May 22, 2014

EUGENE VOLOKH: Arrestee alleges government misconduct; federal magistrate orders arrestee to apologize and recant, as a condition of bail. “This seems to me clearly unconstitutional: It’s an order compelling speech, on threat of imprisonment, which would itself normally be a First Amendment violation; but on top of that, it was issued without a trial, and thus without any final factual findings supporting its validity.”

What is the name of this speech-squelching magistrate?

Related: Bold witness to alleged abuse by federal agents comes forward.

“He said, ’I don’t need to show you a F—–g warrant.’”

Branson said, “I need to see a warrant, based on the fourth amendment…”

“The agent answered ‘Oh you’re a F—–g lawyer now. We can do this the easy way or the hard way and put his finger on the trigger of his M16. That’s when I just backed up,” Branson said.

According to Branson the alleged assault to Lipsen happened in plain view, on the sidewalk in front of a residence.

“It happened outside on the sidewalk, ” stated Branson, “She wasn’t even on the property. She was standing on the sidewalk.”

Branson’s account matches reported accounts by the Lipsens and Tom Cochran. He recounts how Lipsen’s sister Arielle started asking questions. Then, things got ugly.

They were ugly from the beginning. I’d like to know the names of these agents, too.


“The same guy who cussed me out comes walking up. He’s about my size in full tactical gear with an M16 strapped to his chest, with what looked like four extra clips. He comes walking up real aggressive and she starts to back off. He says, ‘You need to shut up.’

“She says, ‘What are you going to do, shoot me?’

“At that point the officer grabbed her by the neck. She flinched and said, ‘get your hands off me.’ The officer then said ‘that’s resisting.’

“He threw her to the ground.

“As she tried to get up, he grabbed her and threw her down again and her foot hit him. It wasn’t a kick. It is what happens when you get your legs kicked out from underneath you and get thrown to the ground.

“The officer said, ‘You just assaulted a police officer’ and then started choking her (with the butt of the gun). I saw it. I was standing right in front of the Purple Zone.”

I’m sure the Civil Rights Division will be right on this. But you know, as we see story after story like this, people are going to begin to doubt whether law enforcement is deserving of respect and support.

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