Will The Police Protect You?

n-morgan:

Wendy McElroy



For years, I have declared a preference for taking my chances with criminals rather than with the police.

Criminals usually want my property, not to control my life or to cage me like an animal. With criminals, I can pull a gun in self-defense. Until lately, however, the average person has scowled my way whenever I voiced that preference.

The situation is changing. A tipping point in the public attitude toward law enforcement is under way… finally! A significant number of people have realized that America is either currently a police state or it is teetering on the crumbling edge to one.

Part of the sea change comes from the deliberate militarization of police departments, where tanks, drones, and SWAT teams have become standard. A military-style training, in which civilians are viewed as combatants, has deepened the antagonism of the police toward the public so that violent incidents are commonplace. Many police officers no longer bother to disguise their savagery.

Police at the University of California, Davis who pepper-sprayed peaceful, seated Occupy protesters a year ago come to mind. Why should they be subtle? Their anti-terrorism mandate has erased the restraints of civil liberties.

Meanwhile, there is no oversight. The police define their own rules of conduct, police departments investigate their own misdeeds behind closed doors, and district attorneys and police unions aggressively shield the criminal acts of cops. Victims who complain are often charged with elastic crimes, such as “obstructing law enforcement,” which are later dropped in exchange for their silence.

Part of the sea change also comes from the increased use of law enforcement against children in public schools. Last May, New Mexico police officer Chris Webb was visiting a school for career day when he asked a group of young boys to wash his police car. A 10-year-old refused. According to an ensuing lawsuit against Webb and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, the officer told the youngster, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” Webb then used a Taser on him, sending 50,000 volts of electricity into the 100-pound boy’s chest. He lost consciousness. Instead of seeking medical care, however, Webb merely carried him into the principal’s office. The officer claims it was all an accident and points to his punishment — a three-day suspension — as proof the police department believes him.

The incident is not isolated. Last month, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against a Mississippi school district that arrests students, handcuffs them, and ships them off to youth court for minor infractions like breaking the dress code.

Among the defendants are judges of the county’s youth court and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services. They are accused of violating the children’s constitutional rights through such practices as incarcerating them for days without a probable cause hearing.

The backlash goes on and on. The raw money grabs being made by police in the name of civil forfeiture have also sparked fury. Under civil forfeiture, property that was involved in a crime can be confiscated and sold by police departments. It doesn’t matter if the victims of the forfeiture have committed no crime or have never been charged with one.

On Nov. 5, for example, a pivotal civil forfeiture case commenced in Boston. Over a 20-year period, a handful of drug crimes were committed in a motel owned by Russ Caswell and his wife; the “crime scenes” represented about 0.05% of their total rentals. Nevertheless, the federal government and the local police department are attempting to take the Caswells’ $1 million motel and split the proceeds. Ironically, the money grab arose because the Caswells themselves reported suspicious activity.

These and other factors, including the rise of YouTube videos that capture police brutality, contribute to the discomfort with which average people are beginning to view the police.

The importance of this change cannot be overstated.

Years ago, I interviewed several dozen sex workers and surveyed about 200 more for the purpose of writing a book about the realities of the “profession.” The women expressed one political attitude over and over: They did not trust the police, the courts, or any aspect of law enforcement. They recognized the legal system for what it is — an enemy. From visceral experience, the women knew law enforcement as a corrupt system that brutalizes harmless people and criminalizes peaceful acts.

Their attitude was refreshing. The single greatest obstacle over which I used to stumble in arguing for fundamental legal change was the inculcated belief that the police were there “to serve and protect.”

I argued in vain that the police have no duty whatsoever to protect people from criminals; that’s not their job description. The courts have been clear on this point for over a century. In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court (South v. Maryland) found that law enforcement officers had no responsibility to protect anyone. Their duty was to enforce the law in general. More recently, in 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals held that “there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.” Later court decisions concur.

Police vehicles often sport slogans like “Proud to serve!” If they aren’t there to protect you, the question becomes who are they serving? The courts have answered: Police departments exist to enforce the law. The police serve the government, not the people. They uphold the law with total disregard for whether their actions create or prevent violence. If government decides that certain forms of consent between adults must not be tolerated, then the police will draw their guns and barge into otherwise peaceful situations. To uphold an unjust law, they will create violence and victims.

To understand the reality that the police are not there for you is an extremely valuable piece of information. If you are depending on them to protect you, to guard you against real crime, to stop intruders or muggers and to prosecute after the fact, you have been sorely misled.

