Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Welcome to Sulphur Springs, Where the Police Chief is a Murderer

Support Your Local Murderer: Chief Brackney of the Sulphur Springs PD.

Like many third-world countries, Arkansas is a beautiful place inhabited by lovely people who are burdened with an extravagantly corrupt ruling class. This helps explain, but by no means does it justify, the fact that the minuscule town of Sulphur Springs, Arkansas now has a convicted killer as its police chief. 

In January 2010, Coleman Brackney, at the time an officer in the department that menaces nearby Bella Vista, murdered a man named James Ahern following a high-speed chase. After trapping Ahern’s vehicle and then pounding on his window, Brackney shot him six times – the last time in the back. Brackney claimed that Ahern – who had a record of trivial and petty offenses, including the non-crime of “resisting arrest” – attempted to run him over after the chase had ended. This was a lie, of course: The dashcam video documented that Brackney was never in danger
The victim: James Ahern.

By any honest definition, this was an act of murder. Yet Brackney was prosecuted for “negligent homicide” – a charge that assumes that the officer, who shot Ahern six times at point-blank range, including once in the back, did not intend to kill the victim. He was sentenced to a single month in the Benton County Jail and fined $1,000. The families of the victim were given a $20,000 settlement by the county. 

After Brackney was released, his criminal record was expunged. Last April, the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement – a regulatory body that enforces less rigorous professional standards than whatever body sanctions professional wrestling referees – reinstated Brackney’s “peace officer” certification.  All that he needed now was a job opening – and one was soon created in Sulphur Springs.

Between late 2010 and March 25 of this year, residents of Sulphur Springs had known the singular blessing of living in a community devoid of police. It is an abuse of language to refer to Sulphur Springs as a “town”; as of the last census, its population was about 500 people, and it had no measurable crime rate. There hasn’t been a murder in Sulphur Springs in recent memory. By hiring a murderer as police chief, the people who presume to rule that tiny village managed to handle both the supply and demand side of law enforcement, as it were.

“I told the guys the day I left I would be back,” gloated Brackney in a local TV news interview, displaying the gift for self-preoccupation that typifies his caste. “You put the uniform back on and you look at yourself in the mirror, and you think, `I’m back.’” Of course, the same cannot be said of Brackney’s victim, for whom the newly enthroned police chief apparently cannot spare a thought.

Indeed, Brackney displays a sociopath’s inability to recognize that he did anything wrong by murdering a man and then perjuring himself in an attempt to conceal the crime.
Like every other police officer who has committed criminal violence against a member of the public, Brackney takes refuge in the casual elitism that is commonplace among those in his profession: “Until you have actually rode [sic] with a police officer or have a family member or a friend that [sic] is a police officer, you don’t really know what that job entails.” 

In other words: Until you have been licensed to perform acts of criminal aggression or unless you have a relative thus invested, you have no moral standing to criticize those who use that spurious sanction to commit criminal homicide.

To paraphrase Albert Nock’s deathless insight, government police forces don’t exist to eliminate crime, but rather to enforce a government monopoly on crime. Coleman Brackney embodies that principle with uncanny fidelity. This is to be expected of Arkansas, where there quite literally are no standards governing the qualifications and performance of police officers.

 Practically any hominid who can drive a car, pull a trigger, and emit sounds that vaguely resemble the English language can be stuffed into a government-issued costume and exercise “authority” on behalf of the State of Arkansas.

Consider this: In order to become a licensed practicing cosmetologist in the State of Arkansas, an applicant must pass a state board examination and complete 2,000 hours of specialized training. After logging 600 hours an applicant can qualify to work as a manicurist or instructor.

The same state government that exercises such rigorous oversight of people who cut hair or paint nails in the private sector, it imposes no training or licensing standards on police officers. Practically anybody who asks for a job as a police officer in Arkansas can get a stinkin’ badge; it’s the qualifications that are unnecessary.

"The second night I ever put on a badge and gun I was riding in my own car," recalled Crittenden County Chief Deputy Tommy Martin. At the time, Martin was 21 years old and hadn't spent so much as a minute inside a police academy classroom.

"According to Arkansas state law, officers do not have to be certified for up to a year after they're hired," reported the Memphis Fox News affiliate in February 2010 – just a few weeks after Officer Brackney murdered James Ahern. "The Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training says they can get an 8 month extension on top of that. So for almost 2 years, an officer can patrol the streets, by his or herself, and enforce the law without having any kind of training."

And, as we learned last April, that same Commission is eager to reinstate the certification of police officers who have served time behind bars for acts of criminal homicide.
Arkansas is riddled with tiny towns afflicted with police who are not merely corrupt, but demented. 

In late 2009, Police Chief Greg Martin of Turrell, Arkansas (population roughly 900 people) was charged with aggravated assault after he broke into the home of City Council member Floyd Holmes and threatened the Councilman and his wife with a gun.
A similar confrontation a few months earlier in nearby Jericho actually resulted in an attempted homicide. 

Until about 1990, the flyspeck town of Jericho (population circa 200 people) was blessedly devoid of police. This changed when the town received a grant to create its own police force – and the community has been suffering ever since.

Over the past two decades, Jericho acquired a richly deserved reputation as one of the most notorious speed traps in the South. But its police department doesn’t just prey on unsuspecting visitors with out-of-state license plates: Persistent harassment by the police and a rising tide of official corruption drove many locals to leave the town.

A few years ago, Fire Chief Don Payne challenged a dubious speeding ticket in court. Later that day, he was hit with a second spurious citation as a transparent act of retaliation for challenging the first one. When he protested the second citation, Payne was mobbed in court by seven officers and then shot. This atrocity did have one salutary result: The police department was temporarily disbanded, and all outstanding citations were dismissed, while investigators tried to determine what had happened to the funds that had been mulcted from speed trap victims

Stovall (left) swearing in "reservists."

The town of Paragould has a population of 25,000, which makes it a major metropolis by Arkansas standards. This might explain the grandiose ambitions of Todd Stovall, the J.W. Pepper-grade living caricature who presides over the town’s police department. 

Last January, Stovall, who appears to be building his own little private army, announced that he would be deploying SWAT operators armed with AR-15s to harass people on the streets. 

"The fear is what's given us the reason to do this,” insisted Stovall as he announced that the city would be placed under martial law for the supposed purpose of deterring crime. “Once I have stats and people are saying they're scared, we can do this. It allows us to do what we're fixing to do."

There is no evidence that people in Paragould are in fear of anyone other than the bullet-headed dimwit who heads their police force, and the costumed adolescents under his command. The “stats” referred to by Stovall certainly don’t justify the perception that the town is under siege. While Paragould historically has a high burglary rate, its violent crime rate is substantially below the national average: In 2010, the last year for which stats are available, there wasn’t a single murder in the town. 

Despite these facts, Stovall insists that a “crisis” exists that justifies the suspension of constitutional rules and the imposition of a city-wide curfew.

“I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out,” grunted Stovall at a town meeting at the West View Baptist Church. He admits that he didn’t consult an attorney before reaching that conclusion, and that “I don’t even know that there’s ever been a difference” between what he’s proposing and undisguised martial law. To those who might complain about being harassed by Stovall’s minions, the chief offers an unqualified promise: “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID….We have a zero-tolerance. We are prepared to throw your hind-end in jail, OK? We are not going to take a lot of flack.” 

“We’re going to do it to everybody,” Stovall explained, anticipating objections. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

The same is true of citizens, of course. But like most members of his paramilitary tribe, Stovall divides the world between the Mundane population -- which is to be intimidated into submission – and enlightened agents of State “authority” such as himself and the murderer who is the newly appointed police chief of Sulphur Springs. 

Dum spiro, pugno!


Mr. Mcgranor said...

He is a hero.

Kent McManigal said...

"...hadn't spent so much as a minute inside a police academy classroom."

Considering what someone who has spent time in one of those classrooms enthusiastically told me they are being taught there, I would say that's probably a good thing.

I get really tired of those copsuckers asking me whether I have ever "sat down with a cop", as if that's necessary in order to be able to judge their actions.

Anonymous said...

Since criminals have unrestricted acces to torso body armor, I recommend head shots for anyone needing to defend him- or herself from assault. It requires practice, but it is eminently doable day or night, with the right equipment. And in the case of full body armor, remember that most criminals do not armor their feet. Finishing the fight becomes easy if the aggressor is disabled. Just sayin', of course!

liberranter said...

...grunted Stovall at a town meeting at the West View Baptist Church.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I 'm enjoying seeing a couple of Mexican towns disarm and evict their local police as well as refusing entry to federales. Keep an eye on it.

Ghost said...

"He admits that he didn't consult an attorney..."

I'm shocked. No, wait... It's the opposite of that. I'm the opposite of shocked.

Anonymous said...

Oh snap! I was going to hide out in the mountains of Arkansas when God pours out his wrath on a fading sodomite banana republik.

Anonymous said...

Since when is resisting arrest not a crime? Maybe we should stop romanticizing the the criminal element.

William N. Grigg said...

The "criminal element" would include the convicted killer who is the Sulphur Springs police chief, wouldn't it?

Resisting arrest is a common-law right, not a crime. It was recognized as such in the still-controlling Supreme Court precedent (Black Elk v. US, 1900), and in the laws of every state until at least 1942, when the Interstate Commission on Crime devised the Uniform Arrest Statute.

Criminals who are seeking to avoid capture will obviously resist; that is to be expected, and should be treated as a component of whatever offense they are accused of committing. Citizens who have not done injury to others shouldn't be expected to submit to abduction, which is a more honest description of an unlawful arrest. And that decision should not be in the hands of an armed stranger in a government-issued costume -- unless we're to assume that we live under a low-grade version of martial law.

"Criminals" are people who have committed offenses against person and property. This includes uniformed functionaries who call themselves police officers. I have not romanticized criminals of either the private or government-employed variety.

Anonymous said...

On "resisting arrest", let's let the longest serving justice of the U.S. supreme court address the matter:

"While violence is not protected by the Constitution, lawful conduct, such as marching and picketing, often boils over into unlawful conduct because people are emotional, not rational, beings. So are the police; and very often they arrest the wrong people. For the police are an arm of the Establishment and view protesters with suspicion. Yet American protesters need not be submissive. A speaker who resists arrest is acting as a free man. The police do not have carte blanche to interfere with his freedom. They do not have the license to arrest at will or to silence people at will."

- William O. Douglas, Points of Rebellion

Anything wild is free. They fight capture, attempt escape, and are un-cooperative. Anything else is domesticated.

European American said...

Heard you on Lew's Show. Your clarity, purpose and fortitude inspires. Keep the course.


Anonymous said...

Good article, as is your discussion with Lew Rockwell.

Over the last century, the U.S. government has become the biggest crime syndicate in the world. My hope is that its control can be broken if enough people become aware of, and stop cooperating with, the immorality that pervades it.

You might find the following video interesting:

MamaLiberty said...

As important as rational standards for peace officers should be, the real question goes much deeper than that.

By what legitimate authority?

The question not being asked by most of us is: By what legitimate authority? How does anyone legitimately gain authority to control the lives and choices of other people against their will?

Did you ever ask a politician, a gun grabber, a public school teacher, a bureaucrat… “By what legitimate authority do you demand, order, enforce, do these things?”

I have. Most, of course, cite the “constitution” and/or “the rule of law.” I then ask them how those things can confer LEGITIMATE authority. Where does legitimate authority over people’s lives and property originate?

So far, NONE of them can answer that, and most become extremely angry when questioned at all. Yet I would think that is the most important question we can ask.

And it’s the most important question we can ask ourselves. Do we own our lives, or have we given our sovereign and natural authority over ourselves to the rulers and politicians?

Anonymous said...

Grigg, you are such a hack, you continually lie and fabricate every available incident you can find to forward your feeble claims. Many injustices occur that are easily able to meet your needs that are real, not embellished or flat out fabricated.

To your readers or those that are taken in by your BULL:

You all continue to be duped by embellished, over dramatized versions of several stories. Mr. Grigg, the writer, has a flair for the spectacular, adds and removes so called “facts”, outright lies, and adds in his own suppositions. Two words before you all go sideways and believe Mr. Grigg's so called stories (excellent fiction however...), FACT CHECK. If he's got any guts, he will print this for all to see. You people continually talk about "sheep", and here you believe every fantastic claim made. All I can say is "wow..."

William N. Grigg said...

It appears, oh bold and valiant Mr. (most likely "Officer") Anonymous, that I've passed your "gut check" -- which in this case means that I've followed my long-standing policy of publishing every substantive comment, however ill-informed it might be.

Might you reciprocate by shedding your anonymity -- or should we assume that you haven't the intestinal fortitude to do so?

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any evidence of the truth of the assertions of the anonymous attacker.

Maybe he could be more specific since the charges are rather serious.

I suspect it's just another drive by liar attempting to discredit and misdirect the truth.

kirk said...

mama liberty is absolutely correct and asks the fundamental questions that no one seems to want to ask, much less answer.

they do not own us, they think they do.

our money is our money, not theirs.

our children are our children, not theirs.

unless and until we learn these simple facts, tyranny will continue to advance.

Ned Weatherby said...

So - a nony mouse coward advanced ad hominem assaults, alleges misstatements of fact and lies by the author, supplies no supportive "facts" of his or her own while shouting "FACT CHECK," and alleges readers are all "sheep."

Officer Anon, that's some of the funniest shit I've seen posted in a while.

Free employment hint: With your special cred, you ought to copy the whole page and seek employment as a MSM hack - or hell, go for broke - apply for work as an Obama speech writer.

Anonymous said...

All i can say about your obviously paid for comment is, i live here, this article is indeed legit. And about the sheep, they (you) are just that

Unknown said...

Tell me about a cop who is NOT a killer; THAT will be news!

Anonymous said...

I am a cop and not a killer. I take pride in the community for wich I serve and the citizens that have placed there trust in me to uphold the laws and values of our community. I work tirelessly long hours often times missing hollidays and valueable time with my family to protect yours. I agree that there have been and are bad police officers, no proffesion is free of corruption. However this does not mean that Law Enforcement as a whole is made up of "bad people". Our job is difficult, Critical Decisions have to be made in nano seconds. While the people on blogs like this have the luxury of picking them apart for months on end. I agree that an officer should never be put in a car without completing the Academy. I agree that there should be more training that doesn't stop after the officer completes the accademy. I appreciate your taking the time to consider that there is more to the person thats underneath the uniform, and that maybe he too has a vested interest in improving our community. Again Thank You for giving us the opportunity and honor of serving you.

William N. Grigg said...

Most people who chose law enforcement as a career, including the late Alyn Beck (my wife's second cousin), are not bad people. The problem resides with the way that profession is structured.

Kent McManigal said...

Excuse me, officer. I wish to opt out of your "services". You will never miss another family holiday on my behalf, nor work long hours.

Obviously, I don't wish to pay for what I don't want to use, and in return I promise to never call cops for "help". I also promise to never attack the innocent nor violate their property- but if I supposedly do I recognize my purported victims might still call your "brothers"- I can't control others (nor would I want to).

Is it a deal?

Anonymous said...

....and Mr. Grigg. Any Fucktard with a computer can blog himself into a self-appointed (low-information) frenzy of unmitigated stupidity.

But to each his own I guess.

William N. Grigg said...

Most low-information people of any description prefer anonymity. Those who make an effort to inform themselves before expressing an opinion aren't afraid to attach their names to what they publish. :-)