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

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How the law encourages police brutality

Had any of the men made any suspicious movements?” I asked.

“No,” said the cop.

“Did you have any reason to think the men were armed?”


“So why did you draw your gun?”

Trial lawyers are taught never to ask a question to which they don’t already know the answer, and I was breaking that rule when I asked the last question. But I figured no possible answer could hurt my client. Still, the cop’s answer stunned me:

“I was outnumbered.”

I looked around the courtroom, making a show of quietly counting on my fingers the other people there – the court reporter, opposing counsel, the clerk, the judge. Then I asked the officer, “Are you outnumbered right now?”

It is hard to imagine moving through the world and seeing every other human being around you, no matter how ordinary, as a threat. If I lived like that, I wouldn’t leave the house. But police are trained to see the world that way, and for at least fifty years, our courts have ratified their worldview."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Oct 31, 2014, 04:14 PM (2 replies)

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

Milton was a homeless, mentally ill African-American man, who was born on April 25, 1963, in Saginaw, Michigan. He was a community worker, and he was always there speaking out for those whom he considered the weak, for those who did not have the strength to speak for themselves.

He had a mental disability that became apparent as a young adult, from when he was probably 24 or 25. But in spite of this, he lived his life independently and with freedom."

He always would say everybody has equal rights. That was one of his songs that he sang all the time. So he exposed violations and campaigned for redress for people that he thought were victims.

Milton took action to ensure and promote equal rights, and that was part of his training that he got from working with Rosa Parks. He was always addressing institutional racism. I admired him for that.

Being an avid reader and a researcher, he was knowledgeable about oppression, particularly violence towards poor people, people of color , the homeless, and those who struggled with mental illness.

For him to be shot at 46 times and hit 14 times by all white policemen, it really raised questions in my mind. How they circled him and assassinated him. One policeman, after he was on the ground, turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on his back."

Disturbing video at link: https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform-free-speech-racial-justice/eight-police-officers-fired-46-times-my-mentally

Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Oct 30, 2014, 07:54 PM (5 replies)

Loyal Police Dog Being Treated Inhumanely on Chief’s Orders

It’s bad enough that we are constantly bombarded with tragic stories about police killing friendly family pets for often no reason at all, and it’s just as sad to learn that police aren’t even treating their own K-9s well. Jack is a Belgian Malinois police dog who has been forced to live in a squalid cement pen for the last two weeks. Why? Apparently because his partner decided to take a promotion with the sheriff’s department.

This comes from friends of Jack in an anonymous letter to the editor of Rowan Free Press:

♦ Behind the Salisbury Police Department (Salisbury, N.C.), in a cramped chain-link and cement dog run, a Belgian Malinois named “Jack” has been imprisoned, day and night, for almost two weeks.

Jack sleeps, exposed to the elements, on the cold cement often with his urine and feces his only company. He is not properly exercised, and his body shows signs of deteriorating muscle mass. At night you can hear the dog’s whimpering. He also shows signs of separation anxiety and social isolation, which can result in aggression in breeds such as Jack’s."

*Our photographer was able to take photos from behind the police department, where Jack displays signs of separation anxiety, physical neglect, and discomfort. Jack is located in one of the two 6’ x 8’ pens on the cement yard behind the police headquarters building. Jack has many friends in the Police Department, but they fear for their jobs to speak out."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Oct 29, 2014, 11:25 PM (8 replies)

Americans consider inequality world’s greatest danger

Nuclear weapons. Ethnic conflict. Global warming. Americans have a lot to be worried about these days. But what do they see as the biggest threat to the world? Inequality.

Americans aren’t alone. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Europeans, too, rank inequality as the top threat. "

For the United States, religious and ethnic hatred comes in a close second, after inequality, but only 7 percent think AIDS and other diseases pose the greatest danger.

U.S. concerns have shifted over the years based on what’s most immediate on American minds. The first time Pew administered the survey, in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, one-third of Americans ranked nuclear proliferation the biggest threat to the world. By 2007, after the U.S. had been involved military in Afghanistan and Iraq, religious and ethnic hatred rose to the top. The percentage of Americans identifying inequality as the biggest concern has increased from 17 percent in 2007 to 27 percent today."

*And even though Americans as a whole think inequality poses the greatest danger, they continually underestimate just how severe the wealth gap between the rich and poor is — at least in this country,"

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Oct 29, 2014, 10:07 PM (5 replies)

Cops do 20,000 no-knock raids a year

Most swat teams spend their time carrying out home raids"

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from "unreasonable search," meaning police can't bust into your home whenever they feel like it — they need a warrant, granted by a judge. Even a search warrant doesn't give police the right to enter your home by force — they're supposed to knock, announce themselves, and give you a chance to open the door.

But as the war on drugs ramped up in the 1970s and 1980s, police argued that criminals and drug dealers were too dangerous to be granted the typical courtesy of knocking first. In the early 1970s, the federal government made it legal for federal law enforcement agents to conduct no-knock raids — but the law was so widely abused that it was repealed a few years later.

Since then, though, a series of court decisions and state laws have carved out a set of circumstances that make it legal for police to raid a house without announcing their presence beforehand. This has happened at the same time that SWAT teams have proliferated around the country."

