“When I went to traffic school for that citation, the instructor confirmed my instincts. “When you’re stopped, I’d strongly advise you not to talk back,” he said with a smug grin. “If you do, any cop can find five or 10 things to write you up for.”
Sandra Bland probably understood the nature of this reality. She cooperated with the Texas state trooper who pulled her over for her trivial failure to signal a lane change on a mostly empty street.
But when she failed to grovel sufficiently, he demanded an explanation—and didn’t like the one he got. Soon he was angrily yanking her out of the car, taking her to the ground and handcuffing her. Why did the confrontation escalate out of control? Not because Bland violated the laws of Texas, but because the cop felt unconstrained by them.
. . . .
The only reason police brutality has come to light via video cameras is that some officers are so used to committing it that they never dream of being held to account.
It’s no secret that they can and do get away with lying. A prosecutor I know once marveled at how often motorists leave illegal drugs on the front seat, where they can be easily spotted by police during stops. His implication was that the cops conduct illegal searches and afterward invent stories to make them appear legal.
. . . .
The officer who stopped Bland knew a dashboard camera was recording him—yet he proceeded to flip out.
He acted on a view that too many cops have and that civilians learn at their peril: The police are obligated to enforce the law, not obey the law. ”
Not all problems can be solved by an application of superior force. Not all problems need to be solved immediately.
Deborah Danner’s words: “Living with Schizophrenia” attached at bottom.
From COLORLINES dot com:
“In 2012, Deborah Danner, the 66-year-old mentally ill Black woman who was fatally shot by New York Police Department sergeant Hugh Barry on October 18, penned a foretelling essay titled “Living With Schizophrenia.” [Attached at bottom. PW]
The piece, which The New York Times published online, states, “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead.”
This is what happened to Danner—and 182 others this year. Twenty-three percent of all people police have killed this year suffered from mental illness, according to The Washington Post. Her essay references the death of Eleanor Bumpurs in 1984, another Black woman in her late 60s with a history of mental illness. She was killed her in her Bronx apartment by Officer Stephen Sullivan.
The New York Daily News reports that Danner shared the essay with an attorney who represented her in a guardianship case. He released it after hearing of her death.
The essay also touches on the hardship of her mental illness, which she calls a curse and a nightmare. Danner writes about stigma in the workplace, family tensions, suicidal thoughts and the flashbacks of moments where she experiences a “blue funk,” as she called her episodes.
“I smile rarely,” Danner concludes, “but I am surviving.””https://www.colorlines.com/articles/essay-2012-deborah-danner-discusses-how-police-treat-people-mental-illness
I mean they wouldn’t want to preserve the evidence of their guilt, right? Destroying the evidence would be the felonies of tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. These charges might be easier to prove than murder, so that could be one reason to leave a crime scene untouched. Of course rogue cops would go ahead and hide the evidence, there’d be both shooters and a clean up crew – can’t leave shell casings lying around now. So this means the crews weren’t rogue, weren’t bad apples but rather that the police departments, in question, were themselves criminal.
Here the crime scene was left untouched and unsealed. State’s Attorney Hanrahan claimed it was a shootout. If true, forensics would have proved that. All the shots but one were from the outside in (the one outgoing shot was from Mark Clark, who was also killed, at the front door). Fred himself was already heavily sedated and couldn’t be woken up (inside enemy apparently). He was shot in his sleep. Fred Hampton’s friends and Panther comrades did the scientific evidence collection themselves. http://www.hamptonbook.com/Hampton_Book/Home.html
It seems activists need to train themselves in crime scene evidence collection.
Local St Louis activist Heather De Mian said she was disturbed by finding various pieces of debris and what appeared to be shell casings left behind by police investigators from the vehicle where Seals had been found.
“The memorial is constructed on top of his car door, which the police just left there,” De Mian said, the Washington Post reports. “You would think the car door would be important evidence, that there might be fingerprints, you know. The police just left it there.”
Some accounts (main stream media reports) state Darren Seals actually died from being burnt alive not from the gun shots. That would make the killers psycho killers, the way I look at it. Some five or so Ferguson activists have been found dead in burning cars.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, anything to elaborate? I would welcome being proven wrong.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
“[R]ogue cops . . . are allowed to hold positions in police departments, not only put the community in danger, but also put the cops that have the right intentions in danger by creating an environment of tension and mistrust.”
“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all, and it’s not happening for all right now.”
Kaepernick’s decision to kneel and not sit during the anthem was the right move. Kneeling shows respect but deep discontent. Like wearing a flag pin upside down. If you want to persuade people you don’t want to open the discussion with a fist in their face. You have to slowly win them over, kneeling matches that strategy. Also you want to separate the good cops from the rogue cops and address them differently, not push them into a unity against the outside world. Kaepernick’s strategy does this.
