I don't think the creator of this pro-policing political cartoon actually read "Frankenstein"

Michael Ramirez is a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist who works for the Las Vegas Review Journal. And I am sure he has definitely read Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein (or, the Modern Prometheus), as evidenced by his latest cartoon, titled "LIBERALS CITIES ABOLISH AND CUT FUNDING FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS."

See, given the choice between:

a heavily-armed and heavily-entitled mediocre white guy with a boner for power and violence; or a miracle of science who was famously gentle and misunderstood, despite the angry assumptions of a mass mob who viewed him as subhuman just because of his appearance and conditions forced on him by a power-hungry monster of a man;

I think it's pretty easy to decide which one you'd rather have patrolling your neighborhood. (Assuming that police even actively "patrol" in suburban and rural areas.)

LIBERALS CITIES ABOLISH AND CUT FUNDING FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS [Michael Ramirez] Read the rest

George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, Democrats' police reform bill, passes in House & heads to Senate

“House approves sweeping police overhaul from Democrats, responding to national outcry over George Floyd's death.” — AP

Massachusetts governor proposes a $5000 bonus for cops who undergo anti-racist training

From Boston.com:

Amid mounting criticism, Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday defended a proposal — tucked inside a larger bill to create a state certification system for law enforcement officers — to provide up to $5,000 bonuses for police to take on additional training.

“It’s for people who go above and beyond with respect to what they’re required to do under our proposal,” Baker said during a press conference. “And I don’t expect many to do it, but I think it’s important. If you want people to up their game, if you want people to perform at a higher level, if you want people to do a better job in serving the communities they represent and to be leaders with respect to the way they do that, it’s not unusual to create a modest incentive for them to do that.”

Local activists are, understandably, outraged at this proposal, which is, uhh, quite literally the opposite of the "Defund the Police" cry that many of them have been championing.

Existing anti-bias training programs for police are not particularly known for being effective, although it is certainly a profitable venture — and not just for the officers who take the governor up on that $5000 incentive. I'm also not sure why Baker thinks anyone wouldn't take him up on the offer for an easy $5K. A few weeks ago, I shared a blog post from a self-proclaimed former bastard cop, who had this to say (among other things):

Let me tell you what probably won’t solve the problem of bastard cops:

Increased “bias” training.

Read the rest

Facial recognition leads to wrongful arrest of Black man in Detroit

A Black man in Detroit was wrongfully arrested and detained by police who mis-identified him with a false facial recognition hit. The case of Robert Williams, an innocent person who was held in police custody for a day, is the first publicly reported case of artificial intelligence resulting in a false arrest in the United States. Read the rest

Off-duty cop off the streets after threatening motorist

Brandon Harrison, an officer with the St. Joseph Police Department in Missouri, was assigned to administrative duties Monday after being filmed threatening a motorist. The video sailed to millions of views over the weekend, forcing officials to launch an investigation.

Two two drivers had apparently collided in their vehicles. Harrison was off-duty at the time, but made clear his position while yelling expletives at the man—“I am on vacation and I will fuck you up.... See who they fucking believe, bitch." A uniformed officer on the scene ordered the man to obey Harrison's demand to sit down and "do what he says", then allows Harrison to participate in a search of the man's vehicle. Local media report that she has not been disciplined and the department has refused to release her name. Read the rest

Rayshard Brooks: Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe charged with felony murder + 10 other crimes

Prosecutor: Officers stood on Rayshard Brooks' shoulder, kicked him while he lay on the ground struggling for life.

NYPD says Shake Shack did not intentionally give poisoned milkshakes to cops

Yesterday it was reported that three new York City police officers were sickened and sent to a hospital after drinking poisoned milkshakes from a Shake Shack restaurant. After investigating, the New York Police Department found that the milkshakes were not intentionally spiked with detergent, but that the milkshake machine was not properly drained of cleaning solution before the milkshake mixture was added to it.

From The New York Post:

Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch wrote that several officers who had been assigned to a protest detail stopped at the Shake Shack.

“At some point during their meal period, the (officers) discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages,” he wrote.

“The contamination was not discovered until the (officers) had already ingested a portion of their beverages,” Lynch continued. “They are currently at the hospital receiving treatment and are expected to recover.”

He added: “When New York City police officers cannot even take meal without coming under attack, it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level. We cannot afford to let our guard down for even a moment.”

Image: Jumpstory / CC0 Read the rest

iPhone shortcut to record encounters with the police

After you install an iPhone shortcut called "Pulled Over By Police" all you have to say is "Siri, I’m being pulled over” and the shortcut will record the encounter.

