TASER OFFICER WINS ANOTHER ROUND AGAINST THE CITY OF HAMTRAMCK

The city of Hamtramck (MI) has lost a third legal bout to fired police officer Ronald Dupuis. Dupuis was falsely accused of tasering his partner, Officer Prema Graham, in November 2005. A Hamtramck jury quickly acquitted Dupuis of criminal assault charges.

Even though Dupuis was found not guilty of the charges, the city refused to reinstate him. The city through its attorneys, the Allen Brothers P.C., also contested Dupuis’ Unemployment Compensation Claim. That claim eventually lead to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The judge ruled that Dupuis was entitled to unemployment benefits and that as a finding of fact that “The claimant performed a “function test” of his taser while he was in the passenger seat of the patrol car and did not tase his partner.”

Dupuis was given a check for over $5,000 in unemployment compensation. The city filed for a rehearing, which was denied by the judge. Facing that defeat, the city then appealed to the Michigan Unemployment Security Board of Review.

Dupuis latest victory came, late last month, in the form of a decision from the Board of Review. The Board affirmed the administrative law judge’s ruling. In the ruling, the Board of Review chastised the city, represented by the Allen Brothers Law Firm, for making careless mistakes in their brief, including several instances of citing wrong pages of transcripts and also mischaracterizing the testimony of the witnesses. The biggest rebuke the board made was when the city'€™s attorney attempted to quote Dupuis while citing certain pages, wherein no such quote appeared on those pages or even in the transcript in any place. (Pg. 2: Bd of Review Decision)

The city now has the option to appeal to the Wayne County Circuit Court. It appears the city is spending more tax dollars in legal and filing fees trying to fight the exonerated police officer, than they have paid out in the unemployment compensation claim itself.

Dupuis is still seeking reinstatement through arbitration. His union has been engaged in an arbitration hearing since July. While there have been two days of hearings, the next arbitration date is not scheduled until January 2007.

Dupuis who has maintained his innocence since the incident in question remains optimistic stating, “I’m glad a jury, a judge and now an appeals board was able to see the truth, I hope the arbitrator does too and I can finally get my job back. It’s rough going over a year without a steady paycheck.”

Dupuis remains appreciative of those who have supported him throughout the ordeal. He is especially appreciative of a fellow police officer, Dennis Whittie, who was fired by the same police chief for writing a “thank you” letter to residents.

Dupuis openly supported Whittie and appeared at a city council meeting to support Whittie in his quest for his job back. Dupuis’ appearance at the council meeting took place just three weeks prior to Dupuis’ termination.

Dupuis said of Whittie, “He understands the culture of the place and was willing to stick by me from the beginning, even when it seemed that everyone else presumed I was guilty. I just hope we’ll both be reinstated soon.”

Dupuis was represented by Attorney Paul Wright during the unemployment hearing.

BACKGROUND OF INCIDENT
Ronald Dupuis was accused of tasing his partner, Officer Prema Graham, in November 2005 while the two were riding in a patrol car. Dupuis was quickly fired by Chief James Doyle within days and later charged with assault and battery. The termination and charges came even before all the evidence was collected, including a read out from a taser computer chip that Doyle did not download until 30 days later. The taser chip showed that the taser was fired one time for a period of one second, consistent with a function test according to Certified Taser Instructor and Hamtramck Police Officer John Aiello during his testimony at the trial. Graham’s version accused Dupuis of firing the taser at least two times and for longer durations into her thigh. She also alleged that Dupuis grabbed the steering wheel and she fought him off, yet the patrol car videotape was not introduced to the jury. The Detective in charge of the case, Sgt. Vincent Bielecki testified that there was no evidence a crime was committed contained on the videotape in question. A Hamtramck jury took only 20 minutes to acquit Dupuis after the trial was held in March, in the 31st District Court in Hamtramck, MI.


















Officer Ronald Dupuis' past law enforcement history:





Feb. 17, 1997: Officer Ronald Dupuis written up for careless driving while on duty. Ecorse Police Department.



Between 1997 and 1998: Officer Ronald Dupuis leaves the Ecorse PD and becomes an officer with the Southgate PD.



