July 31st, 2013

Seattle Journalist Threatened with Arrest for Taking Photos; Vows to Take Action 79

By Carlos Miller
kc_sergeant_saulet

King County Sheriff’s Officer Patrick “K.C.” Saulet

For more than two decades, King County Sheriff’s Officer Patrick “K.C.” Saulet has been able to keep his job despite a string of sustained complaints that prove he is a thug, a bully and a genuine asshole.

So it’s no wonder he was the first cop to approach a Seattle journalist Tuesday and threaten him with arrest for having the gall to take photos of a group of cops surrounding a man in typical intimidating fashion.

Not to be outrivaled, Seattle police officer John Marion then approached the reporter and threatened to harass him at work for daring to ask questions about Saulet.

But Dominic Holden, reporter for Seattle’s weekly newspaper, The Stranger, did not allow those two to deter him from publishing his photos and his article.

In fact, it empowered him to file official complaints against the two officers and vow to keep readers informed of the developments of those complaints.

Here is how he described yesterday’s encounter in The Stranger:

From 20-25 feet away, I couldn’t discern exactly what was happening, but the man eventually stood up to leave. That’s when one of the officers eyed me and yelled something like, “He’s got a camera!

King County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Patrick “K.C.” Saulet rushed over and told me to leave or be arrested. He claimed I was standing on transit station property; the plaza belongs to King County Metro’s King Street Station and I could not stand there, he said. I backed up about two feet over the line that he pointed out (two parts of the same walkway) until I was unambiguously on the City of Seattle’s sidewalk, near a utility pole by the curb. But Officer Saulet then insisted that I would be arrested unless I left the entire block.

Now, let me pause for a second to say this: When the US Department of Justice alleged that the Seattle Police Department was routinely using excessive force, federal prosecutors stressed in their report that officers were escalating ordinary interactions into volatile, sometimes violent, situations. Now a federal court controls the SPD under a reform plan, and the King County Sheriff’s Department has faced extensive scrutiny for officer misconduct, so the two agencies should be showing more civility on the beat. Or so you’d think.

Back to Saulet: “You need to leave or you’re coming with me,” he said while repeating his arrest threat yet again. Commuters, shoppers, and vagrants were milling about the sidewalk and plaza—some people were passing closer to the center of the police activity than I was—but I was the only one on that busy block told to leave (the guy watching the police and taking their picture). I hadn’t tried speaking to the officers or bothering them in any way, I hadn’t even identified myself as a reporter, and I was standing on public property. The officers did not accuse me of any offense other than standing there. At this point, the man police were questioning had left. So I asked for the officer’s name—I wanted to know who was threatening to arrest me—and he pointed to his embroidered shirt breast; as I took a photo of it, he lifted his hand, apparently in an attempt to block the shot.

Holden later learned that Saulet has a long history of misconduct and abuse  - even complaints from fellow officers – so we already know he can do whatever the hell he wants.

spd_officer_john_marion

Seattle police officer John Marion

As for Marion, who was displaying the behavior we’ve come to expect from Seattle police over the years, he should be made an example by the department’s new ombudsman of police accountability, Pierce Murphy, who started his job with much promise on July 1.

According to Real Change News:

Murphy joins Seattle at a pivotal time in the Seattle Police Department. A 2011 report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) found that Seattle officers have a pattern and practice of excessive force.

The city entered into a court-ordered settlement agreement with the DOJ that includes changes to the OPA as recommended by the newly formed Community Police Commission, a 15-member panel of citizens, police accountability advocates and SPD officers and sergeants.

Before coming to Seattle, Murphy served as the Boise, Idaho, police ombudsman, a position he held since 1999, following a high-profile shooting there. He has since become a well-known figure in the police accountability world.

According to city of Boise reports, Murphy has fielded fewer complaints against the police department every year since 2006.

Murphy credits that decline to the work he did building relationships between the police and the community.

“I saw that there was a crisis of trust between the community and the police that served it,” Murphy said.

He hoped to do the same thing in Seattle and promised to hold weekly meetings with the community.

And now we have Holden to hold his feet to the fire.

Because it shouldn’t be considered professional conduct in our county police force to threaten law-abiding citizens with arrest. It’s rank intimidation. I also can’t imagine that when that civilian asks a question of city officers—am I breaking the law?—that it is considered professional to threaten the civilian with visiting his place of work and harass him. If either of those things are considered acceptable, we should change the code of police conduct, because both are insane. And if they aren’t considered acceptable, I expect the departments to punish the cops involved.

Call the Seattle Police Department at (206) 625-5011 and the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311.


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • JimBob

    “I expect the departments to punish the cops involved.”

    Expect in one hand, shit in the other. See which one fills up first.

    • steveo

      I expect departments to test their officers for steroid use.

      • Ron

        BINGO

      • inquisitorX

        And add growth hormone and amphetamines to that screen.

  • Jrayy

    Welcome to Seattle

    • Groucho Lenin

      The Austin, Texas police department has been the subject of many similar complaints of violence, brutality, overt racism and intimidation. What is it about these reputedly “hip” cities that seems to attract the most corrupt and violent cops?

      • inquisitorX

        It is everywhere and getting worse.

        • Proud GrandPa

          IX,
          Really? Everywhere? The same everywhere?
          .
          Nothing is the same everywhere in the realm of human behavior. Don’t you think that there might be one police department somewhere that is getting better? If one could be getting better, why not two? Or three?
          .
          Since you have no universal survey of “betterness” of police departments, let us not make vague generalizations about all police departments. Things might just be “better” in other departments. Hope this encourages you.
          .

          • inquisitorX

            The mission has changed old man.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Shhhh, the old man is just clueless & strikingly naive.

          • Proud GrandPa

            Fotaugrafee =Troll Alert / Personal attacks instead of facts or logic. Try again with something worth a read.

          • Proud GrandPa

            You fail to offer evidence that the mission of law enforcement has changed.
            .
            May I observe that your ideological bias evidenced from your other posts influences your perception of LEOs.

          • Proud GrandPa

            On the other hand, I do read the websites you’ve offered me including the most recent article in Huff Post cited later this thread. Will comment later. Thanks. I can tell you are sincere. Perhaps we need to discuss facts not opinions. See later on in this thread.

          • inquisitorX

            The only thing that influences my perception of LEOs are the behaviors of LEOs themselves.

          • JdL

            Things might just be “better” in other departments. Hope this encourages you.

            What is your motivation for taking this Pollyanna attitude? Yeah, maybe there’s a decent bunch of cops somewhere on the planet, but that doesn’t change the undeniable fact that thousands of cops are rotten criminal thugs who deal out death and destruction with near impunity.

            Are you a cop? Is your son or grandson a cop? I’m trying to figure out why you’re so desperate to imagine that things aren’t as bad as they clearly are.

          • Proud GrandPa

            Perhaps my attitude is realistic and more consistent with facts. I sincerely believe police in the USA are mostly honest and want to do right. That does not ignore the existence of bad cops, some of whom are biased and others who are in league with criminals. On the whole based upon personal experience and news reports, I believe our cops are tops and gladly post that message here.
            .
            I don’t care to discuss my personal or familial details, but affirm that my friends and family do not bias my conclusions. If you’d care to debate the extent of corruption in some police departments, that would be something we could quantify and examine.

          • ErikJay

            Quantify and examine away, pal. I suggest you start with RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP by Radley Balko. It is a national (rather, international) problem, getting worse nearly everywhere. There are, of course, some departments going against the grain — but it’s hard when the Feds tempt you with such great toys as armored cars and drones! You have quite a bit of catching up to do. And I am betting you or your family are cops, bureaucrats, teachers, or some other kind of government lackeys. However, I am even skeptical OF MY OWN THOUGHTS, so maybe you’re just confused in general. Oh, well!

      • Fotaugrafee

        Thanks for the heads up, Groucho, sounds like I have my hands full in my new surroundings.

        Drop me an email (my handle) at comcast DOT net.

  • quadeddie

    I liked Saulet when he was on The Voice

  • Bob Euker

    You are dealing with very low intelligent individuals. They cannot get work in the private sector, so they stay employed where they can flex their imaginary power and authority. Karma will prevail.

    • Scott Parker

      I don’t believe in karma; I believe in cause and effect. Change will happen when these officers are prosecuted.

  • lorenbliss

    While the King County Police Department once had an enviable reputation for the professionalism of its officers, the Seattle Police Department has always been rightfully notorious as a vicious band of thugs, often as brutally racist as any of the many Ku Klux Klan-infested departments in the Jim Crow South. (For an early look at SPD criminality — and the miasma of municipal corruption that mandates it — read On the Take: From Petty Crooks to Presidents, by William J. Chambliss [Indiana University Press: 1978]. It’s a stunning expose’ of the real evil that defines the real Seattle.) Thus it’s very unlikely the officers who threatened Dominic Holden will ever be punished.

    Disclosure: I was roughed up by two SPD officers in 1976 after I was rear-ended at an intersection stoplight in a 25-mile-per-hour zone of residential Seattle. The car that rammed me was being illegally driven by the son of a very high-ranking U.S. Army officer. The son was under-age, had no learner’s permit and was driving his parents’ Cadillac under the alleged supervision of his mother; I was in a Fiat 124. Hence it was a Godzilla-versus-Bambi kind of collision. Indeed the Fiat was so badly damaged, it could not be moved without a wrecker. When the son tried to drive away from the accident scene, I reached into the Cadillac, snatched the keys from the ignition and called the SPD from a nearby pay phone. The two officers who responded refused to cite the boy or the mother, absurdly claimed I caused the accident “for the insurance money,” then insisted I accompany them behind a nearby abandoned building and began physically pushing me around, demanding I confess to deliberately stopping on a yellow light. Had I not then managed to show them my SPD-issued press card, I have no doubt I’d have been beaten senseless if not dead. Of course I filed a complaint with the department. But shortly afterward I began getting death threats via my unlisted home telephone number. The essence of the threats was I’d be killed if I pursued the complaint. Hence at the advice of other journalists — local people who knew the true depth of Seattle’s corruption — I withdrew the complaint. But I will never forget the incident, because it is the only time in my life I have ever been truly terrified of the police.

    • JdL

      Wow! What a horrifying experience! And this was in 1976, before things got really bad in much of the country.

      I think that every cop in America should be fired and made to re-apply for new a job with some actual standards, beyond “Smash up or murder anyone you like; wet your pants at any real or imagined danger.”

      • lorenbliss

        Thanks tor your supportiveness. But I should tell you, 1976 was bad enough, what with FBI and CIA efforts to suppress the alternative press (I was the founding photographer of The Seattle Sun, also one of its writers). In addition, in a lot of places there was residual police brutality from the Vietnam Era…

    • http://www.theretaildetail.us/ Amy Barnes

      I have a screenshot of an open demand for my execution on FaceBook.

      My “crime?” Saying FTP and – you’d better sit down for THIS one – careful now… this is the worst… here it comes… the “police suck.” OH! OH! THERE IT IS! The MOST painful thing EVER said! … and I stand by my sarcasm, because at my **trial** one coproach later testified that, by “lowering the public opinion of the police,” I was engaging in insurrectionist speech and that was an emergency that warranted my subsequent run-down and detention and solitary confinement in jail for several hours. Because anything distracting is considered by this coproach, apparently, to be an “emergency.” This officer could possibly have been citing military law – he’s former military from overseas conflict duty. And I saw on a GI Rights card that military are not allowed to bad-mouth officials nor call for any kind of uprising or other action against political figures.

      The next coproach (who I’m guessing was from India due to her accented speech) tried to pass “insulting the police should be a crime” line by the judge, who later declared me innocent of all charges.

      I paid with a YEAR of my time out on opprobrious restricted bond release conditions while awaiting trial – for maybe four seconds of free speech… and was forced to a trial that set precedence for the state of GA in that overheard curse words are not crimes. I now have pending litigation and CANNOT work in any W2 job as a result of the charges (Employment lawyers advise against hiring someone with my charges) and am considering selling my soul and going into Law :P

      Power to the people!

      • lorenbliss

        Very interested in telling your story via my blog, Outside Agitator’s Notebook (lorenbliss.typepad.com). But alas I was forced off Facebook in 2010 — retaliation for suggesting the economic “meltdown” was in fact a deliberate, long-planned scheme for wiping out government services and reducing the USian masses to serfdom. Hence — since (unlike the DHS) I can’t access your data — could you please contact me thru my blog’s comment matrix or via LinkedIn? (Comments aren’t public until I publish them, hence I can keep your contact information off the site.) And — yes — I know about the South; thanks to familial dysfunction, I was exiled there (from NYC) at an early age and, between ages four and 19, spent about half my life there. Was thrown in jail there too (Knox County Jail, 1963) — arrested in the newsroom of The Knoxville Journal for refusing to write a false, slanderous report that would have justified 39 illegal, Civil-Rights-Movement-related arrests.

  • rick

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.73.030
    Even though Washington is a two-party consent state there is an exception carved out (section 2(b)) for recording conversations “which convey threats of extortion, blackmail, bodily harm, or other unlawful requests or demands.”
    Seems to cover a lot of WA police interactions seen on PINAC.

    • Jim Tuck

      That doesn’t really apply. But a couple other bits do.

      First off, RCW 9.73 deals with private communications. People in public spaces cannot have private conversations, generally speaking.

      Second, look at section (b)4. So long as the recording device is ‘readily apparent or obvious’ they can record anything. The cops shouted ‘camera’, so logically the recording device is obvious.

      • rick

        My comment was a loud sigh into the wind about capturing these police interactions and then taking them to task for coercion. While I find Holden’s account credible, without evidence to corroborate his claim it’s difficult administer any punishment.

        The laws of two-party consent states are saying that yes, you can have private conversations in public. If two people converse on the sidewalk, one person audio records surreptitiously, and then publicizes the recording that person is in violation of 9.73.
        While not really relevant to the above story I thought it was important to highlight the exception that does allow secret audio recordings, at least in Washington. In other two-party consent states, Florida comes to mind, I haven’t been able to find any exception that allows recording when unlawful conduct is happening.
        For those rainy days when your camera is forcibly taken from your hand will the hidden audio recorder save you in legal land or will it’s evidence instead by inadmissible and held against you?

    • rick

      In addition there is a paid app called DropVox that automatically uploads audio to Dropbox. I haven’t tried it, but it might be worthwhile for people who need a backup recorder.

  • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

    When will the people of King County Washington demand accountability from the Badged Unformed Fascist Thugs they allow to act as agents are their behalf? These type of actions e simply should not be tolerated?

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Again, not fascist – police are on the conservative side of the political spectrum, not the socialist side.

      • rick

        Damn those Badged Uniformed Conservative Thugs!

      • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

        That would make them fascist.

        • inquisitorX

          Fascism tends to combine components from the left and from the right in whatever measure necessary to fulfill the following definitions. It can, at times, be inaccurate to define it with the intention of placing it on the left-right spectrum.

          …a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands
          for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

          …a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

          Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy
          and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader,
          subordination of the individual will to the state’s authority, and harsh
          suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal
          and democratic values are disparaged. Fascism arose during the 1920s and
          ’30s partly out of fear of the rising power of the working classes; it
          differed from contemporary communism (as practiced under Joseph Stalin) by its protection of business and landowning elites and its preservation of class systems.

          • inquisitorX

            Currently, “the plan” within the U.S. is use the neo-liberalism of the left to drive the neo-conservative right into a state of fascism. The militarization of the police is a part of this.

          • JdL

            Well said. It’s really pointless to argue whether a particular authoritarian thug is on the “left” or the “right”.

          • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

            Like I said….

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          No, fascists were uniformly socialist.

          • harry balzanya

            This is what police routinely do take one word and use it to dominate a conversation and misdirect from the topic. Fascist how about asshole soon to be ex cop.

          • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

            Um…you may want to look up ‘socialism’ and educate yourself a tad.

          • BammBamm

            Fascists wear uniforms?

      • Marty Le Renard

        Need to re-read the definitions there mate. It’ll be worth the effort when you get to laugh at people calling Obama a “Communist, Fascist tyrant”.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          You might try comparing the platforms of the fascists with those of the current administration before you start making blanket statements on definitions.

          Regardless, the fascists were clearly socialists.

          • Jaybone

            Fascists were clearly not socialists. Fascism was a rejection of the socialist ideas of the time, at least according to Mussolini the key founder of Fascism.

          • Difdi

            And yet, it it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has feathers and lays eggs, it’s probably not an aardvark.

            People can claim whatever they like about their politics, but if they say one thing and do the opposite, the thing that matters most is what they did, not what they said.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Obviously you don’t have any background in either political science or history.

          • Jaybone

            Actually, I do. Since you offer only a petty insult in retort, I assume your knowledge is shallow at best.

            Fascism was an extreme nationalistic reaction against socialist ideas. Historically they have been at odds with each other. Recent attempts at revisionism aside, fascists would not be identified as socialists.

          • ErikJay

            You have ZERO knowledge on the subject. Mussolini was a declared socialist. Read him, for God’s sake. I mean, for Dog’s sake. He was born to pop Alessandro, a socialist, named after Benito Juarez, Mexican nationalist/socialist of an early model, and proudly carried on the tradition. Fabian (look it up if you need to) G. B. Shaw heaped eloquent praise on him. For crying out loud, come back when you FINISH school.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Really?

            Gee, since that’s what I was saying. Jaybone was claiming that Mussolini was not socialist, but was right-wing. Vet claims the same thing. Mussolini formed the Fascist party because the Italian Socialist party wasn’t socialist enough.

            Try reading some of the other posts.

            Here’s your sign…

      • ErikJay

        You’re funny! Right! No socialist authoritarians anywhere! What f’ing planet are you on, man? You need to read a WHOLE lot more in poli sci, bro. This is not even an adult matter of discussion — unless you want to classify Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Honecker, and the rest as CONSERVATIVES. What a complete dope. Been to Venezuela lately? I have — scary, man — SOCIALIST SIDE SCARY. A pox on the left AND right, which are not poles apart at all, but quite similar forms of authoritarianism, using different assumptions, excuses, and cultural coercions. You have a LOT of studying to do, fella.

  • Difdi

    “RCW 9A.36.070
    Coercion.

    (1) A person is guilty of coercion if by use of a threat he or
    she compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter
    has a legal right to abstain from, or to abstain from conduct which he
    or she has a legal right to engage in.

    (2) “Threat” as used in this section means:

    (a) To communicate, directly or indirectly, the intent immediately to
    use force against any person who is present at the time; or

    (b) Threats as defined in *RCW 9A.04.110(27) (a), (b), or (c).

    (3) Coercion is a gross misdemeanor.”

    There is a fine line between advising someone they may be arrested if they continue to misbehave and Coercion. It seems the local police don’t even know there is a line.

  • steveo

    Leos are now even going after the credentialed press. How Bold. We need to give the credentialed press some training classes. 1) Make sure you have a back up body cam (your employer can afford it) 2) also make sure you have a back up, concealed voice recorder (yes even in MA, be willing to pay the price to have Hyde overturned) 3) When they bluff you with arrest, call their bluff. “You want to arrest me, go ahead, that’s also part of my job.”

    Then we can give you a scathing script to use at your 1st appearance hearing when the judge reads the probable cause affidavit full of lies and you have recordings. Notify the judge that unless he releases you for either $1.00 bond or with no strings attached to your ROR, you’ll sit in the county jail and publish daily letters about life in county, file a ha beaus corpus complaint in federal court, along with a prior restraint complaint.

    • MongoLikesCandy

      Never say “go ahead and arrest me” or “go ahead and taze me” or “go ahead and search me”, etc. They might argue that you gave them permission even though it is clearly sarcasm.

      • inquisitorX

        I would wholeheartedly agree with that wisdom.

        • Proud GrandPa

          Ditto. The same applies to the innocent, “May I come in?” Most of us automatically reply affirmatively out of courteous habit. Once invited in LEOs may lawfully search.
          .
          See the You-Tube video Never Talk To The Police by a Christian law school professor. Saying no to police questions is not unpatriotic, radical rebellion, but rather moral and ethical self-defense consistent with the experience of our founding fathers. Some well-intentioned people confuse the two.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Holy shit, you said something that sounds defiant for once!! :o

          • Proud GrandPa

            Fotaugrafee <== TROLL ALERT
            .
            Ignore the troll

  • inquisitorX
    • Proud GrandPa

      I am continuing to look at the websites you gave me a few weeks ago. Am adding this one to the list. Will read before commenting. Thanks for the links, IX.

      • inquisitorX
        • Proud GrandPa

          In this last website I read that military surplus is available to our LEOs. Does this mean LEOs are being militarized? I think not, because the weapons are (1) firearms, armored cars, and IR devices, not tanks, bombers or big missiles, and (2) our LEOs need better weapons to match those of the perceived threat.
          .
          Used to be the FBI did not carry firearms. Then the crooks did, and so the FBI did. Later when the crooks got machine guns, the FBI played catchup. Likewise for modern weapons. I see that as reasonable.
          .
          My concern about the Huff Post article is that the post devotes so much time to opposing drug law enforcement. I suspect that the real issue is just to legalize bad drugs, not reform police departments.
          .
          So I ask, do you feel the USA can have good law enforcement and still fight illegal drugs?

          • Fotaugrafee

            Yes, and small-town podunk police DEFINITELY need armored cars!! Especially those with populations of less than 25,000, right?

            I don’t too many “crooks” driving armored vehicles on the job, unless of course you think that Diehard with a Vengeance was real…on a regular basis.

            I think the cops see a payday when make a big bust. Nothing like selling part of your “evidence” to the highest bidder so you can afford that new boat you couldn’t otherwise afford on a pig’s pittance.

          • Proud GrandPa

            Well for once Fotaugraf actually makes a complete comment without foul language and which actually raises a logical question worth my time for a reply. Congrats, F, upon your success post.
            .
            In answer to your question, yes, local police do in fact require armored cars. Why so? Because the drug gangs have automatic and armor piercing weapons and steel and concrete reinforced houses. Case closed.
            .
            Next?

          • LibertyEbbs

            My God! There is so much wrong with your understanding of these issues I don’t know where to begin…are you a shill or just obtuse?

  • Gomer Pyle

    that top picture is one scary ass Negroid,,,bet he just enjoys fuckin with whitey !

  • Gomer Pyle

    Seriously , perhaps a letter to the Mayor of Seattle states that you [me, the general public} are thinking of Visiting Seattle for Vacation,,but are now VERY concerned for your self and your family’s SAFETY from these Viscous and Angry cops ,,Perhaps the vacationing PUBLIC should spend it’s money $$ elsewhere???

    Hit Seattle where it hurts the most,,it’s pocketbook !

  • Barton Taube

    My support of law enforcement has eroded over the past few years and I do not give the “badge” the benefit of the doubt as I did at one time. With that said, there was a point in the article that is not entirely correct. In terms of the sheriff “keeping:” his job, the position of sheriff is an elected position. If the residents of the county don’t approve of his performance he should or would be voted out of office. If they choose to reelect him over the years, they deserve what they get.

  • inquisitorX

    More on militarization of the police…

    A baby deer was being kept at an animal shelter (a shelter which is equipped to care for animals) and the shelter had reservations for the deer to be moved to a more appropriate facility the very next day prior to sheriffs and DNR agents showing up fully armed to the teeth and with a search warrant.

    They had aerial fotos (drone?), stormed into the shelter with a SWAT-like raid, and the warden supervisor later compares the need for an armed law enforcement team involved in the seizure and killing of the deer as being similar to the need for this level of force as used in a drug raid.

    This police state authoritarian mindset is institutionalized…not a few bad apples in need of better training.

    • inquisitorX

      An Associated Press investigation
      has found that small town police departments are essetnailly grabbing
      whatever elite military equipment they can lays their hands on, in a
      move that is blurring the line between law enforcement and military
      service in the US.

      The little known scheme, dubbed the “1033 Program”
      when passed by congress in 1997, was slated to bolster police
      departments in order to allow them to more effectively fight the “war on
      drugs” and to combat “terrorism”.

      The program has seen police become equipped with surplus supplies of
      military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and
      even grenade launchers, all to be used against US citizens.

      In 2011 alone, police departments across the nation received more than $500 million of military grade equipment.

      The AP investigation found that the attitude among many small town departments is to grab what they can. It’s findings include:

      – Morven, Ga.: Despite having an ankle-deep creek as it’s
      deepest body of water, the police chief got his hands on three boats,
      scuba gear, and rescue rafts.

      – Rising Star, Texas: With a population of 835 residents, and only
      one full-time police officer, this department netted more than $3.2
      million in property over 14 months.

      – Bureau Count, Ill.: The sheriff — who had government-issued M14 rifles — was accused of lending some of them out to friends.

      Norm Stamper, a retired Seattle Police chief warned “The harm for me is that it further militarizes American law enforcement.”

      “We make a serious mistake, I’m convinced, in equipping domestic law
      enforcement, particularly in smaller, rural communities, with this much
      military equipment.” he added.

      The move to militarize police has been ongoing for some time. Departments across the country have received more than $34 billion in grants from the Department of Homeland Security.

      “We do know that in 2011, a half-billion dollars of surplus military
      equipment went to police departments,” John Chasnoff, spokesman for the
      American Civil Liberties Union, told CBS St. Louis. “We have concerns
      that the lines between the two [police and military] is starting to
      blur.”

      • Fotaugrafee

        Well, ya gots to get them there folks on the right side of the battlefield there in Bureau County!! We can’ts be havin’ all of them there citizens outnumberin’ us like that. If we loan Cletus one of our AR-15′s so he’s can go huntin’ next week, he’ll be sure to fight on the side with the ‘good’ guys!!

        Derp…tongue in cheek.

    • inquisitorX

      When local law enforcement including the elected sheriffs takes DHS federal grant monies…then they are under the thumb of their financiers. They are to adopt the new way of militarized policing and how they treat citizens as belligerents at best and enemy combatants at worst.

  • inquisitorX

  • inquisitorX

    More on the militarization of police.,.

    Go to C-SPAN and look for the recent hearings listed under the following heading in quotes on how the National Park Service firearms inventory is overstocked with semi and automatic weapons for the number of officers and how weapons are also unaccounted for…

    “National Park Service’s Weapon Policy Under Scrutiny”

  • Pádraig Pearse

    This fat bastard pretty much proves again that it’s almost impossible to fire dirty cops…

    • Fotaugrafee

      All the more reason people in this country need to wake up & revolt, and make it as fucking bloody as possible.

  • Jon Quimbly

    Holden would have a much stronger position if he’d recorded video. How often do we have to remind journalists to keep video rolling?! As soon as you approach a situation, start recording.

  • rick

    PAID

  • Tim

    As soon as you elect a Mayor and Sheriff who will fire these thugs. And if they are protected by a union, then elect a state congress who will pass a law and bust the union like Wisconsin did with their state union problem. These things are ALL solved at the ballot box by supporting, promoting and electing INDEPENDENT Liberty candidates and getting rid of the corrupted 2-major-parties.

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