On Lists… (Alt Title: In which I make some people hate me…)

So currently there are a large number of people screaming about a list that someone compiled of all the politicians in Connecticut that voted for the assault weapons ban.  Predictably the other side promptly held up the list as an indicator as we’re out of control and attempting to “chill debate”.

A bunch of people on our side started screaming about how that not helping, stating that we must perceiver and rely upon the ballot box and the jury box.  I originally wrote this as a reply to someone on Facebook but figured it would be better placed here.

The problem here is we’re all forgetting the scope of the game we’re playing.  Not only that we’re ceding moves and pieces for a perceived moral stature increase that doesn’t actually count much at all in this game.  One side of this is already threatening force.  It however won’t be the politician who kicks in someone’s door at 3am, endangering everyone from law enforcement, to children, to the parents.  Honestly it should be the politician who pays, he’s the one that wrote the check that he’s making everyone else cash.

At the same time many also started screaming “well pack up and move.”  I’d like to point out packing up and moving only works for so long.  Believe me, my family knows quite well, we basically were chased across the US as we kept moving west to stay on the frontier.  The same will keep happening legislatively, and even worse when enough states have fallen, they can be used as examples to infringe on your rights from the federal level.  Think how concealed carry was finally forced upon Illinois.  If everyone had just packed up and moved, would that have changed there?  If everyone just packed up and left for “greener pastures” would concealed carry have been won in the states who didn’t have it?  Plus you end up ceding ground which they then use against you later as an example of what is “allowable”.  Think in the inverse, what if only one state had a CCW law and an attempt at a federal ban on carry was attempted?  49 other states might make SCOTUS go yeah that’s reasonable.

No, you must fight.  Retreat when you must, but do not do so hastily and you must have a plan for coming back.

Frankly inviting all these people from other states that are crashing eventually backfires because many of the same people start voting for the same crap that got them in trouble to begin with.  Believe me, Washington is being overrun with people from California and I’m watching it happen.  Ask people in Texas about the California invasion as well.

But back to the list, politicians, and the game.  I could give two shits about the list.  Doesn’t really matter other than it plays better as a political tool by the opposition than for the friendlies.  So do I wish it had not been published, yeah.  But at the same time it serves are a reminder to the politicians exactly the ballgame they’re playing.  If the card has been dealt in the open you might as well play with the damn thing.

But Barron, we must exercise the soap box, ballot box, and jury box.  We had successes in Colorado with the recall, we don’t need force yet.

Well what am I doing here, and you doing there, and what was he doing by publishing the list?  Last I checked, that all falls in the realm of soap box.  But to think that all states will be OK because one successfully recalled, and was lucky enough to have a recall process, is also naïve.  Not all states have a recall process.

Seriously, the game we’re playing the time periods are much shorter than election cycles and many are acting knowing they will loose their jobs.  They don’t care, they’re being bought by our enemies.  But why would that be?

The first rule of any game is to realize you’re in one.  Their goal is to do the damage with no way to hit “undo”.  Tell me, what is the punishment for passing an unconstitutional law?  What is the punishment for enforcing an unconstitutional law?  Who really pays to right the wrongs and who actually gets the reparations in the end?  Just look at New Orléans and the Katrina fiasco for those answers.

But Barron, I just don’t think the time is right yet…

That is your opinion and you have every right to it.  But, everyone has their own lines in the sand.  If them kicking in the doors to people’s homes and taking them by force, and let’s not bullshit here this is what’s being discussed,  good for you.  Not everyone however views this in the same light and for many that is the line in the sand of no going back.

The enforcement of any laws–local,state or federal–that through the action or inaction of the courts makes nugatory the individual means of resisting tyranny, justifies resistance.

Don’t like it? Get the police to say screw off regarding enforcement.  Currently though there are two sides of this coin, one side is the state wanting, and willing, to use force.  The other side is preparing to strike back, not strike first, at those truly responsible should it happen.

But Barron we should fully exhaust the political route before fighting back.

The British rolled up one April 19th, should we have continued to wait hoping our pleas to the king for a political solution panned out?

No we fought while also trying to achieve a peaceful political solution.   War is an ugly nasty business.  However to dismiss the violence they will bring against you by saying “ballot box” while laying down your arms is already admitting defeat.  Your enemy is willing to use force while you are not.  By default he wins.  You have lost the game.

And that folks is the problem.  Welcome to the pot of boiling water.  The heat was cranked up quite quickly and we very rapidly found ourselves in the very predicament we are in today.  Does it suck?  You bet your ass it does.  Do I  wish it was different?  Yup.  Do I want to have another civil war?  Hell no, but that isn’t really up to me now is it?

In the words of Malcolm Reynolds,

If someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back.

