Tag Archives: police

EFF and ACLU Lawsuit Against LAPD, License Plate Readers Begins

This article was submitted by guest contributor Derrick Broze.

Last Friday the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California filed the opening brief  in their lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff Department. The lawsuit deals with how the law enforcement agencies are using Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) to gather information. The two watchdog agencies argue that the two departments are illegally keeping quiet on how the information is used.

The EFF and the ACLU fear that the ALPR mounted on traffic light poles and patrol vehicles are gathering information such as license plate, time, date and location, that can be used to create a detailed map of what individuals are doing. Concerns for privacy and freedom of speech prompted the lawsuit. The scanners are seen as an expansion of an already growing arsenal of federally funded surveillance tools, including drone aircraft, surveillance camera, and “gunshot detector” audio recording devices. In 2012 the Wall Street Journal reported that the five previous years the Department of Homeland Security distributed over $50 million in grants to fund the acquisition of license plate readers.

The LAPD and LASD have been called “two of the biggest gatherers of automatic license plate recognition information,” by LA Weekly. The ALPR gather information and officers from the LASD or LAPD can access up to 26 other police agenices in the county as they search for a hit in the system. The two departments are the target of the EFF, ACLU lawsuit but they are not alone in their use of the technology.
A 2011 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum ( http://policeforum.org/library/critical-issues-in-policing-series/Technology_web2.pdf) found that of the more than 70 police departments surveyed, 70 percent used ALPR technology and 85 percent expected to be using or increasing use of the technology within the next five years. Some believe that by 2016 as much as 25 percent of police vehicles will come equipped with the cameras.

It is not only the danger of creating a map of a persons wherabouts and habits, but also the fear of targeting individuals for various political or religious associations that has critics worried. There are also no standards on how long the information should be held, or who can hold it. Another issue deals with the so called “hot lists”.

The Danger of “Hot Lists”

Departments and officers can create lists of “vehicles of interest” and alert other ALPR users when the vehicle is spotted. Officers can search individuals plates numbers in the ALPR system to track during their shift. There seems to be no prerequisite of reasonable suspicion or a warrant needed to be added to such a list. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department manual on the ALPR offers more insight into the program.

As with many emerging technologies the future is still being written and opportunities for corruption and abuse are plenty. In 2009 the BBC reported on the case of John Cat. Catt is a regular attendee of anti-war protests in his home town, Brighton. His vehicle was tagged by police at one of the events and he was added to a “hotlist”. He said later while on a trip to London he was pulled over by anti-terror police. He was threatened with arrest if he did not cooperate and answer the questions of the police.

A recent investigation by Mudrock and the Boston Globe revealed that the Boston Police Department violated its own policies by failing to follow up on leads that were flagged by the ALPR scans. Public records requests by MudRock found that the BPD also collected information on its own officers. The BPD has reportedly stopped responding to email and phone calls seeking documents that they are required to disclose.
Push Back Against License Plate Readers

It seems that as awareness of the technology grows so does the opposition. In the age of Edward Snowden and the NSA many are wary of allowing more cameras to peer into their lives.

Recently the Santa Cruz City Council approved a $37,000 grant for the purchase of ALPRs for the Santa Cruz Police Department. There was a small, but vocal opposition at the council meeting. In Oregon Representative Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, recently testified in support of a state bill that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from keeping images and location data for more than 14 days unless being used in a criminal investigation. ACLU Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque asked the Senate Interim Committee On General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection to create guidelines for the use of the technology that balance security with privacy.

In California Senator Jerry Hill has introduced a bill that would limit data retention and ban the sale of data gathered by ALPR technology. Hill’s Senate Bill 893 would prohibit the selling of information to any entity that is not a law enforcement agency or officer.

Preparing for the Technology to Expand

Without a doubt the ALPRs are going to adopted by more police departments in the same manner we are seeing the drone technology take off. What remains to be seen is how citizens respond to yet another encroachment on privacy and civil liberties. There will likely be a chilling factor for some if the technology expands into complete monitoring of daily driving and living habits. A 2009 study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police stated, “The risk is that individuals will become more cautious in the exercise of their protected rights of expression, protest, association, and political participation because they consider themselves under constant surveillance.”

Last summer the ACLU released a 34-page report called “You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used To Record Americans’ Movements.” (http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/07/YouAreBeingTracked.pdf) covering the many angle of the emerging technologies uses and possible abuses. Since that report we have learned much about the breadth and scope of the National Security Agency’s domestic spying apparatus. In December we learned that local police are using tools such as “tower dumps”, and “The Stingray” to collect information. The Automatic License Plate Readers are just one more tool for local law enforcement agencies, funded by the federal government, to erode privacy and establish a network of panopticons.

The result of the ACLU and the EFF’s efforts could lead to more transparency and a view into how the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Sheriffs Department use the ALPRs. There is still a great deal of time for opponents of invasive surveillance and supporters of privacy to fight on a local level. By staying informed and proactive we can help create solutions that will bring us closer to freedom and allow new technologies to flourish.


Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly
podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com, The Liberty
Beat, the Anti-Media, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.

Viral Video: Best cop ever with Open Carry citizens!

YouTube channel “MarkedGuardian” features over 216 videos seeking to educate citizens on Open Carry rights. “Warren” runs the channel and has done many Open Carry filmed episodes, seeking out “professional, respectful, and constitutional officers” in his state of Oregon. Warren wants to make sure “we can keep our rights here, pure and simple.”

In a viral video with over 3 million views, Warren and two other gentlemen open carry in Albany, OR, which is about 70 miles south of Portland, OR. Warren and his two friends record their interaction with Albany Police Officer Jim Estes. Officer Estes starts by asking the men for ID. The men explain they don’t have ID on them, because legally they aren’t required to have ID on them.

The officer explains he is there to make contact due to calls from local citizens, and understand the purpose behind Warren’s open carry. He says if Warren lets him inspect the gun to see if it’s loaded, he will let them see his “even cooler” AR-15 in his squad car.

Officer Estes says, “I’m all for your rights. I like guns. I encourage everybody to have guns. I think if everybody had ’em it would be a better world.”

The officer explains he needs to do his job and make sure everything is okay, before any type of incident happens. He does ask for their ID and the gentlemen refuse. Watch the video and see what happens!

The comments on the viral video are highly varied, from major criticism of Warren for open carrying, to criticism for pushing back on the officer’s requests, to praise for the officer. What do you think of Officer Estes? What do you think of Warren’s comments that “we’re treated like slaves” at 6:43 into the video?

Officer Estes did a great job being professional, respectful, and constitutional. Not every open carry scenario is so positive.

Jail Staff Allows Diabetic Woman to Die Without Insulin; Boyfriend Saw Her Die

In November, 37 year old Sarah Tibbetts was arrested along with her boyfriend for allegedly being in possession of someone else’s credit card, as well as having small bags with traces amounts of marijuana.Sarah Tibbetts

During her arrest, Tibbetts made it clear she was an insulin-dependent diabetic.

Apparently insulin can be purchased over the counter at local pharmacies in Texas. According to official record, staff only attempted to provide insulin by allowing the jailed woman to phone her mother in California.

“I told the staff I’m in California, I can’t bring it up,” said Rebecca Tibbetts, mother of the deceased woman. “I said my daughter is insulin-dependent and would die without her insulin. If you can’t provide it, she needs to be sent to the hospital.”

According to reports, the day after the call was made to the inmate’s mother, the jailed woman was found unconscious on the floor of her cell. According to reports, the jailed boyfriend was in a cell nearby, and watched his girlfriend of six years collapse, saying “baby, baby.” She was soon dead. Reports state the woman’s cell was near the jail entrance and directly in front of the booking desk. After that (no report on how long after) a guard pulled the woman into the hall and pumped her chest. CPR was given according to records. The woman was rushed to the hospital and died half an hour later, according to police reports.

A employee of the jail speaking on condition of anonymity stated the staff knew the woman needed insulin before she died.

The Irving jail staff is under investigation. The mother of the deceased said a wrongful death suit is under consideration to provide assets to the deceased’s 12 year old son. Criminal charges are also under consideration.

Exclusive: Innocent Man Sues After Cops Beat Him & Pepper-spray The Wounds

Adam Williams The Morning After His Release From Jail

Adam Williams, a citizen of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, claims he is victim of police brutality. Williams and his brother were outside of a local sports-bar when the two decided to walk outside and wait for their friend to pay a tab. Once outside, the two say they encountered an intoxicated stranger who was urinating on the sidewalk. After a  brief encounter with the two, the stranger disappeared into the night.

Moments later, the head of security arrived and began threatening the two for urinating on the sidewalk. The two told the security guard that they had done no such thing and were simply waiting for a friend.

“Due to the fact we were breaking no laws, Jared (Williams’ brother) & I remained where we stood & continued to legally wait for our friend Dean,” Williams wrote in a statement to police.

The security guard called for police who arrived from across the street moments later. In total, 6 police began interrogating the two brothers.

The two told police what had happened, but claim police had little interest, as they continued to move in on them. One officer told the two to shut up, or they’d talk their way into jail. Williams says they asked police if they were being detained, or if they were free to go multiple times and received no answer.

“In moments, six police were surrounding us,” said Williams. One officer then yelled at the two, “Buddy, you ain’t being detained! You’re free to go!” However, while saying this, the officers continued to advance the two.

“It was clear we were not free to go,” says Williams. In fear of the sudden escalation, the two asked to speak with the supervising officer on duty. At that moment, Officer Keith Sanders stepped forward and yelled, “I’m the g**da**, fu****g supervisor! Don’t you know what this means,” as he pointed to his uniform patch.

At this point, the two told Sanders’ they would be contacting his supervisors to inform them of the rude behavior. As the two were told they weren’t being detained, they turned to leave. At this moment, officer Sanders reached forward and threw Williams onto the concrete. The officers immediately jumped Williams and began to beat him.

Officers punched Williams multiple times in the face and head. They then cuffed him and placed him into the patrol car of officer Kennith White. Police claim that moments later Williams began kicking the back seat of the patrol car. Officer White then opened the car door to pepper-spray Williams in his face and on his fresh wounds. Officer White then slammed shut the door leaving Williams to suffocate in the mist.

Police then took Williams to the detention center where they strapped him into a chair and slammed his face onto the metal table in front of him.

According to the civil lawsuit submitted by attorney Jon Rodgers, there is video footage police slamming Williams’ head into the table. The police department is being sued for personal damages, $5ook, and fees. Rodgers says that his client’s Fourth & Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

Police charged Williams with two separate counts of assault on an officer, resisting arrest and public intoxication. Once released, Williams went to the local emergency department where doctors suspected he had a fractured wrist. Once the lawsuit moved forward, the defendants offered to drop all charges and costs against Williams except one. “I’m not going to settle,” says Williams.

Officer White was also recently engaged in an altercation with a city firefighter. Many are accusing officer White of using excessive force for punching Jerry Mosely, a firefighter living in the same county, multiple times in the ribs. (Video Below)

The police department released a statement stating that officer White’s actions were necessary. Mosely says the police department’s statement of events released to the media are untrue.

Mosely and Williams have since been in contact with one another to discuss their unfortunate experiences with excessive use of force from a police officer.

View lawsuit papers here:


Cop Asks Child To Send Him “Sexy Pics” & Uses Police Database To Collect Private Info

A cop in Illinois was recently caught soliciting “sexy pics” from a 12-year-old.

During the summer of 2012, Woodstock police Sgt. Chip Amati was dating a woman with two daughters, ages 12 and 10. One day the 12-year-old told her mother that Amati gave her a gold necklace that said “Princess.”

The mother thought this was odd, so she went to Amati’s home to ask him about it. This caused a fight which resulted in the couple breaking up.

The following day, the mother told her daughters to avoid Amati and ignore any contact from the man. This prompted her 12-year-old to come forward with some disturbing text messages previously sent to her from Amati. The first one, sent on August 16, said “Hi beautiful.” The subsequent message said, “Feel free to send me a pic anytime ;).” Then another text, sent three days later, said, “Send me some sexy pics! <3.”

The 12-year-old’s mother immediately turned the text messages over to officials. While investigating the situation, officials made another discovery: Amati had collected information on the mother through a police database funded by tax money — all without the mother’s consent.

Although using police databases for personal reasons is a felony, Amati has been charged with nothing at this time.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, “Officers who use the database for personal reasons can be charged with official misconduct, a felony, state police said. But McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi has not charged Amati. After a departmental inquiry, Amati, a 24-year veteran and one of the city’s highest-paid employees, was suspended without pay for 30 days, though he can take them one at a time at the department’s discretion within a year, police Chief Robert Lowen said.”

According to authorities, Amati broke no law by sending the suggestive texts.

The parents of the 12-year-old are furious that no serious disciplinary action has been taken against Amati. Her father said, “He’s no better than who he’s arrested.”

What are your thoughts on this situation? Tell us below.


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Cop Shoots Teen Holding Toy Gun


14-year-old Nicholas King was shot by a cop after displaying what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun.

Little did the officer know, the “gun”  was fake.

The incident happened outside of a party store in Battle Creek. King was allegedly hiding in the bushes with his realistic-looking toy when the police were called by witnesses.

An officer, whose name is not released, showed up on the scene quickly. According to WoodTV, the cop claims that he ordered King to put his hands in the air. The suspect then allegedly “produced” what looked like a handgun. The officer then shot King.

In a statement, Battle Creek police said, “Further investigation revealed that the weapon was not real, but was a replica of a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun.”

There are currently some disputes as to what transpired right before the officer pulled the trigger.

Shannon Cortes is a friend of King and witnessed the incident. She said that before shooting, the cop instructed King to put his hands in the air, and he did so, “but only half way.” She also claimed King was not holding the fake weapon when the cop shot him. “His hand was completely clear,” she said.

King’s mother, Patricia Nelson, “wants answers.” She believes the police have not done their due diligence in justifying shooting King.

Nelson said, “I want to know what happened, and why he, why this officer did what he did to my son? Nicholas King did not deserve this. Just tell me why you shot my baby.”

King is currently recovering at the Bronson Methodist Hospital after undergoing six hours of surgery.

Follow Kristin on Facebook and Twitter.

Shock: NM Police Fire at Van with 5 Kids After Traffic Stop Escalates

The video is pretty shocking.  A mother from Tennessee and her five kids were reportedly on an educational field trip through New Mexico when her van was pulled over by New Mexico State Police.

The video, which has appeared on LiveLink shows the officer explaining to the woman, now identified as Oriana Ferrell, that she was going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone.  The officer tells Ferrell to turn off her van while he runs her information.  Ferrell doesn’t do as she is told.  Instead, she drives away.

The officer follows and pulls her over again.  This time, he begins telling Ferrell to get out of the vehicle. According to Albuquerque TV station KRQE, “The officer begins telling Ferrell ‘Look I’m going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I am going to pull you out, OK?’”

At one point Ferrell’s 14-year-old son gets out of the minivan and starts walking towards the officer, but backs off when the officer goes for his Taser.  The 14 year-old gets back in the van while the officer continues his struggle to get Ferrell out of the minivan.  At one point you can hear Ferrell telling the officer,  “You see my children. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just trying to take them to the Rio Grande.”

Once she finally exits the van, Ferrell is told to turn around and put her hands on the van.  She doesn’t want to be arrested and attempts to go back into the vehicle.  As she and the officer begin to wrestle, the 14 year-old comes back and this time rushes the officer.  The boy and the cop have a short tussle. The officer draws his Taser again while the boy runs back into the minivan and closes the door.

Now comes the moment, when we have to ask the question… for all the issues here and clearly there are many, do the officers escalate the situation far beyond where it should be for a traffic stop.  As backup officers pull up, the original officer pulls out his baton and smashes one of the rear windows of the van as the family screams.

Ferrell attempts to get away, and the minivan speeds off while another officer actually draws his gun and fires three shots at the fleeing vehicle, which again, has five children inside.  Ferrell leads State Police on a high-speed chase into Taos before giving herself up in front of a hotel.

Both Ferrell and her son were arrested.  Ferrell was also charged with child abuse and yet, is not a fair question to ask… wasn’t the officer firing shots at that van the one creating the most danger?

At BenSwann.com we have taken some heat for being hard on police.  We are hard on them, but that is in part because we believe that the police, the armed and trained individuals on the scene should be the ones to help bring down the level of tension, aggravation and danger, not to increase it.

Give your thoughts in the comment section below.

SC Police Department Gets “U.N. Blue” Tank that is land mine & IED resistant


On Veterans Day, Columbia, South Carolina became the latest of about 500 communities nationwide to add a military grade armored vehicle to its police force.  The para-military vehicle with a “U.N. blue” custom paint job seats nine people, has an armable turret, and costs $658,000.  The vehicle made its way to the department for free through the Department of Defense’s 1033 excess property program.  The tank is bullet proof, features a land mine resistant frame, and a mount rack suited for a 50 caliber machine gun.


The police department says the MRAP – short for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle – will help protect SWAT team officers and the general public during dangerous confrontations.  It’s bulletproof, armored, and, as the name suggests, can even resist landmine explosions.  A local body shop painted the vehicle for free.

The question, of course, is why a civilian police force needs or should have a military grade armored and armable vehicle, essentially a tank.  Such a “tool” makes the government much, much more physically powerful than American citizens, increasing the risk of abuse, and the damage to civilians when that abuse occurs.

This occurs at a time when people are growing more and more skeptical of police actions, and when more and more attention is being brought to abuses.  These abuses have included shooting people unnecessarily, and even killing unaggressive dogs in houses they had no right to be in.  Crime rates in America have been steadily dropping for many years now, and the chance of a situation arising in which the vehicle is actually necessary are slim.

Though the vehicle was “free” to the citizens of Columbia, they were purchased by taxpayer money.  500 surplus military vehicles costing $658,000 each adds up to $329 million dollars of surplus DoD spending (and therefore taxing) on vehicles which are so unnecessary to the military they are being given away to American cities.  Though this wouldn’t fix the debt, it is yet another multi-million dollar piece of wasteful spending by the American federal government.

The most troubling aspect of the situation, though, is the reason for obtaining such a vehicle.  Another town which recently obtained federal funding for a military armored vehicle – though this one was through the Department of Homeland Security – was Concord, New Hampshire.  When the ACLU and New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union submitted a public records request, they discovered that groups like the Free State Project and Occupy New Hampshire had been cited as domestic terror threats, and their presence was listed as a reason the police department needed an armored vehicle.

Columbia’s obtaining a MRAP is part of a wave of increasing police militarization.  This wave occurs at a time in which violent crime rates have been steadily dropping for years, but when political tension, dissatisfaction with the government, and attention to political and police abuse are at a high point.  This raises questions about the motivation for arming American police with the tools used by the military to fight Al Qaida.


New Mexico Police Force Enemas & Anal Cavity Searches On Drivers Pulled Over For Minor Violations

As we reported last week, New Mexico man David Eckert was forced to undergo several enemas and anal cavity searches in January. The invasive searches happened after the man was pulled over for not coming to a full stop at a Walmart stop sign. Cops said they were suspicious of Eckert because he was “clenching his buttocks.”

No drugs were found on Eckert.

Now, another similar story has surfaced. New Mexico cops did the same thing to another driver, Timothy Young, for failing to signal a turn in October, 2012.

When officers pulled Young over in Silver City for the minor violation, one of their drug-sniffing dogs indicated that he had drugs on him. After cops obtained a warrant, Young was taken to Gila Regional Medical Center where he was forced to undergo several enemas, anal finger exams, and a colonoscopy — just like Eckert.

No drugs were found on Young, either.

Although the same officers were not involved in Eckert and Young’s cases, the same drug-sniffing dog was used both times.

The dog’s name is Leo. Local news station KOB4 took a look at Leo’s certification and found that he had been trained — but that his license to assist police with drug searches expired in April, 2012 (prior to both Eckert and Young’s cases).

Police dogs like Leo are supposed to have their license renewed each year.

Currently, independent oversight boards are looking into both cases. We will keep you up-to-date as news breaks.

Man Brutally Shot After Police Mistake Him For A Car Thief

A 60-year-old man was shot by police in his own driveway — the officers involved mistakenly thought the man was a car thief.

Roy Middleton lives in Pensacola, Florida. He was in his driveway at 2:30am on July 27 getting a cigarette from his mother’s Lincoln Town Car. Middleton lives with his mother and wife, and his name is listed on the car’s insurance.


But one of Middleton’s neighbors saw him in the driveway, became suspicious of a car break in, and then called police.

Officers Jeremiah Meeks, Sgt. Matthew White and Charles Wright promptly arrived at Middleton’s house a few minutes later. As soon as they spotted Middleton, they ordered the man to put his hands in the air. According to the officers, Middleton then hesitated to take their order.

It was then that they shot the man. 15 bullets were fired, two of which hit Middleton in the legs.

The officers continue to defend their actions, claiming that they had reasonable cause to fire after Middleton did not follow their orders. They also claim Middleton appeared to reach for a metal object after refusing to put his hands up.

Sheriff Morgan, the officers’ superior, said, “There was nothing glaringly apparent to us that the officers did that was out of the ordinary in the given set of circumstances as have been given to us.”

Middleton, on the other hand, told a different story.

He claimed he was not asked for identification or asked any questions before being shot. The metal object he was reaching for was a keychain, he said.

After the shooting, Middleton had to get surgery to put metal rods in his left leg. He can now do little without feeling severe pain.

Middleton said, “I ask myself why they shot me first. And why they shot me so many times afterwards. Yeah, I ask why — that’s all I can ask is why.”

Currently, the officers involved are on paid leave while investigators get to the bottom of the issue and determine if charges will be brought against them. 

Middleton said he will be filing a civil lawsuit against the officers for excessive force. He wants them to cover his medical bills, but he said more importantly he wants an apology.

Middleton said he has been living in agony since the event, and suffers from traumatic nightmares. His wife Sharlet said, “He still tries to be the Roy that we all know, but he’s not.”

Do you think the officers had probable cause to shoot Middleton? Let us know in the comments section below.

Warrantless Vaginal Searches Conducted By Texas Police

Police in Texas have been caught conducting completely warrantless vaginal searches of women on the side of freeways.

Yes, you read that correctly.

A new set of videos show Texas state troopers probing women’s vaginas and anal areas while searching for drugs.

After watching the videos, which were taken by police car dashboard cams, it is painfully obvious that police were confident that the women did not have marijuana — but they went ahead with the cavity searches anyways.

The women in the first video was pulled over for speeding. Pretty standard traffic stop, right?

Not in this case.

The male cop became convinced that the women in the car were hiding drugs in their private areas. He called a female officer over to help him and told the women, “I ain’t about to get up close and personal with your woman areas.” The footage shows the shocked woman driver’s facial expression as she is intimately searched.

The two women involved in the incident, Alexandra Randle and Brandy Hamilton, have filed a suit.

Another video shows a woman being pulled over for throwing litter out her window. She is asked if she has marijuana in the car, to which she responds negatively. Still, the cop is convinced the woman is lying. Like the first officer, he calls a female cop to the scene. The female officer puts a latex glove on, and then puts her hand down the woman’s pants. She told the driver if she had “hid something in there, we are going to find it.”

The footage is shocking.

Police have been granted a large amount of discretion and latitude from the Supreme Court, when it comes to roadside searches. That is, if they have a reasonable cause to think there are illegal drugs in the vehicle.

In both of these Texas cases, there seems to be no reasonable cause whatsoever.

In 2009 the Supreme Court ruled that citizens have a Constitutional expectation of privacy. In the Safford Unified School District v. April Redding case, the majority ruled, “Subjective and reasonable societal expectations of personal privacy support the treatment of such a search as categorically distinct, requiring distinct elements of justification on the part of school authorities for going beyond a search of outer clothing and belongings.”

It is unfortunate that we now live in a society where our Constitutional rights are violated on a regular basis.

What are your thoughts on these warrantless cavity searches? Let us know in the comments section below.

Police Shove Man to Ground, Arrest Another for Filming it

Last Friday at 2:00 AM in downtown Nashville, TN 3 men were arrested by police during an incident. It all began when Matthew Paige of the Blackfoot Gypsies left the Broadway bar Layla’s after playing a show. Paige accidentally bumped his amp into Metro officer Jeffrey C. Cason’s police cruiser. Officer Cason had just tried to issue Paige’s girlfriend a citation for double parking near the designated space for musicians to load their equipment on Broadway. The space was being illegally occupied by a taxi.

Paige Being Arrested
Paige Being Arrested

As officer Cason was issuing the citation he claims that Paige then struck his cruiser twice with his amp. Multiple eyewitnesses deny this actually happened. Paige says that he bumped his amp into the police cruiser as he was hauling his stuff to his girlfriend’s vehicle. The officer then accused him of vandalism and asked for his identification. Paige asked why the officer needed his ID. “Shit started getting crazy after that,” says Paige.

Two fellow musicians began to film and take pictures of the event. One musician, Galen Mitchell, was shoved to the ground by another officer. He was arrested for disorderly conduct. After catching this on film, Jefferey Marcom, the second musician, yelled, “this is going on the news!” The police immediately went after Marcom and his camera. They shove him to the ground and arrest him. You can clearly see in the video that Marcom has committed no crime and poses not threat to the officers. Yet, police booked him into jail for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. After unjustly arresting Marcom, they searched him and found drugs. They then charged him for possession. In an affidavit officer Cason says, “we had to physically push Marcom back for our safety.” However, it is clear in the video that the police are the aggressors, not Marcom. You can also hear a woman in the background saying “he’s not resisting”.


Paige set up a Facebook page for Marcom titled, “Free Jefferey Marcom“. The page reads, “Help us raise bail money for Jeffrey Marcom. He is a man that was wrongfully incarcerated for video taping an instance of police brutality.” A benefit show was held last night to help with the costs as well. According to the Facebook page they have raised $1,869 between the show and their online fundraising efforts. According to the local news station, the police involved are under review.

Paige tells us that nothing much has happened since the incident and they are just awaiting their court dates. He adds that they hope to get the word out about the incident.

He Has No Drugs And Knows His Constitutional Rights

Across the nation yesterday and likely all throughout this weekend, local law enforcement will be putting up DUI checkpoints.  The idea behind these checkpoints is that they help to get drunk drivers off of the roads.  Unfortunately, time and again we see that these checkpoints do very little in that regard while managing to trample over the constitutional rights of sober drivers.

Today, I was alerted by a viewer to this video as he asked for help sharing it.  It was taken not even 24 hours ago by a young man in Rutherford County, TN by the name of Chris Kalbaugh.  Chris was stopped at one of these checkpoints last night and as you will see in the video he complied with the law.  The whole time Chris was recording his encounter with police.  Over and over his constitutional check-pointrights were violated and once again he was told the same thing so many of us have heard over and over: that we must sacrifice our liberty for safety.  In Chris’ case, none of the conduct by police in this video made him or anyone else on the roadways in Rutherford County any safer.

Here is the video and a quote from the Rutherford County Libertarians Facebook page:

“As we speak, video of police abuse here in Rutherford County is being viewed by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, thanks to reddit picking it up. Concerned citizens are flooding the phone lines and email inboxes of the local sheriff’s office, police department, and highway patrol. Hats off to fellow member Chris Kalbaugh for asserting his constitutional rights.”