Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

SB-94 & HB-430: Welcome To Georgia, the first Fascist State in America

Bill Simon, March 19th, 2015

Last night’s “Legislative Boxers” had, at the end, a discussion on HB-430. Many people wrote me to tell me “That bill didn’t make it before Crossover, so it is dead.”

NO, it is not dead. The House Press office responded to a question I had about their Daily Legislative Report issued last night, and this morning it was told to me that there had been a typo in it regarding this bill.

What they did in committee on 3/18/2015 was steal a bill that was passed by the Senate before Crossover Day, on a different subject (SB-94), and amended it with the language from the original HB-430 language sponsored by Rep. Efestration into it, and now SB-94 will be the bill that goes to either House Rules for assignment to the House Floor OR, I suspect, Speaker Ralston will just stick this monstrosity on the Floor without it going through House Rules.

To summarize and correct, now: SB-94 will accomplish the following if passed by the House:

(1) it enables law enforcement to obtain SECRET Search Warrants

(2) extends probable cause to include crimes “about to be committed” according to the peace officer’s mind.

(3) expands who can apply for and issue search warrants (judges in ANY court will be able to sign warrants, not just Magistrate Judges)

(4) allows surveillance without regard to jurisdiction

(5) severely limits a defendant’s right to suppress illegally obtained evidence

(6) and officers are immune to virtually all legal restrictions on their behavior when they’re in performance of their official duties in “ferretting (sic) out offender(s) or suspected offender(s) of the law or in secretly watching an individual suspected of violating laws…”

Ladies & Gentlemen, when I wrote the phrase earlier this morning about “HB-430″ alternatively being referred to as the >”Let’s shop this no-knock warrant to an untrained, ignorant-on-search-warrants, traffic-court judge to get DA Danny Porter’s search warrant against his political enemy signed if this Magistrate won’t do it!” bill, I was being sarcastic.

I didn’t know who wrote the bill at the time. Turns out, it WAS Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter who wrote and testified on this bill in a committee hearing yesterday in the House.

SO, HB-430 will likely come to the House Floor today (or some time in the next 9 legislative days) as SB-94. This bill was written by a guy who evidently hates a lot of people and wants the right to direct similarly-minded law enforcement officers to write search warrants, have ANY judge (i.e., any judge friend of any prosecutor in any jurisdiction) to sign the search warrant (no-knock or otherwise), and allow them to do anything they damn well please on the basis of “we honestly thought Person A was going to commit a crime, and, yes, it turns out we were wrong…but, because of this clause in Danny Porter’s law, we cannot be held responsible:”

Lines 634-636: “A good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought under this part or under any other law.”

“Good faith.” Don’t you have to HAVE “faith” in order to have any “good faith?” DA Danny Porter, it is clear to see, has no faith in anyone, and wishes to legally get people he hates killed or their lives destroyed by using the force of state government to do so.

And…he has friends of a similar mindset as well. Did you folks know that former Douglas County DA David McDade, who was being investigated by the GBI last year, has now ended-up working in the Griffin Judicial Circuit…under DA Scott Ballard as an assistant DA? McDade and Porter are known to be VERY good friends. Guess we can safely add Scott Ballard to that Georgia Prosecutor Cabal of “F*ck the people’s rights! WE are in charge of their miserable little lives, and what we say goes!”

And you folks in the Republican Party who scream about Barack Obama and the Democrats…clearly, there is something rotten in the minds of the Republican Party to produce this type of bill.

Georgia Republicans: Expanding The State’s Power and Destroying People’s Rights

Bill Simon, March 18th, 2015

After winning reelection for Governor, Lt. Governor, state house seats and state senate seats last November, did the elected members of the Republican Party close their eyes and gleefully clap their hands and think to themselves “Oh-boy!..Oh-boy!..Oh-boy!…Oh-boy! NOW we can triple the size of Georgia government like I always wanted to do!!!”?

Because THAT is the impression one could easily derive from the unending supply of state government-expanding/citizen-rights restricting bills being pushed through this session. Bills like:

HB 310 (alternatively referred to as the “Let’s turn Georgia back into the prison colony we’ve always aspired to be”) will create a leviathan of new government entities, along with an “invitation” to the federal government to give us more money, and thereby give them the ability to extend their tentacles deeper and more widespread in our state. Here’s a brief summary of HB 310 (now in the State Senate):

1) It allows the Governor to establish an office with police powers that essentially enable him to have a personal, politicized force remarkably similar to what would exist in a police state.

2) It allows the Governor to grow the size of government with three new large, powerful entities: a Board of Community Supervision, a Department of Community Supervision, and a Governor’s Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry.

3) It removes the presumption of innocence until proven guilty by subjecting accused citizens who have not been convicted of a crime to excessive restrictions and conditions.

4) It increases federal control of state law enforcement by imposing reliance on federal grants and coercing law enforcement to adhere to undisclosed federal guidelines.

5) It decreases accountability and transparency of local justice systems by adding layers of state regulations that are not valuable in local administration.

Then, there’s SB-8 (alternatively known as “How to use government to punish a business you just don’t like operating”), which is due to be heard in the House Committee on Juvenile Justice today (March 19th) at 4:00pm in 506 CLOB.

SB-8 was a companion bill to the now-dead HB 244 bill which, while the main premise appeared to be honorable in that it was written on the premise of helping address the problem of human/child sex-trafficking in this state, it proceeded to jump-off the track and launch itself into a “WTF?” direction. Examples of what I am talking about include language that:

1) Expands civil forfeiture practices, placing the burden on the accused (not convicted, but merely accused) to prove their innocence to get their property back. We should be looking to reform this practice in Georgia, not add to the list. This bill allows for confiscation of direct AND indirect property.

2) Increase taxes on adult entertainment businesses…thus taxing the businesses who are not guilty of a crime other than entrepreneurship in Georgia – simply because some legislators do not like that type of businesses. Now, here is the definition in the bill that I find of particular interest (Lines 167-171) for how the main definition for an “Adult entertainment establishment” is defined:

“(A) The entertainment or activity therein consists of nude or substantially nude persons dancing with or without music or engaged in movements of a sexual nature or movements simulating sexual intercourse, oral copulation, sodomy, or masturbation;”

Now, apparently, Senator Renee Unterman (the primary sponsor of this bill) has either never danced herself, OR, she isn’t very well-read. Because, the poet Robert Frost made this observation about 100 years ago about dancing: “Dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.”

So…using the good poet’s line of reasoning, in reality, ANY dancing in ANY establishment BY Adults can, and, likely, will be interpreted by someone to be of a sexually-related nature.

Kinda makes this entire section of SB-8 about fining a business (essentially, that is Unterman’s intent, to fine and punish the strip-club industry) that just allows people to voluntarily congregate…to view other adults voluntarily deciding to dance nude…when there are other people who may similarly dance (maybe even Unterman herself, if she knows how to dance to rock and roll) with their clothes on.

3) Create yet another state commission (consisting of 8 people, 4 of whom are appointed by the Governor) to oversee funds for assistance to victims that is already active in the non-profit sector. Sorry, but it is not the duty of government to see to it that victims are healed. Government doesn’t do this for domestic violence (in fact, in Georgia courts, they have a tendency to kinda seek to inflict as much harm as possible on domestic violence victims because things like restraining orders don’t cross county lines…but, that’s an issue for another time).

In an article published on January 31st, 2015 on HuffingtonPost.com, it was reported that:

“A 2012 report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that 76 percent of trafficking transactions for sex with underage girls started on the Internet, World Pulse pointed out. Those findings go hand-in-hand with a 2014 study that discovered 70 percent of child trafficking survivors surveyed were at some point sold online .”

Soooooo70% to 76% of child-sex trafficking transactions originate and are likely arranged and delivered on the basis of people engaging in communication via their cellphone, their tablet, or their desktop computer.

This SB-8 legislation’s sole goal is, really, to set-up a new state commission charged with applying for and sucking-down more FEDERAL DOLLARS to solve a problem that the writer of the bill does not adequately address to solve. People who believe that in order to solve a problem you need to form a new state-level commission and supply it with federal dollars and/or confiscated dollars from a business not proven to be directly connected to causing the problem, are people who are either stupid or crazy. Either way, they should not be allowed to remain in such a position as State Senator.

And then, there’s HB-430 (alternatively called the “Let’s shop this no-knock warrant to an untrained, ignorant-on-search-warrants, traffic-court judge to get DA Danny Porter’s search warrant against his political enemy signed if this Magistrate won’t do it” bill). This bill is out of the House committee and is now in the House General Calendar, ready to be thrown on the House Floor at any time.

Several parts are especially troubling. 1) Police can now get a search warrant if their “probable cause” consists of a peace offer thinking you are about to commit a crime, and, of course, this law gives immunity to peace officers who are wrong on that assumption, and if they kill anyone or destroy property in the execution of the warrant? Too effing bad. You, Mr. Citizen, can just die for all the State cares about what one of their agents decides to do.

2) Lines 45-46: “(4) ‘Judicial officer’ means: (A) Any judge of a court of this state

Note that this definition does not specify that a magistrate judge, which has been used for decades (if not, perhaps, a century or two) to be the only duly authorized judge to sign-off on a search warrant…but “Any judge of a court of this state.”

So, a Superior Court judge…or a Probate Court judge…or a traffic court judge will, under this bill, if passed, be authorized to sign-off on a search warrant.

3) And then there’s secret search warrants, probable cause extended to include crimes “about to be committed”, inclusion of specific surveillance methods in the Code, expanding who can apply for and issue search warrants (so it can include all Department of Correction officers, right?), allows surveillance without regard to jurisdiction, limits defendants’ right to suppress illegally gathered evidence (including a weird substitution of “constitutional” for “lawful” that is really pernicious), and officers are immune to virtually all legal restrictions on their behavior when they’re in performance of their official duties in “ferreting out offender or suspected offenders of the law or in secretly watching an individual suspected of violating the laws…”

And the best part (i.e., worst part for innocent citizens), Lines 634-636: “A good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization shall constitute a complete defense to any civil or criminal action brought under this part or under any other law.”

