Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

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

Archive for the ‘Photographic Evidence’ Category

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.

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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 »

Former Spokane Police Officer and Military SpecialOps veteran replaces non-Spanish speaking member of Governor’s Hispanic Commission

Posted by Arroyoribera on May 31, 2008

The Washington State Hispanic Commission has chosen to replace its non-Spanish-speaking northeastern Washington representative (covering Spokane and surrounding counties) with a veteran cop and military special ops “expert”. Bob Cepeda is a former Spokane Police Officer and comes to the Governor’s Hispanic Commission at a time when the Spokane Police Department is involved in extensive controversies including unresolved killings of disable individuals, illegal strip searches of minority individuals, spying and civil liberties abuses, and charges of corruption and abuse of authority, as well as the recent forced resignation of a Hispanic member of the Spokane Police Advisory Committee due to accusations of corruption against her. The presence of Cepeda on the Governor’s Commission should be cause for concern given his extensive connections within various police and military agencies, as well as for the intense focus of the commission on gangs, a topic championed by the commission’s former chairwoman, Yvonne Morton-Lopez. Now chairwoman of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, Morton-Lopez has continued to press the focus towards gangs, a topic which in a state where minorities are grossly under-represented in law enforcement is fraught with serious dangers for communities of color. Why did the Governor consider a career cop to be the appropriate representative on her committee in this moment? When will the Governor consider someone who is actually from the community to be a “commissioner”?

http://www.cha.wa.gov/english/yvonne.shtml

Bob Cepeda

Ex-Spokane Police Officer and Military Special Ops named to Washington State Hispanic Commission

Counties: Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens

(Term Expires 8/01/08 – 1st Term)

Work: Gonzaga University

502 East Boone

Spokane, WA 99258

Telephone: 509-323-3998

Email: cepeda@gonzaga.edu

Commissioner Cepeda is a born and raised native of New York City (Harlem) who currently resides in Spokane with his family.

Mr. Cepeda has over twenty five years experience working in the criminal justice field and seventeen years in military special operations. He is a current consultant and trainer on gangs, terrorism, ethics, crime prevention, and use of force issues. He is a subject-matter expert with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

(translation to Spanish by David Brookbank)

Comisión Hispana del estado de Washington reemplace a Comisionada quien no habla español con ex-policía de Spokane

La Gobernadora del estado de Washington ha nombrado al ex-policía y militar de carera Bob Cepeda como representante de la Comisión Hispana, reemplazando a la ex-comisionada Yvonne Morton-Lopez — quien no habla español — en el noreste del estado de Washington y Spokane.  Cepeda, ex-policía de la ciudad de Spokane y ‘experto’ en operaciones militares especiales, llega a la comisión en un momento en que la policía de Spokane esta involucrada en extensas controversias, incluyendo homicidios no resueltos de individuos incapacitados, cateos ilegales de minorías, espionaje y violaciones de derechos civiles, y cargos de corrupción y abuso de autoridad, igual como el caso reciente de la renuncia obligatoria de un miembro hispano del Comité de Asesoría Policíaca por acusaciones de corrupción en su contra. La presencia de Cepeda en la comisión de la Gobernadora ha de ser causa de preocupación dado a sus extensos vínculos dentro de varias agencias policíacas y militares, igual como su enfoque intenso en pandillas, un tema promovido en gran parte por la ex-presidenta y representante del noreste en la Comision Hispana, Yvonne Morton-Lopez. Ahora como presidenta de la Comisión de Derecho Humanos del estado de Washington, Morton-Lopez ha seguido enfocándose en el tema de pandillas, un tema lleno de peligros serios para las comunidades minoritarias, especialmente en un estado en donde las minorías culturales y raciales son severamente sub-representadas en las agencias policíacas locales, estatales y federales. Por que nuestra Gobernadora consideró un policía de carera apropiada para esta región en este momento? Cuando va a considerar la Gobernadora una persona de veras de la comunidad apropiada para ser “comisionado” o “comisionada”?

Posted in Corruption, Espanol, Ethics, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Racism, Unanswered Questions | Leave a Comment »

Deputy dumps quadriplegic from wheelchair in front of jail camera and colleagues

Posted by Arroyoribera on March 10, 2008

Law enforcement in the United States has become a threat to public security.

Take Spokane, Washington, where law enforcement beat, tasered, hog-tied and suffocated a disabled and innocent man, Otto Zehm, who later died. Spokane, Washington where suicidal Josh Levy was subject to 18 hours of police tactics prior to a botched tasering which prompted him to jump to his death from the Monroe Street Bridge.

Or take Hillsboro, Florida, where a Deputy — not believing that a man was a quadriplegic — violently and criminally dumps him out of his wheelchair as a way to prove it. And, of course, the surveillance video shows a Deputy laughing as he walks away from the crime.

http://www.heyokamagazine.com/HEYOKA.11.BrianSterner..htm

For more on abusive police officers, here are ten additional videos:

http://www.linkognito.com/b.php?b=727

Posted in Corruption, Ethics, History of SPD Abuses, Know Your Rights, No Sir Officer ____, Photographic Evidence, Spokane taser, Testimonies, Videos | Leave a Comment »

WACOPS — Another All-White Washington State Law Enforcement Organization?

Posted by Arroyoribera on February 9, 2008

All-White Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS)

Photo from the home page of the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs ( WACOPS ) website.

Also revealing (or scary depending on your perspective on the documented and pervasive history of racism in law enforcement) are these photos of the executives and staff of WACOPS.

Another picture of the all-white staff and executives of WACOPS is found on the cover of the WACOPS Shield & Star Publication.

This should not be surprising but is certain cause for concern and worthy of public scrutiny.

This are links to other information on the nearly all-white nature of other police organizations and police departments in the state of Washington:

All-white Spokane Police Department?

All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

Posted in All-white SPD?, Corruption, Photographic Evidence, Racism, Unanswered Questions | 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 »

Video of Spokane protest arrests shows lack of respect for free speech

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 20, 2008

Though the event occurred on June 27, 2007, I have just come across this video and commentary about the arrest of two protesters during then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s secret meeting with Spokane area law enforcement. The importance of this information falls in two areas — 1) the text reprinted below is an excellent statement by a Spokane journalist on Spokane police acting arbitrarily against peaceful protesters, and 2) it includes an exceptionally revealing video of the arrests of both the wheelchair-bound Rebecca Lamb and local populist Dan Treecraft. (Note: as of 1/24/08 Frank Sennett will be a Chicago journalist, having just taken over the position of editor for Time Out Chicago.)

(quote)

Video of Spokane protest arrests shows casual lack of respect for free speech

Watch this video of the June 27 protest against U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and you’ll see a peaceful group of demonstraters calling for an end to the war.

But the Spokane Police Department can’t just let the proceedings play out calmly. Instead, an officer moves to arrest a woman in a wheelchair–Rebecca Lamb–after she refuses to move behind an arbitrary free-speech line officers are setting up with traffic cones and yellow tape. That’s even though the group is showing no tendency toward disorder or disruption.

With this capricious exercise of police authority (and authority granted by whom?–certainly not the Constitution), the officers turn the heat up on the proceedings and earn some chants along the lines of “No more cops.”

Soon, they arrest protester Dan Treecraft for crossing the street.

The SPD leadership must set a much higher threshold for triggering arrests of peaceful protesters in Spokane.

This is not a police state nor a security state.

People require the latitude to express themselves peacefully under the law without being bullied and ordered around by officers who somehow perceive 55-year-old, wheelchair-bound activists as threats to public safety.

UPDATE: Here’s another video of the arrests, forwarded by a reader.

(end quote)

Posted in Censorship, Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Independent Oversight, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Unanswered Questions, Videos, 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

La Coartada

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 11, 2008

La Coartada” (Alibi) del album Contra el Silencio (Against the Silence) por Héctor Kabacoff

La Coartada

Quien se atreve, a pesar de tus cadenas,
A valorarte el acierto o desatino?
Quien puede ser el juez de tu camino
Sin ver al semi-dios que te condena?

