Posted: October 16th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian
The system is stacked against you. Always. If you are ever arrested, you have lost, regardless of whether you have actually done anything wrong, or anything illegal. There is no “innocent until proven guilty” because by the very act of arrest, you are assumed guilty, and must pay bail in order to then procure a lawyer or other means to fight your way through to proving your innocence. Even if you are found innocent, you have lost, because you have lost time, money, and resources in fighting mistaken, or even intentionally false charges.
Nor is there any “due process” – insofar as the term means fairness. Taken literally, yes, people are given some sort of process, which law enforcement and the powers that be have deemed to be “due” to a defendant. However, this process is one in which prosecutors have absolute civil immunity for knowingly using false evidence. It is one in which police have qualified immunity for mistaken arrests. (More on immunity here). It is one in which judges too, have judicial immunity no matter how mistaken, illegal, or malicious their rulings are. I.e. You are jailed for your screwups, but they are immune from suit for their screwups.
Absent any form of recourse for negligent, intentional, or even malicious violations of civil liberties, it is not surprising prosecutors engage in charge-stacking when they have decided they do not like a particular defendant. The wanton piling of charges has nothing to do with justice, guilt, or innocence, and everything to do with coercing a pesky or irritating defendant into submission.
This is what happened to Ademo and Pete in Greenfield Massachusetts in July of 2010. For those who regularly follow Cop Block, the story is well known. They went to the Franklin County Jail to bail out fellow activist Rich Paul, who had been arrested the day before, and filmed this event. Franklin County Sheriffs told them they could film in the lobby. They left and returned later with bail money and Pete’s ID, and were told they could not film after all. When they dared express the radical idea that public officials can be recorded while conducting their duties, Sgt. Todd M. Dodge arrested them.
Long story short, Ademo and Pete were the victims of charge stacking, in which prosecutors filed bogus charge after bogus charge, all of which the jury found them innocent. They repeatedly sought accountability and explanations from Greenfield PD, to no avail. To express displeasure at Ademo and Pete’s repeated efforts to seek accountability, Magnan and his buddies chased Ademo and Pete around town and harassed them for a jaywalking ticket (video here). In another instance, Greenfield PD followed Liberty on Tour around town for purposes of intimidation.
Despite it being very clear the arrests were unjustified and the charges were nothing more than an unjust display of power, consequences have befallen neither the police nor the prosecutors involved (what a shocker!) Of course, for all the vile trolls on Cop Block insisting against all evidence and logic that police are held to a “higher standard” and are “always held accountable” this must be the first time in history that prosecutors and police utterly botched the meaning and purpose of the law, and failed to meet due penalties.
In fact, not only has no one been punished, Sgt. Dodge was promoted recently, along with Gary Magnan who is shown in this video issuing arbitrary orders to Ademo and Pete, and threatening them with arrest. However, this should come as no surprise. The police police themselves, and are subject to immunities that ordinary people lack.
This whole affair demonstrates police are neither there to protect nor serve their “customers.” They are there to maintain their authority, even in the absence of a lawful basis for doing so, and when they intentionally misconstrue the law to an innocent victim’s detriment, there is absolutely no recourse.