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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/06/2020 in Posts

  1. 12 points
    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. Some of this will probably offend some people here. So be it. I believe everyone here has the same general good goals and none of us are trying to be irrational or hateful. This is, at the same time, both a massive problem within our justice system and also a fairly minor one. In a country of 1/3 of a billion people, about 1000 people a year are shot and killed by the police. Of those, about 10% are reported to be unarmed. Some percentage of the unarmed people are either fleeing or attempting to commit suicide by cop (however I was unable to find those numbers).. A large number of them are also mentally ill (so they do unexpected things). Approximately 40% of the unarmed people who are killed by police are black (mostly young males). About 13% of the US population is black, but they make up a disproportionate share of all inmates in US prisons (accurate numbers are difficult to find quickly on this topic -- I've seen statistics anywhere from 1/3 to more than half, these numbers also appear to be going down). For raw population numbers, unarmed black people are killed at a rate 3 times what we would expect. But compared to how likely they are to be arrested by police, the numbers are much closer (this of course, makes us ask whether black people are unfairly targeted by police in the first place). However this does mean that police do not appear to be more likely to shoot black people in any given encounter (i.e., per contact). Any stance of "even one person being wrongfully killed is unacceptable" doesn't work for me. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. Outright murders happen. We want to minimize these of course, but as TrickstaPriest said above with the person who set a cop on fire in Mexico, "that one person is an asshole and an instigator". Police departments in the United States are local. They vary from massive organizations like the NYPD and LAPD, down to small towns with two part time cops. You cannot have such a dispersed system and also guarantee against one person being "an asshole and an instigator". You cannot say that the entire justice system failed just because Officer Hardass decided to put a bullet in somebody. Single digit incidents across a country of 330 million people are not a sign of a manifestly unjust system. It's also possible for rational people to disagree on individual police shootings. I have not seen the video of the guy who got shot in the back after he stole the cop's taser, but I've talked to several people who have. Everybody seemed to have their own opinion on it. I've seen police shooting videos where I thought the officer should be prosecuted immediately, and other people say "nah, it's fine". And I've seen others where I thought it was perfectly justified (or at least understandable) and the cop gets arrested. People are going to see things differently. However, all that said, there are serious problems within our justice system. We need to change these things. Some of these are going to be extremely difficult to fix, and right now nobody is talking about many of them. Some of them would be easy to fix, but nobody is lifting a finger to do what is necessary. --Police unions have far too much power and influence. In my state, when an officer shoots a suspect he is not questioned about it until days later when he's had a chance to consult with his union rep and an attorney. That's part of their contract (source: a buddy of mine who is an ex-cop). Bad cops get rehired or are never fired in the first place because of union contracts. Even when something is "makes national news" bad, the unions are reluctant to go against their officers. --There is a political problem within the Democratic Party right now. African Americans vote Democrat about 90% of the time, but police unions are also major contributors to Democratic politicians. Taking on the unions is a career killer for local Democrat politicians. Republican politicians have no real incentive to take action (though they try to combat public sector unions on general principle, it's not Republicans who are getting shot), and Democratic politicians are paralyzed. Two of their largest voting blocks are in opposition to each other here. --Cops aren't tested for steroids. This is a major problem, it's obvious, and no one has ever mentioned it. I've seen these guys in the courtroom. Everybody knows who they are. They're clearly juicing and everyone knows it. Yet cops aren't drug tested, and they certainly aren't tested for steroids. I'd say at least 10% of cops are juicing. Now don't get me wrong -- I was once in a room with a client who was one big mean son of a bitch, he got mad at me and jumped out of his chair at me. I was very happy to see Officer Zangief (clearly taking some "Vitamin S") come in and smash that sucker into the wall. Cops deal with dangerous people, that's why so many of them take steroids. But we need to start doing something about it. --No one is keeping track of bad cops. Social media companies, instead of doing something useless like saying "we support BLM", could actually do something helpful. It would be trivially easy for Facebook or Google or another company that already mines our data to create an algorithm that scans news reports for instances of police violence and assembles a database. When somebody tweets out "my cousin Ricky got shot by the police", people should be collecting that. When a cop gets fired for illegal use of force, that should follow him. As it is, it's too easy for him to go to a different department and get hired there. But if a report was widely available, and you could see this guy had already shot 3 