Category Archives: Violent Crime

Neil Rockind on Fox 2 News Discussing Gun Control

Check out the video here:

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/20367312/should-assault-weapons-be-banned-2-opposing-views#.UM_IiCxMBZA.facebook

Here is the story:

By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) — Gun control advocates marched to the National Rifle Association’s Capitol Hill office calling for reform following the school shooting in Connecticut.  The idea of renewing a ban on assault weapons is something being debated across the country and here at home.

“Let’s just take them off the street.  It (isn’t) that complicated,” said criminal defense attorney Neil Rockind.

“Banning firearms is not going to keep criminals and the mentally deranged from getting them,” said firearms instructor Rick Ector.

Two opposing views as we all face the troubling question of how to prevent mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in the future.  Some say it’s time to ban the sale and possession of high powered rifles like the AR-15 police say Adam Lanza brought with him to shoot women and children.

“Let’s just stop all the nonsense about how they have some place in society,” Rockind said.  “I can’t imagine that we make it that easy that someone can just go get a permit and go buy an assault weapon for the purposes of committing assault and then it makes it easy to mow down innocent people.  It just boggles my mind.”

After the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, national retailers like Walmart started selling them.  The weapon used in the Connecticut school shooting was purchased legally by Lanza’s mother.

“The thing that crazy people do, the thing that criminals do, they are resourceful.  If they are hell-bent on creating destruction and mayhem, they will find a way to get a gun, even if it means shooting his own mother in the face,” Ector said.

Former FBI agent Andy Bartnowak says it’s not so simple.  He believes a ban alone is not the answer.

“I think that until we decide to do something in a more comprehensive manner — gun control, a ban on assault weapons, look at the way we treat our mentally ill individuals in society — then unfortunately situations like this are going to occur again,” he said.

So there are passionate feelings on both side and the debate will continue.  A California senator says she plans to introduce a bill banning assault weapons the first day Congress reconvenes next month.

via Fox 2 News

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Legal storm growing over secret use of GPS units to track suspects

Defense attorney Randall Lewis was representing a man charged in the fatal shooting of a Livonia police officer when he discovered something surprising: Livonia police had known his client’s exact location at all times in the 11 days leading up to the shooting.

“I mean, it was like they knew what this guy was having for dinner,” Lewis said.

Police knew Terry Bowling’s whereabouts, Lewis learned, because they had surreptitiously planted a GPS tracking device under the back bumper of his Ford Taurus. Bowling has been a suspect in several home invasions.

“I was completely surprised since there was no mention of it in the police reports,” Lewis said. “And my first thought was: ‘Where’s the warrant?’ ”

There was no warrant.

Bowling’s case and hundreds like it are at the center of a growing legal storm set to land before the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 8. The issue: Can law enforcement agencies use GPS devices to track citizens without their knowledge?

Continue reading

Son dies after shock from police Taser

In my experience, many police officers have replaced common sense and good ol’ police work with their trusty tasers. The common thought amongst officers seems to be “tasers are a safe way to subdue a suspect.” However, we are quickly learning that they are not nearly as safe as we once thought. The unfortunate part is that, as defense attorneys, we are definitely seeing an increase in the number of cases where the individual was unnecessarily tasered – some while in handcuffs.
– Colin A. Daniels

A Warren man died Saturday morning after being shocked with a Taser by police, according to his mother.

Warren police did not confirm the incident Sunday or discuss any details surrounding the death of Richard Kokenos, 27.

But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said Sunday that he believed the officer in an incident was placed on leave. Fouts said he planned to talk to the police today, but declined to make a specific comment.

“I’m concerned any time there is a loss of life, and about whether there is a need to re-evaluate present police procedures,” Fouts said. “But until I get the facts, I can’t comment.”

Kokenos’ mother, Finettie Hawkins, 52, of Warren said police told her Kokenos tried to break into a home and was shocked with a Taser. Hawkins said her son spent part of his time recording rap music in a studio.

A woman visiting the 23600 block of Eureka said Kokenos was banging on windows of a house late Friday night. She said Kokenos kicked an officer, fought with six officers and was then shocked with the Taser. The witness asked not to be named.

Questions about the safety of Tasers have been raised by other such deaths, including a 2009 incident in Warren, in which 16-year-old Robert Mitchell died after he was shocked with a Taser by police. Warren police officers chased Mitchell into an abandoned house in Detroit after he fled police during a traffic stop.

