Rural Cops Demanded His ID, Things Turned Ugly When He Refused - PAR

Chase Hasegawa had been sitting on the side of an empty rural road for six hours next to his broken-down car when he was approached by two San Diego County sheriffs. Instead of asking if he needed help or offering him assistance, police demanded identification. Knowing his rights, Hasegawa refused, and began asking questions. Cell phone footage shows the police not only threatening to arrest him, but also saying they could charge him with ‘burglary’ or ‘stalking.’

Hasegawa’s ordeal reflects a dangerous trend of officers demanding identification from people in public spaces, in violation of our First Amendment rights to assembly and Fourth Amendment protections from unlawful search and seizure. He still has not been able to recover his car from the police impound lot. Police Accountability Report speaks to California resident Chase Hasagawa about the charges, arrest, and the impact the experience is having on his life.

Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Adam Coley


Transcript

Taya Graham:  Hello, my name is Taya Graham, and welcome to the Police Accountability Report. As I always make clear, this show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. And to do so, we don’t just focus on the bad behavior of individual cops. Instead, we examine the system that makes bad policing possible.

And today we will achieve that goal by showing this arrest by the San Diego County Sheriffs – Now wait for it – For refusing to provide an ID while standing on a public road. But it’s not just a questionable action of these cops we will be exploring on the show today. We will also be examining the fraught history and legal implications of empowering police to demand identification, regardless of circumstance. Not just the perils of this practice, but what it means in the broader context of America’s expanding law enforcement-industrial complex.

But first, I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at par@therealnews.com and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram, or @EyesonPolice on Twitter. And of course, you can always reach out to me directly @tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook. And please like and comment. I do read your comments and I appreciate them, even if I don’t get to respond to each and every one, I really do read them. And we also have a Patreon link pinned in the comments below, so if you do feel inspired to donate, please do. We do not run ads or take corporate dollars, so anything you can spare is truly appreciated.

Now, one of the troubling aspects of police power is a simple act that might, on the surface, appear harmless. I’m talking about the endless variety of circumstances when police in this country can request your ID. It’s become a tool of law enforcement that, in many ways, represents just how much police power has expanded. But it’s also a concept that has not been adequately parsed to understand the far reaching implications of how its growing use has even broader implications for the state of our rights throughout the country.

Let’s remember the Fourth Amendment is pretty specific about the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures. Add that to the right to free assembly outlined in the First Amendment, and it’s pretty clear that empowering the government to ask for ID on demand wasn’t very popular. I mean, let’s face it. Empowering armed agents of the government with nearly unchecked power to demand your ID or face legal consequences sounds pretty dystopian to me. One can only imagine what would happen if this power is allowed to grow unabated, and how it could be subsequently abused.

That seems to be the direction we’re headed based on the reporting on police that we’ve done for many years. Which brings me to the case and the video I will show you today. It is the perfect example of how problematic this power can be. An example of how and why police can easily abuse the ability to demand identification and what can happen when it is abused without consequence. The story starts in rural San Diego County, where Chase Hasegawa was dealing with a common problem: His car had broken down. And because he was far from a gas station or repair shop or even a residence, he had been stuck for several hours when police arrived. But instead of asking Chase if he wanted help, the officer demanded that he produce an ID. Let’s watch.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Chase Hasegawa:  If I’m not suspected of a crime, I don’t need to produce my ID.

Police Officer:  Actually you do. Because we got a radio.

Chase Hasegawa:  Actually.

Police Officer:  So we have a legal –

Chase Hasegawa:  That’s not the law.

Police Officer:  Okay –

Chase Hasegawa:  I’m recording, just so you know.

Police Officer:  Okay, That’s totally fine.

Chase Hasegawa:  Okay.

Police Officer:  I’m explaining to you, okay, we have a lot of facts out here.

Chase Hasegawa:  Do you see anything around here to be stolen?

Police Officer:  Okay. Yes –

Chase Hasegawa:  I’m parked on a public road –

Police Officer:  – Okay.

Chase Hasegawa:  Public roadway.

Police Officer:  I’m explaining to you –

Chase Hasegawa:  Parked on a public roadway.

Police Officer:  We have a legal, lawful right to contact you and obtain your information –

Chase Hasegawa:  [crosstalk] If I’m suspected of a crime, and you have to reasonably articulate it to me, too.

Police Officer:  [inaudible] You’re not…

Chase Hasegawa:  So what crime do you suspect me of committing?

