Police and Society

What One State is Doing About It

Americans have heard and seen reports, many with accompanying video footage, of excessive use of force and brutality against protestors and some rioters. We have the two Buffalo police officers who shove a 75 year old man, causing him to fall to the ground and hitting his head on the pavement. Then, while visibly bleeding from his head, he is ignored by many officers. They fail to render the man any assistance.

There have been reports of driving a patrol vehicle into a crowd of protestors, violently knocking protestors to the ground, police striking a man in the head, violently attacking and dispersing peaceful protestors to clear the way for a photo op, and so on. Members of the nation’s supposedly highly trained law enforcement personnel seem to have lost their ability to remain professionals.

Departments have relieved officers pending investigation into their actions, fired officers, and officers have been charged for their alleged violations. That’s all well and good, but what about the field supervisors who should be controlling their officers? Are they to get off without any disciplinary action? If there were no supervisors, then the command staff needs be held accountable. Also, more training at all levels may be called for too.

I acknowledge that officers have had to deal with rioting and looting, yet that is no excuse to be brutal towards anyone. We look to our law enforcement officers to work at a higher standard of behavior, to be professionals who stay within the laws.

Law enforcement agencies need our trust and we need to be able to trust them. Police have something no other civil group has, they can take away our freedom. It is vitally important that we know they will never let their professionalism fail them. We need our police, they do hold a thin blue line between a safe society and complete criminal anarchy. If we can’t trust them, then our society is doomed.

Right now in the United States there is a national upheaval occurring. Between the murder of George Floyd, the pandemic, and the tanked economy, we are teetering daily. We are unsure of what tomorrow will bring. When our national leaders fail us, as they are currently, we look to our state government to lead us and to our law enforcement to keep us safe.

America needs these protests to continue, to fight against systemic racial injustice. It needs to be done by Americans of all races, standing together to support our most discriminated against racial group – African Americans. Because until Black Lives Matter we will never be able to say that All Lives Matter.

Until next time

The 21st Century Civil Rights Movement, Part 2

Where Do We Go Now?

Please start with Part 1.

There are many areas in society that need reform, so where do we start? I believe we start with the most visible organizations, the nation’s local, county, and state police agencies. How these agencies operate, are supervised and controlled must be changed.

Police Reform:

Here is what is needed to begin the never-ending change:

Civilian oversight boards must be instituted for each agency, with the authority to access all necessary records to review police actions, with results reported publicly. This includes personnel and disciplinary records, incident reports, body and car cam footage, witness statements and recordings that are available.

Laws need to be enacted to outlaw any type of dangerous physical restraint, such as choke holds or knees to the neck. Only the minimum force necessary must ever be used and only after deescalation tactics have failed or are determined to be untenable.

Agency policies and procedures must be enacted and enforced in the steps an officer must take once a suspect is in handcuffs or under some form of physical restraint. These procedures must result in protecting EVERYONE‘S life as much as is humanly possible. Policies must be implemented that removes officers that have proven complaints against them. The removed officer should be retrained or terminated, as determined by department leadership.

The 21st Century Civil Rights Movement, Part 1

Millennials & Gen Z Lead the Way

Mr George Floyd

As we all know, or should know, George Floyd was murdered by four Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020, and that it was captured on cellphone video. Mr Floyd was arrested by police for allegedly using a counterfeit twenty dollar bill to buy a pack of cigarettes. For this heinous offense, Mr Floyd paid with a death penalty being imposed on him. He was “tried”, “convicted”, and “executed” by members of the Minneapolis “Thin Blue Line.”

Mr Floyd was prone on the ground, handcuffed, and had ex-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck. This lasted for well over eight minutes. Mr Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” but was ignored by the four officers. Ex-officers Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane stood by observing while Chauvin murdered Mr Floyd. Not one of them rendered any assistance to Mr Floyd to save his life.

From left to right Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane

Mr Floyd is just one more name in a long and sad list of African Americans killed by police in America, with many of the police being found not guilty by a jury or never charged with a crime. Finally, after nine days, all four Minneapolis ex-officers have been charged by the Minnesota Attorney General. Chauvin, originally charged with 3rd degree murder, is now charged with 2nd degree murder. The other three ex-officers have been charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder. Each faces the maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. At least, unlike Mr Floyd, they will get to breathe.

What Constitution?

Today starts a new type of blog posts I will make from time to time. I call these “Blog Shorts” and they will generally be no more than 500 words.

What the hell is wrong with the police forces in America? I have watched the news videos showing acts of violence committed by police officers around the country. The indiscriminate use of tear gas, rubber bullets and other “weapons” to assault our citizens protesting across the nation is wrong!

