Posts Tagged ‘abuse of power’

By John W. Whitehead
August 24, 2015

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

There’s an ill will blowing across the country. The economy is tanking. The people are directionless, and politics provides no answer. And like former regimes, the militarized police have stepped up to provide a façade of law and order manifested by an overt violence against the citizenry.

Despite the revelations of the past several years, nothing has changed to push back against the American police state. Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Despite the recent outrage and protests, nothing has changed to restore us to our rightful role as having dominion over our bodies, our lives and our property, especially when it comes to interactions with the government.

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases—these are just a few ways in which Americans continue to be reminded that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials. Thus far, the courts have done little to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights, let alone what shreds of bodily integrity remain to us.

Indeed, on a daily basis, Americans are being forced to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States.

In other words, we are all guilty until proven innocent.

Worst of all, it seems as if nothing will change as long as the American people remain distracted by politics, divided by their own prejudices, and brainwashed into believing that the Constitution still reigns supreme as the law of the land, when in fact, we have almost completed the shift into fascism.

In other words, despite our occasional bursts of outrage over abusive police practices, sporadic calls for government reform, and periodic bouts of awareness that all is not what it seems, the police state continues to march steadily onward.

Such is life in America today that individuals are being threatened with arrest and carted off to jail for the least hint of noncompliance, homes are being raided by police under the slightest pretext, and roadside police stops have devolved into government-sanctioned exercises in humiliation and degradation with a complete disregard for privacy and human dignity.

Consider, for example, what happened to Charnesia Corley after allegedly being pulled over by Texas police for “rolling” through a stop sign. Claiming they smelled marijuana, police handcuffed Corley, placed her in the back of the police cruiser, and then searched her car for almost an hour. They found nothing in the car.

As the Houston Chronicle reported:

Returning to his car where Corley was held, the deputy again said he smelled marijuana and called in a female deputy to conduct a cavity search. When the female deputy arrived, she told Corley to pull her pants down, but Corley protested because she was cuffed and had no underwear on. The deputy ordered Corley to bend over, pulled down her pants and began to search her. Then…Corley stood up and protested, so the deputy threw her to the ground and restrained her while another female was called in to assist. When backup arrived, each deputy held one of Corley’s legs apart to conduct the probe.

As shocking and disturbing as it seems, Corley’s roadside cavity search is becoming par for the course in an age in which police are taught to have no respect for the citizenry’s bodily integrity.

For instance, 38-year-old Angel Dobbs and her 24-year-old niece, Ashley, were pulled over by a Texas state trooper on July 13, 2012, allegedly for flicking cigarette butts out of the car window. Insisting that he smelled marijuana, he proceeded to interrogate them and search the car. Despite the fact that both women denied smoking or possessing any marijuana, the police officer then called in a female trooper, who carried out a roadside cavity search, sticking her fingers into the older woman’s anus and vagina, then performing the same procedure on the younger woman, wearing the same pair of gloves. No marijuana was found.

David Eckert was forced to undergo an anal cavity search, three enemas, and a colonoscopy after allegedly failing to yield to a stop sign at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Cops justified the searches on the grounds that they suspected Eckert was carrying drugs because his “posture [was] erect” and “he kept his legs together.” No drugs were found.

Leila Tarantino was subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic during a routine traffic stop, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. Nothing illegal was found. Nevertheless, such searches have been sanctioned by the courts, especially if accompanied by a search warrant (which is easily procured), as justified in the government’s pursuit of drugs and weapons.

Meanwhile, four Milwaukee police officers were charged with carrying out rectal searches of suspects on the street and in police district stations over the course of several years. One of the officers was accused of conducting searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums and leaving some of his victims with bleeding rectums. Halfway across the country, the city of Oakland, California, agreed to pay $4.6 million to 39 men who had their pants pulled down by police on city streets between 2002 and 2009.

It’s gotten so bad that you don’t even have to be suspected of possessing drugs to be subjected to a strip search.

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Florence v. Burlison, any person who is arrested and processed at a jail house, regardless of the severity of his or her offense (i.e., they can be guilty of nothing more than a minor traffic offense), can be subjected to a strip search by police or jail officials without reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is carrying a weapon or contraband.

Examples of minor infractions which have resulted in strip searches include: individuals arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, driving with an inoperable headlight, failing to use a turn signal, riding a bicycle without an audible bell, making an improper left turn, engaging in an antiwar demonstration (the individual searched was a nun, a Sister of Divine Providence for 50 years). Police have also carried out strip searches for passing a bad check, dog leash violations, filing a false police report, failing to produce a driver’s license after making an illegal left turn, having outstanding parking tickets, and public intoxication. A failure to pay child support can also result in a strip search.

