One of these good cops, Adam Basford, may still be successfully jailed by the corrupt thugs who drove him from the force.
Here is the nation’s best police abuse journalist, Will Griggs, on Basford’s training and ethics:
The source of Basford’s trouble is the fact that he didn’t define his professional identity in tribal terms.
“My oath was to the public, not to protect abusive fellow officers,” he declares. “I swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution as an Air Force officer, and I took that seriously. I’m not a religious man, but I also believe that there will be a final judgment of some kind, and that I will be accountable for every punch, every kick, every baton strike, and of course every round I fire. I don’t think that attitude was commonplace among my colleagues.”
Basford’s military background, counterintuitively, reinforced his restraint in using force for purposes he considered defensive.
“In the military, at least when and where I served, we were forbidden to inflict punishment on civilians and were required to use force only in response to an attack,” he recalled. “I found that the rules of engagement for the police were much less restrictive. If I had engaged in the kind of behavior I witnessed on the part of the police while I was in the military I’d be residing in Leavenworth right now.”
Basford had to leave the force because he chose to apprehend a dangerous armed suspect without resorting to lethal force due to the presence of a child nearby. He called for backup and, because he had reported abuse, officers refused to come to his aid. They only showed up after he had managed to save his life and subdue the suspect without killing him. At that point, when Basford drew his weapons because he thought the suspect might be reaching for a second concealed weapon, his fellow officers drew their weapons on him and pretended he was attempting to execute a suspect even though he had risked his life to avoid a deadly confrontation moments before.
Basford told Griggs,
They heard me get shot. They heard me scream for assistance. They were just two blocks away – but they were fifteen minutes from the end of their shift, and they went back to the station instead of coming to my aid.
Also, during the struggle, after Basford was wounded, another officer showed up…
He saw what was going on, heard me scream at him… We made eye contact, and he turned and ran away.
Basford is now unable to work, since he is wounded.
On August 18 – exactly one year after his life-altering fight with Cardenas – Basford had a preliminary hearing on a charge of “filing a false report to a public servant.” If the case goes to trial, and Basford loses, he may spend a year in jail – twice as much time as the recidivist felon who shot him in the leg.
Given Basford’s experience as a conscientious officer with the Yakima PD, it’s not surprising that he now faces a patently retaliatory charge for filing a police misconduct report as a civilian.
“I ran into Yates outside a gun shop, and he smirked at me and grabbed his gun,” Basford told me. “I had seen him do this same thing many times on the street in an effort to provoke somebody he wanted to rough up and arrest. I thought his conduct was threatening and unprofessional, so I filed a complaint with his supervisor.”
Basford cannot afford legal counsel and his public defender is pretty useless. The city is trying to maneuver him into a plea deal that will lead to him being at the mercy of the police.
What kind of things made Basford an enemy both when he was a cop and now?
“Our job was to investigate crimes and arrest suspects, not to inflict punishment,” Basford continues. “I saw countless instances in which officers” — including, he says, Ryan Yates, who pulled drew his gun on him in the Cardenas incident – “would goad and mistreat people during contacts in the street, and then arrest them without cause. I really tried to do the job in a different way. I would get out of my patrol vehicle and talk with people about what was going on in their neighborhoods – and I always explained to them that they didn’t have to talk to me, and that they could say anything they wanted to me without fear of reprisal. I’m not going to pretend that I was perfect, but I did try to do my job – at least, the job as I understood it.”
That job, as Basford perceived it, meant protecting the rights of suspects following an arrest, and he had no patience for what he described as the routine abuse of prisoners.
“It was a common practice to turn off the video monitor and the lights when officers were dealing with what they called a `lippy’ prisoner, especially if it was an intoxicated woman,” Basford narrates. “This wasn’t done for the safety of the inmate or the officers. It was a cruel, abusive, and completely wrong. So I filed a complaint about it – and from that time, I was on my own. I later filed several excessive force complaints. I was an officer who had crossed the Blue Line, which meant that none of my supposed brother officers would ever have my back.”
I have only offered a brief introduction to this detailed and enraging report. If you want to know why it is so important for conservatives to fight against criminal police, if nothing else will move you, consider that they are out to hunt down and destroy any police officer with integrity and respect for the law.