Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Big Blue Crime Wave

Will Grigg -

Amid a world-historic economic collapse and the emergence of a fully-orbed doctrine of official impunity, an increasing percentage of those hired by the State to protect “public safety” are freelancing as undisguised criminals.

Rapist on Patrol:

Marcus Jackson, a patrol officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, was arrested last week after two women accused him of sexual assault.

Since being charged and jailed on multiple counts of sexual battery, felonious restraint, and interference with an emergency communication, Jackson has been hit with a third accusation. All three accusers describe being sexually assaulted by Jackson during traffic stops.

Jackson was fired subsequent to his arrest. He had been hired despite being subject to a domestic violence restraining order. It’s worth recalling that federal and local “laws” forbid the exercise of the right to armed self-defense by people convicted of domestic violence charges, yet Jackson was given a gun and a piece of costume jewelry and the opportunity to prey on innocent victims.

“Professional Courtesy” for a Bank Robber:

As paladins of public order, police are considered largely exempt from the traffic regulations that government mere Mundanes — not only when they’re needlessly speeding or running red lights while on-duty, but also by way of “professional courtesy” while off the clock.

On January 6, Apple Valley, Minnesota patrol officer Kurt Schultz pulled over a white car belonging to Timothy Edward Carson because it wasn’t displaying a front license plate.

This is a classic “pretext stop” of the sort used to manufacture probable cause for a vehicular search. In this case, however, Schultz let Carson go without hassle, because Carson was an officer with the Minneapolis PD. Had Schultz pressed Carson just a bit he might have learned that Carson was late for work that morning. He was an hour tardy for his “protect and serve” gig because he spent the morning robbing a bank.

A half-hour later, Schultz received a call that a local Wells Fargo Bank had been robbed by an armed man wearing a black jacket and a ski mask. En route to the bank, Schultz passed Carson’s car again, this time headed north. “This was the break in the case,” Schultz later recalled.

That “break” might have come sooner if Schultz had treated Carson like a Mundane, something “professional courtesy” forbids. Carson, a member of the Minneapolis SWAT team, has admitted to a role in several local armed robberies. Presumably this refers to unsanctioned robberies apart from those routinely carried out by Minnesota police under the label of “asset forfeiture.”

Bibulous Sobriety Gatekeeper:

Corporal John Quigg of the Pennsylvania State Police, who supervised sobriety checkpoints in that state, “has been charged with drunken driving,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has been placed on “administrative leave” — that is, paid vacation — “pending adjudication of the charges and the results of an internal investigation” into his December 17 arrest.

Quigg, who was not on duty, lost control of his Honda, which collided with a guard rail on Pennsylvania Route 422. The 47-year-old State Trooper was found slumped over the wheel of his car with an open container of alcohol.

Leaving aside the issue of whether driving after drinking (as opposed to conduct while driving that actually threatens others) should be considered a crime, this isn’t what most people would expect from someone who set up roadblocks and demanded travel papers from motorists in the name of enforcing DUI laws. Then again, most people just aren’t paying attention.

Blue Gang Beating in Springfield:

Last November 27, Melvin Jones, Jr. of Springfield, Mass. was severely beaten during a traffic stop by at least four, and perhaps as many as six, heroic defenders of public virtue. One of the officers hit Jones at least fifteen times with a large metal flashlight. The arrest and assault were captured on video.

As the officers administered a dose of “street justice” to Jones (who was allegedly found in possession of non-government-approved drugs), one of them serenaded him with kind words about his ethnic heritage: “Put your hands behind you, you f*****g n****r!” exclaimed the hero in blue.

Jones, who tried to run from the police (gee golly Ned, I wonder why?), is now partially blind. “They beat him like a wild animal,” observes his father, Melvin Sr. While he believes his son should face the legal consequences if found guilty of drug possession, the elder Jones insists, quite sensibly, that “no human being should be treated like that.”

The officers who swarmed and beat Jones were conducting enhanced patrols in a local “hot spot” as part of a program funded through a special state grant. Jones came to their attention because his car had a damaged muffler.

Among the officers involved in the incident is Patrolman Jeffery M. Asher, a 17-year veteran on the force who came to national attention in 1997 through a video showing him kicking a black suspect.

Asher is the kind of valiant public servant who specializes in assaulting helpless suspects: In the earlier incident he kicked a suspect who had been pinned down by several other officers. He was cleared of criminal charges (natch) and suspended for a year without pay — but even that punishment was deemed too harsh, and his suspension was cut in half.

“Be safe out there,” members of the Brotherhood in Blue often say to each other by way of melodramatic benediction. Law enforcement isn’t a particularly dangerous job, and last year was the safest for police of the last half-century. The real question, as always, is this: Who’s going to protect us from our supposed protectors?