- E's Moriarity
This morning's first story: op ed in NYT Death in Black and White.
- E's Moriarity
(can't get the link to work because their url doesn't take out problematic characters in the article titles; you're gonna have to cut and paste it, not click it)
"MINNEAPOLIS — When Philando Castile saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror, it wasn’t unusual. He had been pulled over at least 52 times in recent years in and around the Twin Cities and given citations for minor offenses including speeding, driving without a muffler and not wearing a seat belt."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/stopped-52-times-by- ... c_story.html
- E's Moriarity
I myself have driven with broken tail lights/brake lights. The drivers behind me told me about them. I have driven with broken headlights at night. Nobody pulled me over. I don't drive without a seatbelt, but my dad does all the time.
These are precisely the kinds of "citations" that lead to a distrust of the police, and which fall heavily on poor communities of color. In Ferguson, the investigation into the force showed how the police and courts colluded to cite poor black citizens for minor infractions, then manipulate the court system so that even those who tried to pay COULD NOT, and their fines went up and up and up. Ostensibly this "filled the coffers" and helped pay for the police, but it has other impacts as well.
When you make statements like that, you ignore the fact that many, if not most, people commit minor infractions like this. Have you ever exceeded the speed limit? I do, many times. Have you ever driven with a broken tail light or headlight? I have, unintentionally, and then intentionally as I went to the mechanic to get it fixed (electrical problem, not just a broken bulb). But the cops aren't pulling you over.
The one time I was pulled over, I was on my way to work and my headlight was out. A cop pulled me over - the "routine traffic stop" that so often ends in a dead black man. He treated me very politely and told me, after I answered his question about whether I was going to work (loaded question), that he'd be done quickly. And he was. I am a middle aged white woman driving a clean, fairly new Subaru, and I don't have any outstanding warrants nor any citations for broken headlights. But if I had been pulled over each time my car had a malfunction I couldn't see, I'd "have a record."
What his citation record tells me is that the police in that neighborhood are doing the wrong kind of policing. It also tells me that he is probably not very well-off, because repairing and insuring cars is expensive. There is also a story that some media outlets are publishing that the police scanner has a recording of the policeman who shot him telling the dispatch that he was pulling over the car because the driver looked like a suspect in a robbery, because he "had a wide nose." However, he told the dead man he was being pulled over for a broken tail light. So what was it? Did he look like a robbery suspect? Or did he have a broken tail light?
Wheekers, have you read any of the linked essays here and on the other thread, about POC and their interactions with the police? If you have, it surprises me that this would be your reaction.
And while I appreciate that non-lethal force can be appropriate, why is it appropriate to shoot a man AT ALL for a broken tail light (if that was the reason he was pulled over)??? He was licensed to carry a gun, he was getting his ID, as he had been instructed. Obviously he knew the drill because he survived over 50 "routine traffic stops."
Ditto this. I put a link up to this story as a racial profiling story. His being targeted (often) to be pulled over.
Half the charges were dismissed. He did not deserve this. No one does.
All in all I received 4 tickets I had to pay from $25 to about $60. Every cop except the state trooper was professional and polite, because I was. I do believe the pulling over for brake lights and such is a reason to look for other infractions. If you aren't breaking the law and are polite, you don't have anything to worry about.
That is of course if you aren't a car full of 19 year old black kids. It can't be denied. It happens. I don't believe they’re pulled over more than I am (I’m just a magnet for some reason), it's what happens when they are pulled over that is different and concerning. But cars full of white kids get pulled over also I suppose.
I don’t know, I hate the whole thing. To protect and serve. Just do that, no more no less and we'd all be ok.
- E's Moriarity
Again, I ask, have you read the stories from POC about their interactions with police? By all accounts, Philando Castile was polite, he was "compliant," he obviously knew what to do as a black man pulled over for a routine traffic stop.
Being "polite" just IS NOT ENOUGH. Please read these stories. They are filled with examples of black men being polite, doing what the police tell them to do, answering questions, not "talking back," not "non-compliant." I'm not saying your lived experiences with the police are not true because they are. I'm saying that YOUR lived experience isn't a metric to judge the lived experience of POC when they encounter the police.
