El Salvador gang violence making Latin America murder Capital.

Gang violence is soaring in El Salvador. The country’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world. Now, amid criticism, the government is debating whether it should deploy the military.

El Salvador, one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America, saw well over 150 gang-related homicides within the last month alone. Now its constitutional court has classified the gangs as terrorist organizations.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, 2015.05.21: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The 'halcones' respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The ‘halcones’ respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

Authorities in El Salvador have registered closer to 4,000 homicides in the past year. If the death toll continues to rise at the same pace, one in every thousand of its 6.3 million Salvadorans will have been murdered by the end of the year. Outside war zones, only Honduras has a comparable homicide rate.

In both countries, the murders can mostly be traced back to “Maras”, one of the gangs whose income is derived from hold-ups, extortion, arms trafficking and the illegal drug trade. Their roots go back to gangs in the Latin districts of Los Angeles in the 1980s, when many Salvadorans fled their country during the civil war.

When the conflict was over, the gangs formed criminal organizations in El Salvador. “This process was accelerated after the USA began deporting illegal immigrants to their home countries,” states a study conducted by the research department of the US Congress.

Today, UN drug authorities estimate a total of 54,000 members in “Mara Salvatrucha” (known as MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (also known as Barrio 18) in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador, the smallest of the three countries, is home to 22,000 of them. In neighboring Nicaragua, many smaller gangs are active.

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Gang recruiters target students

Maras’ recruiters often target high school students. The organization offers youngsters what their parents often lack: the prospect of a livelihood and the feeling of being respected. Gang members often cover themselves in tattoos, which are earned through respect and brutality.

As many adolescents are recruited, Maras groups are often referred to as “youth gangs.” Anyone who thinks they are less harmful because of their age has another thing coming. The average age of the gang members is low because their life expectancy is proportionately lower.

Lucrative truce

For years, the gangs fought bloody turf wars. In 2012, Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 agreed to a truce. Homicide figures dropped from over 4,000 in the previous two years to 2,500 in 2012 and 2013. The ceasefire has been maintained because it is more profitable when each Mara can call the shots on its own turf in apparent peace.

 

 

But now, the killing is on the rise again: the death toll reached over 3,900 in 2014. If the current daily murder rate stays at 16 homicides per day, then last year’s total will be surpassed by the end of August 2015.

The spiral of violence

Ever since the gang truce was established, the victims of gang activities have been mainly civilians. But the gangs are now fighting each other again. According to El Salvador’s defense minister, David Munguia Payes, 85 percent of last weeks’ victims belonged to gangs.

Furthermore, the feud between the police and gangs has exacerbated: in January 2015, seven officers were killed in two weeks. According to sources in MS-13 circles, these were apparently acts of revenge for police tyranny. The police, for their part, swiftly announced that it would crack down on gang activities.

Organized crime in North and South America is continuing to spiral out of control and resulting in more violence and more deaths. They say, “The retaliatory nature together with the rhetoric is telling.” But this is nothing new, either is the escalation of government corruption.

This evokes reminders of the past: Salvadoran presidents have often stated that they would strike back hard. The gangs have always responded brutally to such declarations: in 2009, for instance, during the rule of former president Antonia Saca, known as “Super Mano Dura” (Super Hard Hand) the homicide rate rose to a historic high of 4,367 killings. This record may just well be broken this year.

Government making efforts

It is obvious that the government is taking the route of confrontation. Several months ago, a business association invited former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani to El Salvador to advise the country on security issues. During the Giuliani administration, the crime rate in New York went down drastically. Giuliani practiced a no-tolerance policy against offenders and he has recommended the Salvadoran government do the same.

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Classifying Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 as terrorist organizations might demonstrate that the government is probably following the former New York City mayor’s advice and considering deploying the military, although there is little evidence to prove that military measures will reduce the violence. It might mirror what the results we’ve seen with the Cartels in Mexico. Doubts have arisen about the feasibility of Giuliani’s tactics in Central America, where officers are paid much less than in the US and, accordingly, tend to give in to corruption.

It is most likely that the first rehabilitation program for gang members in the history of the country may be established by the government as part of its anti-gang measures. The costs, however, could exceed the governments’ financial means. Approximately 700 police officers have been temporarily suspended for disobeying regulations. Another 200 were expelled from the force. A functioning police force would be the first step towards greater security. Positive changes could attract investors who can offer young people a better perspective than organized crime. Private sector certainly can be a solution.

Video Taping the Police – Know your Rights

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Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony arrest for videotaping police roughing up a suspect. Prior to the settlement, the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Glik had a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public.” The Boston Police Department now explicitly instructs its officers not to arrest citizens openly recording them in public.

Slowly but surely the courts are recognizing that recording on-duty police is a protected First Amendment activity. But in the meantime, police around the country continue to intimidate and arrest citizens for doing just that. So if you’re an aspiring cop watcher you must be uniquely prepared to deal with hostile cops.

If you choose to record the police you can reduce the risk of terrible legal consequences and video loss by understanding your state’s laws and carefully adhering to the following rules.

Rule #1: Know the Law (Wherever You Are)

Conceived at a time when pocket-sized recording devices were available only to James Bond types, most eavesdropping laws were originally intended to protect people against snoops, spies, and peeping Toms. Now with this technology in the hands of average citizens, police and prosecutors are abusing these outdated laws to punish citizens merely attempting to document on-duty police.

The law in 38 states plainly allows citizens to record police, as long as you don’t physically interfere with their work. Police might still unfairly harass you, detain you, or confiscate your camera. They might even arrest you for some catchall misdemeanor such as obstruction of justice or disorderly conduct. But you will not be charged for illegally recording police.

Twelve states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington—require the consent of all parties for you to record a conversation.

However, all but 2 of these states—Massachusetts and Illinois—have an “expectation of privacy provision” to their all-party laws that courts have ruled does not apply to on-duty police (or anyone in public). In other words, it’s technically legal in those 48 states to openly record on-duty police.

In most states it’s almost always illegal to record a conversation in which you’re not a party and don’t have consent to record. Massachusetts is the only state to uphold a conviction for recording on-duty police, but that conviction was for a secret recording where the defendant failed to inform police he was recording. (As in the Glik case, Massachusetts courts have ruled that openly recording police is legal, but secretly recording them isn’t.)

Fortunately, judges and juries are soundly rejecting these laws. Illinois, the state with the most notorious anti-recording laws in the land, expressly forbids you from recording on-duty police. Early last month an Illinois judge declared that law unconstitutional, ruling in favor of Chris Drew, a Chicago artist charged with felony eavesdropping for secretly recording his own arrest. Last August a jury acquitted Tiawanda Moore of secretly recording two Chicago Police Internal Affairs investigators who encouraged her to drop a sexual harassment complaint against another officer. (A juror described the case to a reporter as “a waste of time.”) In September, an Illinois state judge dropped felony charges against Michael Allison. After running afoul of local zoning ordinances, he faced up to 75 years in prison for secretly recording police and attempting to tape his own trial.

The lesson for you is this: If you want to limit your legal exposure and present a strong legal case, record police openly if possible. But if you videotape on-duty police from a distance, such an announcement might not be possible or appropriate unless police approach you.

When it comes to police encounters, you don’t get to choose whom you’re dealing with. You might get Officer Friendly, or you might get Officer Psycho. You’ll likely get officers between these extremes. But when you “watch the watchmen,” you must be ready to think on your feet.

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In most circumstances, officers will not immediately bull rush you for filming them. But if they aren’t properly trained, they might feel like their authority is being challenged. And all too often police are simply ignorant of the law. Part of your task will be to convince them that you’re not a threat while also standing your ground.

“What are you doing?”

Police aren’t celebrities, so they’re not always used to being photographed in public. So even if you’re recording at a safe distance, they might approach and ask what you are doing. Avoid saying things like “I’m recording you to make sure you’re doing your job right” or “I don’t trust you.”

Instead, say something like “Officer, I’m not interfering. I’m asserting my First Amendment rights. You’re being documented and recorded offsite.”

