Put Those Police Cameras on Bankers
These demonstrations, largely by young and remarkably multi-racial crowds, are not the first. They were preceded by Occupy Wall Street, indicting the 1 percent and spreading to hundreds of cities. They were foreshadowed by the dreamers, children demanding the right to come out of the shadows of the undocumented.
They were accompanied by record numbers of workers in low wage jobs at fast food restaurants and the Dollar Stores walking off their jobs in some 190 cities.
They were complemented by women demanding gender equality, particularly at the workplace where discrimination and sexism are still rife.
The streams of alienation and disparities are converging into a river. Injustices in this new age are not only inflammable, they are increasingly inflamed.
The official reaction to police immunity for the killing of unarmed black boys and men Ferguson and Staten Island and Cleveland and Brooklyn has focused, not surprisingly, on the police. The president has created a Task Force on 21st Century Policy, with instructions to report in 90 days. He’s committed millions to put cameras on police.
But he might be better advised to put cameras on bankers. Reckless, unaccountable and murderous police behavior must end, but the police are simply the gatekeepers assigned to keep order.
Behind the gate is the American policy of isolating poor people of color in ghettos, ghettos deprived of jobs, of capital, of decent health care, of affordable housing, of good schools.
Police are assigned to patrol these zones of despair, part of the only thriving industry in these neighborhoods — the jail-industrial complex of more police, police stations, courthouses, bondsmen, jailors, judges, lawyers and prosecutors, court recorders and guards and much more. In this pressure cooker, all of us are vulnerable — none of us are safe until all of us are safe.
In the Civil Rights Movement, the Bull Connors were the violent enforcers. But they were not the issue: The issue was legal segregation that deprived African Americans of their rights and locked them into second-class citizenship.
Today, the police killing of unarmed Blacks is unacceptable and reaching crisis proportions. But the issue is a national policy that abandons poor people of color in their ghettos. If we put cameras on the police, we may get better policing and less injustice (although Eric Garner’s killing was on camera). But what we need is an urban development policy that attacks segregation by race, rebuilds poor neighborhoods, invests in the health and education of poor infants and children, erects affordable housing, offers training for and transport to jobs that exist.
The demonstrations are about justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner and others that can be and will be added to the list. But they aren’t just about those killings. They are about a national ghetto policy, a national worker impoverishment policy, a national inequality policy.
The slogan “No justice, no peace,” reverberates throughout the country. And the demonstrations are growing and spreading. Different streams of protest are coming together. Occupy Wall Street exposed the 1 percent. The strikes of low wage workers expose the global corporations. The “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” demonstrations expose the harsh injustices of the jail-industrial complex.
Dr. Martin Luther King taught us: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politics, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” Today, across America, more and more Americans are standing up for what is right.
Jesse Jackson is the founder of Rainbow/PUSH.
Mirrored from CounterPunch
The Shoot First Mentality of American Police
Few, if any, of the correct questions were asked in the grand jury hearing to decide whether policeman Darren Wilson would be indicted for killing Michael Brown.
The most important unexamined question is whether police are trained to use force immediately as a first resort before they assess a situation or determine if they are at the correct address. Are the police trained that the lives of police officers are so much more valuable than the lives of possible suspects, or a houseful of people into whose residence a heavily armed SWAT team enters, that police officers must not accept the risk of judicious behavior when encountering citizens? If this is the case as all evidence indicates that it is, then the police when they gratuitously murder members of the public are merely doing what they have been trained to do. As police are trained to use violence as a first resort, the police cannot be held accountable when they do.
There are a large number of videos available online that show that the first thing that police do when they arrive is to use force.
No sooner is Michael Brown in the grave than Cleveland cops kill a 12-year old boy who has a toy gun that shoots plastic pellets. The child is threatening no one–indeed there is no one else present. The boy seems to be playing a fantasy game in his head. A busy body calls the police. The police arrive and instantly shoot the kid down.
Here is a selection of videos and reports. Some of the videos are compressed to save the viewer time. They range from 59 seconds to the full 7:51 minute video, which shows the kid is just walking up and down the sidewalk. All the action comes at the end. The police arrive and instantly open fire, making no effort whatsoever to assess the situation.
Just a few days before Michael Brown is killed, Ohio police murdered John Crawford inside a Walmart store. What had Crawford done? He had picked up a BB rifle from a Walmart shelf and was on the phone with the mother of his two children, perhaps checking with her whether he could purchase it for the kids. A busy body named Ronald Ritchie felt threatened and called the police. The police rush in and shoot Crawford. The police claim that they ordered Crawford to drop the rifle, but the video shows the police shooting Crawford on sight. The busy body Ritchie actually caused two deaths, as the incident of Crawford’s murder caused Angela Williams to die from a heart attack as she fled the store in response to the police gunfire.
Yes, you guessed it. The grand jury decided the police were justified.
Here is another video that demonstrates that policemen shoot instantly without cause. This is a rare case in which the policeman was held accountable, most likely because the video prevented authorities from fabricating the usual story of police justification.
