Let. The Motherfucker. Burn.

from the 'not-all-cops'-said-the-bucket-brigade dept

Warning: this post will contain what we in the business like to call strong language, invective, and violent content. Govern yourself accordingly.

Content warning 2: possibly exceedingly long.

ONCE UPON A TIME, A MAN GOT FUCKED

Let’s start with a story:

(Those of you who’d like to read a transcript, rather than watch this powerful performance by Orlando Jones [possibly for “Dear God, I’m still at work” reasons], can do so here.)

This is the history of black Americans. For a few hundred years, they weren’t even Americans. And even after that — even after the Civil War — black Americans spent a hundred years being shunted to different schools, different neighborhoods, different restrooms, different bus seating, different water fountains. They are not us, this land of opportunity repeatedly stated.

Integration was forced. It was rarely welcomed. Being black still means being an outsider. Four hundred years of subjugation doesn’t just end. This is how the story continues:

A hundred years later. You’re fucked. A hundred years after that. Fucked. A hundred years after you get free, you still getting fucked out a job and shot at by police.

Fucked.

That’s George Floyd. The Minneapolis resident allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a local store. The penalty was death — delivered extrajudicially by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Officer Chauvin put his knee on the neck of the handcuffed Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This continued for more than two minutes after Officer Chauvin had checked Floyd’s pulse and stated he “couldn’t find one.”

It was all captured on video:

A man was dead under Chauvin’s knee and yet he never moved. No one around him moved either. The other three officers at the scene watched Officer Chauvin kill a man, and not a single one of them did anything to prevent this from happening.

The good news is they’ve all been fired. The other news — with the “good” excised — is Officer Chauvin is being criminally charged. That’s only news. Buy your insurance now because it’s almost guaranteed Minneapolis will burn again once a jury has had a shot at this thing.

First, there’s the murder charge. We all want this but there’s little that supports it. It looks like murder, but the state has to prove things it’s probably not going to be able to prove — especially when the people doing the prosecuting aren’t all that interested in prosecuting cops.

Third-degree murder is the most minimal of murder charges and even that might not be enough to drag Officer Chauvin into the crushing wheels of the carceral state. As Scott Greenfield explains, there doesn’t appear to be enough to justify this charge in what’s been seen in multiple videos. It appears Chauvin deployed a restraint technique that’s been given a thumbs up by multiple law enforcement agencies.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with Murder 3, a not-insignificant charge even if it lacks the panache of Murder 1, with a potential sentence of 25 years in prison. Unlike intentional murder, the mens rea under Minnesota Statutes § 609.195 requires only a “depraved mind.”

609.195 MURDER IN THE THIRD DEGREE.

(a) Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.

Yet, the complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney made almost no effort to assert that the elements of the charge were met, that Chauvin was “perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”

While the video clearly showed Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, which was naturally assumed, for obvious reasons, to have been the cause of death, that alone does not suffice to meet the element that it was an “act eminently dangerous.” It’s hardly an undangerous immobilization technique, but it’s also not an uncommon restraint, and is a permissible use of force in Minneapolis. That it’s only supposed to be used to restrain someone actively resisting gives rise to a departmental violation, but doesn’t elevate a lawful use of force to an eminently dangerous act.

If that falls, we’re left with manslaughter. And that probably won’t be enough to convince anyone Chauvin has been punished enough for continuing to use his knee to “restrain” Floyd for almost three minutes after a cop couldn’t detect his pulse.

Then there’s the preliminary findings by the coroner, which have a bunch of “GET OFFICER CHAUVIN OUT OF JAIL FREE” excuses already built in. But let’s start with the police officers who allowed Officer Chauvin to kill George Floyd. One officer deployed an excuse constructed by a manufacturer of “non-lethal” weapons to excuse almost any death in police custody.

“I am worried about excited delirium or whatever,” Lane said.

From that, we run into the details of the coroner’s report. These are preliminary, so they will change. But the exonerative text is already in there, ready for deployment by tough-on-crime politicians, media personnel willing to act like PD stenographers, police union officials (and the police union in Minneapolis is one of the worst), and anyone else seeking to justify Chauvin’s actions.

George Floyd didn’t die because Officer Chauvin crushed Floyd’s neck with his knee for almost nine minutes — most of which were spent with Floyd stating he couldn’t breathe. He died because he was going to die, with or without Officer Chauvin’s intercession.

The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.

George Floyd died of heart disease, you guys. It coincidentally killed him while he was having his neck compressed by a cop who checked his pulse and discovered he was likely already dead and continued to compress his neck for another two minutes. Also peep the “potential intoxicants,” which probably gave George Floyd the superhuman strength he needed to stay alive for seven of those nine minutes before succumbing to “coronary artery disease.”

If Chauvin walks, Minneapolis burns again. Multiple cities burn. Unlike other killings of black men by cops, this has prompted intense protests across the nation. This one — committed in full view of multiple phones and at least one nearby CCTV camera — shows cops do not give a fuck who is watching. They will do what they want to do and roll the dice on a favorable ruling by federal courts.

LET IT BURN. LET IT ALL BURN.

In response to this killing, Minneapolis burned. Looting accompanied the protests, as is often the case. We can argue about the positive/negative effects of looting for as long as you want in the comment threads, but let’s take a look at a couple of facts.

We have had riots in America for years. And looting. Those arguing that the destruction of businesses during these protests is counterproductive need to have their memories refreshed. This nation began with the looting of British ships. A whole offshoot of the “rule of law” party (also the “free speech” party, which is currently headed by someone seeking to directly regulate social media platforms) named itself after protesters who boarded British ships and threw their merchandise overboard.

Even if you decry the the destruction of local businesses which may not have the funds to recover from this unexpected turn of events, you cannot argue with protesters going straight to the source of the problem.

And, as a bonus, the thin blue line between us and chaos being filmed abandoning their posts and leaving us to the chaos they could never protect us from, no matter how many black men they killed.

The cops fucked this up. The cops should pay. Unfortunately, it will be taxpayers funding the rebuilding of the Third Precinct station in Minneapolis, but, by all means, burn every cop car, precinct, etc. that stands between black Americans and the respect of their rights.

The message is clear: cops are the problem, not the solution. Burn the shit that means something to them — the stuff that protects them from the people — and see where we all are at the end of the day.

Let’s take the long view. What has this accomplished? Here’s a list of riots sparked by police violence against minorities — one dating back nearly 60 years.

1965: Los Angeles
1967: Newark
1967: Detroit
1968: King assassination
1980: Miami
1992: Los Angeles
2001: Cincinnati
2014: Ferguson
2015: Baltimore
2016: Charlotte

What did that get us? Burning small parts of the system to the ground got us Nixon (who ran on a “tough on crime” platform following the riots in the 1960s) and a immensely-harmful drug war that has done nothing to slow the supply of drugs but has done everything to improve the bottom lines of PDs and prosecutors.

Cops haven’t changed. And they haven’t changed despite having every reason to. Several dozen cop shops are operating under consent decrees with the Department of Justice because they can’t be trusted to not violate rights en masse on their own. The rest are still acting like it’s a war zone out there, cladding themselves in cast-off military gear and equipment even as crime rates remain at historic lows. It’s tough to be a cop out there, say cops, even as unimpeachable data says otherwise to a bunch of impeachable cops.

But let’s just say you’re arguing that riots/protests/looting don’t solve anything. Let’s look at the data again. Here are the years where nothing happened:

1966
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2017
2018
2019

Did not attacking cops help then? Did leaving retail outlets intact make policing better? Did a lack of looting force cops to realize their systemic bias was hurting communities? Did all of this non-action bring us to a better place in terms of our relationship with law enforcement? (Those of you who are not minorities can put your hands down. Thanks.)

Short answer: it did not. The boot stamping on a human face forever is the past, present, and future. This image was personified by Officer Chauvin, who placed his knee on the neck of a human being suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill until he died. And continued to perform this inadvertently symbolic move for nearly another three minutes after that.

If it’s going to burn — and it should — it should start with those who have earned the flames. Cop cars are burning. Police stations are burning. Good. There is nothing wrong with this. The cops pretended to fear us whenever it was convenient. They claimed their subjective fear that someone might have a weapon justified every bullet they pumped into a person. Then they did nothing when people carrying actual guns marched on government buildings to demand access to restaurants and haircuts.

Fuck them. If you’re going to cry about the threats separating you from making it home to your family every night, at least be consistent. And if you can’t be consistent, at least restrain yourself from killing non-resistant people in the street in front of several cameras. And for fuck’s sake, if you can’t do that last part, it just means you don’t fear the public and their representatives. It means you think the courts will clear you, if not your own department and union. No public official deserves this much deference, trust, or unearned protection.

YOU OWE US.

That obligation has never changed. The only thing that has changed is the other branches of the government, which have decided — either through QI rulings or deference to police unions — that the public matters less than those sworn to serve it.

This is not me wading into a recent controversy with my eye on harvesting clicks. This is me — and this site — covering the abuses perpetrated by law enforcement agencies for years. There is nothing anomalous about this event. It just shows accountability can’t be brought solely by the mute witnesses of criminal acts by law enforcement officers. We have our cameras pointed at them. They have their own cameras. And yet, they still don’t care.

If this is how they want it, we have the power to give it to them.

Be the god of righteous hellfire. All these years of not setting fire to the possessions of an invading force intent on treating fellow citizens as enemy combatants has done nothing.

Let the motherfucker burn.

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Comments on “Let. The Motherfucker. Burn.”

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220 Comments
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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

I want to say two things.

