Pubdate: Fri, 18 Aug 2000
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397
Author: Kimberly Bolander,  and Doni Greenberg


Redding Attorney Arrested As Officers Search Client's Home

Redding attorney Franklin Cibula may ask state prosecutors to investigate
what he calls an "attack" on him by police officers, who arrested him after
he went to a client's home to stop a search.

Police Chief Bob Blankenship said Thursday the 59-year-old lawyer was
"allegedly intoxicated" when he "allegedly pushed an officer" Monday at the
Court Street address near Grandview Avenue.

Police arrested Cibula on suspicion of battery on a peace officer --  Steve
W. Davis -- and resisting an officer. He was released late Monday on his own
recognizance from the Shasta County Jail, sheriff's Capt. Larry Jarrett

The attorney was not arrested on suspicion of drunken driving because
officers did not see him driving, Blankenship said. Other witnesses will be
questioned, and a blood test, taken after Cibula's arrest, is pending to
determine if he was intoxicated, the police chief said.

District Attorney McGregor Scott said he received the police report Thursday
afternoon but hadn't reviewed it yet.

Cibula's son, Mark, is a Redding city councilman and his father's partner at
Cibula & Cibula law office.

He declined to comment as a public official but said the family is
"determining its next step."

"The whole issue is very upsetting. Every family member reacts differently,
but all of us are very upset about what occurred," he said.

Franklin Cibula said he is thinking of asking the state Attorney General's
office to investigate the Police Department. He wrote a letter to
Blankenship calling for an investigation and claiming officers removed his
wallet, later returning it with $1,000 missing.

The chain of events that preceded the arrest began when Cibula, an attorney
in Redding since 1965, received a call from client Alma Jean Jackson that
woke him around 10 p.m. Monday.

Jackson, who lives with her daughter, said police officers were searching
her house and she wanted him there, Cibula said.

"I think they (the police) were angry because they were down in an area
where they can usually do things their way, and here I was a white lawyer,
telling them they couldn't," he said. Jackson lives in a predominantly black
area of Redding.

Jackson said friends were visiting when the officers responded to a call
from one of her neighbors. Blankenship said the police received a report
that a man had a gun at Jackson's address.

It became a search after Jackson's daughter told police she was on
probation, Blankenship said.

But to his knowledge, officers never found a gun, the chief said.

Jackson said she watched as Cibula stepped into her home and one officer put
him into a chokehold and another grabbed him by the arm. The attorney did
nothing to provoke the officers, she said.

"One officer who'd grabbed my neck started choking me and another took my
right arm and twisted it; another took my left arm and twisted," Cibula
said. "Others were hitting me and trying to throw me to the ground.

"I'm 59 years old, crippled, with a bad knee," he said. "I had no more
intention of getting into a confrontation with an officer than flying a

Jackson said that two friends and her daughter witnessed the incident.

"I said, 'That's my attorney,' and the police said, 'We don't care who he
is,' " she said. "They treated him like a dope dealer."

Cibula did not appear to have been drinking, Jackson said, and he never had
a chance to push anyone.

The attorney said he doesn't remember if he had wine with dinner Monday
night, as he usually does.

"It's possible, but it would have been well before 6 o'clock," he said.
"It's not a factor."

Cibula said none of the officers asked him if he had been drinking or
pointed out any signs of drunkenness.

Cibula said he counted 11 police cars while waiting to be taken to Mercy
Medical Center in Redding. He said his leg was so sore he couldn't walk on
it and bruises were appearing. In 1989, Cibula survived serious injuries
when his car flew off a cliff near South Lake Tahoe. He now walks slowly,
with a limp.

Blankenship said there couldn't have been 11 cars at the scene. Five
officers are named in the investigative report, he said. They were joined by
two supervisors, as is customary in a situation involving a possible gun, he

"Officers, as you know, are going to use whatever force is reasonable to get
control of someone," Blankenship said.

Blankenship said he would not make a judgment about his officers' conduct
until an internal investigation is completed.
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