Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for October 7th, 2007

Post Falls Company to be purchased by Blackwater USA — or not

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007

[Updated 01/08/2008] As this image from the Blackwater Tactical Newletter shows, Couer d’Alene, Idaho-based The Backup Training Corporation has been purchased by Blackwater International. The mercenary firm Blackwater will now be able to use additional resources and technological expertise to make its training available on-line and in classrooms around the U.S. and the world.)


(Original post — October 7, 2007)

With its history of massacring Indians, racism, conservative politics, one-newspaper towns, Cold War munitions storage and manufacturing, top-secret military operations, neo-nazi hate groups, white-supremacist terror acts, and unregulated law enforcement, no news coming out of the Eastern Washington and North Idaho areas should surprise anyone.

Now comes news that Post Falls-based The Backup Training Corporation is changing hands.

And the new owner?

Blackwater USA, the mercenary outfit at the heart of scandals from Iraq to New Orleans.

The Backup Training Corporation, based in Post Falls, Idaho, provides training to law enforcement and other use-of-force practitioners, including mercenaries. Some of its trainings deal with Managing Street Informants as well as Gang Trainings.

In April 2007 it was announced that, “Blackwater will become the exclusive provider of practical skill development training for The Backup in the areas of firearms and tactics training, Law Enforcement training, Law Enforcement Special Operations training, K9 training, military training, security and Law Enforcement driving training and aviation training”.

However, there now appears to be concern among stockholders and others about the Blackwater/Backup deal.

And depending on the outcome of investigations into alleged murders of Iraqi civilians committed by Blackwater gunners in Iraq, the deal may be scuttled. Already The Backup Training Corporation is concerned that its increasing contractual business with Blackwater — the source of much of The Backup’s growth in the last year — will affect both its financial bottom-line and its reputation.

(Note: The 9/18/07 CDAPress.com version of the events in Iraq vary significantly from versions provided by other sources, including reporters, U.S. military, U.S. State Department, and Iraqi government. CDAPress.com is a division of Duane Hagadone’s Hagadone Newspaper Network. Until becoming chief financial officer for The Backup, Steve Benner was an executive for The Hagadone Corporation.)

As time goes on, area people are likely to become more and more aware of the amount of economic and military involvement there is in the Spokane area related to ultra-conservative, right-wing, and militarist (or in this case psuedo-law enforcement, mercenary) companies.

Perhaps this starts to suggest another explanation for all the million dollar homes around the area and lining the shores of Lake Couer d’Alene. How much of it is war booty or, some might say, blood money?

And just image. Spokane Police who think they might need a little more training or decide that their measly police salaries are not enough could just go over to Post Falls and pay Blackwater a little visit. Now there is nice thought for you.

However, it is important to realize that this is exactly where we are already — an extremely disturbing blurring of the boundaries among law enforcement, “national security apparatus”, US military, and private mercenary armies-for-hire.

Here is a little more information about the Post Falls-based The Backup Training Corporation and their corporate friends at Blackwater USA.

www.thebackup.com — Designed to fulfill training needs of officers, our courses deliver the nation’s top law enforcement trainers in an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and consistently reliable format. These CD courses intertwine text with all aspects of multimedia.

www.cbsnews.com — Blackwater — The North Carolina-based private security firm makes millions training police swat teams and military sharpshooters with courses like “Tactical Pistol II,” “Extreme Officer Survival” and “Helicopter Sniper.”

The Backup Product List — Have SPD officers who have made fatality-producing and other serious use of force and tactical errors in the field been trained with these materials?

www.dallasnews.com — Federal agents, video cameras will monitor Blackwater

www.spokesman.com — Blackwater seeks PR help with negative image

www.blackwaterusa.com — Mercenaries for Hire

SanityForSale.wordpress.com — Blackwater: Bush’s Shadow Army

www.cnn.com — Congressional Investigation of Seattle mercenary fired by Blackwater, then hired by CSA

www.washingtonpost.com — In change of tune, US gov’t agents, not Blackwater, will protect FBI in probe

SpokanePoliceAbuses.wordpress.com–The role of Spokane, Fairchild, and the SERE/JPRA programs in U.S. Torture and Geneva Convention Violations (includes waterboarding videos)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Terrorism in Spokane, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | 1 Comment »

Che Guevara, presente!

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007

Forty years ago, the Argentine doctor, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was captured in Bolivia with the help of the US Central Intelligence Agency and shot to death. As if to prove their inhumanity, his killers cut off his hands. His personal effects were stolen by a CIA agent of Cuban heritage and to this day some of them are displayed at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The United States has made many colossal errors in its history, among them the imperialist wars of aggression in Vietnam and Iraq, to name only a few. Yet nothing can match the eternal flame that was lit in the heart of humanity when Che was killed.

Che Guevara, presente! Hasta siempre, comandante!

Esa ola irá creciendo cada día que pase, esa ola ya no parará más.

Cuban doctors help Che Guevara’s killer

September 30, 2007 – 7:39PM

Cuban doctors volunteering in Bolivia performed a free cataract surgery for Mario Teran, the Bolivian army sergeant who killed the legendary guerilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara in captivity, the daily Granma newspaper reported.

“Four decades after Mario Teran attempted to destroy a dream and an idea, Che returns to win yet another battle, and continues on in the struggle,” the newspaper said.

On October 9, 1967, Teran killed Guevara while he was being held prisoner and suffering from combat wounds in La Higuera, the paper recounted. It said he acted on orders from generals Rene Barrientos and Alfredo Ovando, as well as the White House and the US Central Intelligence Agency, to execute the Argentine-Cuban rebel leader.

Nearly forty years to the day later, Teran underwent eye surgery in a Santa Cruz hospital that was donated by the Cuban government and recently inaugurated by Bolivian President Evo Morales.

“Now an old man, he (Teran) can once again appreciate the colours of the sky and the forest, to enjoy the smiles of his grandchildren, and to watch football games,” the article said.

“But surely he will never be capable of seeing the difference between the ideas that drove him to murder a man in cold blood, and the ideas of that very man.”

The reports said one of Teran’s sons asked the local Santa Cruz daily El Deber to publish a notice thanking the Cuban doctors who restored his father’s sight with the successful operation.

Find this story at — http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/09/30/1191090937455.html

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007


AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring
discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule;
develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held
so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

I KNOW that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every
reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

I WILL constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen
profession…law enforcement.

(from page 12 of the Crime in Washington Annual 2006 Report of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.)

Posted in History of SPD Abuses | Leave a Comment »

Re-cap: 7/27/07 Law enforcement tasers suicidal man who then jumps

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 7, 2007

On July 27, 2007, Spokane Police, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI failed in their questionable tactics in dealing with a suicidal young man, Josh Levy. The result: Josh Levy jumped to his death in front of his parents, the public, and the media.

These videos and articles include a witness who questions the police and FBI’s decision to taser Levy after he came down off the bridge rail. Levy’s father also questioned the taser tactic.

In the videos, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, unable to shed a tear, expresses her empathy for her officers but, to her credit, wisely leaves out the prefunctory term “heroic” so often used in describing law enforcement. She also expresses her sympathy for the family of Josh Levy, though she offers no apology for the tasering of their son.

The chief gives no indication that the SPD or FBI used mental health experts until after Levy had endured 10 -12 hours of police “negotiations”, after he had spent hours on the bridge, having police officers “yelling” at him, and being isolated in a dramatic scene involving multiple police vehicles, rescue vehicles, and law enforcement from multiple agencies.

The chief discloses that she, SPD, SCSO and the FBI used information from a western Washington law enforcement official, Chief Mike Lasnier, who had dealt with Levy in the past. It would appear that this information was the principle “mental health consultation” that the SPD used in making its fatally-flawed decision to take Levy down with a 50,000 volt taser jolt.

As on September 22, 2003 when Spokane Police officers shot and severely injured 17-year-old Lewis and Clark High School Student Sean Fitzpatrick rather than wait him out or allow his father to intervene — Spokane area law enforcement’s we-know-better-than-you approach resulted in a tragic outcome for Josh Levy, his family, and the Spokane community.




Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane taser, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | Leave a Comment »