Alexander Landau got pulled over for an illegal left turn -- and ended up beaten bloody

Categories: News

Update, January 20: Westword published today a much longer cover story on Landau, his lawsuit and life. Read it here: "Black and Blue: Alex Landau was pulled over for making an illegal left turn and ended up beaten bloody."
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Alexander Landau police beating 1.JPG
Alexander Landau
On the night of January 15, 2009, nineteen-year-old Community College of Denver student Alexander Landau was stopped by Denver police for allegedly making an illegal left turn. But according to a federal complaint filed yesterday, within minutes of the stop Landau was being beaten by three Denver cops, two of whom were wielding a radio and a flashlight as bludgeons. When it was all over, he was taken to Denver Health to be treated for a broken nose, lacerations and closed head injuries -- but not before he demanded somebody take photos of him.

The lengthy and detailed complaint is the latest in a string of high-profile cases of alleged police brutality incidents that have captured local headlines and led to the resignation of Denver Manager of Safety Ron Perea. The issue was even discussed during the swearing-in ceremony of interim mayor Bill Vidal earlier today.

Alexander Landau police beating 2.JPG
Landau's story may add fuel to the fire -- especially since one of the officers named in his complaint, Randy Murr, also played a role in the controversial police beating of Michael deHerrera. The complaint filed on Landau's behalf notes that in the process of the traffic stop, police found marijuana on Landau's passenger, a fellow student named Addison Hunold, and proceeded to search Landau's car. Apparently the situation spun out of control when the cops asked Landau if they could search his trunk and Landau stepped towards them, asking if they had a warrant. Allegedly the three officers then on the scene - Murr, Ricky Nixon and Tiffany Middleton -- then proceeded to punch him in the face and then, once he fell over, beat him for several minutes, with one officer yelling, "He's going for the gun." According to the complaint, when it was all over, Landau heard one officer say to him, "Where's that warrant now, you fucking nigger?"

Things would only get worse for Landau, who spent several days in jail after being treated at the hospital. In the meantime, according to the complaint, the officers involved in the incident "conspired and/or acted in concert to have [Landau] falsely charged and prosecuted for criminal attempt to disarm a police officer." That included attempts to "intimidate and coerce Mr. Hunold into initially giving inaccurate, distorted and incomplete statements" when he was brought to the police station after the incident, with one officer allegedly telling Hunold, "That nigger's not your friend."

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108 comments
executableapplet
executableapplet

 Rule #1

When it comes to talking to or giving information to, DO NOT talk to the police. There is nothing you can gain from talking to them, and they can AND WILL use anything you say against you (even if you think it helps you). Speak with respect and honor them as enforcers of the law, but DO NOT engage them in discussion whatsoever! And if they question you, exercise your 5th amended rights and request to speak with a lawyer first if they have any further questions.

Please. Spread the word. Copy this message! Save it as a text file. Paste it as a comment, or message, or email. Let the people know!

American Fascist*_*
American Fascist*_*

The question were all missing here is... Why do the cops have the right to pull him over in the first place? What constitutes an "illegal left turn"? The answer to that is it's completely arbitrary! The only substantive justification for pulling someone over is if his actions damaged someones property or damaged someones life and I think neither of these two happened when he made said "illegal left turn"... So in my estimation the police pulling him over in the first place is wrong and unjust, let alone beating him afterwards for invoking his fourth amendment right. Which I believe is entitled to every American citizen is it not? Oh wait I forgot we live in the Soviet States of America we no longer have "rights". All that aside the real problem here in America is not the police brutality or the crime rate going up... Those are just symptoms of a much larger problem and that is that the law itself is perverted. So what do you expect those to enforce it to be... Gentle and Kind? No quite the contrary we in our infinite wisdom have legislated ourselves into decadence and depravity of a kind we have not seen since the days of Rome or Babylon. What needs to be discussed here is really the polar opposites of Natural Law and Administrative Law. If Natural Law is disregarded like for example using tax dollars to bailout private companies... Which is akin to theft, or the Federal Reserve printing money to there hearts content which if we were to do the same we more likely would be sitting in a jail cell for twenty years on charges of "counterfeit", which is also theft of an even higher order and yet these Natural Laws are completely ignored and not enforced. In the above case however Administrative Law or arbitrary ones like "illegal left turns" are enforced to the teeth ending up with this man getting beaten almost to the point of death, the pictures seem to show. Anyhow that is just my observation and anyone interested in a more detailed discussion on Natural Law read Cicero's "The Republic and The Laws". Side note: Ben Bernanke is getting an Honorary Degree at Harvard University I believe its called the John Keynes Magician of Economics Award.

