Elderly couple fined $80K, raided by police because of pallets in their yard

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Posted on 30th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Police State USA

Town “spends thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers” to rob a pair of retirees.

The Marathon County SWAT vehicle arrives to confiscate property from elderly Roger Hoeppner. (Photo: Ryan Lister)

STETTIN, WI — An elderly couple was traumatized when two dozen sheriff’s deputies swarmed their rural home, prepared to confiscate their property because of zoning ordinance violations.

The outrageous raid took place at the 20-acre property of Roger and Marjorie Hoeppner, who live in a wooded area on Highway 29 in the tiny town of Stettin, Wisconsin. The October raid was the culmination of years of harassment from the town against the couple, which Mr. Hoeppner believes is a “vendetta” against him.

It all stems from the town of Stettin — population 2,554 — making forcible demands to property owners about the appearance of their private land. The town, including Town Chairman Matt Wasmundt, took a particular interest in the Hoeppners’ property, which contains tractors, stacks of pallets, and other property belonging to the couple.

Mr. Hoeppner runs a business in which he repairs both tractors and broken pallets. Aside from interfering with his income, Hoeppner objects on the belief that he was being singled out, as he believes many other residents fall afoul of the same ordinances.

The six-year legal fight is summarized by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

In 2008, the town sued Hoeppner over claimed violations of ordinances about zoning, signs, rubbish and vehicles. About a year later, the two sides settled; Hoeppner was supposed to clean up his property, and the town was supposed to open discussions about its zoning.

The town felt Hoeppner had not complied, and it brought a motion for contempt and enforcement. In September 2010, a judge ordered Hoeppner to remove certain items from his land.

The following May, the judge found Hoeppner had still not complied and authorized the town to seize assets. In the summer of 2011, the town hauled away several tractors, pallets, equipment and other items and auctioned them off for “pennies on the dollar,” according to Lister.

But the dispute wasn’t over. In April 2013, the judge entered a final judgment that imposed a $500-a-day fine against Hoeppner for not adhering to the original May 2011 order, and granting the town’s legal fees.

Hoeppner appealed, but lost in a March ruling. So by Oct. 2, he owed the town about $80,000, according to court records, and the Town of Stettin obtained a writ of execution to collect — without notice to Hoeppner or his attorneys, they say.

Roger and Marjorie Hoeppner.  (Photo: Ryan Lister)

To collect the egregious $80,000 fine, officials called up some muscle to present a show of force against the elderly couple. The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department dutifully followed orders and marched onto the Hoeppners’ property and put the homeowner in shackles.

The deputies literally drove Mr. Hoeppner to the bank and forced him to withdraw money from his retirement account to pay off the extortive court order.

A total of 24 deputies participated in the raid, and brought their armored quarter-million-dollar Lenco Bearcat vehicle.

The deputies literally drove Mr. Hoeppner to the bank and forced him to withdraw money from his retirement account to pay off the extortive court order.

Mrs. Hoeppner was so traumatized by the raid that she had to be taken to the hospital.

“Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice…and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment” with a police raid, said attorney Ryan Lister to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The lawful oppression of the Hoeppners — which cost the couple $200,000 in legal fees and fines — perfectly illustrates the inherent injustice of zoning ordinances. When petty tyrants are able to dictate the rules for other people’s private property, homeowners are faced with a choice to submit or potentially lose everything, even over the most menial of complaints.

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Accountability CheckAlert_HandBlinking

Town of Stettin
, Wisconsin
Phone: (715) 845-3535
Email: [email protected]

Town Chairman Matt Wasmundt
Phone: (715) 571-1483
Email: [email protected]

Police impose checkpoints, deploy drones at high school football game

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Posted on 27th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

The noose tightens.

 

Via Police State USA

“It is very scary to come here tonight,” said one fan. “Now we have armed guards. I couldn’t carry my purse…”

At the entrance to a Summerville High School football game, police officers scan fans with metal detectors and examine personal belongings in a bin.  (Photo: WCIV

SUMMERVILLE, SC — Fans were startled by the heavy presence of police officers, drone surveillance, and warrantless checkpoints upon entry at the local high school football game.

