(If you’d prefer,you can read the transcript.)
A few questions and comments:
Is Franklin’s alleging that the FOP wouldn’t object to his plan credible, President Gene Ryan’s “Our response to today’s announcement of the Civil Rights investigation into the pattern and practices of the Baltimore Police Department is the same as it has always been; we welcome the involvement of the Department of Justice and look forward to working with their representatives to heal the wounds of our city, and to improve the relationship between the community and our Department,” notwithstanding? He has his membership to consider.
Did the ‘2012 crime plan’ indicate what Franklin says about high caliber, educated, officers of high integrity? If so, is that akin to a ‘paper promise’?
It would be interesting to know more about which sorts of training and education he means, but I do like his riff on educating the public as to their rights. He of course waffles about ‘review boards’, but too few of them created even more recently (ABQ, for instance) have any actual control over the PDs. Come to think of it, he never mentioned how trigger happy the Baltimore cops are.
I wish there had been time to hear more about this: “On the other side of that coin though, and maybe later in the program here we can talk about the policies that we have our police officers enforcing which make their jobs very difficult at the same time, and frustrating at the same time.” Also, how does one tell a psychopathic job applicant from…not psychopathic if the tests aren’t indicating it? Or is that a disease of ‘the police culture’ in some cities? There must be alternatives to police presence in mental health calls, as well, or at least become full-tilt in police ‘education’.
But in the meantime, it’s clear that no more war veterans should become police, as does Dale Brown of Threat Management Center. Soldiers, of course, are brainwashed to seeing ‘the other’ as ‘the enemy’. Brown also says that ‘officer safety’ must not be a cops’s first priority. It’s too bad that SCOTUS law disagrees, and has made it so easy for a cop to claim ‘I felt my life was in jeopardy!’, when clearly too many times, it was not.
The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) website is here.
Franklin’s reference to Joseph Crystal:
“The end of former Baltimore Police Department (BPD) detective Joseph Crystal’s career was well-documented in the media this year, as two of his colleagues were convicted of misconduct arising from beating up a drug suspect. Crystal was a key witness in the case against the officers, Anthony Williams and Marinos Gialamas, and while the case was being investigated, a dead rat was found on Crystal’s car windshield in November 2012. Publicity about the dead-rat incident prompted BPD Commissioner Anthony Batts in June to appoint outside investigators to look into the matter, but Crystal resigned after finding himself the target of an internal investigation involving a take-home police vehicle. Yesterday, with Crystal’s filing of a free-speech retaliation lawsuit in Maryland U.S. District Court against BPD, his detailed account of what happened to him is now a matter of public record. The 21-page complaint portrays BPD as an agency imbued with the same stop-snitching culture that prevails on the streets it is sworn to patrol.”
A few more bits and bobs to consider:
‘Police racism may have compromised 3,000 San Francisco cases, officials say; Offensive text messages prompt a review of a decade’s worth of police activity as leadership says trouble is limited to a small group of officers’. Yes; just a few Bad Apples.
“As the U.S. claims a human rights mantle and criticises others for racism, it becomes the world’s greatest hypocrite.” ~ Michael Ratner to IPS News
Do not call 911 for help for potential suicides unless there is no alternative; the police may dispatch them instead. There are even more recent cases, but those are plenty for now.
Also at TRRN, ‘Baltimore Public Defender: Teens Targeted by School to Prison Pipeline’.
‘How do police departments train cops how to use force?’ (Vox.com)
“Lakewood, Washington – A 37-year-old man named Daniel Covarrubias was shot and killed by police last month because a cellphone he was holding was mistaken for a gun.
‘Police Report Confirms Officers Killed Natasha McKenna with Her Hands Cuffed and Legs Shackled’ (with a mask over her face)
From AJE: ‘Baltimore jail refused 2,600 suspects deemed too injured to be admitted’
“The records do not indicate how the people were injured or whether they suffered their injuries while in custody. However, they do suggest that police officers either ignored or did not notice the injuries. Suspects are constitutionally guaranteed health care before they are booked into jail.” (The Baltimore Sun is back under a pay wall; I’ve used up my quota.)
