Attack in Dallas

I’ve got a couple of thoughts about the Dallas attack…fair warning, none of them are particularly “politically correct”.

I do feel sad for the families of the slain officers and hope for the rapid recovery of those wounded. There’s a good chance that those cops were good, hard working and diligent public servants.

But they were a part of a larger community and that leads me to my first thought:

You reap what you sow.

The Police, as a community, has been fostering an “us vs them” mentality for many years. They openly consider themselves “warriors” and place more value on “getting home safe” at the end of the shift than protecting the public or doing their jobs.

When you treat the general public as the enemy and publicly declare that occasionally killing innocents is an acceptable outcome when compared with officer safety, you are no longer a police force, you are an occupying military.

It should come as no surprise when some of the people you view as the enemy decides to view you in the same way.

“You reap what you sow” also applies to the Black Lives Matter people.

Details are still sketchy and we have no inkling of the motivations of the attackers, but considering that they killed none of the protesters and only cops, I’d have to say it’s a safe assumption that they were at minimum ambivalent toward the movement and were likely supporters of it.

Many of the BLM people, who have been actively calling for attacks on police and shouting down, harassing and intimidating anyone who had the audacity to counter with “all lives matter”, are now decrying the attacks and claiming that they never really MEANT all those times they chanted about killing cops.

Sorry, but this is what you’ve been begging for for over a year, acting all surprised now when you get it seems a bit disingenuous to me (to put it lightly).

And, of course, the inevitable blood dancing has already begun. Those who eagerly await any bloodshed they can use as a rationalization for advancing their agenda of control have already started doing so. We don’t even know who the attackers were yet, let alone how they got their guns, and Obama is already blaming the shooting on “easy access to guns”.

My sincere belief about this is that it’s been a long time coming and it’s going to get A LOT worse. The government has been abusing the people for way too long and way too many are seriously pissed off about it. With the Hillary fiasco demonstrating unequivocally that the laws are only for “little people” and that only we will be held accountable for our actions, while the “elite” can pretty much do whatever the heck they want with impunity, it’s only going to get worse.

And, in the face of rising unrest and discontent, they want to relieve us of the most effective tools we have available to defend ourselves against the coming mayhem?

I think not. In fact, that would be the quickest and most sure way of adding more recruits to the ranks of those ready to strike out against those who would try to control us.

Unless that’s the plan. I’m no conspiracy nut, but it sure would be convenient for Obama for things to go to hell in a handbasket over the next few months, thereby “requiring” him to declare martial law and “temporarily postpone” the upcoming elections…you know…for the public’s safety and all that.

At any rate, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to foresee what’s coming. Gun rights activists and patriots had better be prepared because the onslaught against our rights is about to reach a whole new level.

What could possibly go wrong?

Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Link

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. –Lyndon Johnson

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

I try very hard to keep in mind…

…that most cops are good, conscientious, hard-working men and women who are just trying to do their duty and their job.

But stories like these make it very hard to keep things in perspective:


Couple arrested for getting lost in Baltimore.

News I-Team reporter David Collins said Joshua Kelly and Llara Brook, of Chantilly, Va., got lost leaving an Orioles game on Saturday. Collins reported a city officer arrested them for trespassing on a public street while they were asking for directions.

Video of Missouri SWAT raid

This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years—cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid.

Important safety tip to Police:   My pets are part of my family, I will defend them with all the force and vigor with which I would defend my wife or children.  If you have a warrant to serve on my home, you would be well served to knock on the frakking door and give me enough time to answer it.  If you kick the door down and start shooting at my dogs, I WILL shoot back.  I obviously won’t be able to stand up for long against a cadre of body armored and armed polizei in full assault mode, but I can guarantee that I’ll take at least one or two of the murderers in uniform with me on the way out.

If, on the other hand, you knock on the door, give me the opportunity to answer it, and show me the warrant, I’ll be more than happy to secure the dogs and let you into the house without a problem.  You get to execute your warrant, and everyone gets to keep breathing for one more day.  Win-win.

If the police don’t want their fellow citizens treating them like the enemy, they’d better call off the war and start treating us with the same common courtesy that they’d like to receive.

Stranded by Police

Not gun related but no less maddening.

A motorist was left with no recourse after police grabbed his truck and stranded him, alone, on the side of the road in a dangerous Mesa, Arizona neighborhood — even though he had not done anything wrong. US District Court Judge David G Campbell issued a preliminary ruling last Friday that Ted Mink, 47, had no right to sue police over his treatment at their hands.

In defense of the Police, as far as they knew the guy was driving on a suspended license…but leaving a person with documented medical issues stranded on the side of the road is patently ridiculous.  Heck, if nothing else, arrest the guy and take him to jail.  At least that way he’d have access to basic medical care and wouldn’t be walking for miles on his bum foot.

