Archive for the ‘Constitution’ Category
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.
Edward Snowden is vilified as a “traitor” by politicians of the American political duopoly, and hunted like Public Enemy Number One by the global imperial apparatus. However, for a large proportion of Earthlings, Snowden has made the singular contribution to humanity of the year 2013.
There is not very much democracy left in America, a country which endlessly brags about how democratic it is. Every now and again we are pleasantly surprised when the people and their interests are served instead of the 1% and their factotums in government. Those moments are few and far between but when they take place it is always because an individual decides to take on the system directly. In 2013 Edward Snowden was the person who risked his freedom to tell every human being with access to modern communications that they were under United States government surveillance.
On Sunday January 20, 2013, I had the privilege of watching the “Official” swearing in, the making “Legal” the Presidency of one Barack H. Obama. He affirmed or swore this “Oath” before God and witnessed by all humanity – more importantly witnessed and shared with his wife and two daughter. To lend validity to the “Sacredness” of his oath is the fact that he placed one hand, his left hand, on the Sacred Book The Holy Bible. Here are the 37 words of his Oath:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Please note, what he swears a solemn and sacred oath before and, therefore, empowered by Almighty God to do: “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He does NOT swear to be “The Commander and Chief. Nor does he swear to put the protection of America and Americans FIRST. Neither does he “swear” that his first and only responsibility is to provide “jobs” for all Americans. No! His ONLY physically attested and committed obligation and responsibility as President of these United States is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”
History has already attested and testified to the facts and the absolute truth whether or not he has fulfilled his sworn, legally obligated duties as President of the United States. History has already determined whether or not his Oath of Office on Sunday, January 20, and again on January 21, 2013, was genuine or a lie. – [Picture Source]
MONDAY, JUN 25, 2012 04:01 AM PDT
Condemning foreign governments for abusive acts while ignoring one’s own is easy. But the U.S. leads the way.
Why this is important. Here is Greenwald’s Update excerpt:
A related point was made by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, when he delivered an extraordinary speech designed to address complaints that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work, and he explained why the latter was impossible without the former (h/t Duncan Mitchel)
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.
But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted.
Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
Last January, I wrote about King’s speech and how it relates to current political activism.