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These questions become even more pressing in light of a credible report that the NYC Police Department may in fact be largely responsible for the tragic and unnecessary deaths of firemen on 9-11. According to an independent study commissioned by the City of New York, the failure of the NYPD to share vital information with the FDNY in a timely manner contributed to the horrific carnage among the firemen.
Here are some Copwatch.com handbills for you to print and distribute. (Requires regular 8.5” x 11” paper). Simply print from the screen to your printer using the free Adobe PDF reader. You can pass them out on streetcorners, put them under the wiperblades of parked cars, mail one to your local police chief, post them at school, etc.
IMPORTANT: Here’s a recipe for homemade cornstarch paste, which is very effective for affixing paper signs to metal poles. Aerosol adhesive spray is even easier and more effective. Using adhesive to attach paper signs to metal poles is far more efficient than attaching paper signs to wooden poles, since it takes a much greater effort to remove them.
2) KEYSTONE KOPS IN SEATTLE: A police impersonator steals a squadcar and runs amok, threatening civilians all over town. Two other squadcars engage in a pursuit. Two of the real cops mistake the other real cop for the impersonator and ram his car. All three real cops exchange gunfire. However, NONE of these poorly trained cops manage to hit their intended targets, and no one is injured. (If only the frequent civilian victims of police gunfire could be so lucky).
3) Recording the cops is LEGAL throughout the entire state of Washington (both overtly and covertly): We’ve been hearing numerous horror stories describing the illegal tactics utilized by Seattle (and Puyallup) cops when they realize they are being video and/or audio taped. Apparently, many officers (including, among others, Off Alan P. Carr, Sgt. Edward A. Striedinger, Det. Donna J. O’Neal, Off Ann Martin, Off Deborah D. Brooks, and Ofr. Michael Korner), have falsely claimed that it is illegal to audiotape them without their permission, and have threatened to arrest and jail anyone who persists in doing so. (Further information regarding these officers will be forthcoming soon. All parties are innocent until proven guilty). Despite the dismal reputation of the SPD, it still defies belief that these cops could be SO stupid and SO ill-trained as to actually believe what they say-- it seems far more likely that they are deliberately misrepresenting the law in an effort to intimidate the citizenry. To set the record straight, it is legal to record the cops in Washington State.
4) SEATTLE HANDBILLS: The Seattle City Council recently adopted a new poster ordinance. The ordinance provides that: “Handbills, signs and posters may be affixed to City-owned utility poles, lamp poles and traffic control devices under the control of the Seattle Department of Transportation, except for freestanding stop signs and yield signs, and their posts, in accordance the rules promulgated by the Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation…”
We LOVE having Copwatch.com handbills placed where the public (and the police) can see them. If you decide to post some of these handbills, we cannot stop you, and the City cannot hold us responsible for removing them. Any party who posts these handbills is doing so under their own volition, presumably for the Constitutionally-protected purpose of expressing their agreement with our political views, (though it is possible that they could be doing so in an effort to make it appear as though the organization is breaking a local law). Copwatch.com is not asking or directing any individual(s) to post any handbills, but we cannot prevent persons who are not under our direction or control from doing so. (The foregoing is explicitly stated because the new SDOT rules will probably require that the party whose name appears on the posters remove them within a given time period). For your convenience, we’ve created a few handbills tailored specifically for Seattle and Washington State. You can download these handbills using Adobe PDF (simply print from your screen onto regular-size paper). What you do with them is entirely up to you.
WASHINGTON STATE POSTER 1
WASHINGTON STATE POSTER 2
6) The Seattle Police Union is more interested in making money than in saving lives: cops take legal action to prevent the Fire Department from conducting underwater rescues. Although the SPD dive team is notoriously ineffectual, the cops insist upon preserving their monopoly on underwater rescues. In practice, the cops do nothing but remove the body from the water: two people die because the cops won’t allow firemen to conduct underwater rescues. The firemen, on the other hand, are selflessly heroic: a Seattle fireman risks his life trying to save a drowning victim, while the cops rake in the cash for doing nothing.
Instead, they must wait for police divers, who often take 30 minutes to arrive, although exact figures had not been released by the department as of yesterday.
Hoping to capitalize on its rapid-response time, the Fire Department trained its own dive team last year. But the unit was scrapped after just one week of operation when the Police Guild filed a grievance with the state Public Employment Relations Board.
7) King County deputy gets away with murder?
8) Seattle police reveal their innate cowardice and complete lack of humanity- refuse to intervene as a young man is beaten to death by vicious racists. City pays victim’s family $1.75 million rather than let a jury hear the facts regarding cops’ reprehensible negligence.
9) Seattle cops under criminal investigation for widespread cheating on promotional exam. City cancels public meeting regarding the problem, and tries to cover up the scandal. Unsurprisingly, the local police union wants the results to stand regardless of cheating. Sgt. Kevin Haistings, vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (the Police Union), says "We would like to see the test preserved as it is because of the time it takes officers to prepare".
Fortunately, Washington State does not exercise dominion over the entire world. The arbitrary edicts and bizarre prohibitions enacted by the power-addled Caligulas in Olympia have absolutely no impact on those fortunate parties who reside in areas of the world where Liberty and Freedom are still loved with ardor and defended with vigor.
At least two entities have displayed an admirable willingness to thumb their noses at the contemptible politicians in Washington. These entities have taken it upon themselves to mirror the entire contents of the pre-ban Justicefiles.org. Indeed, it appears that they will actually be augmenting the data initially amassed by Justicefiles.org (if you have supplemental information which has been verified for accuracy, contact the webmasters of the mirrors).
Please excuse the uncouth language which follows, but there’s no other phrase which accurately summarizes the sentiment which seems to be evinced by these modern-day incarnations of Voltaire and Thomas Paine.
In taking this stand defending the 1st Amendment, it's as if they are issuing a sincere and heartfelt “Fuck You” to every arrogant cop and fascist politician in Washington State.
Here’s the information that the cops in Washington are desperate to prevent you from seeing. Check it out, if only to piss them off.
MIRROR #2: MIRROR #2 (another mirror of JUSTICEFILES.ORG)
* Kirkland Police Officer Phil Goguen stops at nothing in his obsessive campaign to persecute Sheehan;
* Local media refuses to grant proportional coverage to Sheehan’s victory. Knowledgeable observers speculate that the Seattle Times and local TV stations are in cahoots with the cops.
* Federal Government invents and exercises the tyrannical power to declare US citizens “enemy combatants” and deprive them of all their Constitutional rights. A la Nixon, the ruling elite has probably already drawn up a wide-ranging “Enemies List” of annoying people, and are just waiting for the right moment to declare them “Enemy Combatants” as well. Are we next, you bastards? If the Feds are truly concerned about subversive foreign elements in America, DON’T LET SUCH FOLKS BECOME CITIZENS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Once they become citizens, they have the same rights as all the rest of us, and the government cannot take those rights away. Otherwise, those “rights” are not rights at all, but mere favors granted or denied at the whim of government. The terrible and unavoidable consequences of America’s insane “open door” immigration policies are coming home to roost.
* Cop’s teenage son charged with participating in videotaped gang rape of unconscious 16 year old girl. Charged with 21 felony counts including rape and administering a drug to incapacitate the victim. “Family Values” at work? If cops are such morally upstanding folk, why don’t they raise their children to obey the law? Or does a son merely follow the example of his father?
* Sheriffs Deputies charged with reckless endangerment, illegal possession of a machine gun, and obstructing law enforcement officers. "...accused of firing one of several machine gun bursts that sent 9 mm bullets into two neighbors' homes and through a pickup canopy."
* An 11-year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol is convicted on multiple counts of sexually assaulting an 8 year old girl. His sentence? Probation and work release… no jailtime at all! And is the prosecutor happy with this sentence? You bet! According the the DA’s spokesman, the sentence is “"very appropriate. It is very just." Only an idiot could claim that there isn’t a double standard built into our present “justice system”.
* Pulitzer-prizewinning news photographer arrested and jailed for merely carrying a placard in the general vicinity of V.P. Cheney’s speech.
Life has Meaning was shot on Dec 1, 1999, when the police, without warning or provocation, used concussion grenades, chemical gases, and rubber bullets to violently attack peaceful protestors.
[View a video of the police attacking demonstrators at this intersection.] (Real Player required) Excerpt from "This is What Democracy Looks Like" Copyright 2000 by IMC/Big Noise Films, Original Footage courtesy of Headwater Action Video Collective
After the police launched their initial attack, the demonstrators and their supporters, along with Life has Meaning, retreated to the intersection of Second Ave. and Stewart St. A SWAT team was dispatched to that location in a mil-spec Armored Personnel Carrier, (euphemistically called a "Peacekeeper" by the police-- a description which was uncritically parroted by local television stations). [Click here for a picture of the SPD armored personnel carrier racing toward Second and Stewart.]
According to several witnesses, Life has Meaning was shot by a police officer who knelt in a marksman position, took careful aim, and shot her in the eye as she attempted to warn her friend, Swaneagle, that the police were about to open fire. Swaneagle too was hit: shot with rubber bullets as she pleaded with officers to lay down their arms. (Swaneagle’s suit against the Seattle Police Department was settled for $2500.00). At the time these shots were fired, the crowd at Second and Stewart had already dispersed.
As part of their investigation, attorneys for Life has Meaning subpoenaed the City’s premier expert on the topic of less lethal weapons. The City determined that Sgt. James Dermody, a longstanding member of Seattle’s SWAT team, possessed more knowledge about less lethal weapons than any other City employee.
Under questioning by the plaintiff’s attorneys, Sgt. Dermody was presented with a list of the all the projectiles used by the police during the WTO demonstrations. When asked to describe what each projectile was designed to do, and how each should be properly fired, Sgt. Dermody refused to answer, saying that he could not provide accurate information without first studying the training manuals.
[View a video showing Sgt. Dermody's response to the questions.] (Real Player required) Copyright 2002 by Copwatch.com
As a SWAT team member, Sgt. Dermody is answerable to emergency calls twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. At any moment, he might be called upon to use less lethal weapons in the course of his employment as a SWAT team member. And yet Sgt. Dermody, who the City acknowledges is its foremost expert on less lethal weapons, was unable to recall the intended function and proper use of the very weapons he might, at any moment, be required to use. If Sgt. Dermody, the preeminent expert, does not know how to properly use these weapons, how much more ignorant are the regular officers who used these weapons so indiscriminately and negligently during the WTO debacle?
One can imagine a seemingly inevitable scenario in which Sgt. Dermody is called to respond to a situation which could easily be resolved by the proper use of an appropriate less-lethal device, but Sgt. Dermody is unable to recall which device should be selected, much less how the device should be used, so he simply shoots the suspect in the head with his Glock.
Although Sgt. Dermody appeared blissfully unaware of such trifling details as the proper use of the less-lethal weapons in which the City considered him to be expertly qualified, the plaintiff’s attorneys managed to unearth the relevant information. According to the manufacturer’s official training manuals, approximately one-third of the fifteen projectiles used by the City could only be safely used if they were skipped off the pavement before striking the target. Another third could only be safely used if they were aimed below the knees. With respect to all the projectiles, shots to the head could only be used if lethal force was justified.
Life has Meaning was shot directly in the head. The wound indicates she was hit by a projectile that should have been, (but was not), skipped off the pavement.
The first of these class-action lawsuits was filed last summer by 25 people who were allegedly injured by less-lethal weapons at the conclusion of the "Steelworkers Rally", which took place during the second day of the demonstrations. Click here for coverage of the Steelworkers Demonstration
The second lawsuit, filed by seven people on Nov. 30, 2001, (the second anniversary of the WTO conference), challenges the use of chemical and other less-lethal weapons at all other locations during the demonstrations. That suit seeks damages for tens of thousands of people who were present in downtown Seattle during the demonstrations.
FIGHTING ABUSIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT
AND GOVERNMENTAL OPPRESSION WHEREVER ENCOUNTERED-
POLICE, PROSECUTORS, JUDGES, BUREAUCRATS, AND POLITICIANS.
This site is dedicated with respect and gratitude to the honest, courteous, and brave men and women of law enforcement, wheresoever they may be found.
It is also dedicated to the untold thousands of innocent, law-abiding American citizens who have been mistreated, harassed, brutalized or killed by law enforcement officials who are corrupt, incompetent, stupid, petty, self-aggrandizing, abusive, vindictive, brutal, undisciplined, vicious, or any combination thereof.
Such government-sanctioned thugs harm not only the citizens whom they victimize, but also, (less directly), their fellow law enforcement officers, whose reputation and image is tarnished, if not completely ruined, by the misdeeds of their repugnant colleagues. In abusing their authority, bad cops dramatically exacerbate an "us vs. them" mentality, which endangers police and citizens alike.
This resource will focus primarily, (though by no means exclusively), on police officers, since they are the most visible, oft-encountered, and lethal representatives of law enforcement.
In an effort to draw a line in the sand between honorable, admirable police officers and their corrupt, incompetent brethren, we will publicize, analyze, and criticize the misdeeds of the latter, and contrast their actions with the heroic deeds of the former. We will demonstrate that good police officers share more characteristics in common with good citizens than they do with bad cops. Conversely, we will show that bad cops, (colloquially known in some circles as "pigs"), have far more in common with felons, high-school dropouts, and sociopaths than they do with either good cops or good citizens. Good cops should thus feel a greater sense of duty and loyalty towards good citizens than towards bad cops.
By undermining the uneasy truce between these two distinct types of cops, we accomplish two objectives. First, we help to counter the well-founded public perception that all cops are unprincipled, malevolent, and gratuitously violent. Second, we begin to weaken the foundations of the so-called called "blue wall of silence", which academics describe as a code of silence akin to the Mafia code of "omerta". Under this unwritten code, police officers are pressured, (often with threats of violence), to turn a blind eye to the misconduct of their criminalistic co-workers.
Please help expose and punish bad cops! Contribute your suggestions, advice, or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org (PLAIN TEXT ONLY: NO HTML, and NO ATTACHMENTS- noncompliant submissions are automatically deleted without being viewed).
Relevant articles regarding police misconduct (articles must be accompanied by links, or they will be rejected) should be posted HERE.
TODAY'S FEATURED LINK: COUNTERPUNCH.ORG
The website of Alexander Cockburn and company. Mr. Cockburn has long been one of the preeminent journalists in America- one of the very few who tells the facts and names the names, with historically-informed insight and poetic erudition to boot. NEW: Mr. Cockburn examines the far-reaching impact of our military victory in Afghanistan. It's a very funny article, in a disturbingly ironic sense. Thankfully, we've all been taught to "Celebrate Diversity", and thus are able to appreciate any expression of ethnic or indigenous culture.
SPOTLIGHT ON PERSONAL SELF-DEFENSE:
Jeff Cooper enjoys a sterling reputation among firearms self-defense experts, and with good reason. Not only is he an excellent teacher, a tactician par excellence, and a deadly defender of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, but he is also a veritable font of pragmatic wisdom. In these days when we must actively protect ourselves against terrorists, criminals, cops, and murderous government thugs, (categories not mutually exclusive), it is a very good idea to become intimately reacquainted with the one tool which is absolutely indispensable to the preservation of your liberty, and maybe your life.
Here’s an interesting place to start.
LOGBOOK OF UNDERHANDED POLICE TACTICS: #64 of 13,249
Police frequently attempt to dismiss their critics by branding them with various pejorative labels, such as “communist”, “hippie”, or “anarchist”. Unsurprisingly, this tactic works like a charm with other cops and their myopic apologists, but carries no weight at all with rational observers. Merely because someone is (or may be) a communist, hippie, or anarchist, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their observations and opinions regarding cops are incorrect. Attempting to force every critic into a pejorative category is at best an exercise in futility, and at worst an exercise in deceiving the media, misrepresenting the truth, or outright prevarication. Truth be told, communists, hippies, and anarchists represent only a tiny fraction of the countless people who are deeply disturbed by the way cops typically behave. The vast majority of cop-critics are just regular folks. The “uniforms” hate to admit it, but contempt and disrespect for cops permeates society from top to bottom (with good reason). For the police to respond to this well-established fact by mindlessly repeating some variation of their standard refrain -- “If you don’t like it here, move to China, you communist”-- is a laughably inane rebuttal to legitimate criticisms leveled by salt-of-the-earth Americans.
By way of illustration, here is a link to a very interesting article published by a group of conservative intellectual iconoclasts, who, at first blush, might be expected to support the cops unequivocally. These guys are not commies, anarchists, or hippies. It will be interesting to see what pathetic methodology the police employ in an effort to dismiss criticism from this quarter.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The more research we do, the more obvious it becomes that cops are almost universally reviled. This finding holds true across every socio-economic, political, and educational spectrum. It is increasingly clear that the only viable means of rehabilitating the police in the eyes of the public is to adopt the reforms described here. Ironically, implementation of these reforms will do as much to protect the police as the public. For their own sake, recalcitrant officers would be well advised to actively support this rapidly growing grassroots movement.
FLYING THE “FRIENDLY SKIES”? PLEASE RETURN YOUR POSTURE TO THE FULLY SUBMISSIVE POSITION:
There’s nothing more to fear- at least not from 86-year-old cowboys. It’s a good thing we’ve federalized our airport security personnel, because no one gets the job done like a Government employee. Without the characteristic professionalism of these airport “psuedo-cops,” our lives would be at risk every time we boarded a plane. But with the characteristic professionalism of these overpaid, unintelligent bullies, our lives are at risk not only every time we board a plane, but every time we enter an airport.
PBS PROVES IT ISN'T ENTIRELY WORTHLESS:
When not preoccupied with pandering to the interests of sexual minorities or overly-radical feminists, PBS sometimes manages to turn out a decent program. One show which regularly features excellent in-depth investigations is "FRONTLINE". A relatively recent episode presented a comprehensive retrospective of the Rampart scandal in Los Angeles. Their web site contains the transcript of the show, including interviews with the major players. Regular readers of COPWATCH.COM will not be surprised by the far-reaching extent of the putrid rot infecting the LAPD.
FROM POLICY AND HABIT, COPS EVADE INQUIRIES, ATTACK INVESTIGATORS:
You can't count on the cops for much, but in one arena, they are as dependable as sunshine in June. Given the slightest opportunity, they will conceal the facts, refuse to disclose public information, and cover up for their buddies. It's an autonomic, reflexive response that verges on instinct. Regardless of how often they are disciplined or publicly excoriated, they persist in evading the law. We've seen it time and time again. Here's yet another example of their arrogant, "we’re above the law" mentality.
In St. Johns, an officer filed a "suspicious person" report on an Associated Press reporter and ran his name through a national crime-information computer system looking for outstanding warrants. The report, which noted that the auditor went to three other local government agencies, was forwarded to the police chief for review.
In Safford, an Arizona Daily Star reporter was asked into an interview room by Police Chief Dennis Thompson, who wanted him to confide his reason for wanting the records.
In Bullhead City, a police department employee initially told a reporter from the Mohave Valley Daily News that she'd have to pay as much as $1,000 to receive a list of incidents. Later, after speaking with Police Chief Rodney Head, the auditor received the documents at a cost of $10.
POLICE-STATE APPARATUS INVADES EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES:
One of the fundamental problems with our current legal system is that the government has the ability to pick and choose which laws it wants to enforce, and in what context. While the government rarely hesitates to use any given law as a sword against the citizenry, it frequently denies the citizenry the ability to use the law as a shield against the government’s attack. An interesting case in point is the Anti-peonage Act. Here’s a link to an informative site on this little-known subject.
JOE BOB BRIGGS ON THE PROPOSED NATIONAL ID:
You might remember Mr. Briggs as the comedic author of the infamous “Drive-In Movie Review” columns (which popularized such terms as “bimbo-fu”, “the sign of the two-backed beast”, and “three and a half breasts”). He’s successfully branched out, becoming a Twain-like cultural critic, while retaining his reputation for honesty, impartiality, and accuracy (unlike his erstwhile competitor Michael “Mike” Medved, whose judgment can’t be trusted, given his ridiculous “two thumbs up” reviews of Israel and illegal immigration). Check it out.
There aren't many people left alive from the Depression years, when the Congress first passed the Social Security Act, but part of the big debate over it was whether it was constitutional to REQUIRE people to have an official number. I can remember old coots in Texas who were ready to go to prison rather than to submit to being numbered by the government. There were preachers who said it was Satan's work, a sign of the end times, when everyone would have the mark of the beast.
And look what happened. The old coots were right! After Congress repeatedly said that the Social Security number would ONLY be used to keep track of pension benefits, it was used by every government agency -- including law enforcement -- and every private agency -- including credit card databases that can track you back to the beginning of time -- to make sure you weren't pulling a fast one.
Later the same thing happened with drivers licenses. The purpose of a drivers license is ... class? ... to DRIVE A CAR. Nothing else. I don't imagine there are people still around who, when getting their license, say, "Now you're not gonna use this information for any other purpose, are you?" Because they already know the answer.
On another front, we must hunt down and punish those in our own government whose negligence allowed those events to occur. Yet again, the FBI and the CIA have proven themselves to be embarrassingly incompetent. Instead of devoting their time and resources to protecting American citizens from a large-scale, well-coordinated attack, the FBI was summarily executing two innocent American citizens. Equally culpable, CIA was busy meddling in the internal affairs of Colombia, and was also preoccupied with shooting down wholly innocent private planes in Peru. Finally, the preponderance of blame lies with our elected representatives, for they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for the policies pursued by our federal agencies. Most of the individuals currently serving in Congress should be voted out of office, (with rare exceptions).
DOMESTIC FASCISTS AND THEIR INFORMAL ALLIES, THE TERRORISTS, ARE WINNING THE WAR AGAINST AMERICA-- Power-hungry police-state proponents have used the public's understandable outrage at the events of 9/11 as cover to launch a massive offensive in their continuing efforts to eviscerate the Constitution. In what amounts to a de facto coup, these proto-fascists have pushed a bill through Congress which decimates some of the most essential civil rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution. The sweeping new police powers created by this act are not aimed at suspected terrorists, but at all Americans. Counting on our ignorance and our governmentally-inculcated predisposition to ignore statistically verified reality, these quislings have dismantled our precious, hard-won birthright, the Constitution, in pursuit of an objective which will ultimately destroy us. We are letting them sow the seeds of an America which will bear very little allegiance to the philosophical ideals the country was founded upon- the very ideals which have given us unprecedented freedom and prosperity.
The bullying fascists are already on the march, and they are not targeting terrorists but patriotic (and attractive) American citizens who fail to toe the "party line".
[In an effort to redress the injustice suffered by the innocent author of the fourth-to-last article cited above, we would be interested in publishing the names and photographs of any California National Guardsmen working at LAX, particularly "a big guy with a buzz-cut, dressed head-to-toe in camouflage army fatigues." Anyone who may be considering taking such photographs should proceed with caution, and undertake your efforts accompanied by multiple witnesses and videocameras.]
Very special thanks are owed to some stereotypical police officers (they know who they are), in Maryland, Colorado, Illinois, California, Texas, New York, and Washington. These cops will be soon be singled out, thoroughly investigated, publicly identified, and targeted for suitable media attention.
Please link to http://www.copwatch.com to ensure access to the site.
SPREAD THE WORD!