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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Poll: 47% Say Cases of Excessive Force by the Police Are on the Rise

When it comes to the use of lethal force, only 49 percent of Americans are confident the police only use it when necessary. Another 45 percent believe the police are too quick to pull the trigger. Some may find it quite troubling that on such an important issue, only half are confident in police officers’ decisions.

There are significant differences in perception across race and ethnicity, as well as income and age. Younger, lower-income, and nonwhite Americans are considerably more likely than older, high-income, and white Americans to perceive injustice in the police force."

*There are also regional differences in perception of police abuse. Fifty-four percent of those in urban areas say the police are too quick to use lethal force, compared to 35 percent of those in rural areas. Southerners are also more likely to say abuse is on the rise—52%—compared to only 38 percent of those in the Midwest.
Republicans don’t think excessive force is increasing: 54 percent say it hasn’t changed much, and fully 70 percent say the police only use lethal force when necessary. Democrats see things differently; 57 percent say cases of excessive force is on the rise and 61 percent say the police are too quick to use lethal force. Independents agree with Democrats’ perception that cases of excessive force are on the rise—52 percent. However, 50 percent believe the police only use lethal force when necessary while 40 percent think the police are too quick to use it."


Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Oct 11, 2014, 07:53 AM (0 replies)

Ex-councilman alleges officer brutality during traffic stop

Former Houston Councilman Jarvis Johnson says he was slapped, robbed and held at gunpoint during a traffic stop last month by a Harris County Precinct 1 deputy constable and at least one other officer who responded to the scene."

Johnson, who owns Aunt Bea's Restaurant on Houston's north side, said he was headed to get gas around 10:15 p.m. after closing his business on Sept. 13, when he noticed flashing lights behind him and turned into a Gulf station on North Shepherd.

"The officer approached me with his gun drawn and pointed at my head. He then yelled expletives at me, asking me: 'What was I was doing?' He then went on to tell me that if I had turned down my (expletive) music, I would have heard his siren."

Johnson said he told the officer he was listening to his usual talk radio.

The deputy constable asked him to step out of the car and Johnson said he complied. As he turned to put his hands against the car, Johnson alleges that another officer slapped him in the face before he was handcuffed. The former councilman said he asked the arresting officer if the cruiser's dash cam was capturing footage and never received an answer."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:20 PM (2 replies)

Use of deadly force by police disappears on Richmond streets

A spate of high-profile police shootings nationwide, most notably the killing of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, has stoked intense scrutiny of deadly force by officers and driven a series of demonstrations across the nation and the Bay Area. But in Richmond, historically one of the most violent cities in the Bay Area, the Police Department has averaged fewer than one officer-involved shooting per year since 2008, and no one has been killed by a cop since 2007."

Magnus has done something in Richmond that he believes is not done enough in other departments: He's been willing to second-guess the deadly force used by other cops.

"We use a case study approach to different incidents that happen in different places. When there is a questionable use-of-force incident somewhere else, we study it and have a lot of dialogue," Magnus said. "It's a model that is used in a range of other professions, but in some police circles, it's seen as judging in hindsight and frowned on. In my mind, that attitude is counterproductive."

*Richmond police Lt. Shawn Pickett says Magnus changed the department from one that focused on "impact teams" of officers who roamed rough neighborhoods looking to make arrests to one that required all officers to adopt a "community policing" model, which emphasizes relationship building.

"We had generations of families raised to hate and fear the Richmond police, and a lot of that was the result of our style of policing in the past," Pickett said. "It took us a long time to turn that around, and we're seeing the fruits of that now. There is a mutual respect now, and some mutual compassion."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Fri Oct 10, 2014, 08:37 AM (26 replies)

White woman defends black man from police

Two Washington Metro Police officers - both black - were responding to a household burglary alarm in a posh District of Columbia neighbourhood and encountered a 64-year-old black man carrying two bags. When they questioned him, they say he became "loud and boisterous". They ordered him to the ground.

Just because he's black, doesn't mean he's here to rob a house”

At that point, a local resident - a middle-aged white woman named Jody Westby - came out from her house and confronted the police.

She instructed her housekeeper to record the events. She said she knew the man - a local worker - and that the police had no right to detain him. She told the officers that she was a lawyer and, upon learning the address of the burglary report, that they weren't even on the right street.

She grabbed the detained man's hand and said she was leaving, telling the police to "please leave our neighbourhood".

The officer reluctantly let Ms Westby and the man go.

As she walked away, Ms Westby said: "Just because he's black doesn't mean he's here to rob a house. He works for us. He's been in this neighbourhood for 30 years."

*As for the original burglary report, the Post says that the alarm was due to a wrong code entered by the home's occupant. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 01:17 PM (85 replies)

The awful people are right about climate change

n October 2006, The New Yorker magazine, the repository sooner or later of all human wit and knowledge, printed a prophetic cartoon on the subject of climate change.

By the veteran cartoonist Gahan Wilson, it showed an older couple sitting on their porch. The man is reading his newspaper, and although little is shown of him, his bald head and furrowed brow make him appear grumpy, as if he were reading without the help of a sense of humor. (There’s a lot of that going around.)

The woman, presumably his wife, is looking out on the landscape, which is utterly parched and barren — a climate-change apocalypse. “It’s a pity those awful people were right about the environment,” she says.

Those awful people, yes, and we all know their identity. In the estimation of climate change deniers, they are not only the scientists and environmentalists, but also ordinary people like myself — and with luck, yourself — who like a nice tree even if the urge to hug it is usually repressed."

*How strange this is. Many deniers go to church and honor the creator God but they cannot see their personal responsibility in cleaning up the mess humanity is made of His creation. They cannot see it even when Mother Nature comes down as if bearing the wrath of the Almighty.

When does the lobster figure out what’s going on with the boiling water and the pot? When does the hard-shelled denier look up from his newspaper or TV and see what others see?

The politics of denial is writing the obituary of the planet. Cause of death? Stupidity. What a pity. How awful that it won’t seem like a funny cartoon when it happens."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 12:26 AM (7 replies)

Dublin city councillors vote against fluoride

DUBLIN CITY COUNCILLORS passed a motion last night against the addition of fluoride to Ireland’s water supply.

The motion was passed by 22 votes.

It was proposed by Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Connaughan. Following the meeting, he said on Facebook:

The motion called for fluoride or any derivative to be removed from the Irish water supply, and to make it a crime for anyone to put it into the water supply, said Connaughan."

Saying there are “conflicting reports” about the issue, he said that “even our own government should be looking into it more” and that for him, removing fluoride is “in the interest of safety and erring on the side of safety”.


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 08:39 PM (3 replies)

Vikings DT Tom Johnson claims excessive force by police

Representatives for Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson are accusing off-duty police officers of using excessive force and violating Johnson's rights when he was apprehended early Sunday on two misdemeanor charges outside a Minneapolis nightspot.

Johnson's agent, Bardia Ghahremani, provided to USA TODAY Sports video from Johnson's cell phone as evidence it was "clearly not a hostile" situation before Johnson was tased and taken into custody for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

In the video, Johnson is heard refusing to give the off-duty officer his identification. Ghahremani said the end of the video shows the off-duty officer slapping Johnson's phone out of his hand, shattering the screen, and when Johnson bent down to pick it up, one of the officers tased him in the back."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 07:41 PM (1 replies)

A northwest Indiana family has sued Hammond police, claiming officers used excessive

CHICAGO (CBS) – A northwest Indiana family has sued Hammond police, claiming officers used excessive force when they broke a car window and used a stun gun on Jamal Jones during a traffic stop last month.

CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports Jones, his girlfriend Lisa Mahone, and Mahone’s two children were driving to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County on Sept. 25, after Mahone got a call from doctors telling her that her mother was in grave condition."

Hammond police pulled their car over because Mahone was not wearing her seatbelt, according to the lawsuit.

Meantime, Mahone’s 14-year-old son Joseph was sitting in the back seat with his younger sister, and began recording the encounter with police on his cell phone."

Disturbing video at link: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/07/hammond-family-sues-police-for-excessive-force-during-traffic-stop/
Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Oct 7, 2014, 12:00 PM (23 replies)

Spotted on Campus: Up-Armored Mine-Resistant Monster Trucks

With the cost of tuition skyrocketing, you may be wondering why universities are getting mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles – or MRAPs ­– which are designed for the battlefield and cost $700,000.

The answer is simple: They don't pay for them. We do.

Through a federal program, Ohio State University received a 19-ton armored truck called a "MaxxPro" last year. It's built to withstand ballistic arms fire and mine fields. And, unfortunately, it isn't the only campus Uncle Sam is helping to militarize. The University of Central Florida got a modified grenade launcher. And the University of Michigan's campus police are attempting to use federal funds to buy military-grade body armor.

Like other police departments, campus security can purchase military equipment through grants from the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice, or they simply get the equipment for free straight from the Department of Defense. These federal agencies provide the wartime weaponry and equipment with no training and little oversight, while federal taxpayers pick up the tab worth billions of dollars."

*Not surprisingly, the results of this excessive militarization are both tragic and absurd: militarized police aiming rifles at peaceful protestors on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri; a paramilitary SWAT team raiding a house in the middle of the night just to search for drugs; campus police armed with M-14 rifles and full riot gear. Incidents such as these demonstrate that arming police like soldiers makes us less safe by encouraging a policing culture in which law enforcement treats people like the enemy – rather than like those they are supposed to serve and protect."

*Students across the country should contact their administrations and tell them they don't need a militarized police force. Getting MRAPs off our campuses would be a great start. But building a movement that gets them off our streets entirely would be better still."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 11:59 PM (5 replies)

U.S. Ebola patient receives experimental drug from Chimerix

Oct 6 (Reuters) - After nearly a week in hospital, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States began to receive an experimental therapy initially developed to treat other viral diseases, according to the Dallas hospital where he lies in critical condition."

*On Monday, however, a spokeswoman for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said Duncan began receiving a drug called brincidofovir, made by Durham, North Carolina-based Chimerix Inc , on Saturday afternoon. The drug, which comes in tablet form, has never been tested on laboratory animals infected with Ebola let alone in human Ebola patients."

*Questions had been raised on social media about why Duncan had not received experimental treatments after he was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28. Medical experts said the choice of the Chimerix drug may have been influenced both by the deterioration in Duncan's condition and the therapy's safety profile.

"When a patient becomes sick enough, there may be a feeling of, 'should we give it a shot?'," said bioethicist Dr. Kevin Donovan of Georgetown University Medical Center. "This alone may have tilted them toward using it, rather than having him die 'untreated.'"

At least three other Ebola patients flown to the United States from countries in West Africa where the virus has killed more than 3,400 people received experimental drugs.

The patients included two U.S. aid workers treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, who received Mapp Biopharmaceutical's ZMapp in July and August. A third U.S. aid worker treated Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, who received Tekmira Pharmaceutical's TKM-Ebola last month.

All three recovered, but it is scientifically impossible to say whether the drugs played a role in their recovery, something only rigorous clinical trials can determine."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Oct 6, 2014, 09:41 PM (2 replies)
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