Category Archives: Criminal Injustice

Don’t Conflate The Michael Brown And Eric Garner Cases

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Paleolibertarianism, Race, Racism

Not only the “basics of anatomy and breathing,” in the words of the New York Times’ editorial board, were flouted in “taking down” of Eric Garner, who was doing nothing naturally illicit when he was tackled and placed in the chokehold that killed him.

Flouted too was the humanity, empathy and the most primitive, basic intelligence in dealing with a man who was struggling to breathe. As a mother of an asthmatic, I know that you do not mess with a person’s oxygen supply. Garner’s manner of death, by the way, conjures the manner in which the fragile Carol Anne Gotbaum (a petite 45-year-old, who weighed 105 pounds) met an untimely demise. Gotbaum was likely asphyxiated in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor by a few corpulent cops.

That said, here are the salient factors to bear in mind:

* The cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner: never the twain shall meet. On the facts, the incidents are entirely different. This the tape of Eric Garner’s last moments shows in abundance. The evidence of police wrongdoing there is incontrovertible. Evidence shows exactly the opposite in the case of Brown.

* Garner was a victim of the police (not so Brown). But racism? Nonsense on stilts! Racism is the cudgel with which the “Racism-Industrial-Complex” hits whitey about the head to keep sissified WASPs in line. For the most, the masses marching against the Garner homicide are, as interviews demonstrate, so dumb, they can’t much articulate why they are marching.

* Cops are equal opportunity offenders: They aggress against whites more or less equally, factoring into account the disproportionate representation of blacks among the population of law-breakers. (Except that whites don’t march.) Warns John Lott:

If you’re going to correctly compare the rates at which police kill black and white male teenagers, you have to compare teenage crime rates. You can’t just compare crime rates among the entire black and white populations. The rate that these teenagers commit murder, not including rape and other less serious crimes, also provides a somewhat better measure of the perceived threat that they might pose to police.
Among blacks, teenage crime is much more prevalent. Based on the most recent available FBI crime numbers, black male teenagers were nine times more likely to commit murder than were their white counterparts. That’s right, nine times, and the gap in these urban areas is undoubtedly even larger.
After adjusting for murder rates, black male teenagers are still killed by the police 2.3 times as often as whites. This is a considerable difference — but again, over-representation of urban areas in the data set could be a big part of the explanation.

* Whites practice universalism. They march against injustice, real or perceived, perpetrated against blacks. Not so blacks. Blacks are the quintessential tribal racialists.

* Laws that criminalize naturally licit trade kill. Garner was selling his own loose cigarettes on a street corner. (He had just “helped to break up a fight on [that] busy street in Staten Island.” ) Such items are contraband in the City:

Last January, the city passed stronger penalties for selling loosies and other illegal cigarettes and in early July, reports the Daily News. The NYPD’s Chief of Department, Philip Banks, specifically called for crackdowns on loosie sales in Staten Island. “Among the specific public complaints of illegal activity in that area included the sale of untaxed cigarettes as well as open (alcohol) container and marijuana use and sale offenses,” an NYPD spokesman told the News.

MORE.

Had Garner’s conduct not been criminalized by the criminals of today’s Tammany Hall, he’d be alive.


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UPDATED: Eric Garner, RIP: This is What Murder-By-Cop Looks Like (WRONG Decision)

Criminal Injustice, Law, Natural Law, Regulation, Taxation, The State

I will be appalled—so should you—if a grand jury decides against indicting the NYPD officers who murdered Eric Garner. A decision is nearing in the case of the New York entrepreneur who was doing nothing naturally illicit when he was tackled and placed in the chokehold that killed him.

The city medical examiner has ruled the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father whose death in police custody sparked national outrage, a homicide, saying a chokehold killed him.
The medical examiner said compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner’s positioning on the ground while being restrained by police during the July 17 stop on Staten Island, caused his death.

William Norman Grigg documented and deconstructed the murder by cop of Mr. Garner, chocked to death by Officer Daniel Pantaleo, for being entrepreneurial; trading untaxed cigarettes in defiance of the state’s “slave patrol” and “Comrade” Andrew Cuomo’s “Cigarette Strike Force.” As always, Grigg gets to the nub of the issue, and beautifully so:

“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me! I’m tired of it! It stops today!”

