No Super Powers & Police Powers

Anyone interested in becoming an active RLSH neighborhood watch patrol needs to understand that they have absolutely no rights, privileges, nor powers, over and above what every other citizen possesses.. and absolutely NO POLICE POWERS! 
This can not be emphasized enough.  Several RLSH have actually been arrested for interfering with police during the performance of their duties, or for confronting citizens in an illegal manner.  Wearing a mask and cape makes you no different than the people you seek to help.  Remember that.
Also keep in mind that criminals do not have more rights than you do, but they do have the same rights you do, and those rights have to be respected or you will open yourself up to the legal troubles of possible charges and/or litigation.
Might does not make Right.. nor does thinking you are right make you right.  You can make a difference on the streets, but not if you are no longer on the streets.  Know the law, know the consequences of your actions, and stay out of trouble.
Stay Safe
 

Proposed Standards for the RLSH Community

Okay, let’s break this down into each separate component. Some people honestly act like there is some sort of hidden clause or tricky “small print” that they have to watch out for before agreeing to these standards.
“LET IT BE KNOWN That we, the undersigned, do hereby agree and affirm:”
… If you believe in the standards, shouldn’t standing up for and endorsing them be something to be proud of?
That Everyone has the Right to feel Safe in their own homes, and in their home communities.”
… Anyone object to this statement?
“That it is the responsibility of Concerned Citizens to help Create and Maintain Safety, and Reduce Suffering, within their home communities.”
… That is why we do what we do is it not? Because we understand that our communities need the help of everyday citizens and volunteers?
“That Concerned Citizens can Respond in a Lawful Manner to Safely, and Effectively, Reduce Violence and Criminal Activity within their communities.”
… Does anyone feel the need to break the law to make a difference? Does agreeing to obey the law make you nervous for some reason?
“That Everyone has the Right to Dignity, Respect, Fair Treatment, Safety, and Choice.”
… Any problems with this? Does anyone have a good reason everyone isn’t worthy of respect and being treated decently?
“ARTICLE ONE: ORGANIZATION – Signatories have the Right to Lawfully organize and structure themselves however they wish, free from outside interference. No rule, nor restriction, shall be made to infringe upon this Right.”
… Does anyone feel that someone else has the right to tell them how to organize their own group, or tell them what to do (as long as they aren’t breaking the law)?
“ARTICLE TWO: JURISDICTION – Signatories shall be free to operate without restriction within their home territories, provided they stay within the boundaries of the established Laws and Regulations of said territory.”
… If you’re not doing anything illegal, and aware of the local laws under which you can legally operate, is there a problem?
“ARTICLE THREE: FUNDING – Signatories shall have no responsibility for the expenses of any individual, or group, other than themselves.”
… Should any other RLSH, or group, be responsible for your expenses? If someone donates equipment to you, that’s fine, but should anyone expect other RLSH to give them free stuff and money? Hell No.
ARTICLE FOUR: MEDIATION – Signatories shall have the Right to seek Fair Mediation in matters involving possible disputes between Signatory individuals, or groups.”
… If someone makes an accusation, someone else needs to act as a mediary to clear up the matter, otherwise we end up with more drama and bullshit backbiting. There are always trustworthy volunteers, so agreeing to this doesn’t mean you agree to “jury duty”.
“ARTICLE FIVE: LEGALITY – Signatories affirm that they are private citizens, not Law Enforcement Officers, nor do they possess any special arrest powers, and shall abide by the Laws, Rules, and Regulations of their individual home communities.”
… If someone has actual arrest powers they’re already bound by specific laws and policies. This statement is for everyone else that says they understand they’re nothing more than citizens, plain and simple.
 

What Martial Art Should An RLSH Learn?

What Martial Art Should An RLSH Learn?

Next, after you have learned how to defend yourself, what constitutes defending yourself, and the knowledge necessary for covering yourself legally, you must then learn what are called, “Control and Restraint” techniques, as well as the laws governing, Use of Force, and, Citizen’s Arrest, in your location. All too often people interpret such phrases as, “you may use what force is necessary to stop and detain a suspect”, as meaning they can pound on someone until he submits to their holding him prisoner. This is a grievious misinterpretation on their part. The general rule for application of force is that only necessary force may be used. When force is applied by an individual (for example, to protect life, or property), the amount of force permissible is, likewise, only that which is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. You are not authorized to beat the crap out of a rapist, or a child molester. The amount of force that can legally be used is only that which is necessary to stop and detain the suspect. End of story.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 2:37 PM
 

What Constitutes An RLSH?

What Constitutes An RLSH?

One important note to all of this, is the fact that any and all of these activities must be accomplished while obeying and working within the law.  Working outside the law, breaking the law, and the promotion of such activities, is generally accepted within the greater superhero community as falling under, “vigilantism”.  Vigilantes are criminals, no matter how they see themselves or rationalize their actions.  They see themselves as a law unto themselves, and promote their own personal brand of morality and justice as superior to the rules and restrictions of society.  Anyone in the superhero community that refers to themselves as a vigilante, is either ignorant of how the community views law breakers within the ranks, or doesn’t care what anyone thinks.  These folks usually learn better and shape up, or ship out.  The community does not look kindly upon those who’s attitudes and activities reflect poorly on the rest of us, or make us look like dangerous criminals.  More than a few vigilantes have been uncovered and turned over to the police over the years.The superhero community also has unwritten, though pretty obvious, rules of conduct.  These rules have developed over time to help reinforce the image and ideals of the superhero community.  Community members are expected to treat themselves and others with respect, and dignity.  They are also expected to carry themselves in public in a manner that  upholds the ideals of the community and does not contradict what the community stands for.  Public intoxication, arguing with police officers, urinating on the sides of buildings, shouting racist comments, and similar behaviors are clearly unacceptable.  The community does, and has, ostracized individuals who act this way.  What gives the community the right to distance themselves from these “heroes”?  The actions of an individual can, and has, affected how the public sees the rest of us.  While an individual does have the right to do what they want, they do not have the right to speak for the rest of us, making us all look like amateur morons, racists, or alcoholics.
posted by Silver Sentinel @ 6:29 AM
 

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: VIGILANTE?

I’m a citizen who patrols the community. Obviously I support this public safety concept.
Police aren’t the only ones who should walk ( or ride ) the streets on the alert for trouble. Nobody should act like he’s above the law while doing so.
George Zimmerman, Florida neighborhood watch captain-cum-possible murder suspect also believes in citizens patrol. State and federal officials will determine if his beliefs include homicide.
News accounts of his fatal shooting of Black teenager Trayvon Martin should cause citizen patrollers to pause and seriously assess what we do.
We aren’t police officers and, unlike bad cops, are easily liable for civil and criminal offenses. Stopping people on the street without evidence of crime is outside our scope. Suspicions should be either documented or reported to police for investigation.
That issue troubles me- greatly.
Playing police officer ( if that’s what Zimmerman was doing ) undermines the citizens patrol concept.
We’re supposed to be vigilant not vigilantes. Confronting people and shooting them if we’re on the confrontation’s losing end isn’t what citizens patrol represents.
George Zimmerman is strongly suspected of acting like a vigilante; has placed an entire movement in a bad light and inflamed already lit racial tensions to boot.
Just what good citizens needed.
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT BLACK promotes creative crime prevention, citizens patrol included. Good Citizens Supporting Good Cops is his group. (504) 214-3082. http://www.reallifesuperheroes.org/wiki/captain-black/
 

BLACK COP APPRECIATION MONTH

 Nadra Enzi

http://moveonup.ning.com/profiles/blogs/black-cop-appreciation-month


BLACK COP APPRECIATION MONTH ( January 2012 ) is another effort to unite public safety’s two most ( ironically ) balkanized groups: Black male citizens and Black police officers.
 
In the spirit of Dr. King Black men should recognize brothers and sisters in law enforcement as a ” minority within a minority ” whose unique experiences with discrimination include once not even being able to arrest White people; being subjected to more disciplinary action than peers and the unique frustration of not being ” Black enough for some in the community and not blue enough for some fellow officers. “
 
Black citizen/police unity creates relationships and shares resources necessary to reduce murder rates rivaling Third World casualties.
 
In some ways creating such unity constitutes another quantum leap in civil rights.
 
Eventually this can give rise to teams of Black male citizens and police patrolling high crime areas addressing quality of life and safety issues as shareholders instead of current cold war conditions.   
 
Is a simple word of appreciation or  ” thank you ” invitation for Black officers to dine at local Black owned restaurants asking too much?
 
Especially when crime and mutual hostility threaten both Black male citizens and Black officers more than other Americans? 
 
NADRA ENZI AKA CAPT BLACK promotes creative activism in crime prevention; homeless outreach and political advocacy. He’s also the founder of Good Citizens Supporting Good Cops. (504) 214-3082 and [email protected]

 

Why Don't You Be A Cop?

I’m sure this topic gets brought up a lot. Perhaps every RLSH who actively patrols gets asked the same thing. Whether it be by the general populace or an interviewer. It’s a perfectly understandable question too. I’m sure everyone’s reasons are different. After all, the epitome of the crime fighter, really is, a police officer. They do everything a crime fighting RLSH does: they patrol the streets, they are equipped with gear and body armor, and they look out for crime and are generally there to protect other people, complete strangers.
The biggest difference between a cop and a RLSH is though, that they get PAID. and They have benefits like life and health insurance. So if anything happens, they are taken care of. The same is not so true for costumed crime fighters. So, why wouldn’t you be a cop?
Before I continue, this is not in any way to criticize the police or try and detract from what they do at all/ Whatever you may feel for the recent actions during Occupy protests, the police, as a whole, are there for you. They keep us safe and enforce laws that usually need enforcing.
So why don’t I want to be a cop? Well, I’ve never really been interested in “law enforcement” before, i.e. writing tickets and enforcing municipal codes. I’ve been more interested in just helping people and protecting people. I’m not about writing tickets and filing paperwork.
God, I hate paperwork.
I also prefer to set my own hours, do my own thing and live by my own code of conduct (so long as that code obeys the law). I’m not really restricted by guidelines or policies. I am my own boss and can really just patrol whatever area I want, when I want. How I want. As a RLSH I am not limited to where my boss assigns me: I don’t have to be stuck behind a desk, or bumped down in rank. Office politics do not affect me. I have practically absolute freedom.
Besides, I get to wear a cool costume.
There are many benefits to be a police officer, and they do a lot of good and they help put the bad guys away, there is no denying that.
I think my personal beliefs and lifestyle choices are best reflected as the RLSH I am.
 

Vigilantes should be able to fight crime without being interfered with

Originally posted: http://sundial.csun.edu/2011/10/vigilantes-should-be-able-to-fight-crime-without-being-interfered-with/
By Ron Rokhy
Since its inception, America has had its fair share of criminals — and people who fight them.
But before there even was a Supreme Court to combat crime, one group did: we, the people. In 1760, citizens in North Carolina took up arms against corrupt officials, marking the first known instance ofvigilantism in America’s history.
Branded as vigilantes, citizens who skip due process and punish criminals in the name of justice are seen as heroes by their peers, but many times, their actions are deemed unlawful by the government — and could land them in hot water.
But should their actions be illegal? Is it wrong for private individuals to take matters into their own hands and fight for what’s right when it can’t be done through legal means?
Absolutely not. Vigilantes, in a way, are like a bandage. When the legal system’s armor cracks and people like OJ Simpson use loopholes to get away with murder, or when victims get hit with frivolous lawsuits from burglars who injure themselves during break-ins, they step in and try to  glue everything back together.
America has a certain law that makes little sense: If someone witnesses a non-violent crime, such as a break-in or a theft, they’re not allowed to physically interfere. Putting their hands on a criminal could result in assault charges, such as the case of the Phoenix Jones, the real-life Seattle superhero, who pepper-sprayed two people he said were fighting.
Crime-fighters like Jones and his rag-tag group of criminal fighters, who patrol streets donning capes and costumes, shouldn’t be arrested for stopping criminals, they should instead be given medals for supplying the public with the swift kind of justice that our government can’t always provide.
People shouldn’t be forced to sit idly by and wait for police to show up. If they feel they can stop a criminal in the process of an illegal act, they should do so without the fear of getting hit with excessive force charges.
In 2010, a man in Washington was brought up on assault charges because he kicked a burglar in the face as police arrived and witnessed the event. Indicting people for forcefully punishing those that wronged them is counterproductive because it shows tolerance towards crime.
Criminals caught in the act shouldn’t enjoy protection just because a citizen busted them instead of a police officer — they should have little to no rights at all.
Don’t want to get beat? Don’t do something stupid. Simple, really.
However, some people argue that vigilantes risk getting the wrong person, violating the “innocent until prove guilty” presumption. For example, Michael Zenquis was wrongly beaten in the summer of 2009 because a group of people thought he was a child rapist.
That being said, it’s important to note that the legal system faces the same kind of downfall.
Alton Logan spent 26 years in a prison after being falsely convicted of a murder he did not commit. If mistakes are grounds for deeming something illegal or immoral, then our justice system fits the bill as well.
As a society, we should embrace self-policing and actively be involved in it, even if it means cracking down harshly on criminals.

