Enforcers category archive
Leonard Pitts, Jr., excoriates Attorney-General Jeff Sessions’s intent to somehow emasculate consent decrees governing how certain police departments treat Not White persons. A snippet:
These decrees are agreements for federally monitored reform of training, policy and procedure of troubled cop shops. They are in effect in 14 cities, including Ferguson and Cleveland. Four other cities – Miami is one – made agreements to reform without federal oversight.
In a memo released last week, Sessions worries about tarring police with the actions of a few “bad actors.” Yet DOJ investigations repeatedly found that, far from being isolated events, police abuse – unlawful stops, searches, harassment and beatings targeting African-American citizens – were endemic to the very culture of these departments. They were not flaws in the system. They were the system.
Solomon Jones watches Jeff Sessions bring back the good old days.
Sessions’ decision to order a broad review of federal agreements with dozens of law-enforcement agencies is nothing short of an attack on black and brown people. After all, those agreements were necessitated by systemic police abuses targeting minority communities. Attempting to pull out of those agreements – most of which have already been approved in federal court – delivers an indisputable message: Black lives don’t matter to the Trump administration.
Read the rest.
In these parts, there have been several instances of black persons imprisoned for minor, almost miniscule crimes, dying in jail from neglect, with this being perhaps the most unspeakably egregious case.
Meanwhile, a rich white banker convicted of bribery and bank fraud gets a “Get Out of Jail Free” card because he has high blood pressure.
The editorial cartoonist for my local rag is not amused.
Pennsylvania legislators prepare to mint a new Get Out of Jail Free card for cops who kill.
Update: Link fixed. This link has been annoying.
Edina, Minnesota, cops want to hoover the google.
Internet giant Google is vowing to fight a search warrant demanding that Edina police be able to collect information on any resident who used certain search terms as authorities try to locate a thief who swindled a resident out of $28,500.
Privacy law experts say that the warrant is based on an unusually broad definition of probable cause that could set a troubling precedent.
“This kind of warrant is cause for concern because it’s closer to these dragnet searches that the Fourth Amendment is designed to prevent,” said William McGeveran, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.
Issued by Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson in early February, the warrant pertains to anyone who searched variations of the resident’s name on Google from Dec. 1 through Jan. 7.
In addition to basic contact information for people targeted by the warrant, Google is being asked to provide Edina police with their Social Security numbers, account and payment information, and IP (internet protocol) and MAC (media access control) addresses.
The case involve some kind of identity theft that led to financial fraud. The Barney Fife’s seem to think that Google was used to find a photo that was involved in the fraud.
Details at the link.
Words fail me.
Perhaps you heard about the cop who tried to roust an Uber driver who refused to get out his car when ordered and who recorded the incident to boot; the driver turned out to be a Not Black lawyer. Here’s bit from the story as reported in the Raleigh News and Observer:
There is no such law.
Now comes Barry Sanders a-wondering:
Can you imagine, though, if Jesse Bright had been named Jamal Bright or Daquan Bright or Hector Gonzalez Bright and had asserted his right to keep filming, and then on top of everything else had refused to get out of the car?
Follow the link for his answer.
. . . is a dangerous thing to do. Here’s a bit from a report at The Root:
In a first of its kind investigation, USA Today found that black people in the U.S. have been killed in police chases at a rate nearly three times higher than anyone else. The rub is that this included both those fleeing law enforcement and innocent bystanders. The outlet was able to thoroughly and meticulously illustrate yet another example of long-standing and deadly inequality in U.S. policing.
Pursuits are among the most dangerous police activities. They have killed more than 6,200 people since 1999. Black people make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but are 28 percent of those killed in pursuits whose race was known.
Among the findings (which strongly confirm a disparity and a likely bias in policing):
- Blacks have been killed at a disproportionate rate in pursuits every year since 1999. On average, 90 black people were killed each year in police chases, nearly double what would be expected based on their percentage of the population.
- Deadly pursuits of black drivers were twice as likely to start over minor offenses or non-violent crimes. In 2013 and 2014, nearly every deadly pursuit triggered by an illegally tinted window, a seat-belt violation or the smell of marijuana involved a black driver.
- Black people were more likely than whites to be chased in more crowded urban areas, during peak traffic hours and with passengers in their cars, all factors that can increase the danger to innocent bystanders. Chases of black motorists were about 70 percent more likely to wind up killing a bystander.
Oh me, oh my, I wonder why.
Much more at the link.
Addendum, Just a Little Later:
If these folks had been Not White, do you think police would have peppered them with spray or with bullets?
Be honest, now.
Oh, hell. I couldn’t resist.
- This is your weapon.
This is your gun.
This one’s for fighting.
This one’s for fun.
At the Boston Review, Simon Waxman examines a recent Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that a black man’s running from the cops is not in and of itself an offense. Rather, indeed, it can be justifiable due to a history of police conduct. Here’s an excerpt; follow the link for the full article.
In its ruling, the Massachusetts high court overturned the conviction of Jimmy Warren, a black man who was arrested at gunpoint by Boston police in December 2011 on suspicion of burglary. According to police, Warren and an associate fit a vague witness description of the thieves: black men wearing hooded sweatshirts. Shortly after the crime, Warren and his companion were approached by a Boston police officer in a cruiser, who shouted to them. They jogged away, and the officer called for backup. Two more officers arrived, leading to a foot chase. Eventually Warren was cornered and taken into custody. He had none of the stolen items, but a pistol was found discarded nearby, and he was later charged with and convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm.
On appeal, the SJC determined that the vague description of Warren and his companion, and their flight from officers, were insufficient grounds for a police seizure. In doing so, the justices validated, to some degree, black men’s fear of police.
The ruling acknowledges that, in light of enduring police misconduct, black men have good reason to flee the police.
Addendum, Later That Same Day:
In the Vice Presidential Debate, Mike Pence said it’s better not to talk about this sort of stuff so as to avoid hurting the fee-fees of the po-po.
The creative thinking of those who would defend racism and racist behavior does tend to amaze, does it not?