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Protests in Anaheim After Incident in Which Off Duty Police Officer Shot Gun During Dispute with Young Teens

A dispute on Tuesday that apparently started when off-duty cop Kevin J. Ferguson became angry at a group of teens whom he had previously told to stay off his lawn has since escalated into full protests in and around Anaheim, California. That initial confrontation involving junior high school students (video embedded below) eventually culminated with that off-duty LAPD officer pulling out his gun as other students attempted to push him off a student, who has since been identified as Christian Dorscht. Dorscht, who is fourteen years old, was reportedly verbally defending a female student that the officer had cursed at and possibly also physically grabbed.

Shortly after he had pulled his gun out the officer accidentally discharged the weapon. Although, no-one was hit by that bullet, for obvious reasons, it created a panic amongst the teens, most of whom immediately ran away. Dorscht was handcuffed and taken away by on-duty cops that arrived soon after. He was, however, released the next day after being charged with battery and making criminal threats. An unnamed 15 year old was arrested for undisclosed charges, as well.

One of the contentions from the LAPD is that the officer involved thought he heard Dorscht say, “I’m going to shoot you,” which is what prompted him to pull his gun. The boys parents dispute that account and maintain that their son had said, “I’m going to sue you.” Dorscht’s parents and his stepfather, who is also a cop, have stated that they in fact do intend to sue over the incident.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people took to the streets last night and into the early hours of this morning in response once the video was made public on social media. As many as 300 people protested the officer’s actions and demanded that he be arrested. Those being interviewed by a local news station expressed anger that a grown man would feel the need to fight with children over them walking on a lawn and especially that he would pull his gun against junior high students.

Eventually, those protests relocated to in front of the officer’s home. The protests got decidedly more rowdy at that point, with some people pounding on his garage door and yelling chants such as “No justice – no peace,” “Killer cops, off our streets!” “Don’t shoot our kids!” and someone painting “Fuck Pigs” on a garage door. Within an hour or so, police in riot gear arrived and stood between the crowd and the officer’s house, prompting them to move down the street away from the house. According to police, 24 people, including six underage kids were arrested for misdemeanors including failure to disperse, resisting arrest, and battery on a peace officer during the protests.

Below are Videos and Social Media Posts of the Protests

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$3.5 Million Settlement for Handcuffed Woman That Fell Out of Moving Police Car to Escape Sex Assault by LAPD Cops

California taxpayers will be forced to pay a woman that was seriously injured after falling out of an LAPD squad car in 2013 $3.5 million. (Video embedded below.) Kim Nguyen, who was being arrested on charges of being drunk in public, was handcuffed at the time she fell out of the car. She also was not seat-belted in and the door which she fell out of was not locked properly.

More importantly, she maintains that the reason she fell out of the car was that she was attempting to get away from one of the two Los Angeles Police Department officers that was in the back seat with her and had been trying to sexually assault her. The fact that she CCTV video from a nearby business shows that her skirt was raised above her waist at the time she was ejected from the vehicle, as well as the fact that the two officers who arrested her chose not two arrest two male companions that were also drunk at the time bolsters her version of events.

Via MyNewsLA.com:

Officers David Shin and Jin Oh arrested Nguyen for public intoxication after they saw her run across the street about 3 a.m. on March 17, 2013. At the time, Nguyen was a graduate student in her last semester at Loyola Marymount University’s MBA program.

Nguyen was handcuffed and put in the back seat of a squad car off Sixth Street between Oxford and Serrano avenues, according to her court papers, which state that she “was not seatbelted into the car and the manual door lock was not engaged.”

The officers chose not to arrest a male companion who also was drunk, according to Nguyen’s lawyers, who also alleged that one of the officers got into the back seat with their client and inappropriately touched her.

Nguyen huddled against one of the patrol car doors to protect herself and minutes later fell out of the vehicle as it was being driven east on Olympic Boulevard at about 30 mph, according to her lawyers’ court papers, which say she fell face-first onto the pavement, causing injuries to her brain, face, head and teeth.

A building security camera captured the aftermath after Nguyen was ejected, according to her attorneys’ court papers, which say that one of the officers was “nonchalantly standing over plaintiff who lies bloodied, with her face swollen, in the middle of the street.”

Nguyen was hospitalized for 17 days and underwent “extensive and painful surgeries,” her court papers state.

This also does not represent the only recent allegations of rape against officers from the LAPD.

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LAPD Police Officers Taser Man Who Was Already Stabbed Twice

The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by “LaurasharkCW,” via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. Her YouTube channel, where she posts videos of the copwatching she has done in Southern California, can be found here.

