Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Police Officer Doesn’t See A Difference Between Black, Light-Skinned Black Suspects

The Onion – News in BriefpoliceracelawNewsISSUE 50•32Aug 13, 2014

FORT WAYNE, IN—Explaining that his sole concern is serving and protecting his community, Fort Wayne police officer Vincent Turner told reporters Wednesday that he does not see any difference between black and light-skinned black suspects. “As an officer of the law, I am committed to administering justice swiftly and even-handedly, regardless of whether the suspect has dark skin or really dark skin,” said Turner, adding that he has no problem giving a full pat-down to any potential criminal or hauling them down to precinct headquarters in the back of his patrol car, even if they are more of a light mocha color. “When you’re responding to reports of gunshots fired, or sprinting down an alleyway, you’re not thinking about where the suspect falls on the spectrum of African-American skin tones—you’re thinking about doing your job. Heck, the guy could be a very dark-looking Latino, for all I care—I treat every one of them the same. He’s still just a suspect to me.” Turner added that his dedication to upholding the law stems from a belief that all local residents should be able to walk their streets without fear, whether they come from an affluent white neighborhood or a working-class white neighborhood

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When life mimics the ‘imitation of life’: dark comedy and cops

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Back before Rodney King started it all and cameras everywhere, combined with YouTube as a venue for rendering it public, we all had an excuse.  Almost an obligation.  The function of society required we believe in the United States police corruption, aggressive, illegal behavior, planting evidence, blindered pursuit of targets without regard for evidence to the contrary, was rare..  Drug use on duty and unprovoked violence against suspects rare exceptions.

We can still believe that if we wish, but it’s more difficult today.  YouTube is out there catching the law enforcement community in the act of being itself.  Damning the whole with the broad brush of individuals performing every breach of minimum behavioral standards expected for public employees of any sort.  But especially those where public trust is a necessary ingredient.

How can a jury unanimously agree to send a defendant to prison if every word a law enforcement officer utters under oath is suspect?  Might as well as not be pure falsehood?  If every piece of evidence presented stands an equal possibility of having been manufactured or planted by investigating officers?  When juries become aware police are as prone to bald faced lying as they, themselves [jury members] are prone to self-serving falsehoods, convicting anyone of a crime without prima faci evidence is troublesome.

 But I’ve digressed.  It’s happening everywhere, and while the movie industry used to treat the subject with sinister frowns in Serpico and hundreds of other cop corruption movies, eventually Naked Gun 2  and ilk was inevitable.  Airplane made it so.

Naked Gun 2 was a fun piece of work, but the US movie industry was too long-delayed in following it up with replacement of all those solemn, straight-faced cop movies with something nearer reality: farce.  But outside the US the movie industry wasn’t shy.

Along comes Torrente.  Unless you understand Portuguese you’ll have to read subtitles, but it’s a laugh a minute.

Torrente 3: El Protector 2005NR 93 minutes, In order to facilitate a political assassination, a corporation arranges for the target’s security detail to be headed by incompetent Det. Torrente. More Info , Starring: Santiago Segura, José Mota
Director: Santiago Segura.
 
Evidently there is a whole string of these coming out of Portugal.  And with a bit of searching, probably elsewhere.
 
Nothing much is sacred anymore.  Real life bought the ticket out of idealistic delusions and wishful thinking.  Thus far it isn’t standing in the way of filling up the prisons with testimony from these Keystone Kops, but that’s just habit and gut feel working.  Who the hell needs credible testimony and evidence to convict some tattooed freak or arrogant black kid for whatever someone said he did?    Someday that will fade.
 
Old Jules

Adding spice to the boring “Policeman’s your friend” school programs

I don’t know what these people will find to complain about next.  Finally Americans can begin to feel safe.

The militarization of U.S. police forces

By Michael Shank and Elizabeth Beavers

This month, more Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs) have found their way from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Main Streets of America. These are just the latest acquisitions in a growing practice by Pentagon that’s militarizing America’s municipal police forces.

Police departments in Boise and Nampa, Idaho, each acquired an MRAP, as did the force in High Springs, Florida. The offer of war-ready machinery, at practically no cost, has proven hard to resist for local police departments. Increasingly, they are looking like soldiers equipped for battle.

