Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tony Brandenburg: Darrien Hunt (Part 2): Cosplaying Execution and Other Acts of Total Insanity

Then the police arrived. I like the police. They have uniforms and numbers and you know what they are meant to be doing … I wanted to answer the questions properly, but the policeman did not give me enough time to work out the correct answer… He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up in my head like loaves in the factory where Uncle Terry works. The factory is a bakery and he operates the slicing machines. And sometimes the slicer is not working fast enough but the bread keeps coming and there is a blockage ... I rolled back on the lawn and pressed my forehead to the ground again and made a noise that Father calls groaning. I make this noise when there is too much information coming into my head from the outside world ... The policeman hold of my arm and lifted me onto my feet. I didn't like him touching me like this. And this is when I hit him. - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon's mystery story, about the death of a dog of all things - is a lesson on Autism and Aspergers - though the author has not stated outright that the main character of his brilliant story is actually on the autism spectrum.

It should be required reading for all teachers. Police officers, too.  Haddon's story could do a great deal for helping the larger society learn how to interact with people they don't understand.

I am going to talk about the police. And about Darrien Hunt. Like the character in Haddon's story, I like the police. But I don't understand many of them, and many of them don't understand me. And the lack of understanding causes confusion. And confusion causes schism.

Darrien Hunt probably liked the police,too. He was, after all, smiling at them before things went so horribly downhill that he was executed by those same police officers just moments later. I am not suggesting that Darrien Hunt was on the autism spectrum. But you had better believe I suspect he might have been from the things that I have read. His behavior that day makes me think that. He was cosplaying. In character. He was confronted, in a serious situation. And he miscued. I am of the opinion that he had no idea what was going down, or just how badly it was going to end.

And that breaks my heart.

What I do know, is this. Black males are statistically under-represented on the spectrum, and there are thousands of black and Latino males in schools across America that - because they are not identified - are being labeled as something else. And those kids end up in trouble at school, and then they end up in trouble with the law.

And I have seen, first hand, how a small town community over reacts to autism. I have also seen how members of law enforcement - totally caught up in their crime paradigm - miscue and misinterpret and misuse the law to criminalize behavior that is organic in nature. By that, I mean that the behavior is chemical, but has nothing at all to do with criminal intent.

I also know how, and why, many families try to hide personal information about their children on the autism spectrum. That is, if they are even aware of it in the first place.

Where are the Ear Buds, and Why Haven't they Been Mentioned?
Among the many unanswered questions regarding the shooting of Darrien Hunt have to do with the ear buds that Darrien was wearing. How did the ear buds factor into Darrien's hearing the directions being given to him? Why weren't the ear buds mentioned in any reports? Where are the ear buds now? Is it true that Darrien's pants were pulled down. Why? How did this happen?

Cosplay and Ear Buds: Is there a Sensory Component to This?
I can't help but wonder about this kid. The autopsy showed that there were no drugs or alcohol in his system. They also show that he was shot multiple times. In the back. After fleeing and outrunning the two cops who shot him to death.

Ear buds, a smile on his face when confronted by the police, and dressed as a samurai? In the middle of Utah?

It sure sounds like he wasn't cuing very well. His responses to the police demonstrated this. He didn't get it, and the seriousness of the situation may have been lost on him completely.

Until they were shooting him.

Why Doesn't Newly Elected Utah Congresswoman Mia B. Love Care About Darrien Hunt?
Rule number one in politician motivation is to always follow the money. Mia Love wanted to be Congresswoman really, really bad. In fact, she spent over $4,300,000 to become one (click here and here and here).

Did you catch that? She spent over $4 million and none of it was hers. No wonder her investors were watching her social media so closely. Now you know why Mia B. Love was silent about the shooting death of Darrien Hunt. Why she has nothing to say about the matter.

It would have been bad for her investors.

Police Killings Highest in Decades
USA Today just released an article with a shocking bit of data. Well, shocking if your head has been in the sand (click here). And yes, this data comes from the FBI.

The number of felony suspects fatally shot by police last year — 461— was the most in two decades, according to a new FBI report.

The justifiable homicide count, contained in the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report, has become increasingly scrutinized in recent months as questions continue to be raised about the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

National attention has been drawn to cases from New York to Albuquerque, though much of the focus is on Ferguson, Mo., where the restive St. Louis suburb awaits the decision of a grand jury weighing the fatal shooting in August of a black teenager by a white police officer.

This year, a USA TODAY analysis of the FBI's justifiable homicide database during a seven-year period ending in 2012 found an average of 96 incidents each year in which a white officer killed a black person.

The new 2013 total of justifiable killings represents the third consecutive increase in the annual toll. Criminal justice analysts said the inherent limitations of the database — the killings are self-reported by law enforcement, and not all police agencies participate in the annual counts — continue to frustrate efforts to identify the universe of lethal force incidents involving police.

As troubling as the data is, equally troubling is that there is no uniform standard for reporting data. The result are numbers that are deceptive. For this reason it has increasingly fallen on citizens groups, civil rights advocates, and political activists to get the word out when the law fails to "Protect and Serve" and turn their weapons on United States Citizens. The reason the FBI and the Department of Justice are taking notice is because of these so called "radical" citizens. Without these noisy activists the wholesale slaughter - that is becoming increasingly noticeable - would be virtually ignored.

University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert, who has long studied police use of deadly force, said the latest number of justifiable homicides, while increasing, still likely represents a significant under-counting ...

At least seven U.S. police departments have been the subjects of Federal reviews in the wake of fatal police shootings since 2010.

In addition to Ferguson, one of the broadest examinations has been occurring in Albuquerque where the Justice Department last month announced an agreement that requires the city's troubled police agency to transform its lethal force policy.

Since 2009, according to municipal records, Albuquerque officers have been involved in nearly 50 shootings, with at least 32 resulting in death, including several mentally ill suspects.

Why Is Law Enforcement So Heavily Armed?
The question of the decade. Why did the United States Government give all this surplus weaponry to law enforcement? How did they think law enforcement would react? Is this what they hoped the outcome would be, or is the War on US Citizens a - for lack of a better term - misfire?

It is time to stop the madness. Take that equipment back.

What Happens When You Give a Power Tripper Unlimited Power? or Outrunned and Outgunned - Why Was Darrien Hunt Shot in the Back?
One can't help but wonder why Darrien Hunt was shot in the back. I can't help but think this was some kind of messed up powertrip. Everything I have seen and read - from comments on Facebook before he took his page down - to his web presence- indicates some serious posturing.

This is both in the blogs he's written, and in the cyberspace that he mysteriously vacated - but which still shares a vestige of his presence. I doubt seriously that anyone who knows him - and who is honest in their heart - will fail to concur that this guy thinks a whole lot of himself. His online rants against drug use comes across like a personal crusade - and is so lacking in logic that he comes across as obsessive.

Paired with his disdain for drugs, was a strange dislike of Bob Marley that would have been funny if the young man he killed didn't look remarkably similar to Marley. Was it too much for this guy to swallow? That he was being shown up by a guy who looked like Bob Marley?

Why did he shoot this kid in the back so many times?

Was it because Matthew Schauerhamer had a bruised ego? That for all of his bravado, and working out, and weight loss- was all for naught? Because he was being outrun by a young black dude in a kimono? Was this all because Schauerhamer - the mighty cloud hammer - couldn't catch the kid?

Why did the officers stop chasing? Were they reloading? Was that the sword on the ground?

One question I have - since this guy is so obsessed with drug use in others - is why? What is going on in this guy's head that has made him so determined to stop others' drug usage so vehemently?

Was this guy - who shot someone one in the back repeatedly - ever drug tested for steroids?

Or is this considered normal behavior by the investigating junta in Utah? That after giving up chase, an officer just pulls out his weapon and fires at a citizen carrying a toy.

Do Walmart shoppers in Utah pose a similar threat?

Will the Walmart where Darrien Hunt was executed become the OK Corral on Black Friday?

Will Santa Claus - the most famous cosplayer of all time - be shot to death outside of Saratoga Springs Walmart for carrying a bag of toys, too?

Matthew Schauerhamer, Artiste
Why has this upstanding Utah cop - who continues to make more than $100,000 a year - taken down all of his online artwork?

Yes, he is not only a blogger, he is an artist. In fact, he's more of a Renaissance Man than yours truly.

Here are two examples of his stuff. Maybe it will add a little more insight. Maybe not.

Touch Me or Else


Meanwhile in California: Is Los Angeles a Playground for Police Shootings?
Living in Los Angeles has been shown to be unsafe for many people. Especially people of color. Giving a statistical voice to tears of hundreds of families destroyed by this ongoing problem,  The Huffington Post reports that 600 people - many of them black or Latino - have been shot by the police in L.A. since 2000. This is paired with a fatality rate of about one per week for the last 14 years. The data came from a report titled Don't Shoot to Kill (click here).

From 2000 to 2006, the report says, overall homicides in L.A. County ranged between 1074 and 1231 per year. During that period, officer-involved killings made up between 2.5 and 4.5 percent of that total. However, since 2007, as overall homicide rates have trended downward -- there were 941 total killings in 2007, but only 595 in 2013 -- law enforcement use of deadly force resulting in homicide "doubled to between 4 and 8 percent" of the total, the report reads.

The report found that of the 314 people killed between 2007 and 2014, 97 percent were male, a combined 82 percent were black or Latino and 52 percent were under age 30.

There are 57 different law enforcement agencies in L.A. County, and "many departments had no killings" during the 14-year period examined in the report, said Kim McGill, an organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition.

"We do know that, by far, the highest numbers [of police killings] are [committed by] county sheriffs and LAPD, with Long Beach and Inglewood leading among smaller cities," McGill told The Huffington Post in an email.

The YJC go on to make recommendations to help reduce this problem. Among their recommendations is to demilitarize the police departments, eliminate the use of surplus military equipment, and my personal favorite, end the gang injunctions.

Of course, that may run contrary to the bread and butter of our resident city attorney. Right Mack?

The Youth Justice Coalition report offers a number of detailed recommendations to help reduce police and community violence. It calls on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a civil rights investigation into officer-involved shootings and the use of force countywide. It also calls for demilitarizing the police through the elimination of surplus military equipment, as well as the end of stop-and-frisk searches, gang databases and gang injunctions.

"We know personally that police violence isn’t only the bullets that pierce our dome, but the police baton that breaks our bones, and the battering ram that breaks our homes," the YJC report concludes, quoting from a statement authored by the group that was originally read at Ford's burial in August.

"It’s the war on drugs and the war on gangs that gentrifies our communities and fills our prisons," the report continues. "It’s the separation of families through gang injunctions, incarceration and deportation that leaves us orphaned. It’s California’s addiction to police and prison spending that bankrupts our schools and shuts down positive resources in our communities –- jobs, youth centers, libraries, health and mental health clinics, parks and playgrounds. It’s these programs that Ezell needed and all of us need -– not the police lock-down of our neighborhoods."

"Demand a city, a state and a nation where Ezell Ford and Deandre Brunston, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Suzie Peña, and Devin Brown would be in college and not in the ground."

If You Have a Problem, Don't Call a Cop
It is becoming increasingly clear to many of us that when we have a problem, the last thing we want to do is involve the Police. As long as the response of the police leads to the kinds of interventions we have seen in tragic situations - such as Kendrec McDade (click here), Michael Nida (click here), Michael Brown (click here), Kelley Thomas (click here), John Crawford III (click here), and  Darrien Hunt (click here) - then the last place many of us feel safe in doing is to ask law enforcement to help us solve problems.

Unless we are seeking death as a solution.

It is such a serious problem in this country that those who speak up find themselves pursued online, and many of them live in fear. This is serious stuff, folks.

The fears that have been brought to my attention on a daily basis from people all over this country- who are out there putting their money where their mouths are- feel the pressure for speaking up. These are people who feel it is their civic duty to speak up- and they are facing the ultimate test. And they feel threatened. Seriously harassed.

This is right here in the United States of America, folks.

An Op, or operation, is what members of the internet coalition Anonymous call a focused - for lack of a better term - event. As far as I can tell, these events bring international attention to questionable activities. Such as the shooting of an unarmed man. Because Anonymous is a loose, unstructured coalition of activists and hacktivists (click here) it is difficult to really get an intellectual grip on their desired outcomes. It is really subjective and based on the interaction between members and their desire to see justice prevail.

I have had a Twitter account for about a year. In that time the band has made about 4,000 connections.  In the Twitter world it is the use of hashtags (#) and directed messages (@) that get people connected. At least as far as I can tell.

The use of mass Twitter Storms (click here) is one way the group spreads the word and brings attention to its causes. I use twitter for my band, but I am really a novice, and not very effective as a marketer in this area. However, I have been involved in using  this social media device, usually to aid people in locating missing persons.

About one week ago I was contacted by an Anon to support #JusticeForDarrienHunt and #OpDarrienHunt. In a matter of hours I watched this group - which started in the hundreds when I chose to hit follow - explode. It grew to 12,000 within 48 hours, and is currently at over 34,000. This in one week.

What is the point? People care about this issue. A lot of people.

The NAACP Call for a Federal Investigation
A Federal investigation has been  requested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The NAACP is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting of Darrien Hunt by two Saratoga Springs police officers.

The shooting, ruled justified last week by the Utah County Attorney’s Office, has prompted the civil rights organization to get involved. At a news conference on Monday, NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams said they reviewed the findings and disagreed with them.

“He was carrying a sword, running away from officers, when he was shot six times in the back,” Williams said. “The NAACP is asking for the investigation to include the alleged initial confrontation with the officers, and the shots that were fired as Darrien Hunt was running away from the officers.”

Williams said the NAACP wanted to know if Hunt’s civil rights were violated, focusing on police tactics and whether they were consistent with law enforcement policies and procedures.

Williams said the NAACP waited until the Utah County Attorney’s Office had ended its investigation before getting involved.

“The NAACP is seeking transparency and accountability,” she said. “We do not want our young people to look at police as their executioner, but as an authority of safety.”

In a statement to FOX 13, the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledged the NAACP’s request — but did not confirm any federal probe.

“We acknowledge the NAACP’s request this morning. We appreciate their concern. However, we do not comment about investigations,” the statement said.