Saying this while remaining calm and cool will likely put police on their best behavior. They might follow-up by asking, “Who do you work for?” You may, for example, tell them you’re an independent filmmaker or a citizen journalist with a popular website/blog/YouTube show. Whatever you say, don’t lie—but don’t let police trick you into thinking that the First Amendment only applies to mainstream media journalists. It doesn’t.

“Let me see your ID.”

In the United States there’s no law requiring you to carry a government ID. But in 24 states police may require you to identify yourself if they have reasonable suspicion that you’re involved in criminal activity.

But how can you tell if an officer asking for ID has reasonable suspicion? Police need reasonable suspicion to detain you, so one way to tell if they have reasonable suspicion is to determine if you’re free to go. You can do this by saying “Officer, are you detaining me, or am I free to go?”

If the officer says you’re free to go or you’re not being detained, it’s your choice whether to stay or go. But if you’re detained, you might say something like, “I’m not required to show you ID, but my name is [your full name].” It’s up to you if you want to provide your address and date of birth if asked for it, but I’d stop short of giving them your Social Security number.

“Please stop recording me. It’s against the law.”

Rarely is it advisable to educate officers about the law. But in a tense recording situation where the law is clearly on your side, it might help your case to politely present your knowledge of state law.

For example, if an insecure cop tries to tell you that you’re violating his civil liberties, you might respond by saying “Officer, with all due respect, state law only requires permission from one party in a conversation. I don’t need your permission to record so long as I’m not interfering with your work.”

If you live in one of the 12 all party record states, you might say something like “Officer, I’m familiar with the law, but the courts have ruled that it doesn’t apply to recording on-duty police.”

If protective service officers harass you while filming on federal property, you may remind them of a recently issued directive informing them that there’s no prohibition against public photography at federal buildings.

“Stand back.”

If you’re approaching the scene of an investigation or an accident, police will likely order you to move back. Depending on the circumstances, you might become involved in an intense negotiation to determine the “appropriate” distance you need to stand back to avoid “interfering” with their work.

If you feel you’re already standing at a reasonable distance, you may say something like, “Officer, I have a right to be here. I’m filming for documentation purposes and not interfering with your work.” It’s then up to you to decide how far back you’re willing to stand to avoid arrest.

If you capture video of police misconduct or brutality, but otherwise avoid being identified yourself, you can anonymously upload it to YouTube. This seems to be the safest legal option. For example, a Massachusets who videotaped a cop beating a motorist with a flashlight posted the video to the Internet. Afterwards, one of the cops caught at the scene filed criminal wiretapping charges against her. (As usual, the charges against her were later dropped.)

On the other hand, an anonymous videographer uploaded footage of an NYPD officer body-slamming a man on a bicycle to YouTube. Although the videographer was never revealed, the video went viral. Consequently, the manufactured assault charges against the bicyclist were dropped, the officer was fired, and the bicyclist eventually sued the city and won a $65,000 settlement.

Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.

However, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. The ACLU, photographer’s groups, and others have been complaining about such incidents for years — and consistently winning in court. Yet, a continuing stream of incidents of illegal harassment of photographers and videographers makes it clear that the problem is not going away. In the spring of 2011 alone, the list of incidents included these cases:

Photography as a Precursor to Terrorism

A big part of the problem here is “suspicious activity reporting” — the construction of a national system for the collection and distribution of information. Under this system, law enforcement leaders at the federal, state and local level push officers on the ground to investigate and report a broad spectrum of legitimate, everyday activity as potentially “suspicious” — including photography. In fact, many such programs actually suggest that photography is a “precursor behavior” to terrorism, and direct the police to react accordingly. This notion has been dismissed as “nonsense” by security experts — but appears to be disturbingly robust.

A serious question for photographers and videographers who are harassed is whether they are being entered in government suspicious activity databases or watch lists, and whether and how such a listing might come back to haunt them.

Another disturbing trend is police officers and prosecutors using wiretapping statutes in certain states (such as Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) to arrest and prosecute those who attempt to record police activities using video cameras that include audio. (Unlike photography and silent video, there is no general right to record audio; many state wiretap laws prohibit recording conversations if the parties have a reasonable expectation of privacy — which is never true for a police officer carrying out his or her duties in public.)

