Troy, New York is home to a legally insulated street gang that has drawn increasing attention for their history of violence against the civilians. In early 2014, these issues were brought to a head when surveillance footage captured in the Kokopellis night club showed multiple police officers using baton strikes to the head against individuals who do not appear to be offering any physical resistance. With no allegations of the use of weapons or other hazards by the parties being assaulted by the police, officers in this case use what can potentially result in death or serious brain damage in an unwarranted show of force. Incidents involving the use of violence by police against non-aggressive individuals have been documented by the Troy Community Alliance Against Police Brutality, in an article wherein the author concludes, “…Troy Police use deadly force as standard practice against unarmed people of color, in situations where the threat level is inappropriate to justify such tactics.” Before an investigation into the Kokopellis incident could even be organized, the sitting mayor and police chief were quick to provide institutional support to the dangerous individuals wielding badges and weapons on behalf of the city.
Fortunately, there are those in the community who are standing up and speaking out. A playlist organized on the BreathingPlanet youtube channel features footage from panels, public forums, and other discussions being fostered in response to the visible violence exposed in recent months. For those outside of the community looking to pressure Troy Police into taking responsibility for their official actions a petition has collected 774 signatures to date on Change.org, and public contact information for the department is listed below: Troy Police Department – Main Station
55 State Street
Troy NY 12180
Non-emergency phone: (518) 270-4411
In the latest move by Waukesha PD to further separate Citizens from their basic human and constitutionally enumerated rights, Chief Russel Jack has declared that Waukesha cops may stop and detain community members simply for filming them. Despite numerous rulings from State, Federal, and even the US Supreme Court (by inaction,) Jack has declared that, at least in this city, The Courts’ determinations are irrelevant.
June 26 I was hitting it hard. By 2:30 I had footage from 4 or 5 incidents and was getting ready to call it a night when I saw 5 or 6 police cars at South and Clinton. As I was pulling in to a public parking lot a large group of cops headed my way. I had been filming quite a few police scenes the weeks prior and although I’d been harassed and intimidated a few times, I’d not been detained for filming Waukesha cops.
One of the five officers to detain me, Officer Katrina Frey, asked if I had permission to park in the (public) lot declaring it private. She told me I needed to produce ID which I did. The cop with the glasses, later identified as Jeremy Bousman, was rather aggressive looking and had his hand on his gun. The video above shows what happened next.
Officer Frey wrote on CAD, the police database;
Timothy was observed copious amounts of times by multiple officers driving around in parts of the city throughout the evening and morning hours. He drives a moped and is out solely looking for police contacts so he can film them and insight problems. Wears camera around his neck. He stated he is “doing a story.”
I filed a complaint two months ago which was assigned to Sgt. Gregg Satula. He tried tirelessly to convince me to come in. He went so far as to suggest that he needed to meet with me in person, preferably in a room at the PD, because he couldn’t determine if I was really me. I can’t imagine many people secretly file citizen complaints on behalf of others.
We set up a time to speak by phone and he called (he looked up my number in the government database.) I asked him if he believed it was “me” and he stated he recognized the voice. He was determined to get me into the PD for a quasi interrogation. He stated to perform the investigation he’d need a written complaint in addition to my 1st written complaint. I guess they want two written complaints per complaint. I told him he’d have to go off my brief and precise document submitted as there was nothing more to say. I told him I felt it would be difficult for him to impartially investigate this complaint due to the “Blue Wall” and the fact that I felt his loyalties lie with his co-worker. “My loyalties lie with the organization” Satula said. Indeed sir.
Police Chief Russel Jack responded today with the following;
After a deliberative examination of the facts in this incident and a thorough review of all reports, no misconduct on the part of the officer has been found. We find the officer’s action to be appropriate and reasonable; well within the bounds of the law.
Based upon these findings, your complaint is officially unsubstantiated.
The Courts tend to disagree with Chief Jack. From HuffPost…
It’s the second federal appeals court to strike down a conviction for recording police. In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ruled that a man wrongly arrested for recording cops could sue the arresting officers for violating his First Amendment rights.