people and had 15 complaints against him? A lot less bad cops would get rehired. --Police are not trained enough in de-escalation. They're not trained enough, period. But they're especially not trained in de-escalation. Every cop who goes through the academy should know how to approach a suspect who is not actively resisting and talk to him in such a way that they don't start actively resisting. Too many cops go to violent confrontation too quickly. This is a problem that can be fixed, but it doesn't get fixed by spending less money. --Local prosecutors have very close relationships with the police. Prosecutors are friends with cops. They marry cops. They work with cops every day. It's hard to file charges against a guy who came to your cookout a month ago. Last week you were asking him how his wife and new baby are doing, this week you're trying to decide if it was okay for him to shoot a guy who had been to prison three times. In most circumstances, the cop gets the benefit of the doubt. Federal prosecutors need to take a much more active role in reviewing state police shootings. This is something the President can order at any time (yes, Trump could have already done it, but so could have Obama). Again, it's politically costly. In some states, apparently DAs have to present charges against officers to a grand jury. This is a total cop-out, when they say "the grand jury cleared the officer", because grand juries only see the evidence the DA presents. It's easy to softball it and intentionally fail to present enough evidence. Federal prosecutors and state AGs should review every single shooting that is even remotely questionable. --There are, in fact, some racist policies in use when it comes to law enforcement. I once had a case where a dozen police officers pulled up to a run down apartment building and jumped out, guns drawn. They rushed forward like they were conducting a raid. They didn't have any specific information about a crime being committed, they were simply flushing out anybody who ran. Of course my client and several others saw the cops coming and bolted. Fleeing from the police gives them probable cause to stop you, so 10 seconds later my client gets tackled and of course he's got a bunch of drugs on him and a gun. The problem is that my client was a total scumbag who had been to prison multiple times, so the judge was not interested in my argument that the police department's actions were unfair. Of course they don't do this in neighborhoods where dentists and accountants live. They only do it in high crime (i.e., black) neighborhoods. To put a stop to this, you're going to need groups like the ACLU or other well funded organizations to actually look at every arrest in a given city, look for disparate policing policies, and then sue them in federal court. But that's a lot of work, and nobody wants to do it. All that said, there are problems in the black community as well. --Young black men have a skewed perception of how likely they are to get shot. The actual chances of getting shot are incredibly low, but I've seen tons of videos of black men talking about how afraid they are when they are pulled over. I understand why they are (the same reason I don't want to swim in the ocean -- JAWS will get me). But this perception is not accurate. It also makes them more likely to panic and resist arrest. And that makes cops more nervous and more likely to use force. I've read several articles and facebook posts written by black people talking about how they had done nothing wrong, but they were so worried that they almost ran anyway. We've got to publicize that it's actually exceedingly rare for an unarmed person of any race to get shot. --While there are issues with a disparity in justice (black men prosecuted more harshly than white men), there's also a real problem in that a small number of young black men commit a very large percentage of the crime. I once represented a client who said you weren't considered "a man" in his family until you did a 20 year prison sentence. That's heartbreaking but it's true. It isn't racially discriminatory policing that is locking many of these guys up (that guy did a home invasion robbery on Christmas and pointed a gun with a laser sight at a baby). Many times an innocent person is stopped because he "matched a description of a suspect". But I don't think the cops are always lying when they say that. Frequently they are investigating a real crime, and the only description they have is "black male, average height, wearing a dark jacket". --There's also a fairly high tolerance for "victimless crimes" in poor African American communities. Driving without insurance? Driving while a tail light is burned out? Not using your turn signal? Not wearing your seat belt? "That's not even really a crime, man." I actually had a client say that. Combine that with a tendency to not pay tickets and you get suspended driver's licenses and arrest warrants. A huge percentage of my public defender clients got pulled over for some dumb traffic violation, the officer finds out they have a warrant because they didn't show up for court on the previous dumb traffic ticket, he goes to arrest them and then they would do something stupid (like run). And of course then there's something illegal in the car. I would suspect the cop of being a lying racist jerk, and I'd ask my client about it and he'd say "aww, hell no man I never use my turn signal..." Well, shit. Nobody is going to listen to any of my suggestions on how to fix any of this, and my post has gone on too long anyway. In real life I've remained quiet on this, it's too radioactive to touch, especially since I know a lot of cops and judges and prosecutors (many of whom are black). But I figured I'd try to offer my perspective on these problems.
  2. 11 points
    Michael Hopcroft

    Coronavirus

    And I got my test results, and they're negative. Now if only I could find my keys...
  3. 11 points
  4. 11 points
    dmjalund

    In other news...

    maybe just a bust then
  5. 11 points
  6. 10 points
    The first responsibility of a judge is supposed to be to what the law actually says, interpreted through their formal knowledge and experience. Of course personal bias can't be avoided, but they're supposed to strive for objectivity as much as humanly possible. I applaud Justice Gorsuch for holding himself to that standard.
  7. 10 points
    Bwa ha ha! The rules are completely eviscerated by today's Supreme Court decision! https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/06/15/supreme-court-denies-job-protection-lgbt-workers/4456749002/ Edited to add: I mean, it will take some court cases, but the precedent this sets is crystal clear.
  8. 9 points
    Old Man

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  9. 9 points
    Damn STRAIGHT! S.O.B must go down into the ashes of the trash heap of history! I *Cough* *puts on mod hat, nods sagely* I'll allow it.
  10. 9 points
    I hope the Biden campaign relentlessly urges people to get out and vote. Scares them with the risk of Trump returning to office. It won't be enough for Biden just to win. I'm not accustomed to using extreme language, but Trump needs to be crushed under a landslide defeat. There must be no doubt that Trumpism is rejected in its birthplace, so that it's discredited around the world, and its toxic spread reversed. (I apologize if that's too harsh, and will edit my words if a moderator asks.)
  11. 8 points
    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 aside, the assumption that police are one-hundred percent acquainted with the history of everyone they interact with colors public opinion in favor of actions that might have been unnecessary. This pervasive post-hoc rationalization of "Well, y'know, he did so-and-so in the past, so maybe his death wasn't all that bad and maybe the tactics used weren't so egregious." is pretty damn disquieting. I do not like the direction our zeitgeist is heading in when notions such as those are normalized.
  12. 8 points
    Old Man

    Coronavirus

  13. 8 points
    To be frank, your repeated assertion of Biden's mental incompetence as a certainty rather than a possibility, based on the few things you've mentioned as having seen and heard, is starting to sound rather dogmatic. There will be no centralized anything left in Donald Trump's wake. He deliberately provokes chaos. He acts on whim, often changing his mind and contradicting his own officials. His White House is divided into frequently-feuding factions, with no clear chain of command beyond the President himself. He's gutted nearly all departments of the civil service of qualified functionaries. The Republican Party has become Trump's rubber-stamp yes-men whose whole focus is supporting whatever foolishness he says or does, with no independent agenda or policies to steer them after he's gone. Any creative, independent Republican thinkers realize they aren't welcome any more, and have resigned or aren't running again.
  14. 8 points
  15. 8 points
    assault

    RANT

    It's a "yes, but" situation. First, American capitalism, and capitalism in general, was to a very great degree based on racist phenomena. (I'll talk about racist ideology in a moment.) The first thing is that it is built on an Indian Burial Ground, in the most literal sense. Without the dispossession of the indigenous populations, the US wouldn't exist. Second, it was built, economically, on a base of slavery and indentured labour: the first group obviously being mostly drawn from Africa, the latter from various sources, including Europe. Over time, of course, its economy has shifted to being based on waged, notionally free, labour. I say "notionally free", because those who participate in it largely have no other choice except to starve. Yes, there are and always have been small farmers and other small businesses, but the big money doesn't come from them. So historically separating American capital from racism is impossible. On to ideology. Obviously, when you have social segregation, you have a powerful tool of social control. Those at the top of the (in this case) racial heap can often be convinced to side with a society's rulers against those they see as inferior. Some times that can break down, and it's clear that a degree of this breakdown is in play at the moment. It's also never universal - there have always been white anti-racists, for example - but usually a majority have gone along with what they have been told. And here we run into the intersection of social inequality and racism. Essentially, the latter is a powerful instrument in distracting attention from the former, and justifying it. Badger is perfectly correct to point out the plight of poor whites. The problem is that racism sets them against poor black people, Latinos and whoever. While it is impossible to unite across such divisions, none of them can address the fundamental issue. So action against racism is necessary in order to deal with economic inequality. I'll add, too, that even addressing the latter doesn't mean that racism will go away. It would have to be consciously fought even in an economically ideal situation, where the social and economic roots of racism have been dealt with. Similar arguments apply about sexism, homophobia and the whole laundry list of other negative phenomena. OK, I think that's my main argument done with. I may not have always used the latest Academically Correct terms, but it's a pretty standard, deeply unoriginal, position.
  16. 8 points
    We have so many billionaires in the world today. Many of these problems would go away if just one in each major city would step up and endure 10 years of intense training, invest in cutting edge gadgets and vehicles, and construct a secret lair.
  17. 8 points
    Cygnia

    "Neat" Pictures

  18. 7 points
  19. 7 points
    That is a counsel of despair Badger, and not likely to get something better in 2024. If folk don't like either option and wait for something better, nothing is likely to turn up. If people counsel despair, nothing is likely to change. Democracy, like a vegetable garden, takes work to make it flourish. Voting at every election is like seeding the plot and ignoring it until harvest time. It is unlikely you will go back and find any tomatoes, potatoes or carrots, just a bunch of nettles and weeds. We have gotten lazy, expecting the system to throw up good, principled candidates when experience is telling them that is not the way to get elected. What is needed is not new systems or rules but a deeper engagement by the electorate. of course, it might take a new system to garner that engagement. We get the politicians we deserve. Doc
  20. 7 points
    In the long term order isn't maintained by laws, or by force, or by fear. Order is maintained when the majority of citizens believe in the rightness of the system they live under. If that belief is lost, chaos is just a matter of time.
  21. 7 points
    Hey all! Long time no see! Just wanted to drop in and let people know that my new comic book history podcast, Explain This, Comics Guys!! began last week with its very first episode, about the history of the Comics Code Authority and the Code itself. New episodes will drop every other week - we've got six in the can already so we have some margin in case of illness, travel or whatever. You can check it out here: https://explainthis.podbean.com/ Thanks! dw
  22. 7 points
    This tactic of yours - the second time I've seen you use it, by the way - isn't subtle, isn't helpful and isn't relevant.
  23. 7 points
    Brilliant post, sir, but I wanted to address this one point. The problem isn't that mistakes happen, or that one person is an asshole. The problem is that in too many PDs, the asshole is protected by the system and even encouraged to continue his asshole ways. His fellow officers will plant evidence on the victim, lie about what happened, cover up the asshole's crimes, and go after anyone who records or blows the whistle on the asshole. The prosecutors will deliberately fumble the case against the asshole, if charges are even brought. The police union will write protections for the asshole into the union contract. And now everyone in the PD is a bad cop, save the occasional Serpicos who are tolerated at best and doomed to termination or death at worst. In the last two weeks we've seen one PD stage a "blue flu" to protest the arrest of a cop who shot a taser-armed drunk in the back, and we've seen another PD division resign in protest after one of their number was disciplined for shoving an old man and inflicting a TBI. This is not a one-person-is-an-asshole problem.
  24. 7 points
    Gnome BODY (important!)

