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It’s Not Just the LAPD: The Big Lie About Police Brutality is Claiming it’s Not Rampant

Dave Lindorff
This Can't Be Happening / News Report
Published: Sunday 2 September 2012
“We’ve seen scene after scene of police beating the crap out of, and even shooting and killing unarmed or minimally dangerous students, women, old men and crazy people, many of them after they have been handcuffed and checked for weapons.”
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Police brutality is in the news, thanks to the widespread availability of amateur video and the omnipresence of security cameras.

We've seen scene after scene of police beating the crap out of, and even shooting and killing unarmed or minimally dangerous students, women, old men and crazy people, many of them after they have been handcuffed and checked for weapons.

The police brass, and leading politicians who oversee the departments involved, nearly always have the same answer: This is not the norm, these are isolated incidents, police violence is not on the rise.

The thing is, of course, it is on the rise. Just as the exonerations of supposed murders and rapists are only those where there was DNA available to prove their innocence, while many more are also clearly wrongly facing death or long prison sentences, the scenes of brutality we're seeing on the videos are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg too. What is different is that we're seeing these things at all. It used to be that getting videos of police brutality was very rare -- like the taping of the notorious police assault on the prone body of Rodney King by Los Angeles cops during a traffic stop. It just happened that someone with a video camera was at the scene when it occurred. Nowadays everyone with a cellphone is a potential videographer, so we're seeing more of what really goes on when police make their arrests.

Just check out the latest video of LAPD officers body slamming a 5'4" nurse (two times!) who had the audacity to get out of her car when they stopped her for talking on her cell phone while driving (this particular video was taken by a surveillance camera at a store focussed on the parking lot where police had followed the woman's car). Note that one of the burly cops slamming this small handcuffed woman to the ground and later fist-bumping to celebrate with his younger partner holds the rank of commander -- he's a 20-year veteran of the LAPD.

Or check out this video of four LAPD cops on top of a 19-year-old (black) student stopped for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street. After he was down and handcuffed he was punched in the face by a cop, breaking his nose and cheekbone. This for a very minor offense, not even warranting an arrest, but just a citation.

But it's not just Los Angeles. We also have videos like this one of a young woman stopped by a cop in Florida. In this case the cop was fired and jailed after his supervisor viewed the video, taken by the camera on the cop's own car. This case was unusual. The woman filed no complaint about the abuse, probably figuring it would be pointless. But in a standard review of the officer's video footage, the incident was spotted and referred up the chain to the department chief who was outraged at the treatment of a handcuffed woman.

Much worse was the killing, by six Saginaw, Michigan cops, of a troubled homeless man who had called 9-11 after an argument with a shop attendant. Standing far from the cops, and holding a small knife, he was shot, apparently, judging from the video, as he was walking away from the officers, who hit him with a volley of 46 shots, killing him. This video was taken by someone in the parking lot who had a cell phone. Two months later, the local DA is still allegedly claiming to still be "investigating" that tragic incident.

The thing we need to all recognize is that these videos are just the incidents that have been captured on video. They clearly reflect something that is going on all the time, usually without any video to record it, or often even without any eye witnesses.

Police in too many departments are out of control. Too many departments are allowing their uniformed and armed cops to act as though they are an occupying army. Many of the younger cops may even have come from military duty in Iraq and Afghanistan where they actually were acting as an occupying army since in many jurisdictions there is a preference given to hiring such veterans. That would be fine if those veterans were put through training programs to make clear to them that there is a fundamental difference between war and policing, and that the public here at home is not the enemy, but I sincerely doubt that that is being done in most police departments. Indeed, given the mindless hanging of the appellation "hero" on everyone who wears or once wore a military uniform in our current war-obsessed culture, veterans who become cops are probably seen as ideal for the job.

The attitude of being occupiers and in a state of war with the people being "policed" is enhanced by politicians who call for tough policing, and by the Pentagon, which is handing out military equipment to police like candy to trick-or-treaters. Police are routinely armed with M-16s in their squad cars. We all saw the result of this kind of militarization of the police in the ease with which police in cities across the country, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Portland and points in between became paramilitary goons in attacking peaceful Occupy Movement protesters with everything from tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to mace or pepper spray aimed point blank into faces.

Or look at what happened when a whacked and sacked employee in New York City staked out a spot near his former employer and executed a supervisor he felt had gotten him fired. Two cops on the street, when he turned towards them still holding his gun, unloaded their service revolvers at him on the crowded street, killing him but also injuring nine innocent bystanders.

