Tag: police raids

Asheville Police Officers Beat and Tase a Man for Jaywalking

By James Sweet III | Asheville

In the City of Asheville, North Carolina, a dramatic video has emerged of two cops pursuing and blatantly assaulting Johnnie Jermaine Rush, a man that committed “four crimes” of jaywalking, according to one of the cops involved.

The encounter between Rush and the two police officers, specifically Chris Hickman and another unnamed officer, took place in the August of 2017. In the video taken from a body camera, the officers are following Rush after they previously asked him to stop jaywalking. They pulled their car over and confronted Rush. Rush was visibly extremely distressed.

All I’m trying to do is go home, man.

The officer that confronted Rush was initially calm, stating he committed jaywalking four times and that the accused criminal could either be arrested or given a ticket. Rush tells the officer to do what he has to do, accusing the officer of harassment. Rush gets frustrated, cursing at the officer while stating that he is being harassed merely for walking. This makes Hickman approach the man, telling him to put his hands behind his back. This is when Rush begins to back away, and runs to a nearby parking lot. Hickman pulls out his taser, talking on the radio and to Rush.

You’re going to get f**ked up hardcore.

While Rush was being restrained, he exclaims that he cannot breathe. In response, Hickman hits him in the head, while the other officer helps subdue and arrest him.

Hickman, who was awarded the departments medal of honor in 2014, resigned in January. Chief Tammy Hooper has confirmed this and has offered up her own resignation as well. The department launched an investigation into the matter in January, and the FBI is also conducting their own investigation.

Concerns are being raised about how the video got leaked, however, to the Citizen Times, the newspaper that initially reported on the incident. District Attorney Todd Williams believes that someone should look into how the video was leaked. He also went as far as suggesting that it could warrant a criminal investigation.

Racism may have been involved, as Rush was a black male, while the cops were both white, although this is not certain. It is certain, however, that there was an unjust law that was enforced in a violent manner upon a hard working, tax paying American citizen.

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Baltimore Cops Busted for Planting Fake Guns

By Will Arthur | United Staes

Within the past two weeks, the Baltimore judicial system has been quite busy, to say the least. Trial day 1 as reported by the Baltimore Sun brought enough evidence and reputable testimonial quotes to justifiably send a large sum of the police force to prison. One of the scariest tactics used by Baltimore cops, told by detective Maurice Ward (an officer in the Gun Trace Task Force), being to carry BB/fake/toy guns in their cars so that, in the scenario that an unarmed or innocent person was killed by the cops, one of these fake guns could be planted on the murder victim. Whether this technique was ever used was not has not been found yet.

Later throughout that day and the next days, it was found that the Baltimore police had numerous techniques to wrongfully chase, search, arrest, detain, and attack individuals. A few examples being speeding the cars into groups of people and stopping quickly to see who runs (to have a “reason” to arrest someone), targeting drivers of Honda cars, selling confiscated drugs, and stealing money from peoples safes. A full report of even more tactics used can be viewed in this court document from 2016.

These acts display the massive amounts of systematic corruption in the current police force. It is not just that the cops were killing, stealing, and ruining people’s lives. It is that they do it and they know exactly what they are doing. They understand that they are killing innocent individuals. Instead of owning up to their crimes (like a rational adult would), they think it is okay to blame the dead victim (that can not speak up for themselves) by planting a fake gun on them. These Baltimore police officers were able to do this because they were given the power to and until now it was ignored.

The fact that these Baltimore police officers knew that if they planted fake guns on their victims then they would be able to walk away freely also says quite a bit about the system. In the country of America (the most gun friendly country in the world) it is found okay for cops to walk around trigger happy ready to pull out a gun on any individual holding/being near a toy gun (note to self never call 911 when in the boys toy section at any store).  Which does not really sound like a gun friendly country at all.


Image from vox.

Is There Such a Thing as a Good Cop?

By Will Arthur | USA

In today’s times, it feels like at least a few times a year a cop kills a citizen or video footage comes out that a cop killed a citizen in the past. Every time news comes out of a murder like this there are protests and much outspoken opposition: whether marches, celebrities speaking out, or social media banter. Typically, these protests revolve around the idea that the whole police force needs serious fixing and reconstruction because people being wrongly killed by police is a serious problem. In response, Conservatives and Republicans say back to these protests that “one cop does not represent the rest”, “one bad decision does not define the group, or “not all cops are bad”. These responses from the right wing need serious considering. Specifically, the phrase “not all cops are bad”. Is there really a good cop?