The prison-like security at Summerville High School was called “the reality of the world we live in today.” As students and fans filed into the homecoming football game on Friday, October 24th, 2014, they were forced to place their belongings in a bin for police examination, then walk through a metal detector. Stadium-goers were restricted from bringing certain items into the stands.

A Summerville High School student is startled when a metal detector buzzes as she tries to enter the homecoming football game.  (Photo: WCIV

“It is very scary to come here tonight,” said Summerville resident said Ann Almers to WCIV. “It’s such a change, I’ve been coming to the stadium for so many years. Now we have armed guards. I couldn’t carry my purse, I forgot my phone. I’m a little out of sorts.”

Fans also were quick to notice the conspicuous presence of police officers mixed among the crowd and perched on the rooftops, surveillance drones whirring overhead, and even SWAT team members ready for action.

The security bonanza was imposed because school district officials had allegedly been tipped off that rival gangs might fight at the game, WCIV reported. No incidents of violence were reported.

The event might have been the site of the most elaborate and intrusive level of security employed at any high school sports event to date. With a precedent set, more schools are sure to follow suit with drone surveillance and police checkpoints.

See video of the checkpoints via WCIV:

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Video shows officer coaxing friendly pets closer with kissing noises before opening fire

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Posted on 19th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Police State USA

“Words can’t even explain that,” commented the dog’s owner.

A Cleburne Texas officer makes kissing noises to attract a loose family dog, only to shoot it on video.

CLEBURNE, TX — Body-cam video shows how an officer coaxed a family dog toward him with friendly kissing sounds before raising his weapon and firing.

The incident took place on August 10, 2014, when dogs belonging to Quinton Tatum and Amanda Henderson escaped from their fenced-in yard while the married couple was not at home. Some neighbors called the government to complain that the dogs were loose and interfering with them walking from their car to their house.

When a Cleburne police officer arrived at the scene, one of the pit bulls happily approached him, wagging its tail, and licked his face. This was included in the police report and can be seen on video from the officer’s body cam.

After the friendly interaction with the first dog took place in the front of the house, the officer then attempted to locate the other two dogs. They turned out to be playing in a nearby irrigation ditch between the homes, in a more obscured area.

As recorded on his body-camera, the Cleburne officer then began coaxing the dogs over to him by making kissing sounds, which can be heard in the video. The dogs respond by wagging their tails and exhibiting very friendly body language, video shows.

That’s when the officer raises his pistol and began firing. Three shots can be heard, along with a pitiful yelp.

One dog rolled over and died from the gunshots. The other frightened pet backed away, paused, then ran home.

View the moments of the shooting below:

Soon after, an animal control officer arrived on the scene with a catchpole to collect the remaining two dogs who were still alive. Video shows that animal control officer didn’t even need to use the catchpole, since speaking to the dogs in a friendly tone was all that was required to get them to follow her to a secure area with tails wagging.

The officer’s narrative is the subject of some speculation from witnesses and many who have viewed the video.

The official report states: “I raised my duty weapon to the ready position – pointed at the growling dog’s head. As soon as I lifted my pistol, the dog began coming up the hill, continuing to growl and display its teeth… I fired three shots at it.”

No growling or teeth baring is evident from the video at all. In fact, every angle of the dogs portrays them as friendly.

“Words can’t even explain that,” commented Mr. Tatum after viewing the video of the officer tricking his pet before opening fire.

The Cleburne police department is claiming that the video has been taken out of context and reiterates that the officer was only “assisting” the dog-phobic 9-1-1 callers, suggesting that they were “pinned” inside their vehicle by “aggressive” dogs.

The incident remains under department review, and the identity of the shooter remains without consequence. He has been identified as Officer Kevin Dupre.

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Police shoot, kill Georgia grandfather during no-knock drug raid

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Posted on 9th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Police State USA

A man is shot dead thinking he was confronting burglars, just 2 nights after his home had been robbed.

(Source: Getty Images)

EAST DUBLIN, GA — A drug task force gunned down a grandfather in his home during a botched late-night raid that was based on the word of a self-confessed meth addict and burglar who had robbed the property two nights prior. His grieving widow is disputing the official story regarding the no-knock raid that led to her husband’s untimely death.

* * * * *

The devastating incident occurred the evening of September 24, 2014. David Hooks and his wife of 25 years, Teresa, had settled in for the evening; Mr. Hooks was asleep and his wife was upstairs in her craft room.

At approximately 11:00 p.m., she noticed a vehicle abruptly race down her driveway. She saw men jump out of the vehicle and approach her home, donning black and camouflage clothing, shrouded in hoods.

Mrs. Hooks bolted for the bedroom to alert her sleeping husband. “The burglars are back,” she insisted. Earlier that week, the couple’s home had been burglarized and an SUV stolen from the driveway.

David Hooks

Mr. Hooks, a 59-year-old businessman, sprang from his bed and picked up a firearm, then took a defensive stand to protect his wife and home from the intruders. As he exited his bedroom, the back door of the house was breached, and gun-wielding home invaders charged in.

What happened next was described as “chaos.” The intruders used their weapons to send a hail of gunfire into the residence; a total of 16-18 shots from rifles and .40 caliber handguns.

When the gun smoke cleared, it became evident that the intruders were actually a Drug Task Force and members of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Response Team (SRT). Mr. Hooks was killed without returning fire.

The officers claimed to be looking for methamphetamines. After searching the home forty-four (44) hours, not a single trace of narcotics was retrieved.

The warrant — which was acquired only 1 hour before the raid — had been founded on information provided by the very same burglar who had stolen the Hooks’ Lincoln Aviator SUV two nights prior. The self-described thief and meth-addict was Rodney Garrett, who alleged that he had obtained drugs from inside the vehicle he had stolen from David and Teresa Hooks.

Laurens County Magistrate Judge Faith Snell was presented with this information and readily signed the warrant, granting the sheriff’s department the permission it needed to launch a mid-night assault on the unsuspecting couple.

Mrs. Hooks points out some damning inconsistencies in the official version of events versus what she says actually happened. She insists that the police did NOT use emergency lights or sirens, and the police did NOT knock or announce before breaking down their door. The couple had every reason to believe that they were being robbed — again.

The SRT team, on the other hand, claimed that after loudly knocking on the door and repeatedly announcing, “sheriff’s department, search warrant,” Mr. Hooks came to the door carrying a shotgun and pointed it at the officers, who had to shoot in self-defense.

Drawing further questions in the official story was the fact that Mr. Hooks was not shot at the back door — he was shot through an interior wall. According to a statement released on behalf of the Hooks family, the shooters had no way of “knowing who or what was on the other side of the wall.”

Representing Mrs. Hooks, Attorney Mitch Shook said that the “true facts of this tragedy are in stark contrast” to the official narrative. “There’s a lot more to it than law enforcement has reported,” he said.

The attorney questioned why a no-knock raid was performed on the couple; why so late at night. He pointed out that the Mr. Hooks ran two successful businesses and was far from fitting the profile of a meth user.

“There is no question the officers were aware the home had been burglarized only two nights earlier,” read the Hooks family’s official statement.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation intends to review the case.

Georgia has been the site of numerous atrocities and wrong-door raids committed in the name of Prohibition. The blood will continue to flow so long as such wrong-headed laws and tactics are upheld as acceptable.

PLAYGROUND FOR PSYCHOPATHS

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Posted on 3rd October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Fred Reed

 

Gapple and Oogle, Our Defenders

Names Encrypted for Their Security

I read that Apple and Google have begun encrypting the data of customers so that nobody, including Apple and Google, have plaintext access to it. This of course means “so that the government will not have access to it.” The FBI is terribly upset about this, the first serious resistance against onrushing Orwellianism. God bless Apple and Google. But will they be able to stand up to the feds?

Here is a curious situation indeed. The government has become our enemy, out of  control, and we have to depend on computer companies for any safety we may have.

NSA spies on us illegally and in detail, recording telephone conversations, reading email, recording our financial transactions, on and on. TSA makes air travel a nightmare, forcing us to hop about barefoot and confiscating toothpaste. The police kick in our doors at night on no-knock raids and shoot our dogs. In bus stations we are subject to search without probable cause. The feds track us through our cell phones. Laws make it a crime to photograph the police, an out-and-out totalitarian step: Cockroaches do not like light. The feds give police forces across the country weaponry normal to militaries. Whatever the intention, it is the hardware of control of dissent. Think Tian An Men Square in China.

And we have no recourse. If you resist, you go to jail, maybe not for long, not yet anyway, but jail is jail. Object to TSA and you miss your flight. They know it and use it. The courts do nothing about this. They too are feds.

Fools say, “If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.” This might be true, or partly true, or sometimes true, or occasionally plausible, if government were benevolent. It isn’t.

The feds—whatever the intention of individuals—are setting up the machinery of a totalitarianism beyond anything yet known on the earth. It falls rapidly into place. You can argue, if you are optimistic enough to make Pollyanna look like a Schopenhaurian gloom-monger, that they would never use such powers. They already do. The only question is how far they will push. What cannot be argued is that they have the powers

Which means that if they decide in a few years, or tomorrow, to crack down on “hate speech,” and then on speech that they say they think might suggest terroristic links, and then on anti-American speech as defined by them (does anyone remember HUAC?), they will have the tools.

The mere knowledge that one is watched, or may be being watched, is enough to subvert political freedom. Already journalists have to assume that their communications are intercepted, and sources, assuming the same thing, stop being sources.

We are in the cross-hairs and what happens in the next very few years will determine in what direction we go. And when we have to depend on commercial companies like Apple and Google to protect us from our government, things are bad.

The FBI wants a “back door” in the encryption used by our telephones, so that it can spy on us—for our own good, you see, for our own good. Uh-huh. Of course if the government has a back door, others can find it.

The crucial question: Do we have more to fear from largely imaginary terrorists, or from the FBI? Your chances of being killed by terrorists are essentially zero, even if you live in Washington or New York, and far less if you live in Memphis or Raleigh-Durham. (To express this we need the concept of negative zero, which I hearwith offer to the mathmatical community.) Your chances of living in an electronically locked-down police state are very high. This is far more dangerous to what the United States was than even a successful bombing of a mall.

What goes through the minds of those who are doing this to us? In my former guise as a police reporter I knew a few FBI types. They were pathologically normal, smelled of too much soap and wholesomeness, resembled armed accountants with the other-worldly assurance of scientologists. They were deeply convinced that they were the Angels Gabriel protecting us from whatever, including ourselves—and they were as intellectual as colonels, which is to say as intellectual as fire plugs. In particular, they did not think in terms of constitutional liberties. Since their intentions were good, they figured that nobody should interfere with them. And they were on a power trip, as we used to say.

Not good.

Those at the policy level are another thing.  Many are intelligent, some extremely so. They understand not just the laws, but law. Many have educations of the first quality. Harvard was not always a prep school for I-banking. They are familiar with history, understand the philosophy of constitutional government, and understand the consequences of our current direction. They know what they are doing. And keep doing it.

Why? Partly because they are screened to be as they are. Just as the military attracts highly aggressive men, who then want a war in which to use their training (would Tiger Woods practice his golf swing for a lifetime without wanting to be in a tournament?) politics attracts and favors the unprincipled and manipulative. It is a playground for psychopaths, for the charmingly conscienceless, for the utterly self-concerned. These now rule us.

