My misdemeanor trial by jury is fast approaching and will be held at the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown, Texas on August 8, 9 and 10th. The crime I am charged with is False Report or Alarm and if convicted I can be sentenced to one year in a jail and a $4000 fine.
Eighteen months ago and five days after releasing one of my KopBuster stings on YouTube, I was arrested for False Report or Alarm during a raid on my home. The police I busted obtained an illegal search warrant and at gunpoint, seized all my KopBuster films, computers and cameras. The media reported extensively on the event calling the raid “retaliation by law enforcement.
Here is a link to Judge Napolitano on FOX news commenting about the raid.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s department claims they are holding my tapes as evidence although over 30 of the tapes have nothing to do with the KopBuster sting in Williamson County. These tapes contain footage proving other police corruption along with critical footage needed to produce a documentary about the KopBusters sting in Odessa, Texas, which resulted in the release of Yolanda Madden, a mother who was in federal prison on bogus drug charges.
The Texas Rangers arrested Candi, Tammy (a KopBuster detective) and myself for similar charges (False Report) stemming from the Odessa KopBuster sting. The Odessa prosecutor has since dropped these charges because our actions did not match the crime…just like the Williamson County charges.
I am being wrongfully prosecuted for my journalism and a notorious civil rights law firm agrees with me. The methods I use to sting kops are no different than MSNBC’s, Predator Stings. Both traps are investigative journalism and the First Amendment protects our right to freedom of the press.
Before I performed any KopBuster stings, I checked with my staff of lawyers who advised I was doing nothing illegal. I have a strong legal background and I also knew I was doing nothing wrong, immoral or illegal by testing the kops when I placed a bag containing a GPS device (for tracking the bag), simulated crack pipe (in Texas, it’s not drug paraphernalia until crack is actually smoked through it), a fake drug ledger and $45 dollars in marked bills to see if the officer would steal the money or turn the found property in to the evidence room.
The first kop we tested was Captain Nassour who works for Liberty Hill Police Department in Williamson, County, Texas. I filmed Captain Nassour stealing the $45 and throwing the bag in the dumpster and later confronted his chief. I was raided five days after releasing the video on Youtube. Here it is:
The third test, Officer Jackal from a totally different jurisdiction, examined the bag and properly checked all the found property into the evidence room.
The second test is the one I was raided for, arrested and placed in solitary confinement for two days. During this test, around midnight, I placed the loaded bag between a desolate road and a school. A call was made to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department non-emergency number reporting a suspicious bag at the school. My crew hid nearby and waited with cameras.
When the police arrived at the late night deserted scene, they walked around the bag several times talking on their cell phones. The police then shot the bag with a beanbag gun to determine if it was a bomb! I couldn’t believe this reaction since I, as an ex police officer, never treated a suspicious bag as a bomb and the kop I tested in Liberty Hill didn’t treat the same bag as a bomb, he simply took the money and threw the bag in the dumpster.
If you are a legal eagle, read the statute I was charged with and then read my comments afterwards:
This is the crime they charged me with:
42.06. FALSE ALARM OR REPORT. (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly initiates, communicates or circulates a report of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that he knows is false or baseless and that would ordinarily:
(1) cause action by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies; (2) place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or (3) prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, or aircraft, automobile, or other mode of conveyance. (b An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor
According to this law, I would have had to “communicate a report of a present, past or future BOMBING, FIRE, OFFENSE OR OTHER EMERGENCY.” Reporting a suspicious bag is not a report of a bombing, a fire, an offense or an emergency…it’s simply reporting a suspicious bag. The call was placed to a non-emergency number and the police did not respond with emergency lights or high speeds. They totally over reacted by shooting the bag.
Kevin Striker, the lawyer assigned to prosecute me, has recently been calling all of my family, friends, ex-co-workers and enemies to prepare for the punishment phase of my trial. Although we are confident the jury will find me “not guilty,” Kevin is preparing to punish me harshly if I lose.
Since Kevin wants to hear from those around me, I’m asking all of my supporters to call him and leave a message of disapproval for prosecuting me. Tell him I don’t deserve to be punished for exposing korrupt kops. If I have helped you in any way, let him know it. If I have taught you anything about freedom, let him know it. If you support KopBusters and think it should be legal for journalist to test the police, call Kevin and tell him.
My lawyer said it’s legal for me to give Kevin Striker’s phone number because he is a public official and the phone number rings a public line. Just make sure one person doesn’t leave multiple messages because it could be seen as phone harassment.
The phone number to call is 713 857 3492. Use your freedom of speech and help us by calling the number. Email [email protected] when you are finished and let me know what you said.
Thanks so much for calling the prosecutor for me. Many supporters are complaining that Kevin Stryker’s number does not have a voice mail set up to take messages.
Please re-call using the County Attorney’s number 512 554 5678
Supporters are ringing their phones like crazy explaining I shouldn’t be prosecuted for busting kops. Please keep the phone calls coming in.