Who wrote this bill? All five main sponsors are retired law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or employees of district attorneys’ offices. The sixth is an economic development/Chamber attorney.

If HB-430 passes, it will be impossible to pretend we still have rule of law governing searches and seizures. Unless “whatever the State wants to do” counts as rule of law?

Thank you, Rep. Efstration, Rep. Reeves, Rep. Atwood, Rep. Ballinger, et al. for your support of ZERO Fourth Amendment protections for the people you claim you represent in this state.

Waiting on Republicans to limit government

SB-85: The Crony Capitalist’s Dream

Bill Simon, March 18th, 2015

Prelude

Did you know that in the State of Georgia, there is no state law requiring anyone who is either running for office, or who is a sitting elected official (state legislator, Governor, AG, county commissioner, mayor, city council members, etc.) OR even an appointee to a commission or board (…or development authority or CID or…whatever), to have submitted to and cleared a criminal background check performed by the GBI? There is nothing in state law that requires our “elected/appointed government overlords” to pass a background check. Kinda fascinating, eh?

So…keep that in mind as we go thru this episode of the Vine, along with several future Vines.

SB 85

SB-85 is being spun as a “bill to just clean-up some language” in the law that currently exists for development authorities. SB-85 has passed the State Senate and is in the House…somewhere.

This is a link to a PDFed copy of the AJC article from a couple of weeks ago. In it is the claim by the (cough! cough!) “government attorney” (read: Paid to BS people) with the Fulton County Development Authority stating:

“What has happened is, in order to stop these deals, people have gone through and looked through all of the inconsistencies in the law. And what we’ve tried to do is clean them up,” said Lew Horne, attorney for the Development Authority of Fulton County.

Yes, well, interesting wording there, Mr. Horne. Those “inconsistencies” you claim to be clearing-up is more like an attempt to take a specified number of allowed Project types that currently exists in the law (approximately 14 enumerated project types, actually)…and making the number of projects that can be financed by taxpayer dollars to be an UNLIMITED number of projects with the stipulations merely being (from the specific language in the bill), Lines 16-17:

“…improvement for the essential public purpose of the development of trade, commerce, industry, and employment opportunities.”

Here are some questions for Senator Brandon Beach to address:

1) Based on my reading, could you tell me what in your language would prevent a Development Authority from authorizing the financing of any project in a CID that would normally be required via the Ga Constitution to be financed with strictly CID-tax money?

Because according to the Ga Constitution, these are the projects that a CID can use its money to do:

Article IX. Section VII, Paragraph II:

Purposes. The purpose of a community improvement district shall be the provision of any one or more of the following governmental services and facilities:

(1) Street and road construction and maintenance, including curbs, sidewalks, street lights, and devices to control the flow of traffic on streets and roads.
(2) Parks and recreational areas and facilities.
(3) Storm water and sewage collection and disposal systems.
(4) Development, storage, treatment, purification, and distribution of water.
(5) Public transportation.
(6) Terminal and dock facilities and parking facilities.
(7) Such other services and facilities as may be provided for by general law.

While most of these are ‘infrastructure-related’ projects, #2, “Parks and recreational areas and facilities” are not like “stormwater” disposal systems.

Currently, in the Georgia Supreme Court, there is a matter involving the financing of the Braves stadium whereby one of the claims by Cobb County is that the Braves stadium counts as a “recreational facility.”

Now, the word “recreation” can entail ALL kinds of things, and with Georgia being #1 in corruption, the imagination of corrupt government folks, none of whom have criminal background checks performed on them, is limitless. The problem is, maybe a CID would like to construct something that they don’t want to use their money to do, but they can get the development authority to do.

2) Separately, could you tell us where in your new paragraph (that merely “cleans-up existing language”) it would specifically prevent the financing of a project that is NOT in the geographical confines of the specific development authority’s jurisdiction? That is, sayyyy….if Cobb County Dev-Authority might wish to authorize the issuance of bonds to build a whorehouse in Nevada?

A whorehouse in Nevada would be a project that would develop trade and commerce, and provide plenty of employment opportunities.

Who cares if those employment opportunities are not in the geographical area of where the CCDA sits? (And, hey, a whorehouse will generate a ton of money to pay back those bonds, right?)

Senator, show us where your “clean-up language” would prevent a bunch of political appointees who sit on a development authority, none of whom have EVER had a criminal background check run on them by the GBI, from voting to authorize the issuing of bonds to build a project such as a whorehouse in Nevada, or even a new condo-project partly owned by, say, you, Senator Beach (a person who ALSO has not had a criminal background check by the GBI run on you), that is located in a completely different county?

Just a few questions I muse about…I’m sure I’ll have more soon…

Cobb County Republican Party-Same Sh*t, Different Year

Bill Simon, March 11th, 2015

Are you Rose Wing?

If you live in Cobb County…if you are a Republican…and if you are a delegate headed to the Cobb County Republican Convention this Saturday, you will be one of only two types of people: Either you are a person who thinks everything that I will present below regarding Rose Wing, candidate for Cobb GOP Chair, is something you, yourself, engage in right now in your own life, and you see nothing at all wrong with what she has done, or you will be a person whose stomach tightens at the very thought of engaging in the following activities that Rose Wing has experience with:

Item #1: This link will take you to a picture of a check that Rose Wing wrote to the 11th Congressional District for her entry to the April 2009 GOP district convention. That check shows it was returned for “Insufficient Funds.”  I have emails from conversations between the then-Treasurer of the 11th District Committee (beginning in June of 2009), the Chair of the district party and the then-chair of the Cobb GOP that the Treasurer wrote regarding his communication to the officers about the failure of Rose’s check to go through…and the fact that he sent Rose Wing e-mail communication about her $20 bounced check, and the fact that she NEVER acknowledged that it bounced.  That’s two months after the district convention that the district received the check back from their bank.

Now…before I go further, you should ask yourself this: If you were informed you bounced a check (especially one for an organization that you work-in for the better part of your time), would you just ignore the notice (and let the check never get cashed in your bank account), and never pay it? OR, being the ethically-minded person most people are, if someone told you your check didn’t go thru for your convention registration, would you have leaped-up and called and asked “How can I get this settled?  I need to bring you some cash…” or something like this?

Unlessof course, as a supporter and intended-voter of Rose Wing…you are exactly like Rose Wing when it comes to your checks bouncing, and you shirk your financial obligations right now?

Also, just so you folks know…there’s this teensy-weensy little law in OCGA 16-9-20 named "Deposit Account Fraud" that kinda, sorta applies to Rose bouncing a check. Because, really, you don’t know if you have $20 in your account to cover a check when you write it to attend a district convention? Tell you what…if you are THAT short on funds, then you should not be involved in politics, should you? You should be focused on earning a living and paying bills, and you know…taking responsibility for your own stuff.

For the 11th district, it didn’t just cost them in not being able to collect $20…they also got charged from their bank a $35 charge for having to return a check that could not be cashed. So, the Rose’s check bouncing cost the district $55.

As of this morning (March 10, 2015), it has been verified with the then-Treasurer of the 11th District Committee that Rose has never reconciled that check-bounce with him during his term.

Item #2: This is a link to the PDF of a letter sent by Sheila Galbreath back in January 2013, requesting Rose to resign from her chairmanship of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women (“GFRW”).  Sheila was the Treasurer of the GFRW while Rose was chair during this time, and the letter describes a whole mess of bull that was going on under Rose’s “leadership” (sic), both in the standard personnel subterfuge (e.g., sneaky stuff pulled by people like Donna Rowe and Millie Rogers in whatever endeavor they are ever involved in), along with outlandish expenditures of GFRW money by Rose, along with setting-up a PayPal account completely separate from Sheila (the TREASURER of GFRW), and never allowing Sheila access to the PayPal account for GFRW…and, instead, turning management over to someone who wasn’t even the assistant treasurer on the board of GFRW at that time.

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Revisit No-Knock Search Warrants

Bill Simon, March 8th, 2015

To re-cap what was discussed in Part 1 of this series of ‘Legislative Boxers’ ( (if you missed the previous edition,it is here), this is the essence of the basic logical thought process for legislation as defined by how HB-1 has wended its way thru the 2015 Legislature:  Legalizing the use of X in these specific cases will cause many more opportunities for the use of X in all other cases.” (“X” being cannabis oil in this HB-1 example, but “X” can apply to any subject matter in any other bill).

Now, in order to adequately explain the no-knock search warrant issue that these bills mentioned above cover (and, the important note is that we are not talking about “arrest warrants”…but, specifically, no-knock search warrants), I’m going to have to take you down a path where some of the specific issues discussed are unrelated to no-knock search warrants, but, in order for you to understand the entire situation concerned with a) the proposed legislation, b) the existing law, and c) the individuals on the pro-side of this legislation (i.e., the District Attorneys and Law Enforcement entities), I have to take you the long way around.

So, Ladies & Gentlemen, buckle-up, consume a few caffeinated beverages, and brace yourself for one heckuva ride.

First, there has been mention in general conversation and via testimony in front of the senate committee about “exigent circumstances” being approved by SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) in 1997.  For clarification for everyone, exigent circumstances is defined in case law to be “circumstances by which a law enforcement officer has a probable cause and no sufficient time to secure a warrant.”  Key phrase being “…and no sufficient time to secure a warrant.”

