Defund the Police?

Seriously, WTF does that have to do with police brutality?

What kind of hair-brained misdirection is that?

Does anyone think the police are too brutal with domestic violence issues?

So the idiots, who speak before thinking, believe that police are doing too much and, well, they beat people because of their effin’ stress? Give me a break.

The solution to police brutality is three-fold:

  1. Employ a two-strike rule for inappropriate use of force. If a policeman is found using inappropriate force in the arrest and detention of suspects, he is fired for the second offense. I’m not talking excessive force, I’m talking INAPPROPRIATE force. You don’t effin’ handcuff nine year olds. You don’t beat a suspect to give him a fair trial. You subdue people who threaten. You stop violence with violence… but it better be appropriate. A tw0-strike rule that re-sets every five years makes the most sense to me. Everybody has a bad day. Police should have less of them and be accountable when they don’t.
  2. Employ three types of arrest instead of one type: the self-recognizance arrest, the firm arrest, and the hard arrest. Each will have a set of conditions that make it applicable to the violation. Train the public and the police force in the appropriate use of each.
  3. Get rid of the Darth Vader-looking police uniforms and bring back the look of professional law enforcement.
  4. Create a tiered approach to carrying weapons. Not all police officers should carry guns and no police officer under the age of 25 should ever carry a gun. There should be a review of stress situation events faced by the officer before he/she is allowed a gun permit for his/her attained level of police work.

Is that so hard to do?

Yeah, with unions, yeah. But do it any way. The life you save may be your own.

What is a proportionate amount?

If you know, please let me know.

I am not disputing a pronouncement like this but I wish to know what is the proportionate amount:

“Crafted by leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Justice in Policing Act aims to rein in the use of excessive force by law enforcers, particularly the violence targeting blacks and other minorities, who die disproportionately at the hands of police.”

(Note: I think THEY messed up the use of commas in this sentence. It makes no sense to think the “…leaders of the CBC die disproportionately at the hands of the police”. It also makes little sense to read this as “…law enforcers who die disproportionately at the hands of the police.” I suspect the comma after “minorities” should be removed but it is our little secret, yes?)

We already know that crime is not proportional across neighborhoods in a city. And we know that types of crimes (rape, murder, assault, etc) are not committed proportionately. Plus we already know that gender and religion do not have proportional amounts of crime either.

And let’s not forget the age demographic. Does anyone think that senior citizens commit a proportional or disproportional amount of crime?

So when someone says that blacks and other minorities die disproportionately by law enforcement, does that mean age, gender, religion, and neighborhood are factored in to race OR does it mean we are only talking the color of the skin?

Let me know if the methodology employed is fair or not. Might we qualify the statement by saying …”if all other factors are equal, there is a disproportional amount of black men killed by the police” but “when the other factors are not equal, then we really don’t know.”

Black Lives Matter

For a fledgling organization, BLM is racking up some impressive results. Perhaps they are benefiting from the times, or perhaps its the leadership, or perhaps the deployment of technology, or perhaps it is simply the sharp focus of the mission, or perhaps all of it.

Largest civil rights gatherings in history…It has become a movement.

I was at the website to learn more.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

The group is focused exclusively on the “state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism”.

The “state-sanctioned violence” (SSV) and the “anti-Black racism” (ABR) are two things we can all wrap our heads around regardless of our race or ethnicity.

The training of police forces must move away from the “one-size-fits-all” arrest and detain methodology. Handcuffing crying children is outrageous. So too, the beating of suspects into submission.

Alternative arrest methodologies should be developed and promoted in police departments everywhere.

It is better that a hundred suspects escape detention and arrest than it is for an innocent man OR woman to be beaten or killed. You don’t have to be Black to understand that.

And yet, we ask our police force to address lawlessness and brutality everyday. We ask our police forces to be the line of defense between gang violence and middle-class America. We also ask our police forces to confront violent behaviors and make the home and the street safe for the non-violent among us.

Black Lives Matter because every one of us should be safe from racism, anarchy, violence, and brutality, regardless of origin but especially from our governments.

