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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NORTH CAROLINA - MOTORCYCLE SAFETY BILL

OFF THE WIRE
LEGISLATIVE NEWS:

CBA/ABATE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY BILL - S 353 provides that motorists who cause a motorcyclist to crash resulting in "serious bodily injury" to the rider or passenger or property damage of more than $5,000 would face a fine of at least $750, four points on their driver's license, and a possible license suspension of up to 30 days at a judge's discretion. No action was taken on Senate Bill 353 (Motorcycle Safety Act) again this past week. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 48-0 and currently resides in the House Rules Committee, with a serial referral to House Transportation and Judiciary B. It is unlikely that the House will take it up until after the "crossover" deadline as it seeks to move its legislation to the Senate before that date, but having passed the Senate, the bill is unaffected by the "cross-over" deadline and remains eligible for consideration for the remainder of the 2013-2014 session.

Stupidity.....NUFF SAID

PIC OF THE DAY


Monday, April 29, 2013

CA - Deputies Say Racist Gang Wields Power at Top of L.A. Sheriff's Dept.

OFF THE WIRE
By MATT REYNOLDS 
 
 
LOS ANGELES (CN) - White racist gangs operate at the highest levels of Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Department, threatened the lives of deputies who exposed it and branded them as "race traitors" and "snitches," two deputies claim in court.
     Deputies Michael Rathbun and James Sexton sued Los Angeles County, Sheriff Leroy Baca, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, Lt. Greg Thompson and "Detective Perkins," in Federal Court.
     They seek damages for retaliation, constitutional violations, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, harassment and other charges.
     The 39-page complaint makes alarming allegations, including that the Sheriff's Department hid an inmate from the FBI, that Thompson and Tanaka covered up an incident involving a skinhead deputy, and that Sheriff Baca blew off the threats to his deputies and was indifferent to the corruption.
     Rathbun and Sexton claim they worked in an intelligence unit known as Operation Safe Jails (OSJ), using jail informants to help prevent gang violence and crime in America's largest local jail system.
     Though Lt. Thompson and Undersheriff Tanaka oversaw the intelligence unit, they are members of a racist cop gang, the Vikings, according to the complaint.
     "On or about August 2011, Lt. Thompson ordered Rathbun, Sexton, and other members of OSJ to transfer and hide a specific inmate, 'Anthony Brown.' Rathbun and Sexton learned that the inmate was being hidden from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On information and belief, the order to hide Anthony Brown came from Sheriff Baca and Undersheriff Tanaka in an effort to obstruct a federal
     investigation," the complaint states.
     Anthony Brown is an FBI informant who reported on abuse in county jails, the Los Angeles Times reported in August 2012.
     In a subhead to the Aug. 27 story, the Times wrote: "Anthony Brown, the FBI informant who reported on abuse within L.A. County jails, is serving 423 years to life for armed robbery and has a history of making unfounded allegations about police."
     In their complaint, Rathbun and Sexton claim: "Increasingly, Thompson ordered OSJ to engage in activities meant to 'keep the FBI out of the jails.' In fact, discussions were held about wiring interview rooms when FBI agents or informants were present. On information and belief, Thompson was carrying out the directives of Sheriff Baca and Undersheriff Tanaka."
     Rathbun says he was "stunned" by what happened next: "On or about February 2012, an informant told Rathbun and Sexton that Deputy Joseph Britton, who was assigned to Men's Central Jail, was engaged in illegal behavior in association with a powerful white gang member (while on duty and using his powers as a law enforcement official), who was in charge of illicit activity at MCJ. Rathbun and Sexton provided a confidential intelligence memorandum to Lt. Thompson. Moreover, Rathbun had the powerful white gang member moved to high-powered housing," the complaint states.
     It continues: "On the same day, Sexton provided Thompson with an analogous memorandum about another prison official, Remington Orr, and improper association with a prison gang.
     "A few days later, Rathbun followed up with Lt. Thompson about the memorandum.
     Thompson informed Rathbun that he showed the memorandum to Deputy Britton and inquired whether the allegations were true.
     "Rathbun was stunned. The memorandum was unredacted and thus, Britton was informed about Rathbun and Sexton's identities as well as the identity of the informant. Thompson had intentionally placed Rathbun, Sexton, and the informant in danger.
     "On information and belief, Thompson showed Britton the memorandum in order to intimidate Rathbun and Sexton as well as give Britton the heads up and thus, permit Britton to cover up any illegal activity.
     "In contrast, Thompson forwarded the Orr memo to ICIB, which ensnared Orr in a narcotics sting. Subsequently, Orr was terminated.
     "Britton and Orr were treated completely different. While Orr is black, Britton is Caucasian.
     "News of Rathbun and Sexton's confidential memorandum was disseminated throughout the jail system by Thompson and other LASD personnel. Rathbun and Sexton were now referred to as snitches by LASD deputies and officials.
     "Additionally, LASD deputies and officials began to use inmates against Rathbun and Sexton. An inappropriate relationship exists between certain LASD personnel and various inmate jail gangs, especially white supremacist. LASD personnel use these jail gangs as proxies or agents to retaliate against other LASD deputies and inmates. Within these inappropriate alliances, the gangs are given certain privileges that they are otherwise legally precluded from. Similarly, the gangs provide LASD personnel with certain benefits, which include carrying out certain tasks on behalf of LASD personnel. Thus, these gangs often act under color of law because of powers delegated or provided by LASD.
     "In late February 2012, Sexton was corned in the OSJ office. Two OSJ deputies told
     Sexton in a threatening manner that he and Rathbun 'better shut up or else' about the Britton matter. Both deputies were on duty, and in department uniform. "Officially, LASD deputies are not permitted to wear their firearms in certain parts of jail facilities. On information and belief, the deputies were following orders from Lt. Thompson, Sheriff Baca and/or Undersheriff Tanaka to intimidate and/or silence Sexton and Rathbun.
     "The OSJ team at Men's Central Jail refused to work or cooperate with Rathbun and Sexton. In fact, MCJ [Men's Central Jail] deputies accused Rathbun of 'fucking up their program' by moving the powerful white gang member from MCJ. At all relevant times, certain members of OSJ associated with, and cooperated with, certain jail gangs, including partaking in illicit activities. Sheriff Baca and/or Undersheriff Tanaka knew or should have known about these improper relationships, but took no action to stop it and implicitly ratified the improper conduct.
     "Soon thereafter, Rathbun and Sexton's informant was moved without their consent. The informant was moved out of protective custody and into the general population. Consequently, the informant's life was placed in serious jeopardy. After Rathbun and Sexton interceded, the MCJ OSJ team had no answer (at least, claimed no answer) as to why the informant was moved out of protective custody.
     "Subsequently, Sexton was informed that Lt. Thompson ordered the move of the informant after Rathbun and Sexton's confidential memorandum. On information and belief, Thompson wanted to neutralize the informant by providing white supremacy gangs with access to him. Moreover, Thompson intended to send Rathbun and Sexton a 'message' that bad things would happen (i.e., physical or bodily harm) if Rathbun and Sexton did not backtrack or drop the Britton matter.
     "Sheriff Baca and/or Undersheriff Tanaka knew or should have known about Thompson's actions. On information and belief, Sheriff Baca and/or Undersheriff
     Tanaka supported and ratified Thompson's misconduct.
     "On or about March 2012, Sexton conducted an interview of a suspect at LASD custody facilities. Besides members of LASD and the inmate, no one else was present. The interview somehow ended up on YouTube. Sexton's identity was publicly disclosed and thus, his well-being placed in jeopardy.
     "Sexton asked Lt. Thompson to investigate the incident, but Thompson replied that Sexton should forget about it. Thompson took no action or any investigation about how an in-custody interview found its way on the Internet. On information and belief, LASD personnel, including but not limited to Lt. Thompson, leaked the interview in order to further intimidate Rathbun and Sexton."
     Rathbun claims that to "cope with the intense pressure," he became dependent on alcohol and "got into a fender bender" and was charged with "misdemeanor DUI."
     He claims that unidentified department officials tried to leak video of his arrest to the media, "in a further effort to discredit Rathbun and ruin his life."
     The complaint continues: "Subsequently, 'white power' literature was left at Rathbun's home. No other homes had such material distributed and no prior incidents of this nature had previously occurred. Rathbun's home address is confidential because he is a peace officer and thus, his life would be placed in jeopardy if the information was either public or known to certain individuals. Members of LASD are the only individuals with access to such sensitive information. On information and belief, LASD officials, including members of the OSJ teams, used their contacts with white supremacy gangs to threaten Rathbun.
     "LASD personnel, using jail gangs as their agents, labeled Rathbun and Sexton as 'race traitors.'"
     Then Rathbun's misdemeanor was upgraded to a felony "without any notice," the complaint states.
     It continues: "Rathbun's criminal attorney was not notified. Fortunately, Rathbun discovered the new charges and appeared in court. Otherwise, a bench warrant would have been issued for Rathbun and he would have been taken to Men's Central Jail, exposing him to criminals he had been investigating for years.
     "Absolutely no legal or factual basis ever existed for a felony DUI."
     Rathbun and Sexton say they reported the threats and harassment Sheriff Baca, who was "dismissive and unmoved."
     The complaint continues: "In the summer of 2012, Rathbun and Sexton went to the FBI and disclosed various information, including evidence about LASD's violation of various state and/or federal laws. At this time, LASD personnel were under unofficial orders from the department not to speak or cooperate with the FBI. Rathbun and Sexton were under no official duty to report the various legal violations but did so despite directives from LASD to the contrary.
     "In the summer of 2012, Rathbun was suspend[ed] without pay. Rathbun plead[ed] his case with Chief Yim, who ignored Rathbun's concerns. Numerous members of the department who committed a DUI are given much greater leniency. On information and belief, LASD officials discovered that Rathbun had spoken to the FBI, and thus, his suspension without pay was retaliation for the disclosure.
     "In contrast, Lt. Thompson was transferred to Narcotics Division. The new assignment was a coveted position. Undersheriff Tanaka made sure Thompson was given the new position."
     The plaintiffs say that after they spoke to Los Angeles Times, and testified in August 2012 before a federal grand jury they were subjected to threats and more intimidation: "On or about November 2012, Lt. Thompson's son, Deputy Matt Thompson, and another LASD deputy cornered Sexton. The two men informed Sexton that 'the boss is aware that Rathbun and he testified in front of the grand jury.' But the 'boss' did not think he would get indicted, yet Sexton and Rathbun will 'answer' for their testimony. Thompson's son and the other LASD employee delivered their threat while on duty and in uniform. On information and belief, the threat was conveyed at the direction of Sheriff Baca, Undersheriff Tanaka, and/or Lt.
     Thompson.
     "On or about late 2012, Rathbun's vehicle was vandalized on LASD property.
     "In late 2012, high-ranking LASD officials expressed concern Lt. Thompson may attempt to kill Sexton and Rathbun.
     "In late 2012, Rathbun discovered that LASD personnel, including Detective Perkins, were the ones who escalated his DUI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony."
     The harassment and retaliation were unrelenting, the men say in the complaint: "Rathbun and Sexton have each been targets of bogus IA [Internal Affairs] investigations, which are merely meant to ruin their careers further. In fact, Rathbun and Sexton have been involved in four internal investigations each. The LASD has a practice and pattern of using internal investigations to retaliate against employees. Sheriff Baca and Undersheriff Tanaka put into place such practices and used it extensively against plaintiffs.
     "Lt. Thompson is a close confidante of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. Thompson, like Tanaka, is a tattooed member of the 'Vikings.' In fact, Tanaka got his 'Viking' tattoo when he was a sergeant, which is odd because it is quite rare to have supervisors get such a tattoo."
     A federal judge determined as long ago as 1991 that the Vikings "were a racist group of deputies who existed within the Los Angeles County Sheriff s Department and
     Lynwood Station," the complaint states, citing Thomas v. County of Los Angeles, case no. CV 90-5217. It continues: "Thompson was a named individual defendant in Thomas v. County of Los Angeles. This group had terrorized minority members of the general public by using unjustified force, fabricating evidence, and engaging in cover-ups. On information and belief, Tanaka and Thompson adopted the 'Viking' brand of law enforcement.
     "In fact, Tanaka allowed and encouraged the further development of deputy gangs within the LASD. For instance, the Regulators flourished in the Department. When some LASD officials tried to stop these gangs, they were stopped and retaliated against by Tanaka. Similarly, Tanaka allowed and encouraged deputy gangs in the jails. At various points in time, Tanaka would recite a version of his 'working in the gray' message.
     "Tanaka's 'working in the gray' is an informal policy that directs LASD members to operate outside the confines of the law, in contravention of state and federal laws. Lt. Thompson and Deputy Britton 'work in the gray.' LASD officials' attempts to obstruct justice and interfere with federal investigations is pursuant to the 'work in the gray' policy.
     "While Tanaka directed/ordered such illegal activities, Sheriff Baca ratified the unlawful actions. Baca has tolerated Tanaka's misdeeds. Baca has done nothing to break up the deputy gang-cliques inside the LASD. Baca has done nothing to combat discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based either on protected activities or protected characteristics."
     The plaintiffs cite two other deputies who they say were subjected to violent threats, including at gunpoint, for objecting to the institutional racism and violations of law and the Constitution.
     In sum, the officers say: "Defendants Baca, Tanaka, Thompson, Perkins and Does 1-6, acting within the course and scope of their duties as peace officers of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, deprived plaintiffs of their rights to free speech as delineated herein above, and thereafter in violation of plaintiffs' due process rights proceeded to make threats, falsify evidence, submit false police reports and offer perjurious testimony so as to ensure that plaintiffs would be harmed."
     Rathbun and Sexton seek a jury trial, lost wages and benefits, including future wages and benefits, medical and legal expenses, civil penalties, and damages for 11 counts, including Bane Act violations, municipal liability, and state and federal labor violations.
     They are represented by Milad Sadr with Goldberg & Gage of Woodland Hills. 

