One Mans Appeal To The FBI – Palo Alto Police Alleged To Have Falsified Tazer Videos

An Open Letter / Appeal To FBI Special Agent Aleksandra Kobzants

Dear Mr. Kobzanets,

My name is Joseph (Tony) Ciampi.  You appeared to have investigated a complaint of mine that I made two years ago about the Palo Alto Police falsifying videos to cover up their unlawful taser assault of me under color of authority.

I wanted you to know that my allegations were and are true.

I am contacting you hoping that you would help me obtain the original, unadulterated videos.

You will find my Declaration attached to this email regarding a Motion I filed yesterday to Compel the PAPD to produce the missing video footage among other things which verifies my allegations. You can find the entire Motion along with the Exhibits on the Federal Court’s Website PACER system,, under case No. 5:09-cv-02655-LHK Ciampi v. City of Palo Alto, et al

Summary of Evidence:

  • On July 12, 2010 Police Chief Burns stated that taser camera V06-015542 does not exist.
  • On July 12, 2010 Police Chief Burns stated that taser camera V07-065373 recorded the incident and is the taser camera isuued to Burger when the incident happened and is the taser camera he took into possession to which he in turn sent to the Santa Clara Crime Lab.
  • On September 3, 2010 Police Chief Burns stated that taser camera V06-015542 is the taser camera that recorded the incident and that he cannot find taser camera V07-065373.
  • The Santa Clara County Crime Lab has verified that video footage is missing from both Temores’ and Burger’s taser videos.
  • The PAPD asserts that only one taser gun fired two probes, however Officer Burger verified with the Paramedics at the scene that there were four probes from two firings.
  • Three probes are visible at the scene.
  • Officer Temores claims that his taser cartridge broke, yet the PAPD never secured it into evidence in violation of PAPD policy and now states that they threw Temores’ taser cartridge away.
  • They took a picture of Burger’s broken sunglasses.  They took a picture of Wagner’s broken bicycle helmet.  They took a picture of all the blood on Temores’ taser gun but the PAPD did not take a picture of Temores’ broken taser cartridge.
  • Officer Burger claims to have fired his taser gun while I was facing him, however I had two puncture wounds, one to my arm and one to my buttocks.  I could not have received a puncture wound to my buttocks from Officer Burger’s taser probes.
  • There were two firings of taser probes, however there is only video footage of one taser firing on the videos, including Temores’ MAV videos.
  • The electrically charged taser wire is visible prior to any taser gun being fired indicating that the videos are not in chronological order.
  • The PAPD has created at least two edited versions of Temores’ MAV video with different amounts of memory and dates of last modification to the video files.
  • The PAPD has not produced a copy of Temores’ MAV video that has a date of last modification of March 15, 2008, the date that the video was created even though they falsely claimed to have sent me one in their latest Discovery response.

You can verify that twenty to thirty seconds are missing from Temores’ MAV video by simply obtaining the “real” time radio communications recording from the day of the incident and comparing the elapsed time between the two fixed points when Officer Wagner states, “Code 22”  and “Suspect in Custody, been tased twice,” on the radio communications’ recording and Officer Burger’s MAV recording.  I have repeatedly asked for the “real” time radio communications recording, however the PAPD refuses to provide it to me.

Should you take my allegations seriously, I can provide you with more evidence which substantiates my allegations including how Officer Burger first fired his taser gun at me which is not portrayed in either of his taser video nor Temores’ MAV video.

To give you an idea, if you go to the 10:22:38 mark of Burger’s MAV audio, you can hear me state, “Had my hands up the whole time (trying) to make a phone call.” Why would I be stating this eleven minutes after being shot by Burger when this is not seen on any of the videos.

At the 10:16:37 mark of Temores’ MAV video Officer Wagner puts her hands up in the air next to her head as she describes to Sgt. Powers what I was doing when Burger shot me.

Despite all of the evidence, I don’t expect the Court to grant my Motion as everyone is doing his and or her best to cover up the fact that the PAPD falsified the videos.

I’m not asking you to prosecute the officers, but I do believe my allegations would merit a thorough investigation, which would include obtaining the original Data Ports and taser cameras and recovering the deleted/overwritten video and data files.

It is not right, it is not just and it is antithetical to every value that America and American Justice stands for to allow the PAPD to falsely portray what happened on March 15, 2008 with their falsified video and simultaneously deny me the ability to present the unedited and unadulterated videos that convey the truth.

Please allow me to present the truth.

You are probably my last opportunity of obtaining the original videos.

You and your department have the ability to recover the original video files from the taser cameras within a few days of initiating an investigation.

I believe you have a forensic lab right here in Menlo Park that can recover the deleted video files.  All I am asking is to be able to present the truth to the Judge and jury.

To do that, I would need the original videos before the end of October in order to submit the videos into the case prior to the Discovery cutoff deadline of November 5, 2010.

Up to now I have to assume that you have based your investigation upon a fabrication and not the facts.  If you want to know what actually occurred on March 15, 2008, the facts are retained on Temores’ and Burger’s taser guns’ Data Ports and on the original, unadulterated video files from the taser cameras and MAV hard drives.

It is a fact that the PAPD edited and falsified the videos, so the question is why was it necessary for the PAPD to edit the videos given the video footage.  Why did the PAPD need to falsify the videos?  What is it that the PAPD does not want a Judge, a jury and the public to see?

As you can see I have copied this email to several people so that you would know that there are many who want the truth revealed and justice served not just me.

I thank you for any help you might provide.

Tony Ciampi

P.O. Box 1681

Palo Alto, Ca 94302


A Palo Alto police office was involved in an audio accident while in his patrol car.  His MAV system did not record the crash because he forgot to turn it on.

