America’s Growing Police State
From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of – EPA? If sending Marines, Navy Seals, and Delta force to the world’s trouble spots doesn’t work, we could also send the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Both agencies have military equipment, weapons, SWAT teams, drones, and highly trained “Special Agents;” so do many others not traditionally considered law enforcement agencies.
A new report from transparency watchdog group Open the Books documents an explosion in the number of federal agencies with gun-toting, badge-wielding law enforcement divisions. The report, called “The Militarization of America” details the astonishing scope of federal police power. There are now over 200,000 federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, in a whopping 67 different federal agencies.
That is remarkable when you consider there are only 182,000 U.S. Marines. Those 67 federal agencies – 53 of which are not law enforcement agencies – spent a total of $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between 2006 and 2014.
We all understand that the EPA is tasked with enforcing environmental laws. But does it really need a full-blown military-style police force? Congress granted the EPA police powers in 1988, but not with SWAT teams in mind. Even now, the agency says its Criminal Enforcement Program “enforces the nation’s laws by investigating cases, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analyses, and providing legal guidance to assist in the prosecution of criminal conduct that threatens people’s health and the environment.” Well yes, but also by midnight raids with Swat teams and attack dogs, confiscating private property, hauling people off to jail for accidentally spilling a barrel of oil, and other “enforcement” horrors.
During the period covered by the Open the Books report, EPA spent over $3 million on military equipment, including guns and ammo, tanks, drones, helicopters, camouflage, night-vision goggles, and other military hardware. And cops – EPA spent $715 million altogether on its Criminal Enforcement Program. APHIS spent even more – $4.77 million on guns, ammo, and military equipment, as well as the salaries and expenses of 140 cops. At EPA, there are almost 200 of these “Special Agents,” and the agency estimates that each one costs taxpayers $216,000 per year in salary, travel, equipment, training and other expenses.
Other agencies with military-style equipment and cops include the Department of Commerce, Internal Revenue Service, Food and Drug Administration, and the Smithsonian Institution (guards to protect museum artifacts are one thing, but drones, helicopters, and SWAT teams?). The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland has its own cops with a fleet of Crown Victoria police cars, as do the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Forest Service, BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Fisheries Service, and even the Government Printing Office.
Do all these agencies really need police with guns, badges, arresting authority, and military equipment? Or are we becoming an over-policed society, as detailed in Radley Balko’s book, “The Rise of the Warrior Cop?” He chronicles the “proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war.”
These tactics made national news in August when a team of armed federal officials descended on the tiny mining town of Chicken, Alaska. The “Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force,” including EPA and six other agencies, showed up in full body armor and heavily armed to conduct an investigation “to look for possible violations of the Clean Water Act.”
Over-policing is the inevitable consequence of too many police. I was in a cab recently, pulled over by the U.S. Capitol Police (one of 28 police departments in Washington) because the driver didn’t buckle up – an obvious threat to the security of the Capitol building that could not wait for the D.C. Metro Police.
I understand the rule of law. But militarizing almost every department, even while many are having trouble performing their basic functions, does not make us safer.
Police Murder Because They Are Trained To Murder
(Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.)
Paul Craig Roberts
In response to my request for information on US police training
(http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/08/why-dallas-happened-paul-craig-roberts/), readers have sent in a variety of information that seems to fit together. I am going to assemble it as best I can as a working hypothesis or provisional account. Perhaps a former or current police officer concerned about the change in the behavior of US police, or an expert on police training and practices, will come forward and verify or correct this provisional account.
First, we know that the police have been, or are being, militarized. They are armed with weapons of war that hitherto have been used only on battlefields. We don’t know why police are armed in this way, as such weapons are not necessary for policing the American public and are not used in police work anywhere except in Israeli-occupied Palestine.
There is an undeclared agenda behind these weapons, and neither Congress nor the presstitute media have any apparent interest in discovering the hidden agenda.
Nevertheless, the militarization of the police fits in with what we know about police training.
There are sourced reports that US police are receiving training from Israel, both from traveling to Israel and in the US from Israeli training firms or from US firms using Israeli methods. See, for example, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/homeland.html and http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/us-police-get-antiterror-training-israel-privately-funded-trips
The training of American police by Israeli occupation forces is not an Internet rumor or “conspiracy theory.” It is a fact acknowledged by the Israeli press: http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-trains-us-law-enforcement-in-counter-terrorism/
Israeli police practices arose from decades of occupying a hostile Palestinian population while stealing the Palestinians’ land and isolating the population in ghetto enclaves. Essentially, Israeli police practices consist of intimidation and violence. https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-export-occupation-police-tactics/8485
We know from innumerable news reports over many years the behavior of the occupying Israeli Army toward the Palestinian population. In four short words: it is extremely brutal.
For a soldier, especially a female soldier, to execute a child and his mother in the streets of Palestine or in the family’s home requires that soldier to have been desensitized to human life that is not Israeli. This requires Palestinians to have been dehumanized, as the native inhabitants of what is today the United States and Australia were dehumanized by the European immigrants who stole their land.
On the basis of this information, we can infer that the Israeli training of US police teaches the police to see only police lives as valuable and the lives of the public as potential threats to police lives. This is why American police often murder a wrongly suspected person and almost always an unarmed one. The examples are numerous. You can spend much of your life just watching on youtube the existing videos of wanton murders of US citizens by police.
The American police are being taught at public expense that only their lives are valuable, not our lives. Therefore, in any encounter with a citizen, the automatic assumption is that the citizen intends harm to the police and must be immediately forcefully subdued and handcuffed or, alternatively, shot dead. The police are trained that the safest thing for the police to do is to terminate the suspect even if it is a soccer mom who forgot to signal a turn while driving her kids to a practice.
In other words, the American police have no more obligation to respect the lives and rights of US citizens than the Israeli occupying forces have to respect the lives and rights of Palestinians.
This does appear to be an accurate description of the situation. Even the New York Times has blown the whistle on William J. Lewinski, who trains US police to shoot first and he will answer the questions for them in court, on the rare occasion that the wanton murder they committed lands them there. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/us/training-officers-to-shoot-first-and-he-will-answer-questions-later.html?_r=1
What about racism? Racism is the answer put forward by liberals, progressives, the putative leftwing, and by blacks themselves.
There are problems with the racist explanation. One obvious problem is that the American police wantonly murder and brutalize white people also. Just the other day the police murdered a 19 year old white American while he lay on the ground. And the TSA abuses far more whites than it does blacks. See my website for recent examples of both.
A former black police officer provides revealing insight into the real situation. He says that about 15% of a police department consists of people who are there for the right reasons and represent a culture of public service. Another 15% are psychopaths who routinely abuse their power. The remaining 70% of the department goes with whichever of the two cultures prevails. Unfortunately, “the bad officers corrupt the department” and the Chicago police under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge proves the case. http://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer
The former black police officer assigns blame to “institutional racism.” However, based on what we have learned about Israeli police training, the police bias against black Americans might not be racist or totally racist. Blacks in America have a history of dehumanization. In the eyes of police trainers, American blacks fit the mold of Palestinians. It is easier to begin the training process by making American police indifferent to the lives of an already dehumanized element of the US population. Once the police are indoctrinated to see themselves not as servants of the people but as “exceptional, indispensable people” whose lives must never be at risk, it is a simple matter to generalize the feeling of police superiority over the white population as well.
I have always been suspicious of the racist explanation. This is an explanation fed to the public in order to break the public into waring factions that cannot unite against their real oppressors. Indoctrinated as we are to hate and fear one another, those who rule and abuse us can do as they will.
It is as clear as a clear day that only a tiny percentage of white Americans belong to the One Percent. The rest of us are of no more consequence to those who rule than are blacks. Yet, we are divided, fearful of and opposed to one another. What a success for the One Percent !
Let me be clear. Just as we oppose the mentality of violence that is being inculcated into the police who live on our earnings, numerous Jews and Israelis themselves oppose the settler mentality that the Israeli government has come to represent. Jews are among the most ardent defenders of human rights of our time. Think of Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky Ilan Pappe, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Think of the brave Israeli organizations that oppose the theft of Palestinian lands and villages. We cannot damn an entire people for the sins of their political masters. If so, then after Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, all Americans are damned.
The two greatest threats to the world are American and Israeli exceptionalism. It is the success of the indoctrination of this Nazi doctrine of exceptionalism that is the source of the violence in the world today.
The problem of American police violence is that the police are now defined as exceptional and unaccountable. They can kill the rest of us without accountability, just as Washington slaughters untold numbers of peoples in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan. Unexceptional peoples are dispensable.
It is paradoxical that training US police in the violent methods of the Israeli occupying forces is justified with the argument that it is necessary to save American lives from terrorists when the actual result is far more Americans killed by police than by terrorists.
Clearly the police training is counterproductive.
It would seem that the families of those murdered and abused by police have good grounds for suing mayors, city councils, county commissioners, governors and state legislators for negligence in police oversight. The evidence is in. The police are taking lives, not saving them. The training is a total failure. Yet it persists. This is a high order of negligence and failure by public authorities.
This Is How They Protect Us!
Paul Craig Roberts – July 3, 2016
The Latest TSA Horror
“These people think they are God. They think they can do anything they want.”
A partially blind, partially deaf young woman returning home from treatment for a brain tumor was brutally smashed to the ground by goon tug TSA “security” while her mother, a nurse, was shoved away.
The good tugs responsible should get at least 30 years in a maximum security prison for assault with intent to kill. But nothing will happen to them. Their corrupt bosses always cover up for the psychopaths who occupy so many “security” and police positions from which they exercise unaccountable brutality over those of us forced to pay their salaries.
This is America today. We are forced to pay for our own brutalization by a criminal element that has taken refuge in “security” that “protects us.” We are in far more danger from the security forces allegedly protecting us than we are from terrorists. Indeed, the security forces are the terrorists.
Remember, during eight years of the Iraq War, US police killed more Americans than the US lost troops in combat. We needed our soldiers at home protecting us from the police, not over there “protecting” us from Iraqis who were not bothering us at all.
The only way to stop the continuous murder and brutalization of American citizens by “security” is to give the same jail sentences to the psychopaths, who comprise a large percentage of police, as are given to criminals without badges to hide behind. Until this happens, no one is safe, not even a handicapped young women traveling home from a hospital with her mother.
The same prison sentences should be given to executive branch officials who initiate wars of aggression on the basis of lies and fraud. These officials are criminals, not “world leaders.”
Read the article from the Guardian and weep for your lost country in which we are far less safe from “our” government than we were under King George. Indeed with Washington’s record of destroying seven countries in 15 years, no one in the world is safe from the government of “the land of liberty.”
America is now justice proof. “Security” has so thoroughly inoculated us against justice that justice cannot happen in America. Winning some taxpayer money in a civil lawsuit is not justice. Justice is prison for the goon thug criminals with badges.
Disabled cancer patient slammed to the ground by TSA guards, lawsuit claims
Hannah Cohen, 18, was on her way home from St Jude’s Hospital when a scanner went off and led to incident that left her ‘physically and emotionally’ injured
A disabled teenage cancer patient was injured during a violent arrest by security agents at Memphis international airport, her family has alleged in a lawsuit filed against the Transport Security Administration.
Hannah Cohen, 18, at the time of her arrest on 30 June 2015, and her mother had been on their way home to Chattanooga from St Jude’s hospital in Memphis, where Hannah underwent her final treatment for a brain tumor.
Hannah and her mother, Shirley, told the Guardian that the pair had made the trip hundreds of times, and knew the airport security routine well. Shirley would usually go through the scanner first and wait for Hannah on the other side, since Hannah’s tumor, and numerous surgeries and treatments since she was two years old, had left her easily confused and frightened in unfamiliar situations.
According to the complaint, the warning alarm was triggered when Hannah passed through the body scanners. Hannah attributed the alarm to her shirt’s design.