It must be remembered that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to prevent government agents from searching an individual’s person or property without a warrant and probable cause (evidence that some kind of criminal activity was afoot). While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity.

Unfortunately, the indignities being heaped upon us by the architects and agents of the American police state—whether or not we’ve done anything wrong—don’t end with roadside strip searches. They’re just a foretaste of what is to come.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government doesn’t need to strip you naked by the side of the road in order to render you helpless. It has other methods, less subtle perhaps but equally humiliating, devastating and mind-altering, of stripping you of your independence, robbing you of your dignity, and undermining your rights.

With every court ruling that allows the government to operate above the rule of law, every piece of legislation that limits our freedoms, and every act of government wrongdoing that goes unpunished, we’re slowly being conditioned to a society in which we have little real control over our lives. As Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone and an insightful commentator on human nature, once observed, “We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”

Indeed, not only are we developing a new citizenry incapable of thinking for themselves, we’re also instilling in them a complete and utter reliance on the government and its corporate partners to do everything for them—tell them what to eat, what to wear, how to think, what to believe, how long to sleep, who to vote for, whom to associate with, and on and on.

In this way, we have created a welfare state, a nanny state, a police state, a surveillance state, an electronic concentration camp—call it what you will, the meaning is the same: in our quest for less personal responsibility, a greater sense of security, and no burdensome obligations to each other or to future generations, we have created a society in which we have no true freedom.

Government surveillance, police abuse, SWAT team raids, economic instability, asset forfeiture schemes, pork barrel legislation, militarized police, drones, endless wars, private prisons, involuntary detentions, biometrics databases, free speech zones, etc.: these are mile markers on the road to a fascist state where citizens are treated like cattle, to be branded and eventually led to the slaughterhouse.

If there is any hope to be found it will be found in local, grassroots activism. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., it’s time for “militant nonviolent resistance.”

First, however, Americans must break free of the apathy-inducing turpor of politics, entertainment spectacles and manufactured news. Only once we are free of the chains that bind us—or to be more exact, the chains that “blind” us—can we become actively aware of the injustices taking place around us and demand freedom of our oppressors.

Source

After filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department (CPD), The Guardian has discovered over 3,600 people have been detained at a secure facility known as Homan Square. Notorious for allegedly denying access to defense attorneys and committing human rights abuses, the officers at this CIA-style black site have been accused of coercing confessions, committing torture, and shackling detainees for prolonged periods. Although the CPD has denied these accusations, the department has been marred with a history of abuse and corruption.

On February 24, The Guardian exposed a police detention facility in Chicago where arrestees were kept out of official booking databases, denied legal representation, and endured hours of physical and psychological abuse. After the CPD ignored several FOIA requests regarding their facility at Homan Square, The Guardian filed a lawsuit against the department in April requesting further information, including the number of people detained at Homan Square and video evidence of interrogations at the site.

The CPD has recently revealed that at least 3,621 people have been detained at Homan Square for crimes ranging from drinking in public to murder. Although Chicago’s population is 33% black and 32% white according to the 2010 U.S. census, over 82% of the disclosed Homan Square arrests consist of black residents. Only 8.5% of the detainees were white, while 6.7% were Hispanic.

“When I was a detective, occasionally I would arrest a white person,” recalled Lorenzo Davis, a former police detective who commanded a unit at Homan Square, “and the white detectives would be overly interested in why I was arresting someone white.”

According to the CPD, only three arrestees received visits from their lawyers between September 2004 and July 2015. In its investigation, The Guardian documented an additional eight times that attorneys were present at Homan Square. In four instances, lawyers accompanied their clients to Homan to turn themselves in to authorities. Two lawyers were allowed interviews with their clients, while in at least two other cases, attorneys assert that they were refused access to their clients.

In January 2013, Eliza Solowiej of Chicago’s First Defense Legal Aid attempted to contact a client who had been detained at Homan Square. According to the attorney, officers changed her client’s name in the booking database before transferring him to the site at Homan Square. She finally located him after her client had been transported to a hospital with a head injury.

“He said that the officers caused his head injuries in an interrogation room at Homan Square. I had been looking for him for six to eight hours, and every department member I talked to said they had never heard of him,” Solowiej recalled. “He sent me a phone pic of his head injuries because I had seen him in a police station right before he was transferred to Homan Square without any.”