If there is a danger situation or hostages, or whatever…”no sufficient time to secure a warrant” means (…and, before I continue, I wish to reiterate that I am not an attorney, nor do I offer legal advice or guidance in the legal realm…but, I know how to read and I know how to research) the LEO does NOT have the time to apply to a judge for a warrant, no-knock or otherwise.  So, in the happenstance of exigent circumstances, those kinds of entry into a home or building are legal, whether they are knock-and-announce, or they are no-knock of any type.

Secondly, I wanted to relay to you a conversation that an associate of mine (i.e., a fellow citizen researcher) of this no-knock subject matter personally had with the Chief Magistrate Judge of…well, it is a county I shall not identify (because, well, you prosecutor gremlins at PAC will race to his chambers and try to get him to unwind these facts he revealed to my fellow researcher).

My associate walked into the meeting with the magistrate judge with a copy of Kevin Tanner’s proposed legislation of HB56, briefed the judge about no-knock search warrants being the subject matter of the conversation, showed the judge how the existing law says that the LEO (“Law Enforcement Officer/ials”) must announce their presence verbally before effecting entry into the building, and then asked the judge “If this law prevents them, why are they happening all over the state, and how is this not illegal?”

And, this is essentially what the judge stated (not in precise wording, but the gist of it): “As a judge, I can issue a no-knock search warrant because we are not bound by that law. But, if the LEOs execute a no-knock warrant, then they are in violation of this law as it now reads.”

So, from this statement, it breaks-down what everyone thought was one continuous action into two distinctly separate components that have never been discussed before.  First there is the “authorization” for a NKSW (No-Knock Search Warrant) signed by a judge….and, second, there is the direct action taken by the LEO who make the conscious decision to execute the warrant in violation of current law.  Kinda interesting, isn’t it?  (Especially in that…kind of cluster-f*** way that law is written and interpreted in this state, right?).

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When “X” causes harm already, how will legalizing MORE of “X” help?

Bill Simon, March 6th, 2015

Legislative Boxers

How are the following bills interrelated? HB-1, HB-56, HB-196, SB-45, SB-98, SB-99, SB-159

One bill deals with cannabis oil…three bills deal with judges making prejudicial remarks during a trial…and three bills deal with no-knock search warrants.

In any other environment, these 7 bills might appear to involve completely independent subject matter.  However, from the 25,000 foot viewing level, I see a pattern of related processes, and, I figured, “Hey, it’s worth a shot” to see if I can inject some logic to the thought processes of some of you legislators.

Part A:  Let’s look at HB-1.  HB-1 started off as a bill to allow for many types of patients with diseases to have access to, and consumption of, medical cannabis oil to treat their conditions.  In this House Judiciary Non-Civil Substitute version of the bill, this got changed to only being eight specific, top-level classifications of diseases enumerated that would be eligible for certain THC percentage levels of cannabis oil.  On the House floor, a ninth category (sickle-cell disease) got added, and the bill passed the House.

Upon passage in the House, it has gone to the Senate for consideration…and early noises in the Senate kinda point to this list of 9 diseases being completely cut down and rather than patients have access to the oil, Senator Lindsey Tippins wants there to be a study done first in the state, and limit that study to, perhaps, only four disease classifications.

Or, something like that.  The exact nature is irrelevant because I am just Joe-Blow Citizen here who listens to 106.7 FM for my news in the morning, and don’t have the time to get all the details.  (Again…I’m looking at the legislative process from the 25,000-foot level.)

My takeaway from the 25,000-foot level of observation about HB-1 is, essentially, some people are concerned that if you legalize something for one intended purpose, then that legalization may, directly or indirectly, cause more detrimental activity in a related vein.  That is, someone is afraid that someone will figure out a way to abuse the cannabis oil and get high, or resell it on the black market, etc., right?

So, to summarize the logical interpretation of a 25,000-foot view of the legislative thought process of HB-1: “Legalizing the use of X in these specific cases will cause many more opportunities for the use of X in all other cases.” (“X” being cannabis oil in this HB-1 example, but “X” can apply to any subject matter in any other bill)

Part B:  Turning now to HB-196 and SB-98 and SB-99…all three of these have to do with the identical subject matter of changing the law on allowing a judge to make any comment they want to make, whether it prejudices the case in favor of the plaintiff/prosecution or the defense/defendant.  HB-196 and SB-99 appear to be two versions of the same criminal procedure issue, and SB-98 applies to civil procedure.

The premise of these 3 bills is to require, while the case is being tried in a courtroom with a judge on the bench, the aggrieved party (i.e., whatever side of the case that is harmed by the judge’s comments injected on the evidence presented) to immediately make a motion to the Court (i.e., the judge who just opened their mouth to inject their partial/prejudiced opinion into the trial proceedings) to halt proceedings, call for a sidebar that is outside of earshot of the jury, to (as an example) inform the judge that his jack-assed comment about the defense’s evidence being “a bunch of bullsh*t” is a statement that the aggrieved side objects to…and why the aggrieved party has an objection to it.

And, if the aggrieved party misses doing that, during the trial, well tough cookies…the jury gets to continue while being influenced by an unethical POS judge.  THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the gist of what each of these three pieces of legislation are attempting to accomplish.  That is, to let the judge BECOME the 13th juror, whose opinion tends to have more sway in courtrooms than any other evidence presented.  That is what these three bills intend to accomplish.

These three bills seek to make it harder for the defense to receive a fair trial because all of a sudden, the onus is put on the defense to object during the trial to the judge’s input.  AND..what do you think might happen if the defense objects every time the judge opens his mouth?  After awhile, the judge (who already violated standard judicial ethics) may get tired of the objection, and work even harder to prejudice the jury against the defense.  (‘Cause, they kinda think they are God themselves, and know everything.)

Essentially, these three bills will want to “legalize” a judge to make all the freaking comments they want to during the trial, and require the harmed side to point out the unethical behavior of  the judge….to the judge and let the very same judge ponder as to when he called a witness “A lying piece of sh*t”, did that prejudice the jury to the point of having to go back and instruct the members of the jury to ignore that input into their brains?

Soooo…from my discussion above of HB-1, what do we suppose happens when you legalize the occurrence of something to happen more often?  You get more people (in this case, judges) engaging in that very same activity, more often.  More judges will freely open their mouth and eff-over any side they want to, as often as they want to, because, all of a sudden, they are now the “judge and jury” of whether or not their comment was prejudicial.  And, if they decide it wasn’t, the aggrieved side can simply go pound sand at that moment.

Now, as a sidebar to you folks…from what I understand, these bills came from some idea that Judge Nahmias developed after a case was recently heard in the Ga Supreme Court.

What I don’t get is why is the Legislature messing with judicial conduct at all?  Seriously.  Because of my research into the issue of “Why isn’t the Judicial Branch of Georgia required to follow Open Records Act  laws when there is no written exemption allowing them to ignore them?,” I discovered case history dating back to the early 1990s that the Judiciary declared itself to be exempt from Open Records/Sunshine Laws simply because their interpretation of the Ga Constitution is that the Legislature CANNOT write any law that requires them to do anything.

So…again, seriously…why are these three laws even being proposed?  In fact, why is any judicial procedure codified by legislative statutes if the Judiciary has declared itself exempt from them?  Maybe Judge Nahmias needs to do a little bit more research in just what super powers he and the rest of the judiciary of this state have.  That is, they do not have to follow legislative statutes…ever…as per this 1992 case via the Ga Court of Appeals shows.

But, I digress from my purpose here.  To circle back to HB-196, SB-98, and SB-99…if you make it easier for “X” to happen, then you will get more of “X” happening, to the detriment of everyone involved.  And, trust me, to people who already think they are God (i.e., judges), you will be giving them more power to act in a prejudicial manner in the courtroom, and deny anyone their God-granted right to be treated fairly.

Yes, I know…the concept of “fairness” is an arcane subject to many judges and legislators and others in government.  It still bears repeating that unless you wish for Georgia to become a banana republic, the right to a fair and impartial jury is a concept still expected in some parts of Georgia, and all three of these bills should be voted down, and never passed.

Part C: Turning now to the three bills dealing with no-knock search warrants: HB56, SB45, SB159….because this discussion will involve much more presentation involving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, I will cover these three bills in more detail in the 2nd part of this story.

HB 56: How the State wants to legalize more killings of innocents by police

Bill Simon, February 17th, 2015

HB 56: Purposely Designed for Subterfuge & Misdirection

Introduction

If you were to go on Yahoo, Google, or Bing search engines, and type “kevin tanner habersham baby” in the search bar, what will display is a wide assortment of article titles of the following nature:

“Tanner proposes bill to limit no-knock warrants”
“NE Ga lawmaker files “Baby Bou Bou bill”
“Bou Bou” family gratified as Georgia considers no-knock …”
“Toddler Maimed by SWAT Flash Grenade Sparks Georgia Bills on ..”

After scanning the article and reading some of them, you MIGHT have concluded that the legislation is an attempt to limit “bad results” like the Habersham County incident in mid-2014 where Bou-Bou was burned by a flash-grenade tossed into a room by SWAT executing a no-knock warrant on a house where they received a tip from a source of drugs being sold out of the house. (A case currently under investigation by the US Attorney’s Office)

You might have concluded that, and I don’t fault you for that…because that is what I assumed the bill was going to attempt to do.  But, this bill, as written now, does nothing that will address the problems with law enforcement personnel executing a no-knock warrant.  Absolutely NOTHING to prevent preventable death and/or injury to both Law Enforcement Personnel (“LEO”) and innocent people who are involved in such a process through absolutely no fault of their own.

HB 56 is a bill designed to white-wash decades of judicial activism that enabled LEO to obtain and execute illegal search warrants, which are referred to as “no-knock warrants” in the common environment.  HB 56 is a whitewash because it actually amends current law to define “no-knock warrants” where no such term currently appears, and it obliterates the existing law (OCGA 17-5-27) that prohibits warrants that allow no verbal announcement from LEO before they breach a door.

This is what existing Georgia law is with regards to Search Warrants:

OCGA 17-5-27. Use of force in execution of search warrant

All necessary and reasonable force may be used to effect an entry into any building or property or part thereof to execute a search warrant if, after notice, an attempt in good faith to give verbal notice by the officer directed to execute the same of his authority and purpose:

(1) He is refused admittance;

(2) The person or persons within the building or property or part thereof refuse to acknowledge and answer the verbal notice or the presence of the person or persons therein is unknown to the officer; or

(3) The building or property or part thereof is not then occupied by any person.

As no-knock warrants have been being executed in Georgia (like the one in 2006 that killed an innocent homeowner Kathryn Johnston during a drug raid on her home in Atlanta, and many others, “no-knock” means “no verbal notice given at all.”

How did the LEO community obtain these illegal search warrants? They went to their respective jurisdiction’s judges and concocted a bunch of weak evidence (a “tip” by a known criminal in every case I will discuss), and then they added language (likely what they learned by watching Crockett & Tubbs on Miami Vice reruns) to the Warrant Request that would make the judge think that a full-on violent breach of the home is fully justified, and the judge would sign-off on them being allowed to ignore OCGA 17-5-27.

And, so, now, State Rep Kevin Tanner is on the verge of amending Georgia law to make no-knock warrants easier to obtain without any repercussions to “bad acts” by LE in the execution of those warrants. (Yeah. “Subterfuge” is an understatement,right, Rep. Tanner?)

State Rep. Kevin Tanner

People may or may not be aware that Georgia State Representative Kevin Tanner spent about 18 years in law enforcement, working for the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office (“DCSO”) prior to being elected state rep from that neck of the woods.  Most of the readers of the Political Vine are familiar with an incident back in August of 2014 involving an officer with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office named Captain Tony Wooten. (If you are not familiar, go to the PoliticalVine.com website, and type-in “PumpkinGate” in the Search bar on the right-side of the site, as there are several stories about this incident in Dawson County).

Now, Kevin Tanner was not present at the PumpkinGate incident…however, coincidentally, his direct history as a law enforcement officer with the DCSO is connected to both this story involving Wooten, as well as HB 56.

In this article I wrote regarding the cover-up by the DCSO personnel on Wooten’s acts in PumpkinGate, I described a document I had received via Open Records filings with the DCSO.  That document is referred to as “G-335D: OFF-DUTY, EXTRA-DUTY EMPLOYMENT.”

In that article, I detailed what the “written policies” are that DCSO personnel who are on Off-Duty or Extra-Duty are to follow when engaged in any kind of law-enforcement-related activity while not being “On-Duty.”

And, basically how Wooten, who was on Extra-Duty, had not followed those written procedures, and how Sheriff Carlisle and Major Goodie also simply ignored those written procedures as well to help cover-up Wooten’s actions.

So, how does Rep. Tanner fit into all this? The original Word document of G-335D that I was emailed from the DCSO was last touched by…”Kevin Tanner” who had last revised it on June 6, 2009. (Here is a link to that original Word Doc that has his name as the “Author”).

So, Kevin Tanner knows fully well exactly the kind of bullsh*t, do-nothing language he sticks into the language of HB 56 that (Lines 118-121) gives people like Wooten and EVERY OTHER LEO the right to give the middle-finger to any violations of any LE department’s “written policies” as follows:

<“The failure to comply with written policies adopted pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (e) of Code Section 17-5-21 shall be considered a technical irregularity within the meaning of this Code section.”

Technical irregularity?” You mean “technical irregularity” of ignoring this part of your new language via HB 56 (Lines 63-74), Rep. Tanner:

“(e)(2)(A) The law enforcement agency that employs the officer seeking such warrant has adopted written policies for using no-knock that comply with paragraph (3) of this subsection;

“(e)(2)(B) It requires execution between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M., unless the judge for good cause expressly authorizes execution at another time; and

“(e)(2)(C) The affidavit or testimony supporting such warrant establishes by probable cause that if an officer were to knock and announce identity and purpose before entry, such act of knocking and announcing would likely pose a significant and imminent danger to human life or imminent danger of evidence being destroyed.

“(e)(2)(3) Not later than September 1, 2015, any law enforcement agency that may seek a no-knock shall adopt guidelines and procedures that shall include, but shall not be limited to:”

Just call it for what it is, State Rep. Tanner. Do you have the balls to do that? Calling the ignoring of written policies a “technical irregularity” is an OPEN INVITATION (just like what your pal Tony Wooten and your other pals at the DCSO did, and continue to do) for every single law enforcement officer and/or LE Department ​in this state to ignore their “written policies” and ratchet-up the no-knock warrants and kill and maim and beat anyone to death that they please in their fervent efforts to collect their asset forfeiture plunder. Which leads me to…

Asset Forfeiture: The Racket

Nowhere in the language of HB 56 is any reference to “asset forfeiture.”  But, yet, I know (as does Kevin Tanner…and every prosecutor, former or otherwise, and every LEO in support of this bill knows) it is the reason why Rep. Tanner is proposing this bill.  NOT to “save lives” or any such other bullsh*t lies coming from Tanner, et al. who supports this bill.  Those claims are all part of the subterfuge.  And, any legislator who has co-sponsored the bill is either as fully knowledgeable as Tanner is, or they are gullible to believe every word he says. (Legislators?  Gullible?  Say it ain’t so!)

Want proof? Consider the case in Habersham County in mid-2014: A petty criminal acting as an informant to the Habersham Sheriff’s office claimed that he had purchased drugs from the occupant living at the house.  A “tip” from one crook is enough “probable cause” for a SWAT team to be armed to the gills and get a no-knock warrant to raid a house?  Really?  Why the f*** are cops now relying on ONE CROOK’S word that illicit activities are occurring at a house in order to justify their acts?

Were drugs found?  Nope.  Was someone harmed who didn’t have a gun and body armor?  Yep, an 18-month old baby sleeping in a crib in the house.

Why would cops just take the word of a crook? A person who kinda…sorta…has a record of being deceptive?  Because, this is what very likely went on in the mind of the lead drug investigator when he got this “tip”: “Drug dealer?….Money…lots of money…Drug dealers have lots of cash on them….we can hit that house, get evidence of the drugs…and confiscate under asset forfeiture ALL the money and property in that house.  Let’s get that judge to sign-off on the no-knock so we can ALL have a pay-day in this county!!!”

And, how do I have any inkling as to what went thru that guy’s mind (along with his direct report’s mind)?  Because of the extremely callous nature of the Habersham County’s Sheriff who uttered these words in relation to incident: “Bad things can happen. That’s just the world we live in.”

No, Sheriff of Habersham County. YOU and your asset forfeiture-hungry LEOs caused that “bad thing to happen.” That was no ‘Act of God’ like a tornado is.

And, not even a glimmer of responsibility from that guy. Is that the type of environment that you are okay with, Rep. Tanner? How about you, Rep. Golick?

Rep. Efestration? Is that what you learned working for DA Danny Porter?

If the FBI agents tasked with investigating the Habersham County incident were smart, they should check into all the bank accounts that the Habersham County Sheriff has access to. Because I’ll bet dozens of donuts that there is some illicit activity going on with bank accounts in that jurisdiction that causes people like that sheriff to remark in such a callous way about the injury his actions caused that resulted in no crime being discovered that justified that injury.

See, I bring-up bank accounts because part of the proposed amendment of Georgia’s asset forfeiture law in 2013 involved controls put on sheriffs and other LEO chiefs on how they could handle their “pirate finds” of money and assets.

From my 2013 story on this issue, here are some aspects that the Georgia Sheriffs Association found of particular concern with (and, then-Association President/Sheriff Howard Sills of Putnam County getting quite…angry on camera) the 2013 proposed legislation…and, when people get angry like Sills did, to me it signified something else was going on that he wasn’t going to let the committee know:

“HB 1 clarifies some current provisions regarding reporting and eliminates confusion over what the funds may be used for by explicitly defining the specific use of money confiscated — the same as federal law.

“HB 1 will create more transparency and accountability by strengthening the mandatory reporting requirement of all law enforcement agencies.

“HB 1 strikes a much needed balance in forfeiture law by protecting individual property rights and public safety against those involved in criminal enterprises. “

You see, the Sheriffs’ Association didn’t like the prospect of people looking over THEIR shoulder at their accounting of finances and money collected via asset-forfeiture processes. And, the Prosecuting Attorneys Council (then-represented by DA Danny Porter on that hour-long video linked in the comment regarding Howard Sills’ testimony) certainly didn’t want any interruption of their sharing of the plunder with their local sheriff’s operations.

Then, there’s the incident in Laurens County in late 2014 that involved the killing of an innocent homeowner named David Hooks. Here’s the short synopsis of that incident: A thief (yes, another crook) picked-up by Laurens County LE for stealing from David Hooks told the cops that a car that he stole from Hooks had a bag containing 22 grams of meth in it…thus implying that Hooks was involved in drug distribution.

Did the Laurens County cops think “Hmmm…maybe we need to stake this guy’s house out and see if we can catch him in the act?”  NOPE!  They get a no-knock warrant, suit-up in their fancy-dancy federally-issued SWAT toy attire and proceed to raid the house, and kill David Hooks.  You can read the fuller story on this link, but the fact of the matter is, as was reported in multiple news sources, no drugs, not even a nanogram (a billionth of a gram) was found in Hooks’ house after the cops murdered him.

Even the GBI came on that scene and helped searched the house…and not a trace of drugs was found.

In stories you can find on the Web about this incident in Laurens County, they remark how successful a businessman David Hooks was. My contention is that the Laurens County cops knew exactly who David Hooks was, and exactly how wealthy he was…and that the following is very similar to what went thru the mind of that Sheriff (and his fellow LEOs) to justify his department’s acts in getting the illegal (according to Georgia law now) no-knock warrant: “Rich guy….really rich mother-f***er…we can get ALL his assets, his house, his bank accounts, his cash in the house…rich guys like that always have money in their houses….he’s likely got a safe with thousands of dollars in it..that’s going to be OUR money!  Let’s raid this f*cker’s house and get OUR PAY DAY!!!”

Because, if they had found ANY drug in that house, by way of asset forfeiture laws in this state, all of David Hooks’ property and bank accounts could be tied to “drug distribution” and all would have ALL become the Sheriff’s own Pirate Booty. To use in any manner he (and his other county pals…the DA…the judges…the county commission…whatever and whoever he wanted to share it with) decided.

I’m sure that since the Institute for Justice has been exposing outlandish uses of forfeited assets (several notable ones in Georgia), a lot of the more outlandish uses of money from asset forfeiture-based raids has gone “underground” so to speak by these sheriffs and other LE organizations. But, like termites, just because you cannot always see them, you know that there is abuse going on with both the raids (like these two previously discussed in Georgia) and the handling of all that confiscated money and property…all confiscated because they claim “We’re here to make you, Joe/Jane Public, safer.” Yeah, right.

How HB-56 Should Be Written

So, let me reiterate the main point you need to understand (“you” being everyone concerned with their life and limb in Georgia) about HB-56: It will actually put into the Official Code of Georgia the “no-knock warrant” law that does not exist now. Rep. Tanner (and his fellow co-sponsors, gullible or not) are intent on allowing more no-knock warrants to be issued under the specific guise of “protecting more people” while at the same time inserting a CYA note that allows the cops to ignore their required “polices”, call it a “technical irregularity”, and proceed to MURDER ANYONE THEY DARN WELL PLEASE. (Hey, Sheriffs gotta pay the bills, right? Go for that asset-forfeiture route whenever you can, how ever you can accomplish it, right?)

If you go back in time to the Atlanta City PD incident involving a nice black lady named Kathryn Johnston in 2006, you might be surprised to find out that the “tip” those cops reportedly acted upon to bust down her door was also from a “police informant.” You know what the street-definition of a “police informant” is?  It is a crook…a criminal himself/herself!!!

So, since the common thread in Georgia appears to be that the cops are ALL operating (2006, mid-2014, September 2014,etc.) from “tips” they receive from people who have a proven track record of LYING, it kinda seems to me….I don’t know…maybe I’m reaching here…I’m just going to go out on a BIG limb here and say that the qualifications are not stringent enough in the evidence/tips that cops receive, is it?

I know this: Reform the asset-forfeiture law, and a lot of these bullsh*t, killing of innocent people incidents will come to an abrupt halt. (But, that will happen right after Barack Obama declares himself a Republican, right?)

So, barring the reformation of asset-forfeiture laws to remove the obvious temptation from going thru the mind of the crooked-minded, blood-thirsty sheriffs (and any other LEO in Georgia) who do NOT give a damn about anything but making headlines and capturing someone else’s assets , golly, what other ways could we reduce these types of incidents from happening? How about:

1) Rather than allow police to ignore written policies, require them to a) develop them, and b) require every LEO to read them, and c) require every LEO to follow them or else get charged with a felony. After all, they’re the ones with the gun, licensed by the State to enforce the law. Why should they not be required to FOLLOW a law designed to protect the innocent among us?

2) Require that more evidence from OTHER than a criminal be required by law to be offered for proof that the intended target poses a danger to the officers intent on breaching the door without an announcement of why they want to come in.  Something like…three independently-verified sources? Is the life of the next David Hooks not worth that kind of insurance? (Or, do just “bad things happen?”)

3) You know what the best option is for HB 56?  Kill it.  Its design is to specifically allow more innocent killings to occur in the hope of capturing more money and assets from others.  That is its specific purpose, plain and simple.

Tomorrow (February 18, 2015) there is a hearing on HB 56. This bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, chaired by Rep. Rich Golick (a co-sponsor of HB 56). Don’t know which room the hearing is being held or at what time, but below is a list of the members of this committee, along with their House Office phone numbers. If you are concerned with HB 56, and its repercussions, you should call these folks’ offices below, and tell them (or whoever will take your message since they will not likely have time to call you back) how you feel about more no-knock warrants being legalized in Georgia:

Rich Golick (Chairman): 404.656.5943
B.J. Pak (Vice Chairman): (404) 656-0254
Dustin Hightower (Secretary):  404.657.1803
Stacey Abrams 404.656.5058 
Alex Atwood (404) 656-0152 
Mandi Ballinger 404.656.0254 
Christian Coomer 404.651.7737 
Sharon Cooper 404.656.5069 
Pam Dickerson 404.656.0314 
Micah Gravley 404.656.0325 
Dar’shun Kendrick 404.656.0109 
Matt Ramsey 404.656.5024 
Nikki Randall 404.656.0109 
Bert Reeves 404.656.0287 
Ed Setzler 404.656.7857 
Brian Strickland 404.656.0109
Robert Trammel 404.656.0314

Anything else that Tanner claims, or any LEO, or any DA, or whoever appears before this committee hearing tomorrow in support of this legislation claims is part of the “agenda of misdirection” for this bill.

If you want a more eloquent presentation on the hazards of this bill, you can read this piece authored by Catherine Bernard (who is way nicer than I am in presentation) regarding the long history of rights that citizens have (going back 400 or so years) regarding being secure in their own home:

http://politicalvine.com/politicalrumors/law-and-justice/no-knock-warrants-should-remain-illegal-in-georgia/


Follow PV on Twitter: @PoliticalVine2


No-Knock Warrants Should Remain Illegal in Georgia

PV, February 10th, 2015

[PV NOTE: The letter below was authored by Catherine Bernard on 2/10/2015]

“…the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.”
-Sir Edward Coke, Attorney General of England, Semayne’s Case (1604)

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, I attended the House Judiciary Non-Civil Subcommittee hearing on HB56, Representative Kevin Tanner’s no-knock warrant bill. This legislation has been touted as a restriction on raids such as the one in Habersham County where 2 year-old Bou-Bou Phonesavanh was severely injured by a stun grenade.

Unfortunately, HB56 would actually expand law enforcement’s authority to conduct no-knock raids – because right now, no-knock warrants are specifically prohibited by Georgia statute.

A “no-knock warrant” is when a judge authorizes law enforcement to forcibly enter a home without first announcing their presence and identity. It’s easy to see how dangerous this can be, and indeed there are countless cases of both law enforcement officers and homeowners killed or injured in the chaos accompanying a forced, unannounced entry. Avoiding this predictable outcome has been a priority of the Western legal system for centuries; the “knock and announce” rule was articulated by Sir Coke in 1604:

“In all cases when the King is party, the sheriff may break the party’s house, either to arrest him, or to do other execution of the King’s process, if otherwise he cannot enter. But before he breaks it, he ought to signify the cause of his coming, and to make request to open doors…”

The U.S. and Georgia Constitutions both absolutely prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures. A forcible entry with no prior announcement of authority or identity is per se unreasonable – something well understood by generations of Georgia legislators: according to the Official Code of Georgia, no-knock warrants are illegal. OCGA 17-5-27 plainly states that when executing a search warrant, law enforcement officers are required to give verbal notice before entering a home by force.

So why are dozens, if not hundreds, of no-knock search warrants being served around the state of Georgia on a daily basis? Judicial activism. Though the legislature made no changes to the verbal notice requirement of the search warrant statute, after a 1970 ruling by the US Supreme Court, these “exceptions to the knock-and-announce rule” began to creep-in on a regular basis. Rep. Tanner said that the “clear precedent set by the courts” makes it ridiculous to think that no-knock warrants aren’t legal – but that’s a huge violation of separation of powers.

We’re seeing a lot of terrible things happen with no-knock search warrants, one of which is the trend for knock-and-announce search warrants to be served in substantially the same manner – such as the 11pm raid that killed David Hooks in Laurens County. It’s admirable that we have legislators who want to step up and address the problem. But it is imperative that we not make the problem worse in an attempt to fix it.

As well-intentioned as HB56 and SB45 are, they both specifically legalize no-knock search warrants. A concept that currently does not exist in the Georgia Code, that goes against every principle of our Founding, and even centuries of English common law, would be given the official approval of the people of Georgia. This would be a tragic step backwards for our civic freedoms.

I have talked to many law enforcement officers who insist that they need no-knock search warrants in order to protect themselves. I have talked to many others who are deeply concerned about the practice and would like to see it ended for everyone’s safety. (One woman speaking at the hearing yesterday was the mother of a police officer who said her son and his friends get carried away and need more restrictions.)

But the injuries and deaths speak for themselves – this is a dangerous practice for all parties, and should not be given further legal sanction. Our legislators need to have the vision to see beyond the immediate demands of agencies that have been flooded with cheap military equipment by the federal government, and are looking for reasons to justify its use and presence.

Of further concern are the provisions in HB56 requiring that all agencies adopt regulations regarding no-knock search warrants by September 2015. This is passing the buck – if there are procedures that need to be in place limiting search warrants, then that’s what the legislative process is for. It’s also a huge windfall for the contractors who will be able to write these regulations and sell them to local agencies, with little to no oversight. And while the reporting requirements are admirable, there is no enforcement mechanism.

The core issue here is that everyone agrees no-knock warrants are problematic: they are routinely justified by saying “it’s only a small percentage of warrants” (not true in my experience, though different jurisdictions have different setups), and even the law enforcement community is supporting restrictions.

But we KNOW they’re problematic – that’s why they’re illegal! The sponsors of HB56 want to skip the hard task of justifying the legality of the practice in the first place, and skip ahead to saying that it’s time for regulation to fix the problems. This is the perfect opportunity to talk about why we’ve gotten so far away from our actual laws in the first place.

In sum, this isn’t a matter of objecting to incremental change because it doesn’t go far enough – this is an objection to a threat to the core of our constitutional freedoms and citizens of Georgia and the United State. No-knock warrants are dangerous and antithetical to our founding principles. It’s time to reverse decades of judicial activism fueled by federal government intrusion, and end the practice entirely. At the very least, don’t make it officially legal. Please email Rep. Tanner and tell him not to legalize this dangerous, unconstitutional practice.

Sincerely,
Catherine Bernard
Attorney At-Law

PS: For more on these criminal justice reform issues, please follow my new legal defense nonprofit on Facebook, Spartacus Legal.

The Origination of SB 72 (aka “Police Dogs are Human Beings”)

Bill Simon, February 9th, 2015

Prelude

Now, just, for a moment, picture the scenario we have in this state with regards to our public school education system: We still rank somewhere in the bottom 10-percentile (46th, 47th, 48th, 49th or 50th) where we have been for, likely, at least 50 years.

Every budget year, we hear cries and lobbying for MORE money to be spent on education in the hopes that we “fix” our system so that our state’s children learn better and get smarter and are able to compete better when they grow-up, etc.

And yet, this year, 2015, we have a bill proposed and backed by 6 State Senators, who each represent a varied population of Georgia, who are attempting to write a law that gives police dogs the status of a human being. Six state senators, Ladies & Gentlemen, who are supposed to “represent” their districts. Meaning, theoretically, if one were to randomly select the average person in each district, they would likely get, at minimum, someone of equal life skills and intelligence as any one of these senators who represent their respective districts.

Let’s say that Moses of The Old Testament received The Ten Commandments from God around 1500 B.C. One of those Commandments was ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ “Murder” meaning the “unlawful killing of a human being.” So, for close to 3500 years, civilized societies have had an understanding that murder is the unlawful killing of a human being. Not my definition; this is God’s Definition of what murder is.

Section 16-5-1 of the Official Code of Georgia (currently) defines Murder; malice murder; felony murder; murder in the second degree as follows: (a) A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.”

And yet, SB 72 is literally proposing REVISED law that “A person commits the offense of murder in the second degree when such person causes the death of a police dog irrespective of malice while such police dog is in the performance of its duties.”

If we have 6 state senators who are so stupid as to propose such a law, in writing, then there is NO amount of money that can EVER be spent to “fix” our school system in this state. You cannot possibly “fix” that level of low-intelligence human being. It is fruitless, and every increased dollar spent on such an endeavor is a provable waste of taxpayer money. So, STOP wasting money on our public school system because we cannot fix stupid when stupid advances as far as these 6 state senators have advanced.

Read the rest of this entry »

The State Senate of Georgia: Overdosing on the Stupid Pills

Bill Simon, February 6th, 2015

Rumors have it that the Georgia State Senate is set to pass a bill that will turnover thousands of years of societal and legal precedent in this country (if not, perhaps, the entire world and/or universe) that will officially award “person” status to the species of animal known as the canine.

State Senator Jeff Mullis (R) is the lead sponsor on this bill, and his fellow senator sponsors include:

(2nd Sponsor) Harper, Tyler 7th (Republican)
(3rd Sponsor) Watson, Ben 1st (Republican)
(4th Sponsor) Albers, John 56th (Republican)
(5th Sponsor) Seay, Valencia 34th (Democrat)
(6th Sponsor) Jones II, Harold 22nd (Democrat)

The bill is Senate Bill 72, which specifies that anyone responsible for killing a police dog can be charged with murder. Don’t believe me? Here, you go read the online text version: http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SB/72

And, the PDF version (in case that online version magically disappears)

Here is one such example (Lines 32-34):

“A person commits the offense of murder in the second degree when such person causes the death of a police dog irrespective of malice while such police dog is in the performance of its duties.”

Do you know what the longstanding definition of “murder” is? It is the unlawful killing of a human being. Period. It is not the “killing” that constitutes a murderous act, but the unlawful killing of a human being is where “murder” is a crime.

In Georgia law, OCGA 16-5-1 defines murder as: “A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.” Human. Being.

There is already existing law that punishes people for acts taken against a police dog or a police horse that is involved in official duties. SB 72 refers to OCGA 16-11-107 that already lays-out punishment for “destroying or injuring” a police dog or horse. And, it’s already a felony. On. The. Georgia. Books.

But, these state senators (whom I think I can safely refer to them as people who have lost their freaking minds, a/k/a “whackjobs”) are of the belief that they, as legislators, should bring the same level of significance of life that a dog has to the level that the human race currently maintains.

Now, just to be clear….I love dogs. Always have. Had dogs growing-up, and had one dog that passed away in 2010. I’m not anti-dog.

And, if I still had a dog, and both Jeff Mullis and my dog were drowning, and I could only save one of them, it’d be my dog that got saved. (And, if I could save both of them, I’d go look for another dog to save…).

I love dogs. And, I’m sure police officers love their police dogs, and refer and think of them as their “working partner” and all that. But, dogs are trained by humans to be effective police tools, much like a police car, a radar-detection gun, a gun, or whatever. They are not human beings, and do not deserve human status anymore than a car driven by a police officer deserves human status.

David Hooks got mowed-down by crooked Georgia sheriff deputies executing a search warrant based on the word of a thief who had robbed Hooks two days before, and the deputies did not bother checking out anything before busting in the door, shooting Hooks….and neither they nor the GBI could find any drugs claimed by the thief to be in the house.

For the past 4 some-odd months, the DA down in Dublin has been scratching his rear-end and twiddling his thumbs on it because, well, you know, crooked DAs gotta stick together with crooked sheriffs when they demonstrate, at the very minimum, their incompetence in carrying out their duties.

State Senators, why don’t you OUTLAW the unlawful killing of human beings like David Hooks by law enforcement officers abusing them?

You can refer to the following section of the Georgia Constitution if you’d care to start passing laws that protect your constituents from the same bullcrap that David Hooks suffered and the baby in Habersham County, and the litany of abuse that Georgia “Law” Enforcement officers up and down this state inflict on people every single day:

“Article I, Section I, Paragraph XVII. Bail; fines; punishment; arrest, abuse of prisoners. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted; nor shall any person be abused in being arrested, while under arrest, or in prison.

The killing of David Hooks constitutes unconstitutional abuse. The killing of a police dog, while being an unfortunate and sorrowful event, does not constitute “abuse” under the Georgia Constitution. Nor does the dog have any enumerated Constitutional rights.

You six senators should resign, effective immediately. You’ve lost your sanity. No one can or should trust you to represent them.

And, if you don’t resign, no worries. Someone a lot smarter than you (granted, you 6 have set the bar pretty low now) will run against you, and kick your stupid, insane ass out of office for writing a law that actually gives human status to dogs. Kudos on that.

Special Report: Refugee Resettlement in Georgia

Bill Simon, November 20th, 2014

[Note: The following is a reprint from an emailed newsletter I sent back on February 20, 2014, but that article never got republished to the Political Vine website.]

“Follow the money.” — attributed to “Deep Throat,” the inside source in the Watergate scandal.

“No matter what they say it’s about, it’s always about money.” — Bill O’Neil, American Businessman

Introduction

Ever heard of “refugee resettlement?” Few people have outside of a smattering of government and political entities…and even within those categories, even fewer have ever heard of the term or understands what it means…and most importantly, what it costs. What it costs the U.S., and, what it costs the local and state (“Georgia”) taxpayer.

There will be lots of people in the legislature, along with lobbyists of the NGOs that receive beaucoup money from the government(s), and representatives of NGOs who claim that the money to resettle/relocate refugees to Georgia “…comes from the Feds and is therefore free money we don’t have to come-up with.”

There is an initial chunk of money that comes from the Feds…that lasts about 90 days….AND then, where do the refugees go for financial help? Your local pocketbook, of course.

There was a very good article about refugee resettlement in Georgia published in the Marietta Daily Journal a few days ago. It was written by Joe Newton, Chairman of Citizens for Refugee Resettlement Relief in Georgia. The whole piece is good, but I found the following the most significant as it directly relates to the burden on the local and state jurisdictions:

“In 2010 the welfare cost to Georgians was $17 million, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Counties chipped in $4 million of your money — most of which came from your property taxes. The federal government pays most of the cost for 90 days, and then Georgians absorb the welfare cost in perpetuity. Estimates show that the Georgia welfare cost is now approaching $40 million annually and rising exponentially.”

And, it’s not just hard dollars that it is costing Georgians. When “refugees” are depicted in movies and documentaries, they seem to always paint the scene as though these are people seeking a new and better life and will love their new country and their “rescuers.”

But, in fact, there is likely to be a higher percentage of them who may not be the type of person you think they are…and what ends-up happening is that they add to the law enforcement and public safety resource burden as well.
Read the rest of this entry »

PumpkinGate: The Cover-ups – Part 2

Bill Simon, October 24th, 2014

Cover-up By Dawson County Sheriff’s Office (“DCSO”) Personnel

For nearly the past two months since August 23rd, I have been engaged in filing different Open Records Requests (“ORR”) with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.

To those people who are not part of the Georgia GOP Republican establishment (who are, for the most part, good little Fascists who believe the use of police is perfectly justified in destroying people you perceive to be political threats and enemies), several odd things occurred in the arrest of Nydia Tisdale.

In no particular order of importance, the first thing to discuss is the confiscation of her video-camera. She, along with the ENTIRE “public” was invited to a “public event.” What’s the difference between someone filming anything happening in a “public event” and anyone attending the event?

Here’s the copy of the Facebook invitation to this event to make sure we don’t forget that it was an open invitation by the Deal Campaign for Governor: Facebook Event Announcement.

So, Clint Bearden kicks off the rally on August 23rd, and while looking straight at Nydia’s camera, proceeds to introduce people to the event, and where the restrooms are, etc. (you see this transpire in Tisdale’s recording of the event).

Everyone should be wondering why, exactly, Nydia Tisdale’s video camera (her privately-owned property) was confiscated by Tony Wooten, the arresting officer, and not returned for 6 days?

In one of the Dawson County newspapers, I read a blurb that Sheriff Billy Carlisle claimed that the DCSO had obtained a search warrant to “legally” search the video camera. What right did they have to confiscate the video-camera in the first place? Anyone interested in the concept of “private property” should have been concerned with that confiscation (unless you are one of those people who conclude that everyone arrested should immediately be forfeited all their rights…e.g., if your name is Jon Richards, Seth Weathers, et al. in Ga. GOP politics).

So, I filed an ORR for a copy of this “search warrant” because I want to know the legal basis the DCSO had to confiscate and “search” the video-camera, and I wanted to know which Judge signed the warrant. This is the PDF response I received.

Recall that the premise of Nydia’s ejection was that (according to Bearden) they didn’t want anyone recording the event, and Bearden’s claim is that he and Wooten talked to Nydia and “politely” (in the words of Bearden and Johnny Burt, as written in newspapers) asked her to put down the camera and stop recording.

But, as we know from several sources, there were other recordings of the event. Brian Pritchard of FetchYourNews.com was there recording the event via an audio recorder. He was not told to stop recording. No one else was either.

If Bearden had been telling the truth about “Well, we were trying to make sure no Democrat trackers were there recording,” he would have made an announcement at the beginning that “You are not allowed to record this event, everyone please turn-off your cameras.” No such statement was ever made.

Seems to me (as it will seem to most juries) that singling-out one person in a roomful of people recording will not meet the burden of one person engaged in “criminal trespass” while the others recording the event didn’t meet that burden.

This story by Jim Galloway of the AJC describes the issue and the differences between the two recordings made at the event (Brian Pritchard’s and Nydia Tisdale’s). There are six screams from Nydia Tisdale in the Pritchard recording that were mysteriously missing from Nydia Tisdale’s camera after she got it back from Sheriff Carlisle.

Six screams she uttered in the course of experiencing Deputy Captain Tony Wooten physically assault and engage in what may have been froetteurism while Tisdale is helplessly pinned and bent over the counter in the barn.

That missing footage from Tisdale’s recording points to evidence tampering by one or more persons with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.

Most recently, the story leaking-out from several sources in Dawson County is that Tisdale’s video record was deliberately tampered with by DCSO personnel because they figured that District Attorney Lee Darragh could get it ruled to be inadmissable in court…thus denying Nydia Tisdale any semblance of a fair trial in Dawson County.

One wonders if this plot was dreamed-up entirely by DCSO personnel all on their own, or if Darragh suggested it to them, or if Bearden (who works for David Ralston, who is an experienced criminal defense attorney) may have suggested it, or who “dreamed” it up.

Makes one ALSO wonder how many times in the past has the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office engaged in evidence tampering to wrongly convict someone charged in the Dawson County jurisdiction?

But, evidence tampering is only part of the cover-up by the DCSO. To understand the rest, you need to understand what these three terms mean with regards to the official status of whether Tony Wooten was actually qualified to be making the arrest in the manner in which he made it:

1) On-duty
2) Off-duty
3) Extra-duty

In every single law enforcement department in this state, an employed law enforcement officer (“LEO”) is either On-Duty, Off-Duty, or on Extra-Duty (these are standard terms).

On-duty means the officer is on official duty, being paid with taxpayer dollars in his/her assigned role as an official LEO, acting on behalf of the public. That is, driving on public roads, monitoring public property, responding to emergency calls, etc., assigned by his/her supervisor.

Off-duty means exactly what you think it means.

Extra-duty, for personnel of the DCSO, is defined in one of their policy manuals, a PDF copy available here (obtained via ORR to DCSO).

Under Section E of this DCSO policy manual, Paragraph 2, is this definition of “Extra-Duty”:

“[A]ny employment that is conditioned on the actual or potential use of law enforcement powers by the off-duty employee.”

I filed an ORR to discover what the Duty Roster was for all personnel with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office on August 23rd, 2014.

This is the email verbiage I received from Amanda Martin, Open Records Act Officer, describing the detailed work the human resource people did to compile this information.

This is the Excel spreadsheet she emailed me attached to that email.

For purposes of ease of you folks examining this information, I opened the Excel file, gridded the cells, and printed a PDF version of it, available here. But, if you so choose, feel free to download the Excel file as well.

As you can plainly see, Ladies & Gentlemen, the status of Captain Tony Wooten (shown as the 7th name from the top), as per the official Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Human Resource Records for the DCSO on Saturday, August 23rd, is that he was on “Extra-Duty.”

What does that mean? Well, while I will go thru all the legal detail shortly, in summary, it means Wooten, Carlisle, and maybe one or more other people in the DCSO are in deep sh*t because the DCSO’s own written policies on making arrests were not followed for Tisdale’s arrest. Not only were written policies broken, OCGA law was broken as well.

In that aforementioned Policy Manual for Off-Duty & Extra-Duty personnel, under Section H, this section specifically stipulates the conditions and procedures to follow in the event of an incident that an Extra-Duty LEO must follow:

“H. HANDLING OF INCIDENTS:

1. Whether employed in a regular off-duty/extra-duty position, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office sworn and certified employees shall respond to and take appropriate action when there is reasonable belief that the life or safety of another is threatened or when it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

2. When the incident is not of a serious nature as described above, requires the employee to leave the scene of the outside employment, or when a vehicle accident occurs, the officer will request that an on-duty unit be dispatched to the scene to take charge of the incident.

3. The on-duty officer who responds to the incident scene will then be responsible for conducting a thorough investigation and will assume responsibility for completing all necessary reports.

5. All personnel engaged in off-duty employment are subject to call-out in case of emergency, and may be expected to leave his/her regular or extra-duty employment in such situations.”

Please note #1: “Whether employed in a regular off-duty/extra-duty position, Dawson County Sheriff’s Office sworn and certified employees shall respond to and take appropriate action when there is reasonable belief that the life or safety of another is threatened or when it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Was Nydia Tisdale, while seated and filming speakers, engaged in either a) threatening the life or safety of another, and/or b) about to commit a ‘forcible felony?’

Well, while Wooten fabricated the Offense on the Incident Report as “OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS BY THREATS OR VIOLENCE-F”, it is clear in the Tisdale video, as well as other pictures, AND witnesses who were there (those, at least, not intending to commit perjury on the witness stand), that there was no violent act, nor threat of a violent act by Tisdale.

So, since there was no threat to anyone’s safety or life at the time of Tisdale’s arrest, that means Wooten violated #1 of this Section H. In so doing, he also violated Paragraph 2, which stipulated: “2. When the incident is not of a serious nature as described above, requires the employee to leave the scene of the outside employment, or when a vehicle accident occurs, the officer will request that an on-duty unit be dispatched to the scene to take charge of the incident.”

Wooten did not call any on-duty unit before grabbing, mauling, and dragging Nydia Tisdale out of the area. He effected a physical assault all by himself, never told Tisdale she was being arrested, and never bothered to tell her his name.

So, along with violating #1 and #2 of Section H, Wooten also violated #3 because he filled-out the Incident Report, and #3 stipulates the following: “3. The on-duty officer who responds to the incident scene will then be responsible for conducting a thorough investigation and will assume responsibility for completing all necessary reports.”

Again, Wooten was NOT “on-duty” but was on Extra-Duty.

As a side note here, since Wooten falsely claimed Tisdale was involved in “threatening violence”, that falls under a violation of OCGA 16-10-20; knowingly and willfully making a false, fictitious and fraudulent statement. But, that’s not the only OCGA law Wooten violated.

Two other ORRs I made to DCSO involved the request for any documentation of an official request by Wooten that would allow him to BE at the event on Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in the capacity of being an Extra-Duty LEO on the premises. One of my many helpers in my research told me that every LE department had to have a written procedure for how LEOs could be used by private citizens for security, traffic-directing, etc., and that usually there was a requirement for a specific form to be filled-out in advance of the event to get permission.

This is the documentation of my first ORR related to me trying to get a copy of this type of document (read from the bottom email first) and the DCSO response to the first time I asked the question.

Then, when I reviewed that Policy Manual for Off/Extra Duty personnel, I discovered Section F, Application Procedures for any LEO requesting permission for engaging in an Extra-Duty assignment:

“1. GENERAL: Any employee desiring to engage in extra-duty or regular off-duty employment must submit the Off-Duty/Extra-Duty Employment Request to his/her immediate supervisor, through the chain-of-command, to the Division Commander for approval. A copy of the Off-Duty/Extra-duty Employment Request is attached to this SOP as ‘ANNEX A’.”

For his Extra-Duty status to work the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm event, Wooten, according to DCSO written policies, had to fill-out some ‘Annex A Form’ and get it approved. So, I sent another ORR specifically using the term “Annex A Form” to see if that was on record with DCSO, and this is their response again, stating that no such form that Wooten filled-out existed in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.

Now, is it just a “policy issue” regarding Wooten’s failure to get written permission to engage in Extra-Duty? No, it is not, actually. There is a specific OCGA law that applies. OCGA 16-10-3 applies to any LEO desiring to work off-duty or on extra-duty. Specifically, as it applies to this matter of Tony Wooten’s presence at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, this is the section that was not adhered to:

OCGA 16-10-3(c)(1): “From being employed by private persons, firms, or corporations during his off-duty hours when such employment is approved in writing by the chief or head, or his duly designated agent, of the law enforcement agency by which such law enforcement officer is employed;”

So, no document currently exists, nor did one get created before the August 23rd event. But, I can imagine Sheriff Carlisle, Tony Wooten and whoever else at the DCSO fabricating a “document we just found!”…then, back-date it, back-sign it, get a notary public to back-notarize it, and continue the cover-up of Wooten’s actions (you know, when you’re already caught violating written policies, fabricating charges in writing against someone in violation of Georgia criminal statutes, engaging in deliberate evidence tampering, and conspiring with other people in violation of Georgia RICO laws, what’s another fabrication to add to the cover-up, right?).