“My shirt – it had sequins,” Hannah told the Guardian, laboring to speak. According to the complaint:
“You could see on the screen what it was pointing out,” Shirley said. She stood to the side, watching, wearing an immobilization boot on a broken foot.
Agents told Hannah they needed to take her to a “sterile area” where they could search her further. She was afraid, Shirley said, and offered to take off the sequined shirt as she was wearing another underneath, but a female agent laughed at her.
Seeing the scene begin to unfold, Shirley hobbled to a supervisor standing nearby. “She is a St Jude’s patient, and she can get confused,” she said. “Please be gentle. If I could just help her, it will make things easier.”
But soon, a voice on the public address system requested more agents to report to the checkpoint, Shirley said. “That’s when the armed guards came.”
The brain tumor had left Hannah blind in one eye, deaf in one ear and partially paralyzed, so when the guards grabbed each of her arms, it startled her, she said. “I tried to push away,” she said. “I tried to get away.”
The guards slammed Hannah to the ground, her mother said, smashing her face into the floor, which the complaint alleges left her “physically and emotionally” injured.
Shirley had just picked up her phone from the conveyor belt, and she snapped a photo of Hannah on the floor: handcuffed, weeping and bleeding.
“Another guard pushed me back 20ft, in my boot, and told me I couldn’t be nearby,” said Shirley, a professor of nursing at a university in Chattanooga.
“I felt so helpless. I sat down on a bench facing away so I couldn’t see what they were doing to my daughter.”
The lawsuit alleges that the TSA did not give Hannah adequate accommodation to screen her, and discriminated against her because of her disability. It names the TSA and the Memphis-Shelby County airport authority and seeks damages that include medical expenses and for personal injury, both physical and emotional. It calls for a “reasonable sum not exceeding $100,000 and costs”, and an undisclosed punitive amount.
The TSA has not yet responded to the complaint.
Hannah disappeared behind a door, then went to a hospital, and finally to the Shelby County jail. After 24 hours apart, the mother and daughter were reunited in the parking lot of the jail.
Shirley said she held her daughter, who sobbed, “I’m sorry, Mama.”
The next morning – now two days without their belongings, which had made the flight home – the pair appeared before a local judge, who asked the accused to explain herself.
When Hannah responded, the judge said: “You’re going to have to speak up.”
That’s when Hannah looked up and her hair fell back from her face, revealing her unseeing eye, surrounded by cuts and contusions.
“The judge’s eyes got big and round,” Shirley said.
After inquiring if the pair were from Memphis, the judge recommended they get legal representation.
The charges were all dropped two days later, and the court refunded the $250 in costs the family had paid.
The TSA did not immediately return a request for comment. But a TSA spokeswoman, Sari Koshetz, said in a statement that “passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation”.
“Why should I do that when we’ve been going through that airport for 17 years?” Shirley said.
“These people think they are God. They think they can do anything they want,” she said. “Well, in this country we have the Americans with Disabilities Act. And if they will do this to a disabled girl, does that mean they’ll do it to an 80-year-old grandmother? It’s time for justice.”
Oklahoma Cops Unveil New Device Enabling Direct Seizure Of Bank Accounts, Credit Cards
(NOTE: If this police crime succeeds in Oklahoma you can bet police forces in other states will soon follow suit. -ed)
By Claire Bernish – June 8, 2016
As if civil asset forfeiture, where police can seize your property without having to prove you actually committed a crime, wasn’t contentious enough already, a new device allows the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to steal money directly from your bank account — on the spot.
And it’s already in use.
The Electronic Recovery and Access to Data Machine, known by the acronym ERAD, can scan your bank account and prepaid cards, giving OHP instant access to the balance — and the funds — if a trooper believes the money is tied to a crime. OHP rolled out 16 ERAD devices in May, and unsurprisingly, has already employed the technology.
You don’t even have to be charged with a crime to be a victim of these badge-wearing armed robbers — which makes OHP’s new ERAD device an astonishing prospect.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said. “We’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story. If there’s someway that we can prove that you’re falsifying information to us about your business.” So all he has to do is “believe” you lied about anything and he has the right to take everything you have. They justify this claiming it is not about seizing money. Of course not. It is criminal prosecution but there is no crime. Forget innocent until proven guilty. That will not apply. They pretend the money committed the crime – not you.
He can rob you of everything and leave you with no money even for gas. The police have become the criminals. This is precisely how Rome fell. When they could not could not pay the army, they began sacking their own cities. This is exactly what the police are doing now and there is nobody to defend us against this new criminal organization.
Just stay out of Oklahoma at all costs. If other states follow, you better migrate to another country and fast. One not based on common law (English countries). This will destroy the freedom to even travel as broke police are nothing more than highway criminals with guns.
What Vincent seems to be saying is OHP will try its damnedest to find a reason to rob you at gunpoint.
“If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we’ve done that in the past,” Vincent added.
State Sen. Kyle Loveless said cases where police abused this new system have already come to light, including single mothers, a cancer survivor who had their medication seized, a Christian band, and a number of other completely innocent people.
“I know a lot of people are just going to focus on the seizing money,” Vincent stated the obvious. “That’s a small thing that’s happening now. The largest part that we have found … the biggest benefit has been the identity theft,” he added without further explanation.
Controversy over civil asset forfeiture (CAF) surrounds the fact law enforcement is under no obligation to prove the property it seizes could in any way be tied to criminal activity. Once police have your property, most departments are free to essentially divvy it up amongst themselves.
Countless cases dot headlines around the country evidence thousands of innocent people as victims of this financial terrorism perpetrated by the government. Police even managed to ‘seize’ $53,000 from a Christian band, an orphanage, and a church.
The one state that is leading this criminal scheme is Oklahoma. It is wise not to travel in that state at all. Oklahoma should be on a no fly zone. Now Oklahoma police can outright just seize everything you have from debit cards to bank accounts on a traffic stop without any criminal charges being filed.
Power Loves the Dark
Can’t you see the writing on the touchscreen? A techno-utopia is upon us. We’ve gone from smartphones at the turn of the twenty-first century to smart fridges and smart cars. The revolutionary changes to our everyday life will no doubt keep barreling along. By 2018, so predicts Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, more than three million employees will work for “robo-bosses” and soon enough we — or at least the wealthiest among us — will be shopping in fully automated supermarkets and sleeping in robotic hotels.
With all this techno-triumphalism permeating our digitally saturated world, it’s hardly surprising that law enforcement would look to technology — “smart policing,” anyone? — to help reestablish public trust after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the long list of other unarmed black men killed by cops in Anytown, USA. The idea that technology has a decisive role to play in improving policing was, in fact, a central plank of President Obama’s policing reform task force.
In its report, released last May, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing emphasized the crucial role of technology in promoting better law enforcement, highlighting the use of police body cameras in creating greater openness. “Implementing new technologies,” it claimed, “can give police departments an opportunity to fully engage and educate communities in a dialogue about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy.”
Indeed, the report emphasized ways in which the police could engage communities, work collaboratively, and practice transparency in the use of those new technologies. Perhaps it won’t shock you to learn, however, that the on-the-ground reality of twenty-first-century policing looks nothing like what the task force was promoting. Police departments nationwide have been adopting powerful new technologies that are remarkably capable of intruding on people’s privacy, and much of the time these are being deployed in secret, without public notice or discussion, let alone permission.
And while the task force’s report says all the right things, a little digging reveals that the feds not only aren’t putting the brakes on improper police use of technology, but are encouraging it — even subsidizing the misuse of the very technology the task force believes will keep cops honest. To put it bluntly, a techno-utopia isn’t remotely on the horizon, but its flipside may be.
Getting Stung and Not Even Knowing It
Shemar Taylor was charged with robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint. The police got a warrant to search his home and arrested him after learning that the cell phone used to order the pizza was located in his house. How the police tracked down the location of that cell phone is what Taylor’s attorney wanted to know.
The Baltimore police detective called to the stand in Taylor’s trial was evasive. “There’s equipment we would use that I’m not going to discuss,” he said. When Judge Barry Williams ordered him to discuss it, he still refused, insisting that his department had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI.
“You don’t have a nondisclosure agreement with the court,” replied the judge, threatening to hold the detective in contempt if he did not answer. And yet he refused again. In the end, rather than reveal the technology that had located Taylor’s cell phone to the court, prosecutors decided to withdraw the evidence, jeopardizing their case.
And don’t imagine that this courtroom scene was unique or even out of the ordinary these days. In fact, it was just one sign of a striking nationwide attempt to keep an invasive, constitutionally questionable technology from being scrutinized, whether by courts or communities.
The technology at issue is known as a “Stingray,” a brand name for what’s generically called a cell site simulator or IMSI catcher. By mimicking a cell phone tower, this device, developed for overseas battlefields, gets nearby cell phones to connect to it. It operates a bit like the children’s game Marco Polo. “Marco,” the cell-site simulator shouts out and every cell phone on that network in the vicinity replies, “Polo, and here’s my ID!”
Thanks to this call-and-response process, the Stingray knows both what cell phones are in the area and where they are. In other words, it gathers information not only about a specific suspect, but any bystanders in the area as well. While the police may indeed use this technology to pinpoint a suspect’s location, by casting such a wide net there is also the potential for many kinds of constitutional abuses — for instance, sweeping up the identities of every person attending a demonstration or a political meeting. Some Stingrays are capable of collecting not only cell phone ID numbers but also numbers those phones have dialed and even phone conversations. In other words, the Stingray is a technology that potentially opens the door for law enforcement to sweep up information that not so long ago wouldn’t have been available to them.
All of this raises the sorts of constitutional issues that might normally be settled through the courts and public debate… unless, of course, the technology is kept largely secret, which is exactly what’s been happening.
After the use of Stingrays was first reported in 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other activist groups attempted to find out more about how the technology was being used, only to quickly run into heavy resistance from police departments nationwide. Served with “open-records requests” under Freedom of Information Act-like state laws, they almost uniformly resisted disclosing information about the devices and their uses. In doing so, they regularly cited nondisclosure agreements they had signed with the Harris Corporation, maker of the Stingray, and with the FBI, prohibiting them from telling anyone (including other government outfits) about how — or even that — they use the devices.
Sometimes such evasiveness reaches near-comical levels. For example, police in the city of Sunrise, Florida, served with an open-records request, refused to confirm or deny that they had any Stingray records at all. Under cover of a controversial national security court ruling, the CIA and the NSA sometimes resort to just this evasive tactic (known as a “Glomar response“). The Sunrise Police Department, however, is not the CIA, and no provision in Florida law would allow it to take such a tack. When the ACLU pointed out that the department had already posted purchase records for Stingrays on its public website, it generously provided duplicate copies of those very documents and then tried to charge the ACLU $20,000 for additional records.
In a no-less-bizarre incident, the Sarasota Police Department was about to turn some Stingray records over to the ACLU in accordance with Florida’s open-records law, when the U.S. Marshals Service swooped in and seized the records first, claiming ownership because it had deputized one local officer. And excessive efforts at secrecy are not unique to Florida, as those charged with enforcing the law commit themselves to Stingray secrecy in a way that makes them lawbreakers.
And it’s not just the public that’s being denied information about the devices and their uses; so are judges. Often, the police get a judge’s sign-off for surveillance without even bothering to mention that they will be using a Stingray. In fact, officers regularly avoid describing the technology to judges, claiming that they simply can’t violate those FBI nondisclosure agreements.
More often than not, police use Stingrays without bothering to get a warrant, instead seeking a court order on a more permissive legal standard. This is part of the charm of a new technology for the authorities: nothing is settled on how to use it. Appellate judges in Tallahassee, Florida, for instance, revealed that local police had used the tool more than 200 times without a warrant. In Sacramento, California, police admitted in court that they had, in more than 500 investigations, used Stingrays without telling judges or prosecutors. That was “an estimated guess,” since they had no way of knowing the exact number because they had conveniently deleted records of Stingray use after passing evidence discovered by the devices on to detectives.
Much of this blanket of secrecy, spreading nationwide, has indeed been orchestrated by the FBI, which has required local departments eager for the hottest new technology around to sign those nondisclosure agreements. One agreement, unearthed in Oklahoma, explicitly instructs the local police to find “additional and independent investigative means” to corroborate Stingray evidence. In short, they are to cover up the use of Stingrays by pretending their information was obtained some other way — the sort of dangerous constitutional runaround that is known euphemistically in law enforcement circles as a “parallel construction.” Now that information about the widespread use of this new technology is coming out — as in the Shemar Taylor trial in Baltimore – judges are beginning to rule that Stingray use does indeed require a warrant. They are also insisting that police must accurately inform judges when they intend to use a Stingray and disclose its privacy implications.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
And it’s not just the Stingray that’s taking local police forces into new and unknown realms of constitutionally questionable but deeply seductive technology. Consider the hot new trend of “predictive policing.” Its products couldn’t be high-techier. They go by a variety of names like PredPol (yep, short for predictive policing) and HunchLab (and there’s nothing wrong with a hunch, is there?). What they all promise, however, is the same thing: supposedly bias-free policing built on the latest in computer software and capable of leveraging big data in ways that — so their salesmen will tell you — can coolly determine where crime is most likely to occur next.
Such technology holds out the promise of allowing law enforcement agencies to deploy their resources to areas that need them most without that nasty element of human prejudice getting involved. “Predictive methods allow police to work more proactively with limited resources,” reports the RAND Corporation. But the new software offers something just as potentially alluring as efficient policing — exactly what the president’s task force called for. According to market leader PredPol, its technology “provides officers an opportunity to interact with residents, aiding in relationship building and strengthening community ties.”
How idyllic! In post-Ferguson America, that’s a winning sales pitch for decision-makers in blue. Not so surprisingly, then, PredPol is now used by nearly 60 law enforcement agencies in the United States, and investment capital just keeps pouring into the company. In 2013, SF Weeklyreported that over 150 departments across the nation were already using predictive policing software, and those numbers can only have risen as the potential for cashing in on the craze has attracted tech heavy hitters like IBM,Microsoft, and Palantir, the co-creation of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Like the Stingray, the software for predictive policing is yet another spillover from the country’s distant wars. PredPol was, according to SF Weekly, initially designed for “tracking insurgents and forecasting casualties in Iraq,” and was financed by the Pentagon. One of the company’s advisors, Harsh Patel, used to work for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm.
Civil libertarians and civil rights activists, however, are less than impressed with what’s being hailed as breakthrough police technology. We tend to view it instead as a set of potential new ways for the police to continue a long history of profiling and pre-convicting poor and minority youth. We also question whether the technology even performs as advertised. As we see it, the old saying “garbage in, garbage out” is likely to best describe how the new software will operate, or as the RAND Corporation puts it, “predictions are only as good as the underlying data used to make them.”
If, for instance, the software depends on historical crime data from a racially biased police force, then it’s just going to send a flood of officers into the very same neighborhoods they’ve always over-policed. And if that happens, of course, more personnel will find more crime — and presto, you have the potential for a perfect feedback loop of prejudice, arrests, and high-tech “success.” To understand what that means, keep in mind that, without a computer in sight, nearly four times as many blacks as whites are arrested for marijuana possession, even though usage among the two groups is about the same.
If you leave aside issues of bias, there’s still a fundamental question to answer about the new technology: Does the software actually work or, for that matter, reduce crime? Of course, the companies peddling such products insist that it does, but no independent analyses or reviews had yet verified its effectiveness until last year — or so it seemed at first.
In December 2015, the Journal of the American Statistical Associationpublished a study that brought joy to the predictive crime-fighting industry. The study’s researchers concluded that a predictive policing algorithm outperformed human analysts in indicating where crime would occur, which in turn led to real crime reductions after officers were dispatched to the flagged areas. Only one problem: five of the seven authors held PredPol stock, and two were co-founders of the company. On its website, PredPol identifies the research as a “UCLA study,” but only because PredPol co-founder Jeffery Brantingham is an anthropology professor there.
Predictive policing is a brand new area where question marks abound. Transparency should be vital in assessing this technology, but the companies generally won’t allow communities targeted by it to examine the code behind it. “We wanted a greater explanation for how this all worked, and we were told it was all proprietary,” Kim Harris, a spokeswoman for Bellingham, Washington’s Racial Justice Coalition, told the Marshall Project after the city purchased such software last August. “We haven’t been comforted by the process.”
The Bellingham Police Department, which bought predictive software made by Bair Analytics with a $21,200 Justice Department grant, didn’t need to go to the city council for approval and didn’t hold community meetings to discuss the development or explain how the software worked. Because the code is proprietary, the public is unable to independently verify that it doesn’t have serious problems.
Even if the data underlying most predictive policing software accurately anticipates where crime will indeed occur – and that’s a gigantic if — questions of fundamental fairness still arise. Innocent people living in or passing through identified high crime areas will have to deal with an increased police presence, which, given recent history, will likely mean more questioning or stopping and frisking — and arrests for things like marijuana possession for which more affluent citizens are rarely brought in. Moreover, the potential inequality of all this may only worsen as police departments bring online other new technologies like facial recognition.
We’re on the verge of “big data policing,” suggests law professor Andrew Ferguson, which will “turn any unknown suspect into a known suspect,” allowing an officer to “search for information that might justify reasonable suspicion” and lead to stop-and-frisk incidents and aggressive questioning. Just imagine having a decades-old criminal record and facing police armed with such powerful, invasive technology.
This could lead to “the tyranny of the algorithm” and a Faustian bargain in which the public increasingly forfeits its freedoms in certain areas out of fears for its safety. “The Soviet Union had remarkably little street crime when they were at their worst of their totalitarian, authoritarian controls,” MIT sociologist Gary Marx observed. “But, my god, at what price?”
To Record and Serve… Those in Blue
On a June night in 2013, Augustin Reynoso discovered that his bicycle had been stolen from a CVS in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena. A store security guard called the police while Reynoso’s brother Ricardo Diaz Zeferino and two friends tried to find the missing bike in the neighborhood. When the police arrived, they promptly ordered his two friends to put their hands up. Zeferino ran over, protesting that the police had the wrong men. At that point, they told him to raise his hands, too. He then lowered and raised his hands as the police yelled at him. When he removed his baseball hat, lowered his hands, and began to raise them again, he was shot to death.
The police insisted that Zeferino’s actions were “threatening” and so their shooting justified. They had two videos of it taken by police car cameras — but refused to release them.
Although police departments nationwide have been fighting any spirit of new openness, car and body cameras have at least offered the promise of bringing new transparency to the actions of officers on the beat. That’s why the ACLU and many civil rights groups, as well as President Obama, have spoken out in favor of the technology’s potential to improve police-community relations — but only, of course, if the police are obliged to release videos in situations involving allegations of abuse. And many departments are fighting that fiercely.
In Chicago, for instance, the police notoriously opposed the release of dashcam video in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, citing the supposed imperative of an “ongoing investigation.” After more than a year of such resistance, a judge finally ordered the video made public. Only then did the scandal of seeing Officer Jason Van Dyke unnecessarily pump 16 bullets into the 17-year-old’s body explode into national consciousness.
In Zeferino’s case, the police settled a lawsuit with his family for $4.7 million and yet continued to refuse to release the videos. It took two years before a judge finally ordered their release, allowing the public to see the shooting for itself.
Despite this, in April 2015 the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners approved a body-camera policy that failed to ensure future transparency, while protecting and serving the needs of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). In doing so, it ignored the sort of best practices advocated by the White House, the president’s task force on policing, and even the Police Executive Research Forum, one of the profession’s most respected think tanks.
On the possibility of releasing videos of alleged police misconduct and abuse, the new policy remained silent, but LAPD officials, including Chief Charlie Beck, didn’t. They made it clear that such videos would generally be exempt from California’s public records law and wouldn’t be released without a judge’s orders. Essentially, the police reserved the right to release video when and how they saw fit. This self-serving policy comes from the most lethal large police department in the country, whose officers shot and killed 21 people last year.
Other departments around the country have made similar moves to ensure control over body camera videos. Texas and South Carolina, among other states, have even changed their open-records laws to give the police power over when such footage should (or should not) be released. In other words, when a heroic cop saves a drowning child, you’ll see the video; when that same cop guns down a fleeing suspect, don’t count on it.
Curiously, given the stated positions of the president and his task force, the federal government seems to have no fundamental problem with that. In May 2015, for example, the Justice Department announced competitive grants for the purchase of police body cameras, officially tying funding to good body-cam-use policies. The LAPD applied. Despite letters from groups like the ACLU pointing out just how poor its version of body-cam policy was, the Justice Department awarded it $1 million to purchase approximately 700 cameras — accountability and transparency be damned.
To receive public money for a tool theoretically meant for transparency and accountability and turn it into one of secrecy and impunity, with the feds’ complicity and financial backing, sends an unmistakable message on how new technology is likely to affect America’s future policing practices. Think of it as a door slowly opening onto a potential policing dystopia.
Hello Darkness, Power’s Old Friend
Keep in mind that this article barely scratches the surface when it comes to the increasing numbers of ways in which the police’s use of technology has infiltrated our everyday lives.
In states and cities across America, some public bus and train systems havebegun to add to video surveillance, the surreptitious recording of the conversations of passengers, a potential body blow to the concept of a private conversation in public space. And whether or not the earliest versions of predictive policing actually work, the law enforcement community is already moving to technology that will try to predict who will commit crimes in the future. In Chicago, the police are using social networking analysis and prediction technology to draw up “heat lists” of those who might perpetuate violent crimes someday and pay them visits now. You won’t be shocked to learn which side of the tracks such future perpetrators live on. The rationale behind all this, as always, is “public safety.”
Nor can anyone begin to predict how law enforcement will avail itself of science-fiction-like technology in the decade to come, much less decades from now, though cops on patrol may very soon know a lot about you and your past. They will be able to cull such information from a multitude of databases at their fingertips, while you will know little or nothing about them — a striking power imbalance in a situation in which one person can deprive the other of liberty or even life itself.
With little public debate, often in almost total secrecy, increasing numbers of police departments are wielding technology to empower themselves rather than the communities they protect and serve. At a time when trust in law enforcement is dangerously low, police departments should be embracing technology’s democratizing potential rather than its ability to give them almost superhuman powers at the expense of the public trust.
Unfortunately, power loves the dark.
Police Create Fake Profiles on Facebook and Attempt to Build Relationships Along With Monitor Your Friends and Events
Kristan T. Harris | American Intelligence Report
Police departments around the nation have taken predictive crime prevention to a new level by building fake user accounts, as well as posing as genuine people to gather information about local events, Tech.Mic reports.
Local agents put on a “digital mask” and pose as “members of the community,” allowing them to gather personal information about suspects they consider a high risk of being involved in a future crime or have existing charges.
In a social media guide for law enforcement officials published by the Justice Department, the document details, officers create fraudulent profiles even though Facebook officially bans the practice.
Departments are also beginning to use predictive analytical policing software, allowing authorities to patrol local neighborhoods based on social networking posts. If people are emotionally upset and publish it on social media networks, the software program labels the neighborhood high risk alerting law enforcement to occupy those area’s.
In a recent article published by Business Insider one police officer answered a LexisNexis survey that he “was looking for a suspect related to drug charges for over a month. When I looked him up on Facebook and requested him as a friend from a fictitious profile, he accepted,” and “he kept ‘checking in’ everywhere he went, so I was able to track him down very easily.”
Another respondent wrote, “Social media is a valuable tool because you are able to see the activities of a target in his comfortable stage. Targets brag and post … information in reference to travel, hobbies, places visited, appointments, circle of friends, family members, relationships, actions, etc.”
