Twitter thread: police violence

CW: Police violence

There’s a tendency, among people who claim there’s no problem with police use of violence, and with race-based injustice in the United States, to pretend that any given example of mistreatment is an isolated incident, and no matter how many such incidents occur, they’re never part of a pattern. People who are protesting now, and people who support these protests are those who are willing and able to connect the rather obvious dots, and see the pattern.

I’ve been involved in political activism, in one form or another, since I was a teenager. I was never one of the people “in the thick of it” when things got violent, I have never been arrested, gassed, pepper-sprayed, or otherwise assaulted by police. I have, however, paid attention to those incidents. I’ve watched the footage, talked to people who were targeted by police, and listened to what they have to say. Deaths, injuries, and maimings are not new in America, but as far as I know this is beyond anything that has happened in the United States in my lifetime. I’ve never seen this many people being permanently blinded in one eye, because police are aiming to destroy eyeballs. I’ve never seen this many people with head wounds from “rubber” bullets. I’ve never seen the police being this open about assaulting peaceful crowds, assaulting journalists, and arresting people, on video, who were engaged in nothing more than talking.

This is an effort to criminalize dissent, and it’s coming in coordination with the GOP government using the “antifa” bogeyman to try to criminalize organized action. To me, this looks like a big step in a very bad direction.

Below is a sample from the linked thread. Click through to Twitter if you want to see more.

If this ends without real, systemic change, far beyond just arresting a handful of “bad cops”, then it’s going to happen again, and it’s going to get worse.

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  1. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Yes, but what systemic change do we need? I’ve seen lots of people giving proposals, but most, if not all, of those proposals are not going far enough. I think we need a lot of things, and here’s some of the core (radical) changes that we need to make:

    Fix the actual problem: No personal accountability. Remove qualified immunity so that the victims, or close family and friends of the victims, can seek civil damages from cops in their personal capacity in court. Allow victims to seek indictments to appoint any counsel of their choosing as prosecutor, so the victim can see criminal charges in court against individual cops. Alternatively, find some other way to ensure that criminal charges will be brought against cops, but I doubt any alternative will be sufficient. Finally, publish and maintain detailed standards of rules of engagement for cops, to help juries be able to recognize unlawful use of force and find against cops in civil and criminal trials. That’s what it will take to fix this problem, and I am firmly convinced that nothing else will.

    For more information, I strongly suggest reading:

  2. says

    Most of the solutions proposals I’ve been seeing include ending qualified immunity, shifting a great deal of funding to social services and having medical personnel on call for things like wellness checks, ending “proactive” policing, and ending the concept of “beat” cops – don’t have police just prowling around looking for people to accost.

    Unsurprisingly, it seems like you and I tend to move in different informational circles 😛

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