Archive for the 'Police' Category

Totalitarian Judge On Michigan Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Detroit Free Press:

When a man armed with a loaded assault pistol strapped to his leg, dressed in camouflage, and singing to himself, began walking in front of a Grand Rapids church one snowy Sunday morning in March 2014, an alarmed churchgoer called 911. When police arrived, they took the man’s gun, and briefly handcuffed him while they questioned him. The man, Johann Deffert, an “open carry” gun advocate, then sued police saying they had violated his constitutional rights.

A federal judge disagreed.

In a decision released last week, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff tossed Deffert’s lawsuit, saying the police officer “was justified in following up on the 911 call and using swift action to determine whether plaintiff’s behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood.”

[ … ]

“We’re seeing sporadic reports of it from around the state, those who are trying to draw attention to themselves and it’s needlessly alarming people,” said Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, which has 1,100 members. “People aren’t used to seeing someone brandish a gun in front of their kids’ schools.”

Stevenson said the increasingly confrontational nature of the clashes is dangerous.

“It puts the police in a position where, we don’t know what their intent is, so they’re going to approach this person, not realizing that the intent is to hurt somebody. It’s a terrible situation what these people are doing, somebody is going to get hurt.”

Sheriff’s officials say they are duty-bound to investigate what they perceive as threatening behavior, regardless of whether a person has a permit to carry a weapon or whether they are openly carrying a weapon in a place permitted by law.

Michigan is an open carry state without a stop and identify statute.  Thus has judge Neff fabricated law out of whole cloth, without even the input of the legislature.  A black robed tyrant, she is.  As for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (assuming Stevenson is the one quoted on the duty to investigate threatening behavior), he is of course lying.  He is wrong and knows it, which makes it a lie.  See Castle Rock versus Gonzalez.  Police are absolutely not “duty bound” to do any such thing.

Thus has Stevenson fabricated duties out of whole cloth in order to support the illegal stop and identify and detention.  Rights?  Laws?  Eh, who needs them?  The system has judges and cops.  That’s all they need.

The Murder Of Dillon Taylor

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Dillon Taylor was not armed when a Salt Lake City police officer shot him to death outside a convenience store.

But in that moment on Aug. 11, Officer Bron Cruz had good reason to think Taylor was pulling a gun out of his pants, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled on Tuesday.

Taylor, 20, and the two men he was with matched the descriptions of a 911 caller who said three men had “flashed” a gun. And Cruz saw them “making a scene” on their way to the 7-Eleven near 2100 S. State Street.

Confronted by officers, the two men with Taylor held up their hands, while Taylor alone was “noncompliant.”

Body-cam video shows that Taylor turned toward officers with his hands in his pants before hoisting his shirt — a gesture officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw.

“Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation,” Gill said. “If anything, it escalated things.”

Taylor’s shooting was justified, Gill said, not because he posed an actual threat, but because Cruz reasonably perceived a threat.

I said in comments here that “I don’t trust most LEOs when it comes to muzzle discipline … There are many reasons for my mistrust, one having to do with sympathetic muscle reflexes (see here and here).”  I would not have done anything with my hands (as did Taylor), but that doesn’t change the fact that the LEO was too quick to shoot.  You be the judge.

Another thing we learn is that even with body cameras, judges most often will side with LEOs.  A corrupt system will always be corrupt, regardless of whether people see it in motion pictures.

Cleveland Police Agree To Stop Hitting People On The Head With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police will stop hitting people on the head with their guns and document any time they unholster them, according to a consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and Cleveland police released today.

The Justice Department found in a 21-month investigation that began in 2013 that Cleveland police routinely bash people on the head with their guns, sometimes accidentally firing them, according to a 58-page report released in December.

Yes, I know.  Bad muzzle discipline, bad trigger discipline, bad policing tactics, bad form all around.  If we did something like that we would be in prison.  But don’t be so surprised.  This is the same DoJ report that detailed wild shooting practices by the same police department.

Cleveland police pull their guns too fast, fire at fleeing cars and people who pose no immediate threat and ignore potential danger to bystanders, the U. S. Department of Justice found.

A biting 58-page report released Thursday concluded that police violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including by shooting an underwear-clad hostage victim and an unarmed driver who made an illegal turn.

The report blames several reasons for the “unreasonable” shootings. Police often lack the training and confidence necessary to  control a situation without resorting to force. They are not required to tell their supervisors when they pull their weapons. And the prevailing police culture promotes an “us-against-them” mentality.

And police nationwide wonder why ordinary people have lost confidence in them.

Criminals Perpetrate A No-Knock Raid Claiming To Be Police

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Salt Lake City:

HOLLADAY, Utah – Unified Police are looking for four suspects in a home invasion robbery overnight.

