Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wasn't The Suspense Terrific? (Updated, 12/3)

Brown-shirted Utah Highway Patrol Officers stand in solidarity with Officer Jon Gardner during a November 30 press conference announcing that an internal inquiry found that his use of a Taser on motorist Jared Massey was "lawful."

The suspense was hardly unbearable when the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) announced that it would “review” the criminal assault committed by Trooper Jon Gardner last September 14, when he attacked Jared Massey – an agitated motorist whose behavior was non-threatening – with a Taser.

A “review” of this kind is almost always an exercise in ratifying the illegal use of force by a police officer. The UHP performed as expected, announcing at a press conference yesterday (November 30) that Gardner's attack was “lawful and justified under the circumstances” -- despite the fact that the department's policy does not authorize the use of a Taser against someone who does not pose a threat.

The now-notorious video of the incident demonstrates beyond dispute that Massey posed no actual or potential threat to Gardner. The video record also shows that it was Gardner who needlessly escalated the encounter by ordering the driver from the vehicle, rather than handing him the unsigned ticket and scurrying off to wherever it is that malodorous revenue farmers like himself go after committing their acts of highway robbery.

Massey, who had admitted to driving 68 miles per hour in what he thought was a 65 mph zone, believed that Gardner was inviting him out of the car to show him a sign announcing the beginning of a 40 mph construction zone. Gardner apparently ordered Massey from the car for the purpose of arresting him for refusing to sign the citation, which isn't a crime since in Utah a signature is unnecessary.

(Here's something else to consider. Go back and look at the opening seconds of that video; notice how Officer Gardner pulled to the side of the road directly in front of the 40 MPH sign just before Massey passed him. It's clear to me that by doing so Gardner most likely obstructed Massey's view of the sign. At the very least, he would have distracted the driver, whose logical reaction would have been to pay attention to the UHP patrol car rather than the speed limit sign. I'm cynical enough to suspect that this is one of the oh-so-clever tricks patrolmen sometimes pull in order to pull in revenue.)

No citizen has the legal, let alone moral, obligation to submit to an unwarranted arrest. And no police officer has the legal, let alone moral, authority to use a Taser to punish a citizen for displaying a bad attitude. The Taser is supposedly a non-lethal weapon; it can – and has – served that role by immobilizing violent suspects without killing them or putting bystanders at risk. However, a better description of that device as typically used would be: “Frequently lethal instrument of torture” -- at least as it's being employed by police departments that routinely ignore guidelines supposedly intended to prevent it from being used as a means of “pain compliance.”

The only reason Gardner's attack came under review (however perfunctory) by the UHP was the global furor that erupted when Massey posted the video on YouTube. Now Gardner is in hiding, cringing and terrified by random acts of blogosphere bluster and the occasional threatening telephone call. To his considerable credit, Massey has condemned the threats and urged people to leave Gardner alone.

In this we see a useful contrast between Massey, who displays the character of a principled adult man, and the swaggering tax-supported adolescent bully who attacked him and now cowers behind the Big Brown Wall thrown up by his fellow brown-shirts of the UHP.

Does Gardner fear for his life? I certainly hope so, even as I pray that those fears prove to be unwarranted. The least we can hope for is that bullies occasionally know the visceral fear of the hunted.

In urging the public to lay off Gardner, Jared Massey points out that the State Trooper has a family. So does Massey, of course – a small child and a pregnant wife, both of whom saw him brutally attacked and needlessly humiliated. The pregnant wife was also threatened with arrest for the supposed crime of coming to Massey's aid.

At this point in our nation's descent into unalloyed tyranny, those responsible for inflicting needless violence on the citizenry need to be intimidated. They need to suffer the sting of disrepute, the cold loneliness of ostracism, the gut-churning and sleep-dispelling unease that comes from wondering if there will be retaliation for their acts of officially sanctioned violence. This is particularly true in cases of this kind in which the government isn't willing to punish such conduct.

In a qualified defense of Officer Gardner, the Provo Daily Herald – which has taken a seriously statist turn since I wrote for it a decade and a half ago – made an ironically useful point when it criticized Massey for being “argumentative ... and rather dense about some obvious social mores.”

Here's a tip: when a uniformed man with a badge and a gun tells you to do something, shut up and do exactly what he says,” opined the Herald, a newspaper that serves the reddest community in Red-State America, and expressing the defining sentiment of what Lew Rockwell calls “Red-State Fascism.”

The Herald editorial collective elaborated:

“On the video, we don't see him [Massey] threatening the officer or getting out of control. But still, the officer has a badge and a gun -- and also a rule book. You can cooperate with the cops and save yourself a lot of trouble, or you can make them go by the book, as Massey apparently did without introspection. We have sympathy for law officers making traffic stops. They can turn deadly fast. Cops should not be hampered by excessive rules or second-guessing. They need the freedom to respond to each unique situation, within reason.”

The problem here, as noted above, is that Massey didn't force Gardner to “go by the book”; the “book” in this case dictated that Gardner simply hand Massey the ticket and walk away, and it certainly didn't authorize the use of a Taser in this situation. What is really interesting here is that in correctly describing a traffic stop as a situation that can “turn deadly fast,” the Herald reserved its sympathy and concern for the heavily-armed State agent – not the unarmed citizen. This is a question of “social mores,” the paper instructs us.

It is those “mores” that must change, and soon. It is the citizen who is owed reflexive deference, not the agent of the State. Even today, many police officers remember that principle and comport themselves accordingly. But when the not-so-exceptional exception occurs, the institutional bias of nearly every police agency is to defend those officers whose behavior is clearly illegal -- while quietly dismissing criminal charges, such as “resisting arrest” or “obstruction,” that result when a citizen makes a futile effort to defend himself.

In an ironic and instructive juxtaposition, Gardner's attack on Massey came at about the same time the Austin Police Department (APD) began to make amends for a remarkably similar assault by one of their own on a motorist on Thanksgiving 2006.

Officer Thomas O'Connor stopped 32-year-old Eugene Snelling (who was driving with his mother to a family Thanksgiving celebration) for driving five miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit and not having a rear license plate. Forty-five seconds later, O'Connor – who had dragged Snelling from the vehicle – shot the motorist with his Taser, despite the fact that Snelling did nothing that could be reasonably construed as a threat.

As the dashcam video of the incident documents, O'Connor was brusque and threatening when he approached Snelling's vehicle. Although he would later tell an internal affairs panel (.pdf) that Snelling refused to hand over his license and insurance information, the time index on the video proves that less than a second transpired between O'Connor's initial request and a second demand, which was delivered in a barking “command voice.”

Understandably put off by O'Connor's truculence, Snelling said, “Whoah, whoah, whoah” as he reached for his documents to comply with the demand. (As Snelling would later recount, O'Connor was "yelling from the get-go."

Salting his bellicosity with mockery, O'Connor shouted, “Not `whoa, whoa, whoa,'” reiterating the demand again. Fishing around for his documents, Snelling was simultaneously dealing with his agitated mother. Oh-- forgive me; did I mention that they're black, and that the APD has a reputation for needless brutality directed against minority citizens, and was under federal scrutiny at the time for the same?

Roughly twenty seconds after stopping Snelling, O'Connor ordered him out of the car, opening the door himself (something he was not legally authorized to do) and physically pulling the driver from his seat. At the same time, his hand went directly to his Taser before Snelling was clear of the vehicle.

Although he would later claim that he pulled the Taser because Snelling seemed to “reach his hand toward me” and “I felt threatened” -- oh, the poor dear! -- the video makes it clear that it was O'Connor's behavior that was needlessly aggressive and unmistakably threatening.

Forty-five seconds after stopping Eugene Snelling, Thomas O'Connor gives him a "ride on the Taser," while Snelling's mother watches in horror.

Predictably enough, O'Connor's immediate supervisor and the internal affairs panel initially exonerated him of wrongful use of the Taser because he “perceived a threat.” He was subsequently suspended for three days by Cathy Ellison, the interim chief of the embattled APD. O'Connor, a former Army MP (scroll down) who has reportedly used a Taser unnecessarily on at least one previous occasion, complained that his suspension was brutally unfair. (He sought to justify his aggressive attitude toward Snelling by saying, inter alia, that he has a "medical condition" -- I'm betting it's hypoglycemia -- that makes him "edgy" when he doesn't eat, as he hadn't on that day.)

