man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves,
who stripped him of his clothes and wounded him....
chance three men – a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan – came down
that same road, and, seeing the man being beaten, joined in on the
side of the assailants, for they were emissaries of the divine State.
~ The Parable
of the Statist Samaritan (offered with the sincerest apologies to
the Author of the genuine article).
each week, 36-year-old Keith Briscoe of Winslow Township, New Jersey
would begin his day by going to a nearby Wawa
convenience store for soda and cigarettes. Briscoe, who had been
diagnosed with schizophrenia and lived with his parents, went to
the local Steininger Behavior Services clinic for treatment, and
he would have a smoke outside the store while waiting for the office
often go up to the Wawa before their sessions to buy coffee [or]
cigarettes," a medical professional who worked at the clinic informs
Pro Libertate. "The local businesses and police are aware that
there are psychiatric patients in the area and know to call Steininger
in the event that one of them gets lost or is getting into trouble.
This cop took it upon himself to do what he did without asking anyone
in Wawa if there was any problem. Wawa hadn't called the police
to intervene because Mr. Briscoe would frequently go there."
have left well enough alone, but since he had a gun, a piece of
government-provided jewelry, and an unearned sense of superiority,
he didn't. He demanded that Briscoe get into his police cruiser,
supposedly to be given a ride to the clinic. Briscoe wisely turned
down the offer.
admitted that he hadn't received any complaints about Briscoe's
behavior, and that he did nothing that warranted an arrest. According
to the former clinic staffer, Briscoe was known to be "very kind
and gentle [and] would never be aggressive." Yet when the harmless
and intimidated man refused to get into the police car, Richards
committed an act of criminal assault by seizing and attempting to
tried to escape, Richards called for "backup." He also attacked
Briscoe with his Oleoresin Casicum spray, a "non-lethal" chemical
weapon that left the victim choking and struggling for breath.
At this point,
three bystanders saw Briscoe struggling with a uniformed assailant,
a situation that presented them with the "Tom Joad Test," which
previously described thus:
see a cop – or, more likely, several of them – beating up on a prone
individual, do you instinctively sympathize with the assailant(s)
or the victim? Do you assume that the state is entitled to
the benefit of the doubt whenever its agents inflict violence on
somebody, or do you believe that the individual – any individual
– is innocent of wrongdoing until his guilt has been proven?"
failed the test. Rather than intervening on behalf of the victim,
or simply butting out, these statist Samaritans reflexively gave
the uniformed assailant the benefit of the doubt, and joined in
Five more armed tax-feeders, summoned by Richards's frantic call
for "backup," then arrived to pile on. A few minutes later,
Briscoe was dead as a result of "traumatic asphyxia" – that is,
he suffocated at the bottom of a thugscrum.
The Camden County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. But
the chief assailant was not charged with a homicide-related offense.
to the Camden County prosecutor's office, although Richards had
committed an illegal arrest, he couldn't be prosecuted for homicide
because New Jersey "law" doesn't recognize the
unalienable right of innocent people to resist unlawful arrest.
This supposedly means that once Briscoe "resisted being taken into
custody, police had the right to take actions necessary to restrain
him" – up to and including the use of lethal force.
In fact, according
to one recent ruling from the state Superior Court (State
of New Jersey v. Craig Byron Joseph Martin), it is a crime
to resist even when a police offer specifically and repeatedly
states that the subject is not under arrest. The police
officer in that case testified: "I said, `Sir, you're not under
arrest. I'm just patting you down for my safety."
was instructed to place his hands on his car. When he removed his
hands from the vehicle, the officer told him, "I'm going to handcuff
you. You're not under arrest." Eventually the incident degenerated
into a "scuffle," in which the officer – once again, by his own
account – exclaimed: "You're not under arrest; stop resisting arrest!"
Ah, yes: "Stop
resisting" – the refrain of rapists, police, and other violent degenerates.
who murdered Briscoe for the supposed crime of resisting an illegal
arrest, was charged with simple
assault and as a result was sentenced to a year on probation
and the loss of his job. He also agreed that he would never seek
to expunge his record, although it's not clear how that provision
could be enforced.
ensures that Richards will be forever barred from holding such a
position of authority again," insisted Camden County Prosecutor
Warren W. Faulk. Actually, it's entirely possible that Richards
will join the ranks of corrupt, disgraced "gypsy
cops" who invariably find employment elsewhere as members of
the coercive caste.