Police said four Polynesian men dressed in all black kicked the door in at a basement apartment in Holladay.

According to the two victims who were home at the time, the men said they were police officers and began searching the home and taking electronics.

One of the victims was able to run down the street and call 911.

The suspects chased him a few blocks and then ran before police arrived.

Police set up roadblocks and began searching for the men but didn’t find them.

“It’s very disturbing that someone would go out there and announce themselves as police and commit a crime like this,” Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

“Very disturbing,” huh?  This certainly isn’t the first time this type of thing has occurred.  So just how disturbed are you?  Enough to stop all no-knock raids by your department because you and the criminals are using the same tactics against powerless home-owners?

In another part of the country the police are worried about SWAT raids too.

Online video game players may be strangers who live across the country or around the world, but the Internet offers them a window into each other’s homes. Some have taken advantage of that window, calling police to report fake crimes for the amusement of seeing a video game foe faced with real law enforcement.

Triangle law enforcement officers say the prank called “swatting” – prompting a SWAT raid of the home of another gamer, either as revenge or for amusement – is dangerous and potentially deadly.

When Woody Woodworth’s wife told him someone was lurking in the dark outside their Apex home, he armed himself in self-defense.

“She’s like, ‘There’s people in the yard dressed in black, scurrying around,'” Woodworth said.

After spotting two men behind a tree, Woodworth grabbed his gun.

“I grab my shotgun and I head down the stairs,” he said. “I headed down the front stairs and they’re like, ‘Put the gun down. It’s the SWAT team.'”

So how was he supposed to know this was a police SWAT raid instead of a criminal home invasion (I know, that’s redundant, but bear with me for a moment)?  How was he supposed to know even after the police announced themselves?  The hoodlums do that too.

If you are a LEO and you’re reading this, do you see why we cannot allow home invasions of any kind, LEOs or not?  Do you see why home owners cannot trust announcements, orders or ultimatums to lay down our means of self defense?  Do you see how immoral that would be of us, to abdicate all means of protection of our families because we hear someone barking out orders?

Idaho Police Shoot Pregnant Woman In The Stomach With AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

MintPress News:

The dashboard and body camera footage has now been released in the fatal shooting of Jeanetta Riley. Riley, 35, was shot and killed by Sandpoint, Idaho police after they were called to a hospital where she had been treated for mental health problems.

The department has cleared its officers “of any criminal wrongdoing,” claiming that they followed all proper procedures when they chose to use an AR-15 assault rifle on the mentally ill, pregnant woman who was holding a knife outside of the hospital.

The officers could have used less-than-lethal weapons, like a taser, but instead they chose not only a firearm, but an AR-15 when they approached her outside of Bonner General Hospital.

The police can be heard on the video telling Riley to show her hands.

Riley, obviously mentally distressed, replied: “f*** you” and “bring it on!”

After shots ran out, the officer ran to Riley but instead of applying first aid, he cuffed her.
The policeman is then heard running to Ms Riley, lying injured in the road.

Bonner County prosecutor Barry McHugh said: “Officers were faced with a quickly evolving set of circumstances that left them convinced the Ms Riley had the intent to use the knife to do them great bodily harm and had the ability to do so.”

Ms Riley’s ex-husband, Dana Maddox, is suing the city for $1 million, as the officers ended his wife’s life as well as her pregnancy with Maddox’s daughter.

The autopsy report reveals that Riley was shot in the chest and hit in the liver as well as her shoulder, back and heart. The Magic Valley Times News explains that “Five shots were fired during the confrontation, three of which came from Valenzuela’s AR-15 rifle and two of which came from Ziegler’s .40-caliber Glock pistol.”

Hey, I have an idea for the cowards in this department.  How about using OC spray and letting her surrender peaceably (as she surely would have)?  Or better yet, how about talking to her?  What’s wrong with talking?

Cop Refused Treatment For Carrying Gun In Hospital

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Mansfield News Journal:

Officer safety is a chief concern in the streets, but now some are questioning it at care facilities, too.

Two months ago, Plymouth officer Wayne Liggett Sr. said he was denied treatment at Walk In Urgent Care, 1341 S. Trimble Road, because he was carrying his duty weapon. Even after it was verified he was a police officer and legally within right to carry his firearm, he was asked to leave, he said.

Eyesight problems brought him to the clinic Feb. 8.

The officer, who has been in law enforcement for 33 years, said he was seeing floaters and flashes of light in his vision and knew something wasn’t right. He called ahead to the urgent care to ensure they had equipment to view the eye.

