Multiple Victims of Militarized Police

Yesterday the local police ran over and killed a 4 year old who was on the sidewalk of a local high school. It is a terrible thing for everyone involved.

The little girl’s parents are obviously devastated, losing a child will have life long impact. One can only imagine their grief, something no parent should go through.

The officer who inadvertently ran over the little girl is also a victim. She must now live the rest of her life with this on her conscience. Imagine that you had to live with the knowledge that you had snuffed the life out of an innocent child.

Here is news coverage of the accident incident.
Here is the Highway Patrol’s initial accident crash report.

The child, her parents, the officer–all victims.

So who is to blame?

I would argue that the blame should rests with the decline in police officer standards and the militarization of the police. Before we continue, watch the following short video.

This video features the officer involved. There are a few things that can be gleaned from the video.

First, she is very petite. When faced with an adversary, say a drunken college student, her only option is a weapon with the potential for serious injury or death. The officer then becomes judge, jury and executioner solely due to falling police standards. This isn’t to argue against female police, simply to state that there should be some minimal standards for police, male or female. At the 2 minute mark of the video notice her gait, not only is she small but she has a physical handicap.

Second, even though we live in a city, the police insist on driving SUVs, and very large ones at that. Every single police car on our streets is an interceptor with built in battering rams. It is not mountainous here, there are no forest service trails to patrol; hell, we don’t even have dirt roads. There isn’t a rational reason why the police all need to drive giant SUVs (except, of course, to project dominance over the populace.) At the 15 second mark of the above video it is clearly evident that the officer can’t see over the hood of the vehicle.

And that in short is why a little girl is dead today. The militarization of the police is to blame. They insist on driving tanks in the city, WTF? Add to that the fact that the police have become adversaries of the general public, basically enemies of the people. No one sane wants to be cop, police departments are left to hire anyone they can, whether qualified or not.

So it was this woman’s dream to be a cop. Ask her today, if given a choice, would she have rather been told that she did not qualify physically to join the police or have to live with this child’s death on her conscience for the rest of her life which she would choose. I can only imagine that she would rather have been politely declined for the position.

The time has come for the police to get back in the business of protecting and serving the community. Until that happens they will struggle for recruits and terrible things like this little girl’s death will continue. It would be great if Columbia could be the start of that change.

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Tragic, But Not a Big Surprise

I think we can agree, last night’s ambush of police in Dallas is a horrible thing. Kids are waking up today without fathers, mothers without sons, wives without husbands. Nothing good will come of it, only more oppression. It is unequivocally a terrible event. Can we agree on that before we move forward?

Agreeing that it is a terrible event, a tragedy even, can we still see and understand the direct causes? The events leading up to the Dallas Massacre are plain to see for anyone caring to look. Follow that link and it is clearly evident that police have been killing unarmed black men for years and years. After the spotlight was shined on the practice with the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, the police still killed 2 unarmed black (mostly) men a week for all of 2015. That is AFTER we identified the problem, and I can only assume it was worse before that.

From this site we get some statistics for 2015:

 

  • Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade’s death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, will be sentenced May 31.[Bates received 4 years for the charge of second degree manslaughter.]

 

Read that quote again. Less than 10% prosecution rate and only 20% of those are convicted. Put another way, police only have a 2% chance of being punished for killing an unarmed black person. These numbers seem fanciful, but they are correct. There is a war on, it is a war being fought against (mostly) young black (mostly) men. It is being financed by our tax dollars and is being waged by those who have sworn to protect and serve.

And then events unfold like those in Dallas. We all gape, we act surprised, we stare at the violence porn on CNN/Fox and; in the end, we do nothing.

Do you think we can make it a single week after Dallas without an unarmed black man being murdered under the color of authority?

The right likes to demand that all Muslims apologize for every act of terror. While I believe this is as asinine as asking every cop to apologize for the war on black men, can’t we at least expect these public servants to out the bad apples within their ranks?

While–rightfully so–the thin blue line will get a little thicker after Dallas, we also need to see that same thin blue line as a direct cause of Dallas.

What happened in Dallas is tragic, just as what happened in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis earlier this week are. Tragedy breeds tragedy, and I fear that it is going to get worse.

 

Murder is Murder, Except When It Is Not

As I write this, a large scale manhunt is under way in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania for Eric Frein. Frein allegedly ambushed two Pennsylvania state police, killing one and seriously wounding the other. The reaction was swift. Marshal law was enacted and all resources were put into finding Frein, even adding him to the FBI’s top ten most wanted list.  Since then many many Americans have been murdered. Since these murders were of mundanes and not of the governmental class, they are treated much differently. Reports are filed and a slow and methodical investigation ensues. Just as police can murder mundanes without consequences, the classes are further divided in death.

