VIDEO Non-Political Activism Panel, Liberty Forum 2013

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The below was originally posted to FreeKeene.com by Ian Freeman on March 17, 2013.

Ian is a good friend that has himself lived his ideas. Not just through media creation like Free Talk Live, ShireSociety.com, LRN.FM, and FreeKeene.com – which was was the featured sponsor of 24-stop, month-long Cop Block Tour, but his own actions.

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__________

by Ian Freeman

Pete Eyre of CopBlock.org and I had the honor of being the Non-Political Activism Panel at Liberty Forum 2013. Hope you find our discussion useful. We cover a lot of activism types and ideas in an hour’s time:

VIDEO Non-Political Activism Panel, Liberty Forum 2013 is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Escape from Bridgeport

Monday, March 18th, 2013

This video gives an overview my time on the ground in Bridgeport, CT with Angel Martinez of Connecticut Cop Block.

All the footage used in the video was pulled from raw clips housed at Bambuser.com/channel/CopBlock and YouTube.com/CopBlockRaw

How were our interactions with folks who wore “Bridgeport PD” badges?

As I wrote shortly after leaving town in the post Bridgeport’s “Finest” Lackluster:

I don’t recall ever having been exposed to such blatant hostility right out of the gates as was had on the streets of east Bridgeport from those who steal money from residents under the auspices of “serving” them.

Those interactions notwithstanding, others in the area – those without badges – were receptive. We distributed dozens of flyers and had a number of good conversations.

Yet when Bridgeport Police employees circled and threatened to steal our cameras there wasn’t anyone else standing with us. In fact, a couple of times people skirted past us on the sidewalk when we were filming. They gave us a quick glance as if to say “I’m with you” but it was clear they didn’t want to get on the radar of their claimed “protectors.”

After capturing hours of footage I needed to get on the road and head south toward Philly. I know, in my vehicle as opposed to on foot, the chances higher that a person wearing a “Bridgeport Police” badge would cite  some arbitrary (“legitimate”) reason why they can stop/search/cage my property as a way to harass.

But, I had a schedule to keep, Angel didn’t think my freedom of movement would be impeded (famous last words, I know), and I was confident that I hadn’t done anything in the wrong. I loaded-up Bambuser on my phone so it was ready to go. My escape from Bridgeport went unmolested.

Connecting with Angel was the primary reason I decided to make a stop in Bridgeport. He’s having an impact by sharing with his neighbors know-your-rights info, which includes the concept of no victim no crime. Just imagine if 10% of those in Bridgeport starting filming police interactions or not taking plea deals for actions (“crimes”) that caused no victim.

The more that happens in Bridgeport and your town the safer we’ll all be.

Connecticut Cop Block

The second-half of the video Escape From Bridgeport centers on the actions of one individual – David Uliano. For more on that character check out: David Uliano – Bridgeport police employee – is NOT someone I’d hire for protection.

Feel free to take a page from YouTube.com/HonorYourOath and share your thoughts with those involved. [Be sure to pay his channel a visit - he has many solid videos.]

Bridgeport Police Department

Individuals are responsible for their actions. That may seem elementary, but it may be worth reminding to those who have a self-interest in maintaining the Statist Quo.

Each police employee has likely been bathed in fear-based propaganda at a greater duration and depth than have you or I. Might then, a police employee avoid logical questions that cause internal contradictions? We’re each on our own journey. [Might the page CopBlock.org/WelcomeLEOs be a red pill for some?]

Escape from Bridgeport is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

TX Cop Says Those Without Badges Shouldn’t Be Disarmed

Friday, March 15th, 2013

My life as a tyrant isn’t the most-concise read and that’s good, as it allows Chris Hernandez to thoroughly communicate his point – that individuals shouldn’t be disarmed.

Hernandez cites personal experience and shares the conclusion he’s reached: that dictates made by strangers that claim that individuals cannot own tools to help defend themselves or their property should not stand.

I consider that a universal truth that exists irregardless of arbitrary political boundaries or claims made by strangers.

Here’s a snippet that touches both on his actions when in Kosovo and more-recently as a police employee in Texas:

The day of the operation, I forced myself to show up for work. My KPS officers were angry, frustrated and hesitant. They didn’t want to do to their people what we were about to make them do. But their jobs and livelihood, like mine, depended on following those orders. So we walked out of the station toward the bazaar.

An officer from a European country met me outside the bazaar, held out a stack of papers and sternly ordered, “Take these. You’ll need them to document what you confiscate.” . .

I remember standing there in impotent frustration, thinking, So now we’re literally wrestling food away from old men. This is disgusting. . .

I WANT law-abiding citizens to have guns. I WANT them to have a means to defend themselves from ME. I DON’T want the people I’ve sworn to defend worrying about Officer Joe and his friends taking their property on a whim. I feel ZERO threat, absolutely none, from lawfully armed good citizens.

I’ve been a cop in Texas for almost 19 years. I’ve interacted countless times with armed homeowners, business owners, and concealed carry permit holders. I’m absolutely comfortable knowing that they’re not helpless lambs, totally dependent on me for their safety and freedom. I’m there to protect good citizens from criminals; citizens have weapons to protect themselves not just from criminals, but also from me and Officer Joe.

As readers of Hernandez’s write-up likely include some employed at police agencies, I’ll plug this page: http://CopBlock.org/WelcomeLEOs If you have suggestions for improvement or if anything is unclear or if you totally disagree I’m interested to hear.

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My life as a tyrant

by http://chrishernandezauthor.com/about

published on January 15, 2013 to http://chrishernandezauthor.com

I’m going to say something that will undoubtedly cause me to lose some police officer friends. But I feel it needs to be said anyway. I’m willing to take the heat for it.

