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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, Case No.8:80-cv-00849-T-23TGW PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA, et al., Defendants. FRIEND OF THE “OURT AMICUS BRIEF COMES NOW, James MeLynas, Pro-se Amici Curiae in the above styled matter and hereby files this Amicus Brief and respectfully shows this court the following in support. lL As candidate for the position of Sheriff of Pinellas County Florida in the 2016 election, Iran for that office to expose the massive corruption and racism of the Pinellas County Sheriff's office that I personally am intimately familiar with. Having reviewed the “William T. Roberts, Sheriff Of Pinellas County, Florida Motion For Dissolution Of Consent Agreement” filed on June 9, 2017, by PCSO Attorney Shannon Lockheart, 1 am compelled to take action to prevent an unjust conclusion to this matter. 2. When Sheriff Gualtieri was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in 2011, there were records kept that documented the racial composition of the Pinellas County Sheriff"s Office that showed where the Sheriff's department stood at the time of Sheriff Gualtieri’s appointment. Those records showed that since Sheriff Robert Gualtieri took office, the number of positions filled by blacks in Sworn deputy (most powerful) positions HAS ACTUALLY DECREASED and not increased. Racism within the PCSO got worse under Sheriff Gualtieri, not better. The basic objective is set forth expressly in the Consent Agreement. The objective is described as follows: “The purpose of this Consent Agreement is to insure that minorities and women are not placed at a disadvantage by the hiring...policies of the Defendants, and that any disadvantage to minorities and women which may have resulted from past discrimination is remedied so that equal employment opportunities will be provided to all.” The fact remains that blacks are still facing a massive disadvantage to being hired and, or promoted which has resulted from past, present and future discrimination and will continue if the Consent Decree and Federal Oversight is eliminated. With the current climate in Washington that oversight may never be reestablished once erased. Bs ‘The chart contained within the “William T. Roberts, Sheriff Of Pinellas County, Florida Motion For Dissolution Of Consent Agreement” filed on June 9, 2017, by PCSO Attomey Shannon Lockheart shows the following; AGENCY TOTAL Total Black Hispanic Female T % i % Tt % 2012 316| 12.2% | 105 [| 4% | 1126 2013 315] 116% | 123 | 4.5% [iiss 2014 316| 11.5% | 136 | 4.9% | 1179 2015 310] 114% | 146 _[ 5.4% | 1162 January 2016 304] 113% | 143 | 5.3% [1160 June 2016 | 2667 | 312| 11.6% | 142 | 5.3% [1170 January 2017 | 2682 | 315{ 11.7% | 146 | 5.44%0[ 1176 [ 43.8% June 2017 317{ 11.8% [isi [s.6% [ 1186 | 44.3% Figure 1. As illustrated above, since Sheriff Gualtieri took over the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the agency added 92 total new employees from 2012-June of 2017 and only ONE was black. While the total employee categories of both Hispanic and Women both rose by 46 and 60 positions respectively. It should also be noted that the sole addition to the category of “black” hires was only added in June of 2017, the same time period that PCSO was actually preparing and filing their June 9, 2017 “Dissolution Of Consent Agreement”. 4 The most powerful representation of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to the minority community is not only when a minority citizens sees someone of his own race wearing the uniform or the badge, but in the increased hope that if there is an interaction with that deputy, they will be treated fairly and with respect and not be brutalized and have their rights infringed by someone of their own race. Someone who may understand them better. Therefore, it is in the capacity of Sworn deputy positions that the Consent Decree was supposed to have the most impact and should be adamantly enforced. PCSO attorney Shannon Lockheart submitted a chart within her June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree as follows; SWORN, LEO POSITIONS Total Black Hispanic Female T crank coe | ic % 2012 751 59 27 3.6% 91 12.1% 2013 $10 53 34 4.1% 106 13% 2014 851 57. 6.7% 40 4.7% 106 12.4% 2015 832 54 6.5% 42 5% 106 12.7% January 2016. 831 60 42 5% 110 13.2% Tune 2016 818 6.3% 43 5.2% 108 January 2017 | 815 65% | 40 [4.9% | 108 June 2017 807 6.6% 40 4.9% Ho 13.6% Figure 2. This chart submitted by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office themselves clearly demonstrates that since Sheriff Gualtieri took office, the rate of Sworn Black Deputies DECREASED by 1.2% of 5 deputies. This was during a five-year period whereby the Sheriff was supposed to be implementing multiple initiatives to recruit and hire Black. deputies. Additionally, just as in the total of non-swom positions, both Hispanics and Women increased hired positions by 13 and 19 positions respectively. It is unrealistic to believe that same efforts to recruit and hire in all three categories only works with Hispanics and women, but not blacks, unless there was a disparity in where those recruitment efforts were expended. 