Date of Incident: January 6, 2017
Officers Involved: Unit #81303 Unit #81148 (Didn’t get names this time)
Department Involved: Los Angeles Police Department – Harbor Division
Department Phone Number: (310)726-7700

When we got to the incident, we were there a little over five minutes before we could finally see what was going on (when the ambulance arrived). We could hear arguing back and forth between someone and the police…Then once we could see, we saw a young man sitting on the ground, handcuffed, and suffering from a stab wound, his white shirt soaked with blood.

Little by little, we could see that not only was he handcuffed, but the LAPD had also hog tied his feet AND one of the officers was standing over him, holding his taser gun, with the leads hanging down…It wasn’t until the young man in this video, found my video and contacted me, that we actually knew what had happened.

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He told me that he was stabbed twice in a bar fight, had managed to call his dad, and that a stranger was offering him a ride to the hospital. Then his dad showed up at the same time as the police arrived. He was scared and losing blood fast. He remembers trying to leave to go to the hospital, but the police would not let him leave.

He began to panic and he says he remembers being yelled at. Then he was tasered and remembers being handcuffed before he blacked out…If you notice in the video, the paramedics didn’t rush in and get him and go. Instead, there was a lot of standing around for over ten minutes before they handcuffed him to the stretcher and took him to the hospital. From first contact by the officers to when he finally was taken, was almost thirty minutes.

I have been recording LAPD Harbor Division for a little over a year now. The things that stand out the most to me, are this division/department has a serious lack of training in DEESCALATING situations. They also have a lack of training in mental illness and they all seem to deal with situations like a bunch of Juveniles – who don’t take anything seriously.

Who tasers a man that is already bleeding out from being stabbed twice? Tasering is not a method of subduing someone WHO IS SUFFERING FROM INJURIES and needs medical attention.

The kid being taken away in hand cuffs in the video (the one not stabbed), was arrested and is being charged with stabbing the victim. However, they are friends and there is no way he was the one who stabbed him.

– Laurashark

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Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s “War On Drugs” is the Police State U.S. Policy Makers Dream Of

This post was written by  and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “Why Duterte’s Drug War Can Happen Here and How To Stop It” Posts and other content you think are worth sharing with the CopBlock Network can be sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Some tips to make it more likely that your submission will get posted to the CopBlock Network can be found here.

(Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made. Some links may have been added within the text and images have been added. In addition, the conclusions expressed within this initial introductory summary represent my own interpretation of what is being stated within Ryan’s writings.)

In the post below, Ryan discusses the current drug policies with in the Philippines and how it coincides with the desires of those within the United States government who created and then perpetuated the “War on Drugs.” As explained by Ryan, the reality is that those behind the drug policies in this country wish that they could use Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s tactics and in many cases have stated as much publicly.

Why Duterte’s Drug War Can Happen Here and How To Stop It

Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines is unique in its policy of extrajudicial murder of all drug dealers and users. It’s as much a cleansing of one’s population as any genocide. Still, I think Americans should understand that the logic underlying Duterte’s drug war isn’t dissimilar to ours. Once you’ve declared a “war” on an entire group of people, dehumanization is inevitable. The continued existence of drug criminals is seen as a burden and their non-compliance a violent threat. It wasn’t all that long ago Ronald Reagan characterized the drug war as not simply a matter of law and order, but a national security concern. Only 4 presidential administrations ago, in the early 90s, George H.W. Bush’s drug czar William Bennett said he had no issue with beheading drug dealers in public. Infamous chief of the LAPD Daryl Gates said that any drug offense is tantamount to treason and should be punished with the death penalty.

Even now there’s propaganda equating those who buy and sell drugs with terrorists deserving of death. Just this year Maine governor Paul Lepage unapologetically called for the guillotining of drug users on TV. Ronald Reagan’s characterization of drug crime as a matter of national security is to this day the official DEA position. The rather flimsy empirical connection between drug sales and funding of terrorism only gains serious currency in the national discourse because we’re conditioned to view these “criminals” as dangerous. Turning peaceful market participants into threats helps distract from the real enabler of foreign terrorists and criminal cartels’ drug profits: Drug laws.

What is happening in the Philippines is the logic behind all drug wars carried out to its terrifying conclusion. They are only unique in their consistency. What’s happening there can happen here. Trump has voiced his support for Duterte’s tactics and he’s appointed one of the most extreme Nixonian throwback drug warriors to be the most powerful prosecutor in the country. But what Trump lacks is a complicit population; so please, be more vocal in helping humanize people who are simply making a living or trying to enjoy themselves the same way hundreds of millions of Americans do legally — by being intoxicated. Do not rest content with the progress our culture has made, because it can disappear.

