Names of Colorado State Troopers Involved in the Incident:
Randy Rahne, Gerald Lincoln, and Timothy McClinchy
Name of Victim: Franklin Perez
Reason for Telling the World About this Incident:
This web page deals with an unpleasant police stoppage incident that happened to me back in December 7, 1995. It involved three Colorado State Troopers - Randy Rahne, Gerald Lincoln, and Timothy McClinchy - and an unidentified Denver Police officer. Basically, I was harassed, treated in a disrespectful manner, and had a trumped-up Careless Driving citation issued to me. I had to suffer the monetary expense of defending myself in court for something that I did not do. Eventually, the Careless Driving citation was dropped because the officers did not show up. I believe the officers did not show up because of the embarrassment they would have suffered at having to explain themselves in a court of law and because of the Intent to Sue that I filed against them.
I later filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Colorado State Patrol and the individual officers. Due to financial reasons, which shall become clear to you if you read further, I wound up settling the case out of court for $6000.
I have written to every single Colorado state legislator, Colorado State Governor Roy Romer, and just about everybody else in sight about what happened to me. Unfortunately, I have gotten very little support from my elected officials and only 4 to 5 banal letters of sympathy over what happened to me. And, I have gotten no person in power to apply pressure to the Colorado State Patrol to discipline the three rogue Colorado State Troopers.
The Colorado State Patrol has simply washed their hands of this entire incident and are simply more concerned about covering up for its officers than they are about punishing the three Colorado State Troopers - Randy Rahne, Gerald Lincoln, and Timothy McClinchy - involved in harassing me back in December 7, 1995. I talked to a Lietenant Gary L. Coe of the Colorado State Patrol about the incident. When I asked him whether the three police officers had been disciplined or not his response was that he could not tell me due to being a personnel issue. That is simply not a satisfactory answer. I, as a citizen of Colorado and as someone who pays the salaries of these police officers, should be entitled to know whether these three rogue cops have been disciplined or not! At this point, I do not whether they have been or not! My guess is that they have not been disciplined.
Shown below is a letter I sent to every single Colorado state legislator at around November, 1997 that describes the police harassment incident as well as all the trials & tribulations I have had in asserting my Civil Rights. There is a lot of material and hyperlinks presented here describing my police harassment that I suffered under the above mentioned Colorado State Troopers. I ask the reader to at least read this web page and if you are interested in reading more in detail, just click on the appropriate hyperlinks.
Enclosed for your perusal is information about an unpleasant police stoppage incident that happened to me back in December 7, 1995. The reason that I have taken such a long time to write my complaint letter to elected officials is because the attorney that did my Intent to Sue, Daniel Recht, and the one that handled my Civil Rights lawsuit against the Colorado State Patrol, Larry D. Sather, both advised me not to write to any outside bodies about the police stoppage incident until after my Civil Rights lawsuit was over and done with. I have exhausted all legal means to seek justice.
I wrote a complaint to the Colorado State Patrol and the Denver Police Department and all I got from them were letters stating that the police officers behaved appropriately and that they did nothing wrong.
I hired an attorney, Larry D. Sather, to represent me in a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Colorado State Patrol, to make the police department and the individual police officers accountable for their actions - and wound up having to fire him because I found him to be untrustworthy and because he was suspended for one month - in the middle of my Civil Rights lawsuit - for cheating another client. He did an assessment of his hours and in it he admitted that he owed me $13,076.00 but since he's been under bankruptcy, he's used the bankruptcy courts to make it difficult for me to get the full amount he owes me, and I have had to hire a bankruptcy litigation attorney to handle getting my money back from him. In the end, he did pay me the $13,076.00, but only after applying extreme pressure with my bankruptcy litigation attorney and a bill of $4125.00 from my bankruptcy litigation attorney!! I was not able to touch the entire $13,076.00 until 7 months after firing Larry D. Sather!! This is totally unacceptable!!!! I have taken Larry D. Sather through binding arbitration with the Colorado Bar Association to contest the rest of the money on the grounds that (1) he used the bankruptcy laws as a legal ruse to delay and/or not paying/pay me and (2) due to him not paying me the refund on time, I was forced to settle my Civil Rights lawsuit against the Colorado State Patrol. I only hope that the Colorado Bar Association Binding Arbitration Committe is able to understand points (1) and (2) and the fact that my bankruptcy litigation's attorney's fees are $4125.00; I should be compensated for that!! The bankruptcy litigation attorney's fees was not only to get the $13,076 but to also fight Larry D. Sather in the Binding Arbitration. Since Larry D. Sather is a lawyer, the only effective way to fight him in the Binding Arbitration is to hire another attorney; and that, unfortunately, costs money, which Larry D. Sather should compensate me for. Again, I only hope that the Colorado Bar Association Binding Arbitration Committee will see this.
