September 2009 Archives

It's "the Scream."

AfterDowningSteet reports

No longer the stuff of disturbing futuristic fantasies, an  arsenal of "crowd control munitions," including one that reportedly made its debut in the U.S., was deployed with a massive, overpowering police presence in Pittsburgh during last week's G-20 protests.

Nearly 200 arrests were made and civil liberties groups charged the many thousands of police (most transported on Port Authority buses displaying "PITTSBURGH WELCOMES THE WORLD"), from as far away as Arizona and Florida with overreacting...and they had plenty of weaponry with which to do it.

Bean bags fired from shotguns, CS (tear) gas, OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray, flash-bang grenades, batons and, according to local news reports, for the first time on the streets of America, the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).  

Mounted in the turret of an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), I saw the LRAD in action twice in the area of 25th, Penn and Liberty Streets of Lawrenceville, an old Pittsburgh neighborhood.  Blasting a shrill, piercing noise like a high-pitched police siren on steroids, it quickly swept streets and sidewalks of pedestrians, merchants and journalists and drove residents into their homes, but in neither case were any demonstrators present.  The APC, oversized and sinister for a city street, together with lines of police in full riot gear looking like darkly threatening Michelin Men, made for a scene out of a movie you didn't want to be in.

Thanks to Alternet
Indiana's law designed to stop meth production gets Sally Harpold arrested.

The Terre Haute News reports

When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs.

Now, Harpold is trying to clear her name of criminal charges, and she is speaking out in hopes that a law will change so others won't endure the same embarrassment she still is facing.

"This is a very traumatic experience," Harpold said.

Harpold is a grandmother of triplets who bought one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband at a Rockville pharmacy. Less than seven days later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a Clinton pharmacy, thereby purchasing 3.6 grams total of pseudoephedrine in a week's time.

Those two purchases put her in violation of Indiana law 35-48-4-14.7, which restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, or PSE, products to no more than 3.0 grams within any seven-day period.

Thanks to the Agitator
Lisa Snyder who helps neighborhood parents by watching children in her neighborhood for 15-40 minutes at her house, for free, until their school bus arrives in front of her house, is being threatened with fines and possible prison time by the state for running an illegal (unlicensed) child care service. reports

A West Michigan woman says the state is threatening her with fines and possibly jail time for babysitting her neighbors' children.

Lisa Snyder of Middleville says her neighborhood school bus stop is right in front of her home. It arrives after her neighbors need to be at work, so she watches three of their children for 15-40 minutes until the bus comes.

The Department of Human Services received a complaint that Snyder was operating an illegal child care home. DHS contacted Snyder and told her to get licensed, stop watching her neighbors' kids, or face the consequences.

"It's ridiculous." says Snyder. "We are friends helping friends!" She added that she accepts no money for babysitting.

Mindy Rose, who leaves her 5-year-old with Snyder, agrees. "She's a friend... I trust her."

State Representative Brian Calley is drafting legislation that would exempt people who agree to care for non-dependent children from daycare rules as long as they're not engaged in a business.

"We have babysitting police running around this state violating people, threatening to put them in jail or fine them $1,000 for helping their neighbor (that) is truly outrageous" says Rep. Calley.
Thanks to Jonathan Turley
Photojournalist Laura Sennett claims that last September armed FBI agents raided and searched her home, seized computer hardware and data, digital cameras and memory cards, a still camera, digital storage devices, a digital voice recorder and other personal items; apparently upset about her taking photos and videos of IMF protests held in April 2008.