Another common argument the right side uses is that cops are only doing their job; they have the best intentions in mind. Cops cannot be blamed for the actions of themselves because they are only taking orders from higher-ups. Cops have the best intentions but can only do what they are told. This idea that cops can get away with terrible actions because they are just taking orders is ridiculous and goes with the saying “if someone told you to jump off a bridge would you?” No, cops should be able to logically think about what they are told to do and determine if the orders are good or bad. They should be held to the standard that every other employee is held to.

There was another side to the argument besides that cops should not be blamed for the orders they follow: cops have the best intentions. This part of the argument may very well be true for many cops. Some may just want to protect and serve the taxpayers the best way they can. While the opposite may also be true for a few police officers.

These arguments may bring another option to the table, however. It may be that yes, most of the people in police officer roles are overall good people and want to do the best for society, but the job/position of being a police officer today is not good for society.

To validate this claim that the job of a police officer may not be good for society we would have to look at where police officer’s orders are coming from. Well, police officers do not technically pledge an oath to a person, but to a thing: the law. Police officers swear to execute and enforce every law passed by the United States government. For a cop’s job to be positive to society, one would have to agree with every single law passed in America. Whether the law is putting people in jail for using cannabis, fining someone for pumping their own gas in New Jersey, unconstitutionally seizing citizens by means of the PATRIOT act, and nearly an endless amount of other unjust laws.

It is not that every single person in the position of police officer is a bad person (even though some definitely are) or that the idea of wanting to protect and serve society is a bad idea. Wanting to protect and serve people is an admirable thing to do. The problem with today’s police force, however, is that they hold the job of enforcing all of the government’s laws and regulations, and many (arguably most) laws and regulations are flawed and unjust. Until the laws are cleaned up and give the citizens their natural rights back the police force will be doing a disservice to society and be inherently bad.

Police Brutality and Minority Struggle: Ending the Blame Game

By Greg Stephan | USA

Minorities are, in modern times, facing a lot of problems right here in the good ol’ United States of America.  From drugs to being shot by police to financial instability, these issues are racking many, however not all, minority communities in America.  Children are coming home to see their father on TV, shot dead by police.  People are dying left and right from drug overdoses and gun violence.  These issues are pretty much undisputed in existence, however, the real controversy lies in what the objective root problem is of this issue.  Many people may believe this would be systemic racism within America, others may believe it’s the race of the minorities; however, under further scrutiny, neither example is the case at all.

One issue used to back up the belief that racism of both blatant and subtle forms within our government is the core problem would be minority-dominated school districts getting less funding, thus setting up students in America’s predominantly minority districts to be more likely to fail in life and underachieve.  Racism within government and donating businesses is typically where the blame is placed, however, many fail to regard that most school districts get funding in accordance to the district’s own tax income, determined by the tax collected by the population within the district.  In other words, it’s the fact that most predominantly minority communities are poorer and more crime-ridden than predominantly white communities that causes the low school funding.  Now that we can knock racism out of the way for this issue, we can now dismantle the other extreme, for the true blame is no more on systemic racism than it is on minority races themselves.

The reason for the cause of the school district issue is not racism, nor it is the colors of the dominant races in a community.  What it is, however, is the culture and popular (yet masochistic in the long-term) choices individuals are pressured to make.  Poorer, crime-riddled, minority-dominated communities are more often than not filled to the brim with “ghetto culture”.  This subculture heavily promotes the use of drugs, gangs, street violence, black-on-black crime, and disregard of individual responsibility through various forms of media and action.  Because these drugs and gangs and other forms of street culture, individuals are showing to choose lives of crime, drugs, fraternization, and irresponsibility.  Choosing getting high off of lean and having unprotected sex with your friend’s significant other over finishing college and having a career outside of crime is considered cool and has been normalized by these cultures.  Making these decisions are what make people poor and put families in jeopardy.  Now, whites typically don’t engage as much in these cultures and are, more often than not, not stuck in ghettos and in failing school systems, however some do in fact choose to go down the route of ghetto culture and become irresponsible and, in turn, poor; in conclusion it is not racism nor race that is the cause of this issue, moreover the culture of the individuals claiming to be oppressed.

This trend of the more commonly brought up issues to back a more progressive standpoint on the topic of minority struggle always connecting back to ghetto culture’s influence on minority individuals is seemingly getting more apparent as time passes.  To name just a couple, the high rate of minority crime compared to white crime?  Ghetto culture (which is more popular amongst minority communities) glorifies, normalizes, and popularizes crime not just in the form of art, but also in reality.  High drug consumption/production/selling?  Ghetto culture realizes glorified, normalized drug use, not to mention glorification of gang violence and gangs selling and producing drugs for profit.  Poorer communities constantly on welfare?  Ghetto culture promotes throwing individual responsibility out the window in favor of constantly living life as a hardass teenager who goes to parties instead of class (which coincidentally is also promoted through ghetto culture).

