Friday, August 22, 2014

Why "Good Cops" Stay Silent: The Persecution of Officer Adam Basford (Second update, October 23)

Officer Adam Basford is in the back row, center.

(See updates below)

“I can't get killed for this job,” observed one of Adam Basford's former colleagues in the Yakima Police Department, explaining why he had refused to come to Basford's aid during a hand-to-hand struggle with an armed suspect. “I thought we were going to get killed, so I had to leave you there.”

That officer was one of three who were in a position to help on August 18, 2013 when Basford attempted to arrest Antonio Cardenas, a recently paroled felon who was suspected of aggravated assault with a firearm. Concerned over the safety of bystanders, including a young girl, Officer Basford didn't pull his gun. He found himself grappling with a younger ex-convict who was several inches taller and at least sixty pounds heavier, while every other available nearby officer found something better to do.

Basford was able to subdue the suspect without killing him or risking the lives of people in the neighborhood. Rather than receiving a commendation, Basford is now off the force and facing criminal charges – not for taking down an armed, violent felon without using lethal force, but for filing a misconduct complaint against an erstwhile colleague. 

Basford, an Air Force veteran who regarded himself to be a peace officer rather than a law enforcer, had patrolled a violent neighborhood riven with gang-related violence. On many occasions prior to August 18, he had called for backup, only to find – as he did that night – that no help was forthcoming. This wasn’t just because Basford’s fellow officers were afraid, but because he had violated the unwritten but binding rules of police solidarity by speaking out against routine misconduct and abuse within the department.

Basford had just finished an administrative call when he heard gunshots and saw an armed man later identified as Cardenas racing through the neighborhood. Basford pursued Cardenas into a nearby yard, overtaking him when the suspect failed to clear a fence.

“I didn't want to draw my gun, because there was a young girl just a few feet away,” Basford recalled to Pro Libertate. “Cardenas took a swing at me, and missed. I took his back while the two of us were still on our feet. He reached for my lapel microphone and broke it, then said he was going to kill me and that nobody would find my body.”

As they struggled, Cardenas reached for his .44 Desert Eagle and squeezed off a shot. Basford managed to wrench the shooter's hand away from his body at the last second, but still suffered a grazing gunshot wound to his knee. Already in severe oxygen debt from the struggle, Basford quickly began to feel the effects of blood loss. Worried that if Cardenas escaped he might finish killing him or attack a bystander, Basford applied a rear-naked choke – a potentially lethal hold that was, in this situation, used defensively.

The combatants hit the ground, and Basford saw his backup, Officer Booker Ward, arrive.

“He saw what was going on, heard me scream at him,” Basford later recalled. “We made eye contact, and he turned and ran away.”

Two other Yakima PD Officers were on bicycle patrol nearby.

“They heard me get shot,” Basford recounted to me. “They heard me scream for assistance. They were just two blocks away – but they were fifteen minutes from the end of their shift, and they went back to the station instead of coming to my aid.” Basford would find out later that the bike patrol officers “didn't think the overtime would be approved.”

Finally, after Cardenas was subdued and nearly unconscious, five other officers arrived, and paramedics soon followed. Basford limped away from the scene of the struggle and allowed the emergency personnel to do their work. As the EMTs attended to Cardenas, however, Basford saw the suspect trying to extract something from his pants. Concerned for the safety of his colleagues and the medical personnel, Basford drew his gun, holding it at “low-ready” while approaching the scene.

“I pushed past the paramedics and my supervisor, who was losing her sh*t,” Basford related to me. “As I did, Patrol Officer Ryan Yates yelled that I was about to `execute the suspect,' and pulled his gun on me, as did several other officers.”

Basford had pointedly declined to use lethal force during the desperate hand-to-hand struggle in which he received no help from the officers now pointing their guns at him. He surrendered his gun to another officer and was taken to the hospital, which treated and discharged him with panicked haste because of what were described as security concerns.

“From what I was told it was clear that Cardenas's gang associates had learned about his arrest, and there was concern about potential retaliation,” Basford told me. “But nobody seemed all that worried about me when I was fighting with this guy on the street.”

This atypical lack of concern continued as Basford was debriefed by his supervisors. Usually, a police officer involved in a use-of-force incident invokes his “Garrity” privileges, which means that he cannot be criminally or civilly prosecuted for statements made during the official investigation. This time was different, according to Basford. 

Ira Cavin, left, gets in some SWAT cosplay.
“Our union representative, Officer Ira Cavin, told me that Garrity didn't apply in this situation, because I had supposedly committed a criminal act,” Basford attests. To his astonishment, Basford was told that he would be charged with assaulting the man who shot him in the knee – but that charge was quickly dropped.

Cardenas, who had served prison time for his role in a pair of drive-by shootings, faced his “third strike” if the DA charged him with a felony. For reasons that remain unexplained, he was allowed to plead guilty to a single charge of first degree “attempted assault” for shooting a police officer in the leg.

To put that anomalous act of leniency in context, it's worth remembering that an unarmed Florida man who was assaulted by a police officer during a traffic stop at a convenience store was recently charged with “attempted murder” for defending himself against what appeared to be the officer's attempt to choke him out. That incident involved a driver accused of running a stop light. Cardenas, a convicted violent felon, was carrying a stolen gun that he had allegedly fired during a nearby shooting – and that he used in an attempt to kill Basford.

Basford, who has undergone multiple surgeries on his knee, and is receiving treatment for the psychological effects of the incident, was maneuvered into accepting an “amicable separation” from the Yakima PD. After leaving the force, Basford inevitably encountered several of the people involved in the incident, including the previously mentioned officer who had abandoned him in the street.

Cardenas in court.
“He asked me to forgive him,” Basford informed me with a grim chuckle. “My reply to him wasn't terribly charitable.”

“Look, my beat was a neighborhood where the Nortenos and Suraneos were engaged in a turf war,” Basford explains. “Gang members would sometimes isolate and swarm a cop. The streetlights have all been shot out, and gang-bangers sometimes throw toxicimprovised devices that can have the explosive yield of a small grenade. So I understand why officers wanted to avoid it. But in the entire time I served as a patrol officer, I never – not once – received requested backup. The officers always told Dispatch that they had a traffic stop, or something else going on. I can understand that this would happen on occasion – but when it happens every time, something's going on.”

Basford believes that he was singled out for aggressive neglect “because I crossed the Blue Line. I filed official complaints about misconduct and abuse that I saw on the street and in the lock-up.”

“Our job was to investigate crimes and arrest suspects, not to inflict punishment,” Basford continues. “I saw countless instances in which officers" -- including, he says, Ryan Yates, who pulled drew his gun on him in the Cardenas incident  – "would goad and mistreat people during contacts in the street, and then arrest them without cause. I really tried to do the job in a different way. I would get out of my patrol vehicle and talk with people about what was going on in their neighborhoods – and I always explained to them that they didn't have to talk to me, and that they could say anything they wanted to me without fear of reprisal. I'm not going to pretend that I was perfect, but I did try to do my job – at least, the job as I understood it.”

Agitprop detail: Officer Yates is in the middle.
That job, as Basford perceived it, meant protecting the rights of suspects following an arrest, and he had no patience for what he described as the routine abuse of prisoners.

“It was a common practice to turn off the video monitor and the lights when officers were dealing with what they called a `lippy' prisoner, especially if it was an intoxicated woman,” Basford narrates. “This wasn't done for the safety of the inmate or the officers. It was a cruel, abusive, and completely wrong. So I filed a complaint about it – and from that time, I was on my own. I later filed several excessive force complaints. I was an officer who had crossed the Blue Line, which meant that none of my supposed brother officers would ever have my back.”

The treatment inflicted on Basford offers a stark contrast to the official solicitude displayed toward Officer Casey Gillette a few months earlier after Gillette attacked an unarmed man, falsely arrested him, and engaged in a cover-up to avoid being charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping. Gillette, significantly, was one of the officers who pulled their guns on Basford the night of August 18.

Gillette and his partner were responding to a report of a fight on the evening of May 10 when they encountered a loud-mouthed, shirtless man swearing at them from his front yard.

The intoxicated man was yelling that “this is La Raza’s hood, you know, smoke you fools,” Gillette told investigators. “And he started challenging us from what I remember.” Offended by his “aggressive attitude,” and convinced that the drunk presented “an officer safety issue,” Gillette strode onto the man’s property and “punched him in the left side of the face,” the officer recalled. The blow didn’t knock the man down, but with the help of three other officers, he was handcuffed.

At this point, Gillette had to invent a criminal charge to justify the summary punishment he had meted out for “contempt of cop.” He initially wanted to use “disorderly conduct,” a cover charge he had often used while employed by the police department in Toppenish. The problem is that the Yakima City Code doesn’t include an offense called “disorderly conduct.”

“Gillette used the force to arrest the man for disorderly conduct, which does not exist in the City of Yakima,” admitted the department’s Supervisory Review. The official Personnel Complaint observed that “At the time force was used there was no probable cause to arrest the man or need to use force upon him. The force was unnecessary and therefore excessive in violation of policy.”

This wasn’t merely a “policy violation,” Basford protests: It was a “criminal act – at best misdemeanor assault.” That original crime was compounded by “Unlawful Imprisonment, which is a Class C felony in Washington.” To protect themselves and their employer, Gillette and his unidentified supervisor, a sergeant, arrested the victim for “obstructing.”

According to the Supervisory Review, this was nothing less than a criminal conspiracy: “[Name Redacted] consulted with Officer Gillette and the two agreed to charge the man with Obstructing, even though the man was not obstructing, hindering, or delaying any lawful duties of the officers. The charge appears to have been chosen to justify Gillette’s prior use of force and possibly to protect the city.” (Emphasis added.)

“This was a great example of my [former] Squad’s dynamics,” Basford wearily explained to me. “The sergeant reports the guy for Obstruction … thereby assisting in the criminal act of the original assault by Gillette. They knew there was no charge and they still took him to jail and charged him for exercising his First Amendment rights.”

During the inquiry, Gillette’s superiors “coached him … to say `open hand’” when asked about the strike. “Then Chief Rizzi claims `no harm, no foul,’ and doesn’t punish Gillette, but puts him back on the street, knowing he would just hurt people.”

Rather than being charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping, Gillette was given a written reprimand. He remains on the force. Last January Gillette shot and killed a man named Rocendo Arias while he was asleep in his vehicle at a car wash. Despite the fact that Arias was not a criminal suspect, the shooting was ruled “justified” because of the “perceived threat.” Oddly, that “threat” wasn’t apparent to a female state trooper who had seen the napping man and left him unmolested before Gillette arrived on the scene.

Gillette later claimed that he saw a gun in Arias’s hand. That supposed firearm was actually an Airsoft pellet pistol which Arias might have kept as a prop to deter would-be assailants – other than those invested with “qualified immunity,” of course.

Gillette, who murdered an innocent sleeping man in a fit of panic, remains on the force.
Basford, who was seriously injured while arresting an armed felon, may be headed for jail.

On August 18 – exactly one year after his life-altering fight with Cardenas – Basford had a preliminary hearing on a charge of “filing a false report to a public servant.” If the case goes to trial, and Basford loses, he may spend a year in jail – nearly as much time as the recidivist felon who shot him in the leg.

Given Basford's experience as a conscientious officer with the Yakima PD, it's not surprising that he now faces a patently retaliatory charge for filing a police misconduct report as a civilian.

“I ran into Yates outside a gun shop, and he smirked at me and grabbed his gun,” Basford told me. “I had seen him do this same thing many times on the street in an effort to provoke somebody he wanted to rough up and arrest. I thought his conduct was threatening and unprofessional, so I filed a complaint with his supervisor.”

That supervisor was Lt. Nolan Wentz, who has a history of retaliating against “civilians” who annoy him. Among them was a Yakima resident named Eddy Ford, who as it happens has a very close personal connection to Basford.

“When I trained in mixed martial arts, Eddy Ford was my boxing coach,” Basford pointed out to me.

In July 2007, Ford was on his way to work when he noticed a Yakima police cruiser on his tail, clinging to him through multiple lane changes. When they arrived at a stop light, Ford got out of his car to ask the officer what he had done to warrant such attention. The cop, Officer Ryan Urlacher, told Ford to get back in his car, and Ford complied. In fact, Ford was compliant during the entire encounter – but he spared no adjectives in describing his opinion of Urlcher’s behavior.

As he ran Ford’s license, Urlacher told another officer: “I think I’m going to arrest him for [a] city noise ordinance violation right now. He might only get a ticket if he cooperates, but with that attitude, he’s going to get cuffed.” Urlacher then told Ford as much, reproaching him for “diarrhea of the mouth.”

Wentz arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and he all but ordered Urlacher to arrest Ford. 

Describing the cooperative but self-assertive citizen as a “hot head” who was “getting worse over time,” Wentz told Urlacher: “I would not just write him a ticket and let him go…. I’d sign his ass up.”

With his supervisor’s permission, Urlacher abducted Ford and had his car impounded.

On the way to the jail, Ford protested that he was being punished for exercising his freedom of speech.

“I have the freedom to take you to jail, too,” sneered Urlacher. “And that’s going to happen… You exercise it [freedom of speech] all you want, OK? If you just cooperate and treat the police like humans, we’ll treat you like that. But when you act like that, like an animal, you’ve got to get treated that way, you know…. Your mouth and your attitude talked you into jail.”

Ford, it probably doesn’t need to be said, is black. He wasn’t being arrested for acting like an “animal,” but for daring to insist on being treated like a free man. Urlacher’s express intention in carrying out that unnecessary and unjustified arrest was to teach that uppity Mundane a lesson in submission.

(Urlacher, incidentally, would later be suspended for charging $400 worth of beer to city credit cards during a “training” junket. Since city policy forbids expenditure of public funds for alcohol, the charges were initially disguised as hyper-extravagant “tips” to waitresses at Hooter’s and similar establishments.)

The pretext charge of a noise violation was later dismissed. Understandably, Ford filed a lawsuit that was eventually heard by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that he had standing to sue the City of Yakima. Citing a similar case from Chicago, the panel observed that the “freedom of individuals verbally to challenge police action without  thereby risking  arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.”

As is usually the case in such matters, the City government settled the case, paying Ford $65,000 in lieu of going to court. Yakima PD Chief Dominic Rizzi reacted dismissively, insisting that “We did not lose that lawsuit” and instructing his subordinates to ignore the ruling – which is to say, apply what the court described as a “police state” sanction by using retaliatory arrest as a means of punishing Mundanes who criticize them.

This apparently applies to former police officers who are now among the “little people” – such as Adam Basford.

“Even though Lt. Wentz was the same guy who authorized the illegal arrest of my former boxing coach, I took my complaint to him after my run-in with Yates,” Basford told me. “I was hoping that he would be disciplined and brought to heel. Instead, I was hit with a criminal charge that I can't fight in court.”

Basford’s injuries have left him unable to work, and his ongoing legal struggles have left him in career stasis. Even worse, he is being maneuvered into a plea agreement that would make him unemployable in any field for which he is qualified.

“I contacted every attorney in the area, and was told that it would cost at least $30,000 to retain legal counsel,” Basford relates. “I can't afford to hire competent legal help, so I wound up with a public defender who is six months out of law school.”

During the August 18 hearing, Basford's attorney (actually, the paralegal who acted on behalf of his public defender, who didn't attend) was offered a “12 month Stipulated Order of Continuance” – a form of probation during which he would be subject to a “stipulated trial” if he were arrested and charged with any criminal infraction. A “stipulated trial” is a procedure in which “the judge reads the police reports and makes a determination,” Basford was told. “A stipulated trial would most likely result in a conviction.”

To avoid a Cardassian-style “trial” in which a guilty verdict is foreordained, Basford would have “to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue the city.” What this means, of course, is that his former employer is now threatening him with incarceration in order to compel him to waive his right to seek redress.

The source of Basford’s trouble is the fact that he didn't define his professional identity in tribal terms.

“My oath was to the public, not to protect abusive fellow officers,” he declares. “I swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution as an Air Force officer, and I took that seriously. I'm not a religious man, but I also believe that there will be a final judgment of some kind, and that I will be accountable for every punch, every kick, every baton strike, and of course every round I fire. I don't think that attitude was commonplace among my colleagues.”

Basford's military background, counterintuitively, reinforced his restraint in using force for purposes he considered defensive.

“In the military, at least when and where I served, we were forbidden to inflict punishment on civilians and were required to use force only in response to an attack,” he recalled. “I found that the rules of engagement for the police were much less restrictive. If I had engaged in the kind of behavior I witnessed on the part of the police while I was in the military I'd be residing in Leavenworth right now.”

Owing to the perverse incentives that prevail in government law enforcement, it would have been to Basford’s advantage to kill Antonio Cardenas, rather than using less-than-lethal means – at considerable personal risk, and substantial personal cost – to arrest him. If Basford had used lethal force during that confrontation, it’s likely that the department would have rallied to his defense – not out of admiration for him, but rather in search of limiting their institutional liability.

Basford was purged from the ranks because he saw his role as that of a peace officer sworn to protect persons and property, rather than a member of a privileged enforcement caste. While he fights to keep himself out of jail, nation-wide fundraising and support efforts are underway on behalf of Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, and Darren Wilson, who shot and killed the unarmed teenager Michael Brown under what can charitably be described as highly dubious circumstances.

Cops who kill, it appears, are considered worthier of support than peace officers who cross the Blue Line.

An important postscript

An anonymous commenter below complains that the foregoing account of Adam Basford's experiences with the Yakima Police Department is one-sided. While not stipulating to that characterization, I will point out that today, more than a year after the encounter with Antonio Cardenas, that incident is subject to an "ongoing investigation," which means that the YPD is refusing to release the documents concerning Officer Basford's conduct in the matter. An official review of the shooting has reportedly been finished, and although both Basford and his physician have been promised a copy of that document, it has not been provided to either of them.

Contemporaneous press accounts to which I've provided links confirm that Basford arrested Cardenas, that he was wounded by gunfire, and that his own weapon was not used. I have seen numerous photographs -- some of them unsettling -- of the injury he sustained. It was not trivial.

The commenter made a veiled reference to Basford's "background." Without delving into the details, I will disclose that Basford described to me a difficult upbringing in a troubled home with a father who was intractably mired in a criminal subculture. Earlier this year his father committed suicide in suspicious circumstances. There may be a connection between Cardenas's associates and the death of Basford's father, but Adam was in no way implicated in that matter, beyond being an understandably horrified observer. I didn't deal with that aspect of the story because the article had become prohibitively lengthy and complicated -- and because I haven't been able to answer certain key questions to my satisfaction.

It's not necessary to regard Mr. Basford as a paragon of virtue (he certainly doesn't) in order to appreciate his sincere and commendable effort to be a conscientious peace officer within a thoroughly (which is to say, typically) corrupt department.

P.P.S. -- I've added a link above to a news story from August 2013 offering confirmation of Adam Basford's claim that police are concerned about crude, small-yield improvised explosives "with the potential to kill somebody" that have been found in some parts of Yakima. 

 Yakima PD and State-Aligned "News" Outlet Double-Team Adam Basford
When confronted with an allegation of official misconduct or corruption, a journalist will investigate the complaint. In the same situation, a state-licensed apologist will investigate the complainant, in order to vindicate power in the eyes of the public.

Thus it is probably significant that when Yakima NBC affiliate KNDO decided to follow up on my story about former Yakima PD Officer Adam Basford, the headline it chose was: “I-Team Investigates Blog Claiming Yakima Police Abandoned Officer in Struggle.”

The video provided to KNDO – which wasn’t available to me at the time I wrote the original story – validates most of Basford’s account: It shows police responding after the altercation; documents that Basford was wounded (although at the time his wound – which proved to be very serious – was dismissed as “superficial”) – and that Basford was concerned about the suspect going for a gun; and it captures the image of Basford striding toward the suspect with a drawn gun at his side.

KNDO depicts Basford as a dangerous and undisciplined officer who was seeking to “execute” a suspect he had just risked his life to arrest without using lethal force. It also dismisses his claim that other officers had declined to intervene on his behalf by noting that “in all official accounts of the incident, there was no mention of officers witnessing the struggle and not helping.”

“That didn’t happen,” Chief Rizzi told KNDO correspondent Chris Luther. “I trust the integrity of all of these officers that they’re going to do the right thing….”

Rizzi’s assessment of an officer’s “integrity” is based on a sliding scale. As noted above,Yakima PD has been deluged with lawsuits in recent years, many of them filed by disillusioned officers complaining about institutional corruption
. Chief Rizzi is still dealing with the degenerate corporate culture he inherited from former Chief Sam Granato, and his administration isn’t a substantive improvement over that of his widely despised predecessor.

Rizzi blithely ratified an internal review that permitted Officer Casey Gillette to escape punishment after he beat an unarmed man and unlawfully arrested him for “disorderly conduct," which is not an offense under Yakima municipal statutes. As a Supervisory Review of that case demonstrated, the false charge was “chosen to justify Gillette’s [unlawful] use of force and possibly to protect the city” from a lawsuit.

A few months later, an innocent man who was sleeping in his car. That shooting was ruled “justified” because of the “perceived threat” reported by Gillette after killing the victim.

It is a bit precious of Rizzi to feign outrage over Basford’s behavior after getting shot while countenancing the execution-style shooting of a sleeping man.

It would have been appropriate for Mr. Luther or other reporters from KNDO to ask Chief Rizzi about these matters. If those questions were asked, Chief Rizzi’s answers were not made available to the public. But remember: The purpose of the KNDO report was to investigate the complainant, not the complaint.

Adam Basford, who arrived at an “amicable separation” from the Yakima PD following his injury, told me that he was often left without backup because of complaints he had made regarding misconduct by fellow officers. After leaving the force, he filed a complaint against Officer Ryan Yates arising from what he described as a confrontation in the parking lot of a sporting goods store.

KNDO was provided with what it described as “inconclusive” security camera footage of the confrontation. Luther’s story also noted that Basford’s complaint was dismissed, and he was charged with “filing a false report.” An actual journalist might have asked Chief Rizzi to explain whether it is standard procedure for a citizen to be charged with a crime when his department doesn’t sustain a misconduct complaint. He might also point out that the Yakima PD and the DA apparently consider it to be a more serious "crime" for a citizen to file an unsustained complaint about police misconduct, than for a convicted felon to shoot a police officer who had complained about misconduct by his colleagues, given that Basford actually faced more time behind bars than the man who shot him. A journalist might ask Rizzi for comment about that matter.

Luther had the opportunity to ask those questions. His apparent refusal to do so tells us which of the two roles described in the first paragraph above he has chosen to play.

Luther contacted me late in the evening on October 21 – less than 24 hours before KNDO’s story was broadcast. I replied by sending him several hundred pages of documents I had obtained through public records request and other means.

“I really appreciate you getting back to me so quickly,” Luther replied. “I will review all the documents tomorrow.”

No, he didn’t. Absent the gifts for speed-reading and comprehension enjoyed by the psionically enhanced Gary Mitchell, it would have been humanly impossible to review all of the documents I provided to Mr. Luther.

It’s reasonable to surmise that by the time Luther contacted me, the copy had been written, the footage had been interviewed, and all that was left were a few inserts and the obligatory stand-up in front of the Yakima PD Office.

“There will not be any on-camera [interview] where I'm speaking with any news affiliate, outlet, or agency,” Basford told Luther in an email exchange that occurred less than five hours before KNDO broadcast its story. “I've been advised by both my attorneys that I cannot do official interviews at this time. Besides, my whole story is actually in my police report.”

Mr. Basford’s refusal to speak with Luther was the product of a gag order imposed on him through a "Stipulated Order of Continuance" arising from the vindictive and unjustified charge of filing a false report. As explained to him by his attorney, this is a type of probation during which time he would face a “stipulated trial” if he were arrested and charged with any criminal infraction. This is a procedure in which “the judge reads the police reports and makes a determination. A stipulated trial would most likely result in a conviction.”

What this means, obviously, is that the Yakima PD can tell whatever story it wants about Adam Basford, and Mr. Basford faces the prospect of imprisonment if he speaks in his own defense. A journalist would be expected to ask questions about that arrangement or, at the very least, explain it to the public. It’s a pity that KNDO doesn’t have anybody meeting that description on its payroll.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

Great article. Does anyone know what the salaries are for these weasel cops who are trumping up charges against a rare honest cop? Or their email addresses?

Those cops are complete curs. They are example number 2,546 of why we can't rely on the police to defend us - they might not get approved for overtime or they might get scared of fighting a criminal!

Mr. Spock said...

Will -

What a fantastic article. Why not put Mr. Basford in touch with The Rutherford Institute?


Anonymous said...

Just listened to your podcast with Tom woods. Great job! I thought you were very fair and didn't fall into the problem of taking the side of the looters or the police automstically, and instead sticking to the facts.

I especially liked your statement that the rioters looting and destroying property are on the same side as the police.

wolfe76 said...

sensational work yet again Will.

switters said...

Fantastic expose which will be shared far and wide later today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Will, two possible typos
At this point, Gillette had to invent a criminal charge to justify the summary punishment he had meted out for “contempt of cop.” He initially wanted to use “disorderly conduct,” a cover charge he had often employed as a cover charge while employed by the police department in Toppenish.

Just below the portrait of Ford:
Citing a similar case from Chicago, the panel observed that the “freedom of individuals verbally to oppose of challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.” You're like me - big fingers :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece on an extremely disturbing subject.

I wish I had the means to contribute to both you, Will, and to Adam Basford.

I only hope that the families of other good cops read your pieces and manage to persuade them to get the hell out of the inherently corrupt and abusive institution.


Anonymous said...

Now explain why a cop gets a pat on the wrist for doing the same crime that would get anyone else 18 years or so in prison...

The whole wall of silence goes all the way up to through the justice system..........

Anonymous said...

Just heard your excellent explanation of the police abuses in Ferguson, MO on Tom Wood's podcast. I sent you a small bitcoin donation. Wish I could do more.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

God bless.


Capitalist Eric said...

It is clear that the USA we I'll go through another Civil War. And this is not merely my opinion but also that of most .how people who read the tea leaves, resulting in the various government documents which spell out contingency plans.

When this happens the .gov thugs will the heaviest price... and TRUE peace officers like Basford will have plenty of employment opportunities, and once again enjoy the respect of grateful citizens.

Anonymous said...

This is a link to the Tom woods interview with will grigg on Friday. Everyone check it out and share! It was excellent.

rkshanny said...

You made my day Will. I love it when Leviathan eats its own. And, what is a "good cop"? A monopoly State brigand that spends most of his shift predatizing his neighbors in the name of forcible revenue extraction for mala prohibita non-crimes, busting in his neighbors doors for same, enabling asset forfeiture looting of his neighbors, filling illegal quotas, er, performance benchmarks, er, productivity stats, er, whatever fabrication they come up with next, involving people who have harmed no one nor anything (mala in se) in the very same insidious circus of police-state insanity he is now enveloped in, etc., ad nauseum. I'm supposed to sympathize with this leech because he is a sociopath with a bit of conscience, instead of the usual psychopath without a conscience? I say "what goes around, comes around".

William N. Grigg said...

One obvious lesson of this story is that the expression "good cop" is a functional synonym for "ex-cop."

Lemuel Gulliver said...


You have totally missed the point of the article. As Mr. Grigg explains, such a thing as a "good cop" can exist, but is not tolerated among the criminal gang of Gestapo thugs. A "good cop" is expelled, thereby joining the ranks of victims - you and me. Decent human beings should give up any ambition of joining the police - that profession nowadays is reserved for thugs, criminals, liars, sadists, perverts and psychopaths. Human scum, worse than a pack of hyenas eating their victims alive, or a mess of maggots consuming the dead corpse of the once-great USA.

Mr. Grigg, I said this before here, and I'll say it again: If there is any organization in this country that can save it from self-destruction, that organization is the military.

Capitalist Eric, It would be great if there WAS another civil war, soon, before we end up in a contrived nuclear war with Russia, promoted by the Zionist Media and their lackeys in Washington:

Read that and watch the interview if you care about your continued survival. However, I doubt the American people are mad enough or smart enough to rebel. Or ever will be. This is no longer the nation of 1776, or 1860, but a degenerate, brainwashed, hedonistic, corrupt cesspit of apathy and moral turpitude.

I hope and pray we indeed have a military coup in this country before the planet is destroyed and 4-5 billion people die, due to the imperial arrogance displayed in Washington by the suck-titty politicians, and on Main Street USA by their armed Nazi enforcers, the police.

This weekly crusade of Mr. Grigg's is not a joke. It is life and death for us all.

- LG

Anonymous said...

I live in yakima have 5 years clean f4ee of drugs and i can tell u from lifetime exoeriance before changing my life of this abuse that cops give criminals... still to this day tgey seperate me becouse of my past n treat me as if im subhuman... i can go on and on about abuse both physical and mental that i have recieved from ypd.... great report... sorry mr basford... i never personally met u that i rem..

frenchy said...

Hey Will,

Is there a defense fund for Mr. Bradford?

Anonymous said...

What a mostly well written piece of fiction. When someone claims to have been persecuted "beyond belief", you woukd be wise to not believe them.

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous, I'd appreciate a breakdown of which portions are fiction, and which are "well-written." :-)

Frenchy, Mr. Bosford told me that he is making arrangements for a defense fund, and details should be available tomorrow (Monday, August 25).

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg...please ignore "Anonymous" it sounds like a corrupt blue-line member defending his criminal cohorts... I think contacting Mr. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute is an excellent is a defense fund. My family were all corrupt cops and I know exactly the situation described...though you very rarely get someone with the guts to stand up to the corrupt cops...especially within their own house... so good for this officer...I hope we raise so much money and get Mr. Whitehead involved to the degree that we can open a can of whoop-*ss on the city of Yakima...and it's corrupt government...
RJ O'Guillory
Webster Groves - The Life of an Insane Family

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this make the claims of the fascist gun banners like Feinstein of having the police go door to door confiscating weapons sound even more hilarious than ever? The cops are scared of fighting one Mexican gangster or going into one gang neighborhood. What would they do when faced with tens of millions of gun owners who would resist?

I think we know the answer to that question!

Anonymous said...

True journalism requires investigation, not just taking one mans statement and calling it a factual story. If i were to run down the inaccuracies my claims would probably be dismissed as bias, just as another blogger has already done. I would recommend public disclosure requests for not just reports that would show how details of the claims have changed over time, but things such as video / audio recordings from body, in-car, and security cams. And perhaps a little background on the man making the statement would help bring his true agendas to light.

Elaine said...

He did it the right way!!! What is their problem? Look to the top -- the Captain and the Mayor''s Office!!

Elaine said...

His Captain SHOULD BE standing behind him!! IF NOT? Citizens need to gather as a "quiet" group and go the the Mayor's Office First;
Then the City Council and last but not least, The Police Captain...AS A GROUP!!!! With TV Camera(s) if possible

Anonymous said...

"I didn't deal with that aspect of the story because the article had become prohibitively lengthy and complicated "

you write well and in this case are writing about a topic that deserves legitimate journalistic investigation.

i admire your decision to include the commenter challenges in the update to the article. it would be worthwhile to pursue these questions further and i hope that you decide to do so.

Anonymous said...

All of which proves beyond a sliver of questioning the fact that: All cops are criminals because they all have seen crimes by other cops and by not saying anything are guilty of being part of the crime, after the fact.
We have all heard people say, "there are some good cops out there". How can that be, when they see crimes against innocent citizens and keep their mouths shut. If I'm wrong, how so?
Fact: Normal health minded people do not enjoy or engage in lying to destroy people's lives. Or engage in violence to harm or kill people who do not deserve anything but to be left alone. Clearly far too many cops have very serious mental health issues. So much for the shrinks trying to weed out recruits with mental health issues or are they?

Anonymous said...

Great article, again. I live in Boston and had no idea Yakima, WA was such a shithole.

InalienableWrights said...

"Good Cop" is a relative term.

The chances are that Adam Basford, like the Nazi guards at Auschwitz, or the cops that put Japanese Americans in concentration camps, did many things that were legal, but not lawful and for which he should at the very least be incarcerated for.

IMHO there is no such thing as a good cop for to be a good cop one would have to not enforce 99% of the (illegitimate) laws on the books and no cop does that and keeps his job.

At best Adam Basford was just a less evil cop.

Boris Epstein said...

Mr Grigg,

A great piece of recording - stands out even against the quality work you normally do.

Is there any way to help Adam Basford? A defense fund for him or some such?

Anonymous said...

For years I have been advising "good" cops to either clean up their departments or get out of the profession. People have had enough of their criminal predatory behavior and there is a huge violent backlash coming. When it arrives, there will be no way to tell the "good" cops from the "bad" cops.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh my goodness...this guy can't write an intelligible article. Don't quit your day job. That's what you get in a free blogspot account I guess.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware Freedom of Speech was limited only to those who write [and speak] perfectly.
Anonymous 8/25 5:17 - Insult is not a form of argument, unless you are a politician.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Great piece. Especially if the former officer Basford weren't so crazy and such a liar...

Anonymous said...

Especially when I would stack up writing ability and IQ points with this poster and Will Grigg any day and be confident of who would win.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of FRANK SERPICO of the NYPD. Fellow officers treated him the same way after he testified to police corruption in 1971. A movie "SERPICO" was made about the story in 1973 starring Al Pacino in the title role.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me. You have taken the statement of one man and completely crapped on multiple different officer's years of service. I to live in Yakima and have followed these stories and find multiple misleading statements in many of the accounts. How long had Mr. Bassford been employed as an officer before the incident?

Anonymous said...

I believe the answer to why the other cops did not respond may be in the picture of the cops at the start of the story.
Take a look at the cop in black with the dog. Look at how large he is next to the other cops. Even the cops in the back row standing on a platform so they will be taller than the cops in the front row. I don't believe the cop with the dog is really much of a larger than normal man but by maybe a little if any. Look at the men in the front row, they are no larger than the woman, whom are dinky. Which is easy to tell they are dinky by the distance from their shoulders to their elbows. What I believe is the police departments are doing is hiring woman and hiring very small men to not make the woman feel insecure. In other words the police departments are hiring, Pee Wee Munchkins. So if a cop is in a dangerous situation in a known dangerous part of town. The cop in danger puts out a call for back up. There's no way the Pee Wee Munchkins are going to respond. They know they are Pee Wee Munchkins and pretty much worthless in a situation of violence. So they report they are busy doing other things and are unable to respond.
There is no question this is a part of the other cops (Pee Wee Munchkins) not responding. How much no one is ever really going to know because doing an investigation/study in search of the truth is never going to happen. It wouldn't be politically correct to have a finding of, Pee Wee Munchkin cops are a danger to not only other cops but to the public at large.

Anonymous said...

Multiple years of service from the officers is supposed to be a positive? Just how many times do you think they violated the Constitution with federal based drug and gun charges?

Anonymous said...

Cops do seem to come in two sizes: Jabba the Hutt or Napoleon.

Anonymous said...

I used to think that the two sizes were fat ones and thick ones.


Anonymous said...

Just because bad cops are in Yakima, doesn't mean that Adam Basford isn't a total whack job. Goes to prove that they need better psychological testing to become a cop. People who have known him and his family for years were puzzled when he was accepted as a police officer and no one is surprised by the outcome.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that officers are required to join a Masonic lodge and as initiates, they are required to keep secrets - under penalty of horrendous deaths, be loyal to their fellow Masons, and to obey orders of their superiors in the lodge. This does not foster an independent, courageous police force. You can be in more trouble by being a good cop than a bad cop if the rules are to the detriment of the public. The 'new' police behavior - go for lethal force - might be due to this secret society mentality. "Good" cops are not valued by questionable influences within the lodges where orders come come from a little old man behind the curtain who appears to be turning the screws on everyone, everywhere... Would someone please arrest that little guy before he destroys the planet? He needs to be put in "time out", isolated and have his inner psychopath removed.

Anonymous said...

Casey Gillette was also involved in killing the kid from Selah. I'd have to google the name.

I too am from Yakima, born and raised. I am an old person.

I know first hand how dirty some of the Yakima Police are. I have even had them apologize to me, which I did not accept.

I am so glad this is finally coming to the attention of readers because Yakima used to be a nice town until the mid 80's and then it went downhill FAST!!!

The DEA here is dirty too.

It's seriously scary to live here bc the police here will kill you or keep you going through the court systems until you are BROKE!!

They don't call it YakaVegas for nothing!! Check our crime stats, the unsolved murders, the cartels that come from this area and OUR SISTER CITY!!!!

Google stuff and find out for yourselves.. this guy hit the nail smack on the head and HARD!!!


Yakima is too small to be sooo dirty!!!!

The Yakima City Council is fighting a voting rights violation with the ACLU where the area Basford speaks of has been grossly under represented.

Leah Dunn said...

What a load of rubbish. Masonic lodge? Really? Good cops don't want bad cops around and this people is a WONDERFUL example of a bad cop. Glad he's gone from YPD.

Anonymous said...

So here local journalists did the digging and look what they found. Video and documents showing the whistle blower doing wrong. And when he had his chance to explain and deffend himself he plays the mute card, one he clearly didn't play when he reached out to you and your readers to gain misplaced sympathy and a fan base. Very coincindental now that he has $1,000+ in donations in his "fund me" account thanks to you helping him spread lies and propaganda to a group anxious to be fed anti-law bad big brother stories.
If you feel like a fiddle, its because you've just been played.

William N. Grigg said...

To the extent I feel like a fiddle it's because of my exceptional fitness.

Mr. Basford is not playing the "mute" card; as he explained to the putative journalist from KNDO who contacted him yesterday five hours before the already-completed hit piece was broadcast, he is subject to a gag order.

The Yakima PD was thus free to traduce Mr. Basford in the serene confidence that he couldn't respond without the risk of being incarcerated on a contrived charge of "filing a false report."

Consider that charge for a moment. Citizen complaints against police officers are rarely upheld. Under the precedent set in this case, citizens of Yakima now confront the prospect of prosecution if Chief Rizzi rejects their complaint. It would have been worthwhile for a reporter to ask Rizzi about this. Mr. Luther from KNDO declined to do so, it appears.

As explained above (and here -- Mr. Luther from contacted me at about midnight on Tuesday to ask if I could provide him with the documents I had obtained through a public records request. I promptly sent him several hundred pages of material that he promised to "review" yesterday.

Yeah, right. By the time Luther contacted me, his story was already written, shot, and (for the most part) edited. He made a perfunctory attempt to contact Basford, which resulted in a brief e-mail exchange in which he explained why he couldn't do an interview. Luther ignored that answer and actually fabricated at least one quote that wound up in the piece.

Addressing the question of "misplaced sympathy," it's worth remembering that Basford was shot while arresting a violent felon using hand-to-hand techniques in order to protect bystanders. He did approach the subdued suspect out of concern that the suspect might have access to a weapon.

As He admits, that action was a violation of policy. Bear in mind, however, that Yakima PD continues to employ officers such as Casey Gillette, who beat and unlawfully arrested one man and killed another without cause or justification.

There's a place in the Yakima PD for Casey Gillette, but not Adam Basford. Why is this the case? Wouldn't a journalist -- as opposed to an apologist -- pose questions of that kind to Chief Rizzi?

Anonymous said...

Your problem is you will never see the truth in this matter because you don't want Basford to be wrong. He has nothing but time to create lies that you want to belive. He can't be arrested for giving a false report to the news, if so he would be in jail for this article.
You appear blinded by the desire to have a conspiracy and to use it to boost your popularity. Much like ebola, it appears Basford is viral and contageous.

William N. Grigg said...

Apparently Basford somehow falsified several hundred pages of records; suborned roughly a dozen current and former Yakima PD officers to file whistleblower-style lawsuits; arranged to have himself shot in the leg while arresting an ex-con and to have the perpetrator charged with "attempted first-degree assault"; then quit the force and somehow managed to be criminally charged for filing a misconduct complaint and maneuvered into a plea deal that effectively gags him under threat of imprisonment ... to what advantage, exactly?

Unknown said...

I used to be under the illusion that the police were the good guys. Until I applied for the position at an area Department of Public Safety. That was when I learned of the Thin Blue Line and The Code. I was asked if I would arrest the Chief of Police if I encountered him committing a crime, to which I responded that I would arrest anyone sitting on the panel before me if I caught them breaking the law. I was then advised that I would likely be better suited in another field of work.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see others standing up to not only bad cops but totally corrupt law enforcement. My son is the victim of corruption and we're in disbelief and living in a nightmare. It all started with an elderly man that we've known for years calling the Sheriffs' department for help getting in touch with my son because we lost our home and he had lost my sons contact information. The Sheriff saw my sons name and recognized it as a citizen that had problems with a parking enforcer trying to nun him over with her work vehicle, a SUV. we have it on video so they can't deny it. But their saying she must have been afraid of him because he's a big guy. No she passed by my son waving and smiling acting so proud of herself. My son attempted to file a complaint against her but when he arrived at the Sheriffs department they locked the doors, not allowing my son to enter and it wasn't closing time. And now we're being punished for trusting the Sheriffs department. I have been going on several sites and I couldn't believe how many people have been done wrong by Peace officers. So the very department that gave an over abundance of power to these out of control thugs. Yes thugs what else can we refer to you as. You are breaking laws to get citizens arrested knowing that chances are there innocent but the bad cops really don't give a damn no doubt about it. We have been going up against them armed with the truth and their digging up lies on top of lies on all of us with clean records. The way I look at it is if enough people have had enough all of the corruption we need to have it addressed to as high as it takes to stop the way law enforcement has been treating the citizens all around the world not just in Riverside county and SAN Bernardino county to. The DOJ need to set up a operation to catch them in the middle of their bad deeds. But what bothers me is that I'm sure this isn't the first time this has been brought up to you or other departments. Please finally put a stop to this garbage we have enough to deal with worrying about the threats from other countries.

Anonymous said...

What I posted is the truth and I'm wanting other citizens to know that their not alone going up against corrupt cops. I'm trying to protect my son from these predators that are supposed to uphold the law but are creating problems that should never have taken place in the very beginning. They know we have a good case against them so they are working hard to destroy our lives. When you're told to file a complaint against one of them look out for the attacks from all sides. I'm speaking from personal experience with different cops. They do something wrong and then they retaliate against you for their mistakes, no that's not right that's only when someone doesn't mean to do something, the cops mean to do us wrong. So please post my comment before this one.

Anonymous said...

This post is probably from a cop, because my heart goes out this wonderful person I wish we had more cops like him. I have known of several cops that were black balled when refusing to be dirty like them. We have enough to deal with other countries we shouldn't have to worry about law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be upholding the laws that they swore to do under their job description so what the happened because we sure are scratching our heads wondering why the cops that are not doing their jobs properly are still wearing the uniforms and badges that is. Suppose to indicate that we can call upon an emergency situation not worry about if we might get a cop that decides to make you into the criminal because he may have had a bad day. So don't be calling Officer Basford a wacked job because we don't agree with you on this one. I'll be looking for a fund set up to him with his legal fees even though were also fighting the bad cops over here to. Good M. Basford I'll be following your case.