Yep. They never do.

More Documents
The following documents seriously call into question some of the conflicting information provided by the responding officers. Clearly, Darrien Hunt was NOT on drugs. The diversion of drug use is being used - and will be continued to be used - in order to portray the victim of this crime as an aggressor. In other words, that he somehow deserved to be killed because he was on drugs.

This is a common straw man argument. He wasn't on drugs, but create a diversion by saying he was. Then justify the killing based on that diversion.

Keeping in mind that the original premise is moot. It is not a capital offense to have a past history of drug use.

So there you go. The drug argument is completely moot. But you best believe that the Saratoga Springs Police Department will try to use it again, and again.


Because they think the populace of Utah is a bunch of stupid, ignorant crackers who don't know better and can't see through a ruse.

A Proud Spouse?
A couple of weeks ago someone was tweeting a post they said came from the spouse of one of the police shooters. I thought it was funny, but it was too vague for me to believe was actually legit.

I did a search and was able to easily locate the wife's page. I was able to determine that she is a "Stand by Your Man" type. I still wouldn't authenticate this post based on that.

But it still speaks volumes, whether it is authentic, or just more pablum and propaganda. She's got that Blue Line mindset, and that inevitable "You're with Us, or You're the Enemy" drivel as a foundation.

Whatever. I meet a thousand people just a stupid as her every day. Most of them, though, are married to people who don't shoot people in the back. She must be really proud of that.

 "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Matthew 12:30)

There is a mindset in our world that if you oppose the acts of rogue individuals who bastardize the system to meet their own personal agenda, that you somehow oppose the system entirely. And on the political spectrum - with all of its distortion and ignorance - this plays into that mindset as well.

I have news for you. I actually like the Police Departments I have interacted with. Having said that - I have met bad apples, and I know how badly they behave. But I hardly hold them up as examples of what goes on in the field. I hardly consider them human beings at all.

I know the difference, and it doesn't make me an enemy. It makes me like most law abiding citizens.

When the police are militarized for even the most peaceful of demonstrations, and when they are shooting and beating citizens to death - then something is definitely wrong with our democracy.

When I can't tell the difference between a demonstration in Ferguson from a riot in China, then there is something wrong.

But there is something really, really wrong in this country. It came post 911, and it never really faded away. It is the mindset that if you dare speak out against the gatekeepers, that you are somehow affiliated with terrorism and the destruction of democracy. And it's the biggest lie out there.

But guess what? For an entire generation just that has been sold as the truth. And it is what we are dealing with.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Hour & A Half With The City Attorney

If you think about it, the One Carter debacle has been quite a money maker for the law firm owned by Michael Colantuono. After all, he has been there right from the beginning. A gravy train made of taxpayer gold that never seems to quite reach the station.

As you may recall, it was that "knuckle under or you'll be sued" advice the City was given by the  Mighty Michael (and, to be honest, most happily acceded to) in the mid aughts that led to us knuckling under and being sued many times over by various litigious development interests over the last decade. Making One Carter perhaps the biggest money making industry we've seen in this economic backwater for quite some time. And nobody has even built anything there yet.

Common knowledge as this is, you don't have to take my word for it. Or anybody else's for that matter, because here is a brief history of our platinum-plus legal futility from the staff report for Item 2 on Tuesday evening's agenda. Its excessively wordy title being: "Call For Review Of Planning Commission Approval Of Hillside Development Permit 12-01 And Conditional Use Permit 12-08 To Allow Construction Of A Two-Story, 3,125 Square Foot Single-Family Home At Property Located At 610 Baldwin Court."

Making this, if the theory holds true, some of the most specious legal advice the City of Sierra Madre had ever received. Which is saying quite a lot. And approximately one decade into this awful mess, which was initially brought about by that unfortunate decision to cave in by the 2004 City Council (perhaps the worst this City has ever seen), apparently nothing has changed.

As you also probably recall, the Planning Commission, before their reluctant decision to agree to approve the 610 Baldwin Big Build, also had the opportunity to spend an hour and a half with our Colantuono City Attorney. Probably to discuss just this matter.

The possibility presented being that if they didn't knuckle under to the McMansion developer CETT, their attorney, Richie "Self-Serving B.S." McDonald, would probably drag us into Court and sue us. Shortly after that the P.C. gave up what had been a really good fight, and surrendered the baby.

So what is happening early on at Tuesday evening's City Council meeting? The traditional closed session with our generously coiffed City Attorney (all of Michael's legal ladies are generously coiffed, btw), which almost always runs from 6:00pm to 6:30pm, starts an entire hour early.

I seriously doubt that this is any kind of a coincidence.

My guess is that the following screen shot is an indication of what the topic of this 90 minutes of legal lethargy could be all about.

Yes indeed, friends. If the City Council decides to reverse the decision of the Planning Commission on the 610 Baldwin Big Build, the word from our decadal rented legal lulus is we will be sued. And therefore they had better not do that. Which is the same advice Michael Colantuono's legal firm appears to have given the Dumbest City Council Ever in 2004. After which we were sued eight times.

Ten years after. Same law firm, same tactics, same stupid results.

What is it about Sierra Madre and Child Sex Offenders?

We certainly seem to produce more than our share of them. Is there a reason for this? Here is news of the latest local gent most likely to get packed off to the pokey for possession of child pornography (link):

OSU student arrested on child porn charges An Oregon State University student has been arrested by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly distributing child pornography.

Philipp Jean Bardenheier, 19, of Sierra Madre, California, was arrested on charges of two counts of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

His initial bail was set at $20,000, and he was scheduled to appear in Linn County Circuit Court on Monday.

Bardenheier, an environmental engineering student who lives at the Buxton Hall dormitory, allegedly sent child porn to a computer in Linn County, according to a news release.

During an interview with detectives, he admitted to possessing child pornography and using the Internet to download and share it.

Numerous computers and electronic devices were seized during the investigation and are undergoing a forensics examination, and additional charges could be forthcoming.

Since Chief Giannone is often the last person to know about these sorts of things, perhaps someone would be kind enough to forward this information to him? The last thing we need is another potential media conflagration like the one that occurred here a few months ago.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Only Reasons Why ABC Eyewitless News Vans Will Ever Come To Sierra Madre

Bear video here.
There are only ever a few reasons why those blue ABC Eyewitless News vans might be seen cruising the streets of Sierra Madre on their way to a big story here. Back when it used to rain there were mudslides, and that was always news van bait. They used to line up in The Canyon looking for terror stricken residents there to interview. But don't expect to see anything like that now.

Of course, there was also that big windstorm of a few years back. My house was quite an attraction for news vans on that eventful day. We got interviewed by Eyewitless News types twice, and were asked really stupid questions along the lines of, "Were you terrified for your children?" Which, of course, I was. The kids thought it was all very exciting and wanted to go running out into the night and check out the crashing 12 ton eucalyptus trees. We didn't let them however, mostly because we are caring parents.

But nowadays with rain pretty much a thing of the past and windstorms of that magnitude only happening once every century or so, there are only two reasons left for Eyewitless News vans to ever come and visit Sierra Madre. One would be the free roaming paroled child molesters City Hall always somehow forgets to tell us about, and the other would be bears.