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Now, it’s interesting to note that all Chase was doing when police arrived was standing on the side of the road. That’s right. He was simply waiting by a car that wasn’t moving. He wasn’t driving or even sitting in the car itself. He was simply stranded. But still, the officer escalated the situation. Take a look.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Chase Hasegawa:  So what crime do you suspect me of committing?

Police Officer:  I can have you stalking, I can have you –

Chase Hasegawa:  No, not the things that you can make up. Not “I can have you.” What do you suspect me of?

Police Officer:  So I’m –

Chase Hasegawa:  You just said you were, “I can have you this”. That’s making stuff up. Come on, man.

Police Officer:  Do you want me to explain, or what?

Chase Hasegawa:  Hey, I know my rights. I’m not going to let them just get trampled all over.

Police Officer:  [crosstalk] I’m just trying to explain it to you, though.

Chase Hasegawa:  You heard it too, right?

Police Officer 2:  Are you going to let him explain? Okay.

Chase Hasegawa:  By all means.

Police Officer:  Here’s what’s up. I have a legal, lawful right to contact you and obtain your information. We received a radio call regarding you for suspicious activity, okay?

Chase Hasegawa:  And what crime is that? Is that a felony or a misdemeanor? Being suspicious?

Police Officer:  Okay. It is activity that is intended to discover if you are in the process of committing a felony or a misdemeanor –

Chase Hasegawa:  No, no, no.

Police Officer:  I’ll tell you what –

Chase Hasegawa:  If I’m suspected of a felony or a misdemeanor –

Police Officer:  Let me explain something to you real quick. So you have a choice right now. You can go with the program, you can give us your ID. If you choose not to do that, that’s considered obstructing us from performing our job.

Chase Hasegawa:  Actually, obstruction is a physical act.

Police Officer:  No, it is not.

Chase Hasegawa:  It actually is.

Police Officer:  So if you continue down this road, we’re going to place you in handcuffs here in just a second. And you’re going to be under arrest. Under arrest for obstructing a police officer.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Now, what happens next embodies all the problems with the power to identify that are discussed at the beginning of the show. That’s because Chase does something surprising. Under the threat of a cop, in the middle of nowhere, he simply refuses to produce an ID. And what the cop does shows why this power can be so treacherous. Take another look.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Police Officer:  Is that clear?

Chase Hasegawa:  Okay, that’s just litigation for you guys.

Police Officer:  That’s fine. Is that the direction we want to go with?

Chase Hasegawa:  I don’t want to go that route at all.

Police Officer:  Okay.

Chase Hasegawa:  I said I don’t need any assistance. 

Police Officer:  Okay. I’m explaining to you –

Chase Hasegawa:  You guys got a call.

Police Officer:  Yes.

Chase Hasegawa:  Right?

Police Officer:  So I’m explaining to you right now, you have a choice. You can either provide your identification, we can conduct our investigation, or we can place you in handcuffs. And then –

Chase Hasegawa:  But see, the thing is [crosstalk] –

Police Officer:  – We arrest you –

Chase Hasegawa:  Go on.

Police Officer:  For resisting, obstructing a police officer and delaying our investigation.

Chase Hasegawa:  Resisting? That’s a secondary offense.

Police Officer:  Okay.

Chase Hasegawa:  That’s why I’m being placed under arrest.

Police Officer:  It is all part of 148.

Chase Hasegawa:  Am I being detained right now?

Police Officer:  Yes.

Chase Hasegawa:  I am. What am I being detained for?

Police Officer:  You are being detained while we conduct our investigation of a suspicious activity.

Chase Hasegawa:  Okay, what –

Police Officer:  – And person in the area.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  I mean, I think it’s very revealing what the officer did when he was confronted by a person willing to push back. It is revealing what tools he used to get Chase to comply. Namely – And I can’t really think of any other word to describe it – False charges. Let’s watch again. And while we do, I want you to think about what you’re seeing.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Chase Hasegawa:  What crime do you suspect me of committing that you’re detaining me for?

Police Officer:  Okay. Burglary, how’s that? You’re in an area where you don’t live.

Chase Hasegawa:  [crosstalk] Is that what the call was for, burglary?

Police Officer:  Nope. No. It was for a suspicious person.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  And so, as often occurs during police encounters we cover on the show, the cop resorted to the go-to law enforcement tool: imprisonment.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Police Officer:  You know what? We’re all done. Put him in handcuffs. I’m done.

Police Officer 2:  Put your hands behind your back. Hey, excuse me.

