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Article posted Oct 11 2012, 4:48 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: William Norman Grigg Print

"He's a Constitutionalist"

by William Norman Grigg

“Bear! There are guys with guns outside!” shouted Marcella Cruz to her husband as she looked out the kitchen window of their farmhouse in Letha, Idaho.

Timidly opening the kitchen door, Marcella – a small, slender, middle-aged woman – spied a large man carrying a gun and wearing a tactical vest.

“Don’t go back into the house,” the stranger ordered Marcella as the woman instinctively retreated into the safety of her home.

At roughly the same time, another intruder armed with an assault rifle pounded on the front door.

“Come out!” he demanded.

As Marcella tried to shut the kitchen door, the first intruder – who outweighed her by at least 100 pounds – grabbed her by the left wrist and started to pull the terrified woman from the house.

“Why are you dragging me out of my home?” asked the terrified woman. “Why would you be pulling me out of my home?”

“Open the door,” insisted the assailant, using his weight advantage and leverage to extract the woman, who had braced herself against one side of the door while clinging desperately to the other with her right hand. As she lost her grip, the left side of Marcella’s body scraped painfully against the door frame before she was thrown to the ground.

One of the invaders finally identified himself.

“Bear! Step out – Sheriff’s office!” bellowed the Berserker packing an assault weapon.

“What’s the matter?” asked Michael Gibbons – known as “Bear” to his friends -- as the exasperated farmer opened the front door. “What is the problem?”

“Who else is in the house?” demanded one of the invaders.

“Nobody,” replied Bear.

“You guys having a fight this morning?” inquired the armed man, his finger still poised on the trigger.

“We had an argument,” Bear replied, his voice tinged with incredulity. “What’s going on?”

“We’ll let you know in a sec,” the armed man replied in a dismissive tone. “For right now, go to your knees for me. Face away from me.”



With those words, the armed stranger -- who had not established any legal justification for invading the couple’s property -- ordered Bear to assume the coup de grace position.

At this point, Bear – who had just seen his wife assaulted at gunpoint -- had every reason to think that he might be murdered, and no legitimate reason to believe that the marauders were actual peace officers. After all, anybody can buy weapons and body armor, and official-looking insignia.

The raiding party was composed of Gem County Sheriff’s Deputies, but their behavior was that of a home invasion gang, rather than a group of peace officers.

“What is this about?” Bear demanded from his knees as a deputy handcuffed him.

“We’re going to tell you – now’s the time to shut up!” sneered the goon with the assault rifle.

A more honest answer would have been, “Now’s the time to invent a justification for the raid.”

After being handcuffed behind his back, Bear was ordered to get up.

“Why is this happening?” Bear demanded to know.

“I said get up!” answered one of his captors, who, with the help of another, hoisted the tiny man off the ground – and then promptly dropped him on his tailbone. Bear suffered a severe back injury that has left him incapacitated.


Sheriff Chuck Rolland.

With Bear in handcuffs and Marcella being detained, a small group of officers, led by Sheriff Chuck Rolland, conducted a warrantless search of the home on the pretext of “clearing” it.

As the video record of the search illustrates, the officers were not looking for a concealed threat to their safety. They made little effort to clear the corners or to inspect potential hiding spots. However, they were very interested in finding evidence of marijuana use – lifting and sniffing ashtrays and going through personal effects. After going upstairs they found what they believed to be a “grow room.”

“We’ll have to get a warrant for this,” one of them remarked.

“We found your grow room,” Lt. Timony told Bear after the officers emerged from the home a few minutes later.

“You found our tomato plants!” Bear responded, pointing out that the supposedly suspicious “grow room” was actually an aquaponics system of the kind he had described to an indifferent Emmett City Council just a few months earlier.

Although Bear admitted that he does occasionally use marijuana to treat lingering chronic injuries – the most serious of which he received, ironically, as a police officer when he was stabbed by a shoplifter in 1982 – he hadn’t smoked any that morning.


Sheriff Rolland and a deputy in Bear and Marcella's kitchen.

Marcella had let him sleep in that morning, and Bear had gotten up just a short time before the police materialized on his property. In that brief period, however, he and Marcella had one short, inconsequential verbal spat of the kind every couple occasionally experiences.

