I just read this online. I know its not directly FD related but I also know quite a number of members have experience in both FD and LE so I would be interested in knowing if anyone has any further info on this. Taking it as read, it seems a gross miscarriage of justice but maybe there is more to the story?
For over nine years, Stephanie Mohr has been protecting her community as a county police officer. She now needs your support. In 2001, Mohr was forced to resign when she was unjustly convicted of a crime. Her police dog bit an escaping illegal alien who was a suspect of burglary. She is now serving her fifth year of the ten year sentence, with a seven-year-old son waiting at home.
In 1995, Mohr was answering a call for backup about two men that were burglary suspects. These two suspects, Ricardo Mendez and Herrera Cruz, who are illegal aliens, were ordered to face the wall by Mohr and several other officers. As they were ordered to do so, Mendez made a movement that Officer Mohr thought was an attempt to run.
As Mohr was trained to do, she let her police dog go. The dog chased Mendez, grabbed him on the leg, and held him. The procedure that Mohr followed to capture the suspects was within standard police guidelines.
Mendez and Herrera were convicted of 4th degree burglary and were then deported. The two illegally re-entered the U.S again and were arrested for selling crack cocaine. They were then deported a second time.
Five years after this incident occurred, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice indicted Stephanie Mohr and two other policemen on civil rights violations and conspiracy charges. Mohr was indicted just one day before the statue of limitations was set to expire.
The version they (the convicted and deported illegal aliens) told was of course different than what actually happened. Mendez claimed that Officer Mohr let her dog go without just cause. Mohr was not found guilty (the Jury voted 11 - 1 in favor of acquittal) of conspiracy but the jury could not agree on a decision on the civil rights charges.
A re-trial was held in August 2001. It was scheduled even though the jurors from the first trial said that the case lacked merit. At this trial the prosecution convinced the jury that Mohr had released the dog on innocent minority citizens. Officer Mohr was convicted of a federal civil rights violation and was given a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
In the second trial, the judge allowed prejudicial testimony into the evidence that Mohr had used racial epithets in making a prior arrest using her canine. The charges did not start out as racial but the prosecutors needed to save their case. This questionable evidence should not have been allowed into the courtroom.
Stephanie is now serving her fifth year in prison, while her son is also serving his fifth year without his mother by his side for his birthday, Christmas, and other major milestones in his life. We fought to have her granted a new trial, but lost. We are appealing to the 4th U.S. Circuit Appeals Court. There is no longer any parole so if we do not succeed, Mohr will have to finish out the ten year sentence she does not deserve; a sentence that her child does not deserve either.
We are trying to help Stephanie Mohr in any way we can. But, we cannot do it alone.
LELDF is The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. Our organization's main focus is to assist law enforcement officers when it is necessary for them to defend actions taken in the line of duty to enforce the law.
For Mohr to apprehend Mendez and protect the public, she had to take extreme measures. Though some believe that the procedure she used was not right, she did not have a choice. This is what Mohr was trained to do as a police officer and she did not cross any boundaries. Stephanie followed the guidelines of standard police procedure.
The prosecutors claim that Mendez and Herrera are innocent minority citizens. This claim should not even be valid because they were not citizens here in the United States, they were illegal aliens.
Mendez, an illegal alien, is receiving more taxpayer-funded benefits from our judicial system than Mohr, who is a police officer that has been protecting the public for over nine years. This is absurd and that is why Stephanie needs your support.
Our law enforcement professionals need to know that we are behind them and appreciate the work they do. These officers put their lives on the line to protect us everyday from any threats and further terrorist attacks.
LELDF is asking you to show your support by giving a gift of $25, $50, or any amount that you can afford. This gift of any amount is tax-deductible since LELDF is a non-profit organization.
Any amount that you give will greatly impact our efforts towards helping Stephanie Mohr. We are assisting her with the legal costs for her appeal, costs she and her family must bear, while the Mendez and Herrera, illegal aliens, get to abuse our legal system while the taxpayers are the only ones paying the bills.
We firmly believe that Stephanie Mohr's sentence is unjust. Since 1993, she has received more than 25 letters of commendation and two awards for her police work. This is not an officer that should be in prison.
Stephanie is the mother of a seven-year-old son and deserves to be with him. Your support will mean so much to Stephanie and her son. He has spent five birthdays without his mother and does not deserve to spend another one alone. By showing you care, you could help a mother, son, and family reunite.
Mohr came to LELDF for assistance and we hope to support her in every way possible. This is why we need your help as well. As a citizen of the United States, we need to show our police force that we value their service.
Any donation that you give will be greatly appreciated. You will make a huge difference in the lives of Stephanie and her son.
We thank you for your support.
David H. Martin
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
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