Thursday, February 20, 2014

Support Your Local Slave Patrol

Phyllis Bear, a convenience store clerk from Arizona, called the police after a customer threatened her. The disgruntled patron, seeking to purchase a money order, handed Bear several bills that were rejected by the store’s automated safe. Suspecting that the cash was counterfeit, Bear told him to come back later to speak with a manager.

The man had left by the time the cops arrived, and Bear was swamped at the register. Offended that she was serving paying customers rather than rendering proper deference to an emissary of the State, one of the officers arrested Bear for “obstructing government operations,” handcuffed her, and stuffed her in the back of his cruiser.

A few minutes later, while the officer was on the radio reporting the abduction, his small-boned captive took the opportunity to extract one of her hands from the cuffs, reach through the window, and start opening the back door from the outside. The infuriated captor yanked the door open and demanded that the victim extend her hands to be re-shackled. When Bear refused to comply, the officer reached into the back seat and ripped her from the vehicle, causing her to lose her balance and stumble into the second officer.

Bear, who had called the police in the tragically mistaken belief that they would help her, was charged with three felonies: “obstruction” – refusal to stiff-arm customers in order to attend to an impatient cop; “escape” – daring to pull her hand out of the shackles that had been placed upon her without lawful cause; and “aggravated assault” – impermissible contact with the sanctified personage of a police officer as a result of being violently dragged out of the car by the “victim’s” comrade.

The first two charges were quickly dropped. During a bench trial, the prosecution admitted that the arrest was illegal. Yet the judge ruled that Bear – who had no prior criminal history -- was guilty of “escape” and imposed one year of unsupervised probation. That conviction was upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which ruled that although the arrest was unwarranted and illegal, Bear had engaged in an illegal act of “self-help” by refusing to submit to abduction with appropriate meekness.

Decades ago, when Arizona was a more civilized place, the state “followed the common-law rule that a person may resist an illegal arrest,” the court acknowledged.  But that morally sound and intellectually unassailable policy was a casualty of what the court called “a trend … away from the common-law rule and toward the judicial settlement of such disputes.” Referring to the act of unlawfully seizing another human being and holding that person by force as a “dispute” is a bit like calling assault rape a “lover's quarrel.”

“Permitting an individual to resort to self-help to escape from an illegal arrest, rather than seeking a remedy through the legal system, would invite violence and endanger public safety,” pontificated the court -- carefully ignoring the fact that arrest is a violent injury, and illegal arrest is nothing more than an abduction. “The same public policy that permits a conviction for resisting arrest even if the arrest is unlawful should authorize conviction for escape despite the unlawfulness of the underlying arrest.”

Furthermore, it’s not necessary for a police officer to explain why the arrest was made; according to the court, “only the fact of [an] arrest is a necessary element” for the victim to be charged with “escape.” In an earlier case, the same court ruled that a woman who jerked her arms away from a police officer committed the supposed crime of resisting arrest. Anything other than immediate, unconditional submission to the demands of a costumed enforcer is treated as a criminal offense – even when those demands are not valid as a matter of law.

From that perspective, all citizens are incipient slaves, subject to detention, abduction, and other abuse at the whim of uniformed slave-keepers.

A slave is somebody who cannot say “no” – as in, “No, I can’t talk to you right now because I’m on the clock and there are paying customers ahead of you.” This is because the slave doesn’t exercise self-ownership in any sense in the presence of a slave-keeper.

A slave-keeper is somebody who claims the legal right to take ownership of another person at his discretion, and use physical violence to compel submission.

This is the specific definition of the peculiar institution called “law enforcement,” as demonstrated by the following statement from theannual report of an entirely typical sheriff’s office: “A law enforcement officer’s authority and power to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights is unmatched anywhere in our society.”

The conceit that defines law enforcement is that all claims to self-ownership evaporate in the presence of a police officer. Some people have internalized that message to such an extent that they immediately assume the position of a submissive slave whenever a police officer approaches. Among them is actor and literacy activist LeVar Burton, whose breakthrough role – either ironically or appropriately, I can’t decide which -- was the fictional escaped slave Kunta Kinte.

“This is a practice I engage in every time I’m stopped by law enforcement,” explained Burton during a panel discussion on CNN. “And I taught this to my son who is now 33 as part of my duty as a father…. When I get stopped by the police, I take my hat off and my sunglasses off, I put them on a the passenger’s side, I roll down my window, I take my hands, I stick them outside the window and on the door of the driver’s side because I want that officer to be as relaxed as possible when he approaches that vehicle. And I do that because I live in America.”

Burton describes his ritual of self-abasement as his strategy for physically surviving an encounter with police. In order to avoid arrest it may be necessary to plumb further depths of personal degradation.

Dale Carson, a defense attorney, former cop, and former FBI agent, has written a revealing manual entitled Arrest-Proof Yourself. That book is replete with significant insights into the institutionalized sociopathy called police “work” – and it abounds in even more revealing advice about the kind of self-inflicted humiliation expected of Mundanes once their self-anointed slave masters appear. 

In an interview with the Atlantic magazine, Carson described law enforcement as a “revenue gathering system” in which predatory officers compete to see “who can put the most people in jail.” His most emphatic advice is to avoid attracting the attention of police officers – something that is becoming nearly impossible in our Panopticon society.

In the event that avoiding the police proves to be impossible, Carson offers etiquette tips for Mundanes seeking to avoid an arrest: Make eye contact, but don't smile; don't react when (not if) the privileged thug deliberately provokes you through foul, confrontational language and calculated acts of battery; be accommodating and extravagantly respectful.

If all of these tactics prove unavailing, then Carson recommends that the Mundane surrender what residue of personal dignity remains by crying or, if possible, deploying other bodily emissions. He suggests that you could foul yourself “so that police will consider setting you free in order not to get their cruiser nasty,” urinating in your pants, or, if possible, vomiting.

Remarkably, Carson's tactics for avoiding arrest track very closely with the notorious rape prevention advice provided by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The college faculty, piously discouraging “violent self-help” (such as carrying and using a firearm), urged women confronting a potential rapist to “Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating” and that “Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacked to leave you alone.”

In similar fashion, Carson’s advice on avoiding arrest assumes a limitless capacity for self-denigration on the part of the Mundane. But it only applies to public encounters with police. It provides no direction for people victimized by lawless police violence in their own homes, something that is becoming commonplace.

Displaying the competence for which government law enforcement is legendary, Hoeppner and his partner, Ben Hanlon, had responded to a burglary alarm by going to the wrong address. 

Hearing prowlers on his property, Waller grabbed his gun and went out to investigate. A few minutes later he was dead, shot multiple times by Hoeppner when he refused to disarm himself. A grand jury declined to indict the officer.

In describing the events of that evening, Hoeppner, a neophyte police officer from a multi-generational family of law enforcers, displayed the reflexive perplexity of a freshly-minted slave catcher confronting someone who didn't see himself as another person's property.

“His attitude toward us was very malicious – It, it was not pro-police at all,” recalledHoeppner. Although Waller was on his own property, and the police officers were the intruders, Hoeppner described the victim’s posture as “very aggressive toward us – and I mean like almost … attitudish.” That assessment makes perfect sense once it’s understood that Hoeppner had been indoctrinated to view any non-cooperation as “aggression” because police, in some sense, own the rest of us.

After Hoeppner made the unlawful demand that the alarmed homeowner disarm himself, Waller quite sensibly asked, “Why?” This struck the cop as an act of irrational defiance:

“What person in their right man – mind would ask a peace officer – a, a law enforcement officer `why' when he tells you and gives you verbal commands.... Your law-abiding citizen is not going to tell – going to ask you, why.”

From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave.” Not only did the uppity Mundane refuse to submit, he actually behaved as if he was the rightful owner of his person and property: “It was almost like he had the attitude of you – you cannot tell me what to do with my gun in my, you know, in my castle.”

Slave-keepers don’t have to ask permission to invade the servants’ quarters, and slaves have no right to protect the sanctity of their person or effects. In his study of 18th Century slave patrols – the largely unacknowledged ancestors of today’s “professional” police agencies -- historian Philip L. Reichel points out that “patrols had full power and authority to enter any plantation and break open Negro houses or other places where slaves were suspected of keeping arms; to punish runaways or slaves found outside of their masters’ plantations without a pass; [and] to whip any slave who should affront or abuse them in the execution of their duties….”

No-knock midnight raids; gun confiscation; “stop-and-frisk”-style demands for identification that quickly escalate to violence and arrest; summary punishment for “contempt of cop” – all of these practices would be immediately recognizable to 18th century slaves. They would probably find it incomprehensible that people who consider themselves to be free would allow such practices to continue. 

Video Extra: Austin Slave Patrol In Action

 Blogger Chris Quintero captured the spectacle of Austin police officers detaining, abusing, and abducting a female jogger who had failed to produce ID when the slave-keepers demanded it of her.


Obiter Dicta

My sincere thanks to everyone who has donated to Pro Libertate. We could still use some help -- and we are very grateful for your generosity!

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Freedom Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, where I met some remarkably talented and thoughtful people. I was invited to participate in a discussion with the estimable Larken Rose (it was billed as a "debate," but we disagreed about very little) during the Friday evening session. That discussion was video-recorded, and I will let you know when it becomes available. My thanks to Ernest and Donna Hancock and to everyone else who organized that event.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

Georgia teen shot at front door with video game controller in hand:

Anonymous said...

I thought Levar Burton's breakthrough role was as "Geordi La Forge" on Star Trek The Next Generation.

Anyway, I think it's pretty well established at this point that we don't have the freedom we all walk around each day believing we have. That's why people are so surprised when they're abused by a cop, thinking, "I never knew they could do that!"

When those in government, whether local, state, or federal can enter your home or vehicle, arrest you without cause and hold you without charge, or take your property without cause, etc., I don't see freedom anymore. It seems to only exist as long as those who can take it away at any time decide you can have it. Otherwise, you don't.

As a relevant note, I saw a news report on TV tonight about those riots and battles with police in Ukraine by those who want American-style freedom. I think they would be a little disappointed in what they had achieved if they were to succeed. What I see happening here is just a very undercover and hidden version of what is happening there. If the people of America were to stand up and openly fight for our constitution, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Ukrainian police shooting at demonstrators, and American police "taking appropriate action to ensure officer safety".

Joyce said...

Mr. Grigg,
Another fine article. Thanks for all you do.

I skimmed/searched that police annual report and couldn't find that statement. Maybe it's been edited after the fact?

William N. Grigg said...

Joyce -- thank you for your kind comments, and for your very valuable post-publication copy-editing. I had linked to the wrong document from the wrong law enforcement agency. I have corrected the link (which actually meant uploading a copy of a document from my research files). The relevant passage is found in the section dealing with "Direction and Guidelines for Sworn Officers." Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Brave, noble, indispensable, donut molestors:

Steveo Van Damm said...

Paraphrasing George Carlin --- We don't have rights in this country, we have privileges... When they can be taken away on a whim, then they are not rights... Google Japanese Americans 1942 and you will understand about your precious f**king rights...
I continue to support pro-libertate... There is not enough truth being written these days... Thanks Will...

Bevin Chu said...

Mr. Burton is not wrong.
In today's Amerika, it is hardly irrational to fear that a "routine traffic stop" by the costumed goons could result in one being put into ICU or even the morgue.
This is what We the Sheeple have allowed the nation to come to.
We had better wake up, soon.

Anonymous said...

@ Steveo Van Damm:

You are correct about that. Some places even word it that way in their laws. Wisconsin specifically states self defense as a privilidge:

939.48  Self-defense and defense of others.
(1) A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference. The actor may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Mr. Grigg,

Do your readers realize that the young woman arrested for jogging/jaywalking without ID (last video in your article) faces a nightmare that is just beginning? In the next 45 years of her life, until retirement from the workforce, as someone with an arrest record, every job she applies for, she must disclose her arrest, or face the threat of termination when a background check is run. She will never get a decent job - ever. She will never be admitted to law school, or medical school, or many other professions. Her life is fucked up for ever, by a couple of fat, porcine Gestapo thugs preening in arrogance at their utter power over the lives of mere mortals. The fat pigs know this, and it gives them pleasure to unmercifully screw a member of the public up the ass. It does. Excuse my graphic language, but they have just raped that young woman, and will be continuing to rape her for the next 45 years. This gives them pure, joyous, orgasmic satisfaction. They probably cum in their oversized pants whenever they manage to shoot one of us dead.

The second thing I noticed is that apart from the person filming from the safety of the other side of the street, nobody - not one person - even stops to look, much less ask the police what they are doing and why. FEAR - abject terror - that's what we see happening. Americans either (a) think the police are angels who can do no wrong, or (b) are afraid of torture, theft of their hard-earned property, and loss of their lives, for no legal cause, and without any legal recourse.

I cannot resist the question, even though I'm white myself: How does it feel, Whitey, to become just another one of the niggers? Most white people's skin would crawl at the suggestion. Hey, Mr. White America, welcome to the Universal Ghetto, also known as the Universal Shithouse for All. What'cha gonna do about it, man? Grovel? Lick their shoes? Pee in your pants? Cry pitifully to your "elected representatives," who could care less about you, you sorry little squirrel turd? Or be a man, finally?

- LG.

rkshanny said...

I noticed the same thing . . . people ambulating by while one of their own is victimized by those praetorian hogs. I think every amerikan needs the same . . . today, right now . . . some of them might get the wake-up call instead of apologizing this Caesarian behavior away. I yearn for the day when a dozen of those bootlickers walk over and "execute" justice, potential deadly force with deadly force! Samuel Adams' quote comes to mind: "If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Francisco said...

Indeed LG that woman is screwed arrest records are pretty much the death of any great career ambitions the best she can hope for is fast food jobs or store clerk unless of course you got connections to erase your past like people in power do.

The good cops are there but there are being replaced slowly but surely by the psychotic mutts the govs want. I do not use the word dog on them why dogs are faithful kind companions if given love these beings are not such a thing they predatory creatures out of the bowels of hell.

simply gov gets obedient soldiers as long as they feed there appetites which explains why these cases are rarely looked upon by higher officials unless its someone who works to expos travesties like this like Mr Grigg whom i thank for this.

My parents want to move to US from puerto rico thinking it will be better there i can only hope and pray this never occurs to them.

Thanks again mister Grigg

Anonymous said...

When one signs on to FICA (Social Security)one is indeed a slave. It's a fact of law.

Withdraw consent is the solution.