As I wrote this past summer….
(citations are in the linked original)
Officer John Q. Lawhead of the Scottsdale Police Department observes a black Chevy Camaro driven by a dark haired female heading eastbound on Shea Boulevard. He quickly turns to follow the vehicle and as soon as he is able to get a clear view, he enters the identification number displayed on it’s license plate into his dashboard computer. “Aha!” he thinks to himself as he switches on his overhead lights.
I used to wonder why police would take every possible opportunity to harass me. On one occasion, I spent two hours standing outside in the freezing cold being questioned about the five hundred dollars in my wallet and the high heels on the floorboard of my backseat after drug-sniffing dogs had “indicated” that some questionable substance was hidden somewhere in my vehicle; giving the officers the “right” to conduct a search. Needless to say, they found nothing. The great mystery was solved when a lawyer friend got a look at my profile as seen in the Scottsdale PD’s computer system. One particular item stands out among the rest: “Known Prostitute”. Funny label to apply to someone who has never been convicted of prostitution. Apparently “innocent until proven guilty” is just another convenient catchphrase much like “protect and serve” or “liberty and justice for all”.
All things considered it wasn’t really surprising when my friend Jill Brenneman,
who is also involved with Sex Workers Without Borders, called several weeks ago and told me that she finally figured out why the local police had pulled her over three times in the past month for a fabricated registration violation. She had been sitting in her parked car in a busy strip mall at lunchtime, talking on the phone, when a police officer knocked on her car window. To summarize, he asked her what she was doing, who she was talking to, and if she was “conducting business” before informing her that she had came up in the system as a “known prostitute” and that she needed to leave the premises immediately.
While I was once wrongfully charged with prostitution many years ago (the charges were subsequently dropped), Jill has never even been charged with prostitution, much less convicted. My theory is that public activism earned her this dubious title although realistically it simply doesn’t matter; according to the United States Constitution if someone has not been convicted of a crime in a court of law then they cannot possibly be “known” to commit that criminal act. One cannot be a “known murderer” if they have not been convicted of murder, a “known rapist” if they have not been convicted of rape, a “known drug dealer” if they have not been convicted of the illegal sale of narcotics, or a “known prostitute” if they have not been convicted of prostitution. In fact, if one were to be called these things in print it could be considered slander; in a court of law it could be grounds for a mistrial. Therefore, I believe it would be in the spirit outlined by the Constitution that if an individual is subjected to harassment by law enforcement because of unfounded claims made on a departmental profile it be considered grounds for dismissal of any resulting charges. This is the only way to put an end to this blatant abuse. Unfortunately, the potential for success of any such proposed legislation would be slim to none in the present age of political and constitutional harlotry. The spirit of the Constitution doesn’t mean any more to constitutional whores than having sex with strange men for money means to the traditional variety.
Last time I checked, harassment is still harassment and whores are still whores, although their days of reckoning in the United States justice system are unfairly reserved only for those accused of setting their physical selves to sale. Since we may be waiting quite a while for the current rash of constitutional whores to face their official judgment, I figured I’d conduct my own little mock trial of sorts right here. I’ll be prosecutor and readers get to play judge and jury in the following cases of constitutional prostitution, determining once and for all who is most well known in all of whoredom.
Case #1: Kentucky v. King
On the 16th of May 2011, hereby referred to as “the day the Fourth Amendment was flushed down the toilet”, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor on a ruling that allows police to forcibly enter a residence with no warrant when they suspect that a law is being broken inside if, upon traditional announcement of their arrival, they hear noises such as the flushing of a toilet that leads them to believe evidence might be getting destroyed. That’s right folks; cops can now presume to smell marijuana, knock on your door, hear a toilet flush, then forcibly enter your home with no further warning and all of this is perfectly legal.
That’s what happened to Hollis King, who was minding his own business smoking a joint in his living room when Lexington police followed an unrelated drug suspect into the apartment complex where King lives. Upon losing their suspect, they detected an odor of marijuana in the hallway, knocked on King’s door, then forcibly entered claiming that they heard sounds of “scurrying” coming from within. King was subsequently arrested and charged with drug possession.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states that: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”. That sounds pretty damned clear to me; the Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves. Then again, they’ve probably been spinning like chickens on an automatic rotisserie stick for the past hundred years so I suppose they’re used to it. For the rest of us however, this may mean the final flush of the toilet as far as the Fourth Amendment is concerned. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (who voted against the ruling) stated, “The Court today arms the police with a way to routinely dishonor the 4th Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down.”.
The issue of focus in this case was that of what constitutes “exigent circumstances”. As Justice Stevens wrote in the case of Payton v. New York, circa 1980: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.”. Until now, the definition of “exigent” circumstances has been limited to those which pose an immediate threat to someone’s physical safety. The Kentucky v. King ruling widens the scope of what can be considered “exigent” to include circumstances which threaten destruction of evidence that the state could use to prosecute. This raises the question of why the interests of the state are apparently being held in higher regard than the rights of the individual.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let us take a moment to remember that the Constitution was written to protect citizens from the government, not the other way around. The only proper role of government in a free society is to defend the rights of it’s citizens but instead the government trampled all over the rights of Hollis King. Worse yet, they are proving my theory that the violation of one individual’s rights equals the violation of all individual rights by sanctioning the desecration of those belonging to Hollis King and allowing it to be used as a model for the future disregard of the rights of others.
Case #2: Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo v. Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office
At least constitutional whores posing as public servants didn’t cause tragic and irreversible damage when they invaded Hollis King’s home. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland and his family. On July 29, 2008, Prince George’s County sheriff’s deputies raided the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo after a package containing marijuana was mistakenly delivered to his residence. The mayor’s elderly mother-in-law was in the kitchen cooking dinner when police busted through the front door and fatally shot the family’s two black Labrador retrievers Chase and Payton, then mercilessly interrogated both the mayor and his mother-in-law while leaving them handcuffed on the floor in a pool of their dying pets’ blood. One of the dogs was shot in the back while attempting to flee the scene.
The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office claimed not to have known that the residence belonged to the small town mayor and acted without informing the Berwyn Heights police department, who denounced both the raid and the deputies’ actions. Their excuse for the commando style entry and subsequent shootings was that the mayor’s mother-in-law screamed when she saw the SWAT team descending upon the family’s home. Imagine that.
The mayor and his family were later cleared of any involvement after a Fed-Ex courier was linked to the package of marijuana and arrested. I somehow doubt this was of much comfort. Incidentally, the deputies who shot Chase and Payton were also cleared of any wrongdoing by the Sheriff. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury; today is your opportunity to remedy what was obviously a major oversight and hold these thugs in blue responsible for their cruel and callous actions. While I have exemplified the case of Mayor Calvo in hopes that his status as mayor and model citizen would showcase the arbitrary nature of such behavior, this case is far from an isolated incident. As demonstrated in the following instances of stupefying inhumanity, execution of the family pet is becoming standard procedure during government sanctioned home invasions…er, I mean, law enforcement operations.
*This video from a 2008 raid in Columbia, MO as recently featured on The Agitator. I have yet to watch it; author Radley Balko’s statement “I was shaking while watching this one. Then I let out a string of profanities. Then I gave my dog a hug.” was good enough for me, as I’ve already taken a two day break from this column/”trial” due to emotional upset caused by my own chosen subject matter.
*Another recent execution of a family pet also brought to my attention via The Agitator, who apparently is not only a friend to whores (of the traditional variety) but to animals as well, a fact which I’m sure is greatly appreciated by all of dogkind.
The dog so cruelly killed by thugs whores Durham, NC law enforcement officers was a black lab named Sheba belonging to eighteen year old Deshawn Porter, who said that his dog was his best friend. Porter was never suspected of involvement in any crime.
*In Erie, CO, a four year old German Shepard named Ava was shot and killed in her own yard when her owner called police for help after receiving a threatening telephone call. According to witnesses, Ava approached Officer Jamie Chester in a curious, nonthreatening manner when he entered her front yard on foot. When the officer stepped back and placed his hand on his weapon Ava’s owner called for her to come back; as she turned to heed her owner’s command Officer Chester shot Ava from six feet away.
*In a display of uncharacteristic concern for an armed robber, Louisville, KY police have single handedly foiled any future attempts at heroism on the part of dogkind. A six year old Doberman named Rocco was a couple of feet away from his own doghouse when he found himself in the middle of a police pursuit. Officers were chasing a home invasion suspect on foot when the chase led them through Rocco’s fenced backyard. The trespassing officers claimed that they shot Rocco, who subsequently crawled, crying, into his doghouse where he later died “in self defense and to protect the suspect”.
