Guilty!

On all counts. There is justice for George Floyd.

Now we need justice for all of the wrongful deaths by the police. The very people who are supposed to be here to “protect and serve,” who instead behave as an occupying force, diregarding the laws they too should abide by. Acting with deadly force when none is called for. Operating with built in immunity. The system, swallowing up police crimes with red tape, and prosecutors failing to seek charges that should have been brought forth. Sometimes even defying a Grand Jury order to do so.

It is high time the police get policed. It is also time to demilitarize the police. They do not need armored vehicles and insane firepower to do their jobs. That’s why we have a military.

Let the police, police. We need them to do their jobs. And walk the damn line as they do.

Let this jury verdict be the first step on a path to a better police force.

26 thoughts on “Guilty!

  1. Maybe it’s different here, but the job of police is to enforce the law. It matters not a tinker’s damn what the individual officer may or may not think. Their job is clear and often with great force. That’s why we are taught to obey the police officer’s commands first and raise concerns later. This avoids all reasons for the use of excessive force but if resistance is found, then police come down like a ton of bricks and the civilian population here is good with this.

    And there’s a problem that has resulted in the death of many police officers when the equipment and weapons they bring to a situation is inadequate to what they are facing. So there’s a call here in Canada to better equip officers with military grade weapons and local forces with military grade vehicles because that’s often what they are facing.

    So I think there’s a middle ground here because… well, I’m spit balling based on what I’ve heard (completely anecdotal)… that recruitment is facing an increasing shortage of candidates because too many people are vilifying not just police officers in general but misrepresenting what police are actually legislated to do: enforce the law. This requires force if necessary.

    So you can’t have it both ways.

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    • I don’t disagree with cops being armed. I just don’t believe they need to be as armed as the military, or anywhere close to it. I know bad guys have guns.

      I don’t disagree with the use of force either, when it’s called for.

      I believe our police should learn to tell the damn difference, and act appropriately to the requirement the situation justifies. Far too often the cops are thugs with guns, and are protected from within.

      There has to be a middle ground. What it has become is no where near what it should be.

      The population, be they any race, should not walk around in fear of the police who are supposed to be there to protect them. We are a long way from there. A damn long way.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Balance has to start at the level of respecting what’s true rather the skewed to suit what people want to believe. Yes, police brutality is real and needs greater oversight and accountability. But is that what we’re getting with police vilification?

        I don’t think so.

        The fact of the matter is the same as we see has unfolded in England: police unwilling to enforce the law in areas where the race card can be and is hurled at police with any intervention by distanced whites who think they are championing the victims by doing so. (The Rochdale child sex ring involving thousands of white girls run by Pakistani and Indian men that the police in multiple jurisdictions refused to address for very real and often used fear of being labeled ‘racist’.) The fact of the matter is that areas of high crime have residents screaming for a higher police presence all over the country (to the point like in Portland where BIPOC citizens who are a massive majority in the downtown area are paying out of pocket to keep a downtown police precinct open and staffed).

        But the media doesn’t talk about the massive increase in both crime and violence and murders that arise when police reduce contact for self-preservation when any and all policing is criticized as ‘racist’. When these numbers eventually come out, guess who is going to be criticized? Not the fucking champions of BLM (85% of members are white); yup, the police.

        I’ve read the police retirement rate in places like Wisconsin are at all time highs (nearly 30% of the force state wide) and active recruitment is yielding an historic low (coving only 10% of the needed replacements) while violent crime is soaring and murder rates have quadrupled in one year.

        The fact of the matter is that proportionally far more whites are being killed by police than blacks. But fewer than 10% of those who identify as white, Democratic liberals know that the leading cause of death for young black men is automobile accidents and nearly half believe police killings of black men account for half or more of these deaths (it’s actually well under 1/10th of 1%). Yeah, good luck finding balance when reality is that badly skewed by so many who think so well of themselves.

        What we are seeing is a ongoing vilification of police especially concerning blacks and the use of force. In fact, police use proportionally LESS force with blacks per encounter than with whites. I highly recommend people stop cancelling and vilifying and start listening to people like Heather MacDonald who has actually investigated these issues using actual information from many trustworthy sources (FBI, census, police calls) rather than blithely going along with media spin because the fact of the matter is that crime is a real problem and rising now as police continue to receive blanket condemnation and vilification.

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        • Statistics are just that. I think you would agree that lives are a bit different.

