Saturday, September 24, 2011


I wasn't going to post anything today, then I got up and read the following story.  Sometimes, folks, I think I am just going to lose it all.

The first story below is from the local CBS Miami affiliate and the second is from National Broadside.  You ought to read them both.  However, if you are trying to have a pleasant Saturday, you might wait.

Family Hires Attorney After Police Scuffle With Special Needs Man

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Gilberto Powell, shown, and his family have hired attorney Philip Gold after they say Powell was excessively batterd by police. (Source: Philip Gold)
Gilberto Powell, shown, and his family have hired attorney Philip Gold after they say Powell was excessively batterd by police. (Source: Philip Gold)

RICHMOND HEIGHTS (CBS4) Family members of a man with Down Syndrome who was allegedly battered by a Miami-Dade police officer, have hired an attorney in what they say is a case of bullying and excessive force.
According to the police report, two Miami-Dade officers stopped Gilberto Powell, 22, in his Richmond Heights neighborhood while he was walking home at around 9 p.m. on Saturday.
During that time, the patrol officers stopped Powell because they saw a “bulge in (Powell’s) waist band,” the report said. That’s when police, “decided that a pat-down should be conducted.”
While attempting to pat him down, police said Powell “pushed off the vehicle and attempted to flee.”
After police gave “multiple commands to stop moving in attempt to handcuff him,” he “fell on the ground and struck his forehead,” officers wrote in the incident report.
Still ignoring their loud verbal commands “to stop resisting and obey,” police said Powell struck one of the officers in the chest and attempted to flee.
That officer then “struck the left side of (Powell’s) face with an open hand in an attempt to subdue him.”
Powell was by his house when he was handcuffed, according to the family’s attorney Philip Gold.
The officers finally determined the bulge in Powell’s pants was his medical colostomy bag, and Powell’s family says police pulled it from his body.
Powell’s father, Gilberto Hernandez told CBS4′s Natalia Zea he ran out of the house when he realized what was happening to his son.
“I ran out yelling ‘hey hey what are you doing to him? He’s Down Syndrome! Leave him alone! What are you doing?’ And when I got over there not one minute later his face was all busted up and he was in handcuffs.”
Hernandez couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“I felt helpless, ’cause he was calling my name….He’s my baby, I go he goes, anywhere I go he goes with me.”
Gold said such a force by officer was not necessary.
“This is a case of excessive force and this may be a case of discrimination,” Gold said.
Gold said Richmond Heights is historically a black community and his “client was walking down the street from his own house when the police officers stopped him.”
He added that Powell, “Is hard to understand. They asked him what he had on him and he said a phone… he showed them a phone.”
In the police report, the officers reported that Powell was “not capable of understanding their commands,” and he was not arrested.
Powell was taken to Jackson Memorial South Hospital after the incident.
Gold said the family is shocked by the incident adding that Powell called his father earlier to say he was coming home and to open the door for him.
“They’re shocked that this would happen, or even could happen, and they are very emotional because they’ve spent Gilberto’s life caring for him and he’s someone who requires a lot of care and his parents have done that for him,” Gold said. “And when they witnessed it they came outside the house to see what had happened. They are an emotional wreck to see their baby boy harmed.”
Gold said that the next thing they saw when they stepped outside was Powell being body slammed and stripped. He said the family also told him that police ripped out Powell’s colostomy bag and punch him in the face.
“The father kept telling me, ‘Why would this happen to him?’ He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Gold said.
Gold said Powell has Down Syndrome and is loved around the community. He said Powell told him that he “just wanted to go home and the cop is bad.”
“He’s never going to truly communicate how bad this was, but I can tell you that it’s inexcusable, unjustified form and it’s brutality,” Gold said.
Powell’s family is considering filing a lawsuit, and is meeting with Miami-Dade Police and they want something else.
“I’d like an apology for me and my family, and really I’m just doing this to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other little kid or anybody,” said Hernandez.
Gold said the department has six months to investigate the case before he makes the next move.
The police department released a statement saying, “The Miami-Dade Police Department continues to investigate the incident involving Mr. Gilberto Powell.  The integrity of the investigation and successful resolution of this case continues to remain our highest priority.  As a result, the investigation remains active and ongoing; therefore, we cannot provide additional information at this time.”   



