cops gone wild

WV Cop fired for *not* killing a man

The Weirton, WV police fired Stephen Mader for not killing Ronald D. Williams Jr (pictured). Here is why American police, as an institution, are the enemies of civilization. Good cops are systematically forced out.

Weirton terminates officer who did not fire at man with gun (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

After responding to a report of a domestic incident on May 6 in Weirton, W.Va., then-Weirton police officer Stephen Mader found himself confronting an armed man.

Immediately, the training he had undergone as a Marine to look at “the whole person” in deciding if someone was a terrorist, as well as his situational police academy training, kicked in and he did not shoot.

“I saw then he had a gun, but it was not pointed at me,” Mr. Mader recalled, noting the silver handgun was in the man’s right hand, hanging at his side and pointed at the ground.

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“I thought I was going to be able to talk to him and deescalate it. I knew it was a suicide-by-cop” situation.

But just then, two other Weirton officers arrived on the scene, Mr. Williams walked toward them waving his gun — later found to be unloaded — between them and Mr. Mader, and one of them shot Mr. Williams’ in the back of the head just behind his right ear, killing him.

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In a meeting with the chief and City Manager Travis Blosser, Mr. Mader said Chief Alexander told him: “We’re putting you on administrative leave and we’re going to do an investigation to see if you are going to be an officer here. You put two other officers in danger.”

Mr. Mader said that “right then I said to him: ‘Look, I didn’t shoot him because he said, ‘Just shoot me.’ ”

On June 7, a Weirton officer delivered him a notice of termination letter dated June 6, which said by not shooting Mr. Williams he “failed to eliminate a threat.”

American cops murder another black man: Philando Castile

It's going to be a long summer.

Remember, the police are not here to protect you. The police are here to enforce the status quo.

Minnesota Police Shooting’s Aftermath Is Captured in Gruesome Video (www.nytimes.com)

The woman began by calmly narrating what was happening as she trained the camera on Mr. Castile, whom she described as her boyfriend, and on at least one officer who was pointing a gun through the driver’s side window.

“Please, officer, don’t tell me that you just did this to him,” she said. “You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.”
Continue reading the main story

The woman’s daughter, who was in the back seat, appears several times in the video. Near the end of the 10-minute clip, as the two are sitting in the back of a police car, she comforts her mother, saying, “It’s O.K., Mommy. It’s O.K. I’m right here with you.”

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Family members demanded justice for Mr. Castile during an interview on CNN early Thursday. Mr. Castile’s uncle, Clarence Castile, said police officers who were meant to protect Americans had instead become “our executioners and judges and murderers.”

New video dispels any doubt Alton Sterling was murdered by Baton Rouge cops

These cops need to be in jail, now. The cops who invaded Muflahi's store and stole the surveillance footage need to be in jail, now. Any actual human beings who might happen to be in the Baton Rouge PD need to go on strike until that happens.

But it won't. They'll get away with it. And the problem will build until we have a for-real honest-to-goodness violent revolution on out hands. I'm not advocating, I'm predicting the obvious

Also, I want everyone who's calling for more and stronger gun laws to think really hard about the consequences of that. Sterling got a gun to protect himself after a friend was mugged, but he wasn't legally permitted to have one because of prior convictions. It was an illegal gun. When you tell cops, "Go get illegal guns off the streets! Make that a top priority!" -- well, friends, this is how that happens. Is that really what you want? Or do you want cops to leave people who aren't bothering anyone, alone?

New Video Emerges of Alton Sterling Being Killed by Baton Rouge Police (The Daily Beast)

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was standing in the parking lot selling CDs as he had for years when two white cops arrived on Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning he was dead and protesters were in the city’s streets. Calls erupted from Congress and the NAACP for an independent investigation into the shooting, which the Justice Department announced within hours.

Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake were reportedly responding to a 911 call about a man threatening someone with a gun before they arrived, but Muflahti said no one was waving a gun, certainly not Sterling.

Peter Liang, NYPD stairwell-shooting cop, convicted

Justice.

Officer Peter Liang Convicted in Fatal Shooting of Akai Gurley in Brooklyn (www.nytimes.com)

A New York City police officer was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday for killing an unarmed man who was hit by a ricocheting bullet fired from the officer’s gun in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in a case that highlighted concerns over police accountability.

Cop privilege is real, a matter of contract

I've posted before about the idea of "police privilege", how the system gives special rights to police in a way that's in direct contraction to the "Peelean principles" that are supposed to be at the heart of the profession. This is a good look at how these privileges are actually written into contracts. Seems to me someone ought to bring federal lawsuits under the equal protection clause for this nonsense; a cop accused of a crime should get the same treatment as anyone else. (Which in most cases means we should give the accused better treatment more than treating cops accused of crimes worse.)

9 ways police have more protections than you do when they're arrested (Mother Jones)

Earlier this month, four activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement launched Check the Police, a database of police union contracts from departments in 50 cities. After scrutinizing the documents, the project's creators identified four key provisions by which the contracts shield officers from accountability, or receive rights and courtesies not available to most civilian suspects. These common provisions stipulate:

Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw convicted of using position to commit rape

When you create a criminal class by means of laws prohibiting consensual acts, you create a class ripe for exploitation by cops. The blame for this lies not just with the monstrous Holtzclaw and whoever of his colleagues covered for him and maintained the blue wall of silence, but with every legislator who voted for criminalizing drug use and prostitution and every voter who supported such laws.

