WATCH: Cops Get Slap on the Wrist for Trying to Beat Compliant Man to Death

police

Pinellas Park, FL — Sheriff’s deputies in Pinellas County have been under an internal affairs investigation after alarming dash cam video was released that clearly showed them beating and choking a man who appears to be complying with their orders. Wednesday afternoon, nearly 7 months after the incident, the cops finally finished investigating themselves and they received their slaps on the wrist.

For nearly killing a surrendering man, beating him, yanking out his dreadlocks, needlessly tasering him as he complied with their commands, and turning off a body camera to cover it up, Deputy Alexander Edge and Deputy Jason Fineran will get two very short vacations.

As WFTS reports, 

As a result of the investigation, Deputy Edge received a 15 day suspension without pay for using improper technique/police practices.

Deputy Fineran was suspended 5 days for turning off his microphone during the encounter.

The Sheriff made it clear the suspensions were not for striking Reed, but for violating other department policy.

The dash cam video starts with a police cruiser driving around 70 mph down the street, racing past surrounding cars at 11:30 p.m. on May 25. Fox 13 reported that deputies were responding to a call about a man with a gun in a residential neighborhood.

To be clear, Reed is the legal owner of two pistols. However, during this stop, they were not on his person. Also, it is clearly not against the law to be in possession of a legally owned gun.

Advertisment

When the police cruiser reaches a stop, 25-year-old Jimarez Reed can be seen crouching down by the side of a parked car. He looks shocked by both the bright headlights speeding down the dark street and by an officer who is already on the scene approaching him with a gun drawn. But even as Reed hides near the car, it is clear that both of his hands are raised, and he is not holding any weapons.

“Get on the ground!” one of the deputies yells, and Reed complies.

While the camera continues to capture the scene, one of the deputies mutes the audio, and it remains off for several minutes. As Reed lays flat on the ground with both hands out, a deputy jumps on top of him and punches him SEVEN times in the head.

Reed’s attorney, Michele Rayner, told Fox 13 that she believes deputies used excessive force while attempting to arrest Reed. “You see the video, you see the officer, the first thing he does he jumps on him and just starts wailing on him,” Rayner said.

“Don’t kill me, please. Let me go, let me go, bro,” Reed pleads, as the deputy responds by pulling Reed’s head up by his hair.

Another deputy joins in and punches Reed as he tries to force his hands behind his back. A bystander then enters the footage and appears to try to help police handcuff Reed. The first deputy responds by placing Reed into a chokehold. The officers continue to hit and choke Reed until two more officers pile onto his body, which had been face down on the ground the entire time.

WFLA reported that according to neighbors, the first deputy on the scene “chased Reed for some time” before the other deputies arrived and began recording the scene on dash cam.

Reed was ultimately charged with battery of an officer and resisting arrest with and without violence. After he was arrested, he required medical attention and needed stitches for the cuts on his face.

“They are roughing him up. They are pulling his hair. And he’s not resisting” Rayner told WFLA. “When I watched this, it was like air was sucked out of me. And I looked at my client, I said, I don’t even know how you are alive.”

Rayner also noted that if the officers believed Reed was armed, they do not appear to be following protocol. “They have standard operating procedures to deal with people who may be armed and I don’t think that was their standard operating procedure,” she said.

Once Reed was handcuffed, the dash cam footage shows five deputies searching for the gun he reportedly had in his possession. According to Fox 13, a gun was eventually recovered, but it was found in Reed’s locked car. However, the dash cam footage paints a different picture.

“You physically saw a gun?” one deputy asked.

“Yes, sir,” a deputy replied.

“He ain’t got no gun,” another deputy said.

While the information has not yet been released showing Jimarez Reed’s conduct leading up to the time when the Dash Cam began recording, the fact is that Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies were using excessive force by repeatedly hitting and choking a man who was clearly surrendering, and they should be held accountable for their actions. Sadly, as their weak suspensions show, that will not happen.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


The Free Thought Project

As Media Obsesses over Trump’s Diet, Israel is Dropping Bombs on Children

diet

The mainstream media devoted a significant portion of its precious airtime to a groundbreaking report claiming that President Trump drinks 12 cans of Diet Coke each day. While that could be considered news, it does not seem nearly as important as the news coming out of the Middle East in response to a recent decision made by the Trump Administration.