Eric Garner was murdered by a police chokehold during a questionable arrest. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/staten-island-man-dies-puts-choke-hold-article-1.1871486, http://nypost.com/2014/07/18/man-dies-after-suffering-heart-attack-during-arrest/, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2701074/A-cover-Internal-NYPD-report-incident-Staten-Island-dad-Eric-Garner-does-not-mention-chokehold-states-not-great-distress.html.
It turns out, per retired police Captain Ray Lewis, of Occupy fame, that police officers are selected to be high in aggression and low in sensitivity through the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test. This is turning the test on its head, it could be used to select very suitable and moral officers. Used improperly as described it will select the emotionally walking wounded just raring to lash out on their psychological pain and anger, plus actual psychopaths.
How Cops Are Vetted For Aggression & Insensitivity | Interview with Capt. Ray Lewis
It is clear from incidents such as the Eric Garner murder, that this has been instituted here. It is also shown by the police murder of disturbed individuals when neighbors or family call for police assistance. High in violence and low in empathy, that would explain these occurrences.
It’s also evident from the following Village Voice article in which drunk rookie cops were allowed to run wild, beating up a cab driver for some perceived slight, even roughing up another police officer, and then remained unpunished. I never understood how this was allowed until I saw Capt. Lewis’s statement on the MMPI. A lengthy quotation follows:
Ten cops beat up cabbie, then cuff one of their own for trying to stop them.
The evening began normally enough, he says. According to his very detailed notes, he finished his tour at the 3-0, and met up with some colleagues at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que under the West Side Highway. Then, after dinner and one drink, he headed to the Vudu Lounge at East 78th Street and First Avenue for a Christmas party organized by Captain William Pla, the commander of Manhattan North Impact, a unit composed of rookie officers sent to flood high-crime areas.
Acosta parked across the street, walked inside, paid Pla the $60 party fee, and chatted with some of the officers present. At about 11:30, the captain told everyone the party was over, and Acosta left.
He crossed the street, sat in his car, and made a couple of calls on his cell phone. He got out of his car to respond to what turned out not to be an accident, and then noticed someone being assaulted across the street in front of the bar.
A group of rookie cops had spilled out of the Vudu Lounge. Traffic on northbound First Avenue was going very slowly at that moment, and the rookies took the opportunity to cross against the light.
The young officers crossed in front of a yellow taxi driven by Levelle DeSean Ming, a 41-year-old Brooklyn man.
Ming had just come back from a trip to Kennedy Airport. He was about 10 hours into his shift. At the time, he was making about $400 a day as a hack, but he had to kick back half of that to the cab owner. He had child support and other debts to worry about.
“I was sitting there, and I tapped the horn, and I said to myself, ‘Wow, people don’t know how to act when they’re drunk,’ ” Ming tells the Voice in an interview. “But this guy heard me, he was intoxicated, and he said, ‘What did you say?’ ”
That guy, Ming later learned, was Police Officer John Virga. Virga reached through the window and punched Ming three times in the face. Ming says he opened the driver’s side door and began to get out, but Virga slammed the door against Ming’s chest three times, bruising his ribs.
Ming finally got out of the car, which turned out not to be a great idea. “I got out, he punched me more, I fought back, and then other people jumped in, punching and kicking me,” he says. “I got knocked down. I got beat up bad. They must have hit me 30 or 40 times.”
The telephone switchboard in the NYPD’s dispatch center began to light up with calls.
“You got to get the cops over,” says a Park Avenue doorman from New Jersey in his 911 call, who spoke to the Voice under the condition that his name be withheld, and happened to be in his car right behind Ming’s cab that night. “They’re beating the shit out of a cab driver. About 15 guys. They’re fucking jumping him.”
Seconds later, the doorman adds, “They’re getting a two-by-four. I’m witnessing a big two-by-four being picked up.”
“He honked his horn,” the doorman tells the Voice. “They went ballistic, started punching his window, being dickheads. The cabbie did nothing wrong.”
He continues to confirm details of Acosta’s story: “The traffic was very slow. These guys came stumbling out in the street. One of them stepped in front of his taxi. All the cabbie did was honk the horn. They came over screaming at him and tried to pull him out of the taxi.”
“I could have been the same guy,” he says. “They didn’t belong in the street. They obviously had a few drinks in them, and they thought they could do whatever they wanted.”
In the second 911 call, a man tells a police dispatcher, “There’s a fight breaking out here, right in the middle of First Avenue.”
In the third call, a woman looking down from her window says, “A bunch of young people are chasing another person into the street. Oh, my God, they’re in the middle of First Avenue.”
“Any weapons?” the dispatcher asks.
“I saw a whole group chasing after one person, and I could hear somebody screaming, ‘Let him go, let him go.’ ”
Acosta was off-duty. He could have kept driving, let the incident take its course, let uniformed cops handle it, but he wasn’t the type of officer to walk away when there is a potential crime taking place.
“The altercation appeared to be growing,” he writes in his notes. “I observed Captain Pla, his female companion, and several other people and other sergeants and lieutenants on the sidewalk watching the altercation escalate. . . . To me, the situation appeared to become violent, so I decided to take police action by intervening and dispersing the crowd.”
