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Fri Dec 26, 2014, 08:45 AM

 

“It may out-Ferguson Ferguson”: Why Milwaukee’s police violence will horrify you

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/23/it_may_out_ferguson_ferguson_why_milwaukees_police_violence_will_horrify_you/


While the Hamilton case has not received as much media attention as the Michael Brown shooting, it may very well out-Ferguson Ferguson. Hamilton, an unarmed 31-year-old African-American man, was shot 14 times by white police officer Christopher Manney on the afternoon of April 30, 2014. Hamilton, who had a history of schizophrenia (which he had received treatment for), had been sleeping in downtown Red Arrow Park; two officers had checked on him earlier in the day and concluded that he was not a threat to himself or others. Toxicology reports found no drugs or alcohol in Hamilton’s system at the time of his death. Half of the bullets that hit Hamilton traveled in a downward direction before striking their target, with one shot hitting him in the back. According to Jonathan Safran, an attorney for the Hamilton family, no gunpowder residue was found near Hamilton’s 21 gunshot wounds – a finding that Safran suggests shows Manney fired from some distance when he discharged his weapon that day.

...

On the one hand, the Hamilton case tragically illustrates that what happened in Ferguson is far from exceptional. What many pundits still try to pawn off as an isolated incident is in fact part of what can best be described as a national epidemic. Yet what is particularly instructive about these events in Milwaukee is their broader context. The history of Milwaukee – and more specifically the history of police misconduct in Milwaukee – provides the perfect vehicle through which to understand how the culture that leads to events like Ferguson (and Staten Island and Cleveland) is created. Sadly, this history is all too familiar in cities across America, and appears to have one common goal: to demean and dehumanize African-American men.

Often, this history is surprisingly fresh. On the very same day of the Michael Brown non-indictment, a group of 12 plaintiffs filed civil cases against the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department for a series of approximately 70 illegal strip searches that police officers carried out between 2007 and 2012 — all of African-American men. While the ringleader of the officers who conducted these searches – Michael Vagnini – is now serving a 26-month prison term after pleading no contest to a series of four felonies and four misdemeanors, these civil cases implicate close to 15 officers as having participated and/or witnessed these searches. One of the officers named in a civil case filed on Nov. 24, Zachary Thoms, has already admitted in a disposition that he and Officer Vagnini forced a suspect to defecate into a cardboard box to retrieve drugs they believed he had placed in his anal cavity. No drugs were found. Other details found throughout the pages of these civil cases are equally as disturbing. Victim after victim describes how these searches were often done in public places and resulted in such harrowing physical conditions as anal bleeding.

...

Soon, Ferguson became a sort of blank slate, one on which anyone could project anything. As the site where Officer Wilson took the young man’s life came to attract pilgrims from around the country, the discussion surrounding Brown’s death quickly transcended geography and focused instead on the realities of a broader systemic racism. The vacuum of the unknown was soon filled by a chorus of voices sharing similar stories of heartbreak – and demanding action. Such a process has begun to galvanize a new generation of activists across America, including those that police chief Flynn is so quick to dismiss here in Milwaukee. Within the city, such activists, including the Hamilton family, have already pushed political leaders to act.

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Reply “It may out-Ferguson Ferguson”: Why Milwaukee’s police violence will horrify you (Original post)
Scuba Dec 2014 OP
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2014 #1
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #2
MrScorpio Dec 2014 #3
NoJusticeNoPeace Dec 2014 #28
Name removed Dec 2014 #30
MrScorpio Dec 2014 #31
PeaceNikki Dec 2014 #32
uppityperson Dec 2014 #37
LiberalArkie Dec 2014 #59
madville Dec 2014 #4
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #5
madville Dec 2014 #7
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #10
L0oniX Dec 2014 #19
Quasimodem Dec 2014 #74
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #76
sabrina 1 Dec 2014 #51
Bettie Dec 2014 #14
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #16
L0oniX Dec 2014 #20
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #22
L0oniX Dec 2014 #44
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #47
Scootaloo Dec 2014 #64
Bettie Dec 2014 #65
ncjustice80 Dec 2014 #55
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #56
ncjustice80 Dec 2014 #57
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #58
Logical Dec 2014 #6
HereSince1628 Dec 2014 #8
Logical Dec 2014 #9
SomethingFishy Dec 2014 #38
GoneFishin Dec 2014 #11
Logical Dec 2014 #12
truebrit71 Dec 2014 #27
NJCher Dec 2014 #15
cynzke Dec 2014 #29
Bettie Dec 2014 #13
Jackpine Radical Dec 2014 #25
Archae Dec 2014 #26
PeaceNikki Dec 2014 #33
TBF Dec 2014 #45
Bettie Dec 2014 #53
TBF Dec 2014 #54
heaven05 Dec 2014 #17
certainot Dec 2014 #18
heaven05 Dec 2014 #36
PeaceNikki Dec 2014 #39
duhneece Dec 2014 #21
cynzke Dec 2014 #46
Jackpine Radical Dec 2014 #23
Scuba Dec 2014 #41
cynzke Dec 2014 #24
jeff47 Dec 2014 #63
cynzke Dec 2014 #67
jeff47 Dec 2014 #68
Divernan Dec 2014 #34
PeaceNikki Dec 2014 #35
Scuba Dec 2014 #40
Divernan Dec 2014 #48
Jackpine Radical Dec 2014 #42
Scuba Dec 2014 #43
Divernan Dec 2014 #49
WestCoastLib Dec 2014 #50
Dont call me Shirley Dec 2014 #52
marmar Dec 2014 #60
Enthusiast Dec 2014 #61
blkmusclmachine Dec 2014 #62
PeaceNikki Dec 2014 #66
indivisibleman Dec 2014 #69
TxVietVet Dec 2014 #71
TxVietVet Dec 2014 #70
Scuba Dec 2014 #72
warrant46 Dec 2014 #73
1step Dec 2014 #75

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:09 AM

1. For anyone interested...

I am finding Twitter a marvelous source of information and progress on this front.

