All posts in Police and Feds

Road side body cavity search

A friend suggested that I post about this video:

 

 

This frame shows exactly what you think it shows.

 

Of course, after watching the video I really wanted to say, “I told you so,” but if I did that I would always be saying “I told you so.” When you start with the premise: Relax, Law Dude, the police are just trying to do their job, where you are going to end up is a ‘roadside body cavity search.’

There is a reason that we shouldn’t give “ultimate power” to judges or the police.  We should have rules that make them think twice about doing something outside of the norm (and I am assuming that most of you, but not all, would find a female officer placing her fingers in some driver’s vagina to be “something outside of the norm).

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

 

P.S. Does the fact we gave this a name:  “Roadside Body Cavity Search” make this seem more normal to you?

gpp

I grew up in a house with a disabled woman.  The disabilities were physical only, thankfully.  Even, so, if you’ve ever spent time around anybody who’s ability to function isn’t 100% on par with an able-bodied person, you quickly learn how different life can be.

I’m not sure if it’s that experience or spending my first few years as a public defender helping way-too-many people who were only caught up in Iegal system because of their mental disabilities, but I feel for the disabled.  I guess you could say I have a soft spot for people with physical or mental infirmities.

People with disabilities are the ones we should be looking out for.  The ones we should be holding doors for, helping with directions, and keeping an eye on.  As a matter of basic human kindness, maybe traffic should stop for a disabled man to cross the street.  Maybe you should look and smile at that developmentally disabled kid yelling loudly at the McDonalds- don’t look at it as him disrupting your ability to peacefully shovel that McDouble and Hi-C down your gullet, think of it as you being able to be a part of one of the most fun things he gets to do that day.  There’s no real good reason not to.

That’s why I’d rather wait 20 minutes for a movie to start than watch the cops kill a man with Down’s Syndrome.

So, I find this story out of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan disgusting.  Officials there are investigating police officers who were doing some fairly jerkish things. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that, in the investigation,

Grosse Pointe Park law enforcement is investigating allegations that officers took photos and video of black men while making them sing and dance like chimps.
* * *
The investigation began after Steve Neavling of the Motor City Muckrakernews site posted a story last week detailing several incidents, which he said were among about a dozen videos being being shared from phones of Grosse Pointe Park police officers. Neavling is a former Detroit Free Press reporter.

Nevaling’s site actually has more of the details:

Grosse Pointe Park police officially opened an internal investigation today following our report Thursday that officers were capturing humiliating videos and pictures of black men and texting them to colleagues and family.
* * *
One of the main culprits is Officer Mike Najm, who texted a picture of a black man in the back of a trailer and typed, “Gotta love the coloreds.” In one video, Najm can be heard telling a mentally ill black man to sing.

I can’t fathom why any human would ever do this to any person.  It’s exponentially asinine to do it to a mentally ill person.  It is beyond comprehension that law enforcement officer could act like such a tool, though.  Racist cops are bad enough.  Racist cops picking on the mentally ill, however, deserve an extra intensity of hatred.

For the officer’s sake, I’m going to assume this is all some sort of misunderstanding… or some sort of hoax. After all, it can be easy to spin the press.  Maybe the truth will come out soon enough.

The video at the bottom of the page (and here) seems to lend some credibility to the story, however.  Look it over and come to your own conclusion.

see something

“If you see something, say something.”

Isn’t that a cute little slogan?  I think it is. If you’ve never heard it before, it’s the slogan Homeland Security made up in an attempt to turn us all into hall monitors and spy on our neighbors.  Because, you know, if you’re not suspicious of every little thing you see and you don’t report that to the police, all sorts of unscrupulous people will commit untold horrors upon all of us.  You are the one who needs to see something, say something, and save the world.  Otherwise the terrorists win.

You know what?  They don’t really mean that.  Sure, they mean it when you’re “seeing” your weird neighbor. They don’t mean it when you’re “seeing” them, though.

I’m not going to pretend to have been in this law game forever. I’m approaching 15 years, though, and that’s long enough to have figured some things out.  One thing that never would have crossed my mind had I not seen it several times in person is the amount of bullying that happens to witnesses of police abuse.  I’m not even necessarily talking about the person directly abused by the cops. I’m talking about other people that were just hanging around and saw it happen.  It’s scary.

It happens like this: defendant walks into a lawyers office with bruises all over his body, a face that looks like it’s been whacked with a meat tenderizer and a story that, he might have told the police to stick their batons where the sun don’t shine, but he absolutely didn’t get physical with them. Yet, they beat the piss out of him.

-KRS ONE “Who Protects Us From You?”

Couldn’t ever happen like that, right?

