Shooting Civilians Not Enough, Cops are Now Shooting Each Other Too

It has been a while since I have posted about the police, but yes, they are still murdering innocent people of all races, ages, and genders. Recently however, police incompetence has taught a few of the officers some lessons of their own. Some cops are getting a nice taste of what they routinely dish out to us peasants.

A police supervisor shot one of his minions who was undercover, supposedly because the supervisor missed a meeting and didn’t know the procedure for the drug bust.

The undercover cop bought $60 worth of drugs. Then he got shot 9 times by his colleague who hadn’t attended the briefing. If this was a citizen who bought $60 worth of drugs, and was shot to death, you would never have heard about it, because he would have “deserved it” according to the media, the police, and most sheeple. Also, the cop who shot him would never have been taken to court.

I’m glad it was a cop that got shot by this other cop and not an innocent person. The cop that got shot had conspired to rob and cage non-violent people. The cop who shot him had conspired to do the same, plus murder a non-violent “criminal”. They are feeling the consequences of their unjust violent actions, (funded by theft in the first place).

This should teach us two things: 1) cops have no value for human life when they can demonize their non-violent target as a druggy, 2) even if cops did care about people, and even if they only policed crimes with victims, they are often too incompetent to properly deliver the service.

To prove this point, I direct your attention to exhibit A- a case where the police were actually attempting to do their job; investigating a report of a suspicious person and possible break-in.

A man shot by police officers who went to the wrong Atlanta house ran bleeding outside where a neighbor heard him asking, “Why did they come in my house? Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?”

It happened Monday night when officers arrived at the wrong Atlanta address after a report of suspicious activity, shot homeowner Christopher McKinley, killed his dog and “likely” shot a fellow officer, leaving him seriously wounded, authorities said Tuesday.

The most tragic part of this story is that they killed a nice, happy, family pet for no reason. Even if they had responded to the right house, did they think the dog had broken in? What is up with police shooting dogs for no reason? This should really scare people if the nature of those who go into police work enjoy killing innocent animals, just like serial killers.

The innocent man police shot is lucky to be alive, and the only consolation is that at least one of the officers knows how his victims feel after being shot by a fellow officer.

We have trigger happy sociopaths running around and telling us they are keeping us safe, but when they are called to actually do their job, they can’t even get the right house, resulting in the death of a pet, and attempted murder of the innocent homeowner. And even if it was the right house, they still would have killed the victims’ pet, and still gone in trigger-happy guns blazing for no reason.

Yet, if we suggest reform to the police system, we are labelled cop-haters by these thugs and their brainwashed supporters. I believe in the free market, so there will be protection and crime investigation if the market (the consumer) demands it. I do not need my money stolen to provide me this service–especially when the “service” endangers me more than the criminals they “protect” me from.

We need to open policing up to competition by abolishing all state monopolies on crime prevention and investigation, which includes government contracting to a private company. We need to be able to remove our money from bad agencies, and give it to good ones. Right now, the police who commit these atrocities are not properly punished, nor are the agencies defunded which hired the incompetent at best, possibly sociopathic officers.

At least when cops get shot by other cops, they are feeling the consequences of their unjust actions for once.

      

How Police in Iceland Dealt With a Fight I Witnessed

Last week I was in Reykjavic, the capital of Iceland. The scenery and the people are just great, and so is a lot of their culture. People talk about the socialist aspects of Iceland and other Scandinavian countries, but whatever the detriments caused by their relatively big government for their population size, police brutality is not one of them.

Only one person has ever been killed by the police in Iceland, and he was shooting randomly from his apartment. I realize less densely populated areas generally have less crime as well, but even adjusting for population size and crime rates, American police would have been expected to have killed 1,000-3,000 people since the 1960’s; not over 1,000 each year as it currently stands.

The other night I witnessed the Icelandic police officers’ restraint in dealing with drunken idiots. In America, they would have filled up the paddy wagon, or worse. In Reykjavic, they appear to be more interested in diffusing situations, not escalating them.

First, there were multiple officers standing around dealing with some situation, and a very drunk viking was screaming at them in Icelandic. I assume he was saying something negative towards the police. The drunkard’s friends ushered him away, and calmed him down. The police did not even acknowledge him. This is called restraint, and American police should take note. Instead of acting like a rival street-gang and throwing the rude drunkard to the ground or murdering him for being intoxicated in public, they let his friends deal with him. I guess they don’t have as much to prove.