Former Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw Found Guilty Of Rape (BuzzFeed)

Former Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw has been found guilty of multiple counts of rape — first and second degree — as well as sexual battery, procuring lewd exhibition, and forcible oral sodomy.

Holtzclaw has been on trial since Nov. 2. He was accused of sexually assaulting 13 women in the community he patrolled from December 2013 to June 2014. His 36 charges ranged from stalking and indecent exposure to forcible sodomy and rape. Of the 36, he was found guilty of 18.

...Prosecutors say that Holtzclaw deliberately chose women he thought were unlikely to be believed — black women with criminal records from an impoverished neighborhood.

Six of the women alleged that Holtzclaw raped them — he was found guilty of four of the six charges. He was found not guilty of a handful of the lesser charges, including two rape charges, one rape by instrumentation charge, four sexual battery charges, three forcible oral sodomy charges, five procuring lewd exhibition charges, and one charge each of burglary, stalking, and indecent exposure.

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The defense pointed out that most of these women had criminal records — charges related to prostitution, drugs, assault and battery — and that some had provided police over the years with multiple aliases, social security numbers, phone numbers, and birthdates.

background on the Freddie Gray trials

What Weekly reminds us what's going on, with a report from Justin Sanders:

Why You Need to Stay Informed About the Freddie Gray Trials – |... (What Weekly)

Baltimore is like every other city in America: its criminal justice system is a corrupt machine used against the people.

That might be distasteful to read, but it’s true.

I can offer you statistics and numbers to prove it to you. I can point you to court cases which state, unequivocally, that the police are under no legal obligation to protect you, thus raising the question: if the police are not for our protection, then what exactly are they for?

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At the sound of Gray’s name some people in this city cross themselves and pray, “I hope they don’t riot again.” I always wonder why their prayers never go, “I hope the police don’t kill any more people,” or “I hope this is the last time we have to try our police officers for brutality and corruption.” But, it’s always, “I hope they don’t riot again,” which is an infuriating notion—first in how it assumes my community is stalking an opportunity to burn another CVS and break some more windows; second in how it completely absolves the police of any responsibility.

I’m talking with the guys in my barbershop and there’s a theory I hear, it’s one that’s been repeated to me many times while talking to people on the street. The theory goes that Freddie Gray was killed by the cops as a hit because the cops are connected to the drug trade in Baltimore and Gray either saw something or did something—what exactly varies depending on who’s doing the telling—and the cops put out a hit on him to protect their interests. That’s why his back was broken and his larynx crushed, to send a message. This is not a theory I subscribe to, but I do think that the theory is telling of how my community views the police. We don’t view cops as there for our protection. We don’t put it beyond them to murder us in service to their own interests. We know, for a fact, that they allow and profit from the drug deals many of us do just to maintain poverty.

first trial in Freddie Gray murder begins

This first trial in the murder of Freddie Gray starts today:

First trial in death of Freddie Gray begins in a city that is still on edge (Washington Post)

The first of six consecutive trials of officers accused in the killing of Freddie Gray is scheduled to begin this morning in Baltimore...

The trial of Officer William G. Porter, 26, will be closely watched locally and across the country...

The legal proceedings are expected to last until at least mid-December and will provide fresh details about how Gray suffered a severe spinal injury while being transported in a police van. It also could bring the first public account from one of the officers charged in the case, since Porter’s attorneys have said he will likely take the stand.

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cop privilege in Georgia

The word "privilege" is often used very loosely these days, to refer to a person not being subject to the penalties exacted by (for example) racism or religious bias, rather than to a someone being granted a genuine bonus of status. But the way in which cops who kill are treated is a genuine and dangerous example of special privilege, as exemplified by Georgia law.

Georgia's Special Perk For Cops Who Kill Citizens (Mimesis Law)

Georgia, unlike other states, allows police officers to give an unrebutted statement to the grand jury at the end of every grand jury proceeding. If an officer is not given that opportunity, the indictment is thrown out and he has to be retried. No cross-examination or scrutiny of any kind is allowed....

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If a police officer is not given this privilege, his conviction is reversed and he must be retried, even when prosecutors call the privilege “manifestly unfair.”

So even when Georgia prosecutors do seriously seek indictments against police officers for killing citizens, they often run into problems. Paul Howard, the District Attorney for a large chunk of Atlanta, sought to indict an officer for “fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager twice in the back.” But because the officer got the last word, Howard said, he just had no way to rebut the officer’s emotional testimony.

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Bmore cop caught on video assaulting man

The usual. No one in Baltimore City trusts the police, and this is why. See more video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDTbSmF76N8.

Violent arrest by Baltimore police officer caught on video (baltimoresun.com)

Truss had a bag in one hand and Coleman was holding his other arm as they paused near a bus stop. Cosom stepped around a group of bystanders before launching a blow that connected with Truss' upper body, sending him reeling backward, the video shows.

Then Cosom delivered a series of punches, some while another officer held Truss' right arm against the side of the bus stop, the video shows.

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"Truss was in a totally defenseless position, attempting to walk away, when he was beaten by Defendant Officer Cosom," the lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against Truss after reviewing the video, according to the lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in damages.

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