*Camden, NJ police fired off 33 rounds in the middle of a residential neighborhood with children playing outside in efforts to kill eight month old pit bull puppy Camden, who thought he was running outside to play.
*The Seattle Humane Society demanded an investigation into a particularly disgusting incident where Officer Michael Graddon delivered the fatal shot to an escaped Newfoundland named Rosie after he and several other officers tasered and shot her multiple times while she cowered in a blackberry bush.
Apparently, this video details police laughing while torturing poor Rosie. I have not watched it, but reportedly one of the officers yells out “NICE” in the audio after they finish tormenting this gentle giant to death.
*The story of Jack the Chihuahua in Blue Ash, Ohio might sway the opinion of whatever dullards out there still think these atrocities only happen because some cops, for whatever reason, feel threatened by large dogs. Given to a little boy as a birthday gift several years prior to his senseless death, Jack had the misfortune to escape from his backyard one afternoon while his family was out. His family returned to find three bullets and blood spattered all over their front porch along with a note to contact police about their dog. Police claimed that Jack had bitten an officer. Taking into account the fact that officers had tasered and then shot at the five pound dog twice before hitting and killing him, this can hardly be considered a surprise.
*Quite possibly the saddest story of all, this one out of Berkeley about a dog named Rock. There are simply no words.
Although I love all animals and feel that they, as God’s creatures, are entitled to their own natural rights, this is not a blog about animal rights. Instead, this blog is about individual human rights and the folks on “trial” here are being tried for constitutional prostitution as demonstrated by violations on the inalienable rights of human beings. Since pets fall under the legal definition of property we must approach this issue as a matter of property rights. As a pet owner myself I can attest to the fact that many pet owners consider their pets to be their most treasured possessions.
According to the theory of individual rights, man’s right to life is the sole right from which all other rights are derived. The purpose of man’s existence is for him to live a productive life, therefore he must have the right to take the actions required for the furtherance of his own life and he must have the right to keep the fruits of his labor. Thus we return to the Fourth Amendment, as stated: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable seizures, shall not be violated.”. Pamela L. Roudebush of the Animal Legal and Historical Center at the Michigan State University College of Law discusses the legal aspect of the entire cop versus dog issue at length; in United States v. Jacobsen, 1984, the Supreme Court stated unequivocally that a seizure of personal property occurs when “there is some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in that property.”. Check. This leaves to the courts the question of what constitutes “unreasonable”; to determine reasonableness the court must determine whether a “reasonable” individual may have acted as the individual in question did under the same circumstances. Since readers are acting as judge and jury in our little court today, I challenge each and every one of you to thoroughly investigate the links I have provided and decide for yourselves if the behavior exhibited by law enforcement officials can be deemed at all reasonable by any possible stretch of the imagination.
Case #3: Guerena v. Pima County
What could possibly be worse than the horror of watching a beloved pet’s violent and arbitrary execution at the hands of those sworn to “protect and serve”? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, allow me to introduce Vanessa Guerena.
On the morning of May 5, 2011, Ms. Guerena had just turned on cartoons for her youngest son and was about to prepare breakfast when she saw men pointing automatic weapons at her through her son’s window. She screamed for her husband Jose, a veteran of the Marine Corps who faithfully served his country for two terms in Iraq and Afghanistan before his honorable discharge and subsequent employment with a local mining company, where he often worked twelve hour shifts throughout the night in order to support Vanessa and their two small children; Jose, 6, and Joel, 4. Jose had just retired to bed after a long shift when he was awakened by his wife’s terrified screams. Totally exhausted and still getting his bearings about him, he grabbed his gun, an AR-15, and told Vanessa to take their son and hide. The next thing she heard as she frantically hid her little boy in the closet was a huge bang followed by the sound of 71 successive rounds being fired; then, silence accentuated only by awful moans of pain. She rushed into her living room to find Jose dying on the floor, his blood, bone fragments, and brain matter bespattered throughout the entire room, and the AR-15 lying next to him. In the single minute that passed between screaming for her husband to hearing his dying moans, her life as well as that of her children was forever altered. It wasn’t until much later that she learned the safety on her husband’s weapon had never even been deactivated.
