Dec 7, 2017
Dec 7, 2017
This is kind of police activity to protect themselves is nothing new and not surprising. The surprising part of this story is that there is a man in there with morals and honor, something many US coppers these days fail to comprehend.
San Joaquin, California – The resignation of a chief autopsy doctor has raised questions as he is now claiming that he chose to resign because he no longer wanted to stand by and watch the sheriff override his findings from death investigations, in order to protect law enforcement.
Former Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, claimed that when he was conducting autopsies on individuals who were killed by police officers, Sheriff-Coroner Steve Moore attempted to influence his medical findings, according to a report from KQED News.
Based on a series of documents that include memos from Omalu, the report claims the doctor said some of the most alarming death investigations Moore tried to override were those of people who “died in the custody of law enforcement officers who used Tasers or other types of force.”
“The sheriff was using his political office as the coroner to protect police officers whenever someone died while in custody or during arrest. I had thought that this was initially an anomaly, but now, especially beginning in 2016, it has become routine practice.”
The resignations of both Dr. Omalu and his colleague, Dr. Susan Parson, come months after they began documenting Moore’s behavior in March. Their complaints against the sheriff include accusations that he routinely changed the labels on “homicides” to “accidents,” and he would delay the written reports pathologists needed from sheriff’s investigators in order to complete their cases for months.
The doctors also claim that on several occasions, when overseeing coroner operations, Moore would order technicians to “cut the hands off bodies, without the knowledge, consent or supervision of the physicians.”
A report from the Sacramento Bee noted that according to the doctors, Moore’s staff “ordered the hands be cut off of at least five corpses this year to be sent to a forensics lab to identify the deceased.” While the sheriff claimed that the purpose was for identification, the doctors allege that “in some instances, the victims’ identity was already known and in others, police failed to attempt to identify the dead by investigative means.”
“Sheriff Steve Moore has always made calculated attempts to control me as a physician and influence my professional judgement,” Omalu wrote, noting that while he became the county’s chief forensic pathologist in 2007, the treatment has gotten worse over the last two years.
As the report from KQED noted, there were a number of deaths documents by Dr. Omalu that called Moore’s conduct into question. One of the cases occurred when Daniel Humphreys died in 2008. Initial reports claimed that the father of two young children was fleeing from police on his motorcycle when he hit a median in the freeway and died. Officers admitted that they shocked Humphreys with a Taser once or twice.
However, Omalu noted that when he went to check the automatic computer records of how many times the Taser was fired, he was told the record did not exist. It wasn’t until two years later that a deputy district attorney let him see the Taser report, which revealed that police shocked Humphreys with a Taser 31 times.
After viewing the Taser report, Omalu changed the cause of Humphreys’ death from “accident” from a head injury, to “homicide by electrocution.
Moore released a statement on the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, denying the allegations that he interfered with the results of the death investigations conducted by Dr. Omalu and Dr. Susan Parson.
“There have been questions recently about whether I have interfered with forensic investigations. That has never happened. I would never try to control, influence, or change the opinions of Dr. Omalu or any pathologist working on a case, but I still have the responsibility of making the final determination.”
However, Omalu is not backing down. In addition to resigning from his position, he is attempting to shed light on the ongoing problems within the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, which has found a way to ensure that officers who murder innocent citizens will not face consequences.
“The Sheriff does whatever he feels like doing as the coroner, in total disregard of bioethics, standards of practice of medicine and the generally accepted principles of medicine,” Dr. Omalu wrote.
1 in 5 Americans have (state) legal access, 1 in 2 have experimented with it, and more than 1 in 10 smoke regularly. Southern California yuppies are publicly winning prizes for growing the same plant that landed Georgia teenagers in prison.
So what’s the hold-up?
The makers and distributors of America’s top-selling beers, wines, and liquors are already facing stiff competition from newly deregulated microbrewers and craft distilleries.
Cannabis prohibition shuts out a zero-calorie competitor with far fewer short- and long-term health risks. The industry donated (read: invested) $19 million to re-election campaigns in 2016, and another $4 million to soft money groups like “Public Safety First” which specifically oppose cannabis legalization efforts.
Cannabis legalization does reduce alcohol sales, and its regular use reduces alcoholism and alcohol-related deaths. Each year 37,000 deaths in the US are attributed to alcohol, compared to zero deaths from cannabis use, ever. Brewers and distillers are eager to point “public health and safety” attention in another direction.
The Boys in Blue:
Local law enforcement has become highly dependent on federal and state money devoted to the War on Drugs. Civil asset forfeiture – a legacy of the 1984 drug war omnibus crime bill – allows local police departments to keep 80 percent of property seized in suspected (not proven) drug activity. Local cops regularly auction off homes and cars connected with small marijuana sales, pocketing the proceeds without convicting anyone of any crime. Drug raids “were no longer just about putting on a good show and terrorizing the counterculture. Now the raids could generate revenue for all of the police agencies involved.” (Randy Balko, Rise Of The Warrior Cop). Property stolen from innocent Americans (the Washington Post found 80 percent of victims of asset forfeiture were never even charged) has paid for military-grade equipment and SWAT teams used in still-more-terrifying drug raids for profit.
National Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and literally dozens of smaller interest groups and political action committees represent the interests of law enforcement officers. Drug testing laboratories, prosecutors, drug court lawyers and judges, rehab centers, counselors, and other unionized social services also depend on marijuana arrests to keep numbers up.
For them, the nation’s outdated marijuana policy means guaranteed revenue, low-risk, peaceful “offenders” to fill arrest quotas, and easy excuses to search or detain citizens.
Big Brother: The Prison Industrial Complex
CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America)
Private prison companies and state institutions alike lobby for longer mandatory sentences; stricter enforcement; younger, healthier, and less violent prisoners. Corrections jobs are a major source of rural employment.
Prisons contract for an occupancy rate, charging taxpayers for unmet quotas. More Americans are arrested for marijuana annually than for all violent crimes combined. More Americans are in prison than ever before, and since 1985 at least half the increase is drug offenders alone.
Increasingly, lobbyists for drug testing centers and addiction treatment providers have sought to have marijuana dependence (for which there is limited medical evidence) perceived – and insured – as a medical condition. Compulsory and court-ordered treatment for this “addiction” is a reliable source of revenue for unscrupulous operators.
What violent crime remains is largely a product of drugs prohibition. Cash-oriented transactions between known lawbreakers (drug deals) don’t make for peaceful business practices.
All smuggled goods and illegal sales share the same vulnerability to violence. Now, Budweiser and Coors might sue to resolve a contract dispute; in 1929, criminal rum runners settled scores with Molotov cocktails and Tommy guns. Violent deaths of police officers peaked during prohibition and fell rapidly after its repeal; the number of officers wouldn’t approach that level again until the year Nixon declared the War on Drugs.
The violence of black markets still unnecessarily mars American neighborhoods, and unprecedented mass incarceration plagues the conscience of the Land of the Free.
Pharmaceutical industry products are expensive, and many have life-altering side effects. Cannabis can be grown by the patient and has far fewer and less severe side effects.
Before President Ford shut down cannabis research at universities, scientists had noticed cannabis’s effectiveness in reducing seizures, relieving pain, even shrinking tumors. Specialized strains are bred to treat depression, anxiety, nausea, Parkinson’s, and dozens of other common conditions for which patients currently take patented pills.
Despite continued denials by the federal government that marijuana has any accepted medical uses, the government’s own researchers have patented a synthetic cannabinoid called Marinol. Patent No. 6,630,507 credits “The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services” and lists federal researcher as “inventors” of “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” The patent reads “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” A dozen other derived chemicals are in development to treat nerve pain, memory loss, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, hypertension, and obesity.
Since this patent was granted in 1999, The Drug Enforcement Administration has twice renewed its stance that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use.”
Marijuana prohibition is a $20 Billion annual federal jobs project. Departments and agencies will not give up power or budgets voluntarily. The DEA seized $27 Billion in assets in 2014 through its cannabis enforcement program, in excess of its $3 Billion annual budget. 10,000 DEA employees, 63,000 Federal Prison System employees, border guards, and thousands more “interagency” positions funded by the expansive, failed War on Drugs don’t want to see their budget downsized or authority curtailed.
Similarly, the CIA, NSA, State Department, and Department of Defense also rely heavily on public acceptance of the War on Drugs as a pretense for overriding national sovereignty around the world. In their bullying of Latin American leaders and control of opiate fields in the Levant, drug suppression money is often both carrot and stick.
Liberty vs. Lobbyists
Doing battle against big government and corporate cronies like the criminals above is more satisfying than punching Nazis and more practical than protesting. The American people are fed up with prohibition and the failed War on Drugs.
Ending prohibition has something for everyone:
What can possibly unite an impossibly divided America? A serious push to end prohibition.
Phoenix, AZ — In March of 2016, Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder for gunning down Daniel Shaver, an innocent husband, and father of two. The shooting was captured on body cam footage, part of which was released the following May. On Thursday, a jury, apparently blinded by the badge delivered a verdict of not guilty and the rest of the body camera footage was released—showing a cold-blooded murder.
In October, Brailsford’s defense claimed that the prosecution showing the jury the body cam during opening statements would be unfair to the killer cop. Apparently, this strategy worked.
Jurors deliberated less than six hours and despite the horrifying body camera showing Brailsford execute Shaver, they somehow returned a not guilty verdict. This is a travesty of justice and a testament to the system that protects killers who wear badges.
Last year, an Arizona judge announced that they would be releasing the body camera footage showing Brailsford murder Shaver. When they did release it, however, the city released two videos, both of which were clearly edited and portions redacted.
Now that he’s been acquitted, the full body camera was released showing Shaver being entirely compliant with police. Shaver was on his knees, crying and begging police not to shoot him when the coward opened fire on him, firing five times—killing him instantly.
Mark Geragos, Sweet’s lawyer, called the shooting an “execution.”
“The justice system miserably failed Daniel (Shaver) and his family,” Geragos said.
Police said Shaver, a 26-year-old from Texas staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites on a business trip on Jan. 18, 2016, had invited a couple he met to his room for drinks. No one was in any danger and the entire incident was a misunderstanding. For the majority of the video, police appear to be in a standoff with people who simply can’t hear them.
“Occupants of room 5-0-2, this is the Mesa Police,” the officer is heard yelling on the video, to which he receives no response.
“Listen to my instructions or it’s going to become very uncomfortable for you,” the officer said. “The female is to step outside the room.”
When ‘the female’ does step out the room, she is escorted away by an officer as she tells him how scared she is.
That’s when cops begin barking confusing orders at Shaver who is doing everything he can to comply. Police tell Shaver to keep his legs crossed and crawl forward, a near impossible feat. As he begins to cry from the stress and the ridiculous orders, Shaver becomes distraught and begs for his life. As he tries to crawl forward with his legs crossed, his pants appear to slip down so he moves a hand, at which point Brailsford executes him.
For several minutes, Daniel Shaver was face down with his hands on his head, all these officers had to do was to walk toward him and place him in handcuffs. Clearly, this did not happen and an innocent unarmed dad was taken from his wife and children at the hands of police.
During the trial, Deputy County Attorney Susie Charbel portrayed Brailsford as a “killer” who claimed he feared for his life to cover up an unjustified shooting.
In her closing arguments, Charbel told the jury that an intoxicated Shaver looked “pathetic” before he was killed and didn’t get a chance to know who shot him, according to AZ Central.
“(Brailsford) doesn’t get a pass because he was wearing a police uniform that night,” Charbel said.
“The last thing in the world that Mitch Brailsford wanted to do that night was shoot. His goal wasn’t to kill Daniel Shaver,” Brailsford’s lawyer, Michael Piccarreta told the jury. “Shaver is not a bad person, but his actions are what brought the police that night.”
However, if we look at Brailsford’s custom AR-15, it was clear the first thing he wanted to do was shoot.
Shaver etched “You’re Fucked” into his AR-15 police rifle — illustrating his disregard for human life.
Conveniently, however, the judge did not allow the jury to see the above photo because he felt it was prejudicial. Had jurors actually been shown the real image of this sadistic killer cop, they would’ve likely been more inclined to see the reality of the execution.
Also, it was not Shaver’s actions that brought police that night. He had committed no crime.
On January 18, Brailsford, along with several other officers, responded to a call about a suspect with a rifle in a hotel room. The ‘rifle’ was nothing more than a pellet gun that was used in Shaver’s business of pest control, and Shaver was not in possession of the pellet gun when he was murdered in cold blood by officer Brailsford.
Brailsford was fired from the department in March of 2016 for multiple policy violations not associated with the murder of Shaver. After he was fired, we learned that he should have never had a badge that night he killed an innocent man.
Aside from his unsatisfactory performance, records released by Mesa Police revealed that Brailsford was accused of beating three people a few months before he killed Shaver.
Two children and a wife will now live the rest of their lives without their loving father because of the actions of this public servant. The one thing that could help get this family closure was to see the man who stole the life of their dad and husband put behind bars. However, because of a broken system, this will not happen.
Watch the video of this execution below, do you think this was an excusable accident in which no one should be held accountable?
“So far in 2017, the U.S. government has supplied Honduras with approximately $17.3 million in security assistance despite widespread reports of repression and corruption by the ruling government, which first came to power in 2009 in a coup which received support from the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton.”
Why does the USA keep supporting dictatorships? If the US cares so much about democracy and human rights shouldn’t it invade Honduras in order to establish a democracy there?
“We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.”
Amid widening violence and ongoing protests, members of the Honduras National Police force—including those within the U.S.-trained units known as the Cobras—say they are refusing to obey orders from the right-wing government of the incumbent president, Juan Orlando Hernández, who has used the security forces to crackdown on demonstrators and imposed a curfew amid allegations of voter fraud in recent elections.
“We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.” —Member of Cobra police unit“We want peace, and we will not follow government orders – we’re tired of this,” a spokesperson for the police told reporters outside the national police headquarters on Monday. “We aren’t with a political ideology. We can’t keep confronting people, and we don’t want to repress and violate the rights of the Honduran people.”
On Monday night, demonstrations in the streets continued as opponents of Hernández poured into the streets with pots and pans—now with the tacit support of the police forces who had earlier been sent disperse them—as they called for transparency in the counting of votes and the ouster of the ruling party. As Reuters reports, “Some police officers abandoned their posts and joined carnival-like demonstrations that erupted across the city hours after night fell and the curfew was supposed to have begun.”
While reporting indicated that police officers were also striking in order to receive better wages and treatment from their superiors, a member of the elite Cobras unit—many of whom have been trained by U.S. military operators at the infamous School of the Americas or its descendants—said there was more to their refusal than working conditions for themselves. “This is not a strike, this not about salaries or money,” the officer told the Guardian. “It’s that we have family. We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.”
And as TeleSur reports:
A Honduras police officer said on the local television network, UNE, that some officers will go on a hunger strike as they are tired of taking orders from corrupt politicians to go after innocent people, adding that they aren’t machines and are tired of seeing people’s blood spill.
“We can not become violators of Human Rights, if we do it sooner or later we will pay the debt, in fact we are already paying for the violations committed by our superiors in the past, please reconsider and understand and we do not fail our noble institution,” the official statement issued by the National Police stated.
From the capital city of Tegucigalpa on Tuesday, School of the Americas Watch issued a dispatch detailing the latest on the allegations of vote-rigging and the impact of recent events, including the police refusal to obey orders. It read in part:
the Coordinator of the Alliance in Opposition to the Dictatorship, Mel Zelaya, presented slides of vote tally sheets altered by the election authorities to give more votes to the current President Juan Orlando Hernandez and take votes away from the Opposition Alliance candidate Salvador Nasralla. Each party receives tally sheets from each voting station and so the Opposition Alliance was able to compare their tally sheets with those posted by the electoral authorities and found that the electoral authorities had frequently altered the results, even creating new tally sheets to increase the number of votes for Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH as he is called) and reduce those of the Opposition Alliance. The Liberal Party, which came in third place, is also willing to provide its copies of the tally sheets for comparison. Salvador Nasralla declared he was requesting a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States to present the vote tally sheets. The Opposition Alliance’s findings suggest a major fraud operation by the electoral authorities, who are firmly aligned with US-backed President Juan Orlando Hernandez, to try to thwart a massive popular vote that roundly rejected his re-election effort.
People in Honduras continue in the streets demanding an end to the fraud and the dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernandez, who has consolidated power throughout the past 8 years following the SOA-graduate led 2009 coup, and ran for re-election despite the Constitutional prohibition against re-election. Last night, once again people throughout the country chanted ‘Fuera JOH’ (get out JOH) and banged pots and pans throughout the night in a show of resistance to the curfew and suspension of constitutional guarantees. Hernandez, whose regime continues to be financed by the United States despite the massively violent crackdown on protesters, is trying desperately to maintain his grip on power despite widespread popular rejection.
The Platform of Popular and Social Movements of Honduras is now demanding the immediate resignation of Juan Orlando Hernandez and thousands upon thousands continue in the streets today. The momentum is clearly on the side of the Honduran people and the fraud is becoming too obvious to deny. As Hernandez tries to maintain power, will the US continue propping him up? Or will it finally acknowledge how corrupt and repressive his regime is and let the Honduran people decide their own future?
So far in 2017, the U.S. government has supplied Honduras with approximately $17.3 million in security assistance despite widespread reports of repression and corruption by the ruling government, which first came to power in 2009 in a coup which received support from the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton. On Monday, despite overwhelming evidence of recent voter fraud and human rights abuses, the Trump administration re-certified the Honduran government as complying with human rights protocols in order to allow the financial assistance to continue.
In its dispatch, SOA Watch called on American voters and residents to speak out against U.S. support for the Hernandez government. “Call on the US to denounce fraud and violent repression following the elections in Honduras, demand the immediate suspension of aid to Honduras, and demand accountability for the US financing of repression and murder in Honduras,” the group urged.
So the Baltimore coppers have no clue who assassinated Sean Suiter but nevertheless terrorized an entire neighborhood for a few days in order to find the murderer who probably is a police officer? Nice one Baltimore.
According to police, there is currently no evidence that the detective’s killing was linked to the upcoming testimony.
According to US media reports citing city Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore detective Sean Suiter, 43, an 18-year-veteran of the force and father of five, has been shot dead last week just a day before he was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury in a corruption case involving police officers.
“Detective Suiter was going to offer federal grand jury testimony about an incident that occurred several years ago that included officers who are now federally indicted back in March,” Davis has stated.
The police commissioner has emphasized that there is currently no evidence suggesting that the detective’s killing was linked to the upcoming testimony, adding, however, that “there’s nothing we won’t consider” as the motive for the crime.
According to AP, Suiter was set to testify as a witness as part of a probe into a group of Baltimore officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force, which was tasked with removing illegal guns from city’s streets, and have been charged with stealing money, property and drugs from people for several years, as well as faking police reports and lying to investigators.