Infiltration Of The Police

Recently there was a story in the news about some ex-police that had plotted to kill BLM leader Shaun King……

An investigation has been launched after members of a Facebook group for California law enforcement officers were found to be allegedly planning to kill Shaun King, an activist for the Black Lives Matter movement and other social causes.

In an article written for Medium, featuring screenshots of a discussion among members of the group, King said: “Inside of a private Facebook group for California Law Enforcement Officers, members of the group were openly plotting and planning my assassination.”

“Who do you call to report the misconduct of current or retired law enforcement officers? Because I lack confidence in any law enforcement system to handle this, I feel the burden to release this publicly for my own safety and for the safety of my family,” he said.

https://www.newsweek.com/former-police-officers-openly-plotting-kill-blm-activist-shaun-king-1513590

Seriously?

How could this be?

It seems that racists have been infiltrating PDs for years…..

The FBI warned more than a decade ago that white supremacists had infiltrated the nation’s police departments, but now experts say the problem “has gotten 10 times worse.”

An internal report, “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement,” compiled in October 2006 has circulated for years in heavily redacted form, but 28 lawmakers have called on the FBI and the Department of Justice to finally release the full document, reported The Daily Beast.

“This report is more than 14 years old,” said Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), who’s leading the effort to force its release. “God knows where these officers that were looked at back then are in the rank and file of our police departments.”

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/white-supremacists-have-been-infiltrating-police-departments-for-years-and-now-the-problem-is-10-times-worse-report/

Here is the 2006 report…read it for yourself……

Click to access doc-26-white-supremacist-infiltration.pdf

This is sad….and the PDs should be ashamed of themselves…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gone But Not Forgotten

It is official…….Gov. Tate Reeves signed the bill into law and made the loss of the state flag……Going….Going….GONE.

Some 155 years after the last battle of the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag no longer features on any state flags. Mississippi’s flag, the last in the nation to incorporate the Confederate emblem, became history Tuesday evening when Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill to retire the flag the state adopted in 1894, the Washington Post reports. “This is not a political moment to me but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together and move on,” the Republican governor said at the signing ceremony. “A flag is a symbol of our past, our present, and our future. For those reasons, we need a new symbol.”

Mississippi lawmakers passed a bill to abandon the controversial flag Sunday. It calls for a “prompt, dignified and respectful removal” of the flag within 15 days. The move, which follows weeks of protest against racial injustice, had bipartisan support. Reeves said Tuesday that while he rejects “mobs tearing down statues of our history,” he understands “the need to commit the 1894 flag to history and find a banner that is a better emblem for all Mississippi,” CNN reports. Mississippi is now without an official state flag. The bill calls for a commission to create a new design by September, to be approved or rejected by voters in November. The only requirements set out in the bill call for the flag to have the words “In God We Trust”—and for the Confederate emblem to be excluded.

Mississippi has a long history with flags…..read and learn…..

Flags are powerful symbols that signify dominion and sovereignty and express personal and political allegiance to a state or nation. Mississippi did not officially adopt a state flag until 1861, when it seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. Prior to that time, several flags had flown over the territory that would become the state of Mississippi on December 10, 1817

http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/105/flags-over-mississippi

This is a chance to put all the racism of the last 150 years behind us….and learn from mistakes.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Finally! (Flag Update)

Closing Thought–29Jun20

I have written about the state of Mississippi and its attempt to change the state flag with the CSA symbol on it…..https://lobotero.com/2020/06/27/mississippi-flag-again/

And I’ll be damned….after many many decades of trying to change the racist symbol……the legislature finally did the right thing…..

It’s almost done: Mississippi lawmakers on Sunday passed a bill to change the state flag. After voting Saturday to suspend legislative deadlines and file the bill, the GOP-controlled state legislature held debates on the bill Sunday and voted, with the House passing the bill 91-23 and the Senate then opening its own session and ultimately passing the bill 37-14. The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger has a detailed timeline of how the day went. The bottom line: The current flag, which features the Confederate battle emblem and is the last remaining state flag to include the Confederate flag symbol after others dropped it, will be scrapped. A nine-member commission will start the process of selecting a new flag, and residents will vote on that new flag in November. If rejected, the process will start over again and another vote will be held in November 2021.