A Citizen’s Arrest?

You’ve seen the footage of the Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the head of a detained man. That man died. You’re aware that FOUR police officers present were fired from their jobs as a result and that charges are pending.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/26/us/minneapolis-police-encounter-death-trnd/index.html

The question that came to mind was if I were present could I have acted to prevent this death? Followed by: Would I have acted while a witness with three other police officers present?

We all want to say yes to that question but would we?

There were three times in my life when I stood up for people who were being victimized. Never like this situation but… I was risking physical harm in one instance and personal respect in the other two. In one case it was a civilian woman being harassed by a small group of sailors. Physical harm was possible but it didn’t happen.

One time I made it my business to stand up for a colleague that had been taken advantage by a corrupt taxi driver. That’s a long story that ended with a bunch of taxi drivers asking me if I was going to have the man arrested. I decided not. And another time, I challenged two obnoxious strangers to cut the crap as they made fun of a young shuttle bus driver.

When these things happened, I acted without thinking. I was up on my toes and I was leaning into the action. I was affronted and I acted immediately.

We never know what we will do until it happens but I like to think I would have acted to confront the police officer with his knee on the man’s neck.

Which leads me to wonder, from the safety of my keyboard, what would have been a good approach to intervene and create a different outcome?

A Citizens Arrest may be personally dangerous with three police officers present but it seems as if it would have changed the narrative, the dynamic, just enough to maybe save the man’s life.

Why do I think this way?

  1. The scene was being recorded so there would be evidence of what I did.
  2. If I shouted that the police officer was using excessive force and that is a felony, each of the policemen would have recognized I knew what they were doing was a felony.
  3. If I shouted a second time that this was a felony and if the physical restraint of the man was not modified that I will make a citizens arrest of the police officer as was my right under Minnesota law. This would get their attention, too.
  4. If I shouted a third time that the witnessing police officers are to be charged as accomplices if they do nothing to change the restraint on the man, everyone will know I am serious.
  5. Under the law, I am allowed to take physical action to prevent a felony and then announce they are under arrest.

My hope is that the witnessing police officers would tell their buddy to get his knee off the neck of the man before number 5 happened.

It is likely I’d be arrested in any event. A small price to pay to save a man’s life but one never knows when courage flows in the veins what one will do.

When the heart pounds and the call-to-arms is all you can think of, one never knows how it will end.

I know I would be considered a threat. Up on toes, fingers extended, accusing officers in no uncertain terms that their actions were felonies and the felonies were being recorded, I can feel their eyes on me even now.

I hope I have the knowledge to understand who is being victimized by whom and adjust my behavior accordingly. I hope I have the courage to act in situations like that, too.

I hope we all do…

Pour me a drink and make it a Fifth Amendment

I kind of like the idea of a drink named The Fifth Amendment. It is good for you but it can be gone in seconds and you are wondering what happened afterward. (I wonder what is in it)

Enter the US Supreme Court: You can no longer remain silent unless you speak up and assert your right to be silent.

Isn’t that the silliest thing you have heard today?

A nation continues to wait for final word on the Supreme Court’s Big Four cases this term — voting rights, affirmative action, DOMA, and Proposition 8 — but the justices’ closest decision arrived first on Monday, in a 5-4 ruling on Salinas v. Texas in which the conservative members of the Court and Anthony Kennedy determined that if you remain silent before police read your Miranda rights, that silence can and will be held against you. Here’s what that means.

Basically, if you’re ever in any trouble with police (no, we don’t condone breaking laws) and want to keep your mouth shut, you will need to announce that you’re invoking your Fifth Amendment right instead of, you know, just keeping your mouth shut. “Petitioner’s Fifth Amendment claim fails because he did not expressly invoke the privilege against self-incrimination in response to the officer’s question,” reads the opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, which Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts backed. Justices Thomas and Scalia had a concurring opinion while the remaining four Supremes dissented. 

