Skip to comments.The Killing of Allen Kephart - How the police lost the trust of a law-and-order to
Posted on 07/06/2011 10:57:49 AM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
On May 10, 43-year old Allen Kephart died after being tased multiple times by three San Bernardino, California sheriff's deputies during a routine traffic stop.
Kephart, a quiet and well-liked member of the tight-knit mountain community around Lake Arrowhead, allegedly ran a stop sign and became combative during the stop.
But local residents say this claim is wildly out of character for Kephart, who had no police record and no history of aggressive behavior or even temper. Kepharts death has galvanized the local community around a problem they say is getting worse: aggressive policing and the souring of relations between civilians and local law enforcement.
While an FBI review of Kepharts death proceeds, the people of Lake Arrowhead are demanding a change in the climate of fear that has grown up in this quiet rural community. Whatever the final outcome of that investigation, the case of Allen Kephart is a case study in how law enforcement can lose the support even of citizens who believe strongly in law and order.
Producers: Tim Cavanaugh and Paul Detrick. Camera and editing: Paul Detrick and Alex Manning
About 7 minutes. Go to Reason.tv for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube Channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.
Just doing the tasing that the SWAT Teams won’t.
Bottom Line: You have to have a terrible character flaw to want to be a cop in the first place.
aww they are just cop haters
everyone knows the cops do things like this for our safety
Have they dropped the Wheeler case altogether? Haven’t heard a word about it in months!
Here is the video link:
Doesn’t look good does it. This type of behavior wreaks of ‘send a message’ behavior. Do these cowboys honestly see the folks up there as some sort of evil community that needs to be brought back under control? If so, a whole new crew needs to be brought in, one that gasps what their role should be.
Its the Us vs. Them mentality... a great number of cops these days truly believes they are in a war, they just call it a war on drugs, a war on crime. When infact its a war on the public... compounding this problem is the general level of fear your average cop carries while at work.
This is why we are seeing so many unarmed innocent's being shot these days.
The folks in Lake Arrowhead should refuse them service in the local eateries.
Hey, they just want to go home to their families - if if they have to kill you by mistake to make sure they can do that.
Why don’t these guys just do themselves and us a favor and stay home? I’ll take my chances defending myself, thank you.
His view of Cops, as I remember, was: If a person wants really, really wants the job, don't hire him.
In the video it says that when the officer red lighted him, he did not stop and went on for a mile to a gas station.
This tells me that he was frightened to stop and was looking for the protection of having people around at the gas station.
Evidently this pissed the officer off. What I see in the video is a man getting out of his car with his hands up.Am I wrong? Where is the rest of the video, I know it didn’t stop there.
Evidently, he had good reason to be afraid of the police. I wonder if there was prior history between him and the officers.
You and I have gone around on the level of villainy that we each see in law enforcement. I have defended law enforcement, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think there are ever any problems with it.
This is an instance where I believe there to be a real problem, a real stonewalling, and a very destructive overtone from law enforcement that refuses to fess up, take ownership, and restore the public faith in the department.
Good law enforcement officer hate situations like this, because the multiplier effect is astounding. This incident will be read about far and wide, and it will reinforce mindsets.
That does nobody any favors. Even the officers in that SB Sheriff’s department will suffer immeasurably due to this perception. (and I’m not trying to reference this as merely a perception - there was a real problem here IMO)
The sorry truth is that no one should stop where there are no witnesses, not should they exit the car. Turn on your cell phone and make sure the officer knows he is on record.
Above all, keep your hands where the LEO can see them at all times. Tell the LEO only the basics and remember at all times the present day LEO’s will kill you with virtual impunity for no reason at all.
Consider them a danger to your life and in no way anger the LEO.. Any abuse can be dealt with in a court, where you may be recompensed by the jury, rather than summarily executed by what Oleg Volk accurately termed “Fast Food Industry Rejects, but With Police Powers”.
I suggest electing Police Chiefs and Sheriffs who will run their departments in a strictly Constitutional manner.
PS If on a jury do seriously consider finding such LEOs guilty of murder.
An occasional execution of murdering cops will soon change the behavior of the rest.
According to the family's attorney he had no criminal nor medical history and no history of a temper. All the towns folks said he was your typical polite young man, who's passion was film and videography.
It's easy for a "good law enforcement officer" to "hate this" when it's a few counties or states away.
But when it's in HIS department, and HE was present....the good officer often turns out to have been (ahem) looking the other way at the time.
The problem with these ‘isolated incidents’ of police killing unarmed and cooperative citizens is that with so many of these things happening anymore, they’re no longer isolated incidents. Call it a syndrome, call it a trend. Whatever. But anymore when I hear of a cop getting killed by the side of the road somewhere with the killer driving away I pause and wonder if it was self defense?
Really, if a reasonable but skilled person were stopped by a police officer who had a bee in his bonnet to kill someone would they be out of line killing the police officer in self defense? And after doing so, who in their right mind would wait around for the cops friends to show up and possibly execute him on the spot?