Yesterday's excitement was all about bears. Odds are that this would be the case. The big critters do outnumber child molesters in this town, so chances were pretty good it was a bear day. One big tip off was the helicopters. Unlike bears, child predators are never tracked from the air. They're almost always older gentlemen, mostly overweight, and therefore just not all that quick on their feet.

The best way to track a child predator is to park about four news vans out in front of his house and hope you can catch him on camera peeking out from behind a window curtain. Remember, they can be shy. Especially when there are adults in the area.

But I digress. Here is the on-line news site account of yesterday's bear sighting as told to us by the Eyewitless News team themselves.

SIERRA MADRE, Calif. (KABC) -- A mama bear and her cub were spotted roaming around a neighborhood on the border of Sierra Madre and Arcadia Thursday morning.

The bears was spotted scurrying up a tree at Stone House Road and Grandview Avenue just before 8 a.m. The sighting drew a crowd of about two dozen eyewitnesses. 

At one point, the mother bear came out of the tree and paced back and forth. Police were nearby keeping a close eye on the bears.

The mama bear would often stay underneath the tree to protect her cub. Police eventually fired bean bag rounds in the direction of the bears, causing them to leave the tree and head back into the foothills.

This incident was discussed at length in the comments section of this blog yesterday, with some claiming that these bears are treacherous and a deadly danger to the locals, and need to be dealt with using something far more prejudicial than bean bags. Like tranquilizer guns, tiger nets and long truck trips deep into the National Forest. Or the National Monument, I guess that is what it's called now.

One reader did not believe this was true, and went to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website to prove the case. This is what the CDFW had to say (link):

California Black Bear Public Safety Incidents - CDFW has recorded 12 “bear attacks” since 1980. In some cases, the details of these attacks were not completely known. According to the CDFW’s statewide public safety guidelines, a wild animal attack is defined as “physical contact, injury or death.”

A dozen bear attacks in this state since 1980 is not a great amount. The CDFW also lists each of these attacks, and not a single one of them resulted in a human death.

I thought this might be as good a time as any to make some comparisons and see just how twelve nonlethal bear attacks in 34 years stacks up against some of the other beasties running around these parts. I figured dogs might be an interesting comparison since Sierra Madre has so very many of them. A website called supplied me with these alarming statistics (link):

The most recent USA survey of dog bites conducted by CDC researchers concluded that in 2001, 2002 and 2003 there were 4.5 million American dog bite victims per year (1.5% of the entire population). Sacks JJ, Kresnow M. Dog bites: still a problem? Injury Prevention 2008 Oct;14(5):296-301.

885,000 bites per year -- almost one out of every 5 -- are serious enough to require medical attention. (Centers for Disease Control, Dog Bites, accessed May 10, 2014.)

Dog bites send nearly 368,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year (1,008 per day). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:605-610. 

In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs. (Centers for Disease Control, Dog Bites, accessed May 10, 2014, quoting from American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report [online]. 2012. [cited 2013 Oct 24]. Available from URL:

16,476 dog bites to persons aged 16 years or greater were work related in 2001. (Ibid., Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:608.

5,900 letter carriers were bitten in 2012. (US Postal Service.) Los Angeles is the worst city in the USA for mail carrier dog bites. (Link.)

The article goes on to state that the average national yearly human death toll due to dog mauling is 31. When comparing that shocking statistic to the 12 non-fatal black bear attacks here in California since 1980 you can see that our ursine neighbors are the fuzzy wuzzy equivalent of Mother Teresa when compared to this nation's murderous mutt population.

So what about the Police Officers who turn out in fairly large numbers each time a bear is sighted here? Can they be more deadly than the actual bears themselves? According to the following information that is apparently the case. Here is an article from a site called that shares these shocking statistics (link).

US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11 - Though Americans commonly believe law enforcement’s role in society is to protect them and ensure peace and stability within the community, the sad reality is that police departments are often more focused on enforcing laws, making arrests and issuing citations. As a result of this as well as an increase in militarized policing techniques, Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, estimates a Washington’s Blog report based on official statistical data.

Though the U.S. government does not have a database collecting information about the total number of police involved shootings each year, it’s estimated that between 500 and 1,000 Americans are killed by police officers each year. Since 9/11, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by U.S. police officers, which is almost equivalent to the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

So perhaps the greatest threat posed by bears roaming the streets of Los Angeles County is that they attract some far more dangerous predators from the law enforcement field. Helicopters and all.

On Tuesday evening the City Council will convene and make an important decision on McMansion development here in Sierra Madre (link). It will be one of the most momentous meetings of its kind in this community's history.

Just don't expect any Eyewitless News vans to be there. They're out looking for bears.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

So Just How Wrong Is It Really To Demolish Monrovia?

There goes the neighborhood.
(Mod: Living next to Arcadia has presented certain challenges to Sierra Madre. And certainly next Tuesday's City Council confab will be a next big test in our struggle to hold back the rapacious tide of the crass and the tasteless and their money mad McMansion assault on our little slice of God's great gift. But are we the only city living in the shadows of the Big Awful to experience such pressures? Apparently not. According to the Beacon Media family of weekly newspapers, which includes the locally significant Sierra Madre Weekly, the big issue in Monrovia is home demolition. A practice that a lot of the people living there would really like to see stop. To read this Nov. 17 article in its original setting, click here.)

Monrovia City Council to Consider Moratorium on Demolitions at Meeting - Before a packed Council Chambers, the Monrovia City Council agreed to place “putting a moratorium on demolition permits” on their next agenda. City staff advised the council that no action could be taken on the matter at the current Tuesday meeting and that the earliest action could be taken was at the next meeting. The issue was discussed under Council reports and was done as a part of the report of Council Member Tom Adams.

Adams initially called for a moratorium of six months, and during the course of comments from the public and the discussion by the council, other time periods—even as long as a year—were also mentioned. The council members each expressed interest in maintaining the character of the community.

There were two major areas of concern noted by those speaking in favor of the moratorium: stopping the demolition of homes built prior to 1940, and maintaining the character of various neighborhoods and the community as a whole.

There were several suggestions as to how best to do this. The one cited by many (including the city staff) was the completion of the Historic Survey of Homes, which was last worked on in 2004. Craig Jimenez, the Planning Division Manager, said that the information the city currently has is “more of a database” than an actual survey.

Several members from the Monrovia Historic Preservation Group (MOHPG) suggested using volunteers from that group to do some of the labor on completing the survey. Gloria Crudgington, a member of MOPHG and a Community Services Commissioner, noted that in these tight economic times, “public/private partnership is the way to go.”

Other suggestions made including “working harder” to ensure that the style and size of proposed new homes be in keeping with the neighborhood. Coulter Wynn, who spoke in support of a moratorium, suggested that the city institute style guidelines and give incentive points for styles in keeping with a neighborhood with extra points awarded for not building the largest house theoretically possible.

Several others spoke out against the influx of larger new houses, relating stories of the corruption of their own neighborhoods. The general tenor of the comments was in favor of saving the older single-family homes.

There were some who pointed out the problems with the suggestions made.

Among them was Russell Page who identified himself as a recently retired developer. He noted that, “Just saying ‘Don’t buy our houses’ won’t work. The market is starting to boil.” He suggested having professional architects come in to review the homes in the city and designated the ones which should be saved.

