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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

Journal Archives

There have been 204 mass shootings — and 204 days — in 2015 so far

The headlines all start to sound the same after awhile. Seven people shot inside Louisville nightclub. Four men shot in Suffolk early Sunday morning. Two dead, two hospitalized in Brice Street shooting.

The shootings happen so often, the circumstances become so familiar, that we tune them out. One dead, five injured in west Columbus shooting. Four shot in grocery store ambush. One dead, four injured in Stockton shooting.

Every now and then a particularly heinous crime makes us pause and reflect. Nine dead in shooting at black church in Charleston. Four marines, one sailor killed in attacks on Chattanooga military facilities. Gunman opens fire on Louisiana movie theater.

The Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd-sourced project of the anti-gun folks at the Guns Are Cool subreddit, lists 203 mass shooting events so far in 2015. Add in the shooting at a Louisiana movie theater last night and you get 204. Incidentally, yesterday was the 204th day of the year."

The Mass Shooting Tracker is different from other shooting databases in that it uses a broader definition of mass shooting. "The old FBI definition of Mass Murder (not even the most recent one) is four or more people murdered in one event," the site's creators explain. "It is only logical that a Mass Shooting is four or more people shot in one event."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Jul 24, 2015, 09:59 PM (7 replies)

Policing in crisis in the US

Washington, D.C.—The recent cases of police excessive use of force and the treatment against minorities in the in small, medium, and large cities, including rural areas—cannot longer continue to be ignored in the United States. Regardless if you are a “Liberal” or a “Conservative,” the fact of the matter is that something must be fixed.

Many books and journals have been written about reforming the Intelligence Community (IC), following the 9/11 attacks, but little has been written about the policing practices in the United States. Making things more challenging, police departments in the United States have been under pressure by government managers to reduce their operation costs, which absorb a considerable amount of their budgets.

Therefore, diversity training, and community policing practices including in most cases crime prevention has been diminished or completely taken out of the policing world in many police departments. Continuing education for officers addressing customer service and professionalization when dealing with people are nearly non-existent or not available. "

*The reality that policing is not something to be use as a means to impart force against the community or people they come in contact with and in particular minorities. I am saddened to see what happens every day more for what we see in the news every week now. Latinos killed for throwing rocks or people arrested for not putting off a cigarette.

Things that normally could have much different outcomes but somehow, in the police culture of these departments, something is not working. My hypothesis is that inside these police departments and their culture: Management condones racism and excessive use of force. Period.

*The people should be able to question why they are stopped or why they are getting arrested. The officers must get back to their mission and who pays their salary.

In Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, on September 2014, 43 students were arrested by police and it appears they complied with the demands of the police, after receiving a shower of bullets and a few killed in the interaction. Nobody knows where they are now. Are we in the US heading to a similar situation or should people be able to question authority? "


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Jul 24, 2015, 03:46 PM (1 replies)

Why Is It So Hard to Track Taser Use?

"Sandra Bland was threatened with a Taser even though she posed no harm to officers. She’s not the only one. "

In the video, Bland, the 28-year-old woman whose hanging death in a Texas jail cell is the subject of a federal investigation, is pulled over by an officer for failing to signal a turn. The officer, a Texas state trooper named Brian Encinia, exchanges words with Bland, then demands she step out of the car. It’s unclear why he made this request—he first asked her to stop smoking a cigarette, which Texas state law permits her to refuse—but he continues to insist on it, saying the demand is a “lawful order.”

And then: He appears to threaten her with his stun gun. Encinia tells Bland he will “light you up” if she doesn’t get out of her car.

The footage is disturbing, but it also reflects a common problem: Tasers are not only used by law-enforcement agents as less lethal alternatives to guns, or even as weapons for self-defense—but often as tools to get people to do what they want. "

*The Centers for Disease Control, which keeps some of the most comprehensive mortality data in the United States, told me it does not keep records on Taser-related deaths. The best source may be Amnesty International, which counted 540 Taser deaths in the United States over a 12-year period."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Jul 24, 2015, 03:05 PM (3 replies)

White Dad Mysteriously Dies In Police Custody

Saturday evening, Troy and Kelli Goode of Memphis headed off to a Widespread Panic concert in nearby Southaven, Mississippi. What should have been a nice night off for two young parents ended with Troy, a 30-year-old chemical engineer, loving husband and devoted daddy of a 15-month-old, being hogtied by the Southaven police, and soon after dying in their custody.

*Regardless of the exact cause of death, McCormack told Wonkette, “Everyone realizes that the real story here is how Troy was treated by the police. We have video of how he was treated. Everyone can see that they hogtied him. They strapped his head down while he was hogtied. It’s a shame that the Southaven Police Department isn’t focusing on their officers’ use of force.”

*And remember how Goode had asthma? A close friend of the family with detailed knowledge of the incident reports that Kelli Goode tried in vain to tell the officers that her husband had asthma and needed his inhaler, at which point they allegedly threatened to arrest her. This source’s account also describes Goode screaming, “I can’t breathe!”


The Movement for Basic Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT Americans Just Took a Big Step Forward

The movement for basic nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans just took a big step forward. Gay people all across the country now have a place to turn if an employer fires them because of their sexual orientation. That’s a big deal because explicit protections for lesbians and gay men are almost nonexistent in federal law, and 28 states also lack any explicit state-level protections.

