Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

Jeremiah 10 Christmas Cards

1: Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3: For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4: They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5: They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
6: Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7: Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
8: But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9: Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
10: But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
11: Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
12: He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
13: When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
14: Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
15: They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
16: The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.
17: Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.
18: For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.
19: Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.
20: My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
21: For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
22: Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.
23: O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
24: O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
25: Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

$14-Million Lawsuit Filed Against Killer Trucker on the Dragon

Truck driver Bobby Coleman didn't even get a traffic ticket for murdering Ike Woodard. This was the 2nd murder of a biker by a trucker on the Dragon. Slow rescue by Rural Metro Taxi Service was a contributing factor in Ike's death. Trucks are already banned in Blount County on Foothills Parkway and US441 in Sevier County.

"No one here will ever know the exact details of what happened, but the rear trailer wheels passed over Ike and his bike, and the trailer stopped clear of him after running him over, so it is possible that Ike stopped for the truck, and the truck wasn't able to stop in time for him."
-PZFZ1, ETR Forum

UPDATE: Blount grand jury declares open season for truckers to murder bikers on the Dragon

"The truck traveled 20-30 feet AFTER hitting, dragging and running over Ike and his bike, UPHILL. I haven't driven flatbeds, but I have hauled gas tankers. I can tell you, an empty tank weighs about the same as the trailer that killed Ike and is what I used to call a two door sports coupe. I could beat my buddy's Mitsubishi pick up off the line with one. Granted, his was a 4-banger 5 speed, but we're talking big rig versus pick-up. The truck that killed Ike was going speed limit or better. I assure you. It wasn't escorted because it was fairly early in the AM and I hadn't arrived yet (I was the first local that I was aware of there that day). I was on my first northbound pass of the day when I came up on the scene. One of his buddies was in shock and told me it was Ike. I spoke to Trooper Skeen about it and he said it didn't look good. They had diverted in the air to Blount Memorial. He was dead at that point. Assuming the family is suing out of greed is a little myopic as well. He has two minor daughters that deserve at least a benefit. He had medical bills that mounted even though his life wasn't spared. His mother has to deal with all of that sort of crap, too. A case like this will be settled out of court for a paltry sum. After she pays her shark of a lawyer, she won't see anywhere near $14 million. Get real."
-CreekDevil, ETR Forum

Family sues for $14.5M in fatality on ‘Dragon’

By Wes Wade
Maryville Daily Times

The family of a motorcyclist killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on “The Dragon” in August has filed a $14.5 million lawsuit in Blount County Circuit Court.

The suit was filed Thursday on behalf of several family members of 45-year-old Christiana resident Dwight Ross Woodard, who died the morning of Aug. 3 after a collision with a tractor-trailer driven by Bobby Frank Coleman, 47, of Nashville, Ga.

Coleman is named as a defendant in the suit along with his employer, the Blackshear, Ga.-based Thom’s Transport Company Inc.

The complaint alleges that Coleman violated several state statutes as his truck crossed into Woodard’s lane of travel, blocking both lanes of U.S. Highway 129 in a curve near Mile Marker 5. According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Woodard was traveling southbound on his Triumph Triple Speed motorcycle when he struck the left side of the trailer as it crossed over into his lane.

Criminal charges have not been filed in the crash.

According to the complaint, Woodard remained conscious and alert until an ambulance arrived nearly an hour after the wreck, but died about 30 minutes later on his way to the hospital.

Those listed as plaintiffs in the suit include Woodard’s two daughters, ages 14 and 8, and Woodard’s mother, Patricia Thompson. They seek compensation for damages to include wrongful death, medical and funeral expenses and lost future earnings. A jury was requested to try the case.

Thom’s Transport Company Inc. declined to comment.

TDOT opposes ban

Several Nashville riders, including members of Woodard’s family, mounted a campaign shortly after the crash to persuade legislators to ban tractor-trailers longer than 30 feet from using the Dragon, an 11.1-mile stretch of U.S. 129 from Tabcat Creek to the North Carolina state line at Deals Gap.

But in a letter to U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. dated Oct. 19, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John C. Schroer said it was the department’s decision not to implement a ban on tractor-trailers from using the highway.

“It is our position that the economic impact of restricting tractor-trailers along this federally designated U.S. route would severely impact commerce, as there is no reasonable alternative route for commercial traffic in this vicinity,” Schroer wrote.

The commissioner added that TDOT provides enhanced safety advisories in regards to potentially dangerous roadways and that it is the responsibility of motorists to exercise a greater amount of caution when traveling winding mountain roads.

“We recognize that this was a tragic event,” Schroer continued. “However, we do not feel we can give priority to one group of motorists over another by restricting certain types of vehicles from U.S. 129.”

The letter also noted that TDOT, in conjunction with the motorcycle industry, had conducted a series of studies on the Dragon in 2008 to identify the root cause of severe crashes and to then implement safety improvements. In researching fatal crashes, the department said that during the last three years only one crash involved a collision between a motorcycle and tractor-trailer.

According to Schroer’s statement, the study found that speed in relation to negotiating curves on the Dragon was the major underlying issue related to severe crashes and fatalities. TDOT has since implemented a series of improvements along the corridor, including posting new signage and markings, paving pull-off areas and installing enhanced signage discouraging truck traffic from using the highway, the letter states.

TDOT records indicate that 17 motorcycle fatalities have occurred on the Dragon during the past six years.

see also:

Dragonater Archive: Trucker murders another biker on the Dragon

Court Says Dragon Speed Limit is 65 MPH - Critical info for winning a wrongful death case.

Biker Tickets Increase 11,400% on the Dragon - THP refuses to enforce ANY law against trucks on the Dragon

TDOT Report Bans All Biker Business on the Dragon - TDOT refuses to ban killer truacks on the Dragon, refuses to require flag vehicles for big trucks, refuses to enforce ANY current law against trucks on the Dragon

Deals Gap Dragon 'Dragstrip' - BCSO and THP refuse to enforce ANY law against trucks on the Dragon

ETR Forum posts

Dragonslayer down

RIP David Spotts, Dragon photographer. See you later.

David with Gap Yoda at the Overlook (june & july), photos by The Dragonater

photo by The Dragonater

Deals Gap Dragon on the Travel Channel

The Learning Channel does not teach countersteering at Deals Gap

America's Wildest Roads: Wet and Wild

Tornado Alley, The Dragon, the Overseas Highway and Route 4 ... these are just 4 of the roads featured in this special all about the wet and wild roads of the US.

Why the 55mph national speed limit was repealed

The NMA will pay your speeding ticket if you lose in court, even if you cover a cop car in poo

Repealing the 55 MPH Speed Limit

by Gail Morrison

In 1990, I first learned of the National Motorists Association (NMA) when I got a speeding ticket in Texas. I fought the ticket and was found guilty. I was naive in my belief that if I wasn’t guilty of the charges, I could go before the judge and explain that there was a misunderstanding and charges would be dropped.

I was amazed at how I had been treated in the court system. When I appealed the guilty verdict, it seemed to affect the people representing the system. Prior to the appeal the DA was pleasant and somewhat paternalistic. At the request of the judge, he explained to me the procedure and escorted me to the law library. There he advised me to just pay for the ticket and go my way. However, when the trial time came the DA went for the throat – mine! Well, I lost the appeal as well, and the fine went from $10 to $144 – but during that time, I learned what was happening to motorists all over these United States.

During my research to find how to change a system that is grossly unfair, I came across a book titled "How to Beat the Radar Rap" and through the publisher I was put in touch with Jim Baxter, President of NMA. And it was through this heroic organization that I found out that there is a method to setting speed limits and placing stop signs. About this same time I met a traffic engineer who gave me a book entitled, "National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices" (NCUTCD). This is where I first heard the term "the 85th percentile" it means that traffic engineers believe the speed limits should be set at 85% of the speed adopted by free flowing traffic. But, he told me his hands were tied – all decisions were political.

Many phone calls went back and forth to Mr. Baxter and soon he asked me to be the Texas State Chapter Coordinator. That seemed like too much responsibility but I agreed to be an area coordinator. But within a few months I was Texas State Chapter Coordinator with six area coordinators under me. I lived 130 miles from Austin and for two years, I burned up a lot of rubber. We were instrumental in having several laws passed, e.g., keeping the 70 mph’s speed limit, temporarily suspended, in effect, making it easy for Texas to raise its speed limit with the repeal of National Maximum Speed Limit (NMSL). And we helped to defeat a law that would allow a judge to be fired if he didn’t collect enough traffic-fine revenue.

Every year, NMA would have a national coordinators meeting, and my colleagues urged that I be sent to Washington to bring about the repeal of the NMSL. But NMA had already retained a lobbyist in DC and he was supposed to be good. He did get a modification of the NMSL, a raise in speed limits to 65 mph in rural areas. But the hoped-for repeal of NMSL did not happen. Then in August 1994, Jim Baxter asked me if I move to Washington, D.C., and lobby for the repeal. I told Mr. Baxter: Yes, although repealing a law "cast in concrete" for 23 years seemed like an impossible dream.

