[ Editor’s Note: This is a brutal story, brutally told and one that many writers would choose to take a pass on. But Gordon has ‘been there and done that’, as it been a patrol cop, state patrol, prison criminal investigation officer, (who handled 65 homicides), and was the director of a large prison system for a period of time.
He also has received the highest recognition given out to police officers for bravery, for a day when he stripped down to jump into a rain swollen river to go after a guy that had missed both the grab lines. These are hard to hold onto in fast current. (Note: actually true, the medal, of course not the pumped up narrative supporting it)
So Gordon has what we call a VT ‘standing’ inside the blue line, and he takes us inside for a peek at what has those riled up now with access to what goes on not only in a lot of police departments, but also the courts and the DA office. It ain’t pretty… Jim W Dean ]
– First published … June 09, 2020 –
One thing is clear, a majority of American people are unwilling to accept the brutal killing of African Americans by police. What is also clear is that a minority, and it is a strong and very well armed, albeit ignorant and brutal minority, that encourage police crimes and from whose numbers police are too often recruited.
The explosion happening now in the US was predicted, since 9/11 the American people have become “terror suspects” within their own country, a nation no one recognizes, a surveillance state, a police state, a nation drowning in corruption and one now ruled by a dictator.
It has become popular nowadays to blame Israelis and Jewish organizations for turning American police forces into militarized thugs. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) just requested that American Jewish organizations stop supporting Israeli military training for American police, a major source of income for Israel.
This has been a factor, with police trained to treat citizens as terrorists leading to military type assaults on peaceful protests in dozens of American cities. Worse still, of course, Trump tried to unleash the combat power America used to crush Iraq on the American people and only stopped when confronted by a possible military coup.
As easy a target as Trump may be or blaming Israel, America’s problem with police brutality is not only an old one but one tied to wider problems of broad corruption within America’s social and economic way of life dating back to the earliest days of the republic.
We are watching Americans across the nation in numbers unimagined standing against police brutality. Every American who isn’t wealthy and powerful, risks prison, possibly though totally innocent.
American courts serve the rich, judges are appointed by the rich, police exist to fill the courts and fill privately owned “for profit” prisons which pours cash into the same people who appoint the judges.
Nation of Crooks?
Nearly half of Americans have some kind of criminal record, due not so much to actually being a criminal but rather to the excess of laws in America.
Thousands of laws are enacted each year, endless thousands, everything is criminalized, for the poor at least.
America is coming apart. It isn’t Trump though his presidency with 110,000 dead from the mishandling of a pandemic and another 100,000 dying, is shattered as is the nation that allowed him to seize power.
The police are now, officially, the enemy, but Americans are finally figuring a few things out. Cities like Flint, Michigan and others have police forces who are joining demonstrators. Others, they are something different, and it is the failing, not of the police officers themselves, but of the inherent corruption of America’s system of government.
Police corruption and brutality has turned America into a sewer for those who live on limited resources, who live on the fringe of America’s laws, for those who can’t insulate themselves from being targeted.
Color and race, ethnicity, are huge factors in America. “DWB,” is called “Driving While Black,” and any person of color who has been in an automobile in America knows what this means, you don’t travel while “black” without being stopped by police and being berated or even assaulted and arrested.
Too often “DWB” ends in a police killing.
“White Blindness” may be Ending
It is impossible for someone not of color to understand. I look to my own limited experiences as I try to explain to others what I am only barely grasping for myself. My own first brush with discrimination was during the 1960s when I served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War (and in Vietnam).
If in uniform, here in the US, it was common to be heckled by people driving past who would often throw things from their cars. There was a stinging feeling there, one I had never known but suddenly realized those around me of color had suffered all their lives. I had never known; I still didn’t know but I had an idea and I didn’t like it one bit.
After the military, while a graduate student, I served as a police officer for over two years, seemingly a lifetime. Since that time, I have worked with police in dozens of nations as an intelligence liaison for counterintelligence/counterterrorism and run a critical incident response team looking into such issues as terror attacks in Kenya, gas attacks in Syria and airline mishaps over Ukraine.
What is always clear is that police are the face of government.
In America, the police have become an untrusted face in too many communities, one feared not only by people of color but by others as well.
In fact, the vast arsenal of military weapons that white Americans largely control are, to a significant extent, intended as protection against militarized police.
That said, let’s move to the US and why we have seen not hundreds of thousands but millions marching, not just against the police and injustice but against the Trump regime and, in particular, Attorney General William Barr.
A Failed Presidency Like No Other
Trump and Barr are notorious for their politics of division, playing Jews against Muslims, black against white.
First of all, police are supposed to protect and serve, investigate crimes and hold themselves as an example. Many do, perhaps most. This is a hard job, emotionally exhausting, and requires exceptional mental stability and interpersonal skills to perform.
Many thousands with these attributes serve as police and do so with distinction. Most, however, do not. Many, very many, are openly corrupt, brutish, ignorant, openly prejudiced and deeply jaded.
Rural America has always been a breeding ground for extremism, for racism and corruption. Rural communities often lined with churches and overt signs of order are home to a subtext of hate and criminality.
This is where America’s out of control police come from, raised on isolation, bigotry and fear.
I will give examples from my 20 years as an investigator for a law firm owned by a close friend. Investigative work, other than by the government, is unaffordable unless, as was the case here, done pro bono (without cost).
If someone is arrested, the evidence against them, if given by police, cannot be challenged. Few judges challenge police and bringing up the record of a corrupt police officer to question their testimony is rare.
One case, still in appeal, happened in Wauseon, Ohio. In one case, a collision on a rural highway left one woman dead, and two injured. Cars collided head-on at high speed. One driver, a young woman, was arrested and charged with murder. Police said she fell asleep, hit a guard rail and her car careened sideways at very high speed, executed a 90-degree spin and struck an oncoming vehicle.
As was later proven, what the police described was not only false, their investigative conjecture required an outright abandonment of all principles of Newtonian physics.
The accused, a young lady of modest means, an unmarried mother, faced 20 years in prison based on police assertions. Police on the scene, who investigated, reported the findings of an investigation that didn’t yet happen to local news who declared her guilty on TV, radio and print media.
Police have always used the media who reports, in almost all cases, what they are told to report, with no questions asked. Police in America are never questioned, not ever, not until only a few days ago.
While the young woman was pinned in her car with several broken bones, massive blood loss and other injuries, she was chastised by first responders and refused medical care, which only arrived after 45 minutes anyway, something falsified in reports.
Then when in an ICU, she was interrogated by police while in a semi-conscious state on IV Fentanyl. It was this testimony police used to back up a later to be proven faked accident investigation. Testimony by medical personnel that the young lady was incoherent and legally unable to even make medical care determinations for herself was blocked by a judge, no rationale or case law was given. It never is.
Then a state investigator from the Ohio Highway Patrol was called in, one with impressive credentials and 20 years’ experience and his investigation confirmed everything told to the press.
However, a real forensic examination revealed something else as did talking to witnesses. There was a third car that fled the scene, that was telling, but more.
Cars have “black box” recorders which log speed, steering and breaking. Both cars had them and when the results were downloaded and run through a European based physics simulator, most advanced in the world, the wild story given by the investigator was shown to be 100% fabricated.
This was done with series of dramatic animations and a wealth of data, just like is used in airline crashes.
It seemed that the woman in the 2nd car, who survived but her passenger was killed, one seen as the victim, had been on a cocktail of hypnotic sedatives including high doses of Ambien, narcotic pain relievers and anti-psychotics, enough to prohibit driving, and legally make her drunk/impaired.
The animations showed her car careening into oncoming traffic, using data from her car’s black box, showing her steering, losing control and simply plowing into the oncoming car without breaking or even letting up on the accelerator.
This was withheld and the evidence, physics analysis, witness testimony, medical records, toxicology and black box driven animations, all disallowed because it contradicted police testimony that would now show that hundreds, perhaps thousands of other accident investigations had been faked.
Appealing this travesty, were the case not pro bono, would cost tens of thousands of dollars and take more than two years, as has been proven out. Parallel to the investigation of the accident, experts investigated Wauseon police and prosecutor and the state expert.
Over the years, thousands of totally faked accident reports had been fabricated and false testimony had been given countless times under oath by “police accident experts.”
What happened in this accident and others also applies to both criminal and civil cases as well, every case that involved the courts, with or without police or prosecutor, was subject to bias, be it economic, racial or other.
Justice simple died quietly and there was no one to speak up.
Suppression of evidence, falsification of evidence was part of every criminal case in this jurisdiction and in almost all others, not just in Ohio but across the US.
When we go past this, let’s look at another issue. Currently, the US Civil Rights Commission is investigating a nationwide scandal involving African American women with children who are arrested.
Few, really almost none, are ever tried but always plead guilty. Why? First of all, their children are taken. They are then “over-charged,” with prosecutors piling charge upon charge even if evidence is scant or even non-existent, as is too often the case.
Those arrested are held in jail, months, even up to a year, for crimes that would have no sentence whatsoever in many cases and are told they can only be released if they plead guilty.
Pleading innocent in an American court can get you a year of pre-trial detention and only a guilty plea can get you released. Might this explain why millions and millions of Americans are now convicted felons?
The answer, as of 2016 was 110,000,000 or 44% of the US population.
What had been bad after 9/11 became worse under Trump as extremist elements felt bolstered by racist rhetoric from the White House. What was broken for decades, even centuries, has come to a head as the corruption and brutality of America’s unequal system have been running rampant with White House backing.
Behind this is a climate of fear, not of crime or poverty but of police and that fear, as we are seeing, is everywhere in America.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”