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Navy Brings New Aerial Tools to Drug Fight

OFF THE WIRE
Associated Press 
| by Ben Fox
ABOARD THE HIGH SPEED VESSEL SWIFT - Drug smugglers who race across the Caribbean in speedboats will typically jettison their cargo when spotted by surveillance aircraft, hoping any chance of prosecuting them will vanish with the drugs sinking to the bottom of the sea.
That may be a less winning tactic in the future. The U.S. Navy on Friday began testing two new aerial tools, borrowed from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, that officials say will make it easier to detect, track and videotape drug smugglers in action.
One of the devices on display aboard the High Speed Vessel Swift is a large, white balloon-like craft known as an aerostat, which is tethered up to 2,000 feet (600 meters) above the ship's stern. The other tool on board for tests in the Florida Straits is a type of drone that can be launched by hand from the deck.
Together, they expand the ability of the Navy and Coast Guard personnel on board to see what's beyond their horizon, according to officials from both military branches and the contractors hoping to sell the devices to the U.S. government.
The devices should allow authorities to detect and monitor suspected drug shipments from afar for longer sustained periods, giving them a better chance of stopping the smugglers. They also should allow them to make continuous videotapes that can be used in prosecutions.
"Being able to see them and watch what they are doing even before we get there is going to give us an edge," said Chief Chris Sinclair, assistant officer in charge of a law enforcement detachment on board the Swift, a private vessel leased to the Navy that is about to begin a monthlong deployment to the southwestern Caribbean, tracking the busy smuggling routes off Colombia and Honduras.
Crews practiced launching and operating both systems before a small contingent of media on board the Swift, managing to bring back video of vessels participating in a mock surveillance mission as well as radar and video images of the fishing charters and sailboats that dot the choppy seas separating Cuba from the U.S. mainland.
The drone, officially a Puma All Environment unmanned aircraft system from Aerovironment Inc. of Simi Valley, California, splashed into the water on one landing and had to be retrieved. On the second round, it clacked noisily but intact on the shifting deck of the 321-foot ship. Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, commander of the Navy's 4th Fleet, said the devices are necessary at a time when the service is making a transition to smaller, faster ships amid budget cuts.
The aerostat, formally the Aerostar TIF-25K and made by a division of Raven Industries Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is filled with helium. It's an old technology, models of which have been used for decades, but it's packed with cameras and sensors that expand the ship's radar capability from about 5 miles (8 kms) to about 50 miles. That can help teams in an on-board control center to identify larger ships, which now would appear as just dots on the horizon, from as far as 15 miles away.
The Puma, meanwhile, can be sent out to inspect a vessel flagged by the larger aerostat and give a "God's eye view," of what's happening on board, a job usually handled by a plane or helicopter, said Craig Benson, director of business development for the company.
Both the aerostat and the drone have been used widely by the U.S. government for overseas actions, but Harris and others aboard the Swift said neither has been used before by the Navy to conduct counter-drug operations.
Unmanned aerial devices, however, are not new to the drug fight. U.S. Customs and Border Protection operates 10 Predator drones, including two based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, that patrol a wide swathe of the Caribbean through the Bahamas and down to south of Puerto Rico. It deployed one to the Dominican Republic last year for six weeks and has considered using one in Honduras. The others are used along the northern and southern borders of the United States.
The U.S. military has long been deeply involved in counter-drug operations in the Southern Hemisphere, coordinated by a multi-agency task force based in Key West, Florida. Navy ships and Air Force jets use their radar to track and run down smugglers, though for legal reasons the actual arrests are carried out by the Coast Guard, civilian agencies or officials from other countries.
In March, the military said it would reduce patrols and sorties in Latin America and the Caribbean because of the automatic spending cuts imposed by Congress, another argument for increased use of aerial surveillance devices like the aerostat and drone, officials said.
Representatives on the Swift from both contractors declined to say what their systems cost. But they said each can be run at a fraction of the cost of the fixed-wing planes or helicopters usually dispatched to check out suspected smugglers.

READ READ !!!! MUSLIM WOMEN

OFF THE WIRE
A must read...



 


 
20 years
from now, I will be in Heaven --bye
!!
This was
written by a woman born in Egypt as a Muslim. Make
sure you read the paragraph  

(in
red)
towards
the end.

Joys of
Muslim Women
By Nonie Darwish


In the Muslim faith a Muslim man can marry a child as
young as 1 year old and have sexual intimacy with
this child. Consummating the marriage by 9.

The dowry is given to the family in
exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and
for the purchase of the private parts of the
woman, to use her as a toy.

Even though a woman is abused she can not obtain a
divorce.
To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.

Often after a woman has
been raped, she is returned to her family and the
family must return the dowry. The family has the
right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore
the honor of the family. Husbands can beat their
wives 'at will' and he does not have to say why he
has beaten her.

The
husband is permitted to have (4 wives) and a
temporary wife for an hour (prostitute) at his
discretion.

The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as
the public life of the woman.
In the Western World (Canada, United States and Britain ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife
can not obtain a divorce and he can have full and
complete control of her. It is amazing and
alarming how many of our sisters and daughters
attending American, Canadian, Universities and
British Universities are now marrying Muslim men
and submitting themselves and their children
unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.

By passing this on, enlightened Canadian, American
and British women may avoid becoming a slave under
Shariah Law.

Ripping the West in Two.

Author and lecturer Nonie Darwish says
the goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shariah
law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty
in two.

She recently authored the book, Cruel and Usual
Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of
Islamic Law. Darwish was born in Cairo and spent
her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before immigrating
to America in 1978, when she was eight years old.
Her father died while leading covert attacks on
Israel . He was a high-ranking Egyptian military
officer stationed with his family in Gaza.

When he died, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr
for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and
her family an elevated position in Muslim society.
But Darwish developed a skeptical eye
at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim
culture and upbringing.. She converted to
Christianity after hearing a Christian preacher on
television.
In her latest book, Darwish warns
about creeping shariah law - what it is, what it
means, and how it is manifested in Islamic
countries.

For the West, she says radical Islamists are working
to impose sharia on the world. If that happens,
Western civilization will be destroyed. Westerners
generally assume all religions encourage a respect
for the dignity of each individual. Islamic law
(Sharia) teaches that non-Muslims should be
subjugated or killed in this world.

Peace and prosperity for one's children is not as
important as assuring that Islamic law rules
everywhere in the Middle East and eventually in
the world.

While Westerners tend to think that all religions
encourage some form of the golden rule, Shariah
teaches two systems of ethics - one for Muslims
and another for non-Muslims. Building on tribal
practices of the seventh century, Shariah
encourages the side of humanity that wants to take
from and subjugate others.

While Westerners tend to think in terms of religious
people developing a personal understanding of and
relationship with God, Shariah advocates executing
people who ask difficult questions that could be
interpreted as criticism.

It's hard to imagine, that in this day and age, Islamic
scholars agree that those who criticize Islam or
choose to stop being Muslim should be executed.
Sadly, while talk of an Islamic reformation is
common and even assumed by many in the West, such
murmurings in the Middle East are silenced through
intimidation.

While Westerners are accustomed to an increase in
religious tolerance over time, Darwish explains
how petro dollars are being used to grow an
extremely intolerant form of political Islam in
her native Egypt and elsewhere.

(In twenty years there will be enough Muslim
voters in Canada, the U.S. And Britain To elect
the President by themselves! Rest assured they
will do so... You can look at how they have taken
over several towns in the USA .. Dearborn Mich. Is
one... And there are others....) (Britain has
several cities now totally controlled by Muslims)

I think everyone in Canada. the U.S. And Great
Britain Should be required to read this, but with
the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely
publicized, unless each of us sends it on! It
is too bad that so many are disillusioned with
life and Christianity to accept Muslims as
peaceful.. Some may be but they have an army that
is willing to shed blood in the name of Islam..
The peaceful support the warriors with their
finances and own kind of patriotism to their
religion. While Canada, the U.S.A.and Britain are
getting rid of Christianity from all public sites
and erasing God from the lives of children the
Muslims are planning a great jihad on North
America and Britain ....

This is your chance to make a difference...! Pass it on
to your email list or at least those you think
will listen..

Some of
those I'm sending it to WILL NOT! Put your head
back under the covers so you can't see the boogie
man!

 

 

 

 
 

USA - RISING MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES DEBUNKED

OFF THE WIRE
"The state lies in all the tongues of good and evil, and whatever it says is lies, and whatever it has, it has stolen, everything it is, is false, it bites with stolen teeth, and it bites often, it is false down to its bowels."    ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra [1896]

Rising Motorcycle Fatalities
April 25, 2013

Over the past few years, we have read numerous articles which claim that while motor vehicle related fatalities have been decreasing, motorcycle related fatalities have been increasing.  An article published this week on NBCNEWS.com made that same point.

