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[Police brutality] American injustice, yet again.


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I've become convinced that Trump spewing nonsense like this isn't just tactical. I think he actually believes there's a Deep State conspiring against him, that the Left is evil, that the media are the enemy of the people (meaning himself). He's deliberately seeking sources of "information" that feed that narrative, often with no basis in fact, and making his decisions based on what they tell him. I'm not sure whether he started out paranoid and delusional, but he's there now.

 

And that is the worst directive to be getting from the top of the country at a time like this. Trump is clearly coming down on the side of police use of force, right or wrong. That can only inflame passions and widen the gap between them and the public.

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I'm not going to try to get into an argument on this.  I'm just going to state things as I see them.  It will be kinda long.  I am a defense attorney and was a public defender for nearly a decade.  So

I'm glad we have a police viewpoint in here.  One of the scoutmasters in our troop is a long time cop, and he has the best stories.  He's also apologetic for the bad apples and "bad shoots" that we us

My point is that it shouldn't matter if the boys in blue are chatting up Beelzebub out for a Sunday stroll; the actions of the person being questioned/stopped are what ought to matter. Putting that as

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3 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

And that is the worst directive to be getting from the top of the country at a time like this. Trump is clearly coming down on the side of the police, right or wrong. That can only inflame passions and widen the gap between them and the public.

 

I do think the very existence of Donald Trump (and the specific inflammatory media he refers to) is a major contributing factor to these protests... as is unemployment (from the lockdown).   I don't think it would be this size without either of these factors.

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2 hours ago, TrickstaPriest said:

 

I do think the very existence of Donald Trump (and the specific inflammatory media he refers to) is a major contributing factor to these protests... as is unemployment (from the lockdown).   I don't think it would be this size without either of these factors.

 

Racism's been around forever.  Inflammatory media has been around for quite some time;  Rush Limbaugh goes back to the early 80's, for example, and he's never been bashful.  And we can't ignore the Al Sharptons who fan the flames on the other side.  Trump is a contributor...because as President his stature and visibility are so much higher.  And, the stature of the office is an enabler itself..."hey, the President of the US backs us, that PROVES we're right!"  Another factor...simply, go back to why Black Lives Matter started.  What changed since Trayvon Martin, since Ferguson?  NOTHING, or so it looks.

But...

IMO, don't discount one salient, HUGE, factor here.

The videos.  

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But a thousand words is still a fragment of a story.  A video makes things REAL.  Or even surreal.  Think Ray Rice for the power of a video.

Add in the video of the old man *smacked* to the ground for no reason.
Add in the outright LIES told by the cops, in several of these incidents, that are getting blasted apart by the videos.  
Once you know the cops are lying about a few incidents...it's a lot easier to believe they've been lying about a LOT more, and thus those who've challenged them become far more believable.

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56 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But a thousand words is still a fragment of a story.  A video makes things REAL.  Or even surreal.  Think Ray Rice for the power of a video.

 

You are right, I think I was talking to someone (here?  in face to face?) that I doubt it was about the person so much as the direct camera and the gruesome way it happened.  That's a very substantial third factor.

 

1 hour ago, unclevlad said:

Racism's been around forever.  Inflammatory media has been around for quite some time;  Rush Limbaugh goes back to the early 80's, for example, and he's never been bashful.  And we can't ignore the Al Sharptons who fan the flames on the other side

.

:D   I loathe the radio show influences that have directly spread provably bad information (on climate change, for example), effectively created generational brainwashing, now reinforced by memetic phrases and images (literally 'thought terminating cliches'), and I happily will lay some responsibility on the feet of a number of people like him.  But that's a conversation (ie rant) for the politics thread.

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5 minutes ago, Greywind said:

 

Sure, I've heard that before (ie- it's all fake because there were other terrible things that people should be outraged about).  I won't talk about the political angle of who may fed this (sure, that's probably a thing), but I will point out that everyone on the streets are outraged for a reason. 

 

We can claim that outrage is timed or being fanned, but are we implicitly arguing then that it's wrong?  I guess that depends on what is done about it, and to me that states that the most important thing is to find a direction and resolution to the conflict that'll actually work.

