Police Behaving Badly 4.28.16

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(close up image of lights atop a police car with accompanying text ‘Police Behaving Badly’)

There are police officers who dutifully perform their jobs. They police their communities with an eye on treating people fairly and equitably. These law enforcement officials also engage suspects with the minimum level of force sufficient to resolve a situation and they set an example as morally upstanding agents of the state who use their power and positions responsibly. Sadly, there are a great many police officers who are the opposite of good cops. These are the law enforcement officers who stalk, sexually assault, and rape people, whether on the job or off. These are the cops who use their power and privilege to terrorize, harass, and berate citizens, or to assault and kill them. These are the police officers who are supposed to set an example of proper behavior, yet lie under oath, falsify evidence, accept bribes, and undermine criminal investigations.  The following stories are examples of these shameful, immoral, unethical, deplorable officers of the law:

Documents Show Racist and Slur-Filled Texts Reportedly Sent by Former San Francisco Police Officer

Racist texts allegedly sent to and from a now-former San Francisco police officer are coming to light and have been released by CNN.

“I hate that beaner,” one text proclaims, “but I think the nig is worse.”

“Indian ppl are disgusting,” another reads.

The dozens of messages obtained by CNN are not the complete list of texts sent to and from former Officer Jason Lai, according to the network. The texts are at the center of an ongoing scandal that has had the San Francisco Police Department under intense scrutiny. Lai resigned from the department after the scandal exploded earlier this month, a police spokesman told CNN.

Lai’s attorney, Don Nobles, has insisted that the texts are “not reflective of who [Lai] is” and that “there is no evidence he carried out any of those sentiments as an officer.”

If making bigoted racial comments is not reflective of one’s character, then what is? That’s like claiming “Fags are child molesters” does not reflect on the [homophobic] character of the person who utters that bigoted line. That’s flatly asinine!  It absolutely *does* reflect on that person. The biases and prejudices we hold are *part* of our character. Yes, it’s a part that many people don’t want a light shone on. I can understand that. Most of us don’t want to be seen as bad people, and having people think you’re racist (or sexist or homophobic) is not how we generally want people to view us. We want to be viewed favorably. But that doesn’t mean our unsavory opinions and prejudicial views should be ignored or treated as somehow independent of who we are. Dude needs to own his statements, understand why they’re wrong, and work to overcome his biases. Will he?

Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether Lai “carried out” any of his sentiments (I’ll leave aside the question of how one “carries out” such racially prejudiced views. I’d think simply expressing them is an act of carrying them out). What matters is that he held and expressed them. By holding such beliefs about black people and Indians, his ability to treat citizens of those backgrounds with fairness, decency, and dignity is called into question. So yeah, those statements matter. And when you’re a police officer who is charged with protecting and serving the populace, you ought to treat *all* civilians equally. Not just the ones you like.

“He was well-liked and well-loved on his beat,” Nobles said of the former officer.

Nobles told CNN that the offensive messages were taken from Lai’s personal phone and were exchanges with some of his closest friends on the force, as well as others he had befriended on his beat.

“It’s hard to say any of those things in context,” Nobles added, “but there is context to it.”

I can’t wait to hear the context that makes “Indian people are disgusting” somehow NOT racially prejudiced.

In a series of texts dated last June, Lai reportedly details an incident involving a “bunch of hock gwais shooting each other.”

According to CNN, “hock gwai” is a misspelling of the Cantonese hak gwai, which is a derogatory term for African Americans.

“Sprained my ankle over these barbarians,” he continues, before adding that one of the suspects “went to the hospital after he got shot lol.”

Derogatory term for black people, huh? I’ll be over here in the corner holding my breath waiting to hear how context makes such a comment totally  not a shitty, bigoted thing to say (I may need volunteers to resuscitate me tho). While I’m there, I’ll be researching that term, bc that’s a new one. Seems like the racial slurs against black people is a bottomless pit.

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Pennsylvania cop threatens child on school bus: Don’t smile or I’ll drag you to the f*cking police car

The video was posted on April 13 but the caption doesn’t give much in the way of details. It says the officer works for the North Braddock Police Department. He walks over to a child seated on a school bus and leans over threateningly.

“Smile in my face one more time and I’ll be dragging your ass off this bus and back to that f*cking police car,” the officer says. “Don’t smile one more time.”

The video doesn’t show the child he was talking to, but the other children on the bus seem to be elementary school-age.

I’ve lost track of the number of authoritative thugs in law enforcement positions. It’s horrifying that people like this have a badge, gun, and socially sanctioned authority. Dude needs to be fired.

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It has only been a few days since the city of Cleveland paid out $6 million to the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old kid shot and killed in 2014 by police officers in less than 2 seconds of their arrival on the scene. The cops “feared for their lives” (quotes bc I’m fucking sick to death of that [all too often unjustified] excuse being used to justify the extrajudicial execution of African-Americans) and shot and killed the child, didn’t give him CPR, and didn’t allow his sister to administer any aid to him (hell, they put her in the back of the police car). And Rice didn’t even have a real gun. He had an airsoft rifle (and despite claims to the contrary, the video of the shooting does not show Rice aiming the gun at the officers). Well, guess fucking what?

Something extremely similar has happened again!

