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Big Brother: It's Not Just About Devices, It's An Attitude

Just another story of cops abusing people. This time, the CHP at the 17 summit for the crimes of stargazing and criticizing the CHP.
I'm sorry that I can't provide pictures of this incident. It's difficult to get your camera when you're handcuffed and held against a cop car with your wrist twisted.


Monday night - the annual Leonids meteor show. The best local vantage point is the parking lot of the summit on highway 17 between Santa Cruz and San Jose. Some 20 other cars knew this, as well as 2 television microwave trucks. They were all already then when we drove up around 3am.

I dimmed my headlights the moment I rolled into a spot between cars, as a courtesy to the other gazers already lounging on their hoods and in their truck beds. Because the truth is that Im actually a nice guy until you piss me off.

We didn't like the trees in our view, so I restarted the car, pulled to the edge of the road, flipped the headlights back on, and relocated in the parking lot across the road. Again, lights out as soon as I was even close, and crawled the car via running lights the rest of the way. It's tricky, but I know what it's like to have your night vision blasted by even the meager twin 55 watt headlights us ordinary mortals are allowed to have in Kalifornia.

We'd missed the peak of the show, but the rest wasn't bad. By roughly 4am, most people had gone home. There was still one KGO TV truck, with a guy reviewing the video he had shot that night. Another car, some ordinary fellow stargazer, was also parked down at the far end of the parking lot. A security guard for the restaurant still sat parked by it several yards away, having showed no interest in anyone the entire night. He probably just enjoyed the show like everyone else.

We were unintentionally parked in the center of the lot, in the light of a lampost, not near anything. Just myself and my girlfriend and a thermos, leaning against the car. A nice car too, if I do say so myself. I'm no fan of racial or economic profiling, but c'mon - a couple staring up at the stars next to a $40k red sports car while sharing a thermos, parked in plain sight, are not going to be causing anyone any trouble. It's just common sense. Even cops, dumb and violent as they are, generally know this.

But dumb and violent and bored, that's apparently too volatile a mix.

A CHP car pulls up. He doesnt just park, oh no. He pulls right up into our face, and blinds us with every white light his car has. (Only us ordinary mortals are held to the dual 55 watt vehicular restriction - these assholes would gladly set your hair on fire if they were given any more light.)

He's already on my bad side, and he hasn't even gotten out of his car.

Two of the state's own professional highway robbers, members of the CHP gang, step out to an earful of "Hey asshole, shut that fucking light off!" I don't appreciate unwarranted harrassment, and I don't repay it with courtesy.

They're taken aback by this, but rather than show the least bit of courtesy, they decide to be bigger assholes. Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I come from? What do I do for a living?

Several variations of "Fuck off, what business is it of yours?" is all I give them. The complete lack of justification for their bothering us at all is made even more clear by the very casual and pointless nature of these questions.

It's not like they're searching for a suspect, or responding to a report. I asked. Repeatedly. They're just bored, they like harrassing innocent people, and they can't handle being criticized for it. In fact anything less than passive obedience seems to outrage them.

They demand a driver's license. I tell them I don't need one as I wasn't driving when they arrived, nor am I parked on a public road.

So they demand any ID. I demand an explanation first, and suggest that seek employment with the Chinese dictatorship if this is how they like to operate. Now Im threatened with arrest! Im sorry comrade, I keep forgetting - this isnt a free country anymore, it's a police state.

I give them my US passport, and they proceed to run the usual digital anal probe, just fishing for an excuse to arrest me. Nevermind that I still haven't done a single thing to justify their attention.

Of course the check takes a while. It's supposed to. They're only legally allowed to "detain" you while checking the validity of the license. Meanwhile, they take the convenient opportunity to also search for arrest warrants on you. The DL verification response is intentionally delayed back at their base station, to allow time for the otherwise-illegal arrest warrant check to complete first. They've been playing this game on the public for years.

And I know it, and explain it to their faces in great legal detail, complete with the appropriate ethical condemnations for their very unAmerican, unjustified, anti-freedom, and just plain rude and disrespectful behavior.

And it IS rude - blinding us, harrassing us, holding us prisoner, threatening us with physical harm up to and including death by gunfire if we attempt to flee or fight in self defense - I dont care if you end every sentence with "sir", I still dont appreciate it. Nor does any innocent person with a shred of dignity.