Chase Hasegawa:  Don’t… Please don’t touch me.

Police Officer 2:  Put your hands –

Chase Hasegawa:  Please don’t touch me.

Police Officer 2:  Put your hands behind your back.

Chase Hasegawa:  This is an arbitrary arrest.

Police Officer 2:  We’re not going to use force, okay?

Chase Hasegawa:  This is an arbitrary arrest.

Police Officer 2:  And if that’s the case…

Chase Hasegawa:  I am sitting handcuffed in a Vista Sheriff’s truck because a neighbor called the cops for a suspicious vehicle. When I asked what I was being detained for, he said I was being detained for his investigation. And the call was for a suspicious vehicle. And I asked him, is that a felony or a misdemeanor? And he said, you’re not hearing me. You’re being detained.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  That’s right. Even though Chase had not been accused or even committed a crime, even though he was exercising what is, arguably, one of our most fundamental Constitutional rights in our country, the officer ignored the law and put him in a cage. But this harrowing encounter with the rural cop was just the beginning of Chase’s ordeal. That’s because the officer involved and the criminal justice system they represent were not done with Chase. Not at all. In fact, the law enforcement-industrial complex was just beginning to inflict pain on the man who simply wanted to get his car repaired.

Which is why we soon will be joined by Chase to hear about what happened after the arrest and how the consequences of this encounter are far from over. But first, I’m joined by my reporting partner Stephen Janis, who’s been looking into the case and reaching out to the police for comment. Stephen, thank you so much for joining me.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  So Stephen, you have been reaching out to the police. What have they said?

Stephen Janis:  Well, I asked them, number one, why was Chase arrested? It didn’t make any sense to me. They said that it was because of narcotics, which they wouldn’t tell me what kind of narcotics. And I asked them, and they would not specify. And then I said, well, why was the car impounded? And they said, due to the fact… First they cited a California statute about speeding. And I said, are you sure? And then they said, oops, we made a mistake. It was because the car was an obstacle or an impediment to traffic, which seems so absurd to me, because he was out in the middle of nowhere. And even when you watch the video, you could see there are no cars driving by. It was absolutely, patently absurd. And my next question was, well, any car that’s stuck on the side of the road can be impounded? I mean, come on. So I really didn’t like their answers and I think it’s really problematic.

Taya Graham:  You’ve also been looking into the department behind this arrest. What have you learned?

Stephen Janis:  Well, it’s amazing. The San Diego County budget is a $7 billion budget. What’s the biggest ticket spending? The sheriff’s department. Over a billion dollars. This is a huge agency, I think, that has to generate a lot of revenue.

But I want people to look at something for a second. I want you to look at these sheriffs out in this rural county and what they’re wearing on their body. I mean, this is a military style gear that they have on, and imposing and intimidating, and I’m not really sure why a sheriff who works in a rural county would be armed to the teeth like this and look like he’s about to go out on reconnaissance for three months. But even so, I think part of the problem is there’s too much money. If you look at other line items and the county budget like health and recreation, it doesn’t even come close. The sheriff’s department is the biggest expenditure. They got a billion dollars, and I think they act like it.

Taya Graham:  So you’ve done quite a bit of reporting on impound lots and how police have a habit of impounding vehicles. What have you learned about this lucrative process?

Stephen Janis:  Well, in a lot of jurisdictions, impound lots are cash machines, ATM machines for the police department. They seize vehicles, they make it very expensive to retrieve them, and then they auction it off. And that’s been the case in our town and many other places we’ve looked into. So they’re basically a way to make money. Take your vehicle, impose lots of fines and fees, storage fees, whatever, can’t get the vehicle out. Next thing you know, it’s up for auction. I’ve been looking into San Diego County, I haven’t found that yet, but I’m going to keep looking into it and we will update you on it. But that’s usually what happens.

Taya Graham:  And now, to learn what happened after the arrest and how the ordeal itself has impacted his life, I’m joined by Chase. Chase, thank you so much for joining us.

Chase Hasegawa:  Thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share the video with people.

Taya Graham:  So first tell me why were you stopped in the road?

Chase Hasegawa:  Well, I was giving my friend a ride home, and my vehicle broke down. It just shut down completely. Wouldn’t… The lights shut off, everything. And this was at like 6:00 in the morning. And I’d been broken down there for about seven hours when the cops showed up.

Taya Graham:  How would you describe how the officers approached you?

Chase Hasegawa:  Aggressively. By the time I became aware that they were behind me, they were surrounding me already. And asking me what’s going on. And I had the same question for them, what is going on?

