Schools As Prisons

Monday, January 6th, 2014

 To entrust the government with the power of determining the education which our children receive is entrusting our servant with the power to be our master.
- David Nasaw

Police In Schools

In recent years, the number of so-called school resource officers has ballooned.

Schools are supposed to be a place for kids to learn. To be challenged and to grow. Yet if one looks closer at the roots of the school system, it becomes clear that that institution puts a higher premium on conformity, on a student who consumes and regurgitates what they’re told, based more and more often on criteria set by bureaucrats in DC.

It’s costly and difficult to control a population physically, through use of arms.

Key to the perpetuation and consolidation of political power is to control the mind.

For more background on how this situation was arrived at, see the excellent video “The American Way” and check into the writings of John Taylor Gatto

Today there are over 10,000 school liaison employees. Some say this development has transitioned schools into correctional facilities.

And while the stated intention of creating a safe environment is admirable – as is true for cops outside of school walls, the incentive for those within the school walls is not to serve and protect, but to target those who disobey.

When the only tool had is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Such are the incentives of a coercive monopoly.

Introduce that mindset into an environment with ridiculous zero tolerance policies, and you have a bad combination.

In Texas, where school liaison employees annually write over 100,000 citations, the head of the supreme court Wallace Jefferson, noted, “We are criminalizing our children for non-violent offenses.”

Police are trained to escalate situations until compliance is gained.

In Stockton, California, school liaison employee Frank Gordo sat down to have a conversation with a 5yr old boy. After Gordo put his hand on the boy’s hand, the boy pushed Gordo’s hand away and kicked him in the knee. Gordo responded by zip-tying the boy for over an hour and charging him with battery.

If you did that to a 5yo child would that be permissible?

In Washington DC, police liaison employee Bailey, upset at a verbal response from a 10-year-old, grabbed the student by the back of his head and slammed it off the table. The student reported the incident to his teacher, but was told she couldn’t act as it involved a police employee. Later that day, when the boy was brought to the hospital by his mom after complaining of a a headache and sleepiness, it was discovered that he had had a concussion.

In Manchester NH, school liaison employee Darren Murphy slammed a students head off a cafeteria table for swearing. There too – school administrators sided with the aggressor – Murphy faced no repercussions and was back to ‘keeping the school safe’ the very next day.

In Mississippi, a girl with sleep apnea feel asleep when reading a book in class. She was eventually asked to leave. When in the hall on the phone with her mom someone swiped at her backpack. The girl didn’t turn around, but said “leave me alone.” The person behind her was school liaison employee Chris Bryant, who shoved her face-first into a filing cabinet then handcuffed her. After the girl threw up from the trauma, she was brought to a children’s hospital and had her arm immobilized.

Police are actively targeting parents who’s kids are said to be truant. After all, time spent in government schools is crucial to the indoctrination of the next generation.

In Palm Beach, FL parents of such students may be caged up to two months and face ransoms of thousands of dollars.

In Orange County, California, parents of students who weren’t present as dictated face up to a year in a cage. A recent “truancy sweep” involved at least seven agencies, including a gang reduction intervention team.

But hey – it’s for their own good right?

The men and women still pretending that the disastrous war on some substances is feasible, have subjected students to their erroneous ways.

In Goose Creek, South Carolina police conducted a raid under the pretense of seizing drugs. They had coordinated with school administers ahead of time. Over a hundred students in the hall were ordered on the floor. Over a dozen were handcuffed. Some had guns pointed at their heads. No drugs were found. And no apologies were issued.

In Indiana an 11year old boy who had cannabis on his person was bitten by a police dog. The cannabis was placed there by the dogs handler, as part of a simulated raid. is that the kind of thing you want your kid to be desensitized about? A raid? Is a world where that is commonplace ideal?

Would you let me come around your kid with a dog trained to be aggressive and think it alright if I planted drugs on them and them your child to be chill while I led the dog around them?

The act is no different if the handler happens to wear a badge.