Then, I just so happened to be in the vicinity of a couple guys who started yelling at each other. I didn’t know what they were saying, and at first honestly thought they may have been joking around with each other. But they were not, and one ran over and tackled the other to the ground. Friends stepped in to make sure it didn’t get too bad. There were some punches and kicks, but I don’t think those involved even wanted to really inflict much damage. The fight had mostly been broken up by the time the police van (which had only been a block away) stopped and about eight Icelandic police calmly stepped out.

I think one of those involved in the fight had already departed the area quite quickly, but a few others involved were gently beckoned to the police so they could figure out what happened. After a couple minutes of talking, everyone was sent on their way. No arrests, no brutality, and no one, not even those who had been fighting, were really hurt.

In America, someone would have been arrested, and put through the ringer. In all likelihood they would have been tackled to the ground, leading to worse injuries than were sustained in the actual fight. Then the police would have lectured them about how violence isn’t the answer–unless you are the police. Then it is always the answer.

This is a simple anecdote that doesn’t prove much, it is just what I saw from the police in the safest country on earth, with practically non-existent police brutality. But maybe it shows that America needs to rethink how situations are handled. Are police here to actually keep peace, and diffuse situations as the Icelandic police did? I don’t think so. I think the majority of people who become police in the USA do so for dubious purposes. Instead of setting an example of how to act, they use their position to act however they want. And I think the majority of police departments are more interested in writing traffic tickets in order to increase their budgets.

That being said, the system of public police does not properly place the incentives to behave well, neither in Iceland nor in America. If police were private, then the company they work for would be able to be defunded if the customers went elsewhere. In order to maintain a good image, and protect their profits, companies would fire and even prosecute bad officers. Currently we cannot defund the police no matter how few crimes they solve, or how many innocent people they maim.

The smaller a government gets, the more control the market has, though still indirectly. And that is probably the real reason why the Icelandic police are pretty good, because they still somewhat feel market pressures that a private company would feel. In a country with 300,000 residents, you have more access to the President than Americans have to their representative, where districts include over 700,000 people for the smallest federal office.

And we see the same thing in America. Generally speaking, the worst atrocities committed by police happen in big cities where the people and the voters have essentially no control over their politicians, nor the people they hire, including the police. In small towns, people know the police chief, and can knock on their selectman’s door. The politicians are much more likely to feel the brunt of their bad hiring, or failure to address cases of police brutality.

Even things that are technically illegal victimless crimes in Iceland were not enforced. Apparently it is illegal to carry around a beer, but everyone was doing it, and the police did not hassle people over it; probably because they are their neighbors, friends, and relatives.

This is not a complicated issue. If we want police to behave appropriately, we must place the incentives properly. Private businesses have the incentive to make sure their officers respond with appropriate force, instead of looking for an excuse to escalate situations. Governments–especially big ones–have essentially no reason to enforce high standards among police.

NYC Police Show No Respect for Authority

Police in New York City apparently have no respect for “legitimate” authority, as there has been a 94% drop in traffic and parking tickets issued, since Mayor De Blasio showed some support for protests against police brutality.

The police officers were even classy enough to use one of the slain NYC police officer‘s funeral as a platform for protest, turning their backs on the Mayor as he delivered a eulogy.

“Just no respect for the mayor. Nothing else to say,” one officer commented. And seeing as this man has no respect for authority, I assume he just wants to break the law. This officer must wish there was no mayor so that he could break the rules the mayor’s office currently sets for police officers. If the officer simply followed the rules, he would not run into trouble with the mayor and other politicians, who are just trying to do their jobs.

See what I did there? When civilians protest the unjust actions of police, they are labelled law breakers and trouble makers by police. But when Police disagree with their rule makers and enforcers, well this is just a legitimate qualm!

But I thank the NYC police officers for proving a very important point. The police are only there to keep us safe when their tax collection has been accomplished. They are well aware of this, which is why their protest has taken the form of denying the City of New York revenue generally collected by the police.

By showing some support for protesters, Mayor De Blasio has found himself on the wrong side of the thin blue line, and is being punished by the police. Just like protesters who film police in an attempt to keep them accountable for their actions are arrested, beat and harassed by some officers. You cannot criticize the actions of even a handful of officers, because according to the police, this means you are ungrateful, and probably just want to break the law.

And the rest of us are sitting back here a little confused like, wait, we got what we wanted? Why did the police cut down on arresting people for victimless crimes and stop giving out revenue generating tickets? Only once you realize their real role do you understand: they are punishing the mayor by denying him revenue for the city that the officers usually extort from the people of New York.

It is great when there is some infighting amongst the organized crime syndicate called government. Takes the pressure off the peasants for a while. I certainly wonder how it will turn out: I am sure De Blasio wants to get his hands back on the peoples’ wallets, and I am sure the police want to keep acting like a gang without being criticized by their superiors.

If you resist an officer even when you have done nothing wrong, many will use this as an excuse to beat, arrest, and possibly even murder you. So would it not be fitting that since these officers are resisting their boss, they should be fired?

Or perhaps the NYC police are really just thugs who always want it their way, whether their way is right or wrong. They will claim they are just following orders, but then they will attempt to strong arm their boss into changing the orders.

Well it seems if they have that much control, couldn’t they simply not arrest people for law violations they disagree with? I think the NYC cops have tipped their hand. They like harassing people, and will only give De Blasio what he wants, if they get what they want: free reign over the city of New York.

Wake-up Call from Ferguson: Stop the Police State

When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That is why police arrested two journalists the other day in Ferguson, MO before releasing them without charges. Had the journalists done anything wrong, or committed a crime? No. Were they taunting police, or causing a disruption? No, they were eating at McDonald’s, when it was stormed by a SWAT-like unit of police. Maybe the police were hoping one of the journalists’ hands would leave their view so they could shoot him with impunity. But how stupid must these cops be to think arresting two mainstream reporters would help their image, or improve the situation?

This stomping of First Amendment rights—or just human rights, natural rights against being harassed for normal, non aggressive activity—will only lead more to wake up. I am glad, for the sake of public awareness, some mainstream media personnel are going through what amateur videographers and bloggers go through daily. We are starting to hear whispers: is the public waking up from their dream of a peaceful 1950’s Officer Friendly neighborhood, to find themselves in the cold dark reality of a police state?

“From the beginning of this situation, the police have made conscious decisions to restrict information and images coming from Ferguson,” David Boardman, president of the association, said in the statement. “Of course, these efforts largely have been unsuccessful, as the nation and the world are still seeing for themselves the heinous actions of the police. For every reporter they arrest, every image they block, every citizen they censor, another will still write, photograph and speak.”

“That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news,” Baron said. “The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous. After being placed in a holding cell, he was released with no charges and no explanation. He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him.”

This comes after the Ferguson police attempted to ban low flying aircraft over the city, so that news helicopters could not see what was happening on the ground. Through every step of this recent tragedy, the police have done the wrong thing: becoming violent and militarized, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, and suppressing the filming and reporting of the events. There were in fact riots; so why are the police bothering to harass innocent people while they could be stopping looting and actual violence?

Of course the whole situation in Ferguson between rightfully angry protesters and militarized police started when an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by police. The police are now saying he was a “strong-armed robbery” suspect: he allegedly shoplifted and intimidated the clerk. But why does that lead to a death sentence, carried out without judge and jury, by an arresting officer? If the suspect was dangerous, get more officers to subdue him without incident. If the suspect was not dangerous, then why is he dead? Again, the police only know how to do one thing: use force, more and more often excessive force.

Situations everyday are exacerbated by a police presence that looks like it dropped from the sky out of a war zone in the middle east—the training ground for a new generation of police. There are SWAT raids for non-violent crimes, often no-knock raids in which people are accidentally shot, or shot on purpose when they respond how anyone would respond to random unidentified violent people breaking into their homes!

Many of us lowly bloggers have been attempting to raise the red flag about the way police are acting these days. Unfortunately there is an attitude that it is always “the other side” being harassed by the police. And that is another product of the fascism which splintered into both mainstream political parties: one loves the nanny state, one loves the police state. And as a former police state apologist (many moons ago), I see it as my duty to wake people up to the fact that the dog will bite the hand that fed it.

When all you got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Defender of Murderous NYC Police Complains: No One Respects Cops

resisting arrestI’ve said similar things in the past, how can you get arrested with the only charge being resisting arrest? It means they are arresting you for nothing. It is the clearest case of the police being the aggressors, breaking the non-agression principle and then using your rightful reaction of resisting kidnapping as an excuse for why you should have been kidnapped in the first place.

And yet, just this week, the commissar of the New York City Police Union had the nerve to complain that people do not respect cops, and suggested civilians get what they deserve when they resist arrest.

