Guy walking home from work, stops to drop off a video at the local Redbox… Stopped by Cop who “doesn’t like the way he walks”…
Guy walking home from work, stops to drop off a video at the local Redbox… Stopped by Cop who “doesn’t like the way he walks”…
Welcome to Charles County, Maryland – where the Cops are still fighting the Civil War.
Charles County, MD — An infuriating video posted to Facebook this week shows the grim and infuriating reality of incompetent and power tripping cops in police state USA.
Local artist, DC Prophitt was doing absolutely nothing wrong when he was approached by multiple Charles County Sheriff’s deputies. The deputies mistakenly thought that Prophitt’s girlfriend was breastfeeding their baby in the vehicle, so he decided to ruin their year.
The family was getting gas when their world was quickly turned upside down by badged agitators.
When the video begins, Prophitt is understandably aggravated by the stop and he was unafraid of voicing this emotion. As a deputy attempts to cite the couple for the non-existent “breast feeding violation,” Prophitt becomes even more upset.
“You say one more curse word, you’re going to jail,” said the deputy.
“Can we just get the ticket and go?” asks Prophitt’s girlfriend. “My daughters are in there.”
At this point, the deputy then grabs the woman and forces her to the other side of the vehicle. He then begins to threaten her with arrest too.
When Prophitt gets upset that the deputy is assaulting his girlfriend, he voices his concern to which the deputy replies, “Now your under arrest.”
When they ask why Prophitt is being arrested, the deputy asserts his authority, claiming that he is responsible for regulating how people should act in public. “There’s a certain way to act in public my friend, and that is not it,” spouts the deputy.
When his girlfriend asks why Prophitt is being arrested, she is told to “Sit in the car! Or you will be arrested too!”
The video then ends abruptly. According to Prophitt, however, his girlfriend did not stop recording. After police put Prophitt in the patrol car, they approached his girlfriend, assaulted her, took the camera, and confiscated her phone.
The phone was given back to them only days before the court date on Wednesday and the subsequent assault and camera snatching was deleted.
According to Prophitt, On Wednesday, he was found guilty of all charges and police are blaming him for the negative calls to the department from people who’ve seen his ridiculous arrest.
In the video below, a man was arrested, a woman assaulted, and state violence threatened — for what? There were no victims, no property had been damaged, and no one was harmed. This is the type of behavior by police that is driving a wedge in society between the state and everyone else.
Of course, people will say that Prophitt should have just been quiet, accepted the ticket, and he would have avoided the arrest. This is probably true. However, Prophitt’s anger is entirely understandable. He had harmed no one, yet he was surrounded by multiple armed state antagonists, who could and would have killed him with impunity.
Family moves into house. Neighbor subjects them to slurs and racist threats. Neighbor threatens them with a gun…
Neighbor resists arrest by Police, and is charged with a Misdemeanor…
Special laws for “special” people?
Citing a sliver of civil rights-era legislation more commonly used as protection against discriminatory landlords, a black couple is suing their former neighbor and a north Georgia city they say failed to stop him from harassing them.
Gregory and Sophia Bonds say the slurs and threats began the day they moved into the brick ranch rental home in a well-kept neighborhood in Gainesville, northeast of Atlanta, back in February 2012.
Roy Turner Jr., the white neighbor who worked for the city’s solid waste department, verbally assaulted them whenever he saw them outside, including sometimes while he was working, the couple contends. He also sometimes walked and made sounds like an ape when he saw them, the Bonds family asserts in a lawsuit filed last month against Turner and the city.
Turner told The Associated Press he wasn’t aware of the lawsuit but that he never threatened anyone.
“I said ‘porch monkey,'” he said with a chuckle. “That’s just a joking-around term.”
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit details more than a dozen specific instances of alleged harassment. Gregory Bonds said the final straw came in May: The family had company and Turner came out into his yard with a baseball bat and began hitting a tree aggressively and yelling more slurs. The family moved the next month.
They cite a provision of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and a nearly identical section of Georgia law that says it’s illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with someone who is exercising or enjoying any right guaranteed by that law. Conceived to protect against violent actions such as cross burnings, bombs or other physical attacks, it also applies to verbal attacks, said Robert Schwemm, a law professor at the University of Kentucky who has decades of experience with the Fair Housing Act.
“It’s specifically a separate section of the statute that was designed to apply to people who were not housing providers — neighbors and others,” Schwemm said.
That provision isn’t used very often against neighbors in the modern era, Schwemm said. He’s aware of one or two cases a year but said there are likely others he doesn’t hear about.
Schwemm said he’s never heard of a case that sought to hold a municipality accountable for a neighbor’s actions.
Gregory and Sophia Bonds had saved money to move out of an apartment into a house so their three teenage children would have a yard for the first time and would have more space to invite their friends over, their lawyer Ashley Bell said. Turner’s behavior violated fair housing statutes that bar discrimination on the basis of a variety of factors when people are renting, buying or seeking financing for housing, the lawsuit says.
The city’s knowledge of Turner’s actions, many of which occurred while he was a city employee, and its failure to curb them make it liable for them, the family argues. Roy Turner Mug Shot
City records show some steps were taken against Turner, but the Bonds family says it wasn’t enough.
Sophia Bonds first called police in March 2012, about a month after they moved in, and told an officer Turner regularly hurled racial slurs at them. She said she was afraid of him, according to a police report. Turner told the officer he wouldn’t use words like that because he was a city employee, the report says.
A month later, on April 19, 2012, Turner and Gregory Bonds exchanged words outside before Turner went into his house and reappeared at his back door with a loaded rifle that he pointed at Gregory Bonds, the couple told police.
After a standoff lasting several hours, officers entered the home and forcibly removed Turner, using a stun gun on him when he refused to obey their commands, police reports say.
Turner pleaded guilty a month later to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The judge ordered him to pay a $200 fine and to serve 12 months on probation with extra conditions: no violence or insults toward the Bonds family, no weapons on his property and no drinking or possessing hard liquor.
The Bonds family was frustrated that Turner only faced a misdemeanor charge, said Bell, their lawyer. Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard, whose office prosecuted Turner, said she understood that frustration.
“I was greatly outraged at the behavior that Roy Turner exhibited and at the behavior that this family and their children endured,” she said, adding that her office can only prosecute misdemeanors and the district attorney had declined to bring felony charges.
Turner was in a car crash in the 1970s that left him with a traumatic brain injury that caused mental impairment and altered his behavior, said Dunagan, the mayor, who grew up with Turner and said he never knew him to be violent. A group of friends watches out for Turner and helps him live as independently as possible, two of them told Woodard before Turner’s sentencing.
Woodard detected some cognitive disconnect when speaking to Turner, but she said she still believed Turner was capable of controlling himself.
Woodard said she believes the city’s police handled him properly, sending in a SWAT team and using force to arrest him.
Turner landed back in court for probation violations several times. After his probation officer said Turner continued to insult the Bonds family, the judge ordered him not to drink or possess any alcohol, to submit to random alcohol testing, to allow police to enter his home randomly to make sure there were no guns and to have no contact with the Bonds family, court records show.
Turner had worked for the city’s solid waste department since October 1992. In recent years, he worked as a garbage collector and had a string of run-ins with customers and co-workers, according to city personnel records. There’s a record in his personnel file of a call from Sophia Bonds a few days after his arrest asking that Turner not work the route that included her house.
The city suspended him following his arrest in April 2012. After he was sentenced to probation, he was allowed to return to work but was warned not to have arguments or to use derogatory language.
After numerous confrontations with co-workers and the public, Turner was fired Oct. 23.
Another over-the-top Police stop of a black man for DWB in Dayton. This comes on top of news of a Harris County, Texas Officer being shot execution style at a gas station – and what seems to be a rise in violence against Police in general. Hard to tell at this point if there is any correlation as the shooters have been both black and white. But as a person who has gone through the DWB routine, living in a high end majority white neighborhood for over 30 years – Once being stopped because the Dealer installed tags on my expensive car had a clear plastic cover (just as the hundreds of other cars sold by the local dealer in that town)…I can certainly agree with John Felton’s frustration
John Felton was driving to his brother’s house in Dayton, Ohio, on a recent night when he noticed a police car tailing him. Not wanting to give the officer any excuse to pull him over, Felton, who is black and was visiting Dayton from Michigan, tried to drive extra carefully. But the effort was insufficient: Soon after making a turn, Felton was forced to stop his car and show the officer his driver’s license.
It turned out Felton had not switched on his turn signal at the exact right moment; as you can see from the video Felton made of the encounter and sent to talk show host David Pakman, the white officer told him he had failed to signal within 100 feet of making his turn.
But why, Felton wanted to know, had the officer decided to follow him in the first place? That’s when the stop went from being an ordinary illustration of racial profiling to an extraordinary one.
“You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you,” the officer told Fenton. The implication was that Fenton had marked himself as a suspicious character simply by looking at the officer.
Update, Aug. 28, 5:10 p.m.: The city of Dayton put out a statement about the incident, acknowledging that “making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop.” The statement implies—but doesn’t say outright—that in pulling Felton over for not signaling within 100 feet of a turn, the officer was complying with a Dayton police initiative called “Safe Communities Through Aggressive Traffic Enforcement,” aimed at reducing traffic-related fatalities. The statement also says that the police department “is in contact with Mr. Felton,” and that he “has agreed to a conversation with the officer, facilitated by the Dayton Mediation Center” that will “allow Mr. Felton and the Officer to discuss the specifics of the incident.”
You would think, by now – the Police Leadership would have gotten a clue.While the fact that this Cop is pissed and mouthing off doesn’t prove malfeasance – the harassment, and settlement by the Police Department would seem to indicate more than just a little bad blood. And is proof that some sort of harassment indeed occurred.
White Cop…Black Citizen…Again.
The Guardian’s Jon Swaine published a damning article Tuesday about the measures an Alabama town took to cover up the behavior of a police officer who threatened to murder a black resident who claimed that he was being targeted by the police.
Vincent Bias alleged that for the past two years, the Alexander City Police Department had been engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment against him, issuing an “exorbitant number of traffic tickets, citations and concocted city code violations.”
In 2013, police were called to the home of Bias’ brother-in-law because of an unleashed dog. While there, Officer Troy Middlebrooks confided in Bias’ brother-in-law — who is white — that he was tired of “that nigger” being released from jail. Bias has multiple drug convictions and has spent time in prison, and Middlebrooks had arrested him on possession charges earlier that year.
“Something’s going on with that fucking lawyer he knows, and that fucking judge or something,” Middlebrooks can be heard saying on a secret recording of the conversation made by the brother-in-law. If Middlebrooks had his druthers, he would “fucking kill that motherfucker with whatever I had in the fucking house.”
More significantly, Middlebrooks said that “before the police got here, I’d fucking put marks all over my shit and make it look like he was trying to fucking kill me. I god damn guarantee you. What would it look like? Self fucking defence. Fuck that piece of shit. I’m a lot different from a lot of these other folks. I’ll fucking tell you what’s on my fucking mind.”
“That motherfucker there needs a goddamn bullet,” he added. “You fucking know exactly what I’m talking about.”
When Alexander City Police Chief Willie Robinson learned of the tape, he defended his officer, saying “he was just talking, he didn’t really mean it.” However, he insisted that although Middlebrooks wasn’t terminated, “he got disciplined.”…(More)…
Could just be the reason we are seeing this –
A new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has found a vast gulf between black and white Americans in how they view police officers. Things to know about Americans’ opinions and experiences with policing:
BLACK AMERICANS DON’T TRUST POLICE
The AP-NORC poll shows that just a third of black Americans say they can always or often trust police to do what is right for their communities, while a large majority of whites say that. Nearly half of blacks trust the police just sometimes, and 2 in 10 trust them rarely or never.
Eight in 10 black Americans say police are too quick to use deadly force, and 7 in 10 say police officers who cause injury or death are usually treated too leniently by the criminal justice system. Just a third of whites say either of those things.
More than 8 in 10 blacks say police sometimes treat minority groups more roughly. A similar proportion says that police are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than against a white person. Most whites think race does not affect police use of deadly force.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ARE KEY
Fifty percent of blacks, compared with just 3 percent of whites, say that they personally have felt treated unfairly by a police officer because of race. Another 15 percent of blacks and 5 percent of whites say unfair treatment by police has happened to a family member.
Whites who live in communities where census data shows at least a quarter of the population is non-white are more likely than other whites to say police in their community sometimes treat minorities more roughly, 58 percent to 42 percent, and are more likely to see the police as too quick to use deadly force, 42 percent to 29 percent.
Six in 10 Americans, including blacks and whites, say they personally know someone who is now, or recently was, a police officer.
About a quarter of blacks, but less than 1 in 10 whites, say they’re very worried about becoming victims of violent crime.
DIFFERING VIEWS ON REASONS FOR RECENT INCIDENTS
More than 7 in 10 blacks say major reasons for police violence against civilians include minimal consequences for police misconduct, poor relations between police and the public, and problems with race relations in society. Fewer than half of whites cited any of those as major reasons.
But 62 percent of whites, and just 45 percent of blacks, said a major reason is that civilians confront police officers when they’re stopped instead of cooperating.
Although they disagree on the reasons, 7 in 10 Americans, including similar percentages of blacks and whites, say requiring police officers to wear body cameras would be an effective way to prevent similar incidents.
Why is it the police in Florida can arrest a black man at his job 258 times for being at work…
And can’t get a murderer like George Zimmerman off the street and not pulling guns on women?
In the second incident this week to make the news concerning racial profiling, police abuse, and brutality – “Get Tough on Crime” laws have turned into a mechanism of racial harassment and brutality. The first incident (or more properly series of incidents) were in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where officers harassed, beat, and videotaped black men they accosted on the street, threatening them with arrest if they didn’t sing or dance on video for the officers amusement. A series of videos uncovered by local paper posted at a local Police internal message board, by the Motor City Muckraker, show black men in the town being stopped and harassed by police, and forced under threat of beating or arrest to sing or make animal sounds.
The case in Miami Gardens, Florida is even more vicious. A local store owner, tired of having his employees and customers summarily harassed and arrested by Miami Gardens Police, while doing nothing more nefarious than taking the trash out, minding the store, or purchasing a Lottery Ticket, installed a video surveillance system. What the videos show is Miami Gardens Police harassing, arresting, and using force to arrest people on manufactured grounds over a year.
Here, a store employee (Earl Sampson) taking out the trash is arrested for “trespassing”…
He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times.
Despite his long rap sheet, Sampson, 28, has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana.
Miami Gardens police have arrested Sampson 62 times for one offense: trespassing.
Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens.
But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.
So how can he be trespassing when he works there?
Now admittedly Miami Gardens has a crime problem. It is a poor area, and robberies and shootings are not uncommon. However, it is hard to see how arresting law abiding citizens on trumped up charges, while they are at work – is doing anything to stop the serious crime problems.
The Miami Herald has published a stunning, maddening story about alleged persistent police harassment of blacks in the city of Miami Gardens, Fla. (You should read the entire Heraldstory; it will raise your blood pressure and ruin your weekend, but you should still read it.) For years, police would come to a convenience store in a transitional neighborhood and hassle black customers and employees in the name of proactive crime prevention—regularly citing and arresting men for loitering or trespassing, even when they weren’t.
One man, an employee of the store, was “stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years,” with almost all of these incidents happening on store premises. He was arrested 62 times for trespassing, and, again, these were arrests for being on the grounds of the store where he was employed. These incidents and others were recorded by video cameras installed by the store’s owner for the express purpose of documenting police misconduct:
The videos show, among other things, cops stopping citizens, questioning them, aggressively searching them and arresting them for trespassing when they have permission to be on the premises; officers conducting searches of Saleh’s business without search warrants or permission; using what appears to be excessive force on subjects who are clearly not resisting arrest and filing inaccurate police reports in connection with the arrests.
The harassment continued even after the store’s owner asked the cops to leave him and his employees alone. Since then, the store’s owner has reported police harassment of his own. “I ’m going to get you mother-f—–,” he says one cop told him during an allegedly gratuitous traffic stop.
How does something like this happen? Blame it on endemic racism, yes, and on bad apples in the police department—but also blame it on a short-sighted local crime-reduction policy that, in retrospect, was always, always ripe for abuse. The convenience store incidents began when police convinced the store’s owner to enroll in the department’s “Zero Tolerance Zone” program. In Miami Gardens, when a shop becomes a Zero Tolerance Zone, the owner signs an affidavit authorizing the police to enter the premises when the owner is absent and question, eject, and/or arrest all those whom they suspect of being up to no good. The website of the Miami Gardens Police Department notes that the program is “designed to reduce the number of individuals who are sometimes seen trespassing and loitering on private property without legitimate business.”
Miami Gardens does have a serious crime problem—murders there have “more than doubled” in recent years, says the Herald—and, in theory, this program is meant to address that problem by keeping potential malefactors on their toes and off the streets. In practice—at this one convenience store, at least—by authorizing police to act in the owner’s stead, the “Zero Tolerance Zone” just made it easier for bad cops to abuse power.
The fact that Miami Gardens police kept arresting that one particular employee even after it was very clear that he worked at the store is baffling, and obviously indicates that more was going on here than simple overzealousness. But the alleged police misbehavior is rooted in the idea that cities can keep their streets safer by keeping poor black men off of them, and that it’s up to an individual cop’s discretion to determine what sort of behavior is and is not appropriate.
The “Zero Tolerance Zone” initiative sounds similar to the controversial stop-and-frisk programs that have been deployed in New York and other cities, where police officers are encouraged to routinely stop and question people on slim grounds—“suspicious behavior” is a favorite excuse—in hopes of seizing guns and drugs and stopping crime before it starts. In both programs, cops have been accused of routinely exceeding their authority against people who have no real means of stopping them from doing so. Inevitably, the people being stopped and questioned are minority residents of crime-ridden areas—police have no incentive to deploy these tactics in rich white neighborhoods with minimal street crime. Inevitably, when cops are authorized to engage in this sort of proactive policing, some cops will overdo it, and trample citizens’ civil rights in the process.
This all comes down to the goddamn stupid, silly, racist “broken windows” theory of crime prevention that encourages police to treat the symptoms in hopes of curing the disease. This doesn’t work in medicine or crime prevention. “Broken windows” theorizes that disorderly neighborhoods invite criminal behavior, and that cracking down on quality-of-life violations can make neighborhoods safer. But while taking a hard line on public disorder might make the streets cleaner, there is little evidencethat the strategy is an effective way to reduce crime. (Broken-windows policing was most famously applied in New York during the Giuliani administration, but the decline in the city’s crime rate during that timespan probably had more to do with the end of the crack epidemic than with the NYPD taking a hard line on jaywalking.)
More broadly, there will always be crime in poor neighborhoods as long as these neighborhoods lack good jobs, good schools, good mental health resources, and other things that truly help make neighborhoods stable. Thinking you can stop crime by ticketing loiterers (or manufacturing bogus charges against people who look like loiterers) is the sort of willfully obtuse policymaking favored by shortsighted, indifferent leaders who value appearances over results. As a long-term crime-prevention strategy, broken windows is intellectually bankrupt; as a short-term strategy, it is a recipe for civil rights abuses. If the allegations are true, the Miami Gardens story makes this all painfully clear.
What kind of man needs to round up 40 of his buddies armed with semi-automatic assault rifles, and machine guns…
To confront a group of unarmed housewives?
Apparently there are a number of small weenie, no cajone, chickensquats in Dallas, Texas.
Once upon a time the folks in Texas had character – like it or not. I really don’t understand why the good folks down there haven’t run the yellow-bellied cabrones out of the state on a rail yet.
On Saturday, nearly 40 armed men, women, and children waited outside a Dallas, Texas area restaurant to protest a membership meeting for the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
According to a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action (MDA), the moms were inside the Blue Mesa Grill when members of Open Carry Texas (OCT) — an open carry advocacy group — “pull[ed] up in the parking lot and start[ed] getting guns out of their trunks.” The group then waited in the parking lot for the four MDA members to come out. The spokeswoman said that the restaurant manager did not want to call 911, for fear of “inciting a riot” and waited for the gun advocates to leave. The group moved to a nearby Hooters after approximately two hours.
MDA later released a statement calling OCT “gun bullies” who “disagree[d] with our goal of changing America’s gun laws and policies to protect our children and families.” The statement added that the members and restaurant customers were “terrified by what appeared to be an armed ambush.” A member of OCT responded by tweeting, “I guess I’m a #gunbullies #Comeandtakeit.”
This is not the first time that gun advocates have rallied at MDA events. In March, a group of armed men crashed a MDA gun-control rally in Indianapolis. Other gun advocate groups will hold rallies this upcoming December 14th, the anniversary date of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Licensed gun owners are allowed to carry concealed weapons, but Texas is one of six states that prohibits open carry of handguns. Attorney General Greg Abbott, a likely Republican successor for Gov. Rick Perry (R), has vowed topermit concealed handgun owners to display their firearms in public. Four GOP contenders for lieutenant governor similarly hope to put in place open carry laws if elected.