The bill prevents the Confederate battle emblem from being included on any future designs. The state’s Republican governor, Tate Reeves, who on Saturday agreed for the first time to sign the bill, said Sunday that he won’t do so immediately. “The governor does not want to rush this moment in history for our state,” a spokesperson said. “Once the legislature sends the final bill to his desk and he’s had the opportunity to review it, Gov. Reeves will sign the bill in the coming days.” Though polling had shown until earlier this month that a majority of state residents wanted to keep the flag as-is, the latest polling shows 55% of Mississippians are ready for a change, CBS News reports. “Big salute to EVERY university in this State that helped,” tweeted Kylin Hill, the Mississippi State All-SEC running back who, per AL.com, threatened to sit out the season if the flag was not changed. The NCAA, SEC, and Conference USA all decided not to hold championships in the state if the flag was not changed.

The governor has stated that if passed he would sign the bill of the change……we will see if that was just idle BS or he truly wants the state to move out of the past.

What flag will they use….a historic flag or design a new one?

I am proud of Mississippi for finally doing the right thing.  Now the state needs to keep progress moving forward.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Protests And The Police

We as a nation are having one of those moments that could change our society or it could just go back the way it was before the deaths and protests…..

Ever wonder what puts the idea of a brutal treatment of protesters?  Could be where they train.

When the U.S. Department of Justice published a report Aug. 10 that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), there was rightly a general reaction of outrage.

But what hasn’t received as much attention is where Baltimore police received training on crowd control, use of force and surveillance: Israel’s national police, military and intelligence services.

Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North CarolinaGeorgia, Washington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.

https://www.amnestyusa.org/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/

Learning from one of the most brutal of nations…..explains a lot.

The calls for police reform are louder today than any time in recent history…..

Once again I state that I believe that the term “De-Fund The Police” is the wrong slogan….why?  It will be used to make the dolts on the Right believe that it means eliminating the police altogether…….which is not what most people are calling for….most want some sort of reform within PDs to make it a true servant of the society….

Defunding the police is a big departure from the reforms we’ve seen before. But although there are disagreements between activists and researchers about how sweeping change should be, pretty much everyone we spoke with agrees that the system is broken, efforts to measure it are highly flawed, and now is the moment to think big about how to fix it. In many ways, the movement to defund the police is exposing gaping holes in how we measure what good police work really is, and how we gauge a reform’s success. Because after decades of research on policing and police reform, we still don’t know that much about what police are doing, how their presence actually affects the people who experience police violence, and what people in those communities want from reform.

On its surface, large majorities of Americans support “police reform.” But “reform” is vague and gets complicated fast. For one thing, the police aren’t a single entity. There are more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies scattered throughout the U.S., which means that any change has to be piecemeal. And it’s also hard to figure out what departments are actually doing, or how to compare them. Within a single metro area, multiple departments could be operating under different rules or different standards of rule enforcement, and even using different definitions of particular buzzword-heavy reforms like “community policing.”

Is Police Reform A Fundamentally Flawed Idea?

Then there are those demands for change in the police…..

Image

I have said that I think that 1-7 are doable….but that 8-10 will cause dissension that could lead to a stalemate in the reform movement.

We definitely are long overdue for police reform and we are closer now than ever….let us not bog it down in a  debate that can only be disastrous.

There are a couple of things that can be done quickly to try and stem the tide of police violence and abuse…..

1–specialized traffic units

2–domestic response units

There are others and this article covers some that could work if given half a chance…..https://www.vox.com/2020/6/24/21296881/unbundle-defund-the-police-george-floyd-rayshard-brooks-violence-european-policing

Thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Let’s Form A Commission

Good grief we have been fighting for racial equality for how long?

And in the 21st century we have come back to the bad old days of the 1960s and the fight for equality and the end of racism…..and the civil rights movement thought they had accomplished that with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act……but apparently nothing was truly settled in those days with those Acts.

