5 Insane Police Forces That Have Zero Right To Arrest You
It's not easy being a cop. While firemen reap all the praise, pose in calendars, play Xbox all day, and give mouth-to-mouth to sexy coeds (oh, right, in addition to occasionally fighting fires), police officers are often the subject of derision and scorn. But obviously law enforcers are vital if we want to live in a society where pesky things like rape, murder, and double-parking don't occur with The Purge-level frequency. And many of them are willing to put up with all the abuse and annoyances out of a sense of duty to their fellow humans.
So imagine how frustrating it must be when they run across organized groups of half-cocked, wannabe, do-gooding amateurs like ...
The Masonic Police
When a man identifying himself as the chief of the Masonic Fraternal Police Department attempted to schedule a meeting with Los Angeles-area law enforcement officials earlier this year, it raised several questions. The foremost of which was: What the fuck are the Masonic Police?
I hope they drive tiny Shriner-sized police cars and/or secretly control the world!
Intrigued, Captain Roosevelt Johnson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Office actually took this mysterious "chief" up on his offer and wound up in a meeting with three individuals: David Henry, Tonette Hayes, and Brandon Kiel. Seeing as Henry was an Emmy Award-winning TV producer, Hayes a minister, and Kiel an aide to the goddamn state attorney general, maybe the trio initially came off as somewhat legit. But when Captain Johnson saw that two of them were dressed in official-looking police uniforms (that were adorned with patches that bore no resemblance to any recognized agency in the known universe), the red flags started to unfurl. And after the trio haughtily announced to him that they were moving their operation into the area, said flags began flapping like someone left the window open during typhoon season. Long story short, the three were arrested for impersonating police officers. Yet the question remained: What the cockamamie fuck are the Masonic Police?
It appears that Henry, Hayes, and Kiel all firmly believed that they really were law enforcement officers, despite having absolutely no credentials whatsoever. Well, at least none that the actual authorities (or anyone in their right mind, for that matter) would consider to be based in reality. As self-proclaimed descendants of the Knights Templar, they were under the impression that their "police" organization originated 3,000 years ago and that they were well within their rights to possess the multitude of badges, uniforms, marked cars, and weapons that turned up after numerous search warrants were issued. They also claimed to have jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico, with 33 coincidentally being the magic Illuminati number of the Order Of Ascension in the Scottish Rites Of Freemasonry. I'm sure that I don't need to dwell on how pretty much all of that is a gigantic pile of donkey cock. But feel free to use this shithouse-rat-crazy website for reference.
But, more importantly, who is he wearing????
All of the accused turned out to be members of the lavishly named Masonic temple Sir Briley's Knights Of Luxor Knights Templars Grand Lodge AASR. "Chief" Henry (who also goes by the humble title of Absolute Supreme Sovereign Grandmaster Henry 32 33 X) also led something called the Political And Clergy Council Organization, which he founded because, and I quote:
"The church, politicians, and the lawmakers have let the people down. The communities feel they are not being heard. So I consider this organization as an order from God given only to me."
If the clothing makes the man, this guy may actually need more "supremes" in his title.
OK, it's nice that he wanted to help out, even if that did come off as a little maniacal, in a megalo kind of way. And, after all, why should someone like him and his pals be expected to lower themselves by taking a civil service exam, attending a police academy, or having any knowledge of the justice system at all, for that matter? We're talking about people who have said, on the record, "We are born into this organization. Our bloodlines go deeper than an application. This is more than a job; it is an obligation."
And further justification for their God-given legal authority is right there on their typo-ridden website (which sadly appears to have been removed from public view), which explains, "The Masonic Fraternal Organization is the oldest and most respected organization in the 'World.' ... When asked what is the difference between The Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first!"
Studies have shown that for every bearded man in a top hat in the background of a press conference, public scrutiny is reduced by 38 percent.
He makes a strong argument, to be sure, and I can only hope that the title of "Absolute Supreme Sovereign Grandmaster" at least gets him a discount at the prison commissary.