October 08, 1998: Officer Ronald Dupuis allegedly beat up a mentally disabled man. Southgate PD.



November 04, 1998: Officer Ronald Dupuis reprimanded by the Southgate Police Department for the October 8th beating incident.



Dec. 24, 1998: Officer Ronald Dupuis accused of falsifying overtime slips. Southgate PD.



March 16, 1999: Officer Ronald Dupuis accused of stalking a woman and repeatedly pulling her over while he was on duty. Southgate PD.



March 30, 1999: Officer Ronald Dupuis was informed that he would be fired from the Southgate PD [Stalking incident].



April 02, 1999: Officer Ronald Dupuis resigned from the Southgate PD, to avoid being fired for stalking incident.



Sometime after April 02, 1999: Officer Ronald Dupuis was hired by the Highland Police Department [after resigning from the Southgate PD, to avoid being fired for stalking incident].



Nov. 7, 2000: Officer Ronald Dupuis was laid off by the Highland Park Public Safety department.



Sometime after November 07, 2000: Officer Ronald Dupuis was hired by the Hamtramck PD, after being laid off by the Highland PD.



April 21, 2002: Officer Ronald Dupuis was accused of assaulting a man during a traffic stop. Hamtramck PD. Resulted in a lawsuit, which was settled for $20,000 on November 05, 2005. Dupuis was not fired from the Hamtramack PD. for this incident.



2004: Hamtramck police officer Dupuis was sued by a man who alleged Dupuis wrongfully arrested him and had him jailed for no reason. The man was released without being charged. His lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.



Nov. 3, 2005: Officer Ronald Dupuis was accused of discharging a Taser stun gun and striking his female partner, Officer Prema Graham, in the leg with the weapon. [Hamtramack PD]



Nov. 10, 2005: Officer Ronald Dupuis was fired from the Hamtramck Police Department for tasering Officer Prema Graham.



Sometime after November 10, 2005: Officer Ronald Dupuis won legal challenges related to the tasering incident Officer Prema Graham, and the Hamtramck PD's firing of him.



Sometime after November 10, 2005: Officer Ronald Dupuis returned to duty at the Highland Police Department [previously laid off from department in November 2000].



Dec. 7, 2005: Officer Ronald Dupuis charged with misdemeanor assault and battery in connection with the Taser incident.



April 01, 2006: Officer Ronald Dupuis found not guilty at trial of November 2005 taser incident against Officer Prema Graham



June 16, 2006: Officer Ronald Dupuis won an unemployment claim dispute against the City of Hamtramck for their firing of him after the November 2005 taser incident Officer Prema Graham. Chief of Police also refused to reinstate Dupuis.



2006: Officer Ronald Dupuis filed a lawsuit against the City of Hamtramck and Officer Prema Graham [November 2005 taser incident]



August 2006: City of Hamtramck lost appeal on Officer Ronald Dupuis' unemployment.



November 01, 2006: Officer Ronald Dupuis filed a lawsuit against the City of Hamtramck: Civil Rights / Employment. Police Chief refused to reinstate him. [November 2005 taser incident of Officer Graham].



January 2007: Officer Ronald Dupuis filed suit to be reinstated to Hamtramck PD, following his being terminated after November 2005 taser incident against Officer Prema Graham.



October 31, 2008: Officer Ronald Dupuis filed suit against City of Hamtramck.



2012: Officer Ronald Dupuis was accused of choking a woman who was in custody.



February 28, 2012: Officer Ronald Dupuis filed a suit against Highland Park: Civil Rights / Employment.



May 22, 2012: Officer Ronald Dupuis' gun "accidently" went off outside the department's cell block. Dupuis was shot in the leg. Sources at the Highland PD said there would be no disciplinary action taken against Dupuis.



September 19, 2013: Highland Park Officer Ronald Dupuis arrested uniformed / on duty Detroit Parking Enforcement Officer Rhianna Turner and her girlfriend Kera Hill, in front of Detroit PD. Dupuis transported them back to Highland PD and had the women jailed for four days - without charges. Turner lost her job due to the unlawful arrest and imprisonment.



January 12, 2015: An online video from Emma Craig surfaced, showing Officer Dupuis beating a handcuffed Andrew Jackson during an arrest. "Highland Park city attorney Todd Perkins said he's aware of Dupuis' checkered past, although he said he will "draw no conclusions" from it." In April 2015, Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney stated that Officer Dupuis was not facing discipline for the beating of Andrew Jackson.



January 14, 2015: Michigan State Police investigation of Officer Ronald Dupuis and other officers for the January beating of Andrew Jackson. Officer Dupuis was not suspended from duty during this criminal investigation.



February 09, 2015: Officer Ronald Dupuis was shot in the leg during a raid. Officer Dupuis was still on active duty despite an MSP investigation of the beating of Andrew Jackson during a January 2015 arrest.



February 13, 2015: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy began criminal investigation of Officer Ronald Dupuis and other officers for the January 2015 beating of Andrew Jackson. Officer Dupuis was not suspended from duty during this criminal investigation.
"According to the office, it received a warrant request from the Michigan State Police, which investigated the arrest of Andrew Jackson Jr. on Jan. 12 by officers...One of the officers shown in the video making the arrest is Highland Park Sgt. Ron Dupuis..."



February 25, 2015: Lawsuit filed by Andrew Jackson against Officer Ronald Dupuis for January 2015 beating.



April 15, 2015: Lawsuit filed by Rhianna Turner and Kera Hill against Officer Ronald Dupuis for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment [September 2013]



April 20, 2015: Officer Dupuis cleared by Prosecutor Kym Worthy of criminal charges in the January 2015 beating of Andrew Jackson.
"Worthy did not defend some of the officers’ conduct.  She said some of Sgt. Dupuis’s behavior was improper and warrants possible punishment from his superiors. Still, Worthy said, charges aren’t warranted."



April 20, 2015: Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney announced that Officer Ronald Dupuis was not facing disciplinary action for the January beating of Andrew Jackson.

















Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Detective Guy Picketts Jr - Calhoun SD



Also See:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2004/12/officer-doug-graham-battle-creek-pd.html


An OIDV victim's horror story at the hands of Detective Guy Picketts Jr. [Calhoun SD]

-December 16, 2004: Dispatcher Sonte Rounda Everson [Battle Creek PD] was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Officer Doug Graham [also of the Battle Creek PD]. However, Sonte was afraid to report the incident, and did not report it for almost a year and only at the urging of her counselor.

-September 2005: Dispatcher Everson reported the December assault to Detective Guy Picketts Jr. [Calhoun SD], who failed to properly investigate her complaint.

-August 16, 2006: Everson filed a complaint against Detective Picketts for his failure to properly investigate her complaint.

-August 22, 2006: Detective Picketts had Everson charged and arrested for filing a false police report [December 16, 2004 assault].

-May 2007: At a court hearing, the charges for filing a false police report against Everson were dropped.

-May 2007: As Everson was leaving the courthouse from having the charges dropped, Detective Pickett had her re-charged and re-arrested on new charges for filing a false police report.

-February 2008: Charges of filing a false police report were once again dismissed against Everson.

-2012: Everson won a $1,000,000 lawsuit for the retaliation she was subjected to at the hands of Detective Guy Picketts.



"This has been a long ordeal. To survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, know that you have the right to stand up for your life, no matter who the perpetrator is. Justice will eventually prevail." Sonte Rolina Everson.

           







Linda Everson, Named As "Linda (Sonte) Everson," Aka Sonte v. Calhoun County, et al
http://www.law.com/jsp/decision_friendly.jsp?id=1202489051659
6th Cir.
01-24-2011
Cole, Circuit Judge.
09-2183
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 11a0053n.06
BEFORE: BOGGS, COLE, and CLAY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for First Amendment retaliation, Defendant-Appellant Gary Picketts appeals on qualified immunity grounds the district court's order granting in part and denying in part his motion to dismiss and alternative motion for summary judgment.*fn1 For the following reasons, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History

1. The Police Report & Initial Investigation of Graham In September 2005, Plaintiff-Appellee Linda Everson reported to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office that, on December 16, 2004, her then-boyfriend Officer Doug Graham of the Battle Creek Police Department forcibly sodomized her during an otherwise-consensual sexual encounter. She stated that she had broken up with Graham and, unsure how to proceed, confided in friends, a counselor, and her physician about the sexual assault before finally deciding to file a police report.

Calhoun County Detective Guy Picketts handled the investigation into Graham's conduct. He interviewed Everson; several of Everson's friends and coworkers in the police department, all of whom confirmed that Everson reported being sexually assaulted by Graham; and Everson's doctor. He also interviewed Graham, who denied that the sodomy occurred and suggested that Everson filed the report out of spite when she found out that he was marrying another woman. Picketts interviewed Everson's friend Sheri Lemonious as well. Although Picketts reported in 2005 that Lemonious said Everson described the sodomy as consensual, Lemonious attested in 2009 that she told Picketts the opposite. Everson alleges that Picketts failed to interview several important witnesses during his investigation.

Picketts submitted a report of his investigation to the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office, which recused itself on conflict-of-interest grounds. In January 2006, the Branch County prosecutor reviewed Picketts's report and declined to prosecute Graham for sexual assault.

2. Everson's Speech

Upset by the decision not to prosecute, Everson publicly criticized Picketts loudly and repeatedly, accusing him of not doing his job and being "just part of the good ole boy system." She mentioned her complaints to colleagues in law enforcement, at least one of whom relayed her statements to Picketts. Everson also met with Picketts's boss on August 16, 2006, to initiate a formal complaint against Picketts and sent a letter to the Calhoun County prosecutor on August 31, 2006, asking him to take action about her concerns regarding Picketts's investigation of Graham.

3. Picketts's Investigation & Arrest of Everson

Picketts began documenting Everson's comments in a new investigative report-this time against Everson. On August 22, 2006, Picketts interviewed Ethel Fitzpatrick ("Mrs. Fitzpatrick"), Everson's former friend, who stated that Everson had told her that the sexual assault had never occurred. Picketts did not confront Everson about the allegations, and eight days later, he requested an arrest warrant for Everson for the felony of filing a false police report. Everson alleges that Picketts opened the investigation against her before he interviewed Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Everson also alleges that Picketts lied about the first time he met Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Keith Fitzpatrick ("Mr. Fitzpatrick"), Mrs. Fitzpatrick's husband, asserts that at some point Picketts came to their house, told them that he had a personal dispute with Everson, and spoke with Mrs. Fitzpatrick at length and in private. Mr. Fitzpatrick attested that he could not remember whether the in-home meeting took place before or after the August 22, 2006 interview. But he also stated that he had never seen Picketts before the in-home meeting, and both Fitzpatricks were present for the August 22, 2006 interview.

Calhoun County did not recuse itself from the case against Everson, but rather charged her with filing a false police report. After a preliminary hearing, the Michigan district court found probable cause that Everson had committed the crime and bound her over to the circuit court for trial. The circuit court quashed the bind-over and dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Everson was then rearrested on the same charges, and the case was transferred to Kalamazoo County. On February 1, 2008, the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor dismissed all charges against Everson "in the best interests of justice."

B. Procedural History
Everson filed a complaint against Calhoun County, the prosecutor, and Picketts (collectively, "Defendants") under § 1983, alleging that their actions (1) violated her equal protection rights; and (2) constituted illegal retaliation for the lawful exercise of her First Amendment rights. In response, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss and, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. After oral argument, the district court issued an order (1) dismissing the equal protection claim; (2) dismissing the retaliation claim against the prosecutor on absolute prosecutorial immunity grounds; (3) denying the motion in all other respects as to Picketts; and (4) denying the motion in all other respects as to Calhoun County without prejudice to renewal of the motion after the close of all discovery. Picketts filed this appeal, alleging that the district court erred in failing to dismiss all claims against him on qualified immunity grounds.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

This court reviews a district court's denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds de novo. Gregory v. City of Louisville, 444 F.3d 725, 742 (6th Cir. 2006). "We may only review the denial of qualified immunity to the extent that the 'appeal involves the abstract or pure legal issue of whether the facts alleged by the plaintiff constitute a violation of clearly established law.'" Dorsey v. Barber, 517 F.3d 389, 394 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Gregory, 444 F.3d at 742). The defendant must "be willing to concede the most favorable view of the facts to the plaintiff for purposes of the appeal." Moldowan v. City of Warren, 578 F.3d 351, 370 (6th Cir. 2009).

