(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.
* * * * * * *
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.
* * * * * *
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!
A sad afternoon here as Tony Robinson’s shooter was held blameless as announced yesterday in Madison, WI. Lots of questions in my mind but again a DA that is bound by SCOTUS rulings and has not been able to bring charges against any officer shooting deaths of citizens in his thirteen year career in Dane County.
The video in the second link has me believing this was a sham investigation of the shooting more than anything I’ve read of reporting so far. All is apparently quiet until the officer entered the stairway where he supposedly heard a “fight,” ensuing and thought a citizen was under threat from a drug affected young man. Self-defense after being hit on the head was the reason to open fire. Backup was minutes away. Nobody was upstairs and endangered by Mr Robinson at the time. The video released doesn’t show the officer first entering the home stairwell, announcing himself (or not) before entering nor the noise of the supposed fight upstairs.
Back later, an appointment, thanks for your post, wendyedavis.
more than sad, nonquixote; infuriating. i’d posted the same news in comments on my last post yesterday, so i left it off this post. i did almost post the dashcam video today, but…didn’t. 22 seconds. 22 seconds. 22 seconds. this is officer kenny’s 2nd kill, apparently. and the DA had the balls to quote MLK.
you want sicker shite? watch the videos at the ‘Do not call 911 for potential suicides’ link. almost unspeakable fear for no reason, but killed for ‘failure to obey’.
“Baltimore, Maryland – It was reported this week that two Baltimore corrections officers were arrested for looting during the riots that took place last month. According to The Baltimore Sun, Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard were seen on video looting the now infamous 7-Eleven on W. Baltimore Street.
Both officers were charged with theft and burglary and placed on paid administrative leave. Their bails were set at $35,000.
The video shows Richard holding Slim Jims and Cobb holding a bag of chips.
The fact that some of the looters are now confirmed as members of law enforcement raises the question of whether or not they were agent provocateurs, sent in to create a pretense for police violence.
Agent Provocateurs are people that work for the police, but pretend to be a part of an anti-establishment crowd. While undercover, these agents commit acts of violence and vandalism to give the police a pretense to use force against the demonstrators. Once the agent smashes one window or throws one rock on behalf of the group they have infiltrated, the authorities are able to send in the heavy guns and turn the protest into a war zone.”
again: i can’t access the baltimore sun, so i dunno who shot the video, nor who tipped the police off. but it’s nasty, any way one looks at it.
More or less randomized thoughts about all this… Stephen Janis has been a very good reporter on matters Baltimore, and he tried here to get to the problem with the BPD with Mr. Franklin — without, I would say, a whole lot of success.
Franklin knows pretty well what’s wrong and how it got that way, but he’s a reformist on a mission — or at least that’s the way he came across — and he cannot/will not deviate from his reform agenda. In other words, he has a position to protect, and he will do/say nothing that might jeopardize it — such as, for example, telling Janis the truth about the real rot that is at the root of not only BPD but nearly every other Big City police department. Janis knows, Franklin no doubt knows, too. Jayne Miller at WBAL knows, and she’s been effectively silenced because of her “conflict of interest” — in that she’s in a relationship with one of the prosecutors. In some ways, I guess, Baltimore is a very small town…
Franklin’s prescription for reform is fine as far as it goes, and it would have been an excellent program to institute nationwide — ten years ago. The situation is — IMHO — too far gone now, though. It’s too late. We’ve had hundreds of studies, task forces, conferences, consent decrees, reforms and so forth, all saying basically the same thing: police departments must get their acts together, they must professionalize, they must hire, train, and supervise according to best practices and community requirements, they must hold officers accountable, yadda-yadda-yadda, endlessly, and it makes almost no difference. Police are still brutal, they still kill with impunity, their patterns and practices are still overtly racist and classist, and the prison industry their actions feed and support flourishes like never before. The Drug War continues unabated. SWAT teams are still sent to serve ordinary warrants. On and on…
Reform is no longer enough. Abolitionists are gaining ground. “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.” Whatever is done with regard to violent policing only touches part of the problem. The whole LE/injustice system is rotten top to bottom, and that’s a big reason why “police reform” gets essentially nowhere in most places most of the time.
Police are not independent actors. They are part of a system of oppression that intentionally producing the results we see.
It will be something else again if it is revealed that the looting and arson in Baltimore was instigated by agents provocateur. Oh my yes. I saw a video of the looting at the 7-11, and there were people on the street saying “Don’t go in there! They have cameras! They will get you later! Don’t go in there!” Sure enough…. wait, but who actually started the looting?
Just how much of the Baltimore “Riots” were a set up? I dunno, but there are certainly plenty of signs that it wasn’t spontaneous, not by a long shot. The fact that the wave of looting, vandalism and arson passed almost as suddenly as it arose is sign enough to me that it wasn’t the making of the “gangs”and such.
Also, the near-disappearance from the media of what was probably most important part of the Uprising — the physical resistance of the people in the street against the cops — is telling. The streets around Mondawmin looked like the West Bank for a while, as hundreds of people were throwing rocks, bottles, bricks or whatever they could find at the police for an hour or more, and they continued throwing bricks and bottles at police cars racing through the intersection at Pennsylvania and North, essentially forcing the police to retreat until the Guard was brought in to protect them. This kind of physical resistance is something new in the nationwide protests against violent policing (there have been hints of it here and there, but nothing like what happened in Baltimore). But it’s being obscured by the looting and burning of the CVS, as if that were the most important thing, and it’s not. Far from it…
i hadn’t known of janis’s excellent reporting, and that’s good to know. it explains his deep frustration at not being able to get franklin to speak the words he felt were so necessary to the discussion. i’ve already forgotten if i’d asked “where would these stellar leaders come from?”
your point that it’s too late for reform is likely true, but ending the drug war would undermine a lot of the prison pipeline violence and profiteering, and i do like that a lot.
“Abolitionists are gaining ground. “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.” yes, and more and more are twigging to the fact that police are serving capitalism itself, or at least our capitalist masters, which is a healthy development, imo. it’s also rather heady that many are rethinking radical MLK and malcolm X, especially given that the themes and memes of his writings and speeches are seen ever more clearly pertinent by this generation of blacks and their allies.
that there is international solidarity on the issue of police oppression is gaining ground, as well, from gaza to ethiopia and elsewhere is also noteworthy and healthy, as the racial and caste systems disparities of justice are trumpeted.
if you haven’t used up your baltimore sun accesses, would you be willing to click in to see who took the video of the security guards looting, and whose ‘tip’ it was that caused police to…arrest them? but yes, it makes one wonder just how much looting, how many fires, were down to agents provocateurs, doesn’t it? not that we weren’t already wondering/assuming.
(time to toast; i’ll be back.)
Don’t rightly know what video tipped the Baltimore police to the corrections officers in the 7-11, but I believe they are shown absconding with their snak-paks, er loot, in the video at FreeThoughtProject.
Provocateurs… I keep thinking Batts is a real snake and he was probably behind the false narratives about “the Purge” and gang truces and so forth. BPD was putting out a barrage of lies throughout the “riots” and the aftermath, and given Batts’s reputation in Long Beach and Oakland and wherever else he lit, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was the source of the police lies in B’more. His number 2 in Oakland, Howard Jordan, was a stone liar practically every minute of every day.
There were no doubt provocateurs in Oakland, too.
The strategy is to draw out the “troublemakers” by instigating things like vandalism, looting and arson and when others join in, to neutralize them one by one and in batches.
Sometimes it works, but often as not the provocateurs are identified before they succeed.
at least while the police rousted the occupy encampments back in the day, the web was flooded with photos of police shoes with vibram soles in oakland and new yawk city committing the vandalism that occupier were accused of. yep, ho jo: lying snake, and batts must be, as well.
when i googe/binged to try to find the b- herald piece through the back door, “baltimore corrections officers arrested” brought a boatload of hits. when i added “looting”, i found reference to the original at the UK daily mail rag, but yes, it was the same video. no attribution as to the source, but this below it:
“The statement details how intelligence officers reviewed video footage of rioters looting a closed 7-Eleven store in the 300 block of West Baltimore Street on the night of April 25 following a tip-off.
Upon examination of the video, captured on the first day of major unrest after Gray’s April 19 death, they determined that Cobb and Richard were among the looters leaving the store with merchandise.”
one would guess that the provocateurs were out in madison last night, eh?
added on edit: if or when you have time, you’ll be interested in the other trnn interview i embedded below concerning the egregious, racist school to prison pipeline in baltimore city. an assistant public defender brings the facts, including that the school system has it’s own police force 141 cops large. she also explains the bus system in some detail. (mondawmin, iirc)
There was an excellent series of lectures w/Q&A about police issues at UNM this spring. I missed them but have finally stumbled across the videos. Below is #7 Police Violence and Social Control with Public Defender and POTF member Alan Wagman and my City Councilor Rey Garduño.
The embed starts at the twenty minute mark with Alan Wagman ‘breaking the set’ on his answer to the first question. Oversight is not necessary to get real reform – committed leadership from Mayor through CAO and Chief of Police [COP] right through at least the upper echelons of the police hierarchy is necessary. Then Alan shreds the implementation and the audit limits on the new POB which have me calling it the Police
After a history of the new system so far, Rey Garduño then skipped right over the current corrupt city administration to recommend replacing our strong mayor – weak council system itself, calling it a ‘crazy system’. There is precious little check or balance against the unitary executive power of the mayor. The new POB makes discipline recommendations to the COP (and that’s it!) fergawdsake. Seems like we are goin’ nowhere fast here in Burque.
If you step back to the beginning you get a welcome from Professor David Correia and the very interesting stories of how Rey and Alan find themselves sitting on this panel as two of the most effective agents of change here in Burque.
arrgh; i have every volume control on max, but it’s still so hard to hear what alan’s saying. ah, here’s rey now; i can hear…
yes, i read david’s piece on the new COP back in he day; ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’, and the corrupt sausage making. .
but david tweeted this earlier: ‘6 Albuquerque city councilors held closed-door meetings with DOJ monitor, possibly in violation of law’
a bit upside down, but a few bits:
“On May 4, city councilors wouldn’t give their blessing to Ginger’s $4.5 million contract because he wasn’t answering their questions or the media’s in public. But it seems closed-door answers were enough for them – but not in the eyes of the law.
Even more troubling, KOB has learned Albuquerque’s City Attorney, Jessica Hernandez, as well as US Attorney Damon Martinez and consultant Scott Greenwood were also in the meetings.
