Flash forward to today in our US city police departments----still those public service employees only now these city police forces are being stacked with former or current global Blackwater mercenary employees not caring if COLLECTIVE BARGAINING---not caring if police corruption and illegal actions are soaring-----their eye is on that global mercenary salary far larger than ordinary local police department pay.
This excessive pay broke our US public military structure and it is the source today of our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones gradually raising pay for our city police departments as they are privatized to these same global mercenary military corporations like BLACKWATER.
Clinton/Bush/Obama placed a strangle-hold on our US national and local economies creating soaring unemployment and giving only these EX-PAT jobs often tied to global military contractors as the only way to earn a wage. What is happening in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones? Our US citizens black, white, and brown 99% are losing all avenues of employment to global labor pool and automation and the only choices are tied to global mercenary military corporations.
IT REALLY, REALLY, REALLY IS NOT JUST ANY JOB FOLKS!
Blackwater Pay Insults the Military
There's something fundamentally wrong when a private contractor makes 10 or more times as much as a regular soldier.
By Bonnie Erbe, Contributor |Oct. 4, 2007, at 10:33 a.m
Blackwater Pay Insults the Military
Among the more amazing things to emerge from the House government oversight committee hearing on private security contracting in Iraq was the amount of money paid to Blackwater USA private forces. A memo released at the hearing shows that some of the paid militia were making as much as $1,200 per day. Compare that with what the Washington Post reports American servicepersons make risking their lives for this nation:
An unmarried sergeant given Iraq pay and relief from U.S. taxes makes about $83 to $85 a day, given time in service. A married sergeant with children makes about double that, $170 a day. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Baghdad overseeing more than 160,000 U.S. troops, makes roughly $180,000 a year, or about $493 a day. That comes out to less than half the fee charged by Blackwater for its senior manager of a 34-man security team.
Twelve hundred dollars per day comes out to $6,000 per week, or almost $300,000 per year. How in the world can that be justified by a supposedly promilitary president? I recently had dinner with a friend who works for the Veterans Affairs Department. This person told me that a 45-year-old relative who is on active duty in the Army is being sent back for a third tour in Iraq. This relative has retired military friends in their 50s who've been asked to return to service. As this person put it, the Pentagon is "digging very, very deep" to find Americans willing to serve in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Blackwater seems to have no trouble recruiting young men. It seems to me an insult to everyone on active duty that the Bush administration can let profiteers earn these huge sums while troops' families use food stamps back home. What is wrong with this picture?
The citizens of Baltimore are being told that increases in police department pay-----select perks as housing and taxation is required to have quality employees in Baltimore police force. The problem with pay for our police employees these few decades were the same defunding of public employee pay as occurred throughout state and local job categories. Police felt they had to work second jobs to receive the wages of other job categories. This same thing was happening in our US military with servicemen and women finding it harder and harder to keep housing, food, and money for rearing children.
'Baltimore City police may be in line for a pay raise on top of a big raise they got two years ago, the 11 News I-Team has learned'.
Now we have 99% of Baltimore citizens shouting----wait a minute----we have a police department with growing corruption and illegal actions being rewarded in pay while the city is told it is BROKE.
99% of citizens in low-income communities are not naive----they have seen this movie over and over---police reforms---community policing terms bounced around these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA while nothing ever changes so NO they do not believe these DISCIPLINARY TRIAL BOARDS will have any power.
We are shouting to existing Baltimore Police employees ---watch out about terms like shorter hours and more pay as MOVING FORWARD global Foreign Economic Zone militarized police and security will be getting a bed and a meal very soon.
Return to 8-hour shifts may yield pay raise for Baltimore police officers
Undoing 10-hour shift strategy requires negotiation with police union
Updated: 6:13 PM EDT Aug 5, 2016
BALTIMORE --Baltimore City police may be in line for a pay raise on top of a big raise they got two years ago, the 11 News I-Team has learned.
It's the result of the city trying to undo a deployment strategy rolled out to reduce crime and overtime, a strategy that hasn't worked so well, according to city officials familiar with the problem, but which is written into the union contract, and, as a result, is hard to undo.
The deployment strategy was billed as a more efficient way of policing, switching city police schedules to a 10-hour work day four days a week. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and then police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced it in January 2015.
"Under this new schedule, Commissioner Batts will have the power to quickly and more efficiently flood neighborhoods experiencing increased violence," Rawlings-Blake said in 2015.
"That means these officers have the ability to get out of their cars to go to communities, engage with the communities," Batts said in 2015.
But it hasn't quite worked that way.
Officers complain of being short on patrol, and police overtime has soared. The city spent $29.6 million on police overtime in fiscal year 2014, $37.2 million in fiscal year 2015 and $41.6 million through most of fiscal year 2016, which just ended.
The fix would be to return to the old structure of shift work with eight-hour shifts, five days a week. The problem is, that sort of change has to be negotiated.
The 10-hour shift was written into the last Fraternal Order of Police contract the city signed. The city and the police union are negotiating a new contract. But the I-Team has learned that there has been no negotiating session in months as the city tries to work out the schedule.
According to a source close to the contract talks, the city will likely have to raise police salaries by about 1 percent. The source said the raise is needed to cover costs of going back to the eight-hour shifts. The likely increase comes atop the raise police got in 2014 at 13 1/2 percent over three years.
Another big issue is getting the police union to agree to citizen participation on disciplinary trial boards. There has been no progress on that front.
What are the checks and balances on corruption inside police departments and the use of police contracts and legal statutes to hide behind a lack of transparency?
Baltimore City Council and Baltimore Maryland Assembly stop voting for more global militarized policing bringing our police department back into the hands of our 99% of Baltimore citizens.
Baltimore outside agencies as coroner, medical examiner, forensic labs, Baltimore Public Health Department----all tasked with CHECKS AND BALANCES of our Baltimore Policing and civil/criminal trial and evidence for trials are led by APPOINTED department leaders. Who appoints those leaders? Baltimore City Hall and Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols.
Our lawyers tied to both defense and prosecution are bound by oath and duty to stay within boundaries of law providing every citizen due process and fair trial. If they know process of evidence is corrupted these lawyers from both sides should be shouting to fix these outside agencies----trial lawyers defense and prosecution should not be allowing corrupted agency data be admitted to trial. This includes our BALTIMORE CITY ATTORNEY AND STATE'S ATTORNEY
Here we see how our city attorney places pressure on police unions =====and our legislators can do the same in requiring police unions to pay into unjustifiable conduct/homicide lawsuit settlements.
NOW, do left social progressives support our labor unions? Yes, when they are working under US RULE OF LAW and in their membership's benefit. We do not hesitate for FIX CORRUPT LABOR UNIONS.
Baltimore police dues doubled to pay for legal defense of officers in Freddie Gray case, avert union insolvency
Kevin RectorContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun JULY 29, 2016
Footing the bill for the high-powered defense of six Baltimore police officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray crippled the city's police union financially, officials said, until members voted unanimously this year to nearly double their dues.
Now, with the unexpected conclusion of the Gray case this week, the union's legal bills are expected to sharply drop off — but not the dues. Officials at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 say they will continue collecting dues at the higher rate as a precaution, at least as long as Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby is in office.
"Yes, we will continue the same dues structure because we expect Ms. Mosby to continue her inane, malicious prosecution of police officers simply for doing their job," Gene Ryan said.
The decision is one more example of the continuing impact of the Gray case, and of the animosity that has come to define the relationship between Mosby and the police union since she filed charges against the six officers in May 2015. On Wednesday, Mosby dropped the charges against three of the officers after three others had been acquitted.
Union officials, who say defending the officers has cost the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars, have railed against Mosby's decision to press charges, calling her prosecution "malicious" and Gray's death a tragic accident for which the officers aren't culpable. They've argued the charges had no basis in law.
Mosby has argued that the officers were responsible for Gray's death from injuries suffered in police custody. She maintained that stance this week even after dropping all remaining charges. She said Wednesday that she is not "anti-police" but "anti-police brutality" and promised to continue fighting for justice for Baltimore residents.
A spokeswoman for Mosby declined to comment Friday. The case cost the state's attorney's office $450,000, according to city officials.
Gray, 25, died in April 2015 after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in the back of a police van where he was placed shackled and handcuffed, but unsecured by a seat belt. His death inspired widespread, mostly peaceful protests against police brutality until rioting, looting and arson broke out on the day of his funeral.
Mosby announced the charges against the officers amid the unrest, and the officers retained a team of more than a dozen defense attorneys with decades of collective experience litigating cases, including against police officers. Before the first trial in December, the attorneys filed a flurry of motions to dismiss the charges, remove Mosby from the case and move the trials out of Baltimore.
Although the attorneys were working at reduced rates for the officers, the union said, the bills piled up. By January, Ryan and other union leaders feared the organization could "quickly become insolvent and unable to provide any of the benefits, legal or otherwise, that are currently offered," according to union records from the time.