Courthouse News Service reports

A photojournalist says the Department of Justice had police search her home and seize her work equipment because she took pictures of protests at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund.
     Laura Sennett, who specializes in covering protests and demonstrations, says her First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated by a number of federal and state defendants, including Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Prince William and Arlington Counties and their Police Departments, and the Department of Justice. She also accuses them of violating the Privacy Protection Act of 1990.
     In her federal complaint, Sennett says she was not a target of criminal investigation, yet officials searched her home, seized computer hardware and data, digital cameras and memory cards, a still camera, digital storage devices, and a digital voice recorder.
     Sennett also says the cops also took other work materials and personal belongings.
     Sennett, who sometimes goes by the alias "Isis," has been published by CNN and the History Channel, among others, and covered the International Monetary Fund spring meeting protests on April 12, 2008.
     Her presence was characterized by Arlington County detectives, in an affidavit, as an "unidentified white female videotaping/photographing the [IMF] event." It says an unnamed source told she goes by the name Isis.
     On Sept. 23, 2008, 10 armed FBI agents raided her home in Arlington, Va., and seized 26 items. Sennett's son was in the house.
     Sennett says no criminal charges have been filed against her, nor was she arrested in connection with the search.

Is Camo the new Blue?

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Is it the police or the military? It's getting tougher and tougher to tell. As in this video showing "tactical response" police in military gear at the G20 protests sweep a protester, allegedly for vandalizing a store, into an unmarked car. According to Reuters over six thousand security forces, including four thousand cops and two thousand National Guard were stationed this week in Pittsburg. Given that most accounts say marches involved at most a thousand or so demonstrators that's roughly six security personnel for each protester.

Raw Story reports

G20 security officials took responsibility Friday afternoon for a video that seemed to depict US troops 'kidnapping' a protester.

The military was not involved in the incident, but G20 security did acknowledge that "law enforcement officers from a multi-agency tactical response team" had detained a protester they said was believed to be vandalizing a store.

Video posted at YouTube shows onlookers calling out "what the fuck" and "what the fuck is wrong with you?" as people in camo uniforms haul a protester along by his collar, shove him into the back seat of a car, and rapidly drive off.

Officials with G20 security released the following statement to Raw Story and other media outlets:

"Military members supporting the G20 Summit work with local law enforcement authorities but do not have the authority to make arrests. The individuals involved in the 9/24/09 arrest which has appeared online are law enforcement officers from a multi-agency tactical response team assigned to the security operations for the G20. It is not unusual for tactical team members to wear camouflaged fatigues.  The type of fatigues the officers wear designates their unit affiliation.

Prior to the arrest, the officers observed this subject vandalizing a local business.  Due to the hostile nature of the crowd, officer safety and the safety of the person under arrest, the subject was immediately removed from the area."

40 year old Merced, California man Gregory Williams claims that  after police arrived at his home during an loud argument he was having with his wife, they tasered him repeatedly in the ribs, leaving him sitting on the pavement, handcuffed behind the back, with his pants pulled down below the waist -- in broad daylight, in full view of the residents of his apartment complex. he was then held for six days on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, and then released without charges.

McClatchy news reports

The Merced Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating whether an officer twice used a Taser on an unarmed, wheelchair-bound man with no legs.

The man who was Tasered, Gregory Williams, 40, a double-leg amputee, spent six days in jail on suspicion of domestic violence and resisting arrest, but the Merced County District Attorney's office hasn't filed any charges.

Williams is black, and the two main arresting officers are white, but it's unknown whether race played any role in the incident.

Williams, who was released from jail on Friday, said he was manhandled and Tasered by police, even though he said he was never physically aggressive toward the officers and didn't resist arrest.

Williams said he was humiliated after his pants fell down during the incident. The officers allegedly left him outdoors in broad daylight, handcuffed on the pavement, nude below the waist. Williams said the Sept. 11 arrest also left him with an injured shoulder, limiting his mobility in his wheelchair.

A handful of residents in Williams' apartment complex said they witnessed the incident and supported Williams' charges. A short video clip, shot by a neighbor and obtained by the Sun-Star, shows Williams sitting on the pavement with his pants down, his hands cuffed behind his back.

A Merced police report, written by the responding officers, says that police tried to reason with Williams before the arrest, to no avail. The officers wrote that Williams was uncooperative and refused to turn his 2-year-old daughter over to Merced County Child Protective Services, among other allegations.

In the report, police also say a hostile crowd gathered as the officers tried to perform their duties.

Thanks to alternet

New Consumer Product Safety guidelines target "casual sellers" of products containing lead and recalled items, often from China. 

