I think it's safe to say that a law enforcement agency has grown dangerously out of control comes when its officers begin using their powers to silence anyone who questions them or their authority. The tasing-and-beating death in 2010 of an illegal border crosser named Anastasio Hernandez Rojas near San Diego is a powerful sign that the U.S. Border Patrol has crossed that line.
Recently released footage of the man's beating makes clear that the Border Patrol's own accounts and explanations for the death are baldfaced fabrications.
Even more chilling are the revelations about how Hernandez Rojas came to be singled out by officers for a beating. It's readily apparent that he was beaten to death because he asked to file a complaint against an agent.
The beating did not occur when Hernandez Rojas was caught and arrested. When that happened, he was kicked repeatedly in a part of his ankle by an agent that had been surgically repaired, and the man had kicked him there even after being told that. As a result, once at the holding facility after the arrest, Hernandez Rojas made a request to file a complaint against that agent.
Then, as all the men with whom he was being held at the facility were taken to the border release point where they were to be returned to Mexico, Hernandez Rojas was separated out from the rest of the group and taken by himself to another gate -- surrounded by a full phalanx of Border Patrolmen armed with nightsticks and Tasers, including the agent against whom he had asked to file a complaint. It was there that, according to the Border Patrol, the man became "violent" and had to be subdued -- even though several eyewitnesses confirm that in fact Hernandez Rojas did nothing before the beating commenced.
I hope the Supreme Court declines this case, because if they do accept it, I expect it means they want to rubberstamp police insanity of this sort. (After all, this dangerous woman might have been a terrorist.) Many cops, I suspect, are terrified of car stops. You never do know what the person behind the wheel may do; it's a dangerous moment. But once cops feel they have the upper hand, it becomes a matter of power, and being cops, they always have to win.
TASERs were introduced as a non-lethal form of police protection. Now they're used to intimidate and subjugate people for things like "talking back" and other harmless forms of non-compliance.
Only citizens can stop this kind of thing, because the elected officials who control our police departments will only respond to our united voices. As a citizen, you have a right to know: What are the policies and accepted procedures for the use of TASERs? How often are officers trained—and re-trained? How frequently are the guns tested and calibrated? How much have related lawsuits cost your municipality? How many claims were settled by the town's insurance carrier? (These should all be public record.)
Over 500 people have died in TASER-related deaths. Only our silence allows it to go on:
WASHINGTON — There have been many hundreds of varied rulings in the lower courts on when the use of TASER stun guns by the police amounts to excessive force, and sooner or later the Supreme Court will have to bring order to this area of the law. Next week, the justices are scheduled to decide whether to hear an appeal from three Seattle police officers who say they are worried about the future of what they call “a useful pain technique.”
The case involves Malaika Brooks, who was seven months pregnant and driving her 11-year-old son to school in Seattle when she was pulled over for speeding. The police say she was going 32 miles per hour in a school zone; the speed limit was 20.
Ms. Brooks said she would accept a ticket but drew the line at signing it, which state law required at the time. Ms. Brooks thought, wrongly, that signing was an acknowledgment of guilt.
Refusing to sign was a crime, and the two officers on the scene summoned a sergeant, who instructed them to arrest Ms. Brooks. She would not get out of her car.
The situation plainly called for bold action, and Officer Juan M. Ornelas met the challenge by brandishing a TASER and asking Ms. Brooks if she knew what it was.
She did not, but she told Officer Ornelas what she did know. “I have to go to the bathroom,” she said. “I am pregnant. I’m less than 60 days from having my baby.”
The three men assessed the situation and conferred. “Well, don’t do it in her stomach,” one said. “Do it in her thigh.”
Two related videos tied for spot number 13 in the countdown. Both relate to the OWS protests, and both involve excessive force and aggression on the part of the NYPD. In the first video, a Fox NY News crew is hit with mace and batons while simply standing with a crowd of peaceful protesters.
Luckily for our intrepid Fox News NY reporters, Iraq veteran Shamar Thomas was also among the OWS protesters, and he spoke forcefully straight to the NYPD for the right of the protesters to peacefully gather and demand redress under the Constitution.
