Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Mysteries of Policy": Officially Sanctioned Murder

To prove that these sort of policed societies are a violation offered to nature ... it needs only to look upon the sanguinary measures, and instruments of violence, which are every where used to support them.

Let us take a review of the dungeons, whips, chains, racks, gibbets with which every society is abundantly stored, by which hundreds of victims are annually offered up to support a dozen or two in pride and madness, and millions in abject servitude, and dependence.

There was a time, when I looked with a reverential awe on these mysteries of policy, but age, experience and philosophy have rent the veil; and I view this
sanctum sanctorum ... without any enthusiastic admiration.

-- Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society (1756)

Troy Meade killed Niles Meservey in the parking lot of Everett, Washington's Chuckwagon Inn last June 10. Meade shot the unarmed, intoxicated man seven times in the back. These facts are not in dispute.

In his recently concluded trial, Meade justified his lethal assault by describing it as self-defense: At the time of the shooting, the drunken Meservey was behind the wheel of his Corvette, and Meade was standing behind and to the left of the vehicle.

The jury rejected the claim of self-defense, because Meade was never in significant physical jeopardy. Meservey had plowed his car into a chain-link fence; if he had put the car in reverse, he wouldn't have hit Meade.

Trial testimony established that Meservey was not backing up when Meade pulled his gun. The wrecked Corvette was still embedded in the fence when the crime scene investigators arrived.

Meade was charged with first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. The same jury that rejected Meade's self-defense claim acquitted him of both counts.

Guilty on the facts, acquitted by the jury: Officer Troy Meade and his wife react to the verdict.

If the killing of Niles Meservey wasn't self-defense, how could it be something other than an act of criminal homicide?

Since Troy Meade is a police officer and his victim was a mere Mundane, this question typifies what Edmund Burke described as the "mysteries of policy" -- those special exemptions from the moral law claimed by the exalted beings controlling the state's apparatus of coercion.

Any other individual who killed a man under the circumstances recounted above would almost certainly be found guilty of criminal homicide. Because Meade was dressed in the sacerdotal vestments of the state's punitive priesthood, his lawless act of lethal violence was transmuted into an act of policy.

To borrow the expression used by the government ruling us when it audits the shortcomings of other officially established criminal syndicates, this was an "extra-judicial killing" -- a term found in descriptions of murder rampages carried out by police in such places as Nigeria, Pakistan, and Latin American dictatorships of yore. Meade's extra-judicial killing of Meservey was a form of "street justice" by way of summary execution.

"Time to end this -- enough is enough!" According to Officer Stephen Klocker, who was on the scene at the Chuckwagon on June 10 and on the stand as a prosecution witness at Meade's trial, this was what his fellow officer exclaimed as he drew his gun and killed Meservey.

Klocker, a 21-year police veteran, offered his testimony against his own professional interest -- and, as police whistleblowers elsewhere would attest, at some risk to his physical safety.

During the trial Everett's municipal government -- which faces a lawsuit by Meservey's family, and thus had an interest in seeing Meade acquitted -- took the remarkable step of providing the defense with documents intended to undermine Klocker's reliability as a witness. It is ironic, but hardly inexplicable, that the city government didn't make an issue of Klocker's credibility until he testified that another cop had killed a citizen without legal cause or justification.

According to the jury, this purely discretionary killing was not a criminal act. Apparently the lethal fusillade was just an unusually assertive way to bring "closure" to an encounter between an obstreperous drunk and a stressed-out police officer.

That encounter lasted less than a half hour. There were no exigent circumstances involved. By exercising minimal force and exposing himself to an all-but-undetectably small amount of personal peril, Meade could have deprived Meservey of his car keys, immobilizing him until he was either unconscious or cooperative.

Nah. Too risky. The only safe option here, obviously, was open gunplay.

The reasoning behind the verdict seems to be roughly this: "Sure, the circumstances didn't legally justify the use of lethal force, but we have no right to second-guess a decision reflecting the inscrutable wisdom of an agent of state authority."

Somewhere (eternal judgment not being my prerogative, I don't claim to know where) Joseph de Maistre, the 18th Century apostle of absolutism, is smiling with approval over the verdict in the Meade trial. In Meade's acquittal, Maistre would find vindication of his foundational authoritarian maxim:

"[A]ll greatness, all power, all social order depends on the executioner; he is the terror of human society and tie that holds it together. Take away this incontrovertible force from the world, and at that very moment order is superseded by chaos, thrones fall, society disappears."

In Maistre's vision of the world, terror is the foundation of "society." His contemporary, Edmund Burke, drew a crucial distinction between "artificial" or "policed" societies, on the one hand, and "natural" societies, on the other.

The latter are rooted in tradition and cooperation; the former are controlled through "sanguinary measures, and instruments of violence" -- institutionalized terror and officially sanctioned homicide.

Cheerfully oblivious to besetting reality, many still believe that our society is governed by laws, rather than the arbitrary will of individuals.

The morally contorted verdict in Troy Meade's trial offers a useful corrective by starkly illustrating that sanctified official violence is the foundation of the "policed society" in which we live.

Be sure to join me for Pro Libertate Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network.

Dum spiro, pugno!


R.S. Ladwig said...

This really pisses me off. Often people don't like the doctrine of the judgement of God, but in instances like this it is our only comfort.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Will, for drawing further attention to the totalitarian state of 2010.

Bobert said...

In the last thirty years, I've seen at least two times where juries have let people off that had valid reason to find the police officer or in one case military officer guilty. In those cases it was not the government's fault though but the jury's. Judgment by the victim's own peers and vice-versa. OJ Simpson for example and in at least one case where a black person was charged with a murder in a white county. His attorney got a change of venue to a heavily black county, where despite good evidence, he was found not guilty; North Carolina, I believe. I'm just saying that it is an imperfect justice system that we have. William Anderson has been covering the Tonya Craft trial and detailing how badly the District Attorney and Judge are trying to railroad her. I'd like to see equality myself.

idahobob said...

It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy all over that the sheeple of Everett, Washington, are so conditioned to believe that whatever the jackbooted thugs do, up to and including murder, is all right by them.

Bring on the gas chambers!!


kirk said...

The verdict by that particular jury reveals just how deep the propaganda of the state reaches into the minds of people, even to the point that official MURDER is sanctioned. I guess it never dawned on them that THEY, THEMSELVES OR ONE OF THEIR LOVED ONES could come to be on the wrong end of the weapons of one of the exalted with similar results.

It is beyond me to explain, other than brainwashing and/or fear, how people arrive at such "decisions" that COMPLETELY IGNORE the events and find for their oppressors. Is there a mass neurosis afoot?

In the end, by exonerating the murderer in costume/badge, they have assured more similar incidents. When this go ahead to kill citizens is used again, on one of them, who will support them as opposed to those supporting their official killer? Who could feel sorry for such people that sanction official murder and then they, themselves, suffer the same fate?

Anonymous said...

When you have tens of millions of knuckleheads who feel that "voting" for either Dems or Repubs is "doing my part" then this comes as no surprise. As soon as the parade passes they're, as always, left to shovel the manure.

I hope Klocker sees the light and sues the city for defamation and their is a retrial.

One snippet of yours I cut and pasted here.

"his lawless act of lethal violence......."

Ironic that it would only have been "lawless" if you or I did likewise. The policy had already been established so therefore, in Leviathans eyes, of course, it is "lawful".

Bible talks of "coming out of her my people". So I wonder when will Gods chosen ever wake up and smell the coffee and head for the exits. You can't swim in the bowels of evil, let it digest your conscience, and not come out smelling like something other than roses.

Sans Authoritas said...

Speaking of gas chambers, I'm beginning to see why so many Jews went as willingly as they did to the concentration camps. Whether or not they knew they would be slaughtered, they knew nothing good would happen to them there. Whatever acquiescence they had must have come from their being oh so tired of the atrocities that once-human beings were inflicting on their fellow man. At some point, gas chambers must have looked like a welcome escape.

May God have mercy on the immortal souls of every human being on the planet, including the present and future State-employed murderers.

-Sans Authoritas

Sans Authoritas said...

My favorite quote from Burke's essay:

"To prove that these sorts of political societies are a violation offered to nature, and a constraint upon the human mind, it needs only to look upon the sanguinary measures, and instruments of violence, which are everywhere used to support them. Let us take a review of the dungeons, whips, chains, racks, gibbets, with which every society is abundantly stored . . . . I acknowledge, indeed, the necessity of such a proceeding in such institutions; but I must have a very mean opinion of institutions where such proceedings are necessary."

It is a shame that later in life, Burke became an integral part of that which he hated, calling this masterpiece of honest logic "a satire."

-Sans Authoritas

Anonymous said...

i have this theory...

most people prefer slavery.

side bar...

if asked, no one wants to go to hell. people will shout you down and say how they do not want to go, or don't believe it even exist! but then how do they live? what are their deeds?

remember how the israelites were clamoring to go back into israel? or how they wanted a king? i think 99% of people want to be ruled because they prefer the security of someone ruling over them versus the freedom of being independent.

back to slavery...

now they won't come out and say it, because if pressed, they will holler against it.

but what one must do is to review their actions, their words, and how they vote. slowly but surely one will see how these people prefer security over liberty. these folk always, "want a law", or are always wanting restrictions on certain people. even worse, these people "don't have anything to hide" and don't mind intrusive measures. into their lives, or the lives of others (how nice of them).


Anonymous said...


i wonder how this case would have gone had a mere mundane killed a cop, with this kind of evidence against him, and then the jury had acquitted him?

i wonder if the judge would have intervened to declare a mistrial or what not as to ensure a conviction?


icr said...

Meade became the first local police officer to face criminal charges for a line-of-duty killing. The decision was so rare that national statistics aren't kept on similar cases.

What progress we've made! These days the lynch mobs wear badges and guns.

jdogg said...

un f-ing believable

whitebuffalo said...

"... special exemptions from the moral law claimed by the exalted beings controlling the state's apparatus of coercion."

Seventeen of the most powerful words you have ever written Mr. Griggs. And, given your prolific writing, that says a lot.

The Amerikan people are self-doomed, as they should be. Liberty is only for the diligent, the responsible, the fearless, and the lovers of wisdom. Fools get what they deserve, no matter how horrible it all turns out to be.

Anonymous said...

When one see's the state for what it truly is, it is a sorry state indeed. I like this, really makes you think.

Anonymous said...

"I would appreciate if any Threepers can give me some more info on the arrest of Darren Huff."
Mike Vanderboegh @ SipseyStreetIrregulars.blogspot

Todd said...

The type of person that gravitates to sites like this are loathe to accept it but the hard truth is that 99 out of every 100 people would not touch real freedom with a barge pole. This incomprehensible verdict supports that fact.

whitebuffalo said...

Todd said:
"The type of person that gravitates to sites like this are loathe to accept it but the hard truth is that 99 out of every 100 people would not touch real freedom with a barge pole. This incomprehensible verdict supports that fact."

"This incomprehensible verdict supports that fact."?????!!!!

What exactly does that mean?! Todd declares it so therefore it must be irrefutably true?!

The fact is, Todd, most people here would agree with you. But what you fail to understand is that history has shown that great leaps forward in human liberty and advancement have come from the 1-3 percent of the people - like those of us who gravitate to sites like this - of which the other 99-97% benefit from our brains and stones.

Anonymous said...

I stammered....I stuttered...and finally I replied, "Wha..?! Excuse me?! You really don't believe that, do you?"

My comment was in response to a fellow employee, one Mr. Arellano, who had just informed me that he would prefer to live with the police state "solution" over the illegal immigrant problem.


I was flabbergasted.

With barely enough time to recuperate, I was served with this hackneyed gem of Einsteinian wisdom by my gloating co-worker: "Sometimes you need a hammer to kill a gnat."

His brazen lack of wisdom left me momentarily speechless....again. What could one say? I countered his comment with a tip of my cap and replied "Enjoy your police state dictatorship; hope YOU never become that gnat!"

Ah, but then I come to the incomparable Will Grigg and his Pro Libertate site with all my anti-statist and liberty-loving cyber friends here in the comments section. It is here that I can find sane and sound minds.

Liberranter, MOT, Sans A, Dixie Dog, Big Bob, JDogg and the rest of you, thank you! Thank you all for being here, for you all have saved me from pulling out my hair and driving off the (expletive) Twin Narrows Bridge! I love you all!

-Jack Black's twin brother, Caveman Eddie S. from Tacoma, WA

Anonymous said...

Tasered to death, shot to death, clubbed to death, to protect and to serve

Mr Grigg have you looked into the acts of local and Federal agents in HEMET CALIFORNIA?
Unsympathetic white guys sure, but really a million dollars bail for NUNCHUKS?

"possession of nunchucks at the direction of and in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent" to promote criminal conduct among gang members."

Then a convicted felon there who had a shotgun, oops another MILLION DOLLARS BAIL.

The guy with the shotgun had a nice visit from the public servants:

Also charged in the raids was Joseph Zito, 29, of Hemet, as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He is jailed and bail is set at $1 million. Zito previously had ties to a white supremacist group but his mother, Catherine Shirley, said he was not involved with the COORS or any other gang. She said he was in the process of getting swastika tattoos removed.

But Catherine Shirley is unhappy with the behavior of the FBI agents who searched her home. Shirley said FBI agents trashed her home as they burst in before dawn to arrest her son and confiscate several books, including a German Bible and his laptop. Shirley, who has multiple sclerosis, said she was bruised as she was handcuffed. She also said her family's china collection was destroyed. "They stormed in full regalia and chopped open the back door, throwing bombs. I thought it was an earthquake," Shirley said. "When you see what those people did to this house, it looks like Hurricane Katrina." View a photo of the damage HERE:

Anonymous said...

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