Archive for the 'Police' Category



Assessment Of Ferguson: Misrepresenting The Liberty Movement

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 9 hours ago

Reading the comments to this post by Mike Vanderboegh has persuaded me to weigh in on Ferguson and the liberty movement.  It had to happen.  The liberty movement – at least for some – sees a common enemy, the police state, and is allying itself with crooks and liars.  This is to be avoided since it does nothing except harm the movement.

Let’s begin by divorcing the person of the LEO who is the subject of the goings-on in Ferguson.  He has as much right to self defense as anyone else, and had someone tried to beat the shit out me of I wouldn’t have waited until the perpetrator was going after my weapon.  It would have been 230 grain fat boys to the belly until the magazine was empty – and then reload and do it again.  I suspect that the LEO was shooting 9mm, which is why it took six rounds to put him down (wound track is everything).

Furthermore, the perpetrator in question was apparently walking in a traffic lane, which is a crime.  I don’t do that, and no one I know does that.  The cop had a right to tell the perpetrator to get out of the traffic lane and arrest him if he doesn’t.  As for whether the shooting was justified (i.e., it was in self defense), the facts will have to bear that out.  I cannot and will not comment on that.  But the point is that this isn’t unlike a thousand such incidents that occurs every day in America.  There is nothing special about Ferguson.

Now on to the main issue.  Militarization of the police is a bad thing, always, under any circumstances, and especially when it comes to invasion of homes.  Any serious reader can study my tag on SWAT and see my views.  I couldn’t care less if it is a black man in suburbia Chicago dealing drugs or me in my home writing on my web site.  A man’s home is his castle, and he deserves for it to be so.  My history is clear on this.  Find another way to do evidence collection.  If the police want to come into my home, they should call and make an appointment.

As for the militarization of police in Missouri, they shouldn’t have all of that gear.  It’s wasteful, expensive and sends the wrong message – to the LEOs themselves.  As long as they want to dress up and play soldier-boy, the damage is minimal.  If they want to enforce the law that way, I object.  And don’t carry around a patrol rifle unless I can carry one too.  But what I really object to is home invasions, and the best of my knowledge, that has not happened in the context of Ferguson.

In any case, I think it’s a sad commentary on the police that they appear the way they do.  But that fact doesn’t in the least cause me to side with crooks, liars, looters, criminals, ne’er-do-wells, and other maladjusted folk.

I have for a very long time taken the position – at work and at home – that I don’t fill in the gaps for people.  If you work too hard to repair the bad decisions by management at work, they never learn from their mistakes.  If you undo the consequences of every bad decision your child makes, he never learns.  Like it or not, in God’s economy, consequences is the premier teacher.  Blocking consequences is the same thing as hating your child.  Don’t do it.

My position on Ferguson is that the police should back away.  If the criminals want to tear up the gas stations, grocery stores, roads, sewage and water supply systems, then so be it.  Let them do it.  They will learn from the consequences of said actions when no more groceries can be obtained, no automobile gasoline is available, and they have no power for their air conditioners, heaters and televisions.  We owe them nothing.

There are no good guys in Ferguson.  The liberty movement doesn’t have to side with anyone in order to maintain the position that criminals should be prosecuted and the police shouldn’t be militarized.  It’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.  Aligning with the criminals is a bad move not only from the perspective of optics, but also from the perspective of morals.  I am not a criminal, and I have no sympathy for criminals.

Liberty is not equivalent to lawlessness and anarchy, and if you think so then you don’t understand liberty.  In fact, you don’t understand much.  Battlefield USA discusses warts in the liberty movement.

I support your liberty, just like I support your liberty to house just enough explosives in your own home to blow it and yourself up… not mine, nor the whole neighborhood. You might be the most responsible super-duper explosives handler bar none… but give every idiot the “liberty” to store enough explosives in their home to blow up the neighborhood is just plain stupidity.

There is a reason why the military has hardened weapons bunkers. There was a reason why the colonials had store/arms rooms for their cannons and black powder.

And on and on… There are too many in the “liberty” movement who can not reason, can not logic, who don’t understand that with liberty, comes responsibility.

Just like I told my new neighbor a few years ago. He has every right to party. He has every right to listen to his music… he has no RIGHT to blast his music in my ear and off my windows and walls that my damn windows and walls literally shake and vibrate. I asked him if it was okay if I threw rocks at his ears, windows, and walls… and why not. He GOT THE POINT and apologized.

I’m not the sharpest cookie on the block. I have my faults… but ya know, there are really some dumb fucks in the liberty movement that think liberty is all about them. It’s all about the… individual… and by individual, they mean… all about them.

I have a responsibility to not endanger your life. I don’t drive drunk. I don’t go outside and go all Rambo with my firearm. I don’t drive down the street like a maniac at 120 mph. I don’t house enough black powder to blow up the whole frikkin block… or my own house.

I have as much as a responsibility for you and yours as you do for me and mine.

When you are out there doing your liberty thing… keep that in mind.

Otherwise, you’re just a savage. Which is an excuse for license.

Ferguson is the hive’s chickens coming home to roost.  It is the collectivist’s nightmare.  A class of people who have had the family destroyed for generations, been taught that we owe them something for generations, and think they can break the law with impunity, are at odds with the police and other authorities, while the police and other authorities are under criticism for using the very tactics on this entitled class that the collectivists set them to to use, because they want to fill in the gap and prevent the effects of consequences (I think Mike Vanderboegh pointed out something like that with his clever title).  We should all stand back and say to the collectivists, “Look upon what thou hast created.  Are you proud?”

Nightmare.  And it’s just beginning.  Ferguson is a microcosm of Chicago, LA, Houston, New York, and Atlanta.  It’s all unraveling for them.  Your job is to be prepared, not to side with any of them.  This is their nightmare.  Let them live it alone.  Let Ferguson burn.  Don’t fill in the gaps for them.  Don’t side with criminals or militarized police.  Let it all collapse, you have no friends in the fight.

Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

LA Times:

The department has posted the list, complete with pictures, on its SPD Blotter website. It includes floatation vests and binoculars, signage and gloves, pistol holders, a radiation detector and rifle sights “used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.”

“We have equipment that we feel is necessary for a city of our size,” Whitcomb told The Times. “The equipment we have serves a police purpose. Our No. 1 priorities are protecting people’s lives and looking after their well-being. Our second most important is looking after possessions and property.

“The gear that our department employees use … is primarily defensive in nature,” Whitcomb said. “Our equipment is police specific. We don’t have any military weaponry. The weapons we do own are specific to our profession. … No rockets, no predator drones, no cannons, no tanks.”

The department’s SWAT team does use a BearCat – an armored truck for situations where there may be gunfire, Whitcomb said, but such a vehicle is standard operating procedure for modern police departments.

“It’s used to get our personnel in and out safely, so we can rescue people and evacuate if necessary,” Whitcomb said. “You cannot do that in a sedan. Though we have put some armored plating on the doors in our cars. We also have purchased ballistic shields. It all goes back to the problem of gun violence in our country. … But ultimately we are a police service. We are not the military.”

This is a red herring.  Only seven percent of all SWAT deployments are for hostage, barricades or active shooter situations.

So here’s the deal.  To the Seattle Police Department, you are liars.  I don’t believe you since you invoked a rarely used justification for having SWAT.

What you really want to do is use SWAT to save evidence by busting in doors and invading homes.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn about your evidence collection.  Find another way, including the old fashioned use of detective work.  Or in other words, be thinking men and women rather than knuckle draggers.

You promise me that you’ll never use SWAT in incidents unless it involves hostages or active shooters, and I’ll take back my charge that you’re liars.

Any takers among the PDs who read these pages?  I’m waiting.

And by the way, that picture of the police “sniper” shows it to be absolutely the goofiest setup on a rifle I’ve ever seen.  I certainly wouldn’t use that setup.  You can read more here if you wish.  I’m just not interested enough to elucidate the details for you.  Readers may wish to weigh in.  And I wonder how the U.S. Marine Corps feels about this jerk wearing MARPAT?

We’re The Only Ones Outraged Enough!

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

News from Florida:

A Hillsborough County detention deputy was arrested after he pointed a gun at another man during an off-duty road-rage incident Tuesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office said.

It is the second time this year that a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy has faced charges over pulling out a gun during a roadway dispute.

Deputy Reginald J. Migues, 54, got into argument with Arthur Langley, 41, of Tampa over something that happened near the intersection of U.S. 92 and Williams Road, the Sheriff’s Office said. The agency did not disclose the nature of the dispute. A Sheriff’s Office report indicates Migues and Langley pulled into a parking lot at 5520 Carmack Road around 10:30 a.m. Officials said Migues walked toward Langley, who started getting out of his vehicle.

Migues pulled a personal Glock .40-caliber handgun, chambered a round and pointed it at Langley, who got back into his vehicle and called 911, officials said.

