The West Virginia Police State

Lets get right to the nitty gritty. West Virginia is a police state. Not “turning into one” as some of the more left leaning, but politically correct might agree. We are already there. It is just that the majority of “average” citizens have not had the dubious pleasure of the experience just yet. But never fear, because the odds are good that you too, or someone you know will find out first hand what’s really happening within our legal system. The statistics are the first red flag. West Virginia has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States, but one of the highest rates of incarcerated per capita. That’s 1 in every 136 people in jail in this state, 2 points above the national average. And that does not take into account all those who are out on bail awaiting trial, those on probation or parole, or those who may have an outstanding warrant for their arrest. This brings the numbers closer to 1 in 32!

“Not me” you say, “that happens to other people”. OK, well maybe. But here are some things you may not be aware of. Supposing one of your neighbors has a domestic dispute, which ends up at your house totally by accident. In the right situation, once you have left the premises, the police might very likely decide to totally search your house, without a warrant, by the way. “But they can’t just do that” you say. Well, yes they can. As long as they can fabricate a “good” excuse, which could be anything, they can do whatever they want. Don’t believe it? Just try asking a lawyer. Heck, ask MANY lawyers. They will all say pretty much the same thing. “It does no good to fight them, they’ll just make things harder on you”.

Here is something else you may not be aware of. Supposing someone you really don’t even know should get busted with drugs. And supposing they feel like protecting their supplier. So when asked by the police where they obtained the drugs in question, they decide to just make up a story. That is ALL that the police need to obtain a search warrant for someone’s home! No such thing as “probable cause”, no such thing as your constitutional right to privacy or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. So, theoretically, if I were to get pulled over and the police found a bit of green substance in my car, I could tell them that I got it from, well, anybody, and the next thing you know, you have the entire hoard of State and County Police at your door. At that point, you are entitled to nothing whatsoever. Except of course your right to remain silent! Your home will most likely be completely ransacked in the most vicious way possible. Things will be smashed, dumped, ripped apart. The worst vandals could not do any better. And that is if you are lucky. I have known people to be beaten and kicked in handcuffs while their dogs were shot and their homes destroyed.

You might say, “but don’t SOME of those people deserve it?” Well, there is a very antiquated and worn around the edges saying that refers to someone being innocent until proven guilty, but that is only a fallacy. To be trapped in the legal system means that you must work 20 times harder to prove your innocence as THEY will have to to prove your guilt.

Still not a believer? I admit, the extreme militaristic attitude of the police, the State Police in particular, is rather hard to believe. But just try calling 9-11 in an emergency situation. Chances are the “emergency” will pale in comparison to their reaction to it. I know one mother who most likely wishes with all her heart that she never would have called them on her mentally unstable son, when he tried to take her car. She now has one dead son, and cars can be replaced, but your flesh and blood can’t. Apparently, even tho the disturbed man had run into the woods unprepared for the cold and rainy weather with nothing but a shot gun and a cell phone, and the police had at their disposal a number of high powered weapons and the SWAT team from Charleston, the police thought it more important to get back to their warm homes and dinners than to bring the man in unharmed.

I personally found out the hard way that ANYTHING is possible in a situation where you believe you are doing the right thing. My husband suffers from periodic bipolar episodes and Post Traumatic Stress syndrome. An extremely unusual and unforeseen set of stressful circumstances caused him to have a serious episode. We are talking about someone with NO criminal record of any kind, someone who has always worked and excelled at what they did. Things got out of hand and I could not deal with it on my own, so I called 9-11 and BEGGED for an emergency mental health warrant. I was very adamant about this being a mental health crisis. I requested that my husband be taken to a mental facility. I was misled by the man who answers 9-11 calls AND a State Police officer who called back to verify. They BOTH told me that a couple police officers would come to defuse the situation, and that he would then be sent to a mental hospital. What really happened was more along the lines of a bad twilight zone episode. The entire Charleston Swat team was called in. All roads near my home were blocked by many police who thought nothing of aiming their high powered weapons directly in anyones face who just happened to be driving down the road. Thank God that this ended rather calmly, as these cowboys were definitely looking for a fight. But they caused FAR more problems than my husband did.
He was whisked off to the regional jail in short order, where anyone exhibiting mental illness becomes a spectator sport. The usual cure there for anyone having “problems” is to throw them in something called “suicide watch”, which is nothing more than torture, where you are not allowed to have such things as a blanket, clothes, or toilet paper. And then they just leave you there alone. I am told that at least 40% of inmates at the jail had no business even being there, but should have been in a mental facility instead.

The justice system moves at a snails pace, and seems to be mostly run by people who have somehow lost their humanity in the rat race of shuffling papers and running as many “offenders” thru as possible in a days time. These people are literally in the business of playing God with peoples lives, but they have a tendency to treat this power as if they were bug exterminators instead. After much maneuvering, we managed to get my husband bailed out of this regional hell hole so that he could obtain the help he needed. Of course part of the conditions of his bail are that we are not allowed any contact whatsoever! So, the torture continues, and now I am also a victim. You can only imagine how impossible a situation that would create for a married couple who are very close, work together, have their insurance, bank accounts, and everything else imaginable together… Requests have been made to get this condition reversed, with no success thus far. And I just keep thinking about that poor woman with the dead son. That could have so easily happened to us.

Now, I could go into a tirade about how the legal system wastes an incredible amount of taxpayers money, especially since they have regionalized the jail system, or the fact that there is no room for such a thing as “truth” in a courtroom where “plea bargains” are the order of the day. Or the fact that the police will do ANYTHING at all, including lie, fabricate evidence, or even let someone’s house burn down in order to “get their man”, and when one of them causes enough trouble in a particular county they are simply transferred to another county. But, as I said before, if you fight ’em, they’ll probably make life even harder. So, what’s a body to do? Just swallow it and go on? I’m sorry, but that’s just a little hard for me to do. I’m a firm believer in educating the masses. What you don’t know CAN hurt you! I would like to hear from other folks who have had bad experiences with the Police/legal system. There HAS to be a way to fight this system! And if we don’t try, then this state, and in fact the entire country, will be doomed. Please post your legal horror stories in the appropriate comments section.

Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 3:23 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What you just wrote is very informative and powerful. I understand every word… I have hope that others will read your message, and understand the need for awareness and change.

    Well written. I support your belief, and I thank you!

  2. We may well need to eliminate the “human” judicial system and devise a computerized one based on the Constitution. Humans are corruptable. Computers are not. They will decide innocence or guilt by blindly applying the programmed law. There will be no getting off simply because you can afford High powered attornies. Or going to jail because you can’t.
    Punishment will be applied equally.
    Justice will be applied equally acrossed the board. A computer doesn’t care who you are. No one will be immuned to equal application of the law. Everyone becomes equal. Police would be more careful in how they effect their jobs. If they violate a law while in the performance of their job they will be subject to equal punishment by a “blind” justice system. Legisilators will be more careful in the bills they introduce. A new law will be subject to adhearance to the Constitution by a “blind” justice system. Moral “crimes” will cease. Law enforcment and legislatures would be held accountable.
    It isn’t a perfect solution by any means but it has to be better than what we have at present.

  3. I would say the State Police response was not related to the immediate situation with your husband’s mental condition, but more related to the state police’s opinion of the “Peace Fest” you have hosted for years, and their chance to “get those hippies” or at least got a good look around your farm.

    I am so sorry for how you were/are being treated. My husband and I were recently given similar treatment during a routine traffic stop – intimidation, threats, unjustified search, etc. Likely because of how we looked or who we are – not because of anything we were (or were not) doing at the time. We were only speeding.

    To keep from being manhandled or beaten, (as was implied) and to save our vehicle from being trashed and torn apart (as threatened) we stopped asking for our constitutional rights to be honored and complied to orders. We then researched results of others who have fought charges filed by the officer or filed complaints about his behavior, and saw no point, as there were not any satisfactory results for the others, and no consequences for the officer. We did not have the money, or the energy, to take on the fight, knowing there would be no justice in the end. I wish you better luck.

    To those reading: The comment, “West Virginia is a police state” is not rhetoric. It is fact. Hard-working, productive, honest citizens can and ARE being treated like hardened criminals.

    Incidentally, I went by the house of “the mother who called on her son” recently. Looked like she was moving out.

  4. This blog has real potential to make things better through education and the sharing of others.

    This blog is about what’s wrong. Educating people on what’s wrong will help make things RIGHT.

  5. This is really good information

    I read the Methranger site and found this link

    I will be back everyday for more information and news.

    Keep the news and informaiton comming, I will pass the web address on to others I know.

