News

Report: 'Police tampered with Taser recordings'

Court hearing Monday for man who was shot twice, then charged with felony assault of officers

An audio-video forensics expert has called into question the integrity of Palo Alto police conduct following a March 15 incident in which police shot a man three times with Taser guns.

Palo Alto police flatly deny that any tampering with evidence has taken place.

The analyst's report alleges that two of three police audio-video recordings made during the Taser incident were subsequently edited. Four recordings were made in all, but the analyst discussed three in his report. The three recordings should have been uniform but are not, according to Gregg Stutchman, chief forensic analyst at Stutchman Lab in Napa.

The recordings are being used as evidence against Palo Alto resident Joseph Anthony Ciampi, who is facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer stemming from the March 15 run-in with police.

On Monday, Ciampi's attorney plans to ask the court to suppress the audio-video evidence against his client. Ciampi was zapped three times with Tasers by Palo Alto police officers during the altercation.

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The incident began when a neighbor, Ken Alsman, complained to police about a man who was living in a van on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Ramona Street.

Ciampi's van had been parked in front of Alsman's house for weeks at a time, moving in accordance with the city's 72-hour parking law but often returning to the spot, Alsman said in a dispatch tape of the call.

According to police reports, Alsman said Ciampi's presence made Alsman's wife uncomfortable.

At about 10 a.m. on March 15, police Officers Kelly Burger and Manuel Temores and Agent April Wagner approached Ciampi's blue van and asked him to come out, but they reported Ciampi would not open the door and refused to speak with the officers. Temores used a ruse to lure Ciampi from the van by pretending to phone in a request to have the vehicle towed.

Ciampi opened the door and became visibly upset at the prospect that his "home" could be towed, police reports state. An argument ensued, during which Ciampi was tased twice.

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Video and audio recordings were made by equipment in a police car and on Burger's and Temore's Taser guns.

Stutchman, who was hired by Ciampi's attorney, noted in an Aug. 14 report that there were discrepancies in the recording times of the three tapes, which should have been uniform.

Between 7.5 and 17.5 seconds of audio-video material are missing from the two Taser recordings, Stutchman reported.

Using Burger's cruiser recording as the baseline, Stutchman established that 8 seconds elapsed between the first Taser firing by Burger and the second Taser firing by Temores. Temores also shocked Ciampi a third time by putting his Taser on "stun drive," during which the gun was pushed onto Ciampi's body and fired. The recordings were of Taser firings where the guns were fired from a distance and probes projected at Ciampi.

But on Burger's Taser audio the time between the end of the first Taser blast and the beginning of the second is 0.432 seconds -- less than a half-second -- indicating a 7.5-second interval is missing from the recording.

On Temores' Taser camera, which records the time of the incident, only the first Taser blast is on the recording. The second one is not present at all. As much as 10 seconds are purported missing from the Temores Taser data.

The forensics report also found discrepancies between content of the audio recordings. The cruiser's audio captures Ciampi and Agent April Wagner talking:

Ciampi: "They've arrested me for nothing."

Wagner: "The subject is in custody. He's been Tased twice."

Ciampi: "This is totally bull----."

But on one of the Taser recordings, Ciampi's last response is missing.

"Based on the analysis in this report, it is my opinion to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that both Temores and Burger Taser videos have been altered and edited, removing content," Stutchman wrote in his report.

Stutchman is a former police officer and a state licensed investigator whose credentials include the Robert Blake murder trial and Michael Jackson child-molestation case, according to the company website.

Palo Alto's Independent Police Auditor, Robert Miller, said he looked at all of the material and hasn't seen evidence of intentional or accidental manipulation of the videos or audios. But he said he hadn't seen Stutchman's report.

"Anything coming out of this case that raises questions is something that we will pursue," independent Police Auditor Michael Gennaco confirmed.

David J. Beauvais, Ciampi's attorney, said the Santa Clara County Crime Lab is investigating if the recordings were altered, but he is still waiting for the report.

Amy Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office, of which the crime lab is a part, said her office can't comment on the evidence or on Ciampi's case.

