“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
More Dirty Stinking US Cops
SAN ANTONIO - The unedited version of a video obtained by KSAT 12 News showing the fatal shooting of a man by two Bexar County sheriff deputies will now be made available for online viewing.
The video will include the actual moment the 41-year-old suspect, Gilbert Flores, was shot outside a home in the 24400 block of Walnut Pass. The video also shows what deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez did moments after the shooting. Vasquez and Sanchez are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
VIEWERS ARE TO BE FULLY AWARE THAT THE VIDEO MAY BE DISTURBING TO THEM IF THEY CHOOSE TO VIEW IT.
On Friday, KSAT 12 News obtained video showing the shooting of Flores by the deputies during a domestic violence call. At that time, we chose not to show the moment he was shot.
The Bexar County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's office have addressed the incident, and commented on the video, which calls into question whether the shooting was justified. Now that there is an ongoing investigation by both agencies, and following additional discussions within our newsroom, KSAT 12 News has decided to make the entire video available online.
Providing the video on KSAT.com allows for viewers to make their own decision on whether to click on a link to see the video. Other than editing for language, the video is the entirety of what we received from Michael Thomas.
I’ve reported at length before about various reasons to question the official government narrative surrounding the chaotic and violent incident that resulted in nine people shot to death and 18 wounded and 177 arrested outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, on May 17.
It all happened outside a planned meeting of a mostly political biker club coalition, the Confederation of Clubs and Independents. See here for the most recent, and here the most thorough, of that reporting.
While they do not authoritatively state any judgment on to exactly what type of bullets from what type of gun did the killings—important to discover how many of the deaths and woundings were caused by police themselves as opposed to out of control feuding bikers—the Aging Rebel web site sums up what they don’t tell us:
They do not….disprove the notion that all, or at least most of the dead men were killed by police using M-16s and FN P90 machine guns.
Thirteen of sixteen entrance wounds were .25 inches in diameter or smaller.
FN P90s fire a round with a diameter of .224409 inches. M-16s fire slightly smaller rounds with diameters of 0.218898 inches. All but one of the victims had wounds fired from a downward trajectory. Six of the nine dead had head or neck wounds. None of the wounds contained gunshot residue which indicates that the shots were fired from at least three feet away and probably five feet or farther away. The absence of residue casts doubt on claims by prosecutors of “Bandidos executing Cossacks, and Cossacks executing Bandidos.” Two of the dead had large wounds consistent with a 12 gauge shotgun slug. Ten of 16 wounds were in the back, indicating that the victims were running away when they died. Seven of the wounds were fired from right to left. Six were fired from left to right.
Nine millimeter bullets have a diameter of 0.35433 inches; forty caliber handguns fire a bullet that is four tenths of an inch in diameter and 357 magnums fire rounds that are about .357 inches in diameter…
Most of the recovered bullets were either highly deformed or fragmented which indicates they were fired by high velocity …..
Most police ammunition in the United States is designed to penetrate a human body to a depth of 12 inches and for that reason that ammunition is usually copper jacketed. Most of the bullets that killed at the Twin Peaks were copper jacketed….
None of the autopsies include ballistics information. Notations by eight pathologists involved in the autopsies describe bullets and bullet fragments in very general and inconsistent terms….
In other Waco news, the “examining trial” hearings have been happening for various of the arrested. Those proceedings are meant to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause for an arrest in the first place such that the arrested’s cases should go to a grand jury for actual indictment. The results have not been encouraging about the judicial system's attitudes toward this whole mess.
A 65-year-old Bandido (one of the two biker gangs most blamed by police for the chaos) chaplain, Lawrence Yager, was found justifiably arrested, mostly because he had (legally owned and carried) guns in his possession and in his truck, although, as the Waco Tribune reported:
Yager’s attorney, Landon Northcutt, of Stephenville, argued after the testimonies of Department of Public Safety Lt. Steven Schwartz and Waco police Detective Sam Key that neither officer could offer evidence that Yager conspired to commit murder, assault or any crime that day.
Yager was not wearing his cuts or colors that day and serves as chaplain for the Bandidos, a VFW post and the Texas Association of Vietnam Vets, Northcutt said.
“He was wearing a Christian T-shirt. He was there to minister to people who need him. That is what he does. He is retired. That is all he does,” Northcutt told the judge.
The Waco Tribune’s reporting from the examining trial (where standards for keeping the defendant in the system are far lower than probable cause) of married couple William and Morgan English is a good window into the standards that went into many, likely most, of the arrests that day:
Department of Public Safety Lt. Steven Schwartz, a 17-year department veteran, testified at the morning hearing that William and Morgan English wore patches that identified them as members of a group called Distorted….
Former Reason intern Jeff Winkler, writing in Texas Monthly, reports on various biker theories as to what was really up at Twin Peaks that day, reported from a planned rally in support of the arrested bikers that was shut down by a bomb scare last week.
Winkler's story ends with a touching scene of various bikers visiting the scene of the crime, treating it like an eerie combination of war memorial and live crime investigation, speculating on what sort of bullets from whom could have taken down biker comrades. (Many are quite sure a sniper was on the roof of a nearby restaurant shooting into the crowd.)
And two non-biker patrons on the scene are suing the restaurant for damages, claiming they were emotionally traumatized and received cuts and bruises at the scene, and that Twin Peaks was negligent for allowing the biker meeting to occur there in the first place after receiving warnings from police not to do so.
I talked briefly on the phone today with lawyer Clint Broden, who represents three of the people arrested that day. Besides confirming the history of the gag order being overturned then reimposed, when asked for any opinions about the relevance of, say, the inconclusive autopsy report, this lawyer representing clients in a matter of intense public interest involving possible criminal malfeasance by police could only beg off.