Archive for the 'Law Enforcement' Category

What Cops Learn and Where They ACTUALLY Learn It

Monday, February 17th, 2014

This post was shared anonymously via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

I’ve been a cop, an academy instructor, a criminal justice instructor (university level), a defense attorney, and even a part-time criminal magistrate. Some of my best friends have been cops, and a few still are. But, I also have known cops who, in my opinion, were on the wrong side of the jail bars. To the extent that I am political, I am more libertarian than anything else, and I have a very visceral reaction when cops (or the courts, for that matter) trivialize or ignore the protections of Bill of Rights.

I am very pleased that this site provides a forum for citizens (and hopefully some decent cops) to post stories about incidents they have witnessed or participated in. All abuses of authority should come to light, but that seldom happens. At the same time, merely bitching about a pervasive problem may be cathartic, but, like complaining about the weather, doesn’t bring about change.

So, what is my solution…my plan of action? I have none. I believe most of the problems are so pervasive and fundamental that we will never bring about real change within law enforcement organizations from the outside, at least with our current political system (it’s not a matter of parties…it’s that we have a system that is based on interest groups and alliances). If there is any real hope in changing the mindset of cops and the organizational cultures of their agencies, subversion and co-opting are called for.

For example, we need bright, well-educated people who oppose abuses of authority and who believe in protecting the rights of others…including suspects…to pursue careers in law enforcement. That’s what I did, and I ended up having an impact on several agencies (the one I ended up heading and the several agencies that people under me eventually headed). Why couldn’t other like-minded people do it? If you did, you would find that, in almost any medium sized department, there are at least a few (usually young) officers who share at least some of your values, though they may choose not to express them very often. They need you…for affirmation, encouragement, and to watch their backs.

And, there are at least a few departments with enlightened leaders who are trying to do the right things in the right way, but are having to drag and cajole the reactionaries they inherited when they took over their departments. If you were to join one of those departments, it might not be too long before the chief would see that you, unlike your sergeant and lieutenant, “get it,” and you could find yourself moving up quickly, or at least being entrusted with projects that could affect policy (but, that scenario is most likely to occur in departments with less than, say, fifty officers).

Best of all, police work provides almost daily opportunities to make a difference, to help people, and to give hope. Imagine the impact a good, caring officer can have working a burglary in a housing project, where only a kid’s boom-box was taken, and showing that he/she actually gives a damn…and understanding how long it took that kid to earn the money to buy that boom-box. Or, just think about what it might mean to that kid’s parents that you treat them with courtesy and respect, and seem to recognize how hard they have tried to raise good kids, and to keep them safe, in the face of daunting odds. I remember when a cop like that was killed by a drug dealer. On the day of his funeral, thirty miles away, people from the housing project he patrolled car pooled, took buses, etc. to attend and show their respects. They were black and the fallen officer was a blonde haired white guy, who’d cared about them.

It will never be easy, though. Members of the public often (and with good reason) will assume that you are “like the rest of them,” and your fellow officers, when they figure out you aren’t buying into the bias, cynicism, pettiness, and minor corruption, won’t trust you. But, if you bide your time, you can have a real impact.

That assumes you can get a job. Many police departments have either de jure (upheld by federal appellate courts, on less!) or de facto policies against hiring candidates with I.Q.s much above average. I’ve seen reports warning against hiring an applicant who scored around 110 (and hired him anyway, along with applicants who scored a lot higher..even some who already held a degrees, a masters degree, or, in one case, a Ph.D. from a prestigious university…but in some cases they applied with our department because they had been turned down by others). Some departments try to avoid hiring people with degrees. But, all you need is to be hired by one, right?

I will briefly digress, then wrap this up. One of the biggest problems in law enforcement is television. The misinformation is not only contained in cop shows, but even in news coverage. Even when cops hear, read and are shown the right way in the academy, they usually hear, read, or see it only once. They’ve already seen the wrong thing dozens, even hundreds of times, in TV shows and movies, and will continue to do so. They may realize that’s fiction, and sometimes even mock the scripts and special effects, but, on other levels, it is what they are most used to, and, after all, it’s been made to look cool.