Christopher Kidwell
Christopher Kidwell

This espouses why I absolutely DO NOT trust the police in the slightest. I just don't anymore.

I've seen more instances of the police abusing their power than I ever have seen of them using their power to 'protect' someone.

Jl08
Jl08

ya had over four ounces in the car and his friend only had weed case he sold it to him....Do you know how many peoples rights he violates on a regular basis..100's..quite paying out want be thugs and buy some fing schools..

Jl08
Jl08

yo this kid is no saint hell jack you in half a second..Hes a drug dealing piece of work just playing the black card to get money..He deserved all of it...

Dealrr62
Dealrr62

yeah this really pisses me off!!!cops like this ought to lose their job and be charged,tho i was not there i believe what i just read and think that these cops are GUILTY AS HELL. WE experience a lot of the same police brutality here in SC,But due to the GOOD OLE BOY system here it seems like they(the cops) always get by with the abuse,i think its time that they start gettin what they deserve in return.YEAH I CANT TELL YOU HOW MAD THIS MAKES ME.May the landau family get what they ask for and more!!

DH
DH

In case you haven't noticed, across America, we now live in a brutal police state, with thug cops on the loose. They have the the support and complicity of prosecutors, judges and a passive public. All of this is brought to us at taxpayer expense. We have allowed freedom to evaporate and there is no getting it back.

AmericanFaith
AmericanFaith

COPs are being trained to be National Police... The police force will be nationalized, if we don't stop it...they will be working for the White House and homeland security.

Thefray2005
Thefray2005

I hate cops like them that take something good and manipulate it to their cause! Go fuck yourselves!! I swear!! Watch your back!! One day you will be the helpless ones!!

Mn Op704
Mn Op704

Lets All Be Renegades N Take Over The World... FUCK THE GOVERNMENT!!

Amobofone
Amobofone

You sound like one of the cops that beat him, "he's black, he must be no good, he's stated his constitutional right to have a warrant before his trunk is searched, that's a good enough reason for him to die today, let's beat the live out of him"! I know Alex personally, he is one of my daughter's best friends...and of all her friends he's the most polite, the most motivated, goes to college, buses to get there and to work, never misses a day! Don't read shit into the story that's not there, the cops tried that and had to recant their lies! Accept that some cops abuse their power and abuse citizens like some parents do. All their actions are NOT justified, you can't always blame the victim of their abuse! Sooner or later some one has to pay, and one of these cops was involved with the other beating caught on video...did you see that???? Did you see any provocation in that video???? Stop making excuses for bad cops before you get beat by one and we're all reading about your story in the Westword!

Druid0621
Druid0621

We should be more afraid of our police than the criminals - oh wait, they are both the same. I have lost respect for the LE community. Their primary goal is to boost revenue with bogus charges.

Bud Tokerman
Bud Tokerman

The type of police brutality that goes on today would've invoked city-wide riots and a war on cops with many deaths if this type of cop violence had been tried back during the 1960's. People back then had more guts, and there was indeed a lot of major rioting during the 60's, and people today just have too much cowardice, but also, 40+ yrs ago more people banded together against social injustice.Remember this, we outnumber 500-to-1 ,all law enforcement and military combined. If a civil war broke out, they would lose, and lose BAD.

DireNeed4EthicalLeaders
DireNeed4EthicalLeaders

Beating citizens to an inch of their life helps law enforcement "bond" and increases the cohesion and esprit de corps. And besides, if you are not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear. Nothing hear to see.

Just joshing of course.

Has anybody been charged or removed from the force yet? I used to live in some of the worst parts of Denver and would walk through some of the worst parts of Denver gang land 24/7, but I was never worried about them, at all, but I was worried that DPD would stop me on the street, after I had been drinking , and pound the living shit out of me, because they felt like it or thought I was gang-affiliated because I was in a particular gang’s turf. And if you’ve been out at the bars and are intoxicated, you become extremely vulnerable to police brutality. Staying in groups when you go out in Denver is wise -- to avoid being attacked by Denver Police, not by gangs.