The growing similarity between our domestic police forces and the U.S. military is a result of the Pentagon’s 1033 Program. This allows the Defense Department to donate surplus military equipment and weapons to law enforcement agencies. In addition to the frightening presence of paramilitary weapons in American towns, the program has led to rampant fraud and abuse.

http://news.yahoo.com/;_ylt=AvsfYvN755g6Hd7RhCSnRBKvulI6

Old Jules

“It’s just you and me here. Do we want to go to war?”

Hi readers.

An email acquaintance who has a mining claim on Federal land in New Mexico sent out an anecdote to his email friends about an incident this weekend.

He headed out to his claim, bypassed a barricade, and began doing what he always does there.  He was spang in the midst of doing it when he looked up and a guy in a USFS law enforcement uniform wearing mirror sunglasses was scowling down with his hands on his hips.  “Come out of there.  You are going to jail.”

He scrambled up onto the bank and stood face-to-face with the sneering mirror sunglasses.  “This is a filed mining claim.  My fees are all paid, everything’s legal here.  I have a right to be here.  What law do you think I’m breaking?”

Mirror sunglasses ran his fingers over his holster.  “This is Federal land.  You are trespassing.  You’re either leaving or going to jail. “

“I’m armed too.  Get your hand away from that holster and don’t even think about pointing a pistol at me unless you want to shoot me.  I’m not doing anything illegal.  You are.  Get the hell out of here, or try handcuffing me and we’ll see what happens.  It’s just you and me here.  Do we want to go to war?”

Mirror sunglasses stepped back and assumed a gunfighter stance, the ghost of Billy the Kid in a USFS uniform.  Then he must have considered what he was doing and come to his senses.  “I can have backup out here in half-an-hour.  If you’re still here you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

He backed to his vehicle, glared again, and drove away.

The miner did some thinking on his own part and decided the price of a shootout with the Forces of Darkness wasn’t the lesser of evils in this situation.  Loaded his gear and headed back to civilization, figuring he’d meet the US Cavalry on the road.

But he didn’t encounter anyone.  He says he hasn’t decided whether to try it again next weekend.

Claude Dallas is evidently alive and well in the boondocks.

Old Jules

SWAT teams and militarized police forces – An outlet for frustrating human needs

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

I’ve noticed a few scattered concerns on the WEB by people who think the 21st Century militarization of civilian police forces is a bad thing.  Seems to me those complainers aren’t looking at the bigger picture.

Time was when a person with a mean streak, or just a desire  to kill someone didn’t have many options.  He could sneak around and do it and maybe get by with it a while, or he could get drunk and do it, and go to the slammer.  Or he could unhealthily suppress it and go around frustrated and unhappy.

But nowadays there are plenty of outlets for a person with those needs.  Sure, he might spend years becoming a SEAL, a Marine Sniper, or a Green Beret.  But those are really too large and too institutionalized for the local badass who just wants to blow the face off someone without being criticized for doing it.   Municipal, County, or State Police SWAT teams offer a lot easier outlet.  Plus, they’re clubs where all the members have the same goals and can be depended upon to protect one another by keeping their mouths shut if it’s needed. 

For instance, there used to be a cop in Socorro, New Mexico, who was involved in a couple of extremely questionable shootings.  Residents and city officials had all witnessed, or heard about his blusterings, his posturings, his suspected desire to use that firearm as frequently as possible.  After the second shooting incident he was quietly encouraged to find greener pastures elsewhere.

So he applied for, and was accepted to the Albuquerque Police.  Trained for the SWAT team.  Wasn’t long before he got to put a bullet into a suspect and got a lot of praise for doing it.  Short while later they were raiding a drug house and an 80 year old neighbor saw what was going on, thought it was a gang.  Ran out of his house with a flashlight, yelling, and the Ex-Socorro cop stopped him in his tracks.  Turned out the raid was conducted at the wrong address, but the 80 year old was found ex post facto to should have minded his own business.

A year or two later someone was holding a baby over a freeway overpass threatening to drop it into the traffic below.  Ex-Socorro cop plugged him so’s the baby only dropped on the overpass.  Hero again.

