Police brutalty and Excessive force
By Christopher R Rice
Police brutality and the use of excessive force, including police beatings, unjustified shootings and the use of dangerous restraint techniques to subdue suspects are as American as apple pie. Nothing is being done to monitor or check persistent abusers, or to ensure that police tactics in certain common situations minimize the risk of unnecessary force and injury.
Neither City councils or state legislatures seem willing to act, it has been left to the people to bring justice. How many will you let die at the hands of these pigs before you act like a man? Well, how many? Ten more? Fifty more? A hundred more? A thousand more? Well?
New York Rikers Island
Ten days before his 16th birthday, Kalief Browder was arrested in the Bronx on charges of stealing a backpack. Browder would spend the next three years at Rikers Island, New York City’s massive jail complex, awaiting trial. He spent two of those years in solitary confinement. His case was eventually dismissed.
Internal surveillance videos obtained by The New Yorker show that Browder’s time awaiting trial in prison was treacherous. One video, from 2012, shows a guard slamming Browder to the ground while he is handcuffed.
The guard had approached Browder’s cell to escort him to the shower. “I just felt [the guard] tighten a grip around my arm,” Browder told The New Yorker after watching the footage for the first time. “In my head, I was wondering why he tightened it so tight, like he never usually does, and that’s when he swung me and kept trying to slam me.”
Browder told The New Yorker that when a captain arrived, the guard told the captain that Browder had attempted to flee. “I was on the floor going crazy: ‘He’s lying! I didn’t do nothing!’”
A second clip, from 2010, shows Browder at 17 years old being beaten by a group of fellow inmates at Riker’s adolescent facility.
According to The New Yorker, Browder was assigned to a housing unit ruled by a gang. Browder, who was not a gang member, says a gang leader spit in his face. Browder tells The New Yorker he felt he needed to retaliate or else be continually spat on. That night, Browder punched the inmate who spit on him. Moments later, footage shows about 10 other inmates beating Browder for an extended period of time.
See the video obtained by the New Yorker above.
In September 1997, two former officers from the Adelanto Police Department, San Bernardino County, California, were jailed for two years on federal charges, after pleading guilty to beating a suspect during questioning and forcing another man to lick blood off the floor in 1994.
Los Angeles- On February 26, 1998, Rampart CRASH officer Brian Hewitt brought Ismael Jimenez, a member of the 18th Street Gang, into the Rampart police station for questioning. According to Officer Rafael Pérez's recorded testimony, Hewitt "got off" on beating suspects. In the course of questioning, Hewitt beat the handcuffed Jimenez in the chest and stomach until he vomited blood. After his release, Jimenez went to the emergency room and told doctors he had been beaten by Hewitt and his partner Daniel Lujan while in police custody.
In extensive testimony to investigators, Pérez provided a detailed portrait of the culture of the elite CRASH unit. Pérez insisted that 90% of CRASH officers were "in the loop", knowingly framing civilians and perjuring themselves on the witness stand. Pérez claims his superiors were aware of and encouraged CRASH officers to engage in misconduct; the goal of the unit was to arrest gang members by any means necessary. Pérez described how CRASH officers were awarded plaques for shooting civilians and suspects, with extra honors if civilians and suspects were killed. Pérez alleges that CRASH officers carried spare guns in their "war bags" to plant on civilians and suspects, in order to avoid responsibility of their alleged crime. In recorded testimony, Pérez revealed the CRASH motto: "We intimidate those who intimidate others."
There have been multiple allegations that Chief Parks and members of the LAPD were actively involved in obstructing the Rampart Investigation. Parks was in charge of Internal Affairs when Gaines and other Rampart officers were first discovered to have ties to the Bloods and Death Row Records. Parks is said to have protected these officers from investigation. According to Rampart Corruption Task Force Detective Poole, Chief Parks failed to pursue the Hewitt Investigation for a full six months. When Poole presented Chief Parks with a 40-page report detailing the connection between Mack and the murder of Notorious B.I.G., the report was suppressed.
The Lynwood Vikings were a white supremacist gang in Los Angeles, based at the Lynwood station of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, whose members were deputy sheriffs in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD). Its members have included Paul Tanaka, deputy Sheriff and LASD second-in-command to Lee Baca. After lawsuits repeatedly surfaced concerning the group's activities, the Vikings were described by federal judge Terry Hatter as a "neo-Nazi" gang engaged in racially motivated hostility.