But remember kids, only trained, properly screened law enforcement officials can be trusted with firearms.

Police Chief Points Gun Toward City Councilman

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

News from Iowa:

BLAKESBURG, Iowa — A small town police chief is facing big time trouble after pulling his gun out twice at city hall, one time pointing it toward a city councilman.

Security video taken inside Blakesburg City Hall shows Police Chief Bob Lewis pointing a gun toward a city councilman. The video shows another city council member touches the chief’s arm while he is leaning on a window, then he draws his gun and points it towards a city councilman who is behind a thin door.

“Oh yeah, it was stupid,” Blakesburg Mayor Jason Myers says, “Whether or not he knew somebody was on the other side of the door, I mean, I feel that he probably did.”

City Councilman Bill Hinshaw says, “It was done in bad taste. It may have been supposed to be a joke but somebody who is in a position of authority…it’s something that never should have been done.”

The police chief did not respond to our request for a comment, but he tells city council he was just testing out his holster to see how fast he could draw his gun if he had to.

“It just doesn’t seem to me that that’s what he would do,” Hinshaw says, “He could have done it anyplace else but you don’t point it at someone.”

And that’s not all. The security video was taped back in April, but Chief Lewis was just reprimanded about it during this week’s city council meeting. So he drew his loaded weapon again during the crowded meeting to show city council a round was not chambered.

“He took the clip out and laid it on the bench there which I appreciate him doing that but there are some people that are very concerned about that,” Hinshaw says, “Should it have been done? Probably that wasn’t the best thing to do.”

The mayor says Chief Lewis should be punished. He’s just not sure yet how. “I don’t want to ruin a person’s career,” Myers says, “I just don’t know. It’s just so tricky. And I consider Bob a friend but at the same time I gotta look out for the community.”

He was “testing out his holster to see how fast he could draw his gun if he had to.”  What he was really doing was ignoring rules for muzzle discipline.  And remember kids, only trained law enforcement officials can be trusted to own and carry weapons.

Cops Endanger Motorist In Medical Emergency

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Here is the report and the video is below.  You don’t need much from the report except that the driver was found incoherent and staring blankly.  Now watch the video.

This actually isn’t all that uncommon.  I would bet a dollar to a hole in a doughnut that this man was suffering from hypoglycemic shock.  I saw it on Highway 485 near where I live.  He probably feels terrible about it, although he also probably needs to get better about heeding the warning signs and preparing a plan (like pull over).

Now for the cops.  Despite the excuse, the cop wasn’t holstering his gun, and according to what I saw on the video, he had no intentions of doing so.  It happens so often that I hate to bring it up again, but recall the sympathetic muscle reflex (by the cop) in which Mr. Eurie Stamps perished, and recall what we discussed about tactical lights on weapons.  Keep your finger off the trigger and it won’t shoot.  It’s so simple but so many shooters ignore the basic rules.

In this case, he is obviously right-handed, and placed his service weapon in his left hand to work his baton.  When finished, he exchanged his service weapon back to his right hand (which was then in the mode of clutching his baton), with no trigger discipline, and bingo, a negligent discharge.

It’s good that no one died in this encounter.  Besides, bashing in windows like they did is very dangerous for the motorist.  It would have been better if they had used something like a slim jim or window punch.  They looked like they went a little crazy to me, and the sad fact is that it wasn’t necessary and they accomplished absolutely nothing by their actions.

Never Believe The Police

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

We’ve previously discussed why you should never, ever talk to the police.  Unfortunately, we must add to the list of things not to do with the police.

Several Durham police officers lied about non-existent 911 calls to try to convince residents to allow them to search their homes, a tactic several lawyers say is illegal. The officers targeted residences where individuals with outstanding warrants were thought to be living, and told them that dispatch had received a 911 call from that address, when no such call had been made.

However, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez says the 911 tactic was never a part of official policy. Last month, the department officially banned the practice, according to a memo from Lopez.

The tactic came to light at a court hearing on May 27, when a Durham Police officer testified it was part of official departmental policy. The hearing involved a defendant who had been charged with marijuana possession. (The INDY is not naming the defendant because the charges against her were dropped.)

In February, Officer A.B. Beck knocked on the door of the defendant’s home in South-Central Durham. When the defendant answered the door, Beck told her—falsely—that someone in her home had called 911 and hung up, and that he wanted to make sure everyone was safe. The defendant permitted Beck to enter her home, where he discovered two marijuana blunts and a marijuana grinder.

