Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Police State: To Serve and Protect

"A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Doublethink is what George Orwell described as "a vast system of mental cheating." And when people continue insisting we're not living in a police state or that law enforcement misconduct and use of excessive force are necessary to protect our freedoms they've engaged in doublethink.

Some will remember a time when police misconduct, brutality, and willful violations of citizens' Constitutional rights didn't occur on the scale of what we see today. And before this writer proceeds in giving some of the examples from the web, it's pertinent to say not all law enforcement officers (LEO) have engaged in such misconduct.

Moreover, those willing to point out police misconduct are not saying the entirety of law enforcement is involved. Rather, it's the totality of collusion by corrupt and unethical LEO, fellow officers, supervisors, and prosecutors who knowingly choose nondisclosure and refuse to remove and prosecute such LEO which represents the problem. And it's indicative of major failings, and lack of accountability to the public when multiple perpetrators on various levels are responsible for misconduct. This reveals a police state. Law enforcement officers engaged in actions under the color of law, and operating with impunity, are dangerous to all of us.

It appears a majority of citizens were unaware of the extent of militarization of police forces until the protests and riots occurred in Ferguson, Missouri last year following Officer Darren Wilson's shooting and killing of an unarmed 18-year old black man, Michael Brown. The militarization of LEO under the Federal 1033 Program wasn't a major focus of mainstream media prior to Ferguson.

Wonder how many have even contacted elected representatives requesting termination of the 1033 program and militarization of police forces, and immediate pursuit for police accountability. This writer has, and thus far received correspondence from only two: Senator Angus King, and Maine House of Representative Jethro D. Pease (a member of Maine's Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee).

No acknowledgement to written concerns about the 1033 Program and police misconduct have yet been received (in approximately 6 months now) from any other elected representatives from my district, all the other representatives on Maine's Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, Senator Susan Collins, and Representative Chellie Pingree.

However, past correspondence to Governor LePage, albeit on a different issue, resulted in response. Therefore, it's my opinion the majority of our representatives, although quick to request a vote, do little to nothing to represent citizens once elected; hence the moniker "sock puppet". Further, there doesn't appear to be enough concern by our elected officials regarding the militarization of local police and elaborate drills conducted in conjunction with military taking place in many areas across the nation.

Retired USMC Colonel, Mr. Martino from Concord, New Hampshire, has recognized the patterns and publicly warned people the U.S. government has been building a domestic army.

"We're building a domestic military because it's unlawful, or unconstitutional, to use American troops on American soil (see Posse Comitatus). So what we're doing is we're building a military...Homeland Security is pre-staging gear, equipment consistent (with building a domestic military)...what they're trying to do is use standardized gear, standardized equipment...Let's not kid about it; we're building a domestic army and we're shrinking the military because the government is afraid of its own citizens."

Along with equipping local police departments with military-grade weapons, night-vision gear, MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles), etc., the hiring methods of LEO has changed over the years and honed to ensure characteristics of individuals deemed more suitable for a police state as detailed by Jerome Skolnick's Theory of working personality (criminologist and author of Justice Without Trial: Law Enforcement In a Democratic Society 1966). According to Skolnick three elements create a policeman's working personality: danger, authority, and efficiency (Ann Freeman, "The Working Personality of Police Officers"). From Ann Freeman's article we learn that Skolnick discovered:

"...there are 'distinct cognitive tendencies' in police as an occupational grouping. This analysis can be found similar among departments across the country and across the world (Skolnick, 1966). This 'working personality' creates the subculture of the police, which Skolnick continually refers to."

"...Skolnick further states, 'Deception is considered by the police to be acceptable in many aspects of their job. A cop learns to back up the stories colleagues tell to superiors and investigators; in turn he is confident colleagues will back him up (Skolnick, 2000). This is sometimes referred to as the “blue wall of silence.” A police officer may find himself stuck between the “blue wall of silence” and the need to notify his or her superiors of any police misconduct. An officer does not want to tell on another officer and be labeled a “rat”. This label can follow an officer for the length of his/her career if he or she would choose to reveal information about a co-worker and their misconduct. Skolnick states that the blue wall of silence can cover-up and possibly encourage violations of civil rights and small less extreme incidents of violence and abuse. These actions may only be uncovered if there is pressure from an internal investigation or the threat of prosecution (Skolnick, 2000).”