Glad to see so many in the country saying NO.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:43 AM

2. Who d'ya know leads the nation in proportion of black men incarcerated?

Yes. Good old WI. I can't imagine that is maintained by accident.

And since most Blacks in WI live in Milwaukee and Racine counties, local and county policing make tremendous contributions to this anomaly.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:49 AM

3. I'm waiting for the folks who usually come around telling us that all cops aren't bad...

Looks like we're running out of good cops.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:25 AM

28. It took one minute, see responses...

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)


Response to Name removed (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:42 AM

31. Yeah, a lot are worse than bad. nt

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Response to Name removed (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:47 AM

32. The problem is that the good ones are defending the bad. They should be screaming to rid the force o

the bad ones, but they don't. The defend and protect each other more than their own communities.

Milwaukee is a horrific example of police brutality and racial profiling.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:39 PM

37. the system is set up for the good ones to fail at being good or at minimum be unable to do

much about the bad ones.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 10:41 AM

59. The older fatter cops are not bad. Most of the educated detectives are not bad.

The ones you have to be careful with are the short ones and the ones who look like linebackers. You have to be careful around ems, fire and police who look like pro football players.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:50 AM

4. Is it correct to say he was unarmed?

Hamilton took the officer's baton and began striking the officer with it. Considering that, is it correct for the article to say he was unarmed when he actually had possession of the baton when he was shot?

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Response to madville (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:00 AM

5. The loss of the baton happened halfway through the incident

This was an example of a cop not following protocol, and that created 'a situation'.

The cop initially approached Hamilton from behind and put his arms around the just-rousted Hamilton's chest. Reportedly to begin a pat-down.

Mentally ill and homeless people are common targets of molestation, all things considered it's not too surprising that Hamilton reacted by bringing his arms down to "lock down the officer's arms".

Losing the baton was a consequence of the scuffle that ensued. It's a great example of a cop making bad decisions, and then being forced out of fear to defend his life with 14 shots from his pistol.

The cop was terminated for not following proper protocol, but the prosecutor didn't charge him because the cop felt his life was threatened.



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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:10 AM

7. The union is appealing his termination

And I read since he submitted a disability retirement package for PTSD two days before he was fired that is currently being reviewed as well, potentially a 75% lifetime retirement check.

Hamilton was unarmed at the beginning of the incident and midway through became armed and used the weapon against the officer, guess it could be reported either way depending on what the messenger is trying to portray.

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Response to madville (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:15 AM

10. It certainly raises questions of who gets the privilege of claiming self-defence


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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:49 AM

19. Indeed!

 

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 11:20 PM

74. Since no gun shot residue was found on Hamilton's clothing

you certainly could not make the claim that the officer was in imminent danger from his baton in Hamilton's hands..

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Response to Quasimodem (Reply #74)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:30 AM

76. Yes, but I wonder if reality based, physical evidence matters when

the defense boils down to experiencing an emotion?

At some point the two were struggling and Manney started losing. His claim is he felt his life was threatened.

That's the same thing underlying George Zimmerman's defense as well as Darren Wilson's. Claiming to feel mortally threatened somewhere within an altercation appears to be sufficient, at least some of the time for some people. And once that is accepted by jurists or prosecutors subsequent lethal acts become acceptable until the end of 'the event', even when the evidence suggests that possibility of threat being realized has passed.

I find the whole thing hard to understand.

Without some sort of check on a person.s claim to a fearful emotional state stand your ground/self-defense merely becomes a set of magic words that release a person from prosecution.

It's really questionable to even speak of some sort of 'reasonableness' to an emotion like fear. As discussed elsewhere in this threat, fear is known to distort perception. When the comments of the shooters suggest that their perceptions were seriously distorted, as in the narratives of officers Manney and Wilson, how can other concurrent perceptions involved in risk assessment be accepted as valid?

What we seem to be stuck with around this defense seems to be the discarding of rationality and going all in on an appeal to emotion. Police and prosecutors defend killing by evoking empathy in jurists...'if you were in this circumstance, you'd feel the same way...'. It seems to me that is especially true for jurists, and tv viewers, if they start the grand jury or trial with common understanding of common prejudicial social assumptions about the fearfulness of black men (or for that matter the mentally ill, drug users, etc).

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Response to madville (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 04:15 PM

51. Since Hamilton was the one being threatened, he had a right to try to defend himself.

But that would be in a civilized society where cops don't assault civilians, for no particular reason. Here, no matter what a cop does to you, you are told you have no right to defend yourself. That is BS imo.

I am thinking now of the case of a cop on LINY who repeatedly pulled women drivers over late at night and ordered them to take off their clothes, it was often freezing cold btw, and walk ahead of him among other demeaning orders he gave them.

It took a while before someone had the courage to do something about it. Reporting a cop to the cops isn't always the best thing to do. You can find yourself getting a whole lot of tickets.

