Category Archives: Filming Police

Police Interaction Book

Preface – The King’s Men

The following words are an attempt to catalog my experiences with police, and frame them in such a way that makes it as clear as possible what my perspective was. From the very first time that a police officer pointed his sidearm at me to the very last, I’ve continuously known that the actions of both myself and the police officers I met would be difficult for many people to understand. I have known that I’ve never appeared really normal or average when others view my actions, but I have always felt that this was due to a fundamental misunderstanding of my premise.

However, this book is not truly about me. While I myself must frame the stories, since I (and my corroborating cameras) were actually there, the stories herein are about the individual police officers; the specific humans that occupy the uniforms of law enforcement; the minds within the machine. Perhaps I have my own biases, partially due to my own ego and drive to succeed, but I will include no added lies or falsifications to tell the story better for my perspective; I will only include the full picture of truth that I can, because the boring old truth still ends up being a sum of unbelievable experiences with a plethora of colorful people. I have shocked myself in what I’ve seen with my own eyes, and I hope that you might be able to withdraw the same knowledge that I have from my experiences.

While this book will be universally declared by angry critics to be completely anti-police, let me make it clear that this is not the case. Police are a necessary part of a peaceful society. Absolutely necessary. Not everyone in a society, certainly not a majority, are likely to be professionals at conflict resolution, confrontation de-escalation, and defense of the peaceful population at large; I think that every reader, and myself, will agree that this is ideally the ultimate role of police in society.

This is not how police actually are.

Police are trained not to resolve conflicts, but to investigate and cage possible offenders of an arbitrary edict sent down from the metaphorical king in Washington, DC or Lansing, Michigan or your local city hall. The king (the government: the state, and their courts) has offices nationwide, and indeed across the world. Though the exact nature of how that king comes to power is no longer a method as arbitrary as family lines or marriage, the collective edicts returned from the king(s) carry the threat of violent, life-threatening, physical force from the king’s men (police) if you dare defy such edict. It does not matter if you didn’t hurt anyone or if there is no complaining victim: the king’s men will put you in a cage if the king says so, end of story.

Police are not trained to deescalate confrontations, but to escalate them until they gain physical control. If a police officer wants to talk to you, and you are walking away from him (since you have the fundamental right to ignore any stranger on the street, regardless of their costume or certification from the king), since he thinks the king will grant him permission to do so, he will grab your arm to stop you. If you resist, he will either knock you to the ground with his body or his Taser. If you defend yourself from this clear aggression, the officer will murder you. If you submit to the torture, you will be chained, caged, and be told to remit a portion of your wealth to the king to leave said cage.

I once got pulled over for having a muddy license plate (the purpose of such plate being that the king may better identify and steal from his subjects), just a few minutes after being on a muddy dirt road. The only issue here is that the police want to be able to see the plate; its not like anyone was harmed in the making of this $60 traffic ticket. If I hadn’t paid that $60, the police would eventually send a SWAT team to put me in a cage, just because the police officer couldn’t read a piece of metal that I don’t even need on any practical or moral level; I only have it because the king demands his subjects have plates.

Police are trained not to defend the peaceful population at large, but to protect themselves at all costs, even if those costs are grossly immoral on their face. Not only do police officers often cause unnecessary physical harm to peaceful people in their efforts to enforce the king’s edicts, but they lie to protect each other in a dangerous Police vs Public mentality, all to put the king’s wrath upon some peaceful subject rather than themselves. Whom will the king believe: a peasant, or one of his own men? Even then, in the United States at least, the king has declared that his men aren’t even required to protect any specific subject from imminent harm happening in front of them, but to protect the community at large so that the king’s interests are not affected by unrest (Warren v. District of Columbia is an edict from the king that addresses this point).

By this point, you may be thinking that I am broadly generalizing police in an unfair way. This is at least partially correct. Each individual police officer is their own person; they each own themselves and control their own actions. This means that individual police officers are fully capable of ignoring the common trends described previously and being better custodians of the peace of their community than their peers. Many officers proactively attempt to be better than others, but they are a minority. Thanks to the nature of relying on a metaphorical king to rule society, the king’s men typically follow the training handed down to them, regardless of its ethicality or morality. I have met police officers that literally tell me, “I hate cops,” knowing full well the coercive, thug-like nature of the common police officer; this is the exception rather than the rule.

Different law enforcement agencies across the world have their own standard of what exactly is proper conduct for their officers. In many nations, the police are literally worse than the criminals on the streets, because the police are assured of having the king’s blessing in whatever corruption they choose. Another plethora of nations have police that are far more effective at maintaining a helpful relationship with the king’s subjects, to the point that the people look up to the police to one degree or another. Police in the United States fall into both of these two loose categories, usually varying wildly by geography and local politics. A sheriff’s deputy in rural Montana will almost always be a true community peacekeeper compared to the thugs that occupy NYPD costumes in New York City. Bigger populations are almost always an indicator of worse police, for a wide variety of economic and political reasons.

However, it CAN truly be said that all police are required to be immoral; it IS objectively true that all cops are bad. This may seem like an extremely overbroad statement that couldn’t possibly be justified, but the explanation is rather simple. Police are policy enforcers: its right there in the name. Alternatively, they are law enforcement officers; their job is to enforce ALL of the king’s edicts (laws), not protect anyone needing protection. While police can and do, of course, on occasion actually protect someone in dire need of protection, this is not in their job description. The institution of police is designed to enforce ALL the laws, ideally with the intention of making a safer community.

However, sometimes government makes laws for reasons that aren’t based in a concern for the public, but perhaps a concern for itself or whom it favors. There are bad laws in existence in every single jurisdiction that police patrol. Every single police jurisdiction in the world has laws against what natural plants you can choose to put in your body, as an easy example. Because you own yourself, and because you own your body, it is a violation of your self-ownership for the king to declare that you cannot do so. Putting a plant in your body is not inherently a violation of someone’s safety or freedom, and yet your safety and freedom is directly threatened by the king and the king’s men if you do so.

The inherent contradiction that all police encounter is that they are required to enforce these bad laws and put you in a cage if you do not comply. It doesn’t matter if it is manifestly evil to throw a peaceful plant smoker into a cage; the king requires his men to do so. Therefore, every police officer is constantly required to choose between doing their jobs properly or not enforce these unjust edicts from the king. If the police officer does not enforce an unjust law, they are not doing their jobs properly, and are therefore a bad cop. If the police officer enforces an unjust law, they are acting in a manifestly evil manner under the king’s direction, and are therefore a bad cop. There are NO good cops, because every single one is required to be in this dilemma.

Police, as you might imagine, nearly exclusively choose to enforce these unjust laws in manifestly evil manners. They have their own needs to fund theirs and their families’ best interests with income from the king, and they have little motivation to give up that financial security. To make matters worse, the training that police receive convinces them that their actions are perfectly moral; they are conditioned to accept that the unjust means justify the ineffective ends. It is a sad truth that all police are in this position where they must choose between financial security and being a moral peacekeeper; it is exponentially sadder that police choose to put themselves in that position by virtue of their voluntary choice of career.

At this point, you may be wondering precisely how I can show that all police are required to be immoral, yet simultaneously claim that we need police. The key difference here is that I advocate not for the monopolized enforcers of the king’s arbitrary edicts that we currently live with, but with peacekeepers skilled in conflict de-escalation, conflict resolution, and protection of those who ask for protection. Being forced to have “protection” from a thug class with the force of the entire king’s resources at their disposal is not freedom; any peaceful person being forced to subjugate themselves to something they do not ask for is tyranny. You as a liberated, peaceful person who just wants to live your life hassle-free have every right to protect yourself if you choose; you have no moral requirement to accept another’s protection. Just like a mafia demanding protection money from members of the community, the end result is a net loss for the peaceful community members. In the end, you are not paying for protection from the mafia, even if they actually provide it: you are paying to not get your ass kicked by the mafia.

People want police, or else they wouldn’t exist. It really is that simple, but a huge portion of peaceful people in the world believe that our current type of police is good enough. We can find a better way as a society; we can do without the king’s men and even the king himself. We need not settle for a thug enforcer class that operates under intimidation and coercion; we can have police that are not bound by edicts from a king. The king’s men are only out for the king, by definition, and the safety and liberty of we the people is secondary at best. The king’s men theoretically serve the citizenry by serving the king; why can’t the king’s men simply serve the citizenry directly, and simply cease to be men of the king?

Until we reach a critical mass of people realizing the coercive nature of their police, there are many things to be done. The massive quantity of personal paradigm shifts required to improve the status quo is a daunting task. What we can easily do, in our efforts to move to a more peaceful society, is educate both the police and citizenry of the concepts in the preceding paragraphs. This is my premise for this book. This book is designed to show not only efforts of myself to improve individual police officers directly in their respect for the liberties of the citizenry, but to more importantly show you how you can create the same positive changes for yourself and your community. Call this an autobiographical how-to guide on preserving your liberty in the face of growing unrest and tyranny in our world, starting with the boots on the ground that the king’s men are. Ideally, upon completing this book, you will have all the knowledge you need to make yourself exponentially harder to be victimized by the police, as well as learn distinctly effective methods for improving the police for the safety and liberty of the rest of your community.

If it pleases the crown, I invite you to read on.

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If you find the preface to be a riveting exposition into the dozens of police interaction stories told, then please consider donating some crypto to help this project.

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POLICE FAIL – Saving People from Tickets/Arrest

Two liberty activists have shown in a new video (above) that it is easier than ever to save your fellow peaceful motorists from extortion from local police. While it is a prevailing misconception that police enforce traffic laws for public safety, a cursory glace at police tactics proves this is not the case. If police enforced traffic simply to make the public safer on roadways, they would park their vehicles in highly visible areas where high quantities of traffic are flying by, because they would become a visual deterrence for speeding motorists in the maximum way effective. This article does an exceptional job of showing why the traditional traffic stop is both outdated and immoral.

However, two activists from police accountability institution Liberty Is For Everyone and the local CB affiliate Jackson Cop Block found one such law enforcement officer who insisted upon hiding his vehicle behind bushes in a low-traffic area with a low speed limit. Since low speed limits are often on such quiet side streets as in the video above, they make ideal areas for revenue-hungry police to hide for safe and easy traffic stops. When the two activists in the video above find this particular Jackson County Deputy hiding on the outskirts of Jackson MI, they slowed down oncoming traffic with hand signals. This has the dual purpose of not only slowing traffic down, as the police claim they want, while simultaneously interfering with the deputy’s ability to collect revenue with coercion of the state. After several vehicles pass by this deputy, designated Traffic Management 3 for exclusively writing tickets, he realizes the futility at remaining at this hiding spot while a Cop Blocker is warning oncoming traffic of his presence.

Jackson deputy arresting man for driving w/o ID.
Jackson deputy arresting man for driving w/o ID.

Knowing he is on camera, the Deputy attempts to fake a pleasant encounter, but drives off when the veteran activists do not flinch.

A short time later, this same deputy nearly causes three collisions while whipping out into oncoming traffic to follow his next extortion victim, a painter in a Chrysler 300. Not initially noticing the activists are back with their cameras, the deputy discovers this person he has stopped has no identification on him, because he just came from very dirty employment. The deputy pulls him out of the vehicle, tells him he is going to jail, and begins asking the typical “Do you have anything on you I should know about?” question upon this painter. Upon noticing he is again on camera, the deputy instead offers to let the painter drive to his house for his ID while the deputy meets him there. The additional presence of the cameras makes building a case against the painter much harder, because it is far more difficult of the deputy to craft the narrative.

Seeing defeat, but attempting to save face for himself and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy approaches the cameramen with a thank you for slowing traffic down earlier, due to complaints (FOIAs indicate that no complaints were received). If his objective were truly to slow traffic down, without any concern for generating revenue, why would he not sit out in the open like the activists who actually slowed traffic down?

Cops Harass and Illegally Detain ANOTHER COP

County deputies in Mt. Clemens, Michigan got a sweet taste of their own sour medicine. They had spent nearly two hours and over ten man-hours investigating two men who had been seen taking pictures of the exterior of the Macomb County Jail (where just weeks later, a man died from neglect due to a heroin withdrawal). They manufactured an excuse to stop these men once they had driven away in their vehicle. The deputies didn’t count on the fact that one of the men was a retired deputy who wanted to catch them in the lie.

It is a common form of liberty activism: the First Amendment Audit. The people’s human rights to speak their mind and document their government overlords’ activities is innate to each human on the planet, and is theoretically protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many law enforcement officers, even good-intentioned ones, are largely brainwashed to treat the citizenry with the utmost suspicion and aggress. Some human rights activists choose to make sure that their local law enforcement respects their rights, including their rights to peacefully and unobtrusively photograph government buildings. Such an activity harms no one, of course. As well, to say that photography is somehow threatening to security raises an interesting question: why would a potential terrorist or evil doer simply not use the superior aerial and terrestrial imagery on Google Maps?

Nevertheless, a single deputy approached two unarmed men who were photographing the Macomb County Jail in Mt. Clemens, MI. He simply asked if there was anything he could help them men with, to which the men continued photographing. All seemed well when that deputy quickly gave up and walked away, as he should regarding two law-abiding, peaceful citizens. What happens next is nearly astounding.

A flood of deputies surround the men a few minutes later, but they do not physically stop the still-silent men from walking away. A Deputy Derrick Reed childishly pulled out a camera of is own and started clicking it the men’s faces as they walked away (a camera he would later admit to a bystander did not work).

Reed was joined by Deputies Kato and Jankowski, as well as a lieutenant who remained in an unmarked vehicle. They followed these two men on foot for an additional two hours. The men misled them to several nearby parked vehicles, to which the deputies hastily read and radioed the license plates in hopes of identifying the men.

We identified one of them as Rekab Semaj, 23, of neighboring Oakland County. “They went so far as to sit next to us on a park bench, attempting to make small talk about their fattening Olive Garden dinners last night,” Semaj said. “We really could not believe that there was so little crime in this Detroit suburb that they could spare up to seven deputies to harass us. They didn’t have any way to make their efforts worth it for the taxpayers, but they had their fun anyways.” Semaj, as an activist with LibertyIsForEveryone.com, indicated to us that the full sixteen-minute video of the harassment can be seen a here.

Semaj and the other man continued to be followed by Reed, Kato, and Jankowski to their vehicle. Almost immediately, after the two men had departed and made a legal, signaled u-turn on an adjacent street, Kato initiated a traffic stop seen in the video below:

Deputy Kato insisted that there was a sign indicating that left turns were not allowed where that u-turn was made. Of course, this was not the case. The unidentified activist (the driver of the vehicle) revealed to the camera and to Kato that he was law enforcement. Of course, Kato did not write the man a ticket, and they never identified Semaj.

It is important that the corruption that this activism exposed is not forgotten; please call Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at (586) 469-5151 and tell them that deputies Kato, Reed, and Jankowski probably have better things to do than harass innocent photographer activists. The unidentified LEO activist took a great risk in exposing this corruption, which he knew existed. It is rare to see cops using such hardcore activism tactics to show what a dilapidated state our so-called “freedom” is in.