Another gentleman who identified himself as one who rehabilitates homes said that he had purchased a home in Monrovia in order to “rehab” it and that a moratorium would leave him in financial difficulties. Council Member Becky Shevlin also noted that in preserving the past, we did not want to stifle the city’s economy.

By general agreement, the staff will bring back an ordinance to the city council for their approval at the next council meeting. In his closing remarks on the issue, Adams said that although he as the council member who raised the question of putting a stop on the demolition of houses, the entire council was equally dedicated to preserving the character of the city.

(Mod: Maybe that would be a solution to our problems here in Sierra Madre. City Hall's famously busy factotums could issue all the infill permits in the world, but always with the proviso that it would be illegal to take down anything already standing, and on any piece of property. Could be worth a shot … The Beacon Media family of fine weekly publications has published the following letter on the Monrovia situation as well. In case you haven't seen it yet, here it is.)

Dear Editor: Mansions in the Crosshairs
The recent, local uproar regarding newly built, oversized homes and the resulting impact on vintage neighborhoods is not an issue limited to this city. Communities across the country are reacting, mostly negatively, to the proliferation of so-called “McMansions” for a very straightforward reason – they simply do not fit into the nearby areas.

That the problem seems to be growing in Monrovia is particularly disturbing, given that in order to construct a new home, one must be torn down. (Vacant land here is non-existent.) Because of the high density of pre-1940s houses within the town, that usually entails the demolition of a vintage home. This alteration of the urban landscape can have profound effects, from changing property values to limiting the creation of new businesses.

Monrovia is at a crossroads. It can choose to ignore the immediate crisis and assume a “business as usual” posture. As a consequence of that inaction, houses that do not qualify as “potential landmarks” will continue to be relegated to the not worthy pile, ignoring their role as contributors to a potential historic district and to the overall character of the community as a whole. Or Monrovia can make some difficult decisions to reconcile the issue of property rights versus preservation that is at the heart of the matter.

We have been given an inheritance – the architectural heritage of the community. We have the privilege of enjoying it while we are here and a responsibility to leave it better than how we found it after we have left. I sincerely hope we fulfill that obligation.

Jim Wigeon
President - Monrovia Historic Preservation Group

(Mod: I guess there is some consolation that we aren't the only city in the area under assault from the McMansionistas. Our turn for a big decision comes next Tuesday.)

Is Feudalism making a comeback in Washington DC?

(Mod: Sorry, I'm kind of at a loss for words about this. Link here.)

Congressman suggests moat around White House - Faced with an increasing number of White House intrusions that led to the resignation of a Secret Service director, a congressman on Wednesday suggested that maybe a moat should be erected around the president’s home.

The suggestion was made by Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. With hand gestures, Cohen suggested a moat roughly six-feet wide may be “attractive” and “effective.”

Joseph Clancy, the acting director of the Secret Service, didn’t dismiss the suggestion out of hand. “Sir, it may be,” he said. Clancy said the Secret Service and the National Park Service were discussing ways to ensure security along with access to the White House for the American people.

Clancy said the agencies were discussing possibilities such as higher fence that they want to still be appealing to the eye. He said the agencies hoped to be able to reveal some artist renderings of what they are going to propose soon.

“This guy got further into the White House than some of my Republican colleagues have ever gotten,” Cohen said to laughs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tony Brandenburg: Cosplaying as a Capital Crime: Darrien Hunt, Executed in Utah for Being a Samurai

Stop Killing Our Kids
There have been some pretty angry people in Ferguson, Missouri making a lot of noise. And for good reason. If you actually believe what the mainstream media and the Ferguson Police Department say, you probably should just move on to another blog. There is nothing here to persuade you, and I am not going to convince you otherwise.

However, if you, like many Americans, are willing to accept two premises, then the dialogue to follow will offer you something to consider, and something to pursue.

Premise #1- Americans with color are routinely treated as second class citizens in this country, and:

Premise #2- People in power don’t always tell the truth.

Under the current system, we allow law enforcement, educators, and most other civil service providers to determine the system by which they will be evaluated. This is generally done under the guidance and supervision of their unions. In theory, this practice seems solid: after all, self-improvement and growth is best supported by those people who are the center of the profession.

However, if allowed to be the final determination is made up of an internal board - and by that I mean representatives from the field itself - without any citizens oversight groups intervention - then not only is growth stifled, so are reprimands and dismissals. It is my belief that this officer - and I don’t believe he deserves such a title of trust - should be reprimanded, fired, and prosecuted for murder.

What I have observed in the time that has passed since the murder of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police - and the subsequent character assassination that took place, and which turned loose not only the killers, but also allowed them a loophole in which to sue for their jobs - is that law enforcement, even when the evidence appears to run contrary to everything they are intended to do (protect and serve) can pretty much do as they please without reproach and without the condemnation of the larger society.

We live in a scary country folks. If you speak in favor of the constitution, and speak out against anything that runs contrary to the authority our government has given itself and its “protectors”- then you are labeled an antagonist, a traitor, a terrorist, a threat, or an agent provocateur.

Recently a decision was released in the matter of Darrien Hunt, a 22 year old man shot to death by law enforcement in Utah. And as I expected, what was determined in the matter was  to be the same tired condemnation of our citizenry, and another notch on the belt of an increasingly hostile group of rogue cops whose behavior will become the norm if it is left unchecked. And there is every indication from this cop’s behavior that he is not- and should not- be seen as a representative of the field.

The Strange & Constantly Changing Story of Darrien Hunt
When the news of Darrien Hunt was first brought to my attention I didn’t think much about it. It seemed like a pretty simple event and the reports were relatively brief. A black man with a samurai sword lunged at Utah police and was killed. My initial reaction, based on my limited information, was that in all likelihood this was yet another case of the police reacting to what I erroneously believed to be a mentally ill individual.

But the problem I have found with this case, like the cases of what I consider misconduct by law enforcement in a number of cases - Kelly Thomas, Michael Nida, Kendrec McDade, John Crawford and Michael Brown - is the barrage of misinformation, contradiction, and outright lies that surface as the investigations proceed.

Just as distressing is the outright inconsistency and the excuses that have come forth in order to validate these executions.

The Skinny
The basics are this: On September 10, 2014, Darrien Hunt, dressed in a samurai outfit, was shot multiple times by the Saratoga Springs Police. The population of Saratoga Springs is 22,749 (click here) of which .5% African American. That is about 114 people.

Darien’s mother has accused the police of targeting her son because he was black. Police have asserted that they fired at Darrien because he lunged at them.

The County Attorney’s office said there is “no indication that race played any role in the confrontation” (click here). How tragically predictable that response was. And it was to be echoed again and again.

By the white people conducting the investigation.

Owen Jackson, a spokesman for Saratoga Springs ... said the Saratoga Springs 34-member Police Department was formed in 2007, and that there has never been a police involved shooting death in that time. Jackson said that he is unaware of any previous claims of racial profiling against the department. (click here)

To dispute or confirm either of these statements would be as simple as comparing the number of officer involved shootings to ethnicity and determining whether or not the statement is supported. In other words, for every 1 black person shot by Saratoga Springs Police, the number of white people shot would be around 199 for it to be statistically sound.

