Thursday, February 27, 2014

Having a Seizure?

Of  your home, your personal assets? Well thank the Supreme Court if that should happen to you  in the most disturbing decision since Citizens United.  To think it could not get worse.

The ruling with regards to consent of a warantless search of a home and seizure of property was based on two separate cases which further erode a tenuous hold on our civil rights with each passing day. The article about these cases/decision is here.  Read, weep and use a copy of the Constitution as your tissue.

Since 9/11 in the name of law and order this is what we have wrought as a Country:

The Executive Body  can declare any organization a terrorist organization without trial or appeal.  
In the name of protecting us from terrorism, the administration has: 
* Denied habeas corpus rights, trial by impartial jury, legal counsel, and knowledge of the evidence against the accused;  
*Employed enforced disappearance/secret prisons, including kidnapping and rendition to regimes known to employ torture;
 * Approved the use of torture and other mistreatment;
* Supported use of coerced and hearsay testimony;  
* Conducted warrantless searches and wiretaps; intercepted e-mails and phone calls without warrants;  * Instituted secret no-fly lists, including reportedly, to punish White House “enemies;”  
* Passed the USA Patriot Act that permits secret arrests, sneak-and-peek searches and access to many private records;
 * Issued 45,000 secret administrative subpoenas (National Security Letters) per year to circumvent the FISA court, while issuing gag orders on revealing their existence; and  Passed the Military Commissions Act that allows U.S. citizens to be labeled enemy combatants and held under indefinite preventive detention.  The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) policy permits border agents to search, copy and even keep travelers’ electronic devices at the border — including laptops, cameras and cell phones — without “reasonable suspicion” of a crime. 
 According to federal law, police can seize assets — houses, cars, money — without ever charging a crime if they suspect you may have been involved in drug trafficking. No proof is required. Having a large amount of cash is sufficient.  
For the record the President of the United States is a Constitutional scholar and clearly he is studying ways on which to ignore and in turn deny our Citizens their rights, unless that is guns then shoot away!

To put this search and seizure in perspective I reprint this story below.  America the land of search and seizure.   And people wonder why I quit voting for either political party. Really? You do?  It didn't take watching my civil liberties be yanked from me to figure it out but it helped.  And I had good Attorneys, even they can't stop the wheels of justice as they run over you.

King City Police Chief and Ex-Chief arrested
UPDATED 8:13 PM PST Feb 25, 2014

KING CITY, Calif. —King City's longtime former police chief, Nick Baldiviez, current acting police chief, Bruce Miller, and five others were arrested in a major corruption bust Tuesday morning.

Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said King City's top law enforcers became lawbreakers when they orchestrated a scheme victimizing the most vulnerable residents in King City.

"The victims were economically disadvantaged persons of Hispanic descent who were targeted by having their vehicles impounded, towed and stored by Miller's Towing," Flippo said.

Investigators said police ordered hundreds of vehicles in King City to be towed and owners never got their cars back because they could not afford to pay impound fees or could not speak English. Police officers kept the cars for free, or sold them to make money, Flippo said.

One minute before 6 a.m. Tuesday, five teams of FBI agents, Monterey County Sheriff's deputies, and Salinas police officers simultaneously arrested six King City police officers: Chief Bruce Miller, former chief Baldiviez, officer Mario Mottu Sr., officer Jaime Andrade, Sgt. Bobby Carrillo, and Sgt. Mark Baker. They were all placed on paid administrative leave.

One civilian was also arrested: Brian Miller. Brian Miller is the brother of Chief Bruce Miller, and the owner of Miller's Towing company.

The seven were booked into the Monterey County Jail and were released within six hours when they posted bail.

KSBW Reporter May Chow talked to Chief Bruce Miller as he was leaving jail.

"I'm completely surprised. Accept a bribe? I've never done that. I'm blown away, I did not know this was coming," Chief Bruce Miller told Chow.

Chief Bruce Miller said he knew the FBI was investigating his department for more than a year, but he had no idea he was considered a suspect until he was being placed in handcuffs.

Chief Bruce Miller said Tuesday was the worst day of his life, and his reputation was tarnished forever.

"There's no coming back from this, even if I'm found innocent. People are always going to look poorly upon me. I think my career is done," the police chief said.

Flippo held a press conference in Salinas at 2 p.m. to release more details on his office's 6-month investigation into corruption and criminal acts within the King City Police Department dating back three years.

"Some officers dishonored their badge. Any time you end up investigating those who are sworn to uphold the law and treat everyone fairly -- and you have violations of that oath -- that is difficult. My conclusion is the citizens of King City deserve better than what they have been receiving," Flippo said.

Investigators said Sgt. Bobby Carrillo acted like the ring leader.

"For every 10-15 vehicles impounded by Sgt. Carrillo, he would receive a free vehicle for himself, or whatever he wanted to do with it," Flippo said.

The investigation was spearheaded by a strong undercurrent flowing through King City in which residents had zero faith in their police department.

While digging for clues, district attorney investigators said they watched KSBW's news coverage of community meetings, where residents voiced their distrust and grievances. As it turns out, the residents were telling the truth, Flippo said.

Flippo said King City residents told him, "The police are taking our property. They are taking our cars. They take our money. And we can do nothing about that."

City Manager Michael Powers said the entire incident is a "black eye" on the community. The investigation has been hanging over the city's head for a while, Powers said, and he is hopeful the arrests will allow leadership in King City to move on.

The small agricultural town off Highway 101 has 17 sworn police officers.

A sign reading "closed" was posted on the front door of the King City Police Department Tuesday. Powers said the police station's front office cannot remain open because so many officers were arrested.

Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller said, even though nearly half the police force is on administrative leave, residents have no reason to fear that law will not be enforced in their city.

The sheriff said he has a substation in King City and his deputies have stepped in to patrol the streets. The sheriff said he will provide law enforcement while the City Council and City Manager decide on a long-term plan.

"We are available from this point on to provide whatever level of law enforcement services the city of King City needs," Sheriff Miller said.

Baldiviez has continued to receive paychecks from the city ever since he retired in September 2013 because King City owed him so much overtime and vacation pay that he built up during his nine years as chief. VIDEO: Baldiviez announces he is retiring

The charges against the seven are:

Sgt. Bobby Javier Carrillo: Conspiracy to commit a crime. Accepting a bribe. Bribing an executive officer.
Acting Police Chief Bruce Edward Miller: Accepting a bribe.
Civilian Brian Albert Miller, Owner of Miller’s Towing and brother of Bruce Miller: Conspiracy to commit a crime. Bribing an executive officer.
Former Chief Nick Baldiviez: Embezzlement by a public officer.
Officer Mario Alonso Mottu, Sr.: Embezzlement a by public officer.
Officer Jaime Andrade: Possession of an assault weapon. Illegal storage of a firearm.
Sgt. Mark Allen Baker: Making criminal threats.

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