Closing Thought–09Jun20

A new retainer fence has been installed around the White House to protect the Donald the Orange while hiding in his bunker from the American people he hates.

After another night of peaceful protests outside Lafayette Square, workers were seen putting up new fencing barriers around the White House complex Thursday morning, adding to the 8-foot fence that was erected around the entrance to Lafayette Square earlier this week.

Reporters arriving at the White House as early as 5:30 a.m. ET Thursday described seeing black fences being put up along the Eisenhower Executive Office Building entrance on 17th Street NW.

This is how you turn Donald’s crap back on him….his new fence has become a source of street/protest art….

 
This is a classic….it is somewhere between the techniques of a Burma Shave and Banner Drop…..
 
If you fell like you would like to protest……..If you would like some ideas then maybe my post will help…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/03/so-you-want-to-protest/
 
“lego ergo scribo”

De-Fund The PD!

The streets are alive!  It is time for solutions not symbolism!

After all the protests and the overreaction from the police plus the many many cases of racial abuse there is now a call to de-fund police departments.

First, I feel this is the wrong term to use for this leaves it open to interpretation and twisting of the meaning  as it is always done…..I figure there will be lots of mental midgets that will jump on the term and turn it into something it is not.  A great term for the “spin masters”.

The idea is starting to catch hold…..only the department is not going to be de-funded just parts of it and the funds go elsewhere….like to Community Services……

Some city PDs are starting to respond….

A veto-proof majority of nine Minneapolis City Council members vowed Sunday to “dismantle” the city’s police department, the New York Times reports. Standing on a hill before hundreds of people, they said the current department was beyond reform and will be replaced with a new public-safety system. “It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here,” said Kandace Montgomery, who heads Black Vision. “We’re safer without armed, unaccountable patrols supported by the state hunting black people.” The move comes a day after protesters cried “Shame! Shame!” when the city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, said he didn’t favor “the full abolition of the police.”

It also coincides with a grim Star-Tribune article on the city’s Third Precinct, which headquarters the officers who killed George Floyd. Calling it a “playground for renegade cops,” the paper looks at confirmed abuse incidents there—like officers kicking a handcuffed suspect until his jaw broke, pistol-whipping a low-level drug suspect, and letting prostitution suspects touch officers’ genitals before arresting them. The city also paid out $2.1 million between 2007 and 2017 to settle lawsuits against the precinct. “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” tweets Jeremiah Ellison, a representative in the city’s Ward 5. “And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.”

New York City has decided to take things seriously as well…….

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday he would accede to protesters’ demands by moving to shift funds away from the NYPD toward social services.

During his daily briefing, the mayor addressed the demonstrations that have gripped the city and nation for almost two weeks following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. De Blasio announced a number of reforms as proposed by a task force on racial inclusion, one of which was to shift funding from the police force to youth initiatives.

“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead. But, I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people,” de Blasio said.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/de-blasio-nyc-to-cut-nypd-funding-shift-it-to-social-services

Is this a real opportunity or just another in a long list of promised reforms that have fallen into the trash heap of political promises?  Is this just a way to try and calm the protests?

I think all that “reform” is a good idea….but there should be more emphasis on the personnel…..hire good stable people and put the trash out.

All over this nation the city governments have had ample time and ample notice that this was needed and yet they all looked away and allowed the abuses to continue…..what makes us think they are serious this time around?

Keep in mind that this situation we have today was seen some 50 years ago……
The scenes are similar to the 1960s. In response Pat Gillham, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University, says President Lyndon Johnson commissioned the 1968 Kerner Report, offering recommendations to police for managing protests.

But seeing the response this week with military-style vehicles and tear gas, Gillham thinks the report has been ignored.

“These things don’t create positive relations between the police and the community they promise to serve and protect,” says Gillham. “Just exacerbates things, which is exactly what the Kerner Report found 50 years prior.”