Any number less than that would support the statement made by  family of the young man.

Since the Saratoga Springs Police Department have never had an incident of an officer involved shooting that resulted in a death, one has to wonder how on earth the first one was a black man- a relative anomaly in the city- with a toy sword, shot in the back multiple times.

It’s insane. You will never convince me that this was not a racially motivated shooting. Not only do I believe it’s racially motivated, I believe that the police were well aware of who Darrien Hunt was before this incident occurred, and that they had already determined - in their “school-to-prison pipeline, all kids of color are junkies and criminals” - feeble little shoot-first-ask-questions-later minds.

Something is wrong here. Terribly wrong. And why is it that most of the major media outlets have totally disregarded this.

Where is the outrage?
Where are the protests?
Why isn’t this receiving the coverage that Ferguson is?

So. Let’s take a look at Darrien Hunt, and as we examine the situation, use your suspect device to determine if the excuses being used by the people defending law enforcement even make sense. I am going to begin with a few statements and I will expand upon them later.

First, Darrien Hunt was Cosplaying. Second, Utah has an “Open Carry Law.” Third, it is unlikely that Darrien Hunt lunged at the police. Fourth, it is unlikely that Darrien Hunt was on drugs. Finally, in order to cause distractions, criminalizing Darrien and the Hunt family has become the justification used by law enforcement advocates.

Darrien Hunt Was Cosplaying
Within two days of this story breaking it became painfully clear to my family that Darrien Hunt was cosplaying. It was obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of teenagers.

According to Wikipedia, cosplay, short for costume play, is a form of performance art (click here) in which participants dress as a favorite anime, cartoon, or sci-fi character, and play out a role. Entire subcultures revolve around such inspired geekdom.

Clearly the kid was nerding out. Samurai Champloo has come up as the obvious inspiration for his chosen play (click here). If you are so motivated, you can buy your own costume if you choose (click here) but I would advise against it. Unless you like being shot at.

And don’t throw any hogwash at me about him being over 18, and thus he was a man. In the eyes of the law and the army, yes, but the reality is that most 22 year olds are still kids. Big, goofy kids trapped in adult bodies. And none of them deserve to be shot to death because of it. Especially when they are wearing costumes and pretending to be cartoon characters.

Are you hearing me? He was a big goofy kid, and he was playing!  He even drew pictures of the character he was cosplaying (click here). Holy Mother of God. He was a goofy kid playing superhero.

And the police shot him in the back for it. Then they blamed it on him.

So ... cosplaying while black is a capital offense ...? (click here). Yes, sir. I’m afraid it is.

In fact, there was a Comicon in Salt Lake City one week prior to this incident (click here). Comicon is a convention of comic book enthusiasts and fans.That means that there were literally hundreds of goofy kids dressed up as their favorite characters. Luckily they stayed the hell away from Panda Express and Cypress Credit Union. And apparently the big city cops in Salt Lake City have seen enough of the world to know not only what black people look like, but also what a black person in a costume looks like.

You will never convince me that the Saratoga Springs police were innocently unaware of this.  Kids dressed up in costumes are simply not that unusual.

Even in Utah
I was thinking about a night a while back when my band was on tour. One night outside of Austin in 2007 or so, we were driving along a rather rural road on our way to a hotel. It was around midnight. We saw a young man riding a bicycle wearing a superman costume. We laughed and cheered him on. And why not? The world needs more super-heroes.

It had never crossed our minds to shoot him in the back six times.

Utah has an “Open Carry Law”
I don’t want to get into a discussion about the rights and wrongs of “open carry,” nor do I wish to debate the merits and pitfalls of the Second Amendment.

Personally, in recent months I have had the rudimentary belief that the only people who shouldn’t have guns are the police.

Oh, but that is a crazy idea, right?

Of course it is. but I think it clearly typifies the frustration that millions of law abiding Americans have about guns. Especially when those guns are turned on citizens.

The U.S. Constitution clearly spells out that American citizens have the "right to keep and bear arms" and that those rights "shall not be infringed." The Utah Constitution further defines the right to bear arms as a means for "security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes," and that those rights "shall not be infringed." (click here)

Utah is a state that has open carry. That means that a person can carry a gun as long as it is clearly visible. A resident of Utah, to my knowledge, can do so without a permit.  A toy gun, sword, or anything else would be legally carried if it was visible. from every account, it was clearly visible. Again, since no one else has been killed carrying a toy weapon in Saratoga Springs, it is highly suspect that the first person killed just so happened to be a black male. Regardless of what the white investigators state.

Openly carrying a real sword is legal under Utah’s liberal weapons laws, Evan Kirby, a spokesman for the Utah Department for Public Safety, said on Friday. “You can carry anything,” he said. (click here)

It is Unlikely that Darrien Hunt Lunged at the police.
Police have asserted that they fired at Darrien because he lunged at them. That is the word they used. Lunged. The word itself has a negative connotation. It is evoked to put into your mind an attack.To get a rise in you. To frighten you.

Apparently it has worked. However, no accounts I have read have given me the impression that Darrien Hunt lunged at anyone. In fact, witnesses and people who saw Darrien that day painted a different picture altogether.

“It’s very disturbing that the young man lost his life,” said Leonard "John" Zogg, one of those witnesses. But he told 2News the search warrant released by the county attorney’s office "didn't reflect some of the information that I shared with the police." In the affidavit, Zogg is described as saying Hunt pulled out his sword and “swung it” at one of the officers. But Zogg says that's not true. (click here)

A 911 call to dispatcher gives the same impression. This doesn’t sound like a threatening guy.

A man who said he was on his way to work told a Utah Valley 911 dispatcher that he had seen “a guy walking towards kind of the Walmart area wearing a red shirt, but he was carrying a samurai sword”. He later added that Hunt was “just, like I say, walking.” (click here)

The lawyers for the family produced photos that contradicts the language used by the responding officers as well.

At the news conference, Sykes showed a picture taken by a witness before the shooting in which the sword is strapped to Hunt‘s back. "No indication he’s a threat," Sykes said.The lawyer also pointed to a police report that says Hunt was "wielding" the sword. "That’s not true," he said. Another photo shows Hunt — looking calm, a slight smile on his face — standing next to a Saratoga Springs police car, the sword still sheathed. Hunt’s relatives have said the sword, which they call a "katana," was a toy. It was metal, but had a rounded blade that would not cut, they said. (click here)

It is Unlikely that Darrien Hunt was on Drugs
Although the autopsy has shown that Darrien Hunt was not intoxicated, nor on drugs, the court of popular belief has suggested he was. Let me point out that being intoxicated or stoned is not a capital offense. In the case of Darrien Hunt, it is totally moot. A point eloquently made by a mother who must have been crumbling when she made it.

"What really upset me — people are trying to justify killing my son," the woman said between sobs. "[Saying] he had to have been drunk or he had to have been on drugs, so that means a cop can kill him. But he wasn’t! He didn’t do anything wrong." (click here)

The problem here, in my opinion, is that there is an ambitious crusader cop that thinks every kid who isn’t high on God must be high on drugs. I have seen the toxicology report. Nothing. They tested this man for drugs I haven’t even heard of. I had to look them up. That is how determined this department is to paint a picture of this kid as a drug user.

