The Joe Blow Report 2

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Posts Tagged ‘Law and Police

Why ONLY “Looking Forward” is Suicide

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Humboldt County any Better?

Here are three articles that touch everyone in Humboldt County, if not the North Coast. We’ve got a new Sheriff and maybe a new District Attorney. Any reason or assurances they’ll change anything?

Why would anyone want to sit on a jury and be a part of this corrupt mess?

U.S. Prosecutors: Breaking the Law for a Conviction

A six month investigation by reporters Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy at USA Today has revealed more than 200 cases where prosecutors with the U.S. Justice Department — the elite of the elite — either broke the law or ethics rules to obtain a conviction, sending dozens of innocent people to years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.

And the prosecutorial misconduct uncovered — condemned by judges as “outrageous” and “flagrant,” ranging from lying to juries to withholding key evidence that could free a defendant — wasn’t limited to certain corrupt pockets of the country here and there, but was widespread. And experts say it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Read the rest…

Researchers Uncover Widespread Prosecutorial Misconduct in California

Mark Sodersten spent 22 years behind bars for a murder that the evidence suggests he didn’t commit, with a California appeals court overturning his conviction and admonishing the prosecutor in the case for witholding taped interviews with witnesses that could have exonerated him.

“This case raises the one issue that is the most feared aspect of our system—that an innocent man might be convicted,” the justices wrote after reviewing the case. Unfortunately for Sodersten, the court’s 2007 decision came too late: he had died six months prior. But despite his death, the court issued the decision anyway, saying the case’s “impact upon the integrity and fairness that are the cornerstones of our criminal justice system” required them to do so just to maintain public confidence.

Read the rest…

U.S. Dwarfs Vietnam in Reports of Police ‘Excessive Force’

Human Rights Watch issued a report last month decrying the use of excessive force by police in Vietnam, noting that 19 such incidents that resulted in 15 deaths were reported in the state-controlled press over the last year — with zero consequences for the officers involved.

“Police brutality is being reported at an alarming rate in every region of Vietnam, raising serious concerns that these abuses are both systemic and widespread,” the group’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.

Yet if police brutality is “systemic and widespread” in Vietnam — and all signs are that it is — then it’s a struggle to come up with an appropriately scathing term with which to describe the situation here at home: in the first six months of 2010 alone, there have been 439 credible reports of excessive force in the United States, according to the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP), resulting in no less than 60 fatalities

Read the rest…

[Photo: Peter Stinson]

–Joe

Police Safety and The Camera

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361px-PolicemanThe statement is made by Thadeus Greenson in his Sunday, May 31, 2009 Times-Standard newspaper article: “Photographer to stand trial in homeless case” that “When Officer Marsolan saw him cross the street and move closer to the officers, endangering them, Officer Dickson assisted in taking VonZabern into custody.” How is taking pictures of these police officers constitute the crime of “obstructing an officer”?  How does someone with a camera interfere with what the police are doing?

I did some research on photographing the police and found this telling bit of information on Flex Your Rights :: Protect Your Constitutional Rights During Police Encounters that explains our questions:

16. Can I be arrested for videotaping or photographing police?

Videotaping or photographing police in public places is usually legal, so long as you don’t interfere with their activities. Nonetheless, doing so will often get you arrested.

Police don’t like to be watched or documented in any way, so they’ll sometimes bend the rules to stop you. We’ve heard many stories about people who got arrested for taping police, and the charges are usually dropped. If you’re taping or photographing police, make sure you don’t interfere, because “obstruction” is the most likely charge, and you’ll want to be able to defend against it.

Despite the risk of arrest, we don’t discourage the taping and photographing of police. Video evidence is uniquely effective in exposing police misconduct. If you acquire video or photographic evidence that warrants an official investigation, create and secure copies of the evidence, then forward it to local police monitoring groups such as civilian review boards, ACLU, and NAACP chapters. You should also obtain legal representation for yourself in case the police department retaliates against you.

