Are Police Inherently Less Competent Than Citizens?

Qualified immunity says some people should be held to a lower legal standard than everyone else under Anglo-American common law, mostly government officials in their formal duties—but also stock holders for decisions made by their companies. The idea behind it is that stockholders and government officials generally don’t have management control over policy decisions and usually shouldn’t be held responsible for those general policies.

Qualified immunity for police is fundamentally different. It says that police aren’t responsible enough to be held to the high legal standard which we hold other citizen-amateurs in the exact same situations.

Consider the duel case of a police officer and a citizen with a concealed-carry license coming upon a woman being raped in an alley. Qualified immunity holds the police officer to a lower legal standard than the citizen in any intervention to stop the ongoing rape.

The argument for granting police qualified immunity from criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits is that they have to face deadly situations often, sometimes on a daily basis, whereas other citizens may only face the same split-second, life-threatening decision once or twice in a lifetime.

I’ve always found this to be a strange argument. Why is it that the more experience they have, the less competent a policeman becomes? In what other profession does a person become less competent as they gain more experience? Do carpenters become less competent with experience? Engineers? Doctors? Politicians?

Okay, you’ve got me there on that last one.

But it seems only when dealing with government employees does someone in a profession become less efficient and less competent as they obtain more experience.

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Parents Of Christian Glass Getting $19 Million Settlement

The family of a man from Colorado who was shot and killed by a deputy last year will be awarded a $19 million settlement, marking the largest payout of its kind in the state’s history.

The incident occurred in Silver Plume on June 11 when 22-year-old Christian Glass, a resident of Boulder, contacted 911 for assistance after his SUV became stuck in a rock pile.

Based on body camera footage and an autopsy report provided by the family’s legal representatives, it was observed that Glass appeared to be holding a knife at the time of the shooting. Despite nearly 70 minutes of negotiations and requests, Glass refused to exit his Honda Pilot, resulting in him being shot five times.

On Tuesday, his parents, Sally and Simon Glass, reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Clear Creek County, the state of Colorado, the city of Georgetown, and the town of Idaho Springs.

This settlement represents the largest amount awarded for a police-related killing in the history of Colorado. As part of the agreement, Clear Creek County has committed to establishing a public park in memory of Glass. Additionally, they will establish a dedicated crisis response team by January 1 of the following year. The state of Colorado will also implement changes in training for law enforcement agencies, which will include the development of a virtual reality scenario focused on de-escalation, designed to reflect the circumstances surrounding Christian Glass’s tragic death.

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NYPD reportedly stood by, failed to help Chinatown woman as homeless man stabbed her to death in her own home

In a recently filed lawsuit by the family of 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee, the Chinatown woman who was killed early in the morning on February 13, 2022 by a homeless man who followed her into her apartment, the victim’s family alleged that two NYPD officers heard her screams “for at least five minutes” and did nothing.

The New York Post reports that two unidentified cops dispatched out of the 5th Precinct responded to Lee’s 911 phone call, which she made while being attacked, and the cops responded within four minutes, “heard Ms. Lee screaming for help” but “failed to gain entry to Ms. Lee’s apartment until Ms. Lee had been stabbed more than 40 times by her attacker and succumbed to her injuries,” according to the lawsuit. 

According to the lawsuit, made against the city and the NYPD, the cops allegedly spoke to the killer “through the closed door of Ms. Lee’s apartment” and “Despite having reason to believe Ms. Lee’s life was in imminent danger, (the officers) failed to gain entry to Ms. Lee’s apartment or otherwise provide her with any potentially life-saving police or medical assistance at that time.”

The lawsuit, filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court, is seeking unspecified damages.

The victim’s aunt, Boksun Lee, said in the court filing that the cops did not enter her niece’s apartment until after she died.

Christina Yuna Lee, a digital producer originally from New Jersey, entered her Chrystie Street apartment around 4:20 am that morning and was allegedly followed by 25-year-old Assamad Nash, a homeless man out on bail for previous alleged violent crimes and who had been convicted of petty larceny and robbery. Nash has been charged with murder for Lee’s killing.