That decision also found a broad First Amendment right to record on-duty government officials in public: “Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting ‘the free discussion of governmental affairs.’” And in fact, in that it strips police who make such arrests of their immunity from lawsuits, it’s an even stronger opinion. Of course, the police themselves rarely pay damages in such suits — taxpayers do.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to grant certiorari in the case doesn’t necessarily mean the justices endorse the lower court’s ruling. But it does mean that at least six of the current justices weren’t so opposed to the ruling that they felt the case needed to be heard.
Waukesha Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief Sue Waukesha Taxpayers
These two members of “Waukesha’s Finest” are suing us for nearly $45,000. In addition to other claims, these financially struggling public servants want annual raises of almost $6,000(Jack) and $2,500(Angle.)
Let’s take a look at the numbers (According to Sue Conway of City of Waukesha HR)
Chief Russel Jack 2013 (rounded)
Base Salary $121,000
Paid Hours 96 * $58/hour $6500
Vacation 192 * $58/hour $11,000 (1 month and 1 week per year)
Personal Days 16 * $58/hour $900
Holiday 72 * $58/hour $4200
The taxpayers also pay Jack $2600/year for not buying health insurance.
Total $165,000 per year
Deputy Chief Dennis Angle 2013 (rounded)
Base Salary $107,000
Sick Days 96 * $52/hour $5,000
Vacation 168 * $52/hour $8700
Personal Days 16 * $52/hour $800
Holiday Pay 72 * $52/hour $3700
Health Ins. $23,000
Dental Ins. $1,100
Total$168,300 per year
To put this all in perspective, the median household income in WI is $51,000. These two men alone are drawing 1 million tax dollars every three years.
On June 19, 2013 at 2hr session was held at the 10th annual http://porcfest.com called “Eroding the Police State”, which included on a panel individuals active with Cop Block, Cop Watch, and Peaceful Streets. The goal? A reality where the need for these projects is non-existent.
I got home from work, obviously exhausted, at 02:30. I was gathering my things and about to go inside when a wild police cruiser appeared! I was out of the car, reaching in to find the switch to turn the dome light off.
Suddenly, Officer Fich, of the Gladstone PD, turned on his spotlight, blinding my corneas! This put me at a distinct disadvantage should a horde of hungry zombies have wandered around the corner, as I would be effectively blind due to the inability to adjust back to the darkness.
I immediately reacted by ceasing my turning off of the dome light and reached for my flashlight to shine on him. I very quickly realized that he’d probably arrest me for assaulting an officer if I hit him with an LED light beam, so I decided against continuing my knee-jerk light-retaliation. Instead I stood straight and blocked the spotlight with my arm.
He exited his vehicle and turned on his flashlight–yes, you read that correctly. He had his headlights and spotlight shined on me already, but he needed his flashlight as well! He must have night-blindness, or something–and aimed it at me.
I asked, “Can I help you, sir?”
He replied vaguely and gestured to the car, “What’s going on?”
At this point I lowered my guard: I had had an uneasy feeling that he was checking out a zombie, unseen by me, behind me; his gesture put my fears to rest.
[Okay, that’s enough playful banter. The above was what I wrote as soon as I came inside after the incident. I’m using it as an introduction to demonstrate my state of mind after the incident. I was playing it off like it was no big deal, but then I went to work the next day. Twice, random police cruisers zipped around other cars to tailgate me aggressively. They never pulled me over, but they were very intimidating. After kicking the incident around in my head for a few days, I’ve realized how serious it is that these kinds of things, which seem small when there’s no injury, happen, and get brushed off like they’re completely normal. Unjust laws and unlawful behavior only continue if nobody stops them, and if nobody stops them then eventually nobody will CARE to stop them. So, I’ll continue on with a bit more seriousness.
This was not a traffic stop. He pulled up after I was already parked and out of the car. When he got out of the car I asked, “Can I help you, sir?” He said, “What’s going on?” I said, “I don’t know what you mean?” He said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Honestly, I don’t have to answer that, sir.” He said, “The reason I’m asking is because it looks like you’re breaking into this car.” I asked, “With the hood hot, the door open, no broken glass, and my turning off the dome light?”
He thought about that for a moment, quickly looked at the windows with his flashlight, which were intact, but then ignored logic and pressed on.