And, the LAPD, the same outfit that introduced SWAT units started the practice of placing undercover police employees are in schools posing as students. Their goal? To bust kids selling substances deemed illicit.

This includes one Florida student who, though he didn’t use cannabis himself, procured some and gave it for free to a female he fell in love with. Turns out, she was a cop. In the end, he, and 30 others, were arrested.

In the post-9/11 security theater, school resource officers like to see themselves as being on the front lines.

Organizations now exist to capitalize on this sector of the police state. One – the National Association of School Resource Officers, offers training, and lists as the first presentation item – “Preparation for International and Domestic Terrorism”

It should be clear – at least to those who haven’t just been exposed to government education – just who are the real terrorists.

As if taking a cue from our friends at fusion centers, a database called inBloom is being implemented in school districts.

The software tracks over 400 metrics about each student. But don’t worry, they promise that the information won’t be shared.

And administrators one school – which distributed laptops to students – spied on over 40 students through the built-in camera.

So what are some solutions?

I know some will say, “but it’s important that these kids be in school!” but who’s kids are these? The states? A faceless entity answerable to no one? Are all proclamations made by such folks legitimate?

What if parents were told that their children had to be present in school for 9 hours a day? or 11 hours a day?

What if parents were told that, to mitigate distractions during the schoolyear, their children would be taken and placed in government-run boarding houses?

What if parents were told that their kids had to participate in a Youth Service program to show their allegiance?

If you have kids and you are a firearm owners, consider this question:

If asked, would you turn over your guns to a government agent for a third of the day? I’d guess not, yet are you current willing to hand-off something even more important – your kids, and their minds – to the same people?

Education doesn’t just happen in a building called a school. And in fact, the information pushed there is patently full of omissions and misinformation to fit the statist quo.

As John Holt said, compulsory schooling, compulsory learning – is a tyranny and a crime against the human mind and spirit. Let all those escape it who can, any way they can.

If you have kids, consider homeschooling, or better yet, unschooling.

And if you’re not a fan of the police state and the incursion of police employees into schools, learn about peaceful parenting.

http://copblock.org/filmthepolice

Schools As Prisons is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Maggie’s Thursday Links

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

(Thanks to Radley for the first four items and Jesse Walker for the fifth.)

Gang attacks homeowner, media solicits donations for fallen gang members, public laments gang member death.

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Some people out there, even our regular readers, get squeamish when we liken police to gang members. I’ll stand by that analogy, which I elaborated upon in another article -

Mostly, this comparison is based on the fact that police, like gangs claim ultimate dominion over a particular territory. They stake out these particular territories, and demand “protection money” for reasons mostly out of the control of local residents. If their demands are not met, they resort to violence.

They swear an oath of  loyalty to each other, and will cover up for each other’s gruesome crimes at the expense of good sense and morality. Officers have purposely failed to take reports, covered up evidence, and even turned a blind eye to sexual battery and torture by their fellow gang-members (see here). Those who do not abide by the code of loyalty are ostracized or otherwise punished (see examples here and here). They even have a gang color – blue.

See the full article here. As long as government police exist in their current form, I will never retract my sentiment in this regard. However, for the sake of argument, let us assume police are ordinary human beings like the rest of us. Fair enough? (More than fair, in my opinion).

When was the last time the public got their panties in a bunch when 5 armed men in dark clothing were shot because they were mistaken for intruders after they busted into someone’s house?

Probably never.

How about if the homeowner at issue was suspected of growing marijuana plants, and the armed men, dressed in dark clothing were allegedly there to “protect” the public from a dangerous weed smoker? If you still think it was an evil tragedy the armed men were shot, then it’s because you’re still thinking about police. Think harder.