Quien puede bendecir tu sacrificio
Sin reprobar el peso de tu yugo?
Quien será el partenaire de tu verdugo
Reabriendo el tribunal del santo oficio?

Se prepara consejo de notables
Para participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta persecución imperdonable

Hay quién alza su voz para salvarte
De las fieras que afilan sus colmillos
Avalando tu sitio en el banquillo
Y esta absurda manera de enjuiciarte

La mesa esta servida y los señores
Van a participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta caza de brujas y de flores

Habrá otra vez jurados y habrá fuego
Cuando vuelvan por cada uno de ellos
Habrá acusados con la soga al cuello
Entre los que hoy jugaron este juego

La mesa esta servida y los señores
Van a participar de esta coartada
Rehenes de esta farsa descarada
Esta caza de brujas y de flores

Habrá otra vez jurados y habrá fuego
Cuando vuelvan por cada uno de ellos
Habrá acusados con la soga al cuello
Entre los que hoy jugaron este juego

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

(Lyrics to Alibi translated to English)

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

Thoughts of David Brookbank, former U.S. vice consul in Havana, Cuba, upon listening to this song and viewing the video:

The injustices imposed at the individual, family and community level upon tens of millions of people in the United States through the politics, laws, policies, philosophies, religion, and police state of the ruling class, combined with the silent complicity and cowardice of the U.S. populace, are merely a reflection of the injustices which the United States government imposes in our names on the peoples of the world by the tens of hundreds of millions. Yet patience is running short and the peoples of the world are awakening, no longer willing to remain silent, even if those in the U.S. remain asleep. Cuba has survived the coercion of the U.S. for 50 years and this long international witch hunt — a modern day inquisition — and shown the world the meaning of the words “resistance” and “solidarity”. Long live the global struggle against oppression, injustice, and imperialism!

U.S. Imperialist Hands Off Cuba!

Posted in Espanol, Photographic Evidence, Spanish, Urgent Call, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Comments Off on La Coartada

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 »

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

Posted by Arroyoribera on January 3, 2008

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

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

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


History


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

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

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

Member Selection

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

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

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

Equipment

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

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

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

Training

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

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

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

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

Deployment

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

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

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

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

Call it Democracy — Bruce Cockburn

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 29, 2007

~ Call it Democracy ~
*

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

 


 

Cockburn Project *

 


Alternative video — Call it Democracy *

 


 

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

The People vs. Bush — Evidentiary Item #1

Posted by Arroyoribera on November 24, 2007

This brief documentary — accompanied by Taps and Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ (What is it Good For) — makes the case from start to finish for the impeachment and war crimes trials of George W. Bush.

To quote George W. Bush, “Bring it on.”

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Testimonies, Unanswered Questions, Urgent Call, Videos | 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 »

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 »

Diversity at the Spokane Police Department

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 13, 2007

Because I believe that the issue of diversity (rather the lack of it in all aspects of life in Spokane) is so crucial, I have combined three prior posts on the Spokane Police and its lack of diversity. I believe it is especially important to look at this reality now as the SPD engages in its factually unsubstantiated gang propaganda campaign. And for a perspective on the same issue of lack of diversity in law enforcement on a statewide basis, check out All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

All-White Spokane Police Department? Or just all-white recruitment?

Posted by Arroyoribera on 18th September 2007

 

These photos are from the Spokane Police Recruitment announcement on their web page.

Some dozen and a half photos posted on the recruitment page of the Spokane Police Department website show about 71 white officers and approximately 5 non-white officers. That is a seven percent ratio, under-representing the minority population in Spokane by at least 30%.

(If you click repeatedly on the refresh button on your browser you will eventually work your way through the photos.)

The contact for applications is Sgt. Chuck Reisenauer, recent past President of the Spokane Police Guild.

This link will take you to other posts from the All-White SPD category at the SpokanePoliceAbuses blog.

https://spokanepoliceabuses.wordpress.com/category/all-white-spd/

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

Photos of All-White Spokane Police Department from Spokane Police Guild Website

Posted by Arroyoribera on 18th July 2007

 

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

All-White Spokane Police Department?

