Real and Serious, Indeed

We’ve got a real and serious problem in this country, and it’s not the email server Hillary Clinton used during her Secretary of State gig. It’s not the urgent need to hold yet another completely symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare.

Perhaps our elected officials could hold hearings on the urgent matter of how police officers interact with black citizens — encounters that too often result in dead black citizens. Instead of grandstanding political bullshit, maybe they could review alternative policing tactics that might yield fewer deadly encounters between cops and citizens.

Just a thought — one that I’m sharing with my elected officials today. Half of them are shitheads, so it’s probably a waste of time. But damn. This situation has got to change.








Another Video of Alton Sterling’s Public Execution

These cops should spend the rest of their lives beyond bars. Having a gun in your pocket in an open carry state is not a death penalty offense, particularly when it has not been adjudicated.

Disgusting.








Another Summary Execution

And the hits keep coming:

It’s happened again.

Chilling cell phone video surfaced Tuesday of two Louisiana cops killing a 37-year-old man selling music outside a Baton Rouge convenience store after an anonymous caller claimed he had a gun.

The police gunfire sparked impassioned protests that continued past midnight outside the store — 24 hours after authorities shot Alton Sterling during a fatal 12:35 a.m. encounter. More than 100 demonstrators shouting “no justice, no peace” clogged the street, setting off fireworks and blocking an intersection to protest Sterling’s death.

The grim 48-second cell phone video of the killing outside Triple S Food Mart shows two police officers tackling and wrestling a heavy-set man in a red shirt against the hood of a car before throwing him to the pavement.

“He’s got a gun,” one officer cries while the pair pinned Sterling to the ground.

“You f—–g move, I swear to God,” the other cop yells, before the two draw their weapons. The terrified bystander turns the camera phone away as five shots ring out — two of which a coroner said struck Sterling in the chest and back.

According to multiple witnesses, they pulled a gun from his pocket after he was dead.

Conveniently, both cops were not wearing their body cams, and they took the convenient store’s surveillance video. The owner of the store was a witness, Alton’s good friend, and allowed him to sell cd’s there, so I don’t even know why the police were there in the first place.



How About Just Doing Your Damned Jobs?

When did law enforcement become such WATB?

The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called “Ferguson effect” on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities.

James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a “viral video effect” — with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video — “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities.

“There’s a perception that police are less likely to do the marginal additional policing that suppresses crime — the getting out of your car at 2 in the morning and saying to a group of guys, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’” he told reporters.

Mr. Comey was wading back into a dispute from last fall that pitted him against some of his bosses at the White House and the Justice Department and one that roiled racial tensions over confrontations between police officers and minorities.

Show me ONE viral video in which an officer was just doing his job and following the rules. These videos only go viral when you’re doing shit like this:

Or this:

So stop acting like fucking goons and videos won’t go viral. I saw four or five cops today and never once felt the need to videotspe them as they were doing their job. Because they were doing their job.








The Worst Person In The World

Think of this as a bookend to John’s post below.  This isn’t a problem of a few bad apples.  Police violence against people of color occurs within a culture of contempt for people of color.  How else to explain the head of the Chicago  [errr…] Cleveland* police union’s decision to rub yet more salt in the wounds of Tamir Rice’s family:

Cleveland Police Patrolman Association President Steve Loomis issued a statement on Monday afternoon saying that “something positive must come from this tragic loss.”

“We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms,” Loomis said in the statement.

Yo!  Officer Loomis.  There was some definite mishandling of firearms in the context of Rice’s death.  All of it by your cops.

Master_of_the_Karlsruhe_Passion_001

How about you take some of that taxpayer cash that pays your salary and use it to acquire a very rusty farm implement.

Which you can then use upon your nether regions.

Sideways.

Seriously.  How much of a stone racist asshole do you have to be to insist, again, that it is the Black kid’s fault that he interrupted a bullet with his body?  How much of just a miserable human being do you have to be to choose this day and this vicious line of attack to add to the pain Tamir Rice’s family will never leave behind?

I can’t even.

There is a personal cruelty here that is contemptible.  A civilized society would spit on the street whenever Mr. Loomis passes by.

*Because all those midwestern “C” cities sound alike when you’re so pissed off you can’t see.

Image:  Master of the Karlsruhe Passion, Capture of Jesus Christ, c. 1450.

 








Shit You Can’t Make Up (But if you did you’d be a sociopath)

Unbelievable:

When Jameel Harrison, a suspected drug dealer, attempted to escape from F.B.I agents trying to arrest him near a Baltimore shopping center two years ago, agents opened fire. Two bullets hit his Infiniti FX37’s left front tire. Six bullets struck him in the head and neck, killing him.

After investigating the case, a state prosecutor and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division declined to prosecute the agents. That left the F.B.I.’s shooting incident review group, a panel of officials who decide whether shootings comply with bureau policy on the use of lethal force and that rarely punishes agents. In 2013, The New York Times reported that of more than 150 episodes in which an agent shot another person dating back at least two decades, the group deemed every one justified.

In the case of the Baltimore shooting, however, the bureau took the unusual step of deeming part of that case a “bad shoot” in agents’ parlance. But the group did not fault the two agents who killed Mr. Harrison. Instead, it chastised only the agent who shot the tire, recommending that the agent be suspended for a day without pay, according to documents obtained by The Times in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The review group’s reasoning was that the bureau’s policy on using lethal force forbids firing a gun to disable a vehicle, and it concluded that this had been the agent’s motive in shooting the tire. But the same policy permits firing a gun to protect people from danger, and the panel decided that the two agents who shot Mr. Harrison were trying to keep him from driving into bystanders.

Tires are more protected from the police than black men. We need to deal with the FBI before we can deal with city and state police.



Dear Ferguson, Loreta Lynch Is Over Your Bullshit

Clowns:

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the city of Ferguson, Mo., for unjust policing that violates the civil and constitutional rights of citizens, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday.

The lawsuit came one day after the Ferguson City Council voted to change a proposed consent decree to reform the police and courts. The council said the package, which had been negotiated between the DOJ and city officials, cost too much.

In a news conference, Lynch said the DOJ was sensitive to the city’s cost concerns throughout the months-long negotiation. She also said, “There is no price for constitutional policing.”

So basically, after months of negotiation, the City Council decided to just change some shit. They apparently think this is a winning strategy. So AG Lynch went nuclear on them:

“Today, the Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the Constitution and federal civil rights laws,” said Attorney General Lynch. “The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for their city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe. They have waited nearly a year for their police department to accept rules that would ensure their constitutional rights and that thousands of other police departments follow every day. They have waited nearly a year for their municipal courts to commit to basic, reasonable rules and standards. But residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights – the rights guaranteed to all Americans – for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer.”

“Our investigation found that Ferguson’s policing and municipal court practices violate the Constitution, erode trust and undermine public safety,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “As shown by our lawsuit today, the Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that Ferguson implements long-overdue reforms necessary to create constitutional, effective and accountable policing. Ferguson residents and police officers deserve a law enforcement system that productively and fairly serves the entire community.”

In other news about shitty cops and asshole city governments who support and defend them, this just takes the fucking cake:

The City of Cleveland filed a creditor’s claim against the estate of Tamir Rice, the black 12-year old who was fatally shot by police in 2014, for not paying emergency medical service fees, CleveScene reported Wednesday.

The $500 fee is “owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code,” according to the report.

Fuck you Cleveland and everyone in the city who let this happen.