Instinctively, this does not make sense.  With the motorcycling community placing more of an emphasis on training and education, one would think that we would be seeing a decrease in motorcycle related fatalities.  If you go to the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) you can find the fatality statistics through 2010.  For illustration purposes let’s look at motor vehicle fatalities from 2005 to 2010 since that is the last year in which NHTSA has reported data.  While it is true you will see motor vehicle fatalities are generally dropping, motorcycle fatalities during this period have gone up and come down.

Interestingly, NHTSA further breaks down motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 registered motor vehicles.  However, they do not do that for each type of motor vehicle.  It is only done for motor vehicles as a whole.  Unfortunately, one cannot find a breakdown of registered motorcycles per year on the NHTSA site (to be accurate I should say I couldn’t).  However, if you go to the website for the Federal Highway Administration you can find motorcycle registrations by year and then compare those numbers to the reported fatalities from NHTSA.  Those numbers break down as follows:

2005 - 6,227,146 registered motorcycles and 4,576 motorcycle related fatalities
2006 - 6,678,958 registered motorcycles and 4,837 motorcycle related fatalities
2007 - 7,138,476 registered motorcycles and 5,174 motorcycle related fatalities
2008 - 7,752,926 registered motorcycles and 5,312 motorcycle related fatalities
2009 - 7,929,724 registered motorcycles and 4,469 motorcycle related fatalities
2010 - 8,009,503 registered motorcycles and 4,502 motorcycle related fatalities

When we look at those numbers, the motorcycles fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles from 2005 to 2010 break down as follows:

2005 – 73.48
2006 – 72.43
2007 – 72.48
2008 – 68.52
2009 – 56.36
2010 – 56.21

As you can see, when we factor in registrations, we see that since 2005, motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles are trending down as well.  If that is the case, why don’t we see any reporting on that fact?  It is because simply reporting numbers without context is easy.  It takes work to actually find relevant data to put the numbers into perspective. Those who have no interest in either motorcycles or motorcyclists are not going to do the work it takes to report accurately.  After all, reporting that motorcyclists are killing themselves on the highways makes a much better story than reporting that our community’s emphasis on training and education seems to be having a positive impact on highway safety.


Matt Danielson
McGrath & Danielson
Tom McGrath's Motorcycle Law Group
1-800-321-8968
Motorcyclelawgroup.com

 


McGrath & Danielson
Tom McGrath's Motorcycle Law Group

Our mailing address is:
2606-2608 West Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23220
1- 800-321-8968
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California: Audit Finds Split-Second Yellow At Red Light Camera Intersection

OFF THE WIRE
For the NorCal folks

 http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/40/4084.asp

  California: Audit Finds Split-Second Yellow At Red Light Camera Intersection
Audit finds a malfunctioning Sacramento, California red light camera intersection had a 0.05 second yellow time.

Red light camera opponents often charge municipalities exploit intersections that have dangerously short yellow times for the purpose of issuing tickets. An outside audit of the Sacramento, California red light camera program confirmed that tickets were issued at an intersection where the yellow warning period on occasion flashed by faster than the eye could see.

The transportation consulting firm Iteris conducted a spot check of the 22 intersections where red light cameras were in use in the city and county of Sacramento over a 24-hour period last year. Though the city had audits performed when the program was new, the cameras have not had an independent review in the past six years.

"Because the Redflex equipment collects the yellow (amber) time from the controller output rather than from the programmed time in the controller, the city of Sacramento had requested a review of the yellow interval to determine if there are any discrepancies between what is programmed and what is being outputted, as well as any deviation per output," the report explained.

According to the traffic controller, the intersection of Mack Road and Valley High Drive was supposed to provide 4.7 seconds of yellow. The Redflex camera system reported seeing yellows as short as 0.056 seconds on July 11, 2012 at around 9:30am. The short yellow kicked in during at least eleven signal cycles. The rest of the intersections were found to be within 0.05 seconds of the programmed time.

The audit also revealed that city intersections provide yellow signal timing between 0.1 and 0.4 seconds shorter than the county provides under identical conditions. The county also gives motorists more warning by calculating speed limits based on the 90th percentile speed of motorists, while the city uses the lower, 85th percentile figure. The auditors found a few locations did not even meet the legal minimum yellow time specified in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The county specifies a 5.1 second yellow for a 60 MPH intersection, which is 0.3 seconds shorter than the legally required minimum under the state MUTCD.

The report recommended the city and county come into compliance with the law and continue having regular independent checks on the cameras and signal timing. It also chided officials for not trimming trees when the limbs hide the cameras and legally required warning signs.

A copy of the audit, courtesy of highwayrobbery.net, is available in a 3mb PDF file at the source link below.

Source:  Automated Red Light Running Enforcement Engineering Audit (Iteris, 11/6/2012)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CA - Welcome Members and Supporters

MASS - Did Cops Try to Murder Bombing Suspect?