The argument was overheard by a neighbor who -- displaying a sense of civic responsibility more appropriate to East Germany than western Idaho – called the police.

Bear and Marcella have lived in Letha, an unincorporated town near Emmett, Idaho, for about two years. They are organic farmers, like most of their neighbors. Unlike at least one of their neighbors, the couple is determined to mind their own business.

On the morning of August 16, a neighbor who identified herself as “April” overheard the couple’s argument and called 911 to report that she thought Bear was “beating” his wife.

Because the neighborhood is located near the county line, the cell phone call was originally directed to the dispatcher for the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, who relayed the information to her counterpart in Gem County.

In making the handoff, however, both dispatchers clearly understood one critical fact: There was no indication that weapons were involved in the alleged domestic dispute, or even to be found in the household. This meant that the proper response to the report, according to established policy, was a low-key “welfare check.”

Why, then, did the Gem County Sheriff’s Office choose to mount a SWAT-style raid against Bear and Marcella? The short answer is that the couple was the victim of “political profiling”: They were identified as a threat to “officer safety” on account of their perceived political opinions.

“Are you familiar with these guys?” asked a deputy identified in the 911 recordings as “Officer 57.”

“Negative,” answered another deputy designated “Officer 56.”

“I am, and it’s affirmative, there is [sic] weapons,” continued Officer 57. “He is – or at least was – anti-law enforcement. We’ve had issues with him. He’s a Constitutionalist.”

Idaho is one of the few states in the Union where most people would consider the term “Constitutionalist” to be a plaudit rather than a pejorative.

That epithet – which Officer 57 spat out in audible disgust – was the reason why Bear would soon find himself on his knees with his back to a deputy whose finger was caressing the trigger of an assault rifle.



The illegal search of the couple’s home yielded no evidence of drug dealing, so the raiding party had to be satisfied with writing a misdemeanor citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. Before they left, however, Detective Rich Perecz couldn’t resist the opportunity to upbraid the victims for displaying insufficient docility.

“Perecz knelt down next to me, showed me his badge and said, `What is this?’” Bear related to me during an interview in his living room. “I said, `It’s your badge.’ He said, `Can you tell me why your wife wouldn’t come out of the house when I told her to?’ Those guys didn’t identify themselves as the Sheriff’s Office until after they had dragged Marcella out of our house. All we knew was what she said when she saw them coming through our corn field – they were men with guns.”

Perecz briefly attempted to preserve the pretense that an act of domestic violence had occurred at the couple’s home.

“He asked me, `Why are your wife’s knuckles all scraped up?’” Bear recounts. “He was trying to get me to admit that I had beat my wife. He apparently knows nothing about living and working on a farm. Of course Marcella’s hands get scraped from time to time; we work for a living, after all.”

The official police report notes that Marcella Cruz showed “no evidence of battery” at the end of the incident. (Interestingly, Marcella was not identified as a “victim” in that report.) Photographs taken two days later showed that her left arm and side were disfigured with large bruises that had been inflicted by Detective Perecz when the officer yanked her out of her kitchen doorway.

If Marcella’s husband had been responsible for those bruises, he would be facing felony domestic violence charges. Under Idaho law (Chapter 9, 18-903 and 18-905[b]), Perecz’s actions constitute aggravated assault.

In an e-mail, I asked Perecz this question:

"By physically seizing a small, unarmed, terrified woman who was not a criminal suspect, and injuring her in the process, didn’t you commit an act that can be fairly characterized as criminal battery, as defined in Idaho law?"

Despite repeated requests, Perecz has declined to answer that question, or provide any other information about the incident.


Marcella Cruz's injuries. (Credit:Michael Gibbons.)

In his official report, Lt. Dave Timony states that the officers were advised that Bear and Marcella were "possibly armed and may be extremely confrontational to authority."

By way of e-mail, I asked Lt. Timony to elaborate on that claim:

“What was the basis of that characterization? Is it the policy of your department to compile political or ideological `profiles’ of people who have had encounters with law enforcement in Gem County? Has your department undergone training/indoctrination regarding supposed threats posed by people characterized as `constitutionalists’?”