Imagine your friend Joe has been growing a little pot in his living room. Imagine a bunch of your neighbors, against all scientific evidence, believe that because Joe smokes weed occasionally, he is a dangerous individual. Instead of knocking on Joe’s door, talking to Joe about his “problem” or asking him politely to refrain from smoking, or engaging in about a million other peaceful and civil ways of addressing the issue, at least twelve of them decide to dress in all black, arm themselves, and kick down Joe’s door to “solve” this frightening problem of weed propagation. They declare to you they have a piece of paper that gives them such authority and will present it to Joe as proof they have a right to seize his little plant. They kick down Joe’s door at night. As a result, Joe mistakes them for burglars and opens fire, killing and injuring several of them, while also receiving injuries himself.

What would you think about these neighbors? You would think they are insane. You would think they are fucking stupid. You would wonder why it takes twelve (or more) grown, armed men to give your friend Joe a piece of fucking paper. You would think they are juvenile, violent, self-righteous assholes who mirror something out of Lord of the Flies, who think reckless use of violence and guns is some sort of game (you’d half expect to find Piggy with his smashed eyeglasses lying amid the bloodshed). If you are a bit of a judgmental prick, you might wonder why Joe keeps such offensive plants if the consequences can be so severe, but even so, if you are a reasonable person, you would not blame Joe for opening fire in terror upon seeing twelve or more armed men in his house after having his door broken down.

On the other hand, because the juvenile, violent, self-righteous assholes who don’t know how to mind their own damn business are police, the public is horrified, and the media is soliciting donations for the fallen and injured police officers gang members (see full story here). This is a travesty. The media literally is soliciting funds and sympathy for a bunch of aggro psychopaths whose careless indiscretions created the entire situation to begin with. Meanwhile, the victim of all this is being changed with crimes, and will likely suffer draconian legal penalties.

No one forced these officers to enforce bad laws. No one put a gun to the heads of these upstanding members of society and said they had to arm themselves, put on dark clothing, and kick down someone’s door to “serve a warrant” because the suspect had a certain plant in his living room. They did it anyway, and as a result, 6 of them were shot and 1 died.

This is not to say that any of them deserved to die, or that death is an appropriate punishment for burglary, but really – what is there to be so sorry about? If they were ordinary people, Americans would be flabbergasted at why these idiots believed rounding up a gang of armed people to solve a non-violent situation was necessary. Americans would rightly question the intelligence of those who claim drawing guns and breaking into houses at night in furtherance of eradicating a plant somehow makes society safer.

Anyone who feels truly terrible for these wounded/killed officers, without acknowledging the officers’ own stupidity, recklessness, and unwarranted aggression that brought on these consequences has unfortunately bought into the police state mentality – that police can do whatever they want because different – or perhaps no moral and legal standards apply to them.

 

Gang attacks homeowner, media solicits donations for fallen gang members, public laments gang member death. is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Unarmed GVSU Student Shot During Drug Raid Arrested on Marijuana Charges

Friday, April 17th, 2009

According to police reports, on March 11 Grand Valley State University sophomore Derek Kopp sold an undercover police officer 3.3 grams of marijuana for $60. The police then raided Kopp’s apartment, at which point Deputy Ryan Huizenga mistook Kopp shielding his eyes from a police flashlight for brandishing a weapon, and shot the unarmed Kopp in the chest. The bullet pierced Kopp’s liver, broke a rib, and punctured one of Kopp’s lungs.

Apparently, a bullet in the chest and time in the intensive care unit wasn’t punishment enough for selling three grams of pot. This week, a Michigan judge issued an arrest warrant for Kopp on the charge of delivery of marijuana. He’ll be arraigned on Monday.

Update on the Grand Valley State Drug Raid

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Derek Copp’s father speaks to the press, and says his son was shot when he moved his arm to cover his eyes from the police flashlights as they came into his apartment. That would be consistent with the police account that Copp was unarmed, and that there was no confrontation.

It was also be another piece of evidence showing the idiocy of using such violent, confrontational police tactics for nonviolent offenses. These raids have a low margin for error, for cops and the people they’re targeting. I feel like we just keep rehashing the same story on this site, over and over.