Taya Graham:  So what happened when you refused to give the officer your ID?

Chase Hasegawa:  Well, I could say he didn’t like that very much. He immediately started threatening me, essentially. Saying that he was going to charge me with stalking and burglary, just making stuff up, wild accusations. And I was just getting my car ready to get towed. There was going to be a tow truck there within a half hour.

Taya Graham:  Did it surprise you to hear the officer essentially offer to create probable cause or a reasonable suspicion when he didn’t actually have one? I mean, did it surprise you to hear him say, well I’m just going to say you’re here stalking? I mean, he essentially fabricated probable cause.

Chase Hasegawa:  Sadly, it didn’t surprise me. I kind of come to expect something like that from police officers these days. They seem to just do whatever they want, say whatever they want, and not have to face any consequences for just making up outright lies.

Taya Graham:  So was this a rural area?

Chase Hasegawa:  I was in a rural area, absolutely. I was about an hour from my home. And I was not by anything, there weren’t any businesses around there. No gas station to walk to. I was in the middle of nowhere. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t even see any houses where I was at. There was nothing out there. It was an empty road.

Taya Graham:  So you’re in a rural area, basically stranded, with no one around to help. Why did you refuse to give the officer your ID?

Chase Hasegawa:  Because I hadn’t committed any crime. He was demanding my ID for whatever reason. He said that he got a call about a suspicious vehicle, and a suspicious vehicle isn’t a crime. When he came and asked me what was going on and I said I was waiting for a tow truck, that should have been the end of it. I told them I didn’t need any assistance.

Taya Graham:  So what were you charged with?

Chase Hasegawa:  Well, they ended up charging me with obstruction of traffic, which is a moving violation, and I wasn’t even in my car at all. It was actually locked all the way up until they had it hooked up to the tow truck. And it was broken down.

And then he ended up charging me with paraphernalia from inside my vehicle that he opened up after the fact. And I mean, frankly, I wasn’t found in possession of. But pretty much just charged me with things that weren’t going to even stand up or anything and arrested me for no reason, just to take me to the station, write me a ticket, and then just released me. Just to displace me from the area and tow my car. And I still haven’t been able to get it out of impound. Now, because they didn’t even tell me where it was at. They towed it two cities away, when there was a yard in the same city right down the street. They went ahead and made it so it was extremely expensive just to take it out initially. And it’s just getting more and more expensive. I’m about to lose my vehicle because of it, essentially.

Taya Graham:  So how did this impact you financially? I mean, I know there’s the cost of your car being towed, there’s impound fees, there’s loss of time from work, there’s court costs, there’s lawyer costs, there’s tickets. I mean, how has this impacted you?

Chase Hasegawa:  Pretty much everything you named. I’m not so sure that retaining counsel for the ticket will even be necessary, cause I doubt that that’s going to go anywhere. However, I’m probably going to have to cover costs for an attorney for the civil suit. I’m a good hour away from work, and not having a vehicle… And I mean, I’m at least 45 minutes away from anything, where I live. I live up in the mountains. So I’ve been out of work for the last… A little over a week now, week and a half. Like I said, I can’t even afford to get my car out of impound, can’t make it to work. It’s a struggle just to get to the grocery store, just to survive, really.

Taya Graham:  Why do you think the officer was so aggressive with you? How do you think the officer could have better handled this situation?

Chase Hasegawa:  Frankly, I think the officer was aggressive. I mean, it seemed that that’s just how he conducts himself. The guy who was doing most of the speaking was a sergeant. He was kind of the gang leader among them. And I mean, it was right off the bat. Right off the bat, he started making stuff up and threatening me right out of the gate. I mean, I started recording just seconds before the interaction started. They had just walked up behind me, asked me what’s going on, and I said, I’m waiting for a tow truck. And I started recording because he started asking me for my ID right away, and I can kind of see where that’s going. And I’m not a criminal, I wasn’t doing anything. I was broken down on the side of the road, and as far as I’m… I know it’s not against the law. My car was parked on the side of the road. Him saying he was going to tow it because it was there since 6:00 AM. I mean, this just sounded ridiculous to me. There was no good reason.

He was just doing it. He was literally doing it just to inconvenience me. Along with taking me to the station. Arresting me, putting me in a holding cell just to write me a ticket. The last time I checked, when an officer’s going to write you a ticket, they’re not allowed to hold you any longer than it takes to write the ticket. So as far as I’m concerned, that entire interaction where he cuffed me up just because I wouldn’t identify myself, and then taking me all the way back to the station and put me in a holding cell just to give me a ticket that he could have written where we were at. But he didn’t have any reason to write me a ticket. Everything that he put on there was completely fabricated.

