Sgt. Patrick Hayes: When Armed Law Enforcement Crosses the Line, We All Lose

Sgt. Patrick Hayes writes

RF recently sent me a link to an article entitled Is resistance futile? The Cost of Challenging the American Police State. The piece was written by attorney and author of (A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State) John W. Whitehead, posted in Huffington Post politics. Normally, I don’t trust anything Arianna Huffington’s inheritors publish; the writers never met a Big Government idea they didn’t like. This piece was different . . .

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NYPD Officers Caught Pistol Whipping Suspected Marijuana Dealer

“According to court records, law enforcement sources and the video, the encounter started in front of 1311 St. John’s Place at 2:20 a.m. when three anti-crime officers spotted the 6-foot-2 teen peering into the window of parked mini-van,” huffingtonpost.com reports. “When the officers got out of their car to approach Tribble, he allegedly tossed away a small black canvas bag and took off running. The officers — one with his gun drawn — gave chase, concerned that the suspect had a weapon, sources said. Shortly thereafter . .

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GA Grand Jury No-Bills SWAT Team for Flash-Banged Toddler

(courtesy myajc.com)

“While labeling the drug investigation that ended with the disfigurement of a toddler ‘hurried and sloppy,’ a Habersham County grand jury on Monday ruled the law enforcement officers involved should not face criminal charges,” myajc.com reports. Because .  . . ? “’Rather than seeing unfeeling or uncaring robots, what has not been seen before by others and talked or written about is that these individuals are suffering as well,’ the jurors wrote. ‘We have seen and heard genuine regret and sadness on the part of the law enforcement officers involved, and we think is it fair and appropriate to point out that they are human beings as well.'” Translation: the Grand Jury thinks it’s OK for ostensibly trained sworn law enforcement officers to screw-up and hurt innocent members of the public as long as the cops’ intentions are good, and they’re remorseful afterwards. Did you know that the flash bang thrown into 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh’s crib detached his nose from his face? It gets worse . . .

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Tallahassee Cop TASEs Woman Walking Away [Video NSFW]

“Tallahassee officers were responding to recent complaints from citizens about drug deals in the neighborhood located just a few blocks west of the governor’s mansion,” the AP reports. “Viola Young approached one of the police cars parked on the narrow street to inquire about one of the people — two women and a man — who had been arrested. The officer standing outside the squad car advised the woman to stay back. Officer Terry Mahan approached Young and attempted to take her into custody. In the video, Young appears to be walking away when the officer uses his stun gun, striking her in the back. She falls face-first to the ground. Officers surrounded her and eventually helped her to her feet and walked her to a squad car, the video shows.” The police officer has been suspended pending investigation. Meanwhile, I wonder what life was like before cell phone cameras . . .

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Federal Bureaucracy Holding Up Police De-Militarization

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Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Or, indeed, bureaucracy. Case in point: the stymied post-Ferguson move to ditch MRAPs, “tanks,” full-auto rifles and other Pentagon provided kit. First, the good news [via motherjones.com]: “Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to Defense Department data provided to Mother Jones by a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has spearheaded a Senate investigation of the Pentagon program that is arming local police.” What was a trickle is becoming a rush. And no wonder. While the ex-mil toys cost pennies, the upkeep is not insignificant – especially for small town cop shops. Now the bad news . . .

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CNN Takes Stock of Feds’ Police Militarization

Forty-cal sub-gun (courtesy minutemannewscom)

Remember the White House announcement of a post-Ferguson investigation into police militarization? It was so important TTAG posted it as a breaking story. I guess it done broke. We’re not hearing a peep from the Prez’ peeps on the subject these days. Equally, no one in the halls of power seems to have paid much attention to Sgt. Patrick Hayes’ point that the vast majority of the militarization is happening on the federal, not local, level. Inspired by the recent(ish) revelation of the USDA’s .40-cal sub-gun purchase, all 85 of them, CNN reporter Matt Knight took a look at the feds’ arsenal . . .

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BREAKING: Video of Ohio Walmart Shopper Shooting Released

Video has now been release of the August shooting (at about 8:26:55) of Ohio Walmart shopper John Crawford III. A grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict Beavercreek Officer Sean Williams. But as usatoday.com reports, Crawford’s family claims the shooting constitutes a murder and now “Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that he is turning the investigative files over to the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights review. The federal government has been monitoring the case and agreed to a review.” It was already known that Crawford had taken a pellet gun from another part of the store and police responded to a report of a man waving a gun around. Does seeing the video change your view of the incident?

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Michael Brown Memorial Burns. Ferguson Next?

When Ferguson, MO police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, the town erupted into violence. Law enforcement’s response to protesters and looters triggered a debate about police tactics and militarization. Race hustlers moved in. News commentators commented. And then . . . relative calm. The peace shattered last night, after person or persons unknown torched a makeshift memorial to the dead teen. “At least two protesters were arrested and some businesses were damaged Tuesday night,” usatoday.com reports. Reading between the lines at stltoday.com, it seems the cops have learned from their previous mistakes . . .

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The Curious Case of the Handcuffed Barber

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The 11th circuit court has provided an epic slap-down on police…er, exuberance, ostensibly in order to enforce state  regulations via warrantless SWAT raids. From Reason.com:

Although ostensibly justified as a regulatory inspection, the raid on Strictly Skillz, like similar sweeps of other barbershops that same day, was part of an operation hatched by (Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Amanda) Fields and Cpl. Keith Vidler of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), who hoped to find drugs, “gather intelligence,” and “interview potential confidential informants.” The barbershops chosen for the sweeps “were apparently selected because they or barbers within them had on previous occasions failed to cooperate with DBPR inspectors,” the court says. “All of the targeted barbershops were businesses that serviced primarily African-American and Hispanic clientele.”

The 11th circuit held that . . .

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When it Comes to Police Militarization, Rely on Government Inefficiency and Incompetence

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Reader The Bartelist writes,

We’ve all been reading about the militarization of the country’s law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels.  MRAPS, full-auto long-arms, tactical gear and training…the list seems endless. Many reasonable Americans view these developments with suspicion – even with downright hostility.  And who can blame them?  Power corrupts. But what if this situation was viewed from the other side? What if this situation was a good thing, to be encouraged by freedom-loving Americans everywhere? . . .

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