In a private room, an employee asked him to remove his jacket to take his vitals. As a courtesy, Liggett said he told the person he was carrying his duty weapon under his shirt, in case they would see it. He also had written down on the sign-in form he was employed as a Plymouth police officer, he said.

The employee took his vitals, said the doctor would be in soon and left.

The next knock at the door Liggett didn’t expect.

Several Mansfield Police Department officers told him to come out slowly with his hands up. More than one of them were pointing their firearm at him, he said.

Liggett said he was placed in handcuffs while police verified his identity as an auxiliary officer, which took only minutes. He was carrying his badge and ID in his wallet.

Mansfield police did not file an official report on the incident. The only documentation on the matter is an event report showing dispatch logs.

But after releasing him and returning his .45 Smith and Wesson, Liggett was told the staff still refused to treat him, and he was escorted from the building. There was no sign at the facility denying concealed carry, Liggett said.

He called his eye doctor and had an appointment the next day, where he found out he had a tear in his right retina. He was in surgery by the end of the week.

On Monday, he undergoes a second surgery on the same eye for cataracts.

“They were very unprofessional with how they treated me,” Liggett said. “Something could have been seriously wrong.”

Urgent care owner Muzhar Hussain declined to comment.

The incident was cause for concern for Plymouth Police Chief Charles Doan. He questioned how other law enforcement officers will be treated in an emergency and whether the urgent care mishap was an isolated incident.

“Officers carry to be prepared, and citizens do too,” Doan said. “If you have a concealed carry and get hurt, are they going to say, ‘Get him out of here?’

According to the Ohio Revised Code, officers are exempt from any concealed carry prohibitions. The federal Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act supports the same.

Paul Johnson, director of security at OhioHealth MedCentral Mansfield Hospital, said that facility have rules and signs prohibiting people from carrying in the hospital.

If a patient comes in and happens to be carrying their firearm, staff members will ask him or her to take the gun to a vehicle, if possible. If it’s an emergency situation, staff will store the firearm in a locked safe until the patient is recovered and outside of the hospital walls, he said.

But those rules don’t apply to law enforcement.

“Most law enforcement are required to carry whether on or off duty,” Johnson said. “They’re never really off.”

This is an interesting case.  They have a policy but don’t post, in which case their policy is irrelevant.  Yet they called the police on the police, and so the police drew weapons on the police like they were criminals.

How does it feel, sir, to have guns brandished in your direction for no good reason?  Unsafe?  Now, your argument that goes like this: “Officers carry to be prepared, and citizens do too,” Doan said. “If you have a concealed carry and get hurt, are they going to say, ‘Get him out of here?’ , is a little head scratching.  I want to believe that you care about concealed carriers, but it’s hard given what most of your colleagues think about us.

I’ll tell you what.  I want you to lobby for the repeal of laws that give LEOs special dispensation for carrying in court, parades, schools and everywhere else, and lobby for the codification of that right for everyone.  Then I’ll believe that your having invoked our good name in order to argue for your officer was in good faith.  Otherwise, you’re just a liar.  And maybe you said more than you wanted to.  Yes, concealed carriers do have to be “prepared,” which is why we care about this issue as much as you do for your officers.

New York Detective Steals During Police Raid

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

The New York Times:

A New York police detective has been suspended after a surveillance video appeared to show him taking money from a Brooklyn deli during a sweep of the store for loose cigarettes.

The detective, Ian Cyrus, 49, who was assigned to the Brooklyn North narcotics unit, was suspended “based on the nature of the allegations in this incident, in addition to the video provided to us,” Stephen Davis, the top spokesman for the Police Department, said in a statement on Thursday.

Detective Cyrus’s supervisor in the narcotics unit, Sgt. Fritz Glemaud, 44, has been placed on modified duty, Mr. Davis added.

The police said the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office were conducting a joint investigation of the episode.

WABC-TV obtained surveillance footage taken of the counter area last Friday night at Yemen Deli & Grocery, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Gosh, I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I was caught stealing when I ran into a store with a gun pointing it at people.  The pictures they took weren’t very flattering.  One of them made me look fat.

Jersey Cops: “Hey, Let’s Kill A Man – It Will Be Fun!”

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

Daily Beast:

A video filmed a week ago Tuesday appears to show local police allowing a K9 dog to tear into the face of what looks to be an unarmed black man while he is curled up on the ground. The man, identified as 32-year-old Phillip White, later died while in police custody.

[ … ]

The person who shot the footage, which is from a phone, is shown being approached by police, saying, “I need your information and I’m going to need to take your phone.”

It is legal to film police interactions in New Jersey.

Murder.  Attempted coverup.  But there is that sticky issue of the video.