Check out the scene in Stillwater at the end of Oklahoma State's college football victory against rival Oklahoma Saturday night. Some reports called it as terrifying as a natural disaster. Thousands of crazed fans rushed onto the field. It's a typical response at many college football games, but this one caused massive injuries to people participating in the rioting.
After an annual football game they call Bedlam, thousands of Oklahoma State fans jumped, ran and pushed their way onto the field in joy. The Cowboys had just taken apart the Oklahoma Sooners, their bitter and often more successful rivals. The Cowboys' first national championship suddenly seemed within reach.
But fans were pressing toward the field, which is separated from the stands by an eight-foot stone wall. Some students jumped down, others were pushed. The crowd pulled down the goal posts, and in the 45 minutes or more it took police to restore order Saturday night, some fans were trampled as the crowd struggled to reach the exits.
At least 12 people were injured, including one who was airlifted to a hospital, in the chaos on the field after an emotional win in the heart of football country. "Thousands of people stormed the field. You couldn't move, there were so many people," said Michael Authement, who heads the command post at emergency medical provider LifeNet EMS. "It was a nasty deal."
The public address announcer had warned fans not to storm the field, but "we just laughed," said Alex Lillibridge, a 19-year-old freshman from Belton, Texas. Fans started jumping the wall in the last seconds of Oklahoma State's 44-10 win, and Lillibridge said that soon after he followed.
Some people said they were forced to jump because of the crush of fans.
"A girl pushed me over the wall," said 21-year-old Jennifer Payne, a junior from Stillwater. "Luckily, I didn't get injured, but I didn't have control of when I jumped off the wall. You just moved with the crowd."
Oklahoma State spokesman Gary Shutt said two people were airlifted to Oklahoma City for treatment, including one adult who had a medical problem well before the end of the game. Both were listed Sunday in guarded, stable condition. Shutt said the university could not disclose students' injuries because of health privacy laws but that he was "alert."
Eight people were taken to Stillwater Medical Center -- including two who were having surgery Sunday on broken ankles. Three others were treated at the field, he said. University president Burns Hargis praised medical personnel on Sunday night and said stadium security "did everything they possibly could.
Hasn't University president Burns Hargis been checking out Zuccotti Park? Man, there are a ton of things he could have done to the out-of-control mob, which was probably ten times larger than the OccupyLA peaceful protesters. Why was no pepper spray or tasers used to control the violence even after the public address announcer was issuing warnings against them from celebrating on the field? To be clear, I'm not advocating for anti-terror tactics being deployed against a jubilant crowd after a big win, but I'm looking at the amount of money it cost the city to medically transport and treat severely wounded people and clean up after this violent outburst. I haven't heard local news anchors gleefully cheering on a Stasi-type response to an unwarranted outburst of these fans which nearly killed dozens of people.
Well, perhaps because college football is a multi-million dollar business run by the an awful NCAA and they don't want to shut off their cash flow so they lay low as fans destroy the house, burn down the field, and throw people out of the stands, choosing to quietly airlift casualties to hospitals capable of treating severely injured people. It's a calculus that these tepid measures are fine because the football program turns a huge profit in the long run.
That's the problem with the Occupy movement: the OWS protesters just aren't profitable. Speak out against the corporate takeover of the political system and unparalleled economic inequality that's dominating America and you're considered a virtual al-Qaeda cell to the MSM. Mobilize and assault those DFHs, baby, because we thought we smelled a little weed. Did local law enforcement infiltrate the Oklahoma stadium hoping to bust some radicals as well?
Los Angeles police used nearly a dozen undercover detectives to infiltrate the Occupy LA encampment before this week's raid to gather information on the anti-Wall Street protesters' intentions, according to media reports.
None of the officers slept at the camp, but they tried to blend in during the weeks leading up to the raid to learn about plans to resist or use weapons against police, a police source told the Los Angeles Times. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
The undercover work yielded information that some protesters were preparing bamboo spears and other potentially dangerous weapons in advance of an expected eviction, none of which were used, according to the City News Service, which first reported the story. Police played down the significance of the undercover work since Occupy meetings were public and easily tracked. Police officer Cleon Joseph declined an Associated Press request for comment on the reports.
