When a person is hired and funded by public money, they should consider themselves public property, in essence public servants:
Here’s a short Table of Contents:
- MISINFORMATION AND PROJECT MOCKINGBIRD
- FIRST AMENDMENT AUDIT
- INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE AFFIRM FIRST AMENDMENT AUDIT’S PURPOSE
- CONNECTION BETWEEN FIRST AMENDMENT AUDITORS, PROPERTY, BILL OF RIGHTS AND SHOCKING THE CONSCIENCE OF THE PUBLIC AND OFFICERS
- BEING ALARMED, ANXIOUS, FEARFUL AND AFRAID DOESN’T EXCEED RIGHTS
- PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE
- STOICISM SKILLS CREATE THICK SKIN, AND ACHIEVE ANTI-FRAGILITY
- CONTEMPT OF COP
- CONCLUSION – AMERICANS NEED TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST TYRANTS
Property is a critical piece in maintaining our individual and collective freedoms in America. We have gone into several articles on the importance of property rights and how laws should protect those rights in upholding and defending them.
In the first piece on property rights and how they are essential to our liberty, we:
“established the definition of property, and that government was instituted to protect the triad (life, liberty and property). If the trio is not protected and is thus violated, justice is perverted, and our freedom deteriorates eventually into enslavement and captivity. Either we are advancing Liberty or regressing to allow harm to come on the present generation and generations to come in form of “safety” by passing laws that violate the triad.” (1)
As a former police officer:
I responded to an unknown number of calls of service regarding infringements on property rights. It ranged from criminal mischief, thefts, frauds, and trespassing just to mention the most basic property crimes. The outcomes of course varied, from arrests, to warnings, to forwarding the information onto the city or county attorneys, and so forth. But one thing I found to be beneficial to myself, the people involved, and the community at large, was to empower the individuals by educating them regarding property rights involved in the matter. Remarkably, I found that this helped de-escalate things and that people could solve their own problems in the future.” (2)
I learned very quickly, it:
“was fundamental to determine who owned the property. Once the investigation determined the rightful owner of the object in question, the analyzing started to branch out from there to ascertain the act and intention of the actors and determine if a property infringement had occurred and what the next step would be in the inquiry.” (2)
At the time, my department and supervisors understood this and held the officers accountable by correcting and training us on the concept of property rights.
MISINFORMATION AND PROJECT MOCKINGBIRD
With my connections and background, I desire to see the law enforcement community succeed for my “brothers-in-arms” along with them honoring and upholding their Oath to the Constitution and Bill of Rights (Bill of Restrictions) to protect and defend our freedoms.
As a police officer and now as a civilian, my insights, old and new, give me different perspectives and paradigms. I view police officers as the first and last line in defense for our God given rights contained in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. If police officers don’t understand the Constitution, then how can they protect and defend We the People from “domestic enemies”, when they are ignorant, misinformed or disinformed:
“Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information–misplace, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information–information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. . . And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?”— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
One would need to investigate this a little further by researching Project Mockingbird.
As a police officer (and Sheriffs Deputies), an Oath is taken to Protect and Defend the Constitution and the Rights of all Americans and the community in which the officers patrol and reside.
FIRST AMENDMENT AUDIT
The last couple of years, I discovered a new innovation and initiative in being proactive in claiming, using and defending those God given rights in restricting government from infringing of “instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power” rather than “by violent and sudden usurpations” of our Bill of Rights or better termed, Bill of Restrictions on what government can and can’t do.4
This action, push and inventiveness comes in the form of what is referred to as First Amendment Audits. One of the first auditors I came across was Long Island Audit, ran by Sean-Paul Reyes. It has been spun and touted in the disinformation campaign in the written and verbal media as being negative, in bad taste and even violent:5*Accusations that auditors are engaged in intimidation, terrorism, and/or are members of the sovereign citizen movement:
*Critics argue that audits are often confrontational in nature, as auditors often refuse to self-identify or explain their activities
*Auditors typically travel to places considered public property, such as sidewalks or public right-of-ways, or places open to the public, such as post offices, police stations, public libraries or other government buildings, and visibly and openly photograph and record buildings and persons in their view
*Frequently, local law enforcement is called and the auditor is sometimes reported as a suspicious person and are often also identified as having been on private property
*Some officers will approach the auditors and request his or her identification and an explanation of their conduct
*Auditors refusing to identify sometimes results in officers arresting auditors for obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, or other potential or perceived crimeshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_audits
As I use empathy, I can understand where the officers might feel annoyed, agitated, disrespected and even at times angry. As an officer, I felt those same feelings as well after being yelled at, spit on, verbally accosted and physically assaulted. As supporters by way of friends, and family members, we can feel the same sentiments as we want to go after those who hurt those we love. These feelings of negativity of reprisal, retribution, and revenge slowly deteriorate our sense of justice and morality over time and generations.
“When we feel overly stressed, we can become more prone to anger, and in this state, both anger and stress can become more difficult to manage. When the fight or flight response is triggered and we are physiologically aroused as a result, we may find ourselves more easily angered. Here are some reasons for this:
When stressed, we may more often perceive a situation as threatening, and this can trigger anger more easily.
When the fight or flight response is triggered, we may not be thinking as clearly or rationally, which can leave us feeling less capable of coping.
When physiologically aroused by the body’s stress response, emotions can escalate more quickly, which can lead to a quick temper.
Factors that contribute to stress, like threats to social standing, emotional wellbeing, or just too many demands, can also lead to anger.
Anger and stress can feed off of each other, where we may become more easily angered when stressed, and poor reactions to anger can create more stress.” (Great description of the Arbinger Institute term of collusion)
“It all points to the promotion of the idea that there should be a right not to be offended. But in my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended. The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness – and the other represents oppression”Rowan Atkinson
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE AFFIRM FIRST AMENDMENT AUDITS PURPOSE
The First Amendment Audit’s is a national phenomenon, happening with more and more independent auditors taking action in the different communities in the United States. “Such events have prompted police officials to release information on the proper methods of handling such an activity.”5 The International Association of Chiefs of Police sponsored a document that “states that the use of a recording device alone is not grounds for arrest, unless other laws are violated.” 5 7
There is no reason for consternation, alarm or panic over the actions of filming that seems abnormal to the echo-chambers of the police community. It is not dangerous or against the law, and within Americans Constitutional rights.
The IACP affirms what the First Amendment Auditors are trying to accomplish by claiming, using and defending their rights as a human beings and as Americans. This action can feel abrupt, crude, blunt, rough and uncivil at times, especially to the police officers as they are where “the rubber meets the road“. They are the hinge and pivot points of judging between good or bad laws as the enforcement hand of the legislatures ( Property Rights: How laws affect Life, Liberty and Property (part 2)). They need to know now more than ever on if the law has been “perverted” and is violating Life, Liberty and Property, in essence the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.”Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams
Instead of getting offended, annoyed and outraged. Maybe we ought to consider and realize what the auditors are accomplishing in reclaiming our, American rights, by defending and applying them. Maybe we could recognize, acknowledge and appreciate what they are doing, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their tactics. The officer’s shouldn’t get offended, but value the insight and foresight the auditors are actually generating to assure and conserve the rights of the officers children and grandchildren and insuring freedom and liberty for future generations. To recover and restore our liberties can feel and look like a challenge, or blatantly aggressive or provocative, which can cause tension, strain and pressure.
“The rights exercised in a typical audit are freedom of speech and freedom of press in the First Amendment, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures in the Fourth Amendment, and the right to remain silent in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”5
“You can find anyone that will tell you what you want to hear, but the only one worth valuing is the one that tells you what you need to learn.”Shannon L. Alder
“An auditor selects a public facility and then films the entire encounter with staff and customers alike.”
“If no confrontation or attempt to stop the filming occurs, then the facility passes the audit; if an employee attempts to stop a filming event, it fails the audit.” (5)
The aim of the auditors is to shock the officers and public employees conscience. Challenging the model, pattern and “norm”, by outside-of-the-box performance and handiwork for public servants to see past their own emotions, and opinions to spot the error of their shortsighted thinking to detect, notice and identify the bigger picture of what freedom and liberty is all about and it starts with the First Amendment, freedom of speech.
“Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”Neil Gaiman
“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”Oscar Wilde
“In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”Jordan B. Peterson
Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, founder of analytical psychology said:
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the averae conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”
CONNECTION BETWEEN FIRST AMENDMENT AUDITORS, PROPERTY, BILL OF RIGHTS AND SHOCKING THE CONSCIENCE OF THE PUBLIC AND OFFICERS
In essence, if government officials who work at public facilities, understood the difference between public and private property along with constitutional rights, they pass “the audit” and the opposite is true as they call the police based on having their feelings hurt and being cut to the quick. We have become to soft, impulsive, angry, untrusting and ignorant as a society.
BEING ALARMED, ANXIOUS, FEARFUL AND AFRAID DOESN’T EXCEED RIGHTS
The auditors have been accused of escalation from intimidating to terrorist in their tactics in the disinformation war going on with Americans:
“Auditing can be controversial due to the confrontational tactics of some auditors, which has been criticized as intimidation or harassment.”
“While filming in public is legal, such activity may cause some people to feel alarmed.”5
“In America, everyone is entitled to an opinion . . . . It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions . . . ” — Neil PostmanNeil postman
Emotions are not facts and will cause many issues to muddy and cloud our judgement and the truth:
- A narrow mindset
- Jumping to conclusions
- Attention bias
- Mood-congruent memory
- Emotional contagion
- Background moods
- An urge to blame
- Time perception
- Projection bias
“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.” ― Douglas AdamsDouglas Adams
Emotions, feelings and opinions are not rights!
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”Harlan Ellison
PLAIN VIEW DOCTRINE
“Some auditors cite independent research into relevant laws, pointing out that they are currently being recorded by cameras in the building, or by stating that there is no expectation of privacy in public.”5
In reality, there are no expectations of privacy for the private citizen in public. Government (police agencies) use the “plain view doctrine“. It is a rule of criminal procedure which allows an officer to seize evidence without a warrant while they have legal standing in a public and/or private property. If they view evidence of a crime, they are allowed to seize it without a warrant, as it is an exception to the Fourth Amendment.
Government is restricted by the Bill of Rights. Private citizens have to adhere to private property constraints, but when it comes to public property, first amendment auditors can film where the populace is able to congregate and observe or view with their eyes. Filming is nothing more than an extension of the eyes. There are restrictive places that society are not allowed to go in public buildings, but they have to show an expectation of privacy (i.e., drapes, curtains, blinds, and locked doors in the interior buildings or fenced off areas on the exterior property in parking lots). The police should know this, but seems to get foggy, closed-minded, possessive and territorial in a perceived power struggle with auditors. Thinking of us vs them, not realizing other than being annoying and making the police officers job burdensome, laborious, and strenuous in the short-term and temporarily, but protecting the officers, public employees and We the People and all of our children and grandchildren’s freedom and liberty in focus for the long-term.
“Some auditors will purposefully engage in argumentative, harassing or outright aggressive behavior in order to solicit a reaction from government employees, especially law enforcement.”
“A person who holds strong convictions might appear inflexible, impolite, or exceptionally obtuse, when they are merely direct.”Kilroy J. Oldster
It’s not against the law to be disrespectful, rude or impolite especially to government and public employees. It might not look or sound well mannered or even nice, but again, public employees are public servants.
STOICISM SKILLS CREATE THICK SKIN, AND ACHIEVE ANTI-FRAGILITY
We are human beings and shouldn’t be verbally berated, insulted, and reviled, including police officers, but unfortunately it happens. When somebody mistreats, snubs or disrespects a government employee, they (society) could do better and not get upset. The public and police could be more stoic, “a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.” It could be part of the skill set, officers could learn to put in their tool belt, along with Verbal Judo.
“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only wen you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.”Epictetus
“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation.”Epictetus
“Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed. If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.”Epictetus
As we can see, to interpret and be offended by other people’s actions is a choice public employees and people in general do to themselves.
“Such tactics often lead to a physical altercation or arrest, which can increase the popularity of a video ad in turn generate more income for the auditor.”
CONTEMPT OF COP
When I watch first amendment audits and additional police contacts, my appraisal and evaluation of most of the incidents are how emotionally charged, heated and sensitive officers and public employees get by having their authority, pride and ego questioned, leading to “contempt of cop” charges. It happens when an officer does not like what a subject says, does or how they say it, there are plenty they can be arrested for: disorderly conduct, interference with an officer, failure to comply and resisting arrest. These charges usually have the image and mask of contempt of cop. Teaching and training officers and public employees to be more stoic, would go a long way to do away with most of the hastily, frantic and impulsive arrests due to being offended, annoyed, provoked and/or insulted.
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”Benjamin Franklin
- “Legality of recording in public was first clearly established in the United States following the case of Glik v. Cunniffe, which confirmed that restricting a person’s right to film in public would violate their First and Fourth amendment rights.”
- “As the 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals explained in ACLU v. Alvarez, “[t]he act of making an audio or audiovisual recording is necessarily included within the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the right to disseminate the resulting recording. The right to publish or broadcast an audio or audiovisual recording would be insecure, or largely ineffective, if the antecedent act of making the recording is wholly unprotected.””
- “The legality of the auditors’ actions beyond mere filming are frequently subject to debate. As long as the auditor remains in a public place where they are legally allowed to be, they have the right to record anything in plain view, subject to time, place, and manner restrictions.”
CONCLUSION – AMERICANS NEED TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST TYRANTS
We The People and our public servants, who are the gatekeepers to our freedoms must see past the veneer, mask and cover of their feelings and be able to articulate between good and bad laws. Police officers can’t enforce opinions or policies that go against the Constitution of the United States, the State of Utah along with their Oath of Office. We need officers of character and integrity, who obey their own Oaths of office even if they are going up against their own elected officials (Public Stands up to Tyranny in St. George City, Utah.)
We need officers who are educated in the Constitution to lead the way to support the auditors mission and purpose and tell elected officials and public employees who are nervous, hysterical and heated, who want their subjective opinions and emotions by way of verbal orders or policies; officers need to say “no”, refuse to comply with these unconstitutional laws, opinions and emotions. We need the police on the side of We the People.
We must all stand up against Tyrants:
“Tyranny can be found in any policy, regulation, law, or action designed by those in a position of power to disenfranchise and violate the rights of the citizenry directly . . .”
It is not for the elected officials to public comments, which is a form of free speech, or to order the police to take signs away in a public meeting. Another form of free speech.
“[Our Constitution] is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” — Patrick Henry
Again, we can see how the mayor has evolved and perverted into a tyrant.
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson
Tyrants aren’t “violent”, but do it by “gradual and silent encroachments”.
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison
“A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.”Thomas Jefferson
IS OBSERVANCE OF WRITTEN LAWS THE HIGHEST VIRTUE OF A GOOD CITIZEN OR IS IT SAVING OUR COUNTRY WHEN IN DANGER?10
We need the police on the side of We the People to take a stand against the Great Usurpers and Tyrants of our time. We need to restore courage, integrity and character back to society by asking our officers to be the best they can be, even better than they showed in St. George, Utah.
(4) James Madison