If deception is considered by police as acceptable, and this study by Skolnick is available, then an LEO shouldn't be considered more truthful than the ordinary person in court simply because he's employed as such.

Further, it would seem the courts and citizens would also prefer all LEOs to be intelligent. However, the hiring process instead appears to be a method of determining the desired "distinct cognitive tendencies" Skolnick refers to and as evidenced by the Wunderlic/Wonderlic (Personality and Aptitude Career Test). According to web news, some candidates were deemed too intelligent, and not considered for hire because it was said they'd become bored in their job as a police officer.

It's reasonable to believe that militarization of police coupled with purposeful search of people possessing distinct cognitive tendencies has lead to deceptions, cover-ups, abuses, fraud, violence, and violations of citizens' rights in a frightening combination. Perhaps this is why we're observing an escalation of LEO misconduct and the police state which continues to exist. The mandates are coming from the top down in order to reach a goal; and as USMC-R Colonel Martino observes it's obvious the goal is to create a domestic army against U.S. citizens.

Increasing police misconduct and use of excessive force appears prevalent; and the graphic images and news is extremely disturbing; one is in serious denial or doublethink not to see it.

SWAT raids began in 1969 in an LAPD shootout with the Black Panthers. There are approximately 50,000 SWAT teams across the U.S. predominantly used in nonviolent, misdemeanor drug cases. The number of SWAT raids increased from 3,000 in 1981 to 50,000 in 2005 with 40 innocent people and 20 nonviolent offenders killed in raids since 1995. Police brutality and misconduct occurs across the board, not just in SWAT raids; some examples of the police state include:
  • Charlton Police Sgt. Dan Dowd going to the home of a 5-year old girl for overdue books;
  • A 70-year old Utah woman is wrestled to the ground and arrested for failing to maintain her lawn in accordance with city standards;
  • A 22-year old with Downs Syndrome is beaten by police;
  • SWAT Raid on a Columbia, Missouri home; dogs shot, child in the house, no marijuana found;
  • Former Marine, Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., 68-years old in White Plains, New York is tasered, hit with shotgun beanbags, shot and killed when a SWAT team was sent to his house after Mr. Chamberlain accidentally triggered his medical alert system;
  • LEO (women and men deputies) are videotaped forcefully strip searching a woman after she requested help following an assault, LEO left her naked for 6 hours (no blanket), the woman said it felt like she'd been raped;
  • Police in Hollywood, Florida caught on dash cam framing a young woman to cover for another officer who'd slammed his cruiser into the back of the woman's car;
  • LEO caught on video threatening to make up evidence against two innocent young men in Seattle, Washington. LEO said, "You're going to jail for robbery that's all...I'm gonna make stuff up." Both men were assaulted by the officer, but no dash cam video was available; it's reported tens of thousands of dash cam videos are lost ("vanishing videos") by the department
And these incidents are just a very small fraction of LEO misconduct, brutality, and excessive force in our country. A police state isn't what most of us envision for the future of our children and grandchildren, but without some immediate changes and accountability for all LEO's behaviors, supervisors and prosecutors involved the police state will not simply go away - and best to begin locally. If anyone thinks Brunswick is really the Town of Perfect and police brutality and violations of citizens' Constitutional rights don't occur, start looking; there's a history which is covered-up.

This writer leaves you with another "disappearing" message from The Forecaster comments in December 2014 (similar to the one from "Smells Like Agenda 21 in Brunswick", January 13, 2015). Seems most would want to know what's going on, why there's no investigation, and why local newspapers (The Times Record and The Forecaster) are not reporting:

"Protect Brunswick Children • 2 hours ago
Chew H Bird - thanks for the post and sharing your own experiences with being bullied. When I read your comments about your own experience being bullied, it actually makes me sad for you. Somehow, you seemed to learn at an early age that if you spoke up and complained, it was going to make the situation worse. And for a young child, I always want kids to feel that adults DO care and they Will help. So, I wish you had NOT had your experiences and you will consider empathy with another child who like you was also bullied. If this were YOUR child or grandchild or perhaps the kid in your neighborhood who delivered your paper, you would fret about them. You would want to know they feel safe.