We can call that a panicky reaction to having a man with a gun point it at you, but we need to expect better of our police. These were men who at least should have been wearing bullet-proof vests, making them much better protected than all the people on the sidewalk they were sworn to protect. Even if they had felt the need to protect themselves by firing at the gunman, they were clearly out of line emptying their weapons at him. What they did is a tactic called "spray and pray" by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It means firing off everything you've got if a bullet is fired your way. It's deadly, and it's an inappropriate tactic in an urban setting even in war time. It's even more outrageous in the middle of midtown Manhattan at the morning rush hour.

What is happening to this country?

I'm sure all the Republican yahoos in the Tampa Convention Center who called out for the dotty old Clint Eastwood to reprise his famous and overused "Dirty Harry" line of "Go ahead, make my day!", and who shouted out the line enthusiastically as he offered it up for them at the end of his painfully embarrassing 12-minute ramble, think that all this police violence is just fine.

But it's not. Police officers are not Dirty Harry. They are supposed to be trained professionals tasked with protecting the public, not putting them in even worse jeopardy. I keep coming back to firefighters, who are true heroes. Would a firefighter pull down a house while people were inside, in order to put out a blaze? Of course not. But police emptying their guns wildly at an armed man on a crowded street is the same thing as doing that, and they did it without hesitation. That nobody was killed by police fire is simply a matter of dumb luck in this case.

As I just wrote this past week, I was recently threatened with arrest and jail by a bullying cop from the town of Horsham, Pennsylvania for standing legally on the grass beside the road trying to hitchhike. I was lied to by the officer, who claimed that hitchhiking is illegal in the state (it's only illegal if you stand on the road and the officer should have known, and surely did know this), which is bad enough, but to be threatened with arrest and jail for something that, even had I been in violation, gets you a citation and which carries a $35 fine (it's just a summary offense), is simply outrageous. And suppose I had argued with this officer? He might well have cuffed me and then slammed me into the ground or into the side of his SUV before hauling me in on a charge of resisting arrest, and would anyone have been surprised?

Sadly no. This is law enforcement today in America. There are plenty of good cops who take their work seriously, and do their job properly, but as some of those cops have told me themselves, there are also way too many who are just thugs in uniforms, and there are precious few chiefs of police, few district attorneys, and few mayors who have the political courage (exhibited by the chief in the Florida case above) to take them on, to punish abusive behavior and to demand that policing be about "protecting and serving," and not about brutalizing those who are being confronted for alleged law-breaking.

The advent of cameras in the hands of the masses is a good thing (there's a reason why so many cops illegally harass and even arrest or confiscate the cameras or cell phones of those who try to videotape or photograph their activities, as cops just doing their job should have no fear of cameras), but it won't end the problem of rampant police brutality in America. Only a broad public demand for more civil and appropriate, constitutional and humane behavior by our police will accomplish that. If we don't come together and make that demand, we continue a drift towards becoming a police state, a path along which the United State is already dangerously well advanced.

ABOUT Dave Lindorff

Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and He received a Project Censored award in 2004. Dave is also a founding member of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening! at

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Police have showed signs of

Police have showed signs of brutality way before our current wars. Back then, the narrative too was it was a few bad apples. They use that excuse now as they did then for our soldiers committing war crimes or behaving in ways The Top Brass want the public to believe that those in uniform do NOT behave normally, when, in fact, it is far more rampant and maybe it always has been. We'll never know because there was no video technology in the hands of the public back in the past. I guess anecdotal information from those in the military and the police could enlighten us as to their mentality. And those that do know the difference between right and wrong and actually care about that difference have told their stories about the goons that are supposed to serve and protect. But considering the culture we live in and the boundaries we've set or lack of boundaries we have set up that glorifies this machismo, testosterone driven atmosphere we live in, is it really a surprise that thugs are attracted to these professions? They get to have a gun and badge that says they're legal criminals. And as long as they cover their asses which is easy to do since their buddies will bear false witness to what they do, they have it made to terrorize those they "say" are a threat, which is anyone they want, anyone they chose on a whim. Nice gig they have going there.

I think it's more the public's ability to capture their criminal behavior with modern video technology they didn't have before that is revealing how ubiquitous their behavior really is. Not only that, all these captured videos is also revealing the corruption at the top who cover it up in any way they can, by declaring that the police acted appropriately or they're on suspension with pay until further notice - only to come back on duty later and continue their rule of violence. Or compromised judges who rule in their favor. Another excuse for police getting away with murder is that they felt threatened - even when the perpetrator is handcuffed - and this flies - all the time. I guess when we live in an alternative reality where the citizens are treated like victims by the police who are the crooks perpetrating the crimes against those they're supposed to protect. How about the public feeling threatened by the behavior from the police. Maybe we should shoot a policeman and ask questions later and claim we felt threatened. I wonder how that would go down.

