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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 11,684

Journal Archives

Police Brutality at the Black Lives Matter Protests (Phase 2)

Apparently vimeo wants to track the viewers... sorry.

Video link to my earlier post: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100214386279

A New Platform Maps US Police Violence Against Protesters : Bellingcat

After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, protests erupted across the United States. They have continued ever since, spreading out across the country as Americans come together to speak up against systemic racial discrimination and the militarization of the police. While the vast majority of protesters have shown up to speak their minds peacefully and engage in nonviolent resistance, the state has responded with disproportionate acts of aggression. As Bellingcat has previously reported, police have also used violence against journalists covering the protests.

Together with Forensic Architecture, Bellingcat has identified, verified, and archived over 1,000 incidents of police violence against protestors across the United States since May 2020. The data can be accessed here, and is available for use and visualization.

Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture have engaged in active outreach with organizations, activists, and journalists to ground our work in the context of the protests and assist ongoing cases with our data. Similarly, we have reflected on the ethical impact of publishing and locating these incidents alongside the historical and analytical importance of archiving them. In order to avoid amplifying imagery that has not been widely seen, we have limited our published dataset to media that already has at least 5,000 views. For more details, please view our mission statement.

The data has been visualized using TimeMap, a platform developed by Forensic Architecture that maps the incidents in space and time. We have categorized the data into different kinds of violence and misconduct: Physical (Assault, Arrest/Detention, “Less-lethal” rounds), Chemical (Tear gas, Pepper spray), Destruction/confiscation of property, Permissiveness to the far-right, Hiding identity, Attacks on legal observers, and Attacks on medics.

We have published the map and the dataset in order to allow anyone to investigate the data and find patterns. Our analysis has shown that this behavior is widespread and ongoing. Police officers across the entire country, from different towns and cities, have used violence and deliberate aggression against protesters. This is not a case of one bad police department, rather it seems that this behavior is intentional and part of the country-wide protocol.

This is also violence that is, in some cases, rare for many of these cities and departments. There were some cities that did not previously have protocol around chemical weapon usage, because before these protests chemical weapons had only been used in specific SWAT team situations. Nevertheless, their police forces still deployed tear gas on protestors. The response to the first wave of protests has normalized this violence, despite public outcry and resistance.

This norm has maintained itself and continues to spread throughout the country.

While many organizations are working hard to achieve justice and accountability for victims of the violence, their job is complicated due to the unique concept of qualified immunity in the United States. This is why we believe it to be vital that these acts are archived and visualized, to create a historical record of the violence at these protests and to shed light onto the officers involved.

You can watch the video explaining the platform and the context of the protests, as well as access the map here.


Top FEC Official's Undisclosed Ties to Trump Raise Concerns Over Agency Neutrality - ProPublica


A top Federal Election Commission official, whose division regulates campaign cash, has shown support for President Trump and has close ties to his 2016 campaign attorney, Don McGahn. Experts said the actions raise questions about impartiality.

Debbie Chacona oversees the division of the Federal Election Commission that serves as the first line of defense against illegal flows of cash in political campaigns. Its dozens of analysts sift through billions of dollars of reported contributions and expenditures, searching for any that violate the law. The work of Chacona, a civil servant, is guided by a strict ethics code and long-standing norms that employees avoid any public actions that might suggest partisan leanings.

But Chacona’s open support of President Donald Trump and her close ties to a former Republican FEC commissioner, Donald McGahn, who went on to become the 2016 Trump campaign’s top lawyer, have raised questions among agency employees and prompted at least one formal complaint. Chacona, a veteran agency staffer who has run the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division, or RAD, since 2010, has made her partisan allegiance clear in a series of public Facebook posts that include a photo of her family gathered around a “Make America Great Again” sign while attending Trump’s January 2017 inauguration.

So much for draining the swamp. Replacing it with a sewer.

Heather Cox Richardson: "palpable sense of rats leaving a sinking ship"


This is a very powerful piece.

The theme of the day was the palpable sense of rats leaving a sinking ship as Republicans, administration officials, and administration-adjacent people distanced themselves from the president.

There was a foreshadowing of that exodus on Wednesday, when Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) let loose about the president in a telephone call with constituents. Sasse was an early critic of Trump but toned down his opposition significantly in the early part of the administration. On Wednesday, he reverted to his earlier position, saying he had “never been on the Trump train.” He complained about the way Trump “kisses dictators’ butts,” and went on: "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor…. [He] mocks evangelicals behind closed doors...has treated the presidency like a business opportunity" and has "flirted with white supremacists." He said: “What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?"

The theme of abandoning the administration became apparent yesterday, when officials leaked the story that intelligence officials had warned Trump against listening to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. This was a high-level leak, and suggests that more and more staffers are starting to look for a way off the S.S. Trump.
Meanwhile, at his rally tonight in Georgia, Trump told the crowd “You should… lock up the Bidens, lock up Hillary.” The crowd then began to chant “Lock them up.” But one thing about a bully: when people finally start to turn on him, there is a stampede for the exits.

Tonight, at his Georgia rally, Trump outlined all the ways in which he was being unfairly treated, then mused: “Could you imagine if I lose?... I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”

Can't imagine which country he and his family could go to.... I don't think vlad would have much use for him and his cohort any more.
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