Facebook, Oh Facebook, Part II.

JeffersonAnother bigot has been fired for being ranting all over facebook. This time, a nurse, formerly employed at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital fired a woman who posted on social media how “sick and tired of all this bullsh*t with the black people.”

Diane Amoratis’ Facebook rant, was a response to an anti-police brutality protest near Erie, Pennsylvania that went viral after she posted it.

Her complete rant:

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Well, I’m glad she’s not working at a hospital anymore, but I have no doubt she’ll find another job, and might manage to be smart enough to keep her bigotry off of social media in the future. Unfortunately, that’s no good for everyone else, because that’s some powerful hate and resentment walking around. It’s frightening, thinking of this woman being in charge of vulnerable people.

Via Raw Story.

The Complexity of Road Signs.

roadsign1The North Dakota DOT is replacing the old Highway Signs, as pictured on the right. Being that this is happening in ND, it will take half of forever, and the old signs will still be seen for some time, unless people start stealing them all, which might happen. Out in my part of the wilds, the old signs are still all over the place.

I’ve been conflicted about writing this up, it’s a bit more complex than it seems on the surface. It seems that most people feel replacing these signs is erasing Native people, and their presence here in Indian Country; that it’s a mark of disrespect and whitewashing. A lot of people are unaware of the history behind the sign, and who it honours. No, it’s not a generic Indian profile. It’s a specific honour to Red Tomahawk, later known as Marcellus Red Tomahawk. The Red Tomahawk family is a large one here in ND, and as far as I know, they are all good people.

The reason Marcellus Red Tomahawk was chosen to be honoured on the road markers was because white people felt he brought peace to the Plains by executing Sitting Bull. Marcellus Red Tomahawk was not in the least shy about recounting the event, but other peoples’ versions disagree with his account. Almost all of the accounts narrated by people other than Red Tomahawk place Bull Head as shooting first, striking Sitting Bull in the torso, whereupon Red Tomahawk pulled out a pistol and shot Sitting Bull in the head.

At this time, the Ghost Dance was spreading, and the white government and military feared it greatly. I don’t think it would be unfair to say that the white people at the time believed in it more than Natives did. The 7th Cavalry carried out their massacre at Wounded Knee, citing the Ghost Dance as the justification. Sitting Bull did not take part in the Ghost Dance, however, he did not forbid his people from dancing. White authorities feared this meant the Indians would regains strength and continue to fight, rather than settle down into assimilation. The order was given to arrest Sitting Bull. The federal government had started instituting police on reservations, and Marcellus Red Tomahawk was one who joined the police force at Standing Rock rez. He had also embraced Christianity and was devout in that regard. Marcellus Red Tomahawk never disavowed his heritage, but it became terribly twisted by a desire to not only assimilate, but to be an important person among those he sought to be a part of, that of white men. While he himself often stayed dressed in regalia and traditional clothing, photos of his family show his wife and children dressed in the Western white manner. He sent his own children to the Carlisle Indian School:

richard-pratt-carlisle-indian-school

One of Red Tomahawk’s sons came home in 1909 and committed suicide. I look upon what happened to Red Tomahawk as a tragedy, a by product of genocide and the demands of assimilation. It makes me feel so sad and wounded. Sitting Bull would never have survived arrest, he would have been murdered anyway, as Crazy Horse was, but it’s a hard thing to face that he died at the hands of his own. Personally, I’m glad the signs are being replaced, because they were never meant to honour Indigenous people at all. They were honour to a murder, an honour to the white way of doing things, a paean to how colonialism works.

ISIS, Pokémon Go, and Cyber-Demons.

wiles3-2-800x430Rick Wiles, a radio show evangelist Christian pastor with a fervent wish for end times, and an endless appetite for hate, has a new target.

Rick Wiles, who frequently warns the apocalypse is near, called police last week after spotting a middle-aged man apparently taking pictures with his phone outside his “TruNews” offices — but officers told him the man was playing the augmented reality game, reported Right Wing Watch.

That freaked Wiles all the way out, and he let his imagination run wild.

“These Pokémon creatures are like virtual, cyber-demons,” Wiles said. “What this man, Friday, was trying to find was the Pokémon demon that had been placed inside the ‘Trunews’ office.”

Wiles worried that terrorists could use information harvested by the app to target Christians.