But "in general terms, tampering with evidence could be a criminal act. There are many variables that come into play on whether or not to file charges," she said.

Palo Alto Police spokesman Dan Ryan said the department chose the x26 Taser specifically because it is "tamper-proof." Taser International, Inc., the company that makes the x26 Taser and the recording device, the Taser Cam, touts on its website that the x26 has "secure" files that are saved on encrypted data files that are secure from tampering.

But Stutchman said he was surprised more security safeguards were not incorporated into the Taser Cam.

"The format of these Taser Cams is very editable. ... What I got was not encrypted," he said. Stutchman added that any copy would have been encrypted with separate deciphering software used to translate the information, he said.

A company spokesperson has not returned calls.

Stutchman said he analyzed digital recordings that were given to Ciampi's attorney but had not analyzed the original computer files, which are with the District Attorney's Office.

Miller, the independent police auditor, said he could not comment on the Taser camera's security, but noted the camera has only been on the market two or three years.

"To call anything tamper-proof is more marketing than analysis," he said.

Beauvais plans to ask the court to throw out the audio-video recordings and other evidence. He alleges that his client's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure and 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law were violated. When the officers induced Ciampi to exit the van under false pretenses, they had no reasonable suspicion that he was involved in criminal activity, Beauvais wrote in court filings.

Beauvais argued that threatening to take over Ciampi's van was coercive and constitutes carjacking, since Ciampi was still inside. The threat to take his property meets the statutory definition of attempted extortion, according to Beauvais' court papers.

It is not illegal to live in a vehicle in Palo Alto on public streets, although the city is working on an ordinance to change the law.

Ciampi filed a claim against the city in September for more than $11 million alleging civil-rights violations. The city rejected the claim on Oct. 15, determining that officers did nothing wrong, according to City Attorney Gary Baum.

Ciampi said he would pursue a civil action against the city after his criminal case is resolved.

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Report: 'Police tampered with Taser recordings'

Court hearing Monday for man who was shot twice, then charged with felony assault of officers

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Dec 1, 2008, 9:36 am

An audio-video forensics expert has called into question the integrity of Palo Alto police conduct following a March 15 incident in which police shot a man three times with Taser guns.

Palo Alto police flatly deny that any tampering with evidence has taken place.

The analyst's report alleges that two of three police audio-video recordings made during the Taser incident were subsequently edited. Four recordings were made in all, but the analyst discussed three in his report. The three recordings should have been uniform but are not, according to Gregg Stutchman, chief forensic analyst at Stutchman Lab in Napa.

The recordings are being used as evidence against Palo Alto resident Joseph Anthony Ciampi, who is facing a felony charge of assaulting a police officer stemming from the March 15 run-in with police.

On Monday, Ciampi's attorney plans to ask the court to suppress the audio-video evidence against his client. Ciampi was zapped three times with Tasers by Palo Alto police officers during the altercation.

The incident began when a neighbor, Ken Alsman, complained to police about a man who was living in a van on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Ramona Street.

Ciampi's van had been parked in front of Alsman's house for weeks at a time, moving in accordance with the city's 72-hour parking law but often returning to the spot, Alsman said in a dispatch tape of the call.

According to police reports, Alsman said Ciampi's presence made Alsman's wife uncomfortable.

At about 10 a.m. on March 15, police Officers Kelly Burger and Manuel Temores and Agent April Wagner approached Ciampi's blue van and asked him to come out, but they reported Ciampi would not open the door and refused to speak with the officers. Temores used a ruse to lure Ciampi from the van by pretending to phone in a request to have the vehicle towed.

Ciampi opened the door and became visibly upset at the prospect that his "home" could be towed, police reports state. An argument ensued, during which Ciampi was tased twice.

Video and audio recordings were made by equipment in a police car and on Burger's and Temore's Taser guns.

Stutchman, who was hired by Ciampi's attorney, noted in an Aug. 14 report that there were discrepancies in the recording times of the three tapes, which should have been uniform.

Between 7.5 and 17.5 seconds of audio-video material are missing from the two Taser recordings, Stutchman reported.

Using Burger's cruiser recording as the baseline, Stutchman established that 8 seconds elapsed between the first Taser firing by Burger and the second Taser firing by Temores. Temores also shocked Ciampi a third time by putting his Taser on "stun drive," during which the gun was pushed onto Ciampi's body and fired. The recordings were of Taser firings where the guns were fired from a distance and probes projected at Ciampi.

But on Burger's Taser audio the time between the end of the first Taser blast and the beginning of the second is 0.432 seconds -- less than a half-second -- indicating a 7.5-second interval is missing from the recording.

On Temores' Taser camera, which records the time of the incident, only the first Taser blast is on the recording. The second one is not present at all. As much as 10 seconds are purported missing from the Temores Taser data.

The forensics report also found discrepancies between content of the audio recordings. The cruiser's audio captures Ciampi and Agent April Wagner talking:

Ciampi: "They've arrested me for nothing."

Wagner: "The subject is in custody. He's been Tased twice."

Ciampi: "This is totally bull----."

But on one of the Taser recordings, Ciampi's last response is missing.

"Based on the analysis in this report, it is my opinion to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that both Temores and Burger Taser videos have been altered and edited, removing content," Stutchman wrote in his report.

Stutchman is a former police officer and a state licensed investigator whose credentials include the Robert Blake murder trial and Michael Jackson child-molestation case, according to the company website.

Palo Alto's Independent Police Auditor, Robert Miller, said he looked at all of the material and hasn't seen evidence of intentional or accidental manipulation of the videos or audios. But he said he hadn't seen Stutchman's report.

"Anything coming out of this case that raises questions is something that we will pursue," independent Police Auditor Michael Gennaco confirmed.

David J. Beauvais, Ciampi's attorney, said the Santa Clara County Crime Lab is investigating if the recordings were altered, but he is still waiting for the report.

Amy Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office, of which the crime lab is a part, said her office can't comment on the evidence or on Ciampi's case.

But "in general terms, tampering with evidence could be a criminal act. There are many variables that come into play on whether or not to file charges," she said.

Palo Alto Police spokesman Dan Ryan said the department chose the x26 Taser specifically because it is "tamper-proof." Taser International, Inc., the company that makes the x26 Taser and the recording device, the Taser Cam, touts on its website that the x26 has "secure" files that are saved on encrypted data files that are secure from tampering.

But Stutchman said he was surprised more security safeguards were not incorporated into the Taser Cam.

"The format of these Taser Cams is very editable. ... What I got was not encrypted," he said. Stutchman added that any copy would have been encrypted with separate deciphering software used to translate the information, he said.

A company spokesperson has not returned calls.

Stutchman said he analyzed digital recordings that were given to Ciampi's attorney but had not analyzed the original computer files, which are with the District Attorney's Office.

Miller, the independent police auditor, said he could not comment on the Taser camera's security, but noted the camera has only been on the market two or three years.

"To call anything tamper-proof is more marketing than analysis," he said.

Beauvais plans to ask the court to throw out the audio-video recordings and other evidence. He alleges that his client's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure and 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law were violated. When the officers induced Ciampi to exit the van under false pretenses, they had no reasonable suspicion that he was involved in criminal activity, Beauvais wrote in court filings.

Beauvais argued that threatening to take over Ciampi's van was coercive and constitutes carjacking, since Ciampi was still inside. The threat to take his property meets the statutory definition of attempted extortion, according to Beauvais' court papers.

It is not illegal to live in a vehicle in Palo Alto on public streets, although the city is working on an ordinance to change the law.

Ciampi filed a claim against the city in September for more than $11 million alleging civil-rights violations. The city rejected the claim on Oct. 15, determining that officers did nothing wrong, according to City Attorney Gary Baum.

Ciampi said he would pursue a civil action against the city after his criminal case is resolved.

Comments

By the rules or not at all
Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 10:30 am
By the rules or not at all, Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 10:30 am

If the PAPD has actually been tampering with evidence, it would be a good indication that they've done something seriously wrong.

Given the effort which went into the taser policy, city council should rethink whether the PAPD should have tasers at all if they're not willing to follow the rules.