Eric Garner, a peaceful and productive citizen, had suffered years of pointless and unnecessary harassment by the costumed predators employed by the NYPD. He told one of them to leave him alone. Such impudence by a mere Mundane cannot be tolerated, so Garner was murdered in the street in full public view.

Several plainclothes officers were prowling Garner’s Staten Island neighborhood on the afternoon of July 17 seeking to harvest revenue by catching harmless people in the act of committing petty infractions. Police Commissioner William Bratton describes this as “stamping out petty offenses as a way of heading off larger ones.” in practice, this means authorizing police to commit actual crimes in their efforts to turn harmless people into “offenders.” …

The first fatal mistake Garner made was to act as a peacemaker. The second was to assert his self-ownership in the face of someone employed by the contemporary equivalent of a slave patrol. Within minutes, five police officers attacked him, one of them slipping behind him to apply an illegal chokehold. Garner died of cardiac arrest after being swarmed and suffocated in front of numerous horrified witnesses, one of whom captured the entire event – from first confrontation to homicide – on camera. …

“Eric Garner’s exasperated proclamation ‘It stops today!’ is cognate with ‘Don’t tread on me,’ and his murder by an army of occupation immeasurably more vicious and corrupt than the Redcoats could precipitate a long-overdue rebellion against the omnivorous elite that army serves. …”

UPDATE (12/3): WRONG Decision.

Manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide: Those are the counts that ought to have been easily authorized by a jury empaneled to decide if to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who was responsible for Eric Garner’s death and oblivious to his helpless pleas for air.

Watch how the cops panic when they realize they’ve killed this poor, innocent (in natural law) man. Watch how they begin ordering observes to leave, so that no witnesses to the REAL crime remain. And observe the absence of any attempt to resuscitate Mr. Garner.


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Avel Amarel, Gutsy Guy

Constitution, Criminal Injustice, Fascism, Private Property

How about a warrant if you want to search my house? Probable cause, perhaps? Avel Amarel insisted on his 4th Amendment rights, when a cop put his big foot in the door. “Oh no you don’t,” said this gutsy guy, standing between his family and the pigs, who truly deserve the moniker, in this instance.

I doubt I’d have the presence of mind, and, frankly, the courage to think as clearly and resist as forcefully.

Via the Free Thought Project.com:

If police come to your door and you don’t need their help, you can simply decline to answer. They cannot come into your home without a search warrant.

Even if the police have probable cause, they cannot come in your home without a search warrant.

You might even be a suspect in a criminal investigation. In such a case you should remain silent — except to say “Officer, I can’t let you inside without a search warrant.” Following such an encounter, you should immediately contact a lawyer before speaking to police again.

The fact is that police can legally lie to try and gain access into your home and knowing how to deal with police at your door can go a long way.


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Costco And The Supersized Killer Cops

BAB's A List, Business, Criminal Injustice, Fascism, GUNS, Individual Rights

BY WILLIAM B. SCOTT

On July 10, 2010, Erik B. Scott, a 1994 U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduate with an MBA from Duke University, was shot to death by three Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“Metro”) officers in front of a Las Vegas, NV, Costco big-box store. While many readers will recall that egregious, senseless murder, few know what followed: A jaw-dropping cover-up more typical of the old Soviet Union than America.

To every man and woman who carries a firearm, the Erik Scott shooting is a chilling reminder that billion-dollar companies, such as Costco, have irrational, secret, anti-gun policies that literally kill their customers.

Erik, a Boston Scientific cardiac pacemaker sales rep, was carrying a legally registered concealed firearm, while he and his girlfriend were shopping at Costco-Summerlin in Las Vegas. He also had a concealed-carry permit in his wallet, issued by the same Metro police force that killed him.

When Erik squatted on the floor to verify that three metal water bottles would fit into a soft-sided, zip-up cooler, a Costco employee spotted Erik’s Kimber Ultra Carry .45-caliber semiautomatic in an inside-the-waistband holster. A civil interchange with a Costco manager ensued, and Erik was told that a Costco policy banned guns inside company stores—although there were no signs to that effect posted outside or inside, and there’s no mention of a gun-ban policy in the membership application. Erik calmly responded that his sidearm was legal and that he had a concealed-carry weapon (CCW) permit on his person. The manager never asked Erik to leave the store, and the two parted on good terms, according to witnesses.