Sources say Mayor Berry also had his own private briefing.
There are three city councilors who did not have closed-door meetings with Ginger: Ken Sanchez, Rey Garduno and Brad Winter.
The city issued a statement to KOB Wednesday evening, saying in part, “The city council is committed to honoring the public’s right to receive notice of and attend its meetings.” earlier in the piece:
” It is somewhat baffling, as just last week, city councilors passionately and publicly questioned why Ginger wouldn’t show up to answer their questions in a public forum.
Then, on Monday, councilors did a 180 and met with Ginger and the DOJ behind closed doors, and no one knew it was happening.
KOB has confirmed that Ginger filled his Monday afternoon with 30-minute closed-door briefings with city councilors.”
They all should be recalled, of course. hope the story gets legs and runs. and good on KOB.
The question wrt Ginger is why he refuses to engage in any public testimony prior to receiving a contract ($4+million). It’s crazy. But so was Greenwood’s behavior. There’s something about these people that’s off-kilter, and that’s being charitable.
heh; it makes one wonder what was on ginger’s resumé that they chose him. ;-) Will Work for You!
oh, and their reasoning that one-on-one meetings somehow complied with the pirit of the law, because: no quorum…
…was akin to the pretzel logic of the several judges in the MOVE bombing cases: ‘There was no intent for the bombs to be directed at the children, just the adults‘. Bugsplat.
‘Minneapolis Police Pepper Spray a 10yr Old at Tony Robinson Solidarity March’, a RevoNews storify from last nights protests of cop impunity in the killing of Tony Robinson. Police maced people indiscriminately, including families with chirren. Assholes.
This should have a more incendiary title, given the facts brought forth, but: Baltimore Public Defender: Teens Targeted by School to Prison Pipeline; Statistics show Baltimore youth face more arrests, more likely to be charged than suburban counterparts. – May 8, 2015 (the transcript)
I think the story of the school cops harassing Baltimore’s youth and literally destroying their lives fits right in with the whole purpose of the police in Baltimore City.
Abolition is the only answer I can think of. And yet didn’t the public defender call for “reform?”
The problem with that is that she’s accepting the premise of the force, and the premise is the problem. Get rid of them and premise something entirely different.
I may have been in the last generation not to have “school police,” I don’t know. Despite my generation being notorious for gangs and guns and juvenile delinquents, there weren’t any cops on school grounds, the very idea would have been outrageous. Police kept an eye out for trouble on the streets, but I don’t think I ever saw them called to a campus. And when they encountered something on the streets, arrests were very rare, only as a last resort.
The idea was to keep youth out of the justice system insofar as possible. Now the idea is just the opposite, eh?
well, yes she did. but to be fair, it was janis who’d brought up that meme, *after* she’d said the following:
“The first place where I think we need to do that is by making sure that we don’t arrest and refer kids for school-based discipline. It’s not appropriate. I don’t think there should be police in schools. And we have to start repairing those relationships and making sure that schools are a safe place for young people to talk about their concerns and their fear of police, and to be able to have that be a healing and restorative place and not one where we criminalize and punish.
JANIS: Well, going forward, is reform possible? I mean, we’ve seen this sort of system writ large throughout–the world, you know, has kind of watched our criminal justice system. Is it possible to implement those reforms in the city that seems kind of wedded to this idea of criminalizing and incarceration?
EGAN: I don’t just think it’s possible, I think it’s absolutely necessary. I think that we have, you know, a lot of our young people got the nation’s attention. And they cried out last week, and I think it’s our obligation as residents and as the people of Baltimore to respond to that call. And we need to respond by passing legislation, by speaking to our elected representatives, but also by going out into the street and talking about what we want to see. We want to see schools where there’s restorative justice practices. We want to see school police taken out of schools. We want to make sure that children are treated like kids, and not arrested or referred for school-based behavior.”
yes, and she’d said that baltimore city schools have their *own police force*, if i take her meaning. in that context, ‘no police in schools’ is radical, isn’t it? and you know how much i love ‘restorative justice’ (fania davis, et.al.). ;-)
Thanks for catching me up with the follow-up in Baltimore and other places of police brutality. I think that Che Pasa’s analysis is on target with respect to Baltimore. There is more to the story of who they serve and protect. And it’s not just corporations in that category. I don’t know what the situation is now, but 40-some years ago it was clear that they were more interested in entrapping some gay person attending a symphony concert than protecting the general public from muggings by junior-high and early senior high black youth after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Nixon’s “Crime in the Streets” campaign always had the edge of suppressing dissent. It is highly likely that cops let that crime happen to meet their political agendas. And the relationship between drug corruption and crime-blighted neighborhoods has always seemed to me to work several different ways with regard to the patrolling police. It is a convenient form of pacification or of intensification of incidents. Just some mind-spinning there.
De-professionalization and de-escalation (otherwise known as abolition) is an interesting turn from the failure to get honest oversight after 50 years of trying. It also has the value of de-institutionalizing the police fraternal organizations (think of them more like the Shriners than like a union although collective bargaining is part of it). Some bright thinkers need to come forward with a what to do to keep from having to call the police form of community watch that breaks the armed patrol nonsense. The first situations to tackle IMO are mental health 911 calls. That should be amenable to de-policing even where some degree of forced restraint is necessary (which should be rarer than it apparently is). Also support for families stuck with the sole burden of managing mental health cases because of the failure to provide the promised community-based counseling and mental health centers. The section area is family disputes. Of course the gun marketing mania has complicated both of these areas to no end.
