L.A. Teen Charged With “Attempted Lynching” Now Raided by Police

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Jeremy Marks, 18, was arrested and bizarrely charged with “attempted lynching” last May after an altercation another youth had with a campus police officer in Los Angeles. Marks was among several students who watched Officer Erin Robles get into a physical confrontation with another students in front of a bus stop. L.A. Weekly, which first reported on Marks’ case, says according to video and other witnesses, Marks doesn’t appear to have participated in the altercation in any way, other than to observe and record it.

When the story broke last month, several commenters stated that Marks was charged for recording the scuffle on his cell phone, though from what I’ve read, the “attempting lynching” charge actually stems from allegations Marks yelled “Kick her ass!” during the fight. “Attempted lynching” is a charge police levy at people accused of trying to incite a riot to help a suspect escape police custody (it’s a strange name for that charge, given the actual definition of lynching). But even that appears to be a case of mistaken identity.

Marks was initially facing seven years in prison. He’s facing more serious charges than anyone else involved, and that includes the kid who got into the fight with Robles in the first place (he’s a minor). The L.A. County DA’s office offered a plea which would have required him to serve 32 months in jail. He refused.

Marks was held in jail for seven months until Google engineer Neil Fraser read about his Marks’ on the Internet and sprang for his bail to have Marks home in time for Christmas.

It now appears Marks’ home was raided this week, and in a particularly aggressive manner. The only report of the raid I can find right now is from a website called Liberation, which I’ve never heard of, but bills itself as the “newspaper of the party for socialism and liberation.” So read the report with that in mind.

The family of Jeremy Marks awoke on Jan. 26 at 7:00 am to the sound of nearly 30 Los Angeles Police Department cops bursting into their house in full tactical gear, guns drawn. They searched the house, taking all computers, cell phones, cameras and trashing Jeremy’s bedroom, his parent’s bedroom and the living room.

Police vehicles filled the streets of the predominantly African American neighborhood in Lakeview Terrace. Neighbors were prevented from going into or out of their homes. A next door neighbor had guns pointed at him for trying to retrieve his children from Jeremy’s front porch, where they went every morning to be taken to school by Rochelle Pittman, Jeremy’s mother.

Pittman asked to see a search warrant. She knew that, by law, police must show a valid search warrant before entering a home. But there was none. For nearly 45 minutes, neither the police nor the District Attorney’s officers showed her anything. She continued to demand it until a warrant was produced well after the raid had begun.

And when Pittman asked, many of the invading cops refused to provide their names or badge numbers—a requirement under California law.

As the search ended three hours later, the house interior was unrecognizable. In addition to electronic equipment, Jeremy’s notes, papers and legal documents were seized—many of these documents are privileged attorney-client communications.

Every item used to communicate with the outside world about Jeremy’s case was taken from every member of Jeremy’s family, including his parents’ and siblings’ personal possessions.

The raid took place as Jeremy’s mother was attempting to gather herself and bring her kids and the neighbor’s kids to school. The neighbor’s children were at the front door when police came up with shields and shotguns ready.

Liberation also reports that the student who posted videos of the initial bus stop altercation was also raided, even though he isn’t currently facing any criminal charges.

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60 Responses to “L.A. Teen Charged With “Attempted Lynching” Now Raided by Police”

  1. #1 |  ktc2 | 

    That’s what you get for daring to hold the police accountable in the land of the free!

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    Is this from the Onion? No.. they wouldn’t make up something like this. Is it just me, or is the street, Lakeview Terrace, the same as the movie starring Samuel L Jackson?

    If this is for real, it’s just too much.

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Wait a sec. Was it was the Cops or the Klan who raided this house? I keep getting the two confused.

  4. #4 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    I think I need to stop reading this blog. I won’t but I think it’d be the healthier option.

  5. #5 |  goober1223 | 

    What was he going to do? Flush all of his papers, phones, and computers down the toilet? Knock. Knock again. Knock again. Wait. Keep waiting. Keep waiting. Then, if they don’t respond, go ahead and break down the door and obtain what the warrant allows you to take. There’s no need for the speed, severity, or scope of this raid. Can we go back to some semblance of civility?