Taya Graham:  If you could speak to that officer or their police department, what would you want to say to them?

Chase Hasegawa:  Well, frankly, I would exercise my right to remain silent if I was face to face with them again. Because yeah, I don’t trust them. I don’t feel like they’re public servants. They were treating me like I was the enemy when I was a citizen in need of help. Not a criminal to just throw in a jail cell.

Taya Graham:  Okay. At this point in the show, I usually recount an example of police misconduct or corruption to make a broader point about American law enforcement. In other words, I use the particular to better understand the general. But today I want to focus on something that has been irking me for several months now that I feel I must address directly. A trend that I’ve noticed in my interactions with police departments that I have to talk about, because it is literally driving me crazy.

As anyone who has watched the show knows, we spend a lot of time trying to get comments from the police departments we cover. Almost every case we report on, Stephen and I send an email or call the department with a detailed set of questions about the incident which we hope will shed light on the officer’s actions. We do this for several reasons:

First because it’s our duty as journalists to make every effort we can, to get the other side of the story. Even though the mainstream media goes out of its way to bolster the police narrative, we still believe in the basic tenets of journalism, and the idea that reporting just one side of a story is not just unfair, but honestly it’s lazy.

But there is another reason we go through extensive efforts to contact the police. We do this because it’s important for you, our viewer, and the public at large, to know police are listening. What I mean is that even acknowledging us with a “no comment” is better than simply ignoring us completely. Because being responsive to the independent media when their actions are in question is one of the best ways to show that law enforcement takes allegations of misbehavior or misconduct seriously.

I mean, it’s a basic tenet of accountability to have to communicate with the people you purport to serve. Nothing is more intrinsic to maintaining a free society than embracing the duty and the obligation to be responsive to the people. Acting like you don’t have to or simply ignoring questions from independent media sends a very clear message: We don’t have to explain what we do or why to anyone.

But what really bothers me about the silence of police is what it implies. Meaning that the fact that police feel they have – And I’m saying this without irony – The right to remain silent reveals an aspect of law enforcement that has much to do with the encounters we report on week after week than any other intransigence I can think of. As we have seen across the country, police do not have a problem posting mugshots and unflattering posts about arrestees on social media when they want to sully somebody’s reputation. They seem to be pretty adept at labeling a person a suspect or criminal.Just look at the Milton Police Department Facebook page, where they post photos of people suspected of crimes and then allow anyone at all to share and comment on the significance of the presumption of innocence.

So the police can communicate when they want to, but the fact they can’t answer simple questions about disturbing incidents and troubling use of force is really just indicative of the whole problem with law enforcement in the first place. Being able to simply ignore independent journalists is just a symptom of a broader issue of how insular law enforcement is, and how they feel no obligation to the people who pay their salaries.

And it’s not like we don’t try. As many of you know who watch the show, Stephen and I traveled to Trenton, New Jersey, to get comment after we caught cops lying on body camera video. Even though the department promised to grant us an interview, when we arrived, the spokesperson for the troubled agency simply disappeared into thin air.

I mean seriously, a person whose job it is to answer questions from the media and the public about police misconduct ghosted us like a bad Tinder date. The point I’m trying to make here is one that bears repeating. This lack of responsiveness isn’t about just blowing off independent journalists or not wanting to answer uncomfortable questions. This isn’t about the fact that we’re just YouTube based reporters who don’t warrant the attention they afford journalists who work for broadcast TV or newspapers. Which in itself begs the question, do they only speak to journalists who they know will paint them in a good light? Will they only speak to reporters who they know will take their side of the story without question? No. It’s not just that.

What I think we see in this refusal to acknowledge independent media is something far more troubling about American law enforcement, an imperative that drives it and sustains it, which is not always obvious but needs to be explored. I think the fact that police feel empowered to not have to answer reasonable questions about unreasonable actions reveals an anti-democratic impulse that runs throughout policing. That is, their right to outright ignore a simple query is emblematic of how law enforcement is often incompatible with the basic tenets of a free society.

Let’s remember, as we have often discussed on the show, the process of policing has been the biggest impetus to the erosion of our Constitutional rights in contemporary history. Time and time again, the court has expanded the power of cops to ignore or otherwise override the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. And that same system has pretty much given officers the discretion – Provided it’s so-called “reasonable” – To take our lives.