Posted by Arroyoribera on 28th July 2007

 

It would appear again that the Spokane Police Department is an all-white police force.

The photos on the Spokane Police Guild website point to that possibility (see slide show in prior entry at this same blogsite).

So does the new newsletter put out by Chief of Police Ann Kirkpatrick. Everyone portrayed, everyone commended, everyone awarded, everyone promoted is white.

Spokane Police Department Newsletter

One should not be surprised by this. Leaving aside the issue of the town’s history of blatant racism, it is one of the whitest per capita cities in the United States. In fact, per 1994 census data, it was the second whitest city per capita for all cities in the U.S. its size or larger. In other words, of all the cities in the U.S. the size of Spokane or larger, only Lincoln, Nebraska had fewer minorities per every hundred people than Spokane.

All-White Spokane Police Department

Posted in All-white SPD?, Educating the Chief, Gangs?, History of SPD Abuses, Photographic Evidence | Leave a Comment »

Acts of Conscience — Spokane Circus Protest — Sept 20, 2007

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 6, 2007

The youth of the world — and the young at heart — are on the move again. Faced with a world of cruelty, torture, destruction, and war, the indomitable human spirit once again arises on a planetary scale to speak truth.

The youth of Spokane are leading the way today!

Heed their call. Take up your sign. Raise your fist. Call out your protest song. Place your body where your mouth is. Forsake the lies of your father and sins of your government. Give your time for your convictions. Bow down to no one. And remember those words–

Muertos pero nunca de rodillas! Dead, perhaps, but never on our knees!

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

I am also including this link to Colin Mulvany’s “video journal” on the Circus protest along with the accompanying narrative and commentaries posted by readers. I very much admire Mr. Mulvaney’s work, for ex., the excellent video on the 2005 Immigration March in Spokane. The only comments I would make about the circus protest video and commentary are: 1) To refer to the scantily clad woman as a form of “shock and awe” given the truly criminal and barbarous acts of US destruction in Iraq which gave us our definition of that phrase is to conflate a woman’s body with the 21 century crime of known as “shock and awe”. 2) Note to the blind and unobservant: The young woman, Julie Kelton, is not “naked” and, in fact, other than the claw marks on her back makes a beautiful Victoria Secret model a la the Northtown Mall store or any number of TV towel or shampoo commercials. 3) Is anyone in our vulgar and crass society really as concerned about the children as a couple women in the Mulvany piece proclaim? Did you see the little girl run by and not even look? 4) Given the context of police conduct and relations with the citizens of the Spokane area, Mulvany should have filmed the Spokane Police Officer checking for Kelton’s pasties, and, if in fact he did film it, he should have included it in his video journal. Unless, of course, I misunderstand and Mulvany is not doing news journalism but rather strictly feature journalism. In either case, I do admire his work, but encourage him to continue to remember the news angle.

Posted in In Collective Self-Defense, Photographic Evidence, Protest, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Urgent Call, Videos | Leave a Comment »

All-White Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA)

Posted by Arroyoribera on October 3, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a look at the Washington State Tactical Officers Association

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

Who is training whom for what?

Who is preparing for what against whom when and where?

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

You tell me…..

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

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

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

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

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

Outside it’s (fascist) America

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 18, 2007

Think restricted “free speech.” Think Chief Kirkpatrick’s stage-managed forum/chat scheduled for 9/19/07 at Spokane City Council Chambers on the police riot in the park on July 4th against peacefully picnicking protesters. Think fascism. Think “America, land of the so-called free and home of the afraid”. Think — If I just sit here and do nothing, maybe the stock market will keep going up and we will elect a Democrat and this nightmare will end. Think — Not!