The union spent $800,000 on legal fees in 2015, the vast majority of that sum on the Gray case. That represented a 200 percent increase over the previous year, documents show. Officials also saw "no end in sight" for the mounting costs, they said in a letter explaining the situation to members.
Union officials provided no estimate of their legal expenses so far this year.
At the time, only one of the six officers, William Porter, had gone to trial. While that ended in a hung jury, prosecutors were pressing ahead on the cases against the other five officers and planned to retry Porter.
So union officials were facing mounting legal bills for the foreseeable future and feared the prospect of having to defend more officers in court given Mosby's stance in the Gray case, which they felt was an aggressive overreach. Meanwhile, protracted litigation with the city over the union's pension fund continued, and negotiations surrounding a new police contract loomed.
Ron Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said his organization tried to raise money for the union, but the public's interest in donating fluctuated as cases cycled in and out of the national news. As is often the case in criminal cases against police officers across the country, he said, the defense of the Baltimore officers largely fell to the local union.
"To their credit, the local FOP up there reached deep, deep, deep into their pockets to cover the phenomenally expensive defense of six officers," Hosko said.
Other outside groups were raising money for the six officers charged, including by selling T-shirts, but Ryan said those funds were used to financially support the officers personally — not the union. The money helped to financially support the four who were not being paid as they awaited trial. The officers charged with felonies were suspended without pay.
The legal fees fell to the union alone, Ryan said. And as the costs mounted, the situation grew more dire.
"We weren't filing for bankruptcy, but I'll say this: We were heading down a slippery slope," Ryan said. "The finances we were putting out and what we were bringing in, they weren't matching up."
According to Ryan and union documents from the time, the FOP's board of directors met in January to discuss their options. At that meeting, the group voted to increase member dues from 1.5 percent of a starting officer's salary to 2.75 percent.
To help sell the idea to the union's members, who would have to approve the change through their own vote, Ryan and Treasurer John Nolan wrote a letter to them.
"To put it very bluntly, the cost to defend our members against the aggressive prosecution that appears to be the current norm, is more than our budget can [bear] despite the fact that all attorneys involved are working at highly reduced rates," they wrote. "Couple this with the fact that each day brings the possibility of similar unwarranted legal prosecution against any of our members and the financial outlook of Lodge #3 is very dim."
In the letter, Ryan and Nolan wrote that they had wrestled with the decision to request an increase, but ultimately determined it was the only course of action available, given "the current climate of hostility projected toward law enforcement."
"Who will be next?" they asked.
In response, union members — largely rank-and-file officers — responded with unanimous approval of the rate increase, a move Ryan described as a show of solidarity among police officers.
"That just goes to show that we're in this for the long haul. The union isn't going anywhere. We're going to support each and every one of our members," he said. "All of our members voted to take extra money out of their pockets, not only for these six, but for all of our members."
When our labor unions are INTERNATIONAL as is our police department unions AND when those international labor union leaders are bound to global banking/global corporations they work not only in the interest of global 1% ---they are working AGAINST THE INTEREST of their US membership as well as 99% of citizens. When our police department unions were tied to US Rule of Law they operated under US Constitutional and Federal rights and laws----when they work under global corporate tribunal ONE WORLD ONE MILITARIZED MERCENARY POLICE/SECURITY force then both our US police employees and our 99% we become losers.
When a labor union starts pushing policies that the majority of citizens find oppressive/corrupt/or unnecessary ----as in the level of wages and benefits negotiated over several decades ----then they ultimately are not working in the interest of their membership. Labor unions negotiated all these benefit packages and then sat back and watched as they became unfunded liabilities used as FODDER in stock market.
The same is happening to our US city police departments. When those police BILL OF RIGHTS have goals of hiding bad police behavior and keep bad cops from discipline then it will come back to bite that police union.
THE GOALS OF MOVING FORWARD GLOBAL POLICE/FIRE PRIVATIZED FORCES IS ENDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING----ENDING ALL POLICE LABOR PROTECTIONS LIKE 8 HOUR DAYS, 5 DAY WORK WEEKS, ENDING STATUS OF CITIZEN AS REQUIREMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT AS THESE GLOBAL POLICE FORCES BRING IN GLOBAL LABOR POOL 99% AS WITH ALL OTHER JOBS IN US CITIES.
'Police unions have even prevailed on state lawmakers to enshrine some of these protections into law through "Police Bill of Rights" in 14 states'.
'Unless, thanks to the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, it’s a homicide investigation of a police officer. Lucky for them, those cops don’t get treated like some suspect. Among other things, they get 10 days before they have to say a mumbling word'.
So, these LAW ENFORCEMENT BILL OF RIGHTS have been allowed to intentionally kill oversight and accountability and that is NOT the intent of these labor union contracts. When officers say they are fearful in low-income communities---it is because of all these ZERO TOLERANCE civil rights/civil liberties AND yes, brutal tactics that make police think the 99% of citizens in a community may be gunning for them.
REPRESSION BRINGS AGGRESSION.
How police unions actually hurt police officers
July 18, 2016
Over the last two weeks, the nation has weathered two horrific slayings of police officers, first in Dallas and then in Baton Rouge. In his funeral oration for the slain Dallas officers, President Obama lamented many reasons for the rising "cycle of violence" between law enforcement and minority communities: Poverty, unemployment, underinvestment in schools, lack of rehab programs, easy availability of guns, and more. Meanwhile, after the Baton Rouge ambush, Donald Trump yet again blamed the breakdown of "law and order" in inner cities.
Surely there is at least some truth to all of this. But there's another critical reform to America's criminal justice system that is little talked about, but very important: Hidebound police unions that block elementary transparency and public accountability at every level.
Thanks to America's history of state-enforced slavery and segregation, black communities have rarely trusted the police. But relations have only gotten worse in the age of cell phones, when footage of innocent black men getting shot by police officers, often white, keeps popping up with disturbing regularity. The Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown represented a tipping point that fully launched the Black Lives Matter movement. And the Louisiana and Minnesota shootings this month that triggered the Dallas protests represent a new level of rising frustration and anger.
Conservative police apologists often dismiss this frustration, claiming that police shootings are the result not of bigotry and bias by police but greater black crime rates. And to prove their point they have seized on a study by Harvard University's Roland G. Fryer, black himself, that found no evidence that police are more likely to use lethal force against blacks and Hispanics than whites. (However, the cops are 50 percent more likely to use non-lethal force such as slapping, slamming, and punching against blacks and Hispanics than whites and Asians.)
NO, WE ARE SURE THE INCREASED POLICE BRUTALITY AND SHOOTINGS ARE TIED TO GLOBAL MILITARIZED POLICING AND ITS DISREGARD OF US RULE OF LAW, CITIZENS HAVING RIGHTS, AND USE OF FORCE ALWAYS TIED TO EXCESSIVE FORCE.
But Fryer, a careful researcher with a stellar reputation, doesn't have great confidence in his own findings because comprehensive national data about police shootings doesn't exist. His investigation was therefore limited to select areas of Texas, Florida, and Los Angeles that were willing to share their internal records. And this, he acknowledges, introduced a massive self-selection bias in his sample. "These departments only supplied the data because they are either enlightened or were not concerned about what the analysis would reveal," he noted.
So why don't national stats exist? Because America's 18,000 law enforcement agencies don't want them to.
The Crime Control Act of 1994 asked the FBI to annually compile and publish data about the use of police force in all instances so that the country could keep track of trends of police violence, identify problematic precincts, or catch enforcement bias. But union representatives of law enforcement agencies successfully lobbied the feds to make reporting optional. So most departments now simply plead poverty and refuse to comply.
This is a huge problem. In the absence of good data, it is impossible to say definitively if racism is driving police abuse in black communities. And because it is impossible to identify the size and scope of this problem, it is impossible to craft and enact a solution to it — a solution, mind you, that would not only better serve and protect minority communities, but also keep police safer, too.
This is but one example of police unions going to eye-popping lengths to protect rogue cops at the expense of citizens (and the many decent cops who are tainted as well). Consider the binding arbitration that has become a standard feature of virtually all police contracts, which are often negotiated in secrecy. Binding arbitration allows cops to appeal any disciplinary action taken by their superiors to outside arbitrators such as retired judges. In theory, these folks are supposed to be neutral third parties. In reality, they are usually in the pockets of unions and dismiss or roll back a striking two-thirds of all actions, even against cops with a history of abuse and excessive violence. The upshot is that police chiefs are powerless to clean house, even as community complaints pile up. This is exactly what was happening in Baltimore when Freddie Gray died during his ride to the police station last year.
But chiefs aren't the only ones rendered impotent by union contracts. The 1994 federal law gave the Justice Department expanded powers to investigate civil rights abuses in police departments and mandate reforms through agreements called consent decrees. But Justice's prescribed reforms often don't have to be implemented if they conflict with existing union contracts. Last month, the leftist In These Times, usually friendly to public unions, published its investigation of 17 consent decrees that Justice signed between 1997 and 2016. In at least seven of the 17 cases, "collective bargaining agreements presented a major roadblock to implementing them," so that even after Justice concluded its probe, nothing really changed.