The Costco manager reassured a plainclothes security guard that Erik would be leaving soon. For reasons known only to him, the same young, cocky guard—defying management practices and company policy—placed a 911 call to the local police, falsely claiming Erik “had a gun and was acting erratic.” Thinking an armed madman was barricaded inside, Metro cops descended on the store in overwhelming force—15 police cruisers, a helicopter, an incident-command team and an ambulance.

An inbound Metro lieutenant suggested that Costco managers quietly evacuate the store. Unaware that the evacuation had anything to do with him, Erik and his girlfriend calmly walked out with the crowd, passing three Metro officers waiting at the entrance and exit doors. Costco’s aforementioned security guard identified Erik to an agitated, scared Metro officer, William Mosher, who was clutching a semiautomatic, visibly shaking and sweating profusely. Alarmed, Mosher spun around and immediately yelled something, which even nearby cops failed to comprehend.

Erik turned to find a frightened, supersized cop shouting three conflicting commands. With his left hand, Erik lifted his T-shirt to expose the Kimber, and repeated, “I am armed, I am armed … .” Witnesses said he moved his right elbow enough to expose the Kimber. In his right hand, Erik held a BlackBerry cell phone.

Mosher instantly panicked and fired two shots with a .45-caliber Glock 21. The cop’s first hollow-point slug struck Erik in the heart; the second went through his right thigh, well below his jeans’ front pocket.

Two other officers hesitated not at all, then fired another five rounds, all into Erik’s back. Erik was shot a total of seven times. The five that hit him in the back were fired after he was on the ground, dying.

Based on a recording of the Costco fool’s 911-call, we’ve confirmed that Mosher gave Erik three conflicting commands and fired, all within two seconds. Mosher then knelt on his victim’s back and handcuffed Erik’s hands.

Costco had numerous security cameras inside the store and at least four trained on the entrance, where the lethal shooting took place. Violating department policies, Metro detectives did NOT immediately seize the surveillance system’s two digital video recorders’ hard disks. They left the critical DVR and hard drive in Costco’s control for five days, allowing Costco-Summerlin personnel and the store’s IT contractor to tamper with video data. Five days after the shooting, Metro detectives finally decided to pick up one Costco DVR. After valiant attempts to “recover” critical imagery, the DVR was sent to the U.S. Secret Service’s Los Angeles office, where forensics experts examined it. The experts later testified that 96 percent of the DVR’s data were recovered. The four percent not recoverable just happened to encompass the time Erik was in Costco, as well as the fatal officer-involved shooting. The hard disk’s platter sectors, where that critical four percent of unrecoverable data resided, was physically damaged, as if the disk were running, “then dropped from about chest high,” according to forensic experts’ testimony.

Within hours of the shooting, a Clark County deputy public administrator and a Metro cop illegally entered Erik’s condominium and removed several of his firearms. One pistol, a small Ruger LCP, was later produced as “proof” that Erik was carrying two guns. Why two? Because the AMR ambulance crew had reported finding a gun on Erik’s body. The sole gun Erik really was carrying (the Kimber) had already been removed from his dead body and placed on the ground at Costco, still in the holster, as if Erik had pulled it, thereby “justifying” Erik’s murder. In fact, the only item Erik ever had in-hand was his BlackBerry smartphone. In a state of panic, Mosher couldn’t distinguish a BlackBerry from a semiautomatic pistol. Erik was literally executed.

There is absolutely no doubt that Erik was murdered. However, the integrity-challenged cops of Metro’s “Blue Wall” immediately resorted to post-shooting procedures that are standard practice for hundreds of corrupt Las Vegas police officers: Conceal the facts, destroy and manufacture “evidence,” coerce selected eyewitnesses, and systematically demonize the deceased victim. The cover-up of Erik’s murder-by-cop was aided and abetted by the Clark County district attorney, an unprincipled union—the Las Vegas Police Protective Association—and wealthy power brokers who control The Strip.

My family filed two lawsuits in federal court—one against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the three shooters and the sheriff, Douglas Gillespie, and a second against Costco. For reasons unbelievable, both suits went nowhere. After the second was dismissed, our lawyer said, “I don’t think it’s possible to get justice in this town.”

