Archives for posts with tag: ninja rock

As mentioned previously, “ninja rocks“, are a tool of automobile burglars that is used to break car windows. Wikipedia explains that “they can quickly and almost silently fracture the glass windows on most cars”. In the following 2012 case opinion on a petition for writ of habeas corpus from an incarcerated person in California, the defendant possessed “ninja rocks”. The writ was denied.

CHESTER BROWN, Petitioner,
v.
KATHY PROSPER, Warden, Respondent.

No. C 09-04870 SBA (PR)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

June 20, 2012, Decided
July 24, 2012, Filed

Opinion by US District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong:

An Alameda County jury convicted Petitioner of two counts of first degree burglary and three counts of receiving stolen property

The statement of facts quoted from the California Court of Appeal:

Pleasanton Police Officer Mike Murazzo responded to the Bishops’ call, and stopped defendant’s Buick at 7:05 a.m. on Longview Drive near the intersection with Foothill Drive. Murazzo positively identified defendant in court. When he was stopped, defendant was wearing a long black leather jacket with a pair of scissors protruding from a pocket. Defendant’s pockets also contained vice-grip pliers and two screwdrivers. On the front seat of defendant’s car were “ninja rocks,” broken pieces of spark plug porcelain used by auto burglars to break car windows with a minimum amount of noise.

MARVIN BRYANT, Petitioner,
v.
T. FELKER, Warden, Respondent.

No. C 06-0005 CW (PR)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9091

Decided January 24, 2011
Opinion by District Judge Claudia Wilken:

Petitioner waived his right to a jury trial and was convicted of attempted murder, residential robbery, assault with a firearm, and residential burglary. (Resp. Memo. at 1.) On May 2, 2003, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to twenty-eight years. (Second Amended Petition (SAP) at 2.) The trial court found true the allegations of personal use of a firearm, intentional discharge of a firearm, and infliction of great bodily injury.

Quoting from The California Court of Appeal description of the facts:

Defendant was released because his clothing did not match the dispatch description of Raman’s attacker.

but

While being transported to the hospital Raman told police about the argument between Turner and Pamela, that three men had come to the door and he was not sure he could identify his attacker. He did say his attacker wore black clothing and a black beanie

and

Testifying on his own behalf, defendant admitted: vandalizing a car at age 14, an auto theft conviction at age 16, a 1997 arrest for possessing a “Ninja-rock,” used to break car windows, a 1998 arrest for stealing a video game, and a 1999 allegation of domestic violence by his girlfriend. Defendant said he was at Turner’s apartment when she came home upset that Pamela had called her a “black bitch.” He admitted he went with Westbrook and two other men to Pamela’s apartment to demand an apology. He said Westbrook, Raman and Pamela argued outside the Khannas’s apartment. Defendant denied saying anything or threatening the Khannas. He also denied returning to the Khannas’s apartment and having any involvement in the crimes committed.

Holding:

the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied.

Affirmed by, Bryant v. Felker, 464 Fed. Appx. 562, (9th Cir. Cal. 2011)

After his conviction for possession of burglary tools, Mark Thomas sued Nebraska Police Officers (particularly Officer Griss) for planting the evidence. Thomas was arrested for not paying his hotel bill and so theft of services from the hotel. He was arrested in the hotel lobby. Evidence obtained from a bag taken from the hotel room included:

a Pickmaster lock kit containing lock-picking equipment, a lock pick gun, toe nail clippers, a Swiss army knife, a black ninja hood, a pair of black leather gloves, and other items.

MARK C. THOMAS, Plaintiff/Appellee, v. DALE HUNGERFORD, Individually and in his official capacity as police officer for the city of Kearney, Nebraska; MICHAEL KIRKWOOD, Individually and in his official capacity as police officer for the city of Kearney, Nebraska, Defendants, JEFF GRISS, Individually and in his official capacity as police officer for the city of Kearney, Nebraska, Defendant/Appellant.
No. 93-3232
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT
23 F.3d 1450

Filed – May 11, 1994

Thomas’s amended complaint as stating a cause of action against Griss on two grounds: that Griss had conducted an inventory search of Thomas’s duffel bag that was not in accordance with established procedures, and that Griss had planted the black ninja hood and the “o” ring in the duffel bag. The district court denied Griss’s motion for summary judgment, and this appeal followed.

Noting in footnote #1:

Although the denial of a summary judgment motion is not a final judgment, a district court’s denial of a qualified immunity claim is an immediately appealable “final decision” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

Reversing:

The order denying Griss’s summary judgment motion is reversed, and the case is remanded to the district court for entry of judgment dismissing the complaint.

Explaining about the planted evidence:

The district court also denied Griss’s motion for summary judgment on Thomas’s claim that Griss planted a black ninja hood and an “o” ring in Thomas’s duffel bag. The magistrate judge construed Thomas’s complaint to allege that because the hood and “o” ring did not appear on Ward’s inventory form, Griss must have planted the items. Griss argues that he is absolutely immune from this claim because the allegation that he planted evidence is simply an assertion that he committed perjury when he testified at Thomas’s trial about the events surrounding Thomas’s arrest. Thomas concedes that Griss would be entitled to absolute immunity on such a claim, for officers are absolutely immune from liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for damages arising out of their alleged perjurious testimony at trial. Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325, 342, 75 L. Ed. 2d 96, 103 S. Ct. 1108 (1983). Thomas argues, however, that Griss did more than perjure himself, contending that Griss planted some of the evidence that the prosecutor used against him. Although absolute immunity may not shield Griss against such a claim, the district court should nevertheless have granted Griss’s summary judgment motion.

The inventory search was also found acceptable and not a violation of the Fourth Amendment, at least in part because the defendant himself asked to have the contents of the bag inventoried.

I think an “o” ring is a metal piece from a lock (in this case “a Kawneer-brand lock”) that can be used for breaking glass like car windows (see similarly Ninja rocks which will be mentioned in future case). But what makes a “black ninja hood” different from a mere black hood or black hood mask, this is not entirely clear to me, other than to further implicate that the defendant’s possessions are burglary tools. As if the tools themselves have intent, and this hood intended to be ninja.