We Need to Work With the Police

On Monday the 16th of March 2015, I was filming the police department in Rochester, MI. Two men, name tags reading Buchnan and Matynka, approached me. This is what transpired:

This is the email I sent to Lt. Matynka:

Lt. Matynka,

If the images captured of me by Rochester Police Department surveillance cameras and in-car video cameras have not allowed you to identify me yet, let me introduce myself. My name is James, and I am the journalist you encountered Monday evening who was collecting images of the police department for the story that I am working on. Before I describe the nature of the story that I’m working on, let me first tell you a little about myself.

I’m a normal, self-employed young adult. I’m a bit of a student of a few topics, like history, politics, and philosophy. I occasionally will write articles, as in this case, but the majority of my content is audiovisual media. I had a bit of an issue with a particular officer in your department a while back, and I grew concerned for his commitment to the document he pledged an oath to defend and uphold, the Constitution. In my pattern of routinely following up with different departments from time to time with different personnel within those departments, I keep a loose track on which police departments are the most permissive/least oppressive, if you will.

This is coming from a value that I hold dearly, and it is Liberty. Otherwise named, Freedom is a principle that I believe is too loosely maintained in modern society. Liberty is rooted in the Non-Aggression Principle, essentially that it is morally wrong to use coercion and force without someone first attacking you. I believe that taxation is theft, and it is morally wrong to take something from someone under threat of coercion or force, even if they are compensated with government services. I believe that war is morally wrong, because soldiers are coerced and forced to comply with killing of enemy combatants who may have done no harm to the soldiers in the first place. I believe that there is no crime if there is no victim who has been substantially harmed. I believe that the very essence of government itself is coercion, and threat of force is government’s way of ensuring compliance. I’ll give you an example.

A man drives 10 mph over the posted 55 mph four-lane rural highway. The friendly state trooper pulls the man over, and writes him a 0-5 over the speed limit- limited access, which is about $110 and no points. The man is told to contact the court within 10 days. Now, no one actually became harmed by the man’s actions, so why is he being fined for it? It is far more just to fine the man a reasonable amount to restore whatever harm he causes someone if and when that harm occurs.

If the man refuses to pay the $110 fine, a bench warrant will likely be obtained for his arrest at some point, and he will be forcibly taken by the police eventually (remember the non-aggression principle here; this man hasn’t done any harm to the officers either). If the man resists arrest, he will be physically taken using whatever means are necessary. If the man attempts to defend himself while the police are initiating force against him, he will likely die very quickly. All because he ignored a speed limit sign.

Perhaps it is an uncommon scenario, but perhaps not. Its possibility exists in our society, and I consider that intolerable.

This is why I take a certain interest in police. When an unjust bill becomes an unjust law, it depends upon the enforcers to enforce that law. I firmly believe that most people, including most police officers, have the morals and conscience to decide not to abide by or enforce unjust laws. My concern is that many police officers have been coerced to believe (through the luxury of gainful employment) that nearly all laws they are charged to enforce are perfectly moral, when the vast majority of them are based in coercion and use of undeserved force.

The police are where the rubber meets the road, in terms of the complex relationship between the people and the government. A government, whether just or unjust, has no power without law enforcement. I believe it is the duty of every moral police officer to deeply question the morality of the laws they enforce, and to be eager to ignore unjust laws (especially at the protests of the Top Brass).

Even more disappointing than police enforcing unjust laws are the police who don’t know or don’t care about the law, and enforce based on their own feelings. Before I turned 21 and applied for my MI Concealed Pistol License, I found the easiest way to effectively defend myself in my everyday activities was to open carry a Glock in a quality retention holster. Believe me, I was no tenderfoot to the concepts of defensive pistol use, violence deescalation, and fighting tactics; I took my responsibility of defending myself and those around me very seriously.

