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Anti-Police Internet Sites

The first amendment to our constitution, which provides for freedom of speech, is no more limited on the Internet than in any other format. Regardless of your opinion on the interpretation of the amendment, we can certainly all agree on one thing. Information is available now that the law enforcement community prefers to be a little more discreet. This is not for the purpose of hiding police wrongdoings, but instead as a matter of officer safety.

If knowledge is power, and the Internet holds almost infinite knowledge on practically any topic, then we should assume that groups seeking information on law enforcement topics, for whatever reason, are now more powerful. It would also be safe to assume that those who would assemble organizations for the purpose of promoting illegal or simply anti-government or anti-police activities or discussions may hold more power now than ever before.

Although particular Web sites would lead some readers to believe that they have acquired secrets or forbidden information, the fact is that information that has been available to the public before is simply more accessible now via the Internet. In addition, the speakers or commentators have a bigger sounding post, with the power of the Internet behind them. The primary concern here for officers and maybe more particularly for law enforcement trainers and administrators should be officer safety.

Sites That Pose a Threat to Police

TOTSE

(Temple of The Screaming Electron

)

TOTSE is an information marketplace for anyone wishing to dabble in a variety of illegal or inappropriate activities, from pornography to political advice, commentary and condemnations as well as an abundant amount of information about police and other government agencies. There is almost no limit to the amount of information at totse.com.

Not all of the information is accurate, however. They offer boards for visitors to post or upload information and as with any bulletin board site, the opportunity for erroneous information, urban legends, exaggerations, and misinformation grows with the amount of input from unconfirmed sources. The scary part is that the reliability or lack thereof does not necessarily mean that a “would be” criminal will not take stock in the advice, which generates a huge safety issue for police.

The site also contains what they claim to be actual training excerpts, memos, and letters from various government agencies such as the NIJ, FBI, and ATF. Some of totse’s current articles are “How to Beat Special Forces, SWAT and Special Operations Groups,” which reads: “Is SWAT effective? Yes. Does it get results? Absolutely. Is SWAT invincible? No. Despite their massive firepower and use of brute force, SWAT teams have weaknesses that can be exploited. The local police have SWAT teams, and the Army’s Delta Force, the Navy’s SEAL… the US Secret Service’s Counter Assault Team, etc., etc., etc. But a goon by any name is still a goon.”

Totse also features an article titled “Police Tactics and How To Defeat Them,” which reads: “…it would be naive to think we can use spears against these maniacs. Therefore, we need to find ways to eliminate police tactics. The following information is some common used tactics and best effective ways to beat them…If a more aggressive approach was desired, one group of protesters would lead the police in a trap by making a quick assault and falling back immediately afterward, as if fleeing the scene. The police would usually pursue them haphazardly, falling easy prey to a flanking attack of other protesters who would suddenly rush out from side streets.”

Another page on totes is titled “Beating The FBI,” which explained: “Simply put, the article you are reading is about counter surveillance methods that will beat the FBI.”

This fairly in-depth article refers to what the author declares to be standard surveillance tactics of the FBI including secret terms and so on.

Totse also reports on “10 Great High Explosive Mixtures,” which informs Web surfers that “[There are] ten great high explosive mixtures that you can make at home…this page offers 10 recipes, each one requiring only two chemicals that apparently would create explosions.”

Raise The Fist (National Security Is The Threat)

Raise The Fist seems to be more of a forum for others to post their ideas, thoughts, and views. It acts as a bulletin board or sounding post for those who protest actions of the police, federal government, or military. Sherman Austin, the founder of the site, has been under investigation by the FBI because of the information available at the site.

Links are offered to anarchy and anarchists’ sites as well as discussion groups on police brutality, patriarchy, the government, and black liberation to name a few. Of particular interest on this site is their link to “self defense.” Raise The Fist claims that if you are being terrorized, even by the police or government, you have the right to self defense.

This section is a running bulletin board with an emphasis on actively protesting the actions of police, including ideas for practicing to defeat the police with weapons and tactics. Most posts are from anti-police, pro-violence activists, although there are some submissions that are speaking against the violent suggestions. Some excerpts from the “Self Defense” section read:

“A good way to simulate armed warfare is to go paintballing. Although it could be expensive, just rob a pawnshop in the middle of the night. Get the gun, then the CO2 and balls, and go hunt each other. Go out in your city at night—that’s always fun. But it is good practice for the day soon coming.

“Nonviolence is born after the violent struggles to attain freedom. Imperial authorities utilize violent force to legitimate their rule, and pacifistic acquiescence is ultimately ineffective and only validates their power, since resistance by definition is a destructive force. Freedom comes out of the barrel of a gun.

“Terrorists and cops are the same things except the cops have something the terrorists do not have…uniforms.”

CopWatch



CopWatch is a site dedicated to providing information primarily in the area of alleged police misconduct, corruption, and scandals. An anti-police atmosphere offering posters and advice on how to spread the anti-police message within the community. CopWatch offers the visitor the option of reporting incidents of police brutality or misconduct, and submits that information to a database which is also available to the public, although registration is required.

Some feature articles include tips on how to stage a two-man mass protest. The article suggests using videotape, public address systems, and signage to attract the attention of the general public, and pages of planning techniques to combat police techniques if and when the protestors are confronted by them.

Several posters available from the site also suggest you paste in various areas to spread the word about CopWatch and “police corruption.” The posters are designed as WANTED posters warning citizens to watch for “rouge police officers” and “police impersonators.”

Currently the site is offering geographical specific information for the Seattle and Washington state area including free WANTED posters to print regarding police in those areas. Additionally, the promoters are offering cash rewards for videotape or photographs of local officers removing or damaging the posters.

Anti-Police Sites Calling For Protests

Anti-Police Misconduct Meetup

This Web site called for people to “meet with other local citizens who are concerned by police misconduct to discuss ways to mobilize and act both locally and nationally.”

This site has established that the second Monday of every month should be deemed a “meet-up day” in which they encourage as many citizens as possible to meet in pre-determined locations in 591 cities worldwide. The purpose is for those concerned with police misconduct to network and strengthen their communities.

October 22nd Coalition



This site summoned people to “stop police brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation.”

The October 22nd generation is another call-out for citizens to attend a day of protest against what the site refers to as “…the nationwide epidemic.”

The site offers a monthly newsletter entitled, “Wear Black” for download and books for sale including a highlighted book, Stolen Lives, which is a third version of the book Stolen Lives: Killed By Law Enforcement. Sidebar menus are broken into categories such as repression, resistance, and meetings that link to bulletin board-style postings from the Web team that assembled the page and from visitors. The postings include opinions, protest meeting dates and locations, protest chants and more.

Refuse and Resist



“Stop Police Brutality—It’s a Nationwide Epidemic—It Has To Stop!”

“Refuse & Resist is the organization for everyone who refuses to go along with today’s national agenda of repression and cruelty, poverty and punishment.”

One of the main themes for this site appears to be stopping and publicly speaking out against police brutality including calling for a national day of protest, October 22. The site also has an abundant amount of information regarding civil rights for Americans and others, currently with a concentration on the war in Iraq. Abortions, foreign policy and civil rights violations seem to be key issues for this site. More emphasis seems to be placed on the federal political hot button issues than domestic police issues; however, there is information regarding incidents in Cincinnati and NYPD.

American Police State, The State of The 21st Century

A very extensive site, the American Police State site seems to contain more information pertaining to constitutional issues, civil rights and federal government conspiracies and cover-ups. There are some concerns voiced regarding local police agencies in the “Big Brother” sections.

This site informs viewers of various terms, such as “code red,” which it defines as “the official term for police state. If the nation escalates to ‘red alert,’ which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside of your home.”

It also has defined “Human Barcodes” as “you’re only an animal to be tagged.”

According to them, the “Pentagon’s Supercomputers” are “intended to hold petabytes of data on citizens.” They also advise readers that “You are being watched...secret courts authorize surveillance.”

Finally, they report that “First amendment dies [number] 1,400 protesters arrested in San Francisco.”

Anti-Police Sites Offering Reports and Databases on Officers

Justice Files

Appearing to be specific to the west coast area, JusticeFiles.org is another independent site which touts the reporting of police misconduct. The owner of this particular site, however, has put some specific effort into locating personal information from police officers and posted it on the site. Some of the information includes: full name, address, home phone, job title, salary and in at least one case, an officer’s social security number. The database of officer information is broken down by county. It also appears that the site has had recent conflict with the local courts regarding some of the information that was posted on the site.

Cop Crimes



“Overall police brutality is increasing at an alarming rate. While it is true most law enforcement officers are “good cops,” these same officers almost always turn a blind eye to the laws broken by their fellow officers and do nothing to stop the illegal behavior.”

Cop Crimes does include in it’s disclaimer that most cops are good cops. However, they have found a lot of cops that they deem as unfit. The site offers a database where you can select a state and look for an officer by name, if a complaint has been submitted. Also, you have the opportunity to submit a complaint. There is also a page instructing citizens as to how to behave when dealing with police officers.

Race, Rights, and Police Brutality

Published on this Web site is information that “police officers are punching, kicking, beating and shooting people who pose no threat; or are causing serious injuries, and sometimes death, by misusing restraints, chemical sprays or electro-shock weapons.”

This linked page from Amnesty USA offers a full report regarding police brutality and misconduct in the US and a report entitled: “Police Brutality and Excessive Force in the New York Police Department.” The reports may be viewed online, downloaded or ordered in print. Several stories are offered on the site regarding police brutality.

Shielded From Justice-Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States

This Web page claims “Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States.”

Actually a page from the HRW (Human Rights Watch) Web site, this is a report with sections highlighting incidents from major US cities. The report can be downloaded, reviewed online or ordered in a printed format.

Each city highlighted in the report contains information regarding: incidents, citizen reviews, police administration, internal affairs, civil lawsuits, and criminal prosecution. Each section seems to be very thorough.

General and Area-Specific Anti-Police Sites



Texas Police Brutality

A site with information specific to a small area in Texas, Texas Police Brutality is written by a lady who has made specific allegations about a conspiracy between the local police, the courts, and the school system. The author’s son was arrested and sentenced to prison; he ultimately died, which she alleges was caused by the local officials.

sf.indymedia.org

This site seems to be primarily focused on the West Coast, more specifically California. Several stories of alleged police brutality and misconduct appear with an emphasis on the Oakland Police Department.

Kersplebedeb Police and Justice Pages

This is a page in a personal site that offers links to a dozen other anti-police sites. There are links to download “anti-cop” and “prison issue buttons.” The author has what he calls a “page of cop photos,” pictures that were taken at the anti-WTO demonstration in Montreal. They also offer the opportunity to purchase T-shirts reading “Cops: the real menace to society,” and “Too Little Justice, Too Many Cops.”

Massachusetts Police Brutality

This page reads: “I ask that God damn to hell each and every person who does not renounce this act of police brutality and do something to help put an end to the national scourge of lethal police brutality.”

A geographic-specific site focusing on the Massachusetts area, the site contains a message board—an area for visitors to post their stories. The front page concentrates on a specific instance of reported police brutality while a sidebar offers links to old front pages with over a dozen other specific instances of alleged brutality.

It would be nearly impossible to list every site that is touting anti-police or anti-government themes. The above list is only an example of what the general public may find available. Officers should use the major search engines to look for information specific to their regions.

Knowledge is power. An old adage says that in order to defeat your enemy you must first know your enemy. Officers and government officials can take advantage of the double-sided sword of knowledge and use the Internet to stay current on what others are writing and reading on the superhighway.

It would be impossible to separate all of the hype from reality, and obviously some of the Web sites are there only for shock value. Sites created or promoted by radical groups that have been known as serious threats in the past should be of a particular interest; however, unknown or little known groups should be given their due consideration too. It would be careless to dismiss any group as non-threatening.

Russell Schanlaub is a Special Agent with the Bi-State Drug Task Force in Northwestern Indiana. He is a certified instructor, a member of the Indiana Drug Enforcement Association (IDEA) and a charter member of ILEETA. He can be reached at Russman@ffni.com.




Published in Law and Order, Dec 2005

Rating : 8.3



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