Archive for December, 2012

‘Snatch’ that ID back? That’s an assault and a ride to jail. All on film.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Some poor Joe Citizen, getting ticketed for being outside in the dark, or some similar offense, ‘snatched’ his ID back from the thug-in-blue. Joe then found himself slammed into the shuttered storefront and handcuffed on his way to jail. Imagine the violence if it hadn’t been filmed.

Submitted by Gordon Freeman via’s submission tab. You can share your story, ideas or tactics concerning Police too, simply click here and fill out the form.

‘Snatch’ that ID back? That’s an assault and a ride to jail. All on film. is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

When Will It End?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

I know it seems like I’m totally being unfair but the truth has got to get out there. It’s never pretty and the gang-like “bully” alpha dog mentality is everything we are spending millions of dollars on with a national anti-bullying campaign to educate our children not to be and teach them that this behavior is unacceptable in our society. We teach them that bullying is archaic and animalistic and that it hurts people to their core. We teach that this behavior will not be tolerated, however, we not only overlook this aggressive behavior in our law enforcement officers but we promote it, embrace it, and even broadcast it to millions of homes worldwide. Americans have come to expect this behavior in our policing agencies. We’re so numb to the abuses that we don’t even recognize when someone’s civil, natural, and God given rights are being trampled on.Our great grandfathers sat around a table in a small tavern sipping ale and smoking ganja while they drafted, designed, and breathed life into this idea of a government of the people! By the people! For the people! This government we call a democracy where every man has an equal vote and an equal say in how he feels the nation should be governed. In this great democracy ALL men are created equal, prince or pauper. Somewhere, somehow we’ve deviated from that.

This war on drugs has inadvertently created what our forefathers tried so hard to dismantle. The war on drugs has created a cast system in America. The drug war has created a lower than low class citizen: the addict, the junkie, the crack head, meth head, and so on. We give them less-than-human names to match our less-than-human attitude towards the refugees in this war on a commodity. How do you defeat a thing? The victims of this mass genocide are our sisters, mothers and brothers but we no longer see them as human. We look the other way while the less-than-human get beaten, tazed, and often killed by our law enforcement officers. The treatment and turn-a-blind-eye attitude we’ve adopted towards our lowest class citizen has opened the door to our police treating more and more citizens just like they treat the second class citizens.

Who’s the second class citizen now? The videos of lawless cops are endless. I’m not anti police; I’m anti abuse of power. No man should be made to submit to another man’s abuse. When I fist came across these videos, the first one I saw was of a guy named Paster Anderson; he was at a checkpoint in Arizona 100 miles from the Mexican boarder. This was like his 5th checkpoint in 30 minutes. After the fourth time he was stopped, questioned, and searched, he had enough. He refused to answer their question and refused to be searched, AGAIN.   When I saw what they did to that poor man I was in disbelief. A peaceable man of God was beat like Jesus before he was crucified. I was angry and ashamed that federal agents would treat a dog that way much less an American Citizen in America, nowhere near the border. I began to watch more videos and much to my dismay I discovered that I was in the G rated section. Paster Anderson got a slap on the wrist and he is lucky to have been treated so well compared to most videos on YouTube. A head full of glass and stitches is nothing compared to dead, disabled, or mentally scarred.

Probably 15%-20% of police abuse videos end up with the guy/girl wearing the handcuffs also sporting a brand  new toe tag. There are thousands of people each year who are healthy, and non-violent at the beginning of their police interaction but are mysteriously killed in the field, on the way to the station, or shortly after being booked. We then ask the involved department to investigate itself or we ask an outside private agency who, by the way, is quite well compensated for their unbiased evaluation of the facts and evidence. How can you possibly get an unbiased rendering of the facts from an agency that is policing its own officers? A showing of misconduct certainly means a large cash settlement to the victim’s family, which ultimately effects EVERY person including me and you. There are court settlements, legal fees, and the cost associated with investigating the incident (sadly this is the least costly of the incidentals  in most cases).