In the scene that ensued, Vanessa was on the telephone with a 911 operator desperately trying to get help for Jose who was still moaning in pain when SWAT officers dragged her out of her home, leaving her husband to die. As the supervisor of the SWAT team stated in a recently released debriefing, the possibility that Jose would somehow magically rise, pick up his weapon, and start shooting was so great that it was deemed unsafe for anyone to go inside to provide him with medical assistance or even to get four year old Joel out of the closet where he was hiding in terror. Accordingly, team members were busy inventing some grand scheme to “rescue” Joel when the little boy finally came out on his own and saw his mangled father dead on the floor. All in all, over an hour passed before police finally allowed paramedics inside but by then it was too late; after surviving Iraq and Afghanistan, Jose Guerena bled to death on the floor of his own home, at the hands of his own government.
As far as Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is concerned, the entire fiasco was a job well done. Jose and Vanessa’s residence was just one of four homes raided as part of an investigation that named Jose, his brother Alejandro, and Jose Celaya, a relative by marriage, as suspects in a drug and homicide investigation involving the double homicide of Manuel and Cynthia Orozco in March of 2010; Cynthia Orozco was Alejandro’s sister in law and also related to Celaya. One of the other homes targeted in the raid belonged to Jose and Alejandro’s mother Bertha, the remaining two to Jose Celaya and his wife Graciela. Although police netted some decent loot, including $94,000 cash found at the Celaya residence; at Jose Guerena’s home the only items of interest were a handgun, some paperwork, and “body armor” consistent with something an ex- Marine might own. No arrests were made.
Although the PCSO has sealed most of the evidence related to the twenty month investigation as well as to their own disgusting display of total disregard for human rights, last week they released the initial interview with Vanessa Guerena and debriefing with SWAT team supervisor Bob Krygier (both linked above) as well as this minute long video taken by a camcorder mounted on a SWAT team member’s helmet. Approximately eight seconds of sirens are heard as the team pulls up to the Guerena’s home; which is in direct contradiction to the claim made by Ray Epps, president of the Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, an organization comprised of police, military, veterans, and allies who have vowed to uphold their oaths of commission and maintain the dignity of the Constitution. Epps, a retired Marine sergeant, claims that he spoke with several neighborhood residents who said they heard nothing until the shooting started; no sirens, no banging, and no shouting. Speaking from the experience of hearing successive gunshots fired in close proximity to my own home, I can assure you that if those gunshots were preceded by eight seconds of sirens I would have not only heard it but remembered it as well. Thus we are presented with two options: that either the neighbors or Epps are lying for no apparent reason whatsoever, or that the PCSO doctored the tape. While any reasonable premise to accuse either party has yet to surface, it is quite clear that an act of ethical prostitution has been committed. If it was in fact committed by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office this would without a doubt fall into the category of egregious misconduct of a completely reprehensible nature.
However, the most damning tidbit of evidence is even more abhorrent and unfortunately indicative of a dangerous trend that is spreading through our country like the plague. While I must admit that it annoys the crap out of me when I’m directed by a recording to press two for Spanish, what really makes me angry is the fact that I can almost certainly call any government agency in Arizona and have that option yet the PCSO quite conveniently conducted their released interview of Vanessa Guerena entirely in English, even though she was obviously not proficient in the language. Although one might think that enabling proper communication with her would have been a priority, I suppose all of the state’s translators must have been busy at the courthouse that morning, offering plea bargains in Spanish to Hispanic traffic violators in hopes of raising money for the state. Worse still, the fashion in which Vanessa’s statement was transcribed is a classic example of the process of dehumanization at it’s finest. Let me assure you that the geniuses in the PCSO propaganda department pulled one hell of a spin job on this one, using a method known as “spoiled identity”. The way the entire document is presented portrays Vanessa as subhuman; a blank caricature of an illegal immigrant bearing absolutely no resemblance to you or I. The motive for this is quite clear; if the Guerenas are not regarded as human beings, why should anyone mind if they are treated without one iota of human dignity? This same brilliant tactic has been used by tyrannical governments throughout history to justify the most atrocious human rights violations ever witnessed by mankind.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury:
Due to the axiomatic nature of individual rights, the only way to protect one’s own is to stand up for those belonging to others. According to the law of reciprocity, this is in fact an obligation if we wish to live as free individuals. Ignorance may be bliss but the choice to wallow in blissful oblivion is equivalent to voluntary relinquishment of one’s own liberty. Do not allow yourself the luxury of thinking these things cannot happen to you or your loved ones because they most certainly can; each time an individual’s rights are violated it becomes that much easier to violate those of the next until this becomes the standard and every individual is living in fear. That could be you sitting in your living room when your home is invaded, that could be your beloved pet so violently and arbitrarily murdered, that could be you, your husband, or your child standing in a dark hallway ready to defend your family when sentenced to death by firing squad; your arraignment, conviction, and punishment carried out within a span of sixty seconds.