5. Within the Pinellas County Sheriff's June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree, on. page 10 it states “Although Sheriff has not achieved the ratio of 10% for Black in the deputy Jaw enforcement position; the failure to reach that goal is based on the lack of qualified applicants. Exh. # 4. The legal requirements to become a sworn law enforcement officer in Florida are set forth in § 943.13 Fla, Stat. and also 11B-27.0011 F.A.C. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the applicant must be a U. \. citizen, must have a high school diploma or equivalent, must have a lack of significant criminal background, must pass a physical examination and must have good moral character”. It seems that these requirements are in no way difficult to achieve and PCSO counsel’s argument does not appear logical or factual, but instead itself appears racist in that what she appears to be saying is that black people in general just don’t meet these simple, basic requirements, As the author if this Amicus Brief, I tried to use the reports provided by PCSO counsel to examine her contentions based on the Black recruits that DID apply at the PCSO, however, the reports characterize ALL races of these applicants using a numerical system (1-7) and there appears to be no “legend” or other information provided on the reports she submitted as evidence that would allow these racial codes to be deciphered. I don’t know what race or ethnicity a “2” is and neither does anybody else. 6. ‘One factor that was not brought up in the PCSO’s June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree that is clearly worthy of mention is the current acerbic and troubled relationship between the Black community and the PCSO. As candidate for Pinellas County Sheriff in 2016, I met with Black community leaders and spoke to numerous citizens as well as did my own research on the relationship between the Black community and the PCSO. What was clearly apparent is that the Black community does not view the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office as an entity that is there to protect and serve them. The PCSO is viewed more as a dominating and hostile controlling army that is more likely to harass and even kill them for little or no reason. They spoke of the fact that during the 8 years of a former St. Pete Mayor that refused to allow the PCSO into the city of St. Pete, there was not one single Black person killed by police. Since ‘The PCSO has been back patrolling St Pete thee have been over a dozen highly questionable killings of Black citizens by the PCSO. These include Alton Witchard who PCSO deputies claimed tumed to fire on officers, yet he was shot four times through the back. There are the three black children that were chased without any emergency lights to their deaths in a car that the PCSO herded into a pond in a dark cemetery. Sheriff Gualtieri then went on National news disparaging the “no good” Black girls, their families and the entire Black community stating publicly that the girls “had no business being up in /clearwater”0. Dash cam video was released showing several PCSO deputies standing around and discussing that they could “still hear them screaming” while they casually stood and leaned on their patrol car while the girls drowned. Then there is the ease of Laborial Felton that was beaten and drowned to death in another pond by the same two deputies that drowned the three Black girls. That’s FOUR Black teens drowned by the same TWO Pinellas County Deputies that are still on patrol. The callus nature of the PCSO before, during and after they kill a Black person has alienated virtually the entire Black community, Additionally, Blacks are arrested by PCSO at 7 times the rate of whites, when both races use drugs in about the same percentages. Blacks make up almost 100% of the nuisance violations such as ing with a bike light and jaywalking that many Blacks feel are enforced just to harass them. With this type of animosity between the Black community and the PCSO, it is no wonder there are not more Black applicants applying for jobs there. From their prospective it might be similar to expecting a Jewish man to enlist in the German Army. The DOJ oversight was supposed to diversify the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office so that these minorities were represented within the actual sworn deputies patrolling the same streets these minorities live on, and that has just not occurred because of the ongoing racism of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, its hiring practices and their training practices. 