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By permission of the author: ’The Police: a Glossary: A Guide for the Perplexed’ by David Correia
“Police (Academy): A police “boot camp” attended by people training to become police officers, where they learn to fire weapons and file paperwork. Upon completion of police academy, police cadets become police officers, where they’re told to forget everything they learned in police academy. They’re then re-trained by special training officers who teach them how to beat up homeless people and arbitrarily arrest people of color.
Police (Agency): An institution that finds its origins in southern slave patrols. After the Civil War, slave patrols became among the first municipal police departments. Just as like before the Civil War, police agencies reinforce racialized inequality by protecting private property relations. This is what is meant by “protect and serve.”
Police (Attorney): Usually known as the District Attorney. The highest officeholder, usually elected, in the legal department of a local jurisdiction who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. District Attorneys work closely with local police departments in prosecuting crimes. In the United States, the cozy relationship between police and District Attorneys insure that justice is served only when it does not undermine the interests of the local police department. The fathers of nearly all current US District Attorneys were either police officers or District Attorneys.
Police (Community Relations): Usually handled by local news outlets such as the newspaper and/or local TV news. They carry water for the local police department by attributing issues such as racism, poverty, and inequality to “crime.” They do this by parroting what the police tell them and depicting the city as dangerous and violent. This is usually referred to as “Breaking News.” In return they get “tips” and “ratings”.
Police (Dog): The police dog, or K9, is a trained dog used as an instrument of organized coercion and terror. The use of the K9 is common among US police departments and notable for the way its use reveals the logic of policing: the horror of devourment—literally the threat of being eaten alive by an agent of the state—and the history of state terrorism via the use of menacing animals (i.e., the use of vicious dogs in the Jim Crow South, in Japanese internment camps, in Apartheid South Africa, in Nazi concentration camps, and at Abu Ghraib prison).
Police (Officer): An agent of racialized socio-spatial control of the poor (even the “good ones”).
Police (Oversight): See Police (Reform)
Police (Reform): A political tactic of appeasement offered by politicians during moments of a crisis in police credibility, often when riots ensue after police are caught on tape murdering an innocent, unarmed person and then lying about it. The key premise of police reform is that police brutality is not the norm but rather the result of “a few bad apples.” Police reform advocates depict police brutality as unusual and exceptional instead of constitutive of actual, everyday policing. Police reform advocates promise to resolve the problem of police brutality through solutions such as improved training, hiring, leadership, and/or oversight. Generally, police reform finds purchase with white middle-class progressives. Conservatives generally reject the premise of police reform; they understand that the police exist solely to reinforce their privileges and economic interests. Most conservatives wish the police were even more violent (they will admit this when drunk, high or with other rich conservatives). Police reform, when and where it is practiced, is followed by more police violence.
Police (SWAT): A paramilitary arm of municipal police departments and, increasingly, other levels of local, state, and federal law enforcement. Generally referred to as Death Squads in the developing world.
David Correia is the author of Properties of Violence: Law and Land Grant Struggle in Northern New Mexico and a co-editor of La Jicarita: An Online Magazine of Environmental Politics in New Mexico
Thank you, David; excellent.
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Various movements are in their infancy: Disarm the Police, Black Community Policing for Black Communities, Police-free Zones, a number of which I’ve highlighted earlier. I can dig them out on request.
Read Shaun King’s coverage and weep…and then rage.
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For some (ahem) comic relief, (the man formerly known as) Prince did a show recently in Baltimore. From citypaper.com:
“People were thrilled to learn that the Purple One, Prince, had written a song about Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death and days of civic unrest. They were even more excited when the pop legend announced last night he would be performing a RALLY 4 PEACE this Sunday, with a portion of proceeds going to an as-yet-unnamed charity.
Tickets for the show just went on sale, and though some were available for $22 (before the Ticketmaster-Live Nation conglomerate tacks on its exorbitant fees), the remainder of seats go in the range of $122-$497. Naturally, the $22 tickets sold out rather quickly (as of this writing, the cheapest tickets available were $197).”
Somebody had to pay for that big brass Love hieroglyph thang!