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Police State


Police StateJeff Soyer on 17 Aug 2014 05:48 am

A handy interactive map of what counties in the U.S. are receiving surplus military equipment. You can filter it by “type” with the icons above it.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 24 Jul 2014 04:43 am

I’ve never lived in a state that requires even a thumb print. A photo of my face was always good enough and in Vermont they’ll even retake the picture if you don’t like the way the first one came out. From Techdirt:

The Texas Dept. of Public Safety has apparently decided that if you’d like to be allowed to drive a vehicle in the state, you’d also perfectly fine with a criminal booking-style fingerprinting and having those immediately uploaded to a criminal database (that reps swear isn’t a criminal database).

[ . . . ]

Not only that, but since 2010, Texas law enforcement has been running facial recognition searches on DPS license photos with its Image Verification System.

When Lieber exposed this, thanks in part to a former DPS employee (who noted the full set of prints are uploaded to AFIS [Automated Fingerprint Identification Service], creating a record in criminal databases if no previous record exists), a spokesman for the agency said it was perfectly legal plus pretty awesome at fighting crime.

Yeah, I know, “If you have nothing to hide…”

Government Corruption and Police StateJeff Soyer on 06 Jul 2014 11:14 pm

Except the police:

As state officials across the country grapple with how to prevent mass killings, some are turning to a gun seizure law pioneered in Connecticut 15 years ago.

Connecticut’s law allows judges to order guns temporarily seized after police present evidence that a person is a danger to themselves or others. A court hearing must be held within 14 days to determine whether to return the guns or authorize the state to hold them for up to a year.

[ . . . ]

Police statewide filed an estimated 183 executed gun seizure warrants with court clerks last year, more than twice the number filed in 2010, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch data. Last year’s total also was nearly nine times higher than the annual average in the first five years of the gun seizure law.

Connecticut police have seized more than 2,000 guns using the warrants, according to the most recent estimate by state officials, in 2009.

Be very careful of what you say to people, or what you write online. All it takes is a “he said she said” call to the cops. The judges go along with whatever flimsy evidence cops present to them.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 09 May 2014 02:19 am

Albuquerque, New Mexico cops have earned a reputation as overly aggressive. Changes are in order:

The Albuquerque Police Department will require officers to use only department-issued firearms, reversing a policy criticized by the Department of Justice that allowed officers to use personal weapons as long as they had been certified to use them.

Officers received a memo Thursday that stated the department is in the process of getting new handguns, including Smith & Wesson 9 mm and Glock 9 mm handguns. The memo said that officers will be required to carry those weapons while on duty.

The DOJ report, issued last month, said that part of APD’s “aggressive culture” was that officers were buying expensive, high-powered guns for use on duty and viewed them as “status symbols.”

Well, it’s a start.

Not really related, but have you purchased a Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol recently? From Fox40, CA:

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office pulled its deputies off the streets Thursday afternoon and asked other local law enforcement agencies to respond to calls of service after a number of newly purchased duty weapons failed gun range testing, officials said.

“We recently purchased over 300 Sig Sauer .40-caliber handguns, and during qualification on the range, a couple of them failed,” said Deputy Les Garcia, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “Our range master contacted Sig, and Sig identified a part in this gun that will potentially cause them to malfunction.”

Government Corruption and Police StateJeff Soyer on 27 Mar 2014 02:29 am

The shocking, disturbing behavior of the cops, prosecutors, and judge in this case give all the reason needed for a . . . well for something to happen in this country of ours. The Washington Times’ Emily Miller has covered the story well, so for those of you who haven’t followed along, based upon what was later determined to be a meritless charge by his ex-wife, 30 (yes, 30) police officers executed a search warrant at his DC home. here’s some history:

After entering the house, the police immediately went upstairs, pointed guns at the heads of Mr. Witaschek and his girlfriend, Bonnie Harris, and demanded they surrender, facedown and be handcuffed.

[ . . . ]

His 16-year-old son was in the shower when the police arrived. “They used a battering ram to bash down the bathroom door and pull him out of the shower, naked,” said his father. “The police put all the children together in a room, while we were handcuffed upstairs. I could hear them crying, not knowing what was happening.”

[ . . . ]

The police shut down the streets for blocks and spent more than two hours going over every inch of his house. “They tossed the place,” said Mr. Witaschek. He provided photos that he took of his home after the raid to document the damage, which he estimated at $10,000.

The police found no guns in the house, but did write on the warrant that four items were discovered: “One live round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition,” which was an inoperable shell that misfired during a hunt years earlier. Mr. Witaschek had kept it as a souvenir. “One handgun holster” was found, which is perfectly legal.

“One expended round of .270 caliber ammunition,” which was a spent brass casing. The police uncovered “one box of Knight bullets for reloading.” These are actually not for reloading, but are used in antique-replica, single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles.

Fast-forward to yesterday. Witaschek was convicted:

In a surprising twist at the end of a long trial, a District of Columbia judge found Mark Witaschek guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” for antique replica muzzleloader bullets.

Judge Robert Morin sentenced Mr. Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine and required him to enroll with the Metropolitan Police Department’s firearm offenders’ registry within 48 hours.

While it’s true that the judge did not “throw the book” at Witaschek, he should have thrown the book into the trash and dismissed the charges:

The 25 conical-shaped, .45 caliber bullets, made by Knight out of lead and copper, sat on the judge’s desk. They do not have primer or gunpowder so cannot be propelled. The matching .50 caliber plastic sabots were also in the box.

There was much debate over whether the bullets were legal since D.C. residents are allowed to buy antique replica firearms without registering.

The judge seemed inclined to throw out this charge since he repeatedly asked how the bullets could be illegal if the gun that they go in was not.

During lunch, the government came up with a list from ATF of types of muzzleloader rifles that could be converted to use rimfire ammunition. Not that Mr. Witaschek owned one of these nor was modern ammo at issue in the trial.

Nevertheless Judge Morin said, “I’m persuaded these are bullets. They look like bullets. They are hollow point. They are not musket balls.” He then ruled that Mr. Witaschek had possessed “beyond a reasonable doubt” the copper-and-lead, conical-shaped pieces in D.C.

The judge, however, still seemed to think this was a strange issue for a court. “It’s taken four lawyers all afternoon to get through an interpretation of whether or not these are lawful,” he noted.

Right then and there, he should have dismissed the case. If for lawyers need a day to figure out what is legal and what isn’t, how is the average citizen supposed to interpret the thousands of gun laws on the books?

Read the full articles at the links for a lot more about the injustice done to Mark Witaschek. His lawyer says they will appeal. Let’s hope so, and that a higher court uses more common sense. BTW, I wonder what the cost to taxpayers was for this entire travesty?

Oh, and here’s the hypocrisy of the prosecutor’s office:

The D.C. attorney general on Friday declined to charge the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for displaying an empty ammunition magazine on national television, saying that doing so would not make the District safer.

[ . . . ]

In a letter to NBC, Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan admonished Gregory for knowingly flouting the law, but Nathan said he decided to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” and not pursue a criminal case. “Prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia, nor serve the best interests of the people,” Nathan wrote.

But the prosecution of Witaschek did?

We’re coming to a tipping point in this nation — one that could easily set off a rebellion of some sort. I’ll say nothing more than that.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 13 Feb 2014 03:42 am

From The Blaze:

Police had received 47,916 applications for “assault weapons certificates” and 21,000 incomplete applications as of Dec. 31, Lt. Paul Vance told The Courant.

At roughly 50,000 applications, officials estimate that as little as 15 percent of the covered semi-automatic rifles have actually been registered with the state. “No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000,” the report states.

Needless to say, officials and some lawmakers are stunned.

Yes, it must be disturbing when the lemmings don’t all jump off the cliff.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 16 Jan 2014 02:58 am

From CBS Atlanta, GA:

A businessman was thrown in jail for carrying a gun and loitering on his own property.

Eric Lee, the owner of a furniture store on in Lithonia, Ga., said he went outside to check on people making noise on his property. That’s when police showed up, cited him for loitering, towed his truck and arrested him on his own property, WSB-TV reported.

More details here.

The police, everywhere, are out of control.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 14 Jan 2014 05:09 pm

Several (as in more than two) police departments are seeking applicants to carry out the duties usually assigned to patrol officers, sheriffs, and staties. The jobs include conducting evictions, transporting people to jail, make arrests, the usual. For instance, Wichita, Kansas is looking for:

In Wichita, Kansas, they are looking for someone to not only make arrests, but to take prisoners to jail as well as conduct “specialized investigations and raids.” The position “involves an element of personal danger,” so applications should have the “ability to accurately and effectively discharge a rifle, shotgun, and handgun with both left and right hands” and should also be able “to react quickly and calmly in emergencies; to record details about names, faces, and incidents quickly, clearly, and accurately.”

All these jobs are dangerous and involve carrying a deadly weapon. They entail giving a human being the power to detain another human being, and the benefit of the doubt if they should shoot one. And all the positions are unpaid.

No training required. After all, what could you possibly need to know about state law, proper investigation of a crime scene, conducting witness interviews, and all of that other useless stuff that professional — passed a state certification training course — policeman have to pass, to qualify for these unpaid internships?

Flippancy aside, the newspapers lately are filled with instances where actual — allegedly professional — police officers don’t seem to have had any training themselves. They — not all, of course — are increasingly violent, militarized, unable to distinguish real and not real threats, and have adopted a shoot first and ask questions later mentality. They are abusive in both action and language in situations (such as traffic stops) that don’t call for such tactics. They seem hell-bent on escalating incidents instead of diffusing them.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 11 Jan 2014 03:28 am

You can watch it here.

Seems to be happening more often these days. Or, maybe more law abiding folks are simply taking advantage of their right to open carry. Further or (English teachers cringing), maybe more folks are open carrying and hoping for a challenge from cops.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 27 Dec 2013 05:37 am

The Daily Caller catalogs a dozen of the worst cases. You could have a list of the worst 100 incidents and still not scratch the surface.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 18 Dec 2013 04:20 am

If you registered a firearm in the District of Columbia any time between 1976-2010, you must register it again. Warning: Auto-start video at the link.

Big changes for gun owners in the nation’s capital will impact tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens, many of whom have no idea the change is coming.

The new requirement for gun owners in the District goes into effect next year and failure to comply could land you in jail.

Starting Jan. 1, all registered gun owners in the District must re-register their firearms within 90 days. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said notices will start going out to gun owners soon.

That’s nice, but for the guy who registered his shotgun in the ’70’s, maybe he’s moved since then?

Oh, by the way, the new law says you’ll have to re-register it every three years from now on. Not that they’re keeping tabs on you. . . .

Police StateJeff Soyer on 09 Dec 2013 05:19 am

I wasn’t even aware that Washington registered handguns. From KHQ:

Washington residents are buying handguns too fast for police to keep up.

The state’s firearms database is months behind. The Department of Licensing began November with a backlog of about 106,000 pistol transfers to enter into the database used by city, county and state authorities to find owners of handguns that turn up during investigations.

According to the article, they’re still entering transfers from last March.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 29 Nov 2013 07:02 am

I’ve seen this story kicking around for a day or two now. From the Blaze:

New York City has reportedly started sending out confiscation notices ordering gun owners to “immediately surrender” rifles and/or shotguns capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition. It is illegal to possess a rifle or shotgun with the capacity to hold more than five rounds in the city, according to NYC Administrative Code 10-306 (b).

An alleged notice sent to an NYC resident, dated Nov. 18, offers the gun owner the following options:

1. Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.

As far as I know, NYC has always had such a restriction; they’re simply enforcing it now, possibly because the NY State “SAFE Act” is about to kick-in. You can see, though, how easily registration leads to confiscation.

And, you know, bolt-action rifles are the preferred “assault weapons” for mass murderers . . .

I feel for my NY readers, but I think back to the words my cousin told me when I was considering moving to Vermont, from N.J. 20-or-so-years ago: “You can live where the money is good, or you can live where the environment is good.” By environment, he wasn’t just referring to the pretty Green Mountains. I’ll grant, it’s not always an easy choice when you have a family depending on you. I didn’t, and I wanted to leave the crime, crowds, and gun restrictions behind me. I’ve never regretted it.

World News and Police StateJeff Soyer on 16 Nov 2013 06:21 am

So some cops in Scotland are just as douchey as some over here. Story here.


Police StateJeff Soyer on 12 Nov 2013 04:37 am

It starts out badly, but has a somewhat happy ending. From the Journal Gazette:

The bitter international dispute that began when the Polish government had U.S. federal agents seize a rare rifle from a Fredericksburg, Va., gun collector has ended. Poland is buying the weapon.

The collector will get $25,000 for the wz.38M Maroszek rifle, along with a promise that it will be displayed in the Warsaw Uprising Museum. The country also agreed to send Kristopher Gasior, the 54-year-old collector, a thank-you letter noting his “valuable contribution to preserving Polish historical memory and to honoring Polish heroes and freedom fighters by saving and preserving this unique rifle.”

The full story is at the link. Interesting that without any actual proof from the Polish government other than that “the gun must have been stolen,” our government sends its jack-booted thugs to confiscate the firearm.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 11 Nov 2013 04:56 am

I didn’t even know that there was such a gun. From a police blotter:

–WEAPONS OFFENSE, reported at 10:27 p.m. Friday on Milton Avenue, Janesville. A woman said she was driving home from work when a male passenger in a blue SUV displayed a gun, pointed it at her and shot it. The gun released paper confetti. Police later located the male with the confetti gun and issued him a ticket for disorderly conduct.

So anyway, you’re gun cabinet isn’t complete without one of these:





(Pic links to someone selling them.)

Police StateJeff Soyer on 28 Oct 2013 06:07 am

Well, I always say, ‘Consider the source’ when it comes to Alex Jones, but . . .

The recording was allegedly made by a now ex-military policeman and they weren’t discussing what they would do — but, I think, — what FEMA was prepared to do. And, of course, there’s that little matter of FEMA and DHS purchasing billions of bullets.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 24 Oct 2013 11:13 pm

I’m not going to finish that sentence. I will just say that this story is outrageous. It’s time to take our country back.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 17 Oct 2013 05:25 pm

Hey, it’s all the rage here in the country that supposedly has a Bill of Rights Fuck You. And, the (anti-civilian-gun-ownership) International Association of Chiefs of Police will be meeting in Philadelphia next week with such benign companies such as AIG displaying their latest wares:



As the Philadelphia City Paper writes:

IAG spokesman Hetal Kara confirmed the vehicle would be making an appearance at the IACP, and said the Sentinel was designed for “police departments, Homeland Security or the Army”. A demonstration video shows the craft tooling around in the UAE, presumably trying to get as close to Middle Eastern battlefields as possible. What use a local police department might have for a vehicle whose primary selling points are its ability to withstand armor-piercing rounds and roadside mine blasts in the desert wasn’t totally clear.

But, you see, our national, state, and local governments aren’t content to control most of our lives; they want to own them. They want to intimidate us into prone submission and remove what few freedoms of life, thought, movement, we still possess. So, we can probably expect the fucking meter-maid to be rolling down Main Street in one of these in a few years.

UNLESS!!!!!!!!! Yeah, lots of exclamation points. Unless we, the peasants, refuse to pay for the expansion of government. We’ve already seen the garbage wimps of the Republican Party retreat with their tails between their legs, at the national level.

But, at the local level — where we get a chance to vote on the town budgets, expenditures, etc., — we could actually make a difference by simply (thank you, Nancy Reagan) saying, “No.”

We can swarm the select board meetings, the town meetings, the school board meetings — anything regarding a town or department budget — and refuse to approve it.

You think we need more cops? No we don’t as long as you allow us our natural right to self-protection. You think the school should give every kid an iPad? No, give them a mathematics book or a history book instead.

You think we need cameras on every street corner? No, we just need them in the room where our elected officials hold their not-open-to-the-public meetings.

You think we need new laws and ordinances? No, we just need to enforce the gazzilion ones we have already.

You think the citizens should trust you? — The town and city officials and police? — Nope; you first. You start trusting us and then, and only then, we might — might! — trust you if you earn it from us.

Jeff’s First Rule of Freedom: No town, city, state, or federal government is TOO SMALL.

Jeff’s Second Rule of Freedom: Your government job is to serve us. The reverse is not true.

Jeff’s Third Rule of Freedom: If you crave power, stick your dick in an electrical outlet. If you crave control, buy Imodium AD or a laxative — depending upon your situation.

Jeff’s Fourth Rule of Freedom: Natural rights trump governmental grants of rights.

Jeff’s Fifth Rule of Freedom: We the working people do not owe anything to the non-working people. We may, at our non-coerced discretion, help those in need. But, it is to be only at our discretion — not because of a redistribution scheme forced upon us by the government — that we do so.

Jeff’s Sixth Rule of Freedom: Anything (action, use, possession of) that doesn’t physically harm anyone else when not used criminally, is not to be prohibited. Mental complaints by perpetually professional victims are just that; mental, and are not valid.

Jeff’s Seventh Rule of Freedom: The Government does not decide how much of my earnings and possessions (such as savings) belong to them and others. Only I should be able to decide that. See rule Five.

I could come up with a bunch more, but I suspect that you all have ideas of your own regarding the Rules of Freedom.

Police StateJeff Soyer on 17 Oct 2013 04:18 am

There seem to be quite a few of these arrests in Texas (always for some trumped-up charge) of citizens legally carrying rifles. From Fox News:

Army Master Sgt. Christopher Grisham is charged with a misdemeanor count of interfering with the duties of an officer. Temple police officer Steve Ermis, whose confrontation with Grisham was captured on cellphone video and posted online, testified Wednesday that Grisham’s behavior concerned him and that he wasn’t entirely sure why Grisham had the AR-15 rifle.

Grisham was hiking with his son and brought along the rifle for protection. Seems pretty simple to me. More at the link.

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