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On this week’s episode of Off The Grid News Radio, hosts Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy sit down to discuss the paradigm shift of morality in people including law enforcement officers. In particular, Heid and Brawdy discuss the contentious events that led to eventual death of 95 year-old John Wrana.
The hosts recap on a story first reported on WND.com on Monday, August 5, 2013 in an article titled, Why did cops kill this 95-year-old in walker? In the story it is said that police, “Tasered him and shot him with bean bag rounds – all because he adamantly refused to undergo high-risk surgery.”
Let’s just say that it takes absolutely no time at all for Brawdy to get REALLY fired up on this issue. As an ex-law enforcement officer, Brawdy knows the rules of the game and insists adamantly that there was a complete and utter breakdown of morals on the officers who decided that they had no other way to disarm the “two foot shoe horn” from the 95 year-old vet than to approach him in “SWAT gear,” taser him, and shoot him in the stomach with a bean bag gun.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: August 9, 2013
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off the Grid News, the radio version of offthegridnews.com. Brian Brawdy, here as always with Mr. Bill Heid. Well I should say almost as always, you were on assignment last week, Bill, so I sat in for you.
Bill: I was hitchhiking to town, I’ll have you know.
Brian: It’s about two and a half miles long.
Bill: It was a big town. Down the road.
Brian: Oh sorry, a big town, down the road.
Bill: It’s not the old man down the road; it’s the big town up the road. Yeah, you run out of gas, what are you going to do? I mean, you know …
Brian: Did you really?
Bill: They’re figurative, Brian. I ran out of gas in a figurative sense, and I needed help in a figurative sense.
Brian: Well, I think that’s a great setup because today’s show is going to be a little bit different. Forget that Jeramy didn’t plug in my headset; I don’t need to hear…
Bill: Forget that the air conditioning is not on.
Brian: Well, unless you dig 97 degrees. You know this could warm a drink if you were drinking tea, I think. You wouldn’t have to worry about it. But speaking of running out of gas, Bill, we’ve had it busy… You’ve been on assignment, I thought maybe today’s show we could play a little bit of ping pong, maybe on Steve Quayle, maybe here and there, pick up some of today’s top stories and just, you know, hit it back and forth, banter around as it were.
Bill: Well, I couldn’t agree more, Brian. I think that the world is a little bit upside down and I think it’s a good time to stop and take a look at some of these things, and talk about some of the events that you have to look at in the news today as part of the news cycle. You have to look at and say, “Could this really be true?” You know, the problem is we read these headlines, we read stories and we just go, “Yeah, another cop tasers a four year old,” or whatever it is and so you tend to yawn after about 500of those stories. And I think that the danger is you tend to even look at police officers in an incorrect way because you kind of just read headlines and they’re not part of your local… certainly the police here in Thompson aren’t tasering anybody and they’re kind of friends of ours. So our local police officers are good folks. So we don’t really have some of those incidents but those incidents take place, they’re shaping our country. They’re certainly shaping how we look and feel about that law enforcement. I think one of the things that happens is that people push off against that then. If a cop pulls you over after you read one of these stories, you’re likely to sort of have negative presuppositions, right, going into it. You’ve got some stuff going on in your head that probably might not really even be true but you kind of, you’ve got a little bit of an axe to grind before the guy even comes up and knocks on your window and wants to see your license. You’re mad because he’s the guy that shot that World War II veteran in the stomach.
Brian: Can you believe it? Can you believe it? Here’s the story, Bill, that you’re referencing, 95 year old man served his country during World War II is now dead after police stormed his retirement home. Let me get this, not a bunker, not a high rise right? Stormed his retirement home with riot shields. They tasered him. Shot him with bean bag rounds and you want to know what his crime was? This is a biggie. Want to know what his crime was? Refused to undergo a high risk surgery procedure that was scheduled for him.
Bill: In other words if you want to take it off the grid, if you want to just say, “You know what, my life’s been good. I don’t care if I die. I’m not afraid to meet my Maker. I’m perfectly happy with the outcomes,” you are a part of, you know, you’re estranged to society, you have a psychological defect in you. You need to be restrained, you need to be…. The rough edges need to be sanded off you and you need to be re-educated in a Soviet camp. This is Soviet techniques right? This is Stasi techniques from East Germany. That’s what you’ve got going on. I can’t even say, “You know what, I’m going to take my chances and if I die at ninety 95.7 or 96 then I’m going to be happy with that.” You want to get off the grid? You don’t want to go along with the medical establishment? There’s something wrong with you and you need to be attacked.