This occurred yesterday. See the video here:

http://video.ap.org/v/default.aspx?g=efce24ec-e914-48c9-9d28-a287aa5b7192&f=nynyd

Student Tasered at campus forum for Kerry

  • Story Highlights

· Andrew Meyer was asking questions at forum when campus police grabbed him

· Speaker, Sen. John Kerry, offered to answer Meyer’s questions

· Police tried to remove Meyer from the room, then Tasered and arrested him

· University police will hold internal investigation to see if proper procedures used

The story

NY Daily News


Student Tasered at John Kerry forum



Student Andrew Meyer struggles as University of Florida police try to remove him from a John Kerry forum on campus.

Student Andrew Meyer struggles as University of Florida police try to remove him from a John Kerry forum on campus.


Video: Student Tasered at John Kerry speech — The University of Florida said today it has asked state law enforcement officials to investigate an incident in which campus police tasered a student as he tried to question Sen. John Kerry during a forum.Andrew Meyer, 21, was arrested after being zapped with a stun gun last night. He was released this morning on his own recognizance.

Video of the incident, posted on several Web sites, shows campus police officers pulling Meyer away from a microphone after the student loudly asks Kerry about impeaching President Bush and whether he and Bush both belonged to the secret society Skull and Bones when they were students at Yale University.

Meyer can be seen refusing to leave and becoming upset when officials cut the microphone off.

“That’s all right, let me answer his question,” Kerry (D-Mass.) says as two officers take Meyer by the arms.

Meyer is shown struggling as four officers try to remove him. The student screams for help and tries to break, then officers force him to the ground and order him to stop resisting.

Meyer cries out for the officers to let him go, then says, “Don’t Tase me, bro,” just before he is shocked by the Taser. The officers then lead him from the room as he screams, “What did I do?”

A university spokesman said campus police cut the microphone and removed Meyer because he had overstayed his allotted time to question the senator. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, can be heard telling the audience that he would answer Meyer’s “very important question.”

Meyer was arrested for resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, but the State Attorney’s Office has not said whether he will be formally charged.

University President J. Bernard Machen said today he had asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the arrest and determine whether campus police used excessive force.

Two officers involved were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe, said Machen, who called the incident “regretful.”

“We’re absolutely committed to having a safe environment for our faculty and our students so that a free exchange of ideas can occur,” Machen said.

Kerry said today he was sorry the discussion had been interrupted and he hoped no one was injured.

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

“You honkey, We drinkey” or Officer Brownlee’s Excellent Adventure

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 16, 2007

Bet you won’t see this on COPS next season!

The authors of thse YouTube videos indicate that the Spokane Police Officer paying a cordial visit to these young Gonzaga-area drinkers on or about May 11, 2007 is Spokane Police Officer Todd Brownlee and that the participants in the little drinking party are Gonzaga University students and underage drinkers on a Gonzaga University property.

In the first video you will notice a number of individuals leave the scene just before the SPD patrolman arrives. The individuals return as soon as the patrol car departs.

You honkey, We drinkey

You honkey, We drinkey (part 2)

I personally witnessed this same scene in the Gonzaga area approximately a month ago.

About ten days before the videos were filmed, Officer Brownlee had another excellent adventure. This one occurred not on Gonzaga University property but rather up near Hillyard. And the result was a little different than an 18 second warning. After Officer Brownlee shot the suspect in question on May 1, 2007 at 1739 E. Wabash, he spent a couple days suspended from duty. The investigation — carried out by the Spokane Sheriff’s office — was completed without Brownlee ever being interviewed.

Gonzaga and the Spokane Police are reportedly collaborating on Gonzaga’s problem of alcohol abuse by students and the increasing Logan neighborhood concerns about disruptive students. Is it possible that neighbors have made too many complaints about young women flopping around like fish in alcohol-induced seizures in front yards and too many out of control Catholic males afoot in a neighborhood which is still home to lots of families and children?

In the case of the “you honkey, we drinkey” yard parties, is it possible that Brownlee simply had not received the word? Answer: No.

Or could it be that a student from Southern California at Gonzaga brings tens of thousands of dollars into the Spokane community while West Centralites and Hillyardites are seen as a drag on the economy and image of Spokane and therefore subject to much more aggressive patrolling? Answer: Yes.