“Is this your car?” he asked. “I don’t have to answer that, but yes,” I responded, thinking that this one answer would end the contact. “Okay. Can I see some ID?” I said, “No sir, I don’t have to give you that.” “What’s your name?” “I don’t have to answer that, sir.” He became frustrated. “Okay, what’s your first name?” he tried to compromise. I decided to compromise and told him my first name is Trent. He hesitated, so I asked if I was being detained. He said, “No.” I said, “Okay, so I’m free to go?” He said, “Not yet.” So I asked if he had his dash-cam and lapel-mic rolling. He said no, but that another officer was on his way who could be a, “witness.”
As I was pulling out my phone, I asked why I’m not free to go. He answered with, “Because it’s the middle of the night…” which is where the video picks up.
I asked what crime he reasonably suspected me of committing, and informed him that he needed to be capable of specifically articulating his reasonable suspicion that I was breaking a law, just in case he didn’t know. He refused to answer, so I told him that if he couldn’t do that, the situation would turn into an unreasonable detainment. He refused to answer.
I effectively existed in a glaringly incoherent and, unfortunately, ever-growing status of Police Limbo, where I’m neither detained, nor free. Just to reiterate, this status is unconstitutional and illegal.
He asked again if it was my car. I said that I’d already told him it was. He began running the plates, so I told him the name on the registration. The second officer, Hutchinson, arrived. I locked my car and shut the door. Fich asked if I had any weapons, to which I told him I didn’t have to answer. He told me to put my phone down so he could frisk me. I told him he didn’t have any authority to perform a Terry Frisk. I asked if I was being detained or if I was free to go. He said that I’m not free to go, I’m being, “legally stopped.” I informed him that if I wasn’t free to go then I was being detained. I asked him why I was being detained. He walked toward me and I asked him again why I was being detained. He gave the reason of, “suspicious activity.” I asked what the code for that was. He ignored me and grabbed my wrist and forced it behind my back before performing a frisk.
A Terry Frisk requires reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person stopped may be both armed and dangerous, because being armed is not illegal. It must be specific and cannot simply be based on a hunch. There’s absolutely no way he could have believed me to be dangerous. I’d given more than enough information for his investigation to be complete and I was very calm. In no way was I acting suspicious, because the only thing he saw before he got out of his car was me turning off my dome light. Let’s take a look at the prerequisites for detainment and compare them to this police contact: Articulable and reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, is in commission of, or is about to commit, a crime. This means that the officer has to know what crime he suspects you of, and the evidence has to be such that a reasonable person would suspect you of intending to commit that crime. Since the only thing he saw me do prior to detaining me was turn off my dome light, and then assert my right not to answer his questions, we have to assume that, if his suspicions were reasonable, every person who turns off a dome light in the middle of the night is committing a crime. The Supreme Court has ruled that refusal to answer questions cannot qualify as part of the suspicion leading to detainment because it is a fundamental right, and protected by the constitution specifically, so it cannot be taken into account when articulating reasonable suspicion in this instance, either. Is every person turning off a dome light in the middle of the night to be suspected of committing a crime? Of course not. And that is the reason Officer Fich’s behavior is unlawful.
I again asked what code I was breaking. Again, he ignored me. He found my lawful knife (length compliant with law; not concealed) and disarmed me. He asked if I had any other weapons, to which I responded truthfully. He saw my work shirt and, while peering into my car, a pizza box that I brought home. He asked if I worked at the Pizza Hut in Gladstone, to which I said I didn’t have to answer. As I mentioned earlier, because of this, multiple times since then, police cruisers have aggressively picked me out of traffic and intimidated me by tailgating for a few miles before finally driving away. It would be harassment if they actually pulled me over, but they never do. I follow the driving regulations very strictly. It’s just stressful.
He reverted back to topic and restated that he needed to know who I am. I said that he did not. Oregon has no, “Stop and Identify,” statutes, so the only time an officer has the authority to force you to identify yourself is while operating a motor vehicle or if you’re under arrest. Even detainment is not enough for forcible identification. I told him, “You have to be able to articulate exactly which crime you believe, reasonably, that I am suspected of committing.” He said, “‘Kay, I saw you going through this car, the light flickering on and off.” I replied, “You saw me putting my hand over my dome light.” He again asked if it was my car. I again told him the name on the registration. He asked who that person is. I told him I didn’t have to answer, but I was in control of the car under legal authority (which just means that she’s allowing me to drive it). For reader reference, the car is registered to my daughter’s mother, and we live together. Our records are up to date with the DMV. This happened in my parking space at our home.