“There is an attitude on our streets today that it is acceptable to resist arrest,” lamented Lynch. “That attitude is a direct result of a lack of respect for law enforcement.”

While the NYC cops continue to brutalize and murder people, this spokesman actually tries to act like the police are the victims! If only we respected them, they would stop beating us. Doesn’t that sound like an abusive relationship to you? They blame the victim. And the obvious question to everyone not thoroughly indoctrinated is, why the hell would I respect someone who makes his money from stolen tax dollars, and who uses the excuses “I’m just following orders” and “I want to get home at night” to justify their immoral actions that would be considered illegal if anyone not wearing a badge did the same?

In fact there is case law from the Supreme Court in 1900 that says if an unlawful arrest is taking place, the person being arrested indeed has the right to resist arrest, and in the case at hand, he even shot the arresting officer dead. This is because no warrant was issued for the arrest, and the police who were “just following orders” from their Chief, had no right to initiate force against the man. Indiana recently adopted a similar law that clarifies this: if a police officer enters your house or aggresses on you without a warrant, he is like any other person violating your rights, and you may therefore respond the same as you would to any other intruder.

So instead of blaming the victim, the clear course of action to keep police officers safe, as the spokesman claims is his prerogative, would be to punish officers who harass innocent people, and initiate arrests against innocent people, with trumped up charges based on video recording, or insulting language (not a crime) towards the officer, or with the only charge being resisting arrest, proving there was nothing to be arrested for in the first place. Stop defending bad cops, and maybe you won’t all get grouped into the bad cop mantra. Stand up and punish bad cops, and take a stand against police brutality, and perhaps some respect for police will return, when it is deserved. And don’t expect this to happen quickly: police have earned their reputation as lawless thugs, and trust, once broken, is nearly impossible to repair.

So until then follow this advice on how to talk to police: Don’t.

dont talk to police

And at this point, I would extend this concept to off duty police officers who do not stand up against the disgusting actions of their “brothers in arms”. Shun police officers, in public, at social gatherings, and wherever else you meet them. If they want to feel above the law, then let them be alone in their elevated caste. Respect is earned, not taken by force. Until police start respecting civilians, there is no reason to have respect for police as a whole. Respect the individual officers who stand up against their out of control compatriots. But if they are just following orders, just want to get home at night, just doing their job, or just watching as people’s rights are violated, how are they any better than the aggressor?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” –(probably) Edmund Burke

No Victim, No Crime

In my posts, I can be a bit hard on cops sometimes. This is because with great power comes great responsibility. Police are often in rough situations, and see the worst of the world on a daily basis, which can mess with anyone’s head to some extent. So today instead of simply criticizing the actions of more cops who shot innocent people, or violated their rights of freedom of speech and to be secure in their persons, I want to offer a solution. It’s so simple, and no one should have a problem with this: no victim, no crime.

So think about a lot of these instances of police abuse you hear. They start with expired tags, or with the refusal to show ID to a cop, or with twenty-somethings filming the police. The police as it currently stands feel their responsibilities cover “crimes” that have no victim, like insuring registration on cars is paid. In these respects they are little more than enforcers to ensure the state gets paid their “protection money”… because wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to that nice shiny car of yours?

The solution is, a cop cannot intervene at all when there is no crime, defining crime as requiring a victim. Expired tags? Oh well, the state is not a victim if the money is extorted in the first place: withholding something that someone wants to take from you is not victimizing the state, it is refusing to be victimized (kind of like shooting someone in self defense who breaks into your house).

This wouldn’t eliminate all police brutality, but it would be a good start. Then there would be no dispute about whether police acted appropriately when shooting or brutalizing unarmed victims who had been stopped for jaywalking, or an ill placed traffic cone, or buying water, or reaching for a cane, or peaceful protesting, or not showing ID, or being dazed after a brutal car accident, or hanging out on a campsite they rented,  etcetera.

There was no crime in all these cases, so the police would never have had any authority to even detain or force any of these people to talk to them. All these victims would still be alive or unmolested and unscarred from their run-ins with police, enforcing a law that has no victim to protect.

If common law boiled down to the non-initiation of force principle, things would be safer for police and for peasants—I mean civilians. Cops wouldn’t have to be trigger happy with innocent people, able to use the excuse, “I want to get home at the end of the night”. The only people that would be confronted would at least be suspected of a crime that had a victim, which would mean far fewer people ever having to deal with the police.