In Durham, the City Council recently got a report of a police department review. There are some interesting issues that the City is facing. The first is, despite a preference for hiring residents of the City, few come forward to take the exam and few who do are successful at passing it. The “few come forward” has to do with costs of housing in urban, suburban and rural areas. And there is competition from nearby municipalities with a supposed lower crime rate and higher salaries who hire from anywhere. That is an issue in meeting City Council’s mandate to hire more locals and also in filling empty positions. Also, I think for many cities, the pay scale assumed for public employees has too large a “government worker” discount built in; most public employees don’t get the deferred salary benefits (like fully paid pensions) that they did 50 years ago. And most cities never delivered on those pensions. The City Council is still looking at ways to ensure that the sorts of incidents that occurred elsewhere and in one case in Durham are not repeated. But prior to the Durham to Baltimore demonstration by around 300 the City removed all of the bricks that were stockpiled for paving a sidewalk and crosswalks from the construction site out of fear of riot. So they haven’t gotten completely real yet. And they are not digging into the informal economy side of police issues that most folks know are going on. At least not yet. It affects some influential but not highly visible local business owners.
Don’t know whether it’s true or not, being unfamiliar with things in your neck of the woods, but I’d suspect Durham’s city manager has much more say-so in what the po-po do and don’t do than the city council or the mayor.
The police work for him, not for the public, and he works for…. whom? Whoever’s got the most money and clout, right? Whoever can call him up and say “I want this, this, and this” and it is done. That’s the one your city manager works for and no one else. (Probably a coalition of course…)
The electeds are part of the Rabble to be managed.
Far as I can tell, Baltimore doesn’t have a city manager as such. The Mayor is actually chief executive of the city. Administration seems really divided among dozens of commissions, departments and offices, but they all serve as part of the mayor’s staff. The chief of staff is directly under the mayor, and under the chief are three deputy chiefs.
As far as I can tell from the organizational charts, the police commissioner is directly under the mayor as well, but how accountable the department is to the mayor or anyone else is difficult to assess. The department’s history is all over the place. The department was created by the state legislature, and it’s been under direct state control, federal control, control by a board of commissioners, and now by the mayor.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The upshot seems to be a certain level of independence from accountability to the residents of Baltimore — which may help explain some of the misery they’ve been imposing on the people for as long as they’ve been around. During the “riots” the police were being treated as an alien intrusion and an army of occupation. But the tension between the Baltimore police and certain segments of the population — primarily poor, primarily but not exclusively black — is deeply ingrained and seems to go back to the origin of the force. They were established — by the State of Maryland — to keep the Negroes (both free and slave) and the flood of immigrants (Irish and Italian for the most part) under close watch and oppression, and to protect the toffs from the Rabble.
To me, this department seems like it would be a primary candidate for abolition and I don’t see how it can be reformed.
i’m not familiar with nixon’s ‘crime in the streets’ program. but reagan’s ‘law and order for some™: yes. but then he has union-busting forever™ to his credit, as well.
your thought of drug ‘pacification and/or intensification of icidents’ reminds me exactly of tracy’s song (she’s from cleveland, ay yi yi, although i may have brought it earlier. still.
but that’s one of the craziest part of the so-called ‘drug war’. it’s all about profit and incarceration of those rabble targeted, not to mention how many cops profit from protecting dealers and shipments, and those massive DEA budgets and spy agencies. but to end the violence and the killing, ending the drug war is paramount.
yes to the alternatives to police being responders to mental health situations, but that’s one of the key reasons i like parts of dale brown’s ‘threat management’ ideology. ché often points out that *dispatchers* have very few protocols they can choose in those situations. but just at the moment, i’m haunted by the massive numbers of kids being arrested at the baltimore city schools (and jailed, in many cases). that has to end! we can imagine the same thing may be happening in chicago, parts of new york, etc., as well. we know about expulsion rates of blacks compared to whites for equal offenses, but this is two steps beyond that, even.
‘some smart thinkers’ indeed. one’s mind tumbles at all the different aspects that would need to be implemented to create an alternative. and hell, cities and states are *closing* so many mental health centers and other trauma centers instead.
interesting angle on the *economic issues* of durham’s rule about residency, and the difficulty of finding worthy applicants. and the ‘pick up the bricks’ story is almost hilarious, or would be, save for the meaning of it.
but as ché indicates, the Rabble class is growing less fearful of the police hammerings: note how many peeps chose to break the baltimore curfew.
but ah, philadelphia. i read this morning about the phillie cops bombing a MOVE house in 1985 to evict them, and the resultant deaths (including children) by fire, houses lost, etc., and that everyone who’d perpetuated it got off scot free….save for the MOVE folks. i’m disgusted that i never knew about it, not even reading pieces by abu jamal. but linn washington says that from then on, PPD knew officers could get away with anything.
mafr sent this long documentary i haven’t watched yet. the counterpunch link to MOVE i quite active. the wiki (ahem) disparaged the members heartily.
