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Thread: Police Abuse

  1. #391

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    Clint Peterson Was Killed by Police While Running Away

    Why did a Duncanville police officer shoot Clint Peterson? Don't bother asking the cops.

    There still are a few reminders left of Clint Peterson on Kelly Court, the quiet, leafy street in Duncanville where he was shot to death.

    A neighbor's white pickup that Peterson once repaired is parked in a driveway. Across the street is the home of an elderly couple whose lawn he mowed for extra cash. A small bouquet of flowers sits outside another house in the middle of the block, where the three women who witnessed Peterson's brief, fatal encounter with police all live.

    A few houses down, there is a more gruesome trace of Peterson — faint bloodstains on the concrete driveway where he collapsed after being shot.

    Shyanna Gallegos lives at the house with the bouquet out in front. She says she woke up early the morning of October 28 to the sound of Melissa Peterson, one of her housemates, yelling at her brother Clint in the driveway, telling him to go home.

    Gallegos' mom, Debra, the third witness, and Clint Peterson had dated on and off. But lately he was no longer welcome at the house. He was depressed and drank often. He stayed with a family friend not far away, who says Peterson planned to go to rehab later that day.

    The police reports describe the scene before the shooting as a "major disturbance," but Peterson's sister and girlfriend dispute that account. They say they simply wanted him to leave. He often came over uninvited. And that morning, Peterson, a talented mechanic, had messed with some switches on Gallegos' car, so that the lights wouldn't work until he came back later to fix it. "He made me mad about the car, which now I look at it, it wasn't that big of a deal," Debra Gallegos says.

    After the yelling woke her up, Shyanna Gallegos ran downstairs. "I told Melissa, 'Just shut up, go inside, leave Clint alone, I'll go out and talk to him," she says. The younger Gallegos considered Peterson a best friend and says she tried to mediate the fights he'd get into with her housemates. He seemed calm to her. He told her he found a job and promised he'd leave if he could get a cigarette. "The thing I don't understand is why there was even an argument to begin with, because when I came outside to talk to Clint, he had no problem talking to me and telling me what was going on," she says.

    She told him to wait a minute and she'd bring him a smoke. Inside the house, her mother was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, telling them about the car. Shyanna Gallegos says she told her mother to give the dispatcher a warning: Peterson might be carrying a fake gun that easily could be mistaken for a real one. Or, at least he had been carrying one a few days prior. The women insist it was just a toy. Still, they feared it could cause trouble if a police officer saw it and thought it was real.

    "We weren't sure the state of mind that Clint was in," Shyanna Gallegos says. "We wanted the officers to know that he might have a fake gun on him, that it is fake, for sure," and that "he would be more likely to be suicidal than to hurt anybody."

    The three women say that Peterson was already walking away from their house as two Duncanville Police Department officers drove toward him and parked next to the curb. Within a minute, they say, he was dead.

    The eyewitnesses say that the police officers, unprovoked, cornered Peterson and shot a Taser gun at him as he backed away with his hands in his pockets. They say that prompted Peterson to turn his back and run, but that he barely made it around a tree before an officer fired two bullets at him from point-blank range. Neighbors heard two gunshots. The three women believe it was the second bullet that struck Peterson, hitting him in the back of the head and killing him.

    "If they lunged two steps, they could have tackled him, or used their Taser," says Melissa Peterson. "He didn't pull nothing, they didn't tell him nothing, they didn't tell him to stop, they didn't tell him to put his hands up."

    If what the women say is true, it would be an outrageous story and difficult to believe. Yet so far, the police haven't released any information providing any other narrative.

    Documents from the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office say Peterson, formally known as Clinton, died of a gunshot wound to the head, a homicide. He was 28 years old. The Duncanville Police Department has declined to release a police report to the family or the public that would explain how the killing occurred, saying they aren't obligated to release information because the case remains under investigation.

    Instead, the department has been distributing a vague news release. It says that "shots were fired" after officers responded to a "major disturbance" in the 400 block of Kelly Court. But the official account doesn't say what that disturbance was, who fired the shots, whether or not the suspect was armed with any real or fake weapon or where he was hit.

    What few details are in the report seem to at least confirm that Peterson had been running away before he was shot.

    "Preliminary reports indicate that shots were fired during a foot chase," says the Duncanville Police Department's statement.

    The courts ruled long ago that foot chases aren't a justification to shoot at an unarmed suspect.

    In 1974, a Memphis Police Department officer named Elton Hymon shot at an unarmed 15-year-old burglary suspect who was trying to climb over a fence. The bullet struck the teenager in the back of his head, killing him.

    At the time, the police department argued that officers were legally justified to shoot the teenager under Tennessee law. A state statute had said that police pursuing a suspect could "use all the necessary means to effect the arrest."

    The victim's father didn't agree and brought a lawsuit against the city of Memphis and its police department.

    Tennessee v. Gardner made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1985 ruled that an officer can use deadly force on a fleeing suspect only if the officer "has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others." Now, attorneys say, the ruling provides clear guidance that police officers can't shoot unarmed suspects on the run.

    "The only time you can possibly do it is, if that person was a danger to others or himself," says Jim Harrington, a human rights attorney who founded the Texas Civil Rights Project. "But simply running away from the officer, you can't do it."

    More recently, in December 2011, an Austin Police Department officer named Chris Allen shot 14 rounds at a suspect driving away in a stolen vehicle. The suspect survived and was later arrested. Nonetheless, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Allen. Allen's use of deadly force "was objectively unreasonable and not within department policy," the police chief told the Austin American-Statesman last year.

    "If the story is that the individual was running away from police," and unarmed, says Todd Shapiro, a criminal defense attorney who used to be a prosecutor at the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, then "justification for using deadly force would seem to be unavailable in this situation. I would expect that police officer would be charged with murder."

    The Dallas County Sheriff's Department is conducting a criminal investigation. With the shooting under review, the sheriff can withhold much of the normally public information that would provide clues into Peterson's death — such as the police report, the 911 tapes or footage from any dash-cams the officers may have had.

    In response to an open records request from reporters, the sheriff's office says the case may be presented to a Dallas County grand jury, and if it is, "release of the video, audio and the offense report would allow the officers being investigated to have access to evidence and case analysis before the grand jury meets on this matter."

    Sherry Horne, Peterson's mother, has also asked for a report. "I need closure. I need answers and nobody will give me answers," she says.

    The Duncanville Police Department is similarly mum on details as it works on a separate investigation into whether either of the officers who responded violated any department policy.

    The officers who confronted Peterson were out on paid administrative leave for less than a week before returning to work. They're both back to their normal duties, the Duncanville Police Department says. The officers' names haven't been released to the public.

    "I don't see anything wrong with that decision," says Robert Brown, the Duncanville police chief. "The officers have not been charged with any criminal offense. They're simply being investigated as an officer would who's used deadly force."

    News of Peterson's death was overshadowed by reports of other officer-involved shootings in North Texas that were more obviously egregious, with video footage quickly made public.

    On October 14, Dallas Police Department Officer Cardan Spencer shot and wounded a mentally ill man holding a knife in the middle of a residential street in south Dallas. In an initial police report, Spencer's partner Christopher Watson had claimed that the man raised the knife in an "aggressive manner" shortly before the shooting. But surveillance footage that a neighbor captured shows the man standing with a knife by his side. After the neighbor sent his video to WFAA, the Dallas Police Department fired Spencer and now plans to present a case against him to a grand jury. Spencer's partner who wrote the report, Christopher Watson, was also recently suspended by Dallas Police Chief David Brown for giving "misleading statements" in the report.

    And in November, a Garland Police Department Officer who shot and killed a suspect was indicted. It was the first time in 17 years that any Dallas County grand jury indicted an officer who shot a suspect. Garland Officer Patrick Tuter killed 25-year-old Michael Vincent Allen on August 31, 2012, after a lengthy car chase.

    At first, the Garland Police Department said that Allen had rammed his truck into Tuter's police car before the officer fired at him.

    Yet soon afterward, the department revised its official story and gave the public new details about what happened. The department announced that dash-cam footage revealed it was actually the officer who had crashed his squad car into the suspect's truck before firing as many as 41 rounds. Within a week after the shooting, Tuter was placed on extended leave and the department confiscated his city-owned weapons.

    In Peterson's case, the most vivid picture has come from the three witnesses, although their accounts are sometimes inconsistent. The housemates gave statements to the police shortly after and were told they can't get more information until the case is delivered to the District Attorney's Office.

    Most other people on the street say they didn't see or hear anything that morning, that they were waking up or not home. A few people heard two gunshots but didn't know where they came from. Another witness, a man who lives next door to the house where Peterson died, said he looked out of his bedroom window after hearing the second gunshot and saw Peterson lying on his stomach in the driveway, with his head gushing blood. A police officer pushed three women away from the body as the women asked why they shot him, the neighbor recalls.

    The neighbor can't speak English but gave an interview with his wife translating, on the condition that he not be named. He says he saw no weapons by Peterson's body and "didn't see nothing in his arms."

    Peterson moved to Duncanville a year and a half ago, following his sister Melissa. They grew up in Salina, a small town in the middle of Utah where they struggled to find work.

    He stayed on and off at the crowded house on Kelly Court and fell in love with Debra Gallegos. He repaired cars and mowed lawns in the neighborhood. He even found a stable job at a home improvement store. But he lost the job, and the relationship fell apart. Debra Gallegos said it was the age difference that bothered her — at 50, she was 22 years older than Peterson.

    Shyanna Gallegos says he also caused trouble by trying to bring alcohol over, even though the women didn't want it in the house.

    And, according Debbie Scroggins, Gallegos' half-sister who also lived there, Peterson was also a drug addict, making him act strangely but never violently. "I've never seen him hit anybody, he just would steal," Scroggins says. (Scroggins wasn't home when the shooting took place.)

    Whatever the reason for the break-up, he didn't take the news well. He stayed with Bobby Smith, an acquaintance who has his own lawn-mowing business. "He was real depressed and stuff," Smith says.

    Even while he stayed with Smith, Peterson would often walk over to the Gallegos' home, uninvited. He would stand on the driveway, begging Debra Gallegos to talk to him. "He would stand outside my mom's window at night and throw some rocks, like a little lovebird would, and be like, 'Hey Debbie, come out and talk to me.' And whether my mom came out and talk to him or not, that was on her," Shyanna Gallegos says. "Everyone had a problem with my mom and Clint being together, that's why nobody wanted Clint around."

    On some mornings, Scroggins would find what she assumed were Peterson's cigarette butts littered on the driveway. Another morning, Scroggins noticed nails in her tire, which she also thought could be Peterson's doing. She called the police. An officer came to the house and found no leads. Scroggins says the officer suggested they call back if Peterson reappeared.

    Despite all that, Scroggins says she mostly got along with Peterson. "I didn't like some of the stuff he did, but as a person, I liked him." Apparently, Peterson wasn't charged for that incident, or anything else while he lived in Texas. A search of his name and date of birth shows no arrests in the state.

    The other women downplay the tire incident and Peterson's alleged substance abuse. "Most of the time, all my brother did was drink," Melissa Peterson says.

    Yet they knew the toy gun could cause trouble. Scroggins once saw him carrying it in his waistband. To her it looked real.

    "I said, 'You have a gun? Oh my God, you have no business with a gun,'" Scroggins recalled.

    Shyanna Gallegos said she could tell by just looking that it was an airsoft gun. "He came up to me acting like some kind of badass, he's like, 'I got this gun, I found it,'" she says. "I'm like, 'That's fake,' and he goes, 'No it ain't.' 'I'm like, Clint that's fake, I'm not an idiot.'" She grabbed it out of his hand, and shook it, hearing plastic toy pellets inside. He told her he found it in a trash bin. Gallegos saw a crack in the side. She tried to pull the trigger but it was jammed.

    Suspects who hold guns in front of police — real or fake — are likely to end up getting shot, even if they are fleeing. "If a guy has a gun, they're entitled to shoot him. The courts won't second guess the cop in that kind of dangerous situation," says Harrington, the civil rights attorney.

    Yet the witnesses insist he never pointed it at officers. They say they're still not sure if he even had it on him the morning he died.

    The police came quickly that morning. Debra Gallegos was still on the phone with 911. Her daughter ran downstairs with Peterson's cigarette but he already walked off and was several houses away. There were two officers, one on a motorcycle and one in a squad car. They parked a few houses down, in front of the address where Peterson would soon die.

    The whole confrontation happened quickly. "They weren't prepared, they weren't prepared at all," Debra Gallegos says. It was the one on the motorcycle who got the women's attention. "He came with a hot head," she adds.

    Shyanna Gallegos, the one closest to the officers, says the motorcycle officer stumbled off his bike with his hand already on his weapon. She says she heard him ask, "Hey can you talk?" but didn't give Peterson a chance to respond. She began running toward them, telling them, "Don't shoot." Her mom and Melissa Peterson were behind her. Peterson, with his hands in his pockets, backed away.

    They heard a Taser fired and then saw a Taser prong tangled in the trees. Peterson dodged it, turned and ran around a tree. The officers quickly closed in, and one of them, just a yard away from Peterson, fired at him. The second bullet caused his body to lunge forward onto the driveway.


    Debra Gallegos says she stayed on the phone with 911 the whole time. "I said, 'I thought I told you that it was a fake gun, if he even had one,'" Gallegos says.

    Shyanna Gallegos got to the scene first, and a moment later, the two other women ran up. Gallegos says she asked the officer why he shot Peterson, and the officer, still holding his gun, was "freaking out," repeating "I don't know," and then "because he ran."

    Told about the witnesses' story, Chief Brown says he can't comment on it until all the official investigations into the shooting are finished. "People are going to have their opinions of what took place, and I respect that. They're giving you their account of what occurred," Brown says. "So what I want to do is take the whole puzzle, and make decisions from the whole puzzle, not just pieces of it."

    The only investigative document released to the public so far is the preliminary cause of death sheet, which says that Peterson died of a gunshot wound to the head. Brown says he hasn't seen that, though it was obtained by the Observer. "Where he was shot, how many times he was shot, the part of body, I don't have any of that information," Brown says.