I soon found that ignorance with the public regarding firearms was a bit disappointing, and that the ignorance of many police officers regarding the laws on open carrying a firearm to be extraordinarily dangerous to my safety. I carried a firearm to defend myself, but I am restricted to open carry due to my age, and I found that I became a target. I wasn’t a target for criminals, because criminals prefer “soft” targets; I found that the sketchiest of characters would move along when they saw my sidearm. I inevitably became a target for police officers.

Many police officers I met had been seeing viral videos on YouTube where open carriers would mouth off to police officers who were dispatcher to investigate the open carrier. I believe that many police officers prejudged me to be the same way, and treated me rather poorly on many occasions. When I would invoke my Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights during the course of illegal detentions, many officers would enhance their oppression as retaliation. It was for my own protection that I began recording police interactions with a camera, knowing that officers behave better when they are in directly front of their cruisers or in front of a cell phone’s camera. Recording police violating my rights and breaking dozens of laws led my YouTube channel to be the #1 YouTube channel dedicated to the open carrying of firearms.

I’ve had police officers draw their sidearms and long guns on me in no less than six occasions when I had broken no law, let alone done some kind of harm. I have never been arrested, and I have no criminal record. My type of journalism is quite dangerous, and I am quite used to having police erroneously and/or maliciously investigating me.

Let me clarify that what I am typing is truth, and I’d be a fool to lie in an email that will pass through the city’s servers. It might sound rather hard to believe, but this is probably because you and your subordinates don’t do such things (or, at least, don’t realize you do such things).

It is here that I should congratulate you. By walking up to my camera, your actions started to become judged by the thousands who are guaranteed to see the video (which I have yet to upload). Your actions were biased in a positive light because you knew you were being recorded, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your professionalism and respect for my rights was real and genuine. After asking me why I was filming the police station, you told me I was well within my rights to do so. I knew I had the right to, but it is significant to me that you assured me that it was my right so early on in the conversation. This indicates to me that you know the pertinent laws, and that you wanted to assure me of that. This is much appreciated, and motivates someone who is accustomed to police harassment to be friendly in return.

You mentioned, in the course of our brief conversation that evening, that you were concerned as to my motives for filming. You said, “[…] you see what’s going on in the world these days; cops have been targeted for things.” You were implying you had a mild concern that I might be a terrorist who stands outside a police station in broad daylight with a camera attempting to do something that might harm a police officer. I don’t think you were really that concerned, because a white guy in a dress shirt and khakis doesn’t fit the profile of the kinds of terrorists you’ve been told about.

This off-hand comment was something I expected you would say, frankly. It is a common line that I’ve heard many of your colleagues say. Mentioning how “cops have been targeted for things” is actually kind of the point of this email. I’ll freely admit that I don’t care for police one bit. I don’t like the feeling of impending doom I get when I see a Crown Vic/Tahoe/Impala/Explorer headlight configuration behind me at night. I firmly believe that police are good people who are coerced and brainwashed into doing immoral things while they wear the uniform on. It is the many immoral things that police enforce that motivate people do commit violence against police officers. We can both agree it is morally wrong for someone to execute two NYPD officers in their squad car for little discernible reason (besides their profession), but I might argue that someone shooting and killing two police officers because they are being arrested (kidnapped) for a victimless crime may in fact be morally justified self-defense.

Even though I find your entire profession to be morally reprehensible for all of the reasons that I have described, I still believe it is important to work with the individuals who occupy those uniforms in an attempt to get a better two-way dialogue going so that we can all understand each other a bit better. The way I see it, I can’t change the world in a day. However, I will work with everyone I can to at least make sure that hate doesn’t interfere with the flow of knowledge. I hope that this can be the start of that.

Best wishes Lt. Matynka, and I hope to hear from you soon.

  –James

For more information, take three hours to listen to Adam Kokesh’s audiobook Freedom. It is a life-changing book

 

Do your part. Send a lengthy email today. By the way, anyone reading this is free to copy and paste sections to send to your own local LEOs, politicians, and other government employees. Those who would keep our society softly enslaved would have us all fighting with one another.