The police are a mob of bullying cowards


The Asheville police bravely assaulted a first-aid station. It was clearly marked, it was staffed by doctors, nurses, EMTs and such people, and no one in the group was participating in the protests. They were just there to help people. Yet the police charged in, knifed all the water bottles, looted bandages and sutures, trashed everything in sight, and harassed the medical staff.

The excuses given: they were only supposed to confiscate medical supplies (why?). They had to search for explosives (in a med station?). They had to get rid of the water bottles, because protesters had thrown them at the police.

Take a closer look at those police.

Holy crap. They’re armored up like storm troopers from Star Wars. And they’re afraid of thrown water bottles? Did they watch Return of the Jedi, think it was a documentary, and worry that there were Ewoks among the protesters?

I also have to point out that they chose to fight medical assistants who have been struggling to get proper PPE for months, and who in this bold assault were wearing t-shirts and handkerchiefs tied over their faces, and were volunteers who weren’t getting paid. How much overtime did Asheville sink into depriving its citizens of medical assistance?

FTP.

Comments

  1. blf says

    Teh goons were obviously ill-prepared. Instead of searching for teh explosives all first-aid stations have (‘cuz they got drugs there!), teh goons would usually plant some and then arrest the lot, taking special care to shoot anyone who is guilty of being black.

  2. blf says

    (A related cross-post from poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and] Political Madness all the Time thread.)

    New York police take seconds to restore reputation for brutality:

    Driving vehicles into protesters demanding justice for George Floyd earned the backing of the mayor, but of few others

    It doesn’t take long to blow up a reputation. In the case of the New York police department, an institution with an already troubled history, the clip lasted all of 27 seconds.

    It showed an NYPD vehicle in Brooklyn lined up against a metal barricade behind which protesters were chanting during Saturday’s demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd. Projectiles were thrown on to the roof of the car, then suddenly a second police SUV drew up alongside and instead of stopping continued to plough straight into the crowd.

    Seconds later the first vehicle lurched forward, knocking the barrier over and with it propelling several protesters to the ground amid a harrowing chorus of shrieking.

    A 27-second video, now viewed more than 30m times, had quickly shredded years of effort to repair the deeply tarnished image of the NYPD. New York’s “finest” were firmly cast in a role normally reserved for the security corps of petty dictators.

    The shocking video was compounded hours later when the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, spoke about the incident. A politician who won election in 2013 largely on a promise to reform the NYPD and scrap its racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy, astounded even his closest supporters when he defended the police.

    De Blasio said: I do believe the NYPD has acted appropriately.

    Social media lit up. Was it appropriate to drive those two SUVs into the crowd? Was it appropriate for an NYPD officer forcibly to remove the coronavirus mask of a black protester whose arms were raised in the air, then pepper-spray his face?

    Was it appropriate for another officer to tell a protester to get off the street, then physically shove her several feet towards the curb where she landed on her head? Or that the police officers involved in the pepper spray incident had covered their badge numbers, presumably to avoid having to answer for their actions. Or to beat a nurse walking home from a shift at a hospital?

    [… T]he force continues to be systemically resistant to public oversight. Under Section 50-A of New York state law, the disciplinary files of police officers are largely held in secret, making the task of holding them accountable almost impossible.

    Jennvine Wong, a staff attorney at the Cop Accountability Project (CAP) within the Legal Aid Society, told the Guardian that there were currently more than 200 police officers still being employed by the NYPD on full pay who should have been considered for termination following reports of misconduct.

    […]

    If there has been unrestrained use of batons in the city, it would be with the full approval of Ed Mullins, the provocative president of one of the main police unions, the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA). He wrote to members urging each and every one of you to report for duty with your helmet and baton and do not hesitate to utilize that equipment in securing your personal safety.

    The sister Police Benevolent Association of New York City has also spoken to its members in inflammatory terms about them being under attack by violent, organized terrorists while New York City council and other politicians sit at home demanding we ‘de-escalate’.

    […]

  3. stwriley says

    This is not going to go over well in Asheville, which is a very liberal city (as many of the cities in NC are.) You’ll notice that the mayor is less than pleased with these actions by the police and she and the city council are already demanding an explanation. Whoever gave the order to do this isn’t going to feel so good about what follows. Look to see firings in the next few days.

  4. microraptor says

    Police have been targeting water bottles in these protests because protesters learned from the Hong Kong demonstrations last year that you can drown tear gas canisters by pouring enough water on them. Cops are trying to prevent people from being able to do so.

