Let’s stop the police killings

Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Dallas protestors rallied in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile, who was killed by police less than 48 hours later in Minnesota. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)            NYTCREDIT: Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Dallas protestors rallied in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. and Philando Castile, who was killed by police less than 48 hours later in Minnesota. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

(A version of this column appears in the mid-September issue of the large-format magazine “Firearms News” — previously “Shotgun News” — available on a newsstand near you.)

Five police officers killed in Dallas in July — seven more cops and two civilians wounded. A week later, three cops killed in Baton Rouge, three more wounded.

Why? We can’t prevent a recurrence if we don’t correctly analyze the causes.

Yes, the shooters in Dallas and Baton Rouge may have been propagandized and manipulated by groups that, for their own reasons, would love to see a race war in this country. Someone should check into that.

Truth is, under the same circumstances, not only are cops NOT more likely to shoot blacks than whites — they actually wait longer. According to the Washington Times, a black Harvard professor named Roland G. Fryer, Jr. looked into just that question, and admits he was surprised by what he found. (See www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/11/no-racial-bias-police-shootings-study-harvard-prof/ .)

But that doesn’t change the fact that these shootings were vigilante justice by men — however wrong their solution — who had given up hope that “due process” will ever bring to justice the vast majority of American cops who wrongfully kill.

And about that, they weren’t wrong.

We all know cops aren’t treated the same way under the law as the rest of us. The New York Times reported on April 19, 2016 “Former Officer Peter Liang will not serve any time in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed man in a Brooklyn housing project stairwell two years ago, but was instead sentenced on Tuesday to probation and community service.

“The sentence — in one of the most divisive police misconduct cases in recent New York City history — came just moments after the judge took the unusual steps of ruling that the shooting was essentially an accident and reducing the jury’s verdict on manslaughter charges to the less severe criminally negligent homicide.”

Wow. Would a judge give me nothing but “probation and community service” if I killed a cop and a jury found me guilty of manslaughter? I mean, here in America we all live under the same laws, which apply equally to everyone . . . right?

England’s (Manchester) Guardian reported on Nov. 9, 2015, “A former Georgia sheriff’s deputy, convicted for using a stun gun on a restrained detainee who later died alone in his cell, was sentenced on Friday to one month in jail and three years’ probation.

“His conviction for cruelty (to) an inmate carried jail time of up to three years. But significantly shorter jail time was not the only way Chatham County superior court judge James Bass issued a more lenient sentence: he also allowed the former deputy to serve his time on the weekends.”

Wow. If I caused the wrongful death of a cop (or anyone else), do you suppose I’d be sentenced to one month in jail — and allowed to serve my 30 days on 15 consecutive weekends? After all, here in America, we’re all subject to the same laws, which are enforced equally for everybody . . . right?

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Even in those one-in-a-hundred cases where there are so many witnesses to a wrongful cop shooting that the matter goes to trial, how much time to cops face? Look up the 2013 killing of John B. Geer (above) by Fairfax County officer Adam D. Torres as Geer stood with his hands raised in the doorway of his own home, calmly talking things over with a trained police negotiator. The department stonewalled the release of any evidence for a year. Finally — after the courts got tough on the department — Torres was tried and sentenced to a year in jail . . . but released after being credited with the 10 months already served.

Geer’s “crime” was to throw some of his girlfriend’s clothes out on the lawn. Think you or I would get away with 10 months if we’d shot him dead for no reason while he had his hands up?

Yes, let’s grant that 90 percent of shootings by cops are probably “excusable” once we know all the circumstances –- gun battles with armed robbers and the like. Heck, some of these officers deserve medals. But we all know even in the bad cases the vast majority of killer cops never get charged, never spend a day in jail. If a bystander shoots a video that goes viral and the D.A. or police chief or sheriff has no choice, expect to be told, with considerable sarcasm, “And that officer lost his job, so what are you complaining about?”

And then it’s “Case closed”?

If I quit my job, they’ll drop all charges?

In the first place, let’s take my hypothetical (and highly unlikely) example in which I get into an argument with a police officer. We both go for our legal sidearms. I get lucky and get off the first three rounds; the officer dies.

