Rabu, 04 April 2012

"Necessary Force"

(Minor clarification below)

“I always thought police were nothing but good and werethere to protect people,” testifies Elizabeth Polak, a registered nurse fromPhoenix. Her view of the State’s enforcement caste changed dramatically as aresult of what she witnessed in Denver on the evening of March 25, 2008.

Polak, returning to her apartment following her daily jog,saw a man and a woman having an unremarkable conversation near the entrance tothe building.  Two police officersappeared – a development always pregnant with trouble – and approached thecouple. From a distance of about 100 feet, Polak saw the officers stride purposefullytoward the man, who was later identified as James Moore.

“The officers did not stop and have a conversation with Mr.Moore,” she later recounted in a sworn affidavit. “The officers walked up tohim and instantaneously punched Mr. Moore. Prior to being punched, there was noresistance or non-cooperation on his part. Mr. Moore was not given the chanceto comply with any orders, if any were given. It appeared that the police wereon a mission to walk up to Mr. Moore and punch him.” 

Shocked and terrified by the assault on Moore, the woman –his girlfriend, Julie Gomez – repeatedly exclaimed: “You have the wrong people!”Moore, who had been knocked to the ground, did what he could to avoid ordeflect the blows directed at him by the assailants. 

The attack on Moore “appeared to be completely unprovokedand at no time was Mr. Moore fighting back,” Polak – who has never spoken withthe victim – related in her affidavit. “At no time did Mr. Moore try to attack anofficer. At no time did Mr. Moore try to reach for an officer’s weapon. Mr.Moore was surprisingly calm.” 

“I did try to stay calm,” Moore, a Special Forces combatveteran, recalled to Pro Libertate. “Ijust tried to assure myself that the beating would eventually stop, and I justhad to endure it patiently. But it didn’t stop.” 

The assailants, Officers Shawn Miller and John Robledo ofthe Denver Police Department, had been summoned to the apartment building by anoise complaint from a neighbor after Moore – who has been diagnosed withPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder – had a somewhat tumultuous breakdown uponlearning of a friend’s death in Afghanistan. (Moore, who was a Ron Pauldelegate in 2008, has become an unabashed opponent of the Empire.) After decidinga change of scenery was in order, Moore and his girlfriend called a cab andwent outside to wait. An hour later, the cops arrived.

“We were waiting outside the building, when I suddenly hear pounding and rushing footsteps -- then next thing youknow Miller is in my face shouting, `Get your hands out of your pockets! Showme some ID!’” Moore told Pro Libertate.“I said, `Why. what's going on' -- and I was almost simultaneously knocked to the ground before I could finish." Once the beating began, Moore tried to identify himself and point out he was a disabled Vet -- but this availed him nothing.

Moore hit the ground hard – and went very still. Moorerecalled that there was a sudden, brief pause in the assault after blood gushedfrom his face onto the sidewalk. 

“It seems to me that they knew at that point they’d screwedup,” he said. “It was as if, after a second or two, they decided to make itlook as if I had been resisting arrest – which meant that they had to use agreat deal of `necessary force’ to subdue me.” Robledo immediately hog-tied Moore, binding his wrists and ankles in a restraint device -- while Miller continued the assault. When Miller’s hands grew wearyand his knuckles became sore, he extracted a small club and began hittingthe victim in the neck and head.

“I stood in terror watching the beating for about 7-10minutes,” Polak attested. The attack lasted long enough for the young woman toenter her apartment and get to a window. 

During that time, the assailants -- seeking to sustain the fiction that they were subduing adangerous, resisting criminal -- called for "backup." A thugscrum of about ten officers quicklycongealed at the scene. As many as a half-dozen of them helping to restrain theunresisting Moore, who was already hog-tied and remained conscious for roughly half of the amount of time described by Polak.

"Every time I tried to say something, they raised my leg higher into the air behind my back, causing my diaphragm to push into my lungs to shut off my air supply," Moore pointed out. "I could not breathe out, much less breathe in." Even though he was helpless, hog-tied, face-down on the concrete, and suffocating, the police continued to beat him unstintingly while chanting the preferred refrain of the rapist: "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!"

“From the windows inside the complex, I saw Mr. Moore lyinglifeless in his own blood,” Polak narrates. “Officers were still on top of himstriking him with their fists. He was not moving and did not look like he wasbreathing. His face looked caved in.”

Eventually one of the officers – obviously the brightest ofa very dim lot – noticed that 
Moore appeared to be dead, and began toadminister CPR. An ambulance pulled up shortly thereafter and Moore’sapparently lifeless body was taken to the hospital. 

At one point, that body wasliterally lifeless, in a clinical sense: Moore “flatlined”on the sidewalk and had to be medically revived by the EMTs. Polak, lookingat Moore from a distance with the eyes of an RN, couldn’t tell if the victimhad survived: “I called my mom and asked if she would call the police toinquire whether Mr. Moore was alive or dead.”

It’s doubtful that Denver’s, ahem, Finest would have cared much about the fate of a mere Mundane likeJames Moore. The officer who led the unprovoked assault certainly wasn’t troubledby what he had just done.

“After the ambulance left, a fireman used a fire hose towash the blood off the sidewalk,” Polak notes. I also noticed that the sameofficer that was beating him with the club was wiping Mr. Moore’s blood off ofhis club.” 

Swaggering coward Shawn Miller bullies a small, disabled woman.
 That officer’s name, once again, is Shawn Miller. Two daysbefore he committed what was very nearly an act of aggravated homicide againstJames Moore,he and his partner severely beat a pedestrian named Jason Graber, leaving him with a broken knee and a permanent disability.

Concerned that Miller’s reckless driving was putting pedestrians atrisk, Graber gestured for the officer to slow down. This constituted theunforgivable offense called “contempt of cop” – and Graber was brutalized asan act of “street justice.”

In a November 2010 incident in a secure apartment building,Miller cursed at, browbeat, threatened, battered, and abducted a disabled womannamed Doreen Salazar because of her perceived tardiness in buzzing him and hispartner into the residential area. Salazar, who had been advised by the apartment managers never to grantaccess to anyone she didn’t know, and who had difficulty identifying theofficers as police, paused for perhaps a second or two before letting them in.It’s a tragedy that she didn’t understand that police are the most dangerous variety of strangers she's likely to confront.

Security camera video shows Miller snarling at the small,middle-aged woman, pushing her, and cornering her near an elevator. He thenslammed her face-first into the elevator door, handcuffed her, and held her inhis patrol car for about ten minutes – a sadistic act that served no purposeother than to terrorize an uppity Mundane who had failed to respect Miller’ssupposed authority.

