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The politicians running the Seattle, Washington Police Department are concerned; they are concerned that Seattle criminals may become offended. Therefore, the administration has issued a directive to the patrolmen and investigators to change the way they refer to criminals and thugs in their reports.
We have a quick “Go Team” moment from the State of Tennessee where elected officials have taken a positive step forward. Also, during our Quiet Time Moment from SilencerShop.com, the Professor has a very important piece of recommended reading for you.
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Topics Covered During This Episode:
- Positive News from Tennessee – Signed by the Governor: Tennessee Decriminalizes Firearm “Silencers”: blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com
- ‘Community member’ term for suspects on Seattle police use of force reports: www.kiro7.com
- Quiet Time brought to you by Silencer Shop: Read George Orwell’s 1984 – Kindle Edition – Ministry of Truth: http://amzn.to/2qIuD20
Free “Five Strategies” Book
Use Code “SOTG2015”
Please visit www.SilencerShop.com and take a look at what they have in stock!
Get Your Student of the Gun Tattoo Here: www.lauerweaponry.com
Yesterday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law decriminalizing the manufacture and possession of firearm suppressors in the state. The new law not only removes a layer of state regulation, it will help foster an environment hostile to federal gun control in Tennessee.
Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) introduced Senate Bill 921 (SB921) earlier this year. Titled the “Tennessee Hearing Protection Act,” the new law repeals current Tennessee statutes prohibiting the possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of firearm “silencers,” more appropriately referred to as “suppressors.”
These devices simply muffle the sound of a gun. They do not literally silence firearms. Nevertheless, the federal government heavily regulates silencers under the National Firearms Act. The feds charge a $200 tax on the purchase of the devices. Buying one also requires months-long waits after filing extensive paperwork with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The House passed SB921 by a 74-18 vote. The Senate approved the measure 28-1. With Haslam’s signature, the law will go into effect later this summer.
The repeal of state suppressor restrictions will not alter federal law, but it does remove a layer of law hindering access to these harmless devices. Widespread easing of suppressor regulation in states subtly undermines federal efforts to unconstitutionally regulate firearms.
As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity. Or when the state decriminalizes and people start ignoring the federal prohibition without any further state “permission” to do so.
Either way, the federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban in such a climate, and people will increasingly take on the risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws such as SB921 can have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce federal gun control, should the people defy it, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with future federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like SB921 lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourage a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
When Seattle police officers write use of force reports they no longer call a suspect a suspect.
“Community member” is the new term. Several officers say the term is offensive, explaining their work with violent suspects.
Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.
Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.
“I think this is all in an effort to make sure our report writing sounds politically correct,” Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Kevin Stuckey told KIRO 7.
The online use of force reporting system, called Blue Team, is used for more than just use of force reports. It also tracks the department’s administrative investigations and the Early Intervention System among other reports. A photo sent to KIRO 7 shows the Blue Team in a recent online department training.
The “community member” terminology changed for multiple forms – but it’s only in the use of force reports that officers find offensive.
“The change appears to be part of a routine update by the software developer, which services more than 600 law enforcement agencies worldwide,” department spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said. “The department’s force review section has not received any inquiries about the change.”
Changes after DOJ oversight
Department policy restricts officers and other department members from speaking to reporters without a supervisor’s approval, so multiple officers spoke to KIRO 7 to provide background. Kevin Stuckey, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild president who can speak publicly, said he believes the term “community member” is too vague.
“I don’t think you should have a broad stroke like that and call everybody the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling someone who is a victim a victim, or calling someone who’s a suspect a suspect.”
Seattle Police Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey said the changes are purely for accuracy. Labeling someone a suspect can sometimes be misleading if they are not suspected of anything.
At least through 2010, use of force forms used the terms suspect and subject. Blue Team was adopted after Department of Justice oversight of the department and the term “citizen” was coined for use-of-force reports. Now, the acceptable term is “community member.”
“Similarly, we don’t know or inquire about citizenship status, so labeling someone a citizen is arbitrary,” Maxey said in an email.
“Neither term is confusing at all.”
So when do police use force on a suspect who is not suspected of violating a law?
“Doing a building search or responding to an alarm with guns drawn is an example, department spokesman Sean Whitcomb wrote in an e-mail.
“We might contact individuals who are not suspects, but rather subjects. Approaching someone at gun point is Type 1 force, and must be reported.”
Whitcomb and others didn’t specify how long someone at gunpoint has been a reportable use of force or when Type 1 use of force designations were first used.
Officers told KIRO 7 that Type 1 use of force designations came with the Department of Justice oversight, and pointing a gun at a person in such a scenario did not previously require a use of force report.
Department of Corrections made similar change
Changes in terminology are nothing new in Washington, and Whitcomb said “the words are synonymous and commonly used throughout the law enforcement profession.”
Last fall, the Washington Department of Corrections stopped calling inmates “offenders” and instead use the term “student.”
“The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo, obtained by KIRO 7.
“Times change, and so does our language.”
However, that means Gary Ridgway — the most prolific American serial killer who said he has at least 71 victims — is no longer called an inmate or an offender. Neither are other murderers, rapists and felons.
The phase-out of the word “offender” started Nov. 1 and replaced with “individuals,” “student” or “patient,” the DOC secretary wrote to his staff. Use this link to read the full DOC memo.
“It takes time to change habits but I encourage all of you to make an effort,” Morgan wrote in the memo last fall. “Start by referring to individuals by their names (if you don’t already), practice replacing or removing the word ‘offender’ from your communication and presentation to others.”
In Seattle regarding use of force incidents, Stuckey, the guild president, said he plans to bring up the language concerns to command staff.
“I guess a community member could be the person who breaks into your car and breaking into your home or harms you or your child,” he said. “But who are we talking about?”