Now let’s place ourselves in the office of the District Attorney on the day when -– prior to my scheduled criminal trial — the prosecutor learns I’ve been fired from my job as a newspaper guy (or an insurance agent, or a banker, or a dishwasher, or whatever.) The D.A. lets out a shout, slams his file folder closed, and cries in triumph: “Case closed! After all, losing your job is a way more serious penalty than any mere 20 years in the penitentiary that we could hope to get. So once they lose their job, we’re done here. Dismiss those criminal charges! Case closed!”

Does that sound likely to you? It doesn’t sound very likely to me. I think my murder trial would go ahead as scheduled. So what’s all this about the matter being dropped if the cop resigns or gets fired?

But it‘s actually much worse than that. What do the cops mean, when an officer gets caught red-handed killing a harmless, unarmed individual not wanted for any crime, on video or in front of too many witnesses to ignore, and they tell us “he’s no longer on the force”?

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported on Oct. 13, 2013: “For the first time in Las Vegas police history, an officer has been fired for an on-duty police shooting. . . . Former officer Jesus Arevalo, who shot and killed unarmed Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson in 2011 . . . has 30 days to appeal his firing.”

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In Las Vegas, this was huge. For decades, residents had watched as no cop ever faced any judicial consequences in the shooting deaths of homeless guy Henry Rowe ( http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/deadly-force/always-justified/case-ex-police-officer-shows-authorities-reluctant-take-action ); John Perrin (armed only with a basketball); Orlando Barlow (kneeling in a front yard with his hands on his head); Trevon Cole (a small-time pot dealer kneeling unarmed in his own bathroom — see https://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=579 ); Erik Scott (see https://www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=562 ) — the list went on and on. But now, finally . . . at the very least . . . a firing.

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Gibson (immediately above, with his wife, Rondha) was an unarmed 43-year-old black man. He was a disabled Gulf War veteran who’d run out of his anti-anxiety medication. His wife reports Gibson had finished the last of his anti-anxiety medication earlier that month. But a VA doctor canceled their appointment, she said, and refused to refill the prescription without seeing him.

By Saturday Dec. 10, after a full two weeks without his medication, Gibson started to believe it was 1987 and spoke of searching for his father, whom he had never known, she said.

“He didn’t know where he was and didn’t what he was doing,” according to his wife, Rondha Gibson. On Saturday morning, Gibson went outside and had a mental breakdown, screaming at cars and causing a scene. Las Vegas police eventually arrived and arrested Gibson on a charge of “resisting arrest” – the catch-all charge that means “We felt like arresting him.” He was booked into the Las Vegas Detention Center about 1:45 p.m. Saturday on the misdemeanor offense.

The officers assured his wife they would have Gibson placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, called a “Legal 2000,” during which a doctor could evaluate his state of mind.

But Gibson showed up at home Sunday, well before the 72 hours were up. He told his wife he had taken the trash out and didn’t remember going to jail.

City spokesman Jace Radke said Gibson was released eight hours after his arrest on his own recognizance; the spokesman had no information indicating he was supposed to be under any “psychiatric hold.”

The Gibsons had recently moved to a new apartment in Las Vegas. Returning home after a drive that Sunday evening, two weeks before Christmas, Gibson appears to have pulled into the parking lot of the wrong apartment complex, a couple blocks from home. He called home around 9:30 p.m., telling his wife he was parked outside the complex’s office. But when she checked, Gibson was nowhere to be seen. That happened several times. Rondha Gibson grew more and more frustrated.

Someone saw Gibson driving slowly through the complex, though — the wrong complex — unable to find the right apartment, and called the cops, apparently fearing this might be someone casing the joint for a robbery.

Officers responded, and used their own patrol cars to pin Gibson’s Cadillac into a parking space, so his car couldn’t move. The “crime” of this confused and frightened man was that he then refused to get out of his car for a bunch of armed men, shouting at him out there in the dark, who had rammed his car. He actually lay down on his front seat.

Given that lone 43-year-old men in Cadillacs are not generally prime burglary suspects, that there was no evidence Gibson was armed or that he’d committed any crime or that he was wanted for any crime, surely in any sane world — leaving aside the option of simply releasing a man who had committed no crime, maybe offering to guide him home — Lt. David Dockendorf would have said, “Lower your weapons, guys; stand back. Let’s just cool it till the social worker arrives. Maybe she can get this guy to give his name and phone number so we can contact a wife or daughter to find out what’s going on.” Heck, his car registration plate night even have led police to discover his misdemeanor arrest and the flubbed “psychiatric hold,” just the day before.