One of the off-duty rookies was indeed holding a two-by-four, and was pushing his way through a crowd that appeared to be attacking the cab driver. Acosta identified himself and tried to grab the piece of lumber. “I’m a cop, let go,” Acosta said. At that point, the cop dropped the two-by-four and took a swing at Acosta’s face.
Acosta pushed his way through to Ming, the cab driver. He persuaded Ming to get out of the situation by getting back in his cab. Acosta put himself between the cab door and Ming, as the irate rookies tried to grab the driver, and tried to push the crowd back. With help from another off-duty sergeant, he ordered the crowd to disperse.
The woman with Captain Pla started screaming at the off-duty cops involved in the fight. “You’re animals,” she shouted. “You’re savages. What are you doing?”
In the aftermath, as police sirens wailed toward the scene, several of the officers involved in the fight tried to flee. But they were stopped by plainclothes anti-crime officers.
Ming says some of the rookies told him to leave the scene. “I was like, wait a minute, there’s something else going on here,” he says.
It was only when the rookies were stopped by the anti-crime officers that Ming learned they were cops. “When I saw the shields, I was like, all this time, they are cops?” Ming says.
In the aftermath, a detective drove Ming to the precinct for questioning. In the car, the detective pledged to help him out. “He says, ‘If you have any problems, let me know,’ ” Ming says. “He tells me I didn’t deserve any of this.”
A sympathetic captain wandered by as Ming was waiting to be interviewed by Internal Affairs. “We don’t need cops like that,” he told Ming. “They’re not acting with good conduct.”
Pla, Acosta says, remained on the sidewalk as the melee occurred, watching but not taking action. He says that, as the senior officer present, Pla should have intervened.
“He knows these guys, they work for him, he should have done something,” Acosta says. “If those cops had been civilians, they would have been arrested.”
As uniformed officers from the 19th Precinct began to arrive on the scene, Acosta says that Pla made a phone call.
As the anti-crime officers removed the off-duty cops from their car, Acosta walked up behind a uniformed officer named Mazzilli, who was looking on, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “Officer, I’m a cop and I saw what happened.”
Mazzilli spun around and grabbed Acosta by the wrist and demanded he remove his hand from his pocket. But because of the way his wrist was being held, Acosta couldn’t take his hand out of his pocket.
Mazzilli, Acosta says, got angry, and repeated his demand. Acosta replied, “Listen, I’m a sergeant. Take it easy. I will do what you want, but you have to let go of my wrist.”
“I don’t give a fuck who you are,” Mazzilli replied.
Mazzilli struck Acosta once in the face and threw him face-down to the ground. The irate officer then handcuffed Acosta. Acosta sustained bruises and a small cut to his face. He also hurt his back in the fall. He was dizzy and upset.
A sergeant subsequently uncuffed Acosta and had him sit in the unmarked SUV. While he was sitting there, he noticed that Captain Pla was still on the scene. He tried unsuccessfully to call and text Pla. There was no response.
He was approached by a lieutenant, who asked for his identification card. He asked the lieutenant if he could leave the SUV to speak with Pla.
“I pointed across the street to Captain Pla and I said, ‘That gentleman right there, he’s a captain,’ ” Acosta testified. ” ‘He saw everything that happened.’ ”
The lieutenant refused.
“Captain Pla can’t do shit for you,” the lieutenant said, according to Acosta. “You’re better off just sitting in the car and shutting up.”
Acosta was taken to the 19th Precinct stationhouse, where he spent most of the night in the roll call room, while investigators tried to sort out the incident.
He was sitting in the muster room with a delegate from the Sergeants Benevolent Association when he was approached by an Inspector Harrington. The inspector wanted Acosta to sign a statement that read that he had broken up the fight, but failed to identify himself when he approached Officer Mazzilli.
“Listen, this is an unfortunate incident. This is what you’re going to say,” the inspector said, according to Acosta.
Acosta refused to make that statement because it wasn’t true. He had repeatedly identified himself. “I told my delegate that I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’m going to say the truth of what happened,” he says.
He told the SBA delegate, “This is fucked up. How am I in this situation? How are cops beating someone else? There’s an off-duty captain that sees the whole thing, and he’s not being brought back here. This is wrong.”
In the often topsy-turvy world of the NYPD, Acosta now became a target for disciplinary charges. He was told that he was being placed on modified assignment for the “good order of the department,” and his gun and shield were taken from him.
What is going on here is very clear. The elites have turned their backs on community policing and the idea of ‘serving and protecting citizens.’ The 1% have decided to dominate the 99%. Thus they select emotionally damaged violent individuals as cops and then license their misbehavior. As a civilized nation we seem to be going backwards. In Brazil, the police even shoot homeless children, just as if they were dogs.
Does Mayor DeBlasio know about this use of the MMPI?