Word appears to have circulated within law enforcement circles somehow that using wiretapping statutes is a strategy for preventing public oversight, with some taking the concept to ridiculous.

Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply.

When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs. If you disobey the property owner’s rules, they can order you off the property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).

Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant. The Supreme Court has ruled that police may not search your cell phone when they arrest you, unless they get a warrant. Although the court did not specifically rule on whether law enforcement may search other electronic devices such as a standalone camera, the constitution broadly prevents warrantless searches of your digital data. It is possible that courts may approve the temporary warrantless seizure of a camera in certain extreme “exigent” circumstances such as where necessary to save a life, or where police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that doing so is necessary to prevent the destruction of evidence of a crime while they seek a warrant.

Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances. Officers have faced felony charges of evidence tampering as well as obstruction and theft for taking a photographer’s memory card.

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Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. Professional officers, however, realize that such operations are subject to public scrutiny, including citizens photocopying them.

Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws. For example, if you are trespassing to take photographs, you may still be charged with such.

  • Police should not order you to stop taking pictures or video. Under no circumstances should they demand that you delete your photographs or video.
  • Police officers may order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. In general, a court will trust an officer’s judgment about what is “interfering” more than yours. So if an officer orders you to stand back, do so.
  • If the officer says he/she will arrest you if you continue to use your camera, in most circumstances it is better to put the camera away rather than risking arrest.
  • Police officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video or search the contents of your cell phone without a warrant. In addition, it is possible that courts may approve the seizure of a camera in some circumstances if police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that it contains evidence of a crime by someone other than the police themselves. There is a June 2014 US Supreme Court decision in Riley v. California, in which the court held that police need a warrant to search a cell phone.

If you are stopped or detained for taking photographs:

  • Always remain polite and never physically resist an officer
  • If stopped for photography, the right question to ask is, “am I free to go?” If the officer says no, then you are being detained, something that under the law an officer cannot do without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so. Until you ask to leave, your being stopped is considered voluntary under the law and is legal.
  • If you are detained, politely ask what crime you are suspected of committing, and remind the officer that taking photographs is your right under the First Amendment and does not constitute reasonable suspicion of criminal activity

With regards to videotaping, there is an important legal distinction between a visual photographic record (fully protected) and the audio portion of a videotape, which some states have tried to regulate under state wiretapping laws.

  • Such laws are generally intended to accomplish the important privacy-protecting goal of prohibiting audio “bugging” of private conversations. However, in nearly all cases audio recording the police is legal.
  • In states that allow recording with the consent of just one party to the conversation, you can tape your own interactions with officers without violating wiretap statutes (since you are one of the parties).
  • In situations where you are an observer to a conversation must consent to taping, the legality of taping will depend on whether the state’s prohibition on taping applies only when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. But no state court had held that police officers performing their job in public have a reasonable expectation.
  • This author believes that laws that ban the taping of public officials public statements without their consent violate the First Amendment.

A number of states do bar people from recording private conversations without consent. But as long as the recording is made “openly and not surreptitiously,”  it’s fair game “assuming the position of holding up a camera or phone at arm’s length while looking at the viewing screen should be enough to put someone on notice that they are being photographed or recorded.”

Several high-profile court cases have taken up the issue, and in each case, the judge has either struck down the law or ruled that the police can’t reasonably expect privacy while out in public. In March, for example, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the state’s eavesdropping law constitutional, saying the law criminalized the recording of conversations “that cannot be deemed private.”

So why do so many police officers still act like filming them is a crime?

“Probably because they haven’t been trained otherwise,” said Osterreicher. “I think that there are many officers that believe that the minute they tell somebody to do or not do something, that’s an order. But police can only order somebody to do or not do something based on the law, and there is no law that says you cannot record or photograph out in public.”

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.

Murder by Stockton Police Department

Last July 16th three men walked into a Bank of the West Branch in Stockton California , tied up a security guard and robbed a vault at gunpoint. The men then took three women hostage including the bank’s manager.

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What unfolded next was a police chase by 34 officers for an hour who had full knowledge that that one of the women left after two escaped was being used a a human shield by the bank robbers.

One of the robbers saw an officer outside the bank and went back inside. The robber and his two accomplices then emerged with three hostages, including Holt-Singh. They stole a bank employee’s car and drove off.

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Over the next hour, officers with the California Highway Patrol and Stockton police (by 34 officers) gave chase across three counties. Two hostages were wounded and ejected from the vehicle but Holt-Singh stayed until the chase reached its violent conclusion.

Stockton police fired more than 600 rounds at the car during the chase and struck Holt-Singh 10 times. All ten rounds fired at Singh that killed her came from rounds from the police. Authorities even stated that that Holt-Singh was used as a human shield during the ensuing shootout, which left two of the three bank robbers also dead. 

The department’s protocol requires only two or three cars to give chase and that officers are supposed to go into bank robbery situations “with stealth” so the robbers aren’t alerted and take hostages but officers confronted the robbers immediately after they exited the bank and a slew of cars gave chase when they fled.

It was the exact conduct these policies and procedures are made to prevent. It created a hostage situation. In California and elsewhere, there is POST. Police Officers Standards and Training. For guidelines for deadly force and pursuits

34 officers discharged their weapons. The Police Chief of Stockton in a press conference flatly stated “The city has refused to accept responsibility for their actions…”that he would not take any responsibility nor accountability to the events.

Nevertheless, he defended the officers’ actions that day. He said it was already a hostage situation when the first officers were spotted by the robbers, “who were intent on violence, firing hundreds of rounds from automatic weapons and showing every potential for taking their rampage to any number of locations.”

Another bank employee was also shot, Kelly Huber, an employee at the bank.

Huber said than an officer negligently interrupted the bank robbery and caused the subsequent kidnapping and shooting. Police weren’t prepared to contain the robbers before confronting them and didn’t wait until she and the other two hostages were free before trying to capture the suspects, which only made the situation more dangerous, Huber said. Huber was shot in both legs and broke a bone in the incident.

The police has options during a pursuit, ramming or what is known as a pit maneuver, spike strips, road blocks or blowing out a tire or two to slow down the pursuit.  As per POST training and my training, you do not need a sea of vehicles to conduct a vehicle pursuit while there is air support.

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Aircraft Rules; Departments have or should have specific rules governing departmental aircraft in pursuit.

These identical rules, which follow:

When an aircraft is available to assist and has advised ground officers that the suspect vehicle is in view, the following guidelines will be used:

  • Officers in primary vehicles will turn off their emergency lights and slow to a safe operating speed.
  • The aircraft will continue to advise of the suspect vehicle’s location and approximate speed.
  • Support units should attempt to be in a position to apprehend the suspect when the suspect vehicle stops.
  • The aircraft will maintain a safe height to allow the operator to observe the suspect vehicle.

When the officer making this pursuit has knowledge that a hostage is in the vehicle in pursuit, they must take any reasonable methods not to harm the hostage or the general public during that pursuit especially with full knowledge that the perps was using that hostage was a human shield and had taken other hostages with them.

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It is the duty of the supervisory on duty to make that call. In that regard, that supervisor is directly responsible and the training of these officers was not met.  Once there is air support, you must terminate that pursuit. Plain and simple.  Once the robbers think they are longer being pursued, they will lower their speed and get to the planned location and the police will have full knowledge and then move in.  No one has an unlimited supply of gasoline.

At that time, a carefully and orchestrated tactical apprehension could be made with limited or no casualties to the assailants, hostage or officers.

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?

The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments  

Do you remember the ‘Posse Comitatus Act’ in 1878. “The purpose of the act… (was) to limit the powers of the Federal government in using its military personnel to enforce the state laws“

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law enacted by Rutherford B Hayes in which the purpose of the act is to limit the powers of the federal government is using its military personnel to enforce state laws. They set as a priority legislation to prohibit any future President or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any U.S. state.

Since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, therefore, the U.S. government has been constrained overall in the use of military force domestically in any of the U.S. states.

This constraint, though, has never been the case in U.S. international policies and, therefore, the U.S. has engaged in militarizing the domestic arenas of other countries that fall under U.S. areas of interest (such as the Philippines, South American countries, the Middle East, etc.).

Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) is a “Policing/Militarization of the U.S. Empire”

What is “Low-Intensity Conflict”? There are seemingly many definitions of the term. Regarding the impact of the U.S., however, I refer to it as “low-intensity” only for the U.S. military. In other words, the U.S. military does not get its hands dirty nor is it violently impacted but instead trains others for this insidious work. This is in contrast to those who are the recipients of it.

“Low Intensity Conflict” is simultaneously “high intensity” for those outside the U.S. who are victims of these U.S. international LIC policies. These victims are often under intimidating surveillance, sometimes suffer or are killed by summary execution, torture, displacement etc. by military or police in their own country who are trained philosophically and militarily by the U.S. In other words, it is a method employed to “police/militarize” the U.S. political and economic interests. This could also be referred to as war capitalism.

When militarizing the domestic arena of its areas of influence in the world, it pays no attention to its own domestic laws that do not easily allow for this militarization in its own domestic sphere.

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So instead of the United States military goes into about 70 countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Argentina, etc. to train troops from these countries which is to serve the interests of the United States and the friendly elite of these countries. Again, it is a “policing” or “militarization” of countries in what the United States considers its empire of interests. The reality is, these countries are not friendly nor allies of the U.S. Once trained and given military grade weapons, they are later used against our own troops.

As with the international structural adjustment policies that are now being implemented in the United States, as mentioned above, I have always assumed that the U.S. would also want to implement the LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) strategies or increased domestic militarization in the U.S. as well. The Posse-Comitatus Act has invariably prevented this from happening to any significant degree. One way around this, as in by not being able to send in the federal troops to cities and states, is to militarize the local police forces and this is happening to a significant degree in the United States.

As the ACLU has reported:

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

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Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.

cop-soldiersThe “war on terror” has come home–and it’s wreaking havoc on innocent American lives. The culprit is the militarization of the police….

A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzo reported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”  The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what look like invading forces from an army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.

According to Alex Kane’s “11 shocking facts about the militarization of the U.S. police” are:

  1. It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people.
  2. Children are impacted.
  3. The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.
  4. The “war on terror” is fueling militarization.
  5. It’s a boom to contractor profits.
  6. Border militarization and police militarization go hand in hand.
  7. Police are cracking down on dissent.
  8. Asset forfeitures are funding police militarization.
  9. Dubious informants are used for raids.
  10. There’s been little debate and oversight.
  11. Communities of color bear the brunt.

There is a rampant and systematic abuses by police to beat and kill innocent unarmed American citizens. Police officers excessive use of force is observed on a daily basis in the United States in direct view of the public.These are barbaric and savage crimes. It is also corruption by the very judicial system that is also established to protect us by failing to prosecute these officers for obvious crimes.

This is collusion in that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn,undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.We know that law enforcement and prosecutors are married at the hip. Therefore when law enforcement commit the assaults and murder are generally never charged. In turn, from their respective departments suspended from duty nor disposed from duty. Most of their actions are legitimized by their departments and swept under the carpet of the code of silence.

Some of these abuses and murder of citizens are carried out when the oppressed is in custody and restrained with handcuffs. There is anywhere from 4-16 officers on hand to control one individual who is at times begging for their lives. Some never get the chance as they are killed within a minute.

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There should be no escalation of lethal force with anyone that is not carrying any weapon and can be controlled with ANY non-lethal weapon.  If not, the police academy do not have proper standards and training. The golden rule is to use one more ounce of force that is used against you. If you cannot accomplish this and control any given situation, you should not be an officer of the law that is sworn “to protect and serve”. The problem initiates with the foundation of training. However, any citizen that endeavors to become an officer of the law needs to have rigorous psychological assessments before moving ahead with training and re-evaluated on a steady basis.

Scott Bernstein  – International Tactical Law Enforcement & Military Trainer. ‘Global Security International|Bounty Hunter Training Academy’

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.

VIGILANTE

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!