THAT'S NOT ALL FOLK'S, IT ONLY GETS WORSE
Two men in New Mexico claimed they were subjected to horrific invasive anal medical procedures after minor traffic incidents during which the cops came to suspect they were carrying drugs. On November 5, a local news station reported that David Eckert was suing the city of Deming, Hidalgo County, and the officers and doctors responsible for his mistreatment during a January incident. Eckert was pulled over by officers because he didn’t come to a full stop while trying to exit a Walmart parking lot. At some point during their interaction, the cops decided that Eckert seemed to be “clenching his buttocks,” and their dog indicated it smelled drugs under Eckhart’s seat. According to Eckert’s recently filed lawsuit, local cops and state troopers got permission from a judge to send him to the hospital to get intimately probed for narcotics.
Reportedly, a doctor at one hospital declined to search on ethical grounds, but the folks at Gila Regional Medical Center weren’t so concerned. Though he never consented to the search, Eckert spent the next 14 hours being X-rayed, got anally probed twice, and was given an enema three times then forced to defecate in front of cops and doctors. None of this uncovered any drugs, but Eckert was billed for all these procedures, which cost thousands of dollars.
A startlingly similar story comes from Timothy Young, who was stopped by New Mexico state deputies in October of last year after he neglected to use his blinkers while turning. The very same dog that smelled drugs on Eckert also “found” some contraband in Young’s car, so he too was taken to Gila Medical Center and subjected to a similar battery of anal probing and X-rays. The team at KOB 4, the local news station, discovered that the dog isn’t even certified in the state of New Mexico, but Jacob Sullum at Forbes pointed out that dogs can continue to be used as drug detectors even if they are wrong most of the time, just so long as the cops say that the canines are doing their jobs.
Putting aside questions of the reliability of K-9 units in general and this paranoid dog in particular, even if Young and Eckert had been carrying drugs, would that have justified their treatment at the hands of the authorities and doctors?
- A third resident of New Mexico has come forward with the allegation that she was subjected to an invasive procedure in a search for drugs. On November 7, an unnamed woman told KOB 4 that she was arrested on suspicion of being a drug mule after being “identified” by a drug-sniffing dog while crossing the Mexican border. She apparently was subjected to a genital search by Border Patrol agents against her will, and, when nothing was found, she was taken to a local hospital, where she was given a genital and anal search, an X-ray, and a CAT scan. (No contraband was found.) She is being represented by a lawyer from the New Mexico Civil LIberties Union who claims the officers they never got a search warrant for their incredibly invasive behavior. The woman, who is in her 50s, didn’t want to be named because she says she is a victim of sexual assault. Probably so, but it might be the legal kind—and the kind a hospital charges you for performing.
POLICE SHOOT INNOCENT BYSTANDERS
From the Huffington Post:
LAPD, Torrance Police Shot At Innocent People In Frenzied Hunt For Former Cop Christopher Dorner.
In a press conference, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck confirmed that police shot innocent bystanders during the hunt for Dorner.
The first shooting incident happened at 5:20 a.m. Officers from the Hollywood division of the LAPD shot two people who turned out to have no connection to Dorner’s crimes. They were transported to the hospital with gunshot injuries.
The second incident occurred 25 minutes later and involved Torrance police.
Sometimes when police shoot bystanders, it’s not quite as embarrassing as mistaking a white man or two hispanic women for a black male fugitive—and often, victims have a harder time getting compensated for their pain and suffering. According to a recent New York Times piece, wounded civilians in New York have a particularly hard road to travel when they sue the NYPD. As with many other errors made by the police, when the wrong person catches a bullet from a government-issued gun it’s assumed that such collateral damage is unavoidable. “The state’s highest court has recognized that police officers’ split-second decisions to use deadly force must be protected from this kind of second-guessing,” a city official told the Times. That’s apparently true even when it comes to the 2012 incident at the Empire State Building when NYPD officers shot a gunman but managed to injure nine bystanders in the process. Some of these civilians have sued New York City, but the city government is so confident in its position that it isn’t even offering settlements in those cases.
No one expects cops to be perfect, especially when they are in life-or-death situations. But firing on unidentified vehicles, as the police did during the Dorner manhunt, is a screwup that goes way past a split-second decision that resulted in a mistake—which is why the LAPD is having to pay out. Generally speaking, making it easier to sue cops might incentivize departments to train their officers better and teach them not to shoot first and identify later.
From YouTube: NYC Police Shoot 9 Innocent Bystanders (video below)
RAPED by the POLICE:
Nationally fewer than half of the corrections officials whose sexual abuse of juveniles is confirmed are referred for prosecution, and almost none are seriously punished. Although it is a crime for staff to have sex with inmates in all 50 states, prosecutors rarely take on such cases.