I'm so tired of hearing how these guys put their lives on the line to protect us - that they're faced with life and death danger all the time. No one more than me appreciates when an officer or a soldier puts his life on the line to protect me, this country and our security FROM A THREAT. But that's not who we're talking about here. We're talking about police officers who go after innocent civilians and use undue force against those who are clearly not a danger to them, who are brutalized for sport, who go after peaceful demonstrators and commit bodily harm because...why? Because they're asserting their right to dissent? To protest? When did we become a Police State where we can't exercise our right to demonstrate? The same goes for soldiers who march into civilian towns and villages of foreign countries that we have no business being in, looking for a target just for the hell of it. And when that's over, go back to the barracks and find a fellow female officer they can rape.

The problem is no one wants to admit the the culture we live in has a very thin veneer between this experience we call "civilization" and it's inhabitants who are brutal, sadistic people along with those who are in authoritative positions. It is authoritative positions these sociopaths are attracted to.

Dave Cops are way out of line


Cops are way out of line in too many situations, but it won't change. It's ingrained in the public mind that all cops are good and all the people they encounter must have done "something illegal."
We have allowed our public servants to literally get away with murder because we have not demanded accountability for their actions. The old phrase "to protect and serve" has morphed into "to intimidate and punish."
For decades, politicians ginned up fear to get elected with the phony "tough on crime" stance.
Sadly, it works even though crime has been trending down for several years. Despite this, police agencies see their budgets increased every year and are mostly impervious to any belt tightening. All it takes is a few scare stories and voters sheepishly head to the polls to approve more money for their supposed safety.
Stories of rampant crime fill the front page while boring statistics are pushed inside - if they run at all.
Law enforcement officials know this and make every effort to exploit it. In the meantime, new weapons, tactics and military-type toys arrive on the street. Liberty and justice get flattened by tanks and armored SWAT trucks. And we allow it.
The 2 New York cops who fatally fired a dozen shots at a man with a knife in Times Square, could have taken a minute to assess the situation before shooting him. With Times Square as their beat, those officers surely knew that the man they were dealing with was mentally out of control. But they shot him nonetheless.
The Empire State building shooting was also a preventable mistake by the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Nine bystanders were accidentally shot, while cops shot at an armed man. That's not just bad judgment, but really bad training.
Even so, officials continue to defend the officers.
These shootings and hundreds more across the country get whitewashed because the people who are shot are generally people of color or mental cases.
It is exceedingly rare that cops are held accountable for these preventable acts.
Today's police officers are highly trained, but seldom instructed on how to respond to a crazy person. Instead of using their brains, they shoot.
Law enforcement training emphasizes that they must protect their lives at all cost. As a result, all a cop has to do is to claim he "was in fear for his life," and he gets off with no questions asked.
We absolutely need to expect better of our police.
The Saginaw shooting video shows the cops firing nearly 50 shots at a man with a knife. Standing far from the cops and apparently walking away from the officers, the man was cut down by cops who fired a volley of 46 shots, killing him instantly.
There is a detail on the video that was overlooked. On the far left of the screen, there is a SWAT a tank-type tracked vehicle parked off to the side. How could the man who was shot been such an imminent danger that the cops had time to send in a riot control armored car?
Yet they will undoubtedly be cleared of any wrong doing.
It's agreed that there is a fundamental difference between war and policing, and that the public here at home is not the enemy, but I sincerely doubt that "situation awareness" is being taught in most police departments.
The only way to stop incidents like these is to goad local politicians into creating independent police review boards. Every shooting should be investigated and explained to all of the residents. They must be removed from politics and immune to police pressure.
If we can't hold police accountable with the power they have then we have traded security for freedom

A couple of

A couple of thoughts:

Relocated military personnel are appropriately trained for wartime scenarios. Before they can work as civilian peacekeepers, they need to be debriefed, and they may need to be retrained. Guarding civilians' welfare and freedoms is different domestically than overseas. This requires learning some new job skills and extinguishing others, which may involve some expense, and should probably be directed by district constituents.

Then, whatever one thinks of these men and women, they are putting their lives on the line every day, and they have been trained to protect and serve. Regardless of the situation, they must always be alert, while knowing the limits of their power. This must be inculcated from the beginning, and judgment must be used, from the top down.

Last, as citizens we DO need to let our civil servants know that that is what they are. They may not abuse their positions or power without consequences.

We as a society have said

We as a society have said drug use should be illegal. I can think of several good reasons why, but aside from that, once something is deemed illegal by society (us!!), it is our responsibility to stop that illegal behavior. If we chose not to, we're asking for conflicts with our police; it's self inflicted!
Suggesting police are participating in an "illegal/immoral war" against their fellow Americans misses the point. A police officer's participation in law enforcement isn't a personal choice, it's the requirement of their job; it's an OBLIGATION of the job.
Those who feel enforcement of drug laws are misguided shouldn't direct their anger and frustration against the police, but focus on changing the laws.

MCKINLP: Although society is


Although society is changing their view and is now, albeit slowly, realizing the failures of the "War on Drugs", most people critical of law enforcement are not critical of law enforcement enforcing the law; but, the violence and corruption used by them. It's getting to the point that it's difficult to discern between law enforcement and the criminals. The main difference is law enforcement is shielded from their bad behavior by the law and their badge.

I am too afraid of local and

I am too afraid of local and federal 'law enforcement' to comment on this issue.

COPWRITER: "Fewer than one


"Fewer than one percent of all law enforcement officers ever engage in any serious misconduct."

Please site your source. If you mean "fewer than one percent of all law enforcement officers ever engage in any serious misconduct" do you mean are convicted?

The problem is, many in law enforcement are NOT held accountable and when you see one (1%) cockroach, you can be sure there are hundreds you don't see.

Gestapo: now in operation in

Gestapo: now in operation in the USA & almost fully warmed up in Canada.

When corruption at the top of

When corruption at the top of the governmental pyramid is rampant and obvious the various lesser "bosses" believe that it is okay to be corrupt. When our first reaction as a nation is wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians overseas, the local enforcers feel it is their right to be violent. I have been threatened by armed men a few times in my life. Twice it was a gang of bikers looking for money and drugs. Twice it was local troopers with (illegal) sawed off shotguns telling me they were "going to blow yer G-damn head off"! For the terrible crime of hitch-hiking thru their domain. In my world there are decent cops but I believe it is clear that the uniform is just a suit which sometimes covers up a thug, a psychotic in blue looking for an excuse to hurt somebody.

I was in Berkeley in the 60's and I saw cops beating old women down, I saw four cops knock down an elderly priest and kick and beat him until he was unconscious. And to be fair after a two day riot I also saw cops being hit with gasoline bombs, which was insanity...As a nation we are entertained by extreme violence and many young men are encouraged to be violent, to be "strong", and when they put on a cops uniform....they are handed guns.

I have a friend who worked as

I have a friend who worked as a patrol officer and detective for the Berkeley, CA police department. He has had at least 5 friends shot dead on the Berkeley and/or Oakland police department when trying to detain or arrest individuals on the street.
People who demonize police officers are idiots who have no concept of the danger these guys put themselves in every single day on the streets of our cities. How about writing an article thanking these guys/gals who allow us to walk the streets without fear of being victimized by a stranger.
If perps/suspects would only cooperate with police officers, there'd be a lot fewer conflicts with officers. The problem is articles like this that antagonize the public and encourage citizens prone to crime to not cooperate.

What a coincidence -- I, too

What a coincidence -- I, too have had 5 friends shot dead. By police. The difference, of course, is that people who touch the holy bodies of police officers are severely punished, often by death without trial, while cops who assault the people they've sworn to protect are rarely even held accountable. And never mind waking down the street, I can't even sleep in my own bed without the fear of being victimized by a stranger. A stranger with a badge, which I won't see until I am face down on the floor in handcuffs.

People who generalize in

People who generalize in praise of police officers in an epidemic of cops who are actually murderous thugs are worse than mere idiots. The only answer must be Citizen Oversight Review Boards. But these citizens must be vetted to be sure they are not biased and moronic conservative authoritarians. Authoritarians are impervious to reason, and hard evidence. And the Citizen Oversight Review Boards ruling must have teeth and be the final judgment. And, just as important, nobody in City Hall, especially not a mayor, nor a police chief may lean on them to sway their ruling. And that goes double for the police union.