    The women begged the officers to check on Peterson. "They didn't even check to see if he was dead or alive. They didn't even touch him," his sister says. Shyanna ran around and tried to grab his hand. They say the officer from the motorcycle tugged on her shirt and pulled her away.

    What particularly troubles the witnesses is that dozens more police officers showed up in cars just minutes later. If that whole group had come at once, earlier, maybe they could have caught Peterson at the end of the block alive. "They should have been prepared and not sent one officer on that motorcycle and another one in a patrol car. They should have had more substantial resources than what they brought on," Debra Gallegos says. Within 15 minutes, they say, the ambulance came, but Peterson was clearly dead.

    Debra Gallegos maintains that the 911 tape will back up her story from the shooting.

    "The 911 tape's going to tell it all," she says.

    Standing on the driveway where Peterson died, she turns to look back at her house. "That's a close range," she says. "You're an officer, you're trained, and there's two of you, and you couldn't have tackled the guy?"
    http://www.dallasobserver.com/2013-1...ing-away/full/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.



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  3. #392

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    An Offer You Can’t Refuse
    How US Federal Prosecutors Force Drug Defendants to Plead Guilty

    DECEMBER 5, 2013
    The 126-page report details how prosecutors throughout the United States extract guilty pleas from federal drug defendants by charging or threatening to charge them with offenses carrying harsh mandatory sentences and by seeking additional mandatory increases to those sentences. Prosecutors offer defendants a much lower sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. Since drug defendants rarely prevail at trial, it is not surprising that 97 percent of them decide to plead guilty.

    http://www.hrw.org/node/120933
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  4. #393

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    In NYC you've got roughly a 50/50 chance of being shot purposely as opposed to accidentally by the cops.

    NYPD Shootings by the Numbers, 2012 Edition
    The New York Times has the stats today from a police department report detailing all of the shootings in 2012 involving NYPD officers. More people were killed by police and more cops were shot last year than any other time during the Bloomberg administration.

    People hit by NYPD gunfire: 30

    People killed by NYPD gunfire: 16

    People shot by the NYPD accidentally (bystanders or accidental discharge): 14

    Total rounds fired by NYPD: 331

    Total rounds fired during one incident in Washington Heights: 84

    Officers shot: 13

    Officers killed in shootings: 0

    Officers who killed themselves with NYPD guns: 8

    Dogs shot by NYPD: 24

    Officers disciplined for violating deadly force guidelines: 1
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...bers-2012.html
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  5. #394

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    ‘Oh, You’re Gonna Shoot Me?’ Robert Cameron Redus

    ‘‘What are you gonna do? Shoot me?" Samuel Vanettes

    The answer is clear. Yes, they will.

    A former sheriff’s deputy on trial for murder in an off-duty shooting at a Murrieta bar took the witness stand Monday, Dec. 2, testifying that he fired his gun in self-defense after the victim’s friends threatened to kill him.

    “I thought these guys were gonna kill me with my own gun,” Dayle William Long testified. “I didn’t want to die.”

    Long, 44, who has been in custody with bail set at $1 million, was a 10-year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department assigned to a courtroom at the time of the Dec. 21, 2011 shooting. He has pleaded not guilty.

    Prosecutors have said Long, angry and drunk, shot 36-year-old Samuel Vanettes without provocation at Spelly’s Pub and Grille on Murrieta Hot Springs Road.

    After meeting Vanettes and his friends at the bar and hanging out with them for a while, Long began arguing over trivial things and traded angry words with one of Vanettes’ friends, prosecutor Burke Strunsky said earlier in the trial.

    Long pointed the gun at Vanettes, who was standing several feet away, with his hands up, Strunsky said.

    Vanettes asked Long, ‘‘What are you gonna do? Shoot me?’” Strunsky said.

    Long fired six shots, four of which struck Vanettes, he said.

    On the witness stand, Long gave a vastly different account, saying it was Vanettes’ group who got angry for no reason and threatened him. Long said he had consumed six to seven drinks but was not drunk and his judgment was not impaired.

    In a soft, calm voice, Long used law enforcement terms to describe the shooting and spoke in the present tense of his training, as if he were still a deputy. Under questioning from defense attorney Leah Kisner, Long said the situation at the bar clearly called for “deadly force.”
    Looking back on the moment of the shooting, Long said, he would do the same thing again.

    Vanettes’ sister, April Reilly, who witnessed the shooting, testified earlier that Long had seemed like a nice guy at first but then started making odd remarks and arguing. When Vanettes mentioned a place where he used to live in Orange County, Long insisted the streets Vanettes named didn’t exist, Reilly said. She said she asked the bartender to call 911 when Long pulled a gun.

    But Long said Vanettes was the one who got agitated about the street names and he denied pulling the gun until later.

    Long said that two men with Vanettes’ group got angry at him for no apparent reason, threatening to take his gun away from him and kill him. One of the men, Chris Hull, advanced towards him, he said. Long said he pushed him repeatedly, telling the men to back off.

    Long said he was backing toward the door holding his gun when he felt someone – apparently Vanettes – grab at his hand. He said he felt “kind of a shove.”

    He said he moved back and, with his eyes closed and the gun low, opened fire. Long said it happened fast and he didn’t know it was Vanettes he was shooting at.

    “I was trying to stop the threat,” Long said.

    Long said he backed up a few steps and called police dispatch on his cell phone.

    “I needed help,” he said. “I was just in an officer-involved shooting.”
    http://www.pe.com/local-news/riversi...-testifies.ece
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  6. #395

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    EXCLUSIVE: INNOCENT MAN SUES AFTER COPS BEAT HIM & PEPPER-SPRAY THE WOUNDS
    1 day ago | US | Posted by Ben Swann Staff
    December 9, 2013

    Adam Williams, a citizen of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, claims he is victim of police brutality. Williams and his brother were outside of a local sports-bar when the two decided to walk outside and wait for their friend to pay a tab. Once outside, the two say they encountered an intoxicated stranger who was urinating on the sidewalk. After a brief encounter with the two, the stranger disappeared into the night.

    Moments later, the head of security arrived and began threatening the two for urinating on the sidewalk. The two told the security guard that they had done no such thing and were simply waiting for a friend.

    “Due to the fact we were breaking no laws, Jared (Williams’ brother) & I remained where we stood & continued to legally wait for our friend Dean,” Williams wrote in a statement to police.

    The security guard called for police who arrived from across the street moments later. In total, 6 police began interrogating the two brothers.

    The two told police what had happened, but claim police had little interest, as they continued to move in on them. One officer told the two to shut up, or they’d talk their way into jail. Williams says they asked police if they were being detained, or if they were free to go multiple times and received no answer.

    “In moments, six police were surrounding us,” said Williams. One officer then yelled at the two, “Buddy, you ain’t being detained! You’re free to go!” However, while saying this, the officers continued to advance the two.

    “It was clear we were not free to go,” says Williams. In fear of the sudden escalation, the two asked to speak with the supervising officer on duty. At that moment, Officer Keith Sanders stepped forward and yelled, “I’m the g**da**, fu****g supervisor! Don’t you know what this means,” as he pointed to his uniform patch.

    At this point, the two told Sanders’ they would be contacting his supervisors to inform them of the rude behavior. As the two were told they weren’t being detained, they turned to leave. At this moment, officer Sanders reached forward and threw Williams onto the concrete. The officers immediately jumped Williams and began to beat him.

    Officers punched Williams multiple times in the face and head. They then cuffed him and placed him into the patrol car of officer Kennith White. Police claim that moments later Williams began kicking the back seat of the patrol car. Officer White then opened the car door to pepper-spray Williams in his face and on his fresh wounds. Officer White then slammed shut the door leaving Williams to suffocate in the mist.



    Police then took Williams to the detention center where they strapped him into a chair and slammed his face onto the metal table in front of him.

    According to the civil lawsuit submitted by attorney Jon Rodgers, there is video footage police slamming Williams’ head into the table. The police department is being sued for personal damages, $5ook, and fees. Rodgers says that his client’s Fourth & Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

    Police charged Williams with two separate counts of assault on an officer, resisting arrest and public intoxication. Once released, Williams went to the local emergency department where doctors suspected he had a fractured wrist. Once the lawsuit moved forward, the defendants offered to drop all charges and costs against Williams except one. ”I’m not going to settle,” says Williams.

    Officer White was also recently engaged in an altercation with a city firefighter. Many are accusing officer White of using excessive force for punching Jerry Mosely, a firefighter living in the same county, multiple times in the ribs. (Video Below)


    The police department released a statement stating that officer White’s actions were necessary. Mosely says the police department’s statement of events released to the media are untrue.

    Mosely and Williams have since been in contact with one another to discuss their unfortunate experiences with excessive use of force from a police officer.




    Read more: http://benswann.com/exclusive-innoce...#ixzz2n5NumKu9
    Follow us: @BenSwann_ on Twitter
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  7. #396

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    Police officers fatally shot an emotionally distressed man eight times in his Harlem apartment after one cop accidentally shot his fellow officer with a Taser, prompting the injured officer to scream "He's stabbing me, shoot him!"

    This revelation in the death of 29-year-old Mohamed Bah comes from the NYPD's own shooting incident report completed in December of last year, two months after officers killed Bah, claiming he had lunged at him with a knife.

    Former NYPD spokesman Paul Browne made no mention of this crucial detail in describing the scene at Bah's apartment to the New York Times. Emergency Services Unit officers had broken down Bah's door and fired a Taser and a rubber bullet at Bah, despite the fact that Bah's mother, concerned for her son's well being, had called 911 to request an ambulance.

    “None of those firings have any visible effect,” Mr. Browne said. “At this point, it’s not a matter of even keeping him from charging; he is now stabbing two E.S.U. officers in their vests, and one of them, as this guy keeps stabbing, yells, ‘He’s stabbing me; shoot him.’ ”

    In fact, Sergeant Joseph McCormack had shot Detective Edwin Mateo with a Taser gun in his arm, prompting Mateo's cry. Randolph McLaughlin, an attorney for Bah's family, said that the NYPD knowingly withheld the information from his clients.

    "They knew it from the get-go," McLaughlin said. "This is essentially a coverup."

    The Manhattan DA also had knowledge of the officers' actions. The DA's office presented evidence to a grand jury two weeks ago, which found that the officers involved were justified in their slaying of Bah.


    The scene outside Mohamed Bah's apartment after he was killed by police (NYPD)

    "That blows my mind," McLaughlin said of the grand jury's decision. "It calls into question the fairness and fullness of the DA's investigation."

    McLaughlin sued the city earlier this fall, but many of the pertinent details in Bah's case were missing until the judge in the case compelled the authorities to turn them over. Photos show that Bah's body was apparently dragged down a set of stairs, and McLaughlin says there is compelling evidence to show that he was alive when this took place.

    "This kind of behavior shocks the conscience."

    "The case involves tragic circumstances. The Law Department has just received the amended complaint," City attorney Ashley Garman says. "We'll evaluate the matter thoroughly."

    Compounding the seeming ineptitude of the NYPD, the knife that police allege Bah, a cab driver and college student, was wielding that night, has been lost. Police say it was swept away in Hurricane Sandy's storm surge.

    "If I'm slashing cops with a knife, then you take that knife, take DNA samples from it, and secure it," McLaughlin says. "You're saying it disappeared? Really?"

    McLaughlin is suing the City and the officers involved in federal court for $70 million, and says he hopes that the case forces the new mayor and NYPD commissioner to change how it responds to the more than 100,000 calls for emotionally disturbed persons (EDPs) each year.

    "The Emergency Services Unit aren't trained mental health professionals. They're trained to use force, whether it's rubber bullets or Tasers," McLaughlin says. "It's a double stigma of race and mental illness. Fear can cause people to kill other people. They were afraid of [Bah], and it resulted in his death."
    You can read a copy of the amended complaint below.
    http://gothamist.com/2013/12/09/laws...nother_cop.php
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  8. #397

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    Judge puts suits alleging illegal strip searches on fast track
    Cases filed after former Milwaukee police officer sentenced

    Some of the many federal civil rights lawsuits that contend Milwaukee police conducted illegal strip and body cavity searches of drug suspects appear on a fast track, scheduled for trial as early as June, with deadlines much sooner for settlement reports and key motions.

    The flood of lawsuits — 12 so far involving 20 plaintiffs, with more suits expected — began in June after former officer Michael Vagnini was sentenced to 26 months in prison. He pleaded no contest to four felonies and four misdemeanors related to the illegal searches.

    If successful, the claims could leave the City of Milwaukee on the hook for millions of dollars in damages.

    Generally, the plaintiffs claim to have been stopped and searched without reasonable cause and subjected to varying degrees of humiliating public strip searches or manual searches of their anal areas. In some instances, police did find drugs, but in most no contraband was discovered.

    During a scheduling conference last month for one of the cases, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller told Assistant City Attorney Susan Lappen the city may have to hire outside counsel to share the burden of defending all the cases — if any actually wind up being tried.

    "These cases are going to move in this branch of the court," Stadtmueller said, according to a transcript of the hearing.

    "Unlike fine wine, they do not get better with age," the judge said. "And whether it's the Milwaukee Police Department or the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, very sadly, we have a cornucopia of litigation involving prisoners' rights and police officers who apparently stray from that which we expect from the law enforcement community.

    "And the sooner these cases are addressed in open court, the sooner we will have a law enforcement community that can be proud of their work and the community proud to have them working. But, unfortunately, we do not see that today particularly in light of these cases."

    Stadtmueller told the assistant city attorney to inform her boss to assign appropriate resources, "because we're going to bring these cases to conclusion, whether in July or September."

    Lappen did not return a phone message.

    So far, four of the pending cases have been assigned to Stadtmueller. In the oldest case, he has set a March 25 deadline for the parties to file an interim report on progress toward settlement.

    One case before another judge involves nine plaintiffs. In that case, the city has asked to separate the claims, on the grounds that each search is distinct and it is difficult to determine whether there are common legal issues.

    In response, the plaintiffs argue it would be more difficult to try the claims against 14 defendants separately. The plaintiffs contend the searches were part of common practice among a group of officers in District 5 and were undertaken with supervisors' knowledge and tacit endorsement.

