Join Mike as he discusses the case of Treneshia Dukes, a woman who was burned by flash bang grenades when police issued a no-knock warrant on her apartment. The court agrees that the cops were wrong, but under qualified immunity the cop gets away with it. We must hold those with great power to great responsibility.
MIKE DONOVAN: The America that we are living in right now is not a free American. Police officers who abuse the shield… police officers who abused that sacred power we give them should not get paid vacation. They should not get a reprimand. They should go to jail.
Good evening folks. Welcome to another episode of Not Free America radio podcast. I am your host, Mike Donovan. It is Friday, June 5th, and America is still in a state of unrest. Our protestors are in our city streets. The police continue to provide fodder for protestors by seeing --the country sees video show up almost on a daily basis of police misconduct and abuse. And it seems like the kind of generational effort that might actually accomplish something, folks.
I am talking tonight as I have been the past two nights about qualified immunity. And you know, we talk about a lot on this podcast… and what we talk about is our civil liberties. This isn't a political conversation. It doesn't have to be. I mean, you can make it one. And you know, folks come to our social media and blog and say, “You know, look, this is a about Democrats. This is about Republicans.”
You can do that. You're wrong, but you can do it. But it's really just about people who have power and control abusing it. I mean, don't you see? Because the difference between say, George Floyd and Randy Weaver, as it relates to what the police are doing to them, right? What's the difference? The color of their skin? Where they come from? All these things are meaningless… meaningless, because I'll stand with George Floyd's family, just like I'll stand with Randy Weaver… because this is wrong.
Police conducting themselves in a manner that allows them to do whatever because they know they're not going to be held accountable for it is wrong. And we can't be a nation based on the constitution, based on the principles of individual liberty and the rights espoused and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. This simply can't be congruent with a country that allows such reckless hubris, such arrogance from people sworn to protect it.
I'm sorry that police officers are feeling like they are stuck or like they are under a microscope. The abuse of your special rights have brought you to this place. Special rights. Now that's what cops have, you understand? Cops have the right to carry illegal things in many states. It's in the statute. Some presume its allowed, of course you can imagine a cop’s trying to set someone up. He's buying drugs… he's going to have the drug, so he has to be able to break the law.
We're giving cops incredible authority just by putting a badge on them. And then we put a gun in a holster on their hip. Now, from that point in time, a cop can do one of two things -- A police officer can commit themselves to service and be like someone like -- I don't know, Chief Moose up in Montgomery County.
You know, God knows if I'm stepping into a thing up there, but you know, that guy was a guy, you know, he handled the DC sniper thing. That guy's a solid police officer. He was a solid cop, you know, Kathy Lineer ran DC before she went to work for the NFL. And when she was a cop, she was a darn good one. And were are they perfect? No, of course they weren't, but there are great cops out there. The problem is that there are also bad cops out there and the bad cops get away with it. And it's not just because of this thin blue line, which I assert covers a multitude of sin. But it's actually worse than that. It's police unions, it's police lobbying. It's getting people to be able to get away with things.
And that's exactly what happened in a case I want to talk to you about tonight. And this is a qualified immunity case, but it's actually a qualified immunity case with the kicker of having the issue of a no-knock warrant. And I want to introduce you to real life when you run afoul of the police or when you just don't matter to them. And in order to do that, I need you to introduce you to Tanisha Dukes and Tanisha Dukes was a client of the law firm that we fund, and she sued police officers who had executed a no-knock warrant on her apartment.
And in executing that no-knock warrant, fired flash bang grenades into a small apartment, causing one of those flash bang grenades to land on her stomach and explode. Now Tanisha didn't do anything wrong. Her apartment had been identified as potentially having marijuana. Oh my God. All right. Big crime of the century. But there was a concern that someone had had marijuana at this house.
And there was a misdemeanor level of marijuana I think that was purchased a day or two before from a confidential informant. So they were going to do a weed bust. Okay. And, you know, whatever, I believe marijuana should be legalized like it isn't many states, but whatever. So they were going to do a weed bust. Okay. So they decide to get a no-knock warrant. And what a no-knock warrant means is, well, it's exactly what it says…
You don't have to knock on the door and you don't have to announce yourself. The cops just bust in and then they use these grenades, these flash bang grenades which we've seen the cops doing to disperse crowds in the protest.
Imagine one of those, think about those flash bang grenades going off on those protesters in Lafayette square. And imagine it landing on the exposed stomach of a woman sleeping, and imagine it going off in her bed. And imagine it being fired by a cop who is supposed to look and clear a field of view, according to his training… but didn't, and shot that thing in there. And horribly and horrifically burned that innocent woman. Wouldn’t you think that officer would have to pay?
Wouldn't you think his department would have to pay? They violated the law and they violated their own rules. They violated their own training. Why is this even a question? Well, it's qualified immunity. And in this case is particularly important. And I want to explain to you why it isn't just another qualified immunity case. Although, let's face it, qualified immunity is really an important issue. But this has the added reality of being executed by a no knock warrant.
I want to help my friends on the right understand something here. Okay? No-knock warrants are a thing across the United States. And they're issued every day. If a no-knock warrant is issued against you and you have a firearm in your house like Tanisha's boyfriend did, and you were to grab that firearm… So let's imagine you don't know anything's going on. You think everything is fine. Let's say somebody calls a SWAT call on your house. They pretend like something's happening. This is something that people do. It's a horrible thing.
And they get the SWAT team to respond and potentially do some kind of horrible thing, breach your house or something. Or maybe the cops just got it wrong. Maybe they received a report. Maybe somebody doesn't like you. Maybe it's just a random thing and they got it wrong.
But the cops show up at your house in the middle of the night and you're sleeping. Your kids are upstairs and you've got your trusty firearm by your bed. And you know where you keep it. And you know that if you ever need it, that it's there to protect you and your family -- as the second amendment allows. And then one night you hear a break in a window and you hear your door breach. You hear someone break in. You hear a loud noise coming from downstairs. And what do you do? You pick up your gun.
This is your house. Someone is breaking in. Are you going to wait to see if they kill your kids before you shoot them? They're in your house. What does the second amendment mean to you in a time like that? Imagine if they were cops, but they didn't say they were cops. They didn't yell “police”. They didn't yell, “We have a warrant!” They just broke in. And you come to the top of the stairs and you aim your gun and that cop shoots you in the face. He's never going to be held liable for that.
Do you understand? He broke into your house. He broke into your house and he didn't announce himself. You're dead. He's not liable. It is the vicious circle of qualified immunity. And I'm sorry to my friends on the right, who want to believe that somehow all of the world's troubles over the last six months can be boiled down to law and order… you're confusing yourself.
Law and order is not our problem. It is a lack of accountability in the systems of law and order that are our problem. And if we continue to push the pedal to the metal down to create further divisions between communities of law enforcement and the communities they serve, well, that that ends in complete and total destruction. Because there is going to be a point in time -- and I think we may be right here, right now -- where people are not willing to subject themselves to this police misconduct and abuse anymore.
It is simply time for accountability. In Tanisha Dukes’ case, the court said, “No, you don't get justice.” Why? Because being free from having her home invaded and a flash bang grenade being thrown on her isn't a right specifically acknowledged under the 4th and 14th amendment. So, she can be assaulted. She can be bodily disfigured, and she can't do anything about it because that cop -- those two cops have immunity. And the Supreme court let that decision stand.
Folks, we have a very small window here to undo what is literally 50 years of super policing, hyper police power, with less police accountability. This is not a liberal issue. It's not a conservative issue. If you're a liberal, I guess it's liberal. If you're conservative, I guess it's conservative. But whether you're George Floyd or Randy Weaver or any number of people who might run afoul of law enforcement or who might just find themselves in a situation like Tanisha Dukes… who could never have imagined.
And on that fateful night, officers that she pays through her taxpayer dollars would break into her home. Thank God she wasn't murdered like so many others are. We really are better than this, but yet we tend to want to fall back into the same old arguments. And I see it even on social media as we talk… people saying, “Law and order. We need to boost the police. We need to put the military on the ground.”
Folks, folks, you're talking about abdicating the very liberty that you stand up and say you support. If you don't understand constitutional liberty, just say so. If you don't care about constitutional liberty, just say so. But don't be a hypocrite. Don't join groups, or pretend that you care about constitutional principles like the 2nd amendment when they're convenient to you.
If you want to protect your 2nd amendment rights, and you have a responsibility to protect the others, because the 2nd amendment is only there to defend the others. And if we lose the others, it doesn't matter. You don't understand. You don't just have to care about guns if you're on the right. And you don't just have to care about, I don't know, whatever, if you're on the left… qualified immunity or whatever the case may be.
You don't have to care only about those things. But we do have to find a way to dismantle systems of oppression. Why? Because they affect liberals and conservatives the same way. The powerful get more powerful. The weaker get weaker. And equal opportunity is not given granted there. This is not the fault of Donald Trump, nor the fault of Nancy Pelosi, nor the fault of any Republican or any Democrat. It is the fault of cold, dark, hardened hearts trying to make people feel safe through the abdication of liberty. But folks, you are not safe when you are not free.
So would you consider joining me as we fight to make America free again, and to focus on removing the concept of qualified immunity from our code? It is time for the American people to have an opportunity to be heard. And it is time for the police, with all their power and all their authority, all their military weapons… to have accountability. Police officers who abuse the shield… police officers who abused that sacred power we give them… should not get paid vacation. They should not get a reprimand. They should go to jail.
And I'll leave you with this. And this is perhaps the one thing I want you to remember when you think maybe, just maybe we'll make it through. Don't let up. Don't stop fighting. If you're a liberal, if you're conservative, I don't care. Fight for freedom, because if you look at what happened in New York, and we see what happened in upstate New York, when a gentleman approached police officers in Buffalo, and those officers knocked him down.
And while he was bleeding out on the ground and you saw a pool of blood pool under his head, one officer tried to stop and the other officer shooed him along. And you saw police officers walk past that man, who was simply trying to hand the police officer his helmet. That man was knocked to the ground by a police officer he was trying to help. And then those police officers callously decided they weren't going to help him. That man is in serious condition tonight.
And those officers, when they were fired, those other officers banded together to resign from the unit in a show of support. Those officers should lose their jobs. That is a state created danger. They hurt that man. And because of qualified immunity, he won't be able to sue. It is time to change qualified immunity in the United States of America.
Will you join me? Call 855-925-2833 if you have an issue, if your civil rights have been violated. Or visit notfreeamerica.com. Folks… Thank you so much for joining me tonight. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we'll see you tomorrow. Thanks.