Did this person initiate force against another? If yes, the police get involved. If no, the police go on their merry way. And if the police initiate the force without a victim, well then they have violated the law like anyone else. The badge does not negate the possibility of victimizing another.

This would also mean we could free up a lot of resources. For one, you don’t need as many police, lawyers, and judges when the only people going through the system have victimized someone, versus expired licenses, smoking pot, or “resisting arrest” (and the only reason I mention resisting arrest as a victimless crime is because it always baffled me how someone could get arrested just for resisting arrest. After all, what were they being arrested for that made them resist arrest? And if they are only being charged with resisting arrest, that means there was no original crime to be charged with, and therefore resisting arrest was appropriate, as in “why am I being arrested if I have not committed a crime?”… “STOP RESISTING”).

We would also need fewer people to write laws, because they wouldn’t be able to make anything criminal if there was no victim, and everything that includes a victim is already criminal under the common law of, “No one may initiate force against another”. And they say there’s no room for budget cuts! But as it stands victimless crimes serve as an excuse for cops to abuse their power.

The Rise and Danger of No-Knock Warrants and SWAT Raids

bearcatPolice are increasingly using “no knock warrants” to search houses that the court has authorized them to search, according to due process. A no knock warrant is exactly what it sounds like, the police do not knock before breaking down a suspect’s door with a battering ram, and swarming a SWAT team throughout the premises. The excuse for no knock warrants is that it keeps police officers safe. But in the past, police have been shot, and shot at, by home owners who thought criminals were invading their home.

One case was when an veteran with PTSD had his home raided because he had a few pot plants which he used to self medicate. The police did a no knock raid, and maybe it was the PTSD, or maybe it was the fact that he did not hear the cops identify themselves as police (if they even did in fact, the neighbors say they heard no such announcement), but this Marine shot at the intruders, killing one officer and wounding 6. He was charged with murder because “he should have known they were police”; apparently suspected criminals are supposed to have super-powers that allow them to differentiate between violent home invaders, and violent police officers with a warrant. The Marine, whose original “crime” was non-violent and had no victim, killed himself while awaiting trial. Because police decided it was “safer” to perform a no knock search, a cop and a veteran are now dead. Does that sound like they are increasing SWAT raids for the “safety of police”? Oh yeah, there was no evidence found that the veteran was selling the marijuana he grew.

The point of knocking and identifying oneself as a police officer is to give the suspect a chance to surrender to police peacefully, and avoid property damage. It’s one thing to avoid knocking on the doors of suspects wanted for violent crimes, or with a history of violence, but why on earth would these types of SWAT raids take place for non-violent and even victimless crimes? Just the other day a tragedy was barely avoided when police raided a home for suspected credit card fraud. None of the suspects were home at the time, but that doesn’t mean SWAT raids can’t harm innocent bystanders. The subject of the warrant’s son was home, and when he heard the door get kicked in, he unholstered his legally owned firearm, prepared to protect himself. Luckily the police identified themselves, he re-holstered his weapon, and no one got hurt. Oh and the cops didn’t find any evidence of credit card fraud.

Another issue with no knock raids is that criminals have begun to impersonate police in order to gain access to homes, and perform home invasions. What is the public supposed to do when they can’t tell the difference between the cops and the robbers? Unprofessional power hungry cops just exacerbate the problem, since many civilians who have never been on the wrong side of the law find it hard to believe that this roided out thug who just kicked in their door and is yelling “I’ll blow your f****ing head off” is actually an officer of the law.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Radley Balko identified in his research at least 50 innocent bystanders killed by police in needlessly violent SWAT raids. Some were hit with stray bullets, like 11 year old  Alberto Sepulvada; some were shot when police mistook them for a threat, like 92 year old Katherine Johnston; and some died when officers guns “accidentally discharged”, like Eurie Stamps. Innocent civilians are dying because police just can’t help but dress up and play war.

And it is not just anecdotal evidence that shows an increase in SWAT raids. In the 1970′s there were only hundreds of SWAT raids throughout the United States each year, but by the 1980′s that number grew to 3,000 annually. In 2005 there were approximately 50,000 military style SWAT raids by police in the United States. And we know these are not all for violent crimes, because if they were, the Optometrist Sal Culosi wouldn’t be dead after a police bullet pierced his heart during a raid initiated after a cop overheard Culosi wagering on a football game at a bar with some friends.