Occupy LA protester Mario Brito told City News Service he was not surprised by the revelation, but said it was "tantamount to 1950s McCarthyism".
As I was watching FOX 11 in Los Angeles during the raid on OccupyLA, the news anchors were proudly telling their audience that they were coordinating with the police to not bring their audience real coverage because they didn't want to reveal any secrets to the radicals. Hey, Geraldo has apologized already for revealing Iraq war movements on the battle field.
They paint the picture of the protesters as being DFHs too lazy to get a job, but yet deserving to be shot with rubber bullets, pepper spray and tasers. They even had a weapons expert cut into their broadcast to describe the types of munitions the police were preparing to use on #OccupyLA, as if it was magical and enchanting. The expert made sure to tell everyone that if a canister is shot into the crowd there's no telling where it will go. "That's too bad for the crowd." And this sanctimonious jerk made a point to say that having a camera in your phone didn't make all those protesters reporters either. Take that, hippies. You'd think they were covering an operation by the Navy Seals going in to take down a Taliban terrorist cell right in the heart of Los Angeles.
Back to Stillwater:
Before reports of injuries emerged, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he left the field quickly when he saw fans jumping from the wall. "When they started piling over, I got out of there as fast as I could. ... It was scary," he said.
He noted that in OSU's last game, a double-overtime loss at Iowa State on Nov. 18, it was the other team's fans who stormed the field. "We almost got trampled by the other team. And now, we went the other way. It's ironic, and things happen for a reason. Don't know why," Gundy said.
This behavior is more common that you think, but it's permitted at an event that makes the owners lots of money. But please don't try and shake up the Machine that disenfranchises 99 percent of America, because then, you deserve to be taken down.
Via Gawker, this story about how authorities are using the U.S. as a role model for handling protesters. Yes, the whole world is watching (see the front page of the Iran Daily):
Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military's attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown."We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state," an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).
Meanwhile, in Egypt, the protesters—mostly young liberal activists and Islamists—are engaging in "running street battles" with police after shutting down Cairo's busiest square. In particular, they're protesting the proposed principles for a new constitution—under which "the military [and its budget] would be exempted from civilian oversight."
As pointed out by one of the victims, this is hardly a typical sentence. But things being what they are, it's remarkable that this police officer was convicted at all. Imagine just how bad it had to be:
(AP) CHICAGO - A decorated former police officer whose name has become synonymous with police brutality in the city was sentenced Friday to 4½ years in federal prison for lying about the torture of suspects.
Dozens of suspects — almost all of them black men — have claimed for decades that Jon Burge and his officers electrically shocked, suffocated and beat them into confessing to crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder. After the hearing, several victims and their supporters said the sentence wasn't nearly stiff enough.
"It's outrageous," said Mark Clements, who claims Burge's officers tortured him into giving a false confession in 1981 when he was 16. Tears ran down his faced and his voice rose in anger. "It's not justice."
Standing nearby, community activist Fred Hampton Jr. echoed the outrage, saying the white officer's sentence was disproportionately low compared to what others receive for lesser crimes.
"People in our community get more time than this for fist fights," said Hampton, whose father was a Black Panther leader killed by police before the Burge era.
Interim Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said Friday he is going to have to "repair damage" in the community after the release of a videotape showing a gang detective and a patrol officer kicking a prone man and using ethnically inflammatory language.
The Police Department disclosed Friday that it has launched an internal investigation into the incident, in which the gang detective, Shandy Cobane, can be heard on video telling a man lying on a concrete sidewalk, "I'm going to beat the [expletive] Mexican piss out of you, homey. You feel me?"
One of the most disturbing aspects of the incident, as you can see from the video, is that it turned out that the man being kicked and verbally assaulted had nothing to do with the crime being investigated. Indeed, you can see police stand him up, dust him off, and send him on his way, with no medical care.
Here's how the Seattle Times described it:
According to KIRO-TV, which said it got the video from a freelance videographer, Seattle police officers responded to the area near China Harbor restaurant after several nightclub patrons called 911 to report an armed robbery in the parking lot. The patrons apparently described the robbery suspects as Hispanic.
