Archive for police

You Won't Believe What This Cop Did -- And His Chief Defends Him

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I mean you can't make sh*t like this up. And of course, it happened in my native Massachusetts, so there's no doubt in my mind it's true. We produce police corruption like it was baked beans.

The details are simple. A cop is on his phone, illegally working a security detail. He's swearing and using the "F-bomb" incessantly. A nearby neighbor sitting on his porch across the street was offended by the language so he approached the cop and asked him to please watch his language. The cop did what you'd expect. He swore at the guy, called him names and told him to scram.

The citizen returned to his own house, sat on his porch and heard more foul language. He took out his iPhone and recorded the cop. The cop saw this, then came over and arrested the citizen sitting on his own porch for wiretapping.

If that wasn't enough, the phone was confiscated by the police and held by them as evidence. Two days later, the recording on the phone is discovered erased-- while in police custody. They cops are now blaming the arrested man who didn't even have access to his phone. This evidence, by the way would have supported the accused man's case.

This is Beantown Madness, and not the kind that comes with a Red Sox World Championship.

Watch for yourself.

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Man Shoots A Cop And Claims "Stand Your Ground" Defense

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It was only a matter of time before a person shot a cop and used "Stand Your Ground" as a defense. And where else would this happen? Of course, Florida. You go Gators!

Okay, here's the story. Back in mid-March, a robbery victim told police that someone from a home located around the 8800 block of Burning Tree Road in a Pensacola Florida neighborhood had robbed him. The thief got away with marijuana and a handgun from the residence. 

Keep in mind that currently, as also back in March, marijuana is NOT LEGAL in Florida. Who knows about the handgun? But lets move on with this true tale. From Raw Story:

Police converged on the home and saw Finkelstein — who was not the subject the police were searching for — emerge from the house’s garage. Sgt. Johnson said that he emerged from a hiding place behind a tree and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy.

Finkelstein produced a gun and fired, striking Johnson in the leg.

Finkelstein’s attorney Brandon Moros is arguing along with his client that Johnson emerged from the shadows without identifying himself and that Finkelstein fired in self-defense. Moros contends that Finkelstein’s actions were justified under “Stand Your Ground.”

C'mon, you gotta admit you saw this coming after all of the other high profile cases of "Stand Your Ground" defense in the Sunshine State.

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Wednesday Links

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Wednesday Links from The Political Carnival
links
Goodbye to All That - Why I Left the Academic Life

Who Gives a F*ck what Ted Nugent Thinks?

How Wolves Change Rivers

FBI Arrests Georgia Militia Terrorists Attempting to Buy Bombs to Attack Feds (Updated)

Mississippi House passes sales tax holiday for guns

Credit Suisse 'aided' US tax evaders

Amanda Knox's ex finds her behavior odd, as appeals case looms

Baltimore County police investigating videotaped arrest incident

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"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

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HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

Heroine overdosers

Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

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And In Another Corner Of The States, A Different Kind of Cop

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Earlier today I had a bit of fun in a post about a police officer's carelessness -- he shot himself -- for the second time. You can't blame a snarky guy like me for writing about it, especially when he took no responsibility for his actions, blaming his fleece jacket for the self-inflicted shooting.

Now I've been made aware of this viral Facebook story which seems to be a perfect counter-balance to the earlier post.

A young boy, 10 year old Jermaine Ford in Rosenberg Texas, had no one to toss a football to or play with. He was a prime candidate to have an unhappy ending to his afternoon -- gangs, predators or maybe even the cops.

That forecast turned out to be prescient.

Yet in this case, the cop was Officer Ariel Soltura. His actions are something young Jermaine will never forget, nor should any of us. Officer Soltura, spotting the lone child, pulled his patrol car over. No surprise there. He got out and approached the boy. Still no surprise. But what happened next is humanity demonstrated on the highest level. He showed the boy compassion and care. Watch him on his dash cam to see what he did next and why he's becoming known as a hero for his actions.

Want to have faith in the police? Watch this video.

Drop Officer Soltura a like or a note if you approve on Facebook right HERE.

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Guilty of Waiting For The School Bus While Black

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three students arrested for being black

Ah, racial profiling, Will it ever end?