          Of course there are two sides to every story. And of course statistics probably don’t bear out what so many feel is unfair and lopsided treatment of blacks.

          But the fact remains the black people HAVE gotten the short end of the stick in this country for many, many years and those of us who are NOT “white supremists” think it’s time for a change.

          If it takes sending a cop to jail for mistreatment of just one black person (that died as a result) then so be it.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Oh, I think the legacy of racism is alive and well. In fact, I think it’s thriving. I just think we’re addressing it all wrong and actually reintroducing systemic racism into law in the name of equity.

            Like you, I think this officer and those who enabled him crossed a line and should be held legally accountable for their actions. But the same standard should be held and enforced across all racial and ethnic considerations. That’s what legal equality means. And we’re moving in exactly the opposite direction, moving further and farther from attaining this King-sanctioned goal (including in policing) in the name of racially biased but ‘progressive’ version of equity, inclusion, and diversity. This is racist to the core.

            Liked by 1 person

            • If you’re referencing the actions of blacks during protests, then I would tend to agree with you. They should be held accountable just as much as any white person. However, it’s difficult to work around this because black people (and other non-whites) have gotten the short end of the stick for generations and the pot is finally boiling over. While I don’t agree with the methodology they’re using because it isn’t going to accomplish their purposes, I can understand their motives.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I would’ve preferred Derek Chauvin received Life or the Death Penalty by Asphyxiation. 😉 But I’m satisfied with “guilty on all three counts.” Justice has been adequately (not precisely) served. I was honestly distressed BAD for fear that once again, particular demographic Americans get specialized exceptions above other types/classes of Americans—i.e. those privileged Americans who are frequently above the law, laws which are supposed to apply to every single 330.2-million American citizens. Let me repeat that…

    EVERY SINGLE 330.2-MILLION AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!

    That DAMN SURE includes our present or future (past?) effin Presidents!!! 😡 But what tha hell do I know about our Constitution, tri-equal Branches, and a full-on pure democratic Republic? I do… in theory at least. But we damn sure don’t see those laws applied, enforced correctly, or protected day in or day out the last 245-years! The abuses by government officials, politicians, Presidents, and many of those Americans who vow or did vow to uphold that said Constitution and all its laws ruin and make the U.S.A. the laughing stock of the rest of the world, especially our political/cultural enemies.

    There is STILL a long long way to go Shell before this country is closer to a truer, more pure Constitutional republic democracy and where EVERY single human is indeed equal… equal in ALL sectors of life, society, economics, and in court rooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And Shell, I thought about sharing the discussion/debate I had these past 4-days out of town with my extended family members (in-laws as well) about this news and the Chauvin case to how American sports icons, leagues, and teams are “politicizing” these issues and hate. Yes, I kid you not.

      I had to frequently bite my tongue not to get enraged at them—my hardcore Republican, “quiet” racists & prejudiced redneck family members who manipulate & perpetuate these type of social, legal, economic, and political divisions/problems in our state and country 🤦‍♂️—to the point I couldn’t hold back and I fired back sharply… as such:

      HAH! American sports figures, athletes, Commissioners, teams, etc, POLITICIZING legal and social issues and reforms!??? 😲 Are you morons effin kidding me!!!???

      Well GOD DAYUM you illiterate rednecks! I am sure thrilled that COVID-19 in this country wasn’t politicized while 582,530+ Americans and still counting, needlessly died prematurely!!!”

      Oh Shell, my blood-pressure was so damn high those days/nights I had to listen to their bullshit… until I couldn’t take it anymore. 😡🤬

      I mean, DEAR GODS & GODDESSES and all the galaxies in this wonderous Cosmos… THEY are the biggest problem(s) in this country of Fake democracy and equality for ALL Americans!!! I damn near went bonkers and could’ve required being committed to a mental institution Shell. 🤪🤦‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

      • See! I got so upset typing the above that I flipped-out on my HTML coding! Raaaaaaaarrrrrrwwwww! The italics should have ended at…

        “…needlessly died prematurely!!!” Apologies Sir.

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      • Ain’t no thing man, don’t sweat it. I’d attempt to fix it but would probably make it worse instead of better!

        Especially with the day I’ve had, it has been an adventure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have been so busy I had not the time for a proper response, I knew I’d come back to this one when I had a minute 🙂

        Your feelings here with your family is much like living here in Tn. I’m surrounded by MAGA’s. Bunch of back woods, hillbilly, mouth breathing*, logic deprived, reason challenged, believers of whatever right wing media BS of the day happens to be. There are days I want to explode on certain people in certain situations. But no, I have to maintain. If there is an incident, I’ll be the bad guy. I don’t need that sort of attention. I learned a long time ago it isn’t worth the trouble.