This story got into the newspapers so they had to do something. I don't recall if the cop was fired. Would be surprised if he was.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:27 AM

14. Makes me wonder about the training these people are receiving

since firing until you are empty seems to be protocol these days.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:39 AM

16. I think they shoot until there is no movement, but an important thing to consider

is that under the circumstances, these officers are often overwhelmed by anxiety and their thinking is impaired.

When you are pulling a trigger you're not supposed to be cognitively impaired by emotion.

Just as in the case of Darren Wilson, Officer Christopher Manney's descriptions clearly indicate his perception at the time was a fantastic excursion into unreality.

With that information released to the public, I would think an attorney could destroy the credibility of the officer's entire report of the event and its details.

My suspicion is this contributes to why DAs don't bring charges against cops. It would expose a huge weakness in police mentality.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:51 AM

20. It's called tachy psyche ...and all LEO know about it.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:02 AM

22. I'm not sure about that...tachy means fast, the perception of time slowing follows

That's a phenomenon reported for many people from NFL quarterbacks to fighter pilots.

I;ve never read that that creates misperception and irrational thinking. If you have a citation that suggests it does that would be interesting to read, because it could be a darn good reason to not let police routinely carry lethal weapons.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 01:46 PM

44. Google is your friend.

 

Also called the "fight or flight" response of the body to an event our mind considers life-threatening, tachypsychia is believed to include numerous physical changes.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 02:19 PM

47. Generally this response is considered to 'speed' the brain under the influence of epinephrine

What I question is that this somehow explains and makes acceptable a police officer being irrational and deeply perceptively impaired...such that policeman see citizens as demons and superhuman foes who are unaffected by bullets.

Mostly these phenomena of heightened thinking are discussed as AIDS to the thinking of fighter pilots, NFL quarterbacks, NASCAR drivers etc. Seeing enemy planes as bigger more impregnable, more dangerous than they are...would seem to be a great disadvantage.

People who actually perceive human beings as being demons, people who think of their semiautomatic pistols are only as dangerous as bb guns are cognitively impaired even if only temporary.

If such distorted reality is what is routinely going on in the head of police they shouldn't be trusted to make decisions about pulling triggers or to have anyone believe after-action reports of shooting incidents which are only recollection of delusional thinking.


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Response to Bettie (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 05:42 PM

64. Dead people can't testify, you see n/t

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #64)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 09:25 PM

65. Unfortunately, that seems to be one of the reasons

I suspect there is a class in their training Titled: "What to say if you shoot someone".

"He was reaching for my gun"
"I was afraid for my life"
"He looked demonic/huge/on drugs"
"His cell phone/wallet/lighter/hand looked like a gun"
"He reached toward his waist"

and so on...they all even use the same words and appear to have the same lack of feeling about taking a life.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 01:08 AM

55. Since when can you shoot someone with a baton, anyway???

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #55)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 07:40 AM

56. 'justified' self-defense resulted from the cop's fear of being beaten to death with it.

I do think a person could be beaten to death with a baton.

But, it was bad policing that created that crisis.

And bad policing is why the cop was fired over the incident.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 07:54 AM

57. "Could be" isnt good enough imo.

If I was on tge jury I would convict that pig of murder!

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Response to ncjustice80 (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 08:50 AM

58. A poor mentally ill man died because he spoiled the view from a Starbucks.

Yes, Hamilton's killing involved terribly flawed policing.

But looking at it as a whole seeking the context of how this could be, the frame captures additional problems. The police failed, but so did the community from social attitude to social wellness.

IMO, justice that acknowledges a poor mentally ill black mans life matters would punish Manney, but would also address much more than a single deadly struggle in a park.





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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:05 AM

6. 14 shots??? Why not fire 1 or 2 and see how things are going at that point? These cops.....

 

freak out and unload their weapon. So much for their "training".

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Response to Logical (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:13 AM

8. The cop explained that in very Darren Wilson like language

Last edited Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:15 AM - Edit history (1)

Surprising because it was hundreds of miles away and not related in time....

The cop said that Hamilton suddenly expressed super-human strength and that the service pistol (not a revolver) was as effective as a bb-gun.

What's really described is a perception completely distorted by anxiety but the officer's explanation of the events was treated as rational.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:14 AM

9. OK, thanks for that. nt

 

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:43 PM

38. Wow, used to be they told us "he was on PCP and it gave him superhuman strength"

now they just get it from nothing..

I tried PCP once just to see if it gave me "superhuman strength". Waste of 10 bucks.

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Response to Logical (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:19 AM

11. I have a theory that there is an understanding among cops that the only things worse than a bad

shooting is a bad shooting with a surviving victim to tell the other side of the story. I surmise that the overkill aspect of these shootings, and maybe the choking followed by a wanton failure to resuscitate, is a deliberate act to minimize the risk of being held accountable once they realize they have fucked up.

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:21 AM

12. I think that is a good theory. "Dead Men Tell No Tales". nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:20 AM

27. Yup...

 

Or they are either just completely crappy shots and need to empty the clip in the hopes of eventually hitting something...

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Response to Logical (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:36 AM

15. that would assume

these cops are operating from a logical framework. As you say, they are "freak(ed) out."In any of these videotapes where you listen to the cop, the cop is totally crazed, out of his mind with losing control.

Fourteen shots is way, way over the top.

When a person is in a life-threatening situation, however, I'll bet there are life-preserving instincts that take over. Not enough for 14 shots, though.

And who do we have to blame for that? The gun culture. Who is responsible for allowing and preserving the gun culture? Republicans.