The private sector suffers as well. Money to hire private contractors is decreased, road maintenance suffers, city services decline; one person’s bad choice affects a whole community, but if the death or injury is deemed justifiable then all this can be avoided. Which way do you think they’re leaning at the onset of the investigation? From that point on, they are looking for evidence to clear the involved department by any means necessary and they may not even consciously realize their doing it. I think police should operate in pairs. Specifically, the cop you would normally be harassed by whose job it is to produce revenue for their city, county, state, or the federal government and a sort of devil’s advocate to interpret and protect the constitution. He would guarantee that the people’s constitutional rights are intact and advise the officer as to proper procedure.

Or give the officer a firearm with a remote trigger lock and give the remote to the people’s advocate, making state sponsored murder a two party decision. Let the man who’s not holding the gun decide when to use it. The cop is often drunk with power and the thrill of the hunt. A person in that state of mind is not thinking clearly. He is thinking in an aggressive, Alpha-type manner and he feels that he is God; how dare you challenge his power. What is it that guarantees that he maintains power? The gun gives him the power over life and death and the badge legitimizes his use of it. Days, months, and years of carrying your “service weapon,” constantly reminded of its presence due to its shear bulk alone takes a psychological toll on you, regardless of who you are. I used to carry concealed everywhere I went before my permit expired. When you’re carrying, you walk a little slower, you stand a little taller, and you speak with a particular “fuck you” in your voice. You find yourself walking towards altercation just hoping somebody makes a stupid decision. “I just hope they give me a reason to shoot one of them.” You play all these scenarios out in your head and of course you always end up victorious in the theatre of the mind thus emboldening you, increasing testosterone levels and reinforcing that warrior mentality. That combined with that roid rage aggression plus a badge and gun can be deadly, for me and you.

I feel that an entry level street cop should never be given the power of life and death. When the police respond to any call, they show up with an army. Give the majority of them tazers and make them shut down after a reasonable amount of time. These are used as torture devices and this has been shown to be the case in most all tazer involved incidents – but it is better than dead. They record the length of time they are active and it’s obscene the amount of shocks they expose people to. If the person is on the ground why shock them time and time again? I’ve seen police shock a man while telling him to roll over. “Roll over and I’ll stop shocking you.” Everyone knows you have no control over body movement when being tazed, but according to the officer, the man refused to comply with his order. That was his excuse for the 30-45 second continuous discharge of his tazer. Stick your finger in a light fixture for 30 seconds and then see how much voluntary movement you have during and immediately after.

Extensive psychological testing and field observation should be conducted on any officer that carries a fire arm. There should be a weapons certification program initiated that not all officers will qualify for; only the officers that are the most stable are certified and the ones that are need regular re-certification. Psychological testing needs to be the primary determining factor in whether you carry a lethal weapon or a flashlight. This would weed out most of the cops that have an affinity towards violence. If those cops can’t carry guns, then their not going to want to be cops. I’m not trying to pretend that I have all the answers but at least I’m able to see what’s going on and realize that there is a problem. I feel like there are solutions to the problems of abuse that should be initiated, but if no one can admit that there is a problem then there will be no attempts at rectifying the gross abuse of power witnessed across the nation everyday. The problem is everywhere. Not one of us is immune.

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

This post was authored by Grayson Miller and sent to via our submission tab. Feel free to send your views, interactions or police abuse stories to by clicking here.

When Will It End? is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Police Accountability Report: Episode 76 –

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This week, a few stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.

Story #1
Former Moulton Police Officer Charged with Child Abuse

A former Moulton, Alabama police officer has been indicted for allegedly beating two 8-year-old girls.
Moulton police officer Mitchell Breland was charged by a Lawrence County grand jury. Authorities had arrested the 27-year-old in September after an investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The case originated from complaints by hospital personnel who treated one of the alleged victims for injuries consistent with abuse. Police employees said the indictment alleges that Breland repeatedly whipped two girls.
The charges are Class C felonies punishable by a minimum one year and maximum 10 years in prison.
Breland is free on $5,000 bail.

