The Jailhouse Death of Michael Patrick Lass

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Hey, maybe Lawrence O’Donnell could talk about this new video on his show tonight. I mean, only if he can find some time between discussing Richard Belzer’s tattoos and Sarah Palin’s eating habits.


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33 Responses to “The Jailhouse Death of Michael Patrick Lass”

  1. #1 |  Boyd Durkin | 


  2. #2 |  Wiregeek | 

    So over in London, they shoot one guy and the place goes insane. In America, we kill people with tasers and batons and cars and boots and everyone is OK with it..

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    These attacks on homeless/inmates by large groups
    of “officials” look more and more like self-propagating shark feeding frenzies.
    I suppose that relegates the victims to the status of gov’t “chum.”

    And who could look at the restraining chair video/panties on head without thinking of Abu Ghraib?

  4. #4 |  EH | 

    In America, we kill people with tasers and batons and cars and boots and everyone is OK with it..

    Everyone? Speak for yourself. What could possibly motivate you to say something like that?

  5. #5 |  Shane | 

    Perhaps the entire video supports the cops’ version, but there was absolutely nothing out of control about that kid in the Reason piece. He was defiant, but never violent. That incredible strength thing is also a canard. He didn’t appear to so much as move. They killed the kid for being a defiant pest … seems more and more like the standard, rather than the criminal aberration it should be. We’re toast.

  6. #6 |  Achtung Coma Baby | 

    Fuck it, Radley. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology from Lawrence O’Donnell. There are no better people on earth than the folks at Reason, especially the ones that report on criminal justice issues.

    O’Donnell crossed a major line, in my opinion. I can only hope that the man just stupid; otherwise, he’s a liar.

  7. #7 |  John Jenkins | 

    The UK riots have nothing to do with the shooting death of Mark Duggan, unless you can draw some connection between stealing things from private businesses and killing innocents with police misconduct.

    If they were rioting around courthouses and parliament, then I’d believe it, but they aren’t going to do that because the minute they threaten the safety of politicians, they know the army will be called in to put them down.

    No, it’s far safer to attack businesses who had nothing to do with Duggan’s death, but that the police will watch from a distance without intervening. It’s really a sophisticated strategy accounting for the relative self-concern of two different groups.

    Of course the rioters probably look at it this way: “the police and the army have weapons, so let’s not provoke *them*.”

  8. #8 |  JS | 

    EH “Everyone? Speak for yourself. What could possibly motivate you to say something like that?”

    Frustration with a complacent public and a media that seems to have declared a news blackout on police abuse stories I’d imagine. I understand that frustration for sure. But you’re right, its not everyone it only seems like everyone.

  9. #9 |  John Galt | 

    Keep on agitating.

    America was once a decent place, when Philadelphia was not yet burned by British skullduggery leading to this hateful land of Versailles style D.C. fortresses of solitude and false nationalism.

    Consider William Penn’s purchase of Philadelphia from Chief Tamanend as but two true founding fathers of this nation. Philly is still a liberty lover’s true capitol.

    It is never too late to return to our laissez faire individualist roots. The originally conceived harmonious co-tenancy of advanced technologists and simple hunters, farmers, and street people can yet prevail “As long as the creeks and rivers run and while the sun moon and stars endure”

    Constables can forcibly remove undesirables like Michael Lass, and banish them from areas of civilization to remote public lands, but there is no call to confinement until the individual continues to brazenly trespass in the common agora against the natural law.

  10. #10 |  Danny | 

    Y’know what? Fire all L.E.O. Every single one. From Parking to Homicide to D.A.R.E. Locals, staties, FBI. We’ll still have the “general militia” as a backstop.

    I’ll take my chances, on my own, with the criminal element. I doubt the most vicious motorcycle gang in the country could muster more brutality towards a victim than was shown in that video.

  11. #11 |  JS | 

    Danny, I agree. You might like this:

  12. #12 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    Why do you hate freedom and Richard Belzer’s tattoos?

  13. #13 |  Wiregeek | 


    While I may have misspoke with the overly-broad ‘everyone’, I still feel that the police in America are foul extrusions of the violent underbelly of the collective human subconscious, pressed vigorously against the innocent and guilty alike, humping vigorously in order to ejaculate their noisome seed into the moist darkness of any given person’s day to day life. And yet, the vast heaping majority of the human spectrum goes through day to day life working for their corporate overlords and avoiding any exposure to the throbbing pricks of law enforcement, as opposed to tearing down the walls and burning the judges.

  14. #14 |  MountainTiger | 

    This is pretty bad even as these misconduct stories go. I wouldn’t hope for any notice from liberals though; “where are libertarians on police abuse” seems to be at least as common a problem as the right-wing “where’s the ACLU” meme.

  15. #15 |  Ron | 

    #13: Thank you, Mike Stivic.

  16. #16 |  SJE | 

    The riots in England raise a number of important libertarian issues.
    -People who aren’t allowed weapons, and aren’t allowed to defend themselves and their property become entirely reliant on the police.
    -The nanny state that controls everything, until everything is out of control.
    -The billions spent on CCTVs don’t work on people with hoodies and masks.
    -A very centralized government and lots of welfare is very difficult to wean from.

  17. #17 |  Howlin' Hobbit | 

    gov’t sponsored autopsy said he got over-excited and died. privately sponsored one says he had a broken neck.

    let’s just elide over the huge amount of contusions and get right to how the fuck do you miss a broken neck?

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    #17: “over-excited”-wow, that is a new one. I think that the govt sponsored lab should be up for criminal charges for attempting to pervert justice.

  19. #19 |  JSL | 

    Stop resisting, while we tase you bro…

  20. #20 |  smeghead | 

    Ah, we come in peace. Shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill them.

  21. #21 |  Judi | 

    Excited Delirium? Never heard of it. My definition of excited delirium would be winng the lottery.

    These morons looked like a hungry school of pirahna on this young man.


  22. #22 |  CB | 

    Some of us are getting a bit off the subject, but I’d like to recommend a few of the recent videos from Stefan Molyneux of I think he provides a rare dose of insight into the root cause of the riots in the U.K. If you are familiar with Stef’s philosophy, it won’t be a spoiler to sum it up as, “it’s the state, stupid!” The root cause is a combination of poor parenting, violent environments, and the failure of the state to deliver what young people expect and need in their lives.

  23. #23 |  SJE | 

    People have been trained to expect everything from the state, and so they get pissed when the state doesnt deliver

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Why isn’t there more outrage in the mainstream media about this kind of thing? Because the mainstream media is busy shilling for Big Government and the Democrats. Not that the abuse is always in areas under Democrat rule, but even the dimmest Democrat operative knows that making a stink about out-of-control agents of The State could bring up all KINDS of issues the Statists would much rather pretend don’t exist.

    The Narrative of the Left for more than a century has been that the Right’s vision is of a State where your treatment depends on your proximity to a wealthy elite. There is just enough truth to this to make it bite hard. But the bitter secret that the Left hopes nobody will notice is that THEIR vision is of a State where your treatment depends on your proximity to an ideological elite, a concept far more restrictive and exclusive than mere wealth. Many cities in this country (Detroit, Chicago, LA) are already this kind of State, and teh Left desperately hopes that they can avoid having anybody call them on it.

  25. #25 |  croaker | 

    @21 Actually, it is a valid condition. Michael Dailey, MD of the Albany (NY) Medical Center has a very good lecture on the subject.

  26. #26 |  et tu Brute | 

    Isn’t it time to water the tree ?

  27. #27 |  john | 

    every one of those faux pigs who were too fucked up in the head to get a job on a legitimate police force deserve to have a target on their backs. and they should live their lives continually looking over their shoulder out of fear.

    they are lucky lass was not a member of my family. because as many as i could get to before they stopped me would have a bullet in their head for what they did to this guy. and i would gladly take life in prison or a death sentence as a result.

  28. #28 |  Gen John Stark Returns | 

    Meanwhile, instead of going after these thugs, the FBI is handing out flyers at surplus stores telling the owners to be suspicious of and rat on people who buy MREs…… Can someone point me to where the line starts for the revolution?

  29. #29 |  Bob | 

    How is this different than how the Nazis treated the Jews?

    What kind of fucked up set of ‘procedures’ makes it important to make sure your RUBBER GLOVES are on, but not to bother trying to keep track of how many times you’ve fucking tasered a guy?

    “Excited delerium”. huh? Is that what you call it when you gang up on a guy, hold him down, and scream at him while you taser and beat him to death?

  30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Unbelievable. Even one of the deputies said “just one guy.” There were at least 12 to 15 jail officers around during this incident and they had to use that much force. And a tazer. In healthcare security we use numbers to restrain limbs until medical restraints or handcuffs can be applied (depending on the case). We do not use numbers to punish, and that is the key difference. You need that many deputies for one schizophrenic guy who went to jail for OPEN CONTAINER (that, in and of itself is an outrage). Put bluntly, these guys look like pussies, in addition to being murderers. Real nice, OC.

  31. #31 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #27 John:
    “…every one of those faux pigs who were too fucked up in the head to get a job on a legitimate police force ”

    What exactly does that mean, John? What is a legitimate police force, and what is not a legitimate police force. What about people who work in the private security sector like me. Am I too “fucked up in the head” to beat tazer and beat homeless Schizos to death and lock people in cages for possessing marijuana. Isn’t that what our “legitimate police forces” are doing as we speak. Hmm. Hey John, your bravado took something away from this whole conversation. I think your just a little confused, dare I say, fucked up in the head. Don’t be a faux revolutionary tough guy.

  32. #32 |  jb | 

    I would hate to have it go un-noticed that Orange County is the county in which the city of Fullerton is located, infamous for its own police force having beaten to death Kelly Thomas last month. Like the Michael Lass, Kelly Thomas was tasered multiple times and beaten by an overwhelming force of uniformed officers.

  33. #33 |  murmur55 | 

    DOJ statement in 1995 on avoidable death in restraint or custody: Positional Asphyxia and Sudden Death

    Asphyxial Death During Prone Restraint Revisited: 21 Cases

    NYPD training video Positional asphyxia 2003 – YouTube

    Prone restraint´╗┐ alone, or use of weight on the chest, if used at all, should last only seconds. There should NOT be a “struggle” on the ground. People die very quickly in this position. The extreme violence that is reported is due to someone experiencing air hunger due to suffocation which then results in extraordinary measures to move the chest wall to ventilate the lungs. Police often interpret this to be “resistance”, failure to comply with their orders, or assaults on them, and then increase the use of chest pressure, strikes and taser shocks.

    Police academies, the DAs, and the FBI have all failed to prevent this form of lethal restraint through better training. A regular citizen would be charged with manslaughter for causing a death in this manner.