The bullet apparently broke Copp’s rips, ruptured his right lung, and punctured his liver. The Copp family didn’t hear about the shooting until six hours after it happened. Even then they were told by hospital staff, not police. The police also still haven’t released why they raided Copp’s apartment, what if any illegal substances they found, or why one deputy felt the need to shoot the guy.

It seems pretty clear by now that Copp was a recreational pot smoker, though there’s no indication thus far that he was dealing (not the evidence of either would justify shooting an unarmed man). Meanwhile, the Grand Rapids Press apparently thought it would be a good idea to browse Copp’s Facebook account for drug references.

Ryan Frederick Odds and Ends

Monday, February 16th, 2009
  • Here’s a letter to the editor of the Virginian-Pilot from Frederick’s attorney James Broccoletti in praise of Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Earle Mobley. Mobley, you’ll remember, came forward to say that one of the jailhouse informants Special Prosecutor Paul Ebert called to testify against Frederick was so unreliable that other prosecutors in the area refused to use him. I can’t help but think his doing so really damaged the state’s credibility with the jury. It very well could have spared Frederick a life sentence.
  • Local TV station WTKR conducts an interview with Frederick, who sounds contrite, humble, and sorrowful. In a just world, Ebert and his team would lose their jobs for trying to portray this guy as some sort of cold-blooded, drug-crazed murderer.
  • The Tidewater Libertarian Party, courtesy of Don Tabor, will be requesting a citizens’ review of the investigation of Frederick and the raid on his home. I still think we need a federal investigation, one that grants immunity to informants Steven Wright and Renaldo Turnbull so they can speak without fear of retaliation.
  • Virginian-Pilot columnist Roger Chesley says Frederick’s jury got it right. I obviously don’t agree, but it certainly could have been worse. What’s most unfortunate is that Chesapeake PD has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to alter the way it investigates drug offenders or executes search warrants.

  • Ryan Frederick’s Thug Life

    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

    In this passage of John Wilburn’s summary of Paul Ebert’s closing, Ebert is recalling the testimony of an alleged marijuana expert. Ebert’s trying to make the case that Frederick is a big-time pot dealer.

    Meinhart says 1 plant produces 1 pound of salable marijuana. 1 pound is 16 ounces, and at $400.00 per ounce is $6400.00 times 10 plants is $64000.00.

    Which of course would explain why Ryan Frederick got up at 4am each morning to deliver soft drinks.

    The Ryan Frederick Trial: Jurors Deliberate

    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

    Yesterday, both sides in the Ryan Frederick trial made their closing arguments. This morning, the jury will begin their deliberations.

    Ryan Frederick is the 28-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia man facing murder charges for killing a police officer during a drug raid (see this wiki for more on Frederick’s case). Prior coverage of his trial here.

    If you’ve been following the case, I’d encourage you read coverage from the Virginian-Pilot, and from the local Tidewater Liberty blog.

    Some wrap-up odds and ends from the last few days of the trial:

    • Last week, the defense called seven of Frederick’s neighbors, one of whom was outside the night of the raid. All said they heard no police announcement, though neighbors did testify about hearing the battering ram.

    • There’s more significance to the neighbors’ testimony than merely whether or not Frederick should have heard an announcement, though that’s obviously important. The state made Frederick out to be a big-time drug dealer. Police informant Steven Wright said he bought marijuana from Frederick dozens of times over just a few months. That’s dozens of drug deals from just one guy. Yet the police affidavit notes that surveillance on Frederick’s home showed no unusual activity. And Frederick’s neighbors—people who you’d think would want a hardened, drug-dealing, cop-killing neighbor out of their community—have not only defended him in the media, they’ve testified in his defense at his trial.

    • The Virginian-Pilot’s John Hopkins has done a splendid job covering this case. I’ve rarely seen a local reporter cover a botched raid so well. Hopkins refused to take police statements about the raid at face value. He did his own reporting, and uncovered some significant flaws in the case. At the start of the trial, Special Prosecutor Paul Ebert put Hopkins on his witness list, which effectively barred Hopkins from the courtroom, which meant he could no longer report on the case. But Ebert never called Hopkins to testify. Sneaky way to get a good reporter off your butt.

    • The person who could shed the most light on the truth in this case never testified. That would be Renaldo Turnbull, the informant/burglar that Hopkins and I interviewed. That he didn’t testify isn’t surprising. He wouldn’t have been helpful to either side. The state would have to deal with his revelations to Hopkins and I that the police were encouraging their informants to illegally break into homes to collect probable cause. Once the judge ruled before the trial that the search warrant for Frederick’s home was valid, Frederikc’s attorneys no longer had much of a reason to bring up Turnbull’s allegations. They would have had to deal with a guy who’s still facing a host of his own criminal charges, and is at the mercy of the state. There’s also obviously a huge risk to the defense in going after the integrity of the police, particularly the integrity of the cop your client admits to shooting.

    If there’s ever an outside investigation of the issues that have surfaced in this case (and there really should be), Turnbull ought to be the first person investigators speak to, and the first to whom they grant immunity.

    • Frederick’s biggest problem is that in the interviews he gave with police shortly after the raid, he misled them about growing marijuana. I could be mistaken, but from what I can tell, he didn’t out and out lie—he said there were no marijuana plants in his home at the time fo the raid, and there weren’t. But he neglected to say he had plants before the break-in by the police informant three nights earlier.

    It’s not difficult to believe that Frederick both legitimately feared for his life the night of the raid (fearing, perhaps, that informant Steven Wright and friends had come to harm him), and realized that if he admitted in those interrogations to both killing a cop and growing marijuana, his days were numbered.

    Of course, Frederick wasn’t obligated to talk to the police at all that night. And he certainly wasn’t obligated to implicate himself. But that he did talk but then wasn’t forthcoming about growing marijuana will almost certainly hurt his credibility with the jury.

    • Oddly, at the same time, the recordings of those police interrogations could also save Frederick. They clearly show a frightened, nervous, confused man, who weeps and vomits when he contemplates that he’s just taken another life. They don’t depict the enraged, calculating cop killer prosecutors tried to make Frederick out to be.

    • Yesterday, the judge decided to allow the jury to consider lesser charges for Frederick, including first and second degree murder, and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution consented to adding the lesser charges.

    On the one hand, this would seem to show that the prosecution isn’t all that confident in its case (which, if true, would be one of the few signs of intelligence they’ve shown in two weeks). On the other hand, allowing for lesser charges also gives the jury the option of holding Frederick culpable for (a) growing marijuana, and (b) killing a law enforcement officer who had come to his home because of that marijuana, while at the same time giving them the sense that they’re punishing the police for poor procedure, and the prosecutors for their insulting performance in court.

    If I had to make a prediction, I’d say the jury convicts on both the drug and gun charge, and convicts Frederick of some sort of manslaughter. The state didn’t prove distribution (their only evidence that Frederick grew the marijuana for anything other than personal use was testimony from their lying informant), but I could see the jury wanting to punish Frederick for lying to the police. A murder charge in Virginia requires proof of malice, and the only evidence the state offered of malice, again, came from informants with criminal records who were shown at trial to be repeated liars. Frederick’s taped interrogations, on the other hand, clearly show remorse.

    Whatever the jury decides, this is an ugly tragedy all around. And entirely preventable. Amazing how paternalism can so quickly manifest itself as bloodshed. The last couple of weeks have embodied so many of the insidious elements of the drug war, from the home invasions to the informant tips and shoddy police investigations to the jailhouse snitch testimony and the chilling, horrifying feeling that with one life ended and another effectively ruined, we’ve been through all of this before. And it’s just a matter of time before we go through it all again.