When Trump announced that he approved moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, it received significant media coverage. However, as the fallout from that decision begins, the MSM has become increasingly distracted by reports on Trump’s diet, and how he could be harming himself.

To the mainstream media, Trump drinking diet coke is more important than a US ally bombing children.

It is no surprise that Palestinians would be angered by Trump’s decision, as it shows his preference for the state occupying their territory. A series of protests and riots broke out in the days following the announcement, and Israel responded with heavy military presence.

Advertisment

There have also been reports of a group linked to Hamas firing bottle rockets towards Israel. The IDF confirmed that on Thursday, “a projectile was fired from northern Gaza and exploded in southern Israel.”The IDF responded by sending a tank to the area and targeting two “terror posts” in Gaza with airstrikes. There were reports of continued violence on Monday, and as ZeroHedge reported:

“During Monday evening (local time) the Israeli Army confirmed via the IDF spokesperson that, ‘A short while ago, rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. Hits have not yet been identified.’ And the IDF once again repeated its warning that Hamas would be retaliated against following any and all rocket fire: ‘In response to the rocket, an IDF tank and the IAF targeted Hamas terror posts in the southern Gaza Strip. The IDF holds Hamas responsible for these aggressive acts originating from the Gaza Strip.’ 

Israeli media has subsequently confirmed that a rocket hit southern Israel Monday night but with no damage or injuries, and with warning sirens failing to sound. The IDF in turn struck Hamas outposts in the southern Gaza Strip using tanks and planes according to Israeli media sources.”

The Jerusalem Post noted that at the time of the IDF’s retaliation for the bottle rockets, “it had not been determined whether the rockets were fired by Hamas, Islamic Jihad or a smaller terrorist group.”

The rockets did not cause any injuries. It should also be noted that while Israel had not confirmed who was responsible for the bottle rockets at the time, the retaliation used by their military was deadly and affected dozens of innocent Palestinians.

The airstrikes killed two Palestinians and injured at least 25 people, including six children, according to a report from Sky News. This comes after two Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli officers during protests on Saturday.

While drinking 12 cans of Diet Coke each day is far from a healthy habit, its newsworthy value pales in comparison to the aftermath of a crucial foreign policy decision made by the Trump Administration.

In addition to moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the U.S. has begun giving Israel $ 3.8 billion each year in the largest military aid deal in U.S. history—thanks to a deal signed by the Obama Administration. Adding to that, Trump promised Israel another $ 75 million in aid in September, serving as a reminder that each airstrike Israel uses against Palestine is funded by American taxpayers.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


The Free Thought Project

Government Should Leave Bakers Alone

Picture

By Ron Paul

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case stems from the refusal of Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery, to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The bakery was found guilty of a civil rights violation and ordered to stop refusing to bake and design cakes because they are for same-sex weddings. The bakery was also required to file reports on the steps it takes to comply and whether it turns down any prospective customers.

The decision to force the bakery to change its business practices reflects a mistaken concept of rights. Those who support government intervention in this case view rights as a gift from government. Therefore, they think politicians and bureaucrats can and should distribute and redistribute rights. This view holds it is completely legitimate to use government force to make bakeries bake cakes for same-sex weddings since the government-created right to a cake outweighs the rights of property and contract.

This view turns the proper concept of rights on its head. Rights are not gifts from government, so the government cannot restrict them unless we engage in force or fraud. The bakery did not use force to stop any same-sex couple from getting a wedding cake. It simply exercised its right to decide who it would accept as a customer. No one would support private individuals forcing bakery employees to bake a cake at gunpoint, so why is it right for the government to do it?

Some people claim that forcing the bakery to bake the cake is consistent with libertarianism. The reason they make this claim is they view the bakery’s actions as rooted in bigotry toward homosexuals. But even if this were true, it would not justify government intervention. Bigots and others with distasteful views have the right to use their property as they choose. The way to combat bigotry is through boycotts and other means of peaceful persuasion.