    U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman has not yet ruled on the city's motion to separate the case into nine separate cases.

    The city also has moved to dismiss claims that it and Chief Edward Flynn are directly liable because they had a policy or practice of allowing the illegal searches, and other claims of other suits, on the grounds the plaintiffs don't offer sufficient facts to support the claims.

    In civil rights cases against police officers, claims that they were acting pursuant to an authorized pattern or practice or because they were not trained to recognize civil rights violations are often dismissed.

    The plaintiffs respond that they have easily met the threshold for such claims to proceed, citing the Police Department's knowledge as early as 2008 about numerous citizen complaints regarding the anal searches.

    While the city argues that "unsustained" complaints are not evidence of unlawful searches, the plaintiffs say the fact that no officers were ever disciplined led them to believe such searches were acceptable or that their methods would never be closely examined.

    In yet other cases, the city has asked that plaintiffs be ordered to file a more definitive statement of their claim, saying the original lawsuit was so vague the city couldn't prepare a proper response.

    Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/j...#ixzz2n5RBwvvC
    Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  9. #398

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    Hat tip to aGoT....

    18 LA sheriff's officials charged in jail probe(LOL at 5% bad)
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roughly three years ago, a man referred to in a federal indictment as "Visitor LF" went to Men's Central Jail to discuss his inability to visit his brother there. Instead, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy allegedly handcuffed him, took him to a break room with no windows or public access, and threw him against a refrigerator.

    His arm was fractured in the encounter and he received cuts to his nose and face, according to indictments unsealed Monday. Afterward, four deputies tried to have him falsely charged with resisting an executive officer. The man was detained for about five days and ultimately released without being charged.

    It was one among many allegations announced by federal officials as they charged 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's officials with beating inmates and jail visitors, falsifying reports, and trying to obstruct an FBI probe of the nation's largest jail system.

    The investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses led to the arrests Monday of 16 of the 18 defendants. The 13 who were arraigned entered not guilty pleas. At least two no longer work for the department.

    "These incidents did not take place in a vacuum. In fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.

    Flanked by some of his top command staff, Sheriff Lee Baca told reporters Monday that he was troubled by the charges and called it a sad day for his department. He said the department would continue to cooperate with the FBI and that deputies who have been charged would be relieved of duty and have their pay suspended.

    Among allegations in a criminal complaint and four grand jury indictments:

    — Deputies unlawfully detained and used force on visitors to Men's Central Jail, including detaining and handcuffing the Austrian consul general in one instance, and in another, grabbing a man by the neck, forcing his head into a refrigerator, throwing him to the floor and pepper-spraying his eyes.

    — Deputies falsified reports to make arrests seem lawful or in one case, struck, kicked and pepper-sprayed an inmate and made false reports to have the inmate charged with and prosecuted for assaulting deputies.

    — Deputies tried to thwart the investigation by unsuccessfully seeking a court order to get the FBI to provide documents and attempted to intimidate a lead FBI agent by falsely saying they were going to seek a warrant for her arrest.

    View galleryAndre Birotte, U.S. Attorney for the Central District …
    Andre Birotte, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, at podium, and Bill Lewis, Assi …
    Those charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice include two lieutenants, one of whom oversaw the department's safe jails program and another who investigated allegations of crimes committed by sheriff's personnel.

    They're accused along with two sergeants and three deputies with trying to prevent the FBI from contacting an informant by falsifying records to appear that he had been released when he had been moved to different cells under false names.


    http://news.yahoo.com/18-la-sheriff-...073622415.html
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  10. #399

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    [QUOTE
    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows inmate Stanley Wrice. On Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, a Cook County judge overturned the rape conviction for Wrice who has been in prison for 30 years. He will be released from Pontiac Correctional Center on Wednesday. The ruling comes two days after key witness Bobby Joe Williams testified detectives working for former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge tortured him into falsely testifying against Wrice. (AP Photo/Illinois Department of Corrections) (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

    CHICAGO – A man who says Chicago police tortured him until he confessed to a rape he did not commit walked out of an Illinois prison on Wednesday after spending 30 years behind bars.

    Stanley Wrice's release from the Pontiac Correctional Center came a day after Cook County Judge Richard Walsh overturned the 59-year-old's conviction, saying officers lied about how they had treated him.

    The ruling was just the latest development in one of the darkest chapters of Chicago Police Department history, in which officers working under former Lt. Jon Burge were accused of torturing suspects into false confessions and torturing witnesses into falsely implicating people in crimes.

    Wrice has insisted for years that he confessed to the 1982 sexual assault after officers beat him in the groin and face. And a witness testified at a hearing Tuesday that he falsely implicated Wrice in the rape after two Chicago police officers under Burge's command tortured him.

    He was sentenced to 100 years in prison.

    Now that Walsh has ordered Wrice's release, it will be up to a special prosecutor to decide whether to retry him. The special prosecutor did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday evening.

    With his release, Wrice will join a number of men who in recent years have been released from prison because they were tortured into confessing at the hands of Burge's men. Dozens of men -- almost all of them black -- have claimed that, starting in the 1970s, Burge and his officers beat or shocked them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.

    In court Tuesday, Wrice testified that two former officers beat him with a flashlight and a 20-inch piece of rubber -- the same weapons, lawyers say, that others have said the two used on them to get them to confess to crimes or implicate others in crimes they did not commit.

    The officers refused to testify at Tuesday's hearing, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/11...test+-+Text%29[/QUOTE]//
    "The Patriarch"

  11. #400

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    Read the last three lines.


    Man wounded in latest Dallas police shooting had his hands in the air, witness says

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime...tness-says.ece

    By TANYA EISERER and TRISTAN HALLMAN

    Staff Writers

    Published: 10 December 2013 09:58 PM

    Updated: 10 December 2013 10:54 PM

    For the second time in two months, a Dallas police officer is under scrutiny for shooting a man for no apparent reason.

    A witness said he watched an officer shoot carjacking suspect Kelvion Walker, 19, Monday afternoon even though Walker had both hands in the air and showed no signs of having a weapon. Walker has not been charged with a crime and is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital.

    “I don’t condone these two young men stealing this car,” said the witness, Scottie Smith II, a real estate agent and property manager. “I surely don’t condone these two young men driving into my complex and giving my complex this negative publicity.

    “But I do not condone an officer shooting a man with his hands up in the air.”

    After inquiries from The Dallas Morning News, the department issued a news release late Tuesday about the shooting.

    The statement said that no weapon was found in the car. It also said police were reviewing dash cam video from the squad cars and were attempting to enhance the video “to assist in the investigation.”

    The statement did not name Smith, but did say that police had spoken to an independent witness who told them that Walker had both his hands in the air.

    The statement identified the officer who shot Walker as Senior Cpl. Amy Wilburn, who was hired in 2001. She has been placed on administrative leave, a routine procedure in such cases. Her attorney, Robert Rogers, said there is more to the story.

    “The focus should be on what the officer involved knew and saw at the exact moment,” said Rogers. “Without getting into the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can promise you that the officer involved was in fear for her life at that exact moment.”

    Monday’s shooting comes in the wake of a mid-October case in which a residential surveillance video showed a Dallas police officer shooting a mentally ill man who was standing with his arms at his side while holding a knife. That officer has been fired and his partner was reprimanded. It also led to a change in the way the Dallas Police Department deals with officers who have been involved in shootings.

    Previously, those officers would typically give investigators detailed statements about the incidents within hours of the incident.

    But the new policy requires officers to take 72 hours before giving detectives an official statement. Officers can still provide an immediate bare-bones walk-through with their attorney present so investigators can start their work.

    Carjacking report

    According to police records, the events that led up to Walker’s shooting began with a carjacking about 2:15 p.m. at a gas station in the 9500 block of Bruton Road. Wilburn and other officers responded to the robbery.

    A 24-year-old man told police that he was parked at the gas station when he was approached by a man in an “aggressive manner.”

    He fled to a nearby carwash and watched as two people drove off in his 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. He told police that the passenger fired two shots at him as they fled.

    Authorities contacted the car’s lien holder and police tracked it through a vehicle GPS.

    Authorities say Wilburn and Officer Jason Correa saw the stolen car heading south on St. Augustine Road near Military Parkway in Pleasant Grove.

    Wilburn turned on her red lights to stop the car, but the driver sped up and turned into the St. Augustine Townhomes.

    Police said the car slowed, and the driver jumped out and ran away. That driver remained at large late Tuesday.

    As the car continued to roll, Wilburn approached to stop it. The statement said she didn’t realize Walker was in the front passenger seat.

    “Officer Wilburn perceived Walker to be an imminent threat, drew her weapon and discharged it once striking him,” the statement said.

    Walker was charged with misdemeanor theft in 2011 and received deferred adjudication, according to Dallas County records. The charge was dismissed in 2012 after he completed probation.

    Walker is a fifth-year senior at Spruce High School in Pleasant Grove, according to his former head football coach, Carl Richardson, who described Walker as “a good kid.”

    “I don’t know what the story was, but he was always respectful toward me,” Richardson said Tuesday.

    Witness’s account

    Smith, the witness, said he was on the phone and sitting in his car waiting for a prospective tenant to arrive when the shooting occurred about 20 feet away.

    “I was so close to the scene that if that bullet had missed that young man and would have went out that window, it would have hit my car and probably would have hit me,” he said.

    He said he watched as two uniformed officers rushed up toward the driver’s side of the car.

    “The lady cop opens the door, pulls out her gun and shoots,” said Smith, 26. “The whole time, the passenger has his hands in the air. He didn’t have time to go for anything. I … haven’t been able to sleep at all.”

    He said he is still trying to cope with what he saw.


    “I’m scheduled to go on a police ride-along here in the next two weeks, so I don’t have this anti-police feel within me,” Smith said. “But that right there was a traumatic scene.”

  12. #401

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    UF study: One quarter of female drug offenders report experiencing police sexual misconduct

    Published: December 12th, 2013
    Category: Gender, Health, Research

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new University of Florida survey suggests that police misconduct against female drug offenders may be more pervasive than previously thought.

    The survey of more than 300 St. Louis-area women who had been charged with substance-abuse violations found that 25 percent of the respondents reported experiencing police sexual misconduct in the form of trading sex for favors.


    It is believed to be the first systematic study to assess sex trading between police officers and female offenders from the women’s perspective. The findings appear online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

    “It’s important that the police force acknowledges that sexual misconduct may exist among the force, so that it can be stopped and eventually prevented,” said lead investigator Linda B. Cottler, a professor and chair of the department of epidemiology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the UF College of Medicine.

    In 2009, 1.3 million American women were incarcerated or under correctional supervision, up from 600,000 in 1990, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Previous research has shown that female offenders have higher rates than the general female population of physical or sexual abuse as a minor, childhood household dysfunction and adolescent pregnancy.

    Data for the UF study on police sexual misconduct were gathered as part of the Sisters Teaching Options for Prevention, or STOP, project, led by Cottler while she was on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. Funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, STOP was an HIV prevention study conducted from 2005 to 2008 to reduce high-risk substance abuse and sexual behaviors among women in drug courts. Prior to beginning the study, researchers conducted focus groups with women in a medium-security institution.

    “During our conversations the women revealed that their sex partners included police officers and it wasn’t a long time ago, it was happening quite recently,” said Cottler, the associate dean for research and planning at the College of Public Health and Health Professions. “These focus groups formed the basis for the addition of a dozen or so questions that we inserted into our study questionnaire.”

    The study involved 318 participants, age 18 or older, who were under the supervision of a probation or parole officer for a non-violent offense. Study recruiters were stationed in two St. Louis-area drug courts during dockets that included women charged with substance-related violations. The women completed surveys led by trained interviewers with information collected on demographics, drug-use history, psychiatric disorders, stressful life events and experiences with police sexual misconduct.

    One quarter of study participants reported a lifetime history of police sexual misconduct. Of those women, 96 percent said they had sex with an officer on duty, and 24 percent reported having sex with an officer while the officer’s partner or another officer was present. Only half said they always used a condom with an officer. Fifty-four percent of the women said the officer offered favors in exchange for sex, such as to avoid arrest or being charged with a crime, and 87 percent said officers kept their promises. About one-third of the women who had experienced police sexual misconduct characterized the encounter as rape.

    Women who were unemployed, had multiple arrests, adult antisocial personality and lifetime use of cocaine and opiates were at highest risk of trading sex with an officer.

    The researchers stress that police sexual misconduct is likely perpetrated by a small number of officers and not by a large proportion of officers. They noted that because of the unequal distribution of power between an officer and a female offender, sex trading should never be considered consensual.

    “This study is a call to action for law enforcement, and we need the law enforcement community to understand the vulnerability of women trying to change their high-risk behavior,” Cottler said. “We must have an open dialogue to address this issue through policies and trainings.”

    Further research should look at the extent of police sexual misconduct among other populations, the researchers said.

    Research reported in this news release was supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1RO1–NR09180.
    http://news.ufl.edu/2013/12/12/police-misconduct/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  13. #402

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    Protecting Killer Cops
    Where’s the Body Count from Shootings by the Police?


    by JAMES BOVARD
    President Barack Obama, calling for new gun control legislation earlier this year, appealed to “all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.” He also declared, “If there is even one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try.” But some perils are not worth registering on Obama’s scorecard.

    While the president frequently declaims on the dangers of privately-owned guns, his administration is scorning a mandate to track how many Americans are shot and killed each year by government agents. The same 1994 law that temporarily banned the sale of assault weapons also required the federal government to compile data on police shootings nationwide. However, neither the Justice Department nor most local police departments have bothered to tally such occurrences.

    Instead, the Justice Department relied on the National Crime Survey of citizens to gauge the police use of force. But as Prof. James Fyfe, one of the nation’s foremost experts on police shootings, observed in 2001, that survey relies on “questions about how often the respondents have been subjected to police use of force. Since dead people can’t participate in such a survey, this work tells us nothing about how often police kill.”

