Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bicycling while Black

While surfing through cases for a research project, I found this interesting one. The name of the officer, Michael Cupido, award recipient and currently #1 on the list of officers with the highest number of incidents involving resisting arrest and battery of an officer.

In 2004, Cupido was one of 18 officers who recieved a "10851" award from both the CHP and the Automobile Club of Riverside for recovery of at least 12 stolen vehicles, including three with occupants inside.

More on topic, Cupido was also a motorcross rider. And this story involves a man on a bike named Steve Jackson. Jackson, who was Black and on parole, was riding his bicycle down the middle of Franklin street, which runs through the Eastside neighborhood. Michael Cupido, a White officer, was in his squad car when he saw Jackson and decided to pull him over, because riding a bicycle in the middle of the road was a violation of Riverside Municipal Code, 1-64.330. So Cupido tailed Jackson until Jackson stopped his bike at the residence where he lived. From that point on, the stories told of what followed, differed.

According to Jackson's statement presented as part of a Pitchess motion in his criminal case, Jackson stopped his bike and Cupido yelled at him to come on over to talk to him. Jackson said he had not done anything wrong and that Cupido was harassing him. He yelled back, "You can't tell me what to do" as he ran into the house. Cupido then pulled his weapon and told Cupido to come out of the residence. Since Jackson had relatives who were in law enforcement, he exited. He then pulled up his shirt and raised his clenched fists.

"All I have is these," he said. "bring all the cops you want. It's not going to change things."

Cupido lowered his gun when Michael Stamps arrived. He asked Stamps if he had a taser, and Stamps said no, so Stamps pulled out his baton and began hitting Jackson in the ankles, feet, legs and knees after saying that Jackson, "took a swing". Stamps then hit Jackson on his back while he was on the ground with closed fists. Jackson stated that while he was being handcuffed, he asked why he was being arrested but received no answer.

In police reports submitted as part of the Pitchess motion, Cupido said that Jackson tried to hit him on the head. and that his shin was kicked. He suffered a sprained thumb. The lawyer for Jackson, a public defender named Richard Verlato, argued that there were no documented records of Cupido's injuries. Two witnesses to the incident filed complaints with the CPRC.

Cupido said in his police report that he had done a bicycle stop with Jackson, and said that he became violent and struck him. A meth pipe and marijuana cigarette were taken in as evidence. Jackson exhibited "objective" signs including dilated pupils, extreme profanity, high heart-rate, loud repetitive talking and he was excited. His pupilometer reading was only 4.5 mm, which is within the normal range. Dilated pupils measure 6.5mm or higher.

Cupido wrote that he had pulled out his gun, because Jackson was leaning against the building, his right side hidden. He was trying to jump the fence behind the property, when Cupido and Stamps caught up to him. Outgoing lateral, Keith Zagorin, participated in the arrest, but submitted no report. Originally assigned to the North side of town, Zagorin spent a very eventful night in Casa Blanca on Oct. 23, 2004 when he and fellow officer Daniel Floyd, were accused of using excessive force on a woman and her two teenaged sons, 18 and 16, during a traffic stop.

The department recommended the filing of multiple charges including being under the influence of meth, posessing the paraphanlia, battery of an officer with an intent to inflict harm and felony resisting arrest.

After the D.A. took the case, they only filed on the resisting and battery charges. The fate of the drug charges remains a mystery. Usually with parolees, any criminal charges are a slam dunk and even a negative test would not provide much of an obstacle for a return to jail card. But, for whatever reason, the DA opted to prosecute only on the contempt charges.

Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time an RPD cop was SO sure a Black man was on meth, until the blood tests came back negative...for the fifth time. And Jsckson had several convictions for posession of a controlled substance and DV.

Verlato's Pitchess motion was granted by the court, and an encamera hearing was heard on the personnel records of Cupido and Stamps. All information involving personnel complaints was handed to Verlato. Then the minute record was sealed, because peace officers are the only employees with the right to privacy.

Driving while Black
Walking while Black
and now....
Bicycling while Black.

How many white kids or men drive down the middle of the street, or on the sidewalks, while police cars drive on by? But if you're Black, even in your own neighborhood, different story...Whether parolee, or neighborhood kid, Might as well stay at home, under house arrest.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you driven through the eastside? Tell me what the majority race is? Now take a trip to the southend of the city (La Sierra). What you will see is a bunch of white tweekers. So put this into your pea of a brain. If a
Whatever race of an officer works the eastside, the majority race they will stop is Hispanice/Black. Then take that same whatever race officer and go to the southend. The majority there,,,,,WHITE......WOW Mary I think we have something here. Just take a second to feel stupid.
If I were an officer I prob would say that there are way more WHITE people arrested a day in Riverside then Black/Hispanic/Other. I think you should stand by the jail everyday for a month. You look for those RPD cars rollin in there. Look at the race of the officer and look at the race of the suspect. You make some type of chart and post it on here. Wait!!! that would mean that your wrong and you would have to admitt that your full of hot air. Or go sit in the area of Mitchell/Gramercy, sit at the park, and wait for a traffic stop. Again look at the race of the officer and person stopped. Maybe one day you will get off the (All White RPD officers are racist) fence and open your eyes. Every race of people commit crime and get arrested. Look at the city Mary its diverse, it just so happends that the eastside has mostly Hispanic/Black citizens. And shame on that officer for attempting to serve those people of the eastside. Maybe he should have just sat at a donought shop and let the criminals Murder,Rape,Steal and bother the law biding citizens of the eastside. There is always way more to a incident then you find out. Then you post all these incosistant lies about good officers, for what reason I have yet to find out. You are one weird cookie.....I pray for you!!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005 7:25:00 PM  
Blogger Five Before Midnight said...

Dear "Anonymous":

I pray for you too. I pray that you'll learn how to spell properly and use appropriate grammar so that your comments are legible.

Good Day,

Friday, August 11, 2006 11:44:00 AM  

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