Police Kill Woman in Phoenix Airport: Gestapo Goons Strike Again

The incidence of police brutality in the U.S. has been on the steady rise since 9/11. Paul Craig Roberts did a nice job at indexing many of the more troubling recent cases.

One of the most common tendencies popping up is Cops Gone Wild With Tasers. This controversial method of subduing “criminals” has entered university police stations, where officers can take out all of their pent up rage against people with brains.

At the University of Florida, John Kerry watched in complete subservience to a group of rent-a-cops who arrested and tased a student attempting to press the former presidential candidate on why he didn’t challenge the 2004 election results. Of course, in a functioning democracy with a functioning civil society, the crowd watching would have risen to his defense, and the distinguished senator most certainly would have commanded down the officers. At least, the cops should be relieved of their duty and thrown in jail for assaulting and electrocuting an innocent student, and the senator should be immediately relieved of duty for not standing up for democracy. Kerry took an oath to the constitution in becoming senator, and here we have footage of him circumventing that oath.

Meanwhile, an Iranian-American student at UCLA was tased and arrested in a computer lab for not presenting his ID in what appeared to be a profiled check. At worst, this student was doing what I have done for years because I am a cheapskate: sneaking into university computer labs to get Internet for free. Lucky for me, I haven’t been tased yet for minor and non-violent crimes.

A classic example of this runs after midnight on MSNBC under the header To Catch a Predator. The concept is simple: bait and entrap a bunch of harmless pushovers into supposedly soliciting a minor for sex on the Internet. In none of these cases are the people guilty of the charge, because they in fact chatted with of-age decoys: pretty little 19 year olds prostituting themselves for the pigs. Nonetheless, the “predators” are normally shown being tackled and forcibly restrained as if they were in Al Qaeda. On at least one occasion, the supposed predator was tased before being thrown to the ground, despite video evidence of him not resisting arrest.

In all of these cases, imagined charges are used as an excuse for cops fetishizing a chance to brutalize and humiliate people. Yes, I would surmise that the real sexual deviants in To Catch a Predator are the men in blue, long known as closet cases with repressed sexual desires stemming from a totalitarian household in their childhood. The host, Chris Hanson, also likely suffers from a sexual disorder where humiliating desperate men helps make him feel better about his own inadequacies.

Nonetheless, the sexual disorders present in police officers aren’t sufficient to explain the third tendency to be discussed in this article: “Cops Gone Wild in Airports.” Any cop on this planet would dream of working in a post-9/11 American airport, where the Gestapo runs free. Because of the irrational hysteria that hit the mainstream of the country after 9/11, the cops can use security as a trump card to get away with anything, including murder.

Fortunately, we have Youtube. Here is footage of a young woman getting thrown around by cops at Reagan Airport in D.C. And here is coverage of an extraordinary case of an Iraq War veteran getting brutally beaten at McCarron Airport in Vegas.

However, neither of these amounted to the cruel and unusual punishment seen at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) on September 28th, where Carol Anne Gotbaum, wife of an influential labor advocate in New York, was restrained and ultimately killed.

The report officially handed down from the Goon Party of PHX was that Mrs. Gotbaum died while shackled and handcuffed in a holding cell at the airport. They claim that she was checked on every 15 minutes, until a 10-minute period elapsed wherein she stopped making noise. At this point, security spokespeople claim that she was found dead, with the handcuffs pulled around her neck, thus causing her suffocation.

Right. And so we should probably recruit Fox Mulder to handle the case, because short of witchcraft or black magic, this story can’t possibly be true.

Becky Ackers on LewRockwell.com has suggested another possibility: perhaps Gotbaum just so happened to be a contortionist. One out of every several thousand humans have the rare gift of extraordinary flexibility, where they can remove their shoulders from their sockets voluntarily, with little to no pain. So this could possibly explain how she was able to wrap handcuffs around her neck when they started around her wrists and behind her back.

More likely, she was killed when one of the coppers pinned her to the floor in response to her outrage at U.S. Airways’ mishandling of the departure process. A privileged Manhattan-ite, Gotbaum wasn’t used to having mindless bureaucrats push her around. But that’s what she had: idiots at an airport refusing to let her on a plane that was sitting out on the tarmac. The reason airport officials gave was that since 9/11 they can’t let people board a plane after the gate is closed, even before the departure time. She was also likely irate because the goons running the security checkpoint were responsible for the delay that caused her to miss her plane. She probably pleaded, as I would, in saying “How can you let me check in for a flight and go through security but then not let me on the plane!!!?”

I imagine that the rent-a-cops on hand were all obese or nearing it, as that is certainly the norm nowadays. Thus, a 250 lb. cop told to treat everyone as a possible terrorist meets a 120 lb. woman having a typical run in with airport workers, and he accidentally strangles her in his attempt to unjustly arrest her.