When Beck took the witness stand, he admitted to fabricating the 911 story in order to enter the house. Beck testified that his true intent was to serve a warrant, though he never produced the warrant in the courtroom.

Beck further testified that the 911 ruse was permitted under a department policy in cases where domestic violence is alleged, recalled Morgan Canady, the defendant’s lawyer.

During cross-examination, Canady quizzed Beck further.

Did you say there was a 911 hang-up? she asked.

Yes, he said.

But there was not a 911 hang-up?

No.

So you entered the house based on a lie?

Yes.

And this is your policy for domestic violence warrants?

Yes.

At that point Canady made a motion to suppress the marijuana evidence. Since the defendant’s consent was based on false premises, Canady reasoned, the consent was not informed and voluntary. Marcia Morey, chief district judge for Durham County, allowed the motion to suppress the evidence.

“You cannot enter someone’s house based on a lie,” Morey said from the bench during the hearing.

Without the evidence, the district attorney’s office dropped the charges.

The policy supported him in cases where domestic violence is involved.  Or so he said.  Perhaps it did.  This case had nothing to do with domestic violence, and so his justification was a misdirect to the court.

So the lesson is never to believe anything the police tell you.

The Nexus Of Counterinsurgency And Community Policing

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Small Wars Journal has a tradition of publishing white papers and opinion pieces on the relationship of counterinsurgency tactics to community policing, even advocating the use of regular U.S. military forces to couple with police in the States, and the latest is entitled Counterinsurgency and Community Policing: More Alike than Meets the Eye.

I won’t duplicate what ends up being a very long article here, since you can study it yourself.  But I will make several observations.  The first has to do with his MOS.  By training and trade the author is a LEO who apparently deployed as a Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer.  He wasn’t the pointy end of the spear as was my son and many others.

What you don’t get is the perspective of someone who had to engage in room clearing operations against people shouting Allahu Akbar, chopped boats and people to pieces with an M2 aboard a helicopter, who were boating across the Euphrates River after you had locked down Fallujah, or who constructed your FOB on your back handing sandbags over your head to the next Marine while you were being shot at.

I’m not recounting this brief history for fun – it wasn’t for my son.  I am mentioning it in order to explain what you do mainly get with this paper: happy face COIN, or the mythical story told to the masses in order to get them to support state-building across the pond.

The author sets up the article with this:

The term counterinsurgency has long been associated with military operations and soldiers.  It conjures visions of violent urban combat action, population relocation, social engineering, and a tool for dealing with foreign political emergencies.  These visions are not inaccurate as they represent some of the methods and strategies used in COIN operations throughout history.  But these methods and strategies do not encapsulate all aspects of COIN.  As COIN operations shift from combat to peace keeping and community-building they begin to resemble traditional community policing activities in which the public servant controls through education and raising ethical stature in communities.  It is in the transitional phase – when the soldier transitions into the policeman and community facilitator – that COIN and Community policing share the same strategies and tactics.

Part of the happy face is in his presentation of typical policing:

COIN is typically employed by uniformed soldiers, armed with assault rifles and supported by light and heavy armored vehicles and tactical air assets.  Community Policing is conducted by uniformed police officers, representatives of the community they serve, with a badge, a holstered pistol, and a number of less-lethal tools.  In COIN, soldiers control population movement and space through use of roadblocks, cordoning off, house to house search and clearing operations, and patrolling villages and neighborhoods in HUMVEE’s and Armored Personnel Carriers.  In Community Policing, police patrol neighborhoods in police cars, bicycles, foot beats, and horses, people are free to move about and there is no outward show of force.

He is intentionally ignoring the militarization of police in America, or perhaps better yet, he is attempting to show both the militarized presence and the so-called population-centric community building he believes police do.

He says “COIN and Community Policing are intrinsically linked,” and then makes this pregnant statement:

In addition to the non-kinetic imperatives mentioned above, similarities can also be found in traditional policing activities such as crime prevention, traffic control, crime investigation, and overall public safety.  In COIN operations powers of arrest are generally left to the police organizations of the host nation.  However, soldiers stand side by side with their host nation counterpart and provide assistance in the form of identifying and, when necessary, arresting insurgents.

As a successful COIN operation, he uses the British experience in Northern Ireland where British troops coupled with local police.  But it is important to get the thrust of his article in the alignment, or nexus, of tactics to achieve the overall strategy.  He ends with this:

Ultimately, the desired end state is a strategy that is seen as legitimate, employing social, political, economic, and security measures that meet the population’s needs, including adequate mechanisms to address the grievances that may have fueled support of the insurgency.