Among the special protections that police enjoy that the Justice Department is often powerless to override are rules:
- Allowing police departments to destroy civilian complaint records against officers.
- Giving cops involved in shootings several days before filing their statements. This gives them crucial time to get their stories straight, in essence turning the notorious "blue code of silence" into official policy.
- Barring citizens from filing complaints anonymously and revealing their names to the offending officer. Outrageously, however, names of officers involved in shootings are often withheld from the public. Indeed, The Washington Post reported that last year 210 people were fatally shot by police officers whose identity was never publicly revealed by their departments. This of course means that citizens have to fear retribution if they complain against a rogue cop even as the cop has little fear of being held accountable by citizens.
Police unions insist these special protections are necessary given the inherent dangerousness of their jobs. They often demonize anyone who questions them as "anti cop." (Just ask New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.) But it is inconceivable that any profession that has managed to so insulate itself from elementary checks and balances isn't rife with abuse. And if that's the case, then it would be a miracle for the most vulnerable communities to not be disproportionately affected. That is just how the world works.
Neither President Obama nor Donald Trump are doing anyone any favors by ignoring all of this. There is no hope that Trump will ever speak honestly. But if the president wants to leave a legacy of healing, he ought to forthrightly confront the fact that when those who've been charged with protecting the laws of the country write laws to protect themselves, they endanger everyone — including themselves.
When our local police departments are being taken global private corporation from being local public labor union=======we see these transitions in how open any and all dealings occur within that outsourced public now private corporation occurs. This is why the 99% of citizens are told -----the Baltimore City Council and Mayor of Baltimore met with police unions BEHIND CLOSED DOORS to negotiate a deal. Then, we are told whatever these global Wall Street 1% pols negotiate is a done deal even though the terms violate all requirements of OPEN GOVERNMENT----TRANSPARENCY---OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
The police unions are saying----if you want us to use EXCESSIVE FORCE deemed unconstitutional through modern history then you have to protect us======ergo, BEHIND CLOSED DOOR NEGOTIATIONS.
'This debate pits two tenets of progressive politics against one another: Efforts to hold police accountable for misconduct and the right of collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith'
REAL LEFT social progressives do not think unions negotiating to make oversight and accountability harder or impossible is NEGOTIATING IN GOOD FAITH. FAR-RIGHT WING global 1% wanting to hide a growing repressive and brutal policing policy installation would think hiding all this is great.
'Last year, city attorney Holmes said state law can’t prevent the city council from passing an ordinance that would “open” the negotiations. Over the phone last week, Holmes amended that position, saying he “misstated” the law'.
Below we see what the STATE OF WASHINGTON state assembly passed into law and what was made to sound like a left social progressive law on OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS actually has buried inside these laws EXCEPTIONS from open meetings---of course they are those pesky QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL agencies and our public unions including police unions. STATE OF MARYLAND has these same exceptions. So, where these laws may deter open meetings---if we have elected local pols wanting open discussion there would be open discussion. When you have far-right wing global 1% pols ---then regressive and repressive discussions need to be behind closed doors.
Washington FOIA Laws
Washington Open Public Meetings Act
The Washington Open Public Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Chapter 42.30 of the Revised Code of Washington define the law. The law states that a meeting is a gathering in which any action is taken. Granting or reviewing license applications, acting in a judicial capacity, and collective bargaining sessions are all exempt from the law. If violated, the court may assess penalties on the individual board members of up to $100.
Open Public Meetings Act Wash. Rev. Code§ 42.30.010 etseq.
Closed: Meetings about national security matters and site selection; acquisition of real estate; and personnel matters.
Washington Public Records Act
The Washington Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. Washington law defines records as "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics."A recent Supreme Court ruling has said that accident reports are also public records.
Anyone can request records and a statement of purpose is not required, nor are there restrictions placed on the use of records. The Washington Public Records Act allows 5 days for records responses.
Public Records Act Wash. Rev. Code § 42.56 etseq.
Exempt: Personal student or patient information; employee files; and some investigative records.
Visit, Washington Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.
This is the law written by Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols keeping all these negotiations secret----now, that secrecy would not be bad thing if we were not in the midst of ROBBER BARON FEW DECADES and these deals were killing 99% of citizens rights. The same closed doors exemptions to QUASI-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS LIKE GLOBAL BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT is what creates this behind doors negotiation of police contracts keeping all citizens from knowing why police contracts are being filled with transparency exceptions.
Can They Really Do That?
Daylighting Police Union Negotiations
by Steven Hsieh • Jul 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm
This is the first installment of a new, irregular series called Can They Really Do That? Follow along as Stranger reporters (mostly Heidi Groover) pick apart the ins and outs of policy proposals. We'll look at the background and stakeholders behind Seattle politicians' biggest ideas. Finally, we'll look at whether they'd fly under city, state and federal law.
This week, the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) offered its latest rebuke to an attempt by the City of Seattle to push forward on accountability reforms stalled by labor negotiations.
The union, which represents more than 1,300 sworn officers, filed a complaint claiming Mayor Ed Murray violated state bargaining law by issuing an executive order forcing city officers to wear body cameras.
In a statement to media, SPOG president Kevin Stuckey refuted a claim from Murray that negotiators went “around and around trying to reach an agreement” on the city’s body camera policy. He asserted that representatives from the city and the union only met once since the police department launched a pilot camera program in 2016.
It’s difficult to verify Stuckey’s claim because few people are clued into what happens at the negotiating table. Like most other unions shops, SPOG does its deal making with the city in secret.
What we do know about SPOG’s negotiations, we know from leaks. For instance, unnamed sources told Seattle Times reporter Steve Miletich the union is pushing to increase pay for officers who wear the devices by 1.5 percent.
Last year, someone leaked to former Stranger writer Ansel Herz a summary of the contract proposal that was ultimately rejected by SPOG’s membership.
That leak prompted a debate over whether there should be more openness surrounding police union negotiations. The issue resurfaced this election season, with multiple candidates for local office (namely, Jon Grant) calling for some daylighting over the process.
What does “opening” negotiations mean? Who wants it? Why do they want it? Can they even do that? Read on. (Shortcut to answers to that last question.)
This debate pits two tenets of progressive politics against one another: Efforts to hold police accountable for misconduct and the right of collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith. Before we get into what our public officials think, let’s take a moment to break down these ideas.
To understand why police reform advocates have recently trained their eyes on labor contracts, it’s critical to understand the historic role police unions have played in resisting change for the better. Since the Civil Rights Movement, unions across the country have opposed numerous efforts to hold cops accountable.
SPOG is no exception. In the early 1970s, SPOG pushed back against the Human Rights Commission after the panel convened police misconduct hearings. During the '80s, SPOG leadership regularly blasted then-police chief Patrick Fitzsimons for doling out tough discipline and promoting too many women and minorities. In the '90s, SPOG resisted racial sensitivity training.
SPOG’s opposition to reform has become more explicit since the turn of the decade, as a rash of misconduct cases led to the Seattle Police Department’s 2012 consent decree with the Department of Justice. An editorial published in the Guardian, SPOG’s official newspaper, defended officers’ right to use the words “n***r” (sic) and “bitch.” Another described the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative as “an assault on traditional and constitutional American values.”
All the while, SPOG dealmakers secured contracts chockfull of provisions protecting officers who beat, shoot, and harass civilians.
Right around when SPOG’s last contract expired in 2014, the rise of Black Lives Matter generated unprecedented public interest in police unions. Earlier this year, Reuters published an investigation detailing a “pattern of protections afforded officers” in contracts nationwide. Campaign Zero, a police accountability group formed in the wake of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighted six common provisions deemed “problematic.” Seattle’s contract contained language covering all six bases.
Among them: Investigators getting 180 days to complete a review before a complaint gets disqualified. Guaranteed five days’ notice before misconduct interviews. Expungement of reprimands and investigatory files after three years.
Since SPOG has yet to adopt a new contract, the union is still operating under the terms of its last agreement with the city, which means it's still working under the provisions highlighted by Campaign Zero as barriers to accountability.
With that context in mind, let’s move onto the second principle at the core of this debate: Good faith collective bargaining, a state mandate that parties involved in union negotiations must come to the table with a willingness to reach an agreement.
It has long been understood that maintaining confidentiality in public sector union negotiations helps ensure good faith bargaining. Deals require candor. Opening contract hearings, the argument goes, would invite political influence that could impede the ability of negotiators to speak frankly and pave the way for grandstanding.
“You’ll have both sides giving talking points and talking to their base. You’ll have canned speeches. The city is going to be banging the table demanding this. The union will be banging the table demanding that,” said Adam Glickman, Secretary Treasurer for Service Employees International Union 775, one of the biggest and most influential unions in Washington.
Labor unions, including those supporting police reform, say any amount of daylight could lead to a slippery slope that threatens the sacrosanct right collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith.
The bulk of police union negotiations concern typical labor matters like wages, vacation time, and health benefits. But unlike other public sector unions—say, teachers, firefighters or janitors—employees represented by SPOG are authorized to carry guns and handle civilians in ways that would get anyone else fired.