Story #2
Former NYC cops convicted of misconduct in encounter with woman start their jail sentences–Off-Duty-Officer-Rape

Two former New York City police officers convicted of official misconduct over their interactions with a drunken woman they had helped get home have started their jail sentences.
Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno appeared separately in state Supreme Court in Manhattan in late December and were taken into custody.
The men were accused of rape but acquitted. They were convicted of misconduct in May 2011 for repeatedly returning to the accuser’s apartment while telling dispatchers they were elsewhere.
Moreno was sentenced to a year. He had said there was no sex, that he had cuddled with the woman in her bed.
Mata was sentenced to 60 days. He had said he merely napped on her sofa.

Story #3
SCI Pittsburgh Officer Kelly Guilty on Four Counts

A judge found former Pennsylvania State Correction Officer Tory Kelly guilty on four criminal counts related to inmate abuse, and not guilty on 10, following a week-long non-jury trial. Kelly had been a guard at the State Prison in Pittsburgh.
Kelly now faces sentencing March 20 for the 4 crimes of simple assault, official oppression, terroristic threats and intimidation of a witness. The intimidation charge is a felony, the others misdemeanors.
All relate to interactions two years ago with a single inmate, Randy Jones, who was housed in the prison’s F Block for a few days. F Block is the scene for what investigators said was systematic abuse of inmates viewed as pedophiles, or the genesis for what defense attorneys suggest is a massive conspiracy to smear guards.
All of the accusers were convicted of sex crimes with minors. All had credibility problems, from shifting stories, to motives including the hopes of big civil lawsuit recoveries and potential parole consideration. Judge Cashman didn’t find that their accounts proved Mr. Kelly’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kelly’s attorney said, “The types of inconsistencies and outright falsehoods that have been brought into this courtroom are enough to create reasonable doubt.” He characterized the accusers as “the kind of person who would manipulate a child into having sexual contact with them,” and were now trying to manipulate a system in an effort to advance lawsuits and get paroled.
Assistant District Attorney Jon Pittman countered by saying, “I would say the evidence is overwhelming,” and noted that four victims unequivocally identified Mr. Kelly as their assailant and offered similar accounts.
Randy Jones has requested protective custody; Pittman says he did so “because he’s afraid of the guards.”
Mr. Kelly was stunned by the verdict.
He also faces a likely March trial on five counts stemming from an August 2011 encounter with another former officer, Curtis Hoffman. Hoffman has told investigators that Kelly tried to egg him into a fight, in an alleged effort to intimidate him out of talking with investigators and testified that Kelly bragged about beating up inmates. He said he didn’t see any of the encounters alleged by Kelly’s four accusers.

Are these really the type of actions you want to continue paying for?
That’s this week’s Police Accountability Report brought to you by
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.


Police Accountability Report: Episode 76 – is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Unlawful Treatment By Officer Lovejoy

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

The following was submitted by Nehemiah James.

On the night of Christmas Eve I received a phone call from my step father asking if he had left the paring knife that I got him for Christmas at my house, since he could not find it. I hunted for the knife and told him that, no, it was not there. We hung up the phone. Then, not even 20 minutes later, he calls me and says my mom has locked herself in the bedroom and was “slicing and dicing” herself. I told him I would be there ASAP.

Breaking every traffic law while I was on the phone with the police, I arrived near her house. We could not even park in the drive way because there were 6 cop cars all over the road and an ambulance. I jumped out of the car and ran straight to my mom’s room. I entered the room with my mom screaming and yelling, “Who called the ***** cops?”

There were four officers in her bedroom, where you only have enough room to walk around the queen bed, no extra. Officer Lovejoy told me, “Get out of here kid, there’s nothing in here for you.” I said, “That’s my mother and I am probably the only one that can calm her down right now,” as I grabbed the Chihuahua. Mom said, “Yeah, Nehemiah, you take her.”