  1. A not-zero number of the peaceful protests around the country this past week didn’t turn violent until the police showed up and inflicted their violence upon protestors. The cops are the ones who use tear gas — which isn’t even allowed in wartime use under the Geneva Conventions! — and dress up in all-black Stormtrooper gear to wage war against people exercising their First Amendment rights.

  2. The police decide if they’ll attack protestors long before a protest even starts. The lack of violence from protestors never factors into how violent the cops will act. Protestors like MLK chose principled non-violence as a strategy because they knew cops would 100% be violent to them and thus create martyrs out of the protestors.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Treat the public as the enemy, claim that they are such a huge threat that you ‘feared for your life’ and therefore were justified in ending the life of another on a routine basis and eventually they will return the favor.

There are times when ‘I told you so’ does not carry any satisfaction, where it would have been vastly preferable to admit to being wrong over facing a demonstration that you were right. I just wish this was at all surprising rather than just as inevitable as watching someone throwing rocks straight into the air and eventually being brained by one of them.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 JFK's quote

And by "AntiFa" you mean… white supremacist groups play-acting:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1221456?__twitter_impression=true

And their messages driven by extremist propaganda groups:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/technology/george-floyd-misinformation-online.html

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 JFK's quote

"AntiFa has made peaceful revolution impossible."

A man is forced to the ground by a law enforcement officer, choked until his pulse was confirmed stopped by another cop, then choked for another three minutes just to make sure he was dead.

And your takeaway of this is a whine that "Oh, but look at those AntiFa"?

Pretty clear that premeditated execution-style murder performed by the police isn’t even on your radar. You – and all too many like you, on other forums – actually have the balls to show up and try to make this a thing about political keywords.

Only in America.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

AntiFa radical

Funny thing: Radical anti-fascism was a huge thing in the United States at one point in time. You might remember hearing about a specific radical antifascist group in school or seeing movies about that group enacting its violence towards those deemed “fascists”. It was called “the United States military”; the target of its violence was the Nazi regime and its allies.

“AntiFa” doesn’t exist, in the sense that “AntiFa” is a large, organized, centralized group of people. “AntiFa” is an ideology (anti-fascism). Yes, several groups around the country use “AntiFa” in their names. But they’re what you might call stand-alone complexes — small groups with a common shared ideology that share no leaders and aren’t part of/led by a much larger group.

A government doesn’t announce that it has become fascist. It announces the moment when it declares anti-fascists to be enemies of the state.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"…you AntiFa radical."

It’s fairly telling that from your viewpoint I guess anyone who isn’t actively a white supremacist would be considered a radical.

Ironically the very idea that fascism is a good thing is a collectivist one, and usually found only in ultrauthoritarian dictatorships, national socialism, and authoritarian communism.

What is truly pathetic is that where the nazis at least weren’t afraid of proclaiming their allegiance, you guys go the distance to obfuscate the issue because chtulhu forbid anyone should find out the reason you’re all out in force right now is mainly because you’re upset that people in general are outraged over the execution-style killing of yet another black man rather than cheer it as a glorious moment for White America.

Pathetic and impotent whining is all your kind is good for. I guess the only racists with balls to speak of died at the guns of your own grandfathers in the second world war.

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Anonymous Coward says:

George Floyd didn’t die because Officer Chauvin crushed Floyd’s neck with his knee for almost nine minutes — most of which were spent with Floyd stating he couldn’t breathe.

Pressure to the neck can kill without crushing the wind pipe, as it can also restrict blood flow to the brain.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Someone should really look into the aura of death/lethal luck that apparently surrounds police, where people just up and die for reasons completely unrelated to the actions of the police and where it was just dumb luck that the police happened to be in the area when the person died.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Have you seen the looters and arsonists? They absolutely deserve a knee on their neck. Or more."

So because "looters and arsonists" deserve an execution-style killing, according to you, a person who was neither looting nor killing should be murdered in advance?

You realize that by THAT logic you yourself should are in line to be pre-emptively killed?

I’m not sure what’s worse. That your arguments here sound so hateful even Hitler would shed tears of pride or that you might be a troll so tonedeaf you’re seeing the documentary of a murder as a good way to get your jollies off.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m not sure what’s worse. That your arguments here sound so hateful even Hitler would shed tears of pride or that you might be a troll so tonedeaf you’re seeing the documentary of a murder as a good way to get your jollies off.

In either case file them into the ‘disgusting, pathetic example of humanity’ category and ignore, because they really aren’t worth the effort and they certainly aren’t worth getting worked up over.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"In either case file them into the ‘disgusting, pathetic example of humanity’ category and ignore, because they really aren’t worth the effort and they certainly aren’t worth getting worked up over."

Well, I guess in the absolute best of cases they’re just the man-shaped garbage marching in lockstep with Ernst Röhm and his SA thugs.

It’s no wonder they’ve crawled out in force jizzing bile all over – after all, what the rest of us consider an abominable horror show they felt was high entertainment.

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Anonymous Coward says:

We keep being told it’s only a “few bad apples” yet the barrel keeps getting more rotten. When 3 LEOs do nothing as a fourth kills a human then there are no “good cops”. Time and again this phrase is trotted out yet the “good cops” never seem to stop the bad apples. A cop is good until they are in a bad situation and then cover as all the others do.

Protect themselves and Serve a bullet is actually their motto

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

When 3 LEOs do nothing as a fourth kills a human then there are no “good cops”.

And now you know why people say “all cops are bastards”. It’s not an indictment of every individual officer — it’s an indictment of the system that reveres a status quo, that treats people inequally based on race or wealth or other such factors, that would rather place the lives of those who work forces above those upon whom that force is inflicted. It’s an indictment of grand juries letting cops go free, of qualified immunity, of “I feared for my life”.

All cops are bastards because all cops work in a system designed to make them bastards, either by association or by direct action. Anyone who says otherwise has a boot between their lips while they’re saying it.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not entirely true, might just be me but the message I’ve always got from articles like this is that TD/Tim Cushing has no problem praising police when they get it right(an article highlighting a raid that went wrong and the one in charge admitting that it was their fault comes to mind), but they will absolutely tear into police that get it wrong.

TD is pro-cop, what they aren’t is pro-corrupt cop or abuses by cops.

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Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

TD is pro-cop, what they aren’t is pro-corrupt cop or abuses by cops.

Do you know why people say ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards)? They don’t mean all cops are white supremacists or corrupt and power-hungry. They mean that the cops who are white supremacists and power-hungry poison the culture of policing such that the good ones can’t find an iota of wiggle room to regain trust of the people. The "bad apples" poison the apple barrel so much that the water and the wood are poisoned as well (metaphorically speaking).

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Oh I’m very much in the ‘a good cop who covers for a bad cop is not a good cop’ camp, I just feel it’s important to make the anti-cop/ant-corrupt cop distinction to preemptively shut down a possible dismissal I’ve seen before, where people try to dismiss criticism levied against police as baseless, based not on actions but simply due to the ones under the microscope being cops.

By making it clear that the criticism is aimed at the actions rather than the uniform the focus is kept on the actual problems rather than a strawman, which does not exclude the ability to criticise rampant corruption in general that may/absolutely does exist.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Techdirt is now openly advocating violence and destruction.

I read the article not as advocacy for violence and destruction, but as advocacy for understanding the roots of why it happens. You can’t solve this problem without first understanding why it happens — and if the people who could solve this problem refuse to do that…well, while I don’t condone the riots (and especially the destruction and violence from people like White supremacists and undercover cops), I sure as hell understand it.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Why am I not surprised that the usual commenters are fully on board?"

And the usual pro-fascist troll is deliriously happy that people are actually angry over seeing a police officer executing a person on open camera.

If there was any doubt whether you were human at all or your arguments had credibility, the sheer chutzpah you have in swinging over to sling a few barbs over the fresh corpse of a murdered man sets many of those doubts to rest.

Let me guess that you are simply peeved that what you saw as a glorious moment for white people everywhere provoked an angered response? Truly, a Very Fine Man, you are.

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Federico (profile) says:

Redundant assets

There is one kind of facility of which there’s a clear surplus, and which would not need to be rebuilt if burnt down to ashes: prisons. Especially private prisons. In Europe it’s common for demonstrations to go around prisons, doesn’t it happen across the Atlantic?

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TripMN says:

Re: Re: Re: Redundant assets

If we here in the US were to storm a private prison and burn it to the ground, the prison owners undoubtedly would figure out how to get every one of the guards out but also have every inmate miraculously die in the fire.

I wish this was sarcasm.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Redundant assets

If we here in the US were to storm a private prison and burn it to the ground, the prison owners undoubtedly would figure out how to get every one of the guards out but also have every inmate miraculously die in the fire.

I very much doubt the owners would do anything at all to get the guards out. They don’t care about the guards. They would just get on the phone to their insurance company to make sure they don’t lose any money.

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K`Tetch (profile) says:

“and any potential intoxicants in his system”

This was the phrase that screamed coverup to me.

What’s the proceedure that’s SO standard for an autopsy, it’s one that can be performed on living bodies. – a blood sample for intoxicants.

Either the coroner failed to do THE most basic and routine test he can do, or he did it, found nothing, and needed to create a phrase to seed doubt.

If you can’t detect if there were intoxicants ***AT AN AUTOPSY*** when the fuck can you?

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K`Tetch (profile) says:

“and any potential intoxicants in his system”

This was the phrase that screamed coverup to me.

What’s the proceedure that’s SO standard for an autopsy, it’s one that can be performed on living bodies. – a blood sample for intoxicants.

Either the coroner failed to do THE most basic and routine test he can do, or he did it, found nothing, and needed to create a phrase to seed doubt.