In September 2013, Chicago attorney Julia Bartmes was denied access to a 15-year-old boy detained within the Homan Square facility. After interrogating the teenager for at least 12 hours, the CPD released her client without charges.

On May 16, 2012, the CPD arrested Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “NATO 3,” and detained him at Homan Square. Instead of entering Church’s arrest into an official booking database, officers reportedly left his wrist cuffed to a bench with his legs shackled together for approximately 17 hours. Denying him access to his attorney, the police repeatedly interrogated Church without informing him of his Miranda rights to remain silent. In April 2014, Church and his two co-defendants were convicted of possessing an incendiary device and misdemeanor mob action, but they were acquitted of the terrorism-related charges.

On October 20, 2012, CPD officers detained Angel Perez at Homan Square to convince him to turn into a police informant. According to a lawsuit filed by Perez, officers Jorge Lopez and Edmund Zablocki anally raped him with a gun to coerce his cooperation.

In September 2011, Jose Martinez was allegedly cuffed to a bench for nine hours at Homan Square without food, water, or the use of a restroom before being booked at an actual police station. In August 2006, Estephanie Martinez had to relieve herself in a Homan Square interrogation room when a guard repeatedly refused to take her to the bathroom. On February 6, Calvin Coffey defecated on the floor of an interrogation room after guards refused his requests to go to the bathroom for over two hours. According to his lawsuit, Coffey was ordered to clean it up with his skull cap.

Although the CPD denies any wrongdoing, the department has a history of torturing suspects in order to obtain false confessions. Between 1972 and 1991, Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his men tortured hundreds of people to extract forced confessions from them. Convicted of perjury in 2010, Burge only spent four years in prison due to the fact that the statute of limitations prevents prosecutors from charging him and his fellow officers with multiple counts of torture. After costing Chicago and Cook County nearly $100 million in legal fees and settlements, Burge still receives a $4,000 monthly pension from the city.

Former Chicago homicide detective and Guantanamo Bay interrogator, Richard Zuley, was slapped with multiple lawsuits alleging he coerced confessions, threatened suspects’ family members, planted evidence, and committed torture. After retiring from the department, Zuley was assigned to interrogate Guantanamo detainee, Mohammedou Ould Slahi. According to Slahi’s testimony, Zuley tortured him, subjected him to mock executions, and threatened to bring Slahi’s mother to Guantanamo to rape her.

Since Rahm Emanuel assumed the office of mayor on May 16, 2011, at least 2,522 people have been detained at Homan Square. According to current police data, roughly 70% of the Homan Square detentions have taken place under Emanuel’s term. Additional FOIA requests have been filed requesting communications between the CPD and the mayor’s office regarding Homan Square.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/foia-lawsuit-reveals-3600-americans-detained-cia-style-black-site-homan-square/#BBbeVPjGiSrmw5Y3.99

Via NRL-ILA

Freedom Advocates, Pro-Gun Senators Unite to Oppose the Obama Administration’s Attempt to Censor Information about Firearms Technology

As we reported in June, the Obama Administration’s State Department (DOS) proposed a revision of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) on June 3 that would require anyone seeking to make certain types of information about firearms publicly available to first obtain government approval. Prior restraints of the sort contemplated by the proposal are among the most disfavored regulations of speech under First Amendment case law. Our original alert encouraged gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, serious hobbyists, and others who rely on design, development, production or manufacturing information about firearms to file comments with the State Department opposing the rule and explaining its problems.

The response was overwhelming. By the time the comment period ended on Monday, nearly 10,000 comments had been posted to the Regulations.gov website, the vast majority of them adamantly opposed to the law. A DOS official put the actual number of comments (which can also be submitted by other means) at some 12,000. Those opposing the rule include police officers, engineers, research universities, scholastic rifle teams, defense contractors, gunsmiths, firearm instructors, professors, IT professionals, and thousands of gun owners who enjoy fabricating or working on firearms for their lawful personal use. Their input illustrates not only the proposal’s restraints on free speech but the numerous practical problems it would pose for a variety of professionals, students, researchers, and other law-abiding Americans.