        But some days, it is so damn tempting lol.

        I actually have a couple of friends who are/were orange idiot supporters. We hang out occaisionally, have a drink or two, and enjoy each others company. But they know my wife and I are not orange idiot tolerant, and wisely neither side talks politics when we are together. If we did, I fear an unpassable rift would develop.

        No matter our views, we value each others friendship enough, to protect it. In the end, putting aside partisanship and realizing we are all Americans, all of us in the same boat, and we need each other more than we need the bullcrap that wants to divide us. I guess we are a case study for what the country needs a good dose of.

        * Which comes in handy for beer swilling 😉

        Like

    • We’re moving away from legal equality at an appalling rate. Let me write that again: AWAY from equality at an APPALLING rate.

      All in the name of equity, inclusion, and diversity. (Segregation for college residences, for example, based on the color of the residents is legally racist, for example, but receives HUGE support as ANTI-RACIST wokeness in action if it’s called ‘affinity’ housing. Like at Harvard. Like at Yale. Like at Princeton. Like holding separate graduation ceremonies based on ethnicity! So woke! So ‘equal’. Good fucking grief.

      And very few people busy busy busy championing legal differences for BIPOC think this might be a problem. Don’t want to know. Don’t want to hear. Won’t tolerate ‘racist’ criticism, donchaknow. So virtuous. So, instead, let’s stay focused on only those cases where a white police officer kills a black and pay no attention whatsoever to why and how that may have come about.

      Look, police officers and departments are well aware of the changing legal landscape and are trying to address these optics and very real challenges to use force, to reduce risk to the officers, without crossing that line into brutality. But it’s a process. And the process is slowed and made more difficult when race of the suspect has to become a major factor of consideration. I read about this ongoing process all the time (for example, here). Police engaged in this process need more not less public support.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well stated Tildeb. I’m in agreement Sir. You certainly have more patience and a better extended temperament than I do. 😕 I would certainly hire you as my Attorney at Law and Deescalator of Professor T/Dwain. 😉 😛

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  3. Nan, I’m going to start a bigger block for my reply:

    Oh, I think the legacy of racism is alive and well. In fact, I think it’s thriving. I just think we’re addressing it all wrong and actually reintroducing systemic racism into law in the name of equity.

    Like you, I think this officer and those who enabled him crossed a line and should be held legally accountable for their actions. But the same standard should be held and enforced across all racial and ethnic considerations. That’s what legal equality means. And we’re moving in exactly the opposite direction, moving further and farther from attaining this King-sanctioned goal (including in policing) in the name of racially biased but ‘progressive’ version of equity, inclusion, and diversity. This is racist to the core.

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  4. Nan, I am referencing the racialization of media presenting police shootings as if evidence for systemic racism. The reason why you can’t ‘say the names’ of the last 10 white people killed by police is that you have no reason to. Media is not focusing on this. So the idea that we’re correcting racism by highlighting only blacks who have been killed by police demonstrates how we are doing EXACTLY OPPOSITE what we assume we are ‘correcting’: systemic racism. We are ENABLING it. What we are NOT doing is trying to implement and support equality before the law. In fact, far too many of us are actively supporting legal inequality in the name of trying to obtain ‘equity’ as if it is the same thing. It’s not. At all. So it’s absolutely remarkable to me just how deeply so many of us have fooled ourselves.

    Many moons ago you asked about how we might correct for bridging differences. My one word answer was ‘Principles.’ You did not find this helpful at the time, but here is a case in point: one either supports equality before the law or one does not. That’s the principle in question here. So, each of is answering that question in effect. And I find the lack of principle greatly disappointing, not because I am judge and jury but because by now ALL of of us should know better rather than go down this path once again. But that’s what happens when people don’t learn history but reshape it to suit a narrative (see the a-historical 1619 Project, the one the Biden administration has just endorsed). We are putting racism back into the system. Intentionally. And feeling pretty darn virtuous doing so.

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    • I understand your points, tildeb. And for the most part, I agree with them when considering the Big Picture.

      But in the U.S., the blacks have been trampled underfoot for generations. It’s apparent you read a lot, have you not come across the injustices they suffered? And at its core, this has not changed. “White Men” still think “God” intended for them to rule the earth.