Usually, finger-pointing serves no purpose, but in this case we need to know what we're up against in solving the problem. This is a big, big problem that a lot of minds are trying to fix (former Mayor Bloomberg, for example).


Cher


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Response to Logical (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:27 AM

29. Because

When it comes to the use of lethal force, the law does not limit the number of bullets a cop can fire. Not all police officers use lethal force and if you research you will find incidents where cops will shoot to wound/disable the suspect. but the law does not require it during the initial shooting. However, if at some point when the suspect is no longer a danger, you are suppose to stop. Like when he is lying on the ground. You can't walk up and pump a few more bullets into him afterwards.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:25 AM

13. DH and I grew up in Wisconsin

even as white people, thirty odd years ago, everyone knew to avoid Milwaukee cops at all costs. If you had a black person with you, that was even more important.

It is a culture and it has been in place for a long time.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:09 AM

25. I lived in Milwaukee a couple of years in the 70's

& the cops were notorious back then too.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:12 AM

26. I grew up during the Harold Breier years.

Harold Breier was chief of the Milwaukee police for decades, including the 60's though the 80's.

He defended his cops at all costs, including the incident where a white guy was beaten with anything the cops had on them, including their walkie-talkies, to the point on left the impression of the brand name on the guy beaten.
Then they falsified the report saying the guy beaten had "tripped and fell."

Now?

The police chief is far less willing to defend the cops at all costs like Breier did.

But the Milwaukee county sheriff will, and is an NRA kook as well.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:11 PM

33. My uncle was a Milwaukee cop, the father of my childhood BF was a Milwaukee cop,

her sister is a Milwaukee cop, my parents' best friend growing up was a cop... It's been a mess for forever and has little to no hope of improvement. Mayor Barrett and Chief Flynn are both good men, but the culture in MPD runs deeper than they have hope of correcting.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 02:02 PM

45. I did as well 40 years ago -

I grew up in a small town in the middle of the state. Milwaukee has been very segregated for a long time and I think that adds to the fear and racism. It has long been a tactic of the very wealthy to keep the poor segregated and fighting amongst themselves - takes the focus off the folks (them) who are really robbing us blind. Cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Louis are only the tip of the iceberg on this.

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Response to TBF (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 05:50 PM

53. DH grew up in Markesan

which is near Fond du Lac....kind of central too.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #53)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 09:53 PM

54. Yes, I know that area well -

I grew up about 30 minutes north on those small roads ... in the boondocks

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:41 AM

17. sign of the times

 

and of what the history of amerikkka is replete with. Brutality to others with melanin in their skin. Red, brown, black, yellow, all have been subject to the brutality of Manifest Destiny.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 10:42 AM

18. talk radio blowhard m. savage calls for plumbers w/pipes to deal w/protestors

on christmas eve michael wiener 'savage' asks for citizens including 'plumbers with pipes' to get into the streets to deal with the 'communist vermin' protestors.

how many cops listen to rw radio?

there are 400 blowhards out there excusing police brutality- this is another of many major issues that can't be discussed in a fact-based objective way until americans recognize that the talk radio monopoly and democracy cannot coexist.

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Response to certainot (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:36 PM

36. I'd love to see this coward

 

out there with a pipe in his hand.....easy to incite others to do your evil. We've got to email, call whatever and tell these idiots to step up, let's see you do what you're calling on others to do...savage, rush and the rest on hate television and radio. These are cowards.

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Response to certainot (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:44 PM

39. The comments on local news sites echo this violent bravado bullshit

It's horrifying to read and hear how these racist fascist pigs think.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:00 AM

21. Albuquerque police are finally under federal watchdogs

We hope makes things better??

"...Previously released video from a helmet camera showed Boyd gathering his belongings in an apparent agreement to surrender. Officers then opened fire.

Boyd later died at a hospital.

...
Since 2010, police have shot 40 people, killing more than two dozen.

Shortly after the Boyd shooting, the U.S. Justice Department released a scathing review of the agency's use of force and the way officers handle suspects suffering from mental illness. The FBI also said it would launch its own investigation into the Boyd shooting..."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/12/james-boyd-shooting_n_5490119.html

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Response to duhneece (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 02:10 PM

46. Here further evidence that should be considered....BUT

The problem is a person/persons decide if charges should be filed and they are influence by a number of things. The law gives the cops a lot of wiggle room so the DA and Grand Jury decide.....is there ENOUGH evidence to bring a conviction? Boyd appeared to be surrendering, then a K9 officer moves closer with a police dog. Boyd allegedly pulls out knives and makes a threatening gesture toward the K9 officer....police open fire. Even though Boyd was yards away, debatable whether he was close enough to actually cause bodily harm, the DA looks at whether he can affect a win.....a conviction, whether he can overcome a jury when the law favors the police use of force. Even if one cop in particular is guilty of murder, what about the other cops on scene? DA's don't like to prosecute cases they believe they can't win. Further, they may have outside influences that shape their prospective. DA's may have political ambitions and don't want to have a history of unsuccessful prosecutions and/or they need police support running for office.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/officer-sandy-murderer-james-boyd-stated-shoot-penis-hours-killing/

http://www.thenation.com/article/190937/why-its-impossible-indict-cop#

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:04 AM

23. Here are a few outstanding moments in Milwaukee Police history:

From Wikipedia:

Daniel Bell[edit]
In 1958, Officer Thomas Grady shot Daniel Bell in the back, killing him. Investigations at the time cleared Grady of any wrongdoing. In 1978, Grady's partner indicated that the officer had planted a knife on Bell's body to falsely indicate he had been armed. Grady plead guilty to reckless homicide and perjury.[16] Milwaukee city officials, unwilling to pay the sum awarded to the Bell family, appealed and repeatedly refused the family’s offers to settle for smaller sums. In September 1984, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago awarded $1.6 million, twice the amount the family had offered to settle for earlier.[17]

Wendy O. Williams[edit]
In January 1981 Milwaukee police officers arrested and allegedly severely beat Wendy O. Williams, singer of the punk group The Plasmatics, for simulating sex on stage. Charged with battery to an officer and obscene conduct, she was later cleared.[citation needed]

Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek[edit]
On May 28, 1981, police officer Lawrencia Bembenek allegedly murdered her husband's ex-wife. Her conviction, escape, and subsequent court proceedings received big media play.
Return of victim to Jeffrey Dahmer[edit]

In the early morning hours of May 27, 1991, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (the younger brother of a boy Dahmer had molested) was discovered on the street, wandering nude. Reports of the boy's injuries varied. Jeffrey Dahmer, who had drugged and raped the boy, told police that they had an argument while drinking, and that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old lover. Against the teenager's protests, police turned him over to Dahmer. The officers later reported smelling a strange odor, which was eventually found to be bodies in the back of his room. Later that night Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone, keeping his skull as a souvenir. Dahmer went on to kill four more people.[18] John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, the two police officers who returned Sinthasomphone to Dahmer, were fired from the Milwaukee Police Department after their actions were widely publicized, including an audiotape of the officers making homophobic statements to their dispatcher and laughing about having reunited the "lovers." The two officers appealed their termination, and were reinstated with back pay. Balcerzak would go on to be elected president of the Milwaukee Police Association in May 2005. Gabrish is now chief of police for the town of Trenton, Wisconsin, 30 miles north of Milwaukee.[19][20]

Chicago shootings[edit]
In 1994, two Milwaukee police officers, Gabriel Bedoya and John Koch, went on a shooting spree in the city of Chicago. They fired shots at random into buildings on the Gold Coast of Chicago, including the residence of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. When denied entry to a nightclub, Bedoya shot the bouncer at close range in the head and the two fled back to Milwaukee.[21]

Frank Jude Jr.[edit]
Main article: Frank Jude, Jr.
In October, 2004, Frank Jude Jr. attended a party held by police officer Andrew Spengler. Following allegations that Jude had taken an officer's badge, at least three officers confronted and beat Jude outside of Spengler's home. Officers Daniel Masarik, Andrew Spengler and Jon Bartlett were arrested and charged with the beating. All three were later fired from the Milwaukee Police Department, as were several other involved officers. The officers disciplined were both on- and off-duty the night of the beating. Masarik, Spengler and Bartlett were later found not guilty in state court. In July 2007, these three officers and another officer, Ryan Packard, went on trial in federal court on charges of violating the civil rights of Frank Jude Jr. and his friend, Levelle Harris. Spengler, Masarik and Bartlett were found guilty; Packard was found not guilty. The officers were sentenced on November 29, 2007. Bartlett received 17 years, Masarik and Spengler both received 15 years. The officers' attorneys have said the officers will appeal the sentences.[22][23]

Alfonzo Glover[edit]
In March 2005, press reports recount that Officer Alfonzo Glover shot Wilbert Prado eight times after an off-duty traffic altercation. Officer Glover was charged criminally, but killed himself before he could be brought to court.[16]

Glenn Kelly[edit]
On July 7, 2006 at Miller Park, baseball fan Glenn Kelly fell or was pushed down by two Milwaukee police officers (accounts vary) outside an elevator. Kelly was not under detention at that time, but his daughter in law and son were for disorderly conduct and public intoxication, and he had attempted to get into the elevator with them, contrary to police and park policy (since they were under arrest). Eventually, the brawl ended when Kelly fell to the ground, cracking his head open on the concrete floor. Kelly was briefly unconscious but awoke and refused medical treatment. Later that day he lapsed into unconsciousness and was declared brain dead. He died July 12, 2006 when he was taken off life support. A deputy district attorney decided not to charge the officers, clearing them of any wrongdoing. Kelly's family filed notice of a pending lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee,[24] but nothing seems to have come of it.

Derek Williams[edit]
In July 2011, Derek Williams, a robbery suspect, was arrested by Officer Richard M. Ticcioni and Officer Patrick Coe. After a struggle, he was handcuffed and paced in the back of a police car. He complained he was having trouble breathing and requested an ambulance. The officers ignored his request and Williams died. The death was ruled a homicide because an altercation with police caused the sickle cell crisis which led to his death. The officers had been cleared by an internal investigation conducted when a preliminary report ruled the death accidental. When authorities changed the cause of death to homicide, the police department promised a second investigation.[25] The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a civil rights inquiry looking into the possibility of a "pattern and practice" of abuse.[26]

Ladmarald Cates[edit]
Officer Ladmarald Cates was convicted in January 2012 of the 2010 rape a 19 year old mother and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.[27]

Accidental shooting[edit]
In November 2011, Officer Michael Edwards was in a shopping mall when his handgun discharged, injuring a little girl nearby. Edwards pled guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct. He had not placed his weapon in a holster, but instead had it in his pocket and it fired when he reached into his pocket for money.[28]
Beating of handcuffed suspects[edit]

In May 2012, Officer Richard Schoen, a veteran of nine years' service was fired when footage from his car's camera showed him beating a woman handcuffed in the back of his car.[29] Later in the year the city's Fire and Police Commission forced the department to rehire the officer.[30] Public outrage forced to commission to change their decision.[31]

Strip searches[edit]
In March 2012, a number of police officers were investigated for conducting strip searches in public on people they had arrested.[32][33] In October 2012, Officer Michael Vagnini was charged with 25 counts of sexual assault and other crimes, Officer Jeffrey Dollhop was accused two counts of official misconduct and one count each of conducting an illegal strip search and an illegal cavity search, and two other officers, Jacob Knight and Brian Kozelek, each faced a single count of official misconduct.[34] In October 2013, Dollhopf and Kozelek pleaded no contest in exchange for a sentence of fines and community service.[35] In December 2013, Officer Vagnini was sentenced to 26 months in prison.[36]
Six officers were investigated for obstructing the inquiry into these illegal strip searches. To prevent collusion by the officers, the court issued an order preventing discussion of the strip searches. In 2012, five officers were suspected of violating this court order soon after they were subpoenaed to testify at a secret fact-finding hearing. Despite video and document proof of having broken laws and violating department policies, these officers did not face criminal charges or departmental disciplining. Officer Stephanie Seitz was investigated for perjury,[37][38] but Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern declined to charge her with a crime.[39]

Dontre Hamilton[edit]
In April 2014, Officer Christopher Manney shot and killed a homeless man, Dontre Hamilton, when the officer attempted to do a welfare check on the man. The district attorney said the "use of force was privileged and justified,” and declined to take the case to court. The police department fired the officer in October. [40]

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 01:00 PM

41. Thanks, Jackpine, for adding this .

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 11:06 AM

24. Shocking, but

Cops face three separate bodies of discipline. Their employers, criminal and civil courts. Depending on the seriousness of the actions, police departments can discipline the offending officer up to termination. They can't do more. The victim/plaintiff has the civil courts to seek a monetary remedy. They can sue the police officer and others for violations of their civil rights. The DA's where the incidents take place, have the option to press charges against the officer for a criminal breach of the law. Most cops meet with some form of punishment as we see above, but it is the venue from where the punishment is given, that we are really frustrated about. The justice system seems to be failing and in some cases, blatantly turning a blind eye when there is obvious criminal conduct. Particularly is cases of "Use of Lethal Force" issues.
The problem is the law is very generous to police on use of lethal force. In fact the SCOTUS this year ruled that police may use lethal force to shoot at a vehicle in a high chase pursuit in order to stop it from endangering others. Instead of the police backing away when the conditions of the pursuit become increasingly dangerous, the police can now shoot at the vehicle and can kill you even after you stopped. The law is failing us. Much of what we view as shocking is tolerated by the law, that is the problem. Shocking? Read what is coming down the pike with the latest SCOTUS ruling.

http://www.policeone.com/Officer-Safety/articles/7315125-Supreme-Court-OKs-deadly-force-to-stop-dangerous-pursuit/

http://www.thenation.com/article/190937/why-its-impossible-indict-cop

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Response to cynzke (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 11:42 PM

63. No, they can't sue the officer.

They can sue the police officer and others for violations of their civil rights.

Nope.

Government employees are immune from being personally sued for anything done while performing their official duties. Instead, you can only sue the supervising government.

So you can't sue the police officer. You can only sue the city/county/state/feds they work for. Which means it is incredibly ineffective as an enforcement device.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #63)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 09:56 AM

67. WRONG!

Police Officers have qualified (limited) immunity. But they CAN be sued and if found guilty in a civil suit be required to personally pay "punitive damages". Read the links below, especially the first one by Dan Herbert.

http://www.danherbertlaw.com/blog?single?40

http://www.weitzlaw.com/verdicts-settlements/76115000-verdict-city-new-york-et-al/ -- " The Court then reduced the total punitive damages award to $ 250,000 against each of the five police officers"

http://law.freeadvice.com/government_law/civil_rights_law_ada/sue-the-police.htm

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-15/news/ct-met-settlement-cops-pay-20120415_1_police-officers-damages-settlement

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Response to cynzke (Reply #67)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 10:42 AM

68. Only if their actions are ruled outside their normal duties.

And for police officers, shooting people is part of their normal duties.

It's much, much easier to get a criminal conviction against a police officer than to successfully sue the officer in civil court. And it's really damn hard to get that criminal conviction.

For a successful suit against a public employee, you'd need a situation like a firefighter shoots someone. Not part of their normal job.

But you're doing a great job advertising for a law firm that uses fear mongering to bring in clients.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:20 PM

34. A homeless schizophrenic, sleeping rough, w/no medication?

The article states he had been sleeping in a park, had previously been treated for schizophrenia, and that no drugs or alcohol were found in his system. My point is that the victim was not being treated for his mental illness. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it can be treated with prescription meds and social intervention - which it traditionally was in state centers for the mentally ill. So the problem with out-of-control police violence has a HUGE overlap with the state government's failure to provide institutionalized care and medical treatment for the mentally ill. Jails have become the de facto state institutions for the mentally ill.

These centers were closed down in the '90's and both the mentally ill and the mentally retarded were "privatized" into profit making "group homes" (owned/operated privately). The spin was that they would have a "rich, full life" in the community. The harsh reality was that they were shipped out to group homes - often in remote parts of the state, such that it became much more problematic for family members to visit at all, let alone drop by unannounced, to check up on them. Police, medical providers & others in the community were not trained to recognize or interact with the mentally ill and retarded. The percentage of the prison population diagnosed as mentally ill increased dramatically.

Group homes were not mom & pop operations. Owner-operators typically owned hundreds at a time. They hired on the cheap and further increased profits with unhealthy diets. Whereas state centers had dentists and an assortment of specialized physicians skilled at treating potentially violent mentally ill patients, the locals in small towns refused to treat them because "they scare other people in the waiting rooms." State centers had degreed/licensed dieticians who planned healthy, balanced menus- group homes depended on fast food and take out pizzas. State centers had recreational programs & exercise facilities; group home residents were expected to sit and watch whatever television programs were the favorites of their staff.

What a win-win for the profiteers. Empty out the state facilities with decently paid, unionized, well-trained and experienced staffs, and put the afflicted into profiteering group-homes and eventually, in many cases, privatized prisons. Untrained or very minimally trained people hired to staff these group homes found these jobs very stressful, and were of course underpaid. State oversight was a joke. Here in Pennsylvania, oversight and regulations were tasked to the Department of Public Welfare. As part of my job investigating the plight of former state center residents, I performed a painstaking review of these "regulations". Example: 20 % of the homes were to be inspected by the DPW every year. Reality: the DPW was inspecting the SAME 20% every year, PLUS, the operators were given advance notice of inspections. The regulations provided that IF a regulation was violated, the worst punishment was that a particular home (not the whole chain) was downgraded from an A to a B rating. Not fined one red cent. The only home I found to have been shut down was the one where a staffer left bright blue cleaning fluid in an unmarked gallon jug in an unlocked cabinet under the kitchen sink and the residents drank it thinking it was some kind of Kool Aid. 4 had to be life flighted to a hospital for stomach pumping.

Staff turnover rate at these homes was around 200% a year. ANY job was considered better. The saying was that staff members couldn't make the cut bagging fries at Macdonalds. We found many instances of unreported runaways by residents, as well as residents being tortured, raped, or beaten by staff members or friends or relatives of staff members. Under the state regulations, the group home operators did not have to notify next of kin of any change in status - even hospitalization - of a resident unless said resident died.

Medication is the mainstay of schizophrenia treatment. Antipsychotic medications effectively reduce hallucinations, delusions, confusing thoughts and bizarre behaviors. Antipsychotic drugs, as a group, are one of the safest groups of drugs in common use and are the greatest advance in the treatment of schizophrenia that has occurred to date. While they may be safe, they are known to have unpleasant side effects.

Barriers to Schizophrenia Treatment

There are many reasons why people with schizophrenia do not seek, or get, the help they need.

According to Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, one crucial reason is anosognosia or an inability to recognize one's own illness. Dr. Duckworth says that half of people with schizophrenia simply don't realize that they're sick. They genuinely believe delusional ideas, such as that they're being watched, followed, or ordered around by external forces. This lack of recognition of one's symptoms and disease also occurs in people whose brains have been affected by strokes, injuries, tumors, and diseases like Alzheimer's.

Another problem is the side effects from the antipsychotic medications that control symptoms. These side effects include weight gain, dry mouth, drowsiness, restlessness, and in some cases, uncontrollable muscle movements. In a recent NAMI survey, 93 percent of people with schizophrenia said they believe that the development of improved medications would enhance their quality of life.

In the same survey, 82 percent of caregivers felt that they had a difficult time getting necessary health care services for their loved one. Not surprisingly, more than 80 percent of people with schizophrenia and their caregivers agreed that better insurance would help improve care.


When their illness is treated with medication and psychosocial interventions, individuals with schizophrenia are no more violent than the general population,” said Dawn I. Velligan, Ph.D, professor and co-director of the Division of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders at the Department of Psychiatry, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Also, “People with schizophrenia more often tend to be victims rather than perpetrators of violence although untreated mental illness and substance abuse often increase the risk of aggressive behavior,” said Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, psychologist and co-author of Schizophrenia for Dummies.

The United States has the highest rate of adult incarceration among the developed countries, with 2.2 million currently in jails and prisons. Those with mental disorders have been increasingly incarcerated during the past three decades, probably as a result of the deinstitutionalization of the state mental health system. Correctional institutions have become the de facto state hospitals, and there are more seriously and persistently mentally ill in prisons than in all state hospitals in the United States. http://www.jaapl.org/content/35/4/406.full

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Response to Divernan (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:24 PM

35. And Milwaukee County has Scott Walker to thank for massive cuts in services

most notably for the mentally ill.

His staff said "no one cares about crazy people".


http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/02/12396/no-one-cares-about-crazy-people-walker-staff

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:59 PM

40. +1,000

 

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 04:05 PM

48. Shocking article re the callous attitude toward mentally ill by Walker & his staff, and also

about a long history of criminally negligent and just plain criminal behavior by a psychiatrist employed by the county, who was allowed to retire with a huge pension AND to avoid investigation of charges against him regarding maltreatment of patients. Shows how WI Medical Licensing Board protects its own against malpractice and/or other criminal complaints. That happened in Pennsylvania also. The great majority of malpractice claims were brought against a handful of physicians (repeatedly, against the same docs) but our medical licensing board refused to take their licenses away.

And THAT, boys and girls, is why physicians experience huge malpractice insurance costs. The majority of docs are paying for a handful of incompetent or amoral docs. I don't want to hear how "tort reform" will solve the high malpractice insurance premiums until AFTER the state medical boards grow a pair and start stripping the handful of bad apples of their medical licenses, and do so through a federal data base so these docs cannot skip from one state to another.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/122847179.html

The Sentinel did an outstanding series investigating abuse of the mentally ill within the system, including a psychiatrist who cut short any prosecution when he retired on a +$50,000 a year pension.

Strelnick was paid about $175,000 a year working as a staff psychiatrist at the county's Mental Health Complex. He worked for the county for 18 years, starting in 1991. He brought a history of having had his medical license suspended for having sex with patients while in private practice in Madison in the late 1980s.

During his early years working for the county, he was permitted to treat only male patients because of restrictions placed on his state license, state records show. The restrictions were lifted in 1997, but further allegations of sexual contact with patients periodically surfaced. A former patient in 2006 accused Strelnick of having sex with her at the complex in 2002. Another patient surfaced in 2010 and said she and Strelnick had sex regularly while she was a patient of his in the 1980s.

It's a crime under state law for a therapist to have sex with a patient and also a violation of ethical standards.

A criminal investigation by the state Justice Department into the 2002 allegations resulted in no prosecution. Investigators said they found the woman to be credible but worried she couldn't bear up under the stress of testifying. The state Medical Examining Board also investigated but brought no disciplinary charges. The investigator expressed concerns about whether the patient's criminal history would make it hard to prove allegations against Strelnick.


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Response to Divernan (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 01:09 PM

42. A very valid, solid little essay here.

A few decades ago I spent a number of years working in & consulting to facilities for the developmentally disabled, acute psych wards, nursing homes with elderly chronically mentally ill patients, etc. & lived through the transitions you're talking about. Most of those facilities are now closed. One has been converted to a minimum-security prison.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 01:45 PM

43. Thank you Divernan, for adding this valuable piece.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 04:07 PM

49. You're welcome; hope it doesn't trigger the nightmares I had while investigating.

So many tragedies for the victims and their families. Really illustrated the dark depths of depravity and greed preying off of the helpless in our society.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 04:09 PM

50. As he's homeless, probably true. However...

Since he's a homeless man, sleeping on the street, it's probably accurate that he was not taking medication fir it. however, the stated results of the drug test don't necessarily indicate that. Drug tests are only testing for specific drugs and many prescription medication won't be registered as a "positive test". If he were on the proper dosage of prescription medication, they likely still would have said "no drugs found in his system" as we do have some modicum of rights to have prescription medication omitted from such reports.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 04:15 PM

52. Michael Vagnini must have had a hella lotta hassle about his last name in school.

Strip searching men? Displaced aggression much!?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 10:43 AM

60. K/R

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 06:42 PM

61. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch!

Thank you, Scuba.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sat Dec 27, 2014, 10:08 PM

62. Cops are absolutely corrupt and out of control. This has been in the making for awhile now. Why?

 

Because cops are NEVER held accountable. They know they have a license to kill and maim with impunity. They have the full support of the NRA, the GOP, and all the "Centrist" "Democrats."

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Dec 28, 2014, 09:27 PM

66. Have you seen this, Scuba?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 08:12 PM

69. In 1998 I had a friend tell me about his relative who was a Milwaukee cop.

He stated that this cop said he and other cops regularly went around Milwaukee looking for groups of young black males and would swarm them and beat up anyone they could catch. He claimed that this was good for these kids because they never had a parent that would beat them and that this would teach them a lesson.
I just thought I would share this story and maybe someone could tell me how true this really is. I'm not doubting it. But stories like this need to come out into the light so that every knows what the hell is really going on out there.

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Response to indivisibleman (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 02:38 PM

71. As a juror,

there was issues of a rogue cop and his friends who were planting evidence to get the real bad guys convicted. I think he was convicted after I moved away. I know the story came up in the newspaper. I'm sure you won't hear much about stuff like that from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now since the editorial board are true believer reichwing nuts.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 02:35 PM

70. Milwaukee is one of the most segregated communities in the US.

I'm a white native Texan and of Cajun descent. I'm a Vietnam veteran and spent over 5 years in SE Asia.
Many people in Wisconsin are just as racist and prejudiced as any I met Down South. As a displaced Texan, I had no problems with minority folks in Wisconsin because lots the very prejudiced whites treated me the same way.
Milwaukee PD and Milwaukee SO can be a dangerous bunch. I knew SO deputies and they were nice guys. The sheriff of Milwaukee County is a conservanazi African American who tries to play both sides of the street.

Now, the AM airwaves had conservanazi propaganda blaring 24/7/365. AS the years progressed while living there, I could see how it was changing the political landscape in Wisconsin.

We are looking at the end result.

There are lots of greedy, nasty, evil conservanazis in Wisconsin now. Look at their government. While I was living and working in Milwaukee County, I was quick to realize that County Executive Scott Walker's only job was to get re-elected and pad the payroll with cronies who was going to help him do just that. The conservanazis have rigged the court system to benefit their ideological beliefs. Conservanazi political candidate place the race card and their greedy white constituents go for it.

The Milwaukee PD has lots of problems and the chief has probably worried more about protecting his job than anything else.

Such is the World of White Wisconsin. Pride and joy of the conservanazis.

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Response to TxVietVet (Reply #70)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 08:44 PM

72. Sadly accurate.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 09:31 PM

73. Well we tried to get the Union people out to vote against Walker

It didn't work last November. Once right to work passes there will be even less.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 02:54 AM

75. This really does need viewing

 

By as many people as possible. to you for posting this, Scuba!

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