OFF THE WIRE
This post is brought to you by Station.6.Underground 
It is being reported that Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not armed when he was taken into police custody.
This news disproves earlier reports that the suspect may have tried to commit suicide by shooting himself. There were no guns found in the boat where he had been hiding, and he was not carrying any firearms when taken into custody.
The latest reports suggest his wounds may have been inflicted during the initial confrontation with police many hours earlier, but this seems unlikely given the seriousness of those injuries. In this first image we can see that the suspect was able to climb out of the boat where he was hiding, unassisted and without obvious signs of serious injury.
Nevertheless, within moments of surrendering, he was on the ground, possibly unconscious, and being given a tracheotomy.
We do know that police opened fire on the unarmed suspect, but no legitimate explanation for that has been given. Aside from the obvious reasons why police are not allowed to shoot or try to kill an unarmed suspect, in this case there was a very clear need to take the suspect alive for questioning. With his alleged accomplice to the bombings killed in the initial confrontation with police, this left the younger brother the only person who could possibly shed any light on the bombings. It was imperative that he be taken alive to be sure there were no other devices still left to go off, to name any other possible co-conspirators, and so forth. Of course, that is assuming that the suspect is indeed one of the actual bombers, as authorities claim.
Both the father and mother of the suspected bombers claim that their sons are innocent. In what is believed to be his last Facebook message, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tells his father that he was set up and did not do what he is being accused of.
Of course, it is not unusual for a suspect to claim they are innocent, nor is it unusual for a suspect’s parents to defend them. But there have been numerous irregularities in this case from the start, and it seems possible that the brothers may have indeed been set up as patsies. Such a claim sounds like lunatic-fringe conspiracy-theory perhaps, but this possibility has even led a New Hampshire state legislator to make the provocative claim that the Federal government is responsible for the bombings.
It is not known what evidence the government has to show that the brothers were responsible for the bombings. There have been no images or video released of them actually planting the bombs. It is also not known what led to their initial confrontation with police, or what evidence there is that they killed the MIT officer. It doesn’t seem likely that a pair of terrorists on the run would be hanging around a college campus causing a disturbance or trying to attract attention to themselves.
Why Were Bombers At MIT?
It was initially reported that they had tried to rob a 7-11 store, but that was not true, so we still don’t know what the nature of the disturbance actually was that might have led them to kill a police officer. We also don’t know what ever became of a third suspect, or why this man was arrested and then stripped naked before being paraded in front of cameras and loaded into a police car.
Whether or not the brothers actually committed the double-bombing, or whether they killed the MIT police officer is probably something that will be debated for many years to come. If there was indeed a conspiracy, and a plot by factions within our own government, then there would be a clear motivation to kill the patsies who were set up to take the blame for the terrorism.
If they were truly guilty, then as we already mentioned, there was a very real need to take the suspect alive for questioning. It hardly seems reasonable for the police to risk killing the suspect, who as we see now was not even armed. Even if he had been armed, the police should have made every effort, even at the risk of their own lives, to take the suspect alive to glean intelligence necessary for the greater public safety concerns. That is of course, unless the FBI already knew all the answers, which would then lead us back to the notion that they were at least fully aware of the plot, if not directly involved. .
Of course, there is a third line of reasoning which could also be applied here. Plain old-fashioned revenge. It is not at all unreasonable to suspect that the police might have been willing to commit murder themselves in order to get revenge not only on a terrorist, but against a young man who they believed had just killed one of their own. This sort of  “cowboy” mentality is all to prevalent among police today, and it might have even been something counted on by inside conspirators, if it was indeed a government plot as some claim. In this manner, the police could be made to do the bidding of the plotters but in total ignorance. This scenario is an excellent example of why police must be held to the highest ethical standards, rather than routinely excused for criminal behavior.
Knowing now that the suspect was not armed it is almost inexcusable that the police opened fire on him both from a moral standpoint, and of course because killing him might have actually put the public in greater danger. Again, it doesn’t seem likely that his wounds were from the initial confrontation with police in which his brother was killed. It also does not appear that the suspect was wounded inside the boat. We might tend to make excuses for jittery police who were, perhaps, assuming that the suspect was armed. But this reasoning collapses when we look at the photographic evidence. Frighteningly, that evidence appears to show that the suspect was shot after he climbed out of the boat and surrendered.
This first image shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the hospital. You will notice what appears to be powder burns on his face, which would be consistent with being shot at very close range. Much like if he had put a gun in his mouth, and fired, trying to kill himself. This would also be consistent with reports that he has a bullet wound exiting out the back of his neck. This is impossible though, since he was not armed.
So we know that his wounds were certainly inflicted by police. If those wounds came during the initial confrontation when his brother was killed, if they were in fact exchanging gunfire with police as was reported, then the police were certainly justified to return fire. As we already pointed out though, it’s unlikely that he survived the 20 or so hours without medical care for those very serious wounds. So now the question is when, exactly, did police shoot him?
As you can see in this photo, there was no blood visible at the scene when the suspect was still inside of the boat.

In this photo however, blood is clearly visible on the wheel shroud of the trailer. This means that the blood is not from an earlier wound that might have leaked when the suspect first climbed into the boat to hide. This means that it could only have been left there after the suspect climbed out of the boat. Why would police shoot him after he had surrendered?
We can see that there is no blood inside of the boat, which would indicate earlier wounds or that he was shot before he surrendered. Looking more closely at the blood that does appear in the image, the observation becomes even more chilling. There is a distinct spray pattern further supporting that the wound was inflicted there. We also see that the blood is sprayed across the top of the wheel shroud, but not the side, except for where it dribbled over a little bit from pooling on top. This means that he was, more than likely, up against that wheel shroud when he was shot. Going by the height of the investigator in the image, the pattern of the blood, the wound to the suspect, a very disturbing image now appears. It looks as if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have been on his knees, with his back against the wheels, that someone put a gun in his mouth and shot him, execution style.