Officer Lovejoy said, “If you don’t leave I will have you arrested for interfering,” to which I replied, “I am the one that ******* called the cops.” Officer J.R. Anderson asked me politely to come outside and talk to him a minute. I proceeded outside. He asked me about my night with my mom and how she was at my house and I told him she was fine. We talked for 4-5 minutes until officer Lovejoy came out of the house and said, “You need to get off the front porch while your mother comes out. All you seem to do is upset her.” Keep in mind my uncle (her brother) is going to pass before the first of the year.

I snarled, “My name is on the lease and I can stand WHEREVER the hell I want. I am not bothering anyone. All I want to do is make sure my mom is alright. Unless that is against the law.” Officer Lovejoy yelled, “One word out of your mouth when your mother comes out and I WILL arrest you. I am not playing with you boy.” I said “Fine!”

Right before my mother came out of the house, Officer J.R. Anderson asked me if I had ever hear of and very briefly told me I needed to report Officer Lovejoy. My mom was walking by me and came over to give me a hug and the three officers, including but not limited to Officer LOVEJOY, pulled and pushed her away from me causing my mother to almost fell down the stairs. After I knew mom was in the ambulance, Officer J.R. Anderson asked me about my moms medicine. I know every medicine my mother is on because we schedule our appointments together with the same doctor, just at different times. I said “I’ll show you them.”

I turned around and my step father was going into moms room. Rushing behind him was officer Lovejoy and another male officer. I kept walking, with officer J.R. Anderson behind me, and Officer Lovejoy went to shut the door, so I put my foot down in front of the door and said, “Excuse me, I need to get in there to show officer J.R. Anderson something.”

Officer Lovejoy said, “You are really getting on my f****** nerves kid. Move your foot before I move it for you! I need to speak to your dad and get your moms prescriptions.” I moved my foot and said, “How in the hell are you going to let someone give you her medications when they are not even married or related? This is f****** ridiculous”

J.R. Anderson said “Just do me a favor; take your moms dog, go home and file a report on Cop Block, because he was out of line. My fiance and I thanked him, gave Officer Lovejoy our names and went home.

Thank you for your support and listening
Nehemiah James

Officer Lovejoy is an officer of Winston Salem, North Carolina Police Department.

Unlawful Treatment By Officer Lovejoy is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Sacramento Police Arrest Veteran officer on Suspicion of Sexual Assault

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Submitted via’s ‘Submit‘ tab.
By Kim Minug
Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012

With just a week left on the job until his retirement, Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel stood grim-faced Thursday night and recounted the allegations against one of his veteran employees.

So strong is the evidence against Officer Gary Baker, 49, Braziel said, that he had fired Baker earlier that day – the same day Baker’s colleagues arrested him on suspicion of sexually assaulting an elderly woman with a serious speech impairment caused by a stroke.

“It does not shed a trusting light on the Sacramento Police Department,” a somber Braziel said in a hastily called news conference. “Baker is not an accurate representation of the fine men and women of the department.”

Baker, who had been with the department 22 years, is accused of raping and assaulting a now-78-year-old woman in three attacks, beginning in 2010 and ending earlier this month. He faces charges of rape, forcible oral copulation, attempted oral copulation, assault with intent to commit rape and sexual battery, according to court documents.

As of late Thursday, Baker was being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

The alleged attacks occurred while Baker was off-duty, Braziel said. However, police believe he met the victim through the course of his work patrolling her Meadowview neighborhood.

Braziel said the case began in November 2010, when officers were called to South Manor Drive for a report that a woman, then 76, had been sexually assaulted.

The woman had previously suffered a stroke and, though able to live independently, had suffered significant impairment to her speech. However, she was able to describe her attacker’s appearance to police, and said he was a police or security officer, according to the request for an arrest warrant filed by Sacramento police detectives.

Officers at the scene collected DNA evidence from the victim’s nylons and uploaded the profile into a DNA database, but there were no hits, Braziel said.