B. Analysis

In determining whether qualified immunity applies, this court employs a two-step test, considering (1) whether, viewing the allegations in the light most favorable to the injured party, a constitutional right has been violated; and (2) whether that right was clearly established. Dorsey v. Barber, 517 F.3d 389, 394 (6th Cir. 2008). We have discretion to undertake the steps in either order. Pearson v. Callahan, 129 S. Ct. 808, 818 (2009).

It is clearly established that "the First Amendment prohibits government officials from subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions, including criminal prosecutions, for speaking out." Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250, 256 (2006). To state a prima facie First Amendment retaliation claim, Everson must establish (1) protected speech; (2) injury as a result of defendant's actions; and (3) causation. See Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 287 (1977).

Picketts first argues that Everson's allegations do not constitute a prima facie retaliation claim because they fail to establish a lack of probable cause, an element of causation. He is correct that § 1983 claims for retaliatory prosecution and arrest fail as a matter of law if the defendant had probable cause. See Hartman, 547 U.S. at 261-62 (Bivens claim for retaliatory prosecution); Barnes v. Wright, 449 F.3d 709, 720 (6th Cir. 2006) (retaliatory arrest). Probable cause exists when an officer has reasonably trustworthy information sufficient to warrant a prudent person in believing that a suspect has committed a crime. Gardenhire v. Schubert, 205 F.3d 303, 315 (6th Cir. 2000). In determining whether probable cause existed in this case, we examine the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of the arresting officer at the time of the arrest. Parsons v. City of Pontiac, 533 F.3d 492, 501 (6th Cir. 2008). In § 1983 actions, the existence of probable cause is a jury question unless only one reasonable determination is possible. Id. (citing Fridley v. Horrighs, 291 F.3d 867, 872 (6th Cir. 2002)).

In this case, there are genuine disputes of material fact about whether Picketts intentionally changed Lemonious's statement in his report, spoke privately with Mrs. Fitzpatrick in her home at length before she gave her formal statement, and influenced the content of Mrs. Fitzpatrick's statement. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Everson, a reasonable jury could find that, at the time Picketts sought an arrest warrant for Everson, the information he had collected against her was not reasonably trustworthy. Because more than one reasonable determination as to probable cause is possible, it is therefore appropriate to allow the case to proceed to trial.

Picketts's argument that this court should accept the prosecutor's and state court's findings of probable cause as evidence that probable cause existed is inapposite. Because these probable cause determinations were based only on the evidence that Picketts included in his report-which did not describe the circumstances, as alleged by the plaintiff, surrounding Lemonious's and Mrs. Fitzpatrick's statements-we do not find them probative to the issue of whether Picketts had sufficient reasonably trustworthy information at the time of the arrest.

Picketts also contends that the district court's finding that genuine issues of material fact exist was erroneous because it relied on a series of unreasonable adverse inferences and omitted a number of relevant facts. But the "contention that the district court erred in finding a genuine issue of fact for trial is not the type of legal question which we may entertain on an interlocutory basis." Gregory, 444 F.3d at 743. Although this court has recognized an apparent exception "'where the trial court's determination that a fact is subject to reasonable dispute is blatantly and demonstrably false,'" Moldowan, 578 F.3d at 370 (quoting Wysong v. Heath, 260 F. App'x 848, 853 (6th Cir. 2008)) (internal quotation marks omitted), that exception does not apply here. The district court noted the following disputed facts, among others: (1) when Picketts opened his investigation into Everson; (2) whether Lemonious told Picketts that Everson said she had not been raped; and (3) when and how Mrs. Fitzpatrick surfaced as a witness. All of these facts are material to the existence of probable cause. These facts are also genuinely in dispute: each party answers these questions differently, each party's allegations of fact are supported by witness statements, and no objective evidence makes one party's allegations obviously false. Cf. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380-81 (2007) (finding no genuine dispute of material fact where video evidence blatantly contradicted the plaintiff's allegation that he was driving carefully). Because the district court's finding of genuine issues of material fact was not blatantly and demonstrably false, we lack jurisdiction to undertake further review in this regard.

