Chaos has not engulfed Baltimore

On April 4, 1968 civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His death outraged African-Americans across the country and was the inciting event that led to riots in several major U.S. cities including Chicago, Louisville, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. While King’s death was the proximate cause of the riots, in cities like Baltimore, years of economic inequality, high infant mortality, above average unemployment (compared to the national rate), and sub-par housing contributed to the anger and frustration felt by Black Baltimoreans. That frustration and anger provided the fuel that sustained riots in Baltimore from April 6-14 in the spring of ’68.

47 years later, civil unrest has once again come to the city of Baltimore, and once again, the catalyst for the unrest has been the death of an African-American male. On April 12, 2015, Baltimore police arrested Freddie Gray, Jr. after (I kid you not) he gave them a look and started running. Police reports claim his arrest was for possession of a switch blade (I didn’t know it was illegal to possess one in Baltimore). During transport Gray somehow fell into a coma and was eventually taken to a trauma center where injuries to his spinal cord and larynx were discovered. Gray died on April 19 as a result of these injuries. Although he was struggling to walk when he was arrested, he showed no signs of other injury, and the official police report states that the officers involved did not use force. Somehow he incurred damage to his spinal cord and larynx between his arrest and his admission to the trauma center (despite reports to the contrary, Gray did not have a pre-existing spinal injury). As he was in police custody during this time, it is highly likely that the police officers involved know more than they’re saying (it’s possible Gray sustained his injuries as a result of a rough ride). While some news outlets hint that Gray’s injuries were self-sustained, I find that quite implausible (and so does Gray’s family). Baltimore authorities have released little information regarding the events surrounding the death of Gray, claiming that it is important to allow the investigation to run its course. City officials have also said that they will not release the results of their investigation when it is completed on May 1.

With so little information released by city officials, many questions regarding Gray’s death remain unanswered. How did he sustain his injuries? Did they occur before or during his time in police custody? Were the officers involved aware of his injuries? Did the officers involved cause his injuries? Why were his hands cuffed and his legs in irons, yet he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt during transport? Why did the police chase him to begin with? Why did the police arrest him? With no answer to these questions, many African-Americans have become frustrated and suspect that a cover-up is underway. That frustration is fed in no small part by ongoing outrage over the unjust criminal justice system in the United States. That outrage fueled the creation of #BlackLivesMatter, a civil rights movement founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in the wake of the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  The goal of the BLM is to raise awareness of and broaden the conversation surrounding state sanctioned violence against African-Americans. In their words:

When we say Black Lives Matter, we are broadening the conversation around state violence to include all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state.  We are talking about the ways in which Black lives are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity.  How Black poverty and genocide is state violence.  How 2.8 million Black people are locked in cages in this country is state violence.  How Black women bearing the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families is state violence.  How Black queer and trans folks bear a unique burden from a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us, and that is state violence.  How 500,000 Black people in the US are undocumented immigrants and relegated to the shadows. How Black girls are used as negotiating chips during times of conflict and war.  How Black folks living with disabilities and different abilities bear the burden of state sponsored Darwinian experiments that attempt to squeeze us into boxes of normality defined by white supremacy, and that is state violence.

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.  We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.

In the wake of Gray’s death, protests began in Baltimore (ostensibly under the banner of #BLM). Initially the protests received little coverage from the mainstream media. Apparently, it isn’t news when an African-American man in police custody later dies under mysterious circumstances. On April 25, a small number of protesters became violent and hurled rocks at police officers and that’s when the MSM took note. The coverage of the protests focused on the relatively minor incidences of civil unrest, serving to paint a decidedly negative image of the protesters in the eyes of many USAmericans. Headlines like USA Today’s ‘Baltimore police say Freddie Gray protest turns destructive‘, TIME’s ‘Baltimore Riots: Instagram videos show violence, looting, unrest‘, CBS’s ‘Calls for calm amid rioting, chaos in Baltimore‘, CNN’s ‘Baltimore riot video shows liquor store on fire, chaos‘, and CNBC’s ‘Chaos in Baltimore: what you need to know‘ have helped perpetuate the idea that the protests in Baltimore are violent, chaotic, and city-wide. Two images courtesy of Vocativ dispel that notion:

The smaller scale of the 2015 civil unrest in Baltimore belies the claim that the city was engulfed in chaos, and yet many media sources chose attention-grabbing headlines that imply the opposite. AJ Woodson of Black Westchester warns people not to fall for the media narrative surrounding the protests:

As you read most of the nationwide coverage, the various news media and websites do admit that most of the protesters were peaceful as you read further down their stories, despite the attention grabbing headlines that speaks of only the violence, destruction and criminal mischief of a few. Unfortunately there will always be a few agitators in any crowd this size. Some of which are purposely positioned among the peaceful protesters for just that reason.

After what has been going on with black men being killed nationwide without any justice taking place even after grand juries, video evidence, incidences being ruled homicide by medical examiners, No officers go to jail, very few cops lose their job and the Ferguson officer who killed Mike Brown was allowed to retire and protect his pension, there is a sense of frustration in these protests, yes!

What happened in the streets of Ferguson was worst by comparison. But let’s be very clear, the scene the media is describing, the picture being painted with all headlines are something no one, I repeat NO ONE wants to see. What they’re showing you are the actions of 100 or so people, there were 10,000 people there, and despite some of the headlines, and you can see by the pictures below all the protesters were not black and out of control. And despite what a local pastor would have you believe, some of those who were acting up the most were doing so before those (he called outsiders), who came to town in support showed up.

Words have power, they create perceptions that make other actions possible and allow the most outrageous of  explanations why they kill black people believable and acceptable by other groups of people. Let’ be clear here, NO ONE wants to truly see Scenes of Chaos: 1,000’s of Frenzied Protesters Rioting In Baltimore, the city would truly still be burning. But they media will show the worst or the worst, you know if it bleeds it leads. It’s true it’s great for ratings which leads to heavy advertising revenue, but it is not good for our community or the race relations nationwide.

Just like the media takes the liberty to show the worst of the worst like they did in Baltimore, I am taking the liberty to show the worst of the worst in their reporting and calling them out. It’s important to not allow the mass media to distort the narrative and take away from the message of this fight for justice.

What they don’t report was there were, “Muslims, Christians, Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Young and Old, Rich and Poor people all united and standing harmoniously against common oppression,” shared one of the organizers Frank ‘Sha’ Francois. The demonstration was sponsored by a wide coalition of social justice groups, including Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers For Justice (BLFJ), Carl Dix of Stop Mass Incarceration (SMIN) and brother Ted Freedomfighter Sutton of Sutton House, just to name a few who came in support of their brothers and sisters in Baltimore. Support for justice of Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested one week ago, in West Baltimore. Who died on April 19th, from injuries sustained while he was in police custody.

Contrary to news reports from many sources, the story out of Baltimore is not ‘police were hit by rocks‘, ‘a CVS store burned to the ground in an act of arson‘, or ‘protesters became violent‘*. Yes, there were pockets of violence and property damage. Yes, roughly 15 police officers were injured and a CVS was destroyed. The CVS can be rebuilt, and the officers are still among the living. The same cannot be said of Freddie Gray, Jr, who joins a growing list of African-Americans killed in fatal police encounters including Michael Brown, Jr., Rekia Boyd, Walter Scott, Tanisha Anderson, Shelly Frey, Eric Garner, Alesia Thomas, John Crawford III, Rumain Brisbon, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Kajieme Powell, Ezell Ford, Malissa Williams, Dante Parker, Yvette Smith, Miriam Carey, Shereese Francis and many more. The real story is one the mainstream media has largely failed to address: the failure of the U.S. criminal justice system to treat People of Color-especially African-Americans-equitably.

Let me be clear here: I do not condone the civil unrest. I recognize that there are people who suffer emotionally and financially when their property is destroyed. At the same time, I do not fully condemn the civil unrest because I understand that it is the last option open to an oppressed people who have had their lives and their rights trampled upon by an unjust criminal justice system enabled by the government. When black person after black person continues to be the victim of disproportionately harsh sentencing laws, racial profiling, and police brutality…when peaceful protests and lobbying politicians doesn’t work…when writing and blogging and being an activist does not work to change the system-what then? What is left? How can positive change be accomplished when all other avenues have been exhausted?  It is this understanding that led Martin Luther King, Jr. to say the following about riots:

Urban riots must now be recognized as durable social phenomena. They may be deplored, but they are there and should be understood. Urban riots are a special form of violence. They are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community. They are a distorted form of social protest. The looting which is their principal feature serves many functions. It enables the most enraged and deprived Negro to take hold of consumer goods with the ease the white man does by using his purse. Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking. But most of all, alienated from society and knowing that this society cherishes property above people, he is shocking it by abusing property rights. There are thus elements of emotional catharsis in the violent act. This may explain why most cities in which riots have occurred have not had a repetition, even though the causative conditions remain. It is also noteworthy that the amount of physical harm done to white people other than police is infinitesimal and in Detroit whites and Negroes looted in unity.

A profound judgment of today’s riots was expressed by Victor Hugo a century ago. He said, ‘If a soul is left in the darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.’

The policymakers of the white society have caused the darkness; they create discrimination; they structured slums; and they perpetuate unemployment, ignorance and poverty. It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society. When we ask Negroes to abide by the law, let us also demand that the white man abide by law in the ghettos. Day-in and day-out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments; he flagrantly violates building codes and regulations; his police make a mockery of law; and he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions for civic services. The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the white society; Negroes live in them but do not make them any more than a prisoner makes a prison. Let us say boldly that if the violations of law by the white man in the slums over the years were calculated and compared with the law-breaking of a few days of riots, the hardened criminal would be the white man. These are often difficult things to say but I have come to see more and more that it is necessary to utter the truth in order to deal with the great problems that we face in our society.

The outrage felt by African-Americans is the result of centuries of discrimination, oppression, disenfranchisement, and economic inequality that sustains the engine of white supremacy. USAmericans must confront the deadly legacy of racism this country was founded upon and continues to benefit from (with an eye to demolishing that system) even if it means white USAmericans lose a bit of privilege. Until then, equality for all citizens will continue to be nothing more than a dream for all but a privileged few.

*For the pearl clutchers concerned about property damage, I have two things to say:

  1. Your priorities are deeply screwed up. You’re hand-wringing over property damage, but where is your concern for black lives? Why are you not outraged over the mass incarceration of black bodies? Why aren’t you similarly angry over the disproportionate levels of police brutality experienced by African-Americans? Why do you care so much more for property than human beings?
  2. Given your concern for property, if you would focus your attention on dismantling the engine of white supremacy, fewer and fewer African-Americans will reach the point of desperation whereupon they choose to engage in civil unrest.
Chaos has not engulfed Baltimore

Police Behaving Badly 4.28.15

From the use of excessive force to stealing drugs from suspects…from racial profiling to abusing the power of their badges…from sexually assaulting suspects to planting evidence…there is a never-ending stream of stories of law enforcement officials behaving irresponsibly, unethically, immorally, and/or criminally. Here are five recent examples from across the nation:

Florida deputy fired for ignoring 911 call from dying woman so he could finish his pizza

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott fired Yvan Fernandez following an Internal Affairs report that showed that the deputy acknowledged the emergency call from dispatch before returning to his pizza, even though he was not on an official meal break at the time.

According to friends of the victim, Gwendolyn Minnis, 48, she had recently been released from the hospital after having a heart attack.

Police believe she called 911 to report another heart attack on March 13, with dispatch sending out a call for an officer to respond after the line went dead.

The report states that Fernandez was having lunch with three other deputies at Raider’s Pizza and Wings when he first took the call, responding to a second call from dispatch 8 minutes later, telling the dispatcher “copy.”

Fernandez then reportedly went back to eating his lunch before passing off the call to another deputy 30 minutes later.

Deputies arrived at the home where Minnis was staying, 53 minutes after the initial call, to find the woman lying in her walkway unconscious with the phone next to her. She later died.

The report also noted that Fernandez was not on an official meal break at the time of the call.  Had he been on a break, another officer would have been assigned to the call by dispatch.

Cop literally puts his appetite ahead of the life of another human being. This lack of concern for the well-being of citizens is one of the many problems USAmericans have with law enforcement officials.

* * * *

At the heart of the protests and civil unrest in Baltimore, MD is frustration over police brutality which disproportionately affects African-Americans. Here is one more in a long list of examples:

Video obtained by WDIV in Detroit appears to show Inkster, MI police officers laughing and celebrating after beating suspect Floyd Dent during a traffic stop.

All charges against Dent were drooped after brutal video emerged of officers punching him up to 16 times; Dent was also kicked and tazed, and suffered broken ribs and a head injury.

One officer said Dent had been trying to bite him and possibly reach for a weapon, though there were no reports of any officer injuries. Officer William Melendez, who inflicted most of the beating, has been fired, and may face criminal charges.

In the video obtained by WDIV the cops are reportedly seen afterward cleaning Dent’s blood off their uniforms and fist-bumping. The officers appear to be laughing, though there is no audio, and at one point one of the officers appears to reenact the beating.

I couldn’t embed the video here, but you can watch it if you click the link above.

* * * *

2 South Carolina cops sentenced to prison for torturing mentally ill woman

Officer Eric Walters confronted Melissa Brown on a morning patrol in Marion when he saw her walking out of the yard of a home up for sale, assuming she had broken into the residence. According to court records, Walters asked the mentally-disabled woman what she was doing, then tased her before she could reply. Davis collapsed to the ground, at which point the officer ordered her to put her hands behind her back, again not giving her a chance to comply before he tased her four more times.

It was shortly after this when Officer Brown arrived on the scene to find Walters removing the barbs of the taser from the woman’s back after he finally decided she had done nothing wrong. Good thing he didn’t do anything drastic, like electrocuting her repeatedly for no reason.

It gets worse.

Court records show Brown then noticed that his fellow officer didn’t properly apply the handcuffs, allowing one of her hands to slip out. This caused him to order everyone to move back while he tased her three more times, despite the fact that the woman was absolutely no threat to herself or anyone else. He finally stopped electrocuting her when she rolled back over to be handcuffed properly. He then offered to let her go if she let him tase her in the forehead, telling other officers at the scene that he only tased her because he “did not want to touch that nasty b*tch.”

The two officers were fired three weeks after the incident occurred. Franklin Brown was sentenced to 18 months behind bars; Eric Walters, a year and a day, both pleading guilty to deprivation of rights. Although Walters was the sole cause of the brutal attack on the innocent woman, Brown received a longer sentence because he electrocuted the woman when she was restrained and vulnerable. Davis attended the trial but began sobbing when Walters attempted an apology, and was escorted out by her family.

* * * *
Long Beach police shoot & kill unarmed teen through window for graffiti on abandoned building

Morejon was inside the vacant apartment building close to his home with four friends when police arrived and saw him standing by a wall through a broken window.

Likely alarmed by the police arriving and pointing to warn his friends, the teenager reportedly turned towards the window, bent his knees and extended his arm “as if pointing an object which the officer perceived was a gun.”

Yet another trigger happy cop that assumes someone has a weapon. I didn’t know the penalty for trespassing in an abandoned building was summary execution.

The police then fired an “unknown” number of bullets at Morejon and arrested the four people he was with for trespassing.  No weapons were found at the scene.

According to a video made by a witness, after the teen was shot, he climbed out the window in a desperate attempt to have his life saved by the monster who had just fatally injured him.

“He was saying, ‘my stomach… my stomach…’ and the cop said, ‘so what?’” the witness explained.

The witness also stated that Morejon was allowed to bleed to death, despite paramedics being only a block and a half away from the scene.

How the fuck does someone bleed to death when paramedics are that close? Oh, wait. I forgot. The lives of people of color don’t matter in this country.

His mother, Lucia Morejon, heard the shots and commotion echo from the alley behind her home and when she went outside to investigate what was going on she saw swarms of police, and her teenage son in an ambulance.

“When he saw her, he propped himself partially up and cried to her, “Mommy, Mommy, please come, please come!” She walked towards the ambulance, identified herself as his mother, expecting to ride with him to the hospital, but was pushed back by a man in a blue uniform. She asked what happened and was told that no one knew.” R. Samuel Paz, the lawyer representing the Morejon family wrote in a statement.

When his mother arrived at the hospital, she was not permitted to see her son until he was dead.

That’s beyond fucked up.

After taking this young life, the police went on the offensive, as usual, assassinating the character of their victim and claiming that the graffiti was gang related.  There has been no indication that it was, and his family insists that he was a sweet teenager who had no gang affiliation.

Always with the character assassination. As if being in a gang is sufficient justification for extrajudicial murder by cop.

* * * *

Ex-Irwindale police officer, city sued in molestation of Explorer Scout

“There isn’t a problem with law enforcement as a whole. It’s just a few bad apples.”

That’s a common refrain from police apologists, who seek to minimize the seriousness of police brutality in USAmerica. This story demonstrates that the police culture is geared towards protecting officers, rather than seeking justice. And that’s a problem for law enforcement, which is ostensibly charged with serving and protecting the citizens of this country.

An attorney Friday filed suit against the Irwindale Police Department for allegedly covering up a child sex abuse case involving a former police officer who molested a 15-year-old girl when she was an Explorer Scout.

The lawsuit claims city officials and other officers knew that ex-officer Daniel Robert Camerano, 28, was sexually abusing girls while he was an adviser in the department’s Explorer program but did little or nothing to stop it.

“This case is disturbing and tragic on a number of levels,” said Attorney Anthony DeMarco, an attorney for the victim. “It is striking that these officers knew what was going on and didn’t try to stop it. They’re supposed to be protecting people. They’re supposed to be protecting her.”

Others named in the suit include Camerano, the City of Irwindale and Learning for Life, the national organization that runs the department’s Explorer program, which is designed for high school students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

DeMarco said the lawsuit is against Camerano for abusing her but also against each of the organizations for being complicit in what their officer was doing.

According to the lawsuit, Camerano was not “relieved of his position with the Explorers or disciplined in any way, until complaints reached the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and that entity began its investigation, which resulted in Camerano being criminally convicted in January.

Camerano is currently serving a state prison sentence of two years and eight months for crimes including using a minor for sex acts, oral copulation of a person under 16 and contact with a minor for sexual offenses.

According to the lawsuit and the criminal conviction, he molested the girl when she was on police-sanctioned “ride-alongs,” where the underage girl and her supervisor would work alone overnight in a squad car. He also molested her in the station house, where other officers and supervisors knew or should have known that he was abusing the girl.

City Attorney Fred Galante and Police Chief Anthony Miranda both declined to comment. Galante said the case would be handled by the Joint Powers Insurance Authority, an agency that provides insurance to government agencies.

Few bad apples my ass. And you’re a fool if you think this structural problem is unique to this one police department.

Police Behaving Badly 4.28.15

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

First it was a trickle. Then it was a slow but steady stream. Then it was a fast-moving river. Now it’s like Niagara Falls.  Three more women have alleged that Bill Cosby drugged and raped them, bringing the total to 41.


Well-known civil rights attorney Gloria Allred is representing these women (as well as several others). According to Allred, the women are speaking up because Cosby continues to refuse to “acknowledge and take responsibility for his conduct towards women.” The three women include Janice Baker-Kenney:

On the night of the alleged assault, Kinney, who was 24 at the time, said a friend invited her to the house for a “pizza party.” There, she says Cosby offered her two pills. “I thought it must be OK,” she said. “Bill Cosby said it was.”

She woke up later in the living room area on the couch with her jeans unzipped and her blouse opened and remembered Cosby bringing her upstairs to the bedroom.

The following morning, she woke up next to a naked Cosby who was touching her belly and genital area. She said she quickly got dressed and before she walked out the front door Cosby allegedly said: “‘this is between you and me’ and he put his finger to his mouth like a ‘shhhh’ sign.”

Marcella Tate:

Marcella Tate was a 27-year-old Wilhelmina model when she was assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion’s Chicago location in 1975. He gave her a drink, and the last thing she remembered was him laying next to her in bed, naked. The Playboy Mansion has been a frequent setting for the alleged assaults.

and Autumn Burns:

Burns said she met Cosby in 1970 at a Las Vegas casino in which she worked when she was 20 years old. She said she was invited to his suite where he made her a drink, after which she felt “woozy and not in control”. She said the comedian then forced her into sex acts.

Of course, as expected, Cosby’s defenders show up in the comment sections of these articles to defend their icon. Apparently he’s such a virtuous individual that he is unassailable and so obviously not a rapist. I’m so motherfucking sick and tired of the lack of empathy and compassion for rape victims and I say that as someone who has never been raped. I cannot image how awful it must be for sexual assault victims to watch people defend a rapist, no matter how much of a celebrity he is.

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

Police Behaving Badly 4.23.15

From the use of excessive force to stealing drugs from suspects…from racial profiling to abusing the power of their badges…from sexually assaulting suspects to planting evidence…there is a never-ending stream of stories of law enforcement officials behaving irresponsibly, unethically, immorally, and/or criminally. Here are five recent examples from across the nation:

LAPD Chief shocked by video of officer’s confrontation with robbery suspect

“I was shocked by the content of the video,” Beck said of the surveillance footage of the Oct. 16 arrest of 22-year-old Clinton Alford Jr. near 55th Street and South Avalon Boulevard.

Officer Richard Garcia, 34, was charged Monday with assault under color of authority. He pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon and is scheduled to return to court June 1, when a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

Plainclothes officers stopped Alford, who was on a bike, because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. After initially fleeing the officers, Alford surrendered. Alford’s attorney, Caree Harper, says Alford was prone on the ground with his hands behind his head when Garcia kicked and stomped on him, then repeatedly struck him in the head and body.

Beck said that after he saw video of the arrest, he “immediately ensured that the officers were sent home.”

The chief said he “contacted personally the district attorney and expressed my desire for her folks to not only look at this case but to file criminal charges.”

Garcia has not been fired by the department, which is allowing the criminal case to move forward.

“We have to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is justice here,” Beck said. “And we want the justice system to be able to address this use of force, which I believe is a criminal act.”

All of the officers involved in the arrest were placed on paid administrative leave.

* * * *

Over in Round Rock, Texas, a police officer attempting to subdue a woman used a takedown move that resulted in a woman being knocked unconscious on the pavement. A bystander (who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation) recorded a portion of the incident:

Video captured by a man inside the Wing Stop on East Palm Valley in Round Rock Tuesday afternoon shows Officer Ben Johnson arresting Viviana Keith.

The video shows Johnson and Keith talking, then he tries to force her to bend over onto the hood of his car during the arrest. When she resists, Johnson performs a take-down move, essentially throwing Keith onto the ground. She hit her head and was knocked unconscious.

The video goes on to show Keith’s 6-year-old daughter walk over to check on her mom as the officer rolls Keith onto her back and checks her pulse.

“When I look back at the tape, I can see her head bounce off the concrete because when he threw her down, she wasn’t able to brace herself,” said the man who recorded the video, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “She was absolutely unconscious. There were a couple of other gentleman in the store with me and we were saying ‘is she breathing?’ Because at first we weren’t seeing her stomach rise and fall.”

Viviana Garcia, who works in the shopping strip, said witnessed the incident and fearing the worst, she walked over to help Keith’s child.

“It looked like she was dead,” Garcia said. “The little girl was screaming, ‘Mommy, mommy.'”

Staff from an urgent care center in the strip went over to help until EMS arrived. Witnesses say the left side of Keith’s face was black and she had a large cut over her eye.

What the video did not capture was what led up to the arrest. Witnesses said Keith was drunk when she walked into Deluxe Nails.

“She was a little loud, and disruptive,” said Rebecca Tomlinson, who was inside the nail salon. “She said she was very tired, really tired and they said, ‘Maybe you should go home and get some sleep,’ and then she turned around and stumbled out.”

I don’t even want to read the comments on articles about this. I can imagine there will be people saying something to the effect of “she deserved this for being drunk” or “what kind of mother is she drinking all day”. As if being drunk or being a bad parent is sufficient justification for being treated brutally by law enforcement officials.

* * * *

Cop runs stop sign without lights or sirens, hits pedestrian, cutting off both legs, 5 hospitalized

A violent, multiple vehicle crash unfolded last week after a Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputy ran a stop sign.

The resulting crash left five people hospitalized. One man, who was loading up his pick-up truck with the tailgate down, was hit by the police cruiser, pinning him in between the car and his truck.

The man, who neighbors say was a construction worker, was taken to Harborview Regional Medical Center in Seattle where both of his legs were amputated. As of today, he is still in ICU.

Witnesses recall that the deputy did not have his lights on, nor his siren as he sped through the stop sign at the north Everett intersection of Rockefeller Avenue and 23rd Street just before noon on Friday.

Steve Teixeira, a neighbor who heard the crash, described hearing the man screaming in agony as he begged for help. Teixeira was forced to argue with the 9-1-1 dispatcher to send an ambulance because he couldn’t see the man pinned between the cop car and the pickup.

“Everyone was, ‘where’s the ambulance?’,” neighbor Kieth Owens said.

The accident investigation has been passed off to the Washington State Patrol, who said on Wednesday that the deputy was most likely at fault for this crash.

* * * *

An inmates final struggle caught on video; some raising questions about death at West Baton Rouge jail

According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court in February 2014 on behalf of Edwards’ only son, Ervin Edwards was with his girlfriend at a gas station near Port Allen on Nov. 26, 2013, when the couple got into a “minor argument.”

By the time West Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies responded, the argument was over, the lawsuit says.

Nevertheless, deputies began to question Edwards about his “sagging” pants, the suit says, and before long Edwards was being arrested.

By the time the Port Allen officer, Dustin McMullan, arrived at the gas station, Edwards already was in restraints, according to a police incident report. McMullan said Edwards was combative during the arrest process, threatening multiple times to kill the officers who were arresting him.

At one point while still at the gas station, the lawsuit says one of the law enforcement officers threatened to “tase” Edwards. When his girlfriend heard this comment, she begged the officers not to shock him because of his high blood pressure, the suit says.

While authorities didn’t shock Edwards at the gas station, a Port Allen police officer did end up shocking him inside the cell.

It’s difficult to tell from the video footage how many times or how long the officer shocked Edwards because other officers obscured the view inside the cell. It is clear, however, that Dustin McMullan kept the stun gun pressed against Edwards’ buttocks in “stun drive” mode for more than a minute — a fact apparently in direct contrast with McMullan’s recollection of the event in the police incident report.

McMullan wrote in his report that he warned Edwards three times to quit resisting officers’ restraint attempts before he pulled his stun gun from its holster and pressed it against Edwards.

“I then pulled the trigger on the Taser using the full five second circle on Edwards,” he wrote, meaning he shocked him for five seconds, which is the longest a shock can be applied without stopping for a brief time and pulling the trigger again. “However, the Taser did not appear to have any effect on Edwards.

“Due to the obvious lack of effect of the Taser, I then re-holstered it,” McMullan wrote. “I then again assisted in restraining Edwards using empty hand control techniques” before the officers were able to remove the restraints from Edwards’ ankles and hands and all exit the cell.

In contrast to McMullan’s report, the video shows him keeping the stun gun pressed firmly against Edwards for nearly a minute and a half. While it’s unclear how much of that time was spent shocking the inmate, a bright blue light can be seen between the stun gun and Edwards on several occasions during a roughly 45-second period.

Also in the report, McMullan said another deputy checked on Edwards after the use of force episode and saw the inmate breathing and moving his arms.

But in the video, Edwards doesn’t appear to flinch.

John Jakuback, McMullan’s attorney, said there is “overwhelming evidence” that McMullan’s use of the Taser “had nothing to do with Mr. Edwards’ death.”

Jakuback also noted that McMullan was one of the law enforcement officers who administered CPR to Edwards once the deputies and officers realized Edwards was unresponsive inside the cell.

“The witness statements taken at the scene of Mr. Edwards’ arrest at the gas station, video footage, and Jefferson Parish autopsy report confirm that neither Port Allen officer acted in any way inappropriately,” said Jakuback, who also is representing another Port Allen police officer who helped transport Edwards to the jail, “and that no action taken by those officers caused or contributed to Mr. Edwards’ unfortunate death.”

Jakuback said the Police Department’s “use of force” report, Edwards’ autopsy report and a computer-generated Taser report indicate McMullan only applied a single five-second burst of electricity to Edwards buttocks area.

It wasn’t clear why the computer-generated report says the discharge occurred at 6:46 p.m., while the time stamp on the video footage would indicate the discharge occurred about 15 minutes sooner.

Glenn Holt, a corrections expert with more than 20 years of experience in juvenile and adult detention centers, including some in Louisiana, described the handling of Edwards inside the jail as “bad correctional practice.”

Imagine that-cops lied on the police report to cover their asses.

(h/t Raw Story)

* * * *

Rounding things out, once again a recording has turned up that contradicts the police account of an officer-involved shooting. This time it’s here in Florida, where dashcam video shows that a Palm Beach County deputy lied about the shooting of an unarmed African-American man:

In dashcam video published by WPTV on Thursday, 20-year-old Dontrell Stephens can be seen on his bicycle being followed by PBSO deputy Adams Lin. When Stephens realizes that he’s being followed, he pulls over and appears to confront the deputy.

Stephens briefly disappears from view of the dashcam video and when he comes back into frame, he is being shot at by the deputy. Stephens attempts to flee from the bullets, but he is hit four times. As it turned out, Stephens had a cell phone, but no weapon.

Lin can later be heard explaining to another deputy what happened.

“He starts backing away,” Lin says of encounter. “I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground.’”

“I got your back man,” the second deputy assures Lin. “I got your back. Hey, you hear me?”

“Yeah, I know,” Lin replies.

In a televised press conference later that day, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw warned suspects to “[s]top what you’re doing and comply with us.”

“There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed,” the sheriff insisted.

Within four days, Lin had been cleared to return to duty. And the State Attorney’s Office and PBSO internal affairs later ruled that the shooting was justified.

West Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola, who is suing on behalf of Stephens, said this week that the dashcam video appeared to contradict claims that Lin gave a command to get down on the ground before shooting.

“There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens,” Scarola said. “The deputy’s recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.”

Police Behaving Badly 4.23.15

Giving Marco Rubio a piece of my mind

The U.S. Senate finally passed the anti-human trafficking bill that has been held up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Prior to the passage of the bill, the Senate voted on several amendments, one of which would have added language banning discrimination against homeless LGBT youth:

One bipartisan amendment, introduced by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy and Republican Senator Susan Collins would have added language banning discrimination against LGBT homeless youth.

“A recent study found that 1 in 4 homeless youth have been victims of sex trafficking, or traded sex for survival needs, such as food or a place to sleep,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement before today’s vote. “The study also found that 50 percent of homeless youth had been solicited for sex by an adult within 48 hours of leaving home. Let me say that again: half of these homeless kids were solicited for sex by an adult within the first two days of leaving home.  These kids – some as young as 12, 13, 14 years old – have nowhere to go, but we can work to make sure they have a safe place to go. That is what our amendment does.”

Leahy added that the language in his amendment “would prevent discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” and “is nearly identical to a provision contained in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which passed the Senate with 78 votes and was signed into law.”

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted down the Leahy-Collins Amendment to protect runaway homeless youth, SA 290, by a narrow margin: 56-43. 60 votes were needed for it to pass. It needed just four more.

No Democrats voted against the amendment, but 43 Republican Senators did. Guess who was one of those Senators?

Yep. Marco Rubio was one of the Republicans who voted against the amendment. I decided to give him a piece of my mind and here is the email I just sent him:

It has come to my attention that you voted against the Leahy-Collins Amendment which would have prevented discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. The Amendment would have protected homeless LGBT youth in this country, but you chose to vote against it. Now, as a gay man, I am fully aware of your rabid homophobia, opposition to any form of equality for LGBT people, and support for a theocratic form of government that would trample on the rights of LGBT citizens across the nation, so on the one hand, I am not surprised that you voted against the Amendment.

On the other hand, I am surprised, because you, on your very own presidential campaign website say:

“Protecting life defines who we want to be as a society. All life is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love.

I believe that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned.

I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life.

I believe that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.”

Given that you’ve opposed a bill that very much would help to improve the quality of life for LGBT teens, you clearly do not support policies that promote the well-being and quality of life of citizens of this country. In other words, you are not ‘pro-life’. Or, rather, you only support so-called “pro-life” policies where fetuses are concerned. Why the disconnect? Why do you claim to be “pro-life” when you oppose measures to protect life? Why are fetuses more deserving of your support than LGBT teens? Why do you care so little for so many of the citizens of this country?

No need for a response, automated or otherwise, because I already know you have no interest in serving the needs of the vast majority of the people in this country. You are beholden to an extremist party that is increasingly ruling this country with an iron fist. I will not vote for you for any political office, including the Presidency, and I look forward to watching your train wreck of a campaign.

That said, I wish you no ill will. For all that your bigotry angers me…for all that I’m frustrated that a political leader would display such animus towards people who simply want to exist and share in the same rights and liberties as all other citizens…for all that I look forward to you making a supreme fool of yourself in the presidential primaries (and the debates, if you make it that far)…I don’t actually want you to suffer. I don’t want to see you destitute. I don’t want to see any harm come to you or your family. I actually want you to live a happy healthy life. Empty platitudes aside, I know you do not wish the same for me, or any other LGBT citizen of Florida or the country.

And that’s one of the many, many things that differentiates the two of us.

A proud gay man who is appalled at your bigotry, but is hopeful that one day you’ll rid yourself of all your nasty, hateful, bigoted views

Giving Marco Rubio a piece of my mind

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.22.15

Dear gun owners,

Firearms should not be “played with”. They aren’t LEGOS. They aren’t Transformers. They are deadly weapons designed for death and destruction. If 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato had treated his gun as the deadly weapon it is, rather than playing with it like a toy, his 3-year-old daughter would likely still be alive:

According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told police that the young girl’s father, 27-year-old Ashton Blake Salvato, was “playing with a gun” when he shot the young girl.

The apparent accidental shooting took place at a home in the 3600 block of Del Mar Court just before 12:20 p.m. The girl, identified as Cessa Joy Salvato, was rushed to Metroplex Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

According to the arrest affidavit, Salvato told police he checked the chamber of his gun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and didn’t see a round in the chamber.

On Sunday, Salvato was arrested and arraigned on a second-degree felony charge of manslaughter in connection with the shooting. He is in custody in Bell County Jail on $1 million bond.

Cessa Joy Salvato’s death marks the sixth homicide death in Killeen for 2015, according to previous Herald reports. All six of those deaths involved firearms.

It sickens me that so many people fight against LGBT equality in this country, while ignoring the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our culture. Marriage equality, LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances, adoption rights for LGBT people…none of these things harms anyone. Yet so many politicians and civilians fight tooth and nail against efforts to advance the rights of LGBT people. But an issue where people actually do suffer? An issue that sees thousands of citizens injured or killed every year? Why aren’t these politicians and civilians fighting against gun violence?

* * * *

Police: Man shoots self in leg at Bunnell bar

The victim, 47-year-old William Petrofsky, drove himself to Florida Hospital Flagler prior to officers’ arrival to be treated for his gunshot wound, which reportedly grazed the front of his left thigh and left a 15-centimeter graze mark. The injuries required the man to receive stitches before being discharged from the hospital early the next morning.

The victim told police he was walking out of the night club into the parking lot when he reached into his pocket for his keys and his handgun discharged inadvertently. Reports indicate authorities do not plan to file charges against the man, citing the fact that no one was injured and no property damaged during the shooting. Police recovered a heavily damaged slug at the scene. Bunnell police officials said Tuesday, however, that the investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending in the case.

In case you’re wondering what makes this story an example of irresponsible gun ownership-

Petrofsky reportedly had a license to carry a concealed weapon, investigators noted. Florida state law, nevertheless, precludes even concealed carriers from toting their firearms when they are under the influence or when they are on the premises of an establishment that serves and sells alcoholic beverages.

No one should be toting a gun into a bar. But this is our gun culture at work.

* * * *

Police: Man accidentally shoots himself after smoking marijuana, drinking

The 29-year-old man called 911 at about 9 p.m. from his house in the 1600 block of South Edgemoor, Lt. James Espinoza said. The bullet struck the man’s left leg just above his knee and broke his femur.

The victim admitted to police he had been drinking and smoking marijuana before he decided to clean his gun, Espinoza said. Officers found a marijuana pipe at the man’s house, supporting his account of events.

A police document indicated the man shot himself with a 10mm Smith & Wesson. He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment.

“I want to emphasize the dangers of firearms, even when cleaning them,” Espinoza said.

Owners should make sure the weapons are unloaded before cleaning them, he said.

A responsible gun owner should know that. They should also know that wielding a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance is not a good idea.

* * * *

Police: Man shoots, kills neighbor’s cat over fear of fleas

According to the Gwinnett Police incident report, Larry Jefferson Rooks admitted to shooting the cat with his .22 rifle when he saw the animal come onto his property on Spring Street between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. April 11.

“The suspect stated he shot at the cat because it was coming to his property to pass fleas to his dog,” the incident report stated.

The cat was named Bellyrub, according to a WSB-TV report, which said the pet was owned by sisters, who keep several pets at their Williams Street residence. One of the sisters, Marie Nichols, told Channel 2, “It knocked me off my rocker, ya’ll. I could understand if it was rabid or something. To hurt an innocent cat, there’s no excuse for it.”

Rooks, 74, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. He was released April 12 on a $2,400 bond, according to Gwinnett County Jail records.

* * * *

Macon woman accidentally shoots man in knee

According to witness statements, Matthew Wesley Robert Harvey, 26, and his female friend, Jordan Lynch, 30, were at a residence preparing to leave for the evening.

Lynch was cleaning out her purse and when she removed her handgun, she accidentally shot Harvey in the knee, a sheriff’s office news release states.

Lynch drove Jordan to a gas station on Sardis Church Road where they met an ambulance, the news release states.

You’d think a responsible gun owner would take great pains to handle their weapon with care.

Irresponsible Gun Owner Link Round-Up 4.22.15

Complaining while black can get you arrested

He didn’t shoplift jewelry or burn down someone’s house.

He didn’t shoot the neighbor’s dog and didn’t assault their spouse.

He did not rape a person and no child did he molest.

He destroyed no public property and was not outside undressed.

He did not drive intoxicated nor was he selling drugs.

He was merely griping about authoritarian thugs.

17-year-old Deonte Bertino was playing a game of basketball with friends when they were approached by police officers who told them to disperse. For what, I haven’t a fucking clue. Oh, sure, the cops mention something about someone dropping the F-bomb, but irrespective of whether that is a crime or not (and if it is, it damn well shouldn’t be), that is no justification for telling the teens to leave. In the process of following those orders, the Brockport, NY teen complained about how the police were harassing them. Guess what happened next:

When the teenagers were told to disperse, Bertino walked over to the bench to grab his belongings, but was clearly distraught that he was being forced to leave.

Deciding that teaching manners is now in the job description of police, Officer Cranston attempted to grab Bertino as he was following the order to exit the park, causing the teenager to pull away.

Bertino told the officer not to touch him, as he was not detained, and there was no justification for the officer to have his hands on him.  At this point, the officer tells him that he is under arrest and violently throws the barely 17-year-old to the ground with assistance from Officer Caitlin.  A third officer then rushes over to pile up on him.

Supporters of law enforcement tactics like this often say that black people wouldn’t be treated so horribly if they would simply listen to the police. Bertino was doing exactly that and yet he was still treated horribly by police. What’s their solution now? If complying with orders isn’t enough to stop police from treating black people horribly, what will? Do we have to stop existing?

The story gets a bit worse though. You may want to sit down for this next bit of shocking news. Guess who lied on the police report?

“The arresting officers lied on the police report saying my son threatened the officer and cursed at the officer. In the unedited video, you can plainly hear he never cursed at the officer,” Dante’s father, Jeremy Bertino, told The Free Thought Project.

I know, I know. It’s totes shocking that cops would lie.

Speaking of that unedited video:

Look at that-no threats and no cursing (as if four-color language should be worthy of detainment, let alone arrest). This is nothing more than the latest example of cops expecting civilians to blindly submit to their authority and becoming angry when that does not occur. Fucking authoritarianism.

Complaining while black can get you arrested

Police Behaving Badly 4.21.15

Two police officers in Philadelphia challenged an African-American college student to a quick game of basketball.  2 days later, they tried to arrest him:

Samir Hill, a 5-foot-7 point guard at Allegany College of Maryland, was playing against some neighborhood kids when the officers approached, reported Complex.

The 21-year-old Hill said the officers joked that they didn’t look very good and “started talking trash” – so he challenged them to a game.

“We gave them ball first, (and) I was playing on the court two-on-two with my friend Josh — they almost scored on him,” Hill said, as his friend loudly protested in the background. “We get the ball, and everybody starts pulling out their cameras. The first cop, I crossed him and laid it up.”

A pair of short video clips posted on Vine, showing Hill beating the officers on crossover dribbles, went viral.

“He’s like, ‘I don’t play basketball, I play football,’” Hill said. “So he put his partner on me — the second one, the one I made fall. Everyone went crazy.”

Hill never learned the officers’ names, but he said they tried to arrest him two days later, after pro athletes — including former NFL star Chad Johnson — shared the video clips on social media.

“I think it was because of the video, but they said it was the people I was around,” Hill said. “I don’t think it was that though, because most of the kids I hang around are college kids. I think they just wanted to take me down to the district to show who I was.”

He said the officers took him to the police station saying they thought they saw him with contraband, but they eventually let him go without charge.

“They didn’t explain it to me,” Hill said. “They just took me in there, handcuffed me to a bench for an hour and a half. They were doing a search on the car. They searched the car for like an hour. They didn’t find nothing, and they let me go. The whole time they were telling me how they weren’t going to lock me up, that they were targeting my friend.”

“We thought he had contraband.”

Based on what evidence? That he’s black? Is that it?

They never, ever have to justify their “suspicions”. They make them and act as if everyone is supposed to just accept that they’re being honest. They’re aided by the false assumption many have that police officers are inherently trustworthy authority figures.  They aren’t. They are flawed human beings with the same hangups and issues everyone else has. They’re just as prone to racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia as the civilian population. They make decisions based on implicit biases, play fast-and-loose with logic, and are prone to cognitive biases-just like everyone else.  Unfortunately, they are in positions of power and the decisions they make-decisions that are often faulty-can have devastating consequences. And they so often do. Cops should be held to a higher standard if they’re going to have power over civilians.

* * * *

In what may become a case of the word of a black suspect versus the word of police officers (and we know who is going to be regarded as more trustworthy between the two), a Marine veteran is facing 15 years for allegedly assaulting police officers during a routine traffic stop. Oddly enough, evidence that could substantiate his claims of innocence appears to be missing:

Stuart Fitzgerald, who is black, was pulled over May 26 for flashing his high beams while driving in Orange County, Virginia, and police said he refused to sign a citation and stayed inside his vehicle when he was ordered out, reported WUSA-TV.

Video recorded by a dashboard camera shows an officer opening the car door less than two seconds after his first attempt, and the 53-year-old Fitzgerald steps out of the vehicle while the officer keeps one hand on him.

What happens next is unclear, because some audio and images from the dashboard camera and six others at the scene are missing or still haven’t been collected by investigators.

Video shows an Orange County sheriff’s deputy throwing Fitzgerald onto the four-lane highway, but there is no audio during that segment due to what has been described as a malfunction.

The footage also partially shows Fitzgerald’s head repeatedly hitting the patrol car’s hood – but the deputy claims Fitzgerald intentionally did that to himself.

Fitzgerald said he did not remember what happened at that point, but suffered a chipped tooth and facial injuries as a result.

Authorities said that Fitzgerald struggled until officers “placed him on the ground and restrained him,” but he denies fighting with police.

“I definitely was not, because I’m not a fool,” Fitzgerald told the TV station. “I’m not going to resist. I’m not going to fight them — I know better than that.”

The president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense League agrees with defense experts who say the video does not show Fitzgerald attacking officers, but the missing evidence essentially puts his word against the law enforcement officers’ accounts.

* * * *

Corrupt Cleveland police officers obstruct justice, refuse to testify against killer cop

Former Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo is currently on trial for manslaughter, after gunning down two unarmed people on November 29, 2012. Police pumped nearly 140 bullets into a vehicle occupied by Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. While at least 13 officers are known to have fired weapons at the vehicle, Brelo faces manslaughter charges after he jumped on the hood of the car and sprayed the two victims with 49 bullets through the windshield of the 1979 Chevy Malibu they occupied.

As the trial entered its third day, prosecutors expressed frustration with Brelo’s fellow officers, who have refused to provide witness testimony in the case.

Shortly after officer Michael Demchek was called to the stand, he announced that he would be pleading his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself. Prosecutors disputed Demchek’s right to take the fifth, saying that there is nothing in his testimony that would be used to incriminate himself.

Prosecutors responded to Demchek’s assertion of his fifth amendment right, by saying:

“This is what the state has been talking about – the blue wall – this individual would not come testify. He’s a police officer. His loyalty should be to the citizens…”

Amazingly, as lawyers for Demchek and Brelo sat quietly by, Judge John P. O’Donnell argued with prosecutors on Demchek’s behalf.

Demchek is one of a group of officers who has refused to testify as to what they saw the night that Russell and Williams were killed. Two other officers were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony. An additional two officers are demanding immunity, in exchange for witness testimony.

On March 31, prosecutors filed a formal brief with the court, in which they stated that the cops have refused to cooperate with the state, and asked that they be treated as hostile witnesses. WEWS in Cleveland reports that at least 16 officers with vital information on the case have refused to cooperate with prosecutors. Police union representatives are openly discouraging cops from talking to prosecutors or providing witness testimony.

Well, there are 16 officers who show their contempt for the court. What fucking assholes. They’d rather remain silent than testify against one of their own. Fucking tribalism.

* * * *

Caught on video, Washington cop admits to quotas, falsifying charges, & extorting the poor

The video starts out with the officer proclaiming how stopping these teenagers on the last day of the month, just helped him reach his quota.

“This is the last day of the month. I get every stat I need just off of you guys,” says the officer as he begins his rights violating confession.

“So you guys gotta make quota, huh?” asks the detained teen.

“We don’t have a quota. We have expectations. And what that means is, you will make so many arrests a month, you should write so many tickets a month, and you should haul so many dumbasses to jail a month. If we’re gonna pay you $100,000 a year, we should expect something back from you, shouldn’t we?” says the officer.

When the man replies, ‘yes’ that he understands what the officer just said, the cop then asks, “Would you like to be part of my quota tonight?”

The young man then asks the cop, “On what grounds [would you arrest me]?”

To which the cop replies, “‘On what grounds?’ Oh, I don’t know, I’ll think of something. How about aiding and abetting reckless driving?”

The officer basically admits that he will simply make up any charges he wants, just to make an arrest.

“Fair enough,” says the man, trying to prevent himself from being kidnapped by this officer for no reason.

“You better wipe that smile off your face brother, or I’ll show ya,” says the officer.

It doesn’t stop there, this officer then exposes himself for the true power-tripping tyrant that he is.

“Now, let me tell you what the difference between being a smart guy and a dumbass is. You sit there with that shit-eating grin on your face, let me see some id!” says the tyrant officer.

The young man then replies as he’s going to show the officer his ID, “It’s cool I got a clean record.”

That’s when the officer becomes brutally honest about how he can abuse his power to ruin innocent lives.

The officer replies, “Yeah, but you know what? I’m the guy that can make that record look dirty.”

At this point the officer then admits how the entire system is funded through this type of shakedown and extortion racket.

“You are a guy that’s gonna end up giving the city a lot of money,” says the officer explaining how the state aggressively pursues poor people to pay their exorbitant salaries. 

The officer then proceeds to massively flex his authority as the teen isn’t bowing down fast enough, screaming, “Shut up! Shut up!”

Here’s the video:

* * * *

U.S. Marshal goes berserk smashing woman’s phone for recording him on public sidewalk

In a YouTube video dated April 19, someone apparently positioned across the street from the incident captured video of a woman who was recording a group of men wearing tactical gear in South Gate, California.

The woman can be seen talking to the officers and recording them while they seemed to be ignoring her.

Eventually, a man carrying an assault rifle and wearing a different style of tactical gear walks toward the woman. As she backs up, he lunges at her, grabbing her cellphone with both hands. There is a brief struggle for the phone, but the man easily overpowers the woman and slams the device to the ground.

Here is the video of the incident:

The poor dears. I wonder why they are so opposed to being filmed. Aren’t they the good guys?

(there may have been a touch of snark in the above)

Police Behaving Badly 4.21.15

More of that nonexistent racism in the U.S.

On a regular basis, conservatives (and liberals on occasion) claim that the United States is a post-racial country. In other words, racism, racial discrimination, and prejudice based on race are all things of the past. Leaving aside the fact that people who feel this way have an incomplete understanding of racism (seriously, they need a 101 lesson), these ignoramuses are also blind to the individual examples of racism (rather than institutional or structural) that occur all the damn time. Here are just a few of the latest incidents:

NYPD officials embarrassed and powerless as cop blog fills up with racist comments

[We]ek after week, racist posts appear on Thee Rant, a blog for current or former New York City police officers: African Americans are called “apes;” a retired officer says one of the blessings of retirement is not having to work the Puerto Rican Day parade, with its “old obese tatted up women stuffed into outfits that they purchased or shoplifted at the local Kmart store; a Middle Eastern cab driver berated by an officer is termed a “third worlder” who should have his “head split open.”

And week after week, the department’s top officials are, at once, embarrassed and powerless.

