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    Rising Police Aggression A Telling Indicator Of Our Societal Decline

    A historially common marker of failing civilizations
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, April 24, 2015, 4:22 PM

My first Uber lift was in South Carolina.  My driver was from Sudan originally, but had emigrated to the US 20 years ago.  Being the curious sort, I asked him about his life in Sudan and why he moved.  He said that he left when his country had crumbled too far, past the point where a reasonable person could have a reasonable expectation of personal safety, when all institutions had become corrupted making business increasingly difficult.  So he left.  

Detecting a hitch in his delivery when he spoke of coming to the US, I asked him how he felt about the US now, 20 years later.  "To be honest," he said, "the same things I saw in Sudan that led me to leave are happening here now. That saddens me greatly, because where else is there to go?"

It’s time to face some uncomfortable ideas about the state of civilization in the United States. This country is no longer the beacon of freedom illuminating a better way for the world. Why not? Because it has ceased to be civilized.

The recent spate of police brutality videos and the complete lack of a useful or even sane response by the police unions is shaping my writing here. But it goes well beyond those incidents and extends into all corners of the lives of US citizens now, as police abuse is only one symptom of a much deeper problem.

What do we mean by "civilized?"  Well, take a look at its official definition and see if you note any descriptors that are lacking in present day US culture:

Civilized adjective

1. Culturededucatedsophisticatedenlightenedhumane All truly civilized countries must deplore torture.

2. Politemannerlytolerantgraciouscourteousaffablewell-behavedwell-mannered

(Source)

A civilized society, then, is one that is humane at its core, that knows right from wrong, and which does not need to conduct lengthy ‘internal reviews’ to discover if videotaped brutality is indeed showing illegal abuse.

Let’s begin by examining a few recent cases of brutality, so many of which now exist that I have to narrow the field substantially in the interest of brevity.  I'm going to skip over the one where an unarmed black man was shot five times in the back and coldly murdered by the officer in South Carolina, because that has already (and rightly) received a lot of media attention.

So, the first case I'd like to discuss comes to us from San Bernardino CA where a man being served with a warrant for suspicion of identity theft started to flee.  Much to the dismay of the police, the last leg of his otherwise humorous escape plan involved a horse, forcing the cops to huff across the hot, dry desert on foot.

The video eventually shows the fugitive falling off his horse, throwing himself flat on the ground in total submission, and then putting his own hands behind his back. Two officers then approach and, in full view of the news chopper camera circling overhead, proceed to violently kick him in the face and groin, pistol whip him with a taser, pile-drive him with their elbows, and then move aside to make room for the other nine officers that also join in the violent 2 minute long beating:

Aerial footage showed the man falling off the horse he was suspected of stealing during the pursuit in San Bernardino County Thursday afternoon.

He then appeared to be stunned with a Taser by a sheriff's deputy and fall to the ground with his arms outstretched. Two deputies immediately descended on him and appeared to punch him in the head and knee him in the groin, according to the footage, reviewed several times by NBC4.

The group surrounding the man grew to 11 sheriff's deputies.

In the two minutes after the man was stunned with a Taser, it appeared deputies kicked him 17 times, punched him 37 times and struck him with batons four times. Thirteen blows appeared to be to the head. The horse stood idly nearby.

The man did not appear to move from his position lying on the ground for more than 45 minutes. He did not appear to receive medical attention while deputies stood around him during that time.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told NBC4 he was launching an internal investigation into the actions of the deputies.

"I'm not sure if there was a struggle with the suspect," McMahon said. "It appears there was in the early parts of the video. What happens afterwards, I'm not sure of, but we will investigate it thoroughly."

(Source)

Note the lack of civilized responses there from beginning to the end.  A yielding, non-resisting suspect was repeatedly pounded by 11 officers using means that would land you or me in hot water (justifiably) on “assault with a dangerous weapon” charges if we did the same.

Then the beaten man was left on the ground afterwards without any medical attention for 45 minutes. The physical abuse nor the later disdain for the suspect's condition aren't behaviors you find in a civilized society. Successfully apprehending a 'suspected criminal' does not give you free license to mete out a brutal beat-down, at least not if your humanity is intact. But with these officers, that appears to be precisely what happened. The fact that it did is indicative of a culture in distress.

In the next part of this sad drama, the county sheriff had the audacity to say (in an obvious attempt at damage control) that he was ‘not sure’ if a struggle had happened with the suspect, but that it appeared that there had been one.  Apparently, the sheriff needs some training in evidence review (or a new pair of glasses) because there’s no struggle there at all, which is plainly obvious in the video:

Then the sheriff concludes with “what happens afterward, I’m not sure of,…” Again, anybody who viewed the video is very certain of what happened afterwards because it’s completely obvious: the deputies kicked the crap out of a non-resisting suspect.

So obvious that less than 2 weeks after the beating, San Bernadino county hastily agreed to a $650,000 settlement in attempt to very rapidly put the whole thing behind them.

The only legitimate response from the sheriff, to show that the rule of law applies and that he and his deputies have morals and are part of a civilized society, would have been to say something along the lines of, “Assaulting a compliant and non-resisting suspect is never OK, and it is against our internal policies and training as well as the law.  In the interest of complete transparency and fairness, both real and perceived, we’ve asked for an external review which will include citizen participation.  Whether laws are broken by citizens of the police, our department believes 100% in equal application of the law because anything else erodes the basic perception of fairness upon which a civilized society rests.”

Of course, nothing of the sort was said here. Nor is it ever said in other brutality cases, where instead we see the ranks close around the accused cop(s), which unfortunately communicates the impression that one of the perks of being a law enforcement officer is being able to dodge the consequences of the same laws they administer daily.

Here are a few more cases, all demonstrating the same unequal application of the laws:

In this next case, an unarmed, fleeing black male suspect was tackled and pinned on the ground by at least two officers. He then was shot in the back by a 73 year-old reserve deputy who apparently couldn't tell the difference between a revolver and a taser. A 73 year-old whose main qualification for being on the scene seems to have been his prior generous donations to the police department.  

Tulsa Police Chase And Shoot Eric Courtney Harris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEhhcgFf5RQ

The above video is disturbing for many reasons, but especially because while Eric Harris is dying he says “Oh man, I can’t breathe” to which one of the officer who happens to have his knee firmly on Eris’s head says “Fuck your breath!”

Recall that one of the words used to describe civilized is "humane". Think about how far out of touch with your own humanity you have to be to say that to a dying person. Even if the officer didn't know Harris was dying at the time, he at least knew that he had been shot.  

In another case, a man approaches a car blocking the street and asks for it to be moved.  The violent manner of the officer's response would be a case of road rage if it involved another civilian and be prosecuted as a serious crime with multiple charges.

Man Asks Cop Nicely to Stop Blocking Traffic, So the Cop Beat Him and Stomped his Head

Sept 11, 2014

Sacramento, CA — A Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy is on paid vacation after a video surfaced showing him stomping on a man’s face and hitting him with his flashlight after tasering him.

Undersheriff Jaime Lewis says that they are investigating themselves after viewing the video.

“There are portions of that video that clearly have caused me concern,” Lewis said. “And that is exactly what has caused the department to initiate an investigation, so we can get to the bottom of it.”

The man being beaten in the video is 51-year-old John Madison Reyes, who said the incident started when he asked the deputy, whose car was blocking the road, to move.

“I asked him kindly to move the car,” Reyes said. “He glared at me and stared at me. And then, I said an expletive, ‘You need to move the car because I can’t get through.’”

"Let's face it, had the subject complied with the officer's directives from the initial contact and beyond, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this today," Lewis said.

(Source)

What seems to have happened in the above story is simply that the cop didn't like his authority being challenged, even in a very minor way, and he over-reacted.

The recipient of the beating, Mr. Reyes, was charged with resisting arrest.  How is that even possible?  It seems like there needs to be something you are being arrested for to resist in the first place.  Something for which the officer has probable cause in the first place which you then resist?  How can the only charge be ‘resisting arrest’?

Sadly, many times after a confrontation has become physically violent the one and only charge applied is ‘resisting arrest.’ 

Of course, that’s a mighty convenient charge for some police who escalate a situation first, and then resort to using the charge of resisting arrest because, in the end, that’s the only charge they have. And while it’s not wise to resist arrest, there are hundreds of cases where people claim they weren’t resisting at all, merely trying to protect their heads and faces from heavy blows, while the police were beating them yelling “Stop resisting arrest!” like it was a magic incantation.

As in this case:

Brutal LAPD arrest caught on video; Department investigating cops seen bodyslamming nurse twice during cell phone traffic stop

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating two officers who were allegedly caught on surveillance camera slamming a nurse on the ground twice — and then fist bumping afterward — during a recent traffic stop.

The two officers pulled over Michelle Jordan, 34, of Sunland, Aug. 21, for allegedly talking on her cell phone while driving in Tujunga, in northeast Los Angeles, the department said.

Jordan pulled into the parking lot of a Del Taco restaurant and got out of her car to confront the officers, cops said.

The taco joint's surveillance video appears to show the officers, both men, yanking the 5-foot-4 inch registered nurse from the open driver's seat and then slamming her on the ground to cuff her.

The duo then yank Jordan to her feet and bring her to the patrol car, where they pat her down.

Moments later, one of the cops slams the married mom to the ground a second time.

After placing her in the cruiser's backseat, the two appear to share a celebratory fist-pound.

Jordan was booked for resisting arrest and later released.

(Source)

The pictures of the damage to this woman's face are disturbing.  Think about what it would be like to be pulled over for a minor infraction, be yanked from your car, thrown to the ground, handcuffed, stood up, and then violently body slammed a second time.  While she may have been using words that these officers found to be less than respectful of their authority, in a civilized society grown men do not violently assault the unarmed — especially handcuffed women.  That's just sadistic and has no place in a decent society.

In another case from Baltimore police broke the leg of a man they were arresting, Freddie Gray, cuffed him, and instead of getting him medical help dragged him to a van obviously alive and screaming in pain from the broken leg. By the time that van ride was over, the man was delivered to a local hospital with a broken neck, his spine 80% severed, and he died a short while later. His “crime?” He allegedly “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence," which, by the way, is not actually a crime, something the Baltimore police were forced to acknowledge in the aftermath of the incident.  The police spokesman, Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez initially stated that there was “no evidence” of any use of excessive force.  I would counter that any time you shatter a person’s neck after they are cuffed during a van ride, that’s "excessive", by definition.  

Again, the initial response by the police, which began as silence followed by the filing of an initial report that said Mr. Gray was "arrested without incident or force" reveals just how broken our enforcement system and culture really are.

In another recent case a mentally ill woman in Idaho was shot dead by police within 15 seconds of their arrival.  She had a knife, the police got out of their vehicle, walked straight towards her and when she did not immediately comply with their commands, they opened fire.

Something Is Very Wrong

[note: an incomplete statistic was used here and has been removed and replaced with the following]

In the past ten years police in the UK have been involved in 23 total police shooting fatalities.  In the US in 2013 alone there were a minimum of 458 'justifiable homicides' by firearm committed by US police.  I say 'a minimum' because the FBI statistics are woefully incomplete because there is no mandate that police forces report their killings to the FBI so the database is certainly inaccurate on the low side.  But taking that at face value, there is a vast gap between the number of people shot in the UK as compared to the US.  Adjusting for population, US police officers are killing citizens at roughly 40 times the rate of UK police.  40 times!

How can this be? In the UK they’ve got hooligans and yobs, immigrants and poor people. They’ve got drunks and mentally unbalanced people too. And yet they somehow don’t kill people in the fulfillment of their duties as public safety officers.

In this video you’ll see a mentally deranged man outside of Buckingham palace threatening people while wielding knives. He was successfully apprehended alive by a patient and methodical UK police force that did not aggravate, but instead waited for an opening to make their move, which they did quite successfully using a taser instead of guns.

The problem, it seems, is that the US police have been trained to be highly confrontational and to escalate, rather than defuse, any situation. 

Police in the US have shot an individual’s highly trained service dog after showing up at the wrong address, and even a family’s pet pot-bellied pig simply because they ‘felt threatened.’

So the one-two punch here is that cops are trained to be highly confrontational and then to react with force — oftentimes deadly force — when they ‘feel threatened.’  See the problem here? It’s pretty easy to end up feeling threatened when you are creating threatening situations.

That’s a recipe for exactly the sort of over-reactive uses of force that are giving us the problems we see today.

An Occupying Force

If you saw the images coming out of Ferguson recently, you may have noticed that the law-enforcement presence did not so much look like police, but an occupying military.  Snipers perched on roofs viewing the crowds through their scopes, tear gas and rubber bullets constantly in use, Humvees, the latest acoustic anti-personnel devices, and officers outfitted with ‘battle rattle’ that even made one Afghanistan vet jealous for its magnificent excess compared to what soldiers were issued in one of the most dangerous regions of the world. 

How is it that a small mid-western city arrayed more hardware against its own citizens than you might find in an active Middle East war zone?  Who really thought that necessary and why?  

Exactly how and when did policing and crowd control in the US slip into a set of methods that match those used by occupying forces — like those of Isreal — who subjugate whole populations?

It turns out, by going to Israel and learning Israeli methods of crowd 'control.'

Israel-trained police “occupy” Missouri after killing of black youth

Feb 8, 2015

Since the killing of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police in Missouri last weekend, the people of Ferguson have been subjected to a military-style crackdown by a squadron of local police departments dressed like combat soldiers. This has prompted residents to liken the conditions on the ground in Ferguson to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. 

And who can blame them? 

The dystopian scenes of paramilitary units in camouflage rampaging through the streets of Ferguson, pointing assault rifles at unarmed residents and launching tear gas into people’s front yards from behind armored personnel carriers (APCs), could easily be mistaken for a Tuesday afternoon in the occupied West Bank. 

And it’s no coincidence. 

At least two of the four law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson up until Thursday evening — the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department — received training from Israeli security forces in recent years. 

(Source)

If the tactics and gear of the police in Ferguson looked military that’s because they were. The purpose of APC’s and m4 assault rifles is to go into dangerous battles and kill the other side first so you can survive.

I believe that one’s training and mindset are critical determinants of what happens next.  It should really not surprise anyone that a militarized mindset accompanied by specialized training and hardware has led to scenes like the one we saw in Ferguson, among many other places over the past several years.

I wanted to find out if the assertion of the above article was true. Had US police agencies really trained with the Israelis?

The answer is yes, beginning over a decade ago. Note that US police have been training for a domestic terrorist threat that has been almost completely non-existent, well below the statistical threshold that would seem to justify such advanced training and tactics:

U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation: Joint Police & Law Enforcement Training

Sept 2013

In 2002, Los Angeles Police Department detective Ralph Morten visited Israel to receive training and advice on preparing security arrangements for large public gatherings.  From lessons learned on his trip, Det. Morten prepared a new Homicide Bomber Prevention Protocol and was better able to secure the Academy Awards presentation.

In January 2003, thirty-three senior U.S. law enforcement officials – from Washington, Chicago, Kansas City, Boston and Philadelphia – traveled to Israel to attend a meeting on "Law Enforcement in the Era of Global Terror."  The workshops helped build skills in identifying terrorist cells, enlisting public support for the fight against terrorism and coping with the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

“We went to the country that's been dealing with the issue for 30 years,” Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans said. “The police are the front line in the battle against terrorism. We were there to learn from them – their response, their efforts to deter it. They touched all the bases.”

“I think it's invaluable,” said Washington, DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey about the instruction he received in Israel. “They have so much more experience in dealing with this than we do in the United States.”

Also, in 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established a special Office of International Affairs to institutionalize the relationship between Israeli and American security officials. “I think we can learn a lot from other countries, particularly Israel, which unfortunately has a long history of preparing for and responding to terrorist attacks,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) about the special office.

(Source)

Here’s the thing: your chances of dying of ‘terrorism’ on US soil are dwarfed by the chances of dying from practically every other cause of death in the US.  Terrorism simply is not a gigantic and imminent existential threat that requires special hardware and training relationships with nations that practice the tactics and strategies of occupation.

Terrorism is not such a common thing that we need to define our entire crowd control methods around it, but a rare thing, and is really what’s left over after a few individuals feel like every other option of redress has been stripped away.  Which is why it’s practically unheard of in the US, and most other civilized countries.

But domestic US law enforcement agencies have been training and outfitting themselves as if it’s a top threat.  Why is that?

There are not very many reassuring answers to that question.  One is that our law enforcement agencies lack the ability to discern actual threats from imaginary ones.  Another is that they envision a time when some portion of the civilian population feels as if it has lost all hope and options for a better future, and starts resorting to terrorist acts.

Either way, very poor answers.

A Dangerous Job?

One mitigating factor is to note that police have a stressful, dangerous and low paying job.  Erring on the side of personal safety makes sense when looked at this way.

In terms of dangerousness, however, law enforcement doesn't even crack the top-ten list of most dangerous professions:

 (Source)

The death rate for sworn officers is 11.1 per 100,000 (2013 data) for job-related injuries. Fishing is ten times more dangerous. And even the 11.1 rate includes some deaths which were not the result of violent actions committed during an arrest, but things that tend to happen among a force more than a million strong (green circles).

(Source)

Even if we assumed that half of the reported job-related deaths were homicides, that would make policing about as dangerous as living in an average city (5.5 per 100,000) but seven-fold less dangerous than simply living in Baltimore (35 per 100,000).

So a stressful job yes. An important job, definitely. But not as dangerous as many other occupations, which is relevant context to this story.

