Troubling executions this year in Ohio and Arizona gave capital punishment opponents a flicker of hope that areas of the country that most enthusiastically support the death penalty might have a change of heart. They didn't.
Bill Bratton: "they were killed for their color: they were blue."
Bratton gets the warrior culture much more than de Blasio. These cops didn't need for today to be about cultural awareness--they needed it to be about acknowledging that they're good, that they sacrifice, and that they matter.
Do we need to have a conversation about how the police interact with communities of color? Yes, but that's viewed as having a political angle and the cops of NYPD are not interested in having a political discussion while laying low one of their own--killed ostensibly because of that same conversation.
Rapaport suggests that Ferguson Police have been unsuccessful in its attempt to reframe Michael Brown as a Willie Horton: for a large group of Americans, I'm not sure this is true. The various media accounts have polarized those who either think Brown was saint; or those that think he was a common thug. Rapaport is correct, however, in suggesting that Brown's case should be a discussion starter and not merely used as a means to an end.
The bad blood between NYPD cops and Mayor de Blasio became an air war Friday.
Rob Duke's insight:
Something symbolic needs to be done, but it may be too far gone. My guess is that de Blasio could go to the roll calls and have a "Road to Damascus" moment of seeing the light. He'd have to follow up with real support of the cops, but he could turn this into a triumph to become the one who leads the way to finding a solution to the problem of preserving the peace, without alienating a segment of society.
Surveillance video from officer-involved shooting in Berkeley, Missouri. This video shows the suspect pointing a gun at the officer. More information on the ...
Rob Duke's insight:
1. the guy's gate appears to be unsteady.
2. first thing you do, control the situation: pat down, get identification, run for warrants; it's hard to second guess, but it looks like the victim is not under control and is able to walk back up to the officer and pull the gun.
3. this appeared to be a routine non-emergency call so the officer doesn't activate his camera--this is going to be a problem with body cameras, too.
Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Adam Smith, and Abraham Lincoln lived in cities and never drove an automobile. They didn’t need one, or thought to need one. And you wouldn’t need one either if we could arrange our lives such that you can get where you need to go without a car.
Written by: Cassius Methyl at theantimedia.org In Cañon City, Colorado, two people were shot by police in just 6 days. This is a very small town that barely has any crime. It should be surprising that police are killing people here, in a place with virtually no crime rate …
Liberal Chick presents her latest musings from the dictionary of liberal logic. Apparently cops shouldn't fear for their life if a teen points a gun at them.
Rob Duke's insight:
Pedestrians also no longer need to dodge taxis; nurses don't need to wear rubber gloves? But, seriously, she may have a point hidden in the hyperbole: Currently, police training emphasizes that safety is first "I'm going home at the end of my shift". Should we instead emphasize tactics and cover so that you're sure before engaging a threat?............................................................................Now after having let that sink in......I think you do have to consider natural law. Do we attempt to control an officer's heartbeat? Of course not, the part of the brain that controls our threat response (fear, fight or flight), the Amygdala, is a primitive organ left over from a time when humans weren't at the top of the food chain--think of it like a vestigial tail that is now just a stub, but was once very useful in maintaining balance high up in the trees. When a threat is perceive in this organ, watch out! The world slows down and your reactions speed up! In two shootings, my gun was in my hand and I was firing before I could have articulated a threat. All vision, and memory that I have of these events now, had been blurred with the only clear vision being the threat. In both of these events (and dozens of others where I did not fire my weapon), my body response was three moves ahead of where I could actually formulate thought. In one case, I simultaneously called out my location on my radio, fired at the man who was firing at me, sought cover by running around to the passenger side of my car. I have one brief memory of slipping in gravel and making the palm of my left hand into hamburger as I caught my fall, did something of a break-dancer move to keep on my feet; and, then time jumped to the next memory of being at the front hood of my car covering the suspect who was down. I don't remember hearing the police chopper beating its way towards me, nor did I hear gunshots or remember seeing muzzle flashes (but witnesses described these things in detail). I worked a suburb of Los Angeles early in my career, so I had dozens of "close calls" where I did not fire my weapon, too. In two cases, a suspect pulled something from his waistband and began to whip around towards me. I did not fire. In one case, the suspect was disgarding a stolen cel phone; and, in the other, the suspect held a gun, but tossed it in a micro-second before I surmise that I would have fired (he held a child in his arms also, so I can't be sure that another primitive part of my brain may have been restraining the Amygdala in order to protect a child--the suspect had shot the mother in the face a short time earlier and was fleeing with the kidnapped child).
I can't explain the difference in the how I responded. It wasn't wisdom, nor experience, and I don't think it was luck. I think it was something primordial, something barely explained. Think of it as the earlier "lizard man" that, unbeknownst to most of us, still lives in the back hind stem of our brains. I believe we all have this, but only those who have gone to battle or been confronted with an ancient threat have had to acknowledge this reality. A few years ago, I was at a West Coast zoo that had a cougar enclosure that allowed visitors to view the big cat through a piece of thick plexiglass (you know the type used by Sea World, "shamu-type glass"). This cat had worn a worry path all around the perimeter of his enclosure include right next to the glass. The cat paced all day long, and about every 20 times going past the glass, he suddenly lunged at the glass, stopping just short of the actual glass. Darn thing got me with his sick practical joke: I jumped back, screamed like child, before I got a handle on myself, looked sheepishly around, and then hurried away. But, I was curious, so I wandered back and sure enough the cat did this every five minutes or so and people of all ages reacted as I had. I saw a couple miracle cures where wheelchair bound people scrambled to escape. I saw children tossed about as parents reacted instinctively to throw the children away and, I guess take the animals attack on their own backs. It was enlightening to say the least.
So, to circle back and make a point, I'm not sure that we're talking about fear. So, I think the author may be unfairly and unwisely calling for something that none of us are capable of truly giving.
As the Alaska Legislature begins audits of 18 major state agencies, it has encountered difficulty with the first agency to be examined, the Department of Corrections, which failed to identify programs to auditors that could help cut 10 percent of its operating budget.
Rob Duke's insight:
Hmmm....hard to see how you can't trim just 10% without closing down a facility. I can understand why the legislature might feel DOC is unresponsive.
In Washington state earlier this month, an appeals court threw out a murder conviction based on shoddy work by the defense. But the court also took the prosecutor to task for something even stranger: a bad PowerPoint presentation.