NRA’s own comments were submitted on Monday. The comments begin by emphasizing that the larger Export Control Reform effort of which the June 3 proposal is a part has always intended to move firearms off ITAR’s list of controlled items (the U.S. Munitions List) to a list subject to more flexible controls administered by the Commerce Department.  The whole point of having dual systems of control is to recognize that especially sensitive or sophisticated military technology (like that used in nuclear subs or ballistic missiles) requires a different level of regulation than items like firearms that have both military and civilian applications. Yet the Obama Administration, solely for political reasons, continues to treat the same sorts of firearms that some 100 million Americans (and countless foreigners) already have in their homes as if they are as militarily sensitive and consequential as aircraft carriers or strategic bombers.

Our comments also note that a proposed definition of “defense service” is so far-reaching that it could hinder efforts by NRA and NRA certified instructors to provide firearm education and safety training within the U.S. Under the proposal, a foreign person lawfully present in the U.S. could not participate even in “basic” operational training with a firearm unless the person had been approved to receive that firearm as an export in another country. This means, for example, that a foreign exchange student living with an American host family could not lawfully obtain the necessary training to safely use and handle a borrowed bolt action rifle to accompany the family on a deer hunt. Obviously, this is too restrictive and does nothing to further America’s national security.

The bulk of NRA’s comments, however, are devoted to explaining how the proposal would impose an unconstitutional prior restraint on firearm-related speech protected by the First Amendment.  We also expose DOS’s falsehood that the proposed requirement for “preauthorization” to discuss technical aspects of firearms and ammunition is merely a “more explicit statement” of current practice and policy. The comments quote extensively from case law and Department of Justice memorandums dating back to the 1970s which warn DOS that it cannot constitutionally impose a broad requirement that Americans first obtain government approval before speaking publicly about unclassified military technology.  We also show how DOS, under prior administrations, removed a similar preauthorization requirement in response to these concerns. “Not only is the preauthorization requirement a radical departure from DOS practice as it existed immediately prior to the proposal’s publication date,” our comments state, “it is a return to policy DOS had abandoned in the 1980s as incompatible with the First Amendment.”

Finally, our comments expose how another supposed clarification is actually a massive power grab by DOS, with the proposal’s insistence that speech published online must be treated as an “export,” because of its presumed availability to foreign persons. Not only is DOS’ attempt to seize control of Internet content futile from a practical standpoint, it was never authorized by the Congress that original passed ITAR’s enabling legislation, the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Internet had yet to be developed at the time of the AECA’s passage, so it authors could hardly have appointed DOS the government’s official Internet censor. More to the point, even if they had tried, the First Amendment would have stopped them.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), the media has been surprisingly silent on the government’s attempt to censor speech about constitutionally-protected firearms owned by millions of Americans. NRA’s comments quote statements from a press conference in which a DOS official sets up a strawman by insisting the proposal would not ban “general descriptions” or “imagery” of firearms. What the official fails to mention, however, is that more detailed information about firearm technology would be seriously curtailed. Worse, because the proposal is so awkwardly and confusingly drafted, even unregulated speech would likely be chilled because of the inability of individuals and media outlets (like Internet service providers) to determine when the regulatory line was crossed. Is the mass media so hypocritical that it’s willing to sacrifice a whole category of legitimate, constitutionally-protected speech, simply because it supports a gun culture the media detests? So far, that seems to be the case.

Fortunately, pro-gun representatives in the Senate have been more conscientious in protecting the public trust on this issue.  Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) led an effort that resulted in a 28 senators signing on to a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, opposing the June 3 proposal. According to the letter, “certain definitions within the proposal are so broad as to capture actions essential to the exercise of a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.” It goes on to state that the new definitions could capture “information such as how to legally modify or assemble a generally available firearm, such as a hunting rifle or self-defense handgun, or information on the development of new loading information for existing firearm ammunition.” “These types of activities,” the letter warns, “are part and parcel of how many Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.” The signatories accordingly “urge the State Department to modify or delay these misguided changes to the ITAR in order to ensure they do not violate the First and Second Amendments or until commonly owned firearms and ammunition are not adversely impacted.”

Once again, America’s gun owners, and their elected officials, with the backing and support of your NRA, have risen to the challenge of opposing an attempt from the Obama Administration to use executive authority to limit Second Amendment rights. Whether the proposal will be enacted as written, in a modified form, or will be scrapped, remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, DOS has received a clear message that America’s gun owners will not stand by to let either their First or Second Amendment rights be trampled.

Woman-Publicly-Sodomized-at-a-Gas-Station-by-Cops-Because-they-Smelled-WeedHouston, TX — Charnesia Corley was on her way to the store to get medicine for her sick mother last June when she was detained by police for allegedly running a stop sign. Within minutes, this routine traffic stop turned into a waking nightmare.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, the deputy who pulled Corley over asked her to step out of the vehicle after “smelling what he believed to be marijuana.”

