A Call for Police Cover and Suppressive Fire

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Anyone who has been in the military, particularly the Infantry should be appalled by this.  At PoliceOne, retired Wisconsin police leiutenant Dan Marcou has noted that “The military would have no qualms about laying down cover fire to rescue a downed soldier” and lays out a hypothetical situation where a shooter has taken a hostage and wounded a police officer by firing shotgun slugs through a closed door.

Lt. Dan, as he is known, is disappointed that police cannot lay down cover fire to support the extraction of the downed officer.

OK, that seems reasonable, until you actually look at the facts.

The shooter is behind a closed door with at least one innocent hostage.  To provide cover fire, other officers would be firing blindly through the door.  There would be no target identification, acquisition, or isolation, just blind shooting through a door or wall.  There would be no way of knowing where the innocent hostage was located, whether they would be in danger or not, and despite Lt. Dan’s acknowledgement that officers are responsible for every round fired, that is not reality.

Don’t believe me?

Look at the following cases:

  • NYPD officers hit two innocent bystanders while shooting at an unarmed man who they believed had a weapon.  No officers have been charged.  Sept. 2013.
  • Boston police shot an officer while shooting at the bombing suspects.  The officer almost died.  They also shot up an empty black SUV.  Multiple homes were damaged by gunfire.  No charges against any officer.  Apr. 2013.
  • LAPD officers fire over 100 rounds at two innocent women during the Dorner manhunt.  No criminal charges were filed.  Apr. 2013.
  • Las Vegas Metro officers hit an innocent bystander while shooting an armed shooting suspect.  No charges were filed against the officers.  Feb. 2013.
  • NYPD officers shot an armed suspect near the Empire State Building, hitting him 10 times and killing him.  Nine innocent bystanders are also hit by police.  Mayor Bloomberg defended the officers’ actions and no charges were filed.  Aug. 2012.
  • San Francisco PD officers shoot at (and miss) an armed suspect, striking an innocent bystander.  No criminal charges were filed against the officer.  July 2011.

We could go on.  In 10 years, from 2002 t0 2012, NYPD shot 30 innocent bystanders without filing criminal charges on any of the officers involved.

Allowing police to use cover and suppressive fire is a ludicrous idea.  In the military, the idea of suppressive fire is to put enough firepower into an area to keep the enemy from engaging your own forces.  The military is not concerned about collateral damage.  They are not concerned about citizen safety as opposed to officer safety.

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The Windypundit’s Review of “Rise of the Warrior Cop”

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The Windypundit has a series of posts reviewing “Rise of the Warrior Cop.”

Part 1, part 2, and part 3 are at the links, Mark does an excellent job of reviewing the book.

 

Sterling Heights Open Carry Confrontation

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On July 18, 2013, James Baker and a friend were openly carrying in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

The officers contacted the open carriers with drawn weapons, immediately disarming and handcuffing the two.  According to the radio calls at the start of the video, there was no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, just that two individuals were carrying rifles.  One officer then searches Baker, removing his wallet and ID from the wallet.

This is problematic in a couple of ways.  First, as was noted in an earlier post, open carry in Michigan is legal and is not reasonable suspicion for a stop. Second, even if we assume for the sake of argument that the officers had reasonable suspicion, Michigan law is clear that this does not provide an officer the authority to search for and seize an individuals wallet, then enter the wallet seeking an identification card or drivers license.  People v. Williams, 234 N.W.2d 531 (Mich. Ct. App. 1975) (“Assuming the officer’s initial stop and questioning was proper in the present case,it is clear that the seizure of the defendant’s wallet cannot be justified as a protective pre-arrest search since the purpose of the search was not to seize a weapon.”).

Further, the officer knew that he wasn’t arresting  Baker, as he told Baker just a few second later that he didn’t have a right to an attorney or to remain silent because he wasn’t under arrest (at 3:40).  Additionally, the officer states later, on the radio that this is an “open carry issue” (at 4:30).

Later, when it is back to video, a sergeant is trying to sell the story that it is a “public safety” issue–but the police don’t have the authority to detain someone unless they have reasonable suspicion of a crime.  The officers clearly have no grounds to detain the individuals for open carry where open carry is legal.  The intent seems to be to chill the individuals from exercising their rights, which is a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  See generally Ctr. for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. City of Springboro, 477 F.3d 807 (6th Cir. 2007).

In the second video, the officer clearly doesn’t understand the law, asking if the individual has a permit for the firearms, apparently not knowing that no permit is required in Michigan to open carry.

The Chief of Police is Michael Reese, e-mail mreese@sterling-heights.net, phone 586-446-2810.

 

Buy a Shotgun, Fire Off Two Blasts, and Get Arrested: Thanks Mr. Biden

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Mr. Vice-President, someone followed your advice.

They got arrested.

According to news reports, Jeffery Barton thought some people were breaking into his car at 3AM.  So, remembering what Biden said, he stepped outside and fired his shotgun off into the air.

Sheriff’s deputys arrested Barton, who plead not guilty to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm.

This is not the first time that this has happened – it has happened before in Virginia.

As it was noted, Biden’s advice is completely illegal.

 

 

Royal Oaks Police Harass Open Carrier

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In Michigan, open carry is legal without a permit or a license.  Here, a young officer stops a citizen who is openly carrying.  The citizen immediately asks if he is being detained and the officer tells him he is not being detained, whereupon the citizen turns to walk away.  The officer clearly wasn’t expecting that and orders him to stop, telling him that he is being detained.  Thus far there has been nothing to indicate that the officer has any sort of reasonable suspicion of a crime to justify the stop.  See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 22 (1968); People v. Jenkins, 691 N.W.2d 759, 764 (Mich. 2005); People v. Custer, 630 N.W.2d 870, 876 (Mich. 2001).

Note that in Michigan, the Michigan State Police have issued a legal update that clearly states that the open carry of a firearm is not a crime.  Michigan also does not have a stop and ID law, meaning that the officer cannot stop someone and demand identification without reasonable suspicion for a crime.

The officer asks for ID, stating that the citizen may have a “mental injunctive order” or something.  The citizen refuses to provide ID, as is his right.  See People v. Williams, 234 N.W.2d 541, 545 (Mich. 1975); People v. Rivers, 202 N.W.2d 498, 501 (Mich. 1972).  Further, if the officer does not have a reasonable suspicion that the citizen has a “mental injunctive order”, or something, that is not the default position, that the possession of the weapon is illegal.  United States v. Black, 707 F.3d 531, 540 (4th Cir. 2013) (“Being a felon in possession of a firearm is not the default status. More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.”).

The officer is obviously irritated by the refusal to provide ID, and wants to know what the citizen’s problem is, that he needs to see the citizen’s ID.  He then tries to get the citizen to turn off his own video, and the citizen wisely refuses, citing the First Amendment.  At that time (about 2:15 in the video), a second, more experienced officer shows up and tells the citizen that if he doesn’t want to give ID it is OK, he is free to go.

The younger officer looks like he got kicked in the teeth at that point.  He does, however, follow the citizen for the next 15 minutes.

From my perspective this is fairly clear cut.  The young officer was not prepared nor trained to handle this.  He had no idea what he could or could not legally do, and the fact that the citizen stood up for his rights surprised him.  He hesitated due to his confusion, which was actually a good thing.  Some officers are much more assertive in what they believe their authority is, and would have stepped off into a minefield by making an arrest or taking other illegal actions.

Officers are not used to be confronted in a calm and reasonable way where their authority is being questioned.  They don’t like it when it happens.  The young officer was also lucky that the more experienced officer showed up, because you could see that the younger one was losing his patience.

That is also the reason that the officer followed him for the next 15 minutes or so (the videos are available at the citizen’s Youtube channel).  Had the citizen jaywalked or spit on the sidewalk, the officer would have made contact under the guise of the minor violation.

Nebraska Officer Twists Off on Citizen Videographer

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Apparently the fat bald officer (Officer Tobler) with the Sidney, Nebraska PD hasn’t gotten the memo.  First he threatens the citizen, Steven Bell, with arrest, then he throws Bell’s license and registration at him, and then he really flips out.   He cursed Bell and looked like he was going to get physical.  A second officer immediately grabbed him (the officer) and moved him over to the side, and then took Bell’s complaint to forward to the Interim Chief.  The local paper said as of June 25th, the Chief would only say that the matter was under investigation.  It has also made PoliceOne.  Some of the posters there are advocating retaliating against the citizen.

The Chief can be reached at this website or at (308) 254-5515.

 

This is Why “Sovereign Citizens” Lose in Court

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I was watching a video on RT about sovereign citizens, and the “expert” sovereign citizen, Alfred Adask, was explaining why people are sovereign.  He cited a U.S. Supreme Court case, Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419 (1793), in support of his position.  Adask noted that the case talked about the sovereignty of the people in regards to their ability to sue the government, specifically a state government of another state, as was provided for in the U.S. Constitution.  It was about the principle of sovereign immunity.  The Constitution said:

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State;–between Citizens of different States;–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 1 (emphasis added).

The Court found that it had jurisdiction to hear the case, and since the State of Georgia refused to appear, Chisholm was granted a default judgment.

Adask took one small section of the ruling and applied it out of context, and completely ignores that Chisholm is no longer good law.  You see, right after the decision, both Congress and the several States were shocked.  They never thought that a suit by a citizen against the government of a state would be allowed, under the age-old principle of sovereign immunity.  So they changed the law.  The only way to change a section of the Constitution is by amendment, and the Eleventh Amendment was passed by Congress and ratified by the States.  It reads:

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

 

U.S. Const. amend. XI.
The ruling in Chisholm has been “superseded by statute” or no longer valid.  This has been clearly recognized by the courts.  Comments in those opinions are clear.

  • “The decision “created such a shock of surprise that the Eleventh Amendment was at once proposed and adopted.”  Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 97 (1984).
  • “The Amendment’s language overruled the particular result in Chisholm, but this Court has recognized that its greater significance lies in its affirmation that the fundamental principle of sovereign immunity limits the grant of judicial authority in Art. III.   Id. at 98.
  • “[T]he Constitution does not embrace authority to entertain a suit brought by private parties against a state without consent given….”  In re State of New York, 256 U.S. 490, 497 (1921).
  • “This amendment, expressing the will of the ultimate sovereignty of the whole country, superior to all legislatures and all courts, actually reversed the decision of the supreme court.”  Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1 (1890).
  • “[T]he amendment being constitutionally adopted, there could not be exercised any jurisdiction [by the Court], in any case, past or future, in which a state was sued by the citizens of another state, or by citizens, or subjects, of any foreign state.”  Hollingsworth v. State of Virginia, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 378, 382 (1798).

Had Adask consulted an attorney, he could have avoided making a fool of himself.  It is not enough to know what the words on the paper say, one has to determine if a subsequent court has modified, overturned, narrowed, or otherwise affected the original ruling.  It is one of the basic principles of common law, which is supposedly the basis and the backbone of the sovereign citizen movement.

Of course Adask, a former roofer, has been meddling in the law for years, primarily publishing the Anti-Shyster magazine (at least until 2002).

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