He again insisted that he needed to see my ID. I again told him he didn’t. He again reiterated and stated that he needed to know who I am. I again told him he didn’t, and that he needs to be able to articulate why I’m being detained, with a reasonable suspicion–he cut me off, ordering me to put my hands behind my back.
He grabbed my wrists and began putting handcuffs on. I asked, “so now I’m being arrested?”
He said, “Nope, you’re being detained.” I replied, “Okay, for what?”
He refused to answer, so I stated that I was now being arrested, which, if lawful, is the only way to forcibly obtain a person’s identity if they aren’t driving. He said, “Now you’re being stupid.”
I asked, “How am I being stupid? Because I know the law? Because I know that you took an oath to uphold the constitution, which you are currently in violation of? Is that how I’m being stupid?” He refused to answer.
With the handcuffs secure, Fich began searching for my wallet (I would have locked it in the car, but he told me to keep my hands out of my pockets while I was locking my door, unfortunately).
I told him, “I do not consent to searches. I do not consent to seizures.” He grunted, “Mmhmm,” in apathetic acknowledgment and dismissal of my rights.
I continued, “You are violating the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees me my right to be secure in my person, papers, property and effects. You have not articulated reasonable…suspicion of why I am being detained.”
He grabbed my wallet out of my pocket, opened it, and began rummaging through it. “You have no authority to go through my stuff,” I told him.
“I’m not searching you, I’m just getting your ID,” he responded. “You’re going through my papers and effects!” I retorted. “Okay,” he acknowledged. “It’s clearly in the constitution that you may not do this,” I offered. He ignored me and walked away with my wallet. I asked the second officer what his name and badge number are. “Hutchinson,” he replied.
“Badge number?” I asked.
“You can get it later; you’re fine,” he replied, refusing to identify himself further.
I asked Fich what his name and badge number are, but he was too busy peering into my windows to answer me. When he returned I asked again.
He said, “My name is Officer Fich; I don’t have a badge number.” He asked what I said the registered owner’s name is and I told him. He asked, “Okay, and do you know how I can get ahold of her to confirm that it’s okay for you to have this car?” Are you kidding? I really tried not to assert the overly-cited Germany reference, but it’s simply too obvious, now. Unless the vehicle shows signs of forced entry, or it’s reported stolen, you don’t need to know anything about it!
He changed course and asked, “Okay, you do live here, correct?” I was going to say again that I didn’t have to answer, but it occurred to me that he stole my ID and ran my information while we’re on the property that it says I live. I was going to offer that all my information is up to date, but I changed my mind when he flared up.
“I–did you look at my ID?” I asked.
“Did you–talk to your dispatcher, and get my information?”
“Don’t ask me stupid questions, okay Trent?” he defensively retorted.
“Then don’t ask me stupid questions,” I shot back.
“Okay. Does she live here?” He asked. “I do not have to answer that,” I answered, my patience waning. “This is already an unreasonable detention. I’m going to complain, that’s why I want–” “That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion,” he interrupted. “I’m entitled to the constitution, which is very clear. So are all the supreme court cases saying that this is unreasonable detention.”
He again changed course and said, “You could have made this a lot simpler by saying, ‘this is my name, I live here, and I have permission to drive this car.’” We all know that none of that is any of his business, so I respond with, “I could have made it simpler–” but was interrupted again. “Instead of acting like some shady dude and being uncooperative. Okay? So if you want to make a complaint, make a complaint, okay? This is a Terry Stop. I had reasonable suspicion to believe that you may be committing a crime. Okay? Do you understand?” he finished.
As I mentioned earlier, he did not have a reasonable suspicion. He had a hunch, which the supreme court barred from an officer’s ability to conduct a detainment in the same ruling that gave power to Terry Stops.
So, I obviously said, “No, I do not,” because I can’t understand something that isn’t true. He said, “Okay, that’s fine,” but provided no further explanation of his faulty legal knowledge.
