Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The case against Roy Moore doesn't hold water.

The recent deluge of allegations by women against Roy Moore do not hold water and amount to character assassination of the worst kind.
Now, let’s be clear. I draw this conclusion not out of party loyalty to the GOP or fealty to the man. I am a former Democrat and I despise what the current GOP stands for. That said, I’ve no use for the Democrats, either. Further, Roy Moore stands for everything I am against. He is an anti-gay, evangelical Christian who is anti-abortion and against a woman’s right to choose. I am an atheist, liberal/left, militantly pro-LGBT and pro women’s rights, and pro-choice.
I am also an ex-metro Atlanta street cop and I have made my living as an Alabama criminal defense lawyer for the past 22 years.
I have spent my career defending people charged with criminal sex offenses. Many of these charges were false. Many of my clients walked free, while many others were found guilty. Many of these cases I appealed and Roy Moore sat on the Alabama Supreme Court during many of those appeals.
All of that said, what is happening to Roy Moore right now is what United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once termed, “a high-tech uppity lynching.”
Moore has been in public life for decades. He ran several times for the circuit judgeship in Etowah County, Alabama and won. He ran for the Alabama Supreme Court twice and won both times. He was also removed both times for refusing to follow his oath of office and obey the dictates of the higher courts. He has run for governor and lost, also.
For nearly 40 years Roy Moore has subjected himself to the scrutiny of the public and the press. During that time, by virtue of running for office, Moore opened his life up for examination and investigation. I ran for the Alabama state senate in 1998. I know what that means. Suddenly everything you do or have ever done gets examined.  When nothing is there, political hacks will make it up out of whole cloth. My opponent in my race published smear sheets that contained rank lies and distributed them to churches the Sunday before election. So, I know about smear campaigns.
I don’t for one second believe that in nearly 40 years there was no opposition research done against Moore. In that time, not one whisper of these allegations of sexual or dating improprieties ever surfaced. Now, suddenly, it’s supposedly common knowledge.
Fast forward to 2017. Moore upset the political machine of the GOP and won the nomination for the United States senate seat currently held by the appointed (and tainted) incumbent Luther Strange. Strange was supported by Donald Trump (at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell). Strange lost. Moore won. The elites groaned.
Moore, a radical right “culture warrior” for the Christian evangelicals, was heralded by Trump guru Steve Bannon, who promoted Moore. This aroused the ire of the establishment wing of the GOP.
All of that was inside baseball until last week, when a series of women were allegedly located by the Washington Post who had stories to tell of then 32-year-old prosecutor Roy Moore seeking dates with girls under 18 and allegedly committing sexual abuse (sexual touching) of a girl who was allegedly 14.
These women all claimed they didn’t come forward because they said no one would believe them. Really? What about their parents? What about the cops? What about lawyers? What about preachers? All of these are mandated by law to report an allegation of sexual crime to the authorities. No ifs, ands or buts. Mandatory.
Moore supporters pointed out that these allegations were brought by a newspaper belonging to Amazon.com, owned by a liberal left activist. Conspiracy theorists salivated. 
And then the GOP establishment did something so obvious the entire scandal became suspect – the GOP establishment over-played it’s hand. Without a shred of evidence, the McConnell elites all began saying – in unison as if it were a planned talking point -- that Moore should step down. Some added the phrase “if true,” but many did not. Mitt Romney, the former GOP presidential candidate and currently eyeing a senate seat in Utah, was the most vocal, adopting the liberal/left mantra that the “victim” should be believed, no matter what. Then the GOP elite began floating the idea of vanguished Luther Strange as Moore’s replacement.
Just when it seemed the scandal was weird enough, out of the blue, the creepiest, old supreme ambulance chaser of them all, lawyer Gloria Allred, joined the fray. (She currently “represents” women who accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment; and women who accuse former President George H.W. Bush of sexual harassment. Oddly, none of those cases seem to be headed to court.) 
Allred announced she represented a new Moore accuser – who claims Moore tried to force her to sodomize him. The typical Glora Allred new conference ensued, with the victim bawling like this happened yesterday while Allred patted her arm and made all of her trademark sympathetic faces she has practiced into a gaudy performance.
Allred’s credibility as a lawyer is overwhelmed by her status as a grandstanding publicity seeker. A true media hog (indeed, the joke among media types is that the most unsafe place in America is standing between Allred and a TV camera), she somehow manages to insert herself into every sexual harassment case in the media. 
Ask yourself this - in a nation of 330 million people and 1.3 million lawyers how did Allred (who practices in California and New York), in less than seven days, find a woman to represent who would claim that Moore attacked her? That’s a statistical improbability. How could a woman who claims to be an Anniston businesswoman know to call Gloria Allred to make her claim? It’s just too suspect for words.
But let’s back up.
Allred’s client claims to be an Anniston businesswoman, but no record of any business in Anniston with her name exists. There is a court case in Anniston of a woman with the same name who sued  her employer back in 2009 for a workman’s comp injury – a sprained wrist – and nailed herself a $50,000.00 settlement – for a sprained wrist. 
Allred’s client claims that when she was a teen Moore tried to force her to give him oral sex. She alleges Moore used force. The other “accusers” say Moore was awkward, kind of unsure of himself, not forceful at all.  