Other than verbally bashing their brains out with the best off-the-cuff ethics lecture I could muster, we were cooperating. What choice did we have? I weigh 160 and my girlfriend 110, and we're cornered by 2 armored, heavily armed, and trained professional warriors, with an army of their buddies just a radio away. We're outside of my car, we've been searched so we don't have any weapons, and we're at an incalculable tactical disadvantage. Yeah, we're a real threat.

Well, not really, and they knew that. They even admitted it, when I demanded "What, are you afraid of me?" as I was now being handcuffed and held against the cop's taxpayer-funded car. And what brought this on, you might wonder?

The crime of brandishing an illegal attitude or saying illegal words, apparently. He even admitted that, too. His last words until then were "Why dont you just calm down", to which I replied "Why the fuck should I? WE were just minding our own fucking business and you decide to come here and fuck with us! How would you like it if I came up to you and your wife and did this kind of shit to YOU? You'd be shooting me! So fuck you, I will NOT calm down asshole, until you leave us the fuck alone!"

"Alright then", he says, and I get taken hostage and forced over to their car. Im held there for a good 20-30 minutes, complete with the ol wrist twisting when I commit the crime of trying to slowly turn around after 15 minutes of standing there with nothing going on. My punishment for verbally challenging their authority. It doesnt get demonstrated any more plainly than that. But cops just "enforce the law" - they don't throw their weight around and act like petty thugs. Really.

Was I under arrest? Nope, they replied loud and clear that I was merely being detained. Not arrested. Incidentally, the supreme court has once again sold us out. Used to be they wouldn't let cops shove us around like this unless they at least had a charge to arrest us for. Now, all they have to do is say in court later "I feared for my safety", and they can do anything they want to anyone they don't like, and call it self defense.

And I can understand their being a little afraid for their own safety. After all, if *I* went around getting in people's faces at random like they do, making threats against people who don't identify themselves to me and answer all sorts of stupid, invasive, and unnecessary questions, I'd expect to get my ass kicked. And rightly so.
Hell, if I saw some punk downtown harrassing an innocent person on the street, I'd get involved.

But when the assailant is a cop, we don't dare. They're too dangerous. The most dangerous gang on the streets, nationwide. We don't stick up for each other then. Divide and conquer.

The Fourth Amendment also went out the window that night, as usual. I'd given them my passport, so they had my identification. Why then did I later see my driver's license being put back into the wallet that had been stolen from my pocket? Again, the Supreme Court has ruled that without a warrant, cops can only perform a "pat search" on the outside of the body to look for weapons, in the interest of "their own safety" during the detention. (Poor poor things, having to fear assault from their own victims! What a horrible world this is, where innocent people might consider defending themselves. Cant have that!)

When everything came back, they still had nothing on me. Despite my being held captive, I continued raking them - why should I let them have it easy? Finally the best threat they could muster is - get this - loitering! Yep, they threatened both me and my girlfriend with the crime of "loitering".

Nevermind the 20 cars that had been there an hour earlier, nevermind that NO ONE - not even the restaurant security guy parked yards away - had ever complained. Nevermind that the KGO TV guy truck was sitting parked NEXT TO MY CAR THE ENTIRE TIME, nevermind that the parking lot is private property and thus not the property of the govt to regulate without the consent of the property owner.

It was a bluff anyway. I knew it. "Fine, go right ahead! You fucking do anything you want anyway, why stop now?" I told them. They scoffed and threatened and conferenced and waited.. it was all just an intimidation tactic, and harrassment. Punishment for my defiance.

Finally after all this, I was let go. No charges, no real explanation, no incident report filed, no running off to answer a call nor continue a search for some suspect. All they did was warn me that if I came around there again, I'd get the same. I warned them that if they ever bothered me again, they'd get the same hour long lecture.

We tried to resume our stargazing, more on principal than anything. The cops stood there, with their headlights blinding us. They had nothing better to do.

15 mins later, we spoke to the KGO TV guy a bit - he'd since pulled away and parked where security had been, apparently at the request of the CHP. Nice. Turns out he had filmed part of the incident, and was waiting to see if I got beat up, but the video and audio were pretty crappy (his cameras were also blinded by the cops headlights, and he had for whatever reason chosen not to take up a better position for filming. Probably afraid.)

Finally we left. Before going, I went back to the cops (who were getting paid to stand around and do nothing) and asked flat out (because why hide it?) if I'd now be followed as soon as I got onto the public road. They denied it, but then they aren't the most honest bunch.
One then parks in the corner, and the other takes off down 17 towards Santa Cruz (where they now know that I live.)
He probably intended to stalk me on the freeway. It wouldn't matter how well I drove, it's common knowledge that a cop with a good knowledge of the vehicle code can find an excuse to pull *anyone* over in 10 mins if he follows you for long enough. I had an ex cop tell me that.

Or he could just make something up entirely. It wouldn't be the first time I've had it done to me. In fact, it wouldn't even be the 2nd time.

But rather than find out by walking into a trap, I took side roads home. I know a lot of them. Ive made a point of finding and learning them, because I know from experience that there will be times when the public highways just aren't safe, thanks to a certain well-known crime gang called the CHP.

Yes, I've already called a lawyer. In fact, a known local civil rights lawyer with a great track record. He's not interested. Apparently this sort of shit is common, and legal. Or at least, the judges who "interpret" the law allow it to go unpunished - that's all that counts.

Yes, Im filing a complaint with the CHP tomorrow. But only so I can tell people who would otherwise criticize me for not filing, to shut the fuck up. I've filed complaints like this 4 times in the past, in 3 different counties - San Rafael, Sacramento, and Fresno. You can guess the result every time. Cops always stand up for other cops.

Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?

Yeah, I have an attitude problem. I don't like people who go out of their way to fuck with other people without good cause. As a Libertarian, I don't start shit with people, but I also don't take shit.

Fucking pigs.


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well written

Sounds like you at the least, handled yourself very well. I like the story-nature of it. can I put this in my zine?



Thanks for standing up for OUR rights. I'd say your rights, but I know its' bigger than that. I know that most people are not as aware of the laws as you seem to be. I also suspect that most people would just go along the orders given out by the highway thugs aka CHP. Remember CHiPs? What happened to Panch?

Too bad that lawyer would not handle your case. Too bad this shit happens frequently.

That is cool that you know the side streets.

Resist local and global in-justice.

Create local and gloabl justice.

> > > h.e.a.v.y_t.r.a.f.f.i.c < < <



Of course, use it all you want.


B-) On a side note, I called the CHP today to file my complaint. Spoke to the duty seargent. He said the 2 guys were rookies, just a year or two out of the Sacto academy. Figures. Also said they have clean records - no prior complaints. He's supposed to speak to them for their side of the story, then call me back later next week with a response.

He called the incident a "pissing match", which he at least was willing to admit (at least to me) is inappropriate behavior for them to engage in when there was clearly no good reason to be bothering us.

Unfortunately I couldn't get him to understand that, for my part, the verbal abuse which I was so liberally dishing out amounts to the only form of self-defense these bastards have left us with, when cops cross the line between serving society and attacking it with dishonorable motives.

Pull your own gun, or a knife, or even a short stick and they'll shoot you dead. Throw a punch, and you'll get the express train to the state dungeons for "assaulting an officer". Run, and they'll eagerly chase you down.

We have been put at the mercy of these uniformed thugs, and they take advantage of that to abuse certain types of people whenever they feel so inclined. The system, from the local seargent on up to the supreme court, refuses to punish them in 99% of these cases. We're left defenseless, and we're expected to live with it.

Although I know these incidents just make me their favorite target for personal retribution, my hope remains that some day when they're feeling bored and looking to harrass some harmless guy minding his own business, they'll decide they'd rather be lazy and go get a doughnut than another half-hour in-their-face lecture.

They cause us pain to discourage us from taking certain courses of action. Why shouldnt that work both ways? Im not attacking them, I'm "administering negative re-inforcement therapy in the interest of their rehabilitation so that they may better interact with society". B-)


Van The Valiant

>Im not attacking them, I'm "administering negative re-inforcement therapy in the interest of their rehabilitation >so that they may better interact with society". B-)

LOL...didn't realize you were a social worker, way to go.
I tried that therapy many years ago in San Diego on a couple cops harassing a n'er do well who
expressed his free speech by spitting as they rode by, I wound up in jail for five days on the charge
of assaulting an officer, naturally it was dismissed when my court date came up so I never
got any satisfaction. Glad to see you're having better luck.


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