Shortly after that, he released me.
Now, my issue with this whole thing, apart from the obvious disregard for law, is that if in the first place he’d been knowledgeable and truthful about my status of detained or free to go and followed the law, this would have been a consensual stop, and I’d have been free to go. If I was free to go, I would have gathered my stuff, turned off my dome light, locked the doors, and gone into my home. He then would have had all his answers without ever having to step all over my rights. This blatant disregard for basic human rights is a huge issue even when no injury is inflicted. Thank God they didn’t beat me to death, like so many are unlucky enough to have to endure. I believe my recording played a part in the checking of excessive force.
My point is that when people believe this is normal behavior it becomes normal behavior and the spiral of tyranny continues. Stop it everyday with the little things, like not answering pointless questions when you don’t have to. It’s the little things that count. My friend wrote a complaint on my behalf to the Chief of Police, Jim Pryde, who obviously sided with Fich and dismissed the complaint. I’m going to file a formal complaint with the department within the next seven days.
I want to file a lawsuit to ensure that this unconstitutional behavior is thoroughly corrected, but the lawyer I talked to said he wouldn’t pursue it. I’ve alerted the ACLU, but I’m not sure they’ll get back to me. If you are, or know of, an attorney who would be willing to file on this, please leave a comment on the YouTube video.
City of Gladstone: 525 Portland Ave. Gladstone, OR 97027
Dedication: This article is dedicated to all those wrongly slain by police and victims of democide all over the world. Special acknowledgments are Bobby Hutton, Fred Hampton Sr., Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, and most recently Kelly Thomas.
Disclaimer: I am not anti-cop, just anti mindless thug badge or not.
The American Government is an extortion racket and a violence monopoly. The American incarceration rate dwarves every other country even overt fascist countries with larger populations like Russia and China (because we’re number one!). The status quo rebuttal would be, “Well, we have better policing and higher crime in some areas.” This statement is absurdly wrong because America has the same or lower crime rate of most other countries (highest crime is in gun free cities where black market drug cartels rule). The real reason is that Uncle Sam jails mainly nonviolent petty thieves, vandals, and drug addicts. His victims might need counseling but don’t deserve incarceration.
Why are so many Americans in cages today? The profitization of misery is why. Every person incarcerated earns either a private business or the state itself money. It is simply slavery 2.0. This is not surprising especially to those that have seen the PBS documentary Slavery by another name. It describes the post-Civil War horrors of newly freed slaves rounded up for ridiculously minor offenses and forced to work on chain gangs to build infrastructure. This is structural violence in one of its most brutal forms.
The term Structural Violence the way I use it was popularized by Harvard educated prison psychologist, James Gilligan. He often describes how the more unequal a society the more violent and self-destructive it is. Dr. Gilligan views violence and crime like a crabgrass weed but not cutting the blades but uprooting the whole plant. This man also has reformed hardened criminals so he knows his business.
The institution of police is paradoxical and doomed for failure. Its basis is coercive taxes that pay the salaries of average men to enforce law via violence. The police are fallible humans just like the average citizen but the power of the position also intoxicates. Cops abuse the position of power similar to how pedophiles become priests to gain access to helpless children. Also, the institution doesn’t strike root of aberrant behavior (Pete Eyre of CopBlock believes in striking the root too) , but only drives it underground.
I also believe the goal of a police should be to protect people but actually cops are not obligated to do so. Instead, they are incentivized to write tickets and make petty arrests for promotions. Police are simply house slaves that keep us field slaves in line, not protectors (President Obama is a pathetic house slave too).
If the average American realized that cops are not protectors but thugs of the state, they would become irate and disillusioned if they possessed basic sense. Wanting to lash out like African-American slave Nat Turner in a rage against the oppressor is understandable but ill advised. We are in dire straits but reckless abandon would worsen the situation. They want us demonized, disarmed, and afraid.
For example, the so called “gun control debate” which really isn’t about debate or gun control but a state weapon monopoly. The corporate media goes into a frenzy over the latest school shooting fiasco. Soccer moms say “Please save our kids, Mr. Government!” The corporate controlled politicians demonize private gun ownership despite the fact that hammers are used more often in crimes than rifles. The hacks in Washington however never question the police militarizing with full auto rifles and armored vehicles. The kings of old never questioned their armies being armed to the teeth either.