Here’s where the science of crime kicks in:
In my careers as both a metro-Atlanta police officer and criminal defense lawyer, I learned that the modus operandi of criminal sexual assault suspects don’t change. If a sex offender is a passive/aggressive sex offender, he uses his wiles and subtle coercion to get what he wants. If a sex offender is an aggressive/excitation offender, he uses force. Here’s the rub. No offender is both. So, we have “accusers” who say that Moore is a passive/aggressive offender and now a new, sensational account that Moore is an aggressive/excitation offender. Sorry folks, Moore might be one, or the other, or neither, but he can’t be both. The case unravels. 
Further, Allred is a Democratic party supporter who gave big donations to Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, John Kerry and more. Some Washington insiders claim Allred is a Democratic operative and former surrogate of Hillary Clinton. The case unravels even more.
Add to that the fact that every one of these accusers waited more than 40 years to make their claims. Why not raise these claims during Moore’s initial judicial campaigns? Why not during the highly public hearings in which Moore was twice stripped of his supreme court job? Why not raise these complaints when Moore was just John Q. Citizen with no political office at stake? Why wait 40 years? Why wait until a few weeks before an election?
Also, note that all of Moore’s accusers claim to be Republicans and Trump supporters. Trump supported Moore’s opponent, Luther Strange. Curious? I think so. Also, none of these alleged accusers live in Etowah County, Alabama and haven’t for decades. If these allegations were true, wouldn’t there be folks all over Etowah County who’d know about them? The media is now scouring Gadsden interviewing people who claim they heard that someone told them that along time ago a friend of a friend said Moore was this or that. Such rumor mills are not the basis for a solid accusation of anything. Not ever.
When Moore’s initial accusers made their claims, legal experts said that Moore was immune from prosecution for those events due to the passage of time. Suddenly, we have a new accusation that is likely not immune from prosecution. How bloody convenient!
All of these accusers claim that they didn’t complain about Moore because, as a lowly assistant district attorney, he was too powerful and no one would believe them. 
That’s hogwash. I’ve seen junior prosecutors go down in flames over drug use, sexual improprieties, falsifying evidence (ask Nancy Grace), and other misdeeds. I have never been a prosecutor, except once, when I was named as a special prosecutor to prosecute a district attorney for DUI. I got a conviction. It can happen and it does happen. I know, because I did it.
Further, Moore was a Republican prosecutor. The allegations of 40 years ago, if believed, took place during a time when the attorney general of Alabama was a Democrat. He’d have gone after Moore with relish. Any of these accusers could have gone to any decent lawyer in Alabama and the lawyers would have pointed them in the direction of the attorney general’s office, and the stout-hearted lawyers would have sued Moore for money and gone after his law license.
The fact that none of this happened speaks volumes.
We are at a watershed moment in American history. Leftist lesbian feminists have been selling the notion that America has a “rape culture” and that “all men are sexual predators.” In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein furor and the resulting media frenzy over any story regarding  allegations of sexual impropriety, the media is salivating over any hint of impropriety. The accused are guilty until proven innocent.
Further, advocacy media has replaced quality journalism. Few news outlets go deeper than the facts that support their thesis when they report a story.
And worse, fake news planted by political operatives is often republished by “mainstream” media too much in a hurry to be first with the story to bother to be accurate.
So, where does that leave us?
Polls show those who support Moore continue to do so despite the allegations, believing them to be “fake news.” There is some basis for that opinion. Those who hate Moore hate him all the more, believing the allegations to be true. There is some basis for that opinion also.
That said, we are a nation that supposedly believes in the mantra that a man is innocent until proven guilty. Far too many people on the far left and far right have agendas seeking to weaken that belief. Indeed, Mitt Romney and the GOP establishment has drunk the liberal leftist Kool Aid which says the presumption of innocence is dead when it comes to allegations of sexual assault. The mantra that we must “Always believe the victim” has replaced intelligent inquiry into the facts. The liberal left is now scrutinizing Moore's legal decisions as if they contain a hidden map to his demented character. They cite cases like Ex Parte Higdon, in which Moore's dissent in a child rape case was legally correct, as a sign of his latent pedophilia. This is abject bullshit.
The reality is Moore is the victim of character assassination of the worst kind. If these are valid accusations, they should be brought in court, not the court of media opinion. After nearly 40 years in politics, Moore’s opponents have had plenty of chances to dig up whatever dirt there is. Now, suddenly, all of these people have “memories” they can recount but no provable basis for them.
It’s just innuendo, rumor and all of it is 40 years old.
Ask yourself this: If you were in Roy Moore’s shoes, how would you like to be treated?
Absent a criminal complaint and a legal case against Moore, this brouhaha is all innuendo and gossip. Until a case is brought that can stand the test of the legal process, the case against Roy Moore doesn’t hold water.
Vote for or against Moore for his public positions, but grant to him the presumption of innocence until there is a charge brought in a court of law and heard by a real judge and a real jury.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is why the rush to arrest and convict often results in a wrongful conviction.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

