Cops’ immunity a given

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Criminals with badges routinely walk away from legal outrage

Hidalgo County, Texas – In a rare occurrence, one day last month a U.S. District Judge sentenced a crooked border cop to five years of federal time for spitting on his badge.

All the other features of the same, sad old story were in evidence. The local broadcast media suppressed the name of the known drug trafficker who contributed an admitted $25,000 to Sheriff Lupe Trevino’s election campaign, though it’s a matter of record for all to see, filed away in the Elections Office in the courthouse at Edinburgh. That figure is double what is inscribed on the record.

Obviously, people are scared to death to name names, for obvious reasons. When it comes to why, the element of where rises to the top of the heap. Wasn’t it the real estate hustlers who said it’s location, location, location that really matters in any deal?

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The story mentions the fact that Trevino’s son, who lived in his home at the time, had along with other members of the local drug task force got caught stealing drug shipments from dope smugglers, then selling the contraband at cut rate prices to certain other dope merchants. They just didn’t give their names, or mention exactly what legal action the government is taking against them, if any.

The story did mention that U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez broke away from sentencing guidelines to give the Sheriff an additional year behind bars. The television reporters featured her words as she passed sentence, saying, “You knew that this person was a drug trafficker,” Alvarez said. “You are contributing to the problem that we have in this county.”

“I’m sorry. It happened. I did it,” Trevino replied. ow.ly/zkrOJ

Well, blow me down; la de da, Sheriff. That’s the going rate, you say. Five years. Everyone else walks away, as if nothing happened, when the truth is, Sheriff Trevino could hardly have done all that and a bag of chips, all by himself. There were a lot of people involved. Anyone with an IQ above 40 has enough snap and mother wit to figure that one out.

And then the big TV station, the government-licensed electronic mouthpiece from the Metromess, rounded things out by mentioning in passing that Trevino is not the only Rio Grande Valley sheriff to have screwed the pooch in such spectacular one-man, one-riot fashion. Nothing to see here, folks, in other developments, this pop singer got caught dry-humping a wrecking ball and Lindsay Lohan appeared on-camera, licking the barrel of a Dirty Harry .44 magnum.

Former Starr County (Rio Grande City) Sheriff Rey Guerra was sentenced to federal prison in 2009 for his role in a drug-smuggling conspiracy. Former Cameron County (Brownsville) Sheriff Conrado Cantu was sentenced to federal prison in 2005 for running a criminal enterprise. And former Hidalgo County (Edinburgh) Sheriff Brig Marmolejo was sentenced to prison for taking bribes in 1994.

A Laredo broadcaster mentioned that Hidalgo County Auditor Ray Eufracio determined that though $1.7 million in fuel costs have passed through the Sheriff’s budget, there’s no way to track the consumption. Moreover, of 5,400 assets listed in the department’s property, about 1,880 items cannot be located. The last audit of the Sheriff’s Office took place in 2005. http://www.kgns.tv/home/headlines/Inventory-Gone-Missing-Hidalgo-County-Sheriff-Department-270612261.html

From outright murder to highway robbery, and lots of other esoteric man-with-a-badge crimes in between, this one has something in common with all the hundreds of others reported over the past couple of weeks, stories culled from national blogs just chock full of this kind of jazz.

http://www.policemisconduct.net/category/in-the-news/

The only thing that makes Trevino’s story unusual is he got sentenced to do time, and he’s an elected official. The cops appointed by Mayors and City Councils usually go skulking down the road to do it all over again, serving under the aegis of the state’s certification commission for lawmen. There, at the next wide spot in the pike, they find a prosecutor, a County Commissioners Court, a Mayor, a whole passel of merchants, and other assorted chamber of commerce goons, who are all too willing to take advantage of his hired gun status. And the beat goes on.

The killers get paid administrative leave while their case is referred to the current term of the Grand Jury, which cheerfully returns no true bill of indictment, and that handles that.

Done deal.

Cops pull people over for speeding, demand they give them permission to search the vehicle, confiscate their weapons and cash money, then drop the charges on their cafeteria jello shaky cases while they keep the loot. It’s an every day thing up and down U.S. Hwy 59, the road to Bossier City and the casinos in La La Land, and U.S. 287, a similar route to the “Indian” gambling oases of Oklahoma and Colorado.

Here are a few more Texas cases that ought to jack your jaws and long for the chance to sit on a Grand Jury where you can ask some tough questions and demand some sensible answers – or else.

Estelline, Texas: The city located where U.S. 287 crosses the Red River is reviewing its police procedures after authorities reached a $77,500 legal settlement with a woman who alleged officers illegally seized more than $29,000 from her pickup and kept $1,400 of her cash. An audit showed that the city was more than $600,000 in arrears in traffic fines that should have been shared with state officials. http://ow.ly/zLLka

Newton County, Texas: The sheriff of this Big Thicket county has been indicted on one count of terroristic threat on a public servant and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. He reportedly told the County Judge and others following a Commissioners Court meeting that he would just haul off and shoot them dead if they insisted on an audit of his department. The charge is a third-degree felony.  If convicted, he could be sentenced to from 2 to 10 years in prison. He will face a $10,000 bond when arraigned on the charge. http://ow.ly/zQj5i

San Antonio police are investigating the severe beating of a man who was doing nothing more than snapping pictures of an office building his wife intended to lease for her medical practice. http://www.kens5.com/story/news/investigations/i-team/2014/07/24/sapd-investigation-man-beaten-west-san-antonio/13014559/

Saint Jo, Texas: A police officer was arrested for official oppression. He is accused of unlawfully detaining an 18-year-old female driver on at least two occasions and following her on several other occasions, according to the arrest affidavit. http://ow.ly/zvaL6

Austin, Texas: A man has filed a lawsuit against a police officer, claiming the officer used excessive force. http://ow.ly/zv68a

El Paso, Texas: A now-former police officer charged with tax fraud in connection with a medical billing scheme is scheduled to appear in court. He has been charged with corrupt interference with Internal Revenue laws and 14 counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements and aiding and abetting. ow.ly/zsV7p

For prime video on the subject, follow this link

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To Indict Court System

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Albany, New York – John Darash has a plan – a modest proposal to indict every Court in every jurisdiction in every state of the U.S.

Working through the National Liberty Alliance, Darash has composed a “True Bill of Information” that he intends to send to 1,900 federal judges and magistrates with a list of particulars worked out by he and a Common Law Grand Jury convened in the Northern District of New York.

It is a breathtaking document, to say the least, its key concepts springing from a hodge lodge of common law, including the Magna Carta of 1215, key King’s Bench decisions, and such venerable legal concepts as handed down in cases such as Marbury v. Madison.

One of the central tenets of the reasoning is that the state has no true jurisdiction to rule over individuals who have been “kidnapped” to appear.

Courts “not of record” are actually chancery courts, he says, and not common law courts. As such, they are “a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America.”

Though the U.S. Constitution designates a Supreme Court of the United States and such courts as Congress may create from time to time, he charges “high treason in the creation of U.S. District Courts.”

It won’t be cheap, Darash told his followers, a nationwide throng of men and women listening in on Monday, August 4 in a conference call. In fact, handling and postage will run $3 apiece for the 15-page mailing – for a total of $6,000.

But it’s a small price to pay, he reasons, when the entire system of courts has been created “to fleece the people of the United States.”

Though he reckons federal courts have yet to fail entirely, he holds that the system of state courts have.  “The entire judicial system within the United States has failed.”

To hear him reading his bill of information indicting all jurisdictions in the nation for high treason, follow this link:

To read the writ in .pdf format, follow this link:

http://www.nationallibertyalliance.org/sites/default/files/true_bill_14-08-01.pdf

‘It’s my pet rock…’

Sgt. CJ Grisham

Sgt. C.J. Grisham

Belton, Texas – The Bell County “Justice Center” is little more than a fancy, new, state-of-the-art jail complete with all the cybernetic doodads, constructed with revenue bonds, the kind County Commissioners just haul off and authorize while the public has no chance to vote the debt service up or down.

Paying the bill for building this gleaming concrete and tool-grade steel-reinforced hulk in Mussolini Modern into the side of a surgically precise, machine-made hillside on a by-pass loop with direct connections to two limited access highways – State 190 to Ft. Hood and I-35 to Dallas and Austin – was something like whipping out your Visa Gold and American Express cards and letting the tab run. All the fat cats and good old boys got a piece of the action, from the Temple Mayor with his materials transportation company, a composite and concrete mogul with shopping mall, highway, and industrial plant projects all over the town Santa Fe built, to the neocon in-crowd with their fingers in statehouse budgets and federal grant money pie charts.

The ensuing years of drought have not been kind to the buildings, as the black land prairie settled and shifted under the influence of record-setting and protracted dry conditions, cracking the foundations. All this allows water to leak into the underground cells during the first year of normal rainfall since it was all flung together in defiance of gravity only a few years in the past.

Those underground passages sometimes stand in water for days until repair crews can get them pumped out and dry enough conditions prevail to patch the broken concrete. People who have done time there for ace capers like driving while license suspended or failure to carry insurance, probation revocation, and other misdemeanor convictions, say it’s turned into something of a struggle as new seeps and springs find their way through the fill and compacted composite on a daily basis.

When the neocons and law and order types start bragging about its subterranean passages and total surveillance capability, it’s hard to keep from getting the aroma and taste of your own vomit in your mouth and nasal passages. This is the jail where they housed Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, the devoutly Islamic Palestinian-American Army psychiatrist who specialized in examining post traumatic stress disorder patients fresh from the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the doc who equipped his Fabrique Nacional Herstal semi auto 5.7 mm pistol with both red and green laser sights so he could fire only on soldiers wearing green camouflage combat fatigues, and then mowed down more than a dozen human beings including a pregnant soldier who screamed, repeatedly, “My baby; my baby,” at a pre-deployment medical examination clinic in November, 2009.

it’s that kind of place.

So when you hit the magnetometers and turned out your pockets, you already knew it was going to be a bummer covering the trial of Sgt. C.J. Grisham, a military intelligence specialist and seasoned interrogator with extensive experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the misdemeanor offense of carrying a loaded AR-15 on a public roadway.

When he got home from his last overseas deployment, he admitted having the symptoms of PTSD, and was going through processing for his retirement. He’s a native of this prairie community, a military and transportation hub with a lot of warehousing and manufacturing muscle, a place on the way to everywhere else in this part of the world.

Sgt. Grisham has kin who own farm property in a semi-rural area near the excellent airport and industrial park on the west side of town. The row crop land buffers the runways of the airport, and in early spring, dopers come out of the woodwork and raid the anhydrous ammonia tanks placed in the fields for tractor drivers to replenish the fertilizer rigs on their plows as they lay off the rows for the new crop season.

The noxious gas is a chief component of “Nazi speed,” as it’s cooked locally, sold at a big fine price to zombies who stumble around for a few miserable months before they die. Grisham and another soldier made a habit of chasing the freaks off after he got home, wielding AR-15’s and piloting cars at triple-digit speeds.

He paid a visit to the City Council and addressed the local government in person when he learned there is a city ordinance prohibiting the open carry of firearms, something no state or federal law prohibits.

The mayor basically told him to take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut and not to let the door hit him in the buttocks, so he began  calculating his next move – not much for a stepper who has been preparing political dossiers in combat zones for many years.

He came up with the idea of going armed for a 10-mile hike around the perimeters of his family’s far-flung crop lands and the industrial park, something to help his son earn a merit badge for his Boy Scout uniform. As he and his high-school-aged son walked along a public roadway near the airport, a case worker for Child Protective Services (CPS) saw the black rifle, the juvenile accompanying the armed man, became alarmed, and called 9-1-1.

What happened next has gone down in Texas history. There is rarely a weekend when Grisham and his cadre don’t stage a public rally complete with a parade past the local cop shop somewhere in a major Texas city after first agitating long and loud to get the local gendarmes’ attention and quelling their desire to jail the bearers and confiscate their weapons.

Grisham has been arrested for carrying a toy plastic revolver on the steps of the State Capitol at Austin, obtained the permission of the State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to stage a rally of armed open carry enthusiasts on the grounds of the Alamo, and led his followers to testify before legislative committees in support of open carry of handguns.

On the morning in question, there stood this career soldier dressed in the gaudy, band box getup of a Master Sergeant wearing dress blues,  his tunic loaded with medals and service ribbons, his pockets turned out, and heat waves radiating off the top of his head.

The female deputy reached into the basket provided to hold keys, billfold, cell phone, change and other pocket detritus, held up a sizable smooth river rock that completely filled her hand, and asked, “What is this?”

Grisham hesitated a beat, a beat-and-a-half, and another, then drawled. “It’s my pet rock.”

You could have heard a pin drop in the glazed turret where all exits and entrances must originate in the massive public foyer. Though many eyes and ears were trained on the action, no one dared say a word; in fact, no one dared breathe too loudly.

“You will take it outside to the parking lot and put it in your vehicle,” the woman said, and Grisham’s face turned scarlet. Apparently, they had already gone round and round about his stress ball and his plastic figurine with the fright wig. But the pet rock was just way too much for her sensibilities.

He began the process of putting it all back in his pockets, she gave him his jacket, and he placed his visored cap on his head, about faced smoothly, and marched for the exit, his patent leather dress shoes striking the terrazzo at a steady tattoo.

A moment, to be sure, but oh, what a significant moment…and you were there.

To view a dashcam video of Grisham’s arrest in March of 2011, follow this link:

http://youtu.be/BZkIqylVywQ

The first misdemeanor trial ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked 5 to 1. In the second, they returned a unanimous guilty verdict for interfering with an officer, as charged by the judge, because Grisham placed his hand on the weapon when the cop jerked it around by the one-point sling. He had drawn his pistol, preparing to jam the muzzle into the nape of Grisham’s neck and jab it into his armpit while he bent him over the hood of the patrol car.

Police still have Grisham’s custom-made AR-15 and Kimber concealed carry model .45-caliber 1911 style pistol in their custody while the case in under appeal.

To subscribe in a reader, follow this link:

http://radiolegendary.com/2014/08/its-my-pet-rock/

Crossing the Rubicon

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Welcome to the Alamo. No one gets out alive. You are here to die. But we’re so tickled to see you. It means you got here quick as you could.

It means you’re at home, now, that the national brush fire war of liberation is here – now. Welcome home.

Somewhere on the road – Forget the room of the wolf mother wallpaper, skinny legs and all. This is the hour of the reckoning, the day when the sands ran out, where tight-lipped, cold-eyed men make their last calculations, make the declarations they know they must stick with – forever.

A flinty soul with side whiskers, seated at the round table of the coffee fumes and the cigarette smoke, a face from the ancient gallery, looks up from under the brim of his hat and declares himself “DIP,” which, he explains in the soldierly bureaucratese of vital statistical reality – the blood and thunder of the profession of arms – means “die in place.”

He confronts a brother from the gutter at his end of the road, someone just as unable to catch his breath, just as unlikely to survive the tortures of flight, the likelihood of detection in any conceivable bolt hole.

He explains: “I’m too old to run through the jungle with a 60-pound pack and a rifle. Can’t do it any more. You leave me with a few rounds and a weapon – and it’s understood, I’m there to die in place.”

If it slows the enemy down by so much as a half-hour, this business of robbing him of his last breath, stealing his shadow, forcing a final few heartbeats, that’s a half-hour his comrades have to get their legs under them and head out for parts unknown. It’s an exit strategy.

The discussion goes round and round, and returns to the central talking point – repeatedly. What will they do if they come to the door, a dozen ninja-suited warriors from the other side, come for you. What will you do? Do you have a plan?

Thus confronted, the conversation goes round and round, to lofty spires and glorious pinnacles, hard points memorializing the constitutional principles of a nation in despair, a graveyard of dreams, a resting place for the remains of the day, the screams in the night, the rap on the door. There is talk of water, medical supplies, purification, radio communications, caches of ammo, ways to freeze dry, can, preserve, and store food – and then the question returns, like a recurring nightmare, a repeat notice for an unpaid bill.

The chairman of the impromptu little circle of men and women bent on survival calls the question, like a call to prayer – once again…

What will you do if they come to your door? Can you defend yourself? Can you? Your response comes in the rush of realization. If it’s come to this, if you spend time pondering a question like that, you’re already there. The moment has arrived. It’s no longer a speculation of a grim possibility for the future. The time is now.

You have crossed the Rubicon.

The face of the side whiskers reconsiders, says, “You know, the Viet Cong had the right idea. Forget about wearing camis and running around in armor with a heavy pack. Wear what the people are wearing, live among them, just be yourself. It works.”

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The Constitution Free Zone of the United States

Nearly two-thirds – 197.4 million – of the population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. land and coastal borders, according to the 2007 figures of the Census Bureau. This is the constitution free zone of the U.S., according to executive fiat.

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Libertarians name FFL for Justice Court race

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Gary Cunha, Esq., licensed attorney and Federal Firearms Licensee

Six Shooter Junction – The internet ads started appearing in December of 2012. Use me, I’m a Federal Firearms Licensee and my address is in this office building on the courthouse square, a place where mainly lawyers hang out their shingles.

The advertiser keeps in inventory certain loads with heavyweight bullets in chamberings that are hard to find due to demand – .38 special, .45 ACP, and the like – and will receive for a fee a shipment of a firearm from a third party on behalf of an unlicensed citizen.

That would be Gary Cunha, attorney at law and a candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 1, following the Libertarian Party’s action last night of nominating him for the position. It wouldn’t have been necessary had the GOP members of the McLennan County Commissioners Court not disenfranchised voters by redistricting the Justice Court Precincts – after the primary elections. According to the law, those elected should be allowed to finish out their terms, but the Republicans have other ideas. No one is entitled to a public office, saith McLennan County Republican Chairman Ralph Patterson.

Cunha was one of 21 candidates who asked for the appointment to succeed long-time County Judge Jim Lewis after his precipitous and surprising resignation.

Now he’s one of five people vying for the general election victory that will put him on the bench in one of the five remaining Justice of the Peace and Constable precincts  following the sudden redistricting foisted on the public by the GOP.

All this was done in the sacrosanct name of saving money, according to Tea Party co-founder and newcomer on the court, Will Jones, a Texas Lotto millionaire who got himself elected to take old-line West Democrat and liquor salesman Joe Mashek’s place on the court.

Said Cunha of his nomination: “It was lawyers all along that held down these Justice Court benches.” Probably true. He will be running against a new-born operative and non-lawyer Republican club lady who edged multi-term attorney Kristi DeCluitt.

Other candidates tapped by the Libertarians include: J. Douglas Froneberger, Clinton Chase, and David Reichert.

Squire Froneberger is the old chap who discovered that convicted felons are practicing medicine under the auspices of the licensing authorities of the State of Texas, and made a big stink about it on the Metromess television stations. Hear. Hear.

And the floggings will no doubt continue until morale improves.

Very well. That is all. – The Legendary

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Judge lifts D.C. gun ban

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Marine Adam Kokesh served jail time for loading a shotgun on camera in this July 4, 2013, video shot on the streets of D.C.

Washington, D.C. – A U.S. District Judge enjoined District of Columbia officials from preventing registration of firearms intended for open carry for self defense in a court order published on Saturday, July 26.

According to the holding, Judge Frederick J. Scullins considers the refusal of police to register guns intended to be carried outside the home for self defense a violation of the Second Amendment. He enjoined them from banning their registration for that stated  purpose. He also enjoined officials from enforcing the D.C. code that prohibits carrying firearms, and furthermore enforcing the code against individuals who choose to do so simply because they do not reside in the District.

Four plaintiffs and the Second Amendment Foundation sought the injunction following a Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, that holds it is unconstitutional to prohibit citizens to carry registered handguns outside their homes, only to learn that police would not register their firearms.

To read the judge’s 19-page holding, follow this link:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/interactive/2014/07/26/palmer-v-district-columbia-decision/

Every tea pot on its base

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Killeen – John Coleman of Central Texas Tea Party announced plans for a Patriotic Pep Rally, to be held at the Marriott Courtyard, 1721 Central Texas Expressway, on September 27.

The day-long affair will feature visits by a half-dozen U.S. Congressmen, some 31 Texas State Legislators, members of both the House and Senate, representatives of the Texas State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association.

To make inquiries, drop him a message at hunter40m@gmail.com

‘Officer involved’ shootings, described in ‘past exonerative’

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Killeen ‘Daily Herald’ news photo, stolen fair and square

Bell County, Texas – Fear stalks this quiet street. Death follows close behind, and both have been very busy throughout the communities of this decent, law-abiding and very progressive, conservative area of the world.

In a pleasant hilltop neighborhood of oak-studded lots, 120 Bremond is unremarkable, doesn’t draw any extra attention, but neighbors say it had in the recent past been the scene of repeated “domestic disturbances.”

Folks remember that Allen Jay Foste, 49, a former soldier, suffered from the combat-related condition of post-traumatic stress disorder, that in recent memory, he often drew the attention of police officers summoned to quell unpleasant happenings at his house.

No one said they didn’t like Foste. People say he was a nice guy. But he was jumpy. Loud noises got on his nerves.

Last Thursday, July 17, five squad cars bearing Bell County Sheriff’s Deputies converged on the modular home, where they found Foste standing behind a cypress privacy fence with a shotgun in his hands.

He had reportedly threatened suicide.

From that point on, published reports begin to display a lot of fuzz tone around the edges, a rendition of the b-flat blues with pronounced alarums of feedback, something that would have put Jimi Hendrix to shame in his feeble attempt to improvise on “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem, at Woodstock.

It’s a problem that has drawn the attention of Radley Balko – an intrepid blogger at “The Washington Post” who recently took on McLennan County for its aggressive policy of investigating applicants for indigent legal representation in court. Balko, who seems to be all over the lot, got in the act, in an indirect way.

Still reeling from the conservative comeuppance dealt him over his pointy-headed liberalities in defense of poor, down-and-out offenders who need a lawyer, but balk at letting an investigator come in the house to investigate their claim of indigence, Balko admitted his grammatical ignorance in describing police press release semantics as couched in the “passive” voice, when in truth they are actually couched in terms of the verb intransitive. Thus corrected, he said he will settle for what the grammarian Geoffery K. Pullum “playfully” calls “past exonerative.”

Fair enough, but let’s be clear. The folks back east are sitting up and taking notice of the fact that there seems to be a wave of shootings – and killings – by police officers and of police officers nationwide when they were just – well – forced to turn the “subject” into a Swiss cheese-inspired caricature of Fearless Fosdick.

The bare facts that are available are definitely described in ceramics in the dialect of high glaze. According to Lt. Donnie Adams, the call went out a 6:20 p.m. that the man had a gun and had threatened suicide. When officers arrived, according to his release, reporters have reported that he “engaged” the officers, or, alternately, that the cops “encountered” the shotgun-wielding ex-soldier and “shots were fired.” That’s what they printed in the Austin American-Statesman, and it’s very similar to what TV station KEYE broadcast.

And then there’s the report in the Killeen Daily Herald, which boldly states that, “When they arrived, they were confronted by a man armed with a shotgun, Adams said. Shots were exchanged between the deputies and Foste, who was killed. No deputies were injured…”

Touché. En garde. Engage.

Not to be outdone, station KWTX reported in its blog that, “When they arrived, they found Foste holding a shotgun, Adams said. The subject engaged the deputies and shots were fired,’ Adams said.”

Get a load of what they broadcast. We wish to make it understood that the repetitive statements in the recording were dubbed -purposely.

All that and a bag of chips, folks, and the matter is still under the ever-loving, ubiquitous, and sanctified aegis of “investigation.”  No further details available, nothing to see here, let’s move along.

The funny thing is this. People get in touch. They tell you they are afraid, that they go way back with the powers-that-be, and it’s never been what you might call a picnic. Don’t want to be quoted for attribution, will make no statement on-mike or appear on-camera, but the truth is. the minute the cops got out of the squad cars, all five of them started shooting. Right now.

“Residents said Friday they heard at least 10 gunshots,” according to the broadcast..

The ones we talked to said they never heard a shotgun blast. And they said they are afraid. Very afraid.

It’s a fair question, one would think, that if Foste fired from the point blank range displayed in the excellent news photo we so cheerfully stole from the Killeen Daily Herald, then the pellets had to wind up somewhere. Did they document the trajectory of the blast?

No officers were injured. Thank the Lord for small favors.

It’s the fourth ‘officer involved’ shooting – and killing – to have taken place this year in Bell County. Two of the four thus killed were police officers.

They definitely aren’t shooting blanks out there. And that’s a cold shot. We just have to find a way to do better. Sure as shooting.

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Port honcho to Perry: ‘Please, no Guard troops’

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Brownsville, TX – The top executive heading this border city’s economic development effort pleaded with Gov. Rick Perry to change his mind about sending 1,000 National Guardsmen to help guard against illegal immigration at a combined cost of $17 million per month.

Eduardo Campirano is director of the Port of Brownsville, but more importantly, he spoke as chairman of the Rio South Texas Economic Council. He says the Governor’s nationwide announcement will crimp the council’s efforts to recruit new businesses to the area, that it sends the wrong message.

Campirano released a statement on Monday, July 21, saying, “Federal and local law enforcement in Texas have given us no indication there has been any significant changes in amounts or types of contraband entering our country.

“Adding a military presence to our communities will only create an inaccurate image that our safe and viable border region in the Rio Grande Valley is dangerous, and that the problem is not presently being managed, which is not the case.

“This erroneous impression can harm our attempts to recruit new businesses. We respectfully ask the governor to rescind his orders to send the National Guard to the border.”

Perry vowed to augment an increased state police presence on the border – which costs up to $1.3 million per week, and as much as $17 million per month with the added expense of the 1,000 guardsmen, but admits there is no readily identifiable method of paying for the headline-grabbing initiative. He is looking at a bid for President in 2016.

GOP nominee for Governor Greg Abbott made an unsuccessful bid for $30 million in federal funds, a figure he says will pay the costs.

“Texans are willing to put boots on the ground,” Abbott said, “but we expect Washington to foot the bill.”

White House spokesmen said Perry’s announcement is merely a way to “generate headlines.”

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Death by arrest warrant

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Cop who killed man stands over him after firing the fatal shot.

An American is 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist… – Cato Institute

Groesbeck, TX – July 17, 2012, dawned on a man in this city whose voice was captured that very morning on a jailhouse listening device as he vowed he would prefer being shot to death than to submit to arrest for another offense. That was before lunch.

He did not live long enough to see another sunrise.

Steven Thompson visited his girlfriend, a woman named Shannon Carey, at the Limestone County Law Enforcement Center in the morning. During their visit, she pressed him repeatedly to promise her that he would not do anything to provoke the lawmen if they served an arrest warrant on him. He had made a similar statement the previous May, one that had been similarly recorded.

His mother said the result was that a memo had been placed in police files saying it should be necessary to approach him with extreme caution.

Thompson walked home from the jail and reported to his father’s tire shop to work on a truck that needed repairs to its front end steering apparatus. Within a couple of hours, at about 2:30 p.m.,  he was flat on his back,  shot through the lung, the bullet piercing his diaphragm and his liver, and lodged in his abdominal wall.  He lay there after being repeatedly shocked by a 50,000-volt TASER gun, his life’s blood pouring out on the concrete.

Thompson’s mother Jeannie and his father Bill watched as Deputy Billy Mack strolled into their shop, went through their son’s pockets and told him he had a warrant, that he was under arrest, then steered him through a narrow gap between the mirror of the pickup truck he had been working on and the wall of the garage bay door. They never head him say for what reason he was making the arrest.

No one ever saw a warrant. They haven’t seen one to this day.

Everyone agrees that something happened that turned the confrontation into the violent episode that within hours ended Thompson’s life.

No one agrees exactly what did, in fact, occur.

Though a Grand Jury met and heard the results of an investigation, the burning question remains. Was the death of Steven Thompson a suicide by cop?

Sergeant Mark Leger of the Texas Rangers’ F Troop wrote an extensive and meticulous investigation report. In it, he details the testimony of Thompson’s mother, who says her son shrugged his shoulder to keep from hitting the truck mirror. At that point, she told the Ranger, Deputy Mack shoved him into the truck, and the two fell to the ground in a death struggle.

Other witnesses agree with Mrs. Thompson that they heard the Deputy shout that he couldn’t believe he had been shot with his own TASER gun. He told the investigator that he was forced to defend himself  when Thompson “came at him” with the weapon.

Curiously, there is no mention in the report of his being pierced by the twin prongs that serve as electrodes to deliver the devastating 5-second shocks of 50,000 volts. Similarly, no one seems to have seen Thompson with the TASER gun in his hand.

Everyone agrees that Thompson’s body convulsed with the electroshock of the TASER gun repeatedly.

Bill and Jeannie

Portrait of misery: Jeannie and Bill Thompson

Mr. and Mrs. Thompson both agree that their son lay on the floor, rigid, his body convulsively “flopping” as the powerful current surged through him.

And then, they say, Deputy Mack reached past the point where Mr. Thompson stood over his son and calmly pumped a round into the right side of his rib cage.

The deputy’s words to Ranger Leger differ totally. He said that he was under assault by Thompson, that Thompson was attempting to take his weapon away from him as they struggled on the floor. The Thompsons and others do not remember it that way. They say he bent over from the waist and fired the fatal shot.

The witnesses differ as to where the shot was aimed. Some said he shot him in the abdomen, others said in the leg. No one disputed the fact that the Deputy did the shooting, and it begs the question that he had wrestled the man to the ground, face down, then stood and fired at close range into the right side of his chest.

A snapshot made with a camera phone just minutes after the shooting clearly shows Thompson on his back, a man who sat on his body to hold him down standing in the foreground with the seat of his jeans saturated with blood. Deputy Mack is standing to the man’s right, his right hand drawn back by his side where he holstered his pistol, his left near the cross draw holster for the TASER gun. Bill Thompson stands to his right, staring down at his dying son.

An ambulance transported him to an emergency operating theater in Waco, Texas, about 30 miles distant. When Thompson died about 9 p.m., he became part of a grim statistic, one of more than 5,000 people who have been killed by police officers since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

When the District Court convened a Grand Jury to inquire into the killing, the Thompsons were not subpoenaed. The DA had Sgt. Leger detail his report to the members of the jury. There is little indication that any other persons were questioned in their presence. It is unknown if Sgt. Leger mentioned that the Thompsons both alleged, as he mentioned in his report, that the Deputy pointed his pistol at them and said he would shoot them, too, if they didn’t quiten their voices, step back, and let the investigation proceed from that point.

Texas Grand Juries operate in secret. This one returned no true bill of indictment for any of the various degrees and varieties of killing a human being that are mentioned in the Texas Penal Code. Texas Grand Juries almost never return true bills of indictment in cases of death caused by a police officer’s shooting in what he proclaims was a defense of his life.

Mrs. Thompson recalls that she cried out, over and over, “You don’t have to do this,” as Deputy Mack repeatedly shocked her son with the TASER gun, then shot him with his pistol.

Mack is back on the job, having been suspended with pay pending the Grand Jury investigation. The Thompsons both say he is a murderer, that they are eye witnesses to the crime.

As an afterthought, they both recall that they lost all of their lucrative towing business when the Sheriff’s Office removed them from the tow truck rotation list for a period of 10 months, “pending investigation,” a period during which Mr. Thompson was forced to pay the usual insurance premium of $1,300 per month to keep his wrecker legally operable. He estimates this administrative penalty cost his business better than $50,000 in lost revenue.

To hear an audio report of a conversation with the still-grieving couple, follow this link:

To witness a demonstration of a TASER gun by police, follow this link:

http://youtu.be/_rD0yZ2yqsc

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