How to construct a well thought out sentence

In various places on the internet, people have said that 22 years is not enough of a sentence for Chauvin after his murder of Floyd, since serving as little as 10 more years is possible. I am nearly or maybe actually a prison abolitionist in the longer term*1, but I mostly agree with this given our current laws, practices, and resources. 270 months is a LONG time. Where I differ is that (with what I know now, and understanding this might change if Chauvin himself changes) I want him in prison until at least the age of 65 for the safety of the community, and under supervision until the age of 75. That would require a sentence of over 30 years, minimum, assuming that parole boards made (what I currently think would be) appropriate decisions regarding early release. The 30 gets us supervision until age 75, but even that does not give a strong guarantee of release at or about age 65.

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Say Her Name: Ma’Khia Bryant

The details are sketchy at this point and a number of important things, including how to spell her name and even her age are being reported differently in different places, but from the best information I have right now (which could easily change later):

A foster child, 15 years old, whose name was Ma’Khia Bryant, was being bullied and attacked by other foster kids, probably other girls. She called police for protection. At some point before police arrived (possibly even before she called them?) she acquired a knife to use in self-defense. When the police arrived there was some sort of altercation between Ma’Khia and at least one other girl. At this point she may or may not have been still holding the knife. It’s even possible that someone else had taken the knife from her, but I don’t consider that likely.

Police seeing a physical altercation with a knife involved shot to kill Ma’Khia, the girl who called desperate for protection. She is dead.

I don’t give a god damn if Ma’Khia had the knife in her hand and was swinging it: she was in state custody (unless this detail is also wrong, I fucking hate how different stories are saying different things, but none seemed to say that she **wasn’t** in state custody, it’s just that some stories don’t mention foster care at all), and the state owed her better. Even if there was an immediate necessity to protect the other child because Ma’Khia was swinging the knife, that only backs up responsibility from the cops to the foster system that shouldn’t have put her in that situation to begin with.

To make matters worse, the Mayor of Columbus, Ohio where Ma’Khia was killed called her a “young woman” who “lost her life”, probably between the couch cushions.

Ma’Khia was not a young woman. She was a child, a girl. It’s bad enough that the mayor would say such a thing, but it is much worse than that in that there is a long trend of Black children being treated as adults to maximize the blame that can be placed upon them while white young adults are called “children” or “teenagers” to minimize the blame that can be placed on them. Kyle Rittenhouse is a perfect example of the latter.

I’ll keep watching things, but FUCK THIS SHIT. I’m so sick and tired police violence. I’m so sick and tired of the government killing the people it has a duty to protect.

Live Coverage of MN Protests for BLM Mon April 12: Shots fired

I’m obviously not in MN, but there’s quite a lot to see in the live coverage provided by Unicorn Riot.

Less than 5 minutes ago there was audible gunfire. The reporter was speculating that it was coming from protesters shooting bullets into the air. Obviously that’s very dangerous, since the bullets won’t reach escape velocity. I’m not entirely clear why the reporter thought it was protesters, but I’m assuming it’s because they have a general sense of distance and direction. Here’s hoping this shit doesn’t escalate further.

ETA: I thought I might add multiple updates to this as more info came in, but the protests were almost over when this happened. Everyone has gone home for the night and from where Unicorn Riot was filming there was simply no way to get any more info about the shooter, not even whether or not they were arrested. Because things ended so quickly after I wrote this post (maybe 10-15 minutes, tops) there’s simply nothing of substance to add, but I thought I had to at least write “nothing else happened” here lest the dangerous cliffhanger become needlessly alarming over the long hours of the night.

I’m not going to head to Minnesota like I went to Portland, but I’ll keep an eye on Unicorn Riot’s channel & make posts if I notice something important.

Boston PD Are Rapist Scumbags

So it has come out that Boston PD protected a pedophile rapist, and Boston officers then voted that scumbag their union president.

Now retired, the scumbag has been arrested for raping the daughter of one of his previous victims. The daughter. 25 years later.

What is the Boston PD response to this? Apparently they’re fighting like hell to prevent any records of the previous investigations from coming to light.

So it comes to this: if they aren’t able to pin this coverup, this complicity, this conspiracy on specific Boston officers, then obviously the only proper response for the general public is to treat ALL Boston officers as if they are actively supporting rapists who wear badges. How many of the cops are actual rapists and how many just support giving rapists the authority to command respect, to command obedience, to preside over the interests of police officers as union president, and even to, it nauseates me to say, even to investigate the rape of children. He literally questioned child victims of other rapists, and the police officers above him allowed that. They gave him the power to do that. They specifically assigned him to do that task.

So this is the choice you’ve given  us, motherrapists. Either you clean house, or the whole house is dirty. You even had decades to watch what happened to the Catholic church and learned nothing, did nothing. And the job of a cop isn’t forgiveness; it isn’t grace. Even in 1995 you Boston PD scumbags didn’t have the same excuse as the Catholic church had, as completely unacceptable as that excuse may have been.

You in the Boston PD must be treated socially as if scumbags guilty of conspiracy to rape children, one and all, unless and until you become an organization that doesn’t give these foul gifts to rapists.

This isn’t overreaction. This isn’t emotion. This is the position we are in. This is the position you Boston PD scumbags have put us in: we know that SOME of you are supporting rape, but we don’t know WHICH of you are supporting rape. We have to protect ourselves, and that means that until we have some certainty not just that some of you are innocent, but which exact persons are innocent and why, we simply cannot trust you with power.

Eat shit, Boston PD. Each one of you eat a copper cauldron of shit.

 

 

Minnesota: Number of days without a mass shooting … 0

Well, looks like a 67 year old man who lives not far off the route between UM-Morris and UM-Minneapolis (though closer to the latter) has decided to kill a few people because he was unsatisfied with his health care.

No one is dead yet, at least according to reports datelined 30 minutes ago, but he shot bullets into the bodies of a minimum of 5 people, more than one of whom (the number is as yet unclear) had to be evacuated from their location in a health care facility to a “level 1 trauma centers”. I have no idea what that means (my job here is to translate legal & feminist jargon, not the medical whodiddle), but it sounds kinda bad.

Meanwhile, in addition to attempting to deal with a “horrible looking scene” (quoted words spoken by the local sheriff), our evil mastermind decided to build a whole bunch of bombs and scatter them around. The Minneapolis’ police bomb squad had to be called in to deal with the terrorist’s devices. I expect that will take a while, both because the scene is fairly far from Minneapolis (36-41 miles, depending on the route) but also because there were “suspicious devices” (read: improvised explosive devices) at his hotel, as well. If he’s using a car, they’ll have to check that for bombs, too.

The name of the suspect is “Gregory Ulrich” and CNN is reporting that he has a long history of harassing the health care clinic that he shot up (though they use nicer language than “harassing”) and is “familiar” to law enforcement.

Can we have red flag laws everywhere, please? Or is trying to save lives too politicizing of tragedies even when Republicans are out of power?

While you’re thinking about that question, don’t distract yourself with questions of the shooter/bomber’s race and whether the face of US terrorism is at all racialized, because they’re not even reporting on the shooter’s race, so there, and you’re not allowed to guess! If his race was relevant, they would definitely have reported that he was Black.

 

 

 

 

You know what sucks?

What sucks is when you’ve lived more than 70 years, and not for one day have you known what accountability looks like, not for one day have you understood justice.

For you have known you were doing things for which others were punished, but celebrated your impunity, cursed accountability, fled justice.

For you have only known law, but never justice, and therefore mistook justice for the slow, institutionalized revenge your own wealth bought you in the courts of the United States.

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Lynching: An Alternate Interpretation of 1/6/2021

Professional historian of lynching and mob violence Guy Lancaster has an article up at HistoryNewsNetwork.org that interprets the mob violence of 1/6/2021 not through the lens of rebellion, insurrection, sedition, and treason, but through the lens of lynching. I think it’s a great read, although I would caution that I don’t think it’s appropriate to ignore the currently-dominant interpretive framework of 1/6/2021 as an insurrection. Lancaster’s work (at least according to me) should be additive rather than substitutive.

Why does Lancaster see lynching in the events of 1/6? Well, some aspects are easy: they were looking for people to publicly execute, AOC, Nancy Pelosi, and (not least!) Mike Pence to name just three. They had set up a makeshift gallows (which may not have been sturdy enough for actual executions, though the mob clearly had effective means for murdering others at their disposal). They were white as fuck. But there’s much more than that.

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Anti-Heresy Laws Still Suck

While there’s a lot to be getting on with this week in the USA (and, heck, around the world, what with the novel coronavirus & all), it’s interesting to note that some of the old authoritarian tactics condemned many times here on FtB still have not gone away. This time I want to mention Poland, where queer women publicly displayed (and probably created, though that’s something I’m not sure on) an altered version of a famous painting: the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

Black Madonna of Czestochowa, an iconic painting of the Virgin Mary with great historical and cultural significance in Poland.

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Trump: The Worse Fate

So I had thought a bit about self-pardons and Trump, as you might have read. I had also thought of civil cases being brought against Trump. But the last week has been so hectic I didn’t even stop to think about the tradeoffs between self-pardons and civil cases. (To be fair, the consequences for the country are more important to me than the consequences for Trump.)

But ABCNews has a piece up that directly addresses civil liability and briefly raises the fact that a pardon of any kind (issued by Trump to himself or issued by any subsequent president to Trump) is terrible for Trump’s ability to defend against a civil suit.

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