“It’s very disturbing stuff. Outrageous stuff,” said Stephen Davis, the chief spokesman for the NYPD. “We see it. It’s a problem.”

At the heart of the problem are the limits the department faces in what it can do.

“Monitoring these things is challenging,” Davis said. “There are privacy issues involved. We can’t go and peel back email names and tags and try to find out who these people are.”

The issue of the blog, started by former NYPD officer Ed Polstein in 1999, has gained notoriety most recently after a white South Carolina police officer shot a black man to death. Shortly after a video of the officer appearing to shoot the fleeing man in the back went viral on the Internet, Thee Rant blew up with comments.

“Cop looked good in his stance,” read one post.

Polstein, who did not respond to requests for an interview, has said previously that anyone wishing to post on the blog has to provide proof that they are a current or former member of the NYPD. But whether they are, and how many have signed up, are among the many mysteries surrounding Thee Rant. The blog says it garners 120,000 page views daily.

* * * *

Officers arrest Kent man who threw a rock at a child and hurled racial slurs at him

Kent Police arrested a man for investigation of disorderly conduct after he reportedly called a 6-year-old African-American boy a “monkey,” and threw a rock at the child as he walked past the man’s home.

When officers arrived at about 6:44 p.m. on April 4 to the house in the 2900 block of South 256th Street, they found about 10 people, mostly African-Americans, gathered outside the man’s West Hill home, according to the police report.

A grandmother reported she had walked past the man’s place with three young grandchildren and the man yelled from his porch, “I don’t know what to call you people, gooks or monkeys.”

The grandmother and mother of the children confronted the man a bit later and he continued to use racial slurs.

The man told police he threw a rock at a dog to keep it out of his yard. He denied using any racist terms. He said he asked them if they spoke English or Spanish. An officer noted the man seemed to be clearly intoxicated as he talked to police.

* * * *

Deli owner who hung ‘White History Month’ sign struggling to keep business afloat

Flemington’s Jim “Jimbo” Boggess spent February feeling left out that African Americans get a month honoring their heritage, so he decided to declare March “White History Month.” Using his deli shop as a pulpit, he hung a sign in the window on the first of the month announcing that — unbeknownst to the rest of the world — March would be a time to celebrate white people.

The sign created an immediate backlash and Boggess’ deli was inundated with angry calls and messages. For his part, Boggess seemed baffled by the whole thing. Speaking with after five days of scandal, Boggess said it was just a misunderstanding:

“Boggess explained yesterday, ‘I love everybody, and everybody should celebrate what they are,’ and ‘I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white….’

‘I never meant it to be a black/white thing. I only meant it to be a white thing.’ But some people ‘twisted the meaning’ of the sign…”

This guy is deluded. He didn’t give this sufficient thought. He didn’t actually stop and think WHY a White History Month is necessary. Contrary to the beliefs of many white people in the United States, there is no need for a ‘White History Month’. White history is not ignored. It is not whitewashed. It is not downplayed. White history is taught in public and private schools at all levels of learning. White people have not had their achievements and accomplishments overshadowed and overlooked. White people have not been subjected to systemic oppression and discrimination nor have their children grown up in a society where they are devalued.

Needless to say, customers stopped showing up to Boggess’ shop. He eventually took down the sign, but the damage to his reputation was already done. Now, just a month and half later, Boggess says he’s essentially bankrupt.

Salivating at the sight of an anti-gay pizza shop getting close to a million dollars in just a few days (and all for simply saying they would hypothetically discriminate against gay people), Boggess set up his very own GoFundMe account, where he made a pitch to conservatives that he is another victim of political correctness gone amok.

This too, is pathetic. Boggess is not a victim of anything, certainly not of “political correctness gone amok”.  I’m not even sure how that would work, given that politically correct is defined as:

[…] an attitude or policy of being careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who are believed to have a disadvantage.

His business dried up. People stopped coming to his establishment. That has absolutely nothing to do with anyone being “PC”.  What a nitwit.

* * * *

 Cop who shot and killed Rekia Boyd cleared of all charges

After just four days, a judge found Chicago Police Officer Dante Servin not guilty on charges he shot and killed Rekia Boyd, a 22-year-old unarmed woman. Servin was off-duty when he opened fire during a confrontation with a group of people three years ago.

Servin, a decorated police officer who remained on the force but was stripped of his powers and assigned to desk duty during the proceedings, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. The judge ruled there was no evidence of reckless conduct in the case, which would have been required for the involuntary manslaughter charge and others, and dismissed the charges.

“Simply put, the evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried. There being no evidence of recklessness as a matter of law, there is no evidence to which the state could sustain its burden of proof as to the fourth element of the charge of involuntary manslaughter,” Judge Dennis Porter said. “Therefore, there is a finding of not guilty on all counts and the defendant is discharged.”

As soon as the verdict was announced, the courtroom exploded. Boyd’s brother, Martinez Sutton, shouted “that man killed my sister” as other family members cried out in disbelief. Guards escorted him out of the courtroom while Servin watched from the corner, blinking back tears.

As Servin walked out of court a free man, an emotional group of Boyd’s family, friends and supporters followed after him, shouting “murderer!” Servin, who spoke to cameras after the decision, maintains his innocence.

“I think it was a mistake for the state’s attorney to charge me, but I also explained to the family that if this is what they needed for closure – for me to be charged – I hope they got what they were looking for,” Servin said.

What a fucking insensitive, empathy-deficient asshole. I’m reasonably certain the family gained no closure. Putting his ass in jail-seeing justice done-would have been closure. They got the opposite of that.

Also, it wasn’t a mistake to charge him. He fired into a crowd of people and killed an innocent woman who presented no threat to him. Judge Porter made a horrible, horrible call and now a murderous cop gets to walk the streets a free man.

* * * *

Cleveland Indians fans are fine with racist propaganda representing their team

Baseball is back, and so is a hefty dose of good old-fashioned American racism.

At Progressive Field in Cleveland, opening day for the Cleveland Indians saw an 8-4 loss to Detroit and a boisterous protest staged by Native American activists and allies against the franchise’s continued use of Chief Wahoo — the troubling piece of “red-face” minstrelsy that’s served as the team mascot since 1951.

Indian Country Today Media Network reported that 150 activists, advocates and even a City Council member showed up to demonstrate April 10. “We are people, not your mascot!” some chanted. “Change the logo, change the name!”

The response from Cleveland fans was not pretty. ICTMN wrote:

Intoxicated fans mocked protestors [sic] at entrances to the field, making war whoops, screaming obscenities, and admonishing them to “get a job,” or “go back to the reservation.” After hours of drinking as game time approached many fans appeared as red faced and befuddled as the Chief Wahoo logo that adorned their clothing. A local radio station that was broadcasting in front of the stadium’s main entrance loudly blared fake powwow drum music.

Your fellow Americans, ladies and gentlemen.

Our fellow USAmericans indeed. So many of them would rather continue a racist practice than do the right thing and stop. The mascot of a baseball team is not more important than the people who have been trod upon and oppressed by this country for centuries now.

More of that nonexistent racism in the U.S.

Coming soon

To gaming consoles this summer:

(via Bleeding Cool)

To theaters at the end of the year:

(via Spinoff Online)

To theaters in a little over two weeks:

(via CBR)


to the small screen this summer:

Coming soon