I know let’s form a commission to get to the bottom of this problem.  Seriously?  A Commission?  Action to let politicians feel good about their cowardice.

That seems to be the reaction that all politicians have to the spiraling violence centered around the deaths of black citizens…..Trump has a plan, Dems have a plan and the GOP has a plan….https://lobotero.com/2020/06/19/gop-answer-to-police-violence/……..and all of them basically call for a commission or study group or whatever the politically correct term is these days….but in reality they are just giving a delaying game in the hopes cooler heads will prevail……in other words they are calling for what they always call for….INACTION!

There is nothing new about these calls for a “commission”…..it has been going on since the 1960s….and look where we are today…..fighting the same battles they fought in the 60s…..where’s the progress?

There’s a limit to the relevance of the so-called race riots of the nineteen-sixties to the protests of the moment. But the tragedy is: they’re not irrelevant. Nor is the history that came before. The language changes, from “insurrection” to “uprising” to the bureaucratic “civil disorder,” terms used to describe everything from organized resistance to mayhem. But, nearly always, they leave a bloody trail in the historical record, in the form of government reports. The Kerner Report followed centuries of official and generally hysterical government inquiries into black rebellion, from the unhinged “A Journal of the proceedings in the Detection of the Conspiracy formed by some White People, in conjunction with Negro and other Slaves, for burning the City of New-York in America, and murdering the Inhabitants,” in 1744, to the largely fabricated “Official Report of the Trials of Sundry Negroes, charged with an attempt to raise an insurrection in the state of South-Carolina,” in 1822. The white editor of the as-told-to (and highly dubious) “The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va. . . . also, An Authentic Account of the Whole Insurrection, with Lists of the Whites Who Were Murdered . . . ,” in 1831, wrote, “Public curiosity has been on the stretch to understand the origin and progress of this dreadful conspiracy, and the motives which influences its diabolical actors.” What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again and again?

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/22/the-history-of-the-riot-report

Now is not the time to be faint at heart…..protesters MUST not settle for talk…..they have in the past and look where we are today.

Stay in the streets!

Do Not Settle!

“lego ergo scribo”

It All Began In Minneapolis

This round of protesting over the death of a black person at the hands of the police….these protests turned violence laced with destruction and arson…..and once again the talk is about reform of the police departments and their attitudes toward the minority communities….

All the focus on the PDs and politicians to step up and do the right thing…..and Minnesota took a step backwards…..

Legislators in Minnesota—the state where George Floyd was killed—huddled all night over police reform and walked away empty-handed, the New York Times reports. Democrats called for major changes to police oversight and Republicans more “common-sense reforms,” leading the two chambers to adjourn at around 6am Saturday without a deal. “I am deeply disappointed Senate Republicans chose to leave before finishing our work,” said Susan Kent, Senate minority leader for the Democrats, per the Star-Tribune. Paul Gazelka, the state Senate’s Republican leader, said “if they’re not interested in” his latest offer, “I don’t think personally that they’ll ever be interested in something that we can agree to.”

Democrats wanted Minnesota to beef up deadly-force laws, allow convicted felons to vote, and let the state’s attorney general (a Democrat) oversee the prosecution of police killings. Republicans called for milder measures, like prohibiting chokeholds in most police encounters and requiring police to stop officers from using excessive force. Democrats called those half-measures that haven’t helped elsewhere, then made a counter-offer at midnight that didn’t include voting felons and AG investigations. But the Democrat-led House and Republican Senate still couldn’t reconcile. “Minnesotans expect us, like they do in their jobs, to finish when the work is done,” said Gov. Tim Walz, who added that this “is at the center of what we should be doing.”

My question is…if reforms cannot get a foothold in the place this round began is there any hope for real reform….anywhere?

With all the chaos and protests and NYPD Commission finds they acted properly…

The New York Police Department (NYPD) commissioner on Monday defended the officers who drove into protesters against police brutality late last month, saying they did not violate the department’s use-of-force policy.