“Did you learn your lesson?” a smirking Miller sneered atSalazar after releasing her from the handcuffs.

“Yes, I learned my lesson,” Salazar – who is more of a man thanlittle Shawn will ever be -- replied. “I learned not to open a door for a copever again.”

While that is a sound and commendable policy, it’s inadequateto deal with the threat posed by police officers to those citizens – like James Moore– who actually venture outside their homes on occasion.

Moore underwent a lengthy and expensive hospitalization thatincluded back surgery. While recuperating from the nearly fatal beating, Moorehad to deal with the expense, frustration, and stress resulting from thespurious charges filed against him by the thugs who had beaten him. Inkeeping with standard procedure in such matters, the victim of thisunprovoked, and nearly fatal, attack was charged with Felony Assault on aPolice Officer and Felony Disarming of a Police Officer. It took two years forthe charges to be dismissed.  

Moore in rehab following back surgery.
In March 2010, Moore filed a federal lawsuit against Miller,Robledo, and Denver’s municipal government. During depositions last December,Miller and his boyfriends continued to peddle the fiction that they had subdueda violent, dangerous suspect.

“They’re trying to make me look like Rambo – an unhinged SpecialForces veteran who is a danger to the public,” comments Moore. “Yes, I didserve in a Special Forces unit that saw combat in Afghanistan, but I was acomputer nerd. I was never part of an assault team.”

After returning to the United States in 2004, Moore sufferedfrom combat-related psychological problems -- including post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2006, he sought help from the VA, and was turned down. Shortly thereafter, he attempted suicide. 
By 2008, however, “I was healthy again, and looking forward tolive. Julie and I planned to make a life together, but that ended the nightthat the cops attacked me.” Julie, whose only involvement in the March 25, 2008 incident was to be a witness to the Denver PD's gang assault on her boyfriend, was abducted by the police and slapped with several entirely contrived charges, including assault on an officer, resisting arrest, and "obstruction." While in jail following her arrest, Julie was told that the police would have the couple evicted from their apartment -- and they made good on the threat.

Julie spent the next two years fighting the fraudulent and vindictive charges against her. Although James and Julie are still on cordial terms, theaccumulated trauma of the evening and her subsequent incarceration ended therelationship.

“In his testimony, Miller said that `This was the worstfight I’ve ever been in. This guy must have been trained in martial arts,’”Moore reflects. “He also said that I was a threat because he couldn’t see myhands and I was wearing a hoodie. Neither of those statements is true. I never had my hands in my pockets, and I was actually wearing aNorth Face jacket, not the notorious hoodie.”

Between his medical bills and his legal expenses, Moore –who pulled in a salary north of $100,000 working in Silicon Valley before goingto war – is destitute, living with his father in Oklahoma. He was able togather sufficient funding to travel to southeast Asia in search of alternativetherapies for his back injuries – treatment that cost a great deal less thanconventional methods in the U.S. While the prospect of relocating to Asia wasattractive, Moore points out, “I had to come back here and take care ofbusiness in court.”

Last September, the Denver City Council approved a $225,000 taxpayer settlementwith Jason Graber. U.S. District Judge John Kane, who had dismissed Graber’slawsuit last March, reversed his decision a few months later after it wasdemonstrated that the Denver PD and the municipal government had refused toturn over documents dealing with excessive force complaints – many of them filedagainst Shawn Miller, who remains on duty and has never faced disciplinaryaction of any kind.

Denver’spolice department is amongthe most notoriously abusive agencies of its kind in the Mountain West. Twoyears ago, in the context of growing public outrage over accumulating episodesof criminal assault by police, ChiefGerald Whitman told the local NBC affiliate that "thepolice department is under control" and that it actually receives feweruse-of-force complaints than departments in most other major cities. 

Apparentlythe public is expected to confide in the Chief’s uncorroborated assurances, becausehe is determined to preserve the institutional opacity of his department.

Last fall, Judge Kane issued an order demandingthat the police department turn over all documents dealing with excessive forcecomplaints over the previous eight years, including disciplinary records.Despite fines of $5,000 a day, and Kane’s threat to dispatch U.S. Marshals tocollect the files, the Denver PD and the ruling clique it serves have refusedto comply.  [Clarification: The department, while not in full compliance with the order, has turned over a small fraction of the documents it is required to provide.]

“The people behind this are simply trying to wear me down,”Moore observes. “They want to outlast me, and they have taxpayer money at theirdisposal, while I have next to nothing. They probably assume that I’ll getdesperate and they’ll be able to settle for pennies on the dollar. I, on theother hand, am determined to be the guy who doesn’t cash out – the one whoholds out for real accountability, which means the exposure of all the corruptand criminal things this department has done to innocent people.”

“You know, before this happened I trusted the police,” Mooreconcludes in an ironic echo of the witness who saw him beaten and left for deadon the sidewalk. His experience is just one illustration – albeit an uncommonlyinfuriating one – of the fact that no informed and rational person should evermake that mistake. 

My sincere thanks, once again...

... for every generous donation made to keep Pro Libertate up and running. The books should start arriving by the end of this week. Once again: Everyone who donates $20 or more will receive a personalized copy of Liberty In Eclipse

Your help is urgently needed, and deeply appreciated. Thank you!

VERY IMPORTANT: To avoid any possible confusion, please understand that that I am not soliciting donations for James Moore's legal case against the Denver PD.

Those interested in following James's legal struggles should check out the new Facebook page "Justice for Jimmy," which will be regularly updated with information about his case and similar outrages.

Please be sure to check out Republic magazine -- which is updated daily.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Kamis, 29 Maret 2012

The Hutaree Case: Next Time, They'll Just Send In The Drones

Exonerated Hutaree defendants leave court: Future "seditionists" probably won't get a trial.
Next time the Regime identifies a group of people as “domesticterrorists,” the result might be summary execution, or imprisonment in militarycustody, rather than a trial. This is one very plausible result of thedismissal of “seditious conspiracy” charges against members of Michigan’s Hutareemilitia. 

Thanks to the legal environment created by the NDAA, theFeds won’t have to run the risk involved in submitting the next “domesticterrorism” case to the scrutiny of a court. Now that AttorneyGeneral Eric Hoder has helpfully clarified that “due process” and “judicialprocess” aren’t the same thing, it’s entirelypossible that the next group of American dissidents identified by the SPLC orother self-appointed political watchdog groups as “terrorists” could be targetedby a drone-fired missile or a presidential strike team. 