Have you ever heard a cop on TV or in the movies argue that his or her duty to protect a suspect’s rights are even more important than the duty to try to recover the victim’s property? I haven’t, but shouldn’t that be true? And, how many times have you heard a cop, usually a lieutenant or captain, decree that a suspect should be picked up for questioning, or heard a detective say, “We can talk here, or we can take you down to the station. Your choice.”? I can think of at least four U.S. Supreme Court decisions that indicate that doing so would amount to unlawful arrests. And, how about telling people that withholding information is a felony? Or that they have to produce identification? And, some of the stupid stuff you see with guns, e.g. a TV or movie cop holding his or her sidearm vertical, up next to the face (which they are doing to allow the camera to capture the gun and their profile in the same frame) undoubtedly has gotten real life cops killed, when they emulated their fictional counterparts.

So, if you DO decide to try insurgency…to be a progressive cop/institutional guerrilla, you have to first promise to forget, or at least ignore, all the fiction you’ve seen, read, or heard. Please!

What Cops Learn and Where They ACTUALLY Learn It is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

How Did He Know?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Richard M. Nixon shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

Have you ever had an interaction with law enforcement and after giving them your ID had them mention you have an attitude problem or something similar? Pay attention when a LE officer takes your license or State ID and you will see them slide their thumb or side of their forefinger over it while holding it. Why would they do that? They are feeling for a little bump.

You see, it is common practice, if you are perceived to have flunked the attitude test, but not so severely that you can be charged with resisting and have your ass kicked, for the officer who stopped to take the tip of his pen and stick it into the back of the DL/ID so that the next officer who slides his thumb or finger edge over the face of the card feels that little bump and from the beginning of the interaction knows you’ve given a fellow officer crap at some point. Why does this matter? Because these officers will not judge you on this interaction; they have made up their minds you are a dirt bag [no offense to actual bags of dirt] before judging you upon your interaction with them.

Moral of the story: Check your DL/ID, now and after every interaction with a doughnut-munching LE representative, for indents on the back/bumps on the front. And, if you want to have some fun, glue stick Pee Wee Herman’s picture over yours, but just at the corners so the officer can remove it after noticing. If you can do the Pee Wee laugh you, just might avoid a ticket for what you were originally stopped for.

Richard M. Nixon

How Did He Know? is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Cops Wake Up!: Josie the Outlaw

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

H/T Nevada Cop Block

Cops Wake Up!: Josie the Outlaw is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

FL Gov Rick Scott Request for Appointment of Special Prosecutor

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Joe Keegan shared this post via CopBlock.org’s submit page.

USPS confirmed delivery of my EXPRESS MAIL letter (copy pasted in below) to FL Gov. Rick Scott on July 8, 2013. On July 24, 2013, FL Senator Don Gaetz’s office promised to check with Governor Scott’s office regarding why the Governor had not replied to it. Almost two months have passed since USPS confirmed receipt by the Governor’s office, and yet the Governor still hasn’t replied. And Senator Gaetz’s office supposedly has not asked the Governor about my letter, but also stopped replying to my inquiries. A simple reply with a simple yes or no appears too much for our “transparent,” “conservative,” and “Constitution supporting” governor.

EXPRESS MAIL EU 966534186 US

July 6, 2013

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Re: Request for Appointment of a Special Prosecutor

Dear Governor Scott,

I am requesting the Appointment of a Special Prosecutor outside the 14th Judicial Circuit per s. 119.07(1), Florida Statues (F.S.), s.119.10(2), s.119.07, s.119.10(1)(a),F.S.,s.838.022(1)(b). F.S., part II of chapter 27, Florida Statues, and section 27.14, Florida Statues. 14th Judicial District State Attorney, Glenn Hess, is knowingly violating the Public Records in order to conceal and cover up criminal misconduct by Florida law enforcement agencies and officers, the West Florida Electric Cooperative Association (WFECA), former State Attorney Steve Meadows and his Chief Assistant State attorney, William A. Lewis, and other present and former public officials, including former Attorney General and Governor Charlie Crist. State Attorney Hess has a conflict of interest,which disqualifies him from representing the state in investigating my criminal charges against not only Florida law enforcement agencies, but the 14th Judicial District State Attorney Office itself.