  6. #6 |  Tweets that mention L.A. Teen Charged With “Attempted Lynching” Now Raided by Police | The Agitator -- Topsy.com | 

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rafi Kam, teaist atts and alexs' grandma, The Mighty OCD. The Mighty OCD said: L.A. Teen Charged With “Attempted Lynching” Now Raided by Police http://bit.ly/h4kM2H #intimidation #itswhatsfordinner [...]

  7. #7 |  SJE | 

    In a just world, the police would be prosecuted for violations of the 4th amendment, evidence tampering, witness intimidation, and more. I wonder what our favorite LA prosecutor, Patterico, thinks of this.

  8. #8 |  SJE | 

    Goober: this was not a raid to obtain evidence of a crime, it was a raid to intimidate and see if they can threaten anyone else. The only solution to this sort of thing is to punish the cops.

  9. #9 |  Brandon | 

    But, but, two cops tried just knocking on a door 2 weeks ago in a completely different situation 3500 miles away, and now they’re dead! So shut your filthy liberal mouths! Police abuse has a grace period of as long as people remember that! Just like petty tyrants in congress got a pass for any stupid law they proposed after Tucson!

  10. #10 |  Bad Medicine | 

    Geez, Radley, get your story straight. Somehow in your previous posts you failed to mention that this kid lived in North Korea.

    He does… live in North Korea… doesn’t he?

    Oh crap…

  11. #11 |  Bad Medicine | 

    Meanwhile, there are a bunch of cops sitting around scratching their heads trying to figure out how the word got out about what was supposed to be a “supr seekrit” operation. They took away computers and phones, that should have kept it hush hush. Maybe there’s a wiretapping charge in there somewhere, otherwise no one would know, right?

  12. #12 |  qwints | 

    @DJE, I’ve often wondered what it would be like if we swapped the exclusionary rule for criminal penalties for everyone involved in infringing a defendant’s rights.

  13. #13 |  SJE | 

    The failures of the exclusionary rule are why I started reading Radley in the first place. The rule presumes either that most cops are honest and are not beating on people, or the existence of a separate basis of prosecution of the cops (which, in practice, only applies in extreme cases)

  14. #14 |  Sean L. | 

    Yizmo:

    “Wait a sec. Was it was the Cops or the Gestapo who raided this house? I keep getting the two confused.”

    FTFY.

  15. #15 |  Mario | 

    If this happened two days ago, how is it no one else is reporting on it?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am fully willing to believe in the possibility of this, but let’s hold on until we get some corroboration from a source we feel comfortable with.

    If this is true, it’s pure goon squad bullying and has nothing to do with law and order; in which case, it needs to be made an example of. These raids need to stop.

  16. #16 |  Chris C. | 

    Do you think this will show up on a future episode of “Southland”?

  17. #17 |  Kukulkan | 

    California Penal Code 1535. When the officer takes property under the warrant, he must give a receipt for the property taken (specifying it in detail) to the person from whom it was taken by him, or in whose possession it was found; or, in the absence of any person, he must leave it in the place where he found the property.

    Accordingly, Rochelle Pittman should have a copy of the search warrant and a receipt of evidence seized. I (and I’m sure everyone here) would like to see copies of these documents. Get to work Radley. Chop chop.

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    “If this happened two days ago, how is it no one else is reporting on it?”

    Because any reporting that puts cops in a negative light gets slammed by the FOP and the city, with threats of prosecution etc. Remember, THIS kid was jailed for 7 months after he recorded a police encounter with a ‘civilian,’ then his house is raided and pretty badly messed up. Would YOU want to report on this, if you didnt have both the facts and the support of a media organization?

  19. #19 |  derfel cadarn | 

    A country where the LAW does not apply equally to all is not a FREE country. As Americans and CITIZENS we can no longer tolerate this situation government and its minions must be brought to heel. These outrages are the very essence our greatest documents were formulated about and the basis of the struggle on which this nation was founded. The PEOPLE must take back THEIR country let us hope that the struggle does not entail the sacrifices of the original tussle.