With that extraordinary authority comes the need for policies to protect Seattleites from abuse and unnecessary force. But as we mentioned earlier, SPOG has historically ramrodded through rules that help officers avoid accountability. Because of this, some advocates say the city should specifically open aspects of the negotiations that deal with accountability.
City Council Candidate Jon Grant, perhaps the most vocal supporter of opening union contracts, emphasizes that he only wants to publicize negotiations as they pertain to discipline and accountability. His position comes out of a belief that accountability shouldn’t be negotiable in the first place.
Grant says he’d like to prevent scenarios where accountability measures become contingent on pay increases, like the current body cam dustup. He also raised a hypothetical scenario in which the council would attempt to give the community police commission the ability to fire the police chief, a power granted to Oakland's police oversight group: “For example, I don't think the union should be able negotiate in private over authorizing the Community Policing Commission to fire the police chief in exchange for a bump in their wages.” That, Grant says, isn't something the union should be able to hold hostage for a pay bump.
When asked exactly what part of the negotiations should be open, Grant said the public should see the opening positions of both parties, as well as “meeting notes, status updates, and related documents.”
Grant’s primary opponent, Washington Labor Council political and strategic campaign director Teresa Mosqueda, opposes opening police negotiations to the public because doing so would “erode the very essence of what makes negotiations possible.”
To increase public input in the process, Mosqueda instead proposes assigning a civilian liaison to sit at the negotiating table. “This can be done, and it’s a real and productive way to create a more transparent and accountable process that will result in a contract,” she said.
Mosqueda notes that Freedom Foundation, the Olympia-based, anti-union think tank, would welcome any attempt to open union negotiations, including a narrow carve out for police discipline.
She’s right. “We would support anything that moves the ball forward on bringing greater transparency to public-sector collective bargaining negotiations,” said Maxford Nelson, director of labor policy for the organization. “Ideally, though, the entire negotiation process should be open to public observation.”
Nelson implied flipping the switch on police negotiations would be a good sign for his organization’s effort to chip away at labor rights. “If we open only the part of contract negotiations that Black Lives Matter activists care about, for instance, why can’t we open up the part of negotiations that taxpayers care about? Or union members? Or journalists?”
The Community Police Commission, the civilian advisory group formed as part of the consent decree, has repeatedly called for the city to publicize its opening negotiating position before going to the table. “Show where the city started and see what we have at the end,” explained Lisa Daugaard, Director of the Public Defender Association and a member of the CPC. “We can see who screwed up.”
Of the six major candidates for mayor, former mayor Mike McGinn stands alone on daylighting police union negotiations. He supports publicizing opening positions of both parties, as well as forcing everyone to show their hands whenever they reach an impasse that triggers mediation, or the next step, arbitration. When asked about concerns that more daylight on union deal making could lead to grandstanding, McGinn pointed to last year’s leak to The Stranger. “There is already grandstanding,” he said. “Secrecy breeds mistrust.”
Even the candidate most focused on police reform, Nikkita Oliver, stops short of saying negotiations should be open. During an endorsement meeting last month, she told The Stranger, "Daylighting is a slippery slope." (Oliver flip-flopped on this position. When we first asked her whether negotiations should stay closed, she said no. She says her views evolved after speaking with "a coalition of city unions.")
City attorney Pete Holmes, who is running for re-election in November, did not commit either way in his answer. “I’m trying very hard to stay in my lane,” he told The Stranger. “I don’t enact ordinances, and I’m not the party that negotiate with the unions.” (This is a flip-flop from his previous position. Last year, he told Herz, “I have supported and advocated opening up SPD's bargaining process with SPOG for the last several years.”)
His opponent, Scott Lindsay, opposes any daylighting. “Simply by saying that these negotiations should happen in public doesn’t achieve the result we want, which is a wholly new contract. In fact, it’s more likely to mean empty grandstanding that puts us into arbitration,” he said.
SPOG did not respond to multiple requests from The Stranger for comment.
SO, CAN THEY REALLY OPEN POLICE UNION NEGOTIATIONS?
Doesn’t look like it.
Washington’s Open Meetings Act, the law that requires governing bodies like the city council and housing authority to conduct business in public, specifically exempts public sector union negotiations.
Marty Garfinkel, a Seattle-based labor lawyer with Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, says the exemption clearly shows local jurisdictions can’t force unions to conduct meetings in public.
Hugh Spitzer, a law professor at the University of Washington who has taught public sector labor law, also points to the Open Meetings Act to make the determination that “there is no legal requirement that the negotiations be public.”
Last year, city attorney Holmes said state law can’t prevent the city council from passing an ordinance that would “open” the negotiations. Over the phone last week, Holmes amended that position, saying he “misstated” the law.
“Either side can request open bargaining, but neither side can require it,” Holmes explained. In his interpretation of the law, publicizing the negotiations would require consent from both sides. That means both the city and SPOG would have to voluntarily open up the negotiations and that looks unlikely.
Finally, what about putting some daylight on the pre-negotiations process? We're talking about the list of objectives drafted by the city and SPOG before enter the back room. Could those be made public?
It’s standard practice for the council to hold public hearings before negotiations kick off. Council members then publish a resolution outlining what members of the public voiced during the hearing. Council Member Lisa Herbold is currently working on a proposal that would make that practice a requirement.
Publishing a record of public comments, however, is not the same as publicizing exactly what the city is asking for as it heads to the table with SPOG. That would require public officials to go on the record about their objectives.
When asked whether she would introduce legislation that would open the city’s list of negotiating objectives, Herbold was noncommittal, saying she wants to "hear directly from labor stakeholders."
Here we see the Maryland courts uphold rights of Baltimore City council to cut police wages and benefits----but for some reason we cannot have our local city council open transparency and oversight and accountability in these same police contracts? Of course not-----this openness can be legislated and Maryland courts have said YES.
Today's police officers need to WAKE UP to where all these secrecy stances will lead if MOVING FORWARD GLOBAL MERCENARY POLICE CORPORATIONS replace our local public police unions----their families go under the bus in MOVING FORWARD.
'Council members said they wanted to bring police benefits in line with employees of other county-funded agencies as a matter of equity'.
Does Baltimore City Council want to open transparency----oversight and accountability if it is not making the same changes to these police contract stances as with wages and benefits? THAT IS WHERE CHECKS AND BALANCES ARE FAILING IN BALTIMORE.
Maryland high court upholds MoCo Council’s cuts to police union contract
By Bill Turque April 21, 2014
Maryland’s highest court has ruled that the Montgomery County Council acted within its authority in 2011 when it decided not to pay for retirement and health benefits included in a collective bargaining agreement with police.
In an opinion issued Friday, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld two lower court rulings saying, in essence, that the County Council — which controls the Montgomery budget — is not bound by labor contracts negotiated by the union and the County Executive.
The first paragraph of the 19-page opinion, written by Judge Glenn T. Harrell, Jr., set a stinging tone: “‘Proximity to power deludes some into thinking they wield it,’ observed the character Francis Underwood, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, in the U.S.-version of the television series ‘House of Cards.’”
The union, Harrell said, “fell under such a spell in maintaining this litigation.”
Specifically, the court ruled that the council did not violate collective bargaining law when it rejected a 3.5 percent wage hike and other retirement and health benefits proposed by police for funding in the FY 2012 budget. The union representing Montgomery officers, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, filed a lawsuit challenging the decision in June 2011. It argued that the council did not have the authority to unilaterally change the benefits package.
The ruling is the latest development in the litigious relationship between the county and its police union. In March, a state circuit court judge ruled that County Executive Isiah Leggett and public information director Patrick Lacefield violated Maryland election law by using public funds to campaign for the 2012 ballot proposition that eliminated certain collective bargaining rights for police.
But the court declined to award monetary damages sought by the FOP. The union and the county are both appealing the ruling.
Friday’s decision addresses a legal dispute that began in the spring of 2010 when the county moved to cut costs in the depths of the recession. Leggett, who by law negotiates collective bargaining agreements and submits them to the council for funding, reopened the second year of an existing two-year contract with the FOP.
Leggett proposed cutting negotiated wages by about half, which led to an impasse. The matter went to a neutral arbitrator, who ruled in favor of the FOP’s proposal for a 3.5 percent wage hike. The ruling did not address existing retirement and health benefits that were part of the original two-year contract.
In May 2011, the council rejected the settlement, triggering a provision in the law that called for council representatives to meet with the county executive and union leaders in an attempt to re-negotiate. The union alleges that the council terminated those talks prematurely.
Later that month the council passed a 2012 budget that excluded the 3.5 percent pay increase. It also changed the existing contract provisions covering police pensions, prescription drugs and group insurance. Among the changes for example, were reductions in the county’s contribution to group insurance premiums.
Council members said they wanted to bring police benefits in line with employees of other county-funded agencies as a matter of equity.
The court held that the council had the authority to make changes when the two sides (FOP and Leggett) could not reach a renegotiated agreement and did not pursue binding arbitration.
