Monday, January 24, 2011

Off-duty Officer Wins LEOSA Settlement for False Arrest

Jason Davis, Esq.
Would you rather spend $40 on a Sheepdog Academy LESOA webinar or $44,000 in a settlement? 

Coast Guard Reserve Petty Officer Jose Diaz has won a $44,000 settlement from the City of San Fernando, California for false arrest because one of their police officers did not understand HR218-LEOSA.  Jason Davis, Esq. represented Diaz who is at least the seventh Coast Guardsmen arrested on charges for unlawfully posessing a firearm since LEOSA was enacted in 2004 and the seventh to beat the charges.  Davis and Diaz, however, are the first team to recover a cash settlement. 

Davis relied on the Booth case to establish that Diaz was covered by LEOSA.  The U.S. Coast Guard has since issued ALCOAST 549/10 which makes clear that certified boarding officers, boarding team members and specified other Coast Guard personnel are covered by LEOSA.

The San Fernando Police Department is also reportedly now required to implement new policies and procedures regarding LEOSA.  Diaz argued that the Police Department had a contest to see who could make more gun arrests.  In November of 2007, Diaz was driving to a shooting range when he was subject to a motor vehicle stop to check his vehicle registration.

Upon approaching Diaz’s vehicle, the Officer observed a firearms case in the rear seat with a cable lock around the handle of the case. The Officer opened the case which contained two loaded magazines and an unloaded Glock pistol.  

Diaz showed his Coast Guard ID and told the Officer that the LEOSA permitted him to carry a firearm, but the Officer did not believe that Diaz was covered by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.  Obviously, the arresting officer failed to attend any of Sheepdog Academy's 12 seminars and webinars on the topic.  Shame on him.

The Officer arrested Diaz for unlawful possession of a loaded firearm.  Diaz was spent one day and night in jail.  The weapons charges were later dismissed.

Regretfully, no one from Diaz' Command was willing to testify in his case.   Nonetheless, Davis and Diaz obtained a great result on their own and Diaz is now being all he can be in the Army National Guard.

If you did not attend our February 2011 or November 2010 LEOSA Seminars, you MUST attend our next LEOSA seminar being held on Saturday, 21 May 2011 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Essex County Police Academy in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.  You can register online by clicking here

If you cannot attend, you can order our November 2010 seminar materials

Or contact us to host a live webinar or seminar at your police academy. 
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