“What if this technology is transferred to Islamic jihadists, and Islamic jihadists have an app that shows them where Christians are located geographically?” Wiles said.

Uh oh. All you people happily playing a game, you’re playing with DEMONS! I really don’t think that anyone, terrorist or no, would have any difficulty in locating Christians in uStates. It’s not as if we have you all handily quarantined to one geographical location. I don’t think it would be terribly difficult to find Christians anywhere. You don’t need the help of virtual cyber-demons of the Pokémon kind. Any old cyber-demon will do.

“The enemy, Satan, is targeting churches with virtual, digital, cyber-demons,” Wiles said. “I believe this thing is a magnet for demonic powers.”

It didn’t have to be terrorists, he warned, saying everyday Americans could be tricked into doing the wicked bidding of these “cyber-demons.”

“At what point does this game go live and the Pokemon masters are telling people to kill people in those buildings?” Wiles said. “People are losing touch with reality.”

Some people are losing touch with reality, yes. That’s quite obvious. It’s just not who you think, Pastor Wiles. *Cough*

He compared Pokémon GO to the Facebook Live broadcast of a traffic stop that led to Philando Castile’s fatal shooting, saying it showed how digital technology could alter reality.

“I thought, either this is staged or she has lost touch with reality,” Wiles said. “Which one is it? Both of them are weird and frightening.”

Ummm…so everything on the internet now is the equivalent of people shouting “photoshop!”? Generally speaking, someone who stages a death isn’t then buried. This is so damn offensive, I don’t know what to say. Except perhaps they should get off the radio, immediately. I hear it’s infested with fakery demons.

Wiles’ co-host, Edward Szall, agreed — and he backed up their argument with a fake quote by the creator of Pokémon that supposedly endorsed Satanism.

“They’re spawning demons inside your church,” Wiles said. “They’re targeting your church with demonic activity. This technology will be used by the enemies of the cross to target, locate and execute Christians.”

Oh, how convenient. So, virtual cyber-demons are going to locate, target, and execute Christians, and that’s all for real and genuine, but a live stream of cops murdering a man in broad daylight, why that’s just fake nonsense. Got it.

Via Raw Story.

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.

Facebook, Oh Facebook.

Charles Menefee.

Charles Menefee.

The other day I commented on a fire responder being fired because he simply could not keep his bigotry off his facebook. The lesson of social media seems to be one that bigots simply cannot grasp. They seem to think it’s magic, or has a force field, or something. A CBS46 producer has been fired over his racist rants on FB. You’d think they’d learn, but no. And in truth, I’m glad they haven’t. Best they be self sidelined.

FTVLive earlier today posted three Facebook rants by an Emmy-winning CBS46 photographer/producer Charles Beau Menefee in which he insulted the Black Lives Matter movement, calling them “unevolved, uncivilized turds” and wondering if the protesters could be boxed in and bombed.

In fact, he wished death upon members of the group at least twice.

Mark Pimental, general manager at CBS46, said Menefee has been fired, sending me a note informing the staff of his departure with his employee photo included.

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Bye, Charles. 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.

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.

Maybe it’s time to stop the bull.

Pamplona (Shutterstock)

Pamplona (Shutterstock)

A Spaniard died and two other men, including a Japanese man, were gored in bull-runs in Spain on Saturday, as the San Fermin festival in the northern town of Pamplona entered its third day.

The 28-year-old died after a bull’s horn pierced his lung and heart during a run in the southeastern village of Pedreguer near Valencia, a spokesman for the regional government said.

The bull caught him as he was trying to help another runner in the annual event.  Story.

Víctor Barrio is rushed to the hospital (Twitter)

Víctor Barrio is rushed to the hospital (Twitter)

Spaniards were faced with a horrifying sight on Saturday when a famous bullfighter, Víctor Barrio, was gored in the chest and killed live on television, NBC News reports.

The 29-year-old Barrio was in the ring with a bull named Lorenzo in the town of Teruel when the bull caught him with a horn that pierced his chest.

The fight was being broadcast live on television, where Lorenzo could be seen soaked in his own blood from lances that were thrust into him, which occurs during the process of a bullfight. The matador generally slaughters the bull with a sword at the end of the fight. Story.

It’s long past time that these relics of toxic masculinity die, rather than people. It’s time to stop the bull, literally.

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