However, during a search of Corley’s vehicle, without her consent, no illegal plants were found. But this sadistic cop wasn’t done just yet. He knew deep down that this woman’s story about getting medicine for her mother was a lie, and she must have been smuggling this evil plant inside her body somewhere. The deputy then handcuffed Corley and placed her into the back of his cruiser.

Being a male, the deputy felt that it would be in poor taste to penetrate this woman’s bodily orifices himself, so he called a female deputy over to conduct the public roadside sodomy in a politically correct fashion.

Upon arriving, the female deputy ordered the handcuffed woman out of the car and into the parking lot.

“She tells me to pull my pants down. I said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t have any underwear on.’ She says, ‘Well, that doesn’t matter. Pull your pants down,’” Corley said.

Because Corley didn’t immediately prostrate herself to be vaginally raped by a peace officer’s appendages in search of an illegal plant, the deputy charged her with resisting arrest.

In spite of her verbal protests, Corley was then stripped down in public and forcefully penetrated by this public servant — in the best interests of society, no doubt.

“I bend over and she proceeds to try to force her hand inside of me. I tell her, ‘Ma’am, No. You cannot do this,’” Corley explained.

Corley maintains that at no time did she ever consent to be sodomized by deputies
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/woman-publicly-sodomized-gas-station-parking-lot-cops-smelled-weed/#16wbEjCrW7r2exKR.99

h/t The Grey Enigma

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Senate Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration have agreed to change part of the state’s gun control laws.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said Saturday that an agreement had been reached to suspend development of a database for checking the backgrounds of ammunition buyers.

The database was included as part of the so-called “SAFE Act,” which was enacted following the 2012 Newtown school massacre.

According to the agreement signed by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and top Cuomo aide Jim Malatras, the database is being put on hold because the state police determined the necessary technology doesn’t exist yet.

It won’t be revived until the technology and state funding are available.

In the past, Cuomo has resisted calls to change what he considers a signature achievement.

On Friday, Azzopardi said Republican Sen. James Seward, a critic of the SAFE Act legislation, “mistakenly” said a moratorium on Internet sales of ammunition would be lifted as well. Azzopardi said that was not part of the deal agreed upon.

Spokesmen for the GOP majority and Seward didn’t initially respond to requests for comment.

Democratic State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called the agreement “an ill-advised end run” around the legislation

source

Via JPFO

By Donald L. Cline. June 24th, 2015

I am a Constitutional scholar and a pro-right to keep and bear arms activist. I am writing today to bring to the attention of the —-NRA members and leadership a fundamental issue everyone seems to be ignoring: The right to keep and bear arms is not the only right being assaulted today by the anti-rights gun-banners, and we are helping them accomplish their objective! It is time to stop helping our enemies.

When the Brady Act of 1993 was proposed, with its attended Form 4473 interrogation and NICS check, the NRA leadership thought it was a good idea. Apparently the NRA leadership did not realize it was a stalking horse. The object was not to reduce violent crime or criminal access to firearms, and its backers knew it. And in fact it has not reduce violent crime or criminal access to firearms. Not one bit. The object was to sucker gun owners into supporting destruction of their Fourth Amendment-guaranteed right to be secure from unwarranted interrogation and search in the absence of probable cause of criminal conduct.

The object was also to confiscate from citizens their right to keep and bear arms without due process, and replace it with a government-issued privilege which could be permitted or denied by a faceless bureaucrat in some FBI basement boileroom.

The object was also to further erode – let’s face it, destroy, once and for all – our 10th Amendment-guaranteed right to a federal government exercising only those powers delegated to it by the Constitution, and a State government exercising only those powers not prohibited to it by the Constitution.

  •   Interrogation and search and seizure of rights without probable cause: The purchase or transfer of a firearm is not probable cause of criminal conduct.
  •   The taking our RIGHT to keep and bear arms without due process: A compelled interrogation and search under color of bogus law is not due process.
  •   The federal government doesn’t even have the authority to license gun dealers or commission ATF agents or to monitor, notice, oversee, infringe upon or interfere with our right to keep and bear arms in any way.
  •   Government does not have the lawful power to command the waiver of a right as a precondition to allowing you to exercise a right.
  •   In fact, government does not have the lawful power to allow or deny the exercise of a right in the first place: State government have the Police Power to regulate the USE of arms – when, where, under what safety regulations, under what criteria for self-defense (so long as self-defense is not prohibited) – but under the 2nd Amendment and the prohibition clause of the 10th Amendment, even State governments have no lawful power to ‘regulate’ the right to keep and bear arms.
  •   Article VI of the U.S. Constitution binds the judges to the supreme Law of the Constitution, the laws or Constitution of any State notwithstanding.