Really.

Most likely, the gangs generally wouldn’t attack an innocent person because it is bad for business -- despite all the urban legends -- but the DPD is so unpredictable and so prone to excessive force that Denver is a scary place for anybody who clearly isn’t loaded with money (if the cops see you walking all over Denver, they can guess you probably cannot afford a good attorney) and is out late at night enjoying themselves. My guess this type of stuff doesn’t happen at Whole Foods (whole paycheck) in Cherry Creek.

Mayor Hickenlooper was too nice of a guy -- spineless really -- to make a stand out of the DPD beating everybody to a pulp. So, he did absolutely NOTHING to curb DPD’s brutal beatings of innocent citizens. The blood of all the innocent citizens pounded by the DPD -- for absolutely no good reason -- is all over Governor Hickenlooper. The big question is what did he do to help end police brutality while he was Mayor? Emboldening them to ignore the public’s will about marijuana may have also emboldened them to ignore general rules of conduct. Now as governor, will Hickenlooper continue to look the other way, or will he put an end to this tyranny by firing all involved, especially administration, who have allowed Denver’s Police to become the most violent police force in the nation?

Brett
Brett

Wow, I feel safer with gang members roaming the streets then I do with the Denver Police Department out on patrol now days.

SteveCruz
SteveCruz

It should be standard operating procedure for suspects to be fully photographed upon being brought in for treatment of injuries. And if there are injuries, police officers should automatically be debriefed utilizing recording equipment and a lie detector.

It should also be S.O.P. for police and firemen to be routinely required to undergo urinalysis, simply to prove the forces are clean of drugs and steroids.

Disabledamerican53
Disabledamerican53

Lets get this STRAIGHT. This Man had a MEDICAL problem, maybe SCHIZOPHENIC, CNN reports, Jared Lee Loughner, could NOT be on his Parents Medical because of PRE EXSITING. And JARED LEE LOUGHNER could NOT afford his own medical health care QUESTION:; Now would all THESE people be ALIVE if we had Obama's PUBLIC OPTION? And been able to AFFORD his OWN? Thanks john boehner, joe lieberman.

Steve
Steve

These police officers should and will be punished for this crime. Once they go to jail they will quickly realize that they can't hide behind a badge any longer. Justice, in the form of a stretched ass hole as the result of an Alabama black snake,will ultimately prevail.

Jerry
Jerry

I wonder if ALL involved in this henious crime against this kid will ALL go to prison for a LONG time.

Where is the homeland head, since these cops are terorists.

The terrorists are a LOT closer than you think, including EVERY CHEMTRAIL PILOT AND AIRFORCE TERRORIST POISONING US WITH CHEMTRAILS DAY AND NIGHT, and also including the military, military brass, and pentagon who have made the middle east radioactive with depleted uranium. THEY ARE THE TERRORISTS.

Jackboot Plaque
Jackboot Plaque

Here's a recent Westword article, "Police misconduct: Denver ranks number one in terms of excessive force complaints," that the Denver Police Department decision makers and their superiors apparently didn't take too seriously:

http://blogs.westword.com/late...

This ongoing, sadistic, police brutality besmirches the whole Denver Police Department and all law enforcement; destroys the public’s trust of law enforcement, and tears apart the law enforcement and citizen cooperation that is essential to solving all crimes (like this horrific crime committed by the DPD).

All workers on the front lines, whether they’re cops, social workers or emergency room medical personnel, are all subject to burn-out and all have a “breaking point,” where they become ineffective and sometimes abusive. And of course some people are simply not suited for this type of work.

This is a fact. But it doesn’t make it OK to smash peoples’ faces in because a cop or cops are having a bad day and enjoy hurting others. And when the front line enforcer, server, or PROTECTOR attacks the people they are supposed to protect, they should be immediately fired and “charged double like ‘people in trust’ cases,” as Rquezada suggests.

And the cops who look the other way -- when their co-workers are beating innocent citizens mercilessly -- also should be charged and pulled off the streets, until they’ve been “cleared” by objective psychiatric professionals.