Instead, the lieutenant in charge acted as though they’d cornered John Dillinger or Osama bin Laden. He had neighboring apartments evacuated, eliminating “civilian” witnesses. Then he deployed his men around Gibson’s car, armed with shotguns and an AR-15 rifle leveled at the frightened man, and came up with a cockamamie scheme to shoot out his rear window with a shotgun “beanbag” round, at which point pepper spray canisters could be fired into the car to force him to exit.

One officer with an AR-15 rifle, Jesus Arevalo, was separated from the lieutenant, on the other side of a concrete garbage-bin enclosure. At this point, Gibson sat up, put his transmission in reverse, and gunned his engine, attempting to escape. Since he was boxed in, of course, all this did was set his tires spinning, generating a lot of noise and smoke. Lieutenant Dockendorf, however, shouted “Shoot!” probably meaning that the officer with the shotgun should shoot out the Cadillac’s rear window with his “beanbag.” He did. Responding to the command and the subsequent gunshot, Officer Arevalo shot Gibson four times with his AR-15 rifle, killing him.

What does it mean when a cop is ‘fired’?

Taxpayers paid Gibson’s family $1.5 million, but — although the lieutenant was demoted — neither Arevalo nor Dockendorf ever faced any charges; never spent a night in jail, never paid a dime. Then, two years later, in October of 2013, came news that Arevalo had been fired.

Only . . . guess what? It turns our Officer Jesus Arevalo wasn’t really “fired,” at all. Three months after that, the other shoe fell.

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“Jesus Arevalo will never again work as a Las Vegas police officer, but he’ll be paid by Nevadans for the rest of his life,” the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in January, 2014.

Because Sheriff Doug Gillespie waited two years to fire him, you see, Arevalo had time to arrange for . . . a full and permanent medical disability retirement.

“The former officer, who was fired for the 2011 shooting of unarmed war veteran Stanley Gibson, is getting thousands of dollars each month from Nevada’s Public Employees Retirement System because he was granted a full disability retirement just before he left the department,” the newspaper reported.

His disability?

“It was stress-related,” Arevalo told the Review-Journal.

The medical retirement allows Arevalo, 36, to collect benefits equaling about 31 percent of his annual pay while on the force. The Review-Journal estimates Arevalo, whose annual pay averaged $90,275 in his last three years with the department, will get $23,000 to $28,000 per year, with periodic cost-of-living increases. That’s at least $1 million over 40 years -– even if he takes other work.

Because he killed a frightened, unarmed man?

By the time Arevalo left the department as the first officer ever “fired” for an on-duty shooting, he’d been on paid suspension for 22 months, collecting more than $183,000 — including about $9,000 for a graveyard shift differential.
He wasn’t working, but he got extra pay because the shift he wasn’t working was the “graveyard shift”?

Wow. How “stressful.”

Had Sheriff Doug Gillespie fired Arevalo before the Sept. 18 vote of the Public Employment Retirement System to OK his “disability” pension, the officer wouldn’t have been eligible for medical retirement.

Awwww. A month too late! How did THAT happen?

“He didn’t fire me,” Arevalo said. “I retired.”

(Not the kind to stay out of trouble, former officer Arevalo was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 90 days of house arrest for threatening Steve Delao, the boyfriend of Arevalo’s ex-wife, in the parking lot of a local church. He has to stay out of trouble for two years or risk a six-month jail sentence.)

Time for transparency

Now do we know what it means when we’re told an officer who shot an unarmed suspect “is no longer with the department”?

If we want the vigilante killing of police officers to stop, we need to clear the air. We need transparency. We can get that by treating gunshot deaths at the hands of police like any other gunshot deaths . . . only more so.

Let’s go back to my unlikely hypothetical case, in which I kill a cop. When the arresting officers show up, let’s imagine together that I say, “Hi, guys. Instead of going to jail tonight I’d like to go home and think this over. Then tomorrow I’ll meet with my legal representative. He’ll coach me on issuing a statement that’ll put me in the best possible light. I’m sure he’ll remind me to include the phrase ‘furtive movement toward his waistband.’ Furthermore, I’d like you to get my lawyer a list of all the witnesses here, with their addresses and phone numbers, first thing tomorrow morning, so he can call them all in and make sure all our stories match.”

