by anthony freda
Small wonder, isn’t it? From what I’ve been able to find on line, the number of police convicted of murder was: zero in 2014, zero in 2015, and “In fact, since 2005, there have only been 13 officers convicted of murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings, according to data provided to The Huffington Post by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. Stinson’s data doesn’t include cases in which civilians died in police custody or were killed by other means, or those in which officers only faced lesser charges.” (Huffington Post, Jan. 2016) In 2016 one cop was convicted in the assassination of Akai Gurley, but the judge set aside his conviction before he served his time; that’s all I could find for that year.
Two SCOTUS laws, one being Graham v. Connor, are of great aid to those facing charges, which have actually increased since 2015; Tennessee v. Garner. Or as the Nation wrote in 2014, ‘license to kill’. Both give wide latitude to the po-po. Aside from that, ‘professional defense witnesses’ can stage ‘re-enactments’ to (ahem) sway jurors.
‘US police killings on track to reach all-time high in 2017’, George Gallanis, wsws.org, august 9, 2017
“As of this writing, the number of people killed by the police in the United States has likely increased. The count as of August 7, 2017 stands at 746 for the 2017 calendar year according to killedbypolice.net. Such an amount is unprecedented for the same time in previous years. If police killings stay consistent, 2017 will have the highest number of police killings on record.
While data from killedbypolice.net and the Washington Post is limited to recent years, both place 2015 as having the highest recorded number of people killed by police. Both, moreover, have recorded more killings than the official Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics (FBI), which has routinely undercounted killings.”
Gallais notes that killedbypolice.net shows: In 2015, police killed 725 by August 7, with 1,216 killed by the year’s end; again today’s number as of his writing was 746.
He goes say that the Jeff Bezos Washington Post (their banner reads: Democracy Dies in the Darkness, lol) rag significantly under-reports, but cites this year:
“Presently, the Post puts the count at 594 killed as of August 7 in 2017.” 152 fewer if my math holds up… But you can read the rest of the (ahem) contrasting data. A couple more paragraphs:
“For the many thousands killed in an encounter with the police, most have had the misfortune of being born poor or becoming poor and destitute, forced into a life of desperation, violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, crime, and suicide. Police violence is inextricably bound up to with the astronomical growth of social inequality and intensification of class tensions.
The enormous social chasm which exists in the United States is increasingly untenable and the American ruling class is taking note. With massive social upheavals on the horizon, it is seeking to defend its wealth, power and privileges by laying the framework for police-state rule.
For 2017, the total number of killings averages to 3.5 a day.”
Oddly, he’s left out mental illness as a big reason that so many have ‘fatal encounters’ with the po-po. The dangers to the mentally ill are so high that activists i some locales have tried to advertise to families: ‘Don’t call the police; call us instead!’
The WaPo calls their project ‘Fatal Force’). Wondering ahead of time if I even had ay views left, I did find this critique from 2015 at Truth-Out: ‘The Washington Post Downplays the Number of People Killed by Police in 2015’, December 31, 2015, Jim Naureckas, FAIR
“The Post’s project – which corroborates a similar tally conducted by the British Guardian – is a journalistic accomplishment, as well as an achievement of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has worked to call attention to police violence in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.”
[wd here: Actually, in 2015 ‘the counted’ counted 1146, the WaPo 963, but…who’s counting?]
“But it’s hard for me to escape the feeling that the Post story – by Kimberly Kindy and Marc Fisher – was framed by the paper to minimize the project’s remarkable findings. Take the first paragraph that summarizes details of the results:
‘In a year-long study, the Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many US communities – most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men – represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, the Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: They were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.’
[‘Failure to obey’ has almost been codified as a reason to shoot.]
“The kind of incidents that have ignited protests…represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings”: That sure sounds like an attempt to play down the number, doesn’t it? Particularly since the write-up never presents the raw number for fatal police shootings of unarmed African-Americans in 2015 – which is 37 – or the more comprehensive number of all unarmed civilians shot and killed: 90. Those numbers can be found on a graphic that accompanied the story in the paper’s print edition, and in an interactive feature online–but are nowhere to be found in the Post’s own article on its project. (“Just 9 percent of shootings involved an unarmed victim,” a sidebar accompanying the graphic began – that word “just” indicating that we should read that as “not so many.”)
Almost a policia apologia, really. At the end the author cites some reasons why the Guardian’s project is (was) preferable.
Now I’m absolutely, categorically, emphatically positive that this has nothing to say about Jeff Bezos’s mindset, aren’t you?
(Mattis was due to finish out his trip on Friday in Palo Alto, California, where he will tour Alphabet’s Google facilities.)
Now a couple related notes: ‘The Counted’ stopped counting at the end of 2016. If there was a explanation for it, I couldn’t find it online, not even on their ‘about’ page. But it was a valuable source for so many reasons, including the fact that the data could be searched interactively by state, name, ethnicity when known, armed/unarmed, weapon. etc; in 2016, for instance: of the 1093 amerikan citizens killed by police in 2016 race/ethnicity stats:
24 Native American 266 Black 183 Hispanic/Latino 574 White 21 Asian/Pacific Islander 25Other/Unknown
Another thing is that while killedbypolice.net is a useful tally, created by Nate Silver, iirc, it can’t by its nature show photos, videos, case dispositions if any (save for the category at the top: 100, 000 follow-ups’, arrrgh), funerals, memorials, related articles, evil deeds by the po-po that hadn’t necessarily ended in death, but were horrid nonetheless. BUT: some time back they’d closed the place to all who weren’t on freaking Facebook. But booyah! I tried to get in yesterday, and it’s been freed from Zuckerman Land!
But yes, as of today, August 11, the tally for ”the killed’ is…750.
It’s hard stuff to wallow through for too long, for certain, although, unlike twitter, it’s not even possible to copy/paste the blurbs. But here are a few:
‘Why Police Violence Against Women of Color Stays Hidden’; Data show more Black men are killed at higher rates than women, but police-misconduct attorney Andrea Ritchie says that doesn’t tell the whole story’, yesmagazine.
‘The Latest: Acquitted ex-officer to speak at cop convention’, times free press (Tulsa), August 10th, 2017
“Betty Shelby resigned from the Tulsa police department in July but was sworn in Thursday as an unpaid reserve deputy for the nearby Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.
Attorney Shannon McMurray says Shelby will speak in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Fraternal Order of Police national convention later this month. McMurray says Shelby will tell the group of officers to have a lawyer in mind and a plan if they are involved in a shooting.”
‘Miami-Dade Police Deploying Military Unit Randomly Across Town’, miaminewtimes.com, aug. 8 (video, photos):
“…Now activists trying to protest at county buildings could run into a mine-resistant truck or a whole platoon of cops in full tactical armor. MDPD announced on Monday that it will begin randomly sending out its rapid deployment force to various county buildings, including Metromover stops. This is all happening as crime rates in Miami are reaching historically low levels, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement data.
“In keeping with our ongoing homeland security initiatives, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) today begins to deploy its Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) as an enhanced security presence to deter threats to critical infrastructure sites and soft target locations throughout Miami-Dade County, such as government buildings and the Metrorail system,” MDPD wrote in a press release yesterday.
“MDPD — the nation’s eighth-largest police force — continues to acquire vast stores of equipment with few questions asked by elected leaders. The county commission, which is supposed to keep a check on these purchases, has largely neglected to do so. Earlier this summer, MDPD asked for federal funding for spy planes that would have recorded every single movement in the city’s majority-black neighborhoods. The cops applied for Department of Justice funding without consulting the commission, got County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to sign off on the plan, and then quietly asked the commission to “retroactively” approve everything.”
Well, you get the gist. And this is at a time when crime is down in Dade County.
There are a number of infuriating stories about cruel and inhumane treatment of those ‘in custody’, from pregnant women, to taser deaths while shackled, death from 48 hours in a ‘restraint chair’, but this one…oh, this one, just by the sheer magnitude of it:
‘Jailed to Death: First of five parts’, heraldsun.com, ‘51 NC jail inmates have died in past five years after poor supervision from jailers’
“Emily Call was one of 51 inmates who died in North Carolina’s county jails in the past five years after being left unsupervised for longer than state regulations allow, a News & Observer investigation shows. Jailers failed to make timely checks, left in place sheets or towels that prevented them from seeing suicide attempts, or didn’t fix broken cameras or intercoms that helped them keep in touch with inmates.
The deaths of unsupervised inmates came in 38 different jails, in rural and urban areas. Twelve of the jails, including Durham, have been cited for violation of regulations in more than one death.
Numbers are ‘appalling’”
Yes, that’s indisputable. Let’s (sigh) check in with Keegan Stephan: