Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Lies Damn Lies and …’ 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.

https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/weaponry/

And here is a history (admittedly incomplete) of Spokane area law enforcement abuses — https://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 »

Just exactly who is Anne Kirkpatrick? Annie Got Her Gun now tries to get out of town

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 4, 2010

[Note by author: For readers who may consider the words that follow in this post to be harsh and unfair, consider that even the elegant, upscale Spokane Couer d’Alene Living Magazine, in the Lilacs and Lemons section of its March 2010 issue, gave Chief Kirkpatrick a lemon and reprimanded her, saying basically that if she is so busy making plans to leave Spokane in the midst of such a crucial period in city and police history, she should darn well hurry up and get the heck out of Dodge, I mean Spokaloo.]

Listening to a recent KYRS Thin Air Community Radio morning news piece by Don Gronning (6/22/10 podcast), one is struck by the most recent persona of the always strutting, full-of-attitude Anne Kirkpatrick. The sassy southern gal, who arrived in Spokane nearly four years ago with her slick little one-girl show from the south, replete with meaningless but media-savvy slogans like “You lie, you die” and a repertoire of song and dance (literally) at the ready for any and all occasions, apparently has at least one more routine up her sleeve as she — like a teenager graduating from high school — desperately seeks a way out of Spokaloo.

So what is that persona? A new and improved Chief Anne Kirkpatrick who, despite previous statements to the contrary, appears to be headed out of town.

And naked. Well, not naked exactly but definitely devoid of her long characteristic Southern accent. (Seriously, listen to Gronning’s 6/22/10 podcast.) Besides, in the south — like Abilene and Shreveport where I used to live, or Memphis, Tennessee where Anne was born and raised — we say “neck-id”.

Apparently the “Ya’ll come back now, here?” phony southern drawl worked as part of the dog and pony show the chief put on to get us Okies in Spokaloo to hire her as chief under a previous mayor and city council. But it appears she decided that it wasn’t going to make her any friends or influence any people in the sophisticated environment of Seattle. So she is suddenly accentless, a sophisticated and independent woman, itinerant again and forced to strike out on her own. Maybe she should take Doug Clark’s advice and take her bopping and jiving back to Memphis. Or how about Mabton, Washington, population 1891.

All of this after a long string of that bad luck: 1) the Guild stabbed her in the back, 2) she still can’t shake Tony Bamonte off that same back, 3) Councilman Jon Snyder could not get his slip-shod, loop-hole filled version of the Ombudsman Ordinance passed in 30 minutes as he proposed he could in the wee hours of the morning of June 22, 2010, after over-whelming public testimony in favor of a more tightly-written, forceful ordinance to move a blatantly out-of-control police force closer to effective citizen oversight and control, 4) the Grand Jury and FBI noose tightened around the necks of her lying officers and administrators, 5) Ombudsman Tim Burns himself finally stood up and said, “Hell yeah, I’ll take some of that independent oversight”, and 6) the people of Spokane, who had made common cause with many a citizen abused or murdered by the police, and in the process made themselves heard over and over and over again for years, combined a powerful community coalition with public participation and turnout that would not succumb to old fashion tactics of “bait and switch” in the writing of legislation nor to agenda-stacking designed to run out the clock on democratic participation.

Unfortunate for Anne, even after giving it that old Tennessee try in the open competitive portion of the Seattle hiring process and after a private “perhaps I still got that old charm” approach via e-mail to Seattle’s Mayor, Seattle didn’t buy the song and dance.

Besides, can you imagine this “Chief” — who okayed tasering Josh Levy off the Monroe Street Bridge to his death yet in Gronning’s podcast defends tasers like a shameless East Sprague used car saleswoman — dealing with the sorts of complicated human dramas and dilemmas that a Seattle would present her? Or how about having Chief Kirkpatrick in charge of the sophisticated political and social environment of one of the most dynamic and liberal cities in the U.S., the same Chief Kirkpatrick whose boys and girls in blue botched every aspect (from initial provocation to evidence suppression) of the July 4, 2007 police riot in Riverfront Park — being in charge of a police department in a world class city like Seattle? Can you imagine how much worse the 1999 WTO police repression would have been or what she would do with officers punching teenaged girls in the face or kicking and stomping an innocent immigrant?

Gigs up, Lil’ Annie…

(Come to think of it, maybe the gig is not up after all. As I understand it, former Spokane Police Internal Affairs official Jim Faddis is looking for a spoons player for his jugband, the Prairie Flyers. Some will recall that Faddis and the notorious officer Dan Torok used pseudonyms while blogging at Frank Sennett’s Spokesman-Review Hard 7 blog in the summer of 2007. Faddis, under the pseudonym of Kevin, along with Torok and others SPD plants defended the SPD at the height of public outrage over the Firehouse Sex Scandal, the 4th of July “near police riot”, the arrests of protestors Dan Treecraft and Rebecca Lamb, and the killings of Otto Zehm, Jerome Alford and Eagle Michael, as well as the non-fatal shootings of Shonto Pete and Sean Fitzpatrick, not to mention controversial incidents involving SPD officers John Elam, Jonothan Smith, David Freitag, and Jay Mehring. The killings of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford involved Torok and Faddis’s department was involved in investigating most of the other incidents. The chief would no doubt be a fine addition to Faddis’s band. Come to think of it, if someone could teach Spokane county prosecutor Steve Tucker to play a washboard and city attorney Rocky Trepieddi to play the cowbell…

[See also Educating the Chief – It’s Spokane, not Spokaloo]

____________________________________________________________

[Excerpt below from The Seattle Times article Biographies of the 11 SPD chief candidates: Here are short biographies on the semifinalists for Seattle police chief

Anne Kirkpatrick

Chief of police, Spokane

Anne Kirkpatrick, 50, who previously served as police chief in Ellensburg and Federal Way before joining the Spokane department in 2006, has carved out a reputation as a no-nonsense chief and strong believer in community outreach. She announced her intention to seek the Seattle job in February when she told Spokane officials she had applied for the position.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Kirkpatrick applied last year to be San Francisco’s police chief but downplayed her action by saying that as a woman leading a large department she is often recruited. The job went to another candidate.

The Spokesman-Review reported that, while support for Kirkpatrick has been mixed on the police force, she enjoys broad support from city leaders, who credit her with making officers more accountable and improving ties to the community.

In April, union leaders representing the Spokane Police Department’s officers said a majority of the Spokane Police Guild’s 268 members voted no-confidence in the “office” of the police chief, but didn’t disclose the vote tally, The Spokesman-Review reported.

But the department’s lieutenants and captains gave her a vote of approval after learning of the union’s vote.

The following excerpt from a Spokesman-Review article at the time of Spokane’s search for a new chief reported on the Chief’s 5 “Cardinal Rules” which apparently after the hanky-panky of the Jason Uberagua case and the police lying in the Zehm case must have referred to the Memphis Redbirds, the minor league affilitate of the St. Louis Cardinals —

She landed at Green River Community College, teaching criminal justice for two years. Then a retiring Ellensburg police chief called and asked her if she’d apply for his job.

“God’s timing and God’s hand involved,” Kirkpatrick says of the surprise call. “And I’m glad, because I have to admit I wanted to go back.”

Soon, she was running a 30-member department. And that’s where she launched her five cardinal rules.

“They’re character-based,” she said of the rules. “People are going to make mistakes. But character-based mistakes are not tolerable.”

The rules: No harassing, bullying or discriminatory language, “including zero tolerance of male white-bashing.” No lying. No abuse of authority. No insubordination. And nothing that causes lack of trust in the department, such as sex on duty or failing to take a rape report.

One former officer and her attorney, however, contend Kirkpatrick applies those rules unevenly.

Former Federal Way officer Jessica Nelson was fired for what Kirkpatrick concluded was insubordination and lying about misuse of a department computer. Nelson maintains that it was a miscommunication – and that other officers were lightly disciplined for far worse offenses.

Nelson’s Portland attorney, Beth Allen, said that officers were suspended for a few days, “if that,” for allegedly sexually harassing other officers, discharging a firearm in the station and having a detainee escape from a police car.

Posted in Educating the Chief, Ethics, FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane LE Personalities, Spokane Police Guild, Spokane taser, Stop it. You're killin' me., Tasers, Yes ma'am Chief | 3 Comments »

Testimony: SPD murder of Tyrone Thomas on 8/6/01

Posted by Arroyoribera on June 30, 2010

Following is the powerful testimony of Terri Anderson about the 2001 murder of Tyrone Thomas by the Spokane Police. Anderson spoke these personal words at the June 21, 2010 Spokane City Council meeting at which 65 people remained until nearly midnight to testify against the long history of human rights abuses and deaths committed by the corrupt and out-of-control Spokane Police Department.

Just before Anderson and nearly two dozen citizens testified against these abuses, and after sitting through hours of other council business, Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick and Mayor Mary Vernor abandoned the Council chambers and went home. Faced with this unprecedented and persistent public movement against her abusive police force, the Chief returned June 28, 2010, to verbally murder Tyrone Thomas again and to carry out a character assassination of Anderson. (Note: Councilman Jon Snyder supported the Chief’s actions in his blog post on 6/30/10 and in other statements).

Nevertheless, Chief Kirkpatrick failed in her dishonest attempt to influence the Council, when it voted 7-0 in favor a new and strengthen ordinance on police oversight and civilian control of the Spokane Police Department.

Here are Anderson’s powerful words in remembrance of Tyrone and in favor of strengthened police oversight:

Hello, my name is Terri Anderson and this is the second time I am standing here to ask you to pass an ordinance that will give independent investigative authority to the Office of Police Ombudsman. I have had the opportunity to speak to each of you tell you that we need real and meaningful oversight of police misconduct. But I have never told you why.

In August 2001 I was working at Spokane Community College in Multicultural Student Services. I was looking forward to a new school year and preparing my work study students for their new job responsibilities. One of those students was Tyrone Thomas. I knew Tyrone because he had served as president of the Black Student Union and later served on the Associated Student Council at SCC. He was a successful and committed student nearing the end of his studies in the Invasive Cardiac Technology program, a challenging program where he achieved outstanding grades and was looking forward to a promising future with a career in the health care industry.

That all ended on August 6, 2001 when he was shot and killed by two Spokane police officers in downtown Spokane. The days that followed were heart breaking. Students who had taken the summer off from school were pouring in my office because they had to talk to someone about the loss of their friend and fellow classmate. What troubled us the most was the way the police portrayed him and the description of the events that led to his death. It didn’t make sense to those of us who knew him. A staff member recalled seeing him in class almost immediately before the fatal shooting. Something didn’t seem right.

We were also troubled by the fact that he was shot in the back while fleeing the police and turned down a hallway where he collapsed. Even though a witness saw him through a glass door and told the officers that he was down and bleeding, severely injured but still alive, those officers would not allow emergency medical help into the building for nearly an hour. When help was finally allowed in, Tyrone had bled to death. The bullets did not hit any vital organs. He just bled to death.

After the students and I attended a memorial service for Tyrone at the Jesus is the Answer Church where he attended, the students asked me to help them in getting some answers to questions we had about Tyrone’s death. We went to the NAACP and asked for help. The president at the time arranged a meeting between the Chief of Police Roger Bragdon and us. He gave us an implausible explanation about the bullet entry in Tyrone’s back and an equally implausible and heartless explanation why they let him bleed to death with an ambulance sitting on the sidewalk just outside the building where he had been shot. There was no ombudsman at that time, there was no one we could go to that could conduct an independent investigation.

Of course those officers were cleared of any wrong doing through an internal investigation and several months later they received a commendation of valor. For what? For shooting a man in the back and allowing him to bleed to death alone in a hallway after an eye witness told them he was down and injured with emergency medical help minutes, maybe even seconds away?