CPI Calls on Candidates Clinton and Trump to Renounce ‘Victim Centered Investigations’ as an Affront to Justice

WASHINGTON / August 9, 2016 – Today the Center for Prosecutor Integrity (CPI) is calling on presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to issue a call for the end of victim-centered investigations (VCI) in sexual assault cases.  Victim-centered investigations represent an biased approach to sexual assault investigations that openly favors the accuser and eliminates the presumption of innocence, the center charges.

Both the Democratic and Republican political platforms, approved last month, specifically call for fairness in handling criminal offenses. The Democratic platform highlights the need to “ensure a fair process for all on-campus disciplinary proceedings and in the criminal justice system.” 

The current regime of campus adjudications “contravenes our country’s legal traditions and must be halted,” according to the Republican platform, and “prevents the proper authorities from investigating and prosecuting sexual assault effectively with due process.” 

Victim-centered investigations emphasize the collection of evidence supportive of the complainant and discourage the collection of exculpatory evidence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a guilty verdict. Victim-centered investigations represent a departure from ethical standards of investigative impartiality, neutrality, and objectivity.

Proponents of victim-centered investigations openly urge investigators to “start by believing” and assume the complainant’s account is true until proven otherwise. As a result, justice is compromised and the potential for wrongful conviction increases, CPI believes.

In one case, a Virginia college student was arrested and jailed for six days based on an uncorroborated allegation of sexual assault. The student had never been to the city where the assault alleged took place and the accuser’s account contained numerous inconsistencies. The case was eventually dropped after the student produced over 40,000 emails and other documents that proved his innocence. The student was saddled with over $60,000 in legal fees to defend himself against an accusation that had no basis in reality.

CPI urges both presidential candidates to endorse a “justice centered” approach which protects due process, preserves the presumption of innocence, and utilizes an impartial evaluation of all evidence.  While complainants must be treated with respect and taken seriously, investigators must always remain impartial and follow the evidence.