The most socially significant issue minorities are facing, one that simply cannot be left unaddressed is the problem of police brutality against minorities.  Is the reason for cops shooting blacks and other minorities to their deaths always, without a doubt, racism?  Well, no (and I will get to that part in a bit), however, there’s no arguing that a few of these incidents were, in fact, hate crimes.  Dealing in absolutes, however, and saying that every officer-on-minority attack is unjustified or simply racism, would be factually inaccurate as not every police officer that has had to use his or her gun on a minority is inherently racist.  The reason why we see so much “racist” police brutality on the media is because the media can easily make money off of tragedy and hot talking points; police brutality is one issue that is both.  Blowing these issues out of the water and putting a political media spin on the entire deal is exactly what has gotten the majority of progressives to believe that racist police brutality is something that is seen 24/7 pretty much everywhere when in reality it really isn’t.

Why, one may ask, then would the rates of police brutality acted upon minorities significant in comparison to the total American racial minority population?  Well, a good answer for that would be that minorities simply have more run-ins with the police, thus upping the chances of violence and/or brutality.  If for instance black Americans, only make up 13% of the population yet commit 50% of America’s violent crime, then this is a far higher crime rate than white America, thus resulting in more run-ins with police by black folk and in turn, resulting in a higher likelihood of police brutality.  This, in statistics, is called “The Law of Large Numbers”; a vague description of LLN would be that the more times an experiment or event occurs (in this case, minorities running in with police and committing crimes) the higher the probability of a certain outcome becomes (in this case police brutality against minorities).

The reason for such high crime rates resulting in higher likelihood of police brutality?

Ghetto culture.

Ghetto culture promotes committing violent, self-destructive crime against not only other minority individuals but police officers as well, as previously stated several times.  In conclusion, ghetto culture can be linked back to almost every issue currently facing minority communes.  It’s a lot easier to blame others for your own failures to be up-to-par with individual responsibility, especially when your culture romanticizes and falsely justifies it.  Minority communities in America need to focus on independently fixing themselves and reforming the mass amounts of toxic street culture that has become self-evident, not blaming whites for all of their issues.  In the end, the real problem is not racism, nor is it inferiority in race, as we are all individuals with our own unique abilities and disabilities, most of whom being completely capable of fulfilling personal responsibilities.  For an able individual can only be helpless in success and rehabilitation when a society around it blindly claims it’s “cool” and “normal” the way it is.

27-Year-Old Killed in Call of Duty Prank by Police

By Jason Patterson | USA

On Friday, Los Angeles police arrested Tyler Barriss. Who was the “prankster” who called 911 and made up a story about a kidnapping in Wichita, ABC 7 reported.

Barriss reportedly gave police the House address he believed the other gamer lived.

In the call, the caller said his father had been shot in the face and that he was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint. The caller added that he poured gasoline into the home and “might just set it on fire.”

The address was for the home of Andrew Finch, 28, was completely innocent and not even involved with playing call of duty, he was also later killed.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston, speaking at a news conference, said the prank call was a case of “swatting,” in which a person makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend on an address.

“Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” Livingston said. He said no one has been arrested in connection with the hoax.

When officers arrived at the scene, Finch opened the door for the officers. As police told him to put his hands up, Finch moved a hand toward the area of his waistband – a common place where guns are concealed. An officer, fearing the man was reaching for a gun, fired a single shot. Finch died a few minutes later at a hospital and was found to be unarmed, Livingston said.

The officer who fired the shot, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.

Police did not disclose the name of the man shot Thursday evening but Lisa Finch, Andrew’s mother, identified him. She told reporters Friday her son was not a gamer.

“What gives the cops the right to open fire?” she asked. “That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”

Finch, described by his mother as a “very kind and caring” man who would “do anything for his family,” leaves behind two children, ages 2 and 7.

Livingston on Friday said investigators had made good progress tracking online leads.

Dexerto, an online news service focused on gaming, reported that the series of events began with an online argument over a $1 or $2 wager in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG Gaming, which operates online tournaments including one involving “Call of Duty.”

“We woke this morning to horrible news about an innocent man losing his life,” UMG spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an email to The Associated Press. “Our hearts go out to his loved ones. We are doing everything we can to assist the authorities in this matter.” She declined to disclose other details.

In addition to the 911 call, police also released a brief video of body camera footage from another officer at the scene. It was difficult to see clearly what happened.

The FBI estimates that roughly 400 cases of swatting occur annually, with some using caller ID spoofing to disguise their number.