Thanks, wendye, for posting the link to the realnews transcript – my youngest son is working two part-time jobs at present, asleep in the livingroom as I type this. I will read the whole transcript and your post, just got to the purge description and your question about whether the ‘trickle up’ is credible.
Rob Urie has a powerful (long) essay at counterpunch with vivid illustrations that I also have quickly scanned – copied out just this worthy paragraph:
“. . .The institutional panic that hit Senate Democrats when they realized they had momentarily slowed the trajectory of total capitulation to capitalist interests was met by equally panicked interpretation from the cooperative opposition that a crack had appeared that had not been made to appear. House Democrats may or may not pass ‘fast track’ and the TPP but jobs will nevertheless be outsourced, pensions looted, wedding parties in the Middle East bombed and Democrats (and Republicans) will remain craven and self-serving until a different order is established. . . .”
I love that embedded theme: “. . . a crack had appeared that had not been made to appear . . .” In other words, possibility reared its beautiful head, like a shoot taking advantage of accidental pro forma crass business as usual manipulations. This is to be taken advantage of, the shoot nourished by perception solidified.
If the answer to your question is “No way,” nonetheless a crack has appeared that has not been made (intended) to appear. And even the “No way” nourishes the shoot of revolutionary purpose.
Dear hearts; we are many, they are few. Scripture says: How beautiful are the feet that bring good tidings. (Not my feet; yours, wendye!)
Che Pasa: “. . .I may have been in the last generation not to have “school police,” I don’t know. . . ”
My youngest kids were in school in Albuquerque briefly in the early ’90’s. What you report was indeed true, but police incursions became starkly apparent to us recently arrived from a short stay in New Zealand. My kids had innocently bought fireworks sold streetside to celebrate the 4th and my apartment was suddenly full of cops and a $50 dollar fine slapped on me. ( Fortunately a letter to a sympathetic judge got the fine waived, but I did have to make a court appearance.) And school experiences for them were linked with the juvenile justice system – something we had never experienced before.
The other aspect of oppressive practices then was of course the military recruitments on school grounds – these things weren’t racially motivated but they were pervasive in the school system and hugely disruptive. We left that environment as soon as we could – others were not so lucky.
oooh, it does look long but worth reading. he says he tweaked the images, and the blurred neon light effect are srsly powerful. yes, take advantage of the green shoots. i was amazed at the triumphalism so many expressed that “we won! we won!” after reading the gripes that ‘it just didn’t contain language about africa, currency devaluation (of course aimed at the chinese). well, if it all tanks, it will likely be that potential signatory nations end up giving it abbie hoffman’s finger. (i’m gonna keep that one!)
hell, juliania; i don’t bring good tidings, just what might be good for the rabble class…one day. but yes: Rise like lions after slumber!
oh, and i only got this far, but how excellent from urie:
“While optimism is certainly within the range of normal human emotions, those expressing it in socially beneficial forms can be found facing down militarized cops in Ferguson, Missouri, fighting mountaintop removal in West Virginia and occasionally burning cop cars in Baltimore.” bless his heart.
Yes, wendye, that sentence grabbed me also. Thanks for taking a gander.
Glutton for punishment, me, but this one’s a keeper also, and follows right on after my reminiscence of the ’90’s to Che Pasa:
Very well written, juxtaposing his 1990 self after the fall of the Berlin wall with today’s gargantuan military madness.
uh, oh; 2l2r for now, but thank you. our son transferred to another school in the county seat in his junior year to escape the hideously rampant racism that went on unabated (to the administration’s total ‘pretty words’ denials). he found it at his new school, of course, especially aimed toward first americans, but: after columbine, the school went absolutely bonkers with security guards, metal detectors, and confiscation of all computers owned by ‘goth-looking students’ (some called them ’emos’, i forget why, bu dusters and all that as “evidence” of their True Intentions to Murder.
our son was by way of their champion, and life here was quite fraught for a time. perhaps, from then on, come to think of it.
and i do hope your sons jobs are okay enough; so many can’t find any work these days. good tidings here: we got .60 of an inch of rain in the night, and the does have been coming in to rest lethargically, and look for places to drop their fawns. (long grass under trees, mostly) loads of colroful spring birds up from central america, too, even some that are under population stress from the alberta tarsands’ toxicity and…climate change.
Climate change for sure – last May was blazingly hot, and this is cold and rain almost ongoing. That’s good but all those flat roofed adobe houses in the pueblos, ai ai ai. It does happen during the rainy season, but that ought to be July. The chile may suffer – my plants haven’t wanted to leave the house.
Yes, sons are very grateful to have work.
Yes! these are the ‘blessed feet’ juliania, and fearless in their passionate need.
but more tragic tidings; it has to stop:
i’d been reading some of the ‘reserve officer bates’ killer of eric harris (‘fuck your breath!’) exposés yesterday. simply sickening.
The origins of the conservative “tough on crime” movement.
Click to access toughcrime.pdf
A quick overview. Nixon used “crime in the streets” to refer to protesters and the growing white anxiety about desegregation and the rising youth crime rates after the assassination of Martin Luther King. It was the perfect framing to peel off some of the Wallace supporters north and south. And to peel off urban ethnic union Democrats in major cities.