If you can’t detect if there were intoxicants ***AT AN AUTOPSY*** when the fuck can you?

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TripMN says:

Re: Re:

Why does it matter? Every time the cops kill someone they go dig in their past and pull out every piece of mud they can to smear the person and prove that they deserved it. What they don’t do is own up to the situation as is. In that moment was their a reason for his knee to be on his neck for 9 minutes? No? Then bad cop, that’s murder.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Good men can do something and still be thwarted by the system. A good cop, for example, can report bad cops all the live-long day — but if the system doesn’t want to do anything that would upset a status quo, the system will stifle that good cop until he loses all hope of ever changing anything…and possibly becomes a bad cop, too.

Until we change the system, good men who do something will almost always lose. True evil isn’t found in the police officer who murders an unarmed man — it’s found in the system that lets him get away with it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Burning OK..

I’ve always been one to think that only peaceful protests where OK, that riots are a last resort.

Burning police stations/cars to send a message to the police, I guess that does make a little sense and you have managed to somewhat change my viewpoint.

But I still think it is wrong to burn down and loot unrelated things. Loot all the TVs you want from your target, the police, but not from some business who has nothing to do with what you are protesting.

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Burning OK..

The important point, though, is that a riot is what happens when unaddressed problems have reached and surpassed the breaking point. It is an explosion, a collapse, a firestorm. It is a smack to our face as a society to tell us we have failed

Expecting everything that happens after that point to stay within some sort of boundary is futile. That doesn’t mean everything that happens is "good" – but it means we have to stay focused on the root of the problem, and not wring our hands about which direction every brick is thrown.

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Burning OK..

To expand a little on this, and include a very important addendum, I’ll share the thoughts I posted for close friends on Facebook recently:

I would suggest that if you think you’re going to get everything you see right now all neatly sorted out in your mind, with everyone’s motivations pinned down and perfectly organized into boxes of how much you approve or disapprove, and what’s legitimate and who’s an "agitator" or an "opportunist" and how much each contributed to what, and so on and so forth… then you may have misunderstood what a riot is. And if you let it distract you from the obvious white hot burning core of what started this and brought thousands of furious people out onto the streets in the first place, you’re going to end up on the wrong side of everything.

(This message is not at all directed at activists and organizers on the ground dealing with individual specific situations where they are organizing – but to those of us observing in the macro, some of whom might already be refining comfy little mantras of "well of course I agree, but…" and are going to be presented with many more tempting prefab ones in the coming days)

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Burning OK..

I suspect that even in the group that are perfectly fine with torching a police care/precincts the number that are okay with random looting on the side are probably in the minority, as that just undercuts the message.

The looters are probably those that aren’t in it for the message but those that just want to smash and/or steal stuff and are taking advantage of the chaos to do so.

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: "looters aren't....

You are wrong.
Target, Walmart, Adidas, et.al. exports every dime in this community out of this place, pays shit wages (and "contracts" a major portion of their workforce through black-market suppliers, think Security services, janitorial, inventory control, "independent" truck drivers, renting store shelf space to vendors) keeping most labor off the books. The trillions of Fiat "dollars" created in the last three months has trickled to Target, Walmart, Adidas, et.al. first, we sit on the rear steps waiting for chitlins with a hope for some cow’s knees when and if we are remembered. The average rent for an apartment in Los Angeles is $2,524 a month, and a pair of "Adidas Superstar" is produced for $16.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "looters aren't....

…and yet the low-wage workplaces do cater to the community as the last resort of all too many people who have "work the shit job or starve".

It’s a "lock-in" effect. The cheap-ass sweatshop becomes an essential service when there’s no political will to force improvement. The company operating the outlets can afford to lose them – or will get their money back through insurance. The community loses a few thousand jobs, resulting in a severe loss of liquidity and prosperity.

That said a riot is what happens when a lot of people are angry enough to stop thinking. When several thousand people just snap at once. The police may bear the brunt, but anything even remotely perceived, at the moment, to be representative of the system, will burn as well.

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "looters aren't....Wrong Again.

Walmart and three Ralphs have moved out, the Crenshaw Mall has been sold and closed. We eat liqueur store food or JiTB/TacoBell: all with sales tax. JiTB or TB hired NO Blacks for 10 years. Our B.S. "Gang Injunctions" pushed home prices down (as designed) and ‘Investors’ bought up THOUSANDS of homes with 30% vacancy in this Zip. My neighbors house sold for $144k a decade ago, sold as a vacant lot last year for $720k and is now a 4 story, 16 bedroom Cracker-box, sold for $2.8million in February.
The 1992 LA uprising was a gentrification move, TV helicopters rattled on about watching "illegals looting" from flight level 10 and failed to transmit 12,000 arrests. With 63 people dead, there was ONE failed prosecution.
Living on Normandie in the zone, i saw tons of INS vans, little else. On the Acton Town Council, we were ask to sign off on the County’s "General Plan", the burned out areas matched the Plan’s map, unlike OJ’s glove.
At a cocktail party in BelAir, an insurance underwriter told me that it was 70-80% owner arson; a parishioner here personally burned three of his Father’s properties. The Cholos hated Samy’s Camera on Melrose /s
Our Black Tom Bradley served for twenty years as Mayor of Los Angeles & was run out of office with a supposed "bad personal check" that year. Wiki says:
7th Infantry Division
1st Marine Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Marshal Service
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
United States Border Patrol
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Drug Enforcement Administration
California Army National Guard
Califorina Air National Guard-144th Fighter Wing/144th Security Police Squadron and 146th Airlift Wing
California Highway Patrol

And many of California’s 58 County Sheriff departments along with the Rent-A-Cop LAPD….the "City of Los Angeles" is a Corporation.
All showed up for the festivities. Weapons are fun.
After the 1906 SF earthquake, the City Council (under federal indictment at the time) killed their Fire Department Chief (who had millions of gallons of firewater under the streets) and hired the Commander of the Presidio to burn the city and specifically Chinatown. The military executed over 700 "looters" without trial as they moved across town blowing up buildings. And the Emperor fiddled.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 "looters aren't....Wrong Again.

"And the Emperor fiddled."

Sounds like the ghetto is up and running nicely, then.

There’s an added dimension of a problem when you stratify society – remove opportunity for long enough and the prediction made by the racist or neo-feudalist – that the unwashed masses or <insert minority here> are <insert derogatory classification here> become truth.

Just like medieval jews, being prohibited from ANY other trade than banking, became the usurers and financiers the gentiles slandered them as, the non-white american in many cities has no other recourse than to live with the gangs living next door – because sure as shit the cops aren’t helping him.

It’s a damning spiral. It’s not new. The only difference today is that thanks to the internet the murders committed by law enforcement get caught on camera, shocking a nation whose newscasts normally traditionally don’t give a rat’s ass or have a long-standing way to deal with uppity journalists who feel it’s definitely news material when the police harbor racist serial killers.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Burning OK..

"But I still think it is wrong to burn down and loot unrelated things. Loot all the TVs you want from your target, the police, but not from some business who has nothing to do with what you are protesting."

A riot, by its very definition, is what happens when sufficiently many people begin to believe that there is no hope. When you are convinced that your rights under the law mean nothing all you’ve got left is frenzy.

You can’t target it.

At best it’ll result in a few bales of Tea tossed into the Boston harbor after which the rioters might call it a day and go home to plan for the serious business of a revolution. That does get a lot harder to accomplish when the authority to be overthrown isn’t an ocean away.

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: Burning OK.."You can't target it."

B.S. As the food vendors move their product off their rented market shelves to lesser and lesser stores, we get milk with 3 days left.
Altadena used to sell raw milk, I knew a dozen Mom&Pop stores that distributed AltaDena at the time. Of those stores, the nice korean markets persisted, the mean stores burned. Why is poverty stupidity? Why does poverty make people look stupid?
"Ignor-ance is a verb." There, i answered my own question.

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Bruce C. says:

A few good apples...

Various police chiefs and officers who have condemned the killing.
Genessee county sheriff in Michigan dialoging and marching with protesters.

It’s not enough, it will never be enough as long as there are even "a few bad apples", let alone so many that you lose count. But let’s recognize the officers who recognize that they are part of the community and work for the public as an example to the bad apples.

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Bruce C. says:

Re: A few good apples...

Source article…
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/31/in-some-cities-police-officers-joined-protesters-marching-against-brutality/

I should note that even if they weren’t sincere in their support, these officers did a far better job of protecting the public and their property than officers in riot gear ever do. In other words, they did their job properly by listening and de-escalating the situation rather than acting on any fear they may have had.

Bruce C. says:

Re: Re: A few good apples...

I should also add that there are claims that some of the police forces shown in solidarity or interacting non-violently with protesters were later filmed using excessive force. I’m trying to find enough details to confirm the background of these cases: were the same officers involved, was there looting or other crime involved, what force was used etc.

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aerinai (profile) says:

Swallowing pride can go a long way in healing

Some incidents flared and became violent with rioting and looting. Others remained peaceful. The ‘hotspots’ were in all the usual cities… where cops have misbehaved and lost the trust of the community.

But other cities did’t have the same responses. Some of the best examples would be cops willing to listen to protesters and agree that they aren’t on opposing sides. Walking with protesters, kneeling with them; Showing them that they are just as appalled by this as they are. Reminding them that we are all humans and no one, regardless of sex, age, religion, or race deserve this treatment.

This is something that is all too rare. As much as we talk about "Community Policing", we sure don’t do enough of it. Being apart of the community engenders trust and dialogue… Rolling around in tanks and riot gear shooting innocent civilians on their doorstep yelling "Light ’em up" doesn’t send the same message.