Nearly two years later, the victim reported a second attack. Then on Sept. 20, the woman told police her assailant had returned and sexually assaulted her again. In both crimes, the victim – who in some cases had to act out the attack – indicated to police that she had repeatedly told the suspect “no,” according to the warrant affidavit.

The same assailant allegedly returned Dec. 11 and attempted to assault the victim, but fled when she activated an alarm, the affidavit states. At that time, police recommended that the victim’s family install a surveillance camera, and they followed that advice.

On Monday, someone knocked at the victim’s door, but she did not answer. She alerted her son, according to police, who reviewed surveillance footage and thought an image of the attacker might have been captured. A detective reviewed the images Tuesday and immediately recognized the man as Baker, Braziel said.

Baker immediately was put on paid administrative leave, according to police.

Detectives worked with the District Attorney’s Office through the night to obtain a search warrant, Braziel said. On Wednesday, they obtained Baker’s DNA, and through expedited tests, the district attorney’s crime lab matched Baker’s DNA to the sample collected after the first assault, Braziel said.

Police arrested Baker on Thursday. That same day, Braziel took the unusual step of firing the officer. Often, law enforcement officers accused of crimes are kept on administrative leave pending the outcome of their criminal case – or until they quit.

Braziel said Baker had never had any administrative issues and said he had no explanation for the suspect’s alleged actions.

There appears to be no connection between the suspect and the victim, other than the fact the two had apparently come into contact earlier in the day of the first attack.

At that time, Baker was on duty, in uniform, and apparently spoke to the victim in the course of his job, Braziel said. When the assault occurred later, Baker was off-duty and no longer in uniform or driving a marked patrol car.

Crime lab analysts found only one hit with Baker’s DNA – the victim’s sample, Braziel said. However, investigators are reviewing sex assault cases in which no DNA was collected to see if there are any other potential links.

Braziel said he was “very, very angry and very, very disappointed” when he was briefed on the case. He said he and his employees would “work tirelessly” to restore the public’s trust in the department.

Before the news conference, he said, he talked to the victim and her family by speakerphone and updated them on the arrest. He also apologized.

“I’m the leader of this organization. When something happens like this that embarrasses the organization, the buck stops here,” he told reporters. “That’s why I’m here.”

Baker is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.


Sacramento Police Arrest Veteran officer on Suspicion of Sexual Assault is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Guns, Kids & FL Dept. of Children & Families

Friday, December 28th, 2012

As Jeff Gray greeted his son exiting the school bus, he could tell something was up. Soon after, Jeff received a call from Colleen Hagan, who invited herself to his house. It was then that Jeff was told he was under investigation, due to a call made to the hotline for Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF). The caller – whose identity was kept secret by Colleen – accused Jeff of owning and shooting guns.

Despite being thrown into such an undesirable situation, Jeff, who’s no stranger to making transparent the actions of those who claim to serve and protect*, recorded the interaction.

Colleen told Jeff that before she called him, she’d not only visited his son Marcus in middle school, but also went to the nearby elementary school, where she spoke with his two younger children, Melissa and Michael.

Her actions, she justified, were due to a “report generated” by the DCF hotline – a 24/7 that Colleen herself noted was “constantly taking phone calls” about “any concerns.”


Colleen Hagan

Though Colleen attempted to lessen Jeff’s rightful dismay at the situation by differentiating between “good calls” and a “false report”, the full text of that hotline generated report as taken by her colleague, was merely:

Dad has a lot of guns in the house. Dad shoots the guns out back. He has a lot of guns. Police come to the house to see dad and protect Marcus, Melissa, and Michael.

Less than three dozen words were supposedly sufficient to reach the standard of a “good call” and thus grounds for Colleen to act as she did.

Also, Colleen failed to follow up with the local police to see if, in fact, they had ever responded to Jeff’s house due to any firearm-related issue. It seems like that would be a course of action to take prior to talking with Jeff’s kids and showing up at his residence. But then again, Colleen works for a coercion-based monopoly and doesn’t have to satisfy customers so why bother, right?