This is obvious. Yet in the past there were sometimes men who understood that, to maintain a constitutional democracy, you have to pay the price of allowing freedom. They, and the courts, actually defended the right of people to say things that the government and its client groups did not like. They saw the danger of trying to control every aspect of everyone’s life. Today? Neither the courts, nor the Supreme Court, nor the President, nor the Congress, nor the military, nor the intelligence agencies shows any sign of wanting to rein in the abuses. It’s Apple and Google or nothing, and the government will threaten them with everything short of beheading. Maybe short of beheading.

 

For an expert, readable, and non-technical explanation of just how secure your data aren’t, read The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security. For the best (so far as I know) but fairly technical website on computer security, Schneir on Security and subscribe, for free, to his Crypto-Gram.

Michigan county seizes home after one missed tax bill; makes $80K profit

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Posted on 19th September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Deborah Calley weeps as she discusses the seizure of her home.  (Source: WITI)

RICHLAND, MI — A disabled mother and her children were tossed from their home by the government after missing one property tax bill, despite owning the home free-and-clear.

Deborah Calley, a mother of two daughters, paid $164,000 cash for her dream home in 2010. The home was chosen because of convenient location and accessibility; a perfect location for her as she slowly recovers from debilitating injuries following a car accident a few years ago.

The family’s dream home became a nightmare when the Kalamazoo County government declared it to be foreclosed earlier in 2014, leaving the Calleys homeless. Local bureaucrats alleged that three years ago, Ms. Calley did not pay for the privilege to live in the county, a so-called “property tax.” Thus, the government stripped Calley of her home and property.

Ms. Calley is devastated, and claims that she had no idea about the missed property tax bill from 2011, and that she received no warning of the impending property seizure.

“When I paid the taxes in 2012 right there in Richland, no one said, ‘Oh, well you still owe money for 2011,’” said Ms. Calley to WITI. “So, I didn’t really have a clue. I thought I was right on time.”

The disabled mother is in disbelief that the government could take away property that she owned outright because of a tax bill totaling less than $2,000.

“If I had a mortgage, a bank never would’ve let that happen,” said Calley, referring to the single missed payment. “It was a mistake.”

“My life has been turned upside down because of this,” Ms. Calley sobbed. “I had to send my youngest daughter, who’s still in school, to live with her father so she can have a home, because I don’t know if I have a home anymore.”

Ms. Calley offered to pay back-taxes to settle the bill that the county alleges that she owes, but the profiteers of the seizure claim that it is now too late. Adding to the family’s grief is the fact that the foreclosed house has already been auctioned, with the highest bid totaling over $80,000. Barring judicial intervention, the county will keep the proceeds of the auction and the Calley family will get nothing.

The plight of the Calley family serves as a grim reminder of the fragility of property rights in America, and the true nature of property taxation. When citizens are obligated to pay perpetual sums of money to avoid the seizure of their rightly-owned property, they can never consider themselves anything greater than tenants on land controlled by the government.

Resistance is Futile: The Violent Cost of Challenging the American Police State

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Posted on 11th September 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by John W. Whitehead

“Police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. With varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.”—Kristian Williams, activist and author

If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, or killed, don’t say, do or even suggest anything that even hints of noncompliance. This is the new “thin blue line” over which you must not cross in interactions with police if you want to walk away with your life and freedoms intact.

The following incidents and many more like them serve as chilling reminders that in the American police state, “we the people” are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

For example, police arrested Chaumtoli Huq because she failed to promptly comply when ordered to “move along” while waiting outside a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant for her children, who were inside with their father, using the bathroom. NYPD officers grabbed Huq, a lawyer with the New York City Public Advocate’s office, flipped her around, pressed her against a wall, handcuffed her, searched her purse, arrested her, and told her to “shut up” when she cried out for help, before detaining her for nine hours. Huq was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Oregon resident Fred Marlow was jailed and charged with interfering and resisting arrest after he filmed a SWAT team raid that took place across the street from his apartment and uploaded the footage to the internet. The footage shows police officers threatening Marlow, who was awoken by the sounds of “multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking” and ran outside to investigate only to be threatened with arrest if he didn’t follow orders and return inside.

