Tag Archives: police state

Report: Prosecutors Decline to Charge Police in 96 Percent of Civil Rights Cases

An investigation into the results of civil rights cases in the United States between 1995 and 2015 found that federal prosecutors declined to charge police officers 96 percent of the time.

A report from the investigation, which was conducted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, analyzed 3 million federal records from the Justice Department’s 94 U.S. Attorney offices. Out of 13,233 complaints, prosecutors turned down 12,703 alleged civil rights violations.

The report listed weak or insufficient evidence, lack of criminal intent and orders from the Justice Department as reasons given by prosecutors for declining to charge officers, and it noted that for all other crimes, prosecutors rejected only about 23 percent of complaints.”

[RELATED: Investigator Says He Was Fired for Finding Police Officers At Fault in Shootings]

Steve Kaufman, chief of Western Pennsylvania’s criminal division, told the Tribune-Review that while the U.S. Attorney’s office for the area opens files for all accusations, civil rights cases are some of the “most difficult cases” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

We don’t hesitate to open a file on a civil rights case, yet it’s one of the most difficult cases to gather sufficient evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” Kaufman said. “Obviously then you do have a relatively high percentage that don’t end up being prosecuted.”

While Jim Pasco, executive director of the national Fraternal Order of Police, questioned whether some of the complaints against police officers were just “false complaints,” Craig Futterman, founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago, told the Tribune-Review that he thinks “the failure to aggressively bring those cases has allowed too many abusive officers to believe that they can operate without fear of punishment.”

[RELATED: DEA Records Show Punishment is Rare Among Rampant Misconduct]

The report listed 12 federal districts— Southern Alabama, Southern Georgia, Northern Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Northern Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Western Virginia, Western Washington and Western Wisconsin— where out of 671 complaints over 21 years, only one officer was prosecuted in each district.

Out of the federal districts examined, prosecutors in 11 districts— Alaska, Colorado, Central Illinois, Southern Iowa, Maine, Western Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Vermont, Eastern Washington and Wyoming— received a total of 240 complaints, “yet never charged a single officer from 1995-2015.”

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Texas State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Indicted for Perjury

The Texas state trooper who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland during a routine traffic stop in July 2015 was indicted for perjury charges by a grand jury on Wednesday, and will be fired by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Trooper Brian Encinia was charged with perjury for lying about his confrontation with Bland when he pulled her over for allegedly changing lanes improperly on July 10, 2015. Three days after she was arrested by Encinia during the stop, Bland was found dead in her jail cell.

[RELATED: Law Enforcement, FBI Probing Prison Death of Woman Hanged in Jail Cell]

As previously reported, the questionable circumstances surrounding Bland’s death, which was initially ruled a suicide, prompted investigations by agencies such as the Waller County District Attorney’s Office, The Texas Ranger Division of the state’s DPS and the FBI.

Special prosecutor Shawn McDonald said Wednesday that “the indictment was issued in reference to the reasoning” that Encinia removed Bland from her car.

While Encinia’s affidavit claimed Bland was “combative and uncooperative,” and that he removed her “from her vehicle to further conduct a safer traffic investigation,” McDonald said grand jurors “found that statement to be false.”

The Texas DPS responded to the news of the indictment by pledging to “begin termination proceedings” against Encinia, who has been on “paid desk duty” for the last six months.

The perjury charge is classified as a “Class A misdemeanor” with a possible penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The grand jury declined to indict any of the jailers in connection with Bland’s death, upholding the ruling that her death was a suicide.

In response, Bland’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the Waller County officials have “failed to keep them informed” about the progress of the case, and calling it a “sham of a process.”

[RELATED: Sandra Bland Dashcam Footage Appears Edited, Texas DPS Denies Manipulating Footage]

The dashcam video that was initially released by DPS appeared to show the confrontation between Bland and Encinia escalating when he told her to put out a cigarette, and she refused. He proceeded to open her car door, and at one point in the footage, he held out his Taser at her and said, “I will light you up if you don’t get out of this car.”

Following multiple accusations that the initial video was edited and manipulated, the original copy was pulled down and replaced with a video that was three minutes shorter. Texas DPS spokesman Tom Vinger claimed that the original video was not edited and insisted that uploading errors were to blame for any anomalies that appeared.

ABOUR: Why Didn’t Open Carry Apply To Tamir Rice?

Ohio is one of the 30 states that allows open carry without a permit throughout the state. When a state has an open carry policy, it allows its citizens to carry guns in public without fear of being arrested, let alone killed.

So why did the open carry rule not apply to Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was in possession of a toy gun at a park? Within two seconds at the scene, Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Rice. Many through social media have argued that because Rice was a minor, the open carry rule does not apply to children because they shouldn’t be in possession of guns. However, Loehmann told the dispatcher that Rice looked “maybe 20.” With that presumption, why didn’t Loehmann respect the open carry law in Ohio? Was it because Rice was a black male? Rice was never even given an opportunity to show the officers that it was a toy gun. He was executed before given a chance to explain.

Whereas earlier this week, a 66-year-old white woman in Connecticut stood outside a police station pointing a BB gun at officers shouting “Boom boom boom” and “Shoot me!” is alive and unharmed.

The woman, Elaine Rothenberg, pointed the gun at civilians asking if they were police. She also blocked an employee-only doorway where police enter and exit to get to their police cruisers and stood with the gun raised in a shooting stance attempting instigate the officers. Rothenberg eventually threw the gun and was arrested. Why was she given due process and Rice was not? Connecticut is also an open carry state, but has even stricter gun laws than Ohio. Why was Loehmann able to shoot and kill a 12 year old right on the spot while Rothenberg was given her due process?

Never mind that Loehmann resigned from a previous police department just as he was about to be fired for incompetence with firearms and repeatedly displaying emotional disturbances.

As Truth in Media previously reported:

A memorandum, written by Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak, expressed concern over Loehmann’s emotional issues during his poor performance at a state range qualification course for handgun training. Polak wrote that he was notified of Loehmann’s emotional issues by Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello:

“I was notified by FTO Sgt. Tinnirello of the following circumstances related to our recruit, Ptl. Loehmann. A written statement was included. On this date, during a state range qualification course Ptl. Loehmann was distracted and weepy. He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal. Sgt. Tinnirello tried to work through this with Ptl. Loehmann by giving him some time. But, after some talking it was clear to Sgt. Tinnirello that the recruit was just not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training.”

Polak concluded that “due to this dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl. Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment. Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need be followed to the letter, and I am under the impression Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed. Ptl. Loehmann’s lack of commitment for his future here at Independence is disconcerting.” Polak recommended that Loehmann be released from the department and wrote that neither “time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.”

In that case, why on Earth did the Cleveland Police Department hire him?  Lt. Gail Bindel and Sgt. Edwin Santiago, the two officers in charge of hiring Loehmann, failed to perform a thorough background check on him. They were later suspended and reprimanded for it. Not only are the militarization tactics of police a major issue, but now we also have to worry about improperly evaluated cops and the open carry laws that are supposed to protect us. So who does open carry really serve to protect?

Police Tactics Questioned after Chicago Officers ‘Accidentally’ Kill Grandmother

Chicago police officers responding to calls about a domestic disturbance early Saturday morning shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier, 19, along with Bettie Jones, 55, who lived in a neighboring apartment.

Police were initially called by Quintonio’s father, Antonio LeGrier, who claimed that his son began banging on his locked bedroom door around 4:15 a.m. Saturday morning, and then left and went downstairs to the apartment where Jones lived.

LeGrier told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son, a student at Northern Illinois University, was a “whiz kid” who had emotional problems from growing up in foster care, and that he was prescribed medication in November.

LeGrier said that in addition to calling police, he also called Jones to warn her, and he said Jones claimed she saw Quintonio standing outside her door with a baseball bat.

LeGrier began to run downstairs when police arrived, but that he stopped when he heard gunfire, followed by one officer saying, “F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat.” However, LeGrier told the Times he believes that the officer “knew he had shot blindly, recklessly into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”

The official statement from police described Quintonio LeGrier as a “combative subject,” which resulted in “the discharging of the officer’s weapon which fatally wounded two individuals.” Jones was shot at least once, and LeGrier was shot seven times.

The statement said Jones, a mother of five and a grandmother, was “accidentally struck and tragically killed.”

During a news conference on Sunday, Jones’s friend Jacqueline Walker questioned why police “have to shoot first and ask questions later,” calling current techniques “ridiculous.”

Sam Adam Jr., a lawyer representing Jones’s family, claimed that “shell casings were found some 20 feet away,” which he said raises “questions about whether police could have perceived LeGrier as a threat at such a distance.”

While the Chicago police department has not said how many officers were involved in the shooting, it did issue a statement claiming that the officers involved “will be placed on routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days.”

[RELATED: Under Federal Investigation, Chicago PD Releases Controversial Videos of Officer Conduct]

This shooting comes at a time the Chicago police department is already under a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, which was launched after a Chicago police officer was charged with first degree murder for the first time in 35 years.

Chicago Police Union Stands By Officer Charged with First Degree Murder

Chicago’s main police union is standing in support of Officer Jason Van Dyke after he was charged with first degree murder last week, accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014.

The Chicago lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) posted a bail fund appeal for Van Dyke on its website on Saturday after creating a bond fund appeal on Wednesday. Currently, Van Dyke is being held without bail.

[RELATED: Chicago Police Shooting Video Officer Charged First Degree Murder]

The shooting, which was captured on dash cam video that was recently released via a court order, shows Van Dyke opening fire on McDonald just six seconds after exiting his patrol vehicle.

[WARNING: The following video contains graphic content]


The FOP is reportedly “paying the lawyer representing Van Dyke, Daniel Herbert, himself a former FOP member the union pays to represent Chicago cops in misconduct cases,” and that an earlier link on the FOP’s website to a GoFundMe campaign was “removed after the fundraising site said it violated a policy against its use by criminal defendants.”

Between 2008 and 2014, 74 percent of the people shot by police in Chicago were black. According to interviews with white and black police officers conducted by Reuters, the officers indicated that it was worthwhile to put Van Dyke’s actions “in the context of a racially divided city beset by violence.”

During Van Dyke’s 14-year career as a police officer, there were at least 20 complaints against him, according to an online database of police misconduct complaints compiled by the Citizens Police Data Project. None of those complaints resulted in discipline.

The release of the dash cam video from the shooting has led to protests in Chicago, and in response, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced on Sunday that by mid-2016, police officers will wear body cameras in six additional police districts.

[RELATED: Investigator Says He was Fired for Finding Police Officers At Fault in Shootings]

Earlier this year, former Chicago Police Commander Lorenzo Davis said he was fired from his job as a supervising investigator at Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) after he determined that several officers involved in civilian shootings were unjustified, and he refused to change the status of his reports.

As previously reported, the case against Van Dyke is the first time in 35 years that a Chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder.

Lawyer: Father Had Hands Up When Police Opened Fire, Killing 6-Year-Old

Chris Few posed no direct threat to police and had his hands up when two deputy city marshals opened fire on his vehicle, severely wounding him and killing his son, according to Few’s lawyer.

Few’s son, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by five bullets. Few remains hospitalized and in serious condition after the encounter on Nov. 3 in Marksville, Louisiana, and he has not yet been notified of the death of his son.

While reports claim that there were four officers on the scene, two were arrested on Friday and held on $1 million bonds.

Derrick Stafford, 32, a Marksville police lieutenant, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, a full-time marshal in Alexandria, Louisiana, were arrested on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges.

Lt. Jason Brouillette and Sgt. Kenneth Parnell, the other officers involved in the shooting, are currently on administrative leave.

[RELATED: Two Officers Arrests in ‘Disturbing’ Shooting that Killed 6-Year-Old Boy]

Mark Jeansonne, an attorney for Chris Few, told the Associated Press that while he has not seen the footage from the officers’ body cameras, it was described at the bond hearing on Monday.

“This was not a threatening situation for the police,” said Jeansonne, who said that Few had his hands up when the officers opened fire.

When describing the body camera footage from the shooting, State police superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson said, “It was the most disturbing thing I’ve seen, and I will leave it at that.”

District Attorney Charles Riddle recused himself from the case on Monday, citing the fact that one of his top assistant prosecutors is the father of Greenhouse.

Questions remain as to why Few was pursued by police, as Edmonson noted that there is currently no evidence of any warrants out for his arrest. It is unclear why police opened fire on Few’s vehicle when it did not contain any weapons and reportedly did not appear to pose a direct threat at the time.

In addition to refusing media requests, Judge William Bennett did not allow any transcripts from the bond hearing to be released, and he issued a gag order to prohibit anyone involved in the case from giving information to the media.

Report: At Least 1,000 Police Officers Fired for ‘Sexual Misconduct’

About 1,000 police officers in the United States were fired from 2009 to 2014 for “sexual misconduct,” which includes charges of rape, sodomy, possession of child pornography, and propositioning citizens or having on-duty intercourse.

A yearlong investigation conducted by the Associated Press, which looked at the decertification records in 41 states, revealed that “flaws in law enforcement policies and a protective culture of policing can allow sexual predators in police ranks to go unnoticed or unpunished until it’s too late.”

The AP noted that no federal officers were included in the investigation and some states, such as California and New York, “had no records because they have no statewide system for revoking the licenses of officers who commit misconduct.”

[RELATED: Ex-Police Chief, Accused of Sexual Assault on the Job, Sentenced to Probation]

In several of the states that provided records, “some reported no officers removed for sexual misdeeds even though cases were discovered in news stories or court records.”

Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida has been investigating the issue for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and she told the AP that she believes it is “happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country.”

[RELATED: Former CHP Officer Pleads No Contest, Sentenced To Probation For Stealing Explicit Photos]

“It’s so underreported, and people are scared that if they call and complain about a police officer, they think every other police officer is going to be then out to get them,” DiPino said.

The investigation found that 550 of the officers who were fired lost their licenses for sexual assault offenses “including rape, pat-downs that amounted to groping, and shakedowns in which citizens were extorted into performing favors to avoid arrest.” The review revealed that 440 of the officers were decertified for misconduct such as possession of child pornography, “voyeurism in the guise of police work and consensual but prohibited on-duty intercourse.”

The AP described the case of former officer Sergio Alvarez, who spent six years working a night shift and was sued by six women who claimed that he sexually assaulted them between 2011 and 2012.

Alvarez was convicted of sexually assaulting the women while on the job, four of whom he abducted and raped. The women have been paid a total of $4.1 million in settlements, with $2.8 million coming from the city. Alvarez is now serving 205 years to life in prison.

Tom McDonald, a former captain for the Los Angeles Police Department who took over in West Sacramento after Alvarez’s arrest, told the AP that while it is hard to see the victims, it is even harder to think that he might be contributing to the problem.

“It hurts the heart to see victims,” McDonald said. “But it makes it even worse when you are, in one way, shape or form, a contributing factor to them being hurt.”

The report noted that “about one-third of the decertified officers were accused in incidents involving juveniles,” and the victims were “overwhelmingly women” who were often “the poor, the addicted, the young,” with many officers using the victims’ criminal record or search for help as a means for exploitation.

The AP stated that the issue was part of a problem stemming from policies and procedures which includes poor supervision and training, neglected “warning signs,” and a “good old boy culture in which inappropriate behavior was ignored or even condoned.”

South Carolina Sheriff Fires Deputy in Student Assault Investigation

School Resource Officer and Richland County Senior Deputy Ben Fields was fired on Wednesday, after a video that showed him assaulting a female student in a classroom at Spring Valley High School went viral on Monday.

During a press conference at noon on Wednesday, Sheriff Leon Lott said that Fields was terminated from the Richland County Sheriff’s department for violating policy and not using the proper techniques to arrest a student.

“Once he put her hands on her, he was allowed to do that,”  Lott said. “He placed her under arrest, he verbally told her that she was under arrest, he attempted to use force to make the arrest.”

[RELATED: Investigation Requested after Video shows Resource Officer Assaulting Student]

Lott explained that the “maneuver” used by Fields in which he flipped the student out of her desk and then threw her across the classroom, was not one that was taught in law enforcement training.

“That’s what caused me to be upset when I first saw that video, and what continues to upset me when I see that video, is the fact that he picked the student up and he threw the student across the room,” Lott said.

“That is not a proper technique and should not be used in law enforcement, and based on that, it is a violation of policy and approximately 20 minutes ago, school resource officer Ben Fields was terminated from the Richland County Sheriff’s department.”

Lott also said, however, that the student “was very disruptive” and disrespectful.

“We must not lose sight that this whole incident was started by this student. She is responsible for the initiation of this action. There is some responsibility falls on her. The action of our deputy, we take responsibility for that. But we also have to put responsibility on her,” he said.

Videos of the incident were released on Monday, and Lott requested that the FBI and the DoJ begin an independent investigation into Fields’ actions at Spring Valley High School. Federal authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the agencies have opened a civil rights probe into the arrest to determine if federal law was broken.

[RELATED: Officer in Student Assault Investigation Accused of Pepper Spraying Vet in 2005]

During a news conference on Tuesday, Lott said that in order to make a decision about Fields’ employment, the department needed to look at the whole picture.

“That’s not fair to fire somebody immediately when you have a snapshot of something. You have to do the investigation and get all the facts,” Lott said. “Again, from one snapshot, we saw one video that showed one thing, and then we get another video that shows her actually punching him.”

Lott said the department obtained an additional video showing the student punching Fields during the confrontation. However, that video has not been publicly released.

Officer in Student Assault Investigation Accused of Pepper Spraying Vet in 2005

The South Carolina deputy who is under investigation after videos circulated online showing him assaulting a female student in a classroom has a history of violence, according to a man who said he was assaulted by the officer in 2005.

Carlos Martin, a 36-year-old Army veteran, told New York Daily News that he filed a lawsuit against Ben Fields, the officer identified in the videos, after he was allegedly assaulted by Fields on Oct. 24, 2005.

Martin said that he had recently moved to Columbia, South Carolina, and was working at the Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson.

Fields, who had been responding to a separate complaint at the apartment complex Martin resided in, reportedly confronted Martin about playing loud music in his car.

Martin told the New York Daily News that an argument ensued, and Fields “snapped” after Martin called him “dude,” and slammed Martin on the ground.

Martin said Fields went on to use pepper spray on him and ended up using the entire can, which Martin said he was able to resist because of his military training. “He became even more violent because I didn’t react like most people would,” Martin explained.

Martin also said that his wife at the time, Tashiana Rogers, witnessed the assault, and came to the scene to take pictures with her cellphone. Martin claimed Fields told his partner to “get her black ass,” and the officer responded by taking Rogers’ phone and deleting the pictures.

Martin said that although he filed a lawsuit against Fields, and criminal charges against Martin and Rogers were ultimately dropped, it took four years for Martin’s case to go to trial. During that time, he was labeled as a criminal in the military. The lawsuit was eventually dropped due to lack of evidence of excessive force.

[RELATED: Investigation Requested After Video Shows Resource Officer Assaulting Student]

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced on Monday that he requested the FBI launch an independent investigation into Fields’ actions at Spring Valley High School. Federal authorities confirmed on Tuesday that both the FBI and the DoJ have opened a civil rights probe into the arrest to determine if federal law was broken.

Georgia Police Go To Wrong Home, Shoot Man, His Dog, And Fellow Cop

By Casey Harper – Georgia police busted into the wrong house, and chaos ensued.

Three DeKalb County police officers were looking for a suspicious person Monday night when they went into the wrong home, shooting a dog, the homeowner and maybe even one of their fellow cops in the process, KTLA5 reports.

Police say they entered through the unlocked backdoor and identified themselves, but that somehow one officer and the owner of the home were both shot in the leg. What exactly happened remains unclear.

“Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials said in a statement.

All three officers have been put on administrative leave, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident. The dog has died.

“The officer is critical. He lost a lot of blood,” Alexander said. “The homeowner, who was struck in the leg, is also at the hospital as well.”

Follow Casey on Twitter and like him on Facebook





Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contactlicensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Audit of U.S. Postal Service Shows Extensive Use of Surveillance

The existence of a surveillance program exclusively focused on traditional “snail” mail has been known since at least the beginning of 2014. In December 2014, Truth In Media’s Barry Donegan wrote:

“At a hearing before the House of Representatives last month, USPS Deputy Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb exposed the fact that the mail carrier only rejected a fraction of a percent of thousands of requests for citizens’ mail records by law enforcement and government officials, including many queries that have been deemed unjustified.

Following leaks exposing the fact that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans’ digital communications in an indiscriminate and warrantless fashion, SFGate is reporting that the United States Postal Service has also been compiling Americans’ mail records into a nationwide dragnet and giving those records to law enforcement agencies at all levels of government. Under the US Postal Service’s mail covers program, the cover of every piece of mail is photographed, and the subsequent image stored in a database just in case law enforcement might need it at a later date.”

Once the program was first exposed, a USPS watchdog performed an internal audit of the agency and its surveillance measures. That audit was released in May 2014 but several sections were heavily redacted. However, a recent report from the New York Times reveals new details on the program.

“An unredacted copy of the report was provided to a security researcher in response to a Freedom of Information Act request this year. The researcher, who goes by a single legal name, Sai, shared the report with The New York Times.

In a June 8 letter to Sai, the Postal Inspection Service — the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm — said it could not “confirm or deny the existence” of the national security mail cover program, even though it was mentioned in the audit.

“The Postal Service does not provide public comment on matters which could potentially involve national security interests,” Paul J. Krenn, a spokesman, said in an email. The Postal Inspection Service did tell the auditors that it had begun training its employees on handling classified materials.”

The report concerns requests for mail cover photos from 2011 to 2013. The report does not mention which federal agencies are behind the requests. The report did say that the largest users of mail covers were the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Several interesting facts are revealed through the uncensored audit. First, about ten percent of requests do not include the dates covered by surveillance, making it impossible to know if law enforcement followed procedure. Another fifteen percent of inspectors handling the mail covers did not have the proper nondisclosure agreements which prevent them from discussing classified information. This might leave room open for whistleblowers who are technically not legally obligated to remain silent on mail cover surveillance.

The audit also found that in the 32 percent of the cases, law enforcement officers did not return documents to the Postal Inspection Service’s Office of Counsel within the allotted 60 days after cases are closed.

The new details of the audit show the USPS failing to maintain proper records and ensure that Americans are not haphazardly being spied upon, as is already the case with digital communications. Future investigations may reveal that the Postal Service is another agency of the government using taxpayer money to monitor innocent civilians.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

Oath Keepers: Americans “Are Being Given A False Choice” In Calming Ferguson Tension


Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook followed up with Oath Keepers president Stewart Rhodes to provide an update on the Oath Keepers’ presence in Ferguson.

Cook asked Rhodes, “what is the media getting wrong about your group?”

“One of the first things they said was that our presence was inflammatory,” answered Rhodes. “And it’s quite the opposite. There were actually no shots fired and interesting enough, no arrests made while our guys were on the streets. And we protected several black owned businesses again like we did last year.”

“The point of us being there is, (a), lead by example and show the people of Ferguson this is how you prevent arson, this is how you protect against looting, etc. And (b), protect your community so that you don’t have this false choice that’s being presented to the American people- that the only way to stop arson and looters is to trample on the First Amendment Rights of the protesters or to have a hyper-militarized police state. The American people are being given a false choice,” said Rhodes.

“The American people are being given a false choice.” – Stewart Rhodes, President of Oath Keepers

Rhodes said that there have been increased instances of business owners more actively protecting their property during the unrest. “There’s a growing number of businesses doing exactly what we did, stand up and do what the police can’t do. The police cannot or will not protect the people’s actual businesses from the looters and arsonists. The best answer is for the folks in Ferguson to do it themselves, it takes away that false choice,” said Rhodes.

Cook asked Rhodes about his thoughts on St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar’s comments about his group’s presence being “unnecessary” and “inflammatory.” Rhodes responded that their presence has actually had a “calming” effect and many of the protesters realized who the Oath Keepers were and that their presence was meant for protection.

“I think Chief Belmar, like all too many police officers, have this idea that only the police should have firearms. It’s a threat to their turf. It’s a turf battle. He’s kind of a small minded man and looks at it like that,” said Rhodes.

“What we are doing is leading by example. And we want to see the people of Ferguson to stand up for themselves and take care of their own security so they won’t need a heavy police presence.” said Rhodes.

“Frankly they need a new police of chief there,” said Rhodes. “I think a lot of the problems go away with better leadership.”

Cook asked about the criticism Oath Keepers have received for offering to protect independent journalists while major media outlets have provided themselves with security teams. “If you’re a mainstream media journalist with a professional security team, that’s okay. But if you’re alternative media like Alex Jones or some other small group who has us along to help protect them, then it’s somehow extreme. So it’s a double standard, it is,” said Rhodes.

Rhodes advised that “the people themselves need to step up and take care of their own neighborhoods and suppress the thugs. The few thugs who are causing the problems, it’s up to the experienced veterans in Ferguson to step up.”

Peaceful Protests End In Violence As Gunfire Erupts On Anniversary Of Michael Brown Shooting

Ferguson, Mo. – A day of peaceful protests commemorating Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed man who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson one year ago on Sunday, turned violent after gunfire erupted Sunday night leaving one man in critical condition.

Police claim that gunfire was initially exchanged between two groups of protesters, and that officers only engaged after one of the protesters opened fire on four detectives in an unmarked vehicle. They returned fire, and the man was critically injured.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that gunfire erupted after police officers had threatened to arrest any protesters who stayed in the street, and at that point protesters were “estimated at fewer than 100 and were outnumbered by members of the media.”

At a 2:30 a.m. press conference on Monday, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that the groups exchanging gunfire “were criminals” rather than protesters, and that he believes there is a “small group of people out there that are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails.”

The man injured by police has been identified as Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, from St. Louis. His father, Tyrone Harris Sr., told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his son went to high school and was good friends with Michael Brown, and that, regarding Sunday night’s shooting, he thinks “there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said.”

Belmar said that in addition to being in an unmarked vehicle, the four detectives were not wearing body cameras. This decision was criticized by coalitions such as the Ferguson Action Council, who said that “having plainclothes officers without body cameras and proper identification in the protest setting leaves us with only the officer’s account of the incident, which is clearly problematic.”

[RELATED: Ferguson Police Have Body Cameras… But Don’t Wear Them]

Reuters noted that the gunfire on Sunday night was in “marked contrast to a day of mostly subdued, peaceful commemorations” in Ferguson, where about about 1,000 people gathered together to share 4-1/2 minutes of silence in honor of the 4-1/2 hours Brown’s body lay in the street after he was shot, and to release doves and embark on a “silent march through Ferguson to honor Brown and others killed in confrontations with police.”

On Sunday night, a few local businesses were looted and robbed, and Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel said that he was beaten and robbed while covering the protests.

Officers Caught In Samuel DuBose Coverup Were Involved In Death Of Another Unarmed Man

University of Cincinnati police officers Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd, who repeated the false narrative of former officer Ray Tensing after he shot and killed Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop, were involved in the death of another unarmed black man in 2010.

Weibel and Kidd were two of the seven officers named in a lawsuit, according to court documents obtained by The Guardian, in the death of Kelly Brinson, 45, a mentally ill man who was a patient at Cincinnati’s University hospital.

The Guardian reported that after suffering a psychotic episode in Jan. 2010, Brinson was taken to a seclusion room at the hospital by UC officers and was then shocked with a taser three times and restrained by shackles. As a result, Brinson went into cardiac arrest and died three days later.

Brinson’s family filed a civil lawsuit against both UC police and the hospital, alleging that the seven officers involved used excessive force and acted with “deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr. Brinson.”

Accusing the officers and hospital staff involved of civil right violations, malpractice, discrimination and negligence, the lawsuit notes that Brinson was a civilian hospital patient, not a criminal, and that the only drugs in his system at the time were psychiatric medications prescribed by the hospital staff.

Derek Brinson, Kelly Brinson’s brother, told The Guardian that while all of the officers involved in the case were supposed to be terminated, they ended up keeping their jobs after Brinson’s family received a settlement of $638,000.

Five years after Brinson’s death, Weibel and Kidd have been involved in the case surrounding the death of another unarmed black man: Samuel DuBose.

[RELATED: Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report]

As Truth In Media previously reported, former UC officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of DuBose, 43, after body camera footage contradicted Tensing’s account. In addition to showing that Tensing’s story was false, the body cam he was wearing also showed that the officers arriving on the scene were quick to repeat Tensing’s false account, even going as far as to say that they witnessed it occurring.

While Tensing initially claimed that he shot DuBose during a routine traffic stop because he feared for his life after his hand was caught in DuBose’s car, which began to accelerate, dragging Tensing down the street, the footage from Tensing’s body cam directly contradicted his account.