On a trip back from the NMA national headquarters in Wisconsin, I drove through Washington, D.C., and met with the NMA lobbyist, who told me "you are not needed on this issue." He went on to tell me, "you cannot use my office, you cannot receive phone calls or mail, you cannot store anything." He leaned forward and said "you cannot even use the bathroom." I replied, "I guess I will have to find a place on the Hill." To which he said. "You won’t be able to afford it."

Leaving the restaurant and my new colleague, I walked around the block and stopped to talk with a woman working in her front yard. She said she was renovating an apartment, but that it wouldn’t be ready until December. I was delighted, as I would not be moving to the District until then, and I felt that an apartment on Capitol Hill would be ideal for office and living. I knew I would need to be close to the House and Senate offices.

I drove home and packed up my belonging, and loaded them into a 24’ Ryder truck. I got behind the wheel of a truck for the first time and drove alone, except for my dog and cat, to Washington. When I arrived, I was again awed by history of the area and by the importance of the Members of Congress. I felt small and insignificant by comparison.

Yet, I believed so strongly that the NMSL was a bad law, that I felt compelled to change it.

Fundamental to good law in America is the idea that the behavior of most people is reasonable. Laws are written to single out the unreasonable behavior of a minority.

Speed laws are based on the same ideas. Most people did not observe this law. It made criminals out of most motorists, leaving us with the dilemma of deciding if we should drive a safe speed or a legal speed.

But first I had to find someone to introduce a bill to repeal the National Maximum Speed Limits. As in all my work, the grassroots power of NMA activists all over the country was my secret weapon.

Scott Klugg, R-WI, introduced HR607 on January 20, 1995, but I felt it wouldn’t get the support it needed to pass. It read: A bill to amend title 23, United States Code, to eliminate penalties for noncompliance by States with requirements relating to the use of safety belts and motor cycle helmets, the national maximum speed limit, and the national minimum drinking age, and for other purposes. The reason I didn’t put NMA support behind this bill was: 1) I knew the motorcycle groups had strong, active lobbying efforts to get the repeal of the helmet law; 2) NMA membership is divided on the seat belt issue; the most important part was 3) The alcohol issue would not be popular.

Pat Roberts, R-KS, said that he would introduce a bill, but then reneged and suggested that he offer HR 1007, a bill to allow 65 mph in urbanized areas of 50,000 that could now only be posted at 55 mph. I quickly withdrew NMA support from this bill, believing this bill to be a mockery.

In January 1995, I visited the office of Larry Combest, R-TX.. I spoke with his Legislative Assistant, Lisa Elledge, who was handling transportation issues. She told me Larry offered a bill every year for – maybe for five or six years now, for a repeal of the NMSL. It was sort of an office joke she said, but he really wanted the repeal. I felt HR 427 was the bill to get behind and push it as hard as I could, and we worked well together.

The Surface Transportation subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure hearing for changes in the National Highway (NHS) was to be held on March 1, 1995. I had visited all the offices of the members of the subcommittee. I knew enough now to know that the leadership on both sides was against repealing NMSL. I also knew that the leadership for NHTSA, FHwA, insurance companies, and 144 safety groups were also against a repeal. I was told that "NMSL was cast in concrete – it had been in effect for 23 years, and would NEVER be repealed. . . ."

I knew that I needed something to break this mindset – but I didn’t know what.

At first I thought if I just visited the opposing members and talked logic to them that they would see the error of their ways – but I quickly realize the proverbial "My mind is made up – don’t confuse me with facts" mentality. Besides, time was running out. I needed a member of the House subcommittee to offer the amendment. Bill Brewster, D- OK agreed to offer it. This proved to be a blessing, as Norman Y. Mineta, D-CA, was going to call for party unity against the bill – and because Mr. Brewster had agreed to offer it and he was a Democrat, Mr. Mineta had to drop this idea.

I knew it would be helpful if I could get support from some of the leadership. Tom Petri, R-WI, was an ideal choice, as he represented the state with the headquarters of NMA and he was the chairman of the Surface Transportation committee.

The committee meeting was coming soon and I needed to find someone to give testimony at the subcommittee hearing. I first called Jim Baxter to come Washington and give it, but he suggested that I ask Martin Parker of Martin R. Parker & Associates, Inc., Wayne, Michigan. I then called Dr. Parker. He declined, saying that he would need his study in order to testify. The title of his study was "The Effects of Raising and Lowering Speed Limits." He had been enlisted to conduct by the Office of Safety and Traffic Operations R&D, Federal Highway Administration (FhwA). I asked him where his study was? He told me that it was being review by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

I started telephoning people and getting the proverbial run-around. I finally talked with Margarite, the secretary for Stephen Godwin, Director of Studies and Information.

She made me an appointment for that afternoon to visit with Mr. Godwin. The visit was disappointing as Mr. Godwin told me he had never heard of the study and maybe I didn’t have all my facts straight – nicely of course. I came home wondering in what to do next.

As I walked in through my front door, the phone was ringing. It was Margarite and she said that she had found the study and it was completed. She said she would send it over to me immediately. I then called Mr. Parker back and told him, and he said I could do whatever I wanted to with the study. But in the meantime he had made other plans and could not come to DC on the dates that I had asked about.

I made 10 copies of the full report and 535 of the commentary and summaries and I took them to all members of congress. Many members of congress started telephoning NHTSA and FHwA demanding to know where this study had been and why they hadn’t seen it when the Final Report was dated October 1992. This study was the turning point of the repeal.

Senator Don Nickles, R-OK and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell were the cosponsors of the repeal in the Senate. S-476. Time was running out, as the Transportation subcommittee would be meeting soon and if an amendment wasn’t offered, it would just not go anywhere. I had spoken with all the members, save one, Senator Lauch Faircloth. No one wanted to handle this "hot potato." I had called Senator Faircloth’s office numerous times, but couldn’t seem to get through to the person that handled the transportation issues. On Monday, May 1, I called – again- and a George Howard answered the phone. I told him who I was and that I wanted to schedule an appointment. There was a silence on the other end of the phone. Then, he said, "You just aren’t going to leave me alone until I talk to you, are you?"

I was taken aback, but I took a deep breath and as pleasantly as I could muster said, "No, I’m not. The subcommittee meeting will be on the third and I need to talk with you."

He sighed and replied "If you can be in my office in 20 minutes I will meet with you."

"Yessssss!" I said. I was in Mr. Howard’s office in 10 minutes. He listened to all I had to say about the repeal, and then without a word he turned and picked up the telephone and punched in some numbers. Then, he said into the receiver, "I have this woman in my office who thinks that we can get rid of the speed limits."

A few minutes later he turned back to me and said "We will think about it." Mr. Howard telephoned me Tuesday morning and told me that the Senator would file an amendment.

I thought that meant that he would offer the amendment in the subcommittee. I was delighted and I called all the subcommittee members’ offices and told them. That evening Mr.

Howard called me back and said that the Senator had changed his mind, and wouldn’t be offering the amendment. I exclaimed "NO! I called all the subcommittee members and told them that the Senator would offer it." Mr. Howard’s sounded flabbergasted, as he cried out "YOU DIDN’T?" I was disappointed and slightly confused as well. "I said quietly, ‘I did, I thought it was a done deal.’"

I was really low, but I thanked him for calling me and then told him "at least by telling me this evening, you won’t have to see a grown woman cry tomorrow during the subcommittee meeting."

I was as surprised as everyone else when Senator Faircloth offered the amendment and called for a voice vote. Five yeas, including the Senator from Nevada who told me the night before that he would vote nay, and three nays and one abstaining. It passed and everyone was congratulating me.

I sighed as I reflected, and wrote in my journal: Where else but in the USA could I discuss flowers with the congresswoman from NY and the congressman from ID, both living next door to me, then walk to the Senate Office building for a meeting on the speed limits. I have come a long way since I got that speeding ticket in Victoria, Texas.

Ah, little did I know that the battle was just beginning and it would be fought with the "big guns." I had been ignored by the opponents of State’s Rights and the idea that people are basically capable of making rational choices. But there was a lull and I basked in the victory.

My first inkling of what was to come, came on May 8. A press conference was held on the east lawn of the Capitol. The biggest foes of freedom from both sides of the aisle were the leadership of the Transportation committees in the House and the Senate. They were joined with NHTSA, FHWA, and the leadership of the Highway Patrol of both Maryland and Virginia. I came early to visit with people who would be attending, giving out bumper stickers "LET’S END THE HYPOCRISY: REPEAL 55" and lapel pins that were a red circle with a slash through 55. Imagine my delight when I noticed during the filming of the conference a bumper sticker across one video camera and a lapel pin on the jaunty cap of another cameraman.

I didn’t let up my efforts. I continued to visit the offices. In fact, I personally visited every office in the House – 435 to be exact and 100 in the Senate. During these 11 months I literally wore out four pairs of shoes.

Over the next six months I steadily visited congressional offices smiling, waiting, answering questions, and supplying information concerning the wisdom of supporting the repeal. Sometimes I felt holding the votes together was like trying to hold mercury.