Around 1:15 a.m. April 17, a patron of China Harbor, located at 2040 Westlake Ave. N., went to the parking lot to say goodbye to his girlfriend, who had gotten into her car, according to a police report on the robbery.
Four Hispanic men walked up to him, and one of them demanded money and pulled out a 3-foot-long machete, according to the report. The man told his girlfriend to leave and began walking to his car, but was followed by the four men, the report says. According to the report, a second suspect told the victim, "We can kill you right now. We can do whatever we want with you."
The victim gave the men $20, but they demanded more money so he gave them another $20 before getting into his vehicle and calling 911, the report says. He told officers the man with the machete appeared to be drunk or on drugs.
The victim was able to positively identify at least one of the suspects at the scene, the police report says. Police later arrested two of the four men — one told officers he was from Mexico while the other said he was from El Salvador, according to the police report. A third man was interviewed and released at the scene, and the fourth man was not found.
It's unknown if the man released from the scene is the same man seen in the video.
The Times piece features Cobane's tearful apologies as well:
"I know my words cut deep and were very hurtful," he said. "... I am truly, truly sorry."
A 15-year veteran of the department, Cobane, 44, said he never dreamed he'd "bring such notoriety to my department. Sadly, I did."
Apologizing to colleagues, the Latino community and Seattle, he said his "offensive and unprofessional" words did not reflect who he is.
Kinda like closing the barn door after the horse has been let out, isn't it?
The FBI will conduct a preliminary inquiry into the incident last month in which a Seattle police gang detective and a patrol officer kicked a prone Latino man and used ethnically inflammatory language.
The inquiry was requested by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to Special Agent Fred Gutt of the FBI's Seattle office. Gutt said such an inquiry is routine in cases where there may be a possible civil-rights violation and could be followed by a full-blown investigation.
A 14-year-old Tucumcari girl is recovering at an Albuquerque hospital after being shot in the head with a Taser dart by Tucucmari Police Chief Roger Hatcher.
Now, her parents say they want the police department to review its policies for using the Taser.
Her mother, Stacy Akin, said her daughter underwent surgery Friday morning at University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque. “One of the darts entered her skull,” said Akin, interviewed by telephone.
After a CAT scan, a hospital resident told her the dart was “in her brain a little bit, but not much,” Akin said.
Hatcher is on administrative leave at the moment, but claims he had no choice because she was running away from him toward traffic. I wholeheartedly disagree with anyone who says that they HAD to use a taser on a 14 year old girl who posed absolutely no threat to them. Of course, Hatcher had no way of knowing that the girl had any kind of medical condition, but that once again proves the inherent dangers of using tasers.
Akin also said her daughter has epilepsy. The girl’s father, Donny Martinez of Amarillo, said his daughter takes medication for the condition. Read on...
ENCINITAS — Francine Busby says she will demand an explanation from the Sheriff's Department about deputies breaking up a fundraising party held for her in Cardiff and arresting the host.
The party was Friday night in the 1300 block of Rubenstein Avenue, the home of Shari Barman, a Busby supporter.
It ended with Barman, 60, being arrested and jailed on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, and resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.
Pam Morgan, 62, a Rancho Santa Fe resident and one of the guests, also was arrested and taken to the Encinitas Sheriff's Station, where she was cited for resisting, delaying and obstructing a peace officer.
Here's where things get interesting. Apparently, the hosts of the fundraiser are a lesbian couple and they just happen to have one nasty, homophobic neighbor:
During Busby's speech, Barman said in a statement yesterday, a man on the property behind her house shouted “disparaging remarks” about Busby and gay people. Barman lives in the house with her partner, Jane Stratton, 55.
“It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes,” Busby said. Read on...
Ward Churchill somehow represents every college teacher in America.She gleefully cherished the thought that a couple of pie throwers got beat up.
About the pranksters being beaten up:
So far one of our sources says : The police report, arresting offer, defendants and witnesses all say that there were no injuries to the pranksters. Also, if it had happened, the big news of the night would not have been a pie throw, it would have been police brutality.
There's too many for me to comment on. You know she really does have a big adam's apple.