I spent a short time doing police type work in the Navy and I can tell you that you do tend to get pretty cynical pretty quickly.  Most of your time is spent with people of less than stellar character.  But sometimes that cynicism manifests itself in the form of outright cruelty on the part of Police Officers.  In my humble opinion, because of their position and role in society, Cops should be held to a higher standard of professionalism and human compassion than the general population…not lower as is the case today.

Until Police Officers are routinely held accountable for their actions and the harm those actions cause when acting as our representatives and exercising the powers that we have granted to them, these types of abuses will continue unabated.

The only way they’ll ever be held accountable is if we as a society demand that they be.

I’m not holding my breath.

Impersonating an idiot

A while back, when the Ryan Frederick saga was still playing out, one of the common arguments made by those supporting the Police State was that no one should shoot at people breaking down their door if the intruders are screaming that they are Police Officers.

In order to counter this ridiculous proposition, I set up a “Google News Alert” for police impostors in order to find stories of home invaders posing as police as they break down doors.

It actually happens fairly often and I’ve collected a pretty good number of stories about just such incidents, some even happening in the local area.

I still have that news alert set up and today this interesting story popped up:

While on patrol at 11:36 p.m. Tuesday, an officer reported seeing a bicyclist swerving, “all over the road,” Texas City police Sgt. Joe Stanton said.

The man, 20, was wearing a police jacket with a patch that read, “The Colony Police Department,” Stanton said.

The Colony Police Chief Joe Clark viewed an e-mail picture of the jacket and patch and said it had been standard issue to police dispatchers and last issued a decade ago.

“Whoever they’re dealing with got it from a Goodwill down there,” Clark said, noting the jacket had a chest patch that said communications on the coat. [emphasis added]

The man was charged with two misdemeanors, public intoxication and false identification as a peace officer-misrepresentation of property, Stanton said.

So, apparently in Texas, having the audacity to wear something that even HINTS of being an employee of the police department is enough for a charge of “false identification as a peace officer”, even if no claims were made and the patch even said “communications” on it.

I have a feeling that charge will be dropped, but just the fact that they charged him is enough for me to file this under “Police State”.

I have a T-shirt with a Border patrol emblem on the front that I got while I was working for a contractor that was installing the surveillance systems on the border. The border patrol themselves sold it to me for $20 IIRC. They also had hats, sweat shirts and other items for sale with the border patrol emblem on them.

Am I impersonating a police officer when I wear that shirt? I guess if I ever go to Texas again, I’ll leave it at home just in case.

Thinigs that make you go Hmmm…

Maybe I should make that a category.

Frederick informant: Police implied he’d receive leniency:

Steven Wright, a police informant, said there were “implied promises” made by police and prosecutors to take care of him in return for his testimony against Ryan Frederick, a Chesapeake man convicted of killing a police detective during a drug raid.

Draw your own conclusions.

Chesapeake City Council Meeting

As I mentioned in Call to Action last week, Dr. Don Tabor of the Libertarian Party of Tidewater and of the blog Tidewater Liberty, presented a proposal to the Chesapeake City Council last night.

Here is Dr. Tabor’s take on the event, and here is his original post which includes the text of the prepared statement.

I did take a few pictures, but the layout of the council chambers is not conducive to that. I did get some pictures of the back of his head…

I also recorded his statement, which you can listen to here.

I thought the statement was very well done, it adequately stated the concerns about Police conduct in the Ryan Frederick case, while still being respectful of Police and the hazardous duties that they perform.

The Pilot even did a minor piece on it.

Detective John Landfair provided a police rebuttal. He was announced as representing “himself” so I don’t know if this is the official position of the Chesapeake Police Department, but he gave the impression that his statement was representing all Police.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for him and didn’t get the recorder back out and turned on until almost half-way through his statement. You can listen to the part that I did get here.

The part that I missed was where he insisted several times that the police were being “disparaged”, and indicated that we who were present at the council meeting were among those “disparaging Police”.

Well, Detective Landfair, I don’t disparage police in general and, though I believe that the policies and procedures of the Chesapeake Police Department that led to the death of Detective Shivers are fatally flawed (so to speak), I don’t believe I’ve disparaged the police at any time throughout my coverage of the ordeal, but I can tell you right now that you can consider the remainder of this post to be a personal disparagement of you.

Detective Landfair went to great lengths to demonstrate that being a LEO in the Hampton Roads area in general, and in Chesapeake in particular, is a very hazardous job. That the Hampton Roads area has a record of Police line of duty fatalities on a par with MUCH larger and more violent areas and that Chesapeake in particular is comparable to Detroit when it comes to line of duty deaths.