First the National Highway Systems bill went through the Senate on June 20, 1995 and passed 65-35. When the repeal went for a vote in the House September 20, 1995, the vote was 419 yeas, 7 nays, and 8 not voting. The language wasn’t the same and it had to go into Appropriation which was very ominous as the repeal of NMSL could have been tabled and never voted on again. During this time I had tried to get an appointment with Ricardo Martinez, Director of NHTSA, but was repeatedly turned down. All is well that ends well, and a veto-proof bill was sent to President Clinton for his signature. November 28, 1995, was the end of the National Maximum Speed Limits.

NMA had done the impossible, and benefitted every motorist in America, and I was so proud to be part of it.

Blount deputy on trial for 2nd murder of wife

Alcoholic Blount County deputy Danny Brewer under arrest for shooting his nude wife, Jennifer L. Brewer, after the drunken ex-deputy spent a night fucking his bail bondsman. Deputy Brewer cost taxpayers a $5-million settlement after he murdered driver Jennifer Lowe Bean. Any relation to alleged alcoholic cokehead judge Brewer?

Homicide case against ex-Blount deputy sent to grand jury

By Lance Coleman
Knoxville News Sentinel
December 14, 2011

MARYVILLE, TENN. — The criminal homicide case against former Blount County sheriff's deputy Danny Brewer was bound over to a grand jury on Wednesday.

His $950,000 bond was kept in place.

General Sessions Judge Robert Gallegos ruled probable cause had been proven by Shari Taylor, assistant district attorney, that Brewer had killed his wife with a shotgun blast.

Defense attorney Tommy Hindman said the shooting was an accident.

Testimony from Blount County Sheriff's Office Detective J.T. Trentham that Brewer admitted to having an affair would not change his client's defense.

"It doesn't change our theory that what happened in that room is the only thing that matters," Hindman said.

Trentham was the only witness to testify in the hearing. He said Blount 911 emergency dispatchers were contacted at 11:19 a.m. on Sept. 8 about the shooting at Brewer's Sevier Avenue apartment in Blount County.

"When I got there, Mr. Brewer was in the front living room in a fetal position covered in blood," the detective said. "He was making a statement, 'It was an accident. The safety was on, it should not have happened."'

Trentham testified he then went back to the bedroom, where medical personnel were with Jennifer Brewer.

"There was a woman in bed totally nude with a shotgun wound to the chest, and there was blood on the bedding," he said.

A short time later, Brewer was interviewed by Trentham at the Blount County Sheriff's Office. The detective said during Wednesday's hearing that Brewer smelled of alcohol and told him he'd drank three or four beers.

"He was very distraught over the situation but he was coherent," Trentham said.

The detective said Brewer stated he had come home from work at 4:30 or 5 a.m. on Sept. 8, and his wife got up later to take their 3-year-old child to day care and returned home.

"She got back in bed. At some point there was sexual intercourse, then he got up to show her the shotgun he had purchased, and while this was going on, the shotgun discharged," Trentham testified.

In the middle of the interview, Trentham said he was notified Jennifer Brewer had died, and that was when Brewer admitted he had been with Pam Gregory, a bail bondswoman.

"He said this was the person he was with until 4:30 or 5 a.m., that he was employed by her as a bounty hunter and that they had been having a 10-year love affair," Trentham testified.

Hindman asked Trentham about the state's toxicology report that showed Danny Brewer had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 when he was interviewed. The legal definition of intoxication in drunk-driving cases is .08. Hindman asked the detective if he would've acted differently had he known how intoxicated Brewer was during the interview.

"I would have probably not (interviewed him) had I had the toxicology report in front of me," Trentham said.

Grand jury gets homicide case

By Austin Baird
Maryville Daily Times

A former Blount County law enforcement officer is a step closer to facing trial in the shooting death of his wife.

Danny Ray Brewer, 37, a former Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Rockford police officer, had a preliminary hearing on criminal homicide charges Wednesday in Blount County General Sessions Court.

After hearing testimony, Judge Michael Gallegos sent the case to a grand jury to decide if the charges brought against Brewer warrant a trial.

The case will likely be heard on Jan. 9 or Feb. 16 when a grand jury convenes, though the date will depend upon the crowd of other cases working through the state’s docket.

The events surrounding the death of 29-year-old Jennifer Brewer on Sept. 8 remain unclear. However, Assistant District Attorney Shari Tayloe and Danny Brewer’s defense attorney, Tommy Hindman, each revealed information that could eventually decide the outcome of the case.

Detective testifies

Blount County Sheriff’s Office Detectives James Trentham and David Henderson are leading the investigation, the former being the first detective to arrive on the scene and the latter the detective who collected physical evidence for the case. The state called Trentham as its only witness at the hearing Wednesday.

Trentham, a detective of 10 years and an 18-year member of the Sheriff’s Office, testified that a couple of patrol officers and emergency responders were already on the scene when he arrived shortly before noon the day Jennifer Brewer died in the Maryville apartment she shared with her husband on Sevierville Road.

“I saw Mr. Brewer in the living room nude and covered in blood, curled up in the fetal position,” Trentham said at the hearing. “He was making statements like, ‘It was an accident, the safety was on, it shouldn’t have gone off.’”

When Trentham arrived, Jennifer Brewer was naked in their bed with a wound on the left side of her chest that was inflicted by a shotgun, he said. A couple of paramedics were attempting to save her, but she was declared dead that day at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Despite Danny Brewer’s claim that his wife’s death was an accident that happened when he was showing her a gun, Trentham testified the evidence doesn’t suggest an accidental shooting.

“My professional opinion is, yes, you have to take the totality of the case ... and there is information to conflict his story,” Trentham said.

High alcohol level

Two points of contention were raised: the amount of alcohol in Danny Brewer’s system and a purported decade-long affair between Brewer and his boss.

Trentham described Danny Brewer as “very distraught over the situation but coherent,” though he said he did smell alcohol on Brewer during an interview that took place the day of the shooting. He testified that Brewer admitted to having “three or four” drinks during that interview.

However, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation toxicology report measured Brewer’s blood alcohol content at 0.23. The legal limit to operate a vehicle in Tennessee is .08.

Trentham testified the blood sample was drawn by a jail nurse during a break in the interview nearly an hour after police were dispatched.

Hindman tried to stress the fact that Brewer was intoxicated during the interview.

“By no means was he crawling, stumbling or anything like that,” Trentham said of Brewer’s sobriety. But he conceded, when pressed by Hindman, that the interview probably should have waited until Brewer was of clearer mind. “I would have probably waited if I knew his (blood alcohol content).”

Even though Gallegos left open the possibility of a criminal homicide charge, he declined to set the level of the crime (first-degree murder, manslaughter, etc.) that Brewer will face. Gallegos instead deferred that responsibility to the grand jury.

“We want to get in front of the grand jury as soon as possible,” Hindman said. “After all of the facts come forward, the picture will become clearer.”

Until then, Brewer will remain in custody at Blount County Jail unless he can come up with enough cash to make the $950,000 bond required for his temporary release.

See also:

11-09-2011 - Former deputy charged in fatal shooting remains in custody
09-30-2011 - Preliminary hearing set in former deputy homicide case
Slaying suspect Brewer gets public defender
09-23-2011 - Garner appointed to represent Brewer in criminal homicide case
09-20-2011 - Hospital stay delays preliminary hearing for murder suspect
09-10-2011 - Husband charged in Thursday’s shooting death

09-12-2011 - Homicide suspect was police officer involved in fatal crash

Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded Thursday morning to the Sevier Avenue apartment complex where the couple lived in reference to a shooting. There they found 29-year-old Jennifer L. Brewer lying face up on a bed in the apartment at 11:19 a.m., according to a Sheriff’s Office report. The victim was bleeding from the left side of her chest.

Danny Brewer was also found in the apartment, naked, screaming and covered in blood. The report stated that deputies escorted the suspect from the room and recovered the gun believed to have been used in the shooting.

Danny Brewer was serving as a Rockford police officer on May 16, 2000, when he was involved in an accident that killed Jennifer Lowe Bean, 29, of Jackson Hills Drive, Maryville, according to a May 18, 2000, story in The Daily Times.

Brewer had been a Rockford officer for only two weeks after two years as a Blount County Sheriff’s Department deputy when he was on patrol in Rockford the night of May 16, 2000. At 9:10 p.m. he reportedly heard former co-worker Deputy Jim Stegall respond to a disturbance involving two men with knives at Meadow Valley Apartments on Wildwood Road near the Maryville city limits.

Brewer contacted Rockford Police Chief Robert Simerly from his location on Old Knoxville Highway between Four Corners Market and Pope’s Garden Center. Simerly told him to respond to back up the county officer in accordance with Rockford’s mutual aid agreement to assist other local law enforcement agencies.

According to the report, Brewer turned on his flashing red and blue lights, activated his siren, and started up Old Knoxville Highway toward Meadow Valley Apartments to back up Stegall. Meanwhile, Bean was traveling the same direction on Old Knoxville Highway.

Brewer apparently sped up on the straight stretch of highway after he rounded the curve at Williams Mill Road and Liscom Drive. A witness to the fatal collision said she pulled over to the right near Clayton Road to let the cruiser pass.

Ahead of her, she saw another car that was not pulling over. Bean was preparing to turn left off the highway onto Jackson Hills Drive. She was only four blocks from home.

