Archive for the 'Police' Category



Cops Wearing Cameras

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

It’s in the news, cops wearing cameras.  A recent Washington Post editorial presses the issue with D.C., and even the New York Times has jumped into the fray.

Color me skeptical.  If cops want cameras in order to protect themselves, I couldn’t care less.  If the video will be live-streamed to a third party and controlled separate from the police, I’m all for it.  This is especially true of SWAT raids, in which the cops may not wear the cameras because of some bogus claim to OPSEC or for the safety of the officers.  In other words, it needs to follow certain rules like wearing cameras all of the time, third party control, and mandatory release of the information.

This follows what reader Ned Weatherby calls Herschel’s Law.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis: Gun Confiscations Will Cause Civil War

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

DelmarvaNow:

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis’ views about how to enforce the stringent gun laws Maryland passed last year have gone viral.

In a video and print interview with a student journalist, published to YouTube on Aug. 21, Lewis says he’s no fan of government intervention in limiting the constitutionally-protected right to possess firearms.

“As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he says in the video, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

In another video on YouTube, from Delaware television station WRDE, Lewis offered a clearer critique of Maryland’s latest gun control law, the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which was passed in the wake of the December 2012 massacre of elementary school students in Newtown, Conn.

“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked on WRDE. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”

The number of Sheriff’s deputies any county has cannot possibly wage civil war on anybody else.  As for everyone else (i.e., gun owners), that’s a different story.  And yes, gun confiscations will cause civil war.

I think the Sheriff gets it.  All county Sheriffs are advised to take a lesson from Sheriff Lewis.  It may save you and your deputies from heartache in the future.

 ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ.

Chicago Police Raid Settled Out Of Court

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chicago Tribune:

The city of Chicago is expected to pay $150,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a woman who accused police of hitting, threatening and berating her during a July 2013 raid at a North Side tanning salon.

Jianqing Klyzek sued 10 Chicago police officers in May, and the city decided to quickly settle the case in light of video that included “comments from police that we believe could inflame a jury” and lead to a considerably larger judgment, said Leslie Darling, first deputy corporation counsel for the city Law Department.

Police raided Copper Tan and Spa in the Noble Square neighborhood after an undercover officer working as part of a vice squad was allegedly offered sex for money. Video surveillance footage from inside the business showed Klyzek on her knees and handcuffed within seconds of the officers entering. The footage showed an officer standing behind the petite woman slapping her in the head while another threatened to hit her with a Taser “10 f—ing times.”

Another officer then got in her face and began to shout at her, according to the video. “You’re not a f—— American,” the officer yelled at Klyzek, according to the video. “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from!”

Police officers can be seen on the video searching for the surveillance tape, but they were unsuccessful because it was recorded off-site, according to the federal lawsuit Klyzek filed accusing the Chicago Police Department and the officers of brutality and a hate crime.

One of the officers who took part in the raid, Frank Messina, was relieved of his police powers in May when the surveillance video that came to light allegedly showed him striking Klyzek. Messina remains on desk duty as the Independent Police Review Authority continues to look into the incident, according to police spokesman Martin Maloney.

The City Council Finance Committee endorsed settling the lawsuit. The panel also recommended approval of a $1.25 million settlement with the family of Jamaal Moore, who was fatally shot by police in 2012. An officer shot Moore after police chased a vehicle in which the 23-year-old was a passenger, suspecting that the occupants of the vehicle had just committed an armed robbery.

When the vehicle crashed and Moore got out, a squad car struck and dragged him on wet pavement as he tried to get away, Darling told aldermen.

Nice guys.  It’s ironic that police will threaten Asians with deportation (even when they are legal) and yet leave Hispanics and Latinos alone.  In any case, a peace officer can only fight – with hands or weapons – when life or health are at risk.  It’s doubtful that this cop can prove those conditions, even if he stipulated to the requirements (which is doubtful).  And no one needs to be hit with a Taser ten times.  This is the behavior of uneducated, knuckle dragging thugs.

Remember boys and girls.  “To protect and serve.”  I’ll bet they thought a jury would have become “inflamed.”  I wish the victim would have pressed the issue into court.

U.S. Court Will Not Block Lawsuit Over Connecticut SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Reuters:

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend.

The decision by the U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals in New York clears the way for a judge to decide whether five suburban Connecticut police departments violated the constitutional rights of homeowner Ronald Terebesi by using excessive force.

On May 18, 2008, a heavily armed SWAT – or special weapons and tactics – team unit knocked down Terebesi’s door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norfolk as the two men watched television.

Guizan, who was visiting the home, died after being shot a half dozen times.

“The court ruling here is going to be relied upon in other courts throughout the country,” Gary Mastronardi, a Bridgeport attorney who represents Terebesi, said on Tuesday. “They set up the parameters that define the extent to which qualified immunity can be asserted by police in SWAT cases.”

In a 51-page ruling that upholds a lower court decision, the appeals court said the police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force and under the circumstances, are not protected by “qualified immunity” from the lawsuits.

Good.  Like I’ve said before.  If you are the police and you want to come into my home, call and make an appointment.  Otherwise, you may get shot.

This is the way it should be.  Engineers don’t get immunity when bridges collapse or systems malfunction, and doctors don’t get immunity when they leave surgical instruments inside of your body.

I hate incompetence.  I truly do.  And the incompetence in many SWAT teams we see today (piss poor rules for the use of force, no trigger discipline, no muzzle discipline, wrong addresses, etc.) is compounded by the indifference of police to the rights of citizens, as if no one has the latitude to press the issue of safety except law enforcement (for their own safety rather than yours).

One can only hope this ruling is used as precedent across America.  Now, if we could only get what reader Ned Weatherby calls Herschel’s law passed across these United States?

Assessment Of Ferguson: Misrepresenting The Liberty Movement

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week 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 Tags:

Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks 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 months, 3 weeks 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
2 months, 4 weeks 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
3 months, 1 week 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
3 months, 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.


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