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

Read more

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.

Long Read: “How Being Wrongly Pegged as the Dallas Cop Sniper Changed Mark Hughes’ Life Forever”

Dan Solomon, at Fusion:

Mark Hughes has a sense of humor about what happened to him last summer. On July 7, 2016, Hughes was wrongly identified by Dallas Police and news organizations around the world as a suspect in that day’s sniper attack at a Black Lives Matter march in the city, and when I meet him in the office of the tax prep company he owns in nearby Arlington, Hughes asks me with a straight face: “Are you familiar with the July 7th event?” Then, pointing to his desk neighbor: “You know, he was the one who was actually doing the shooting.”

It’s hard to imagine how Hughes would have survived the past year without cracking a few jokes. Almost everything about his life has been affected by the day his photograph was emblazoned on local news, CNN, and the Dallas Police Department’s official Twitter account, with the words “This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!” above his photo.

Hughes had seen groups like Open Carry Tarrant County, whose members—and leadership, which is white—carry long-arm rifles on the street in front of his tax-prep business, in accordance with the law. And as he made plans to attend the march he decided, for the first time, that he should do the same. Philando Castile, the Minnesota man whose shooting death had been captured on video prior to the march, had his right to carry a gun violated by the officer who shot him. Hughes decided that meant he had a responsibility to assert his own.
Read more

Murder, Plain and Simple


The dashcam video of the public execution of Philando Castile has been released, and it is actually worse than I imagined it would be:

Yanez met with two special agents from the BCA at 1:42 the day after the shooting, accompanied by two attorneys, Tom Kelly and Robert Fowler. It had been a long 17 hours for Yanez and his attorneys noted he had only gotten a couple hours of sleep. Yanez had only pulled over two people since starting his shift at 6 p.m. Since it was a slow night, a recent convenience store robbery, to which Yanez responded to the week before, was very much on his Yanez’s mind, and he was keeping a close eye on the store. He saw a white car pass and thought the driver appeared to match the description of one of the robbers. But when the agents asked Yanez in the interview to elaborate, he couldn’t offer many details. He wasn’t sure about height, weight or even gender. One had cornrows or dreadlocks. One had a hat on.

“And then just kind of distinct facial features with like a kind of like a wide set nose,” he said.


He then goes on to say he smelled marijuana but told him he was being pulled over for his headlight, so he’s already contradicted himself several times. He pulled him over because he was black. The taillight was an excuse, the marijuana is just bullshit to cover his ass.

There are so many things to unpack here, but really, one of the easiest things we could do, right this very instant, without costing a penny, endangering the public, or requiring any roll-out or training that would lead to an immediate decline in these sorts of encounters is this simple: an immediate ban on traffic stops for bullshit like expired tags and broken taillights and crap like that. We all know those only exist (at this point) to harass people, particularly black people, and because taxcut jeebus requires that towns and municipalities fund themselves with bullshit tickets for crap like this. This is not rocket surgery.

Let’s go through the list of recent high profile murders and incidents involving traffic cops:

Philando Castile: Taillight. Dead.
Walter Scott: Taillight. Dead.
Samuel DuBose: Front license plate. Dead.
Eric Garner: Selling cigarettes. Dead.
Freddie Gray: Riding his bike away from police. Dead.
Sandra Bland: Failure to signal lane change. Dead.

We could go on and on and on. Stop the bullshit. We’re not serious or mature enough of a country to deal with systemic racism or implicit bias, so let’s treat cops like kids and limit their interaction with the public and the people who clearly scare them so much. We’ll save lives.

They Have the Authority to Kill a Minority

I got nothing:

A Minnesota police officer, whose fatal shooting of a black motorist transfixed the nation when his girlfriend livestreamed the aftermath, was acquitted of all charges on Friday.

The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, had been charged with second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm in the shooting of Philando Castile.

After the verdict, jurors and Mr. Yanez were quickly led out of the courtroom, and Mr. Castile’s family left immediately. When a deputy tried to stop his mother, Valerie, she yelled “Let me go.”

Later, she said: “My son loved this city, and this city killed my son. And a murderer gets away. Are you kidding me right now?”

he continued: “The system in this country continues to fail black people and will continue to fail us.”

Exactly what does it take for a cop to get convicted of shooting a black man? I mean, there was fucking video tape of it.

*** Update ***

Someone just woke up and failed to hit refresh on the backend of the site and didn’t realize Tom had already posted about this. BTW, you guys are never going to guess who walked around in one low cut Merrell shoe and one midcut Merrell shoe all day today.