Like Detective Perecz, Lt. Timony has refused to reply to my inquiries.

It is true that Bear and Marcella had previously had unpleasant dealings with the Gem County Sheriff’s Office – and with Detective Perecz, in particular.

More than a year ago, Marcella contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that a man calling himself “Greg Hall,” who had lived with them for an extended period, had stolen money and jewelry from them. Marcella provided me with copies of e-mail messages in which she and Detective Perecz had discussed the theft – including the suspect’s specific location, which at the time was just across the Snake River in Ontario, Oregon.

“He told me that he couldn’t help us, because the suspect had fled the jurisdiction,” Marcella related to me. “But it’s not as if he couldn’t pick up a telephone and inform the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, or the Ontario Police. The bogus `domestic violence’ report that led to the raid on our home was originally received by Payette County and relayed to Gem County. It’s not as if these people can’t talk to each other.”

It’s worth pointing out as well that inter-state law enforcement cooperation in the Treasure Valley – an area encompassing towns on both sides of the Idaho/Oregon border – is quite commonplace. This is especially true of narcotics enforcement, which is a far more profitable racket than legitimate efforts to protect persons and property from criminal violence.



“Now that you know we didn’t have a fight, why don’t you pack up and go away?” asked Bear following the illegal search of his home.

“Oh, we can’t do that,” one of the deputies insisted. “We’re here now, and we have probable cause.”

What they had – or, at least, thought they had -- was an opportunity to seize Bear and Marcella’s home and farm through “civil asset forfeiture.” That tantalizing prospect evaporated when it became clear that the couple was cultivating organic tomatoes, rather than marijuana.

“The Gem County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t at all interested in helping us when we were victims of a crime,” Marcella summarizes. “But they were ready and eager to attack our home when they were given an excuse.”

That excuse was a report made by a neighbor who, according to Bear and Marcella, is part of a neighborhood clique who resents the couple for reasons they can’t understand. The woman they identify as the leader of that clique has accused the couple of stealing water from the irrigation co-op. That charge is rejected by the co-op’s elected water master, Marvin Richardson (a long-established organic farmer and prominent political activist who had his name legally changed to “Pro-Life”).

The malicious imagination of a hostile neighbor transmuted a brief and trivial marital argument into evidence of “domestic violence.” The vicious opportunism of the Gem County Sheriff’s Office magnified the incident into a pretext for a paramilitary raid that resulted in an act of felonious battery against Marcella.

In a country where gratuitous SWAT raids frequently result in state-sanctioned murder, this is a potentially fatal combination – especially when the subject of the raid is designated a “Constitutionalist” and thus regarded as an Enemy of the State.


_
William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.





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Comments 1 - 20 of 21 Add Comment Page of 2 >
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 8:10 AM

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75134 Sounds like this "April" is nothing but part of a gang stalking ring created with intent to harass Michael Gibbon sand his wife Marcella, by repeatedly lying and making false accusations against them. She was probably working in tangent with "officer" Perecz from the get go to try and harass this family.

People liker "April" enjoy nothing better than trying to harm innocent people and spread hatred.Truly disgusting and sick
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 8:20 AM

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75134 after watching that video those guys with the guns attacking that family were not acting as proper police officers they were acting as meancing, violent, out of control hoodlums and thugs.
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 9:55 AM

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67142 This is the main reason why more and more people despise the police. I was raised to think the police were your neighborhood protectors and friends of those who live in peace. A person you could trust to help the needy. The one who could protect your ailing mother or young child. So far, in my 43 years, I've seen very few incidence that reflected those values. Instead, its been seeing them act like muscle bound terrorists who will purposely injure someone as they jam their hands behind their back. (An ego boost which reminds them of how big and strong they are) Murderous thugs who enter the wrong house and shoot the occupants. Mafia henchmen for the state as they extort money and property in the name of "safety". I absolutely hate the police for what they do in all their arrogance and malice. They destroy peoples lives, their hard earned property, and ultimately any trust in government. They bring this hate upon themselves by always trying to intimidate anyone that comes into contact with them.