The complete Times-Standard article:

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Redefining Patriotism

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Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn

The Joe Blow Report 2 disclosure says, “Joe Blows self-evident observations on Truth, God’s gift of equality, unalienable Rights and Justice before Peace.” These words are taken from the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans don’t have a clue as to what these words mean for them and their neighbor. Howard Zinn on “War and Social Justice” says:

“When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter.”

The Dictionary definition of “charter” is: “A document, issued by a sovereign or state, outlining the conditions under which a corporation, colony, city, or other corporate body is organized, and defining its rights and privileges.”

The Declaration of Independence is the document upon which the American people established their legitimate right to exist as a commonwealth nation. Our continued  right to exist depends wholly on the American people’s absolute compliance and enforcement of that Charter. History however reveals that the American people have forfeited their legitimacy and Howard Zinn outlines some of the “mindset” that is responsible when he continues to discuss the rights and obligations of each citizen of these United States as compared to their government:

Here are some of the elements of the mindset that stand in the way, in the way for Obama, in the way for the Democratic Party, in the way for many Americans, in the way for us. One of the elements in our mindset is the idea, somehow, that the United States is exceptional. In the world of social science, in, you know, that discipline called social science, there’s actually a phrase for it. It’s called American exceptionalism. And what it means is the idea that the United States is unique in the world, you know, that we are different, that we—not just different, we’re better. Right? We are better than other people. You know, our society is better than other societies. This is a very dangerous thing to think. When you become so arrogant that you think you are better and different than other countries in the world, then that gives you a carte blanche to do nasty things. You can do nasty things, because you’re better. You’re justified in doing those things, because, yeah, you’re—we’re different. So we have to divest ourselves of the idea that, you know, we are somehow better and, you know, we are the “City on the Hill,” which is what the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, said.

*****

Exceptionalism is one part of the mindset we have to get rid of. We have to see ourselves honestly for what we are. We’re an empire like other empires. We’re as aggressive and brutal and violent as the Belgians were in the Congo, as the British were in India, and all these other empires. Yeah, we’re just like them. We have to face it. And when you face that, you sober up a little, and then you don’t think you can just go all over the world and say, “Ah, we’re doing this for liberty and democracy,” because then, if you know your history, you know how many times that was said. “Oh, we’re going into the Philippines to bring civilization and Christianity to the Filipinos.” “We’re going to bring civilization to the Mexicans,” etc., etc. No. You’ll understand that. Yeah, that’s one element in this mindset.

The second element of the American mindset is:

But when you start criticizing, when you start making an honest assessment of what we have done in the world, they say you’re being unpatriotic. Well, you have to—that’s another part of the mindset you have to get rid of, because if you don’t, then you think you have to wear a flag in your lapel or you think you have to always have American flags around you, and you have to show, by your love for all this meaningless paraphernalia, that you are patriotic. Well, that’s, you know—oh, there, too, an honest presidential candidate would not be afraid to say, “You know, patriotism is not a matter of wearing a flag in your lapel, not a matter of this or not—patriotism is not supporting the government. Patriotism is supporting the principles that the government is supposed to stand for.” You know, so we need to redefine these things which we have come—which have been thrown at us and which we’ve imbibed without thinking, not thinking, “Oh, what really is patriotism?” If we start really thinking about what it is, then we will reject these cries that you’re not patriotic, and we’ll say, “Patriotism is not supporting the government.” When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter. The Declaration of Independence says governments are set up by the people to—they’re artificial creations. They’re set up to ensure certain rights, the equal right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. So when governments become destructive of those ends, the Declaration said, “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish” the government. That’s our basic democratic charter. People have forgotten what it is. It’s OK to alter or abolish the government when the government violates its trust. And then you are being patriotic. I mean, the government violates its trust, the government is being unpatriotic.

You can read his complete speech by following this link.

It is worthy to note, on the subject of police misconduct, that the police, in all  its forms and incarnations works for the “artificial creation,” the “Government.” They do not work for the people or the general public, the home owner, the business owner or the voting public. As a “peace officer” the only “peace” they bring is the peace of the grave to anyone that dare threaten the status quo of their employers. Therefore, when the police, by their very nature become a threat, or in the extreme brutalize the general public (as a matter of policy) the government violates its trust to the people granted by the Declaration of Independence and reaffirmed by the Constitution of the United States.  The citizenry, to maintain their legitimate right to exist as a Nation, State, County or City are not only obligated to abolish said government, they are enforced by law to equally defend and protect themselves and their families.

–Joe

Challenging the Democratic Police State

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Could this happen in Eureka? This is what’s happening right now in Europe:GREECE RIOTS

MADRID, Spain (AP) — Unrest that has gripped Greece for the past six days showed troubling signs of spreading across Europe, as violence erupted in several cities.

Angry youths smashed shop windows, attacked banks and hurled bottles at police in small but violent protests Thursday in Spain and Denmark, while cars were set alight outside a consulate in France. Protesters gathered in front of the Greek Embassy in Rome on Wednesday and some turned violent, damaging police vehicles, overturning a car and setting a trash can on fire.  ****  Here’s the complete AP report: Greek-Inspired Demonstrations Spread.

The violent upheaval touched off the enraged youth of Greece like a match to a tinderbox. And that fire is moving across Europe. Heavy-handed police state tactics seem to only exacerbate* the rage and destruction. You’d think the draconian, dark-age war mongers would learn something in ten thousand years. Pictures of Greece show overwhelming numbers of youth raging against a thin line of police. My impression from watching was that the “Man” instills little fear and no respect. Anarchy begets mob-rule and when that mob decides to turn the tables on the police nothing anyone says will matter anymore. This is what happened in Greece according to this report on Democracy Now by Nikos Lountos in Athens Greece.

What was the most striking was that in literally every neighborhood in every city and town, school students walked out of their school on Monday morning. … And the anger was so really thick that policemen and police officers had to be locked inside their offices, surrounded by thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys and girls. … Everybody in all of this, that even the riots, the big riots—you may have seen the videos—they are a social phenomenon, not just the result of some political incident. There were thousands of angry young people that came out in the streets to clash with the police and smash windows of banks, of five-star hotels and expensive stores. So, that’s true. It was something that waited to happen.
I think it’s a mixture of things. We have a government that’s—a government of the ruling party called New Democracy, a very right-wing government. It has tried to make many attacks on working people and students, especially students.

Do we have a tinderbox just waiting to be lit? Consider this as reported in the Times-Standard involving local police commando units operating against a segment of society victimized by draconian drug laws that are devoid of normal citizen legal protections. While these raids target gangs and parolee’s what about the innocent wives, girlfriends, their children and friends that are rousted and terrorized at all hours, sometimes at gun-point? Deaths in recent times at the hands of the police speaks for itself.

Times-Standard:
1) Gang task force arrests 6 in Eureka, McKinleyville
12/10/2008 – Officers of the Humboldt County Gang Task Force arrested six suspects this morning in a gang sweep targeting approximately a dozen suspected gang members, or known associates.
2) EPD conducts motel sweep
09/06/2008 – In response to reports of illegal activities occurring in and around local motels, the Eureka Police Department arrested 11 people in an enforcement sweep at several motels.
3) Federal officers report 25 fugitives arrested
10/25/2008 – The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that federal agents arrested 25 alleged fugitives in Humboldt County during a three-day, county-wide sweep.
4) Eureka gang sweep nets 8 arrests
03/11/2008 – Eight people were arrested on various drug charges in a gang sweep over the weekend in the Eureka and Humboldt Hill areas. On Saturday, members of the Humboldt County Gang Task Force targeted about a dozen suspected gang members or gang associates at homes in and around Eureka between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Three gang task force teams, consisting of 24 officers, conducted probation and parole searches at 13 residences.(Emphasis by Joe)

You’d probably say from reading these and other reports that the police are doing a good job holding the line. Maybe they are, but why should they have to hold the line against our own children? That’s what they’re being forced to do in Europe. The police are not the problem. They only “exacerbate” that problem when they brutalize  people and the community turns their collective heads.

So, while the youth of today are more and more showing their disdain and contempt for the “Man” it is the business and property owner that they attack. They blame and hold accountable these people, the business community, for what the government enforces in their name.

More than that, this fire appears to be a “social phenomenon” just waiting to happen and it looks like the recent election of Barack Obama put a wind to that fire!


* Exacerbate
1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
2. to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.

–Joe

Chaos in Eurekaville

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EUREKAVILLE:  272 miles north of San Francisco, CA at the intersection of disambiguation and redshift. A bustling hot-spot of creative energy, populated by anarchist, innovators, conservative and liberal believers and explorers.

Eurekaville replaces the tiered and layered redundancy of standard news media and government structure with fast-moving networks of award-winning pros – all top specialists. That means when the meter’s running, Eurekavilleites aren’t paying to ride around the block twice. Every tax dollar is tied to a real deliverable; not some self-serving politician’s or executive beurocrat’s expense account.

Like every great city, Eurekaville has a pulse, a crisp vibe that permeates through the streets. Smart, to-the-point and sassy when we need to be, every brilliant idea that’s born and raised here leaves the city limits walking tall and getting things done.

Just look at this innovative piece of brilliance, in the Times-Standard, Wednesday, 13, 2008, edition in My Word (Other Voices on the Web) Jude Cole wrote: Traffic woes are helped by officers. She says, and Joe believes it’s worth repeating: “Chief Nielsen attended many of the neighborhood meetings. For the first time ever we have a pro-active, positive, caring police force with some of the greatest group of men I’ve ever spoken with. Though stretched to the max and understaffed, officers find a way to make their presence known on this side of town.”  Well, Hallelujah! What are we going to do about the rest of Eurekaville Chief Nielsen? You know, if you play your cards right you could get the whole town believing that you are, what did she say? “For the first time ever we have a pro-active, positive, caring police force with some of the greatest group of men I’ve ever spoken with.” Did this great group of guys take off their tazers when they talked to her?

It sure doesn’t take much to get all kinds of accolades and high-fives in Eurekaville. Well, the people in my quiet part of Eureka have the same problem as Jude Cole. Unfortunately, fifty percent of these outlaws are locals; my neighbors. Obviously, the problem is not MORE black and whites. It’s more black and whites giving these people EXPENSIVE tickets. You deliberately run a stop sign, you are deliberately and malitiously trying to hurt someone. That motor vehicle is as much a “legal” deadly weapon as a club, knife, or a gun.

More than that it is a real insult to the police and every other law abiding resident that supports them. These people that violate these laws are criminals and the government officials that do not enforce these laws are complicit in their crimes. A police state is merely a knee-jerk response by stupid people that think they are better than everyone else and don’t have to comply with the law themselves. The police, bless their hearts, they are merely our thumb in the dike. Problem is, we just don’t have enough thumbs.

On the other hand, Eurekaville does not need this kind of anarchy in Letters to the Editor (Times-Standard) Support law enforcement. “Dave Douglas is a good man of the highest standards whom I’ve had the opportunity to meet on two occasions and I will personally vouch for his character, forth rightness and his heart being in the right place in regard for all beings “Great and Small.” So spoken or should I say written by, S. Elizabeth Early. The seeds of chaos and anarchy grow from this feminine manure. A “good man” is as a “good man” does. Personally, I’ll decide for myself, if you please, who is and who is not “a good man.” How well a man does or if he obeys and enforces the law is a good place to start. The Law always rules Supreme over man or men.

–Joe

Our Boys In Blue Go Gray

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— Or is it Black?

Page Three – Thursday, August 7, 2008: Times-Standard: EPD officers to join SWAT team

So goes the quiet consolidation of the local police forces under the guise of homeland security. When do these “teams” get their Federal Advisors?

–Joe

Written by Joe Blow

August 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm

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