Sic him!  Get him!  A chance to be a stud, see blood, see action, see some carnage.  The concept of “peace officer” a long ago lost relic of American history.  How sad for our country.

North Charleston Police Officer Faces Murder Charge After Video Surfaces Showing Him Shooting Man In Back

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

He discharged eight shots from his sidearm, with time to aim, with a pause between the seventh and eighth shots, all eight shots taken in the direction of the victim’s back while the victim was running away.

A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as he ran away.

Walter L. Scott, a Coast Guard veteran and father of four, died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, shot him several times in the back.

The video footage, which The Post and Courier obtained Tuesday from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the end of the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran from a traffic stop. It was the first piece of evidence contradicting an account Slager gave earlier this week through his attorney.

[ … ]

The three-minute clip of Saturday’s shooting starts shaky, but it steadies as Slager and Scott appear to be grabbing at each other’s hands.

Slager has said through his attorney that Scott had wrested his Taser from him during a struggle.

The video appears to show Scott slapping at the officer’s hands as several objects fall to the ground. It’s not clear what the objects are.

Scott starts running away. Wires from Slager’s Taser stretch from Scott’s clothing to the officer’s hands.

With Scott more than 10 feet from Slager, the officer draws his pistol and fires seven times in rapid succession. After a brief pause, the officer fires one last time. Scott’s back bows, and he falls face first to the ground near a tree.

After the gunfire, Slager glances at the person taking the video, then talks into his radio.

The cameraman curses, and Slager yells at Scott as sirens wail.

“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer shouts before he handcuffs Scott.

As another lawman runs to Scott’s side.

Scott died there.

[ … ]

Slager said earlier this week in the statement from his attorney at the time that his encounter with Scott had started Saturday morning as a routine traffic stop.

His department said he pulled over Scott’s Mercedes-Benz sedan near Remount and Craig roads because it had a broken brake light. But at some point, Scott ran away with Slager in pursuit on foot. Scott’s passenger stayed with the Mercedes.

During the foot chase, Scott confronted Slager, according to the lawyer’s statement. Slager got out his Taser to subdue the man, but Scott took the device during a struggle, the statement said. That’s when the officer fired at Scott several times because he “felt threatened,” it added.

Now listen very carefully.  We all know how abused and overused the idea is that an officer can “feel threatened” and thus discharge his weapon at anything and everything.  But this doesn’t even rise to the level of abusive policy.  The officer had the temerity calmly to walk back to the scene of the struggle, pick up the taser, and casually drop it next to the now-deceased body.

What’s the lesson?  The officer didn’t know a video of his actions would be produced.  It was going to be his word against a dead man’s word, and we all know how that would have gone down.  He reflexively turned to the best, surest, most trusted and well-worn defense cops use: “I felt threatened.”  There is the first tier of concern with this incident, that is, a shooting in the back that violates the constitution.  But the second tier of concern pertains to coverup of the shooting.

And as long as that defense exists and is reflexively accepted by a gullible public and a willing judicial system, “I felt threatened” will keep being used and cops will continue to perpetrate this sort of thing.  But the fifth amendment clearly doesn’t allow this officer to kill the unarmed man running away, who is no threat to the officer, by the way, and who hadn’t shown himself to be a threat to anyone else (he was stopped because of a minor traffic violation).

Weapons Discipline Was Lacking In Watertown

BY Herschel Smith
6 months ago

A newly released report by local authorities details the response of law enforcement following the Boston Marathon bombings.

The full report is available here.

The report says that during the early morning shootout in Watertown on Friday, April 19, 2013, the first officers to arrive “practiced appropriate weapons discipline while they were engaged in the firefight with the suspects.” But it added that “additional officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target or appropriately aimed their weapons.”

After the firefight, one officer fired upon plain-clothes officers in an unmarked Massachusetts State Police vehicle that was wrongly reported as stolen, according to the report, which also cites lack of weapons discipline by law enforcement during efforts to apprehend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when he was hiding in a boat behind a Watertown home.

Via WRSA, WeaponsMan also has an analysis of the report.  But focus for a moment on these takeaways from the report.  First, “officers arriving on scene near the conclusion of the firefight fired weapons toward the vicinity of the suspects, without necessarily having identified and lined up their target or appropriately aimed their weapons.”  This is very serious, with LEOs shooting wildly at nothing and everything, innocent victims in danger of being shot, and LEOs held completely guiltless in the lack of discipline, even if they had killed someone.

Second, the officer who shot at the vehicle violated Tennessee versus Garner in that he didn’t make the shot in self defense.  If you or I did someone like that we would be in prison today.  And the sadly ignorant, “sheeple” public trusts the LEOs and fears peaceable concealed or open carriers.  It just boggles the mind, honestly.

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