Pelican Bay Supermax
A hunger strike in June 2001 by over 1,000 prisoners at Pelican Bay and three other Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisons in California shed light on the torture inside the prison walls. Prisoners are held in isolation in 8 x 10 steel boxes with no bars or windows. These conditions were condemned by the UN Committee on Torture, Amnesty International, and other human rights organizations. Charles Carbone from California Prison Focus said, "The SHUs are used to capture those people who are able to gain any political visibility, political notoriety, or those people that are able to mobilize and radicalize other prisoners. They're essentially cut off from the rest of the world and other prisoners." The SHU is meant to create a climate of hopelessness and an atmosphere meant to break people down and crush their will to resist.
FLORIDA- In 2005, a Channel 4 documentary "Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons" showed video of naked prisoners being beaten, bitten by dogs, and stunned with Taser guns and electric cattle prods. In one case a prisoner is strapped to a restraint chair and left for sixteen 600 prisoners.
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Live from Lockdown There are over 2 Million people incarcerated in the U.S. and recent Department of Justice numbers indicate that there are over 21,000 street gangs in the U.S. with over 700,000 active members, numbers we cannot afford to ignore. Street gangs, the War on Drugs and mass incarceration weigh heavily on American culture, mainly its cities, and impose an enormous fiscal burden upon government and taxpayers, threatening to stall the engines of American prosperity.
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Know Your Rights (Police Brutality)
By Christopher R Rice
EDITORS NOTE: The interview below is with a REAL and active police officer. The law as he sees it and how he is trained is true not just in his city but true for every city across the US. I did not edit his comments, they are word-for word.
USLEO: My main point is that the criticism of police, stems from ignorance of the law and criminal procedure. You see an officer punch someone in the face, disregarding all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest, and say, "Oh, that looks bad. He can't do that! POLICE BRUTALITY!" When, in reality, the officer's force is reasonable and legal.
Underground: How much force is legal under our laws according to your bosses and training?
USLEO: The concept of using force "one step above" that of the suspect has no basis in law. Officers are not required to use the least amount of force necessary to affect an arrest. In fact, police are often trained to use as much force as is reasonable to more quickly affect the arrest to decrease the overall danger.
I think a lot of people have a problem with LE because they don't know why we do the things we do and they don't know the laws behind it.
Underground: How much force according to your training and understanding of the law is unreasonable?
USLEO: There is nothing unreasonable, and I challenge you to find any case law to the contrary, about an officer using hard handed tactics against an actively resisting subject.
I am absolutely saying that those officers' actions were reasonable. The suspect was not under control. Once he was, all force stopped.
This is a felony suspect who fled from police and was physically resisting arrest. There's nothing wrong with using grappling techniques and strikes to gain compliance and get the suspect under control. There is no safe way to run from the police or resist arrest.
Underground: So is there any amount of force that would be illegal under US laws?
USLEO: No, we do not have to fight fair, use a minimal amount of force, or try to prevent injury to the suspect.
Ignorance of the law makes a lot of people think that police are doing something wrong. People often think that I can't talk to a juvenile without their parent's permission. Not true. People also think we can't use force against juveniles. Again, not true.
I don't have to read you your rights, give you a phone call, use as little force as possible, tell you your charges or explain anything to you whatsoever.
Police do not need probable cause to investigate someone or conduct a trash pull (dumpster diving for evidence).
Search warrants are based on the totality of the circumstances and a judge determines if those circumstances rise to the level of probable cause.
I don't know what kind of experience you have with defensive tactics, martial arts, or fighting. Being in a real-life fight, with no rules, where your opponent has everything to lose is very unpredictable. You can go from winning to losing in a split second. You can't tap out and if you make a mistake the suspect could end up with access to your weapons.
In a case, where the suspect has demonstrated by fleeing that he is not going into custody willingly and an officer comes up and sees that the suspect is resisting arrest and begins punching him in the face, this invokes pain compliance and disorientates the suspect. The goal is not to cause as little pain or injury to the subject as possible, it is to affect the arrest and get the subject under control. By using a high level of force to overwhelm the subject the arrest can be made with less risk to the officers.
Underground: It sounds like under US laws, American citizens are mere slaves?
USLEO: It's very simple. If a police officer tells you to do something and you don't, we will force you to do it. That's how the law works.
Underground: People keep getting pulled over for a stop sign or speeding and end up getting robbed by the police. Care to explain?