Then the cop, realizing that he killed her, panics and invents a story with the help of colleagues and supervisors, and they attempt to sell it to the public. The corporate press, as is also the modern day norm, then buys the story and only reluctantly reports conflicting accounts coming from the mouths of bystanders: some who claim that Gotbaum was unconscious before even making it to the holding cell.

What we have here is a continuation of the abuse of power by police officers that has been the norm since day one in the Land of the Free. What’s significantly new is that the abuse is no longer focused against racial and ethnic minorities, hippies, anarchists, communists and activists. Instead, in most of these cases, the victims were just white people with big mouths.

This probably means that I am wise to keep my main residence in Paris’ 12th arrondissement, as my living days in the states would be severely numbered.

However, civil society ought pipe up and start a public crusade against the growing Gestapo tendency in the United States. The other alternative is well predicted by 20th century history: you allow enough people with big mouths to be killed off, and there will soon be no one left to protect the remainder of the population.

Matt Reichel is a freelance writer and PhD student at Rutgers University. He can be reached at: mereichel@gmail.com. Read other articles by Matt, or visit Matt's website.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Bob said on October 8th, 2007 at 8:30am #

    Personally I have been outraged for so long now,and am completely digusted beyond relief.For several years now,My personal action is to completely boycott any commercialized Holiday season.Thanksgiving
    Christmas,Easter and so on.Cut their Revenue stream and refuse to be Harvested. Sure your women will complain,prostrate themselves.As long as we as americans pay for this IT will continue,and your turn Will come Boycott and Strike
    I repeat Strike and boycott.NOW is the time

  2. Deadbeat said on October 8th, 2007 at 1:49pm #

    The host, Chris Hanson, also likely suffers from a sexual disorder where humiliating desperate men helps make him feel better about his own inadequacies.

    Chris Hanson is a whore.

  3. Freddy Nightliker said on October 8th, 2007 at 7:32pm #

    I am also dismayed by the authoritarian and domination-centered posture that is nurtured, mythologized, and tautologically indoctrinated by our culture, and the memes thereof. All of the incidents mentioned above are deeply troubling on many levels, from ideological to visceral. There is a real problem with this behavior.

    That being said, it behooves us to refrain from rhetoric and inaccuracy when exposing said problem:

    Firstly, a Taser cannot have “electrocuted” anyone, since that is defined as death or injury by electricity. While Tasers induce pain, I believe that if they caused sustained injury to the student in Florida (for example), we would have been hearing about it plenty by now. I suspect that Tasers were developed to subdue persons without causing injury. Furthermore, electrocution is typically used to mean ‘death by electric shock’, so it seems inflammatory here, if not lazy.

    Since this is dated for today, I have to assume the author has seen the video footage of Mrs. Gotbaum struggling while being escorted out of the video frame, and into a second camera frame where she can be seen pushing her legs in front of her as the officers scoot her across the tile floor. It is a harrowing video that leaves me longing to comfort her…as she appears in the vast and emotional devoid corridor, her pain and panic can be heard clearly despite all the efforts of the silent, colorless security footage to matter-of-fact what it has recorded.

    There again, if the author saw the footage, he would have presumably said something similar, rather than implying an unrealistic scenario. I’ll wait for all the digging to get done, as I’m sure the city-kin aren’t going to be so lazy in there investigations.

    If first we practice to deceive
    Oh, what a tangled web we weave

    If you preach to the choir
    Congregation stab you in de back

  4. DEB-Z said on October 8th, 2007 at 8:19pm #

    I have read stories that this lady was on her way to out of state rehab for an addiction. The press reported that she was out of control at the airport and they had to call for backup assistance. It appears she was demanding to get on a flight that was already boarded and closed to passengers entering.
    The question was if she was on her way to rehab why her family could not be bothered to escort her or have a professional escort her. Many people act out of control and can be going through withdrawl prior to an admission.
    If this is true; it is better that she be physically restrained outside the plane than perhaps hurt many many people on the plane by being out of control in very tight quarters.
    I have worked with clients in various types of rehab and I would rather
    rely on medical records on why and where she was going to rehab and what mental state she was under at the time…
    Could be she just was out of control. I have seen it take 6-8 adults to handle one person (even females) that are physically out of control and
    tossing chairs, biting, spitting, pulling out hair, etc…If she was going to rehab I do not blame the airport people who risk back injury, assault, etc. by out of control passangers that have no patience and/or mental health issues, or are just rude.
    For all airports to be safe we must respect rules and regulations or the same people will be screaming if someone gets on the plane with a gun, razor, or bomb. There are reasons for the new rules and some people just think they are above them all; after all arrogance is getting to be a USA trademark!!!
    I say; “Let’s wait until the investigation is in on this one….I have seen people chew and swollow glass, screw bed springs up their penis, bang their heads so hard they split their skin requiring many stitches, and cause many permanent injuries to staff trying to calm down a horriffic tense situation, etc…
    So I amnot surprised she could get cuffs around her neck….when people are acting out and out of control there are many very dangerous emergencies that happen to them and people around them.

  5. Leyla said on October 8th, 2007 at 8:22pm #

    Is the USA beginning to follow in the steps of the Germans before WW2?

  6. sandra said on October 8th, 2007 at 11:42pm #

    what the fuck!! this shit has been happening to minorities in country since forever and now that nice white people are being brutalize maybe people will wake the hell up. It’s the police and their unchecked power that’s the problem.

  7. Robert said on October 8th, 2007 at 11:54pm #

    The US has been showing a growing trend towards socialism actually, and if you do the investigation on your own through the masses of information you will find out that that is what Hilary is going to help continue. bad bad things happen in a socialist society. its a pity that the US has come to this and is as of yet still the freeist place to live.

  8. Harold Saive said on October 9th, 2007 at 9:00am #

    This opinion was submitted to the GAINESVILLE SUN based on reports from TV20 (see the YouTube) http://youtube.com/watch?v=BznqjPIIvvM

    So far they have not printed it and I expect they won’t since it exposes so many to a charge of libel and defamation.

    Behind the FOP statement is GPD officer and FOP union leader for Alachua County, Jeff McAdams. McAdams has remained out of public view on the Meyer issue but may have had a hand at word-smithing or “inspiring” the letter that is credited to James Preston. This is only speculation but should be ruled out.

    GPD will receive TASERS by the end of October. City manager, Russ Blackburn and GPD police are fearful that a public cry for a civilian “police review board” will erupt for a 2nd time. Motive: What happens at UF is bound to be demanded at GPD.

    GPD has vigorously fought civilian oversight in the past. They obviously have good reason when you listen to the case histories of citizens (mostly black) who have confronted and been intimidated by bad police procedure over many years.

    There is more video even longer from the WUFT camera.
    WUFT Link:

    News item:

    My channel with even more from local TV is:
    Voice of the People


    The painful tasering of a college student guilty of participating in a political forum has uncovered a disturbing cynicism within the ranks of local law enforcement.

    Youtube of local News.

    The State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) declared Andrew Meyer a “threat to society”. This astounding statement of judge and jury comes from James Preston, president of the State FOP who ostensibly dictates the opinions of all law enforcement officers whether they are FOP members or not.

    Since officer Jeff McAdams is head of the local FOP and has not refuted Preston’s libelous statement of defamation against Meyer we can only assume that McAdams and the Gainesville police actually endorse the State FOP’s condemnation of Andrew Meyer as a “threat to society”. What little more would it would take for FOP to slander Meyer as a full-fledged terrorist?

    It may be no coincidence that the Gainesville police are receiving their first delivery of tasers at the end of October. Should we expect that GPD will use the taser’s power of pain to prevent an epidemic of students and dissenters likely to become a threat to society?.

  9. Hatuxka said on October 9th, 2007 at 11:04am #

    The episodes of “to catch a predator I’ve seen” invariably show the cops tossing the guy to the ground and piling on top of him, no matter what the sad bastard tries to do to submit, e.g. even when they have gone down on both knees with their hands behind their backs they (4-5 cops) go ahead and bowl them over w/ a forearm shiv and pile on with a knee to the back. Did NBC ever once one fraction question whether this was right as they question the rightness of the predators actions?

  10. Suzanne Martius said on October 11th, 2007 at 11:19am #

    With regard to the games played by Chris Hanson, these men are being imprisoned for “words spoken”. No crime has been committed because the people at the other end are adults! My son is serving 2 years in prison right now for this imaginary crime. The cop told him he was a cheerleader with many cheerleader friends that wanted to meet him and kept talking until he had all the evidence he wanted to end his bright future. My son is not a pedophile! The interenet chatrooms are nothing more than a living and breathing Playboy magazine to these men. I wouldn’t want this nightmare to touch anyone else! When are we going to stop this madness????? The media only tells part of the story and people must see that freedom of speech is slowly slipping out the backdoor. Wake up!!!!! Not only do these men have to do their time they also have to try to exist in a country that restricts their every movement for the rest of their lives. Murderers and thieves don’t even do a life sentence!!!! And we certainly don’t have a website to look them up so we know where they are living. Law enforcement is mirroring Hitler’s Gestapo in America.