The Fraternal Order of Police Is Insulted!

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk.

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk.

Cops are insulted that they aren’t being put up on a pedestal of pure heroism. It’s hard to imagine how they think having snitrums all over the place is helping any.

Philadelphia’s police union is blasting Hillary Clinton for inviting relatives of victims of police shootings to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week, but failing to include relatives of slain police officers.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said the union was “shocked and saddened” by the planned choice of speakers at the convention, which opens Monday in Philadelphia.

“The Fraternal Order of Police is insulted and will not soon forget that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are excluding the widows and other family members of police officers killed in the line of duty who were victims of explicit and not implied racism,” Mr. McNesby said in a statement.

Shocked! Saddened! Insulted! Angry! Certainly, I can understand those feelings. Interesting that Mr. McNesby just can’t figure out that all those emotions and more are also on the part of all the families and friends of those who were victims of extrajudicial killings by cops. As for explicit vs implicit racism, you need to understand those concepts, not just the words, Mr. McNesby. You also need to understand that cop isn’t a race. It probably wouldn’t hurt if you could figure out that people wouldn’t be driven by absolute fury if you acknowledged wanton murder committed by cops, and stopped killing people of colour. The little things, you know. :eyeroll: The mere fact of this outrage is terrifying coming from cops, because you know there is zero thought going on there, it’s all kneejerk reactions, reactions which have a hell of a lot to do with a lack of cop worship. I don’t want people who are authorized to kill wanting worshipful obeisance. We already have enough trouble with religions.

He said it’s “sad that to win an election Mrs. Clinton must pander to the interests of people who do not know all the facts, while the men and women they seek to destroy are outside protecting the political institutions of this country.

I, uh, can I just die of irony poisoning now?

The Clinton campaign has scheduled former President Bill Clinton to speak Tuesday night with members of Mothers of the Movement, a group that includes relatives of black men killed by police such as Eric Garner of New York and Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri.

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who said the nation is a “powder keg” over the police-involved shootings and assassinations of officers, is also scheduled to speak.

Full story here.

Freddie Gray: Not Guilty Verdict.

Baltimore Lt. Brian Rice (Photo: Baltimore Police Department)

Baltimore Lt. Brian Rice (Photo: Baltimore Police Department)

The final and highest-ranking officer involved in the arrest and ultimate death of Freddie Gray, Lt. Brian Rice, has been found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, not guilty on the second degree reckless endangerment charge and not guilty on misconduct in office.

Gray suffered a broken neck while in the back of a police van that transported him on April 12, 2015. News of Gray’s death sparked protests across Baltimore, Maryland, and the nation as Black Lives Matter protesters demanded accountability.

The medical examiner in the case ruled that Gray’s injuries occurred inside the police van, but no officer involved has yet to be found guilty of his death. Gray wasn’t properly secured by a seat belt during transit and he didn’t receive immediate medical attention. It has left many in the Black Lives Matter movement frustrated that no justice can be found for those who have been killed at the hands of police.

Oh yes, of course, most people who aren’t properly seat belt secured just happen to break their necks, happens all the time! Thoroughly disgusting.

Via Raw Story.

The Norden – Police.

Holy shit, the contrast. Watch. Just watch. I want to live in Finland. Thanks to Ice Swimmer for this one! I was particularly impressed with the training, which shocked the LA cop. Not only the 3 years, but that they were being trained as part of the community, not as apart and elite, like is done here in uStates.

The Norden.

“You first, motherf*cker.”

Henry Rollins. Credit: Heidi May.

Henry Rollins. Credit: Heidi May.

Henry Rollins latest column tackles the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the media, white privilege, and the problem of two Americas. Here’s a bit:

…I’m an educated, Caucasian, heterosexual male. Does this ensure I will have success and live the American Dream? Obviously it doesn’t, but it damn sure drops me on second base with a great opportunity to steal third.

I live solidly in one of the Americas but have been aware of other Americas for decades. For the last week, I have heard politicians use a phrase that nauseates me whenever I hear anyone say it. The need to “come together.” To that I say, “You first, motherfucker.”

Since an upgrade will not occur on a national level via presidential pen stroke or SCOTUS decision, you have to take it upon yourself to be an infinitely fantastic person every single day. There will be times when it will be a bitch to be so awesome, but you’ll handle it. This century will be about incredible individuals. Bold acts of kindness and a genuine desire to at least try to see things from someone else’s perspective are but two of the mandatory requirements for betterment moving forward.

