Tag Archives: drugs

Update: Drugged Out Bakersfield Cop Who Escaped Custody Several Times Given Very Hard Slap on the Wrist

Previously on CopBlock.org, CopBlock Network contributors Dylan Donnelly and Steven Thomas posted about Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward Tucker’s one man crime wave, which took place last October (2015).

First, he got really high on meth and pulled a gun on some kids before assembling an arsenal of drugs, guns, and “bomb making materials” and heading to a local park, where he got arrested.

Then he staged a Houdini-esque escape from a patrol car in the garage of the jail right under the nose of the two cops who were transporting him there. All of which was captured on the garage’s surveillance video, which is included below. (Sadly, it was submitted too late for serious Oscar consideration. But there’s always next year for now-former Deputy Tucker.)

Via BakersfieldNow.com:

Tucker was first arrested Oct. 24. He approached a group of children at a birthday party off Belle Terrace and then pulled out a gun. A witness said Tucker told the children he was being chased and that he was looking for a woman on a bicycle.

The girls denied knowing anything about a woman on a bicycle.

“He pointed the gun straight at them, at their chest, each one individually, and told them, ‘You’re lying to me,'” a resident described.

Tucker was found that night with guns and methamphetamine, and he was suspected of being under the influence.

“That gun was only loaded with practice rounds so it couldn’t fire,” said (defense attorney, Kyle) Humphrey. “The bullets were plastic.”

Tucker bailed out after that arrest but was arrested again Oct. 27. He was also found that night with drugs and weapons.

Then Tucker escaped from the sheriff’s office custody. Surveillance video from the jail’s garage shows Tucker getting out of the back of a patrol car and simply walking off. Deputies were nearby but apparently didn’t notice Tucker escaping.

He was caught a couple days after that and arrested for a third time in Oildale.

Humphrey argued that Tucker “didn’t escape from a jail facility” even though he was in the jail’s parking garage in a patrol car. He was eventually able to get the charge dropped as a part of the plea deal.

“He wasn’t booked, so it wasn’t technically an escape,” said Humphrey. “It would have been a resisting arrest.”

Humphrey admits that it sounds an awful lot like a technicality.

“That’s what the law is — the technicalities of protecting the people,” he said. “I love those technicalities … I’m proud of them and every American should be proud of them because that keeps us from being savages.”

On March 3rd, Tucker agreed to accept a plea deal, which will result in seven of the nine felonies he had been facing being dropped. the two charges which he entered a “no-contest” plea to were “being high on methamphetamine while driving and while in possession of a gun.” He also agreed to plead no contest to a new charge of assault.

Between the dropped charges and the credit for time served Tucker is expected to be released next month, essentially being sentenced to six months in jail for doing meth and then driving around Bakersfield, threatening children with a gun, possibly trying to build a bomb, and escaping from custody. That’s probably the sort of deal your average citizen would expect to get had they done all that and not the typical Policeman’s Discount.

Or not:

On the day of the plea deal, Humphrey said the fact that Tucker used to be a sheriff’s deputy certainly went a long way in getting him a lighter sentence.

“There is some truth to that. He got a lesser sentence than a person with a bad criminal record would get,” said Humphrey. “If you make a commitment to do good in the world, and you do good for a very long time — and then you screw up — you absolutely should get credit for that.”

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Mount Vernon Ohio Detective Arrested for Drug Dealing and Extortion

Corrupt MVPD Detective

MVPD Detective Matt Dailey

Last week, the FBI arrested Matt Dailey, a detective with the Mount Vernon (Ohio) Police Department, on drug trafficking charges related to the sale of marijuana, meth, ecstasy, coke, and opiate-based pain pills. In addition, he faces charges of extortion and the use of a gun while engaging in drug sales. Detective Dailey had previously been suspended (with pay) on September 18th. While the reason for that suspension was not disclosed, it is presumed that it was due to the FBI’s investigation of his drug crimes.

