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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,122

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Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix.

Here's one of the good ones, a good cop, who tried to 'change things from within' a police department. He couldn't stomach what he saw on the St. Lewis police force, and ended up quitting and going to work for the ACLU. If this is what happens when a 'good cop' tries to 'make a difference' from within, then it powerfully suggests to me that solving our 'police problem' is going to be an uphill battle.

This is a good read, not long. Highly recommended.

Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix.
By Redditt Hudson * Washington Post * December 6, 2014

As a kid, I got used to being stopped by the police. I grew up in an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis. It was the kind of place where officers routinely roughed up my friends and family for no good reason. I hated the way cops treated me.

But I knew police weren’t all bad. One of my father’s closest friends was a cop. He became a mentor to me and encouraged me to join the force. He told me that I could use the police’s power and resources to help my community. So in 1994, I joined the St. Louis Police Department. I quickly realized how naive I’d been. I was floored by the dysfunctional culture I encountered. I won’t say all, but many of my peers were deeply racist.

One example: A couple of officers ran a Web site called St. Louis Coptalk, where officers could post about their experience and opinions. At some point during my career, it became so full of racist rants that the site administrator temporarily shut it down. Cops routinely called anyone of color a “thug,” whether they were the victim or just a bystander. This attitude corrodes the way policing is done.

As a cop, it shouldn’t surprise you that people will curse at you, or be disappointed by your arrival. That’s part of the job. But too many times, officers saw young black and brown men as targets. They would respond with force to even minor offenses. And because cops are rarely held accountable for their actions, they didn’t think too hard about the consequences.


We could start to change that by mandating that a special prosecutor be appointed to try excessive force cases. And we need more independent oversight, with teeth


Police Killing Data Filled With Many Unknowns

This IS something Obama and Loretta Lynch (newly appointed AG) CAN (and should) do. Require accurate reporting to the Dept. of Justice of all officer-involved killings, brutality and abuse of citizens.

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Police Killing Data Filled With Many Unknowns
AP* By ALLEN G. BREED * 12/07/2014

Ferguson, Missouri. Cleveland, Ohio. Staten Island, New York. Eutawville, South Carolina.

In each place, individuals — all unarmed except for a child carrying a pellet gun — died at the hands of police officers. All of the dead were black. The officers involved, white.

To many Americans, it feels like a national tidal wave. And yet, no firm statistics can say whether this spate of officer-involved deaths is a growing trend or simply a series of coincidences generating a deafening buzz in news reports and social media.

"We have a huge scandal in that we don't have an accurate count of the number of people who die in police custody," says Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a leading scholar on policing and civil liberties. "That's outrageous."


Yet another Unarmed Black Man Shot Dead by Police, this time in Phoenix AZ

PHOENIX (AP) — The deadly shooting of a black, unarmed drug suspect by a white Phoenix police officer who mistook a pill bottle for a gun demonstrates the challenges law enforcement agencies face at a time of unrest over police tactics.

Phoenix police say the officer feared the suspect was armed during their struggle, but some critics say the officer went too far. Despite the department's efforts to be transparent with information, protesters marched Thursday night against the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon.

About 150 took part in the march through the streets of downtown Phoenix to police headquarters, while also calling for an end to what they say is a nationwide epidemic of police brutality.


Apparently this cop cannot tell the difference between these two items.

Heads Up!! "Obama Ready to Defy Base in Order to Advance Trans-Pacific Partnership"

While the whole nation reels, protests, and riots about these horrid racist killer-cops murdering black males with impunity, Obama is apparently busy behind the scenes giving away the store to the Koch Bros. et. al.

We are so fucked.

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Obama Ready to Defy Base in Order to Advance Trans-Pacific Partnership
In a speech before CEOs of major U.S. corporations, Obama indicates he's ready to go head-to-head with Democrats, labor unions, and environmentalists on trade deals
by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer * Common Dreams dot org * Dec. 4th, 2014

President Barack Obama is ready to buck his liberal base in order to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the pro-corporate international trade deal currently being negotiated in secret by the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries.

In a speech before the Business Roundtable, an association of conservative CEOs of major U.S. corporations, Obama indicated that he was ready to go head-to-head with Democrats, labor unions, and environmentalists—core groups that oppose the TPP and other so-called "free trade" pacts—in order to move the controversial deal forward. He listed trade as one of his top four economic priorities for the remainder of his presidency, along with tax reform, immigration, and investment in infrastructure.

"With respect to trade, we hope to be able to not simply finalize an agreement with the various parties in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but also to be able to explain it to the public, and to engage in all the stakeholders and to publicly engage with the critics, because I think some of the criticism of what we’ve been doing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is groups fighting the last war as opposed to looking forward," Obama said, referring to trade deals such as NAFTA that have been strongly opposed by the same constituencies.

"Were the TPP to be Fast Tracked through Congress, all but the wealthiest among us would lose more to inequality increases than we would gain in cheaper goods, spelling a pay cut for 90 percent of U.S. workers."
—Ben Beachy, Public Citizen
"Those who oppose these trade deals ironically are accepting a status quo that is more damaging to American workers," he continued. "And I’m going to have to engage directly with our friends in labor and our environmental organizations and try to get from them why it is that they think that."

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who helped introduce 'Fast Track' legislation earlier this year that would hand over the power to negotiate trade agreements from Congress to the president, praised Obama's remarks: “This is long overdue," he said. "The president’s influence, particularly among members of his own party, will be a vital component to congressional efforts."

Here We Go Again: Grand Jury Won't Indict NYPD Officer In Eric Garner's Murder by Strangulation

Grand Jury Won't Indict NYPD Officer In Eric Garner Chokehold Death
John Del Signore * Gothamist News * Dec 3, 2014

The grand jury tasked with deciding whether to indict an NYPD officer in the death of a Staten Island man this summer has reached a decision. NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo will not be charged in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, sources tell the NY Post, the NY Times, and the Daily News.

The grand jury voted to bring no charges against Officer Pantaleo. The Medical Examiner determined Garner's death a homicide. Chokeholds are prohibited by the NYPD. At a press conference the day after Garner's death, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, "this would appear to have been a chokehold as defined in the department's patrol guide. But the investigation will seek to confirm that."

The grand jury convened in August, about a month after Garner's death. Garner had allegedly been selling illegal untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk, where police, acting on a complaint from a business owner, approached him. The fatal arrest was captured on video by a witness, and raised questions about how Garner's death would have been handled had the video not been widely publicized. The initial police report about the incident, for instance, makes no mention of the use of a chokehold.

Pantaleo, the Times reports, faces potential punishment from the Police Department, including possible termination. He was stripped of his badge and gun following Garner's death.


Abusive Cop Picked to Head Obama's Police Reform Commission

Abusive Cop Picked to Head Police Reform Commission
Chief Ramsey has been a national leader in militarized policing.
Alternet * December 2, 2014 * By Steven Rosenfeld

Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, one of two co-chairs apppointed by President Obama to head a commission on ways to demilitarize local police, is known for leading repeated bloody and abusive crackdowns on protesters when he was Washington, D.C.’s chief a decade ago, according to a civil rights attorney who won millions in damages for 100s of citizens attacked by D.C. police.

“If the president’s idea of reforming policing practices includes mass false arrests, brutality, and the eviscerating of civil rights, then Ramsey’s his man. That’s Charles Ramsey’s legacy in D.C.,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), speaking of the ex-D.C. chief and current Philadelphia Police Commissioner. “Obama should immediately rescind his appointment of Commissioner Ramsey, who is a mass violator of civil rights and civil liberties.”

On Monday, Obama appointed Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a George Mason University professor of criminology, law and society, to head a commission that the president said will suggest steps that the executive branch can take to unwind the most visible aspects of America’s militarized police—its domestic use of military gear.

“They are going to co-chair a task force that is not only going to reach out and listen to law enforcement, and community activists and other stakeholders, but is going to report to me specifically in 90 days with concrete recommendations, including best practices for communities where law enforcement and neighborhoods are working well together,” Obama said Monday, continuing, “How do they create accountability; how do they create transparency; how do they create trust; and how can we at the federal level work with the state and local communities to make sure that some of those best practices get institutionalized?”


For those on DU who feel that police "unions" are legitimate and are acting "responsibly"

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Police Officers Association (the Police Union) has released a statement condemning the St. Louis Rams football players who entered the field displaying the "hands up don't shoot" pose.

Roorda was incensed that the Rams and the NFL would tolerate such behavior and called it remarkably hypocritical. "All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis's finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance," Roorda said.


With Election Over, First Order of Business Is $450 Billion Corporate Tax Break

If this doesn't piss you off, then I don't know what to say to you; but if it does piss you off, PLEASE feel free to K&R and I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on this rapidly increasing "lid-ripping" that's going on .. exposing how we've descended free-falling into an Oligarchy, NOT a democracy by ANY stretch of the imagination.