* In 2003, the commissioner of the NYPD estimated that, of the more than 450 no-knock raids the city conducted every month, 10 percent were wrong-door raids. That estimate came after a wrong-door raid resulted in the homeowner's death: when police broke into the home of 57-year-old Alberta Spruill and threw in a flash-bang grenade, the shock gave her a fatal heart attack."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Oct 29, 2014, 01:34 PM (1 replies)

Movement Conservatism and White Racial Paranoia Killed Michael Brown

"They are Also Destroying American Democracy"

*Research in sociology, political science, and psychology has revealed that those with “conservative” political personality types see the world in binary and simplistic terms, are intolerant of ambiguity, more afraid of social change, highly deferent to authority, and have brains that are more highly attuned to feelings of fear and threat.

Conservative authoritarians are also much more likely to be racist, prejudiced, and xenophobic. "

Conservatives’ political personality traits, media, and a predisposition towards both implicit and explicit bias animus towards non-whites is crystallized in their response to the killing of Michael Brown and other unarmed black people such as Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Jordan Davis.

The American Right-wing’s defense of those who kill black people ranges from a barbaric and instinctive impulse towards homicidal ideation (as seen by those who defend Darren Wilson and have donated money to him as a form of bounty or prize for the new age lynching of Michael Brown) to a more mundane and quotidian belief that black people are a race of criminals, and it is best for “public safety” that the police and other representatives of the state treat African-Americans in a prejudicial and unfair way."

More: http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/chaunceydevega/movement-conservatism-and-white-racial-paranoia-killed-michael-brown-they

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Oct 27, 2014, 11:09 PM (7 replies)

Why San Francisco Giants Fans Are Rallying Against Police Brutality

On October 16, during Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, a group of Giants fans and community members came together outside AT&T Park to protest police brutality. Organizers sought to show solidarity with St. Louis County residents following the shooting of Michael Brown, and to draw connections to the recent San Francisco police killings of Alex Nieto and O’Shaine Evans.

Demonstrators stood below the larger-than-life statue of Willie Mays outside the stadium, holding signs and leading chants inspired by baseball terminology and the Ferguson protests. Organizers also launched a sailboat covered in banners into iconic McCovey Cove, a creek mouth flowing into the bay just beyond right field, where fans often go out in boats hoping to catch Giants home runs, affectionately dubbed “splash hits.”

After the rally, protest organizer Juana Teresa Tello said, “Both cities want our teams to win, but it’s important for both cities to know that no one wins when police brutality happens.”

Video at link: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/why-san-francisco-giants-fans-are-rallying-against-police-brutality
Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Oct 27, 2014, 04:08 PM (2 replies)

Man drops cigarette, runs over own head

AURORA, Colo. — An unidentified Colorado man suffered life-threatening injuries Sunday morning when he jumped out of his vehicle to avoid being burnt by a lit cigarette he had dropped down the front of his jacket — and was run over by his own car."

The incident occurred on the 15900 block of East Nassau Drive in Aurora at 6:37 a.m. while the man backed his vehicle out of a driveway.

As the driver jumped out after the cigarette fell, his van kept rolling backwards and he was knocked to the ground. The front driver's side tire rolled over his head.

He was transported to a local hospital and is in critical condition, though police say he will likely survive."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Oct 27, 2014, 01:49 AM (11 replies)

Odds Are, You Are Suspicious

When you get off a train, do you get off ahead of passengers? Or do you get off behind passengers? When you're going on a trip, do you come off as nervous? Or are you an unusually calm traveler? How about if you make a phone call at a station, do you look around? Or do you stare straight ahead?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, you'd better figure them out now. Because unless you get off in stride with other train passengers, live at the elusive intersection between anxiety and tranquility, and close your eyes during phone calls, you're a suspicious person subject to questioning by Amtrak police."

Unusual nervousness of traveler
Unusual calmness or straight ahead stare
Looking around while making telephone call(s)
Position among passengers disembarking (ahead of, or lagging behind passengers)
Carrying little or no luggage
Purchase of tickets in cash
Purchase tickets immediately prior to boarding

*While Amtrak certainly has an interest in keeping its passengers safe, it is using the same heavy-handed, dragnet approach that we've seen in many of the government's other counter-terrorism and drug trafficking prevention efforts. As we have seen with Suspicious Activity Reports and the TSA's SPOT program, reporting based on broad categories of "suspicious" behavior is problematic because it almost always results in racial and religious profiling, as well as the targeting of perfectly innocent activity. Most importantly, building mountains of irrelevant data is ultimately an ineffective law enforcement tactic."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Oct 24, 2014, 11:53 PM (4 replies)

LAPD Investigates Excessive Force Claim Made During Drug Possession Arrest

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating one of their own after a complaint of use of excessive force during an arrest, officials said Friday."

*An officer kicked and beat Clinton Alford, 22, as the suspected drug holder was being held down by other officers, the Los Angeles Times reported."

The four officers involved in Alford’s arrest and a sergeant who later arrived at the scene have been relieved of duty with pay during the investigation, according to The Times.

Alford, who suffered “a gash on his ear,” was taken to a hospital, where he received stitches and “a head scan,” the newspaper reported, adding that Alford was booked and released on his own recognizance.

“I was just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on,” Alford told the newspaper."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Oct 24, 2014, 10:47 PM (0 replies)
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