Do you think the officers are going to say, “Well, sure, Vin. That sounds fine. Take your time. We’ll see you in a few days”? I don’t think so.

But that’s exactly what happens when a cop kills someone. He doesn’t go to jail. No one “reads him his rights.” No one tries to pressure them into “making a statement” before they’re “lawyered up.” Nooo. They’re generally given 72 hours to consult with their “police union rep,” who also talks to all the other officers who were at the scene to make sure all their stories match, especially about that “furtive movement toward the waistband” business.

And if their stories still don’t match that of the shooting victim? Oh, wait: He doesn’t have a story. He’s dead.

If you want these vigilante shootings to stop, cops and courts and prosecutors need to demonstrate some real changes, to convince the American public that cops and “police union reps” are now living under the same laws as the rest of us, and those laws are being enforced equally — including laws against conspiracy, subornation of perjury, and “accessory after the fact.”

And there are some concrete things that could be done, right now:

First, end the “War on some drugs,” which is really a War on the People. It’s the major source of this “us-versus-them” mistrust between cops and the rest of the populace, which was largely unknown before the start of our major drug Prohibitions.

Most cops have nothing against drugs. No, really, listen: Drunks are a huge problem out there on the beat, but hardly any of our police officers call for a return to alcohol Prohibition. In fact, most police officers gather after hours in what are widely known as “cop bars” to dose up on one of our most pernicious and highly addictive drugs: “alcohol.” So these cops aren’t really against drugs; they’re not really jailing people for buying and selling drugs — instead, they’re jailing people for buying and selling only certain drugs — the ones historically favored by blacks and Mexicans and Asians. When cops are interacting with people of those races, they’re always looking for that “big drug bust,” which in turn means they’re constantly worried that any person of color who they encounter may prefer to shoot them rather than go to jail for years.

Most of the crime problems which police associate with drugs are caused by prohibition. These pathologies are little seen in the alcohol distribution business, nor were they much seen in drug commerce before 1914.

The drug war — launched one hundred years ago for the (then) frankly announced purpose of keeping down male “Negroes” and “wetbacks” and “Chinamen” who our all-white, all-male Congress feared might use cocaine or marijuana or opium to seduce white women — does no good, is vastly expensive, and is the main motivation for the militarization of our police and the erosion of the notion that we have the right to be let alone in our homes and in our peaceful commerce, causing our police forces to act less and less like friendly watchmen available to rescue kittens from trees, more and more like an armor-clad alien army of occupation keeping down a hostile populace, turning our cities into war zones.

Who does this “protect and serve”? End the “War on drugs.”

Second, stop using “traffic stops” as a way to generate revenue for police and the courts. Lots of fatal shootings develop out of traffic stops. Especially if the driver says “By the way, officer, I’m legally armed” . . . as they’re frequently advised to.

Many small towns, like the one I live in, have a little “speed trap” of a mile or so in the middle of town, where drivers who’ve been zooming along a major highway at 65 or 75 miles an hour are suddenly expected to slow to 35 or even 25 miles an hour. This has nothing to do with playgrounds or school crossings. It doesn’t matter if it’s suppertime or Saturday afternoon; multiple state and county police cars lurk in wait or cruise back and forth on that little stretch of road, issuing blizzards of $200 traffic tickets to out-of-towners, essentially collecting an outrageous “highway toll” just for passing through. “To protect and to serve” who?

What If every penny from those tickets went to the ACLU or some other private legal aid group that vowed to spend every penny bringing wrongful death and injury suits on the behalf of the victims of police violence? Do you think cops would be quite so anxious to issue that blizzard of tickets?

A truly public hearing

Third and equally important, inquests into every fatal police shooting must be open to the public, in large auditoriums seating at least 200 people. Such hearing or inquests should also be televised. (And no, televising them does not obviate the need that they be held in courtrooms that seat at least 200 people.) If police or court bailiffs or anyone else in a uniform is allowed to bear arms at these proceedings, then citizens wishing to attend such inquests should also face no obstacles to attending while bearing arms. They work for us. Servants do not disarm their masters.

If the uniformed shooter chooses to exercise his right to remain silent, or even not to attend, that’s fine. But (so long as the shooter has been invited) the inquest should proceed as an adversarial proceeding even in the officer’s absence, with an attorney for the victim or his survivors able to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make an opening and closing statement before a randomly selected grand jury -– not a jury stacked through “voir dire” questioning –- which will then rule whether to forward the case to a petit jury for criminal trial.

Fourth, police should wear body cameras when on duty, and lose their “sovereign immunity” if their cameras “weren’t functioning properly.”

We could do all four of those things, easily.

Or would you prefer that frustrated Americans — however misguided — continue to take matters into their own hands?

Vin Suprynowicz is a former columnist and editorial writer for the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal. He blogs at www.vinsuprynowicz.com. His latest novel is “The Miskatonic Manuscript.”

4 Comments to “Let’s stop the police killings”

  1. MamaLiberty Says:

    Very much agree, Vin. The question remains, however. How can “cops,” and indeed all non-voluntary government employees, be brought to the point where they are subject to the exact same “laws” as everyone else? And/or eliminate the bogus “laws” altogether, of course.

    They’re certainly never going to go for that voluntarily. Unfortunately, neither will most of the people who suppose themselves to be the “masters.”

  2. Davidio Flavio Says:

    Very simple Mama, pass laws that make the police accountable, or, at least remove the ones that give them unhindered freedom to kill, and place them in the same criminal/Jury system as the rest of us.

    Or, as one of my ideas, they get a “One and done”, pull your weapon, and discharge it, and you take the long walk, without a gun for the rest of their career.

    Let them do office work, but get a shooter off the streets, and away from innocent people for the rest of their police career.

    This allows self defense, but, with the knowledge, that it ends the rest of their career, as a gunslinger.

    Kind of like doing one tour of a war zone, where you are allowed to toss grenades, bomb people, use machine guns, etc. Once your duty is done, you are back to the real world, and your “License to kill” is revoked.

  3. anarchyst Says:

    Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” their questionable and quite often, illegal and criminal behavior.
    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…this makes the “good cops” who are standing around, witnessing their “brethren in blue” beating on a restrained suspect, culpable as well…
    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job.
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.

  4. anarchyst Says:

    Here are “police” practices that deserve to be exposed:

    #1. During a traffic stop, the police officer will touch the back of your car. The reason for this “touch” is that, quite often, the police officer will have a small quantity of narcotics (marijuana or cocaine) on him (in his hand) that he will rub on the car in order to help “justify a search”. When the dog is brought in, it will react to “cues” from its handler as well as the drug residue on the vehicle and help “justify a search”. This tactic is mostly used against young people. Drugs can also be “planted” on a “suspect”.
    The “touch” used to be a way for police officers to “prove” that they had an interaction with a citizen, but no more . . .

    #2. Most (if not all) cops possess a “throwdown” weapon. This “helper” is obtained from a criminal who is then “let go” without his weapon and is always used to justify a questionable police situation and to “sanitize” a “crime scene to absolve police on the scene of criminal police behavior.

    #3. If you are in the back of a police car, LIE DOWN on the seat. Police use the concept of “screening” to abuse their unwilling “passenger”. This involves, driving at high rates of speed, violent turns and other antics to get the passenger to “hit the screen” separating the front from the back with his face. Hence the act of “screening”.

    #4. If you are being handcuffed, quite often the police officer will wrench you arm behind you, forcing you to “turn around”. Another “trick” is a foot to the instep, forcing the individual to involuntarily “pull away”. The officer will then add a charge of “assault” to whatever other charges they concoct against you (just for being forced to turn around). They “pile on” charges, hoping you will plead guilty to at least one.

    Remember–NEVER CONSENT TO SEARCH . . . You must be polite, but firm in your refusal. You can state that “you NEVER consent to searches” as well as using these “magic” words–“am I free to go?” The police officer MUST answer your question . . . If you are being detained and an illegal search takes place, you have legal recourse.

    Remember–police are not your friends . . .

    That being said, not all “law enforcement” is criminal, but the “thin blue line” that they so jealously guard (and “look the other way” when rogue cops abuse their authority) does much to taint ALL “law enforcement” with having ulterior motives.

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