John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
On Friday, Judge England denied the defendants' gender/racial profiling motions to dismiss and to suppress in a 35-page written order, 2/18/11, Order Denying Motions in United States v. Sanchez-Palomino, et. al., No. 09-0094-MCE, which I've written about here.
After a lengthy evidentiary hearing and post-hearing briefs, Judge England will finally hear argument on the defendants' racial/gender profiling motions in United States v. Sanchez-Palomino, et. al., No. 09-0094-MCE on Monday, February 14 at 9:00 a.m. See9/10/10 post; Redding.com, 9/16/10.
"The U.S. Department of Justice has warned the Los Angeles Police Department that its investigations into racial profiling by officers are inadequate and that some cops still tolerate the practice," according to the Los Angeles Times, 11/14/10:
As evidence of the ongoing problem, Justice officials pointed to two LAPD officers who were unknowingly recorded during a conversation with a supervisor being dismissive of racial profiling complaints.
"So, what?" one said, when told that other officers had been accused of stopping a motorist because of his race. The second officer is heard twice saying that he "couldn't do [his] job without racially profiling."
While here in the EDCA, the racial profiling, traffic stop evidentiary hearing in the Sanchez-Palomino case ended last month after seven days of testimony. See Sanchez-Palomino 9/10/10 Post.As transcripts are being prepared, the Court ordered post-hearing briefing with the defense's first brief due December 17, 2010 and a motion hearing set for February 18, 2011.
By my count, it will be day 5 of the racial profiling, I-5 traffic stop evidentiary hearing in U.S. v. Sanchez-Palomino, see9/10/10 post for full details, this Friday, 10/1/10, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge England.
Court watchers may want to stop in on the 3-day evidentiary hearing on defendants' motions to suppress and to dismiss, which begins before Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. in courtroom 7 on the 14th floor at the Sacramento federal courthouse on Monday, September 13, at 9:00 a.m in United States v. Sanchez-Palomino, et. al., No. CR-S 09-94-MCE. While the motion to suppress evidence is a run-of-the-mill "traffic stop" Fourth Amendment motion, the 32-page motion to dismiss alleges, among other things, that the two Shasta County Sheriff Deputies in the case have engaged in a systematic pattern of selective enforcement of the California traffic laws in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of Equal Protection of Law by overwhelmingly detaining and searching the vehicles of Hispanic Male drivers. Sanchez-Palomino "Racial/Gender Profiling" Motion to Dismiss. The motion is supported by over 700 pages of exhibits.
(On an interesting side note, Shasta County fought hard to keep the evidence in this case hidden on various grounds, including to prevent an "adverse effect on any future criminal cases," seeShasta County's Motion For Protective Order, at 3. But in light of the defense's Opposition, Judge England denied Shasta County's motion for a protective order at a March 11, 2010 hearing).
The evidentiary hearing is expected to include the two Shasta Sheriff deputies as well as other Hispanic men that were stopped and detained by the officers. Evidence is scheduled to continue through Wednesday, September 15. The two defendants are represented by AFD Lauren Cusick and Fresno attorney Dan Bacon while the government has assigned three AUSAs to the case, Todd Leras, Daniel McConkie, and Jared Dolan. See also 6/24/10 Redding.Com, "Shasta Judge Denies I-5 Racial Profiling Allegations"