Keep in mind, I became a police officer because I wanted to be a good guy. Even though we’ve all seen reports of police brutality and corruption, I still believe we cops are the good guys. I’ve seen cops perform brave, selfless acts for strangers on countless occasions. Even the worst cops I’ve ever known would risk their lives to defend the innocent. But I have to say this anyway. Before you start throwing shoes, hear me out. I have a good reason for saying it.

chrishernandezauthor-copblock

Chris Hernandez

If you think our police are no threat to your freedom, you’re living in a fantasy world.

Now I’ll explain what I mean. I worked for the United Nations Police Mission in Kosovo for eighteen months. I wasn’t there as a soldier. I was a civilian cop, living in town, basically a Kosovo PD officer. For part of my tour I worked patrol with a group of international officers and local police. We had officers from America, the UK, Germany and Greece, plus local Kosovar Albanians. The Americans were regular street cops from police departments all over the United States.

One of the American officers in my station came from a very wealthy suburban police department. My cop stories were about murders, fights and chases; his were about citizens having garage sales without permits. For some reason, citizens selling things without permits aggravated him to no end.

In postwar Kosovo, many tens of thousands of war refugees lived in the capital. Not enough jobs existed to support them all. Many of them became vendors in a sprawling, dirty bazaar. They supported their families by selling cheap Turkish and Pakistani housewares and trinkets. Under old Yugoslav law, which was still the legal standard, those vendors had to have permits. Few bothered to stand in line at a dilapidated government building to pay for a permit.

This officer – I’ll call him Joe – became infuriated every time he patrolled the bazaar. He’d find vendors without permits, then ticket and berate them. He’d make note of other illegal vendors so he could ticket them later. He’d even drive through the bazaar off-duty to spot illegal vendors for future targeting. He’d vent his anger about illegal vendors at us, which always made me laugh. I didn’t care the least bit about vendors without permits, and thought Joe would eventually get over it. I was wrong.

Joe got so mad at illegal vendors that he researched Yugoslav law. We had been advised not to do anything that violated the Bill of Rights, but officially Yugoslav law was still in effect. And Joe discovered he could use Yugoslav law to do something about those damn illegal vendors.

Joe put a plan together. Officers from a couple of stations, along with some NATO troops, would go through the bazaar, identify which vendors had no permits, and confiscate all their merchandise. Local Albanian Kosovo Police Service (KPS) officers would assist. A large NATO truck would follow the officers so they could load all the confiscated items. All the seized property would immediately be donated to charity organizations.

When I heard the plan, I was amazed. Then I got angry. Why would anyone, in a country which had suffered through a horrible war less than two years earlier, think vendors without permits were such a big deal? We didn’t have a crime problem in the bazaar, the only reason we were going in there was because Officer Joe had a personal issue with the vendors. And wouldn’t an operation like that violate people’s rights?

I argued against the operation, and was overruled. Since Yugoslav law allowed it, we were doing it. I was ordered to take my team of KPS officers and participate.

The day of the operation, I forced myself to show up for work. My KPS officers were angry, frustrated and hesitant. They didn’t want to do to their people what we were about to make them do. But their jobs and livelihood, like mine, depended on following those orders. So we walked out of the station toward the bazaar.

An officer from a European country met me outside the bazaar, held out a stack of papers and sternly ordered, “Take these. You’ll need them to document what you confiscate.”

I kept my hands down. “I’m not taking them. I think this is wrong. We can’t just take people’s property.”

The officer held the papers out further. “It doesn’t matter. They’ve been warned. Take the forms.”

I didn’t move, or respond. The officer maintained his stern demeanor for a few seconds. Then, seeing that I wasn’t going along with it, he backed down.

“Okay, fine. Just take some forms, in case you change your mind.”

I took a few forms and stuck them in my pocket. The next time they came out, later that afternoon, I dumped them in the trash.

The operation began. Dozens of officers entered the bazaar, followed by NATO soldiers and their cargo truck. The vendors initially didn’t know what was happening. Then cops walked up to stalls and asked for permits. Nobody had them. The cops grabbed everything they had and threw it into the back of the truck.

Hundreds of vendors picked up their wares and ran. The slow ones were accosted and stripped of their possessions. KPS officers swarmed me, saying, “We can’t do this! This is what the Serbs used to do!” I stood back, watching the chaos in angry silence, and said something in Albanian. It was a phrase I never in my life expected to say.

Ne jeme komunista sot.” We are communists today.

Our KPS officers were ordered, forced, to join in. They grudgingly helped take the property, although a few from another station were enthusiastic about it. Customers in the bazaar stood close by and yelled insults at the KPS officers, or screamed things like “Why are you doing this?” One KPS officer almost got into a fight he didn’t want to be in, over something he didn’t want to do, with one of the customers. Guilt was obvious on the KPS officer’s face. That was hard to watch.

I stayed back. Officer Joe, the illegal vendor hater, picked out an old man selling bananas. The old man, who looked about eighty but was probably younger, struggled to pick up boxes of bananas before the truck arrived. Officer Joe reached the old man’s stall, tore a box from the old man’s hands and threw it in the truck. The old man grabbed the next box. Joe fought it away.

I remember standing there in impotent frustration, thinking, So now we’re literally wrestling food away from old men. This is disgusting.

I finally managed to grab a handful of KPS officers and leave. I stayed at the station until the operation ended, angry at what we had done and at myself for being part of it. I had stood by and done nothing as a fellow cop turned us into petty tyrants. That still bothers me.

Joe beamed with pride when he came back to the station. As he promised, all the confiscated property was donated that day. No vendors had been ticketed. None received receipts for their property. None had recourse to recover what had been taken. If police did that here, they would be charged with a crime.

Later that day I argued my way up the chain of command that the operation had been wrong, we shouldn’t have done it and should never do it again. An Irish officer agreed with me. But a senior American officer listened to me with a disinterested expression and said, “Look man, it’s legal here. So I don’t have a problem with it.”