According to the preliminary accident report, Brewer moved into the oncoming traffic lane, which was clear of vehicles, to pass the Bean car. The cruiser was never directly behind Bean’s Honda Accord as Brewer traveled in excess of the posted 45 mile per hour speed limit.

At some point, Bean activated her left turn signal. Then, she turned across the lane where Brewer was traveling, apparently unaware of his lights or siren.

Brewer braked as Bean turned left into his path and the front of his Jeep slammed into the driver’s side of Bean’s car.

The impact sent the Honda sliding several feet beyond the intersection, across a shallow roadside ditch and into a yard. The Rockford cruiser went over the curb at the end of Jackson Hills Drive and nosed down into the ditch.

Emergency responders attempted to resuscitate Bean but were unable to restore her heartbeat or breathing. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Brewer was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance Service to Blount Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for broken bones and other injuries.

Blount County slaying suspect is former police officer, deputy

By Hayes Hickman, Natalie Neysa Alund
Knoxville News Sentinel
September 12, 2011

A 37-year-old Blount County man charged in the shooting death of his wife last week is a former law enforcement officer, authorities said Monday.

Danny Ray Brewer, who is being held at the Blount County jail in lieu of $950,000 bond on a criminal homicide charge, served two separate stints with the Blount County Sheriff's Office, as well as the former Rockford Police Department, said Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission spokesman Christopher Garrett. The POST Commission certifies officers across the state.

Brewer was hired by the sheriff's office in July 1998, then resigned from his post there in April 2000, according to Garrett. In May of 2000, Brewer took a job with Rockford, but resigned in August of 2000 to return to work for the sheriffs's office.

He resigned from the sheriff's office again in July of 2002.

While serving as a Rockford officer, Brewer was involved in a crash that killed a 29-year-old Blount County woman in May 2000. Brewer was responding to a call for assistance from a sheriff's deputy in his police Jeep when he struck a car driven by Jennifer Lowe Bean.

Brewer was temporarily placed on administrative leave. The fatal crash resulted in a $5 million lawsuit, which was settled in 2003, a Blount County Circuit Court clerk said Monday. Specific terms of the settlement were not available Monday.

Blount deputies were called to Brewer's Sevier Avenue apartment Thursday, where they found Jennifer L. Brewer, 29, with a gunshot wound, according to a news release posted on the sheriff's website.

Jennifer Brewer was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. Her husband, according to the news release, was taken into custody at the scene.

Sheriff James Berrong has refused to answer any future questions from the News Sentinel, referring all calls to his public information officer, Marian O'Briant, who has not returned repeated phone calls.

"I’ll burn your house down, set your dog on fire and there won’t be a member of your family left, do you understand me? I won’t hire it done, I will do it myself! Do you understand me?”
-Blount County sheriff James Berrong talking to his secretary in the Blount County Justice Center, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Nuchols v. Berrong, No. 04-5645, July 11, 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cop arrests 5-year-old boy at school


Is your lawyer lernin?

NY Times - What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering - One 2010 study of hiring at top-tier law schools since 2000 found that the median amount of practical experience was one year [for law school professors], and that nearly half of faculty members had never practiced law for a single day. If medical schools took the same approach, they’d be filled with professors who had never set foot in a hospital.

Lawyers no longer required to attend law school in New York, California - California has a fairly well established apprenticeship-type bar admissions program that requires four years of work in a law office plus passage of the “Baby Bar Exam.” After that, you can sit for the regular bar exam. Hell, you don’t even need a college degree to do that one. But you still need to pass the California Bar Exam, which some pretty smart folks have failed. Repeatedly. In the end, if you land a law job that is also on the road to sitting for a state bar exam, who wouldn’t want to get paid essentially to go to law school? Even if it’s a measly ten bucks an hour, it’s still better than hedging nondischargeable debt against an increasingly unlikely future as a high-paid lawyer. I’d be interested to know if anyone is on this route. It’s totally old school.

NY Times - 75% of judges are morons who never cracked a law book nor attended college

Cop attacks Blount sheriff, Blount sheriff attacks cop, FBI investigates

Cop shows how to handle a traffic stop in Blount County...by ramming cops at Wide Open Throttle! Blounty deputies show how to treat a cop under arrest...by kicking him repeatedly while handcuffed! Which is better than BCSO treats BC cops...by shooting them dead by ambush! Do you feel safer now?

FBI looks into suspect, former officer beaten during arrest

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The FBI is looking into claims that a Blount County Sheriff deputy beat a man during an arrest.

Click to the right to watch the video that supposedly shows BCSO's Sgt. Doug Moore punching and kicking former Sevierville police officer Timothy Coulter.

"The video speaks for itself," said Coutler's attorney Bryan Delius.

The video shows Coulter first slamming into a darkened deputy crusier. Deputies were attempting to arrest Coulter for domestic violence, outside a family Coulter Road home.

"[Coulter] regrets the events of that evening lead up to this and it certainly, it was wrong," said Delius. "But from the point in time that the accident happened, and the vehicles collided, he did everything that he should have appropriately to respond to that situation."

Immediately Coulter sticks his hands out the window, seeming to surrender. He's brought out, cuffed and that's when the violence begins.

"I think it clearly shows that Tim Coulter complied with the officer, the commands of the officer immediately," said Delius. "What we see is pretty discouraging."

Blount County Attorney Craig Garrett respond to our calls or knock at his door. Garrett says Blount County Sgt. Doug Moore was suspended for three days, but he's now back on duty.

Sgt. Moore was also involved in a 2008 fatal shooting of suspect Leroy Hickman.

Now the FBI has opened a federal investigation. Special Agent in Charge Richard Lambert says the Department of Justice will look at the amount of force used.

"Mr. Coulter with obviously cooperate. He will do whatever is asked of him from the federal authorities," said Delius.

Coulter plead guilty to reckless endangerment and vandalism, and was sentenced to judicial diversion after three years of probation.
What happens next, is up to the FBI.

"One would have to question if they would do this to an officer, from another jurisdiction, what would they do to someone who's not an officer?" said Delius. "That's obviously the concern expressed by those conducting the future investigation."

Delius says Coulter admits responsibility for his mistakes, and he accepts his punishment.

FBI opens probe of Blount deputy after video shows beating, Ex-Severville detective gets plea deal after arrest

MARYVILLE — A Blount County Sheriff's Office video released Tuesday shows one of its deputies repeatedly kicking and punching a former Sevierville police detective during an arrest this year, prompting the FBI to open an investigation.

The video, provided at the request of the News Sentinel, shows police in-cruiser footage from the March 25 arrest of former Sevierville Police Detective Timothy Coulter, 44. It was released by the Sheriff's Office after Coulter pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal charges that stemmed from him ramming a sheriff's cruiser and nearly striking two sheriff's deputies.

Richard Lambert, special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville office, said Tuesday the agency reviewed the video and as a result opened a civil-rights investigation that could lead to federal charges.

"They (the U.S. Department of Justice) will determine whether the amount of force was more than what was reasonable," Lambert said.

Blount County Attorney Craig Garrett identified the deputy who struck Coulter as Sgt. Doug Moore. Garrett said he was suspended without pay for three days following the incident. Garrett said no further action was taken against Moore, who has been with the department more than a decade.

According to a statement from the Sheriff's Office released Tuesday, deputies were unable to control Coulter during the arrest.

"The deputy delivered strikes to Coulter that were acceptable based on the circumstances, however were not in accordance with BCSO training or policy and procedure," the Sheriff's Office statement reads. "The Blount County Sheriff's Office has taken appropriate action against the deputy, and the investigation was closed with no further actions."

On March 25, deputies learned Coulter had been involved in a domestic situation in Sevier County, was threatening suicide and was traveling to his family's farm in Blount County, according to arrest warrants.

Deputies found his white Ford F-350 pickup in the driveway of a residence off Davis Ford Road. They blocked the road and called him on his cellphone, warrants show. He told a deputy he had a gun with him and he intended to harm any officer who attempted to contact him.

The video, most of which was shot at night, came from a camera in Moore's cruiser.

It shows Coulter drive out of the driveway toward Moore's unoccupied cruiser and ram the front end of it. Although they are not visible at the time of impact, arrest warrants state Moore and Sheriff Jim Berrong were standing nearby and were forced to dive into a ditch to avoid being struck.

After the impact, more police cruisers pull behind Coulter's truck and Coulter sticks his hands and head out the driver's side window.

An officer removes him from the truck at gunpoint and places him on the ground.

The deputy who subdued him then shouts, "We got 'im, we got 'im."

Moore then approaches Coulter, still on the ground surrounded by at least three other officers, and kicks him at least 11 times, according to the video. He then punches Coulter about four times, the video shows.

At least two deputies were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released, Berrong said Tuesday. He would not comment further on the video.

Coulter's defense attorney Bryan Delius said his client was in handcuffs while kicked and punched and sustained cracked ribs, facial abrasions and a knot on his head. Coulter was not treated for injuries he sustained during the incident.

The video, requested June 15 by the News Sentinel, was made public following Coulter's court hearing in Blount County, during which he pleaded guilty to one count of vandalism and two counts of reckless endangerment.