These on-going criminal violations, including illegal electronic surveillance, harassment, and obstruction of justice by Florida law enforcement agencies, officers, and the State Attorney’s Office, are an “open secret” and have gone on entirely too long, threatening the integrity of the entire 14th Judicial District. Could someone privy to this abuse attempt to use their knowledge to influence the court in some manner or obtain other favors? Only a special prosecutor outside the 14th Judicial Circuit appointed by the Governor could fairly and independently investigate these disturbing and troubling questions.

My charges and attempts to get help not only from the Governor’s Office, former FDLE Executive Investigations Director Jamie McLaughlin, Inspector Generals for both the Governor and FDLE, but other state departments and agencies are well documented, archived, and readily available. What follows is a brief history that summarizes the criminal activity, including cover-ups, by the respective agencies and departments. When I first suspected illegal electronic surveillance by law enforcement, I wrote West Florida Electric Cooperative VP & CEO Bill Rimes requesting that he conduct a search of the utility’s property (utility poles, lines, transformers, etc) for any illegal attachments. He wrote back that he takes my concerns seriously, none of the utility’s employees were involved and that he forwarded my correspondence to the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office. I didn’t hear from the sheriff until two weeks later when he hovered over my residence one evening for about ½ hour in a Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE) helicopter piloted by his first cousin. A large infrared device was mounted beneath the helicopter. Purportedly they were attempting to apprehend a suspect, who had fled with the evidence from a drug bust.

Earlier that day, an FDLE agent disguised as a FedEx driver delivered 3.5 lbs of meth to my neighbor. Just as his wife was signing for the parcel, my neighbor arrived home, snatched the evidence, and ran. He escaped a gaggle of FDLE agents and continued to elude them for some time. The FDLE had not notified the sheriff of their intended sting, but picked him up to accompany them just before it. The FDLE arrested my neighbor’s wife, who had signed for the parcel. FDLE Agents came back that same night on the unbelievable pretext of apprehending her husband, who had escaped with the 3.5 lbs of meth earlier that day and supposedly returned home to be snatched by FDLE agents waiting for him. However, I was the actual target. I heard a non-military helicopter performing a token “search” (less than a minute) over my neighbors’ residences to the north and north-west, I knew that it was a police helicopter when the helicopter did a bee-line to my residence. I put the dogs in the van, tripped the security lights, and walked around the backyard with the helicopter’s spotlight following me. At no time did the helicopter go anywhere near the “fleeing fugitive’s” house to the south. My “profilers” intended to provoke a violent confrontation and then remove their illegal surveillance devices in the aftermath (these devices have serial numbers and are inventoried). When I didn’t react as anticipated, the helicopter quickly flew away and called in reinforcements. I had a number of camouflaged agents run by in “hot-pursuit” of an imaginary non-existing fleeing fugitive. Afterward I asked them if this wasn’t a lot of trouble for one person. One of the agents agreed. Despite losing 3.5 lbs of meth and never conducting an official investigation of the “missing drugs,” all the FDLE agents in my backyard that evening received subsequent promotions. Is it an FDLE practice to reward incompetence and failure or were they being rewarded for keeping quiet?

Shortly following the “disappearance” and non-investigation of the “disappearance” of 3.5 lbs.of meth, law enforcement harassment significantly increased. The FDLE even went to a family member’s place of employment during their so-called “investigation(s).” When her employers could stop laughing long enough, they told her that the FDLE had visited and even said that she’s a “pot-head.” These “men” never questioned her as part of their so-called “investigation.” The entire purpose was to discredit and slander her by innuendo to discredit her as a witness. These sorry clowns even brought a drug sniffing dog to check her vehicle at work supposedly looking for the “disappeared” 3.5 lbs of meth, whose “disappearance” has never been officially investigated to this day. For that matter, an official investigation was never officially initiated.

My neighbor turned himself in a day or two later. The trial was big news and received a lot of local publicity. The sheriff (who the FDLE suspected was involved in my neighbors’ business) declared a “War on Meth,” and subscribers to the local weekly newspaper were bombarded with reports of every subsequent drug arrest, the overwhelming majority of which were thrown out of court. This so-called “War on Meth” only produced a lot of very expensive statistics. Suddenly, Holmes County supposedly became the reported center of all meth production and distribution, which would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Sometime before her criminal trial, my neighbor’s wife told me that the entire area was “bugged.” She then apologized for the FDLE late night helicopter incident. She also told me that the FDLE offered her a “deal” if she’d implicate the sheriff in her operations. She told me that she declined the offer and would rather do the time. Just as quickly as my neighbors’ arrest was big news and received a lot of publicity, the story died. The judge dismissed the case when both the State Attorney and FDLE refused to turn over requested documents. The requested evidence would prove my charges. The state didn’t attempt to retry them. Incidentally, the DEA didn’t get involved in this case, because they said that the “FDLE mishandled it.” Within two weeks following his election, the new sheriff busted the biggest pot grower/distributor in the region. The new sheriff remarked that the drug dealer went “under the radar” for a number of years. Perhaps if the “radar” was pointed at the largest drug dealer in the region rather than me, his operation might have been“busted” sooner?

The authorities and the West Florida Electric Cooperative had no intention of investigating this abuse and certainly not accepting any responsibility, but only using their power and influence to do what they regarded as necessary to cover-up. Three electronic surveillance experts all confirmed the presence of illegal law enforcement surveillance devices on the utility poles (mounted on the transformers, concealed either in the lightening arrester or fuse) serving the house and grounds. These devices can “bug” between 20-40 acres and frequently used in surveillance of rural areas. They’re identified by serial numbers and inventoried. All three refused to supply their reports. The first one said that the police would arrest me if he supplied his report. His lawyer refused to hand over his client’s report. The second one confirmed devices on the poles and a tracking device in a vehicle. He refused to supply his report, saying that he’d lose his Florida Private Investigator license (former NYC cop on disability pension-shot in a drug bust) and would have to work a minimum wage job if he lost his license. He identified Audio Intelligence Devices (AIDs) as the manufacturer and supplier to law enforcement agencies of the “bugs” on the utility poles. Hearsay has it that AIDs was a CIA front. AIDs had two divisions: manufacturing and training. G. Gordon Liddy took over the mission of the training branch after Hurricane Andrew destroyed their Homestead, Florida facilities. The manufacturing division was sold a few years ago and the training branch spun off as a separate entity. The third expert- from Virginia- had a conflict of interest-he was personal friends with Liddy. He also refused to turn over his report.

The FDLE and Holmes County Sheriff’s Department had a practice and pattern at the time of employing illegal electronic surveillance. I had moved to the area sometime earlier and they just included me in their surveillance net without the benefit of any warrant. They also failed to get warrants for my neighbors. The fact that I was a former IRS whistle-blower may have influenced their decision to do so.

I petitioned then Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate my charges. Governor Bush forwarded copies of my petition to former FDLE Executive Investigations Director Jamie McLaughlin, and former FDLE Commissioner Guy Tunnel. Director McLaughlin dismissed my petition with the pretext: “There does not appear to be a criminal predicate which would warrant investigation by the Office of Executive Investigations.” Commissioner Tunnel never responded. Incidentally, Jamie McLaughlin, who I later charged with official misconduct, suddenly and unexpectedly resigned the day after the USPS confirmed delivery of my letter to then Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist charging him and others with criminal electronic surveillance and criminal cover-up. Guy Tunnel later resigned due to another matter, and then State Attorney Steve Meadows’ office hired Mr. Tunnel as an investigator.

I petitioned Governor Bush again. This time the Governor suggested that I bring evidence of my charges to the state attorney. I did, including a VHS videotape. State Attorney Steve Meadows never replied. I filed a Florida Public Records Request. The SAO didn’t respond. I then sent an email to then AG Charlie Crist asking if I should file my PRR with him. His office replied that I filed it correctly with the state attorney. A short time later, I received an email from a secretary with the 14th Judicial District SAO telling me that they never received my certified letter and evidence that the USPS confirmed delivery and that they signed for, and that the Chief Assistant State Attorney William A. Lewis would handle my PPR himself, and gave me his telephone number. I suspect that AG Crist contacted SA Meadows. The Chief Assistant State Attorney attempted to lead me down the primrose path of obfuscation and cover-up. When I realized that he didn’t intend to help, I asked him directly if either he or Tunnel viewed the VHS video. He replied that he didn’t have to answer my question. He later sent me an email saying that there’s no basis to my charges. I filed another PPR with the 14th Judicial District SAO requesting a copy of their investigative file. He sent me copies of correspondence and tampered-with copy of the VHS tape, but no file, Report of Investigation (ROI), or even log sheet. I then wrote newly elected Governor Charlie Crist and asked for mediation regarding my PRR through his new open government program that had instituted. An official at the newly formed office told me that I qualified for the program, however, the state agency has to agree to the mediation, which Steve Meadows’ SAO didn’t.