The bottom line is that these no-knock warrants and SWAT raids needlessly put the public in danger, and police officers in danger. There is no need for this number of no knock raids, nor this number of SWAT style raids. Keep in mind that this entire post is only talking about raids in which warrants have been obtained, and doesn’t even scratch the surface of police home invasion without warrants; also becoming a rampant Fourth Amendment violation in America. Innocent people will continue to die at the hands of police until we take a stand for our rights and refuse to allow police to operate above the law.

Police Invade Home, Assault Family, Because Man Wouldn’t Show ID

I’m waiting to see the formation of “Police Against Police Brutality”. Until some loud voices within law enforcement start condemning the atrocities committed by their co-workers, they are essentially aiding and abetting the violation of individual’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Cops should not be surprised by the rising distrust of police officers, when they fail to condemn abuses perpetuated from their own ranks. Unless police are willing to purge their organizations of thugs and criminals, they should not expect cooperation or respect from the innocent public. After all, we are just trying to get home to our families at the end of the day.

But in an incident occurring Labor Day Weekend 2012, New York City police seemed more interested in displaying their “authority” and how big their… muscles are, than “protecting and serving” until they could return to the safety of their home at the end of their shift. But there is no safety in the private residences of the streets they patrol. A man, Edwin Avellanet, was approached by officers while taking out the trash at his mother’s  Staten Island home. They asked why there was an orange cone in the street, and he told them it was to reserve a parking spot. After asking the man for his identification, the man acted within his rights  protected by the Fourth amendment to refuse to show the officers his ID. The man then ran back into his mother, Evelyn Lugo’s home, rightfully fearing what the officers would do next. According to the Daily Caller:

Police pursued him, broke down the door of Lugo’s house and entered without a warrant. The officers then attacked the other people in the house, according to Lugo’s lawsuit. Several members of the family were pepper sprayed and beaten with clubs, causing bruises, welts and other injuries.

But the cruelest and most senseless act of violence was reserved for Lugo’s pet parakeet, Tito. Officers overturned Tito’s cage, knocking the pretty green bird out into the apartment. Lugo’s daughter, Anna Febles, begged the police to be careful with Tito. Instead, they smashed him.

“I screamed, ‘The bird!’” said Febles in a statement. “And he said, ‘F— the bird,’ and he, like, stepped on it.”

…“I was hurt on the inside, in my heart,” said Lugo, reacting to the death of her bird and the injuries to her children, grandchildren and friends.

After the home invasion and assault on the family, the police officers charged them with various crimes, which were eventually dropped, because obviously the police were the only criminals in this instance. This traumatic incident has caused depression and anxiety for the homeowner and mother of ten, whose family and friends were assaulted and beaten by police after they smashed several first floor windows, and kicked down the door.

According to the NYDailyNews, more police arrived and swarmed the house before violently throwing Lugo to the ground, and arresting her daughter who had ducked into another room after suffering an asthma attack brought on by the cops’ pepper spray. Luis Ortega, who is pictured below with injuries inflicted by the police officers, was also originally charged, before all charges were dismissed and sealed. It is these arrests which form the basis of the lawsuit for malicious prosecution, as well as unlawful search and seizure, and excessive force. No warrant was obtained by police before entering the house. The incident was entirely based on Avellant’s refusal to show ID, and subsequent retreat into the home.

Luis Ortega after police beating

Luis Ortega after police beating

While police today get away with crimes unthinkable to civilians, they should be held to a higher standard than the public, because of the power they have. There is no indication that the officers involved were even punished internally, let alone charged with breaking and entering, assault and battery, and destruction of property. I would also add intimidating a witness based on the fact that their victims were charged with crimes. And after being convicted, judges should come down on police officers more heavily than the general public because of the trust they have betrayed. But instead we live in a world where police can hide behind their badge and uniform to remain criminal thugs at large. And if people like this aren’t punished, is it any wonder that police attract to their ranks those who want to beat, abuse, and harass?

If you are a police officer who does not violate people’s rights, you should be more outraged than anyone. Your criminal co-workers are placing you in the same category as thugs with badges, and you need to take a stand against these atrocities, or accept that you are complicit in crimes disgusting for gang members, never-mind police.

Warning: Street Gang Harassing Citizens Nationwide

wvpThere’s a street gang that has been spreading and becoming more brash in their behavior. The worst chapters started in LA and New York City, but now they are moving out of big cities, and into towns near you. These gang members control their turf viciously, and wear near identical clothing, usually blue or black, and emblazoned with a small metal coat of arms. They are often heavily armed, and have been seen beating, shooting, and kidnapping people all across the country. I’m not talking about the Bloods or the Crips, this gang is even more dangerous. They call themselves, “the Police”.