FuqU1492
FuqU1492

If anyone says not all kops are bad they are fucked in the head!! If these so called few "good" kops existed they would check their co-workers!! Where are the news stories of an officer fighting off an aggressive officer? Sure hope those cartel dudes take out all their rivals( pigs ) and fast!!!!! Wait he had weed? BFD!!!!! Ya since when's the last time you've heard of a stoner mugging an old lady??????? My tax dollars are paying for cops to bust up stoners!!! Give me my shit back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gwats1957
gwats1957

This is a total abuse of the Authority we have empowered these people with. Why are they STILL on the force?

Toshawna15
Toshawna15

Pigs will be pigs.

There is total impunity when pigs terrorize and beat people of color. The fact that Mehserle was even CHARGED with a crime for executing Oscar Grant in Oakland is historic. Of course he only got a few months for an execution (convicted of involuntary manslaughter). He undoubtedly wouldn't have been charged if there weren't hundreds of witnesses and videos of the execution.

Ray Denonville
Ray Denonville

For years I have seen Randy Murr working as a bicycle cop on the 16th Street Mall. I have had casual conversations with Randy. I considered Randy just a regular guy. I don't know the other cops. What could motivate to beat someone's face like that? I'm pretty sure Randy did not have it in him to beat someone's face like that.

Crispusattucks88
Crispusattucks88

Just shows you why nobody likes or trusts cops. I'll never call 911 again. It will just bring more criminals to my house.

Cops are punks with badges. Look at their fruits.

A Concerned Party
A Concerned Party

The attorneys and Mr. Landau should consult Norm Stamper's (former Seattle Chief of Police) 2005 book entitled, "Breaking Rank. A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark side of American Policing." It addresses the epidemic of Police Racism, The Blue Wall of Silence, Insincere IAB reports, Internal Discipline as a joke. Former Chief Stamper would make an excellent expert witness for the prosecution.

Rquezada
Rquezada

They should be charged double like "people in trust" cases, like teachers, priest etc..This charge would be assult with deadly weapons, which by the way is right below attempted murder on the C.R.S. crime scale. They are sworn to uphold the law, not bend it or break at any point. There are some good fair police out there I'm sure, but even they have to turn a blind eye to whats really going on in the blue mafia. I grew up in west Denver and the cops would give you a choice back then "take an alley ride" or get arrested. Many people just got alley rides with no choice. I have seen it many times and so did the neighborhood. If the cops were too out of line the neighborhood would retaliate on their own and put a mark on those cops and they would get transferred to another district. This guy Alex Landau surely did not deserve what those police gave him that night and should be in fuckin prision for this kind of shit. They work the clubs pick up on chicks and make more money on the side then compared to their salary. Just a bunch of egotistical motherfuckers that make over a hundred grand a year if they have a good side job that pays cash every night and no taxes with union benefits even though they are not on the clock, thats right folks over 100,000 a year. Well you figure they go to work on their regular job get a little rest and go and work their night gigs 4 nights a week and get really tired and irratable when they have to go back to their regular job that requires all the paperwork, court, and the idiodic general public makes for a ticking timebomb. On the other hand the pigs that work the night shifts don't have senority and are stuck with just dealing with the night crazies and can't get the good side jobs at night so they become disgruntle about their fellow mafia members making all that untaxed dough and taking out on the poor guy who made an alleged illegal left turn and now his life is changed forever. Look at those pictures no fucking respect. With all the rambling on, I really just want everyone to get an idea of where the pigs get their mentallity from and I hope it don't get worse with all the troops that are battle hardened joining the police forces and making it worse out there for people that meet up with the blue mafia doing their dirty deeds and getting away with it.Please people if you see something be a witness to their bullshit in court for someone that has their rights violated, don't say in your mind he probably deserved it. Let a judge or jury decide that, this has to be attended to at all cost to protect our rights. Like N.W.A used to say fuck the police!

tecwax
tecwax

Corrupt cops, do they come any other way? I also find it interesting that the police get to investigate themselves. Is it any wonder they never find themselves guilty?