The Salinas case revolves around Genovevo Salinas, a man who was convicted of a 1992 murder of two brothers. Salinas was brought in for police questioning in January 1993. According to the dissenting opinion of Justice Breyer, he was called in to “to take photographs and to clear him as [a]suspect” and Salinas was questioned without being read his Miranda rights:

That silence was then used against Salinas in court, and he was eventually convicted. But the bigger question in revisiting this 20-year-old murder case was whether or not prosecutors were allowed to point to that silence, and win a case using Salinas’ own silence against him.

You know what’s a much more recent wrinkle to the potential precedent effect of today’s ruling? A case like that of the younger Boston Marathon suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who reportedly sat through 16 hours of questioning before he was read his Miranda rights. Had Tsarnaev, who was recovering from serious injuries at the time, remained silent during questioning without explicitly invoking his Fifth Amendment, prosecutors could, under the Salinas ruling, now use that silence to their advantage.

It all seems ridiculously terrifying, this idea that in order to claim your Fifth Amendment, you now need to know how to call the on-the-fly legal equivalent of “safesies.” Your right to remain silent just got more complicated, and it will require potential criminals to be more informed about their protections and the linguistic details on how to invoke them. “But does it really mean that the suspect must use the exact words ‘Fifth Amendment’? How can an individual who is not a lawyer know that these particular words are legally magic?” Breyer wrote.

You see, if we take the rights away from people before they are convicted of a crime then everyone will be considered a criminal and not entitled to any rights at all. When there is no difference between the convicted and the un-convicted under law then we have lost our freedom.

Judge Alito said ” [Salinas’] Fifth Amendment rights fail because he did not expressly invoke the privilege (ed. note: his words”privilege” instead of “right”) against self-incrimination in response to the officer’s question.It has long been settled that the privilege ‘generally is not self-executing’ and that a witness who desires its protection ‘must claim it’.”

Alito was referring to another settled case in which a person told a law enforcement officer something that was later used against him in court. The Supreme Court ruled that because the man was answering questions for a different reason and it was later used against him that the information was admissible. Judge Alito apparently does not see the difference between silence and speaking. 

What has happened now that Senate approves men to the Supreme Court who only approve what the government wants to do and never considers what is Constitutional?

We have a government of lesser men. Vote for women, please. Men have mucked this up enough already.

Military muscle in the drug war makes me crazy

Sheesh. Does anybody remember the freakin’ Golden Triangle in the Far East?

When you mix the CIA and drugs?

So now when I read:

A covert U.S. operation sending manned aircraft south of the border has helped Mexican police identify, capture and kill some of that country’s most wanted criminals, according to sources.

Under the direction of the Pentagon’s Northern Command, “Operation Lowrider” began in 2011 after the death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jamie Zapata.

“It’s been successful in identifying, eliminating and bringing to justice those who brought tons and tons of drugs into the United States,” says Phil Jordan a former DEA Special Agent and director of the agency’s El Paso Intelligence Center.

Unlike drones operated by the Department of Homeland Security, the two prop planes are manned by a subcontractor to Sierra Nevada, a U.S. defense contractor, according to the website vocative.com. Using advanced eavesdropping equipment, “pattern of life” reconnaissance missions expose the schedules and routines of high level traffickers.

…I get a little crazy about this.
I don’t know what the solution is but I do know that using the military to perform like policemen during a drug war is just plain nuts. I like mission specific DEA operations. I like SWAT Team actions for drug arrests. But there is something inherently wrong about using the US military to police the world for drug trafficking.
Perhaps it is because the CIA gets so involved in drug trafficking with impunity that I am bothered by having the one part of the federal government that is supposed to protect me ( the US Military) from being involved in drug activities. Keep drugs away from the US military command operations.

 

 

 

Texas Cops SWAT-ing Flies

Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up:

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.

Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

The militarization of the local police has been happening since 9-11. And paraphrasing what Madeleine Albright once said “What’s the point of having this superb military police swat team that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

We apparently use our SWAT teams for almost anything, for example:

A Fox television affiliate reported this week, for example, that police in St. Louis County, Mo., brought out the SWAT team to serve an administrative warrant. The report went on to explain that all felony warrants are served with a SWAT team, regardless whether the crime being alleged involves violence.

