We Have Seen The Video

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple shown on video defending their home.

The article reports:

Al Watkins, an attorney for the couple, confirmed to the Associated Press the indictments against Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61. A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner declined comment.

Joel Schwartz, a McCloskey attorney, told Just the News on Tuesday night that the indictment is called a “suppressed” indictment and that he’s unaware of what it states.

…Gardner, a Democrat, charged the McCloskeys with “flourishing” a weapon in connection with the June 28 incident in which social justice protesters entered the couple’s private, gated community during a demonstration and marched past their home.

The McCloskeys have said they each went outside with a gun because they feared for the safety of themselves and their home.

The article concludes with some information on Attorney Gardner:

As previously reported by Just the News, Gardner’s campaigns have received tens of thousands of dollars from a political action committee financed by billionaire political philanthropist George Soros. 

Gardiner has had several controversies since she assumed office.

In January 2017, she opened a criminal investigation into the then-Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens. Several months later, she was forced to drop the charges for lack of evidence. In the aftermath, the out-of-state former FBI agent she hired to conduct the Greitens probe has been indicted on seven felony counts counts in connection with perjury and evidence tampering.

There are a few things to note in the video of the incident. First of all, the ‘protesters’ broke down a gate to get to the McCloskey’s house. At that point they were trespassing. Second of all, the ‘protesters’ threatened the McCloskeys. I truly believe that if the McCloskeys had not been outside their house with guns we would be reading their obituaries. Their Second Amendment rights need to be protected.

Losing The Right To Defend Yourself

There is little doubt that the couple in St. Louis who brandished weapons to defend their home would have met a very different fate had they not had those weapons. They would have become another fatality statistic caused by the protesters (rioters). Well, according to some of the people in charge in St. Louis, it was their job to be killed and their house trashed.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the latest chapter in this story.

The article reports:

St. Louis police have applied for warrants in the case of the Central West End couple who pointed guns at protesters on their street.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden on Tuesday told News 4 they applied for warrants but did not elaborate on what those warrants allege or who they are against. The guns were turned over to police as evidence.

“The hostility is what I noticed,” Hayden said. “I don’t want to see guns out when people are very hostile and angry at each other. Those are recipes for violence, so again we applied on warrant, there’s been follow up information and we are waiting on the decision on the warrant application.

The incident – which went viral around the globe, happened Sunday, June 28 when a large group of people were headed to a protest calling for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to resign.

…During an interview with 5 On Your Side’s Casey Nolen on Tuesday, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden said the department has turned over an ‘unlawful use of a weapon’ case to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

Hayden said it will now be up to the prosecutor’s office.

How can you not be hostile or angry when someone threatens to murder you, rob your house and kill you pets? Missouri has a fairly expansive Castle Doctrine, so the couple was well within their rights to defend their home. It would have been better if the police had arrived and chosen to defend the home, but they didn’t, so what was the couple supposed to do? I hope any prosecution will be thrown out of court as soon as it is brought. Anyone faced with death threats (as they were) by a mob would have defended themselves in some way.

This May Be A Necessary Move

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article titled, “Police Consider Charging Crowd Confronted By Armed St. Louis Couple With Trespassing, Intimidation.”

The article reports:

A group of protesters in Missouri who famously found themselves facing an armed husband and wife may soon be facing multiple charges.

As a group of demonstrators marched toward the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home on Sunday night to demand that she resign, they marched through an area that was closed off to the public, where a husband-wife team stood outside with a rifle and a gun to protect their property.

The demonstrators had to break through a closed gate to access the gated community. At that point, they could be charged with trespassing. Some of the demonstrators were armed and issued threats to the homeowners. The incident was caught on video via a cell phone, so there is recorded evidence of the event.

The article notes:

As noted by St. Louis Today, Anders Walker, a constitutional law professor at St. Louis University, said that Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia did not break any laws because the street where they live, Portland Place, is a private street. He added that the couple is protected by Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force to defend private property.

FindLaw explains, “This legal doctrine assumes that if an invader disrupts the sanctity of your home, they intend to do you harm and therefore you should be able to protect yourself or others against an attack. Missouri’s law is more extensive than those of other states because it allows you to use deadly force to attack an intruder to protect any private property that you own, in addition to yourself or another individual. This means that if someone illegally enters your front porch or backyard, you can use deadly force against them without retreating first.”

“At any point that you enter the property, they can then, in Missouri, use deadly force to get you off the lawn,” said Walker, adding, “There’s no right to protest on those streets. The protesters thought they had a right to protest, but as a technical matter, they were not allowed to be there. … It’s essentially a private estate. If anyone was violating the law, it was the protesters. In fact, if (the McCloskeys) have photos of the protesters, they could go after them for trespassing.”