Proud of Tony
Professorville
on Dec 1, 2008 at 11:10 am
Proud of Tony, Professorville
on Dec 1, 2008 at 11:10 am

I know Tony and he is not a homeless person as this article makes him out to be. He has rented a room near where this debacle occurred for years. He loves his van and spends a lot of time in it as a way for him to escape the recycled air found in the indoors......

As well, I have known him to be of high integrity and passionate about what he feels is right. He did not accept a plea bargain to a much lesser crime because he knew he had been violently wronged. He could have let all this go away but chose instead to pay many thousands of dollars to fight our own criminal justice system.

In trying to get an audience for the fact that he was not only shot by a taser but that he is being criminalized for blocking a shot that was ** aimed at his face ** , he is finding that all of our supposed keepers of the peace are trying to protect one another. From DA to the goody goody police spokesperson to the crime labs to the fellow officers of those culpable and even the chief herself, they are all hoping this will go away,

Thank God for Tony for shedding some light on a secret society that is operating right in our own midst. And indeed, the Weekly was right in calling for Chief Johnson's head. Her racial faux pas may very well have been the tip of an iceberg....



YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Moving a vehicle every 72 hours is not just a City law, but a State law. Knock it off with the Palo Alto, The Evil Kingdom allusions. It's getting old.

I have kids. From personal experience I know I would not appreciate someone living in a van out in front of my home either. It can be frightening, unpredictible and a violation of privacy as well as impeding on my right of peaceful enjoyment of my property.

Many years ago I actually did have someone living outside my apartment in College Terrace. It was a small building and a few of us had children. It was scary. He watched us. Right there. In our faces. Up close and personal. We couldn't even have our curtains open because he could see inside. One night I came home with my four year old little girl to find the guy flopping around right on my front step blocking my door. There was an empty bottle of booze next to him. It was really frightening.

If this Tony is such an upstanding person then why has he chosen to spend thousands, as the person above alleges, to fight this case instead of using the money to rent a place where the freakin' windows open? No 'recycled' air then! Or put some gas in the van and drive to the coast for fresh air. Or even around town until he can find a place to crash that isn't right in someones face. Maybe he can even park in front of 'Proud of' Tony's place.

Last, there is an almost foolproof way to avoid unpleasant encounters with police. Bet it works 97% of the time. Get the hell out of your vehicle when requested and be cooperative. You can be pissed, but not stupid. It works wonders to do what the Officers request (within reason, of course). I know this too because it worked for a long time with the guy in front of my apartment. We all called the cops on him, but he stuck around a long time and never even had a shouting match with police when contact was made. See? Wrong way, right way.

It's all common sense, a rare commodity these days. Just like those idiots who run from the cops then wonder how or why they got shot.


By the rules or not at all
Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm
By the rules or not at all, Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Cops can screw up, just like anybody else. If they engage in a cover-up, its a very good indication that they've screwed up and know it. The right thing to do here is to have a neutral 3rd party review the accusations, and then take action to prevent the situation from happening again.

IF the claims are true, some mix of the following would be really helpful here:
* charging the officers who tampered with the evidence with an appropriate crime (eg: obstruction of justice)
* taking tasers away from the PAPD
* having the new chief periodically check up on what individual officers are up to, so that he can make sure that they're acting in compliance with the law and with Palo Alto city policy.
* improving anti-tamper measures in the recording systems currently in use. Something as simple as having all video cameras watermark the time in a corner of the recording would make this particular kind of tampering MUCH more obvious, and therefore much less likely.

The last thing we want is for the PAPD to develop a reputation for tampering with evidence and getting away with it. That endangers their ability to secure convictions, and risks creating an environment where people who have been hurt by the PAPD sue the city and win.

Finally, running from the cops shouldn't result in a shooting either -- somebody who is running away doesn't present a threat. It can and should result in an attempt to apprehend the person. The goal here is to put crooks on trial, and then punish through a legal process, not to shoot first and ask questions later.