Out of 1,221 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that use social media today, more than 80% of the responding officials said social media was a powerful tool for crime-fighting and that “creating personas or profiles on social media outlets for use in law enforcement activities is ethical.”
The NYPD has even gone to the extreme to use photos of young attractive women on Facebook to spy on gang members, the New York Times reported.
No one seems to know if agencies use these photos with or without the consent of the person photographed.
Bradley Shear, an attorney and expert in social media and the law, is not quite sure how the justice system will handle challenges made to this style of policing. However, noting that “police often pose as prostitutes or drug dealers to catch criminals.”
Former Nixon Aide Admits War On Drugs Was
A Big Lie; Was Never About Drugs
In an interview conducted by Harper’s Dan Baum nearly 22 years ago, former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman admitted what many have known, ever since the beginning, that the Nixon administrations’ War On Drugs was a giant lie.
To clarify, it was not Nixon’s police state that was a lie. That was very real. It was the justification used for the war, the fear mongering, and the panic-inducing hype produced by the White House that was a monumental obfuscation.
Today, Ehrlichman doesn’t mince words when he discusses the War On Drugs, and it is more than inference that the justification given for the War on Drugs was a lie. In fact, Ehrlichman even states that the policy was orchestrated to attack political rivals and alleged “threats” to the Nixon administration like “blacks and hippies.”
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,”
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be anti-war, or to be black … but by getting the
public to associate hippies (i.e., “peaceniks” and pacifists) with marijuana, and associating blacks with heroin, and then heavily criminalizing those drugs, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Tom LoBianco writes for CNN, “Ehelichman’s admission is a stark departure from Nixon’s public explanation for his first piece of legislation in the war on drugs, delivered in message to Congress in July 1969, which framed it as a response to an increase in heroin addiction and the rising use of marijuana and hallucinogens by students.”
Of course, the War On Drugs and the ensuing police and incarceration state that followed had a much larger purpose than merely helping Nixon fight back against potential political threats. More importantly, they were creating a war through fear and superstition in which every American was expected, no, demanded, to blindly support … which equated to backing Nixon and the government in general. The truth is, most drugs were already illegal by the time Nixon was elected.
Hiding and preventing the knowledge of positive effects of some substances, shredding basic freedoms, creating a culture of incarceration, and implementing a gradual, but eventually a total police state were most certainly part of the plan as well, which history has demonstrated. For instance, Reagan and especially Clinton were under no threat from the sections of society mentioned by Ehrlichman, but they nevertheless sent the drug war, and the natural results of it listed above, into hyper drive.
Nevertheless, after setting the United States further down the path of totalitarianism, we at least appreciate Ehrlichman’s honesty even if it is decades later. Perhaps now, we can begin dismantling the drug war.
The Punishment Society
By Paul Craig Roberts
November 03, 2015 – Police power has become a primary feature of American, indeed Western, society. A baker in Colorado was punished because he would not bake a wedding cake for a homosexual marriage. A county or state clerk was punished because she would not issue a marriage license for a homosexual marriage. University professors are punished because they criticize Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians. Whistleblowers are punished—despite their protection under federal law—for revealing crimes of the US government. And children are punished for being children.
But not by their parents. Police can slam children around and seriously injure them. But parents must not lay a hand on a child. If a child gets spanked, as everyone in my generation was, in comes the Child Protective Services Gestapo. The child is seized, put into “protective custody,” and the parents are arrested. The CPS Gestapo receives a federal bonus for every child that they seize, and they want the money.
About all parents can do today is to restrict TV or video game playing time. Even this is dicey, because the kids are taught at school to report abusive behavior of parents. For many kids being told what to do by parents is abusive behavior. Kids have learned that they can pay back parents for disciplining them by reporting the parents to teachers or by themselves calling CPS. Kids who retaliate in this socially approved manner do not realize that they run a high risk of ruining the lives of their parents as well as their own and ending up in foster care with strangers where the risk of sexual abuse is present.
As society has made it possible for kids to prevail over parents, the kids think this right also applies to teachers, school administrators, and School Resource Officers, psychopaths with police badges who maintain discipline with force and violence. The kids quickly discover that whereas parents are constrained from using corporal punishment, School Resource Officers are not. We recently read about a young girl’s school desk being overturned as she sat in it. She was slammed onto the floor, dragged across the floor and handcuffed. Any parent who did that would be facing jail time.
Schools are no longer places of learning. They are places of punishment. Kids are punished for the most absurd reasons. Nothing more than behaving as a child brings on punishment. As Henry Giroux has written, schools have become places of control, repression, and punishment.
17,000 American public schools have a police presence. All common sense has long departed. Five and six year-olds who get into a shoving match are arrested and carried off in handcuffs. Police issue tickets and fines to students for what was ordinary behavior in my school days. Suspensions result as do police records that follow a child even after school.
Violence in schools is routine. Mother Jones reports that a Louisville goon thug, Jonathan Hardin punched a 13-year old in the face for cutting into the cafeteria line and of holding another 13-year old in a choke hold until the student became unconscious. A dispute over cell phone use resulted in a Houston student being hit 18 times with a police weapon.
The police violence extends beyond the schools. Any American unfortunate enough to have a police encounter risks being tasered, beaten, arrested, and even murdered.
Protesters, war and otherwise, are beaten, tear gassed, arrested. The American police state is working hard to criminalize all criticism of itself. Violence has become the defining hallmark of the United States. It is even the basis of US foreign policy. In the 21st century millions of peoples have been killed and displaced by American violence against the world.
With our public schools and police forces working overtime to teach the children, who will comprise the future generations, that violence is the solution and submission is the only alternative, expect the United States to be unliveable at home and an even worse danger to the rest of the world.
State Law Makes it a Felony to Touch a Police Officer Even Off-Duty and Out of Uniform
William N. Grigg, November 3, 2015
American Cops Now Steal More Property than All US Burglars Combined
By Matt Agorist
For decades now, federal government and their cohorts in law enforcement have been carrying out theft of the citizenry on a massive scale. We’re not talking about taxes, but an insidious power known as Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF).
The 1980s-era laws were designed to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but CAF has become a tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to steal money and property from countless innocent people.
No criminal charge is required for this confiscation, resulting in easy inflows of cash for law enforcement departments and the proliferation of abuse. This phenomenon is known as “policing for profit.”
In the last 25 years, the amount of “profit” stolen through CAF has skyrocketted.
According to the US Department of Justice, the value of asset forfeiture revoceries by US authorities from 1989-2010 was $12,667,612,066, increasing on average 19.5% per year.
In 2008, law enforcement took over $1.5 billion from the American public. While this number seems incredibly large, just a few years later, in 2014, that number tripled to nearly $4.5 billion.
When we examine these numbers, and their nearly exponential growth curve, it appears that police in America are getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good, criminally good.
To put this number into perspective, according to the FBI, victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses in 2014.
That means that law enforcement in America has stolen $600,000,000 more from Americans that actual criminal burglars.
When police surpass the criminal accomplishments of those they claim to protect you from, there is a serious problem.
The good news is that Americans are waking up to this Orwellian notion of police robbing the citizens, and they are taking a stand.
Former Cop Gets Two Years in Prison for Exposing Polygraph Machines
69-year-old Douglas G. Williams of Norman, Oklahoma was sentenced to two years in prison this week for running a website that pointed out the flaws in lie detector tests. Williams is a former detective for the Oklahoma City Police Department and throughout the course of his career he administered thousands of polygraph tests for his own police department, as well as other agencies like the FBI and the Secret Service. Through his experience, Williams learned that a polygraph is not a valid way of truly figuring out whether or not someone is lying. In 1979, he invented “the sting technique,” which polygraph experts now refer to as “countermeasures.”
He wrote the first manual teaching people how to pass a polygraph test, which was initially published in 1979 and, according to him, was one of the very first e-books available on the Internet.
The U.S. Department Of Justice issued a press release this week stating that they planted federal agents to pose as customers and entrap Williams in schemes to help the agents cheat on polygraph tests.
According to the press release:
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Williams owned and operated Polygraph.com, an Internet-based business through which he trained people how to conceal misconduct and other disqualifying information when submitting to polygraph examinations in connection with federal employment suitability assessments, background investigations, internal agency investigations and other proceedings. In particular, Williams admitted that he trained an individual posing as a federal law enforcement officer to lie and conceal involvement in criminal activity from an internal agency investigation. Williams also admitted to training a second individual, posing as an applicant seeking federal employment, to lie and conceal crimes in a pre-employment polygraph examination. Williams also admitted to instructing the individuals to deny receiving his polygraph training.
In an interview several years ago, he explained why he decided to speak out and inform people about lie detectors, saying,
In 1979, after seven years as a police polygraph examiner, I resigned my position as a Detective Sergeant with the Oklahoma City Police Department. The reasons I quit a perfectly good job at the peak of my career, were numerous. But I guess the main reason was that I was just burnt out and disillusioned. I knew that what I did for a living was a fraud, and I was sick of perpetrating the myth that the polygraph was a ‘lie detector.
I knew that I had to make a change; that I had to quit doing what I was doing because of what it was doing to me. I knew I was literally destroying myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Most of the polygraph operators I knew were alcoholics, drug addicts, or had very serious mental illness. I knew this was directly attributable to the work they did as polygraph examiners. Getting confessions by means of the polygraph was a dangerous business; getting people to confess by using this method of psychological torture took its toll on the torturer as much as the tortured.
Williams has been sentenced to two years in prison for exposing the truth about the polygraph.
See also antipolygraph.org.
Police In Other Countries Haven’t Killed Anyone In Years
With police murdering people on a daily basis in the United States, it is interesting to see that police in other countries haven’t killed anyone in years. In Norway, for example, the police haven’t killed anyone in nearly a decade.
According to a recent report conducted by the country’s government, police in Norway have been far less likely to draw their weapons on suspects, and they are even less likely to actually shoot. In fact, the report found that Norway’s police only fired their guns in two situations last year, neither case resulting in a fatality. And Norway is rated consistently one of the top three safest countries.
In the US, police are trained to shoot first and ask questions later and are programmed to think that every civilian is a potential criminal or attacker. However, this type of mentality is counter-productive, and is not at all necessary.
U.S. Police Kill More Civilians in March than UK Police Killed in 100 Years
The following statistics seem impossible to believe. While I wonder how accurately the UK has been tracking these numbers historically, the enormous spread seems much too large to ignore, and is a national embarrassment that should be dealt with immediately.
From the Free Thought Project:
A new report by ThinkProgress.com unearthed disturbing figures when it came to the number of police-related deaths that occurred in America in the month of March alone.
Just last month, in the 31 days of March, police in the United States killed more people than the UK did in the entire 20th century. In fact, it was twice as many; police in the UK only killed 52 people during that 100 year period.
According to the report by ThinkProgess, in March alone, 111 people died during police encounters — 36 more than the previous month.
This high number in March increased the average for police killings from every 8.5 hours, to nearly 1 police killing every 6.5 hours in the US.
China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.
On average, US police kill people at a rate 70 times higher than any of the other first world countries as they “protect and serve” the American citizens.
This is not what freedom looks like.
For related articles, see:
57-Year-Old Michigan Man Beaten to a Bloody Pulp by Police Officer Known as “RoboCop” for Running a Red Light
Meet Jason Villalba – The Texas State Representative Who Introduced a Bill that Criminalizes Citizens Filming Police
Innocent Army Veteran Framed by Louisiana Police and Prosectors Barely Escapes Jail Due to Cellphone Video
Video of the Day – Watch as 8 Police Officers Fire 46 Shots and Kill a Homeless Man in Broad Daylight
Caught on Video – LAPD Guns Down Homeless Man in Broad Daylight
Video of the Day – This Is What Happens When You Call the Cops
ANOTHER UNARMED MAN MURDERED BY COP … THIS ONE IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Cops are at war against the public. They are trained to think of citizens as enemies in an ongoing battle. Their attitude is “it’s them against us.”