    The Washington Post on Cheye Calvo

    Monday, February 2nd, 2009

    For its cover story this week, the Washington Post Sunday Magazine ran a terrific feature on the case of Cheye Calvo, the Berwyn Heights, Maryland mayor who’s home was raided and two black labs were slaughtered by Prince George’s County police during a botched drug raid last summer. Calvo and his wife unknowingly received a package of marijuana as part of a drug smuggling scheme. The SWAT team pounced shortly after Calvo’s mother-in-law brought the package in the house.

    Calvo and his family have since been cleared of any wrongdoing, and Prince George’s County officials have at least apologized for wrongly raided their home, but the county and the police still adamantly insist they did nothing wrong, have refused to apologize for killing Calvo’s dogs, and have said they’d do nothing differently if they had the whole thing to do again.

    The Post piece tugs at the heartstrings—more than a few people who sent it to me said it had them in tears. It also reads as strong critique of the drug war, or at least of this particular highly-militarized method of fighting it. The piece devotes quite a bit of copy to Overkill, the 2006 paper I wrote for the Cato Institute on the rise in the use of SWAT teams and paramilitary police tactics, and even inspired a stirring editorial in defense of the Fourth Amendment by the magazine’s editor, Tom Shroder.

    The piece also uncovered some previously unreported information about the case.

    This passage, for example, picks up shortly after the police had “secured” the house, and Calvo’s peering out his window.

    At one point, Cheye recalled, he noticed a familiar uniform in the growing crowd on lawn. Berwyn Heights police officer Pvt. Amir Johnson had been patrolling the neighborhood when he passed the mayor’s house and saw officers dressed in tactical uniforms coming out the front door. He stopped. (Berwyn Heights and Prince George’s police have overlapping jurisdictions within town limits.)

    “The guy in there is crazy,” Johnson remembered a Prince George’s County officer telling him when he arrived. “He says he is the mayor of Berwyn Heights.”

    “That is the mayor of Berwyn Heights,” Johnson replied.

    The detective looked very surprised, Johnson later recalled: “He had that ‘Oh, crap’ look on his face.”

    In this passage, when the Berwyn Heights police chief (who wasn’t notified of the raid) calls the cops at the scene to find out what happened, Prince George’s narcotics detective David Martini flat-out lies to him:

    At home in St. Mary’s, Murphy dialed the cellphone of his second-in-command, now standing on the mayor’s front lawn. Murphy’s officer handed the phone to a Prince George’s narcotics investigator, Det. Sgt. David Martini.

    This is how Murphy later recalled their conversation:

    “Martini tells me that when the SWAT team came to the door, the mayor met them at the door, opened it partially, saw who it was, and then tried to slam the door on them,” Murphy recalled. “And that at that point, Martini claimed, they had to force entry, the dogs took aggressive stances, and they were shot.”

    “I later learned,” Murphy said in an interview, “that none of that is true.”

    Finally, this passage is so infuriating it’s almost comical:

    It was about 7:45 p.m. when Trinity turned her 1997 Suburu Outback with the kayak rack on top onto Edmonston. The road was so jammed with police vehicles that she couldn’t reach her driveway. Assuming that the house had been robbed, Trinity abandoned her car and searched frantically for any sign of an ambulance.

    “Is my husband okay?” she asked when Ken Antolik met her near her front gate. “Is my mom okay?

    “Yes,” he told her. “They are in the house.

    Then it struck her. It was too quiet. She didn’t hear dogs barking. She knew, even before she asked: “Payton and Chase?”

    “I’m sorry,” he said.

    Trinity collapsed against his chest. A female officer eventually came and led her gently around to the back door. Trinity started in to find her husband and mother, then saw blood. There was so much blood. There was blood pooled near the door. Officers were tracking her dead dogs’ blood all over the house. She backed outside.

    “I remember sitting on the steps thinking, ‘I’m never going to be able to live here again,’ ” Trinity recalled.

    “I found something,” Georgia heard a detective yell excitedly. The woman held a white envelope filled with cash. Inside, was $68. Across the front of the envelope were written two words: “yard sale.”