I heard over the years he got to kill a number of other people who got downrange of the Albuquerque SWAT team, as well.  Managed to make what would otherwise probably just been a lifetime spent in prison, or sneaking around murdering people, into a healthy, productive life.

People who criticize militarized police forces aren’t considering the needs of the SWAT teamers and the healthy way they’ve dovetailed themselves into the greater good of society.

Old Jules

A failure to communicate

ivy leaguers

These unfortunate undercover police officers were mistaken for ordinary citizens when they attempted to address uniformed police officers in the way uniformed police officers address ordinary citizens.

Mel King

The hoopla about the dead cop in Tijeras got me thinking about my old friend, Mel King, and another dead cop just down the road from this one in Mountainair, New Mexico, in 1987. 

That one changed Mel’s life in a multitude of ways, for all the remainder of it.  I posted this on another blog December 21, 2005, the anniversary of his death:

If I ever write another book, Mel King will have to occupy a few chapters of it.  I’ve mentioned him a few times on this blog, but mostly, I’ve not been able to write much about him at all.  I’m still digesting what happened to him.

On one of the threads recently the discussion drifted to the War on Drugs.  I suppose if I’d never met Mel I probably wouldn’t have thought much about that issue, would never have bothered to form an opinion about it.

But in many ways, Mel was a product of that war, from the time it began during the Reagan Administration, he was one of the adversaries.  It changed him from a small-time marijuana growing woods-vet to a wealthy man.  When the ‘war’ drove the price of jade sky-high he was approached by a number of ranchers in the area, asked to teach them how to grow weed in quantity.  He became their broker, as well as a grower.

The War on Drugs involved Mel in a major felony arrest, confiscation of much of his property, caused the mysterious death of a police officer, got Mel targeted repeatedly on America’s Most Wanted television series, and constant harassment by the FBI, State Police and local police for the remainder of his life.

They wanted to believe he killed a Mountainair, NM, police officer because it was the only construction of the facts that didn’t expose the rotten core of the War on Drugs.  If Mel didn’t kill that cop, another cop, or cops, almost certainly did.

Unacceptable.

Shortly before he was murdered in December, 2004, he showed me an anonymous, hand-written letter accusing him of killing the policeman and threatening to come balance it all.  The undertone and nuances of the letter suggested it was written by another member of the ‘policeman brotherhood’ who wanted to even things out, not because he knew the dead cop, but because a person doesn’t get suspected of killing a cop and get by with it.

It’s time I began writing down a few things about Mel King anyway.

Mel King was a major, financially successful marijuana grower and large-scale broker in New Mexico for many years.  During that time he was also a long-term heroin addict.  (He first became addicted to morphine while in the hospital recovering from wounds he got in the Marine Corps in Vietnam).

The only way Mel got away with what he was doing for so many years was by being considered a complete maniac, and by making certain the authorities got their fair share of the proceeds.  He drove around in a VW van with bullet-holes in the windshield from the inside.

When he got busted in 1987, with 150 pounds in his house it was because he made himself too big a nuisance to be allowed to go on.  He was attracting too much attention.

But even so, he never came to trial.  That 150 pounds of high-grade vanished from the evidence lockers.  The empty bags with his evidence numbers on them were found in the home of the policeman who made the initial stop during his arrest.  But someone murdered that policeman, probably for the marijuana, which is how they happened to find the empty evidence bags.

While he was in jail awaiting bail, Mel resolved to turn his life around.  He freed himself from heroin and when he was released he started a successful furniture business, did his best to stay clean for the remainder of his life.  Succeeded in being a trustworthy, successful man and one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

During the years I knew him, Mel was a deeply spiritual man.  He was honest, guileless, hard-working, sincere, courageous, and in many ways, wise.  We prospected a lot of canyons together, talked of many things over campfires listening to the wind in the pines.  He was also my partner during Y2K.

Mel and I disagreed on many things, but he believed, as I do, that he knew what happens to a man when he dies.  He never feared death and he never believed he’d done anything in this life to give him any reason to fear it.

I believe he was right.

Old Jules