Commissioner Dermot Shea testified in an online public hearing on the police response to the George Floyd protests, saying the officers shown in videos to be lurching into a crowd were complying with department standards.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is investigating the police response, asked the commissioner about May 30 videos that showed two police cruisers driving into a crowd in Brooklyn. 

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/503967-nypd-commissioner-officers-who-drove-into-protesters-did-not-violate-use

So it is perfectly alright to run down peaceful protesters with a vehicle in NYC, right?

Do you see the problem now?

Politicians are doing what they always do….Lots of talking loud and proud and saying nothing…..and inaction prevails.

Black Lives Matter, corporations

What started in Minneapolis should never be allowed to cease…..if government will not listen then take it to the streets…..and stay there until these “fat cats” grow ears.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

That Flag Thing Again

Closing Thought–22Jun20

I recently wrote about my city voting to take down the offensive Mississippi flag….and flag another state flag…..the Magnolia Flag……read my thoughts on this…..State Flag Is Gone! – In Saner Thought

Now the beleaguered state flag is under assault again….this time from the NCAA……

Mississippi is the only state in the nation to still feature the Confederate symbol, which consists of 13 stars and a blue cross, on its flag—and that hasn’t escaped the NCAA’s eye. Now, the college athletic organization’s Southeastern Conference is warning the state that if it doesn’t nix the symbol from the flag, it risks a big consequence. “It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” reads a Thursday statement from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, noting if that significant tweak isn’t made, the conference will mull keeping SEC championship events out of the Magnolia State. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”

ESPN notes there hasn’t been an SEC championship game held in Mississippi since 2016. In a 2001 referendum, voters in the state opted to keep the flag as is, but after the death of George Floyd and a resurgence of Black Lives Matters rallies, the outcry to change the flag was re-upped. Among those who’ve joined that call: the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, both SEC members that say they’ve been lobbying for years for this change. “Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us,” reads a statement from University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce and his vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, Keith Carter. A bipartisan proposal to change the flag has been submitted to the state’s Legislature.

We will see just how far a bi-partisan proposal will go n the “good old boys” club of Mississippi.

Before some unknowing dolt tries to give me heritage BS…the present flag was adopted in 1894….had more to do with post Civil War sentiments than anything historic…..read a book!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Charleston Five Years On

It has been 5 long years since the massacre in Charleston and the cowards in the Senate are still dragging their feet…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under fire Wednesday—the five-year anniversary of the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre—for his refusal to act on legislation, sitting on his desk for over a year, that would close the loophole that allowed a white supremacist to obtain the gun used to shoot nine black congregants at the historical place of worship.

Due to a clerical error, the gunman’s background check to buy the weapon took longer than three days, which meant the seller was able to sell him the gun. Had a background check been completed, the gunman’s criminal record would have shown he was unable to purchase the weapon. Legislation to close the so-called “Charleston Loophole,” extending the wait time to 10 days, passed the Democrat-controlled House in February 2019.

But, as the Charleston Post and Courier noted Tuesday, the measure “has languished in the Republican-controlled Senate.” 

“It’s been 5 years since the shooting at Emanuel AME Church and well over a year since the House passed my bill to help close the #CharlestonLoophole that allowed the gunman to obtain his weapon,” tweeted House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/17/5-years-after-racist-charleston-massacre-mcconnell-ripped-unconscionable-refusal

This is what always happens when bills enter the process….political cowards and lobbyists prevent good bills from seeing the light of day…..and McConnell’s Senate is the worse.

There are some common sense laws that could lessen the deaths….I said lessen not eliminate for that is a whole another post in itself…..

Nearly 40,000 people were killed by firearms in the United States in 2018, but curbing these numbers has been a statistically tricky—and politically fraught—problem. Now, a study that tracked individual gun laws over time suggests states can reduce gun deaths significantly by doing three things: limiting children’s access to guns, restricting concealed-carry permits, and restricting “stand your ground” policies.

The study isn’t without its flaws, but the basic findings make sense to Elinore Kaufman, a surgeon and public health policy analyst at the University of Pennsylvania. “Stand your ground laws encourage individuals to try to solve problems with bullets,” she says, as do right-to-carry laws. But laws that limit access to guns for children, she says, could help prevent firearm suicides by making it harder for everyone—not just children—to access guns in the first place.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/three-types-laws-could-reduce-gun-deaths-more-10

Like I have said there are NO easy answers…..but something needs to be done for the violence and the deaths are getting way past acceptable.

I guess baby steps is better than no steps….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Just A Few “Bad Apples”

I know you have heard the term “bad apples” referring to those cops that are caught beating and abusing the public and why should all cops be punished for the acts of a few “bad apples”?

There seems to have been 85,000 investigations of police wrong doing…in the past decade…..

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its affiliated newsrooms across the country and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/24/usa-today-revealing-misconduct-records-police-cops/3223984002/

Sorry but those numbers stated in the article are a bit more than a “few bad apples”…..

But not to worry…all politicians are jumping on the bandwagon of reform…..not of which will actually change anything.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

SCOTUS News

From time to time SCOTUS does make the news….the nightly news that is and this session has made the news on two fronts…..the news is both good and bad…..

The Good…….

There is no guarantee that conserv judges will vote conservatively…..

The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a major victory to supporters of gay rights, reports the AP. In a 6-3 ruling, the justices decided that Title VII, a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, protects LGBTQ workers from being fired because of their sexual orientation. Coverage:

  • The law: Title VII bars discrimination at work based on “sex” and other factors, and for the last 50 years or so, “sex” has gotten a narrow definition—basically that women and men can’t be treated differently at work, per the Washington Post. Monday’s ruling expands that definition to the LGBT community.
  • The ruling: “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
  • The surprise: Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts, who usually side with the court’s conservative majority, instead joined the court’s four more liberal members, notes Politico.
  • The legal question: “The decisions in this case highlight a tension with textualism,” writes Jonathan Adler at Reason. That is, in regard to the 1964 law, “do we focus on the discrete meaning of the words, or do we focus on the words as they would have been understood and applied at the time they were adopted.” He adds that law schools will be poring over the opinions in the coming year.
  • Gorsuch’s view: His ruling acknowledges that Congress surely didn’t intend to protect LGBT workers when it passed the legislation, but he said that’s irrelevant. “Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result,” he wrote. “Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees.”
  • Dissent: Justice Samuel Alito, in a dissent joined by Clarence Thomas, says the court went too far. “There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation,” the dissent begins. “The document that the Court releases is in the form of a judicial opinion interpreting a statute, but that is deceptive.”
  • The cases: The ruling centers on multiple cases, and the New York Times has the details. They included a pair of lawsuits by gay men who say they were fired because of their sexual orientation, and another from a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who says she got fired when she announced she would start embracing her female identity at work. Stephens died last month.

And now the Bad….and it is taken from the headlines of today……

The Supreme Court is for now declining to get involved in an ongoing debate by citizens and in Congress over policing, rejecting cases Monday that would have allowed the justices to revisit when police can be held financially responsible for wrongdoing, per the AP. With protests over racism and police brutality continuing nationwide, the justices turned away more than half a dozen cases involving the legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which the high court created more than 50 years ago. It shields officials, including police, from lawsuits for money as a result of things they do in the course of their job. As is usual, the court didn’t comment in turning away the cases, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a 6-page dissent saying he would have agreed to hear one of the cases.

“I have previously expressed my doubts about our qualified immunity jurisprudence,” he wrote, explaining he believes the court’s “qualified immunity doctrine appears to stray from the statutory text.” As a result of qualified immunity, even when a court finds that an official or officer has violated someone’s constitutional rights, they can still be protected from civil lawsuits seeking money. The Supreme Court has said that qualified immunity protects officials as long as their actions don’t violate clearly established law or constitutional rights which they should have known about. The push for the court to reexamine qualified immunity has come both from the left and right, including Thomas, a conservative, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a liberal.

Here was a chance to make a difference…..but I am sure that the issue is not dead.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”