From CBS Sacramento:

You give the command, “I’m being pulled over” and the program pauses any music you were playing, goes into ‘do not disturb’ mode, dims the phone’s brightness, and starts recording on the phone’s front-facing camera. Further, once you stop the recording it will send the video to a designated contact.

Image: Jumpstory / CC0 Read the rest

How every police officer becomes complicit in a terrible system

An anonymous writer on Medium — identifying themself only as Officer A. Cab — has written an impassioned but scathing piece about the complicity of modern policing. This writer, claiming to be an ex-cop, shares his own shameful experiences being silenced for speaking against the "bad apple" officers, and eventually just going along with things he knew were inherently problematic. "American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities," he writes, "and if you don’t believe it when the poor and the marginalized say it, if you don’t believe it when you see cops across the country shooting journalists with less-lethal bullets and caustic chemicals, maybe you’ll believe it when you hear it straight from the pig’s mouth."

That's just in the intro. It gets way more in-depth, with numerous moments of quotable perfection (and a particularly disgraceful anecdote about some pay-to-play homeless abuse). I'll leave you with this passage, which has really sat with me:

Your community was not made safer by police violence; a sick member of your community was killed because it was cheaper than treating them. Are you extremely confident you’ll never get sick one day too?

Wrestle with this for a minute: if all of someone’s material needs were met and all the members of their community were fed, clothed, housed, and dignified, why would they need to join a gang? Why would they need to risk their lives selling drugs or breaking into buildings? If mental healthcare was free and was not stigmatized, how many lives would that save?

Read the rest

Howard Stern and the Village People both fell for a satire article about the cop from the Village People

The Hard Times is a satire site in the vein of The Onion, but with content focused more on hipsters, punk rock, and video game culture. And it is a national fucking treasure that I will defend until my dying day (because I feel personally attacked by every article, and it's great).

Case in point: on June 7th, the Hard Times ran a piece with the headline, "Village People Kick Out Police Officer." Which is funny. Because the country is in the midst of a massive(ly long overdue) revolt against police officers. And also the Village People.

But apparently the Village People did not find it so amusing. Their PR rep reached out to Hard Times founder Matt Saincome, threatening legal action for what, in their interpretation, was clearly a defamatory smear piece and not, ya know, satire. "No one can kick the cop out (sic) Village People because he's an owner of Village People," wrote the PR rep. That'll learn 'em!

Saincome responded in the only reasonable way: "Prepare for the most scorched earth encounter you have ever had, motherfucker. You will rue the day you began this lifelong blood feud."

Somehow, Howard Stern's co-host Robin Quiver got wind of this, and tried to get Howard Stern all riled up about it. Another staffer did eventually chime in to mention that it was probably from a satire site, although Robin Quiver continued to insist that it was just, "hanging out with the rest of the news." Read the rest

The ACLU analyzed the number of police in schools compared to social workers, and the results are staggering

In March of 2019 — about a year after the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School — the ACLU released a report titled "Cops and No Counselors: How the Lack of School Mental Health Staff Is Harming Students." Based on publicly available federal civil rights data from 2015-2016, this report offered a comprehensive analysis of the school support resources, breaking it down by state and demographic, to get a better look at how we're serving students in America.

The results were not good:

The ACLU’s report found over 90 percent of students nationwide attend schools that fail to meet the nationally recommended ratios for student-to-counselors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers. Over 14 million of these students were in schools that reported having law enforcement present despite lacking critical mental and physical health personnel. The report cites research indicating that students would benefit more from increased access to mental health professionals than the increased school hardening the commission recommends.

[…]

The average number of students each school counselor serves is 444 — nearly double the already limited recommended student-counselor ratio of 250:1 At least 43 percent of our nation's students attend schools with onsite police, and in some states more than 68 percent of schools have police 31 percent of the nation's students attend schools that have school police, but no psychologist, nurse, social worker, and/or counselor Black girls account for 16 percent of girls enrolled nationwide, but account for 39 percent of the girls arrested in school Native American and Pacific Islander students were more than twice as likely to be arrested as white students nationwide Black and Latino boys with disabilities are 3 percent of students, but were 12 percent of school arrests.