GaryS
GaryS

What part of "submit" do these douchbags not understand? Where do you think you live? This is America and YOU WILL SUBMIT to unwarranted search and seizure. YOU WILL SUBMIT to The Police. YOU WILL SUBMIT to your Governmental Betters. OR YOU WILL BE BEATEN BLOODY. America is dead. Long live the Tyranny! All hail Police Brutality! A Black Boot stomping a face for eternity. Americans, it is your birth right to be stopped, searched, harassed, molested, felt up, irradiated, spat upon, beaten, tortured, arrested, held in contempt, and imprisoned. Just open your mouth. Make one wrong move. Get uppity for just one moment, and your day of inheritance shall be at hand. People are saying the cops are pigs? WRONG! Americans are pigs. Pigs tolerate their shit-stained existence. Cops sit above it, indeed, they are the pig herders. WE ARE THE PIGS! We are worms to be taxed and down trodden. Don't believe me? Think I'm too harsh? Then you just try your own luck. Get out there and try it yourself. Get pulled over and squeak about your "rights," see how long your precious face lasts. You'll get the boot of tyranny, just as you deserve.

Wishgirlz
Wishgirlz

I'm a white woman, law abiding, etc. The Denver police scare the **** out of me! Sad that they are not our communities cival servants. In general they seem like control freaks with major anger and aggression issues. I hope this young man and his friend get a fair hearing and that these officers are incarcerated for their crimes.

devTom
devTom

If this has never happened to you personally, it's hard to believe it's true. But it's all too common for cops to beat a suspect and then days later add statements or charges to justify their assault. It's sad and tragic.

Robert
Robert

We need a list of all the abusive officers returned to the force and their duties. Where is Cordova?

Charice2004
Charice2004

gotta love Denver police! Let's see how they handle this!

rpchuter
rpchuter

@American Fascist*_* Since your name it self labels you as an enemy of the people, I will respond. To protect the life and property of others on the road we the people have passed laws to govern safe driving. To turn left you use a turn signal, or do not do it where there is a "no left turn sign", failure to follow that constitutes an illegal left turn. The officers should be jailed for abuse of power and aggravated assault.

Ignorance.....
Ignorance.....

You have personally, with your own eyes, seen more instances of police abusing their power than using it to protect?  Or are you saying that in the media (such as on the news) you have seen this to be the case? There's a very big difference between the two, the media will always be biased, people getting beaten makes for better news than a police officer giving a traffic ticket. Don't be ignorant or stupid people, the "police" are just normal people doing a job, there's going to be the bad ones ^^^, but they are usually not the majority, just like the majority of non police aren't bad.

disgustedamerican
disgustedamerican

@Jl08 you sound like a moron...nothing you say makes any logical sense...you don't give any facts to back anything you claim about this guy...but even if he was a weed  dealer...that doesn't make it right for these cops to beat the shit out of him...

what goes round comes round...you may find yourself in similar circumstances...if you are a cpp which you probably are...not even you are immune from this kind of outrageous behavior by other cops...

sch7363
sch7363

@Steve No, they won't. They're back on the streets.

Giaden12
Giaden12

What could motivate him? Try having major control issues and his buddies to back him up! Or how about the fact that Murr has already been implicated in another report of abuse of power prior and got away with it.Firstly, this is a kid - THEY asked him if they could search his trunk and he essentially responded NO. I guess that's the mistake we as citizen make ...that we'd best not say NO to the police even when we don't have to agree to a search of our vehicle. We'd better give them full access to our vehicles or else WE'LL HAVE OUR FACES BEATEN TO A BLOODY PULP!

I've lived in several areas over the years and this has become a pandemic issue within our society and it stinks and is not going away. About 18 months ago a 23 year old kid walking around downtown Seattle was suddenly being chased by cops on foot though many witnesses who saw them said they didn't look like police the way they were dressed. When the "suspect" finally stopped in a well lit area in front of a building the cop full bore ran straight into him and knocked him down with his head hitting the concrete in back of him. Jumping on top of him while he was unconscious, handcuffing him.

This kid now has been in a coma for almost 2 years. No charges were brought, no evidence that he had done anything wrong...except for being afraid of "people" chasing him and then stopping.

Another kid either on drugs or with mental problems was causing a nuisance in the middle of the street of his neighborhood and the cops were told he had problems. How did they handle it?They tazed him over and over and killed him.

