Today, I have a special guest column, from Margaret Figert, a retired small-town, rural newspaper publisher. This article probably appeared in the Todd County Tribune a couple of days ago; I don’t get my copy of the Tribune until the weekend, so I don’t know whether the new publisher printed it or not, given its subject and their fear (fully justified) of retaliation by local police.
This is important to share, because it is NOT going away and with recent election results, it will most likely be worse in a matter of months and certainly years.
Her column is “Smoke Signals” – the Tribune is published in Mission, South Dakota, in the Sicangu Oyate; the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Indian Reservation.
SMOKE SIGNALS: Legal egos go wacko?
A ten-year-old boy made a joke about a police officer during a career fair at Tularosa Intermediate School, Tularosa, New Mexico. The officer, who was making a presentation at a career day program earlier this year, fired a stun gun at the child, who blacked out, according to the Albuquerque JOURNAL. Before firing the weapon, the cop allegedly said, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” The officer later said the stun gun fired accidentally. The youth is suing.
Police in South Carolina used a stun gun on a nude 80-year-old woman after she allegedly tried to attack them with a cane. Officers were responding to a complaint of someone being loud when they were met by the elderly woman who was speaking in a confusing manner, hit her porch steps with a cane and then started swinging it. While the cops were trying to take the cane from her, one officer used his stun gun on the woman’s back. She was hospitalized for treatment.
A former jailer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama pled guilty in federal court last November to three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon for wrongfully using a taser on three different pre-trial detainees. The detainees were either in handcuffs or securely locked in a cell and posed no physical threat to any police officers or other detainees, prosecutors said.
An Indianapolis, Indiana teenager was expelled last May for bringing a stun gun to school to protect himself from constant bullying. He missed the balance of his junior year and the beginning of his senior year. The 17-year-old, who is openly gay, had dealt with bullying all school year and, at one point, raised the stun gun in the air and fired it to scare away six kids who were threatening to beat him up. Students also threw rocks at him, beat on him and called him names. The student repeatedly complained to the school, but staff members told him he drew attention to himself by wearing jewelry and carrying purses. His mom gave him the stun gun so he could protect himself and told the Indianapolis STAR she and her son could appeal the expulsion to the school board. Her son, however, said he plans to get his GED and then go on to college.
Last January, deputy sheriffs in Sacramento, California, used stun guns on a man trying to retrieve an item he left behind on an airplane flight because he wouldn’t let his bag be screened. Law officers told the Sacramento BEE the traveler was taken to a hospital for a “precautionary evaluation.” They said he’d disembarked a plane and walked outside the airport’s secure area into the baggage claim area before trying to return to the plane to get something he said he’d forgotten. After a TSA agent said he’d have to get a pass, he returned with the pass but allegedly refused to submit his bag for screening. He allegedly argued with TSA officials, the deputies got involved, the man tried to run and the deputies shocked him with stun guns. A spokesman for the deputies said he didn’t know what was in the bag or what the item left on the place was.
A dozen patients in a group home in Eldridge, California were assaulted last year when a caregiver at Sonoma Developmental Center used a high-voltage stun gun on them, giving them painful thermal burns. The Center serves patients with cerebral palsy and severe autism. The accused wasn’t interviewed by detectives until nine days after the abuse report was filed. He was eventually charged with carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 20 days of electronic monitoring and three years probation.
The above incidents were all reported by United Press International.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in other accounts of overkill by law enforcement officers, log on to (this).
The documentary video is a reenactment that exposes the blatant trampling of the Constitutional rights of Americans during alleged white collar crime investigations by the U. S. Dep’t. of Justice and the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS. It shows the increasing number of unconstitutional, para-military, Gestapo-style raid tactics displayed by two U. S. government agencies when 40 to 50 heavily-armed, hostile government agents were flown to U. S. cities to demand bookkeeping records which they could easily have obtained by simply entering the business place and showing warrants to acquire the information they were seeking.
In this instance, employees of the raided businesses were unlawfully detained for hours, intimidated, interrogated without an attorney present and their personal property confiscated.
It reminds me of the overkill displayed by then-U. S. Atty. Kevin Schieffer and certain federal law enforcement officers when Black Hills Institute of Geological Research was raided at Hill City, South Dakota. The Larson boys were charged with dozens of offenses but were found guilty by a jury of only one.
I realize there are any number of readers who could tell horror stories of their own about being bullied, even victimized, by overzealous law officers whose exploding egos weren’t told by their consciences when to stop, think and then proceed softly carrying their proverbial big stick. I also realize that some citizens become violent in the presence of police officers and must be strenuously subdued. Add drugs or booze to that mix, and some people’s behaviors become worse.
If you’re at all interested in what violations our government is capable of, download and read (this).
Our tax dollars are at work as America continues its downward moral spiral.
Used by permission. Written by Mrs. Margaret Figert, retired journalist, Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, Mission, South Dakota. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:89
Nathan’s comments: Margaret could have quoted a dozen more, easily, if she hadn’t run out of room. The websites she lists are not the only ones that have more and more horror stories, daily, about the way the people we once called “peace officers” have made the entire nation an occupation zone in which they are the military-style occupiers. Indeed, military personnel and retired military personnel are frequently the victims of such things as she lists above. The solution is a return to old-style morality and old-style liberty: nothing less will work.