I learned a lot from that operation. Prior to it, I had been something of an idealist about cops. I thought American cops would go by what’s right and wrong instead of looking for what they can legally get away with. I know now that cops like Joe have no problem violating people’s rights, as long as they have some “official” way to do it.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But this was in another country, so it’s okay.” I don’t think so. I took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to enforce any law no matter what it is. If I go to Afghanistan as a cop, I’m not going to beat women for walking the street without a male relative, even if it’s legal there.

So why do I tell this story now? This might seem like an abrupt topic change, but it isn’t. It’s directly related.

I keep hearing we don’t need the 2nd Amendment. I keep hearing the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism. I keep hearing that it was written for a time long past, when we had to worry about foreign invasion and government tyranny. I keep hearing the 2nd Amendment should be repealed because there’s no threat of tyranny today.

I’ll agree that we don’t currently worry about foreign invasion. But we ALWAYS have a worry about government tyranny. Don’t tell me, “it can’t happen here.” I know better. I was there when Officer Joe stole people’s property, because he had a personal vendetta and knew he could get away with it. Don’t tell me police officers won’t engage in tyranny. I’ve seen it.

Joe was, in many ways, a good guy. He wasn’t a horrible, hateful man who just oozed evil from every pore. He and I had a lot of decent conversations about life (and a HELL of a lot of arguments about what limits our authority should have). No doubt he did good things for people in the past, and probably did good things after Kosovo. He likely never did anything like the bazaar operation in America. But he did it in Kosovo, because he COULD.

Our founding fathers were incredibly intelligent, insightful men. They knew an external threat of invasion could exist. And more importantly, they knew an internal threat of tyranny would always exist. They knew that even basically good guys like Joe can let their personal hatreds control their official actions. They knew that even Officer Chris Hernandez might maybe, once or twice, have a little nagging thought like, There should be an automatic death penalty for anyone who drives through a quiet neighborhood at 3 a.m. blaring gangster rap. They knew I better have threats over my head, to keep me from carrying out that death sentence.

The founding fathers knew guys like me and Joe need to be controlled. They wrote the 4th Amendment so we would have to follow rules when we took people’s property. And they wrote the 2nd Amendment so that if we ever decided not to care about citizens’ rights, the citizens could forcibly change our minds.

This nation was formed by armed rebellion. Our freedoms were maintained by armed resistance to foreign threats. Our police and military exist to protect the rights that many hundreds of thousands of brave, armed Americans died for. We serve the descendants, family and friends of those men and women. We call them “sir” or “ma’am”, even if they’re a laborer and we’re a police chief or 4-star General. We don’t bend them to our will, we don’t strip their rights “for their own good”. We don’t repeal the Bill of Rights in order to protect them from the sometimes horrible consequences of freedom.

As I’ve said before, I don’t speak for anyone but me. Many, many cops will vehemently disagree with me about this (which might sort of prove my point). But I WANT law-abiding citizens to have guns. I WANT them to have a means to defend themselves from ME. I DON’T want the people I’ve sworn to defend worrying about Officer Joe and his friends taking their property on a whim. I feel ZERO threat, absolutely none, from lawfully armed good citizens.

I’ve been a cop in Texas for almost 19 years. I’ve interacted countless times with armed homeowners, business owners, and concealed carry permit holders. I’m absolutely comfortable knowing that they’re not helpless lambs, totally dependent on me for their safety and freedom. I’m there to protect good citizens from criminals; citizens have weapons to protect themselves not just from criminals, but also from me and Officer Joe.

That’s how it should be. That’s why we have a 2nd Amendment. And officers like me and Joe are why it shouldn’t be repealed.

NOTE ADDED 3/3/13: I’ve received a lot of interesting replies to this post today. Many of them point out my failure to act that day in the bazaar. Fair enough; this post obviously isn’t a defense of what I did. I don’t think there’s any way to interpret this story as a boast about my inability to stop something I knew was wrong. I admit guilt and don’t flinch from the criticism.

However, some of the comments have gone way beyond simple analysis of my actions, or justifiable criticism of law enforcement. There have been calls for violence against police, accusations that the President is a Nazi, claims that the federal government is preparing for all-out war against the citizens, etc. I’ve deleted those comments.

On the “how I roll” page I describe the rules I follow writing this blog. The comments I receive don’t have to follow the same guidelines, but those like I just described won’t be posted. This blog isn’t anti-police, anti-government, or a place for people to vent all their anger and suspicions about any political party, federal government agency or elected representative.

I welcome rational, intelligently presented dissenting opinions. This is a site where I hope reasonable people can calmly discuss important issues. It’s not a place for internet tough-guyism, veiled threats made from the anonymous safety of a computer, or expressions of support for any revolution.

Because I love this country, the last thing I’ll ever advocate is warfare between citizens and any arm of the government. The vast majority of police officers, members of the military and American citizens are fantastic people. We as a nation are strong enough to correct problems, even those we’re facing today, with discussion instead of violence.

________________

Authors note – I personally don’t believe it wise to rally around the idea of a nation-state, as that’s divisive. It puts-forth that a certain group of people have the right to steal from some other folks under the guise of protection. Such an institution lacks the proper incentives from the start.

TX Cop Says Those Without Badges Shouldn’t Be Disarmed is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Cop Block’s Pete Eyre on RT, Weighs-in on NYPD Employee Excesses

Friday, March 15th, 2013

On Wednesday, March 13, 2013 I joined Abby Martin on Breaking The Set, a program hosted on RT America, to discuss the recent shooting death of 16-yr old Kimani Gray by NYPD undercover employees, as well as related topics.