Another man, a wood carving artist walking down the street , shot dead by a cop 7 seconds after the officer got out of the car. He was accused of having a knife...a 3 inch pocket knife, not open and not threatening anyone.

Another man about 60 years old, at an airport came from another country to visit his mother. He couldn't understand English and was receiving no help between customs and getting off the plane. He had been acting lost and confused. About 7 cops proceeded to tase him over and over and over...he died on the spot. It was caught on camera.

Another woman who was traveling to a rehab center for alcoholism was detained at the airport because she had been drinking. The cops came and took her and put her in a "detainment" room. She was supposedly left alone...chained to a bench. She was inexplicably found "strangled" by her own chain on a bench.

Another woman was beaten senseless right inside the police station by a cop who turned off the camera and proceeded to beat her. The next thing we see is her laying in a puddle of blood trying to get up off the floor. Google it, google every bit of this and you';ll see plenty of evidence of rogue cops doing the most evil of things and getting away with it.

Jerbur6
Jerbur6

your buddy seems to be involved in a few of these totally isolated incidents. he must have a side you dont see.

NILBCNU
NILBCNU

No Gary. It is the cops who are PIGS. We are the obedient sheep dutifully marching to our own slaughter.

GarySWTF
GarySWTF

GaryS.... I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing you on the news soon.

Giaden12
Giaden12

I can relate to what you are saying. I too am a 'white female' and the cops scare the YOU KNOW WHAT out of me too. Years ago I was pulled over Sunday morning on the way to church by a female cop who then proceeded to rapidly ask questions of me but not allow me to answer before cutting me off. I became flustered. Apparently, I had been going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit and my registration had just lapsed. (I'd just moved to the area and hadn't gotten organized!) She was brutish and made me and my 12 year old son get out of the car, which she promptly impounded. Another officer drove up and told us to get in that he'd drive us back home. I was so upset. I know I violated the law but to act so hostile towards me during a traffic stop and on top of that impound my car was not called for.

Just recently being a good citizen I reported a crime I saw taking place in a neighborhood I was going through on my way back home. I had stopped at a Starbucks and reported the crime to officers there but I couldn't quite tell them the exact roads and addresses because again, I was new to the area but offered to drive to the place and they could follow. 3 cop cars followed me about a mile and then I pulled over and indicated the place I saw the crime (home robbery) taking place. The one cop asked me to get out of the car and walk with him down the sidewalk while the rest of them went up and around the house. He began asking questions and I answered them all except what my name, phone and address was.

I told him I didn't want to give that personal information and needed to go. He became visibly angry and annoyed with his voice actually shaking. Then he became a little more hostile saying something like "....you people really..." but stopped himself - I'm not sure what he was trying to say but I became very uncomfortable. Then he also said something about if I don't give my information they can't press charges if they find the people and I said, well, I've given my statement, a description of the car, (including the first 3 letters of plates) and the people getting in it, the direction they left...the address at which it occurred, you have cameras all over these streets and I'm pretty sure you can find these criminals.

I also added that I'm guessing the homeowners (nice house nice area) has homeowners insurance and will make a claim....and that I believe it was my right to remain anonymous. He was still acting weird and muttering incoherantly following me back towards my car and then I turned to him and said: "besides, if you really want to know WHO I AM - well you just followed behind my car for a mile." All the while my big mean labrador retriever was snarling and barking through the window at this officer.

I needed to get out there.

Midwestmustang
Midwestmustang

Yeah, we can have Sarah Palin put crosshairs on them on a map and see if the problem magically goes away on its own!

I've had a similar run-in with the Denver cops when visiting there. As someone who knows and uses his rights, I found that as soon as I claimed any rights they didn't want to admit to, their attitude changed into one of pure hostility toward me. I calmed it down, but have always felt that I cowtowed when I shouldn't have.

American Fascist*_*
American Fascist*_*

Definitely just trying to add a little truth to the world I think hehe...

sch7363
sch7363

@Ignorance.....  You're a moron. These aren't "normal" people. They're dangerous, psychotic thugs. And where are all of these "good" cops? Any outcry from them over this savage brutality from their "brothers"?

American Fascist*_*
American Fascist*_*

*I mean perspective hehe how can you add truth? when it is already a whole lol oops another question which can take thousands of years to answer! do forgive me...

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