“By the very nature of the Council’s budgetary approval function, if the parties do not set forth an acceptable agreement, then the Council must have the authority to finalize the budgetary process and determine which provision in the CBA [collective bargaining agreement] should be cut, and in what manner,” Harrell wrote.
These are obviously militarized policing employees who operate overseas with no regard of INTERNATIONAL LAW, GENEVA CONVENTION, US RULE OF LAW with global mercenary military corporations like BLACKWATER/XE=====so, they are not negotiating as ordinary local community citizens---they are MOVING FORWARD policies that will allow Blackwater to operate in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones as they do overseas-----and we will see global labor pool immigrant citizens replace our local US police officers.
Where is that high pay to Blackwater global mercenary corporations soon to go? Roman Empire mercenary armies worked for a bed and a meal---and that is to where high-paying Blackwater jobs---including these US Foreign Economic private police officers will be in only a few decades----
THIS IS WHAT INTERNATIONAL POLICE UNION LEADERS ARE NEGOTIATING FOR US POLICE MEMBERS IN NEAR FUTURE---- BAD FOR 99% OF US AND GLOBAL LABOR POOL CITIZENS----BAD FOR POLICE EMPLOYEES.
You see how media is working to hide GOALS of all these police brutality policies being thrown as BONES------media knows this is global Blackwater ---it knows the goal is killing US Rule of Law regarding public rights and civil liberties around POLICE STATE abuses---but it never mentions this MOVING FORWARD and what US Foreign Economic Zones will look like if they look as those overseas. REAL NEWS is a great big far-right wing global 1% tool of a media outlet ----right here in Baltimore and in Toronto Canada.......we see all those 5% pols and players being interviewed by REAL NEWS.
October 19, 2017
Powerful Police Union Blocks Modest Civilian Oversight Reform
A recent contract negotiated by the Baltimore with the police union left out a key provision that would have included a civilian on internal disciplinary boards, a move that has caused concern that long-awaited reform efforts have stalled
S. Janis: This is Stephen Janis reporting for the Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. Just how powerful are police unions? Well, the key provision that would've allowed civilian oversight in a recent contract negotiation that was dropped tells us how powerful they really are.
Del. Curt Anderson: That's what many of these groups that have complained about, that have protested, and demonstrated was that we don't know what happens.
S. Janis: To the people who watch reform policing in cities like Baltimore, holding cops accountable starts with strong civilian oversight.
Michael Wood: That input is so much more important than what you're doing. Like even if we're doing what you want to do and we're doing it wrong, we're gonna end up in a better result because it's what you wanted and you'll at least say "Okay, we don't want to do that anymore. The results didn't turn out well."
S. Janis: Which is why the Real News was in the state capital in 2016 covering the announcement of then state senator and now Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh of her support for one step towards that idea, including a civilian on police trial boards.
Catherine Pugh: We hire police to protect and serve our communities and so they need to hear from the community.
S. Janis: Police trial boards are internal disciplinary bodies, which mete out punishment for cops who violate departmental policy. And the idea was to have civilians serve on that board as a start to include the community in the process of police oversight, but the law in Indianapolis would have required it failed despite her support. Still, even in defeat she promised to make it part of a new police contract.
Catherine P.: We believe that having well-trained citizens on the trial boards are important.
S. Janis: Which is why news Baltimore's powerful police union, rejected civilians on trial boards as part of failed negotiations is raising questions not just about Pugh's commitment to civilian input, but the power of policy union to thwart reform.
We're you surprised that that was not even in the contract that had been voted upon?
Kristerfer Burnett: It was surprising to learn that that wasn't even on the table.
S. Janis: But the lack of progress raised concerns among council members that the city was taking a step backwards.
Alright, so the union contract that was voted down did not have this civilian review board member on it. Does that concern you?
Brandon Scott: Well, yes. It's a little concerning, but I'll have to follow with the administration to see, talk about why that wasn't one of the things on the table. Maybe they're gonna try to attack it through legislation. They're gonna author another issue of the civilians on trial boards. So, we'll see.
S. Janis: We asked Pugh for comment and the future plans for civilian input. Her spokesman told us she will lobby for a law requiring civilians on trial boards during the upcoming 2018 legislative session, but even if that works, some say civilians on trial boards is only a beginning and a far cry from civilian controlled police.
S. Janis There should be a board of civilians who run the police department?
Michael Wood: Sure, yeah. Absolutely. And they run everything. Maybe they don't control budgeting, but we don't care about that because in reality what we want is a less and less budget for policing because we want to find other answers that aren't violence and oppression and force.
S. Janis: But in the meantime, disappointment at city hall.
Kristerfer Burnett: I think it's something that we have to continue to push on our end. Being outside of the room, it's a little hard for me to comment on why that took place or why it didn't.
S. Janis: That long-awaited reform was derailed by force more powerful than the need for change.
Brandon Scott: I think that we should have it and I think that ultimately will, but we know that on the state law it has to be collectively bargained unless they choose not to and we have to deal with that for what it is for now.
S. Janis: This is Stephen Janis and Taya Graham reporting for the Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Here is PORTLAND, OREGON another US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE city MOVING FORWARD global mercenary military policing as Seattle and Baltimore and again----all of the questions on police contract negotiation is on small individual policies like police cameras, community review boards-----never addressing the GORILLA-IN-THE-ROOM-----privatization of our US city police departments to global mercenary military corporations and what that will look like in US cities---and how that will change who, what, when, why, and how our local police are hired and fired.
ALL OUR 5% TO THE 1% GLOBAL WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' ORGANIZATION LEADERS KNOW THIS------ALL INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF POLICE UNION LEADERS KNOW THIS.
What's Wrong With the New Police Union Contract?
The dispute centers on body-camera footage—and who can watch it.
By Rachel Monahan |
Published October 11, 2016
Updated November 8, 2016
Portland's proposed contract with the Portland Police Bureau's union has sparked public opposition at a level rarely seen at City Hall: rallies, a camp-out and even a lockout. Here's why activists are alarmed.
Why is Mayor Charlie Hales eager to pass this contract?
Hales appears to have the votes to make good on a campaign promise to end the 48-hour rule: the provision of the police contract that gives officers who kill someone two full days to consult with an attorney before an investigative interview. Hales also has offered police a sizable raise, at least in part because he wants to fill 65 vacancies at the Police Bureau.
Why are protesters opposing the contract?
The flash point is a draft policy on the use of police body cameras. Putting body cameras on police officers is supposed to offer a measure of oversight of their actions. Civilian footage has sparked nationwide calls for police reform.
Yet the draft policy wouldn't allow supervisors to randomly review the footage for oversight of police practices. "It ties the city's hands on using the body-camera footage to the best of our ability," says Constantin Severe, director of the Independent Police Review, the city's civilian review board.
But here's the bigger sticking point: The draft policy would allow officers to review footage from cameras in all but officer-involved shootings and death-in-custody cases before they write reports.
What's wrong with letting police see video?
Critics say the cameras, instead of providing oversight, would function only as a way to make officers' testimony more credible, effectively undermining other witnesses.
"It doesn't make a lot of sense," says Don't Shoot Portland spokesman Gregory McKelvey.
Portland would not be alone in allowing officers to review footage, depending on how the policy is written. Severe says 90 percent of the cities he's reviewed have a similar policy.
Isn't getting rid of the 48-hour rule a big enough victory?
Some activists think the 48-hour rule, long a target of police watchdogs, was doomed—and Hales gave away too much in return.
"It's kind of a Trojan horse," McKelvey says. "[Hales] gets no accountability on the part of the public."
Philadelphia as Baltimore is outsourced to global mercenary military corporations ----it is operating under EXCESSIVE US OF FORCE guidelines and SHOOT FIRST NO QUESTIONS so of course the police union leaders will not allow transparency, oversight and accountability, and those US city mayors and city council do not want them to.
We feel sure those new police employees being filtered from global mercenary military corporations having received super-duper salaries during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA do not know the goal of making US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zone private global police forces tied to global labor pool 99% and wages eliminated to bed and meal ----
BETTER WAKE UP ----THAT SHOW ME THE MONEY 5% FAR-RIGHT WING DOING ANYTHING THEY ARE TOLD GOING UNDER THE BUS.
New police union contract falls short on disciplinary reform
- Max Marin
- Aug 16, 2017
Photograph: Mitchell Leff/City of Philadelphia
After a month of hushed negotiations, Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration has reached a new three-year contract with the Philadelphia police union.
In a press release Tuesday, the administration trumpeted the final agreement, which includes increased contributions to the city’s anemic pension fund and also maintains the in-county residency requirements for uniformed officers.
Not mentioned in the release: a single change to the contract’s language regarding officer discipline.
Amid a pitched national debate on police misconduct, there has been little protest from police reform advocates since contract talks began in July with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, the city’s second-largest union, which represents the majority of its 6,300 police officers. Press coverage was also scant. City&State PA reported on the few calls made to reform arbitration practices in the police contract — and how even those were met with a tepid response.
