They’re afraid!

The thin blue line is cracking. A few members of the Minneapolis Police Department are realizing that their jobs are in peril, and are ready to throw Derek Chauvin to the media wolves and an angry citizenry, and wrote an open letter disavowing any association with the ‘bad guys’ of the police force.

Members of the Minneapolis Police Department spoke out on Friday out against former police officer Derek Chauvin in an open letter addressed to “everyone — but especially Minneapolis citizens.”

“Derek Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are,” said the letter, signed by fourteen MPD officers. “We’re not the union or the administration,” the letter says.

“We stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding,” says the letter, which comes as powerful police unions across the country are digging in, preparing for a once-in-a-generation showdown over policing and new polls that indicate that most Americans now acknowledge that African Americans are more likely to be mistreated or even killed by police.

“There were many more willing to sign, but the group opted to showcase people from across the PD as well as male/female, black/white, straight/gay, leader/frontline, etc. Internally, this is sending a message” said Paul Omodt, a spokesperson for the officers who penned the open letter.

Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t believe you, and fuck you. The MPD has had a reputation for brutality for decades, and the minority population of Minneapolis has a rich collection of stories. Where were these police in 2010, 2000, 1990, 1980? Prioritizing loyalty to a corrupt union and fellow gang members, that’s where. Standing in unity with bad cops. Probably getting in a few licks of their own. This is like those cops who now take a knee for a photo op before heading out to bust heads with a baton or shoot bystanders with rubber bullets or hose down crowds with pepper spray. I’m not impressed.

That is who they are.

Don’t be swayed when the bully starts sniveling and begging for mercy. They all do that.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about the unintended consequences of technology — I hadn’t thought about it before, had simply taken it for granted, but the ability of popular cell phones to record video is only about 12 years old, and has progressed rapidly to the point where the majority of consumers won’t accept a phone that lacks video recording technology. Better and fancier phone cameras are a major selling point! They are now used all the time to record the viciousness of the police, and are much more reliable than the body cams that somehow magically get turned off just before a cop kills someone.

I might have been much more sympathetic to a subset of cops making a plea for “change, reform and rebuilding” in 2005, before it became apparent that they were going to have problems getting away with brutality, and before all those videos emerged revealing how horrifically cruel and callous the police were. It’s too late for them now.


  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    yeah, disavow the murderer cop, while never mentioning the 3 who assisted by non-interference. Pretty much what any of them would have done there, stood there preventing any passers by from interfering with Chevin’s application of force on the man’s throat.
    To get tangential. I saw elsewhere (don’t ask me where), I saw some police arguing the chokehold is a merciful restraining tactic. I can see a momentary application of choke to let the perp know he is being restrained and to get him to submit. George Floyd repeaetedly said he surrendered and was fully restrained, the chokehold was held to KILL him, too obviously, This is why it is best to eliminate it from the available tactics given to restrain violent suspects. — ok, I’m done, thank you

  2. stroppy says

    Yeah cell phones have seriously cut into the dslr market. I broke down and got mine for the camera; the rest is a bonus.

    Interesting that it took bringing an outraged country out into the streets and the opprobrium of the whole damn planet to get them to say “Huh?”

    It seems like a thousand years ago when we were here on the cusp…

    Fuck you Republicans

  3. says

    Dropping a PSA for all you revolutionaries, protesters and unexpected witnesses re: livestreaming video from your phone to the web. It’s a tool you’ll wish you had at your fingertips if your phone is confiscated or damaged during a police action or arrest.

    This site gives a decent overview of livestreaming to various social media platforms, and Restream itself offers tech that enables streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously.

    Also, ACLU’s Mobile Justice app streams directly to the ACLU or to your state’s affiliate, some of which have their own versions (e.g. New York’s “Stop and Frisk Watch” app). State laws vary, and in any case it’s clear police feel free to disregard them. Here’s a quick vid on how it works:

    Please be safe. ❤︎

  4. says

    I’ve been campaigning for police reform for almost two decades. Maybe longer if you count my teen years when they closed the parks. (long story). A return to self policed communities. Right now the cops are centralized in most cities. They hide in their cars and are detached from the communities they police. Look at the original origin of the word “police”. It’s derived from “polis”, the Greek word for city. Same root as populous and public. The public used to police itself, before there were “professional” police. How can we get back to that?