The article concludes:

An attorney for the McCloskeys, Albert S. Watkins, said of his clients, who are both attorneys, “Their entire practice tenure as counsel (has) been addressing the needs of the downtrodden, for whom the fight for civil rights is necessary. My clients, as melanin-deficient human beings, are completely respectful of the message Black Lives Matter needs to get out, especially to whites … (but) two individuals exhibited such force and violence destroying a century-plus old wrought iron gate, ripping and twisting the wrought iron that was connected to a rock foundation, and then proceeded to charge at and toward and speak threateningly to Mr. and Mrs. McCloskey.”

Laws vary from state to state, so homeowners need to be careful about the actions they take. In many states, using a gun to protect your property is not protected–you are only allowed to use a gun if you are at risk. However, I would think that if a mob with a history of burning things down approached you, you might feel that you were at risk.

This case may be one way to push back against those who are abusing the right to protest. The right to protest is protected by the Constitution. The right to loot and riot is not protected.

They Are Already Here

The Center for Security Policy posted an article today about six Bosnian immigrants who have been accused of sending money and equipment to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda fighters overseas. The indictment of the six was released Friday.

The article reports:

All six individuals’ names have been released; Mediha Medy Salkicevic from Chicago, 34, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, Armin Harcevic, 37, all three from St. Louis, Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York, and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford Illinois. The indictment states that all knew where the funding was going and that all are Bosnian natives who either legally immigrated to the United States or had refugee status. Five of the six have been already arrested; Ramic has fled the country but the Justice Department has not yet disclosed her location. According to the indictment, Rosic tried to go to Syria to join Islamic State last July.

The suspects used social media such as Facebook to communicate and sent their funding online via PayPal and Western Union. In order to conceal their intentions from any investigation, coded terms were used such as “the beach” for Iraq and Syria as well as “brothers” for Islamic militants. The US Postal Service was used to ship the equipment purchased.

The article concludes:

These most recent arrests show continues to show that the Islamic State continues to possess a powerfully draw on potential supporters, and while this is traditionally understood through the lens of foreign fighters, law enforcement must remain on watch to break up logistic and funding cells such as the one in St. Louis.

If we are to remain safe as Americans, we need to be aware of the threats against us. Susan Rice recently stated that ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. ISIS specifically may or may not be, but the splinter groups and people inspired by ISIS represent a real threat to America because those groups and people are already here. We accomplish nothing by burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that there are people in America who are currently supporting those who want to end freedom in America.

Some Common Sense From Someone With Experience

A website called lawofficer.com posted the following article today. I know this is long, but please read all of it:

An Open Letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson

From a former St. Louis Metro Area police chief

I have to call you out.

I don’t care what the media says. I expect them to get it wrong and they often do. But I expect you as a veteran law enforcement commander—talking about law enforcement—to get it right.

Unfortunately, you blew it. After days of rioting and looting, last Thursday you were given command of all law enforcement operations in Ferguson by Governor Jay Nixon. St. Louis County PD was out, you were in. You played to the cameras, walked with the protestors and promised a kinder, gentler response. You were a media darling. And Thursday night things were better, much better.

But Friday, under significant pressure to do so, the Ferguson Police released the name of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown. At the same time the Ferguson Police Chief released a video showing Brown committing a strong-arm robbery just 10 minutes before he was confronted by Officer Darren Wilson.

Many don’t like the timing of the release of the video. I don’t like that timing either. It should have been released sooner. It should have been released the moment FPD realized that Brown was the suspect.

Captain Johnson, your words during the day on Friday helped to fuel the anger that was still churning just below the surface. St. Louis County Police were told to remain uninvolved and that night the rioting and looting began again. For much too long it went on mostly unchecked. Retired St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch tweeted that your “hug-a-looter” policy had failed.

Boy did it.

And your words contributed to what happened Friday night and on into the wee hours of Saturday. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, you said the following regarding the release of the video: “There was no need to release it,” Johnson said calling the reported theft and the killing entirely different events.

Well Captain, this veteran police officer feels the need to respond. What you said is, in common police vernacular—bullshit. The fact that Brown knew he had just committed a robbery before he was stopped by Officer Wilson speaks to Brown’s mindset. And Captain, the mindset of a person being stopped by a police officer means everything, and you know it.

Let’s consider a few examples:
On February 15, 1978 Pensacola Police Officer David Lee conducted a vehicle check. He didn’t know what the sole occupant of the vehicle had recently done, but the occupant did. Who was he? Serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy attempted to disarm Lee. Lee was able to retain his firearm and eventually took Bundy into custody.

On April 19, 1995 Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hangar stopped a vehicle for minor traffic violations. He didn’t know that 90 minutes earlier the traffic violator, Timothy McVeigh, killed 168 people with a truck bomb at the Murrah Federal Building. But McVeigh sure knew it, didn’t he? Fortunately, given his training and experience Hangar was able to take McVeigh into custody for carrying a concealed firearm. It was days later before it was determined that McVeigh was responsible for the bombing.