50yrsinpa
Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm
50yrsinpa, Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm

there are a least 40 trucks, vans, campers, and trailers and now old motor homes with people living in them, parked the the commercial near residential zones,mostly near college terrace, park blvd, lambert, el camino etc. more and more each week.
the counsel needs to find a better solution to this "grey area" in the law that is better than zapping these folks. how about making it illegal to camp in the parking spots anywhere in town


YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm

* Take away tasers. Sure, use guns instead. That's helpful. Or are you of the give 'em cocoa and cookies while you tenderly point out the errors of their ways hoping they'll see the light and renounce evil for good mentality?

* Cops don't usually shoot at fleeing suspects unless they have a serious criminal record or were involved in a very serious crime. They don't chase them for shoplifting a banana at Longs.

A person who is running away has usually been proven to have been a serious threat to someone at the scene from whence they just ran, and if they get away they now can continue to harm others because people like you want to handcuff our cops. People with nothing serious to hide don't usually run from law enforcement.

* I don't want my new Chief taking time to see what individual officers are up to. Wouldn't matter anyway. Have teenagers? They bear watching, but really, can you do it every minute? Just because you raised them with certain rules, do they always follow them?

Cops aren't teenagers, but they have a job that has a pretty stringent set of rules.

Trouble is, people, even cops, have free will. Unless you want androids as cops, understand you can't always ascertain what people are up to. They are PEOPLE, not computer programs.

Stuff is going to happen. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is just plain stupid.


By the rules or not at all
Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm
By the rules or not at all, Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The problem with tasers is that instead of substituting for deadly force (which would be good) there's a very strong temptation for police to use them in situations where they wouldn't have used force at all if they didn't have the tasers. That's why introducing tasers was contentious, and why it wouldn't have had public support without the adoption of a policy restricting their use.

If the PAPD can't limit their use of tasers in accordance with city policy, they shouldn't have them. They managed fine before getting the tasers, and the PAPD will get along just fine without them.

And yes, in a city the size of Palo Alto, I do expect the chief to do more than just sit behind a desk. Checking up on officers once in a while without warning is a good way to make sure they're doing what they're supposed to. Most of it can and should should be done by mid-rank officers, but the chief needs to be out and about once in a while too.

Lets get a neutral 3rd party to check and see if these allegations are true. That's very clearly the first step, and I think that's something that pretty much everybody can agree on.


qq
Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm
qq, Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm

This is a great time to review the videos about why innocent folks should never talk to the police.

Web Link

qq


YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:43 pm
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 1, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I must say I agree with qq on that. I support our police department and thank them big time for putting their lives on the line protecting US.

That being said I do know there are a few bad apples in the bottom of the PD barrell. Well, one is gone for some time now and good riddance. Another is still there and shouldn't be. One or two more are questionable but that still leaves a whole lot of good officers out there with high standards and personal integrity.

When I say cooperate I mean make peaceful, friendly contact. You can give your name, show Id then shut your mouth.

It's your right.


PA-PERSON
Midtown
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm
PA-PERSON, Midtown
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Wow no profiling in PA right?
Give me a break these cops are so trigger happy
then they think they can twist the system and get away with it.

My friend was pulled over by cops, pulled out of his car and choked by the cop because he said he saw him sell crack and swallow it.
The put my friend in handcuffs search his whole car and its clean no drugs, guns or money but charges him for resisting arrest. Wouldn't you resist arrest if you just got pull out of your car and choked?

Long story short they took the cops to court and the judge said it was ok because the cops had good reason even if it was a hunch that was wrong.


qq
Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm
qq, Barron Park
on Dec 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Thanks YouShouldKnow,

Here is the actual beginning of that presentation.

Web Link

It definitely does not help to speak to them unfortunately.

qq


Former Cop
The Greenhouse
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm
Former Cop, The Greenhouse
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm

PA person, was that Palo Alto or another agency. Was there a formal complaint? What was the docket number so we can all look at the facts? your friend was accused of swallowing crack, you keep good company.
Read about the tasers and you will know that this article is ridiculous. They are proven over and over again and they are as tamper proof as a device can be. Just another negative article by this paper who has the PAPD in the crosshairs, move on and find something to write about or put on a badge and do the job yourself. Much easier to sit behind a desk and sell papers i guess. ENOUGH!


danny the homeless guy
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:54 pm
danny the homeless guy, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2008 at 9:54 pm

fyi, there is a guy named Steve who owns about a dozen camper vans and stores them on the streets - often in College Terrace around JITB, and I've also seen them across the street on Oxford, Cambridge, and as far as the auto shops on Park Boulevard. There is a specific ordinance that prohibits storing vehicles on the street, I think.