Frein is a horrible person who deserves to be punished for his actions, just as every murderer does. It is highly unlikely that he will be arrested or tried for his crimes, odds are he will be killed by those hunting him…probably out of sight of the media. Remember Christopher Dorner? The California ex-cop turned cop killer last year? He was burned alive, prevented from leaving the cabin that he had taken refuge in. Kill a mundane and the punishment will eventually be meted out, that is if you happen to be one of the 60% who are eventually caught. But kill a trough feeding cop and you are guaranteed a swift and speedy arrest and conviction (if you are left alive to make it to court).

Murder is wrong. There can be no ifs, ands, or buts regarding that. The problem lies in the fact that we are divided into classes, with murderers of these different classes being treated far differently. Can we agree that this is preposterously wrong in a nation that is supposedly made up of laws, not men? Mundanes and worthless trough feeders should be treated alike, in life as well as in death.

However, we need to think about a type of murder that is worse than the lone whack job taking shots at individuals from under cover. Far worse is organized state-sanctioned murder. This is the worst type of pre-meditation and collusion. Here in Missouri we are preparing to execute our 9th individual of the year, making us the grossest of the 50 states for governmental sanctioned murder. Worse yet, for each of these murders there are untold accomplices. There are judges, and prosecutors, and wardens, and guards, and juries, the 6 million citizens that these people represent, and even a doctor or two. All pre-meditating and conspiring to commit murder.

The day that we get as (or even more) upset by state sanctioned murder as we do by the lone assassin, the closer we will be to having a just society.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Mark this day, as it is not often that I give a murderous bunch of thugs a pat on the back. But that is exactly what this post is about.
The Oakland Police Department did a great job of gassing off and defusing the anger after the Mehserle verdict came in last week.
There was some looting, a bit of rioting, and 83 arrests. Most of the arrests were outside agitators, self described anarchists bent on causing grief for the poorest and most despairing in Oakland. These are mostly young folks who think it is a game to enter a poor neighborhood, stir up trouble, get poor people beaten and arrested, then fade back to their middle class lives. In short, these outsiders are the lowest of the low, lower even than the police. And we have already agreed that the police are a murderous bunch of thugs.
When the Mehserle verdict came in, there were those in Oakland genuinely hurting, there were those who were/are aggrieved and needed to vent to keep their sanity. Into the mix, came the spoiled white kids, with their masks and their molotovs they came to Oakland to battle with the police with the poor and dispossessed there to take the baton to the skull on their behalf.
The police did a good job of separating the two. Letting the aggrieved sound off while corralling and side-lining those whose only goal was a police riot.
These self-professed anarchists are not anarchists at all. Instead they are some of the most enslaved in our society. They talk of freedom but have no idea how to live free. They are so stuck in their little world of being personally affronted by parents, teachers, petty bureaucrats and the police. With no idea of what constitutes liberty and freedom, they accept no blame for their own conditions. Unable to even think free, they have no idea how to live free. Enslaved by their own sloth and ineptitude they seek only to destroy. Unable to see the inconsistencies of begging for handouts by day and calling for the end of the state by night. Never realizing that if the state disappeared that they would starve to death.
These people are not anarchists, they are bums, grifters, and ne’er-do-wells bent only on destruction. I’ve got to give the OPD credit for separating the herd from the wolves, and for treating the predators like the pariahs that they are. Pariahs bent on the destruction of the community with no idea what to raise in its place.
A true anarchist does not seek to destroy, but to create. With masks and truncheons, there is not a drop of creativity and the world is made less stable, less livable by their actions. If the world you seek to create is loving and bold then there is no room for hatred and cowardice in its creation. If the means do not justify the ends, then the ends becomes unattainable. These masked youth have more in common with the oppressors than they do to the oppressed.

New “Rate My Cop” Website

Every so often an idea so brilliant comes along, then you wonder, why didn’t I think of that.

A new website which gives ratings to cops from around the country.  Called Rate My Cop (currently down, but hopefully not out) has been getting quite a bit of news.

The police evidently hate it…here is some coverage from CBS5…they thrive on anonymity.  Do you think a cop would taser a kid if he knew the world would know?

The site is still new, so it still has a lot of filling out to do, but it is a brilliant concept.  This is the key to maintaining freedom as we enter the surveillance society –we have to hold the powers that be to the same transparency that we are forced into.  If our lives are to be captured on film and in databases, then we must also capture the watchers on film and in databases…much deserved kudos to the owners of the site.