I was hoping to fire him and continue my lawsuit against the police officers but found that I just could not fight two legal battles at the same time - one against my ex-attorney, who did not pay me the money he owes me on time to continue my Civil Rights lawsuit, and the Colorado State Patrol; I just could not afford to hire two attorneys at the same time. So, I had to compromise my lawsuit against the Colorado State Patrol and take the $6000 offer that Mr. Gregg E. Kay of the Colorado State Attorney General's office made to settle this case out of court.
Enclosed for your perusal is a cost of all the legal fees that I have suffered to defend myself against the ridiculous Careless Driving citation issued to me by those rogue police officers and for asserting my civil rights. It will amount to more than $10,000!! This is the estimate based on the unrealistic assumption that my ex-attorney will not put up a fight in paying me back the money he owes me.
The Civil Rights lawsuit was filed against the Colorado State Patrol because they were the main party that stopped me and because my ex-attorney, Larry D. Sather, recommended that no lawsuit be filed against the Denver Police Department due to the fact that I did not get the officer's name. I could describe the Denver Police officer though; he was a large man, about 250 pounds, with a pot belly, large mustache, and 6 feet 4 inches tall. The one Denver police officer involved in the stoppage was their mainly for assistance but I suspect he, but more than likely the Colorado State Trooper Timothy McClinchy, went into my car without my permission.
I have already filed a complaint against Larry D. Sather and that matter is currently being handled by the appropriate bodies. I cannot tell you anymore about that due to confidentiality reasons. I have also filed a fee dispute with the Colorado Bar Association (as explained earlier). I paid Larry D. Sather a $20,000 flat fee to assert my civil rights because I was simply plain mad at the police officers. I just wanted my day in court with them but that just was not to be.
I filed the lawsuit in the hopes of at least putting those rogue cops on the stand and exposing them for what they had done to me during the police stoppage incident but due to the circumstances that developed between me and my ex-attorney I could only receive a partial moral victory by having the state pay me $6000 to settle out of court. As you can see, I have lost money here. I would have been more satisfied, though, if I would have paid $25,000 to have my day in court and lose and expose the officers rather than to have them get away with what they have done to me scot free and just have to suffer writing affidavits - see Exhibits A and B - that involved just plain lies. The affidavits are included here for your perusal and I comment on those affidavits.
Please read the material enclosed. I know that it is a lot of material but it is necessary to tell you everything that has happened to me with respect to my tribulations with the police stoppage incident, ex-attorney, and justice system in general so that you may be better able to present my complaint to the appropriate agencies. I know that you cannot handle any lawsuits - I have done that already - but I would like you to use all the influence you can muster to pressure the Colorado State Patrol and Denver Police Department to do a more thorough investigation and to find out if the individual officers have received some type of discipline. I strongly believe that such officers should be fired immediately from their position instead of having them be backed up by other officers forming a blue line to protect them. This only breeds more corruption within the police department and undermines the trust that the citizens have placed on these law enforcement officials. Not to mention the waste in taxpayers' money in paying the salaries of these rogue cops! I feel that my taxpaying dollars are wasted paying the salaries of these rogue cops!
I do not know to what level these officers have been disciplined or even if they have been disciplined but the fact that the state was willing to settle for $6000 out of court indicates to me that they had some doubts that they might lose the case. To the best of my knowledge, I heard through Larry Sather's paralegal back in December, 1996, that Trooper Timothy McClinchy got transferred from doing patrols on the highway to guarding the State Capitol. I do not know whether that was done as punishment or reward but I would like you to find out for me what if any discipline has been done against these officers.
With respect to the Careless Driving citation, that wound up getting thrown out of court because the main police officer who made the evaluation that I was driving drunk, Randy Rahne, did not show up. The official reason given why he did not show up was that he had a death in the family. My gut feeling is that he did not show up because my attorney representing me in my Careless Driving citation, Donald Wasko, would have had a field day exposing the abuses that I had suffered under these rogue cops. And so they decided to just not show up and have to look bad in front of the judge. I had also filed an Intent to Sue against them and I guess they were afraid that anything they would say in my Careless Driving trial would be used against them in my Civil Rights lawsuit. This is just plain cowardice on their parts. I guess they are very good at harassing and violating the rights of some helpless motorist but don't even have the guts to show up in court!
I must state that police officers must show better respect towards individual citizens when stopping them. It is not enough that they follow the letter of the law, which they did not do in my case anyway, but they adhere to the spirit of the law. That means that when stopping someone, they should not develop a bad attitude and tell the person they are stopping to "Shut up and cooperate!!", which is what Trooper Timothy McClinchy said, in an intimidating and loud manner, merely because a citizen questions them by stating "Officers, I have to respectfully state this is turning into harassment." It does not mean that they should state to that person, "You look as though you had never lived in this country before" by Trooper Randy Rahne and then try to cover themselves by stating in a written affidavit that "We also considered the possibility that he was not from the United States because he spoke with an accent" when in fact anyone who has a ten-minute conversation with me can tell that I do not speak with a foreign accent. It does not mean that they should compel me to do roadside sobriety tests and not inform me that they were voluntary subjecting me to humiliation on front of all motorists who might be driving by. It does not mean that after getting 0.000 on a breathalizer test that I be forced - I say forced because being told to "Shut up and cooperate" by Trooper Timothy McClinchy is no longer an atmosphere where one is voluntarily submitting to something, that is just pure coercion - to open my mouth and have Trooper Randy Rahne open my mouth with a flashlight and have him look inside my mouth. To be asked three times - after getting 0.000 on a breathalizer - whether I had smoked marijuana by Trooper Gerald Lincoln.
Perhaps you might be saying, "Well, you got justice. You won your Careless Driving citation!" I do not call that justice. It is not justice to have some police officers write up some trumped up charges against me that involve the possibility of doing jail time from between 10 days to 6 months, and have to defend myself at my expense by hiring an attorney and then not have the state re-imburse me for the lost wages from work that I suffered and my lawyer's fee. I keep asking myself, Where is the deterrent from keeping an officer from writing some trumped up Careless Driving citation?? I honestly do not see any.
The citation issued to me, Careless Driving, carries the possibility of from 10 days to 6 months in prison and 4 points on my drivers license. Yes, there was a plea bargaining opportunity. The Adams Count courthouse did agree to lower it to a defective vehicle, which carries only 2 points on your drivers license, but I did not decide to do that because I simply was not guilty of the Careless Driving. What enrages me about this incident is the seriousness of the citation that they issued me, which carries the possibility of jail time. The thought of me doing jail time is very frightening when you consider the physical and sexual abuse that is possible in a prison full of real criminals. This action by the police officers not only is careless but malicious as well. To trump up charges against someone knowing that what they have trumped up carries the possibility of jail time is an act of pure maliciousness and is one of the best reasons I could give why Troopers Timothy McClinchy, Randy Rahne, and Gerald Lincoln should be fired from their jobs. These officers are a menace to society!
What is incredible about all of this is the attitude taken by the State of Colorado. When I filed my Intent to Sue, they wrote me a letter stating that the claims against them were not valid and that they would not pay me anything for all the monetary expenses I suffered. It was only after taking this matter to a court - although no trial ever took place due to the circumstances mentioned - at my own expense by hiring an unscrupulous lawyer for $20,000 that they decide to relent and agree to pay me $6000. So, the State of Colorado's attitude is "Well, we'll just deny all the claims against us made by individuals. Who cares. A citizen must pay $20,000 at least to practically assert their Civil Rights. So, hardly nobody will pursue this. Ha! Ha!" I guess this would be justice based on your financial ability to pursue a legal matter. That is not justice!!!
Another incredible thing is what was written on my Careless Driving citation and was written in their affidavits in response to my Verified Complaint and Jury Demand. In the Careless Driving citation nor in the police report obtained during discovery, they make no mention that I was "dazed or intoxicated," yet Trooper Gerald Lincoln stated in a written affidavit that "He [, being I,] appeared dazed or intoxicated." If I appeared "dazed or intoxicated" why did they not state that in their Careless Driving citation or in the police report obtained during discovery?? This is just a ploy by the police officers to justify to everyone why they did what they did.
There were also the most stupid and asinine comments made by Troopers Randy Rahne and Gerald Lincoln in their written affidavits. Gerald Lincoln mentioned that "[w]e also considered the possibility that he was not from the United States because he spoke with an accent." Randy Rahne stated "[s]ince the driver had a Middle Eastern appearance, I asked him if he came here from another country, thus giving a reason for his poor driving." Anyone that has a ten-minute face-to-face conversation with me should be able to tell that these statements are so far from the truth that it is no longer an issue of there being a difference of opinion but simply an outright lie by these police officers. Anyone having a face-to-face conversation with me could tell right away that I speak English with no foreign accent and that I have no problems understanding English. In fact, I have two university degrees: A Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, two universities where the need to read, write, and comprehend English are not a luxury to obtain success, but a necessity. I only wish that I would have chosen a different attorney to represent me in my Civil Rights lawsuit and have this go to an actual jury trial to make these officers look like the malicious idiots that they are and rub these statements into their faces.
I must add that the incident that happened to me on the night of December 7, 1995 did not escalate into a physical confrontation because of the restraint that I showed! If this had happened to someone else, that person might have responded in a disrespectful manner to the police officer after being told to "Shut up and cooperate!" for merely questioning a police officer. Such officers should simply be fired from the police. All these officers should be fired from the force. The Colorado State Patrol should fire these officers - Randy Rahne, Gerald Lincoln, and Timothy McClinchy - or else risk having these officers run into another bad incident involving another Civil Rights lawsuit where the state must fork over another $6000 or perhaps even more if they encounter a motorist that did not show the cool-headedness that I showed under duress circumstances. Perhaps next time they might encounter a motorist that will not put up with the garbage that they dished out to me and risk a more serious incident involving a Civil Rights lawsuit with a much larger amount of money. If concerns for respecting the dignity and civil rights of individuals does not concern the Colorado State Patrol, then perhaps having to fork over $6000+ will provide them with the incentive to clean up their act.
You might then ask me, "Well, you got justice. You did receive $6000 from the state to settle out of court?" Yes, I did. But Mr. Gregg Kay refused, for whatever reasons, to take into account the fact that I had to pay $20,000 to an attorney to assert my Civil Rights!! Is that justice?? I don't think so! This clearly explains why individuals do not bother asserting their civil rights in cases like mine that do not involve physical force. It is simply too expensive. And due to this, the cops know very well to what extent they could violate the law, abuse a motorist, and violate civil rights without having to worry that they will face a lawsuit. They know that unless some physical evidence of damage exists, they could pretty much get a way with a lot of things since it takes approximately $20,000 to practically assert your civil rights. So, in my case, we have three police officers - Randy Rahne, Gerald Lincoln, and Timothy McClinchy - that I am paying through my taxpaying dollars and they are probably still harassing other motorists! The only fair description that I could give these officers is that they are nothing but scumbags and pieces of s---!!! These are not cops who have chosen to become law enforcement officials because they find satisfaction in protecting the public from criminals and dangerous motorists, these are cops who have gone into law enforcement for having the cheap thrill of power over helpless individuals they could bully around.
If I did not have to pay $20,000 to assert my civil rights, the $6000 offered by Mr. Gregg E. Kay would have been more than sufficient to cover the financial expenses that I suffered in defending myself against the Careless Driving citation. This leads me to another issue: You might be asking, "Well, you really don't need a lawyer. You could have done this yourself." The fact is that the procedures for filing a civil rights lawsuit are so complicated and certain strange protocols must be followed in court and one must know exactly what laws to apply in order to assert one's civil rights that from a practical standpoint you need an expert in law, a lawyer, to assert your civil rights!! This leads to another dangerous situation: Only people above a certain economic level or lawyers themselves can expect to have their civil rights be fully respected. Such individuals either have the money, such as a rich person, or know how, a lawyer, to assert their civil rights in court. That is not justice. When the amount of justice one receives is determined by how much money you have or whether you belong to the privileged class of lawyers, this leads to resentment and hatred on the part of the other members of society - an unstable and potentially explosive situation that could erupt in massive demonstrations. But of course the police departments are always careful not to harass certain people and instead choose to harass a minority of citizens knowing full well that as long as a minority of citizens are harassed, they could continue their harassing tactics without fear of any mass riots or demonstrations, precisely because it is a minority of individuals that are harassed. I doubt very much that in a democracy if the police did what they did to me that night to a majority of citizens that those types of harassing tactics would continue. The citizens would simply complain so loudly that the elected officials would pressure the police departments to clean up their act.
A higher level of accountability must be given to police departments. If the state charges an individual with a crime, regardless of how minor or major that crime is, and the state loses, then the state should apologize for what it has done and make the appropriate financial reparations to the victim. It is not enough for the state to say, "OK, John Q. Citizen, you are free now. You have been found not guilty." That is not enough. That is only a minimum. For full justice to be achieved, the state should be obligated to repay the person financially for having to hire an attorney to defend himself/herself in court. Only by the government implementing this principle can you avoid police officers and prosecutors from behaving in a reckless manner.
It is also not enough for the state to guarantee all the rights in the world, but then in order to practically assert those rights you must pay an astronomical amount of money to an attorney to assert those rights. In my case, you had the spectacle of me having to pay $20,000 to an attorney to assert my civil rights while the rogue cops that I was filing a lawsuit against were being defended with my taxpaying money by the Colorado State Attorney General's office and hiding behind the Governmental Immunity Act and their police badges to defend their harassing tactics applied towards me. The assertion of civil rights should not have to be complicated. Surely there must be a way to streamline things so that all a citizen has to do is state what happened to a judge and then have the judge or jury decide on the merits. The main point that I wish to get across is that the law should not be so complicated to the point that one needs a lawyer for almost everything. It should be simple enough and accessible enough for an ordinary citizen such as myself to present his/her case without the need to hire an ultra-expensive attorney.
In closing, I request that you do the following:
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