Related resources:

The full episode, with the text from the video description, is below:

EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin calls out the corporate press for their round-the-clock coverage of ‘pope smoke’ whilst neglecting the Guantanamo hunger strikers, and the DHS buying 1.6 billon rounds of ammunition. Abby then talks to Pete Eyre, from Cop Block, about the NYPD’s involvement in the death of a Kimani Gray and their egregious overstepping of civil liberties. Abby then talks to Michael Dannenberg, of Education Trust, about the trillion-dollar student debt bubble. BTS wraps up the show with a look at Charles and David Koch’s financial empire & the extent of their influence in the corporate takeover of America.

Cop Block’s Pete Eyre on RT, Weighs-in on NYPD Employee Excesses is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Checkpoint Contest in 1min

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

For details and related resources see: CopBlock.org/CheckpointContest

Thanks in advance for your interest!

The Checkpoint Contest is co-sponsored by CheckpointUSA.org, CopBlock.org, and LRN.fm

The Checkpoint Contest in 1min is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Livio Beccaccio, Orlando PD employee, Breaks Woman’s Front Teeth

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

This video, which shows an incident that happened on Feb. 25, 2011, was put on my radar by Christian, a reader of CopBlock.org.

The quote at the end of the video by Buddy Dyner, the “mayor” of Orlando, is classic. After it’s put-forth that there will not be any double-standard Dyner states “We investigate our own.” Huh??

I called the Orlando PD on March 7, 2013 to find out if Beccaccio had faced any repercussions or if he still wore an “Orlando Police” badge. I sure as hell know, were I in the area, I wouldn’t choose to fund such an aggressor.

My call was rerouted to the “public information officer.” I left a voicemail with my contact information and a brief overview of the information I was seeking. I never received a call back, despite the passage of over a week, so I called again on March 13th, and was told:

  • an internal investigation was done that sustained the claim that Becaccio had acted outside of policy, and that
  • Becaccio was no longer working at Orlando police, though that fact was claimed due to unrelated reasons – that makes me wonder if, as happens to many police employees who’s actions are so egregious that they become too toxic for the thin blue line to protect, Becaccio is working for another outfit

Orlando Police Department
407-246-2470 (non-emergency number)
407-246-2403 (public information officer number)
Livio Beccaccio (the aggressor wearing a badge)
Lisa Wareham (the woman assaulted)

If you’re in Orlando, connect with the good folks active with Orlando Cop Watchwebsite / Facebook

__________________________________________________

From Sean at BulliesWithABadge.org:

An Orlando Police officer, Livio Beccaccio, is now under investigation following the release of video footage that appears to show Beccaccio assaulting a woman, Lisa Wareham, by throwing her to the ground and breaking two of her front teeth.

The footage was obtained by an Orlando Investigative Reporter, Mike Holfeld, and was captured by a surveillance camera owned by the city as part of their Innovative Response to Improve Safety (I.R.I.S.) program. The footage shows Beccaccio holding onto a woman’s arm as he escorts her across the street before launching an assault that throws her to the ground. As soon as the woman hits the pavement, the officer seems to walk away.

The incident occurred on February 25 at 1:45 a.m. after officers responded to a disturbance call. The video seems to contradict Beccaccio’s version of events. Beccaccio’s police report states, “Wareham, with her right hand, reached across her body and smacked me several times in my right hand and arm”. In the video footage, however, Wareham never appears to resist or strike Beccaccio.

Beccaccio’s report also alleges that, “Wareham stumbled forward and fell to the pavement.” Once again, the video footage tells a different story, showing Beccaccio throwing the woman down using what is called an “arm bar” technique.

Wareham was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer, charges that can’t be supported by the footage. The State Attorney’s office is reviewing the case against Wareham. A spokesperson for the State Attorney’s office refused to comment on the incident, other than to say that the case is still “pending”.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Byer made a statement, saying he wants all the facts before making a determination, but promised that there would be no double standard. “We investigate our own and if there is cause to punish someone, then those actions are taken,” Dyer said.

Wareham has since obtained an attorney and is considering taking legal action.

Livio Beccaccio, Orlando PD employee, Breaks Woman’s Front Teeth is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Music is a powerful medium through which to share ideas. That’s why it’s awesome to see “The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape” created by Lonnie Ray Atkinson, Anitek, G-O-N and others. Like the content here at Cop Block, the tracks are licensed under a Creative Commons License so feel free to share/utilize!

This mixtape is now also linked-to from CopBlock.org/Knowledge and CopBlock.org/KnowYourRights.

Related content can also be found at http://www.scribd.com/collections/3807642/Know-Your-Rights.

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson [bio below]:

The following PSAs are meant to remind listeners of their rights and address particularly the constitutional abuses (now acknowledged by a federal judge) of stop-and-frisk policy in New York.

Instrumentals by Anitek and G-O-N

Special thanks to Moira Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective.

Click the play button below to hear all the entire mixtape, or click a track title to listen to whatever catches your interest.

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape by Lonnie Ray Atkinson

 

Magic Words: Intro (with G-O-N)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gut Check) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words
Narrator: Today we’re going to learn the magic words

Narrator: The Following PSAs are brought to you by / are brought to you by / are brought to you by
Sample: the constitutional abuses of Stop-and-Frisk policy

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..
Sample: How do you know if you’re rights are being violated?….
Sample: Way things are today, folks gotta have an arrest plan.
Sample: This ain’t about guilt or innocence. / This ain’t about guilt or innocence. It’s about you exercising your rights.

Narration: You’re listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
Narration: Today we’re going to learn / Today we’re going to learn
Sample: It’s about you exercising your rights.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked? / What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?
Narration: Let’s get started.
Narration: Let’s get started.

Sample: What do you do if you’re stop and frisked?……..