All of this, however, means nothing unless we as journalists do something about it. There is no point in complaining about police intransigence if we don’t also hold ourselves accountable to do more to ensure cops answer when we ask. And so I want to state here, publicly, on this show, that our visit to Trenton, New Jersey, is just the beginning. That, when it is both feasible and affordable, we will travel to the city we are reporting on and demand answers in person from the cops in question.

Now, I can’t say we will do this every single time or in every single case, but when we can, we will make the extra effort to be heard. If and when we can raise the money, we will make sure of our voice, and by extension, your voices are not ignored. We will, when we can, travel to ensure that police malfeasance and misconduct does not occur in darkness. This is not a pledge I make lightly. It’s not something I say just to create drama. And it’s not even a process I have, honestly, entirely thought through, to be perfectly frank.

But what I do know is I simply cannot allow a powerful institution to simply ignore my questions or your questions. I can’t allow this country’s massive law enforcement-industrial complex to remain unscrutinized by independent media like TRNN. Now, I know there are critics out there who are saying, Taya, you don’t need to do this. Let the local media handle that, or, just wait until the story becomes national news, and then the police won’t have a choice but to respond. We could just wait and see if they ever deemed a story worthy of their coverage.

Well, that’s okay if you want to entrust the truth to organizations that are funded with corporate dollars and owned by the top 1%, that’s fine. If you think national TV anchors, who make millions in salary, really understand what it’s like to be entrapped in our criminal justice system, which literally functions as an ad hoc debtor’s prison. That’s totally copacetic. If you think that the current system, which houses more prisoners than any country on earth and yet suffers from constant unending violence, should only be accountable to the people who helped create it?

Well, I might be biased, but I think I’m going to make a bet on The Real News Network and the Police Accountability Report and the journalism that we do. It might not always be pretty or perfect, but I can guarantee we do it because we care. Because we care about this country, we care about our community, and we care about you, and hopefully making the world a better place for both of us.

I’d like to thank my guest Chase Hasegawa for being so open with us and sharing his experience with the Valley Center San Diego Sheriffs. Thank you, Chase. And of course, I have to thank intrepid reporter Stephen Janis for his writing, his research, and his editing on this piece. Thank you, Stephen.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  And I want to thank friend of the show Noli Dee and mod Lacey R for their support. Thank you so much. And a very special thanks to our Patreons, especially super friends Shane Bushta, Pineapple Girl, and Code, and my new Patron associate producers Louis and John Roe. We appreciate you, and I look forward to thanking each and every one of you personally in our next live stream.

And I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at par@therealnews.com and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram, or @EyesonPolice on Twitter. And, of course, you can always message me directly @tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook. And please like and comment. I do read your comments and I appreciate them, and I try to answer your questions when I can. And we do have a Patreon link pinned in the comments below, so if you feel inspired to donate, please do. We don’t run ads or take corporate dollars, so anything you can spare is greatly appreciated.

My name is Taya Graham, and I am your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please be safe out there.

Taya Graham

Host & Producer
Taya Graham is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered U.S. politics, local government, and the criminal justice system. She is the host of TRNN's "Police Accountability Report," and producer and co-creator of the award-winning podcast "Truth and Reconciliation" on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WYPR. She has written extensively for a variety of publications including the Afro American Newspaper, the oldest black-owned publication in the country, and was a frequent contributor to Morgan State Radio at a historic HBCU. She has also produced two documentaries, including the feature-length film "The Friendliest Town." Although her reporting focuses on the criminal justice system and government accountability, she has provided on the ground coverage of presidential primaries and elections as well as local and state campaigns. Follow her on Twitter.

Stephen Janis

Host & Producer
Stephen Janis is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker. His first feature film, The Friendliest Town was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and won an award of distinction from The Impact Doc Film Festival, and a humanitarian award from The Indie Film Fest. He is the co-host and creator of The Police Accountability Report on The Real News Network, which has received more than 10,000,000 views on YouTube. His work as a reporter has been featured on a variety of national shows including the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery Channel, Relentless on NBC, and Sins of the City on TV One.

He has co-authored several books on policing, corruption, and the root causes of violence including Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths about Policing in Baltimore and Beyond. He is also the co-host of the true crime podcast Land of the Unsolved. Prior to joining The Real News, Janis won three Capital Emmys for investigative series working as an investigative producer for WBFF. Follow him on Twitter.