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A Message to Law Enforcement Officers: Don't Be the Teeth of Tyranny

by David C. Treibs

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.
Being on the wrong side of an unjust, obviously unconstitutional law is one of the best ways to understand that the Constitution supersedes all laws, and any laws contrary to it are null and void, should be disregarded by the populace, and should not be enforced by governmental authorities, including the police.

The Lautenberg amendment, a federal gun ban for anyone convicted of certain misdemeanors, and the resulting required confiscation of firearms owned by the convicted and their family, puts many police officers in the crosshairs of these unconstitutional, illegal laws. For once, perhaps police can begin to see that some laws are wrong, and perhaps they will conclude that those unconstitutional laws do not merit enforcement.

Having accepted the possibility that at least some laws are wrong, unconstitutional, and illegal, you might be inclined to take a second look at other laws, shine the light of the Constitution on them, and conclude that there are more than just a few laws that are unjust, unconstitutional, and should not be enforced.

When discussing Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, the National Rifle Association (NRA) tends to dismiss the culpability of participating of law enforcement officers, because they were simply following orders. (It's interesting that the Nazis tried at Nuremberg also pleaded that they were merely following orders and obeying the law, but they were hanged anyway.)

Despite the NRA's and others' casual dismissal of the culpability of those executing the attacks, you must understand that you have a duty as a citizen, and a double duty as a law enforcement officer, to disregard and to refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws, and to refuse to participate in attacks against citizens.

While you may have taken an oath to uphold the law, you must always remember that the highest law of the land is the Constitution, and laws, edicts, regulations, or orders contradicting it are null and void. That includes gun laws, some property and environmental laws, kidnapping by child welfare agents, asset forfeiture, certain search and seizures, and so on.

As law enforcement, you are the teeth of tyranny, but only if you allow yourself to be, and only if you actively participate in enforcing unconstitutional laws.

Unjust laws prevail because everyone in the chain collaborates and cooperates. In the end, tyranny succeeds for the same reason: no one has the guts to refuse to participate in enforcing the evil edicts emanating from evil rulers.

Once you make the difficult decision to refuse to cooperate with tyrants and unconstitutional laws, you then have an even more difficult decision to make: to stop others who acquiese to the orders of tyrants, and who enforce unconstitutional laws.

If the powers that be continue their attacks on citizens for gun ownership or militia activity, or if they begin to enforce treaties or laws diminishing US sovereignty, it may be that citizens will offer armed resistance. First, the only way these unconstitutional acts will succeed is if you enforce them. If you don't, there will be no need for armed resistance. Second, it will not be what is best for our country, but, you may become a casualty--and it will be because you chose to be the teeth of tyranny. How much better would it be for you to stand against those forces working to destroy our nation, and stand with those working to preserve and restore our heritage of liberty?* You might still be a casualty, but at least you would die with honor, giving your life to preserve the liberty so many have already given their lives to preserve. No one I know is looking forward to any conflict, because we love our country and our fellow countrymen, including those who are misguided into violating citizens and their rights, or who have been hoodwinked into enforcing unconstitutional laws.

I'm afraid the above may be misconstrued as a threat, but rest assured it is not. I simply wish to point out that when you choose to stand on the side of evil, attack citizens, and allow yourself to be used to root out liberty, you may pay an unfortunate price. Better it is to stand for liberty, and then at least the price is worth paying.

For Liberty,
David C. Treibs

(*Granted, not everyone resisting the present tyranny wishes to restore our liberty to what it is supposed to be, and some of those who do may not be going about it in the proper fashion.)

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Message To Law Enforcement: Don't Be The Teeth Of Tyranny
Police Union urges members to pull over 'scab' UPS drivers
Security Council Encourages States To Make Civilian Police Available For UN Operations
Exploding Number of SWAT Teams Sets Off Alarms: Expanding Missions Eclipse Police Image

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Police Union urges members to pull over 'scab' UPS drivers

Associated Press, 08/07/97 07:17

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.
HOUSTON (AP) - The head of the Houston Police Patrolmen's Union urged members to support the strike against United Parcel Service by using any excuse to pull over UPS trucks and issue citations.

In a letter faxed to police stations across the city, president Terry Martin urged the union's 1,100 members to pull over UPS trucks driven by nonunion drivers and write a ticket if any violation can be found.

``We as union members should go into a zero tolerance mode, and do everything possible to get that UPS scab truck off the road,'' Martin wrote.

``Go out there and deal with the scabs in the zero tolerance mode that all criminals deserve to be treated with.''

Martin defended his memo, telling the Houston Chronicle there is nothing illegal or improper about telling officers to use their police power in such a way.

``We operate under our own policies, and we support our union brothers and sisters, and they need our help,'' Martin said.