One of the regular vehicle dwellers, Jack, has complained to me about this. It upsets the neighbors, making them think there are more vehicle homeless people than there actually are.


hmmm
Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 12:03 am
hmmm, Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 12:03 am

First of all...to "You should know": Do you really have nothing to do with your life then to post comments all day long on all these forums? I see comments from you on almost EVERY article. Yes, you do bring up SOME good points but take a break already!

Second..What the hell is happening to our PD. Incidents such as these, the whole chief incident, etc. were not happening ten years ago. Maybe we do need someone new in charge that can make these changes and square away the department.


um
South of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:33 am
um, South of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:33 am

Barrett is hearing testimony on a defense motion to exclude audio and visual recorded evidence form the case -- the motion must be decided before the case goes to trial. (Video is taken by a camera mounted in the police car while the audio is picked up from a remote microphone on the officer's uniform.)

The defense is seeking to exclude certain evidence in its claim that recordings from "TaserCams" on the Tasers were were tampered with by police because they didn't match the timing of a recording from the camera in the police car, according to a defense witness. (See separate story.)

Check your clocks at home folks, are they all the same? Isn't this basic criminal defense? Get the "damaging to my client" video thrown out. Or PAPD conspiracy? Don't be silly people.


biker
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:51 am
biker, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:51 am

um, you're right. My clocks are not all the same. But after an hour they're all still off by the same amount. The issue with these TaserCams is that the elapsed times don't match. Even so, I agree with your basic premise and expect to see some explanation other than a PAPD conspiracy emerge.


Jim
University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:22 am
Jim, University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:22 am

""The format of these Taser Cams is very editable. ... What I got was not encrypted"
So why not get the original encrypted files before accusing PAPD officers of a felony?

Why would PAPD officers taper with taser cam footage and not the recording on the dashcam?

Ciampi: "They've arrested me for nothing."

Wagner: "The subject is in custody. He's been Tased twice."

Ciampi: "This is totally bull----."

Why would they remove this conversation from the taser cam? How would it help the prosecution or themselves by removing it? It doesn't make any sense why they would remove the conversation!

The taser cam is new tech, and no doubt prone to failures like all new pieces of technology. How come this has not been considered as a possibility by Stutchman (with all respect to his credentials)?

Let PAPD keep their tasers - it beats getting pepper sprayed, beathen and shot any day of the week.



Jim
University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:31 am
Jim, University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:31 am

If I recall correctly, the taser cam actually turns off when you put it back on "safe"/turn the taser off after a deployment. That means if you ceased the taser cycle midway through (ie not giving the targeted person the full 5 second cycle) , you might also turn off the camera.


YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2008 at 11:59 am
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

To Hmmmm...I am home on disability and recovering from the deaths of two family members. Pays to keep the mind engaged during such a difficult time. What's it to you if I post on here? You know I post often because you too, are posting often. So now you are the Free Speech Police? Blogger profiling? Where are you making a similar comment to the other regulars such as YOURSELF, Walter, Jim, Noun Eats Moose, Narnia and others?

If you don't like my postings, ignore them.

I agree with Former Cop. The local media is now taking full aim at the PAPD and running with it. I see very little crime reporting. I know crimes have been committed, and crimes have been solved. Several over the last week. Where is the reporting on that?


Fireman
another community
on Dec 2, 2008 at 11:59 am
Fireman, another community
on Dec 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

Why would the post, That informed the citizens of palo alto. That, IN the past the City might have removed parts of a taped 911 recording during the Floods years ago.

Do it once ,do it again?

Wonder why?


YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:03 pm
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:03 pm

P.S. Hmmm, I do NOT comment on every newstory. Just on the stories connected to the relentless attacks against the police agency that protects my family and this City. No agency is perfect, but this is heading into the realm of the ludicrous. That includes any articles covering the Ship of Fools running our City. I have an opinion and am entitled to it, as are you. Give and take on a blog forum is called 'debate'.


