The Police State is Spinning Out of ControlNovember 7th, 2012
What the hell is going on? I leave the country for a couple of weeks and when I get back there’s like 5 times the police abuse stories I’m used to. Typically I’ll string together three stories in any given month and I’ll ask, “What does a police state look like?” I generally try to handle the question with kid-gloves because I know for most people the term “Police State” triggers all kinds of cognitive dissonance and they’ll just stop listening. But it’s getting so bad, and so common, I’m starting to think we don’t have time for kid-gloves anymore. So, new approach. This time I’m not pulling punches. Just pure escalation. Because if people don’t look squarely at this problem, and soon, it’s going to be too late to do anything to prevent it.
If you’re paying any attention at all you know the executing family pets is standard operating procedure police during a home invasion. It’s hard to even act surprised or shocked when I hear news of another dog being shot. And even though they will claim it’s a matter of officer safety, I’ve seen them kill caged dogs that were no threat to them. I’ve even seen them kill kittens. But I know lots of you haven’t been paying attention, so here’s another one.
Omaha police blocked off a street to look for an armed suspect. Meanwhile Chris Schulte was out walking his family dog, Teela, a Labrador, golden retriever mix. Ignoring orders to stop, Chris walked toward the search area on his way home. Chris was arrested. Teela was murdered.
Officers at the scene report that the dog became growled at officers and “showed its teeth.” So, of course the shooting was justified. But Chris insists the dog was not threatening and not being aggressive. Teela was also still on her leash.
Who are you going to believe? Luckily you don’t have to believe either of them. Tim Wagner captured video of the incident from inside his home with a night vision security camera. Wagner said, “The dog didn’t stand a chance. The dog did nothing aggressive. I’ve lived next to this dog two and a half years and it’s one of the best dogs.”
In Largo, Florida a group of players organized a monthly poker tournament at their local Sports Bar, Louie’s Grill. They called themselves the Nutz Poker League and they were running a free game that was open to the public. They became the subject of an investigation, but that doesn’t mean a detective showed up and started asking questions. “Investigation” actually means a full blown raid, complete with riot gear, black masks and weapons drawn.
One blogger who was present described the raid in a post titled “The Government is Full of Shenanigans.” It’s well worth a read. She describes being harassed for trying to check her glucose (something diabetics need to do often), watching her mother being arrested (who was not even a player) and officers threatening to arrest her for asking questions.
Six players who were arrested and received felony charges that could carry five year prison sentences. In addition, officers ordered players to delete cell phone photos and video of the raid. The Nutz Poker League facebook page described the raid as, “Tyrannical law enforcement.”
Niko Black suffers from a rare, malignant and metastatic form of cancer. When she saw the Orange County Sheriff’s Department storming her property she crawled from her bed to her wheelchair and went to her door. She refused to let them in, insisting that the court order she had obtained should have prevented them from carrying out the eviction, but the deputies were in no mood for noncompliance. They broke down her door and put a gun to her head. She recounts “I’m sitting there in my wheel chair. I’m about 100 pounds of shriveled-up cancer and a threat to no one. Sergeant Bob Sima puts a gun to my face, finger on the trigger, no safety and walks around me. There’s no reason, except for to threaten my life, for an intimidation factor, to put a gun to my head.”
The stress worsened her condition and she began having a seizure. She says she needed her medication, but deputies lacked concern for her condition and she was ultimately removed by an ambulance called by a neighbor.
Black’s aggressive cancer has damaged her immune system, which is why all her nursing care, physical therapy and medical equipment are set up in her home, and why a federal judge had put a stay on her eviction. She alleges that the eviction was conducted with fraudulent paperwork.
Lisa Messina called police because her 16-year-old son Andrew was threatening to commit suicide. His mother asked the 911 operator to only send on car, but Atlanta police arrived with riot gear, a sniper and an armored tank. An hour later her son was dead, but not by his own hands. The sniper, set up in a neighbor’s yard, shot and killed Andrew through an open window. Police of course said the shooting was justified because Andrew had a pistol.
Andrew asked the negotiator he was speaking with to put his father on the phone, but that didn’t happen. Chuck Pekor, the family’s attorney, said “We have not been able to find any justification whatsoever for that Cherokee County Sheriff sniper to shoot Andrew Messina. Zero.”
The list just keeps going…
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