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Taxpayers Shell Out $400K After School Cops Beat the Hell Out of a Child Then Framed Him

Another chilling incident showcasing the deeply entrenched culture of abuse and deceit within the American law enforcement mixture with public education has come to light. Riverside County taxpayers were forced to make amends in the amount of $400,000 to Daniel Silvas, the father of a 13-year-old boy who was allegedly assaulted and falsely accused of resisting arrest by sheriff’s deputies in 2018.

The boy, a freshman at San Jacinto High School at the time of the incident, faced a harrowing ordeal on only his second day at school. It began when he was singled out by security officer Jesus Peraza under the pretense of a suspicion of impending trouble, a suspicion that attorney Jerry Steering, representing the boy, ties back to fights at the school the previous day.

The boy, aware of his innocence, chose to protest and walk away from the confrontation, a decision that triggered a chain of events culminating in an alleged assault and subsequent framing. The school’s resource deputy Derrick Bunn and the security officer followed him in what the lawsuit describes as an “intimidating” manner. The situation escalated when the boy asked the two to stop tailing him, leading to Deputy Bunn reportedly shoving the boy to the ground.

What followed was a spectacle of police brutality, with Bunn repeatedly screaming expletives at the minor while beating him. Not wanting to miss out on the sadistic beating of a child, Deputy Timothy Dunlap joined the fray. Despite video evidence that contradicted their claims, the deputies and Peraza maintained that the boy had taken a fighting stance and cursed at them.

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DHS Official Gets Life for Using His Federal Authority to Rape, Abuse, and Then Silence Women Victims

In a chilling example of a trusted government official abusing his power to carry out his depravity, a disgraced special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was sentenced to life in federal prison for sexually assaulting two women and leveraging his official position to prevent them from reporting his violent conduct. John Jacob Olivas, 48, of Riverside, California, was found guilty of three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and sentenced to life in prison this week.

It is worth noting that while HSI had individuals like Olivas in their ranks raping women and silencing them, Homeland Security was busy referring to people who questioned the COVID lockdowns as “domestic terrorists.” This disturbing irony highlights the immense power and authority that comes with law enforcement positions and their ability to demonize the innocent while hell unfolds within their ranks.

Olivas sought out a position of authority and used it to prey on women, violating their constitutional rights while abusing them sexually. According to victim testimony, he made it clear to his victims that the police would not be responsive to any report they made about him due to his status as a federal agent. He even threatened them with retaliation, such as making them “disappear,” having their children taken away, and getting them arrested on fake criminal charges.

One victim testified that Olivas tried to rape her “after making it clear to her that the police would not be responsive to any report she would make about Olivas because he was ‘above a cop,’ and ‘untouchable’ and ‘invisible’ to police” because of his federal position, the U.S. attorney’s office statement said.

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Video showed cop trying to stop his partner from killing a man. Police investigators never even asked about the footage.

In the spring of 2019, two New York City Police Department officers entered the Bronx apartment of Kawaski Trawick. The 32-year-old personal trainer and dancer had called 911 after locking himself out.

But 112 seconds after their arrival, footage showed, one of the officers shot and killed Trawick, despite the officer’s more-experienced partner repeatedly telling him not to use force.

When an internal investigation later cleared the officers — saying “no wrongdoing was found” — the NYPD offered no explanation for its reasoning. But records obtained by ProPublica can now reveal how the department came to that conclusion.

Investigators never explored key exchanges between the two officers in the run-up to the shooting. They also never followed up with the officers when their accounts contradicted the video evidence.

“Any conversation between you and your partner?” the head of the investigative unit asked Officer Herbert Davis hours after the shooting.

“No,” Davis answered.

That wasn’t true.

After arriving at Trawick’s apartment and finding him holding a stick and a bread knife, body-worn camera footage shows that Davis, who is Black, told his less-experienced white partner, Officer Brendan Thompson, not to use his Taser. “Don’t, don’t, don’t,” he said, motioning for Thompson to step back.