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Swallowing pride can go a long way in healing

However it is important to remember that a lot of the examples you are seeing of cops being good are, I’m afraid to say, nothing but photo ops. Activists are reporting that hours or even minutes later, those same cops are dispersing crowds with force.

https://twitter.com/karaokecomputer/status/1267393445603115008

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, it appears Hamilton’s found a new pet peeve. A black man was brutally murdered, execution-style, on camera, and although his favorite screaming orange was all in the US as a whole reacted in anger and outrage rather than with – as he probably expected, a unified White America finally standing up to rid itself of the "parasitic infection" know as "the black man".

So here he is, defending his White Knights in Blue the only way he knows how – by losing his shit in bile-filled tantrums.
And of course once again declaring that he’s got copies of every post on torrentfreak, alongside Hillary’s emails, and, of course "But Obama!".
He’ll give all of that "evidence" to the cops who’ll then proceed to cart us all off to prison where the "aspies" will be taking it up the ass while he watches and laughs. We’ve all heard his diatribes before. It hasn’t changed much since he used to post the same garbage on Torrentfreak.

Honestly, it’s concerning that his minders even allow him online unsupervised.

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Mark Gisleson (profile) says:

Hennepin Co Prosecutor taken off case by Governor

Governor Walz (in office since January 2019 replacing the horrible neoliberal failure Mark Dayton) has removed Freeman from the case and put state AG Keith Ellison (Bernie’s pick for DNC chair) in charge.

People googling Walz are not going to get this guy. Former high school teacher and coach, and early advocate for GLBTQ in prep athletics. Retired as the top sergeant in the MN Natl Guard (which has fewer scandals than most state units). His pick for Lt Gov was a Native American community organizer, Peggy Flanagan. It was a huge surprise to the MN left who were trying to put Walz in a rightwing box for the primary.

Calling out the Guard in MN was a smart move. The Mpls cops are truly frightening. I had some as clients and they told me stories about the thumpers that would curl your hair. The Mpls police and State Troopers were the most dangerous people in Minnesota this last week. The Guard quieted things down simply by being witnesses to what the cops were doing.

And yes, there were some out-of-state agitators from the libertarian and white supremacist ranks. I suspect they set most of the fires as most of what burned was a minority business district.

But keep updating yourself on the situation because this article is already out of date regarding some of what’s happened in Minnesota where most of this should be laid at Amy Klobuchar’s doorstep (and the DFLers who anointed her and Al Franken).

Mark Gisleson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hennepin Co Prosecutor taken off case by Governor

The DFL system that anointed Klobuchar their Senatorial candidate in 2006 did the same smooth-the-way crap for Franken in 2008 who had two legit primary opponents. One dropped out when the party and local media took all the air out of the race (which they did big time for Klobuchar).

Franken was obviously damaged goods (sorry, you can’t do coke with John Belushi and then run for the US Senate) but popular. He barely won against a truly sleazy opponent (Norm Coleman) but it was so close he wasn’t seated for six months because of recounts.

I didn’t think the issues that pushed Franken out of the Senate were disqualifying, and I think he was MN’s best Senator since Wellstone, but I’m not in favor of a system that prefers celebrities to serious candidates and I’m fed up with state parties that manipulate their primaries/endorsement processes.

ECA (profile) says:

To any that dont get it..

IF we dont control the police for what they do to the other groups of people… WE all will be next.
Police are there to help control situations, NOT to Hurt people.
There are to many problems to list, from recent past and long past.

There is going to be 1 consideration, IF’ these officers are sent to jail.. WHERE to send them, that they WONT get killed.
These officers are no longer in the police Union, what are the odds, MORE stuff is going to happen to them? They arent going to get another Job as police, as they have been PUBLICLY been on the net, Doing the wrong thing.

I love the idea that they Want the citizens to give up guns in this nation.. And Iv suggested that IF’ that happens we take the guns and weapons away from the police Also..and very FEW agree.

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Upstream (profile) says:

Prosecutors and Judges working for the defense

Prosecutors often are a cop’s best defenders in police misconduct cases. They have the budgets to be able to afford to hire expert witnesses, who are often well-known, professional “police apologists” or “police exonerators,” knowing full well the testimony they will provide will be extremely favorable for the defense. They can ask questions of these and other witnesses that will lead them to testify in ways that are favorable for the defense. And, of course, they can avoid calling witnesses who they know will provide testimony unfavorable to the defense.

Judges can also greatly assist in the cop’s defense, with their rulings on what evidence or testimony is, or is not, admissible, and with their instructions and statements to the jury.

When you have the defense lawyers, the prosecutors, and the judges all actively working to defend the accused, it is a wonder that any cops ever get convicted of anything at all.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Prosecutors and Judges working for the defense

And that’s where Jury Nullification needs to come back into play, when prosecutors and judges won’t do the right thing, the onus is on the public (the jury) to stand against tyranny and make the call that is THEIR RIGHT.

We the jury ignore the Judges instructions and we find the defendants guilty of 1st degree Murder… Sentencing to follow (if only there was a Judge Nullification option to eliminate the sentencing loophole… oh, murder in the 1st, for a cop, ok standard sentence would be 30-50 years, but I’ll sentence you to a hard slap on the wrist and a good "talking to"…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Jeff Cooper quote:

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure – and in some cases I have – that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.
— Jeff Cooper

I doubt Cooper had cops in mind when he wrote this, but I don’t see why the concept shouldn’t apply to them as well as anyone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

The present situation is bad enough, but now we have several loud mouth congressional members proclaiming that the us armed forces be deployed to restore order.

"whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters"
. Tom Cotton

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?"
. Matt Gaetz

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Stephen, can you see the future? I can. Return of law and order. Prisons full of AntiFa activists attempting procreation with each other, unsuccessfully. You, publicly exposed, then sat in a rack while people spit on you and dump garbage on your head, while reading your ridiculous posts. Torture. Reading your posts, I mean. Cruelty’s folly.

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tz1 (profile) says:

misdirection

Currently:

It is better that 100 unarmed innocent people die than one cop not be able to get home safely because they hesitated.

You didn’t mention Breonna Taylor. Or Duncan Lemp. Or Daniel Shaver. Or Andrew Finch (twitter tie in). Or a hundred others I can name.

They are just as dead, only it was in a few seconds instead of several minutes.

Qualified Immunity. “I was in fear for my life”. Magic words that make responsibility go away.

The problem isn’t white privilege, its blue supremacy.

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tz1 (profile) says:

misdirection

Currently:

It is better that 100 unarmed innocent people die than one cop not be able to get home safely because they hesitated.

You didn’t mention Breonna Taylor. Or Duncan Lemp. Or Daniel Shaver. Or Andrew Finch (twitter tie in). Or a hundred others I can name.

They are just as dead, only it was in a few seconds instead of several minutes.

Qualified Immunity. “I was in fear for my life”. Magic words that make responsibility go away.

The problem isn’t white privilege, its blue supremacy.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: misdirection

"The problem isn’t white privilege, its blue supremacy."

Not as long as the ones shielding the bad apples in the US police forces are, to the overwhelming majority, white old farts, I’m afraid. And the odd asian-american, by now.

Not to mention that a man who happened to be white, rather than brown, would not have ended up on the ground with a knee on his neck, being slowly choked to death over the course of nine minutes.

As long as that’s the case, "white privilege" is the core of this debate as much as numerals are part of math.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: misdirection

In that you can talk around it all you like but the whole situation hangs on the fact that Being Brown brings more disadvantage in dealing with authority in the US than Being White does. Significantly.

Everything else is just a symptom arising from the fact that officer Chauvin and oh so many other officers in the US police forces act with obvious prejudice based on the skin color of the person they involved themselves with.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s not a good excuse. I mean, plenty of european law enforcement departments have legacy ancestry from everything from the King’s Reeves, torturers and bailiffs, The Evil Sheriff going after Robert of Locksley, and, of course, outright death squads such as the third reich SS.

And yet if ANY policeman in Europe pulls a single stunt like what we regularly see coming from the US, a massive outcry ensues, heads roll, and a grand political debate starts about who failed to watch the watchmen.

I think the reason it’s hard to separate racism from US police departments is because it’s often hard to separate racism from the politics of the state. We still aren’t much more than a generation away from 1968 – when Wallace ran on a platform of actual racial segregation to some success, it should be noted.

The problem isn’t that the US police department is deeply racist. It’s that the US as a whole is deeply racist. It’s one of those demons of the past which an america, tired of civil war, simply let slide and did its best to forget about.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

The problem isn’t that the US police department is deeply racist. It’s that the US as a whole is deeply racist.

That was mostly the point I was trying to make, yes. You can’t talk about racism in America without mentioning the racist history of American policing. Same goes for the reverse (like I said, American policing started with slave patrols).

We can’t fix American racism with happy thoughts and peaceful protests. We can’t fix American policing in the same way. Fixing one, the other, or both simultaneously requires people to put in a lot of hard, largely unrewarding work in fixing their own damn selves (i.e., a cop unlearning the inherently biased training of the average police academy). It requires lots of discussions on issues of race that lots of Americans — mostly White Americans — don’t want to either hear or take part in. And it requires leadership, especially from White people with power, to sympathize with people crying out in pain and despair and hopelessness instead of threatening them with more pain and despair and hopelessness.

And if they refuse to listen? We get to see riots on the evening news.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"It requires lots of discussions on issues of race that lots of Americans — mostly White Americans — don’t want to either hear or take part in."