Every citizen who wants to be free must prepare for his or her own defense against violence. The market is there to assist with security services, alarm systems, property monitoring devices, ever more sophisticated locks, and, of course, guns of all sorts. In the end, we are responsible for our own security. The state will not come to your rescue. On the contrary, it is the market that provides the means by which we are rescued from the state.
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Wendy McElroy is Author, lecturer, and freelance writer, and a senior associate of the Laissez Faire Club.

Source

It’s a shame it tooks the recent bouts of violence from cops to bring attention to an issue blacks have been struggling with for decades

(Source: newstome1)

Police sniper shoots suicidal boy instead of saving him

cadburycrazed:

The parents of a suicidal 16-year-old boy who was shot to death by a SWAT team sniper in suburban Atlanta have spoken out for the first time against the unjustified actions of the police.

Andrew Messina had threatened to kill himself after getting a bad grade in school last May. He took his father’s .357 Magnum, took swigs of alcohol from a bottle of Martini, and phoned his father to relay his suicidal thoughts – all while recording himself with a video camera.

“I do know personally I really don’t want to live,” Andrew told his father on the phone. “So you should just let this happen if you really love me.”

While he was on the phone, Lisa Messina, the boy’s mother, called the police and told the 911 operator that they should send “just one” police car to make sure her son wouldn’t panic.

“It just happened so fast, and then he went upstairs,” Lisa Messina told CBS Atlanta. “He had a gun in his hand, and he had bullets in the other hand.”

But instead of sending a police officer, the SWAT team showed up at the suburban Atlanta home, together with an armored tank and a sniper. Law enforcement officers cut off the telephone lines and put negotiators on the line to talk to the distraught teen while the house was surrounded.

On the line with negotiators, the boy angrily demanded to continue speaking with his father. Shortly thereafter, a sniper set up across the street, about 65 yards from the boy, who was on the phone near the glass door to the house.

“A minute later we heard this horrendous cannon shot and he was dead,” said Nick Messina, the boy’s father.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s office said the shooting came in response to Andrew breaking a pane of a glass door with his gun and refusing to put it down, thereby putting the officers around the house at risk. But the family claims Andrew never pointed the gun at an officer and was therefore killed without a valid reason.

“They brought an army to take out a 16-year-old-boy. To kill a 16-year-old boy,” said Nick in the interview.

“We thought that they would (be) experts in being able to diffuse the situation. And that was not what happened. Instead of the fire being put out, they brought gasoline,” he added.

The family’s attorney, Chuck Pekor, believes that even the glass door was not broken by the teen’s gun, thereby giving the sniper no reason to shoot.

“Not a single officer out there, not a one, ever saw a gun come through the hole where the break was,” he said.

Additionally, the lawyer believes the positioning of his gunshot wounds proves that Andrew was not a threat. Since the bullet entered the right side of his body, it means he must have been facing the opposite direction of the police team when he was shot, thereby not being a threat.

CBS Atlanta attempted to interview the sniper and the commander of the scene, but the sheriff’s office refused, telling reporters that “the case is closed.”

The Messina family is currently working on a lawsuit against the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

I don’t understand your country. At all.

(Source: ernestsewell)

» Two Texan police officers are being sued for using a Taser to shock a man who was having a seizure, causing the 50-year-old to suffer a heart attack and permanent brain damage.

beatyourselfup:

Scott Sheeley filed a federal complaint last week in Austin, TX, requesting a jury trial against two police officer who shocked him with a Taser. In May, Sheeley unsuccessfully asked for a settlement of at least $1.5 million to cover the costs of medical fees, attorneys and emotional damages.

The case involves a police response to a 911 phone call last November. Police responded to a request for medical assistance for Sheeley, who was suffering a seizure at his home in Austin. When officers Chard Norman and Kevin Sederquest arrived at the man’s house, they allegedly used violence to restrict him from movement, constrained his ability to breathe and repeatedly shocked him with a Taser gun.

The officers controlled the man by “pushing a knee on his back while he was in handcuffs, causing his head to be pressed against the back cushion of the chair, all while he was still convulsing,” the brother of the victim, Dustin Sheeley wrote in a complaint against the state.

Police continued to Taser the man, even after the brother told them not to, and even after the convulsing man was handcuffed. The 50-year-old was left with wounds on his shoulder, back and under his left armpit.

When paramedics arrived, Sheeley was injected with Haldol and Ativan – drugs which are used to control psychotic disorders and anxiety and which can also cause seizures and sudden death, the plaintiff said. The victim then had a heart attack.