 

Magic Words: Verse One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Sound Bite) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Sound Bite by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t interfere or obstruct
don’t touch an officer or their stuff
don’t give false docs, IDs, or fake names
you ain’t gotta give nothing unless you’re being detained

and that means you ain’t gotta sweat questions
but if you’re gonna talk, don’t give details, don’t get defensive
and blast the magic words if the cops are in your brain
“Am I free to go? Am I being detained?”

“Am I free to go?” If yes, then walk on
“Am I being detained?” If no, then be gone
but if they go ahead and detain you, ask ‘em why
and make notes – you’re the only one that’s on your side

now in detainment, they can ask for ID verification
they can try and grill you for information
they can pat you down over your clothes
but aside from those three, this is what you need to know

you got the constitutional right to hit pause
remaining silent ain’t guilt, it ain’t probable cause
but when it comes to searches, silence is consent
so in order to exert your fourth amendment

say it loud so crowds can hear the magic words
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”
“I do not consent to this search.”

there’s really only one thing left if they want to press it
and you better know the moment the cuffs hit, it’s best if
you say, “I am not resisting arrest.”
“Officer, I am not resisting arrest.”

you got the magic words, stay calm and compliant
“Officer, I am going to remain silent.”
“Officer, I want to speak to a lawyer.”
then clinch your mouth until your jaw burns

if you say anything, it best be the magic words
I put them in the chorus, so we could rehearse
and get it down, so when it’s time you can bring it
and if you’re scared to say it then you can sing it

 

Magic Words: Chorus One (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Champioonee) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Champioonee by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Verse Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Chewie) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Chewie by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
now when your rearviews fill with flashing blue brights
stay in your ride, cut on the interior light
license and registration within reach in plain view
crack the window, hands back on the wheel, ten and two

move slowly, announce everything you about to do
and if you’re asked to step out, lock the door behind you
they can search the passenger side glove for weapons
but anything more than that, remember your lessons

I do not consent to this search, calm and polite
I don’t care if it takes all night, that’s your rights
it ain’t disrespect, it ain’t a hassle
it’s your constitution, from your car to your castle

and speaking of your castle, be proactive with your space
hang a sign outside your place
saying, “we don’t consent to the police in our home without a warrant
here’s our attorney’s name, here’s our attorney’s number”

and if johnny law ever comes a-tappin’ your door
ask for the warrant, check what they allowed to look for
and make notes of everything that happens
rooms they search, funny behavior, faces and badges

now if they ain’t no warrant, tell them to go away
then ring up your attorney with that play by play
and if they won’t leave, they gonna have to work for it
without a warrant, you can make ‘em kick in the door for it

and if they bust in claiming a threat to public safety
don’t interfere, don’t resist, just state plainly
I do not consent to a search, now put that in your report
while I sit here and make notes for court

you within the law – ain’t no need to be scared
you ain’t gotta be guilty to be prepared
and that means you school anyone staying in your home
if they alone, this routine best be square in they dome

take the time to make a plan, worth your life
from the curb to your car to the crib, you got rights
singa-singa-sing along – so we can memorize the magic words
this chorus goes out to my liberty loving nerds

 

Magic Words: Chorus Two (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Recall) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Anitek-Recall by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I’m going to remain silent
I am not resisting arrest

 

Magic Words: Verse Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Vast Shutdown) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and Vast Shutdown by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
don’t fib to federal agents, it’s a crime
even trivial lies’ll have you doing time
best chance if you’re hoping to walk
bust early with the magic words, then don’t talk

same thing if you get rung up
don’t talk, phones are made to be hung up
but if you can score the caller’s job, number, or name
write it down, call your counsel, it’s a details game

now private security ain’t entitled to nothing
don’t say nothing, don’t sign nothing, they ain’t nothing
ain’t a badge in the land that can demand you squawk
if they ain’t your attorney, then don’t talk

and yo I don’t care how much they befriend you
even telling the truth can be used against you
prior statements, the tiniest inconsistency
is fair ground to tear down your credibility

and make sure your loved ones understand this means
you can lean on your family and friends but don’t sing
and don’t think – your cellmate’s shoulder will support you
the time to defend yourself is in the courtroom

but even more important than don’t talk, don’t assume
this kind of stuff ain’t happening because it ain’t happened to you
there’s only one thing true, when it comes to the law
it ain’t one size fits all

the most vulnerable populations know the warning
gays and lesbians, trans and gender non-conforming
sex workers and folks with HIV/AIDS
folks without papers sweating the ICE raids

from communities of color to any kind of “other”
to hearts sporting privilege, stand up for one another
know the law like hip hop knows beats
and tell the police that these are our streets

and in our streets, even non-citizens got rights
check the nlg’s website
but, in the meantime, don’t forget what you heard
if you take one thing, let it be the magic words

 

Magic Words: Chorus Three (with Anitek)

Melody and Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (Gland Man) by Anitek (Anitek (TripHop) and 04 Gland Man by Anitek (TripHop))

Lyrics:
Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(one more time, what happens if they stop you)

Am I free to go
Am I being detained
I do not consent to this search
I do not consent to this search – no
(say it loud so everyone can hear you)
(what happens if they arrest you)

I’m going to remain silent
I want to speak to a lawyer
I am not resisting arrest
I am not resisting arrest – no
(don’t resist, it’ll only work against you)
(know your rights, let the magic words work for you)

 

Magic Words: Outro (with G-O-N)

Lyrics: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Vocals: Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Music Track: Instrumental (ExpV.2) by G-O-N

Lyrics:
You’ve been listening to The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape
The contents of this mixtape are not meant to substitute for legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer. For now, you need the magic words.
Lyrics and Vocals by Lonnie Ray Atkinson
Song Instrumentals by Anitek
Intro and Outro Instrumentals by G-O-N
Special special thanks to Moria Meltzer-Cohen and the New York Law Collective – Until We Are All Free…

Say them loud so everyone can hear you.
Know your rights and let the magic words work for you.