Coulter was immediately sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

He must pay a $100 fine, court costs and $8,448.81 in restitution to the Sheriff's Office for damage he caused to Moore's patrol car. Those were the terms of a plea agreement reached between Delius and Assistant Blount County District Attorney General Ryan Desmond. It was approved by Blount County Circuit Court Judge David Duggan, who also granted Coulter judicial diversion, a move that spares him jail and a conviction on his record if he complies with the terms of his probation.

The reckless endangerment charges to which Coulter pleaded guilty were reduced from more serious charges of aggravated assault.

Coulter had also been charged with DUI, possession of a handgun while intoxicated and violation of the implied consent law. Desmond said under the plea deal those charges would be dismissed.

Prior to the plea Coulter signed a civil release agreeing not to sue the county, Delius said.

Delius said the video disturbed him.

"Obviously, he did everything he could to comply," the lawyer said. "His arms and head are out of the vehicle's window before they even approach. We expect people who are paid law enforcement to act professional and with restraint. What is observed on the video is very concerning and disheartening."

Garrett called the incident a "very dangerous and very intense situation."

"Blount County's sheriff deputies hate to see a fellow officer make the type of mistakes Mr. Coulter made," Garrett said. "Everybody was kind of on edge. Officer Moore probably had some adrenaline pumping and may have reacted strongly to the incident, but he's been properly disciplined, and we consider the matter concluded."


Many people cannot fathom how this "judicial perversion" gets handed out to cops and public servants.....any one of us wold have jail time.
I hope folks don't wonder why so little respect exists for these double standard kangaroo courts and the soiled public servants who get coddled. BAAALONNNYYY!!!

"had also been charged with DUI, possession of a handgun while intoxicated and violation of the implied consent law" In Tennessee gun crime means hard time....unless you are a cop

"Prior to the plea Coulter signed a civil release agreeing not to sue the county, Delius said." So he can not sue them, they made sure beofre they agreed to the plea he took!

A few whacks to the ribs is pretty standard for a lot of places. The really disturbing part of this is that the Sheriff was on scene. Who flaunts the law/rules/procedures like that with the boss standing there? I hope it doesn't say something much more about the culture of the BCSO than just one exasperated deputy going overboard on one particular occasion.

Blount co cops are as corrupt as they come. They're also the reason I never go to blount county, and I was a maryville college grad.

The Blount County Sheriff`s Office Writes their own Laws as they go along.

What a joke!

Editorial: Video of beating proves value of openness in government

The in-cruiser police video that led to an FBI investigation of the beating of a suspect in Blount County demonstrates the value of cameras keeping an eye on law enforcement and underscores the public's need to have access to such records.

Blount County deputy Sgt. Doug Moore, who also is being sued for using excessive force and wrongful death in an unrelated matter [the ambush murder of a former cop in Maryville Police Department], is the subject of the FBI's civil-rights probe.

The video, obtained by the News Sentinel through an open records request, shows footage from the March 25 arrest of former Sevierville Police Detective Timothy Coulter. The Blount County Sheriff's Office released the video after Coulter pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal charges stemming from his ramming a deputy's cruiser.

Blount County deputies learned Coulter had been involved in a domestic situation in Sevier County, was threatening suicide and on his way to his family farm in Blount County. Deputies found Coulter's pickup truck, blocked him in and called him on his cell phone, according to arrest warrants. He told a deputy he had a gun and warned that he would harm officers who tried to contact him.

The video shows Coulter's Ford F-350 ramming the front of Moore's unoccupied cruiser. Off-camera, Moore and Sheriff Jim Berrong leaped out of the way. Coulter surrendered, then was kicked at least 11 times and punched about four times by a deputy identified as Moore. Couter's defense attorney said his client sustained cracked ribs, cuts and a knot on his head.

Coulter pleaded guilt to reduced charges of reckless endangerment and was sentenced to three years probation. He must also pay restitution to Blount County for damage to Moore's cruiser.

Moore was suspended without pay for three days after the incident. The Sheriff's Office in a statement released last week that the blows Moore inflicted by Coulder were "acceptable," though "not in accordance with BCSO training or policy and procedure."

The Sheriff's Office can't have it both ways. Either Moore's actions were acceptable — meaning they were in line with policy — or they were not. When sheriff's officials speak out of both sides of their mouths, they appear more interested in protecting Moore than seeking justice.

There's enough smoke rising from the incident that Richard Lambert, special agent in charge of the FBI's Knoxville field office, initiated a civil-rights investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice, he said, "will determine whether the amount of force was more than what was reasonable."

A key piece of evidence in the FBI will be the in-cruiser video. Time and time again, videos have proven invaluable in determining what has happened at crime scenes — many times providing evidence that clears officers of wrongdoing. Videotapes, audiotapes of 911 calls, police incident reports and other records available to the public act as a check against police powers.

Some in the Tennessee Legislature have tried to blind the public by exempting incident reports and 911 calls from the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Such efforts are misguided. Secrecy causes citizens to lose confidence in the officials and agents entrusted with public institutions. When government operates in the sunshine, however, the public can have confidence its interests are being protected.

Openness doesn't make government weaker; openness makes government stronger.


ever notice that LEOs think that laws are for US to follow,certainly not THEM?? ever notice their black tinted windows??just try and have YOUR windows tinted black!! ever be going along at the speed limit and be passed by one of them going WAY faster?? ever notice that if you take their picture and they see you ,they will break your camera?? i could go on and on (and probably will)to protect and serve....yeah right!! they all act like they are jesus.but the fact is, sadly, they are mostly scum.

See also:

Blount sheriff on trial for murder of cop - A federal judge is ordering a Blount County Sheriff's Office sergeant to stand trial in a wrongful death lawsuit over a deadly arrest ruse, but the lawman will be seated alone at the defense table. U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan has rejected Sgt. Doug Moore's bid for immunity in the February 2008 shooting death of 61-year-old Leeroy Hickman Jr. outside Hickman's Grove Street home, saying there are too many unanswered questions that only a jury can answer. But in the same order, Varlan dismissed the case against Deputy Lesley Craig, who actually shot Hickman in the back, and Deputies Robert Berkley and Matthew Gilmore, who were part of the deadly ruse but did not fire any shots. It was Moore who set up the ruse to lure Hickman, himself a former lawman, out of his house to arrest him on a domestic violence warrant. Craig dressed in civilian clothes and pretended to be a friend of Hickman's daughter whose truck had broken down outside his house. But the plan quickly went awry, court records show. It was dark and rainy, and Craig's raised hood blocked her from the view of Moore and the other two deputies. Initially, the deputies could hear the conversation between Hickman and Craig because Craig had secretly phoned one of the deputies and left the phone open. But when her phone went dead, Moore, Berkley and Gilmore rushed out of the darkness toward Hickman. Craig ran to the back of her truck, but when she heard the deputies yell 'gun,' she opened fire on Hickman, who was facing his house with his back toward Craig. Hickman's widow alleges that Hickman was 'confused' and frightened when three strangers dressed in dark clothing suddenly rushed toward him and was trying to flee inside his house when he was shot in the back.

"I’ll burn your house down, set your dog on fire and there won’t be a member of your family left, do you understand me? I won’t hire it done, I will do it myself! Do you understand me?”
-Blount County sheriff James Berrong talking to his secretary in the Blount County Justice Center, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Nuchols v. Berrong, No. 04-5645, July 11, 2005
The Police Officer as Psychopath

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lawmakers demand arrest of Blount County court clerk Tom Hatcher

False Academic Degrees

by Baker & Associates, attorneys at law

In today's tough economic climate, it can often be tempting for an individual to take some course of action designed to give them a little bit of an edge in the job hunt. For instance, an individual may claim to have a degree, such as a bachelor's degree in finance or a doctorate or master's degree of some sort in order to look more appealing to a potential employer. Embellishing a resume in this way is a fairly common occurrence, but many individuals do not know that such behavior is actual illegal.

T.C.A. 39-17-112 provides:

(a) It is an offense for any person to knowingly issue, sell or manufacture a false academic degree. As used in this subsection (a), "person" includes any individual, corporation, firm, company, partnership or association.

(b) It is an offense for an individual to knowingly use or claim to have a false academic degree to obtain:

(1) Employment;

(2) A promotion in employment; or

(3) Admission to a college, university or other institution of higher learning.

Such language obviously begs the question of what constitutes a "false academic degree;" a question that is conveniently answered in the next section of the statute.

(c) As used in this section, "false academic degree" shall mean any degree issued that meets one of the following criteria:
(1) Issued without requiring any student academic work;

(2) Issued based solely on the student's life experience or portfolio without requiring any post secondary work submitted to and evaluated by faculty with appropriate academic degrees from an institution that is:

(A) Accredited by a regional accrediting agency or other accrediting agency recognized by the United States department of education; and

(B) Authorized to operate in Tennessee pursuant to the provisions of title 49, chapter 7, part 20, relative to the authorization of post secondary institutions, or is exempted from authorization by the provisions of § 49-7-2004; or

(3) Issued using more than twenty-five percent (25%) of required credits based on the student's life experience or portfolio.

In essence then, it is illegal to have or claim to have a degree that is not earned by the individual based upon the completion or performance of a satisfactory amount of school work that correlates to the degree possessed. Violation of (a) of this statute is a class A misdemeanor carrying a jail sentence of up to eleven months and twenty-nine days and violation of (b) of the statute is a class C misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of up to thirty days in jail. if you or someone you know has been charged with this offense, contact an experienced East Tennessee criminal defense attorney serving Knox County, Sevier County, Sullivan County, Hamblen County, and surrounding areas for assistance with your case.

Bogus Degrees, No Apology, No Moral Compass

by Citizens for Better Government

MARYVILLE, TENN. -- The recent article in the The Daily Times about the Circuit Court Clerk, Tom Hatcher [former BCSO deputy sheriff], purchasing a bogus Bachelors degree with $3910 of County money highlights the absence of a clear moral compass in the county administration. It also shows the result of inadequate policies to govern the behavior of our county officials.

Hatcher purchased the "degree" from an outfit called Columbus Universityin Picayune, Mississippi. He issued a county purchase order on 12/29/04 to pay his $3910 "tuition." Apparently he was able to zip through his course requirements, while holding his full-time county job, because he claimed on his county website (until yesterday) that he was awarded his "Bachelors Degree" from Columbus in 2005.

All of this may have been feasible, since the Daily Times showed that the mailing address of Columbus University was actually the location of 'The Renewed Attitudes Massage and Body Sculpting Studio'.

This waste of taxpayer money is nothing new for Hatcher, who also seems to like nice cars, furniture, and refrigerators, as long as the citizens of the county are paying the bills.

If you claim a bogus degree and are found out, you can expect to be fired in most organizations. Not in Blount County. According to Mayor Cunningham: "The county has no control over how the elected officials spend the money appropriated to their budgets". The Mayor did not mention that he has a great deal of power as the head of the Budget Committee. He also should have substantial sway over the actions of the office holders through the use of the Mayor's office as a "bully pulpit". In addition, a Tennessee statute gives the county judges the power to remove Hatcher for "misbehavior in office". Yet, no one in the county administration, or judiciary, has done anything to censure Hatcher.

Of course, now that he has been caught red-handed, Hatcher has decided to reimburse the county for the $3910 the citizens paid for his bogus degree. Did he accompany the check with a public apology? No. Instead he further insulted the intelligence of Blount county citizens by claiming he: "did not realize the problems existed with Columbus University". As the kids say: "well duhhh". Maybe he should have gotten a clue from the willingness of the University to grant a degree with little work by him. Or, maybe he should have run a few Google searches before he decided to spend the citizens money. Such a search would have revealed that as far back as 1999 articles identified Columbus as a diploma mill; or that CBS 20/20 identified Columbus University as a source of "fake degrees" in May of 2004 (7 months before Hatcher bought his degree); or that the State of Texas listed Columbus University as a "source of fraudulent or substandard degrees". It seems that truth and remorse come hard to Mr. Hatcher.

The Mayor was given the information about the Circuit Court Clerk's waste of funds on a bogus diploma more than a week before the story broke in the paper. So far, the Mayor has done nothing to publicly chastise Hatcher. Apparently, if you misuse funds in Blount County and get caught, all you have to do is repay the money, and all is well with the Mayor. We continue to believe the Mayor is a better man than that, and hope he will show it.

Hatcher was able to get away with his actions, because Blount County does not have any tuition reimbursement policy. Citizens for Better Government has repeatedly pointed to the need for standards and policies in the county, only to be told by the mayor that we are: "dead wrong". We know one thing - without policies and standards - anything goes! Hatcher's actions prove it.

See also:

Tom Hatcher's son, judicial commissioner Dustin Hatcher, was arrested and convicted of felony pedophile rape committed inside the Blount County Justice Center, with photos of the criem spree posted on the walls of Tom Hatcher's court clerk office. Dustin was a recent graduate of car stereo installation (and fast removal) school.

Diploma Mill Columbus University Receives Tennessee County Tax Dollars

Beware of Columbus University — it is a diploma mill. And right now, it is stirring up a cyclone of confusion in Blount County, Tennessee, where employees used a county tuition reimbursement program to pay for unaccredited college degrees.

This is not the first time tax dollars ended up in the pockets of a fake degree mill; and the officials of Blount County plan to insure that tax coffers do not unwittingly feed money into the illegal businesses. The tuition reimbursement policy was revised in 2002; but nothing specifically ruled out employees’ use of the funds for unaccredited universities. In fact, nothing regarding accreditation was addressed at all.

We are not referring to the accredited Columbus State University in Georgia with a sprawling campus and fine academic and athletic programs. And this is not about Columbia University, the one with ground-breaking research and a world-renowned medical center. No, we are discussing the ’school’ with a storefront rather than a campus, and a mailbox instead of a sports team.

Columbus University was based in Lousiana until a CBS News story was the catalyst for an investigation, forcing the institution to close its doors in 2004. But it popped up again in Mississippi just a few months later, where it continues to flourish. The investigation followed disclosures that high-ranking government official, Charles Abell, held a master’s degree from the degree mill. At the time, Abell was Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness.

Distance learning is a popular and fast-growing alternative that has drawn millions to online colleges and universities. Accredited online degrees are flexible; but the requirements for earning an online bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree are simliar in coursework and credits to those of traditional colleges and universities.

Reputable online degree programs are generally eligible for federal financial aid, something that is not true for diploma mills. Also, both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education maintain a database of approved accrediting agencies and colleges for those wishing to double-check their e-learning choices.

Columbus University takes the money of willing victims and sends them a worthless college diploma. But at least Blount County, Tennessee, is working to see that it does not happen to their employees anymore.

online degrees, online schools, accredited online degree, online degree program, e-learning, diploma mill, unaccredited college degree, fake degrees, tuition reimbursement, colleges_and_universities, Columbus University, online bachelors degree, online masters degree, online doctoral degree, distance learning

Friday, November 25, 2011

Honda Gold Wing vs Boeing 737

The entire Republic of Nuaru, airport at bottom

Boeing 737 vs. Honda Goldwing: who wins?

I was there
By John Laming

The runway on Nauru is 5200 feet long, the Pacific Ocean at both ends leaving no room for greaser landings. The airport terminal is barely 100 yards from the runway, and it seems that half the population of Nauru came to watch the arrival of the daily flights. I soon found out why this was such an attraction.

Through the window of the crew bus, I saw the Boeing 737 curve around the back of the island on close base leg and then suddenly there it was on short final with full flap and smoke streaming from both tailpipes. At 130 knots, it smacked down right on the 1000-foot marker with a flash of blue smoke from skidding tyres, while at the same time the top surfaces of the wings came alive with ground and flight spoilers. Simultaneously, the reversers opened wide with a shattering roar of increasing power. Now that was a man’s aeroplane.

A few months later, I had a command on the 737 and by the time I moved on ten years later, I had flown over 7000 hours on type. There were many exciting times flying the 737 – too many to mention here – except perhaps one that often repeated itself.

Nauru was a tiny phosphate-rich island with lots of money. There was no shortage of new cars, powerful motor bikes and beer, and inevitably each weekend would see the death of young men wiping themselves out in vehicle accidents caused by speed and alcohol. A favourite sport would be to race a departing 737, either in a car or on a motor bike. The main road around the island paralleled the runway by 50 yards and this gave a mile of straight but narrow road before it curved away from the surrounding ocean reef.

These obese young bloods (Editor’s note: According to the World Health Organization, Nauru is the world’s fattest country, with an average BMI of 34 to 35) had 1500cc Honda Goldwings and other equally massive motor bikes. They would cruise around the island playing loud rock and roll music from loud-speakers mounted on the bikes or on Land Rovers.

Occasionally, when the police were looking the other way, one would see a Nauruan sitting astride his Goldwing abeam the threshold of runway 12, revving the engine while waiting for the departing 737 to take off. Crash helmets were unheard of, and a T-shirt, shorts and sandals the only protection from a 100mph crash.

Backtracking the departure runway you knew that the race was about to begin. Turning to line up, you would see a Nauruan on his big bike casually waiting by the side of the runway. Passengers would wave from their windows and as the brakes were released, the Nauruan on his Goldwing would open up to full throttle to race us down the runway. At full thrust of 2.18 EPR, the ground trembled and spectators covered their ears to protect themselves from the incredible crackling roar which was the wonderful characteristic of the JT8D engines. A combined 31,000 pounds of thrust makes an awful lot of noise on a small island. With houses a few paces from the runway, noise abatement was for wimps.

It was quite a sight to see the Goldwing at full chat, with its rider head down, and burning rubber a few yards off our wing tip. At the 80 knot call, the Goldwing would be ahead of us by a nose but the game was well and truly over by rotate speed of 130 knots. It was good fun and few got hurt, although I often wondered how many of these riders nearly ended up in the Pacific Ocean as they negotiated the 45 degree bend in the road just a few yards from the end of the runway.

Following my retirement from airline flying at age 60, I have returned to visit Nauru on several occasions. The grunty Boeing 737-200 has been replaced by the quieter and bigger 737-400, but the motor bikes are still the big Goldwings and Yamahas – and now a little rusty from the salt spray of the Pacific rollers.

The headstones of their riders gradually fill the cemetery grounds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kia copies The Dragonater in new TV advert

Watching the DVR tonight, spotted a new car ad filmed at Nashville Superspeedway under the lights...same as my TV show and blog post, First Track Day, from July. The Kia Electric Turbo Hybrid ad is new in November. The Kia ad even copied The Dragonater's Adobe After Effects...excellent taste and marketing skilz.

Download the full 2-hour documentary by The Dragonater

Too bad US aautomakers are too busy exporting factories to Communist China to patronize dying racetracks in USA. Govt-owned NSS is now officially closed for business.

Inside Edition TV and History Channel already copy The Dragonater, even featuring The Dragonater's name and websites every month.

Memphis TN news: Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia Web

Kia Blog

Final superbike race at NSS

Friday, November 18, 2011

TN passes new law requiring pigs suck your blood

Sucking dick can get you out of an arrest in TN...ask Barbie Cummings, George W Bush and his lover Victor Ashe

Didn't the TeeVee Noos tell about the current Prohibition on alcohol in Tennessee and USSA? Do YOU know what to say or not during a traffic stop?

"Strictly speaking, a driver can register a BAC of 0.00% and still be convicted of a DUI. The level of BAC does not clear a driver when it is below the 'presumed level of intoxication.'"
Tennessee Driver Handbook and Driver License Study Guide, 1990 to 2012

"One of the major defects in many methods of blood-alcohol analysis is the failure to identify ethanol to the exclusion of all other chemical compounds. Thus a client with other compounds in his blood or breath may have a high 'blood-alcohol' reading with little or no ethanol in his body. If you look at the warranties - it is sort of interesting - none of the breath machine manufacturers warrant these things to actually test blood alcohol."
—Lawrence Taylor, attorney at law, DUICENTER.COM, Drunk Driving Defense, 5th Edition (2000)

"Nearly 400 people were convicted of driving while intoxicated in the District since fall 2008 based on inaccurate results from breath test machines, and half of them went to jail, city officials said Wednesday. D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said the machines were improperly adjusted by city police. The jailed defendants generally served at least five days, he said. Nickles's office has begun notifying the drivers, a move that immediately triggered at least one lawsuit against the District and could lead to requests for expungements, new trials and even deeper skepticism about the integrity of testing. The District's badly calibrated equipment would show a driver's blood-alcohol content to be about 20 percent higher than it actually was, Nickles said. All 10 of the breath test machines used by District police were wrong, he said. The problem occurred when the officer in charge of maintaining the machines improperly set the baseline alcohol concentration levels, Nickles said."
—Mary Pat Flaherty, Washington Post, 400 drunken-driving convictions in D.C. based on flawed test, official says, June 10, 2010

"Nancy Benoit also had a blood alcohol reading of .184, although Sperry said the blood alcohol and drug levels could be affected by the decomposition of her body. 'These (blood alcohol) results are not reliable for interpretation because the amount of alcohol in her system could have all come from the decomposition.'"
—Cindy Morley, Fayette Daily News, GBI: Chris Benoit's son was full of Xanax, July 18, 2007

New DUI Law for 2012 in Tennessee

The Tennessee DUI current law provides that a police officer who has probable cause to believe an individual is driving under the influence, they may request the person submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. If the person elects not to submit to the blood alcohol test they will be charged with a violation of the Tennessee implied consent law and will lose their driver's license for one year.

On May 20, 2011, the Tennessee legislature changed the DUI law starting in 2012. The new DUI law in Tennessee will require that anyone who has a prior DUI conviction, vehicular homicide due to intoxication conviction or aggravated vehicular homicide conviction or any person with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time, MUST submit to either a blood or breath test if they are believed to be driving under the influence. The new DUI law (HB 715 and SB 1270) states, in part:

“The test shall be performed in accordance with the procedure set forth in this section and shall be performed regardless of whether the driver does or does not consent to the test.”

The new DUI law in Tennessee raises constitutionality questions with regards to whether the forced blood alcohol tests would be admissible at trial. The 2012 DUI law has been submitted to the Governor and will go into effect on January 1, 2012.

By Shipley
By Beavers

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39; Title 40 and Title 55, relative to driving under the influence.


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-10-406(f), is amended by adding
the word "or" after subdivision (f)(1), by designating existing subdivision (f)(2) as (f)(4), and by adding the following new subdivisions (f)(2) and (f)(3):

(2) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the driver of a
motor vehicle has committed a violation of § 55-10-401, § 39-13-213(a)(2) or § 39-13-218, and has been previously convicted of § 55-10-401, § 39-13-213(a)(2) or § 39-13-218, the officer shall cause the driver to be tested for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the driver's blood. The test shall be performed in accordance with the procedure set forth in this section and shall be performed regardless of whether the driver does or does not consent to the test.

(3) If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle has committed a violation of § 55-10-401, § 39-13-213(a)(2) or § 39-13-218 and a passenger in the motor vehicle is a child under the age of sixteen (16), the officer shall cause the driver to be tested for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the driver's blood. The test shall be performed in accordance with the procedure set forth in this section and shall be performed regardless of whether the driver does or does not consent to the test.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 55-10-406(f)(2), is amended by
deleting from subdivision (f)(4) the language “(f)(1)” and substituting instead the language “(f)(1), (f)(2) and (f)(3).”

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012, the public welfare requiring it.

"Let me start with law enforcement contacts with respect to traffic stops, for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Fifth amendment of the Bill of Rights states that we are not to be forced to incrimnate ourselves. The actual wording is, you cannot be compelled to be a witness against yourself. If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, these are your rights regardless of the laws of your state. First of all, you are to deny having consumed any alcoholic beverages whatsoever. You are never to admit to having one or two drinks. If you admit to consuming even one drop of alcohol, you open the door to 'probable cause', allowing the police officer to search your car for open containers. Next, you are never to submit to a Field Sobriety Test. You are to refuse to do so. They cannot make you walk the line, they cannot make you balance or anything else. Now when you are arrested, you are to refuse to allow a blood-alcohol test, regardless of what state law 'requires', such as revocation of driving priveleges for a period of time. That's an attempt to compel you to be a witness against yourself. Supreme Court decisions in this area are very specific with regards to your rights as folows: Lefkowitz vs Turley, and the Fifth Amendment, provides that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, and permits him to refuse to any any other qustions put to him in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where the answers might incriminate him in future criminal proceedings."
—George Gordon Law Hour, The Policeman is not your friend - He is your adversary, October 30, 2007

"I saw two officers as before, who rode up to me, with their pistols in their hands, said God damn you stop, if go an Inch further, you are a dead Man, and swore if we did not turn in to that pasture, they would blow our brains out. Major Mitchel of the 5th Regt clapd his Pistol to my head, and said he was going to ask me some questions, if I did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out. I told him I esteemed myself a man of truth, that he had stopped me on the highway, & made me a prisoner, I knew not by what right; I would tell him the truth; I was not afraid."
—Paul Revere, owner of RevereWare¨, sworn affidavit: "Memorandum on Events of April 18, 1775" (declassified Top Secret), while under arrest (and subsequent escape) from Redcoat martial-law traffic police at Minute Man National Historic Park, Paul Revere Capture Site, on the eve of the American Revolutionary War and kicking off the Battle of Lexington and Concord, against the army, navy and courts of King George III, heriditary dictator of England who attempted "gun control" by an Assault Weapons Ban of defensive 50-caliber muskets and cannon, Paul Revere's Ride, by David Hackett Fischer

"Mr. Speaker, my subject today is whether America is a police state. If we are, what are we going to do about it? Most police states, surprisingly, come about through the democratic process with majority support. The masses are easily led to believe that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, and demand for security far exceeds that for liberty. Our government already keeps close tabs on just about everything we do and requires official permission for nearly all of our activities. One might take a look at our Capitol for any evidence of a police state. We see: barricades, metal detectors, police, military soldiers at times, dogs, ID badges required for every move, vehicles checked at airports and throughout the Capitol. The people are totally disarmed, except for the police and the criminals. But worse yet, surveillance cameras in Washington are everywhere to ensure our safety. Like gun control, people control hurts law-abiding citizens much more than the law-breakers. Centralized control and regulations are required in a police state. Not only do we need a license to drive, but we also need special belts, bags, buzzers, seats and environmentally dictated speed limits. Or a policeman will be pulling us over to levy a fine, and he will be toting a gun for sure. Let's reject the police state."
—Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, MD (R-TX, 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for President, Landslide GOP candidate for president in 2008 and 2012), speech in House of Representatives, United States Congress, "Are We Doomed To Be a Police State?" June 27, 2002

Pooper Troopers and the Thick Brown Line

Pigs love poo... The fallout from an incident involving a trooper pursuing, pulling over and detaining a speeding Miami police officer at gunpoint has escalated in a war of words on Internet sites, and has continued to bubble over with the defacing of a trooper’s car with gallons of human feces.

Maybe this is the proper police procedure to handle cops on the Dragon?