SEPTEMBER 24, 2011

This is another example of police attacking innocent people violently in violation of the law. Gilberto Powell was walking the half block from a friends house to his home. Gilberto, who has Downs Syndrome, is around 5 feet tall. He called his parents to tell them he was coming home but before he could walk the short distance he was attacked by Miami police officers.
The officers claim they wanted to investigate a “suspicious bulge” in his pants. Who do they think they are? The TSA?

Now, a bulge is not a crime. And it is only “suspicious” if you have that sort of mentality. But suspicion is not evidence and individuals walking home can’t be stopped and frisked for no reason other than a police officer’s fervid imagination. Gilberto insists he did what the police officers told him to do but that they started hitting him and then pulled the colostomy bag he wears out of his pants.

When Gilberto’s parents got outside their son was bruised and beaten and in handcuffs.

I have said it before and have to say it again: treat the police as you would a rabid dog. Do not go near them. Do not try to befriend them. Do not try to help them. If you see them avoid them. They can’t be trusted. Sure, some of them are tame, but you can’t immediately tell which is which. I have reported before that people who merely opened their door to cops who were looking for an address have suddenly witnessed these thugs pull their guns and murder their dog because it was barking inside the house.

I also urge parents to teach their children to avoid police whenever possible. The police are not their friends either. As I have shown on this blog multiple times, with video, police officers are not adverse to attacking and beating children either. And all it takes is saying the wrong thing to set these criminals off.

I wish this were not the case. I wish we were still in the America where a police officer would help you or try to peacefully resolve any conflict they find. They resort to violence quickly and with little rational forethought. And the results are that a lot of innocent people get hurt.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Border piggies
We often hears tells of white, racist vigilante groups down on the border.  They've got nothing on the official border patrol of the USA.  Crimes are taking place, and they aren't the crimes of "illegal" border crossing.  They are crimes of assault, physical, sexual, crimes of an often cruel and sadistic nature, crimes against, children.  crimes basically against humanity and no one is being arrested.  No one is being jailed.  At least, not the criminals.  The victims do get arrested and jailed.  It's America.  It's on the border...out of sight...out of mind.  OUTRAGEOUS!

The following comes from Narcosphere.

Border Patrol "A Culture of Cruelty"

By Brenda Norrell
Photos 1 and 2 copyright Michael Hyatt. Photo 3 copyright Brenda Norrell

TUCSON -- The Tucson-based humanitarian organization No More Deaths released a new report on Wednesday, "A Culture of Cruelty: Abuse and Impunity in Short-Term US Border Patrol Custody," documenting rampant abuse by the US Border Patrol.

The report reveals that US Border Patrol agents are out of control and acting with impunity. The documented abuse describes Border Patrol agents beating children and adults and repeatedly denying medical treatment. Further, migrants suffering in the desert were denied water in the Sonoran Desert, where temperatures can reach over 112 degrees.

"Many of them plainly meet the definition of torture under international law," the report says of the abuse.
Unsafe detention practices and the physical, emotional and psychological abuse of detainees are described in the report. No More Deaths and partner organizations interviewed nearly 13,000 former detainees to compile the report over the past two years. Many of those walking are Indigenous Peoples, walking to survive as their homelands are seized by corporations or drug cartels.

Following a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 21, an oversight committee of professionals -- including a social worker, nurse, doctor, clergy and humanitarian aid representatives -- went to the US Border Patrol Headquarters in Tucson and delivered the report. When entrance gates to the Border Patrol were closed and locked, protesters stood with banners and chanted, "End the abuse now!" at the locked gates.
The protest at the US Border Patrol Headquarters was at the entrance to Davis Monthan Airforce Base, where Tucson police soon arrived. Later, a representative of the Border Patrol came out to the street and accepted the report from the oversight committee of professionals.
"It was a good day!" said Isabelle Garcia of Derechos Humanos, among the humanitarian groups based in Tucson, joining No More Deaths to deliver the report.
No More Deaths, founded in 2003, provides humanitarian aid in the desert, including food and water to those dying in the Sonoran Desert. No More Deaths has provided training for thousands of volunteers to provide aid to migrants at desert camps and border aid stations. Volunteers search the desert for those in distress, in an effort to save lives in the desert.
Danielle Alvarado, No More Deaths volunteer, said of the new report, "What we've found is clearly not the result of a few 'bad apples.' We continue to hear the same stories from thousands of people, released from different Border Patrol stations, year after year. They are alarmingly consistent."
Interviews revealed migrants suffering from dehydration were denied water, children and adults were beaten, migrants were denied sleep and subjected to humiliation and other forms of psychological abuse. Migrants were denied medicine, including diabetics, and denied food. Border Patrol agents also verbally abused migrants with racist insults.
Migrants recount abuse in 'A Culture of Cruelty'
Jorge, 27, from Guatemala, said six Border Patrol agents, including some on motorcycles and horses, surrounded his group of ten people. He was thrown to the ground face-forward and an agent hit him with the butt of a gun. Agents yelled insulting names at them. Jorge was held for three days in the Tuscon processing center. When he asked to see a doctor, he was repeatedly refused. Over three days their requests for food was denied and they were only given small packets of crackers. His belongings were not returned, including his birth certificate and $100 in cash.