The truth about Erik’s murder and its blatant cover-up is so bizarre that non-Las Vegas citizens would never believe it. Consequently, I resorted to asymmetric warfare. I wrote a novel based on the actual events of my son’s senseless execution. Entitled The Permit, the book is “faction”—truth wrapped in a techno-thriller story. The Permit is a fast-moving, riveting tale of intrigue, corruption and accountability, in which murder-by-cop victim “Erik Steele” was actually a covert assassin for Checkmate, an ultra-secret Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism team. Arrogant, low-intelligence Las Vegas Metro cops had brazenly killed a high-value federal agent. As Metro leaders soon realize, their trigger-happy cretins truly did kill the wrong guy.

Only in fiction was justice finally done.

******

William B. Scott, the late-Erik Scott’s father and author of “The Permit,” is a full-time author and consultant. He retired in 2007 as the Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology. Over a 22-year career with the international magazine, he wrote more than 2,500 stories, and received 17 editorial awards. He is a coauthor of two other novels, “Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III” and “Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III,” and a nonfiction book, “Inside the Stealth Bomber: The B-2 Story.”

During a nine-year Air Force career, Bill served as aircrew on classified airborne-sampling missions, collecting nuclear debris by flying through radioactive clouds; an electronics engineering officer at the National Security Agency, developing satellite communications security systems; and an instrumentation and flight test engineer on U.S. Air Force fighter and transport aircraft development programs.

Bill is a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and a licensed commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. He has logged approximately 2,000 hours on 80 aircraft types, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University-Sacramento.


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American Cops’ Killer Culture

Crime, Criminal Injustice, IMMIGRATION, Law

Police need to be put in their place. Stripping them of their green camouflage outfits, armored vehicles and machine guns and equipping them all with a dashcam is a start. “Scrap the federal subsidy programs for municipal police departments that gives them the second-hand military hardware from Tikrit and Kandahar,” counsels Mark Steyn, “and replace it with one that ensures every patrol car has a camera.”

The truth of the matter is that the culture of US cops is that of a craven disregard for American lives.

… when the police are dressed like combat troops, it’s not a fashion faux pas, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of who they are. Forget the armored vehicles with the gun turrets, forget the faceless, helmeted, anonymous Robocops, and just listen to how these “policemen” talk. Look at the video as they’re arresting the New York Times and Huffington Post reporters. Watch the St Louis County deputy ordering everyone to leave, and then adding: “This is not up for discussion.”

Really? You’re a constable. You may be carrying on like the military commander of an occupying army faced with a rabble of revolting natives, but in the end you’re a constable. And the fact that you and your colleagues in that McDonald’s are comfortable speaking to your fellow citizens like this is part of the problem. The most important of the “nine principles of good policing” (formulated by the first two commissioners of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 and thereafter issued to every officer joining the force) is a very simple one: The police are the public and the public are the police. Not in Ferguson. Long before the teargassing begins and the bullets start flying, the way these guys talk is the first indication of how the remorseless militarization has corroded the soul of American policing.

Which brings us back to the death of Michael Brown. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything the police say about this incident is correct. In that case, whether or not the fatal shooting of Mr Brown is a crime, it’s certainly a mistake. When an unarmed shoplifter* in T-shirt and shorts with a five-buck cigar box in one hand has to be shot dead, you’re doing it wrong.

American police have grown too comfortable with the routine use of lethal force. To reprise a few statistics I cited three months ago:

So the biggest government in the free world chooses not to keep statistics on how many people get shot by law enforcement. So be it. It does keep figures on “justifiable homicide”, which it defines as “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement official in the line of duty”. When is a police homicide not “justifiable”? Ah, well. At any rate, for 2012, the corpse count was 410.

By comparison, for the years 2012 and 2013 in England and Wales:

‘No fatal police shootings.’

In the Netherlands:

‘The average for the last 35 years is three dead and 15 injured…’

In Germany, a nation of 80 million people, police in 2011 fatally shot six persons. In Denmark, police shot 11 people in 11 years, and this was felt to be so disturbing that the National Police Commissioner held an inquiry into why his cops had gotten so trigger-happy. In Australia, 41 people were shot by police in eight years, and the then Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone … thought that that was too high. In Iceland, police have fatally shot just one suspect. That’s one guy in the entire history of the country. He was killed by police last December.