The answer to this problem is quite simple, “don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin’.”  If this side was as truly blood hungry as the opposition thinks, crap would have already gone down.  At the same time, trying to make us all pacifists by screaming about the Soap, Ballot, and Jury boxes, implies that when a criminal is robbing us we should only every rely on those tools.  Why bother with the firearms at all if we can’t defend ourselves and then go after the person who tried to kill us by proxy?

The ball is truthfully in the state’s court.  All they have to do is respect the rights of their citizens and nothing will happen.  Trample those rights, and well some may fight back.  Some may go after the very people who passed the laws.

Trust and Integrity…

Integrity once lost can never be regained.

Yesterday I made the following comment on Facebook.

Cops will shoot anyone for any reason even if they create or aggravate the situation.

They have been trained at this point to exercise and only use one tool in their tool box.

With how heavily qualified immunity protects them I’ve lost all faith and trust in law enforcement. When a cop can create a dangerous situation unnecessarily, shoot someone, have it declared unjustified in the review and not face a single punishment other than being fired after committing homicide the system is broken.

The article that sparked my mini rant, was this:

Two North Carolina parents are in shock after local police shot and killed their 18-year-old son in their own home, while they watched helplessly.

Now this is not the first time I’ve seen or heard of something like this and it is merely another added to the list.  Not to mention incidents like the Seattle PD incident where the officer didn’t like someone carving some wood, proceeded to close the distance to someone he, as he stated was “armed”, and when the person finally turned around to see who was yelling at him the officer shot him.  The officer claimed the knife was open and that’s why he shot, it was determined however it was in fact closed.

Ultimately that shooting was ruled unjustified however the officer was not charged with any crime because “he was acting in a public capacity” at the time.

One of my friends then posted the following comment on my wall:

“Cops will shoot anyone for any reason…”. Every cop? You knew me as a safe fellow gun owner in college who stood along side you with an empty holster on the campus open carry awareness days. I’d like to think that I haven’t turned into a mindless killer now that I choose to put on a badge and serve the public

Initially the response was just going to be there except this is a serious problem and it’s a matter of trust and integrity, and I’m not going to go completely Kevin Baker this isn’t going to be short.

The problem is the police have no trust or integrity left.  I may trust my friend because I know him and don’t have to worry about him just shooting me because I know him and his character.  The problem is I don’t have that kind of rapport with most police officers, in fact most of them are a blank sheet that I know nothing about.

Just the same when an officer approaches me they know nothing about me, unless they pull me over.  Then they see that I have a concealed weapons permit when they run my license plate.  Fun little thing there is then the officer knows I am generally most likely an upstanding citizen.  Except some officers treat concealed permit holders as criminals because they dare exercise their rights and an immediate threat to the officers safety and everyone else.

But we’re not talking about their perspective, which is interesting since officer fatalities are at an all time low:

The annual report from the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also found that deaths in the line of duty generally fell by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959. 

According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide this past year, compared to 121 in 2012. 

Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887.

Yes you read that right, officer friendly is more likely to die in an a traffic accident than be shot by Sumdood.  Interestingly the number of justifiable homicides committed by officers far outpaces that rate, but what is disturbing is the burden of proof for their justification is far less than a citizen who may be found in similar circumstances.  But this is ultimately neither here nor there it’s just an interesting piece of information when viewed in the additional context of the following incidents raises serious concern.

Because what this subject is really about is my perception of officer friendly.  Can I trust him?

All that I have to go on is the fact he’s been issued a badge and a gun by the state.  Neither of which vouches for his character, mental health, competence, or respect for others.  Approximately 1% of police officers will be found to have committed misconduct,  this doesn’t include unreported incidents or incidents where misconduct was likely but could not be proven or the officer was protected through judicial fiat.

Let’s look at the Canton PD incident, because honestly it is a fantastic example of why integrity and trust is being lost and why just because it’s only 1% doesn’t inspire confidence in them.

Officer Harless, while operating as a law enforcement officer and protected as such by qualified immunity,  threatened and harassed people on more than one occasion.  Watching the video that made him famous there is something even more disturbing, the complete inaction of his partner to do anything to protect the victim.  Instead of reigning the out of control officer Roid-Rage in he just sits off to the side and does nothing, silently complacent in the actions of his partner.

It gets better though because lets now investigate the fallout from that incident.  First we had a city council member justifying Harless’s actions and defending him.  That’s right, the out of control behavior was defended by a man elected to represent the public (victim) at large.  He was only brought in for a disciplinary hearing and no charges were filed due to his threats and actions, of which there was a history of misconduct.  He was eventually fired and a minor amount of faith restored as he was at least fired.

Except now the fun begins.  All of his fellow officers banded together to support him and the police union forced the city to hire him back.  This is about that, all those officers were OK with that behavior and the obvious pattern of it.  So much so they forced the government to hire him back and put that man who destroy the trust back in a position of power.  That is how you destroy integrity.

