Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Archive for the ‘License to Kill’ Category

Who killed Pastor Scott?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2010

Question: Who killed Pastor W. Scott Creech in the parking lot of his business in the Spokane Valley on August 25, 2010?

Answer: One of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich’s deputies, Brian Hirzel, who was allowed to go on vacation immediately after the killing and before being interviewed about the events. And, of course, the Sheriff’s finest is being interviewed by the Spokane Police Department’s finest so we all know that true justice is just around the corner.

More important perhaps is the need for a thorough going look at our law enforcement and just exactly why they conduct themselves in the ways they do. What is their mentality? What is their training? Why is everyone from a 74-year-old pastor to a pre-teen girl at risk of death, maiming or abuse in any encounter with these individuals?

Let’s start by looking at this photo:

(Photo from Spokane County Sheriff website)i

(photo from Spokane County Sheriff’s website — August 8, 2007)

Do you really want these guys prowling your parking lot or manhandling your daughter if she has a bit too much to drink on high school graduation night?

There are a few other photos at the link below.

http://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/weaponry/

And here is a history (admittedly incomplete) of Spokane area law enforcement abuses — http://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/abuse-laying-out-the-case/

Next to his smiling photo on the Spokane County Sheriff’s website, Knezovich published these increasingly absurd words:

(quote) Your Spokane County Sheriff’s Office consistently invests available resources toward community-wide safety and security, economic viability and the positive, nationwide reputation of our County.

We do so by providing a highly-trained, dedicated team of professionals, working in partnership with our community, through utilizing their unique talents and skills in conjunction with new technology and research based criminal justice training. (end quote)

For Pastor Scott, like so many others in the Spokane County area, there is neither safety nor security nor justice. Clearly, the technology is of little positive use, the research and the mentality it spawns are flawed, and the leadership is on the wrong side of the line that divides our community from those who would bring death, terror and sorrow to our families and neighborhoods.

And as for “the positive, nationwide reputation of our County” to which Sheriff Knezovich refers, one can only ask with all due respect, “What has Ozzie been smoking?”

Posted in License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Stop it. You're killin' me., Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | 1 Comment »

Tyrone Thomas – shot in the back by Spokane Police – August 6, 2001

Posted by Arroyoribera on April 1, 2010

On August 6, 2001, Tyrone Thomas, an African American student at Spokane Community College, was shot and killed by Spokane Police in a downtown office building. The police accused Thomas of shooting directly at them and that they shot back in self defense. However, the bullet entered Mr. Thomas’s back as he fled down a hallway and turned down a corridor. A local attorney walking through the building was able to see Thomas through a glass door but was unable to render assistance because the door was locked. The witness, not knowing that police officers shot the victim, reported seeing the injured Thomas and told the officers to get medical assistance immediately because he was still alive and was losing blood rapidly. Police officers would not allow emergency medical assistance for more than a half an hour. Even though the victim had been reported as incapacitated and severely injured, police officers claimed a need to have a SWAT team clear the area before they would allow emergency medical personnel into the building. Though the bullet did not hit any vital organs, Tyrone Thomas bled to death in the corridor. It was reported that if medical assistance had been provided immediately Mr. Thomas would more than likely have lived. Several months later, in the midst of controversy that has endured to this day, the Spokane Police Department awarded the two officers (Shane Oien and James Erickson) involved in shooting Tyrone Thomas in the back with its highest award, the Medal of Valor. Thomas’s death was one of those that generated great outrage in the community, resulting in public meetings with then-Police Chief Roger Bragdon but no actions to curb police abuses nor impunity nor, of course, any effective community oversight of the police.

(This is one of numerous deaths not included on the original timeline that forms the backbone of this blog. The information on the death of Tyrone Thomas was sent to me by a key activist in Spokane’s police accountability movement. Though I myself have not been very active of late, I invites the entire community to e-mail him at SpokanePoliceAbuses@gmail.com with additional cases of deaths, abuses, crimes, corruption, and impunity which mark the Spokane Police Departments history and have left our community fearing for the safety of our law-abiding children, family members, and friends. Please contribute to this project with ideas, articles, links, format ideas, etc.)

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, License to Kill, Racism | Leave a Comment »

Up 40% year-to-date

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Usage statistics for this blog show readership up 40% year-to-date. On-line just 6 months, SpokanePoliceAbuses will go over 20,000 hits in the next couple days and reached a single week high with a day remaining in the week.

Whether it is satellite imagery of the CIA’s SERE Torture Training facility outside Spokane, video of police brutality and arbitrary exercise of repressive powers by the Spokane Police Department, or links to SPD officers such as bodybuilding undercover SPD cop Mel Tramell or recently fired SPD cop and deputized federal drug task force member Jason Uberuaga (alleged rapist), you will find information on it here.

Want to see pictures of weaponry in the militarized arsenal of the Spokane area law enforcement? You will find it here.

Concerned about Spokane Police officers blogging under pseudonyms and phony names on Spokesman-Review blogs? Get the story and analysis at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

Not aware that Spokane was the site of mass civil action and brutal repression against the likes of Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn in 1909?

Did not know that martial law was declared in Spokane by the federal government in 1917? Click here.

Concerned about possible ethical issues involving Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick? Read more.

Information on those matters and more can be found here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com

Want to know more about Spokane area law enforcement “personalities of note” such as Ron “Rocketsbrain” Wright, Mark Fuhrman, Alan Chertok, and Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak?

Looking for statistics, reports and information for your own investigations and efforts to bring to Spokane Police Department under civilian oversight?

Concerned about the unresolved homicide-by-cops of Otto Zehm?

Disturbed by the involvement of FBI agent Jason Oakley in the spying on and infiltrating of local activist organizations? See also FBI Watchlist — Spokane Edition.

There are also numerous videos, some related to the Spokane Police Department such as “You Honkey, We Drinkey — or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventures” and those related to the Police Riot against Youth in Riverfront Park on 7/4/07.

However, there are many other videos. Want to see the infamous UCLA tasering video, or the tasering of the University of Florida student who attempted to address Sen. John Kerry, or the Polish man tasered and killed in the Vancouver International Airport?

These videos are evidence of the danger of misuse of tasers by poorly trained, unskilled, and out-of-control police officers. They are also evidence of the lie of freedom and democracy in North American which rapidly being disclosed to the people of the world by citizen journalists armed with cameras, cell phones, and recording devices.

David Brookbank — owner, administrator and author of the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog — believes that there is an intimate and demonstrable connection between abuses of police power in Spokane, Washington, and the unrelenting imperialist brutalization of the globe by the government of the United States. As a result, this blog also hosts a number of articles, commentaries, photographs, links, and videos related directly to fascism, imperialism, Iraq, Vietnam, Nixon, Bush, anti-war protest, U.S. government spying and lying, and numerous other subjects.

Thus one will find here music videos, some with commentary, such as Call it Democracy, Welcome to 1984, Ohio, and La Coartada.

A favorite video of mine is “What it’s like” by Everlast, presented in the context of a Spokane Police Officer’s statement to a community health worker: “I have a job to do. I have to get these shit bags out of the park”.

There are documentary clips such as Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, U.S. government waterboarding training videos, and Ward Churchill on Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism.

Please visit this site frequently. Send the link to those you know looking to bring accountability to the Spokane Police Department and those abusing power around the world.

And finally, please send your suggestions, leads, and comments to me at spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Statistics, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Rampant Police Misconduct Scandals in U.S. — (Part 1)

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 10, 2008

“The history of these kinds of scandals is that cops go right back to acting as they always have when the dust settles, because the pressure they most feel is the pressure to produce results, the constant demand to get the job done.” (FBI Official Michael Kramer, “How cops go bad,” Time magazine, December 15, 1997.)

(To add to this list of police scandals, please send information to spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com)

Nationwide — “America’s National Scandal — Nationwide Police Misconduct” — (quote) Gary Sykes, director of the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institution and the Center for Law Enforcement Ethics in Dallas, has found that a surprising number of cities have had to deal with police corruption. “I’m talking about abuse of authority and patterns of misconduct,” he said. “There isn’t any major city that hasn’t gone through some embarrassing events that call into question the trustworthiness of police departments.” (end quote)

Tacoma, Washington — “Child-sex defendant was face of police” (Tacoma News Tribune, August 4, 2006) — Tacoma Police officer and spokesperson is accused of molesting a developmentally disabled boy who now resides in Spokane. The officer, Lee William Giles Jr, represented the Tacoma Police department in the media and in the schools.

Nationwide — “Inappropriate police responses to critical mass rides worldwide” (Critical-Mass.info) — Throughout the U.S., police departments have suppressed, surveilled, and brutally repressed Critical Mass bike rides. Among the cities where police repression has occurred include Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Spokane, Washington; Bellingham, Washington; Tempe, Arizona; Reno, Nevada; Buffalo, NY; San Francisco, California; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Spokane, WashingtonPolitical Scandals of the United States — Spokane Mayor James West, an opponent of gay rights, denied accusations of having molested two boys while he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but came under investigation (2005) for offering municipal jobs to men he met in gay online chat rooms. West was ousted in a recall vote December 2005.

Spokane, Washington — “Tapes, Witnesses Contradict Police Accounts of Zehm Arrest” (The Inclusion Daily Express) — Seven Spokane Police officers participated in the brutal homicide of Otto Zehm, a man with a mental disability and a mental illness.

Kalamazoo, Michigan — “Minority complaints rarely upheld” (Kalamazoo Gazette, June 11, 2000) — (quote) A Kalamazoo Gazette study shows Kalamazoo police rarely uphold minorities’ complaints against officers. Even less likely is that a police-dominated review board will side with a minority complainant in an alleged excessive force case, according to a review of city documents. Since 1997, a Police-Community Relations Board – comprised of a police union official, a chief’s office representative and a city manager’s designee – has rejected all 26 citizen complaints of excessive force, the Gazette review found. Most of those complaints were filed by minorities, who also are far more likely than whites to be pepper sprayed here, the documents showed. (end quote)

San Francisco, California — “Scandals punctuate the history of the San Francisco Police Department” (San Francisco Chronicle, December 11, 2005) — The recent video scandal involving SF police officers is only the latest in years of scandal going back decades.

San Francisco, California — “Bay area police scandal tarnishes top brass” (Christian Science Monitor, March 6, 2003) — (quote) Indictments in cover up case show that top police can be held accountable but reform is still needed. (end quote)

Port of Seattle, Washington — “Investigators: Report says handling of E-gate scandal was botched” (King 5 TV, May 31, 2007) — Scores of Port of Seattle police officials were involved in mailing of sexist and racist e-mails and videos over a period of two years.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — “Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States” (Human Rights Watch) — When the police are indistinguishable from the bad guys, this society has a serious problem, said Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

Schenectady, NY — “Grand jury blames poor leadership for Schenectady police scandals” (Times Union, November 19, 2007) — According to the Times Union, the Grand Jury report “blames nearly two decades of Police Department scandals on lax oversight of vice cases.” To read a PDF of the grand jury report on the Schenectady Police Department’s vice squad, click here.

Chicago, Illinois — “Scandals bring down Chicago’s elite police unit” (NPR, October 10, 2007) — (quote) The Chicago Police Department is disbanding its elite Special Operations Section. Seven officers have been charged with robbery and kidnapping. Chicago Tribune reporter Dave Heinzmann says Chicago Mayor Richard Daley cited systematic problems within the S.O.S. and the way the unit operates during the announcement of the unit’s closure. (end quote)

Houston, Texas — “45 Houston crime lab cases get legal review” (Houston Chronicle, March 15, 2006) — (quote) Faulty evidence needs scrutiny, Project Innocence co-founder says. (end quote)

Boston, Massachusetts — “Source of Boston Police Department exam scandal still unknown” (WBZ-TV, January 4, 2008) — (quote) Boston police officers accused of cheating on a promotion exam. he department has spent months investigating what happened and the commissioner says his own officers didn’t cooperate. (end quote)

Dallas, Texas — “Dallas Officers Demoted Following Scandal” (TalkLeft-The Politics of Crime, December 4, 2004) — (quote) Concluding that the indictment of four police officers who arrested more than 20 people on bogus drug charges resulted from “a failure of management supervision,” the Dallas Police Department decided to demote two highly ranked managers. (end quote)

New York City — “A History of Police Misconduct Charges” (New York Times, January 23, 2008) — (quote) In the last five years, the New York Police Department has been embarassed by a number of scandals involving the conduct of officers on duty. (end quote)

State-by-state accounts of specific incidents of Police Misconduct at Bad Cop News (each incident includes a link to the original news story at the end of the posting).

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, No Sir Officer ____ | Leave a Comment »

Urgent Call– Protest to close down Guantanamo — Friday, Jan. 11, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 10, 2008

GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION

Tell the government, tell the community, tell the world

GUANTANAMO MUST BE CLOSED!

- 108 N. Washington St, Spokane (downtown at corner Riverside and Washington)

- Friday, January 11, 2008 at 4 PM

- Bring your signs. Bring your friends. Bring your OUTRAGE.

The Spokane American Legion Building at 108 N. Washington houses the offices of psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the military’s psychological torture plan used at Guatanamo, Abu Ghraib, Baghreb, and the secret so-called “black sites”, known by thinking people as “torture centers”.

The Role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA Program in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations (this post includes links to the major exposes on Mitchell/Jessen, Guantanamo, and videos of waterboarding, etc.

- Called by PJALS – Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane

Friday, January 11, 2008 marks the 6th year since the opening of the prison and torture center at Guantanamo Bay. As Americans responsible for funding this horror, many of us in Spokane plan to make known our abhorrence of that awful place, and will continue to demand that it be shut down – and shut down in a way that does not involve simply circulating its prisoners to other secret U.S.-run prisons.

PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) 35 W. Main, Spokane WA 99201 509-838-7870

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Protest, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane’s Para-military SWAT Team — Police, Propaganda, and Pavlischak

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

[Before the Vietnam War was even over, the Spokane Police Department began forming its own para-military unit with the assistance of former Marine Corps member, Andrew "Skip" Pavlischak. Then, after 27 years as a member of the Spokane Police Department, Pavlischak turned to training mercenaries and human rights abusers as an employee of special police and military operations training companies.

The following text is derived from a Spokane Police Department propaganda tract. Links have been added to certain text to provide additional information and context. The Spokane Police Department SWAT team is a para-military organization which engages in extracurricular activities of a potentially illegal nature. In addition, there are apparent conflicts of interest between former SPD employees (including former SPD SWAT team members), weapons companies supplying the SPD, and mercenary training organizations which currently employ them.]

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.” Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]


History


The Spokane Police SWAT Team first came into existence in 1972. Back then the Team consisted of five members, who had their own military fatigues and who’s arsenal consisted of two pump shotguns, a privately owned big game rifle, and the department issued six shot revolvers.

Today the team consists of twenty-five highly trained members. The Team is “part-time” meaning that SWAT is a specialty assignment in addition to a primary function like patrol or detective. This speaks to the dedication of the members because it requires them to work the equivalent of two “full-time” jobs. The team structure consists of a commander holding the rank of lieutenant, a four member-training cadre holding the rank of either sergeant or corporal and twenty-one operators who span the ranks of detective to police officer. The ranking member of the training cadre also serves as the acting commander in the absence of the lieutenant. There is one member assigned to full-time SWAT duties providing administrative, equipment, training, and tactical support.

Former Chief of Police, Roger Bragdon and retired Detective Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak both played significant roles in the development of a professional Team that lives up to its motto: “We give it R. Best.” The motto is dedicated to Corporal Robin Best who died training with the Team. Robin’s name is among those on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC and it appears on similar memorials here in the state of Washington.

Member Selection

When a SWAT vacancy opens, a department wide announcement is distributed throughout the department. Any officer holding the rank of Police Officer (PO), Police Officer First Class (PFC), Senior Patrol Officer (SPO), Corporal or Detective is invited to apply. Applicants must have three years law enforcement experience and are screened through a six-step process: formal application, performance review, physical fitness test, marksmanship, oral interview, and administrative approval.

The fitness test components are: a three mile run in under twenty-four minutes, followed immediately by ten overhand chin ups, fifteen dips, fifty pushups, and fifty sit-ups. Both the pushup and sit-ups have to be completed in sixty seconds. Candidates then run obstacle course wearing a tactical style vest. The obstacle course is approximately 400 meters long and includes: a four foot chain link fence, an incline run, a belly crawl, a six foot wall, and a 150 lb dummy drag. Immediately after the obstacle course, candidates run to the firing range where they must qualify by shooting two consecutive targets with a minimum score of 90 % on each. The fire their issued handgun using the Practical Police Course (PPC).

All current SWAT members must pass and maintain the same physical and shooting standards on a quarterly basis. These tests are sometimes unannounced.

Equipment

The Team’s firearms are Heckler and Koch (H&K) with the exception of handguns and marksmen rifles. The team maintains and deploys the H&K MP-5, 33, 53, and the G3 model rifles. Handguns are the Glock .40 caliber fitted with M-3 tactical lights, and the marksman use custom rifles built off Remington 700 actions. The CART Team maintains and deploys all the specialty impact munitions and chemical agents utilizing both 37 mm and 40 mm launchers. Our retired member Skip Pavlischak, who is an adjunct instructor for the H&K International Training Division, provides us with training and technical assistance.

The Team also has the equipment necessary for all types of tactical missions. The equipment includes night vision devices, lighting systems, shields, bunkers, breaching tools, noise/flash diversions (NFDD), and other mission specific tools.

The Team uses two dedicated marked police cars for “quick response” deployment of weapons and equipment during duty shifts by member working patrol. Two Chevy suburbans, retrofitted with extended running boards and handles are utilized for most tactical missions. The Team also has a separate equipment vehicle and recently acquired an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Training

Each Team member attends Basic SWAT School, taught by instructors from the Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA). The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) accredits this course.

The team is divided into four squads with one team leader and one trainer assigned to each squad. Two squads train each Friday, with the marksman and CART members receiving additional training on Tuesdays. So, members receive twenty to twenty-four hours of training per month depending on their Team specialty. Six of the Team’s operators are cross-trained as marksman, three as chemical agent deployment specialists (CART), two as emergency medical technicians (EMT), six are certified firearms instructors and three are certified defensive tactics instructors. Training for the full team is held several times a year and usually includes one full week per year commonly referred to by members as “hell week.”

The team regularly trains in the areas of slow and deliberate searching, dynamic and hostage rescue entries, NFDD, marksmanship, immediate action drills, vehicle assaults, special events, active shooter scenarios, security details, open air assaults and camouflaged movement.

The team members also attend WSTOA training on a regular basis augmented by specialty schools such as courses presented by H&K or the Sure Fire Institute.

Deployment

The team is activated for standard tactical missions like high risk warrant service, high-risk arrest, barricaded persons, security details, hostage takers and sniper suppression. Last year the SPD Team was activated on fifty-six occasions spanning the gamut of tactical missions. Because Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in the Inland Pacific Northwest, the SWAT Team occasionally receives requests to deploy in an adjoining or near-by jurisdiction. We also have a close relationship with our local Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team.

(Source — http://www.freewebs.com/thecmclan/swathistory.htm )

“It’s a very dangerous thing when you’re telling cops they’re soldiers and there’s an enemy out there. I don’t like it all.”  Joseph McNamara, Hoover Institution research fellow and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City * —]

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Andrew “Skip” Pavlischak — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #4

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

Andrew “Skip” J. Pavlischak — Adjunct Instructor for Front Range Training and Consulting, LLC, and Firearms, Tactical and Specialty Instructor for TeamOne Network

Skippy retired from the Spokane Police department after 27 years of service. A U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, Skip has 26 years experience as an SPD SWAT team member, team leader, and commander in a full-time position. He is a certified firearms, distraction device, and chemical agent instructor. Skip is also a Master Sub Gun and Pistol Instructor. He assisted in the formation of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and is a past president. Skip was also the lead instructor for basic and advanced SWAT training for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) and worked as a Gang Unit Leader and in the Special Investigations Narcotics Unit. He recently attended a course at New Mexico Tech for certification for instructing in Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings through the U.S. Department of Justice.

[For more on the Washington State Tactical Officers Association and its sponsorship by numerous mercenary training companies such as Triple Canopy and Blackwater USA, see the following links:

All white Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA) -- includes photos

WSTOA sponsors -- includes links to sponsor companies ]

[For more information on the history of the Spokane Police Department SWAT team, its weaponry, and Skip Pavlischak, please visit this link.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Spokane LE Personalities, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 2, 2008

Death by TASER – The Tragic Death of Roger Holyfield

By Christopher Bollyn

11 December 2006

 

I have taken a special interest in the widespread use of the supposedly “non-lethal” TASER weapon after being assaulted and TASERed without cause or justification at my home in mid-August by a so-called “tactical unit” of three out-of-uniform undercover cops.

 

It was, after all, with no small amount of trepidation that I had returned with my family to our home in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in July 2006, after an absence of nearly one year.

 

We were compelled to leave our home in the fall of 2005 because we no longer felt secure after discovering that two people who had attached themselves to us over a period of years were actually informing the FBI on our comings and goings. Their daily intrusions had forced us to change our telephone number and make ourselves scarce in our attempt to protect ourselves and our privacy.

 

We had only been back at home a week from a trip to North Dakota when I noticed a strange car loitering around my house with three heavily-armed men wearing body armor. I called 911 to report the suspicious vehicle and was very surprised to see the same three heavily-armed men on my driveway 15 minutes later confronting my wife and 8-year-old daughter.

 

Contrary to the police report, these men did not introduce themselves or explain their presence and adamantly refused to identify themselves when asked. When I turned to get my brother from the house, I was suddenly attacked from behind, handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

 

At this point, the unidentified man who acted like the leader of the group (who I later learned had worked with the Department of Homeland Security), applied the TASER gun without warning directly to my back and shocked the hell out of me. As I now know, at that moment I came very close to death.

 

At least 200 Americans have died recently in similar circumstances after being TASERed. Roger Holyfield is one of them.

 

The case of the 17-year-old Roger Holyfield is a very tragic case which should serve as a wake-up call for Americans. If we learn something from his death and save lives in the future, Roger’s death will not have been in vain. If that happens, Roger Holyfield may be remembered as a martyr whose death served to save others.

 

Roger lived in the village of Dow, near the town of Jerseyville, Illinois, and certainly had not had an easy time of things. Although, he was well-liked he had gone through a very difficult period after his father had committed suicide in the spring of 2003.

 

Like many Americans, Roger had been taking an anti-depressant medication, which created adverse psychiatric side effects, which led to additional prescriptions to deal with the side effects. In Roger’s case, an anti-psychotic medication, Geodon, was added to the anti-depressant Wellbutrin, creating a dangerous pharmaceutical cocktail. He had been taking these medications for several years prior to his death and had only recently been taken off them. The record is not clear but it appears he had been in withdrawal and may have begun taking another medication shortly before he died. In any case, prescription medications had affected his behavior at the time of his death.

 

Through the haze of the pharmaceuticals, Roger was looking forward to being baptized the next day, Sunday, October 29. Unfortunately, he did not survive Saturday night in Jerseyville.

 

He was on South State Street, the main drag of Jerseyville, across from the Pizza Hut, the Arbee’s and the Salvation Army store, holding a Bible in one hand and a cordless phone in the other.

 

“I want my Mama, Jesus,” he had been calling, an eyewitness said, when police intervened “tragically“ and ended his short life. As the people who knew Roger said, “He was simply asking for God’s help.”

 

Although he did not pose a threat to anyone “ including himself“ a local police engaged Roger, but rather than alleviate the situation, they created a conflict. Before the conflict was over, some 7 police officers had become involved in the altercation with the 5-foot 7-inch lad who weighed no more than 130 pounds.

 

Furthermore, while it may be annoying, Roger Holyfield’s calling on God was certainly not illegal or criminal in any way and did not warrant any action by the police. If the police had not intervened, Roger would certainly still be alive. On any given day in an American city one is likely to come across a person calling for God’s help. This is, however, certainly no reason to TASER them.

 

At this point the narratives divide: the police version, which is dutifully reported by the mainstream press, says that seven police officers were overwhelmed by a 130-pound person who exhibited super-human strength as a result of so-called “excited delirium.”

 

This “excited delirium,” which does not even exist as a medical or psychiatric condition, supposedly gave Roger incredible strength and then caused him to suddenly give up the ghost – after the police had beaten and TASERed him.

 

The eyewitness narrative is somewhat different. After the police had confronted Roger, the police had provoked him and put him into handcuffs and a squad car. An eyewitness told the local paper, The Telegraph, that there were at least four police cars, two Illinois State Police troopers and another man in street clothes [Johnny Lawson, an off-duty police officer] surrounding Holyfield.

 

Another witness said there were more than enough police officers present to subdue Holyfield without using the TASER shock treatment. The police had also struck Holyfield a number of times during the encounter, according to the witness.

 

One eyewitness, who wishes to remain un-named, spoke candidly to this reporter about what he saw. When only three officers were on the scene, the eyewitness saw how they had apprehended Holyfield. Officer Lawson, who recognized Holyfield, had said, “Take it easy, he’s sick,” the eyewitness said.

 

“Let’s fry the mother ——.” Officer Todd Witt, a new officer on the force, had said, and is the one who delivered the TASERing.

 

Holyfield was put into the squad car, where according to the witness, the police claim he had damaged the back seat. At this point Holyfield was taken out of the car and TASERed again.

 

Although he was handcuffed, police had shocked Holyfield at least twice with the TASER. The eyewitness said he had seen Holyfield “twitching on the ground.” Holyfield’s rolling on the ground had dislodged the TASER barbs, so he was TASERed again.

 

What is unusual in this case is that the TASERing of Holyfield was done with the weapon firing the electrode barbs into the trunk of the 17-year-old youth. TASER International of Scottsdale, Arizona, had not responded to a written request asking about how the TASER was applied to Holyfield. The only training that police receive in the use of the TASER comes in the form of a short DVD-video presentation presented by the company that manufacturers the weapon.

 

Dr. Phillip Burch, deputy chief medical examiner for St. Louis, said he had done an autopsy of Holyfield on Tuesday, October 31, two days after he died. He had seen a number of burn marks on Holyfield’s trunk and had examined one of them closely. Asked if he thought that the TASERing had caused Holyfield’s death, Burch had simply said, “No opinion.”

 

Burch has promoted the idea that Holyfield died of “excited delirium,” although no such condition exists in medical journals. Asked if an autopsy would reveal if Holyfield had died from TASERing or “excited delirium,” Burch said, “not directly.”

 

When asked how “excited delirium” could be claimed as a cause of death when it is not a recognized medical or psychiatric condition, Burch said, “It exists for me.”

 

Roger’s mother, Rita, said that he had been TASERed about 6 times. He had vomited at the scene and his heart had stopped, she said. The paramedics had tried to revive Holyfield using CPR, but his heart had “stopped right there,” she said. The hospital would not comment on his condition.

 

It is very likely that the anti-psychotic medication that Roger had been taking, Geodon, may have contributed to his death.

 

Geodon is known to have a serious side effect on the heart, which can be fatal.  Geodon has been found to change the heart’s rhythm. It is known that drugs, like Geodon, produce rare, dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.

The risk of these dangerous side effects increases when Geodon is mixed with other medications. The side effects can be so extreme as to induce coma or death.

 

What may have happened with Roger Holyfield is that his long term use of Geodon and Wellbutrin affected his mental condition and compromised his heart. The stress caused by the TASER may have caused Holyfield’s heart to go into cardiac arrest and directly led to his death.

 

Winn Parker, a licensed medical scientist in Palo Alto, California, said that the barbs of the TASER act like a “cauterizing pin” causing damage to the tissue and organs. “His organs got cooked,” Parker said. “Organs are burnt from trauma.”

 

Marion Fulk, a former staff scientist with the Manhattan Project, said that TASERing is very likely to affect the vital organs “especially the heart.” While TASERing probably does permanent damage to the vital organs, Fulk said, in the case of Holyfield, it may have “induced a systematic irregularity in the heartbeat,” he said, leading to his death.

 

More than 5 weeks after his death, his mother still does not have his death certificate. This is being held up, she said, pending the results of the toxicology reports.


As the signs around Jerseyville say, “Jesus saves. TASERs kill. We love you Roger.”

Photo: Roger Holyfield, the 17-year-old boy from Illinois
who was killed by a police TASER on the eve of his baptism.

FOLLOW-UP and UPDATE to

The TASER: A Police Device for Torture and Death

One month after I posted the article about how the police use the TASER torture device to gain compliance, a 17-year-old boy in Jerseyville, Illinois, was TASERed to death. His name was Roger Holyfield.

Roger’s only offense: Holding a Bible and calling for Jesus near the main street of Jerseyville, a town of some 9,000 people near St. Louis, Missouri.

Roger Holyfield was TASERed at least twice while he was already in handcuffs. There were at least 6 officers involved in the TASER assault of the youth who stood only 5 foot 7 inches and weighed 130 pounds. He had also reportedly been beaten.

I have been told that Roger had already been handcuffed and put in a police car when the police decided to take him out of the squad car and TASER him on the site he had arrested – at least twice.

If this is correct, it would indicate that the TASER weapon was used to torture him for something that he had said or done while he was in the police car and already completely subdued. It was not done to gain compliance or subdue him because he was already subdued, handcuffed, and restrained in police custody.

So, why was he taken out of the squad car and TASERed? What does this tell us about the reason he was TASERed? What are the instructions that police receive about how to use the TASER?

I have learned that Roger had been taking anti-anxiety medication, reportedly Klonopin, and that he had only begun taking it “again” five days before he was TASERed.

This raises a whole host of questions about his mental state, medical history, and possible drug interactions, adverse reactions of Klonopin, and how TASERing could be more lethal when administered to a person in a medicated state such as Roger’s. Did the police even recognize that this person appeared to be having a reaction to his medication?

If Roger was reacting to his medication, why did the police respond with force and TASERing rather than calling his parents or a doctor? This is an unfortunate example of the expression critical of police that no situation is so dire that the presence of a police officer won’t make it worse.

The TASER weapon was used on Roger not in the stun-gun mode but in the barb-firing mode, in which case electrodes are fired at the person and pierce his skin as the shock is applied. The weapon was fired at least twice, although we don’t know how many times Roger Holyfield was actually shocked with the 50,000 volt current. When the barbs are attached to the subject, the shock is given by pulling the trigger. Each shock session lasts 5 seconds and releases at least 50,000 volts. It can be repeated as often as desired by simply pulling the trigger.

The medical examiner said that his body had about a half-dozen burn marks on his trunk. This electric current can easily cause the heart to become dysfunctional and go into an irregular rhythm or cardiac arrest. The electric shock can also cause permanent damage to other vital organs.

After being TASERed, Roger vomited and went into a coma as the ambulance workers put him into the ambulance. He died the following day, Sunday, October 29, the day he was to be baptized.

The TASER is an extremely cruel and dangerous weapon that is considered to be a tool of torture in most of the world. Only the United States and Canada allow police to use this weapon routinely.

Amnesty International (AI), the leading anti-torture watchdog organization, has long called on “U.S. state, federal and local authorities to suspend all transfers and use of TASERS and other electro-shock weapons pending a rigorous, independent inquiry into their use and effects.”

AI considers the use of TASERS to constitute “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment – and torture.”

AI has reported that TASER devices are frequently used to torture and interrogate people such as political prisoners and that TASERS are used by police in the U.S. “particularly for torture to ‘gain compliance.’”

The following video from a routine traffic stop in Boynton Beach, Florida, in which an officer TASERed a 22-year-old woman in 1994, shows how the TASER is abused to “gain compliance.”

WARNING – This video is very disturbing to view.

It lasts for several minutes and there are a few points that need to be made:

The woman is TASERed in order to make her comply with the demands made by the police officer to get out of her car. She is not violent or threatening the officer in any way as she speaks on her cell phone telling her friend or relative that the officer is pointing a gun at her.

When she is TASERed she falls from the car onto the street. She falls from a height of at least 3 feet onto the asphalt. This falling from the vehicle apparently injured her arm and could have killed her if she had landed on her head.

When the police finally lift her from the asphalt and she notices her wounded arm, the officer says that she should not have “taken a swing” at the police. The video clearly shows that at no point did she take a swing at anybody. Her wounded arm is from her falling from the car when she was TASERed.

Photo: A TASER gun – a tool of torture and death – is used by police in the United States and Canada. At least 200 people have been killed by this “non-lethal” weapon. Why do we tolerate such cruelty in this society?

http://www.bollyn.com/editor/?id=10369

Christopher Bollyn
10 December 2006

Posted in Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Spokane taser, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Peace Officers or Sanctioned Thugs? by Lynn Stuter

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 9, 2007

http://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuter92.htm

What is missing from police training is that philosophy which promotes freedom — that officers serve the public not the state. When one understands systems philosophy, the type of governance the United States is quietly being transformed to; one understands that the government is no longer there to serve the people but to be served by the people.

By Lynn Stuter

June 13, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

 

In August 1992, Americans watched the siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, happen. Television sets all over America provided minute by minute coverage of the killing of Vicki Weaver as she stood in the doorway of the family home holding her infant daughter, and Sammy Weaver, shot in the back after agents shot and killed his beloved dog. What was this family’s sin? Their religious worldview did not conform to that sanctioned by the GHW Bush Administration.

A short eight months later, America was again subjected to minute by minute coverage of the killing of Branch Davidians in their compound in Waco, Texas. People watched as the compound was besieged and set ablaze by government forces under the orders of the Clinton Administration. Killed were some eighty men, women and children. What was these people’s sin? Their religious worldview did not conform to that sanctioned by the Clinton Administration.

As time passed, facts relevant to both sieges, not previously known to the American people, certainly not disclosed by mainstream media, came to light; facts which made it clearly evident that the actions of the United States government in both these situations was unwarranted and constituted an act of oppression against not just those besieged but against every American.

Fast forward to 2006. Over the course of the interim years between Waco, Ruby Ridge and now, has come an ever increasing list of incidents in which the actions of law enforcement point to the law enforcement mentality evident at the sieges at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

The following are but a representative sampling.

In April 2002, a deputy and reserve deputy of the Stevens County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office, and a corrections officer for a local corrections facility were involved in an incident in which an Austrian-made Steyr machine gun was used to shoot up a neighborhood in southern Stevens County. At the time of the incident, the deputy, reserve deputy, corrections officer and others involved had consumed alcohol at the home rented by the deputy and corrections officer. Bullets from the gun pierced walls of surrounding homes, punched holes in vehicles, and lodged in trees and other obstacles in the path of the barrage. Luckily no one was injured or killed although a bullet missed one sleeping man by a mere five feet. Numerous complaints had been lodged with the Stevens County Sheriff by neighbors of this deputy prior to this incident. Those complaints ranged from loud parties to underage girls frequenting the residence. Those complaints fell on deaf ears. After the fact, it would come to light that the deputy did not have the license required to own or have in his possession the Steyr machine gun which actually belonged to the Kettle Falls, Washington, police department and had ended up in the deputies hands via a string of transactions all violating the law.

Then there is the Rydholm case in 2003 where the Spokane Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team ransacked a private residence, accused the owner of either having a drug problem or being a meth producer. How did the Sheriff’s office come to this conclusion? Mr Rydholm bought large quantities of over-the-counter allergy products containing psuedophedrine, an ingredient of the illegal drug methamphetamine. Undercover sheriff’s office personnel had shadowed Mr Rydholm as he made his purchases, had followed him to his home. The home did not have the characteristic appearance of a meth lab nor did the area smell of a meth lab. But that didn’t matter. Nor did it matter that in all their shadowing of him, Mr Rydholm never led them anywhere remotely resembling a meth lab. The SWAT team broke through the front door, confronted the Rydholm children at home alone at the time, ransacked the house, and made accusations based not on what they knew but on what they believed. They found nothing. Mr Rydholm, it seems, has allergies that prescription medications don’t help. To function as a human being, he takes large quantities of over-the-counter allergy products.

Who can forget the David Brame case in May 2003? After achieving the post of Chief of Police in Tacoma, Washington, faced by an impending divorce in which allegations of spousal abuse would surface, David Brame murdered his wife then committed suicide. The Brame’s two children witnessed this heinous act, committed in a grocery store parking lot. After the fact, allegations of rape while a police officer came to light, allegations known to higher ups in the Tacoma Police Department. The victim was intimidated into silence. After his death it came to light that the psychological evaluation of David Brame, at the time of his hiring, brought the recommendation that he not be hired. But he was hired, he was given a gun, and he was promoted all the way to the top.

In January 2006, the homosexual lover of a King County, Washington, sheriff’s deputy used the deputy’s private gun, loaded with sheriff’s department ammunition, to murder a local convenience store clerk. The lover was, at the time, a convicted felon. Supervisors of the deputy were aware that the deputy was living with a convicted felon but did nothing beyond “counseling” the deputy that his living arrangement could prove an embarrassment to the department due to numerous incidents involving the lover leading up to the murder. Both commanders responsible for supervising this deputy were promoted shortly following this incident.

Since January 2006, there have been two incidents making the news involving the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. A man arrested on allegations of sexual misconduct ended up dead after struggling with eight corrections officers at the Spokane County jail. The autopsy showed the man died of lacerations to his liver, causing him to bleed to death internally. An investigation would show he had been jolted multiple times by a Taser gun in the hands of corrections officers, kneed, “donkey” kicked and punched by corrections officers as they sought to “subdue” him. The officer credited with inflicting the fatal blow was later hired by the Spokane Police Department.

In another incident, a man arrested on allegations of disorderly conduct, lodged in the Spokane County jail, was pepper sprayed by a corrections officer walking by his cell. There was no justification for the corrections officer to pepper spray the prisoner.

In November 2005 a Spokane Police Department lieutenant, in charge of traffic officers, was clocked twice by the Washington State Patrol traveling at over 100 mph on Interstate 90 in an unmarked department patrol car, once traveling to a training conference in western Washington and once returning to Spokane from that conference. Both times the lieutenant was allowed to proceed when he turned on his patrol car police lights as Washington State Patrol officers sought to stop him. For his actions, the lieutenant was merely demoted to the rank of detective.

Since then, a janitor at a north Spokane convenience store died after struggling with Spokane Police officers. The officers converged on the convenience store after passers-by reported a possible robbery in progress. The janitor, at the store to do his job, was accosted by as many as seven officers and died after being jolted at least twice with a Taser gun and hit with a night stick. His death has been listed as a homicide — heart failure due to suffocation while being restrained.

And who can forget the incident in California when the soldier, home from Iraq, ordered to get up off the ground by a police officer following a high speed chase, was then shot multiple times as he attempted to follow the demands of the police officer.

On May 19, 2006, in Chewelah, Washington, a man was shot dead by a Stevens County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Chewelah Police Officer. The initial reports surrounding the incident and later reports do not jibe; and in total, the incident smells rank of police misconduct, unjustified use of force, and excessive force. The Sheriff of Stevens County, facing re-election in November, has made sure his face appeared on the local media. The Sheriff’s deputy involved is known for his aggressive use of his badge and gun; his swat team mentality. His superiors cannot claim ignorance of either his mentality or his actions. The incident is being investigated by the Spokane Sheriff’s Department. There is no doubt that the incident will be classified as “justified” and a cop who should not be a cop will be given license to kill someone else “in the line of duty.”

In each of these instances, initial police reaction has been to justify the actions of police officers. After long periods of stalling, details then trickle forth pointing to police misconduct to include police brutality, excessive use of force, and misuse of the badge. And these incidents are but a representative sampling of incidents that have occurred; they are by no means the majority of incidents or isolated incidents in scope or nature.

Law enforcement uses the rising level of violence as justification for “use of force” procedures. What many people are not aware of is that law enforcement personnel are, on a systematic and on-going basis, being subjected to training that promotes the police state or swat team mentality that many law enforcement officers display; a war zone attitude of “us vs. them” — a perspective that promotes police brutality, misuse of the badge and criminal conduct with the knowledge and full support of more ranking personnel. In the incident of the janitor, acting Spokane Chief of Police Jim Nicks would state that he was “comfortable” with the actions of his officers.

What is missing from police training is that philosophy which promotes freedom — that officers serve the public not the state. When one understands systems philosophy, the type of governance the United States is quietly being transformed to; one understands that the government is no longer there to serve the people but to be served by the people. Law enforcement is no exception. The job of law enforcement is not to uphold the law but to uphold the state and that which augments statist control and power. Because accountability under systems philosophy is not to the people but to the system, police misconduct is, in most cases, ignored. If the public outcry demands accountability, disciplinary action is long in coming and short on corrective action.

As with all other aspects of the “democracy” being implemented (rule according to the passions, opinions and prejudices of those in power), rule is by the majority with the rights of the minority at the whim of the majority (or those in power). Such a specious governance system, warned James Madison in Federalist Paper 10, is as short in its life as it is violent in its death.

When it was Waco and Ruby Ridge, people justified the police brutality by claiming these were people who had “extreme” religious beliefs. These same people would do well to consider that their own religious beliefs could also be determined to be “extreme” at some point. Famed constitutional attorney Gerry Spence makes the point that those who are willing to sacrifice the sheep at the edge of the flock to the wolves by virtue of the fact that those sheep at the edge of the flock believe differently then they do, will soon face the wolves themselves, and wolves are not only vicious but non-discriminating in their choice of which sheep to eat; eventually they eat them all.

That which serves to suppress the rights of some serves to suppress the rights of all. People who believe that police misconduct is only served on others are deluding themselves. And people who act to suppress the rights of others serve, in the end, to suppress their own rights.

Despots the world over have shown time and again that when men serve the interests of tyranny, their usefulness ends when tyranny reaches fruition; at which point they become expendable. And irrespective of what these people may believe, it will not be those who openly dissent who will be the first to be exterminated. History shows that the first to be exterminated under tyranny are those who helped the tyrant achieve absolute power.

Why is that?

Because when people learn that they have been used and duped, their absolute love turns in an instant to absolute hate. As that point, they pose a much greater threat to the continued existence of the despot than the dissident whose opposition has been readily apparent from the outset.

And people who truly believe that doing the work of the tyrant will garner them an invitation to the celebration of tyranny delude themselves; tyranny serves a small and very exclusive crowd.

© 2006 Lynn M. Stuter – All Rights Reserved


Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: lmstuter@learn-usa.com (Published with permission of the author)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 3, 2007

[Evidence -- Washington State Tactical Officers Association's all-white Executive Board and District Representatives, including Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Jeske.]

*****************************

As anyone knows who has looked at the way police discuss gangs and crime, the discussion is rife with statements like “the law is color blind” and “gangs and crime are not limited to any race or gender”.

Really? Have you ever been to a gang enforcement presentation by the Spokane Police Department? Have you ever looked at the Spokane Police Department website or publications?

The composition of the audience, presenter, the organizers, and the representatives of sponsoring organizations were overwhelmingly white. Who is talking to whom about what?

It is important to look at such statements as “the law is color blind”.

One does not hear that expression often if you are in a community of color. That is not what people of color say about law enforcement and the “justice” system.

Of course, it is what one hears from the purportedly “color blind” legal system when it is either attempting to defend itself against allegations of racism or from the actual law enforcement personnel attempting to justify their overwhelming presence in poor and minority communities.

Posts here have already looked at the way the Spokane Police Department likes to conceive of itself as well as the way that it presents itself to the public on its website and in other contexts.

The same should be asked of other law enforcement in the state of Washington. Who do they represent? Who do they recruit? Who do they protect? Whose side are they on? What sort of crime do they focus on?

Perhaps one of the best ways to get some perspective on these questions and the answers to them is to look at powder cocaine vs. crack cocaine. Studying this drug — cocaine — in these two forms and the differences in which crimes related to them are policed and adjudicated is a study in disparities of economic, class, racial and political justice in the US today. Much has been written over the real life consequences for individual, communities, and society as a whole as a result of an analysis of the differences between the policing techniques and sentencing guidelines used to deal with each. This ACLU report is but one of a multitude of studies and analyzes.

Take a look at the Washington State Tactical Officers Association

Do you see any women? Do you see any African-Americans? Do you think there are many bilingual/bicultural individuals? Does this look like a group of guys that would be very inclined towards or good at Community-Oriented Policing?

Who is training whom for what?

Who is preparing for what against whom when and where?

Are they planning to serve in your community or against just one neighborhood of your community or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq?

You tell me…..

And now, ladies and gentleman, your 99.9% white/100% male Washington State Tactical Officers Association!

http://www.wstoa.org/training.html (Click on slide show below for 38 photos from the WSTOA website.)

Or perhaps go to work for Blackwater in Iraq… or New Orleans, or Detroit, or Venezuela, or Guatemala, or you tell me.

(In fact, major international mercenary outfits such as Triple Canopy and Blackwater USA — among many others — are sponsors of the Washington State Tactical Officers Association).

Posted in All-white SPD?, Freedom to Fascism, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Videos at Spokane Police Abuses

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 28, 2007

“Videos” — There are three ways to access all the videos posted at Spokane Police Abuses.

1) Click on the word “video” in the column called “Categories” on the left side of this blog.

2) Click here.

3) Click on the item below that interests you.

  • Police Batons: Another “less violent” alternative — Police Batons

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Spokane taser, Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

“In the Event of Riots, Civil Distrubances and other L.E. Needs”: Ammo, Military Equipment, Grenades, Batons, Muzzle Blast OC, $10K Computers

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 25, 2007

http://www.spokanepolice.org/news/default.aspx?ID=16 

(quote)

As the SCSO’s current supply of ammunition becomes outdated, it is used for training exercises to ensure the SCSO has on hand a current supply of ammunition for use in the event of riot, civil disturbance, or other law enforcement needs...

$2,500 will be used to cover the cost of the contract with DRMO (Department of Revenue Management Office) to provide the SCSO the opportunity to purchase surplus military equipment...

Is requesting funding of $63,090 to be used to support a criminal history specialist position. This position assists in enhancing adjudication of felons in Spokane County. The function performed is to compile nationwide as well as local criminal history from various sources, analyze data received to determine the level of felony from different states as well as the type of felony it equates to in Washington State and complete a court document with this information. This function is required for every felony arrest. A criminal history data bank is also maintained for ease of future arrests.

(end quote)

****************************************************************************

SPOKANE CITY/COUNTY PROPOSED SPENDING PLAN

2007 JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANT (JAG)

The SPOKANE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE (SCSO) is requesting funding for Law Enforcement Programs. The $63,090 in funding will be used to supplement a variety of programs providing law enforcement services to the citizens and communities of Spokane County as set forth below.

A. Ammunition:

$35,230 will be used for purchase of ammunition as follows:

$15,230 will be used to purchase ammunition to be used for the entire SCSO agency at two quarterly shoots throughout the award period of the grant. An additional $10,000 will be used to purchase ammunition for the SWAT team for training. Last, $10,000 will be used to purchase ammunition for TAC/SWAT for breeching training. As the SCSO’s current supply of ammunition becomes outdated, it is used for training exercises to ensure the SCSO has on hand a current supply of ammunition for use in the event of riot, civil disturbance, or other law enforcement needs.

B. DRMO Contract:

$2,500 will be used to cover the cost of the contract with DRMO (Department of Revenue Management Office) to provide the SCSO the opportunity to purchase surplus military equipment.

C. Explosives Detection Unit (EDU):

$1,600 will be used to support the EDU via purchase of a dual firing devise at a cost of $400 and 2 explosive storage boxes at a cost of $600 each for a total of $1,200.

D. Helicopter Program:

$13,260 will be used to support the SCSO’s Helicopter Program, which includes a variety of law enforcement initiatives, including search & rescue, surveillance, traffic patrols, and specific drug enforcement interdiction operations. The items to be purchased include aviation fuel for $10,820; one set of T straps for $1,320; one lower collective tube assembly for $350; and 2 dual impedance microphone headsets at $385 each for $770 total.

E. Neighborhood Watch:

The SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program will be funded with $10,500 to partially pay the costs of the program for one year during the 2007-2008 time frame of the grant period. Started in 1979, the SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program has 1250 active watches. The goals of the SCSO Neighborhood Watch Program are to educate the public in ways to reduce crime, prepare for possible terrorist attacks or other emergencies, to increase the numbers of watches, and revitalize existing watches in Spokane County. Monies will be used to print 20,000 newsletters at a cost of $625 each quarter for a total of $2,500; to produce training materials and educational brochures for new and existing watches at a cost of $2,050; support the third annual SCSO Neighborhood Watch Crime Prevention Conference, scheduled for March of 2008 and open to all citizens of the region, via purchase of a new projector at a cost of $1,000 and production of educational materials at a cost of $2,000; and to provide training/travel funds in the amount of $2,950 to send the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to Atlanta for the National Crime Prevention Conference and a regional crime prevention conference during the time frame of the award. The estimated costs for the national conference are $625 for airfare, $750 for lodging, $350 for per diem and ground transportation, and $475 for conference registration for a total of $2,200. The estimated costs for a 2 -3 day regional conference are $175 for transportation, $250 for lodging, $175 for per diem, and $150 for conference registration for a total of $750.

The SPOKANE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (SCPA):

Is requesting funding of $63,090 to be used to support a criminal history specialist position. This position assists in enhancing adjudication of felons in Spokane County. The function performed is to compile nationwide as well as local criminal history from various sources, analyze data received to determine the level of felony from different states as well as the type of felony it equates to in Washington State and complete a court document with this information. This function is required for every felony arrest. A criminal history data bank is also maintained for ease of future arrests.

SPOKANE CITY:

The City of Spokane is the largest metropolitan area in eastern Washington. It is also the population and economic hub within eastern Washington and northern Idaho. The City of Spokane will use $91,371 in federal funds to purchase and installation of digital recording equipment for a child interview room, for in-car patrol computers, updating of obsolete computer devices, and software for enhancing Information Systems ability to service and update machines in the field (GHOST).

BUDGET DETAIL

Spokane County Budget Detail

A. Ammunition $35,230

1. 127 cases of ammunition @ $186.81 per case = $ 23,725

2. Specific SWAT Ammunition Noise Flash Diversionary Devices = $1,505

LEEDS 7001 15 Gram Reload Case of 24 @ $752

7001 CI Command initiated 15 Gram Reload @ $753

3. Other munitions items

B. DRMO $ 2,500

1 contract fee to Department of Revenue Management

Office @ $2,500

C. Explosives Detection Unit (EDU) $ 1,600

1 dual firing devise @ $400

2 explosive storage boxes @ $600 = $1,200

D. Helicopter Program $13,260

Aviation fuel @ $10,820

1 set of T straps @ $1,320

1 lower collective tube assembly @ $350

2 dual impedance microphone headsets @ $385 = $770

E. Neighborhood Watch Program $10,500

20,000 printed newsletters @ $625 each quarter = $2,500

100 sets of training materials and educational brochures

for new and existing watches @ $20.50 = $2,050

1 projector @ $1,000

400 sets of educational materials @ $5 = $2,000

1 national training @ $625 for airfare, $750 for lodging,

$350 for per diem and ground transportation,

and $475 for conference registration = $2,950

1 regional training @ $175 for transportation, $250 for lodging,

$175 for per diem, and $150 for conference registration = $750

Total $63,090

Spokane County Prosecutors Budget Detail

Spokane Police Department Budget Detail

A. Child Interview Room $5,766.02

1. 4 Mini-Dome Color Cameras @ $229.32 = $917.28

2. 1 Multiple Camera Power Supply @ $102.00 = $102.00

3. 1 4 Channel MPEG Digital Recorder @ $2402.13 = $2402.13

4. 1 High Resolution 15” LCD Monitor @ 728.00 = $728.00

5. 1 ASK 4 Kit @ $345.00 = $345.00

6. Wire, Connectors, Hardware = $290.00

7. Labor = $75.00

8. Sales Tax @ 8.6% = $456.61

B. In-Car Computers for Neighborhood Resource Officers $40,000

1. 4 Itronix Computers @ $10,000 = $ 40,000

C. Computer Upgrades from Non-Supported Windows 2000 $36,663.36

1. 32 Computers @ $1,145.73 = $ 36,663.36

D. GHOST – software enhancing IS ability $7,924.30

1. 600 Government Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Std @ $10.25 = $$6,150.00

2. 600 Government Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Bas @ $1.84 = $1,104.00

3. 1 Ghost Sol Ste 2.0-Media @ $16.00 = $16.00

4. Sales Tax @ 9% = $645.30

E. Remainder $1,017.32

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Protest, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

State of Washington Promotes Killer Cop Seminar for Spokane Law Enforcement

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 14, 2007

Hot on the heels of several years of controversial policing in Spokane, the State of Washington is promoting this training by StreetCrimes.net, “featuring very graphic videos and strong language” and “intended only for serious law enforcers only”.

https://fortress.wa.gov/cjtc/www/classes/Street_Crimes_040708_Spokane.doc

What are “serious law enforcers only” as opposed to ordinary law enforcers? Is this a reference to killer cops? I believe it is.

Question: Why at this time is the state of Washington promoting this training being held in Spokane? Don’t state officials follow events in Spokane? Aren’t there a number of topics which would make more sense at this time? Topics such as: 1) how to detain a suspect without killing and why a suspect is always innocent until proven guilty; 2) the relationship between tasers, electricity, and death; 3) identifying a deadly weapon vs. what is a pop bottle; and, 4) how to say “You know, Sergeant, I think we should stop because if we kick him again we are going to kill him and I really don’t want to have to lie about what we did.”

Before you check out the training announcement, here is the “tip of the month” from the trainer, Pat McCarthy, posted on the StreetCrimes.net website. Now it begins to make sense: these are the guys training our taxpayer-paid officers how to violate our civil rights:

 
 
  The Phony Name Check  
 
  This is a trick that police officers can use on suspects that have no identification on them. When I was working the streets, whenever I ran across a suspect who had no identification on them, I would automatically assume that they were lying to me about who they were. Because I’ve found that the majority of people who didn’t have identification were wanted on outstanding criminal warrants, what I would do is this: Ask them for all of their pertinent information. i.e. name, height, weight, D.O.B., and social security number. I would then pretend to run a computer name check on their bogus information. I would then wait a few minutes, then grab the suspect, and tell them they have a murder warrant from Texas. I guarantee you they will now be happy to tell you who they are. I used this trick once on a junkie who had his drivers license hidden in his sock. He gave me bogus information and when I pretended to run his name, I told him he was wanted for murder in Texas. He began to cry and then confessed that he was lying about who he really was. He then told me he was hiding his license in his sock. After running his information, he ended up being wanted on a theft warrant. We are allowed to use trickery and deceit on suspects that we deal with and we should use every available tool to take bad guys off the streets.

 

 

Pat McCarthy’s

Street Crimes Seminar

Presented by John E. Reid & Associates

TRAINING BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENT

Spokane, Washington
7, 8 & 9 April 2008 – 8:30- 4:30
Co-Sponsor: Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Training Location: SCSO Training Center
@ SCC Bldg.#7, 1810 N Greene Street
Spokane. WA 99217
To Register Call: Ph. 1-800-275-4915

WARNING!! This training features very graphic videos &
strong language. Intended for serious law enforcers only!!

Our instructors provide the most up to date, street-tested
information to help officers stay one step ahead of criminals.

ALL INSTRUCTORS HAVE 25+ YEARS OF ACTUAL [STREET EXPERIENCE]

3-Day Course Content
1) Deadly Force / Police Involved Shootings (New Training Segment)
2) Conducting effective street interviews and stops for patrol officers & investigators
3) Surveillance tactics for patrol and plain clothes officers & agents
4) Developing criminal intelligence / street information for all levels of law enforcement
5) Ethical considerations for street cops and street agents / making the right choices
6) Street tested techniques for conducting successful gang and drug related cases
7) Car traps and hidden compartments being used by today’s gangs & drug dealers
8] Conducting/planning search warrants & high risk raids (New Training Segment)
9) Important officer safety issues for both on and off duty situations
10) How to develop street sources and C/I’s for patrol, investigators and special agents
11) Street gang members in the military / How these trends effect law enforcement
(New Training Segment)
12) Homeland Security issues for the street cop / street agent (New Training Segment)
And Much More

This truly innovative program is presented through a combination of lectures,
and a State of the Art Multimedia Creation.
Each attendee will receive an extensive training manual and a certificate.
Of the thousands of officers who have attended our program, 99% rated it Excellent or
Very Good. We offer a complete Money Back Guarantee

3 day program $395 per person
Fantastic Group rates are available!

If you would like to be removed from our fax list please
call 1-800-915-2571 ext.20140 or email reidinfo@htc.net
or fax618-281-1999, include your fax number.

Register online @ Streetcrimes.net
Or call 1-800-275-4915

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Trained to Kill | Leave a Comment »

And they call this a choice?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 11, 2007

Following is a question that Spokane citizens have a right to ask and to answer. Remember, in theory, this is a democracy and as such we get to make certain decisions collectively. So……

Do you want the men that did this…

Trent Yohe, age 37, on life support equipment the day before he died

to investigate the men and woman that killed this man?

Otto Zehm (Spokesman-Review photo)

And vice versa?

This is what the law enforcement powers-that-be want the people of Spokane to passively accept.

Until recently, the Spokane Police would have been the lead agency in investigating its own malfeasance, police killing of citizens, etc.

But then, in their infinite wisdom, the Spokane Chief of Police and the Spokane County Sheriff agreed that their officers will play only a “support” role, rather than the lead role, in investigations of their respective agencies. So now a Spokane Sheriff deputy would be the lead investigator of a brutal killing by the Spokane Police such as that of Otto Zehm, while Spokane Police officers would only play a “support” role. And then, in an apparent bizarre effort to avoid giving any impression of conflict of interest, a Spokane Police officer would lead the investigation of Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies involved in a brutal killing of a citizen such as in case of Trent Yohe.

By the way, what is a “support” role? Would that be a role which reports back to the SPD Chief and Spokane County Sheriff or to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and Assistant Spokane City Prosecutor Rocky Treppiedi on the course of an investigation which might potentially result in the charging of a SPD officer or SCSO deputy with a felony crime?

Here are a few more details on the two brutal incidents.

May 12, 2007 — After 12 days in a coma, thirty-seven year old Trent Yohe died May 12, 2007. His death was ruled a homicide by Dr. John Howard of Spokane County medical examiner’s office. Yohe was tasered and then bound hand and foot by Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies on May 1, 2007. His death came after 12 days in a coma. No one has been charged. (Per standard procedure in Spokane County, the Spokane Police are investigating the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office in this case. Typically, when a Spokane Police officer kills a citizen, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office handles the investigation. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies also provide police coverage for the City of Spokane Valley.) Spokesman-Review Coverage of Trent Yohe death

March 18, 2006 — Seven Spokane Police officers participated in killing a mentally disabled janitor, Otto Zehm. His death has been listed as a homicide — heart failure due to suffocation while being restrained. Zehm was tasered, beaten, hog-tied, and suffocated by seven Spokane Police officers with the assistance of paramedic personnel.

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/sections/zehm/

Surveillance: All Zehm materials via KREM.com

Are the people of the Spokane area going to take a stand on this matter, recognizing that any one of them may be the next innocent person — as was Otto Zehm — to be set upon by and killed by Spokane Police?

Does it matter that your son or daughter might be the next confused and misguided young person attacked and tasered to death by Spokane County Sheriff deputies?

If your brother or best friend ends up in a crisis threatening suicide on the Monroe Street Bridge, will a mental health professional be the person attempting to help them or will it be the entire Spokane Police Department armed with tasers and AR-15s?

Anyone ever heard the words “good old boys’ club” or “Thin Blue Line”?

It is time to demand independent oversight of Spokane Police by a full-time Ombudsman with full access to all investigative materials.

The Spokane Citizen Review Commission has already been determined to have failed. During 10 years of controversy, corruption and abuses involving the Spokane Police Department, the Commission never met to consider a single case.

Moments like this are those that define whether or not a community has any sense of community, whether or not democracy is just an empty slogan, and whether or not the community rules the police or the police rule the community.

My faith in Spokane’s ability to get this right is slim. Time — the little of it left — will tell.

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Police Batons

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 12, 2007

Police Baton

(quote) Present day law enforcement standards require that a minimum of force be used to subdue criminals and scofflaws. “Police brutality” is a very sensitive issue with police departments and minority and disadvantaged groups alike. It is not uncommon to observe apprehended criminals with massive injuries caused by insensitive and overly zealous police officers wielding nightsticks in an indiscriminate and callous manner. Therefore, modern day batons should be somewhat flexible, so that they may render miscreants helpless without inflicting serious injury. (end quote)

(From U.S. Patent # 5180164, filed 1991)

Tonfa Police Baton

Posted in License to Kill, Trained to Kill, Videos | Leave a Comment »

SCSO–Pistols, Submachine guns, and Battle Rifles

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 9, 2007

Police Weaponry

Washington
Spokane County Sheriff’s Department
Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)

Issues:

For other information on Spokane area law enforcement and their weaponry, go to Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal and the “Equipment” section of Spokane para-military SWAT team, police propaganda, and Pavlischak.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 8, 2007

The Spokane Police Department is arming up.

Recently Spokane’s KREM TV and KREM.COM reported on the increasing firepower of Spokane Police officers.

Per KREM’s Kara Kostanich, 60 Spokane Police Department personnel–mostly members of SWAT and other specialized police groups–were using the Colt AR-15 assault rifle at the time of the March 29, 2007 broadcast. An additional 34 AR-15s had been ordered but had not yet arrived.

Sgt. John Roys of the SPD claimed on-air that the rationale for the arms purchase is to be able to “defeat” the increasingly armed Spokane populace. The plan is for each patrol team to carry two AR-15 rifles.

Given that at the time of the March 2007 KREM 2 broadcast, the 34 additional weapons were expected to arrive within two months, one can sleep better now knowing that your Spokane Police Department is now ready for battle with nearly 100 assault weapons.

Spokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police ArsenalSpokane Police Arsenal

The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military’s M-16 assault rifle.

Spokane’s Militarized Law Enforcement

Spokane area law enforcement preparing for the end times

(Photo from the Spokane County Sheriff’s website)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Videos, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

Choose Your Weapons, Gentlemen — For the SPD, it’s the Glock 40

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 6, 2007

(quote) Spokane police carry the Glock 40, which they bought in 1999. The department used revolvers until 1988 and then switched to the 9 mm Glock for the next 10 years, spokesman Dick Cottam said. (end quote)

,40 Calibre Glock 22

www.sightm1911.com

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, License to Kill, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

License to Kill — per Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 1, 2007

A person found within Spokane County may, according to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker, lawfully be killed by a law enforcement officer

“as long as

[a] the officer is acting in good faith,

[b] there’s been a felony committed, and

[c] there’s risk of physical harm.”

from the Pacific Inland Northwest region’s daily newspaper The Spokesman-Review, Saturday, July 28, 2007, Page 1B

Posted in License to Kill | Leave a Comment »

Training Spokane Law Enforcement in Intelligence, Military Weapons, Crowd Control, and more

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 18, 2007

Every year Spokane Police and other area law enforcement agencies receive ever more extensive, sophisticated, and deadly training.

This year local law enforcement will have training in AR-15 and M-16 assault weapons, chemical weapons, tasers, crowd control techniques, intelligence gathering and infiltration, psychological manipulation, and other topics.

Among those companies training Spokane law enforcement this year are Defense Technology Corporation of America, Armiger Police Training Institute,Force Science Research Center, FBI-LEEDA, FLETC, Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, and John E. Reid & Associates.

http://www.spokanesheriff.org/include/PDF/ClassSchedule.pdf

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, License to Kill, Mitchell and Jessen, Photographic Evidence, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Weaponry--SPD/SCSO | Leave a Comment »

 
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