When asked by Rep. Thomas Graves (R-Georgia) if such "targeted assassinations" could be conducted domestically as well as overseas, FBI Commissar Robert Mueller pointedly refused to rule out the possibility. This was probably welcome news to Leslie Larsen, the FBI Agent who presided over the Hutaree case. 

 "We haven't worked a yearand a half on this investigation and risked [an undercover agent's] life towalk away from this with 3 arrests," groused the secret police investigator two years ago. Atthe time it appeared that the FBI wouldn’t be able to manufacture a criminalconspiracy out of a few trivial firearms violations and a surfeit ofanti-government rhetoric. 

During the past decade, false flag operations targeting disaffected Muslims have become the FBI’s métier. The Hutaree was the first non-Muslim “domestic extremist” groups to be cast as the lead in one of the Bureau’spost-911 Homeland Security Theater productions. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts,who was able to see the plot holes in the FBI’s implausible script, had thecharacter and good sense to dismiss the case with prejudice.

 In her order granting thedefense motion for summary judgment, Roberts – who had previously expressedsevere skepticism regarding the supposed merits of the case – lambasted the Fedsfor repeatedly venturing beyond "inference to pure speculation” and “attemptingto formulate an alternative theory of criminal liability” when it became clearthat they couldn’t provide tangible evidence of intent to commit an overtcriminal act. This resulted in a theory of the case “based primarily on twoconversations … the first on August 13, 2009, and the second on February 20,2010.” 

Hutaree Crackdown: SWAT operators raid a church in Michigan.
 TheHutaree “militia” was a loosely organized group of obscurepeople united by their entirely commendable hostility toward the criminalclique calling itself the United States Government. They apparently shared aset of apocalyptic beliefs about the imminent rise of the Antichrist, and theyengaged in survivalist training in anticipation of the End Times, when theymight confront the necessity to use defensive force against government agents –whether foreign or domestic – in league with the enemy. 

Itwas in the context of this scenario that members of the Hutaree group supposedlyplotted to murder a law enforcement officer and then follow up withopportunistic attacks on other LEOs who would attend the funeral. Thisrepellent terrorist tactic should be familiar to the Feds who investigated the Hutareegroup; after all, the government that employs them has made extensive use ofit. Adetailed report compiled by British and Pakistani journalists hasdocumented that CIA drone-fired missile strikes have killed “dozens of civilians whohad gone to help rescue victims or [who] were attending funerals” thatresulted from earlier missile attacks.

Inorchestrating its phony domestic terrorist plots, the Regime tends to use ascript inspired by its own acts of state terrorism abroad. The Hutaree “plot”to assassinate a cop and then capitalize on the funeral may have been promptedby the federal informant who infiltrated the groupand – acting as a provocateur– thoughtfully offered to teach them how to make improvisedexplosive devices. It may have been stitched together in  post-production by the FBI impresario presidingover this little melodrama. What we know for certain is that it wasnot conceived by the Hutaree activists, nor did they take ownership of it.

Theoriginal indictment – which Judge Roberts eviscerated in a preliminary ruling –accused the Michigan dissidents of making material preparations to carry outspecific criminal acts. When it was shown that there was no evidence to supportthat charge, the Feds shifted their focus and charged them with “seditiousconspiracy,” which consisted of expressing opinions about government corruptionand making physical preparations to for self-defense against criminal violenceperpetrated by government authorities. 

Citinga Supreme Court precedent (Russell v. United States, 1962) holding that theprosecution isn’t “free to roam at large – to shift its theory of criminalityso as to take advantage of each passing vicissitude of the trial,” Robertsobserved that the Feds were not free to “say that the alleged plan set forth[in the original indictment] is irrelevant.” Yet that’s precisely what theyattempted to do.
Althoughthe supposed police assassination plot was central to the case against the Hutaree, “theGovernment did not provide sufficient proof of the existence of a conspiracy atall,” ruled Judge Roberts. “The Government says it is not certain whether theHutaree intended to initiate the conflict, or simply engage in it once it wasinitiated by others.” While Hutaree members frequently engaged in what were describedas “diatribes” against law enforcement, “all of this speech is protected by theFirst Amendment,” Roberts observed. Expressing hatred for the government’senforcement caste “is not the same as seditious conspiracy.”

Underthe Government’s theory of the case, Roberts noted, one could be charged with “sedition”simply through his or her “mere presence at the scene” when a Hutaree activist spokeabout “going to war and killing police.” 

One of the defendants, Tina Mae Stone,was described by the Feds as an “active, engaged and vocal member” of thepurported conspiracy because she overheard two conversations – one regarding aplanned trip to Kentucky by David Stone, Sr. and the federal informant, and a second that took place in an FBI-rented warehouse in which the provocateur “discussedexplosives” with Mr. Stone. 

Thelatter conversation touched on the subject of using coffee cans and winebottles to make improvised explosively formed projectiles (EFPs).  Ms. Stone joked that “she would take one forthe team and drink more wine, presumably so that the bottles could be used tomake explosives,” Roberts recounts. The Feds characterized that wisecrack asevidence that she had “played an active, unhesitant, and continuing role inobtaining materials to use in building EFPs” – despite the fact that she waspresent for only one meeting with the Hutaree co-defendants, and never provided themwith anything. 

Unchained: Michael Meeks hugs his aunt after being set free.
 Followingdismissal of the case, Hutaree defendant Michael Meeks, a 42-year-old formerMarine, saidthat the salient lesson taught by the case was the need for Americans to “watchwhat you say. Even the most innocent of statements can be used against you.” 

Actually,the lesson is that anything said in your presence can beused against you -- and if a sufficiently incriminating remark isn't forthcoming from you or your friends, the Feds can always pay somebody to perform on cue, and on camera.

While the Feds didn’t succeed in imprisoning the Hutareedefendants for life, they were able to steal more than two years of theirrespective lives through pre-trial incarceration. 

AlthoughU.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade – the Madam DeFarge behind this case – wasn’table to feed the defendants to the guillotine, she expressed a measure of vindictive satisfaction that the felony convictions mean “that these defendants will neverbe permitted to possess firearms again.” She also reiterated the Regime’s intentto continue “dismantling” militias and other dissident groups suspected ofimpermissible animosity toward their rulers. 

Once again, thanks to the NDAA –the Obama Regime’s “Law of Suspects” – the Feds will be able to useextra-judicial means to “dismantle” dissident groups in the future. 

 The original Law of Suspects was enacted by France’srevolutionary Jacobin government  on September17, 1793 (as it happened, the sixth birthday of the U.S. Constitution). Thedecree permitted the wholesale imprisonment of several classes of people deemedenemies of the State:

*Those considered “partisans of tyranny” or “enemies of liberty”-- which in the Jacobin lexicon referred to defenders of the monarchy andtraditional institutions;

*Individuals who had been denied “certificates of patriotism”issued by the revolutionary regime;

*Former “civil servants” who had been cashiered by the NationalConvention;

*Former nobles and emigres and their families, if they failed toprovide suitable displays of “devotion to the Revolution”;

*Those who emigrated from France between July 1, 1789 and April 8,1792.

 As David A. Bell of Johns Hopkins Universitypoints out in his study The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth ofWarfare as We Know It, the Law of Suspects -- the template for every modern totalitarian legal system, including the NDAA -- was the enabling actfor the revolutionary Reign of Terror. As is the case with a contemporary Americandeemed an “enemy combatant,” any French citizen branded a Suspect had no rightto appeal that designation. Protests of that kind were probably met with somevariation of the sentimentrecently expressed by Robespierre’s modern disciple, Sen. Lindsey Graham: “Shutup – you don’t get a lawyer!” 

The same concept was adopted by the Soviet Union’s Fundamental Principles of PenalLegislation, which identified the central mission of the state's lawenforcement apparatus (chiefly the Ckeha secret police, which would laterbecome the KGB) as that of identifying, andremoving the threat of, "socially dangerous persons." That missionwas enshrined in Article 58 of the Soviet penal code, which was the foundationof that government’s perpetual war of terror against dissent – and theantecedent to section1031 of the NDAA.

 The law dealing with "socially dangerous persons,"notes the authoritative Black Book of Communism, dealt with "anyactivity that, without directly aiming to overthrow or weaken the Soviet regime,was in itself `an attack on the political or economic achievements of therevolutionary proletariat.' The law thus not only punished intentionaltransgressions but also proscribedpossible or unintentional acts” (emphasis added).

Additionally, the expression "socially dangerous persons" itself wasbased on "extremely elastic categories" that permitted theimprisonment of people in the gulag "even in the absence of guilt."This is because what the Soviet rulers were pleased to call "the law"specified that incarceration, exile, or execution could be employed as means of"social protection" against "anyone classified as a danger tosociety, either for a specific crime thathas been committed or when, even if exonerated of a particular crime, theperson is still reckoned to pose a threat to society." (Emphasisadded.)

Soviet "law" discarded entirely with the idea of punishing overtacts, focusing instead on the supposed motivations of those deemed innatelythreatening to the regime. Note also that the Soviet system was rigged tonullify exculpatory verdicts. Soviet prosecutors, like Federal prosecutorstoday, considered themselves entitled to “shift the theory of criminality” asneeded in order to justify detention of political offenders.

Detention of “socially dangerous persons” was the primaryfunction of the Soviet penal apparatus. As Paul Gregory points out in his book Lenin's Brain,most of the prisoners consigned to the gulag were sent there not because of what they haddone, but because of what the state suspected they could do; they were beingisolated from the rest of society "because of actual or suspected oppositionto the Soviet state” – that is to say, that they had a “general plan” to “opposethe authority” of the government,” as the U.S. “Justice” Department saidof the Hutaree defendants. 

 During the Senate’s discussion of the NDAA’s martial lawprovisions, Sen. Graham warned that Americans suspected of terrorism –  another “elastic” category that can includepractically any kind of organized dissent – should “know what will come yourway – death; detention; prosecution.” 

Under the NDAA, the Regime has the luxury of ignoringthe third option listed by Graham when courts refuse to ratify every conspiracytheory concocted by the Cheka (or, as it’s now know, the FBI).  Or the Feds could simply avoid the messinessassociated with “judicial process” of any kind and implement the Obamaadministration’s policy of executive assassination.

Thankyou so much!

I would like to offer earnest and emphatic thanks toeveryone who has responded so generously to my recent appeal. This really meansa great deal to me and my family. The first batch of personalized copies ofLiberty in Eclipse will be shipped out tomorrow (March 30). Two cases arrived acouple of days ago, and I will continue to send out a copy of the book toanyone who donates $20 or more to Pro Libertate. For non-Pay Pal donations, orto send a mailing address, please contact me (WNGrigg [at] msn [dot] [com]).Once again, thank you, and God bless.

Be sure to check out Republic magazine.

Dum spiro, pugno!

Jumat, 23 Maret 2012

Trayvon Martin and the Cult of Government Supremacy (Update, March 24; Second Update, March 28)

Editorial note: There is a revised and expanded version of this essay at LewRockwell.com.

Nineteen days before Trayvon Martin was gunneddown by self-appointed block “captain” George Zimmerman, Manuel Loggins wasmurdered by an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy in the parking lot of SanClemente High School. Loggins, a deeply religious man, often visited the school to walk on thetrack and discuss the Bible with his daughters, who were with him on themorning he was murdered. 

According to the most recent of several official versionsof the incident, theDeputy was concerned by Loggins’ “irrational” behavior, which involved crashingthrough a gate and attempting to leave the scene. Even this rendering of theepisode, however, doesn’t explain why a Deputy would shoot an unarmed manbehind the wheel of an SUV containing two young girls.
The Deputy initially insistedthat he “felt threatened” by Loggins. Within a day or so of thestory becoming public, the story had undergone a critical revision:  The Sheriff’s Office claimed that Loggins had to be shot in the interestsof “the perceived safety of the children.” 

So zealous were the officers forthe safety of two young girls who had just seen their father murdered in frontof them that the department took them into custody held them incommunicado forthirteen hours while the official narrative was being worked out. In the words of the family’s attorney, “They just incarcerated them.” 

Sgt. Loggins was black; his killer, Deputy Darren Sandberg, iswhite – and he’s back on patrol duty,without facing criminal charges or administrative punishment of any kind. Hisunion, displaying its customary gift for arrogant self-preoccupation, insistsLoggins was entirely to blame.

“It is heartbreaking that ManuelLoggins created a situation that put his children in danger and ultimately costhim his life,” oozed police union spokesperson Tom Dominguez. "It isunfortunate that his actions put his own children into immediate danger andresulted in his death."

That smarmy, dismissivestatement irresistibly reminds me of the radio exchangebetween U.S. troops involved in the Baghdad massacre documented in the“Collateral Murder” video.
Eleven Iraqis were massacred inthe unprovoked attack, and several others – including two small children – wereseriously wounded. 

“Well, it’s their fault forbringing kids into a battle,” one of the murderers snarkily insisted wheninformed that small children were among the victims.
Loggins’s widow gave birth toanother daughter at about the same time she buried her husband. 

Manuel Loggins and his future widow.
While this atrocity garnered agreat deal of local attention, and a modest amount of national coverage, itdidn’t receive the saturation coverage in which the Trayvon Martin killing hasbeen immersed. 

Neither Louis Farrakhan nor Al Sharpton reached out to theLoggins family. As a gesture of solidarity with Trayvon, the Miami Heat basketball team wasphotographed wearing hooded sweatshirts, the “suspicious” attire the teenagerwas wearing when he was chased down and shot by George Zimmerman. TheSacramento Kings abstained from a similar symbolic display of sympathy forManuel Loggins. 

Asked by a reporter to commentabout the Trayvon Martin killing, Barack Obama pointed out that if he had a son,the young man might resemble Trayvon. The President has yet to be asked tocomment about the murder of Manuel Loggins – who is one of two black Marines tobe murdered by police within the space of three months.

Last November 19, 68-year-oldretired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. was slaughtered by police at his apartment in WhitePlains, New York. Chamberlain, an elderly man who suffered from a heartcondition and several other ailments, was not a criminal suspect. He hadinadvertently triggered a medical alert, which resulted in a visit byparamedics.  The police, unfortunately,responded as well, and they quickly displayed their infallible gift for makingmatters worse.

Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. (center).
 Chamberlain ordered the policeto leave. That was a lawful order the police are required to obey. They didn’t.Instead, the dozen officers who had formed a thugscrum outside Chamberlain’s doortaunted and mocked the elderly man, eventually breaking down the door andinvading his home. 

Once inside, the police wereconfronted by a terrified old man who – as documented in video recovered from aTaser – was clad in boxer shorts, with his hands at his side. This dreadfulspecter was enough to trigger the “Officer Safety” reflex – practically anythingwill – and the heroes in blue shot him with a Taser and a beanbag gun beforegunning him down. 

Theoriginal story was that Chamberlain “came at the officers” with a butcherknife and – I’m not kidding – a hatchet. His son points out that his father’sheart was so weak that he couldn’t walk more than forty feet without resting.The initial account is difficult to reconcile with the footage captured by theTaser and security cameras. Furthermore, even if the old man had lunged at thecops, they had the duty to retreat:They had no legal or moral right to be in the home, and Chamberlain had thelegal and moral right to evict them by force. 

Long after the incident, thepolice rationalized that the invasion was necessary because they weren’t surewhether “anybody else inside was in danger.” This is a matter that could havebeen cleared up through use of an obscure piece of technology called atelephone, a remarkable instrument that could have been used to contact eitherMr. Chamberlain or his son, who didn’t live far away. But this would havedeprived the armored adolescents on the police force of an opportunity to bustdown a door and impose themselves on someone who couldn’t fight back. 

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’skiller, appearsto have perceived practically every black male – on one occasion, a child hedescribed as “7-9 years old” – as suspicious

Predictably, Martin’s familybelieves that Zimmerman acted on bigoted motives. In the case of KennethChamberlain, Sr., there is material evidence of racism at work: Recordings ofthe standoff captured racial epithets, including the “n-word,” hurled at theharmless old man by some of the officers involved in murdering him just a fewminutes later.

Nevertheless, the Tolerance Police – for some reason -- haven’tmade the slaughter of Kenneth Chamberlain a causecelebre.  

One much-remarked detail in thekilling of Trayvon Martin is the fact that the supposedly suspicious teenagerwas “armed” with Skittles and a can of iced tea. This summons memories of Jordan Miles,an 18-year-old from Pittsburgh who was nearly beaten to death on the streetnear his grandmother’s house two years ago. 

His assailants claimed that Milesstruck them as “suspicious” because he fled at their approach, and that theyfeared for their lives when he appeared to be armed. It turns out that hisconcealed “weapon” was a bottle of Mountain Dew, an admittedly toxic substancebut one harmful only if taken internally. 

 Miles, who stands 5’6” andweighs about 160 pounds, was swarmed by three large adult males, who sluggedhim, kicked him, and beat him with a club improvised from a tree branch. 

Theattackers were police officers, who weren’t prosecuted or subjected toadministrative punishment.  As iscustomary whenever a Mundane is left bloody by the ministrations of the State’shigh priests of coercion, Miles was charged with “aggravated assault,” whichpresumably took the form of flailing his arms while bleeding on his sanctifiedassailants.

 When those charges weredismissed, the police union – in a typical fit of corrupt petulance – conducted amass “sick-out” as a protest. This had the unintended, if short-lived,effect of making Pittsburgh’s streets just a little safer. This crime wasquickly forgotten, and Miles’s family recently received a trivial,tax-subsidized settlement from the City of Pittsburgh. Once again: This episode,which offers several strong points of similarity to the Trayvon Martin killing,didn’t ignite a nation-wide firestorm of media outrage.

Every week – perhaps every day –innocent young black men are beaten and killed by armed strangers who act withimpunity, and often in circumstances quite similar to those in which TrayvonMartin was killed. The perpetrators of those assaults are police officers.George Zimmerman was a self-commissioned “captain” in a Neighborhood Watchprogram with which he had no formal affiliation.

For some reason the SanfordPolice Department saw fit to treat him like a cop by granting him the kind of “qualifiedimmunity” usually afforded only to fully accredited members of the exaltedbrotherhood of state-sanctioned violence. 

Civilian disarmament advocateshave implicated Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law  in Trayvon Martin killing. The Sanford Police have refused to charge Zimmerman, insisting that “under the law,it had no call to bring charges,” reported the New York Times

Enacted in 2005, Florida’s“Justifiable Use of Force” statute (Title XLVI, Chapter 776) recognizes that anindividual has the natural right to use deadly force when confronting thethreat of “death or great bodily harm” from an intruder or an aggressor. Thisdoes not apply when “The person against whom the defensive force is used hasthe right to be in … [a] dwelling, residence, or vehicle,” or if the individualwho employed the defensive force “is engaged in an unlawful activity….”

 Martin, an unarmed teenager withno criminal record, was headed to his father’s home in the Miami Gardens gated community. Althoughhe was described by Zimmerman to the police as a “suspicious individual,”Martin had an unqualified legal right to be where he was.
In his 911 call, Zimmerman tolda police dispatcher that “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks likehe’s up to no good, on drugs or something…. These a**holes always get away.”Zimmerman actively pursued Martin, after being specifically instructed thatthis was unnecessary.

When Martin noticed Zimmerman, theteenager – who was speaking to a girlfriend viacellphone – madereference to being “hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him,cornered him and confronted him,” as summarized in an ABC News report.

“Why are you following me?”Martin asked Zimmerman. A few moments later, Zimmerman shot Martin with his 9millimeter handgun. Several witnesses reported hearing the teenager cry forhelp before the shot was fired.

“They’re wrestling right in theback of my porch,” one witness told a police dispatcher. “The guy’s yellinghelp and I’m not going out.”

For some reason, police investigatingthe matter “corrected” one key witness, a local schoolteacher, by insistingthat it was Zimmerman, not Martin, who had cried for help. This makes littlesense: Zimmerman was armed and outweighed the frightened teenager by more than100 pounds. (Again, one can’t help but be struck by the similarity between thisincident and countless others involving actual police assaults on helplessvictims.)

In addition to “correcting” oneeyewitness, the Sanford PD pointedly ignored the testimony ofMartin’s girlfriend, towhom the victim expressed his own fears about the unidentified man who wasstalking him.

 Zimmerman’s original story, assummarized by the Miami Herald,was that “he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street hewas on when [Martin] attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck.”Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin “because he feared for his life” – aconjuration uttered by every police officer who has ever gunned down a helplessperson.

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee –who has been compelled to resign – pronounced that he was satisfiedwith Zimmerman’s version of the incident, moving quickly to wrap up the casebecause “there is no evidence to dispute the shooter’s claim of self-defense.” The police released him without testing him for drugs or alcohol.

Zimmerman, who was charged withresisting arrest and assaulting an officer in 2005 – has called the police toreport “suspicious” black males 46 times since January 2011. Neighbors havedescribed him as “fixated on crime” and have complained about his “aggressivetactics.” 

An aggressor, of course, isn’t “standinghis ground.” During the February 26 incident, Zimmerman pursued Martin, who hada legal right to be where he was. By creating the confrontation, Zimmerman wasthe aggressor. He had both the moral and legal duty to retreat, rather than toescalate the confrontation by employing force of any kind.

Florida’s self-defense law, likesimilar statutes elsewhere, makes an exception for law enforcement officers.Although he was not employed by a police department and not an official memberof the volunteer neighborhood watch, Zimmerman clearly considered himself to beacting in a law enforcement capacity. For reasons yet to be made clear, theSanford PD uncritically accepted Zimmerman’s self-characterization, grantinghim the kind of “professional courtesy” commonly extended to members of the privilegedfraternity of official coercion. In doing so they went so far as to tamper witheyewitness testimony on his behalf.

 According to ABC News, “TheSanford Police Department says it stands by its investigation, and that it wasnot race or incompetence that prevented it from arresting Zimmerman but thelaw.” Under the terms of the Florida state statutes, however, Zimmermancommitted an act of criminal homicide, not justified self-defense. Yet thecivilian disarmament lobby – most likely working in collaboration with policeunions – moved quickly to implicate the “Stand Your Ground” law in the killing.

 Police unions, the civiliandisarmament lobby, and the state-centric media all subscribe to the idea thatthe government should have a monopoly on the use of force. This is why theyoppose “stand your ground” and “castle doctrine” laws recognizing theindividual right to armed self-defense. 

The opposition of police unions hasbecome particularly acute in recent months as they have lobbied against “castledoctrine” laws in Minnesota and Indiana that explicitly recognize the naturalright of citizens to use lethal force against police officers who unlawfullyinvade their property or threaten their lives.

Yes, the familiar cast ofprejudice profiteers and racial ambulance chasers – who failed to be moved bythe racially charged police murders of Manuel Loggins and Kenneth Chamberlain-- has helped turn the killing of Trayvon Martin into a public works project. Butthe ideology that has propelled this issue to the top of the media agenda isn’ta variant of racial collectivism: It is the even more murderous doctrine ofgovernment supremacism, under which Zimmerman’s lethal actions would beconsidered entirely appropriate if he had been swaddled in a State-issuedcostume. 

Within six months we should see a plethora of bills -- supported by a coalition that includes the Brady Campaign and police unions -- bearing Trayvon Martin's name, all of which will seek the repeal of "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws.

 Update: It begins....

"Where is the outrage over every single one of the thousands of children and teens killed by guns?" fulminated totalitarian nanny statist Marian Wright Edleman of the so-called Children's Defense Fund on March 24. Edleman condemns what she calls  "gun slinging Americans unrestrained by common sense gun control laws" -- that is, laws that fail to provide a monopoly of violence to the most lethal segment of society, the State's enforcement caste. 

"As a nation, we must aspire and act to become the world leader in protecting children against guns rather than leading the world in child victims of guns," Edleman continues, reveling in the pureile fallacy that evil inheres in the inanimate object called a "gun," rather than the malevolent will of an individual who employs it to harm another. 

"We need a relentless, powerful citizens' voice to break the gun lobby's veto on common sense gun policy," Edleman declares, using the expression "common sense" as a functional synonym for "civilian disarmament."

Second Update: Where are Zimmerman's Injuries? 

"You fail to mention that Zimmerman had a bloodied nose and blood on the back of his head," complained an anonymous commenter below, reciting -- as if it were incontestable fact -- a second-hand assertion made on the shooter's behalf.

Surveillance video taken shortly after the shooting makes it clear that Zimmerman -- who was arrested, but not held, by the Sanford Police -- appeared to be uninjured. He sustained no physical trauma whatsoever -- unless the purported life-and-death struggle with Trayvon Martin is somehow to blame for the 28-year-old's male pattern baldness.

No wounds, no blood -- no evidence of a beating.

Eyewitness accounts establish that some kind of a physical struggle took place -- but the notion that Zimmerman was nearly beaten to death by Trayvon impossible to sustain.

A special -- and urgent -- appeal

Regular readers of Pro Libertate are aware that this blog has been my primary means of supporting my family since October 2006, when I lost my last "regular" job. In recent months I've been working full-time (and then some) for Republic magazine. While that engagement offers many compensations, a living wage is not found on that list. I am hopeful that this will eventually change for the better, but pending that happy day I still have a family of eight people for whom to provide. 
Our circumstances recently took a "sudden but inevitable" turn for the worse": For the second time in three years, our landlord has decided to allow the home in which we're living to go into foreclosure. He quite thoughtfully informed us about this four months after he stopped paying on the mortgage.

We could really use any help we can get -- and I'm willing to provide something in exchange for it.

I've recently received a case and a half of my most recent book, Liberty in Eclipse: The War on Terror and the Rise of the Homeland Security State, and I will send a personalized copy to every person who donates twenty dollars (or more). Please contact me (WNGrigg [at] msn [dot] [com]) with a mailing address.

Thank you so much, and God bless!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Dum spiro, pugno!

Jumat, 16 Maret 2012

Meet Officer Michael Reichert: Professional Liar, Pride of the Collinsville PD

A liar at work: Officer Michael Reichert (back to camera) harasses Terrance Huff.

“Cops lie. Most of them lie a couple of times per shift, atleast.”

This assessment was offered not by an embittered critic ofthe police, but by Norm Stamper, former Chief of the Seattle Police Department,in his 2005 memoir Breaking Rank(page 129, to be precise). Stamper supports the use of tactical dishonesty indealing with certain kinds of violent suspects, but he has no tolerance for thecasual mendacity that is ubiquitous in the profession of law enforcement. 

 Police consultant and former prosecutor Val Van Brocklinoffers a similarly blunt perspective. “Police lie. It’s part of theirjob,” she wrote Val Van Brocklin in an essay entitled “Training Cops to Lie,”which was published in the November16, 2009 edition of the online journal Officer.com

 Habitual lying cost Officer Michael Reichert of theCollinsville, Illinois Police Department his job nearly a decade ago. With the helpof the police union, he was able to get it back -- at which point he resumedhis career of officially sanctioned perjury. In January 2011,Reichert, who is now assigned to K-9 patrol, was one of four Collinsvilleofficers given the “Chief’s Award of Merit” for performance “exceptional innature or above and beyond normal performance.” 

 In April, Reichertwas singled out again for his exceptional work by being named “Officer of theMonth.” The department lauded Reichert for reflecting “the proactive andinnovative philosophy of law enforcement prescribed to [sic] by theCollinsville Police Department. He has demonstrated this by his aggressiveapproach to drug trafficking in the area.”
“Officer Reichert had 166 total incidents with 6 arrests and7 citations in 13 working days,” continued the department’s report. “Inaddition to this he had 3 self initiated significant incidents that is veryworthy of praise [sic.]”

Reichert (left) receiving "Award of Merit."
  To someone who doesn’t belong to the coercive caste, a totalof 6 arrests out of 166 “total incidents” isn’t an impressive ratio. Theconcept of a “self-initiated significant incident” seems downright ominous.This is the portrait of a government-licensed bully bent on manufacturingcases, rather than a peace officer devoted to protection of persons andproperty. A brief examination of Reichert’s past supplies that portrait withadditional detail.

In 2006, Reichert was fired by the Collinsville PD “after afederal judge ruled he lied during a drug trial,” reportedthe April 19, 2009 edition of StLtoday.com. “They also cited a convictionon federal charges that he sold knockoff designer sunglasses." Irrespective of the merits of the federal case, Reichart was consciouslydefrauding consumers. 

 With the help of his union, Reichert appealed that ruling,and was he was reinstated in March 2009. However, about a month later theCollinsville Police and Fire Board suspended him without pay after “federalprosecutors … raised new concerns against Reichert again questioning histrustworthiness.” 

Despite his track record as a proven perjurer and conartist, Reichert was re-hired by the Collinsville PD. He was promptly assignedto counter-narcotics duty once again – and he immediately resumed the sametactics that had resulted in his well-deserved but tragically temporaryunemployment.

 Officer Reichert’s routine is described at length in aNovember 2005 ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan in the case U.S. v. Zambrana.The defendant was one of two suspects arrested on narcotics charges by Reichertduring a traffic stop in 2002. Zambrana filed a motion to suppress the resultsof a canine-assisted narcotics search, insisting that Reichert didn’t haveprobable cause to conduct the search.

Judge Reagan keyed on “Reichert’s lack of credibility as awitness,” describing him as a “polished performer” – a term not intended as acompliment.

 “One reason this Court rejected Reichert’s testimony as notcredible was because it was so rehearsed, coached and robotic as to be rote,”observed Judge Reagan. “It was a generic, almost default performance notdependent upon the facts of this case, but suitable for any case in whichReichert might testify to having found `reasonable suspicion. When questioningrequired him to temporarily stray from this rehearsed script, away from thesecurity of his default testimony, he was caught off-guard.”

When required to deal with “objective verifiable facts” –events captured in audio or video recordings, for instance – Reichert wasequivocal and self-contradictory. He was clear and emphatic, however, regardingmatters that “were not objectively verifiable” – such as his “conclusions fromreading body language `thrown off’ involuntarily from people `trafficking innarcotics.’” Judge Reagan astringently referred to this as Reichert’s conceitthat he could behave as a “human polygraph” – an approach that “is whollysubjective and fraught with potential for guess, speculation, conjecture, andeven deceit.”

“Reichert made clear that he understands what a Judge mightfind persuasive in making a reasonable suspicion determination,” Reagancontinued, noting that “he teaches this principle in his classes.” That’sright: Reichert is not only a professional liar, he also tutors other policeofficers in his methods of mendacity. 

At this point, it’s useful to remember Ms. Van Brocklin’sobservation: “Cops lie. It’s part of their job.”

 “By simply adding up `suspicious’ factors while ignoringnon-suspicious or mitigating factors [in the Zambrana traffic stop], Reichertmisused the `totality of circumstances’ principle as a sword to unjustly pierceZambrana’s cloak of Fourth Amendment protection,” concluded Judge Reagan.

Reichert claimed that Zambrana came to his attention when henoticed the driver’s rental car – with out-of-state plates – “crossing thewhite divider line.” However, he also used the expression “hit” to describethis entirely trivial infraction. He claimed to have become suspicious whenZambrana “continued down the highway in a completely normal manner,” notbothering even to make eye contact with Reichert after the officer pulledalongside him in a police cruiser. This prompted him to pull Zambrana over.

 Once the pretext stop was made, Reichert claimed thatZambrana and his passenger appeared “nervous” – which is an entirelyunderstandable reaction to the presence of an armed stranger who considershimself entitled to kill you at his discretion. He then barraged them with whatJudge Reagan called a series of “rolling no” questions. This is a tacticdesigned to elicit permission to search the vehicle. After inquiring aboutdrugs, weapons, or cash, and getting negative responses, the officer will posesome variation of this question:  “Hey,this will only take a minute – do you mind if I just take a look before lettingyou go?” 

 Regardless of Reichert’s perception “that Zambrana’s repliesand lack of eye contact during this questioning were `suspicious,’ Reichert’ssubsequent actions indicate that he knew that he still had no `reasonablesuspicion’ to search Zambrana’s car,” notes Judge Reagan. “At that point,rather than simply informing Zambrana that he would be searching his car,Reichert requested Zambrana’s permission to conduct a search. Inexplicably(yet, not surprising to this Court, Reichert viewed Zambrana’s denial as `suspicious’and advised Zambrana that he was detaining his car for a canine search.” 

Narcotics were found, and both Zambrana and his passenger, aman named Babar Shah, were maneuvered into a plea bargain. Despite Reichert’sobvious and documented dishonesty, those convictions stuck.

 Last December, Reichertfollowed exactly the same modus operandi in conducting a pretext stop – and illegalsearch – of a vehicle driven by Terrence Huff and John Seaton of Hamilton, Ohio.Huff and Seton had traveled to the St. Louis Science Center to attend a StarTrek exhibit. Their return trip, unfortunately, included a stretch along I-70that was polluted by Officer Reichert, who was loitering in the median attaxpayer expense awaiting his next victim. The sight of two men in an SUV without-of-state plates proved irresistible, so Reichert pulled out behind them andpaced them for a few miles before pulling them over. 

Once the pretext stop was made, Reichert – following exactlythe same script described by Judge Reagan – claimed to have noticed anotherwise undetectable traffic infraction. He obtained Huff’s driver’s licenseand asked the passenger for ID. When he ran Huff’s license, he found a recordof a previous arrest (without conviction). 

“That mother****r,” sneered Reichert as he reviewed theinformation on his computer terminal. After calling for backup and resuming hispretense of professionalism, Reichert told Huff that he would let him off witha “warning” – and then began the “rolling no” routine. 

“This highway, we have a major problem with people runningguns and drugs and illegal stuff up and down the highway,” Reichert told Huff. “Youguys don’t have anything like that in your car, do you?

“No,” replied Huff, adding, “I could show you the photos wetook at the Star Trek convention. We’re not drug runners. It’s my birthday.”

“There wouldn’t be any marijuana in there right now?”Reichert persisted.

“No,” Huff responded.

“No cocaine in there?”


“Any heroin?”


“Any guns in there?”


“How about any large amounts of U.S. currency?” Reichertprobed, thereby revealing the true purpose of the stop: He was trawling forassets subject to confiscation in the name of “asset forfeiture.” If Huff orhis friend had been carrying cash, Reichert – assisted by the second officerwho had materialized during the questioning – would have stolen it, and mostlikely the car, as well.

When Huff pointed out that all he was carrying was a creditcard, Reichert moved to close the deal:
“Would you have any objection to us searching the car realquick to make sure that there’s nothing illegal inside the car?”

Reichert had neither probable cause nor “reasonablesuspicion” to conduct a search. If Huff and objected, however, Reichert wouldhave arrested him – and then stolen his car. 

When Huff briefly hesitated,Reichert deployed yet another lie:

“Now, let me tell you something, OK? I’m not overlyconcerned about personal amounts or stuff like that. If you have a little bit …I’m not worried about that, OK?” 

Remember that line; we’ll revisit it shortly.

“There are no drugs in the car, and I’d just like to go onmy way, if I could,” Huff said in the forlorn hope that he would be set free.

“Well, I don’t have a problem with that,” Reichert lied onceagain. “I’m just a little 
apprehensive about how your buddy’s acting, he’s alittle bit nervous.”

“I’ve got a canine in the car,” Reichert continued. “What I’mgoing to do is detain the car long enough to run the dog around it.” He madethat announcement in a tone intended to convey the impression that this was amere formality – if not an actual favor he was doing on Huff’s behalf.

“That’s fine,” Huff – an unarmed man confronting two armedand thoroughly amoral strangers – conceded. 

“If the dog alerts, I will search your car,” Reichertadmitted, now that Huff had been manipulated into consenting. “And anything illegalI find I will charge you with.”

“Anything” would include the “personal amounts of marijuanaor cocaine” to which Reichert had referred so dismissively just seconds earlier.

When Huff pointed out that Reichert had lied about thereason for the traffic stop – a point he did not contest - -the uniformed liarabandoned the fa?ade of professionalism: 

“I’m asking for your consent to search the car,” he toldHuff. “If your answer is `no,’ I’m going to detain the car long enough to runthe dog around it. I can get you a ride” – an invitation that, in context, hasto be considered an ill-disguised threat to arrest Huff and his friend (videthe foregoing business about “personal amounts”).

“If I’m free to go, can I go?” Huff asked.

“Not in the car,” Reichert curtly replied.

In other words: Huff was under arrest. He was entirely atthe mercy of a cynical, impenitent liar armed with a gun and clothed inimpunity.

Reichert retrieved his dog, and – with the practiced guile ofa veteran con artist – went through his charade, tapping and prompting theanimal to “alert” as if the vehicle were containing contraband. Once at thefront of Huff’s car – which concealed his actions from the dashcam – Reichert claimedthat the dog had “indicated” that there was something in the vehicle. 

He informed Huff that the dog – which “is trained to smellmarijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth” – had “started scratching” at the frontof the car. “I am going to search your car,” he continued. That search wasutterly futile. Reichert, who appears to be a mucosal personality composed of unctuous malicet, emitted one last lie to cover up his criminal misconduct.

 “Inside your car, under your seat and under the back seat, there’sshake – marijuana shake,” lied Collinsville, Illinois’s April 2011 Officer ofthe Month. “A little bit all over the car. That’s probably what the dog’salerting to.”

Of course, there was nothing of the sort to be found – in fact,Huff’s vehicle didn’t even have a back seat. 

Despite the devoted obstruction of the Collinsville PD, Huff-- who owns a small, independent film production company called T-MinusEntertainment-- obtained the dashcam video of the episode. He used it toproduce "Breakfast in Collinsville," a brief and thoroughly infuriating documentary of Reichert’s attemptedcarjacking and extortion:

“I am usually rather suspicious of authority, and this wassomething of a reality check,” Huff told ProLibertate in a telephone interview. “It’s pretty clear that what Reichertis doing is generating revenue for his department. This kind of thing ishappening all over the place – federal, state, county, or city, they’re allusing asset forfeiture to collect revenue.”

Although he has been contacted by lawyers and civilliberties activists who want to help him mount legal action against Reichertand his department, Huff simply wants to use the video to “expose this abuseand get people to look at what’s happening in this country.”  

 Huff is too busy doing work for paying clients to invest thetime, money, and frustration that a legal battle with Reichert and the policeunion would require. Unless the officer’s superiors can be shamed into firinghim permanently – an unlikely outcome, given previous performance – Officer Michael“Third” Reichert will continue to prey on the innocent and perjure himself, andteach the relevant skills to other cops. After all, as his awards andcommendations attest, Reichert is the pride of the Collinsville PD. 

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