People are actually proud of the fact they have met government criteria to allow them to exercise a right government has no authority to allow or deny, when in fact they have waived their right to keep and bear arms AND their right to be secure from interrogation and search in the absence of probable cause AND their right to due process. When government decides to confiscate firearms, gun owners won’t have anything to say about it: They have waived their rights. ALL of their rights under the Rule of Law.

The have rendered the first nation in the history of the planet to establish the rights of citizens superior to the arbitrary whims of kings and princes and neighborhood warlords irrelevant and moot.

Compelled background checks is and was a stalking horse: Now the next step is being undertaken: Constitutional subversive Michael Bloomberg and his wealthy cronies are going around the country buying voter initiatives to expand these bogus background checks into what they call “Universal Background Checks.” The law is now in effect in Washington State, Oregon and Colorado, and is about to be voted on in Nevada and Arizona and Maine. Once this color of law is entrenched, whether it is enforced or not, the next step will be to require background checks for anyone wishing to speak out against government tyranny. Compelled background checks for anyone wishing to exercise their right to march in a protest rally. Compelled background checks for anyone petitioning government for redress of grievances. You must prove your ideas are not a threat to government, don’tcha know?

Background checks MUST be voted down. And the illegal, bogus, unconstitutional color of law known as the Brady Act of 1993 must be struck down with extreme prejudice. Not one crime has ever been prevented by the Brady Act.

Donald L. Cline
frdmftr@frdmftr.net
www.frdmftr.net

Grand Rapids, Mich. – In a stunning violation of 2nd Amendment rights, the U.S. District Court of Western Michigan ruled police have the legal authority to detain individuals that choose to exercise their constitutional right to open carry a firearm. Open Carry is also specifically allowed under Michigan law.

The ruling means that people in Michigan who choose to exercise this constitutional right are now subject to being stopped by law enforcement for engaging in a completely lawful activity.

Officers detained Johann Deffert in early 2013. He was walking down the sidewalk with a holstered FNP-45 pistol, after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a woman who spotted Deffert with the open carried, but holstered, handgun on his person.

The dispatcher initially informed the caller that Michigan is an open carry state. However, the woman subsequently explained that she found Deffert’s presence alarming, due in part to his wearing of camouflage, although she admitted that he wasn’t threatening anyone. Somehow the dispatcher made the decision that someone engaging in a completely legal activity, as earlier in the call noted by the dispatcher, should now be inspected by police, due to caller saying they found wearing camo disturbing.

The absurdity in logic; that someone wearing camo takes the situation from being a completely legal situation not to be interfered with, and raises it to a level of needing police assistance, shows the extreme arbitrary nature of the entire situation.

The incident was captured on responding officer Moe Williams’ dash cam, and lasted 14 minutes. Williams had indicated he believed that perhaps Deffert was suffering from some type of mental illness, as he seemed to be “talking to nobody” when the officer arrived on scene. Upon further investigation, Deffert was revealed to have been happily singing the song “Hakuna Matata” from the Disney movie “The Lion King” while strolling down the sidewalk.

The video shows the officer command Deffert to lay face down on the ground upon arrival on the scene. Deffert was treated as if he were a criminal that needed to prove he was not doing anything wrong, as the officer detained him while running a mental and criminal background check. Deffert was polite and respectful throughout the encounter, but strongly asserted his rights regarding open carry laws in the state of Michigan.

Remember, all of this transpired despite Deffert’s total compliance with Michigan law, in respect to open carry of a firearm. Eventually, Deffert was released, as he had violated no laws, done nothing wrong, and there was no legitimate reason to hold him. Shortly after the incident, in what seemed like a vindication for Deffert at the time, Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Steve LaBreque recommended to Moe’s commanding officer, that Moe “would benefit from some additional training in handling ‘open carry’ issues.”

Several months later Deffert filed a federal lawsuit alleging his constitutional rights were violated and that he was assaulted and falsely imprisoned. The legality of open carry in the Michigan was never in question, only if law enforcement had the authority to detain an individual simply because they were open carrying a firearm, according to court records.