III. CONCLUSION

For the reasons discussed above, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court denying Picketts's motion for summary judgment.

Opinion Footnotes

*fn1 Defendant Calhoun County appealed the district court's determination that it was not entitled to sovereign immunity, but withdrew its appeal of this issue at oral argument.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Assist Prosecutor Kevin Floyd - Kent County




On August 21, 2006 the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board suspended Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd for 30 days, for his assault and battery conviction [May 23, 2003 altercation with ex-wife].




ALSO SEE:


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. May 23, 2007: Assault and battery; aggravated stalking charges.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2003/10/october-22-2003-assistant-prosecutor.html


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. October 2003: Jailed for 7 days.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2003/10/assistant-prosecutor-kevin-floyd-kent.html


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. February 27, 2004: Pretrial release revocation hearing for failure to pay electronic tether fees.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2004/02/assistant-prosecutor-kevin-floyd-kent.html


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. July 12, 2005: Violation of probation.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2005/07/assistant-prosecutor-kevin-floyd-kent.html


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. December 30, 2005: Criminal contempt in civil case / divorce case.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2005/12/assistant-prosecutor-kevin-floyd-kent.html


Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Floyd. May 31, 2007: Attempted to appeal May 10, 2007, parenting time ruling.

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/05/assistant-prosecutor-kevin-floyd-kent.html
















Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Detective Guy Picketts Jr - Calhoun SD




Also See:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2004/12/officer-doug-graham-battle-creek-pd.html


An OIDV victim's horror story at the hands of Detective Guy Picketts Jr. [Calhoun SD]

-December 16, 2004: Dispatcher Sonte Rounda Everson [Battle Creek PD] was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Officer Doug Graham [also of the Battle Creek PD]. However, Sonte was afraid to report the incident, and did not report it for almost a year and only at the urging of her counselor.

-September 2005: Dispatcher Everson reported the December assault to Detective Guy Picketts Jr. [Calhoun SD], who failed to properly investigate her complaint.

-August 16, 2006: Everson filed a complaint against Detective Picketts for his failure to properly investigate her complaint regarding the assault she endured at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Officer Doug Graham [Battle Creek PD] on December 16, 2004.

-August 22, 2006: Detective Picketts had Everson charged and arrested for filing a false police report [December 16, 2004 assault].

-May 2007: At a court hearing, the charges for filing a false police report against Everson were dropped.

-May 2007: As Everson was leaving the courthouse from having the charges dropped, Detective Pickett had her re-charged and re-arrested on new charges for filing a false police report.

-February 2008: Charges of filing a false police report were once again dismissed against Everson.

-August 12, 2012: Everson won a $1,000,000 lawsuit for the retaliation she was subjected to at the hands of Detective Guy Picketts.



"This has been a long ordeal. To survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, know that you have the right to stand up for your life, no matter who the perpetrator is. Justice will eventually prevail." Sonte Rolina Everson.

           







Linda Everson, Named As "Linda (Sonte) Everson," Aka Sonte v. Calhoun County, et al
http://www.law.com/jsp/decision_friendly.jsp?id=1202489051659
6th Cir.
01-24-2011
Cole, Circuit Judge.
09-2183
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 11a0053n.06
BEFORE: BOGGS, COLE, and CLAY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for First Amendment retaliation, Defendant-Appellant Gary Picketts appeals on qualified immunity grounds the district court's order granting in part and denying in part his motion to dismiss and alternative motion for summary judgment.*fn1 For the following reasons, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual History

1. The Police Report & Initial Investigation of Graham In September 2005, Plaintiff-Appellee Linda Everson reported to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office that, on December 16, 2004, her then-boyfriend Officer Doug Graham of the Battle Creek Police Department forcibly sodomized her during an otherwise-consensual sexual encounter. She stated that she had broken up with Graham and, unsure how to proceed, confided in friends, a counselor, and her physician about the sexual assault before finally deciding to file a police report.