The American Police Force
When the city leaders of Hardin, Montana, agreed in 2006 to have a massive prison facility installed right on their doorstep, the locals hoped that the decision would create a boomtown effect, by transforming their small community into the Guantanamo Bay of Big Sky country. But after borrowing $27 million to construct the Two Rivers Regional Correctional Facility, years passed without them receiving a single Gitmo detainee, or even a passing drifter with a speech impediment, to lock up behind the shiny new bars of their expensive penal debacle. Due to issues both legal and political, the new jail was a bust. And after a failed attempt in 2008 to turn the place into housing for sex offenders, the future looked bleak indeed.
Though not as bleak as what would likely happen to countless buttholes during a prison riot at a place like that.
Fast-forward to 2009, and enter the American Police Force, a Blackwater-style private company that promised to end Hardin's woes by offering to staff the prison and get the whole operation up and running. As a bonus, they also vowed to provide computers to local schools, as well as a number of other civic-minded endeavors, while they populated the prison by unspecified means. Soon, with the blessing of local civic leaders, black Mercedes SUVs began rolling into town, all of them bearing "Hardin Police Department" logos and filled with scary-looking dudes with guns. Soon they began setting up checkpoints, issuing "remain calm, citizen"-type statements via a spokesman, and pretty much fulfilling every "one world government" conspiracy theorist's wet fantasy.
Along with those of every Police surplus store owner in the tri-county area.
But while the APF may not have been the leading shock troops for an armed, Obama-led, usurpation-by-force of our Constitutional right to attend Hank Williams Jr. concerts, the whole scenario was most certainly pretty goddamn strange. But the locals were desperate to have something to show for the fact that they had just spent a fortune on an empty jail, and some of them initially seemed willing to overlook the fact that they were dealing with what were, by all appearances, some seriously shady motherfuckers. And while I wouldn't want to label everyone who lives in Hardin as a doe-eyed, gullible rube, check out this news report where a guy from the economic development board sounds about as savvy as Jerry Lundegaard from Fargo.
First of all, there was no such thing as a Hardin Police Department. The APF just sort of slapped a sticker on their cars without any authorization whatsoever. And while their website claimed years of experience, with the U.S. government as their biggest client, the company had in fact been in existence for only a matter of months, and there was mysteriously no record of them whatsoever within the federal contractor database. The website also provided a phone number by which to reach their headquarters in Washington, D.C., which tended to yield responses of the "What the hell are you talking about?" variety.
But all of that's just small potatoes, considering that the person running the entire show was a man named "Michael Hilton." And the reason "Michael Hilton" has those quotes around his name is that he was actually an immigrant from the former Republic of Yugoslavia with an extensive list of aliases, all of them sounding like notes from a brainstorming session to come up with the next James Bond villain. Not only was Hilton, also known as (let's pick the scariest-sounding name from the list) Midrag Ilia Dokovitch, an international con man with prior convictions for fraud, theft, a Super Bowl commemorative coin scheme, and DUI, he'd already spent time in jail for ... wait for it ... diverting funds. You know, kind of like the monorail episode from The Simpsons. Or, better yet, like convincing a bunch of yokels to hand over their town to your fake private police force.
They should have known something was up after the first meeting, when he swiveled his chair around slowly while stroking a white Persian cat.
When all this eventually came to light, American Police Force suddenly decided to "withdraw the offer" and fled into the night, while their locally hired, presumably highly paid spokesperson, Becky Shay, remained behind in a Baghdad Bob capacity to deny all wrongdoing. I'm presuming she was highly paid because she reportedly left her job at the Billings Gazette and went to work for the APF, all in the space of 24 hours, and coincidentally right after filing two reports on the situation in Hardin. Shay claims to have only received a signing bonus and a laptop computer for her efforts, and she currently works as a crime analyst back in Billings. Sure, she may be just another victim of Hilton/Dokovitch/Blofeld Jr.'s scams. But with her resume, I also have to assume that she may be somewhere in line for the next anchor position at NBC.