That is why we need independent investigations for complaints of police misconduct and critical incidents. I care about Tyrone Thomas. Students, faculty and staff at SCC cared about Tyrone. We all care about Tyrone, about Eagle Michael, Otto Zehm, Josh Levy, Jerome Alford and the many others who have been killed and injured by the Spokane police. You should care about them, too.

This ordinance is just a first step. But it must be an honest ordinance that mandates action, and not one that just uses the right words. I will always wonder if we had true, meaningful, independent oversight of police conduct when Tyrone was shot, maybe, just maybe the officers would have thought about it, and they would have allowed the emergency medical help in the building and Tyrone would be alive today.

Thank you very much.

Posted in Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Racism, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Yes ma'am Chief | 1 Comment »

Lies encouraged in police Special Investigations Unit — 60 Minutes, June 1, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on May 31, 2008

Chicago Cop: Lies Were Encouraged

May 30, 2008

(CBS) Indicted Chicago police officer Keith Herrera says his superiors knew and encouraged him to lie on reports so questionable arrests would stand up in court.

In his first interview, Herrera, who also admits to stealing money, takes Katie Couric inside the Special Operations Section, an elite group of officers, some of whom he says profited during their quest to take criminals off the streets in one of the city’s largest police scandals.

The report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes this Sunday, June 1, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Herrera and six fellow SOS members were charged with crimes including armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping – many against suspected drug dealers. They have all pled not guilty. They are also accused of routinely lying on police reports. “Creative writing was a certain term that bosses used to make sure that the job got done,” he says. His bosses, says Herrera, wanted the cases to stick in court. “I didn’t just pick up a pen and just learn how to [lie on reports]. Bosses, guys that I work with who were older than I was…It’s taught to you,” he tells Couric.

The SOS mission was to get drugs and guns off the street, he says, “at any cost.”

Getting the job done often entailed breaking the rules, says Herrera. He describes to Couric a hypothetical scenario where to make a case stick against a gunman who tossed his weapon, a cop would lie in the police report and say that the gun never left the man’s hand. “Do you want that guy…that just shot somebody to not go to jail because he threw the gun? Or do you want him to go to jail because he never let the gun out of his hand?” asks Herrera. “I know what I’ve got to do.”

Pressed by Couric that his implication was that few or no officers went by the book, Herrera responds, “Maybe [some obey the rules]. This isn’t…Podunk, Iowa. This is the city of Chicago….You’ve got to do a job,” he says. And he says he was told he was doing a good job. “I got high-fives and honorable mentions and department commendations,” says Herrera.

Eventually, Herrera tells Couric, he went way over the line, sometimes taking money stolen from suspects. Herrera rationalized his first cut of illicit money. “I’m going to go tell a supervisor? No. And you just tell yourself it’s not going to happen again…No one is going to know,” he tells Couric. It did happen again and often, says Herrera. According to prosecutors, SOS members stole hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On these raids and in the unit’s street work there was a senior officer in SOS, Jerry Finnigan, who, though not a sergeant was effectively “in charge” says Herrera. Officer Finnigan was indicted with the rest and accused of being their ringleader. He was once an idol of Herrera’s. “To me he was like Superman,” he tells Couric. But, he says, Finnigan went too far. According to Herrera, Finnigan came to him last summer with a plan to deal with two former colleagues set to testify against them. “Jerry Finnigan decided that they didn’t need to be breathing anymore,” says Herrera.

This was a tipping point for Herrera and a moment to seize some kind of redemption. “I don’t have my star or my gun, but I’m still a cop. I’m going to stop you from doing this,” he says he thought at the time. He went to the FBI, who gave him a device to record Finnigan. On the recording, says Herrera, “he called [the alleged murder plot] a ‘paint job.’ He just said ‘some really good painters [would do the killing]. We’d never have to paint again,'” Herrera says Finnigan told him. Herrera says Finnigan even spoke of killing two more former Chicago cops from SOS. Finnigan was charged by federal prosecutors with planning a murder for hire based on Herrera’s recordings – a charge Finnigan denies.

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis, brought in to stabilize the department after the SOS scandal, says Herrera’s story of street misconduct rings true. “I think there probably was an atmosphere…. ‘Maybe we are breaking the laws, but look what we’ve accomplished.’ They lost their way and it saddens me,” he tells Couric. Of the charge that supervisors knew and encouraged the misconduct, “That is horrific in my eyes,” says Weis.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley acknowledges the taint on his police department left by the SOS indictments, but says his officers primarily help the public. “It could be 10 or 15 or 20 [misconduct incidents] but every day we’re answering thousands of calls….You don’t allow a series of things to overcome the police mission of serving and protecting the people of the city of Chicago,” he tells Couric.

Produced by Tanya Simon, Andrew Metz and Michael Radutzky
© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Corruption, Ethics, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Northwest Gang Investigators in Spokane, May 19-22, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on April 30, 2008

So-called “gang experts” from the Northwest Gang Investigators Association will invade Spokane from May 19 to May 22, 2008, bringing their ever blessed light to shine upon the allegedly serious problem of gangs in Spokane.

It is especially disturbing to see this organization coming to Spokane at this time given the fact that Spokane Police Department is facing a severe crisis of corruption, misconduct, improperly and incompletely investigated police homicides against civilians, a practice of counter-suits against citizens who complain, and an ongoing history of racism in police hiring and policing of the community.

May god help us!

One might recall how in late September 2007 the collective anti-gang brain trust of Spokane — the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) — was involved in a widely publicized scandal as a result of their dissemination of patently false information about a “three-day gang enforcement focus”. The ATF and the GET widely touted their reported “success” in rounding up 70 plus gang members and associates as well as a large amount of weaponry. As it turns out there was only one gun and a handful of gang involved individuals charged with any crime. What was portrayed as a massive anti-gang bust was revealed to be a hoax involving publication of false data and a large scale effort to seed the media with false information. The GET is composed of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, ATF, FBI, and other unnamed government agencies.

Not surprisingly, the restricted-attendance event has been promoted by Yvonne Morton-Lopez, the non-Spanish-speaking chairwoman of Governor Chris Gregoire’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA). Organizations such as the CHA and the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been at the forefront of organizations promoting “forums” on gangs run by the Spokane Police Department, COPS, and the Gang Enforcement Team.

At recent GET forums in Spokane, presenters have taken already unsubstantiated numbers on gang membership in Spokane and inflated them by 25%, claiming for example that the supposed 900 gang members in Spokane is now 1200.

In an environment of police abuses — corruption, violence against members of minority groups, lack of civilian oversight — and in a community with a significant history of racism, organizations such as the Morton-Lopez’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and Terry Goetz’s Spokane Human Rights Commission are acting extremely irresponsibly and jeopardizing their organizations’ credibility as defenders of the rights of Spokane’s small minority populations.

(Note: Morton-Lopez has recently been named the head of the Washington State Human Rights Commission. It will be interesting to see how she promotes law enforcement interests and their questionable practices from that position.)

Despite evidence which counters the claims of law enforcement and those such as Morton-Lopez about gangs in Spokane, the campaign goes on.  Crime is down in Spokane, according to the police and FBI, despite SPD Corporal Lee’s best efforts to spin the statistics.  And that is with 25 less officers than the comparison year of 2004. Yet, the GET and the COPS program continue to promote their Gang Seminars in the community despite the questionable information presented by GET team members.

http://www.nwgia.com/downloads/2008spring_nwgiaconference-reg.pdf

Posted in All-white SPD?, Gangs?, Independent Oversight, Law, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane Police vs. Youth, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

North Central High counselor working hard on behalf of U.S. military recruiters

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 23, 2008

Jane Umphrey, a counselor at Spokane’s North Central High School, has been hard at work on behalf of U.S. military recruiters. Here (click here for PDF file) are some documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Request to Spokane School District 81 in September 2005 and January 2007.

The letter from Russell J. Vaucher from the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Seattle dated 10/4/04 was sent to North Central High School and subsequently e-mailed by the District to all schools on 12/3/04. Vaucher included Section 9528 of HR 1 (“No Child Left Behind” Act) which request schools to “provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers”. As you will note in Vaucher’s letter, he request specific formats for providing the information to Joseph/Jenkins@usarec.army.mil.

This request for names of Spokane District 81 student information was made in the midst of a period of massive violations of law and policy by U.S. military recruiters. By May 2005 the extent of the violations and abuses was international news and the military had shut down recruiting for a day to attempt to get a handle on the abuses.

Department of the Army Recruitment Letter to North Central High School 10-4-2004 and related documents

U.S. military recruiter misconduct is a very well established fact and has been criminally prosecuted on multiple occasions during this illegal invasion, occupation and brutalization of Iraq. The extent of the abuses was extensively documented in May 2007 (read 2007) by Nashville’s WTVF. The WTVF website includes, among many other print and video resources, a 30-minute documentary “Dishonorable Deceptions” on the recruitment of the mentally ill.

A couple years ago, U.S. military recruiters in Spokane attempted to recruit a legal Latin American immigrant out of a Spokane-area school. This kid has a 68 IQ, suffered a stroke at birth, and was in special education. His parents do not speak English. They had the nerve to visit the kid at school and at his home. After his parents complained to me, I contacted the recruiter and told him that he could certainly continue his efforts if he chose to but, if he did so, he would face being accused and hopefully charged. That was the last the family heard of him.

In addition, there is this e-mail by Frank Shaffery, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s deputy director of recruiting operations.
http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=6488309&nav=menu374_2_2

“Established cases” is only a small reflection of the actually extent of the problem. Again, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) report in August 2006 which stated, “available service data show that between fiscal years 2004 and 2005, allegations and service-identified incidents of recruiter wrongdoing increased, collectively, from 4,400 cases to 6,600 cases; substantiated cases increased from just over 400 to almost 630 cases; and criminal violations more than doubled from just over 30 to almost 70 cases.”
http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06846high.pdf

You will note the words “service-identified incidents” in the GAO report and you will note the number of substantiated cases increasing to a number almost double that which you present. Search the web and talk to real people in our community and you find many more allegations. No one has to doubt that the military and the Bush administration have little interest in substantiating and investigating the extent of the violations. Suffice it to say that it did not take more than a few weeks for the first major exposes on the issues before the US military took the unprecedented step of shutting down recruitment for a day to try to correct its rotten, criminal (again see the GAO stats) recruitment efforts.

Ignorant as they may be of the realities of the Middle East and of modern warfare, the U.S. president and his “chickenhawk” minions are sufficiently astute to understand that a draft would constitute the collapse of the entire house of cards and would have us once again have us remembering Kent State.
https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/2007/08/06/know-your-rights-tin-soldiers-and-nixons-coming/

The U.S. military utilizes tens of thousands of mercenaries — US and foreign — in Iraq. The military is severely broken. They are desperate for cannon fodder and are engaged in an ongoing campaign of false advertising.

Be assured that additional recruitment scandals will be forthcoming, as the abuses are occurring even as we write.
The public will continue to respond to the abuses and will legitimately continue to focus on recruiters and their superiors, all of whom are paid by the taxpayer and are subject to law.