“As a result of being improperly restrained, in particular after concurrently having received Ativan and Haldol, the plaintiff suffered respiratory arrest and ceased breathing… As a result of the respiratory arrest, plaintiff suffered cardiac arrest,” reads the formal complaint against the officers.

It took paramedics 11 minutes to revive the man and bring back his pulse.

Sheeley says he suffers and continues to suffer from respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, loss of heartbeat, loss of oxygen, Taser wounds to the torso, abrasions to knees and elbows, brain injury, loss of vision, headaches, broken ribs, physical pain, continued seizure and severe emotional anguish.

The man claims the police violated his Constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

“Mr. Sheely’s injuries were severe and impact him daily,” defense attorney Leslie Lienemann wrote in the complaint. “He is still receiving medical care for a number of medical symptoms and will continue to do so.”

 

» Four officers were charged with crimes as a result of conducting illegal rectal searches for drugs on the street, according to a criminal complaint.

beatyourselfup:

Four Milwaukee police officers were charged Tuesday with felonies related to illegal rectal searches of suspects on the street and in police district stations over the past two years.

In one case, an officer held a gun to a man’s head as two others held his arms and a third put him in a choke hold while jamming a hand into his anus, purportedly searching for evidence, according to the criminal complaint. Another man bled from his rectum for several days after his encounter with police, the complaint says.

The complaint lays out in graphic detail how the primary suspect, Officer Michael Vagnini, conducted searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums. Vagnini acknowledged performing one of the searches. At least one suspect said Vagnini planted drugs on him.

State law and police procedures prohibit officers from conducting cavity searches. Only medical personnel are allowed to perform them, and police must first obtain a search warrant.

The charges are the latest blow to Chief Edward Flynn and his department, already under fire over the in-custody death of Derek Williams, detaining the mother of a slain boy and reporting inaccurate crime statistics to the FBI and the public.

Read More

 

» A 61-year-old Tennessee man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house.

beatyourselfup:

Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.

The two officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, were placed on administrative leave with pay.

“They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys,” said Adams’ 70-year-old widow, Loraine.

John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.

“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday’s funeral.

Resident Fired First

Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded. He was shot at least three times and died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Loraine Adams said she was handcuffed and thrown to her knees in another room when the shooting began.

“I said, ‘Y’all have got the wrong person, you’ve got the wrong place. What are you looking for?“‘

“We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.” He said, however, the two policemen were not at fault.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating. NAACP officials said they are monitoring the case. Adams was black. The two policemen are white.

Family members did not consider race a factor and Weeks agreed, but said the shooting will be “a major setback” for police relations with the black community.

“We know that, we hope to do everything we can to heal it,” Weeks said.

Johnny Crudup, a local NAACP official, said the organization wanted to make sure and would investigate on its own.

Weeks said he has turned the search warrant and all other evidence over to the bureau of investigation and District Attorney General Tommy Thompson. A command officer must now review all search warrants.

First, this is what happens in a drug war. Surely there are better ways to go about this without bursting into someone’s home unannounced, scaring them so bad that they instinctively reach for their only means of protection (guns), and get themselves killed because the cops broke into the wrong home. This is a meaningless death!

These people have every right to defend themselves and their property and that right is being infringed with police behavior like this.

Since the cops broke into the wrong house, they are the one’s who should have been shot in the altercation. There is no justification for breaking into someone’s home for drugs, regardless if it’s the right house or not.

If you’re going to arrest people, how about you wait until they come outside and grab them while they’re more likely to be unarmed?

All of these cops are complicit and morally responsible for the death of this man and for ruining what’s left of his wife’s life. Now she will probably sulk in sadness and depression for the remainder of her life. Thank you police state!

» NYPD detective suspended without pay after tied-up kidnap victim found in garage

beatyourselfup:

A veteran NYPD detective has been suspended without pay after a tied-up kidnap victim was found in his Queens garage, sources told The Post.

Ondre Johnson, a 17-year veteran of the Brooklyn north gang unit, was being questioned along with his cousin and another man suspected of being involved in the incident, and was forced to surrender his gun and badge pending the outcome of the investigation.

The 25-year-old victim was snatched off the street early yesterday morning, taken to the detective’s home and held for $75,000 ransom, sources said.

Cops busted four in the scheme.

Hakeem Clark, 30, who lives in the same building as Johnson, was slapped with kidnapping and weapons charges along with Jason Hutson, 27, and James Gayle, 27.

Alfredo Haughton, 24, was charged with kidnapping.