The officer stated that he had his emergency lights on when the crash occurred and according to the specifications of the MAV system, the video automatically comes on when the emergency lights come on.

In my incident, the batteries to Temores’ microphone did not work, and therefore he did not record any audio.  Yet fully charged batteries will power the microphone for 8 to 10 continuous hours.

In another taser incident documented in the Independent Police Auditor’s report an officer’s taser camera failed to record the incident because he did not update the software.  Shouldn’t the cameras continue to function with the old software

In the Jorge Hernandez case several years ago, the PAPD recorded only half of his interrogation eliciting false confessions from a naïve young man.  The actual perpetrator was recently arrested.

Living In Palo Alto While Black

Racism is nothing new even to me as a Latino.   I do recall on one occasion being called a “Wet Back” an inference to all Mexican Americans, and all Non-Whites having crossed the Rio Grande river to enter the land of the brave and home of the not so free.

Racism runs deep in America and one knows this greater than the native American Indians.   I recall a very close friend  Selo (Sylvester) Black Crow.

His great, great grandfather took part in many of the peace treaties between the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation and Washington later to be broken time and time again.

He was in fact and still is despite his passing to greater peaceful pastures where the true White Buffalo roam, the legendary Chieftain of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

His stories were endless including the brutality meted out by the police.

As he related, he was simply made the target of their personal hatred of Native American Indians and from my interviews with many African Americans who are Living In Palo Alto While Black that seems to be the case as well.

In fact, the beating he received from the police was so severe he suffered hearing loss.  This was my first hand account on a personal level concerning police brutality and it would not be the last.

Like most all of us, everyone seems to think in terms of Africa Americans being the only ones who have suffered racism.  This is simply not true.   It’s pandemic very perverse and unfortunately, impacts all races and ethnicity.

If we take a closer look at the demographics here in Palo Alto, by and large, the dominant race appears to be white.

And if we look even closer at the arrest records occurring in Palo Alto we find that its disproportionally black’s and Latino’s stopped and arrested causing much friction and heated debates in some circles. (see IPA audit reports)

Foot note: PAPD has stated tail light stops are an effective tool in catching known or unknown felons. (IPO officer Dan Ryan)

This debate reached critical mass when former Police Chief Lynne Johnson resigned in disgrace for ordering officers to stop all black males with a doo-rag in response to a rash of robberies alleged to have been committed by a black male.

It later turned out to be the case.  But for that matter, it could have been any race.

Current Police Chief Dennis Burns continues to repair the damage done by his predecessor holding secret behind closed door meetings with a select group of handpicked citizens from the community.

The general public is disallowed and news reporters are prevented from attending – We call this – police democracy in action.  I would say, transparency and open government is non existent in Palo Alto.

Racial profiling by the PAPD is their dirty little secret best kept under wraps by Chief Burns and far from, far from the public’s eye.

Of all the African Americans I have interview in Palo Alto thus far, all have related a disturbing sorted tale of racism by the hands of the PAPD.

Watch out and *inspect your tail lights before entering Palo Alto from East Palo Alto.  Its a sure way to get stopped especially if your driving while “Black” let alone Living In Palo Alto While Black.

*From the archives – East Palo Alto Residents Ask: “Am I a Suspect?”

“A pattern of racial traffic stops in Palo Alto is statistically clear. 

At a *Rally Against Racial Profiling* on November 9 Goro Mitchell, East Palo Alto activist and Planning Commission member, said that 56 percent of all traffic stops for “vehicular failure”, such as tail or brake lights not working, are for cars driven by African Americans or Latinos.

Two young men, one Latino and one African American, have created a T-shirt to draw attention to this injustice.”

The story “Black Like Me” the book featured, is about a white man who decides to alter his skin color chemically and live the life as a black male.

There is something to be said about living, understanding and walking in the same shoes as a black person through the segregated south as a white man.  But, in reality it could be anywhere USA or for that matter the world.

It just so happens living in Palo Alto while black, is a little dirty secret Chief Dennis Burns and city council would much rather not have you be aware of.  This compelling story – “Black Like Me” is sure to become an all time American classic.

So the question is.  Will racism ever be eliminated from the hearts and minds of humanity?  Well,  I believe it’s happening right here in our community now!!  And it’s no secret…..

Reconstructing The Play (Crime) Scene At Hoover Park

Two months ago I reported on the play ground gymnasium located at Hoover park being vandalized / torched.   The culprits have not been found despite the reward offer.

This morning on my usual “walk through the park” I noticed two city employee’s willing to talk to me.

Apparently, word from PAPD Lt. Sandra Brown had not reached these two city employee’s instructing them not to talk to me as a news reported.

Well, we will be hearing the sounds of gleeful chatter and the voices of young children soon.  The reconstructed play set is scheduled for full swing in two weeks according to parks and recreation employees, James Moss and Darin Anderson.

Thanks for your hard work guy’s!!!  A phone call to Lt. Sandra Brown went unanswered as of this writing.

*Up-date – Lt. Sandra Brown did return my call.  In fact, I was very surprised she did so.  Thank you Sandra!!!

Third-world HSR Plan Delivered on Promise of World Class Transportation

The current configuration of the Hight Speed Rail plan demonstrates no attempt to mitigate the extreme harm that this project would cause to our community.

The Palo Alto Voices are not “NIMBY”, but simply call for the HSR Authority to do it right. Very reasonable.

Being against a third-world design for what had previously been advertised as a World-Class project, is not anti-HSR.

To falsely label the correct citizen protect as NIMBY and Anti-HSR is an unethical deception that simply needs to end.

Do it right or don’t do it at all. The plan is not right, so the HSR Authority has forced us into an inexcapable conclusion. Give us a World-class plan that respects the communities and you will find all kinds of support for the greater good.


Timothy Gray (former Palo Alto City Council Candidate)