Category Archives: Government

Draconian Lockdown Powers: It’s a Slippery Slope from Hand Washing to House Arrest

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
—Viktor Frankl

We still have choices.

Just because we’re fighting an unseen enemy in the form of a virus doesn’t mean we have to relinquish every shred of our humanity, our common sense, or our freedoms to a nanny state that thinks it can do a better job of keeping us safe.

Whatever we give up willingly now—whether it’s basic human decency, the ability to manage our private affairs, the right to have a say in how the government navigates this crisis, or the few rights still left to us that haven’t been disemboweled in recent years by a power-hungry police state—we won’t get back so easily once this crisis is past.

The government never cedes power willingly.

Neither should we.

Every day brings a drastic new set of restrictions by government bodies (most have been delivered by way of executive orders) at the local, state and federal level that are eager to flex their muscles for the so-called “good” of the populace.

This is where we run the risk of this whole fly-by-night operation going completely off the rails.

It’s one thing to attempt an experiment in social distancing in order to flatten the curve of this virus because we can’t afford to risk overwhelming the hospitals and exposing the most vulnerable in the nation to unavoidable loss of life scenarios. However, there’s a fine line between strongly worded suggestions for citizens to voluntarily stay at home and strong-armed house arrest orders with penalties in place for non-compliance.

More than three-quarters of all Americans have now been ordered to stay at home and that number is growing as more states fall in line.

Schools have cancelled physical classes, many for the remainder of the academic year.

Many of the states have banned gatherings of more than 10 people.

At least three states (Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) have ordered non-essential businesses to close.

In Washington, DC, residents face 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine if they leave their homes during the coronavirus outbreak. Residents of Maryland, Hawaii and Washington State also risk severe penalties of up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for violating the stay-at-home orders. Violators in Alaska could face jail time and up to $25,000 in fines.

Kentucky residents are prohibited from traveling outside the state, with a few exceptions.

New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., is offering its Rikers Island prisoners $6 an hour to help dig mass graves.

In San Francisco, cannabis dispensaries were included among the essential businesses allowed to keep operating during the city-wide lock down.

New Jersey’s governor canceled gatherings of any number, including parties, weddings and religious ceremonies, and warned the restrictions could continue for weeks or months. One city actually threatened to prosecute residents who spread false information about the virus.

Oregon banned all nonessential social and recreational gatherings, regardless of size.

Rhode Island has given police the go-ahead to pull over anyone with New York license plates to record their contact information and order them to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

South Carolina’s police have been empowered to break up any public gatherings of more than three people.

Of course, there are exceptions to all of these stay-at-home orders (in more than 30 states and counting), the longest of which runs until June 10. Essential workers (doctors, firefighters, police and grocery store workers) can go to work. Everyone else will have to fit themselves into a variety of exceptions in order to leave their homes: for grocery runs, doctor visits, to get exercise, to visit a family member, etc.

Throughout the country, more than 14,000 “Citizen-Soldiers” of the National Guard have been mobilized to support the states and the federal government in their fight against the coronavirus. While the Guard officials insist they have not been tasked with martial law, they are coordinating with the Pentagon, FEMA and the states/territories on COVID-19 response missions.

A quick civics lesson: Martial law is a raw exercise of executive power that can override the other branches of government and assume control over the functioning of a nation, state, or smaller area within a state. The power has been exercised by the president, as President Lincoln did soon after the start of the Civil War, and by governors, as was done in Idaho to quell a miner’s strike that broke out there in 1892.

In areas under martial law, all power rests with the military authority in charge. As British General Wellington wrote, “martial law” is not law at all, but martial rule; it abolishes all law and substitutes for it the will of the military commander. Military personnel are not bound by constitutional restrictions requiring a warrant, and may enter and search homes at without judicial authorization or oversight. Indeed, civil courts would no longer be functioning to hear citizen complaints or to enforce their constitutional rights.

Thus far, we have not breached the Constitution’s crisis point: martial law has yet to be overtly imposed (although an argument could be made to the contrary given the militarized nature of the American police state).

It’s just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.

If this is not the defining point at which we cross over into all-out totalitarianism, then it is at a minimum a test to see how easily we will surrender.

Curiously enough, although Americans have been generally compliant with the government’s suggestions and orders with a few notable exceptions, there’s been a small groundswell of resistance within parts of the religious community over whether churches, synagogues and other religious institutions that hold worship services should be exempt from state-wide bans on mass gatherings. While many churches have resorted to drive-in services and live-streamed services for its congregants, others have refused to close their doors. One pastor of a 4,000-member church who stood his ground, claiming that the government’s orders violate his right to religious freedom, was arrested after holding multiple church services during which attendees were reportedly given hand sanitizer and made to keep a six-foot distance between family groups.

It’s an interesting test of the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly and religious freedom clauses versus the government’s compelling state interest in prohibiting mass gatherings in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Generally, the government has to show a compelling state interest before it can override certain critical rights such as free speech, assembly, press, search and seizure, etc. Most of the time, it lacks that compelling state interest, but it still manages to violate those rights, setting itself up for legal battles further down the road.

These lock down measures—on the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to travel, to engage in commerce, etc.—unquestionably restrict fundamental constitutional rights, which might pass muster for a short period of time, but can it be sustained for longer stretches legally?

That’s the challenge before us, of course, if these days and weeks potentially stretch into months-long quarantines.

For example, the First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”  While the freedom to travel has been specifically recognized only as in the context of interstate or international travel, the freedom of movement is implicit liberty given that government agents may not stop and question or search persons unless they have some legal justification. 

As Supreme Court Justice William Douglas once wrote:

The right to travel is a part of the “liberty” of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. . . .  Freedom of movement across frontiers in either direction, and inside frontiers as well, was a part of our heritage. Travel abroad, like travel within the country, may be necessary for a livelihood. It may be as close to the heart of the individual as the choice of what he eats, or wears, or reads. Freedom of movement is basic in our scheme of values.

As a rule, people are free to roam and loiter in public places and are not required to provide police with their identity or give an account of their purpose for exercising their freedom.

However, as with all constitutional rights, these freedoms, as the Courts have ruled, are not unqualified. Even content-based restrictions on speech are allowed under the First Amendment if the restriction is needed to serve a compelling government interest.

The Supreme Court long ago “distinctly recognized the authority of a state to enact quarantine laws and health laws of every description[.]” Such laws are an exercise of the state’s police power, and if there is a rational basis for believing they are needed to protect the public health, they will be deemed to serve a compelling government interest.

The point was made over 100 years ago in circumstances similar to today’s COVID-19 outbreak when a smallpox outbreak occurred in Cambridge, Mass., invoking a state law allowing localities to make vaccinations mandatory and enforceable by criminal penalties.  In upholding the law and local order against a claim that it violated the constitutional liberty to control one’s own body and health, the Supreme Court declared:

The possession and enjoyment of all rights are subject to such reasonable conditions as may be deemed by the governing authority of the country essential to the safety, health, peace, good order, and morals of the community. Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one’s own will.

The Court went on to write that “[u]pon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

Most states have enacted laws that recognize the need for prompt action in times of emergency, including epidemics, and have delegated the authority to and executive officer to take action to address that emergency.  For example, Tennessee law provides that the governor is given the power to issue orders that have the force and effect of law to address emergencies, which include disease outbreaks and epidemics. That state’s law similarly grants mayors or other local chief executive officers the power to issue orders and directives deemed necessary, including closing public facilities, in order to address civil emergencies. 

Courts have ruled that they will defer to the decisions of an executive authority on the decision as to whether an emergency exists and whether the means employed to address the emergency are reasonable and legal, although there could be situations where a court woCiuld declare that the executive decision is arbitrary and unreasonable.

When governments act under their police power to control plagues and epidemics, those laws are valid even though they may restrict individuals in the exercise of constitutional rights.  As one legal scholar recently noted, the balance between individual rights and protection of the public “assumes that there will be times when there are truly compelling emergencies justifying severe measures. A global pandemic that spreads even among those who are asymptomatic and could exceed the capacity of the American health care system would appear to be just such a compelling situation.”

At the moment, the government believes it has a compelling interest—albeit a temporary one—in restricting gatherings, assemblies and movement in public in order to minimize the spread of this virus.

The key point is this: while we may tolerate these restrictions on our liberties in the short term, we should never fail to be on guard lest these one-time constraints become a slippery slope to a total lock down mindset.

What we must guard against, more than ever before, is the tendency to become so accustomed to our prison walls—these lock downs, authoritarian dictates, and police state tactics justified as necessary for national security—that we allow the government to keep having its way in all things, without any civic resistance or objections being raised.

Martin Niemoller learned that particular lesson the hard way.

A German military officer turned theologian, Niemoller was an early supporter of Hitler’s rise to power, having believed his promises to protect the church and not allow pogroms against the Jewish people. It didn’t take long for Hitler to break those promises, but by the time the German people realized they had been double-crossed, it was too late.

As Niemoller warned: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The lesson for those of us housebound and watching from a distance as the Fourth Reich emerges from the shadows is this: all freedoms hang together.

Niemoller’s warning for our modern age would probably go something like this: First the government went after the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and I did not object, because I had nothing to hide. Then they went after the right to not be spied upon, and I did not object, because I had done nothing wrong. Then they went after the right to criticize the government, and I still did not object, because I had nothing to criticize them for. Then they went after the right to speak—worship—and assemble freely, and I did not object, because I had nothing to say, no one to worship, and nowhere to congregate. By the time the government came to lock me up, there was no one left to set me free.

In other words, don’t be naïve: the government will use this crisis to expand its powers far beyond the reach of the Constitution. The Justice Department has already signaled its desire to suspend parts of the Constitution indefinitely.

That’s how it starts.

Travel too far down that slippery slope, and there will be no turning back.

Curiously enough, although Americans have not been inclined to agree on anything much lately, given the extreme polarization of the country politically, a recent survey indicates that “people of both parties seem rather okay with undermining core civil liberties in order to fight the pandemic.

This way lies madness.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if you wait to speak out—stand up—and resist until the government’s lock downs impact your freedoms personally, it could be too late.

What would be far worse, however, is handing over your freedoms voluntarily—without even a semblance of protest—to a government that cares little to nothing about your freedoms or your lives.

Are Stay-At-Home Orders Legally Binding?!

An excellent reminder about what your rights are…

Source: by John Whitehead | Rutherford Institute

Be Wary Of A “Bio-PATRIOT Act”

 

With a new global pandemic scare, the time has come to watch out for those who would exploit it.

(Libertarian Institute) A severe public health crisis could lead to calls for a new cabinet position, and new government powers to intervene into the personal health of American citizens. This is especially likely given the broken state of the healthcare system due to all of the bad and politicized, crony policies that have been passed over the last couple of decades.

First of all, is this virus a big deal? Yes. It’s highly infectious, and may take a long time to produce noticeable symptoms. Most people won’t die from it, but a meaningfully high proportion of those infected could require significant medical intervention to save. Even with such intervention, a meaningful percentage of people will die anyway. This mortality rate is currently estimated to be around 2% (which is high), however, I personally wouldn’t trust any specific numbers at this point. What we can trust are the actions and events taking place. For one, China’s massive response. Second, the astonishing rate of infectious spread on the quarantined cruise ships. Third, the fact that cases are beginning to appear in places like Thailand and Singapore where the infected person never traveled to China. Based on the word of epidemiologists as well as a review of the basic time frame associated with this virus, a peak of cases globally wouldn’t occur until between mid-March and mid-April.

The United States may do relatively well in containing this outbreak, mostly because very few people use public transportation relative to other countries. In Japan where everyone uses public transit, for example, it seems as if even a minor outbreak would spread very quickly. Even so, even if the United States does better than other nations, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a panicked public narrative once cases begin to emerge.

The likelihood of a proposed new public health emergency cabinet position is high. Remember how the Democratic Party is always trying to get the CDC to study gun violence? With a full time public health emergency response department, we could see backhanded intrusions into civil liberties and constitutional rights via “public health concerns”.

No matter what else is going on: war, the economy, the drug war, etc., if a public health “PATRIOT Act” is proposed, fighting it should become the single unifying purpose of the libertarian, alternative media, alternative left and right wings of American politics. I can hardly imagine a more dangerous and insidious, invasive development in the law and politics than a “Bio PATRIOT Act”.

Imagine if alternative media, called “fake news rumors,” becomes classified as a public mental health epidemic. Next, speech is controlled, folks pointed to “trusted sources” to contain the mental health outbreak. Whether or not this is likely to happen, the radical left has applied this form of reasoning in the past. Imagine if saying that the US is funding terrorists in Syria is classified as “paranoid delusion”. A US Air Force psychologist, a Major, who interviewed me for my conscientious objector application, joked that this was what he was screening for (after I passed whatever the test was). His words were that a previous applicant claimed that, “the CIA created ISIS.” This was classified as paranoid delusion and that applicant didn’t pass the test. I’m serious. Military service members are subject to UCMJ which means they do not have the same civil liberties as civilians. Thus, if a public health emergencies act passed, and curtailed civil liberties in the name of public health, you can imagine what kinds of arguments the government would make.

All alternative media could end up treated like Chelsea Manning.

Public health emergencies are tricky. Terrorism, in my opinion, is sort of a “fake” crisis. Other than the one or two extraordinary cases, most people are not threatened by terrorism. However, a genuine global pandemic is a true threat to everyday folks. Moreover, if a bio-engineered disease is released into the world, even if people recover, any old terrorist group could get their hands on it since so many would be infected by it. It would be very very hard to convince regular folks to be skeptical of government calls to assume extraordinary powers to combat this kind of threat.

With this in mind, I propose that fighting this kind of political development might require the invocation of a little conspiracy theory. For example, do we really trust Bill Gates and all his money researching diseases? Why was his dad a public advocate of eugenics? Why did Bill Gates help pay for a study of a hypothetical coronavirus outbreak just a few weeks before one started in Wuhan? I honestly have no idea if there’s a connection, and I don’t care, frankly. However, I’d happily spread such rumors if only to promote the slightest skepticism in people’s minds. There is perfectly rational cause to be skeptical of an intrusive and powerful new government agency meant to fight public health emergencies. This whole situation is about our right to be skeptical. We would be fighting those who want to remove our right to be skeptical, in the name of public health.

So, get ready folks.

Source: Libertarian Institute

Long Tail Target

(Bison Prepper) Today I want to talk about Virginia and mass gun confiscation. Yes, I know. Again. But I think I’m approaching it from an angle few have covered. Rather than a civil war 2, electronic boogaloo, why does this have to be a war against our oppressors? It can be just a war against logistics. Obviously, that has been discussed. You don’t fight the tanks, you fight the fuel depot or fuel drivers. But I’m talking about taking the whole system down, to get to the people who would be fighting you. To save the village, we had to burn the bitch down.

I’m not really sure what to make of Virginia. I know the communists are really sure of themselves, financed by Soro’s and Bloomberg. They manufacture a crisis and impose massive gun control, on the original California model. But I also think those humpers are financed by the bankers. Is the gun control a stop on the road towards dictatorship, or is it simple a distraction for those armed and willing, as the economic collapse starts burning hot? Was the attack on the Iranian general a distraction just as the central bank starts injecting One Friggin Trillion Dollars A Gott Damn WEEK???

Don’t misunderstand, I KNOW the elite want us disarmed. But do they not understand it is impossible and trying to take away the guns guarantees an early rebellion? The economy is already crap, White Deplorables are mere years from complete demographic replacement and know it, even if discussing race ist Verbodden. Do the elite really want to throw a match on that diminishing pool of gasoline? Wouldn’t it be easier and safer to just let it evaporate with time? Oh, and if you think I’m being hyperbolic with the above genocide timeline, you don’t know much history.

So, my question becomes, is this really the last clash of two uncompromising groups. Or is it just “distraction as usual”? I’m not sure anyone knows for sure, and believing either is equally dangerous to your health. Act too soon, or don’t act soon enough, and you are crushed. I don’t believe the US is a target worth fighting for. I think the wealth has pretty much been extracted. Oil peaked in 1971, and all the ore has been scrapped off the bottom of the barrel for near thirty years. The Amazon has better lumber and Argentina has better farmland.

The best thing any entity can do for themselves regarding the US is to crush it economically so that we stop stealing the dwindling supply of oil from the rest of the world ( mostly stole with Petrodollars ). That buys everyone else more time. What we import would give China 50% more oil. Russia knows she is nearing her second peak. Our own central bank, under the direction of Red Shield, is crushing America economically. Everyone just needs to wait. And I wonder if anyone would really WANT to take over our denuded destroyed land ( that condition is PRIOR to Boogaloo ).

There is little to exploit here that is worth the guerrilla war. The Federal Reserve already emptied Fort Knox, decades ago ( if you don’t believe that, I have a sweet bridge to sell you. I’ll even insure the maintenance with a Douche Bank derivatives contract-HA! ). The middle class has already been wiped out and still has no clue ( see how much value is left in that pension fund you think is going to pay you ). The banks are almost through here, probably still trying just to avert us starting a nuclear war, and no other country cares enough to intervene.

You WANT your hubris filled unicorn fantasies to Keep America Special ( Ed ) to be true. We WERE special, and not in a politically correct “nourish the retards” kind of way ( sorry, General Darwin says, no retards in the pool, not even the shallow end ). But the collapse of the empire is over fifty years old, militarily and economically ( well, duh!, and obviously culturally ). You can’t honestly think we get any more time. What we need to do is work WITH this trend rather than against it. HELP the infrastructure collapse, don’t keep hoping we have time left to enjoy it.

Let me try to be clear, here. I do NOT advocate rebellion. Mostly, not JUST because it is illegal, is because no one is on your side and they will turn on you. You’ll have no support group. What I am saying is that if you choose to fight back, do it the smart way. Don’t fight people. Fight the long tail of logistics. Burn it all down. Even if you cannot use it to survive, the enemy cannot use it against you. The system is collapsing anyway. By not clinging to the last bitter years of the infrastructure, you might stand a fighting chance of surviving.

I hope you understand that EVERYTHING has been weaponized against you. Politics, obviously. Even Orange Man gets a woody despite his problematic prostrate over the prospects of Red Flag laws. If he ain’t fighting them, he supports them. You are with us or against us, you rich asswhore blue blood New York City resident former Democrat, former Hilary best buddy. Well, not SO former Hilary buddy ( EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF ).

Your culture has been used against you. Your women (and biological family-through greed in case it wasn’t obvious ). Your need for employment. Your military and other institutions. Even your desire to arm and protect yourself is used against you ( forcing you to move out of the coastal/Blue areas and away from employment ). The latest is the distraction of all the former free states being taken over by Force Blue and turned into Turd World crap holes. Yes, Aesop, we will all be California soon, and you’ll have more company.

To counter this In The Rear View Mirror reality, we talk tough, beating our chests and proclaiming we are part of Team Boogaloo. It is 99% bluff, fooling ourselves. No one is going to fight back until hungry, because ( see above on weaponized culture ) we think we are Americans and don’t want to fight other Americans. You probably were in the military and don’t want to fight them. We appreciate cops, as 90% of them-at least outside the Blue cities-are good guys placing their lives on the line.

The problem is that THEY will fight, before you do. You are already defeated and don’t understand it. Hence, my suggestion to fight the long tail, not the people. Really, it is on par with shooting a road sign full of buckshot. It is monkeywrenching, on a patriotic rather than environmental level. The only issue is you cannot half-ass it. EVERYTHING must be destroyed, to deny any supplies to the enemy ( who are living among you ). Show those limousine liberals what freezing in the dark is like, by taking their grid down ( which means yours is down also ). Show the cops who would enforce gun confiscation laws that their families will suffer from their choices even as yours does.

Source: Bison Prepper

DHS Wants Americans Subjected To Mandatory Facial Recognition At Airports

(Mac Slavo) The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing hard for mandatory facial recognition scans at airports.  The government wants to “remove a loophole” that is currently allowing Americans to opt-out of it right now.

Considering artificial intelligence is already watching and judging almost every move we make, this could be the last nail in the coffin for what’s left of individual freedom.  The government is asking for complete domination over everyone and everything, and so far, people have allowed their very human dignity to be eroded because of it.

Under the existing guidelines, U.S. citizens and other lawful permanent residents have the ability to avoid airport biometric scans and identify themselves by other means. While some travelers have found it difficult to opt-out given opaque or inconsistent guidelines from airport to airport, the DHS would apparently like to cut down on the confusion by doing away with the exemption altogether.

Proposed in a recent filing, the DHS requested a change to the current rules in order to “provide that all travelers, including US citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure” from the US, citing the need to identify criminals or “suspected terrorists. 

While not yet implemented, the rule change is in the “final stages of clearance, a DHS official told CNN Business, according to a report by RT.

This new attack on freedom is being condemned by a few groups.