In recent years, SWAT teams have been called out to perform regulatory alcohol inspections at a bar in Manassas Park, Va.; to raid bars for suspected underage drinking in New Haven, Conn.; to raid a gay bar in Atlanta where police suspected customers and employees were having public sex; and to perform license inspections at barbershops in Orlando, Fla.

Other raids have been conducted on food co-ops and Amish farms suspected of selling unpasteurized milk products. The federal government has for years been conducting raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized them, even though the businesses operate openly and are unlikely to pose any threat to the safety of federal enforcers.

If you build it they will come. But it is also true that if you own it, you will use it.

I have lamented before that Officer Friendly has been replaced with Officer Threat. I remember when the argument was that criminals outgun the local police and police need better weapons. But does every police department need a SWAT team and stealth vehicles? I don’t think so.

I know what you are thinking. It is only a short step from eating Okra to abusing it.

Okra eating leads to jambalaya abuse. Or so I have been told.

All in all it was a good haul for the police to keep things like this off the street: “The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,”

Andy Griffith must be wondering what happened to the America he left behind.

Black leaders control narrative of Trayvon Martin

Think about it.

Rev. Al Sharpton:

Snip:

Trayvon Martin committed no crime,” he said shortly after the incident. “He had no weapon, and he had every legal right to be where he was. The rush to judgment was those that moved against him, said he was suspicious and took his life.”

Snip:

“Trayvon Martin’s family lawyer called me to get involved because justice was not taking its course,” Rev. Al said. “George Zimmerman needed to be arrested, the evidence supported that.”

He added, “I did not come to Florida after talking to Sybrina and Tracey to convict Zimmerman. I came to say what is good for one is good for all. Black, white, gay, straight, young and old, the same standards of justice should be applied to everyone.”

Snip:

The acquittal of George Zimmerman is a slap in the face to the American people but it is only the first round in the pursuit of justice. We intend to ask the Department of Justice to move forward as they did in the Rodney King case and we will closely monitor the civil case against Mr. Zimmerman.

Snip:

But even in an age of rapidly eroding boundaries between reporters and commentators, Sharpton’s multitasking stands out. A veteran champion of issues involving African Americans — from the discredited claims of Tawana Brawley to the vindication of Amadou Diallo — Sharpton helped draw national attention to Martin’s shooting last year by leading a rally in Sanford, Fla., to demand Zimmerman’s arrest. He has helped raise money for the Martin family. And he has used his nightly TV show, “PoliticsNation,” as a forum to advocate on their behalf.

Sharpton’s immersion in the story — unthinkable for a network-news figure even a few years ago — has raised questions for MSNBC and its parent, NBC News. Among them: Is Sharpton, and MSNBC, helping to create some of the very news MSNBC is covering?

Snip:

Sharpton’s involvement in the Martin story is striking, too, in light of MSNBC’s own actions against its morning host, Joe Scarborough, and former host Keith Olbermann in late 2010. Both men were briefly suspended after the disclosure that they had made a series of small political donations.

Snip:

“The probable cause is that you have the dead body of an unarmed person and there was no crime and there was no reason the police could determine at the scene. That’s probable cause. Otherwise, anyone in this country could be shot and killed and the police could just decide in the police station, ‘We’ll decide whether they go or not.’ That’s a dangerous precedent, wouldn’t you think so Attorney O’Mara?”

Snip:

Geraldo Rivera on Friday blamed Rev. Al Sharpton for George Zimmerman being charged with Trayvon Martin’s murder.

“This was a case brought because of political pressure, race politics in this country,” Rivera said on “Fox and Friends.” “I hate to say it — I hold Reverend Al Sharpton in much higher regard than many of my colleagues…I strongly believe that the Reverend Al is the catalyst behind the murder two charge six weeks after the incident. I believe that the original prosecutor got it right, I think it is a self-defense situation…that should have been the charge — manslaughter — at best if any charge was going to be brought.”

Snip:

It was hardly surprising that he flew to Sanford, Florida last week and addressed a protest rally over the 17-year-old boy’s death. He also met with Trayvon’s parents and accompanied them to a meeting with Justice Department officials. Sharpton is, in short, a partisan who is helping to represent the family against the shooter, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.

Around 5 p.m. at the rally last Thursday, Sharpton bellowed: “We came for permanent justice.  Arrest Zimmerman now!  That’s what this rally is about.”

At 6 p.m., Sharpton hosted his MSNBC show, Politics Nation. His guests were the slain teenager’s parents. Here’s how he opened the show:

“Nearly a month ago, a tragedy took place just beyond the gates behind me.  Earlier today, Trayvon’s parents, attorney and I met with the Justice Department here.  And later tonight, we rally for justice for Trayvon.”

   About an hour after that, Sharpton was addressing the rally again. He appealed for funds: “I want us to to get some money out. I want some of you business types, some of you preachers…And now, I’m going to start off with twenty five hundred dollars,” he said, holding up a check.

“Trayvon represents a reckless disregard for our lives that we’ve seen too long.  And we’ve come to tell you tonight: enough is enough.”

And finally:

Snip:

On his MSNBC program on Tuesday, Al Sharpton told viewers about the rallies being planned to protest George Zimmerman’s acquittal on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. “I’ve said from the beginning we must pursue [this] until the end,” declared Sharpton, adding, “We’ll be in 100 cities on Saturday.”

Sharpton certainly knew whereof he spoke. The “Justice for Trayvon” rallies, after all, are being organized by Sharpton himself through the organization he heads, the National Action Network.

Earlier in the day, Sharpton led a group of ministers to the doors of the Justice Department in Washington to demand that Zimmerman be charged with violating Martin’s civil rights. The story got wide coverage online and on TV.

Rev. Al Sharpton has consistently shaped the narrative that Trayvon Martin was not killed by George Zimmerman defending himself but by some unknown racial or civil rights injustice that a black youth was killed by a watchmen.

Using the bully pulpit provided by MSNBC, Rev. Al Sharpton will not be reprimanded by MSNBC as others were. He will be given some favored status and escape unscathed.

Why am I not surprised?

Zimmerman and the Department of Injustice

I am flummoxed at this:

Amid pressure from the NAACP and several Democratic lawmakers to pursue  Zimmerman, the department has set up a public email address asking for any tips  or information regarding the case. The move appears to mark an expansion of the  probe, after Attorney General Eric Holder said in an address Tuesday to the  NAACP that his department would “consider all available information” before  deciding whether to move forward.

Read more:  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/17/doj-seeking-tips-in-zimmerman-probe/#ixzz2ZPnSadFU

There is no FEDERAL justice in America when the DOJ sets up a TIP line for an innocent man that was declared so by a jury of his peers…

….Makes me so angry I want to spit…. Fire Holder!

 

Sowell Speaks…

thomas_sowell

The political perversion of the criminal justice system began early and at the top, with the President of the United States. Unlike other public officials who decline to comment on criminal cases that have not yet been tried in court, Barack Obama chose to say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

It was a clever way to play the race card, as he had done before, when Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard was arrested.

But it did not stop there. After the local police in Florida found insufficient evidence to ask for Zimmerman to be prosecuted, the Obama administration sent Justice Department investigators to Sanford, Florida, and also used the taxpayers’ money to finance local activists who agitated for Zimmerman to be arrested.

Political intervention did not end with the federal government. The city manager in Sanford intervened to prevent the usual police procedures from being followed.

When the question arose of identifying the voice of whoever was calling for help during the confrontation between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, the normal police procedure would have been to let individuals hear the recording separately, rather than have a whole family hear it together.

If you want to get each individual’s honest opinion, you don’t want that opinion to be influenced by others who are present, much less allow a group to coordinate what they are going to say.

When the city manager took this out of the hands of the police, and had Trayvon Martin’s family, plus Rachel Jeantel, all hear the recording together, that’s politics, not law.

You can read more about it here.