According to the DFS website:

Any allegations a child was abused or neglected by a caregiver will be investigated . . . When parents can’t, don’t or won’t protect their children, the Department of Children & Families steps in to help.

The report cited by Colleen mentioned nothing about abuse or neglect – it only referenced firearms.

Is owning guns a crime? Is it grounds for some unknown bureaucrat to disrupt your children’s lives and perceive you guilty until proven innocent?

Also, Colleen communicated to Jeff that he’d never be told of the callers’ identity – doesn’t he have the right to face his accuser?

As Jeff noted:

I believe this is a malicious attempt by somebody to harass me because this – baseless allegations that I do not shoot my guns in this neighborhood. I am very safe with my children with the guns. Like I said, they’ve been through the Eddie Eagle course, they know about firearms, and firearms safety. . . And I don’t do anything to endanger my children. And now I’ve got DCF in my house. . . Just because you guys got a 1-800-hotline that somebody can call, and its anonymous, and they can just say whatever they want to.

florida-department-of-children-and-families-jeff-gray-colleen-hagen-copblockWhat are the ramifications to this inquisition by Colleen, who, though she may claim and actually believe she’s doing noble work, is so perversely incentivized that families like the Gray’s, and according to DCF figures, 15,000-20,000 other families, are investigated each month? Might it be likely that good families aren’t just investigated by their local government agent but in some cases, ripped apart?

Especially when considering that Colleen and her colleagues act with even less accountability and oversight than those folks wearing badges (though, the file-a-form-so-we-can-investigate-ourselves mantra sounds similar).

Do you desire that actors operating in a claimed monopoly (ie government) provide you with food? Safety? The same inherent faults that would apply to those goods and services apply too to the area of protecting kids.

Yes, it’s desirable that kids not be neglected, but the incentives inherent in the DCF model – a monopolistic structure based on violence – only points to metrics like calls taken and investigated, which fuels mission creep and the harassment of good people, such as Jeff Gray and his family.

Despite unfounded contact, Jeff later communicated to me that

Under the circumstances I couldn’t have asked for a more fair and understanding person than Colleen Hagan.


Have some thoughts about how this unfolded? Feel free to call Colleen or her supervisor Natolya Ivory:

  • Natolya Ivory – (904) 797-8100
  • Colleen Hagan – (904) 955.7670


*Gray creates some of the most on-point content of anyone I’ve been fortunate to meet through Cop Block. Check out his channel and coverage of his actions here on

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Guns, Kids & FL Dept. of Children & Families is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Big Blue Madness

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The University of Kentucky has fired police officer David Thompson for pushing student Graham Gaddis. Gaddis objected when Thompson and another officer tried to enter and search his dorm room for alcohol. Gaddis recorded the confrontation with his webcam.

Other Civil Rights Suit Against Morgan Deputy Still Slated for March Trial

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Written and submitted by Lawrence Smith, the following was originally posted the West Virginia Record on December 14, 2012.

MARTINSBURG – As one civil rights suit against him begins, another against a Morgan County deputy sheriff may soon come to an end.

Last month, Seth A. Place was named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit filed by Berkeley Springs resident Eileen Markous and her son Matthew. In the suit, Eileen alleged Place and fellow deputy Richard J. Haynes falsely arrested her on a charge of battery of a police officer when she went to MCSD’s office on Dec. 3, 2010, to ask Place why he cited Matthew for a loud muffler.

According to court records, the Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 11 dismissed the charge after a jury two weeks earlier acquitted Matthew on charges of battery of and obstructing a police officer. Matthew was arrested the same day when he questioned Place and Haynes why they arrested Eileen.

In their suit, the Markouses say theirs is not the first arrest Place made that led to a civil rights lawsuit. Two months before falsely arresting them, the Markouses point to Place shooting an unarmed man through the front door of his home.

According to his suit filed last year, Ulysses J. Everett, Jr. says Place arrived at his Fairview Drive home in Berkeley Springs on Oct. 6, 2010, responding to a domestic disturbance call. Prior to his arrival, 911 dispatchers informed Place that Everett’s wife Diana safely departed for a relative’s home “several miles away.”

