Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Spain Prepares For Violent Take Over Of Catalonia

by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Tensions between Spain and Catalonia appear to be on the verge of a breaking point. Spain plans to enforce Direct Rule over Catalan, beginning this Friday. Meanwhile, The Independent reports that Catalonia’s Vice President has stated that “the Spanish government has given them “no choice” but to declare independence.”

ABC reported that Catalan’s Vice President Oriol Junqueras told the press: “The Spanish government is giving us no other option than to defend the civil rights and citizens’ rights through the best tools that our institutions have.”

If the extreme violence of Spanish riot police during the Catalonian independence referendum is any indication of events to come, the Catalonian people may experience a crackdown the likes of which have not been seen in Western Europe for decades. The EU has been largely reticent on the use of violence by Spain, sparking concerns that excessive use of force will go unpunished.

Similar concerns were expressed by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earlier today:

Excessive use of force is especially likely in the coming days given Spain’s attempt to remove a large part of Catalonia’s Mossos police force. In the lead up to plans to take over, the Spanish Government was reported to be finalizing plans to “purge Catalonia’s police force of pro-independence officers who could obstruct the rollout of direct rule over the rebellious region by the Spanish government from Friday.”

During the Catalan referendum, Catalan’s Mossos police and volunteer firefighters defended Catalonians from the worst of Spanish riot police brutality. Spain’s attempt to purge Catalan’s police force comes in the days before Spain has indicated it will invoke article 155 – referred to by the New York Times as ‘the nuclear option’ which would allow Spain to “take full administrative control of independence-minded Catalonia.”

The removal of the Mossos appears to constitute an effort to remove what was a protective force during the referendum. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that the violence by Spanish riot police during the vote was anything other than a preview of much worse conflict to come.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis has also called images that documented Spanish violence against Catalan voters during the referendum ‘fake news.’ The BBC reported that Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis described photographs of police violence in Catalonia during the referendum as disingenuous.

The Telegraph reported Dastis’ statement: “If there was any use of force, it was a limited one, prompted by the fact that the law and order agencies were prevented from discharging the orders of the courts…I am not saying that all are fake pictures, but some of them are and there have been a lot of alternative facts and fake news.”

This blatant misrepresentation discounts the violence on the part of Spanish police during the referendum, and serves to pave the way for the denial of future atrocities perpetrated against Catalonians. The over-reaction represented by Spain’s brutality towards Catalans during the referendum also extends to the press narrative.

Spain has also indicated its intent to utterly take over Catalonia by jailing leaders of the Catalan independence movement. The Guardian related that the Spanish High Court jailed the leaders of two of the largest separatist organizations. The report also states that Catalan regional president, Carles Puigdemont, likened the move to Franco’s dictatorship: “Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organizing peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners again.”

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

Heartbroken Family Files Complaint After a Cop Shot Their Cat, Threw It in Dumpster

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by Matt Agorist, TheFreeThoughtProject:

Stow, OH — The Stow police department is currently investigating a complaint made against their department this week after one of their officers shot a family’s cat and then tossed it in the dumpster.

“It’s not a complaint on the officer, but a complaint on procedure,” Police Chief Jeff Film told the Stow Sentry on Thursday.

“I want to say I am totally responsible,” Lynn Maganja, the owner of the 12-year-old cat named Marley, said. Maganja was out of town when her cat was shot. She admits that her son accidentally let the cat out of their home but questions the officer’s response.

While Maganja takes responsibility for her cat getting out and then getting injured when it was struck by a car, she questions the officer’s decision to shoot the cat and then throw it in the dumpster.

“This is all sort of heartbreaking to my family and I just think people need to be aware of it,” said Maganja.

Pam Busch, an area animal-rights advocate, said Thursday that she submitted the handwritten complaint the day before. She said she believes that Marley should have been taken to a veterinarian to determine his condition and whether he should be euthanized, according to the Sentry.

“Even if it’s bleeding, we don’t know the severity of the injuries. We’re not professionals,” said Busch.

What’s more, both Busch and Maganja also question the cop’s decision to toss the family cat in the trash after he shot it.

“I don’t think an animal should be thrown into trash like a piece of trash because they are not, no more than you would do it to a human,” said Busch.

As the Sentry reports, Maganja said after her son told her Marley had gotten out, she went on Facebook and happened to see a photo someone posted of Marley, still alive at the time, in a cardboard box. Realizing the cat looked like Marley, she called the police and spoke to the officer, who confirmed that he had shot the cat.

“I was in shock,” said Maganja.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

LAPD Becomes Nation’s Largest Police Department To Test Drones

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by Aaron Kesel, Activist Post:

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners approved the police department’s pilot drone program in a 3-1 vote that will allow the LAPD to fly unarmed drones.

Despite ongoing protests, the civilian panel approved the measure with only one person, Commissioner Cynthia McClain-Hill, rejecting giving the LAPD access to drones.

This makes Los Angeles the largest city in the nation to undertake the testing of drones in the skies.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the LA Police Commission approved a set of policies that limits “their use to a handful of tactical situations, searches or natural disasters.” Each drone flight must also be signed off by a “high-ranking office on a case-by-case basis” in an attempt to limit abuse of the program.

Advocates say camera-mounted drones could help protect officers and others by collecting crucial information during high-risk situations or searches without risking their safety. While privacy advocates argue that drones are one step closer to an Orwellian reality of unwarranted surveillance and weaponized devices patrolling the sky.

To ease these concerns, police commissioners banned the use of mounting weapons and facial-recognition technology on small aerial devices.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the department probably would purchase two Draganflyer X6 drones; one to serve as a back up if the other breaks down, and one for use in high-risk scenarios.

 

Under such stipulations, only SWAT will be able to use the drones during search and rescue operations, high volatile situations, and when looking for armed suspects or someone who has shot a police officer.

The pilot program will last for a year and, after that, the commissioners will be required to review whether they want the project to continue. The Police Commission will also receive quarterly reports that will be available to the general public.

Public trust in the LAPD has steadily eroded, as the agency has a history of outright abuse and secret surveillance programs.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California urged its supporters to oppose the vote, noting that only a small fraction of citizens in Los Angeles expressed support for the department to use drones.

In a recent letter to the LAPD, the ACLU of Southern California wrote that the new “drone policy inadequately protects residents of Los Angeles and fails to take into account public mistrust of the LAPD’s surveillance activities.”

If you are troubled by the increased purchasing of drones by police, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a list of drone questions for your local police department.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

LEAKED ICE GUIDE OFFERS UNPRECEDENTED VIEW OF AGENCY’S ASSET FORFEITURE TACTICS

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by Ryan Devereaux and Spencer Woodman, The Intercept:

AN INTERNAL HANDBOOK obtained by The Intercept provides a rare view into the extensive asset seizure operations of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, an office that trains its agents to meticulously appraise the value of property before taking it.

HSI’s 71-page “Asset Forfeiture Handbook,” dated June 30, 2010, underscores the role seizures play in “helping to fund future law enforcement actions” and covering costs “that HSI would otherwise be unable to fund.” It thus offers an unprecedented window into ICE’s wide-ranging asset forfeiture operations and the premium the agency places on seizing valuable property. Forfeiture proceeds can bolster ICE’s partnerships with local police departments, which are now the subject of heightened debate given the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration agenda.

ICE confirmed to The Intercept that the handbook reflects the agency’s most up-to-date guidance on asset forfeiture. Agents under its instruction are asked to weigh the competing priorities of law enforcement versus financial profit and to “not waste instigative time and resources” on assets it calls “liabilities” — which include properties that are not profitable enough for the federal government to justify seizing. “As a general rule, if total liabilities and costs incurred in seizing a real property or business exceed the value of the property, the property should not be seized,” the document states.

The handbook also instructs ICE agents on the various ways laws can be used to justify the seizure of a property, and devotes a significant portion of its pages to the seizure of real estate. The manual instructs agents seeking to seize a property to work with confidential informants, scour tax records, and even obtain an interception warrant to determine whether “a telephone located on the property was used to plan or discuss criminal activity” in order to justify seizing the property.

The handbook acknowledges that civil forfeiture can be used to take property from a person even when there’s not enough evidence for a criminal indictment. There “may be third party interest that would prevail in a criminal case, but would not survive in a civil proceeding, making the civil proceeding essential to forfeiture,” the handbook states, referencing a property owner not officially implicated in a crime. “Those situations generally occur when a property owner is not convicted of a crime but is also not an innocent owner. Under criminal forfeiture, that property owner would be entitled to the return of the property. Under civil forfeiture, however, the owner would lose his or her interest to the Government.”

Noting that ICE is not alone among federal agencies in relying on asset forfeiture, ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told The Intercept in a statement, “Asset forfeiture is an essential element of comprehensive and effective law enforcement as it deprives transnational criminal organizations of their illicitly obtained assets. The forfeiture of assets can be and is utilized as a sanction in criminal, civil, and administrative investigative activities.”

 ICE special agents search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010, in Hidalgo, Texas.
ICE special agents search a vehicle heading into Mexico at the Hidalgo border crossing on May 28, 2010, in Hidalgo, Texas.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Homeland Security has seized billions of dollars in assets over the last decade, with the bulk of the revenue coming from investigations overseen by ICE. While the agency is best known for its role in immigration enforcement — carried out chiefly by officers in its Enforcement and Removal Operations division — its lesser-known HSI component has a much broader mandate, enforcing more than 400 criminal statutes with a nexus between cross-border crime and transnational criminal organizations, including human trafficking and smuggling, child pornography, terrorism, counterfeit goods, and drug smuggling. With more than 6,000 agents working in 185 field offices across the country and 63 locations overseas, HSI has the second-largest number of federal agents on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and has played a key role in numerous high-stakes investigations over the years. To fulfill its missions, which often involve undercover infiltrations, multi-year probes, and occasionally multimillion-dollar seizures, HSI agents have access to powerful intelligence and data systems that link federal law enforcement to the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.

Despite its size and the sweeping scope of its work, HSI has managed to maintain a low profile in comparison to some of its federal counterparts. With the Trump White House turning virtually every undocumented immigrant in the country into a target for deportation, ICE’s role in law enforcement has become a topic of intense public debate and increasingly pulled HSI out of the shadows. The handbook obtained by The Intercept now offers a unique window into a key component of the agency’s quiet investigations.

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

Police Change Vegas Shooting Story Again

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by Carey Wedler, Activist Post:

Earlier this week, police investigating the Las Vegas shooting made headlines when they changed the official timeline of events in the deadly massacre on October 1.

They had initially reported that gunman Stephen Paddock shot Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos after he fired into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Campos was credited with stopping the attack. This week, the Los Angeles Times further summarized the original timeline:

In a timeline released last week, investigators said Paddock had stopped firing at the concert across the street at 10:15 p.m., and the first police officers arrived on the floor at 10:17 p.m. and encountered the wounded Campos at 10:18 p.m., who directed the officers to Paddock’s suite.

This summary came from a report released Monday of this week when the official story first changed. This week, Clark County Sheriff  Joe Lombardo announced Paddock had fired on Campos at 9:59 pm, a full six minutes before the attack began — not after he stopped shooting into the crowd. This created new questions as to why Paddock stopped firing on concertgoers considering it apparently was not a result of Campos diverting his attention.

Now, just days later, police have again changed their timeline, clarifying that Paddock did not actually shoot Campos six minutes before the rampage began. The Chicago Tribune reports that amid claims from the MGM Hotel Group that contradict the second timeline offered Monday, authorities altered their sequence of events.

The Tribune noted that “new questions surrounding the shooting have centered on the law enforcement response and the timeline, which had been changed multiple times and challenged by MGM Resorts International, the Mandalay Bay’s owner.”

The outlet explained further:

Lombardo had said on Monday that Campos, the guard, was shot at 9:59 p.m. and that the mass shooting began at 10:05 p.m., lasting for 10 minutes. This six-minute gap relayed by Lombardo left uncertain whether there was any lag in alerting police to the source of the gunfire during critical moments. Police said they arrived on the 32nd floor at 10:17 p.m., after Paddock had stopped firing.

MGM, though, said it was ‘confident’ that the 9:59 p.m. time was inaccurate and ‘was derived from a Mandalay Bay report manually created after the fact without the benefit of information we now have.’ The company also disputed the suggestion of a lag and said the mass shooting began within a minute of Campos being shot on the 32nd floor.

According to a statement from MGM:

We know that shots were being fired at the festival lot at the same time as, or within 40 seconds after, the time Jesus Campos first reported that shots were fired over the radio.

The Tribune summarized Lombardo’s most recent explanation:

Upon investigation, [Lombardo] said, police learned that Campos first encountered a barricaded door on the 32nd floor at 9:59 p.m., and that he was fired upon by Paddock ‘in close proximity to’ 10:05 p.m., when police say the mass shooting began.

‘He attempted to relay that information via his radio and it was confirmed because he also relayed that information via his cell phone,’ Lombardo said. ‘So the timeline associated to both of those sources have been verified.’

The sheriff did not specify when police were informed of the security guard’s report.

Earlier in the week, Lombardo expressed frustration at questions over the changing timeline. “Nobody’s trying to be nefarious, nobody’s trying to hide anything, and what we want to do is draw the most accurate picture we can,” he said Wednesday.

Daniel Oates, who served as police chief of Aurora, Colorado, when James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater in 2012, defended police’s changing story. “I see this as being ridiculously hard on the people who are trying to get information out, get the totality of that story,” he said. “This stuff takes time.” The Tribune reported that experts “cautioned that it can take time for even basic information about what occurred during events like the one in Las Vegas to come together” (though, in that article, the outlet did not identify specific experts beyond Oates).

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

It Begins: Detroit Mother Sentenced to Jail for Not Vaccinating Her Son

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

Detroit, MI — In a seemingly unprecedented violation of rights, a case out of Detroit, Michigan should worry even the most stringent pro-vaccine advocates. A mother has been sentenced to jail for failing to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated.

While the Free Thought Project has reported on instances of children being denied public services, like school, for not vaccinating their children, the idea that someone is now being thrown in jail for choosing to abstain from vaccination is chilling.

“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” said Rebecca Bredow last week when given the ultimatum—vaccinate your son or go to jail.

On Wednesday, she stood by those words and refused to back down. Judge Karen McDonald then told her she was in violation of the court order to vaccinate her son and she was sentenced to jail.

For refusing to go against her beliefs and vaccinate her son, Bredow will spend the next seven days in a cage.

As the Free Thought Project previously reported, Bredow did not fully abstain from all vaccinations. She is merely choosing to space them out, like lots of parents do.

As WXYZ reports, Rebecca believes in parents having the choice to make the right decision for their children based on the parent’s knowledge of vaccines and the child.

Rebecca told 7 Action News that she and dad made the decision to space out and delay some of their little one’s vaccines.

“It wasn’t until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines,” she says.

However, the father, who does not have custody of the children, changed his mind and now wants to vaccinate his children to the fullest extent. Bredow disagrees, but the court has shown that they couldn’t care less about what she thinks—despite Michigan law allowing for vaccine exemption.

Bredow says the court never cared to hear her side of the story, and despite her having custody of the children, the court automatically sided with the father who wants their son vaccinated.

While vaccinating your children is certainly the decision of both parents — the idea of one parent being kidnapped and thrown in a cage for not wanting to vaccinate is the very fabric of tyranny.

“Why automatically side with the father that wants the vaccines? What about my choice as a mother?” says Bredow — and she has a point.

Judge McDonald noted that the boy has two parents and “Dad gets a say.” However, if the roles were reversed, would the father be in a cage right now?

If the court sided with Bredow instead of the father, would the father now be in jail if he vaccinated their child?

Not likely.

“I feel angry. I feel backed into a corner. I feel like my rights as a parent have been taken away,” she said and now she is feeling the wrath of the state.

While there will likely be some folks cheering on the state in this situation, how you feel personally about vaccines should never lead to a loss of freedom. No person should be forced by government regulation or societal pressure to receive any medication or treatment, including vaccines, against his or her will.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

John Rubino – Catalonia Succession Vote Brutally Suppressed

by Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network:

John Rubino returns… First, again our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the loved ones involved in the Las Vegas Massacre. There are just no words to describe the horror. John and I discussed the Catalonian succession vote in Spain. Seems that the powers that be didn’t want to see it happen and attacked innocent people who were voting. There were hundreds of injuries for absolutely now reason. And the vote, largely symbolic, still went to independence. As John says, “It’s easy for a small area to setup a country these days.”

Click HERE to listen.

Read More @ FinancialSurvivalNetwork.com

Body Cam Proves Cop Lied When He Jumped into Passenger’s Seat, Killed Driver for No Reason

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by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

Body cam footage is proving a police officer blatantly lied in his account of a shooting that killed a man who was approached while sleeping in his car.

Surprise, AZ — Body camera footage is giving new insight into the case of a 20-year-old man who was shot and killed by police after they approached him while he was sleeping in the front seat of his car—and its revelations are giving hope to the man’s family, as they pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

When Derek Adame was approached by Police Officer Joseph Gruver on Nov. 26, 2016, in Surprise, Arizona, he was reportedly asleep in his vehicle. Adame had parked his 2016 Nissan Sentra on the side of the road in a residential neighborhood, but when Gruver ran the vehicle’s plates, the car came back as stolen. Someone in the neighborhood called the police to report the suspicious vehicle, but before the sun rose in the morning, Adame would be killed, shot by Gruver.

It was not until this week that the Surprise Police Department released the body camera footage captured by the two responding officers. Officer Shaun McGonigle was Gruver’s backup. Gruver’s body camera footage shows the moments leading up to the shooting and killing in his vehicle.

According to AZCentral, who obtained court documents related to the lawsuit, the suit alleges that “without any warning or legal justification, Defendant Gruver used willful, excessive and unreasonable force when he shot and killed Adame … Defendant Gruver’s negligent handling of his firearm resulted in Adame sustaining fatal gunshot wounds to his right forearm, torso and right shoulder.”

In an analysis of the police reports, AZCentral discovered the police officer’s statements, the police report and the body camera footage do not all add up to provide a complete description of what happened that night.

In the days after the shooting, Surprise police explained the fatal shooting by saying there was a struggle and concern that Adame was planning to drive away and purposely drag the officer. That sentiment is chronicled in the 89-page police report detailing aspects of the incidentHowever, Gruver’s statements to police do not exactly match what is clear on the body camera footage. Gruver, according to police reports, detailed his thoughts to investigators as he entered the passenger side of the vehicle. He struggled with Adame, who Gruver says hit the accelerator. That caused him to get “sucked into” the vehicle, according to reports.

The vehicle was barely rolling when it appears Gruver opened fire with two fatal shots. After falling out of the rolling vehicle, he radioed to dispatch “shots fired” and indicated that Adame had been hit. He then said something that was patently false: “I think I’ve been hit, too,” he said implying the suspect had shot the officer. Allowing that impression to proliferate was potentially deceptive on the part of the officer who knew he did not see a gun and had not been fired upon.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

The Health Ranger explains the origins of EVIL, why collectivism contradicts health freedom, and the simple answer to all politics

by Mike Adams, NaturalNews:

Chiming in on the most relevant philosophical issues of our day, I’ve recently posted three podcasts that are well worth a listen. Departing from current events, each of these philosophical podcasts covers a crucial sector of understanding for free-minded people who wish to prosper in a dangerous world (where your freedoms are under constant assault).

Hear more podcasts each day at the Health Ranger Report website.

Where does EVIL really come from?

This podcasts reveals the root cause of evil in our world and how it all has a single, common source. Listen to this fascinating podcast to hear the full explanation about consciousness, the “disconnect” and the root of all evil.

Read More @ naturalnews.com

Horrifying Video Shows Cop Drag Pregnant Woman By Handcuff Chain, Breaking Her Wrist

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by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

Big Spring, TX — A rather disturbing video was uploaded to Facebook over the weekend showing a Big Spring police officer dragging a handcuffed woman—by the handcuff chain—through gravel and dirt to put her in the cruiser. After the video was posted, the department was forced to launch an investigation.

According to the police department, this entire incident was over a misdemeanor warrant for possession of marijuana. In the land of the free, you can and will be thrown to the ground, attacked, and treated like a slave for possessing a plant that is legal in some form in over half the country—not in Texas though.

According to a BSPD Narrative Report, an officer was patrolling in the 100 block of West 11th Street when he saw a woman he recognized as Crystal Mesler walking westbound.

The officer knew Mesler had pending charges and asked dispatch to run a wanted check, according to the report. The officer was then informed that she had a warrant for marijuana possession. He now claimed the legal right to kidnap and cage Mesler because she had been previously kidnapped for possessing a plant. So he acted.

Not wanting to be kidnapped and thrown in a cage for possessing a plant, Mesler told the officer “no.”

The folks who filmed the video, Marcos Chavera and Teresa Sanchez, said the then officer knocked Mesler to the ground and pushed the woman’s face into the gravel.

“He told her to put her stuff on the hood, she took a step back and said, ‘no.’ Right when she did that, he just grabbed her and pretty much took her to the ground,” said Chavera. “He started trying to handcuff her, she was on the phone the whole time. After he did cuff her, he called for back up already.”

She said the woman could be heard saying that she was hurt and calling for an ambulance.

However, this officer wanted nothing of it. After he stood up from taking down the woman for possessing a plant, he dusted himself off, grabbed her by the handcuff chains and dragged her like an animal to the back of the cruiser.

As News West 9 reports, a second video shows back up did eventually arrive but Chavera said the woman had already been dragged by the first officer on the scene. Chavera and Sanchez could hear the woman screaming several different things.

“I’m pregnant, you’re hurting my arms, you broke my wrist,” said Sanchez. “He turned her arm up pretty bad when he was trying to get her second arm behind her,” said Chavera.

According to CBS 7, Police Chief Chad Williams says the video prompted the department to open the internal investigation. No further information has been released as of Tuesday.

Sanchez, who posted the video to Facebook said she was attacked by apologists for daring to show this act of police brutality. However, she does not regret it.

“I don’t think it was right the way she was being treated, nobody should be treated like that,” said Sanchez. “It was awful seeing her being dragged like that especially in all that gravel and rocks.”

After being kidnapped for possessing a plant, Mesler was then hospitalized for her injuries.

Mesler is someone’s daughter. Imagine, for a moment, what it would feel like to watch someone do this to your daughter over a plant. 

KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com