  5. James Fehlinger says

    When I was a little kid, in the 50s and 60s, cop shows (along with
    westerns, doctor shows, private-eye shows and, to a lesser extent,
    shows about the military) were a staple of network television.
    I never watched them (I was a Star Trek nerd), but my mother had a
    twinkle in her eye for Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and I can certainly
    remember the stentorian voice announcing “The F.B.I. In Color!
    A Quinn Martin Production.” (The Invaders was also a QM Production;
    that was more up my alley. ;-> )

    In any case, it was understood in those days that cops (and doctors,
    and soldiers, and maybe even private investigators) were always
    the Good Guys, and they were expected to be portrayed that way
    in the popular media. I seem to recall reading once that the
    FBI, for example, had final editorial control over any TV
    or movie script in exchange for their cooperating in filming
    a production, or using their initials, and I believe the same
    was true for branches of the military.

    That’s certainly no longer true today, and hasn’t been true for
    a while now. I was rather amused to stumble across a movie
    recently on YouTube called Payback (from 1997, not to be confused with half
    a dozen other films with the same name) starring Mary Tyler Moore
    (of all people!) as a restaurateur who has her life turned upside
    down by a corrupt cop after she rats him out for beating up
    a suspect. Ed Asner is also in the movie, as the Internal Affairs
    guy who has been after the cop for a long time. It’s not half

  6. says

    @#5, James Fehlinger:

    The military certainly does exercise editorial control these days, but they do it using a carrot instead of a stick: the US military funds movies, video games, and music to the tune of millions of dollars per year — this is not a conspiracy theory, it is a published part of their budget, and the budgets of military-related films — which they threaten to withdraw if the US military is not portrayed as heroes. This has been going on since at least 1986, with Top Gun.

  7. unclefrogy says

    ah yes for the days when J.edgar was “the face of the man” you had better show “the bureau” in a positive light or things might happen you did not like, at the least the frighteners would pay a visit and explain it if you needed it.
    the truth was always some what different from the PR
    uncle frogy

  8. says

    The Vicar #6
    Arguably, The Enemy Below is an example of that. It’s from 1957 and has some great shots of ships and depth charges, exactly because the navy supported it. Add to that the generally patriotic plot, plus the attempts to rehabilitate the “good Germans”, and we’re left with what is a quite entertaining and well-made propaganda movie.

  9. whheydt says

    The thesis of the letter would be much more believable if they listed the names of all the cops on force that they know are bad.

  10. christoph says

    @ slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)), #1:
    If applied as intended, this sort of choke hold would bring unconsciousness within 4 to 10 seconds by cutting off blood flow to the brain. It looks like either Chauvin didn’t know what he was doing (most cops don’t, with this restraint-it takes years to learn and develop the sensitivity to apply it properly), or-more likely to me-that he deliberately intended to make George Floyd suffer. It wasn’t restraint, it was torture.
    That said, most instructors who previously taught this type of choke hold strongly advise abandoning its use. Aside from the obvious danger of strangling someone to death or crushing the windpipe, it can also dislodge material adhering to the insides of the artery walls-plaque, fatty deposits-and cause an embolism or stroke.

  11. unclefrogy says

    some how or other the tactics and mentality of the police seem to have focused more on punishing then capturing.
    In our system there are supposed to be some separation between the different aspects of the justice. their roll is apprehension of those that break the law, courts are to hold trials and juries of citizens are to determine guilt or innocence and the department of correction is to administer the sentence .
    the letter may be a little too late though if the police are disbanded and re-hired some of them may get rehired.
    words are easy deeds are hard, what ever can be said about law enforcement in the U.S. restraint is not high on the list of attributes.
    uncle frogy

  12. chrislawson says

    For me the moment of insight was the Rodney King trial. That was almost 30 years ago. You can’t let that kind of violence slide for three decades and seriously expect me to think you really want to stand up only now that your jobs and pensions are threatened.

    (I’m not saying the King trial was the start of police unaccountability, but it was the moment that naive young me realised there was a deep-rooted cultural disease festering within the police, and that a large swathe of white Americans would refuse to rein in demonstrably vile criminal actions by police that they had witnessed on video.)

  13. epawtows says

    How soon until renewed calls to requiring cell phone cameras to have a remote ‘disable’ switch (i.e. being able to turn off all cameras within a given area). All in the name of preventing terrorists from filming infrastructure for attack planning, of course.

  14. says

    preparing for a once-in-a-generation showdown over policing

    I was going to say 2 generations b/c nothing like this has happened in my entire life. Even after the Move bombing in Philadelphia.

    But maybe I’m wrong. I know the Church Commission report was issued while I was alive (but too young to notice/care). Could there have been an equally serious showdown over policing then? Seems possible.

  15. James Fehlinger says

    All in the name of preventing terrorists from filming infrastructure
    for attack planning, of course.

    One of the first things that happened in NYC after 9/11
    was that the Port Authority Bus Terminal made it illegal
    (under what penalty, I never found out) to take photographs
    within the building. Maybe this was true in other public
    spaces as well, but the Port Authority was the place I
    passed through every day on the way to and from work.

    In the immediate aftermath of The Event, there was a
    truly obnoxious repeating announcement in the Port Authority
    (a male voice, with a sneering delivery) listing this
    and other new prohibitions. That announcement was replaced
    after a while by a more neutrally-delivered one, and
    then went away altogether. As far as I know, it might
    still be prohibited to take pictures inside Port Authority,
    but it has crossed my mind to wonder how such a prohibition
    could be enforced now that every cell phone is also a camera.

    I did once get yelled at in a Boston T station a few years
    later for taking pictures inside the station (not by a
    policeman, but by a fruit-stand vendor). But the camera I was
    using was the obvious kind.

    I suppose I’d still hesitate, if not to take pictures
    (unobtrusively, with a phone) in spaces that might
    conceivably be construed as “sensitive”, but to post them
    on the Web where they might be traced to me.

    How soon until renewed calls to requiring cell phone cameras to
    have a remote ‘disable’ switch (i.e. being able to turn off all cameras
    within a given area).

    That would be a delicious challenge for all the brightest
    hackers, hardware and software. It would undoubtedly unleash an
    arms race of some sort, and it’s not clear that some of the manufacturers
    wouldn’t be secretly on the hackers’ side (how would Huawei fit in,
    either in its domestic or foreign market?) ;->

    One of Vernor Vinge’s last novels — Rainbows [sic] End
    was published just a few years after 9/11, and the Department
    of Homeland Security plays a prominent role in it. I remember
    little about the book (other than the “librareome” project — that
    was a charming conceit), but I remember that all the cool kids had illegal
    computers — some of them foreign-sourced — that bypassed government

    One of the characters (who has been resurrected from cold sleep) has
    a son who is a government security type:

    And given your job, well, you’ve spent years working on life-and-death
    versions of these problems, right? . . .

    Finally, Bob gave a laugh. “Okay, but the military answers would be
    overkill, Dad. Not because we’re that much smarter than a billion teenagers,
    but because we have the Secure Hardware Environment. Down at the bottom
    we control all the hardware.”
    Leaving aside the moonshine fabs and the hardware abusers.


  16. DanDare says

    In Australia our gov under Peter Dutton is trying to get the authority to take phones away from refugees in detainment.

  17. numerobis says

    slithey tove @1:

    Two of the cops who strangled Floyd were new, and both suggested that Chauvin stop strangling him. They probably have a case for reduced charges.

    Chauvin and the other senior cop don’t: they refused this advice and kept strangling.

  18. KG says

    I can see a momentary application of choke to let the perp know he is being restrained and to get him to submit. – slithey tove@1

    FFS. If someone is choking you, you fight to stop them with all your strength.