What Nixon delivered was the first federal aid program for law enforcement departments. A slush fund named the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP). That bought support from police unions, who soon became aligned with conservative Republicans.
@ChePasa, Yes, the city manager does have more sway in Durham than do the mayor and council. Tom Bonnefield is a professional city manager whose previous posting was in central Florida (if I remember correctly). And yes, the Chamber of Commerce is one of his reference groups.
holy shit, i see why this is the father of all that’s come down since, including clinton’s ‘three strikes’. thank you, thank you, for digging it up. tarheeldem.
““Doubling the conviction rate in this country would do more
to cure crime in America than quadrupling the funds for
[Hubert] Humphrey’s war on poverty.”
–Richard Nixon, 38th President of the United States of America
“[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact
that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to
devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”
–H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s Chief of Staff
mother’s milk to those you mentioned above; jezum crow.
The criminalization of blacks and other minorities was the tradeoff for implementation of civil rights legislation.
Same with the criminalization of young folk — with a specific emphasis on black and brown youth — as a tradeoff/counterpoint to semi-liberation from the strictures of control and conformity that were previously enforced.
Nixon was pretty clear about “law ‘n order” and what it meant to him and to terrified white folks who wanted and end to the urban uprisings and strict control of the stinky long-hairs running around smoking mary-ju-wanna, having sex and race mixing like mad.
Today’s conditions are the direct legacy of that era, reinforced multiple times since. Nixon actually seems like a bleeding heart socialist compared to today’s pols, even the most “liberal” ones — who at most only want to fuss around the margins of the mess that’s been made by this obsession with control and criminalization.
The revolution(s) of the 1960s was/were won in the sense that rights were conferred and expanded where they had been denied before (particularly to black and brown folks) and the war in Vietnam was brought to a bloody conclusion, and, oh yeah, and the voting and drinking ages were lowered to 18, same as the draft age, but then the draft was ended too.
But the cost was monumental and it continues to grow right along with the prison-industrial complex that was spawned by the fetish for law ‘n order that occurred side by side with liberationist movements of the 1960s and afterwards.
it’s easy to draw a pretty direct line from nixon policies to the present, no doubt. i just hadn’t known it had been so formalized (my white privilege showing, i reckon). of course i knew of his policies over unwashed students and hippies; i went to kent state, and knew what went down at jackson state and another black college.
i find myself embarrassed that i hadn’t known a thing about the Move rowhouse bombing, either, although their website says that almost no one did/does, even now (speaking of black liberation movements). catching up on history is always good, though.
quite relevant to your nixon ‘tough on crime’ pdf and quotes is a video i stumbled upon at truth-out while searching for my favorite bards, phil rockstroh. it was in an oped by the author of ‘school to prison pipeline, etc.’ and is up with:
‘”Whiteness,” Criminality and the Double Standards of Deviance/Social Control’ It concerns medical treatment for drug use variations between the colors. a long piece, too much for me, i reckon.
the video is ‘How The Media Destroyed The Black Image and Criminalize Blacks Malcolm X’
Shaun King’s stunning bill of particulars.
Let’s stop saying bad police officers are rare. Fact is they’re plentiful from coast to coast.
i’d seen him tweeting some of the content as he built toward it, but i confess i hadn’t had the heart to look in; i still barely do. but this is the giff of that map (i’d put it up on my #million moms march post). impressive.
Watch for tweet of release. Previous news was overturning the sabotage conviction.
The Associated Press @AP 30m30 minutes ago
BREAKING: Attorney: Court orders immediate release of 85-year-old nun, fellow anti-nuclear activists.
and here it is:
“NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An appeals court has ordered the immediate release of an 85-year-old nun and two fellow Catholic peace activists who vandalized a uranium storage bunker, their attorney said Friday.
The order came after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati last week overturned their 2013 convictions for sabotage and ordered resentencing on their remaining conviction for injuring government property. The activists have spent two years in prison, and the court said they likely already have served more time than they will receive for the lesser charge.
On Thursday, their attorneys petitioned the court for an emergency release, saying that resentencing would take weeks if normal court procedures were followed. Prosecutors on Friday afternoon responded that they would not oppose the release, if certain conditions were met.
After the close of business on Friday, attorney Bill Quigley said the court had ordered the activists’ immediate release. He said he was working to get them out of prison and was hopeful they could be released overnight or on the weekend.
“We would expect the Bureau of Prisons to follow the order of the court and release them as soon as possible,” he said.”
thank you, THD; what fine news it is.
Wsws.org has a longish piece up describing illegal and darkly Dickensian jail conditions in baltimore, the ‘kettling’ of the students leading to the ‘riots’ that led to gov hogan’s declaration of ‘a national emergency’, which meant that the courts were (ahem) also conveniently closed on may 28. the author includes testimony by two defense lawyers, including this facebook description of jail conditions by one: marci tarrant johnson.
moar baltimore fukkery you may or may not have seen:
Maryland Gov. redirects $68 million school fund towards pensions
“Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan stunned lawmakers by announcing he will redirect $68 million set aside for schools and use it to shore up the state’s pension system. But critics say his move violates appropriation rules under the state’s constitution.
On Thursday, Gov Hogan said that spending more money on schools instead of covering the underfunded state’s pension would be “absolutely irresponsible, and it will not happen on my watch,” according to The Baltimore Sun. “
“Baltimore officials, trying to collect some $40 million in long-unpaid water bills, have shut off service to more than 1,600 customers in the past six weeks.
