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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Execution of Oscar Grant

There was a fight on the Oakland subway. The police arrived and arrested some people, including Oscar Grant. He resisted. While Oscar Grant was partially restrained (but still resisting), the policeman shot and killed him.

Oscar Grant had a history of abuse by the State. He had a criminal history, but it was for statutory non-crime. His criminal record was "possession of drugs" and "possession of a gun".

I was surprised that Radley Balko, who's usually pro-freedom, was defending the policeman.

The jury got it right. ... But there simply isn't any evidence that Mehserle is a murderer.
This is wrong. Resisting arrest might be stupid, but it isn't a capital crime. A policeman is a professional. If you murder someone on purpose, or due to your own incompetence, that makes no difference. After shooting someone, the policeman can always claim "But it was an accident!", and that makes it OK? It makes no difference if you murder someone on purpose, or due to your own incompetence.

Why should the policeman be arresting people, just because of a fight on the subway? If the one person involved in the fight asks for assistance, that's OK. Otherwise, the police should break up the fight but do nothing else.

One problem is that there's no inbetween solution. Either the policeman goes to jail or not. The correct answer, according to natural law, is "The policeman should be required to pay some of his salary, for the rest of his life, as compensation to the victim's heirs, until the claim is paid."

Oscar Grant had a history of being abused by policemen. That's probably the reason he resisted. "Resisting arrest" is another fake crime. "Resisting arrest" is not a capital offense. The policeman was effectively judge, jury, and executioner.

As a tactical matter, you probably should surrender peacefully if State thugs assault you. You're outnumbered and outgunned. It's bad tactics to escalate such a confrontation. However, I understand why some people resist, especially people who were previously abused by State thugs.

The officer who executed Oscar Grant was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. That's the least possible offense other than outright acquittal. That provides some illusion of justice. It'll only be a few years in jail. That's still a slap on the wrist. The judge may impose a lighter sentence than what the sentencing guidelines suggest.

The prosecutor only pursued the case after much public outrage. There was a huge political incentive for a sham trial. Therefore, the prosecutor didn't try very hard. The judge let the defense make whatever arguments they wanted.

For example, there were no black people on the jury. The defense obviously wanted to exclude them from the jury. The prosecutor didn't try to hard to make sure they were on the jury. This is a defect of jury trials. Jurors frequently make race-based verdicts.

In a criminal trial, it's State vs. criminal and not victim vs. criminal. This is a problem when State bureaucrats want an acquittal or light sentence.

For example, the judge allowed the defense "It was an accident! I didn't do it on purpose!" The judge could have said "WTF? Who do you think you're fooling?" Suppose the situation were reversed, and a non-policemen mistakenly kills a policeman.

That has actually occurred. In a no-knock raid, sometimes the raidee confuses the policeman for a criminal, and shoots the policeman. In that case, the raidee is usually barred from saying "It was an accident! I was recently robbed and thought it was another burglary!" That evidence is not presented to the jury. When a non-policeman kills a policeman, the political incentive is for a harsh verdict. When a policeman kills a non-policeman, the political incentive is for a slap on the wrist.

Judges and prosecutors are very eager to protect the State police monopoly. They know, even if not consciously, that they are dependent on State thugs for their own power and influence. Without State police backing their orders, government bureaucrats have no power.

This is an important principle of corrupt State law. When a State insider commits a crime, you should judge their intentions and not their actions or the result. This provides an easy out. The policeman says "I didn't do it on purpose!", and that's an acceptable defense.

Legally, a policeman can murder someone, as long as he says "I didn't do it on purpose! I thought he was reaching for a gun!" Why would any policeman ever say "I did it on purpose!"? You should judge what people actually do, and not their intentions. "I had good intentions!" is an excuse for State-sanctioned crime. All of the abuses of the State are carried out by people with good intentions.

