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.

Hands Up, Shot 10 Times.

CREDIT: Facebook, Alva Braziel

Yesterday, I posted about the death of yet another black man at the hands of cops in Houston. At that time, his name had not been released. His name was Alva Braziel. I just read an article where there was the usual laundry list of every wrong thing he ever did in his life, oh hey, he had done time, so sad, too bad. Absolutely infuriating. If you watch the footage from a nearby store / gas station, you can clearly see Mr. Braziel with his arms in the air, high up over his head, then he was shot. 10 times. 10 fucking times.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/AlvaBraziel?src=hash

Think Progress has an article up. Before any other idiot wants to defend the cops, read first:

For example, in a majority-white neighborhood of Houston this weekend, an armed suspect fired seven rounds at police officers. Yet police managed to end the standoff with gas and other non-lethal means without killing the man. He may now be transported to a psychiatric center for evaluation and treatment.

 

Time to Play “What If?”

Anthony Vigliotti -- (Branford police photo)

Anthony Vigliotti — (Branford police photo)

Here’s a man who had a rather bad attack of road rage, and the target of his anger happened to be an off duty cop.

A Bradford Connecticut man was released without having to post bail after he was taken into custody at his home for pointing a handgun at an off-duty police officer on Thursday, reports WFSB.

Anthony Vigliotti, 29, faces charges of second-degree threatening, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree breach of peace and following too close with intent to harass during a road rage incident that was called in by the cop.

According to off-duty officer, Vigliotti had been tailgating him and blowing his horn, presumably because the officer was driving too slow.

At an intersection, police say Vigilotti pulled a black semi-automatic handgun out, pointed it at the victim before roaring away.

When police took him into custody at his  home. he turned over his  .45-caliber handgun as well as his pistol permit.

After being charged, Vigilotti was released with a promise to appear in court on July 19.

Okay, everyone, time for “what if” – What if this man had been black? Anyone think this scenario would have played out the same way? The difference in treatment could not possible be more stark, and yet so many people keep denying there’s any imbalance at all, let alone a race based one.

Via Raw Story.

The Truth About Race and Policing.

Truth
A protest in Cleveland, Ohio, after police officer Michael Brelo was acquitted for the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. | Ricky Rhodes, Getty Images.

I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing by Redditt Hudson on July 7, 2016.

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.

That’s a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him. I worked with men and women who became cops for all the right reasons — they really wanted to help make their communities better. And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, “I can’t believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!” He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law.

That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things.

If you read one thing today, read this article by Redditt Hudson. The full article is here.

That didn’t take long. UPDATED.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Two Houston police officers fatally shot an African-American man who pointed a gun at them despite their commands that he lower his weapon, authorities said on Saturday, two days after five Dallas policemen were slain by a black military veteran.

The two Houston officers, both Hispanic, encountered a man standing in the middle of a street with a revolver around 12:40 a.m. while on a routine patrol, police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.

The officers exited their patrol vehicle to speak to the man, who initially had the firearm pointed to the sky. The officers ordered him to lower the weapon, Silva said.

“He instead deliberately and slowly lowers his arm and allows it to come to a stop at his waist,” Silva said. “Now the gun is pointed directly at officers.”

Fearing for their safety and for nearby witnesses, both officers discharged their weapons, striking the man, she said. The man’s motive remains unknown.

The suspect, who did not fire his gun, died at the scene. His identity was not immediately released.

I’m out of things to say. Feels like I’m sliding into permanent numbness.

Via Raw Story.

UPDATE: The man’s name was Alva Braziel. I just read an article where there was the usual laundry list of every wrong thing he ever did in his life, oh hey, he had done time, so sad, too bad. Absolutely infuriating. If you watch the footage from a nearby store / gas station, you can clearly see Mr. Braziel with his arms in the air, high up over his head, then he was shot. 10 times. 10 fucking times. https://twitter.com/hashtag/AlvaBraziel?src=hash