Jonathan Turley reports

Generally, the law distinguishes between casual buyers and commercial sellers in tort and criminal law. For example, product liability for defects does not extend to garage sales and transactions between private individuals. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning that the government will now be enforcing rules under the "Resale Round-up" program that can result in fines of $15 million for that Easy-Bake Oven that you want to unload.

The new program seeks to punish those who sell products containing lead and recalled items, often from China.

In the guidelines below, the government warns casual sellers:

Under the new law, it is now illegal to sell ANY recalled product (for adults as well as children). If you are in the business of reselling products, you are expected to know the laws, rules and regulations that apply to your business, including whether or not a product you are selling has been recalled for a safety issue. Before taking a product into inventory or selling it, check the CPSC Web site for dangerous recalled products, including cribs, play yards, strollers, high chairs, toys with magnets, toys that are choking hazards, and other products. You can search by product type, company name, product description, hazard, country of manufacture and by the month and year in which the recall took place. It is against the law to sell a recalled product; check the CPSC Web site or before selling.

Whether it is a flea market or a garage sale, you can be held for fines of $100,000 and up to $15 million for related violations for everything from beanbag chairs to Halogen lamps.

After Lisa and A.J. Demaree bring 144 vacation photos to WalMart to be developed, a few of which include their 3 kids taking a bath, the store calls the police, who promptly take away the children pending an investigation.

The NY Times reports

An Arizona couple accused of sexual abuse after taking bath-time photos of their children and then trying to have them developed at Walmart are suing the state and the retail giant.

Lisa and Anthony ''A.J.'' Demaree's three young daughters were taken away by Arizona Child Protective Services last fall when a Walmart employee found partially nude pictures of the girls on a camera memory stick taken to the store for processing, according to the suit.

The Peoria couple's attorney said Walmart turned the photos over to police and the Demarees were not allowed to see their children for several days and didn't regain custody for a month while the state investigated.

Neither parent was charged with sexual abuse and they regained custody of their children -- then ages 1 1/2, 4 and 5 -- but the Demarees claim the incident inflicted lasting harm.

Thanks to Jonathan Turley

The Iceman Runneth

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Former high-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent and US drug enforcement liaison with Mexican police, accused of running Panama-Spain cocaine connection through his Guadalajara office.

Raw Story reports  

Richard Padilla Cramer, a 26-year veteran anti-drug official, is behind bars, arrested after officials accused him of directing a massive cocaine shipment to Spain via the United States, and selling important information in law enforcement databases to a vicious Mexican drug cartel.

In other words, Cramer, a key Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent who worked in Guadalajara and Nogales, Arizona, was allegedly "a secret ally of drug lords," reported The Los Angeles Times.

"The suspected criminal activity that Richard Padilla Cramer has been charged with occurred in 2007 while he was working as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to a criminal complaint issued on Aug. 28 by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami," noted The Arizona Star.

"Cramer's duties as the ICE attache in Guadalajara included serving as a liaison with Mexican police," the paper noted. "But the investigation revealed that he worked for 'a very high-level drug lord,' the federal official said. In a dark twist on the trend of former federal officials going into private consulting, the 26-year government veteran became a full-time adviser to traffickers after retiring from ICE in January 2007, the complaint says."

Outlawing Birth control pills?

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Fla. Anti-choice groups propose constitutional amendment that could criminalize birth control pills.

Alternet reports

Florida has done it again, folks.

Yes, the state that brought you Bush v. Gore, the sex offender colony under the bridge, and the shoot-first-ask-questions-later legislation known as the "Stand Your Ground Law" has another idea up its sleeve. And this one's for the ladies.

Tampa Bay Online reports:

TALLAHASSEE - Anti-abortion conservatives are proposing a new constitutional amendment that critics claim would make it a crime to take birth control pills in Florida.
The "Personhood Amendment" that conservative activists are filing today in Tallahassee would add language to the state constitution that defines someone as a "person," regardless of age or health status, "from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

Professor Thomas Thibeault at East Georgia College  is told to resign right away or else be fired for his "long history of sexual harassment," no matter that there has never been an accuser or complaint, or any presentation of specific allegations, so far as anybody knows. A campus police officer escorts him from campus.

FIRE writes

The abuse of campus sexual harassment policies to punish dissenting professors has hit a new low at East Georgia College (EGC) in Swainsboro. Professor Thomas Thibeault made the mistake of pointing out--at a sexual harassment training seminar--that the school's sexual harassment policy contained no protection for the falsely accused. Two days later, in a Kafkaesque irony, Thibeault was fired by the college president for sexual harassment without notice, without knowing his accuser or the charges against him, and without a hearing. Thibeault turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

"If you were to write a novel about the abuse of sexual harassment regulations to get rid of a dissenter, you couldn't do better than the real-life story of Thomas Thibeault," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "Anyone with a modicum of respect for freedom of speech or simple fairness should be aghast at this blatant abuse of power by East Georgia College."

Thibeault's ordeal started shortly after August 5, 2009 when, during a faculty training session regarding the college's sexual harassment policy, he presented a scenario regarding a different professor and asked, "what provision is there in the Sexual Harassment policy to protect the accused against complaints which are malicious or, in this case, ridiculous?" Vice President for Legal Affairs Mary Smith, who was conducting the session, replied that there was no such provision to protect the accused, so Thibeault responded that "the policy itself is flawed."

Two days later, Thibeault was summoned to EGC President John Bryant Black's office. According to Thibeault's written account of the meeting, which was sent to Black and which Black has not disputed, Thibeault met with Black and Smith. Black told Thibeault that he "was a divisive force in the college at a time when the college needed unity" and that Thibeault must resign by 11:30 a.m. or be fired and have his "long history of sexual harassment ... made public." This unsubstantiated allegation took Thibeault by surprise. Black added that Thibeault would be escorted off campus by Police Chief Drew Durden and that Black had notified the local police that he was prepared to have Thibeault arrested for trespassing if he returned to campus. At no point was Thibeault presented with the charges against him or given any chance to present a defense. Refusing to resign, Thibeault understood that he was fired.

Long before Bush and Cheney, Robert Parry reminds us, torture was an integral part of the CIA toolkit, in Vietnam, Central America and elsewhere.

Consortium News reports

The 2004 CIA Inspector General's report, released last month, referenced as "background" to the Bush-era abuses the spy agency's "intermittent involvement in the interrogation of individuals whose interests are opposed to those of the United States." The report noted "a resurgence in interest" in teaching those techniques in the early 1980s "to foster foreign liaison relationships."

The report said, "because of political sensitivities," the CIA's top brass in the 1980s "forbade Agency officers from using the word 'interrogation" and substituted the phrase "human resources exploitation" [HRE] in training programs for allied intelligence agencies.

The euphemism aside,  the reality of these interrogation techniques remained brutal, with the CIA Inspector General conducting a 1984 investigation of alleged "misconduct on the part of two Agency officers who were involved in interrogations and the death of one individual," the report said (although the details were redacted in the version released last month).

In 1984, the CIA also was hit with a scandal over what became known as an "assassination manual" prepared by agency personnel for the Nicaraguan contras, a rebel group sponsored by the Reagan administration with the goal of ousting Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government.

Despite those two problems, the questionable training programs apparently continued for another two years. The 2004 IG report states that "in 1986, the Agency ended the HRE training program because of allegations of human rights abuses in Latin America."

While the report's references to this earlier era of torture are brief - and the abuses are little-remembered features of Ronald Reagan's glorified presidency - there have been other glimpses into how Reagan unleashed this earlier "dark side" on the peasants, workers and students of Central America.

Thanks to
Just released FBI 2008 figures show that one American is busted every 18 seconds for drugs,  one American every 37 seconds for pot. The overwhelmingly majority of these arrests are for simple possession.

Raw Story reports

America is a nation at war, overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at home.

According to the newly released Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report for 2008 every 18 seconds someone is arrested and charged with violating drug laws.

Another striking figure in the report: of the 1,702,537 drug arrests in 2008, 82.3 percent were for simple possession of a contraband substance. Nearly half, 44 percent, were for possession of marijuana.

According to San Francisco Weekly's calculations, 2008 saw one marijuana arrest every 37 seconds.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) said 2008 had the second-highest number of marijuana arrests the U.S. has ever seen. The group said that 2007 currently holds the record.

"Federal statistics released just last week indicate that larger percentages of Americans are using cannabis at the same time that police are arresting a near-record number of Americans for pot-related offenses," said NORML Director Allen St. Pierre in a media advisory. "Present enforcement policies are costing American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and having no impact on marijuana availability or marijuana use in this country. It is time to end this failed policy and replace prohibition with a policy of marijuana regulation, taxation, and education."

"In our current economic climate, we simply cannot afford to keep arresting more than three people every minute in the failed 'war on drugs,'" Jack Cole, a former drug officer who oversees the activist group who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said in a press release. "Plus, if we legalized and taxed drug sales, we could actually create new revenue in addition to the money we'd save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users."

The report noted that the figures are a slight dip from 2007, going from 1.8 million to 1.7 million.

"Those looking for a partisan pattern should note that drug arrests climbed under Bill Clinton as well as George W. Bush, and that last year's drop occurred during the latter's second term," wrote Jacob Sullum at "Since local police make the vast majority of drug arrests (especially pot busts), it's not clear how much difference the president's drug policy agenda makes, although federal priorities affect the behavior of state and local law enforcement agencies, especially when funding is
ACLU to appeal federal court ruling that found that, even though there was enough evidence to prove that FBI agents violated the Fourth Amendment rights of journalists by attacking them unprovoked, the agents who committed the attack could not be held responsible for their actions.

ACLU writes

The August 14 decision came in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of journalists who were kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by FBI agents as they attempted to report on the search of a San Juan apartment. While finding that the journalists' evidence showed there was a violation of their constitutional rights, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico ruled that the law was not clearly established enough at the time of the attack to hold the agents responsible for their actions, and that the reporters cannot seek compensation for the violation.

"This decision makes clear that the FBI cannot exert excessive force and intimidation every time it wants to avoid public scrutiny. As the ruling found, reporters should be able to approach law enforcement officers without fear of harassment," said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group. "Unfortunately, this ruling lets FBI agents who broke the law off the hook. It should have been clear to any law enforcement agent that such brutal force against reporters who were just trying to do their job was not only unacceptable but unlawful."
In February 2006, several journalists approached FBI agents leaving a San Juan apartment that was being searched to ask for their comments. The FBI agents responded by, among other things, spraying pepper spray in the journalists' faces, and kicking and punching a reporter.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the journalists in September 2006, and in June 2008 an appeals court found that if the journalists could prove they were "without provocation, pushed, punched, hit by metal batons, and pepper sprayed in the face by federal agents," it would be a clear violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. In the most recent ruling, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico held that plaintiffs offered sufficient evidence that their Fourth Amendment rights had been violated.

"Systemic, unprovoked violence against journalists in Puerto Rico is an ongoing problem that must be stopped. Intimidating journalists to keep them from doing their jobs is a blatant violation of their constitutional rights," said William Ramirez, Executive Director and attorney with the ACLU of Puerto Rico. "This decision is a good first step toward establishing norms to protect the constitutional rights of reporters, but it will be an empty gesture if we don't hold law enforcement agents accountable for breaking the law." 

The ACLU will urge the court to overturn the portion of the ruling that found the FBI agents can't be held responsible and that the reporters should be able to seek compensation for having their constitutional rights violated.

State law requires school's to teach "bible literacy".

The Dallas News reports

Vanda Terrell is still getting used to saying it.

"Let's open our Bibles," the veteran Plano ISD teacher tells students daily at two public high schools in the district. And it's legal for her to do it. A new state law requires that Texas public schools incorporate Bible literacy into the curriculum.

But the law provides no specific guidelines, funding for materials or teacher training. So high schools are left scrambling to figure out what to teach and how to teach it. A handful of North Texas districts are offering an elective class, but most are choosing instead to embed Old and New Testament teachings into current classes.

Such broad parameters leave one of the most controversial topics in public schools virtually unregulated, say religious scholars and confused educators. They warn that the nebulous law may have thwarted its purpose - to examine the Bible's influence in history and literature.

"Asking a school district to teach a course or include material in a course without providing them any guidance or resources is like sending a teacher into a minefield without a map," said Mark Chancey, an associate professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University and author of the report "Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools."

Though 53 year old Jamie Lockhard blew under the legal blood alcohol limit on his breathalyzer test, that apparently wasn't enough for Officer Brian Miller, Lawrenceburg, Indiana PD who allegedly (according to a lawsuit) had Lockhard shackled to a gurney to have blood and urine forcibly removed through a catheter. reports

An Indiana man has filed a lawsuit claiming that police forcibly withdrew urine from his body during a drunken driving arrest.According to the suit, police Jamie Lockard, 53, on suspicion of drunk driving in March.A Breathalyzer test showed he was under the legal limit, but Officer Brian Miller doubted the findings.Lockard and his attorney claimed in the suit that police took him to Dearborn County Hospital and forced him to submit to a urine test.
Police said they obtained a warrant, but Lockard's attorney said his client was shackled to a gurney and had a catheter inserted against his will."It has to be executed reasonably," said attorney Doug Garner. "No one would say this is reasonable behavior. It's reprehensible that anyone could think that this is appropriate."The test showed that Lockard's blood-alcohol level did not exceed Indiana's legal limit, police said.Garner said the police officer did not apologize, but instead charged Lockard with obstruction of justice."He took it too far. He thought he could do whatever to me," Lockard said.The suit names the Lawrenceburg police department and Dearborn County Hospital, in addition to Miller and Dr. Ronald Cheek."I would hate for this to happen to someone else," Lockard said. "It was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me, ever."
Thanks to jgodsey

Justice Dept. waging war on pain relief

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Drug Enforcement Agency not only usurping power over pain relief from doctors but attacking citizens who dare criticize Drug Warrior's abuse of power.

Harvey Silverglate opines

No good deed goes unpunished when a private citizen is up against the federal drug warriors--those members of the Department of Justice who have been seeking, with increasing success in recent decades, to effectively control the practice of pain relief medicine. But a current drama being played out in federal court in Kansas portends an even darker turn in the DOJ's war--a private citizen is being threatened with prosecution for seeking to raise public and news media consciousness of the Feds' war against doctors and patients.

In Nashville getting caught trying to pay for sex will land in "John School", by court order. Many cities are following suit.

CNN reports

The accused came from all walks of life: Retirees, dads and twentysomethings. An engineer, a business owner and an auto worker. A man in a wheelchair. Men in need of Spanish or Farsi translators.

About 40 men somberly entered a classroom on a recent Saturday morning. About half of them wore shiny wedding bands.

All had tried to buy a prostitute's services and were caught by police. It was their first offense, and a county court referred them to a one-day program called the John School. It's a program run by volunteers and city officials in conjunction with Magdalene House, a nonprofit that works to get prostitutes off the streets.

"Prostitution doesn't discriminate," said Kenny Baker, a cognitive behavioral therapist who is the program's director. "Most of these men don't have a prior criminal history, so our goal is to help these folks understand why they put themselves in a bad position, to prevent it from happening again."

Set in a church in Nashville, Tennessee, the John School is led by former prostitutes, health experts, psychologists and law enforcement officers who talk to -- and at times berate -- the men about the risks of hiring a prostitute.

Thanks to Wendy McElroy

What are you going to believe, your eyes or a  group of sadistic authoritarians disguised as a "county sheriff's commission". The only good news, Tazewell county sheriff Robert Huston, shocked at the blatant cover-up, vows to appeal ruling.

Central Illinois News Center reports

The ruling in a case involving un-necessary force to an inmate has left Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston at a loss for words.

The case involves three officers...Sergeant Richard Johnston, and correctional officers Jeffery Bieber and Justin Piro.

Bieber and Piro were accused of using un-necessary force against Becky Behm after she was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol October 17, 2008.

Johnston was accused of neglecting his supervisory duties during the quarrel between the woman and the officers.

The Tazewell County Sheriff's Merit Commission ruled the three officers not guilty earlier today.

Thanks to Jonathan Turley

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