I would think that Detective Landfair, versus ridiculing citizens who’s stated concerns are as much for police officer safety as for citizen safety, would be a bit concerned about the high rate of line of duty deaths in this area. Detective…aren’t you even a LITTLE BIT concerned that you guys seem to be doing something WRONG???

Or are you implying that Hampton Roads and Chesapeake have a higher concentration of cop killers than anywhere else in the country? I’m sorry, but that simply doesn’t make sense when taken in consideration of other crime rates in the area. If the problem isn’t more criminals, …then OBVIOUSLY the problem lies in the other end of the equation…the police.

Duh.

I would think that someone placing his life on the line every time he goes out would WANT to take a look at whether the policies and procedures espoused by the department he works for are placing his life in danger.

But to an “Only One”, it is seemingly more important to maintain the facade that the police are beyond reproach and criticism.

Next, Detective Landfair pointedly noted the “adversarial judicial system” that allows for “scrutiny” of officer conduct.

What.The.Heck.

So, Detective, you are saying that police conduct SHOULDN’T be scrutinized? That we should just accept the word of police officers as gospel, take for granted that their professionalism is beyond reproach, their judgment is always unquestionable and that they should be allowed to throw into jail anyone whom they deem should be there?

Talk about visions of a Police State (I could have thrown a lot more links in that paragraph, but the number of examples I came up with in my short time searching was disheartening).

And, the capper…to top it all off…the money quote…the big closer, which I imagine Detective Landfair thought was quite pithy and apropos:

“Just as I would not tell a dentist how to pull a tooth, I would hope that a dentist would not tell me that I should or should not pull my gun.”

(in case you didn’t know, Dr. Tabor is a dentist…very witty of the detective was it not?)

I must wonder, Detective Landfair, were it YOUR tooth that Dr. Tabor were pulling, would you wish to have any input as to how it was done? I mean, surely you wouldn’t mind him pulling it with a pair of pliers and no anesthesia right? After all, he’s the Dentist, not you…who are you to tell him how to do his job, right? The fact that you are paying him to do it shouldn’t matter one whit, now should it?

The CITIZENS are your “patients” Detective. We ABSOLUTELY have the right to tell you how to do your job….BECAUSE WE PAY YOUR SALARY and WE ARE THE ONES upon whom you practice your trade.

Sorry for shouting but the ignorance and arrogance of the good Detective’s statement is infuriating.

Detective, the police powers entrusted to you are granted by the citizens. They are not yours by birthright, or by royal decree or by fiat. They are yours because the citizens of Chesapeake have delegated them to you.

You are not our boss…our ruler…our better. You are our EMPLOYEE.

You’re darn right we have the right to scrutinize, to criticize, to supervise and even to tell you when you may or may not pull your gun on our behalf.

If you, Detective, have a problem with answering to your employers…you, sir, need to find a different line of work.

Stop the Presses!

Some of you may remember me talking about Danladi Moore…the gentleman that sued the city of Norfolk for repeatedly harassing him for openly carrying a firearm and won a $10,000 settlement.

The guy that the city continued to harass culminating in VCDL descending on a City Council meeting to voice our displeasure. About how, immediately after the meeting, a group of people went to the Hooters in Waterside for continued fellowship (I was invited but declined). About how, upon leaving the establishment, Danladi was AGAIN stopped, harassed, and this time ARRESTED for openly carrying a firearm.

I got the opportunity to speak with Dan on Lobby Day…I’ve actually met him several times now and am beginning to consider him a friend as well as fellow VCDL member. At any rate, he was rally looking forward to his case coming up because he was very confident that he would prevail.

Hot off the presses from VCDL:

I just got the word – Danladi Moore, who was arrested for trespass by a Norfolk police officer last August while Danladi was lawfully open carrying at Norfolk’s Waterside Mall, has just won his case in court!

The judge told the Norfolk City Attorney that because of the City’s financial interest in the mall, the mall is considered PUBLIC property and Danladi was therefore NOT trespassing. All charges are to be dropped.

I wonder if Dan will let the city get away with a settlement this time? I hope not. In fact, I hope that, considering the fact that there were several white guys openly carrying firearms that the police said nary a word to, and that Dan was the only “Black Man With a Gun” and was also the only one arrested, that he will not only sue the city for false arrest, but will also file a federal civil rights lawsuit for discrimination as well.

Dan only got $10k last time. Here’s hoping that he adds a couple of zeros this time. It’s a shame that the taxpayers have to pay it…it would be much better if it had to come out of Mayor Fraim and the rest of City Council’s pockets…but in these tight budgetary times, maybe this will make enough of a dent to convince the citizens to throw at least some of these authoritarian jerks out of office.

