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i <3 new orleans cops.

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In life, Cynthia Franklin did everything she could to protect her three sons from what she perceived as a vendetta by overzealous police officers. She blasted the authorities who prosecuted her oldest son, Percy Franklin, and sent him to prison for 20 years for his involvement in the notorious 7th Ward Soldiers drug gang. She stormed the New Orleans Police Department with complaints every time her younger sons -- 20-year-old fraternal twins Brandon and Randon Robinson -- were stopped on the street and searched for drugs.


After her death, little changed. In fact, her seemingly peaceful passing seemed to aggravate the long-running conflict between her family and police.


On Jan. 24, Franklin didn't wake up. Her death appeared to be from natural causes, but after police arrived, the house was declared a crime scene, neighbors nearly rioted , and Brandon and Randon were arrested on gun and drug charges. Several witnesses said some officers used profanity to address grieving family members.


At one point, after the house was sealed off for a search by narcotics detectives, Franklin's sister Connie said she asked to see the body and was told, "What do you think this is? A f -- ing funeral home?"


Despite those claims, the officers in the case were cleared of wrongdoing last week after a review by the Police Department's Public Integrity Bureau. The criminal case against the twins is pending.


"The officers were exonerated," police spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said. "PIB reviewed the facts and determined that the officers were in compliance with all departmental rules and regulations."


According to police records, Franklin was still lying on her death bed when officers said they spotted an AK-47 in plain sight in the family's home on Bayou Road. The family said the police account is a fabrication. They said the weapon, however menacing, was hidden under a mattress and behind the closed door of the twins' bedroom. Randon said he had purchased the weapon legally at a gun show and produced a receipt showing he had paid $391.45 for the gun in March 2003.


Officers sealed off the house, called Franklin's death suspicious and roped off much of the block while they obtained a search warrant.


About six hours later, police said they found two small bags of marijuana and a small amount of cocaine. Randon was arrested first, accused of marijuana possession and illegally possessing a firearm with narcotics. Soon after, Brandon was booked on the same charges, plus an additional charge of cocaine possession. The family said police officers planted the drugs; defense attorneys are working to get the charges dropped.


"I couldn't believe any of it was really happening," Randon said of his arrest. "It was like a bad dream. My mother's dead, police are tearing up the house and I'm in handcuffs."


Police concede that other than Franklin's relatively young age, 52, there was nothing outwardly suspicious about her death, which remains unclassified pending toxicology results. An epileptic and borderline diabetic, Franklin was found in bed by a sister who lived with the family. Rushing in from their bedroom down the hall, Brandon and Randon frantically tried to move her, turn her over, wake her, revive her -- but she was unresponsive. Brandon called 911.


First to arrive was a fire emergency truck. Next, an ambulance. Finally, a police cruiser pulled up. It was about 10:30 a.m. Franklin's death was unexpected and family members and neighbors began assembling around the house. By all accounts the police officers and emergency workers initially seemed to treat the case as a sad, but routine, death.


That is, until 1st District narcotics Detective Jake Schnapp showed up in an unmarked police car, the family said. Schnapp was well known to the family and soon after his arrival more than a dozen officers were swarming around the scene while an increasingly hostile crowd of onlookers voiced their protests.


On the day before Franklin's death, court records show, Schnapp appeared at a pretrial court hearing to testify against Brandon Robinson in an earlier drug case. Franklin accompanied her son to the hearing, as she did whenever one of her sons had a scrape with the law.


For the twins, both high school graduates, those scrapes were mostly minor, court records show. In addition to the two pending cases against him, Brandon pleaded no contest to a marijuana possession charge in 2001, and a marijuana possession charge against him last year was dismissed. Randon was found innocent by a judge after being charged with marijuana possession in 2002 and he is awaiting trial on a 2003 charge of illegally carrying a weapon. More than a dozen other stops by police did not result in arrests, the twins said.


If there is any reason for the family to show up on police radar, it would be the twins' older brother, Percy Franklin. Franklin was one of seven members convicted for their roles in the so-called 7th Ward Soldiers, a street-level drug gang involved in six murders and eight attempted murders. Cynthia Franklin went to her death trying to convince people Percy's conviction was a raw deal. While the other six gang members are serving life prison sentences, Franklin is serving 20 years because none of the violence and only a minimal amount of drugs were pinned on him. Upon Franklin's sentencing, then-U.S. District Judge Edith Brown Clement found he had "operated only at the fringes of the conspiracy."


Regardless of the family history, family members said the decision to call Schnapp to the scene of Cynthia Franklin's death was callous, provocative and unnecessary.


"My mom is dead and suddenly this is all about Jake Schnapp trying to put me in jail. He has a vendetta," Brandon said.


John Fuller, an attorney for the family, was called to the house after police declared it a crime scene. He said the discovery of the gun was clearly the result of an illegal search.


"The tears weren't even dry on those people's faces and you had cops using this death as a pretense to conduct a search," Fuller said. "Then they say they saw an AK-47 in plain view? What's the chance of having an AK-47 in plain view in your mother's house? Especially after you call the police. I have a problem with that. . . . Bad searches happen every day, but this was repulsive."


The situation may have been unusual, Defillo said, but the officials at the scene went by the book. He even credited the officers for showing restraint in the face of hostile family members and friends.


"It's an unfortunate situation, but if we haven't determined that the death is from natural causes, we call it a crime scene," he said. "It was a tough situation for the officers. There was a lot of vulgarity toward the investigators."


A cousin of the twins, Mark Rainey, was arrested at the scene on charges of disturbing the peace and trying to incite a riot, but those charges were later dismissed.


One of Cynthia Franklin's sisters, Pamela Monroe, admitted family and friends at the scene were very vocal in expressing their displeasure toward the officers. But for good reason, she said.


"We were upset, yeah, but all Brandon was saying was don't let Jake Schnapp inside the house because he just went to court on him," Monroe said. "My sister died in her sleep and police turned it into a damn circus."

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just last week i was outside smoknig a cig. when 3 squad cars pulled up outside my house. one guy got out and rushed me, slamming my face into the wall. 3 other guys jumped out the other 2 vechiles and busted into my neighbors house and (eventually) dragged him out.


all for smoking a cig ... tsk tsk





nopd are about one of the most fucked departments in the country ... hands down

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It's 3 am and I just started drinking Jack and

Red Bull... I don't suggest anyone else ever

try this "mix".


I'm too slow to read the article right now, but

I had my share of guns pointed at my face by

cops well before I was old enough to drive...

every single time it was over some stupid shit

like partying in abandoned houses, breaking into

friend's places or shooting cars from ditches w/

paintball guns.... okay, need another shot of vomit.

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