Violent attacks on homeless people by tax-siphoning State agents have seemingly increased in recent times. Perhaps law enforcement has always lashed out against the less fortunate who are unable to protect themselves and the growth of Internet media has assisted by shining a spotlight to expose these incidents.
Regardless of the reason why, incidents that reveal appalling police abuses on homeless victims have gained exposure in the past few months as violent videos have gone viral on the internet. Two especially terrible incidents, where agents of the State have committed crimes against the homeless, ended tragically with the the homeless person ultimately losing their life in each instance.
In California, two Fullerton cops were ultimately found not guilty of charges tied to the beating of a homeless man by the name of Kelly Thomas to death. After watching the incredibly disturbing video of the beating it is hard to reconcile how a jury could refrain from locking the offending officers in a cage for the rest of their lives. One of the police officers charged in the beating death even had the audacity to ask for his job back after the verdict!
A second recent egregious attack on a homeless man occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico about a month ago. The unfortunate events resulted in another senseless death when police shot an unarmed man, James Boyd, for illegally camping in the Albuquerque foothills.
It is not just police officers that are fond of aggressive attacks on the homeless; apparently there are also firemen who are also partial to assaulting the poorest individuals in society.
This week in Seattle Washington, the King County Prosecutor’s Office announced that it will not be filing felony charges against firefighters accused of beating a homeless man, because the victim would not participate in the prosecution. The cases against the two firefighters and their female companion during the beating are still being weighed for possible misdemeanor charges.
Firefight News has a detailed account of the despicable action of the two firefighters and their female acquaintance against a homeless man who did nothing to provoke their ire.
The two Seattle firefighters were off-duty and accompanied by a woman when they became involved in an altercation at the Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Occidental Park on March 15.
According to Seattle police, Bullene, fellow firefighter Robert Howell and Mia Jarvinen were walking through Pioneer Square around 5 p.m. after attending a Seattle Sounders game at CenturyLink Field when they saw the homeless man sleeping on the memorial.
Witnesses told police that Jarvinen, 37, kicked at the man, yelled at him and threw food on him after she saw him sleeping on the memorial.
Howell then started yelling about how the victim was disrespecting his “brothers” and began punching and “stomping” the man, police wrote in a report.
The fracas drew other transients, according to police and witnesses.
Steve Banfield, a Pioneer Square resident who witnessed parts of the incident, said the man later identified by police as Bullene then “got in a fight with a different homeless man, took his walking stick and started beating him with it.”
In an apparent attempt to ward off the attack, one of the homeless men got up and stabbed Bullene.
This story is really going to hurt Seattle’s ranking in the next Huffington Post list of the top ten cities to be homeless. I say this tongue in cheek, as I don’t think Huff Post has come out with this list…..yet.
One of the most popular criticisms of libertarianism is the claim that without coercive taxes to fund police and firefighters the most feeble in society would be left for dead. Statists claim a monopoly on the institution of justice and services such as firefighting are necessary to guarantee protection to all classes of people.
Ironically, it is the agents and enforcers of this coercive system that often treat unfairly or outright assault the most vulnerable in society. Meanwhile, proponents of centralized power continue to defend the coercive system we have today as being necessary to protect the weak and the poor. These statists also believe a system driven by market triggers would not adequately protect those viewed as being defenseless.
Additionally, the subject of “public” land adds confusion to the issue. The firefighters in the story above allegedly assaulted the homeless man for sleeping on a “public” memorial. In a libertarian society there would be no such things as “public property.” All property would be owned or be available to be owned. The homeless would either be trespassing on someone else’s property, or making the land their own by way of homesteading a piece of land that has little value to others.
Check out our past editions of Felony Friday!