Lear Asset Management
Don't you just hate it when you're minding your own business, tending to your "medicinal," multi-acre pot garden on someone else's property in the middle of the Northern California woods, when suddenly a troop of gun-toting mercenaries rappel from a helicopter and turn your crop into a blazing inferno? Sure, they don't arrest you or anything, but that might actually be preferable to having to explain it to the cartel guys who'll inevitably be showing up for the monthly pickup. They might take you for a ride to see the boss, and you know how those meetings tend to go.
Actually, clandestine marijuana farms are a big problem in California. They tend to be operated by armed, less-than-savory individuals, do no favors for the drought situation, and are even wiping out the local salmon populations. Landowners would be foolhardy to try to take care of the situation themselves, yet they also apparently can't rely on the state to constantly keep their property clear of violent, interloping entrepreneurs. And obviously you can't just hire a bunch of former spec ops badasses to storm in and take care of the problem, Call Of Duty-style. Oh wait, you totally can do that.
Since they can no longer say "Hooah!" due to copyright issues, their new motto is "Suck it, hippie!"
Lear Asset Management ("Lear" being an acronym for "Logistical Environmental Asset Remediation") came into existence just three years ago and is staffed by ex-Army Rangers and other combat-tested former members of the U.S. Special Operations community. They're licensed and regulated by the state of California, and their activities have been funded via government grants.
What kind of activities, you ask? Well, they're specialists in something called forest reclamation. This basically involves wearing camo gear, body armor, and keffiyehs, strapping on AR-15s, and helicoptering into suspected marijuana grow sites to burn them to the ground, all while making various citizens of California wine country wonder why they're having Battle Of Fallujah flashbacks despite never having spent a day in the military.
"Hello? 911? I'm not sure how else to describe this, but I think Solid Snake is in my yard and about to steal my gnome."
According to the founder of Lear, the company conducts its business only on privately owned land and only at the behest of the owner of said land. It's perfectly legal, and they appear to be great at what they do. Local conservationists are glad to have them around. Nonetheless, it was highly disconcerting for the artisanal cheese-loving residents of Mendocino County to see what must have looked like a promotion for the new Rainbow Six game running amok in their backyards. And they were especially perturbed when reports came out claiming that Lear may be conducting warrantless raids on legal, medicinal growers. These claims were thoroughly debunked, allegedly, but couldn't a denial effort like this merely be just a part of a successful "dirty tricks" campaign, straight out of the covert ops playbook? After all, when you're dealing with a city where up to 90 percent of the residents may be tied in some way to the cannabis industry, it's probably not all that hard to keep them distracted.
The Shomrim Safety Patrol
The organization called Shomrim, or "guard" in Yiddish, is a volunteer neighborhood watch group/security force that operates exclusively in Jewish communities while keeping a special eye out for hate crimes (such as Mel Gibson staggering into a deli). It started in the late 1970s in the Hasidic areas of Brooklyn, and today Shomrim members patrol select areas of Baltimore, Miami, across the Atlantic in London, and elsewhere. They operate their own 911-like hotlines, drive around in marked, police-looking vehicles, and are often notified by Jewish citizens in distress well in advance of the actual police, if they bother doing that last part at all. I'd even go so far as to say it was a little unorthodox, if it didn't set up such an awful pun.
Considering the current climate of rising anti-Semitism being reported in many parts of the world, the existence of an organization like Shomrim is certainly understandable. In fact, you'd probably find them downright invaluable should you happen to live in a city in which you can't walk down the street without fear of being killed because of your choice of hats. But while they've shown their worth time and again by helping the police deal with low-level crimes (think the Guardian Angels, just with sidecurls), there are those who resent the fact that they often receive public money for serving only one segment of the community. And it can be viewed as especially problematic when they get involved in the investigation of more-serious crimes, try to take care of everything in-house, and fail to tell the actual police. Because, as it turns out, police actually like to be kept in the loop on certain neighborhood issues, such as that guy who's molesting and butchering kids.