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2020-06-05/social-justice/50-year-old-report-warns-against-police-tactics-used-today/a70445-1

Dems step in to save the police departments with a bill that would “reform” the PDs……

Democrats proposed a sweeping overhaul of police oversight and procedures Monday, the most ambitious change to law enforcement sought by Congress in years, per the AP. Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, reading the names of George Floyd and others killed during police interactions. They knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—now a symbol of police brutality and violence—the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned under a white police officer’s knee before he died. The Justice in Policing Act would:

  • Limit legal protections for police. For example, it would revise the federal criminal police misconduct statute to make it easier to prosecute officers who are involved in misconduct “knowingly or with reckless disregard.”
  • The package would also change “qualified immunity” protections for police “to enable individuals to recover damages when law enforcement officers violate their constitutional rights.”
  • Create a national database of excessive-force incidents.
  • Ban police chokeholds.
  • Ban racial profiling and boost requirements for police body cameras.
  • Grant subpoena power to the Justice Department to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations of potential misconduct and help states conduct independent investigations.
  • The measure stops short of calls by activists to “defund the police,” a push to dismantle or reduce financial resources to police departments that has struck new intensity in the weeks of protests since Floyd’s death.
  • It is unclear if law enforcement and the powerful police unions will back any of the proposed changes or if congressional Republicans will join the effort

Please stop calling them “police unions”….nothing about them is about the worker and their protection.  At best they are associations to protect cops when they do wrong.

The Dems still are naive enough to think that good policy will win the day….sadly it NEVER wins out…..if it does it is then quickly changed…..

Again I think this move is just a political ploy to give them cover with the voter.

All the leaders are jumping into this and onto the bandwagon…..most of them have had how many years to get something done and yet now is the time they pick….could it be that the election looms?

This is an idea of what society and community could be……

At first blush, the notion that modern police departments could be defunded and dismantled seems, to many, like a misguided impulse from out of nowhere. Without police departments, how will we deal with violent crime? Sure, many on the left would agree that the war on drugs that has put so many people behind bars — especially people of color — must be radically overhauled or completely ended. But what about murder? Are we not going to arrest murderers anymore?

This concern has been raised by lots of people online, including some of my liberal colleagues. Few on the left would disagree that modern, hypermilitarized police forces have shown little regard for anyone or anything that doesn’t directly relate to the police or the protection of the interests of corporations and other business owners. (Even then, police departments nationwide haven’t done a great job of preventing theft.) And few on the left would disagree that heavy police reform is necessary, possibly at a federal level, or that the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Constitution’s First Amendment should be reinforced as well. But getting rid of the police? How would you do such a thing?

https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/6/8/21281069/abolish-the-police-black-lives-matter-george-floyd-protests-minneapolis-new-york

A regular to IST Political Change was posted on the ideas to reform the police…..https://politicalcharge.org/2020/06/08/what-policies-does-your-city-need-to-adopt-to-decrease-police-brutality/

Please….any thoughts?

“lego ergo scribo”

Decent Cops Are Penalized

We all have heard about the killings by these brutal cops…but we hear very little about decent cops doing the right thing.

Let’s look a Buffalo.

We know that the cops there injured an old man and when they two we charged the rest of the unit was so upset they resigned (I say good riddance to garbage and now Buffalo can look for good cops)….but did you hear about the Buffalo cop that lost her job for doing the right thing?

No?

Let me help out.

In Buffalo, New York a former police officer is fighting for her pension after being fired from the city’s police department for interfering with another officer she claims was abusing an arrested suspect. Cariol Horne was fired from the force in 2006 and charged with obstructing another cop during an arrest over a domestic dispute, ABC 7 reported last week. 

Horne claims that fellow Buffalo officer Gregory Kwiatkowski was abusing a suspect who had already been placed under arrest in handcuffs. “He was handcuffed in the front and he was sideways and being punched in the face by Gregory Kwiatkowski,” explained Horne. Horne said she intervened when she saw Kwiatowski begin to choke the man. “I’m like, ‘Greg! You’re choking him,’ because I thought whatever happened in the house he was still upset about so when he didn’t stop choking him I just grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack’s neck,” said Horne.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvaqa3/buffalo-cop-loses-job-and-pension-after-she-intervenes-with-fellow-officer-choking-a-suspect

That may have been in 2006 but that does not matter….apparently she was doing the right thing and was penalized by Buffalo for her actions….that begs the question does Buffalo truly want to do the right thing or are they reacting to the moment these days and will revert back to the bad behavior that they have done in the past?

I feel like it is the latter.

Then there is the chief of police in Portland Oregon….who stepped aside to let another officer work on major reforms…..

With the police department in Portland receiving heavy criticism from the ACLU of Oregon and others for its response to the protests, Chief Jami Resch considered what the city needs. The answer, she decided, was someone else as police chief. She turned to Lt. Chuck Lovell, who hadn’t sought the job, the Oregonian reports. “You never wanted it,” Resch told him Monday. “You were meant for it.” The job offer stunned Lovell, 46, who will become Portland’s fourth black police chief. But he said that “when your boss comes to you and says the community needs you,” you have to take it. Resch called him “the exact right person at the exact right moment.” Mayor Ted Wheeler, who ordered police to limit the use of tear gas on Saturday, said more changes are coming, per Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Resch said she asked the mayor to support the change on Sunday, and he welcomed the new chief. “Together we will work on meaningful and bold reforms,” Wheeler said Monday. Resch had only been chief since January, and activists pointed out that appointing a new chief in the past hasn’t brought meaningful change to the department. Resch agreed that it’s only a start. At the announcement, Lovell said what struck him most when he watched the video of George Floyd dying in police custody in Minneapolis was the lack of compassion among the officers, a problem that he said the community could come together to battle. “The fight is not with each other,” Lovell said. “The fight is against that idea – that people, institutions, the agencies that can harbor that feeling in their heart.”

She moved at the right time and did the decent thing for the city and the times…..

I realize these are not the only time that the police have acted in a meaningful way….but it is some that will illustrate the point.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

And The Deaths Keep Rolling

We all know about the deaths of Floyd and Breonna….but they were not alone in this nation….the police just keep on murdering citizens…..the citizens they took an oath to protect….so much for “their word”…..

Just a quick look back……

Stories of police attacking and killing people are cropping up online, including one about a New Mexico cop who’s been charged with killing a man pulled over in a traffic stop. CBS News reports that Officer Christopher Smelser is facing involuntary manslaughter after gripping the man, Antonio Valenzuela, in a neck hold until he died. Police say Valenzuela was pulled over Feb. 29 in Las Cruces, tried running away, was tased twice to no effect, and went for a knife in his pocket when Smelser put him in a neck restraint. Police said on Facebook they fired Smelser after seeing the autopsy report. Valenzuela, 40, had an open warrant for a parole violation at the time, per the Las Cruces Sun News. In other police stories:

  • Tacoma: The mayor of Tacoma, Washington, is calling for the firing and prosecution of four officers after a black man died while crying out “I can’t breathe,” KABC-TV reports. Manuel Ellis died March 3 due to respiratory arrest, lack of oxygen, and physical restraint, per a medical examiner’s report. Police said Ellis had been seen hitting the window of a vehicle when police intervened. Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said she was “enraged” by video Ellis being restrained on the ground.
  • Denver: Police are investigating an incident caught on video of police firing pepper balls at a black man who’s shouting about a pregnant woman in his car, NBC News reports. What sparked the initial conflict is unclear. “Honestly, I thought I was going to die,” the man, Shaiitarrio Brown, tells KUSA. “I thought I was going to be the next black man shot by police.”
  • Los Angeles: An alliance of homeless advocates and criminal-justice activists have sued LA over police handling of the George Floyd protests, including shooting a homeless man with a rubber bullet, the LA Times reports. The lawsuit includes a horrific photo of the wheelchair-bound man with blood pouring from the bullet wound in his eye.
  • Las Vegas: Four officers who shot and killed a protester in a hail of 19 bullets were not wearing body cameras, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones said the officers aren’t normally required to wear cameras. Jones said the victim, Jorge Gomez, was wearing body armor, carrying three guns, and raised what looked like a rifle at the officers.
  • Canada: Indigenous leaders are seeking answers and improved police training after an officer killed Chantel Moore, 26, in her British Columbia home during a wellness check, the Globe & Mail reports. Police say they killed her because she carried a knife and made threats.