Details within the FBI’s arrest report, indicate that Dailey used his position as a police officer to supply drugs to and facilitate the sale of those drugs by a confidential informant, who he had come into contact with during previous drug investigations. He also used his position and knowledge of drug investigations being conducted by local law enforcement to encourage the confidential informant (CI) to sell the drugs for him. He indicated to the CI that all of the drug investigations within the Mount Vernon Police Department, as well as the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, went through him. That CI stated that he perceived Dailey’s stated ability to influence drug investigations as both an assurance he would be protected from prosecution and an implied threat that if he didn’t help sell the drugs he could be set up for a drug arrest.

banner buy shiny badgesMany of the drugs Det. Dailey supplied to the CI were acquire by stealing drugs that had been confiscated in previous raids from the evidence room. Although at least initially many of the drugs were still contained within evidence bags, he claimed to the CI that he was getting the drugs from a fictional cousin and that he was only selling the drugs because this “cousin” was in trouble since he owed money to a drug dealer and he was trying to help him pay off that debt. In reality, he bought the drugs that he didn’t steal from the MVPD evidence room from a dealer in Columbus. That dealer later also became a confidential informant for the FBI against Dailey.

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Boise Officers Flash-bang Wrong Apartment

Boise Police and Swat were serving a warrant inside an apartment building on July 16th for theft and drugs.  They busted down the door and threw a flash-bang into the apartment unit.  The only problem was, it was the wrong address.

Police Deputy Operations Chief Eugene Smith said Friday the error “is rare and certainly regrettable.” He says officers apologized to the apartment occupants and began to do “all they could to make it right, including paying for repairs and securing the apartment.”  Smith also stated that they are investigating the incident to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Stories like this one are becoming all to common over the last few months.  Officers are getting warrants and going to the wrong place and tearing up people’s homes.  For Chief Smith to say that this occurrence is “rare and certainly regrettable,” is a flat-out lie.  It might be rare for that department, but this is happening more and more across the country.

The militarization of our police forces across the country and their never-ending desire to bust heads has placed a dark shadow over them and caused the current mistrust and dislike for our police.  They show no regard for the safety of the citizens that they have been charged with protecting, which shows in how sloppy they have become in the basics, such as verifying what address they are supposed to be raiding.

boise swatThe residents of that apartment are lucky to not have been injured or killed due to the negligence of these officers.  Paying for the damage is a start, but what really needs to happen is a full-scale investigation into the officers that took part in this raid and determine why they assaulted the wrong citizens, and then discipline them.

Had those people decided to protect themselves from these armed intruders, we would have seen a different headline where the officers killed armed assailants ‘trying to kill’ the police who were conducting the raid.  We would have seen a massive cover-up, and these innocent people would have been believed to be the aggressors, even though they were just protecting themselves from an armed attack.

Consider contacting your state representatives to bring legislation to the table that would hold officers accountable for these types of negligent acts and allow citizens to defend themselves from such attacks.  Indiana has already done this and it is time for the citizens across the country to have the same right to protect themselves from these armed thugs.

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Dance your mouse this way and press the little button to get your shit all stickered up.

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Former Jacksonville, Arkansas DARE Officer Just Says “Yes” to Drugs

Former DARE StudentIn what has become somewhat of a trend recently, yet another cop has been busted in a drug sting, this time in Jacksonville, Arkansas. The extra bit of irony in this particular instance involves the fact that Donald Bredenberg was actually a former D.A.R.E. officer. So, in case you’re the one person on this continent that doesn’t know what that means, he’s the guy who used to show up at schools to teach all the children about how bad drugs were (ummkay).

That probably took place right after or right before he did a line of meth. Of course, we don’t really know that sort of information for certain yet, so it potentially could have been both before AND after he taught children the evils of drugs and he might have been smoking the crank rather than snorting it. (Full disclosure: he could have actually been shooting it up and, to be fair, he was probably popping pills, too.)

What we do know for sure, via “FOX 16 News” out of Jacksonville, is that he was caught with “26 grams of meth, prescription pills, seven firearms and more than $1300 in cash” during the drug bust:

“LONOKE COUNTY, AR — A former DARE officer is charged with doing the one thing he warned children against. Just two years ago, Donald Bredenberg was going inside Jacksonville schools warning children about the dangers of narcotics. But this week, investigators say, during a drug bust, he was caught doing the very thing he told children never to do.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said, ‘It hurts, it hurts, it is shocking.’

Sheriff Staley says he worked alongside Bredenberg who taught many children about the dangers of drugs. But on Tuesday, Sheriff Staley’s deputies arrested him at a home in Lonoke County for possession of narcotics.

Sheriff Staley said, ‘It’s difficult because you see the person, the personal side and you know what this person could be and was and you see what they have gone to.’