In his world, police become social planners, and employ various tools to meet the population’s needs and address grievances, while at the same time coupling with a more militarized presence to tamp down violence and insurgency.

This thinking isn’t foreign to American police.  They have been playing social planner and policy-maker for decades now, making better sense of the recent blame the Chicago chief of police laid with the availability of guns for violence in Chicago.

But heretofore, this thinking i.e., alignment of military with local police, was indeed foreign to military strategists.  With papers like this it is becoming more commonplace and when something becomes commonplace and worthy of consideration, it becomes easier to engage.

Take note of these things.  Not only are the police becoming more militarized, the armed forces is studying policy-making, trying to learn to employ the tools of social engineering and building human terrain systems, and talking about addressing grievances and meeting community needs.

It all continues a rich tradition of flirtation with treasonous theories at the SWJ.  After all, it worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan, why not try it in the United States?

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claims They’re Private Corporations, Immune From Open Records Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Radley Balko:

As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.

As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.

Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

The reddit comments are priceless:

If they are private corporations, then they shouldn’t have immunity from being sued. That’s just bullshit.

I believe the bigger issue is that if they claim themselves to be “private corporations” then they should have zero access to surplus weapons of war. If they want their tanks, they have to pay full price like everybody else. It’s cool, they’re a corporation, so you know they can afford it.  While we’re at it, we should probably get rid of their public funding. Nobody likes a Wellfare Queen.

Not to mention liscenses for all of those personally owned automatic weapons. Also demolitions licenses for all of those personally owned explosives.

Also, as private corporations if they show up at my doorstep with ill intent I can safely stand my ground.

Can you say “secret police?”  Or Gestapo?  This argument is the most crass, brazen, insulting thing SWAT could have done concerning truthfulness in law enforcement.  Not even Soldiers and Marines get to claim secrecy like this if they get charged with violation of the ROE.

And this certainly doesn’t comport with Herschel’s law (named by Ned Weatherby).  As for the Massachusetts SWAT teams, they have long ago lost the mandate of heaven.  When that happens, it’s not immoral to treat them like the criminals they are.

A SWAT Team Blew A Hole In My Two Year Old Son

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

By now you are all aware of the SWAT raid where in Cornelia, just outside of Atlanta, where cops threw a flash bang into a crib.  Here’s an update and first hand account, a perspective you need to hear.

After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.

Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.

There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.

My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.

I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.

[ ... ]

As of the afternoon of 6/24/2014, Baby Bou Bou has been taken out of the medically induced coma and transferred to a new hospital to begin rehabilitation. The hole in his chest has yet to heal, and doctors are still not able to fully assess lasting brain damage.

So the officer prevented a mother from assisting her screaming child who had just had a hole blown in him, and lied to her about the condition of her child.  The man who did this deserves to be hung by his scrotum until it decays and falls off.  And unless you repent, you sorry sack of shit, God will not forget your actions.  You will pay for your sins.

But hey, the cops got to push around some folks, blow a hole in a child, perhaps inflict TBI, and go home safely at the end of their shift.  Mission accomplished.  I hope their mothers are all proud of what they’ve become.  Make sure, cops, to tell your mothers what you did that night.

We’re The Only Ones Pimping Enough

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

NY Daily News:

An internal investigation has unveiled years of police corruption at Washington state’s King County Sheriff’s Office when a deputy accused of helping his wife turn tricks in Seattle was arrested for promoting prostitution.

Records show Darrion Keith Holiwell, 49, was booked into King County Jail on Thursday morning on charges of promoting prostitution, theft and a drug violation after he became the subject of the investigation while on paid leave.

Sheriff John Urquhart unraveled the complex probe at a press conference and confirmed Holiwell pimped his wife on Backpage.com and took 80 percent of her earnings.

Holiwell used the cash to support himself while he took paid time off for an injury, and he apparently “needed the money,” Urquhart said.

His wife does not have a record of criminal activity, but was reportedly willing to work in the escort business.

Even though the couple was going through a bitter divorce with a vicious custody battle over their children, Holiwell served as her protector when she worked as an escort. She even took pictures of her client’s driver’s licenses and would send them to Holiwell.

Other than this, I’m sure they make a very nice couple.  And remember kids, only professional law enforcement officers can be trusted with firearms and authority.


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