Time and again, the government told the public and members of Congress that U.S. citizens would not be required to submit to this intrusive surveillance technology as a condition of traveling,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that the rule raises “profound privacy concerns.”

Recalling a data breach in June which saw 100,000 license plate and traveler images stolen from a private contractor hired to store information for the DHS, Stanley said the government simply “cannot be trusted” with the invasive technology.

We are losing what’s left of our basic human rights and liberties pretty quickly at this point.

Source: ZeroHedge

Watch Chinaman Being Interrogated For Criticizing Chicom Police On Social Media

(Paul Joseph Watson) A video out of China shows a man being called in and interrogated by authorities for the crime of criticizing police on social media.

This clip shows the man handcuffed to a metal chair as he is asked personal questions.

“Why did you complain about police on QQ and WeChat?” police ask the man.

He is then grilled about his screen name and activity in a group chat on the WeChat platform.

“Why did you talk about the traffic police online…what’s wrong with police confiscating motorcycles?” he is then asked.

The man attempts to come across as apologetic but is then asked again, “Why did you badmouth the police? Do you hate the police?”

The man explains that he was drunk when he made the comments and is then asked to apologize to the police.

I’m so sorry, I’m wrong, I know, I know that now, please forgive me, I won’t do it again ever,” he states.

Under its social credit score system, China punishes people who criticize the government, as well as numerous other behaviors, including;

  • Bad driving.
  • Smoking on trains.
  • Buying too many video games.
  • Buying too much junk food.
  • Buying too much alcohol.
  • Calling a friend who has a low credit score .
  • Having a friend online who has a low credit score.
  • Posting “fake news” online.
  • Visiting unauthorized websites.
  • Walking your dog without a leash.
  • Letting your dog bark too much.
  • And on, and on, and on.

Source: ZeroHedge

Feds Arrest Houston Cops For No-Knock-Raid-Kills

(Dean Weingarten) The Federal investigation into the no-knock raid on 1815 Harding Street in Houston Texas, on January 28th, 2019, where the married couple, Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas were killed in their home, has resulted in indictments and arrests for three people. Those three are former officers Gerald M. Goines, 55, Seven M. Bryant, 46, and neighbor Patricia Ann Garcia, 53.

There were many suspicious facts about the raid that raised red flags from the start. Initially,  the Houston Police Department, Police Chief Acevedo, and the Houston Police Officer’s Union circled the wagons and insisted the raid was legitimate.

In August, the Harris County Prosecutor Charged Goines and Bryant with crimes. They were arrested and released on bond. Now, both have been charged and arrested on the federal charges, and the neighbor across the street, Patricia Ann Garcia, has been arrested on federal charges.  From justice.gov:

A federal grand jury returned the nine count indictment Nov. 14 against Gerald M. Goines, 55, and Steven M. Bryant, 46, both former Houston Police Department (HPD) officers. Also charged is Patricia Ann Garcia, 53. All are residents of Houston. The indictment was unsealed this morning as authorities took all three into custody. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo at 2 p.m. central time.

Former officer Goines is charged with two counts of depriving victims of their Constitutional rights against unreasonable searches.  According to HPD Chief Alcevdo, the charges are under Title 18 U.S.C. 242, deprivation of rights under color of authority.

Both Goines and former officer Bryant are also charged with obstructing justice by falsifying records; Goines for false statements in his offense report and tactical plan connected with the search warrant, and Bryant for false statements in a supplemental report, after the raid was conducted. There are three more obstruction charges against Goines for statements after the raid.  Goines faces sentences of 20 years to life.  Bryant faces up to 20 years on the falsification of records charge.

Garcia is charged with conveying false information. Cheif Alcevedo says she was the neighbor across the street from 7815 Harding Street.

The charges against Garcia allege she conveyed false information by making several fake 911 calls. Specifically, on Jan. 8, she allegedly made several calls claiming her daughter was inside the Harding Street location. According to the indictment, Garcia added that the residents of the home were addicts and drug dealers and that they had guns – including machine guns – inside the home. The charges allege none of Garcia’s claims were true.

In Cheif Acevedo’s statement, he says Garcia was charged with Title 18 U.S.C. § 1018, but I find the maximum sentence for that section is one year in prison. The press release from the DOJ, Southern District of Texas, says she faces a five year maximum sentence. The charge may be Conveying False Information with Malicious Conduct, which has a maximum sentence of five years in prison, under 18 U.S.C. § 2292. 