    Handling complications

    In my experience, the process goes something like this: Two weeks before session 1: Tell the players that hey, we're shifting GMs for a bit and it was a major story arc we just finished, switch PCs if you want but get me the sheet by [one week before session 1]. One week before session 1: I have one PC's sheet. Ask the players for their sheets ASAP. Plan anyways, hope to get sheets soon. Week leading up to session 1: Complete silence from the players. Session 1: All but one player sends me their sheet day-of, generally no more than two hours before game starts. Plans are already finalized. Half the PCs have obvious issues that require immediate attention to fix, so there's no time to work the game around the PCs. The last player seems utterly determined to not hand over their character sheet, for reasons beyond anyone's knowledge. After session 1: Too angry at players refusing to provide sheets to give a flying fornication about working them in.
  25. 7 points
    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 used to hear about occasionally. But he also has the same blind spot that a lot of Fox viewers seem to have, where any criticism of the justice system (or white people) is taken as a personal attack against individual white cops. It's as though the Fox rhetoric blinds them to the fact that, although cops are willing to risk their lives to protect us from criminals and terrorists, they tend to lump non white people into the "criminals and terrorists" category and not the "us" category. I know black people who literally will not call 911 for police for any reason, because evidence shows that bringing a policeman with a gun into a situation with a black person only increases the danger to the black person. To me, that suggests policing could use some serious improvement. Good cops and cop families should absolutely be proud; they're out there doing a dangerous job that I could never do. I'd like to think they're not like the cops that strangled a man to death in the street in Minneapolis for allegedly passing a counterfeit $10, or the one that strangled a man to death on the sidewalk in NYC for selling cigarettes, or the cops that gunned down a nurse in her own apartment after serving a no-knock warrant to the wrong address, or the Charleston cop that shot a fleeing man in the back and dropped his taser to make up a self defense story. We've seen more of these cases on video in the past few years than I can keep track of. The problem is that the good cops aren't really doing much to help. Instead we see case after case of coverups and mistrials. We see police responding to peaceful demonstrations against police violence with... more police violence. And the official spin has become downright Orwellian. Cops slash journalists' car tires? "Strategic tire deflation". Cops shove a peaceful 72-year-old man to the ground, causing TBI? "Cop was defending himself". (Or "Antifa terrorist was scanning something jam communications".) I don't envy good cops' position in all of this, but I'd like to believe that they want to be part of the solution here.
  26. 7 points
    If what John Oliver is saying should not be listened to because he's an entertainer by profession, rather than an academically-credited authority on whatever subject he's discussing, then there's no point in listening to or reading practically anything posted by anyone here, including yourself.
  27. 7 points
    Cygnia

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

  28. 7 points
    Starlord

    A Little Good News

  29. 7 points
  30. 6 points
    Scott Ruggels

    Happy Champions Day!