It's like a burly construction worker saying, "I can walk down the street in shorts and men don't cat-call ME!" as a rebuttal to the hundreds and thousands of stories by women about their lived experience as a woman walking through the world.
- Supporter in '10
I'm just so sad and defeated and frightened. It seems like a terrible combination of "same as it ever was" and the tipping edge of an all out race war coming.
People I know and love have commented, in the face of such damning videos for Castile and Sterling..."if you reach into your pocket a cop doesn't know if it's a gun...we wouldn't be having thud conversation if the cop got shot", and "well, he [Sterling] is a career criminal."
Since when has petty theft and drug possession warranted the death penalty without trial? Or why is acceptable that the police are so fearful that they shoot first and ask questions later and people think it is ##**ing OKAY?!
It's not ok. None of this is ok, and it seems like the two groups of people who should have no more differences between them then what they had for breakfast are perched on opposite sides of a chasm so deep that we will never bridge the gap.
It's being pointed out alot how silent the NRA has been in light of recent events.
Everyone I know feels scared, including myself. And while the rallying cry around terror attacks was that if we caved in to the fear, and changed our lives, the terrorists will have won. I haven't heard people say the same things here, mostly because it just doesn't apply. Unless you want to bunker down in an underground cave.
I think I live in a pretty progressive town. The new police chief especially is very picky about who he hires. That's not to say there have not been issues in the past.
Charlottesville got bad press when a popular college student was injured but it was NOT the cops but Alcoholic Beverage Control agents who used excessive force (though in reading up, he did get charged with two misdemeanors: obstruction of justice without force and profane swearing and/or intoxication in public) over a year ago. http://abcnews.go.com/US/excessive-force-eyed-arrest-uva-student-alcohol-agents/story?id=29738514
- E's Moriarity
Maybe I'm stupid, but I'm not scared about a race war. I think the idea of the race war is, like Islamic Terrorism, used to divide people and sow fear.
I am very disheartened and depressed about the world we live in, soaked in hatred, fear and violence.
- E's Moriarity
The True History of the Origins of Police: Protecting and Serving the Masters of Society
Here is a longer one:
Origins of the Police
In any honest discussion of what is going on right now, I think that the actual history of the police and its purpose as an extension of the (capitalistic) state are really important to acknowledge. If the modern police force is an outgrowth of capital's desire to protect property (return slaves to slave owners and prevent the poor from organizing), you get a larger picture of why POC and the poor are so often the victims of aggressive social control via police.
As I said in the other thread, the image of Officer Friendly who keeps neighborhoods safe from the Bad Guys (whomever they may be) is one that is comforting to white middle class people, and one that is probably in line with their lived experience. However, it is absolutely in conflict with the lived experience of many people, those who are victimized by the police, or who cannot get assistance from the police because of the neighborhood they live in, their gender, their race. If talking about race is difficult, consider the history that police and law enforcement have with battered women or rape victims. It isn't a particularly rosy history.
- E's Moriarity
2006 FBI report about police forces in the US being infiltrated by KKK members. It is difficult to read (lots of redactions and weird formatting) but the fact that the FBI counterterrorism division released this unclassified version TEN YEARS AGO is pretty flippin' scary.
But people still persist in thinking of police as an institution that is benign and color-blind.
As the police become more militarized and have more "tools" at their disposal, the worse things get. Here is a short blog post that summarizes larger studies and articles about roadside drug tests and how they ruin the lives of innocent people. You can read the longer essays at the links within the blog story, but the blog story condenses the information for a quicker read.
There are so many articles out there there with many untruths. One I read earlier in the day, ( and lets face it there has been 1000's ) said that the guy was waiving a gun at someone, thus the police call in by supposedly the store manager, so yes, I thought the cop was warrented to be on alert, but I never felt it was okay to unload his gun into him. Hence my kneecap comment.
As with everything lately too much wrong info, too many hair triggers. I refuse to watch the videos. - Because I watched an al jazeer video that ended in a beheading that I'll never get out of my mind. I am very happy for the camera movement because it does show more sides.
Just to say I am not the person you suspect I am.