They have gone as far as to suggest Darrien was on drugs weeks before the incident. How do they know this? Were they following him? Waiting for him to jaywalk? If that was indeed the case, what was their beef with him? Who is providing them with this information?

Now, let me share something with the world. Sometimes young people use marijuana. Darrien Hunt may have at some point in time.  He lived in Utah, for crying out loud.

 But at the time of this incident he had not used any drugs. That is documented by the autopsy. No drugs. None. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

And, in case anyone has forgotten, I will address the diversion, anyway.

Except for back-ass backward places such as Indonesia, drug use isn’t a capital crime. Maybe we should add Saratoga Springs to that list. You can be executed there if the cops even suspect it.

The Criminalization of a Murdered Man and his Family
In order to cause distractions, criminalizing Darrien and the Hunt family has become the justification used by law enforcement advocates. The drug diversion is just one of the criminalization methods being used to smear the man and his family. they will also continue to harass the family, and to smear them as much as possible. This will be done directly in the form of confrontation and harassment. It will also be done indirectly and anonymously by trolls, law enforcement aggrolites, and sympathizers on line.

I found this on Facebook. It is attributed to Natalie Maywood (click here). It  is so chillingly typical in our present climate that it makes me cringe at what the future may hold for the human race. It is one of those unsettling reminders that victims are punished for being victims, and their families are punished, too. I have seen this happen again, and again. I watched this happen to Ron Thomas, and I have seen it happen to people many times since.

The latest smear tactics from Saratoga Springs? “Look over there! Just don’t look here, so you will see what we are doing!” Yes, it’s an attempt to smear Susan Hunt, Darrien’s grieving mother. Of course, it has nothing to do with the case, or the two officers who shot and killed Darrien Hunt.

“During the period of intense grief, people often think they are going crazy. Some people hear voices or see visions; others find themselves attached to odd objects.” (Psychology Today, 2014).

On October 19, 2014, half-crazed with grief, a “normal” emotion for a woman whose son was shot and killed by two officers of the Saratoga Springs Police Department not even two months before that date, Susan Hunt saw an officer pull over a man near the area where Darrien Hunt died on September 10, 2014. She was driving past the scene of his death, as she often did, looking for… something. A sign he was still there? Something of him was left? Peace? There was nothing. But the police lights alarmed her, and then she saw another police officer pull up behind him. That alarm spread, and she decided she was going to watch closely. She pulled in behind the officers and parked. The second officer saw her, and came back to her car. He came to her passenger side window, and she rolled it down. He leaned in and told her to move along. She asked him why, saying she didn’t have a sword.

He said something like, “Oh, you’re one of those, huh?”She said something like, “I'm just here to make sure you don't shoot somebody else.”He laughed at her. Maybe not a belly laugh. A smirk. Amusement. Taunting.

The situation escalated from there. She began to scream and cry. Her son is dead. A man in a police uniform found her situation amusing. The fact two of his fellow officers on the small force shot and killed her son AMUSED him. The fact she was tormented by this gave him pleasure. She threatened to record him with her phone. He laughed more. She couldn't find her phone. The officer leaned in through the passenger side window and shined his flashlight into her face. In order to do this, you can imagine how much of his body would have had to be inside the car. At no point did he ask her to please step out of the car. The only time he behaved like a real police officer was when he told her to move along. As soon as he realized who she was, the situation devolved into harassment.

The harassment of a woman whose child was murdered not far from the spot where they were, just a little more than a month before.

Susan couldn't find her phone, and finally realized she needed to leave, but the officer was almost in her car, shining the flashlight in her face, and taunting her, so she grabbed her purse, instead of touching him, and pushed him out of her car, and moved the car about five feet away.When she could see he was not in danger of being hurt, she left the scene, shaken and scared, and determined not to let herself be provoked again.

She realized the other officer had not been involved at all. He had continued doing his job, his head down, almost as though he was embarrassed by his fellow officer’s actions.

Several days later she received a call from a nice officer who identified himself and said he would be investigating the incident. He was from a different agency. He apologized for the actions of another officer, as she explained what happened. She also apologized for her actions, as she explained how distraught she was over the loss of her son. He told her he didn’t think there would be charges, but he would be in touch.

Losing a child is its own kind of hell. The loss of a child to homicide adds to it an intensity and shock that creates a black, seething rage, particularly when the killers are the very people you taught your child to trust. Darrien walked up to those officers with a smile on his face. They were the police. He had no idea they had already appointed themselves as his executioners.Is it any wonder his mother was driving by the spot of his murder, looking for something? Looking for justice, maybe? Looking for him? Looking to make sure nobody else’s child met the same fate? Once again, we will never know, because again it will be her word against the word of an officer who was most likely wearing a body camera, with videotape we will never see. It didn’t have to be that way, but because it was an officer behaving badly, that is how it will be. They don’t want you to see it, because then they can’t spin it. If you did see it, it would show the truth.

Isn’t it interesting how they have the technology, and yet they never ever use it?And what about all that footage they talked about from the beginning?
Bank videos, video from Panda Express, video from the Top Stop. All useless? How odd. How very, very odd. Body camera videos? Not there?

Again, how odd. Since we know they have body cameras.

And like this officer was most likely wearing a body camera, and so the entire event was most likely recorded, so was the video of Darrien’s death, on two different cameras. And those videos are most likely sitting in the police station, since my sources say both officers were told to have their body cameras on and operational just two days before his death. Another source said his workers were told by Panda Express workers that police came in to look at the videotape they had, and when they left it had been erased.

Second hand information, but still, very odd.

All information about video that is missing that the investigators have claimed was useless.Susan Hunt is a grieving mother. She is not a criminal and she was not there the day Darrien Hunt was shot. It doesn’t matter what she did on October 19, 2014. Because Darrien Hunt was shot and killed on September 10, 2014. This is a “look over there,” tactic. Don’t be fooled. The real criminals are right in front of you.

The first time I read this piece I choked back my tears and anger and frustration. It breaks my heart.  It also makes me afraid for this family. For their mental health. For their spiritual health. For their safety. The place they call home is dangerous.

The Utah Attorney General says, “Blah, Blah, Blah”
Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor says the Utah Medical Examiner’s autopsy report released Tuesday shed some light on the events that happened on the day of the shooting, but that their investigation had already uncovered many other details. A search warrant the courts unsealed on Wednesday revealed some of those, including a narrative of the incident.

The report says Corporal Matt Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson of the Saratoga Springs police department stopped Hunt and asked him to place his sword on the hood of their car. Hunt refused. Eventually, he unsheathed the sword and began swinging it at Schauerhamer, who drew his gun and fired.

The report then describes how Hunt ran away around a nearby Panda Express. It also says Schauerhamer chased Hunt because he thought he needed to stop him before he was able to hurt or kill someone. As Hunt continued to run away towards the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot, Schauerhamer fired three more shots that hit Hunt in the back and caused him to collapse. (click here)

OK. So there were surveillance cameras, assumedly, capturing images at local businesses Cypress Credit Union, Panda Express, and Wal*Mart that could certainly shed light on this situation. Panda Express and Walmart have an obligation to make these documents available to the public. If they feel they have the right to film us, the public, then we have a right to view the information. For whatever reason, Wal*Mart has been left out of this conversation.

