Prison Radio
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

By Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

A Cop Violates Your Rights and Home

Consider this: In the dead of night while you and your kids are sleeping in bed, a uniformed cop breaks out your back window, crawls inside, creeps into your kids’ room and when one awakens, he holds them at gunpoint. He then goes room to room, taking valuables. Finally, he leaves out the front door with his booty and pulls away in his patrol car. You awake to discover that your home was violated and your child threatened. You are outraged!

Your home security system captured everything on video and enables you to identify the cop who did this. You make complaints — an ‘investigation’ is staged by the police department, but of course they close ranks to protect their colleague and nothing is done (the ‘thin blue line’). So you hire an attorney and sue the criminal cop. In response to your suit the state’s largest and most powerful law firm (the Attorney General’s office) defends the cop at taxpayer expense. And, should he somehow lose, the state will cover any compensation he’s ordered to pay you, also at taxpayer expense. Meantime he’s promoted.

As soon as the lawsuit is filed, your lawyer begins to press you to settle the case (telling you the judge wants you to settle and this is the ‘justice’ you want) — meaning she pressures you to accept a paycheck offered by the state to basically drop the lawsuit, agree to not discuss the incident that happened to you and your family with anyone ever again, and allow the cop to get off Scott free without a single penny lost to him, and a raise and promotion to boot.

Is this corrupt?

The State Protects Crooked Cops and Guards

Well, if you think this is unjust, this is exactly how the U.S. legal system protects cops and guards who abuse us. Ask any lawyer if you doubt me. How many lawsuits against killer cops or police brutality do you hear about going to trial? Look at every lawsuit filed by legal civil rights fakers, lawyers like Benjamin Crump, and see how many he settled. I’ll tell you, damn near every one. And he made millions doing it, which I’ll discuss below. Google it.

Matter of fact I’ll let the court tell you itself. In the case of Johns v. Gwinn, a prisoner in the Virginia Department of Corrections (sic!) [VDOC] sued a guard who assaulted him repeatedly with tear gas for no reason. A dispute arises over destroyed video evidence which would have shown the assault. In ruling on the dispute the judge addresses the point I make here, that the government’s top law firm, the Attorney General’s office, takes up the defense of abusive law enforcement officials when they are sued and pays any money judgements against them all at taxpayer expense. Here’s the judge:

“VDOC has a uniquely intertwined relationship with Defendant.

VDOC employs Defendant, it trains Defendant, and through the

Attorney General’s office, it represents Defendant in this suit.

VDOC—not Defendant—appears to control all evidence intro-

diced in his favor, and through the grievance process, VDOC was 

        responsible for resolving Plaintiff’s dispute against Defendant in-

eternally before Plaintiff filed this suit…. The Assistant Attorney 

General herself admits that any judgement against Defendant—at 

least with respect to compensatory damages—will be paid by

VDOC….” (1)

So not only did the state cover up for the guard in response to complaints made by the prisoner before he brought the lawsuit and destroyed evidence to protect the guard from liability (the ‘thin blue line’), but it had its most powerful law firm defend him against a prisoner who was forced to represent himself in the lawsuit.

It’s important to consider too the lopsided balance of power, with the overwhelming influence that Attorneys General have over courts when they appear in these cases. Favored and biased influence that almost ensures that the cop or guard will win. Here are several U.S. Supreme Court justices explaining it in a joint opinion:

“The Attorney General…is a member of a favored class 

of litigants. As the highest legal officer of a sovereign state, 

his professional comments…are accorded special respect.

Partly for that reason [Attorneys General have been] 

        disproportionately successful [in winning litigation 

against prisoners and criminal defendants].” (2)

Here it is admitted that Attorneys General are given “favored treatment” in such litigation. (3) So much for a system based on ‘blind justice’.

So police and guard abuse is not and has never been about a few bad apples doing wrong. The entire legal system is structured to enable and protect abusers so they suffer no consequences for their offenses. And victims wonder why cops and prison guards have no fear of brutalizing and murdering people—especially people of color and the poor who lack resources and political voices. Remember the tiny number of prominent prosecutions of cops that have occurred over recent years happened not because the legal system has been ‘working,’ but rather because of the public capturing abusive cops on video and publicizing it to the world and consequent mass protests. It’s been damage control, not public control.

Settling Lawsuits

Another reason cops and guards don’t fear lawsuits is because those cases seldom make it beyond settlements, which again work to protect them at taxpayer expense from any accountability for their wrongs. I should repeat points I made in a prior article on this issue. (4)

A number of lawyers make careers of pursuing police violence cases, and represent themselves as civil rights attorneys, like millionaire lawyer Benjamin Crump. The disgusting thing about these opportunistic ambulance chasers who profit off of the people’s misery and deaths, is they make lucrative careers of, and achieve considerable fame by working with and within the system to protect abusive pigs and insulate them from any accountability, which is what the settlement process does.

Crump for example, represented, or was involved in such high profile cases of Blacks murdered by cops and cop wannabes as Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Alesia Thomas, George Floyd, and others. He is known for going after high profile cases with big media attention, through which he gained and maintains prominence.

And while he has represented over 250 cases, he settled almost every one. Indeed, he approaches these cases with the intent to settle.

What happens when cases are settled

When a lawsuit is settled, the facts that come out are kept private, the victim or their surviving loved ones typically must agree to not publicize that information, and the abusive cop and the entity s/he works for is exonerated makes makes no admission of wrongdoing. In many cases the abusive pig is promoted and often continues on a career of abuse. An example being Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who killed Eric Garner. Several prior lawsuits had been brought against his abuses before he killed Garner. The state represented him and each case was settled or dismissed. As a result he went on to murder Garner.

Again the abusive cop or guard incurs no loss, since the settlement is paid by the government out of taxpayer money. All of which encourages and emboldens the culture of police brutality, where the message is conveyed to all other cops and guards that they can suffer nothing for it. In fact they may gain a celebrity status within their circles as an embattled badass cop.

But if the cases were actually taken to trial before a jury, there would be a public record and airing of the evidence exposing the abuse and a legal finding of wrongdoing by the involved cop/s and institutions, if the case is won, which would compel action against the pig and expose internal corruption. There is also the likelihood of a much higher monetary recovery for the victim or loved ones than the state is willing to offer to settle. This still isn’t justice however.

Is settling selling out?

So, in essence, by settling, the victim or their surviving loved ones are induced to accept a government payoff to exonerate the cop/s that brutalized them or murdered their loved one from any wrongdoing, to conceal evidence that proves the criminal abuses, to promote/uphold the culture of police abuse by endorsing a system that protects abusvie and murderous officials from accountability, and basically trade their suffering or their loved one’s life for a paycheck.

This is what courts, politicians, and worse still, sellout so-called civil rights attorneys like Benjamin Crump call “justice.” In fact, to enhance the chances of the state entering into a settlement, lawyers like Crump advise their clients not to associate with organizations and activists that might fight for greater gains than a settlement and expose this racist capitalist system for what it is—a fundamentally predatory system that preys on Black, Brown, the poor and working class people to the benefit of the rich and powerful.

The whole lawyer-led movement to eradicate qualified immunity today has nothing to do with winning justice for victims of pig abuse. It is simply a scheme to open the door for these ambulance chasers and civil rights fakers to file more lawsuits that they can settle and reap millions more dollars from. Two veteran civil rights legal scholars, Black law professors Derrick Bell and Lani Guinier, both observed and criticized the early development of this trend of civil rights attorneys taking the movement from the masses in the streets into the courthouse and thereby becoming “professionalized” permanent fixtures of the system they are supposed to be helping the people fight. (5) In fact it was these elements working in service to the system and diverting the masses from organizing in the streets into courthouse theater that undermined the mass movement that erupted during the summer of 2020 after the lynching of George Floyd.

We must revive a Stolen Lives Movement that recognizes this game for what it is and demand true justice—the overthrow of this wretched capitalist imperialist system so that no more innocent lives are brutalized and stolen by its armed protectors.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!

All Power to the People!


  1. Johns v Gwinn, 2019 U.S. Dist. Lexis 231765 (W.D. Va.,Dec. 16, 2019)* 7—8
  2. Superintendant v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 457—58 (1985) (Stevens, J. Brennan and Marshall, concurring and dissenting in part)
  3. Ibid.
  4. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Selling Out in Court: How Settlements Protect Police Abusers” (2020) http://rashidmod/?p=2822
  5. See Derrick Bell, “Serving Two Masters: Integration Ideals and Client Interests in School