I like to look at it this way – the Union beat the Confederacy but the North never could be arsed to beat the South. This has been a low-intensity unending skirmish ever since with the only ones in the positions of sufficient authority to realistically DO anything about it consistently denying that the issue exists.

tz1 (profile) says:

You world

It reminds me of Heath Ledger’s joker burning a pile of money saying “My half!”.

I hope your world burns since you say that is what you want. Your loved ones, relatives and friends die in the flames. The rest die of famines and only the ashes are left so no repairations can be made.

As the flames rose high into the night
to light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
the day the Music died.

I have been and will continue to try to make My world free. I resent your envy in wanting to burn down my free world because it is easier to destroy than to build.

Envy is the only sin that gives no joy. It does not seek to achieve anything but to destroy what others have including happiness and joy. “Misery loves company and by Satan I will make the whole world miserable!”

I live in a small town. In a state where I looked for liberty. I think there has been ONE mention of any police problem in the last 5 years. Police are still “officer friendly”. But I don’t have much real privacy. Everyone knows each other, but that means the Cops know me and I know them. The local cops in NJ wouldn’t shut down the Gym so they brought some in from another precinct.

You may love the big city and its life – and its anonymity. But that works both ways. You don’t know and probably never met the people who owned the businesses that were destroyed along with their hopes and dreams and their life savings.

Their hopes, dreams, and life savings are what you want to burn down. Not the police who will survive and probably thrive with the increased powers after the chaos like we still have the TSA.

When you wish to see the world burn, you are calling for your own self immolation.

tz1 (profile) says:

You world

It reminds me of Heath Ledger’s joker burning a pile of money saying “My half!”.

I hope your world burns since you say that is what you want. Your loved ones, relatives and friends die in the flames. The rest die of famines and only the ashes are left so no repairations can be made.

As the flames rose high into the night
to light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
the day the Music died.

I have been and will continue to try to make My world free. I resent your envy in wanting to burn down my free world because it is easier to destroy than to build.

Envy is the only sin that gives no joy. It does not seek to achieve anything but to destroy what others have including happiness and joy. “Misery loves company and by Satan I will make the whole world miserable!”

I live in a small town. In a state where I looked for liberty. I think there has been ONE mention of any police problem in the last 5 years. Police are still “officer friendly”. But I don’t have much real privacy. Everyone knows each other, but that means the Cops know me and I know them. The local cops in NJ wouldn’t shut down the Gym so they brought some in from another precinct.

You may love the big city and its life – and its anonymity. But that works both ways. You don’t know and probably never met the people who owned the businesses that were destroyed along with their hopes and dreams and their life savings.

Their hopes, dreams, and life savings are what you want to burn down. Not the police who will survive and probably thrive with the increased powers after the chaos like we still have the TSA.

When you wish to see the world burn, you are calling for your own self immolation.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You world

Fam, your comment history would inform other readers that you’re not in much of a position to throw stones.

But it’s not exactly surprising to see why you’d go out of your way to fall at the feet of police officers and lick their boots. You’re not a huge fan of authority taking responsibility.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You world

"When you wish to see the world burn, you are calling for your own self immolation."

Why are you not telling the crazy gop members this, you know the ones that want martial law. I do not think that even martial law can stop the election can it?

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: You world

"Their hopes, dreams, and life savings are what you want to burn down. Not the police who will survive and probably thrive with the increased powers after the chaos like we still have the TSA. When you wish to see the world burn, you are calling for your own self immolation."

Yes. That’s, essentially, how the worst riots work. Those happen when thousands of people have come to a point where they stop seeing hope.

That’s why it’s really up to those of us who have the leeway of choice to make damn sure that we don’t press a significant part of the population into that hopeless corner.
Problem is, with the american way being retaliation above all else, and "tough on crime" being a religion what comes out will be a system which exculpates any asshat for anything, as long as he has a badge. Which more often than not leads exactly to that hopeless situation perceived by black people holding The Talk to their children about how their local police officer may cheerfully murder them if given the option of doing so.

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Anonymous Coward says:

and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.

He’s a coroner. He had the body. He could run the blood work, and determine if there were intoxicants in his system.

This is a coroner’s report by a coroner who desperately does not want to examine the body. It’s this close to "we took a body-mass-index measurement and can blame it on him being kinda old and fat."

Don’t fire the coroner. Tell him to take another look… a real good luck, because the entire F—-ing country is watching.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Tell him to take another look… a real good luck, because the entire F—-ing country is watching."

Apparently the doctor employed to autopsy the body by the Floyd family came to a different conclusion – that being asphyxiation.

It’s pretty fscking clear the coroner went as far as he possibly could to exonerate the Boys In Blue.

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bobob says:

If it takes violence and destruction to occur before anyone pays attention, then violence and destruction is what will happen to get people’s attention. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that people will eventually do whatever it takes to be listened to. If the bar is high, you can expect people to eventually meet it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

How about using a different approach to bring about change?

RE: "LET IT BURN. LET IT ALL BURN."

In contrast to a number of the opinions I have been reading here and on other sites, I am NOT okay with burning things down and I do NOT think that rioting and looting is going to result in any lasting change for the better. Taxpayer dollars were used to build that police station and purchase the police vehicles that got destroyed. A person’s life savings might be invested in that house or business that was set on fire. A corporate building (such as Target) might not be replaced in the future. (Black neighborhoods have been complaining of corporate chains avoiding them due to the higher costs incurred.) Yes, insurance might pay to replace the lost things. Yes, corporations and people might rebuild. However, what of the turmoil and hardship that occurs in ALL of the surrounding lives that have to find ways to cope without the services or shelter they previously had?

Rioting seems to only divide us into those who follow the rules of civil society and those who do not. I have read multiple accounts of people who came to peacefully protest, but LEFT when they realized things were going turn violent. They came to PROTEST violence, not PARTICIPATE in it. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi showed us that big changes CAN be be achieved without using violence. The PBS series "Eyes on the Prize" shows how the system in place tried multiple tactics and violence to derail the civil rights movement. Video clips of police violence were aired on TV. But the protesters did not fight back. They did not join in the violence. As those who wanted to maintain the status quo were forced to use stronger tactics against the protesters, the more it became obvious to the other members of society that something was seriously wrong and needed to be changed. The injustice was clear. Those who wanted justice then JOINED the protesters until those in power couldn’t ignore the injustice any further. Remember, our political representatives ONLY rule with the consent of the governed. When the governed rise up in unified agreement, change DOES happen.

I am someone who lived through the civil rights period. I saw change happen. I watched the news with my parents. I saw the struggle and the protests first hand. I thought the Ken Burn’s "Eyes on the Prize" series did an admirable job of documenting that struggle and how it brought about change. It’s a shame that copyright issues over that series and the works of Martin Luther King Jr have prevented his messages of peaceful protest from being more widely heard amongst people today. People need those messages more now than ever before.

TLDR: Rioting and looting creates major financial and social hardships on taxpayers and law-abiding citizens who have to deal (either temporarily or permanently) without the services, businesses, and housing destroyed in the process. Rioting and looting only benefits the criminals. Violence too often only begets more violence. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi showed us how peaceful protests CAN successfully bring about major changes in a society. Why aren’t people using that approach to get the changes they want?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think this sort of thinking does a disservice to MLK and every other activist that works to bring about positive changes in this world. It is the type of negative thinking that DISCOURAGES others from even trying. Try to fight the system, get shot in the face. What good is that?

MLK knew the risks going into the situation. He knew his life was in danger. However, he felt passionate enough about the issue that he felt his life was worth giving if it brought about the changes that were needed. To me, that is the true definition of a hero and patriot. History is loaded with people who were willing to give their lives to bring about change for others. The bottom line is that MLK’s leadership DID result in the end of lawful segregation and brought numerous improvements in the lives of the black community. How about we focus on THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS and how they were made instead.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

How about we focus on THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS and how they were made instead.

Yes, let’s focus on how those changes came about only after the mistreatment of Black people by White police was broadcast all over the country so no one could ignore it. Let’s focus on how those changes came after brutal violence was visited upon marginalized communities by those who helped push those communities to the margins of society. I can agree that we need to focus on how the intertwining of violence and White supremacy led to the mistreatment of Black people that, generations after the death of MLK, still persists in the United States.

Or maybe — and this is only a hunch — maybe we should focus a little less on the methods of the protestors and a lot more on the methods of those being protested. Then again, maybe you’re fine with the police being given qualified immunity, military weaponry, and training that positions them as an occupying force in a war with American citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

MLK knew the risks going into the situaiton. He knew his life was in danger. However, he felt passionate enough about the issue that he felt his life was worth giving if it brought about the changes that were needed. To me, that is the true definition of a hero and patriot. History is loaded with people who were willing to give their lives to bring about change for others. The bottom line is that MLK’sleadership DID result in the end of lawful segregation and brought numerous improvements in the lives of the black community. How about we focus on THOSE ACHIEVEMENTS and how they were made instead.

I agree that the focus needs to be on the changes that must be made. As pointed out in the "The First Word" area, we need to eliminate qualified immunity and civil asset forfeiture. We need to hold police accountable for their actions and permanently remove "bad apples". The idea that police do NOT need to know the law (WTF Supreme Court? It’s their JOB!), can make "mistakes" (like assaulting the wrong house or arresting the wrong person) without repercussions, shoot unarmed civilians with a mere slap on the wrist is outrageous. Then you have mayors telling their citizens that the police will not protect them or their property during these riots. Say what? Why have police at all then?

No, I am saying that the law abiding members of the community need to get off their cozy couches, get out, and make their views known and they need to do that in a way that is most likely to be received by other members of society so that THEY WILL JOIN THEM in support. Rioting and looting only feeds a corrupt system. It provides the people in power with justifications to put MORE police on the streets, MORE surveillance measures in place, make MORE draconian dictates in the name of "safety" and "security", and further strip us of our constitutional rights. I stand with my original point, people in large numbers PEACEFULLY protesting in UNIFICATION can bring about change. MLK and Gandhi proved that. The police attack protesters now to discourage others from joining in, just as they did before. The key is not to cave in. Remember, there are more of us than them. United, we can make our message be the one that gets heard.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

I stand with my original point, people in large numbers PEACEFULLY protesting in UNIFICATION can bring about change.

“Can” doesn’t mean “will”. And you bring up MLK, but do you know when the Civil Rights Act of 1968 became law? LBJ signed it into law on the 11th of April 1968 — seven days after King’s assassination, in the midst of riots taking place across the country. King peacefully campaigned for a fair housing act (which was included in the Civil Rights Act) in 1966, but Congress refused to pass it…until a week after he died and shit got set on fire.

Don’t give me shit about how riots don’t solve anything and peaceful protests are the only real option. I don’t condone riots, but I understand them — they’re pressure and time, built up long enough to become a combustible force of destruction. And every so often, that kind of force creates tangible change.

Or did your school not teach you about the Boston Tea Party?

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"I agree that the focus needs to be on the changes that must be made."

It’s a bit typical that the "liberal" community of highly educated, well-intentioned people all tend to forget that every progress of civil rights was introduced by force. MLK laid the groundwork, motivated the black community, went on marches and got no few white people to march alongside him.

But nothing what so ever happened until he was martyred and america burned. Only when the stiffnecks in congress saw the fires rising over the Potomac did they realize that they had to listen – or preside over another civil war.

"…people in large numbers PEACEFULLY protesting in UNIFICATION can bring about a hail of rubber bullets, pepper spray, nightstick massages and the occasional knee to the throat."

Fixed That For You.

"The police attack protesters now to discourage others from joining in, just as they did before."

And journalists, and bystanders, and anyone guilty of Being Brown In Public.

The US has been heading down this road for a long time now. Ferguson, Charlottesville, Rodney King. In order to affect change you need a significant proportion of people willing to listen on the other side. Sadly, this does not exist. Not any longer. The GOP have lost their shit completely, becoming the unofficial facáde of the Very Fine People and their opposition, the democrats, are sitting in a ring, twiddling their thumbs and going "Erm, please no violence, eh? Joe, wake up and say something. Use speech #22, in your right jacket pocket"

Every person with black skin in the US – no matter how successful or upstanding – has to fear that a late-night call is about a relative of their being the next George Floyd. Every person with black skin has been raised on The Talk – a description of how not to get murdered by the police.

And since the mild-mannered liberals kept right on persuading the wolves to leave the sheep alone with words alone the resulting situation presents itself.

Jefferson and Franklin issued warnings. That the price of freedom was eternal vigilance and that the tree of liberty must be liberally watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
With eternal vigilance not having been observed you’re now left with the sole option of watering that tree or watch it die.

What everyone keeps failing to grasp is that MLK was a great man. A mental and humanitarian giant. One who moved the masses. And ultimately one who failed.

Because if his dream lived, so would George Floyd – and any number of other black people brutally murdered by law enforcement for no other crime than having the balls to be Black right under a policeman’s eyes.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: How about using a different approach to bring about change?

How do ten thousand people hold a peaceful protest when

1)The protest has been infiltrated by a few people intent on looting arson and violence.

2)The cops are looking to act violently towards the protestors, and see one act of violence in the crowd as an excuse to act violently against all protestors, and any nearby news people or other observers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: How about using a different approach to bring about chan

The problem of potential bad actors and infiltrators was well known and acknowledged within the civil rights movement. They were always a threat along with the possibility that an otherwise peaceful person might be driven to violence by the taunts and actions of the oppressors. The approach to combat this was to make sure that each group KNEW everyone they were marching with and to make EACH OTHER responsible for making sure everyone in that group remained peaceful. They policed each other. If you join an anonymous march, you have no idea what the true intentions of the other marchers might be. Again, true change rises up from UNIFICATION. It is very powerful to see hundreds of people of all colors walking peacefully down a street locked arm and arm. It sends a compelling message of strength in numbers.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: How about using a different approach to bring about

"It sends a compelling message of strength in numbers."

It also sends a few volleys of rubber bullets, real bullets, water cannons and pepper spray their way.

Let’s assume that Trump realizes his threat and invokes the riot act. In one or more of these marches the result is hundreds of civilians mowed down by gunfire. Now here’s the discrepancy; You assume most americans will be outraged and shocked enough to fall in line with the protestors.

I claim it’s not unlikely they’ll stay right at home because the Trump cult, the KKK and the neo-nazis will be out in force, armed to the teeth, cheering and singing the national anthem – whether that’s "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "Die Fahne Hoch" – and no one is going to do a damn thing about that.

When all the guns are in the hands of the savages eager to use them, the civilized man will have to realize the pen is only mightier than the sword if the ones reading his work and approving are armed.

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fairuse (profile) says:

The British Empire: The Original Bad Cop

Why was there a war to kick British Army and Navy to the other side of the big pond?

Right. Here is the really short version:

The 13 colonies were owned by the king through various trade company deals and charters, some with stockholders who expected gains on their investments. So, profits require no overhead – Dutch slave traders windfall.

King is in as much money as South American cartel, however, people get taxed up the butt, redcoats start doing riot control. Bang people die.

It goes without saying in this very simplified summary that as soon as the cops start killing people without justification there will be more violence.

The USA exists because the kings cops treated everyone like police treat black people. (A note: Only the selected few had power from the King to execute so called law breaker. Our police have that power now and we have to take it away.)

SSDD – immunity for murder and other crimes by police, property forfeit have to go away.

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Eldakka (profile) says:

Hennepin County Medical Examiner

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MNHENNE/2020/06/01/file_attachments/1464238/2020-3700%20Floyd,%20George%20Perry%20Update%206.1.2020.pdf

Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual,
restraint, and neck compression

Manner of death: Homicide

fairuse (profile) says:

Re: Hennepin County Medical Examiner

And to expand:
Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression

Manner of death: Homicide

How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while
being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)

Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease;
fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use

WTF! So cop kills junkie now. Baltimore cops favorite excuse in the past. I’m done. Fking coverup is above my pay grade.

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Anonymous Coward says:

From MPLS

I live in Minneapolis. I have close friends that work as police in the outlying suburbs. One of the things they’ve told me is this:

If a chase is intitiated in their city and moves into Minneapolis, their supervisors have instructed them to get to the suspects and get them into custody before the Minneapolis officers. Because if the Minneapolis officers get to them first it is known they will "rough them up".

Minneapolis police are so openly abusive that the other police are instructed to protect criminal suspects from them.

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Anonymous Coward says:

You are all under arrest

Per federal code, it’s a crime when an individual "travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, with intent" [to]:

Incite a riot;
Organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or
Commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or
Aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Elect a leader. Negotiate your demands."

Well, the american citizenry DID elect a leader. Then the college of electors saw fit not to give a rat’s ass and pick the other guy to be the big cheeze.

And, of course, given the concerted effort to disenfranchise minorities by the republicans lately, voting didn’t exactly become easier for those guilty of Being Brown.

…lastly, if negotiation worked the racist shit would have been over and done with when the confederacy fell.

"Grow up."

Ah, that thing black kids don’t get to do unless they learned The Talk by heart?

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"How about suggesting a non-violent solution."

Like nodding quietly as the US police gets even more brazen about their execution-style killings?

A few years back they more or less killed black people only if they could verify there was a gun in their hands or close by.
Then, when what they held was a remote control or smartphone.
Later still they found they could shoot black people through a window from outside if they observed the person holding a kitchen knife…in their own kitchen.

And now finally they are comfortable with killing a man by kneeling on his throat until he’s dead, then keep kneeling on that throat for a few more minutes just to make sure, in broad daylight, in a crowd holding cameras.

Let me know when you’ve got a non-violent solution which actually makes sure US law enforcement stops murdering people. Because so far? It’s not working.

Now if being born with a given skin color in 2020 means you need your parents to give you The Talk about how you survive the police, some of which are actively out to murder you, then I’d say there’s a lot more ground for violent action than the early colonists had when they tossed those crates of Tea in the Boston Harbor. Hell, the brits had killed how many colonists by then, compared to the US police in the last twenty years?

Bergman (profile) says:

Hypocrisy and bias

You wrote: "Then they did nothing when people carrying actual guns marched on government buildings to demand access to restaurants and haircuts. "

Wow. Way to drink the kool-aid there.

Propagandists love the fact that any protest movement attracts very loud, very crazy fellow travelers. They love it because it lets them have lurid images and insane sound-bites that allow them to paint the entire movement as being nothing more than those crazies.

Every Black Lives Matter member is a flag-hating black supremacist by that standard. Every feminist is a castration-crazed misandrist. Every civil rights activist is a mindless anarchist.

Want to know why they ‘stormed’ that capitol building to peacefully petitition for redress of grievances while armed? Because Right-leaning protestors have noticed something Left-leaning protestors are studiously ignoring: When a crowd has the means to return fire, the police are very loath to fire indiscriminately into that crowd!

Consider two protests – one in Michigan, one in California. Both as close to identical in every way as you can imagine, protesting the same things and organized by the same groups. One protest was attacked by police and dozens of arrests were made, many of them false arrests. They were unarmed because the law said they had to be. Then there was the other protest, armed in a place where the law said they had a right to be – and there, the police were professional, respectful and law-abiding.