"Nothing to see here, officer. That's just old Rabbi "Headless" Hartzog. Always the kidder."
There are also those who have categorized Shomrim as a "violent fringe group," after a controversy in Baltimore a few years ago wherein a member of one of their patrols allegedly assaulted a black teenager with a handheld radio for the crime of walking through the neighborhood. Comparisons were made to the George Zimmerman incident after the Shomrim member claimed to have acted in self-defense, but unlike the Florida case, this one ended in a conviction for the accused. In London, police officials are concerned that other communities might feel intimidated by "the concept of any community having its own form of patrol service." Shomrim leaders have countered that argument by pointing out, "There are a number of barriers which sometimes make it difficult for Jewish victims of crime to contact the police," and, "The police have a lot of things to do, and if a crime is minor they will take a long time to visit the victim. People think, 'Why waste time calling the police, if they won't attend?'"
As far as I can tell, nobody (except for the grunting shit-for-brains scratching backwards swastikas onto people's cars) is really against Jewish communities having a neighborhood watch group -- it's just the fact that they're so gosh darn "active" about it. But it seems Shomrim is fully aware of the line between "concerned citizen" and "vigilante," as demonstrated by the guy who was caught screwing on an unauthorized red and blue, police-style light bar package to one of their vehicles, who rightly stated: "It's not illegal for me to install them -- only for them to use them on the street." And people are upset about these guys spending public funds? What for?
Papa Smurf's Army
With drug cartels continuing to terrorize Mexico and slaughter law enforcement officials with impunity (or just straight-up putting them on the payroll), a number of armed vigilante organizations have formed to combat the menace. These "self-defense" groups would normally be seen as a threat to public safety, but the situation is such a nightmare right now that the government has actually deputized some of these maverick, "playing by their own set of rules in a world they didn't make" bands of misfits in the interest of the greater good. In fact, they've even gone so far as to arm the leader of a village of fictional, blue, Communist (or possibly Fascist) gnomes to aid in their fight against a balding wizard and his cat.
By the end of the week, Gargamel would finally fall to dozens of smurfsucking smurfholes inflicted on several of his vital smurfs.
Actually, "Papa Smurf" is just the nickname of a regular-sized yet still smurftastically bearded man named Estanislao Beltran. He's the leader of a bunch of farmers (and other, decidedly non-police members of Mexican society) who have banded together to resist the cartels and have also clashed with government forces after attempts were made to disarm their cause. Indeed, while Beltran certainly looks rather jolly on first inspection, being on his "naughty list" usually means you'll be receiving sustained gunfire rather than coal in your stocking. Therefore, the authorities took a creative approach in convincing Papa Smurf's Army to turn themselves in: by issuing them uniforms and assault weapons.
Cookies and milk are fine, but what he really has a hankering for is BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD.
Since being legitimized by the powers that be, Beltran and his cohorts have been working hand-in-hand with the cops to take the fight directly to cartels like the Knights Templar, an especially foul consortium of narco-villains. Together they've been conducting successful raids deep within the drug lords' ill-gotten territory, and after one such campaign of kicking culo and taking nombres the local townsfolk held a parade the likes of which Lucky, Dusty, and Ned could only dream about. They definitely deserved it, since it was greatly due to Beltran and his friends' efforts that the cartel's leader, Servando "La Tuta" Gomez Martinez, was finally taken into custody after years of keeping the rural citizens of the state of Michoacan under his cruel boot heel. Although they should probably wrap up the celebrating soon, since, if recent history is any indication, it likely won't be too long before "La Tuta" scurries down a toilet tunnel to freedom and picks right up where he left off.
For more from Ross, check out 6 Brothels That Turn Sex Into A Day At An Amusement Park and 5 Drugs That Turn Your World Into A Real-Life Horror Movie.