The news you're not supposed to know...

Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Oct 29 2013, 12:05 AM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: William Norman Grigg Print

"Qualified Immunity": A License to Commit Criminal Violence

by William Norman Grigg

Beaten twice, then arrested: Shannon Kanda displays handiwork of the cops who "protected and served" her.

Two times on the same night, Shannon Kanda was severely beaten by two male strangers. The first pair of assailants gave her a bloody lip and a few mild bruises. The second group, who arrived a few minutes later, shattered her skull against a metal staircase handrail. As a result of that attack, the victim was forced to undergo reconstructive surgery to replace broken ocular bones.

Kanda had done nothing to provoke either attack. The first group of assailants fled and were never captured. The second – Officers Gregory Moore and Jonathan Cantrell of the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Police Department – actually filed a battery charge against their victim.

After the first beating, Kanda – who was very intoxicated -- went to a friend’s apartment and called the police, in the familiar and entirely mistaken belief that they would be of help.

When Officers Moore and Cantrell arrived, they asked her to come down to the parking lot where the attack had taken place. Kanda later explained that she hesitated because “she feared for her safety and was not assured by the officers present.”

As the three of them left the apartment, Kanda allegedly brushed away Officer Cantrell’s hand. Offended by this defilement of his consecrated person, Cantrell snapped, “Hey, you don’t hit the police” – as if the action of batting away uninvited contact from a stranger were a form of criminal assault.

Seconds later, according to the police account, Kanda “swung” at Officer Moore. She doesn’t remember doing anything of the kind. She admits that she was drunk and unsteady, and that the officers “misjudged [her] unsteadiness … as movements threatening to their security.”

Whatever it was that Kanda did, Moore reacted by attempting a “brachial stun” – a pressure-point strike to a nerve cluster at the side of the neck – but missed, and wound up slugging her in the jaw. Cantrell jumped in and both cops threw the victim face-down on the stairwell landing, slamming her face into the iron handrail as they did so. As she was bleeding into the pavement, Kanda was handcuffed and told that she was under arrest for “battery on a police officer.” Significantly, however, that charge wasn’t formally filed until after she had initiated a lawsuit against the department and the City of Coeur d’Alene.

Cantrell and Moore responded to that suit by insisting that the two of them – armed, highly trained, intrepid defenders of the public weal – faced an imminent threat from a drunk and traumatized woman, and “feared for their safety.” They also suggested that Kanda’s eye injury might not have been their fault – that it may have been inflicted by the first pair of thugs to assault her that evening. This would mean, of course, that they slugged and body-slammed a woman who had already been beaten up so severely that she required major surgery on the following day.

The last argument in the officers’ arsenal was the inexhaustibly useful doctrine of “qualified immunity,” the unfailing legal shield of uniformed abusers. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge granted their motion to dismiss the suit, ruling that the “takedown” was justified, and that the act of shattering Kanda’s skull against a handrail was “unintentional.” Therefore, according to Lodge, “a reasonable officer in the Defendant Officers’ position could have concluded that their actions were lawful.”

Bereft of options and resources, Kanda was compelled to plead guilty to the battery charge. She also had to endure the self-pitying commentary of Police Chief Wayne Longo, who simpered that his officers often respond to “difficult situations” and find themselves “targets of meritless lawsuits.”

If Kanda had won her lawsuit, neither the political clique ruling Coeur nor their costumed emissaries of violence would have personally paid the judgment. However, once the suit was dismissed on the grounds of “qualified immunity,” the municipal government informed Kanda that it would seek a court order requiring the victim to pay the city’s legal costs.

Fortunately, Kanda won her appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which quite sensibly observed that no “reasonable” officer could consider body-slamming an already traumatized woman’s head and driving her face into a steel railing to be “proportionate under the circumstances.” The District Court’s ruling was reversed and the case was sent down for further proceedings, which are still underway.

Shannon Kanda’s ordeal is both intensely infuriating and tremendously useful. It is difficult to conceive of a more compelling illustration of the fact that state-sanctioned criminal violence is dramatically worse than the private sector variety.

Rather than pursuing the thugs who had attacked Kanda, the police who had been summoned to “help” made it their priority to punish the victim for being insufficiently deferential to their “authority” by inflicting an even worse beating on her. The machinery of “justice” then punished her again when she sought redress for her injuries. To paraphrase the eternally relevant insight from Edmund Burke, Kanda found that the agents of the “policed society” in which she lives were of no use in protecting her, but ready and eager to complete her ruin when given the opportunity.

The violence inflicted on Kanda by Cantrell and Moore was incontestably criminal in nature, and should have been prosecuted as such. The most significant obstacle to prosecuting that crime – and similar ones committed under the color of state “authority” in Idaho, most likely every day – is found in 37 words added in 1997 to the section of the Idaho State Code dealing with assault and battery:

“No peace officer may be held criminally or civilly liable for actions or omissions in the performance of the duties of his office under this chapter, if the peace officer acts in good faith and without malice” (18-921).

There is no reason to believe that if Kanda had been slugged and body-slammed by two private citizens, her assailants would have been able to avoid prosecution by attesting to their own “good faith” and absence of “malice.” Neither would the armed functionaries called police, if they were authentic peace officers. Police, however, are part of a privileged criminal caste. They claim the right to violate the moral law by committing aggressive violence, and an exemption from prosecution for such criminal acts.

In his magisterial work For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, Murray Rothbard observed that for a reasonably free society to exist, “police and the other authorities [must be subject] to the same law as everyone else….. [I]f everyone is supposed to be subject to the same criminal law, then exempting the authorities from that law gives them a legal license to commit continual aggression.”

That license is found in the abhorrent doctrine of “qualified immunity,” which the Idaho State Code condenses into 37 words. One immensely useful reform – pending the complete abolition of the coercive caste, of course – would be to delete that provision from the Idaho Code, and to do the same with similar measures in other states.

Police accused of “excessive force” often complain that it is difficult to calibrate the acceptable level of coercion, and insist that as long as they believe their actions are lawful, they can’t be questioned. Abolishing the spurious doctrine of “qualified immunity” would relieve police of that burden by requiring them to recognize that all aggressive violence is criminal, and will have individualized legal consequences.

“But if this principle is adopted, it could effectively end law enforcement as we understand it!” police apologists would protest. To which I would reply: “Oh, good – I see I’m not going too fast for you.”
William Norman Grigg publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.

Latest Tyranny/Police State
- Video Of Chicago Cop Murdering Teen Shows Another Shooting of Convenience
- California Police Used Illegal Wiretap Warrants in Hundreds of Drug Prosecutions
- NJ Cop Says He Was Suspended After Blowing Whistle On Dept. Misconduct
- Family Gets $4.9m After Cops Beat Mentally Ill Son to Death On Video and Walked Free
- Prosecutors Pissed Colo. Juries Keep Acquitting Marijuana DUI Suspects
- 'War On Cops': Cop Stages Fake Shootout, Sets Own Cruiser On Fire, Calls In Bomb Threat to School
- Cop Caught Stealing Cash & Gold Chain From Dying Crash Victim Loses Pension
- Innocent Man Beaten By Cops After Being Mistook For Suspect Now Paralyzed

Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Oct 29 2013, 9:15 AM

68144 Just another victim of police brutality. I sincerely hope she is victorious against these power tripping cowards. Cops suck.

Posted: Oct 29 2013, 6:50 PM

99132 Never call the cops, never.

Posted: Oct 31 2013, 10:38 PM

24188 99 percent of all police are corrupt and 1 percent want to be good

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

Video Of Chicago Cop Murdering Teen Shows Another Shooting of Convenience - 11/25Downing of Russian Su-24 Looks Like a Planned Provocation - Russian Foreign Minister - 11/25California Police Used Illegal Wiretap Warrants in Hundreds of Drug Prosecutions - 11/25VIDEO: FSA Rebels Destroy Russian Chopper With US-Made TOW Missile - 11/25Good News: 27% Of Americans Say Government Is Their 'Enemy,' Not Their 'Friend' - 11/24Undercover Cop Dressed In All Black Shot While Placing GPS Tracker On Car - 11/20Singapore: The Power of Economic Freedom - 11/25With Mass Shootings, The State Makes Us Less Safe - 11/25

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up