The Supreme Court Has a Chance To End Qualified Immunity and Prevent Cases Like George Floyd’s Reply

Giving cops “qualified immunity” is like giving physicians exemptions from malpractice lawsuits.

By C.J. Ciaramella

Reason

The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on Monday has reignited calls for national reforms to policing, including ending qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that civil liberties groups say has become a shield for grotesque police misconduct.

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Black and White: Unite and Fight! Reply

By Troy Southgate

People have every right to fight back against the corrupt US system and its brutal mercenaries, but let’s not pretend that police violence is reserved for Black people. At the same time, the Right’s predictable response to Black Lives Matter is to claim that most of the people who have been murdered by the police are themselves criminals and that they had it coming. Now, if it was ever officially decreed that instantaneous execution should be the penalty for criminality then millions of people in America, Black or White, would immediately be wiped from the face of the earth. Inevitably, therefore, by reacting to the racially-centred approach of Black Lives Matter in this ridicuous manner those on the Right inevitably justify the brutality of violent police officers and, thus, the institutionalised criminality of those who allow these murderers to patrol the streets in the first place. It is debatable whether all Black lives matter, just as it is debatable whether all White lives matter, but it is a fact that the American state is killing people of all colours and creeds, both at home and abroad, and that the only solution is for people to stop fanning the flames of racial conflict by attacking each another and to unite against the global establishment. That means rejecting the crass victimology of the mainstream Black organisations and the ignorant racists of the reactionary right. Black and White: Unite and Fight!

Image may contain: one or more people and night

Seattle police officer caught kneeling on the necks of multiple George Floyd protesters Reply

Serious facepalm.

By Chris Riotta

The Independent

A Seattle police officer was seen kneeling on the necks of suspected looters amid protests against the death of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck in now-viral footage.

The police department was responding to reports of looting at a T-Mobile on Saturday night when the incident occurred.

Journalist Matt McKnight recorded the confrontation and shared it to Twitter, showing the scene as multiple suspects were arrested outside of the vandalised store.

A man wearing an orange sweatshirt could be seen being tackled to the ground by multiple officers, as one placed their knee of his neck while restraining his arms.

Multiple protestors were heard in the video shouting “get off his neck!” as the man laid on the street, his head pressed into the ground. At one point, a second officer pulls the other officer’s knee from the man’s neck to his back, while continuing to restrain him.

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Anyone Can Be a Victim of the Police State 1

Both of these memes make some important points. Anyone, from any socioeconomic or demographic group, can be a victim of the police state. Numerically, there may be more white victims, because whites are the largest group (about 60-70% of the US population). But, per capita, it is blacks, Native Americans, and Hispanics who are more likely to be attacked by the police, which in turn overlaps with class differences, because these ethnic communities are more likely to be poor.

A brown/black person is statistically more likely to be a victim of the police state, all other variables being equal. A poor person is more likely than a middle-class person. A member of a fringe culture (hippies, punks, Goths, etc) is more likely than a yuppie-type. A person with fringe religious or political affiliations more likely than someone with mainstream affiliations. A drug user more so than an alcohol consumer. A sexual minority (ranging from transpeople to sex workers) more so than a “straight” person.

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

This really is an issue that transcends virtually all other divisions.

A religious fundamentalist (or any kind of religious minority from Wiccans to Sikhs to Jehovah’s Witnesses to Scientologists) should remember the massacre that was carried out against the Branch Davidian sect by the feds at Waco in 1993.

A white nationalist/separatist should remember the murders of the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge in 1992.

A black nationalist/separatist should remember the massacre of the MOVE in 1985.

No one who has ever participated in any of the various drug cultures should have any sympathy for the cops.

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Red vs. Blue on Blue vs. Black and White Reply

These memes make some very important points in the sense that people of virtually all ethnic and even socioeconomic backgrounds can be victims of police brutality, whose ranks include everyone from mayors, professional athletes, suburban teenagers, upper-middle-class white women, active-duty military personnel and off-duty cops, to the poorest people who are homeless or living in urban housing projects. But obviously, it is the poorest and most disadvantaged people who are the most likely to be the recipients of this kind of treatment.

