In the video recorded by John Houghtaling, the trooper — identified as Officer Rosenblatt — walks up to the car and immediately holds his hand up to block the view of his face from the camera.
“Put the phone down,” The trooper tells Houghtaling, who asks the officer “why?” adding, “Am I not allowed to record, officer?”
After asking the trooper for his badge number, Houghtaling asks, “Am I being detained?”
The officer claims he stopped the car for a traffic violation and requests Houghtailing’s license and registration, before once again complaining about being filmed and threatening Houghtaling.
“How about if I see you post this on Youtube, I’ll find a way for the D.A.s office to arrest you,” asks the trooper.
“Is it illegal to record police officers?” Houghtaling replies.
“When I tell you to put the phone down and you disregard what I’m telling you, yes, it is,” said Rosenblatt.
Respect my authority. Or else. That’s authoritarian thinking in action. Such thinking seeps into the minds of people everywhere. When it crops up in law enforcement officials, the results can range from unfortunate to deadly.
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A Seattle pastor, Reverend John Michael Helmiere, who was brutally beaten during a protest, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging his First Amendment rights were violated, that he was subjected to excessive force, and that he was subjected to a wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.
The lawsuit stems from an incident during a protest outside of Harbor Island pier in December of 2011. Helmiere, a United Methodist pastor who leads Valley & Mountain Fellowship in Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood, was dragged from the crowd by cops during the protest, then thrown to the ground and viciously assaulted by an officer, leaving him bloodied, with cuts and bruises on his face.
Helmiere, a Yale Divinity School graduate, believes his constitutional rights were violated, and filed the federal suit in hopes of changing the way Seattle cops treat the public they are alleged to serve.
On the evening in question, roughly 300 to 400 demonstrators were gathered outside of Terminal 18 to take part in an act of civil disobedience, with the intention of blocking traffic and temporarily closing the port.
Helmiere was in attendance as a chaplain and was wearing his clerical collar, while calling for peaceful action, as bicycle police began to clash with protestors. The cops began using their bicycles to shove people back as they attempted to clear the street, at which point an officer grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground, according to Helmiere.
After being thrown to the ground, the officer then began to beat Helmiere, punching him repeatedly in the face. The attack left the pastor bloodied, as the beating split his forehead open and left numerous bruises as a reminder of his victimization at the hands of Seattle’s finest.
In typical cop fashion, police claim Helmiere was ordered by officers to “get out of the street” and upon refusal to comply was arrested for suspicion of obstructing justice. He was then held overnight and charged with pedestrian interference and obstruction, both of which were dismissed in August 2013.
In the federal court filings however, attorneys representing Helmiere – Kenan Isitt, Christopher Carney and Sean Gillespie – contend that officers lied about the events that transpired regarding Helmiere’s arrest to cover for their brutal actions.
In a blog post shortly after the incident, the pastor spoke about the incident:
“An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt. Between my cries of pain and shouts of “I’m a man of peace!” he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground. With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side of my face for long enough that I had time to pray that the crunching sounds I heard were not damaging my brain. I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my face and clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, “I’m a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe another world is possible.” He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery.”
* * * *
In a case of Police Behaving Badly meets Irresponsible Gun Owner, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in Palm Beach, FL shot and killed his 21-year-old son on Christmas Eve:
According to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times‘ Pulp blog, Khamis Shatara was shot and killed by his father, a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputy, in a dispute that took place on Wednesday.
The deputy’s name is Shatara K. Shatara, who has been with the sheriff’s department since 2006.
Khamis Shatara was a criminal justice major at Palm Beach State College and a staunch supporter of the police. He intended to enroll in the police force after graduation to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Police were called to the apartment complex shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday. When they arrived they found Deputy Shatara and his son, who was dead of a single gunshot wound.
There are minimal details at the moment, but it appears the shooting occurred over some type of dispute. Once again, the presence of a gun in a household has led to a tragedy. And once again, someone turns to a gun to resolve a conflict.
* * * *
It’s not your imagination: the New York Police Department has been planing evidence and framing innocent people all in order to meet arrest quotes.
This comes as an a former New York City narcotics detective, Stephen Anderson, testified in court that the NYPD routinely plants drugs on innocent people. He described this as a “common practice,” a “quick and easy” way for officers to reach arrest quotas.
The practice is known among NYPD cops as “flaking.”
Anderson was busted, along with four other officers, “flaking” four men in Queens back in 2008. He has cooperated with prosecutors, and is admitting that far from a few “bad apples,” this is the modus operandi of the NYPD.
“It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” Anderson testified.
“It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”
The NYPD arrested over 50,000 people last year for low-level marijuana offenses.
As it turns out 86% of them are African American and Latino.
* * * *
A woman in a wheelchair was threatened at Wednesday’s Beavercreek protest, at the mall across the street from where John Crawford was gunned down.
She tells us that she was physically shoved while in her wheelchair, by officers. That’s when she decided to start recording the police.
Suddenly, officers got just a little bit more polite, but not much more…
Her husband was threatened by an aggressive Beavercreek police officer who didn’t think they were moving to their vehicle quickly enough. They pointed out that the mall had not been closed, and that they had been there to go to other stores as well as to show support for John Crawford. There was nothing illegal about their being there as shoppers.
A statement from the woman, Christine Wade, is as follows:
I was there to shop but help protest for the human rights we all was there doing what was right for the victims of police brutality when the officers came in to force everyone out the door we all started moving in single file line I started rolling as I waited for my husband to push me when the officer came to me asked me to move I said I am he touched me I warned him not to touch me and pushed me in my back as I was trying to move out my husband had to argue with the officers to get me out he wasn’t there to protest but make sure nothing happens to me.
He got me outside out of the way of the crowed sitting there taken video footage on how the police was being rude a demanding my husband was simply standing off the side and a officer order him to leave with me as we walked we saw a man being drug by his back for no reason
The mall had not prevented them from this, nor banned them from their property. One African American officer finally admitted that they were in fact allowed to reenter through another door. Other officers continued to perpetuate the lie that the mall had instructed them to force “everyone” off of this “private property.”
But that simply was not a true reflection of what the mall said. The mall only authorized arrest for people who were blocking shoppers, stores or entrances. There was no order to arrest people in the parking lot, nor if they reentered to go shopping. The police made this up and decided to enforce their own fabricated laws. That makes every arrest that took place in the park lot, a false arrest and a crime committed by the Beavercreek Police Department. But this wouldn’t be the first time that police officers demonstrated their embarrassing ignorance of the law