To get a sense of alcohol consumption at Gonzaga, check out the bread and wine. No, I don’t mean at Sunday mass at St. Aloysius. I mean in the bread and alcohol section of the Safeway supermarket at the corner of Mission and Hamilton. In particular, check out the Budweiser sport displays during football and basketball seasons. Way to go, Bulldogs!

Posted in History of SPD Abuses, Independent Oversight, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth | Leave a Comment »

And they call this a choice?

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 11, 2007

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

Do you want the men that did this…

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

to investigate the men and woman that killed this man?

Otto Zehm (Spokesman-Review photo)

And vice versa?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surveillance: All Zehm materials via KREM.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spokane’s dirty little secret — What Mitchell and Jessen are really all about

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 8, 2007

The Spokane firm Mitchell Jessen and Associates as well as several other CIA and Department of Defense funded outfits in the Spokane area are involved in the “reverse engineering” of training used to help U.S. personnel and “allied” foreigners Survive, Escape, Resist, and Evade (SERE).

As many recent investigative pieces have revealed, while SERE techniques are taught at the top-secret SERE/JPRA at the “White Bluffs” location just outside of Airway Heights, the reverse engineering of resistance techniques to develop more effective and ultimately illegal torture techniques is the creation of torture designers and consultants such as Mitchell, Jessen and others in the Spokane area. These two psychologists and others, including former U.S. military and intelligence personnel, have taken their taxpayer-provided training and turned it to making the U.S. one of the most hated nations on earth. The repercussions of the U.S.-created fiasco in Iraq and the surrounding region will be with us for hundreds of years to come.

If you wonder why so many U.S. military and intelligence personnel such as Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba have come out against these practices and why U.S. officials will fight for years to avoid being tried for Geneva Convention violations and other human rights crimes, here are a few videos that help illustrate the concern, followed by a disclaimer from former CIA chief George Tenet:

And finally, this message from CIA-director George Tenet

The CIA, Torture, and George Tenet’s Body Language

——————————-

Spokane Police connection to this story:

(excerpt)

On Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 4:30 PM , a group of citizens — taxpayers, voters, war veterans, dissidents, and workers — gathered at the American Legion Building in downtown Spokane. The purpose of the event was to publicize and protest the presence of Spokane-based psychologists working with the CIA and the US Department of Defense to develop ever harsher techniques for torturing other human beings in the many-fronted U.S. wars of aggression, occupation, and subversion around the world.

An hour or so before that protest began, Spokane Police warned union picketers at a construction site a block away in front of the nearby U.S. Bank Building that violence was expected at the American Legion site and therefore suggested people stay away…

Of course, the PJALS-organized event went off without incident and certainly without violence. So what were Spokane Police doing issuing a warning to union picketers to be prepared for violence if they attended the anti-torture protest a block away?

If the Spokane Police acted on alleged “information” in issuing this warning to union picketers, did the information come from their own intelligence operations or was it passed to them by the FBI or other law enforcement intel units? Or was it classic law enforcement “cointelpro” tactics at work?

In either case, it was in the end bogus information.

(end excerpt)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, Mitchell and Jessen, Photographic Evidence, Unanswered Questions, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

In Memoriam — Otto Zehm (1970 – 2006)

Posted by Arroyoribera on September 4, 2007

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.spokesmanreview.com/2006/images/news_march20.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Otto Zehm — Guitarist, Gentle Lion, Golden Heart

(J. Craig Sweat Photography)

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

The Man Who Broke the Camel’s Back

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 28, 2007

On June 27, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made a brief visit to the West Central Community Center in Spokane, Washington. There Gonzales held a closed meeting with leaders of the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, ATF, and DEA.

Clearly Gonzales anticipated sliding into this backwater town in conservative Eastern Washington over the lunch hour to do the Bush Administration’s undemocratic bidding.

Yet, as one might have guessed, a visit by then disgraced and now resigned U.S Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was the target of a spirited, old-fashion American protest by Spokane area activists of all stripes, from Unitarians and Democrats to anarchists and leftist to civil libertarians and anti-torture activists.