Eric Garner, 43 years old, asthmatic and unarmed, died after being put in a chokehold by NYPD police, allegedly for resisting arrest over his selling untaxed, loose cigarettes, although video footage of the incident shows little resistance on Garner’s part. Indeed, the man was screaming, begging and insisting he couldn’t breathe. And what was New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s advice to citizens in order to avoid a similar fate? Don’t resist arrest. (Mind you, the NYPD arrests more than 13,000 people every year on charges of resisting arrest, although only a small fraction of those charged ever get prosecuted.)

Then there was Marine Brandon Raub, who was questioned at his home by a swarm of DHS, FBI, Secret Service agents and local police, tackled to the ground, handcuffed, and forcibly transported to a police station. Raub was then detained against his will in a psychiatric ward, without being provided any explanation, having any charges levied against him or being read his rights—all allegedly because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page.

Incredibly, police insisted that Raub was not in fact under arrest. Of course, Raub was under arrest. When your hands are handcuffed behind you, when armed policemen are tackling you to the ground and transporting you across town in the back of a police car, and then forcibly detaining you against your will, you’re not free to walk away.

If you do attempt to walk away, be warned that the consequences will likely be even worse, as Tremaine McMillian learned the hard way. Miami-Dade police slammed the 14-year-old boy to the ground, putting him in a chokehold and handcuffing him after he allegedly gave them “dehumanizing stares” and walked away from them, which the officers found unacceptable. According to Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, “His body language was that he was stiffening up and pulling away… When you have somebody resistant to them and pulling away and somebody clenching their fists and flailing their arms, that’s a threat. Of course we have to neutralize the threat.”

As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this mindset that any challenge to police authority is a threat that needs to be “neutralized” is a dangerous one that is part of a greater nationwide trend that sets the police beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment. Moreover, when police officers are allowed to operate under the assumption that their word is law and that there is no room for any form of disagreement or even question, that serves to chill the First Amendment’s assurances of free speech, free assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a casual “show your ID” request on a boardwalk, a stop-and-frisk search on a city street, or a traffic stop for speeding or just to check your insurance: if you feel like you can’t walk away from a police encounter of your own volition—and more often than not you can’t, especially when you’re being confronted by someone armed to the hilt with all manner of militarized weaponry and gear—then for all intents and purposes, you’re under arrest from the moment a cop stops you.

That raises the question, what exactly constitutes resisting an arrest? What about those other trumped up “contempt of cop” charges such as interference, disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order that get trotted out anytime a citizen engages in behavior the police perceive as disrespectful or “insufficiently deferential to their authority”? Do Americans really have any recourse at all when it comes to obeying an order from a police officer, even if it’s just to ask a question or assert one’s rights, or should we just “surrender quietly”?

The short answer is that anything short of compliance will get you arrested and jailed. The long answer is a little more complicated, convoluted and full of legal jargon and dissonance among the courts, but the conclusion is still the same: anything short of compliance is being perceived as “threatening” behavior or resistance to be met by police with extreme force resulting in injury, arrest or death for the resistor.

The key word, of course, is comply meaning to obey, submit or conform. This is what author Kristian Williams describes as the dual myths of heroism and danger: “The overblown image of police heroism, and the ‘obsession’ with officer safety, do not only serve to justify police violence after the fact; by providing such justification, they legitimize violence, and thus make it more likely.”

How else can we explain why police shot a schizophrenic 30-year-old man holding a pellet gun over 80 times before his corpse was handcuffed? Mind you, witnesses reportedly informed the police that it was not a real gun, but the officers nonetheless opened fire about five minutes after arriving on the scene.

John Crawford was shot by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart for holding an air rifle sold in the store that he may have intended to buy. Oscar Grant, age 23, unarmed and lying face-down on the ground, was shot in the back by a transit officer in Oakland, Calif., who mistakenly used a gun instead of a taser to further restrain him. Ordered to show his hands after “anti-crime” police officers noticed him adjusting “his waistband in a manner the officers deemed suspicious,” 16-year old Kimani Grey was fired at 11 times, and shot seven times, including three times in the back. Reportedly, the teenager was unarmed and unthreatening.