There’s been a groundswell of support for ending the criminalization of drugs the past few years, but we must look beyond legalization efforts. These attitudes on drugs aren’t determined by the laws. The laws are determined by the attitudes. We are told more and more to view drug use as a medical problem, but this too takes away the agency of most people who use drugs, who are not addicts and are otherwise unhealthy. Duterte too has characterized drug use as a sickness, so don’t assume the medical approach is purely a liberal narrative. One effective way to get rid of a disease people are willingly infecting themselves with is to kill those people off. So do not compromise the dignity and the normalization of peaceful drug use. The real solution to addiction is to treat addiction, and we can’t do that while all drug users are cast out into the shadows.

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The Blue Mafia: New Book Explores Police Brutality and Consent Decrees in Ohio

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Tim Tolka, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. Within the post, Tim discusses “Blue Mafia,” a book he wrote detailing police corruption and violence in Ohio, specifically concerning the police departments in Steubenville and Warren. Also included is a video preview of that book by Tim.

Tim also states:

The book is forthcoming and mentions all the officers involved by name with extensive documentation from the media, court documents, former and current officials and witnesses.

Blue Mafia: An Exploration of Consent Decrees in Ohio

A new book entitled “Blue Mafia” examines the nation’s second ever and fourth oldest Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations of patterns and practices of police misconduct in two small Ohio towns seated in Rustbelt Democratic counties. Ohio has hosted as many federal police misconduct investigations as New York state although it has only a fraction of its population. Only California has hosted more investigations than Ohio, although it has more than twice Ohio’s population. However, nowhere has the DOJ been resisted more fiercely than in Ohio.

In 1995, civil rights lawyer Richard Olivito began to feel hunted while litigating a civil rights case against the Steubenville police. He and his family received death threats. He and his wife survived two failed assassination attempts before placing a desperate call to the DOJ and driving to D.C. to meet with federal attorneys. The DOJ later sent two attorneys to investigate and requested a truckload of documents from the city of Steubenville. In 1997, the DOJ sued Steubenville for a pattern of civil rights violations and the city signed the second consent decree in U.S. history.

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The pattern of misconduct that caused Steubenville to become one of the less than 3% of municipalities saddled with a consent decree was essentially similar to that of the LAPD Rampart scandal. There were one or two allegations the DOJ was aware of against the police in Steubenville that not even the LAPD could touch. Steubenville has a history of corruption and organized crime which persists until the present day. The federal auditor for the consent decree eventually admitted that he couldn’t change the town’s culture or the choices of its powerful families.

Before the DOJ came to town, there were brutal and unaccountable police on the payroll of the mob in Steubenville. In 1986, the chief was accused of beating a white British woman who was with a black man in a Bob Evans, while yelling “niggerlover!” Once, an officer beat a woman with a chair inside the local courthouse, yet the chief famously refused to discipline his officers. Meanwhile, the county prosecutor was recruiting hitmen into an undercover narcotics task force and plotting to set people up, rob them and even murder them. Richard Olivito handled two criminal cases in which it was revealed in open court that an officer planted evidence and trafficked drugs. All these circumstances on top of forty-four court settlements in civil rights cases piqued the interest of the DOJ Civil Rights Division.

Six years after being involved in the DOJ investigation of Steubenville, Olivito again faced DOJ attorneys on the other side of a conference room in 2003. One of them asked, “Is it as bad as Steubenville?” Olivito replied,”I think it’s worse. It’s laced with racism.” Olivito visited the DOJ after he learned of strip searches, beatings and multiple alleged murders by the Warren police.

Warren was Ferguson ten years before the death of Michael Brown and had similar problems as recently reported by the DOJ in the Baltimore Police Department. In 2003, a video of three cops beating an African American was broadcast by national outlets. Strip searches were “routine” after traffic stops, if cops discovered the driver has a suspended license or acted in a way they didn’t like. A spree of volatile new lawsuits on top of more than fifty during the preceding decades as well as desperate calls from community leaders convinced the Bush DOJ to investigate in 2005, but the DOJ didn’t file a suit accusing Warren of a pattern and practice of civil rights violations until 2012.

Still today, no Warren officer has ever been fired for excessive force and no officer has ever been punished in a lethal force incident. The nine-year tenure of the department’s former chief, John Mandopoulos caused DOJ intervention after two years and a pattern of federal involvement which intensified after every presidential election. The WPD now hosts the fourth oldest DOJ investigation in the country, as they “strive everyday to reach compliance with the decree,” which must be maintained for two years in order for the consent decree to be lifted.

Blue Mafia portrays the challenge of civil rights on the frontline against police brutality in the courts and the streets of America. No other book examines the federal process of police reform in comparable depth, revealing the influence of local and national politics as well as insurers, law firms and police unions. Often, the DOJ is the last line of defense for small town residents, but it offers no remedy to those deprived and violated, only the promise of a less brutal future. For residents in Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago and other cities with ongoing DOJ settlement agreements, there is much to learn from the experiences of Warren and Steubenville.

– Tim Tolka

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LAPD Cop Caught on Video in “Horrific” Beating of Suspect Quietly Given Slap on Wrist

Video of an October 2014 beating by LAPD Officer Richard Garcia was so bad that a Los Angeles police official described it as “horrific.” The leadership at the Los Angeles Police Department and a civilian review board both agreed that it violated policy. Even the District Attorney Jackie Lacey seemingly was taking the incident seriously by filing felony assault charges against Garcia for his attack during the arrest of Clinton Alford Jr.

Then they all suddenly realized Garcia was just a Bad Apple and that they all were Heroes and he was given a plea deal that will allow him to completely avoid jail time and have the charges downgraded to a misdemeanor if he performs 300 hours of community service and pays a $500 fine by May of 2017. For some odd reason this plea deal was also never publicly announced, but Lacey is pretty sure it will send a message to other cops and Los Angeles residents.

(I tend to agree, except the message is “your Policeman’s Discount code is always valid here no matter how “horrific” or well documented your crime is.”)

Via the Los Angeles Times:

“I understand how in looking at the final result, someone may think that it wasn’t a just sentence,” she (D.A. Jackie Lacey) said. “But they simply don’t have all the information that we did when we made the final decision.”

Lacey said that she believed filing the felony charge against Garcia signaled to both police officers and residents that “people will be held accountable.”

“I do think it sends a strong message to any law enforcement officer who is thinking about violating the law,” she said. “If you talk to any officer about a felony on their record gotten in the course of their job, I don’t think anyone would see this as light at all.”

But others disagreed. Mac Shorty, the chair of the Watts Neighborhood Council, said the outcome was too lenient and another example of Lacey not holding police officers accountable during a time of increased scrutiny of how officers use force, particularly against African Americans.

“That’s not justice,” he said. “If I do something wrong, I face prison time. It’s not fair to the community that anybody coming into the community mistreats someone and gets a slap on the wrist.”

Caree Harper, an attorney representing Alford in a federal lawsuit he filed against the city, said that for nearly two years, her client and his family “have believed that Mr. Garcia would receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist and be back on the beat in no time…”

In an earlier interview with The Times, Alford said he was riding his bicycle along Avalon Boulevard when a car pulled up and a man yelled at him to stop. Someone grabbed the back of his bike, he said, so he jumped off and ran.

Authorities later said police were investigating a robbery and that Alford matched the description of their suspect.

After a short chase, two police officers caught up to Alford. The video showed him getting on the ground and putting his hands behind his back, according to several police officials who saw the footage.

Seconds later, the sources said, a patrol car pulled up and a uniformed officer bailed out of the car, rushing toward Alford.

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Garcia kicked, elbowed, punched and slapped Alford, according to a report from Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck made public last fall. The officer’s actions, the chief said in the report, were not reasonable “given Alford’s limited and unapparent resistance.”

“I was just praying to God that they wouldn’t kill me,” Alford told reporters. “I felt that I was going to die.”

…Lacey has faced criticism over her handling of other cases involving law enforcement officers, including her decision not to charge a California Highway Patrol officer who punched a woman along the 10 Freeway — another encounter caught on video.

Activists have also questioned why prosecutors have not yet said whether they will charge the LAPD officers who fatally shot Ezell Ford, a mentally ill black man, as he walked near his South L.A. home. Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of Ford’s death.

“She has hurt the community more than she’s helped us by not holding these people accountable,” Shorty, the Watts resident, said.

Local Press Coverage of Incident

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What ISIS And The Police Have In Common: Intentionally Burning People Alive

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by James McLynas, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. While discussing the rarely acknowledged police tactic of intentionally burning people alive James asks, “Is there any end to the violence police are willing to inflict?”

As pointed out by James in this post there are several known instances in which the police have intentionally set fire to buildings occupied by people they had been involved in a standoff with and then allowed those fires to burn while those people were trapped inside.

Probably the best known and most well documented examples of that is the Waco Siege, involving the Branch Davidians, that took place in 1993. A total of 76 men, women, and children died in the fire that many believe was intentionally set by FBI and ATF agents and that they undoubtedly made no effort to extinguish.

Another even more blatant example that has recently begun to receive some publicity, but is still largely unknown to the general public is the fire bombing of the neighborhood surrounding the home of the MOVE Organization. Philadelphia has been referred to as the “city that bombed itself” in reference to this 1985 incident.

This is, in fact, a pretty accurate description of what happened that day when police dropped a bomb onto the row house MOVE members were living in and then stood by as it and 65 neighboring houses burned. Police could be heard saying, “let the fire burn” on their radios and they did just that killing 11 people including five children.

More recently, the cabin in which former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner was holed up in during a standoff with police was ignited by CS gas and allowed to burn completely. Once again, police could be heard on the radio stating, “All right, Steve, we’re gonna go, er, we’re gonna go forward with the plan, with, er, with the burn [or burner]. We want it, er, like we talked about.” That was then followed by, “Seven burners deployed and we have a fire.”

Other police could be overheard on video recorded by a local TV station shouting, “We’re going to burn him out,” and “Burn this motherfucker!” It’s not exactly hard to put two and two together there. Nor is it hard to figure out why, although in theory people are supposed to have a trial before a death sentence is carried out.

A Police Tactic: Intentionally Burn People Alive

Images and statements coming out of San Francisco clearly show police intentionally set fire to a home despite knowing a person was inside. Police were angry that the man inside the home may have been responsible for shooting two police officers, and this is what police REVENGE and mob mentality looks like. No jury, no due process, no Constitutional rights.

A policeman of some rank within that department literally decided that this suspect no longer deserved to live and ordered that his house be set on fire, just like the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, TX and the SLA hideout in Los Angeles, CA and most recently, a cabin with former L.A. policeman Christopher Dorner inside. It seems the police reserve this special punishment for people they claim shot at them.

Newspaper reports regurgitating the police statements are stating that the “cause of the fire is still under investigation” as Deputy Bosques, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Spokesperson, claimed. Bosques said fumes from the gas canisters may have ignited the fire. However, the Fremont Fire Department already explained the cause as “coordinating an exterior fire attack” and that “This is a defensive fire. No firefighters going inside”. No need to investigate the cause of the fire is there? It was caused by a “coordinated fire attack”. Do police now have flame throwers like Marines used in the caves of Iwo Jima against Japanese soldiers?

“He told us he had a gun so we are not in any hurry,” said Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly after the fire started to engulf the home and firefighters stood nearby shooting water on adjacent homes, but not the one that was on fire. The body of the man was found huddled in the bottom of a charred closet.

Not long ago, the New York Post decried the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Muath al Kasasbeh and several others by ISIS as “the Return of the Dark Ages.” The horrific images were plastered all over the internet as the world condemned such inhuman acts. Well today, those dark ages returned to Fremont, California and the perpetrators weren’t foreign terrorists, they were American terrorists, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

Americans will stand by and let this happen while at the same time declaring the ISIS rebels barbarians for doing the exact same thing. Is this what we have become? Is this what we allow police to do in the name of “protecting and serving.”

Most states have abolished the death penalty, but that doesn’t seem to stop police in America from skipping that messy court process and instituting their own form of death sentence; burning at the stake. American soldiers are not allowed to waterboard, but police burning someone alive is OK?

Can anyone please explain this to me?

– James McLynas
Candidate for Sheriff of Pinellas County 2016

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Police Wife Writes About the “Secret Epidemic” of Police Domestic Violence

This post was originally published at the “Ms. Magazine” blog in October of 2015 by and (who was married to a police officer for 20 years) under the original title “Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence.” (See below for their full biographies.)

Domestic violence takes place in up to a staggering 40 percent of law enforcement families, but police departments mostly ignore the problem or let it slide, write ex-police wife Susanna Hope and award-winning investigative journalist Alex Roslin in their new book, Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence. The following excerpt is adapted from their book, available on Amazon or as an eBook from their website, and is being published as part of the Ms. Blog’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month series.

According to Alex Roslin, “Police Wife” itself has more than 60 pages of appendices giving advice and resources to survivors, family and friends plus recommendations for advocates, police, governments, journalists and researchers.

In order to help survivors and others, they’ve made virtually all of the appendices available for free through their website. Here is the direct link to this extended free excerpt.

The propensity for police to abuse their wives, children, and other family members is, of course, no secret among people who read CopBlock.org. It’s rare that more than a few days go by without a report of a cop having committed domestic violence and several CopBlock Network Contributors have posted about the increased risk that entails marrying or having the bad fortune to be the child of a cop. Obviously, the habitual efforts of Good Cops to cover up the crimes of those Bad Apples, is also a large factor in its commonality.

Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence

In 2009, in Utica, New York, police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. killed his estranged wife, Kristin Palumbo-Longo, stabbing her more than a dozen times in their home, then stabbed himself to death. One of the couple’s four children discovered the horrifying scene on coming home from school that afternoon.

Police Officer Cop BlockUtica’s then-Police Chief Daniel LaBella said the killing was completely unexpected—an incident “no one could have prevented or predicted.” But Kristin’s family filed a $100-million wrongful-death suit saying city and police officials didn’t do enough about Longo’s troubling behavior before the tragedy.

Kristin had contacted police at least five times in the weeks before she was murdered, saying she feared her husband might kill her and their kids, but police supervisors discouraged her from making reports or seeking a protection order, the lawsuit said. In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge agreed that the police actions may have “enhanced the danger to Kristin and amounted to deliberate indifference.” The city settled the suit in 2013, paying the couple’s children $2 million.

The murder wasn’t an isolated tragedy. It was unusual only because it was so public and so bloody. A staggering amount of domestic violence rages behind the walls of cops’ homes, while most police departments do little about it. In the vast majority of cases, cops who hurt a family member do so in utter secrecy, while their victims live in desperate isolation with very little hope of help. Research shows:

  • An astonishing 40 percent of cops acknowledged in one U.S. survey that they were violent with their spouse or children in the previous six months.
  • A second survey had remarkably similar results—40 percent of officers admitted there was violence in their relationship in the previous year. The abuse rate for cops is up to 15 times higher than among the public.
  • Police discipline is startlingly lax. The LAPD disciplines cops with a sustained domestic violence complaint less strictly than those who lie or get in an off-duty fight. In the Puerto Rico Police Department, 86 percent of cops remained on active duty even after two or more arrests for domestic violence.

It seems incredible that a crime wave of such magnitude and far-reaching social ramifications could be so unknown to the public and yet at the same time an open secret in a mostly indifferent law enforcement community. It is surely one of the most surreal crime epidemics ever—at once disavowed, generalized and virtually unchecked.

Aptly summing up the bizarre disconnect, retired Lieutenant Detective Mark Wynn of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department in Tennessee told PBS in a 2013 story on the issue: “What’s amazing to me is we’re having this conversation at all. I mean, could you imagine us sitting here talking about this and saying, how do you feel about officers using crack before they go to work, or how do you feel about the officer who every once in a while just robs a bank, or every once in a while decides to go in and steal a car from a dealership? We wouldn’t have this conversation. Why is it that we’ve taken violence against women and separated that from other crimes?”

Domestic violence is bad enough for any woman to deal with. Shelters, many of them chronically underfunded, regularly turn away abused women because they’re full, while only about one in four incidents in the wider population ever get reported to police. Hundreds of U.S. communities have adopted “nuisance property” laws that encourage police to pressure landlords to evict tenants who repeatedly call 911 over domestic abuse, further dissuading victims from seeking help.

But abuse at home is far worse for the wife or girlfriend of a cop. Who will she call—911? What if a coworker or friend of her husband responds? Police officers are trained in the use of physical force and know how to hurt someone without leaving a trace. They have guns and often bring them home. And if a cop’s wife runs, where will she hide? He usually knows where the women’s shelters are. Some shelter staff admit they are powerless to protect an abused police spouse. Her abuser may have training and tools to track her web use, phone calls and travels to find out if she is researching how to get help or, if she has fled, where she went.

In the rare case where the woman works up the nerve to complain, the police department and justice system often victimize her again. She must take on the infamous blue wall of silence—the strict unwritten code of cops protecting each other in investigations. The police have a name for it—extending “professional courtesy.” In the words of Anthony Bouza, a one-time commander in the New York Police Department and former police chief of Minneapolis, “The Mafia never enforced its code of blood-sworn omerta with the ferocity, efficacy and enthusiasm the police bring to the Blue Code of Silence.”

It all adds up to the police having a de facto licence to abuse their spouses and children. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon that police families struggle with everywhere from Montreal to Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Australia and South Africa.

The torrent of abuse is virtually unknown to the public, but without realizing it, we all pay a steep price. Domestic violence is the single most common reason the public contacts the police in the U.S., accounting for up to 50 percent of all calls in some areas. Yet, a battered woman who calls 911 may have a two-in-five chance of an abuser coming to her door. Official investigations have found law enforcement departments that tolerate abuse in police homes also mishandle violence against women in other homes.

Abusive cops are also more prone to other forms of misconduct on the job—such as brutality against civilians and violence against fellow officers. We all pay as taxpayers when governments have to settle multi-million-dollar lawsuits with victims of police abuse or negligence. Police domestic violence also has close connections to a host of other problems—police killings of African Americans, sexual harassment of female drivers at traffic stops and women cops, and even more broadly, issues like growing social inequality and subjugation of Native Americans.

And police officers themselves are victims, too. Even though our society calls cops heroes, we give them little support to cope with the pressure of police work. A big part of the job is to wield power to control other people. As a result, policing attracts people who are good at controlling others or may have a craving for that kind of power—and then trains them to use their power better. Control is also the main driver of domestic violence. Is it a surprise then that so many cops are violent at home?

Support the Ms. Magazine Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program today and show women fleeing domestic violence that they’re not alone.

Susanna Hope (a pseudonym for security and privacy reasons) is a Canadian professional writer who was married for over 20 years to a police officer. She has two sons and two grandchildren.

Alex Roslin is an award-winning Canadian journalist who was president of the board of the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting. His investigative and writing awards include three Canadian Association of Journalists prizes for investigative reporting, a gold prize in the National Magazine Awards and nine nominations for CAJ awards and NMAs.

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LAPD Cop Convicted of Exposing Himself to 12 Year Old Girl And Multiple Women

On Tuesday (Dec. 1st), LAPD Officer Ryan Eric Galliher was found guilty of multiple sex crimes involving exposing himself and propositioning a 12 year old after approaching her and exposing himself in the Bolsa Chica wetlands, located within Orange County, CA. Galliher was arrested in October of 2014 after at least a half dozen women reported a man exposing himself and publicly masturbating.

The two incidents involving the 12 year old girl happened in February and then again in March of 2014. At the time of his arrest, Huntington Beach police detectives observed him walk out of the wetlands, pull his pants down, and begin masturbating.

Via the LA Times:

Jurors found Ryan Eric Galliher, 33, of Huntington Beach guilty of a felony count of attempted lewd act upon a child under 14 years old, a felony count of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a lewd act, six misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and a misdemeanor count of engaging in lewd conduct, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

LAPD Officer Lewd Acts MinorGalliher faces up to four years in prison, prosecutors said. He must also register as a lifetime sex offender. Galliher is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18… (NOTE: The OC Weekly states he is facing 8 years.)

His victims included women between 18 to 80 years old, prosecutors said.

The youngest victim was 12. Prosecutors said Galliher approached her on Feb. 27, 2014, in the ecological preserve, exposed himself and asked her to touch his penis. The following month, he approached the girl again near Bolsa Chica Street and exposed himself to her, prosecutors said.

In one instance, Galliher stood naked near a path in the wetlands, wearing only tennis shoes, prosecutors said.

Somehow, as of Wednesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck hadn’t gotten around to firing Galliher yet, even though his arrest came over a year prior to his conviction that, based on the evidence, shouldn’t have been a surprise. In addition, Officer Galliher has been “assigned to home” since his arrest, which is a fancy way of saying he received the typical paid vacation that most cops are given once they are accused of crimes.

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Why You Can (and Should) Always Film the Police

There are a lot of reasons why you should always film the police, and citizenrootsmagazine.com’s editor Chad Hankins has an article all about just that. Chad submitted this post, via the CopBlock.org submissions page.

He states:

This is an op-ed piece I wrote about the importance of filming the police, and I have some aggressive sarcasm in there, so it’s not like every other article on the subject. I hope you guys like it and find it worthwhile.

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Cop Kicks WomanThe first time that I saw a camera on a phone I thought it was a stupid idea that would never last. In my defense, those first little camera phones were pretty terrible. The early models had resolution that was less than a megapixel and they cost about $400 (which used to be a lot for a phone for you little bastards who weren’t there, with your internets and your non-VHS porn). I couldn’t imagine how this technology could possibly catch on. What were the benefits of dropping a week’s paycheck on a shitty camera that could call people? I’ve never been more happy to be wrong.

Now we have great cameras placed in high tech phones and they’re both having a threesome with the internet, so we’ve seen a societal vicissitude that has started to level the playing field for ordinary citizens. For those of us who don’t have a badge or a sofa made of hundred dollar bills, this is an amazing thing.

For decades we’ve heard stories coming out of black neighborhoods that seemed like they couldn’t possibly be true. At least not on the scale that they were portrayed. These schoolyard tales seemed like some kind of alternate reality that could only exist in a universe where the Gestapo made it’s way into an Orwellian America. The idea that the police would just harass, beat, and even kill citizens who had done nothing wrong was a pill that was too hard for most of us to swallow. The only window that most people had into this world was the incredibly popular show ‘Cops’ on FOX.

There are a couple of reasons why this is an inaccurate and very foggy window into other people’s interactions with the police. The first is that all of those cops knew that they were going to be filmed, so they could modify their habits accordingly. The scary part is that a lot of them still acted like total dicks, despite this knowledge. Another issue with treating that show as if it was an accurate account of police/civilian interactions is the editing room. They probably weren’t interested in showing officers stopping people illegally, searching them without cause, treating them like criminals, and then letting them go because they hadn’t done anything wrong. Television 101: Only show a cop tazing a shirtless black guy if the tazed guy has actually committed a crime. It makes the whole thing a lot easier for the public to digest if the guy convulsing in the dirt has a .38 in one pocket, and an unlabeled pill bottle full of crack in the other.

Just as ‘Cops’ was starting to take off in the early 90’s, there was a slightly different video of police that got international attention.

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On March 3rd, 1991, the LAPD apprehended California resident and local black driver Rodney King after a high speed chase, and four officers proceeded to beat the living shit out of him. An amateur cameraman named George Holliday caught the whole thing on video, and the officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer. With the video, which shows King lying on the ground while all four officers cracked him with night sticks and kicked him repeatedly, it seemed that these guys would have to face justice. After all, everyone was seeing the video on a loop on every major news network across the country. How could these guys possibly get away with it?

After they got away with it,  the historic LA riots started and things got ugly. People were pissed. This kind of video had never gotten this scale of attention. It brought the racial disparity of police interactions to the forefront of everyone’s dinner conversations.

LT John Pike UC Davis Pepper SprayNow we have videos like this all the time. It’s impossible to keep up with the flood of “Unarmed black man shot in back by police!” videos that pop up on the internet every day. It’s a wonderful thing that we all have video cameras in our pockets and we can record cops shooting unarmed people in the back. This kind of full scale civilian surveillance is the only hope that we have to change the narrative on police brutality. The indictments of these uniformed criminals have been far less consistent than the videos of their atrocities, but we’re getting there. We just need to do away with paid leave, and we may see a decrease in these incidents. Getting a paid vacation for shooting someone is a sadist’s wet dream.

It’s not only important to film cops, but it’s 100% legal. Cops can tell you to stop recording. Not legally, they’re just verbally capable of it. You can’t interfere with an investigation, but you can stand clear and film the crap out of them. If they ask you to back up, you have to, but you can do it one step at a time, making sure you don’t lose your shot. That is, if you have the wherewithal and cool as a cucumber disposition required to deal with an agitated cop who wants to mace your ballbag. That’s a personal choice.

Another thing that the police like to do is try to confiscate your phone or tell you that you have to delete the video. Neither of those things are legal. In fact, without a warrant they can’t even force you to show them the video.

An honest cop with a clear conscience won’t ask you to do these things and probably won’t care that you’re filming him. If you do get a cop on the business end of your camera who’s pissed about it, then you’ve just caught yourself a crooked bastard. Don’t underestimate him. He probably wants to take the family to Yellowstone and a bullet in your face has been a proven method for getting the time and the money to make that dream vacation a reality.

The vast social awakening that’s come as a result of videos of police killings (Grey, Garner, Brown, and most recently DuBose) is a direct result of technology that we all have now. Hell, even the AARP flip phone with the giant buttons that your grandma is still learning how to use probably has some form of a camera on it. Now we just need to understand and exercise our rights to use our cameras to keep police accountable. While police are still rarely indicted and barely ever convicted, the message is becoming clear. The judicial system is starting to understand that we have no interest in quietly tolerating the kind of over reaching bullshit that many police officers have gotten away with throughout their entire careers. Filming cops is a scary activity, there’s no doubt about that. They yell, they threaten, they intimidate, but they can’t stop you from doing it. And frankly, there isn’t a damn thing else in our fight. As average citizens we can’t indict, arrest, or fire them. We can just film. With everything that we’ve seen in the last couple of years, it’d be stupid not to.

– Chad Hankins
citizenrootsmagazine.com

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