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Thread: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

  1. #1
    GlimDropper's Avatar
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    Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    The letter arrives with the ominous sounding return address of "Federal Prison Camp, Box A Alderson, WV" as you open it up a photo of an attractive mother with an adorable son falls out. The inscription on the back speaks of how amazed she is with how much he's grown between the time he visits her in prison. Stephanie Mohr was a Police officer and now she's in jail.

    "I hope with all my heart that you'll read this letter" it begins. "Because right now, hope is the only thing keeping me alive." The violins continue playing for a few paragraphs while she laments not being able to watch her son grow. Then she launches into the reason for her incarceration.

    You may have heard about my case on TV. On the night of September 21, 1995, I was on patrol with my police dog, Valk. The area I patrolled, Takoma Park, had been suffering a rash of burglaries. My partner, Sgt. Anthony Delozier, and I got a call for backup from an officer who had spotted two men on the roof of a nearby store. We knew we had likely found the perpetrators.

    When we arrived, the situation was tense. The suspects, Ricardo Mendez and Herrera Cruz, had been ordered down from the roof and told to face a wall. They were shouting back and forth to each other in a stream of Spanish.

    And then it happened.

    Mendez made a move as if to flee the scene. In accordance with my training, I released my dog, Valk, who was trained to perform the standard “bite and hold” move. He did so, biting Mendez on the leg and holding him until I and the other officers could handcuff him.
    She then proceeds:

    So imagine my shock – five years later – when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would indict me for “violating” Ricardo Mendez’s civil rights by allowing my police dog to bite his leg!

    Mendez, a criminal and an illegal alien, had been fleeing the scene of a crime, and it had been my duty to release Valk and apprehend him. But the bureaucrats in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice chose to ignore the facts; they were looking for cases of “police brutality”, and I was exactly what they wanted: a white officer whose police dog had bitten a minority.

    My fellow officers and I testified in court that I had done my job by the book. And it was true: the P.G. County police training clearly states that if a felony suspect makes a move, we are authorized to release our police dogs.
    And after many more impassioned pleas and comments about "Bureaucrats in the Civil Rights Division," the NAACP and in some versions of the story the ACLU, comes a request for donations to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.

    It's a moving tale but it doesn't quite match up with her court records. She was found guilty and imprisoned and a copy of her appeal which affirmed her conviction can be found here. It describes the events leading to her arrest as follows:

    On September 21, 1995, Officer Wendell Brantley, of the Takoma
    Park, Maryland Police Department, was conducting surveillance in
    the Holton Lane area of Prince George’s County because of a number
    of commercial burglaries in that area. At approximately 2 a.m., Officer
    Brantley spotted two men on the roof of the Sligo Press building.
    He called for assistance and several Takoma Park officers, including Sergeant Dennis Bonn, responded. Bonn then asked for assistance
    from Prince George’s County and specifically requested a K-9 dog.
    Prince George’s K-9 officers Mohr and Anthony Delozier arrived
    with Mohr’s police dog. Bonn also called for a Maryland State Police
    helicopter, which illuminated the entire roof with a powerful light called
    a "night sun."

    Bonn, with corroboration from three other police eyewitnesses, testified
    to the government’s version of how and why Mohr released her
    police dog on Ricardo Mendez, one of the suspects on the roof. After
    the helicopter arrived, the officers ordered the suspects to come to the
    back of the roof. Mendez and the other suspect, Jorge Herrera-Cruz,
    did so and held their hands in the air, as directed by the officers.
    Then, again as directed by the officers, the suspects climbed down
    from the roof, keeping their hands in the air, and eventually facing the
    officers, who surrounded them in a semicircle, some with their guns
    drawn. Bonn testified that the suspects followed all police commands.

    As the suspects stood with their hands up in the air, Delozier
    approached Bonn and asked: "Sarge, can the dog get a bite?" Bonn
    "responded with one word, which was yes." Bonn testified that "[a]t
    that time, [the suspects] still had their hands in the air and they
    weren’t doing anything." Bonn then witnessed Delozier and Mohr
    have "a very, very brief exchange," followed by Mohr releasing the
    dog. The dog attacked Mendez, who "still had his hands in the air
    when . . . the dog bit him in the leg. [He] went down screaming and
    continued to scream." Bonn testified that, prior to Mohr’s release of
    the dog, Mendez did not make "any sudden movement," did not "fail
    to comply with police command[s]," did not "lower his hands," and
    did not "attempt to flee in any way." Bonn did not hear any K-9 warning
    prior to Mohr’s release of the dog or at any point during the evening.2
    As a result of the incident, Bonn pled guilty as an accessory-after-thefact
    to a civil rights violation and testified for the government pursuant
    to a plea agreement.
    Not one but two courts have heard Mrs. Mohr's version of the story and the story told by other officers on the scene and neither court found Mrs. Mohr credible. The letter soliciting donations also doesn't mention the four times then Officer Mohr faced civil lawsuits for how she used her police dog, the counties attorney agreed to pay damages in three of those cases.

    So why would a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity use a story they have no excuse for not knowing is significantly and demonstrably misleading to solicit donations? Perhaps because the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is a pretty lousy charity. It's been reported that in the year 2000 7.5 cents out of every dollar they collected was spent furthering the cause it was donated for. They have improved greatly in the last decade, almost doubling that figure. CharityNavigator.org reports that the most current figure is that 14.3 cents out of every dollar they take in gets used to help police officers. I wonder how much Stephanie Mohr receives of that amount.

