Report ID: 93Department: Police, Gainesville FL (GPD)
Officer: Blake , Benjamin (0897)
Posted By: (send a private message)
1.Departing from the truth –
2.Destruction of evidence
3.False Arrest, Law violations
4. Illegal Search and seizure
5. Conduct unbecoming/lack of professionalism
7. Assault, unwanted physical contact, injury -
8. Damaging personal property
Posted By: (send a private message)
On: 01/09/2014*I have video evidence of most of the detention that corroborates the facts in this complaint. *
On the night of Tuesday November 19th, I was stopped by officer Benjamin Blake. The reason given for the stop was an alleged lack of lights on a bicycle. Later another officer who verbally identified himself as "Corporal Henry" was also present, and his actions are included in this complaint as well.
Throughout the course of the stop and subsequent arrest, Officer Blake comitted the following acts:
1.Departing from the truth – Officer Blake informed me that any time his squad car lights are on I am required to present an identification (This is factually incorrect).
Officer Blake's official arrest report states that I “..refused repeated requests to provide identification.” which is factually incorrect. Not only is an individual not even required by law to always carry identification, I did not even refuse to provide it. I simply asked to see a proper ID from officer Blake to verify his status as a valid GPD officer before turning over my personal sensitive information (Which according to GPD policy, which I verified, should have been carried on his person) .
Throughout the encounter Officer Blake repeatedly misrepresented the law and my legal requirements in the situation in an attempt to manipulate me to do what he wanted.
2.Destruction of evidence – I informed officer Blake that I was filming the interaction, and he initially stated “You can film whatever you want.” but then later purposefully and deliberately used the device menu to shut off the video recording, in the process destroying evidence and personal property.
3.False Arrest, Law violations – When I asked Officer Blake for identification, Officer Blake refused, stating his uniform and name plate were the only id he needed, and immediately placed me in handcuffs, detaining me without probable cause. He never once asked for my name, only to produce an ID, which I am not even legally required to carry, let alone produce (in accordance with Supreme court rulings and Florida Stop and Frisk Laws). Officer Blake repeatedly refused to give probable cause or reasonable suspicion for detaining me, despite repeated requests.
After handcuffing me Officer Blake initially implied I was not under arrest, but refused to provide probable cause or reasonable suspicion for why a detention was necessary.
Only after illegally searching my belongings and not finding a valid reason to arrest me did Officer Blake then state that I was being arrested, even after confirming my ID, finding no illegal items, and no outstanding warrants.
4. Illegal Search and seizure – Despite having told me I was not under arrest, and detaining me without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, Officer Blake proceeded to search my bag even though I plainly stated I did not consent to any searches. Again Officer Blake refused to articulate probable cause for his search and seizure.
5. Conduct unbecoming/lack of professionalism - Officer Blake refused my simple polite requests to produce an ID that was in accordance with GPD policy. Even after I stated I was only looking out for my own safety. After handcuffing me Officer Blake threatened to push me forcefully into the car when I asked for probable cause for my detention and arrest.
Officer Blake arrested me immediately after I asked for some identification, and offered no alternative method to verify his status. He didn't allow me to call 911 or GPD non-emergency line to verify, and never gave me a full name or badge number.
6. Harassment – After finding my military ID during his illegal search, Officer Blake stated to another officer (Henry) that due to Officer Blake's time in the military it would be “satisfying” to arrest me, a (former) officer. When Officer Blake was walking me into the jail he stated that he was “looking forward” to being sued by me.
7. Assault, unwanted physical contact, injury - Officer Blake physically escalated a peaceful situation, physically restrained and physically touched me against my wishes without consent and without legal authority and probable cause. Officer Blake's arrest caused me to be physically restrained against my wishes for over 16 hours, and subjected to substantial physical and mental distress. His arrest also caused me to be subject to irradiation against my will from a back-scatter body scanner at the jail, increasing my chances of developing cancer in the future. All based on Officer Blake's initial false arrest.
8. Damaging personal property, – During the course of the false arres, Officer Blake confiscated my bike, and it was returned to me damaged with the chain disengaged, and the derailleurs badly out of alignment. My pants were also torn at some point while in custody of GPD or the ASO.
After being handcuffed another Officer who identified himself as Corporal Henry appeared on the scene. He committed the following Acts:
1. Departing from the truth - When Corporal Henry arrived on scene I asked him if he was Officer Blake's supervisor. He replied “I can be.” in an attempt to mislead me into thinking he was the shift SGT on duty. Corporal Henry refused to contact the shift SGT despite my repeated requests to contact a supervisor.
2. Harassment - Corporal Henry taunted me and dared me to commit illegal acts, by challenging me to dress up in a police uniform and get a marked car and impersonate an officer. Corporal Henry refused repeated requests for official identification, and never even gave his full name or badge number.
Posted By: (send a private message)
On: 01/09/2014Complaint was given to GPD Internal affairs. Got confirmation of receipt and initial phone call the same day saying they would want an official statement later. Haven't heard back since.
Report Update By Original Poster
Posted By: Anonymous (send a private message)
On: 07/25/2014I got a letter from Internal Affairs stating that my complaint was sustained; they found that Officer Benjamin Blake acted in violation of GPD policy on arrests, and City of Gainesville policy on workmanship standards.
He was issued a written warning.
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