Someone in Citizen Services eventually replied that the Governor wasn’t going to “second guess” a state attorney. The “Honorable” didn’t have to second guess anyone. He had firsthand knowledge, beginning with when he was still the Florida Attorney General. I repeated all my steps with the new State Attorney Glenn Hess (the voters had second guessed Steve Meadows, who was a disgrace to the office, and elected Hess). I supplied State Attorney Hess with the same correspondence, evidence, and VHS tape with even more disappointing results. This time the SAO didn’t even reply to my charges and subsequent Florida Public Records for all documents related to my complaint. This isn’t a case of the SAO exercising their discretion, but rather ignoring the law and covering up crimes and abuse by Florida law enforcement. That’s not the purpose of government.

A retired FDLE Agent asked me, “Why is this (illegal electronic surveillance) still going on? That’s a good question. One answer is that the FDLE believes that by continuing what amounts to a form of psychological torture that they can compel me to acquiesce to their illegal surveillance. Another is that they don’t have anything to worry about and will be protected.

Does the rule of law exist in Florida? When did public servants stop being held accountable for their criminal conduct and abuse of authority? Are law enforcement agencies and officers exempt from the same laws that they enforce against Florida citizens? Can those in positions of authority and public trust continue to ignore both the US and Florida Constitutions, and allow those sworn to protect, defend, and enforce them to repeatedly violate both? The integrity of not only Florida law enforcement, but also the integrity and trust of the 14 Judicial District itself is threatened by the above criminal misconduct.

In conclusion, 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Hess and the 14th Judicial District itself has an inherent conflict of interest in investigating my charges, which disqualifies him to represent the state in any investigation of this matter in the 14th Judicial Circuit.

Good and sufficient reason exists that the ends of justice would best be served appoint a special prosecutor to discharge
the duties of State Attorney Hess with respect to investigating the above criminal violations by Florida law enforcement and officers, present and former public officials, and others. (See Section 27.14, Florida Statues) As allowed under part II of chapter 27, Florida Statues. I am requesting that you assign a Special Prosecutor to investigate these criminal violations.

Please reply by July 19, 2013. Thank you.

Respectfully,
Joe Keegan
Bonifay, FL 32425-6806

www.governmentspying.blogspot.com

 

FL Gov Rick Scott Request for Appointment of Special Prosecutor is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Calling for Violence Against LEOs is WRONG

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop really is an amazing book, particularly for those of us who read and contribute to this site. I’ve been foll owing Ademo and Pete since their days in the Motor Home Diaries, and had started paying at least some attention to abuse by cops even earlier than that – and yet there are literally dozens of raids Balko discusses that I’d never heard of.

But it is a particular piece of his policy recommendation chapter that I want to discuss tonight. You see, police accountability was indeed one thing he mentioned in particular. He states the following, the closest he comes to mentioning us by name:

The public needs to start caring about these issues. The proliferation of “cop watch” sites, citizen-shot video of police misconduct, and coverage of police abuse incidents by a bevy of online media is encouraging. Another good sign is the fact that this growing skepticism of police has been accompanied by a decline in violence against police officers themselves. Activists are fighting police abuse with technology and information, not with threats and violence.

Obviously, we agree with the first sentence completely – otherwise we wouldn’t be interested in this site. We are the second sentence.right-to-record-police-copblock-wallace-nolen

But then he goes into the last two sentences of this particular quote, and that is where I want to draw some attention. Balko mentions how the growing skepticism (let’s face it, he was putting it nicely) of cops has not been met with a rise in violence against them, but indeed the opposite – even as more and more people distrust cops, fewer and fewer people are openly attacking them. We don’t fight them with violence or threats, we fight them with our video cameras and getting the information out – often at the cost of being caged and/or beaten ourselves.

Except that I’ve seen an all too common trend in comments on CB-related Facebook pages in particular of not just “fuck the police”, but outright calling for violence against them. I’m not going to name names here, that isn’t the subject of this particular post, and I’m not sure how Ademo, Pete, and others feel about what I am writing to begin with. But speaking personally, this is something that I refuse to tolerate in any way, shape, or form any longer.

