Thursday, October 9, 2014

This is an outrage!

Back in June I wrote about the sickening actions of a task force from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office and other agencies, which resulted in an infant being severely injured by a stun grenade tossed into a suspected drug dealer's house (no drugs were subsequently found).  I called it 'Child abuse under color of law', and posted a before-and-after image of the infant concerned.  I was particularly sickened by the attitude of County Sheriff Joey Terrell, who was quoted as saying:

"Our team went by the book. Given the same scenario, we'll do the same thing again. I stand behind what our team did."

Now comes the news that none of those responsible will be officially called to account for their crimes - and yes, they are crimes, even though the authorities refuse to label them as such.

A Habersham County grand jury has decided not to charge any of the law enforcement officers involved in the botched drug raid that disfigured a toddler.

There's more at the link.

In my earlier article, I said:

I speak as a retired Federal officer.  I swore a law enforcement oath of office myself, and had statutory powers of arrest.  All I can say is that Sheriff Terrell is extremely fortunate he doesn't live within striking distance of me, because he wouldn't be allowed to say any such thing in my presence.  I regard him with contempt, scorn and derision for even attempting to justify this sort of outrage.  He's identified himself as a jackbooted thug for even thinking such things, much less saying them.  Why he hasn't been physically slapped down (at the very least) by outraged members of his community, I just don't understand.  Why the officers who perpetrated this authority also have not been dealt with as severely as possible by that same community beggars the imagination.

. . .

I believe Sheriff Terrell (and all officers who took part in this raid, and any other officer of any other agency who shares his defensive attitude over this incident) needs to hang up his badge RIGHT NOW and never put on law enforcement uniform again.  If he does, I believe the people of his community need to remove him from office by any means necessary.  If I were there, I'd not only join them - I'd help organize a community-wide drive to do so.

I swore an oath.  I have kept that oath.  Sheriff Terrell and his officers, by the admission contained in his own words, are in violation of that oath every day they hold office.  WHY HAVE THE PEOPLE OF HAVERSHAM COUNTY NOT DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

In the light of this news, I can only repeat those words.  If I lived in Haversham County, I'd make it my personal business - a crusade, if you will - to drive Sheriff Terrell out of office, and do the same to every single officer involved in that raid.  As far as I'm concerned, they've disqualified themselves from consideration even as human beings, much less law enforcement officers.  I'd deal with them in the same way that I'd deal with an errant cockroach.  They deserve no better.  These people are a stench in the nostrils of honest, morally upright peace officers.  Those of us who are honest LEO's of whatever sort need to do something about these jackbooted thugs who dishonor us by their presence in our ranks . . . before their stench rubs off on all of us.

Sadly, in this case, it may already be too late for that.  It may be that outraged individuals will now take the law into their own hands, and seek what justice they can through direct action.  I can't blame them for that.  When the justice system denies justice, or dispenses it in a biased, arbitrary and capricious fashion, anarchy often follows.



Anonymous said...

Sure lucky for him he ain't in striking distance, eh?

Peripatetic Engineer said...

The sad thing is the DA often leads the grand jury to the conclusion he wants. It takes an assertive jury foreman to take control. Most citizens are not aware of the power they wield when they are on a grand jury. They don't realize that they can investigate almost anything they want to.

Anonymous said...

A LEO could take action that resulted in a bus full of nuns going over a cliff which crushes 25 kindergardeners to death on the beach below, kills 8 endangered species in the ocean with the resulting fuel and fluid leaks, and requiring a $20 million hazmat cleanup of the contaminated sand and, as long as "he followed policy" the LEO is golden, and probably will receive an award from the agency's Top Cop.

Terence Knox, a deputy in York County, SC shot unarmed Bobby Canipe who was reaching for his cane - the video shows Knox saying "Sir, sir, sir, hey, hey" then firing 6 shots, one of which struck Canipe, one went through Canipe's truck's rear window about 18 inches from his wife's head, and the other four went who-knows-where along a 4 lane highway with traffic.

No specific command, such as "STOP!", "SHOW ME YOUR HANDS", "STAY IN THE TRUCK". Just "sir" three times, then 6 bangs.

Elected York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant stood by Knox, saying publicly “Any other officer in the exact circumstances would have acted in the same manner as Deputy Knox responded”. The Solicitor (what other states call "Deputy States' Attorney" or "Deputy District Atttorney") elected to not prosecute Knox (and people wonder why we think prosecuting attorneys and police are in bed with each other).

Until the "qualified immunity" police use as a shield for incompetent and/or illegal action is abolished we'll continue to have this sort of thing, again and again and again.

There is a reasonable question whether interaction with police poses a greater risk than interaction with a criminal; I suspect it does, because the criminal usually acts alone and does not have a cast of thousands in the criminal justice system working with him which will spend years raping you.

Anonymous said...

Hey it is no differant in th eUK. Since WWII approximately 58 people have died at Police hands, either shot or died in Custody and thousands have been hospitalized because of Police actions.
Not one Police officer has been prosecuted or even charged with negligence.
The law of averages says one of those incidents somthing was Wrong.
This inability of Law Enforcement to critisize their own and regulate themselves just undermines the hundreds of millions of good things done everyday. In the UK we Police by consent but unfortunately the Police are becoming viewed as not one of us but an occupying force.

Dennis said...

Peter, I share your outrage!

I'm 66 years old. Have lived in Seattle since I was 25.

When I was growing up in New Zealand the police were not armed. There was no crimes that called for armed response. I lived in a town of 20,000. We knew the local policemen as friends in our community. They came to our elementary school and gave talks.
As a teenager, Officer Allo caught me speeding in my Dad's car. He called my Dad!! hahahaha

Last year I went back to New Zealand to visit. All the cops are now armed to the teeth with automatic weapons.


Dennis said...

Peter, your weekend wings articles are incredible! How on earth did you gain this much knowledge on the Spitfire?..especially as you are not a limey(!)

Just re-read your Spitfire blogs..great! As a member of the British Commonwealth I was always biased that the Spit was "better" than the wasn't in retrospect. You don't see many Spitfires at the Reno Air Races!

The Kiwi's had a few Spitfires after WW2, but trained in AT-6's. We called them Harvards, not Texans. Were these made in America do you think?

As a Cessna 182 jockey, I cannot imagine how dam scary it must of been to transition from a 600hp Texan, to a 2,000hp Spitfire!!!

That first take-off and landing must have been sphincter tightening eh?

Kentucky Packrat said...

IMHO, the US needs private prosecution for any crime by a public official, and no presumption of immunity. If an attorney biased against the police had been in that grand jury room, he comes out with attempted murder charges, at least.