“Super friend’s divorce” Or…”How Super teams are just like real relationships”

“Super friend’s divorce”
Or…”How Super teams are just like real relationships”
Here’s why…
So I’m sitting in front of a client’s house today waiting for him to come home & I’m talking to one of my Super children.
“Don’t make me choose between the two of you.” Is basically what he’s saying to me and I’m reassuring him that his Super parents both love him equally & would never do anything like that to him.
That’s when it occurs to me how much my involvement with a super team has been like an actual relationship.
I met my Super partner a little over 4 years ago on the internet, we had both been in the game for over a decade (Him even longer) and it was love at first sight. He was the Batman to my Superman, The Moon-Knight to my Hyperion, The Spock to my Kirk, The Chip to my Dale, basically whatever genre you stuck us in we were the team.
At first everything was beautiful, as it is in most new relationships. A unstoppable team with vast experience in varying fields who when we put our knowledge together were completely unstoppable. Things were so great that like in a real relationship, we decided to take the next big step & tie the knot officially…
…Forming an actual legal team.
And along with that union comes more members, responsibility, stress etc. Then like in a lot of relationships, infatuation wears thin, and people start acting like people again. You get tired of your super spouse leaving their body armor on the floor, they get sick of you hanging your cape over their favorite chair, they want to fly, you want to take the nuclear powered car, then it happens…
“I think we should see other people.”
So…you do.
“There’s plenty of Superheroes in the sea” (Nowadays anyway) you talk to them on the internet and you travel around on “Business trips” where you actually meet up with them and while you’re away your super spouse is doing the same thing.
Then it happens.
It’s Divorce time.
If you’re lucky (And it appears I have been) you’re super spouse breaks up amicably. You go your own ways, He keeps right on protecting Gotham & you keep a watchful eye on Metropolis, you breathe a sigh of relief and get on with your life except for one small detail.
“Who gets the Super kids?”
Back when you thought it would just “last forever” or “Our star crossed Super Team will NEVER fail!” or whatever crap you told yourself the two of you decided that a great expression of your devotion would be little Supers to carry on in your name, now that it’s over…what happens to them?
Which brings me back to the beginning of the story, and reassuring one of my Super Kids that both his super parents love him equally & I could hear in his voice the strain of him wondering what the other one would think if he went & fought crime with the other one and so on & so on. I’ve decided not to fight for custody, Super kid was always closer to my Super Spouse (Both emotionally & geographically) & he’s a good influence on him. I’ll just ask for visitation on occasional weekends. Also the divorce seems to be amicable so far & I’m sure my Super Spouse will want full custody & our Super kids have been through enough already. I expect big things from my Super kid, and I’ll always be there if he needs a hand. I don’t think I could ask for much more.
So all this has lead me to the Conclusion that Super Teams work a lot like relationships. Am I right or wrong? I’m not sure.
Do I advise you to take heed of this before you decide to join or form a team? Hell yes.
Was it all worth it? Hell yes, you learn from every experience, and there were a lot of good times too.
SH
 

Meet the Masked Crusaders Protecting the Women of Craigslist

Originally posted:

nyi01The police department leading the investigation into the Long Island Serial Killer is in some fairly serious disarray. The New York Post reported today that the head of the investigation, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, has been removed not just from the case, but from his job, because he let slip too many details to the press. He’s the one who told reporters that some of the bodies were wrapped in burlap, that the victims were prostitutes, and that the killer found them on Craigslist. He “embarrassed the department,” the Post’s source said.
With the investigation apparently stalled and the police fighting amongst themselves, who’s left to protect the women this killer preys on? It would appear that job has fallen to–or rather been seized by–a vigilante group calling itself the New York Initiative. Posing on their Facebook page dressed in retro-futuristic body armor and steampunk goggles, and calling themselves superheroes without irony, the group posted an ad on Craigslist last week offering its advice and services to sex workers:

If you absolutely don’t have a friend to help you [track your movements while on a date], you may use the services of the New York Initiative as your personal log book, as well as your rescue team in the event of an emergency. If you choose to do this, we will provide you with a number to call and a few one-number or one word codes you can say or text to us so that we can contact someone to assist you with a possibly violent date. Another idea is keeping us on speed dial, and if things get weird just call us and let the line open. We’ll know what’s going on immediately.
We also have other techniques which we can explain to you after confirmation via phone.

These guys obviously take themselves pretty seriously, but would some homicidal maniac do the same when they show up with their homemade armor and (presumably kind of foggy) goggles? And how long does it take to put all that stuff on, anyway? Regardless, they have a point: Letting somebody know where you are at all times and keeping in contact with a third party while on a date are both good techniques for sex workers to stay a little safer and still do their jobs.
Still, it’s hard to respond in earnest to the call from sex-worker advocates like writer Violet Blue to spread NYI’s message when they look like 12-year-olds at a Robocop-themed birthday party.