We must view the violation of our fellow man’s rights from the same perspective as if our own had been violated with the same natural outrage. I am absolutely furious, coupled with a sense of deep disappointment and underlying nostalgia for a time when the neighborhood beat cop would deliver the poor kittycat who had managed to climb up the tallest tree on the block but couldn’t quite make it down back into the grateful arms of the little girl it belonged to; his greatest reward the look of hero worship in her shining eyes. Nowadays the hapless kitty would be considered a potential threat and as such, taken out by the local SWAT team, yet another sacrifice to the dark altar of “public interest”. However, what these champions of so called “public interest” fail to realize is that the public is nothing but a group of individuals and as such, any conflict between public and private interests would mean that the interests of some individuals are sacrificed to those of others, a concept for which there exists no possible logical justification. Freedom leaves man at the mercy of random chance eminent in nature but to deny man his natural rights is to deny reality itself. Our very existence proves that we are meant to live free, to thrive, and above all, to create.
Thus I am left with only one question for the defendants: Who the hell do you think you are?
You say it was self defense? Just as shooting a five pound chihuahua cannot possibly be self defense, the individual is the smallest minority on earth. You have your badge, your fellow officers, and your weapons; to abuse the power associated is to bully those weaker than yourself, those whom you are sworn to protect.
Let me remind you of the Uniformed Services Oath of Office which each of you took upon commissioning: “I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
You swore to support and defend the Constitution which states that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Were any of the victims in any of the cases we have reviewed today treated as though they were innocent, even if they actually were? NO! Obviously your actions were based upon arbitrary presumptions of guilt, as are actions taken against me because of unfounded claims made on a departmental profile.
On June 15th, Officers Jake Shumate, Jason Horetski, Hector Iglesias, and Deputies Kenneth Walsh and Chris Garcia were all cleared of any misconduct in the shooting death of Jose Guerena. It was determined by the Pima County Attorney’s Office that their use of deadly force was reasonable and justified. This announcement came a few short days after the PCSD finally released the affadavit for the search warrant on Guerena’s home as well as records of his 2009 arrest. The warrant focuses almost entirely on his brother Alejandro and Jose Celaya; any indication of Guerena’s involvement is circumstantial at best and, although his arrest resulted in no charges, it has certainly served to ensure that he will be remembered as a criminal for the rest of eternity…and, of course, nobody gives a shit about a criminal.
Will the defendants please rise?
To the officers who broke into Hollis King’s home….you have not only committed the act of breaking and entering, but you have committed the act of constitutional prostitution which, due to the fact that the Constitution is merely a representation of Man’s Rights, qualifies as a crime against nature.
To the officers involved in the puppycide of Mayor Calvo’s beloved pets Chase and Peyton and those involved in the same of beloved pets Sheba, Ava, Rocco, Camden, Rosie, Jack, and Rock; robbing the individual humans who loved them of their most treasured possessions……You have not only committed illegal seizure of property and demonstrated incomprehensible cruelty to God’s innocent creatures, but you have also committed constitutional prostitution which, due to the fact that the Constitution is merely a representation of Man’s Rights, qualifies as a crime against nature.
To Officers and Deputies Jake Shumate, Jason Horetski, Hector Iglesias, Kenneth Walsh, Chris Garcia, and everyone else in the PCSD involved in the shooting death of U.S. Marine Jose Guerena who so honorably served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan…….you have not only committed the act of mur……….
The prosecution moves to dismiss this case along with all the others.
According to the law of reciprocity, if I don’t want the Scottsdale Police to declare me a “Known Prostitute” on their departmental report, I cannot in good conscience declare these officers to be known criminals on my blog turned kangaroo court.
The only possible way to manipulate natural law in one’s favor is through strict adherence to that law, and I do so in hopes that an olive branch extended is one returned. It is my hope that all peace officers and citizens across the country will take a moment to consider the issues raised today. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just as a dishonorable action begets more dishonorable actions, the law of consistency dictates that one honorable action begets more honorable actions.
Think about it: What would you do?
-In Memory of Jose Guerena