The inherit hypocrisy of violent monopolies should be should self-evident but obviously is not. It is safer than ever to be a cop with only 33 killed on duty in 2013 but yet they act like paramilitary brutes occupying a foreign land. No wonder why the term police state is used to describe a totalitarian regime because police act as the agents of oppression not the dictator himself.
“Revolutionary Suicide” a term coined by the late great Huey P. Newton (Original Black Panther cofounder) refers to fighting the oppressive American regime despite certain or probable death. It is actually setting up oneself for homicide by the state not actually suicide. This concept contrasts with the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that preached strict nonviolent resistance. I admire Dr. King’s spiritual idealism but I find defensive armed force resisting tyranny absolutely necessary. As an atheist I believe turning the other cheek gets only you slapped twice (or literally shot twice).
Enter Bhagat Singh, East Indian revolutionary freedom fighter, whom avenged the democidal murder of his friend by British Imperial police by killing the cop who did it. He evaded capture until he bombed a British headquarters. He was tried and hanged for his crimes but he caused rebellious fervor in India. Gandhi is a great figure by without violent opposition perhaps the Empire would have not conceded.
All people that believe in personal freedom, I ask you let’s not feed the beast. Don’t join the army or local police forces, and stop paying taxes. Don’t give into fear but compassion for your fellow man. If we all stand together as brothers (and sisters) there is nothing they can do to stop us. Let’s have legal armed demonstrations and take the parasitic clay giant that is government down (I will lead the charge). Larken Rose says government is just a destructive religion, so let’s become political atheists. Unite despite petty differences.
No slaves, No masters! You can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill a revolution! Ideas are bulletproof!
I wholeheartedly believe that most – like 90% – of the issues facing policing today (like double standards and lack of accountability to name two) will continue because the only real solution is to change the way the institution of protection is funded. Currently, that’s via taxation and, sadly, people believe they have to pay their taxes, or do so out of fear of being jailed for not paying taxes.
Below is a story that highlights how I believe we can actually change the profession of ‘protecting and serving.’ I’ve long stated that nothing will change with police until you provide those who currently work within the system an alternative. It was one of the points I was trying to get across during my “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit this past weekend.
In the story below, former DEA agent Patrick Moen states he quit his job with the DEA to work with a marijuana investment firm. Hopefully this provides some of the LEO’s out there a little motivation to take their skills directly to those who need them. It seems Patrick is much happier helping people protect their property instead of being a part of an endless cycle that perpetuates endless violence.
Story from RT.com:
The chief of operations at the United States Drug Enforcement Agency said only last week that increased efforts as of late to legalize marijuana across the country is scaring his fellow officials at the DEA. Others, however, have a much different take.
Just last Wednesday, the DEA’s James L. Capra told members of the Senate that the emerging pro-pot trend is “reckless,” “irresponsible” and “scares us.”
Former DEA agent Patrick Moen isn’t in the same boat. After over a decade of working with the federal government to put away drug dealers, Moen recently abandoned his job at the DEA in order to pursue a career with Privateer Holdings, a Seattle, Washington-based investment firm that specializes in the budding marijuana industry.
Since 2010, Privateer has been putting money into the hands of start-ups that are looking to work their way up in the legal weed business. Moen just recently left the DEA after more than 10 years, and since November has been Privateer’s managing director of compliance and their senior counsel.
“I saw this as an amazing opportunity to be a part of the team that’s helping to create this industry,”Moen, 36, told Reuters. “I don’t really feel like it’s the other side.”
Maybe Moen’s right, but there’s no doubt it’s something at least a little different for the long-time cop. According to his LinkedIn profile, he spent five-and-a-half years working as a law enforcement officer around Buffalo, New York, and then signed on for what became a decade as a DEA under the Department of Justice starting in 2003. Before calling it quits, he had managed to hold high-positioned jobs in both Washington and Oregon supervising teams of drug enforcement agents.
“Over the course of years I realized that the targeting of marijuana was not an effective use of resources. There was no ‘aha’ moment. It was a steady evolution involving discussions with friends and colleagues,”he told the Seattle Times last month.