But records reviewed by The Baltimore Sun show the city’s enforcement has been starkly uneven.
While large commercial properties owe the biggest amounts, not one has been shut off. All of the service cuts so far have been to homes.
And while the majority of homes with unpaid bills are in the city, nearly 90 percent of shut-offs have been in Baltimore County. Dundalk and Gwynn Oak have each had more service cuts than all of Baltimore.
Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, a Republican who represents Dundalk, said he found it “odd” that his community, with a population of less than 64,000, saw more enforcement than a city more than 10 times that size. He has asked officials to verify the accuracy of their data.” more at the link.
David Simon, you may have seen, has more, much more, about Martin O’Malley’s perfidy, and he issues quite a stirring defense of Ms. R-B and… wait for it… Police Commissioner Bealefeld, the predecessor to the current Commissioner Batts.
Excerpt from the quite lengthy post:
Interestingly, he asserts that the successor-mayors to Mr. O’Malley reversed his quantity driven and destructive arrest policies that had basically destroyed whole communities and destroyed the BPD’s ability to police effectively. They became so obsessed with rounding up more and more low-level and no-level “criminals” that they were unable to deal with the serious and violent crimes of murder and rape and so forth that continued unabated during the reign of Zero-Tolerance. He says that is the real legacy of O’Malley’s Police Policies.
Despite reversal of those policies, BPD remains a broken department.
In addition, he points out that O’Malley conducted a visitation in Baltimore in 2013 during which he complained mightily about the reduction in the number of arrests — and apparently took no notice of the reduction in the homicide rate and other violent crimes since his policies were abandoned.
It’s a long read and there are some things that seem hyperbolic or to miss the point, but overall, it’s an interesting glimpse of just what O’Malley did versus what he thought he was doing.
Assuming there was any thought behind it at all…
[Sorry if the link don’t work. No preview…. Here’s the direct link if it doesn’t:
i’m soooooo glad that his take was challenged by bloomberg today; he really dug into it, didn’t he? but no, i hadn’t seen any of it, so thanks for bringing it. i love how carefully he does the math on the juked arrrests, then clearly states that murder rates (including solving them) are the real tell: “ya can’t hide the dead bodies”. yes, the police culture is set by now, isn’t it? which goes to your points that it cannot be ‘reformed’.
his homage to mayor hyphenated and commissioner bealefield was fascinating, but how interesting that he’d said earlier that he’d vote for o’malley in a dem primary given the chance. wot?
but bugger; the RT link i used didn’t get to the larger point about hogan and the legislature stealing the education money. i had a baltimore sun cbs local link that showed this: Maryland Chooses Jail Over Schools for Baltimore Youths:
“Two days after Maryland officials approved spending $30 million of taxpayer funds on a shiny new jail for Baltimore youth caught in the snare of the criminal justice system, Gov. Larry Hogan removed $11.6 million from the city’s school budget and reallocated it to the pension fund for state employees, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The budget decisions reflect a pattern in Maryland and across the U.S. of prioritizing spending on incarceration over education—calling to mind what’s become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline”—and the elderly over the young.”
(and again: your command of html is mind-boggling to me; lemoyne’s is, as well.)
superb, marym, and thank you. i liked “get out, ya fat fucker” as the cop car left the scene. free thought is a valuable site, as is countercurrent news.
hope you’re well. it’s good to see that you’re still fightin’ the good fight at fdl. ;-)
I’m about done there for now. Sad demise of a decent forum.
well it is, marym. no spice, little life. with no community forum, it’s easy to Just Say Not to getting one of those infernal disqus accounts (their [ahem] ‘privacy settings’ notwithstanding). it didn’t have to be this way, as they say.
always glad to have you here, but i know your forté is enlightening mulpish peeps. here we always have an Open Menu for links, music, what.ev.er, listed on the right sidebar. i’d imagine were ready to build a new one soon.
Is this a trend?
that is one of the most beautiful and inspirational sets of images i’ve seen in a long time, marym. mother and father bears protecting the community’s children. this is the exact sort of love that MLK said needed to expand exponentially to foster a healthy revolution. and the need was clear, oh my:
“On 12 January 28 young people (19 of them reported torture during the arrest) have been judged, 7 of which have been sentenced. Face a penalty of six years in prison just because they are ‘ political activists and youth policy in an organisation militarem.” The police arrested four of the seven condemned before the decision is made public to avoid walls popular, but three are still loose.”
did you by chance come by this website through Revo News on twitter? i’ve never seen it to my knowledge.
Saw a few photos on twitter thru the day – I think I got the link from @GlobalRevLive
yes, that’s what i’d meant. rebelutionary-z often retweets their things, too. oops, no; i was thinking of this account. still, awesome photos, awesomely brave folks. not unlike the thousands pushing police wagons back across the bridge at tahrir square. people power.
courage comes from need and passion, as well as nothing to live for beyond X. i dunno if you’ve seen this video before, but it says it all.
damn, the #BaltimoreRising account is jammin’!