Calhoun County Detective Guy Picketts handled the investigation into Graham's conduct. He interviewed Everson; several of Everson's friends and coworkers in the police department, all of whom confirmed that Everson reported being sexually assaulted by Graham; and Everson's doctor. He also interviewed Graham, who denied that the sodomy occurred and suggested that Everson filed the report out of spite when she found out that he was marrying another woman. Picketts interviewed Everson's friend Sheri Lemonious as well. Although Picketts reported in 2005 that Lemonious said Everson described the sodomy as consensual, Lemonious attested in 2009 that she told Picketts the opposite. Everson alleges that Picketts failed to interview several important witnesses during his investigation.

Picketts submitted a report of his investigation to the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office, which recused itself on conflict-of-interest grounds. In January 2006, the Branch County prosecutor reviewed Picketts's report and declined to prosecute Graham for sexual assault.

2. Everson's Speech

Upset by the decision not to prosecute, Everson publicly criticized Picketts loudly and repeatedly, accusing him of not doing his job and being "just part of the good ole boy system." She mentioned her complaints to colleagues in law enforcement, at least one of whom relayed her statements to Picketts. Everson also met with Picketts's boss on August 16, 2006, to initiate a formal complaint against Picketts and sent a letter to the Calhoun County prosecutor on August 31, 2006, asking him to take action about her concerns regarding Picketts's investigation of Graham.

3. Picketts's Investigation & Arrest of Everson

Picketts began documenting Everson's comments in a new investigative report-this time against Everson. On August 22, 2006, Picketts interviewed Ethel Fitzpatrick ("Mrs. Fitzpatrick"), Everson's former friend, who stated that Everson had told her that the sexual assault had never occurred. Picketts did not confront Everson about the allegations, and eight days later, he requested an arrest warrant for Everson for the felony of filing a false police report. Everson alleges that Picketts opened the investigation against her before he interviewed Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Everson also alleges that Picketts lied about the first time he met Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Keith Fitzpatrick ("Mr. Fitzpatrick"), Mrs. Fitzpatrick's husband, asserts that at some point Picketts came to their house, told them that he had a personal dispute with Everson, and spoke with Mrs. Fitzpatrick at length and in private. Mr. Fitzpatrick attested that he could not remember whether the in-home meeting took place before or after the August 22, 2006 interview. But he also stated that he had never seen Picketts before the in-home meeting, and both Fitzpatricks were present for the August 22, 2006 interview.

Calhoun County did not recuse itself from the case against Everson, but rather charged her with filing a false police report. After a preliminary hearing, the Michigan district court found probable cause that Everson had committed the crime and bound her over to the circuit court for trial. The circuit court quashed the bind-over and dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Everson was then rearrested on the same charges, and the case was transferred to Kalamazoo County. On February 1, 2008, the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor dismissed all charges against Everson "in the best interests of justice."

B. Procedural History
Everson filed a complaint against Calhoun County, the prosecutor, and Picketts (collectively, "Defendants") under § 1983, alleging that their actions (1) violated her equal protection rights; and (2) constituted illegal retaliation for the lawful exercise of her First Amendment rights. In response, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss and, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment. After oral argument, the district court issued an order (1) dismissing the equal protection claim; (2) dismissing the retaliation claim against the prosecutor on absolute prosecutorial immunity grounds; (3) denying the motion in all other respects as to Picketts; and (4) denying the motion in all other respects as to Calhoun County without prejudice to renewal of the motion after the close of all discovery. Picketts filed this appeal, alleging that the district court erred in failing to dismiss all claims against him on qualified immunity grounds.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

This court reviews a district court's denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds de novo. Gregory v. City of Louisville, 444 F.3d 725, 742 (6th Cir. 2006). "We may only review the denial of qualified immunity to the extent that the 'appeal involves the abstract or pure legal issue of whether the facts alleged by the plaintiff constitute a violation of clearly established law.'" Dorsey v. Barber, 517 F.3d 389, 394 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Gregory, 444 F.3d at 742). The defendant must "be willing to concede the most favorable view of the facts to the plaintiff for purposes of the appeal." Moldowan v. City of Warren, 578 F.3d 351, 370 (6th Cir. 2009).