RDF
another community
on Dec 2, 2008 at 3:38 pm
RDF, another community
on Dec 2, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Everybody does realize that it only vidoe tapes when the trigger is pulled, then stops when you let go.


Jim
University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:44 pm
Jim, University South
on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:44 pm

RDF,
The taser turns on when the safety catch is turned off, not when you stop pulling the trigger.

Sequence of events:
1. Taser safety turned to "off" position.
i. Taser is put in "fire" mode
ii. Lights and laser are turned on
iii. Taser cam is activated and begins recording.

2. Taser trigger is pulled.
i. Taser probes are deployed from the firing cartridge and begin a 5 second "cycle" of an electric current. The cycle will cease after 5 seconds automatically. The cycle can be reactivated with another pull of the trigger.
ii. Lights, laser and camera remain on during this sequence.

3. The Taser is safety is place "on".
i. If the taser is in the middle of a 5 second cycle, it will cease immediately.
ii. Taser will be rendered "safe" and unable to fire. Pulling on the trigger will have no effect.
2. Lights, Laser AND camera (crucial point here) will turn OFF. Camera will cease recording.

If an officer decides to stop the 5-second cycle for whatever reason (a miss, compliance is achieved, etc) and puts the camera on safe, the camera will cease running.

Key point: the time shown on the footage is actually the time on the taser's internal clock. Therefore if you turn the taser off and on again, the footage will have a jump in time.

An example of this can be viewed here:
Web Link
At 33 seconds into the footage the taser camera's clock jumps from 6:08:37 to 6:08:48. I am fairly sure I can hear the officer turning the taser on safe, which turns the camera off. When he turns it on again, the time is different which makes sense since it is recording the taser's internal clock.

Something to consider.




Friend of Tony
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2008 at 10:43 pm
Friend of Tony, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Tony is a good friend of mine and has worked for me for over a decade. He's great with my kids and stays in our home when we travel. I actively encourage him to park and sleep in front of our house. He does sometimes, but it's not always convenient for him. In this case, it seems the police were more focused on responding to Ken Alsman's complaint than protecting Tony's rights.


YouShouldKnow
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:34 am
YouShouldKnow, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2008 at 12:34 am

Jim, thank you for explaining that. I didn't know how it worked. I will save that in my case I ever come up stupid on a traffic stop file.

The home owner has a right to complain. In part it comes down to the right of his peaceful and quiet enjoyment of his property as well as his sense of safety, and this guys right to park where he pleases and actually live in his van.

Anyone know the City law about that? Or, California state law.


George
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2008 at 5:03 pm
George, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2008 at 5:03 pm

1. Thank you PAPD for policing our streets and enforcing the LAW with the force required on each dispatch call.
2. Thank you for clearing vagrants and urban outdoorsmen off of our streets when they break the LAW.
3. Please continue to use tasers and appropriate force (tackling and night sticks) to take down suspects that refuse to comply with your instructions or run when confronted by the police.
4. Please continue to use force on suspects that believe they are still living in the 60s and think it's cool to disobey the police.
5. Please require people to comply with the 72 hour LAW when parking their "home" on our streets. Cars and vans aren't homes. They are vehicles. Streets weren't built and are not maintained as places to park "homes".

Keep up the good work PAPD. Thank you.


GeorgeIsRight!
Professorville
on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:07 am
GeorgeIsRight!, Professorville
on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:07 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


George
Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm
George, Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


GeorgeIsRight!
Professorville
on Dec 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm
GeorgeIsRight!, Professorville
on Dec 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Wow. A newspaper organization using censorship. You should be embarrassed. No shame in eroding the principals of your own industry.


watchdog
University South
on Dec 8, 2008 at 9:32 am
watchdog, University South
on Dec 8, 2008 at 9:32 am

Nowhere does it say that the "expert" offered proof of his claim against the PD. The PAPD should hire its own expert to look at both the video and the claims of the defense. There needs to be a law against these "so called experts" saying what ever they want for whomever pays the bills.


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