After reviewing the footage, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters noted that while DuBose did put his keys in the ignition of the car, it did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

The Guardian reported that in the UC police division report, authored by Weibel, he does not say anything about witnessing the shooting, but he did write that the uniform Tensing was wearing “looked as if it had been dragged over a rough surface,” and the report overall supports Tensing’s account.

Weibel also wrote that Kidd told him he witnessed the Honda Accord DuBose was driving “drag Officer Tensing,” and that he witnessed Tensing “fire a single shot.”

Kidd and another officer on the scene, David Lindenschmidt, who both claimed to have witnessed Tensing being dragged down the street by DuBose’s car, have been placed on paid administrative leave and an internal investigation is being conducted.

Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report

University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose, after body camera footage contradicted Tensing’s account.

Tensing, 25, pulled over DuBose, 43, for a missing license plate on the front of his car on July 19. Following the shooting, Tensing told his fellow officers that he fired his gun because he feared for his life after his hand got caught on DuBose’s car, and he thought DuBose would run him over.

“I think I’m OK,” Tensing said after the incident, according to his body cam recording. “He was just dragging me. I thought I was going to get run over. I was trying to stop him.”

However, the footage from Tensing’s body cam appears to directly contradict his story. At a news conference on Wednesday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters noted that while DuBose did put his keys in the ignition of the car, it did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

“It is our belief that he was not dragged,” Deters said. “If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very short period of time from when the car starts rolling to when a gun is out and he’s shot in the head.”

CNN noted that while Tensing left the scene with another officer to go to the hospital to get checked out, the footage from the body cam “shows no one rendering aid to DuBose.”

Deters called the incident “totally unwarranted,” and said he believes Tensing’s false report was his way of “making an excuse for a purposeful killing.”

[quote_center]“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make – totally unwarranted,” Deters said. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”[/quote_center]

Deters also noted that while “people want to believe” that DuBose, who was unarmed, “had done something violent towards the officer,” video footage from the scene shows that he did not. “I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost, and I feel sorry for the community, too,” Deters said.

Following the shooting, The Guardian noted that in addition to Tensing giving his account of events to other officers arriving at the scene, two of those officers repeated Tensing’s version, claiming he was dragged by DuBose, and one of the officers “claims to have witnessed it occurring.”

The Associated Press reported that during Tensing’s arraignment on Thursday morning, where he pleaded “not guilty” to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter, “people in the courtroom audience erupted into cheers and clapping” when Tensing’s bond was set at $1 million.

Audit Reveals Oklahoma State Officials Using Seized Property, Funds For Personal Use

Oklahoma state audits from 2009 to 2014 have revealed that while some property and funds seized by law enforcement agencies have gone missing, others have been used by Oklahoma state officials for personal and other improper uses.

Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization, reported that the list of violations included “using seized money to pay on a prosecutor’s student loans” and “allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years.”

Republican State Sen. Kyle Loveless, who is sponsoring a bill that intends to curb the abuses of civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement, told Oklahoma Watch that the more he learns about the practice, the more upset and outraged he becomes.

“Your property is considered guilty until proven innocent,” Loveless said. “It is up to the individual to petition the government after they’ve seized it to prove that it is innocent. To me, that, on its face, is un-American.”

Under the current law, once police seize either property of funds from a suspect, a judge is asked to grant forfeiture on those assets and they are transferred to the District Attorney’s office, where the proceeds are supposed to be used for the enforcement of drug laws.

Loveless’ bill, Senate Bill 838, would create the Personal Asset Protection Act, and would not allow seized assets to be forfeited unless the suspect is convicted.

The bill was called the “single worst, most damning piece of legislation” for drug enforcement by Sheriff Randall Edwards, who said that it if passed, it would “set the war on drugs back twenty years and will literally allow drug traffic to go unchecked in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Watch reported that in one case, a 2009 audit revealed that after a house was seized in 2004, and a judge ordered to have it sold at an auction, a Beaver County assistant district attorney lived in it rent-free until 2009, paid for all utility bills and repairs with his supervision fee account and did not report the benefit as income for tax purposes.

In another case, a 2014 audit found that $5,000 in forfeiture funds had been used to pay for an assistant district attorney’s student loans, and after the payments were revealed, the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council returned the money using funds from its own student-loan program.

Oklahoma Watch also noted that according to the audits, “many district attorneys’ districts did not have written formal policies governing seized property,” and in many cases, “local law enforcement agencies did not keep an inventory of seized items.” 

The audit reports found cases where seized money was spent before it was forfeited in court, some forfeiture cases were never reported, seized money was used to pay for a retirement party, seized assets such as guns, money and vehicles could not be accounted for, and money from forfeitures was spent on court costs.

Ret. Army General Suggests Segregating ‘Radicalized’ Americans From ‘Normal Community’

In an interview with MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts, retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark suggested segregating “radicalized” Americans from those who are loyal to the United States.

Clark said he believes our government needs to get “increasingly tough” in its treatment of “radicalized” Americans and should reexamine our “domestic law procedures“.

The subject of the interview was the recent shooting in Chattanooga that resulted in the death of five U.S. Marines. But it took a turn when Roberts framed a question about how the government should handle “self-radicalized lone wolves.”

Clark, who led the bombing of Yugoslavia by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 1999, told Roberts that the U.S has an “obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”

From the interview:

Roberts: “…So how to we fix self-radicalized lone wolves domestically?

Clark: “We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning. There are always a certain number of young people who are alienated. They don’t get a job, they lost a girlfriend, their family doesn’t feel happy here and we can watch the signs of that. And there are members of the community who can reach out to those people and bring them back in and encourage them to look at their blessings here.

But I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists. They do have an ideology. In World War II if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.

So, if these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principle fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict. And I think we’re going to have to increasingly get tough on this, not only in the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.

Watch the full interview here.

Freddie Gray Autopsy: Homicide By ‘High-Energy’ Impact

Baltimore – The autopsy of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody in April, reveals that he suffered a “high-energy injury” to his neck and spine.

The Baltimore Sun obtained a copy of the autopsy results, and reported that the state medical examiner concluded Gray’s death was a homicide, rather than an accident, “because officers failed to follow safety procedures through acts of omission.”

Gray was arrested on April 12 in Baltimore after he made eye contact with a police officer, and then stared running in the opposite direction. He received the “high-energy injury” that left his spine 80 percent detached from his neck and put him in a coma during his time in police custody. After not receiving proper medical attention, Gray died on April 19.

The medical examiner compared Gray’s injury to a person diving headfirst into shallow water and noted that while Gray was loaded into the van on his stomach, and his wrists and ankles were shackled, he was not belted in, which put him “at risk for an unsupported fall during acceleration or deceleration of the van.”

The report concludes that Gray’s death was “not an unforeseen event,” and that when a “vulnerable individual was injured during operation of the vehicle,” the injury would likely be fatal “without prompt medical attention.

The circumstances that led up to Gray’s death resulted in protests across the country, and six Baltimore officers faced criminal charges. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that Gray’s death had been ruled a homicide on May 1.

The “Baltimore Six” is comprised of Officer William G. Porter, Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward M. Nero, Officer Garrett E. Miller, Sergeant Alicia D. White and Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.

Goodson, the officer who was driving the van Gray was transported in, faces the most severe charges, including misconduct in office, manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence), manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence), involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and second-degree depraved-heart murder.

On May 21, Mosby announced that all six of the officers have been indicted by a grand jury in Baltimore. The officers responded by pleading “not guilty” to the charges, and a trial will be held in October. The Baltimore Sun noted that the case will be presided by Judge Barry G. Williams, “a former city prosecutor and civil rights litigator with a no-nonsense reputation.”

Battlefield America: The War on America’s Liberty and the Rise of the Police State

Today Jason spends some time with John W. Whitehead, whose recent book “Battlefield America” outlines the rising police state in America and the threats to liberty we are now facing. PLUS…is FOX new deliberately excluding Rand Paul from its coverage of presidential candidates? Jason shows you just how far they’ve gone to marginalize Rand.

The Jason Stapleton Program is live from 11:05 am to noon eastern. Enjoy replays from earlier episodes before and after the live show. You can also find recorded episodes on iTunes.

Like The Jason Stapleton Program on Facebook.

BREAKING: VIDEO of “Jade Helm 15” Style Military Ops on I-95 in South Carolina

Video of a military convoy in South Carolina was taken today which caused concern for residents driving on interstate I-95. The mainstream media has focused on smearing Infowars.com for covering a leaked military document that describes states like Texas as a “hostile” or “insurgent pocket” territory.

As previously reported by Truth In Media, Sen. Ted Cruz, T.X. Governor Greg Abbot, and former T.X. Congressman Ron Paul have expressed concern over these operations and the increase of military presence on American streets.

“…I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying,” Cruz said.

The increase of military presence and fears of a military take over is effecting the psyche of many in the U.S.

Last year, Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook submitted a FOIA request to find out more information on why U.S. Army special forces were training with local police in a secretive joint exercise, but the FOIA request denied because it was “classified.”

The motorist who captured the video, Jesse Graston, described his experience:

“They looked like they were driving into battle with helmets dressed for war,” Graston said. “It’s an American war zone! What’s going on here?”

“It’s like we are being invaded,” said Graston. “Are we in Iraq or America?”

Could this be a military exercise to invade S.C.?

Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs from Infowars.com told Joshua Cook that this is probably a communications exercise. Biggs stated that the convoy of armored vehicles were not tanks but armoured personnel carriers, Stryer ICVs.

But Graston believes that these exercises may be all about conditioning Americans to accept “military in U.S. streets as a cool thing,” blurring the lines between the local police force and a federal soldier.

With the unwarranted NSA surveillance, the passage of NDAA, stop and frisk programs, the rise of warrior cops, and now an increased military presence on American streets, it’s no wonder why so many Americans are concerned.