- Captain Six -

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PHOENIX - *UPDATE* Bar fight involving biker cops baffles sheriff

OFF THE WIRE
PHOENIX (AP) — Whiskey Row in the Arizona mountain town of Prescott has seen its share of bar fights, biker gangs and rowdies.
But the bar fights aren't supposed to involve a biker gang made up of police officers carrying brass knuckles and knives. The fallout from such a brawl in December has led to the retirements of a police chief and two senior sheriff's officials and recommendations of felony charges against the former chief for his alleged role in trying to cover it up.
Two other current or former law enforcement officers and an ambulance supervisor face possible charges, and local and state agencies are investigating involved officers. At least one federal officer who also is an Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club was at the bar, and a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency was looking into his role in the group.
The motorcycle club had many of the same rituals and garb as "outlaw" gangs, according to interviews and police reports. They used nicknames only, wore biker club patches and rewarded at least one member who got in a previous fight with a special patch.
Just how a group of mainly high-ranking law enforcement officers decided to join what looks and acts in many ways like an outlaw biker gang baffles the local sheriff. Police said no weapons were used but were displayed before the bar fight.
"You've got senior veteran law enforcement officers from federal, state and local agencies engaged in this kind of activity. I don't fully understand why they would want to mimic a criminal biker organization," Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher said Friday. "It makes no sense to me, it was extremely poor judgment on their individual parts, their collective judgment, it's very, very unethical."
As is often the case, it wasn't the crime, but the clumsy efforts to cover it up appear to have blown the lid off the Iron Brotherhood's Arizona chapter and its police officer members.
If the officers in the club had just called police themselves and been straightforward, the matter would have been relatively minor, Mascher said.
The motorcycle club, whose members used nicknames like Top Gun, Guido and Mongo, had been holding its Christmas party at a bar where the booze was flowing freely, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety reports released Thursday.
A group of club members decided to go to another bar, and while there an intoxicated man came up and began asking the club president about the patches on his vest. Another member pushed the man away, and punches were thrown, leaving the man with a smashed and bloody nose.
The president was Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill Fessler, who left his job shortly after the brawl became public. Also retiring were Yavapai County sheriff's Sgt. Bill Suttle and Capt. Marc Schmidt. A sheriff's internal investigation shows both apparently obstructed police investigating the fight.
The state police are asking prosecutors to charge Suttle and Fessler with felonies for obstructing the investigation and misdemeanors for lying about the involvement of their club. One officer who responded to the fight said he believed the two were being "vague on purpose."
Phoenix police officer Eric Amato and Greg Kaufmann, a supervisor at an Ajo ambulance service, are accused of assault and disorderly conduct. The report also recommended a charge of disorderly conduct against one of the alleged victims, Justin Stafford.
Phoenix police are investigating the man who allegedly threw the punch, Amato, but he remains on active duty.
"We expect our officers to act appropriately, and that's what we're looking at," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.
The Maricopa County attorney's office is reviewing the report and would file charges, if warranted, spokesman Jerry Cobb said Friday.
One member of the group who has since resigned, Prescott deputy police chief Andy Reinhardt, said Friday that the clothing the members wore should not be used against them.
"I will say I'm going to let people judge for themselves as to how they perceive people based on how they dress," Reinhardt said. "I haven't read the DPS report, and if there was any wrongdoing by officers, I personally don't condone that myself."
Reinhardt said he wasn't in the bar when the brawl broke out, and said if crimes were committed, people should be held accountable.
"I have rode with the group in the past, and there's never been this type of an issue whenever I rode with them," he said.
Police officer motorcycle clubs that emulate the outlaw gang culture appeal to older officers who miss the macho days when they could knock heads and not be held accountable, said Mitch Librett, a former police officer who is now an associate professor of criminal justice at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.
"It's the vehicle for expressing certain opinions, views, even prejudice that is no longer acceptable for police officers," Librett said.
Efforts to reach Fessler and Amato weren't successful. Messages left for Suttle and with Kaufmann's employer weren't returned.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/Bar-fight-involving-biker-cops-baffles-sheriff-4467831.php#ixzz2Rcm15Afn

The sheriff in Yavapai County says he can't understand why law enforcement officers were members of a motorcycle club that essentially mimicked a criminal biker gang.
Two senior sheriff's deputies retired after a December bar fight involving Iron Brotherhood Motorcycle Club members on Prescott's Whiskey Row. The police chief in Prescott Valley also left the force.
Sheriff Scott Mascher says the actions of his deputies and of senior veteran officers from local, state and federal departments showed extremely poor judgment and were unethical.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety wants four of the club's members charged for the fight and for covering up the club's role. They include former Prescott Valley chief Bill Fessler, Yavapai Sgt. Bill Suttle and a Phoenix police officer.
http://azdailysun.com/news/state-and-regional/bar-fight-involving-biker-cops-baffles-sheriff/article_384f6b08-be7e-5c38-9eb9-ea2c5f1a1b91.html

ARIZONA - Iron Brotherhood Patch Holders Named

OFF THE WIRE
agingrebel.com
Four months after the fact, the Arizona Department of Public Safety finally named the Iron Brotherhood members who attacked a civilian in a Prescott bar last Christmas.
The assailants were Phoenix Police Department Community Action Officer Eric “Guido” Amato and an Ajo, Arizona ambulance service supervisor named Greg “Top Gun” Kaufmann. The victim was 23-year-old Justin Stafford of Glendale, Arizona. Stafford was intoxicated and was attacked because he asked Iron Brotherhood chapter president and Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill “Tarzan” Fessler about his vest. An Iron Brotherhood Sergeant at Arms and DPS officer named Bryce “Deuce” Bigelow told DPS investigators that Stafford also made fun of the way Fessler danced.
The names appear in a 2,196 page document dump released by the DPS yesterday. You can download and read the documents for yourself at the Prescott Daily Courier website.

More Names
Reports in the released documents indicate that Fessler and the Iron Brotherhood Whiskey Row chapter vice-president, a former Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant and Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking Commander named Bill “Mongo” Suttle, obstructed justice and made false statements to investigating officers. Suttle resigned from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office on March 17th. Fessler quit his job on March 18. The documents recommend that Amato and Kaufmann be charged with assault and disorderly conduct. The investigators also recommended that Stafford be charged with disorderly conduct.
Former Yavapai County Sheriff’s Captain Marc Schmidt, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Boan, Prescott Valley Police Corporal Jason Kaufman, Central Yavapai Fire District Captain Al Camacho, Bullhead City Police Officer Troy “Heat” Teske, Arizona Department of Economic Security Investigator Frank Mendoza, and El Mirage Police Officer Michael Borrello were all present at the assault during a drunken Christmas carousing along the One Hundred Block of South Montezuma Street in Prescott – which locals call Whiskey Row.
During the wassailing, club members displayed both patches and badges simultaneously. Multiple Iron Brotherhood members were armed and one pulled a knife during the assault on Stafford in a bar named Moctezuma’s.
The documents include a long interview with Prescott Deputy Police Chief Andy “Double Time” Reinhardt. Reinhardt told investigators he was not present for the fight and knows nothing about it. Reinhardt doesn’t seem to know much about anything at all. At one point DPS investigators Matthew Murray and Jeff Brown asked Reinhardt about his patch.
DPS – “Okay, um, is that – are you familiar with the term three-piece-patch?”
Reinhardt – “I am…I…I think what I described is probably a three-piece, I guess, I don’t know.”

Attention John Ciccone
Several documents, including a “Boan Report” and a “Suttle Report” “found several similarities between this club (the Iron Brotherhood) and what are known as outlaw motorcycle clubs, or OMG’s.”
Passages in the reports read like racketeering indictments. For example:
“Both this club and OMG’s have a national organization to which dues are paid and local outlets they both call ‘chapters.’ Both have an hierarchy, and at the chapter level, both identify a ‘president’ ‘vice president,’ ‘secretary,’ ‘treasurer’ or ‘accountant,’ and ‘sergeant at arms.’ Membership in the clubs requires an application and a period of getting to know the person, then approval by the executive board. Membership in both clubs puts stipulations on what type of motorcycle one can ride. The Hells Angels require the motorcycle to be American made and 750 cc or larger, and the Iron Brotherhood requires you ride a Harley Davidson or American made bike.”
“Both wear vests with a three piece patch on the rear that both identify or call ‘rockers.’ It is widely known in both the OMG social circles and law enforcement that motorcycle clubs who wear three piece patch are identified with or known as ‘outlaw motorcycle clubs’ It was common knowledge that the Hells Angels regulate who can wear a three piece patch through the federation of clubs. The Iron Brotherhood patches, or patch system mirrors or emulates that of OMG clubs in that the top rocker identifies the club name, the middle patch is the club’s symbol and the bottom rocker states the region or area where they are from. Most other motorcycle clubs wear only a one or two patch vest. There are some, but few clubs not identified with OMG’s that wear a three piece patch.”
“There was a Letter to the Editor posted in the Prescottnews.com site where the Vice President of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Yavapai County, Michael Trevor Koepke, made a public challenge to the Iron Brotherhood to fight him in a three minute boxing match. Koepke offers that if the Iron Brotherhood wins, the Hells Angels will donate $1000.00 to the charity of choice. If Koepke wins, the Iron Brotherhood would agree to disband in the state of Arizona.”
None of the Iron Brotherhood patch holders have yet been charged or disciplined. DPS investigators wrote “All conclusions relative to this criminal investigation will be formulated by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office upon review of the criminal case.”
The DPS refused to comment on the documents for The Associated Press.

Pot use in Colorado can still get you fired


A medicinal marijuana user smokes at the Berkeley Patients Group in Berkeley, Calif., on March 25, 2010 (© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OFF THE WIRE
A court says companies can terminate employees for legal medical or recreational marijuana use because it remains illegal under federal law.
Why do folks in Colorado and Washington state who voted to legalize recreational marijuana use remain paranoid about lighting up? Because they can still get fired for it.

The Colorado Court of Appeals just harshed everyone's buzz on Friday, when it ruled 2-1 that there's no employment protection for medical marijuana users in the state because the federal government still considers the drug illegal. That's bad news for Brandon Coats of Englewood, Colo., a former Dish Network (DISH -0.57%) phone operator who opened the case by suing for wrongful termination after failing a company drug test in 2010.

Coats was paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager and has been a medical marijuana patient in the state since 2009. Dish Network actually never claimed Coats was impaired on the job. This follows a Washington state Supreme Court ruling that found workers can be fired for using marijuana, even if authorized by the state's medical marijuana law. But these rulings only further muddle the national patchwork of medical and recreational marijuana usage and drug-testing laws.

The number of American workers who are unemployed because they can't pass a drug test has risen 5.7% since 2007. While marijuana is the most common drug found in employee testing, it showed up in only 68,000 of the 3.4 million drug tests conducted last year.

Still, employers have been loath to let even medicinal marijuana use slide, citing federal law. In September, an appeals court ruled that a Wal-Mart (WMT +0.50%) in Battle Creek, Mich., had the legal right to fire an employee who was prescribed medical marijuana for his cancer and inoperable brain tumor.

Colorado's Amendment 64 already allowed employers to ban marijuana in the workplace and implement policies restricting their employees' cannabis use. The latest ruling just knocks down the protection for marijuana use as a legal, off-duty activity. That puts increasingly progressive Colorado at odds with typically conservative Arizona, where workers cannot be terminated for lawfully using medical marijuana, unless it would jeopardize an employer's federal licensing or contracts.

There's a chance Colorado could consider a similar workaround in the future, but right now its medical marijuana users are facing the same issues as its 420 partygoers. What they're doing is "legal," but it's not yet legal.

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