And what is worse is that the courts almost always fail to bring these criminals to justice! In the past, these gang members have shot innocent people, and walked free. In some cities, they have acquired military like weapons and transportation, and have the nerve to say it is to keep people safe! This gang is not new, but it gets bolder every year, performing record amounts of home invasions that they call SWAT raids (in one of the most recent, an innocent 80 year old man was murdered in his own home). And if you try to fight back when they break down the door, they have the courts on their side, who will arrest and prosecute you, claiming that just because they yelled their gang’s name—”Police!”—before breaking down your door, that you have no right to defend yourself!

This gang will attempt to engage you without just cause, and I have warned in the past that it is unwise to converse with “the Police”, and it is smarter to leave the situation as soon as possible (though this can also be dangerous). The gang is known for having a short temper, and will often hold you against your will if you do not cooperate. In just the last couple days “the Police” have attempted to get a women to show them her breasts, and when she refused, tasered this poor girl. But it gets worse: a chapter in New Mexico pulled a man from his car, and subjected him to multiple anal examinations, enemas, and a colonoscopy against his will, all because they thought he had drugs in his anal cavity. It turns out he did not, but that didn’t stop the doctors from complying with “the Police” who said the man was clenching his buttocks, and that an uncertified drug sniffing dog had justified the warrant; a warrant that had expired before the invasive procedures, and was confined to a different county. Yet no arrested have been made to date for this sexual assault, and to add insult to injury, the medical clinic sent the victim a bill for the procedures he repeatedly objected to!

I luckily escaped a run in with this gang when I was in New Hampshire camping at the Osceola Vista Campground with my family this past summer. Would you believe that the federal government actually pays a New Hampshire chapter of this gang called “the Police” to patrol, not only the common areas of this campground, but rented campsites of visitors? A gang member snuck up on our rented property and began to interrogate us. If my sister’s big American bull dog had been spooked, would this gang member have simply shot the dog, as many “Police” have done in the past (then kidnapping the dog’s owner and creating trumped up charges as an excuse)? Clearly his intrusion onto our site was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects rented property as our own, yet “the Police” have apparently infiltrated our government to the point where no one wants to prosecute them for their crimes, while their scope and authority is broadened daily. We escaped this incident, but the campers across the way were not as lucky, taken into custody for the reckless crime of… rolling a joint… while in the woods…. camping.

And despite these abuses by this highly powerful and widespread gang, many Americans think “the Police” should be the only ones carrying guns! This gang has authority and a monopoly on initiating force, but are not held accountable for their actions, which is the worst combination. Yet if everyday Americans were not harassed by the government for carrying weapons and protecting themselves against criminals, then the justification for needing “the Police” to “keep us safe” would dwindle. If criminals were shot by their victims instead of running free (and being released from jail time and time again) then we wouldn’t need half as many police as we do now. With their numbers smaller “the Police” might not feel so powerful, and this gang may actually return to their roots, where they once did protect innocent people from criminals.

Some members of “the Police” are actually good people, and try to do their job of protecting innocents. But their cause is not helped by officers who routinely violate the rights of the people. Good cops should be even more angry at bad cops for tarnishing their reputation. People in a profession that could once be respected are now viewed with suspicion at best, because of what one faction of the group does. This trend needs to stop, and police need to be held accountable for their actions. Breaking the law is not acceptable just because someone is in uniform with a nice shiny piece of metal pinned on their chest. If police enter a home without a warrant, that is breaking and entering like it would be for anyone else. If police taser a person on the street without just cause, that is assault. If police anally probe a man without a warrant, then they should be prosecuted for sexual assault and rape, just like anyone else. Only if we hold police accountable for their actions as people will we see the rise of cop-bullies stop. But if police behave as a street gang and hide behind their uniforms, hide behind their “orders”, hide behind their badge, or their superiors, or their guns, or their title, and operate “above the law”, then someone please tell me why we even bother having laws in the first place.