Instead of considering whether Colorado has violated the bakery’s rights of property and contract, the Supreme Court is considering whether Colorado’s actions violate the bakery’s religious liberty. The argument for a religious liberty violation is based on the fact that the bakery owner’s refusal to bake the cake was rooted in his religious objection to same-sex marriage. Looking just at this argument means that a victory for the bakery would implicitly accept the legitimacy of laws dictating to whom private businesses must provide services, as long as an exemption is made for those with religious objections. This reduces property and contract rights to special privileges held by business owners with “sincere religious convictions.” It also allows judges, bureaucrats, and politicians to determine who is really acting on sincere religious convictions.

Just as business owners have the right to decide who to do business with, individuals have the right to form any arrangement they wish as long as they do not engage in force or fraud. This includes entering into what many consider unconventional or even immoral marriage contracts. What no individual has the right to do is use government to force others to accept his definition of marriage.

Even if the bakery wins in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, its victory will only protect those businesses acting on a “sincere religious conviction.” Those who oppose forcing bakers to bake cakes and who support private business owners’ right to decide who to accept as customers should work to restore respect for everyone’s rights.

Ron Paul Liberty Report – Archives

After Trillions Mysteriously Go ‘Missing,’ DoD Getting Audited for First Time in History

audit

“The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history,” the Pentagon’s news service said this week, announcing that they are finally going to follow through with something they promised to do for years.

Beginning in 1996 all federal agencies were mandated by law to conduct regular financial audits. However, the Pentagon has NEVER complied with that federal law. In 20 years, it has never accounted for the trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds it has spent, in part because “fudging” the numbers has become standard operating procedure at the Department of Defense, as revealed in a 2013 Reuters investigation by Scot Paltrow, which detailed the illicit tasks of 15-year employee, “Linda Woodford [who] spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.”

“Every month until she retired in 2011,” Scot J. Paltrow wrote for Reuters, “she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.

“And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. ‘A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,’ Woodford says. ‘We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.’”

Advertisment

“Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” Rafael DeGennaro, director of Audit the Pentagon, told the Guardian earlier this year. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.”

In what will likely be an immense and highly politicized dog any pony show, the Pentagon is now claiming this will start immediately.

“It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.

“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” the Defense Department’s comptroller, David L. Norquist, said, noting the audits will now be an annual task.

As NPR reports, as for how the audit would work, Jim Garamone of the official DoD News agency reports that the department’s Office of the Inspector General has “hired independent public accounting firms to conduct audits of individual components — the Army, Navy, Air Force, agencies, activities and more — as well as a departmentwide consolidated audit to summarize all results and conclusions.”

Exactly what will come of this enormous feat of counting the money spent on spreading the American empire remains a mystery. However, what is not a mystery is the trillions that have “gone missing” as a result of the Pentagon’s refusal to comply with 20 years of audits.

As TFTP reported at the time, a Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released in 2016, left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $ 6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.

According to the report by the Fiscal Times:

“An increasingly impatient Congress has demanded that the Army achieve “audit readiness” for the first time by Sept. 30, 2017, so that lawmakers can get a better handle on military spending. But Pentagon watchdogs think that may be mission impossible, and for good reason…

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the behemoth Indianapolis-based agency that provides finance and accounting services for the Pentagon’s civilian and military members, could not provide adequate documentation for $ 6.5 trillion worth of year-end adjustments to Army general fund transactions and data.

The DFAS has the sole responsibility for paying all DOD military and personnel, retirees and annuitants, along with Pentagon contractors and vendors. The agency is also in charge of electronic government initiatives, including within the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy and the Departing of Veterans Affairs.”

While there is nothing in the IG’s report specifying that the money has been stolen, the mere fact that the Pentagon can’t account for how it spent the money reveals a potentially far greater problem than simple theft alone. Also, other reports put the toll of missing money upwards of $ 10 trillion.

The accounting errors and manipulated numbers, though obviously problems in their own right, highlight a far greater problem for the Defense Department than only bad recording keeping and wasteful spending habits. In reality, they are a representation of the poor decision-making, and lack of oversight and accountability that plague our nation’s government as a whole and this audit, however promising on the surface, will likely prove to be more of the same.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


The Free Thought Project

Julian Assange Calls Out CBS Lies, Offers The ‘Oligarchs’ $100K if They Can Prove Their Claim

assange

(RT) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has challenged the owners of CBS to a $ 100,000 bet that the network’s story about the whistleblowing website alleged links to the Trump family is false.

Assange lambasted the network on Twitter, calling them a “pathetic excuse for a media organization” after they published a story claiming WikiLeaks offered Donald Trump Jr. early access to leaked documents in September 2016.

Assange called the story “fake news” and bet the majority owners of CBS, the Redstone family, $ 100,000 that the claim is false.

Advertisment

Broadcasters CBS and CNN ran the story claiming Trump Jr. and other members of the Trump campaign, including Donald Trump himself, were sent an email containing a website URL and decryption key that would allow them view unpublished WikiLeaks material in September 2016.

Both news organizations first published stories claiming the emails were sent on September 4 – nine days before the emails were actually published on September 13 – but later corrected the date to September 14 after the Washington Post debunked the story.

CBS cited a source who they said received the email, while CNN claimed they were given the scoop from congressional investigators. CNN later published a correction, in lieu of a full retraction, to say the email sent to the Trump campaign “indicates that the writer may have simply been flagging information that was already widely available.”

President Donald Trump launched his own attack against CNN via Twitter Saturday, calling for those responsible for the ‘fake news’ gaff to be fired, and making fun of the channel’s signature slogan “the most trusted name in news”, which he says is a possible “fraud” against the American public.

There are many outlets that are far more trusted than Fake News CNN. Their slogan should be CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!” Trump tweeted.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


The Free Thought Project

Tax Bill Mixes Very Encouraging Developments With Very Disappointing Ones

People protest against tax reform in front of the US Capitol What to make of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the legislation passed by the Senate at 1:36 a.m. Saturday, by a 51 to 49 vote, with only Republicans in favor?

Any final assessment has to await a conference with the House of Representatives that will attempt to bridge differences between the Senate bill and the one already passed by the House.

For now, though, the legislation is a mixture of really encouraging developments and really disappointing ones.

Encouraging is the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. Politicians from both parties have long acknowledged that the U.S. corporate rate is so high that it hurts American competitiveness. President Obama in 2012 proposed reducing the rate to 28 percent, and eventually talked about a 25 percent rate for some manufacturers.

A 20 percent rate, or even 22 percent, would be an improvement. It would still leave America’s corporate tax rate higher than places like Ireland, where the rate is 12.5 percent. But it’d be a big step in the right direction, toward solving what even Obama acknowledged was a problem. The Senate waits until 2019 to deliver the 20 percent corporate rate, while the House bill puts it into effect in 2018.

Also encouraging is the prospect—somewhat shocking, isn’t it?—of politicians actually following through on a campaign promise. The potency of tax cuts as a political issue has been eroded over time by politicians who pledge them but fail to deliver. The Republicans haven’t managed to achieve their long-promised repeal of ObamaCare. Successfully getting a tax cut passed into law after being elected in part to bring one about is almost enough to warm a voter’s heart, or to restore a person’s faith in government’s ability to act on the signals sent by elections. It’s an antidote to cynicism.

Unfortunately, by that same standard, aside from the rate cuts, the content of the bill itself and the process behind it so far are pretty disappointing. The middle of the night, weekend, party-line vote is the sort of thing that Republicans complain about, with some merit, when Democrats control Congress. A full text of the 479-page bill was provided to senators only hours before the voting began, and it was full of hand-written cross-outs and marginal emendations. The Senate bill doesn’t meaningfully simplify the tax code. A lot of Americans will need not just a journalist or a politician but an accountant or a tax lawyer to explain to them how it will affect them.

There’s an element of the whole thing that reminds me of the home renovation horror story about the guy who starts out replacing a doormat and winds up having to redo the entire kitchen—what project managers call “scope creep.” The Republicans set out to lower the corporate tax rate. Once they did that, then rates for businesses organized in other ways looked low, so they had to lower those, too. And once that was done, budget rules meant they had to “recover” the “lost revenue” somehow, with a variety of minor adjustments, even tax increases. Together, those add up to lots of work for lobbyists and accountants. They can be revisited in coming years as a way to milk campaign contributions out of the interested parties.

Particularly dangerous is the practice of a political party using the tax code to reward its backers and punish its enemies. Republicans, who now control the White House and both parties of Congress, may find it humorous or convenient to raise revenue by increasing taxes on a handful of well endowed universities with overwhelmingly liberal faculties, and on the mostly Democratic-leaning cities and states with high state and local income taxes.

But there will come a time when the tables are turned, and Democrats will then be tempted to alter the tax code in a way that punishes Republicans. The GOP would be on higher ground if it stood on principle for a tax code that treats everyone the same.

Avoiding this sort of petty political vindictiveness is one of many reasons why a lot of people would prefer keeping their money in their own pockets in the first place, rather than sending it to Washington to be doled out by politicians to favorites in the form of either spending or narrowly targeted and easily reversible tax breaks.

In the end, the best news of all about a tax cut may be that it leaves the politicians and lobbyists in the Washington swamp even less of our money to mess around with.

Taxes

Good News: Young Americans Want a New Political Party

Picture

By Ron Paul

​Do we need a third major political party? I often joke that I’d be happy if we actually had a second party, as when it comes to the big issues – war, monetary policy, civil liberties – the Republicans and Democrats are more alike than different. Perhaps that’s why a recent NBC News poll has found that nearly two-thirds of young people surveyed do not believe either the Republicans or Democrats are doing a good job and that a third major political party is needed.

I think this is an encouraging sign. I suspect the NBC News poll result reflects the fact that young people are not as easily hoodwinked by the mainstream media and by the two-party duopoly charade in Washington. This generation has grown up with the Internet and the abundance of alternative media that challenges what really is a one-party system in the United States. They have been exposed to many new ideas, including good ones like libertarianism and non-interventionism.

Currently, mainstream politics in the US is all about power – how to get it and how to keep it – and not at all about philosophy or ideology. It is about selling out principles at every turn in order to chalk up another point in the “win” column. On issues like war and spending, it’s incredible how easily the two major parties are able to “compromise.”

A serious effort to create a new political party could be very exciting, but only if that new party is based on real ideas rather than simply the desire for power. Creating a viable third party will not be easy. While there is plenty written in the media about foreign collusion in US elections, the real collusion is between the Republican and Democratic Parties to prevent new parties from joining them on the national stage and the ballot.

Unfortunately the Libertarian Party has failed to live up to what should have been its role as an ideological alternative to Washington’s one-party system. As was quite obvious in the 2016 presidential election, the Libertarians yielded to prevailing attitudes on war, welfare, the Federal Reserve, and more. In believing that winning was more important than standing for something, they ended up achieving neither.

I would still like to have some hope for the Libertarian Party, but to really fill its role as a challenger to our two party system (that is actually a one party system) it would need a major overhaul. It would need to actually embrace the core libertarian principles of non-aggression and non-intervention in the affairs of others.

At the end of my 2008 presidential campaign, I brought together the candidates of the “minor” political parties and proposed that we agree on some basic principles regardless of whether we are libertarians, conservatives, progressives, or greens. Among those was the idea that we should never go to war unless we were directly attacked or threatened, that the Federal Reserve should not be allowed to benefit the rich by creating money out of thin air, and that we should not endorse deficit spending. 

If a new party could come together and agree on these basic principles while agreeing to disagree on other, less important priorities, we could begin a formidable movement toward peace and prosperity. 

Let us hope that this NBC News survey provides the inspiration to a real pro-peace, pro-prosperity movement in the United States. I have much confidence in the youth of our country! 

Ron Paul Liberty Report – Archives

Ron Paul Discusses the Libertarian Revolution

Picture

By Adam Dick

Ron Paul returned to the Scott Horton Show on Friday to discuss Paul’s new book The Revolution at Ten Years. As Paul explains in the interview, the revolution mentioned in the book title is the “libertarian revolution” that “came to light” in Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. While Paul acknowledges that “Washington hasn’t changed” since then, he also comments that the revolution continues with people “laying the groundwork for the necessary changes that will come” after the political system in America “falls apart.”

In addition to Paul’s book, Paul and host Scott Horton discuss topics including United States foreign policy and the Federal Reserve.

Listen to Paul’s interview here.

Purchase Paul’s book here.

This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.

Ron Paul Liberty Report – Archives