More important than the numbers of abuses by U.S. military recruiters is the type of abuses they have engaged in. We are talking not just about misleading and exaggeration. We are talking about rape, forgery, and other sorts of crimes. As this August 20, 2006, report discloses:

(quote) More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams. A six-month Associated Press investigation found that more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees. The cases occurred across all branches of the military and in all regions of the country. (end quote)
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/19/national/main1913849.shtml

Even with the number of 630, this is not insignificant. A May 5, 2005, New York Times report found that 1 in 5 recruiters was under investigation.
http://rncwatch.typepad.com/counterrecruiter/2005/05/one_in_five_rec.html
If you do not want to get to the NY Times article via a counter-recruitment blog (though this one has great resources), go directly to the NY Times article.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/03/national/03recruit.html?ex=1272772800&en=cb1c8ef720824a5d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
http://www.quakerhouse.org/Recruiter-Abuses-03.htm

Again, I believe it is important to frame this recruitment scandal in the context of a growing list of scandals related to the U.S. defeat and fiasco in Iraq — 1) the original lies and deceptions used to convince the world and justify the invasion; 2) the cover-ups related to U.S. war crimes; 3) the thefts and maladministration of billions by U.S. forces, contractors, and companies; 4) the lies to soldiers, families and countries about the circumstances of deaths, such as those of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan and the lies about the story of Jessica Lynch and the death of her fellow soldiers; and many, many other scandals, some yet to come to light.
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/03/19/iraq_five/

Those who seek to defend this Bush/Neo-Con fiasco will always find themselves behind the fact that it is destined to be described as one of the biggest military fiasco in human history — and perhaps at the top of the list. The final consequences of the war are yet to be known. Will it lead to collapse of the U.S. economy? Will it lead to a nuclear confrontation in the Middle East? How many thousands and tens of thousands of U.S. troops will return home to kill themselves, live with mental illness, and destroy the lives of their families? How far will the image and power of the U.S. decline? Time will tell. In the meantime, facts point to a greatly diminished U.S. and a legacy equal to that of the U.S. defeat in Vietnam. How long will we be subject to the apologists?

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Surveillance Society, Unanswered Questions, US Military abuses, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Police Brutality at Bottoms Up Tavern in Spokane on February 22, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 28, 2008

Serious questions remain about what actually took place when 38 Spokane area law enforcement personnel besieged the Bottoms Up Tavern at 13921 E. Trent late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Reports are that police indiscriminately wielded batons and that one man was simply dumped along the roadway by officers after he “angered” them by vomiting blood in their patrol car. Accounts of the incident include officers providing unclear and contradictory instructions to patrons resulting in improper arrests. In addition some of the victims of police misconduct at the scene reportedly were Iraq war veterans. Media reports on the matter have been extremely sketchy, with few details reported. Some of those arrested were booked and released extremely quickly. This is indicative of a situation in which clear law enforcement misconduct has come to the attention of superiors and prosecutors who then look for a way to make it go away.  Look for charges to be dropped in the hopes that the whole thing will simply goes away.  Given that there are no effective law enforcement oversight mechanisms in Spokane or Spokane County and that the procedures for making a complaint are unclear, one can only hope that those involved find good legal representation to mount a law suit against the responsible officers and agencies.

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Police Department and Accuracy Watch

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 28, 2008

The Spokane Police Department has certainly had a long, self-induced spell of that bad luck over the last few years, having seen terms like corruption and scandal and homicide and lack of judgment used frequently to describe their actions. They have seen their finest, such as decorated Officer Jason Uberagua (one of the officers involved in killing Otto Zehm) go down in flames. They have had to suffer the embarrassment even of those whose demise is not in the least a surprise, such as Officer Jay Olsen — known for owning a busy drug property on the near north side just two blocks from an elementary school and the man who under the influence of alcohol woke up Peaceful Valley by shooting Shonto Pete in the back, managing to lodge bullets in the back of the innocent Pete’s head and in a nearby home. Any number of such incidents are spelled out in the chronology which launched this blog and more can be found by searching the Spokesman-Review archives and the internet will turn up much more.

So what do think we will see posted on the Spokane Police website on their “Accuracy Watch” page? Perhaps a correction to Corporal Lee’s fallacious interpretation of crime statistics? I don’t think so. Or perhaps an apology for the role played by the Spokane Police Gang Enforcement Team (GET) in spreading cooked data on alleged gang membership in Spokane via their public seminars on “gangs”?

Currently “Accuracy Watch” sports nothing more than the Spokane area temperature. However watching the evolution of the increasingly slick SPD website, knowing Chief Anne Kirkpatrick’s reported public relations savvy (though that has not always been evident), and observing the grooming of Officer Jennifer DeRuwe as the primary spokesperson for the SPD, it will be interesting to see what their next step will be in “spin control”. DeRuwe and the department have already made expert use of COPS TV as a public relations tool at the height of their crisis of credibility. Now if they can get a handle on other loose canons likely to crash and burn next or at least purge YouTube of unfavorable videos, they may yet win their battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Spokane.

Here is to ya’, Officer Brownlee — “You honkey, We drinkey” or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventure

Posted in Corruption, Ethics, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Statistics, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Northwest Gang Investigators in Spokane May 19-22, 2008

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 17, 2008

So-called “gang experts” from the Northwest Gang Investigators Association will invade Spokane from May 19 to May 22, 2008, bringing their ever blessed light to shine upon the allegedly serious problem of gangs in Spokane.

It is especially disturbing to see this organization coming to Spokane at this time given the fact that Spokane Police Department is facing a severe crisis of corruption, misconduct, improperly and incompletely investigated police homicides against civilians, a practice of counter-suits against citizens who complain, and an ongoing history of racism in police hiring and policing of the community.

May god help us!

One might recall how in late September 2007 the collective anti-gang brain trust of Spokane — the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) — was involved in a widely publicized scandal as a result of their dissemination of patently false information about a “three-day gang enforcement focus”. The ATF and the GET widely touted their reported “success” in rounding up 70 plus gang members and associates as well as a large amount of weaponry. As it turns out there was only one gun and a handful of gang involved individuals charged with any crime. What was portrayed as a massive anti-gang bust was revealed to be a hoax involving publication of false data and a large scale effort to seed the media with false information. The GET is composed of the Spokane Police Department, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, ATF, FBI, and other unnamed government agencies.

Not surprisingly, the restricted-attendance event has been promoted by Yvonne Morton-Lopez, the non-Spanish-speaking chairwoman of Governor Chris Gregoire’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA). Organizations such as the CHA and the Spokane Human Rights Commission have been at the forefront of organizations promoting “forums” on gangs run by the Spokane Police Department, COPS, and the Gang Enforcement Team.

At recent GET forums in Spokane, presenters have taken already unsubstantiated numbers on gang membership in Spokane and inflated them by 25%, claiming for example that the supposed 900 gang members in Spokane is now 1200.

In an environment of police abuses — corruption, violence against members of minority groups, lack of civilian oversight — and in a community with a significant history of racism, organizations such as the Morton-Lopez’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and Terry Goetz’s Spokane Human Rights Commission are acting extremely irresponsibly and jeopardizing their organizations’ credibility as defenders of the rights of Spokane’s small minority populations.

(Note: Morton-Lopez has recently been named the head of the Washington State Human Rights Commission. It will be interesting to see how she promotes law enforcement interests and their questionable practices from that position.)

Despite evidence which counters the claims of law enforcement and those such as Morton-Lopez about gangs in Spokane, the campaign goes on. Crime is down in Spokane, according to the police and FBI, despite SPD Corporal Lee’s best efforts to spin the statistics. And that is with 25 less officers than the comparison year of 2004. Yet, the GET and the COPS program continue to promote their Gang Seminars in the community despite the questionable information presented by GET team members.

http://www.nwgia.com/downloads/2008spring_nwgiaconference-reg.pdf

Posted in Gangs?, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Sound the Alarm — We Will Not Be Silent

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 7, 2008

There are times when to show up in great numbers is itself an act of resistance.

March 19, 2008 is one of those times.

We need to show up.

www.5yearstoomany.org

A CALL TO ACTION: March 19, 2008 will mark the beginning of the 6th year of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. This is the time in which we live. This is our time to respond.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

(Original video)

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

As long as the United States is engaged in an illegal war of occupation and as long as it suppresses opposition to that illegal war through constitutional violations at home, there will be increasing dissent and protest at home. We will not be silent! — David Brookbank

We Will Not Be Silent

 

Iraqi Victims — Photos from Fallujah

 

Banning Free Speech and Dangerous T-Shirts

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest and Free Speech, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Racism — new blog by Arroyoribera

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 29, 2008

Racism in Spokane – a 21st century reality

by Arroyoribera on January 24th, 2008

Racism in Spokane?

Not a topic that will make you very popular among those you know in Spokane, especially if they are white.

Twice today it was suggested to me by whites I know that if people (a category which clearly was intended to include me) are unhappy with the situation of race in Spokane or the white dominance of Spokane or the exclusion of non-whites in Spokane, then I or anyone else with similar concerns can move to Seattle or anywhere else that we chose and where – it was implied – we will see more people of color on a routine basis.

Other interesting reactions to the topic of “racism in Spokane” can be seen in the anonymous postings on the blogs of the Spokesman-Review and even in the Spokesman’s publication/blog for area high school students.

Instead of leaving Spokane, I decided to begin this blog – Spokane Racism.

We will explore not only the perception and reality of racism in Spokane but also the reaction to the suggestion that Spokane is racist as well as the reaction to the evidence that Spokane is racist.

We will look at Spokane’s beginnings through the violent and unlawful taking of the lands of the native peoples and nations that lived, and fished, and roamed, and played, and celebrated, and raised families on this land and along this river.

In addition, we will look at the use and abuse of language and imagery of race, as well as the enshrinement of the areas racist past.

We will look at the history of explicitly racist organizations in the Spokane area from the Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations and Washington State Militia to Phinneas Brotherhood and White Order of Thule.

And we will look at the realities of community and organizational exclusion in Spokane from our media and our local governments to our police forces, our schools, and our cultural life.

I invite those with comments on the topic to send them to SpokaneRacism@google.com

Posted in Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Solutions, Statistics, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

SPD Officer Jason Uberuaga fired for “conduct unbecoming”

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 27, 2008

[Comment from blog author: The Uberuaga incident has all the indicators of an initiation into a police club or unit. As in, “Make sure she is drunk so that her allegations can’t hold water, you have to do it in an official vehicle, and you have to bring back evidence, such as a photo of her breasts on your cell phone.” Please send your thoughts and comments on this scenario to spokanepoliceabuses@gmail.com ]

Jason Uberuaga —

  • 1997 Gonzaga University graduate and star baseball player (All-West Coast League Honorable Mention)
  • joined the Spokane Police Department in 1998
  • decorated Spokane Police officer who teamed with Sgt. Dan Torok in the March 2006 killing-by-cop of Otto Zehm
  • deputized member of DEA Regional Drug Task Force
  • member of the Spokane Dodgers of Men’s Senior League Baseball (The MSLB slogan is “Don’t go soft, play hardball!”)

On October 11, 2007, apparently finding his life not sufficiently interesting, Uberuaga decided to engage in some “conduct unbecoming” of an officer and found himself accused of rape (video). Uberuaga’s law enforcement colleagues maintained the solidity of the “thin blue line“, concluding that the victim’s story was inconsistent and thus deciding not to charge Uberuaga.

On January 23, 2008, Uberuaga was fired by the Chief of Police of Spokane who concluded that Uberuaga had engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of an officer when he used his cell phone to photograph the woman’s breasts, had sex with her, and drove his patrol vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Uberuaga had been bar hopping with other Spokane law enforcement officers at the time.

Still, the odds are that the system will come to the rescue of Uberuaga.

Many still remember another recent moment in the storied annals of Spokane area law enforcement. On June 16, 2006, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Mastel exposed himself to a barista at an expresso stand in Airway Heights, a couple miles west of Spokane. Like Uberuaga, Mastel was terminated for “conduct unbecoming” of an officer.  Subsequently, the Spokane County Civil Service Commission reinstated Mastel and ruled he could collect his pension in full.  No less a friend of law enforcement than anonymous blogger “Spokane Valley Insider” has opined that Mastel’s offense was a “more serious offense compared to having sex with a willing participant in a private parking lot of a privately owned business” and does not believe that “Uberuaga’s termination fits the offense”.

Spokane Valley Insider goes on to write:

(quote) I would be surprised if his termination holds up.  Uberuaga is guilty of making a bad decision.  He doesn’t deserve to be a part of a task force if he is going to drive the company car to taverns and use the company phone to take topless photos of women.  But is that conduct unbecoming?  Should his actions that night determine his future and wipe out the spotless record including awards of merit he has received during this ten years of service?  Uberuaga should be suspended without pay for 30-60 days, relieved of his task force detail, and required to remain on patrol for an indefinite amount of time. He should also be docked a step in salary. (end quote)

A few clarifications are in order.

First, Uberuaga is at the least guilty of making several bad decisions, not just one.  According to published reports, bar patrons watched Uberuaga go out to the parking lot and engage in what essentially became a public act of sex in the vehicle. He and his law enforcement buddies hit more than one bar that afternoon.  He drove the patrol vehicle under the influence of alcohol, which the Chief had specifically forbidden.

Second, Uberuaga was not the only law enforcement official involved in the cavorting with reports indicating that the his accompanied by Spokane County Sheriff Deputies.

Third, Uberuaga does not have a spotless record, in that the matter of the homicide of Otto Zehm (in which Uberuaga was one of seven Spokane cops participating in the killing along with the notorious Sgt. Dan Torok) is still open with both an FBI probe and the followup Mike Worley report still pending.

Fourth, Uberuaga — whose salary in 2002 was $61,475 — has been paid throughout these 3 1/2 months despite early admissions on his part regarding the “conduct unbecoming” on October 11, 2007.

(Note: Read Spokane County Board of Commissioners’ response to Civil Service Commission reinstatement decision on Mastel)

One similarity between both the Uberuaga and Mastel cases is their “blame the victim” strategy. Both cops put the blame on the woman involved, with Mastel claiming that the barista “led me on” and Uberuaga claiming that the his activities were consensual.

Spokane seems to have a serious problem of lack of accountability by law enforcement. Two other cases come immediately to mind. In the Firehouse Sex Scandal, two Spokane Police detectives (Sgt. Joe Peterson and Sgt. Neil Gallion) “instructed” a Spokane fireman to delete photos of a teenage girl with whom he had engaged in sexual activity. In another case, SPD officer Dave Freitag allowed 65-year-old level three sex offender Thomas Hermann to resided in the basement of his home and stored the convicted felon’s firearms (Hermann was among 22 suspects arrested in the U.S. as part of an international child pornography investigation.)

In all four cases, the total number of officers arrested was…? You guessed it. Zero.

 

Posted in Corruption, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane LE Personalities, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Sibel Edmonds — Blowing the lid off the FBI, CIA, and high level US Traitors

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 21, 2008

Sibel Edmonds is the most gagged person in US history. The government has repeatedly invoked the State Secrets Privilege in her case – not for reasons of ‘national security’ but to hide ongoing criminal activity. Please call Congressman Henry Waxman and John Conyers as well as Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy to demand public open hearings into Edmonds’ case and the State Secrets Privilege.

Sibel Edmonds — PEN Newman Award RecipientPEN American Center has named Sibel Edmonds, a translator who was fired from her job at the FBI after complaining of intelligence failures and poor performance in her unit, as the recipient of this year’s prestigious PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.

Sibel Edmonds — Investigations Thwarted — Why have so many investigations been dropped? Whose interests are being served? Demand hearings.

Sibel Edmonds: A Patriot Silenced, Unjustly Fired but Fighting Back to Help Keep America Safe — ACLU

Jan. 6, 2008 The Sunday Times (of London) — For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets

Jan. 20, 2008 The Sunday Times (of London) — FBI Accused of Covering up Government Dealings with Network Stealing Nuclear Secrets

Let Sibel Edmonds Speak — Official documents prove FBI lied to protect US Officials

Daniel Ellsberg on Failure of US Media to Report Coverup by FBI, CIA, and Department of State Treason — 1 and 2.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | 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 »

Spokane Police Bloggers at Spokesman-Review — Hard 7 Blog Purged by S-R Editor

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 18, 2008

The only daily newspaper in Spokane, Washington — the Cowles family-owned Spokesman-Review — is plagued by Spokane law enforcement personnel, most notably Spokane Police Department officials, blogging under false names and partial names.

Most notable is the regular and extended participation of Spokane Police Department Detective Dan Torok, who killed the unarmed Jerome Alford on 3/24/07, and who was one of the direct participants on 3/18/06 in the brutal homicide of Otto Zehm, an unarmed disabled Spokane native.

Torok participates in newspaper blogs under the name “Dan” and posts at all hours of the day and night on matters related to the Spokane Police and other law enforcement matters. Torok is well-known for staunch on-line defenses of his own police activities, as well as those of seriously disgraced police colleagues here and elsewhere in the country, such as the soon-to-be ex-SPD Officer Jason Uberuaga.

(Note: Uberuaga is the SPD veteran who was alleged to have raped a woman during a bar-hopping incident with Spokane Sheriff Deputies. Uberagua used a cell phone camera to photograph the woman’s breasts, had sex with her, and drove his unmarked patrol car under the influence of alcohol. Uberuaga was immediately removed from the Federal Drug Task Force of which he was a deputized member but the decision to fire him from the Spokane Police Department was not taken by SPD chief Anne Kirkpatrick until January 17, 2008.  Uberuaga involved along with Torok in the 3/18/2006 homicide killing of Otto Zehm, a brutal murder which involved seven Spokane cops beating, tasering, hog-tying, masking, and kneeing the unarmed Zehm on March 18, 2006.)

Also active on the Spokesman-Review blogs is Sgt. Jim Faddis. Sgt. Faddis was unmasked blogging under the pseudonym of “Kevin”. He was repentant and promised he would never do so again but continued to blog as “Jim” or “Jim F”. In his blog writings, Faddis was often the backup to Torok’s verbal assaults on citizen bloggers. Faddis is a former Internal Affairs officer and Special Investigations Unit member.

Some Spokesman-Review bloggers have expressed concern regarding whether or not Torok and Faddis, as well as Det. J.R. Russell, have used official duty time and resource for their blog activities. (According to Spokane City records, then-Sergaent Dan Torok was paid $75,744 in 2002 while at that same time, Sergaent Faddis was paid $76,480.)

Others have expressed concerns about police officials lurking about blogs and intervening under the guise of citizens with no connection to the police in an effort to bolster a severely tarnished police department.

On a rare occasion Torok would intentionally sign a posting as “Det. Dan Torok” and explain that he was acting in an official capacity. Then there was the occasion when he signed in that fashion and had to return and write a disclaimer that he should not have signed as an SPD employee. Wow! Just sign Dan Torok and clarify that you are a cop, especially when the topic is the cops, including yourself!

The whole affair raises serious questions for those blogging openly under their real names (as I have made a practice for a few years now) or for those concerned about the identities of those with whom they are engaging in public blogs, not least those owned and run by newspapers.

Despite the important information disclosed at the Spokesman-Review’s Hard 7 blog by SPD officials Torok, Faddis and Russell about the Spokane Police Department and highly prejudicial attitudes held by them toward the mentally ill and disabled as well citizens in general, the Spokesman-Review recently purged its site of all postings at Hard 7 on January 4, 2008. That action was taken by Ken Paulman, one of the Spokesman-Review’s primary censors and the editor of the S-R’s collection of columns known as “7″.

Among the information purged by Paulman are very important public discussions involving citizen blog-posters engaging both Torok and Faddis regarding the lack of independent civilian oversight of the Spokane Police Department; the unprovoked brutality on July 4, 2007 against young people by the SPD Tactical Response Unit in Riverfront Park; the excessive force arrest on June 27, 2007 of Dan Treecraft by SPD officers at the location of the secret meeting between Spokane law enforcement officials and then-US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez; the incomplete investigation of the homicide of Otto Zehm in which Torok was a participant; Torok’s killing of the unarmed Jerome Alford; tasers; high powered police weaponry acquired by the SPD; the use of the Spokane Police Guild website and forum to carry on private discussions about “LE friendly and LE hostile businesses“; and the use of the Guild website to post a private link to this blog (first denied by Faddis and subsequently admitted by him).

In purging the entire history of postings at Hard 7, Paulman wrote:

(quote)

And that’s a wrap…

Posted by Ken Paulman, 7 editor • 4 Jan 9:38 AM

As most of you already know, Frank Sennett, author of the Hard 7 column and blog, is on his way to the great Midwest to become the new editor of Time Out Chicago.

Unfortunately, that means the Hard 7 blog is closing up shop.

Frank is no longer posting or moderating, and unattended blogs tend to become magnets for spam, flame wars, and other garbage. So I’ve had to shut down comments on the blog. This unfortunately means all of the archived comments aren’t visible, but we’ll see about getting them back online soon.

(end quote)

Hard 7 author and blogmeister Frank Sennett had barley left Spokane for a new job in Chicago when Paulman struck in the first days of 2008. It will be a measure of the credibility of Spokesman-Review and the integrity of Paulman — one of the Spokesman’s primary monitors and censors of public’s participation in its dialogue with the town’s only daily newspaper — if Paulman keeps his word to “see about getting them (the missing archived comments) back online soon.”

Paulman admits to his “banning” and censorship activities at the S-R, having written previously, (quote) I had banned Brookbank back when I was moderating the “old” News is a Conversation, so that may have added to the confusion. Posted by Ken Paulman | 20 Dec 9:08 AM (end quote)

(The other primary S-R censor is Doug Floyd, S-R editorial page “editor”. Floyd has known no other employer other than the Spokesman-Review since 1969, three years after he graduated from journalism school in Oregon, and thus is likely eminently qualified to represent the censorial red pen of S-R publisher Stacey Cowles.)

Frank Sennett’s postings are still there to read at Hard 7 but the public forum that is a blog — including substantive discussions by the public of the above mentioned topics of great importance to the community — were summarily removed. The advent of the internet and interactive media such as blogs have resulted in a worldwide process of remaking the institution known as “the newspaper”. One traditional role of newspapers has been as the “paper of record” for towns, regions, and countries. Thus, in the process of remaking the newspaper, a central and crucial question for the future of the free press and free expression will be the role of newspapers as the “source of record” for events and of dialogues on matters of crucial public interest, as well as the role to be played by related electronic media used by newspapers today, such as blogs, comment sections, etc.

At the present moment, the direction of the Spokesman-Review (already severely crisis stricken) bodes ill for that future. The S-R editors have chosen to take refuge in their privileged position and the belief — expressed on multiple occasions by S-R editor-in-chief Steve Smith– that what is in play on Spokesman-Review blogs is not a matter of freedom of speech. Rather, Smith argues, the reader and blog writer must understand that what they mistakenly believe to be a right to freedom of speech in the public’s blogging activities is in fact a gift given to them by the newspaper’s publisher and therefore not a right at all but rather an honor and a privilege bestowed on the blog reader/writer by the editor on behalf of the publisher. Furthermore, per Smith, that gift, honor, and privilege may be abridged or completely taken away at the discretion of the editor or his minions.

And therein lies the danger to free speech constituted by grossly consolidated media ownership in the US and globally. The owner is effectively the censor, even if indirectly, through his editors. The publisher invites participation. The editor monitors participation. The editor censors participation.

This is a perfect sub-theme for the disgrace of the media’s open and unquestioning complicity with the US government in the “war on terror” and the phenomenon of “embedded journalists” and “lapdog reporters”. The media no longer even pretends to be a watchdog or a source of objective truth. When — as in the case of the Spokesman-Review’s Doug Floyd — a newspaper has as its editorial page ‘editor’ a careerist with nearly 4 decades working loyally for that institution, there is truly a danger. More so when the institution is actually a family dynasty which has dominated, if not at times run, a city for well over a century.

Such is the history of our fair town, Spokane, Washington. Police bloggers, newspaper censors, and a disempowered public.

Where art thee now, Frank Sennett?

(I know, I know. Chicago. And good luck to ya!)