Even dogs aren’t spared if they are perceived as “threatening.” Family dogs are routinely shot and killed during SWAT team raids, even if the SWAT team is at the wrong address or the dog is in the next yard over. One six-year-old girl witnessed her dog Apollo shot dead by an Illinois police officer.

Clearly, when police officers cease to look and act like civil servants or peace officers but instead look and act like soldiers occupying a hostile territory, it alters their perception of “we the people.” Those who founded this country believed that we were the masters and that those whose salaries we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars are our servants.

If daring to question, challenge or even hesitate when a cop issues an order can get you charged with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, you’re not the master in a master-servant relationship. In fact, you’re not even the servant—you’re the slave.

This is not freedom. This is not even a life.

This is a battlefield, a war zone—if you will—governed by martial law and disguised as a democracy. No matter how many ways you fancy it up with shopping malls, populist elections, and Monday night football, the fact remains that “we the people” are little more than prisoners in the American police state, and the police are our jailers and wardens.

Police lock down California campus because of man carrying an umbrella

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Posted on 31st August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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See someone preparing for rain, say something.

Via Police State USA

“I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”

Bill Craig holds his hands in the air when a SWAT team inspects his umbrella.  (Source: Bill Craig / Facebook)

SAN MARCOS, CA — A SWAT team was deployed and a university campus was locked down when someone suspected that a man carrying his umbrella was actually carrying a firearm.

The breathtaking overreaction occurred at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) on the rainy Wednesday morning of August 20th, 2014. Staff member Bill Craig, who has worked for the university for 17 years, was walking across campus to his office with his folded-up umbrella.

A paranoid campus busybody spotted Mr. Craig and assumed that his black umbrella was a rifle. The ignorant individual called the police to report a non-police officer bearing arms.

At 9:00 a.m., an order to “shelter in place” was issued, and students and staff members hunkered down as heavily armed police officers descended upon the campus.

“Immediately… the doors [were] locked and then they took all the chairs and all the tables and barricaded the doors,” said student James Collins to ABC 10 News. “People were kind of freaked out and you could tell that there was a nervous tension.”

Bill Craig, a 17-year staff member at CSUSM, displays the umbrella that caused a campus lockdown and police response.  (Source: Bill Craig / Facebook)

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies — toting rifles of their own — spotted Mr. Craig, who matched the description of the “gunman,” and quickly “disarmed” him of his umbrella.

Photos showed Mr. Craig holding his arms straight in the air as a helmet-wearing officer aimed a rifle at him. Luckily the misinformed paranoia did not result in the staff member or a bystander getting shot by police.

The embarrassing mistake was acknowledged and the lockdown was lifted, but not before a dose of fear was instilled in the entire campus — fear that reinforces dependence on the government for security.

“Earlier this morning there was a report to University Police of a possible gunman at CSUSM,” read a statement released by the college later that afternoon. “The campus was immediately placed on lock down. Police performed a security sweep and determined that the suspect was not armed, but was a staff member carrying a large umbrella and carry bag. We are grateful for the quick response by our police officers to the perceived threat and to our campus community for their cooperation during the brief state of emergency.”

The folly of the situation — besides the comical misidentification — is that a society which values freedom wouldn’t have any reason to hassle a man with a real rifle. It is a non sequitor to assume that an armed man inherently represents an imminent threat to anyone else.

“The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” states the U.S. constitution, yet even a rumor of an openly carried firearm in some hoplophobic regions results in an enormous effort to suppress that rightful behavior. In a practical sense, these regions exist under a condition where only government agents may be armed — a hallmark of police states throughout history.

Mr. Craig maintained a sense of humor after the incident, writing online: “I don’t always bring an umbrella to work, but when I do, I get cuffed.”