Art Acevedo – who, unlike Ellison, appears to be a competent, professional officer – subsequently took over as Chief of the APD, and he recognized in O'Connor's behavior a clearly illicit and unnecessary use of potentially lethal force.

In a video message to APD officers, Acevedo put the matter quite plainly, urging them to ask themselves the following question:

“If a member of my family was stopped by a member of this police department, or any other police department, would I want them [sic] treated in the manner this suspect was treated?”

“Take a really hard look inside [yourself] and ask, `Am I really that officer?'” Acevedo continued, referring to O'Connor's conduct. “Am I treating people that way for a minor traffic violation? If you are, change your behavior.”

At least some Austin police officers – most likely, those who take seriously the idea that they are supposed to be peace officers, rather than an occupying army – responded to Chief Acevedo's challenge by apologizing to Snelling and his family.

I grant that this was a highly qualified gesture (the penitent officers emphasized that they spoke as individuals, not as representatives of the department), and one largely dictated by PR concerns. And one measure of the APD's internal sickness is found in the fact that this is the same department that fired the exemplary police officer Ramon Perez because Officer Perez, a devout Christian and stalwart Constitutionalist, refused to carry out an illegal order to use his Taser against a non-violent elderly suspect.

A complimentary caricature: Officer Ramon Perez, as depicted by an Austin cartoonist.

There is, nonetheless, some faint and fleeting cause for hope in the reform efforts undertaken by APD Chief Acevedo – particularly when contrasted with the sullen arrogance displayed by the UHP in defending the indefensible actions of Trooper Jon Gardner.

UPDATE, 12/3: They're Never Wrong

So, let's say -- and why not -- that you're with the Blytheville, Arkansas Police Department, largely because you can't find honest work.

You and your buddies are sent out to serve an arrest warrant on a guy named Travis Henderson, who failed to appear in court on a reckless driving charge.

You happen at random to come across a harmless-looking black fellow in his early 20s who just happens to be identified as Travis Henderson, albeit not the one you're looking for. This Travis Henderson -- who looks nothing like the mugshot you've been given -- is a mentally handicapped athlete who has received a lot of local publicity for his exploits in the Special Olympics.

So in spite of the fact that this is obviously not the suspect you're looking for, you brace the guy, and when he reacts as any rational person would -- that is, he takes offense at having his workout interrupted for no reason by a bunch of armed thugs -- you hit him with the Taser and arrest him for "resisting arrest" and "disorderly conduct."

Perhaps because you really didn't have reason to do any of this, you just give the guy a low-level "drive" stun, rather than the full treatment.

(Actually, Taser Incorporated has warned that using the "drive-stun" setting while placing the instrument directly against the victim's body is actually more dangerous than firing the darts and delivering the full-force shock.)

The official use-of-force report claims that this utterly gratuitous act of torture (it's called "pain compliance," which is a sanitized way of saying the same thing) is justified because, heck, the poor confused guy pulled away from a pack of three police officers who had no damn right to put their hands on him.

And according to their supervisors, the cops in this situation did the right thing. But then, they always do, no matter how many innocent people get hurt or killed.

"I just feel like ... like I've been treated like an animal or something," Mr. Henderson observed.

Not at all, Travis. There are laws against committing acts of pointless cruelty against animals, or even -- under the right circumstances -- so much as growling at a dog.

Unless, of course, the acts of animal cruelty in question are committed by those sanctified and omnicompetent Heroes in Blue. Then it's a crime to impede those acts.

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson, who really should be placed in stocks and pelted with dead cats and rotten fruit, told the local television news that he stands by the Taser assault on Travis because, you know, he was resisting.

An innocent, mentally handicapped man was resisting the bullying overtures of police officers who knew that he wasn't the suspect they were seeking -- so, of course, it's Taser Time.

The officers involved in this atrocity are Michael Tovar, Brandon Bennett, and Jeremy Joseph Ward. The Chief's name, once again, is Ross Thompson. The Department's phone number is

Dum spiro, pugno!


Zachary said...

I think that I might have a solution for all this taser abuse: an officer abuses his taser, his punishment is he gets tasered. I think corporal punishment can be more of a deterrent than a leave of abscence, or even firing. It's humiliating, and the offending officer probably wouldn't be such a tough guy after that.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting thought, Zachary, but how often are cops found to have 'misused' their tasers? I'll bet it rarely happens. Hence, the punishment you suggest would rarely, if ever, be executed.

A. Brososky said...

Sir. I am outraged by the action that Cpl. Thomas O'Connor took against Eugene Snelling. I have posted a short blog entry about this just to raise the awareness of the small group of friends and co-workers that read it. I have linked to your blog entry as a reference, I hope you don't mind.

Walter said...

This recent incident is relevant to the discussion.

A 7-month pregnant woman is thrown to the ground and Tasered on the neck.

Her crime? Failing to comply to the request of a police officer, of course.

Al Newberry said...

I have a good solution, one which they would never enact.

Every time an officer uses a taser, he or she has to submit to the use of said taser on him or herself.

I'll bet taser use would drastically decline.

Anonymous said...

Gardner & O'Connor are easy enough to get at. Dry-gulching a bent cop isn't exactly rocket science. It's what they deserve.

averros said...

There's much simpler solution to the Tazing situation - strip police officers from their exclusive right to be "wrong" when assaulting people.

Made a mistake of beating, tazing, or killing an innocent? Go to jail, just like ordinary citizens. The law should not be different for different classes of people.

Anonymous said...

What book? Mien Kampf?

Anonymous said...

Until every lowly government employee learns to fear the people more than missing their next theft (tax) funded paycheck, nothing will change.

After reviewing the video I personally feel that Mr. Massey would have been entirely justified to have shot and killed the UHP officer for his conduct.

Steve said...

The officer tasered Mr. Massey right by the side of a road. Could he have not convulsed himself into the path of oncoming traffic? Also he ordered Massey's wife back into her vehicle, threatening her with arrest should she not comply and not allowing an independent witness to view the details of the incident.

Thanks for quoting the Provo paper. I would not want to live there, given that county's propensity of abusing its citizens.


Steve said...

I noted that the officer tasered the citizen by the side of a road. Could the citizen not have convulsed himself right into the path of oncoming traffic? The officer also ordered the wife to return to her vehicle and not provide an independent witness of the details of the encounter. These sorts of things make me detest those who are supposed to be guardians of the peace.

Thanks, also, for noting the response of the Provo paper. That is the same county who arrested the woman for not watering her lawn. Whatever happened to our free country. And this among a people who supposedly treats the Constitution as a heaven-inspired document.



Anonymous said...

After cogitating on the matter for some time, I would suggest a semantic change in recognition of the ongoing transformation of the police. "Internal Security Forces" seems most appropriate in light of recent behavior and ongoing training, along with the process of introducing a national ID card.

Oh and by the way, it is now common for police forces to be tasered in training, though it seems more like it is intended to harden them to the condition of those they use it on, instead of reminding them of the Golden Rule.

jwpegler said...

I'm sorry to say that this creeping authoritarianism is only going to get worse. Just wait until the Senate passes HR 1955 and the President signs it. Dissenters like you may in for a real world of hurt. :)

Anonymous said...

As if another one is any surprise- police use taser on handcuffed woman:

Anonymous said...

The only sure way to end Taser abuse is to require each officer to endure a Tasing of twice the duration of every use he makes of his taser, each day. No exceptions, no excuses.

Before an officer pulls the trigger on his taser he should be at a point where he thinks the double tasing is a better deal than other possible avenues.

Further, the victim of the tasing should be the one to administer the double dose of tit-for-tat, with no restrictions or repercussions for their commentary during the session.

A couple iterations of this sort and society would see a rapid increase in humility among those lawmen who choose tasers first.

Anonymous said...

Steve pointed out a couple of paragraphs back that the Latter-Day Saints of Utah, at least at one time, proclaimed the Constitution to be a "Heaven-inspired document".

I used to hear this comment often when I was younger and Ezra Taft Benson was still around. Ask me, however, how often I hear that reference now? Can't think of an instance in the last 13 years (since President Benson passed away).

Try bring up such a comment in Church (as I have) and you will almost certainly be accused of bringing up controversial topics. Topics too controversial to be discussed in priesthood meeting, sacrament meeting, etc.

I seriously doubt most members of the LDS Church give much of a thought about the Constitution, the limits on government it provides for, and the freedom it is supposed to guarantee. I admit I get a good laugh out of Provo's annual July 4th festival which is known as the "Freedom Festival". I don't think the bulk of the residents of Provo, or Utah County for that matter, have any idea what freedom really means...

Thanks for letting me rant for a moment...

MOT said...

To think that the powers that be would willingly give themselves over to the unwashed masses for their sins and allow said hoi-poloi to administer justice upon them is expecting too much.

They write the "laws" and conveniently excuse themselves from any redress. This unfortunately started with the constitution of the US and that den of rats ensconced in DC. Monkey see. Monkey do.

Anonymous said...

Here is another one you may want to comment about, close to my hometown:

Nick said...


Police officers are usually tasered during training as they are pepper sprayed as well so they know how it feels.

Jozef said...

And another one, this time against a deaf man who just stepped out of his bathtub, holding a towel around his wist. Money quote: "Officers were worried about their own safety because at the time it appeared Williams was refusing to obey their commands to show his hands. That's when they shot him with a Taser."

dixiedog said...

Will, the freedom fight is already lost in my book. It probably was really lost as far back as 1865, but the poison ivy effects simply weren't being felt until the modern era. The culture is obviously a farrago and the only way a farrago is held together is by dictatorship or otherwise strong authoritarian government. It seems Pat Buchanan now sees exactly that in essence as well, although he's more restrained in his presentation I'd say. He probably already had long seen it, but he explains it best, albeit somewhat sanitized, in this particular column, IMO.

No, there was no "suspense" and ergo, no surprise in how the UHP was going to respond to the noise about Gardner. The Taser-happy paladins are merely symptoms of the ongoing cultural war within this country. These paladins come out of the 'hoods we all live in as well. IOW, how they act and behave in situations speaks volumes about us rather than themselves alone. The people need to change their mindsets and out of that aggregate, the coppers, mayors, politicians, et al, will arise the same. I don't see that happenin' anytime soon because everybody seems to be focused in on the symptoms rather than the problems.

dixiedog said...

jwpegler: I'm sorry to say that this creeping authoritarianism is only going to get worse. Just wait until the Senate passes HR 1955 and the President signs it. Dissenters like you may in for a real world of hurt. :)

IOW, your implication by saying "like you" is that "I'm not" a dissenter. Is that right, jwpegler? Remember, by your silence you approve of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 just as much as someone shoutin' in the street in support of it. So I gather that you haven't already e-mailed, written to, or phoned your senator to register your rabid opposition to H.R. 1955...and S. 1959?

BTW, H.R. 1955 passed via a landslide (404-6) roll call vote in October and is now holed up for the time being in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S. 1959, the Senate version, is in committee now as well. Both bills were introduced and sponsored by two bipartisan (bi-factional) women in fact. Senator Susan Collins, a Republicrat from Maine, sponsored S. 1959 and Representative Jane Harman, a Demublican from Californistan, sponsored H.R. 1955.


Sure, their first target will be those who have influence potential over the public by their notoriety, but eventually anyone making noise or defying "this LAW" will be targeted. We may not be well-known to the public at large, but we can be easily located by determined agents of Leviathan or any of the 50 subservient Leviathanettes for that matter.

In any event, jwpegler, consider me a dissenter and my running afoul of the Regime on "this LAW," if it's so enacted, will be no doubt inevitable.

Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom! is indeed relative...

tjcoop3 said...

When I was a child my younger sister developed the habit, as a number of children are inclined to do, of biting. One day she actually took a chunk of skin out of my arm. After caring for my immediate needs, my mom promptly bit my sister's arm rather hard, enough to leave a mark.
My younger sister never bit anyone again.
Perhaps all officers should be tased in their training to use these devices. In fact, I suggest we all buy our own and start tasing them first. After all, if a mad dog threatens to approach you isn't it rational to defend yourself before he attacks.

liberranter said...

Police officers are usually tasered during training as they are pepper sprayed as well so they know how it feels.

A very nice start, but I would go even further in suggesting that this "training" should be taken to its full conclusion. Cops should not only be tasered/maced/peppersprayed/teargassed, but should be beaten with nightsticks, blasted with water cannon, hog-tied with chain or rope, have handcuffs applied to their wrists so tightly as to cut off blood circulation, and, as a coup de grace, be gut-shot with at least a 9MM blast. Let them feel the full measure of pain and suffering that they inflict upon the citizenry! (Oh, and after being gut-shot, let the EMTs be "delayed" in their arrival at the scene, just to give the house medicine a slightly more acrid taste in the mouths of those who so love to dish it out to others.)

rick said...


the best way to deal with the abuse of tasers is for states to ban their use by law enforcement. stop trying to fight from the bottom up, and start fighting from the top down. legislate the things out of their hands, but leave them for private use by citizens.

Anonymous said...

The Usual disgusting litany of hatred towards police officers is here in force today. I don't know why so many people think that cops don't have any idea what a taser is like- they've felt it so they can carry it.

This case is really not that complicated however: the use of force, while it could have possibly have been avoided by better "verbal judo" was justified. An officer simply cannot allow someone to leave once they are under arrest. Do you really believe that every officer should allow someone to walk back to their vehicle after they've been arrested?

Their is no way for the officer to know whether or not the gentleman is going to retrieve a gun, a knife, or simply going to throw his vehicle into reverse. Tell me, once the person stuck his hands into his pockets and walked away--what should the officer have done?

Anonymous said...

A much better example of actual "tyranny" would be the columbine teacher. Free speech-- ehh not so much.

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous,if you hear sniffling from my direction it's a product of my Flu bug, not a result of being overwhelmed by pity.

The arrest was entirely unjustified, because Gardner had no right or reason to order Massey from the vehicle.

Their [sic] is no way for the officer to know whether or not the gentleman is going to retrieve a gun, a knife, or simply going to throw his vehicle into reverse. Tell me, once the person stuck his hands into his pockets and walked away--what should the officer have done?

He shouldn't have ordered the driver from the vehicle to begin with. There was NO need to do anything more than hand him the ticket and scurry away. Gardner needlessly escalated the situation and created conditions in which he -- poor,pitiful armed cretin that he was -- could plead that he was frightened that the big, bad civilian might do something mean to him.

And after reviewing the video a number of times, I've come to suspect that Gardner created the whole mess by deliberately impeding Massey's view of the 40 mph speed limit sign, and then busting him immediately after he passed by.

Massey insists that he didn't see the sign, and the video (in my view) tends to validate that claim. He says he though Gardner was letting him out of the car so he could see the sign.

I suspect this whole thing was the result of some smart-ass tax-feeder being a bit too cute. Whether or not this is the case, a genuinely professional peace officer would have handed Massey the unsigned ticket and walked away.

liberranter said...

Anonymous said...

The Usual disgusting litany of hatred towards police officers is here in force today.

Maybe if the usual disgusting behavior of those who call themselves "law enforcement officers" wasn't displayed in force, this "litany of hatred" you complain about would disappear instantly and this blog shut down for lack of raison d'etre (sorry, that's "reason for existence" for the benefit of the illiterate who make up the bulk of "law enforcement").

Shay said...

Excellent coverage of the taser stories! I loved it so much I made a post about it on my blog. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

What seems to be excluded from the many discussions, and claims and counter-claims with respect to tasers' effectiveness and potential lethality, are the claims that I heard recently on a national radio program up here in Canada that up to 100 police officers have filed compensation claims against their employers for injuries they sustained (some more serious than others) that such officers truly believe were as direct result of tasers being used on them in the process of demonstrating the tasers' effectiveness by offering or having to be tased as a requirement before being issued a taser.

Someone, especially in the media, should be looking very hard into such police officers' claims. I've written about this matter to the media and also to the federal government, and received no acknowlegement.

Therein I believe, lies gravely under-reported claims by police officers themselves, who were clearly EXPECTING to be tased, counting down the seconds before the taser's use - yet who then went on to claim to suffer serious health problems as a result.

It is one thing to be prepared and syched up to be tasered (as these 100 police officers were), and to be perhaps healthier and stronger than most citizens (as police officers tend to be), yet an entirely different thing to be tasered when one either is not prepared to be tasered (as is mostly the case when tasers are used against civilians), or cannot appreciate what this new weapon can do to one who is confronted with its use.

If 100 police officers have filed claims against their employers as a direct result of tasers being used on them, under very prepared and controlled conditions - then we need to look at that very seriously and bring this wide open into the realm of public discourse.

Anonymous said...

I live in Utah County for those of you who brought it up. About four years ago I have a Provo Cop pull me over. He told me that I had failed to yield to a pedestrian. The problem is there were no pedestrians and the cop was six blocks away from where he claimed this happened looking across two lanes of traffic in the dark. When I asked him to describe the pedestrian to me, he said, "oh she was wearing dark clothes." Naturally, I challenged it on the basis that there was no way the cop could see what he claimed. At the courthouse, the cop and the prosecutor pulled me into a little room and explained that, if I didn't take their deal to pay the city for traffic school, the cop would get on the stand and testify that he was parked right by the crosswalk in question rather than driving six block away like he was. They guaranteed that the judge would believe the officer over me.

There is an example of Utah County law enforcement and its "integrity."

Anonymous said...

I should also point out, with respect to my ticket from the lying Provo cop, that I told a friend of mine who was an officer in another department about the incident. He said that he had a Provo cop pull him over on a false claim. He showed his badge and challenged that it was false. The Provo officer apologized to him and explained that, although Provo officially claimed not to have ticket quotas, they do not receive their annual raise if they do no write a minimum number of tickets per shift. He justified that he should pull someone over falsely because he was almost finished with his shift and had not yet filled his required ticket "non"-quota.

PAtravler57 said...

“Here's a tip: when a uniformed man with a badge and a gun tells you to do something, shut up and do exactly what he says,” opined the Herald,

If I am required to follow this advise than I have no rights and I am not sovereign -I am simply a nigger.

Gardner is a coward. His actions from beginning to end stand as evidence that he is a coward.

Not only Did Massy have the right to question and refuse to sign he also had a right to his day in court. If I were Massey I would file a federal law suit and bring that coward and his brown shirt buddies to justice.

Further, the coward is also a liar he did not warn Massey he just fired.

One final point. We the people have to restore our rights. in every state you are told by the jack booted thugs that driving is a privilege. This would be true if and only if you are involved in commerce. I for one am not involved in commerce and I for one do not possess a "drivers License" and have not had a drivers license for over twenty years. I maintain that government has no constitutional authority to regulate me and that I have a liberty right to travel the common-way in my automobile in peace. I do not need their permission and will sue anyone who interfears with my liberty right to travel.

jk said...

My .45 trumps your taser, every time.

William N. Grigg said...

Hey, jk -- I know who you are! Not that you have ever been diffident about *ahem* blowing your horn, as it were....

Robert said...

The solution to the "ride the taser" insanity is to ban it outright. What an outrageous position and claim to fame for "our" law enforcement servants to take! Let's put them back in line "to serve and to protect" where they ought to be.

hyena said...

I find it interesting to read your blog on this abuse of authority. What I find interesting is... I'm am neither a Christian (or follower of any Abrahamic theology) nor anywhere near the Right. I'm so far left, I would probably consider Ralph Nader to be conservative.

I have been really on the exact same page as your opinion of these police officers. I have gone as far as to compare them to Nazi Gestapo. I completely agree, that they forget they are "peace officers" instead of an "occupying force."

Police always use this excuse that "when people commit a crime they give up their rights." But they forget that in the United States, all citizens are "innocent until proven guilty" - so we have due process and are judged in a court of law by a jury of peers... not by police who act as judges. It does not matter what they see a person do, that person is innocent until the prosecutor proves they are guilty in court.

Anyway, interesting that two people on such opposite ends of the political spectrum can fully agree on such an issue... perhaps those with true desires for liberty, freedom and well being - (sharing the same goals with different approaches) - probably agree on a majority of issues.

Anonymous said...

crazy anarchist people need to be tased including you!

powerteams said...

No matter what the situation may be the highway pirates are always justified for their out of control actions. This is because you have the monkey guarding the banana plantation. What else would you expect. Most of these thugs grew up on violent video games and swat team movies anyway.

Anonymous said...

Cops are the scum of the earth!