In the most convoluted of logic, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff claimed that officers do have such authority. Neff wrote that the officers were “justified in following up on the 9-1-1 call and using swift action to determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood.”

When a call to 9-1-1 is made in regard to a completely legal activity, the police should not even be dispatched. If in fact the police needed to “determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood,” they need not impeded a citizen from going about their legitimate and legal business,” as Neff asserts, but rather could passively watch from a distance to determine if there is any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity afoot, and if so act accordingly.

The most glaring problem with Neff’s logic, is that there is no reason for police to ever assess someones behavior who is simply engaging in constitutionally protected and lawful activity, regardless if another citizens takes issue with the activity. If the activity fails to rise to the level of criminality, then police have no business getting investigating or getting involved. The police, as public servants, aren’t paid to investigate non-crimes.

The idea that someone needs to prove their innocence for engaging in a constitutionally protected activity is contrary to everything America teaches its children to believe about liberty and freedom.

The case will most likely be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The National Rifle Association and others have offered to assist in the appeal.

It will be interesting to see what open carry advocates across the nation, and specifically those in Texas, a hotbed of open carry activism, think about this ruling; and how they would respond if this were to become the standard of law in their state.

Sound off in the comments!

Be sure to share this critical information with all your liberty loving friends!

Read the decision below.

Johann Deffert court documents

h/t Kerodin

Privacy Apocalypse: 5 Devices You Can’t Hide From

Devices you can't hide from

I’m going to alert you to what many are considering to be on of the worst doomsday scenarios for free American patriots. One that apparently not many are prepping for, or even seem to care about.

By now everybody knows that the government ‘alphabet agencies’ including mainly the NSA have been methodically collecting data on us. Everything we do, say, buy and search on the internet will be on permanent data base file by next year. All phone calls now are computer monitored, automatically recorded and stored with certain flag/trigger words (in all languages).

As technology improves, every single phone call will be entirely recorded at meta-data bases in government computer cloud storage, when ‘They’ finish the huge NSA super spy center in Utah. Which means they will be available anytime authorities want to look them up and personally listen for any information reference to any future investigation. Super computer algorithms will pin point search extrapolations of ANY relationship to the target point.

You can rest uneasily, but assured, that in the very near future when a cop stops you and scans your driver license into his computer, he will know anything even remotely ’suspicious’ or ’questionable’ about ALL the recent activities and behavior in your life he chooses to focus upon!

This is the ‘privacy apocalypse’ coming upon us. And you need to know these five devices that you can run to protect your privacy, but you can’t hide from.

When Security Overlaps Freedom

The NSA does more spying on ‘We the People’ than it does on the enemies of the country! Even simple text messages over a certain number of characters will join the wealth of stolen private communications flagged by certain trigger words, in the happy hunting grounds of mega-data heaven.

The two biggest fallacy arguments are that ‘those with nothing to ‘hide’ have nothing to fear’, or ‘this is the price we pay for living in a fast paced convenient modern computerized world if we want to improve our security and safety’.

Why does all these lame excuses remind me of something the old sage Ben Franklin used to say to slap that kind of thinking? “Those who are willing to give up any freedoms for a little more security deserve neither.’

The factual true reality is that these egregious violations of our privacy rights are premised on the never ending lies of the government. Maybe ‘They’ still get away with it because for some reason people are so dumbed down or not paying attention, or simply don’t know or see the bigger picture.

So assuming that most of us really don’t want the government or police to know our most private business just because it’s so easy for them to do so even though we are not doing anything wrong, we’ll provide a little edification herein about the cold hard realities.

Read the whole thing @ http://www.survivopedia.com/devices-that-you-cant-hide-from/#

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Martin Niemöller

It is natural, maybe even unavoidable, that one’s view of the world is based mostly on his own personal experiences. If you are white and living in an upscale suburban neighborhood, you may very well view police as friendly, professional and courteous. On the other hand, if you are black and live in a poor inner-city neighborhood, you are likely to view the police as just another dangerous street gang to fear and avoid.

The problem is not that either perception is “wrong.” The problem is that some people assume that their own experiences must match the experiences of everyone else. In middle-class white suburbia, it may usually be true that if you don’t cause trouble, the police won’t harass you (although that is becoming less and less true). So it is easy for such people to assume that if someone is being detained, arrested, or even physically assaulted by police, the person MUST have done something to deserve it. And predictably, this is the same viewpoint expressed by the well-paid, well-connected, and VERY well-controlled mainstream media.