A 13-Year-Old With A Replica Gun Was Shot By Police In Baltimore

What officers thought was a handgun ultimately proved to be a replica BB gun, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told reporters.
The boy was expected to survive his injuries, Davis said.

At least the child will survive. No thanks to the officers.

“My thoughts and prayers are with him,” Davis said. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Fuck your damn useless ‘thoughts and prayers’, bc they don’t uninjure the child or heal his injuries. They don’t undo the emotional distress of his family. They are less than useless. If ‘thoughts and prayers’ were effective at anything, hospitals would be filled with priests. No nurses. No doctors. No technicians. Only. Priests. But they aren’t. Because thoughts and prayers are fucking USELESS.

Commissioner Davis said the two plainclothes officers approached the boy after spotting the 13-year-old holding the replica pistol. As they identified themselves as police, the boy ran, Davis said. The officers followed, and one of them shot the boy.

“Those police officers had no way of knowing it was not an actual firearm,” Davis said.

And yet, he was running away from them. Is it a requirement of police officers that if a suspect runs from them, they must shoot him? Are there no standards they should follow? Do their lives automatically become  threatened by someone running from them? I think cops should be held to a higher standard. They should be required to follow some rules and conditions. One of those rules or conditions ought to be determining whether a suspect RUNNING AWAY FROM THEM AND NOT SHOOTING AT THEM poses an actual threat. Is that too much to ask?

(rhetorical question, bc far too many people seem to think the tactics of cops around the country don’t need to be overhauled)

Police later released a photo of the replica gun that was found at the scene.
More details on what happened before the shooting were not immediately available, but Davis said police and the state’s attorney’s office would be investigating if the shooting was criminal or it violated police policy.
A witness told a WBAL reporter that the boy had yelled, “It’s not real” as officers said to drop it.

Apparently the cops didn’t hear that. Or they did and didn’t care. I wonder…was the kid black? Because that fits with the whole “cops not caring”.

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 Cops caught on video harassing lesbian inside womens’ bathroom thinking she’s a man

According to Complex, the video showing the unidentified woman’s encounter with the officers was posted by blogger Tamara McDaniel.

“This is a girl, and you guys are harassing her because she’s a d*ke,” the person filming the encounter can be heard saying, as the footage shows a woman wearing a red shirt, scarf, and black cap being questioned by the officers.

“You’re a man?” a male officer asks.

“I’m a f*cking female,” the woman in the cap replies. “Do I have to tell you again?”

Sadly, her pleas went unheard. It seems like those officers were really devoted to being the gender police. Unfortunately, the swath of anti-LGBT bills cropping up around the country-specifically the so-called ‘Bathroom Bills’, which target the trans community-are helping to create a climate of fear (or maybe they’re exacerbating the existing climate of fear) and emboldening people (including shithead police officers) to act upon their biases and bigoted beliefs.  No one should have to prove they belong in a restroom-the right to relieve oneself free of harassment ought to be a basic right we all hold. But the gender police apparently think they have the right to dictate who can go take a piss or shit based on their prejudices. In the post-Michael Brown, Jr. world, I would think cops would want to do their best to put on a good front. You know, show the public that they are truly dedicated to serving and protecting. That hasn’t been the reality though, as LEO after LEO seems determined to let the world know they are a first class asshat. Speaking of asshats, it has been a while since I’ve looked in on the NYPD…

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Bodega Association will fight profiling by NYPD

The Daily News recently published a story about a very disturbing pattern of discriminatory enforcement practices by the NYPD — predominately against immigrant store owners whose businesses are located in black and Latino neighborhoods.

As The News reported:

“Nine out of 10 nuisance abatement actions were against businesses located in neighborhoods where most of the residents are minorities. A large share of the alcohol cases were concentrated in just a few police precincts, even though there were others with equal or more underage alcohol sales that were rarely hit.”

White Privilege Alert!

White Privilege Alert!

Wait…White Privilege doesn’t exist (according to the scores of racist asshats on the Internet ((yes, I will continue capitalizing that word-I’m a rebel)) ). What to call it? What to call it? Eureka!
“Unearned benefits and advantages society confers upon members of a particular social group that enable them to move through life with greater ease and fewer obstacles than those who are not part of the in-group” Alert! *Much* better.

This kind of racial profiling is outrageous, especially since the de Blasio administration has made a priority of reforming police practices in minority communities. In fact, and with much fanfare, the city issued new guidelines to prevent racial profiling by the police.

I’m guessing the NYPD didn’t get the memo.

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Police Behaving Badly 4.28.16
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4 thoughts on “Police Behaving Badly 4.28.16

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    I’m so glad for people like you, reporting on these shitbags, getting the word out for those who might not pay attention to the right sites for this information. It needs to be spread around for all to see. Maybe one day it will be so impossible to ignore that we can finally get some reforms (although I know some people who think the US police can’t be reformed and the whole systems needs to be remade from the ground up).

  2. 3

    Fujimoto:
    With all that I’ve learned about modern policing in the US, I’m at the point where I think law enforcement cannot be reformed. I really think the corruption, the racism, the sexism, the misogyny, the homophobia, all of that-is just too tightly bound into policing to dig out. That’s not to say there aren’t good cops. I think there are. I just think that the problems are too deeply rooted in the fabric of how the police operate in the US (and that in turn is a problem with the criminal justice system as a whole).

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