In this video, police shoot down an unarmed black man in the street. After shooting Kajieme Powell ten times, the cops hold guns on the dead body while they handcuff a dead man. Like an almost endless number of other such videos, this one shows that either psychopaths are recruited for the police force, or police training turns cops into psychopaths.
These two reports examine Officer Darren Wilson’s story of why he shot Michael Brown and conclude that Wilson’s story doesn’t make sense. http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7281165/darren-wilsons-story-side and http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7287443/dorian-johnson-story Most likely, Michael Brown was just another victim of the gratuitous violence that police are trained to use. Darren Wilson’s use of deadly force was in keeping with his training.
The problem with the grand jury and prosecutor in Ferguson and everywhere else is that the real problem–the training of police to use deadly force as a first resort–was not identified as the cause of Michael Brown’s death.
The Ferguson grand jury’s decision is not an exoneration of Wilson’s use of deadly force. Anyone familiar with the American criminal justice (sic) system knows that any prosecutor can get or prevent an indictment from a grand jury. Prosecutors are allowed to determine what evidence is presented. Prosecutors are permitted to bribe witnesses with money or dropped charges, and they can coerce false witness testimony by threatening a witness with charges. Seldom does an indictment or refusal to indict turn on the true facts.
The US justice system is no longer concerned with justice, but with the careers of prosecutors, punishing the powerless, and protecting the powerful. As justice has largely departed the justice system, it is hardly surprising that police lack any concept of justice.
Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.
My personal bent is to let everyone say what they want, within minor limits, especially if they blog. Those limits are when they and their cadre of sycophants personally attack me. Which is exactly what happened with these two bloggers. So, I’m in Seventh Heaven when I read a whack job like this: THE CHIV’D AWARD THIS WEEK GOES TO………………………
If they want to post opinions, that’s fine – just be decent and recognize that is what they are writing, an opinion. Most opinions are just plain worthless; nothing more than conjecture, speculation and cheap guessing – fantasies rattling around in an empty head. That doesn’t say that the opinionator is worthless. Unless he correlates him or herself with their opinions. If so, then they are psychotic and need help.
You can find the blog the Tuluwaa babies are talking about here. You’ll have to scroll down a ways until you get to this: Thanks to Jon and HCDCC members but Linda Atkins needs to learn basic civility. Based upon my own personal experience with John Chiv I’d say he needs to learn how to practice what he preaches. The same goes for Jon Yalcinkaya. From what I read I’d say these two individuals are two kinds of the same hypocritical slime.
People that live in glass houses should never throw stones. – Unspoken words taken right out of my mouth:
Guess what Mr. Chiv’d….you are a public figure as well. You have a political blog and put yourself out there as a member of the media. As a public figure, you may be criticized the same as anyone else. For instance, you claim to be accepting but you are terribly small minded and in many ways a complete bigot!
If these three specimens of humanity only knew how much the general population hate their political guts, they’d crawl back under their rocks and never out again. Either way, they are like snakes eating their own tails. They are proven void of all credibility.
Man! Do I love it when I’m right.
By Noam Chomsky
Looks like the North Coast’s number one gossipmongering crybaby got caught trying to pass off another crock of crap on the unsuspecting. That of course does not include the cadre of Tuluwa apologist crybabies and their standard fare nonsense.
The Mad River Union is reporting that the California Coastal Commission is forcing the County to adhere to the process and obey the law to the letter. What a bummer for the County, who apparently went behind the public’s back in a probable Brown Act violation and secretly sent in an application to install a 90 foot railcar style bridge. A bridge that would have allowed easy vehicle access to Clam beach.
Well the Coastal Commission said sorry Rex, Ryan, Virginia and Estelle you actually have to complete Environmental studies before we can consider your request. We all know what those environmental studies would show! So it looks like they are going to avoid that embarrassment and just say they can afford to do them. Boo hoo!
So rest easy snowy plovers and regular beach goers you’re safe for now thanks to the California Coastal Commission
I expect Tuluwa’s verbose enforcer Mola to come out with a couple of thousand words to put poor Clueless in his place for daring to question the veracity of this blog and the people that support it.
When it comes to “adhere to the process and obey the law to the letter” these two-faced hypocrites are the last ones to be spouting off their self-righteous ridicule. It is impossible for any of them to be “embarrassed.” That requires a modicum of self-respect and they don’t have any.
This is a timely issue that all Eurekans and residents of Humboldt County need to address. It’s interesting that the people at this blog were able to see this problem in this community and write about it, but cannot see just how big a pile of shit they stepped in themselves. They can condemn the Eureka Police Department, the Chief of Police and the City Council for gross “crimes against humanity,” BUT what they cannot see is what they ARE themselves – that, in their own way, they do and commit the same kinds of crimes. They need a Review Board to check and censure their own “criminal” conduct.
Sadly, their hypocrisy totally negates any credibility they might have. If you want proof of this observation just follow the comments.
Until people can learn to take responsibility for their own lives and what they do, Review Boards are nothing more than an empty panacea. If you want accountability, then you first must learn to actually STOP at all stop signs. Problem is, I don’t expect anyone over at that blog to understand that…