“Following the recent slate of scandals -- the birther investigation; a finding that the sheriff's office neglected 400 sex crimes; and a rebuke from the federal government for violating civil rights, among others -- more national groups are calling for him to step down.
“Despite being courted by Mitt Romney in 2008, the presidential candidate didn't seem to want the sheriff's endorsement this time around, and conservative groups have called for him to leave the party.”
Is 'beclowns' really a word?
Keep in mind that the following article comes from National Review, one of the premier right-wing opinion magazines, the legacy of William F. Buckley himself.
“As Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio beclowns himself and his wayward admirers, it is worth bearing in mind that the manufactured controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate has its origins in anonymous e-mails sent by Hillary Clinton partisans during the 2008 Democratic primary. Which is to say that all these many years later, Republicans are still getting played by the Clintons. Some things never change.”
The federal investigation of Lee Baca and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has been fueled by many reports from many sources. It was noted recently among other things, that Baca was the recipient of more than $100,000 worth of gifts which he shrugged off despite the fact the total was more than all of the other 57 California Sheriff's combined. And this is nothing new for Baca. The story has been reported for years, this link to a 2006 article on the same subject. He was recently called to account for misuse of county vehicles after rejecting a Public Records Act request by the L.A. Times in violation of state law.
We heard first-hand reports of how people arrested on Nov. 30, 2011 at or around City Hall were left on buses to soil themselves while deputies ignored their pleas for relief. And there were the stories from inmates of course, that nobody either listened to or believed.
Somehow these things tend to be overlooked, the entire prison population and its modus operandi an afterthought to the mainstream media and most people outside of it. The videos at the link below are so compelling because they weren't smuggled out of a Third World country. They aren't the result of bias. These reports have been corroborated over and over again, each source more credible leaving little doubt the substance of the reports.
The Maricopa Sheriff, as described above, has “beclowned” himself, his celebrity-sheriff career has probably run its course. The Joe McCarthy showboat types tend to do that in the end.
But in Los Angeles, Lee Baca has become more defiant, more flagrant in his contempt for not only inmates, but anyone that comes forward to criticize him. This is what happens when law enforcement egos run amok. Remember America's Sheriff Carona in Orange County? He's sitting in federal prison right now, another Big Law Enforcement ego that couldn't be contained, for witness tampering. (Beating the shit out of inmates that are in fact witnesses awaiting trial isn't tampering apparently.)
Regardless of whether any civil rights still exist in this country, the voters still have the capacity to reign in these megalomaniac, sometimes criminal, law enforcement nut cases before they “beclown” themselves into retirement. If not they usually become a laughingstock among their own peers like Sheriff Joe. At that point, they embarrass not only the citizens of their jurisdictions, but also attract negative attention abroad from billions of people that are probably wondering how the U.S. gets away with lecturing the rest of the world on humanitarian issues or standards of civility with these two clowns running amok in the country doing the lecturing.
Lee Baca has crossed that threshold. He and his superiors, the thoroughly corrupt County of Los Angeles law enforcement suits, have become known for not only tolerating this sort of conduct from their cohorts, but enabling it and covering it up. There are few examples that are more on point than District Attorney Steve Cooley dropping the charges against 82 LAPD cops in the middle of the Rampart scandal. A few days ago, an LAPD detective was convicted of murder, essentially exonerated by fellow cops before a proper investigation resulted in the truth finally coming out. In Orange County a deputy is charged with the beating a homeless man to death; a person that many people agreed was harmless and timid.
This is a dirty law enforcement town, and Lee Baca has dirty hands. Apparently he likes his image as a “tough cop” which is to say he enjoys brutalizing inmates while they are defenseless in custody. Lee Baca has “beclowned” himself as much or more than Arpaio, but not as much as the rest of the Los Angeles “law enforcement” community which scoffs at the law, civil rights and even common standard of behavior in a supposedly civilized society.
'Inmates in the Jails live in fear of deputy violence'
A lawsuit against Baca and the Sheriff's Department was filed in January of this year.
“It is commonplace for deputies to subject unresisting inmates to grossly excessive force by slamming inmates’ heads into walls, punching them in the face with fists, kicking them with boots, and shooting them multiple times with tasers – and for these beatings to result in serious injuries to the inmates, including broken legs, fractured eye sockets, shattered jaws, broken teeth, severe head injuries, nerve damage, dislocated joints, collapsed lungs, and wounds requiring dozens of stitches and staples. Deputies sadistically beat inmates with serious mental illness. They beat inmates who are already in fragile medical condition, including inmates in wheelchairs. Deputies have beaten inmates for asking for medical treatment, for the color of their skin, or for no apparent reason at all. Deputies also enlist and encourage other inmates to carry out savage attacks. ”
Download the entire complaint here:
The following videos tell a compelling story of torturous conditions as Baca's denials become less and less credible. It is only because the mainstream media has, as usual, neglected their responsibilities that Baca has survived this long.
Feeding the beast
As long as these issues have been raised, here's some advice from someone that did the math. The wielding of power is dependent on the participation of the governed. No one has to put up with bullshit unless they acquiesce to it. It is a personal decision, but acquiescence is not a practical way to fight corruption. Read on.
“The system of mass incarceration depends almost entirely on the cooperation of those it seeks to control. If everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation.”
The conclusion of course, is it doesn't take that much force to budge the boulder, but just enough might start it rolling and that is something crooked bankers and corrupt government officials fear more than anything. A knowledgeable population is their worst enemy.
The financial services crooks don't care much about the massive losses incurred on their customers or their countrymen. But when people become informed, they also become resentful of the obvious double-standard that effectively precludes relief from criminal acts perpetrated against them, and that scares the piss out of 'em.
But as noted above, protecting corrupt officials and executives is usually a matter of suppressing the truth. And to that end, Baca and Arpaio have filled the same role as their Third World counterparts.
"The United States takes this as seriously as if it was our own citizens and our own children who were murdered," Obama told reporters in Washington.