When Heroes Have Nothing Better To Do

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Which is pretty much all the time…

When a mafia controls the systems of daily life though a monopoly of “lawful” force and coercion, a man can be jailed for voluntarily agreeing to do work for someone else, just because the local mafia didn’t get their cut. If it seems to you that police are not mobsters, and this man is a criminal, then please click here.

From the cameraman:

It all started about a month ago. I was sweeping up some dust and debris in the back bedroom of an apartment when I heard someone let themselves in the front door. I walked out, and a man said “I’m Marcus with the City of Bowling Green Business Licensing Division. Are you doing some work in here?”

I responded, “I don’t answer questions without my attorney present, and this is private property, so I’m going to have to ask you to leave unless you have a warrant.”

He asked a few more times, and I told him again that I don’t answer questions. Then he asked if my boss was around. I told him I don’t answer questions. He kept asking questions along those same lines, and I ignored him as I politely ushered him back out the door. I locked up, and as I was getting in my vehicle to leave, I heard him say to his supervisor on the phone “well I can’t cite him if he doesn’t identify himself…”.

Since that encounter, the City of Bowling Green, and the Warren County Licensing Board have shown up at a few other job sites, asking me questions which I refuse to answer. On Monday, October 24th, they showed up again. After refusing to answer his questions, and ignoring his demands to stop working, he called his supervisor. He again said “I can’t fine him if he doesn’t identify himself…” and then to me “Sir, she says you have to stop working.” I asked who said that, and he said his supervisor, and I said “I don’t work for her,” and kept doing what I was doing. After that, he called the police. I was just about finished, and by the time I was packed up, the police had still not arrived, so I left, seeing as there was no legal reason for me to wait.

The next morning, as I was heading down the driveway of an apartment building, a police squad car pulled into the driveway, blocking my egress and waved me down. I set the vehicle in park, and started video recording. The officers stated that they were there to “investigate” a possible unlicensed contractor.

At this point, the stop is illegal. The police can’t stop me for a civil infraction, and under Kentucky law, operating without a contractor’s license is a civil matter. After they realized that they had no grounds to stop me, they switched their reason, and said they stopped me for not wearing my seatbelt. I was still in the driveway, on private property, and was in the process of putting on my seatbelt when they blocked me. The officer saw me dragging it across my body as they pulled in front of me. At this point I knew I was being full on harassed, and decided that a month of harassment was enough. If they wanted me, they were going to have to take me to jail.
The whole interaction was caught on video, and the majority of it was streamed live to Facebook.

After the arrest, I was taken to the Warren County Jail. Once there, I asserted my right to remain silent, and refused to answer any questions without legal counsel. I also refused the medical screening. They said they could not “book” me until I had been medically cleared, so they loaded me up and took me to the hospital. There, several nurses, and a doctor, attempted to ask me questions, which I again refused to answer.

One nurse asked for my insurance information, and I told her that I don’t answer questions without my attorney. She said that if I didn’t give them my insurance info, they would bill me personally for the visit, and I said I am here against my will, they have no right to bill me, and that I will not answer any questions without an attorney. The doctor tried to check my pulse and blood pressure, and I pulled away, and said “Please don’t touch me, please don’t touch me, please don’t touch me…” He kept trying to touch me, and I dropped to the floor and rolled away from him so he could not take my pulse. At that point, the officers made the first “overt” threat of violence and said that if I did not let the doctor take my vitals, they would physically restrain me, and warned me not to resist. At that point I complied, although I did talk, and cough, and flail about, attempting to render the doctors efforts useless, but they apparently got me “medically cleared” enough to take me back to the jail for booking.

Back at the jail, I again refused to answer questions. After a while, they decided it was time for “enhanced interrogation techniques”… They strapped me in a “restraint chair” for four hours, refusing to let me use the restroom. The chair was very uncomfortable, and the restraints were very tight. I checked my capillary refill a couple times, and near the end of the four hours, my hands were getting swollen, my legs had fallen asleep, and my capillary refill in my left hand was down to about four seconds (1-2 seconds is normal/healthy). After 4 hours, I could no longer hold my bladder anymore, and was told that my choices were piss myself or answer questions… I chose the latter. Under duress, I answered their questions, and afterward, was allowed to use the restroom. When they unstrapped me from the chair, they warned me not to move until the feeling returned to my legs, indicating that they knew what this chair was designed to do…

I used the restroom, called my wife to post the bond, finished the booking process (pictures and fingerprints), signed for my property, and left. After I got home, I realized that the cash from my wallet ($16.82 according to the property receipt) was missing. Too late, since I had already signed for my property, but it definitely added insult to injury…

At the end of the day I was charged with no seatbelt and license not in possession.

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  1. I never had an arrest like that. It would be easier I’d hope to keep your wits. OTOH, it’s easy to be a MF(according to the poleez)when they come in helicopters and ground troops cause they’ve watched you for a year and you never “went to work”. But day trading stocks isn’t like you need to get up and go somewhere every morning. It’s more like you need to get up and get all your shit together well before trading starts and you have to nut up or shut up. It’s an every day thing and takes 20 hours of every day so you’re not really ready for the army to attack when you’re just starting the day.

    This guy was intimidated, rightly so, since they can put you in extreme situations and make you think(illegally, by not letting anyone contact you nor you anyone else)you might not survive what they have in store for you. It’s easy to criticize if you’ve never been there.

  2. Since I can’t post a link to gritsforbreakfast and it was such a good article today I’ll just paste it.

    Police pension bailouts, dreaming of Oklahoma, and other nightmarish scenarios on Halloween
    A few things, while I’ve got you:

    Lab delays spur boost in Nueces Co. personal bond use
    In Corpus Christi, prosecutors have enacted a standardized policy of offering personal bonds to defendants charged in synthetic marijuana cases, mainly because of crime lab delays. The most likely reason for the shift: “The time it takes to get test results on the substances has been longer than the maximum allowed sentences. Possessing synthetic marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Test results from the Department of Public Safety labs have been taking about nine months to a year to get back.” They should keep close track of outcomes with these defendants, it will create a natural experiment to compare them with defendants convicted before they changed the policy.

    With the chairmen of the House Criminal Jurisprudence and Calendars Committees both residing in Nueces, perhaps this news will place more pressure on the Lege to either adequately fund crime labs or adjust sentences to reduce pressure on them. Honestly, the whole crime lab system – at DPS and otherwise – is at the breaking point. Numerous disciplines have come under attack as fundamentally non-scientific, and even disciplines like toxicology with a more sound scientific basis are overwhelmed by volume and undercut by attempts to perform them on the cheap, as evidenced by the following item.

    News flash: Bad field tests cause false drug convictions (and not just in Houston)
    ProPublica has a great piece on the use of scientifically flawed “field tests” for drugs used in Las Vegas, NV, following up on important NY Times coverage earlier this year of the use of the same type of $2 tests in Houston. Both are must-read pieces of journalism for anyone interested in the topic. In Houston, this topic plays directly into debates in the DA’s race over racial disparities in drug enforcement, as 59 percent of defendants falsely accused and convicted based on false positive from cheap field tests were black. They also pump up the state’s “exoneration” numbers, ensuring that Texas will lead the nation in disproven false convictions for years to come just based on what’s come out of Houston alone. The thing is, we know that EVERYONE who uses these field tests likely accuse innocent people, not just those in Houston or Vegas. These stories show us the tip of a much larger iceberg.

    Requests for police pension bailouts pit cops vs. anti-tax conservatives
    Increasingly it’s clear that police pensions are a latent but fully primed flash point between anti-taxation Republicans in the Legislature, more liberal city councils, and local police unions. In Dallas, the pension us oversubscribed with too-generous benefits, has engaged in a series of flawed, risky real estate deals, and is losing money hand over fist. The fund in Houston isn’t much better. In those and ten other Texas cities, local control of police and fire pensions has been wrested away by the Legislature and vested into independent bodies on which cities have a voice but unions (and the Lege) have ultimate control. Lately, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s Josh McGee has been pounding away at the fundamental fiscal insolvency of these funds, mos recently in this excellent short report written with Paulina Diaz on the Dallas police and firefighters’ pension. Their bottom line assessment of the crisis in Dallas: “The city’s public pension debt has doubled in less than two years due to inadequate funding, irresponsible benefit enhancements, and poor investment decisions. The total unfunded liability is now at least $4 billion—and the plans do not have enough money to pay for nearly half of the retirement benefits workers have already earned.”

    All these pension funds want bailouts either from local or state taxpayers, putting the police and firefighters unions directly in conflict with low-or-no-tax conservatives around the state, not just in the Tea Party wing of the GOP but also among establishment Chamber of Commerce types who abhor large tax hikes. Police and firefighters are among the last employees who receive defined benefit pensions instead of defined contributions (typically in 401ks) like most everybody else. They’ll claim the sky will fall if that’s changed, but the truth is, as the Arnold Foundation report ably demonstrates, the sky will fall if nothing changes. MORE: The Texas Public Policy Foundation is holding an event on public employee pensions in Austin next week.

    Dreaming of Oklahoma, and other unlikely scenarios
    Grits never thought the day would come when I could write this, but part of me is a little envious of Oklahoma, or I should say Oklahoma reformers. They’ve put drug sentencing reductions on the ballot and therefore can have a conversation about the idea’s merits directly with the voters instead of filtering reform through the legislative process, with the resulting compromises, delays and special-interest interventions that inevitably entails. OTOH, Grits was doing this work in the ’90s, so I can remember an era when I was quite grateful Texas didn’t have initiative and referendum. The tough-on-crime crowd could and would have proposed, and voters would likely have passed, much worse stuff, even, than actually got through, except in a venue where opponents have had no way to oppose, modify, counter or coopt the details of the proposals.

    So while the prospect of ballot initiatives is tempting – and while part of me wishes we could similarly test Texas voters’ views on criminal justice reform more directly than just polling, which generally shows support for the main reforms presently on the table, but whose results haven’t been tested by the gauntlet of special-interest attacks which face a ballot initiative of this sort – I’m still glad Texas doesn’t have initiative and referendum and would oppose it here if it were seriously suggested. If I were in Oklahoma, though, right about now I’d be busting my hump to help Questions 780 and 781 pass. Good luck to them.

    Piling on CCA CoreCivic
    In response to federal prison contracts being rescinded and surprisingly successful divestment campaigns aimed at reducing their capital, Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison operator, has rebranded and renamed itself as CoreCivic. According to this source, “Last month, CCA fired 12 percent of its corporate workforce to deal with sharply dropping investment—largely thanks to growing pressure campaigns to divest from private prisons.” Here’s the company’s press release. Not to pile on, but I should mention several of the private prison facilities Grits has argued should be prioritized for closure by the Texas Legislature in 2017 are CCA CoreCivic units.

  3. Eric,

    Piss poor example.

    There are rules! This guy violated the rules!

    Rule number one, don’t talk to the police. Nothing good can happen.

    Rule number two, don’t make eye contact. This is a sign of aggression.

    Rule number three, due not deviate from rule number one and/or rule number two.

    Eric I think a better title for this one would be, “How to go to jail.”


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