      Perhaps the method being used isn’t the best to accomplish the desired result, but at this point in history, nothing else seems to be working. Laws have been passed to provide more advantages to black people, but there is still rank prejudice at the basic level of living.

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      • It’s has been working to a remarkable degree. That’s the forgotten history here. It’s a process, an arc, a measurable metric and one that has been succeeding. To believe otherwise is to reject reality and substitute a narrative.

        What we’re dealing with today in claims of systemic racism is NOT systemic racism but its legacy. And right there is a point, the point, I keep hammering home: if you don’t understand the PROBLEM correctly FIRST, but misidentify it as is constantly the case when group identity is used, then you’re sure as hell not going to fix anything with misguided SOLUTIONS… especially ‘solutions’ that in fact and in law create more systemic racism.

        That’s what we’re experiencing now: grossly misguided solutions to the point of REVERSING the gains made getting to equality before the law. BLM, for example, is a racist organization advocating for race based everything. And if you think this isn’t racism in action, just listen to the audio recording between teacher Paul Rossi and his head of school at Grace Church here. Indoctrinating white children, “demonizing white children for being born.”

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        • Tildeb, I have been out all day, and it has been one that probably deserves a post of its own.

          Having read your comments I have to say, you are more learned than I on the stats. I was unaware of much you have mentioned. I can say, I do agree with you on much of your content though. The law needs enforcing equally across all races and all social status.

          I have no agenda villifying cops. They do a pretty good job of that on their own. For the record, I have personally suffered, abuse by cop. I too, want a police system that both works, is fair to all, and holds cops responsible when they cross the line.

          My take on police becoming more militarized, which is I strongly disagree, is because I believe it instills a more agressive attitude among the cops, who now want to behave more like they are troops. We don’t need gung ho cops. We simply need a functional force, that is capable of working within the parameters of our system of law. And we need a system that takes misdeeds of murder by cop, i.e. George Floyd, that does what is needed to get those assholes off the street.

          I think we have seen that here. Which I think I said before, is a step in the right direction.

          Like

  5. Shell, I remember reading about some of your experiences and so I understand where you’re coming from. Policing needs to reflect the community it serves but it also needs to reflect the best qualities and not the worst as is often the case so the standards I think need to be higher. There is much excessive force and bullying and unnecessary brutality in policing but also those, too, are also understandable when compliance is low and the threats are high.

    My issue is having public institutions diverted from their public role – that demonstrates the founding principles in action – to an ideological role – that reflects partisan ideology. This is a <guaranteed source of huge social conflict and ongoing divisiveness imposed by political power for their own ends, be it either Republican or Democrat. Both are wrong to do this. Both deserve criticism. These days, only the Right gets much criticism for this tactic while the Left remains deluded that responding in kind doesn’t grant a major source of righteous fuel to their political rivals.

    We are constantly bombarded by media to see the wider social framing that racializes policing. We are being groomed to see race as almost always the very first consideration when a police event occurs. But that’s not the role of law enforcement. It’s to enforce the law. And the law should be equal to all, or at least we should should always be insisting that our law makers move legislation towards that lofty goal. That is equality in action.

    In other words, regardless of the colour of skin of the person being shot or kneeled upon by police, that excess by officers, and the jurisdictions who may train their officers this way, needs to be held accountable for the excess and not judged by the racial makeup of the target of that excess. (Brutality against whites – especially the poor – is even more rampant but very few bother to find out if this is true or not; they just presume their local media feed tells them it’s all about race.) So it’s the excess use of unjustified force that’s in question here because it IS a growing problem… not just regarding blacks but for everyone as the stats clearly show. (Certainly the obvious lack of reasonable gun control the police must face every day of every shift is also a growing part of this problem, too.)

    So of course granting better armor and armaments to police forces that use excessive force far too often is a very real problem and highly legitimate concern. But so, too, is not having enough police capable of enforcing the law.

    Racializing this complex problem, and blaming police for overt racism when it’s really about excessive use of force, is a step in the wrong direction, a step away from addressing the real problem, a step that adds additional complexity to an already difficult problem. Sure, media is to blame for spreading this racial framing of excessive force (and sometimes it IS about overt racism… and bigotry… and discrimination… and misogyny… and so on) but it also falls to people to see through this constantly imposed framing (because sometimes it’s NOT about overt racism… and bigotry… and so on). This falls to us, the citizens. We have a role to play, too.

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    • I agree.