The arrest warrants were issued in the Southern District of Texas on 14 November, 2019, according the Chief Acevedo. Goines and Garcia were arrested in Harris County, Texas. Former Officer Bryant was arrested in Fort Bend County, Texas. Garcia was arrested at 7812 Harding Street, according to Chief Alcevedo.

Alcevedo mentioned all three arrestees were transported to the FBI field office in Houston.

Police Chief Alcevedo held a press conference shortly after the arrests were announced. His spin was considerably different from previous press conferences. In this press conference, he claims the investigation by HPD into Goines, Bryant, and Garcia all started mere days after the incident. But the HPD did not initiate charges or arrests of these individuals. In fact, it appeared the HPD disapproved of the charges and arrests by the Harris County prosecutor earlier this year. Now Chief Acevedo is attempting to take credit for the FBI charges and arrests.

Chief Acevedo now says “…today is another step in that journey towards justice and the journey to justice for the deceased individuals, Ms Regina and Mr. Tuttle.”

Later, he says:

“Our number one responsibility is to the Tuttle’s, the Tuttle family, Regina and her family, and the officers who went to execute what they believed to be a lawfully obtained search warrant based on factual information provided by the case agent, .”

This is a considerable difference in attitude from Chief Acevedo’s comments a few months ago. In May, according to Reason, Acevedo was still blaming the Tuttles for the raid.

Although Police Chief Art Acevedo has said the affidavit for the search warrant was falsified, he continues to defend the investigation that led to the raid, citing a January 8 call from an unnamed woman who reported that her daughter was using drugs at the house and described Tuttle and Nicholas as armed and dangerous drug dealers. Acevedo also said neighbors had thanked police for raiding the couple’s home, which he said was locally notorious as a “drug house” and a “problem location.”

Speculation: Might this be related to the Federal indictments, the families independent investigation, and the lawsuit by the family?

In the latest press conference, Chief Avecedo admits that most (more than half) homes in Texas are likely to have guns.

“..most houses, I would say a greater number, you would find firearms than not.”

This undercuts the idea the mere presence of firearms is sufficient to justify a no-knock raid. It also emphasizes a loose end in the investigation former officer Goines. From khou.com:

Goines swore in search warrant affidavits that “knocking and announcing would be dangerous, futile,” because he claimed a confidential informant had seen a gun inside. Those claims led judges to grant no-knock warrants, which accounted for 96 percent of all the search warrants he filed in the last seven years, a KHOU 11 Investigation has found.

But in every one of the more than 100 drug cases based off those warrants, there’s no record of Goines ever seizing a gun after executing a no-knock search warrant.

HPD deserves some credit. They interviewed and taped then officer Goines in the hospital. The interview video and written replies were critical in unraveling the lies which were used to build the case for the warrant.

I suspect there are ongoing federal and Harris county investigations about what happened to the guns that were *not found* in the 100 drug cases based on Goines’ no-knock warrants. The idea that *no* guns were found is absurd.

There were numerous rumors floated over the past 10 months that it was Regina’s mother who called the police. This was predicated on the caller complaining that her “daughter” was doing drugs at 7815 Harding Street.

The caller was no relation to the Tuttles. She only lived across the street. The “daughter” in the house never existed, except as a fabrication. As there was no other woman in the house, people concluded Regina was the non-existent daughter.

It is now understood 7815 Harding Street was the targeted address for the raid. Early speculation of a mix-up with another address (7815 Hardy Street) was not correct. The police did not mix up the addresses. Chief Acevedo did not help when he mixed up “Hardy” and “Harding” in early reports.

There is an unresolved ambiguity about how the .357 revolver was not included in the initial inventory at the scene, then showed up later.

One advantage of our litigious society is pressure can be exerted in cases such as this.

The deaths innocents and wounding of officers could have been entirely prevented, if the warrant had been presented in a reasonable manner. No-knock warrants are controlled much more tightly now, according to Chief Acevedo.  No-knock warrants should be exceedingly rare in the United States.

A question for readers to consider: Houston is a heavily Democrat city. Would the federal investigation of the Harding Street no-knock raid have occurred if Hillary Clinton were President?

Source: by Dean Weingarten | AmmoLand