I have watched Atlanta police officers tazer and rip two people from a car, for no recognizable reason. The fact is that the six officers now have warrants out for their arrest on a variety of charges. I hope they all are feeling nervous about their futures. They earned it.

I have watched an NYPD patrol car drive through a group of protestors, watching as some of the protestors rolled off the hood of the vehicle. There isn’t a valid reason for this kind of act. The officer, or officers, in that vehicle need to be charged.

I listened to President Trump speak to the American public on how he is a “law and order” president. He warned the nation that he will, if necessary, be “dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property.” He stated that the streets would be dominated in the cities.

I then watched protestors in Washington, outside the White House, as a line of federal riot police suddenly charged into the protestors nearby. Tear gas was tossed among them, shields were used to assault peaceful protestors, along with rubber bullets. This occurred about 25 minutes prior to the start of a 7pm curfew. Then I watched President Trump walk across the street to stand before the Episcopal Church sign and hold up a Bible (held backwards and upside-down). The attack on the protestors exercising their rights was simply so President Trump could get his photo opportunity. I guess his rights trumps (pun intended) the protestors.

These are just some of the scenes I watched. President Trump refuses to attempt to try and calm the nation. If he thinks his Rose Garden speech is going to stop the protests, he should think again. If anything it will increase the protests, maybe adding President Trump’s own lawlessness as a reason to be on the streets protesting.

The President is a coward and is scared. Be scared. Be very, very scared. November approaches. It is with the greatest hope that you will be defeated and sent packing by Joe Biden.

As for law enforcement agencies with officers tarnishing the reputations of departments across the country. Every cop using excessive force of any kind should be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed to the maximum extent of the law. Then, and only then, departments can begin to try and reestablish positive relations in the communities they police.

Until next time

Donald Trump – WAR Leader

I did not plan to write a post on Donald Trump so soon again, but he just can’t keep from making a spectacle of himself to the American public. I can’t let his behavior pass without calling him out.

President of the United States Donald Trump has called himself a war leader in fighting the invisible enemy of the COVID-19 pandemic. I agree that he is the WAR leader, but not the kind he thinks he is. Donald Trump is the White American Racists leader.

Why do I say this about the President? I will endeavor to explain.

American Racism: Still Going Strong

Will it Ultimately Destroy us?

Racism has been a part of the fabric of white America for over a century before the Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal”. What the document failed to say is that the “equal” meant not what it should mean. The white men writing the declaration meant that only white men were created equal (and even that was a lie).

White America made the unspoken declaration that racism was acceptable, so much so that racism became deeply intrinsic to the nation. Decade after decade over the past 244 years it has been a large part of White Americans behavior. Regardless of where on the timeline of America we look, we can find plenty of racist behaviors, both societal and institutionally.

Racism, for this article, is defined at dictionary.com as:

  • a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
  • a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
  • hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Donald “Tweety” Trump

Note: I’ve spent the past several days putting together a long post on a subject that I find particularly blaring about White America. However, after reading about the President’s antics over this Memorial Day weekend, I needed to speak about it now.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance of the men and women of the U.S. military who gave their lives for our nation. Yes, there is also a weekend of activities throughout the country, even during this pandemic that is far from finished with us. Yet, not everybody knows how to behave.

President Donald Trump spent his weekend doing his best to show his irreverence and contempt for our fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. He also did it just as publicly as he possibly could. To his credit, he’s never one to pass up an opportunity to make an ass of himself. Plus, we must not forget the Trump apologists who expect mainstream America to believe the twisted logic they put out on behalf of the President.

Coronavirus and Conspiracy Theories

What does the coronavirus and conspiracy theories have in common? They both start with the letter ‘C’.

The number of U.S. confirmed coronavirus cases is, at the time of this writing, 1,562,714. The number of deaths from the coronavirus stands at 93,863. Keep those numbers in mind.

The Big Picture:

Okay, maybe that is the easy answer. There are no commonalities between the conservative conspiracy beliefs and the deadliest pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu. Yet, here in America there is a fair many people who believe one or more conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. It would be a totally laughing matter if it weren’t for the fact that there are prominent personalities in government (President Trump and Rush Limbaugh) and the media (Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and others at Fox News) who buy into this horse manure in one form or another.

It’s a different place

America today doesn’t seem to be a nation that makes much sense to the rest of the world, let alone Americans. Hell, let alone me especially!

There is a definitive change in our society, pandemic aside for the moment. It is debatable whether this change is good or bad. I guess it will really depend where you stand and look at it.

I stand in the middle, looking outward at the many angles of life that drive the existence of our country. In many cases I do not like what I am seeing, primarily because of the political situation America is currently confronted with. That situation is our President, Donald Trump, and all the ugliness he has brought forth to, as he sees it, rule the United States.