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Why People don't file complaints against police for civil rights violations

Why People don't file complaints against police civil rights violations
People just don't have the time or wherewithal to file complaints against police

By Martin Hill

July 28, 2013

"The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it." -John Hay (1872)

Since starting my website DontWakeMeUp.org in April 2013 I have received a lot of letters from fellow commercial drivers who have been illegally woken up and don't know what to do about it.

They were angry enough to do an internet search, but other than that, aren't sure what they can do.

It can indeed seem like a daunting, confusing, and burdensome task to file an official complaint against a cop.
That is why most people in America don't take any official action when their rights are violated. People are busy and burdened with the obligations of everyday life and providing for their families, so they most often just gripe about it and 'let it slide.'

I fully understand all this, which is why I make it a specific goal to encourage everyone to take action when their rights are violated.

The following is an example of one such letter I received about Wyoming DOT waking up a driver named Paul. They demanded ID from this vehicle passenger even though there was no probable cause whatsoever. Paul wasn't sure how to file a complaint and neither one of us could find a complaint form. (Why do you think police make it so complicated and difficult to file a grievance with their agencies? It's not by accident. ) So I did some research and by that time some time had passed. I asked him if he had made any progress and Paul replied:

Subject: Re: Wyoming DOT

"No. I don't know how to proceed and haven't had any time to try to find out. The company says "why would it be illegal?". I guess next time we'll bring it to a head right on the spot by refusing to wake up the co-driver."

So, understandably, this hard-working family man, Paul, didn't have time to deal with it. And so it goes unaddressed. See, this is EXACTLY what allows the criminals to continue their tyrannical mode of operation.

Below is my response to Paul. But first, an explanation of the broader point. This is why I always encourage people for example to always plead not guilty to traffic tickets and invoke their due-process rights instead of just handing over their hard-earned money. The rate of people who 'bother' to plead not guilty to traffic revenue tickets is extremely low, although it is increasing because of the terrible economy. People are finally pleading not guilty out of economic necessity.

On my filming cops archive page, I explain that the first complaint I ever filed against a police officer was in July 2008. This occurred after I saw police violently push down what appeared to be a little kid in West Covina, CA. I was shocked to have witnessed such a thing and started filming the scene. A cop in a suit who refused to identify himself saw me filming and came over to my car window and tried to discourage filming. I then filmed him, and filed an official complaint aginst him. The text of that complaint, along with the video and photos of the original incident can be found here. The internal affairs department then asked me to come down to the police station for an interview on September 15, 2008. I agreed, but I brought my own video camera and filmed the whole thing. I walked into the police station with camera rolling and didn't turn it off. After all, the whole case was about our right to film cops. So if they had objected to me recording the interview, then there wasn't going to be an interview, since I have no obligation to talk to anyone. That entire video and transcript can be found here: Police Internal Affairs Investigators Confirm that Filming Cops in Public is 100% Legal (All the videos are also at the bottom of this page.)

When Ronald Reagan's stepson Michael Reagan threatened to murder 9/11 truth activist Mark Dice on air in 2008, people were up in arms about it and wanted something done. So I pointed out that a proper complaint must be filed with the FCC. Griping about something or even calling the FCC on the phone to complain does not constitute an official complaint. [See Prisonplanet.com, How to properly file an official FCC complaint against Michael Reagan for death threats against Mark Dice, June 2008. Here is our full coverage of that fiasco.] This is what I mean when I say that an official complaint process is imperative. A complaint against a police officer, if it's properly done, will generally stay on their record for five years. I believe that regardless of the outcome of the complaint, this serves as a deterrent against that officer to continue the behavior. Because if the officer ever has future allegations brought out against him or if a lawsuit is filed, the litigant will then have the opportunity to have a complete record of all complaints filed against the cop.

The U.S. Department of Justice also takes complaints about police misconduct and rights violations, although it's important to note that filing a complaint with the DOJ is not a substitute for a local complaint with the local police agency. The DOJ pointd out that you may or may not receive a response from them. Also, filing a complaint with the DOJ is not a substitute for a monetary claim or a civil rights lawsuit, which is always an option if you act within the statute of limitations. The US DOJ webpage states, in part:

Addressing Police Misconduct Laws Enforced by the Department of Justice

Federal Criminal Enforcement

It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242). "Color of law" simply means that the person doing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, State, or Federal). A law enforcement officer acts "under color of law" even if he or she is exceeding his or her rightful power. The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another...

..."Police Misconduct Provision"

This law makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (42 U.S.C. § 14141). The types of conduct covered by this law can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests..."

One option for people is to file a monetary claim or civil rights lawsuit. Consult an attorney if you have questions. Here are some links about federal civil rights suits:...

Here is my response to Paul, who was angry after being illegally woken up by Wyoming DOT, who demanded to see his ID:
[article continues here: http://libertyfight.com/2013/why_people_dont_complain_about_...

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

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People don't file complaints because

it does not benefit them in any way, shape, or form. Want more people to complain? Pay them for the injustice (as mentioned in the 5th Amendment).

This is the problem with monopolies on justice. Filing a complaint doesn't to jack squat and courts paper over claims for abuses of discretion or excesses of jurisdiction to protect revenues. People are expected to take it up the rear for free.

If there was some tangible benefit to filing a complaint, such as compensation, rest assured people would take the time to figure out how to do it.