7 The Pinellas County Sheriff's June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree also state on Page 11 “Sheriff's personnel also actively recruit at job fairs and colleges, including visiting traditional/historical African American colleges and universities”. It should bbe noted that they used the plural “universities” when describing their recruitment efforts, However, after reviewing the list of universities on the PCSO’s Exhibit “F” which includes their “Recruitment Log” from January 2016 through May of 2017, there appears only ONE single college or recruitment location that could be defined as a “traditional/historical African American colleges and universities” And that would be Bethune Cookman College where members of the PCSO recruiting team only attended a “luncheon”. The remaining 72 other visited collages and recruitment outings would not be classified as a “traditional/historical African American colleges and universities” under any circumstances, I guess they were hoping that nobody at the Federal Government or Department of Justice would bother to actually look into these reported recruitment locations. a ‘The Pinellas County Sheriff's June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree also provided within Exhibit “F” (Case 8:80-cv-00849-SDM-TGW Document 34-7 Filed 06/09/17 Page 18 of 29 Pagel 368) the FTO or Field Training Reports that indicated that during each Field Training class of new recruits, they expected at least three (3) of those recruits to drop out. However, they provided no breakdown of the racial composition of those recruit trainees that dropped out or the reasons given for those drop outs. Were they all black? If so, perhaps the following explains why. 9. One likely reason that these fresh recruits dropped out of the Pinellas County Sheriff's required new recruit “Field Training Program” was the people that the Pinellas County Sheriff's department had hired and put in place to TEACH these fresh and eager recruits how to be a Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy. The Corporal in charge of the PCSO Field Training program ‘was Corporal Shawn Pappas, a long time twenty (20) plus year employee of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that had been in charge of the Field Training program and all other FTO"s (Field ‘Training Officers) for years. To be placed in that position, clearly the Pinellas County Sheriff’ Office considered Corporal Pappas to be the embodiment of what a PCSO Deputy should be and hoped that Corporal Pappas would shape these new recruits into his own image, demeanor and qualities, Why else would he be in that position? However Corporal Shawn Pappas resigned in February of 2017, and three other Field Training Officers were removed in February and March of 2017. As it was told to the remainder of the PCSO staff, his resignation was tendered after a recruit complained that Corporal Pappas had taken out his penis in the recruit classroom and placed it on the table and photographed it. What the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office failed to disclose was the true nature of his forced resignation so that a full investigation would not expose the true nature of the PCSO to the media or the public, and certainly not the Department of Justice overseeing the racism that is part of the culture of the Pinellas County Sheriff's office and has been since the day a racist named Whitehurst founded the agency with the help of his politically connected racist father. Corporal Pappas was ordered to turn over his phone for the investigation of the penis incident, ‘but what spilled out of his phone was much worse. Besides the torrent of pornography Corporal Pappas was viewing both on and off duty, or the library of penis pictures taken both on and off duty, there were some of the most heinous and despicable racist images that could be imagined ‘on Corporal Pappas’ phone. Dozens of them. These images depicted black children as animals and monkeys, used the “N” word often, showed blacks, the LBGT community, the handicapped, Native Americans, Asians, Jews and women in the most unfavorable light possible. They depicted blacks as animals and poked fun at Blacks being killed or attacked and made fun of Black Live Matter. On one image it states “it’s not that black lives don’t matter, it’s just that white lives matter more”. In another it shows a white officer pulling over a black motorist and asking him “Do you have any idea how black you were driving”. Another image shows a Black couple getting a sonogram and the nurse pointing at the screen saying “I think he has a warrant”, There are even more despicable and too horrific to describe. There were also videos of PCSO Corporal Pappas that were described in the investigation report as “cont: ing inappropriate on duty activity”. The investigation report with those images is hereto attached as Exhibit “A”. The videos have not been released yet. Pinellas County Sheriff's Corporal Shawn Pappas not only had a collection of these images on his phone, he sent them and received them from other PCSO deputies and employees. The extent of this racist sharing is at this time unknown, but it has been going on for a long time and was, being spearheaded by a corporal within the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, an agency that petitioned this court claiming that the issues of racism within the PCSO are resolved and no further Department of Justice oversight is needed. That most certainly is not the case when you have a Klu Klux Klan level racist heading up your entire training of new deputies. 