Posts Tagged ‘justice’
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.
That’s the link that goes to Ernie Branscomb’s blog post titled: “Vent your Spleen” – This post is a classic example of what Ryan McMaken writes about in his article: “Lessons From the Casey Anthony Trial.” – Here’s the opening paragraph:
Perhaps not since the feds hanged Mary Surratt for Abe Lincoln’s assassination have so many been so happy at the thought of seeing a woman lynched. To the outrage of bloodthirsty, bleary-eyed couch potatoes from sea to shining sea, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of the murder of her daughter.
Now compare this to what Branscomb says:
What got me started on all of this, is that I got to thinking about Casey Anthony. She has absolutely no principles whatsoever. While she was in jail awaiting trial it came out that she had used a friends credit card and ran up a bunch of bills on it that she had no way of paying. She stole her friend’s checks and used them to buy beer and clothes. She pleads guilty to 13 felony fraud, bad check, and credit card theft counts. On top of being a thief and a fraud, she is a liar and a slut. Only a fool would think that she doesn’t have at least a small idea of what happened to her daughter.
Followed by this:
**** Sadly, there are men out there that would like to take advantage of her drop dead gorgeous body. Maybe she could become a prostitute, it wouldn’t be much of a life style change for her, she apparently would go to bed with any man that was “Hot”. I guess the true test is what would the average man think of her?
This is probably the most disgusting display of effeminate, gossip-mongering and character assassination I’ve read in a local blog for some time. What makes it REALLY sewer-scum caliber is that these people (see comments) are some of the first people to preach law and order the old-fashioned way. We sure know what kind of law and order that is. But, then…
I’ll let Mr McMaken speak for me, he continues:
The case itself is far less interesting than the reaction to it. In spite of all the drama that the despicable “news” media attempted to inject into it, the actual trial was humdrum. In typical fashion, the prosecution built its case on mostly circumstantial evidence and on character assassination. The jury concluded that the prosecution had not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A not-guilty verdict was returned. Case closed.
This is exactly how the legal system is supposed to work. People are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. We’re not supposed to convict people of capital crimes because we find them distasteful or annoying.
None of that matters to the great American lynch mob, which, not even being present at the trial, finds itself so magnificently insightful and so morally pure, that its shrill cries for justice echo with unparalleled histrionic fervor down the virtual halls of Facebook and Twitter. [Emphasis added]
I could continue, but after reading Branscomb’s so-called venting, I felt like I needed to take a bath. I guess what really gets to me is the unabashed, in-your-face corruption and hypocrisy. Unprincipled, morally and ethically depraved versus sanctimonious, self-righteous, elitism. Because it goes to the very heart of, “preach rule of and law, but enforce rule of men” here’s a small example. He says, “’Karma’ which I absolutely don’t believe in, because I can’t hit it with a hammer, so it doesn’t work for me.” Then proceeds with all the authority and self-righteousness God gave a goose to tell everyone all about “Karma.” Perhaps Branscomb should have taken to heart the words of someone considered an authority on Karma: “Stop judging that you may not be judged; for with what judgment you are judging, you will be judged; and with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you.”
The standard exemplified here that sets the norm is also defined in this quote – a fitting conclusion:
“We are an attention-deficit nation, and we have dumbed ourselves down so much that people don’t understand the simplest of things.”
The Fires in South Asia
By VIJAY PRASHAD
December 1, 2008
No one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that this world would be in such tumult over so little that is understood. Unimaginable violence, most of it for triumphs that are obscure. Politics buried so deep in their actions, that the motives disappear in the flames, and the suffering itself becomes the end. Aerial bombardment of entire countries, cold-blooded massacre of citizenries. Armies set in place to hold people down, and themselves held down by their inexperience and bewilderment. Populations motivated for revenge rather than for revolution, harmed beyond belief and then diverted from their oppressors to take their justice where it comes. A cheapened world, where values are given over to pieties, and tears quickly dry into the very rage that created them in the first place. Time is circular: this is the myth of eternal return, with the avenging angel appearing once as Demon, then Angel, then Demon again. This is our cauldron.
* * *
Disoriented, like a musth elephant, the State seeks easy solutions: more draconian legislation, more fiery rhetoric, and more warmongering. The Congress-led Government is pushed from the Right by the BJP, who seem to want an instant attack on Pakistan, a sort of Bush reaction to 911. Those in the government in charge of intelligence and security have been sacked. Discussions are in process for how to move forward. The Communists caution against hasty action, and have urged the government to make a motion to the UN rather than to the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani Worker Communist Party sends its condolences and says, “Crimes of such barbarity must make people realize that the moment has arrived for the people of both India and Pakistan to develop a unified commitment towards peace and harmony in the world and to combat extremism and terrorism in all its shades and colors.” The call for unity seems remote in these times, and yet, utterly necessary. Hopes slumber even in those who take aim for the debauched. More blood feeds the beast; it is food, shelter and conviviality that transform it into a neighbor.