    Many police shootings involve self-defense against violent criminals or protection of people against dangerous culprits in the act of wreaking havoc. However, killings by police are not a negligible proportion of the nation’s firearms death toll. Shootings by police accounted for almost 10 percent of the homicides in Los Angeles County in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and criminal law professor, compiled a database of police shootings and estimated that in the United States in 2011 police shot more than 1,100 people, killing 607. Fisher relied on the Internet to track the casualties, and the actual toll may be significantly higher. (Many police departments are secretive about their shootings and succeed in withholding either numbers or key details from the public.) Fisher’s numbers do not include cases of off-duty police who shoot acquaintances, such as the recent case of the married veteran D.C. policeman convicted of murdering his girlfriend and leaving their 11-month-old baby to die in an overheated SUV to avoid paying child support.

    According to the FBI, 323 people were killed nationwide by rifles in 2011 — less than 4 percent of the total deaths by firearms. The official statistics are not broken down by the type of rifle, so it is impossible to know how many of the victims were slain with the type of weapons that Sen. Dianne Feinstein and presumably Obama classify as assault weapons. Nationwide, 10 percent of the killings with rifles were committed by law enforcement officers, according to the FBI. Ironically, the raw numbers of killings by police are tossed into the firearm-fatality totals that some politicians invoke to drum up support for confiscating privately owned guns.

    Protecting killers

    Not only do government agencies fail to track official violence against Americans; they also sometimes preemptively exonerate all such attacks. A 2001 Justice Department report, “Policing and Homicide, 1976–1998,” labeled everyone in the nation who perished as a result of a police shooting as “felons justifiably killed by police.” There were hundreds, if not thousands, of people shot unjustifiably by the police in those decades, but their innocence vanished in the flicker of a federal label. The Justice Department was so embarrassed by the report’s “lack of distinction between justifiable police shootings and murders, that it did not send out its usual promotional material announcing the report,” according to the New York Times.

    The odds of an honest, thorough investigation of a police killing are the same as the odds that a politician’s campaign speech will be strictly assessed for perjury. At the state and local level the deck is often stacked to vindicate all police shootings. Police unions have strong- armed legislation that guarantees their members sweeping procedural advantages in any post-shooting investigation.

    For instance, Maryland police are protected by a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights that prohibits questioning a police officer for 10 days after any incident in which he or she used deadly force. “A lawyer or a police union official is always summoned to the scene of a shooting to make sure no one speaks to the officer who pulled the trigger,” the Washington Post noted in an exposé of the Prince George’s County, Maryland, police. “Between 1990 and 2001 Prince George’s police shot 122 people…. Almost half of those shot were unarmed, and many had committed no crime.”

    Forty-seven people were killed by the P.G. police in that time. Among the shootings the P.G. police department ruled as justified: “An unarmed construction worker was shot in the back after he was detained in a fast-food restaurant. An unarmed suspect died in a fusillade of 66 bullets as he tried to flee in a car from police. A homeless man was shot when police mistook his portable radio for a gun. And an unarmed man was killed after he pulled off the road to relieve himself.”

    The situation in Clark County, Nevada, which had one of the highest rates of police-committed homicides in the nation, is equally perverse. An excellent Las Vegas Review-Journal series in late 2011 noted, “In 142 fatal police shootings in the Las Vegas Valley over a little more than the past 20 years, no coroner’s jury has returned a ruling adverse to police.” But that nonconviction rate actually convicts the entire system. “The deck is stacked in favor of police well before the case gets to the [coroner’s] jurors. That’s because the ‘neutral arbiter of the facts’ is the deputy district attorney who already believes that no crime has been committed. In a comparison of inquest transcripts, evidence files, and police reports dating to 1990, the Review-Journal found that prosecutors commonly act more like defense attorneys, shaping inquest presentations to cast officers in the most positive light.”

    Another problem is that, as Nevada lawyer Brent Bryson observed, “Frequently in fatal shootings, you just have officers’ testimony and no other witnesses. And most people just don’t want to believe that a police officer would behave wrongly.”

    Investigations of shootings by police in Las Vegas were stymied in 2010 and 2011 because “police unions balked at inquest reforms, first by advising members not to testify at the hearings and then helping officers file a lawsuit challenging the new system’s constitutionality,” according to the Review-Journal. Las Vegas is so deferential to police that, in cases “where an officer shoots but only wounds or misses entirely … the district attorney looks at the case only if the shooting subject is being prosecuted,” the Review-Journal noted.

    Federal cops

    Federal agents who kill Americans enjoy similar legal privileges. The Justice Department’s view of the untouchability of federal lawmen is clear from its action in the Idaho trial of FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi. Horiuchi gained renown in 1992 after he shot and killed 42-year-old Vicki Weaver as she stood in the door of her cabin holding her 10-month-old baby. Horiuchi had shot her husband in the back moments earlier, though Randy Weaver posed no threat to federal agents at the time. The FBI initially labeled its Ruby Ridge operation a big success and indicated Vicki Weaver was a fair target; later the agency claimed that her killing was accidental.

    Boundary County, Idaho, prosecutor Denise Woodbury filed manslaughter charges against Horiuchi in 1997. FBI Director Louis Freeh was outraged that a local court would attempt to hold an FBI agent legally responsible for the killing. He declared that Horiuchi had an “exemplary record” and was “an outstanding agent and continues to have my total support and confidence.” Freeh added, “The FBI is doing everything within its power to ensure [Horiuchi] is defended to the full extent and that his rights as a federal law-enforcement officer are fully protected.” Justice Department lawyers persuaded a judge to move Horiuchi’s case from a state court to a federal court, where federal agencies have far more procedural advantages. Although a confidential Justice Department report concluded that Horiuchi acted unconstitutionally, Justice Department lawyers argued vigorously that he was exempt from any state or local prosecution because he was carrying out federal orders at the time he gunned Vicki Weaver down.

    Federal judge Edward Lodge found in 1998 that the state of Idaho could not prosecute Horiuchi for the killing, in a ruling focusing on Horiuchi’s “subjective beliefs”: As long as Horiuchi supposedly did not believe he was violating anyone’s rights or acting wrongfully, then he could not be tried.

    The judge blamed Vicki Weaver for her own death, ruling that “it would be objectively reasonable for Mr. Horiuchi to believe that one would not expect a mother to place herself and her baby behind an open door outside the cabin after a shot had been fired and her husband had called out that he had been hit.” Thus, if an FBI agent wrongfully shoots one family member, the government somehow becomes entitled to slay the rest of the family unless they run and hide.

    The greater the automatic presumption that government shootings are justified, the more arbitrary power police will have over Americans. And this growing sense of legal inferiority to officialdom will naturally make gun owners ever more attached to their own firearms. According to Obama and other anti-gun politicians, this is simply evidence of paranoia — and another reason to take away people’s guns before they do harm.

    The federal government has no credibility condemning vast numbers of private gun owners as long as it refuses to compile the casualty count from government agents. Washington has deluged state and local law-enforcement agencies with billions of dollars in aid in recent years but will not even ask the recipients for honest body counts. No amount of political tub-thumping can change the fact that Americans are far more likely to be killed by police than by assault weapons.

    James Bovard, a policy advisor to the Future of Freedom Foundation, is the author of author of Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. On Twitter – @jimbovard
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/...by-the-police/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  14. #403

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    The Whack ‘Em and Stack ‘Em Mentality of American Cops

    by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
    Police work continues to be a relatively safe occupation. In the 1970s, an average of 220 officers died each year. In the 1980s, 185 officers were killed on average, with the average number dropping to 155 in the 1990s. The number of police deaths continues to decline, year by year. According to the publication Officer Down, there were only 95 “duty related” officer deaths in 2013. Forty-two of these fatalities were vehicle related. Another 14 deaths resulted from heart attacks while on the clock. Only 27 cops died from gunfire last year and several of those were shot by other cops.

    Craig Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, contends that “law enforcement remains the most dangerous occupation in America today, and those who serve and make the ultimate sacrifice are true portraits in courage.”

    This is nonsense. Compared to the daily perils of being a retail clerk in a 7-Eleven or toiling on a construction site, let alone working on a trawler in the Gulf of Alaska, logging in the Pacific Northwest or working in a deep mine, policing is a fairly invulnerable trade.

    But as vividly recounted by James Bovard in a piece for CounterPunch this week, it has probably never been riskier to be pulled over by a cop on one of America’s roads. Bovard writes:

    “Killings by police are not a negligible proportion of the nation’s firearms death toll. Shootings by police accounted for almost 10 percent of the homicides in Los Angeles County in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    “Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and criminal law professor, compiled a database of police shootings and estimated that in the United States in 2011 police shot more than 1,100 people, killing 607.”

    The public apprehension that cops are often borderline psychotic, hair-trigger-ready to open fire on the slightest pretext, virtually immune from serious sanction, is growing apace, fueled by such incidents as the dog slaughter on an interstate in Tennessee. CNN featured grainy film of the episode taken from one of the police cruisers.

    James Smoak plus wife Pamela and son Brandon were traveling from Nashville along Interstate 40 to their Saluda, NC, home on New Year’s Day when they noticed a trooper following them. In Cookeville, about 90 miles east of Nashville, the Smoaks were pulled over by the trooper and three local police cars. The cops ordered them out of the car, made them kneel and then handcuffed them.

    At this point the Smoaks family implored the police to shut the doors of their car so the two family dogs couldn’t jump out. The cops did nothing. Out hopped Patton the bulldog. A cop promptly raised his shotgun and blew its head off, amid the horrified screams of the Smoaks family.

    Of course, the cops later said Patton was acting in a threatening manner and that the uniformed shot-gunner “took the only action he could to protect himself and gain control of the situation,” but the film seems to show Patton wagging his tail the moment before he was blown away.

    Why were the Smoaks stopped by the four-car posse? Mr. Smoaks had left his wallet on the roof of his car at the filling station, and someone phoned in a report that he’d seen the wallet fly off of a car and fall onto the highway with money spilling out. Well, Mr. Smoaks won’t make that silly mistake again.

    Scroll through some Middle America websites and you’ll find much fury about what happened to Patton, as an episode ripely indicative of how cops carry on these days. Here’s “Police State in Progress,” by Dorothy Anne Seese writing in the sparky Sierra Times. The Times bills itself as “An Internet Publication for Real Americans.”

    After relating the death of Patton, Seese brought up other recent police rampages:

    “A couple of months ago, a woman was shot to death in her car at a drive-through Walgreens pharmacy for trying to get Soma by a forged prescription. The officer who shot the woman—who had a 14-month old baby with her in the car—claimed self-defense because the woman was trying to run over him. However, the medical examiner found she had been shot from an angle to the left and rear of her position in the driver’s seat. Self defense? The officer is under investigation for second-degree murder and has been fired from the Chandler police department. However, a child is motherless, a man has been deprived of his wife and companion, the mother of his child, because his wife tried to get a drug with a phony prescription. Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s daughter did the same thing and got a slap on the wrist. It seems the law now considers everyone guilty until proven innocent, with people in high places excepted. The number of horror stories increases daily in Amerika.”

    There was a time when “Amerika” was a word solely in left currency. Not anymore, if the conservative, populist Sierra Times is any guide. Check out its Whack’em & Stack’em feature about killings by cops and you’ll sense the temperature of outrage.

    This is a revised version of a story that originally ran in the January 2003 print edition of CounterPunch.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/...american-cops/




    Link to the Whack 'em and Stack 'em White Papers.
    Sierra Times Classic- The Whack & Stack White Paper

    Posted by johnjacobh on July 1, 2008
    Yes, I FOUND it! The Sierra Times Whack & Stack White Paper by publisher and editor JJ Johnson.

    Just as relevant today as it was when written seven years ago.

    Complete Link:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200108282...arws082301.htm

    Update May 3, 2009. Here are archives of the Whack & Stack Incidents documented by Sierra Times:

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://...whackstack.php

    Tantalizing excerpt:

    The Whack’em & Stack’em White Paper
    News Analysis by J.J. Johnson
    Sierra Times 08.23.01

    Since publishing yesterday’s Whack’em& Stack’em, Sierra Times has received many inquiries from folks, some wanting to know, “exactly what IS a Whack’em & Stack’em?”

    Let us explain.

    This is a term created here at Sierra Times to identify the ‘always justifiable’ law enforcement homicide, or fatal police shooting. The “whack” means to “kill”, and the “stack” means to just keep counting the bodies, and thanking the Good Lord that even though more people die in the country each year via cop bullets than in Russia, we can sleep easy knowing there is always a “good reason” for killing someone.

    What we find so fascinating about this lethal art is the methods the justifications for whack & stacks are laid out to the public, and how. Of course, there is always a good reason, including the generic, “the officer(s) thought his/their life was in danger”. We have learned that this usually works as a catch all when ever a whack & stack is reported. In this whack & stack White Paper, we will use one of our most recent stories, and show you some things to look out for whenever there is a whack & stack in your neck of the woods. (Article in red; our analysis in black)

    Update: Be sure to visit the Traffic Stop and Police Encounter Tutorial CLICK HERE

    The Complete Column in Pictures:
    http://johnjacobh.wordpress.com/2008...k-white-paper/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  15. #404

  16. #405

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    If I post this thread on another forum, will guests be able to view it?
    "The Patriarch"

  17. #406

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    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    If I post this thread on another forum, will guests be able to view it?
    I honestly don't know. Should be in General Politics as far as I am concerned. Politics must have an enforcement arm so I do not know how the two could be separated.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  18. #407

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    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    I honestly don't know. Should be in General Politics as far as I am concerned. Politics must have an enforcement arm so I do not know how the two could be separated.
    A couple of apologists made a racket about the "cop bashing" and these threads got sent to the dungeon.

  19. #408

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    A couple of apologists made a racket about the "cop bashing" and these threads got sent to the dungeon.
    Is irony the word I'm looking for?
    "The Patriarch"

  20. #409

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    x-posted upon request:

    Step right up, place your bets......how many want to bet that charges will be filed against the offending pig? Nobody? Nobody? C'mon, surely someone on the forum still believes in cops...

    Woman dies after errant shot during raid

    CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — A 35-year-old Ross County woman is dead after she was shot in the head during a raid Wednesday on U.S. 23, and it appears the shot was fired from the weapon of a law enforcement officer, Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt said Thursday.

