FTP


Shut these cops down.

The police murdered another black man in a suburb of Minneapolis yesterday. You’d think they’d learn: the cops are on trial in this state for the murder of George Floyd, so you’d think the word would come down to not shoot anyone for a traffic violation, at least until everyone calms down and we can get back to mindless obedience to the status quo, but no. Daunte Wright was stopped for something trivial, and it ended up with him dead in the street.

In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota denounced the shooting and called for a thorough and transparent investigation by an agency other than Brooklyn Center police or the BCA and for the release of all body-worn camera and dash-camera footage.

“The ACLU-MN has deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people. The warrant appears to be for a non-felony,” the statement said.

“While we are waiting to learn more, we must reiterate that police violence and killings of people of color must end, as must the over-policing and racial profiling that are endemic to our white supremacist system of policing.”

That actually wasn’t the end of it. The photo above is of a squad of Officer Friendlies descending on the neighborhood to bring their condolences to the community. And of course our governor tweeted that his prayers were with the bereaved.

Then we got the usual sensitivity from the police.

Do they ever stop to wonder if they might be the baddies?

They could have predicted how the community would react.

Then comes the usual smoke and fire and rage.

Gee, I wonder if it was worth it to keep our roads free of dangling air fresheners?

This is the first I’ve heard that air fresheners are illegal in the state of Minnesota. Apparently the Minnesota police use the presence of air fresheners as a pretext to search cars for drugs. So now you can apparently get shot for keeping the inside of your car pine-fresh.

Stop praying, Governor Walz, and disarm your thugs.

Comments

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

    thoughts and prayers
    condolences afterward are so much easier than actual prevention of tragedies.
    The article said little about possible motivation for the shooting.
    They stopped the driver, shot him, and the car kept rolling till it hit another car is a little vague.
    Even if he floored it and they shot him to stop his escape; don’t they have radios and can report an APB to catch the runaway? Deadly force is the preferred way to apprehend violators of minor infractions when perp is a POC, apparently.
    How did we get here. :-(

  2. Tethys says

    Why do those white cops have riot gear? They are in suburbia, not a war zone. I guess we will be prosecuting more murderous police at taxpayer expense.

    The Governors statement was a little stronger than offering worthless prayers.

    “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement,” Walz tweeted.

  3. microraptor says

    @ 1: We’ve always been here. It’s just that now, white people are starting to realize it.

  4. says

    Police killings should lead to consistent financial and social costs for the jurisdictions that employ the killers. If that means fire and smoke and protest, it’s simply a proxy for what they really deserve.

    At some point, local legislatures that aid and abet murderous police (such as the Minneapolis politicians who said they would “defund the police”) are responsible, too, and they haven’t been able to grant themselves qualified immunity. Some multi-millionaire could burn an entire city budget with a successful lawsuit – the entire apparatus is a corrupt organization. Politicians take $ from police unions for their re-election campaigns; they should all be purged.

  5. Rich Woods says

    @Marcus Ranum #5:

    PS – when did we become South Africa?

    About three centuries before apartheid was instituted.

  6. R. L. Foster says

    Last night I finished watching Raoul Peck’s four part documentary Exterminate All The Brutes on HBO. It was a hard show for me to watch. The final episode left me emotionally drained. Then this morning I see the images of a phalanx of heavily armed White cops marching down a suburban street in a Black neighborhood near Minneapolis. I instantly thought: White colonials subjugating the natives.

  7. cartomancer says

    Three different FTB bloggers have a recommended post about police brutality at once right now. Each one a different case. There are few words that can legitimately convey an appropriate level of disgust here, so I’ll go with understatement instead. This is a distinctly sub-optimal state of affairs for the US to be in.

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 5 Marcus
    PS – when did we become South Africa? suspect the South African Police at the height of apartheid would have felt insulted at the comparison.

  9. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Is it like here where it’s not having air fresheners, but having anything dangling from the rear view mirror that is a problem because it either blocks the view or is a distraction?

  10. Pascal's Pager says

    What an absolute living nightmare. There are parents today telling their children not to have FUCKING AIR FRESHENERS in their cars because it may be dangerous for them. Another in an endless list of small behavioral changes Black and Brown Americans have to think about because they might be murdered if they don’t.

  11. dorght says

    While “presence of an air freshener as a pretext” is a great over simplification of the judgment, I’m amazed by how many times “based on his training and experience” came up as justification in the judgment. What I really wonder about is what is used to ensure his training and experience are factually valid?
    Have the courts never heard of confirmation bias? Is ‘air freshener’ a thinly veiled substitute for racial profiling?
    Clearly this is how we got to the ridiculous position of police performing atrocities against minorities. If the last 4 out of 5 people they beat up and arrested where poor or minorities (in a predominantly segregated area) than from their experience this justifies beating up and arresting any poor people or minorities they chose.

  12. markgisleson says

    Not sure where your “here” is but yes, it’s the dangling from your rearview mirror that is the legal issue, not the air freshener itself which is only a crime against your nose and lungs. It’s a nuisance law that along with many other nuisance laws makes it easy for law enforcement to pull over anyone they like.

    Worse, judges have decided that even in states where air fresheners hanging from rearview mirrors are NOT illegal, cops can still stop you on that basis and bust you for other things IF the cops thought it was illegal to have things hanging from your rearview mirror. [https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/08/03/how-the-supreme-court-made-it-legal-for-cops-to-pull-you-over-for-just-about-anything]

  13. says

    ” Apparently the Minnesota police use the presence of air fresheners as a pretext to search cars for drugs.”
    That’s actually pretty common. Anything hanging from the rear view mirror is justification for the Stasi to pull you over. “It obstructs your view of the roadway”. I learned that from Mythbusters. This is the first time AFIK that anyone has been murdered for it. Yes, this was a murder. It should be treated as such.

  14. dorght says

    @13 markgisleson
    Reading your link sounds like willful ignorance of the law is being used repeatedly and aggressively by police.
    On a separate note. Why, oh why, do so many people consent to a search of their car?

  15. says

    why, do so many people consent to a search of their car?

    Because the cops will keep you there for hours until they can get a warrant and when they do they will throw everything they possibly can at you, including the meth they dropped in your rear cup-holder.

    The system is set up so that they can punish or kill you for any resistance, with impunity.

  16. says

    In Pennsylvania the cops have gotten around the 4th Amendment by proclaiming that driving on the roads means you have consented in advance tona breathylizer. Attempting to re-withhold consent is probable cause for them throwing you in the drunk tank until your lawyer comes and gets you. I.e: they can punish you for exercising your rights. This happened to a friend of mine whose car was towed (after all, she was in the back of a squad car in handcuffs) – when she was released the next day she had $500 in fines and fees for the tow, and her car had a big dent in the door.

    All cops are bastards, except for the Pittsburgh cops who are shit-ass bastards.

  17. christoph says

    I just read a news story where the cop said he meant to pull his taser, not his pistol. BTW, a taser in your hand feels nothing like a pistol in your hand, so it’s obviously a bullshit excuse.

  18. says

    christoph@#19:
    I just read a news story where the cop said he meant to pull his taser, not his pistol.

    The “I am really not qualified for my job” defense.

    It implies that he carries his pistol with a live round in the chamber and the safety off, because cocking a firearm is completely different than pulling a taser.

    He’s a lying sack of shit, of course, and everyone in the police who support that lie are lying, too. The whole department should be sacked.

  19. dean56 says

    “but yes, it’s the dangling from your rearview mirror that is the legal issue,”

    The real question then, is how often is this used as a reason stop someone, and what is the breakdown by

    race
    age/appearance of car
    age of driver

    I have a feeling we know the answer, but data is needed to be certain.

  20. robro says

    Marcus Ranum — The officer who shot him is apparently a woman who is heard saying per the story, “Holy s—, I shot him”

  21. consciousness razor says

    You guys have really been cranking the Minnesota Nice up to eleven lately. I hate it.

  22. Bruce says

    Why aren’t the cops arresting the drug lords? I mean the air freshener lords? Air fresheners are apparently a death penalty offense, yet they are openly sold interstate by Walmart etc. We need federal marshals and the FBI to sweep into Bentonville, Arkansas and arrest/murder all of the Walton heirs, I guess? Or is that not a logical deduction from the nation’s laws as understood by our enforcers?

  23. Bruce says

    When will the law-and-order politicians start going after the menaces to society who have a dashboard Jesus? Or a phone in their car?

  24. consciousness razor says

    Why aren’t the cops arresting the drug lords? I mean the air freshener lords?

    Yeah, when I was shooting up air fresheners back in the day, they only let you buy a little at a time, sort of like Sudafed, since they do have legit uses as well of course. But now, it’s like the Wild West out there. Something must be done.

  25. consciousness razor says

    Some are obviously not taking this seriously enough…. But look, if you’re jacked up on air fresheners and diaper cream and froot loops and all of that shit, you really shouldn’t be operating a vehicle or other heavy machinery. That’s just a fact.

  26. dorght says

    Taser’s dilemma – they designed their weapon to feel like a pistol, contributing to numerous wrong weapon shootings. If they now redesign it they then tacitly admit to a design flaw that they might be held liable for. Cheaper to just let cops keep killing people.

  27. says

    robro@#23:
    The officer who shot him is apparently a woman who is heard saying per the story, “Holy s—, I shot him”

    I don’t want to see videos of cops shooting citizens, so I didn’t research the cop’s pronouns.