Law-abiding, you ask? It’s a felony for two or more cops (or a lone cop armed with a firearm) to violate rights using their official authority. Cops do it every day, and they know that they’ll almost never be prosecuted for it. They know that if they are sued for it, they won’t ever pay a penny out of their own pockets no matter the outcome.

But police that will gleefully attack helpless victims will be professional and respectful if the potential victims are not helpless. They can still make arrests – Right-leaning protestors often hand actual criminals over to the police – but they don’tt make FALSE arrests. They don’t attack people unlawfully. They don’t fire indiscriminately into crowds – remember, less lethal isn’t the same as non-lethal.

THAT is why some protestors are armed these days. And just look at what happens to protestors who AREN’T armed!

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Hypocrisy and bias

Want to know why they ‘stormed’ that capitol building to peacefully petitition for redress of grievances while armed? Because Right-leaning protestors have noticed something Left-leaning protestors are studiously ignoring: When a crowd has the means to return fire, the police are very loath to fire indiscriminately into that crowd!

Hah, no.

White protestors have noticed that the police are very loath to fire indiscriminately at them no matter what. Black protestors know that if they bring a gun to a protest, they will be immediately shot and killed.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hypocrisy and bias

Because Right-leaning protestors have noticed something Left-leaning protestors are studiously ignoring: When a crowd has the means to return fire, the police are very loath to fire indiscriminately into that crowd!

And when those left-leaning people with guns do show up, the Great Orange Tard shouts "Antifa!" and all those right-leaning 2A "patriots" lose their collective shit.

Great theory, but in practice you want it both ways.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Hypocrisy and bias

Want to know why they ‘stormed’ that capitol building to peacefully petitition for redress of grievances while armed? Because Right-leaning protestors have noticed something Left-leaning protestors are studiously ignoring: When a crowd has the means to return fire, the police are very loath to fire indiscriminately into that crowd!

… are you serious? TD has covered multiple stories where police ‘feared for their lives’ and used that as an excuse to kill someone, do you really think that having armed protesters would make the situation better for anyone but the police? They would be ‘fearing for their lives’ right up until they ran out of bullets.

An AC above posted two quotes already calling for the murder of people:

"whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters" – Tom Cotton

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" – Matt Gaetz

Now, give the protesters guns, do you seriously think that the above statements would become less bloodthirsty or the police treatment of people less extreme?

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hypocrisy and bias

I am indeed serious. Every time police feared for their lives, they outnumbered those they feared. But watch carefully next time, what happens when the police are outnumbered by those who are just as scary.

I’ll ask you a counter question: Where in the Constitution or anywhere else does it say that you cannot exercise or otherwise possess more than one right at a time? That if you try to exercise two or more at once you lose all of your rights?

Because that’s what is being said here and elsewhere – because people exercised two unalienable rights at once, they should be treated as having no rights at all.

The thing you and others miss, is that it is not illegal to have guns. Just like it’s not illegal to have cars or books or shoes. Being in possession of completely legal things in a completely legal place, time and manner is not proof of wrongdoing. It’s not even a little suspicious.

You don’t restore order by attacking people who are obeying the law.

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DocGerbil100 says:

Re: Hypocrisy and bias

That’s absurdly wrong.

The white protesters in your example can undertake an armed march on government precisely because they know that much of America’s police is on their side, won’t automatically see them as a threat and will treat them with a measure of respect and deference.

If anybody seriously thought that any given set of average US cops would treat a group of heavily-armed black men the same way, there wouldn’t need to be any protests in the first place.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Hypocrisy and bias

"But police that will gleefully attack helpless victims will be professional and respectful if the potential victims are not helpless."

You are talking about white people here.

If a group of black people tried the same in most cases the police would begin by standing in safety behind the .50 cal of a Bradley and telling the protestors they had ten seconds to drop their guns and lay down. Then they’d open fire in 5.

Unfortunately the militarization of the police means the cops have armored vehicles these days. Unless the black demonstrators were toting barretts around (in which case SWAT gets involved to pre-emptively take them out) the police can STILL arrest them all – or even better, mow them down like dogs, relatively free of risk.

Here’s the real reason the right wing gets to tote guns around in front of cops. They’re white.

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Federico (profile) says:

Some places where killings went down

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/police-are-killing-fewer-people-in-big-cities-but-more-in-suburban-and-rural-america/ appears to have some useful pointers based on data:

In Chicago, police shootings dropped following protests over the shooting of Laquan McDonald and fell further after the city adopted more restrictive use-of-force policies and a new police accountability system.

And:

This suggests that reforms may be working in the places that have implemented them. Many of these reforms were initiated in response to protests and public outcry over high-profile deaths at the hands of police — most notably in Baltimore following the police killing of Freddie Gray, in San Francisco following the killing of Mario Woods, and in Chicago and Dallas following the deaths of Laquan McDonald and James Harper. This suggests that protests and public pressure may have played an important role in producing policy changes that reduced police shootings, at least in some cities.

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Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve been coming to this site for years, anonymously reading and posting. I had many misconceptions removed from previous articles, and was educated on issues I thought did not matter to me.

Today, all this is now coming to an end because of this very post and the author is an example of what is wrong with this country.

On April 20th, 1999, two teens, bullied and frustrated by adults who didn’t hear their cries and pleas for help, walked into Columbine high school and began shooting, killing 15 students, including themselves.

Thanks to media coverage, this incident happened again. And again. And again.

What changed? Nothing. No laws to remove weapons from the public. Bullies still exist. Adults are still ignoring the issues.

I need not mentiont the names of the shooters but I can promise every single person reading this cannot name a single victim.

According to Mr. Cushing, each of those shooters had every right to kill and destroy because the system failed them. The shooters were allowed to take the lives of innocent people because "rioting" is a tactic that works.

Mr. Cushing is no different than Derek Chauvin.

While he personally didn’t put a knee to an innocent person, his words definitely put the knee to peaceful resolution.

This is absurd thinking.

Under no circumstances should America be rioting at this moment. The "breaking point" was already established many decades ago. Instead of pushing for change, Americans just let it go and moved on, awaiting the next trigger so rioters can burn and loot innocent establishments by people who are part of the community.

These rioters are putting the knee to these community members, and Mr. Cushing thinks this is okay. Anyone who agrees with this idiocy is also part of the problem this country is facing.

The orange peel in the White House is already an embarrassment to our country, and people like Mr. Cushing is no different than him. Both believe violence is needed to force change. Both believe force is critical to advocate a policy. Both are retarded beyond words. Both should be arrested as terrorists.

Because, Mr. Cushing, you are a terrorist with this mentality. To think anyone has the right to put a knee on a community is dangerous thinking.

If the only way a person can resolve a conflict is with damaging property, destroying lives, and pretending "all will get better", well, thank you for destroying America.

Also, Mr. Cushing, you should learn your history. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t America rioting against America. It was America rioting against British law.

Your ignorance with this matter, and its attempt to relate it to a death of a human being, is not only dangerous, but idiotic beyond words. I cannot come to any comprehensive understanding of this gross negligence of both common sense and human intelligence.

I’m extemely disappointed my relationship with Techdirt has come to an end, but I will not support this idiocy under any circumstance.

Even if Mr. Cushing should be removed from his position and an apology be issued, it will not be enough.

Mr. Cushing will still carry his ignorance elsewhere, most likely spread to his children (if he has any), his friends (if he has any), and anyone who dares listen to his soapbox garbage, as was done here.

Disgusting. Shameful. Definitely not American.

You, Mr. Cushsing, now stand with Donald Trump and Derek Chauvin, because your position is no different than theirs.

Tyranny is tyranny, no matter the reasoning.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

The "breaking point" was already established many decades ago. Instead of pushing for change, Americans just let it go and moved on

And we got another breaking point as a result. As I said elsewhere, riots are a combination of pressure and time — two disparate elements that, in the right amounts, result in an explosion of raw emotion and violence.

George Floyd wasn’t the only catalyst for the riots. He was but one in a series of catalysts, stretching back for years, that led to this moment. This time, we have video — we can watch the cops kill a man for virtually no reason other than he was Black. And the system still refused to arrest even the cop that was directly responsible for George Floyd’s death? Consider that in light of the Ahmaud Arbery killing and the two month delay in arrests for that case, and no wonder the protests happened.

And the protests will continue — are continuing — because enough people are finally fed up with…well, a number of things, really. They’re fed up with police departments becoming paramilitary forces more concerned with waging war than protecting citizens. They’re tired of hearing another story about the cops hurting, killing, or being called to “handle” a Black person because someone got “scared” of a Black person doing something for which a White person wouldn’t catch (nearly as much) shit. And they’re sick of a government that only ever pays lip service to the idea of “Black Lives Matter” before handing more funding and more military equipment to the cops without a second thought.

The riots will disperse soon enough, but the protests will continue. Buildings and cars will stop burning, but the people will continue to yell. To paraphrase MLK, meaningful systemic change is the absolute guarantor of riot prevention. The next time you see a riot, don’t ask yourself why people are burning shit down — ask yourself what made them feel like burning shit down was their best option.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh, hey again, Baghdad Bob. Nice of you to try the same old tried-and-failed rhetoric bullshit you’ve run past us so very many times already.

"I’ve been coming to this site for years, anonymously reading and posting."

Did you just copy and paste this from all the other times you tried this shtick about the "anonymous ac outraged over <whatever>? You should have realized by now that although the beginning might fly, once you start dropping the straw men and bad rhetoric stunts into your little body of work we notice.

"According to Mr. Cushing, each of those shooters had every right to kill and destroy because the system failed them. The shooters were allowed to take the lives of innocent people because "rioting" is a tactic that works."

Aaaan…there’s the first one. False equivalence – and classic straw man tactics. Single individuals going berserk and entire communities going berserk are *not the same thing. I’ll give you a hint in the difference – ONE of those examples laid the foundation of that USA you’re so proud of, as armed rioters had themselves a good old-fashioned riot in Boston Harbor.

"These rioters are putting the knee to these community members, and Mr. Cushing thinks this is okay. Anyone who agrees with this idiocy is also part of the problem this country is facing."

Cute. it’s pretty obvious you aren’t a black person or you’d instead be demanding an answer right the fsck now about what the "community" will do to guarantee your children won’t be dead because of racist cop. You know, the enforcer of law for the community? You think black people are rioting in the streets for fun? A riot happens when the law, society, and community has fundamentally failed a significant part of that community to begin with. It’s the method of last resort and simply wouldn’t happen if the community had, you know, not quietly accepted that Being Black meant being a second-class citizen.

"Also, Mr. Cushing, you should learn your history. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t America rioting against America. It was America rioting against British law."

You mean a bunch of british colonists rioting against the british crown. Sparked, mind you, by redcoats killing british colonists without cause. Thanks for being extra disingenious, troll. It’s the exact same situation…except for one thing. The american uprising was about white british colonists seceding from white authority – over tax issues, mainly.
The US race riots are about black people being continually murdered by white policemen. No matter how you slice it the black people have a far better cause for anger than the british colonists did.

"I’m extemely disappointed my relationship with Techdirt has come to an end, but I will not support this idiocy under any circumstance."

Ah, once again you promise to leave and never come back. Funny how that never sticks with you.

The only thing which differentiates the black people rioting against the US police from the british colonists rioting against the british redcoats is that in the former case the grievance is underpinned by the fact that the rioters happen to be black rather than white.

Now, this is the third or fourth time an "anonymous commenter" has swung around and claimed to be a "long-time" reader sorely disappointed by the latest "outrage". And the tells are pretty clear in both syntax, verbiage, and the general trend of dropping a large parcel of outright lies to build rhetorical strawmen around. We Know You.

So hey, Baghdad Bob, thank you for once again putting the extra mile into a disingenious wordwall filled with straw man arguments, false assumption, false equivalence, and arguments from assumed authority.

…but you really need to learn not to copy and paste too heavily when you try to sock puppet your way into credibility again. And, of course, definitely learn not to use infactual garbage and false equivalence to make your "case".

Wyrm (profile) says:

Re:

You’re equating despair and tyranny.
Congratulations, you win… I can’t reply to such an elaborate argument.
Or maybe I can.

Killing someone, destroying property and businesses, those are not excusable.
I don’t excuse them.
But they have reasons, I understand them a little. And sympathize with them a lot.

You have people who are outraged at what is done to them, over and over and over again. And they see no outlet in the judicial system who constantly abuses them at worst or ignores them at best, just as the cops do.

Which leaves one request: change. When they asked peacefully, it was made clear they would be offered nothing. Or "thoughts and prayers" at best. Definitely not change. This was repeated over and over and over again.

And when asking peacefully constantly fails, only violence is left. When you are oppressed for years, when you can only fear for your life, when you must teach your children that fear and how to fake respect to thugs in uniform, despair grows. Until it bursts. This is not tyranny. Tyranny is what was done to them. This is revolt.

It failed before. It might fail again (in no small part thanks to a large number of insensitive people like you). But this would only perpetuate the cycle. Not solve anything, and even less so because you wagged your finger at them, condescendingly telling them that they should not revolt against their better.

It has to change because every man deserves treatment according to his actions, not whatever skin color he was born with.
Floyd might have used a $20 counterfeit bill. (We’re not even sure of that.) If so, he deserves a fine. Maybe a short prison time, if that.
Chauvin killed someone in cold blood. He did not premeditate it, he might not have intended it, but he knew exactly what was happening under his knee. He was killing someone. And that didn’t faze him. He definitely deserves a long prison sentence.
(Unless we want another change, where prison is not the answer to everything. That is another discussion though.)

Here’s a riddle:

One is dead, the one who killed him is about to walk free without even an investigation (but doesn’t only because of public outcry).
Guess who is black and who is white?

We all know the answer. This needs to change.
The day we can answer "The one with the badge walks", there will have been some change.
The day we can answer "No idea, what kind of riddle is that?", even better change.

cROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:

And, if Floyd used,a counterfeit bill, the odds,are that Minneapolis endless pool of dirty cops, police informants, and various others gave that bill to him in the form.of wages, change, or other means.

This is what “gang stalking” is, and it is what “gang stalkers” do.

Floyd was tracked, followed, and targeted by cops, and cop associates in.that area, long before that $20 was passed (small irony that it was President Jackson on that bill ).

Its so weird watching how disconnected Techdirt commenters are from the reality of (quasi -legal, unethical, frequently unconstitutional policing methods and tactics )

But yeah: that needs to change, pun intended.

nasch (profile) says:

Logic?

Did not attacking cops help then? Did leaving retail outlets intact make policing better? Did a lack of looting force cops to realize their systemic bias was hurting communities? Did all of this non-action bring us to a better place in terms of our relationship with law enforcement? (Those of you who are not minorities can put your hands down. Thanks.)

Short answer: it did not.

A did not work. Also B did not work. Therefore let’s do A some more. I don’t know the solution, but this "logic" leaves me scratching my head.

Wyrm (profile) says:

that Chauvin was “perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”

The problem is that he did.
That much is obvious for everyone to see.
Choking someone who begs for his life, and continuing on after it’s been made obvious his victim is dead or dying. This is obviously dangerous, depraved, and very certainly disregards human life.

but it’s also not an uncommon restraint, and is a permissible use of force in Minneapolis.

And there you have it: he just has the excuse that someone officially declared that asphyxiating someone is "not dangerous". Violent cops are not the only ones at fault. Those providing them with ready-made excuses are as much at fault.

They will likely all ignore the fact that there were restrictions on the use of this move, conditions that were not met as it obvious on the camera feeds. (note :Please find a jury to prove me wrong on this one.) This proves Chauvin was recklessly using a "hardly undangerous technique" – as they put it mildly – on an unresisting individual. (I’m nearly surprised the camera didn’t show the cop shouting "stop resisting" all the way to Floyd’s death.)

I can agree with the cops having a proper defense attorney and fair trial as everyone should (though they also have a lot more help to prepare for the trial than normal citizens do), but those who preemptively gave them "get out of jail" cards should also be made responsible in some way. Not as directly as charging them for murder or manslaughter, but aiding and abetting would be a good one, I think. They are as much responsible as those other three cops who did nothing to stop Chauvin… or actively helped him. Since that is not going to happen, I hope they do have a conscience at the very least. A conscience that will burn their soul forever.

Upstream (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I hope they do have a conscience at the very least.

But they clearly do not. A person with a conscience would not have written such policies, would not have taught such policies, would not have taken a job where such policies existed, would have actively opposed such policies if they had proposed after the person had the job, would have resigned if those policies were adopted, etc.

This is a key distinction between these people and sociopaths: sociopaths actually have a (weak) conscience.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

it’s also not an uncommon restraint

There’s a reason why the Eighth Amendment only forbids cruel and unusual punishment.

The cruelty is the point. Of the whole thing. The entire correctional system – police, prosecutors, judges, prison guards, lawmakers, all the way up and down the chain.

It’s not about "protect and serve;" it’s not about promoting well-being; it’s not about liberty or truth or justice. It’s about enforcing cruelty on the people that the people in charge don’t like.

If you want to fix it, you have to campaign to remove the cruelty from the whole system. Anything less will just shift the cruelty from one agency to another, from one disadvantaged group to another, from one way of being cruel to another.

The cruelty is the point, and until people stop treating it as an unintentional side-effect of the system rather than the whole point of the system in the first place, this will keep happening.

Its Rogsed says:

re: ROGSification

A clever web researcher might take note that this little revolution started at a humble “Indian” restaurant not-coincidentally named Gandhi Mahal (playing on the ethnic arrogance and racial conceipts of that areas white population who cant tell an Arab, from an Indian, a Muslim from a terrorist, etc.; or from from any other non-white, for that matter)

I built that restaurant in Palestinian developer Hamudi Sabri’s building (whose brother Basam did a five year stretch, courtedy of an FBI frame job), as I was gang stalked by that exact police force; and I built that restaurant directly in the face of the Minneapolis Third Precinct.

I built that restaurant by hand, crafted its every single slogan, built its beautiful benches, and “brought people together” there, people of all nationalities, races, and tribal affilluations, including the do-nothing local DFL party.

My Muslim partners fielded many joyful hugs from the entirety of the LGBTQ community, after dining on the best "Indian” food in that area.

Many community activist conversations occured there. Many palletes were pleased.

And, George Floyd and murderer Derek Chauvin worked right next door, at El Nuevo Rodeo. ROGS knew one of them in passing, as,Chauvin frequently parked his squad car in front and leered through our windows.

So, ROGS isnt entirely wrong, then, right?

I mean, after all, I am “likely the only commenter ever banned at Techdirt.”

Words matter indeed.

So, yeah: let them burn it all.

Anonymous Coward says:

crime

every color does drugs. what the cops did and have ever done to kill instead of just taking them to jail is so awful and wrong, I have to say if you are doing drugs stay home, You will go out get in trouble and blame white people. I wonder why the blacks that knocked that old white man down and the old lady going home from shopping, are not in jail. the ones that broke windows and stores and got away with it, the country has gone to hell in a hand basket. Glad my parents did not live to see this is. There are good and bad in all colors.

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