Pastoral Scene of the Gallant South

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It’s 2016, but it might as well be 1816 in South Carolina if you are an unarmed black man and a white cop wants to kill you:

A judge declared a mistrial Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man at the hands of a South Carolina former patrolman, after the jury said they could not come to a unanimous verdict.

In a statement read by Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, the jury said “We as the jury regret to inform the court” that they were unable to come “to a unanimous decision in the case of the state versus Michael Slager” on Monday afternoon after a day of questions and deliberation.

“The court therefore must declare a mistrial in this case and I so declare that is case is mistried,” he said after the jury returned to the room and confirmed their decision.

The jury had remained undecided — but not deadlocked — on Monday in the murder trial.

The defense in ex-patrolman Michael Slager’s the five-week trial claimed that he feared for his life when 50-year-old Walter Scott got control of the officer’s stun gun and pointed it at him.

Here’s the video of him chasing Scott, stopping, taking up a shooting stance, and unloading his service weapon into the unarmed man running AWAY from him:

He must have been really “scared.”

It’s now official. You can be executed by the cops, on video, have the cop plant evidence on your still bleeding body, again, on video, have the cop be heard tittering about the adrenaline rush, on audio, and you will not receive justice. But let’s place the blame where it really lies- on Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the National Anthem.

My biggest fear in the next few years with the rise of the neo-nazis and the white supremacists and the normalization of the Trump racist right is that we are going to see this kind of thing, both the shooting and the white holdout on the jury, happening more and more often. Basically, jury nullification in any offense in which the black man is the victim and the aggressor is white. The justice system has never have been equitable for black people in America, but now that it is “acceptable” to be openly racist in public and not only that, get elected President and be appointed to his staff, we are going to see a lot more of this.

In the past, we could rely on the Federal government and the Justice Department to at least make an attempt to address these concerns. But with racist ass Jeff Sessions running the DOJ, it’s going to get worse. Not only will he and the DOJ not pursue these cases, but he will also be gutting the voting rights of minorities so they don’t even have any redress at the ballot box, and on top of that, he is an anti-marijuana zealot and will ramp up on the drug war. You’re all bright people and don’t need a refresher course on the disparate impact of the drug war on people of color.

This is a slowly unfolding disaster. I’m sick. The Klan doesn’t even need to wear robes in public anymore.



Comey’s Coup

I don’t mean to alarm you, fellow citizens, but this FBI business is starting to feel like a coup. Right-wing agents, either with the willing participation of Mr. Comey or emboldened and enabled by his inept leadership, are attempting to swing the election to Donald J. Trump. Consider the evidence that has emerged just in the last 10 days:

1. Comey’s extraordinary statement that reanimated the dead emails story

2. The dormant @FBIRecordsVault Twitter account that burped to life this week and spewed forth investigative reports on Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich

3. FBI leaks to The Hill about an investigation into an alleged straw donor scheme to benefit FL senate candidate Patrick Murphy

4. Leaks to the WSJ (link to TPM because paywall) by FBI agents who are furious that they weren’t given the green light to investigate the Clinton Foundation based on allegations contained in book published by a Breitbart editor

It’s almost as if our taxpayer-supported public servants were waiting to see if Russia’s interference in the U.S. election would bear fruit, and, in the absence of that, decided to hurl produce of their own into the gears of our democracy. This cannot — must not — stand.

Obviously, our first order of business is to win this election. Y’all know what to do on that score. You’re doing it, and I believe we will win. But after that, there must be a reckoning. I’m not sure how that can be accomplished, but this rot must be exposed and rooted out. It’s a bigger threat to our democracy than Donald Trump.



The Keith Lamont Scott Execution Video

I still, for the life of me, can not figure out why they did this. Why did they have to have him out of the damned truck. he wasn’t who they were looking for, he was in his truck minding his own business, and they dragged him out and shout him. He didn’t do anything threatening. His hands were at his sides. North Carolina is an open carry state. The cops were undercover. He probably thought he was being jacked or something.

There was literally no reason for them to do this. They could have easily backed up, secured the area, calmed down, assessed the situation, and de-escalated. There is no reason for this. None.

If anyone in the military behaved like this anywhere in the world, they would be court-martialed, dishonorably discharged, and probably sent to Leavenworth. There would be a thorough review of training policies, and tens of thousands of man hours would go into making sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Now the cops are making a big deal about the blunt they found. This is the picture they released:

blunt

I didn’t know whether to laugh and roll my eyes or just cry when I saw that. I bet if you fucking scroll back the douchebag will be wearing a hazmat suit. It’s not even a half gram of weed. I haven’t smoked pot in, well, a while, and that’s not even enough to get a person high. Maybe a mild buzz and a craving for a milkshake. They wouldn’t even prosecute this- a half ounce (that’s 14 grams for you squares) gets you a $200 fine. It’s a class 3 misdemeanor, which, btw, just to remind you, is not punishable with the death penalty. They’d most likely just make you shred it in front of them if they caught you with it.

I mean, we’ve all heard the phrase “killer weed,” but they don’t mean it literally. But now, because a bunch of hotheads with gun and a badge killed a man for no reason, this pitiful joint (it’s a shitty roll, too, if that matters) is now causus belli for a public execution. And they didn’t even know he had it. And they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t fucked up and rolled up like fucking commandos on a dude at a bus stop waiting for his kid to come home from school.








The Execution of Keith Lamont Scott

Undercover cops show up to serve a warrant on someone else, encounter a man who we now know had a TBI recently, don’t do one damned thing to de-escalate the situation, and then shoot him dead for no reason in front of his family. And shit is about to blow up if this becomes widely seen:

This stinks. We have a serious policing problem in this country.








Faunasphere: Dear Fresno Police…

C’mon.

Six cop cars one day, four the next, threats of ongoing surveillance—that’s pure intimidation of activists engaged in free assembly and legal photography on public land.

Better be careful, Mr. Tough Guy With Your Badge Taped Over, [thx to commenters for pointing out that the tape might be for mourning, and the cop’s nameplate is over his right pocket] or someone will think you’re there to provide “safety, service, and security” for Big Ag at the expense of ordinary citizens.

SHARK’S a great group, by the way. Their thing is video, and they use it well. They’re also targeting Oklahoma Rethuglican James Inhofe’s canned pigeon hunts, in which big, brave “hunters” shoot pigeons released from cages. In violation of hunting ethics, but apparently in full compliance with GOP ethics, they leave wounded birds behind to suffer and die.

Related: the government’s true terrorist priorities.

And speaking of drones…federal biologists are using them to deliver vaccine-laced M&Ms to endangered black-footed ferrets. “We dropped the vaccine out of a bag while walking around, but that’s very hard to do over thousands of acres,” Randy Machett, a USFWS biologist told The Guardian. “We are working with private contractors to develop equipment to drop the vaccine uniformly across an area, rather than one hog getting to eat a big pile of them.”

Montanans: be on the lookout for one really fat ferret.








He Did Everything Right…

Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist who was trying to help an autistic patient who had wandered away from a group home, did everything right when confronted by cops with guns drawn. He got shot anyway:

Luckily, Mr. Kinsey is expected to make a full recovery. The cops were responding to a 911 call about an agitated, armed man threatening suicide. The man was the group home patient, and the “weapon” was a toy truck. Kinsey said he was more worried about his patient than himself, but Kinsey is the one who ended up shot in the street.

The people who minimize the problem of police violence against unarmed citizens — specifically black male citizens — will point out that the video doesn’t show the shooting. That’s true; it doesn’t.

First it shows Kinsey lying in the street with his hands up, calmly explaining who he is, what he is doing there and stating that neither he nor his patient are armed. Then it shows him handcuffed and bleeding from a gunshot wound.

I guess we’re supposed to believe that Kinsey attempted to ninja the cops during the video break. Such bullshit.



Mourning in America

Here’s your daily episode of racist, violent, lying, dishonest cops:

Gore Vidal, many years ago- “It is no secret that American police rarely observe the laws of the land when out wilding with each other, and as any candid criminal judge will tell you, perjury is often their native tongue in court. “