The sources said the kidnappers called a friend of the victim and demanded the huge cash sum. After several calls were made, the victim’s pal went to cops who were able to trace the location of the phone to the detective’s home.

Cops reached the detective’s home at about 3 p.m. yesterday. The detective answered the door with two handguns visible on his person, and identified himself as NYPD, sources said.

Officers found the victim bound in the garage, law-enforcement sources said.

The detective and his sidekicks were questioned last night at the 113th Precinct in Jamaica by Internal Affairs and Queens detectives, the sources said. No charges had been filed.

DA FUQ?

HD
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lost-and-searching-in-america:

Cop Who Beat Special Needs Student Accused of Rape
The notorious Dolton cop who ended up on the front pages for beating up a 15-year-old special ed student and being involved in a shady self-defense shooting has hit the headlines once more, this time being accused of rape and facing jail time.
The 38-year-old Christopher Lloyd is known for the May 2009 incident when he was caught on the school surveillance cam video breaking the nose of a special needs student because his shirt wasn’t tucked in. After the video leaked online, Dolton Police Department refused to disclose the name of the officer responsible for violently throwing the boy into the lockers, then smashing his face to the floor while hitting him repeatedly, which left the special ed student Marshawn Pitts with a broken nose, busted lip and cuts all over his face. The incident was covered up and justified by both Dolton officials and Academy of Learning High School Pitts was attending.
This isn’t the first time Lloyd was involved in a police brutality incident. In February 2008, his ex-wife filed a wrongful death suit against him after he shot her new husband Cornell McKinney 24 times in front of their children. Chicago police accepted his claims of acting in self-defense and he got away with only a short-time suspension.
Lloyd finally ended up behind bars after an Indiana woman accused him threatening her with a knife at her home in Hammond and raping her with a pillow over her head. He is now facing up to 20 years in prison for rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement and sexual battery. He’s being held on a $110,000 bail in an Indiana jail while awaiting trial. HD
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» Border Patrol Kills 19-Year-Old US Citizen: The young man was shot in the back 3 times as he fled from a traffic stop near the Mexican border; Border Patrol officials gave bad directions to the ambulance carrying her son, delaying medical care

beatyourselfup:

 TUCSON, Ariz. (CN) - A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a teenage U.S. citizen in the back as the young man fled from a traffic stop near the Mexican border, his mother claims in a federal lawsuit.
     Carlos LaMadrid died at a hospital after being shot three times by the unknown agent on March 21, 2011, his mother, Guadalupe Guerrero, says.
     She claims Border Patrol officials gave bad directions to the ambulance carrying her son, delaying medical care.
     ”At the time of the shooting, Mr. LaMadrid was completely defenseless,” the complaint states. “Mr. LaMadrid was in the process of fleeing and climbing a ladder over a fence and had his back turned to the agent. Mr. LaMadrid had no weapon of any kind on or near his person, and he was not threatening the agent or any third party. The shooting was clearly in violation of Mr. LaMadrid’s rights under the United States constitution.”
     The incident began when Douglas police officers got an anonymous tip that a Chevrolet Avalanche, in which LaMadrid, 19, and Jesus Manuel Chino Lino, 17, were riding, was transporting marijuana, according to the complaint.
     Douglas is a border town about a 2-hour drive southeast of Tucson.
     ”Officers with the Douglas Police Department reportedly spotted the alleged Avalanche and began pursuing the vehicle,” the complaint states. “The Avalanche refused to pull over and instead made its way to the border fence separating the Republic of Mexico from the United States.”
     The Avalanche stopped at the border fence and LaMadrid jumped out as Border Patrol agents arrived.
     ”Upon information and belief, the agent and unknown Border Patrol agents had no knowledge of why the Douglas Police Department was in pursuit of the Avalanche or the circumstances which gave rise to the pursuit,” LaMadrid’s mother says.
     Her son ran to a ladder propped against the border fence, but could not get over before the agent shot him at least three times in the back, Guerrero says.
     ”The agent then drew his sidearm and took aim at Mr. LaMadrid who was in the process of climbing the ladder,” the complaint states.
     ”In an appalling use of excessive force, the agent intentionally fired at least three shots at Mr. LaMadrid.”
     Guerrero says that agents handcuffed her son’s hands and feet, dragged him to the back of the patrol vehicle and called for an ambulance.
     ”The ambulance, however, was initially sent to the wrong location thereby delaying its arrival,” Guerrero claims. “Prior to the ambulance’s arrival, law enforcement provided inadequate first aide to Mr. LaMadrid despite the obvious gunshot wounds that Mr. LaMadrid had sustained.”
     With two bullets in his back and one in his thigh, LaMadrid died a short time later at the hospital, Guerrero says.
     She claims her son’s death was part of pattern of unchecked and unreported violence by the Border Patrol.
     ”Ms. Guerrero alleges, upon information and belief, that a significantly higher number of shootings have in fact occurred along the international border between the United States and Mexico, however, many of these shootings and other acts of physical and verbal abuse of Mexican citizens and United States citizens of Mexican descent have gone unreported by United States Border Patrol agents,” the complaint states. “The United States Border Patrol had reason to know of the significant number of unreported incidents and have failed to investigate the information concerning abuses of their agents.”
     Guerrero seeks exemplary damages for violations of her son’s civil rights.