Posted in Censorship, Educating the Chief, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest and Free Speech, Spanking the Spokesman, Spokane Police Guild, Trained to Kill, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home, Yes ma'am Chief | Comments Off on Spokane Police Bloggers at Spokesman-Review — Hard 7 Blog Purged by S-R Editor

Canada Puts U.S. on Torture Watch List

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 18, 2008

The Canadian government has put the United States on a watch list of countries that could practice torture. The mention is made on a secret Canadian government document not intended for public release. The document cites the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and lists U.S. interrogation techniques including “forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation.” Other countries on the list include Israel, Syria, China, Iran and Afghanistan.

(reported 01/18/2008 on Democracy Now! website — Democracy Now is daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 650 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Testimonies, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

War Made Easy

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 13, 2008

Watch the trailer… then buy the DVD

WAR MADE EASY reaches into the Orwellian past to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Comments Off on War Made Easy

Surveillance Rights for the Public

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

“Mike Elgan has an interesting take on surveillance technology, and how audio and video recordings should be used in private and public life. He cites the case of a New York City Police Detective who was secretly taped by a suspect during an interrogation that the detective initially denied took place during the suspect’s murder trial, as well as a case involving two parents in Wisconsin who slipped a voice-activated recorder in their son’s backpack after suspecting he was being abused by his bus driver. In the first case, even though the detective was later charged with 12 counts of perjury, Elgan notes that the police interrogation probably would not have taken place had the suspect announced to the detective that he was recording the session. In the second case, the tape was initially ruled inadmissible in court because Wisconsin state law prohibits the use of “intercepted conversations” (it was later allowed as evidence). Elgan argues that there should be no questions about members of the public being allowed to record such interactions. He says surveillance should be “legalized, normalized or even required” when members of the public have interactions with police, and the public should be allowed to record interactions between caregivers and children, meetings between politicians meet with lobbyists, court sessions, and phone conversations. Elgan says, “Surveillance technology is on the rise. Powerful organizations — law enforcement, corporations, governments and others — have demanded and won their right to videotape the public, often secretly. They do this in order to hold individuals accountable for their actions. Yet the rights of individuals to use similar technology to do the same are often restricted. Why should shoppers, pedestrians, bank customers and citizens be held accountable, but politicians, police, judges and others are not? What kind of democracy is that?” What’s your take? Would Elgan’s proposals improve democracy and the rule of law? What kinds of complications or unintended consequences might result?”

http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9055126&intsrc=hm_list

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/03/2232218&from=rss

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Solutions, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Gonzaga University — a police-free zone for sex crimes?

Posted by Arroyoribera on December 23, 2007

The headline for this post almost appeared blatantly absurd until I actually wrote the thought on the screen.

Then it struck me. Gonzaga University has long been a police-free zone for sex crimes and lay at the heart of an environment of hypocrisy and impunity related to sex crimes in Spokane going back decades.

Not just at the heart of hypocrisy and impunity but — as was the case in April 1969 — at the heart of the leadership of Gonzaga.

In April 1969, Spokane Police tipped off Gonzaga University president Rev. John P. Leary to the fact that he would be arrested in relation to charges of sexual abuse of minor boys unless he left Spokane immediately. Thankful for the tip, Leary did obligingly leave town, beginning the long peregrinations so well known to predatory clergy.

Nearly 40 years later it appears Gonzaga University, which only last year began to involve the Spokane Police in alcohol-related legal matters (though ineffectually as these videos show), remains a safe haven for peer-on-peer sex crimes.

In response to GU senior Elizabeth Lockhart’s letter “Punish Lawbreakers” published 12/1/2006 in the Gonzaga Bulletin, Gonzaga’s corporate counsel Michael Casey wrote a same-day response entitled “University policy follows law” which said:

A report, allegation or complaint made only to Gonzaga University is not the same as a report made with local police. The University process and the criminal justice process are two separate courses of action which may be taken together or separately, depending on the reporting party’s comfort level and desired outcome.

Casey was addressing Lockhart’s concerns about an environment at Gonzaga University which she and others feel fails to adequately protect victims of sexual aggression. Lockhart wrote:

In recent months, the effectiveness of our school’s sexual assault policy has been called into question. The policy has been criticized by many for being ambiguous and, worse yet, for protecting those who have committed sexual offenses and hindering the victims who would seek justice. Read it for yourselves. While the ideals of our University are admirable, the words of our policy do not ensure that they will be upheld. Yes, a university should be a safe haven that protects us when we make mistakes. But not when we commit crimes.

Lockhart eloquently argued that Gonzaga’s policy substitutes a proceeding under the criminal laws of the state of Washington with what she calls “the University’s private but ineffectual proceedings”. She goes on to point out that like so many institutions before it, be they the U.S. Air Force Academy or the Spokane Fire Department, the sexual assault policy of Gonzaga University “does not protect the victim, it protects the reputation of her attacker and the safe image of her university”.

And of course the safe image of Gonzaga — especially in a town with a history of notorious serial rape cases — is a multi-million dollar commodity, one in which both the Catholic university and the city of Spokane have a significant interest in protecting.

If nearly 40 years ago, under enormous pressure to act, the Spokane Police Department and Gonzaga finally drove a pedophile priest from the presidency of Gonzaga and out of Spokane, when will the pressure finally be enough to force the SPD and GU leadership to deal head on with the interconnected issues of student alcohol-abuse and sexual misconduct?

What causes one to be less than optimistic is that the course of action chosen by both the Spokane Police Department and Gonzaga in April 1969 was exactly what Lockhart alleged about the sexual assault policy of Gonzaga University today: it did not protect the victims but rather protected the reputation of their attacker and the safe image of the university.

As we know Leary left Gonzaga and Spokane but continued without legal consequence to serve in the priesthood in congregations across the country. What in the end will be the tragic outcome of the current Gonzaga policy which also fosters legal impunity? Gonzaga produces lawyers, teachers, nurses, soldiers, and world-class basketball players. Is the current policy which encourages a “hush-hush” environment for the sake of the boys one which we want to see perpetuated? Is it one in which a Catholic institution of all places needs to be complicit at this late date in history?

And where should one put the blame? On a failure of courage on the part of Gonzaga administrators and legal counsel or on some inherent blind spot in the vision and ethical judgment of male dominated institutions — such as the Catholic church, the police and the military? What about the Spokane Police Department which failed in carrying out justice but instead shepherded Father Leary out of town rather than arrest him?

Clearly, the Church, Gonzaga University, and the Spokane Police Department all share the blame.

Perhaps Gonzaga University can atone for its part in the sheltering of Father Leary and other priests who passed through its doors in their interminable priestly peregrinations. Perhaps — at this late date and in advance of the 40th anniversary of Father Leary’s departure from Spokane with the assistance of the SPD and GU leadership in April 1969 — Gonzaga University can become a zero-tolerance zone for impunity from sex crimes.

This we pray…

in the name of the father, and of the mother, and of the son, and of the daughter, and of those generations yet to come…

amen.

Posted in Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Statistics, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces — by James Petras (CounterPunch)

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 30, 2007

November 28, 2007

Counterattack as Fateful Referendum Looms

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces

By JAMES PETRAS

On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday, December 2, 2007.

The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the Director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled ‘Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer’ and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym ‘HUMINT’ (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The Embassy-CIA’s polls concede that 57 per cent of the voters approved of the constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez but also predicted a 60 per cent abstention.

The US operatives emphasized their capacity to recruit former Chavez supporters among the social democrats (PODEMOS) and the former Minister of Defense Baduel, claiming to have reduced the ‘yes’ vote by 6 per cent from its original margin. Nevertheless the Embassy operatives concede that they have reached their ceiling, recognizing they cannot defeat the amendments via the electoral route.

The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operación Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a ‘no’ vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a ‘no’ vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter.

The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their ‘umbrella group’. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council. The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist ‘Red Flag’ group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their ‘Marxist rhetoric’, perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy.

The ultimate objective of ‘Operation Pincer’ is to seize a territorial or institutional base with the ‘massive support’ of the defeated electoral minority within three or four days (presumably after the elections though this is not clear. JP) backed by an uprising by oppositionist military officers principally in the National Guard. The Embassy operative concede that the military plotters have run into serous problems as key intelligence operatives were detected, stores of arms were decommissioned and several plotters are under tight surveillance.

Apart from the deep involvement of the US, the primary organization of the Venezuelan business elite (FEDECAMARAS), as well as all the major private television, radio and newspaper outlets have been engaged in a campaign of fear and intimidation campaign. Food producers, wholesale and retail distributors have created artificial shortages of basic food items and have provoked large scale capital flight to sow chaos in the hopes of reaping a ‘no’ vote.

President Chavez Counter-Attacks

In a speech to pro-Chavez, pro-amendment nationalist business-people (Entrepreneurs for Venezuela ­ EMPREVEN) Chavez warned the President of FEDECAMARAS that if he continues to threaten the government with a coup, he would nationalize all their business affiliates. With the exception of the Trotskyists and other sects, the vast majority of organized workers, peasants, small farmers, poor neighborhood councils, informal self-employed and public school students have mobilized and demonstrated in favor of the constitutional amendments.

The reason for the popular majority is found in a few of the key amendments: One article expedites land expropriation facilitating re-distribution to the landless and small producers. Chavez has already settled over 150,000 landless workers on 2 million acres of land. Another amendment provides universal social security coverage for the entire informal sector (street sellers, domestic workers, self-employed) amounting to 40 per cent of the labor force. Organized and unorganized workers’ workweek will be reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week (Monday to Friday noon) with no reduction in pay. Open admission and universal free higher education will open greater educational opportunities for lower class students. Amendments will allow the government to by-pass current bureaucratic blockage of the socialization of strategic industries, thus creating greater employment and lower utility costs. Most important, an amendment will increase the power and budget of neighborhood councils to legislate and invest in their communities.

The electorate supporting the constitutional amendments is voting in favor of their socio-economic and class interests; the issue of extended re-election of the President is not high on their priorities: And that is the issue that the Right has focused on in calling Chavez a ‘dictator’ and the referendum a ‘coup’.

The Opposition

With strong financial backing from the US Embassy ($8 million dollars in propaganda alone according to the Embassy memo) and the business elite and ‘free time’ by the right-wing media, the Right has organized a majority of the upper middle class students from the private universities, backed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, large swaths of the affluent middle class neighborhoods, entire sectors of the commercial, real estate and financial middle classes and apparently sectors of the military, especially officials in the National Guard. While the Right has control over the major private media, public television and radio back the constitutional reforms. While the Right has its followers among some generals and the National Guard, Chavez has the backing of the paratroops and legions of middle-rank officers and most other generals.

The outcome of the Referendum of December 2 is a major historical event first and foremost for Venezuela but also for the rest of the Americas. A positive vote (Vota ‘Sí’) will provide the legal framework for the democratization of the political system, the socialization of strategic economic sectors, empower the poor and provide the basis for a self-managed factory system. A negative vote (or a successful US-backed civil-military uprising) would reverse the most promising living experience of popular self-rule, of advanced social welfare and democratically based socialism. A reversal, especially a military dictated outcome, would lead to a blood bath, such as we have not seen since the days of the Indonesian Generals’ Coup of 1966, which killed over a million workers and peasants or the Argentine Coup of 1976 in which over 30,000 Argentines were murdered by the US- backed Generals.

A decisive vote for ‘Sí’ will not end US military and political destabilization campaigns but it will certainly undermine and demoralize their collaborators. On December 2, 2007 the Venezuelans have a rendezvous with history.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, will be published in October 2005. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu

www.counterpunch.org

Democracy Now interview of Petras by Amy Goodman — 11/30/07

Cuba and Venezuela Face US and Colombia — by James Petras

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

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Protest, Urgent Call, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Crime Statistics, Reports, and Concerns

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 15, 2007

NEW ITEMS:

Legal Resources — A new category below providing an extensive list of links on Freedom of Information and Open Meeting Law; Communication, Media, and Publication Law; and Legal Research

Police Attitudes towards Abuse of Authority — National Institute of Justice — (posted 12/19/07)

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin — Archive 1996 – present

Spokane City/County Proposed Spending Plan/2007 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) — “In the Event of Riots, Civil Disturbances and other L.E. Needs” — (posted 11/30/07)

Conducting Surveillance Operations — May 2004 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (posted 11/30/07)

Police Assault on Protesters — 4th of July 2007 in Spokane’s Riverfront Park — Officer Jay E. Kernkamp’s report (posted 11/27/07)

Electronic Control Weapons: Review & Recommendations (posted 11/27/07)

Filming in Spokane (posted 11/26/07) — provides guidance to film companies on movie making in Spokane. Page 10-12 are information on hiring “extra-duty” SPD officers. Information confuses “off-duty” and “extra-duty”.

Spokane Police Department Radio Signal Codes (posted 11/25/07)

Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States — Human Rights Watch 1998 Report on Brutality in  Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis,  New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia,  Portland, Providence,  San Francisco, and Washington D.C. (posted 01/11/08)

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

The manipulation of facts by law enforcement officials results in misappropriation of public funds and the targeting of innocent people, particular racial minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.

Let’s start with a couple examples of why the citizens of Spokane would do well to spend some time becoming familiar with statistics on crime in the Spokane area:

1) Lies, Damn Lies, and…SPD Corporal Lee and statistics differ on Crime in Spokane –In a KXLY 4 report entitled “Spokane Bucking National Trends”, Spokane Police Corporal Lee states on behalf of the Spokane Police Department that “we believe crime is up”. Yet the statistics say crime in Spokane is down, and down very significantly in 4 out of seven categories with no change in two others.

2) Facts Fabricated by Local and Federal Law enforcement regarding alleged Gang Bust — “I guess he may have taken some liberties with how those numbers were represented,” said Steve Lowhurst, Spokane special agent in charge for the ATF. (source: Spokesman-Review)

*Reports on Police Abuses

Police Attitudes towards Abuse of Authority — National Institute of Justice

Punishing Protest: Government Tactics That Suppress Freedom — National Lawyers Guild 2007 Report

Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual — American Civil Liberties Union 1997 Report

Faces of Surveillance: Targets of Illegal Spying — FBI/JTTF Spying on Peace Groups — ACLU FOIA Info

Conducting Surveillance Operations — May 2004 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

Spying on the Home Front (Video) — PBS FRONTLINE Report

Government Spying on US Citizens — ACLU

Silent Injustice: A Joint Project of the Washington Post and 60 Minutes — FBI withholds info on faulty ballistics testing

Information about the FBI — Your source for comprehensive, independent and nonpartisan information about the FBI

Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States — Human Rights Watch 1998 Report on Brutality in  Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis,  New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia,  Portland, Providence,  San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

* Weaponry

Spokane Police Weapon of Choice — Glock 40

Spokane County Sheriff’s Office — Pistols, Submachine Guns and Battle Rifles

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

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

“In the Event of Riots, Civil Disturbances and other L.E. Needs”

SPD’s Suicide Prevention Weapon — (Click on Virtual Tour)

* Statistics

Spokane Statistics and Demographics

Washington State Crime Statistics — Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (1995-2007)

Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)

City rating Crime Stats

City Crime Stats

Partners in Crime Prevention (PICP)

Spokane Public Library — Demographics

Hate Crime Incidents — Spokane 2005

Community Colleges of Spokane — Crime Stats and Information

Gonzaga University — Campus Crime Statistics

——-GU — Frequently asked questions about Spokane crime

——-GU — More Campus Crime Statistics (Federal Clery Act Stats)

*COPS — Spokane Community Oriented Policing Services

——-Neighborhood Observation Patrols (NOPS)

——-Calls for Service in Spokane City

——-Spokane Crime Map

——-Spokane Police Department Radio Signal Codes (11/25/07)

*Media Reports

Police Overtime — Seattle PI

New crime hotline not ringing true

Crime Stats in State have mixed pattern — Seattle PI

Spokane Crime Rate Soaring

Padding gang seminar stats

*Academic Studies and Reports

*Resources

Freedom of Information and Open Public Meeting Laws

Communications, Media & Publishing

Legal Research

*Spokane Police Department Generated Reports

SPD Neighborhood Policing Plan

Police Department Details Neighborhood Policing Plan (11/21/07)

*Publications

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin — Archive 1996 – present

*Lies, damn lies and…

Experts say ‘ most dangerous city’ rankings twist numbers

*Tasers

Man dies after police jolt him with stun gun — Fredrick, Maryland 11/18/07

Electronic Control Weapons: Review & Recommendations — Georgia Association of Police Chiefs (2005)

*Other

Filming in Spokane (posted 11/26/07) — provides guidance to film companies on movie making in Spokane. Page 10-12 are information on hiring “extra-duty” SPD officers. Information confuses “off-duty” and “extra-duty”.

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Statistics, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Know Your Rights: Boy Confronts Police

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 31, 2007

Boy Confronts Police

Adelante muchacho. Eres el futuro del mundo. Defiéndete, cipote, porque los escuadrones de la muerte vienen por ti y tu hermanita. Tus padres ya son viejos y tienen miedo.

El gringo es un hijo de su *&#$%* sin corazón. Vende lo que puede, desde tierras y almas hasta pasaportes y armamentos…..y una bala con tu nombre.

No tengas miedo, chavalito. Son cobardes quienes se esconden detrás de escudos, bastones, ametralladoras, nubes, y velocidades súper-sonicas. Invaden, ocupan, destruyen, masacran y nunca se van. Son imperialistas, matadores, cabrones, y no se van. Torturan, violan, difaman, y no se van.

Párate firme y dále duro, igual como los muchachos palestinos con sus piedras contra los tanques israelíes. Diles que no les tiene miedo. Son matamujeres, mataniños, matapobres. Allá se llaman Pérez y Gutiérrez. Aquí se llaman Torok y Olsen. Anda, juega, y ponte trucha, mi hijo, porque “the man” tiene un plan y no es nada bueno.

Translation — Be brave, child

 Be brave, mi hijo.  You are the future of the world.  Defend yourself, child, because the death squads are coming for you and your little sister.  Your parents are already old and they are afraid.  

The gringo is a son-of-a-*&#$% without a heart.  He sells what he can, from lands and souls to passports and weapons…and a bullet with your name on it.  

Don’t be afraid, cipote.  They are cowards who hide behind shields, and clubs, and machine guns, and clouds, and super-sonic speeds.  They invade, occupy, destroy, and massacre, and they never leave.  They are imperialists, assassins, and bastards, and they never leave.  They torture, rape, and defame, and they never leave.  

Stand firm and give it your all, just like the Palestinian boys with rocks against Israeli tanks.  Tell them that you are not afraid.  They are killers of women, and children, and the poor. There they are named Perez and Gutierrez.  Here they are named Torok and Olson.  Run, play, live, but be ready, my son, because “the man” has a plan and it is nothing nice.

*********

(Both original Spanish text and English translation by David Brookbank.  Origins of photo are unknown.)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Gangs?, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »

Report: FBI’s troubled relationship with Spokane area law enforcement

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 28, 2007

Upon reading the entire May 2007 report from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, one gets a much clearer sense of why Spokane’s inter-agency coordination efforts have gone astray more than once in recent months.

Perhaps this even helps to explain why we continue to await the FBI’s report on Otto Zehm.

In fact, I am guessing it explains the statements by FBI boys to me as far back as summer 2004 regarding their low morale and feelings that they had been unable to get anything right for some time.

In fact, now we know why — despite their best efforts to pull their heads out and to win one for the gipper with their phony gang bust in late September 2007 — the boys from the multi-agency Spokane Gang Enforcement Team (GET) ended up shooting themselves in the foot and winning the 2007 boner award by announcing bogus arrest and weapons confiscation data.

Check this out from page 19 and then from the appendix to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s May 2007 Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2007-004 entitled “Coordination of Investigations by Department of Justice Violent Crime Task Forces“:

(quote)

In Spokane, the FBI planned to create an FBI Violent Gang Safe Streets Task Force and contacted local law enforcement officers in the fall of 2005. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington told the OIG that, as the result of the FBI’s attempt to form a new antigang task force in Spokane, he received many calls from multiple law enforcement sources expressing concerns. Because local law enforcement personnel and resources were limited, the U.S. Attorney told us that he did not want “proven and successful task forces to be robbed of their officers.” An Assistant U.S. Attorney stated that he informed FBI task force officials that they had to coordinate the creation of the new task force and their request for local personnel with the other components and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in accordance with the Deputy Attorney General’s August 2005 memorandum. According to the Assistant U.S. Attorney, FBI task force managers stated that they were not aware of the memorandum. The U.S. Attorney therefore spoke with the components’ Special Agents in Charge and explained that if they were going to create new task forces, they had to be coordinated. Ultimately, the FBI decided not to create a Safe Streets Task Force in Spokane. (from p. 19)

Coordinated Anti-Gang Task Force Efforts in Spokane and Tulsa–Summary of the EOUSA Response. EOUSA stated that notwithstanding the FBI’s initially uncoordinated efforts in Spokane and coordination problems in Tulsa, the U.S. Attorneys in both cities believe that coordination has significantly improved.

OIG Analysis. We accept, but have not independently verified, EOUSA’s report of recent cooperation by the FBI in a local anti-gang task force in Spokane and the resolution of coordination problems in Tulsa. Notwithstanding any recent improvements, during the time period examined in this review we found coordination issues in both cities, and we reported on these issues and made recommendations for improvement. (from appendix)

(end quote)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Ron Wright — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 24, 2007

It was recently while blogging over at the Spokesman-Review and at Frank Sennett’s “Hard 7” that I decided I should start this blog category — Spokane Area Law Enforcement Personalities of Note here at SpokanePoliceAbuses.

It began with my realization that several individuals blogging at the S-R and Hard 7 were actually Spokane Police Officers.

“Dan” is Detective Sergeant Dan Torok of Otto Zehm and Jerome Alford infamy.

“Jim” is Sgt. Jim Faddis, who also blogs — for unknown reasons — under the pseudonym of “Kevin”.  (Officer Faddis, blogging as “Kevin” and pretending to be a civilian, engaged in this extensive defense of his police department’s conduct in the July 4, 2007 police attack on protesters.   http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/opinion/archive/?postID=1490 )

“JR” is Officer JR Russell.

One suspects from the tone and content of the blog posts of several other writers that they are law enforcement or connected to law enforcement.

At Hard 7 and the S-R blogs I began to notice the writings of a fellow who called himself Rocketsbrain” aka “RTB”.

Rocketsbrain had much to say about Spokane’s alleged serious gang problem and specific elements of that alleged problem such as graffiti. He even began to offer his own sort mini blog course on graffiti and gangs.

Intrigued, I began reading through previous responses by him at a number of Spokesman-Review blogs and many other websites around the internet.

No problem. Many of us are out there — according to the experts — ruining our chances of ever finding a decent wife or of landing that $500,000 corporate job as a result of our compulsive plastering of cyberspace with the indelible electronic ink of our inane and insane postings on the internet.

However I began to notice definite tendencies and trends and themes in Rocketsbrain’s writing. Given where he was coming down on issues and some of the claims he was making, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with his anonymity.

For example, he repeatedly claims — not only in his Spokane blogging but all over the internet — to have access to people who share information with him, information which he subsequently discloses to readers and distributes across the web.

On the wider internet, much of the information he traffics in deals with his disdain of the mainstream media or “MSM” as he calls it.

However, his biggest source of interest and claimed expertise on the wider net is regarding “GWOT”, i.e., the Global War on Terrorism. He tends to run in circles where there is no need to even explain lingo like MSM and GWOT because these are military/law enforcement-oriented inner circles.

I came across a resume that Rocketsbrain had posted on one of the S-R blogs for the benefit of S-R editor Steve Smith. Interestingly, the resume did not include Rocketsbrain’s name. Neither did his website which one could reach easily because he always signed his posts with a hyperlink to his website.

The resume made it very clear that Rocketsbrain was a former law enforcement man from Southern California. I was interested to see that as he had made several unsubstantiated claims under the pseudonym of Rocketsbrain. For example, in the midst of controversy over alleged gangs in Spokane and much hysteria over graffiti, he stated that he was the “gang czar” in a city at some point in the past. The resume did not include that little fact and Rocketsbrain never responded to my request to him in one blog exchange to let us know when and where he had held that title/position of “gang czar”. To date, no response.

I then came across an exchange in which, out of the blue and out of all context, Rocketsbrain asked another peculiar fellow, pseudonym “ValleyWatch”, to contact him at an e-mail address so that he could discuss his belief that the Spokane Valley was “the new Chinatown”.

It did not take more than a few minutes to figure out that Rocketsbrain — in addition to his extensive law enforcement history — is in fact a director on the board of the right-wing 501(C)3 organization known as Homeland Security Policy Institute Group (HSPIG). Besides being the the forum’s moderator at the HSPIG website, Rocketsbrain is also a member of the HSPIG Security Council.

One of Rocketsbrain’s areas of focus at HSPIG is “threats” and in that capacity he is very involved in and a frequent internet planter, nurturer and transporter of information and disinformation on Iran. Some of that information is very incendiary to say the least. For example, see this post by Rocketsbrain at whizbangblog.com

Burn baby burn!!!

And btw throw a couple of grenades in the last functioning Iranian gas refinery and block any new gas shipments by sea.

Here’s something you can do to individually tank the Regime without waiting for the fed gov’t to act. Support the Iranian Divestiture Project.

RBT

9. Posted by rocketsbrain | June 27, 2007 4:11 PM

Rocketsbrain is also a member of HTCIA, the International High Technology Crime Investigation Agency.

Rocketsbrain tends to post at places like “Lonewacko“, “BlackFive“, and “The Command Post“.

Aat Media Mythbusters Blog, Ron Wright’s website, Rocket’s Brain Trust, is listed as a “contributing site”. Except that he assiduously avoids using his real name, he probably would be listed as a Contributor. Of course, his gig at Media Mythbusters is his Cowles Family obsession.

And given that the HSPIG website includes an Illegal Alien Tip Area , it is not surprising that a number of his posts deal with immigration. Nor is it surprising that he invited “Valleywatch” to contact him privately about the Spokane Valley being, in his words, “the new Chinatown”.

My interest in this is more than just perverse paranoia.

Spokane is a notorious right-wing backwater. One of the whitest cities per capita its size or larger in the United States. A racist bastion. Site of two of the seventeen acts of domestic terrorism committed in the U.S. between 1990 to 1996.

So who is Rocketsbrain aka RTB? Ron Wright. It would appear that he has attempted to keep the two names, Rocketsbrain and Ron Wright separate with pretty good success. But alas….

We have some other interesting law enforcement folks who live here, have moved here or have moved on.

— Mark Fuhrman of LAPD and OJ Simpson fame, now a conservative Spokane radio personality.

— Rocketsbrain aka RTB aka Ron Wright of HSPIG and HTCIA.

— Former SPD Chief Terry Mangan, now of the FBI.

— SPD Officer Bob Grandinetti of the infamous Freight Train Riders Association investigations.

— Captain Richard Olberding who once stated in the midst of the South Hill Rapist investigation that women ought to “just lay back and enjoy it”.

Check back soon as we learn a little about some of lesser known aspects of Spokane law enforcement personalities.

Given the propaganda coming at the public from the official and unofficial law enforcement communities, I believe it is critical to understand that not everyone who pretends to be no one is no one. The anonymity of the web is a useful foil for disinformation and dirty tricks.

And with local groups being infiltrated by the FBI and other law enforcement organizations, it is important that we are vigilant.

While I know that Officer Dan Torok is sworn to protect us, each and everyone, a little vigilance in the old fashion sense is also warranted.

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

(Disclosure: Following the 2004 presidential elections and the fateful decision of Democrats to follow a ruling class, white, multi-millionaire (John Kerry) down the garden path to nowhere, I was disclosed to be a “doppleganger” at the SpokaneProgressives yahoo group. I was tried and found guilty by a jury of my peers — Frank Malone, Bart Haggin and Rod Stackleberg — and was subsequently banned from the site.)

Posted in FBI in Spokane, Freedom to Fascism, Jason Oakley and the FBI, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Protest, Spokane LE Personalities, Terrorism in Spokane, Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

One way to stop abusive cops — Put a video camera in your car

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 15, 2007

Update: Officer Kuehnlein was fired by recommendation of the Chief of Police of St. George and by a 5-0 vote of the St. George’s aldermen. In Spokane, where we have no civilian control of the police and no independent oversight, Kuehnlein would have been suspended with pay and lived to bully and abuse citizens with a badge and a gun paid for by the same citizens. It is time for Spokanites to stand up for themselves and prove in fact that this is a democracy of, by, and for the people. Otherwise the Kuehnleins, Toroks, and Olsons will prevail and the police state will be the future of our children.

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

Please read the following article and make sure you watch the video at the end of the article with the volume turned up. (And if you really want to understand the attitudes of law enforcement towards their own misconduct and towards the public, read the comments after the article at PoliceLink.com which including references to the young man as a “puke” and “punk” and a “cop hater”, among other things.)

This is what out-of-control police officers are about. Abuse of power. Power trips. Intimidaton. Bullying.

This officer — Sgt. James Kuehnlein of St. George, Missouri — basically threatens to set this kid up, f#*@ this kid up, and fabricate charges against him. In any number of other occasions the kid would have been tasered, a certain number of other times the kid would have been shot. If this kid were black, odds are he’s a dead man. This scene repeats itself all over America but the only place that you ever see it is, guess…. YouTube or GoogleVideo or the occasional incident that a passerby or cellphone user records. You won’t see it on COPS TV, of course, because the police retain editorial authority over COPS TV broadcasts.

The officer’s constant references to the young man’s attitude reminds me distinctly of Chief Kirkpatrick’s comments to the Spokane public on September 19, 2007 during her Chat/Forum when she said that things with the Spokane Police would get better when people in Spokane change their attitudes.

Please, dear Chief. Don’t pull that on us. Not after Zehm, and Eagle, and Pete, and Fitzpatrick, and Alford, and the Firehouse Sex Scandal, and Cpl. Frietag, and Al Odenthal, and the 4th of July, and so it goes and so it goes….

Yeah, we got an attitude, Chief. You work for us. We pay your salaries.

At that same event, Chief Kirkpatrick had a hard time understanding what bullying was despite clear, concrete examples being provided to her by the public. The clearest examples were 1) the case of the young man threatened late at night behind Yokes by an SPD officer who refused to provide his badge number and name when asked and 2) the case of the SPD officer who told Carmen Jacoby that his job was to remove homeless “shit bags” from a park and when she asked for his name and badge number was threatened with being put in the back of his patrol car.

Now hear this: The video which follows contains bullying. B-U-L-L-Y-I-N-G.

WARNING: Despite Chief Kirkpatrick’s repeated statements that her officers are obligated always to provide their name and badge number when asked, please consider whether or not you really want to try the line “Officer, I need your name and badge number” with a Spokane Police officer unless you have a witness or a video/audio recording.

Keep in mind that as this article and video indicate 1) the officer threatened to tear the young man’s car and camera apart, and 2) the video footage from the officer’s patrol car “is nowhere to be found” with the local police chief commenting about what happened to the video, “That’s the million-dollar question. Our policy says any contact the officer has with the public has to be on tape.”

Police are armed and trained to kill. They have other instincts, among them the instinct to not end up behind the same bars they send the public. As a result, they are not to be trusted in situations where they are violating the law or department policy. In general, law enforcement personnel do not tolerate the assertion of citizen rights and have been known to do serious bodily harm or fabricate charges rather than be challenged by a citizen.

Stay tuned for more.

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

Man Wants Officer Fired Over Stop

By Georgina Gustin, St. Louis Post Dispatch – Sep 12 2007 Man Wants Officer Fired Over Stop

St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig talks with Brett Darrow, 20, Tuesday afternoon. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

 

 

ST. GEORGE, Mo. – A young St. Louis man who videotaped a police officer’s angry taunts during a traffic stop, and later posted the footage on the Internet where thousands of viewers have watched it, said Tuesday he wants the officer fired.

Brett Darrow, 20, met with St. George Police Chief Scott Uhrig for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon and also filed a formal complaint against the officer, Sgt. James Kuehnlein.

During the meeting Darrow asked to see the videotape from Kuehnlein’s police car. But according to Uhrig, that footage, inexplicably, is nowhere to be found.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Uhrig said. “Our policy says any contact the officer has with the public has to be on tape.”

Darrow had pulled into a commuter lot at Spokane and Reavis Barracks roads at around 2 a.m. Friday, when Kuehnlein approached and asked him what he was doing. When Darrow questioned why, Kuehnlein launched into a series of taunts and threats.

“The attitude escalated when he thought I was questioning his authority, but I was just trying to figure out what he was doing,” Darrow said Tuesday. “I was really scared. He was up in my face, spit coming in my face.”

A camera in Darrow’s Nissan Maxima captured the incident. Darrow, a St. Louis Community College student, said he put the camera in the car about a year ago after getting a speeding ticket.

“I got a ticket I didn’t feel like I deserved,” he said. “I was thinking tickets, not this.”

In the footage, Darrow can be heard citing his Fourth Amendment rights – his reasonable expectation of privacy – to Kuehnlein. He said Tuesday he’s familiar with the law, through “reading statutes, reading constitutional law, reading case law. It’s just something I’m interested in.”

He said he was not trying to entrap the officer.

Kuehnlein could not be reached for comment.

After the incident, Darrow posted the footage on the Internet, where news of it spread quickly. He maintains he did not contact news media and had no idea the matter would get so much attention.

“I didn’t mean for it to be what it was,” he said.

Darrow said he was in the lot at that late hour because he had just left his cell phone at his girlfriend’s house, and the two decided to meet there to hand off the phone because the location was convenient.

Kuehnlein has been an officer with the department for about two years, and had come from the Riverview Police Department. Uhrig said Tuesday that, perhaps, Kuehnlein was not accustomed to having someone question him as Darrow did, with a camera recording his responses.

“Most officers aren’t used to being questioned like that,” Uhrig said.

St. George, a city of about 1,300 people, sits along Interstate 55 at ReavisBarracks Road. Its police department has four full-time officers and three police cars. An officer can patrol every street in the city in about 20 minutes, Uhrig said.

Uhrig said he has worked hard to cleanse St. George of its image as a speed trap with a police department staffed by unqualified novices. He said he has implemented new, more stringent hiring policies and expanded the department’s policy manual since becoming chief two-and-a-half years ago.

“We have a reputation for being traffic enforced,” he said. “It’s not true. My officers are told to enforce the law. I want quality, not quantity. I want the drugs, the impaired drivers. Those’re the things that make a difference.”

Uhrig said he would submit a report on the incident to the city’s police review board and the St. Louis County prosecutor as early as this week.

Watch the video:

Update: Officer Kuehnlein was fired by recommendation of the Chief of Police of St. George and by a 5-0 vote of the St. George’s aldermen. In Spokane, where we have no civilian control of the police and no independent oversight, Kuehnlein would have been suspended with pay and lived to bully and abuse citizens with a badge and a gun paid for by the same citizens. It is time for Spokanites to stand up for themselves and prove in fact that this is a democracy of, by, and for the people. Otherwise the Kuehnleins, Toroks, and Olsons will prevail and the police state will be the future of our children.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Photographic Evidence, Videos, Yes ma'am Chief | 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.

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1177182267&channel=979539664

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1182693685&channel=979539664

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/tools/story_pf.asp?ID=202077

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 »

Anything sound familiar here?

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 6, 2007

Recent news revealed that U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) would investigate the actions of one of the major U.S. mercenary corporations, Blackwater USA, in the September 16, 2007, incident at Baghdad’s Nisoor Square in which 11 Iraqi civilians were killed in an allegedly unprovoked attack on them by Blackwater USA personnel.

Two days later the FBI revealed that its personnel in Baghdad to investigate allegations of Blackwater criminal misconduct are protected by… Blackwater personnel.

This blackwater is only going to get deeper and darker.

As it turns out, the September 16 incident had already been investigated, shortly after it occurred. That initial report was written for the U.S. State Department on Bureau of Diplomatic Security letterhead by…

No, not by Diplomatic Security or the FBI. But by a Blackwater employee, Darren Hanner!

(I don’t know about you but reading this made me think about the conflicts caused when Spokane area law enforcement agencies — the Spokane Police and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office — investigate one another and when the investigative teams include members of other agency. If I commit a crime do you think I could get my mom on the team that investigates it? Or maybe my best buddy? No? Why not, huh? If it is good enough for the SPD and the SCSO and Blackwater and the CIA and the FBI and the rest of these good old boys, shouldn’t it be good enough for the rest of us taxpaying slobs?)

Salon.com — Blumenthal — Private Military in Iraq

CNN.com — 10/02/07 — Blackwater.spot.report

U.S. Embassy Baghdad — Bureau of Diplomatic Security — Report on Blackwater written by Blackwater employee

Washingtonpost.com — Blackwater in Iraq

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Unanswered Questions, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Urban Legend or part of Spokane anti-gang campaign?

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 6, 2007

Periodically, over the last several years, a bogus story about gangs begins to make the rounds by e-mail in one part of the country or another.

Somewhere along the way in summer 2007, about the time the scandal-ridden Spokane Police Department was stepping up its gang propaganda and inviting the COPS TV crew to follow them around town, someone decided to circulate this bogus email in Spokane.

In an effort to give it greater credibility, this version was augmented with a few local facts, for example, stating that one of the victims was Bruce, “the painter contractor for Condron Homes” and including references to streets such as Mission, Bowdish, and Sprague.

Late this summer the phony email was sent out by — among others — the Spokane Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was also sent out to a number of conservative Christian Churches and members of the Hispanic community in Spokane.

The e-mail — obviously untrue to anyone with experience with “urban legend” emails — is a fabricated tale of gang initiation.

Let me start by letting you know from my own experience some of the characteristics of these Urban Legend emails:

1) Fonts of different sizes and colors.

2) Readers are told that it is “real” and asked to “Please share” with everyone and anyone.

3) The writing style is often very formal.

What can you do when you receive a suspicious email of this nature?

Go to a website like www.snopes.com or http://urbanlegends.about.com and type a sentence from the email into the search engine. If that doesn’t provide you with information, summarize it yourself, for ex., “gangs flashing headlights”. In the case of this e-mail you get the following: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/lightsout.asp
and
http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/crime/a/lights_out.htm

Following is the e-mail sent in Spokane by Celia Sogge, followed by Tom Lutey’s Spokesman-Review article on the matter. The http://www.snopes.com link above includes references to multiple media articles debunking the myth.

———————————————

From: Celia Sogge [mailto:celiasogge@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 12:31 PM
To:
Cc:

Subject: Gang Initiation in Spokane Valley

Sent: Friday, August 24, 2007 11:03 AM

Subject: Gang Initiation in Spokane Valley, very REAL!!!!!

This is terrible. Please share with anyone you know who lives in Spokane.

This is very real. It happened on the corner of Mission and Bowdish Saturday night. Bruce is the painter contractor for Condron Homes.

Pass the word.

Bruce and I came very close to being beaten and/or
killed Saturday night. We were on our way home from
the boat when a car coming at us did not have on
their head lights. I, of course, blink my lights at
them to let them know they needed to turn on their
head lights. As they passed us they flipped a
U-turn and were driving erratically behind us
flashing their flashers. We locked the car doors,
of course. But we had to stop at a red light.
Nobody else was around. It was dark. They jumped
out of their car and ran towards us. Bruce shouted
“Go! Go” I went, went. They jumped back in to their
car and were so close to us I’m surprised they
didn’t bump us. We were very scared to say the
least. At that point we used our cell to call 911.
Bruce hardly had told the gal what was happening and
she said they were on there way. She didn’t ask any
question like they usually do. (Later. we thought
that was very strange). I turned down Sprague and
went directly to the Police Station

IT WAS CLOSED! The car went straight up Bowdish.
We figured with Sprague being busy and well lit
they decided not to follow. Turns out we were
right.

We found out this is some sick gang initiation.
They drive around with their lights off. They
‘choose’ the people who blinks their lights at them
to beat/shoot/kill in order to get into the gang.
Great sport, eh? Had we gone home we more than
likely would be dead or very badly hurt now.

So do not blink your lights at ANYONE! And if
someone behind you is driving with their lights off,
stay in a well lit area with traffic and call 911 if
they keep following you. (Don’t go to the police
station they are not opened! Out here in the valley
anyway.)

Please pass this on. We heard about this a long
time ago but it was in LA or someplace. Didn’t even
think much about it except to think how sick it was.
Well, they are here now. So be aware!

Bruce and Bonnie (Alive and kicking)

——————————————–


Urban legends hit Spokane Valley

Heard this one?

A Spokane Valley couple, Bruce and Bonnie, on their way home from the lake Saturday night, pass a car traveling with its headlights off. The couple flash their car’s high beams as a heads-up warning to the other driver that he’s driving in the dark. Terror ensues. The couple’s lives are threatened.

Lately, the story of Bruce and Bonnie has been spreading like wildfire on the Internet as Spokane locals receive – and then disseminate – the account via e-mail. The story suggests the chase was part of a gang member initiation, with the death of Bruce and Bonnie being the objective.

 

And people are taking it seriously; the Spokane Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, was sending the e-mail to its members this week as a warning.

But Spokane Valley police say the gang allegations in the e-mail are bogus, apparently originating from an old Internet hoax about gang pledges baiting and killing unsuspecting motorists as part of a bloody initiation. They say they suspect an angry driver was responsible – not gang members.

“It’s probably more likely a case of road rage, and that’s a real problem. Road rage is scary,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan, Spokane Valley police spokesman. “But people have heard it was gang-related, and that’s an urban legend.”

Reagan said he learned about the incident via e-mail, as a growing number of concerned Spokane Valley residents have.

The e-mail account says the couple called 911 while they were being chased through Spokane Valley, but there’s no record of the call, according to police.

In the story, the couple does the right thing, Reagan said; they just keep driving to a well-lit place where they can get help.

The story of prospective gang members killing drivers who flash their headlights at pledges is an urban legend dating back to the early 1980s, according to Snopes.com, an Internet service that debunks online hoaxes.

The story has been applied to would-be gang members from Los Angeles to London.

The story also was key to the plot of the 1998 movie “Urban Legend.” The movie’s tag line was: “It happened to someone who knows someone you know. … Never talk to strangers, never answer the phone, never flash your lights, never leave the car and always believe what you’re told.”

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/voices/story.asp?ID=205972&page=all

Posted in Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Lies Damn Lies and ... | 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 »

URGENT CALL (10/03/07)–Gang Seminar by Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 25, 2007

UPDATED 9/26/07 — At the 9/25/07 version of the SPD/COPS Gang Seminar, the law enforcement-supplied numbers on gangs in Spokane continued their inflationary trend. Though informative and somewhat cautiously presented by a Spokane Gang Enforcement Team member, the typical law enforcement practice of inflating statistics was evident. The COPS program flyer for the seminar uses the numbers of 50 gangs, 900 gang members and 7000 gang associates in Spokane.

With no evidence presented to back him up, the Spokane Police team GET member took those unconfirmed numbers and turned them into 71 gangs and 1200 gang members. While useful for public relations purposes and writing federal grant applications, the poeple of the Spokane area need to be asking more questions and getting more answers from law enforcement prior to accepting these claims by the SPD, SCSO and FBI. As other posts at this blog indicate, the SPD has a practice of manipulating statistical information, information which — not unlike information on the war in Iraq — is controlled by the government agencies involved. In the next couple weeks, more information on the information presented at the SPD/COPS Gang Seminar will be reviewed here.

Meanwhile I encourage you to attend the next SPD Gang Seminar:  

Wednesday Oct. 3, 2007 6-9 PM WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane

(Warning! Armed and uniformed and undercover Spokane Police officers and other law enforcement including prosecutors and others will be attending this event!)

Wednesday Oct. 3, 2007 6-9 PM WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane

PLEASE ATTEND!

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

Did you know that, according to the Spokane Police Department, 7900 people in Spokane are gang members or gang associates?

Did you know that would represent 3.9 percent of the Spokane population?

Did you know that would represent some 40% of Spokane’s ‘minority’ population?

Do you really believe that?

In an event billed as “What you need to know and what you can do”, the Spokane Police Department and COPS will pump up their racially-tinged public relations offensive against gangs in Spokane with two more forums.

It is extremely important for people to attend these informative sessions. While informative, they are extremely biased, racially-tinged, and intended to stimulate support for law enforcement activities such as profiling and other aggressive police practices with serious civil rights implications.

Do we really want a police force that looks like this to be the sole source of information and the major initiator of community discourse on gangs and all the related issues of poverty, racism, selective law enforcement, etc?

In particular, do you want a police force engaged recently in highly questionable killings and assaults on African-Americans, the mentally ill, and others to be the sole framer of truth with regards to gangs?

Here is how the event is announced by the Washington State Chairwoman of the Governor’s Hispanic Commission, Yvonne Morton-Lopez, on the Comunidades Latinas website:

(quote) September 25 & October 3: Gang Seminars. Learn what you need to know and what you can do if there is a gang situation in your neighborhood. These seminars are open and free to the public from 6 – 9 p.m. September 25 seminar will be held at West Central Community Center, 1603 N Belt and October 3 forum will be held at WSU Riverpoint, Phase One Auditorium, 668 North Riverpoint Blvd. For more information about… the gang forums, please contact Maurece Vulcano, Spokane C.O.P.S. Programs Manager, 509- 835-4572 or e-mail mvulcano@spokanepolice.org . (end quote)

This leads to a series of questions:

Isn’t it time for someone else, other than Spokane Police Department, to step forward and begin to help educate the community on issues of crime and justice in Spokane?

Isn’t it time for organizations such as the Governor’s Hispanic Commission and the Spokane Human Rights Commission (which is helping to advertise the event on their website using law enforcement supplied photos and statistics on gangs in Spokane) to begin serving as forums for intelligent, sophisticated, multi-perspective debate and dialog on issues like gangs, rather than promoting law enforcement’s public relations efforts?

Until the Spokane Human Rights Commission is reconstructed and becomes an effective vehicle for citizen complaints and defense of the abused (thanks to HRC chairman Terry Goetz for his efforts in this regard), until the Spokane offices of organizations like the Governor’s Hispanic Commission and the Center for Justice are professionally staffed by bilingual/bicultural individuals, until there is a functioning civilian oversight mechanism of Spokane police, and until there is credible independent information on the gang reality in Spokane, do we want an out-of-control, homicidal police force to be engaged in aggressive policing in our poorest, most diverse, and least understood blocks and communities?

Please attend this event to listen to the law enforcement slant put on this crucial issue, as well as the response of your neighbors, some of whose attitudes about the poor, youth, minorities, and others may shock you.

Meanwhile, for more information on COPS and COPS-sponsored events, such as Neighborhood Observation Patrol (NOP) Training, please visit: http://wwww.spokanecops.org/calender.htm

Posted in All-white SPD?, Gangs?, Know Your Rights, Lies Damn Lies and ..., Spokane Police vs. Youth, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call | Leave a Comment »