    The detective seemed crestfallen, Georgia said. Georgia, who had been moved, still bound, into the downstairs bedroom, says she overheard the woman saying something like: “It’s my first raid, and we got the mayor’s house.”

    Calvo and the article’s author, April Witt, just completed a live chat at the Washington Post’s website.

    You download a free copy of Overkill here. My work on police militarization for reason here, and on cops killing dogs here. Prior post on the Calvo raid here.

    Kerry Dougherty Makes Fat Jokes

    Sunday, February 1st, 2009

    Virginian-Pilot columnist Kerry Dougherty (who has thus far proven to be a reliable (if not always accurate) defender of the Chesapeake Police Department) today outdoes herself, cracking jokes fat jokes because Ryan Frederick has gained 60 pounds while isolated in jail for the past year:

    What’s cooking at the Chesapeake city jail?

    Spectators couldn’t help but wonder about that last week as they gawked at Ryan Frederick during his capital murder trial.

    I mean, how often does an inmate pack on about 60 pounds behind bars?

    Comparing photos of the skinny soft-drink delivery guy who was arrested a year ago to the chipmunk-cheeked defendant in the too-small suit was a lot like looking at before-and-after photos from a Jenny Craig ad.

    Ha! A dead cop, crappy police work, prosecutorial misconduct, and a likely innocent man putting on weight because he’s been confined to a small jail cell for more than a year while waiting to see if he’ll be spending the rest of his life in prison–that’s comedy gold!

    There is apparently a point behind Dougherty’s fat jokes, though it’s a pretty ridiculous one.

    On Thursday, prosecutors tried to focus attention on Frederick’s weight, hinting that the beefy 29-year-old might have kept thin in the past by abusing drugs that cause weight loss. The prosecution posed hypothetical questions to an expert witness about whether cessation of methamphetamines or cocaine might result in rapid weight gain.

    You know what else could cause weight gain? Spending 23 hours per day in 9 by 12 foot cell–for more than a year.

    Dougherty’s next sentence assumes her readers are absolute idiots:

    He said his overeating is stress-related, yet conceded that stress on the night of the shooting caused him to vomit several times.

    Yes, that’s quite the contradiction, Ms. Dougherty. Clearly, Frederick isn’t lying about gaining weight. And as we saw and heard in yesterday’s videos, he isn’t lying about vomiting during his police interrogations on the night of the raid. So I guess Dougherty’s implication here is that Frederick is lying about why he gained wait–that he wasn’t stressed about spending the rest of life in prison or remorse for ending Shivers’ life. Rather, he was just feasting on vending machine food in celebration and satisfaction at his kill. Oh, and he can’t help but himself now that his appetite is no longer suppressed by all the cocaine and/or meth he was taking (an accusation for which there is zero evidence, other than the preposterous link to Frederick’s weight gain).

    I hate to waste words explaining the obvious, but Dougherty apparently requires it. We react differently to different stressors. It’s not at all difficult to see how the immediate stress and adrenalin rush that would come with having just having your home raided and realizing you’d just killed a cop might cause one to vomit while, later, the stress and monotony of wasting away in a jail cell for a year while awaiting your fate might cause one to seek comfort in food that tastes good.

    I actually hadn’t read about this line of questioning from the prosecution in the trial coverage, but it’s typically galling and outrageous.

    “You’re not exactly wasting away from regret and remorse now, are you?” snapped prosecutor James Willett, who then flashed an image of skinny Frederick in an orange jumpsuit on a screen. With the thin Frederick towering over the chubby one, Willett told Frederick to rise, open his jacket and turn sideways.

    It’s not enough that they’re trying to railroad the guy, they have to embarrass and insult him, too.

    I guess if there’s an upside to this insanity, it’s that if the law-and-order crowd has nothing left but fat jokes, they must be starting to realize just how shabby the state’s case against Frederick really is.

    Here’s hoping the jury does, too.