From AlterNet: Prison Guard Repeatedly Rapes Inmate; Warden Shrugs: 'Go on Birth Control,'
On October 6, 2011, Prison warden Shirley Smith ordered plaintiff to be placed on birth control. Plaintiff was told that she was placed on birth control for irregular periods. However, plaintiff has never suffered from irregular periods and never asked to be placed on birth control. After plaintiff explained that to defendant Smith, the warden told plaintiff that she was actually put on birth control to prevent a pregnancy from occurring."
Plaintiff Olivia Osborne says when she filed a report about the two attacks, prison officials changed it to say that her attacker, prison guard Vincent Cheatham only tried to kiss her.
From Daily News:
A young upstate woman who was repeatedly raped and impregnated in a Manhattan prison by a correction officer — who once grinned at a camera that captured the sex assault — is eligible to collect damages, a state judge ruled, slamming the state’s Department of Corrections.
The DOC knew that Correction Officer James Ford Jr. had "a propensity to engage in criminal sexual acts" but did nothing to protect the 153 female inmates housed in the Bayview Correctional Facility in Chelsea, Court of Claims Judge Faviola Soto has found.
Soto found DOC guilty of negligent supervision because it knew that Ford had been accused of an unusually high number of assaults by four other inmates between 2008 and 2012.
The first three were "unsubstantiated," but the last one was "corroborated" and resulted in an inmate's transfer to another facility. It was later dropped after the inmate clammed up.
Despite the repeated allegations, DOC allowed Ford to roam unsupervised and unrestricted through Bayview, the judge said in a decision released last week.
On January 17 2014 the Department of Justice sent a letter to the governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, declaring the conditions observed at the prison during a four-day investigation last April unconstitutional. The federal investigation — prompted by the findings of an Alabama NGO — found rampant occurrence of rape, sexual assault, intimidation, humiliation, and voyeurism in the women's prison. The 954 women held at Tutwiler had no corner of safety from the roving prison guards, one-third of whom have a standing allegation of some sort of sexual misconduct.
An investigation found that only six guards had ever faced disciplinary action between 2009 and 2011, in large part due to the Alabama Department of Corrections withholding or inaccurately reporting the complaints it receives. Four of the men spent no time in jail; the fifth man spent a day in jail.
The sixth, the guard who raped and impregnated the woman, was sentenced to six months in jail. The woman carried the baby to term and gave birth in prison, where she remains today, serving out the remainder of her 20-year sentence for acting as an accessory to robbery.
Guards accused of sexual misconduct always maintain their employment with the DOC (Department of Corrections).Maybe they were moved or maybe not. Sometimes they would just be moved to another prison.
The juvenile prison system was exposed by a Department of Justice investigation in 2010 for arbitrarily putting children in isolation cells and leaving guards unsupervised. Several staffers were caught exchanging candy, fruit, time on the telephone, and other favors in return for sex with the underage inmates.
Still, prison employees all over the country often get away with rape, and few actually serve time. One Department of Justice study found that only 56 percent of staffers who were clearly caught sexually abusing inmates were referred for prosecution, while many are released on low bonds or given negligible sentences on the grounds that their victims were in prison.
There are many more stories from all over the country, just like the ones above. Even juveniles are not safe. Rape, domestic violence, robbery, negligence, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There's much, much more.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S a BETTER WAY
Even after talking to a battered wife, even after pointing out that her life is in danger, she still will not leave her abuser. People shake their heads in bewilderment but now that I've pointed out this incredible, verifiable, irrefutable evidence is anyone in the audience ready to disband the police?
Can any of you even fathom a society without the police? Without jails, without crime? Say, like the Amish or the Native Americans before we (the Europeans) arrived / invaded.
Imagine, if you will, for just a moment, I'm not saying that you could take our society and disband the police, that would be chaos. What I'm talking about is societies that are built quite different from ours. Where there are no homeless, no illiteracy, no poverty and best of all no crime.
If we wanted to we could build such a society. It's not utopian or impossible. But currently we are stuck between two opposing world powers that insist that Capitalism and Communism are the only two options. When clearly that is a flat out lie, only designed to help them hold onto power.
Police are only pawns. Cops write tickets, but it's the politicians that write the laws. And corporations control our political process. These are our enemies from top to bottom.
Create a working alternative and the current system will become obsolete. You can continue impotently complaining or you can help me build a new society. Without politicians, without police, without borders or boundaries.