Oscar Grant's heirs filed a wrongful death lawsuit. As I mentioned before, suing the government accomplishes nothing. The cost of the verdict/settlement is passed on to everyone else via higher taxes. If they win a $20M claim, that's logically equivalent to "Everyone in Oakland pays $4 more in taxes." The policeman and his fellow gang members don't pay the cost. As terms of his employment contract, the government reimburses the policeman for any lawsuits resulting from on-the-job actions.

According to State law, there is no provision for the victims to directly sue the murderer. The policeman is reimbursed by the State for any losses. He is protected by sovereign immunity.

According to natural law, the policeman should be forced to work, with the proceeds paid to the victim. For example, the policeman might be required to pay 50% of his salary to the victims' heirs, until the loss is paid. A private police force would also be responsible for the claim, but they in turn would collect from the policeman.

In the present, the State police monopoly just passes on the cost via higher taxes. The "wrongful death" claim is one of the many miscellaneous expenses of the highly profitable State extortion racked. This helps provide the illusion of justice.

The occasional lottery payout verdict is one of the necessary costs of the State scam. The huge payout to the victims' heirs is meaningless, because the cost is distributed to every else via taxes. The dishonest policeman's fellow gang members don't pay the cost. State bureaucurats don't pay the cost. The cost is paid via taxes. It's like everyone in Oakland said "Let's each pay $4 to Oscar Grant's heirs! The policeman and his coworkers don't have to pay anything!"

Many poor people in Oakland have a history of abuse by State police. That's the reason they get so upset. However, rioting is pointless. "Let them riot all they want, as long as they pay their taxes." The riots let people vent frustrations, whil accomplishing nothing.

If a free market police force abused their power, they would lose customers. People in Oakland have no choice but to pay the police's salary, via taxes. They can't tell the Oakland police department "You're fired! We're buying police protection from another organization."

For Oscar Grant's execution, the main evil is the State police monopoly.

Some opportunistic criminals and undercover cops probably went to Oakland, just for the chance to riot. There are some people who go to every riot-worthy event, just so they can do violence and steal without being caught. Some of these people claim to be "anarchists", but they really are pro-State trolls and criminals.

The police behave more like an occupying army than the defenders of freedom. If you object, then the only recourse is to stop paying taxes. If people in Oakland are really offended by Oscar Grant's murder, then they should stop paying taxes and form their own competing police force.

The only way to fire corrupt State police is to stop paying taxes. Imagine if, the State police try to arrest someone, and a private police force comes to the victim's aid. That's unthinkable now, but it might be a possibility in the future. Once that happens, the State has lost.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the sentence to be handed to an officer is ridiculous if we take into account that is some states(California law is likely similar) assaulting a police officer by merely punching him is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison even if the officer was not hurt at all. However, if you hit the officer over the head with a bottle and you give him a concussion then it would be punishable by a maximum of 20 years to life in prison.

Anonymous said...

During the G20 riots in London, a policeman hit a bystander with his baton. The bystander was not even facing the policeman at the time and was in fact walking away from him.

The man subsequently died.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS = Can't Prosecute for S***) decided not to charge the policeman (DESPITE VIDEO EVIDENCE OF HIM HITING A MAN) because they said there was no a realistic chance of conviction.

It seems there were multiple post-mortems and the coroners disagreed over the cause of death. That gave the CPS an excuse to do nothing.

The man was still hit for no reason and while he was walking away from the policeman. He died.

The policeman should at least be charged with assault.


Anonymous said...

More on the man killed at the G20 riots.

The man killed by the policeman was not a protester, rather just a man that happened to be in the area.

The Crown Prosecution Service took 16 months to make a decision.

You can only charge someone with assault within 6 months of the crime.

By taking longer the CPS effectively prevented itself from prosecuting the policeman for assualt.

Why did it take the CPS 16 months to make a decision?

Why wasn't the policeman prosecuted sooner? Now the time limit for assault it up, the policeman will get away scott free of crimnal charges.

There was video evidence of him pushing the man down. The man later died.

Anonymous said...

FSK I think the victim's name is Oscar(not Roger) Grant

FSK said...

Whoops, sorry about that name typo. I fixed it.

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