Brian: Well, let’s take that from the top of the list. I’d like to focus on today, and as you’ve heard me say my friend, in all the places that you and I have hung out in, all the places that we’ve traveled, I can make fun of people from West Virginia because I am from West Virginia. I can make fun of Irish people. I’ll call them a Mick, whatever I want because I am one, right? And I can make fun of cops because I’m an ex-cop. Any cop that would shoot a 95 year old man… Now, admittedly it was a 12 gauge shotgun but it fired a bean bag. Nonetheless, if your partner, your group, your SWAT team… and please if you’re listening and you have a friend that’s a cop please forward them the link to this show. If your SWAT team needs to use riot shields, needs to fire on a 95 year old man…
Bill: No Brian, but he had a shoe horn.
Brian: Oh boy, well talk about a cat-like reflexes. How much Geritol was that boy hopped up on? If you have to shoot a 95 year old man with a bean bag and taser him, you need to be fired. You are a coward and if you’re listening to the sound of my voice, you know you are. Now, this is not disparaging towards every cop. There are a lot of great law enforcement men and women out there. But to the good ones listening to my voice right now Bill, the cowards that I’m referencing are the ones that we used to talk about right after roll call. The ones that we would make fun of in the locker room. The ones that never should have been given a badge in the first place.
I’ll tell you a quick story. I can remember responding to a bar fight and for me, just again, being Irish kicked by a mule, whatever it is… bar fight, I’m in, whatever you know. I can remember a patrolman sitting across the way; I’m not going to mention his name, sitting across the way that didn’t want to be the first one in. So as I’m pulling in he calls in, “Control, blah-blah-blah-blah, I’m two miles out, tell 31 blah-blah-blah-blah I’m responding.” He sat in the parking lot, waited for me to… didn’t want to be the first one through the door because he knew his ass was going to get handed to him, and these are the same guys beat up in high school for their lunch money every day. Come out and what happens is now your record has to be so squeaky clean that you have every idea of how to pass a civil service exam but no idea about what it takes to be a cop. A cop isn’t a license to kill. A cop means that you possess a presence of mind to both protect and to serve, to know that you don’t use what could be conceived as deadly physical force on a 95 year old guy in a walker. If you’re listening you know exactly who you are, and you should resign and get out before you kill somebody else.
Bill: Well, Brian, I was always thinking, I attempted to think, because I grew up in a small town where, when I was little, the police officer, the chief of police didn’t carry a gun. In other words it’s a little bit like Mayberry. And later on of course they decided they’d like to arm themselves but I always wonder what would Andy and Barney do.
Now can you imagine, put yourself in the frame of mind, you’re Andy and Barney and, you know Otis is in the tank, you know, sobering up and the phone rings, and it’s somebody that says you’re supposed to go to a nursing home and take this guy by force. Well, number one Andy and Barney wouldn’t go to a nursing home to force someone to get an operation that they out of their own free will, their own volition decided that they themselves did not want, right. And this problem is even more… where it’s epidemic is with kids. In other words if parents say, “We don’t really want to do that particular vaccination,” or chemo-therapy or something and it’s part of the main stream and you step out of that main stream – I’m saying because I know a lot of parents who are outside the paradigm of modern medicine. They are criminals and they are child abusers according to the law. And the next thing you know, you’ve got a child abuse rap sheet on you. Talk about being clean to become a cop, you can’t become anything once you get a child abuse rap on you, and you can get one just by not doing what the officials would like you to do. And it could be against your conscience or it could just be a good decision. You might say, “You know what, I’ve talked to some other health practitioners and I’ve decided to do X for my child or myself, or my grandfather,” and once you make that decision, man. You know, we like to think we’re a country of freedom where you have all these freedoms to things when you don’t have. This is a police state man.
Brian: Well, when you think that this happened in Forest Park, or Park Forest…
Bill: Not too far from here.
Brian: Not too far of here, five to seven police officers according to a witness, five to seven police officers were on the scene. So picture this for a sec, Bill. Everyone’s all fired up now about stand-your-ground laws. So stand-your-ground laws are situated in such a way is that you as a public citizen, you are not forced to retreat if you’re threatened with force. You’re telling me that between five and seven, let’s split the difference, let’s make it six – six Park Force police officers couldn’t overcome one guy with a shoe horn? They should all be fired. They should all be charged, and I’d fire the chief at Park Forest just to finish out my day. Five to seven guys rush a 95 year old with a shoe horn, and that’s your idea of being a good cop? Really? Really?
Bill: That’s poor police work, just because you have to use wisdom and I mean, I think there’s no… where’s the wisdom Brian, in something like this? You send folks out. I mean how does it even get dispatched?
Brian: Well, they call them because the paramedics were forcibly trying to go so you send a car. They send a SWAT team to get a 95 year old World War II veteran armed with a shoe horn. You say, “Put the shoe horn down.” Then you think to yourself, “Okay, he’s 95 years old, maybe he’s hard of hearing. He’s not going to drop the shoe horn.” So you take off your riot helmet you little wuss; you drop your shield, you little wuss, and you go over and you take the shoe horn away from him. You don’t shoot him. You don’t shoot him. Take of your riot helmet, put your shield down, tell the five knobs with you to stand down, “I’ll go take this deadly weapon away from a 95 year old.”
Bill: That’s going to calm him down, isn’t it – sending a SWAT team in there dressed in black?
Brian: A World War II vet. Now let’s just say the five cops didn’t know he was…
Bill: He fought against people dressed in black.
Bill: He fought against Hitler’s Nazis, and here they are again. Here they are again.
Brian: Great idea, great idea. Park Force should be ashamed and the people at Park Force should call for those five out, today. And if the chief gives you any bunk, he should be out. Five guys can’t take away a shoe horn from a 95 year old guy? Really? I mean just stop for a second. You’re allowed to use that amount of force which is necessary to terminate an aggressive attack. Now, if the story read, “One of the cops pulled his own two foot shoe horn and a sword fight ensued, and the 95 year old died of a heart attack,” I’m good with it right? You’re allowed to use that amount of force which is necessary to terminate an aggressive act. Then go shoe horn the shoe horn. Where do they find these people to be cops anymore? I’m embarrassed. When you look at people like this now, let me just say before Jeramy gets all the e-mails, I have great friends that are still in law enforcement. I know great, really honorable men and women that serve in law enforcement, law enforcement communities around the country. They are not fans of these five guys. I can tell you right now they’re making fun of them, and they don’t want them going on a call with them. Remember the one guy that was shot in the doorway of his house with the golf club?
Bill: I do remember that.
Brian: An entire SWAT team? One of you… look, now granted I’ve been training this same martial art for 70…35 something years now, taking away a shoe horn, taking away from a golf club is like day 101 of how to disarm someone. Day one of kindergarten for cops, whatever police academy they went to, day one is how to disarm somebody with a baseball bat. We’re not even talking a baseball bat, Bill, a shoe horn. What could have been the physical injury clad in your little helmet, protected by your little shield, hanging out with your gang of seven? What damage could a shoe horn launched at you, swung at you by the musculature that is a 95 year old whose muscles are so weak he needs a walker, Bill, to get around? What damage could have…? I’d be surprised if you and I could crack an egg. That should be our next show; we should get a two foot long shoe horn and see if we hit it with full force, what it would crack and what it wouldn’t. It’s despicable. It’s dishonorable, and they should all be fired.
Bill: What would be fun to see, Brian, and despicable to see at the same time, but just I think the training that goes on behind the scenes with these guys where… look, they’ve been propagandized that it’s an us-and-them world out there.
Bill: They’re being militarized instead of protecting and serving. Remember it used to actually say Drag Net, remember the show Drag Net? It used to be that our police officers were trained in ‘protect and serve’ and that theme undergirded everything that they said, everything that they did. You had a few loose cannons of course. There are always those loose cannons but it wasn’t pervasive. Now it’s pervasive in the bigger cities because of the training that goes on. Now you get federal money that comes out even in the little counties like this to train their sheriff’s department. How do they train their sheriff’s department? With the same gear, with the same stuff, everyone wants black equipment…
Brian: You want to know why? Because they’re cowards.
Bill: They want tanks.
Brian: They want to play army, they don’t go after drug dealers, they don’t go after gangs with the weapons which is why you don’t see arrests happening in Chicago, because they can’t withstand the fire power. They’re cowards. You know, there’s an old saying we used to have, “I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by six,” right? And you’ve heard of the ‘thin blue line’. Thin blue line still exists today, it’s us against them. But there are other great cops that go, “No, it isn’t us against them.”
I can tell you last summer I was down at Wrigley Field getting ready to go to a Cubs game; you know right across the way there’s a McDonalds. So I whip in, hit the McDonalds and get my French fries, I come up at the traffic light, road patrol cop’s standing there, reaches in and grabs two of my French fries. That’s what it means to be a cop. You’re a regular guy, you’re a regular girl, you build a rapport with the community. I said, “Hey, I’d offer you a sip of my pop but it’s Diet Coke,” he goes, “I don’t drink that crap.” But that’s what it means to be cop, just to be a human being, to be compassionate. And when it’s time to go to guns, when it’s time to protect people then you do it. But how are they serving and protecting a community five of them clad like storm troopers from Star Wars can’t take a shoe horn away from a 95 year old?
Bill: Well let’s take this a little bit further and examine why this is coming and why it’s not likely to recede or be eliminated. What happens is, let’s say for example there’s seven guys that get ordered to go someplace or maybe there’s ten and you say, “Go to the nursing home because we want to use force on this guy who doesn’t want his operation. We want to forcibly give him an operation. He doesn’t want to get one.” So what happens is if you had a couple of good cops, let’s say Andy is there among them and he says, “You know, that’s a foolish use of government time. That’s a foolish use of tax payer dollars. I’m not going.” What happens? And what you get Brian, is this version of Gresham’s law where you don’t… in the financial world you’ve got this world where it’s the reason we don’t have any silver coins in circulation anymore, bad coinage forces good coinage out because of the evaluation scheme. You’ve got the same thing where bad cops then eventually force good cops out because the good cops that won’t go and say, “You know, but that’s a bit of foolishness and it’s a bureaucratic decision from on high following policy,” those cops get fired. And so the cops that are mindless drones, mindless idiots, they’re the ones that get promoted. They’re the ones that get increasing responsibility because they say, if you say, “Shoot that citizen” they’re going to go and shoot that citizen. And another guy says, “Hey, wait a second, I’m reading the constitution and I’m just wondering if…” and they’re going to say “You’re fired, buddy.”
Bill: Our own Dave Fink, a family member of his just quit the military because of something really interesting; he was a colonel. He just quit because he said the people that work under him, under his command would not… he finally came to the conclusion that if there was strife in this country, this is a guy inside the belly of the beast, and he said, “I cannot be in this anymore because these young people would fire on civilians without a second of hesitation.” And he just said, “It’s too much for me. I can’t do it anymore,” in other words they don’t know what the constitution is, these young kids coming into it and so… Look what happened to Microcosm with him. He was a good guy who knows his constitution, he knows his role and he served proudly, and he served in a very distinguished way but he said, “I want out.” So he took early retirement because he did not want to be involved in that, because the sheer numbers of people in the service now, as we’re finding in the police force as well, is becoming just “Do what you’re told.”
Brian: And that’s a violation, when you look at law enforcement and we should say that the police report in this particular instance says that the individual armed himself with a 12 inch butcher knife, but nobody else remembers seeing the knife. No-one can figure out how he got a 12 inch long butcher knife into his room. So in the interest of telling both sides of the story, they say he armed himself with this knife. Well, if you have shields Bill, a 12 inch knife wielded by a 95 year old guy means one thing; if you couldn’t take it away from him, if you had to shoot him with a bean bag you violated the original oath that you swore when they handed you your badge. Any soldier that you just referenced that would fire on civilians, unarmed civilians are already violating the oath that they took.
And let me say before anyone says, “Well, you don’t know anything, you weren’t in the military,” boloney, I most certainly was. I was honorably discharged as a weapons specialist. So I know exactly the kind of mind-set you have to have. Having a gun doesn’t mean you get to shoot someone, it means you use everything else you possibly can until your life or the life of someone else is threatened to such a degree that deadly physical force is the only answer. The family has every right to wonder what’s going on and someone should go. Someone should absolutely go because of this. It’s embarrassing and I hate to even think… if it weren’t for all the good people, as I said, still in it I’ve just never been one of those kinds of cops.
Bill: And here’s where another part of this story comes in because the police are in charge of enforcing the law. And so where are the laws made and what laws are being made? So this goes down the block a little bit, and we have to kind of, if we’re going to be good detectives Brian, I know you’ve done that as well, you just keep pushing back and you find out, all right, what’s the next step, what’s the next step, where are we. So if you look at something like hate crime laws, another thing that police officers have to enforce, and a lot of the things that are just absolutely counter-intuitive to a police officer. So there you have Gresham’s law in action again. You have people – the Andy’s are going to say. “I’m not going to…Aren’t there some people dealing drugs? Aren’t there some people involved in burglary?” Whatever the laws are that are currently in the books, they’re meaningful laws that, that laws that maybe hold society together, is there a way that we should be pursuing the criminals engaged in those activities? Or do we want to attack old men? Do we want to make sure that all the hate crime stuff is enforced so that if you can call yourself a Mick, but if I call you a Mick, Brian – I’m not calling you a Mick officially – but if I did…?
Brian: You’re welcome to, you know me.
Bill: But if I did, then that’s a hate crime. And then as I look out the door, I’m looking now for the five to seven SWAT team members that could by law, come get me, attack me, beat me up, throw me into jail, prosecute me, put me in prison, and then at tax payers expenses all of this costing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s meaningless. It’s superficial, counter-productive to society, creates tensions in society that didn’t need to exist between the police and the citizenry.
Brian: Absolutely, and that’s the… real cops, Bill, and I can tell because I was one of the youngest detectives promoted, although at the time they called it a criminal investigator. I was one of the youngest investigators ever promoted in my department and you know why? You’re going to think, “Oh Brian, because you had great investigative skills.” No, do you know why I was promoted? Because I refused to do vehicle and traffic law. I refused to do it. I’m not writing people speeding tickets. I’m not writing seatbelt tickets. I’m not writing people tickets for having head lights out. So early on I worked on burglaries and robberies and drug cases and assaults and batteries, things that I felt a cop should be there to do. In my estimation a cop is there to protect the citizenry against bad guys. They’re not there to prey on the citizenry right? Big difference.
Bill: No, no. No. I’m not so sure that that… I mean… well.
Brian: Yes. That’s what I say. When I took the oath it was to protect them from bad guys. I wanted the rapists, the burglars, the robbers, the guys that in my estimation were committing real crimes. But you have all kinds of patrolmen today that will busy themselves writing seatbelt infractions…
Bill: Let me tell you a little story. It’s about a man named Jed that could barely keep his family fed. No it’s not that story. It’s a story of a large metropolitan area not too far from here; well it’s about five hours from here. And it’s one of the biggest and probably one of the best police forces in the country really. One of our friends works there, and he did a lot of research and decided to go to this particular city to become a police officer. Of course we were all young and idealistic and with this happening through all the schooling and stuff that you needed to do. And I’ll never forget his dad is a friend of mine, him and I talking about… because you know they have the meetings every day before you go out, you know your group, you have your meetings and, “Let’s be careful out there.”
Brian: Sure. Ah, remember Hill Street Blues? That’s right.
Bill: That’s a Hill Street Blues line, because everyone gets together and there’s criminals at one… there’s things going on in the city, they get briefed. One of the things that this young man just, he came he was very idealistic about doing the right thing, he came to sort of not appreciate so well about what ordinarily is one of the better police forces in the country, is that they have to meet payroll. In other words, the city’s running out of money. So you can kind of know how this goes. So instead of going after the bad guys, here’s what the sergeant says, that Hill Street Blues sergeant that you’re making reference to, he says, “Guys, we’re running out of money. Here’s what I want you to do.” And it’s not exactly in this language but, “You know those Hispanic kids with those crazy cars, don’t stop them because they won’t pay their fine. They won’t. They’ll clog up the system.”
So basically what they say to these guys is go find middle aged white people that have halfway decent cars, preferably female, arrest them if they’re speeding, do whatever it is. You’re watching that group primarily looking for them to make a mistake because they’ll pay their tickets. They won’t go to court. They’ll pay their tickets, they have enough money to pay the tickets, they don’t want to be hassled, and so it becomes financial. Now, we’ve heard about Detroit. We know about Chicago. We know about New York. We know about L.A. These are places that are under water financially, so how do you think those Hill Street Blues sergeants in every one of those areas, all the precinct captains, how do you think they talk to their people? They’re now in charge of revenue enhancement as well.
Brian: It still goes on today. If we have listeners that see a DUI checkpoint, right, forgetting just for a minute the whole concept of the fourth amendment. So you pull up to a DUI checkpoint. You ready for this? None of those cops are on duty. They’re all being paid overtime. They’re not normal road patrol because road patrol has got to be able to respond right, to Control, if anything comes in you know, “Car 54, car 54” you’ve got be able to go here or there. Those cops are being paid overtime based on prior DUI arrests because of the fines for DUI’s, the local prosecuting attorneys, District Attorney’s office, prosecutor’s office and the like, a good portion of them around the country incentivize those arrests by giving that money in a bundle to pay for the overtime for more DUI checkpoints.
Bill: It’s a self-feeding dog.
Brian: It’s a self-feeding dog, and anyone that doesn’t think it happens, anyone of you out there that are guilty of doing this and you know you are, call Jeramy. Send me an e-mail, do whatever you want but you know you’re doing it. So you’re basically, and I don’t want to say that… look, if you’re looking for a DUI because you think you’re going to save someone else’s life, God love you. If you’re looking for a DUI because it’s going to guarantee more overtime pay for you, you really need to rethink why you took the gun and the badge in the first place.
Bill: And Brian, let’s think about this as we kind of wind down, you have the decline of morality and the decline of morality runs across the gambit even into our police force, even to our judges, even to our prosecutors, our precinct, all the people involved, their moral compass is different than it was 50 years ago. So you have that as a factor. And then you also have just what has to happen to stay paid. So you’re talking about, the survival of the organism. And one thing we know about organisms whether they’re an amoeba or whether they’re a giraffe or whether they’re a police department in Chicago or precinct in Chicago, it wants to survive.
Brian: Or a spineless jelly fish.
Bill: It wants to survive, even a spineless jelly fish wants to survive. And its main priority in life is survive, that’s the number one, it’s almost like Mazla, right, it’s number one. So in order to protect and serve, at least in their minds, you’ve got to survive. So you’ve got these cross-cultural issues that are shaping and transforming things, and I don’t even know, it’s like asking a fish if he’s in water, I don’t even know that most people in law enforcement really understand the trends that are shaping our world, but they’re a product of it as we all are. We can’t say, “Oh, somehow they’ve stayed pure and clean and the gangs have gone and done this, but the police department is…” We’ve all fallen a little bit since, you know, progressively over time.
Brian: I can give two things that jump to my mind when you say that, Bill. One, I think you’re right, it’s the old guard, I’ve got all kinds of people that follow us of Facebook, cops that reach out and go, ”Hey, thanks for saying that. Thanks for letting everybody know that we’re not all cowards,” right? “We’re not all hell-bent on violating the rights of the citizenry, that there are still some good cops out there.”
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much. Bill, I should thank you for always letting my alter ego out here. So if you are either a race baiter or a cowardly cop, please feel free to reach out at any point. We’d love to have you on our show and as Bill has always said, if you disagree with us we’d absolutely love to have you on our show. We don’t invite people on that necessarily agree with everything we say. So continue… send the Facebook, the tweets, everything that you do to reach out to us. We really do take a look at those, and we respond to those comments based on the content of our show. So thank you so very much on behalf of everyone, once again from our parent company Solutions from Science, thank you so much for giving us an hour or thereabouts of your time. We know that’s very precious, and it really is an honor. Bill tells me all the time how truly much, how he enjoys spending that hour with you. Thank you so very much, until next time.