B. Analysis

In determining whether qualified immunity applies, this court employs a two-step test, considering (1) whether, viewing the allegations in the light most favorable to the injured party, a constitutional right has been violated; and (2) whether that right was clearly established. Dorsey v. Barber, 517 F.3d 389, 394 (6th Cir. 2008). We have discretion to undertake the steps in either order. Pearson v. Callahan, 129 S. Ct. 808, 818 (2009).

It is clearly established that "the First Amendment prohibits government officials from subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions, including criminal prosecutions, for speaking out." Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250, 256 (2006). To state a prima facie First Amendment retaliation claim, Everson must establish (1) protected speech; (2) injury as a result of defendant's actions; and (3) causation. See Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 287 (1977).

Picketts first argues that Everson's allegations do not constitute a prima facie retaliation claim because they fail to establish a lack of probable cause, an element of causation. He is correct that § 1983 claims for retaliatory prosecution and arrest fail as a matter of law if the defendant had probable cause. See Hartman, 547 U.S. at 261-62 (Bivens claim for retaliatory prosecution); Barnes v. Wright, 449 F.3d 709, 720 (6th Cir. 2006) (retaliatory arrest). Probable cause exists when an officer has reasonably trustworthy information sufficient to warrant a prudent person in believing that a suspect has committed a crime. Gardenhire v. Schubert, 205 F.3d 303, 315 (6th Cir. 2000). In determining whether probable cause existed in this case, we examine the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of the arresting officer at the time of the arrest. Parsons v. City of Pontiac, 533 F.3d 492, 501 (6th Cir. 2008). In § 1983 actions, the existence of probable cause is a jury question unless only one reasonable determination is possible. Id. (citing Fridley v. Horrighs, 291 F.3d 867, 872 (6th Cir. 2002)).

In this case, there are genuine disputes of material fact about whether Picketts intentionally changed Lemonious's statement in his report, spoke privately with Mrs. Fitzpatrick in her home at length before she gave her formal statement, and influenced the content of Mrs. Fitzpatrick's statement. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Everson, a reasonable jury could find that, at the time Picketts sought an arrest warrant for Everson, the information he had collected against her was not reasonably trustworthy. Because more than one reasonable determination as to probable cause is possible, it is therefore appropriate to allow the case to proceed to trial.

Picketts's argument that this court should accept the prosecutor's and state court's findings of probable cause as evidence that probable cause existed is inapposite. Because these probable cause determinations were based only on the evidence that Picketts included in his report-which did not describe the circumstances, as alleged by the plaintiff, surrounding Lemonious's and Mrs. Fitzpatrick's statements-we do not find them probative to the issue of whether Picketts had sufficient reasonably trustworthy information at the time of the arrest.

Picketts also contends that the district court's finding that genuine issues of material fact exist was erroneous because it relied on a series of unreasonable adverse inferences and omitted a number of relevant facts. But the "contention that the district court erred in finding a genuine issue of fact for trial is not the type of legal question which we may entertain on an interlocutory basis." Gregory, 444 F.3d at 743. Although this court has recognized an apparent exception "'where the trial court's determination that a fact is subject to reasonable dispute is blatantly and demonstrably false,'" Moldowan, 578 F.3d at 370 (quoting Wysong v. Heath, 260 F. App'x 848, 853 (6th Cir. 2008)) (internal quotation marks omitted), that exception does not apply here. The district court noted the following disputed facts, among others: (1) when Picketts opened his investigation into Everson; (2) whether Lemonious told Picketts that Everson said she had not been raped; and (3) when and how Mrs. Fitzpatrick surfaced as a witness. All of these facts are material to the existence of probable cause. These facts are also genuinely in dispute: each party answers these questions differently, each party's allegations of fact are supported by witness statements, and no objective evidence makes one party's allegations obviously false. Cf. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380-81 (2007) (finding no genuine dispute of material fact where video evidence blatantly contradicted the plaintiff's allegation that he was driving carefully). Because the district court's finding of genuine issues of material fact was not blatantly and demonstrably false, we lack jurisdiction to undertake further review in this regard.

III. CONCLUSION

For the reasons discussed above, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court denying Picketts's motion for summary judgment.

Opinion Footnotes

*fn1 Defendant Calhoun County appealed the district court's determination that it was not entitled to sovereign immunity, but withdrew its appeal of this issue at oral argument.