  20. #20 |  PW | 

    I too would like to see a better source for this, but the description of the way the search was executed sounds accurate. Unfortunately this sort of thing is STANDARD police operating procedure, even for minor offenses or no offense at all.

    Some family friends of mine had their home searched last year after an accident requiring hospitalization. One of them hurt himself doing some house repairs that required a trip to the emergency room. There was nothing even remotely illegal about it, but the cops wanted to “investigate” how he got hurt, showed up 45 minutes after the ambulance with a sloppy boiler-plate search warrant, and proceeded to completely trash the place just because they could.

    I saw it two days later (after they had already started cleanup, so it wasn’t even the worst of it) and was in complete disbelief…jars of food pulled out of the pantry and smashed on the kitchen floor, pictures knocked off the walls and broken, furniture turned over, every closet emptied, they dug through dressers and underwear drawers and emptied their contents in the middle of the room, trash cans kicked over, you name it. It was all because they had a “hunch” and could do a search, even though it yielded absolutely nothing.

  21. #21 |  PW | 

    “There’s no need for the speed, severity, or scope of this raid. Can we go back to some semblance of civility?”

    Nope. All search warrants, no matter the pretext or what they claim they are looking for, are really designed to do just one thing: a house-wide fishing expedition for any “contraband.” And they will completely trash your house in the process, leaving you little recourse to protest it and no compensation for what they break and damage.

  22. #22 |  OBTC | 

    We should warn the engineer that sprung for his bail that he could be raided next.

    How to we get in touch with him – any ideas?

  23. #23 |  angry citizen | 

    derfel cadarn said it best, it is not fair at all that the cops can treat people like this and there is nothing citizens can do about it. This country has become truthfully corrupt and I just hope those in power will change before the situation in Egypt moves across the ocean. This is not fair in any way, the government is bullying the citizens, we pay their salary and yet they treat us like shit. The only people they want to help is themselves. If they pass a law to help somebody it is only if it makes them look good. At this point they have passed so many unconstitutional laws we need a complete reform. I don’t know why nobody did anything when they started passing these bull shit laws and giving police all kinds of power they didn’t need etc, I guess the government is good at lying and some people are just blind. But they have made it painfully obvious now. This country is at the point where it needs to be reformed, and the question is, who is going to step up and do it? Who will take a stand to help the many and bring down the corrupt few? It needs to happen now we must organize, plan, and execute reform to bring this country back to the constitution and get rid of those who don’t respect it. I am ashamed that we were blind enough to allow people who don’t respect our constitution to be elected in the first place.

    It is not constitutional to arrest somebody for shouting ‘kick her ass’
    It is not constitutional to arrest somebody for recording a public situation.
    It is not constitutional to raid somebodies house at all unless a crime is being committed.

    and those are just the amendments that apply to this case. The government is out of hand when they will break they’re own laws so they can have more control. Those people who allowed this should have been impeached a long time ago. In the new government we need laws to prevent this. I hope the day is soon.

  24. #24 |  André | 

    When I read news stories like this, I mentally replace “last week” with “1981”, “Berwyn Heights” with “Plznka, Czechoslowakia” and make up consonant-heavy Eastern European-sounding names like Czrnowskva, Brdgrich, Vrmowkow and mentally subsititute them all in. Then I sit back and say “yeah… sounds about right.”

  25. #25 |  Rich | 

    What I fail to understand is why the names of the Judges who issue these warrants are never made public and they are never held accountable. Someone explain to me why the police are the only ones mentioned and the judge always is just called the judge.

  26. #26 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    We have laws to prevent this type of cop shit. Laws don’t work.

    Any other ideas?

  27. #27 |  Jesse | 

    If this story is true, then I think I’m at the point where I say all hope is lost. This is pure KGB/SS totalitarianism. Of the hundreds of stories I’ve read about police incompetence and misconduct over the years, this is perhaps the most disturbing I’ve read yet.

  28. #28 |  Sinchy | 

    Stories like this make me wonder why tea party types are so worried about Obama, when it’s their local police chiefs who are much more of a threat to them.