There are other solutions, and you don't have to look very hard to find them. One would only need to compare these numbers to Canada's to see that there are plenty of solutions / alternatives.
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DEAD DOGS AREN'T MUCH FUN
From the Washington Post:
Numbers show that canine officers face a bigger threat from their handlers than from criminals: heat exhaustion, particularly from being left in a squad car on a hot day.
This year alone at least 11 dogs died from heat exhaustion, according to the ODMP (Officer Down Memorial Page).
In Florida, an officer was suspended without pay in May when he inadvertently left two police dogs in a car at his home.
The heat deaths "happen at a pretty alarming rate," said Steve Weiss, an NYPD lieutenant who serves as ODMP's Director of Research. "I was surprised by how often it happens."
Weiss says better laws protecting police dogs would help too. "The laws in many states involving the deaths of police animals are not very strict," he said. "Every state is different."
YOUR INNOCENCE WILL NOT PROTECT YOU
- A married couple who are both former CIA employees are suing Sheriff Frank Denning of Johnson County, Kansas, and seven of his deputies. In the lawsuit, filed in federal court on Thursday, Robert and Adlynn Harte claim they were subjected to an unconstitutional “SWAT-style raid” on April 20 of last year after arousing the cops' suspicions with a purchase of “plant material” at a hydroponic store and some used tea bags the police found in the trash (seriously). According to the Hartes—who are asking for $7 million in total damages—deputies field-tested the tea leaves and found no drug residue. They also saw the Hartes’ hydroponic vegetable garden, consisting of a half-dozen completely legal plants. But in spite of this disappearing probable cause, the cops spent two and a half hours turning the house upside down and frightening the family’s five- and 13-year-old kids. The lawsuit says that the Hartes used to tell their son in particular that the government only went after the bad guys, but “the Hartes could find no authentic words of reassurance for their frightened and bewildered children."
JUSTICE for ALL or JUSTICE for NONE
The Innocence Project has helped free hundreds of wrongly convicted people from prison in the last decade, and they point to studies which estimate that between 2.3% and 5% of all prisoners in the U.S. are innocent, which suggests that roughly 46,000 to 100,000 people are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit. Keep that in mind the next time you are tempted to believe that your innocence will protect you from prosecution
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE in POLICE FAMILIES
From National Center for Women:
Hundreds of women, partners of police officers, are beaten every year. Crystal Brame was killed by her estranged husband, the police chief of Tacoma, Washington. Officer Curt Lubiszewski is not an anomaly. Here are some facts on cops as batterers.
Domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common in police families than in the general population. In two separate studies, 40% of police officers self-report that they have used violence against their domestic partners within the last year. In the general population, it's estimated that domestic violence occurs in about 10% of families.
In a nationwide survey of 123 police departments, 45% had no specific policy for dealing with officer-involved domestic violence.
In that same survey, the most common discipline imposed for a sustained allegation of domestic violence was counseling. Only 19% of departments indicated that officers would be terminated after a second sustained allegation of domestic violence.
In San Diego, a national model in domestic violence prosecution, the City Attorney typically prosecutes 92% of referred domestic violence cases, but only 42% of cases where the batterer is a cop.
From: Des Moines County Register
Tired of working minimum-wage temporary jobs in his hometown of Chicago, Michael Sanchez-Ratliff took his grandfather's advice and embarked on a cross-country trip last March that he hoped might change his life.
The plan: Hitch a ride with a family friend to California, visit relatives and check out community colleges there.
Sanchez-Ratliff, then 20, did something that in hindsight wasn't the best idea, but isn't illegal. He took with him his entire life savings, including about $14,000 provided by his grandmother and an additional $5,000 he had saved from working.
The much-anticipated trip took an unexpected turn about eight hours in, as flashing lights appeared in the rear-view mirror. A Pottawattamie County sheriff's deputy stopped the vehicle for traveling 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.
An hour later, the deputy seized Sanchez-Ratliff's cash. Despite a clean criminal record and a search that turned up no sign of drugs or other illegal activity, the deputy concluded the money must somehow be linked to a crime.
Sanchez-Ratliff is hardly alone.
A Des Moines Register investigation into the use of state and federal civil forfeiture laws in Iowa reveals that thousands of people have surrendered their cash or property since 2009. The system is stacked against property owners while raising millions of dollars annually for law enforcement agencies across the state, something critics contend encourages policing for profit over promoting public safety.
The bulk of forfeitures reviewed by the Register resulted from traffic stops, often for minor violations and involving vehicles with out-of-state plates. But cash or property also was seized after police were called or sent to homes or businesses. In a few cases, police seized cash carried by johns caught up in prostitution stings.