10. The Corporal Pappas report containing these images was in the hands of the PCSO legal department at the time they filed their June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree. Within that report it described the initiation of the investigation on the discovery of; “inappropriate content, to include: pornographic images, memes directed at various protected classes, and videos containing inappropriate on duty activity”. However, the PCSO’s Senior Associate Counsel Shannon Lockheart and Pau! Rozelle withheld this information from their June 9, 2017 Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree from the Department of Justice. i. On August 16, 2014, Sheriff Robert Gualtieri himself pulled over a Black woman in St Pete Florida. Apparently, the woman angered Gualtieri by maneuvering to get in front of him while they approached a traffic light. His report (attached hereto as Exhil “Traffic was moderately heavy and Ferrarini was weaving in and out of lanes ‘to pass traffic and got tothe “head of the line” for traffic that was stopped for the red light at 54 Avenue. North. Ferrarini ended up being the first car in the curb lane. | was two cars behind Ferrarini in an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoo” After initiating a traffic stop, Sheriff Robert Gualtieri himself attempted to force the scared woman out of the car without identifying himself by literally grabbing her hair and ripping it out “B”) states the following; of her head. Gualtiri himself describes the scene in his own report as follows; “I grabbed Ferrarini by the head in order get her out of the car but she continued to pull away and I lost my hhold on her. | grabbed her hair which came out of her head. Other deputies arrived and we were able to {get Ferrarini out of the vehicle and on the ground.” If the actual Sheriff of Pinellas County will grab a frightened Black woman out of her car by her hair and literally rip the hair right out of her head, then taser her, this is showing all other deputies that THIS is how you treat Black people in Pinellas County. By appointing a clearly racist Corporal Shawn Pappas to head up the PCSO’s entire training division, Sheriff Gualtieri is having Pappas train ALL Pinellas County Deputies how to brutalize Black citizens just like he did on 8-16-2014. Perhaps this is why there have been LESS Blacks hired by the PCSO after Racist Sheriff Robert Gualtieri took over in 2011. To claim that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is NOT racist is absurd. In fact, the rest of the Pinellas County Government could not do so with a straight face, and that is why they separated the PCSO out of their Motion for Dissolution of Consent Decree that the rest of the county filed in 2014. CONCLUSION The Pinellas County Sheriff's Department is still a very racist and discriminatory agency and will always be one as long as management is cultivated from within the same department that breeds and trains these PCSO deputies with the likes of people like Corporal Shawn Pappas. The fact that Sworn deputy positions actually declined under Sheriff Gualtieri’s tenure and only one ‘new agency wide position was filed the ENTIRE time Gualtieri has been in office speaks volumes about the racist manner in which current Sheriff Robert Gualtieri manages and runs the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The upper management has been proven by their own track record and by whom they place into positions of power (such as a Klu Klux Klan level racist as their “new recruit” training supervisor) shows how much more work needs to be done and how the Department of Justice needs to re-investigate the racist images and messages being circulated throughout the entire Pinellas County Sheriff's Department as evidenced by PCSO Corporal Shawn Pappas’ phone records. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED on June 21, 2017. Res ctfully submitted, ies MeLynas Pro-Se Non Attorney 36 182" Ave East Redington Shores, Fl. 33708 727-599-4374 melynas4sheriff@gmail.com THEREBY CERTIFY that on June 9, 2017, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court by using the CM/ECF system, which will send a notice of electronic filing to; Candyce Phoenix, Esq. US Department of Justice Suite 4034 601 DStNW Washington, DC 20004 Email: candyce.phoenix@usdoj.gov and Carolyn Peri Weiss, Esq. US Department of Justice 601 D St, NW, PHB 4036 Washington, DC 20579 Email: carolyn. weiss@usdoj.gov and ‘Shannon Kennedy Lockheart General Counsel FBN: 79030 10750 Ulmerton Road Largo, FL 33778 ‘Telephone: (727) 582-6274 Facsimile: (727) 582-6459 slockheart@pesonet.com Igustofik@pesonet.com Attomey for Defendant, Bob Gualtieri, in his Official Capacity as Sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida MeLynas, Pro-se Amici Curiae