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(52,052 posts)
Thu Apr 18, 2024, 01:38 PM Apr 18

Michael Harriot: The Supreme Court just ruled that rights don't really matter


Officially, no one killed Alton Sterling.

On July 5, 2016, Baton Rouge, La., police officer Blane Salamoni pumped six shots into the back and chest of 37-year-old Sterling as Officer Howie Lake II held him down. Because Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry concluded that the officers “acted as reasonable officers…and were justified in their use of force,” neither officer was found guilty of murder, manslaughter or excessive use of force against Sterling. The U.S. Department of Justice determined there was “insufficient evidence” to pursue charges. And, even though the local government eventually settled a wrongful death civil suit with Sterling’s family for $4.5 million, neither Salamoni, Lake, the Baton Rouge Police Department nor the city had to answer for their actions in a court of law. Technically, they just did some things that — through no fault of their own — resulted in a person being not alive. That’s how the law works for cops …

And white people.

If you’re Black, it’s a little different. For instance, when an unnamed police officer was injured during a July 9, 2016, protest against the police department that did not murder Sterling, everyone found someone to blame:

Black people.

Baton Rouge is a majority Black city, so it didn’t matter that the officer did not produce a shred of evidence proving that protest organizer DeRay Mckesson “colluded with the unknown assailant to attack Officer Doe, knew of the attack and ratified it, or agreed … that attacking the police was one of the goals of the demonstration.” Most of the protesters were Black, so it didn’t matter that investigators had no idea who threw the piece of concrete that caused a “loss of teeth, injury to jaw, [and] injury to brain and head” of the anonymous officer.” Like Sterling’s Black life, nothing mattered.

But Mckesson is also Black. So, in 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ruled that Mckesson could be held responsible for the officer’s injuries. In this unique case, it did not matter that Mckesson didn’t injure anyone. The U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals later affirmed the ruling, paving the way for a civil court jury to find Mckesson negligent for a crime he did not commit. And despite the judges concluding that Mckesson nor the march he organized had any connection to the Black Lives Matter organization, every news outlet has reported who was at fault for this single incident of reverse police brutality:

“Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson.”


5 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Michael Harriot: The Supreme Court just ruled that rights don't really matter (Original Post) Nevilledog Apr 18 OP
I saw Mckesson on TV yesterday & he was truly amazing CrispyQ Apr 18 #1
Yeah, I saw him too PatSeg Apr 18 #2
I saw it, too! AwakeAtLast Apr 18 #4
When I red the whole article... orwell Apr 18 #3
Wouldn't mind at all if 6 dropped dead right now, probably just walk over their bodies as they expired. Traurigkeit Apr 18 #5


(36,959 posts)
1. I saw Mckesson on TV yesterday & he was truly amazing
Thu Apr 18, 2024, 02:20 PM
Apr 18

in how he remained calm & mostly positive throughout the interview. I would have been spitting nails.


(7,804 posts)
3. When I red the whole article...
Thu Apr 18, 2024, 03:56 PM
Apr 18

...it echoes what I feel about "the Law" in the United States.

"There is no such thing as “law.”

Laws are impartially enforced and objectively applied. They are used to impose justice and redress wrongs. If a rule or code of conduct is arbitrarily applied or subjectively administered, it is just a suggestion. And in America, there is not a single regulation, judicial precedent or piece of legislation that has ever been enforced without consideration of the capricious, irrational consideration of race. Even the system of white supremacy has no rhyme or reason. It’s just an unwritten, preposterously inconsistent code of conduct that governs America’s behavior, but it’s not real."

To this I would add the word "class" to race. The is a mutable definition of Law in this country, depending on the race or class of the accused. "Justices" routinely bend "the Law" to the preconceived result they wish to obtain. That is why we can routinely predict what a circuit court will find depending on the district or what the Supreme Court will find depending on the reliable bias of the justices hearing the case.

There is a reason that prosecutors and litigants judge shop and jurisdiction shop. If Lady Justice was truly blind this would not even be a strategy.

As a primary recent case in point, nobody in the US would be given the latitude that Drumpf is given. Jury/Witness tampering/intimidation? No problem. Violate a court order? Why not? Fail to meet a bond requirement? Par for the course. And all the while complain that you are being unfairly prosecuted, attack the court system, attack the officers of the court, attack democracy itself, incite violence against police officers with almost no penalty.

That blind "Lady Justice" sure loves her some rich, bad boy white guys...


(1,137 posts)
5. Wouldn't mind at all if 6 dropped dead right now, probably just walk over their bodies as they expired.
Thu Apr 18, 2024, 04:14 PM
Apr 18

Going on my way to where I was going, not a worry in the world.

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