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.



Rahm-Boned: First Blood Part II

I usually reserve the phrase “cartoonishly evil” for tinpot dictators, certain former Bush administration officials, and hedge fund executives, but Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel may actually need to grow a mustache to twirl after this.

City of Chicago lawyers, after meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, demanded the Laquan McDonald family bury the video showing the killing of their son by a police officer.

Emanuel said last month that Stephen Patton, Chicago’s corporation counsel, briefed him “towards the end of March” about what the dashcam video showed and about the proposed $5 million settlement with McDonald’s estate. After that briefing, Patton’s second-in-command, Thomas Platt, drafted settlement language to keep the dashcam video hidden for at least several years, according to emails reviewed by The Daily Beast (PDF).

Michael Robbins, an attorney for the McDonald estate, balked at the demand.

“The provision as drafted, that we maintain the confidentiality, of the materials—principally the dash-cam-video—until the criminal charges are concluded, which could be in effect for years, is entirely unreasonable,” he wrote to Platt on April 6. “Nor was any such broad sweeping confidentiality provision discussed during our meetings.”

“I’ll call you,” Platt wrote Robbins on April 7.

That was the same day that Emanuel was fighting for his political life in a runoff election after he failed to win 50 percent of the primary vote in the February. (Emanuel won with 56 percent against Chuy Garcia.)

Emanuel has maintained since McDonald’s death that he has never seen the dashcam video, but the emails prove the mayor knew exactly what the footage showed when city lawyers negotiated a deal that would at least delay the video’s release. Emanuel’s lawyers were offering $5 million in hush money to keep the video hidden just weeks before the runoff election.

And the biggest part of the deal—that McDonald family attorneys agreed to keep the video to themselves until criminal proceedings were concluded—just so happened to be inked the day after Emanuel was re-elected.

I mean it was rather obvious that the $5 million was offered to get McDonald’s family to stop talking, but wanting to bury the video for years under legal mumbo-jumbo on top of all that just makes Rahm a colossal asshole.

Not that he wasn’t one before.

The first draft was sent to the McDonald estate’s attorneys by Platt on March 31. The draft said that the estate would only be free to release the video after potential charges were dismissed by a prosecutor or after a criminal trial was over. Emanuel and his underlings at the Law Department would have preferred this, because it meant the video would have been buried under lengthy legal proceedings that could have taken years.

On April 8, one day after Platt’s phone call, the McDonald estate’s attorneys suddenly agreed to keep the dashcam video hidden. The only thing that changed in the settlement agreement regarding the video was the deletion of a line that said the estate agreed with the city releasing video would harm ongoing criminal investigations.

One week later, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the $5 million settlement in just 36 seconds. Emanuel banged a gavel to mark the approval and the end—or so he thought—of the greatest threat to his mayoralty.

Emanuel wrote in a December op-ed in the Chicago Tribune that the settlement couldn’t be part of a cover-up because it was the McDonald family’s attorneys who approached the city wanting to settle.

Nice guy, that Rahm.



Indictment in the Bland Case

The State Trooper who arrested Sandra Bland has been indicted for perjury. Link here, and I am trying to figure out what precisely they allege he lied about.