Monday, August 11, 2008
Support Your Local Rape Gang
Did these guys really tease an 18-year-old boy about his looks? Confessed jail rape facilitator Clinton Shawn Sydnor (left), and his accused co-conspirators Wesley Lanham (middle) and Shawn Freeman (right).
If you can stand to, take a careful look at the faces at the top of this page.
Do they inspire respect, confidence, a quiet sense of gratitude for public service courageously rendered? Or do they look like the kind of human detritus one would find lurking in the vicinity of the local Junior High, leering at underage girls (or boys)?
How would your answer change if, instead of being seen in a police mug shot, each of the individuals above were swaddled in a government-issued police costume and clothed in the supposed majesty of the "law"?
You see, these three guys, who are accused of conspiring in the jailhouse rape of an 18-year-old high school student, are former deputies in the employ of the Grant County, Kentucky Sheriff's Department. Sgt. Clinton Shawn Sydnor, the fetching item on the left, was the highest-ranking officer on duty that night at the Grant County Detention Center, located in tiny Williamstown, Kentucky.
Sydnor has entered a guilty plea and agreed to testify against the other two, Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman, in consideration of a reduced sentence, most likely 15 years in prison. The others, who insist that they're being used as scapegoats, confront the prospect of life sentences.
According to the indictment, these three decided to have a little fun with a terrified teenager who was arrested and jailed on Valentine's Day 2003 for driving 35 mph over the speed limit and attempting to elude the police.
These heroes in the cause of public order -- each of whom apparently considers himself the beau ideal of masculinity -- taunted the kid about his physical appearance: He reportedly weighed about 120 lbs., had blond highlights in his hair, and wore satin underwear.
Living down to every cinematic stereotype of the dim-witted, in-bred rural prison guard (stereotypes have to come from somewhere, I suppose), the deputies told the young boy he'd make a good "girlfriend" for some of the other inmates.
Clothing their sadism in an imbecile's notion of pedagogy, the deputies decided to teach a "lesson" to the boy -- who was, remember, in police custody because of a minor traffic infraction: They invited a group of convicted felons to run a train on the terrified kid. Rather than placing him in the "drunk tank," as standard procedure would require, they threw him into a remote holding area with 14 feral convicts, locking the door behind him amid predatory taunts: "Come in here, girlfriend" -- "Bring him to me!" -- "Happy Valentine's Day!"
The victim was seized by the other inmates, stripped, taken to a shower, and raped until he passed out. When he regained consciousness, he began to scream for help -- only to be grabbed again and forced to perform oral sex on the other prisoners.
It's impossible to believe that specimens like those pictured above -- certified members of the Epsilon Semi-Moron caste, Huxley's taxonomy -- could have locked up the kid with a pack of recidivist felons without knowing exactly what would happen to the victim. They knew he would be sexually violated, physically traumatized, emotionally shattered. That's the result they were seeking, because the "lesson" they wanted to teach to this helpless kid was this: You are the State's bitch.
Granted, to the extent that the cerebral activity called "thought" took place within the craniums of these tax-subsidized perverts, they almost certainly didn't think of their actions in such expansive terms. Instead, they most likely acted on an atavistic tribal impulse to get this uppity kid to show some "respect for the uniform." But this is merely a particularized application of the general tendency on the part of those who exercise State-authorized coercion.
It wasn't just the three cretins pictured above who conspired in this hideous crime. Other deputies were on duty, and at least some of them played a hands-on role. All of them must have known what was going on, and since nobody tried to stop it, everyone on that shift must be considered an accomplice.
And this brings us to a point that has to be driven home with the pitiless force of a jackhammer: It is the guilty, collusive silence of good police officers that makes possible the ever-accumulating atrocities of the "bad" ones.
Had one conscientious deputy exclaimed, "You can't do that!" as the others prepared to feed the teenager to a rape gang, it most likely wouldn't have happened.
At least one deputy, a female guard, suffered a fit of conscience so severe that it caused her to have a seizure. She asked Freeman to drive her home, a fact from which he is trying to wring an alibi. That effort isn't likely to succeed, since the female guard has pointed out that the seizure was a reaction to her knowledge of what was happening to the boy -- a fact of which Freeman was likewise aware. She was also reacting to a threat I'll describe anon.
While the victim was being raped, those who facilitated that crime did what police in such circumstances always do. They lied, devising a cover story -- namely, that a plugged floor drain in the "drunk tank" made it necessary to confine the teenager with a pack of felons. They also falsified shift logs by reporting frequent visits to check on the welfare of the victim, when not a single such visit took place.
And Sgt. Sydnor, the ringleader of this criminal conspiracy, intimidated one would-be whistleblower -- the above-mentioned female guard -- by threatening her with harm unless she lied to support the cover story. Although the perpetrators disagree about allocating the blame, the facts are undisputed. The boy and his family sued the County and won a $1.4 million settlement. Three of the inmates involved in the attack have been prosecuted and convicted of the crime.
But this matter is being tried in federal court as a "civil rights" matter, rather than locally, as it should, because a state grand jury refused to indict any of the guards who were on duty the night of the gang-rape. I suspect, but cannot presently demonstrate, that this outcome reflects an absence of zeal on the part of the prosecutor, which is generally how things turn out in cases of this kind.
This was not the only case of deputy-abetted jail rape reported at the Grant County Detention Center (GCDC).
Just a few months prior to the Valentine's Day episode, deputies arranged for an inmate with a mental disability to experience prison rape: They locked him up with a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and claimed, falsely, that the mentally handicapped inmate had sexually molested a child. This could have led to homicide, given that child molesters are regularly beaten and killed behind bars. In this case, the victim was "only" raped and forced to perform oral sex on another prisoner.
Yes, it does look like a Government School: The Grant County Detention Center.
The tax-fattened sadists at that brand-new facility (it opened in 2000, and received a 50-bed upgrade last year) routinely used criminal violence to "teach a lesson" to a prisoner.
In May 2003, 36-year-old Todd Cox, a prominent businessman from nearby Pendleton County, was arrested and booked on a charge of driving while impaired. He reported that after he dropped his coat and belt on the floor, rather than in a plastic bag, he was attacked by several guards, who handcuffed him, dragged him out of range of the jail's video camera, knocked him off his feet, and repeatedly kicked him while he was face-down on the concrete floor.
Grant County Jailer Steve Kellam.
The videotape of the incident, which was material evidence in both a civil action and a potential criminal case, was reviewed by Grant County Jailer Steve Kellam, and then conveniently lost. Significantly, the county prosecutor reacted to Cox's allegations by dropping the drunk driving case, insisting that the beating Cox received was "punishment enough."
No, it wasn't "punishment": It was a crime, a brutal crime of violence committed against someone merely accused of committing a crime against "public order." Given the facts reviewed above, there's reason to believe that the crimes committed by the guards at the GCDC are more serious than the offenses charged against most of the detainees.
And the same is almost certainly true of many, if not most, of the facilities operated by the Prison-Industrial Complex. Despite the theatrical outrage being directed at China for its domestic repression, and Russia for being run by Siloviki (that is, Soviet secret police retreads), it is the United States of America that has the largest prison population of any nation on earth. And unlike China or Russia, the Regime ruling us is bent on exporting the blessings of its prison system beyond its borders.
A little more than a year after Sydnor and his colleagues arranged for their little tutorial-via-gang rape, the world was stunned and sickened by photographs of U.S. military reservists, many of them prison guards in their "civilian" careers, taking demonic satisfaction in the sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
Those revelations prompted the organs of official opinion to exclaim, in near-unison, "Where, oh where, did our men and women in uniform learn to do such horrible things?"
The chances are good that they spent a lot of time practicing at the nearest government revenue center called a "jail" or "prison." And the chances are just as good that, as you read these words, a new crop of torturers is refining the same skills.
(Thanks to Wendy McElroy and "CLS" at Classically Liberal for their work on this story.)
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Dum spiro, pugno!