So, one might wonder how it came to be that Wooten did find himself on the property? How does one get an LEO to come and act as security for an event held on private property?

So, another ORR was filed whereby I received this response.

Please take note of the simply fascinating revelation disclosed in the last paragraph that “…the text message is part of the internal investigation and will fall under 50-18-72(a)(8). This information will be available for release after the internal investigation is closed by our office.”

Why is this so fascinating to me? Well, a) that, apparently, someone I listed in my ORR did communicate directly to Tony Wooten via text messages to get him to attend the event on August 23rd, and b) that there is still an internal investigation going on as of October 6th.

Here’s the problem I have with “b”: According to this article in the
DawsonAdvertiser.com
(which has an amazing display of Carlisle’s deep-seated concern for poor Tony Wooten and whether Wooten violated any department policy or procedures), the story makes reference to the fact that the “internal investigation” was turned around in 48 hours, and Wooten was “cleared” by Major Ray Goodie.

And yet, this ORR response I received from Amanda Martin states that as of October 6th, there is still an ongoing internal investigation.

I have to wonder if Major Ray Goodie actually did, himself, complete a full investigation into whether Tony Wooten’s activities broke department policies, and “cleared Wooten” of any wrongdoing, or did Carlisle just put on an act and no investigation was actually performed on Tony Wooten’s acts?

Because if Goodie did do an investigation and “cleared Wooten,” then Goodie also has significant involvement in the cover-up of Wooten’s violations of department policies, procedures, and state law.

Again, just look at the fact that the DCSO Human Resource Department stipulated that Tony Wooten was on Extra Duty, and the existence of Section H’s directives when it comes to LEO Off-Duty/Extra-Duty Employment in their G335-D Policy Manual (signed, by the way, by Sheriff Billy Carlisle). One does not need to “interview witnesses” to determine Wooten was in violation of those policies, along with state law.

BUT, since Carlisle brought it up, one wonders who those “three or four eyewitnesses” were that Carlisle claims he spoke to as published by this DawsonAdvertiser.com article: “Three or four eyewitnesses were interviewed at separate times, according to Carlisle.”

Which esteemed members of the crowd who attended the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm event on August 23rd provided “eyewitness accounts” to Carlisle? And, why doesn’t Sheriff Carlisle know, exactly, whether it was “three” or whether it was “four” witnesses?”

Now, I know what folks like Sheriff Carlisle and Tony Wooten (and, whoever else is involved in the cover-up at DCSO, in coordination with any “eyewitnesses” dumb enough to continue lying in this endeavor) are probably going to do as a result of this publication: Come-up with explanations that neutralize my allegations.

So, in anticipation of those acts, let’s examine possible claims by Sheriff Carlisle:

Excuse #1: “My own department’s Human Resources Department is wrong. Captain Tony Wooten was officially On-Duty on that Saturday.”

Rebuttal: If so, then why was Captain Tony Wooten, who was wearing a police radio with handset, unable to summon help on his own, and directed someone on the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm to call 911?

Here is a photo clearly showing Wooten (shown as the 3rd individual you see, with Clint Bearden being first, Richard Woods is speaking in the foreground as the 2nd person you see) wearing a radio on his left-side with a cord going up and across his chest where the handset is clipped to his shirt placket:
http://www.politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/Bearden-RWoods-Wooten.jpg

I filed an ORR to obtain a copy of the audio-recording of the 911-call. While that was declined, upon my modifying the request, what I did obtain was a 6-page PDF that was a transcription of the 911-call made from Burt’s Pumpkin Farm. You can read that here.

Now, while what was redacted included the identification of the specific person making the call, there is enough interesting information that was not redacted to get a clue as to what the 911-caller claimed.

First thing that struck me was on Page 1, down towards the bottom, in the Remarks section: “FML ADVISING THERE IS A FEMALE ON THE SCENE THAT BEGAN FILMING AND SHE WAS ASKED TO LEAVE BY THE OWNERS ON SCENE. SHE STARTED RAISING CAIN…FML ADVISING THAT TONY WOOTEN IS ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE AND TO GET PPL THERE NOW”.

Yeah, umm…that “FML” who made the 911 call is a freaking liar as it is clear on Tisdale’s video that she was holding a video-camera, and not uttering one sound, much less “RAISING CAIN” before Wooten grabbed her (but, hey, you folks in Dawson County just keep on lying as often as you folks do).

I’m guessing that in Dawson County, as long as you “good Christian folks” have signs like the one noted below seen on the wall inside the Burt’s Pumpkin Farm barn, you can commit any sin you want to, right? Lie, cheat, steal, molest pumpkins, have intercourse with farm animals and bend women over a counter while assaulting them…it’s all “okay” as long as you have a sign on the wall that is a cite from the Bible, right? Like this one seen over Wooten’s right shoulder: http://www.politicalvine.com/2014/dawsoncounty/Wooten-Christ3.jpg” alt=”Wooten-Christ3.jpg

But, of course, the real issue is why couldn’t Tony Wooten handle a 120-lb woman of which he had one of her arms yanked behind her back while she was shoved against the counter by his body being pressed-up against her rear-end?

A lot of the 911-transcript is “police radio code” that I have no idea how to interpret as is. However, a friend of PV used to work in LE some years ago, and he translated it into “English” as best he could on the codes he recognized. Feel free to browse that here.

From this translation, we have this interpretation: TWO separate, on-duty DCSO officers in separate patrol cars were dispatched at break-neck speed to race to a pumpkin farm because they thought poor, wittle Tony Wooten was in serious trouble or risk of loss of life (from a 120-lb woman he had already had firm control of).

So, again, if he was “on-duty,” then there was no need for a 911-call as Wooten had a police radio attached to his hip. (BUT, I’m certain Sheriff Carlisle will come-up with something to continue the cover-up and multiple lies.)

Excuse #2: “Captain Tony Wooten was not actually on the premises acting as a security guard. He was off-duty, and happened to be driving by the farm, when his sharp hearing (insert Six Million Dollar Man sound-effect here) picked-up a statement uttered by Clint Bearden about a woman illegally filming his candidates and he wished aloud that he had a cop around to eject her. Wooten yanked his steering wheel around and raced to the area of the farm in which the trouble was occurring, bounded over the giant pumpkins in one tremendous leap (again, insert Six Million Dollar Man sound effect here), where he was quickly briefed on the problem and directed by Johnny Burt to remove her.”

Rebuttal: Okay…you got me there. Or, do you? See, there are a few of these photos that show Wooten on the premises before the rally kick-off at 3:30 PM that day. So, you know, Sheriff Carlisle, if you have a plausible explanation for why Mr. Wooten can be seen here, in these various photos, before the event, ON private property (as opposed to “public property”), then, by all means, do share with the Dawson News & Advertiser (or any other news outlet who may ask you) what that explanation is:

Wooten Photo 1:

Wooten Photo 2:

Sheriff Carlisle, if you would like to declare that Wooten was “On-Duty,” then the only way that would work, legally, is that Burt’s Pumpkin Farm would have to be considered to be “public property” for this event (after all, it was, promoted as “Open To Public”). Want to go that route? Let us know.

In Conclusion

Quite the legal conundrum here in Dawson County with regards to the unethical and illegal actions taken by Captain Tony Wooten, Sheriff Billy Carlisle, the Burts, various and sundry “eyewitnesses”, et al. in the assault and arrest of Nydia Tisdale. One wonders WHO would be qualified to investigate the DCSO?

Certainly not the Sheriff’s internal investigation staff. At best, Sheriff Billy Carlisle, after being Dawson County Sheriff for the past 15 years or so, is clueless as to his own department’s policies and the law with regard to extra-duty personnel. At worst, he is the mastermind of the entire cover-up by DCSO.

The DA of Dawson County? Nahhh…because sources say that District Attorney Lee Darragh and Captain Tony Wooten are BFFs (Best Friends Forever). Dawson County has a population of approximately 22,000. Everyone is everyone else’s mother, father, sister, brother, first cousin, etc…no one in Dawson County will do one damn thing to investigate these acts.

Judge Jason Deal of Hall County could request a GBI investigation…(okay, my gut nearly split open on that thought…).

Perhaps Attorney General Sam Olens could recognize a pretty serious breach of Georgia law, and direct the GBI to investigate. Chances are, though, that because Sheriff Carlisle’s name appeared on a list of sheriff endorsers of Olens’ reelection that he will opt to protect Carlisle rather than initiate a GBI investigation on Carlisle and his office.

So, golly…maybe U.S. Attorney Sally Yates and her FBI task force might find enough things out of whack in this Republican stronghold of Dawson County to think there might be enough smoke to uncover the fire and help rectify this situation of a slew of people, from folks in the Georgia Republican Party (as described in Part 1 of these Cover-up stories), to members of law enforcement in the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, who are ALL engaged in the deliberate denial of Nydia Tisdale’s rights to NOT be lied about, and NOT have her name smeared all over this state, and NOT be falsely accused, and NOT be falsely imprisoned, and NOT be facing “felony charges” from a bunch of liars.

Maybe…just maybe…someone with integrity will bring justice to this situation in Georgia.

Today's Deep Thought

Even though he was an enemy of mine, I had to admit that what he had accomplished was a brilliant piece of strategy. First, he punched me, then he kicked me, then he punched me again.



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