Sheriff Staley says the drug bust happened in the 500 block of Stagecoach Road, which he says is concerning because it’s less than half a mile from an elementary school.

He said, ‘It’s the devil. I will tell you it’s the devil.’

Along with taking four people to jail, investigators say they left the home with 26 grams of meth, prescription pills, seven firearms and more than $1300 in cash.

This drug bust happened after a two month investigation with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office and Cabot and Jacksonville Police Departments.”

The level of hypocrisy involved here is admittedly pretty high, since Bredenberg was not just arresting people for theDARE Lion Mascot same stuff he was doing, but was also lecturing children about not doing it and attempting to use the D.A.R.E. program to turn them into little police informants at the same time. However, I can’t really say I’m as shocked (I tell ya!) as Sheriff Staley.

Cops spend most of their time breaking laws they penalize others for and promoting double standards, whether it involves things as simple as traffic/parking laws or pretending to investigate the murders their fellow officers commit and then declaring them justified every time. In fact, Bredenberg’s involvement in drugs is not really that shocking, since there have been several high profile cases of cops, including a deputy chief in Fresno, CA, being busted as part of drug rings within just the past couple weeks.

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Las Vegas Metro Police Brutality Inside Clark County Detention Center

Police Brutality at the CCDC

Police Brutality at the CCDC

This is a cross post from CopBlock.org: Bridger Kennedy shared the information below via CopBlock.org/Submit about the unwarranted treatment some employed in the Clark County Detention Center used against him. For incidents related to Nevada, you can also submit directly to Nevada Cop Block’s Submit Page.

Date of Incident: September 25th 2014
Individual Responsible: Seargent Newman and colleagues
Outfit: Clark County Detention Center, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Phone: (702) 671-3900

Hey, my name is Bridger Kennedy. I was just in jail for a DUI (my own prescription medication) that I had taken four-hours prior to driving and while I was in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada I was beat up pretty bad in there by about six correction officers.

Prior to my intake picture my face was pushed up against the wall and my bare feet were stepped on with their boots, then after the picture was taken – both front and sideways being jerked around like a rag doll – fingernails gripped into the inner part of my biceps leaving bruises.

I was then put in this black restraint chair and my hands were handcuffed til the very last notch on the cuff. I was shoved to sit down, my balls kneed on by one of the officers, my ankles were cuffed as tight as possible too, and then put some type of thigh winch strap thing around both my legs – smashing my knees together.

clarkc-county-detention-center-las-vegas-metropolitan-police-department-copblockI was very mad at this point and was was left in the chair for two hours. I then was taken out and seated in the big intake room (left side guys, right side girls). I was seated in the last row 2nd or 3rd seat to the left, everything was going fine. About 30-minutes had passed by when I had seen people asking to register on the phone so that they could make calls to people outside of the jail on one of the two phones available to do so.

There was one man on the left phone registering and there wasn’t anyone on the right phone, so I asked this African American female correctional officer (CO) if I can please register? She rudely answered with a snotty ‘No’ and turned away from me, at that point I didn’t say anything. About one-minute later a female inmate asks her if she could register and the CO gladly says ‘Yes’ to her, so at this point I said that is messed up why can’t I register and she can? Then this Hispanic CO says “Stand up motherfucker get over here” so I stood up and by the time I was on my feet he was rushing me and grabbed my wrist then threw me to the side.

By this point two other officers were running up and helped him throw me face down onto the ground and kneeing me in the back of the head.

I just had surgery to get my portacath removed two days prior to being in the jail. I have been in remission from cancer for three years now I was diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma when I was 17 (I will be 21 on December 28 of this year). I was face down yelling to them I had cancer and just had surgery.

The CO’s came over and piled their weight on top of my chest head arms legs back and feet while I can barely breathe I was yelling I have asthma as well since I was a little kid and now they are yelling to me to stop resisting when I wasn’t resisting whatsoever.

I couldn’t move and inch of any part of my body, at this point I am in excruciating pain and am being lifted up by my wrists and being taken back the the black restraint chair again. I was then once again strapped into the chair as tight as they possibly could after about 45-minutes in the chair. I just couldn’t bare the lack of circulation to my hands and feet. My upper thighs had lost the feeling in them by now, so I power through another hour and about 25-minutes of the chair each time having a spit mask on when I never spit or attempted to once.

They took me out and went and sat back down once again in the same chair I originally was in the first time I sat.

Editors Note: Bridger was encouraged to reach out to those involved with Nevada Cop Block, who have done an excellent job focusing the disinfecting light of transparency on the criminal LVMPD outfit.

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Update: Third “Justice for Danielle Willard” Protest Planned for Jan. 22nd

Danielle Willard

Danielle Willard, who was murdered by Utah police in November 2012

For a third time since she was killed almost three months ago, friends, family, and concerned residents will be gathering outside the West Valley, Utah police station to demand answers.  This protest is scheduled for January 22nd, which would have been Danielle’s 22nd birthday. Instead it has become a grim reminder of death November 2nd 2012 at the hands of detectives working for the West Valley Police Department, which is located in the Salt Lake City area.

Details from the Facebook event invite:

Please join us on 1/22 at 3:00 pm as we gather together in honor of Danielle Willard and celebrate her birthday she would have been 22. West Valley Police shot and killed Danielle on Nov 2nd while she sat in her car unarmed and still have refused to give any sort of explanation as to why.

In spite of the two previous protests and considerable questions being raised about why a physically small, unarmed young woman was shot, police have been extremely secretive about any of the reasons or justifications behind the case. More information regarding the circumstances surrounding her death can be found in this previous post here on NVCopBlock.org: Why was Danielle Willard Murdered by Utah Police?

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Why was Danielle Willard Murdered by Utah Police?

Danielle Willard, a small, unarmed young woman, was shot and killed Nov. 2, 2012 by West Valley, Ut. police

A rally will be held Saturday, December 1st at the West Valley Police station, which is located within the Salt Lake City area (see end of post for a map), to demand justice for Danielle Willard. Also, a second protest and candlelight vigil be held at the same location Sunday, December 16th. Danielle’s death and the many unanswered questions surrounding it have left her family, friends, and supporters frustrated, saddened and angry.

In addition, the handling of it all by local police has made many people not just in Utah, but all across the country, question how and why such a small, unarmed woman barely out of her teens with no known history of violent behavior ended up becoming the latest in a growing list of “collateral damage” from the government’s disastrous War on Drugs.

Almost a month ago, on Nov. 2, 2012, Danielle Willard was shot and killed by undercover police working for the West Valley, Utah police department. Apparently, she was killed during an attempted drug bust, although even that is a bit speculative at this point because police have yet to confirm much of anything about what happened that day.

“The family of a 21-year-old woman killed in an officer-involved shooting yesterday await answers in her death. So far, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the shooting at this apartment complex.

We still don’t know why officers shot and killed Danielle Willard. Her family says, she wasn’t a violent person but drugs may have been her downfall.

Willard’s mother, who lives in Vancouver, Washington, is anxious for information to come out.

“Everything that keeps going through my mind is speculation,” said Melissa Kennedy. “Did she get back on drugs? Was she really clean? Was it the wrong place at the wrong time?”

Willard was shot Friday and killed by undercover officers in the parking lot of an apartment complex in West Valley. Police used white sheets to cover her body from public view. Authorities aren’t saying what led to the shooting.”

Danielle Willard During “Brighter” Days

In fact, police have refused to even comment officially on such basic things as Danielle’s identity or even whether she is male or female. Purportedly, this silence is due to an ongoing investigation into the shooting and the events surrounding it. However, such rudimentary details have not only already been made public by Danielle’s family and friends, but are hardly something that would interfere with an investigation.

Those family and friends are understandably questioning that silence, especially since police normally have no problem releasing information that supports their officers’ version of events. Without any of that information, they are left to try and make sense of why police would need to kill Danielle, which is hard to reconcile with their own memories of her:

“Melissa Kennedy knows her daughter wasn’t perfect.

But she doesn’t understand what it is that her daughter did so wrong that prompted West Valley police to shoot and kill her…

‘…Danielle is a sweetheart. She’s got a big heart. She would give the clothes off her back for anybody. I used to get mad at her because she would use so much gas in our car because someone would want a ride home. She couldn’t tell them no,’ Kennedy said…

‘…She’s never been known to be a violent person. She’s 100 pounds soaking wet. She’s only 21 years old. She’s a tiny little thing. What could she possibly have done, other than having a gun, what could she have done to provoke them to shoot her?…I’ve never ever known her to keep a gun with her or anywhere around here,’ Kennedy said…

‘…Kayleen (Willard) said she admired her older sister.’I always wanted to be like her. She always inspired me, because she was always so happy. She always seemed to be the crowd pleaser. She always seemed to brighten up a room,’ Willard said. ‘She was an inspiration to me, she made me be the person I am today. She made me want to be a better person growing up. She will always be in my thoughts and my heart, and she’s in a better place right now and I’ll see her again some day.'”

In spite of the silent treatment from West Valley police, some details about that day have gotten out. As might be expected, those details don’t paint the undercover cops that killed Danielle in a very good light. Based on independent witnesses that have come forward and the limited admissions that detectives assigned to the case have made themselves several things have been established:

  • Danielle was not armed, nor were there any guns found within the vehicle where she was killed. (As confirmed by detectives)
  • Danielle was actually a passenger in her own vehicle and was attempting to seek cover by ducking down within the car at the time of the shooting.
  • It’s unlikely that Danielle was the target of the ill-fated drug bust. Whether she was in some way involved with drugs again or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time is unknown. However, even if she was that by itself would in no way justify her death.
  • An unidentified male, who fled the scene and was probably the one being targeted by the undercover cops, was driving the car. (Detectives Danielle’s mother spoke to actually denied that this person was present, which only raises more questions about why deadly force was necessary.)
  • According to the autopsy, Danielle was shot first in the cheek and then fatally in the top of her skull, which supports the witness accounts that she was ducking down at the time she was shot.

Demand Justice for Danielle Willard

The every day abuses and unintended negative consequences of the War on Drugs, as well as the selective nature of that war, should be enough to cause outrage at the unnecessary death of yet another person whose only real “crime” was an act which by itself only harms the person committing that act. No matter what your stance on drug use and its effect on those who become addicted, it should be apparent that the harm caused by drug prohibitions far outweigh any positive effects of such policies.

The bottom line is Danielle Willard should never have been killed in the first place and those who care about her deserve answers for why she was murdered in spite of being unarmed and, by all accounts, not acting in any aggressive manner at all. Unfortunately, police are in no hurry to provide those answers.

There are several ways that you can help seek justice for Danielle:

If you are in or have the ability to travel to West Valley, Ut., join those who will be there at the rallies to support them as they demand that justice in person. Other options to contribute from a distance include donating funds to offset funeral costs and the costs of traveling from Washington, where her family lives, to Utah. This is the link to do that via an online fundraiser. Yet another option is to call the West Valley Police Department at (801) 963-3300 or  (801) 965-5155 and let them know that you want justice for Danielle.




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LVMPD Budget Cuts: Finally, Minorities and Poor People Benefit from the Recession

Guess who lives in the neighborhoods LVMPD “saturates.”.

Recently, Sheriff Doug Gillespie made an announcement that, due to budget shortfalls, Las Vegas police would be forced to shift 26 cops from the D.A.R.E program and one of four “saturation teams” back to patrol duty. This along with hiring freezes instituted earlier in the year, was of course couched in terms of Las Vegas area residents becoming less safe, as a result:

“Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s face was grim as he described the largest budget shortfall yet facing Metro Police: an estimated $46.5 million deficit for 2013…

‘Should the community be concerned,” Gillespie said in a Metro video. “Yes. They

Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie looking very much like he needs a hug.

should be concerned…’

Deputy Chief Kevin McMahill said in a Metro video he’s worried about the demands placed on remaining officers and the community.

‘Will it be less safe? That’s a tough thing for me to sit and say to you,’ McMahill said. ‘The truth is probably…'”

And not surprisingly, either, the affected programs are characterized as essential crime prevention tools that should take priority over everything else:

“They’re cops dedicated to preventing crime in the valley.

But now they’re a luxury the Metropolitan Police Department can’t afford…

“I think it’s one of the few ways we could keep kids off drugs. It’s bothersome to me and bothersome to the community,” he (Las  Vegas Police Union head Chris Collins) said.

But the cuts will continue until Las Vegas and Clark County, which fund about 70 percent of the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget, figure out their priorities, he said.

“You still see city and county parks are being built. Why are you building parks but not funding the Police Department to the level it needs to keep citizens safe?” he asked.

All this teeth gnashing and hand wringing over being unable to fund cops and stuff that the community actually benefits from kinda explains why the city recently implemented what amounts to a protection racket style extortion scheme against local artists participating in First Fridays a few months back.

However, reality tells a very different story in regards to both of these programs.

A License to Harass: Saturating Certain Communities

They’ll find an excuse to stop you (unless you’re in Summerlin).

The so-called “saturation teams,” which were conceived and implemented by Metro Capt. Jim Dixon and Gillespie (prior to him becoming the sheriff) back in 2005, are actually glorified harassment squads that descend upon designated areas looking for any excuse to stop, search, and arrest the people within those neighborhoods.

“They use whatever laws are at their disposal: jaywalking, riding a bicycle without reflectors, outstanding warrants. They work together, swarming “hot spots” around the valley…

‘We’re like wolves,” officer Justin Gauker says. “We travel in a pack.'”

Those of us that are familiar with the way these wolves usually hunt aren’t exactly shocked by the selective nature of their prey or even how brazen they are when discussing it:

 Sat team officers have to make constant judgment calls. They won’t pull over and arrest someone in Summerlin (a more affluent, predominantly white section of Vegas), for example, who doesn’t have bike reflectors…

It’s old-school policing with professionalism…

I wouldn’t exactly disagree that “old-school policing” often included a lot of  swarming through minority and poor neighborhoods rousting anyone that they arbitrarily decide “is up to something” or “doesn’t belong there.” However, the professionalism of punishing everyone who lives in a certain location for the actions of a small segment of that location’s residents is a little more subjective. Also, it’s no secret that police stop minorities more often, look harder for an excuse to search them once stopped, and are much more likely to make an arrest if something is found. There is a reason that “old schools” get closed down. Usually they provide really shitty educations.

 DARE: A History of Failure and Community Destruction

Meanwhile, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is actually an overly expensive program that has consistently been found to be ineffective and even potentially counter-productive. DARE programs really are nothing more than a product of police desire to justify increased funding, allow access to children for propaganda and informant recruitment purposes, and even convince them to turn their own parents in for minor, victimless drug “crimes.”

The advent of DARE programs has correlated with a steep increase in drug use among school children.

“DARE is costly and ineffective. It wastes educational and police resources. The link between schools and drug police has become a sacred cow that leads to a false sense of security, despite clear evidence that DARE is a failure. Since its curriculum went national, two patterns have emerged: more students now do drugs, and they start using drugs at an earlier age…

DARE has a hidden agenda. DARE is more than just a thinly veiled public relations device for the police department. It is a propaganda tool that indoctrinates children in the politics of the Drug War, and a hidden lobbying strategy to increase police budgets.”

Even the psychologists that created the basis for the model DARE uses have since denounced it as “misguided and outdated.”

“DARE is rooted in trash psychology,” Colson told me two years ago. “We developed the theories that DARE was founded on, and we were wrong. Even Abe Maslow wrote about these theories being wrong before he died.”

Which is true, said Boulder psychotherapist Ellen Maslow, Abraham Maslow’s daughter. She called DARE “nonsense” in 1996, saying the program represented widespread misinterpretation of humanistic psychology.

The Economy isn’t the Only Reason Metro is Over Budget

A reenactment of local governments’ spending policies over the past few years.

At the root of all this is the basic question of why Metro is over budget in the first place. The economic downturn that has hit Las Vegas especially hard certainly plays a part in it, although the reserve fund area police accumulated during the good times has been able to offset that up until this year. The real reason that local police departments’ funds are running dry is because they spent the past few years throwing cash around like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

Local governments throughout Southern Nevada decided to disregard the economic crash that everyone else in the world saw coming and go on a spending spree beginning in 2009. The city of Las Vegas, which is responsible for 40% of Metro’s budget, spent $146 million building a new city hall building that they couldn’t afford to staff five days a week anymore by the time of its opening.

North Las Vegas, which flirted with bankruptcy last year prior to taking advantage of a loophole that allowed them to declare a state of emergency in order to circumvent mandated spending requirements and also has been threatened with a takeover by state overseers, spent $130 million on their own fancy new city hall.

LVMPD’s fancy new (and expensive) digs.

Not to be outdone, LVMPD decided that they needed to have a “place of their own” after getting by all these years using space within the old city hall building and rented spaces throughout different areas of town. Instead of joining in on the move to the new city hall or taking over an existing government owned property (including the old city hall), they began construction on a brand new 370,000 square-foot complex.

While the construction costs seems to be a better kept secret than the location of the Holy Grail, it’s been widely reported that they are paying over $12.5 million per year, plus an annual increase of 2%, on top of that to lease the land the new headquarters was built on from a private real estate company.

All of this spending is usually explained away by the fact that they were planned back during the “good times,” even though everyone of them actually received their final approval late in 2009, well after the recession had already begun. The other go-to justification was (as is often the case for these sort of things) job creation, which in reality has amounted to nothing but temporary construction jobs during the building phase.

In fact, the expenditures from that construction has actually eliminated permanent jobs. As mentioned, the Las Vegas city hall is now only open four days a week. North Las Vegas has not only laid off public workers (including cops and firemen), but has also closed down it’s jail and has been rumored to have made unsuccessful ovatures to merge their entire police force with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Sheriff Gillespie has up until now been able to stave off large scale layoffs at Metro by not replacing retiring officers, drawing off the once large reserve funds, and doing a bit of creative math to shift expenses around.

Las Vegas Police Shooting Themselves in the Foot

Not an actual Metro police training illustration.

Another factor that has become a negative draw on Metro’s budget has been their tendency to beat, kill, and otherwise abuse people around the valley including completely innocent people and people they just don’t feel like chasing. The 150+ settlements that Las Vegas area police have paid out over the last five years alone (plus another $20 million lawsuit already in the pipeline) come out of that reserve fund and, of course, your pocket. Between the $6.5 million in direct cash paid out and all the salaries being paid to cops sitting home on paid vacation while their friends in the department figure out a way to exonerate them, a lot of Metro’s personnel woes could be alleviated if they just started asking a few questions before shooting or at least afterwards.

The propensity that cops in and around Las Vegas have for brutalizing its inhabitants has both monetary and physical consequences. Since local taxpayers foot the bill for these settlements and most of the offending officers are still on the payroll, these budget cuts are actually one of the few times that local cops have in any way felt repercussions for instances of police brutality.

Unfortunately, it’s not the actual cops responsible for these transgressions that will suffer, but rather it will be new (as of yet) untainted recruits that won’t be hired as a result. However, on the upside, there will be one less saturation team available to harass and abuse people that can’t afford to live in Summerlin.

And that’s a good start…

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Las Vegas: Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!

Nevada Cop Block Warning Gang Activity LVMPD Las Vegas

Be on the lookout for these signs of gang membership in your neighborhood. – If you see something, film something.

A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in the community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or other forms of illegal behavior. Usually, gangs have gained the most control in poorer, urban communities.

Gangs are involved in all areas of street-crime activities like extortion, drug trafficking (both in and outside the prison system), and theft. Gang activity also involves the victimization of individuals by robbery and kidnapping. Street gangs take over territory or “turf” in a particular city and are often involved in “providing protection“, a thin cover for extortion, as the “protection” is usually from the gang itself.

Most gang members have identifying characteristics unique to their specific clique or gang. Many gang members are proud of their gang and freely admit their membership. Their personal belongings frequently boast the gang’s logo and the member’s gang name. Gangs generally share common characteristics such as the wearing of distinct clothing. However, some individuals on the fringe of gang involvement are reluctant to identify themselves as gang members.

They are usually armed, often unpredictable, travel in overwhelming numbers, and are not above attacking or even killing innocent people that are unlucky enough to be confronted by them. So, interacting with them individually can be very dangerous. If possible, make sure others are present and ALWAYS carry a camera to document any improprieties and ensure a neutral “witness.”

(This list of gang “identifiers” was compiled from a combination of factors listed in Wikipedia and on the LAPD website. Minus the links, of course.)

Nevada Cop Block Gang Activity LVMPD Flyer

Be on the lookout for these known gang members. They have a history of violence and usually armed. – If you see something, film something.

If you see any of the criminals pictured above, document their activities (preferably by video) and contact Nevada Cop Block immediately, if not sooner. A huge h/t to Dizz (another awesome member of the Las Vegas A-Cafe community) for creating the “warning” poster. Feel free to download the full size version and post it throughout your neighborhood so your friends don’t fall prey to this menace.

Oh yeah, join us!

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Stephen Baldwin Looks Stoned

Who picked him to be the spokesman for marijuana prohibition? And why did they give him the talking points from the 50’s?
(Originally posted on EYEAM4ANARCHY)
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