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity works to enhance prosecutorial ethics, reduce over-criminalization, and end wrongful convictions. More information on victim centered investigations can be viewed at http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/sa/investigations/  

(Required by Alabama Law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services is greater than other lawyers.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Justice system under threat of mob-style "political correctness."

Contrary to what you often hear, the American justice system is not broken. Before you think that I'm an apologist for our courts, read on:

I often jokingly refer to myself as an “anarchist criminal defense lawyer.” I make this jest because unlike many lawyers who practice criminal law casually, I am an aggressive criminal defense lawyer and I use any tactic that is legal and ethical to win for my clients, no matter who I piss off.

I do this because the more aggressively the lawyer fights for his client, the more the justice system actually works. The legal system in the United States is designed to be an adversarial system – accent on the adversarial. The harder the attorneys fight, the more they use the rules of procedure, the more they exploit the “technicalities,” the more they demand the courts uphold the letter of the law, the more there is justice.

Many people don’t believe this, including lawyers. My experience has been that the lawyers who bitch the most about how “unfair” the system is are those lawyers who coast through their cases and think they will get a good result for their client by being a “good ol’ boy,” or by virtue of their popularity with judges and other lawyers.

It is this legal half-assery that is making the system veer wildly from true justice to what many perceive as miscarriages of justice. 

That's not all. When people who aren't lawyers see this legal half-assery, they assume it applies to the entire system.

Consider that in today’s political climate the justice system is now hotly debated among people of all political stripes. The right and left howl perpetually about some injustice fomented by the courts. Judges who don’t rule the way a certain voting bloc wants are decried as unjust and the mob gets ready to storm the Bastille and string the offending judge up by the neck. I am not kidding. The judge who handed down the legally correct sentence in the Stanford University "rape" case received death threats for merely following the law – the very thing we expect him to do. Why did I put quotes around the word "rape?" Read the actual case and you'll see why.

I remember seeing the tidal wave of abuse heaped upon the judge, the courts, the system, the lawyers, the parties when that case made the press. The media – which never gets a legal story right no matter how they try – ginned up a controversy for ratings and the public ate it like cats devour catnip. The end result was a “movement” to unseat the judge.  Others wanted to simply kill him.

These reactions are terrifying, because they threaten your freedom. That's what I said. You're freedom. Why? Because next time you might be the Frankenstein monster the mob wants to lynch. It’s that simple.

Mob mentality is never a good thing. Whether that mob is in the streets of Ferguson, Mo. -- attacking and looting local businesses because they don’t like the result of a case  -- or a wild-eyed mob of internet activists, both do considerable damage to society.

The justice system is supposed to a co-equal branch of our government. You have the legislative branch which makes the laws. You have the executive branch which enforces the law. You have the independent courts which make sure the other two don’t tramp down your constitutional right to be free.

So, when a mob attacks the justice system for merely following the law, it’s a threat to our freedom because no society can survive if a mob of howling dogs decides who lives or dies.

A couple of days ago I was reading a Facebook site for a left-wing group called “Democracy Now.” There was a story on their page of a rape case in which a defendant was given a three year sentence for a “rape.” No details were given. The howling mob of left-wing Democracy Now supporters exploded into a rage. It was, in their minds, an injustice, another example of how women are disposable. And it was proof our justice system is irretrievably broken.

I read the post and thought there was so little information that it was impossible to tell what had actually happened.

Then I did something unusual. I commented on it. I said, “As a lawyer for more than two decades, I encourage you to stop second-guessing the court system on these cases. You didn't hear the evidence. You don't know all of the nuances.” I explained that the media never gets the legal case right, that there are complex rules and laws which must be followed and it’s never as simple as a media story wants to make it. In short, you can't package a 1,000 page legal transcript into one 14" news story.

I was then attacked from all sides. The lefties on Democracy Now told me I had no right to comment because I’d never been raped. The righties said I was a dirty defense lawyer and the lefties agreed. I was assailed as a racist white Southerner. I was accused of being an apologist for men. I was accused of supporting rape as a socially accepted part of a male-dominated culture.

I was called a liar because I am a criminal defense lawyer. I was repeatedly called a racist who only defends rich white people. I was accused of “lawyer mansplaining, even more heinous and unusable.” I was accused of promoting “white pride.”

Many of the people posting on the site wanted “justice,” by that they meant only one result – the person accused is found guilty and then killed. It was only justice when the accused was convicted. It was only justice when revenge was extracted. The rules of our system meant nothing. The rules of evidence meant nothing. A fast-track guilty verdict was all that was acceptable.

Many said justice would only be served when the accused went to prison to be raped by black inmates. Wait! I thought they said I was the racist! 

One person said judges who follow the law “encourage others to rape. This is a sick country!” Another person said he was “ashamed to be Caucasian” when he heard such verdicts. Another person said “our ‘justice system’ in this country is now non-existent.” Another implied all white people are rich and are rapists. He then said, “These judges, and (sic) well as these fucking rapists need lynching.”

Another said that if there is not enough evidence to convict the police should “just make up shit.”

The lesbian feminists and the right wingers apparently hate penises.“He needs to be castrated,” another intoned, “along with his lawyer and the judges that set him free.” Still another favored cutting the accused’s penis off as punishment.

One poster who was appalled at the alleged rape of the victim supported raping the accused. Another posited that the accused should be stoned to death. Many felt the accused should be killed because “he will do it again.” Are we ISIS? Stoning?

These attitudes are terrifying because they speak to a black and white mentality that I seriously can’t believe still exists in the world, much less in the supposedly educasted United States of America. The lefty feminists who banded with the right wing extremists, the Jesus freaks and the moralists all appeared to be advocating for a mindet found in wahabi-Islam and the freaked out Calvinism of old. 

Justice by mob rule. 

If this mentality isn’t aggressively challenged, we will see the end of all fairness in our courts -- and in our society. Aw hell, we won’t even need courts! Just a rope and tree.

And that’s always worked so well, right?

(Required by Alabama Law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than other lawyers.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

This is what is wrong with America today

Look at this photo. This is 28-year-old Ieshia Evans passively opposing the Baton Rouge Police Department at a protest march. The cops were pushing and antagonizing the peaceful crowd, and the situation was getting tense. Ieshia calmly approached to passively object to the police threat. She was promptly arrested for no reason.

This is what is wrong with America today.

Cops dressed like RoboCop, in full military-style assault gear, confronting a passive, unarmed woman as if she is a threat – and then arresting her for no reason.

Our society is teetering on the brink of civil collapse because of the rise of the police state. Americans are no longer protected by police. They are assaulted by them. 

Cops shoot unarmed people daily. The truth is, cops kill nearly double the number of whites as blacks annually. Shockingly, nearly half of all people killed annually by cops are unarmed.

Why? What is happening?

It’s a combination of things.

1) Cops are scared to death. When I was a cop in metro-Atlanta in the 1980s, we weren’t taught to fear the public. Today, cops are trained from day one to fear everyone they encounter. Every man, woman and child is a threat. The training – ostensibly a model believed to enhance police survival – teaches them that we are all out to kill them. Recruits are taught that everyone is dangerous. It’s an us against them mentality.  Cops call the general public “civilians,” as if they’re military. They’re not. They’re civilian employees of the taxpayers.

When I was a cop, we were taught at police academy – and reminded when we went to work – that the public trusts us to make things better not worse. Our commanders used to say, “It’s your job to make things better. Don’t go into a situation and inflame it. Defuse it.” Today cops inflame every situation they encounter because of their training. (See # 3, later.)

2) Cops today view themselves as “the law,” rather than servants of the law. Cops have limited jurisdiction to arrest people. Their job is to make arrests when the cop believes that someone has broken the law. It requires probable cause. A cop must believe a crime has been committed and that the person being arrested likely committed it. In the case of petty crimes, the cop actually has to see the crime committed. Period. They’re not allowed to give legal advice. They’re not allowed to settle civil disputes. They’re not allowed to arrest people without cause and not allowed to arrest people for breaking laws that don’t exist. Of course, they do this constantly. Cops now view themselves as the arbiters of all things legal. An example: One time I was entering a courthouse and a cop, out of the blue, looks at me and says, “Take your hat off.” Now, there is no law requiring we take our hats off entering a courthouse. There is a rule that you can’t wear a hat in a courtroom, unless for religious reasons, but not just in a courthouse. I looked at the cop and said, “No.” He got instantly furious. I said to him, “You’re job is to uphold the law, not rules you make up in your head.” He insisted that I join him in the office of the presiding judge, whereupon the judge nicely told the cop he was wrong.

Cops often overreach beyond their authority, such as cops includes being called out to disputes between landlords and tenants, ordering the tenant to pay a landlord money, when in fact any judge would say the opposite. Cops trying to unilaterally enforce divorce decrees and child visitation orders, which they have no jurisdiction to do. Cops enforcing zoning ordinances, which they have no authority to do, is commonplace. Cops ordering people to do or not do things which are not even in the criminal code. I remember one case where a cop showed up at a hotel and told people not to use the diving board, etc. It’s bizarre. Cops want to micro-manage the lives of every American.

This becomes dangerously problematic when it comes to criminal investigations. Cops often make snap judgments about who committed a crime and then view themselves as judge, jury and executioner. They view themselves as having the right to destroy the lives of those they arrest.

When cops shoot down unarmed people, it’s because they view themselves as having the right to do so. Cops often bend the rules, falsify evidence, make mountains out of molehills all with the intent to do as much damage to the life of the person they are targeting as possible. Why? Because they believe the person deserves it, and they view themselves as entitled to do this damage.

3) Cops are trained these days to inflame every situation they are involved in. How could this happen? It’s simple. When I was a cop we were taught the “public safety” model. Our job was to keep the peace, to make no arrest unless absolutely necessary. When we encountered people, it was our job to ask questions, lots of questions, to discern what was going on. When dealing with people, be kind and polite and soft-spoken. Don’t be a pushover, but be professional at all times. I arrested many people who had committed serious felonies with “please” and “thank you.” Politeness often defused a tense situation. 

When I encounter older cops who were taught this training model, I am always impressed. They are sober, reasonable, realistic, professional cops who know their job and do it well. They don’t lie in their reports and they don’t lie on the witness stand. I have considerable admiration for them.

Not so the younger cops. Today, cops are taught what is called the “command and control” model. No longer are cops taught to arrive at a call and ask questions. It’s that simple. They’re taught to arrive and put everyone on the ground, no matter how young or old, infirm, or innocent. Cops arrive barking orders, hands on their guns, telling everyone to get down as if everyone is an armed felon. Guess what? People react with strong opposition to that. And they object. They refuse. Then they’re taken down violently as “non-compliant.” Look at any police report today and you will see that word: “non-compliant.” In short, someone refused to be talked to or be treated like a criminal. The second you don’t submit to a cop’s demands, you are notched up as worthy of being kicked to the ground and hog-tied and even shot. I don’t care how law-abiding you are, the cops will take you down. They are taught they are justified in knocking you down because you were non-compliant and questioned their “command and control.”

Interestingly, the late United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – a very pro-cop judge – wrote in many opinions that he took issue with this style of policing. He said he believed our nation’s founders wouldn’t have tolerated this treatment by cops for a second, either.

This is at the root of the problem. Cops think they have the right to control everyone and issue commands that must be obeyed. They don’t. If you tell them that, they will bow up and become hostile – even violently so. They call this beating on innocent, but non-compliant, people an “attitude adjustment.” They will kick you to the ground, slam you to the pavement, injure you badly, and then hog-tie you like an animal and then chuckle to each other, “I gave him an attitude adjustment.”

Further, cops are taught to lie to us. We are not allowed to lie to them. That’s a crime. The United States Supreme Court has said cops can lie to us to “further an investigation.” So, we’re placed in a position of submission to the cops. Cops are taught to never trust anything we say. They are taught to believe nothing. We are taught we are supposed to respect them and believe everything they say, especially when they’re on the witness stand. I’ve said for 20 years - you wanna see a cop lie? Put his hand on the Bible and then have swear him to tell the truth. Now sit back and watch the lies come out.

4) Cops now believe they are superheroes. It’s true. After 9/11, politicians lauded all initial responders to disasters with hero status.  Cops were no longer public servants, they were an elite superhuman hero. This puffery caused an ever-inflating egotism that is pervasive in all post-9/11 cops all over the USA now. Add to that the command and control mantra and you have super-ego cops thinking they’re above us all. They’re akin to Superman.

This causes a complete disregard for the rule of law. Cops do what they want, when they want, and then get pissed off when you call them on it.

5) Most cops are stupid. It’s the truth. Most cops go through – and this will shock you – from between four to 18 weeks of training at police academy. Much of that time is spent teaching cop wannabes not to shoot themselves in the leg or foot when they’re drawing their pistols. When you read stories about the number of cops being shot in the USA annually, dig deeper. Most of these are self-inflicted shootings of their own leg or foot. It’s true!

That’s right! Imagine, the cop with all the military hardware who is barking at you to get on the ground for no reason may have had as little as one month’s training! No wonder they’re out of control. 

Cops are usually high school graduates. Some departments, such as Denver Police Department, have raised standards and actively seek college graduates, but most departments don’t. Why? Money. You can pay a kid with a high school diploma a lot less than a fully-formed adult with a college degree. This results in a lesser quality police force.

Cops very often break the law they’re allegedly trying to uphold. They don’t read people their Miranda Rights. They violate search and seizure laws. They ignore (with the tacit approval of their commanders) case law which requires them to do or not do certain things during an arrest. They are taught to bend the rules to the breaking point to “enforce the law.” Enforce? That’s a problem right there. When you tell someone to “enforce” something, you imply autonomy. It’s the job of the courts to enforce the law, not the cops.

Interestingly, in 21 years of practicing law, I’ve had several run ins with cops in court where they were convinced they had a say-so in the outcome of a case. This is partially because many prosecutors grant to their officers more influence than they deserve. Cops will cross the bar of the courtroom to the area where lawyers and judges conduct business to try and browbeat the lawyers into whatever resolution they want. When I tell a cop, “look, you’re not a lawyer and you’re not a judge. You’re just a witness, go sit down,” they get livid. I once got into a heated confrontation with a cop who actually picked up a court file and tried to tamper with it.

6) Cops now have immunity from being sued. When Ronald Reagan was president, he pushed through legal reform that prevented cops from being sued for violating your civil rights. He said that it was unfair for any cop to have to worry about losing his home merely for violating the rights of the citizens. How inane is that? As a result, cops know they can break the rules – even break the law – when dealing with the public and they’re safe from being sued. When I was a cop, that threat of lawsuit made us circumspect – and it led to us being more careful not to arrest people who didn’t need arresting.  Today cops arrest without fear of reprisals.

7) Our nation is awash in a gun-nut madness that is destroying us all. We are a nation of 330,000,000 people and we own 310,000,000 guns. Many of these guns are high-capacity, high-velocity semi-automatic pistols and rifles which are suitable only for military combat. Because we own them, the cops own them too. It’s like we’re Russia and the cops are China. A constant militarization of our culture puts us all at risk. 

It’s ridiculous. People own guns that don’t need guns. Teens buy guns because of the threat of other teens who have guns. Adults buy guns out of fear of other adults who have guns. The cops buy bigger and badder guns out of fear of the teens and adults who have guns. And just this week, for the first time in history the cops in Dallas used a bomb to kill a suspect. A bomb? We've descended into near anarchy.

As a result, our nation is gripped with a paranoia that is terrifying. The pro-gun types believe in this hero myth of the lone armed American citizen taking down a terrorist or an "active shooter," saving the public from some evil-doer. This is a joke.

The reality is most people can hit their target only 15% of the time – and that’s on a shooting range. The odds are in a high-stress situation that 15% will drop to zero. Think on this: If armed, militarized SWAT teams can’t take down an “active shooter,” what makes you think you can with your gun? You can’t.

So, what’s wrong with our country is not easy to define, but it’s easy to see. We’re a police state where the public and the cops are militarized to the point of open warfare and we’re screaming at each other in such a way that everyone has their finger on the trigger.

This photo shows just how bad the situation is.

(Required by Alabama Law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than other lawyers.)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How the feds are using hacking techniques to catch child porn users