Sounds like Canada has got as many “bad apples” as the US.

Just this past weekend another incident…..

A man drove into a crowd of Seattle protesters Sunday night during a demonstration at Capitol Hill, shooting one, before the suspect exited the car brandishing a gun. He was ultimately taken into custody, and the 27-year-old man who was shot was in stable condition, the Seattle Times reports. The suspect apparently shot the man while he was still in the car; the victim confronted the driver as he came to a stop, and then was shot as he apparently reached inside the window, Reuters reports. The suspect was walking through the crowd of demonstrators toward a line of police when he apparently gave himself up and was detained. Hundreds of protesters were in the area at the time; no one else was injured.

I have seen where too many blame the group called Antifa for all the violence and destruction….but maybe they should re-think that accusation…

President Donald Trump has characterized those clashing with law enforcement after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer as organized, radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism, an assertion repeated by Attorney General William Barr. Some Democrats, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, initially tried to blame out-of-state far-right infiltrators for the unrest before walking back those statements.

There is scant evidence either is true.

The Associated Press analyzed court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia, two cities at the epicenter of the protests across the United States

https://apnews.com/20b9b86dba5c480bad759a3bd34cd875

IST has something for everyone….. for those that want to blame the Racist for the violence…..

Authorities are considering hate crime charges after a man they called a Ku Klux Klan leader drove into a crowd of protesters in Virginia. The number of people struck wasn’t clear, the New York Daily News reports, but police reported no serious injuries. “A vehicle revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway” on Sunday in Lakeside, a Richmond suburb, police said. Harry Rogers was denied bail in a court hearing; he’s charged with crimes including attempted malicious wounding and assault and battery. Rogers “is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” the prosecutor said. “We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”

Authorities said Rogers, 36, told officers when he was arrested that he’s president of the Virginia KKK and the highest-ranking official who’s not in prison. Interviewed in jail Monday, Rogers said he has ties to the KKK, per WTVR, but said he didn’t tell anyone that he’s its president. Rogers said he drove on the median and revved his engine to get away from the protesters. Calling Rogers’ actions “heinous and despicable,” the prosecutor said, “We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.” Rogers’ next court appearance is scheduled for August.

This culture MUST change!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Germany In The Rear View Mirror

The commander in chief has ordered US troops out of Germany…..not all but just a few…..

Growing US-Germany tensions have reached the point where the Trump Administration has announced that 9,500 troops will be returning from Germany. This will leave 25,000 US troops there, which is the new “cap” for maximum troop levels.

The US has been haranguing Germany for years over military spending, and this has included Trump threatening to pull troops back. Polls have shown Germany tended to prefer that the US troops leave anyhow.

The US had at one point many more troops in Germany, as part of Cold War deals. The troops are still nominally there to fight Russia, even though a large number of NATO countries are now in between Germany and Russia.

(antiwar.com)

Many of us antiwar types have been calling for the US to bring the troops home from Germany since the USSR is no longer a threat….

But what about Russia?

Russia’s Western Military District has announced the deployment of more troops as well as motorized units into their western region, saying they are meant to “perform tasks on ensuring the defense of the Russian Federation in the Western Strategic direction.”

This puts more Russian forces in the area near the NATO frontier, after years of US and NATO troops being deployed in the Baltic and in other areas bordering Russia. This is a continuation of that buildup, with an eye toward further tit-for-tat challenges.

(antiwar.com)

The big question is will this Trumpian move harm America’s standing in Europe?

Some say the move will damage Trump’s relationship with Germany, Europe’s most powerful nation, and boost anti-American sentiment there. “Russia has done nothing to lower its threat to our allies,” a retired US Army general tells the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story. “Germany is the most important ally we have in Europe. This looks like punishment somehow.” But a senior US official says the order reflects Trump’s frustration with Germany in other ways—like its level of military spending (not yet the NATO goal of 2%) and decision to finish a gas pipeline with Russia under the Baltic Sea. Some of the US troops will apparently go to Poland or other American allies, while the rest will come home.  

I am pleased to see some of these troops finally coming home….but will this move make matters worse in Europe….especially in Eastern Europe?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”