 

Whoever may have and be fanning it, there's a lot of direct evidence of bad stuff being done to people regardless of that.  A reporter's eye being destroyed, an old man getting his head cracked open, numerous cars damaged (strategically?).  The DC protest being flash banged and gassed, and a number of other 'apparent spontaneous gassing/flash banging'.

 

Why now?  Maybe the election.

 

But that's not what's going to get people outside in droves

 

I will point out most people spend all their time working (at least one job), and it takes a lot to get people out nowadays.  40 million unemployed is going to give a lot of people the energy to get on the streets.  For over a decade I've been aware of this, and this has been a huge complaint of a lot of people - they are too damn busy to even complain. 

 

People have the actual time and energy to do something, and have felt helpless for a very long time.

 

I also have seen a clear number of people (interviewed on live streams) who clearly don't know much about the person who died, and are just out there to scream and shout and be angry at the system. 

 

I could be upset at those people too.  Then again, if I was out of work and protesting, it would be about the financial inequalities that drive this racial treatment, the surveillance state, and the lack of action on climate change.  BLM and this protest would simply be folded into those reasons, for me.  Important, but not the only reason I'd be out there.

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2 minutes ago, Greywind said:

 

Perhaps it didn't happen because the Dallas cops managed to block the body cam footage for 3 years, at which point it may have been rather stale.

I'll also argue that ALL of these incidents, whether they generated protests or not, are contributory to the reaction now.  People might not hear about all the incidents, but many people hear about enough of them.  It might be a bit overly loose as a comparison, but if you're old enough to remember the anti-smoking campaign's heyday?  Big Tobacco largely followed a playbook of deny, deny, deny, suppress, suppress, suppress, and won over, and over, and over again in court because IIRC the causal connection couldn't be shown.  Until enough was enough.  Read the article Greywind posted;  that's the playbook.  Then individuals lie...yeah, well, it's in their interest to do so.  The investigators appear to think something is up...and presumably they HAVE the body-cam footage.  But the department bosses don't take it very far.  The DA's office colludes by dismissing the charges.  That's the whole "nope, not us, not our problem" playbook.  And fight it in court, same thing.  

Well, there are indications that maybe we've reached "enough is enough."  We'll see.  Has it...or is this yet another hand-wringing exercise, and ultimately nothing meaningful will be done, a la, say, Parkland?

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4 hours ago, TrickstaPriest said:

 

I do think the very existence of Donald Trump (and the specific inflammatory media he refers to) is a major contributing factor to these protests...

 

Terrible politicians do not emerge from a void; phantoms are not the beings which elect them. A popular demagogue can simultaneously be a symbol of a greater problem and a contributor to the problem.

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Just now, Ragitsu said:

Terrible politicians do not emerge from a void; phantoms are not the beings which elect them. A popular demagogue can simultaneously be a symbol of a greater problem and a contributor to the problem.

 

I wholly agree.  That's why I don't think this is going to end with an election no matter how it goes.  More stuff I think I ranted about on the pol thread 😕

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I dislike using youtube as a 'source', but it does look like someone else is responding to the question I had before, about 'scanning'.  I haven't watched the full video (its more about the tweet), but at least other people are beginning to go "that's not how that works".
 

 

 

To set aside the problematic issues of Trump's words for a moment, the remark (by anyone) of "he was scanning to black out their equipment" clearly isn't how that works.  There's literally no such thing in any technology I've ever heard of or had access to. 

 

Any such requirements to even scan a credit card can be done from fifty to a hundred feet away now, and any electronics is much easier than that. 

 

And that's just to pick up information, interference can be done similarly, without a scanning 'requirement'.  ALL of said equipment would require a backpack, not a phone, and would be done from further away.  There'd never be a need to approach anyone for it, and there's been no reports I've heard of that any police have experienced that kind of signal interference (so I dunno if anyone has attempted it either).

 

Now, civilians/protesters...

 

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9 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

This goes back to the posts from earlier today...why are the protests so strong right now?