The case prompted a lawsuit by the family and protests by residents.

via Freep

EVIDENCE SUPPRESSED!

Several months ago our office took on A.B.’s case in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Initially A.B. had retained another attorney who he grew dissatisfied with after the attorney told A.B. that he wasn’t going to be able to do anything for him.

That’s when A.B. called us.  He knew that the police had violated his constitutional rights – he just needed attorneys who would be willing to stand up and fight for him in order to prove it. And that’s exactly what we did.

The facts were dubious at best: A.B. was at home sleeping early on a winter morning when he was awoken by a knock on his front door. He went to the door, opened it slightly and saw two Michigan Department of Community Corrections Officers standing on his front porch. At that point, one of the officers told A.B. that they were looking for his brother for a parole violation. A.B. told the officers that his brother was not there, but the officer’s ignored him and pushed past A.B. into the house.  The officers never asked for permission to enter the house. Instead, they simply assumed that because A.B. had opened the door, that he had thus “invited them inside.” Subsequent to entering A.B.’s house, the officers searched the entirety of A.B.’s home and found his medical marijuana and a firearm in his bedroom.

Based upon the illegal entry and search of his home, Neil Rockind, P.C. filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in his home and held an evidentiary hearing. At that hearing, the officers maintained that they had permission to enter and search the home. Yet, on cross-examination, their testimony fell apart.

During the amazing cross-examination, performed by Neil Rockind, the officers had to admit that the official report that they filed contained no mention of A.B. giving them permission to enter the house. Instead, in their official report, the MDOC officers simply stated “we were allowed entry to the home.”

The officers never noted that they asked for consent to enter, or were given consent to enter, or asked for consent to search, or were given consent to search. This, along with several other facts (the officers didn’t read A.B. his Miranda rights before asking him questions; the officers searched A.B.’s back yard without a warrant; and the officers never had A.B. sign a consent to search form) led the court to the conclusion that it was not credible that the MDOC officers had actually received consent to enter and search A.B.’s home.

A.B. was facing several felonies: Manufacture/Distribution of Marijuana, Felon in Possession, and Felony Firearm. Further, A.B. was facing several years in prison!

However, the entire case was built upon an unconstitutional entrance into and search of our client’s home – and that is something that we at Neil Rockind, P.C. cannot stand by and allow to happen.

Now, because of the hard work of Attorneys Neil Rockind and Colin Daniels, the evidence will be suppressed and the case against A.B. will be dismissed. This is an extremely rare result – especially in Oakland County. However, it is the RIGHT result. And we are glad to be the firm that could accomplish such a fantastic and just result for our client.

Click below to read the documents from the case:

Evidentiary Hearing Transcript 06.14.11

Defendant’s Supplemental Brief 06.23.11

Prosecutions Response Brief 06.28.11

Opinion and Order 08.15.11

[Oakland County] — Neil Rockind Gets Assault and Battery Reduced to Parking Ticket

Again, I find myself in trial preparation mode.  Pouring over files, thinking and imagining how the people in this real life drama were acting, feeling and thinking.  Thinking about what they would say when on the stand.   How I will once again try to save a life?  How I will once again get to the truth?   Unlike many of my contemporaries and peers, my law practice is not based on WHO we know . . . It is based on WHO we are and WHAT we believe in.  I believe in the fight.  Nothing valuable or worthwhile in life comes without a fight.   You’ve got to want it . . .

I want justice.  I was blessed with the skills, abilities, wits and physical attributes to tell my client’s story:  to get to the truth.  To get justice.  I was put here on this planet for just that undertaking.

Months ago, a client told me that he had been wrongfully charged in an assault case.  He was offended, hurt and angry.   Today he is less so . . . Assault and Battery, Fighting in Public.  Those offenses are dismissed.  A double parking ticket is what awaits him.   From jailable crimes to a parking ticket.   That’s what we do.  That’s what I do.  As Herman Edwards, the former coach of the New York Jets, said, “you play to win the game.  you don’t just play to play.  you play to win. ”

I PLAY TO WIN.  AND WIN WE DO.  AND WIN I DID.

Neil Rockind, P.C. is a criminal defense firm in Southfield, Michigan.  You’ve met lawyers but not trial warriors or lawyers like us.  We try cases.  We play to win.  Contact us to discover the difference.  www.MichiganMedicalMarijuanaLawyers.comwww.lawyerswhowin.com

Neil Rockind gets a DISMISSAL in a Domestic Violence Case in 46th District Court!

Details to follow…