Upon arrival, Everett says Place approached his home with a handgun in his right hand and a police dog in tow in his left. After Place identified himself as a deputy sheriff and shouted “let me see your hands,” Everett says he first opened the door only to close if after seeing the dog charge him.

According to the suit, Place then kicked the door in an effort to enter the home. After making a second unsuccessful effort to kick open door, Place then fired two shots with his handgun.

Read more…



Other Civil Rights Suit Against Morgan Deputy Still Slated for March Trial is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Want to End Police Brutality? Focus on the Institution

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

If you visit, even infrequently, or if you pay attention to media outlets other than those considered mainstream, you are undoubtedly aware of the double-standards claimed, and granted by many, to those who wear badges, which facilitates a reality of institutionalized violence. Such iterations will continue, and will grow in frequency and severity until the institution itself is changed. Though such a task might sound daunting, it isn’t.

It necessitates only the withdrawal of your consent, which will happen after you reject the bad idea on which the police state is based – that a “legitimate” right to initiate force can be claimed by some people (those who wear badges) – and replace it with a better idea – that we all have the same rights, no matter our place of employment (or unemployment, and for that matter, our place of birth, gender, color of skin, or any other characteristic).

Today we see that more often than not, an aggressor wearing a badge gets away with their misdeed. That has to stop. The institution must be delegitimized; Only then will all individuals be held to the same standards.

strike-the-rootIdeas have consequences.

Related content:

Transcript from Video

Do some individuals wearing badges brutalize others? Are peaceful people being maced? Tasered? Kidnapped and caged? And in some cases, murdered? Yes.

If you visit, you’ll see that these incidents, unfortunate as they are, aren’t isolated.

This institutionalized violence is caused by the belief in a bad idea – that a group of people, most of whom you’ll never meet, have the right to run your life, because you’re supposedly not competent to do so yourself.

The institution, by its very existence, violates its stated objectives, and can never succeed due to the lack of market signals. When any good – be it shoes or food or policing – is provided by a monopoly, it is doomed to fail.

Put simply, police, as currently structured, lack the proper incentives.

Yes, like you or I, police employees are individually responsibly for their actions, and their misdeeds should be made transparent to help get accountability, but if one really wants to end police brutality, one must realize that at it’s core; it’s the institution itself that must change.

That is the lynchpin.

Thanks to decades of propaganda from government schools and the mainstream media a lot of people – myself included, once upon a time – have unthinkingly bought into that idea.

I realize my previous statements may be a bit esoteric for some, so let me give an example.

If you were an entrepreneur who manufactured and sold umbrellas, you could consider a number of measurable, objective factors to gauge your success. A comparison of sales from quarter to quarter, the output of your factory, or the percent of umbrellas that were returned defective.

Yet any such metric is absent from policing today, as the provision of the good said to be supplied – security and safety – is done so by a monopoly sheltered from competition.

You, selling umbrellas, depend on consensual interactions, whereas police today rely on coercive interactions.

If you, as the umbrella entrepreneur, identify an employee as under-performing or hostile to colleagues or customers, you could fire them, thus improving output, morale and customer service. That ability is noticeably void from policing, since the customers claimed are told to pay for the “service” provided, or else. Something only compounded by the politicking of police unions.

In fact, about the only thing measurable the monopoly of policing can cite is the increased number of enforcers on the payroll, or actions said to now be “illegal,” both of which make more likely an increase in the size and scope of their agency.

Such perverse incentives mean that policing, as currently structured, will always become more repressive, so that actions like writing with children’s chalk, selling raw milk, or collecting rain water are said to be “criminal.”

Text written by a person you’ve never met does not obligate you. So why pay criminals and their demands any attention?