Thanks to notoriously officer-friendly arbitration policies currently in place, officers who are terminated from the force — for everything from aggravated assault caught on video to wide-ranging federal corruption scandals — may be reinstated and receive back pay behind closed doors, regardless of community opposition.
Over the years, accountability advocates in Philly and across the country have pointed to the language of the police contract that gives the FOP outsized influence over the grievance process, as well as in the handling of officer-involved shootings. While cities like Philadelphia have made progress in other ways, advocates argue that police contracts provide the most protection to officers accused of misdeeds.
The sole discipline-related amendment in the new contract stipulates that reinstatement will be “contingent upon the employee completing all conditions of employment.” Those conditions were not immediately clear in the arbitrator’s award letter.
Asked for clarification, Kenney spokesperson Lauren Hitt said that in order to get reinstated, officers must now meet three conditions: complete a medical exam that includes psychiatric and drug tests; complete a state-certified physical fitness test, which includes proving competency to carry a firearm; and hold a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license.
In the past, Hitt said, the city had to “beg” arbitrators to ensure that reinstated officers can clear these seemingly commonsense checks.
Reform advocates were hardly calling this a victory.
Democratic district attorney nominee Larry Krasner, a civil rights attorney who has previously sued the city over police misconduct, reviewed the new contract at the request of a reporter.
“It appears that the arbitration process once again has not introduced a level of accountability that would be appropriate for police officers,” Krasner told Philly Weekly. “The terms of this contract will directly impact everyone in this city, yet it is a result of a process carried out in secrecy, designed to shut out public input that could improve it.”
Beth Grossman, who is running for district attorney on the Republican ticket with an early endorsement from FOP Lodge 5, noted via email that the district attorney’s office “plays no role nor has standing in police discipline, arbitration actions or contract negotiations.”
Krasner and the FOP have had an adversarial relationship for years, although the two reportedly made some amends after the May primary election. FOP Lodge 5 president John McNesby could not be reached for comment on the new deal.
Penn Professor David Rudovsky, who has also sued the city over police misconduct in the past, said he didn’t have time to review the new contract extensively, but “it does not appear that any changes were made with respect to police accountability issues.”
Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania did not return a request for comment.
Pressed for explanation on the disciplinary shortcomings of the contract, Hitt cited Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross’ testimony before City Council this spring when he warned advocates to be “cautiously optimistic” of such reforms.
“The chances of winning any more extensive reform on this issue through arbitration is incredibly small,” Hitt said.
But Hitt also said that the reinstatement process is less common than most people think. Between 2012 and 2016, 85 officers were dismissed from the force and only 9 were reinstated, she said, but “in some cases, people are rehired because we didn’t do a good enough job of proving our case to the arbitrator.”
However, the issue has been documented for years at length. Media reports indicate that at least 19 disgraced officers were reinstated between 2008 and 2014 — many of them in high-profile cases involving corruption and police brutality. Long-term statistics were not immediately available.
Hitt pointed to the city’s successful opposition to loosening residency requirements for unionized officers. The new contract, which extends through 2020, will continue requiring new officers to reside in the city for their first five years, and remain in state for their entire tenure with the force.
Totaling $245 million, the current contract will guarantee Philly officers annual raises of about 3 percent for the next three years. The largest fiscal changes in the new contract deal with the union members’ increased contributions to the city’s ailing pension fund. While the Kenney administration was not able to secure its preferred pension plan model — which was successfully negotiated DC33, the city’s largest union — officials still expect to meet long-term goals of funding the pension.
Kenney has signed off on the new contract, Hitt confirmed.
When we see headlines saying US CITY CHIEFS OF POLICE condemn Trump in his open remarks of global mercenary military corporations in US cities feeling free to use EXCESSIVE FORCE anytime they want -----we KNOW US city CHIEFS OF POLICE have been a tight-knit group tied to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE US CITIES AS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE policing policies ---installing these few decades all that DEEP STATE, REALLY, REALLY DEEP STATE surveillance, openly allowing police brutality with no transparency-----
We are shown images of Trump talking with our International Fraternal Order of Police making light of EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE with smiling rank and file police officers in the background. These militarized police are not caring who they encounter-----where do US citizens come wanting far-right wing corporate fascist POLICE STATE policies? They have been recruited these few decades of BUSH/OBAMA-----BLACKWATER/XE identified as those 5% willing to do anything they are told. Not many US citizens from a modern, developed nation want to be third world brutal----watch out for those hand-picked global private PRAETORIAN GUARD.
Police Unions Hail Trump’s Easing of Scrutiny. Local Officials Worry.
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA and SHERYL GAY STOLBERGAPRIL 4, 2017
Black pedestrians in Baltimore stopped without reasonable suspicion. Black drivers in Ferguson, Mo., searched much more frequently than whites. Cleveland residents punched and kicked by officers and subjected to stun guns, without posing any threat.
In report after report in the Obama years, Justice Department lawyers found patterns of eye-popping rights violations and used them as leverage to force local departments to agree to major policing overhauls. But the Trump administration announced this week that it was backing away from that tough-minded approach, a move that prompted fierce debate on Tuesday in cities across the country.
Many police unions welcomed the news, saying the Obama administration’s approach had impeded law enforcement and unfairly painted many good officers as wrongdoers. The unions, a source of support for President Trump during last year’s campaign, welcomed his administration’s announcement as proof that Mr. Trump would swiftly meet his promises to restore “law and order” to the country.
But their view contrasted sharply with those of many police chiefs and politicians who have been living under agreements struck with the Justice Department, who vowed to continue making changes to their police departments with or without the department’s imprimatur. They say that the results of consent decrees, which are backed by a court order, and so-called memorandums of agreement, which are reached out of court, have been mostly positive, if mixed, and in some cases absolutely essential.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has said he doubts whether federal intervention in local departments is useful or appropriate, ordered a review of those agreements and has signaled his resistance to new ones. In a March 31 memo, he assigned the task to the new deputy attorney general and associate attorney general, who are awaiting confirmation.
It is not clear whether Mr. Sessions will seek early termination of agreements in effect in places like Cleveland; New Orleans; Ferguson, Mo.; Albuquerque; and Maricopa County, Ariz. The agreements, which usually expire after five years, mandate changes in training and policies like supervision, reporting contacts with the public, conducting searches, using force, de-escalating conflict, handling people with mental illnesses, and race relations.
“What Attorney General Sessions did, I think that’s just President Trump following through on his promise to help law enforcement,” said Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. “And law-abiding citizens are going to benefit from it.”
Police unions, individual officers and conservatives often interpret criticism of police practices — whether from Black Lives Matter protesters, Justice Department lawyers or former President Barack Obama — as hostility to the police. They argue that the kinds of changes demanded by the department actually hinder policing by hurting morale and making officers less aggressive, a claim that many criminologists dispute.
During the campaign, Mr. Trump picked up that theme and repeatedly referred to a major surge in violent crime — though, in fact, crime in recent years has been at some of the lowest levels ever recorded. He was endorsed by a number of law enforcement organizations, including the national Fraternal Order of Police.
In Chicago, where violence has soared in recent years, the city has announced a set of policy changes to address both crime and tense relations between the police and minority communities. In January, the Justice Department released a scathing report on excessive force and racial discrimination, and under Mr. Obama, a consent decree would probably have followed. On Tuesday, Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, said he could not address what the department might do next in Chicago.
Dean Angelo Sr., president of the Fraternal Order of Police chapter that represents Chicago officers, said their problem was not police conduct, but that “they have been demonized by political leaders and others for three years straight.” Meeting last week with Mr. Sessions, “I said, ‘Our girls and guys are worried about losing their jobs for doing their job,’” Mr. Angelo said. “And he goes, ‘That’s not a good thing.’”
Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, said that the changes the city had made had improved police training, but that the consent decree created far too much paperwork for officers, limiting their policing time. And he said its restrictions on the use of force were too vague, “which leads to officers being uncertain — they’re hesitant.”
But Richard J. Berry, Albuquerque’s mayor, said that while he had some reservations — like the cost of paying court-appointed monitors — he saw the consent decree as largely positive. It may have hurt officers’ morale at first, he said, but “time and experience with it is making it less of an issue.”
The dispute illustrates the often stark divides between rank-and-file officers and the police chiefs and mayors who oversee them. For reform-minded bosses, a harsh Justice Department report and several years of court supervision can provide the political cover and authority they need to shake things up.
For community activists who complain of police abuses, and who suspect that mayors and chiefs are not sincere about making changes, federal intervention offers a way to hold local agencies to their promises.
Baltimore, the subject of another blistering Justice Department assessment, reached a consent decree agreement with the Obama Justice Department, but it has not yet been finalized by a federal judge, and Mr. Sessions asked the court to hold off for 90 days.
The city’s police commissioner, Kevin Davis, pushed back hard on Tuesday, calling the requested delay “a punch in the gut to the community — certainly to me.” He suggested that Mr. Sessions was out of step not only with people in Baltimore, but with law enforcement leaders across America.
Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore, said he recognized the value of the agreement — which, among other things, would require the city to spend more on needed equipment like laptop computers in police cruisers — but agreed with the attorney general that consent decrees were overused.
Officials in cities that are subject to Justice Department agreements, or were headed in that direction under Mr. Obama, said they would continue with reforms no matter what Mr. Sessions did.
“The center of gravity on police reform just shifted from Washington to cities around the country,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, which advises departments. “But use-of-force and policing reform is not going to go away. Cities like Baltimore and Chicago still have local constituencies that are going to expect change.”
Still, some critics of policing are less hopeful, arguing that federal oversight is crucial to hold local leaders to their promises.
In Ferguson, more than two and a half years after the police shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, set off weeks of unrest, “life does not feel different for people,” said Emily Davis, a community organizer. Ferguson has been under a consent decree since last year, she said, but “they’re not treating people better.”
Ronal W. Serpas recalled that when he was the second-ranking police officer in New Orleans, the Justice Department investigated his department and identified problems. City leaders made some changes and promised others, and no consent degree was imposed. But Mr. Serpas left the city for nine years, and when he returned in 2010 as police superintendent, he said, he found an agency that had moved sharply backward.
“While it’s fair to say that the federal government is not in the business of managing local law enforcement, they certainly are in the business of enforcing the Constitution,” he said. “And if not them, who?”
'Why Can’t Foreign Troops Occupy American Soil?—Answers Through Analysis of Constitutional Language, Intent and Word Meanings
Published August 22, 2012 | By campconstitution'
BLACKWATER OPERATED FOR THESE FEW DECADES FREE FROM US RULE OF LAW---THEN IT IS A FOREIGN CORPORATION.
CALL US SKEPTICAL ------those right wing think tanks always pretending they are protecting the US Constitution while being STATE'S RIGHTS ignoring all that is Federal including the US CONSTITUTION.
Let's look at this US city policing policy BROADLY-------this is what we know-----Obama these several years allowed our local US police departments be tied to GLOBAL MERCENARY MILITARY PRIVATE CORPORATION TRAINING BY BLACKWATER/XE and foreign nation of ISRAEL global corporations moving former employees into our US cities filling what used to be local police officers hired from our communities. Global mercenary military BLACKWATER/XE has decades of global media and international justice journalism stating it is brutal, inhumane, ignores all International law, ignores all US Rule of Law----sees itself as a global entity free from any SOVEREIGN laws or regulations----
IT SHOUTS THAT EVERYWHERE TO EVERYONE FOR DECADES.
But now we are allowing this unaccountable -----tied to no SOVEREIGN NATION corporation to come into our US cities as ARMED MILITIA.
It seems absolutely sure to be a FOREIGN ENTITY OCCUPYING AMERICAN SOIL. No politician---city council or mayor-----Maryland Assembly pol or Governor-----Congressional pol or President can allow a global mercenary corporation with known HISTORY of free-wheeling DOING ANYTHING IT WANTS to attach to our US city police and community public safety departments.
Why Can’t Foreign Troops Occupy American Soil?
—Answers Through Analysis of Constitutional Language, Intent and Word Meanings
Published August 22, 2012 | By campconstitution
By Daniel V. McGonigle III
August 22, 2012
Statements and questions by an acquaintance of a friend:
“The U.S. does joint military exercises in other countries. Doesn’t mean we’re looking to do harm to their citizens. The fact that Russian soldiers are here doesn’t mean all of this conspiracy theory is true. .. Where in the constitution does it say that foreign troops aren’t allowed on U.S. soil? I’m searching but can’t find it. .. Is there a simple reference in the constitution or in any of the amendments which state this? I’m hoping to see the specific text to better understand the letter and the intent of it. .. I want to see/read it.”
An initial brief response by another during the above questions:
“FYI. Any foreign military on U.S. soil is considered an invasion. The Constitution allows for no exception, nor should there be any. It is why the second amendment is so important…”
I was asked if I could provide a detailed appropriate answer, to which I said sure, no problem, I’ll give it a shot. Published here are some relevant sections and clauses in the Constitution, Webster’s 1828 definitions of several words relevant to the question, a few sections of Story’s Commentaries, and a few links to Cooley and Vieira, for readers to benefit from the information towards a greater understanding.
The words of the Constitution and constitutional intent must be read and understood within the context and understanding of the meanings of the words at the time that the Constitution was established by We the People.
One good example is that “Militia” is not defined in the Constitution. The institution had been in existence for 150 years before the Constitution, and everyone in the 18th-century knew what it was and that all able-bodied adult males composed the Militia with some exceptions.
Another important and relevant point regarding the past and current operations of government, is that People often mistakenly accuse “government” of doing bad things. Government is that which was created by the Constitution that was established by We the People. Blame of wrongdoing in government is properly assigned to “usurpers” and “Oath-violators” that temporarily occupy government offices.
The implied concern attached to the question, when attempting answers found within law to such statements and questions is this—Why do Russian or any other foreign troops need to train here on American soil with our troops, and what possibly could they be preparing for or getting acclimated to? And, what would be the preparation or acclimation of the American People be to such activities and exercises conducted in American cities? The implied concerns will not be entertained here now; a constitutional answer is attempted here as requested.
The questioner asked for answers that could be found in language within the Constitution, so the following is an attempt to provide an appropriate answer to a multi-dimensional question. A lengthy paper could be written on the subject, so in the interests of saving space and promoting learning through self-study, readers are encouraged to find their own answers through their own reading and their own understanding, by the joining or juxtaposition of the quoted sections, clauses, words, phrases, definitions and commentaries provided. Keep in mind the aforesaid importance of proper context and original intent towards an accurate meaning. The quotes are accurate from reliable web sources and web links to sources are provided. Any emphasis (bold) is made for importance to the subject and for ease of reading. For anyone not particularly interested in the specific question, the original true meanings posted herein of some important words in the Constitution are of value to people interested generally in the original intent and current meanings within the Constitution.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,
Section. 8. The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
Section. 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
[DM: Therefore, the Militia is a state institution. Before the Constitution was established, the Militia was governed by 13 sets of colony-province laws, and later by 13 and more states when they established their state constitutions.]
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
Section. 3. He shall .. take care that the Laws be faithfully executed ..
Section. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
Amendment II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
INVA’SION, n. s as z. [L. invasio, from invado. See Invade.]
1. A hostile entrance into the possessions of another; particularly, the entrance of a hostile army into a country for the purpose of conquest or plunder, or the attack of a military force. The north of England and south of Scotland were for centuries subject to invasion, each from the other. The invasion of England by William the Norman, was in 1066.
2. An attack on the rights of another; infringement or violation.
3. Attack of a disease; as the invasion of the plague, in Egypt.”
INSURREC’TION, n. [L. insurgo; in and surgo, to rise.]
1. A rising against civil or political authority; the open and active opposition of a number of persons to the execution of a law in a city or state. It is equivalent to sedition, except that sedition expresses a less extensive rising of citizens. It differs from rebellion, for the latter expresses a revolt, or an attempt to overthrow the government, to establish a different one or to place the country under another jurisdiction. It differs from mutiny, as it respects the civil or political government; whereas a mutiny is an open opposition to law in the army or navy. Insurrection is however used with such latitude as to comprehend either sedition or rebellion.
It is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings,and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein. Ezra. 4.
2. A rising in mass to oppose an enemy. [Little used.]
USURPA’TION, n. [supra.] The act of seizing or occupying and enjoying the property of another, without right; as the usurpation of a throne; the usurpation of the supreme power. Usurpation, in a peculiar sense, denotes the absolute ouster and dispossession of the patron of a church, by presenting a clerk to a vacant benefice, who is thereupon admitted and instituted.
JURISDIC’TION, n. [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, law, and dictio, from dico, to pronounce.]
1. The legal power of authority of doing justice in cases of complaint; the power of executing the laws and distributing justice. Thus we speak of certain suits or actions, or the cognizance of certain crimes being within the jurisdiction of a court, that is, within the limits of their authority or commission. Inferior courts have jurisdiction of debt and trespass, or of smaller offenses; the supreme courts have jurisdiction of treason, murder, and other high crimes. Jurisdiction is secular or ecclesiastical.
2. Power of governing or legislating. The legislature of one state can exercise no jurisdiction in another.
3. The power or right of exercising authority. Nations claim exclusive jurisdiction on the sea, to the extent of a marine league from the main land or shore.
4. The limit within which power may be exercised.
Jurisdiction, in its most general sense, is the power to make, declare or apply the law; when confined to the judiciary department, it is what we denominate the judicial power, the right of administering justice through the laws, by the means which the laws have provided for that purpose. Jurisdiction, is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects.”
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary
Commentaries on the Constitution (1833)
By Justice Joseph Story
Amendment II. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
§ 1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens [i.e. burdens], to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
The Founders’ Constitution
Volume 5, Amendment II, Document 10
Article II Sec. 2 cl 2. He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; ..