  2. #2
    Emet is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    So it looks like the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund is still using this woman as their poster child to "raise" money.

    I found this article from 2005:
    Stephanie Mohr-Innocent victim or sadistic nutcase?

  3. #3
    GlimDropper's Avatar
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    Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    I know they're still using Stephanie's letter, I got one in the mail recently. The more I read about the story the less I like former Officer Mohr and the LELDF. From the link in Emet's post:

    What is also absent from the story is that Mohr not only has an apparent history of acts involving racial discrimination, but that she has also been involved in other incidents accusing her of intentional misuse of her dog, including releasing it on a 16 year old African-American, Kheenan Sneed, who was doing nothing more threatening than sleeping on his neighbors hammock at the time. According to a lawsuit filed in Prince George's County Circuit Court, Mohr allegedly beat Sneed about the head with her flashlight while the dog continued to bite him on the leg. Mohr claimed she had mistaken the 16 year old boy for a man who had tried to break into a nearby store.
    And edited to add the final sales spiel from the letter I received:

    Stephanie: Your conviction is a slap in the face to every police officer in America. To help clear your inocent name and send you home to your son where you belong, I want to help LELDF fund your Petition for Commutation of Sentence and help other good cops who have been unfairly indicted for doing their jobs.

    I'm enclosing my tax-deductible check payable to "LELDF" in the amount of:"
    Yea, she wants a commutation because she knows the facts in her case will never allow her conviction to be over turned on appeal. It's too bad for Stephanie that Judges ask for more information than the people her letters deceive into contributing do. But hey, she get's to keep part of that 14 cents of every dollar her letters bring to LELDF.
    Last edited by GlimDropper; 06-24-2010 at 06:11 PM.

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    natasha is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    This is a total scam! How do I know you ask? Simple I was incarcerated with Ms. Mohr for 3 years. First of all in her letter she expresses how "cold" it is there. This is known as "camp cupcake". You have all the freedom you want within the campus, plenty of heat and air condition. TV's, microwaves, ice machines, washers/dryers, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.

    Now some incarcerated individuals were barely able to get soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Not Ms. Mohr!! Oh No!! She had the very best of everything. A new special order pair of tennis shoes and boots almost every other month. A bin and locker which was overflowing with food, chips, and sodas. Not to mention all the makeup and hair products imaginable!!!

    Also every month you were allowed to spend up to $75 for phone time, and up to $290 on commisary . Let me tell you that every single month both of these were maxed out.

    So she talked to her "little adam" multiple times a day, and every other weekend she received a visit with him. So yes she is incarcerated, but she is living on high cotton while doing so. Im not sure how much of the money she was sent, but I do know that when checks were mailed to her at the prison, she would deposit them in her account there.

    I say what a joke, and how selfish of her to participate in such a thing. When everyday her and myself witnessed mothers incarcerated who have no money at all to even call home to their children, much less get someone to bring them to WV for a visit.

    So in my opinion this is a real scam - just unsure who is to blame and to what degree!!

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    wolfen2 is offline Junior Member
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    Angry Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    Apparently, obviously, this is a hoax of some fashion. One-if she is/was a cop, she and her 'Defense Fund' would know that Jail and Prison are two, totally separate entities. Jail is for misdemeanors, Prisons are for Felons, over a year. Now, a Federal Prison.... Com'on. I got one of the 'letters' since we contribute to other causes (usually animal related, as they are truly innocent-not humans). Regardless, there are MANY 'red flags' on all of these letters for the solicitation of money. I do imagine they target demographically, also, and as such, where did they derive their mailing pool? Research, folks, research. Everybody wants your money. (Having worked in corrections, I have seen some elaborate scams from guys, even in Seg, who have more in their inmate accounts than we do in our checking accounts).

  6. #6
    GlimDropper's Avatar
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    Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    Thanks for stopping by wolfen. :)

    Mrs. Mohr was a cop, that much is very easy to prove and the "Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund" is a legitimate charity. It's just not a very good one. I just checked their rating at the Charity Navigator website (the last link in the first post in this thread) and presently 14.1 cents of every dollar donated to them goes to the cause it's pledged to. That coupled with the gross distortions in their fund raising literature, Mrs. Mohr's story for example make me wonder just how low a charity can stoop and still be legal.

    Research, folks, research. Everybody wants your money.
    Very very true. That's what this site is here for. Thanks again for posting.
    So your prophets of finance have fallen on their collective proverbial face, and you hear muffled voices calling: Welcome to the human race.
    You made a killing dealing real estate at NASA selling cemetery plots in outer space til some falling coffins crashed upon your doorstep: Welcome to the human race.

    Open up your heart...

    Welcome to RealScam.com.

  7. #7
    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Stephanie Mohr and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

    Unfortunately it's come to the stage potential donors need to carefully check the intended target of their charity donations.

    Sites such as
    CHARITY NAVIGATOR.org have been set up to enable donors to check the status of charities BEFORE they open their wallets or give away their credit card details.

    Here's what CHARITY NAVIGATOR.org has to say about the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.

    (Pay particular attention to the disparity between the amount collected, the amount actually given to charity and the Program Expenses, Administrative Expenses and Fundraising Expenses)

    I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly would think twice about sending money to ANY charity in which 99.8% of my money was taken by the charity for "expenses"

    That's not "charity" that's throwing money down the drain.




    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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