Police Behaving Badly 11.27.15

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. Examples of such offenses occur almost every day. Many are likely not even heard of by the media. Moreover, law enforcement officials so often aren’t charged with crimes, and if they are, they’re found ‘not guilty’. While we can’t be sure cops will face punishment for their actions, we can be sure they’ll receive support from the community and politicians-no matter how heinous their actions are. It has become increasingly clear that we are living in something of a police state. Here are five recent examples that help paint an image of the United States as a police state:

Soooo, you know how cops aren’t always honest about incidents of police brutality? It has happened again. In October 2014, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.  This was the official police story at the time of the shooting:

A squad car arrived on the scene, and officers spotted the teen — later identified as Laquan McDonald — standing next to a car with a knife in his hand, Camden said. The teen began walking toward Pulaski Road and ignored the officers’ requests to drop the knife, Camden said.

“He’s got a 100-yard stare. He’s staring blankly,” Camden said of the teen. “[He] walked up to a car and stabbed the tire of the car and kept walking.”

Officers remained in their car and followed McDonald as he walked south on Pulaski Road. More officers arrived and police tried to box the teen in with two squad cars, Camden said. McDonald punctured one of the squad car’s front passenger-side tires and damaged the front windshield, police and Camden said.

Officers got out of their car and began approaching McDonald, again telling him to drop the knife, Camden said. The boy allegedly lunged at police, and one of the officers opened fire.

McDonald was shot in the chest and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:42 p.m. He lived in the 500 block of North Springfield Avenue, about 5 miles from where he was shot

Sounds pretty open and shut, huh? Kid with knife lunges at cop. Other cop shoots and kills kid. I could maybe see that as justified (though I’m curious why none of them had tasers on them). But here’s the thing-that version of events is not at all what *actually* happened. For over a year, the Chicago police have had video of the incident, but refused to release it. They were ordered to do so by a judge, and when the video was released, it was discovered that the official police story was bogus. There was no lunging at cops and McDonald was not a threat to the officers. In fact, he was walking right past the officers, when one cop-Jason Van Dyke-opened fire (a mere six seconds after exiting his vehicle), striking McDonald 16 times. You can watch the video for yourself.  Content note for graphic material:

Van Dyke has since been charged with first-degree murder, and while I’m glad for that, I’m not hopeful he’ll be convicted. Earlier this year, the Washington Post examined thousands of fatal shootings involving police since 2005 and found that only 54 officers had been charged and the majority of them were not convicted. As hard as it may be for people to believe, police officers in the United States are pretty much allowed to shoot and kill civilians with impunity.

****

On the list of the top 3 things that cops fear the most are Black People, other People of Color, and pets-specifically dogs. It doesn’t seem to matter how big the dog or the breed of dog. Cop after cop has killed a dog that has run up to them. Because apparently, only rabid, cop-killing dogs run up to a cop.  Makes me wonder how many of them have owned a dog before. But even worse than that is when cops kill a beloved pet that isn’t even approaching them, as in the following case:

The raid was captured on Reedy’s in-home security camera and the video was uploaded to Facebook over the weekend.

As the video begins, we can see the dog run up to the door barking and wagging his tail.

“State police, search warrant!” yell the cops behind their body-length military shield.

As the dog sees the shield and the gun he becomes startled and runs away. When the dog runs out of frame, it is clear that he posed no threat to the ten men in full body armor.

One cop can be heard saying, “less lethal up,” in a likely attempt to prevent his fellow officers from killing the innocent animal. However, at least one cowardly officer couldn’t wait to pull the trigger with real bullets, and a few seconds later a gunshot rings out and the dog is dead.

Reedy was not home at the time of the raid and when he returned, he found a horrific scene. Police had taken the body of his dog, left the blood puddle, and cut holes in the walls in a likely attempt to recover the bullet fragments that could be used against them in criminal proceedings.

(the story takes on another twist as the cops apparently tried to break into Reedy’s Champion gun safe with flat head screwdrivers-smart guys those cops)

There’s video at the link of the cowardly cops who shot and killed this man’s dog. When the revolution occurs and we overhaul police forces nationwide, we’ll need to hire law enforcement officers who are not scared of dogs.

****

I was sick of hearing the whining about liberals being ‘politically correct’ years ago. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, the whining about ‘PC’ often comes from people who don’t like being admonished for their words and actions, or from those who don’t like being asked to moderate their language, or those that do not want to be tolerant of the differences that come with an increasingly multicultural society. A Georgia sheriff has added his name to the list of regressive shitbags for whom intolerance appears to run through his veins:

Sheriff Mike Jolley, of Harris County, says he’s done being “politically correct,” and therefore he won’t be silent about his desire to see his town celebrate Christian holidays, as well as “salute our troops and our flag.” The sign – like the viral conservative meme before it – says if this new (old) way of doing things offends someone, they should leave town.

Oh yes, I’m sure he was silent about his desires prior to this sign being displayed. I’m sure no one in his conservative town knew his opinions.

According to Jolley, the sign is a hit in his deeply conservative town.

The elected sheriff, a U.S. Army retiree who has been in the position for 23 years, personally paid for the $553 sign, which includes an image of the county’s official seal.
“I believe it’s time for the silent majority to speak their minds,” Jolley told Reuters on Wednesday in a phone interview.

So far the response has been “overwhelmingly, humbling positive,” said Jolley, noting that his office has received phone calls of support from as far away as Hawaii. He has also heard from critics.

“There are some people who don’t like it, and I respect that,” the sheriff said. “That’s why I put on the sign that if you don’t like it, leave.”

An agent of the government in his capacity as a public servant demonstrating such a blatant preference for a specific religious viewpoint as well as being openly hostile to people who do not share his beliefs? I’m not sure how constitutional that is. If it’s not, I hope he gets slapped down hard. If he doesn’t like that, he can leave.

****

Ever since Donald Trump declared his intentions to run for the presidency, racist bigots have poured out of the woodwork to show their support for him. One of the latest really swell individuals to publicly express their support for the skirting-with-fascism presidential candidate is a New Jersey cop who launched into an anti-Muslim tirade on Facebook:

“I’m sure one cop out there ruins it for all. But I don’t hear anyone stating that I’m a good one. All I hear is that I’m with them too. A cop is a cop is a cop. Then a Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim,” Hudson County Sheriff’s officer Alex Pino said in part of his Facebook comment last week, before going on to defame Muslims.

If that’s “all you hear”, then you’re not listening. While there are indeed some people who say ‘fuck the cops’ and mean *all* of them, most of the criticism from activists is focused on the cops who harass, brutalize, arrest, detain, and kill civilians unjustly. Activists also want comprehensive policing reforms as well. None of that means that activists think all cops are bad. Bu you, Mr. Alex Pino? You’re certainly a human dungheap.

He later deleted the comment but someone took a screen shot of it.

Why ever did you delete your comment Cap’n Bigot? I mean it’s clear from the following screenshot that you meant what you said. So why not stand by your words?

“(EXPLETIVE) THE KORAN (EXPLETIVE) THE MUSLIMS (EXPLETIVE) THE TERRORIST. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT. (EXPLETIVE) ON THE MOSQUES. TEAR THEM ALL DOWN. WE SCCOMMODATE (sic) TOO MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE HERE. FOLLOW OUR KAWS (sic) IN PLACE,” he also said.

I just love that this screed is aimed at Muslims. Last I checked, the vast majority of Muslims in the United States are nonviolent citizens of this country. In fact, since 9/11, there have been more domestic terrorism acts committed by white men in the United States than Muslims. Seems to me this guy should be telling white guys to follow the laws in this country.

J.P. Escobar, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said that an internal investigation was launched into Pino’s comment on Tuesday, when the office learned about the comment. He said Pino is a sheriff’s officer assigned to the patrol division.

The sheriff’s office is conducting its own investigation into the anti-Muslim bigotry of one of its officers. This is supposed to inspire confidence in me that he’ll be punished…how, exactly?

In an interview with NJ Advance Media, Pino said he is a disabled veteran of the Iraq war who was deployed three times.

He said he is remorseful about his comment, which he posted “in the heat of the moment” and in “defense mode” in response to one of his Facebook friend’s comments. However, he said that it was being blown out of proportion. Rather than threatening others, he said, he was “defending myself and the people in the line of duty and my fellow veterans who gave their lives.”

Defending them from what? They aren’t in any danger. Not only are they not in danger, the cops who are being criticized don’t need defending. There are plenty of people dismissing their use of excessive force and supporting them every day. And I don’t even know why he thinks veterans need defending from critics (what they need is support from people who condemn the GOP for blocking efforts to provide benefits for veterans and I don’t think Pino is going to do that).

“We’re entitled to our opinions, and I had mine. I’m tired of being bashed all the time,” he said. “I’m in fear for my life… I have to protect my family, my children. I can’t take them to a movie theatre because I’m afraid about what’s going to happen.”

What fucking world does this asshole live in that he thinks Muslims are the people shooting up movie theaters? Here in the real world, it is white men who are doing that! Interestingly, he’s not excoriating all white men though.

****

‘Please don’t shoot me’: man shot by Miami cop

Michael Gavins was pulled over by two officers in South Miami a week ago for an alleged traffic violation at a gas station on U.S. 1, near the University of Miami. Gavins didn’t have a weapon, but said he ended up being shot in the chest.

“‘You can check me. You can check the car, you can do whatever you want. Please don’t shoot me.’ He paused maybe 30 seconds and the next thing I hear, ‘boom,'” Gavins explained. “If the overt action is putting my hands up, telling him I am not a threat, then I don’t know.”

He was ultimately charged with possessing marijuana with an intent to distribute and resisting arrest without violence.

“I just thank God that it wasn’t worse than it is. It could have been worse. I’m just glad to be here, be alive, you know?” Gavins said. “I could be gone right now.”

Sigh. It looks like the cop was just looking for an excuse to shoot someone and didn’t need a reason. Yet another example of how police officers across the country are out of control.

{advertisement}
Police Behaving Badly 11.27.15
{advertisement}
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!