  5. says

    @1 Tabby Lavalamp
    No they aren’t. Please don’t judge entire groups of people by a few extreme examples. There are good cops out there. What we’re learning very quickly is some places train and screen their police officers well and teach them to de-escalate conflict and other places are just handing any dude a gun who walks in the door.

    It was a bad cop who triggered this. That man should have been fired years ago. We really need national standards for police training and qualification. Right now it’s a patchwork of states and counties. It’s a mess. Some cities are handling it well and others are not. The cities on fire now need to ask the cities that aren’t how they did that and learn from it.

  6. consciousness razor says

    Of course they got rid of the DHMO. Why should it just be left out in public like that, carelessly strewn about in random alleyways, where it could harm some hapless law enforcement officer?

    And seriously … “no explosives”? Who fact-checks the fact-checkers? If any one of the stormtroopers happened to be wearing their potassium-plated uniform that day, it would’ve been an extremely dangerous situation.

    If they could just learn to aim as well as the ones in SW:ROTJ, so a few shots might occasionally hit a target, maybe they’d be better off firing at the bottles from a safer distance. But this seems like the next best option to me. You don’t really want to nuke it from orbit, except as a last resort. Besides, I bet that even in the best of times, Asheville can probably only afford to fire off a few nukes per year, and of course 2020 is not even half over yet.

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says

    @6 Ray Ceeya
    “There are good cops out there.”
    Dogs are good companions, loyal, and protective.
    Unless they are rabid.

    How that connects with good cops/bad cops is left as an exercise for the reader.

  8. Artor says

    Ray Ceeya, where are the good cops? Standing next to the bad ones, doing nothing? That’s not a good cop, that’s an accomplice. Oh wait, I saw one, getting fired for whistleblowing. So he’s not a cop anymore, but the evil bastards are still on the force. If every one of these brutal terrorists in uniform was fired today, they’d be hired tomorrow in the next town over.

  9. specialffrog says

    @Ray Ceeya: It is impossible to be a good cop in a bad police department. Can you point to a police department that consistently gets rid of bad officers, deals with protests using appropriate techniques to minimize harm and emphasizes de-escalation rather than lethal violence as a means of response?

  10. blf says

    specialffrog@10, Whilst it’s probably understood, add to the question (referring to police forces) “… in the States”. A case can be made there are police forces not in the States that meet all those standards except, possibly, “consistently gets rid of bad officers” (to which I’d also add “… in a timely manner”).

  11. specialffrog says

    @blf: I could be convinced there is a case for outside the US but I can’t think of where I such a force exists.Canada and Europe have their own issues. So does Japan.

  12. wzrd1 says

    What I find fascinating is, the very physicians and EMT’s that they attacked and battered are the very ones that those lawless enforcement officers will scream for help from when they’re injured.
    Frankly, I’d still show graciousness in my response and back the fucking ambulance over the bastards. Go ahead and shoot, the O2 will show its appreciation.

    Seriously?! Talk about suicidal bullshit!
    Sorry, officer, y’all destroyed the IV’s, so enjoy the installed catheter without a valve, since the modern catheter insertion and access units were also destroyed. Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of blood…*

    *In the old days, IV’s were given by steel needle. Needless to say, there were some major problems with that method, so eventually, teflon catheters were invented, with a needle inside to guide them in place.
    One problem with the old catheter insertion unit was, if the person administering the insertion unit failed to occlude the distal end of the catheter, blood would pour merrily out of the catheter hub. I’ve, while guiding my more nervous students, said many times, “Occlude the vein. Oh, nevermind, I’ve got plenty of blood to spare”, which generated a nervous laugh from my students universally (it’s not like that minimal blood loss is dangerous, if it was, the patient wouldn’t survive anyway).
    New units now have a valve lock to prevent blood loss, not as a danger, but more for technical reasons and mental comfort, as patients tend to get distressed over seeing a few CC’s of their blood dripping out. But, when the newer supplies are destroyed, if the older supplies haven’t expired, they get used.
    Although, what good that IV will do after the real duals are done with them is anyone’s guess.

  13. says

    @Ray Ceeya
    I don’t see any good cops. Where are they? Why aren’t they stopping this? I don’t think you can be a good cop in our criminal justice system without obvious and overt policing of other cops. I need to see those good cops actually doing things to stop this, NOW. I’ve already decided to stop caring about dead cops. If these uniformed unicorns exist they need to get visible.

    Otherwise I don’t care.

  14. mamba says

    @Ray Ceeya When a fight is occurring right in front of them, a good cop will step in and make arrests immediately. A good cop when they see the law being broken flagrantly and unnecessarily would have you or I instantly confronted and rightfully so. A good cop stands for the law and basic human rights and decency and wears their uniform with pride so they ACT on seeing injustice! A good cop knows right from wrong when they see it happening…regardless of who personally is involved.

    I saw all these cops stand around and do nothing while obvious crimes were occurring right in front of them.

    Therefore, they are NOT good cops…they are enablers or collaborators depending on your POV.

  15. wzrd1 says

    @hillaryrettig, when I was in uniform, we had annual training that covered what lawful and unlawful orders were. Unlawful orders are to be questioned and never followed. Ever, no My Lai on our watch!

    Now, in this instance, a veritable suicide pact among the lawless enforcement agencies, as EMS was attacked, the very EMS that they call upon when injured! “Orders” were to confiscate medical supplies, in plain English, to steal private property of emergency workers who are performing their duties. That’s three felonies just in discussing it, carrying it out is interference with emergency workers in the performance of their duties and grand theft! Add in reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe if there were any O2 tanks present as they blundered about like bullshitters in a china shop.

  16. says

    Can we at least agree that all the cops who did this are bastards? Can we agree that having so many bastards in a department is indicative of severe problems in management and training? Can we agree that none of the people involved should remain, or ever be allowed back, in law enforcement?

    If so, then let’s fire them all and then discuss the rest. Let’s fix the problem we all agree is right in front of us and the we can argue about whatever else needs doing.

  17. wzrd1 says

    @LykeX, not at all. Those aren’t garden variety bastards, the lot of them are motherless bastards.
    The list of felonies committed by that department boggle the mind! Willful interference with emergency workers, grand theft, battery of EMS personnel during the commission of their duties, willful destruction of public and private property, harassment, menacing with a weapon, risking a catastrophe, reckless endangerment of the populace at large, conspiracy in each and every charge and riot.
    Every fucking one of those motherless bastards, their superiors and their seniormost leadership should be rounded up and locked away to ensure the safety of the public.

  18. whheydt says

    I can match the story… In 1969 the National Guard tear gassed the UC Berkeley campus hospital (Cowell) from a helicopter. The university administration gave a pretty stern “don’t you EVER do that again” to them.

    Apparently it was because nobody checked which way the wind was blowing. Not like the prevailing west to east wind in that area is a secret….

    The other thing that happened then that is applicable now…. Some people were asked not to fly their kites while the choppers were flying in the area. That gave away the fact that helicopters and kite string Do Not Play Well Together and a lot more kite flying became popular. The more agressive kite flyers made the first few hundred feet of “string” out of wire…

  19. whheydt says

    A bit off topic…. Something that hit the news and promptly disappeared… A Georgia cop shot and killed the son of a Gambian diplomat serving at the UN. He has asked for a full explanation from the State Department.

    Yeah…you got it…Georgia cop causes international incident…

  20. daulnay says

    @RayCeeya

    There are some decent people among the police forces, but there are many fewer good police. Good guys don’t shoot first. Good police have to be brave enough to hold their fire, so that they don’t kill innocent citizens. Many of our current police aren’t brave, and they aren’t required to be. Instead, we have ‘good’ police officers killing innocent citizens out of fear (or because they are thugs or Confederate thugs of course). We respect good police officers for the extraordinary courage that they must have, but the cowardly ones don’t deserve respect, and shouldn’t be officers.

    We need to change the standards for policing, and pass a “Good Guys Don’t Shoot First” law. Any officer who shoots first, who kills someone out of fear, gets cashiered immediately and banned from anything even remotely connected with law enforcement. Not even employment as a security guard or school security officer! If they’re too cowardly to hold their fire, they cannot work in a job where that’s ever an isssue. Period.

  21. yannoupoika says

    Hey, way to pick on isolated incidents and make then the norm for all police actions everywhere.
    Maybe it’s time for some of you whiners and complainers to get your heads out of your rear ends and get your butts to Minneapolis or wherever you live and be a part of the solution and do something constructive by helping those with needs instead of being part of the problem!
    George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has revived the Obama-era narrative that law enforcement is endemically racist. On Friday, Barack Obama tweeted that for millions of black Americans, being treated differently by the criminal justice system on account of race is “tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal.’ ” Mr. Obama called on the police and the public to create a “new normal,” in which bigotry no longer “infects our institutions and our hearts.”
    This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However, sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.
    In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.
    The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.
    On Memorial Day weekend in Chicago alone, 10 African-Americans were killed in drive-by shootings. Such routine violence has continued—a 72-year-old Chicago man shot in the face on May 29 by a gunman who fired about a dozen shots into a residence; two 19-year-old women on the South Side shot to death as they sat in a parked car a few hours earlier; a 16-year-old boy fatally stabbed with his own knife that same day. This past weekend, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally, the victims overwhelmingly black. Police shootings are not the reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is.

  22. says

    @yannoupoika
    It the “go over there do stuff instead of complaining here” again.

    I don’t care if you don’t like complaints, you can either engage with them of not but if you do the same as the “murica love it or leave it” crowd I’m just going to give you attitude.

    Otherwise I don’t see a problem with thinking that the police are racist. I don’t know about this “endemic” term of yours but I’m fine believing that it’s a significant feature of the culture. In fact I think the criminal justice system is bigoted on multiple axes and right now the racism is more noticeable. As far as I’m concerned these incidents are indicative of larger problems.

    I have no reason to trust the criminal justice system in the us. If the economy collapsed I have no problem believing they will turn their abusive, bigoted authoritarian selves on us generally, occupy wall street showed that.

    At this point in history I define good cops as people that actively root out bad cops to a point where I notice it, and the stats showing the bigoted actions stop. If I don’t see good cops actively interfering with bad cops I won’t believe they exist.

  23. blf says

    specialfrog@30, Good catch!

    The plagiarised article seems to be, WSJ, The Myth of Systemic Police Racism (2-June-2020): “Hold officers accountable who use excessive force. But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias” (paywalled).

    Some admittedly trivial searching suggests there are links to it all over teh nutcase monde, with, at best, superficial analysis / critique.

  24. KG says

    However, sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians.

    What is absolutely clear is that the police murdering Floyd saw no reason to hide what they were doing – evidently they fully expected to get away with it. Why would that be, do you think?

    A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. – yannoupoika@25

    I notice you don’t actually point us to that alleged “solid body of evidence”, or tell us where to find it, who produced it, or indeed anything whatsoever about it. Why is that?

    That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. [my emphasis]

    Assuming your conclusion is a well-known logical fallacy.

    African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies

    How are these figures calculated? By whom? Do they represent convictions, police reports, or what?

    Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.
    In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous.

    “Suspect behavior” is a completely subjective term, as is “otherwise dangerous”. Even “armed” leaves a lot of leeway. Who says they were armed? Oh yes, that would be the police.

  25. KG says

    From the link posted by daulnay@28:

    The Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union, endorsed Trump in 2016

    Since Trump made absolutely no attempt to hide his racism either before or during the campaign in 2016, i’d say that was in itself clear evidence of systemic racism in the police.

  26. whheydt says

    Given That Man in the White House, where is Gen. Robert Ross when we need him?

  27. wzrd1 says

    Oh, one of the GOP Twitter bot campaigns now is Joe Biden voted to give Robert E. Lee’s citizenship back.
    Oddly, they failed to remember whose land Arlington National Cemetery was. And they entirely failed to capture a comment from General Robert E. Lee, since the matter was ever so timely.
    Or something.

    It’s been said that watching democracy operate is like watching sausage made. This is more like watching someone shovel shit into a wood chipper.

    Back to policing, those who love the benefit of the doubt should realize, a close second to black and brown skinned individuals being shot dead by police are veterans. Having had an officer start to draw on me, trust me, one’s faith gets a wee bit shaken. Especially given that I was in military uniform, on duty and armed myself.
    I’ve been pulled over after retiring and had a rookie cop get excited enough to keep pacing around briskly, while fidgeting with his sidearm. It got tense enough that I kept him 3 meters or less from me and the other backup officer kept three meters minimum from fidgeter to him, giving me a knowing look. If he drew, it would’ve been on, as I really prefer to make it home alive, not dead.
    Fortunately, the officer that pulled me over over a missing inspection sticker noticed the lunacy that was fermenting to a noxious boil and finished up our business and apologized for his rookie peer.
    At least I got to vent at the mechanic that screwed up the inspection.

  28. unclefrogy says

    the problem with good cops and bad cops is in how we think about them. The right wing seems to like the idea of “a few bad apples” and there sis the idea that comes up here at least once a thread by someone that not all cops are “bad”
    the idea underlying that is that it just a problem of the rank and file officers where the bad cops are tolerated and if we are better able to manage them the problems would go away. Why would that be true? The bad cops are spread all the way up to the chief and the “D.A.s” as well. You can include the city governments which is connected to how the populace votes and as can be seen while most are careful not to say it right out loud and may even declare themselves against police misconduct it ends up tolerated just the same it is actions that count. Words are cheap and lying is easy when the results are power and influence and wealth.
    sure not all cops but when the bad is distributed all the way up to the top what do you do?
    uncle frogy

  29. unclefrogy says

    the unspoken ideal of a cop seems to be “Dirty Hairy”
    where every confrontation with a bad guy is best when he is shot dead or beaten unconscious and not just captured unharmed to be tried and convicted in a court of law.
    The feeling is that the criminal will just be right back doing what ever they do tomorrow.
    Everyone becomes “they” and “we” disappear completely.
    The good thing about the authoritarian reaction is that it is completely counter-productive to promoting popular support.
    uncle frogy

  30. whheydt says

    Re: unclefroggy @ #37…
    There has been a problem in California since the courts decided on “no bail” for “minor” offenses. There have been cases in which someone was arrested and released up to four times in a single day. There was one guy who was released on no bail (carjacking) and stole a car…37 minutes later. It took him that long to walk from Santa Rita prison to the nearest BART station.

    I’m not sure what the solution is as there are two conflicting forces involved.

  31. wzrd1 says

    @whheydt #38, odd, as carjacking isn’t considered a minor offense. Hell, it’s even a federal offense! Something ain’t passing the sniff test.

    Speaking of sniff tests, apparently, Trump’s “inspection” of the Presidential bunker failed. It was found to be too small in the ass for him.
    Still, he’s got his wall – right around the White House. Now, if only the US Army Corps of Engineers would show some initiative and set forms for a large concrete pour…

  32. John Morales says

    Thing with draconian laws that collapse gradations is they engender an attitude of “As well hanged for a sheep as a lamb”.

  33. John Morales says

    [Need I be explicit about the analogy to brutal police response to minor offences?]

  34. Badland says

    whheydt @ 38

    Thank you for providing such a spectacular example of cherry picking data so that your results are meaningless.

    What percentage of ‘no bail’ releasees are instant recidivists? Is it even an integer? Of course you don’t have that number, because “one person committed four offences in a day!!!!” or “one bloke was released for carjacking and re-jacked 37 minutes later!!!!!!!!!” make much better sound bites.

  35. unclefrogy says

    @39
    not sure if it was actually taking a car from someone while they were in or was more likely just stealing a car from a parking lot though I do not remember the story
    but still the police’s job is to arrest and detain not to judge and execute
    uncle frogy

  36. unclefrogy says

    one of the problems with police and the court system the criminal justice apparatus was stated by the infamous Daryl Gates I’ll paraphrase the police are expected to solve all of societies problems that unemployment and poverty, poor education, racism drug addiction and mental health with all of it’s complications. the police are left with the resulting disturbed desperate people are left for the police to deal with with out the training or facilities they need.
    he went on to describe as I remember that they were like the human garbage men cleaning up the human garbage of societies neglect.
    we see the results on the TV every day
    uncle frogy

    all the resulting disturbed and desperate people

  37. whheydt says

    Slightly off topic, but related… Bail has been set for the other three Minneapolis ex-cops that have been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder. Bail is $750K…each.

    The lawyer for one is trying to defend him on the grounds that he was still a probationary officer and had to follow the orders of his trainer: Chauvin. I think someone needs to remind the lawyer of the outcome of Nuremberg. “I was just following orders” is no longer a valid defense.

  38. whheydt says

    Re: unclefroggy @ #44…
    At least in California, a big part of the underlying problem was Reagan closing state mental hospitals (and I’ll agree that that was also an abusive system). The “theory” was to get people back into their communities where there would be local help and support. Except that Uncle Ronnie never provided the state money so that the local support could be implemented. Effectively dumping most of those people on the streets to fend for themselves…with the obvious results of what you cited.

  39. whheydt says

    Re: unclefroggy @ #43…
    As I recall, the second theft was a parked car in the BART lot.

    As I noted before…I’m conflicted. On the one hand, reducing jail population should help, and should also help slow the pandemic spread (a jail, just like a cruise ship, is a giant petrie dish). On the other hand, does a revolving door at the jail do anything the help those arrested correct their behavior in any way? And what about the victims of the succession of crimes? As I said…no clear answer.

    To cite a case local to me (Vallejo, CA)… Last Tuesday night the local cops responded to an alarm and found a couple of people breaking into a drug store (I doubt they were short of aspirin….). One got in a vehicle and ran. A chase ensued for some distance (into another county). Eventually he crashed the vehicle and ran on foot. He was caught. The other guy went to a car, crouched and reached for something near his waist. A cop opened fire. The guy died in a local hospital a couple of hours later.

    Here are some of the problems. The local cops have a history of being trigger-happy. One guy, sitting in a car was shot 55 times, for example. In this case, the object in question turned out to be…a hammer. Now, I will concede that, in the dark, and under stress, an ordinary person might mistake a hammer for a gun. Cops are supposed to be better at that sort of thing. The conclusions I can come to so far, are the minor ones. The local cops need to spend some time in a hardware store so that they know what common tools look like. Second…the cop fired 5 rounds. He hit the guy once. So the cops need to spend more time on the firing range until the can, at least, hit what they aim at. (There have been no reports on where the other 4 rounds went, but the risks of stray bullets are obvious.) It is my guess that if the second guy had survived he would have been charged with possession of burglary tools. Do you keep a hammer in your car? I do…it’s a rock hammer for breaking out the windows if I get trapped in a flood (that’s been known to happen in the Bay Area, so it’s not a completely ridiculous contingency to anticipate).

    The other thing about the guy who got killed… Not black. Hispanic. And with an extensive criminal history, though nothing has been mentioned that was anywhere near a capital offense. And it’s not like the cops knew what his rap sheet was when he was shot.

  40. consciousness razor says

    whheydt:

    There has been a problem in California since the courts decided on “no bail” for “minor” offenses. There have been cases in which someone was arrested and released up to four times in a single day. There was one guy who was released on no bail (carjacking) and stole a car…37 minutes later. It took him that long to walk from Santa Rita prison to the nearest BART station.

    A problem in California involving two people isn’t very likely to be a big social problem. It’s possible, but I’m not betting on it.

    I don’t need to know much of anything about their system, in order to be completely certain that there was some degree of recidivism in California before anything was changed about their policies regarding bail (specifically, cash bail for minor offenses). Even if it were correlated with an increased recidivism rate– you don’t argue that or provide any evidence whatsoever, but suppose that were true anyway, if you feel like it — then that still doesn’t imply causation.

    Since some people can both afford bail and commit additional crimes, bail doesn’t even have the appearance of being an adequate response to the problem of people committing additional crimes. If all we had to do was invent arbitrary responses to alleged criminal behavior and merely hope that they will somehow work, despite having no particular reason to believe they would, then somebody might suggest the idea of forcing every person accused of a crime to tell the cops what their favorite color is. However, that doesn’t seem to be how we want these things to work. Anyway, if that were the tradition, rather than making people pay the government some money to regain their freedom, it’s not too clear what your complaint would be.

    Regarding the first person you mentioned, who was arrested and released four times in a day, that may have been the police harassing them four times in a day. You provided no information whatsoever, which could help to determine anything like that. I’m not a lawyer, but it’s probably not kosher in most jurisdictions to assume a person who hasn’t been tried is guilty. Did you know that some cops have at times arrested people for arbitrary, unjustifiable reasons? Well, now you know. This may come as a shock, but sometimes, law enforcement officers, while doing whatever it is that they may do, aren’t even enforcing the laws (as bad as those may be) — they’re doing something else, even if they don’t claim that they’re doing something else. It’s astonishing, I know.

    I don’t think it has any moral/political/legal significance, that a carjacking happens 37 minutes later or some such thing, as opposed to happening at some other time. Nobody’s car would have been jacked less (or more), if it had happened later (or even earlier) than that. So, you attaching weight to this particular detail is a bit weird, and much like the rest of your comment, you don’t bother to explain any of your thinking about that.

    To reiterate an earlier point, both people (or may such people) might commit additional crimes (or someone would make that allegation about them, etc.), whether or not they had to pay for bail. That’s a very general statement, but it’s probably important that you understand it before we move on. To consider the example of the second person more specifically, somebody could make a lot of money from repeated carjacking (among other things), so it’s not clear how you think you may have accomplished anything useful by making an alleged carjacker pay something for release. If only the least successful repeat offenders would be deterred by this sort of policy, that makes it ineffective at doing what it’s purportedly meant to do.

    If your goal were to stop the poor from committing more crimes and not to do the same about the rich, that’s a shitty, classist, racist goal which has no place in a decent society. Like the rich, the poor also tend to have better things to do with their time than to live in a jail cell, in order for it to seem as if our system were functioning properly. Putting more and more of them into jail/prison and keeping them there, as in the US and not in many other countries, hasn’t been working out so well for us.

    ~~~~~~

    On the topic of “good cops” and “bad cops,” it seems really odd to think narrowly in terms of which ones are using excessive force or murdering random people. If your criminal justice and prison and legal systems are as thoroughly broken as ours are, it’s at least not obvious that it would be good for anybody to sign up for the job of propping up that system, enforcing its rules, and so forth. Like it or not, that’s what being a cop is, in our society and in many others. I mean, a good person could work as a janitor, for instance, and of course a bad person could too. But we’re not talking about any arbitrary job here. Same deal with joining our military. If you (as an adult, and assuming you have any choice in the matter) know how routinely the US abuses its military power, you just shouldn’t go into that line of work, because there just isn’t a good way of doing that job.

    Leaving aside whatever it would take for somebody to be a “good person” (or a bad one) in some sense or in some respects, it doesn’t seem like there is a coherent reason to think that particular behavior could be good behavior. If it’s not required that I believe the US has an acceptable justice system, and if without that assumption you can still make a serious argument that a “good cop” would make that system work in the (not good) way that it works … well, then I have no idea how that sort of argument is supposed to go. And I’m pretty sure that whatever you’d come up with would be total bullshit. Since a reasonable person doesn’t have to believe our system in the US is acceptable, you should probably focus on that sort of issue, which looks to me like the root of the problem, rather than attempting to inform us about the existence of random cops who are regarded (by some) as “good” cops. Because I don’t think the latter would change my mind about anything relevant or important.

  41. John Morales says

    [Just a terminological note: I’ve always understood a ‘carjacking‘ as the stealing of an occupied car by force — stealing a parked car is not that.]

    Also, cops have lost all credibility what with their transparent outright lying.

    BTW, just saw footage of cops in Buffalo violently shoving down a 75-yo man (obs, not even resisting) — they did call for medical aid after they noticed blood coming out of his ears having audibly clonked his head on the ground.
    Aaaannd…

    Buffalo police initially said in a statement a person “was injured when he tripped and fell” but had since opened an internal investigation into the incident.

    And another risible excuse for a much more minor incident of gratuitous brutality, that being the assault on an Australian news crew:

    Footage shows one officer shoving Myers with a shield before punching him, while another officer swings at the crew with a baton as they try to escape. A third officer appears to try to hold his colleagues back and let the journalists go.

    United States Park Police Labor Committee chairman Kenneth Spencer said the pair were in a dangerous area, and appeared to suggest officers were worried they could fall and hurt themselves.

    “Unfortunately, they were reporting from a very dangerous area, in the middle of violent protesters that were in the process of being cleared out and may have fallen,” Mr Spencer said.

    “Also, given the loud noise in Lafayette Park and the lack of readily identifiable journalist markings, were not readily distinguishable from violent protesters that were being cleared out.”

    (Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-05/us-protests-george-floyd-police-custody-death-trump-memorial/12322528)

  42. voidhawk says

    Isn’t the deliberate destruction of medical facilities technically a war crime?

  43. khms says

    #50 @voidhawk: Only when there’s a war on. And I don’t think stuff like the “war on drugs” counts.

    There’s something to say about prisons and recidivism.
    Many prisons in the US are private. That means they get paid per occupant.
    Think about what that means.
    They have a clear interest in maximizing the number of occupants. That means not only that they lobby for longer sentences, and occasionally bribe judges to send them more prisoners, but also that they have no interest in reducing recidivism – in fact, they have an interest in encouraging it!

    Private prisons are a big problem for a capitalist society.

  44. says

    So the Chief of the armored blackshirts has concerns about his armed and armored police being hit with bottles of water but no concerns about his thugs shooting protesters with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. There’s the problem right there.

  45. says

    This, from the same mindset that bombed the MSF hospital in Kunduz.

    If the doctors and nurses want to send a message, here’s one the cops will understand loud and clear: We will not accept or treat any injured police. Not permanently, just for a week or a month.

    Even if their uniforms are removed, the hospitals have access to medical records and professions. The cops will either have hire their own medical staff (instead of buying bullets) or travel great distances for treatment.

  46. Kagehi says

    @47 When my brother worked for the Inyo Sheriff department it was “standing practice” that, when shots where fired, you had to account for every f-ing shot. At one incident, involving the local cops, several cops (I don’t remember the number) fired roughly 10 shots each into a trailer with a suspect in it. They barely wounded him, but they did manage to kill a microwave, a coffee pot, and someone’s refrigerator, in three other unrelated trailers.

    He also mentioned a case with some FBI that showed up for some bust or other, and the confrontation he had with the lead, in which the flat out told the guy that if he ever f-ing came back, and pulled the crap he did again, he wouldn’t make it back to DC. What did they do? They, apparently, came up with some grand plan to get the perp, which placed the people my bother worked for in direct line of fire, risking their death, without bothering to consult the locals with the plan, tell them it was happening, or warn them of what was about to take place (kind of like how the DC Metro got utterly blindsided by Barr’s orders to open fire on crowds in Lafayette Square).

    My brother eventually got out of all that crap because, in part, all the stupid shit he saw going on, and no one doing anything about it. And, the last time he worked, outside of some search and rescue stuff, which is all volunteer, with either cops, or a Sheriff department, etc., was close to 20 years ago, so this refusal to do something about bad cops is not new

    He does get, apparently, some amusement from things like a few of the local cops, until he stopped going to that range, why the F they can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and when asked to prove himself, managing to, according to him, use the guys one service weapon – (which is likely illegal, or again police policy, as hell) – to place a 2 inch pattern on a target, at, I want to say 50 yards…, which the idiot that owned it couldn’t hit the paper more than 2-3 rounds out of 20, never mind the actual target on that paper, at half the distance.

    Tomorrow is, I don’t doubt, going to be fun, for someone. We have some idiots doing a pro-Trump “boat parade”, one outside group talking about protesting it from the bridge over the channel, and another, also not local (since 90% of the people living here seem to be Magats), group who are going to be some place on main street, and half the bozos I work with are already bitching about it, and claiming, “They better not do anything. The city is ARMED!!”

    Sigh… Seriously about ready to find someplace online that makes “bloody tear on smiley face” buttons, from Watchmen, but.. half the people in town probably wouldn’t get it, and the other half would probable say something like, “I loved Rorschach.”

  47. Kagehi says

    Hope this doesn’t duplicate or something, it didn’t show as posting…

    @47 When my brother worked for the Inyo Sheriff department it was “standing practice” that, when shots where fired, you had to account for every f-ing shot. At one incident, involving the local cops, several cops (I don’t remember the number) fired roughly 10 shots each into a trailer with a suspect in it. They barely wounded him, but they did manage to kill a microwave, a coffee pot, and someone’s refrigerator, in three other unrelated trailers.

    He also mentioned a case with some FBI that showed up for some bust or other, and the confrontation he had with the lead, in which the flat out told the guy that if he ever f-ing came back, and pulled the crap he did again, he wouldn’t make it back to DC. What did they do? They, apparently, came up with some grand plan to get the perp, which placed the people my bother worked for in direct line of fire, risking their death, without bothering to consult the locals with the plan, tell them it was happening, or warn them of what was about to take place (kind of like how the DC Metro got utterly blindsided by Barr’s orders to open fire on crowds in Lafayette Square).

    My brother eventually got out of all that crap because, in part, all the stupid shit he saw going on, and no one doing anything about it. And, the last time he worked, outside of some search and rescue stuff, which is all volunteer, with either cops, or a Sheriff department, etc., was close to 20 years ago, so this refusal to do something about bad cops is not new

    He does get, apparently, some amusement from things like a few of the local cops, until he stopped going to that range, why the F they can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and when asked to prove himself, managing to, according to him, use the guys one service weapon – (which is likely illegal, or again police policy, as hell) – to place a 2 inch pattern on a target, at, I want to say 50 yards…, which the idiot that owned it couldn’t hit the paper more than 2-3 rounds out of 20, never mind the actual target on that paper, at half the distance.

    Tomorrow is, I don’t doubt, going to be fun, for someone. We have some idiots doing a pro-Trump “boat parade”, one outside group talking about protesting it from the bridge over the channel, and another, also not local (since 90% of the people living here seem to be Magats), group who are going to be some place on main street, and half the bozos I work with are already bitching about it, and claiming, “They better not do anything. The city is ARMED!!”

    Sigh… Seriously about ready to find someplace online that makes “bloody tear on smiley face” buttons, from Watchmen, but.. half the people in town probably wouldn’t get it, and the other half would probable say something like, “I loved Rorschach.”

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