Race is not the main issue, although it is a contributing factor in some cases. The real issue is the empowerment of cops to treat people as if they are all criminals. That’s how cops get away with murder. The American police and prison culture is very bad and getting worse every day. Revolutions have been fought over this kind of abuse of power. If this governmental lawlessness continues to grow we are going to see some hard times here in America. America is turning into a criminal culture, and the result is likely to become ugly on a scale that no one of my generation could have imagined.
This week, Charleston patrolman Michael Slager gunned down 50-year old Walter Scott as Scott was attempting to get away from a Taser. Slager had stopped Scott for a broken tail light on his car. What should have been a simple traffic stop turned into an unnecessary confrontation and excessive police intimidation and bullying … typical of modern cop tactics. According to witnesses, Slager had forced Scott to the ground and was apparently tasering him. When Scott ran to get away from the Taser, Slager fired eight shots at him, apparently hitting him five times in the back. Scott fell about thirty feet away, dying from the wounds.
Slager handcuffs Scotts lifeless body, then runs back to his original position, picks up the Taser that had fallen to the ground, then walks back to where Scott was lying. Slager drops the Taser near the body as if to indicate that Scott had taken Slager’s Taser. This is typical cop training and scheming. They are schooled on how to drop weapons near their victims to create a crime scene, and then lie about being “in fear for their lives” to justify their actions.
Slager claimed that Scott had grabbed for his Taser, and that he was forced to shoot him. One thing you can see in nearly every murder by cop … the cops usually claim that the victim was “grabbing for my gun,” or “grabbing for my Taser.” This is standard cop training used to justify their shooting of people.
So, who is actually in danger for his life? You have a cop with guns, Tasers, clubs, and usually multiple other cops as backup. And yet it is the cop who claims to be “in fear for his life” when coming against a single unarmed man. So we are expected to believe that this cop is in fear for his life when he faces an unarmed lone man or woman who doesn’t have a weapon. How can Americans be so blind and stupid to buy such a story? Why is such a cowardly psychopath wearing a police uniform in the first place if he can’t subdue a single unarmed man without killing him? And why do the police departments defend and encourage these demented psychopaths?
The Slager murder of Scott would have been covered up and Slager would have gotten away with it except for one thing. A young man with a cell phone saw what was happening and caught it all on camera. After hearing the news on TV, and realizing the cops were lying about what happened, the young man decided to release his footage of the actual scene. This time the cop got caught lying, and is now charged with murder, and the police chief has admitted Slager acted wrong. But this is not the usual outcome. This is rare. It remains to be seen how this will play out. I’ll be surprised if the cop gets the verdict he deserves.
A movie camera is the common man’s best defense against cops. Cops can lie about anything, and the police departments and courts are prone to believe cop stories above the claims of victims and witnesses. But cameras reveal the truth.
Sadly, in recent incidents, even when cops were caught on cameras while murdering helpless men, women, and children, the brainless grand juries refused to indict the murderers. It shows the degree of stupidity and cowardice of the typical cop-worshiping public today. Today, the police-state mentality is far advanced in this nation that once was a better place to live.
You’re 55 Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist
Police Killings Grossly Underreported
“Reliable estimates of the number of justifiable homicides committed by police officers in the United States do not exist.” A study of killings by police from 1999 to 2002 in the Central Florida region found that the national databases included (in Florida) only one-fourth of the number of persons killed by police as reported in the local news media.
The Guardian reports:
The first-ever attempt by US record-keepers to estimate the number of uncounted “law enforcement homicides” exposed previous official tallies as capturing less than half of the real picture. The new estimate – an average of 928 people killed by police annually over eight recent years, compared to 383 in published FBI data – amounted to a more glaring admission than ever before of the government’s failure to track how many people police kill.
The revelation called into particular question the FBI practice of publishing annual totals of “justifiable homicides by law enforcement” – tallies that are widely cited in the media and elsewhere as the most accurate official count of police homicides.
that means that you’re 55 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist.
You’re Much More Likely to Be Killed By Brain-Eating Parasites, Texting While Driving, Toddlers, Lightning, Falling Out of Bed, Alcoholism, Food Poisoning, Choking On Food, a Financial Crash, Obesity, Medical Errors or weird sex acts than by Terrorists
Time Magazine noted in 2013 that the chance of dying in a terrorist attack in the United States from 2007 to 2011, according to Richard Barrett – coordinator of the United Nations al Qaeda/Taliban Monitoring Team – was 1 in 20 million.
(NOTE: These statistics assume that the 3,000 people killed in the 9-11 WTC collapse was a terrorist attack, which we now know was perpetrated by the US Government. That, alone, makes the US Government many times more dangerous than terrorists. But then, the US Government is the world’s biggest terrorist organization. In other words, Americans are in NO DANGER of foreign terrorism. And yet the government spends trillions of dollars a year to wage its “War On Terrorism” which benefits no one but the US Military-Political-Banking Industrial Complex.)
Let’s look at specific numbers …
The U.S. Department of State reports that only 17 U.S. citizens were killed worldwide as a result of terrorism in 2011. That figure includes deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and all other theaters of war.
Comparing the CDC numbers to terrorism deaths means:
– You are 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
– You are 33,842 times more likely to die from cancer than from a terrorist attack
(Keep in mind when reading this piece that we are understating the risk of other causes of death as compared to terrorism, because we are comparing deaths from causes within the United States against deaths from terrorism worldwide.)
Wikipedia notes that obesity is a a contributing factor in 100,000–400,000 deaths in the United States per year. That makes obesity 5,882 to 23,528 times more likely to kill you than a terrorist.
The annual number of deaths in the U.S. due to avoidable medical errors is as high as 100,000. Indeed, one of the world’s leading medical journals – Lancet – reported in 2011:
A November, 2010, document from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reported that, when in hospital, one in seven beneficiaries of Medicare (the government-sponsored health-care programme for those aged 65 years and older) have complications from medical errors, which contribute to about 180 000 deaths of patients per year.
That’s just Medicare beneficiaries, not the entire American public. Scientific American noted in 2009:
Preventable medical mistakes and infections are responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation.
That still means that you are 5,882 times more likely to die from medical error than terrorism.
The CDC says that some 80,000 deaths each year are attributable to excessive alcohol use. So you’re 4,706 times more likely to drink yourself to death than die from terrorism.
Wikipedia notes that there were 32,367 automobile accidents in 2011, which means that you are 1,904 times more likely to die from a car accident than from a terrorist attack.
President Obama agreed.
According to a 2011 CDC report, poisoning from prescription drugs is even more likely to kill you than a car crash. Indeed, the CDC stated in 2011 that – in the majority of states – your prescription meds are more likely to kill you than any other source of injury. So your meds are thousands of times more likely to kill you than Al Qaeda.
The financial crisis has also caused quite a few early deaths. The Guardian reported in 2008:
High-income countries such as the UK and US could see a 6.4% surge in deaths from heart disease, while low-income countries could experience a 26% rise in mortality rates.
Since there were 596,339 deaths from heart disease in the U.S. in 2011 (see CDC table above), that means that there are approximately 38, 165 additional deaths a year from the financial crisis … and Americans are 2,245 times more likely to die from a financial crisis that a terrorist attack.
Financial crises cause deaths in other ways, as well. More Americans numerically were in poverty as of 2011 than for more than 50 years. Poverty causes increased deaths from hunger, inability to pay for heat and shelter, and other causes. (And – as mentioned below – suicides have skyrocketed recently; many connect the increase in suicides to the downturn in the economy.)
The number of deaths by suicide has also surpassed car crashes. Around 35,000 Americans kill themselves each year (and more American soldiers die by suicide than combat; the number of veterans committing suicide is astronomical and under-reported). So you’re 2,059 times more likely to kill yourself than die at the hand of a terrorist.
The CDC notes that there were 7,638 deaths from HIV and 45 from syphilis, so you’re 452 times more likely to die from risky sexual behavior than terrorism.
The National Safety Council reports that more than 6,000 Americans die a year from falls … most of them involve people falling off their roof or ladder trying to clean their gutters, put up Christmas lights and the like. That means that you’re 353 times more likely to fall to your death doing something idiotic than die in a terrorist attack.
The same number – 6,000 – die annually from texting or talking on the cellphone while driving. So
The CDC notes that 3,177 people died of “nutritional deficiencies” in 2011, which means you are 187 times more likely to starve to death in American than be killed by terrorism.
As noted above, there were an average of 928 Americans killed by police officers in the United States each year in “justifiable homicides”. That means that you were more than 55 times more likely to be killed by a law enforcement officer than by a terrorist. That number does not include unjustifiable homicides.
Nearly 400 Americans die each year due to drug allergies from penicillin. More than 200 deaths occur each year due to food allergies. Nearly 100 Americans die due to insect allergies. And 10 deaths each year are due to severe reactions to latex. See this. There are many other types of allergies, but that totals 710 deaths each year from just those four types of allergies alone … making it 42 times more likely that you’ll die from an allergic reaction than from a terror attack.
Some 450 Americans die each year when they fall out of bed, 26 times more than are killed by terrorists.
The 2011 Report on Terrorism from the National Counter Terrorism Center notes that Americans are just as likely to be “crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year” as they are to be killed by terrorists.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that Americans are 110 times more likely to die from contaminated food than terrorism. And see this.
US police shoot and kill 111 Americans in March 2015
US law enforcement agencies get increasingly aggressive every year. In March 2015, the American police killed 111 people.
Since 1900, the entire UK police have killed 52 people.
Don’t bother adjusting for population differences, or poverty, or mental illness, or anything else. The sheer fact that American police kill TWICE as many people per month as police have killed in the modern history of the United Kingdom is sick, preposterous, and alarming.
In several incidents, police officers shot and killed unarmed American citizens, both male and female. For example, in March, police shot and killed Meagan Hockaday, a 26-year-old mother of three. The list goes on with Nicholas Thomas, an unarmed man, whom police shot and killed on his job at Goodyear in metro Atlanta. Anthony Hill, an unarmed war veteran fighting through mental illness, was shot and killed by police in metro Atlanta. There are hundreds of such other stories.
Pravda.Ru reported earlier that Chicago police officers detained Americans at “black sites.” The sites are very similar to those the CIA uses worldwide for interrogation and torture of suspected terrorists.
The methods that the Chicago police use during interrogations contradict to the Constitution of the United States and reveal the scale of threat that the police pose to American freedoms and independence.
Jesus Died in a Police State
If you buy into the version of Christianity Lite peddled by evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son), who recently advised Americans to do as the Bible says and “submit to your leaders and those in authority,” then staying alive in the American police state depends largely on your ability to comply, submit, obey orders, respect authority and generally do whatever a cop tells you to do.
If, however, you’re one of those who prefers to model yourself after Jesus himself (a radical who challenged false authority) rather than subscribe to the watered-down, corporatized, twisted, weak-kneed, sissified vision of a shrinking, retreating creature holding a lamb that most modern churches peddle, then you will understand how relevant Jesus’ life and death are to those attempting to navigate the American police state.
Indeed, it is fitting, at a time when this nation is grappling with moral questions about how best to execute death row prisoners (by electric chair, lethal injection or firing squad), whether police should be held responsible for shooting unarmed citizens who posed no threat, and to what extent the government can dictate, monitor and control every aspect of our lives (using Stingray devices, license plate readers, and all manner of surveillance technology), that we remember that Jesus—the religious figure Christians claim to emulate for his righteousness and bravery—died at the hands of a Jewish/Roman police state.
Those living through this present age of militarized police, SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, roadside strip searches, invasive surveillance, and loss of privacy might feel as if these events are unprecedented. Yet while we in the United States may be smarting from a steady slide into a police state, we are neither the first nor the last nation to do so.
Although the face of technology, politics and superpowers changes over time, the characteristics of a police state, and its reasons for being, have remained the same: control, power and money. Indeed, a police state extends far beyond the actions of law enforcement. In fact, a police state is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, all citizens are suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and little recourse against police actions.