Let’s look back on the whole of the state sponsored criminal count.  There were a lot of very screwed up instances, that the story was darn near always the same.

Nonetheless, she says: “In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car. With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed.”

Hell, I had created a special tag, “hiding in plain sight“, because I was finding so many school resource officers who were screwing girls in the school.

This boils down to a matter of trust and integrity and honestly the police have lost it.  Due to their job and position they should be striving for excellence and be dealing immediately and harshly with any misconduct.  Instead many officers are intimidated into not reporting misconduct.  This is a problem within the system.  I don’t know how to fix it but it is a problem and it’s destroying the trust and tarnishing any integrity that people see left.

Why should I not be afraid of someone I don’t know who’s been given a badge and a gun by the state and have a free pass to shoot someone one, even unlawfully?  You want to fix this problem, bring the police and the people back into line at the same bar.  The public are the police and the police are the public.  Between the laws and behavior that is no longer true.

If there honestly isn’t a problem, why is there such a high domestic violence rate among police officers?  Is it because many of them are so heavily trained on relying on their use of force to get their way they forget the other tools at their disposal?

I am more fearful of the police than I am of criminals.  I can at least fight back against a criminal.  The police however can kick down my door in the middle of the night, shoot my dog, shoot me, shoot my wife, and then say oops wrong house and they all get a pass.  Why didn’t they just !@#$ing knock on my door and show me the warrant?

Oh the criminal is dangerous and he might destroy evidence.  Here’s a !@#$ing idea then, catch him on his drive to work or when he’s away from the house.  The majority of no-knock warrants are unnecessary and merely used to continue justifying funding.

Do police have a right to go home safe at the end of the day, sure, but they have no more of a right to that than the people they serve.  Honestly in signing on the dotted line, they sign on for the additional risk their job brings.  If they can’t handle it they need to go work someplace else.

Shooting a grandfather in the back while he’s lying on the ground isn’t acceptable, neither is shooting a little girl in the face, or shooting a child’s dog in a cage in front of the child.  The people aren’t the ones creating this attitude, it’s the actions and behavior of police officers.  If they want the support and trust of law-abiding citizens, they need to earn it.  Letting incidents like this happen on a regular basis without the uproar of other officers just makes them all complicit.

They are also consistently exempt from laws that are applied to the rest of the general public, that is not acceptable and is yet another example of Tyranny, and the police are happy enough to enjoy it.  Again, destroying trust, faith, and integrity one step at a time.

The actions and behavior of the police have created this rift and it’s going to take them changing their behavior to fix it.  Even then it will take a long period of time.  They need to collectively step up to the plate push out the corruption, embrace the suck and ensure that laws are applied equally across everyone, including themselves.  If some officer says, high capacity magazines should be outlawed, he should be planning on surrendering the ones from his patrol car, his house, and his locker as well.

A man of character will stand up and do the right thing, even if it hurts him personally.  I do not see men of character in law enforcement.  I see a group of men, some of whom are corrupt, but overall who operate as a “brotherhood” and will defend their brother even if he has done something wrong.  Brotherhood serves a purpose, but there’s a point where character should take over.

Some Names Cleared…

I got an email today providing an update to a SSCC back in Nov 2011.  Earlier this year the men were cleared and the details indicate someone else really deserved the label.

Garrett has always claimed he was fired, along with five other officers who were either terminated or demoted, by then Police Chief Steve Graham for retaliation to a complaint they made against him to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in October 2009.

Garrett got some redemption this week when an arbitrator ruled in his favor, determining he did not lie and “the city did not have just cause to discharge (him).” The retaliation claim, however, was not validated based on the time lapse between the two events.

Ends up the Police Chief was no shining star and some of the men tried to call him on it.

That said, the way to get me to update an incident in the count is NOT to call me a “F–kin’ loser”.  Seriously.  I won’t repost the whole thread as he apologized at the end, but seriously folks not a way to get me to even pay attention to your email.

Accountabilibuddable – David Bisard

Via Tam I saw this and it made me feel a little bit better.

Suspended (and now soon-to-be Former) IMPD officer David “Bottles” Bisard has just been found guilty on all charges by a jury of his peers.

Now I’m not happy still for a couple of reasons.

  1. Took way too long.
  2. Still kept his job until the verdict was found.

Seriously, WTFO!?  Name me one other job in the world where they wouldn’t have canned your ass for doing something like that?  Heck, many employers will fire you if you’re charged with a felony.  “Come back after the not guilty verdict.”  They don’t want the publicity black eye, yet in law enforcement land they get a free pass because “COP”.

Not to mention the many other issues, honestly I don’t trust law enforcement anymore.  They have too many laws protecting them so they can get away with murder.  Seriously, they can kill you and as long as they’re in uniform most likely they will get away with it as long as it wasn’t “premeditated”.