I recall a story from a friend that a Naval officer from Virginia Beach, Virginia was stopped a couple years ago by a Tennessee trooper who didn’t like Navy types and determined to ‘teach him a lesson’. The trooper ended up in pretty bad shape and the officer, a Navy SEAL, went back to Virginia.
So I hear things like cops getting hurt near certain military bases and I just wonder if maybe a bully with a badge ran into some military justice?
In any case, the bottom line here is that the US anymore is becoming a place where you don’t feel safe in some places but you feel even less safe when you see a cop. Just like in most of the rest of the world. Forgive me if I’m not a big fan of that kind of situation.
Megan, that is not the type of situation I want to see on our streets. I can understand your concerns.
We do have to understand that we have instant access to information these days. Things may be worse today or we may just be hearing about the bad incidents through a better method of communication.
Clearly there are problem incidents. Clearly we must find a way to reduce those. Clearly we need to get departments operating in full accordance with the law, every bit as much as they think (and I do too) we need to comply with the law.
I have been stopped several times in the last three years with officers that were very polite and in one instance let me off with a warning when he had every right to site me for going twenty miles over the speed limit. I was going somewhat too fast to begin with, and increased my speed to pass. We talked for a while, and he let me off.
I have religiously tried to adhere to traffic laws by the letter since that incident, in appreciation of his actions.
The other situations were not traffic infractions. The officers were professional and efficient.
At any rate, who hears about these types of traffic stops? The only time we hear anything is when cops go postal.
You are right, cops don't "go postal" very often.
I don't accuse all cops because a few cops abuse their authority.
But I do accuse the cops who are complicit in coverups of that abuse.
Clearly we need to eliminate the attitudes which precipitate the problem incidents. Clearly we need to eliminate the "us vs them" attitude among peace officers. When peace officers distinguish between "officers" and "civilians", clearly we have an attitude problem. Officers must clearly see themselves as members of the civilian population and more importantly servants of the civilian population. Clearly we need to eliminate the attitude that misbehaviour among "officers" is to be, or can be, overlooked. An otherwise innocent peace officer who overlooks or covers for misconduct on the part of another peace officer is, and must be made to understand that he is, partially guilty of the misconduct he has covered.
As do I. Look, covering up criminality goes against everything they swore to abide by.
This idea that ‘wink wink’ we’ve got each other’s back, is a sick twisted mentality. When the chips are down of course you have the other person’s back. Not when it comes to beating charges you both know you’re guilty of.
I agree with those comments. Thanks for posting them.
It’s true that the majority of police are great people. The problem is that there’s too many of them anymore who don’t control themselves - go on You Tube and search ‘police abuse’ and you’ll have hours and hours of video to watch.
Add to this the Code of Silence and then the balance of the good cops are covering up for the bad cops. Johannes Meserle (sic?) the BART cop in California is an example of this. He killed a kid who was cuffed and on the ground and in the first iterations of the reports of his colleagues they made it sound justified. And then the video came out and now Mr. Meserle is just out of jail for his criminal conviction.
Absent the video the ‘good cops’ with him would’ve covered for him.
And then the recent Florida issue where the cops murdered a man and then confiscated cell phones from the witnesses and destroyed them. Gee, twelve ‘good cops’ right?
So, yeah, most cops are good folks. But who wants to ‘win the lottery’ and meet one of those people who just can’t wait to use his taser? Or his Glock?
Anybosy know if the cops were suspended pending investigation.
San Mateo County, CA. I had a very large safe full of firearms and ammunition seized by the police. When the contents were returned all of the ammunition and 70% of the firearms were missing. My lawyer informed me that this is currently standard practice; that the police use the seized weapons to augment their incomes and that if I value my life do not pursue this in court. My loss was on the order of $30K. YMMV
“...the people of Lake Arrowhead are demanding a change in the climate of fear that has grown up in this quiet rural community...a case study in how law enforcement can lose the support even of citizens who believe strongly in law and order.”
I hope there are professional and honorable police leaders who still remember the constitution and police skills and methods beyond “glock ‘em, baton ‘em or tase ‘em”, who can lead reform out of this mess.
Otherwise, it will be Al Sharpton race baiting our police officers and our citizens into a grave.
I don’t have a lot of disagreement with you, but I’m not on the same page as you describe it.
Good cops don’t cover for bad cops. Cops who do this are bad cops.
Only cops on scene can do this. The rest of the department can’t. Lumping in ‘good cops’ as if the whole department is guilty if bad cops get off, isn’t very charitable to the cops not involved at all.
IMO, confiscation of video devices should be an immediate expulsion from the force and at least a year in prison. It’s the destruction of evidence. The police are supposed to protect the evidence, not destroy it.
Destroying evidence is an admission of guilt, and I don’t care if the infraction of the law was minor or major, the destruction of evidence is a major all by itself IMO.
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