[Update] News coverage in the VA Pilot. [/Update]

Ryan Frederick Verdict:

Voluntary Manslaughter

[The Jury] also convicted him of simple possession of marijuana.

In the process, the group opted against the two most serious charges filed against the 29-year-old – capital murder and manufacturing marijuana. Voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

I have to say I’m not exactly pleased with the verdict, but given the vagaries of Virginia law, and the circumstances of the case, I can understand it.

[UPDATE] This just in: Jury recommends maximum sentence:

A Chesapeake jury called for a maximum sentence of 10 years for Ryan Frederick, convicted earlier today of voluntary manslaughter the 2008 slaying of Detective Jarrod Shivers during a drug raid.

Now I DEFINITELY hope he appeals. Ten years? For defending his home? What a travesty.

[/UPDATE]

[UPDATE2] Looks like an appeal is imminent.

Frederick’s attorney, James Broccoletti, though grateful his client didn’t get a capital murder conviction, agreed that this was not a “heat of passion” killing.

He vowed to appeal, saying the 10-year maximum sentence reflected the jury’s “outrage and emotion” but ignored his client’s clean record and character.

“This case isn’t over by a long shot,” he said.

Good

[/UPDATE2]

The possession conviction I have no quibbles about. That one was pretty cut and dried. The state flat out failed to prove that he was manufacturing; lacking a conviction on the felony drug charge, there were no grounds for the “using a firearm in the commission of a felony” charge.

The “voluntary manslaughter” charge is debatable, but he did fire before the attackers had gained entry and were still outside the house, he did fire without having a clear target and he wasn’t completely innocent, so he cannot claim that there was no reason for him to think it COULD be Police…even if he didn’t hear the announcement.

As I said, I don’t agree with the conviction, but I can understand why they convicted.

I fear, however, that the Chesapeake Police Department are going to use the conviction for justification to deny any culpability in this affair. They will self-righteously claim that the conviction proves that they did nothing wrong, and they may even (cue the irony music) use the death of Detective Shivers as further “evidence” that dynamic raids are justified “for the safety of Police Officers”.

This entire situation was caused by a poorly conceived, poorly executed and completely unnecessary violent “raid” which is accepted police procedure throughout this country; which means that more good and decent Police Officers and more innocent (and not-so-innocent) citizens are going to die, or have their lives destroyed unnecessarily. These types of situations are going to continue to occur until we, as a citizenry, demand that it stop.

I’m not holding my breath.

I don’t know if Frederick will appeal or not, I must say that this statement from his attorney (from the same story linked above) doesn’t seem to indicate that he will:

“I think it’s a very fair and very rational verdict by the jury. I think it demonstrates that they applied reason, thought and common sense and sound judgment in what was a very emotional case,” defense attorney James Broccoletti said.

At any rate, I’ll let you know when I hear anything about sentencing.

Things that make you go Hmmm.

There is an excellent article in the Examiner today regarding Paramilitary Police raids like the one that victimized Ryan Frederick.

It’s definitely worth a read, but the reason I mention it is because it referenced a Washington Post article detailing a similar violent raid on the home of Berwyn Heights, MD mayor Cheye Calvo that occurred not too long ago.

Luckily for the police in this case, Mr Calvo was not prepared to defend himself. Had he been armed, he may have ended up in Ryan Frederick’s situation as he reportedly initially believed that his home was under assault by home invaders.

Unluckily for Mr. Calvo, the police executed his two dogs in conducting the raid, reportedly even chasing one down as it fled in order to “protect themselves” from its “aggressive stance”.

How does this relate to the Ryan Frederick case? Because of this minor detail reported in the Post:

At home in St. Mary’s, [Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick] Murphy dialed the cellphone of his second-in-command, now standing on the mayor’s front lawn. Murphy’s officer handed the phone to a Prince George’s narcotics investigator, Det. Sgt. David Martini.

This is how Murphy later recalled their conversation:

“Martini tells me that when the SWAT team came to the door, the mayor met them at the door, opened it partially, saw who it was, and then tried to slam the door on them,” Murphy recalled. “And that at that point, Martini claimed, they had to force entry, the dogs took aggressive stances, and they were shot.”

“I later learned,” Murphy said in an interview, “that none of that is true.”

Martini said he was not free to comment for this article.

“None of that is true.”

But, I thought that the Police would NEVER…um…embellish…a story to cast themselves in the best light. I thought that we could ALWAYS trust the Police to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…especially in cases as important as, say, a capital murder trial like Ryan Frederick’s.

Hmmmm.

One final tidbit from the Post story:

“In other words, police can do what they did to us with impunity” Cheye concluded. “There are no consequences, not for them.”

Some animals are just more equal than others.