I have witnessed unprovoked and appallingly violent behavior by the NYCPD cops so nakedly brutal that all who witnessed were struck with fear. That is how these sh*t for brains thug-cops get away with their crimes. This was under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, both Republican mayors. Isn't it odd, how under Mayors John Lindsey and Ed Koch, you felt more secure? And that the cops were indeed friendly toward the average citizen. But no more. Now the New York City cops hassle everybody! Except, of course, the Wall Street criminals. Where Wall Street is concerned, Cops elbow their way to the front of the line to kiss billionaires' smelly feet.

And as their precious little "toys", the tasers: they need to be ripped from the cops fingers. The cops deserve every form of resistance they knowingly and deliberately provoke.

Let us not overlook the role

Let us not overlook the role that the corporate owned media plays in down playing police violence and refusing to use real investigative journalism to illuminate this problem. This country is ignorant and ill informed because of a tainted corporate controlled media that doesn't care to expose the militarization of American police, and resulting rampant abuse of civilian rights due to a lack of police accountability for blatant abuses of power.
Achieving a new level of governmental accountability cannot be built with a media that has a vested interest in keeping citizens ignorant. We must demand a civil police response to civil disobedience, and more public control and input on public airwaves...

Police brutality is simple

Police brutality is simple sexuality based psychology. The majority of men who become cops have an average penis length of 1 1/2" fully erect. They're using guns, brutality and violence to compsensate for their teeny weenies. They have a psychopathalogical need to feel bigger than they are. The teenier the weenie, the bigger the guns and the more brutish the behavior.

Agreed. The inverse ratio of

Agreed. The inverse ratio of penis size to ludicrously oversized weaponry and brutality in a setting of urban density is a correct insight in a majority of cases. And along with that, is the fact that so many police departments won't hire men, or women, with exceptionally high IQ. Put those factoids together and you have thugs. But then what is the answer? We still need someone to mind the store.

Well the gloves are off and

Well the gloves are off and worse than that we now shoot third world defenseless countries and ask no questions later either. The countires are full of innocent people who also get shot and their infrastructure destroyed so some campany may get a chance to rebuild it for a tidy profit if they settle down that is. Or else get work as contract security forces forever after. What isn't clear is if it is as at home so aboard , or as abroad so too at home.

What the problem stems from

What the problem stems from is the epic corruption in the courts. Cops know they can get away with murder. The Rampart scandal continues ti this day, because nothing happened, so they continue planting guns and dope when need be. And thousands of innocent people are still in jail from ten years ago.

Your bias and uninformed

Your bias and uninformed perspective is reflected in your choice of words. Most U.S. police carry semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers have been out of standard use for well over 20 years. Similarly, your use of terms like "goons" parrots critics of the police from the 1950s and before.

There is misconduct among the police; there always has been, there probably always will be. Fewer than one percent of all law enforcement officers ever engage in any serious misconduct. Compare that to the misconduct rates of other occupations. It's a difficult job to do because everyone seems to think they know how to do it better than the people with the training, authority and experience for it. Moreover, many people seem to derive tremendous satisfaction from provoking cops to overreact, a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you have a problem with something a cop is telling you to do, do it anyway and then take up your complaint with his employer. The cop in the field can't afford to lose control of a situation, because if he does, he may lose his life. There is a lot more than your fragile ego riding on the outcome of the encounter.

You will ignore this advice, because you will not submit to the will of the state's oppressor. Do as you like; you operate at your own peril.

Perhaps our modern police

Perhaps our modern police would be less reactive if there wasn't the ever present possibility that the next detainee might be packing his 2nd amendment protected weapon, whether or not such wanker is a mental patient or a foreign minted terrorist or just a citizen having a bad day.

So copwriter............ If the guys with the training and experience and authority are the ones on the job, how is it we are seeing ever increasing levels of lethal violence against citizens?,...... and are you implying that the increasing militarization of our domestic police has nothing to do with the rise of incidents of violence? Is the level of "control" you refer to sufficiently met by six armed officers shooting to death one knife wielding head case? Does this "control" also demand that two officers beat a teen-age skate boarder for riding on the wrong side of the street? Does it demand that an officer draw his weapon an fire on a hand-cuffed detainee who is already face down as in the case of Oscar Grant? Is that the control we're trying to get to here? I know.... to serve and protect..... right!...... But Whom? And I am not asking a rhetorical question.

Far more than 1% of all law

Far more than 1% of all law enforcement officer engage in serious misconduct, in fact it's close to 100%. They almost all cover up violence, corruption and perjury. Look at the response of police officers to illegal acts by other cops. If 99% were honest they'd come down on the wrongdoers like a tonne of bricks, they do not.

this is a totally misguided,

this is a totally misguided, fantastical comment.........are you serious? 100%? Please don't post nonsensical comments like this. It can't possibly be true (100%?) and only encourages citizen conflict with officers "just doing their job."