So comparisons between the kill rates from American police and those of other developed nations aren’t worth bothering with. Indeed, the “justifiable homicides” of US cops are more like the total murder count for other advanced societies:

In Oz, the total number of murders per year is about 270, so a nation of 23 million would have to increase by 50 per cent to commit as many homicides as American law enforcement. In Canada, whose urban police departments have absorbed certain American practices, a dozen or so people get shot dead by cops each year, which is again somewhat short of the US rate. Indeed, that 2012 “justifiable homicide” figure of 410 compares to a total Canadian homicide count for 2011 of 598. In other words, in America 120,000 or so full-time law enforcement officers rack up the same number of homicides as about 24 million Canadians.

That strikes me as on the high side.

In Ferguson, both parties agree that the first shot was fired from inside the car. The rest were fired by the officer when he’d got out of the car, with Chief Jackson conceding there could have been ten bullets fired. For purposes of comparison:

In 2011 the German police fired 85 bullets. That’s all of them. The entire police force. The whole country. Eighty-five bullets in one year. That’s seven bullets per month. One bullet for every million German citizens.

So the Ferguson PD used as many bullets on Michael Brown as the Polizei used on ten million Germans. But, by American standards, that’s relatively restrained. The same year as those German figures – 2011 – the Miami PD blew through the Polizei’s annual bullet allowance on just one traffic incident:

Police killed Raymond Herisse, 22, of Boynton Beach in a barrage of gunfire after they said he refused an order to pull over while speeding down a crowded Collins Avenue in his Hyundai…

Twelve officers – from Miami Beach and Hialeah – unleashed more than 100 rounds at Herisse, police said. The hail of bullets also struck and wounded three bystanders.

By comparison, those 85 German bullets per annum were aimed somewhat more precisely …

That’s to say, of those 85 bullets, 49 were warning shots. America no longer does “the warning shot”. But whatever happened to “the shot”? With the 36 non-warning bullets fired by German police that year, they killed six people and wounded fifteen. That’s a bullet-and-three-quarters per target. Whether shooting to kill or to disable, they’re trying to do it with a single shot. American policing takes a third of Germany’s annual bullet allowance just to off a dog:

In July, three officers fired 26 shots at a pit bull that had bitten a chunk out of an officer’s leg in a Bronx apartment building. And there have been other episodes: in 1995, in the Bronx, officers fired 125 bullets during a bodega robbery, with one officer firing 45 rounds.

Just what happened on Saturday is still being investigated. Police experts, however, suggested in interviews yesterday that contagious shooting played a role in a fatal police shooting in Queens Saturday morning. According to the police account, five officers fired 50 shots at a bridegroom who, leaving his bachelor party at a strip club, twice drove his car into a minivan carrying plainclothes police officers investigating the club.

The bridegroom, Sean Bell, who was to be married hours later, was killed, and two of his friends were wounded, one critically.

Three months ago I asked this question:

Are American civilians so different from Europeans or Aussies or Kiwis or Canadians that they have to be policed as if they’re cornered rebels in an ongoing civil war?

A startling number of American readers wrote to say, with remarkable insouciance, that the US could not afford the luxury of First World policing. Large tracts of America had too many illegal immigrants, drug gangs, racial grievances, etc. Maybe. But the problem is that, increasingly, this is the only style of law enforcement America’s police culture teaches – not only for the teeming favelas, but for the leafy suburbs and the rural backwaters and the college-town keg party, too. … MORE.

Contrast the policing of America proper with the policing of US borders, where border patrol dare not so much as turn away a trespasser.


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A Callous Killing (Or Armed And Stupid)

Criminal Injustice, Fascism, Law

“They could have tased him or shot him in the leg; they shot the man, he dead [sic]. They could have tased him.” The speaker is a man who is walking along, talking to himself [or “he self”], while filming his surroundings with a mobile device. Another man is meandering around, acting erratically. The latter appears more confused than menacing. The filmer passes the meanderer with no incident. Police arrive. The narrator gets increasingly agitated and distressed as it becomes apparent what could and would go down. He’s describing the events as they unfold, incredulous, genuinely in disbelief.

Police arrive. Wait hardly at all. Make no attempts to subdue the meandering man or talk him down. Then pump him full of lead. The officers proceed to cordon off the street, clearly to prevent the shocked witnesses, who are standing at a considerable distance, from assembling.

Mediaite explains that “St. Louis police put out this cell phone video” “in the name of transparency, following the outrage over the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer last week.”

Now we know that some at St. Louis police are both dangerous and stupid. This callous, if transparent, killing does nothing to redeem the force.

WATCH:


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