__________________________

From Lonnie Ray Atkinson’s profile at SoundCloud.com:

lonnie-ray-atkinson-copblock

Lonnie Ray Atkinson

On political songwriting:

I spent a long time feeling helpless about how to make the world a better place and coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t doing more. Hoping I could find a way to make an effective contribution, I turned to songwriting as a form of activism. Free to the public, this work is intended not only as a vehicle for protest, but also as an organizing tool.

A lot of artists are afraid of being labeled “political.” Not me.

I want you to know.

These songs are political. Every damn one of them.

A culture for our movement:
We say we want “a better world,” but the question then arises – what would a better world look like? And while this question automatically triggers electric debate over economic and political relations (focusing on the dynamics of race, gender, class, physical ability, etc), so many of us forget to incorporate the importance of culture into our vision. Likewise, when it comes to strategy, so much of our movement fails to factor in the use of culture.

Since we are asking people to commit time outside of their daily work, we must present a movement that offers those things people need outside of their work lives. We must present a movement with culture.

Aside from work and the material necessities work can provide, a people need art, theater, music, literature, poetry, food and drink, laughter, sports, conversation, sex.

A better world, by definition, should be attractive. Our movement must be attractive. We need a social justice culture. A culture to build our future upon. A culture of both resistance and vision.

If we are serious about our goals, our movement must resemble what we want in a better world. If we are serious about building an effective movement, we need artists, authors, actors, poets, musicians, comedians, playwrights, puppeteers, filmmakers, songwriters, craftspeople, teachers, builders, growers, cooks. We need a culture worthy of our movement.

We need creativity and imagination rooted in a language of principles. A culture that will inspire, provoke, enlighten, and entertain. A culture that will inform our struggle, mourn our losses, and celebrate our victories.

And as our situations change, so will the content of our creative work. Similarly, our cultural identity will not be a homogenous one but a human one. An identity rich with diverse tastes but shared values.

Reflecting this diversity, contributions may at times be offensive, sappy, punk, corny, dissonant, pop, profound. And though contributors may not always be the most gifted, if they are thoughtful and honest, humble and hardworking, they will surely help lay the groundwork for building that better world.

We need a culture for our movement. I want to contribute to that culture.

I hope you will find a way to contribute as well.

You can get in where you fit in, but get in.

The Magic Words: A Know-Your-Rights Mixtape is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) Detained for Filming Bank Buildings

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Yesterday Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) was hassled because he videotaped bank buildings from public property.

Gray was doing nothing wrong, yet because he dared to assert his rights, he himself had his freedom of movement curtailed and a threat of caging levied. This was a classic case of claims made and reinforced by individuals used to having others obey, without question.

Initially the bank security told Gray (incorrectly) that he could not film, even though it was acknowledged that he was on a public sidewalk. Before too long a second security employee and three Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employees were on the scene.

Gray was told that because he was a “suspicious person” he was detained. Later, after speaking with his attorney on the phone, C. R. Cusatti – the man wearing a badge that took and ran his ID – told Gray that he was free to go.

Why wouldn’t Cusatti share his name verbally? Was he not proud of his actions?

Is this a police state, where one must ID for the so-claimed protectors or else?

jeffgray-honoryouroath-c-r-cusatti-copblock

J. R. Cusatti, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office employee

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
(904) 630-0500
C.R. Cusatti (individual who detained Gray)

Gray did a lot of things correct – he remained calm. He continued filming throughout. He knew where his lines were and he stuck to them despite pressure (ie he’d had already concluded that he’d share ID if he were detained, but not if he wasn’t detained). He asked questions of those used to controlling the conversation. He called someone offsite to keep them abreast of the situation. And he shared the content he collected with others – both to showcase the actions of those who claim to protect folks in Jacksonville and so that you and I can be more informed, should we ever find ourselves in a similar situation.

Other content from HonorYourOath here on CopBlock.org.

 

Jeff Gray (HonorYourOath) Detained for Filming Bank Buildings is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Checkpoint Content Contest – Win HD Videocamera!

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Not a fan of police checkpoints?

Do you recognize that no one, even if they wear a badge, has the right to impede your freedom of movement, or to search your property, when you’ve done nothing wrong?

The use of checkpoints has proliferated in “the land of the free”, especially since 9/11 and the accompanying security theater.

Whether that’s in the form of a DUI checkpoint in your town* or a now-permanent checkpoint on a road that never crosses the border**, more and more people are realizing what checkpoints are really about: control.

Educate others about checkpoints and their rights should they encounter one themselves, and you could win an an awesome HD camera that you can carry and/or dash-mount!

.

Details:

copblock-checkpointusa-freetalklive-contest-muvi-dashcam-components-overhead

The Veho Muvi Gumball 3000 comes with everything you need – dashcam mount, carrying case, remote control, straps, mounts, 8GB mini SD card, USB cord, etc.

  • A Veho Muvi Gumball 3000 Special Edition MUVI HD Camcorder will be awarded to the creator of the content that best demystifies roadblocks***
  • Content can be in the form of a video compilation (such as this video), your own experience (such as, for me, this video), a narrative, art, relevant know your rights resources, etc.
  • Deadline is midnight EST, Sunday, April 8th, 2013 – just send an email with “Checkpoint Content Contest” in the subject line and the content (link to external URL, attachment, in text body, etc) to “copblock@gmail.com
  • The winner will be determined by a three judge panel – Terry Bressi from checkpointusa.org, Ian Freeman from lrn.fm, and Pete Eyre from copblock.org
  • The winner will be contacted via the same email used to submit their content (so be sure it’s one you check) on/by April 22nd, 2013, their address solicited to mail the camera, and if agreed-to, interviewed (via phone/Skype/email/etc) for a follow-up post

The Checkpoint Content Contest is co-sponsored by:

  • checkpointusa.org – Check Point USA is dedicated to confronting roadblocks to freedom wherever they may arise. Special attention will be given to physical roadblocks designed to impede the right of Americans to travel freely within our own country but attention will also be given to general violations of our right to privacy.
  • copblock.org - Cop Block is a decentralized project supported by a diverse group of individuals united by their shared goal of police accountability.
  • lfn.fm – LRN.FM is your source for the best liberty-oriented audio content, 24/7. You’ll hear live shows as well as the latest episodes of podcasts from around the world. Hit play on our stream or cam feed below to listen to LRN.FM around the clock.