Good Policing

I would be remiss to not also point out other examples of great police work.  We need to illuminate both what’s wrong and what’s right.

One of my favorite examples shows Norwegian police handling a belligerent drunk:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=66d_1394803929

Be sure to watch at least the first full minute, and note that this drunk is yelling, cursing, kicking, and generally ‘resisting’ and yet the police involved never rise to the bait, handle him with good manners and like he’s a human being the entire time.  Well done!

This next clip shows a policeman in Ohio refusing to shoot a man wanted on a double murder charge even though he really probably should have and would have been completely justified in doing so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhJKyK6VqDI

The man wanted to be shot and killed by the officer who, despite being rushed, and having the man put his hands in his pockets after being warned not to, and even being knocked to the ground at one point, refused to shoot.

That restraint was quite remarkable and showed someone willing to place his own life in danger before committing to take another’s.  He said afterwards that he “wanted to be absolutely sure” before pulling the trigger that it was absolutely necessary.

I do wonder if the two tours the former marine took before becoming an officer had anything to do with his unwillingness to take another life?

How To Fix This

Well I think I’ve been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it.

~ Charlie Munger

I think the solution to reducing episodes of police assaults on citizens is contained within the Charlie Munger quote above.  The incentives have to be aligned.

My solution is simply this: every time a police department loses an excessive force or wrongful death case and has to pay out money, that money should come from their local police union’s pension fund.  And by law, these losses cannot be refilled with taxpayer funds.

Every single time a judgment is made against that department and the union pension is reduced, the retired and currently-serving officers will have to decide for themselves if they should keep the indicted officer or officers on the force who lost the pension all that money. Or decide if training and policies need to be adjusted.

I guarantee you that with the incentive to train and behave properly and lawfully now resting with the police itself, rapid behavior and training modification would result.

Moreover, I see no reason why the citizens of any given municipality should be on the hook for repeated violations by any public servant or office.

For some of the most abusive departments, the amounts are far from trivial.

U.S. cities pay out millions to settle police lawsuits

Oct 1, 2014

The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this year that the city has paid out nearly half a billion dollars in settlements over the past decade, and spent $84.6 million in fees, settlements, and awards last year.

Bloomberg News reported that in 2011, Los Angeles paid out $54 million, while New York paid out a whopping $735 million, although those figures include negligence and other claims unrelated to police abuse. 

Oakland Police Beat reported in April that the city had paid out $74 million to settle 417 lawsuits since 1990.

And last month, Minneapolis Public Radio put that city’s payout at $21 million since 2003.

(Source)

Just align the incentives and watch what happens next.  The problem is, the incentives are just completely wrong right now, and taxpayers are footing the bill for repeated and expensive police behaviors. 

That needs to stop if we want to see real change.

Conclusion

The police serve a very important role in society and I want them to be as effective as possible.  They are there to uphold the law and protect the peace, which are extremely important functions.  Unfortunately there are far too many cases where the police have acted as judge, jury and executioner to suggest that there are just a few bad apples.

Instead there’s a pervasive atmosphere of hostility and force escalation better suited to war zones than maintaining civilian order.  The lines have been drawn in many police departments: it’s us vs. them.

Trust in many departments has been utterly shattered within some communities because the police hold themselves to a different standard than they do the populace.  Police commit brazen acts of brutality and get away with it, largely because they self-investigate and/or because the local District Attorney office is unwilling to press charges.

But the recent cases of police brutality are simply a symptom of a much larger problem. Society in the US is breaking down, civility has been lost, and the country is rapidly becoming uncivilized.

This extends within and across all of the most important institutions. Congress is known to work for corporations first and foremost. Democracy itself is bought and sold by the highest bidders. The Federal Reserve protects big banks from the costs of their misdeeds and enriches the already stupidly rich as a side benefit.

DEA agents are caught in Columbia having sex parties with underage girls and drugs, and the worst punishment handed out is a 10 day suspension without pay.  Nobody is even fired, let alone jailed.  

 "Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity".

                  ~ Tacitus, Annals, Book XI Ch. 26

The FBI has just admitted that they had been consistently (and certainly knowingly) overstating forensic lab analysis in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95% of cases over a period of several decades.  The cases included 32 that resulted in death sentences.  Many people were wrongly convicted, but nobody from the FBI will face any charges and many of the states involved have (so far) decided they won’t be looking into any of the cases to right the wrongs.  The wrongful convictions will stand, an injustice that is incompatible with the concept of being civilized.

The Department of Justice has utterly failed to hold any banks or bankers criminally responsible for any acts despite levying a few billions in fines for crimes that probably netted the banks tens of billions in profits.  For some, crime does pay.

I could go on, but why bother? The pattern is easy enough to see.

The US has lost its way. Fairness, justice, and knowing right from wrong seem to all be lost concepts and the trend has only gotten worse over the past several years.  Without moral bearings, what’s left?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Either the people of the US stand up and resist these accumulating injustices or they will get exactly the sort of government, and law enforcement, they deserve.

In the meantime, the challenge for each afflicted institution is to begin to recognize right from wrong, and in the case of law enforcement agencies, stop pretending like every single one of your million+ officers is a good egg.  We all know hiring is imperfect and mistakes get made.  Own up to them and let those who make serious mistakes experience the consequences.  Rebuild our trust in your necessary and important institution by clearly demonstrating that you know right from wrong wherever it occurs and whoever commits the deed.

If we don't do this, if we allow the current trajectory to build more momentum, the loss of civilized behavior will reach a tipping point from which it will be very hard to return without much hardship, and likely, bloodshed.

In Part 2: Preparing For The Coming Breakdown, we analyze how the boom in prosperity seen over the much of the 20th century is evaporating, and as the pie begins to shrink, the means by which the players compete for their slices becomes increasingly brutish and violent.  

Ask yourself this: If tensions are this bad now, while relatively abundant resources exist, how bad do you think they’ll get during the next economic downturn or financial crisis?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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124 Comments

  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 5:09pm

    #1
    neoluddit

    neoluddit

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 21 2012

    Posts: 0

    please correct the citation

    please correct the citation of the THINK PROGRESS statistic about UK police fatalities as they have retracted it.  thx

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 5:15pm

    Reply to #1

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Will do!

    [quote=neoluddit]

    please correct the citation of the THINK PROGRESS statistic about UK police fatalities as they have retracted it.  thx

    [/quote]

    I've since determined that that statistic was in gross error…will amend entire part of article now…

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 5:35pm

    #2
    Mikey1052

    Mikey1052

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 08 2008

    Posts: 2

    Would he treat a relative the same way...

    To me this is absolutely excessive force totally uncalled for and hopefully unacceptable by the general population. I can see there may have been a bit of resistance and yes she was apparently drunk and maybe mouthy but I wonder if the cop would do this to one of his relatives…. Absolutely, police brutality plain and simple.

     

    http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/2015/04/22/26218991/

     

     

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 5:52pm

    #3

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Same message, different idiom

    Here's a young man saying many of the same things all of us here are, just in an urban idiom.  I love this guy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=85&v=itvnQ2QB4yc

    "Welcome to the Hunger Games. And may the odds be ever in your favor."

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 6:54pm

    Reply to #2

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Ugh...

    [quote=Mikey1052]

    To me this is absolutely excessive force totally uncalled for and hopefully unacceptable by the general population. I can see there may have been a bit of resistance and yes she was apparently drunk and maybe mouthy but I wonder if the cop would do this to one of his relatives…. Absolutely, police brutality plain and simple.

    http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/2015/04/22/26218991/

    [/quote]

    And the Chief says…"the officer did what he was supposed to do in that situation."

    Really chief?  If 'resisting' means wiggling your arms slightly and that means the officer is then trained to throw you violently on the pavement, head first, I would humbly suggest that your training is way off the mark.

    Perhaps if the officer felt he could not cuff the woman safely, then call for backup, or be man, or something.

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 7:43pm

    #4
    RoseHip

    RoseHip

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 05 2013

    Posts: 144

    Cervical spine injuries

    Very disturbing vidoe Mikey1052. One observation from a healthcare perspective you NEVER I mean never turn someone over that has received trauma of this sort. The only way is to either leave them in the position they are currently in or to move them with an assist with the second person holding the neck so that further injury is avoided. If she where to have C-spine injuries this move would be the evidence one would need to proceed with which ever legal proceedings of her choice.

     

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 8:20pm

    #5
    Jonathan Frost

    Jonathan Frost

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 29 2012

    Posts: 7

    An insightful article. Thanks

    Chris,

    I can see that you are upset.

    Welcome to my world.

    J

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 8:40pm

    #6
    climber99

    climber99

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    Joined: Mar 12 2013

    Posts: 178

    It is much easier for the UK police

    It is much easier for the UK police.  They do not carry guns and it is illegal for individuals to own, carry or keep a gun.  Therefore the police do not fear the public and the public don't fear the police.  On the rare occasions when an armed response is required it is carried out by specialised professional officers and is highly regulated. 

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 9:21pm

    Reply to #6

    Pipyman

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    My thoughts too

    I agree with the article in general and UK police are certainly heading in the same direction. However, comparison with UK policing is a bit of a stretch! I also think the data regarding overall deaths in the U.S. Police force would have to be related to area to give any real insight…. I'm guessing many policing areas are far more dangerous than others. But, as I say, the tone of the article is dead right and deserves serious thought going forward…..

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 10:40pm

    Reply to #6

    Bankers Slave

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    Slight correction

    on UK police.

    In Scotland where the autonomy of 8 separate police regions was removed recently and replaced by one single FORCE for Scotland. The newly appointed police chief with the title of Sir, without any political mandate has implemented the attendance of firearm carrying officers to attend non firearm related, routine calls.

    His justification was the carrying out of a risk assessment that will not be within the public interest to release.

    Current home office public scaremongering tactic is terrorist threat level SEVERE (highly likely terrorist attack), false flag or otherwise.

    Welcome to police state Scotland!

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  • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 11:09pm

    #7

    Montana Native

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    Kelly Thomas

    You didn't even mention the Kelly Thomas case from a few years ago. One of the policemen put on latex gloves as he informed the disheveled veteran he was getting ready to @#$% him up. It was an absolute outrage….he cried for his dad as he slowly died. Here is a nice picture that the Michigan State Police put on their Facebook page last year……it was summarily removed. Note the ghillie hats and punisher patches. Where is Andy Griffith? Dead as hell.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 12:56am

    #8

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 836

    From Portsmouth

    Just this week I came out of Walmart to see twenty police cars and two ambulances…
    From the description of what happened, I can’t say that what happened was brutality, but…

    Something is VERY wrong.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 12:57am

    #9

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 836

    From Portsmouth

    Just this week I came out of Walmart to see twenty police cars and two ambulances…
    From the description of what happened, I can’t say that what happened was brutality, but…

    Something is VERY wrong.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 9:20am

    #10

    Arthur Robey

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    Again? Oh No!

    Not another bottleneck. Good luck everybody.

    The Hidden History Of The Human Race: http://youtu.be/b4wv5JgpQvo

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 11:13am

    #11

    Time2help

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    Oh dear

    Some character building opportunities going forward?  Perhaps time to brush up on some definitions. Consider the difference between the terms Legal and Lawful.

    My concatenation:

    Legal: A minefield.

    Lawful: A field of daisies (and mind your manners).

    "He who does not claim his rights…has no rights." – Author Unknown

    (Head nod to Arthur)  Do mind the evolutionary gap.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 12:46pm

    Reply to #11

    Bankers Slave

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    Just to expand upon your good points,

    if you ever get arrested by the cops and they read you the charges, and ask you if you understand what they have read to you, the correct answer is a resounding no! The word UNDERSTAND is a legal term that means the exact opposite to what you think its definition is.

    UNDERSTAND in legalese means to STAND UNDER those charges and their authority. Why on earth would you do that? Simply because that is what the system trained us to do by keeping us ignorant.

    They will ask you what it is that you do not understand. The correct answer is "i do not stand under those charges or your authority" and they will just note that down.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 1:36pm

    Reply to #11

    RNcarl

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    Posts: 179

    Bankers Slave wrote:if you

    [quote=Bankers Slave]

    if you ever get arrested by the cops and they read you the charges, and ask you if you understand what they have read to you, the correct answer is a resounding no! The word UNDERSTAND is a legal term that means the exact opposite to what you think its definition is.

    UNDERSTAND in legalese means to STAND UNDER those charges and their authority. Why on earth would you do that? Simply because that is what the system trained us to do by keeping us ignorant.

    They will ask you what it is that you do not understand. The correct answer is "i do not stand under those charges or your authority" and they will just note that down.

    [/quote]

    … And then kick the living crap out of you!!

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 1:54pm

    #12

    RNcarl

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    A long time ago

    … When I was younger, and much more fit.

    I was a Firefighter/EMT and there was a stretch where everyone we responded to for help, wanted to fight. They were either, drunk, high, or crazy. Even an old woman in her '80s who was running naked down the street, "resisted" and kicked a cop in the groin that got too close to her. Back then, cops and Firefighters alike just laughed at them like the Norwegian cops did in the above mentioned story. (We did actually laugh at the cop who got kicked by the old lady too)

    No one was shot, beaten or had their heads kneeled on. 

    Today, I fear I would have treated many, many more gunshot wounds.

    Thanks Chris for doing this article.

     

    P.S. The community where I served is in the same county as New Richmond, OH. where the cop showed restraint by NOT shooting an obviously depressed man.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 4:29pm

    #13
    Tom Ness

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    Professional Malpractice Insurance for Police

    I agree with Chris Martenson completely that incentives need to change, but disagree with him how to achieve this. We already have excellent examples of professions (doctors, lawyers, etc.) that use malpractice insurance policies to cover claims against individual practitioners of those professions. Why not police?

    When a police officer commits an act of abuse, it should be his or her individually purchased professional malpractice insurance policy that pays the claim. Martenson's idea of paying a claim out of police pension funds punishes them as a group. My idea would raise premiums for bad cops and lower them for good cops, incentivizing the bad ones to quit. We need the good ones to stay. This is a simple free market solution that could end most police abuse with easily written legislation.

    When bad drivers can no longer afford insurance, they have to quit driving (at least in the majority of states that require insurance). It's the way insurance works that good drivers will always subsidize potential claims against the bad drivers, which can easily be in the millions of dollars in a worst case scenario, beyond even the lifetime premium amounts of any individual. So good drivers have an incentive to see the bad drivers removed from the road, because that helps keep premiums down for everyone. Applying this same incentive structure to police will stop police unions from closing ranks behind bad cops in a manner more fair to all than charging their pension fund.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 5:58pm

    #14

    thc0655

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    Police malpractice insurance and UK/US comparisons

    Great idea TomNess about police malpractice insurance.  The union could pay the first $100/month toward the premium and the individuals would be stuck with the rest.  Of course, then the City wouldn't just pay $10,000 for frivolous claims (like they do in my city), they'd be incentivized to actually fight them in court and win.  The bad cops would eventually not be able to afford to stay on the job.

    The comparison of unarmed UK policing to armed US policing is helpful in some ways and not in others.  I wish my officers all had their manners and abilities to deescalate.  But what would an unarmed officer have done yesterday when two of my officers responded to a radio call of two males with guns in a housing project where we've had an incident of gun violence every day for a week? The officers saw the two males and their guns and initiated a foot pursuit.  The bad guys split up and as the officers closed in on the one bad guy he drew his gun.  The female officer fired one poorly aimed round which hit a UPS truck.  The bad guy thought better of it and dropped his gun.  He was arrested without injury.  Would it be fair to expect unarmed cops to chase those two armed thugs (the one they caught has a long criminal record including a shooting death)?  Do you really think there would be any chance of catching them if they had to wait for the armed police to arrive in 12 minutes?  Apples to oranges in many ways.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 7:44pm

    Reply to #14
    Tom Ness

    Tom Ness

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    Armed versus Unarmed Police

    I have no problem with police being armed. The problem in the US is, as Mr. Martenson details above, is that police have been trained to use guns as a first resort, not a last resort. As a result American police are drawing their guns in completely inappropriate situations, and then firing before they've given themselves even a fraction of second to determine whether deadly force is justified. Americans with concealed weapon permits are safer to the public than police simply because as private citizens they know they can't get away with mistakes or short tempers that police know they can just have a good laugh over with their colleagues. Police are not going to make themselves accountable, and it's clear from their actions and attitudes after they have administered shootings or beatings to citizens that they are smugly reveling in their being above the law. That's where civil courts and professional malpractice insurance can force them to change their culture.There's an old saying among US gun owners: "You can have a gun, or you can have a temper, but you can't have both." The saying should apply to police, too.

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  • Sat, Apr 25, 2015 - 9:54pm

    Reply to #13
    Doug

    Doug

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    same thing, sort of

    Your solution uses the same theory as Chris’s. Making one’s peers pay for one’s mistake in hopes that peers will straighten out the perp. That’s a basic military tactic, and it works. Except your solution brings in a middle man, the insurance industry that is well known to be as corrupt as any industry. When premiums go up most people will react as I do when my premiums go up, with some variation of f—ing blood suckers.
    The more directly your peers can connect your bad behavior with their increased cost the more likely they will be to apply peer pressure. Involving the insurance industry in anything ensures everyone’s costs will go up.

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 12:48am

    Reply to #14

    Arthur Robey

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    True THC. If you want a

    True THC. 

    If you want an unarmed police force then first you must have an unarmed population. And then we have a people afraid of the government, which in my opinion is the worst situation. 

    So why don't I miss behave?  (Long contemplative pause.) It is because I was brought up by my father. The giving of life and the taking of life are both sacred acts.

    The giving of life is best undertaken with joyous spontaneity, the taking of life requires the opposite. It requires long and careful consideration. 

    We need more Fathers.

    Afterthought: Ghengis Kahn was fatherless

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 4:25am

    #15
    Mulga Mumblebrain

    Mulga Mumblebrain

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    Police brutality

     The training in Israel is crucial. The police who murdered de Menezes in London, by shooting several bullets into his head, at point blank-range, were also trained in Israel, under 'Operation Kratos'. Kratos being the Greek demi-God of Strength who held  Prometheus down as he was shackled to the rock. The Israeli approach to the imprisoned Palestinians is pure racism, the race hatred of the colonial over-lord to the native untermenschen who will not disappear so that the Herrenvolk can obtain their lebensraum. No Israeli EVER faces justice for murdering a Palestinian, adult or child, in cold blood, not the army, police of the 'settler' Judaic Taliban thugs.

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 3:01pm

    #16

    Aaron M

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    The crown jewel

    This statement here:
    "had the subject complied with the officer's directives from the initial contact and beyond, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this today," Lewis said."

    The requirement is unflinching submission to authority. Do this, and you shall live, subject.

    Being a human, being a member of a community means being accountable. The "us and them" mentality that is endemic in all aspects of our society has made rival tribes of us all. Social cohesion is necessary for a 'civilization'. A police force militarized for the purpose of maintaining order in such a situation means maintaining the barriers that prevent us from returning to a more civilized way. 

    Aaron
     

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 7:53pm

    #17
    Thomas76

    Thomas76

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    police

    In the last 6 months, 6-7 instances of police alleged police brutality have been cited,  out of at least tens of thousands if not millions of arrests, 

    Only because it is a news story, is the reason for the outcry, and benefits to Sharpton , NAACP, and race baiters. Each week, in Chicago, more black lives from black on black shootings are lost than that. Black lives matter to whites,and the MSM, NOT blacks.

    [Moderator message: This post constitutes a violation of our forum guidelines.]

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 8:03pm

    Reply to #14
    climber99

    climber99

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    very sad state of affairs, Arthur

    I hope I haven't misinterpreted you Arthur. Are you saying that people/you feel the need to arm themselves/yourself against the government?

    If so this  is a very sad state of affairs, Arthur.  Firstly that people are afraid of a democratically elected government, secondly that people feel the need to arm themselves against it and thirdly that people think that you have any chance against the government in an armed conflict. 

    We are the police. We are the government, We are employees, We are employers. We are part of a community.  We are are responsible of our own actions. We trust others not to do us harm.  If not then we are not civilised

     

     

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 8:04pm

    #18
    Thomas76

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    Dangerous jobs

    Chris has listed a list of jobs"more dangerous than being a police officer. As best I can observe, people working on fishing boats, in the logging industry, trash and refuge workers, on cattle ranches, don't have to worry about getting SHOT. on a daily basis in some neighborhoods or the "hood". Exception, taxi drivers in Chicago, often have to worry of getting shot, by a black passenger (which they avoid), by the way.

    So there is a difference. 

    [Moderator message: This post constitutes a violation of our forum guidelines.]

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 8:54pm

    Reply to #18
    jennifersam07

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    Agree it's not a simple problem

    Yes we shouldn't minimize the number of good cops out there day after day.  It's complicated and self-reinforcing when police fear the community and the community fears the police. And I'm worried the narrative just keeps reinforcing itself. E.g. this "joke" from the Correspondent's Dinner: http://kyidyl.tumblr.com/post/117449847377/quinn-ineminor

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 9:09pm

    #19
    Doug

    Doug

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    episodes I know of

    I've been thinking lately of episodes of police brutality I have either witnessed or heard about first hand from people I trust.  The number is four, two personally witnessed and two from first hand accounts.  None involved anyone drawing a gun or, in the case of the victims, even having one.

    One was on a black guy in the deep south in 1971.  It was ugly and completely unprovoked.  To be fair the other I witnessed was also in the deep south, but involved two white victims.  The latter one I would characterize as excessive force, but perhaps understandable under the circumstances.

    The two first hand accounts were from friends, both white, and both completely nonviolent people.  One was a case of mistaken identity (not excusable, but at least explains the cop's motivation), the other involved a thuggish detective just deciding to beat on a guy for no reason other than the cop was drunk.  (it turns out he had a long history of such behavior)  Both were charged with resisting arrest and pled to non-criminal offenses, although neither resisted arrest or committed any other offense.  In the mistaken ID case the judge even warned the cop that he was close to stepping over the line.  In reality, he was way over the line.

    Another incident I was personally involved in did not result in violence, but came very close.  There were three of us and all, again, completely nonviolent people.  One was a woman.  One of the cops came as close to total hysteria as I have ever seen despite no provocation, even verbal, from any of us.  He was literally apoplectic, beet red face, fists clenched at his side, screaming and liberally distributing spit all around, including on the other guy:

    http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/apoplectic

    [quote]Someone who is apoplectic is not just mad — they're so filled with rage, they can barely communicate. [/quote]

    Fortunately for us, the female member of our trio happened to be an assistant DA complete with gold badge.  After a call to headquarters they decided the best course of action was to let us go, although we were clearly guilty of a very minor traffic offense.

    The ugly truth is that police in the US have a long history of  violence against people with insufficient if any justification.  It used to be a truism that police came from the same social background as common criminals and retained the same lack of impulse control and willingness to engage in violence.  I don't think that's as true as it used to be, but the militarization of police forces gives the remaining antisocial personality disorders the feeling of invulnerability that can send them over the edge.

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/12/differences-between-a-psychopath-vs-sociopath/

    [quote]The common features of a psychopath and sociopath lie in their shared diagnosis — antisocial personality disorder. The DSM-5 defines antisocial personality as someone have 3 or more of the following traits:

    1. Regularly breaks or flaunts the law
    2. Constantly lies and deceives others
    3. Is impulsive and doesn’t plan ahead
    4. Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
    5. Has little regard for the safety of others
    6. Irresponsible, can’t meet financial obligations
    7. Doesn’t feel remorse or guilt

    Symptoms start before age 15, so by the time a person is an adult, they are well on their way to becoming a psychopath or sociopath.[/quote]

    I don't believe by any means that all cops are bad, but they seem to tolerate those who are.  I have friends who are cops and one is even a kind of mentor in guiding me through my relationship with guns.  He is a top notch trainer and has an exhaustive knowledge of guns.  They are all good people or they wouldn't be my friends.

    Doug

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  • Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - 9:45pm

    Reply to #18
    Thomas76

    Thomas76

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    remark a Corrresondents Dinner

    You are right, It is an expected dumb remark by a libtard.,and laughing by an equally dumb audience.

    [Moderator message: This user's account has been blocked.]

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 12:48am

    Reply to #17

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 520

    40 million police/civilian encounters

    [quote=Thomas76]

    In the last 6 months, 6-7 instances of police alleged police brutality have been cited,  out of at least tens of thousands if not millions of arrests, 

    Only because it is a news story, is the reason for the outcry, and benefits to Sharpton , NAACP, and race baiters. Each week, in Chicago, more black lives from black on black shootings are lost than that. Black lives matter to whites,and the MSM, NOT blacks.

    [/quote]

    "An estimated 17.7 million persons age 16 or older indicated that their most recent contact with the police in 2008 was as a driver pulled over in a traffic stop. These drivers represented 8.4% of the nation’s 209 million drivers. " From the Bureau of Justice Stasticics. This is 44% of face to face encounters with police (BJS).

    Quick math shows over 40 million police/civilian encounters in the year sampled. To have 20 or 30 bad encounters in one year seems almost statistically insignificant. Granted…no human life is insignificant, and we must strive for perfection, but to dwell on the 20 or 30 aberrations and not applaud the police for over 40 million encounters done properly seems shortsighted at best and biased and prejudiced at the worst.

    If you watch the local evening news you would think that all apartment buildings are on fire and most cars are in gruesome wrecks. Who's going to report on the apartment building where the sprinkler system was checked on schedule, or the millions of drivers who carefully obeyed the traffic signals?

    Please ….lets take a step back and get some healthy perspective so that we might not incite fear and hatred.  

     

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 1:33am

    #20
    green_achers

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    What's new, and what's not at all new

    Doug above beat me to it.  I may also be biased by living in the South, but the first part of this article should surprise no one.  If you were young and had long hair in the 1970s, you knew this as standard police behavior.  If you are dark skinned, ever, it is no surprise.  There have always been police who have been unjustly brutal to anyone they could get away with being brutal toward, and mostly, the system protected its own.  Only two things have changed, the first is the widespread availability of video technology.  John Q has suddenly become aware of what's been reality forever.

    Chris, I love your stuff, but the definition of civilized you found couldn't be more wrong.  Civilized means subject to a civilization, and every civilization has enforced it's rule at the point of whatever the state of the art weaponry was.  I'm not saying this because I like it.  It's just the way it is.

    If anything, it occurs to me that if the publicity around these recorded events causes policing to become less brutal toward the "internal proletariat," that will probably be a sign that the end of this particular civilization is not far off.  The center cannot be held.  Well, that's not quite right, and that probably points to what has really changed, and the second part of the article, where I think you're spot on.

    That is the militarization of the police forces.  Where in the past it was Boss Hawg and deputy Bubba doing a usually amateur job, today we have full-blown occupation of large swaths of the countryside.  Not just the urban landscape, but that's probably where it's the most concentrated.  Again, I'd love to have some way to fight it, and to do what I can to stop the slide down that slippery slope to cultural disintegration, but I suspect it's just a sign of the times.

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 3:08am

    #21
    oldauzzie

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    Shame needs a comeback!

    We have reached a point, at all levels of society, where shame is no longer an outcome of bad behavior!  Permissiveness has dictated that all behavior is acceptable or at the very least justified by ones environment, upbringing or lack thereof, or discrimination.  Hence, murder, mayhem, rape can be justified and the offender should not be or feel shamed by their actions because they are not responsible!

    My father told me when I was a teenager, an adult decision to refrain from dragging main street on a Saturday night and rather stay home and read a book or practice a musical instrument, or workout, would likely keep me out of harms way!  Not a difficult concept to wrap ones head around.

    However, when our political leaders openly flaunt the law and ignore the Constitution from the POTUS on down the food chain, modeling to the voters unchecked bad behavior, why are we surprised that lawlessness has become an entitlement among those without any moral clock.

    Life is tough and not fair but ignoring responsibility for one's bad behavior will not solve the problem of social injustice!  Yes, those who are smarter than the you and I have succeeded in separating the Church from the State and they have now succeeded in separating Lawlessness from Shame!

    Why?  Because they can then justify their own bad behavior if they are not guilty of pointing out others!  There is no right or wrong, good or bad, because all behavior can now be equivocated!

    And we wonder if we have lost our way?  You think!  Duh…………..

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 10:33am

    Reply to #21

    pinecarr

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    oldauzzie, I agree with your post...

    except I'd put one more twist on it; I don't think these people are capable of shame (i.e., sociopaths).  And that is what makes not caring about the consequences of their actions so easy; I think they literally don't care.

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 11:05am

    Reply to #21

    pinecarr

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    Posts: 1085

    (Sorry; repeat post)

    Sorry; my comment posted again after edit

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 11:07am

    Reply to #21

    pinecarr

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    (Sorry; repeat post)

    Sorry; my comment posted again after edit.

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 1:37pm

    Reply to #21
    oldauzzie

    oldauzzie

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    Shame.......

    You're right, these sociopaths don't care, but because the politically correct accept all behavior and eschew any accountability, these aberrants will never care!  Either they need to experience punishment that results in a changed behavior or they need to be removed from society and grouped with others of the same ilk!  

    This is why I have a problem criticizing the police.  They are the ones dealing, on behalf of the few of us whose moral clock is still running, with societies worst malcontents who, as you point out, don't care.  Woe to anyone who believes that society should hold the offender's feet to the fire!  Using Ferguson, Missouri as a case in point, we must equivocate robbing a convenience store as society's problem!

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 4:39pm

    #22

    Time2help

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    Yeesh

    Step out for the weekend and the situation goes to you-know-where.

    Baltimore Police Warn of 'Credible Threat' to 'Take-Out' Law Enforcement Officers

    Going to be some amped up, stressed out LE in the area. Proceed with caution.

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 4:57pm

    #23

    Snydeman

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    I'm sorry

    …but I refuse to vilify our law enforcement agencies. Not because I condone their behavior – I abhor the methods and the brutality they are exhibiting – but rather because I would put the blame squarely on OUR shoulders as a nation. WE are a violent people, culturally if not individually; we committed genocide on the previous inhabitants of this land, then enslaved others to work the land in the natives' stead when they kept dying. We lead the world – or are in the top ten – in drug use, violent crime, incarceration, systemic inequality, etc., and we have among the most violent television, video games, books, magazines, sports and movies on the globe. Hell, we fought a civil war over the issue of slavery and state's rights. We've had politicians beat other politicians to death with a cane in the chambers of our government! Before we start blaming the police, we need to look hard at the dissonance between the values we accept, the values we show, and the values we claim to have. We are a violent nation. The cops just reflect this back at us, like a mirror no one wants to look at.

     

    For much the same reason, I don't blame politicians for deficit spending in a nation where everyone lives beyond their means through the use of credit, nor for extra-marital sexual trysts, nor for a myriad of other behaviors which simply reflect the general populace. They are US, and come FROM us, at least in so far as we allow them to be. We got us here.

     

    Although I must restate that I abhor – abhor – these issues of police brutality, I blame myself, my neighbors, my nation and my culture. We have a lot of self-reflection to do here, and history tells me we probably won't self-analyze so much as we'll find scapegoats and pin it all on them. Oh, wait, we are already doing that, aren't we?

     

    I agree with Chris that it is a clear a sign of a failed society and culture as any other sign we're seeing nowadays. 

     

    Now please excuse me while I go find something to punch in my anger. As an American male, it's what I've been indoctrinated to do…

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  • Mon, Apr 27, 2015 - 6:31pm

    #24
    Musashi

    Musashi

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2015

    Posts: 1

    Justice

    The more cops behave like outlaws, the more "vigilante justice" they can expect.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 2:04am

    Reply to #17
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 184

    percentages

    Don't assume that the "20-30" problematic contacts between the police and the public represents the number of problem encounters.  These are the ones which managed to get on national news.  The real number of police brutality or misbehavior episodes is much higher.  There would not be the level of outrage in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, etc. if these were isolated events.  Virtually every black person in these cities has either had first hand experience with inappropriate police behavior or has a close friend or family member who has.  They know that the police (in general, not all officers) treat them like garbage, frame them for things, etc.

    In the case of Ferguson it appears that the policeman was justified, but the reaction of the populace is driven more by their experience than that event.  They are willing to believe the victim was innocent because they know so many people in similar situations who were.

    The victim in NY who was choked to death by police stood up to them because he had been hassled dozens of times before.  He finally had enough and mouthed off back at them.  Their response was to kill him.

    Remember the OJ Simpson trial.   It was obvious to the average viewer that he was guilty.  However, his defense attorneys took the tack that he was framed by a bunch of racist police officers.  Every person on that jury knew that the LAPD did that kind of thing all the time.  They knew the police lied regularly.  When asked to believe the word of a famous black man over the word of a corrupt police force it was an easy choice.

    I have a friend (white) in the SF Bay area who was unjustly arrested by a corrupt police officer who then lied on the stand about what happened.  The Assistant DA hid exculpatory evidence, apparently because he was friendly with the officer involved.  Somebody edited the 911 tape and the Assistant DA submitted the edited version into evidence.  The trial judge refused to allow a delay so the tape could be forensically examined.  My friend eventually was able to get his conviction overturned in the California State Supreme Court, in part by demonstrating that the recording had been edited.  In the ruling one of the judges explicitly told the Assistant DA that he had never seen such an abuse of prosecutorial authority.  However, the experience has bankrupted my friend.  Meanwhile neither the officer nor DA has been punished in any way.  The DA declined to punish the ADA.  The officer is now retired and living well off the taxpayers while my friend is reduced to poverty.

     I now know that the cop shows you see on TV are bogus.  I never would have believed it if it hadn't happened to someone I know well.  

    Our criminal injustice system is far worse than most white people can imagine.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 2:41am

    Reply to #17

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Bogus "statistics" just don't cut it here.

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    Quick math shows over 40 million police/civilian encounters in the year sampled. To have 20 or 30 bad encounters in one year seems almost statistically insignificant. Granted…no human life is insignificant, and we must strive for perfection, but to dwell on the 20 or 30 aberrations and not applaud the police for over 40 million encounters done properly seems shortsighted at best and biased and prejudiced at the worst.

    [/quote]

    Oliveoilguy…please, you can do better than this.  

    You've just pulled some 'statistics' right out of you-know-where and then built a weak argument on them.

    Please cite your sources for "20-30 bad encounters"

    I can cite sources that will give you 20-30 bad encounters per day in one major city alone.  For many people, especially those in target areas, every encounter is a bad one…as in hostile, uncivil, and demeaning.

    The main thrust of this article was that this "us vs them" attitude prevails in our society.  You can find evidence of that growing gulf in the Department of Agriculture having their own swat teams, among many others:

    Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It’s not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them.

    But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

    All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.

    (Source)

    The fact of the matter at hand is that our police forces are acting as they have been trained which is really a recipe for the sorts of abuses and excesses detailed here.

    They are trained to never back down, escalate any situation, but shoot when they "feel threatened."

    Your "20 to 30" estimate is so far off the mark as to undercut the rest of your message which I think has merit; namely, without context things can be blown out or proportion.

    Well, if you want to make that case, its doubly important that you not accidentally provide bad context, if you see what I mean.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 3:12am

    #25

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    from a relative who's dad is a cop

    My son married the daughter of a county sheriff (in this is part of the world basically a policeman) and had this insight.

    I appreciate the effort in presenting a "solution" but from what I've seen, the problem is far more complex. It should be noted that, in order to meet the standards based on being politically correct, departments have had to lower their standards. Not only that but with fewer people applying to join the police force, standards are once again lower in order to bring in more workers.



    http://www.citizen-times.com/…/educational…/21266899/

     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 3:21am

    #26

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    out of control courts, too

    Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram…
     
    …For the family of “Rachel” (not her real name), the ordeal began before dawn — with the same loud, insistent knocking. Still in her pajamas, Rachel answered the door and saw uniformed police, poised to enter her home. When Rachel asked to wake her children herself, the officer insisted on walking into their rooms. The kids woke to an armed officer, standing near their beds. The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer. And, yes, there were the warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t talk to anyone about this. Don’t tell your friends. The kids watched — alarmed — as the school bus drove by, with the students inside watching the spectacle of uniformed police surrounding the house, carrying out the family’s belongings. Yet they were told they couldn’t tell anyone at school.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417155/wisconsins-shame-i-thought-it-was-home-invasion-david-french

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 3:44am

    #27
    aggrivated

    aggrivated

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    Joined: Sep 22 2010

    Posts: 441

    who goes into law enforcement?

    Does anyone have data on psychological research on the average cop?  I know from personal conversations with a psychologist that works for the internal affairs division of our city's police department that one of their main jobs is to review all arrest reports and look for 'employees' who repeatedly escalate situations to cause an arrest.  He explained that there are some police officers who are addicted to the adrenaline high that comes when they are in a confrontational situation.  These officers are a liability to the department.  What I don't know is how they are dealt with in the department. The current militarized training of our officers is probably attracting this type of person.  At some point they become a functional majority.   Wendy's story from Wisconsin would indicate that intimidation is systemic at least in that Wisconsin department.  This all goes back to Eisenhower's warning about the military industrial complex.  Cheap/free military equipment for the local sheriff/ military training for local police/ private prisons/ etc all point to a nation that has forfeited too much personal responsibility for its own cultural behavior.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 5:38am

    #28

    Mark Cochrane

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 24 2011

    Posts: 1189

    Moral authority

    How many more cities will we see burn in the coming years? What the police have done to Freddie Gray does not make the violence in Baltimore tonight right but it does make it inevitable given the past history of abuses. This is the same form of breakdown now happening across the country. Responses are likely to get more and more disproportionate as case after case of police brutality gets publicized, even if some events are warranted. When the police treat the public with respect and live as members of the community they wield tremendous moral authority and can expect to be supported by the public or obeyed with little questioning. However, by creating an increasingly adversarial situation of us versus them they appear more as an occupational force than keepers of the peace. This is sad because I believe that the vast majority of those involved in law enforcement are getting a bad rap. The policies in recent decades and the increasingly flagrant abuse of authority have undermined police powers and changed its source from respect to fear. A fearful populace does not support law enforcement they hide from it or resist it. We depend on police services but they depend on the public's acquiescence to their role in society.  If that breaks down then all the body armor and grenade launchers will not suffice in the face of raw numbers of angry mobs. Police departments and city leaders need to work seriously on repairing the bond with the public before things spin out of control and escalate further. The police are a part of all of us in this society. We need to all be on the same side as resources become more limited and stress levels continue to rise. If the social fabric starts tearing already while we are still 'recovering' what are things going to be like when times are truly tough?

    Mark

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 9:43am

    #29
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 859

    OK to

    post this here?

    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21649507-when-law-enforcement-just-about-force-people-are-killed-wanted-cops-people-skills

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 10:17am

    #30

    HughK

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2012

    Posts: 571

    Swedish police on holiday de-escalate situation on the NY subway

    Swedish Cops on Vacation in NYC Stop Assault, Hold Homeless Man Until Police Come Without Escalating the Situation (Reason.com)

    Pretty standard stuff, except that we know it could’ve turned out differently. De-escalation is far from a universal tactic taught to American police, although a number of departments began training it after Ferguson became a national news story. The failure to de-escalate increases the likelihood of deadly force being used, and is rooted in the failure to differentiate between the ability of the police officer, technically a trained professional, to act toward de-escalating the situation and the ability of the suspect, often someone in a poor state of mind, to do the same.

     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 12:02pm

    Reply to #25

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Speaking of Standards....

    [quote=Wendy S. Delmater]

    My son married the daughter of a county sheriff (in this is part of the world basically a policeman) and had this insight.

    I appreciate the effort in presenting a "solution" but from what I've seen, the problem is far more complex. It should be noted that, in order to meet the standards based on being politically correct, departments have had to lower their standards. Not only that but with fewer people applying to join the police force, standards are once again lower in order to bring in more workers.



    http://www.citizen-times.com/…/educational…/21266899/

    [/quote]

    Some departments are not struggling with low quality candidates, but actually select preferentially for lower IQs.  The courts have said rejecting higher IQ applicants is A-OK because, government, or something.

    Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

    Sept 8, 2000

    A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

    “This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.”

    He said he does not plan to take any further legal action.

    Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

    Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.

    I'm not sure if there's a correlation between IQ and certain behaviors but I'm pretty sure that IQ and complex decision making go hand in hand.

    At any rate, when it comes to the "public sphere" being allowed to discriminate, I guess the message here is go for it, just don't try this as a private business.  The courts will land on you hard if you do.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 2:00pm

    Reply to #17

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    "Chris, there you go again"

    To borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan, "Chris, there you go again."  wink

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRmtpau8sOU

    You wrote:

    The fact of the matter at hand is that our police forces are acting as they have been trained which is really a recipe for the sorts of abuses and excesses detailed here.

    They are trained to never back down, escalate any situation, but shoot when they "feel threatened."

    I'm calling you on that one.  Let's have some documentation, or some personal anecdotes, anything.

    You say police are trained:  1) to never back down, 2) to escalate any situation, and 3) to shoot when they feel threatened.  Of course that will require you to define your terms (back down, escalate, feel threatened).  While you're at it, let's have a definition of "bad encounters" because I'm guessing you and Oliveoilguy are defining it differently, especially when you write

    For many people, especially those in target areas, every encounter is a bad one…as in hostile, uncivil, and demeaning.

    I suspect he's talking about unarmed suspects being shot in the back while running away, and the like (unnecessary deaths caused by excessive use of force).

    You're indicting the whole system of training police and the values behind it with a nationwide blanket.  Admittedly, all my personal experience is only in one 8-month police academy experience and 15 years of ongoing training, all in one police department.  I may not know as much about the training provided to police around the country as you do.  However, all my training experiences include de-escalation, some of it particularly related to people who suffer from mental illness or other illnesses (eg. diabetes, seizures) which may effect their interactions with police.  The training I've received on the use of deadly force is VERY VERY clear that the use of deadly force by police is the most profound action we could take and it must be used only in the most dire circumstances to protect life (the officer's or another person's).  To characterize my training as "shoot when you feel threatened" is a cheap shot (but maybe you're aware of training like that).  I also provide ongoing training to my subordinates, and nothing I have taught or demonstrated on the street (as an example to follow) comes anywhere close to "shoot when you feel threatened; or hostile, uncivil, demeaning; or never de-escalate, always escalate.

    On the subject of "never back down" I'll await your operational definition.  However, if I walk into a living room to respond to a domestic violence call, and I find a man with bloody fists standing over a woman beaten to a pulp and she shouts, "He's beating me to death!" you can be 100% sure I won't be backing down.   When I tell him he's under arrest and to put his hands behind his back, if he refuses or initiates an attack on me or one of my officers, I/we will not be backing down.  However, if we can calm him down verbally first, we will.  If we don't succeed in calming him down or the situation doesn't even permit us to try, I won't be backing down.  He is going to be arrested and taken to jail.  The only question is whether he forces us to use force and how much force he forces us to use (in which case he'll go to the hospital first, then to jail).  Now in the calmness of this moment, as in training, I am aware that a violent struggle to arrest a man in that situation might lead to my being injured or killed, or him being injured or killed.  I would like to avoid that if possible, but if not possible I will not be backing down.  Whether anyone besides the beaten woman is injured is up to the suspect 100%.  Justice for the beaten woman demands he be arrested.  And here's where you may have a legitimate problem with the law and police training.  If I have probable cause to make an arrest (as in the above hypothetical scenario), I am required to make an arrest and I have the legal authority to use as much force as necessary (up to and including lethal force) to overcome the subject's resistance, but I am required to use the least amount of force necessary to be successful.  Usually, just showing up in uniform and giving orders is sufficient to get a suspect arrested and under control.  Usually, if they resist with bare hands, my strength and bare handed fighting skills are sufficient to overcome the suspect's resistance.  But sometimes an officer has to move up the "force continuum" to make the arrest or even to save his own life during an arrest situation.  If you would have me "back down" in the above hypothetical arrest situation, please explain what happens next (after I don't arrest him and leave his house as he demands with "his woman" laying at his feet).  What would my defense be in the civil rights lawsuit filed against me for not taking police action to arrest the man who beat that woman?  How should police be trained to back down, and when?

    I don't have any big issues with the main points of your article as I see them: 1) our culture is falling apart, and 2) police abuses are one sign of it.  My objections are about a lack of context, as you mentioned is important in your follow up comment to Oliveoilguy.  I dare say I could write four more articles taking exactly the same approach and making the same points (our culture is falling apart and the uncorrected abuses by _____ profession are a sign of it).  To provide some context to the police article, I would address grievous abuses by:

    1. Professionals in the banking, finance and investment field.  Not one banker has gone to jail over the abuses and law breaking that caused the Great Recession.  Cops get away with too much.  More cops should be arrested and fired.  But what about the bankers?  Shouldn't at least ONE of them go to jail?

    2. Professionals in the medical field.  Conservative estimates are that medical professionals cause or negligently allow a minimum of 100,000 to 200,000 unnecessary deaths per year.  But how many doctors and nurses lose their licenses, get sued successfully, or lose their jobs?  Don't bad doctors usually just move on to another hospital in another city or state?  Don't they cover up for each other?

    3. Lawyers.  Enough said.

    4. Elected officials.  Enough said.

    (And Doug: couldn't we also say of all these people as you said of police – the good ones seem to tolerate the bad ones?)

    Police don't have a corner on the corruption and incompetence in our society.  It's everywhere, and THAT'S the sign that our society is falling apart.

    Big Brother is watching me so I have to watch what I say, but you should know that I can't stand working in this field, but for reasons somewhat different than what you're discussing here.  I like the actual work, but it's the bureaucracy and "the system" that has broken me.  If I was younger, I imagine I would have embarked on a quixotic quest to reform the system by myself (in high school and college I saw Frank Serpico as one of my heroes).  But I'm older and wiser, and I see that the system is far too big for that.  So I control the tiny slice I can control (which is mostly me and my subordinates) and leave the rest alone.  I had planned to work 20 years, then retire, but I got so fed up I moved it up to 18 years, now 19 years for financial reasons.  I'd leave today if I could afford to and on many days I half hope for one of my "triggers to leave immediately" occurs.  There are some things that could happen that would make me retire immediately (the official bankruptcy of my city, an economic collapse leading to civil war type conditions, etc.).  These are all bad things but the silver lining in them would be that I could get out of here before 2019.

    Tom

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 2:05pm

    Reply to #17

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    An interesting anecdote from yesterday.

    [quote=cmartenson]

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    Quick math shows over 40 million police/civilian encounters in the year sampled. To have 20 or 30 bad encounters in one year seems almost statistically insignificant. Granted…no human life is insignificant, and we must strive for perfection, but to dwell on the 20 or 30 aberrations and not applaud the police for over 40 million encounters done properly seems shortsighted at best and biased and prejudiced at the worst.

    [/quote]

    Oliveoilguy…please, you can do better than this.  

    You've just pulled some 'statistics' right out of you-know-where and then built a weak argument on them.

    Please cite your sources for "20-30 bad encounters"

    I can cite sources that will give you 20-30 bad encounters per day in one major city alone.  For many people, especially those in target areas, every encounter is a bad one…as in hostile, uncivil, and demeaning.

    The main thrust of this article was that this "us vs them" attitude prevails in our society.  You can find evidence of that growing gulf in the Department of Agriculture having their own swat teams, among many others:

    Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It’s not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them.

    But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?

    All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.

    (Source)

    The fact of the matter at hand is that our police forces are acting as they have been trained which is really a recipe for the sorts of abuses and excesses detailed here.

    They are trained to never back down, escalate any situation, but shoot when they "feel threatened."

    Your "20 to 30" estimate is so far off the mark as to undercut the rest of your message which I think has merit; namely, without context things can be blown out or proportion.

    Well, if you want to make that case, its doubly important that you not accidentally provide bad context, if you see what I mean.

    [/quote]

    Chris……. Point taken…The 40 million police / civilian encounters comes from The Bureau of Justice Stastics. This is a statistic. And on the other number I used the word estimate. We both know that estimates are not statistics. 

    But here is another stat. "Approximately 85% of drivers pulled over by police in 2008 felt they had been stopped for a legitimate reason. "(Bureau of Justice Statistcs)

    Yes, the number of "bad" encounters is impossible to quantify. One can only watch the news and be sure that any injustice will make major headlines. My observation is that 30 violent newsworthy police brutality cases in 2008 might not be far off. I would welcome an accurate stat. 

    My point stands firm that most police/ civilian encounters are handled professionally.

    An interesting anecdote from yesterday. The family attorney for the slain black man in Baltimore pleaded with the media to not highlight the burning parts of the city because it would exacerbate the rioting. He asked why the media did not show the parts of Baltimore that were "normal". 

    Exactly my point. The media and others grab onto the sensational and actually add fuel to the fire. Let's keep some perspective here. Even if there were 40,000 bad police encounters in the year sampled, the ratio of good encounters to bad would be 1000 / 1. Still not a bad number. 

     

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 2:34pm

    Reply to #17
    jennifersam07

    jennifersam07

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 14 2012

    Posts: 115

    1000/1 -- wonder if it's that good in investment banking?

    I don't have any big issues with the main points of your article as I see them: 1) our culture is falling apart, and 2) police abuses are one sign of it.  My objections are about a lack of context, as you mentioned is important in your follow up comment to Oliveoilguy.  I dare say I could write four more articles taking exactly the same approach and making the same points (our culture is falling apart and the uncorrected abuses by _____ profession are a sign of it).  To provide some context to the police article, I would address grievous abuses by:

    1. Professionals in the banking, finance and investment field.  Not one banker has gone to jail over the abuses and law breaking that caused the Great Recession.  Cops get away with too much.  More cops should be arrested and fired.  But what about the bankers?  Shouldn't at least ONE of them go to jail?

    2. Professionals in the medical field.  Conservative estimates are that medical professionals cause or negligently allow a minimum of 100,000 to 200,000 unnecessary deaths per year.  But how many doctors and nurses lose their licenses, get sued successfully, or lose their jobs?  Don't bad doctors usually just move on to another hospital in another city or state?  Don't they cover up for each other?

    3. Lawyers.  Enough said.

    4. Elected officials.  Enough said.

    (And Doug: couldn't we also say of all these people as you said of police – the good ones seem to tolerate the bad ones?)

    Police don't have a corner on the corruption and incompetence in our society.  It's everywhere, and THAT'S the sign that our society is falling apart.

    Big Brother is watching me so I have to watch what I say, but you should know that I can't stand working in this field, but for reasons somewhat different than what you're discussing here.  I like the actual work, but it's the bureaucracy and "the system" that has broken me.  If I was younger, I imagine I would have embarked on a quixotic quest to reform the system by myself (in high school and college I saw Frank Serpico as one of my heroes).  But I'm older and wiser, and I see that the system is far too big for that.  So I control the tiny slice I can control (which is mostly me and my subordinates) and leave the rest alone.  I had planned to work 20 years, then retire, but I got so fed up I moved it up to 18 years, now 19 years for financial reasons.  I'd leave today if I could afford to and on many days I half hope for one of my "triggers to leave immediately" occurs.  There are some things that could happen that would make me retire immediately (the official bankruptcy of my city, an economic collapse leading to civil war type conditions, etc.).  These are all bad things but the silver lining in them would be that I could get out of here before 2019.

    That is really profound and true. Thanks, Tom. I think about the majority of encounters between desperate Seniors and investment portfolio managers who are ripping them off and wonder if the ratio of good/bad encounters is that high.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 4:01pm

    Reply to #17

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Violence! (Film at 11)

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    Exactly my point. The media and others grab onto the sensational and actually add fuel to the fire. Let's keep some perspective here. Even if there were 40,000 bad police encounters in the year sampled, the ratio of good encounters to bad would be 1000 / 1. Still not a bad number. 

    [/quote]

    Want to help reduce police violence?  If you haven't already, take your TV outside and introduce it to a sledgehammer. Even better to let a few neighbors see you do it.  You might find that your exposure to violence of all sorts drops off precipitously (a personal observation).  And if you are really lucky, a good neighbor might offer to join in and help. Consider offering a beer. YLMMV. 

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 5:04pm

    #31

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Orioles VP Angelos Makes Profound Statement

    Orioles VP Angelos Makes Profound Statement Following Baltimore Protests

    [quote=Angelos]

    “Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela, and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

    That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

    The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”

    [/quote]

    ^^^What he said.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 5:32pm

    Reply to #17

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    "Dogs with jobs"

    [quote=Time2help]

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    Exactly my point. The media and others grab onto the sensational and actually add fuel to the fire. Let's keep some perspective here. Even if there were 40,000 bad police encounters in the year sampled, the ratio of good encounters to bad would be 1000 / 1. Still not a bad number. 

    [/quote]

    Want to help reduce police violence?  If you haven't already, take your TV outside and introduce it to a sledgehammer. Even better to let a few neighbors see you do it.  You might find that your exposure to violence of all sorts drops off precipitously (a personal observation).  And if you are really lucky, a good neighbor might offer to join in and help. Consider offering a beer. YLMMV. 

    [/quote]

    We told Dish Network to leave our lives a few years ago. The only thing we watch is "Dogs with Jobs" on streaming netflix. Also Dr. Pol Vet. We can't stomach anything on air. Feels like swimming in pollution.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 5:41pm

    #32
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 859

    Us Too

    the Robinsons

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 5:57pm

    #33
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1358

    moi aussi

    Well said

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 6:43pm

    #34

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    Half way there

    When we purchased a cabin in the Northern Woods of New England three years ago we opted not to connect to cable (yes there was a cable line a mile down a dirt road, in a town with twelve hundred people, forty miles from the interstate) or to get a dish tv link.  I did get a dedicated internet link from my cell phone carrier.

    We have not missed tv and do not even think about it when we are at the cabin.  The trick now is to pull the plug at home. 

    JT

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 7:52pm

    #35
    Broadspectrum

    Broadspectrum

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 14 2009

    Posts: 36

    John P Angelos, Orioles Chief Operating Officer, Twitter Comment

    Hi All,

    I heard this on Democracy Now this morning…Amy Goodman read it aloud…says it all…

     

    My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night's property damage nor upon the acts group but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to 3rd world dictatorships like China and others plunged tens of millions of good hard working Americans into economic devastation and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every Americans civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

    The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the bill of rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards.

    We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights and this is makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 7:55pm

    #36
    Broadspectrum

    Broadspectrum

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 14 2009

    Posts: 36

    John P Angelos, Orioles Chief Operating Officer, Twitter Comment

    Hi All,

    I heard this on Democracy Now this morning…Amy Goodman read it aloud…This is from John P. Angelos' Twitter account in response to what happened at the baseball stadium.  He is also the son of the team's owner.  It almost says it all…

     

    "My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night's property damage nor upon the acts group but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to 3rd world dictatorships like China and others plunged tens of millions of good hard working Americans into economic devastation and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every Americans civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

    The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the bill of rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards.

    We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights and this is makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans."

     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 28, 2015 - 8:07pm

    #37
    Broadspectrum

    Broadspectrum

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    Posts: 36

    Sorry for Old Info

    There must have been a time lapse from when I read the final comment before I went out and looked for the quote that I posted because when I looked again I saw that Time2help already posted it.  Sorry for the duplicate effort.  

    Broadspectrum

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 1:45am

    #38

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Politically Incorrect.

    How's that Multiculturalism thing working for you?

    Us Rhodesian whites were outnumbered 21:1 Our future depended on getting it right. We failed. Zimbabwe is now mono-cultural. Bob Mugabe insisted on that.

    Japan won't touch Multiculturalism with a barge pole

    Cause your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends.The more we get together,the happier we'll be.

    Prognosis: Balkanization.  ( Which is a euphemism for Apartheid.  Enjoy.)

    Australia follows in Big Brother's footsteps. Multiculturalism requires careful consideration. It is a one way street.

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 2:26am

    Reply to #37

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Time Lapse

    [quote=Broadspectrum]

    There must have been a time lapse from when I read the final comment before I went out and looked for the quote that I posted because when I looked again I saw that Time2help already posted it.  Sorry for the duplicate effort.  

    Broadspectrum

    [/quote]

    Hey man, pile on!  The more the merrier wink.

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 6:35am

    Reply to #38

    HughK

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 06 2012

    Posts: 571

    We made those beds

    [quote=Arthur Robey]

    How's that Multiculturalism thing working for you?

    Multiculturalism requires careful consideration. It is a one way street.

    [/quote]

    No matter what one's view on multiculturalism, it is worth adding that in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and North America, it was the Anglo-saxons that initiated the multiculturalism, by moving to a place inhabited by people of other races and, in the latter case, by importing people of another race against their will as slaves.

    Our cultural ancestors, and possibly our genetic ancestors, made those beds and now we need to figure out how to lie in them with everyone else we invited (or climbed into bed with), one way or another.  

    A predicament?  Maybe, but race is not the only lens through which we can view the problem of an overly militarized police force (or even the problem of poverty, crime, and riots).  The growth of an onerous state in mid-to-late stages of civilization seems to be a fairly consistent phenomenon in many historical civilizations, regardless of the racial composition of the society.  Ditto for the growth of an urban underclass.  The Romans and the Han Chinese had their underclasses too.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 1:03pm

    #39

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    "better half bred than inbred"

    My thoughts on muliculturalism. To me it's not a black/white thing or a hispanic/white thing it's more of moral/immoral or hardworking/slothful thing. 

    I live in an are of south Texas with a large Hispanic population, and I speak fluent Spanish. Actually my three lovely daughters are half hispanic half white. My motto has always been "better half bred than inbred" Anyway back to my point. As a General Contractor I meet lots of "Mexican" guys and become friends with some and never want to see others again.  Right now I've got a guy "Fredrico" who does tile work for me and he is the most conscientious guy I think I've ever met.  He listens to Christian music while he works and always goes the extra mile to satisfy himself in striving for perfection. I feel energized and blessed to be around him. 

    Opposed to that was a couple of guys (24 years old) I hired who had young babies and I thought wanted to better themselves. They were obsequious in my presence, but robbed me blind. Did shoddy work and argued with me when I tried to point out how things could be done better. They are gone.

    I can't look at someone and try to compensate for how their great grandfather might have been treated, but I can sure give a chance, and a bonus, and an extra compliment to someone who makes that extra effort. 

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 1:12pm

    #40
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Posts: 859

    I raise a glass in agreement to OOG

    He definitely has his mare settled.

    robie

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 1:36pm

    Reply to #40

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Robie

    Look forward to raising a glass with you …my friend. Thanks

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 2:07pm

    Reply to #39
    jennifersam07

    jennifersam07

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    Posts: 115

    amen to that

    As a matriarch in a multicultural family, (six adopted Vietnamese children, 3 from birth, 3 with 10 years of various forms of baggage from street living in poverty, 1 African American son-in-law) I have to agree heartily with OOG, race is the least useful marker in determining the 'content of the character.' 

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 3:09pm

    #41

    Aaron M

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2008

    Posts: 790

    Race = culture?

    I'm not trying to argue about race being a non-issue, but race does at times confer culture. 
    Whether or not that culture is on that has been created through forced austerity or not is something that can be discussed, but there's not question that in Arthur's comparison, the validity stems from the observation that mutually exclusive cultures cannot always be reconciled. 

    The culture of Zimbabwe is one of exclusion. White farmers were ostracized, beaten, and in some cases killed. Their land was redistributed to the native culture of Zimbabwe, which is now an utter catastrophe. In this case, a productive population was driven out by racism (let's face it – the whites in Rhodesia were not the 17th century Belgian conquerers, they were 'natives" by the 1980's, I'd say) and the now dominant culture is defunct and destructive. 

    Multiculturalism failed there because there was no sense of unity. In the U.S., there *is* a sense of unity. You would just never guess by watching the TV. 

    What we need is to bolster that sense of unity, so that we are less "multi-cultural", because I believe Arthur's point was having independent and mutually exclusive cultures in the same living space is a recipe for conflict. I've seen this a few times, as I know he has. Afghanistan is very nearly racially homogenous, but cultures fluctuate with region, language, tribal affiliation, and religious affiliation. Because of this, there is no cultural homogeneity and conflict is nearly constant.

    It would be wise to set aside the PC bandwagon and think on the implications. 

    For example, I would bet that OOG's workers or Jennifersam07's workers and families are culturally homogenous. They share common values and do not view themselves as 'separate' from one another. 

    Right now, it would be impossible for urban blacks in Baltimore to feel a kinship to their Caucasian leadership in WADC.I'd guess they have little in common with other groups of Blacks in other counties and cities. They share no culture, no values and no common interest.
    How can that be reconciled?
    History says conflict, but I certainly hope cooler heads prevail. That would seem to mean balkanization, but I'd rather see that than a civil war…

    Aaron

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 5:11pm

    Reply to #41
    jennifersam07

    jennifersam07

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    Posts: 115

    good point

    Race and culture are not the same. But doesn't it seem like today race is a proxy for culture — a shortcut way to determine whether someone is a 'them' or an 'us'? And agreed, that's because we are losing our shared culture in the US because of this sense that the 'melting pot' ideal carefully inculcated in youth through the public education system was a myth and 'multiculturalism' is a better approach. Which it may be, IF you can also instill mutual respect. It is possible, but it's a whole lot harder to get people to have mutual respect than to use the education system to force feed a shared culture. Multiculturalism invites 'them vs. us'. Especially when there is so much real and perceived injustice and inequality. But I believe you can have multiculturalism in a free society if you also have as a foundation an unshakeable belief in mutual respect, which is in our Constitution, so should be possible if an incorruptible justice system enforces it. It starts at the family level. There's no other way. Strong families that teach kids to be/do good, even when it seems like life isn't fair; Strong communities, with strong schools/institutions that don't invite hypocrisy, and cynicism; when you have that, you have a strong national culture. Reference: community building threads. It ain't easy. In our family, if you asked members at various times if we have a shared culture, some days it would be yes, but not always. If kids are raised to expect justice, then they have hope, they work hard, they follow the rules. If over several generations, there is no expectation of justice, then all hell breaks loose. Hard to break that cycle, although it is possible, and happens all the time. For the most part, the successful person that grows up in that kind of chaos is the one that leaves. 

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 7:03pm

    #42

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Can you run from police? In US, rule is murky

    Can you run from police? In US, rule is murky

    [quote=AssociatedPress]

    "Fleeing from police is not, by itself, illegal in America, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that in safe neighborhoods, people not suspected of criminal activity can ignore a police officer who approaches them, even to the point of walking away.

    But courts have set a different standard for places where street crime is common, ruling that police can chase, stop and frisk people if their location contributes to a suspicion of criminal activity.

    This double standard is having a major impact as more black men die in encounters with police around the country. Many have been shot or tackled while trying to flee. The court rulings justifying police chases in high-crime areas where many African-Americans live are contributing to a dangerous divide between police and citizens, said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the Criminal Law Reform Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

    "Folks who are going to be the most intimidated or scared of the police are the same people in places where the Supreme Court has said, 'if you run from police, that's suspicion,' " he said."

    [/quote]

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 7:32pm

    #43

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    What was burned down

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 8:25pm

    Reply to #41
    Trun87114

    Trun87114

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    Joined: Apr 29 2013

    Posts: 79

    Race =Culture?

    Another comment on the relationship between race and culture.  It's been my experience that "blacks" from outside the USA, particularly from Africa and the Caribbean have a far different work ethic and standard of behavior than many "blacks" who grew up up in the USA.  

    Of course, my sample size is relatively limited, having known only a handful of such immigrants.  But the difference was striking enough to convince me that the high crime rate and low morality apparent in many black neighborhoods in the USA has very little to do with biology.  Unfortunately it seems as if it's the American Black Culture that has devolved so grossly.  Rappers, thugs and dealers are now glorified while conscientious young men are "Uncle Toms."  Dr. King must be spinning in his grave.

    I'm quite sure there are several reasons for the devolution of black culture in America but the one in the forefront of my mind is the creation of the Welfare State.  The (almost all) white "benefactors" have been handing the (predominantly) black underclass just enough $$$ and benefits to keep them hooked on poverty.  It's never enough to lift them out of poverty and it's never so little as to provoke them to raise themselves out of poverty.

    T.

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 9:36pm

    #44

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Found this interesting

    It's coming from the Hedge, so assume it's hyped up and over, however I find it interesting that the Texas Governor feels this necessary.

    Texas Governor Calls Up State Guard To Counter Jade Helm "Federal Invasion" Fears

    (The order basically directs the Texas State Guard to monitor the operation)

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 9:42pm

    Reply to #42

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    You can run. We can chase (sometimes).

    As the article points out, running from police (by itself) is not a crime nor is it (by itself) legal grounds for a police stop.  However, along with other elements of reasonable suspicion which the officer may have in his/her mind, flight from police CAN contribute to sufficient legal grounds for a police pursuit and stop.  This is admittedly a difficult gray area into which officers (who as we all know are generally of average or less than average intelligence) are thrust and about which they have to make split-second decisions.  The public, highly intelligent lawyers, and super highly intelligent judges get months and years to pore over each case, do research, listen to arguments for and against, discuss it among their august minds, and then finally render a final, legally-binding decision.

    Just yesterday two of my subordinate officers who have a total of 28 months in the police department (combined) were asking me about the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore and how it should affect their decision-making and actions here.  We specifically discussed the issue of the legal grounds for initiating a foot pursuit.  I related it to a burglary suspect we are very interested in at this time.  The last time we arrested Mr. "Smith" for burglary, he went to prison for a year and a half for committing three home break ins (burglaries), though we suspected him of five others.  Mr. Smith has now been released from prison and is on parole back in our neighborhood.  Coincidentally (or not), we have a new pattern of burglaries in which the targets (Asian residents) and the M.O. are the same as Mr. Smith's previous burglaries in this high crime neighborhood in which his home is situated.  The suspect(s) knock on the target's door (within 3 blocks of Mr. Smith's house) and if they get no answer (indicating no one's home) they climb into the alley and make their way to the rear of the targeted property. There they break into a first or second floor window, usually by removing a window air conditioner.  Then the burglar(s) goes to the living room and jams a piece of furniture under the door knob on the inside of the front door so if the residents come home it will be difficult, loud and time-consuming for them to get inside which will alert the burglar(s) who will then have time to make his escape out the back door. Often, the only things the burglar steals from the home are money and valuables small enough to be carried in his pockets or a small back pack. So my officers wanted to know if they could stop and investigate Mr. Smith just because he has multiple burglary convictions on his record and our new burglary pattern matches him to a "T."  I told them "No," that would be insufficient reasonable suspicion to stop him.  Then they asked, "What if when he saw us and we saw him, he took off running from us before we said or did anything."  I said "Yes," that third element would be enough (along with his burglary history, and our new burglaries which started as soon as he got out of prison) to chase Mr. Smith.  At law, flight from police can usually be used as an indication of that person's knowledge of their own guilt and desire to avoid arrest.  So, in our current situation, we would have three elements of our reasonable suspicion which would justify our pursuit: felony history, a new pattern of the same crime in the same high crime neighborhood now that he's newly out of prison, and his attempt to flee for no apparent reason. 

    However, those elements of reasonable suspicion would not be probable cause grounds for an arrest or a lengthy detention.  In the above case of a foot pursuit of Mr. Smith, only after the officers caught him and had a chance to conduct a street investigation could there possibly be an arrest.  Hypothetically, let's say Mr. Smith could not be arrested for any burglary because there was no evidence to connect him to one.  But let's say the officers frisked Mr. Smith for weapons and found an illegal, spring-operated switchblade knife in his pocket, they could arrest him for that even though that wasn't what they were originally suspicious about (this is the only charge Baltimore police put on Freddie Gray in similar circumstances).  If there was no evidence of any crime and no open arrest warrant, Mr. Smith would be sent on his way, a free man.  

    So: members of the public are free to run from the police when they see them.  Police are also free to chase them IF (in their own minds based on their own knowledge and experience) they have grounds to have a reasonable suspicion that the person who runs is guilty of some crime.  Who decides what is a reasonable suspicion?  The officer has to make that decision on the street in a split second.  However, when the case gets to court the judge and jury will decide if the officer had sufficient reasonable suspicion to start the foot pursuit in the first place.  If the judge/jury decide there was NOT sufficient reasonable suspicion for the initial foot pursuit, then almost always the arrest is thrown out and the suspect is free to go.

    What is ABSOLUTELY NOT LEGAL, MORAL OR ACCEPTABLE under any circumstances is that the officers injure the suspect (or by negligence allow him to be injured) so badly that he dies !

    Tom

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 10:23pm

    #45

    jtwalsh

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 261

    Perfect Summary

    Tom:  In addition to my usual business law courses at the local community college, this semester, I was assigned to teach Criminal Law and the Constitution to students hoping to become officers. I wish I had had your description of reasonable suspicion a few weeks ago to share with them.  It is right on target.

    Needless to say, with all the issues in the news, this was a perfect time to be teaching this subject.  We had a number of heated and interesting discussions.

    Keep up the good work.  With your permission I may print out your post and use it in future courses.

     

    JT

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 10:26pm

    Reply to #42
    Denny Johnson

    Denny Johnson

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 14 2008

    Posts: 119

    weapons frisk

    [quote=thc0655]

     But let's say the officers frisked Mr. Smith for weapons and found an illegal, spring-operated switchblade knife in his pocket, they could arrest him for that even though that wasn't what they were originally suspicious about (this is the only charge Baltimore police put on Freddie Gray in similar circumstances).  If there was no evidence of any crime and no open arrest warrant, Mr. Smith would be sent on his way, a free man.  

    Tom

    [/quote]

    Thanks for the frequent professional insights.

    Can you elaborate a bit re when a weapons frisk is allowed.