I know not all who come here are Voluntaryists – indeed, at this point and forward we largely come from literally all across the ideological spectrum. Yes, I’ve even noticed some hard core GOP friends who are beginning to come around to our side to some degree or another. But I know Ademo, Pete, myself, and many others who contribute at various levels are in fact Voluntaryists, and I want to speak from that perspective at least briefly.

voluntaryismEach of us has a slightly different meaning to what “Voluntaryism” means to them, but one core concept of it is non-violence. Some take this to higher levels than others. I personally vote, I know others who do not. But one thing I believe we can all agree on is that aggressive violence is WRONG. To me, that includes calling for violence against those who have never directly harmed you, as well as telling a victim they should harm their attackers well after doing so would be an act of self defense, at a time when it would more accurately be considered self vengeance.

Balko’s point hit me hard, because I feel that we as editors here on CopBlock.org and as administrators of the various CB-affiliated Facebook pages – in our desire to ensure as close to absolute freedom of speech as we can – may appear to others to in fact foster a sense that violence against cops is ok because so many cops step out of line.

Let me be perfectly clear: Obviously, defending yourself at the moment you are attacked by anyone, no matter their clothing or jewelry, is well within your rights and I encourage you to do what you can to end the situation peacefully, but if peace has gone out the window, to keep yourself and those you love alive. Going after someone who has attacked you hours or days later is no longer self defense, it is aggression, pure and simple, and it is NOT, repeat NOT justified, no matter what was done to you. Calling for violence against someone who has never directly harmed you is wrong, as is calling for violence against someone who has directly harmed you.

The tide in this struggle is beginning to shift in our favor. We must work to further that by doing as Balko says we are and acting peacefully at all times, even at the height of our passion. Our passion is what makes us strong, but it can be a glaring weakness if not tempered with our reason. We must be dedicated to peace at all times, even when those who oppose us would resort to threats and violence themselves. That is their way. It is NOT ours.

In general, we see this with the videos and stories we get here. Meaning that for the most part, the things we get where people are actually interacting with cops, those interactions tend to be peaceful on our side. We simply need to be aware that just as we watch PoliceOne and other sites for the less than savory things they do, they too watch us and look for any way to attack us – and having commenters call for violence against them is one easy target that can discredit our entire movement.

So please, chill out with the calls for violence against cops. “Disrespect” is one thing – many of us agree they’ve earned pretty much all the disrespect and scorn we can possibly heap upon them. But violence or threats of violence or calls for violence cross a line that should absolutely NEVER be crossed by our side.

Calling for Violence Against LEOs is WRONG is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A military drill conducted in plain view of the public reasonably creates a spectacle and raises curiosity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in the age of technology, some people who happen to be hanging around in public, might film a military drill taking place in open public. This man was detained as a result. (This is a long video – go to 13:00).

As the man points out, he is standing on public property, and the enforcers do not dispute this. However, this video demonstrates what the government knows, and ordinary people are usually too naïve to understand - public property doesn’t mean the public or taxpayers own it, or that they have rights to it. It means the government owns it, and they make the rules.

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A military drill conducted in plain view of the public reasonably creates a spectacle and raises curiosity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in the age of technology, some people who happen to be hanging around in public, might film a military drill taking place in open public. This man was detained as a result. (This is a long video – go to 13:00).

As the man points out, he is standing on public property, and the enforcers do not dispute this. However, this video demonstrates what the government knows, and ordinary people are usually too naïve to understand - public property doesn’t mean the public or taxpayers own it, or that they have rights to it. It means the government owns it, and they make the rules.

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A military drill conducted in plain view of the public reasonably creates a spectacle and raises curiosity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in the age of technology, some people who happen to be hanging around in public, might film a military drill taking place in open public. This man was detained as a result. (This is a long video – go to 13:00).

As the man points out, he is standing on public property, and the enforcers do not dispute this. However, this video demonstrates what the government knows, and ordinary people are usually too naïve to understand - public property doesn’t mean the public or taxpayers own it, or that they have rights to it. It means the government owns it, and they make the rules.