Unfortunately, when middle/upper-middle-class people hear about these incidents, they tend to dismiss them as the actions of rogue individuals while failing to recognize the institutionalized and systemic issues involved. The lower middle class tends to be socially conservative and pro-“law and order” because their class position is tenuous and they don’t want crime or disorder threatening what they have. But the very poor, particularly in densely populated urban areas where police brutality is the most common, experience police brutality the most frequently and recognize its institutional function, and do not simply attribute it to a few bad apples here and there. And the very poor in urban areas tend to be disproportionately black, often by a wide margin. Hence, the discrepancy depicted in the memes.

Image may contain: 4 people, meme, text that says 'THIS WOMAN KILL BY THIS MPLS COP MINNEAPOLIS THE NEXT DAY THIS MAN MAN KILLED BY THIS MPLS COP MINNEAPOLIS NNEAPOLIS THE NEXT DAY APOUS'

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'If the image on the left makes you angry but you have no idea what the image on the right is congratulations! The media has told you that police brutality is only a black problem and you believed Maybe try being equally outraged when a non black person is murdered by cops? @TDOM OLIS'

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide 1

I don’t think they liked that one of their cop shops was burned to the ground.

Slate

The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again on Saturday, as police all over the country teargassed protestors, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with non-lethal rounds on journalists or people on their own property, and in at least one instance, pushed over an elderly man who was walking away with a cane. Here are some of the ways law enforcement officers escalated the national unrest.

 

 

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Police act like laws don’t apply to them because of ‘qualified immunity.’ They’re right. Reply

By Patrick Jaicomo and Anya Bidwell

USA Today

On Monday, May 25, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. While two officers pinned the handcuffed Floyd on a city street, another fended off would-be intervenors, as a fourth knelt on Floyd’s neck until — and well after — he lost consciousness.

But when Floyd’s family goes to court to hold the officers liable for their actions, a judge in Minnesota may very well dismiss their claims. Not because the officers didn’t do anything wrong, but because there isn’t a case from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court specifically holding that it is unconstitutional for police to kneel on the neck of a handcuffed man for eight minutes until he loses consciousness and then dies.

And such a specific case is what Floyd’s family must provide to overcome a legal doctrine called “qualified immunity” that shields police and all other government officials from accountability for their illegal and unconstitutional acts.

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Derek Chauvin Shouldn’t Have Broken the Law Reply

Vince has the perfect comeback to the “he shouldn’t have broken the law” dumbasses.

“Why the protesting and rioting? Because until now the police have held a special position in our society as a protected class. They could lie, cheat, steal, break the law and murder civilians and usually get away with it. Not any more. Murder a civilian in broad daylight? Your police precinct gets burned to the ground. Don’t want this to happen? Well then don’t break the law. Consequences suck but it’s what keeps our society civil.” -Vince Rinehart

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, text that says 'Remember this this picture? The The man on the ground with his hands up is a social worker. He was begging the police not to shoot his autistic patient who wouldn't put down his toy truck. While in this very position, on the ground, with his hands up, the police shot him him (the social worker). That officer was acquitted today. This IS America.'

17,984 Police Stations Sadly Still Untorched Reply

By Brett McCabe

The Hard Times

MINNEAPOLIS — Rioters protesting the unlawful killing of another unarmed black man at the hands of police officers successfully burned Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police station to the ground, tragically leaving nearly 20,000 more stations standing.

“We see this as a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, we live in a reality where there are thousands and thousands of police stations that are completely untouched. It’s not until every last police station is reduced to ash that we will feel the need to celebrate,” said community organizer Eva Longworth. “What’s truly tragic about this situation is that no cops were injured, which we hope changes in the future. Everyone inside had already evacuated. They put up a cowardly fight before fleeing in helicopters… I just hope the next police station has all the emergency exits blocked as it’s set ablaze.”