Angelica from Mexico was apprehended trying to reach her son in Oregon. While in custody in Yuma, Arizona, agents threw away her medicine. "Border Patrol agents kicked Angelica in the stomach and denied her medical attention." When she was interviewed, she had persistent pain the abdomen. 
One mother of three children lived in the US for 17 years then returned to Mexico for the funeral of her parents. When she returned to Nogales, Arizona, she was apprehended. Guards laughed at her for "being Mexican." "They had her strip naked; then they took her clothes and touched her breasts in the presence of both male and female guards." Her belongings were taken and not returned, including her $20. She was given papers to sign in English, without translation, and deported.
A sixteen-year-old from Guatemala was thrown to the ground and kicked in the knee by a Border Patrol agent. Agents took his $20 and hit him in the head with a flashlight. As he recounted what was done to him, he asked why they had beaten him. "They didn't understand me and treated me like a dog." Border Patrol agents made fun of him, saying he was like a "toy." The agents taunted him, asking him if he wanted food or water, and then denied him food and water. During three days in custody, he was finally given a juice box and some crackers.
Ricardo, 33, from Michoacan, Mexico, lived in the US for 14 years with his wife and two children. When his mother's leg was amputated, he returned to Mexico. "Ricardo was taken hostage by the Zeta cartel, which beat and abused him for 15 days." His brother helped pay the ransom of $800. He then spent five days in the desert suffering from dehydration and exhaustion. He surrendered to the Border Patrol and told agents in Tucson that he was seeking asylum, because if he returned to Mexico, the Zetas would kill him. He also said he needed to return to his family in the US. The agent responded, "If you do not return to Mexico, we're going to kill you here." The agent said, "The illegals here don't have any rights. Here you are nothing." Ricardo was cuffed on the knees and physically abused by agents before being deported.
Rampant crime in border agencies, from Arizona to Texas
The report, "A Culture of Cruelty," was released Wednesday as a culture of crime is now being exposed, including the ATF's Project Gunrunner, which put assault weapons in the hands of drug cartels. This week, the El Paso Times revealed FBI whistleblowers exposing US law enforcement working with drug cartels along the border in El Paso and New Mexico. Further, the US Border Patrol has admitted that Border Patrol agents have been arrested for crimes involving corruption, which includes taking bribes and giving sensitive information to criminals. At the same time, private prisons continue profiteering from the xenophobia of migrants, and all people of color, at the US/Mexico border.
The abuse by the US Border Patrol agents in Arizona was so severe, that Arizona police officers, in the files exposed by Lulzsec, said they did not want to leave migrants out in the desert without water, as the Border Patrol agents in Why, Arizona, repeatedly did not respond to calls. In other words, Border Patrol agents based in Why, on the edge of the Tohono O'odham Nation near Lukeville, were leaving migrants to die of dehydration in the desert south of Phoenix, where temperatures soar to 116 degrees.
Increasingly on the Arizona border and on Tohono O'odham land, the migrants walking and dying are Indigenous women, walking with their children, including Mayans from Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guatemala and elsewhere in Central and South America.
Although Border Patrol agents are being charged with crimes of corruption, agents continue to abuse migrants with impunity.
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs in 2011, Alan Bersin, commissioner of the Customs and Border Patrol, said: “Since 2004 in October, 127 CBP personnel have been arrested, charged or convicted of corruption. Of the 127 arrests, 95 are considered mission compromising acts of corruption. This means that the employee’s illegal activities were for personal gain and violated, or facilitated the violation of, the laws CBP personnel are charged with enforcing.”
Customs and Border Patrol is a component of the Department of Homeland Security. CBP employs about 60,000 people, 40,000 of which work at the U.S. borders.
Read the report, A Culture of Cruelty, online:
To reprint photos or article, please contact:
More photos from Border Patrol Headquarters on Wednesday:

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 29 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.