    The dead woman is 35-year-old Krystal Barrows, who was inside the home at 467 U.S. 23 South in Ross County when the U.S. 23 Task Force entered at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Schmidt confirmed the death to the Gazette late Thursday.
    Schmidt said the round was not intentionally fired (Is that a rug being lifted? Why, yes, yes it is!), and it’s unclear whether the gunfire was the result of a weapon malfunction or user error. He stressed that he was not at the scene and is not a spokesman for the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, but he does serve as its legal counsel.

    Schmidt said it doesn’t appear any shots were fired at law enforcement officers from inside the home.

    Barrows was shot in the head, according to Schmidt. She was taken from the scene by a medical helicopter, according to sheriff’s office spokesman, Lt. Mike Preston..
    Six people were charged during the raid; two others were detained and questioned before being released. A total of 11 people, including a juvenile female, were inside the mobile home when the U.S. 23 Task Force arrived to serve the warrant.
    According to a sheriff’s office news release, task force officers found “large amounts of heroin,” multiple guns, including pistols and assault rifles, a large sum of cash, drug abuse instruments and numerous items that task force officials say were likely stolen goods. No details on the seized items were given in the release.
    Preston declined comment on the incident beyond what was mentioned in the news release. Sheriff George Lavender also was unavailable for comment.
    The release said the raid was the culmination of a “lengthy and ongoing investigation by the sheriff’s office and the task force.”
    Pursuant to policy, Lavender called the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the raid and what prompted the gunfire, Schmidt said.
    “We’re relying heavily on BCI,” Schmidt said.
    Multiple task force members were armed at the time of the raid, and all of their weapons have been seized so they can be analyzed to help determine who fired the shot, he said.
    Six people were arrested during the raid:
    • Rodney Tackett, 32, warrant from Pickaway County. A search of online court records for both the Pickaway County Common Pleas Court and Circleville Municipal Court found no information on a warrant for Tackett.
    • Rodney Fyffe, 27, warrant from Pike County.
    • Kaitlin Landrum, 24, warrant charging misdemeanor receiving stolen property from Chillicothe Municipal Court. She pleaded not guilty to the charge in court Thursday and was released on bond.
    • Arnold Haney, 30, charged with felony possession of drug abuse instruments and a felony warrant out of Indiana
    • Jason Hall, 34, warrant from Pike County.
    • Ashley Rowley, 23, charged with endangering children. She pleaded not guilty to the charge — which court records list as a misdemeanor — Thursday and was released on bond.
    In addition, the juvenile girl was released to her grandparents after Children’s Services was notified.
    http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/...ot-during-raid

    Feel free to comment at the newspaper site. Here is mine:

    Think the prosecutor will seek the death penalty against the offending pig? LOL....not a chance. It is unlikely that any charges at all will be filed. After all, it has already been pronounced "unintentional". May these corrupt pigs and their prosecutor buddy never in their life get another night's sleep for fear one or more of her friends or family members will seek justice.

    edit: Notice how the pigs in the raid did not even arrest the shooter?

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Update.

    The newspaper censored my comment on the original article and has now posted an update:

    Sergeant placed on leave after fatal shooting

    Sheriff: 'I absolutely believe this was an accidental shot'


    CHILLICOTHE — A Ross County Sheriff’s Office sergeant is on paid administrative leave after a shooting that left a local woman dead.

    Sgt. Brett McKnight, an 11-year-veteran with the department who recently was promoted, has been placed on leave while the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation continues its investigation, Sheriff George Lavender told media Friday.
    Lavender also has asked the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association to do an internal investigation, specifically to take a look at training and policies and procedures.
    The investigations come after Krystal Barrows, 35, was shot in the head while a search warrant was being served at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at 467 U.S. 23. She died Thursday night in a Columbus hospital.
    Lavender, who at times was visibly emotional, expressed condolences to Barrows’ family and explained his office and McKnight also are grieving about what happened. A counselor has met with his deputies as well as the Rev. Steve Schmidt, who has been appointed to act as a liaison between the sheriff’s office and Barrows’ family.

    Lavender referred to McKnight as a “highly respected officer” and good employee who is “very straight-forward in what his beliefs are, his appearance, the way he conducts himself, the job he does.”
    Lavender said McKnight has had additional training, like other members of the special response team. That includes tactical training with the North American Tactical Association Training, firearms simulator training with the Attorney General’s Office, and extra hours at the firing range each month.
    During the BCI investigation, Lavender said it was discovered a bullet had accidentally been discharged from outside the door of the trailer, struck the door frame and went through the house toward the couch.

    Lavender, who was at the scene, said he never heard an independent gun shot and believes McKnight’s gun fired as a second flash bang detonated just inside the front door.

    “I absolutely believe this was an accidental shot. I really believe that the deputy that accidentally discharged his weapon was not aware of it at the time. You know, these are very emotional, high-stress situations. They’re going into a situation where they feel they could be shot and adrenaline is very high, emotions are very high,” Lavender said.
    Lavender explained that as flash bangs detonate, a strong reverberation is felt, and he believes McKnight did not realize his weapon discharged.
    At first they thought the flash bang might have caused pieces of a kerosene heater to strike Barrows, but then found a shell casing outside. At that point, Lavender said the guns used by the officers in the service of the warrant were secured and BCI was contacted.
    As deputies went to the home to serve the warrant, they were armed with information that alleged a large amount of heroin was being sold from the home, that there were several weapons inside and that there was a guard at the front door with a rifle, Lavender said.
    “Anytime someone is possibly loaded inside waiting for officers, it’s just like the military. Those people in the military fear for their lives, I’m sure my people do, too. I’ve been on the front line. It is dangerous, and you do have a sense of you have to protect yourself, but you’ve got to do what’s right,” Lavender said.

    The sheriff’s office was back at the home Friday to continue processing it for evidence relating to the search warrant. In addition to the discovery of a large amount of suspect heroin, cash and guns, Lavender said they also have recovered a large amount of stolen items.
    The shooting comes in the first months of an increased drug enforcement effort by the sheriff’s office they’ve called Stop Trafficking or Pay the Price (STOPP). Although shaken up by the shooting, Lavender said his office will continue its efforts and take into account any suggestions provided through the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.
    “We started the STOPP initiative and we’ve got to continue with that. We have traffickers poisoning our children along with our adults,” Lavender said. “So many families have family members touched by drugs, and they’re not bad people. These users aren’t bad people. They’re addicted. This is a sickness like people (don’t) realize.”

    “It’s not easy to get over. It’s not easy to deal with that. When people will go out and steal from their own parents, it shows you how bad it is. We have to separate the traffickers, of course, from the users ...I think we need more treatment centers. We need to get the users into treatment centers and get them away from this addiction that’s killing them.”
    “My condolences are to the family. I can’t begin to think of how they are saddened, and we are saddened, too, because we did something and that has happened, but we also have people dying of drug overdose every day and if we fail to continue to do the enforcement effort, I think we’re failing this community in what we’re supposed to be doing."

    http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/...fatal-shooting


    I commented:

    How about at least some manslaughter charges against McKnight? And change department policy to end this stupid drug war and these ill-conceived raids. If people are stupid enough to do drugs, it should be their business. America is SUPPOSED to the land of the free, and that should include the freedom to be an idiot. Contrary to what Lavender thinks, he does NOT have the moral authority to INITIATE violence against anyone.

    I'd bet with almost 100% certainly McKnight had his finger on the trigger and flinched when the flash grenade went off. Having your finger on the trigger before you have acquired a target is NOT the mark of an experienced marksman, it is a completely amateur mistake that comes from lack of training and the resulting muscle memory.
    We'll see if it stays....
    "Sorry, fellows, the rebellion is off. We couldn't get a rebellion permit."

  21. #410

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    This is a rather long read but well worth it.



    The Horror Every Day: Police Brutality In Houston Goes Unpunished

    This story is the second in a two-part investigation into lack of accountability in the Houston Police Department. Read part one, “Crimes Unpunished,” originally published in the July issue of the Observer.

    Sebastian Prevot watched helplessly as three police officers advanced on his wife. Prevot was handcuffed and bleeding in the back of a cop car. Half of his left ear dangled where it had been torn from his head. The Houston Police Department doesn’t deny that its officers gave Prevot these injuries during a late-night arrest in January 2012. The only dispute is whether he earned them.

    Prevot had been returning home from a night out with a friend. He was two miles from his house when he stopped just past the white line at a four-way stop sign. Two officers in a patrol car tried to pull him over, but he kept driving. Prevot says he didn’t want to pull over and continued home—“going the speed limit, stopping at every stop sign”—because he knew he was about to be detained and have his car impounded.

    “My kids had to go to school in the morning,” he told me. “My wife had to go to work.”

    Prevot sits across from me in a noisy McDonald’s at dusk. He’s 30, married, with three little boys. In 2009 Prevot was one semester away from getting his bachelor’s degree in marketing when his wife, Annika Lewis, was promoted at her job with AT&T, and the family moved to Houston from Lafayette, Louisiana. Now he takes care of his sons, ages 7, 5, and 4, coaches youth sports and looks for work. His left ear still bears a crosshatching of paler brown where an emergency room doctor stitched it up on January 27, 2012, the night he should have stopped.

    I ask Prevot why he anticipated trouble if all he’d done was roll past the line at a stop sign. He looks at me like I’m crazy.

    “Obviously, it’s three in the morning,” he says, “so they’re gonna find something. Besides, the inspection sticker on my car was bad.”

    Prevot didn’t say he expected to be arrested because he is black, but racial profiling is common. In 2012, almost half the Houstonians arrested during traffic stops were African-Americans, though they make up less than a quarter of the city’s population. Houston Police Department statistics show that white drivers are more likely than black drivers to be carrying contraband, but according to HPD’s annual report on racial profiling—which concludes, “The analysis provides no evidence that officers of the Houston Police Department engage in racial profiling”—officers performed “consent searches” on black drivers in 2012 more than four times as often as on white drivers. A consent search is specifically one made without probable cause.

    “When they put those lights on,” Prevot says, “I automatically knew I was going to jail.”

    Prevot also kept driving because he was scared. “I mean, I saw the cops,” he says. “I’m from Louisiana, and it was two white boys in the car in a dark area. I wasn’t about to stop nowhere close to there.”

    “What were you afraid of?” I ask.

    “Getting beat up,” he says. “The same thing that happened.”


    As Prevot drove, more police cruisers joined the slow pursuit. By the time he arrived at his house, he estimates 10 cars had him surrounded.

    “When I pulled in right in front of my driveway, I got out, hands in the air,” Prevot says. “They already had guns drawn on me. Then they put those up and attacked. From there, they was just beatin’ the bricks off me.”

    What Prevot describes isn’t rare in Houston. According to citizens, community activists, a veteran Houston police officer and even the president of the local police union, the scenario of multiple officers beating an unarmed suspect happens nearly every day.

    What’s rare is for the Houston Police Department to punish its officers for excessive force. An eight-month Texas Observer investigation found that during the past six years, Houston civilians reported officers for “use of force”—the department’s term for police brutality—588 times. The Internal Affairs division investigated each complaint and dismissed all but four.

    More surprisingly, HPD rarely believes even its own officers when they claim to have witnessed unjustified violence against citizens. In the same period, Houston cops reported other officers for excessive force 118 times. Internal Affairs dismissed all but 11
    .

    In total, Internal Affairs sustained just 15—or 2 percent—of the 706 police abuse complaints the past six years, according to department records the Observer obtained through public information requests.

    In at least 10 of the 15 sustained complaints, the incident was videotaped. Many say—and internal documents suggest—that videotaped beatings have prompted Houston cops to aggressively prevent citizens from recording their behavior.

    But beatings take time. They make noise. Witnesses can gather and start filming. Shootings, on the other hand, are fast. They’re usually over as quickly as they begin, which may be one reason why, in the past six years, not a single Houston police officer has been disciplined for shooting someone.

    Between 2007 and 2012, HPD officers were involved in 550 incidents in which either a citizen or animal was injured or killed by a police officer’s bullet, according to agency records.

    Internal Affairs investigated each incident and determined that every single shooting was justified.


    Some of these civilians were armed. Others weren’t. Mark Ames, 23, was unarmed and fleeing when he was shot and injured. Yoanis Vera, 26, was also unarmed when he was wounded. Kenneth Releford was unarmed, but HPD says he charged at an officer while keeping one hand behind his back. Releford, 38, was killed. All of those cases are from 2012.

    Another citizen killed by HPD in 2012 was a wheelchair-bound man. Brian Claunch was mentally ill and had only one arm and one leg. Claunch was shot because he allegedly threatened an officer with a ballpoint pen.

    Out of 706 complaints about excessive force, HPD disciplined only 15 officers. For 550 shootings, HPD disciplined none. The message is clear: Either Houston police almost never abuse their power, or they abuse it with impunity.


    Prevot says after he surrendered, one officer “tackled me into my [car] door and threw me to the ground in the middle of the street. From there, all of them rushed me and started coming to beat me. Hit me with a stick, twisting my ankle in back. While the rest of them were beating me, there’s one in the back twisting my ankle the whole time. Tore tendons and everything. I still go to the doctor for that.

    “One will get a lick in and another will get a lick in. It was many, many, many licks. Like, two officers tried to kick me—” his hand hovers over the table and he looks embarrassed—“in the gonads. And I’m out there yelling loud. I guess my wife finally heard me. She came outside with her camera phone. The whole time, they’re yelling, ‘Put your hands behind your back! Put your hands behind your back!’ But they’re standing on my hands. I’m trying to get them to the back like they’re telling me to, but they’re not allowing me. So meanwhile, they continue to whup the $#@! out of me.”


    Jimmy reads the transcript of my conversation with Prevot quietly. Jimmy—not his real name—is a white man, has been an officer with the Houston Police Department for more than 10 years, and doesn’t want to disclose any more than that. He’s disturbed by what he describes as a culture of brutality and racism at HPD but says it’s not safe to criticize the department openly.

    Jimmy reads as far as the beating and looks up. “Sounds about right,” he says. “Adrenaline dump, everybody’s chasing him, they all come piling after him. They tackle him, everybody gets their licks in and they put handcuffs on him. That makes sense. Whupping somebody that just ran, that’s like an everyday occurrence. Hell, I’d be surprised if they didn’t.”

    I ask Jimmy if it’s plausible that cops would prevent a suspect from complying and putting his hands behind his back. “Yeah,” he says. “I don’t know that it’s normal, and I don’t even know that it’s necessarily deliberate. Could be bad communication. But it’s not exactly innocent either. Cops are starting to learn to perform for the camera. So they know that, like, maybe you can’t see all the details of exactly what’s going on in the scuffle, but if they’re yelling out things like, ‘Give me your hands,’ then it sure looks better after the fact.”

    Handcuffing, Jimmy says, “may or may not bring it to a stop. Generally speaking, that’s the sort of limit, when you put the handcuffs on. But even then, it’s not…”

    Jimmy trails off. Although we’ve talked many times over several months, he still occasionally seems surprised at what he is about to say. “It’s just, not everybody is necessarily done just because you’ve got the handcuffs on. People will typically stop at that point, but I have heard officers running up to a fight yelling, ‘Don’t put the handcuffs on yet!’ They want to get their licks in.”


    “My wife caught all this on camera,” Prevot says. “So by that time, the guy twisting my ankle gave it a final twist.” Prevot mimes wrenching. “And he dropped my foot. The other guys kinda laid off. Then they were like, ‘Get up! Get up!’ And I told them, ‘I can’t get up!’ You know, I’m crying. So they picked me up. They got me in the cuffs now. They put me in the back of this car, and they go over to see what’s going on with my wife. In the back of this car, I could see everything that’s going on.

    “Well, I’m looking at them going at my wife. She’s still got her phone. She’s in her own yard. She’s not nowhere near the streets. She’s not interfering or anything, she’s just recording what’s going on. I guess when they seen she was recording them, those three guys, they came behind her and they attacked her. One of them tried to grab the phone out of her hand. She wouldn’t let go, so they twisted her arm behind her and punched her a couple of times. They did her pretty bad. And she’s real short, real petite, like 4 [foot] 11, and at that time maybe 101 or 98 [pounds].

    “They got the phone from her, cuffed her up, and put her in a car. They took the phone and took it all the way apart. She had an HTC Evo, and it’s not easy to get the memory card out of the back. They were there for about 10, 15 minutes trying to get it open. Took them a good while.”

    Less than two weeks after Prevot’s arrest, the Houston Police Department distributed a memo reminding officers that “citizens have a right to photograph, record, or videotape officers while officers are doing their job. … Officers are further reminded not to initiate an investigative detention or ask for identification merely because a citizen is photographing or recording an officer.”

    The memo adds, “If an officer believes a videotape or photograph may contain evidence of a crime, the officer shall consult with the District Attorney’s office to determine if a search warrant is needed to either seize the video or view the contents on the device in question.”

    Jimmy says the last bit—don’t take someone’s phone without permission and a reason—is in response to a new tactic cops are using to fight citizen surveillance.

    “Are you familiar with the drunk lawyer phenomenon?” Jimmy asks. “Like when you’re at the bar and your friend is giving you crazy legal advice about how to avoid DWI, and it has nothing to do with real law? Well, cops play that game, too, except it’s new ways to prevent people from recording us. Like now they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s evidence’ and confiscate the phone and tag it into the property room for 18 months.” Jimmy says even if a phone does contain evidence of a crime, the department has equipment that can quickly copy its contents. “There’s no need to sit on it for a year and a half,” he says. “It’s purely punitive.”

    But that depends on how you define “need.” The officers who arrested Prevot might have needed to take Annika’s phone to keep their jobs.

    In 2011, local news station ABC-13 KTRK aired security camera footage of a dozen HPD officers punching and kicking an unarmed 15-year-old burglary suspect named Chad Holley. The video sparked outrage. National news outlets aired it and community organizers rallied around it as proof that Houston police officers abuse their power. Even the chief of police, Charles McClelland, said publicly that the video “made me sick to my stomach because it was an egregious use of force.”

    Twelve officers were disciplined for the Chad Holley beating, seven of whom were fired. Three of those later got their jobs back through arbitration. (For more on HPD’s flawed discipline system, see “Crimes Unpunished,” in the Observer’s July issue.) Four of the fired officers were also indicted for misdemeanor official oppression. One was found not guilty—an all-white jury decided in May 2012 that Andrew Blomberg was not stomping on Holley’s hands but was trying to lift them with the back of his foot—one was found guilty and the other two pleaded no contest. All three received probation.

    To Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, those former cops are the real victims. “If Chad Holley had been in school and not burglarizing a house,” he told me, “those officers would still be in this department.”

    I asked Hunt how often the Chad Holley scenario—one suspect, multiple officers and “a question about force”—happens.

    Hunt, who was a Houston patrol officer for 18 years, replied, “That happens a lot. And I can tell you—myself, two paramedics, my old partner and another police officer were in a similar type thing with a 78-year-old woman on a scene one time. And if that had been videotaped, I can only imagine what people would have thought we were doing to this person. All’s we were trying to do was make sure that her knife was gone and she was handcuffed. … But yeah, a lot of times, when you’ve got a citizen that’s fighting with officers, it may take seven, eight, nine officers to subdue that person. The adrenaline’s going, and it can be bad.”

    I asked, “Was the only difference between the Chad Holley scene and scenes that go on all the time that there just happened to be video?”

    “Um, I think video is a lot,” Hunt said. Then he seemed to hear himself. “Let me clarify something. I would not say that you’ve got scenes going on all the time that you’ve got persons who are kicking or hitting suspects. I will say you’ve got situations a lot of times out there where you’ve got six or seven officers trying to handcuff a suspect. … Is it ever appropriate to kick or strike a suspect? Absolutely. … Is it ever appropriate to kick or hit a suspect who’s handcuffed and not resisting? Absolutely not.”

    Hunt continued, “So then the question is, on Chad Holley’s situation, was he resisting or not? Is it resisting to say, ‘Put your hands behind your back’ and he has them here?” Hunt placed his hands above his head, as Holley did when he was face-down in the grass on the video. “He thinks he’s complying. The officer doesn’t think he’s complying.”

    The Houston Police Department’s general orders governing use of force specify, “The circumstances justifying the initial use of force may change during the course of an event. It is the duty of all employees to constantly assess the situation and adjust the use of force accordingly.” But that’s exactly what Hunt says doesn’t happen during an event like Holley’s arrest.

    “When that first person runs in,” Hunt says, “it’s very difficult for an officer to stand back and go, ‘Well, hang on, let me think of the penal code…’ You automatically assumed that that person was justified in going in whenever you go in and follow.”

    Jimmy agrees. “You’ve got that groupthink going on. All it takes is for one officer to break ranks and go running up there and everybody else is like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna let him run up there by himself.’ There’s a lot of trusting each other’s judgment calls on that sort of stuff and the net result is a lot of piling on. One guy makes a bad call and everybody just goes for it.”

    Hunt says this piling on isn’t just automatic—it’s obligatory. Of Holley’s arrest, Hunt said, “If anybody was standing there on the scene when you’re trying to get a felon into custody, I would question that person’s integrity to be a police officer.”

    Hunt added, “I want to make sure I’m not quoted as saying we have situations all the time where we’ve got a situation exactly like Chad Holley where he’s being struck both with hands and being kicked. But I’m saying that a lot of times, you’ve got multiple officers trying to subdue a suspect.”

    Video, as Ray Hunt said, is a lot. In many cases, the presence of video appears to determine whether a use-of-force complaint is sustained or dismissed.

    One jail attendant, Roy Ferrer, had four complaints about use of force dismissed before cameras caught him seizing a handcuffed prisoner by the throat, forcing him to the ground, and kneeing him in the kidneys. That complaint was sustained. Ferrer received a 15-day suspension, according to department records.

    Adam Anweiler received two excessive force complaints within a year of each other shortly after joining the Houston Police Department as a jailer; both were dismissed. Then a surveillance camera recorded Anweiler striking a prisoner in the groin, slamming the man’s face into the concrete, and twisting his arm until his shoulder dislocated and his arm broke. Anweiler was fired.

    His supervisor, Captain Douglas Perry Jr., was also disciplined. After an employee reported Anweiler’s assault, Perry sent a letter to his superiors stating, “I have completed a thorough review of this incident that included reviewing all relevant documents and watching the video…” and “I’m confident that all Jail Policies were followed and no further actions [sic] is needed.”

    Internal Affairs disagreed. When investigators asked Perry why he hadn’t reported the abuse, he claimed the lieutenant with whom he watched the video had “somehow skipped over the portions” that included the beating, according to HPD records. He was suspended seven days.

    Officer Angela Horton was simply unlucky. Unaware that she was being filmed by a news helicopter, Horton sucker-punched a handcuffed teenager in the face as another officer led him away. In her official statement, Horton claimed she did not punch the teen but merely pushed his face. “Because the suspect was sweating profusely from trying to elude us,” she wrote, “…my hand slid off of his face.” Horton lost her job.

    Through open records requests, the Observer obtained documentation on 11 of the 15 complaints about use of force sustained in the last six years. All but one of those incidents were recorded.

    Jimmy, the HPD officer, says this isn’t a coincidence. Without video, he says, excessive force complaints go nowhere. “I’m having a hard time conceiving of any situation in which witness testimony would outweigh the testimony of officers on the scene,” he says. “You could almost have a busload of nuns come by and watch the whole thing, and Internal Affairs could still figure out a way to make it not sustained. They would say, ‘Oh, we don’t really know for sure. You know, the position they were sitting in, the distance they were away, they didn’t really see the full context of what happened.’”

    Perhaps the most distressing part is not how many complaints about excessive force the Houston Police Department receives or how few it sustains, but what happens to all the ones they dismiss.

    If a complaint is not sustained, it disappears. The complaint, and its investigation, can’t be reviewed by anyone outside HPD or another qualified government agency. Even with all identifying information redacted, members of the public can’t read what a complainant, witness, or officer said about an incident.

    That’s because Texas’ Local Government Code allows Houston and other large cities to withhold information about a “charge of misconduct … not supported by sufficient evidence.” Because Internal Affairs decides what constitutes sufficient evidence, Jimmy says, the department has total latitude in cases that don’t involve, for example, publicly broadcast video of an incident.

    With full control, Jimmy says, “If you want something to come out a particular way, you can contort the evidence to make an argument for that.”

    One of the ways HPD justifies keeping all un-sustained complaints secret is by pointing to the Independent Police Oversight Board. The board comprises four panels of citizens who review every serious or criminal complaint against Houston officers and every allegation of citizen mistreatment. After an investigation is complete, HPD makes the file available to one of the four oversight board panels, which meets to discuss the case. If the panel finds something lacking in the investigation or disagrees with the conclusion, it sends the case back to Internal Affairs, which is required to issue a response.

    But that’s the end of it. The Independent Police Oversight Board doesn’t review cases a second time to see if its concerns were addressed, and Internal Affairs isn’t obligated to do anything the board asks. “They’re not in the chain of command,” explains Executive Assistant Chief Michael Dirden, HPD’s liaison to the board. “It’s not a civilian review board with subpoena power and investigative power or anything like that.”

    If an oversight board member feels a case is being mishandled, the board’s charter says he or she should report the case to the city’s inspector general. But the inspector general, whose office is responsible for investigating city employee misconduct, has no jurisdiction over HPD. Firefighters, yes, the mayor, yes, but Houston police are explicitly exempt. The inspector general can’t investigate alleged wrongdoing. He or she can only urge the police to do so.

    “Under the City of Houston system,” Dirden says, “no one—neither the [oversight board] nor the inspector general or anybody—can tell the chief of police, ‘You know, we don’t like this and you’re going to change it.’ No one has that authority.”

    From the police car, Prevot watched HPD officers release Annika. “All the guys are still out there,” he says, “all out laughing and smiling and so forth. Like it’s a big game or whatever.” After Annika went inside the house, “That’s when the guys came back to the car. They looked at me like, ‘Man, your ear’s hanging off!’ They were laughing and playing with it. My hands are cuffed. Everything was swolled up. I couldn’t feel a thing. I couldn’t even feel that. I don’t even know what’s going on, I just know blood’s everywhere. But they were playing with it, making jokes, like ‘Man, they’re gonna have to glue that back together or something!’ It was just a big fun time for them.

    “So they drove off, took me straight to the jailhouse. When you’re booked at the jailhouse, there’s a doctor who checks everybody in. Doctor told them, ‘No, you can’t bring him in here. You gotta bring him to the hospital.’ So the officers said, ‘Oh man, you gotta be $#@!tin’ me.’ And the doctor said, ‘No, you gotta take him to the hospital for that ear and everything else that’s going on.’ So they brought me to Ben Taub [General Hospital].

    “These guys, they’re waiting on the physician to come and see me. We’re sitting in this room, and they came and took a picture with me. All beat up, handcuffed, ear hanging. … Like I was a freaking trophy head or something. This guy’s got his arm around my shoulder, taking a picture with me. We were waiting there for a while. They were talking noise … saying things like, ‘You were hollering like a bitch!’”

    Jimmy reads this part of the Prevot interview and sighs. As a cop, he says, “you’re knee-deep in enough car wrecks, and you see enough bodies torn apart, and you’re around all this horror-show stuff enough times and, like, it just stops being so horrible after a while. You’re around a lot of people who are in horrific, awful, horrible pain and suffering, caused by other people, caused by you, caused by a lot of different stuff and…” He sighs again. “The human heart only has a certain capacity, right? You hit a limit in there somewhere, and it just shuts down. It quits working.

    “I’m not going to say that’s not sick and twisted,” he adds. “But it’s a necessary response to the job. It’s a coping mechanism, especially for the guys in patrol. They’re up close and personal with the horror every day.”

    In December 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would review six incidents in which Houston police officers used force against unarmed citizens. Prevot’s arrest was one; Holley’s beating was another; Angela Horton’s face-push was a third. Fourth was Anthony Childress, who says a group of officers stopped him while he was riding his bike and beat him so severely that he lost six teeth and needed 56 stitches. Childress filed an excessive force complaint that was dismissed.

    In the other two cases, HPD officers killed people.

    When Officer J. McGowan arrived at a reported assault in progress in July 2012, she didn’t know that Rufino Lara was the victim. The officer saw him walking away and followed him, ordering him to stop and show his hands. Witnesses say Lara, 54, turned around with his hands already in the air. McGowan says one hand was tucked into Lara’s waistband. Wherever Lara’s hands were, McGowan shot him dead. In his waistband, she found a beer.

    Brian Claunch made violent threats against the officers who came to his home in September 2012 on a disturbance call. Claunch, 45, lived in a residence for disabled men with mental illness. He suffered from schizophrenia and was confined to a wheelchair because he had only one arm and one leg. Yet according to HPD, Claunch backed an able-bodied officer into a corner and jabbed at her with a shiny object. Officer Matthew Marin came to his partner’s aid and killed Claunch with one shot. The object in Claunch’s hand turned out to be a pen. HPD says the case is still under investigation, but a grand jury has already cleared Marin of any wrongdoing.

    HPD records consider Brian Claunch to have been armed. The department counts his pen as a weapon. But 49 of the people Houston officers fired on during the past six years were unarmed, even by HPD standards. That’s one in five.

    In most cases, the reason the department gave for officers firing on unarmed citizens was “posturing.” The news releases that accompany each HPD shooting use a specific vocabulary to justify the ones in which a suspect is unarmed. The officer “saw several suspicious males” in an area “known for narcotics activity.” The officer saw someone who “matched the description of a suspect” wanted elsewhere. The suspect “made furtive motions,” or “aggressively confronted the officer with one hand behind his back as if he was holding a weapon.” Most often, though, the suspect “appeared to place his hands down the front of his pants” or “began to make movements around his waistband” or “reached into his waistband, as if he was retrieving a weapon.” Why so many unarmed men would rummage in their pants at a moment of crisis is never addressed.

    In one case, an off-duty officer saw a man walking up his driveway and suspected him a car thief. The officer says he grabbed his service weapon and ordered the man to show his hands but the man “instead began running at” him with his hands “concealed in his pockets.” The officer fired several shots. Because the suspect escaped, he must have charged the officer, hands in pockets, despite seeing the gun and hearing commands, then made a U-turn after the officer fired and dashed away.

    No matter the reason an officer gives for firing, it’s always enough for Internal Affairs and the Homicide Division, which investigate every discharge of a service weapon. In the past six years, HPD officers killed citizens in 109 shooting incidents and killed animals in 225 incidents. In 112 shootings, officers wounded citizens; in another 104, they wounded animals. Of 550 shooting incidents with some kind of casualty, not one was found unjustified.



    Hunt says the investigative process that finds all shootings justified is extremely thorough and fair. “When we shoot someone, [Internal Affairs] comes out, [District Attorney]’s office comes out, Homicide [Division], and our attorney comes out, and we agree to do a walk-through of the case,” Hunt says. “We oppose videotaping that walk-through and the reason is, all the facts out there show that two, three days [later], things will be recalled that the officer realizes took place that he didn’t realize that second when his adrenaline is sky-high and he just shot or killed somebody. … We don’t think it’s fair, then, for an officer who—and this routinely happens—two, three days later [to] say, ‘You know what? I forgot to tell y’all, something did happen out there. I remember this.’ … If the defense attorney shows a videotape of [the walk-through], saying ‘Well he didn’t say it here!’ you can’t convince all those jurors that people recall things later.”

    But internal documents show that if a recording of an officer’s initial statement about a serious incident differs from a later statement, HPD trusts the earlier version.

    Officer Paul Nguyen was off-duty when he got into a fight with a driver he thought was acting unsafely. According to HPD records, Nguyen grabbed the driver, Mr. Melchor, by the shirt, dragged him from the car and held him up by the throat. Then Nguyen calmed down and went home. Melchor called 9-1-1. Because this happened outside of HPD’s jurisdiction, a Harris County deputy constable responded.

    In Nguyen’s official account, made well after the incident, he claimed that during the argument, “he saw Mr. Melchor’s hand drop to the right side of his body—which was more concealed—and led Officer Nguyen to believe Mr. Melchor was reaching for a weapon,” according to HPD’s report.

    But the Harris County deputy constable who spoke to Nguyen right after the incident was wearing a body microphone. It recorded Nguyen saying he “was aware he had overreacted” and had, in his words, done a “stupid thing,” according to HPD’s report. “Further,” the records state, “Officer Nguyen did not mention or recount at any point his concern that Mr. Melchor was reaching for a weapon…”

    Melchor’s excessive force complaint was one of the 15 that Internal Affairs sustained.



    After the hospital, Prevot spent the night in jail. The next day, he filed an excessive force complaint against the arresting officers. Some months later, he got a letter in the mail saying his complaint had been dismissed. Prevot’s injuries were apparently a justified consequence of trying to escape. “They said I tried to run when I got out of the car,” Prevot says. “That’s ridiculous. There was no reason for me to run. My whole thing was to try to get back to that house.”

    Prevot’s excessive force complaint was one of 691 the Houston Police Department dismissed in the past six years. By now, Prevot has stopped thinking that telling his story is of any use. He believed that when he filed a complaint about use of force, the officers responsible would be punished. But they weren’t. He believed that when the Justice Department said it would review his case, something might happen, but the investigation has already closed without explanation. At this point, Prevot is almost finished serving the two years’ probation he got for evading arrest. He wants to put that night behind him. But he can’t, because now his record bears a felony.

    “It’s so hard,” he says. “I just had a great job with Samsung. Great job. They sent me to Dallas for training and everything. … I come back here and three days later, they email me. … They say, ‘We can’t hire you because your background check didn’t go through.’ And that killed me, you know, man? That just killed my little spirit. This happened just three weeks ago, four weeks ago. Now I’m back out there, looking for a job.”

    I ask Prevot what he wants to happen. He says, “Can you get my car back? Because they took my car anyway, from in front of my house.” He hangs his head. “You know, it makes me want to cry just saying that because it defeats the whole $#@!ing purpose. [The police] took my car, and I never got it back.”

    While Internal Affairs ultimately found the officers’ behavior justified, the men themselves—if only for a moment—might know better.

    Prevot says during their hours in the hospital together, the officers’ demeanor changed. “You’re looking at this guy you’ve been with all night long,” he says. “They listened to me talk. They know I’m not a bad guy. I don’t have a record. I didn’t have no weapons. … They knew the type of person that they were dealing with, versus the criminals.”

    Prevot had been asking for a cigarette for hours. “By the time we was going to the jail, it was like seven, eight in the morning,” Prevot says. “The guys stopped at the Shell station on the way to the jailhouse and bought me a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. And neither one of them smoked. They were like, ‘Hey man, smoke ’em in the back of the squad car. Usually, you know, we’re not supposed to smoke in here, but we’ll let you do it. You know, whatever.’”

    I ask, “Do you think they felt bad?”

    “I know they did,” he says. “I mean, they didn’t act like they felt bad. But anybody would.”

    Emily DePrang is a staff writer at The Texas Observer, where she covers public health and criminal justice. Her reporting has appeared in The Atlantic, Black Book, Bitch, Nerve, FHM, and others. A former nonfiction editor of the Sonora Review, DePrang has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, DePrang won the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for public interest magazine journalism and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for an essay published in Fourth Genre.

    http://www.texasobserver.org/horror-...es-unpunished/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  22. #411

    Default

    If you're doing nothing wrong.........

    Drug suspects had soap, not cocaine bricks
    Pair spent month in prison before lab results came back.


    December 13, 2013|By Manuel Gamiz Jr., Of The Morning Call

    When a state trooper pulled the couple over along Interstate 78 last month, he said he stopped them because they were going 5 miles over the speed limit and hugging the side of the lane.

    The trooper said he smelled marijuana. The driver of the new Mercedes-Benz, 26-year-old Annadel Cruz, told him she had smoked the drug before she left New York City, but had not done so in the car.

    The trooper asked to search the car, and Cruz consented. When the trooper found two plastic-wrapped packages in the trunk of the car, Cruz told him they contained soap she had made herself.

    The trooper field-tested them and Cruz and her friend, 30-year-old Alexander Bernstein, spent the next month in Lehigh County Prison after being arrested on cocaine-trafficking charges.

    They got out this week after the Lehigh County district attorney's office dropped the charges because a state police lab tested the packages and found they contained boric acid or soap.

    Attorneys for the couple are questioning the investigation, accusing the trooper of profiling the couple and botching the field test.

    "I think it is a nice car with out-of-state plates and a Hispanic female behind the wheel" that prompted the traffic stop, said Josh Karoly, who represents Bernstein. "If it was me driving that car, this wouldn't have happened."

    Cruz's attorney, Robert Goldman, said, "After this, everyone should pause about jumping to conclusions when a field test is said to be positive by law enforcement. There are people going to jail on high bail amounts based upon these field tests."

    Bernstein was sent to prison under $500,000 bail and Cruz under $250,000 bail by District Judge Jacob Hammond.

    Field tests are used by police departments to test substances believed to be drugs at suspected crime scenes. A sample of the substance is mixed with a liquid, causing a reaction and change in color that will indicate if it is an illegal drug, Karoly said.

    That substance will then be sent to the state police lab for further analysis and testing.

    Karoly said he believes the field test either didn't happen, it was lied about or something is wrong with how it was done.

    "A young man spent a month in jail, spent a substantial amount of money to get out of jail and missed Thanksgiving with his 17-month-old son," he said. "To do that on a field test, we better be darn sure that these field tests are accurate."

    Bernstein's bail was posted Tuesday, a day before the district attorney's office called to let him know they were dropping charges. Cruz, a community college student, was released from prison Wednesday, Goldman said. Goldman said Cruz had no criminal record before the Nov. 13 stop in South Whitehall Township.

    While his client is happy to be released, Goldman said it will take time to recover from the stigma of being incarcerated as a drug offender.

    "Her name is all over the place, making light of her defense that she was just transporting soap," he said. "She was labeled online as a drug dealer, she was incarcerated with people who do commit crimes.

    "It's going to take her a good deal of time to get her good name back," Goldman said.

    According to a criminal complaint:

    A state trooper stopped Cruz, who was driving a new Mercedes-Benz, on westbound I-78 near the Cedar Crest Boulevard exit because she was approaching 60 mph in a 55 mph zone and was riding a traffic line for about a half-mile.

    When questioned, Cruz told the trooper the car was a rental and they were driving from New York to Florida. The trooper told her he smelled marijuana and she said she had smoked earlier in the day, but not in the car. She gave police permission to search the car.

    Bernstein told police he had a bag in the trunk and gave police permission to search it. In the bag, the trooper found two brick-size packages, which were covered in clear plastic wrap and red tape.

    Cruz told police the packages contained soap she had made, but a field test revealed that the substance was cocaine. The packages weighed 5.2 pounds. Police said they also found a small amount of marijuana in Cruz's bra.

    The couple were charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of cocaine, conspiracy and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cruz also was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana, disregarding traffic lanes and speeding.

    The district attorney's office would only confirm that the state police lab determined the substance found in the car turned out to be soap, leading to the charges being withdrawn Thursday.

    Attempts to reach state police Friday were unsuccessful.

    Both attorneys accused state police of profiling.

    Goldman said police stopped his client for barely going past the speed limit and getting close to the line, something almost every driver on the highway does at some point.

    "Anybody who drives under 60 miles an hour on I-78 has the chance of getting rear-ended," Goldman said. "It was one of the worst probable causes for stopping."

    Goldman said his client was taking the soap to a sister in Florida. He described Bernstein as her friend.

    Karoly said this case is an example of rushing to conclusions.

    "We are so cynical that we don't believe people," Karoly said. "We don't give people the benefit of the doubt."

    Neither attorney said he has discussed civil litigation.

    manuel.gamiz@mcall.com

    610-820-6595
    http://articles.mcall.com/2013-12-13...-suspects-soap
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  23. #412

    Default

    AMERICAN CITIZEN LABELED “TRASH,” HANGED TO DEATH IN POLICE CUSTODY 5
    GEORGETOWN

    – A Brown County coroner has confirmed that a father who was hung to death in police custody was a victim of murder, according to reports.

    Communities were initially told that Zachary Goldson’s death was due to a “suicide.”

    But as they looked closely into the death, they discovered that officers had deleted key video footage that showed Goldson in the last 30 minutes of his life.

    Footage shows officers initiating force on Goldson while Goldson was handcuffed and unable to defend himself. Reports state that they deleted additional footage that was "key" in showing what they did during the last minutes of Goldson's life.

    It began in September after Goldson was arrested by officers on the claim that he had a .22 firearm and had fired it across a roadway near his home.

    He was locked inside of a cell and faced up to 14 years for the gun charges.


    Goldson maintained that he did “nothing wrong.”

    Indeed, he had not harmed anyone, and the constitution guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms.

    Related: Government Chemist Creates Fake “Evidence” to Give Prosecutors Convictions, Thousands of Innocents Imprisoned

    Once in jail, Goldson wrote a revealing letter to his mother.

    He expressed a future-based intention to see her again, a fact that became deeply mysterious in light of the claim that he was “suicidal.”

    “Im just writin you to tell you I love you mom…I’m going to miss you both and Im prayin you are still around when I get out because I don’t want to loose my mom while im in jail.”

    The letter is reproduced in its entirety below:

    <Letter at link. >

    About nine days after his initial arrest, Goldson was taken to a jail hospital after vomiting.

    Jail documents claimed that he had “swallowed” a pen and some staples.

    At some point during his transfer to the hospital, he attempted to free himself from captivity and return back home to his family.

    Allegedly, he used his shackles to strike an officer during his escape attempt. That’s when officers piled onto him and restrained him once again.

    He was accused of assaulting an officer.

    A swarm of officers can be seen on a dashcam video surrounding Goldson.

    They can be heard calling Goldson “trash” and stating a desire to “break his $#@!ing neck.”

    Moments later an officer seems to promise more violence upon Goldson: “This motherfucker is going to receive a welcome party at the jail.

    WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT





    Less than an hour later, Goldson was taken back to jail, a noose made of a bedsheet was tightened around his neck, and he was hung to death.

    These factors led many to conclude that Goldson was murdered by the police, and that the police were trying to cover up the murder by claiming that it was a “suicide.”


    But because officers deleted the jail footage showing what happened to Goldson during the last minutes of his life, investigators couldn’t be certain.

    Now, in a newly released report by the coroner, Goldson’s death has been confirmed as murder by strangulation.

    It would have been “physically impossible” for Goldson to have tied his own noose given how high the ceiling was, according to the report.


    “At first I thought it was a suicide until all the information started coming in,” Goldson’s mother said. “But there was so much evidence, it became clear that something was wrong.”

    Goldson leaves behind his mother and his 9-yr-old son, both of whom he had hoped to see again.
    http://filmingcops.com/american-citizen/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  24. #413

    Default

    Police Say Teen Shot Self in Head — While Hands Cuffed Behind Back
    In yet another case of defying the limits of physiology, 17-year-old Jesus Huerta died in Durham police custody.

    December 14, 2013 |

    A strange phenomenon has been occurring in police custody around the U.S., which seems to defy both the laws of physics and the limits of human physiology. Young people of color, handcuffed with their hands bound behind their backs, are able to shoot themselves in the head. For the critical observer, belief is beggared.

    As I noted last year, twice in six months, young men have managed to shoot themselves in the head while in handcuffs in the back of police cars. And now again, a North Carolina teen has died of a gunshot wound that police say was self-inflicted while the young man was in handcuffs.

    Via local station WNCT9:

    A Durham teen [17-year-old Jesus Huerta] died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said.

    “I know that it is hard for people not in law enforcement to understand how someone could be capable of shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back,” Lopez said. “While incidents like this are not common, they unfortunately have happened in other jurisdictions in the past.”

    Huerta’s family released a statement following the press conference held by Lopez. The family of Huerta said the press conference did not release any new information to the public.

    “How did Jesús end up dead in the parking lot at police headquarters in these circumstances? Searched. Handcuffed behind the back. How is it even possible to shoot oneself?” the statement reads.
    http://www.alternet.org/civil-libert...ed-behind-back

    THURSDAY, DEC 6, 2012 04:40 PM EST
    Another handcuffed young man manages to shoot himself
    A high schooler reportedly shot self in a police car, recalling a similar incident shrouded in controversy

    A perturbing trend is emerging in the South. Twice in six months, young men have managed to shoot themselves in the head while in handcuffs in the back of police cars, after having been searched for weapons. For many critical observers, the circumstances beggar belief.

    In August of this year, police in Jonesboro, Ark. claimed that Chavis Carter, 21, committed suicide while in the back of a patrol car. He was handcuffed at the time and had already been searched for weapons. Somehow, according to the police report, the searh missed Carter’s concealed handgun and the young man — found to be on a number of amphetamines and sedatives at the time — managed to reach around his back to shoot himself in the right side of his head, despite being left-handed. Dr. Isaac Richmond, national director of the Memphis-based Commission on Religion and Racism, called the police’s account “a cold-blooded calculated lie,” but a state autopsy fell in line with the suicide narrative.

    Then on Wednesday in Texas, a police officer managed to overlook a very large gun when searching a high schooler he was taking in to custody. The 17-year-old, who was being detained by police after a friend reported him a suicide risk, reportedly shot himself in the back of the head while he was in the police cruiser in handcuffs. The young man did not die and is in a critical but stable condition in hospital. The police report in this latter case appears more credible than the Arkansas incident and investigators are probing why the student’s gun was missed when he was searched. It remains unlikely, however that the plausibility of a suicide in this case will clear up lingering questions surrounding Chavis Carter’s death in police custody.
    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/06/anot...shoot_himself/
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  25. #414

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    If you're doing nothing wrong.........

    http://articles.mcall.com/2013-12-13...-suspects-soap
    But, but..... Officer.com SAID that the peasants were drug mules.

    Woman Tells Pa. Police Coke is Homemade Soap
    A New York couple had more than 2 kilos of cocaine in their car during a traffic stop Wednesday night on Interstate 78 in South Whitehall Township, according to court records.

    XNN
    "They sell us the president the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars. They sell us every thing from youth to religion the same time they sell us our wars. I want to know who the men in the shadows are. I want to hear somebody asking them why. They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are but theyre never the ones to fight or to die." - Jackson Browne Lives In The Balance

  26. #415

    Default

    Article does not mention what sentences the policemen received. As far as I know the judge in question was not charged and merely resigned.


    Two Georgia Police Officers, One Resident Convicted Of Framing Woman With Meth Possession

    By Jonathan Wolfe, Mon, December 16, 2013

    Two Murray County, Georgia police officers and a Dalton resident have been convicted of framing false drug possession and witness tampering. The men were all reportedly involved in an elaborate scheme to frame and discredit a woman who accused Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran of making inappropriate sexual advances towards her.

    The incident started in July of 2012 when Murray County resident Angela Garmley held a legal meeting with Judge Cochran. Garmley alleged that Cochran made unwanted and aggressive sexual advances towards her during the meeting. She reported the advances to authorities.

    Weeks later, on August 12, 2012, Cochran’s handyman and two Murray County police officers attempted to frame Garmley for methamphetamine possession. The scheme was supposedly set up at Cochran’s direction.

    In order to frame Garmley, Cochran’s tenant and handyman Clifford Joyce planted a small metal box containing methamphetamine bags inside a wheel well on the woman’s car. Two days later, Murray County Deputy Sheriff Joshua Greeson purposefully pulled over Garmley to search her car for drugs. Of course, he found the methamphetamine bags. He was told exactly where they would be by Murray County Police Captain Michael Henderson.

    Murray County prosecutors immediately filed narcotics possession charges against Garmley. But her attorney fired back and said his client had been set up by authorities in order to discredit her sexual advance claim against Judge Cochran. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into the incident and, on August 24, 2012, dropped all charges against Garmley.

    Both law enforcement officers were convicted of witness tampering and Joyce was convicted of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Joyce will now spend the next one and a half years in prison. United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates spoke on the prison sentencing today.

    “By planting drugs on an innocent woman’s car, Mr. Joyce attempted to use the criminal justice system to serve his own personal agenda,” Yates said. “In the end, however, it is Mr. Joyce, and not the Murray County woman, who will be headed to prison.”

    Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan released a statement of his own. Here is an excerpt from it:

    “Vindicating an innocent person is as important as convicting the guilty. The GBI will continue to work with our federal law enforcement counterparts to ensure criminal cases are thoroughly investigated so the innocent remain free and the guilty are held accountable.”

    Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, FBI
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/socie...th-possession#
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  27. #416

    Default

    One and a half years huh?
    “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” --George Orwell

    Quote Originally Posted by AuH20 View Post
    In terms of a full spectrum candidate, Rand is leaps and bounds above Trump. I'm not disputing that.
    Who else in public life has called for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea?--Donald Trump

  28. #417

    Default

    Here is a blogspot on O.I.D.V. (Officer Involved Domestic Violence). Well worth checking out as we sometimes forget about spousal abuse when we report on police abuse.

    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/

    There is really to many incidents over there to re-post.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  29. #418

    Default

    http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com...ina-olson.html

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013


    Of Poker and Plunder: Commissarina Olson Strikes Again


    In spite of the fact that he has not committed a criminal act, Boise resident Skinner Anderson faces three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Wendy J. Olson, the Soviet-grade legal functionary who afflicts Idaho as U.S. Attorney, has wrung a guilty plea out of Anderson on a single charge of “misprision of felony” because a home he rented was used for what have been described as illegal poker games.

    The federal statute under which Anderson was charged is obscure and seldom prosecuted. Private gambling is banned in Idaho by state statutes that are rarely enforced: Since 1975, fewer than 300 people have been arrested or cited in Idaho for gambling. No felony charges were filed following a raid carried out by a federally supervised task force last April. Fourteen people were charged with misdemeanors and issued citations by a state court.

    Anderson’s only role in this affair was to receive rent payments from Kings Santy – the poker and billiards enthusiast who organized the games. Yet the landlord is the only defendant to face the prospect of time in a government cage.

    Under the relevant provision of the Idaho State Code (18-3802), the worst that could be inflicted on him would be a misdemeanor fine for “knowingly” allowing people to play poker on his property.

    Commissarina Olson, displaying the dishonesty and depraved ingenuity for which people in her profession have become notorious, contrived a way to charge him with a federal offense that involves guilty knowledge “of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States” – something he obviously didn’t do, because none of the people arrested last April has been charged with a felony.

    Tellingly, Santy – who, once again, organized the “illegal” poker games -- was not charged with a crime. In fact, he wasn’t even arrested. Any time the police allow the “ringleader” to get off scot free, they are indisputably protecting an informant.

    Apart from Olson and her band of state-licensed plunderers, Santy is the only individual in this matter who has committed a crime – specifically, an act of deception that injured the rights of another person. When he signed a lease on the home in 2008, Santy told Anderson that he intended to use the property to operate an auto repossession company. He has since admitted that this was a lie.

    At some point – most likely immediately after he rented the home from Anderson – Santy became an informant. All of the “evidence” collected by Olson regarding Anderson’s supposed offenses is drawn from Santy’s self-serving conversations with FBI Agent Douglas Hart, who supervised the investigation.

    According to Hart’s probable cause affidavit, “Anderson told Santy that he didn’t care what Santy was doing on his property as long as it didn’t cause Anderson trouble.” Presumably, “trouble” would have resulted – and an eviction most likely would have ensued -- if those games had become a neighborhood nuisance.

    The raids in April were carried out by the valiant badasses of the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, who claimed to be responding to unspecified “complaints” about the poker tournaments. Once again, the only source of those “complaints” would be Santy. The ringleader/informant reportedly told Agent Hart that one of his dealers said a woman whose “husband or boyfriend lost their rent money from a poker game called Anderson to complain,” according to the Idaho Statesman.

    This hearsay “evidence” offered by an admitted liar (remember, Santy deceived Anderson about his intent in leasing the house) is the only substantive link connecting the landlord to the “illegal” poker games conducted on his property. If Santy had been compelled to testify, he would have been eviscerated on the stand by a reasonably competent attorney.

    Federal juries tend to be terminally credulous, and Olson – once again, following the protocols of her despicable profession – would most likely have multiplied the charges against Anderson and threatened him with decades in prison as punishment for exercising his right to a trial by jury.

    As I’ve noted before, federal attorneys prefer extortion to prosecution.

    “How much does the State weigh?” Stalin once asked a Soviet procurator frustrated by an unusually recalcitrant defendant who refused to sign a confession. As a federal prosecutor in the Soviet mold, Olson is adept at using the weight of the State to break innocent men and women. And in this case, as in so many others, Olson’s objective was to steal Anderson’s property through forfeiture: Before filing criminal charges against the beleaguered businessman, Olson filed a “forfeiture” motion to seize the “gambling house” where Santy had held the poker games.

    Anderson was most likely told by his defense attorney that if he fought the charge the Feds – employing a widely used tactic -- would freeze his financial assets, leaving him destitute and unable to pay his legal expenses. Thus he was left with no choice but to submit to the demands of Olson and her comrades.

    For his part, Santy remains at large to entrap other potential victims. He has plenty of company in Olson’s feculent stable of informants and provocateurs.

    Now that a guilty plea has been extracted from Anderson, confiscating his property will be much easier. Olson has been a tireless evangelist on behalf of the gospel of collaborative plunder, and she has built a large and eager congregation among Gem State law enforcement agencies.

    Forfeiture is a tremendously lucrative racket for Olson’s office, which boasted in an October 28 press release that it has seized $1.7 million in “forfeiture” proceeds, while kicking back $1 million to state and local police agencies “via the equitable sharing program.” Olson’s office reported a total take of $34 million for FY 2013 – an impressive figure, but a dramatic decrease from 2012’s record $84 million haul. This might help explain why Olson’s plunderbund went after Anderson so zealously: Grabbing a $200,000 home would get the new fiscal year off to a good start.

    On the same day that Anderson was arrested and charged with gambling-related felonies, the state’s largest gambling syndicate began its biggest buy-in to date. The state government of Idaho – which will benefit from the seizure of Anderson’s property – announced its Mega Millions lottery jackpot. Tickets cost a dollar each, and are sold at retail outlets state-wide, thereby directly implicating hundreds of business owners – as well as the entire tax victim population -- in an activity that would be regarded as criminal if conducted privately.

    Mr. Anderson, who had no direct involvement in a penny-ante poker tournament, may be sent to prison with the connivance of the same state government that -- in addition to the routine crimes of violence and fraud it perpetrates – maintains a multi-billion-dollar gambling operation.

    To paraphrase the despondent Danish prince: In our prison society, there is nothing either good or bad, unless the state says so. Thus private poker is a "crime," state-licensed lotteries are a civic blessing, and officially sanctioned theft of an innocent man's property is "justice."
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  30. #419

    Default

    Illinois: Man Freed After Conviction Is Overturned

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/us...g&gwt=pay&_r=0

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: December 12, 2013

    A man who for decades insisted that Chicago police officers tortured him until he confessed to a 1982 rape he did not commit walked out of the Pontiac Correctional Center on Wednesday after 30 years in prison. The release of the man, Stanley Wrice, 59, came a day after a Cook County judge, Richard Walsh, overturned his conviction, saying officers had lied about how they had treated Mr. Wrice. It will be up to a special prosecutor to decide whether to retry him.

  31. #420

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Illinois: Man Freed After Conviction Is Overturned

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/us...g&gwt=pay&_r=0

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: December 12, 2013

    A man who for decades insisted that Chicago police officers tortured him until he confessed to a 1982 rape he did not commit walked out of the Pontiac Correctional Center on Wednesday after 30 years in prison. The release of the man, Stanley Wrice, 59, came a day after a Cook County judge, Richard Walsh, overturned his conviction, saying officers had lied about how they had treated Mr. Wrice. It will be up to a special prosecutor to decide whether to retry him.
    H/T/ to Originalist on this one AF (post # 399). Those that tortured the confession have gotten away. Free and clear. "Statute of limitations." There is no limitation for redress for those that still suffer. Plain and simple.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

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