But other people in other circumstances know and report a very different story, as many decades of rap illustrate (e.g., “Sound Of Da Police” by KRS-ONE).

However, recently there have been many stories of people who once believed in “law and order,” and who had faith in the “justice system” but have since learned the brutal reality of things. There have even been stories of black police officers being illegally harassed and detained when not in uniform.

The number of cases of police getting caught lying under oath, abusing suspects, planting evidence and falsifying reports may still surprise many, but they don’t surprise those for whom such injustice is a routine part of life. “They planted evidence!” “They got the wrong guy!” “The cop is lying!” or “I didn’t do anything!”

It’s easy for a spectator— especially one who has never been victimized by thugs in uniform—to assume that such claims are the desperate lies of criminals. But one day you may hear those words coming out of your own mouth knowing they are true, but also knowing that few people are going to believe your word over the word of those “brave men and women in blue.”

Despite the “protect and serve” rhetoric, the primary job of those who wear badges is to supply the politicians with money and power. Money by issuing citations for whatever technical infractions they can detect or fabricate, and power by punishing any who disobey the arbitrary commands of those in power.

Unfortunately, many of those who haven’t yet been victimized still imagine police to be the good guys. But how many “exceptions” make a rule? How many “bad apples” must be exposed before people recognize that the whole barrel is rotten? How many “isolated incidents” does it take for people to see the pattern?

When will people see that law enforcement is not just occasionally blemished by incidents of injustice, corruption and misconduct. Law enforcement IS injustice, corruption, and misconduct, sometimes legalized and sometimes not, but always excused and sanctioned by those who benefit from the racket. Those who have been on the receiving end of “the system” know this all too well, and the number of people in that category continues to grow.

On the bright side, this means that more and more people—even those well-off in upscale suburbia—are starting to learn the true, violent nature of government. It is not your friend. It is not your servant. It serves itself, and it does so at the expense of everyone else.

It may sound cliche, but the only way to have liberty and justice for anyone is to have liberty and justice for all. When whites stand up for blacks, blacks stand up for whites, rich stand up for poor and vice versa.

When decent people of all races, religions, cultures and backgrounds stand with each other against those who would oppress them—that is when violent oppression will end, and peace and justice will begin.

Denial is a powerful drug. It’s high time we get over the addiction.
Source- http://thefreethoughtproject.com/blacks-police-brutality-blacks-anymore/#kHe1hodrbWkpPQ8d.99

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Community leaders asked a judge on Tuesday to issue arrest warrants for two Cleveland policemen in the 2014 fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy carrying a replica handgun even as prosecutors mull charges against the officers.

* it was NOT a “replica handgun”-it was an Airsoft handgun with the orange safety tip removed

The move, a signal of distrust in the community toward the authorities handling the case, represents an attempt to bypass the local prosecutor’s office by using an obscure Ohio state law that allows citizens to request an arrest.

The two officers involved in the shooting are white and the boy, Tamir Rice, was black. This is one of a number of cases bringing fresh scrutiny to the issue of police use of force in the United States, particularly against minorities.

“Today, citizens are taking matters into their own hands utilizing the tools of democracy as an instrument of justice,” Olivet Institutional Baptist Church pastor Jawanza Colvin said in a statement.

Cleveland’s police department agreed last month on a plan to minimize racial bias and the use of excessive force after the U.S. Justice Department found a pattern of abuses against civilians by the local police.

Rice was shot outside a city recreation center last Nov. 22 while he played with a Airsoft-type replica handgun used in play combat.

Rookie police officer Timothy Loehmann fired at Rice twice within two seconds of arriving at the scene with his partner Frank Garmback in response to a 911 emergency call about a man with a gun outside the recreation center, according to authorities. The sixth-grader died the next day.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has said the evidence in the shooting will be presented to a grand jury to decide on whether to bring charges against Loehmann and Garmback after a county sheriff’s department completed its investigation last week.

Rice family lawyer Walter Madison said his clients were worried about the transfer of the case to the prosecutor in light of the acquittal of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo in May in another case.

Brelo, who is white, was charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of a black man and a woman.

Those who will present citizens’ affidavits to a judge asserting “probable cause” in Rice’s death include a Case Western Reserve University professor and local clergy.

It was not clear whether the tactic will work. Joe Frolik, the local prosecutor’s spokesman, said Ohio’s constitution requires all felony charges be brought by a grand jury.