Protesters gathered starting at 12:15 PM at the West Central Community Center. Law enforcement also gathered early. Along with the FBI and Secret Service was SPD Officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor, plain clothed and looking for all the world like a Secret Service agent himself in his tailored suit and ear piece. Taylor told one protester that he would be arrested if he did not get off the sidewalk in front of the Community Center and then ordered him to stand in a “designated protest area” in the park. Thus it was clear from the start that Spokane law enforcement intended to use and abuse its power to restrict freedom of expression and free assembly.

[Plain-clothed SPD Officer Tramell “Mel” Taylor (left) watches as Officer Grenon explains to U.S. citizens the rules and location of designated “free speech” zone at the June 27, 2007 Alberto Gonzalez protest in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Brian Plonka–Spokesman Review) ]

Later, after a brief conversation with a Spokane Police officer and acting with the righteous indignation and decisiveness that Congress could never muster, Spokane resident Dan Treecraft simply lifted the yellow police ribbon and ducked under it.

Three Spokane Police officers wrenched Treecraft’s arms behind his back, choked him, attempted to trip him, tried to jam his head into the side of a patrol car, and finally took him to the ground between two patrol cars and out of sight of TV cameras.

06-27-07-police-brutalize-dan-treecraft.jpg

Video: SPD Officer choking Dan Treecraft

Simultaneously, inside the West Central Community Center Gonzales shared what Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich later called “top secret sensitive information” with law enforcement. And of course, proving my point that the gang issue is being manipulated in Spokane, Gonzales stated that “I don’t know anything about it”.

Among those denied access to the meeting were the local media and three Spokane City Council members.

The Sheriff, the SPD, federal law enforcement and Gonzales want the people of Spokane to believe that Spokane has a significant gang problem. As others have said, Spokane does have a gang problem–an out of control Spokane Police Department and the Guild that runs it.

To this date, it is not known what Gonzales really said to the Spokane law enforcement officials or why he was really here. Some speculate that it was a warning from Gonzales to the FBI and other law enforcement present that the SERE/JPRA/Torture scandal was only just beginning, that Spokane would be a focus, and that it was likely to get quite ugly so be prepared to crack heads as necessary. Others speculate that Gonzales gave his blessing and a go-ahead to the SPD, under seige after years of impunity, corruption, incompetence and unwarranted violence against the citizens of Spokane. One person close to the Spokane Police Department called the event “a fund-raiser” for local law enforcement, providing support for SPD and other agencies’ efforts to acquire federal funds for augmenting their arsenals of AR15, tasers, and other ever more powerful weaponry.

The real question continues to be why the meeting was held in a public location yet closed to the public’s attendance. Certainly Gonzales could have simply flown into Fairchild, or the Spokane International Airport, or Felts Field and taken a police car into the basement of the Public Safety Building to hold a truly secret meeting.

The answer to the question is that we live in police state, under terms of the Patriot Act and due to executive orders, many of them secret, signed by President Bush. The current gang in the White House and their allies in agencies throughout government see no need to act as if they are hiding anything, no need to pretend that their surveillance state is a disgrace and a crime. And throughout it all, Alberto Gonzales has “counseled” the President, politicizing the Justice Department, and undermining democracy.

On August 15, 2007 Gonzales met with tribal leaders of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Center to discuss curbing crime and announced $3 million worth of Department of Justice grants to tribes.

At that time, Gonzeles said, “I think what the American people expect of the Department of Justice is for it to do its job”, and went on to say, “I came here today to make certain my own commitment.”

On June 27, 2007, Dan Treecraft decided “to do his job” as a citizen and “make certain his own commitment”. Turns out — as the last person arrested in the U.S. protesting the lies, coverups, and illegal actions of Alberto Gonzales — Dan Treecraft was the man that broke the camel’s back.

Seven days later, despite Treecraft’s defiant act and courageous defense of our traditions of free speech, free assembly and protest, the Spokane Police brutally suppressed a peaceful 4th of July gathering and protest in Spokane’s Riverfront Park.

Sixty days later, on August 26, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales passed into the rogues gallery of infamous U.S. politicians. His place is assured next to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Nixon, Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, Haig, and Kissinger in the pantheon of near-fascists, war-criminals and anti-democratic elites of this country.