      I believe it is more related to cops being assholes, than cops being racist. As this has been my experience. The cops that beat the crap out of me, with my hands cuffed behind my back, weren’t being racist. As I, and they, are white.

      However that does not rule out the possibility of cops being assholes and racists.

      The base problem is abuse of force, i.e. assholes. Racism I am sure also plays a role in some cases and cannot be ruled out. But you can’t always jump to the race factor just because a victim of, police abuse of force, is a person of color.

      At it’s core, the problem is abuse of power. Everything after that is secondary. However no less important, especially if racism also plays a role. We can’t always assume one because of the other, without corroborating evidence.

      Giving the assholes armored vehicles and automatic weapons is a bad idea, given their propensity to be assholes. Let’s get to the bottom of the issue, find them, weed them out.

      We need a lot more Andy’s, and a helluva lot less Barneys, with gung ho take em down, kill em all attitudes. In the rash of videos involving police abuse of power, I have yet to see one instance where de-escalation tactics were employed, before the shooting started, and potential perps soon became victims in the morgue.

      These guys might as well be the SS.

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  6. Shell, I think this is exactly right when you say, “At it’s core, the problem is abuse of power. Everything after that is secondary.”

    That’s the problem around which police reform must occur.

    Now, here’s the thing that is a central part of exercising public authority: is a police officer representing themselves draped in the authority of the public or a representative of the public authority?

    We have a massive amount of confusion over this, where individuals believe they have the right when draped by public authority to insert their individuality into whatever office they hold. In other words, The Police Officer named, say, Glen, honestly believes he is properly titled as Glen the Police Officer, as if the public role is a central part of his private identity. This assumption causes a problem in that Glen believes his preferences and biases and methods are permitted to influence and direct how he enforces the law. In fact, he insists by his rights and freedoms that he should be allowed to insert his individuality into the enforcement role, that constraining his individual preferences is actually ‘systemic discrimination’. And we have lots of court cases that sides with Glen, that excuses or allows his private and individual preferences and beliefs to operate to shape the use of his public authority.

    Think of the wearing of overt religious symbols: individuals claim ‘discrimination’ if they are not allowed to ‘freely’ express their preferences and beliefs while acting in the role of some office that has public authority. Here in Canada, a teacher who says she must wear a full burka as part of her ‘identity’ should be able to work as a public school teacher and any imposed rule that no overt religious symbols can be worn denies not just her ‘right’ to religious freedom but denies her the ‘right’ to work as a teacher.

    Think of the registered pharmacist who refuses to fill RU-486 prescriptions because he mistakenly believes he’s contributing to ‘abortion’. Think of the judge who allows a grandfather to bugger his 14 years old niece because that’s not uncommon behavior, he’s told, for the ethnic group and allows the victim to remain a virgin for family honor. Think of the exemption for Sikh students at a public school to wear a kirpan (knife) or not have to wear a military helmet because for ‘religious’ reasons. The list goes on and on where the individual preferences and beliefs are legally entitled to trump the public office constraints.

    All of this undermines equality before the law and so it grants legal room for individuals to exercise civil authority but shape that authority to align with their personal preferences and beliefs. That’s the legal groundwork necessary to allow excesses of public authority in the name of ‘reasonable accommodation’ for personal preferences and beliefs. And the police are no exception. This makes it very difficult legally to insist on a bounded code of conduct, so it ends up in policies and procedures that amounts to administrative oversight that more often than not turns a blind eye to the very excesses of unprofessional conduct that blackens them because there really isn’t a bounded and equal code of conduct for everyone that isn’t first made into Swiss chees for all manner of personal exemptions of ‘conscience’.

    As far as I’m concerned, when one dons the authority of a public office, one discards the personal identity entirely. That’s why we have uniforms, to alert not just the wearer but those around that one is dealing with a representative of public authority, of a public office, where the wearer is interchangeable but the power remains equally consistent. Lacking that assurance, it’s no wonder that so much confusion and so much excess continues without any meaningful change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The issue you raise, I would have to say, that an on duty public official should put aside their personal preferences and do their jobs according to the laws of the land. Full stop.

      I don’t care if you are a religiot, a white supremacist neo nazi, or a baker of cookies, when you clock in you do your job and leave your personal business out of it.

      If you can’t do that, you aren’t fit for the job.

      Screening for potential police officers should require a rigorous psychological study. Don’t even let them go to training if they can’t get past the idiot test.

      Liked by 1 person

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