Then, Moen told the paper, “the general dysfunction of the federal government” helped him consider new career options.
Here’s another guy (video below) who’s taking orders from customers and not politicians. I think more LEO’s will come around as the government goes further into debt, continues to put officers in more dangerous situations and as people in general lose faith in the system.
Kelly W. Patterson shared this post, written by Adam Sanacore and originally published on NVCopBlock.org, via CopBlock.org’s submit page.
Centuries upon centuries ago, the Roman philosopher Cicero boldly stated that the more laws that exist, the less justice there will be for the people. Hundreds of years later, we still, by the bounds of our own willful shackles, continue to mistakenly believe that every time a new law is enforced, and the more the individuals trained to do the enforcing uphold it, that we’re going to be given a sense of safety.
This coming Tuesday, January 21st, the Clark County (NV) Commission will vote on a highly publicized and controversial new tax initiative known as the More Cops Tax. As one might expect, the bill is pretty self explanatory:
More revenue from the citizens generates more funding and more police officers on the road. The average informed citizen may wonder why this would need to be placed on the altar for dissection. “Why, more cops means more protection for the people!”, has been the most habitual, emotionally based response from the collective of the American populace. Yet, as scientific research has shown us, possible correlations do not spell out causation. I want to make one thing clear to all of my readers right now: regardless as to whether or not you’re a republican, democrat, or libertarian, conservative, liberal, or voluntaryist, we cannot continue to hold the misconception that putting more police officers on the streets is going to endow us with a more solid feeling of protection.
Don’t believe me? Well, I’m sure Kelly Thomas, if he were still with us right now, would have something to say after he was beaten to death by two officers as he was crying out for his dad. Or what about the individuals who are falsely arrested or attacked by officers for videotaping arrests, an act which has been deemed legal by courts? Or, more importantly, what about the seemingly expanding list of individuals who have been assaulted, threatened, forced to watch in agony as their pets are shot, or even killed by officers for absolutely no reason? Are we really willing to continually delude ourselves into thinking that we’re being well protected?
Beyond the abuses, scandals, and deaths, there is another disturbing question about this More Cops Tax that seems to be largely ignored by the media and the commission. That inquiry is whether or not the appropriated funds (which we’ve been told will be spent rationally) could add to militarization of the LVMPD. Over the course of the last few years, the line between police officers and soldiers has become less noticeable. Armored vehicles resembling tanks, assault rifles, and fully equipped armor is becoming a standard norm in many states. The question, of course, is why? I’m not trying to make the argument that cops shouldn’t have equipment. What I would like to know, however, is why every police officer in the country now has to look like a member of S.W.A.T when they go through a neighborhood to settle a dispute.
Some of you probably think that I’m being slightly paranoid about all this, or that I’m simply being too pessimistic about this situation. Perhaps you’re right. However, I want you to consider this: every founder, from Washington to Madison, warned us about the consequences that unfettered militarization could have upon our country. James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, stated that a country with the elements of a standing army would no longer have the capacity to breed liberty. Posse Comitatus, one of the most important acts in properly defining the limits of military use, forbids the use of the military to handle police actions. If this tax does clear the commission, and ends up creating an environment where militarization and abuse at the hands of the police could fundamentally take root in Metro like it has in other parts of the country, when will we be finally willing to allow reality to slap us in the face and give us the motivation to draw a line in the sand? I want to make it fully clear that I’m not trying to say that every cop is an immoral abuser. I fully recognize that there are cops out there who are well intentioned and do their best to defend and secure our rights. Sadly, there is an epidemic of the uncaring aforementioned that have been detailed in this article, and the media seems to make it clear that they’re growing by the day.
If the commission really wants to make a real change among our police officers, then maybe they should look into how they can re appropriate funds to teach new cadets about the importance of upholding the Constitution, and not using their badge to as an excuse to lay abuse on others.
Almost four years ago to the day I started CopBlock.org to share my experiences with LEOs. To this date I’m not exactly sure how many have also shared their experiences with LEOs here, but it’s been enough to keep a steady flow of content at this site for four years. It’s been enough to get over 100,000 likes to CopBlock’s FB page, reach nearly 34,000 subscribers on YouTube and sprung up over 120 CB chapters/groups worldwide.