If you still don’t understand, let me just quote Tam herself yet again on the subject:

… but I can’t think of any job I ever held where my employer would wait on the jury verdict to fire me if I’d killed somebody with a company car while three sheets to the wind.

SSCC–Hancock County

Six years ago, Assistant District Attorney of Hancock County, Maine, Mary Kellett, used the awesome power of the state on behalf of a woman who was seeking custody of her two children. Ligia Filler was afraid that, in her impending divorce from husband Vladek Filler, she’d lose custody of her children. She was right. Ligia Filler did lose custody of her children for the good and sufficient reason that she was a mentally unbalanced woman with a propensity for harming the kids. When it came to it, the Hancock County family court had no trouble deciding who was the better parent and awarded primary custody to Vladek.

What the family court and child welfare workers recognized – that Vladek Filler is a fine and loving parent and that Ligia is a danger to herself and her children – escaped Mary Kellett completely. Or, it may not have escaped her; she may have seen it clearly, but went to bat for Ligia anyway. If the latter, she not only used the power of her office to hound an innocent man, but she used it to attempt to keep innocent children in an abusive environment. Whatever she knew, it seems clear that Mary Kellett acted on the basis of a misandric worldview. This is a woman who seems to use state power to conduct personal vendettas against men. The Filler case is far from the only one in which this tendency has apparently come to light.

Go read the whole story.  It honestly makes me sick.

State Sponsored Criminal: Mary Kellett

Because when you’re a prosecutor and you purposely violate rules and ethics of the bar, you get a suspension which is then suspended.  Punishment, who needs it when you’re the state!

via Rob H.

SSCC–LASO

James Spinks, then 60, was injured when a deputy repeatedly kneed him in the side after knocking him to the platform floor at the Rosa Parks/Willowbrook train station, attorney Thomas E. Beck said. Witnesses loudly complained that deputies were beating an "old man," and one captured the encounter on a cellphone camera, Beck said.

The jury made the decision and found against the police officers.  What bugs me is they don’t state what the reason for the initial contact by police officers was for.

I think the most telling part is this:

"We still stand behind our deputies," he said. "Just because this verdict has come in doesn’t mean this is over."

Yup, just like they stand behind officers shooting at a couple ladies delivering papers for no reason.

State Sponsored Criminal: Mark Collins and Ermina McKelvy

Because when you’re a cop you can detain people without cause or warrant and beat them if they refuse.

SSCC San Marcos

A San Marcos police corporal is in custody after police say he injured a woman while illegally arresting her in late May, causing her to lose at least two teeth and suffer a concussion.

Cpl. James Angelo Palermo, 40, was booked at the Hays County jail on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. Jail records show bail was not set as of Tuesday evening.

Go read the story on that one.  The reason he assaulted that poor girl was because she was walking on the sidewalk past a traffic stop near a business.  But it gets better, you see this department has come up before.  Not only that but I stumbled across a second current incident!

A San Marcos police officer was arrested Wednesday morning after he turned himself in on two arrest warrants for obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Officer David Amerson surrendered at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center shortly before 6 a.m. and was released about 9 a.m. His bail was set at $10,000. The charges stem from an investigation by the Hays County Drug Task Force in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety.

Now everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the law is there to protect the innocent so sometimes the guilty may go free.  That said that is with regards to the state incarcerating someone and depriving them of their rights.  In this case the officers are on administrative leave, and we know if it looks like they are about to really get burned they will just resign and go work some place else doing the same job.

Here’s what bugs me more than anything, it is yet another data point in my theory that departments as a whole are encouraging this type of behavior and it isn’t just a “lone wolf” issue.  We are seeing many repeat incidents at the same departments, largely stemming from the fact that they don’t cut the fat until it becomes a serious liability.  Even then they don’t cut the fat in a way to terminate it, they just allow it to become someone else’s problem.

State Sponsored Criminal: James Angelo Palermo

State Sponsored Criminal: David Amerson

Because accountability serves no purpose within the police force to discourage bad conduct.

SSCC Corpus Christi

Officer Norman Morton seen in video recorded at the Corpus Christi City Detention Center was handed a two week suspension for using excessive force on a prisoner already in handcuffs and lying to internal affairs about what happened.
We learned this week that Morton retired, effective last Friday. However, the department isn’t saying what led to his retirement or whether there were any other active internal affairs investigations going on.

Here’s the video:

Think about that for a second… Beat a handcuffed man, then lied about it, and then goes into retirement.  The fact that last year 22 officers were disciplined internally last year.  As I’ve said before rarely does a single incident stand alone but usually is indicative of a systemic problem.

State Sponsored Criminal: Norman Morton

Because when you assault a man without actual cause, don’t worry about your job we’ll make sure you make retirement.