  29. #29 |  perlhaqr | 

    Yeah, the source is something I’d normally find a bit sketchy, but whether I agree with their economic views or not, nothing about the way they reported this is even remotely unbelievable.

  30. #30 |  EH | 

    What I fail to understand is why the names of the Judges who issue these warrants are never made public and they are never held accountable

    They’re pretty much just a notary in that operation. They’re just taking the word of the person requesting the warrant, who in turn enjoys almost no risk from what they request.

  31. #31 |  Gordon | 

    This story doesn’t sound all that plausible. No dogs were shot and nobody was Tazed while handcuffed.

  32. #32 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I wonder what our favorite LA prosecutor, Patterico, thinks of this.

    My guess nothing. This is an on going case in his patch and he’d be crazy to discuss it.

  33. #33 |  Packratt | 

    Via a thread on Reddit about the incident there appears to be confirmation from the person who bailed Jeremy out that the raid did occur and there is also a link to a local blog where his lawyer also confirms the incident occurred.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/comments/fapfq/la_police_continue_to_abuse_jeremy_marks_the_boy/

    http://www.thefoothillsforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&p=91356

  34. #34 |  SJE | 

    Steve: are you saying he isnt crazy?

  35. #35 |  rightcoast | 

    @ Mario :

    Neil Fraser, the Google engineer/redditor who saw the story on reddit and bailed him out, confirmed the events as reported.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/comments/fapfq/la_police_continue_to_abuse_jeremy_marks_the_boy/c1ekfrx

  36. #36 |  croaker | 

    @26 Yes, make sure they don’t go home safe. It’s probably long past time to start treating these thugs like an army of occupation. Think “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” and take it from there.

    We’re way beyond “Bad Cop, No Donut.” These thugs need to go down hard.

  37. #37 |  Whim | 

    Assuming the provenance of this scary story, the police have a big problem:

    Too many adult witnesses to their dangerous raid…….

    Say, Civil Lawsuit City, folks.

  38. #38 |  Carl-Bear Bussjaeger | 

    Why does this put me in mind of Solzhenitsyn’s _The Gulag Archipelago_?

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have
    been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst; the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”
    — The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  39. #39 |  Steve Clay | 

    What the LAPD are building here is a case against themselves. Good work.

  40. #40 |  Cyto | 

    the foothills forum claims on Thursday that there is a rally to be held tomorrow – which would be earlier today.

    Ian Thompson, an attorney with the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), added: “Jeremy’s house was overturned. All of the family’s cell phones, computers, cameras and papers were taken, including privileged communications with Jeremy’s attorney. The raids were unlawful. Guns were drawn on small children and innocent bystanders. This is not justice. This is intimidation and harassment to make people fear the criminal ‘justice’ system.”

    Rochelle Pittman, Jeremy Marks will make statements about the raid, along with organizers and attorneys. All are available for interview.

    I wonder if anyone showed?

  41. #41 |  pinandpuller | 

    OBTC “We should warn the engineer that sprung for his bail that he could be raided next.

    How to we get in touch with him – any ideas?”

    If only there was a way to search for things on the internet…

  42. #42 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    He already knows what’s going on – check the reddit post.

    Folks, this is fucking tyranny. We need to Streisand Effect this one out. pronto.

  43. #43 |  TC | 

    #40, he is on top of it already.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut/comments/fapfq/la_police_continue_to_abuse_jeremy_marks_the_boy/c1ekfrx

    I hope your friend the Judge on Fox news picks this item up and blows the lid off the LAPD each and every broadcast he has till they pay this family for damages etc….

    I’m also hoping that every officer and public paid employee that has had anything to do with this case suffocates from camel snot!

  44. #44 |  demize! | 

    This is the same type of shit the NYPD. pulled after their 1000 shot fussilade that left a would be groom dead and his buddies critically wounded. It’s a pattern, it will continue, because the pricks get away with it.

  45. #45 |  BamBam | 

    @25, you assume that there was a search warrant and that a judge signed it. I have serious doubts about whether both items are true in most cases. When there are no consequences, it is inevitable that profligate behavior will be the outcome.