All those are great accomplishments and we – I say ‘we’ because no one person is responsible for the site’s success, it’s merely an example of decentralized anarchy – should stop to note these achievements. We should note how far we’ve come and consider where we’d like to go/end up.
That being said, we should also note that just recently two cops from Fullerton, CA were found not guilty of murdering Kelly Thomas. This murder was on video, the trial publicized and evidence readily available. Though these cops are no longer working as murderers in disguise, I can’t help but ask, if video evidence didn’t work to preserve justice, then what avenues must we take to ensure police today won’t viciously murder us, steal our property and/or cage our loved ones?
What happened to Kelly Thomas wasn’t an isolated incident. Neither were any of the hundred or so drug raids done in America today, or the endless flow of money, bodies and lives lost to the justice system as a whole. These things happen everyday, all too often and without notice, to far too many people.
So yes, we should celebrate that CopBlock.org has been around for nearly four years, with 100K likes and so on, because we’re the lucky ones that get to celebrate. Far too many have lost their lives, either physically or mentally, for nothing more than feeding this sickening machine. Whether it be in the form of taxes, a ticket, jail stay or a stop and frisk experience, we’ve all suffered to some degree.
I guess the only real question moving forward is, “When are WE going to do something about it?”
Vincent Arias, who was shot by police in 2004 and then faced life in prison for the charge of “attempted murder on a police officer,” beat the case in 2006 after firing his lawyers and going pro-per. In our original 2008 interview, which took place two years after he was released from prison, Arias recounts how he was shot by police in his car, the subsequent felonies he was charged with, and how a jury acquitted him of all charges.
In our latest interview, Arias, who was born and raised in East Los Angeles, gives his thoughts on the modern police state and how it feels to be a free man seven years later. He also recounts an interesting encounter with a priest who testified on his behalf in a 1975 police brutality case.
I’ve recently had some conversations about CopBlock.org bumper stickers (furnished by LibertyStickers.com) and thought it might make for an interesting blog post. I am by no means trying to shamelessly sell you CopBlock.org stickers (though if you want them simply click here); in fact, my advice below is universal for all liberty minded messages. I’m a huge advocate of using swag to spread the message. That being said, let’s get to the point.
I have heard many people say (something to this effect), “I’d put a CopBlock.org bumper sticker on my car but I don’t want the police messing with me.” Understandable. Who really wants the police messing with them? I know I don’t. Yet, that mentality has come from what everyone understands a police interaction to be – a very unpleasant encounter, one that can cost you time, money and even your life. People are willing to go to great lengths to do anything they can to avoid an interaction with police. Some buy radar detectors, others obey traffic laws to a ‘T’ and some would say they don’t put bumper stickers on their cars.
So why SHOULD you put a CopBlock.org bumper sticker on your car?
That’s simple, because, I believe, it will keep you safe(r).
Just imagine you’re driving down the road, as a LEO, and you’re tailing a car with a CopBlock.org bumper sticker. What would you be thinking as this officer? Even if you’ve seen them break a minor traffic law, you might not want to bother with the possible (but highly likely) video recording, questioning and, at times, lengthy court trial that is common with CopBlocker interactions. You might even think it was a set up (though I’ve yet to hear of a CopBlocker who actually went out to “set up” the police – just Barry Cooper, from CopBusters) as many officer comments at Cop Block suggest not taking ‘our bait.’
I know that in New Hampshire, especially the Keene and Manchester areas, a CopBlock.org bumper sticker has lead to the occupiers of said cars being given what they believed were ‘passes’ on a stop. What that means is that the officer did the usual things, like making a U-turn in the roadway and tailing the car, before pulling someone over; yet, when the cruiser got closer it suddenly backed off and did not pull them over.
Of course there is no guarantee on anything and you could find that one cop that really wants to pull over, and arrest, a CopBlocker (or supporter). I still believe that having the sticker on your car is better than ‘hoping’ to fly under their radar, especially if you’re prepared to record the encounter, ask questions of the officer(s), and share your story via CopBlock.org.
What do you think? Would you put a CopBlock.org bumper sticker on your car? Do you have a CopBlock.org bumper sticker on your car? If so, email me: Ademo[at]copblock.org.