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Category Archives: Police lack proper training

Two Brave Cops Under Attack For Exposing Militarization and Corruption In Their Department

Kristin Bantle, a sixteen-year veteran police officer, received notice of her termination from the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Police Department on August 15 – the same day she had her first court appearance on a contrived charge of “attempting to influence a public official. The convergence of those events was appropriate, given that they constitute official retaliation against Bantle for publicly criticizing the SSPD’s “culture of fear and intimidation” and its “militaristic” approach to law enforcement. Her trial on a fourth-degree felony charge is scheduled to begin on December 1.

Bantle has rejected several proposed plea deals, the terms of which she believes would have prevented her from warning the community about  “a paramilitary police department” for which excessive force is standard operating procedure, and abuse of individual rights is commonplace. She outlined her concerns in a March 25 letter to the Steamboat Springs City Council. She was not the first or only former SSPD officer to go public with concerns about the department. Former Detective Dave Kleiber, who resigned in 2013, had provided an even more detailed critique of the SSPD in a March 9th open letter to city residents.

Both whistleblowers now find themselves targeted for prosecution. The charges against Bantle, who was removed from her duties as a School Resource Officer last Spring — a few weeks after contacting the City Council — are related to omissions in a job application she filed with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office a few years ago after she had become disillusioned with the SSPD. Kleiber, who now works as a private investigator, learned in July that the County Prosecutor’s Office may prosecute him for alleged perjury during a 2013 criminal trial.

Attorney Charles Feldman, who represents Kleiber, insists that Kleiber’s whistle-blowing is why the “government [is] trying to look back through his disciplinary records and recordings and looking back through anything that they could find regarding his service as law enforcement….I represent people in the military all over the world, and it’s a classic tactic to retaliate against a whistleblower that way.”

In her March 25 letter to the Steamboat Springs City Council, then-Officer Bantle said that one organizational pillar for the SSPD under Chief Joel Rae was “contempt for outsiders.”

“The tone from the Chief is `it’s us against them’ and if you don’t agree with him on an issue then `it’s him against you,’” declared Bantle. Prior to relocating in Steamboat Springs with her husband and two daughters in 2011, Bantle had been employed for more than a decade as a deputy in Mason County, Michigan. She was unprepared for what she has described as the “militaristic” culture of the SSPD.

“One of my first trainings at the SSPD was something called Krav Maga,” a mixed martial arts fighting technique devised by the Israeli military, Bantle explained to the City Council. “I was uncomfortable with the level of force I was being encouraged to use. For example, I was advised to `make a fist to punch people in the face’ as a means of control. I have never struck someone in the face, let alone made a fist to punch people. I have never felt the need to be so aggressive. This tactic is also referred to as `strike first and strike hard.’”

Bantle had previously been trained in less aggressive methods involving “pressure point control techniques” and suggested to Chief Rae that the department should include that approach – and de-escalation tactics – in its training. Rae blithely dismissed that suggestion.

“Even after four excessive force lawsuits the department as a whole has not received de-escalation training,” Bantle lamented in her letter to the City Council. Those lawsuits, in her view, reflected the department’s reliance on “physical violence” in response to any perceived non-cooperation, a “lack of consistent supervision and mentoring,” a “lack of cameras,” and, most importantly, an institutional “`Us against them’ ethos.”

Bantle also expressed frustration regarding a “lack of transparency” and what appeared to be a deeply entrenched misogyny on the part of Chief Rae and his cronies. While some might be tempted to discount that last complaint as the assessment of an ambitious but frustrated female professional, it was made even more vehemently by former Detective Kleiber in his own March 9 “open letter” to the residents of Steamboat Springs.

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Not One But TWO Police Chiefs Tortured Nonviolent Prisoners With Tasers

It seems that torture, whether it be used on at-risk teens or compliant prisoners, is an ongoing and regular tactic of police in modern day America.

Perhaps the best proof can be found in Mamou, Louisiana, where two consecutive police chiefs have been arrested for torturing inmates with Tasers.

Former Chiefs Gregory W. Dupuis and Robert McGee were both charged with violating and individuals civil rights when they employed a clearly routine pattern of Tasering inmates who posed no immediate threat.

Compliant inmates, who may have been verbal but followed the orders of the officers, were nevertheless TASERed as some sadistic discipline by the two officers.

One man was summoned down from his bunk and made to place his hands on the wall before the Dupuis, the highest ranked and ideally most exemplary officer on the force, deployed his TASER into the man’s back, violently shocking him and causing him to injure his knee after falling to the ground.

McGee, who worked under Dupuis and obviously adopted his sadistic methods of prisoner control, was merely engaged in conversation with an inmate when he decided to abandon logic or compassion, instead opting to TASER him mid-conversation.
This pattern of inhumane and illegal treatment of prisoners is not only a civil rights violation but a human rights violation.

It perfectly illustrates how those in leadership roles can poison those below them in the chain of command, and perpetuate violent, illegal, and unethical methods of policing.

As though fearing being detained for some frivolous, non-violent, or victimless crime wasn’t enough, Americans now have the added specter of torture to worry about.

Fortunately – and somewhat surprisingly – Dupuis has been sentenced to a year in prison, with McGee to be sentenced in the near future.

Maybe this ruling is an indication that, if full accountability and adequate punishment are ever to be achieved, it should be pursued at the highest level.

Max Chantha is a writer and investigative journalist interested in covering incidences of government injustice, at home and abroad. He is a current university student studying Global Studies and Professional Writing. Check out Max Chantha: An Independent Blog for more of his work.

VIDEO: Innocent Mother Beaten by Cops in Front of Her Children for Reporting Cop’s Rude Behavior

Carlsbad, CA — A shocking video captured the brutal beating of a mother in front of her two children after she merely asked an officer a question.

Cindy Hahn and her children were on their way home when they stopped to use the restroom. During their stop, Hahn asked a Carlsbad police officer a question.

According to Hahn, the officer responded by telling her to mind her own business. Shocked that the officer would address her in such a manner, Hahn called the department to complain. Minutes later, the cop who she reported for being rude pulls her over.

For an alleged seat belt violation, the Carlsbad officer demands that she exit her vehicle. At this point, she is thrown to the ground while two more officers arrive as backup to help assault this dangerous mother of two.

Bystanders plead with the cops to stop their assault, but it is to no avail. One woman is thrown back as she attempts to physically stop the attack.

As the two officers pile on top of Hahn, one of them punches her in the face as he yells out the standard “stop resisting” line.

Hahn was then cuffed and booked on charges of resisting arrest and battery. Apparently the officers did not know that their attack was captured on video when they claimed that Hahn battered them.

This entire incident looks like it was nothing short of a retaliatory beating for a woman filing a complaint against the officer.

After Hahn’s attorney had shown the DA the video of the attack, the charges were immediately dropped.

Hahn has since filed a lawsuit asking for a jury trial and unspecified damages.

“If this goes on with an unarmed mother of two, God forbid what happens when there is somebody who’s perceived to be a threat,” said Mark Geragos, Hahn’s attorney.

As of yet, none of the officers involved in beating this innocent mother have been disciplined.

Police Responsible For 1 Out of 6 Homicides In Oklahoma City

The local news tried to spin the new Oklahoma City murder statistics as “good news.” The homicide rate, they explained, is finally dropping. But what they failed to highlight is the fact that 1 out of every 6 homicides in the city is committed by a police officer.

While 2014 saw a significant decline in murders compared to the last two years before, the climbing rate of police killings is disturbing. That is, it should be disturbing, but since the local mainstream media outlets refuse to discuss this epidemic of police murder, most do not even know to be outraged.

Oklahoma City saw 62 homicides last year, according to local KFOR News. Just two years before there was a record number of homicides in the city.

“We’re always happy when crime numbers are dropping, particularly when it involves people’s lives like homicides,” Oklahoma City police MSgt. Gary Knight said.

In both 2010 and 2011 there were 60 homicides in the city each year. So 2014 was a drop back to those levels. The biggest spike was in 2012 when the number climbed to 99, and then dropped to 75 in 2013.

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