» Have you ever thought: "I wonder how many incidents of police misconduct there were...?" Well, ask and ye shall receive.

beatyourselfup:

PoliceMisconduct.net is the new project by the Cato Institute. It was recently taken over from InjusticeEverywhere.

Personally, I’ve not been extremely pleased with the way Cato commits to projects, however, I’m trying to stay optimistic.

On this page, you can view a searchable map of police misconduct statistics for 2009 and 2010. Why don’t they have 2011 yet? Well considering it’s been transferred and the previous owner didn’t have time to compile the statistics yet, that data is missing. I’m sure they will at least attempt to pick up where he left off.

real-men-real-problems:

You know they just need to hear the “Word” and its tigers on a mouse…
I just could never see myself in law enforcement, to get the bad guy, to stop people from doing bad things, to stop a bad situation… really derving the public. Not bashing people… trust me, arguments are invalid these days. Police are hurting, and killing civilians and a lot of it is looked over.

http://rmrp-lifestyle.blogspot.ca/ HD
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» Officer Override, or How Not To Beat The Crap Out of A Suspect Because It's Bad For Your Career

beatyourselfup:

This is a pro-police website. This page basically teaches cops how NOT to beat the shit out of a suspect. It advises other officers to use keywords to help diffuse a situation before it escalates and results in the “loss of a career” (didn’t mention the pain and suffering that would be caused to the suspect). It seems to only be worried about the cops job.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good idea for cops to help other cops and prevent battery. But the mere fact that a police officer can’t be professional in the first place disturbs me.

» Montreal riot police fire tear gas at student protest

coeus:

MONTREAL— Four people were injured during student protests as Quebec’s battle over university tuition-fee hikes took a nasty turn Wednesday.

Clouds of tear gas wafted over downtown Montreal as riot police used billy clubs to slam their way through protesters who were blocking a public building. Some responded by tossing snowballs at officers.

Though the injuries were all minor, two people — one policeman and one protester — had to be whisked away by ambulance to have their wounds treated in hospital.

The scene in Montreal’s streets illustrated the increasingly bitter battle over fees, pitting the Charest government against those who deem the province’s rock-bottom tuition rates an inviolable right.

It also served to highlight the student pushback that in the past has dissuaded Quebec governments from increasing rates, which have remained frozen in the province for 33 of the last 43 years while authorities either avoided or abandoned plans for hikes.

Students converged Wednesday on several provincial buildings, including the liquor commission and the education minister’s office, and they momentarily attempted to occupy the Loto-Quebec headquarters which is home to the organization representing university rectors.

Helmeted and shielded police charged a line of students near the Loto-Quebec headquarters after they pushed down a row of metal barriers. They also came in swinging on the front steps of the building, knocking away students who were blocking the entrance.

One student said police overreacted, claiming he was “brutalized” for a simple act of civil disobience. Frank Levesque-Nicole was hit by a baton in the base of his skull and was blinded with blasts of pepper spray by the group of officers who surrounded him.

“I was only standing there blocking the door, but obviously the cops didn’t see it that way,” Levesque-Nicole said. “They … hit us very hard.

To protect and serve. Protect. And serve. The words must have a different meaning than what I understand. 

There’s always a fucking strike or riot in Montreal. This is what happens when everything is subsidized! Education as student unions, teachers unions, whatever the fuck unions. You have a welfare system that coddles people and tells them that is okay to not work (btw, most people on welfare in Quebec are Quebecers). The Bill 101 (which tells companies to enforce the use of French, even if its economically not advantageous) that has lead a massive exodus of Anglophone companies. The Quebec government has been subsidized by the rest of Canada, yet still wants to separate (fucking funny). Quebec never has enough money to provide to all the social programs it offers to its citizens. So, I say go fuck yourself entitled children. Continue to destroy my beautiful city. 

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