File This Under Rape Culture

A NY teenager was arrested and handcuffed by NYPD cops, allegedly raped, the cops claim it was consensual (which is impossible when you are under arrest), and the NY Daily News then writes it up and adds a picture of the raped teen but not a picture of the two NAMED cops.

Awesome work, media. Obligatory “Why don’t women come forward more often…”



Heartbreaking Read(s): The Participant Who’ll Never Tell Us His Story

A news story about a police officer (in Salt Lake City!) manhandling an ER nurse for RESISTING HIS AUTHORITAY!!! seemed almost too on-the-nose as an analogy for life during the Trump Occupancy. But there are real people at the heart of this metaphor, and the Washington Post followed up:

William Gray, a commercial truck driver and reserve police officer, died late Monday of the injuries he suffered when a fiery July 26 crash left him with burns over nearly half his body, University of Utah Health spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester said.

Gray was unconscious at the Salt Lake City hospital when police detective Jeff Payne asked to draw his blood hours after the crash.

Nurse Alex Wubbels refused because hospital policy required a warrant or patient consent. Payne handcuffed her and dragged her outside.

Gray was hauling a load of sand in northern Utah when a pickup truck speeding away from police crossed the center line and hit his truck head-on, causing an explosion. State police had been trying to pull over the pickup driver after several people called 911 to report he was driving recklessly.

Gray was not suspected of wrongdoing.

The pickup driver, Marcos Torres, 26, died in the crash, and Utah police routinely collect such evidence from everyone involved in fatal crashes.

Dramatic video of Wubbels’ arrest caught widespread attention online amid national scrutiny of police use of force. Payne and the supervisor who backed him, Lt. James Tracy, were placed on leave amid internal and criminal investigations…

Gray, 43, served with police in the southeastern Idaho city of Rigby. Chief Sam Tower said he was dedicated to the community of about 4,000 people and plowed snow from a sidewalk last winter so neighborhood kids wouldn’t have to walk in the street.

“Bill was truly the best of mankind,” Rigby police said in a Facebook post. “Always willing to help, always willing to go the extra mile. Bill was a big man, with a bigger heart. Everything about him was generous and kind.”…

Amy Davidson Sorkin, in the New Yorker, explains “What the Utah Good-Nurse, Bad-Cop Video Says About Medical Privacy”:

The story began on July 26th. That day, the police had engaged in a high-speed chase on a highway that ended with a deadly multi-vehicle crash. But this was not a cinematic case of, say, fugitive armed robbers. It began around 2 P.M., when the police received reports of a Chevrolet Silverado driving erratically. As the officers began their pursuit, the Silverado, now on US-89/91, swerved into a semi truck that happened to be on the road, causing an explosion. The driver of the Silverado, Marco Torres, who was twenty-six, was killed instantly. The truck driver, William Gray—who, in one of this story’s many byways, was a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho—staggered out of his semi, his clothes and body on fire. He was airlifted to the burn unit. One might wonder why the police wanted his blood, when he was, essentially, a bystander. The Utah police have said that it was meant for Gray’s protection, but Payne, in his report on the incident, obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune, said that the officers who were dealing with the crash wanted to know whether Gray had any “chemical substances” in his system. Another, troubling possibility could be that they were looking for something that might place some of the responsibility for the crash on Gray, in case he complained that the police had been reckless in their pursuit.
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At least he didn’t shoot her…

Shitty cop in Utah manhandles and arrests nurse for doing her job:

Via Deseret News:

Payne, a veteran Salt Lake police officer, was sent to the hospital by another police agency to get vials of blood for the investigation. But because the patient was not a suspect in the crash nor faced potential criminal charges, because he was unconscious and unable to give consent, and because the officer did not have a warrant, Wubbels [the nurse] — one of the supervisors that night — did not allow him to draw blood.

“If they needed blood, then they needed to go through to proper channels to take it,” she said.

In the body camera video, Wubbels is seen on her phone with numerous supervisors advising them of what was happening and getting confirmation about the policy. Payne sounds impatient in the video and continues to threaten to arrest her.

Wubbels, who is surrounded by other hospital staffers, explains in the video that she is doing what her bosses told her to do. She eventually prints out a copy of the policy for blood draws — one that Salt Lake police agreed to more than a year ago, according to Porter — and shows it to the officer.

Wubbels said close to 10 supervisors were consulted either directly by herself or by the supervisors checking with their own superiors.

But Payne insists he, too, is following orders.

“I’m doing what I’m being told by my boss, and I’m going to do what my boss says,” Payne says sternly at one point in the recording.

Wubbels can be seen trying to tell Payne to calm down while telling her boss on the phone that Payne was threatening to arrest her, and that a University of Utah police officer who was present wasn’t going to stop him.

“She’s going to jail,” Payne says in the video.

“Why?” a hospital staff member asks.

“Interfering with a criminal investigation,” Payne replies.

Turns out the nurse was right and the cops were wrong. A SLC police sergeant admitted in the article that the department’s blood-draw policy “hadn’t been updated for a little bit” before the incident. Officer Payne was wrong to arrest Wubbels, and Payne’s supervisor was wrong to direct him to do so.

But the truly disturbing thing was how Payne went all HULK SMASH on Wubbels, evidently enraged by her polite refusal to immediately obey. He charged at her, tried to bat the phone out of her hand, pinned her arms, cuffed her and wrestled her out of the building. It was completely unnecessary. She wasn’t resisting arrest — she was responding as any normal human would to an assault by a lunatic.

After the nurse is handcuffed and strapped into the seat of Payne’s cruiser, the other cop delivers an incredibly condescending lecture to Wubbels, of the “why were you wearing such a short skirt” variety. A longer video clip captures that part of Wubbels’ ordeal.

According to the Deseret, Payne is off the blood-draw squad but is still on active duty. The department is receiving training on blood-draw regulations so they’ll stop asking medical professionals to violate the law.

That’s not good enough. Payne should be fired since he clearly doesn’t have the temperament to handle his job, and the department should receive anger management training to weed out other Paynes.

The whole thing is outrageous but unsurprising. After viewing news reports about justifiable public anger and largely peaceful demonstrations to protest the killing of unarmed black men and children, 64 million assholes voted in a “law-and-order” mega-asshole, in part as a big FUCK YOU to anyone who objects to extrajudicial executions by police.

And mega-asshole is delivering, “joking” to an audience of cops just the other day about roughing up people they’ve placed under arrest. I suspect Officer Payne heard him loud and clear.



Open Thread: Trump & Arpaio, Dirty Birds of A Nasty Feather


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It’s All Fun & Games, Until Somebody Loses Their Kid

It’s sad (no lie!) that the New England Cosplay Association had to cancel a long-scheduled public gathering because some nitwit college kid got a permit to let Nazi wannabes swarm Boston Common. But this is serious:

Y’know, I’d have trouble picking Insane Clown Posse songs out of a general metal sound-off, but if the Very Serious Pundits could get past their bourgeois prejudices, the classic Juggalo is exactly the type of disadvantaged, Appalachian-heritage ‘Working Class White’ that they slobber over so endlessly. And it would probably cause at least one cardiac incident if this were pointed out to a roomful of Media Village Idiots…



Unleashed Cops

While the Russian asset in the White House pushes cops to brutalize their suspects, we have plenty of cases studies on what happens when you license f**kery by the boys folks in blue.  Today’s example comes  from Baltimore:

Maryland prosecutors have tossed 34 criminal cases and are re-examining dozens more in the aftermath of recent revelations that a Baltimore police officer accidentally recorded himself planting drugs in a trash-strewn alley.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that, in all, 123 cases are under review in the wake of a scandal in which one officer has been suspended and two others put on administrative duty. Body cam footage revealed nearly two weeks ago showed one of the officers planting drugs when he didn’t realize his body cam was recording. (via Ars Technica.)

Among the consequences of such behavior: folks do time, in this case, six or seven months for the crime of being an easy arrest for a dirty cop:

one of the recently dismissed Baltimore cases included the drug suspect who was the target of the plant in the body cam video. He had been jailed since January on a $50,000 bail he could not post.

Societies need cops. They don’t need cops who think a badge and a gun makes them lords of the street.  And any civilized society needs leaders who know that.

The good news, in Baltimore and in response to the Shitgibbon’s latest droppings?  The pushback–from Maryland prosecutors and from police forces around the country respectively.  Resistance isn’t just necessary; it’s useful.

Image: Caravaggio, The Taking of Jesus, c. 1602








Patrice O’Neal Was Right

I absolutely love comedians- there is nothing better than a good stand up comedian doing his thing. I particularly like edgy comedians who really take risks. I’m not talking about douchebags like Andrew Dice Clay, who just stand up and spew racist, misognystic hit. Edgy in that you think about things and it makes you uncomfortable and only they could get away with it. Richard Pryor. One of my all time favorites was Patrice O’Neal, who was an absolute genius. Watch from the beginning until 7:20.

Now read this:

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday, less than a week after a city officer shot and killed a woman who had called officers for help.

Mayor Betsy Hodges said she asked Harteau to resign because “I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well.”

White woman’s life is valuable. Philando Castile and countless others? Well, shit happens.