An authoritarian mindset (which is that of today's police) will never understand that a peaceful person, no matter how small, can become their most violent nightmare when the battle becomes a fight between good and evil. Violence against the innocent is the face of evil and a choice. When I see them abusing their authority and hurting people, the only thing that comes to mind is how little sympathy I'll have for them in their final moments as the hoards of suffering and victimized people surround them in the future. That day will come, as it has throughout history when governments collapse.
dougo

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 9:56 AM

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687 typical brainwashed,myopic,pigs with egos to match!
dougo

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 10:13 AM

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687 here in san diego,ca. sdpd capt. son gets let loose and finally charged a month later.there are over 10,000 cops in san diego and only a few dozen wrote in saying this kid should have gone straight to jail after the hospital.and they did so anonymously.why?what are they afraid of?each other!they know they are scumbags.but there are good cops somewhere, it is just the large % that make the few look bad.there are no good cops!charges all mis.sexual batt.,drunk in public.etc..chief says we do this all the time.say what?
Peter

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 12:09 PM

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81161 YOU GUYS HAVE GUNS !!
TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS !!!!

How about y'all start using them for the intended purpose,
instead of using them to kill one another ???

Hitler got away with it --
Because 'The People' LET HIM !
Anonymous Goober

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 6:16 PM

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7621 How did those dogs survive?
They're supposed to be "subdued" first thing.
Those cops must have no career ambitions.
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 6:43 PM

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63134 Gee! Thanks, Gem County Sheriff's deputies!

...for making more of us like Marcella and Bear!

You dirty bastards are going to get yours. Just keep pushing and eventually Bears and Marcellas of this country won't open the door, they'll just shoot you from the slits in between the armor on the door.
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 11 2012, 11:17 PM

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99174 Need any more evidence we live in a police state?
Johnny

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 9:53 AM

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7271 It seems this, April, is part of a small minded community with long standing that is so close-minded as to any new people that feel living in a new area would actually be a really nice idea. It is those small-minded folk that are the most prejudice against any one person.
What happened to welcoming new people to your area.
Cedric Ward

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 12:26 PM

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70199 These stories of police abuse, and there are more every day and captured on video making them indisputable, make my blood boil. I moved up to Idaho permanently from Southern California in 1998 thinking I finally escaped the bull$hit from SoCal only to have nothing but more problems with the police in a few years than I ever had with them in SoCal in my entire 54 years up to 1998 (I'm 68 now). I am a law abiding person who was constantly being attacked for very simple things like sleeping in a rest area with my trailer on the truck side or having too many trailers or boats at my friend's house when I visited for an extended period. When a young creep tried to attack me one day I defended myself by grabbing his throat and pushing him up against his truck to restrain him. He called the police who said I had committed 'battery' and the cop didn't want to even allow me to explain the facts of the incident. There were several more situations that I won't explain here but the one that really got me was when a young officer who answered my call to 911 to have a young man stop playing his bongo drums in a trailer park I stayed in had the audacity to tell me he 'didn't have time to baby sit us!" Simply beyond the pale in rudeness!

Back in the days when I had some 'respect' for the police I even chose Police Science as my first Major in college in 1963 and applied to be a police cadet with the Pasadena Police Dept when I was 18. I passed all the written tests but failed the oral exam probably because I didn't appear 'tough' enough. They asked me what I would do if a cuffed person in the back of a squad card spit in my face. I couldn't really answer that because I'm not a violent person...so far...but this story is adding to my outrage and disgust with not only police, but the military and the government which we should all realize by now is just loaded with sociopathic liars and criminal thieves that are only protected from being sent to prison because they have infiltrated the 'legal' (sic) system with their cronies.
These situations are being made even worse due to there still being far too many idiot butt-in-skies like this April character. She should be sued for precipitating this event and the police involved should be FIRED for not identifying themselves and physically manhandling Marcella and Bear and injuring them both and then not having the maturity, or integrity, to apologize for doing so but instead thrust their so-called 'authority' in their faces and threaten them further by claiming they now have 'probable cause' which is a phrase that has now lost all meaning.
If you resist these thugs in the slightest way, even from the shock of being violently invaded with goons with guns and body armor dressed in sinister black attire, you are accused of being 'uncooperative or 'resisting'. And they ALWAYS CLAIM they 'fear for their lives' after they shoot you on the slightest 'imaginary' provocation.
I can only hope the day will come soon when those of us who understand that our Constitution and the rights it describes we have, and which has NOT BEEN RESCINDED no matter how many 'executive orders' these criminal government sociopaths write to bypass its restrictions on a heavy handed government, will soon take up arms and swarm these SWAT squads and destroy them all to the last man. Maybe then more people will have the courage to act the same when they see these injustices being perpetrated by these 'new style' police goons who are only here to Abuse and Confiscate rather than to Protect and Serve.
May they all receive retribution many times over for the inhumane acts they perpetrate every day due to their being mentally deranged and improperly being given badges and weapons and NEVER being prosecuted for their violations of citizens' civil rights.
My daily updated blog is: http://goldtradercommentsaugust2010.blogspot.com/
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 6:10 PM

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205188 This is grounds for a law suit, and they will win.
Cedric Ward

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 7:24 PM

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70199 Here is an excellent video on how to interact with the police or anyone demanding entry to your residence.
NEVER OPEN THE DOOR!
Say, "WHAT IS THE NATURE OF YOUR INVESTIGATION"
DO NOT TELL THEM ANYTHING...as it WILL be used against you.

How to handle POLICE STATE encounters AT YOUR DOOR - Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc1TPJMwNnk&feature=plcp
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 7:51 PM

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508 If my thoughts could be seen they would put my head in a guillotine. paraphrased from a song.
BigMac

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 8:28 PM

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74111 I'm a former police officer (in one of the toughest neighborhoods in NYCand know a few things about how to conduct a field investigation. What I've seen of late (the past 2 years) in incidents like this is state (or local) sanctioned abuse of police power!
The Wise Gypsy

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 8:31 PM

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10887
The detective should be charged with violation of these folks Civil Rights and sent to prison just any other officers who deliberately injure a person during the commission of the crime of “violation of one's civil rights.” What’s good for California is good for Idaho.
Another thing. This profiling because someone believes in the Constitution and is willing to say so is something that came from HLS in the Obama Administration and has been filtered down to Federal, State, and local law enforcement.
We cannot profile according to race or national origin but we can against one’s belief in God, Country, and Constitution? Sounds more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America.

Good Lawyer + good evidence + Jury who believes in the US Constitution and its protections = one H*** of a lawsuit.
catman

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 10:04 PM

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17418 Stick around folksies.......These kinds of happenings (crap) is going to happen more and more as the guvmint reacts negatively to anyone who speaks out against them or who refuses to bend, read cowtow to their demands. Sheeple, you had better damn well wake up!!!
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 12 2012, 11:27 PM

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70234 As an officer of 27 years those guys are idiots. They had no right to secure the interior of the house once they had both of the alleged parties outside.

They had no reason to drag the purported victim from her home and no fucking reason to handcuff the compliant suspect. There was absolutely no actions on his part to suggest he was a potential threat to himself or others.

In addition, it's obvious they used the domestic call as a ruse to conduct an unlawful search of the residence.

The homeowners are fools if they don't pursue a FEDERAL case against those redneck ass holes.

Those guys were simply thugs with badges and a disgrace to the law enforcement community.

Coincidentally, had they found a grow - it would still be growing as the warrant would not stand up to the scrutiny of the courts.

What a freaking joke, those guys need to go back to detailing cars or selling crack and leave the police shit to professionals.
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 13 2012, 1:30 AM

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64126 I am not surprised at how many thugs get into "law enforcement". I have found that many of them were bullies in their youth, or were bullied in their youth. Lots of these types are simply a hair inside the law themselves. Many cases of family abuse and dysfunctional families,as well as broken marriages.
The general public thinks the cops wear guns to protect the public.That's baloney! they wear guns for intimidation and self preservation, with absolutely no thought about the public. There may be heros amongst the police community, there are also scum.
Anonymous

Posted: Oct 13 2012, 10:12 AM

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70246 Where do these damn officers live. It''s time for two invasion and assults
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