    On this date, 49 years ago, Championd! The Super Roleplaying Game debuted at Pacific Origins, in San Mateo, California. https://m.imgur.com/a/0E72NAX
  31. 6 points
    An issue in the UK is that some big businesses, Amazon among them, pay workers so poorly that the Government supplements their wages through social welfare. As such, the Government is subsidising Amazon (not to mention the convoluted tax arrangements that mean the company pays MUCH less than they probably should). That kind of thing needs to stop. I can understand a Government subsidising small businesses and even some larger ones as these are important to keeping the wheels moving but larger companies should be able to pay their workers a living wage. Do not know if that is true in the US. However, regardless of how many employees Amazon has, it is the disparity between the owner and top executives compared with those 800k workers that is the real issue - the US was an economic powerhouse in the 50s and 60s when the wage differential was not anywhere near as stark. Also, if Amazon did not exist, there would be probably more people employed (across a number of other companies) providing people with the goods and services that they want. All those companies like Toys R Us that were driven out of business and whose employees are not spending those wages offset Amazon in this respect. Obviously I am not saying that we should save ToysRUs over Amazon, just saying that the efficiency gains by switching to Amazon should not disproportionately benefit the Amazon bosses and disadvantage the workers that have to switch from one big corporation to another, probably with more work and fewer benefits (coz, efficiency). Doc PS: just realised this was a bit political and not on the politics thread - will not take this any further here. 🙂
  32. 6 points
    How much of his income goes to other businesses? If he's holding onto it, then it's not working for the economy-at-large. Money has to move around to be of benefit to the economy, and it's much more effective to give "50,000 McDonald's employees" who have to buy goods and services more money to do so. The money will eventually bubble up to the billionaires, but it will touch a lot more folks along the way.
  33. 6 points
    Not denying that, but not everyone has it so good. Many don't own their own property. And more to the point...we talk about "making America great" while the people who could do so...the billionaires...expect the minimum wage workers of the country to do it. The Amazon CEO could end hunger and homelessness in America and still be a billionaire. Does anyone think that will happen? No. because altruism isn't a feature of American capitalism. The Amazon CEO is worth by some accounts a TRILLION dollars now. If a minimum wage worker makes say...10 dollars an hour....that means Bezos makes about 50,000 times that of the average worker per year. I seriously doubt he's putting in 50,000 times the workload of that average worker. That kind of income disparity is not only criminal...it's not healthy for the long term prosperity of the country. Most Americans are one bad illness or accident away from bankruptcy thanks to medical costs in America. I also question justifying our nation's ridiculous income disparity by saying "well....it could be worse...you could live in {insert poor country here}". Well...we don't live there....we live here...in the country with the world's strongest economy that still doesn't take care of its citizens to First World standards. I've said this before...it could be worse, but it could also be better...a LOT better. And THAT should be our goal...not trying to justify our clearly flawed system.
  34. 6 points
    This is another reason America's longtime allies hope it can get its act together. China as the world's dominant power is a frightening prospect.
  35. 6 points
    Gandalf970

    Continued campaign ideas

    Well I went with the Necromancy idea. They were called into a conference with the various kingdoms who were taking the brunt of the fighting. They said that these warriors would not pick up the dead from the battles. As they snuck around behind enemy lines they found dead soldiers laid out in large groups. They kept going and it was cool because they didn't understand. Then they got to the enemies lands and seen very poor people and seen the ritual of the necromancer and they kind of pooped themselves when they realized all the solders that would be summoned. Thanks for the help I appreciate it, my group did as well.
  36. 6 points
  37. 6 points
    I'd like to say I'm surprised that there are people who think that making a game more inclusive and less offensive to people is bad in some way. I'm not, but I wish I was. There are people who think that Political Correctness is some evil thing, akin to the removal of their basic human rights. It's not. It's what my Nanna would have called Good Manners. So the next time you see something that makes you think "Argh! No! Polical Correctness!" maybe instead try to think "Good Manners." After all, they cost nothing. So any way, here's links to Parts 1 & 2 of a very well written article about the issue of inherently evil races in games and how the language used to describe them in gaming parallels the language used by real world racism. https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/1/13/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-i-a-species-built-for-racial-terror https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/6/30/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-ii-theyre-not-human I am sure that those who need to read them the most will not bother to, but I can hope.
  38. 6 points
    When you tie that to the 'brotherhoods/gangs' post earlier, you begin to see why there might be real fears about police behavior and brutality. Planting drugs is a thing. Police in Florida were recorded talking about how much they liked doing it. Take a minute to think how much it does to a single family, to have that happen once. Emotionally and financially. Then think about what happens to a community that has even a single police officer doing this, even just once a month. Over the course of ten years. A single bad officer can crush an entire community into poverty for multiple generations this way. It's not a surprise to me that people feel upset. It's not universal, but where it's a problem, it's an incredibly impossible problem to solve.
  39. 6 points
  40. 6 points
    Ragitsu

