Friday, December 31, 2010

The Conscience of a Killer



















Eric Strausbaugh of Franklin, Wisconsin, a 34-year-old husband and father, killed himself last October 31. Friends recall that he was experiencing marital difficulties and a great deal of job-related stress. A large part of his emotional burden was the result of his actions on November 9, 2004, when he was an accomplice in the murder of Michael Edward Bell.


Strausbaugh, an officer with the Kenosha Police Department, confronted Bell in front of his home at about 2:10 a.m. He has never provided an unambiguous legal rationale for the stop: He first claimed that Bell was speeding, then later asserted that he had run a stop sign. Neither of those claims was validated by the dash cam video from Strausbaugh's cruiser (which actually shows that Strausbaugh blew through a stop sign on the way to Bell's home). 


The video shows a visibly puzzled Bell emerging from his vehicle. Within seconds Strausbaugh is literally at the 21-year-old's throat, pushing him up against the vehicle then dragging him off-camera. A brief argument ensues, in which Bell can be heard exclaiming "I know my rights!" and Strausbaugh is heard demanding that the young man submit to a field sobriety test. Near the end of the five minute video clip we can hear Strausbaugh order Bell put his arms behind his back, followed by the unmistakable sound of a Taser being fired.

Three other Kenosha police officers -- who were reportedly within a few blocks of Bell's residence -- arrived on the scene a few minutes later. Strausbaugh insisted that he called for backup because Bell "ran," but there is no evidence to corroborate that claim. 

No more than seven minutes after the confrontation began, Bell was dead from a gunshot wound to the head. He was gunned down -- after being kicked and Tasered for several minutes -- in front of his horrified mother and sister. The actual killing was carried out by Officer Albert Gonzalez, who, in the clinical language of Dr. Douglas Kelly, former Chief Medical Examiner for Fond Du Lac County, "made [a] contact wound by pressing his gun against [Bell's] head at the time the shot was fired."


When Gonzalez pulled the trigger, Bell was being restrained by at least two other police officers. Strausbaugh maintained that Bell -- a much smaller man -- somehow managed to bulldog him up against a nearby car, and grab for his gun before being shot to death. Bell supposedly accomplished this feat despite being  Tasered multiple times, as well as enduring several punches and knee strikes to the ribs inflicted by Strausbaugh and Officer Erich Weidner (who arrived within minutes of the initial stop).

As depicted in a work of dramatic fiction the Kenosha Police Department wittily calls a "reenactment" of the homicide, Officer Gonzalez supposedly shot Bell in the right side of the head, despite the fact that this would have endangered Lt. David Krueger, who was standing directly behind the victim.




The most significant problem with this story is that "it is forensically impossible" for the shooting to occur as depicted in the Kenosha PD's little skit, according to Dr. Kelly. Gonzalez couldn't have shot Bell as portrayed  "without either [Bell's] neck being extremely hyper-extended or his body being bent backwards."

Not to worry: The Kenosha PD -- after offering the most solemn assurances regarding the scrupulous accuracy of its original story -- devised two different versions of the event in an attempt to demonstrate that it was possible for Gonzalez to have shot Bell on the right side of his head. This was done despite the fact that the initial witness statements, and the location of the shell casing following the shooting, made it clear that the gunshot was fired to the left side of the victim's skull.

This detail is critical: If he had been positioned to shoot Bell from the right, Gonzalez would have been able to verify that the victim had been attempting to grab Strausbaugh's gun. During the initial deposition in a civil suit filed by Bell's family, the officers involved in the killing all claimed that the shot was fired to the left side of Bell's head. Those accounts underwent a dramatic revision once the significance of that detail was made clear; suddenly they all ardently maintained that the gunshot had been fired from the right side. 

As the version of the killing performed by the Kenosha PD's Perjury Playhouse Theater Troupe demonstrates,  a killshot fired from the left would have placed Lt. Kreuger in the line of fire. Even if Kreuger had avoided being shot, his uniform wouldn't have escaped without being decorated by skull fragments and brain tissue. Yet this wasn't the case. Furthermore, although skull fragments were reportedly found on the scene, they were never provided to Dr. Kelly for forensic analysis.

Wherever Gonzalez was positioned when he shot and killed Michael Bell, this much is certain: The officer could not have seen the young man grab for Strausbaugh's gun, because he never did so. Tests run by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab found no fingerprint or DNA evidence indicating that Bell had ever touched Strausbaugh's gun or holster. 

Too short a season: Michael Bell, two months before his murder.
The "official" review by the Kenosha PD didn't deal with any of this evidence, which was exhumed through the efforts of the victim's father, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Bell, Sr. The Department invested a total of two days before ratifying this killing as a "justified" use of lethal force.

Last March, on what would have been Michael's 27th birthday, the Kenosha City Government paid Bell's family $1.75 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit. In this settlement, unlike most others of its kind, there is no "confidentiality clause"; this permits Bell's family to use the money to pursue reforms intended to promote genuine accountability for police officers who use deadly force.


 "I'm not against law enforcement," Michael Bell, Sr. told Pro Libertate.  "I'm a retired career military officer who supervised military law enforcement personnel in my chain of command. I am on good terms with people in law enforcement here in Wisconsin, and always have been. But it's clearly improper for police to answer only to themselves when they kill someone -- particularly here in Wisconsin, where there apparently is no police accountability."

"Wisconsin is among the top five states in per-capita fatal police shootings," Bell points out. There were 23 fatal shootings by Wisconsin police, a more than 300 percent increase from the previous year. This isn't because the Badger State has a particularly large or aggressive criminal element -- at least where private sector criminals are concerned.

Seeking accountability: Michael Bell, Sr.
 Bell maintains that the "traffic stop" that ended with the death of his son was illegal, and conducted under highly suspicious circumstances. 


"Michael was scheduled to be in court later that morning to deal with the same cop who stopped him -- Officer Strausbaugh," Bell told me. "A few weeks earlier, Strausbaugh had been in a scuffle with Michael outside a local club, and he found a tiny amount of marijuana in Michael's car."

Michael's court date was the morning of November 9, and it's possible that he would have been facing some time in jail. So he "was probably spending a little time with his friends before facing what awaited him the next day," Bell continues. "But no drugs were found in his car after the shooting, and the lab tests showed that he hadn't taken any before the stop."


The test results did show that Michael had a blood alcohol content above the "legal" limit in Wisconsin; it was about the same as the BAC displayed by then-Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, who was arrested the previous February after driving a state-owned vehicle into a ditch. Michael's BAC was lower than that of James L. Palmer II, the head of the police union (the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, or WPPA) when he was arrested for DUI in December 2009. Palmer, who was attempting to help another inebriated police union official who had plowed her car into a shed after missing a turn, was visibly intoxicated when State Police troopers arrived on the scene. 


Given the prominence of the brewing industry in Wisconsin, its state bird should be the lush. As someone who spent many nights performing on the state's bar and club circuit -- an interesting environment for a teetotaler -- I can testify that over-indulgence is commonplace.
When members of Wisconsin's tax-consuming class are found among the offenders, their acts are dismissed as "lapses in judgment"; however, when a mere Mundane like Michael Bell does likewise, it can literally be treated as a capital offense.

Michael Bell occasionally displayed the indiscipline and unruly appetites typical of men his age, but he was neither a criminal nor a troublemaker. Michael's original run-in with Stausbaugh represented the first trouble of that kind he had ever experienced. Why, then, was the officer lurking in Michael's neighborhood at 2:00 a.m., apparently eager to manufacture a reason to arrest him -- just hours before Michael was due in court?


Consider this: A first-time defendant who appears in court wearing a shirt and tie and smelling of decent cologne will make a far different impression on a judge than one who shows up in an orange jail jumpsuit and reeking of delousing spray. 

Bell is aware of at least one other case in Kenosha in which a man was stopped by police the night before a court appearance on a trivial infraction. Like Michael, the man in this second incident demanded to know why he had been stopped; the officer reportedly replied that his car had a "busted tail light" -- and then shattered one of the tail lights with his baton. The man was forced to undergo a spurious sobriety test, put in jail, and presented the next morning as a DUI suspect. Presenting a defendant in that light would be a very useful way of bolstering the court credibility of a police officer called to testify as the sole witness for the prosecution.


"I suspect that there has been a pattern here in Kenosha of police targeting people the night before a court case," Bell told Pro Libertate. "This would help explain why, in Michael's case, there were two police cars within a few blocks of his home, all of them facing the same direction, at 2:00 in the morning." 

It is incontestable that the Kenosha PD perpetrated a cover-up regarding the killing of Michael Bell. What was covered up, most likely, was an ambush disguised as a traffic stop that degenerated into an outright execution-style murder. 


"Because we didn't sign a confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement, we're free to publicize the details of Michael's case as a way of raising public awareness and promoting some badly overdue reforms," Bell points out. "We've put up a half-dozen large billboards featuring a large, smoking gun and the question: `When police kill, should they judge themselves?' We've also set up a website documenting the facts of this case, including much of the video evidence."


Bell also produced a brief, hard-hitting television commercial posing the same question, but found at least some local news outlets were reluctant to run the ad. This is typical of the treatment he's received from the political establishment and much of the media.


"I've approached local and state officials to urge them to change the process, but most of them are very timid about this," Bell noted to Pro Libertate. "There is a very large and powerful police union, and they have a lot of political clout. Nobody likes to be seen as`anti-police,' even to the extent of making them subject to the same laws that govern all of us. And the police union raises a lot of money; the WPPA runs one of the nation's most successful telemarketing fundraising operations." 


Some in the priesthood of state-sanctioned violence believe that Michael Bell, Sr. is morally responsible for Officer Strausbaugh's suicide.


Despite the fact that the shooting that claimed Michael Bell's life "was investigated and ruled justified," his "family was not to be consoled," complains Lt. Dan Marcou, a SWAT trainer and former police officer from La Crosse, Wisconsin who writes a column for PoliceOne.com. "They led a relentless campaign in the courts, in the legislature, on the Internet.... The campaign was negative, accusatory and Strausbaugh and the other officers involved found themselves under siege, for nearly six years."


Regurgitating one of the several discredited versions of the Michael Bell murder, Marcou descends into rank melodrama: 

"Officer Eric Strausbaugh struggled to hold onto his weapon on November 9, 2004, when his life was in the balance and he was rescued by the back-up officer who he called to the scene for assistance. In the early morning hours of October 31, 2010, Officer Eric Strausbaugh's life hung in the balance once again. This time he decided to not call for back-up. It is a struggle that he lost."


There is a genuine human tragedy in Eric Strausbaugh's self-inflicted death. In an act of authentic Christian compassion, Michael Bell, Sr. expressed sincere regret over the death of the individual who arranged the ambush that resulted in the murder of his son. But from Marcou's perspective, it is Bell who is an accomplice in Strausbaugh's death. 


"Don't let the bastards get you down," concludes Marcou, apparently applying that epithet to Bell and other Mundanes who refuse to accept their proper station in society. Theirs is the privilege to kill; ours is the duty to die. Why can't Michael Bell's father simply accept this arrangement, and shut up?


Assuming that Marcou is correct in concluding that Strausbaugh's suicide was an outgrowth of the killing of Michael Bell, the "bastards" at whom he should direct his indignation are members of his own tribe.
Displaying the colors: A "Thin Blue Line" window decal.


In April 2005, roughly six months after Michael Bell was killed and the two-day "investigation" that cleared the officers involved in that crime, the WPPA conferred a "Meritorious Award" on Strausbaugh, Weidner, and Gonzalez for "their bravery, unselfish teamwork, and outstanding use of their training" in carrying out the gangland-style slaying. The citation didn't even bother to mention Michael Bell by name, describing him as an uppity Mundane supposedly notorious for his "history of police resistance."


In addition to being placed on a pedestal by the local armed tax-feeder union, Strausbaugh and his cohorts were extolled as a model for police state-wide. As Marcou points out, "Among Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officers, the incident became a guide on how to respond when a suspect was attempting to disarm their partner." 


If Eric Strausbaugh -- despite what we might assume on account of his behavior on the morning of November 9, 2004 -- retained even the residue of a conscience, he would have known that he was an accomplice to murder and party to a criminal deception. Yet his professional peers -- people who purport to be the "Finest" in their respective communities -- treated him as a hero and treated his criminal acts as laudatory. His conscience would have demanded that he take responsibility for what he had done. However, his professional survival, however, required that he continue the charade. This is a formula for self-destruction.


Contrary to what we're told to believe, law enforcement is not a particularly dangerous occupation, at least when measured in terms of acts of violence directed at police officers. However, police are frequently a lethal danger to themselves: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, each year "twice as many cops ... commit suicide as are killed in the line of duty." Significantly, another Kenosha police officer killed himself just weeks prior to Strausbaugh's suicide.


Former Maryland police officer Robert Douglas, executive director of the National P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation, describes suicide as "the number one killer of law enforcement today. Accuracy is elusive in documenting the extent of the problem, because it is common to misrepresent suicides as "accidental discharges" or other lethal mishaps in order to avoid liability issues. 

What this means, of course, is that our system of "public safety" is built on a population of armed functionaries invested with the power of discretionary killing, many of whom are so emotionally unstable that they pose a potentially lethal threat even to themselves. 


Those who insist that the State's agents of official coercion must answer only to themselves aren't unduly troubled by the needless death of mere Mundanes. Given that they are all but inconsolable when one of their own meets an untimely end, they should contemplate this fact:  If Eric Strausbaugh had been compelled to take moral responsibility for his actions, he might be alive today. 




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Dum spiro, pugno!




41 comments:

Strawman said...

Thanks for this story. Hadn't heard of this particular case but it seems that these type incidents are becoming more common than they should. In my opinion, local law enforcement needs to be reminded that they are recruited from the population at large and when the Federal government issues an edict, it will be local law enforcement on the front lines. IOW, they should remember the community they come from and act accordingly. When the SHTF the Fed's won't protect them and their families.

Anonymous said...

The days of "peace officers" has been changed to "law enforcement officers". A huge difference and a classic example was peace officers dealing with petty stuff on the spot. Making some teenagers pour their beer out in the grass. Today, a law enforcement officer and the parasites in the system would do everything they could to make a teenager pay and pay dearly. This week at the Boise airport a young woman was found to have one gram of meth. She is now at the Ada County jail on a felony charge that will cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in this bad economy. Whom is serving whom, surely not the best interest of the taxpayers. When shoplifters who steal a $15 t-shirt and don't have $15 on them are charged with felony burglary that will cost the taxpayers many, many ten's of thousands of dollars. The winners in these kinds of situations are always the people who work for government.
What I see is, many states are going broke because unionized government employees endless benefits. My hunch is the system has geared itself to bring in hard core goons that are now seen as law enforcement officers and no long peace officers. These goons will brutally attack citizens and have a demeanor of Us vs Them. The citizens will pick up on this demeanor and see the actions of these goons and will fear and go along to get along.
The day has come where the unionized parasites have become the masters of the productive citizens. The High Court ruled that government employees had a First Amendment right to unionize. Another classic example of a lack of understanding, of the Constitution by other government employees.

"The Turtle" said...

Cops disgust me. The more I learn about individual cases involving fucktard cops like this...god, the police state is here.

http://saynotocops.blogspot.com

Lemuel Gulliver said...

It is highly amusing to me to see the "thin blue line" window decal, (the blue line, I notice, being somehwat fat, like most American police constables,) because these are the colors of bumper stickers and window decals promoting Gay S&M (Sado-Masochism), namely, black-and-blue, (the colors of bruised flesh.)

How very appropriate.

In more ways than one, I'm sure.

The Gay S&M aficionados, however, DO lighten up their bumper stickers with the addition of a superimposed little red heart in the upper corner. The police window decal, however, is, fittingly, heart-less.

This is too rich! What comes next? Will police cruisers next be sporting rainbow stickers, or swastikas, or portraits of Our Dear Leader? Or mottoes such as "Arbeit Macht Frei"?

Ah, America, what a country! Unlike my native Britain, where the constables do not affix decals and bumper stickers promoting deviant behavior to their vehicles, here in America there is never a dull moment.

- Lemuel Gulliver

PS: It is coincidental, I'm sure, but Supervisor Dan White, the homophobic murderer of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Gay S.F. Supervisor Harvey Milk, also committed suicide after a few years of being excoriated for his crimes. (He was let off by a jury who believed the victims deserved to die, Milk for being gay, and Moscone for allowing him to keep his job.) One wonders when or if Dominatrix Alberto Gonzalez will join her fellow murderers in doing the right and proper thing, and use her massive lead-ejaculating sexual toy to cleanse the planet of her utterly superfluous existence.

- LG

PPS: I can confidently make a prediction for all time, and am willing to place good money on it with any and all comers: The KPD's little home movie supposedly re-enacting this cold-blooded murder, complete with overfed beefy thugs of suitably simian behavior** and ample butts, will NEVER, ever, this year any any other year, win an Oscar for Best Drama Of The Year.

Any takers?

Come on, you might as well lose your money now. Spend it quickly - take my bet - you never know when a Dominatrix of the Law might end your sad existence for you. Could be today, could be tomorrow.

- Friendly Lemuel.

**PPPS: When I look at that video, with all the screeching, howling, shouting and excitement, I am reminded of nothing so much as one of Jane Goodall's videos of the chimpanzees of Gombe ganging up to murder a member of a rival tribe of chimps. The similarities are scary.

Darwin was wrong. There IS no such thing as evolution. At least not as far as American police are concerned.

- LG

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Anonymous @ 10:43 AM, and all my fellow peasants:

All kidding and humor aside, it is not a joke, unless one thinks the descent of the world into slavery, and the deaths of billions of human beings, is "funny".

Anonymous, before you rant about unions, which is like taking offense at butterflies, you absolutely NEED to look at this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU

It is long, about 2-1/2 hours, but it is the most useful time you will spend this year. Don't be put off by the dramatic intro which lasts about 3-5 minutes. Stick with it past that point and you will not be able to stop watching.

Mr. Grigg, I recommend you watch it too.

The economic collapse we are experiencing is not an accident. Nor was 9-11 a simple terrorist operation. All of it, going back to the assassination of JFK, RFK, and MLK, has been deliberately engineered and arranged to take away our liberties, suck us dry of money, (they go together - those of us who dream of an economic insurrection, dream on - they are putting in place surveillance and suppression mechanisms to ensure it can never happen,) and turn us ALL into a global species of ant-like slaves.

Those who work for the system, whom and which Anonymous dislikes so intensely, are victims too. They do not WANT to see that they are working towards their own and our enslavement. The video explains how they have been hoodwinked, along with everyone, rich, middle-class, or poor, in whose heart there still exists the hope of a better life.

You think I'm joking? No, this time I'm not. Do yourslef a favor and watch the video. (BTW, they have also made and posted a sequel, which you will see there on YouTube. Don't bother with it - it's OK, but not nearly as informative as the first one.)

Happy New Year! (A sincere wish, if somewhat doubtful.)

- Lemuel Gulliver.

MoT said...

So whatever happened to the shoot first ask questions later "gunman" Gonzalez? Seems that he pulled the trigger so hasn't he been put on the spot for murder? And if not then why?

MoT said...

Saw the dash video from the Bells site and clearly the cop was harassing the man from the beginning. First he demands that he get back in the car! Why? When Mr. Bell protests he then gets manhandled to the cruiser, conveniently out of sight, then later gets zapped by a taser all the while the cop yells orders at him. Now just how in the hell does someone "comply" with voltage shooting through their body? I for one don't believe in "Police Reform" any more than in getting sexual advice from a rapist. They don't need training what they need is to go to jail and for their departments to be destroyed. These psychopaths cannot be trusted and those who defend them are likewise criminals and fellow travelers.

liberranter said...

PS: It is coincidental, I'm sure, but Supervisor Dan White, the homophobic murderer of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Gay S.F. Supervisor Harvey Milk, also committed suicide after a few years of being excoriated for his crimes. (He was let off by a jury who believed the victims deserved to die, Milk for being gay, and Moscone for allowing him to keep his job.)

Not to mention that White was also an ex-cop.

liberranter said...

May God bless Michael Bell, Sr. and the rest of the Bell family and keep them safe. I have no doubt that Wisconsin's Fat Blue Line Gangbangers already "have a contract" out on him, not for exposing their crimes, but for attempting to hold them accountable like any other class of common felons. The former can be laughed off, but the latter, if successful, represents an insurmountable threat to the porcine status quo and is an act unforgivable for any mere Mundane.

Anonymous said...

Lemuel Gulliver, I was sticking to the topic of what Will wrote. The tool that has separated the citizens from government employees was the unions, for starters. Now its the economy because they/government law enforcement officers have no way of making a living outside of their government job in this economy. Thats why in the story the killer ended up killing himself. He has no way of making a living he once did because cop skills are just that and produce nothing that can be sold on the open markets. Rent a cops are very low paying jobs. So his out was the big out for a coward who couldn't deal with having to pave his own way and let the chips fall where they may. There are many like him and thats the reason for the high stats on the topic.
Do I see the big picture? Oh yes and its far more than most folks have any idea. But lets move away from that of a minute. Here in the great state of Idaho, the Gray Wolf was put in place along with the states of WY and MT. I used to think that liberals believed the Second Amendment was about hunting. So they put the Gray Wolf in to destroy hunting. That thought of mine change when in CA water was shut off to land that produces half of all fruits, nuts and vegetables over a 1 1/2 inch minnow. It hit me than that the Gray Wolf was put in place to destroy the natural food source in 3 big Patriot states. Yes food will be a weapon for the government. History repeats itself once again.
The masterminds behind all of this produce fiat money and want to rule the world. So putting in place goons that the citizens fear is par for the course. Funny you should bring up the homosexual and violent acts of S&M. Because Hitler's Brown Shirts were very violent homosexuals. Sure is strange how the players of history that murdered millions all seem to have gone to the same school and studied from the same textbooks.
Yet in the big picture man controlling man in violent ways is only a small part of the big picture. My question to you in return is, what do you think UFO's are? The answer is falling angles and that plays into the big picture more than you may know.
Sir, you and yours have a good coming New Year. Best to you and yours as well Will. Maybe we can meet again as speakers at another Tenth Amendment rally. :)

GunRights4US said...

I read some of the comments underneath Lt Marcou's column. The lockstep, us-against-them mentality that is on display there is positively frightening. These cops may as well have been SS troops in another life!

Clearly, in 2011, ANY contact with LEO can be fatal for ANYONE.

Wendy Weinbaum said...

As a Jewess in the US, I say it is time for all REAL Americans to put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!! Remember that America wasn't won with a registered gun!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is why Wisconsin has the strong history of victim disarmament.

"But the simple truth--born of experience--is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people."
Judge Alex Kozinski - United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Anonymous said...

Will,

Reading your columns on the dangerous trends in law enforcement for the last few years has caused me to question the longtime position of your former employer regarding Civilian Review Boards(CRB).

* In what ways has your thinking changed regarding CRBs?
* Are there any aspects of the CRB concept that you still find troublesome?
* What is your opinion of Michael Bell's proposal? (It seems to be an improvement, though I'm always suspicious centralizing power and oversight.)

Thanks,

David S

Marty said...

thanks Will- this deserves a wider audience.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that many of these police officers suicides are nothing more than the officer realizing that all of the damage that he has done is completely against the idea that he had when he first though of being a cop. They go into it thinking that they are going to make things better (at least some of them do) and then they find out that the environment inside the police department is one of competition, you only get ahead by putting people behind bars and getting convictions, so they start to play the game so that they can get ahead to the place they feel they need to be to be able to do the good they want to. However, the game changes them, they lose their sight on their goal to do good and instead turn to doing well (for a cop), and this requires them to do things that put the mundane in an unfair spot so that the court convicts them. This gets out of hand and then the officer realizes what he has done and the guilt it causes is too much for him to atone for or live with so he chooses to kill himself. Either that or the fear of punishment for getting caught for what he has done to get ahead pushes him to ensure he cannot be punished by taking his own life. Either way it is very similar to what many mass shooters go through, look at the number of those situations that end in the shooter taking his own life. There is something about the human psyche that will lead many people to kill themselves when they realize what horrors they have commited, horrors that they probably though at the time were the best course of action.

Anonymous said...

I dont know which I find more disturbing : the cold blooded murder of this young man or the myriad number of yarns spun by the killer's colleagues concerning the chain of events surrounding that incident.
The modern police profession is truly a cultish fraternity packed with many mentally unstable people. Many are filled with delusional ideas of grandeur ( bordering on Messianic) concerning the role that they play in our society. I mean seriously a group of people that refer to themselves in the second person as a "Sheepdog" and those outside of their club as "the sheep" is not a group that is mentally sound.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. GRIGG ~
That was good “stuffs” – thanks for composing and posting it!

I also recently weighed in on the topic of “law enforcement” officers with a blog bit titled C.O.P.S. : Corrupt Officers “Protecting & Serving”. That’s a link to it, just in case you’re interested and have the time to take a look.

I’m not the excellent writer you are, but I’m just as opinionated. And that’s not the first time I’ve voiced my opinion about “The Cop Situation”, but it will probably be my last as I intend to go out of the blogging business within the next 6 weeks.

When law-abiding American citizens such as yourself, and me, and some of your other educated readers here have major issues with the personnel on police forces, it’s more than obvious that the problem lies with the police forces.

A Happy New Year to you, sir!
Bless And Be Blessed.

~ D-FensDogg
‘Loyal American Underground’

Anonymous said...

at Anon @ 4:22,

i think you have it wrong. i support what Vox Day says about people being "changed by the job". it's BS. jobs do not change people. what the job has brought out is what was already in the person. the job did not put it there. every person has the opportunity [on the job] to stand for what is right, or go along with what is wrong.

the argument you are making sounds like, "the devil made me do it". i don't think that .....i know that no one who goes before God is going to get into heaven by saying that his job made him a bad person. it's also like saying, "i'm a victim of my environment", or "i was born this way".

it ain't gonna happen.

HOWEVER, i think we are on the same sheet of music in that these officers, down the road, realize that what they've done was wrong, and that truth eats at them to the point where they cannot take it anymore.

rick

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I must strongly disagree with the idea that Strasbaugh's suicide was a tragedy of any kind. Regarding it as such would be akin to mourning my rotten, stinking garbage when it is conveyed to the local dump. Maybe if and when these vicious animals are effectively leashed, hobbled, and muzzled, I might reconsider compassion toward one of them. Until that time, I regard his suicide as nothing more or less than richly earned penance on his part, and a very small victory for freedom for the rest of us. If a couple of million of his comrades and compatriots would emulate his action, we might actually be on our way to experiencing a renaissance of Liberty worth celebrating.

William N. Grigg said...

David S. asked:

"*In what ways has your thinking changed regarding CRBs [Civilian Review Boards]?"

David, that question is difficult for me to answer, because I never fully embraced the idea that CRBs were as objectionable as the JBS has long maintained. It's always seemed obvious to me that if we're going to have a "professional" police force they're going to have to be accountable to the public.

The JBS objection to CRBs never made much sense to me. Sure, it's always been a possibility that leftist organizations could stack a local review board and "handcuff" the police, but I'm hard-pressed to find an instance in which that's actually happened -- and, as Scott Horton would put it, the counter-factual examples are abundant.

"* Are there any aspects of the CRB concept that you still find troublesome?

* What is your opinion of Michael Bell's proposal? (It seems to be an improvement, though I'm always suspicious centralizing power and oversight.)"

I've come to the conclusion that the root of the problem is the existence of the paramilitary law enforcement system itself. CRBs tend to be, at best, institutional placebos. Until and unless we reconfigure the system at an elemental level, "oversight" measures aren't likely to do us any good.

liberranter said...

CRBs tend to be, at best, institutional placebos. Until and unless we reconfigure the system at an elemental level, "oversight" measures aren't likely to do us any good.

Exactly.

I often ask myself the following "chicken-or-the-egg" question: Do cops get away with (literal) murder because police forces have become Frankenstein monsters beyond the control of their Ruling Class creators, or are they running amok, creating murder, mayhem, and terror, because they are the PERFECT instrument of Ruling Class control and are doing so at the behest of the Overlords? Either way, CRBs never have done and never will do anything whatsoever to address, let alone solve, the problem of OOC cops, for two simple reasons. First, none of these bodies are truly independent, nor are they endowed with any binding powers to sanction or punish offenders. Second, ALL such bodies are inherently political, controlled by the same political machine that "controls" police forces and are packed with appointees favored by the very Power Elite for whom the cops under review serve as "muscle." For these reasons and many others that have probably already been raised, to lend CRBs any credibility whatsoever is an exercise in pure political theater.

MoT said...

@liberranter.... "pure political theater".

Exactly. Purely to lay a false balm on the battered minds, bodies and pocket books of the already abused public.

MoT said...

Not about this particular case, but I came across a story today where there the cops opened fire on a trailer in a park in Ohio after one of their own went down from a shotgun blast. Full details are still forthcoming but I'm amazed at how they're quite eager to pump round after round without regard to their surroundings. Guess if you got hit by a stray round it would "suck" to be you. Huh?

rctlfy said...

"What this means, of course, is that our system of "public safety" is built on a population of armed functionaries invested with the power of discretionary killing, many of whom are so emotionally unstable that they pose a potentially lethal threat even to themselves."

An otherwise fair and informative article but for your sill psychological analysis.

liberranter said...

An otherwise fair and informative article but for your sill [SIC] psychological analysis.

Your statement compels me to ask you if you're a current or recently retired/resigned/ cashiered cop. If your answer is no, then I'm compelled to ask what country you live in. Either you are not a resident of the UFSA or you are an inmate of some institution within the UFSA that has isolated you from contact with society at large for at least the last two decades. There is simply no other logical explanation for anyone who would take issue with William's self-evidently spot-on conclusion.

rctlfy said...

I’m not involved with law enforcement in any capacity and I have no clue what the acronym UFSA represents. I absolutely agree that police abuse is an underreported issue and it appears the officer in question stalked the victim. How does that make all police officers emotionally unstable?

Anonymous said...

To rdtify at 6:02 PM:

Please explain how WNG's statement, "... many of whom...", means 'all police officers'.

rctlfy said...

The complete sentence of "built on a population" and "Many" implies a large number. I would dispute his profiling if he claimed a percentage of sociopathic behavior that is not equal to civilian population.

If you or anyone is so confident in your assertion, then I would assume you have studies to cite your opinion; otherwise it is daft.

Anonymous said...

Will,

Thanks for your response Re: civilian review boards.

David S.

Anonymous said...

To rctfy:

" ... implies a large number." still does not equal 'all'.

Since we are told by our lords and masters that every policeman is carefully screened for mental stability, the number of emotionally disturbed police should be well below that of the general population. How many other professions lose twice as many of their ranks to suicide than to job hazards?

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rctlfy said...

"One of the largest studies in the area was conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 1995, which concluded that there is a higher suicide rate in the medical field. But beyond that, NIOSH researchers said, the picture is equivocal: Often the studies are only of one geographic area, sometimes they have methodological problems, and sometimes they contradict each other"

http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan01/suicide.aspx

I showed you mine,show me yours;-)

Anonymous said...

To rctify at 7:29,

Meaningless studies that admit to nothing. One's Bunkum Detector should have gone off when the 'access to firearms as causative factor' card was played (similar to the 'access to trigger-finger' correlation). No answer regarding the overlords' claim that police are carefully scrutinized for mental stability and thus should be significantly above the general population in this regard.

The police have for years claimed that their higher than average rates of alcoholism are induced by job stress and thus justify earlier than average retirement/disability payments. Is not alcoholism an indicator of mental instability?
Someone has to be a little nuts to be willing to detain, hurt, or even kill over someone else's possession of liquids, plants, firearms (not being used in the commission of a crime) and myriad other victimless crimes.

rctlfy said...

Anyone who uses the word "Bunkum" is old enough to know alcoholism is an indicator of heredity. Don't confuse tactics with facts-negotiators are like politicians and hookers.

I'm totally against drug offenses; it's a personal choice and I don't even drink. I suspect a lot of cops would be happy to see victimless crimes dropped from their enforcement duty.

"Meaningless studies that admit to nothing" Show me yours then. Back your argument with science, not supposition.

Anonymous said...

To rctify at 4:53,

"...alcoholism is an indicator of heredity. Don't confuse tactics with facts-negotiators are like politicians and hookers."
So which is it - do cops have above average rates of alcoholism, or do they just use it as a bargaining chip? How do people with a hereditary propensity just happen to gravitate to police work?
" ... lot of cops would be happy to see victimless crimes dropped from their enforcement duty." Yet they still enforce these rotten laws because "they are just doing their jobs."
"Meaningless studies that admit to nothing" Show me yours then. Back your argument with science, not supposition."
When your 'studies' are mere bagatelles, then there is no science, just opinion. I base my agreement with WNG (he was being too tactful) on the rampant and open police criminality documented for decades in news reports and now the Internet (thank God for it).
Past reports of such as the Rodney King beating, the BART murder (and subsequent wrist-slap for the murdering policeman, whose fellow officers tried to steal cell phone evidence of the deed), and centgov police involvement at Waco should inform all tax-cattle that the Abu Ghraib/Bagram monsters are loose across the land.
Still unable to make 'many' mean 'all'. Still unable to address previous statements regarding police screening for mental stability.

rctlfy said...

No, cops do not have higher rates of alcoholism, members of the service industry win that curse. Unions bullshit all the time to avoid concessions, and twist statistics/studies to achieve their goals. Police enforce the rotten laws because it is their sworn duty. My opinion was based on the largest study done to date, your opinion is based on personal prejudices, and you dismiss a study with anecdotal evidence? Wow!

I give you "all" was overstated. Mea Culpa. Emotional disorders, and sociopathic behavior are difficult to screen.

Thanks for the replies; I've written a blog on this discussion.

Marc said...

Great post, I followed some of your links to Policeone.com. After reading the comments on some of their stories, we are in a Doomed. After reading the comments it's clear that all of the think it is their right to treat the tax payers any way they please.

Something has to change.

Malcolm said...

These types of murders are typical of Wisconsin and Kenosha in particular. I've lived in wisconsin for nearly 25 years including 15 years in Kenosha. I can definitely say from experience the fat blue-uniformed pigs in Kenosha are nothing more than a band of criminal gangsters hell bent on wringing as much wealth from the few productive people that live there. I went to middle and high school with Mike and although he wasn't exactly the best behaved student on the face of the earth, he certainly never engaged in any activities worthy of summary execution like what he received at the hands of KPD. Will, I'm willing to bet the farm that if you did a little investigating, you'd find almost an infinite number of police brutality stories from municipal Pig departments up and down Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore: Pleasant (pffft!) Prairie, Kenosha, Mount Pleasant (pffft, again!),Racine, Caledonia, Oak Creek, Franklin, etc. ad nauseum. Also, check out the various sheriff's departments. There are numerous tax-feeding parasites that do little more than hide laying in wait for the next victim they can shake down. I understand that this problem is everywhere across the nation, but Wisconsin seems to have many more than their fair share of criminal syndicates operating as government enforcers and the corruption is at ALL levels (municipal, county and state). They have a particularly large appetite for harassing blacks and hispanics and any whites that happen to keep company with blacks or hispanics. As an young, black man living in Racine, I'm constantly on high alert for the Pigs. Since I work third shift, I do most of my driving at night. I pass through five municipalities in two counties on the way to work and if I DON'T see at least five DIFFERENT "law encorcement" officers camped out waiting for any pretext to start harassing law-abiding individuals, it's usually because they've got some poor soul hemmed up on the side of one of their dark, deserted roads shaking him down. As much as I hold out hope that the silver lining in this dark cloud of a financial melt-down will be that the Pigs will no longer be paid in money of any value, thus leading to their mass attrition, hope is the ONLY thing I hold. If I held my breath, I would have died long ago. Keep up the good work Will!

JRB said...

This suicide is justice. Good riddance, dirty cop.

William N. Grigg said...

If the dirty cop had been held accountable, it might have been possible to save the man.