I was just watching an absolutely devastating piece by Bill Moyers, on another string, similarly ripping the lid off for all to see, here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017229443

... could it really be that the Mannings/Snowdens/Greenwalds/Assanges of the world are now multiplying exponentially? And if so, then might not pretty-much anything now be possible?

With Election Over, First Order of Business Is $450 Billion Corporate Tax Break
Sunday, 30 November 2014 * By Dave Johnson * Truthout.org Op-Ed

The election is over. Congress is back in Washington. The first order of business after the election is to give big tax breaks to the corporations – $450 billion worth. Fortunately, President Obama is trying to do something about this.

Tax Extenders

Every year Congress renews a package of “temporary” corporate tax breaks. The renewal process is called “tax extenders” because they extend the term of these temporary breaks. So now the Congress is working on this year’s extenders package, except this time it wants to just make many of them (the ones that mostly give handouts to giant corporations and campaign donors) permanent. The Washington Post calls this process “a periodic bonanza for lobbyists.”

A few of the special tax breaks in the extenders package are really good and serve an important purpose. For example, part of the package is tax credits that provide incentives to invest in renewable energy. But most others are just giveaways and handouts to the already-wealthy, like depreciation tax breaks for people who own racehorses. (Yes, really.) Even worse, some of these are loopholes that actually encourage corporations to shift U.S. profits offshore into tax havens. (Yes, really.)

The good breaks are used to grease the wheels to slip these special favors through – as in “if you want to get those wind tax credits you’re going to have to pass a tax break for Mitt Romney’s racehorses.”

The media is reporting that Congress is near a deal on these extenders. The deal kills several “good” tax breaks that help working people and the middle class, like an expanded child tax credit for the working poor and expanded earned-income credit. The deal phases out the wind power tax credit after 2017.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) pointed out that companies that renounce their U.S. citizenship would even get special breaks from this deal:

“The package would provide a permanent boon to large corporations, even those that renounce their U.S. citizenship and invert,” he said. “And adding insult to injury, the proposed deal chooses to leave behind working families and would make things harder for millions of Americans. …The overall package is simply unacceptable and adds more than $400 billion to the debt. We need to grow the middle class, not punish those working hard to get by while always giving preferences and priority treatment to big corporations who can hire high-priced, well-funded lobbyists.”


Is there ANY limit to the number of posts a DU member can frivolously flag or alert?

I'm trying to imagine a way for DU to stem the rising tide of frivolous alerts & flags I keep seeing, while serving on Jury Duty.

Don't get me wrong. I totally love the jury process, and doing jury duty too. But I feel it's increasingly being abused by lazy, thin-skinned busy-bodies who impulsively flag to impugn an OP author's character and/or motives, i.e. "eek it's a "troll!!" .. rather than accessing their creative juices to muster an adequate reply to the "offending" post.

Repeatedly I see posts flagged that are simply opinions, there's no personal attack, nor is there any other violation of DU's TOS. The post being flagged is simply an opinion the flagger did not like, they are "offended", get their panties in a bunch, and they apparently just can't restrain their fingers from leaping impulsively for the "Alert abuse" button.

I'd love to brainstorm about this; perhaps by posting an OP; but I felt inclined to check in with Admin. beforehand.

And/or maybe there IS some DU mechanism already in place that I'm not aware of. If there is I'd love to know about it.

Best regards, ~99thMonkey

Cops in Ferguson Thumb Noses at Court Order, Arrest Credentialed Journalist

I think it's high time for Federal Marshals to take over this mess, to guarantee Ferguson citizens' rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and to not be arrested. beat-up and/or killed for peacefully protesting police violence.


St. Louis County Police Violate Court Order By Arresting Journalist Standing on Sidewalk
And nobody seems to be in charge as grand jury decision looms
Aaron Malin * reason.com * November 23, 2014

A credentialed member of the media was arrested in Ferguson around 11:40 pm Saturday night. The arrest appeared to violate a court order issued Friday prohibiting the police from arresting law-abiding journalists.

Lieutenant Jerry Lohr of the Saint Louis County Police Department later told myself and other members of the media that the journalist was arrested for "failure to disperse" from a street, despite the fact that I, as well as approximately one hundred other protesters and media clearly witnessed the arrest take place on the sidewalk.

Saint Louis County police then tweeted from their official account that Trey Yingst, a reporter from D.C., had been arrested for failure to disperse because he "was asked to leave street by the commander and refused." The tweet was met with a backlash of dozens of contradicting reports, photos, and videos from individuals on the scene who saw what I saw: a reporter being arrested for taking photos on a public sidewalk.

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