Looks like New York City, with Bill deBlasio coming in this January, might finally be safe for minorities to walk the sidewalks without fear of random and humiliating, arbitrary police stops. Certainly Mike Bloomberg and his police Chief Kelly were all for stop and frisk and the terror it inflicted on their city. But up state, in Rochester, things have gone even further. It's stop and arrest -- skipping the frisk part.

Three Black high school kids, waiting for the school bus to come and take them to basketball practice were arrested a week ago when police officer told them to “disperse,” even though witnesses said they did nothing wrong.

Disperse? Isn't that usually a term usually reserved for crowds, mobs and unruly gangs? It's hardly appropriate for three high school students waiting at an established bus stop for their bus. Isn't that why they call it a bus stop? They boys explained why they were there and that's when the police did what they set out to do initially. They arrested these three Black teenage boys.

Oh, did I mention that all three are honor students as well as athletes? And did I forget to say that none of them had ever been arrested before?

This is what happens when racists are cops. I bet a simple, "We're waiting for the school bus" would have been fine if these were white kids. But they weren't. And as such, they were singled out.

The police have their own account of this incident. According to WROC-TV:

A police report claimed that the boys were blocking “pedestrian traffic while standing on a public sidewalk…preventing free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store…Your complainant gave several lawful clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without complaince [sic].”

Coach Scott [also African-American] arrived just as the boys were being handcuffed and was also threatened with arrest.

“He [the police officer] goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,’” Scott recalled. “I said, ‘Sir, I’m the adult. I’m their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?’”

Check out this short news piece to get the fuller story -- but this kind of bulls**t has got to stop.

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Identifying Rapist Lands Victim In Jail

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Norma Esparza

Sometimes justice gets it right. Other times they get it all wrong. Here's an mind-boggling example of the latter. Now there may be some sticky stuff to this story, but the devil is in the details.

Some 18 years ago, a woman named Norma Esparza, now 39, was a victim of rape. She confessed this to her then boyfriend Gianni Van, though she was afraid to go to the police to make a report for fear she'd be made the victim, as so many women/men before her. Esparza was forced by her boyfriend to identify her accused attacker. They went to a bar where this attack has taken place and she pointed out Gonzalo Ramirez to Van. From there he took justice into his own hands.

DailyMailOnline:

Van went on to get revenge for the sexual assault by kidnapping Mr Ramirez and stabbing him to death.

Ms Esparza, from California now living in France, today proclaimed her innocence before she was taken into custody in Orange County.

This story isn't quite that simple, though. Esparza didn't learn until recently that Ramirez had been killed. What she did know was this:

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed, Mr Mancillas (Esparza's current husband) said.

After this she was pressured to marry Van so she could not be bound to testify against him.

She fled to Europe where her education continued until she got her doctorate and became a professor. She stayed in Europe to teach, got divorced from Mr.Van and since married. She's now the mother of a four year old daughter.

Things seemed to be fine until she returned to the US for a visit recently. Upon entering, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Esparz and daughter

The mother-of-one has now been jailed after rejecting a manslaughter plea deal offered by prosecutors who allege she encouraged the murder of Ramirez by pointing him out to Van at a Santa Ana bar 18 years ago.

This just seems to be the story of an innocent victim who's life has gone from bad to very bad to even worse. But is this her fault or the fault of the system that makes reporting a crime such a horrific ordeal?

Ms. Esparza should have taken the risks and probable humiliation that millions are made to endure and reported this degrading crimes. But she didn't. She merely pointed him out to her boyfriend and believed he and some friends had beaten him for his crime and he was let go. She didn't give her boyfriend an order, a gun or knife and dispatch him to the ultimate revenge. This wasn't an episode of Dexter.

Murder is wrong. Period. But arresting the victim for identifying the alleged rapist, then accusing her of complicity in his murder is not the way to improve the already sagging confidence any victim of any crime has in police and their procedures. The accused rapist deserved his opportunity to defend himself in court -- not to be a murder victim based on deranged vigilantes. But if we want this kind of thing to stop, maybe it's time to look at why women, and to be fair, men, are reluctant to report such heinous crimes.

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