A civilian review board is but a band-aid that only makes the situation more convoluted, replacing a current “leader” with one believed to be better, which still leaves intact the flawed institution. Reforming legislation – words on paper that some conflate to be “law” – fails to change the Statist Quo, since legitimacy is still granted to a monopolistic group who claim the sole right and ability to create and interpret actions permissible. If you believe your local police are corrupt or heavy-handed what real incentive do they have to change? Sure, a couple token scapegoats may be pointed to, but at the end of the day the same failed institution that allowed for such misdeeds is present.

To really bring about a better reality one must consider alternatives.

Some may point out that there are violent people out there who don’t wear badges. Yes, that’s unfortunately true as well.

But the striking difference is that police employees claim, and currently are granted by many, a “legitimate” right to initiate force, whereas the common criminal is not.

As Lysander Spooner succinctly pointed out 140 years ago:

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. . . He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. . . In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

Think about it – police claim to serve and protect you, but they first steal from everyone who happens to live within a certain arbitrary political boundary.

If an police employee claims to”maintain order” yet also claims to be exempt of personal responsibility due to legalese created by his friends, like “acting under color of law” or “immunity,” it doesn’t create for a good situation.

It is that institutionalized, “legitimate” violence, that, through the course of human history, has by far been the most devastating – what one researcher has coined “democide.”

When you’re driving your car and see in your rearview mirror a police cruiser, how do you feel? Anxious? Nervous? It’s pretty telling that the presence of an individual who purports to keep you safe, and who steals your money for such “services,” causes such a reaction.

Again, it comes down to incentives.

If something is wrong for you or me to do, it can’t suddenly become right when done by someone wearing a badge. One’s level of culpability is not contingent on one’s place of employment.

By replacing support of the bad idea that allows for the police state with one that applies the same standards to all, we can create a better world in which to live, both for ourselves and future generations.

I’d guess most people – be they current police employees, Copblockers, or those relatively apathetic – would prefer to live in a safe, prosperous, dynamic society.

That’s a desirable end.

Yet buying into the claim that certain people have a “legitimate” right to initiate force can only bring-about the polar opposite. Perhaps then, it’s time to consider another means?

Let me pose to you a question: Who owns you?

If you don’t believe yourself a slave, you would rightly conclude that you own yourself.

With that self-ownership comes self-government: 100% freedom coupled with 100% responsibility.

Real change won’t come through a revolution – whether done at the ballet box or the cartridge box – but through an evolution, one mind at a time. A revolution – no matter the form it takes – is still couched at its hub, on a bad idea: that a person or small group supposedly has the authority to regulate every aspect of your life. An evolution, on the other hand, moves past that tired idea to one where you’re free to act, to pursue your happiness, while respecting others to do the same. Where, if you harm someone or their property, you make right. Where reputation is key.

Most folks are good. Yet for the few who aren’t, by making transparent their actions it’s more likely that they’ll be held accountable, which also means the extent of the harm they cause is mitigated more swiftly.

That’s why I choose to be involved with Cop Block – the message is consistent and peaceful, and it’s decentralized and effective.

In stark contrast to the provision of law enforcement today, in which a person atop a monopolistic hierarchy claims the ability to know best how to supply the quality and quantity of safety, Copblockers and friends work from the bottom up and collaborate horizontally, which means that means an infinite number of tactics can be pursued, to bring about accountability and to erode the bad idea on which the police state today is based, ultimately bringing about the world in which we want to live.

This message isn’t anti-cop. In fact I encourage current law enforcement employees to join us. If you do provide a good service then your skills and knowledge will be in demand.

We can change things for the better – each of us, one mind at a time. I encourage you to invest in yourself. Think. Then act, not based on some artificial framework thrust upon you as “the norm,” but aligned with your conscience.

Want to End Police Brutality? Focus on the Institution is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Dede’s story

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
While on the neverending book tour in Seattle this past November, I met Dede Adnahom. Dede is a mom of three amazing young children. She is also a dedicated activist: she is a founding member of No New Juvie, a grassroots group that fought (ultimately unsuccessfully) the building of a new juvenile prison in Seattle.

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