Miami police chief disciplines officer in FHP caper

By David Ovalle and Diana Moskovitz
The Miami Herald
November 10, 2011

Miami Police officer Thomas Vokaty may have picked the wrong state trooper to pull over in an apparent retaliatory move in tensions between the two departments.

The trooper, identified as Cpl. Victor Luquis, has a brother Ronald Luquis, a sergeant in Miami Police's internal affairs division.

Luquis made a quick phone call. And pretty quickly, supervisors from both departments were involved. Sources close to the investigation said Luquis notified dispatch and called his brother.

The traffic stop — the trooper was not ticketed or arrested — was one of the latest actions in a back-and-forth feud between the Florida Highway Patrol and Miami police that started last month when Florida Highway Patrol trooper Donna Jane Watts drew her gun, handcuffed, then charged Miami Officer Fausto Lopez with reckless driving on Florida's Turnpike in Broward.

In her report, Watts wrote that Lopez was traveling at speeds in excess of 120 mph.

The incident, captured on video, has sparked furor among citizens, many upset at Lopez's alleged speed. It also brought anger from law enforcement officers who say Watts acted recklessly in drawing her weapon, yelling and handcuffing a fellow police officer.

In online law enforcement blog posts, Watts has been ridiculed and threatened. In recent days, somebody dumped feces on the patrol car of trooper Joe Sanchez, a former Miami commissioner. The car was parked in front of Sanchez's Miami home.

Dont Tread On Me Gadsden Flag Florida Highway Patrol badge
FHP adopts new motto
On Thursday, Miami interim Police Chief Manuel Orosa broke his silence on the events that have been roiling the department in recent weeks, and took a firm stand. He issued a formal warning to Vokaty, and tightened the department's policy for pulling over fellow law enforcement officers, mandating no traffic stops without approval from a supervisor and only if the targeted officer was involved in a felony.

Orosa's measures came two days after Vokaty, a 27-year-veteran, pulled over Luquis, in uniform and driving an FHP squad car, on Florida's Turnpike at Okeechobee Road despite "not having jurisdictional authority," according to a discipline report released Thursday.

Appearing at a routine morning roll call at Miami police headquarters, he tried to quell talk of tension between the agencies, stressing unity and a continued partnership.

In a later news release, Orosa said: "The recent traffic stop of an FHP trooper by one of our officers was an isolated incident, and his actions should not reflect negatively on the Miami Police Department or the professional men and women who work for us."

He added: "Additionally, I have attended roll calls and am pleased to say that all officers I've met with feel that the MPD and FHP are, and will always be, part of the greater law enforcement family in spite of the recent incidents."

FHP spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky agreed with Orosa, saying the recent incidents were isolated.

The initial traffic stop by Watts is being reviewed by FHP administration, Wysocky said, although Watts herself has not been suspended and is not under investigation. Watts was told several times by superiors the morning of Oct. 11 to back off after it was determined that she was following a speeding marked Miami police unit on Florida's Turnpike in Hollywood.

Watts did take some personal off, Wysocky said.

As for dumping human waste on Sanchez's squad car, Wysocky said "we're not accusing them."

The agency would not be investigating the incident further, he said earlier.

It was not clear whether Sanchez's home had security cameras mounted outside. "We were told there was no evidence,'' he said.

Vokaty will not be suspended, but he received a "record of formal counseling" for violating department policy.

Orosa said he has been in contact with FHP leaders since the initial incident "to keep the lines of communication open and ensure my commitment'' to the two agencies continuing to work together.

Miami Police and FHP conduct training, road blocks and other joint initiatives, he said.

"I look forward to our continued partnership for years to come," Orosa said in his statement.

Miami Herald staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report.



See also:

Miami cop crashes patrol car into pole, poops his pants


Cops take a shit dump on other cops' cars in a TURD WAR.

Proof that all cops are morons.

The Perils of Cop on Cop Law Enforcement

November 15, 2011

UPDATE: I highly recommend you take a look at the attitude of Florida cops with respect to this trooper and her enforcement of traffic laws on other LEO’s. This is an extremely instructive forum thread, and you should see it before they hide it from the public:

LEOaffairs.com: Trooper Watts HOW DARE YOU?????

Back on October 30th, a Florida State Trooper actually pulled over a Miami Police Department officer in a marked squad car for traveling in excess of 120 miles per hour on the freeway, weaving in and out of traffic, and doing so without lights and sirens, ultimately executing a felony stop, which includes a drawn weapon and loud voice commands requiring the driver to exit the vehicle to and submit to handcuffing at gunpoint. It turns out, the MPD officer was on his way not to an urgent call, but an off-duty event at a school, with some “very important people” present. He was cited for misdemeanor reckless driving, and released, after a lengthy bitching out by the FHP trooper. You can bet your ass that if an average citizen were going 120 on the freeway and weaving in and out of traffic and failing to stop for 7 solid minutes of hot pursuit, he’d get a lot worse than a stint in cuffs and a stern talking to. He’d have his head caved in while the Fox news chopper circled overhead.

It appears that this incident is the culmination of a long-standing situation wherein MPD officers drive at crazy speeds on highways patrolled by the FHP, expecting what is known as “professional courtesy” from the troopers, meaning essentially that speeding laws simply don’t apply to Miami police officers like they do the rest of us. Apparently, Miami PD have worn out their welcome on the freeways of southern Florida and exhausted any “professional courtesy” the FHP was willing to extend.

The fallout from the event has become an even more interesting story than the unusual traffic stop itself. Police officers across the country, and especially the Miami Police Union, have severely criticized the Florida Highway Patrol officer’s actions, but beyond their stern official press release, and internet comments filled with righteous indignation and liberally seasoned with misogyny, they have resorted to some very juvenile retaliation in an effort to express their disgust for this violation of the “code.” In one instance, a load of human feces was spread all over an FHP trooper’s patrol car, and in another, a Miami PD officer pulled over and harassed (but did not cite) an FHP trooper as he was driving in Miami, although, that didn’t work out too well, when it turned out the trooper’s brother is a detective in the Internal Affairs division of the Miami PD. The feud is getting out of hand, and as incidents like this escalate, accompanied by heated rhetoric all over the police-focused blogosphere and social media sites, the Chief of Miami’s PD, Manuel Orosa told reporters at a recent press conference, “whatever issues may be out there have to stop, and stop now,” according to the Miami Herald.

For readers of CopBlock.org, this kind of reaction shouldn’t be surprising. After all, we have whole categories full of stories for this kind of double-standard, where the cops assume they are above the law, and get royally pissed whenever they are held to any sort of account, much less the same standards of behavior and compliance with the law they enforce on the rest of us. But this story is unique in the near universal consensus on the part of police officers across the country that the Florida trooper was in the wrong. Sometimes, when the police have to enforce the law against one of their own, there is substantial division in the LEO community, or at least an acknowledgment that the arrestee did something wrong, whether or not they agree with the collar. There seems to be almost no willingness to admit that the Miami cop was endangering the lives of everyone on that road, just because he was late for an *OFF DUTY* event. I’ve been pulled over for speeding before when I was late for work. I got a ticket and no sympathy whatsoever from the cop, and I sure as hell wasn’t going 120 mph.

The brazenness with which the LEO’s on PoliceOne, YouTube, and Big City Cops, for instance, assert that they ought to be entirely immune from any kind of restraint on their driving, regardless of where they are going or why is almost shocking, until you remember, these are the police. They typically recognize no authority but their own. However, that attitude is particularly ironic in light of recent events in Tucson, Arizona. Just a couple of days ago, a suspect managed to steal a police car and lead the cops and sheriff’s deputies on an 80+ mile high speed chase, on the freeway, at speeds in excess of 120 mph. Hmm. And last year, I wrote about this guy, who stole a cop car and drove recklessly around the city until he crashed into a bus and died as a result. Since that Miami PD officer did not at any point communicate with the FHP trooper via radio, she really had no reason not to assume a crime was in progress (and she was right).

Ultimately, what galls me most is the sense of entitlement to this double standard that pervades the law enforcement community, and the culture of back-scratching, covering up and outright dishonesty that goes along with it. Police can literally get away with murder, and their coworkers are loathe to do anything about it. Honest cops who do stand up and enforce the law against misbehaving fellow officers have their careers destroyed, or at the very least can expect to get no assistance or back-up if their lives are ever actually in danger. They’ll make no bones about it either, they’re happy to declare, out in the open for all to see, that their “brotherhood,” and loyalty to each other is far more important than actually obeying the laws they themselves are charged with enforcing on the rest of us. It absolutely creates corruption, fosters abuse of authority, and guarantees that the worst of the worst ascend to ever-higher positions within the force, while the good guys get run out of their jobs altogether.

Just look at the fiasco in New York City, where several officers are up on charges of corruption, including rampant ticket fixing and even covering up an aggravated assault by an officer. Far from being embarrassed by these cops “tarnishing the badge,” their fellow officers have been out in large numbers at the courthouse nearly every day to support these accused criminals, intimidating the press, and the prosecutor, and telling anyone who will listen that what they supposedly did was “no big deal,” a “courtesy,” and bizarrely, employing the Nuremberg defense, saying they were “just following orders.” Under the circumstances, how can anyone have any respect for the badge, or the men and women who wear it? I know I don’t.