Related:

copblock-checkpointusa-freetalklive-contest-muvi-dashcam-mount-2

The Veho Muvi 3000 Gumball is an excellent in-vehicle camera as it can be set to record in a loop and powered via your cigarette outlet

* funded by a grant from the feds – remember, the coin provided via the grant was first stolen from someone via taxation, or printed out of thin air due to the fiat nature of federal reserve notes

** the border – an arbitrary political boundary used by criminal gangs to define their turf, and with it, people over whom they claim authority – has, according to the ACLU, has been turned into a “constitution-free zone”

*** the camera to be awarded is exactly the same as that pictured but unopened

constitution-free-zone-inland-checkpoint-aclu-copblock

Checkpoint Content Contest – Win HD Videocamera! is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

WILL THERE EVER BE JUSTICE?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Stanley L. Gibson was killed by Jesus Arevalo, an employee of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Thus far Arevalo has yet to be held accountable.

In the first post below, “WILL THERE EVER BE JUSTICE?”, Gibson’s widow Rondha shares some of the personal impact due to Arevalo’s aggressive actions and the failure of “the system” to apply “the law” to one of their own.

In the second post below, “Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End-Around Coroner’s Inquest Reforms?”, Kelly Patterson gives more details about Arevalo’s actions and the legal land maneuvers used thus far to protect him.

Kudos to Gibson and Patterson for making this injustice transparent. Only when the aggressors are called-out and personally held-accountable, and institutions based on coercion are deligitimzied, will the wanton double-standards cease.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department: (702) 828-3231
[Calling Arevalo's employer is good, but if you have his contact info please do share - after all, he acted, he's responsible.]

-Pete Eyre

_______________________________

WILL THERE EVER BE JUSTICE?

by Rondha Gibson, via NVCopBlock.org

Stanley-Gibson-150x150-copblock-jesus-arevalo

Stanley L. Gibson, a disabled Army vet, was murdered by Jesus Arevalo on Dec. 12, 2012

Can there ever really be justice? I never thought I would question this

Really never cared or had a reason to give it too much thought before

I arrived in Las Vegas in 2000 due to the passing of my father

It was  a sad time for me reconnecting with my little sister

Who I hadn’t seen in many years. This is how I met Stanley L. Gibson

My brother in law and him were friends and he had come over one day

And that basically was the day we started our life together

For the next 12 years it was just Stan-N-Rondha

Two orphans against the world, but we had love

We shared a love that no-one could ever understand

But it was our love and then in one quick instant it was gone

By the hands of the people that say they are here to serve and protect

What they don’t tell you is they only serve and protect each other

They say if you are robbed you should call the police but

I ask you who do I call when Metro was the one who robbed me

Justice-denied-copblockThis power LVMPD has to kill without consequence needs to end

Too much blood has been spilt due to their actions

Too much innocent blood has been shed

Stand beside me and let our voices be heard

NEVER FORGET!  NEVER FORGET!

by

Rondha Gibson

Widow of Stanley L. Gibson

And victim of

 The actions of LVMPD & Jesus Arevalo

_______________________________________________

Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End-Around Coroner’s Inquest Reforms?

by Kelly Patterson, via NVCopBlock.org

Within the last few days, it’s been reported that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson is close to reaching a decision regarding the murder of Stanley L. Gibson by a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Additionally, reports have stated that Wolfson is “99% sure” that he will seek an indictment against Jesus Arevalo, the officer that fired 7 shots from an AR-15 into the Gibson’s back as he sat unarmed and clearly visible inside his car, which had been pinned and immobilized by several police vehicles. While there has been no official statement regarding what exactly this imminent decision might be or what charges may be sought, informed sources have indicated that within the next sixty days Wolfson will make up his mind whether the case will be put before a grand jury for a possible indictment against Arevalo.

At first glance, putting things in the hands of a grand jury would seem to be a step forward, in that it at least presents a possibility of Ofc. Arevalo being held accountable for his actions that day. Las Vegas police have a long and storied history of avoiding any sort of consequences for their heavy-handed tactics, no matter how blatant and deadly they have been. Steve Wolfson himself hasn’t exactly risen to the occasion when given the opportunity to make Las Vegas area law enforcement pay for their misdeeds.

A large part of the blame for this lack of accountability can be attributed to the long standing practice of determining whether police shootings were justified through the quasi-judicial Coroner’s Inquest process. Badly weighted in favor of exonerating the police rather than investigating the circumstances involved, the Coroner’s Inquests functioned more as a dog and pony show to construct a cover story than a fact finding  effort. As such, it should come as no surprise that only one single police killing was ever found to be unjustified (the DA still declined to prosecute the cops involved). The sheer odds of that being true over the course of 40+ years, including 378 shootings since 1990 alone, attest to the imbalance inherent in such a system.

Clark Count Coroner Inquest Testimony 300x199 Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End Around Coroners Inquest Reforms?

William Mosher testifies during Coroner Inquest into the shooting of Erik Scott

Accelerating rates of officer involved shootings, many resulting in killings, along with outrage generated by the subsequent questionable exoneration of the police, led to demands to amend the Coroner’s Inquest. An overhaul of the Coroner’s Inquest was approved by county commissioners, including provisions to have victims represented by independent council in order to make the process more fair. However, this revised system of investigating shootings has never been implemented, due to the union representing Las Vegas area police (who not coincidentally believe Arevalo did nothing wrong) has advised them not to participate in Coroner’s Inquest proceedings because of their “adversarial nature.”