Military Style Police Raids Increasing, Some Without Warrants, for Victimless Crime

After the Boston Marathon bombing, Watertown MA was basically shut down in order to search for the suspects. People in the town were forced from their homes at gun point, before their houses were raided and searched. This was done without a warrant, because a dangerous criminal was loose in the area. At the time I predicted that this would be a growing trend; police using a fugitive on the run as an excuse to raid homes, and conduct illegal searches. Unfortunately just that happened last week, and it is a miracle that no one got killed. A nurse from Florida, Louise Goldsberry, was washing dishes when she looked out the window and saw a man pointing a gun at her. Having no indication that this was a police officer, the women alerted her boyfriend, and the two armed themselves with their legally owned firearms, believing a home invasion was about to take place. When the officer did identify himself, it was laced with profanity, leaving Goldsberry confused and skeptical that this was a real police officer, since he was acting in such an unprofessional manner.

Goldsberry, who had never been arrested before, wondered if they could really be police and if they would speak this way. She had no idea as to why the police would be trying to force their way into her apartment with their weapons drawn.

As the couple stayed huddled in the hallway, Goldsberry still clutching her weapon, watched in horror as the unidentified man pushed open the front door, which they swore had been locked.

A man crept around the corner aiming his weapon at them both and shouted, “Drop the f—- gun or I’ll f—- shoot you,” he ordered.

These police officers and U.S. Marshals were searching for a suspect and had received a tip that he was in that apartment complex. The Marshal in charge claimed that he thought the suspect was inside the apartment because “Nobody in the other units reacted that way”. Even after her boyfriend surrendered and was cuffed it took minutes longer to convince Goldsberry to drop her gun and come out of the house. When she did drop her firearm, she was rushed and apprehended like a criminal in her own home. There was no warrant, and the Marshal in charge, Wiggins claimed “I went above and beyond. I have to go home at night”. He has to go home at night, which somehow justifies a “legal” home invasion where the culprits who violently victimized Goldsberry and her boyfriend have the full force of the U.S. government behind them. What happened to Fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure?

But according to the Wall Street Journal this “whatever it takes to make it through my shift” attitude of police officers leads to unnecessary force against innocents, and even deaths of innocent bystanders, un-convicted suspects, and police officers. Matthew Stewart was veteran whose ex-girlfriend tipped off narcotics police that the man had marijuana plants. Stewart’s father has said the plants were used to self medicate to treat post traumatic stress disorder–there were 16 small plants in all and police uncovered no evidence that he was selling weed. Due in no small part to police increasingly insisting on military-style raids for non-violent and even victimless crimes, the search of the man’s home went extremely wrong.

The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom… after losing a hearing last May on the legality of the search warrant, Mr. Stewart hanged himself in his jail cell.

All this, the death of an officer and the death of the suspect, just because he had a few demonized plants. No victim in the original crime, but never-the-less a military style unit of police initiated an unjust amount of force, and now people are dead. And this is not so isolated of an event. According to the Wall Street Journal in the 1970’s there were hundreds of SWAT raids throughout the United States, but by the 1980’s that number grew to 3,000 annually. In 2005 there were approximately 50,000 military style SWAT raids by police in the United States. And for all the questioning our government gives its citizens who want to protect themselves (why do you need a 30 round magazine?) would it not be an appropriate question towards various local state and U.S. government agencies, “Why do you need a military style raiding unit?”, especially when involving non-violent and victimless crimes. The death toll of innocent civilians during these raids almost suggests that the police are as dangerous as some of the criminals they are “protecting” us from.

In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn’t a suspect in the investigation…

In 2006, 38-year-old optometrist Sal Culosi was shot and killed by a Fairfax County, Va., SWAT officer. The investigation began when an undercover detective overheard Mr. Culosi wagering on college football games with some buddies at a bar. The department sent a SWAT team after Mr. Culosi, who had no prior criminal record or any history of violence. As the SWAT team descended, one officer fired a single bullet that pierced Mr. Culosi’s heart. The police say that the shot was an accident. Mr. Culosi’s family suspects the officer saw Mr. Culosi reaching for his cellphone and thought he had a gun.

It is a problem when police can break down your door with impunity when no crime has been committed. It is a problem when police think that violence and military force raids are a proper way to deal with non-violent crimes and victimless crimes. And it is scary when the excuses of the police, “I was just doing my job”, echo the Nuremberg defense of, “I was just following orders”. As an individual you are responsible for your own actions; wanting to keep your job is not an excuse for state sanctioned murder and home invasion. Check out the full WSJ article that goes into detail about the militarization of American police over the last 50 years, starting with the first SWAT team in LA during the 1960’s. To read more that I have written on this subject check out “Don’t Worry, It’s All About National Security” and “Agents Illegally Search and Detain Innocent UVA Student”.