California Cops Locked an Innocent Man in a Sex Offender Unit for 3 Days

Source: reason.com 5/1/24

Victor Manuel Martinez Wario was jailed for a total of five days, spending three of those in special housing for sex offenders.

In 2021, Whittier, California, police arrested Victor Manuel Martinez Wario on an outstanding warrant related to a 2012 child molestation conviction. The only problem? Police had arrested the wrong person. However, despite Wario frequently telling police he didn’t have any warrants out for his arrest, they didn’t bother to check—leaving Wario imprisoned for five days. 

Now, Wario is suing, claiming that police negligence amounted to a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. The officer’s actions caused Wario to suffer “emotional and mental trauma,” according to the suit. “He also missed time at work, and was unable to provide care to his disabled fiancée.”

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The cops might try to use the ‘we had probable cause’ clause to try to evade prosecution.
It is very hard to win a false arrest lawsuit.

If there was an FTR warrant, there is a registry entry. Simply pulling up the picture would have cleared it all up during booking, as would halfway competent fingerprint analysis. I hope this guy’s suit prevails.

But more disturbing is that they blatantly distinguish accused sex criminals from the rest of the population. There can be no explanation for that except hoping they are attacked by other inmates. Ordinarily, I’d be interested in knowing how many violent incidents targeting those inmates, but I know full well that figure is likely under-reported and those that are watered down or revised to put the accused sex criminal at fault.

Well, he doesn’t realize it, but he was placed in the safest place possible. The SO’s aren’t the one’s beating and robbing people in jail. they pretty much are passive and keep to themselves.

I hope he wins the lawsuit. I hope he makes Whittier pay big.

Arrest first, ask questions only when forced to. Always just assume you’re right about everything! When has that ever been problematic? Usually works great on TV!

Finger print matching… Registry/Mug Shot photo…. officers involved with the actual person they were looking for… so many ways this could have been resolved. Of course, our system firmly believes it is better to jail a thousand innocent people, than risk spending any money unnecessarily.

Listen carefully, you can hear the justifications! “It was only for a few days… and nothing happened to him!”

“There had to be some other reason that made them…”

“Cops have a really hard job and nobody’s perfect!”

Also, you can’t maintain the terror our system needs to survive, without locking up some random innocent people up from time to time. After all, our entire “Justice System” is solely based on terrorizing people into compliance!

Here is why it is damn near impossible to prevail in an action such as this:

Qualified immunity: “A government official performing discretionary functions is entitled to immunity from damages when a reasonable official could have believed his or her actions to be lawful, in light of clearly established law and the information the official possessed”.

Further, “An officer can have a reasonable, but mistaken belief as to what the law requires, and still receive qualified immunity. Moreover, officers can have reasonable, but mistaken beliefs as to the facts”.

But the plaintiff, Mr. Martinez Wario, still has a fighting chance should the facts be proven as he has alleged. ‘Civil wrongs’ (torts) such as this must be decided on a “case by case basis”, and Mr. Martinez Wario would prevail should a jury agree with him. It’s an uphill battle, and will likely be settled quietly out of court, but best of luck to Mr. Martinez Wario.

This is sad, but people are arrested and held without being charged all the time. Milwaukee County did that to me before releasing me 3 days later because they didn’t have enough evidence. My case was so weak that I didn’t get charged until months later when police technicians finally found a “footprint” of an erased image on my desktop computer. These people have nothing better to do…well, except prosecute violent offenders. But DA John Chisholm can’t even do that. The man is a coward

How sad is it that the cops didn’t bother to check if they had the right guy say a lot about those who work in law enforcement? Makes the cadets from the Police Academy movies look more professional including the clumsy guy!!