  6. In a county as poor as this one, you would think that TOURISM would be encouraged. In fact it may be the only thing that could save Calhoun County from total bankrupcy. The Annual Peacefests, altho perhaps a minor annoyance for one or two people for a short period of time during the summer, have steadily brought money into the county over the years. I find it ridiculous that the powers that be wish to exercise such control as to keep people from coming to this county to vacation. 2007 would have been the 13th annual event. We had decided NOT to hold the 13th here on this farm way before any of these shenanegans ever took place, due to far too many rednecks and drunks and thieves and lack of respect or cleanup help, so to those who think they have done some great thing by putting a stop to the “hippy gatherings”, you have done nothing.
    Anyhow, what kind of person would be against trying to give folks a taste of some peace and brotherly love?

  7. “We had decided NOT to hold the 13th here on this farm way before any of these shenanegans ever took place, due to far too many rednecks and drunks and thieves and lack of respect or cleanup help”
    Biggest reason I won’t even drive through W.V. And just to make all those obnoxious people feel like idiots, We have an annual Scottish/Irish festival in a local park every year. Free. Run by donations. Started 6 years ago with about 50,000 people coming over the weekend and this year attendance was recorded at over 500,000. Not one instance of trouble. No drunkenness. No trash to clean up. Everyone had a good time. Good entertainment, good food, good times. I have never seen another event like this where NO cleanup was needed. No police or security needed. The park has only about 6 rangers. Volunteers directed traffic. And here is the real needle in the balloon…this takes place only 50 miles from downtown Philadelphia, Pa. I challenge Calhoun County to try to pull off an event of any size with the same results.

  8. Guess this is the perfect opportunity to let the cat out of the bag. Calhoun County had the chance to host Goodstock 2007,, a huge “woodstock reunion” type of event, so big it would have made the Wood Festival look like peanuts. We were approached last summer by the promoters wishing to lease not only the entire farm, but other peoples farms in the area as well. This most assuredly would have brought a TREMENDOUS amount of money into the county, and put Calhoun permanently on the map as far as tourism goes. But as time went on it became obvious to the promoter that Calhoun was not a particularly friendly place when it comes to things of this nature. Our legal hassles as well as other peoples made it impossible to accomplish here in Calhoun and so it has been moved to Summersville. The local authorities there are welcoming it with open arms… I am directly involved with the promoters now, doing everything I can to help bring this to fruitation. Calhoun, you know not what you do.

    I see in the Hurherald that there will soon be workshops held for making communities better,, and tourism will be discussed. But I see a couple problems with this concept. For one, how do we EVER get people to stop tossing their trash out along the roads so that it doesn’t look like you are driving thru the town dump? And if you can’t get them to stop, just who is going to be responsible for cleaning it up regularly?
    For another, how do we expect to develope tourism with the State Police Nazis running things? I have been in Florida a few times, a real tourist state. I have delt with State Police there. They were %100 POLITE, RESPECTFUL, HELPFUL, and PROFESSIONAL. Total opposite of what we have around here.
    And third, where do you expect all those tourists to stay? We have a campground AND a business license. But are discouraged at every turn by authorities who wish we would just go away. I have stopped at the Chamber of Commerce in Grantsville several times, but they were always closed. I have tried to have people with websites for this county to put up links to our campground site, without success. If people truely want tourism, and there is no REAL reason why we can’t develope it here, then they have to be willing to open their minds and arms to the possibilities, instead of making it impossible.

  9. Summersville police department in action….

  10. Ah, someone actually doing a “good job”. Thank You. Nearly all the polite police officers I have ever met were on the interstate. Either that or they were town cops, with an occasional pleasant county sheriff thrown in.

    Of course those who were pulled over were just the “unlucky” ones. You know with so many on the road, there are many many more speeders who don’t get caught. Speeding on the interstate could be seen as Russian Roulette…

    It’s far easier to be a “good cop” on the interstate. Most all the people you pull over for typical violations would be total strangers to you. There’s not much room for personal feelings or bias to get in the way of professionalism.

    But the farther out, away from the interstates, things are quite different. In a small county environment, it’s a lot like living in a small town. The classic “everybody knows everybodys business” applies, just on a wider scale. Some officers have been around a long time. Some were raised in the same county as they work. They “know” the people they “control”. The playing field becomes too muddy. Too many personal opinions, too much power by too few. Too easy to be unprofessional. Too easy to make somebody mad.

    The police keep a tight knit little group going on in their little communitys. They all know each other because there are not as many as would be in a big city. They all share information and opinions over coffee… Basically, the only difference at that point between the police and a gang is the police have the law behind them, and hopefully there is enough honor among them to keep them from abusing their power. But they definately watch each others backs….

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