From the Washington Post: POLICE CHASES kill more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and lightning — combined.
...a 2007 study in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care, which found that these crashes take about 323 lives each year. To put it in perspective, that's more than the number of people killed by floods, tornadoes, lightning and hurricanes -- combined. These numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's fatal accident database, so they only count deaths directly related to vehicle accidents involved in these chases. If a person is chased down by cops and eventually shot, for instance, that death wouldn't show up here.
But the most shocking thing is that innocent bystanders -- meaning people not at all involved with the chase -- account for 27 percent of all police chase deaths, or 87 deaths per year. If that number seems high to you, just start Googling.
Given the high risk, you might assume that cops only give chase to the most violent criminals, in circumstances in which the hazards of a high-speed chase are outweighed by the risk posed by the criminals, right? But you'd be wrong.
Ninety one percent of high-speed chases are initiated in response to a non-violent crime, according to a fascinating report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Institute of Justice.
From USAToday: High-speed police chases have killed thousands of innocent bystanders
More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured as officers repeatedly pursued drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, often for minor infractions, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The bystanders and the passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits from 1979 through 2013, USA TODAY found.
Police chases have killed nearly as many people as justifiable police shootings, according to government figures, which are widely thought to under count fatal shootings. Yet chases have escaped the national attention paid to other potentially lethal police tactics.
Despite the Justice Department's warning, the number of chase-related deaths in 2013 was higher than the number in 1990 — 322 compared to 317, according to records of the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which analyzes all fatal motor-vehicle crashes.
Many police departments still let officers make on-the-spot judgments about whether to chase based on their perception of a driver's danger to the public. Officers continue to violate pursuit policies concerning when to avoid or stop a chase, police records show. And federally funded high-tech systems that would obviate chases, such as vehicle tracking devices, are undeveloped or rarely used due to cost.
At least 11,506 people, including 6,300 fleeing suspects, were killed in police chases from 1979 through 2013, most recent year for which NHTSA records are available. That's an average of 329 a year — nearly one person a day.
But those figures likely understate the actual death toll because NHTSA uses police reports to determine if a crash was chase-related, and some reports do not disclose that a chase occurred.
(Why) You Would be Safer Without the Police
By Christopher R Rice
Who's the real criminal? Me (the citizens) or the police? Let's find out...
ROBBED by the POLICE
From the Washington Post:
Officers can take cash and property from people without convicting or even charging them with a crime — yes, really! — through the highly controversial practice known as civil asset forfeiture. Last year, according to the Institute for Justice, the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.
These are only the federal totals and don't reflect how much property is seized by state and local police each year. Reliable data for all 50 states is unavailable, but the Institute of Justice found that the total asset forfeiture haul for 14 states topped $250 million in 2013. The grand 50-state total would be much higher.
From Sprout News:
The law enforcement system itself is increasingly becoming the most guilty of committing crimes.
When it comes to robbery, not only is it perfectly legal for them to do so, they are doing it at a pace that exceeds all of the street criminals combined.
Med-West CEO and founder James Slatic:
Slatic has been deeply involved with California cannabis politics, as well as serving on the boards of Marijuana Policy Project and the California Cannabis Industry Association. Since starting Med-West in 2010, he has had no other issues with legal compliance or law enforcement. So the surprise raid in January, which took pretty much everything the company owned and put them out of business, came as quite a shock.
Even more shocking is that no legal charges have ever been made following the raid that robbed his business blind and left it and everyone involved in ruins. At the time it was claimed that the company was using illegal and hazardous methods of production, and that they had been selling to unlicensed distributors. Yet none of these claims have been substantiated and prosecutors now refuse to give any details in the case. Slatic has no idea if he will be charged, or with what. Nor does he have any idea when his property will be returned, if ever.
And it wasn’t just his property that was seized. Police and prosecutors also helped themselves to the banking accounts of his wife and daughter. There are also the lost earnings of those who Med-West employed to be considered. Many lives have been trampled in just this one case.
However, Slatic and San Diego cannabis businesses are not alone. Nationwide civil asset forfeiture has been used by police to seize billions in cash and property. Critics of this practice often use the term ‘policing for profit’. Yet that misnomer doesn’t even begin to describe what is really going on, which is blatant theft.
Civil asset forfeiture is legal organized crime. It is done under the façade of protecting citizens from drug dealers, which not only does it not actually do, it becomes a greater threat against peaceful people than all of the black market criminals combined. Drug kingpins are not deterred by these police activities, they have numerous resources hidden internationally that police cannot touch. And they are rarely even the target of these thefts.
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.
Read more: 46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit