Thursday, March 22, 2012

Resist AND Die – Why?

[UPDATE II :: March 30, 2012 :: Stand Your Ground and DIE – WHY?]

[UPDATE below - Court ruling offers new details on EPD excessive force case or so says Thadeus Greenson about the murder of Martin Cotton]

Violent exchange culminates in death of a felon – Thadeus Greenson's take on the police shooting of a 26 year old man for doing nothing, but being a felon.

[This is an UPDATE on the posting below: Self-Defense Is a Bitch]

A good explanation for WHY is contained in today's Wednesday, March 21, 2012, Times-Standard: Fortuna shooting investigation continuesDetails surface in police deadly force incident, written by Thadeus Greenson.
[A “deadly force incident” means someone got shot and killed by the Fortuna police, okay?]
What kind of an “incident” occurred in Fortuna? According to Greenson, Fortuna Police Chief William Dobberstein said officers were dispatched to a woman's report of a “crazed person banging on the door and yelling and screaming in her front yard.” A scary situation, to be sure, BUT nothing life threatening happening. The question I ask is, did this guy actually commit a crime here? Anything to justify his death? When the police get there the “suspect” is gone.  Nothing more than a little door banging and some hollering from the front yard. But, then notice what happens. The police identify the guy and find out he's “had numerous prior contacts with” the Fortuna police. So now they know who the guy doing all the “door banging and hollering is, (their favorite trashy troublemaking scumbag) Jacob Newmaker.

What happens next? He's spotted by the police “about three-quarters of a mile from the residence where the 911 call originated. No serious threat to anyone there – he's running away. The police chase him on his bicycle, “right behind him with his lights and sirens going.” In the melee he crashes his bicycle and the “officer confront[s] him.” Notice what happens next. Clearly the officer knows he's got a scared and agitated guy trying to stay away. What followed? “An altercation.” What does the officer do to control the situation, where at this point nothing's been done that is life threatening or even a crime? This guy was clearly “confronted” by the police officer. The police officer caused whatever “altercation” that occurred. He used his Taser to “shock” and already agitated individual that "hurts like hell." This is exactly what this agitated person REALLY needed right then, “a pain compliance technique” that "hurts like hell" used on a clearly agitated, or even“highly motivated” suspect.

Was Jacob Robert Newmaker threatening anyone? NO. He was motivated to run, to try to get away from the threatening police officer causing him pain. And that's all they did was cause him MORE pain, “Dobberstein said the officers then tried to get Newmaker into handcuffs, using pepper spray and batons strikes to the legs to try to gain compliance.” “Gain compliance” is just a fancy way of saying, “do what you're told.” That's usually what rapist say to their victims too.  Once the victim complies and submits to the rape, the rapist is justified and exonerated from any crime or criminal act because to victim willingly yielded or went along; complied.

And this is the real problem that caused this man his life. The police clearly using “pain compliance techniques” to effectively torture a person into submitting or yielding – doing what they are ordered to do establishes the lack of legitimate authority to enforce the law and effect a safe and sane arrest. When this country was governed by people that enforced the law, police  officers simple effected the arrest and that was that. Now that they ARE the law they use torture devices to force compliance with their dictates. Resist or question their legitimacy and you most often end up dead.

The most compelling statement in this newspaper report is by Fortuna Police Lt. Matthew Eberhardt: “He was armed with a deadly weapon.” Greenson elaborates: “Newmaker was unarmed until he picked up the officer's baton, at which point he was considered armed and dangerous.” If this statement is true, then these police officers ARMED him and then used that situation to shoot him down like a dog. No different situation then what those two CHP officers did to Felix Omai in Garberville. They initiate a violent attack (what they call an arrest for some crime) then use their attack to justify why they made the attack or so-called arrest.
More importantly, look at yet another descrepency in Thadeus Greenson's reporting. Please note: “At this point, dobberstein said, the initial officer on scene attempted to use his baton to gain control of Newmaker's uncuffed hand, but the suspect was able to grab the weapon. (Note: “grab the weapon” the police officer was using on Newmaker) Quote Dobberstein: “Then, there was a tug-of-war for the baton, and he was able to wrestle it free.” Now note what Greenson says further along in the article: Newmaker was unarmed until he picked up the officer's baton, at which point he was considered armed and dangerous.” Did he wrestle the “weapon” or a “baton” from the officer or did he pick it up off the ground?

This idea that a baton is NOT a weapon in the hands of a “trained” police officer and therefore becomes something “less than a lethal weapon” does not pass the smell test. If a 9mm handgun is a lethal weapon regardless of who is holding it so is a baton. If the police are justified using deadly force against someone holding a baton then anyone legally defending themselves is justified using deadly force. This idea as expressed in Greenson's somewhat propagandized article continuing to soft-pedal another police killing that there is a difference depending upon who is holding the weapon is a classic example of how the Rule of men enforce their law to defend and protect their criminal conduct and special privilege.

Thadeus Greenson, to his credit, did produce a rather all encompassing article. Or, to his discredit slanted and biased the report in his normal fashion. Even so, the part he included from Robert Feliciano, a former training sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who now serves as a qualified expert witness on police us of force is well worth reading and considering. I've included that excerpt at the end of this article.

What's the over reaching message in this, yet another tragedy? I'd start with the general premise issued by the Eureka Chief Murl Harpham when he said we need "tough cops." A general definition of his kind of tough cop was illustrated in the Joseph Cotten murder. Where once again the police crime of murder is passed off as a passé, non responsible act of "excessive force." Then I would go to the heart of how local police officers are trained and how that training engenders a racist, bully-type attitude that is demonstrated in their conduct. In the Robert Newmaker situation that probably starts with Fortuna Police Lt. Matthew Eberhardt. Bottom line, this guy, Jacob Newmaker was vulnerable, the police officers knew that and took full advantage, to this man's death.

[UPDATE II Link to The Joe Blow Report - Stand Your Ground and DIE – WHY?]

Robert Feliciano said he would generally consider a baton a less-than-lethal weapon. Feliciano said officers are trained to use just enough force necessary to overcome resistance, and said he isn't sure that was the case in Fortuna on Friday. 
Feliciano said the bigger question is whether officers should have wound up in a violent confrontation with the suspect to begin with. 
”I mean, this thing starts over nothing really,” Feliciano said. “We have a young guy dead as a result of what? A misdemeanor?” 
Because the initial call was likely for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or maybe trespassing -- all misdemeanors -- Feliciano said he's not sure the initial officer even had sufficient probable cause to attempt to detain Newmaker because no officer witnessed him commit the alleged offenses. 
”I'm not sure you even have a right to stop him,” Feliciano said. “Before the baton situation, there's nothing but misdemeanors there.” 
Even after deciding to stop Newmaker, Feliciano said, the involved officer could have taken a step back when Newmaker fled and the situation escalated -- especially considering the officer is believed to have known Newmaker. 
”The right thing may have been to regroup,” Feliciano said. “They know who this guy is. They know his background. If they let him go, what's the worst that could happen? Was it even necessary to try to detain this guy? I don't know.” 
Feliciano conceded he was playing “Monday-morning quarterback” without all the facts, but said that as a training officer, he always instructed rookies not to chase a suspect by themselves and to be very wary of engaging in foot pursuits. 
”Things can escalate very quickly,” he said, adding that he feels for the officers involved in this situation because deadly force incidents can take a huge toll.


  1. This is a tragedy, makes me wonder why the times standard pulled or hid the article? What REALLY happened on that day?

  2. No One knows, only the real witness can the honest will tell the truth, well, who knows..