Monday, August 19, 2019

Cops Raid Licensed Chef’s Home, Steal His Cooking Equipment For Feeding the Homeless

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by Matt Agorist, SHTFPlan:

A local chef, who had his food handler’s license was raided by a dozen cops and health department officials who stole all of his equipment because he fed the homeless without a proper permit.

Decatur, IL — A kind and loving local chef woke up Tuesday morning to a dozen cops and health department officials raiding his home. Khemuel “Chef” Sanders had his business shut down, all of his equipment stolen by the state, and his life ruined because he made food in his home to give to the homeless.

Unfortunately, in the land of the free, it is against the law to help others or try to make a dollar without first paying the government for the privilege of doing so. While the state will claim this is for the safety of others who may consume the food, the reality is that it is a revenue generation scheme.

To be clear, Sanders is a licensed food handler. He paid the government for the privilege to handle food, however, he was doing it in a manner which they disapproved.

“I have my food handlers license. Expires at the end of this month. I was in a restaurant but the owner got in some trouble and shut everything down. It was out of my control that’s the only reason why I was cooking out of my home,” Sanders explained.

Instead of cooking the food in a restaurant, Sanders used the industrial equipment at his home. He cooked everything exactly the same way, but this now gave authorities a reason to steal his things, charge him exorbitant fees, and ruin his life.

The raid has left Sanders a broken man and in a Facebook post Wednesday night, we can see just how broken.

“I’m at the point I’m praying God please please take me,” Sanders wrote.

Below is a copy of the warrant police used to justify the raid. If it wasn’t real it would be comical. The warrant gives police permission to confiscate (steal) all of Sanders’ commercial food preparation equipment—for feeding people—and they did.

Sanders filmed part of the raid and in the video, we can see a large yellow truck backed into his driveway as the ‘heroes’ from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Health Department steal this otherwise innocent man’s livelihood for daring to feed the homeless and make a living without the proper permit.

“It’s a health issue with people consuming foods,” said Lt. Jamie Belcher. “[The Health Department] wants to make sure the food is actually consumable.”

Missing the point entirely is the fact that homeless people are voluntarily eating the food—which makes it consumable. In fact, the other people who were buying the food also made it consumable by voluntarily giving Sanders money in exchange for it. There is no need for the state to enter this scenario at all.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

Super Bowl Security Has Turned Minneapolis Into a Military Police State

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by Aaron Nelson, Activist Post:

The Department of Homeland Security has designated Super Bowl LII a National Special Security Event (an event deemed a potential target for terrorism or criminal activity) with a SEAR-Iclassification. The National Guard, federal agencies, and law enforcement from across the country have been patrolling Minneapolis and Saint Paul since January 26th.

While security around the Super Bowl has been openly militarized every year since the 9/11 attacks, only three have been labeled National Special Security Events, including this year’s. Since 2001, every city except Houston (which had over 5,000 police officers) has called in the National Guard to provide additional security on the streets.

SEAR-I is an event “of such magnitude and significant national and/or international importance that may require the full support of the United States Government (USG). The scale and scope of these events requires significant coordination among federal, state, and local authorities and warrants pre-deployment of federal assets as well as consultation, technical advice, and support to specific functional areas in which the state and local agencies may lack expertise or key resources.”

In its 52-year history, there has never been an attack at the site of the Super Bowl, which raises questions about the need for SEAR-I classification.

More than a dozen streets have been shut down at three major points within downtown Minneapolis: the Minneapolis Convention Center (NFL Super Bowl Experience), Nicollet Mall (Super Bowl LIVE), and the site of the game, U.S. Bank Stadium. These areas are guarded and patrolled by militarized forces.

Though the Minneapolis Police Department is the agency in charge of security operations during Super Bowl LII, more than 60 additional police departments from across the state of Minnesota have sent officers. There are also over 400 National Guard members, United States Secret Service, ICE and FBI agents, several hundred security contractors, county Sheriff’s Reserves, and over 10,000 civilian volunteers. Representatives from Minnesota police departments, FBI, DHS, and the Secret Service, have been stationed at multiple command centers around Minneapolis to watch hundreds of surveillance cameras, track social media, and monitor communications on the ground during Super Bowl events.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Facebook Begins Killing the Independent News Industry

by Darius Shahtahmasebi, The Anti Media:

After Donald Trump surprised even the most pessimistic of us by winning the U.S. presidential elections in 2016, the powers-that-be quickly sought to find a scapegoat to blame for their dismal failures. Supposedly, it wasn’t the corporate media’s fault, the DNC’s fault or the current neoliberal power structure’s fault for ramming down an unpopular candidate down our throat who was completely out of touch with reality; it was Russia’s fault.

The anti-Russian narrative has had dire consequences far beyond that than the common person will realize. Russia was able to swing the election in favor of Trump; but in the absence of any hard evidence that this was the case, the medium with which Russia supposedly achieved this victory has brought an attack on some very notable entities.

Facebook, Google, and the alternative media companies that rely on these social media giants to share their content faced renewed scrutiny after Donald Trump’s election victory. However, the truth about this ploy and where we are headed is far more sinister than anything George Orwell could have ever predicted.

In response to claims that “fake news” had an effect on the U.S. elections, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in early November 2016 that the idea that fake news circulating on Facebook could have possibly influenced the election was “pretty crazy.” According to Zuckerberg, “fake news” made up a very small amount of total content and that Facebook’s algorithm at the time delivered content to nearly 2 billion monthly users, reflecting what was“meaningful and interesting to them.”

“Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said. “We really believe in people. You don’t generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about, and you build systems that reflect that.”

Zuckerberg even defended the likes of hate-speech circulated in the age of Trump, permitting this content because it is all part of “mainstream political discourse.”

“We’ve studied this a lot, and I really care about it,” Zuckerberg also said. “All the research that we have suggests that this isn’t really a problem. We’ve had a really hard time getting that out.”

Zuckerberg also intimated that the company’s biggest responsibility to the country as a democracy is to “give people a voice,” whether they’re voters or candidates.

Barely a week after these pleasing remarks, Barack Obama hit back with an epic attack on Facebook.

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said during a press conference in Germany.

It should be noted that none of this discourse was present when the administration of George W. Bush sold the American and international public lies about Iraq’s non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs); or Barack Obama’s debunked claims that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were committing mass rape and murder on his own people. These lies were only able to take root through the conformity of the corporate media. Who is in the business of spreading fake news here?

Approximately two days later, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is now developing tools to fight “fake news” – even after quite clearly stating he didn’t believe it to even be an issue. Even if it was a major issue – is Facebook-enforced censorship really the answer? What the fuck happened to proper schooling and education?

And what happened in that one-week period to force Mr. Zuckerberg to do a complete 360 degree turn? According to the Washington Post, in that time, Barack Obama personally pulled aside Zuckerberg in a private room on the side-lines of a meeting of world leaders in Peru to make a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of “fake news” more seriously.

Whatever Obama told Zuckerberg – it worked. Ever since, Zuckerberg has slowly been chipping away at “fake news” sites even when he previously believed that they were not even a particular issue. Following the infamous PropOrNot report barely a week later, which effectively labelled every single site that criticizes U.S. foreign policy as a Russian agent, alternative media has faced a slow and inevitable decline.

In September last year, acclaimed writer Chris Hedges of Truthdig wrote:

“In the name of combating Russia-inspired ‘fake news,’ Google, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Agence France-Presse and CNN in April imposed algorithms or filters, overseen by ‘evaluators,’ that hunt for key words such as ‘U.S. military,’ ‘inequality’ and ‘socialism,’ along with personal names such as Julian Assange and Laura Poitras, the filmmaker. Ben Gomes, Google’s vice president for search engineering, says Google has amassed some 10,000 ‘evaluators’ to determine the ‘quality’ and veracity of websites. Internet users doing searches on Google, since the algorithms were put in place, are diverted from sites such as Truthdig and directed to mainstream publications such as The New York Times. The news organizations and corporations that are imposing this censorship have strong links to the Democratic Party. They are cheerleaders for American imperial projects and global capitalism. Because they are struggling in the new media environment for profitability, they have an economic incentive to be part of the witch hunt.”

At first, it was corporate gate-keepers like the Guardian who were begging for donations in the age of Trump, as they had lost all credibility in keeping up with the needs and interests of the people. Now, we are all asking for donations, as Facebook’s algorithms are cutting off close to 100 percent of our Facebook audiences.

Consider that here at the Mind Unleashed we have over 8 million followers on Facebook; and at the Anti-Media we have over 2 million followers – it doesn’t take a genius to calculate that this is a significant loss of revenue we are currently experiencing, with Facebook’s new algorithms almost cutting our content out of user’s home pages completely.

Seriously, who asked for this? Barack Obama – that’s who. I don’t remember any Facebook user ever asking Facebook to change its algorithms to cut news out of their Home Feed and to only display photos of cats and vegan diets. Surely, a balance of ideas would be the best way to maintain a healthy mind. (Removing oneself from Facebook altogether would also achieve a healthy mind, but that’s a topic for a separate article).

This has nothing to do with combating “fake news.” I have written over 400 articles online, and close to 100 percent of my sources are from mainstream outlets like Reuters, the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, the Washington Post, and others. Why should we be censored for referencing the very news outlets that people like Obama want us to trust in the first place?

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

Police Chief and Half of an Entire Dept Arrested for Violating ONE Man’s 4th Amendment

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by Matt Agorist, Activist Post:

LLANO, TX – All too often those who continuously apologize for crimes committed by police officers are able to justify some of the most egregious instances of outright murder by claiming the officer was a bad apple. Almost as often, however, as TFTP has shown numerous times, the bad apple theory is exactly that—a theory—with no evidence to support it.

Illustrating the nature of the bad apple theory is the fact that four people in the Llano Police Department, including Police Chief Kevin Ratliff, have been arrested for being bad cops.

There are eight law enforcement officers employed by the Llano Police Department, according to the LPD’s website, meaning that half of the police force has been indicted.

Does that seem like “one bad apple,” or a potentially much greater problem?

The indictments stem from a massive civil rights violation of a single man.

According to the documents from the Judicial District Court of Llano County, as reported by KVUE, Llano Police Officer Grant Harden, who has been suspended since December, was indicted on one count of official oppression and another count of tampering with a government record.

The documents allege Hardin made a false police report to justify the arrest of the unnamed victim on May 2. On top of Harden’s charges, Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff, Sergeant Jared Latta and Officer Aimee Shannon were indicted for official oppression in connection with the same arrest.

As KVUE reports, according to a source close to the investigation, the officers claimed they arrested the man for public intoxication. One officer stated in his report they arrested the alleged victim outside of his home. However, the officers reportedly entered the man’s home without probable cause or a warrant and arrested him, overstepping their authority. The public intoxication charge was later dismissed.

As TFTP reported at the time the DA’s Office said that Chief Kevin Ratliff suspended himself with pay upon becoming aware of the investigation and that he will remain on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation. Must be nice to be able to give yourself a paid vacation just after potentially committing a crime while on the job—a luxury afforded only to police officers.

The DA’s office said that the Texas Rangers are assisting with conducting the investigation.

The Llano County Sheriff’s Office will provide assistance to the city while half the police force is on suspension, as LCSO has a mutual assistance agreement to back them up on calls when necessary.

Showing just how corrupt this department is, while half of them were charged in connection with a single case, a fifth officer was indicted this week as well — for another case.

As KVUE notes, a fifth officer, identified as Officer Melissa Sloan, was indicted in an unrelated case for tampering or fabricating physical evidence. The documents allege that on March 26, 2017, Sloan destroyed a video recording of a crime scene for a controlled substance case, knowing it would hinder the investigation. She has yet to turn herself in.

As Jay Syrmopoulos pointed out for TFTP, those who forward the idea that the problem is simply a few bad apples allow the systemic problems in law enforcement to continue without being addressed.

While the suspension of half a police force may come as a surprise to some, it’s no surprise to The Free Thought Project, as we’ve reported on numerous similar incidents.

For example, in March 2015, the Brooklyn Police Department came under investigation amid allegations that weapons, drugs and other items had been removed from the evidence room. Then in March 2016, the head of a drug task force in Pennsylvania was arrested for having sex with a minor in exchange for leniency.

More recently, this past July, the entire drug unit of the Troy, New York, Police Department was suspended following reports that the unit entered a home without a warrant – then tried to cover their tracks by filing false burglary reports.

According to the Times Union, the officers entered a home after they were tipped off by another Capital Region police agency. But then they lied about it.

After realizing they made a major mistake, officers compounded their problems by attempting to cover their tracks. They allegedly filed a false burglary report.

After the police chief became aware of the incident, and the attempted cover-up, the entire drug unit was placed on administrative leave.

The common thread in these disparate cases is that there is no “one bad apple,” but a systemic problem of police attempting to cover for the illicit behavior of other officers – something known as the “thin blue line.”

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

GOP Rep: FISA Memo Will Show How Obama Officials, Hillary Clinton and DNC Weaponized FBI to Target Political Adversaries

by Cristina Laila, The Gateway Pundit:

The Deep State and FBI are in overdrive to prevent the FISA memo from being released to the public.

In a last ditch effort, the FBI is pulling out all the stops to either delay the release, delegitimize the memo or redact names from the document. 

On Thursday, GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said after reading the FISA memo, it is clear the FBI will be shaken to the core. Duncan also said the memo will reveal the FBI was weaponized by Obama officials, the DNC and Hillary Clinton to target political adversaries.

GOP Rep Jeff Duncan said, “Having read “The Memo,” the FBI is right to have “grave concerns” – as it will shake the organization down to its core – showing Americans just how the agency was weaponized by the Obama officials/DNC/HRC to target political adversaries.” #ReleaseTheMemo

The FISA memo will be sent to the House Intel Committee Friday with redactions from the White House. The Committee will then release the memo on its timetable, reports CBS’s Major Garrett.

Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter reported Thursday FBI Director Christopher Wray, along with the Justice Department, are pressuring the White House to redact all names in the FISA abuse memo prior to its release.

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit:

 

House memo states disputed dossier was key to FBI’s FISA warrant to surveil members of Team Trump

by Alex Pappas, Catherine Herridge, Brooke Singman, Pamela K. Browne, Fox News:

A memo that shows alleged government surveillance abuse has been released to the public and includes testimony from a high-ranking government official who says the FBI and DOJ would not have sought surveillance warrants to spy on at least one member of the Trump team without the infamous Trump dossier.

The House Intelligence Committee released the memo on Friday afternoon about alleged abuses involving FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, during the 2016 election.

The dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and  commissioned by Fusion GPS, was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie in an effort to conduct opposition research. 

The memo says the committee’s findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions” with the FISA court and “represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.”

The memo, which has been at the center of an intense power struggle between congressional Republicans, specifically cites the DOJ and FBI’s surveillance of onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, saying the dossier “formed an essential part” of the application to spy on him.

The memo pointed out that in December 2017, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.”

READ THE FISA MEMO

The memo, though, shows that Steele was eventually cut off from the FBI for being chatty with the media. It says he was terminated in October 2016 as an FBI source “for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI.” 

“Steele ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president'”

– FISA memo

But even after his termination, Steele remained in close contact with Justice Department official—then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. At the time, Ohr “worked closely” with Yates and later Rosenstein. 

Ohr’s wife Nellie began working for Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier, as early as May 2016.

The memo said that while the FISA application “relied” on Steele’s “past record of credible reporting” on other “unrelated matters,” the FISA application process “ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations.

Read More @ FoxNews.com

As time draws near for FISA memo release, Dems are in full-panic mode: What are they afraid of?

by JD Heyes, Natural News:

The only politicians on Capitol Hill who seem to be concerned about the potential weaponization of the FBI and Justice Department against a rival presidential campaign are Republicans. They are also the only ones who seem to want to make sure all Americans know about it.

Democrats, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. In fact, many of them are activelyundermining efforts by GOP leaders and rank-and-file members to inform Americans about what will quite possibly be a scandal so bad nothing we’ve seen before comes close in comparison.

Earlier this month Americans who watch something other than fake news networks like CNNABC NewsMSNBC, and so forth learned that Republican leaders on the House Intelligence Committee, after months of investigation and review of findings, authored a four-page memo that allegedly documents the systematic abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by Deep State operatives within DOJ and the FBI, on behalf of the Obama administration.

The memo purports to show that operatives schemed to improperly obtain a FISA court surveillance warrant that was used to spy on President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, then, perhaps, to undermine his transition and presidency in the months afterward. (Related: Judge Napolitano urges Republicans to release explosive, classified “FISA memo” on House floor: “Public is entitled to know.”)

Were that not so, then “human barometer” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, wouldn’t be working so hard (along with other Democrats and their sycophant mouthpieces in the media and commentariat) to discredit its contents before Americans have even seen it.

“Rep. Adam Schiff has many talents, though few compare to his ability to function as a human barometer of Democratic panic. The greater the level of Schiff hot, pressured air, the more trouble the party knows it’s in,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly A. Strassel.

She noted further:

Mr. Schiff’s millibars have been popping ever since the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on which he is ranking Democrat, last week voted to make a classified GOP memo about FBI election year abuses available to every House member. Mr. Schiff has spit and spun and apoplectically accused his Republican colleagues of everything short of treason. The memo, he insists, is “profoundly misleading,” not to mention “distorted” and “political,” and an attack on the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He initially tried to block his colleagues from reading it. Having failed, he’s now arguing Americans can know the full story only if they see the underlying classified documents.

How convenient, she continued, since the Justice Department has already come out in opposition to releasing the memo — which is hard to believe, given that Trump is the likely target of abuse.

Last weekend during an interview with allied media (CNN), Schiff even when so far as to insinuate that American citizens are too stupid to understand the four-page memo; odd, given that while English may be a second language in the “sanctuary state” of California, it’s not in the rest of the country. “Because the American people, unfortunately, don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is.”

Right.

It could be that what’s really making Schiff and the Democrats nervous is that the contents of the memo, which is very well sourced, according to reports, are very likely a spot-on finding of illegal abuse of the FISA court.

GOP lawmakers think so. “Look, what I believe is what my colleagues have said, what I’ve said is the American people need to see this. We want the journalists in this great country to see this. Mostly, we want the American people to understand what the FBI did, how wrong it was,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News last week.

“I believe this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail. I was very persuaded by the evidence,” noted Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in a separate Fox News interview.

Watch:

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

BREAKING: NOW FBI Says They Can’t Find Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s Text Messages! (Video)

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

The world’s premier intelligence agency just lost another batch of text messages!
Does anyone believe this?

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton joined Judge Jeanine Pirro on her FOX News program Saturday night.

Tom Fitton told Judge Jeanine how difficult it was dealing with the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.

Then Tom Fitton dropped this bomb–

The FBI will not turn over Deputy Director Andrew McCabe‘s text messages!

Andrew McCabe was famously mentioned in a Peter Strzok – Lisa Page text message discussing an “insurance policy” against a Donald Trump presidency.

Now this…
The FBI told Judicial Watch they can’t find McCabe’s text messages!

Tom Fitton: We sued back in September for the text messages of the number two at the FBI, Andrew McCabe. And they just told us this week, they gave us everything they’re going to give us, and not one text message was turned over. They lost all of Andrew McCabe’s text messages! I don’t believe it. There’s still gamesmanship going on.

Via Judge Jeanine:

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

COPS NOW CHARGE BUSINESSES THOUSANDS TO PROVIDE THEM POLICE ‘PROTECTION’—JUST LIKE THE MAFIA

by Matt Agorist, The Daily Sheeple:

Detroit, MI — Everyone who’s ever watched a Hollywood mob film has seen the scenarios in which the mobsters offer “protection” to local businesses in exchange for money. The scheme is called a protection racket and is usually conducted by criminals. However, as a case in Detroit illustrates, police officers have recently gotten in on the game.

Sadek Kaid, who owns a Marathon gas station in northwest Detroit called police last month to report a crime in progress which was taking place inside his store. An irate customer, who was upset with the price of an item, lost it and began smashing up the store and throwing items off the shelves.

Kaid called 911.

Several minutes passed and Kaid never received a response, so, he hit redial and called back. Still, nothing.

The customer smashed up Kaid’s store for nearly an hour and police never showed up.

“The dispatcher said, ‘It’s because you don’t have the Green Light,’ ” Kaid said, according to Detroit News. “The customer was in here destroying the store, throwing everything off the shelves. He was here for almost an hour before he left. When the police finally came, they told us the Green Light locations get priority.”

Although police tout the ‘Project Green Light’ system as a means of preventing crime, in essence, it is merely a hi-tech version of the mafia’s protection racket with ominous police state undertones.

As the Detroit News reports, “businesses pay between $4,000 and $6,000 to join Project Green Light, a program that allows police to monitor businesses’ video surveillance feeds in real time. The cost covers installation of high-definition cameras and lighting. There also is a monthly fee of up to $150 for cloud-based video storage.”

For paying the cops the exorbitant fees to essentially let police spy on them 24/7, businesses get Priority 1 status on calls to 911. Now, the businesses who can’t afford to pay the m̶a̶f̶i̶a̶ police for protection are getting left out in the cold.

“It’s not fair,” said Abdo Nagi, owner of a 76 gas station on Grand River on Detroit’s west side that is not part of the program, according to the News. “We should all be equal. I pay high taxes already. Now I have to pay extra to get the police to come?

“Don’t get me wrong: If someone has a weapon and we call the police, they get here fast,” Nagi said. “But with other things, it takes a long time. There were kids in here beating up another kid last year, and by the time the cops got here, they were gone.”

According to Detroit News, Priority 1 runs are given precedence over other emergency calls, although Police Chief James Craig said Green Light runs don’t trump violent crimes. But per the agreement with the city, if there are simultaneous calls from two business owners reporting similar crimes, police prioritize calls from the Green Light locations.

On top of the mafia-esque tone of this program is the fact that business owners are essentially constructing their own police state—and they are paying for it.

Likely salivating over the idea of having cameras recording everything in the city, city officials are now considering making the Green Light Program mandatory. However, that won’t happen until at least next year, according to Mayor Mike Duggan.

Duggan says everyone loves the program and if you don’t like it you’re a criminal.

“The level of enthusiasm is so high,” he said. “Our resistance comes almost entirely from people who appear to have a relationship with the people up to no good in their parking lots.”

However, not all businesses can simply shell out thousands of dollars to the cops for protection and they aren’t criminals at all.

“It sounds like a great idea, but I just can’t afford it,” said Jesus Hernandez, owner of Abby’s Party Store. “If the city makes it mandatory, I’ll just have to close at 10. That won’t make a big difference during the week, but on the weekends I’ll lose money.”

Perhaps the Detroit police would do well to study the model of Dale Brown who owns and operates his own ‘private’ police force.

Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com

Papers Please: “Daily Citizenship Checks” on Buses Across Maine Highlight Constitution-Free Zone

by Joe Wright, Activist Post:

Still unknown to much of the U.S. population is the fact that they reside within a “Constitution-Free Zone,” as it has been dubbed by the ACLU for many years. In fact, it is estimated that 200 million people (2/3 of the populace) are likely to have their 4th Amendment protections completely disregarded by border patrol, as well as to encounter other routine violations unbecoming to a land of the free.

The entire state of Maine, for example, lies within a 100-mile region that extends inward from all borders of the nation as shown in the image below.

This reality appears to be crystallizing with more of Maine’s residents, as “daily citizenship checks” have begun to spread to buses across the state, according to a report from Maine Public:

The U.S. Border Patrol is running daily citizenship checks on buses traveling from Fort Kent toward the state’s interior and making periodic checks on buses originating in Bangor.

[…]

“Our purpose for boarding any conveyances, a bus specifically in this case, would be to question anybody – anybody – about their right to be or remain in the United States, whether they are an alien or not,” says Heibert (chief patrol officer). “That’s kind of the gist of it. We would have to have a reasonable suspicion to think that somebody isn’t a citizen to continue questioning.” (emphasis added)

This type of “fishing expedition” flies directly in the face of the 4th Amendment which guarantees that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Nevertheless, the Constitution-Free Zone, while not an official designation, has been upheld in principle by federal judges who the ACLU argue are reinforcing an outdated concept that was never given a mandate by the people. The ACLU itemizes this overlooked part of history on their website:

Outdated Legal Authority and Lack of Oversight

  • The regulations establishing the 100-mile border zone were adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1953—without any public comments or debate. At the time, there were fewer than 1,100 Border Patrol agents nationwide; today, there are over 21,000.
  • The Border Patrol often ignores this regulation and rejects any geographic limitation on agents’ authority. At least two federal circuit courts condone Border Patrol operations outside the 100-mile zone, federal regulations and Supreme Court precedent notwithstanding.
  • Federal border agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing, and often in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
  • For example, Border Patrol, according to news reports, operates approximately 170 interior checkpoints throughout the country (the actual number in operation at any given time is not publicly known). The ACLU believes that these checkpoints amount to dragnet, suspicionless stops that cannot be reconciled with Fourth Amendment protections. The Supreme Court has upheld the use of immigration checkpoints, but only insofar as the stops consist only of a brief and limited inquiry into residence status. Checkpoints cannot be primarily used for drug-search or general law enforcement efforts. In practice, however, Border Patrol agents often do not limit themselves to brief immigration inquiries and regularly conduct criminal investigations and illegal searches at checkpoints. The Border Patrol also frequently pulls over motorists in “roving patrol” stops, often without any suspicion that an immigration violation has occurred.
  • The ACLU has documented numerous cases of abuse by Border Patrol and filed lawsuits to obtain more information about the agency’s practices. Given Border Patrol’s lack of transparency, and in the absence of any meaningful oversight, there is still much that we don’t know about the full extent and impact of these interior “border enforcement” operations.

As the video above introduces, the definition of “border patrol” no longer means dealing strictly with human agents. The deployment of drones, biometricsDNA collectionelectronics searches and even social media checks are spreading as well.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

Insane Cop Fires Pistol at Innocent Unarmed 13yo Boy On Video—No Charges

by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

An LAPD cop was caught on video assaulting a child and even firing off a round from his service weapon but he will face no charges.

Los Angeles, CA — A disturbing video was uploaded to Facebook last year prompting massive backlash against the LAPD. Hundreds of residents took to protesting after the video showed an LAPD officer pull a gun and fire off a shot at an unarmed 13-year-old boy. Now, the cop in the video, officer Kevin Ferguson will face no consequences for his near-deadly and highly dangerous act of negligence.

This week, as predicted by TFTP, the Orange County district attorney made the announcement that no criminal charges will be filed against Ferguson.

According to the OCDA’s office, they claim even though prosecutors thought the officer’s actions were reprehensible, they would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ferguson committed a crime when he attacked a 13-year-old boy, assaulted him with a firearm, and employed unnecessary deadly force—all of which was captured on video.

Before they exonerated him, prosecutors called Ferguson’s actions that day “unwise, immature and flat-out horrible” but said they did not violate the law.

“It is our office’s conclusion based on all the evidence, that we are not able to prove, the evidence does not support a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Ferguson committed a crime,” said Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh.

The video sparked heated anti-police protests when it surfaced 11 months ago and the decision to not charge Ferguson will likely be met with even more backlash.

As the video begins, Ferguson is in a verbal dispute with the child.

According to the boy, the officer cursed at a girl who walked across his yard. When the boy protested the officer’s language, that is when he grabbed him, according to witnesses.

“That’s not what I said,” the officer replied.

“Shut the fuck up,” the officer said. “You weren’t even there.”

A struggle ensues and another teen rushes at the officer, sending him into some bushes. As the officer is dragging the 13-year-old through the hedge, he pulls out his gun and fires off a round.

Luckily no one was hit.

Ferguson—the man who instigated the incident and fired his gun in a residential neighborhood around children—was not arrested. However, the 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were both arrested. The 13-year-old’s parents got him out of the juvenile detention center the next day and immediately called the LAPD after they saw the video to dispute the official story.

“The confrontation began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” Anaheim police said at the time after cellphone video of the altercation was posted on YouTube.

The boy “is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer,” Anaheim police said.

However, according to both the video and the boy and his parents, that did not happen. The boy claimed he was going so “sue” the officer, not “shoot” him.

The dispute among the stories was the subject of the protests last year as riot police and civilians clashed.

“Calling and sending emails to APD voicing your displeasure will NOT impact the outcome,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “A decision whether or not to file charges rests with the District Attorney’s office and is based on facts and evidence.”

“At the end of the day, he should know better,” said one woman. “He was taught and trained on how to uphold the law. So why does he get to break the law now?”

After the announcement that Ferguson would not be charged, the LAPD issued a statement that read in part: “The Department initiated a personnel complaint and a Categorical Use of Force investigation following the initial incident, and we have been working with the Orange County DA’s office and have awaited their decision about criminal prosecution in order for us to complete our investigation.”

Residents of Santa Ana be warned, Officer Ferguson is still a cop.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Thought Police for the 21st Century

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by Chris Hedges, Global Research:

The abolition of net neutrality and the use of algorithms by Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter to divert readers and viewers from progressive, left-wing and anti-war sites, along with demonizing as foreign agents the journalists who expose the crimes of corporate capitalism and imperialism, have given the corporate state the power to destroy freedom of speech. Any state that accrues this kind of power will use it. And for that reason I traveled last week to Detroit to join David North, the chairperson of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, in a live-stream event calling for the formation of a broad front to block an escalating censorship while we still have a voice.

“The future of humanity is the struggle between humans that control machines and machines that control humans,” Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said in a statement issued in support of the event. “Between the democratization of communication and usurpation of communication by artificial intelligence. While the Internet has brought about a revolution in people’s ability to educate themselves and others, the resulting democratic phenomena has shaken existing establishments to their core. Google, Facebook and their Chinese equivalents, who are socially, logistically and financially integrated with existing elites, have moved to re-establish discourse control. This is not simply a corrective action. Undetectable mass social influence powered by artificial intelligence is an existential threat to humanity. While still in its infancy, the trends are clear and of a geometric nature. The phenomena differs in traditional attempts to shape cultural and political phenomena by operating at scale, speed and increasingly at a subtlety that eclipses human capacities.”

In late April and early May the World Socialist Web Site, which identifies itself as a Trotskyite group that focuses on the crimes of capitalism, the plight of the working class and imperialism, began to see a steep decline in readership. The decline persisted into June. Search traffic to the World Socialist Web Site has been reduced by 75 percent overall. And the site is not alone. AlterNet’s search traffic is down 71 percent, Consortium News is down 72 percent, Global Research and Truthdig have seen declines. And the situation appears to be growing worse.

The reductions coincided with the introduction of algorithms imposed by Google to fight “fake news.” Google said the algorithms are designed to elevate “more authoritative content” and marginalize “blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information.” It soon became apparent, however, that in the name of combating “fake news,” Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are censoring left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites. The 150 most popular search terms that brought readers to the World Socialist Web Site, including “socialism,” “Russian Revolution” and “inequality,” today elicit little or no traffic.

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in a hearing Wednesday that Facebook employs a security team of 10,000—7,500 of whom “assess potentially violating content”—and that “by the end of 2018 we will more than double” it to over 20,000. Social media companies are intertwined with and often work for U.S. intelligence agencies. This army of censors is our Thought Police.

The group, Bickert said, includes “a dedicated counterterrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials and prosecutors who worked in the area of counterterrorism.” She testified that artificial intelligence automatically flags questionable content. Facebook, she said, does not “wait for these … bad actors to upload content to Facebook before placing it into our detection systems.” The “propaganda” that Facebook blocks, she said, “is content that we identify ourselves before anybody” else can see it. Facebook, she said, along with over a dozen other social media companies has created a blacklist of 50,000 “unique digital fingerprints” that can prevent content from being posted.

“We believe that a key part of combating extremism is preventing recruitment by disrupting the underlying ideologies that drive people to commit acts of violence,” she told the committee. “That’s why we support a variety of counterspeech efforts.”

“Counterspeech” is a word that could have been lifted from the pages of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

Eric Schmidt, who is stepping down this month as the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has acknowledged that Google is creating algorithms to “de-rank” Russian-based news websites RT and Sputnik from its Google News services, effectively blocking them. The U.S. Department of Justice forced RT America, on which I host a show, “On Contact,” that gives a voice to anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist voices, to register as a “foreign agent.” Google removed RT from its “preferred” channels on YouTube. Twitter has blocked the Russian news service agencies RT and Sputnik from advertising.

This censorship is global. The German government’s Network Enforcement Act fines social media companies for allegedly objectionable content. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to remove “fake news” from the internet. Facebook and Instagram erased the accounts of Ramzan Kadyrov, the dictator of the Chechen Republic, because he is on a U.S. sanctions list. Kadyrov is certainly repugnant, but this ban, as the American Civil Liberties Union points out, empowers the U.S. government to effectively censor content. Facebook, working with the Israeli government, has removed over 100 accounts of Palestinian activists. This is an ominous march to an Orwellian world of Thought Police, “Newspeak” and “thought-crime” or, as Facebook likes to call it, “de-ranking” and “counterspeech.”

The censorship, justified in the name of combating terrorism by blocking the content of extremist groups, is also designed to prevent a distressed public from accessing the language and ideas needed to understand corporate oppression, imperialism and socialism.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” Orwell wrote in “1984.” “In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. … Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. …”

Read More @ GlobalResearch.ca

Things Are Getting Worse, Not Better: Round Ups, Checkpoints and National ID Cards

by John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute:

Here in Amerika, things are getting worse—not better—as the nation inches ever closer towards totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none.

Take what happened recently in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, immigration agents boarded a Greyhound bus heading to downtown Miami from Orlando and demanded that all passengers provide proof of residence or citizenship. One grandmother, traveling by bus to meet her granddaughter for the first time, was arrested and taken off the bus when she couldn’t provide proof of residency.

This isn’t is a new occurrence.

A year ago, passengers arriving in New York’s JFK Airport on a domestic flight from San Francisco were ordered to show their “documents” to border patrol agents in order to get off the plane.

With the government empowered to carry out transportation checks to question people about their immigration status within a 100-mile border zone that wraps around the country, you’re going to see a rise in these “show your papers” incidents.

That’s a problem, and I’ll tell you why.

We are not supposed to be living in a “show me your papers” society.

Despite this, the U.S. government has recently introduced measures allowing police and other law enforcement officials to stop individuals (citizens and noncitizens alike), demand they identify themselves, and subject them to patdowns, warrantless searches, and interrogations.

These actions fly in the face of longstanding constitutional safeguards forbidding such police state tactics.

Set aside the debate over illegal immigration for a moment and think long and hard about what it means when government agents start demanding that people show their papers on penalty of arrest.

The problem with allowing government agents to demand identification from anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant—the current scheme being employed by the Trump administration to ferret out and cleanse the country of illegal immigrants—is that it lays the groundwork for a society in which you are required to identify yourself to anygovernment worker who demands it.

Such tactics quickly lead one down a slippery slope that ends with government agents empowered to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but also that they are in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books.

This flies in the face of the provisions of the Fourth Amendment, which protects the American people from undue government interference with their movement and from baseless interrogation about their identities or activities. The Rutherford Institute has issued a Constitutional Q&A on “The Legality of Stop and ID Procedures” that provides some guidance on one’s rights if stopped and asked by police to show identification.

Unfortunately, even with legal protections on the books, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average American to avoid falling in line with a national identification system.

We’re almost at that point already.

Passed by Congress in 2005 and scheduled to take effect nationwide by October 2020, the Real ID Act, which imposes federal standards on identity documents such as state drivers’ licenses, is the prelude to this national identification system.

Fast forward to the Trump administration’s war on illegal immigration, and you have the perfect storm necessary for the adoption of a national ID card, the ultimate human tracking device, which would make the police state’s task of monitoring, tracking and singling out individual suspects—citizen and noncitizen alike—far simpler.

Americans have always resisted adopting a national ID card for good reason: it gives the government and its agents the ultimate power to target, track and terrorize the populace according to the government’s own nefarious purposes.

You see, it’s a short hop, skip and a jump from allowing government agents to stop and demand identification from someone suspected of being an illegal immigrant to empowering government agents to subject anyone—citizen and noncitizen alike—to increasingly intrusive demands that they prove not only that they are legally in the country, but that they are also lawful, in compliance with every statute and regulation on the books, and not suspected of having committed some crime or other.

It’s no longer a matter of if, but when.

You may be innocent of wrongdoing now, but when the standard for innocence is set by the government, no one is safe. Everyone is a suspect. And anyone can be a criminal when it’s the government determining what is a crime.

Remember, the police state does not discriminate.

At some point, it will not matter whether your skin is black or yellow or brown or white. It will not matter whether you’re an immigrant or a citizen. It will not matter whether you’re rich or poor. It won’t even matter whether you’re driving, flying or walking.

Eventually, when the police state has turned that final screw and slammed that final door, all that will matter is whether some government agent—poorly trained, utterly ignorant of the Constitution, way too hyped up on the power of their badges, and authorized to detain, search, interrogate, threaten and generally harass anyone they see fit—chooses to single you out for special treatment.

We’ve been having this same debate about the perils of government overreach for the past 50-plus years, and still we don’t seem to learn, or if we learn, we learn too late.

Read More @ Rutherford.org

WATCH: Cops Tase, Assault Handicapped Vet—Then Arrest Him For Half a Gram of Cannabis

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by Jack Burns, The Free thought Project:

When police arrived to address a handicapped veteran who was accused of panhandling, they refused to let him retrieve his cane, and instead Tased him, pulled him from his car, and left him lying on the ground.

Jasper City, FL – Disturbing body camera footage has just been released that shows a handicapped man being tased and manhandled by police officers for the heinous crime of flexing his rights.

Corey Bracken, 38, was trying to eat his lunch in his van outside a convenience store when officers approached him and demanded that he exit his vehicle. Bracken, aware of his rights and his need to protect himself against unlawful prosecution, began recording the incident.

Bracken rightfully asked for the officer’s supervisor to come to the scene. He told officer Chris McGauley he was not going to exit his vehicle and was just trying to eat his lunch.

Other officers arrived on the scene, but instead of protecting Bracken’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to unreasonable searches and seizures, they joined in on the abuse. After a bit of back and forth bantering, one officer attempted to take Bracken’s phone from his hands. Citizens have the right to film all police encounters but the officer apparently wanted to take that right away from Bracken.

Possibly realizing he was about to be jerked out of the van, the handicapped man reached for his walking cane. That action angered the officers who claimed they were fearful he was reaching for a gun. From the intensity in their voices and their screams to stop “reaching” for his cane, the officers escalated their use of force.

McGualey grabbed his arm and nearly broke it by bending it back against the van. The other officer, Less Harris, possibly realized Bracken was reaching for his cane and simply yelled for him to get out. Even though McGauley was ordering Harris to tase him, he did not. McGualey then stepped in and tased Bracken who still had not been informed as to what crime they suspected him of having committed.

The painful tasing forced the man to give up. He was then pulled out of the van and forced to lay on the ground without his cane and his apparent ability to stand. In a TFTP exclusive, Bracken explained that the officers did not charge him with any illegal activity and the prosecutors will not press charges against him.

He said he simply wants to know why he was tased, treated without any human dignity or respect, and why the officers denied the freedoms guaranteed to him by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Equally disturbing to Bracken and others was the cavalier way in which the officers mishandled him and then bragged to other officers saying:

I wasn’t going to waste five seconds on him.

The officer who attempted to break the handicapped man’s arm also lied to responding officers, saying:

He wanted to fight.

Clearly, Bracken did not want to fight and could not put up a fight with two fully armed officers even if he wanted to. He simply wanted to be afforded the opportunity to retrieve his walking cane and was denied such a simple accommodation.

The entire incident serves to illustrate the aggressive nature some police officers use on citizens who wish to exercise their rights to unwanted police contact, unreasonable searches and seizures, and to be treated with dignity and respect—regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Bracken said he was panhandling at a nearby gas station. He was asked to leave and he did. He went to the S&S convenience store and was enjoying his meal when police arrived. Bracken explained that he was hit by a drunk driver when he was 21. In addition to suffering brain injuries, his knee was damaged and his other knee has suffered from compensating for his injuries.

After police unlawfully detained Bracken, they searched his vehicle and found half of a gram of cannabis and a pipe to smoke the healing herb, which he said he used his chronic pain. They arrested Bracken and charged him with felony resisting arrest with violence, and possession of cannabis and paraphernalia. He spent five days in jail before paying $1,500 to post bond. He said he was also mistreated while he was in jail by abusive guards.

Bracken said his car was also impounded, and it will cost him $1,000 to get it back. He holds a medical marijuana card from Oregon. After prosecutors reviewed the body camera footage, they dismissed all charges.

Bracken told TFTP he is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was discharged due to color blindness. He is now planning on filing a lawsuit over the incident initiated by the police officers who refused to respect his rights. He has also set up a GoFundMe page to help high schoolers train K9s as service dogs.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com