 

From that article:

Quote

"This is big," legendary GOP pollster Frank Luntz tweeted on Monday about a dramatic shift in how Americans are viewing police violence. After Eric Garner died in police custody in 2014, 33% of Americans said they believed police were more likely to use excessive force against African Americans. That figure now stands at 57%, according to a poll from last week.

 

So again, I'll argue some of this is more people believe there's a pattern and practice in play here.  And, it's not just against blacks, as other stories have been showing.

The union pushback is a given, and why it's not clear whether anything broad can be achieved.  Unions have curbed employer abuses to be sure...but they sometimes create their own.  In the current social context, where polarization is so extreme, it makes a lot of sense that the union itself forms a pole about which its members close ranks.  A risk with any pole is the growth of an "us against them" mentality...and our poles, be it political, racial, cultural, or whatever, have become extremely strong.  

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In the case of police in America, what I see and hear indicates the "us against them" mentality has been firmly entrenched for some time. I strongly doubt anything can be done to diffuse that at this point, so that positive change can happen -- it's a fight that's just going to have to be fought.

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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

In the case of police in America, what I see and hear indicates the "us against them" mentality has been firmly entrenched for some time. I strongly doubt anything can be done to diffuse that at this point, so that positive change can happen -- it's a fight that's just going to have to be fought.

Well, what is likely to happen is that some municipalities will bypass union contracts by "dismantling" and then reconstituting departments, state and federal legislators will pass laws imposing new requirements and restrictions, and the next presidential administration is likely to return to DOJ civil rights actions against city departments, forcing consent decrees modifying police conduct.  There is definitely greater political and public pressure on police forces to change now, and the unions are facing a dilemma--dig in, or give up a little bit to lower the pressure and hope the unity of the movement fizzles out and the public moves on again.  

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31 minutes ago, megaplayboy said:

It's helpful when the deplorables do things out in the open.  One of the counterprotesters was a Fed Ex employee and police officer--now an ex Fed Ex employee, apparently.

 

 

Slight technical correction...corrections officer, not police officer.  And it's 2 separate people, just to be clear.  The Fed Ex guy has been fired;  the correctional officer is suspended pending review and barred from the correctional facilities.  The union has decried their officer's conduct...unlike, say the Dallas police union.

 

Yeah, it's disgusting.  And it says, I think, a great deal about how much Trump's inflammatory remarks have empowered, enabled, and emboldened some people.  Or not;  this might not be all that different from, say, David Duke...not necessarily indicative of anything in particular beyond a vicious, hate-full whack job.  

 

A possible silver lining is...the people in that town know who the guy kneeling on the neck is.  It seems pretty clear that he's going to be getting a visit from St. Payback....

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Yes, sentiments like that have been expressed in America prior to the last few years... but they were expressed openly by only a few, high-profile enough to feel they were insulated from direct retaliation, and even then expressed in environments where they felt safe and supported. This kind of brazen public display of hostility and contempt by "regular Americans" has not been seen in decades. Even people who felt this way were afraid to say it outside their circle of like minds. I attribute that change directly to being emboldened by the sometimes tacit, sometimes overt approval they sense from Donald Trump.

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Interesting piece in the MIT Review....https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/06/03/1002587/sousveillance-george-floyd-police-body-cams/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

Quote

If police officers know they’re being watched both by their body cameras and by civilians with cell phones, they will discipline themselves and refrain from engaging in unnecessary violence. It’s a good theory, but in practice, it hasn’t worked. A large study in 2017 by the Washington, DC, mayor’s office assigned more than a thousand police officers in the District to wear body cameras and more than a thousand to go camera-free. The researchers hoped to find evidence that wearing cameras correlated with better policing, less use of force, and fewer civilian complaints. They found none: the difference in behavior between the officers who knew they were being watched and the officers who knew they were not was statistically insignificant. Another study, which analyzed the results of 10 randomized controlled trials of body camera use in different nations, was helpfully titled “Wearing body cameras increases assaults against officers and does not reduce police use of force.”

 

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