If President Bush is ignorant enough to repeat his own 2004 visit to Spokane, I am bringing my lucky nickel and my friend Dan Treecraft. Maybe he can break another camel’s back.

Lesson: Don’t think you can come to Spokane and meet secretly with taxpayer-paid civil servants and get away with it. As the Gonzales visit makes clear, it may be your last secret visit.

(It should be mentioned that a second protester, Rebecca Lamb, was also arrested. Lamb, in a wheelchair due to a leg injury, had her chair extending just barely across the line set by the SPD. When she refused to roll her wheel chair back, she too was arrested.)

Parting question: Do you think now with Alberto Gonzales gone that the SPD will still get all those millions from the Department of Justice to fight “gangs” in Spokane?

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, History of SPD Abuses, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Know Your Rights: Boy Confronts Police

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 24, 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, cipote. 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 tienes miedo. Son matamujeres, mataniños, matapobres. Allá se llaman Pérez y Gutiérrez. Aquí se llaman Torok y Olson. 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 In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Girl vs. Police Baton

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 12, 2007

Girl vs. Police Baton

It is curious to talk to people about their recollection of events.

I had the opportunity to talk to the young woman in the photo below. The context is the July 4, 2007 picnic and protest in Riverfront Park. She said that she had not noticed at the time that the Spokane Police officer standing in front of her had his baton in a battle ready position, ready to attack her with it if he deemed it necessary.

Girl vs. Police Baton — Photo from the Spokesman-Review

(Photo from the Spokesman Review)

Neither did a friend of mine remember that a Spokane Police officer had a hand around his throat shoving him back several feet until I showed him the KREM 2 photo and video (click on link below the photo) of the event.

Police Officers manhandle and choke Dan Treecraft

KREM 2 Video: Spokane Police officer choking protester at Alberto Gonzales visit – Spokane June 27, 2007

Posted in Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Videos, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Wil Elder on July 4, 2007 Police Riot in Spokane’s Riverfront Park

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

This is a 5 1/2 minute video taped interview of Wil Elder interviewed on July 9, 2007 at a rally near the headquarters of the Spokane Police Department. At the rally, some 150 Spokane citizens of all ages called for independent oversight of the Spokane Police Department and protested the police assault on July 4th picnickers and protesters at Riverfront Park which resulted in the arrest of 17 young people.

In this video, Spokane activist and organizer Elder vividly describes the events of July 4th. Brother Wil also hosts two very popular locally-produced radio programs — On the Clock and The Breakdown Train — both heard exclusively on KYRS 89.9 and 92.3 FM Thin Air Community Radio.

Posted in Photographic Evidence, Spokane Police vs. Youth, Testimonies, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Welcome to 1984

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007

(stop video at 0:38) December 1983 meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein in Baghdad

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

Lyrics to “War Story”

You thought uncle sam wanted you
But you were used, you were just abused
I try to tell you time and time again
The only war worth winning is the war that’s within

You played right into uncle sam’s hands
Where is the glory in complying with demands
You were used to defend world domination
Where is the honor in being an abomination?

And I don’t see the glory in your war stories
It was just your turn to burn and get burned

You thought that you had something to prove
But yer just seeing colors, not red & white just blue
Your whole life has always been the same
First you were tamed then you were ashamed

You played right into uncle sam’s hands
Where is the glory in complying with demands
You were used to defend world domination
Where is the honor in being an abomination?

And i don’t see the glory in your war stories
It was just your turn to burn and get burned

 

 

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, Photographic Evidence, Videos | Leave a Comment »

SCSO–Pistols, Submachine guns, and Battle Rifles

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 9, 2007

Police Weaponry

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

Issues:

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

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

Battle Ready — The SPD’s Military Arsenal

Posted by Arroyoribera on August 8, 2007

The Spokane Police Department is arming up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spokane’s Militarized Law Enforcement

Spokane area law enforcement preparing for the end times

(Photo from the Spokane County Sheriff’s website)

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