It may be apples and oranges, but it was in an Ohio Walmart where John Crawford III, an African American male, was shot to death by Beavercreek Police in August, 2014 (click here). The issue became controversial due to - what else? The fact that the toy gun used by Crawford was being sold at Wal*Mart and was obtained by Crawford shortly before the incident took place (click here). My point here being Wal*Mart has surveillance cameras actively recording the goings on at their properties.

It came as no surprise when the report came in from Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman that the cold-blooded killing of Darrien Hunt was a reasonable and necessary show of force.

Buhman announced his findings after a nearly 2-month long investigation into the Sept. 10 death of Darrien Hunt. “I find that Saratoga Springs Cpl. Matthew Schauerhamer and Officer Nicholas Judson were justified in their use of deadly force against Mr. Hunt,” said Buhman. “Their belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury was reasonable.” (click here)

Aunt Mia B. Love’s Cabin
Mia Love was the former mayor of Saratoga Springs. She is part of that .5% I discussed earlier. She is a cosplayer too, but her ninja skills are so stealth that this empress with no clothes on has convinced herself and her Republican constituents that she is white.

White, white, white. In nearly every room Love enters as she stumps her way across Utah’s 4th District on a quest to become the first black female Republican in Congress, she is not just the only black person there. She’s the only person of any color, unless you count farmer tans. This 39-year-old, Brooklyn-born daughter of Haitian immigrants and former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, seems completely at home in a crowd of mostly old white dudes. What’s more, she gets a warmer reception here than when she made a speech at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. Her advisers had urged her to stay way the hell away from the Windy City. “That’s Obamatown,” they told her. “Those people will eat you alive.” (click here).

Following the advice of her advisors, Aunt Mia kept her trap shut about Darrien Hunt. After all, to show empathy or concern to the family of a murdered black man might ruffle some white feathers. She was stifled on Twitter, and her only quote on the matter was pretty blunt.

"I don’t want to be mentioned in anything," said Love. "I think it should just go through the process it is supposed to go through." Love may not have known Hunt personally, but she was the Mayor of Saratoga Springs until as recently as January. It would seem like normal protocol to at least make a statement offering condolences, even if she were attempting to avoid the issue of race. One could guess, from her statement, that protecting her good image during her campaign appears more important to Love than the feelings of the Hunt family. (click here)

Welcome to the privileged class, Mia B. Love. You should fit in quite well.

A Cop with a Bad Attitude?
One of the killers with a badge, Corporal Matt Schauerhamer, has a very interesting web presence.

Not only does he come across like a megalomaniac, he inadvertently comes across like a bully and a cowboy redneck (click here). This is not the kind of guy I would want to see patrolling my city, nor going into schools to teach drug and alcohol prevention programs. That’s for damn sure.

Matt Schauerhamer: Miracle muscle build?
The italicized quotes are from the Saratoga Springs Police Blotter which was run on an online blog called The Crossroads Journal, and are attributed to Matt Schauerhamer.

If I told you I owned Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots, spurs and a cowboy hat, you would probably assume I was a cowboy. It would stand to reason that I probably own horses and cows. It would stand to reason that I probably spend time listening to country music, riding trails, throwing hay, and driving T-posts into the ground. While anyone is capable of going to the nearest Cal Ranch and purchasing Western attire, the most common owner of Western apparel is a cowboy. Every culture has specific styles, trends and unique trademarks that are generally associated with it – and that includes the drug culture. If parents are able to familiarize themselves with the specific trends of drug culture, they will be more likely to recognize if their child is descending into the culture and subcultures that drug users associate with. It will be easier for parents to distinguish whether their child is using or associating with people who use drugs.

This guy seems to have a huge bug up his backside regarding Bob Marley.

Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of Marley knows that many of us from the punk rock subculture thought Kaya - a record that killer cop Schauerhamer particularly critiques - is about as mellow and relaxed and as positive as any Marley album comes. In fact, it is so compliant that it is the one record I don’t own.

Bob Marley and his music are sublime to some people. Just because you have an entire archive on your iPod that is specifically dedicated to Bob Marley, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a drug user. Having George Strait’s Greatest Hits on your iPod doesn’t mean you’re a cowboy. However, if your child is listening to Bob Marley’s “Kaya,” is wearing a Bob Marley shirt with Bob Marley on it smoking a joint, has a Bob Marley poster in his room, and is wearing a Rasta hat (red, yellow and green), it is highly likely your child is highly high. If they have Rasta colored anything, it is a good bet your child uses or hangs out with drug users. Oh, and by the way – if your child hangs out with drug users, your child’s probability of being a drug user goes up exponentially.

I think what struck me as most concerning regarding this bit is the uncanny resemblance I see between Bob Marley circa Kaya, and the photographs I have seen of Darrien Hunt.

Schauerhamer’s lawyer said the article should be read in the context of his training as a “drug recognition expect”, and should be viewed as a “simplified public information piece” and not as a "scholarly analysis of race” (click here)

No worries there. The guy isn’t a scholar. But I do believe he hates Rasta culture, and I do believe he killed a man for no discernible reason.

Even better than a generalizing, prejudiced, and biased police officer, is a generalizing, prejudiced, biased and trigger happy police officer. And Schauerhamer, who described himself as “a very polarizing person,” advocated arming school teachers after the Sandy Hook massacre:“Though it may sound cliché, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun…. In a time when many are calling for disarmament, now may be time to call to arms.” (click here)

Useless bit of trivia: Schauerhamer roughly translates to “cloud hammer.”

There are two full pages of his musings on the Crossroads Journal Website (click here and here.) Who knows. You may even find a couple of fluff pieces in there for Mia Love if you dig a little bit. How convenient.

Schauerhamer personal war on drugs is a battle so inane and misguided that it has left a cosplaying Ninja dead. His behavior has opened their department up for an onslaught of civil lawsuits, and made their entire community look like a bunch of stupid, ignorant, bullies and bigots.

One thing that comes across, to me, anyway, is how much Schaerhamer comes across like a bully cowboy. The department is being sued for a late night raid that he orchestrated, and which resulted in a group of kids being rousted from their sleep, and stripped of their rights (click here).

… members of six Saratoga Springs families are accusing Schauerhamer of using excessive force when he and other officers kicked a door down and arrested seven teens while raiding a house party with high school students back in February. The chief of the department, however, insists his officers followed proper protocols. In all, seven teenagers were arrested for investigation of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Six were also arrested for investigation of obstruction of justice for allegedly fleeing or hiding and not responding to officers as they searched the residence. One teen was also arrested for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor. Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andrew Burton said officers were following proper procedure.“That level of response was completely appropriate given the circumstances,” he said.

Of course the chief said that. So damn predictable. There is a chief of police in Saratoga Springs who should be fired. I hope that these young people and their friends, and their families take advantage of the City Council meetings and speak at every one of them, demanding he be dismissed for incompetence.And similarly they should be thanking him for not shooting all of these kids in the backs for fleeing.

If these slumbering suspected stoners had been black, the outcome may have been significantly worse than bruised bodies and egos.