§ 1502. The power “to make treaties” is by the constitution general; and of course it embraces all sorts of treaties, for peace or war; for commerce or territory; for alliance or succours; for indemnity for injuries or payment of debts; for the recognition and enforcement of principles of public law; and for any other purposes, which the policy or interests of independent sovereigns may dictate in their intercourse with each other.(4) But though the power is thus general and unrestricted, it is not to be so construed, as to destroy the fundamental laws of the state. A power given by the constitution cannot be construed to authorize a destruction of other powers given in the same instrument. It must be construed, therefore, in subordination to it; and cannot supersede, or interfere with any other of its fundamental provisions.(1) Each is equally obligatory, and of paramount authority within its scope; and no one embraces a right to annihilate any other. A treaty to change the organization of the government, or annihilate its sovereignty, to overturn its republican form, or to deprive it of its constitutional powers, would be void; because it would destroy, what it was designed merely to fulfil, the will of the people. Whether there are any other restrictions; necessarily growing out of the structure of the government, will remain to be considered, whenever the exigency shall arise.(2)” http://www.mindserpent.com/American_History/books/Story/js_337.htm
In a more condensed volume than Story’s, the above is also confirmed by Thomas Cooley, LLD in his The General Principles of Constitutional Law in the United States of America (1880) http://www.constitution.org/cmt/tmc/pcl.htm
Story’s 1833 Commentaries and others provided are a few of the available reliable sources confirming and verifying original intent and understanding. The Constitution and Laws place restrictions on an American standing army, never mind a foreign army. Foreign military conducting exercises in or on American soil, waterways or airspace is considered an invasion because military are equipped with standard supplies and weapons of War, and therefore would be an extreme security risk and potential “public danger”, never mind that Russian military is an historical enemy of America. During such exercises recently conducted, was the Militia called forth for security purposes, in foreseeing a remote but possible chance of foreign military conducting an actual attack instead of a fake or practice attack? With Militia maintained per the Constitution, there exists absolutely no necessity for foreign help for security purposes. There is no logical reason for foreign military to be here, especially historical enemies! Additionally, foreign military has no jurisdiction or authority on American soil because that power of a foreign entity is not enumerated in the Constitution. General-federal government powers are only those enumerated in the Constitution to general-federal government. Other powers “are reserved to the States .. or to the People”. Foreign entities never come into the picture. Treaties (e.g. U.N.) and Laws are superseded by the Constitution and cannot violate the Constitution. That is very well established in many legal precedents. “We the People .. in Order to .. provide for the common defence ..” The defense of what?–“Life, liberty and property”. A foreign invasion or insurrection on American soil to perform the duty–[“to execute the Laws .. suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions .. in time of .. public danger .. to protect .. against domestic violence”]–constitutionally assigned to the Militia of the several States during an emergency, whether invited by the President/Governors or not and regardless of any subordinate treaty, is not enumerated and is not “due process of law” and is therefore unconstitutional. P.S. To perform a little self-test after reading and studying the information, double-check for awareness of the connection between a word at the end of the 2nd Amendment and the word in the definition of “Invasion”.
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% are watching MOVING FORWARD where global 1% Wall Street pols tied only to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE under global corporate tribunal laws and courts move what are already defined as global military entities able to CIRCUMVENT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW into our US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
We have shouted for over a decade---these changing stances on US Foreign Economic Zones starting with CLINTON----GOING TO BUSH---CONTINUED BY OBAMA were always ILLEGAL because they take away sovereign rights----NATIONAL SOVEREIGN RIGHTS------STATE SOVEREIGN RIGHTS----LOCAL SOVEREIGN RIGHTS----and simply say----
THIS IS A FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE OPERATING AS THOSE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES OVERSEAS AND THEY ALLOW GLOBAL MERCENARY CORPORATIONS AS POLICE AND SECURITY.
None of this is legal-----all these policies can be VOIDED----we simply need to GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS.
'Self-regulation doesn’t always work. t has become clear throughout the investigation of this incident that Blackwater was a troubled company'.
This article by our University of Baltimore Law School lays a framework that we are lacking laws regarding these global mercenary corporations when in fact-----these mercenary corporations are FUNDED AND OUTSOURCED FROM US MILITARY---or another nation's military----both sovereign ---both having a requirement that any business and/or funding given to OUTSOURCED corporations MUST FOLLOW US RULE OF LAW----so, the US under Bush/Obama did back away from INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE organizations but they still had to enforce US RULE OF LAW upon BLACKWATER/XE. If we watch global 1% Wall Street pols ignore all this these few decades---they will ignore all this inside US Foreign Economic Zones like Baltimore.
'It is a model of authoritarian rule by a Leviathan, which by its very nature destroys the legitimacy and authority of the legal system'.
The Law is Lacking: How PMSCs are Able to Circumvent National and International Law, Part II
November 26, 2014 by Ius Gentium
The law that governs private military security contractors in times of armed conflict is, at the same time, both too broad and too narrow. Historically in most of its legal instruments, international humanitarian law (IHL) has addressed the role of mercenaries in armed conflict. The Hague Conventions of 1907, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1977 Additional Protocols all speak to the protections for mercenaries in armed conflict. Most specifically, the International Criminal Court states that they do not hold any jurisdiction over the “crime of mercenarism”. With the increased incorporation of private military security contractors in conflicts around the world, this historical approach needs to be revisited and we need to determine, as an international community, the legal rights and regulations that bind PMSCs.
Today, PMSCs are largely self-regulated. They set company-specific standards for themselves and proceed with carrying out their contracted mission. To be clear, the parts of IHL that references mercenaries does apply, in large part, to the activities of PMSCs; and further, it provides a launching point for determining where the responsibility lays for the actions of PMSCs. It does not provide a law by which PMSCs must abide by however. They exist in a legal limbo, both on an international and a national level. In the US, PMSCs do not fully fall within the parameters of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), as they are not active duty military, they will likely not become subject to laws of the “Host Nation” as that requires consent by the “Sending State” – something that the US would refrain from for many reasons, and they fall out of reach of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 (MEJA) as it applies only to Department of Defense contractors.
This legal hole leaves the international community with a large problem, who and how are these important armed conflict actors going to be held responsible for violations of IHL?
There are multiple examples that highlight the need for this question to be answered; one of the most intricate is the inspiration for these posts. The former Blackwater PMSCs who fired upon and killed 17 Iraqis in 2007 fall just outside of the parameters of all applicable law. We can analyze the situation moving from US law to international law and see how important it has become to reign in the activities of these non-state actors.
Self-regulation doesn’t always work. t has become clear throughout the investigation of this incident that Blackwater was a troubled company. Many PMSCs are former military, specifically special operations, and have a strong sense of duty to their country and their cause. The Blackwater CEO at the time had begun to make changes in the company, demanding all employees declare their loyalty to just him. This is just one example of why self-regulation is not the sole solution to this legal struggle.
Moving to the next level of law, trying PMSCs under US criminal law poses distinct constitutional issues as well as practical investigatory and evidentiary issues. A crime committed outside of the US is difficult to investigate and creates issues when trying to preserve the integrity of the evidence across such geographic expanses. In that same vein, allowing for the Host State to prosecute crimes committed by PMSCs in their territory poses even more practical issues. Many times, Host State governments and court systems are ill equipped to handle the situation or are corrupt. In this specific situation concerning Blackwater, the US was not going to allow the Iraqi government that level of unchecked power over US citizens.
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% MUST REMEMBER ---GLOBAL 1% MOVING FORWARD SEES US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES OUTSIDE OF US SOVEREIGN JURISDICTION ------A CRIME COMMITTED OUTSIDE US IS DIFFICULT TO INVESTIGATE ----
Moving to the next level, the UCMJ covers only civilians accompanying US armed forces in contingency operations. This provides jurisdiction for the US Armed Forces to prosecute contractors for criminal acts committed in the course of their operations. Practically, however, the Department of Defense has failed to publish the regulations guiding Judge Advocates Generals so they can properly proceed with prosecuting contractors under the new UCMJ. Again, this legal solution is also not enough.
Moving into international law, the Hague Conventions of 1907 discusses the implications of mercenary, not PMSC, activity on neutral states. If a state is neutral in a conflict, they are not permitted to allow recruiting or other mercenary activity to occur in their territory. Additionally, in the Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions (1977), Article 47(1) states that individuals who are found to be a mercenary would be deprived the rights of the combatant or prisoner-of-war status. Finally, the Rome Statute specifically states that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the “crime of mercenarism”.
Looking at just these few sources of legal authority governing current PMSC activities, it is clear that the facts of each instance of PMSC criminal behavior must be creatively applied to the law to ensure accountability. In the case of the former Blackwater employees, the legal case encountered all of the presumed legal difficulties; who, where, how, when? A solution, seven years later, as stated in my first post, likely put more of a diplomatic strain on the relationship between the US and Iraq.
It is a call for more of an international law solution for the growing PMSC presence in international conflicts. It is a call we cannot ignore as more and more PMSCs participate in conflicts globally.