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August 28th 2016 newsletter
 
 
Oklahoma Civil Asset Forfeiture still Generating Bad Press for the State
 
 
Fallin bowed to public pressure in June and halted the controversial ERAD readers that are capable of stealing information and even cash  from your debit and credit cards.  At least until OHP formulated a policy for using the legalized theft.   But others in the state including Democratic Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater refused to listen to the public and vowed to continue using the readers.
 
 
Prater has set up his own little personal army called COMIT, Central Oklahoma Metro Interdiction Team, and has been using the ERAD readers nonstop since January and has no plans on stopping.  Prater claims the devices are legitimate law enforcement tools and claims that money has been seized from cards in a small percentage of the cases and that it helps stop identity theft. 
 
 
The story goes on to show how Oklahoma has been plagued with illegally seized funds in the past and how much of a danger to privacy and property is created when law enforcement can take your cash, bank accounts, and property without even filing charges.
 
 
Shot and Killed for Being Deaf/Mute
 
 
A North Carolina trooper shot and killed a 29 year old deaf/mute man after a brief very low speed car chase.  The report states that the man was speeding on an interstate and exited the interstate near his home before pulling over to the side of the road at his home.  Eyewitnesses claim that Daniel Harris was shot and killed almost immediately after getting out of the car and that his attempt to communicate using sign language was the reason for the shooting.
 
 
A neighbor eyewitness said ”They should've deescalated and been trained to realize that this is an entirely different situation, you're pulling someone over who is deaf, they are handicapped. To me, what happened is totally unacceptable."
 
 
The trooper is on paid leave while the State Bureau of Investigation investigates.
 
 
Friends and family members say the deaf/mute man was terrified of police after earlier encounters.  I could see this happening as without a siren being heard many of us might not look back in the rear view mirror to see a cop following us.  Or perhaps the guy did and knowing he wouldn’t understand the police officer screaming orders at him he might have wanted a more public place to pull over.  Regardless, the penalty for waiting to pull over for a safe place isn’t likely summary execution in the state of North Carolina.  It was reported that both cars were damaged and that Harris’s car was spun out of control, perhaps from the trooper using his car to batter Harris’s car and that after exiting the trooper was screaming at Harris to stop and shot him when he didn’t.
 
 
One can imagine a panicked and fearful officer thinking the worst and a panicked and fearful deaf/mute suddenly finding himself under attack when the squad car hit him and spun his car around.  Then the sign language was interpreted as threatening gestures and the lack of compliance terrified the cop even more till he simply shot the unarmed man dead.
 
 
It all comes back to getting back to valuing human lives as much as the life of a public employee.  Some people probably need shooting but that is up to the justice system to decide, not a coward that is enraged that a deaf/mute man won’t obey his commands.   Until the day comes that police training and police administrators hold the bad apples accountable or until the day comes that the crazies and gang members start gunning down cops to retaliate I fear we won’t see this problem fixed.  God help us all if the gang members decide to take care of business.  Far better to proactively set policies for de escalation or backing off and waiting for backup.
 
 
 
Racist!
 
…..screamed Hillary Clinton last week as she attempted to tie Donald Trump to the KKK and white supremacists in an add.  Using Trump’s popular views on immigration she attempted to paint him as a bigot and a racist.  Another attack claimed that Trump might respond to a negative social media post with a cruise missile.     They then coined a new term, “alt right” and said it was racists in suits basically, and claim that Trump has a dog whistle to summon them….  The ad shows various KKK and white supremacists endorsing Trump along with dire warnings of what Trump might do once in office.
 
 
Of course there is former Senator Robert Byrd, a renowned racist and KKK organizer/leader who was eulogized by Clinton in 2010 and called “her friend and mentor”.   Byrd got his start in politics by organizing a KKK chapter and was elected the leader.  Byrd also filibustered the Civil Rights Act for a record amount of time. 
 
 
In other interesting presidential campaign news a former Democratic strategist dumps Hillary and supports Trump.    A former Bernie Sanders supporter, the former Democrat said there are hundreds of thousands of Democrats now supporting Trump and says his motivation is that his small town once had 25 local manufactures but is now down to one due to trade imbalances.
 
 
And the national news media continued to destroy their credibility when two CNN reporters were caught faking a satellite interview despite being about six parking spots from each other.