Martin said many of the replacement drivers apparently don't have the proper commercial license to operate the trucks.

In his letter, Martin said the police union could count on Teamsters' support in the officer's next negotiations with the city if they help the Teamsters now

Police Chief Clarence Bradford had no comment late Wednesday, but City Attorney Gene Locke said he has ``strong ideas about what this (letter) will violate in terms of procedures and common sense.''

Joel Weikerth, senior executive assistant to Mayor Bob Lanier, said he was ``disappointed, to say the least,'' and would be in touch with Bradford.

``It's one thing to support your union affiliates, but it's another to assume the folks who are working and driving the trucks are criminals and need to be treated in the 'zero tolerance mode,' Weikerth added. {Hmm, let me see now, where have I heard of this 'zero tolerance' before?} {I remember it is/was another product of the Goals 2000 implementation in our local schools.}

Martin's action was criticized by the president of a larger police union, the Houston Police Officers Union.

``We want everyone in the city to know that we expect our members to conduct themselves as they always do,'' said president Hans Marticiuc.

``No matter what your ethical or moral position is on those who cross a picket line, it is legal to cross a picket line, just as the Teamsters have a right to strike.''

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Message To Law Enforcement: Don't Be The Teeth Of Tyranny
Police Union urges members to pull over 'scab' UPS drivers
Security Council Encourages States To Make Civilian Police Available For UN Operations
Exploding Number of SWAT Teams Sets Off Alarms: Expanding Missions Eclipse Police Image

Battle Flags, Etc.

Security Council Encourages States To Make Trained Civilian Police Available At Short Notice For United Nations Operations
Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.
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Presidential Statement Encourages Secretary-General To Promote Standardized Approach to Such Training, Recruitment

Noting the increasing role and special functions of civilian police in United Nations peace-keeping operations, the Security Council this morning encouraged States to make appropriately trained police available to the Organization at short notice, if possible through stand-by arrangements. It also encouraged the Secretary-General to guide States, in order to promote a standardized approached to the training and recruitment of civilian police.

Through a statement read out by its President, Foreign Minister of Sweden Lena Hjelm-Wallen, the Council encouraged States to provide appropriate training of civilian police for international service and to seek further means to enhance the ways in which such police components were set up and supported. It encouraged their efforts to organize joint training between civilian and military components designated for United Nations operations, in order to improve coordination and security for personnel in the field.

According to the Council, civilian police performed indispensable functions in monitoring and training national police forces. They could play a major role, through assistance to local police forces, in restoring civil order, supporting the rule of law and fostering civil reconciliation. The Council saw an increasingly important role for them in helping build confidence and security between parties and among local populations, in order to prevent or contain conflicts or to build peace in their aftermath.

The Council underlined the importance of recruiting qualified civilian police for United Nations operations from the widest possible geographic range, and well as of recruiting female officers. It underlined the necessity for United Nations civilian police to be trained, as required, to support the reorganization, training and monitoring of national police and to help defuse tension on the ground through negotiations. The Council considered it essential that such police contingents contain adequate legal expertise.

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Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6397 3801st Meeting (AM) 14 July 1997

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1997/38, reads as follows:

"The Security Council has established or authorized a growing number of peace-keeping operations which contain both civilian and military components. It takes particular note of the increasing role and special functions of civilian police in such operations. "The Security Council notes the efforts by the General Assembly and its Special Committee on Peace-keeping Operations in carrying out their task to review all aspects of peace-keeping operations, including inter alia, enhancing the capacity of the United Nations system to accommodate the growing demand for civilian police in peace-keeping operations. It furthermore commends the efforts of the Secretary-General in this regard. The Council encourages States to look for further means to enhance the ways in which civilian police components of peace-keeping operations are set up and supported. "The Security Council considers that in operations mandated by the Security Council or the General Assembly the civilian police perform indispensable functions in monitoring and training national police forces and can play a major role, through assistance to local police forces, in restoring civil order, supporting the rule of law and fostering civil reconciliation. It sees an increasingly important role for civilian police, among others, in contributing to the building of confidence and security between parties and among local populations, in order to prevent conflict, to contain conflict or to build peace in the aftermath of conflict. "The Security Council encourages States to make available to the United Nations at short notice appropriately trained civilian police, if possible through the Untied Nations sand-by arrangements. It welcomes the role of United Nations selection assistance teams in this regard. "The Security Council underlines the importance of the recruitment of qualified civilian police from the widest possible geographic range to serve in United >Nations operations. It also expresses the importance of the recruitment of >female police officers to United Nations operations. "The Security Council encourages States individually or collectively to provide appropriate training of civilian police for international service. It encourages the Secretary-General to provide assistance and guidance to Member >States in order to promote a standardized approach towards the training and recruitment of civilian police.

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- Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6397 3801st Meeting (AM) 14 July 1997 "The Security Council underlines the necessity for United Nations civilian police, in accordance with their mandates, to be trained as required, inter alia, to render assistance and support in the reorganization, training and monitoring of national police and to help defuse tension on the ground through negotiations. The Council furthermore consider it essential that United Nations civilian police contingents contain adequate legal expertise. "The Security Council underlines the need for close coordination between civilian police and the military, humanitarian and other civilian components of United Nations operations. It encourages efforts by Member States to organize joint training between civilian and military components designated for United Nations operations in order to improve coordination and security for personnel in the field. "The Security Council expresses its gratitude to those countries which have contributed civilian police to the peace-keeping operation of the United Nations." The meeting,

[the remainder of this article is missing. If you can find it, please send it to us. BFE]

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Message To Law Enforcement: Don't Be The Teeth Of Tyranny
Police Union urges members to pull over 'scab' UPS drivers
Security Council Encourages States To Make Civilian Police Available For UN Operations
Exploding Number of SWAT Teams Sets Off Alarms: Expanding Missions Eclipse Police Image

Battle Flags, Etc.

Exploding Number of SWAT Teams Sets Off Alarms
Some Paramilitary Units' Expanding Missions Eclipse Police Image of Community Outreach

By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 17, 1997; Page A01

The Washington Post

Transforming police into the teeth of tyranny: police badge transforming into UN (United Nations) flag.
FRESNO, Calif. -- Sgt. Wade Engelson is preparing his new recruits for war.

Dressed in fatigues, sporting buzz hair cuts, the new men are being trained in the use of submachine guns, explosives and chemical weapons. They have at their disposal a helicopter and, soon, an armored personnel carrier.

Engelson's men are not Navy Seals or Army Rangers. They are members of the Fresno Police Department, whose enemy will not be found in faraway lands but in the neighborhoods where the police routinely patrol -- fully armed and in urban camouflage.

In their expanding strength and mission, the SWAT team in Fresno mirrors a growing trend in U.S. law enforcement -- the rise in the number of police paramilitary units across the country and a rapid expansion of their activities, a controversial trend that police scholars refer to as "the militarization" of civilian police.

The explosive growth and expanding mission of SWAT teams has, in turn, led to complaints that an occupying army is marching through America's streets -- that they are too aggressive, too heavily armed, too scary -- and that they erode the public's perception of police as public servants.

"It's a very dangerous thing, when you're telling cops they're soldiers and there's an enemy out there," said Joseph McNamara, former chief of police in San Jose and Kansas City who is now at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. "I don't like it all."

In a new study, police researcher Peter Kraska and his colleagues have documented the explosive growth of SWAT, which stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. In a nationwide survey of 690 law enforcement agencies serving cities with populations with 50,000 or more, the researchers found that 90 percent now have active SWAT teams, compared to 60 percent in the early 1980s.

Even in rural communities and smaller cities, the researchers have found that two of every three departments now boast a SWAT team -- a phenomenon Kraska compares to "militarizing Mayberry," he said referring to the fictional small town in the Andy Griffith television show.

Yet more important than the raw numbers, Kraska says, the SWAT mission has expanded. Once limited to highly specialized actions, such as dealing with barricaded gunmen or hostage-takers, the SWAT teams are now increasingly engaged in more standard police work. There is a boom in "high risk warrant work," including "no-knock entries." The work is mostly related to the war on drugs, and by extension, "gang suppression."

"Where the SWAT teams were once deployed a few times a year, they are now used for all kinds of police work -- dozens of calls, hundreds of calls a year," said Kraska, a professor of police studies at Western Kentucky University. "In SWAT units formed since 1980, their use has increased by 538 percent." And some units, like those in Fresno, are being deployed full-time as roaming patrols.

The 30 members of Fresno's Violent Crime Suppression Unit now patrol crime-ridden neighborhoods day and night, serving warrants at homes of suspected drug dealers and criminals, stopping vehicles, interrogating gang members, showing a presence.

As they move through the city, they wear subdued gray-and-black urban camouflage and body armor, and have at the ready, ballistic shields and helmets, M17 gas masks and rappelling gear. More equipment is carried in a mobile command SWAT bus that roves the city. The deparment is purchasing an armored personnel carrier.

The tactical police here also carry an assortment of weaponry denied the normal beat cop -- battering rams, diversionary devices known as "flashbangs," chemical agents, such as pepper spray and tear gas, and specialized guns, including assault rifles and most famously, the Heckler and Koch MP5, the short, highly accurate 9mm, fully automatic submachine gun used by the Navy Seals.

While the phenomenal rise in SWAT work has drawn some fire, police officials say the change has been a necessary one that has made an impact on crime.

Fresno Police Chief Ed Winchester says that a highly armed and more violent criminal class requires an extreme response. Fresno formed its SWAT team in 1973, about a decade after the first such unit appeared in Los Angeles. Its creation occurred after an officer was shot and killed by a robbery suspect following a chaotic police response in which patrol officers fired hundreds of rounds at the suspect, borrowed an armored car and let fly canisters of tear gas, which then floated across the neighborhood.

"It was what we would call a fiasco," Winchester said, convincing everyone that a more highly trained, specialized and disciplined unit was required.

>From 1973 until 1994, Fresno's SWAT team operated only in response to very specific call-outs, such as barricaded suspects. But by late 1994, Fresno was experiencing a crime wave. There were 55 shootings in five months, with 13 people killed, including three children.

And so Fresno's traditional SWAT unit transformed itself into the Violent Crime Suppression Unit and took to the streets in constant patrols.

"The criminals aren't stupid," Winchester said. "They see eight guys surrounding them, all carrying submachine guns and wearing black fatigues, they don't want to get killed."

Fresno SWAT member C.D. Smith, writing in Police magazine in 1995, put it this way: "The streets of Fresno have become a war zone for cops, who find themselves in the heat of battle with the bad guys at least once a month."

Winchester credits the unit, in part, with reducing violent crime in Fresno by 8.7 percent in 1995 and 3.5 percent in 1996. Now, he is expanding the unit again -- for day patrols as well as night.

"Is there a downside? Sure there is," Winchester said. "It's a sad commentary -- sad when crime is so bad you got to put a SWAT unit on the street."

Yet critics warn the growing use of paramilitary-style police units threatens the very idea of a civilian police force -- just as many law enforcement authorities begin to apply a new technique known as "community policing," putting more beat cops on the street and letting them interact more with citizens to solve problems and well as crimes.

"Despite the conventional wisdom that community policing is sweeping the nation, the exact opposite is happening," said McNamara. "The police and their communities ought to think seriously about this. Is there a need for SWAT teams? Yes, for highly specialized functions. But the police love these units, and this is a disastrous image to project."

McNamara and other police scholars say that the positive impact of the SWAT teams on reducing crime is most likely short-lived -- and that the pressure must be maintained. They also fear that heavily armed, commando-style police -- if they remain in a neighborhood for long -- will eventually be seen as an occupying army.

Kraska said his research shows that the rise in SWAT activities has closely followed the increased resources applied to fight illegal drug use.

"The drug war created the atmosphere for this kind of pro-active policing," Kraska said. "We have never seen this kind of policing, where SWAT teams routinely break through a door, subdue all the occupants and search the premises for drugs, cash and weapons."

Between 1980 and 1995, for example, Kraska found that SWAT units were employed in their traditional roles only for a minority of call-outs. Some 1.3 percent of their work was to quell civil disturbances; 3.6 percent for hostage situations; 13.4 percent for barricaded individuals. But 75 percent of their mission is now devoted to serve high-risk warrants, mostly drug raids.

Police chiefs and SWAT officers defend the practice, saying they are more aggressively rooting out and arresting drug dealers. And because of the more powerful weapons used by gangs and dealers, the work should be done by highly trained SWAT teams.

Fresno Police Chief Winchester says that the SWAT teams, because of their training and style of assault, actually fire fewer shots. "They overwhelm suspects," the chief said. "They don't need to shoot."

Kraska's survey of police departments finds many SWAT teams are instructed by active and retired U.S. military experts in special operations. The SWAT teams also receive training not only from the FBI, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and National Tactical Officers Association, but in classes organized by private companies.

One of the most popular courses is offered by Heckler and Koch, which trains hundreds of SWAT officers a year. The company also offers the units discounts on its popular weapons, such as the MP5. Kraska points to the private companies role in the encouragement of SWAT response as part of a new "crime control industry."

Larry Glick, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, said that some of the private training seminars are taught by "retired military personnel who don't know what they're doing." The training offered by Heckler and Koch is "very successful and credible, among the best," he said. "Their ultimate goal is to sell their guns."

Kraska and other police scholars said that even with the most community-sensitive training, the new weaponry and paramilitary-style tactics of the SWAT units attract a different kind of officer -- less the cop as social worker and more the cop as an elite special `ops' soldier. And most SWAT officers are paid a premium for the work.

"The SWAT teams love this stuff," Kraska said. "It's fun to fire these weapons. It's exciting to train. They use `simmunition' -- like the paint balls and play warrior games. This stuff is a rush."

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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Message To Law Enforcement: Don't Be The Teeth Of Tyranny
Police Union urges members to pull over 'scab' UPS drivers
Security Council Encourages States To Make Civilian Police Available For UN Operations
Exploding Number of SWAT Teams Sets Off Alarms: Expanding Missions Eclipse Police Image