On May 31, 2003 then-rookie North Carolina police officer, Jeff Postell, arrested a man digging in a trash bin on a grocery store parking lot—an infraction that would rise to about the level of jaywalking. Postell didn’t know that he had just captured Eric Rudolph, the man whom years earlier had killed and injured numerous people with bombs and was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.

So now, let’s consider Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson’s stop of Michael Brown. Apparently Wilson didn’t know that Brown had just committed a strong-arm robbery. But Brown did! And that Captain, is huge.

Allegedly, Brown pushed Wilson and attempted to take Wilson’s gun. We’re also being told that Officer Wilson has facial injuries suffered during the attempt by Brown to disarm him. Let’s assume for a moment those alleged acts by Brown actually occurred. Would Brown have responded violently to an officer confronting him about jaywalking? Maybe, but probably not.

Is it more likely that he would attack an officer believing that he was about to be taken into custody for a felony strong-arm robbery? Absolutely.

Officer Wilson survived the encounter with Brown as did Lee, Hangar, and Postell. Michael Brown didn’t survive and it’s too soon to say if Officer Wilson’s use of deadly force was justified and legal. You and I both know that not all officers survive such confrontations. Officers die in incidents like this Captain Johnson, including a couple that I remember from your own organization:

On April 15, 1985 Missouri Trooper Jimmie Linegar was shot and killed by a white supremacist he and his partner stopped at a checkpoint; neither Trooper Linegar nor his partner were aware that the man they had stopped had just been indicted by a federal grand jury for involvement in a neo-Nazi group accused of murder. The suspect immediately exited the vehicle and opened fire on him with an automatic weapon.

Just a month before, Missouri Trooper James M. Froemsdorf was shot and killed—with his own gun—after making a traffic stop. When the Trooper made that stop he didn’t know that the driver was wanted on four warrants out of Texas—But again the suspect knew it.

So Captain Johnson, I guess the mindset and recently committed crimes of the suspects that murdered those Missouri Troopers didn’t mean anything. The stops by the Troopers, as you have said, are entirely different events right?

Bullshit.

Some information contained in this article came from the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).

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Some Thoughts On Ferguson

I have waited a few days to say anything about Ferguson and what is happening there, because I wasn’t sure what was going on. I am not sure I have a clear picture yet, but here is what we do know:

A young man was killed while fleeing police. He may have attempted to surrender, but that attempt was well into the incident, and the policeman may have feared for his own safety.

The young man had very recently committed a robbery. We don’t know if the policeman was aware of that.

This may or may not have been excessive force, but how does that give people the right to riot or loot?

This is a tragedy–a young man is dead. It is time for the community to come together–not split apart.

The young man involved was not an angel. Why was he running away from the policeman?

The thing that concerns me about this incident is the way the community reacted. Protests are fine–looting is not. Looting simply creates more problems. Why did the looters attack local stores (businessmen trying to make a living)? This is mob rule, and it has no reason to it. Mob rule is a danger to our cities, towns and country. Why did violence follow the initial event? Who was stirring the waters rather than calming them down? The shooting was a tragedy for the young man’s family. It did not have to result in the destruction of the town.

Disarming A Stuffed Monkey To Make Our Airplanes Safe

Sometimes you just wonder at the level of common sense being exhibited by some people. There was an incident that I personally witnessed last week in a government office where a person’s pocket knife was declared a weapon and he was asked to leave the office. It was a small pocket knife. He made no effort to conceal it–it was clipped onto his pocket. I seem to be living in a part of the country where people carry pocket knives, but evidently you can’t take a pocket knife into a government office–even if it’s a public office. Well, a recent TSA incident tops that.

KING5.com in Washington state reported earlier this month that a women who has a small business selling unique sock monkey dolls had a two-inch toy pistol belonging to her “Rooster Monkburn” cowboy sock monkey confiscated by the TSA.

The article reports:

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”

“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.

“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” she said. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”

In the end, the agent did not call police and May did get her other sewing supplies back.

On Monday, the TSA issued a statement, saying “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”

I don’t want to encourage the TSA agent, but I can think of things in an ordinary sewing kit that would be more dangerous than a two-inch toy pistol. I doesn’t say a lot about the level of common sense of the TSA that the agent thought it necessary to confiscate a two-inch plastic toy.

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How Much Of Our Tax Dollars Goes To Fraud

Newsbusters posted a story today about numbers released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve last week on unemployment fraud. Their research found $3.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2011.

This is a chart from the article:
Scarier still, there were people in this country making in excess of $100,000 a year that received unemployment benefits in 2011:

Considering the media’s panic over $85 billion in supposed sequestration cuts, you would think they’d be interested in this.

The only media that covered this were the Wall Street Journal on Friday and a Huffington Post on Sunday.

It seems to me that this is something that American taxpayers might be interested in. Not only do we have a spending problem, we also have a dishonesty problem.
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