So, the abuse gets reported, the report trickles down to whatever police body is in charge of investigating the other police (sometimes they’re all even in he same department) and a “full investigation is underway.”  The investigators talk to the cop who says something to the effect of “that kid came at me with a samurai knife so I had to ‘assist him to the ground’ and he accidentally struck his head.”  Then the investigator goes to the witnesses who say “the defendant was minding his own business and the cops handcuffed him and started kicking him.”

You know what happens then?  Well, if the allegations weren’t against a cop (but were against a “regular dude” like you or me) they’d charge us with the abuse thinking the jury can sort out who is telling the truth.  So they charge that cop just like they’d go after you or I, right?

Exactly… the opposite.

They go back to the witnesses, tell them that they’ve got credible evidence that they’re lying, and that if the witnesses maintain their “false report” of such allegations, the witnesses themselves will likely end up in jail.  You can’t be saying false things about a cop.  And that cop you know you saw beating on your buddy? He says it never happened. So, it must be false.

That’s really just a long setup for the following video. It’s one of the most disturbing things you’ll ever see that doesn’t involve violence.  A lady appearing before a hearing officer was pulled out of court by some clammy-handed, law enforcement goon for an unnecessary and very personal search.  What followed? She saw something. Said something. Got arrested in front of her kid (and the hearing officer ignored the whole thing):

So, if you see something, say something.  Unless it’s a cop doing something bad.  Then you didn’t see shit, right?

user29216-1382499729-media1

Dateline: October 23, 2013- I happened to notice that the police in California killed an unarmed kid.  You read what I wrote and decided I was crazy.  After all, even though the child was unarmed he also was carrying a gun that looked identical to a real “assault” rifle.  I noted that the police press release lacked some important details, and that maybe you shouldn’t kill a kid as a first move in such situations- unless he’s pointing that fake gun at you.

Remember that?  You thought I was over-reacting.

You might have been right. But you also might have been wrong.

Turns out that one of the cops who shot that boy may have a propensity for pulling his gun out at inopportune times. Like at traffic stops:

If you watch the video, the man who had the gun in his face after the traffic stop thinks the officer might be a little unstable.  He’s probably not a doctor so we won’t assume his assessment is correct. Law Dude is a (Juris) Doctor, though, so maybe we can assume his assessment has more validity?  Maybe not.

Apples to polish

One of our local state legislators figured out that we had an extra tax on top of a tax on gasoline.  We have the same thing going on in DUI court.  Municipalities have added a $500 “administrative fee”, which is collected when you try to pick up your car at the tow place.  And, municipalities routinely collect a $500 “police equipment fee” when they tally up the court costs after a DUI case is over.

Funny part:  Administratively the money doesn’t do any “administrating” and we have had the “police equipment fee” in place for years and still there are police cars that don’t have video systems installed in them.

And why can these government entities keep added $500 costs to these charges?  Because they can.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.

dallas-police-shooting

I know… just because I’m right about one thing one time doesn’t mean I’m not crazy.  There seems to be an epidemic in this country, though. It usually involves armed police officers. a mentally ill man (but not always), a gross amount of impatience and police reports that either completely omit or completely fabricate what actually happened.  That makes for a deadly cocktail- one that can be avoided, for sure.

Even though you very well may think there might possibly be a troubling trend with police shooting the mentally ill, you still think I’m a lunatic, right? I mean, even if it does happen some times, I’m probably blowing it out of proportion.  If it was so pervasive, there’d be more cops getting fired, right?  Yeah. Sure.

Then today happens.

Witness this news coverage of Bobby Gerald Bennett, who the cops claim had to be shot because he lunged at them:

Did you see that part where he lunged at the cops and needed to be shot?  Oh. You didn’t?  Maybe you should look closer. Get a microscope if it helps, even.  I mean, it’s got to be in there.  According to the Associated Press, the “police report says Bennett “lunged” at the officers with a knife.”

Perhaps the police chief has worse eyes than you or I though. He took drastic measures today.  He fired the shooter:

A Dallas police officer who shot a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught on tape has been fired, police said Thursday.
Police Chief David Brown apologized for the actions of Officer Cardan Spencer, who had been on administrative leave following the Oct. 14 shooting.
Brown initially said at a news conference that Spencer would face a charge of aggravated assault, but police later issued a statement saying a judge declined to sign the warrant and the case will go to a grand jury instead.
Spencer wrote in a police report that he shot Bobby Gerald Bennett last week after the 52-year-old man lunged at him and another officer with a knife. But video captured by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shows Bennett didn’t appear to move toward the officers before he was shot and crumpled to the ground.
“Officers are not above the law,” Brown said at a news conference. “We as a police department are not going to look the other way.”
Brown said two people who had witnessed the shooting from a nearby parked vehicle later came forward and corroborated what could be seen on the video…

I’m ok with you still thinking I’m off my rocker and blowing these things out of proportion.  Although it’s apparently not just me. It’s me and Chief David Brown.

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