Not a legal scholar at all but was watching and attempting to understand a SCOTUS decision this morning relating to theScott Walker, John Doe in WI when I began reading this:
Regards a woman shot by police while in her room at a mental health care facility. Limited scope but geez, forget it for protecting the mentally ill out on their own in public.
this seems to be the crux of the majority’s argument, according to dennison:
“At most, the Court on Monday declared that it was not clearly established seven years ago, when the San Francisco incident occurred, that the Fourth Amendment requires police to take special precautionary steps to accommodate the mental disability of a person whom they are trying to subdue. Because that was not the law at the time, the two officers had legal immunity from the woman’s claim that the Fourth Amendment require such an accommodation, according to the six-to-two decision. (Justice Stephen G. Breyer took no part, because his brother, a federal judge in California, had ruled on the case in a lower court.)”
not.clearly.established. well, it can go back to the lower courts, say they. but just for the sake of curiosity, i wanted to know er…if the police were telling the truth. i found this at sf gate:
“Reynolds and Holder later told investigators that Sheehan had come at them with a knife after they had entered her room.
The officers left and called for backup, but re-entered before help arrived, breaking down the door when Sheehan tried to block it. The officers explained later that they forced their way in, fearing Sheehan might have access to other weapons or escape from the room.
They tried to subdue her with pepper spray, then shot her five or six times when she refused again to drop the knife, the officers said.
Sheehan needed two hip-replacement operations because of her wounds, her lawyer said. Prosecutors charged her with assault, but the case was dropped after a jury deadlocked.”
Hmmm; wonder if they’re lying? but i really hadn’t known that police were tasked with special care in handling the mentally ill under the ADA. that is a whole wrinkle that may not be widely known, eh?
in most of the cases we know about, all the po-po have to claim is that were *reasonably* afraid for their safety…or the safety of others’. that part always makes me wince, since the safety of ‘the suspect’ isn’t considered so much. (graham v. connor, and a second one)
look at dear miz sheehan eating her christmas dinner, lookin’ like Aunt Bea. jeezum crow.
Solid Albuquerque summary piece comes from the UK’s Channel 4. Interviews with Grover and Costales, as well as the Torres family. Christopher Torres tried to flee the non-uniformed cops in his own backyard, they promptly tackled him and shot him three times point-blank in the back while sitting on him.
Reporter Kylie Morris gets to the nub by asking what do you do when the DoJ consent decree doesn’t work? As she notes, lives are at stake…
shiver me timbers; all six of those charged by mosby in the death of freddie gray have been indicted; read the somewhat amended charges here:
More evidence of the need for a thorough purge (at least in Burque). Jacob Grant was shot repeatedly by his boss Lt. Brachle in January and is now suing APD and the city .
In this case, the APD brass has refrained from their usual PR campaign against the shooting victim, instead Eden and Berry initially parroted the talking point about ‘how dangerous it is to be a cop’.[h/t true comment by New Mexco Sara – pretty sure she is local (un)Occupier and AFSC organizer]. Certainly there aren’t many other professions where your superior can shoot you eight times, keep his job and stay out of jail.
holy smoke, lemoyne. i remember the apd’s initial side of that case, including the diagrams of ‘who was in the front seat, who was in the back’, never mind that they left out some identifying letters and IDs. it looked like a *true* drig deal gone wrong,that it….if brachle had needed to (ahem) dispense with grant. good golly, and he’s a paraplegic now.
oh, my; eden and berry, born from the same gene pool. by the by, do you know if david, dinah, et.al. know of, or care about the state police killings of late?
i’ll add a couple more items of interest:
‘NYPD Admits They Have Been Arresting Too Many People, *Considering* Amnesty For 1.2 Million’
not only *preparation* in advance of the RNC (dinnae know it was going to be in cleveland), but the Brelo verdict…which could come any year now./s
and no surprise: the senate passed obama’s fast track.
On the House: http://tradetreachery.com/
Tell Grayson and your misrepresentative on TPP/TTIP;
“Free” ‘trade’ , Your A$$* !
Pfffffffffffft on grayson. asshat got to see some of the text, raised buckets of money on it, and wouldn’t say what he’d seen. his claim was that *after the fact* they told him that telling would be treason. fuck that. yeah, and look, that page still tries to con you into giving money to him. double-Pfffft.
Filed under: Fucking Unbelievable:
‘BREAKING: Cop Found Not Guilty After He Jumped on Hood of Car and Murdered Unarmed Couple’
“Cleveland, OH — Cleveland cop Michael Brelo was found not guilty on all counts Saturday morning for the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.
In November of 2012, Brelo jumped on the hood of a car occupied by the unarmed couple and fired more than a dozen shots through the window and into their bodies. The car was surrounded by multiple other officers who also fired more than 100 rounds into the car as well.
The verdict comes on the heals of recent information which showed that the cops knew the couple was unarmed, yet unloaded their weapons anyway.
As the Free Thought Project reported in February,
“In the hours following the shooting, Patrolman James Hummel sent texts in which he said “they all knew” neither of the victims had a gun – that the officers had mistaken a silver can of soda pop for a weapon, prosecutors said. The texts said that what some of the officers had suspected were gunshots were actually backfires from the fleeing car, that Brelo “was going to be in trouble,” and that “everyone knew Brelo did something wrong,” prosecutors said.”
i reckon the Fibbie knew the verdict was coming just about now. wonder what the protests will look like?