What I personally found most staggering was that 94 percent of "serious offenses" by students involved threats or actual physical fights … without a weapon. Read the rest

In Portlandia, police confiscated chickpeas and White Claw

On Friday night, New York Police Commissioner Shea tweeted a photo of a bunch of bicycle repair gear and other commonly handy devices that had been confiscated from protestors, which he referred to as "the tools of criminals bent on causing mayhem & hijacking." At the time, I joked that it was some kind of sequel to the "Bicycle Rights" sketch from Portlandia. I carry every single thing in those photos (except the hammers) in my bicycle messenger at all times, and I've never even had a problem getting a plane with it all. The idea that these somehow constituted deadly weapons of war — in a country with a Constitutional right to bear arms, no less! — is utterly absurd.

But apparently, I made my Portlandia joke too soon. Because the very next day, the known white-supremacist collaborators in the Portland Police Department tweeted a similar photo of the supposedly-awful things with which their officers had been allegedly assaulted: hard seltzer, chickpeas, and a half-eaten apple.

Police officers in America can be armed to the teeth with riot armor and helmets, carrying chemical weapons and ordnance cannons in their massive Bearcat tanks … and every single one of them is paralyzed by fear at the thought of a plastic water bottle. Why is that?

I guess it's true what they say: ain't no laws when you're throwing Claws. Read the rest

Military police un-ironically re-stage the Boston Massacre during anti-police protests

On March 5, 1770, militarized law enforcement officers committed a heinous act of state-sponsored violence in front of the Old Boston State House, shooting and murdering an innocent black man named Crispus Attucks along with four other people who were protesting against state-sponsored violence committed by militarized law enforcement officers. This massacre is largely recognized as a turning point in public sentiment against the corrupt authorities, which would eventually lead to a full-blown revolution.

On June 7, 2020, militarized law enforcement officers staked out a position in front of the Old Boston State House as a pre-emptive measure against people who were protesting against state-sponsored violence committed by militarized law enforcement officers, largely motivated by the unjust murders of innocent black people at the hands of militarized law enforcement officers.

While no one was killed during this embarrassing moment of accidental historical cosplay, public sentiment does appear to be turning against the authorities. Whether this leads to a full-blown revolution has yet to be seen.

Image: Public Domain via Paul Revere Read the rest

List: 100+ times law enforcement violently assaulted journalists in US at George Floyd protests

A comprehensive list of at least one hundred separate incidents in the past week where law enforcement was violent with press at protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Over the past few days, Nick Waters / @n_waters89 of Bellingcat has collected over 100 photos and videos showing American police violently attacking credentialed reporters.

More at Mediagazer. Here are excerpts from the thread.

Read the rest

Hamilton County sheriffs replace U.S. flag at justice center with police "thin blue line" flag

Officers with Hamilton County Sheriff's Office replaced the U.S. flag with their own "thin blue line" flag Sunday, hoisting the desecrated version over the Justice Center in Cincinnati.

ABC News reports that sheriff Jim Neil said the U.S. flag was stolen by protestors. Neil does not convincingly explain why he replaced the U.S. flag with a different one.

“Should have been replaced with American flag immediately,” fellow Democrat Chris Seelbach tweeted back. “Not replaced with a politically charged blue lives matter flag when thousands are protesting in our streets because #BlackLivesMatter. Sheriff Neil has only made things worse. Again.”

In the police flag, the colors of the union flag are replaced with black and white but for a "thin blue line" symbolizing the police. The line divides the country in two, replacing one of the bars that traditionally represent the original 13 colonies.

The desecrated flag is a regular subject of criticism and parody, especially its plain implication that the U.S. is (or should become) a police state.

Read the rest

Cops detain black man, then free him when he IDs as an "FBI agent"

In this video, two cops are seen detaining a black man. The casual racism and hostility to a peaceful bystander is appalling in any case, but these cops have made a worse error: the man they've handcuffed identifies himself as an FBI agent. They free the man at once.

Here's a longer cut of the video.

Whether or not the man is really an FBI agent, it's a great illustration of law enforcers being predatory bullies whose behavior changes completely around perceived power and privilege.

Correction: the cops are not from NYPD and this occurred long before this weekend's protests. Read the rest

Cop who killed George Floyd arrested

Derek Chauvin, the cop who killed George Floyd, was arrested today and taken into custody.

The arrest follows three days of growing unrest in Minneapolis, where Floyd, suspected of passing a fake $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes, was filmed gasping for his life while Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said state investigators arrested Derek Chauvin, who was one of four officers fired this week, but he did not provide details. The state attorney who would oversee any prosecution on state charges, whose home was also the site of protests, was scheduled to provide an update later Friday.

News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s protests and called for swift justice for officers involved.

Read the rest

More posts