Thompson fired his Taser anyway, causing Trawick to become enraged, and Davis then tried to stop Thompson from shooting Trawick. “No, no, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t,” Davis said, before briefly pushing Thompson’s gun down.

The investigators had access to all that footage. They never asked either officer about it.

ProPublica obtained the NYPD’s full internal investigation, including audio of interviews with both officers, via a Freedom of Information Law request.

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Florida cop charged with using dead man’s credit card information to buy fast food, gas, and hotel stay

A police officer in Florida was arrested with her handcuffs and charged with stealing a dead man’s credit card information to purchase fast food, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

St. Cloud Police Officer Dianne Ferreira, 25, stands accused of theft of credit card information with intent to use, fraudulent use of a credit card over $200, and use of the personal ID of a deceased person. Her arrest was announced Tuesday during a joint press conference held by the OCSO and the SCPD.

“She was an officer, but she doesn’t deserve that title now,” St. Cloud Police Chief Doug Goerke said on Wednesday.

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As Folks Rot in Cages for Weed, Cop Gets No Jail for Setting Home on Fire, Killing Two Dogs Inside

In a world where people are rotting in cages for possessing a plant, is it really that surprising to see a former Indiana State Police trooper walk free after admitting to heinous crimes such as arson, animal cruelty, and insurance fraud? Well, that’s exactly what happened, and this glaring discrepancy in the justice system highlights the deep-rooted corruption, double standards, and “blue privilege” that plague our society.

Jeremy Galloway, the ex-ISP trooper, was sentenced to four years on Thursday. However, he won’t be spending a single day behind bars, according to court records. Instead, Galloway will serve the first two years of his sentence on electronic home monitoring, the third year on reporting probation, and the fourth year on non-reporting probation. This lenient punishment comes as a result of Galloway pleading guilty to all charges as part of a plea agreement.

In October 2019, Galloway maliciously set fire to his Tell City home, killing his dogs in the process. Despite the severity of his crimes, Galloway was only placed on administrative leave without pay during the investigation, before ultimately resigning from his position as an ISP trooper. This slap on the wrist is a stark contrast to the draconian penalties faced by individuals who are caught with a mere plant.

The irony of this situation is unmistakable. While Galloway avoids prison for causing destruction and death, countless individuals who have never harmed a soul are languishing in cages for simply possessing or using cannabis. These people are not arsonists, they’re not cruel to animals, and they’re not committing fraud – yet their lives have been upended by a deeply flawed and outdated legal system that seems to protect its own at the expense of justice.

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Police Get a Green Light to Use Force Against Unarmed Individuals Who Have Already Surrendered or Complied

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again refused to hold police accountable for using force on unarmed individuals who have already surrendered or complied with police orders. Despite a series of high-profile incidents involving the use of unnecessary and excessive force by police against unarmed individuals, the Court declined to narrow the scope of qualified immunity granted to officers who assault non-violent suspects who have ceased to resist arrest.

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute and Cato Institute had filed a joint amicus brief before the Supreme Court in Salazar v. Molina, challenging a lower court ruling that essentially gives police a green light to punish and harm suspects solely based upon their initial nonviolent resistance or flight. The legal coalition warned that the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which granted qualified immunity to a police officer who tased a non-violent suspect in the back after he lay down to surrender, undermines public safety by discouraging suspects from surrendering or complying with police commands.

“The old police motto to ‘protect and serve’ has become ‘comply or die,’” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “This is how we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat ‘we the people’ like suspects and criminals.”

In March 2014, around 2:00 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy in Zapata County, Texas, tried to pull over Juan Carlos Salazar for speeding. However, Salazar accelerated and led police on a high-speed chase for approximately five minutes. After two vehicles pulled out in front of Salazar and blocked his way forward, Salazar stopped his car, got out, raised his hands, and then lay face-down on the ground with his arms above his head to surrender. There was no indication that Salazar had any weapon or was violent. But within seconds, a sheriff’s deputy ran up and fired his taser at Salazar’s back while he was still lying prone on the ground.

Salazar subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming that the deputy used excessive force in violation of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. The deputy moved to dismiss the lawsuit by claiming that he was entitled to qualified immunity. Although the trial court disagreed with the deputy, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that when a suspect has tried to evade capture, officers can question whether the suspect’s purported surrender is a ploy. Despite there being no reasonable indication of any such ploy by Salazar, the Fifth Circuit found that the deputy was entitled to qualified immunity and therefore dismissed the lawsuit against him.

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State troopers capture criminal but shoot his hostage

A federal appeals court has ruled police can shoot hostages — even intentionally — if they fear for their lives or to stop a fleeing felon.

The case is more than just a legal footnote to Don Davis. The Georgia truck driver was shot nine times by troopers and deputies who were trying to stop a murder suspect holding Davis hostage in his truck.

While the shooting occurred in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court just this week let stand a federal court ruling that police owe the hostage nothing for his medical bills or the lasting effects of the officer-inflicted gunshot wounds.

The roadblock

Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers were waiting on a dirt road outside a logging camp in August 2015.

Murder suspect Ryan Arnold was terrorizing the loggers and was planning his escape. Arnold had already shot his pregnant girlfriend and left her for dead before leading police on a chase. A trooper exchanged gunfire with the murder suspect before his getaway car ran out of gas at the logging camp.

Don Davis was getting ready to pull out with a full load of lumber when Arnold jumped in his truck with a rifle. “He fired a shot, and blew my side mirror out. I thought that was my head. But look, you know, I got lucky,” Davis said.

Davis picked up his phone and called 911. The kidnapper knew he was calling.

“He’s in my truck and we coming out of the woods now,” Davis calmly told the 911 operator. “He says that I won’t survive if I don’t get him out,” he added.

Dispatch records confirm police were told that the hostage was driving the logging truck with the killer threatening his life. “The subject you all are looking for is in the vehicle with him advising if he does not go where he tells him to he will kill him,” a dispatcher said over the radio minutes before the shooting.

Some officers testified they didn’t hear that message, while others confirmed they knew there was a hostage in the truck.

The 18-wheeler rolled toward the police cars that were blocking the road and started pushing them out of the way. Officers had taken cover behind the cars. The driver’s window of the logging truck was completely missing because the murder suspect had already shot it out while taking Davis hostage.

Two Georgia State Patrol troopers and a pair of Oglethorpe County deputies opened fire on the cab of the truck using shotguns, a pistol and a fully automatic tactical rifle.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined the gunfire was concentrated on the driver’s side of the cab, where Davis was driving.

“Shooting the driver, shooting who is driving that truck, will stop that truck,” GBI Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox told lawyers in a deposition.

The truck was riddled with more than 35 bullet holes.

Davis stopped the truck and jumped out after he was already hit eight times. “I said, ‘I got to get out of here,’ bailed out and had my hands up, and I still got shot,” Davis recalled.

A police officer shot the hostage again as he jumped out of the truck to get away from the kidnapper. The officer testified he didn’t realize the man jumping out was the hostage until he had already opened fire.

Davis was shot in his shoulder, hip and leg. His right hand was nearly blown off. Doctors were able to reconstruct Davis’ hand, but he lost two fingers.

Arnold had been hiding on the floorboards with a rifle trained at Davis’ head. The kidnapper suffered far-less-serious injuries. “I was placed into an ambulance on the scene and Mr. Davis was lifeflighted,” Arnold testified in a deposition from prison.

Arnold pleaded guilty to murder, kidnapping and other felonies.

A ‘tragic story’

Davis and wife Kathy sued the officers in federal court. Oglethorpe County and two sheriff’s deputies settled with the couple for $195,000 as part of a court-ordered mediation, according to a document obtained through a records request.

The rest of the case was thrown out by the U.S. District Court.

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