Most adults that were bullied clearly remember many of the incidents - very clearly - for the rest of their life. Decades later, they can often clearly remember where they were and exactly what the bullies looked like. All of us who care - truly care - about kids don't want anyone being bullied.

Perhaps the woman who contacted the Maine Human Rights Commission did so out of frustration that no higher authorities in the Brunswick school department were doing their job? The fact that this case has escalated to the Maine Human Rights Commission DOES indicate the Superintendent is clearly AT FAULT. The Superintendent should NEVER have allowed it to get so bad that the parent had to appeal to the Maine Human Rights Commission for legal assistance. If she asked for help to make it stop and if teachers were willing to help BUT the superintendent was the problem, place the blame squarely on the Superintendent. And let's not forget those publicly elected School Committee members. Between the Superintendent and School Committee, these folks can be more slippery than an eel greased in Crisco. Of course, the Superintendent and School Committee will practice their "hints" that the mother is suing for MONEY as this is what the taxpayers are worried about - and should be worried about. Just consider how small towns can have information - or misinformation - spread to benefit the public leaders in charge. It is called persuading the public.

The next question is: did the Superintendent contact Brunswick Police Chief Rizzo and did Rizzo investigate complaints of sexual assault involving a minor? If Rizzo was contacted, did he refuse to investigate? Were the bullies the children of "influential" people in Brunswick? Rizzo has a pattern of not investigating certain people in Brunswick - this is called 2 standards of justice. And Rizzo's buddy Brunswick Police Captain Mark Waltz is in charge of sexual assaults. Knowing the excellent men and women of the Brunswick Police Patrol, Sargeant and Lieutenant staff, they would have been very willing to help. We all know these folks - and they are GREAT. Every one of them would help out in a second.

But, if Captain Mark Waltz became informed, did he refuse to investigate a child being sexually assaulted? Were the aggressors children of "influential" families? There are already serious complaints involving Rizzo and Waltz "Dancing with the Stars" with their close buddies at the Brunswick Town Council and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust. Angela Twitchell needs to be investigated - and should be for bullying Brunswick seniors and residents to she can financially exploit them to benefit a small group of residents in Pennellville and a small group of attorneys, real estate appraisal specialists and real estate title search services. Maine Human Rights Commission, pay attention to this story as it continues to unfold. There is violation of another Brunswick person's civil rights going on, right now and the female from Pennellville is NOT looking to sue. She is looking for public accountablility, a full and impartial investigation and justice.

Rizzo and Waltz have REFUSED to investigate persons who have targeted the female in Pennellville whlie she has appeared to be ALONE on her private property. The Brunswick Police Patrol staff have been very willing to help the woman BUT Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge and the entire Brunswick Town Council have not responded. Is the new strategy, recommend by the newly hired (and taxpayer funded) attorney to "REMAIN SILENT"? And why exactly was former Town Manager Gary terminated? Did he refuse to go along with illegal activity?

Finally, the really big question is why hasn't publicly elected Cumberland County District Attorney Stepanie Anderson being questioned for why she refused to help this mother prevent her child from being sexually assaulted? Whoa...the DA refused to help? Sexual assault is a crime, right? And Stephanie Anderson, former Brunswick native, spent so much time in New York City investigating homicides. Does she forget she is NOT just an attorney in private practice, making money like so many local attorneys (including Brunswick Police Captain Mark Waltz!) but Stephanie Anderson is the pubicly elected DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF CUMBERLAND COUNTY.

PS - Stephanie Anderson refused to return any phone calls to the female in Pennellville. Why not?

Prosecutorial bias anyone?"

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Comments are appreciated. We can agree to disagree; ideas are welcomed, but name-calling isn't. "I don't care what car you drive, where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this years' cutting edge. If your trust fund is unlimited. If you are A-list, B-list or never heard of you list. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own..." Chris Duane.