However, many of the original flaws within the Coroner’s Inquest system continue to exist and in some cases are even worse when grand juries are used to determine whether police and other officials should be prosecuted for questionable actions. Like the Coroner’s inquest, grand jury proceedings are conducted exclusively by the District Attorney’s office, who works closely with, and is often dependent on the cooperation of, police officers in order to secure convictions in cases they bring to trial. It is entirely up to them what evidence will be presented, who is called to testify, and how those witnesses  are questioned. In the past, prosecutors have often displayed a tendency to construct their cases in such a way so as to paint police in a favorable light. This conflict of interest was one of the most cited issues with the Coroner’s Inquest.

Even worse is the secrecy of grand juries. Nevada conducts their grand jury proceedings under what amounts to a full gag order. Nobody involved in a grand jury may  publicly disclose any of the evidence presented to the jury, information obtained by the jury, events or statements occurring in front of the jury, or even the results of an investigation by the grand jury. The lone exception to this is individual witnesses, who are limited to discussing their own personal testimony. Breaking these restrictions is a criminal act.

Scales of Injustice 300x280 Justice for Stanley Gibson or Just an End Around Coroners Inquest Reforms?

When the Government Prosecutes One of Its Own, the Scales of Justice are Tipped Heavily Against the Truth Coming Out

What this effectively means is that the DA’s office and the courts have complete control over what information goes before the jury and what is disclosed to the public afterwards. As lopsided as the Coroner’s inquest was, at least it was a public spectacle that was available to be scrutinized by the community at large. No such transparency exists with grand juries. Basically, a prosecutor can call only sympathetic or unconvincing witnesses and do a half-hearted  effort while questioning them to ensure the jury doesn’t find enough evidence to support a criminal charge and then hold their failure to issue an indictment up as  proof that a shooting was justified. Nobody outside of the grand jury room would be able to refute this assertion since everything took place behind closed doors and none of them are allowed to speak about what they saw.

Fact is, using a grand jury to determine whether police shootings should be prosecuted violates pretty much every aspect of the proposed reforms (from the Nevada ACLU) for the Coroner’s Inquest:

  • Allow the attorneys for both the officers and the victims to participate directly in the process and ask questions during the inquest;
  • Have a neutral presenter of facts that is not the District Attorney’s Office;
  • Be limited to relevant questions about the decedent and the involved officers;
  • Make determinations of fact and leave decisions about whether criminal charges should proceed to the District Attorney;
  • Follow the same Rules of Evidence used in courtrooms (this is one singular exception); and
  • Be fully transparent and open to the public.

Historically, indictments of police through the grand jury have been hard to come by. In general, bringing cases before the grand jury are the exception rather than the rule and there’s a reason for that. As stated by the attorney for the family of a man murdered by police in White Plains, NY after the grand jury decided not to indict the cops:

“…the grand jury is often used to cover politically for a figure, for a district attorney. So if the grand jury indicts, it’s not the district attorney’s fault. They simply presented the evidence, and the grand jury indicted. If the grand jury chooses not to indict, well, then the grand jury essentially is blamed, but that’s an anonymous group of 23 individuals.”

Nor is the idea that grand juries might be used as a smoke screen to protect rather than punish police a new concept. Just a few months ago Albuquerque, NM. suspended the use of grand juries to investigate police shootings after criticism of their use and the fact that (like Vegas) not one single shooting has ever been ruled unjustified:

For more than two decades, police officials have countered criticism of dozens of officer-involved shootings in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County by noting that every case is reviewed by a grand jury…

No one involved in the process can recall a single “unjustified” finding since the process was put in place in the late 1980s in response to criticism of police shootings at the time — even in a case in which the officer was fired and the city paid big bucks to settle a civil lawsuit.

Critics say that’s by design.

“It looks to me like a device that’s designed to give police a pass on shootings,” said Ray Twohig, a longtime civil rights attorney. “The public should have no confidence whatsoever in this process — there’s no independent investigation … The goal is: ‘Let’s not indict any cops…’ ”

Attorney Shannon Kennedy said…it is designed to treat officers differently from ordinary citizens.

“They are basically operating above the law,” she said. “Officers in APD know about this process; they know they will be exonerated. This contributes to more and more police shootings, because there is this culture of no accountability.”

District Attorney Wolfson himself hasn’t exactly inspired a lot of faith that he will do the right thing in cases of police abuse. In “DA statements” that have taken the place of the Coroner’s Inquest since they were put on hold, Wolfson has determined that cops shouldn’t be punished for kicking a restrained man suffering from diabetic shock in the head first because it “wouldn’t be in the community’s best interest” and later because Henderson cops are trained to kick people in the head while arresting them.

That there is enough evidence to support charges shouldn’t be in doubt being that there is a video of the shooting clearly showing that Stanley Gibson didn’t represent an imminent threat and statements by sources within LVMPD have confirmed that Jesus Arevalo knew about the plan to force Gibson from the car without using deadly force. If there was a video of anyone else unnecessarily shooting an unarmed person, that person would be sitting in jail awaiting a trial, not sitting at home on paid vacation like Jesus Arevalo is right now.

To ensure that there isn’t even the appearance of any sort of official favoritism being extended to police officers (or other government employees) Wolfson needs to do the right thing by charging Arevalo directly and placing this case in the hands of a trial jury, rather than gambling on a grand jury issuing an indictment first. A gamble that members of this community aren’t so sure he is willing to go “all in” on. Furthermore, any charges brought should include charge of murder, since that’s what truly happened that day.

WILL THERE EVER BE JUSTICE? is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights