Saturday, February 23, 2019

WATCH: Good Samaritans Shutdown, Ticketed for Feeding Homeless During Thanksgiving Holiday

0

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

Feeding the homeless is now illegal in Atlanta and you will be ticketed and extorted unless you pay the state for permission beforehand.

Atlanta, GA — According to the official historical record, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For over a century, families have gathered to proclaim what they are thankful for while others have taken to shelters and charities to help those who cannot help themselves. However, thanks to the state, helping others during this most giving time is now illegal—unless you pay the government for permission.

During this Thanksgiving week, Adele Maclean and Marlon Kautz took to the streets to begin handing out food to the homeless—like they do every week. However, this time, instead of receiving praise for their services, they were issued a notice of extortion by police in the form of a citation.

“We’re looking at a citation,” Maclean said.

As WSB-TV notes, Atlanta police have been handing out the flyers across the city telling people that a permit is needed to give food to the homeless.

The fliers are being used as a warning by the police to stop people from feeding the homeless without first paying the state for permission to do so.

Advertisment

“I mean outrageous, right? Of all the things to be punished for, giving free food to people who are hungry?” Maclean told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon.

The pair has been handing out food in the same spot for weeks and they told WSB-TV that they have never heard of needing a permit to feed the needy.

“It seems ridiculous to me that they would be spending their time and resources on stopping people from feeding the homeless,” said Maclean said.

Indeed, it is ridiculous considering the murders and rapes taking place in Atlanta and the low rate at which they are solved. However, issuing notices of extortion, aka citation, to people for feeding the homeless is far easier and much more profitable than catching a murderer.

As WSB-TV reports:

Wilfon contacted the city to find out what was going on. A city representative said the Fulton and DeKalb County boards of health both require permits to give food to the homeless and the city of Atlanta enforces those requirements.

While the requirements aren’t new, Atlanta police told Wilfon they recently started more strictly enforcing them for several reasons.

The city believes there are better ways to help the homeless, like getting them into programs and shelters. They are also taking issue with the litter the food distributions leave behind.

Naturally, leaving behind waste for the city to clean up is wrong — but littering is already a crime. Why not just enforce that law?

Instead, good people, who don’t litter, are being punished for helping their hungry and less fortunate counterparts.

Read More @ TheFeeThoughtProject.com

A DAY BEFORE A BALTIMORE DETECTIVE WAS SET TO TESTIFY AGAINST HIS OWN DEPARTMENT, HE WAS GUNNED DOWN. SO POLICE BARRICADED THE COMMUNITY.

by Rachel M. Cohen, The Intercept:

LAST WEDNESDAY, DETECTIVE SEAN Suiter, along with an as-yet-unnamed partner, were in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Harlem Park. Suiter’s usual partner in the homicide unit, Detective Jonathan Jones, was off that day.

The police version of what happened, as relayed to the Baltimore Sun, goes like this: The detectives were looking for a witness to an unsolved triple homicide case that is nearly a year old when they spotted “suspicious activity” nearby. Suiter and his backup partner split up to cover different exits of the block. Suiter then confronted a man, who shot him in the head after the detective tried to speak. Suiter, an 18-year veteran of Baltimore’s police force, and a 43-year-old married father of five, was pronounced dead a day later, becoming the city’s 309th murder victim of 2017.  

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis condemned the killing as “ridiculous, absurd, unnecessary loss of life,” and the killer as “heartless, ruthless, soulless.” On the night of the murder, the police department offered a vague description of the suspect: a black man who may be injured, wearing a black jacket with a white stripe.

The neighborhood was promptly put on lockdown. Over the course of the week, the reward fund to find Suiter’s killer climbed to $215,000 – a figure experts think might be a state record. The Harlem Park neighborhood lockdown was justified as a way for cops to preserve the crime scene and collect evidence.

Davis defended the measures, emphasizing the unique role police play in society. “In America, in this free society, our democracy, police – and I don’t mean to sound like I’m teaching a civics class here, but policing in America is special,” said Davis on Monday in a press conference. “It’s difficult, it’s special though … any loss of life is unacceptable, but society says in particular a murder of a police officer is unacceptable.”

As police cars lined the perimeter of Harlem Park for days, residents were unable to enter their neighborhoods without showing IDs. Some complained about helicopters flying above their homes, flashing lightsfrom police cars, and being subject to harassment and pat-down searches. Non-residents were barred from entering. On social media, many called to #FreeWestBaltimore.

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

TECH MONSTER AMAZON LAUNCHES ‘AWS SECRET REGION’ TO HOUSE ULTRA-CLASSIFIED CIA SPY DATA IN THE CLOUD

by Geoffrey Grider, Now The End Begins:

The Amazon AWS Secret Region will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze and run applications on government data classified at the secret level through the company’s $600 million C2S contract, brokered several years ago with the CIA. AWS already provides a region for the intelligence community’s top secret data.

AMAZON WEB SERVICES UNVEILED A CLOUD COMPUTING REGION FOR THE CIA AND OTHER INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AGENCIES DEVELOPED SPECIFICALLY TO HOST SECRET CLASSIFIED DATA.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Conflict of interest? You bet’cha. Amazon, which owns the fake news company The Washington Post, has launched a cloud server to host all the CIA’s ultra-classified, top-secret info. The WashPo is not known for reporting overly true news anyway, but now with this $600 million dollar deal with the CIA, the news is going to get much more fake than it is at the current moment. Should Americans be concerned that Amazon is just about the most powerful company on the face of the Earth, who also has access to secret CIA data? It boggles the mind. 

The Amazon AWS Secret Region will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze and run applications on government data classified at the secret level through the company’s $600 million C2S contract, brokered several years ago with the CIA. AWS already provides a region for the intelligence community’s top secret data.

“Today we mark an important milestone as we launch the AWS Secret Region,” said Teresa Carlson, vice president of AWS Worldwide Public Sector. “AWS now provides the U.S. intelligence community a commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: unclassified, sensitive, secret and top secret. The U.S. intelligence community can now execute their missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission.”

AMAZON IS MOST CERTAINLY CONNECTED TO THE CIA:

The AWS Secret Region is essentially its own commercial data center air-gapped—or shut off—from the rest of the internet. CIA Chief Information Officer John Edwards views the new region as a key step in commercial cloud computing technology that has already changed the way the IC handles data and addresses cybersecurity.

In addition to hosting, storing, analyzing and allowing various applications to ingest classified data, AWS also stood up an IC Marketplace, which allows intelligence agencies to download, test and buy software from companies based in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Cloud computing, Edwards said, is game-changing technology that provides a constant stream of innovation and is more secure than the CIA’s own internal data centers.

Read More @ NowTheEndBegins.com

Well-Informed Citizen Owns Rookie Cops, Proves He Knows the Law Better Than Them

0

by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

When a man was harassed by police, he demanded to speak to a sergeant who admitted that he was targeted because he was sitting in his car in a parking lot.

San Diego, CA — “Mexican standoff! Develop a sense of humor,” Nodier Taveres told a pair of San Diego police officers who attempted to trample his rights as he quietly parked at a bayside park. Tavares, a Mexican national, found himself face to face with two of San Diego’s finest, standing outside of his car and demanding to see his drivers license—a demand which he refused.

“Kolender vs. Lawson…the Supreme Court ruled that you have to articulate a reasonable suspicion of me breaking the law which gives you probable cause to ask me to identify myself,” Taveres told the officers.

“Well it’s illegal to live out of your car on public property…says the city of San Diego,” the officer responded.

“Is that right?” Taveres asked, presenting the invalidated code in which the city attorney told the city of San Diego you cannot ticket someone for living in their car.

“I’m having fun, I tell you that right now…I got two rookie cops,” he stated while demanding a supervisor be present. The cops then turned their attention to the contents inside of Taveres’ custom van. First, he stated there were open containers of alcohol, then he said he smelled marijuana—all false claims, according to Taveres.

“You guys lie…don’t bullshit me,” Taveres said as he called the officers out for attempting to say they saw alcohol and smelled marijuana. He also criticized them for hiding their body cameras behind the side view mirrors to keep from showing the entire interaction.

“Thank you for not cussing. You are beautiful. You’re doing a great job,” a female’s voice can be heard in the background. While cool and composed during the entire incident, the man eventually got his wish and spoke with a sergeant.

READ MORE:  Hooded, Handcuffed, ‘Violated’: Cops Force Catheterize 3yo Boy, Man for Drug Urinalysis

Again, Taveres presented case law to the law enforcement official, who also appeared to be unaware of the landmark Supreme Court decision. After a few moments of discussing the details of the unjustified police contact and demand for the presentation of identification, the sergeant invalidated the officers’ claims that living out of one’s car is illegal.

The sergeant wanted to focus his attention on “criminal activity,” which takes place in the parking lot and that the officers have probable cause to make contact with citizens in the parking lot.

“The most common thing is probably drug use…so that’s why we’re here,” he said. “But you’re in the parking lot that has that problem. So, therefore, you’re part of the parking lot.”

“So here’s the deal..they’re just out doing their job…and the other big problem we have is people living out of their cars…which is not a crime,” he said. Taveres interjected, “Can you let them know that?”

The sergeant asked Taveres why he had a problem with identifying himself and he simply responded, “Cause that’s my right!” 

The sergeant’s request does raise the question of why Taveres should be required to identify himself simply because a law enforcement officer feels compelled to interrupt his peaceful day at the park to force his will upon the citizen?

For those who are unaware, the City of San Diego is embroiled in a controversial push to rid the city of individuals who live in their cars, on the streets, and are homeless. The hastily erected structures which homeless have made to protect themselves from the elements have been demolished, pets stolen, and belongings destroyed, as TFTP has documented.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Entire Baltimore Neighborhood Under Lockdown: “Police Declared Martial Law”

from ZeroHedge:

Five days ago, Det. Sean Suiter, a married father of five and an 18-year veteran with the Baltimore Police, was patrolling the streets of West Baltimore around 5pm last Wednesday when he saw suspicious activity. Suiter approached a man and was shot point blank in the head, in a summary execution. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where he later died of his injuries.

In response, Baltimore Police reacted with ‘fire and fury’ turning the neighborhood where Suiter was shot into an “open-air prison”, shutting down city streets and enabling checkpoints for citizens while officers in tactical gear went door to door, according to Baltimore Brew. Residents were prohibited from entering their own neighborhood unless they showed proper identification, these extreme measures have been in place for 4-5 days.

“They’ve been to my house three times asking, ‘Did you hear anything? Do you know anything,’” said Edward Stanley, a local resident, who had to show a yellow slip before entering the neighborhood.

Baltimore Brew said, the neighborhood was tuned into “open-air prison”, as the complete lockdown was in attempt to collect evidence and search for the shooter.

Police initially said they needed to cordon off the area to try to capture the shooter. Police have said Suiter was in the 900 block of Bennett Place, investigating a previous homicide, when he was shot on Wednesday. So far, no arrests have been announced in the case. This morning, homicide detective Mike Newton told The Brew that the lockdown was necessary to collect evidence.

One community group took pictures of a checkpoint in West Baltimore.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

Media Silent as Fed Committee Quietly Passes Act Allowing Warrantless Searches

by Rachel Blevins, Activist Post:

It has been over one month since the latest dangerous piece of legislation meant to infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights was introduced, and Congress is now moving forward with the bill that will have serious ramifications for all Americans by blatantly violating the freedoms guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment if it becomes law.

The USA Liberty Act has passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 27-8, and as Congressman Justin Amash noted, all privacy advocates should be concerned about the overwhelming support the bill is receiving from Congress.

“The Liberty Act passed committee 27-8. It allows the government to search our private data without a warrant—in violation of the 4th Amendment,” Amash wrote on Twitter. “It’s another bill, like the Freedom Act, that furthers violations of our rights under the guise of protecting our rights.”

As Amash implied, the USA Liberty Act provides the opposite of “Liberty” for Americans. Instead, the purpose of the bill is to reauthorize and create additional loopholes for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017.

Amash also noted that the USA Liberty Act is yet another piece of legislation that “furthers violations of our rights under the guise of protecting our rights.” He compared it to the USA Freedom Act, which was passed under similar circumstances in June 2015.

The House Judiciary has also tried to use the USA Freedom Act as a reference to its success, claimingthat the bill “ended the bulk collection of data, protected civil liberties and national security, and provided robust oversight and transparency of our vital national security tools.”

However, as The Free Thought Project reported in May 2015, the USA Freedom Act “doesn’t actually end or suspend the phone records program, but simply requires phone companies to hold onto these records rather than the NSA.” It also authorized, for the first time, “the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies to unconstitutionally collect data in bulk on potentially millions of law-abiding Americans,” and it let the NSA collect “cell phone records in addition to the landline call records.”

Now, as Congress prepares to pass the USA Liberty Act, it claims the bill will “better protect Americans’ privacy” by requiring the government to have “a legitimate national security purpose” before searching an individual’s database. But what the bill does not advertise is the fact that it does not actually address the legitimate problems that exist with Section 702. The FBI’s “legitimate national security purpose” could be justified by just about any reason the agency chooses to give, and agents will only need supervisory authority in order to search Americans’ metadata.

Weeks before the latest vote, more than 40 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, joined together in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, condemning the USA Liberty Act.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Young Mother In California Threatened With Arrest At A Bus Stop For Not Vaccinating Her Children

by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

Could you imagine being threatened by law enforcement authorities over vaccine records as you are waiting with your children for the school bus?  This is something that literally just happened to one young mother down in California.  One morning she walked her kids to the bus stop and she was approached by an official from the Claremont school district and a police officer.  In very intimidating fashion, they began questioning her about whether or not her children had been vaccinated.  When she refused to answer and started recording the interaction they walked away, but that wasn’t the end of it.  Later she called the police department and explained what was going on, and she was told that she could be arrested for refusing to vaccinate her children.

You can see the video for yourself on Facebook right here.  It has already been watched more than 159,000 times, and we need to get this out to as many people as we possibly can.  The following is the description that Porsha Rasheed posted along with the video…

Please watch this Video and share I am. I am being set up by the Claremont school district to be arrested and they are trying to force me to give my child immunization shots! I woke up this morning and walked my kids to the bus stop like I always do. Guess who was waiting the Claremont police department along with another man asking me about my child’s shots! I called the police department to make a complaint for harassment and was told by the sergeant, that me not giving my kids shots is a criminal act and that I will be arrested. This is why they were at the bus stop to try to incriminate me by me attempting to them that my son does not have any shots. This is crazy!! I want the world to know if I am arrested this is why! I will follow up with the facts!!!!

This is the kind of thing that health freedom advocates were warning would happen in California.

In 2016, a new law went into effect that mandates that all children be fully vaccinated unless they have been granted a medical exemption…

The law requires all children entering day care, kindergarten or 7th grade to be vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption. It also gives physicians broader discretion to grant medical exemptions based on a child’s condition or family history. The law eliminated personal belief exemptions, which experts say created hotspots of unvaccinated kids and contributed to the spread of contagious diseases.

Medical exemptions were rare before the law took effect last summer. Between 2000 and 2015, just .2 percent or less of California kindergartners had one each year. After the law took effect in 2016, the number of kindergartners statewide with a medical exemption increased threefold.

Fortunately, some doctors are fighting back against this draconian new law by granting medical exemptions to parents that do not want to submit to forced vaccination.

The vaccine industry considers California’s new law to be a model for the nation, and they are going to push hard to get laws like this in all 50 states.

So what can we do?

Well, first of all you need to know your rights as a parent.  Most states still allow religious vaccine exemptions, and you can see a sample letter on Health Freedom Idaho’s website right here.

Read More @ TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

You Won’t Believe The Nerve of These Three Government Officials

0

from The Daily Bell:

The problem with government is it elevates people to positions of power over their fellow citizens. And all too often, these people take advantage of their status.

You Get The Prosecutors You Pay For

When you’re in power, the rules don’t really apply to you. I mean, sure, officially you still have to follow the law. But what happens when a politician is in a position to change the rules?

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has found an interesting way to fight charges of securities fraud. His lawyers are attempting to limit how much prosecutors can be paid. As Attorney General, Paxton is in a unique position to defang the prosecutors attempting to hold him accountable for illegal activity.

States typically have the power to pay prosecutors more for tough high profile cases. But the Attorney General has used this as an opportunity to try to limit the pay for prosecutors. He says it is to make sure the government doesn’t take advantage of their power to gouge taxpayers.

A helpful side effect is that the prosecutors might drop off his case if they are limited to what they can earn.

This move has threatened the ability of the state to attract qualified prosecutors for tough cases, like prosecuting the attorney general. Classic conflicts of interest inherent in government.

Police Get a Little Overzealous

As much as police need to be held accountable, they also need to protect themselves. One cop saw his partner being attacked by a man with a knife. The guy even got a couple stabs in. Clearly, the police officer was completely justified in shooting the man.

He shot him nine times, and the man was down. But he was still moving. At this point, procedure says an officer should stop with the deadly force. But the officer instead shot the man nine more times, later justifying it by saying he was still moving.

Then the cop, according to court documents, took a running start and stomped on the man’s head, three times.

So again, completely justified to use deadly force on a knife-wielding man attacking your partner. Not justified to shoot him an additional nine times after he was down, and then stomp on his head, for some reason.

It really just seems like this cop was waiting for an opportunity to go Rambo on someone. And that is a scary person to have out there on the streets enforcing the law.

At least the appeals court will allow the dead man’s family to sue for excessive force. Too often police are given sovereign immunity and cannot be held civilly accountable for their actions on the job.

Legal Consequences For Lying About Service

A police officer and former military member was dealt a double blow. A court affirmed that he cannot sue a news station over defamation. At the same time, he was found guilty of fraud to obtain government benefits.

Read More @ TheDailyBell.com

WATCH: Body Cam Catches Cop Try to Fabricate Charges Against a Man for Knowing His Rights

0

by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

A police officer is facing charges of battery and cruelty to children—but this body cam footage shows why he likely beat children.

A police officer in Effingham County, Georgia, was arrested and is now facing charges of battery and cruelty to children after the Sheriff’s Department was called to his home around 4:30 a.m. to investigate claims of a domestic dispute—but this is not the first time he has been accused of abuse.

Officer Dakota Fields, 38, of the Rincon Police Department has been charged with 3rd degree cruelty to children and simple battery (family violence act). Another woman at the scene, April Bonaccorsi, 33, has been charged with 1st degree felony cruelty to children and simple battery (family violence act).

The couple was arrested at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 2. Details about the abuse charges have not yet been made available, and with the exception of the mugshots that were taken of Fields and Bonaccorsi, no further information about his arrest, the charges, or his trial date have been made public.

News of Fields’ arrest comes as no surprise to several Rincon citizens who say they have constantly been harassed by the officer they say was on a power trip. Take for instance Matthew Spaccarelli’s recent traffic stop during which Fields was the officer who pulled him over.

Spaccarelli was driving home recently, unaware there was a curfew in Rincon because of an approaching hurricane. He was the only driver on the road, besides Fields, of course. Spaccarelli must have seen a car speeding up behind him, so instead of slowing down, he simply pulled into the local O’reilly’s Auto Parts store.

Fields did not turn on his lights until after Spaccarelli turned into the parking lot. After pulling him over, Fields told the driver he pulled him over for failing to maintain his lane — a clearly bogus charge as the dashcam shows. But after Spaccarelli told Fields he was going home, Fields started asking strange questions.

“Do you live at O’Reilly’s?” Fields asked multiple times.

The driver was not amused by the sarcasm and refused to answer the obvious question. In the eyes of many who watched the video and commented on Spaccarelli’s YouTube channel, Fields was being a jerk.

Fed up with Fields’ nonsense, Spaccarelli told him to just give him a ticket and allow him to be on his way. The Rincon officer wanted to charge him with being out past curfew, but after quick call to the police chief, Shields was told to not ticket the driver for breaking curfew — because, according to Spaccarelli, there was no curfew.

Instead of letting Spaccarrelli go on his way without a ticket, Fields seemingly racked his brain, trying to think of any charges he could place on the driver. “What can we charge him with?” he asked his fellow officer who many in the community have concluded represents a police force more interested in revenue generation and harassment than keeping the peace.

The upset driver attempted to tell the officer he was well within his legal rights to change lanes, given the fact that there were no people on the road, but Fields just handed him his ticket and refused to further discuss the matter.

Another resident described a similar story of harassment. He said his car broke down, and he was able to park it in a church parking lot until he could get it repaired. His mother was concerned and drove down to the church to check on him. He said Officer Fields arrived at the scene, but instead of helping the resident, he proceeded to harass both him and his mother:

“Fields is a dick! He was the same way with my mother and had threatened to arrest her because she stopped at that church next to oriellys to check up on me. I was driving home in my car that was having engine problems. So she wanted to check up on me. Threatened to arrest her for attempted burglary because of where she stopped. I hope he rots.”

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Leaked Body Cam Shows Cop Film Themselves Planting Cocaine In Man’s Wallet

0

by John Vibes, The Free Thought Project:

Newly released Body Cam footage appears to show a police officer planting a small bag of cocaine on a suspect before he realized the camera was recording.

One of the major criticisms against police-worn body cameras is the fact that the vast majority of police departments across the country have absolutely no transparency, and refuse to release footage of contentious arrests to the public.

The Los Angeles Police Department is no different—however, 12 videos from a 2016 arrest were recently handed over to CBS2 by a defense attorney handling the case. This is the first time that footage has been released to the media since the body camera program was implemented in Los Angeles, and if this case is any indication of what the hidden footage looks like, things certainly do smell rotten at the LAPD.

Attorney Steve Levine said he believes that body camera footage from his client’s arrest shows LAPD officers planting drugs. He also noticed several inconsistencies in the video that contradict statements the officers made in their police reports. His client, 52-year-old Ronald Shields was arrested after a car accident for possession of cocaine.

According to Levine, the body cameras can be turned on and off by officers, but the recording actually starts proactively and will pick up the 30 seconds of activity that takes place in front of the camera prior to it being turned on. Levine said that the drugs were planted in this 30-second timeframe when the officers did not know that they were being filmed.

Showing the video to CBS, Levine pointed out that a white square can be seen in the officer’s hand before one of the officers picks up a small bag of drugs off the ground. The video also shows the officer awkwardly moving around the suspect and bending down towards the area that the drugs were found just after fiddling around with the white square in his hand.

“There’s a little white square here in his hand. I believe the video shows the drugs were in his right hand and transfers to his left hand,” Levine said.

Furthermore, the officers testified that the bag of drugs was found in his left pocket, but the video shows it being found on the ground. Then the officers are seen taking the drugs off of the ground and placing them into his wallet, which is an obvious breach of protocol. Next, LAPD Officer Gaxiola is seen in the video carrying the wallet to several different officers telling them “He has a little bag of narco in here.”

The judge reportedly said on Thursday that he does not agree with Levine about the white square that can obviously be seen in the officer’s hand, but it is undeniable that the footage on the body camera contradicts the information that the officers provided in their police report.

CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein chased after the officers in question after they left court on Thursday, and both officers nervously refused to comment.

“He looked dumbstruck to me. Period. He had really no answer,” attorney Steve Levine said of accused LAPD officer Samuel Lee.

The LAPD responded to these revelations in a statement saying that they will be opening an internal investigation into the use and misuse of bodycams by officers on the street.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

The Trump Administration is Holding an American Citizen Without Charge or Trial

by Derrick Broze, Activist Post:

Civil liberties advocates are worried about the fate of an American citizen accused of fighting for ISIS in Syria who has been held for almost two months in a secret Iraq prison without access to a lawyer.

The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting to represent an American man who has been accused of fighting alongside the Islamic State in Syria. The U.S military has been detaining the American citizen at a secret prison in Iraq without access to a lawyer or even releasing his name to the public. He has been labeled an “enemy combatant” by the Trump administration despite a lack of evidence to brings charges against the man.

The ACLU reports:

We went to court asking a judge to protect the citizen’s constitutional rights, including the right not to be imprisoned without charge and the right to challenge his detention in court. The Trump administration has told the court that it doesn’t have to respect these essential due process rights.

The Washington Post recently revealed that the man was captured in Syria on September 12. He reportedly surrendered to a rebel group in Syria before being give to the U.S. military. According to The Washington Post, as told by anonymous “officials familiar with the case,” the Justice Department does not believe they have enough evidence to bring charges against him. However, if the military does not charge him they will face legal challenges. The ACLU is attempting to lead the way, but the organization is facing heavy push-back from the military.

“A Defense Department spokesman, Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson, said last week that the government continues to withhold the detainee’s identity and circumstances because ‘it’s still an ongoing operation’”, the Post reports. “Asked to elaborate, he said, ‘there are still a number of U.S. agencies looking at the circumstances of how he came to be detained’ and what should happen to him now.”

The anonymous officials told the Post the man has been questioned by “an interagency interrogation team” and the FBI. The suspect apparently refused to answer questions and has requested a lawyer.

He was then read his Miranda rights, and he again refused to cooperate and repeated his demand for a lawyer, according to people familiar with the case. An additional complication emerged — web postings suggested he may have done some reporting in Syria as opposed to being a fighter, these people said. But U.S. officials are skeptical of the idea that he is a journalist, they said.

The man now stands in legal limbo. The U.S military seems lacking in evidence to charge him, and it is unlikely an Iraqi court would charge him. However, if he is returned to Iraq he will likely face torture and/or unfair trial. The Post notes that current U.S. law prohibits releasing a suspect to a country where they are likely to face torture.

 

The ACLU says the Pentagon and Department of Justice have ignored their requests for access to the U.S. citizen so they could advise him of his rights and offer him legal representation. The ACLU says they worry because the man “is facing grave threats to his liberty and possibly his life.” The Trump administration continues to oppose allowing anyone access to the man. As the ACLU notes, “even George W. Bush’s attorney general and former federal district court judge, Michael Mukasey, ruled that the government’s national security interests cannot override an American citizen’s right to a lawyer.”

The Trump administration is indeed taking a dangerous step towards the complete erosion of civil liberties and protections from violations. It has not been stated by the DOJ or the U.S. military, but it is possible that this man is being held under section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual military budget. Many of you may remember that the NDAA 2012 contained the controversial section 1021 and 1022, provisions which allowed indefinite detention of American citizens without a right to trial if they are suspected of terrorism.

President Obama signed the bill in late 2011, making a special note in his presidential signing statement. “Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,” Obama wrote. Obama said his administration would interpret section 1021 as complying with the Constitution and other applicable law. However, the fear of many activists at the time was that another president might come along and decide to make use of this section 1021 to detain and imprison activists or journalists accused of “terrorism” or “extremism.” Perhaps, someone like Donald Trump?

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Cop Belligerently Threatening Man During Traffic Stop Shows Why People Don’t Trust Police

0

by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

A man’s secretly recorded traffic stop exposed a State Trooper’s ridiculous escalation to threats which could’ve resulted in deadly force for no reason.

Ed Edge got an unexpected apology from the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol after video of one of their officers conducting a traffic stop harassing and threatening Edge went viral. The video, which Edge recorded using car-mounted dash cameras, depicted Patrolman Watkins giving Edge a tongue-lashing, for being rather respectful for all intents and purposes.

Edge uploaded the video to his Facebook page on October 5th, just four days after the October 1st Vegas shooting, which probably limited the number of views of his recording. Nevertheless, the video did go viral, racking up over 2 million views.

The vegan restaurant owner was pulled over by Prl. Watkins and told he was following too closely to the car in front of him. He was asked to produce his license, registration, and insurance, a request which appeared to confuse the Pittsburgh resident. He told Watkins “that might be a hard one,” as he explained he rented the car from an “online company.”

Watkins, seemingly confused by Edge’s accent, asked for clarification. “You’re supposed to have that on you,” the trooper said before asking where Edge was headed. After Edge explained he lives in Philadelphia, that’s when it happened. The officer began an attitude with the motorist, who was apparently complying with all of the trooper’s lawful requests.

“Do you have any type of attitude. What’s going on,” the trooper asked. Edge explained he’d been on a helicopter for 36 hours and shook his head no when asked if he had a problem with the officer.

“So, is that my fault,” the trooper asked as if the motorist was displaying some form of disrespect. Again the officer escalated the encounter. “So, why are you giving me an attitude,” he asked again. “Listen to me. You’re being recorded from back in my car, there’s a mic right here. I have full discretion as to what goes on out here, okay,” he said apparently flexing his legal muscles.

Watkins tone then took on a more threatening manner. “Do you think giving me an attitude, looking at me, eyeballing me is gonna go good for ya, when I have discretion out here on what happens,” he asked. “Probably not! Okay, so a little politeness with me,” the trooper said promising, “goes a long way.”

Edge told his Facebook friends:

Everything I did was slow and deliberate. I didn’t want to talk over him so I paused before I spoke. He was threatening and intimidating me and I had to work to keep my composure calm. I was looking him in the face because if I hadn’t, that would have been “disrespectful” or “suspicious”. I’m not sure how else I could have been less of a threat to him

Any reasonable observer would be lying if they said Edge was in any way giving the trooper an attitude or being disrespectful or uncooperative in any way. On the contrary, the Pennsylvania State Trooper seemed to be escalating the traffic stop to the point where he could possibly have attempted to justify some use of force against the motorist.

That fact did not escape the attention of the PA State Highway Patrol, who reportedly called the successful businessman and apologized for their trooper’s lack of decorum one would expect from a highway patrolman. Edge described the apology which also explained the disciplinary action taken against the officer:

PA State Police called (after the video got 2+ million views) and admitted fault and apologized. They said they corrected the issue by telling the trooper “that’s not how you treat people”. Guess that makes it all better -__-

Edge’s highway incident serves to illustrate the importance of recording all traffic stops by police. As with his set-up, it helps when the officers are unaware they are being recorded as they often ask motorists to stop filming. But they’re representatives of the state and are paid for by tax dollars. They’re supposed to answer to and serve at the will of the people. When they’re as guilty as sin, as Watkins was, they need to be exposed. There’s no need to be victimized by law enforcement. After all, photography is not a crime.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

State Authorities Fine 5yo Girl for Selling Lemonade Without Business License

0

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

A five-year-old is getting a harsh dose of the police state after selling lemonade to buy a new bike and then getting a fine for not having a permit.

Porterville, CA — The state knows no empathy, logic, or reason and will enforce its most asinine decrees—even if it means targeting an innocent five-year-old girl’s lemonade stand. Without resistance, this encroachment upon our everyday activities is as inevitable as the tide.

In Porterville, California, a family is learning this harsh reality of the state after they were issued a citation from city hall for $59—the local fee for applying for a new license—plus a fine.

Autumn Thomasson proudly set up the stand outside her family’s home last June as a means of raising money to buy a bicycle. She sold lemonade, candy, and snacks and raised a whopping $82—enough to buy herself a new bike.

“It meant so much to know she earned her own money, that Mom and Dad didn’t need to go buy her. She got to bring her own wallet and buy it herself and pay at the cash register,” DeHaas told Fox26.

However, her entrepreneurial spirit was crushed this week after her mother received the threatening note of extortion in the mail.

“What kind of world do we live in where kids can’t do lemonade stand or any kind of stands for that matter without getting in trouble?!” Gabby Dehaas wrote of her daughter’s extortion over lemonade. “How are we suppose [sic] to show our kids to work hard for what they want and to expand their ideas/entrepreneurship if they need a license for every little thing! I just got fined for my daughter have a 3 hour lemonade a couple months ago, so she could know how to earn enough money, to know a value of a dollar! 
I’m not mad about the money for the fine I’m mad about the pettiness of the reasoning. These things are just straight wrong!”

The citation included a print out of Dehaas’ Facebook post advertising her daughter’s stand.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

State Threatens to Kidnap Little Girl Because Parents Cure Her Seizures with CBD in a LEGAL State

by Justin Gardner, Activist Post:

“I would look outside my window just scared to death I would see a police officer and CPS here to take my kid.”

It’s a nightmare made entirely by the State. A little girl would be snatched away from caring parents for doing nothing more than healing their daughter’s debilitating condition with a plant extract.

Even though medical cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal in Indiana, Child Protective Services (CPS) was going to take 20-month-old Jaelah Jerger—because her parents chose to use legal CBD oil instead of a harmful pharma drug. Fortunately, and ironically, this assault was stopped in the nick of time by an Indiana state legislator.

Jaelah suffered about 40 epileptic seizures a day, and was being seen by doctors at Riley Hospital for Children. They recommended the drug Keppra, with known side-effects of “drowsiness, dizziness, unusual tiredness or weakness.”

Instead of immediately turning to pharmaceutical drugs—as the U.S. medical-pharma industry typically does—Leiah Jerger, Jaelah’s mother, and her husband wanted to find out more about this drug and consider alternatives. CBD oil, a cannabis extract, is well-known to stop seizures in their tracks and allow children suffering from multiple seizures a day to become virtually seizure-free.

CBD, the other major ingredient in cannabis alongside THC, does not produce a high and can be extracted from industrial hemp plants. Due to its amazing healing power, especially for childhood seizures, CBD extract has been legalized in most states—even staunchly prohibitionist holdouts.

 

In April of this year, Indiana legalized the use of CBD oil for those with treatment-resistant epilepsy. After speaking with other parents successfully using CBD, Jaelah’s parents decided they would try it for their own daughter. Why risk the harmful side-effects of Keppra if there is a safer, effective option?

Apparently, at least one “expert” at Riley hospital believes this is such an offense that government must ruin the lives of children and parents who want to end their child’s suffering.

“Lelah Jerger, the child’s mother, said personnel at Riley Hospital for Children reported her to Indiana’s Child Protective Services after she and her husband decided to use cannabidiol oil, or CBD, to treat their daughter Jaelah, rather than use the medication prescribed by a Riley doctor.”

Even though the parents had a prescription for medical CBD from a chiropractic neurologist, and even though Jaelah “went from at least 40 noticeable seizures per day down to almost none,” Riley medical personnel reported the parents for “not treating” their daughter.

Unless you conform to the U.S. medical establishment—driven by Big Pharma and blinded by the drug war—you are in danger of losing the most precious thing in your life. Jaelah was virtually healed of her seizures through a completely legal process, but doctors and the State were somehow compelled to treat these parents as criminals.

“CPS arrived at the Jergers house in Huntingburg on Sept. 20, formally asking the parents to agree to keep Jaelah on Keppra, to take her for weekly blood tests to confirm she was taking Keppra and to only see a specified physician, Lelah said.

Just days before CPS arrived, the Jergers said they had already decided to add Keppra to their CBD oil treatment after consulting with another neurologist.

Jerger said CPS said it would get a court order to remove Jaelah from their home if they did not comply.

CPS contacted that family again on Sept. 26, Jerger said, telling the family to admit the girl to a specific hospital for symptoms from the Keppra medication.”

Rep. Mark Messmer was not going to let this injustice happen. He called the office of Gov. Eric Holcomb the director of the Department of Child Services (DCS). Soon after, DCS dropped the case.

“They had overreacted based on a complaint from the nurse practitioner in this case and should have approached it more cautiously than they did,” Messmer said. “I saw it as extremely heavy handed and over reach on the part of DCS.”

Read More @ ActivistPost.com