Activists note that similar buildings dedicated to furthering racial inequities and oppression are located all across the country in large cities and small suburban towns.

“Just go on Google Maps and you can locate your nearest police station. These buildings are typically occupied by extreme racists with unchecked egos and a need for power,” said crime analyst Drew Paez. “In most cases, the so-called ‘officers of the law’ are unable or unwilling to seek employment at respectable establishments where they aren’t enforcing this country’s history of white supremacy. Hopefully, some of them resign and get real jobs helping their communities, but if they don’t, then fuck ’em. Let them burn.” The burned station leaves behind a dark legacy of racial injustice for which the victims of targeted policing will never see retribution.

Customs and Border Protection Is Flying a Predator Drone Over Minneapolis Reply

I guess the drone wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen have been a test market for domestic drone wars.
By Jason Koebler, Joseph Cox, and Jordan Pearson

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is flying a Predator drone, military technology used for surveilling and killing terrorists abroad, over Minneapolis as protesters continue to demonstrate against police brutality, according to publicly available flight data. The drone flown over Minneapolis is an unarmed version of the aircraft.

The drone was first spotted on a flight tracking tool by members of the ADS-B Exchange, a community of flight watchers who use open-source flight data to monitor America’s skies. Presumably, the drone is surveilling protests there, though CBP did not respond to a request for comment about what the drone is doing there.

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Good Cops/Bad Cops? No Cops!! 2

I generally agree with this on an abstract level though I have generally found it best to assess police officers and/or claims of police brutality on an individual or situational basis.

It’s possible for a cop to become an ex-cop, and for an ex-cop to criticize many cop behaviors or functions. People have all kinds of reasons for becoming police officers. Some really do think they will have the chance to help others and fight bad people.  Some want to drive fast and carry guns. Some really believe in the “law and order” ideology. Some view it as an opportunity to participate in crime and get away with it. For most, it’s just a job.

There were Vietnam and Iraq War vets who later joined antiwar protests, and there are former cops who participate in anti-police brutality protests.

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'The "good/bad cop" question can be disposed of decisively. We need only consider the following: i. Every cop has agreed, as part of his job, is to enforce laws; all of them. ii. Many of the laws are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked. iii. Therefore, every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer of laws that are manifestly unjust, or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.'

Naomi Seibt Faces Prison For Incorrect Climate Views Reply

A German teenager runs afoul of the new blasphemy laws. I consider the tribal civil war between the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe to a low-intensity variation of the traditional Catholic/Protestant conflicts in Europe during the early modern period or the Sunni/Shia conflict in the Middle East today. Each side has its own preferred version of religious or sumptuary law, (for example, laws against flag-burning for the Red Tribe or hate speech for the Blue Tribe).

The EU/NATO countries are essentially colonies of the US empire (with Western Europe being a collection of additional Blue colonies, and Eastern Europe largely being a collection of Red colonies). Just as China (an outlying province in the US-controlled global capitalist empire) is a test market for the police/surveillance state, so is Western Europe (particularly the Anglo-Celtic-Germanic-Scandinavian countries) a test market in totalitarian humanism. Naomi Seibt is the modern equivalent of a heretic who has denied a primary article of Blue Tribe orthodoxy (like denying the Trinity in a pre-modern theocratic state).

By Paul Homewood

While our attentions have been focussed on the coronavirus, something alarming and rather shocking has been going on in Germany.

You will probably be aware of Naomi Seibt, the 19 year old from Germany who has been making a name as the anti-Greta lately. Her common sense messages about global warming have not gone down well with the climate establishment, who prefer the hysterical outpourings of Greta.

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Trump, progressives, team up to kill Pelosi mass surveillance bill Reply

I would generally be inclined to argue that the Neoliberal Party is now the furthest right party on foreign policy, economics, and civil liberties. The Trump Party is further to the right only on social/cultural issues.

Krystal and Saagar discuss Nancy Pelosi’s decision to pull a vote scheduled for Wednesday night on a bill reauthorizing lapsed surveillance programs after opposition from Republicans and progressives made it unclear whether it would pass.