Don’t wait for your government. It’s a broken machine that can only deliver damaged goods. Prejudice coats the mechanics of the USA’s OS. Attempts to clean the parts are attacked as big-government, special-interest meddling. It’s by no means a Gordian knot, but a total system retool is required. It would be incredibly expensive and time-consuming, and the growing pains would be enormous. Not gonna happen.

Equality, tolerance and decency are not inherently American or human traits. They are values you choose to adopt and use or not. So, be amazing all the time.

Not much I can add to that. Be amazing, people.

Full column here.

Bulletproof Warrior.

Jim Glennon. Credit: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune.

Jim Glennon. Credit: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune.

The seminar was called “The Bulletproof Warrior,” and the instructors urged the law enforcement officers in the hotel conference room to make the decision to shoot if they ever feel their lives are threatened.

Videos of bloody shootouts between police and civilians emphasized a key point: Hesitation can kill you.

In the audience at the May 2014 seminar was a young St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, city records show. He’s now known around the world as the officer who killed Philando Castile minutes after making a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last week.

Amid intensifying demands for changes in police training in the wake of the shooting deaths of Castile and others, such “survival” courses for officers are flourishing nationally. But some in law enforcement are distancing themselves from the approach.

The Houston Police Department, for example, won’t pay for its officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, which is put on by an Illinois for-profit company called Calibre Press.

And the leader of an international police training association said he thinks some seminars like those offered by Calibre and other firms foster a sense of paranoia among officers.

Oh, you think? As if the militarization wasn’t bad enough, there’s shit like ‘bulletproof warrior’, which is little more than an expensive exhortation to shoot! shoot! shoot!, but not white people if you can avoid it.

“Police training became very militaristic and it caused a lot of the problems that are going on in the nation,” said Michael Becar, executive director of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, with offices in Idaho and Washington, D.C.

Ah, there it is. Nice to see this acknowledged, but are you going to move past that?

Jim Glennon, a co-owner of Calibre who co-taught the seminar Yanez attended, said it’s wrong to link the course to the officer’s actions last week. “Everybody’s going after this kid,” Glennon said Wednesday. “Nobody should be judging what he did yet without the evidence.”

Well, you see, we have evidence. Evidence of murder. It’s right there, for everyone to see. Perhaps if you hadn’t invested so much time in making cops hyper-aggressive, this might not have happened.

The Bulletproof Warrior is one of 15 sessions offered by Calibre and its parent company, LifeLine Training. The courses are well-known and popular in law enforcement circles. Facebook photos show conference rooms and auditoriums filled with officers to hear the Bulletproof Warrior message.

Fans say it provides a valuable “wake-up call” in police safety tactics for the street: how to read the body language of someone preparing to attack, for instance. Training professionals note that Calibre was a pioneer decades ago in teaching basic police safety.

The body language of someone preparing to attack. Right. Interesting how the body language of PoC is always “oh no, gonna attack!”, while that of white people, even when firing at police, is not, so you end up with dead PoC, and white people arrested. Something is seriously fucked up with your warrior training there.

Yanez took the 20-hour seminar on May 21-22, 2014, according to a summary of Yanez’s training that the city of St. Anthony provided after a public records request. A year earlier he attended “Street Survival,” another of the company’s seminars, records show.

Yanez also took 20 hours of training in 2012 in “Officer Survival” from a different organization. In May of this year, he took two hours of training titled “de-escalation,” the only instruction in his four years with the department that appears to focus on that approach, the records show.

Over 40 hours of “training” in how to be a bigoted profiler, hyper-aggressive, and a killer. Great. And a whole 2 hours in de-escalation. Wow, I am just so impressed. I don’t want to be funding cop shops, when they are doing this sort of shit. Who in their right mind would? (I said right mind.)

William Czech was also in the Bulletproof Warrior class in the Ramada in Bloomington those two days in 2014. Czech isn’t a police officer. He’s a 47-year-old electrician from Mendota Heights with a keen interest in police training because of incidents involving a mentally ill family member.

Czech posed as a student to get into the class. He said he was horrified. He said he expected to see a presentation about understanding both how to avoid using deadly force as well as how to realize when it’s unavoidable. Czech said the course consistently emphasized the risk of hesitation.

[…]

Still, there are some in law enforcement training who question the courses.

Becar, who leads the international law enforcement training group, said his organization has no position on LifeLine Training and Calibre. But he said he has attended Calibre classes.

“Everything they were doing made the police officers very paranoid,” Becar said. “At some point they wouldn’t even stop a car without three backups.”

The Houston Police Department will not pay for officers to attend the Bulletproof Warrior seminar, said Houston police spokesman Kese Smith. Officers can go on their own time and expense, he said.

Smith said he couldn’t elaborate, saying only that “some of their instruction is not what we instruct.”

“No position.” “Can’t elaborate.” Why in the fuckety fuck not? If there are good cops, who think all this shit has gone much too far, why don’t you have a position? Why can’t you elaborate? Why in the hell aren’t you speaking out and denouncing this absolute crap? Why aren’t you doing your damn job, to protect and serve?

Full article here.

Why Killer Cops Aren’t Prosecuted.

Max Becherer/AP Photo

Max Becherer/AP Photo

Steve Russell (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is a Texas trial court judge by assignment and associate professor emeritus of criminal justice at Indiana University-Bloomington. He lives in Georgetown, Texas) has a good article up at ICTMN. I’m just going to include a few points here. Click over to read the full, two page article.

2. When the officer is the perpetrator of the homicide, he or she is almost never interviewed in the same circumstances as other persons accused of homicide.

A civilian person of interest in a homicide may be interviewed without even a chance to change out of bloody clothes, and investigators will conduct the interview without a defense lawyer present, if possible. A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department told The New York Times that the officers involved in the shooting of Alton Sterling were not interviewed the day of the incident because “we give officers normally a day or two to go home and think about it.”

Taking a human life unleashes powerful feelings even when doing so was necessary. Considering that, a police officer involved in a shooting will often be sent home right away and only returned to duty in a desk job. By union contract or by custom, the officer will have a lawyer provided and plenty of opportunity to talk to that lawyer before giving a statement for the record.

When the system finally does get around to recording the officer’s statement, the officer knows what’s on the video (if there is one, and there so often is now with phones and body-cams prevalent), and so is unlikely to give a statement that conflicts with it.

3. The normal burden of proof is reversed.

In normal circumstances, the homicide investigator is looking for facts to show probable cause to believe that an unjustified criminal homicide took place and the person of interest committed it.

Studies of how innocent people get convicted show a lot of “confirmation bias.” That is, investigators start with a theory of what happened and they minimize or disregard evidence that does not support their preferred theory.

When a police officer has deployed deadly force, the bias of every police investigator is to believe that the use of force was justified. Nobody wants to charge a fellow officer with a crime for coming down on the wrong side of a line around which they have had to dance. Rookie officers don’t get assigned to investigate other officers.

8. The prosecutor needs the police department and vice versa.

Should prosecutors and police start urinating on each other’s shoes, there is no practical limit to how bad each can make the other look in court, and in the court of public opinion.

For this reason, the investigation and prosecution of all officer-involved shootings need to be taken away from the department for which the accused officer works. The choices are a prosecutor from some other jurisdiction (complicated), a special prosecutor (expensive), or a prosecutor from the state Attorney General’s office (possible conflict of interest if the AG has to defend a civil suit from the same incident).

The final way to mitigate the team spirit between prosecutors and police officers is to go to a federal agency. To do this routinely would require legislation, because every officer involved shooting does not contain a federal issue.

Are the feds more competent and honest than the state police? Indians on reservations have strong opinions from watching Major Crimes Act cases.

We’ve come a long way since Indians could not testify against white people in court, but most of those rules came from states. The federal government has been better than that, the modern federal government lionized for honesty in the face of temptation in The Untouchables.

The FBI reported that between 1993 and early 2011, their agents killed 70 people and wounded 80 others. All 150 incidents were internally investigated by the agency that claims to be incorruptible and the source of forensic science that is state of the art for the entire world. How many FBI shootings out of 150 were found to be legally justified?

One hundred and fifty.

Full article is at ICTMN.

Cops, Bigotry, Cops, Bigotry…

Louizandre Dauphin's selfie after he was pulled over by police (Photo: Instagram)

Louizandre Dauphin’s selfie after he was pulled over by police (Photo: Instagram)

First up, for a change, a story from Canada, where a man was confronted by cops for reading while black.

Louizandre Dauphin of Bathurst, New Brunswick snapped a selfie of his arched eyebrow for Facebook with red and blue police lights flashing behind him. The former high school English teacher pulled had over by the water to read a book by C.S. Lewis. All he wanted was a nice quiet place to read his book. But he had been pulled over.

The officer said that they had received several calls from concerned citizens who said that they saw a “suspicious person” on the wharf. He left his teaching job and now serves as the city’s director of parks, recreation and tourism, which might be why he sought out the city’s wharf as a place to read. But his appreciation of nature isn’t why he thinks people called to complain, The Province reports. He thinks it is because he’s black.

Full Story Here.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, the union that represents the city’s police officers, has scrubbed its social media accounts less than a week after suggesting the Black Lives Matter movement was to blame for the fatal shootings in Dallas, The Stranger reported.

Not only was the guild’s website offline, but a Twitter search for its account came up empty as of Monday, as seen below: (See image at linked story.)

As the Seattle Times reported, the guild’s Facebook page was also taken down, just days after a post commenting on the Dallas attack by saying, “The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting” and adding the tag #Weshallovercome, a reference to the Civil Rights Movement protest song.

Geekwire published a screenshot of the post prior to its deletion, which can be seen here:

ScreenHunter_5537-Jul.-12-20.07

Guild President Ron Smith, a detective with the department, said at the time that the post was criticized because people took it out of context.

Oh. Always a good sign when someone decides to go full court Sam Harris, and scream context. There really isn’t any complex context to consider here.

“Somehow some folks were offended that police officers are disgusted at the level of violence directed toward law enforcement officers across this country by the vitriol spewed by a small segment of society,” he said.

So, people of colour are a small segment of society. Interesting. If that’s the case, why are all these white bigots so damn upset, screaming at how white people are a minority and will soon become extinct? You don’t get to have this both ways. Also, Mr. Smith, if people of colour are such a tiny segment of society, why in the hell are almost all extrajudicial murders by cops happening to PoC? Something smells, don’t you think? Full Story Here.

whitecouple6-800x430

Teen confronts white couple over racial statements (Facebook/screen grab)

Live Facebook video caught a Texas couple shouting racial slurs at an African-American teenage girl.

According to Media Takeout, the girl was dining with her family after church at Chester’s Hamburgers restaurant in San Antonio and began streaming the encounter live on Facebook after the couple made racial statements.

“So, Facebook, this is what racist people look like,” the girl announces to her followers.

Both families tell each other to “shut the f*ck up” before the white man begins calling the black family “god damn n*ggers.”

“You’re a f*cking n*gger!” the white woman wails.

“This is what racism looks like!” the teen recording the video shouts back.

“F*ck you, honky!” one of the women in the black family exclaims.

“I can be a honky! I can be cracker too!” the white man yells.

“Take your n*gger ass back to Africa!” the white woman says.

“I was born right here in America!” one black woman points out.

“My ancestors owned your mother f*cking ass,” the young white woman squawks. “My ancestors owned your ass, bitch.”

The woman adds, “Black people don’t belong in America.”

[…]

They call us monkeys and n*ggers and nobody is paying attention. You know, I had to record it to let you all see. Because it’s real in San Antonio too. For everyone who thinks it’s not real, it’s real in San Antonio.”

“That’s the problem though,” she notes. “You can’t fight these people because that’s how you end up in jail.”

And right there is a prime reason that white people need to be good, strong allies in this fight. Don’t be silent. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look down. Don’t tell yourself “this isn’t my fight.” It is your fight, it’s the fight of every thinking, decent person, and a lot of the time, you won’t find yourself up against stone asshole racists, like the ones quoted above. You’ll be facing nice people who think they are good, and decent and kind. And for the most part, they are right in that self-assessment. But they don’t know enough, and they don’t think enough. I found myself in that situation at the pain clinic yesterday, laying on a slab, half naked, with a needle in my spine. For a moment, I considered letting the remark about those poor cops slide, then thought “no, you cannot do that.” So I didn’t. Talk, even when you think “eh, not the right time”, talk anyway. You never know when you can get another person to think deeper, and they’ll end up wanting to know more.

Full story here.

 

Faces.

A woman confronts stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

A woman confronts stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

 

Faces2

A man being “detained”. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Ieshia Evans. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Source.

 

Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)

Police arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. (Max Becherer/Associated Press).

 

A man being "detained" by stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

A man being “detained” by stormtroopers. Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters.

 

Another person being "detained". Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

Another person being “detained”. Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

Giuliani: Dealing With The Black Side.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- (CBS screen grab)

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — (CBS screen grab)

Oh look, another old white man is going to help us all out by whitesplaining this whole black people dying at the hands of police business. Turns out that a lot of black people aren’t being murdered by cops at all, no, it’s just sensationalism, that’s all. The real culprits are…black people! Bet you’re all surprised, right?

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dismissed concerns of African-Americans who are afraid that their children might become the next Alton Sterling or Philando Castile if they are stopped by a cop, saying they should teach their kids to fear other black children instead.

Appearing on Face The Nation, the former Republican politician and failed presidential candidate stated that black kids need to be more “respectful to the police.”

“If you want to protect black lives, then you got to protect black lives not just against police, which happens rarely, although with tremendous attention,” he claimed. “If you want to deal with this on the black side you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police.”

“When you focus in on 1 percent of less than 1 percent of the murder that’s going on in America and you make it a national thing, and all of you in the media make it much bigger than the black kid who’s getting killed in Chicago every 14 hours, you treat it disproportionately,” he asserted.

[…]

Giuliani, however, claimed that police are still nothing to worry about within the black community.

“You’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police,” he continued. “The real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times are other black kids who are going to kill them, that’s the way they’re going to die.”

Giuliani is also on record saying that BLM is racist, and he’s doubled down on that view:

(CNN) Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani stood by his recent comments Monday that the Black Lives Matter movement is “inherently racist.”

“It’s inherently racist because, number one, it divides us. … All lives matter: White lives, black lives, all lives,” he told Fox News on Monday. “Number two: Black Lives Matter never protests when every 14 hours somebody is killed in Chicago, probably 70-80% of the time (by) a black person. Where are they then? Where are they when a young black child is killed?”

Giuliani told CBS on Sunday that he thinks the activist movement, aimed at preventing violence toward the African-American community, exacerbated racial tensions by putting a target on the backs of police officers.

I have eight words for you, Mr. Giuliani: Go fuck yourself, and shut the fuck up.

Via Raw Story.

Once You’ve Broken the Law, There Is No Safe Space.

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The stormtroopers in Baton Rouge have been particularly scary the past few days, and their more than questionable behaviour continues. Cops everywhere have been making up little Catch 22s that will see people arrested no matter what. Prior to DeRay McKesson being arrested, people were told to get on the sidewalk. When Protesters pointed out they were on the shoulder, because there wasn’t a sidewalk, they were arrested. In Baltimore, bus service to the protest area had been stopped by cops. Cops told people to disperse, but many of them had no way to do that because there were no buses. So, arrested for not dispersing. Ieshia Evans was arrested for impeding traffic, while that massive line of armored stormtroopers blocking the street was somehow just dandy for traffic. Now, when a homeowner offered her property as a safe place for protesters, the cops twisted about and came up with excuses to roust and arrest people anyway, saying there is no safe space, because you know, you just fucking might break the law at some point.

Hundreds of people in Baton Rouge who were peacefully protesting on private property Sunday evening were thrown into the street by police—and then several were arrested for being on the street.

Approximately 500 people had gathered at France and East in downtown Baton Rouge after first coming together at a nearby Methodist church to protest the police killing of Alton Sterling. Meeting the protesters were about 100 officers in riot gear. A homeowner gave the protesters safe refuge on her front lawn so they would not be arrested for being in the street.

“No justice, no peace!” they yelled.

After 90 minutes of peaceful assembly, police charged the crowd for no apparent reason. Protesters scattered, many running down a side street. Those protesters were then arrested for obstruction of a highway.

A wall of riot police then pushed the scattered protesters further away, block by block, and arrested some at the front of the crowd. “Clear the streets and leave the area!” one officer shouted through a bullhorn. “This is an unlawful assembly!”

The homeowner told CBS News she was “stunned” by police behavior.

“I kept telling them: ‘This is my property, please do not do that, I live here,’” she said. “They just looked at me and ignored the things I was saying.”

Lt. Jonny Dunham of the Baton Rouge Police Department said the protesters were arrested for previously breaking the law by obstructing a public passage by trying to get on an interstate on-ramp. “Once you’ve broken the law, there is no safe space.”

Throughout the confrontation, police threatened to arrest all journalists without credentials.

Allow me to emphasize that statement: “Once you’ve broken the law, there is no safe space.” We are fucked. All of us. If there’s no reason to arrest, they will make one up. Arrests will be justified on the basis of possible intent. Welcome to the dystopian nightmare.

Via Daily Beast and Raw Story.