You've been protected and served! Josh Adams displays the wounds of honor he received while attempting to protect his wife from a criminal police assault. The injury was inflicted by a police-issue Maglite flashlight (see below a photograph of the bloodstains left on the floor of the Adams' home.)
Owing to budget shortfalls, Beaver Village, Ohio (pop. 464 as of the most recent census) disbanded its police department for several years, relying instead on the Pike County Sheriff's Department to handle emergency calls.
About a year ago, the village repudiated its blessing by reconstituting its police force, which consisted of Chief Daniel Seal, auxiliary officer Brady Ratzlaff, and officer trainee Adam Mather.
I say “consisted” because last Monday the entire force was suspended after an October 7 incident in which local resident Steve Adams was forced to make a 911 call to the Pike County Sheriff begging for help because “the cops beat my son up.”
(Listen to the call here.)
“Are the police there now?” asked the 911 operator, audibly puzzled that someone would be calling the Sheriff to intervene with the police.
“The police are there and they just beat my son up!” repeated Adams, his voice colored with exasperation. “The f****n' Beaver Police.”
As recounted in the Chillicothe Gazette, the police arrived early Sunday morning following an Oktoberfest celebration. Apparently, somebody in the village had been setting of firecrackers late at night, an act of unsanctioned civic exuberance that would have dramatic consequences for Josh Adams and his wife.
After midnight on Sunday morning, Josh, 34, and his 31-year-old wife Christina had tucked their three small children into bed. Christina noticed lights in her driveway an instant before hearing a loud, insistent knock. She opened the front door to find three men standing outside – the much-heralded Beaver Police.
“They asked me what's going on,” recalled Christina, a nursing student at Ohio State's Chillicothe extension. “I told them I have no idea what's going on, you tell me. They told me they saw me on my porch shooting a shotgun.”
This struck Christina as exceptionally odd, since she had never fired a gun in her entire life. Since the police hadn't presented a warrant or identified her as a criminal suspect, she did exactly the right thing: She denied them access to her home.
“I never even stepped out on the porch,” Christina continues. “I cracked the door to look out.... I told them I'm not telling you anything, I'm going to get my husband.”
Now, at this point, if the police had been concerned that Christina had been repelling an intruder, they should have said so, politely. If they suspected her of committing a crime, they should have said so, politely. In either case, what happened next was not police work, but an armed home invasion and assault on an innocent young couple.
Rather than waiting for Christina and her husband to return to the door, Chief Seal violated the family's property by placing his foot in the door (a tactic I've seen police use on many occasions) and then slamming it open. He then attacked the terrified young mother, tackling her to the floor.
When Josh came into the room and saw an unidentified man molesting his wife, he would have been within his legal and moral rights to shoot him dead, assuming he could do so without injuring Christina. Unarmed at the time, Josh ordered Seal to get off his wife. One of Seal's homiez responded by clubbing Josh in the head with a Maglite flashlight and then spraying him with mace. Beaver's “Finest” then handcuffed the couple and left them on the floor of their home.
At some point during the assault, Josh's cellphone fell out of his pocket. Christina was somehow able to flip it open and dial Josh's father, Steve, who lived nearby.
When he arrived to see three individuals standing over his prone and bleeding son and traumatized daughter-in-law, Steve understandably exclaimed: “What the hell are you doing?”
Ever zealous to protect and serve, one of the Beaver Police snarled, “Do you want to go to jail?”
Call it the "T.J. Hooker Model": A weaponized Maglite flashlight.
Steve then proceeded to make the 911 call, which summoned the Sheriff's Department and Mayor Rocky Brown. With their intervention Josh and Christina were released. Although Seal and his heroic sidekicks were suspended – much to Mayor Brown's dismay – no charges were filed in the incident. At a minimum, the three Beaver Police officers should be charged with felony assault.
Josh believes that the police were on the prowl for the elusive kids who set off the fireworks earlier that evening. “I feel like they were out to get someone that night ... there was no explanation,” he told the local paper. “It seems to me they were aggravated they couldn't catch these kids down here.”
For her part, Christina described her family's experience as “like something you see on TV” -- such as “COPS,” for instance, or “Dallas SWAT,” or any of the other “reality” programs that indoctrinate the public in the gospel of righteous police violence.
We could call this the “Showtime Syndrome”: Mimicking the behavior displayed by police in “reality” programs of this sort, many police clearly lust for an excuse to use overwhelming force in situations where it is clearly unjustified.
While Josh and Christina nursed their wounds, another couple – Richard Silva and his fiancee, Blair Austin – were dealing with the aftermath of their own “Showtime” experience, which took place on September 28, Richard's birthday.
Richard, who works as a federal contractor overseas, had just returned to Charlottesville, Virginia from three years in Afghanistan and Iraq. He and Blair were crossing the street on their way to a local restaurant when a Charlottesville Police SUV came roaring down the street on a collision course with several pedestrians in the crosswalk.
According to witnesses, the SUV's running lights were on but not its siren. Austin also recalls that the driver made a turn without a signal. Several pedestrians scrambled out of the way before the police vehicle came screeching to a halt a few feet in front of the crosswalk.
Startled and angry over what could have been a multiple-fatality accident, Richard Silva lost his composure, yelling something either “Slow your a**!” down, or “Slow the f*** down,” or some other outraged command of that flavor.
Whereupon the heroic Officer Mike Flaherty of the Charlottesville Police almost certainly said to himself: “It's Showtime!”
Blair Austin, photographed at the intersection where she and her finance, Richard Silva, were criminally assaulted by Charlottesville, Virginia Police officer Mike Flaherty.
Flaherty erupted from the SUV, seized Richard, and then began to handcuff him. Blair, who was wearing a formal dress and high heels, exclaimed, “Why are you arresting him?”
According to eyewitnesses, Flaherty replied to that inquiry by shoving Blair with both hands, knocking her flat on the asphalt.
“She hit [the pavement] so hard she spun to the ground,” attests Anjani Solonen, who was with a group of four students from nearby Liberty University.
“He hit her hard enough that it would have knocked me down,” added Chris Ryan, a friend of the couple.
As the cuffs were being put on Richard Silva's wrists, eyewitness Carrie Stuart yelled: “Don't you dare arrest that man – he did nothing wrong!” At about the same time, Blair had regained her footing and was making the same demand. The latter gesture prompted the bold and intrepid Officer Flaherty to instruct a back-up officer to arrest Blair, presumably for the crime of being on the receiving end of an unprovoked police assault.
A crowd of outraged witnesses had materialized by this time, some of whom dialed 911. The above- mentioned Chris Ryan collected relevant details and explained the incident to Sergeant Shawn Bayles, the midnight shift supervisor, who ...
... wait for it ...
... wait for it...
“...supported Flaherty's actions.”
Wasn't the suspense terrific?
After all, the department explained to the local newspaper, The Hook, Flaherty “is an experienced policeman" with a “good reputation” among his colleagues.
Aren't they all?
Sgt. Bayles also offered one reflexive comment that left Ryan puzzled. After Ryan described what had happened, Bayles replied: “Well, to tell you the truth, we've had a lot of problems with a lot of the young liberals going to college causing problems.”
The "liberals" in this particular instance, of course, were students from nearby* Liberty University -- surely the Mecca of campus leftism.
Richard and Blair were held in jail overnight. He was charged with “public swearing and intoxication,” and faces a $250 fine. Astonishingly, Blair, whose only “offense” was to demand that the police leave her fiance alone, was charged with “obstructing justice without force,” for which she confronts a $2,500 fine and a year in jail.
Remember, she's the one who was assaulted by Flaherty, the gallant Blue Knight sans pareil. A medical examination found that Blair had suffered injuries comparable to those experienced in a car crash.
Several of the eyewitnesses – including, once again, students from that bastion of tie-dyed cultural Marxism, Liberty University (more accurately called Jerry Falwell U.) – offered to testify on behalf of Richard and Blair. In that fact we can find a faint but precious flicker of hope. The same is true of the fact that this time, after so many recent episodes of unalloyed police barbarism, someone was at least willing to confront the police in the middle of their rampage.
Recalling the crowd's reaction as Flaherty shoved Blair to the ground, Chris Ryan remarks: “I though there was going to be a damn riot.”
There damn well should have been. It's long past time that we put the “riot” back into patriotism.
(Thanks to Jeri Lynn Ward, J.D., for tipping me to these stories.)
A BRIEF POSTSCRIPT ...
... courtesy of Radley Balko.
Common citizens, from the point of view of the State's armed enforcers, are literally worth less than dogs.
A Pittsburgh man was arrested and held on $100,000 bond for the supposed crime of yelling at a police dog to shut up.
The man was charged with "taunting a police officer."
"A police dog is a police officer. There is no difference under the law," belched Criminal Court Justice Gene Ricciardi. "They are not pets and they are trained in the purposes of law enforcement and anyone who would taunt a police officer can be considered a threat to the community."
Does this mean a police officer -- whether human or canine -- can defecate on my yard with impunity? Well, why not?
*Thanks to DixieDog, a frequent contributor on our comments thread, for his timely and useful clarification. And thanks once again to Jeri Lynn WARD, not "Ryan," for catching a particularly embarrassing typo.
Ah, the perils of being one's own editor... and trying to type with two lovely young girls, ages 4 and 2, clinging to an arm apiece....
Dum spiro, pugno!