Man Arrested For Filming Military Drill in Charlotte, NC is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

New York Legislators Seek to Make it Illegal to Annoy Cops

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Their lives already are deemed, by law, to be more worthy than yours. In most, if not all states, there are special penal code sections for assault or battery on an officer, as opposed to assault or battery upon an ordinary person. Similarly, there are special penal code sections for killing police officers. You know, because writing traffic tickets and busting people for drugs is so noble a profession that all police officers are clearly a higher order of human being.

They have a right to kill people as long as they utter a few magic words – “I feared for my life.” Killings of innocent, harmless people almost always go unpunished as long as the offending officer claims that he was scared for his life – no matter how unreasonable, cowardly, or absurd the circumstances. Even if the victim was a half-deaf, hobbling, disabled old man.

Although many Americans are still deluded and patriotic enough to believe that Americans are free, and subject to a somewhat functional justice system in which people are “innocent until proven guilty,” this simply isn’t the case. The lives of the powerful and hallowed police, the foot soldiers of the state, are protected with harsher criminal laws, and their violent behavior is protected with qualified immunity. Because of course, while ordinary people should be personally accountable for negligence and personal injuries they cause, it would be simply absurd to hold the same standard to police.

Police, who are supposed to uphold the law and “protect” people, also have the right to arrest people for absolutely no reason. As it currently stands, in the vast majority of the states, police have the legal right to arrest people for no reason. Don’t even try to guess the reasons for that one – they are all bogus. “Oh, we have to be exempt from the law to properly execute the law. We have to arrest you to protect you. We have to break the law to uphold the law, etc.”

Despite all the very real ways in which police are subject to greater legal protections, and possess stronger, greater, legal rights, this is not enough.

There are now legislators who seek to make it illegal to annoy cops. I’ve often hyperbolically referred to police as “gods” in the past, since people illogically feel it is justified for police to be subject to different laws, and maintain greater power than the people they allegedly serve. Now it hardly seems like hyperbole or exaggeration in the least.

New York legislators are attempting to make it a felony for an individual to “annoy, harass, or threaten” a police officer. Offenders could be imprisoned for up to 4 years. Oh boy, that sounds like a great idea. I can’t possibly think of any First amendment or due process concerns there. That law definitely won’t be used by police to imprison, frame, harass, or silence random people they don’t like.

As justification, the legislators claim, “Police officers all across this state put their  lives on  the  line  every  day  to protect the people of New York. New York State must establish laws and toughen existing laws that  protect  the police   from   becoming  victims  of  criminals.  Far  too  many  law enforcement officers are being harassed, injured,  even  killed  while honoring  their  commitment  to  protect  and  serve  this  state…” More here.

As far as I can tell, injuring and killing police officers in unjustified situations are already illegal. Thus, the point of this law cannot possibly be to prevent that from happening, as there are already laws in place for that purpose. This would the same as saying that a law against annoying/pestering/harassing women should be passed, because too many women are being raped and killed. The former simply has nothing to do with the latter.

Secondly, police officers may put their lives on the line occasionally. Or everyday. I really don’t give a fuck. But for the most part, it has little to do with protecting people. They do what they do for a paycheck, like everyone else. Every day they show up at work, they tell themselves and each other, “officer safety first.” They do whatever they are told, whether it be shooting disabled old men, tasering children and half deaf women, beating teenagers for loitering, shooting Sunday school teachers in parking lots, shooting firemen in court, killing parents who smoke weed, stealing peoples’ property to pad their paychecks with civil asset forfeiture, or a slew of other less-than-noble pursuits.

They do good things sometimes too – fine. There are even cops that do good things all the time. I get it. But they are not gods. They are not infallible. They are human like everyone else. They want that paycheck, like everyone else. They do what their boss tells them, like everyone else – except when they do taser children and shoot old people, they don’t get fired, because they have a myriad of laws protecting them, and your endless taxpayer dollars to fund their endeavors.

So for christ’s sake, stop treating them like gods. If it isn’t illegal to annoy, pester, or irritate the guy who builds peoples’ homes, the farmer who feeds people and prevents starvation, and the millions of other fine folks without whose expertise people literally would not be alive – then it sure as fuck should not be illegal to annoy the police.