Elie Mystal points
out that the "Good Samaritans" in this matter had no reason
– apart from a "reflexive trust of police" – to assume that Sean
Richards was justified in using force to subdue Briscoe. "They chose
the wrong side, and now a man is dead," Mystal observes. "There
should be some kind of punishment for that."
tell me that holding these people accountable will have some kind
of ‘chilling effect' on the willingness of citizens to help
their fellow man," Mystal continues. "This is America! We are founded
on a skepticism of authority. We believe that a person is innocent
until proven guilty. It's entirely consistent with the American
experience … [not to assume] that police officers are always
right or on the side of good."
who joined in the assault will most likely end up ruined financially.
The same is true of Sean Richards, now that he's no longer wearing
the habiliments of the State's punitive priesthood. But the others
still employed as agents of coercion will probably be spared similar
hardship through a settlement worked out in collaboration with the
local armed tax-feeders' union.
somehow we're supposed to believe that the take-away here is that
the lawsuit poses a new threat to "officer safety," because it will
discourage Mundanes from coming to the aid of police next time they
assault a helpless individual.
a cop struggling and they jumped into action," says Tim Quinlan,
the attorney representing Sean Richards, of the Mundanes who helped
murder Keith Briscoe. "Now you're going to have cops getting killed
because people are afraid to get involved."
unlikely prospect fails to send a chill down my spine, or leave
me prostrate with inconsolable grief.
cops appear to specialize in unprovoked assaults on harmless people
who suffer from mental illness.
On May 29,
2009, Ronnie Holloway was standing on a street corner near a restaurant
when Officers Joseph Rios III and Erica Rivera pulled up in a cop
car and berated the 49-year-old man for having his jacket unzipped.
As is usually the case in such encounters, things went dramatically
downhill in a hurry.
Rios, an Iraq
combat veteran, appeared to be on "contact
patrol" – that is, prowling the neighborhood looking for an
excuse to throw somebody to the ground. Holloway, an unassuming
man on medication for schizophrenia, presented a perfect target
A video recording
of the event shows Holloway meekly zipping up his jacket. As he
did so, Rivera exits the vehicle and distracts Holloway while Rios
blind-sides him, slamming him to the ground and beating him repeatedly
with his fists and baton. After a brief pause, Holloway – who is
clearly terrified, but not putting up any physical resistance –
is able to rise to his feet before being slammed onto the hood of
the police car.
continued until backup – in the form of two additional police cars
– arrived to help drag Holloway off to jail.
fact that he had behaved like a properly docile Mundane, absorbing
an unprovoked beating without making any effort to flee or fight
back, Holloway was charged with resisting arrest and "wandering,"
supposedly in search of narcotics.
their official report of the incident, Rios and his partner did
what police in such circumstances always do: They committed perjury
in the form of "creative writing." Rios claimed that when he and
Rivera told Holloway to leave the corner, Holloway "verbally challenged"
them. "Step on the sidewalk, you'll see," Holloway supposedly said
to Rios, assuming a "fighting stance" as he did so.
Rios had no
right or authority to demand that Holloway – who had done nothing
to anybody – leave the street corner. It's also clear from the video
that the beating began before Holloway would have had an opportunity
to fling a verbal "challenge" at Rios. Some measure of Rios's reliability
as a witness is found in the fact that his Use of Force Report claims
that Holloway wasn't injured in the attack.
May 29 assault was publicized, the Passaic Police Department "pulled
a Mubarak," as it were: They defied public outrage for as long as
possible, keeping Rios on active duty, and then suspending both
Rios and Rivera (the latter for failing a fraudulent claim of a
job-related injury during the incident) when the outrage failed
to public pressure put on the Passaic municipal government, Rios
has been charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct.
He has entered a plea of "not guilty by virtue of a government-provided
did what was proper," lied Rios in a June 2009 press conference.
"I did what I was trained to do under circumstances that existed
at that time. I stand by my actions."
Anthony J. Iacullo, defended the assault as a pre-emptive strike
against some unspecified threat posed by an uppity Mundane: "Based
upon what Officer Rios feared might happen, and based upon his not
submitting to arrest, the actions were taken."
"resistance" consisted of cringing and covering up in confusion
and terror as Rios rained down punches and baton strikes. In New
Jersey – as is the case elsewhere in the Soyuz – even such
minimal and reflexive attempts to protect one's self from State-sanctified
violence is treated as a criminal offense.