The advance comes from a ruling by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination, which is outlawed by longstanding federal law. Back in 2012, the EEOC issued a similar ruling that discrimination based on gender identity or expression is also a form of sex discrimination that violates federal law. Both rulings are landmark advances for civil rights. Now anyone, in any part of the country, who works for an employer with 15 or more employees can file a charge of sex discrimination with the EEOC if she is discriminated against because of her sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. "

*EEOC ruling is a monumental step forward and provides important protections for millions of LGBT Americans. That’s something to celebrate!"

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Jul 19, 2015, 08:25 PM (3 replies)

End police brutality

Thirty-eight year old Sheldon Haleck died on March 16 after struggling with Honolulu police. After tasering the intoxicated man multiple times and pepper spraying him, officers handcuffed him while forcing him to the ground. He was unresponsive and pronounced dead that night, although the results from the autopsy were just obtained by Civil Beat earlier this week.

What’s wrong with this video goes far beyond excessive violence. It shows the harmful and unjustified actions of a person of authority — who is supposed to ensure security — on an unarmed civilian.

Excessive force in paradise

Instances of police brutality in the United States have recently caused a growing uproar from the public. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner are names you’ve probably heard of, and while these incidents struck places far from Hawai‘i, therecurring theme of unjustifiable police attacks has not overlooked O‘ahu. HPD officer Vincent Morre was recorded on security video Sept. 5 last year assaulting two bystanders after failing to find a suspect at a game room near Ala Moana. Morre throws a chair at one of the victims and kicks the other in the face.

*In May, Ka Leo published an op-ed calling for body cameras for officers. We can also lessen police brutality by encouraging the public to be adamant with their own video and photo coverage. It is a First Amendment right for citizens to record the police. Journalists and witnesses still run into the difficulty of being apprehended despite this right. However, we need to be resilient.

Incessant police violence should inspire and enrage both fellow officers and citizens. Under surveillance or not, officers should be people to run to, not from. What will we do in the face of danger if we’re more afraid of the cops than we are of the situation that called for their intervention?"

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Jul 18, 2015, 01:00 PM (0 replies)

Handcuffed Teen Is Slammed Onto Floor, Knocking Her Teeth Out


Police brutality allegations were prompted when a police officer slammed a teen’s face onto a hospital floor. The young woman suffered significant injuries, including trauma to the head, face, jaw, and teeth. She also sustained concussion, migraine headaches, cognitive and memory function problems, closed head injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)

The allegation of police brutality involves Colorado Springs Police Officer Tyler Walker and 18-year-old Alexis Akers."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Jul 17, 2015, 08:56 PM (18 replies)

Hate Is A Disease

Hate is a disease you catch from others who are already infected. It is contagious, virulent, and can be fatal unless the infection is caught in time."

Here is a list of symptoms:

Obsession with an person, event, or idea, to the extent that you cannot let go of it even when you try. Usually accompanied by a desire for revenge, “justice”, or for something you want from the person (or powers-that-be),.
The conviction that you are completely right and justified, and that the other party is absolutely wrong. Your attitude becomes self-righteous in the extreme.
You seek out other people who will agree with you and support the energy with which you have been infected; a lack of tolerance for anyone who disagrees with you. In fact, this disease almost compels you to infect others, even if you sometimes feel guilty for doing so. (Usually, however, the infection prevents you from feeling guilt simultaneously with the hatred.)
Usually accompanied by frequent,trong rushes of anger and/or rage, either topically initiated or from random stimuli.

Some experts believe that the antidote to hate is love; but infected individuals who have recovered state that smaller doses of subtler antidotes may work much better. “Love” is often too difficult to administer in sufficient dosages to a person infected by hate; an infected person often seems unable to digest even small doses of love when administered."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Jul 17, 2015, 11:09 AM (4 replies)

How Prison Reform Became a Presidential Priority

 "Obama’s prison visit would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. But organizing and advocacy created a new consensus."

 This week in Philadelphia President Obama made a bold statement to a packed auditorium of NAACP members, “Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it.” Today, he becomes the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.

We should not forget how unlikely either the president’s statement or his prison visit would have been just a few years ago. President Obama’s rousing speech to the NAACP in 2009, a few months after the start of his presidency (and the start of my presidency of the NAACP), included just two fleeting references to criminal-justice reform.

At that same convention, the NAACP made it clear that we were going to double down on ending mass incarceration. It was not clear that the nation’s leaders shared our concern. What a difference a few years can make.

* This new consensus involves sending drug addicts to rehab instead of to prison. It involves ensuring that offenders who go into prison illiterate leave prison knowing how to read. It involves demanding that the Department of Corrections actually helps correct the paths of our neighbors who have lost their way.

* The president, himself a former organizer, is fond of quoting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous charge to the then-preeminent black labor and civil-rights organizer, A. Phillip Randolph: I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it.

This is what it looks like when organizers and leaders from both ends of the political spectrum unite to do just that. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Jul 16, 2015, 09:17 PM (2 replies)

Obama to visit prison, seeking failed systems' reform

Washington (AFP) - Barack Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit a federal prison on Thursday, in a push to reform one of the most expensive and crowded prison systems in the world."

The statistics against US prisons are many: 2.2 million prisoners are housed in the United States, which is more men and women behind bars than the top 35 European countries combined.

During his visit to El Reno prison in Oklahoma, Obama will advocate for fairer sentencing and better professional integration for former inmates, among other measures.

"Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's" Obama said Tuesday, adding that prisons were four times less crowded in 1980 and two times less crowded just 20 years ago.

Nearly a quarter of the world's prison population is concentrated in American jails, while the United States accounts for less than five percent of the world's population.

One of Obama's first orders of business will be to change the duration of prison time for inmates."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Jul 16, 2015, 12:17 PM (15 replies)
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