USLEO: You act as if asset forfeiture hasn't been going on for hundreds of years. It's not illegal to have $2 million in cash concealed in the gas tank of your vehicle, but if I find it and I have evidence that it is the proceeds of illegal activity, why would I let you keep it?
Underground: American citizens don't seem to have any real rights under our laws. Is there anything protecting us from gun happy racist pigs?
USLEO: Police officers may use deadly force in four situations:
1) to prevent serious bodily harm or death to themselves.
2) to prevent serious bodily harm or death to another person.
3) to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
4) to apprehend a fleeing felon where the officer has a reasonable belief that the suspect poses a serious threat to the public or law enforcement.
None of those require a person to be armed.
Underground: Thank you for your time and your honesty. Here's the box of doughnuts I promised, enjoy!
Should We Trust Police Officers?
Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected. Related article: 46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit
A group of cops led by Police Commander Jon Burge operated a torture ring on Chicago's South Side. They subjected their victims to beatings, pistol whippings, mock executions, suffocation, and electroshock. Complaints were answered with denials and cover-ups while members of the ring were promoted. This went on for 20 years, until public protest forced the firing of Burge in 1993. The People's Law Office documented over 60 cases of torture-- mostly of African-American men. One was 13 years old. Many were forced to make statements that resulted in their unjust imprisonment. Ten ended up on death row. While Burge's victims spent years in prison and had their lives destroyed, Burge was allowed to retire unpunished and still walks the streets.
The facts of the Chicago police torture scandal are well established. Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and officers working under him used a variety of torture techniques–Russian roulette, electroshock, suffocation and beatings–to extract “confessions” during interrogations at Area 2 and 3 police stations.
For more than a decade, the officers suffered no consequences for their crimes. In fact, they were often promoted for “getting the bad guys” and “closing their cases” with speed and certainty, at a time when politicians nationally were declaring a “war on crime.”
Even if their victims did come forward, the detectives reasoned, who would take the word of poor, Black “criminals” over white cops? That assumption served them well–until an anonymous tip written on a Chicago Police Department (CPD) letterhead landed on the desk of Flint Taylor of the People’s Law Office.
Taylor was representing Andrew Wilson, who was beaten so badly by detectives investigating a 1982 double police murder that he had to be hospitalized. After Taylor filed a civil rights lawsuit on Wilson’s behalf, he received the tip, which encouraged him to interview Melvin Jones, then being held at Cook County Jail. Jones suffered a torture session so similar to Wilson’s that it stunned Taylor.
Taylor himself uncovered 60 cases going back to 1983, and the numbers have only increased since.
After Wilson won his suit, the CPD’s own internal affairs division launched an investigation. In his 1990 report, CPD investigator Michael Goldston not only concluded that the torture had occurred, but that the cover-up reached far up into the chain of command.
“The preponderance of evidence is that abuse did occur and that it was systematic…that the type of abuse described was not limited to the usual beatings, but went into such esoteric areas as psychological techniques and planned torture…and that particular command members were aware of the systematic abuse and perpetuated it, either by actively participating in some or failing to take any action to bring it to an end,” wrote Goldston.
Grayland Johnson was one of the victims of this “planned torture.” Police handcuffed him to a metal ring in a wall and beat him with a telephone book. They placed the book on his head and hit it with a long flashlight, which produces an excruciating crushing sensation. Next, they put a plastic typewriter cover over Grayland’s head until he nearly suffocated.
Because Grayland still refused to confess and kept asking for a lawyer, the cops hung him out a bathroom window, threatening to drop him and make it look like he died during an escape attempt. When they brought him back inside, they forced his head into a toilet that an officer had just urinated in.
They continued with the typewriter cover, and Grayland could hear people laughing as he was gagging for air. “Guess who, nigger?” said the detective who took the bag off his head.
Grayland ended up on death row. Prosecutors went so far as to use someone else’s medical records to cover up the abuse inflicted on Grayland.
Like many victims of torture, Grayland, who is still behind bars, carries a sense of shame about what happened. “No, I don’t like remembering what they did, nor the fact that I was scared to tell the doctor all they had done, because the police were there, and I feared they would take me back and finish,” said Grayland. “I don’t like to remember because I was such a coward not to make them kill me right there.”
For more read:
Police Torture in America
Torture and the United States
Police Family Violence Fact Sheet
Family violence is two to four times higher in the law-enforcement community than in the general population
Research in Brief: Officer-Involved Domestic Violence
Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence