If the police arrest you, do they need a warrant to rifle through your cellphone? Courts have been split on the question. Last week the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to resolve the issue and rule that the Fourth Amendment allows warrantless cellphone searches.
The increasing use of SWAT teams across these United States is completely and totally incompatible with a free and civilized society. As I mentioned in my recent article about how there are now 50,000 SWAT raids in America annually, many of these military-styled operations target nonviolent offenders, and are often merely money making rackets for local police departments.
It appears the trend is getting even worse. Just like cops will pull you over on the highway and claim to “smell marijuana” as an excuse to violate your 4th Amendment rights, this claim of drugs being present is now being used to SWAT raid organic farms. Or perhaps it’s just because your neighbor thinks your yard is untidy. The story below is nothing short of a complete and total disgrace and we should not stand for this sort of behavior any longer.
Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.
Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified.
Police in many parts of the United States are routinely seizing cash and valuables from citizens without arrest or trial. Worst of all, police officers in Texas and Virginia have actually been stopping motorists and seizing their cash.
Having a large amount of cash on you or in your car is now apparently a crime in some parts of the United States. Worse, laws set up to seize cash from drug dealers are being used to seize money from people stopped for minor traffic violations.
A disturbing article in The New Yorker magazine mentions several instances of police seizing cash from citizens. The cops used a legal doctrine called forfeiture to seize the cash. The frightening thing is that the cash and valuables can be taken without an arrest or even criminal charges. They can simply seize it on probable cause and in many cases that have nothing to do with drugs.
We’re building a domestic army and we’re shrinking the military, because the government is afraid of its own citizens. The last time more than 10 terrorists were in the same place at one time was September 11th, and all these vehicles in the world wouldn’t have prevented it, nor would it have helped anybody. So I don’t know where we are going to use this many vehicles and this many troops…We’re building an army over here and I can’t believe people aren’t seeing it. Is everybody blind? - Retired Marine Colonel Peter Martino
The above quote is taken from a powerful 4 minute video taken at a Concord, NH council meeting to discuss whether or not the city should proceed with a request to obtain a BearCat G3 armored vehicle. I reported on the controversy behind this vehicle request earlier in the week, after the city’s application was made public and showed officials explained it was needed to deal with “domestic terrorists,” which included libertarians and Occupy New Hampshire.
Colonel Martino warns us that the gear being worn by domestic law enforcement is the same combat gear that they worse in Iraq, except with a slightly different color. He receives a well deserved raucous applause at the end, and finishes with:
Police in Texas have been caught conducting completely warrantless vaginal searches of women on the side of freeways.
Yes, you read that correctly.
A new set of videos show Texas state troopers probing women’s vaginas and anal areas while searching for drugs.
After watching the videos, which were taken by police car dashboard cams, it is painfully obvious that police were confident that the women did not have marijuana — but they went ahead with the cavity searches anyways.
USA TODAY exclusive: New documents show FBI agents gave their informants permission to break the law thousands of times in 2011.
WASHINGTON — The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation’s top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime.
It appears that the militarized police force running rampant on the streets of America just can’t handle the threats of a 95-year old man in a nursing home armed with a cane. Although it appears the officers are attempting to justify their violent and aggressive behavior by claiming he was wielding a “12 inch knife,” I would’ve thought the police are supposed to know how to deal with such situations, particularly when their assailant is basically a centenarian. This seems to be societal blowback from the Rise of the Warrior Cop, a subject I highlighted recently.
Yesterday, Salon published a fantastic interview with Radley Balko, author of a new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop. The interview focused on the fact that the number of SWAT team raids has soared from a few hundred annually in the 1970′s to more than 50,000 per year by 2005. To make matters worse, most of these raids are focused on non-violent crimes. Radley identifies three main forces behind this disturbing trend. The “war on drugs,” the national overreaction to 9/11, and the creation and massive funding behind the Department of Homeland Security. Moreover, once these SWAT teams are in place, the individual police departments feel pressured to use them in order to justify their existence.
Radley Balko’s new book, “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” details how America’s police forces have grown to look and behave more like soldiers than neighborly Officer Krupkes walking the beat. This new breed of police, frequently equipped with military weapons and decked out in enough armor to satisfy a storm trooper, are redefining law enforcement.
Since 9/11, the newly formed Department of Homeland Security has distributed billions in grants, enabling even some small town police departments to buy armored personnel carriers and field their own SWAT teams.
Once you have a SWAT team the only thing to do is kick some ass. There are more than 100 SWAT team raids every day in this country. They’re not chasing murderers or terrorists. For the most part they go after nonviolent offenders like drug dealers and even small time gamblers. As you’d expect when there is too much adrenaline and too much weaponry, there have been some tragedies.
There was a smell about the Zimmerman case. We wondered why the Federalist Society, known for orchestrating the 2000 stolen election, crushing 9/11 investigations and lawsuits and acting as the primary proponents of government spying were so interested in the killing of a 17 year old in Florida.
Veterans Today has caught the GOP, Judicial Watch and the Heritage Foundation falsifying, redacting and misrepresenting government documents to rig a murder trial, to smear the Justice Department and forward a “police state” agenda.
There is no doubt that the fraud exposed below, one intended to foment racial strife and and violence was also intended to rig the Zimmerman trial to ensure a “not guilty” verdict.
In November 2011, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told an audience at MIT, “I don’t listen to Washington very much, which is something they’re not thrilled about.” He didn’t listen because he didn’t have to. “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world,” Bloomberg bragged. That boast–crude and alarming as it was–sort of just hung in the air, slowly losing its stench. Yesterday, Bloomberg revived it, this time while announcing that he didn’t want the Justice Department overseeing the NYPD in the event a federal judge deems stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed papers Wednesday saying that if a federal judge ruled the NYPD’s practices unconstitutional, then the DOJ would strongly endorse the use of a monitor to oversee changes at the department.
The mayor, however, said that the police department needs a clear line of authority. “No military organization or paramilitary runs where you have confusion in the command structure. You just cannot have that. Lives are on the line,” he said in a question-and-answer session with reporters.
Emphasis mine. The NYPD is not a “military organization” or an “army,” much less Bloomberg’s “own army.” Nor is the NYPD a “paramilitary organization”–that would require the department to change its core function to supporting an actual military. The NYPD is a police department. New York, New York is a city, not a sovereign nation. The 14th Amendment says Bloomberg and his police are required to respect the Fourth Amendment. This is basic stuff. You’d think Bloomberg would know it. Continue reading »
Off-duty cops in two counties in Alabama spent the weekend collecting saliva and blood samples from drivers at roadblocks.
According to Lt. Freddie Turrentine with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, drivers were asked to voluntarily offer samples of their saliva and blood for a study being conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.
The drivers were compensated for their samples.
“They’ve got big signs up that says ‘paid volunteer survey’ and if they want to participate they pull over there and they ask them questions and if they are willing to give them a mouth swab they give them $10 and if they are willing to give them a blood sample they give them $50. And if they don’t do anything they drive off,” Turrentine explained to The Daily Caller.
There are several things one would want to accomplish ahead of the formation of a totalitarian state. One of these is to fill the minds of the citizenry with mindless propaganda and make them terrified to death of an outside enemy. Check. Another is to disarm the population. Working on it. Yet another would be to militarize the police, or even better have the military itself take responsibility for law and order in communities across the nation. The reason that this is so important is that a military force “policing” a random area has no connection to the community itself. This makes them by definition much less accountable to the people they are supposedly protecting. Plus, they are trained to kill. Sadly, it appears that the Department of Defense is looking to use the military across the streets of America.
The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled“Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:
“Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”
BALTIMORE (CN) – Baltimore police beat up a woman and smashed her camera for filming them beating up a man, telling her: “You want to film something bitch? Film this!” the woman claims in court.
Makia Smith sued the Baltimore Police Department, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and police Officers Nathan Church, William Pilkerton, Jr., Nathan Ulmer and Kenneth Campbell in Federal Court.
Smith claims she was stuck in stand-still rush hour traffic in northern Baltimore when she saw the defendant officers beating up and arresting a young man.
She says pulled out her camera, stood on her car’s door sill and filmed the beating.
“Officer Church saw plaintiff filming the beating and ran at her,” the complaint states. “He scared her and she sat back in her vehicle. As he ran at her, he yelled, ‘You want to film something bitch? Film this!’
“Officer Church reached into plaintiff’s car and grabbed her telephone-camera out of her hand, threw it to the ground and destroyed it by smashing it with his foot.
“Officer Church pulled plaintiff out of her car by her hair and beat her. Officers Pilkerton, Ulmer, and Campbell then ran to plaintiff’s car and joined Officer Church in beating plaintiff and arrested her using excessive force. At all times described herein, plaintiff’s two year old daughter witnessed her mother’s beating and arrest by the Officers, as did others.”
Smith claims the cops taunted her and threatened to take her daughter away. She says they refused to call her mother to her toddler.
“The officers, despite the pleas of plaintiff, refused to call plaintiff’s mother. Instead, the officers tormented plaintiff by telling her that her daughter would be taken from her and sent to Social Services. Seeing plaintiff’s distressful reaction to these tormenting threats, they continued,” the complaint states.
Smith says claims she was arrested and taken to jail on bogus charges that she assaulted Church and resisted arrest.
Blood stains are still visible on the sidewalk at the corner of Flower Street and Palm Drive, where a Bakersfield man struggled with as many as nine officers and later died this week.
David Sal Silva, 33 and the father of four young children, died early Wednesday morning after deputies say he fought with them and CHP officers who’d responded to a report of a possibly intoxicated man outside Kern Medical Center.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office says Silva resisted, a canine was deployed, more law enforcement arrived, batons were used and the man later had trouble breathing. He was taken to KMC, where he died. An autopsy was slated for Thursday, but no results have been released.
Some witnesses apparently took cellphone video of the incident but deputies moved quickly to seize the phones. The Sheriff’s Office, after releasing a statement Wednesday and naming its officers Thursday, declined all further comment.
People who say they witnessed the incident as well as Silva’s family members described a scene in which deputies essentially were beating a helpless man to death. They were indignant that cellphone video had been taken away by deputies.
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
– Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” - George Orwell
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
-Aldous Huxley, 1961
Guess why 18 year old Cameron D’Ambrosio is being held on one-million dollars bail and faces twenty years in prison? The answer is “terror charges.” This case is a perfect example of why I am so against using the word “terrorist” in general at this point. Think about all the pointless wars and erosion of domestic civil liberties that have been justified in the name of this never-ending Orwellian “war on terror.” We’ve been tricked, and in the future anyone that does anything the oligarchs and politicians don’t like will be named a “terrorist” and be subject to the aggressive terror laws that most states passed after 9/11. We need to take a giant cultural deep breath and react to terrorism in a sane way before we lose what’s left of our dignity and freedom. Be very suspicious of anyone who uses the word “terror” too often. They are trying to keep you in fear, and if you are in fear, you are easily controlled.
Yesterday, D’Ambrosio was absent from school, but messing around online, changing his profile photos and tweaking his status updates. At approximately 12:20 pm, one of his peers alerted MHS administration that the Methuen native had posted “disturbing verbiage” on Facebook, lyrics menacing enough for the school to call the city police.
Former Rep. Ron Paul said the law enforcement that swarmed around Boston in the days following the marathon bombings was scarier than the actual terrorist attack.
“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” he said on the Lew Rockwell website, Politico reported. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”
The terror attacks on April 15 in Boston killed three and injured 264.
Mr. Paul, a former libertarian political candidate who served in Congress as a member of the Republican Party, said the door-to-door searches police conducted in Watertown for the bombing suspects were particularly alarming.
They reminded of a “military coup in a far off banana republic,” he said, Politico reported. “Force lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.”
Shocking footage has emerged from Friday’s lockdown in Boston, where police, federal agents, national guard troops and SWAT teams enforced door to door searches of everyone’s home within twenty blocks as the entire city was placed under orders to stay off the streets.
The video, shot by a resident from their own house across the street, shows police barking orders at men and women as they order them at gunpoint to identify themselves, put their hands on their heads, and get out of their own home. They are then ordered to run down the street to be further frisked by police as scores of armed militarized cops look on.
The scenes look like something out of a disaster movie, with the backdrop of suburban America juxtaposed with what is essentially martial law playing out in full daylight.
The story floated in the mainstream media that the door to door searches were conducted with the voluntary consent of the residents of Watertown is clearly false. 9000+ Police locked down an entire city and went in with full force, with armored vehicles and combat gear, all to search for an injured 19 year old kid who turned out to be cowering in someone’s back yard.
While armies of police roamed around people’s homes and private property, Public transportation was shut down, businesses were forced to close, and a no-fly zone was enacted over Boston in an unprecedented show of force.
At this point, as military helicopters buzzed over neighborhoods, the Fourth Amendment had ceased to exist in Boston, which quickly resembled a war zone.
The compliant mainstream media reported on the activity without alarm or question. Katy Waldman of Slate wrote an article claiming that under dire circumstances police can suspend 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches:
In exigent circumstances, or emergency situations, police can conduct warrantless searches to protect public safety. This exception to the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement normally addresses situations of “hot pursuit,” in which an escaping suspect is tracked to a private home. But it might also apply to the events unfolding in Boston if further harm or injury might be supposed to occur in the time it takes to secure a warrant.
This activity, once again, sets a shocking precedent. Police and military are training in these circumstances every single day of the year. They are fully acclimatized to the process, as if it is completely normal. They do not hesitate in carrying out such orders, which are now being implemented whenever the authorities deem a situation to be an emergency.
This is what fully fledged martial law in America looks like.