  46. #46 |  Arthur | 

    Recording police officers may be good for our collective liberty, but it’s damn rough on the freedoms of a few lucky individuals. Absolutely the scariest police misconduct story I have ever read. Things are even worse than I thought….I thought they were pretty effin bad!

  47. #47 |  Stephen | 

    Slightly OT –

    Body cavity searches in public on the side of the road?

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/26647035/detail.html

  48. #48 |  Joe | 

    This is a case only Patterico could love.

  49. #49 |  Bob | 

    I’m wondering just how many raids are, in fact, warrantless. And an attempt to obtain a warrant is only made after the homeowner requests to see it.

    For example, the highly publicized Cheye Calvo raid. The cops didn’t have a warrant with them. Instead, a deputy brought one by after the raid, AFTER they figured out that they just raided the home of the mayor. I have a LOT of trouble believing they had a warrant before the fact, and then simply forgot it back at the station, and the guy fetching it took 71 hours to go get it.

    Realistically, there is simply no penalty for raiding someone’s house without a warrant. Worst case? Civil lawsuit, which costs the taxpayers (Or an insurance company) money. Second worst case? The seized evidence is thrown out of court AFTER you pay a hefty sum for your defense.

  50. #50 |  Harold | 

    The Egyptian security police the population calls “Thugs” would be proud of their colleagues in the LAPD.

  51. #51 |  kieran | 

    fuck everything about this.

  52. #52 |  Rodney Torney | 

    The name makes sense in the context it was meant for. A mob of people wants to remove someone from police custody and have vigilante ‘justice’.

  53. #53 |  Mark | 

    Is there a pool somewhere where I can bet on chances of a shooting war breaking out over the next 5 years? Somebody should in all seriousness organize such a thing.

  54. #54 |  Charlie O | 

    #26. Boyd Durkin —

    Superior fire power.

  55. #55 |  Just when you have hope for justice – don’t worry, the police are there to crush it | Cop Block | 

    [...] Most recently, the police conducted a violent raid on Marks’ family. The raid involved about 30 Los Angeles Police Department officers with their guns drawn. The police searched and trashed the house. They looted the entire place, seizing all forms and means of communication including phones, cameras and computers. They also drew guns on a neighbor who was trying to get his children. Jeremy’s legal documents were also seized (more here). [...]

  56. #56 |  don ricardo | 

    They must not have had any dogs. They would’ve been shot and killed, just as a natural part of “serving the warrant:.

  57. #57 |  Militant Libertarian » Just when you have hope for justice – don’t worry, the police are there to crush it | 

    [...] Most recently, the police conducted a violent raid on Marks’ family. The raid involved about 30 Los Angeles Police Department officers with their guns drawn. The police searched and trashed the house. They looted the entire place, seizing all forms and means of communication including phones, cameras and computers. They also drew guns on a neighbor who was trying to get his children. Jeremy’s legal documents were also seized (more here). [...]

  58. #58 |  Archie1954 | 

    This is a blatant case of police misconduct. The party responsible for this travesty of justice is the chief of police. He should be hauled on the carpet by the mayor and asked what the heck is going on. A very disgusting example of American policing today.

  59. #59 |  John Boanerges Redman | 

    From what I have read, here, even the more reasonable people are still thinking that there should BE an institution known as “police” but just be held to honest standards. You, my friends, are pissing up a rope. The ones DEFENDING police are, well, as bad as the worst cops out there. I love you all anyway and forgive your various degrees of complicity. Unless and until you, personally, acknowledge God alone as your ruler and accept ONLY your conscience as your guide, you will proceed from this life to His Judgment by stepping from the bed of Satan. Do you know the outcome? I can’t know but I DO guess the worst.

  60. #60 |  FreeWestRadio.com » Blog Archive » Just when you have hope for justice – don’t worry, the police are there to crush it | 

    [...] Most recently, the police conducted a violent raid on Marks’ family. The raid involved about 30 Los Angeles Police Department officers with their guns drawn. The police searched and trashed the house. They looted the entire place, seizing all forms and means of communication including phones, cameras and computers. They also drew guns on a neighbor who was trying to get his children. Jeremy’s legal documents were also seized (more here). [...]

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