    RANT

    “If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.” ― Lyndon B. Johnson --- --- --- What Johnson said was true back then and it remains true today. All you have to do is surf enough alt-right/men's rights movement channels on Youtube; the people who receive the most money are crafty in how they package their racist ideologies.
  41. 6 points
    2012 Republican presidential nominee and current United States Senator Willard Mitt Romney(R-UT), marching with protesters in DC and saying the words "black lives matter" may not seem like a big deal, but it's a hell of a signal as to where the country has moved. It's not all bad news folks. Minneapolis is heading towards disbanding their municipal police department and replacing it with a new model. If that works out, police unions around the country are going to have some tough decisions ahead of them. I'd recommend that they change their policies in order to let the "bad apples" all go. But that's just me.
  42. 5 points
    Cygnia

    Coronavirus

  43. 5 points
    To stop influx of infected immigrants, Arizona border closed... by Mexico
  44. 5 points
    A Florida sheriff adopted Scottish police training. Now his deputies use force less often.
  45. 5 points
    The reason why we know he had a criminal record is because he was convicted and served his time. He was already punished for said offenses, and had shot a video talking about the difficulties of navigating the parole system while trying to be a responsible father and partner and how it felt like a trap at times. The minute they began to arrest him he realized that he could be sent back to prison and everything he had worked for undone. One of the bullets fired by the officer went into an occupied vehicle in the parking lot area. Let's let a jury decide whether or not the officer's conduct was justifiable or reckless and unnecessary. Shooting victims don't need to be angels or even have blameless conduct for us to be concerned about how the police conducted themselves in the encounter. It's a red herring. The timing of when the shots were fired will matter a great deal--were the shots fired at the same time the suspect fired the taser, or seconds later? Once the taser was discharged and missed, the suspect was not in any sense a lethal threat to the officer. The danger had passed. And the suspect was running away with his back to the officer. It's not clear from the publicly available video precisely when the shots were fired, but it appears to be seconds AFTER the taser is discharged.
  46. 5 points
    FWIW my own invented background for Taipan was that he's the third unspecified offspring of VIPER's serpent-god patron Nama, as described on VIPER: Coils Of The Serpent p. 14 sidebar. His mother is the Duchess Henrietta von Drotte. As a child the future Taipan was given over to the Takara-Shinja to be raised and trained as VIPER's supreme assassin. But the boy had much of his father's pride and mercurial nature, and as he grew older he chafed at serving VIPER. He wanted to use his abilities to enrich himself. As a young man Taipan used some of VIPER's own criminal contacts to help him stage his fake death during a training exercise, and flee to Australia far from VIPER's attention. For several years he lay low while continuing to train, then made his big-splash debut under his new identity. During Taipan's publicized trial several of the Takara-Shinja recognized him, and the Supreme Serpent wanted to retrieve him immediately, but Nama forbade it. Over the years of Taipan's Hot Sleep confinement Nama sent dreams into his mind, tormenting him over his failure and excoriating him for betraying VIPER and his father, in order to break his will. When Nama judged him sufficiently pliant he allowed VIPER to extract him from House Taipan, and add him to their arsenal.
  47. 5 points
    Michael Hopcroft

    In other news...

    I for one do not welcome our kangaroo overlords. Their courts are terrible.
  48. 5 points
    Cygnia

    Funny Pics II: The Revenge

    Spoilered for possible naughtiness
  49. 5 points
    JmOz

    RANT

    I ask forgiveness if this triggers anyone The problem in this country is not racism (It still struggles with it, but it is a minor issue) It is Economic classism However, when you look at the economic situation you find that...It really should be #poorlivesmatter I am just so sick of it. Until we deal with THOSE issues, and frame them AS SUCH we ain't gaining an inch
  50. 5 points
    How do you make a mazel tov cocktail? Manischevitz and soda, maybe? Because of protesters are using Manischevitz against police, that's just monstrous. Dean Shomshak
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