Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/houston-police-officer-arrested-prostitution-sting/
Deputy Brandon Hegele goes on trial this month for a single charge of reckless driving for exceeding 100 miles per hour and causing a crash in 2016. Dashcam video of the incident was recently released, detailing just how careless Hegele’s driving was, as he weaved in and out of traffic at speeds up to 104 mph.
Hegele’s reckless driving resulted in a two-car accident with 60-year-old Harry Deshommes. The elderly man’s small car was no match for Hegele’s cruiser, which slammed into the rear of his Smart car. Unlike the officer, Deshommes did not walk away unscathed. The elderly man had to have his spleen removed, suffered a skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury, a broken left arm, a broken back, several broken ribs and a broken pelvis.
It was not the first time Hegele had been involved in automobile accidents while serving as a law enforcement officer. According to the Miami Herald:
“Hegele was placed on unpaid leave in September 2016. He had worked as a deputy since 2004, and in that time Hegele was involved in at least six additional crashes in his patrol car. Those had already resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in damages, but he was usually just given a written reprimand.”
Hegele was reportedly chasing a suspect vehicle wanted in connection with a felony, despite the fact that he was told three times to break off his pursuit. According to reports, the officer changed lanes nine times, only turning on his lights while going through intersections, and exceeding the speed limits reaching a velocity of 104 mph, before crashing into Deshommes’ car.
It would be easy for supporters of law enforcement to simply dismiss Hegele’s actions as simply part of his job, but with such emphasis being placed on officer safety as of late, it is important to be cognizant of the facts.
Law enforcement officials are much more likely to be killed in the line of duty while operating their department-issued police cruisers. Vehicle-related accidents account for one-third of cop deaths. Out of the 146 officers killed in the line of duty in 2016, 54 were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
Arguably, if an average citizen had six motor vehicle accidents within a 12-year period of time, the motorist would likely not be able to afford to insure his or her vehicle, let alone be allowed to return to driving with a written reprimand.
Hegele’s driving record may serve to illustrate yet another double standard at work for officers who not only break the law while on duty but are given a pass when their actions lead to both the destruction of county property and the destruction of private citizens’ property.
Questions remain as to why Hegele was allowed to continue as a law enforcement officer with so many car accidents on his record. Thousands of occupations exist for the general population where people are given company cars. How many of those employers would allow their employees to continue to operate a company-owned vehicle after so many on-the-job car accidents?
Watch the dashcam footage from Deputy Brandon Hegele’s reckless driving below:
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-nearly-kills-man-driving-recklessly/
Gilroy, CA – A new lawsuit filed by a former employee is drawing attention to the Gilroy Police Department, amid accusations that high-ranking officials promoted an environment that was rife with sexual misconduct, which included everything from sex parties to inappropriate relations with underage members of the “Police Explorers” program.
After 25 years with the department, Patricia Harrell was fired from her position as a senior police communications supervisor in 2015, just three years before she was set to retire with full benefits. While she was allegedly fired for “improper conduct” with trainees, Harrell claims that she was just trying to warn them about the situation in the GPD, according to an explosive report from the Gilroy Dispatch.
Harrell’s lawsuit dropped the names of not only officers but several of their wives and girlfriends as well. She indicated that working for the police department equated with enduring years of unwanted advances, sexual impropriety on the part of officers, and retaliation when Harrell spoke out. The Gilroy Dispatch reported that Harrell’s claim in the lawsuit include:
• Two officers “had sexual intercourse with members of the Gilroy Explorers, comprised of youth ranging in age from fourteen (14) to twenty-one (21). When their conduct came to light, [one] was demoted, but then ‘got his stripes’ back, while [the other] was allowed to resign.”
• “At office parties, GPD employees would throw their keys in a bowl and whoever pulled a key had sex with the person who owned the key.”
• The wife of an officer, who also was a department employee, proudly displayed her pierced genitalia to pool party guests, prompting several “mortified” mothers to leave with their children.
• That woman’s police officer husband, when they were engaged, “brought a Salinas police officer to ‘screw her’ while [he] watched. She later stated that she did not do it.”
• The same woman invited another officer to touch her breasts while they were in the Communications Center, and he did.
• The same GPD employee “kept a book in which she documented all of the sexual improprieties that occurred at the GPD, so that she could reveal the information should she ever be disciplined for her misdeeds. [She stated] ‘If she goes down, other people are going down with her.’ [She] also claimed that [her police officer husband] supported the fact that she was keeping a book.”
• At a Gilroy Police Officers’ Association Christmas party, “the female spouses [of two GPD officers] were outrageously intoxicated and were sexually touching both males and females including each other. Also, several people at the party were taking pictures of females exposing their private parts.”
• On a separate occasion, [an officer] showed sexually explicit photos that were inside a locker depicting GPD personnel groping [a communications staffer].”
• “For the first several years of his employment, [a male communications staffer] attempted to make sexual advances toward [Harrell] inviting her to come to his house…despite knowing [she] was married with 4 children.”
• The same man “engaged in sexual activity with other GPD officers and employees, and attempted to have sex with men by luring them to his house with the promise of ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’ women and alcohol. When women did not show up, [he] would tell the male guest, ‘Let’s get naked while we wait’.”
According to the Gilroy Dispatch, when Harrell approached her superiors about her department’s behavior—some of which may have been illegal—she was given so much over time, she became exhausted. Her lawyers point to the fact that she earned $22,000 in overtime in 2015 as proof the department was trying to punish her for speaking out.
“Harrell claims she was harassed, threatened, investigated and reinvestigated, called names, subjected to unwanted sexual advances, disciplined, shunned, admonished, punished, overworked to the point of exhaustion, wrongly accused of wrongdoing and ultimately fired,” the report noted.
Harrell’s attorney, Andrea Justo, said, “These are very serious allegations…We hope the City of Gilroy and the Gilroy Police Department take them seriously.” She described her client as, “A very loyal employee for over 20 years” and indicated the allegations, “span that amount of time.”
One of the officers named in the lawsuit is Royce Heath who was demoted from Captain to Officer in January of this year for unspecified reasons.
Predictably, the Gilroy Police Department and the mayor are not commenting on the specifics of the alleged sexual misconduct. Mayor Roland Velasco expressed his confidence in Chief Scot Smithee and called the lawsuit Harrell’s “side of the story.”
Smithee broke his silence after the story broke Thursday and on Friday issued a statement saying, “The Gilroy Police Department is full of caring and dedicated public servants. I am proud of our strong history of community service and keeping the public safe. We are determined to maintain our focus on serving the community in a professional and ethical manner.”
Harrell is a wife of 29 years and a mother of four. She had worked for the Gilroy Police Department since 1990. Harrell lost her job in 2015 after warning trainees about certain officers presumably named in the lawsuit. The department apparently considered warning young recruits of sexual predators on the force as grounds for dismissal.
In addition to the city and the police department, Harrell is suing the police union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, for not supporting her claimed of wrongful termination. Harrell is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
There was something very revealing about Charlottesville and its aftermath. Not the behavior of the president, or the disturbing resiliency of Nazism, or the willingness of some counter-protesters to initiate violence. We saw how the repugnant actions of a very tiny percentage of people can be manufactured into an all-encompassing narrative – while the corporatocracy continues fleecing America.
With his (perhaps intentional) bungled response to Charlottesville, President Trump propelled race onto center-stage, as corporate media piled on to cash in on Trump controversy. Race issues should undoubtedly be part of the national discourse, but Trump and the MSM are using Charlottesville in a manner nothing short of ‘divide and conquer.’
This demonstrates one of the main reasons why the U.S. presidency should be abolished.
Having a president is a prime driving force in the devolution of debate. Complexity is boiled away, leaving cartoonish characterizations promoted by cable TV personalities armed with clichés and the day’s talking points.
With a president, emotions are channeled into supporting or opposing the words of one person. Rationality is completely overshadowed by fear-based fallacies and the tendency toward violence. Middle ground continually disappears, growing a dichotomous world of fawning followers and rabid dissenters – regardless of which of the two parties is in power.
A president makes it easy to produce ‘fast food’ news, irresistible to short attention spans and poisonous to the system. Every four years, two people are made to represent the myth of ‘liberal vs. conservative,’ directing everyone’s energy into straw man issues. There is no room for nuance, let alone building a rational case on an issue of importance.
If you are against candidate X, then you must be a [insert buzzword] who follows candidate Y. So goes the narrative. And every four years the corporatocracy celebrates another win.
A president makes it easy to distract the masses with issues that have nothing to do with how government actually spends your money (besides Confederate statues, of course). Trump does it, Obama did it, Bush did it, and so on.
Under this framework, people are easily labeled and put into neat boxes to be used for cable TV talking heads. Sound bites from shouting matches have replaced well-informed essays. The president makes all of this easy, because he or she is willing to represent one side of the fictional debate.
Much of what is fed to the voting populace is essentially fake, but the power of the president has never been greater – especially since 9/11. The person who gets into the Oval Office has immense power to shape the federal bureaucracy to his or her will.
Every candidate claims to be working on behalf of the people, but every president in reality is paying back the relative few who helped put him in power, while strengthening the centralized State in his own fashion. Trump is pumping up the police state with his “law and order” crusade, just as Obama vastly expanded the surveillance state.
What real function does the president serve, anyway?
For many, the first thought is “commander in chief.” But nothing prevents a representative body from selecting a commander in times of war (which really isn’t necessary in an enlightened society). The president is really there to convince Americans to ‘rally round the flag’ when the military-industrial complex wants another armed conflict. The president greases the wheels of American hegemony and economic sabotage.
Now, with the help of such things as the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force – given to the executive in the wake of 9/11 – the president can bomb and invade countries at will. A single person can decide to invade Iraq, drone bomb kids in Pakistan, or drop nuclear bombs on North Korea.
Picking a Supreme Court judge? Who says a judiciary panel of representatives can’t select someone? Instead of multiple voices from different parts of the country debating over the best pick, a single person called the president is free to pick someone far more interested in ideology than rationality.
This is not a defense of the current legislative and judicial bodies. The executive branch is the focus here. Instead of serving useful functions, presidents serve as lightning rods for creating a false narrative.
And while they’re at it, presidents live a lifestyle that monarchs would envy – costing taxpayers untold billions.
As Ryan McMaken pointed out in February:
“Just last month, the taxpayers were forced to pay more than 100 million dollars to throw an immense party for the new president so he could be honored with fanfare and solemn ceremonies that would have made the Caesars envious.
As the head of this huge unitary executive, Presidents can command a huge national audience and face no opposition from any peer. They hand our awards to their friends, enjoy sumptuous food at state dinners, travel in luxury on Air Force One — at great cost to the taxpayer — and shut down entire highways and city blocks wherever they choose to go.”
McMaken, who argues that the Founding Fathers “were not nearly as insightful as is often pretended,” provides an interesting analysis of what they had to say at the Constitutional Convention.
Alexander Hamilton, in pushing for a strong executive branch, cited the need for “decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch.” Hamilton would be overjoyed today, as the presidency now exerts inordinate amounts of activity and secrecy.
Not everyone was fooled at the Convention, including George Mason who correctly noted:
“If strong and extensive powers are vested in the executive, and that executive consists only of one person, the government will of course degenerate (for I will call if degeneracy) into a monarchy – a government contrary to the genius of the people that they will reject even the appearance of it.”
Mason was not insightful in his prediction that people would resist the slide to an executive branch with monarchic powers. Now, we see more polarization than ever – centered on the president – and more people saying they would support the president no matter what he does.
The pestilence of presidential politics is growing, and it’s creeping more and more into Congressional races – choking out debate about local issues in favor of divisive sound bites about allegiance to or resistance to the sitting president. Thus it serves the purpose of sustaining central authority.
Decentralization is needed now more than ever, especially considering the size of the U.S. in terms of landmass and population. Perhaps we should be looking to our northern neighbor, Canada, which has regional provinces more reflective of local populations.
Different parts of the country have different ideas about doing things; one person called the president will never come close to getting everyone to agree. Isn’t it uncanny how, despite decades of U.S. presidents who profess a desire to “mend the nation,” America seems more polarized than ever?
Things are not getting better. Having a president is only making it easier for centralized power structures – represented by many factions including the Federal Reserve – to cement control over people’s lives and their economies.
McMaken proposes to break the executive branch into several administrators, which is the way most states govern. It’s difficult to fathom any solution to the situation as long as corrupt money rules politics.
If things are bad now in terms of presidential power and false narratives, there’s one thing that would drive American over the proverbial cliff. A terrorist attack the likes of 9/11, regardless of the potentially questionable circumstances, would sweep away any remaining opposition to virtual dictatorship.
Before that happens, let’s abolish the presidency.
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/presidency-should-be-abolished/
When former Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain is mentioned in the media, he is typically painted in a good light—an elderly senator and war hero battling brain cancer who has devoted the rest of his life to fighting for government healthcare and the removal of a tyrannical dictator in Syria.
McCain added even more fuel to his fire on Tuesday when he joined the mainstream media in condemning President Trump for his response to violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia. “There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate & bigotry,” McCain wrote on Twitter. “The President of the United States should say so.”
There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 16, 2017
McCain’s words were quoted by a number of mainstream outlets, from CNBC to The Hill, which reported that the Arizona Senator was simply “pressing President Trump to make clear that there is not a ‘moral equivalency’ between white nationalists and the counterdemonstrators that turned out in Charlottesville.”
However, there are a few major issues with McCain’s statement. Many of the counterdemonstrators, or “Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry,” as McCain called them, were affiliated with the group “Antifa.” Although the group’s name stands for “Anti-Fascist,” some of its members do the opposite, and the method of “seeking peace through violence” has been evident at a number of violent rallies and protests across the U.S. following Trump’s inauguration in January.
There is also another factor that should be taken into account as McCain attempts to take the moral high ground and the media cheers him on—his family history. According to a documentary called “Finding Your Roots” from Weta Interactive Media, not only does his family have connections to “hate and bigotry,” McCain’s great-great-grandfather served under the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
“We then discovered that his Calvary unit had been tapped for a mission by none other than General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a brilliant, but brutal commander, often remembered for what he did after the war as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan,” Historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. said.
According to the documentary, William Alexander McCain was also a deserter, leaving his division in the Mississippi Calvary during the Civil War, and he also became a Prisoner of War. But there is one more trait that has been passed down through generations—the McCain family’s support for neo-Nazis.
“We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe,” John McCain told groups of neo-Nazi protesters at a rally in Ukraine in December 2013.
McCain claimed that his support for these protesters stemmed from the fact that he was trying “to bring about a peaceful transition here, that would stop the violence and give the Ukrainian people what they, unfortunately, have not had, with different revolutions that have taken place—a real society.”
However, McCain’s true motive was revealed when he was asked about how Russia and his mortal enemy President Vladimir Putin were influencing the conflict. “This is the beginning of Russia, right here in Kiev,” McCain said. “So Putin views it as most highly important and he has put pressure on Ukrainians—the price of energy, different kinds of activities. The word is very clear that he has made certain threats.”
While John McCain was quick to condemn protesters for their “hate and bigotry” this week, and while the mainstream media was quick to applaud him for his efforts, they both seem to be forgetting the all-too-important context, which serves as a reminder that McCain only condemns Neo-Nazism when it fits his political agenda.
Eaton County, MI — It was announced in 2015 that the officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Deven Guilford for flexing his rights, would not be charged with any crimes. His family was devastated. However, after a long fight in the courts, a judge ruled that the federal lawsuit against Sgt. Jonathan Frost can proceed to trial on two claims of excessive force.
As the Lansing State Journal reported:
Judge Paul Maloney heard oral arguments Tuesday from attorneys for the family of Deven Guilford and the attorney representing Sgt. Jonathan Frost. Frost’s attorney had previously filed a motion for summary judgment, asking Maloney to dismiss the case.
Maloney’s order issued Friday afternoon dismissed claims for unlawful stop, seizure, arrest, and excessive force prior to Frost’s decision to use his stun gun on Guilford. However, Maloney allowed two claims of excessive force to proceed, writing that “factual disputes” about what transpired after Frost fired his stun gun, and later, his service weapon, can be resolved by a jury.
Maloney detailed those “factual disputes” in his 38-page opinion and was pointed in his criticism, addressing what he described as inconsistencies between Frost’s account and the evidence. He added that a jury could find that some of what Frost says occurred was “almost inconceivable.”
That fateful night in 2015, Deven was traveling along the road and flashed his lights at an officer because his headlights were so bright that they nearly made Deven run off the road. He was then pulled over by Sgt. Frost of the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, who stopped the young man for no other reason than the fact that he flashed his lights.
When Frost approached the car, Guilford explained that he was simply flashing his lights to be a polite driver, and let the officer know that his high beams were on so he didn’t cause an accident.
The officer began to get aggressive with Guilford when he attempted to flex his rights during the traffic stop. Guilford refused to show the officer his license and registration because he had broken no laws and the officer had no reason to stop him.
Guilford also began recording the encounter with his cell phone and let the officer know that he was filming for his own safety. He then asked the officer if he was being detained and for what reason. He was told that he was being detained because he refused to comply with Frost and show him his ID. However, not showing his ID is a secondary offense, meaning the officer would actually need a real reason to pull him over to begin with.
On a power trip, Frost violently ripped Guilford out of the vehicle and forced him down to the ground. Guilford attempted to remain filming while he complied with the officer’s orders and moved to the ground. Sadly, Guilford was not moving fast enough for Frost, so he tased the young boy. At this time, both the body camera and the cell phone footage cut out.
Off camera, Frost shot and killed the young boy. The known details are sparse because the killing happened out of the view of the dash-cam, and the body camera was turned off at that point. However, the officer claims that the young boy attacked him, so he “feared for his life” and killed him, firing 7 shots from his weapon.
The judge in the federal lawsuit apparently disagrees.
After the announcement that officer Frost would not be charged, the Guilford family released the following statement:
“There was no reason or necessity for the officer to physically remove our son from the car without considering other options to avoid an unnecessary violent escalation. It must be also noted that Deven was not in possession (of) any weapon and emphatically told the officer that he was not armed. We also have serious concerns about whether the officer used unreasonable force against Deven under the circumstances.”
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/guilford-police-killed-brights-lawsuit/