Just as police states have arisen throughout history, there have also been individuals or groups of individuals who have risen up to challenge the injustices of their age. .
Jesus Christ not only died challenging the police state of his day—namely, the Jewish priesthood and the Roman police—but He exposed the true nature of man’s government by those, religious and otherwise, who came after Him. For all the accolades poured out upon Jesus by today’s churchgoers, little is said about the harsh realities of the police state in which He lived and its similarities to modern-day America. And yet they are striking.
Secrecy, surveillance and rule by the elite. As the chasm between the wealthy and poor grew wider in the Roman Empire, the ruling class and the wealthy class became synonymous, while the lower classes, increasingly deprived of their freedoms, grew disenfranchised and hopeless … easily distracted by “bread and circuses.” Much like America today, with its government’s lack of transparency, overt domestic surveillance, and rule by the rich, the inner workings of the Roman Empire were likewise shrouded in secrecy, while its leaders were constantly on the watch for any potential threats to its power. The resulting state-wide surveillance was primarily carried out by the military, which acted as policemen (investigators, enforcers, torturers, executioners and jailers). Today that role is fulfilled by increasingly militarized police forces across the country.
Widespread police presence. The Roman Empire used its military forces to maintain the “peace,” thereby establishing a police state that reached into all aspects of a citizen’s life. In this way, the state’s mercenary goons addressed a broad range of routine problems and conflicts and enforced the will of the state. Today SWAT teams, comprised of local police and federal agents, are employed to carry out routine search warrants for minor crimes.
Citizenry with little recourse against the police state. The nature of the Roman Empire was to suppress personal freedom and independence including local governance. Similarly, in America today, citizens largely feel powerless, voiceless and unrepresented in the face of a power-hungry federal government. As states and localities are brought under direct control by federal agencies and regulations, a sense of learned helplessness grips the nation.
Perpetual wars and a military empire. Much like America today with its practice of policing the world, war and an over-arching militarist ethos provided the framework for the Roman Empire, which eventually expanded from the Italian peninsula to all over Southern, Western, and Eastern Europe, extending into North Africa and Western Asia as well. In addition to significant foreign threats, wars were waged against inchoate, unstructured and militarily inferior foes.
Martial law. Rome established a permanent military dictatorship that left the citizens at the mercy of an elite, unreachable and oppressive totalitarian regime. The Roman government relied increasingly on the centralized military to intervene in all matters of conflict or upheaval in provinces, from small-scale scuffles to large-scale revolts. Not unlike police forces today, with their martial law training drills on American soil, militarized weapons and “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset, the Roman soldier had “the exercise of lethal force at his fingertips” with the potential of wreaking havoc on normal citizens’ lives.
All citizens are suspects. Just as the American Empire looks upon its citizens as suspects to be tracked, surveilled and controlled, the Roman Empire looked upon all as potential insubordinates and threats to its power. The insurrectionist was seen as directly challenging the Emperor. A dissenter was seen as dangerous to the empire, was always considered guilty and deserving of the most savage penalties, including capital punishment. Political dissidents were punished publicly and cruelly as a means of deterring others from challenging the power of the ones running the state. Jesus’ execution was one such public punishment.
Disrespect of civil powers. Starting with his act of disrespect at the Jewish temple, the site of the administrative headquarters of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish council, Jesus branded himself a non-citizen of Judea or Rome. When Jesus upset the moneychangers’ “tables” (records) at the temple He committed a blatantly criminal and seditious act, an act “that undoubtedly precipitated his arrest and execution.” Because the commercial events were sponsored by the religious hierarchy, which in turn was operated by consent of the Roman government, Jesus’ attack on the temple moneychangers and usurers was seen as an attack on both the Jewish state and Rome.
Military-style arrests in the dead of night. Jesus’ arrest account testifies to the fact that the Sanhedrin perceived Him as a revolutionary. Eerily similar to today’s SWAT team raids, Jesus was arrested in the middle of the night, in secret, by a large, heavily armed fleet of soldiers. Rather than merely asking for Jesus when they came to arrest him, his pursuers collaborated beforehand with Judas. Acting as a government informant, Judas concocted a kiss as a secret identification marker, a typical method of deception and trickery used in a police state.
Torture and capital punishment. In Jesus’ day, typical religious preachers, self-proclaimed prophets were not summarily arrested and executed. Indeed, the Jewish high priests and Roman governors normally saw these as harmless and allowed them to run their course. And rightly so, for just as today, they had nothing to say that could offer a viable alternative to Pharisaism and Romanism. However, government authorities were quick to dispose of leaders and movements that actually offered alternative ways of thinking about government. The charges leveled against Jesus—that he was a threat to the stability of the nation, and claimed to be a rightful King—were seen as a threat to Jewish and Roman government. To Rome, any one refusing Pax Romanism were seen as blasphemous and and embarassments to the Roman leaders.
Jesus was presented to Pontius Pilate “as a disturber of the political peace,” a leader of a rebellion, a political threat, and most gravely—a claimant to kingship, a “king of the revolutionary type.” After the Sanhedrin publicly proclaimed, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him … We have no king but Caesar,” and demanded that Pilate render a death sentence for Jesus, He was sent to be crucified. The purpose of crucifixion was not so much to kill the criminal, as it was an immensely public statement intended to visually warn all those who would reject the police state. After being ruthlessly whipped and mocked, Jesus was nailed to a cross.
As Professor Mark Lewis Taylor observed, they made an example of Jesus:
The cross within Roman politics and culture was a marker of shame, of being a criminal. If you were put to the cross, you were marked as shameful, as criminal, but especially as subversive. And there were thousands of people put to the cross. The cross was actually positioned at many crossroads, and, as New Testament scholar Paula Fredricksen has reminded us, it served as kind of a public service announcement that said, “Act like this person did, and this is how you will end up.”
Jesus lived and died in a police state. Any reflection on Jesus’ life and death within a police state must take into account several factors: Jesus spoke out strongly against such things as empires, controlling people, state violence and power politics. Jesus challenged the political and religious belief systems of his day. And worldly powers feared Jesus, not because he challenged them for control of thrones or government but because he undercut their claims of supremacy, and he dared to speak truth to power in a time when doing so could—and often did—cost a person his life.
Unfortunately, the radical Jesus, the political dissident who took aim at deceivers and bullies, has been largely forgotten today, replaced by a congenial, smiling Jesus trotted out for religious holidays but otherwise rendered mute when it comes to matters of war, power and politics. Yet for those who truly study the life and teachings of Jesus, the resounding theme is one of outright resistance to state powers.
The power of Jesus is that He enables us to see the wrong that is inherent in all systems that usurp the throne of God to become lawmakers and gods of their own making. Unfortunately, that gospel is being sacrificed and squandered by Christians who have cozied up to power and wealth. Ultimately, this is the contradiction that must be resolved if the radical Jesus—the one who stood up to the the Jewish religious bullies as well as the Roman police state and was crucified as a warning to others not to challenge the powers-that-be—is to be an example for our society.
Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite.
So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page.
This is not news, you say.
Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here’s how they explain it:
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.
The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted.
“A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time,” they write, “while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time.”
On the other hand:
When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.
Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.
Eric Zuess, writing in Counterpunch, isn’t surprised by the survey’s results.
“American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it’s pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation’s “news” media),” he writes. “The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious ‘electoral’ ‘democratic’ countries. We weren’t formerly, but we clearly are now.”
This is the “Duh Report”, says Death and Taxes magazine’s Robyn Pennacchia. Maybe, she writes, Americans should just accept their fate.
“Perhaps we ought to suck it up, admit we have a classist society and do like England where we have a House of Lords and a House of Commoners,” she writes, “instead of pretending as though we all have some kind of equal opportunity here.”
Breastfeeding Mother Arrested and Babies Taken Away by Force: The Parents’ Side of the Story
by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
The police literally ripped 14 month old Levi from his mother’s breast, reports Erica May Carey, as she was nursing him in the car at a California gas station. Her baby was screaming, and she says her breast was exposed as the officers dragged her from the car. As she recounted the events of last Thursday, Erica began weeping, saying that she was “hogtied like an animal, when moments before I was nursing my infant.” She was arrested and jailed for fighting to keep her children with her.
Watch the video here from King 5 News:
Erica and Cleave Rengo were the subject of national interest as reports of them fleeing Washington CPS made the headlines. Last November, the holistic, devoutly Christian couple’s three breastfed babies were taken amidst accusations of neglect for choosing alternative remedies such as calendula and coconut oil for their older baby’s eczema and preferring not to take their newborn twins to the hospital after an unassisted homebirth, even though they were reportedly healthy.
After a court hearing and huge public outcry, the babies were returned home in December. It had been a grueling month of separation, and their return came with strings attached. They were being watched, and reportedly had a number of conditions placed upon them in order to be permitted to parent Levi, and the twins, 4 month old Daniel and Morna Kai.
Erica recently spoke exclusively with Medical Kidnap to tell their side of the story and why they left Washington.
Neighbor Calls Cops Over Crying Baby
Erica and Cleave live with Cleave’s father in one side of a town home with thin walls dividing them from their neighbors. The couple was trying to get the babies back into a good breastfeeding routine, something that had been disrupted by the babies’ stay in foster care. Erica says that Daniel, one of the twins, had been seriously overfed formula while in state care, gaining an average of 4 oz per day.
According to the well-respected mommy blog kellymom, normal weight gain for a baby his age is 5 to 7 oz per week. Feeding was especially rough for Daniel, and he reportedly showed signs of PTSD when feeding. One night in particular, he was having a really tough night and was crying a lot. The next-door neighbor reportedly called the police on them, and they came out over the disturbance of a crying baby.
Added Stress From CPS
Life with three small children can be stressful and chaotic in the best of circumstances, as many mothers will attest. Cleave and Erica had the added stress of dealing with CPS watching over their shoulder, and the loss of Cleave’s job over the whole ordeal. Erica says that they were “severely repressed by the system in Bellingham.” CPS reportedly told them that no one could visit them in their home, to help them or any other reason, without CPS approval. Even though a number of people applied, only one person had allegedly been approved.
A social worker would sometimes drop by unannounced to check on the children, but inevitably, like Murphy’s law, that would happen during naptime. Yet, she would reportedly pound loudly on the door instead of knocking, waking the sleeping children and “creating chaos” in the house.
Decision to Get Away and De-stress
There were family members who had never met the children who were less than supportive. Cleave and Erica tell us that they had for some time been discussing making a trip to visit some family and friends in California, in the hope that they would be able to gain their support once they met the babies and could sit down and talk.
They knew that their next court hearing was not until February 10, so it seemed like a good idea at the time to get away for a few days, and go visit some relatives and friends. They were scared, and they were under a great deal of pressure.
Erica reports that they were never told that they could not travel out of state. There was nothing saying that in the paperwork, either. They believed that, as long as they were back for the next scheduled court date, they would be fine. They could just get away for a little while to de-stress and regroup. They left on Tuesday, January 27.
It was after they were on the road and quite a distance from home that word reached them that there were news reports saying they were fleeing CPS. They heard rumors of an Amber Alert, and that they were accused of kidnapping their children.
According to the Daily Mail, there was not actually an Amber Alert, but a “Be On The Lookout” warning was issued to police across the West Coast, while local news outlets also ran the notice. The day after Cleave and Erica left their home, CPS obtained an order to take the children into custody, reports the Bellingham Herald.
Plans to visit family and friends changed when they heard the reports, Erica reports. They did not want to endanger anyone by showing up on their doorstep, so they actually turned around and were headed back to Washington when they were sighted and apprehended at a gas station on Thursday, February 5.
Erica Arrested and Babies Taken Into Custody
Erica says that she was nursing her oldest baby in their car at the Santa Cruz gas station when police came and tore Levi away from her breast, dragging her out of the car. She describes the whole ordeal as devastating as they took her children away, leaving her bruised physically and emotionally:
“That is not justice; that is brutality to an innocent mother and father.”
As she was arrested for refusing to cooperate with the authorities, she reportedly shouted out to reporters:
“Send a message to America for me. Children don’t belong to the government. The government belongs to the people.”
While authorities flew Levi and the twins to Washington to be placed in foster homes, the breastfeeding mother of three spent the weekend in a Santa Cruz county jail. She was released Monday on her own recognizance. The couple is now making their way back to Washington.
There was a hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning, but the judge has ruled that they will reconvene in 7 days, on Tuesday, February 17.
Addressing Rumors and Accusations
There are a number of things that have circulated in the media about their story that Cleave and Erica told us they wanted to clear up.
One of the reasons that CPS gave for becoming involved in their lives allegedly centers on the twins being “too skinny.” Erica says that the charts that the babies’ weight has been judged by are based on single births, not twins, who are commonly smaller than their singleton counterparts at birth and as they grow in the first several months. The babies were born at 37 weeks, and for being twins at that gestational age, their birth weights were normal. They were gaining weight, and she was working to build an adequate milk supply, supplementing as necessary. However, she chose goat’s milk formula over conventional formula, because she believed it to be healthier based on her research, but the social worker apparently did not approve of that choice.
Some news stories have reported that Levi was suffering from ear infections, pneumonia, and eczema, which were untreated. However, the couple point out that the ear infections and pneumonia occurred AFTER Levi was taken from home, placed into foster care, and given formula. They chose to treat the eczema with natural remedies, such as calendula and coconut oil, and they were helping, Erica reports. They did not want to subject Levi to the risks of steroids, except as a last resort.
Erica insists that Cleave is her best friend and that they are deeply in love. Others who know them have attested to this as well. Theirs is a romantic love story, she says, which happened after an intense time of prayer and seeking the Lord. They said their vows before God, and Levi was conceived that very night. They consider themselves married, even though the State has not sanctioned their marriage by issuing them a “marriage license.”
The Love of Parents for Their Children
They also deeply love their children. They want the very best for them, seeking holistic, natural remedies, breastfeeding, and giving them all the love they have to give. Erica tells us:
“When I am with my babies, that is when I am the happiest. We are good parents, and we take care of our kids the best way we possibly can.”
Their hope and prayer is that the judge will see that love, and will see how CPS has traumatized an innocent family, causing the very harm that they are supposed to prevent.
PASCO WASHINGTON – COPS SHOOT DOWN A MAN FOR THROWING A ROCK AND RUNNING AWAY
Five cowardly cops gunned down a small, non-threatening, Mexican man instead of physically subduing him. His crime was that he threw a rock and then ran. This is reminiscent of Israeli soldiers shooting small Palestinian children for throwing rocks.
The most dangerous element
in our society today –
According to the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index released in November, in the measure of personal safety the US has fallen to 21st worldwide. And in the measure of safety and security the US in in 31st place, behind such countries as Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Spain, and Taiwan.
Police in the US Kill Citizens at a rate of over 70 Times that of Other First-World Nations
January 9th, 2015
In case you’ve been under a rock lately, it is becoming quite clear that police in the US can and will kill people, even unarmed people, even on video, and do so with impunity.
However, this inability of the government to count the number of people it kills, has been met with multiple alternative means of calculating just how deadly the state actually is.
One of these citizen-run databases, is the website www.killedbypolice.com. The site is basically a spreadsheet that lists every person killed by cops in the years 2013 and 2014. In addition to naming those killed, it also provides a link to media reports for each of the killings, age, sex and race if available.
The tally for 2014? 1,100 people killed by those who are sworn to “serve & protect” the people. That is an average of three people a day.
Do not mistake this as saying that those who were killed were innocent. However, when we look at violent crime in this country, we can see that it is at an all time low.
While violence among citizens has dropped, violence against citizens, carried out by police, has been rising sharply.
When we look at citizens killed by police over the last two years, deaths have increased 44 percent in this short time; 763 people were killed by police in 2013.
As a comparison, the total number of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2014 was 58.
In 2014, fewer soldiers were killed in war than citizens were killed back home in “the land of the free” … by a large margin.
So why is that?
Is this some natural tendency of police in free societies to kill their citizens more? Hardly! And the US is not a free country.
Other such rankings systems show the US as low as 46.
Lets look at our immediate neighbors to the north, Canada. The total number of citizens killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2014, was 14; that is 78 times less killings than in the US.
If we look at the United Kingdom, 1 person was killed by police in 2014 and 0 in 2013. English police reportedly fired guns a total of three times in all of 2013, with zero reported fatalities.
From 2010 through 2014, there were four fatal police shootings in England, which has a population of about 52 million. By contrast, Albuquerque, N.M., with a population 1 percent the size of Englands, had 26 fatal police shootings in that same time period.
China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014. Let that sink in. Cops in the US killed 92 times more people than they killed in a country with nearly 1.4 billion people.
It doesn’t stop there.
From 2013-2014, German police killed absolutely no one.
In the entire history of Iceland police, they have only killed 1 person ever. After exhausting all non-lethal methods to detain an armed man barricaded in his house who actually shot 2 police officers, police were forced to take the 59-year-old mans life. The country of Iceland grieved for weeks after having to resort to violence.
So why are police in the US so much more likely to kill than all of these other first world countries?
US school districts given free machine guns and grenade launchers
Would sane parents willing send their children into this kind of environment?
(GIVE UP YOUR GUNS OR WE WILL SHOOT YOU WITH OURS!)
School police departments across the US have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine-resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.
At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon’s surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police responded to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, with teargas, armour-clad military trucks and riot gear.
Amid that increased criticism, several school districts have said they will give some of the equipment back but others plan to keep it. Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups have sent a letter to the Pentagon and the justice and education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police.
The Los Angeles unified school district, the nation’s second-largest at 710 square miles with more than 900,000 students enrolled, said it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission” of the district’s police force.
But the district would keep the 60 M16s and a military vehicle known as an MRAP used in Iraq and Afghanistan that was built to withstand mine blasts.
District police Chief Steve Zipperman told the Associated Press that the M16s were used for training and the MRAP, parked off campus, was acquired because the district could not afford to buy armoured vehicles that might be used to protect officers and help students in a school shooting.
“That vehicle is used in very extraordinary circumstances involving a life-saving situation for an armed threat,” Zipperman said. “Quite frankly I hope we never have to deploy it.”
Law enforcement agencies around the country equipped themselves by turning to the Pentagon program, which the defence department has used to get rid of gear it no longer needs. Since the Columbine school shooting in 1999 school districts have increasingly participated.
Federal records show schools in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Utah obtained surplus military gear. At least six California districts have received equipment, state records show.
Democratic congressman Adam Schiff said while there was a role for surplus equipment going to local police departments “it’s difficult to see what scenario would require a grenade launcher or a mine-resistant vehicle for a school police department”.
In Texas, Tina Veal-Gooch, executive director of public relations at Texarkana ISD, said the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, led the district to acquire assault rifles and it had no plans to return them.
In Florida, Rick Stelljes, the chief of Pinellas county schools police, said the county possessed 28 semi-automatic M16 rifles. They had never been used, and he hoped they never would be, but they were “something we need given the current situation we face in our nation. This is about preparing for the worst-case scenario.”
MORE AMERICAN POLICE STATE EVIDENCE
(NOTE: Obama and US politicians like to see riots and violent protests because this provides an excuse for them to build up larger, militarized police forces … and not just in America. With their Patriot Act and Homeland Security they are fomenting fear and hatred between Americans, manipulating us into a total police state. Also, with their “War On Terror” they are wreaking havoc in the Middle East and East Europe creating fear, hatred and chaos among the natives.
Today in America, a call to the police for help invites trouble for the caller. Like the Jackboot Gestapo and the KJB of the 1940’s, America’s modern militarized police are best avoided at all cost. They are more dangerous than the average criminals. -ed.)
FERGUSON: A PREVIEW OF AMERICA’S BURGEONING POLICE STATE
By Chuck Baldwin
Even America’s smallest towns can be instantly turned into occupied territories as local police agencies quickly transform themselves from peacekeepers into occupying military forces. The small town of Ferguson, Missouri, is living proof of that.
Police with armored military vehicle in Ferguson, Missouri
The London Guardian covers the story:
“Michael Brown was shot dead by an officer from a police force of 53, serving a population of just 21,000. But the police response to a series of protests over his death has been something more akin to the deployment of an army in a miniature warzone.
“Ferguson police have deployed a show of force that is a stark illustration of the militarization of police forces in the US.
“‘I’m a soldier, I’m a military officer and I know when there’s a need for such thing, but I don’t think in a small town of 21,000 people you need up-armor vehicles,’ Cristian Balan, a communications officer in the US army, who was not speaking on behalf of the US military, told the Guardian. ‘Even if there’s an active shooter–are you really going to use an up-armor vehicle? Do you really need it?’
“In the eyes of the government, the answer increasingly seems to be a resounding yes.
“Since 2006, state and local law enforcement have acquired at least 435 armored vehicles, 533 military aircraft and 93,763 machine guns, according to an investigation by the New York Times published in June. This was made possible under a department of defense program that allows the agency to transfer excess military property to US law enforcement agencies. More than $4.3bn worth of gear has been transferred since the program was created in 1997, according to the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO).
“The ACLU said there are no ‘meaningful constraints’ to what a local police force could acquire, meaning that even a 10,000 person town with no history of major violence could request and receive a mine-resistant vehicle, like those that are currently available on the LESO site.”
The report continued saying, “The increasing militarization of US police is also attributed to the skyrocketing proliferation of Swat teams across the US. There has been a more than 1400% increase in the amount of Swat deployments between 1980 and 2000, according to estimates by Eastern Kentucky University professor Peter Kraska.”
The report also said, “‘As we’ve seen in Ferguson, the militarization of policing tends to escalate the risk of violence to the communities,’ said Kara Dansky, senior counsel with the ACLU’s Center for Justice and the prime author of its June 2014 report on the militarization of US police. ‘We think that historically, the police and the military have had different roles and that American neighborhoods aren’t war zones and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.’”Militarized police take over Ferguson, Missouri with show of power.
Indeed, the militarization of U.S. police agencies has been escalating for decades. Can anyone remember when federal police and U.S. military personnel collaborated to slaughter scores of American citizens outside Waco, Texas, in 1993, and when federal police agents assassinated American citizens at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992? These two episodes are a blight on American justice, an affront on the constitutional rule of law, and the worst kind of insult to the American conscience. And, notice, it did not matter one bit whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House. A Republican (George H.W. Bush) was President when government agents murdered the Weavers at Ruby Ridge; and a Democrat (Bill Clinton) was President when federal agents and military troops murdered the Branch Davidians.
Those two events seemed to be the catalyst for the emerging American Police State. But it was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the implementation of the PATRIOT Act under G.W. Bush that has propelled the police-state mentality throughout America’s heartland.
As noted in the Guardian report above, the Pentagon has been turning local police agencies into quasi-military units for decades. And the DHS is routinely supplying police-state style training for practically every local police agency in the United States–and has been for years.
And when it comes to the two major parties in Washington, D.C., the Republican Party has been the most aggressive in the creation of the American Police State. In the name of “law and order” and “national security,” conservative Republican legislators and Presidents have enacted a multitude of laws abridging the protections of liberty contained in the Bill of Rights. For all intents and purposes, the two administrations of G.W. Bush, coupled with six long years of the Republican Party controlling the entire federal government (2001-2006), virtually changed the face of America. In fact, everything that President Barack Obama is now utilizing to abridge local and international law was handed to him on a silver platter by G.W. Bush and his fellow neocon Republicans in Washington, D.C.
There are two things that neocon Republicans love: foreign wars abroad and a Police State at home. And, sadly, it seems that a majority of America’s conservative Christians are right there with them.
If America’s pastors would start taking a stand against this burgeoning Police State, it would die almost instantly. But when is the last time you heard your pastor say one word of protest against the way our policemen are being turned into soldiers? When has he said a peep about the abridgment of our freedoms by these power-hungry, would-be tyrants from both parties in Washington, D.C.? Under Presidents Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, the right of Habeas Corpus, the 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment, 6th Amendment, 7th Amendment, and 8th Amendment are, for all intents and purposes, eviscerated. Kaput! Gone! Wiped out! And the vast majority of our good pastors have not said one word–not one word!
You assume your silent, passive pastor is a good man; you believe him to be kind and compassionate; you think he is godly and sincere. But, by his silence, he is helping to put the chains of tyranny around the necks of your children and grandchildren. By his silence, he is facilitating the collapse of America into a Police State as surely as the sun sets in the west. This is not godliness; it is cowardice!
The founder of Lutheranism, Martin Luther, is credited with saying, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the enemy is at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”Plumes of smoke from police tear gas canisters on the front lawns of homes in Ferguson.
Ladies and gentlemen, where the battle rages–and the point at which the enemy is at this moment attacking–is the creation of an American Police State. Therefore, if your pastor is not on the battlefield at this point, he is not “confessing Christ” and has fled his post and disgraced his calling.
The Boston Marathon bombing brought out Gestapo-like tactics of the Boston police. Now, the little town of Ferguson, Missouri, has been subjected to the same thing. And now that the U.S. Justice Department has sent hundreds of federal agents to Ferguson, one can only imagine the kind of martial law and abridgments to personal liberties that will be enacted. One Democrat U.S. Congressman is already calling for martial law. Yes, the Feinstein/Schumer wing of the Democrat Party loves the Police State, as well.
Realize this, what we saw take place at Waco, Ruby Ridge, Boston (and in hundreds of obscure places all over the country), and now Ferguson is a preview of America’s burgeoning Police State.
Are people with pure political agendas such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al. taking advantage of the situation in Ferguson? You bet! Are race-baiters taking advantage of Ferguson? Without a doubt. And I strongly suspect that the federal government is using paid provocateurs to further inflame the situation and give the federal government an opportunity to impose federal intervention in the area. Regardless, the escalation of an American Police State is undeniable; and the American people had better start paying attention.
This is not a Republican or Democrat issue; it is not a liberal or conservative issue; it is not a black or white issue. It is a liberty or slavery issue! A freedom mindset and a police-state mindset cannot coexist. They cannot! We will either have one of the other. The American people better make up their minds quickly which one it will be, because, if we do nothing, our very own and very real Police State is just around the corner.
Cops Gone Wild
by Paul Craig Roberts
Ferguson, Mo. is a small overwhelmingly black town whose government and police are white. The Ferguson police murdered an 18-year-old black kid who has his hands over his head. Moreover, it is unclear that the kid had committed any offense.
So what did the police goons do? They shot him to death. (six or more shots)
This is murder. There is no question whatsoever that it is murder. But it will be covered up by the white government and the white police force if protests are limited to the black small-town population of Ferguson. Who cares about them? Justice? That’s only for the mega-rich.
There is another astonishing aspect to the murder. Unarmed protesters in Ferguson are confronting a small-town police force that is as well or better armed than America’s combat troops on battlefields in countries invaded by Washington. The only reason there is any trouble in Ferguson is that the cops murdered in cold blood a kid without cause or justification, and the black community knows that the white murderer will be given a pass by the white government. The part-time black US Attorney General, Eric Holder, has not sent in the Feds to investigate.
It is not only in Ferguson that goon thug cops murder people and they don’t murder only blacks. Whites get it also. There are a huge number of murders by police in “the home of liberty and democracy.” During the course of Washington’s war in Iraq, American police murdered more innocent American civilians than America lost troops in the war!
The American police murder so many civilians that it would take several thick volumes to record the police atrocities. The ones mentioned in this article are merely among the most recent that are reported.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that a white 37-year-old woman having a reaction to prescribed medication tried to call 911 for help but got instead a police goon thug who shot her dead up against the wall in her own bedroom. The police have put out the fake story that the woman in medical distress threatened the goon thug with a weapon.
The newspaper reports that the woman’s husband also called 911, but fails to report that the husband said that he was headed home and would see that the emergency was dealt with only medically and not to send any police. But the goon thugs couldn’t miss the opportunity to murder another innocent American civilian.
Police victims have no rights, and in the vast majority of cases neither do the families of the murdered police victims. Compensation to the families of murdered police victims is rare as is accountability for the police murderers. In America a police badge is a license to murder.
During the past decade, perhaps longer, the federal government has systematically militarized local and state police forces in all 50 states. The police have been trained by federally contracted trainers to regard the American public as the enemy. The police are trained that they must not take the risk of encountering members of the public on a trusting basis, but must regard the public as armed and determined to murder the police.
I have observed on a number of occasions fully militarily equipped police training by 30 of them lining up and emptying high capacity magazines at the same target. Like most small towns in America, Doraville, Georgia, population 8,500, has a SWAT team armed with the weapons of the US military.
Congress should hold hearings to determine which federal budget was used to train state and local police to murder Americans. America has been at war for 13 years at vast costs against Muslims deemed to be a threat to our safety; yet American police have murdered more Americans than we lost in the Iraq war.
We need to discover who trained our police to murder us, and we must hold both the criminals responsible for the “training” and the criminals in the government who financed the “training.”
The most fatal mistake that any American can make is to call the police.
With permission, I republish my contribution to the summer issue of Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal, which is available in full only to subscribers…
Police Violence Against The Public Soars
In the 1960s, there was an effort in New York City to establish a civilian police review board. Complaints about police violence and harassment of black New Yorkers had grown to the point that the reality of the problem was obvious. New York Mayor John Lindsay was amenable, but conservatives led by William F. Buckley and the police rose up in arms. The conservative media called the police review board “the property of bleeding hearts and cop-haters.” Fear-mongering was used to rally white voters, who were told that the review board would coddle criminals, demoralize the police, and lead to an upsurge in crime.
Mayor Lindsay established a review board by executive order, but rising opposition forced the supporters of the review board to put it to a vote. Fear had done its job, and the review board was abolished by a vote of 63 percent against and 36 percent in favor. This from “liberal New York.”
In the half-century that has passed, gratuitous police violence has spread to the public in general. Today it is not only blacks and Hispanics who experience police brutality. Everyone suffers from it. Being white is no longer a protection. In a recent column, “Call the Cops at Your Peril,” I reported a few of the recent atrocities police have committed against the public. Ninety-three-year-old Pearlie Golden was shot down in her front yard in Hearne, Texas. In Miami, 23 police officers fired 377 bullets, literally blowing away two men trapped inside a wrecked car. The police were under no threat whatsoever from the 93-year-old woman or from the two men trapped inside a wrecked car. In Cornelia, Georgia, a SWAT team made a no-knock entry at 3 a.m. and threw a concussion grenade into a baby’s crib. The grenade blew up in the baby’s face, leaving him disfigured, unable to breathe without a ventilator, and with a 50 percent chance of survival. According to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, the raid produced no drugs, no weapons, no bundles of cash, and no suspected drug dealer. It was just another of the thousands of mistakes routinely made by SWAT goons who put American citizens at risk every time they break unannounced into a home, usually a wrong address.
New tactic: Kill the dog
A police favorite is to murder the family’s pets. When the Middletons, ranchers in Rains County, Texas, called the sheriff’s department to report a burglary of their home and the theft of firearms, the first thing the deputy did when he arrived was to shoot the Middleton’s three-year-old, 40-pound Australian cattle dog, Candy, in the head. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, cops on a mistaken drug raid broke into the mayor’s home and murdered his two non-aggressive black Labradors while holding the mayor and his mother-in-law at gun point.
Another police favorite is to humiliate their arrested victim, especially women, by stripping them naked. The abuse of women has become routine. In a recent case, a 31-year-old white mother of four in New Albany, Indiana, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a fight with her estranged husband. In police parlance, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest mean that the woman protested the false arrest and raised her voice. As most Americans have no idea about the police, they are shocked and disbelieving when they experience a police encounter. Until they have an encounter with the police, they are big supporters of the police. Unable to believe what was happening to her, she was stripped of her clothing by two male and two female cops, paraded around the jail naked in front of the police, and thrown naked into a cell. She became hysterical as a result of this treatment. Enjoying their torment of their victim, the cops pepper sprayed her. The county sheriff said that he does not believe jail policies or procedures were violated. In other words, the sheriff admitted that abuse, humiliation and excessive use of force are routine. Also, see here.
As I write, I googled “videos of US police brutality” and 7,660,000 results appeared in 0.31 seconds. There are more cases of gratuitous police violence, almost always against the innocent, than a person can absorb in a lifetime. Police body slam elderly infirm people, taser cripples in wheel chairs, pepper spray, taser, and mace kids, young women, and mothers with babes in their arms. Just the other day police shot and killed a 13-year-old kid who was walking down the street with a toy rifle doing no harm to anyone. Only the goon cops regarded the 13-year-old as a threat. The goon cops simply couldn’t let the opportunity pass to experience the thrill of killing a person.
We see the same thing in the US military video released by Bradley Manning of the US helicopter gunship murdering journalists and citizens walking peacefully along a street and then murdering a father with two babies who stopped to help the wounded. Nothing happened to the murderers, but Bradley Manning was imprisoned for telling on them.
We are at the point that the police try to murder teenagers making out in a parked car.
We have become a killer society, and the US government is the world’s leading killer.
Who’s the real danger
The cases of gratuitous police violence against the public are so numerous that it is impossible to report on them. All that can be done is to categorize them into types. The conclusion is that the police are a far greater danger to the public than are criminals.
Moreover, the police are unaccountable. They can murder with impunity, but if you even accidentally or reflexively touch one of them, it is off to prison with you — if you survive the beating. Cecily McMillan, about whom I recently wrote, was an Occupy protester. Her breasts were seized from behind by a cop. Reflexively, her elbow came up as she swung around and her elbow hit the cop. Recently a cowardly or corrupt jury, egged on by a corrupt judge and prosecutor, found her guilty of assaulting an officer and she was sentenced to prison. Nothing happened to the cop who sexually assaulted and falsely arrested her.
Prosecutors are interested in convictions, not justice. Prosecutors routinely indict the innocent on the basis of the false charges brought by police, and judges often are complicit in the false convictions. No honest prosecutor would have brought the case against Cecily McMillan. Her trial was a political trial, and her conviction was a foregone conclusion. The purpose was to send the message that regardless of constitutional rights, protests against the Establishment are not permitted. The judge guaranteed her conviction by ruling that no evidence of the injury to her breast could be presented in her defense and that the jurors could not be informed of the arresting officer’s record of excessive use of force and abuse of citizens. The jury was unwilling to stand up for an innocent person. Instead of serving justice, the jury served the corrupt purpose of the police state. See here and here.
Whatever the police do, seldom do they suffer any consequences. As a result they have become more bold and more violent. Any encounter with the American police is a dangerous one.The “war on terror” has removed any remaining constraints on police. The federal government has militarized state and local police and equipped them as if they were a military force. The police are trained to regard the public as a danger and to take no risk with their lives when confronting citizens. The police are taught that politely asking questions in order to arrive at an assessment of a situation could expose them to danger and that they should avoid all risk to themselves by dominating the situation with force just as an army or marine unit would do when confronting an enemy.
I have witnessed training exercises at which 30 police officers line up and empty high capacity magazines at the same target. We are talking about 450 shots in a few seconds at one head-sized target. It was this type of training that resulted in 23 cops pouring 377 bullets into two men in Miami, one of whom was totally innocent of any charges.
Armed for daily battle
SWAT teams have become ubiquitous and they are armed with tanks, with MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Armored Fighting Vehicles), and BearCat Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Trucks. These military vehicles are in routine use, and the SWAT team breaking down your door has replaced the policeman knocking to present a summons.