    I don’t know what I think of the cop’s expository remark. Other than “that’s going to be tough to explain” either way. It’s certainly not a great thing to be saying after deliberately shooting someone, and a mistake-for-taser or accidental discharge is murderous incompetence.

    Qualified immunity for cops has got to go, although in this case I wonder how it plays out. Since qualified immunity is based on what a cop is reasonably expected to do, it’s hard for this cynic to understand how accidental discharge or getting one’s weapons confused is reasonable police practice.

  28. vucodlak says

    @ dorght, #15

    Why, oh why, do so many people consent to a search of their car?

    The simplest answer is that many people don’t know they have the right to refuse. Others believe that, ‘if they haven’t done anything wrong, they don’t have anything to hide.’ Wrong, in both cases.

    One of the first things I learned in the most basic college course for the criminal justice track was: “Never let the cops search your car or home without a warrant. Make the bastards do their jobs.” I should point at that A.) the professor who taught us this was former cop and B.) the story he used to illustrate the importance of this involved him smuggling an illicit substance as a kid, which he got away with because he asked to see a warrant first.

    The cops might search your car/house anyway, but you have a chance to get the search thrown out if you refused permission and they didn’t bother to get a warrant. It’s not guaranteed. There is nothing just about our “justice” system, but that means you should grab every potential advantage you can.

    Also, contrary to what Marcus Ranum at #16, a lot of times cops won’t bother with a search if you refuse consent. They’ll move on to easier prey.

    It is true that they’ll almost certainly threaten you if you refuse a search, but it’s a constitutionally protected right, so it’s not completely hopeless. They might kill you, yes, or torture, but as we’ve seen compliance is no more of a guarantee of safety than resistance. Basically, insist on doing things by the book. If they don’t follow the book, you might just get the chance to beat them over the head with it. It’s not much, but it’s all we have right now.

  29. says

    dorght@#30:
    Taser’s dilemma – they designed their weapon to feel like a pistol, contributing to numerous wrong weapon shootings.

    Tasers are lighter than real guns and feel very different. I can tell one 100% of the time with my eyes closed.

    Also, tasers don’t generally kill people and don’t make the same loud bang and recoil. Cops that claim to have made a mis-identification are lying, 100% of the time.

    If the officer was following standard practice they would have loudly declared “Taser” before firing, as tasers can deliver friendly fire shocks to anyone touching the target. I will not watch the video but – did the cop issue a taser warning? Did they fire one shot, or multiple? When a taser is fired it begins clicking (the pulses) and sounds and feels very different from a 9mm or 10mm. If the cop fired more than 1 shot they are lying. If they mistook a gun for a taser they are the worst waste of cop-meat this, uh, week.

  30. says

    If they don’t follow the book, you might just get the chance to beat them over the head with it.

    If they don’t follow the book your life is in danger. Do you seriously think that any cop is going to be sanctioned for a small violation of your rights? Cops have beaten people, allowed them to die in custody, and worse and not suffered any consequences.

    For example, Freddie Gray’s murder was a case of Baltimore police not following procedure.

    Please don’t tell people to do anything but submit to cops. They are extremely dangerous, can’t be trusted, and will take revenge for any resistance. If you’re white you might come out OK but either way the cops won’t get beaten over the head with the book – but you might get some stitches or a whiff of pepper spray or a tasing. I have a friend who has serious PTSD from being tased. And the cops, of course, suffered nothing.

  31. Artor says

    @Marcus Ranum
    “If the cop fired more than 1 shot they are lying.”
    It’s a foregone conclusion that the cop is lying. They’re a cop. QED.

  32. says

    @#4, Marcus Ranum:

    Police killings should lead to consistent financial and social costs for the jurisdictions that employ the killers.

    They do, and have for years. Since about 2008, no insurance company will indemnify any U.S. city against the legal and settlement costs for police brutality, and the majority of police unions have contracts which prevent either individual officers or the force as a whole from having said costs deducted from their pay/budget. That means that when the city is sued because the latest trigger-happy Barney Fife shot a (black, almost always) person, and has to pay out millions, it comes out of the rest of the city budget. That means fewer services, less sanitation, and/or higher taxes. But U.S. taxpayers would rather put up with that than actually kick the cops to the curb — and that includes Democrats; most of the municipalities which are the worst offenders in this respect (such as NY) are firmly Democratic and have been for a long time.

  33. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Marcus

    Since qualified immunity is based on what a cop is reasonably expected to do, it’s hard for this cynic to understand how accidental discharge or getting one’s weapons confused is reasonable police practice.

    No. Today, qualified immunity can only be revoked if there is prior case law that precisely matches the current situation. Example: A suit against cops for stealing got thrown out because of qualified immunity because there wasn’t prior case law which made clear that a cop stealing someone’s money is a violation of their civil liberties.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2020/05/13/should-cops-accused-of-stealing-over-225000-have-legal-immunity-supreme-court-urged-to-hear-case/

  34. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also, contrary to what Marcus Ranum at #16, a lot of times cops won’t bother with a search if you refuse consent. They’ll move on to easier prey.

    Let me add that it’s in your best interests to be respectful in tone and attitude, even while refusing a voluntary search, for precisely the reasons that Marcus stated. Knowing the magic words are also good too: “I do not voluntarily consent to any searches. I invoke my right to speak to my attorney. I invoke my right to remain silent.”. Then, follow the cop’s orders to do whatever they tell you to do, while repeating that as much as you think wise and safe and necessary to make clear that it’s not a voluntary search.

    You should treat a cop as a violent, dangerous animal, like a lion or tiger, because they are often violent, dangerous, and they’re legally allowed to shoot you and get away with it. It is your job to learn de-escalate the situation, and immediate displays of surrender and meekness are very important for de-escalation when dealing with the American cop. It is best to keep the American cop calm and collected, and it’s your responsibility to do that as the person when interacting with the American cop, because they won’t.

  35. unclefrogy says

    @37
    the people, voters, do not really know that the costs of crappy policing are coming out of their taxes It is not specifically explained to them (us) how much the legal settlements are in any single case or on an annual basis.The costs typically occur long after the headlines have moved on. No one involved is going out their way to correct that either.
    uncle frogy

  36. robro says

    Marcus Ranum @ #31 — I didn’t get the officer’s quote from watching a news video. It was reported by several news sources I read. I rarely watch TV news because I find it manipulative. I like to think about the information, and printed information is easier to digest.

  37. says

    @#37, unclefrogy:

    So, if Democrats are, as they claim, against all of this, why are they not making it an issue? When the Democratic Mayor of New York has to issue a statement about how the NYPD, which even after they tried to cut it back for 2021 has a budget larger than the GDP of small countries (including a couple in Europe, although none in the EU), has once again beaten somebody up in custody and had to settle out of court, why isn’t he saying “the money for this is coming out of the budget for the rest of the city, because our cops are so out of control that we can’t insure them and the police union won’t let us actually penalize anybody for their behavior”? When the Democratic Governor in Minnesota announces a curfew in a city which holds more than half the population of the entire state starting at a time too early for a lot of people to get home from work, why doesn’t he pepper the announcement with “and I remind you that we are doing this to avoid property damage because we cannot recoup the costs from the police no matter whether the court system finds them responsible or not”? When it’s budget time in Seattle, why doesn’t the Democratic Mayor and the Democratic City Council respond to every request from the police with “last year we had to pay out X million dollars because of the police department’s legally culpable behavior, all of which had to come from general funds, and I see that we have not fired a single one of the people involved”? (And why is that not sent out as a preliminary press release?) That would get people’s attention focussed back on the issue pretty quickly.

    You know as well as I do that they don’t do that because the Democratic Party’s Powers-That-Be are allies of the police, not the people. And they are this way because they know that Democratic voters, no matter how often they sometimes get angry about it, don’t actually care about the issue — if they did, they’d support primary challenges and third parties to avoid reelecting the same goons over and over again.

    Why, it’s almost as though shrugging your shoulders and saying “I will vote for the lesser of two evils” means you’re voting for evil, and are thus responsible for it. Whoever could have thought it?

  38. unclefrogy says

    @42 oh yes and the republicans are so much better it must be the liberals fault.
    My bet is it is a case of cover your own butt. No one wants to address the real problems which are mostly or maybe entirely social and economic problems resulting from class and race. Leave the cops to try and hold the crap together, but do not give them any help like better tools and training so they just grab their guns and clubs which are allowed and simple and use force. It is way easier to point the blame to some other then it is confront the roots. You have your favorite stalking horse in the democrats which you continue to beat without mercy and still nothing changes!
    uncle frogy

  39. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Why, it’s almost as though shrugging your shoulders and saying “I will vote for the lesser of two evils” means you’re voting for evil, and are thus responsible for it. Whoever could have thought it?

    Voting third party is worse.

    Go away, troll.

  40. stroppy says

    “…dangerous animal…”

    In another incident currently in the news, a black soldier being accosted by police says that he is afraid to get out of his SUV. The cop, amidst a cacophony of disorienting yelling, yells in response that he (the soldier) “should be afraid” (to get out) and to “get out” now!

    So, after hearing that, would you be more or less inclined to get out of the car? Or too confused to move?

    A case of weaponized bullies on steroids.

    Also, what does File Transfer Protocol have to do with the subject of this article?

  41. logicalcat says

    @Vicar

    Third party support is a greater evil than democrats because nothing gets done and it splits the votes ensuring the greater evil wins. We have demonstrated this ad nauseum.

    Go away troll.

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