I read livemike as defining

I read livemike as defining "covering up violence, corruption and perjury" as constituting gross misconduct. He appeared to be arguing that "almost 100%" (not 100%) of law enforcement personnel do not move to expose the gross misconduct of others , thereby engaging in gross misconduct themselves.

I have often wondered if drug

I have often wondered if drug use, steroids, by police personnel, may have something to do with their aggressive behaviour. Many of these turds caught on video seem overly muscled for people who ride around in cars all the time while working. Then again, for some unfathomable reason, being a "civilian" I've come to know quite a few police on a social level. Each one seems very upstanding until the surface is scratched and a bully is revealed. This has been my experience but they can't all be this way can they? Perhaps as paedophiles are drawn to youth groups, bullies or sociopathics are drawn to police work where they get to lie, threaten and commit violence generally without consequences. Best not give any excuse for "special treatment" with your next encounter with these thugs by knowing your rights and staying calm.

Or the fact many of them are

Or the fact many of them are Vets. Can't shut the brutality off.

There is a way to stop this

There is a way to stop this and it will take time, effort and persistence. For insight and direction on this and other important police improvement issues, take a look at my new book, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” ( in US and EU). And the blog at where other current police improvement issues are discussed. Good luck and may we all experience not just good but great policing! Great policing is accomplished by police who are well-trained and led, restrained in their use of force, honest, and courteous to every citizen.

The police are now the bad

The police are now the bad guys. But as I read through the comments it`s still the same old thing. Name calling, white & black etc.. The police are the fuc---- assholes. We need to stick together, we need to come together. That`s the only chance we have against these assholes. The cop`s are totally out of control & will remain so untill we take back the control. They have forgotton who they work for, that is us, `We the People` need to get our Power back. The things I see on the Internet & things I have seen on the streets are unbelievable. Not to mention the judged & state attoney.
There are many, many things `We the People` need to do, but we need to do them together.

The authorities rule by

The authorities rule by superior brute force, NOT superior morality or superior intellect. -- Alex DeTocqueville in "democracy in America"

The 1st Rule of "court" is that All Cops LIE Under Oath.

The 2nd Rule of "court" is that all "judges" know it but don't do a thing about it.

I went to prison for 65 months on a politically-motivated fairy tale based on undeniable, irrefutable, infantile perjury that wasn't even allowed by law into court (SEE 635 A2d 186-191 @ 189 WITH 566 A2d 252-253; 631 A2d 213 for starters). The scumbag perjuring prosecutor sent a "contingent of state police observers" down to the 2-20-86 preliminary hearing to beat up my public defender and steal my cassette recording of the kangaroo kourt proceeding presided over by a former crooked state cop-turned magistrate who doubled my posted bail and sent me to prison to await trial (SEE p.15, Fri. 2-21-86 Williamsport Sun-Gazette, "Edgy Police Rush to Seize Innocent Paper Bag").


(The corrupt prosecutor recently was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in state prison for his role in the Computergate scandal. He is now a convicted thief and a convicted liar who shamelessly proclaimed his innocence to the world outside of the Dauphin County courthouse through the news media after being convicted on all 40 counts based on his own e-mails and sworn testimony of his co-conspirators who accepted responsibility for their criminal actions.)

“There's no way to rule

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. And then you cash in on guilt" --Ayn Rand, 1957.

Hopefully the ubiquitous presence of cameras will begin to break through the "blue wall of silence". If police officers who behave badly are disciplined appropriately, they will improve their behavior. We have a right, as a society, to expect high standards of conduct from people who are licensed to carry guns and use them, not to mention the right to take people into custody and who knows what else.

I, too, have had experiences with police who exceeded their authority and claimed I was violating laws that did not exist. When I mentioned the statutes in question, the response on one occasion was "oh, so you're a lawyer now?" I left it at that. There is no point in confronting someone who will not respond to reason. Comply, take names, and move on for your own safety.

We should not have to do this in America. We will not have to do this if law enforcement is held to the same standards as any other profession which holds the power over life and death.

Every cop in America today

Every cop in America today came of age during the drug war. Every one of them joined the force knowing full well that doing so meant becoming a soldier in an illegal, immoral war against his or her fellow Americans. The shocker isn't that police are violent. The shocker is that so many Americans are willing to live on their knees.

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