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 10:30pm

    #46

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    This guy has it right and deep

    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/29/david-simon-on-baltimore-s-anguish?ref=hp-1-111

    Even though I don't agree with everything he writes, David Simon exhibits in this article a deep and profound understanding of policing, race and culture, and he learned it in Baltimore.  He was the main writer for "The Wire" teevee series, which is the favorite police show of every cop I know (sorry, I've never seen it as I watch precious little teevee).

    It's long but you'd be rewarded by reading it all.

    Tom

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  • Wed, Apr 29, 2015 - 11:23pm

    #47

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Frisk for weapons

    Yo Denny!

    I wondered if anybody would ask about frisks.  A frisk is NOT a search.  It is less than a search and for a different reason than the multiple reasons behind a search.  Definition: a frisk of a person is when an officer pats down the outermost layer of clothing of a suspect to see if s/he can detect a weapon.  This does not include emptying the suspect's pockets, removing shoes, etc.  A vehicle can also be frisked for weapons on a car stop.  This is when the officer looks at or into any open and unlocked place in the car which the suspect could reach while seated (to make sure s/he can't reach a weapon during the interview).  Both of these frisks, if they are going to be done properly, should be done at the beginning of an encounter with a suspect because the purpose is to allow the officer to conduct a street interview/investigation without fear of being stabbed or shot in the process.  The courts have consistently given officers on a legal, justified stop wide latitude when deciding when to conduct a frisk.  Basically, any time an officer can describe a factor or factors that make them concerned for their safety while conducting a stop, they are allowed to conduct a frisk.  In recent years state courts and the Supreme Court have even ruled that officers can frisk occupants of a car in any car stop without additional grounds beyond the fact that the car has been stopped for investigation.  The consistent reasoning behind this is that car stops are so inherently dangerous that no additional grounds for concern is required before conducting a frisk.  There are many, many reasons an officer would legitimately be concerned about weapons and therefore be justified in conducting a frisk: the suspect fled from police, the suspect is recognized by the officer as having an open arrest warrant, the officer saw the pedestrian or driver commit an offense of some kind, the suspect matches the description of someone who just committed a crime, the suspect has a bulge in his pocket or waistband that might be a weapon, the outline of an actual weapon can be seen under the clothing, the suspect has assaulted police in the past, the suspect is known to the officer for having committed violent crime in the past, and so on.

    The officer may go into a suspect's pocket, sock (above the ankle), cap or waistband to pull out a suspicious object he felt through the clothing and is concerned may be a weapon or used as an improvised weapon against the officer.  Again, there are many, many things an officer may see or feel in that outer layer of clothing that raise his suspicion and therefore legally justify him/her removing the item to examine it or at least put it out of the suspect's reach during the interview.  Criminals are extremely creative in concealing and improvising weapons, so officers remove from the clothing many, many items the average person would say was unjustified because the item was clearly not a weapon.  For instance, I remove every cigarette pack and cell phone I come across, because companies sell small firearms and stun guns disguised to look and feel like a real cigarette pack or cell phone.  It's the same with a key ring.  Just the keys themselves held in a fist can be an effective weapon, but I don't think I'll ever quit seeing new weapons on key rings I've never seen before.  The same is true of credit cards and other items of the same dimensions.  There are some wicked razor weapons hidden such cards.  This subject is huge.

    A frisk is not a search for drugs or evidence of a crime, however, drugs and evidence are sometimes discovered while conducting a frisk for weapons. For instance, crack and heroin are often hidden in cigarette packs.  I've pulled out cigarette packs to make sure that's exactly what they are (not guns), opened them to make sure, only to see narcotics inside among the cigarettes.  Judges and juries, not to mention defense lawyers, are naturally suspicious of these discoveries, so the officer better have a good, believable explanation how s/he found a tiny packet of heroin on a frisk.  Cases are often thrown out because the judge or jury think the officer conducted an illegal search, instead of a frisk.

    Here's a disturbing video of a rookie police officer who is conducting an interview of young man who has been involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.  The officer doesn't conduct a frisk at the beginning of the interview like he should have, but after talking to him for many minutes tells the young man he wants to frisk him for weapons.  The officer uses poor tactics to initiate the frisk.  Sadly, the officer paid for his mistakes with his life when the suspect who had had a revolver in his pocket the whole time shoots the rookie officer to death.  That incident is exactly why officers conduct frisks.  Caution: adult video.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2911112/Police-body-camera-video-shows-moment-domestic-violence-suspect-suddenly-pulls-gun-fatally-fire-24-year-old-rookie-officer.htmlito=video_player_click

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 12:02am

    Reply to #39

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Anecdotes

    Everyone has a feelgood anecdote OOG.

    Here is mine, although it is not unique in Rhodesia. My childhood companions were mixed until we were rounded up into all white schools in order to fashion us into instruments of The Empire.

    (Which didn't work, by the way.We were too far gone by that stage. Hence Britain dropping the entire Empire thingy in favour of being in the European club. We had all gone native. A whole nuther story)

    75% of our army was black. We fought and died watching each other's backs.

    However in the final analysis,  we failed. There is no avoiding that conclusion. Obvious differences will always be used by the Divide-and-conquer mob, and unless we can circumvent their tactics they will win and we will fail, yet again.

    The world is the way it is, not the way it aught to be.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 12:59am

    #48

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1840

    How to stop the rioting in Baltimore

    How to stop the rioting in Baltimore

    Arrest the group of officers who were in the van with Freddie Gray when his larynx was crushed and neck broken.  Take them to jail. Book 'em.   Let them know that their careers in law enforcement are over and they are all being charged with a major crime:  manslaughter, second degree murder, accessory to murder—not sure what charges would fit here.  Plan on having the officers ponder how they will explain the injuries to a jury of largely black Baltimore citizens who will sit expectantly to hear their stories.  Promise them all significant prison time.

    Now if any should choose not to go to prison themselves, they can tell the court who exactly it was in the group that broke his neck and twisted his head so forcefully that it was nearly ripped off his spine. I think that it is pretty likely that they all know exactly who did it.  

     

     

     

    The police chief should hold a press conference and stand up and say very very clearly: 

    “This is just not allowed.  Our department does not allow this from our officers.  This will never happen again.  I will not allow it.

     

    A conspicuous commitment to justice by the Baltimore PD will permit citizens to respect the police and stop fearing execution during arrests and traffic stops.

    —————

    Thinking inspired by this incisive op-ed in The Atlantic.
     

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 3:26am

    #49

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Agent P?

    Provocateurs, Sand Puppy.

    Who benefits? 

    Question: Does the MIC need a credible enemy? Perhaps nuclear armed Russia is not a credible enemy? 

    Ask THC, do normal police officers in his section behave like this? Were they real officers? 

    Never underestimate the perfidity of The Ape.

    Question everything.  

    Believe half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear

    My Dad.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 4:27am

    #50

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    Arthur

    That was like dropping an encyclopedia flat on the ground in a quiet library.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 2:44pm

    #51

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Breaking News on Gray

    This is a dramatic twist. Not to say that it is true, but it sure sheds some doubt on the case.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/30/report-freddie-gray-may-have-intentionally-tried-to-injure-self-in-police-van/

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 2:55pm

    #52

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    What a crock

    [quote=FoxNews]"Freddie Gray, whose death triggered Monday’s rioting in Baltimore, may have intentionally tried to injure himself in a police van, according to another prisoner in the vehicle, the Washington Post reported late Wednesday night.

    The Post said the unidentified prisoner, who was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him, reportedly said he heard Gray “banging himself against the walls” and believed he “was intentionally trying to injure himself.

    The prisoner’s statements were contained in an investigative document obtained by the paper, which said it was unclear if there was any additional information to support the theory.

    Gray, who is black, was arrested April 12 after he ran from police. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into the police van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police had said. At some point, he suffered a severe spinal injury and was unconscious when the van arrived at a police station.

    Authorities have not explained how or when Gray’s spine was injured. He died April 19."[/quote]

    How convenient. More BS. The lies wear thin.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 3:07pm

    Reply to #52

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Truth and Lies

    [quote=Time2help]

    [quote=FoxNews]"Freddie Gray, whose death triggered Monday’s rioting in Baltimore, may have intentionally tried to injure himself in a police van, according to another prisoner in the vehicle, the Washington Post reported late Wednesday night.

    The Post said the unidentified prisoner, who was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him, reportedly said he heard Gray “banging himself against the walls” and believed he “was intentionally trying to injure himself.

    The prisoner’s statements were contained in an investigative document obtained by the paper, which said it was unclear if there was any additional information to support the theory.

    Gray, who is black, was arrested April 12 after he ran from police. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into the police van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, police had said. At some point, he suffered a severe spinal injury and was unconscious when the van arrived at a police station.

    Authorities have not explained how or when Gray’s spine was injured. He died April 19."[/quote]

    How convenient. More BS. The lies wear thin.

    [/quote]

    How do you know what's true?  A possibility is that he was amped up on drugs, and did something crazy to himself. Another possibility is that he was murdered. Let's use the system that we have to try to find the truth. Seems like no one has the patience to wait till the investigation is complete before passing judgment.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 3:11pm

    #53

    RNcarl

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 13 2008

    Posts: 179

    To Tom

    Tom,

    I thought it interesting that you chose a domestic violence call to make your point. Unless a person has been in the middle of one of those calls, they would never believe how they turn out sometimes. 

    Nothing like treating the woman who was just beaten to a pulp by her "partner" and watch her get up, and jump on the back of the cop who was handcuffing him to haul him away. Thereby "defending" the person that had just beaten her! The psychological mess that a domestic violence call is for all involved, can't be underscored by simple definition. And by all involved I do mean everyone at that scene, victims, perpetrators, the police and EMS as well. That is why I had an engine company always roll with EMS responding to a "domestic" injury. Emotions run high on all sides.

    So, by picking this type of call and stating that you would never back down in this instance is cherry picking as much as you accuse Chris of doing. Of course no one would expect you to back down. And, in fairness, usually all it takes is a uniform to have the bad guy back down most of the time. We both know that happens less and less these days. Why do you enter that scene with multiple officers? I would bet it is for the same reason I had an engine company back up the EMT's. There is safety in numbers.  And, sometimes all that is needed is a "show of force."

    Let me spin that scenario, what happens when the "husband" turns tail and runs? He flees the scene, or at least tries to run. Would it be proper or "allowable" to shoot him in the back? You would say, if he gets away, he could return to the house and "finish" the job he started on her. 

    Domestic calls are a "Kobayashi Maru." 

    The problem is the moral decay of our society. No one accepts responsibility for their own actions. If someone in our "tribe" acts badly, we cover for them. The proper question to ask is "What do we do to correct the rot?"

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 3:44pm

    #54

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    Re: Truth and Lies

    I hear you OOG. 
     
    However, if we find out that one of the officers in the van ride for Mr. Gray has been going through heavy remorse over his death (perhaps he was "involved" in Mr. Gray's accident), and said officer decides to take his own life (at home, possibly with a nail gun or such) with a note conveniently expressing said remorse…I would be shocked.
     

     

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 4:10pm

    Reply to #54

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Framing Nailer

    I'm thinking a Hitachi Full Round Head Framer would be the right tool.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 5:13pm

    Reply to #54

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Good choice

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    I'm thinking a Hitachi Full Round Head Framer would be the right tool.

    [/quote]

    Good choice!  I hear a committed individual can use as few as 5-6 nails on themselves to shuffle off this mortal coil…

    /Gallows humor.

    //Wish it had no basis in truth.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 5:25pm

    Reply to #54

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 08 2011

    Posts: 2225

    And...

    [quote=cmartenson]

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    I'm thinking a Hitachi Full Round Head Framer would be the right tool.

    [/quote]

    Good choice!  I hear a committed individual can use as few as 5-6 nails on themselves to shuffle off this mortal coil…

    /Gallows humor.

    //Wish it had no basis in truth.

    [/quote]

    …someone else drops an encyclopedia flat on the ground in a quiet library.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 6:04pm

    #55

    Montana Native

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 17 2009

    Posts: 42

    Entropy and profit

    As I watch cases like Freddie Gray unfold, I often ask myself what it must be like for the cops having to police an area like inner Baltimore. The statistic probability of any given person on the street having a wrap sheet is high. Why that is, is quite complex. Take Freddie Gray, already in the year 2015 he had burglary, assault, and controlled substance charges leveled against him. Dealing with muscular young guys high on drugs with limited communicative skills can't be easy work. How many of the looters piling out of the CVS would any of you feel comfortable hiring if you were a supervisor or company owner? Is that a fair question to ask? 

    The Four Horseman documentary released a few years ago specifically mentioned Baltimore at around the 34 minute mark. It fingered Wells Fargo as a player that purposely targeted blacks with complex loans and higher rates than peers in the run up to the last financial crisis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU&feature=youtu.be Large financial institutions undoubtedly perpetuate and deepen inequality for many in the USA. Very few citizens are conscientious or inquisitive enough to figure that out however. People generally believe the narratives that are played over and over again.

    Another thing that really seems to work against the poor and particularly Blacks in inner cities is the war on drugs. I think we can all remember the differences in sentencing guidelines between cocaine and crack. I'm sure that was just a coincidence, eh? Creator of the TV show The Wire, David Simon has talked about how the drug war drove problems in Baltimore. Issues like as making loitering an offense in vast areas of the inner city. He also talks about how classically the most abusive police in Baltimore are black, because they can "get away with more".

    In the end, I generally think the racially related police shootings and killings in the press are sometimes the least outrageous. I think it's pretty clear Michael Brown wasn't exactly the great kid the press many times pumped. He was a massive guy who bullied a shopkeeper and was shot at range close enough to get powder residue on his body. Of course afterward there were stories that disputed this. The news is great….I can hardly wait to see the video of the Tsarnev brothers dropping their backpacks. It will be released one day correct? It's probably filed away with the pictures of Bin Laden shot and the Ark of the Covenant.

    At any rate, the gal who was shot with an AR15 in North Idaho, that was a couple blocks from my work. No national story there. How about the homeless camper that was stun grenaded and shot dead while camping outside Albuquerque a few years back? Good thing they sicced that German Shepard on him before they killed him. http://www.policemag.com/videos/channel/patrol/2014/03/albuquerque-pd-releases-video-of-controversial-camper-shooting.aspx It really seems that the racially related shootings/deaths are what the media is feeding us.They are many times tragic and unjust, but one has to wonder why the obsession. Does it just flat out sell?  

    As a closer concerning what we are fed, I'll leave this. As a young man I lived in Georgia for a number of years and worked extensively around Atlanta. While living there, I had countless experiences where I would run into Black Muslims that passed out pamphlets roadside. Most of the time they would make eye contact with me and turn the eyes away immediately. I did manage to get my hands on the pamphlets a couple times and although the only specific I can remember was an article on using a straight razor, the tone was overtly racist. At the same time, the only racism stories I ever hear about the South is KKK stuff. Pretty much a dead institution full of idiots. It's always important to realize the media we ingest is being fed to us. As always Chris, thank you for providing alternate media in that environment. 

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 6:54pm

    Reply to #54

    Jim H

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1798

    Oopsy doops ... holes in the story already.

    Looks like the police made another stop with their van while they had Gray in the back… a stop that was captured on a local camera but was not mentioned by any of the officers in their initial depositions,

    Now police are saying an additional stop was made before the driver asked officers to check on his condition. They said nothing about this stop other than its location — at what appears to be a desolate intersection with three vacant lots and a corner store. Last week, Batts had said the second prisoner told investigators the driver did not speed, make sudden stops or "drive erratically" during the trip, and that Gray was "was still moving around, that he was kicking and making noises" up until the van arrived at the police station.

    http://news.yahoo.com/baltimore-officials-no-immediate-decision-gray-case-083053498.html

    Now why would that be?  Hmmmmmmmmmm?  Maybe Gray needed a little extra, "tending to" back there that could not be accomplished in a moving van.  Just speculating… right?    

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 7:27pm

    #56

    blackeagle

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 16 2013

    Posts: 221

    Here is my story

    I am not American and don't live in the USA. I cannot comment much on something I am not immersed in. Below is what I lived 25-30 years ago (1986 to 1993). There are some similarities as well as big differences with the current situation. The common point is, IMO, loss of reciprocal trust.

    The country was swimming in money thanks to oil and gas revenues. We were having plenty of almost everything. So everyone had enough to eat, not forced to work and knew that politicians were totally corrupt. But again, enough to eat makes you to be a cat without claws.

    When price of oil went down in 1983, the country did had difficulty to feed everyone as before (Food sufficiency was an issue since a long time, but money was hiding this reality) and politicians started talking about restructuring government owned companies (laying off people, etc…). Getting politicians more honest was not on the ToDo list.

    People started marching in the streets (1986-1990) asking for more food, housing, work, democracy. The police was patient. They let people "camp in streets" for weeks and months until someone shot a police officer. This was (one of) the trigger(s) for violent repression from police and army. The game then became simple: Uniforms against non-uniforms. No one cared anymore of who started the game. Imagine the stress of the guys who wear uniforms. They are easy and visible targets. They went really bad in their behavior and set the following rule: For every police officer that is killed, ten civilians will be killed the following night and their bodies thrown in streets. They held their word.

    The following words describe best the situation: escalation and civil war.

    I went to the conclusion that the two camps were so hardly rooted into their respective belief, that it would take a long time (several generations) to return to a peaceful cohabitation. And today, I would add enough resources (food, water, shelter, job) that are shared in a fair way.

    Today, one generation later, violence is still there. However, the country is relatively quiet because food is heavily subsidized. For how long, now that oil price plummeted?

    I decided to leave the country for a better one. I could have decided to stay, and then the only choices would be: 1) to fight for social peace or 2) adapt.

    Since it is not feasible for all inhabitants to leave their country, the majority will have to adapt to the new situation (I am not saying violence is normal. I am saying that as long as critical mass for change is not reached, the safest option is to go under the radar). For violent persons, this is no brainer. They don't even think about it. Violence is natural for them. But for the rest, this is different. They have to position themselves to avoid trouble as much as they can.

    Here is the recipe as I understood it in the eighties:
    – Police officers were not, on average, violent. They became violent when they became targets.
    – Police was seeing themselves same as population, but population started shooting them.
    – Police were aware that politicians were totally corrupt, but politicians didn't shoot them.
    – Politicians did nothing to protect the police, so the police decided to protect themselves (Easy to do; they have everything they need).
    – Population wanted more justice (food, shelter, jobs), but politicians send them police and army.
    – Police/army are now violent. Here is what the average civilian thinks: Hey! They are supposed to protect us, not beat us! Let's kill those bast…. that protect the corrupt.
    – The last step closed the loop as everyone became entrenched behind his perception of reality.

    Sad, but this is humankind since the beginning of times. People have to get thru it with as less damage as we can.

    I wrote a few weeks ago that our species deserve an extinction. I still think it for the best of this gorgeous planet. At the same time, being present at Rowe, I think also that the people I met there represent very well the intellectual awareness about the current situation and that they are the tiny spores to spread hope for a better future. The road will be exhausting and long, but optimism deserves its place.

    JM

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 7:38pm

    Reply to #54
    Dkieke

    Dkieke

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    Posts: 18

    Statisitics?

    Thank you Chris for a fantastic article covering much more than the soundbites the media feeds the public and getting deeper into the "just a few bad apples" silliness.  I have been trying to stay out of the fray though I'm usually just a lurker and have great respect for Tom and OOG and others posting here, but I have been forced to respond.  

    As an engineer, I am always looking at the statistical side of things in the real world and comparing it to the soundbites from the media to come to a more robust understanding for myself.  However, when it comes to this subject, statistics are a completely inappropriate lens with which to look at the facts.  The facts of the myriad of actual videos of police brutality and killings are not in question here or elsewhere, so we can all agree that the police do perpetrate these acts, completely without getting into the details, emotions, and opinions of why, etc the violence occurred.  For my point the simple fact that the violence occurred is all that is needed.  Statistically speaking, OOG is correct that we're talking about a very small number, but from my values and beliefs (which originate from many places, including our founding document and supreme law of the land) a SINGLE event is completely unacceptable without creating a break in the trust of our "civilized society" as outlined in said documents.  I often go back to these documents as they are eye-opening every time they're read.  Please read the following bullet points (3 of 27) that Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence as reasons for taking up arms against King George and see how they fit with our subject here:

    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.

    For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States.

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.

    For extra credit, read all 27 and see if any stick in your craw as being as true today as in 1776.

    And from the US Constitution, which I'm sure I don't need to paste here because we all know it by heart, but a gentle reminder is always beneficial (bold italics mine):

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    From these I see a single event of being deprived of life without due process of law or perpetrators being protected by a mock trial (read "internal investigation clearing them of any wrongdoing") as breaking the trust and social contract for our "civilized society" based on the rule of law.  

    Please don't take this as coming from a perspective of not respecting the difficult and sometimes dangerous job that our thin blue line does everyday, but by our supreme law and founding document, that job comes with a certain duty of care and responsibility.

    David

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 8:51pm

    #57

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Yes, this is complex...

    While the race angle tends to get played up, it turns out I am equally horrified by the stories of excessive force and sometimes killings no matter the age or race – or petty criminal background! – of the person involved.

    Sure if one is a known violent felon, multiple rapist, aggressive sort, then I would fully expect any and all resistance to be met with greater force, and promptly.

    But the fact of the matter is that, at root, the poor and dispossessed, who tend to be minorities generally and blacks specifically in many cases, are being treated like walking ATM machines for municipalities and court systems too weak to raise money the old fashioned way – by raising taxes.

    And Tom, this is an area that stokes my ‘justice fires’ and I have a hard time remaining emotionally detached. My personal experience is that even politely ‘talking back’ to an officer is an unwelcome moment, and I would never actively resist because I believe that, unlike the Norwegian drunk, I would get walloped and possibly hurt even if I was not a threat but simply resisting what I consider to be a violation of my rights as I understand them.

    And I look at the dozens and dozens of cases I can pull up when I Google “officer shoots mentally ill,” compare those findings to the UK policing statistics and conclude that there is something in the training of at least some US officers that leads to these tragic outcomes.

    I think of the cases coming out of Albuquerque and I conclude that there’s something just toxically wrong in that department. Ditto Baltimore, Chicago, and much of Southern CA.

    I could go on, but something is wrong, that much is clear, and the DOJ report on Ferguson literally shocked me…I had no idea. If you have a strong will, you might read through the whole thing, but I’ll only reproduce some of the findings that stop short of where the use of force sections begin, because those are just very disturbing.

    Just to be crystal clear, the writing between the "+++" signs is not mine, but from an article in The Atlantic.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Ferguson's Conspiracy Against Black Citizens

    Mar 5, 2015

    This week, the Department of Justice concluded that there is no evidence to disprove Officer Wilson's claim that he feared for his life during the encounter. And the federal agency also presented context that explains why so many black residents assumed foul play and took to the streets in protest: For years, Ferguson's police force has meted out brutality, violated civil rights, and helped Ferguson officials to leech off the black community as shamelessly as would mafia bosses.

    So far, a disproportionate amount of press attention has focused on racist emails circulated by Ferguson officials, causing two to be fired and one to be placed on leave. While the correspondence in question is deeply offensive and worthy of condemnation, it is nowhere close to the most objectionable transgression documented in the DOJ report, which ought to prompt multiple Ferguson officials to resign in disgrace and provoke condemnations from across the political spectrum. Nearly every page shocks the conscience.

    Ferguson officials repeatedly behaved as if their priority is not improving public safety or protecting the rights of residents, but maximizing the revenue that flows into city coffers, sometimes going so far as to anticipate decreasing sales tax revenues and urging the police force to make up for the shortfall by ticketing more people. Often, those tickets for minor offenses then turned into arrest warrants.

    [note:  Here’s the stat the really jumps out at me]

    It's worth briefly pausing, amid this parade of official misconduct, ignorance of the law, and Constitutional violations to reflect on the fact that all of them are coming out of a municipality of just 21,000 residents. You can fit 41,000 at Wrigley Field. "Between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2014," the report states, "the City of Ferguson issued approximately 90,000 citations and summonses for municipal violations."

    Police sometimes complain that Ferguson residents are unwilling to call and report crimes or to cooperate as witnesses. There are surely occasions when this complaint is fully justified, but the behavior of the police has also alienated the community in totally understandable ways that relate very specifically to cooperating with law enforcement.

    For instance:

    … a woman called FPD to report a domestic disturbance. By the time the police arrived, the woman’s boyfriend had left. The police looked through the house and saw indications that the boyfriend lived there. When the woman told police that only she and her brother were listed on the home’s occupancy permit, the officer placed the woman under arrest for the permit violation and she was jailed. In another instance, after a woman called police to report a domestic disturbance and was given a summons for an occupancy permit violation, she said, according to the officer’s report, that she “hated the Ferguson Police Department and will never call again, even if she is being killed.”

    Or consider this incident:

    … a young African-American man was shot while walking on the road with three friends. The police department located and interviewed two of the friends about the shooting. After the interview, they arrested and jailed one of these cooperating witnesses, who was 19 years old, on an outstanding municipal warrant.

    Ferguson residents have a right to capture video of on-duty police officers in public places. But Ferguson police regularly intimidate or retaliate against folks with cameras.

    For example:

    In June 2014, an African-American couple who had taken their children to play at the park allowed their small children to urinate in the bushes next to their parked car. An officer stopped them, threatened to cite them for allowing the children to “expose themselves,” and checked the father for warrants.

    When the mother asked if the officer had to detain the father in front of the children, the officer turned to the father and said, “you’re going to jail because your wife keeps running her mouth.” The mother then began recording the officer on her cell phone. The officer became irate, declaring, “you don’t videotape me!”

    As the officer drove away with the father in custody for “parental neglect,” the mother drove after them, continuing to record. The officer then pulled over and arrested her for traffic violations. When the father asked the officer to show mercy, he responded, “no more mercy, since she wanted to videotape,” and declared “nobody videotapes me.” The officer then took the phone, which the couple’s daughter was holding. After posting bond, the couple found that the video had been deleted.

    After all the bad behavior reviewed so far, we still haven't even mentioned excessive force complaints. To no one's surprise, Ferguson police have a problem there too.

    (More

    +++++++++++++++

    21,000 residents, and 90,000 citations over a four year period.  My head would explode if I was poor  and being given BS summonses all the time, especially if I thought it was because of my race.  

    Then things spill over into riots and the news says its a race riot or about black people behaving badly, but I dunno…I really cannot conceive of what it would be like to have a hostile abusive police force that I feared constantly tagging me for big chunks of my meager pay…

    If not rioting, what would anybody here suggest that the people of Ferguson, or NY, or Baltimore or anywhere else actually do?

    What's the right way to be poor and get a system to change for the better?

     

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 10:20pm

    #58
    lunableu22

    lunableu22

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    The Divide by Matt Taibbi

    Matt Taibbi argues in his most recent book that the (mis)behaviors by law enforcement chronicled in the media have actually been institutionalized by the court system in league with the privatization of the prison system.  Very disturbing, very informative, very bone-chilling, very blood-curdling read.  There but for the grace…….go any of us without extra super-deep pockets.

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 10:26pm

    Reply to #57

    Jbarney

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 25 2010

    Posts: 198

    Been Quiet On This One

    Hi,

    This has been an interesting and stressful thread of comments, and at times I have wanted to respond….to post, but Chris's most recent words prompted me to join…again…..

    First, I can not stress enough, if I were in a situation where the police had wronged me, and the department protected their officer(s) and nothing was done to correct the situation….I would probably never look at the police the same way again.  It would only take one incident, and I just would not have faith the system would be their to protect my rights. 

    On the flip side, the violence…the looting….the crimes being committed in "reaction" to police brutality….if I were a store owner….if I were selling my produce, my products….and the looters (White or Black) came to enact "justice"?  I really don't know what would happen.  I can say I would not sit by while my live livelihood was destroyed.

    Two comments, different sides of the coin I guess.  No easy answers.

    Jason

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 11:49pm

    #59

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 03 2010

    Posts: 1814

    Balkinization Regardless.

    Birds of a feather stick together.

    It's got me Befudled why Whitey is policing black areas. 

    Let me guess. A superiority complex? Backs cannot police themselves? (wrong!) Why do black politicians use Whitey to do their dirty work? (Muggins) Smells fishy.

    An artificial social construct that there are no races? The empirical evidence is that race is an issue. And why? Experiment has shown that humans notice first sex then race. Why? Probably due to past cannibalism. Is it a mate, or is it food/predator? (sorry-link lost in the dim past). Decisions must be snap. No time for philosophical cogitation. 

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  • Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - 11:57pm

    #60

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1840

    The Atlantic Article boils the blood.

    This Atlantic article on the DOJ report on Ferguson absolutely stunning to me too.  

    Ferguson's Conspiracy Against Black Citizens:  How the city's leadership harassed and brutalized their way to multiple civil-rights violations

    Recall that the population of Ferguson is about 21,000 people. "According to the court’s own figures, as of December 2014, over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants …."

    Almost EVERYONE in Ferguson has an arrest warrant!  This means that any contact with law enforcement will result in their being arrested.

    Another horror story from the DOJ report about a poor woman with one parking ticket:

    We spoke… with an African-American woman who has a still-pending case stemming from 2007, when, on a single occasion, she parked her car illegally. She received two citations and a $151 fine, plus fees. The woman, who experienced financial difficulties and periods of homelessness over several years, was charged with seven Failure to Appear offenses for missing court dates or fine payments on her parking tickets between 2007 and 2010. For each Failure to Appear, the court issued an arrest warrant and imposed new fines and fees.  From 2007 to 2014, the woman was arrested twice, spent six days in jail, and paid $550 to the court for the events stemming from this single instance of illegal parking. Court records show that she twice attempted to make partial payments of $25 and $50, but the court returned those payments, refusing to accept anything less than payment in full. One of those payments was later accepted, but only after the court’s letter rejecting payment by money order was returned as undeliverable. This woman is now making regular payments on the fine. As of December 2014, over seven years later, despite initially owing a $151 fine and having already paid $550, she still owed $541.

    All over a single parking ticket given to a very poor woman.

     

    Glenn Greenwald had a statement on this that really hits the nail on the head.

    When the law is applied only to the powerless, it ceases to be a safeguard for justice and becomes the primary tool for oppression.

    To me, this type of application of "the law" looks like a major tool of repression.  No wonder the rage.

     

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 12:35am

    Reply to #57

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Yes, that's exactly right

    [quote=Jbarney]

    First, I can not stress enough, if I were in a situation where the police had wronged me, and the department protected their officer(s) and nothing was done to correct the situation….I would probably never look at the police the same way again.  It would only take one incident, and I just would not have faith the system would be their to protect my rights. 

    On the flip side, the violence…the looting….the crimes being committed in "reaction" to police brutality….if I were a store owner….if I were selling my produce, my products….and the looters (White or Black) came to enact "justice"?  I really don't know what would happen.  I can say I would not sit by while my live livelihood was destroyed.

    [/quote]

    Jason, I could not agree more.  Each side has to look in the mirror.

    When they do, and if it's being done honestly, we'll see two sides looking back at each other, victim and perpetrator.

    You cannot really have one without the other.  It is a dance.

    Each side seems to have unconsciously slipped into their roles and the events of late have only served as a (possible) wake up call, an invitation to look in the mirror and engage in some tough, but necessary, self-reflection.

    Each side can make the first move, but neither knows how or, being honest in some cases, does not even want to.  There is a form of power and comfort in either/both roles.  Victims have a form of power, and so do perpetrators.

    Not every place, of course, exists in this condition, but I'd be willing to wager that the poorer the district, the better the chance you'd find victim-perpetrator dynamics.

    The beauty of a situation is that the more intense it is, the greater the clues to follow to find the path to real transformation.  The situations in Ferguson, Baltimore and a dozen other places not yet named in the public consciousness, are certainly intense and they offer the chance of real change brought about by honest introspection.

    Or not.

    But if they don't then the lucky participants get to experience the same things all over again until they are ready to engage and work through their respective inner issues.  Such is life.

     

     

     

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 2:19am

    #61

    bobwise32952

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    Posts: 9

    Column on Police Agression

    Has this web page been hacked? I've tried a dozen times to read this column, but it keeps popping back to the top of the web page. Can't get past the first dozen or so paragraphs without running into this.

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 3:29pm

    #62

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 520

    Indictments of Officers

    I'm impressed by the State's Attorney for her clarity and fact based presentation. Seems like a step in the right direction for our justice system. Although this is said with the caveat that she probably should recuse herself for numerous reasons.

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 3:33pm

    #63

    Time2help

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2225

    6 Baltimore Cops Charged

    From the Hedge:

    6 Baltimore Cops Charged After MD Attorney Finds Them "Grossly Negligent…Freddie Gray's Death Was A Homicide"

    Maybe someone in the MA attorney's office read your article Chris…

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 4:51pm

    #64

    Oliveoilguy

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    Posts: 520

    Looters and those who assualted

    The perhaps bigger question here is will justice be equally meted out for those who burned Baltimore; assaulted shop keepers; looted and otherwise clearly broke the law. 

    If the State's Attorney has the courage to dispense justice equally it would be a great day in the USA. 

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 6:17pm

    Reply to #64

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4505

    Please clarify...

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    The perhaps bigger question here is will justice be equally meted out for those who burned Baltimore; assaulted shop keepers; looted and otherwise clearly broke the law. 

    If the State's Attorney has the courage to dispense justice equally it would be a great day in the USA. 

    [/quote]

    Oog…Please clarify…are you referring to the bankers, corporate interests and Congress that conspired to loot the American Dream leaving Baltimore, et al., depleted wastelands?

    I'll let the Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos make the case (always worth repeating here because it is 100% spot on):

    We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

    My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle-class and working-class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American's civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

    (Source

    I mean there's looting and then there's looting, if you know what I mean.

    Of course, all crimes should be prosecuted equally, regardless of who committed them.

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 8:31pm

    Reply to #64
    jennifersam07

    jennifersam07

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    White on white crime spree

    http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdSsBYO1oNI

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 9:11pm

    #65

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1436

    Tensions increasing not decreasing after indictments

    No one in law enforcement will be surprised by this.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/albertsamaha/baltimore-sergeant-warns-superiors-its-about-to-get-ugly#.tujo6WM1

    BALTIMORE – A Baltimore police sergeant informed his Eastern District superiors Friday afternoon that officers “are now being challenged on the street.” The sergeant sent the letter following the announcement that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was indicting six officers on felony charges associated with the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who suffered a fatal spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody on April 12. 

    The letter, provided to BuzzFeed News from an anonymous source, warned of heightening tensions between police and residents on a day when many locals have taken to the streets to celebrate.

    Sgt. Lennardo Bailey told the “Eastern Command Staff” [sic’d]:

    “I have been to five calls today and three of those five calls for service; I have been challenged to a fight. Some of them I blew off but one of them almost got ugly. I don’t want anybody to say that I did not tell them what is going on. This is no intel this is really what’s going on the street. This is my formal notification. It is about to get ugly.”

    BuzzFeed News has also learned that the Baltimore Police Department’s chief of patrol sent out a text message to all commanders ordering officers to take added caution: “2 OFFICERS PER CAR.. DOUBLE UP ALL PATROL CARS,” the order read.

    (And to get a feel for where people are, you'll find it revealing to read the comments at the end of the article.)

    I don't know, but it seems there's a significant portion of the community (every community) who think all cops are bad all the time.  This thereby justifies  picking one at random to kill, injure or taunt.  Well isn't that what cops are being accused of regarding minorities (they're all bad all the time thereby it's open season on them)?

    I've been in riot/civil disturbance training Wed – today (we're prepping for two future major events), but tomorrow I'm back on the street.  Saturday nights are, as you might imagine, very busy and violent.  I haven't settled on a personal strategy, but I'm leaning toward playing it safe.  I'm wondering what my officers are feeling and thinking, but I'm pretty certain I can predict it.

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  • Fri, May 01, 2015 - 10:53pm

    #66

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1436

    Toward balance and objectivity

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCKSogV9E10

     

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  • Sat, May 02, 2015 - 1:53am

    #67

    Arthur Robey

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 1814

    On Inbreeding

    Genetic adventures in Iceland and elsewhere indicate a more nuanced approach to inbreeding.

    After all would a pig/ape hybrid not be an abomination? That would be an example of extreme outbreeding, would it not?

    The Encyclopedia Brittanica offered the hypothesis that inbreeding caused the normally hidden recessive and lethal genes to be expressed and so long as the unfit were exterminated ruthlessly at birth, inbreeding was of great benefit to the population. It eliminated lethal recessive genes.

    These conditions were common in our malnourished and immobile past.

    A better understanding of human genetics can be found here.

    http://io9.com/5863666/why-inbreeding-really-isnt-as-bad-as-you-think-it-is

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  • Sat, May 02, 2015 - 4:18am

    Reply to #64

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Good Point Chris

    [quote=cmartenson]

    [quote=Oliveoilguy]

    The perhaps bigger question here is will justice be equally meted out for those who burned Baltimore; assaulted shop keepers; looted and otherwise clearly broke the law. 

    If the State's Attorney has the courage to dispense justice equally it would be a great day in the USA. 

    [/quote]

    Oog…Please clarify…are you referring to the bankers, corporate interests and Congress that conspired to loot the American Dream leaving Baltimore, et al., depleted wastelands?

     

    I mean there's looting and then there's looting, if you know what I mean.

    Of course, all crimes should be prosecuted equally, regardless of who committed them.

    [/quote]

    Yes….Good Point……….. they should be prosecuted as well, for crimes that have a more far-reaching effect. It's a sad state of affairs. 

    Were I was coming from was that this "ballsy" State's Attorney has the attention of the Nation right now. If she makes courageous, ethical, unbiased decisions it could make a huge difference in how people regard and respect our judicial and legal system. This is kinda like a real time civics class for many folks.

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  • Sat, May 02, 2015 - 12:47pm

    #68

    Oliveoilguy

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 520

    Baltimore Officer Speaks Out

    Interesting that a police office feels he or she must remain anonymous for their own protection,  but nonetheless speaks out with details including the drug deal that started the whole Freddie Gray police chase and apprehension. And the alleged fact that Gray was high on Heroin and Marijuana.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4210499277001/exclusive-baltimore-police-officer-speaks-out-about-case/?#sp=show-clips

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  • Sat, May 02, 2015 - 7:23pm

    #69

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1840

    Constellations of Injuries

     

    I question the plausibility of multiple cervical fractures with dislocations and a crushed larynx being produced during a normal drive through city traffic without any collisions.   Was this really "murder through failure to apply a seatbelt" to a handcuffed person?  This seems very implausible to me — to the point of being ludicrous. 

    Mr Gray did not have minor injuries such as an isolated non-displaced cervical fracture which is rare, but possible, via a simple ground level fall on an unprotected head.  He had major injuries which required major forces.  

    Blunt motor vehicle trauma injuries typically occur in constellations– injuries that cluster together.  With this severity of C-Spine injuries, we would expect major crush fractures to the skull, facial bones, teeth and jaw, and major brain injury which would be visible on the post-mortem x-ray and CT.    Major chest and intra-abdominal injuries with multiple fractures of the upper and lower extremities are usually associated.   When the autopsy report is released, look for the presence of multiple rib fractures, intra-abdominal bleeding from ruptured liver and spleen requiring emergency abdominal surgery and multiple fractures of both upper and lower extremities.  These would be expected in a motor vehicle accident of such great severity that multiple cervical fractures / dislocations were produced.

    Also, accidents producing this magnitude of passenger injury also heavily damage the vehicle itself in common patterns.   Was the van crushed, the frame bent, the top caved in (due to a roll-over)?  Was the van still driveable afterwards?  Could the doors be open.  Did the airbags deploy?

    If these autopsy and vehicular damages commonly associated with severity of cervical fracture / dislocations are not present, then I would be much more suspicious of a martial arts move designed to dislocate and fracture the cervical spine by bending and twisting it directly.  

    From a judo page:

     

    I am afraid that the "murder by failure to apply a seatbelt" story rates in my mind right up there with other classic tales:

    • The husband who explained that the knife stab wounds in his wife's heart were due to her slipping and falling on the knife.  Twice.
    • The person who commits suicide by hanging themselves with their hands tied behind their back.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Sun, May 03, 2015 - 3:58am

    #70

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    4 points

    1.  I don't know about other places, but I can tell you with complete certainty that in my city police brutality has gone down precipitously since it's peak in about the mid-70's.  We're still overcoming attitudes and police culture from those "good old days," but things are still much improved.  Technology does make what's left more visible.

    2. In my city police aren't pressured to produce arrests and tickets that generate revenue for the City.  That's a battle the union won a long time ago.  I marvel how much pressure cops are under for that kind of thing in Ferguson, NYC, Baltimore, etc.

    3. Sometimes I feel like a black male trying to convince a white society that not all black males are criminals and drug addicts.  And usually I feel like many black males do when trying to do that: like I'll never succeed no matter how many positive examples I can cite.  I got to work tonight and two of my rookies were basking in their 15 minutes of fame.  They were on a block where they were getting help for a man who had locked his keys in his car.  Once they were done, but before they could slip away, all the kids on the block mobbed them for attention.  Playing with neighborhood kids is something they do regularly as time permits.  In this case, one of the officers is letting some of the kids play in their patrol car and his partner is throwing a football with others.  This isn't remarkable to me (though it might be to some). What is remarkable to me is that all the residents of that block are black, and one of them went to the trouble of recording two white Philly police officers playing with black kids and then posted on Twitter with the caption, "For those who think all cops are bad."  The 30 second recording has had 1.2 million views.  You'll never see that person at a rally in support of the police, but s/he is very appreciative along with hundreds of thousands of others.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/WORLDSTARC0MEDY/status/593953721379196930/video/1

    4.  I posted this Baltimore Police recruiting video on PP.com before.  It looks and feels different now in light of the events in Baltimore in the last two weeks.  I wouldn't want to be in the BPD's recruiting unit now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HghaoDu9Ac

    My new favorite line in that video is the last line, "How'd you like it if we quit?"  Decent people go to work, put on the uniform, and go out to give serving the public their best effort, in spite of everything that's going on.

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  • Sun, May 03, 2015 - 8:26pm

    #71

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1840

    Filming wrong-doing on your iPhone

     

     

    A limitation on the ability to film wrong-doing on your smart phone is that the evidence is right there in the middle of the wrong-doing and the wrong doer knows you have just filmed him. (This Includes both police wrong doing and muggings/burglaries, etc). This app, "Mobile Justice" uploads the video record to the ACLU website so that even if the phone is captured and smashed, the video is preserved.  Sounds to me like a very effective non-violent way to communicate the expectation of proper behavior. It simply gathers a record of what is happening.  The app is called "Mobile Justice." I'm going to gather more info on this. 

    https://www.mobilejusticeca.org/es/  (Spanish version is all I am seeing here.)

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/205889/new-aclu-cellphone-app-automatically-preserves-video-police-encountershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrjJI1bBalM

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  • Mon, May 04, 2015 - 1:01pm

    #72

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    I dare you to read it all, if you have a strong stomach

    Caution: "adult" language.

    http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_2_liberal-elites.html

    Two opposite perspectives on the raw data of life on the streets of Philadelphia.

    Starting in late summer 2014, a protest movement known as Black Lives Matter convulsed the country. Triggered by the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the movement claimed that blacks are still oppressed by widespread racism, especially within law enforcement. The police subject black communities to a gratuitous regime of stops and arrests, resulting in the frequent use of lethal force against black men, according to the activists and their media and academic allies. Indeed, America’s police are the greatest threat facing young black men today, the protesters charged. New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio announced in December that he worries “every night” about the “dangers” his biracial son may face from “officers who are paid to protect him.” Less than three weeks later, a thug from Brooklyn, inspired by the nationwide anti-cop agitation, assassinated two New York police officers

    The protest movement’s indictment of law enforcement took place without any notice of the actual facts regarding policing and crime. One could easily have concluded from the agitation that black and white crime rates are identical. Why the police focus on certain neighborhoods and what the conditions are on the ground were questions left unasked.

    The year 2014 also saw the publication of a book that addressed precisely the questions that the Black Lives Matter movement ignored. Alice Goffman, daughter of the influential sociologist Erving Goffman, lived in an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood from 2002 to 2008, integrating herself into the lives of a group of young crack dealers. Her resulting book, On the Run, offers a detailed and startling ethnography of a world usually kept far from public awareness and discourse. It has been widely acclaimed; a film or TV adaptation may be on the way. But On the Run is an equally startling—if unintentional—portrait of the liberal elite mind-set. Goffman draws a devastating picture of cultural breakdown within the black underclass, but she is incapable of acknowledging the truth in front of her eyes, instead deeming her subjects the helpless pawns of a criminal-justice system run amok.

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  • Thu, May 07, 2015 - 3:05am

    Reply to #17
    Monni

    Monni

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    Joined: May 07 2015

    Posts: 2

    To Policeman Tom

    Tom,

    I would like to commend you on writing a very thoughtful, informative, and very articulate reply/comment.  My brother is a policeman.  His circumstances are similar to yours in nearly every aspect, down to the nitty gritty of when to leave the force. … as the streets are becoming appreciably wilder. 

    Please know that the VAST majority of people I speak with, respect policemen and know you try to do your best every single day, serving the public through adversity and under the worst of circumstances.  While some citizens focus only on actions incurred by a tiny percentage of "bad" policemen (and paint the rest of the police force with the same brush), MOST of us understand that your job is not a cake walk, that you try your darndest to enforce and uphold the law as peaceably as circumstances allow, while at the same time making it your business to protect those who need protecting.

    You have my utmost respect, for you have one of the hardest jobs there is. … and, yet, every day you manage to ready yourself for another day filled with adversity, and another day of a bullet-proof vest. 

    My hat's off to you, Officer Tom!  

    And to the rest of the detractors commenting here:  For your own safety do not go to the Yahoo news comments section and wale on policemen. They aren't as "civilized" there as they are here.  They will eat you alive.  

    Monni

     

     

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  • Thu, May 07, 2015 - 3:15am

    Reply to #17
    Monni

    Monni

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    Joined: May 07 2015

    Posts: 2

    Law abiding, and peacable.

     

    I have no problems with policemen.  Neither do my friends.  Neither do my extended family.  We are all grateful for their presence.  If policemen could go on a nationwide strike for, say, 3 weeks, … I think their detractors would gain a new outlook, a wizened perspective, … shall we call it a lightbulb moment?

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  • Thu, Jul 09, 2015 - 1:37pm

    #73

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Baltimore mayor fires police commissioner

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-batts-fired-20150708-story.html#page=2

    The Baltimore Sun article left out these tidbits captured by NBC's TV news channel in Philadelphia:

    The news comes the same day that the city police union released its 32-page after action review of the city's handling of the riots in April. Many Baltimore police officers reported they lacked the proper equipment, training and leadership to adequately respond to the riots and unrest in the city following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. 

     

     

    The union placed the responsibility largely on Police Commissioner Anthony Batts.

    However, Gene Ryan, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, said the results of the review were not "a recommendation for [Batts] to leave."

    "This is a recommendation for improvement," Ryan said.

    Ryan said that the Baltimore Police Department still remains unprepared for future riots. He also said the riots and unrest were preventable and that the injuries to more than 200 officers could have been avoided or at least minimized, according to WBAL-TV.

    "This after action review came about because the police officers, sergeants and lieutenants of the Baltimore Police Department do not want to see Baltimore burn again," Ryan said in a news conference.

    Officers were told not to intervene or engage with rioters, not to wear their issued riot helmets, and that all arrests had to be given approval by civilians who worked in the Baltimore Police Department legal section, Ryan said, WBAT-TV reported.

    The information contained in the report came from surveys, firsthand accounts, a radio transmission, focus groups and emails.

    Read more: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/Baltimore-Police-Commissioner-Fired-Same-Day-as-Negative-Baltimore-Riot-Action-Review–312563411.html#ixzz3fOuF6ZMG 
    Follow us: @nbcphiladelphia on Twitter | nbcphiladelphia on Facebook

    The bumbling, conflicted response of the Baltimore Police Department to the riots does not indicate they are ready to impose a police state on the people of Baltimore.  Their incompetence and poor leadership should make those fearful of such a tyrannical turn of events release (at least a temporary) sigh of relief.

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  • Sat, Jul 18, 2015 - 2:53pm

    #74

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Two Baltimore officers in Gray case petition court

    Two Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray case have petitioned the court to be tried separately from the other defendants.  The two officers are charged with misdemeanors, whereas the other two they  are listed for trial with are charged with felonies.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/in-depth/bs-md-ci-miller-nero-20150710-story.html

    Attorneys for Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller filed motions in Baltimore Circuit Court on Friday opposing the stated intention of Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to try them alongside Officer Caesar Goodson and Sgt. Alicia White.

    Goodson, the driver of the police transport van in which Gray was injured, is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, and White is charged with manslaughter. Nero and Miller, bicycle officers involved in Gray's initial arrest, face lesser charges, including second-degree assault.

    In their opposition motions, the officers' attorneys argued that trying Nero and Miller alongside Goodson and White would "severely prejudice" their clients' right to a fair trial because the crimes with which they are charged "are substantially different and less serious than those of the other Defendants."

    "Consequently, if the Defendants are joined for trial, there will be a substantial amount of evidence that would be admissible against the other Defendants but would be inadmissible against Defendant Nero," wrote Nero's attorney, Marc L. Zayon.

    Catherine Flynn, the attorney for Miller, made the same argument, verbatim, in her own filing on behalf of Miller.

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  • Sat, Jul 18, 2015 - 3:17pm

    Reply to #74

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3109

    the wire

    Every time I read about this case, I reflect on the five seasons of "The Wire" – a show more or less focused on the Baltimore Police Department.  (Awesome series, btw)

    So when I hear that the Mayor fired the PC (which happened in the show twice, as I recall) my mind goes back to the politics shown in The Wire and I wonder just how close to reality it is.

    Certainly the PC's orders about how to handle the riot seem ill-advised.  Its all well and good to say "you aren't allowed to wear riot gear" so you don't look scary on camera if you are safe in an office somewhere.  Its a case of not having to eat your own dog food.  If the PC shared a few minutes on the front lines with his troops, you can be sure his orders would have changed instantly – about the gear, if nothing else.

    We need to have effective police, and we need to protect them, while at the same time avoiding having a police state.

     

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  • Sat, Jul 18, 2015 - 4:07pm

    #75

    sand_puppy

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1840

    David Simon's The Wire

    I appreciate the reports from the front lines, Tom.

    I was not familiar with "The Wire" TV show or "The Corner," both written by David Simon.  But I read the interview with him linked here on pp with great fascination as he seems to have explained a great deal of what the daily police / inner-city interactions are like in very gritty terms.

    David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish (interview in The Marshall Project)

    One of the elements not discussed are the factors that drives groups of presumably very normal human beings into such distressed ways of living as we find in the inner city.  What the heck happened here?  Was it the migration to cities to find industrial work, then the sudden de-industrialization as manufacturing was moved to Indonesia?  No trees, no fresh running water, little work.  Depressed lives hinging on the monthly check for food.  Fractured families, ubiquitous drug use, drug territory wars, little physical safety.  It really looks like a terrible place to live.

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  • Wed, Jul 22, 2015 - 9:15am

    #76

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1436

    Police surveillance video shows start of riots

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-baltimore-riot-video-20150720-story.html#page=1

    Newly released surveillance camera footage from the Baltimore riots shows chaos erupting at North and Pennsylvania avenues, where a crowd breaches and loots stores, destroys police vehicles and sets fires while police stay on the fringe of the action.

    With the exception of a brief incursion by a SWAT team, the video shows that officers don't move in for nearly 90 minutes, after the crowd has largely moved on.

    The city surveillance camera footage along with police radio transimssions and emails obtained by The Baltimore Sun under a Public Information Act request show how the looting developed April 27 at the intersection that would become a center of demonstrations in the ensuing days.

    The materials also offer a fresh view of a moment that has become a flashpoint for police officers critical of their leaders.

    By the way, everyone here would be wise enough NOT to stand around watching this kind of thing in real life if you ever found yourself in the midst of it, right? Very dangerous.  Anything can happen.

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