Saturday, May 30, 2020

Law and Disorder: in the racial injustice system, the police commit crimes and then . . . they get away with it. Bump-bump

By Scott V. Sandford
Spy Justice Correspondent

Over 100,000 dead from pandemic with no end in sight.  Over 1,500,000 afflicted and 40 million employed.  A useless and dysfunctional federal response led by a corrupt drug-addled clown imperiling the nation.

Could things get any worse?  Yes!

Live from Minneapolis, it's the latest video in the 400-year effort to subjugate minorities through illegal violence.  After days of dithering (if you were caught on tape killing someone, how long would you be lounging around before getting arrested?), the clueless Hennepin County DA finally charged one of the four officers who murdered George Floyd.  The other three are still living [Surely at? – Ed.] large, whilst important legal memos are being written on subjects like if you're also sitting on the victim whilst he's being asphyxiated by a brother in blue, did you commit a crime?  Hint: yes.

File under: Respect for law and order
The response of the minority community and their few allies has been as expected:  they're mad as f*** and they're not going to take it anymore.

But let's focus not on their understandable anger and frustration but on the virulent pandemic of incomprehensible police misconduct that has raged out of control for decades even though both the vaccine and the treatment have been known and readily available.

George Floyd was of course not the first black man murdered by police for an alleged nonviolent offense.  Set the Waybac to 2014 and recall the death of Eric Garner, killed by the New York Police Department for the “crime” of selling loose cigarettes.

What happened to the gang of thugs in blue who did him in?  Did the law enforcement authorities take effective steps to punish the guilty and thereby reassure all citizens that their rights and lives were protected?

If you're asking this question, you're white!

The NYPD sure learned its lesson from
the murder of Eric Garner
So for all you wypipo out there, here's what happened, according to The New York Times:

Many police departments, including the one in Minneapolis, stopped teaching the knee restraint technique and also sought to limit the use of chokeholds after the highly publicized death of Eric Garner in 2014 at the hands of the New York Police Department.

Mr. Garner famously gasped “I can’t breathe” 11 times while lying facedown on the sidewalk, a sentence that Mr. Floyd also said several times. In the case of Mr. Garner, investigators determined that the officer who wrestled him to the ground was using a banned chokehold.

The medical examiner ruled Mr. Garner’s death a homicide caused by the compression of his neck from a “chokehold” and the compression of his chest held on the ground in a prone position. 

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who held Mr. Garner in a chokehold, was fired but not charged, inciting protests nationwide. 

And this wasn't in some s**thole redneck town in Texas or Alabama, this was in New York City.  Wtf happened?
Officer Pantaleo had held on to his job as the Staten Island district attorney and the Justice Department declined to charge him with a crime in the face of calls by the Garner family and their supporters that the city punish him and other officers involved. 

Then, a mere five years after his victim breathed his last on a Staten Island sidewalk,  the New York Police Department succeeded in firing the perp:

The New York City police officer whose chokehold led to Eric Garner’s death in 2014 was fired from the Police Department and stripped of his pension benefits on Monday,ending a bitter battle that had cast a shadow over the nation’s largest police force. 

Commissioner James P. O’Neill’s decision to dismiss the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, came five years after Mr. Garner’s dying words — “I can’t breathe” — helped to galvanize the Black Lives Matter protests that led to changes in policing practices in New York and around the country.

You mean . . . they lied?

Five years?  Not to mention the endless round of hearings and “due process” the thug in blue was granted, even as he denied due process, and oxygen, to Eric Garner.  When you f*** up at work, does it take five years to fire you?  Spot the difference!

Oh, and the officers of the NYPD, committed as they are to upholding law and order responded how to Pantaleo's losing his job after five years of collecting his pay and benefits after killing a defenseless citizen?  

On Monday, union leaders loudly accused the mayor and police commissioner of undercutting their ability to enforce laws in an effort to appease “anti-police extremists” and urged officers to call in their supervisors before making an arrest.  

The ridiculous efforts by the NYC Patrolman's Benevolent Association to incite anger, fear, and misconduct among its members should not have been news to anyone awake for the last 50 years or so.  This Times story from August 3, 1964 is but one example:

Note that the inability to capture the killing of the 15-year-old boy on cellphone allowed the police to escape punishment, as was the case from about 1619 to 2010.

Which is probably why the same New York Times, in the August 2, 1964 News of the Week in Review offered this hot take on police brutality and its relationship to angry protest:

Which observers?  Let's just take a wild guess and go with white ones.

And of course 60 years of politicians, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, pandered to white middle-class bigotry by frustrating any effort to address effectively police violence against minorities and anyone else they don't like.

The role of the New York PBA is hardly an anomaly.  The Minneapolis PD, headed by a black chief who reports to a perfectly reasonable mayor, has been repeatedly frustrated in its efforts to control brutal white cops:

[Former Minneapolis Police Chief Jamee] Harteau said that while unions are necessary to push for benefits, the police union in Minneapolis fought her on things such as imposing discipline and terminating officers.

“It really deflates your authority,” Harteau said. “And you can’t have the responsibility unless you have full authority.”

Critics said the issue was one of the city’s own making. City and police officials “constantly bemoan what they can’t do because their hands are tied by the [police union] contract,” said Dave Bicking, vice president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Twin Cities police watchdog group. “But every three years when the contract comes up, they rubber-stamp it.”

Funny,  the Associated Press noticed the same thing:

Some leaders, including former Mayor R.T. Rybak and state Sen. Jeff Hayden, have blamed the city’s police union in recent days for fostering a culture that protects brutal officers and resists efforts at reform. The union’s president, Lt. Bob Kroll, did not return a call seeking comment. 

At best, no one pays attention to the frustration of police efforts to reform their departments by union contracts and politicians sympathetic to the racist appeals of police unions.   At worst, that frustration is a feature, not a bug.

Now we'd be the last people to advocate against working people (including the 5-0) organizing to improve pay and working conditions.  But we haven't noticed unions in the private sector protecting violent criminals on the line at Ford or Boeing, and we don't understand why police unions should be permitted to behave any differently.

Actually, we understand why police violence, especially directed at minorities, has been allowed to flourish with impunity for centuries, when the corrupt bigot now acting as President advocates police lynching in response to property crimes.  We just don't understand why we should put up with police murdering black men suspected of committing petty crimes, throwing young unarmed protesters into the street, or shooting rubber bullets at reporters peacefully reporting any more.

Across America, a bunch of other people don't understand it either.  The others are still drinking the Clorox.

UPDATE May 31:

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