New York Legislators Seek to Make it Illegal to Annoy Cops is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Harassed by Police and Charged with Crimes for Legal Possession and Sale of Knives

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Submitted by Jeremy McInnis

I live in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, in Eastern Canada. I work 7 days a week and adhere to the laws to the best of my ability. On the weekends I get up at 6AM and travel into the city (Halifax) to operate a small booth at a weekend market. Among other things I sell swords and knives, all of which are shipped into the country legitimately. I pay all duties, brokerage, taxes, etc. Customs is able to check these items at will, and they usually do.

On April 13th, 2013 three police officers entered the weekend market and told me that my knives “looked to be prohibited.” They had no search warrant but removed me from the booth and proceeded to search from one end to the other. I was patted down and my SA pocket knife (legal) was taken. I told them I use it to open packages, boxes, and such. The knives in question, that got their manties in a bunch, were 23 folding knives with a spring assisted opening, 9 novelty pocket knives with a 2” blade in which the handle looks like a bullet, 2 Cane Swords, and 13 Kubotans.

In the end they left with 40 items, all of which they deemed weapons. I advised them the law indicates a knife or any other object is not a weapon unless it can be proven it is meant to be used as a weapon. I told them the knives were not prohibited weapons as they are listed in the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency – basically out ATF and homeland Security wrapped up into one) Memorandum D19-13-2 as being EXEMPT from being prohibited.

They confiscated the 40 items and told me they would be in contact to let me know if or what the charges would be. They walked out the door with $1,600.00 worth of my products. That’s not just pocket money or mad money. That’s my mortgage payment, car payment, groceries, power bill, etc.

Over the next week I studied the Criminal Code of Canada, The CBSA (Federal Police Agency) Memorandum D19-13-2,  and conducted research to ensure I had not broken the law. I spoke with 4 CBSA Agents, one of which is the Eastern Canada, weapons and prohibited weapons specialist. I also spoke with 2 criminal law attorneys. Both advised me that under these circumstances, there is no way I could be charged.

Relieved, I contacted the officer in charge and advised him of the law. I sent them copies of the Criminal Code with the related laws highlighted, a copy of the D19-13-2 with the related parts highlighted, and even a copy of a case file from Ontario where the exact same thing happened to a man and the Judge found that the man did not do anything illegal and that the knives were in fact not illegal.

I still had not been charged with anything at this point. People tell me to leave it alone, but I am unable to. We shouldn’t live in a police state. If I allowed this to happen, what’s to stop them from walking into our homes and taking whatever they want?

The next day, I received an e-mail from the officer advising me that I was being charged and should turn myself in. I went into the station and was put in a cell. I was printed and photographed and placed in an interrogation room. An officer advised me of the charges, gave me a court date, and told me that if I did not show up a warrant would be put out for my arrest.

The charges are as follows:

  • Concealed Weapon 90(1) CC – refers to carrying a “weapon”, prohibited device, concealed. I concealed nothing on me or in my shop. The knives were on a shelf behind my counter.
  • Possession of Prohibited Weapons 91(2) CC – refers to unlawful possession of prohibited weapons. None of the items are prohibited under the Canadians Criminal Code and are actually listed as exempt from being prohibited in the CBSA D19-13-2. That said a knife in of itself is not by definition a weapon unless it is proven that this is its intended use.
  • Possession to Traffic 100(2) CC – This one scares me as it appears that if the court somehow finds that these knives are prohibited it states that the minimum punishment is 3 years in prison.

I’m a 41-year-old who stands to lose everything. If I end up with a criminal record because of a cop’s conscious disregard of the law, I will not be able to travel outside of the country for at least a decade after my probation, as these are indictable offenses. I could end up in prison for 3 to 10 years.

Honestly, I think this whole thing has happened because the cops are pissed off that I called him out on their bullshit. It has nothing to do with enforcement of the law for them. It has nothing to do with protecting the public.

Cops are corrupt, egotistical, megalomaniacs that for the most part border on sociopathic tendencies. They are corrupt and lie even when they know you haven’t done anything wrong. Cops are the real criminals. As far as I am concerned, 3 police officers committed armed robbery when they entered my store and stole my property. They simply used their uniforms and lies about the law as their cover.

I will now be aggressively promoting your organization and website. It’s terrible the things that people are subjected to in the name of “the law”. But it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in standing up to it.

Harassed by Police and Charged with Crimes for Legal Possession and Sale of Knives is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights