ALL LIVES MATTER

A man raises his arms at a rally during the National Action Network National March Against Police Violence in Washington December 13, 2014. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington on Saturday for a march to protest the killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers and to urge Congress to do more to protect African-Americans from unjustified police violence. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4HWG2

Harris County Texas Sheriif Ron Hickman is not quite sure why suspect Shannon J. Miles allegedly shot and killed his deputy, Darren Goiforth, last week. Police investigating the homicide have not been able to identify a motive but Hickman has a theory and it involves Black Live Matter.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” he commented. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Then he took more direct aim.

“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Hickman said. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So how about we drop the qualifier and just say lives matter?”

Fox News than took this rhethoric and ran with it. Hasselbeck from ‘Fox & Friends’ asked conservative writer Kevin Jackson why the Black Lives Matter movement hasn’t been classified as a “hate group”, and an onscreen banner the network ran labeled ‘Black Lives Matter’ a “Murder Movement.” Bill O’Reilly later piled on

This past Wednesday, Hickman appeared on Fox News and said he isn’t quite sure if Black Lives Matter is to blame, but he still has his hunch. “You can’t help but wonder if there are people who are susceptible to the message that someone should lash out and make targets of police officers,” he said. “You can’t help but wonder.”

Wondering is fine, but directly accusing Black Lives Matter of promoting violence against police without any evidence is stereotyping at its finest. A black man allegedly killed a police officer, and now all black people involved in the movement are being indicted for the crime.

Black Lives Matter is an easy target because of its high-profile media presence and its ability to galvanize. Miles is held up as a representative of a group, rather than viewed as an individual — which frequently happens when it comes to race, for better or for worse. As Shaun King wrote for The Daily Kos “Just because this man who killed Officer Goforth was black, doesn’t make him a part of this movement any more than being white qualifies you as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The argument that the Black Lives Matter movement is driving individuals to kill cops is specious, and if someone brings it up, here are five things you can tell them.

  1. Nobody doubts that being a cop can be hard and dangerous. But statistics show this is not any more true today than it was last year or the year before that.

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Police officers in Ferguson monitoring protests one year after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson.

And if statistics are any indicator, being a police officer may actually be less dangerous in 2015 than it was in 2014. According to numbers from Officer Down Memorial Page, an independent nonprofit that tracks cop killings, 24 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty so far this year, but 29 were killed during the same time period in 2014.

And while those 24 deaths are obviously tragic, 2015 has actually seen fewer year-to-date shooting deaths of police officers than nearly every other year in the past two decades. The lone exception was 2013, when the FBI says killings of police overall hit a 50-year low.

And to those who say the race of the officer matters in these targeted killings, half of the police shot and killed this year were black.

The Counted: number of people killed by police this in June alone this year reached 500 which will keep the US on track for the civilian death toll to reach over 1,000 by the end of the year.

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Resentment toward police officers who abuse their authority existed before Black Lives Matter.

Anyone who points to the “rhetoric” of Black Lives Matter as a root cause of violence doesn’t know anything about black history. In 1988, N.W.A released “Fuck tha Police” to protest police violence and racial profiling of the black community. The song, like hip-hop in general, and now Black Lives Matter, has often been blamed for the resentment black folks feel toward law enforcement. But this aggressive criticism of police, like the concerns voiced by Black Lives Matter, is a response to mistreatment at the hands of police officers. And it’s that mistreatment, not “rhetoric,” that continues to fuel this resentment.

Back in 2012, a CNN commentator by the name of LZ Granderson summed up why he and many black folks distrusted about law enforcement:

“when you’ve been pulled over for no good reason as many times as I have; when you’ve been in handcuffs for no good reason as many times as I have; when you run out to buy some allergy medication and upon returning home, find yourself surrounded by four squad cars with flashing lights and all you can think about is how not to get shot, you learn not to trust cops”.

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And to anyone who says Martin Luther King Jr. was more thoughtful with his rhetoric, remember that he was also blamed for inciting violence against the police. Simply put, when a movement is countering the dominant narrative with truth — and particularly, unapologetic truth — that movement is blamed for inciting violence. It’s a tired, old argument.

  1. The idea that Black Lives Matter and the idea that the lives of cops (or anyone else) matter are not mutually exclusive.

When people say “Black lives matter,” it is because this nation has made it clear that it often doesn’t agree. The phrase “black lives matter” does not — and has never meant — that the lives of police officers, or anyone else, don’t matter. As Janell Ross pointed out in The Washington Post.

To Hickman and more than a few law enforcement union leaders and public spokesmen around the country, it seems that in a world in which Black Lives Matter, police lives accordingly do not. That sounds a lot like saying that effective policing and law enforcement where officers feel and remain safe cannot happen unless those same public officials are free to do their work without regard for the civil rights and liberties of people of color in the communities they police.

A cop getting murdered is awful. Their lives do matter. But to place blame on the Black Lives Matter movement and claim it promotes the idea that only black lives have meaning is false, divisive and especially misguided. The movement’s premise is that all lives are important, but every life isn’t treated as such.

  1. The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t promote violence against police officers or anyone else.

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No one who claims to speak for the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted violence as a means to achieve an end. The message the movement spreads has nothing to do with inflicting violence or pain against police officers — or anyone else, for that matter. It is simply a call to end the police brutality and misconduct that disproportionately take a toll on black bodies.

It’s entirely possible to simultaneously want to reduce police shootings and want to keep police officers safe. In this regards, the goals are mutually beneficial. Black Lives Matter activists have proposed at least 10 policies that aim to hold law enforcement accountable without putting them in harm’s way, ranging from ending aggressive low-level policing and instituting better police training to limiting standards for use of force and equipping cops with body cameras.

Furthermore, if Black Lives Matter is a movement committed to enacting reform through systemic change to policing priorities and tactics, how, exactly, would killing a cop help them in that goal?

That’s not to say that people haven’t said inappropriate things at protests against police violence, but the actions of a few, again, do not represent the majority. The fact that critics of Black Lives Matter seize upon one impolitic act while ignoring the rest of the movement’s message, again, speaks to a broader disconnect in this debate.

  1. Cop killers face the full punishment of the law, and everyone thinks that’s how it should be.

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CREDIT: Jewel Samad. Officers carry the casket of Wenjian Liu, a NYPD officer killed along with his partner, Rafael Ramos, in December 2014.

When a civilian kills a cop, justice is swift. Lamont Price, Christopher Monfort and Myles Webster, who all killed cops, were punished to the full extent of the law. Cops, on the other hand, are less likely to be convicted for killing a civilian.

Even over the past year, the cops who killed 18 year-old Michael Brown, 19-year-old Tony Robinson, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd and 43-year-old Eric Garner faced no legal repercussions for their actions. And despite the controversy, many people both in and out of law enforcement saw no problem with those decisions.

There’s a glaring double standard here. Police officers are heavily protected by the legal system: they are authorized to use force in ways civilians are not; their excessive force cases are often investigated by members of their own department; and most people are reluctant to second-guess an officer’s decision to use force — even in courtroom settings.

Granted, at least 41 cops have been indicted on murder or manslaughter charges this year for killing civilians in the line of duty. But a 2015 Washington Post analysis found that of the thousands of fatal shootings by police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged. Far fewer were actually convicted.

Police-militarization

The problem as I see it, is that people have stopped listening to one another a long time ago. There is simply no communication. No leadership. Our streets has become a war zone where hundreds of unchecked fanatical law enforcement officers are out of main street USA not following protocol and carrying out street justice against the very citizens it is sworn to protect and serve. Some as we see every single day are acting as judge and executioner.

We see this is in the military. In most every career but mostly in high risk careers. People develop phobias, psychosis, fears, insecurities and react. Some are racists, troubled, plagued by alcoholism, drugs, relationships that due affect their work in a variety of means. Some have PTSD, anger management, anxiety issues that go unchecked. A great deal of the simply bomb waiting to explode.  An IED lying dormant for the time your ignorance rolls over it. The questions is, who developed that IED?

When a police officer gets killed, entire departments empties out to seek out the killer and will stop at nothing and use whatever faculties and force to get the job done. What happens when an innocent black or white child gets killed non-related to law enforcement?

Everyone needs to take a hard cold look in the mirror. There are a great deal of amazing law enforcement officers out there but we need more out of them. We need them to take a stand against the officers the make this country the most corrupt. To stop turning the blind eye. To being turning in the ‘bad cop’.  To remove these vigilante officers off our streets. To earn the respect and integrity behind the shield they wear.  In turn, we will all hopefully unite and become color blind. Restore to order and regain our constitutional freedoms and rights.

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Here are police officers in dress blue giving their respects to a fallen officer. On patrol for a better part of a century, officer’s uniforms varied but were merely non-threatening but commanding button-down grey/blue/black shirts, neckties, slacks, black shoes, navy jackets and peaked hats. In colder months, a leather jacket was worn. This photo along with  the policeman’s oath represented integrity, honor  and pledge to serve his fellow man with “favor, skill, knowledge and no malice or ill-will”.

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This photo is something you would find in Kabul, Afghanistan or Mosul but this is police response teams on the Main Street USA.  Why is our police waging war against the very citizens it swore to protect? Do the police consider it’s citizens Terrorists?

ALLLIVESMATTER rich or poor. We the law and the citizens for whom they serve need to respect and honor one another. It is a two-way street. Not one of each other is better than the other. If someone breaks the law, the law-breaker regardless of stature needs to be held accountable for his/her actions. In fact, if a crime is committed by an officer of the law, they should be held to stricter standards like all leaders in our communities and in our administrations.  We need to restore order, eliminate chaos, and focus on our true enemies here and abroad.

Mutual respect is the foundation for honesty, trust and meaningful communication. Right now, we need mutual respect for a new mindset and transition for re-establishing a proper regard for the dignity of the officer and all citizens. In order for relationships to remain healthy, both the public and public servants must be equally respected, appreciated but neither should expect to receive or expect any praise for doing what it is his or her job to do. The truth is that anytime anyone shares their hand or heart, they should be valued and appreciated for it. It is defined as a proper regard for the dignity of another. Policing and the public is a conveyance of a relationship like a marriage that contains value. We as Americans have that capacity to care and love. It is inherent. We have seen that in each other in 9/11 when we become one.

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Mutual respect is intentional. Based upon traditional values and acts of appreciation.  Modern men and women have been programmed in part to dislike each other. We are living in an uncivilized world perpetrated by terrorism. We are also living in a corrupt world led by corrupt leadership and blinded by misconceptions, broken policies and agendas.

We need to re-structure our government. Establish new protocols and psychological assessments and review boards before placing those in powerful positions as part of stringent background checks and training. These must be integral for a new set and dimension of strategies and standards of training. We need to re-build our nation from within before we break down the chains of terrorism abroad. If we want our citizens to be accountable for their actions, we have to insist that our police and everyone involved in the legal process be accountable equally. ALLLIVESMATTER – EQUALLY.

Credits; AP

Police Accountability & Professionalism

No one should be mistreated or abused, falsely accused or be a victim of police brutality. It should not matter how poor you are or what color you are or what group or “gang” you are in or whether you were born in the U.S. or whether you are an immigrant – all should be treated with respect, all should be treated fairly, and all should be afforded equal protection of the law. Nothing less is acceptable.

No city or community can be truly great unless it upholds these basic principles. It is recognized that any police department or any organization will commit errors and make mistakes. But police departments in particular should have a sound system of public oversight so that mistakes and errors are quickly corrected.

Unfortunately, in this nation today especially in urban areas, our police force has never been afforded a truly workable civilian oversight process. Consequently, over the years, Police Department across the board developed and sustained a well-entrenched culture of corruption and double standards. By culture of corruption and double standards, I do not mean simply one or two corrupt people. Rather, what has emerged is a deeply entrenched way of life and systematic abuse of officers of the law against its very own citizens it sworn to “serve and protect”. It also manifests to the integrity of the officers who follow the code and respect for the color of the law.

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There exists a system of corruption and double standards within our law enforcement communities. This has been reflected on a daily occurrence by thousands of officers across the nation as an acceptable for of behavior and condoned by superiors.

These superiors and council members appear to be unfit for duty due to their extent of the culture of corruption and double standards. They neither want to be accountable nor responsible for their actions of the actions of others.

Police Departments and certain officers sworn to uphold has been instrumental in maintaining social order, just as any law enforcement agency across this great nation. However, historically there is evidence to a lack of fairness, and double standards relating to enforcement or non-enforcement actions. The contrasts of police action, between the affluent and the poor, the White and the minority, the passive and the vocal, are astounding and well documented.

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The victims of these double standards and lack of professionalism are usually the poor, disenfranchised, minority persons, or anyone who seeks to question the actions of the police. Those that merely question police actions are targeted most often when no crime has been committed.

We need professionalism, accountability and oversight to regain trust. If a crime is committed by an officer of the law, they must be indicted, prosecuted and sentenced to the statutes imposed by law like any other citizen. They do not rise above the law. This change will not come from city administrators, but must come from the citizens.

Many of our leaders must become compliant to the political wheel or the problem will continue to worsen. Administrators use intimidation, retaliation and altered investigations against those citizens who speak out. These tactics can only be successful if the citizenry tolerate and condone such. Only a mass movement, an organized public push, will be strong enough to change the stubborn culture of corruption and double standards.

Why is the United States the Police Department for the World?

Why is it incumbent for us to intervene in almost every conflict and put our troops in harm’s way? With the ever escalating fiscal crisis in our country and our own domestic conflicts to fight here with our oversight committees in Washington, there appears to be hundreds of oversights to be accountable right here.

The United States is simply not the emergency police service of the world when another country pushes the buttons for 911 as no other country dialed in on 9-11 in New York. Our interests are served just fine enough with diplomacy, not military might. We have the Department of Defense, not the Department of War nor the Department of 9-11 Crisis.

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Our past Presidents has thrown us into Wars that is not our fight but into a conflict that is simply a civil war and unrest between rival nations and not a war with the United States. Obama was a President voted into office because of his views in part to his approach to the use of armed forces so Americans chose a candidate who has opposed Bush’s was in Iraq and bring U.S. commitments back in line where the Norwegian Nobel Committee thought so to all too soon. However, as we saw all, Hussein was the only Muslim and President in history who bowed to an Arab Sheik which is a sign of weakness. This set an epitome.

If we are stockpiling weapons, why are we handing billions of dollars of weaponry to countries that are inevitably used against our troops? War does have its place when it is justified as in War War II. We must be serving the American people, not the Arab world or the Islamic state.

We are the problem. We have allowed our government to make decisions that is not in the best interests of the American people. I always believe till today, that the government are elected officials who are public servants to serve and preserve liberty and freedom and the American taxpayer. Here and not abroad.

History have proven that approximately 6,000 U.S. troops were Killed in action and immeasurable were wounded. Almost the same committed suicide upon their return. In the Iraq conflict, almost 7,000 U.S. troops were killed and the much higher number in military contractors and more wounded. The cost to the United States was about 2 TRILLION dollars.

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We need to reign in establish a multi-disciplinary approach to tax and fiscal analysis and the utility of government in America that is fully transparent. We must demand and wipe away the obscurity of the government’s ability to enhance the quality of life to compliment the prosperity of our society at large and not the political machine. I believe that our government has set an example of a greedy corrupt mechanism of a new world order.

We no longer require rhetoric, we should thirst for a directive action that is in the best interests of the American public and no one else. The public needs to take back our country and know if our leadership is working in the best interests of our nation and not ‘special interests’ hell bent on greed. They can be terminated just like any hard-working American. We need to reign in politicians who spend our money lavishly because they believe in entitlement. The only entitlement they deserve is what we are entitled to; a reasonable pay check, accountable to pay their child support, taxes, be arrested for their crimes and removed from office like any other citizen. No one is above the law.

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We need to clean house. Lower unemployment and crime. Give jobs to the citizens of this country and not outsource to third world toilets. Our military can fill positions to watch our borders, fill law enforcement positions and create other agencies to deport all illegal aliens, tighten, enhance and provide proper law enforcement training who are in positions to also ‘serve and protect’ and not beat and menace.

I remember when my parents, grandparents came to this country, it was not a right and a privilege. You had to earn your right to enter this country thru Ellis Island. Today, most people if not all believe in the opposite with their hands out and our government obliges handing them food stamps, housing, and education on our dime. What has happened?

There is so many important changes that needs to be addressed and all of us have a voice. Why are so many mute and afraid to speak? God, gave you a voice. Cowards hide in the shadows, Bystanders stand with the ignorant and are the catalyst for failure. What is important to you?

Mexico police on payroll with the Drug Cartels

A couple of months ago, 43 students embarked on a journey that ended in horrific deaths. The bus that they were journeying on was stopped by the police and was fired upon according to a survivor.

Later, the bodies were removed, placed in an isolated garbage dump by drug gang members ordered by the drug cartels and were covered by rocks and tires. They then poured diesel and gasoline all over the bodies with some of the students still alive. The gang members then incinerated the pile. The bodies burned for over 24 hours. When they returned and the fire was out and cooled, they were ordered to remove the ashes and placed them with the students bones fragments into trash bags and thrown into a river bank.

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This is just an example of how Mexican law enforcement works with the Mexican drug Cartels and how the cartels with law enforcement authorities are more dangerous now than ISIS.

The only prevalent force fighting the war against trafficking and corruption is armed civilians as a militia who creates a curfew and road blocks.

Mexican authorities admit that drug-trafficking gangs pay around 1.27 billion pesos (some $100 million) a month in bribes to municipal police officers nationwide.

Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said that figure was calculated based on perceptions of municipal officers themselves and an analysis of a list of cops recruited by the cartels that was found during a police operation. High ranking officials defend this because it makes up for what the government does not pay and allows them to live their lives with “dignity.”

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Authorities assert that of the country’s 165,510 municipal officers nationwide, just over 20% earns less than 1,000 pesos ($79) a month, while 60.9% earn no more than 4,000 pesos ($317) monthly.

The secretary, who backs President Felipe Calderon’s proposal for a single police force per state, said municipal officers currently account for 38.73% of all police in the country, adding that rather than combat crime they merely comply with the guidelines of their jurisdictions. Their training is lacking and they require stricter oversight however, that does not excuse the mass corruption of the alliance with the cartels and their reign of terror.

I believe that a leader with strong disciplines and leadership bringing a single federal authority will be a start to end the corruption. The military might of Mexico needs to combat the terrorism of the Cartels.

Nearly 30,000 people have died in incidents blamed on organized-crime groups, mainly drug traffickers. In Mexico since late 2006, newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to nearly a dozen states in a bid to stem the violence and root-out corruption in local law-enforcement agencies.

hangingbodiesState and local police in Mexico are poorly paid and are often confronted with the choice known here as “plomo o plata” (lead or silver): accept a bribe for looking the other way or get killed for refusing.

During Calderon’s tenure, a total of 915 municipal police, 698 state police and 463 federal agents have been killed at the hands of criminal gangs, according to Public Safety Secretariat figures. These figures are grossly inaccurate – as are Caledron’s accomplishments!

The Atrocities of the Catholic Church

Most think and believe in recent years hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals have come forward claiming sexual abuse from priests in the Roman Catholic Church. That is valid. However, history for these crimes dates back much further with abuses from the Catholic church.

Numerous “pedophile priests” have been identified. Sadly, rather than defrocking the priests (removing from the priesthood), the Catholic Church has in most instances attempted to cover up the sexual abuse by transferring the offending priest(s) to different parishes or ‘re-locating’ them. In the spectrum of the law, aiding and abetting these crimes, is a crime in itself.

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The scandal and attempted cover-up continues to ever expand which reaching the papacy wants you to believe is current but this at The Vatican has been a cover-up for some time and a shared secret.

The Vatican faced blistering criticism from a United Nations committee recently over allegations it protected pedophile priests at the expense of victims in what constituted a worldwide sex abuse scandal.

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It now appears with the over surmounting pressure from the UN and sub-committees that given the zero tolerance policy of the Vatican do we hear the Pope taking a stance.

Will we start to see methods to protect our children from sexual abuse? Will there be accountability? Should priests by treated any differently than other criminal offenders and will anyone from the Catholic church be brought to justice for their SINS? Better pray….your child could be next.

NCMEC are Fat Cats that will not investigate your missing child!

Make no doubt about it. NCMEC is a government front that exaggerates claims about what they do, statistics about success rates and their self-proclaimed nobility. Celebrities have come to their side to voice their support for NCMEC and if you like to drink from the Kool Aid, you will get poisoned also.  The simple question is where are the children? Just ask the hundreds or thousands of parents who reported to NCMEC and ask them where their children are today?

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, NCMEC, was created out of the publicity generated from the Adam Walsh disappearance and death back in 1981. The claim raised at the time before Congress was that there was no government-affiliated agency in existence to assist the parents of abducted children. The figures at the time portrayed the situation as grim, insisting that tens, if not hundreds of thousands of children a year were abducted by strangers. As it turned out, long-term abductions by strangers figured only in the tens per year. Since its inception, MK_logoNCMEC has received millions of dollars each year from Congress. Presently, Congress allocates $50 million per year to the Center. But how is the money used? And how does NCMEC work? NCMEC describes itself as a Missing Children Clearinghouse, meaning that it disseminates information, but plays no active role in the actual recovery of missing children. Today, NCMEC has hundreds of staff and its salaries alone are running close to $30 million a year.

But what does it do? Well, it gathers information and disseminates it. Does this help when a child goes missing? Perhaps, but not significantly. Basically, what happens is that NCMEC posts a photo of the child on their website. They have partner programs with Wal-Mart and with ADVO to distribute photos of parentally abducted children, which have been successful to a small degree. But what about those few children that are actually in peril; the ones that Congress originally intended a national missing children center to be structured for; the kids like Adam Walsh? The answer is, not a whole lot of help gets channeled from NCMEC.

Take the case of Shawn Hornbeck, who had been abducted by a stranger for four years. Or that of Shasta Groene, the little girl, who was abducted after her whole family was murdered. Or Elizabeth Smart, who was with her kidnapper less than a quarter of a mile away from her house with a clear trail any competent bloodhound handler could find. Where was NCMEC then? Nowhere to be found. Does America Need a $50 Million a Year Missing Children Clearinghouse……or, rather, a $50 Million a Year Missing Children Emergency/Ongoing Response Team?

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children is a private and conservatively funded front organization that works hand in hand with the corporate media to exploit the fear for one’s children in order to help get laws passed which are fully unconstitutional. They are secretive about their operations and routinely refuse to even cite their data sources as they spread false and misleading statistical information to a nervous but clueless public. What is most startling is the seemingly limitless connections this organization has, despite their secretive nature.

They seem to have instant access to nearly any politician or corporate television program, and no journalists ever look into the group itself, but merely parrot the misleading information and often false statistics passed along to them. CNN and Oprah are notorious for doing this, and yet they reach such an unbelievably wide audience that it’s as though what the NCMEC says simply becomes fact when spread through these media outlets, with nobody bothering to verify anything.

It’s as though the claim that they stand for defenseless children somehow excludes them from scrutiny, but their clear involvement in political matters and influencing of the legal system begs some real investigative journalism. To the journalists who try, don’t be surprised when you hit a few walls. NCMEC is nothing more than a patriarchal organization handovermouthdesigned to control women who leave a situation where they are being dominated and by doing so, it sends a message to other women caught in an abusive relationship, that they had better not leave or their abuser will hunt them down like dogs with the assistance of Ernie Allen and the justice departments in various countries.

I feel this is an assault on the rights of women and of course, most especially on mothers who are raising the next generation. For me, this is a straightforward attempt to silence women and the women’s movement through the re-victimization of the most vulnerable. If NCMEC’s Going to try to regulate the Internet for Child Porn, It Should At Least Be Subject to FOIA. NCMEC’s job is simply too important to be entrusted to a nonprofit group–such a task can only be performed by a fully trained and funded law enforcement agency (one, which conveniently enough, is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, congressional oversight, and constitutional requirements for due process.)

Congress is unlikely to address the problem of NCMEC’s accountability given the sensitivity of the issue of child protection. But, fortunately, we live in a republic, not a pure democracy: Our third branch of government, the judicial branch, exists to enforce the rule of law; being somewhat insulated from political pressure, the courts provide a final check on the authority even of the almighty NCMEC. So it’s never been high on the Obama administration’s list of czarist reforms. But simply by ordering NCMEC to comply with FOIA, the FOIALazaridis court http://about.bloomberglaw.com/law-reports/district-court/) could, with the stroke of a pen, bring accountability to NCMEC’s law enforcement functions.

The legal question is simple: Does NCMEC qualify as an “agency,” which FOIA defines as an “authority of the Government of the United States?” If so, NCMEC must not only respond to requests for certain of its “records,” but it must also follow a rule-making process akin to that required of federal agencies when they make policy decisions, offering the public appropriate notice and the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations—instead of, say, threatening Internet companies behind closed doors (sometimes the same companies that later make generous donations to NCMEC) or cutting deals with state attorneys general. It turns out that this is not a new issue.

Federal courts have had to decide whether a number of quasi-governmental entities qualify as “agencies” over the years, especially given the trend towards privatization over the last three decades. Some organizations, like the Smithsonian Institution, have decided to comply with FOIA even though courts have held that they’re not required to do so. NCMEC could have allayed all these concerns years ago by doing the same thing, but absent a change in management at the organization, it seems only a court order will force the organization to open its “black box” of decision-making to public inquiry. In a number of other circumstances, courts have required nominally private organizations to comply with the federal FOIA or its state equivalents. A thorough (if dated) treatment of this issue can be found in the 1999 law review article, Privatization and the Freedom of Information Act: An Analysis of Public Access to Private Entities Under Federal Law by Craig Feiser, Florida’s deputy solicitor general and an adjunct at FSU Law. Feiser explains: When Congress amended FOIA in 1974, it added section 552(f)(1) and broadened the definition of “agency” to include entities not explicitly mentioned under the APA, but which “perform governmental functions and control information of interest to the public.”

In deciding whether a private organization qualifies as an agency subject to FOIA, courts have considered two factors. One factor asks whether the entity has substantial independent authority in performing a function of the government, making it the functional equivalent of the government. The other factor asks whether the government substantially controls the entity’s day-to-day operations or organizational framework. In using either factor, the court is essentially asking to what degree the entity is performing a government function.

In one case, the government is pulling nearly all of the strings; in the other case, the entity is making decisions independently for the government. Financially, NCMEC is largely a creature of government: 70% of NCMEC’s $42 million budget in 2007 came from the government. But as Feiser notes, funding does not always mean control. Government control over NCMEC’s internal decisions is unclear. Indeed, the very lack of government control over an organization essentially regulating the Internet and imposing criminal sanctions that could follow convicted “sex offenders” for life would by itself be an enormous problem.

But given what NCMEC actually does, it obviously qualifies as an “agency” subject to FOIA under the “functional equivalence factor,” which as Feiser explains, basically represents the opposite situation from the control factor. Here, the entity is functioning independently, but making decisions for the government, as opposed to having its decisions made by the government. In effect, it is the functional equivalent of the federal government, and, therefore, it should be an “agency” under the FOIA. I am hoping that the court sees NCMEC for what it is: a private organization tasked with implementing not just any government function, but the enforcement of laws against the most vulnerable victims in society. Absent such a recognition, NCMEC will continue to grow into an unaccountable regulator for the Internet.

Today, the only public oversight of NCMEC required by law is the requirement that NCMEC (like any non-profit with federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit status) file a Form 990 each year disclosing basic information about its finances. That report does not list NCMEC’s donors, because donors have a First Amendment right to remain anonymous, but a more transparent organization would, like my own think tank, at least identify its major donors. NCMEC’s CEO, Ernie Allen, was paid $359,191 plus $411,636 in benefits in 2006 (PDF p. 46) and $409,821 plus $426,540 in benefits in 2007 (PDF p. 19), for a total of $1.6 million in two years (roughly $800,000/year); I’d be reluctant to suggest that anyone at NCMEC was more interested in money than in ernieallenprotecting children, but if given the choice, we’d all prefer to do well while doing good. So if Allen were smart, he’d realize that a court order subjecting NCMEC to FOIA might be the best of all possible worlds: Requiring real accountability would neutralize calls for nationalizing NCMEC, allowing the organization to continue operating as a non-profit that can pay quite a bit better than the Federal civil service. Even the Senior Executive Service, for agency heads, maxes out at a measly $197,000/year.

Of course, if NCMEC’s records and decisions were subject to FOIA, the organization might not be able to convince any companies or Corporate America to essentially to write large checks to NCMEC. But even this tax-hating libertarian would be hard-pressed to argue against funding the enforcement of laws against child pornography, abduction and exploitation with taxpayer dollars. I can’t help but wonder how many more agents the FBI could employ to combat child porn with an extra $1.6 million/year in funding (the salary of Allen and NCMEC’s top-five highest paid employees). It seems that FBI agents today make roughly $48,000-87,000/year. Let’s call it an average of $67,500 and throw in 20% for overhead. That works out to $81,000/year—or: 20 new agents for what NCMEC is paying its top six employees; or 368 new agents for the $29.82 million NCMEC received in government support in 2007. http://www.wearenotmissing.com/responsefromthencmec.htm FBI agents today make roughly $52,000-89,000/year. Let’s call it an average of $70,000 and throw in 20% for overhead. That works out to $84,000/year—or: 20 new agents for what NCMEC is paying its top six employees; or 398 new agents for the $35.82 million NCMEC received in government support in 2012.

I’m certain that the solution is far more complicated than simply hiring more FBI agents, and that NCMEC does any good work in the service of a noble cause. There are local, state and some federal agencies that claim they make a dent in the investigation and recovery of missing children and should not be excluded from the merit of their accomplishments. I credit any law enforcement for their efforts. However, the conception of a family running to the police for the sake to filing a police report which is actually an incident report for the most part and then running over to NCMEC will most often never be of any consequence or investigation resulting in the return of a missing child.  It is grossly misleading.

The big picture here and the reality is that every 5 minutes, a child goes missing and the clock starts ticking. Action is required and if you think like NCMEC and the follow police protocols like taking a missing persons reports, talking to all of your child’s friends, their family members, combing the neighborhood, your child’s schools, hangouts hospitals, driving the streets, bus stations, train stations only will make you all the more hysterical and waste precious time. NCMEC admits in its tax returns as having in overages in the bank. Yet in its more than a quarter century of history, whenever a child has been abducted and faces death, the NCMEC has not offered one cent as a reward. What does that say about those that run it?

Their NetSmartz website is probably worth another $25,000, but that’s a one-time expense. And their Cybertip hotline for the online sexual enticement of minors could be run for pennies. Why? Because the information collected is simply redirected to the FBI. NCMEC does not investigate. In 1984, Thursday’s Child sited a girl believed to be Kimberly Doss, a missing child then listed with NCMEC. However, due to stonewalling by NCMEC and that time working with Children of the Night, local police authorities were persuaded to drop their search for the girl, who was in plain sight with her pimp. It was only years later that NCMEC admitted their error and now gives her the street name she used at the time of Kimberly Gardner. Doss was never seen again. The NCMEC (color) photo tends to look more like comedian, David Steinberg, than anything Kimberly Doss might resemble should she be alive today.

The police enhancement is probably a far more accurate portrayal. In fact, when abducted Shawn Hornbeck was found by accident, he turned out to look nothing like NCMEC’s age-progressed photo. The age-progressed photo of Hornbeck shows him to be more of a Ben Affleck type. Yet Hornbeck turned out to look more like Elijah Wood.

The fact of the matter is that only a handful of children like Jaycee are abducted each year and an annual budget of $50 million dollars (NCMEC also gets an additional $8 million from private sources) is more than enough to further any search. As it turned out, though, Jaycee and the other were just poster children for Congressional waste. NCMEC also does age progressions. Yet compare their age progression of Kimberly Doss with that done by Texas Police.

So, when the $50 million a year puts up a poster where the photo is totally wrong, aren’t the effects actually counterproductive to any recovery? No one would have recognized Shawn Hornbeck even if they had seen him in person, because he didn’t look like NCMEC said he should. And what about Jaycee? While she was imprisoned in her captor’s back yard, living as his sex slave from age 11, bearing two of his children, never seeing the outside world, never being allowed to experience childhood, NCMEC was raking in nearly half a billion dollars from Congress, while their President, Ernie Allen kicked back in a swell home and shook the hand of the United States President that led our nation into ruin. Why didn’t NCMEC search out all the pedophiles in the area where Jaycee Dugard was abducted?

  • Why did they not hire one private investigator to continue the search?Jaycee Dugard
  • Why did they not use Bloodhounds in any of these cases where a discovery could have been made immediately?
  •  Why did they not offer a reward for her recovery?
  •  Why are they not listed with directory services?
  •  Why don’t they have 24-hour critical staff?
  •  Why does no one notice?

While Jaycee was wasting away and lost her childhood, NCMEC was raking in nearly half a billion dollars from Congress. Why didn’t NCMEC search out all the pedophiles in the area where Jaycee Dugard was abducted?· Why didn’t they hire one private investigator to continue the search?· Why didn’t they offer a reward for her recovery?· Why aren’t they listed with directory services? Is there any red flags, indicative behavioral signs that might lead to your children to runaway away or feel isolated enough to look for attention from a stranger on social media and fall prey to a predator? If NCMEC’s Going to Regulate the Internet for Child Porn, It Should At Least Be Subject to FOIA

If so, NCMEC must not only respond to requests for certain of its “records,” but it must also follow a rule-making process akin to that required of federal agencies when they make policy decisions, offering the public appropriate notice and the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations—instead of, say, threatening Internet companies behind closed doors (sometimes the same companies that later make generous donations to NCMEC) or cutting deals with state attorneys general. Until NCMEC is either nationalized as a direct arm of law enforcement or made significantly more accountable as a private organization, we won’t really have any way of knowing whether the money being spent on NCMEC is being spent in the most effective manner possible to deal with the problems of child pornography, abduction and exploitation. We also won’t know whether draconian alternatives to direct enforcement (e.g., hiring more FBI agents) like network-level filtering mandates are truly necessary, despite their unintended consequences for the free speech and privacy rights of law-abiding Internet users.

There is a cause to end worthless spending in this country that is part of our fiscal end and part of our economic crisis. It is also another part of the corrupt political system where bystanders takes no action and let perpetrators allow crimes to be committed and predators to repeat their offenses. In this particular case, this is not just a major financial case of white collar crime of epidemic proportions but the great loss of innocent lives. Children are our greatest resource. To trivialize human life and take advantage of this the pain, angst , peril, frustration and desperation of the families of the lost is abhorrent. To divide the families from their loved ones and outright misrepresenting an organization and stealing money from the government and the public is simply a scheme no different than a grifter.

One of many complaints I also get, is the posturing of racism and why one’s child is not deserving of the attention of another. That emotional nature is grief talking but one that also
has meritblack. if you take a hard line approach at NCMEC and look at their flyers which most often if not all the times offer no reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the children, what does that tell you? We know that they are properly funded, so why no reward? Where is the incentive? Is it because of the huge benefits that are paid to Allen and the employees of NCMEC are the reward?

If you look at the r\missing flyers of the children, why is there only one photo of a black child and several of a white child. Why is there more descriptions in the flyer of a white child? When it comes to catching the eye of the media, have you ever seen a black child disappearance case covered extensively?  How about just one time?

The photos that appear in this blog are all high profile cases where a sea of law enforcement did not solve them. It took a sea of media to follow the case and put it out to the public who solved the mystery but law enforcement still took the credit. What happened to those less fortunate did that did not receive the attention from the press? How many families aregrieving each and everyday about their loved children?

Families are clinging onto the steps that law enforcement taught them and NCMEC advised them but neither of the two took the time to investigate their child’s whereabouts. The first 5 hours is crucial to children of the ages of infancy to 5 years of age. Then it is of utmost importance from the ages of 6-12 hours for the ages of 6-11 years of age. From 12-18 years of age, you have at best 12-48 hours and perhaps in remote cases where they are abducted they can become victims of human trafficking and every minute can equal a mile that separates you from your child.

Either way, the clock ticks, and the chances of finding them dead or alive are precious. There are thousands of cold cases out there simply because they were never investigated or they were mishandled. NCMEC is getting FAT and simply not helping grieving families find their children. The government is part of the problem also and not part of the solution. If you want to find a missing child who is in eminent danger, you MUST hire a professional with a proven track record and not waste valuable time.

No flyers or candle vigils in the world will bring back your child. The wait and see approach is a disservice to your and most important your child who is crying out for help. The police cannot leave their jurisdiction so if the FBI will not take your case, the likelihood of any qualified law enforcement agency of even looking into your matter is about 1%. If you want to gamble of those odds, that will be the percentage of ever seeing your child again. www.thelost.net

Commercial Bail Bonding

Why commercial Bail & Bounty Hunters play a vital role in the criminal justice system.

 – High Risk Fugitive Apprehension, Child Recovery Expert, Law Enforcement Trainer, Security Consultant, Speaker, Author

This is my take on the article written by Bruce Murphy for Urban Milwaukee. Link listed below.

Murphy’s Law: Bail Bond Bill Will Create Debtor’s Prisons urbanmilwaukee.com

Every research study ever done on pretrial release has shown that commercial bail bonding is the MOST effective form of release.

Defendants that arraigned on bail are based upon the severity on the crime(s) they commit and therefore the comment made that people are languishing away in jail because they cant afford a bail bond is absolutely false. This author needs to be schooled. With bail bonds as we know you only need to post 10% of the bond amount to get out of jail for 10% as opposed to having to pay the whole amount.

The author either seems to gloss over this fact or deliberately ignores it. The bottom line is a bail bond is an insurance policy. Just like any other insurance policy you pay a premium to the insurance agent for that coverage. If you drive a car and don’t have an accident or ticket, does your insurance company refund your premium? Of course not. What a commercial bail bond does is “GUARANTEE” that the defendant shows up for court. If they don’t the bail agent goes and gets them. If they don’t get them, they not the government or the taxpayer pay the full amount to the court.

A cameraman films a cell during the inauguration of new extensions in the high security prison Noroeste

When someone is let out through the current system in Wisconsin or Oregon for example, nobody goes and gets them, a warrant is issued and it becomes law enforcement’s job (at taxpayer’s dollar). Most times they are not picked up until they commit another offense and that can be a violent crime like rape or murder. Explain that to the victim of family member about pre-trial release and that they were release because they could not come up with $50.00!Also, if commercial bail is the cause of jail overcrowding than explain why Wisconsin jails are dealing with an overcrowding problem if there is currently no commercial bail allowed.

Here is a link to a story on the ACLU’s website about this problem (http://aclu-wi.org/story/more-money-prison-overcrowding-human-rights-crisis). The author’s [photo is at the end of the article. My response is noted below the end of the article. Remember…no commercial bail in Wisconsin and there is overcrowding. Interesting huh?

Also, in Wisconsin according to this welcome sign, the government wants their citizens to protect crime within their state and promote vigilantism in lieu of public safety. It seems that the shoot first posture applies to this state whether or not their citizens have been properly trained in any fashion at all in police procedure to determine if a crime is being committed and when to use the act of deadly force. “Acts of Criminal Violence” does not necessitate deadly force and will land your citizen is the can or 6 feet under. Where does it say that in the sign? Also, I believe the last time I checked and the first time I learned this in first grade and that Chicago and Illinois are pretty much one and the same.

I believe this exemplifies a clear message why I guess why their platform of bail is not required and their stance that commercial bail creates overcrowded and their solution to it by arming as many of their citizens.  Beware great citizens of Wisconsin that as a Law Enforcement and Security trainer, career criminals are great shots and have killed many trained police officers and federal agents.  I hope that when it comes down to the use of deadly force and your life or your children is on the line, that you are a better and more accurate shooter then a hardened criminal especially one who is on your pre-trial release program.

intruder.shot_0

In regards to the statement that commercial bail costs the state money…really? How is that math being done? The current system requires tax dollars and lots of them. People have to come up with the full amount of bail (harder to do than just 10%) and sit in jail longer all on the taxpayers dime. With commercial bail, people are released quicker because they only have to come up with 10%. The insurance companies that back each bail bond pay a premium tax to the local jurisdiction (in California that premium tax amount topped $12 Million), and when they don’t perform, bail agents pay the full amount of the bond to the court. Explain to me where the cost is for the county. There is no cost. In fact, bail actually generates revenue. Additionally, in a recent study out of the University of Texas at Dallas, a researcher determined the cost of a failure to appear (when someone does not show up for court). Based on that amount (a little over $1,700 per defendant) the commercial bail industry saved Dallas County over $11 Million. Does that sound like an industry that costs the local jurisdictions money…hardly.

And now something that we can all agree is important, public safety. When people are released on a commercial bail bond, they are being watched and monitored by several people who all have skin in the game. The bail agent has put up his money and promise to the court (along with the insurance company). The family has put up financial assets to secure the defendants release. What this does is create a circle of influence around each defendant that both ensures they show up for court and in the process stay out of trouble. Financially secured release has been proven time and time again but every research study ever done to be the most effective form of release.

Why are Republicans pushing a bill opposed almost unanimously by criminal justice professionals?

  • Scott Bernstein

    High Risk Fugitive Apprehension, Child Recovery Expert, Law Enforcement Trainer, Security Consultant, Speaker, Author

    Wisconsin is not alone in its thinking. Currently, Oregon is also contemplating the return of commercial bail. Why? Because it works. Without someone monitoring defendants with skin in the game…without defendant’s knowing that someone will come after them if they don’t show up for court…without family members tied emotionally and financially to the performance of a defendant…there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY in the system. And without accountability, the system fails. People need to stop believing what they see on television and in the movies. The commercial bail industry is vital to the criminal justice system. In recent surveys among judges, sheriffs and court administrators across the country, it was found that all of the groups (over 90% in every case) believed that commercial bail played an important role in the criminal justice system.

    Next time there is a story put out about they commercial bail bond industry returning to Wisconsin, it would be good to hear both sides of the story. Once the facts are shared, the decision is pretty simple. That would be great journalism.

    http://www.americanbountyhunter.org